29 March, 2010

George Weigel & Jay Scott Newman add more evidence of war

Spreading the Big Lie:
 
Why did the Washington Post choose Palm Sunday to publish an ignorant and malicious piece by Sinead O’Connor on abuse in the Catholic Church?

If Irish singer Sinead O’Connor wishes to denounce her mother publicly as an abusive parent, that is her privilege. If Ms. O’Connor wishes to shred a photograph of Pope John Paul II on stage, as she did almost two decades ago, she is, one supposes, within the boundaries of “performance art.” If Ms. O’Connor wishes to  “separate” the God she believes in from the Catholic Church in which she was raised, as she put it in a March 28 article in the “Outlook” section of the Washington Post, she is free to do so.

What Sinead O’Connor is not free to do is to misrepresent the teaching and law of the Catholic Church in the Post in order to buttress her claim that the Church is an “abusive organization” and that the Church threatens with excommunication those who would blow the whistle on clerical sexual abusers. That is utterly false. If Ms. O’Connor is aware of that falsehood, she has lied. What is more likely is that she picked up this arrant nonsense from those who are attempting to portray the Catholic Church as a global criminal conspiracy of sexual predators, in order to cripple the Church morally and financially and to drive it from the public square in shame.....

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34 comments:

  1. Sinny doesn't run down Catholicism, the Irish people or God. She condemns the Pope and the institutional Catholic Church for the evil, mindlessly authoritarian, old chauvinists that they are.

    What's the problem? Do you disagree that they are exactly that? I don't. I applaud Miss O'Connor's efforts and to the extent that she forces the Church to confront the evil that it has perpetrated on the people of Ireland and that this evil has been massive, sustained over centuries and that the Church itself has made no effort to cease it, fully support her efforts.

    I guess you probably don't agree with me on this, Tim. Why would you? You're a slothful, old, male, Paddy priest, living in genteel poverty on the proceeds of a quaint rural parish, aren't you?

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  2. reddog has left a new comment on your post "George Weigel & Jay Scott Newman add more evidence...":

    Sinny doesn't run down Catholicism, the Irish people or God. She condemns the Pope and the institutional Catholic Church for the evil, mindlessly authoritarian, old chauvinists that they are.

    What's the problem? Do you disagree that they are exactly that? I don't. I applaud Miss O'Connor's efforts and to the extent that she forces the Church to confront the evil that it has perpetrated on the people of Ireland and that this evil has been massive, sustained over centuries and that the Church itself has made no effort to cease it, fully support her efforts.

    I guess you probably don't agree with me on this, Tim. Why would you? You're a slothful, old, male, Paddy priest, living in genteel poverty on the proceeds of a quaint rural parish, aren't you?

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  3. To quote a verse of scripture... 'it is you who say so.' The long Lent of these scandals has brought the RC Church and all its clergy to the Passion of these times. As I keep saying... the 5th column of evil that exploded within the Church is as catastrophic to its moral standing as were the sins that provoked the reformation. The difference now is that its members are not leaving to form a new Christian community... they are leaving 'faith' entirely. The future will not present the Church will the task of ecumenism for very concept of 'God' itself will no longer be held in common. Put another way... 80% of the world professes to be theist... and the trends do not look good for faith.

    Fr. Tim

    I don't think that the authors were complaining about O'Connor's argument, but rather the language she used and with coverage the Washington paper gave it.

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  4. "The difference now is that its members are not leaving to form a new Christian community... they are leaving 'faith' entirely."

    Some people consider that to be a sign of growth and personal development. I consider it to be a matter of personal choice. Chacun a son gout, eh?

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  5. She was quoted as some kind of authority...shame on those who give her credence that she she shouldn't have. Those who did i suspect are not familiar with today's reading from Isiah...i hold you by the hand and keep you...Jesus will look after the Church always

    Mary G

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  6. For the second night in a row you were behaving like an a spoiled ignorant bully and I have no doubt you will go back to NP in the morning begging to have yours, mine and other comments removed. Don’t you get tired of disgracing yourself? I suspect you drink too much and you are one mean nasty drunk. There is a better way? Get some help.

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  7. Mary, what makes you think she is not an authority? She speaks from her own personal experiences, and of those she is an absolute authority. You are free to disagree with her out of your own personal experiences -- or lack of them -- but you cannot deny that she has a right to speak. As reddog says, it's not the faith that she sees as her enemy, but the institution that hides its own faults while exhorting others to confess theirs.

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  8. Sinead O'Conner who ?

    Wasn't she the one who loudly proclaimed, what 20 years ago, that she was leaving the Catholic Church ?

    If so why is she still in it ? And who really cares what she thinks ?

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  9. Small Town Guy30 March, 2010

    Two documents were issued by the Vatican in 1962 and 2001 which direct the bishops and priests to follow a procedure within the confines of the church to deal with sexual abuse. What gives the Vatican the power to issue and enforce such decrees? The RCC exerts authority over it's clergy to maintain the secrecy of the confessional. What gives it the authority to do this in suspected cases of breach of civil law such as cases of sexual abuse?

    The RCC claims the priests have the power to forgive sins. What gives the priests this power?

    Wayne M.

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  10. Lady Janus
    u are right...she has a right to her opinion and, while i disagree with it, i would do whatever was necessary for her to have the right to express it:)

    Mary G

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  11. "The RCC claims the priests have the power to forgive sins."

    I'm sure Tim will correct your misinformation when he has time (and mine, if I get this wrong). Priests do not have the "power" to forgive sins. Only God has that power. Priests are the intermediaries. They are the conduits through which such things are done within the structure of the faith.

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  12. James, you are tiresome. Whatever happened elsewhere happened there. Why are you attempting to disrupt our conversations by bringing it here?

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  13. Small Town Guy30 March, 2010

    Lady Janus said,

    Quote
    Priests do not have the "power" to forgive sins. Only God has that power. Priests are the intermediaries. They are the conduits through which such things are done within the structure of the faith. Unquote

    A book I have called "Instructions in the Catholic Faith" by Parish Priests says "Priests have the power too forgive sin." It also says "The dignity of the priest is higher than any earthly dignity; he has powers that not even the President of the United States has. He can forgive your sins just as Christ forgave them. He can give you the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ just as Christ Himself gave His Body and Blood to the Apostles on the night of the Last Supper."

    This book claims "All the rights, duties and powers of the priests were given by Christ to the twelve Apostles; by them they were handed down to the bishops and priests of the Church." P.111

    Since the Apostles could also perform miracles according to the New Testament and Priests and Bishops claim these same powers, why can't they also perform miracles?

    What proof is there that they have these enormous powers they claim to have? Where in the Bible does it say that the powers of the Apostles would be passed on to anyone?

    If you are a follower of this system and maybe a financial supporter of it, then what do you have to offer to show that what you are supporting is authorized by God? Or are you a blind follower of something that is highly questionable?

    In light of the size of this organization, the influence it has in the world, the power and authority it claims unto itself, and various other facts, don't you think these are reasonable questions to ask?

    Isn't it a copout or passing the buck to say the priest will answer these questions? Anybody who supports this system should be willing and able to answer them, don't you think?

    Wayne M.

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  14. STG, I wouldn't depend on any books to tell me what's what when it comes to someone else's culture and religion. I got my information in conversation with those who actually live in that environment.

    You're asking those questions of the wrong person. You need to ask someone who, a) knows the answers; and, b) thinks they're relevant.

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  15. STG: You must be reading from and old book! Priests are the instruments of God's grace - made so by the grace of ordination - but it is God who is doing the work of forgiving.

    Hope this helps to clarify things for you.

    Fr. Tim

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  16. Small Town Guy30 March, 2010

    Tim,

    "STG: You must be reading from and old book! Priests are the instruments of God's grace - made so by the grace of ordination - but it is God who is doing the work of forgiving."

    That is a very short answer with nothing to prove what you are saying is true. You think it should be believed simply because you say so?

    This book is copyright in 1976, revised in 1980. I doubt anything in it is any different now. Newer books may word some of teachings slightly differently, but the basic teaching is probably still the same. This book claims it is a complete course of religious instructions, written by parish priests, with the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.

    Is the whole system, which hundreds of millions of people follow, built on claims that cannot be proven as from God? If so, what benefit is it to those who blindly follow it? If priests don't have these actual powers which this RC instruction book claims they have, why waste your life promoting it? What proof do you have to offer?

    If it can't be proven from Scripture, it must be rejected as false and the inventions of men. (see Isaiah 8:20)

    Resspectfully,
    Wayne M.

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  17. Wayne, in matters of religion and faith, if you are looking for "proof," you are looking for the end of the rainbow. It doesn't exist.

    I can show you a book in which it is written that Jesus married and had at least one child, the progeny of whom survives to this day. It even names names. Becuase it's written in a book -- and a modern one at that (much more modern that your copy of whatever) -- I'm under the impression that you will accept that as "proof."

    And just FYI, scripture doesn't "prove" anything to me. But I don't look for "proof" where it does not exist. You might want to think about it for awhile.

    Or not. As you choose. But you might at least have the courtesy not to track your disrespect all over someone else's property before you demand that they respect your views.

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  18. STG: Wow! I truly have not of heard that theology in any published work since Vatican II. I suspect that the priests who wrote the book were trained before then. No person on earth has within him or herself to "forgive" sin, since sin is a rupture in our relationship primarily with God and secondarily with other people or creation. I have spent a few hours in the confessional over the past few days and I can assure you that when people conclude their confession by saying that they "ask God for forgiveness, and from you (the priest) penance and absolution", they understand that it is God who is the primary agent at work - not the priest.

    Fr. Tim

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  19. Small Town Guy31 March, 2010

    Lady Janus,

    There have been countless books written which are myths such as the blasphemous one you mentioned which says Jesus was married and had children. There is a big difference between those mythical books and the Bible. The Bible has much evidence which proves it is not a myth. Even the RC church says it is Holy Scripture and therefore from God, although they add all kinds of man-made doctrines which they claim as tradition. Many of these can easily be proven to be man-made. The New Testament was completed in the first 100 years or so after Christ and was written by disciples/Apostles who were eye-witnesses of the resurrected Christ. That means the Bible is on a far different plane than any other book.

    There were certain qualifications to be an Apostle. These qualifications are described in more than one place in the New Testament.
    "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews ch2 vs 3,4 (New Testament)

    The RC church claims bishops have the same authority as the Apostles, but they do not have the power or qualifications of an Apostle which these verses describe. How many bishops today have seen the resurrected Christ? How many today can perform signs and wonders and various miracles? The answer is none. I will let you draw your own conclusions on whether they have the authority of the Apostles. The Apostles were a one-time event. There were no more after they passed away in the first 100 years after Christ. But they left us the Scriptures which they were directed to write by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That is another reason why the Bible is a complete canon of God's written revelation to man. Nothing more can be added to it.


    Tim,

    I agree with your explanation that the RC church teaching is that in the confessional people are asking God for forgiveness and penance and absolution from the priest. The book probably explains that somewhere else in it.

    However, the doctrine of confessing to a man (priest) and receiving penance and absolution cannot be proven from Scripture. There is no authority given by Christ or the Apostles in the New Testament for such a system. There are no earthly mediators (priests) authorized in the New Testament. The earthly priesthood system which the Jews had before Christ was done away with when Christ came. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" 1 Timothy 2 vs 5.

    The New Testament teaches that the gospel was to be preached and those who believe in Christ and repent of their sins (change of attitude--foresaking of sins), would receive forgiveness and eternal life.

    What is the gospel that is to be preached? That Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead and that all should believe on Him as their Saviour. (1 Corinthians 15 vs 1 to 4).

    "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" Acts 3 vs 19.

    Says nothing about confessing to an earthly priest and receiving penance and absolution.

    "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 10 vs 42,43.

    Wayne M.

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  20. The media always knows where to stick the sword for maximum hurt. Of course Palm Sunday was especially chosen. Good Catholics just have to accept the media fall-out, responding respectfully where appropriate. It is our Lenten cross to shoulder. Some, like our good Fr. Tim, are on the front lines and bear much more of the sorrow.
    But even in this time of sadness and pain, it is still important to remember the immeasurable good that the Catholic church has done in the past and the good that is still to come.
    We ARE an Easter people, and the resurrection is just around the corner.

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  21. About the confessional!
    After some deep praying and setting my pride aside, I felt I needed to post this because it is important to me Fr. Tim.

    I went to confession a few weeks back & the priest did not give me absolution for my sins even though I said I was sorry. He did give me a blessing with some hesitation.

    It is obvious I am the one is at fault because a priest in confessional do not make mistakes. I questioned Him instead of going with the flow so to speak. I will admit I told him at one point that; "Jesus would not have answered me the way you did Father. I am sorry I am angry with you...I added is that the way you talk to clergy abuse victims,=='it is all in the past, life is short, just move ahead', etc.."==.
    I did repeat I was angry with him and I was sorry about that.

    I gather the priest thought I needed more time to re-examine myself and come back later to make a better confession?

    This is the same priest last year that I ask for prayers for my family & especially for my gay son. This same priest tells me in the confessional that he had worked at the Chancellery Office at one time in Pembroke that he says there is no such thing as gay priests in the Pembroke Diocese. {And also (now ex-)Monsignor Bernard Prince was an isolated case of a pedophile and this Monsignor Prince was not that close to the late Pope John Paul II}. He lied to me or distorted the info for whatever reason.

    Silly me or stupid me believed that the Holy Spirit showed me differently that there are gay priests in the Pembroke Diocese. To top it all, this parish priest tells me it is my duty as a Catholic to turn in/and speak to him about a priest who leads a double life. If not I am a hindrance to the progression of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. "Gee whiz. I did not think as a female I had such powers?"

    After many prayers, I told him NO, I will not tell him about a gay priest(s) that I know but be happy to turn in a priest who is a pedophile not to him but to the crime division of the Ontario Provincial Police. We all know there is a difference between a gay priest & a pedophile priest. We already covered that topic.

    It is obvious I do need to learn more about humility, charity, and forgiveness. There are always two sides to a story and God knows it all.

    You priests are busy but you do not have the line ups like (St.) John Marie Vianney had for confessions. I wouldn’t discourage others of not going to confession. That would not be right thing to do!

    I am not going back to confession. I will do my own self-examination of conscience at home/church as usual and say everything to God. In other words, I am cutting the middle man out and going straight to (the big Guy/Gal) GOD. I can live with that. In other words, I can die tonight and not be afraid because God knows me better than myself. He loves me. I am not looking forward to the suffering that comes before death but I will keep putting my trust in Jesus for that.

    Thanks for having this blog and also hearing me out.

    Happy Easter Father Tim!

    Lina, [a wounded soul saved by the grace of God]

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  22. Lina,

    I hope you know that your sins are forgiven - despite the idiot priest. "Ecclesia suplat" (the Church provides) means that even if the priest erred or was in a sinful state - and he clearly erred in not granting you absolution - that the sacrament you desired still has effect.

    I am so very sorry that you have had this experience. I sincerely could not think of a case where I would deny anyone who is willing to ask for God's forgiveness the gift of absolution.

    Please pray for him. He obviously is in need of grace and prayer if he could not recognize in you a person who humbly desired the forgiveness of God.

    I thank you for your kind prayers and witness.

    Happy Easter to you and those you love!

    Fr. Tim

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  23. Okay, Wayne, if you're gonna stick around and argue your side of things, you'll need to provide some answers other than mere quotations from an unaccepted source. Point by point, then:

    "There have been countless books written which are myths such as the blasphemous one you mentioned which says Jesus was married and had children."

    What's "blasphemous" about it? Would you have preferred he fathered bastards?

    "There is a big difference between those mythical books and the Bible."

    Those books aren't mythical. They're quite real. I own several, and they're sitting right here on my bookshelf along with my copies of the Bible, the Qu'ran, the book of Mormon, and the Mabinogian. I am missing a few books on that shelf, but it's a work in progress, and I'm still collecting.

    "The Bible has much evidence which proves it is not a myth."

    All religion is myth. Even mine. But "evidence" from the book itself is no evidence at all. The only acceptable evidence must come from independent outside sources.

    "Many of these can easily be proven to be man-made."

    Not just many. All.

    "The New Testament was...written by disciples/Apostles who were eye-witnesses of the resurrected Christ."

    Prove it. Outside sources.

    "That means the Bible is on a far different plane than any other book."

    For you, maybe. Not for me.

    "That is another reason why the Bible is a complete canon of God's written revelation to man. Nothing more can be added to it."

    Complete? I beg to differ. You're completely ignoring the First Council of Nicea, which decided, among other things, which writings to include and which to leave out of the "final" edition. I want to know what was left out and why.

    Part of your problem is that you cannot leave others alone in their own beliefs. But the other part of your problem is that you cannot direct their beliefs. They will insist on choosing their own beliefs, and there's nothing you can -- or should -- do about it.

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  24. Lina, you're showing a depth of courage I'll bet you never knew you had until just now!

    But if I might make a suggestion? Try moving away from blame. Especially move away from blaming yourself. The past is a tool you can use to make your future. Not something to forget about entirely, but not something to furnish and move into, either.

    And love yourself. You are the most important person you know. If you would give the gift of love to another, you must first have it within yourself.

    Blessings.

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  25. Small Town Guy31 March, 2010

    Tim,

    I am glad you have heart for people as demonstrated in the compassion you have shown in your gentle response to Lena.

    Following taken from Saint Joseph's edition of the RC New American Bible (New Testament):
    When Jesus was at the well (John chap.4), he asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water.
    The Samaritan woman replied "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans)

    Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." John 4:11

    Jesus said "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whosoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13,14
    In these verses Jesus is speaking of himself as the living water. If we drink Him by faith, that is believe in Him, we too will have the living water, which is Christ and we will have our sins forgiven and receive eternal life.

    Jesus uses the same kind of metaphorical language in John chapter 6 when He gave His bread of life discourse. When the crowd found Jesus, He said to them "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." John ch6 vs 27

    "So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." John 6:29

    "So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." John 6: 32, 33

    Jesus here is talking about Himself as the bread of God which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

    By believing in Jesus, we are eating the bread of God and receive eternal life, and forgiveness of sin. There is nothing about confessing to an earthly priest, absolution, or penance. These verses and others teach that salvation is by simple faith in Jesus and His shed blood at calvary's cross.

    The disciples had trouble understanding what Jesus meant by eating his body and drinking his blood in John chap 6. Jesus answers that to show it is referring to believing in him. Jesus is using metaphorical language and the symbolism is to teach a spiritual truth.

    When the disciples expressed skeptism about what Jesus said, he replied "What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life." John 6:62,62

    In other words when Jesus leaves by ascending to heaven, what would Jesus words mean if they were meant to literally eat his flesh and blood? The answer is in the next two sentences. It is the spirit that gives life. They were meant to refer to believing in Jesus and by doing so we are eating and drinking his body and blood.

    Wayne M.

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  26. Wayne, are you able to say anything at all without quoting (and attempting to translate) passages from that ever-present book of yours?

    Can you not drum up a human response on your own?

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  27. Small Town Guy01 April, 2010

    Lady Janus,

    "All religion is myth. Even mine. But "evidence" from the book itself is no evidence at all. The only acceptable evidence must come from independent outside sources."

    Why do you say you need independent sources? Much of the Bible was written by men who were eyewitnesses. Jesus and the Apostles quoted from the Old Testament which shows that they accepted it as the inspired revelation from God.

    The fact that Jesus was a historical person who actually lived at that time is verified by several secular sources. One was a well-known Jewish historian by the name of Josephus. Those would be what you would call independent outside sources.

    I am not sure why you would not consider the writers of the New Testament as a valid source to verify the authenticity of the Bible. They were eyewitnesses and some of them died as martyrs for their faith and standing for what they believed and wrote. Who would die for a myth? It doesn't make sense.

    What it all boils down to is faith. Faith is not something one can prove in the scientific sense because that is not what defines it.

    The Bible describes faith this way.
    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Hebrews chap.11 vs 1-3

    "But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews ch11 vs 6

    Many examples of believers of old who had faith are described in this chapter as a lesson for us.

    "They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;" Hebrews 11 vs37.

    God has chosen the vehicle of faith for his people. Faith is a gift of God. The world considers it foolishness.

    If you are waiting for a vision, or some special revelation from God apart from his written revelation, or some hard proof in some other (independent) source to enlighten you, it will never happen. God does not work that way.

    God gives the gift of faith to whom he wills. Remember God created the universe and everything in it, and is therefore completely sovereign. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. The Bible teaches God is a Spirit and present everywhere. It also teaches God is personally knowable through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. If one wishes to know this God personally, He must come to Him on His terms and His way. That way is described in the Bible in such places as the Gospel of John.

    You might ask what makes this God different that the other gods in some of books you might have or other religions? The difference is this. The God the Bible has chosen to reveal himself to men by sending His Son into the world to save a people by suffering and dieing for them on the cross and was resurrected from the dead. This is what makes the difference from other religions. Founders of other religions such as Islam, Budhism for example, are all dead and buried in their graves. But Jesus was raised from the dead and lives now. That is one big difference and what makes the christian faith what it is.

    Secondly the Bible content is such that through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, those who God reveals His truth to by faith, are convinced of the veracity of the Bible. If one wishes to have faith, they must read and study God's written revelation in humility and prayerfully asking God to reveal His truth to them.

    Wayne M.

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  28. Small Town Guy01 April, 2010

    Lady Janus,

    You seem to be hung up on the idea of preferring "outside authority" as if the Bible itself is insufficent or perhaps you believe only certain men or the RC church can interpret the meaning of it. Maybe you think it was addressed only to the RC church. If someone things that, they need to find the truth because that is a vital question.

    In either case, I would like to give evidence that God intended the Bible to be read or given directly to individual people. It was never meant to be filtered or interpreted through a church or clergy. That does exclude a minister from reading and quoting it in his sermons of course. That is not what my point is here. The point is that the truth revealed in Scripture was never meant to be EXCLUSIVELY explained or interpreted by a minister or church hierarchy.

    This goes back to the earliest days of biblical history when Moses had led Israel out of slavery and toward the promised land. The instructions which God gave Moses to teach to God's people, Israel, clearly showed that the Bible's actual words to be read to the people and to their children.

    "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets bgetween thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates." Deuteronomy Chap.6 vs 6 to 9.

    After the death of Moses, the Lord spoke to Joshua and told him:

    "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." The Book of Joshua chap.1 vs8

    The Lord spoke to Isaiah the following words:
    "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah chap8 vs20

    The early christians relied on Scripture and not on the authority of a pope, council, or tradition. This is proven in the Book of Acts, which is an account of the early church.

    Even the early church council in Jerusalem appealed to Scripture to come to a resolution of a dispute they had. (Acts chap15)

    Later, believers were called noble for checking the words the Apostle Paul by searching the Scriptures.
    "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts chap 17 vs 11.

    It should also be mentioned that at least several of the Epistles in the New Testament mention in the first chapter that they are addressed to the individual christians. For example, Paul's Epistle to the Romans says:

    "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Romans ch1 vs7. This shows the epistle was address to the individual christians in Rome, not to a church minister, bishops, pope, or church elder. All believers were referred to as "saints" in the New Testament. The first chapter of some of the other epistles will confirm that they also were addressed to the believers, not to church hierarchy to interpret.

    Wayne M.

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  29. "The fact that Jesus was a historical person who actually lived at that time is verified by several secular sources."

    Name them, then. And I don't give much credence to Josephus, the Kitty Kelly of his time.

    As for the writers of that book as eyewitnesses...I don't think so. And there's no way to prove it.

    "What it all boils down to is faith. Faith is not something one can prove in the scientific sense because that is not what defines it."

    Exactly right. And you are free to put your faith in whatever you wish. But you don't get to dictate what others believe or don't believe.

    "You seem to be hung up on the idea of preferring "outside authority" as if the Bible itself is insufficent..."

    I'm not the one who's hung up on something. But I will tell you that if you want me to pay serious attention to what you regard as "truth," then you had better present it to me in a manner that is acceptable to me. And I never accept only one sourse. And I certainly never accept that source's "authority" that it is credible! So, yes, your bible itself is insufficient as far as I'm concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lady Janus,

    "What non-biblical books mention the historical Jesus?

    There are some independent, non-biblical books that mention the historical Jesus. Historian Edwin Yamauchi calls attention to the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament. This proof comes from Tacitus, a Roman, who wrote that the Christians were responsible for the fire that destroyed Rome in A.D. 64. He believed that Christ had died under extreme execution during the reign of Pontius Pilatus. Yet, he stated that Christ's death briefly checked "a most mischievous superstition," which arose, not only in Judea, but also in Rome. He is bearing indirect testimony to the conviction of the early church that Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave. This would explain the bizarre occurrence of a rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal. How do you explain that?

    Another source of evidence about Jesus is found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. He asks Emperor Trajan about various ways to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. He did some research regarding these Christians and this is what he came up with: They met on a certain fixed day before it was light and sang hymns to Christ, as to a god. Unlike other gods who were worshipped, Christ was a person who had lived on earth. They bound themselves by a solemn oath to not participate in any wicked deeds, and never to commit fraud, theft, adultery, falsify their word, or deny a trust. These early Christians believed he was a real person and they held his teachings in the highest esteem. They also bound themselves to a higher oath to not violate various moral standards which is the source of the ethical teachings of Jesus.

    The writings of Josephus points out in his reference called, "Testimonium Flavianum, that "About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he wrought surprising feats. He was the Christ. When Pilate condemned him to be crucified, those who had come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared restored to life. And the tribe of Christians has not disappeared." Josephus was not a Christian. Therefore many believe that he could not have written anything such as the above statements. But, even so, we are left with details of a picture which tells us that the "biblical Jesus" and the "historical Jesus" are one and the same.

    There is also a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings that give a few clear references to Jesus called the Babylonian Talmud written approximately A.D. 70-500. The most significant reference from this period states, "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald. . .cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.'" The name, Yeshu, is actually the name, Jesus, in Hebrew. However, upon reading the passage, we know for a fact that Jesus was not hanged, but that He was crucified, but the word, "hanged" serves as a synonym for "crucified." And what about the statement that Jesus was to be stoned? This could indicate that the Jewish leaders were planning to do just that, but the Roman Government intervened on those plans. Unquote

    Lady Janus, I could not put it all in here because of the 4096 character limit. You can read the whole article at:

    http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/the-historical-jesus-faq.htm

    Wayne M.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wayne, all I asked for was the names of books, which you say exist, but you don't name any. You copied and pasted an article that makes reference to letters purportedly written by somebody to somebody, but they are not books.

    If such a book (a history book) exists, tell me. Just give me the title. I don't want a review, or a synopsis, just a title.

    Like, for example, a guy I know by name of Glenn Kimball wrote a book called Hidden Stories of the Childhood of Jesus -- it's speculation, rather than history, but it's a book, and that's its title.

    Can you do that?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Small Town Guy02 April, 2010

    Lady Janus,

    "So, yes, your bible itself is insufficient as far as I'm concerned."

    A famous theologian wrote that the divine origin of Scripture may be observed in it's orderliness,the heavenly nature of it's doctrine, and the beautiful agreement of all the parts with each other. The dignity of the subjects and the force of the truth in them are more proofs. The writings of the greatest philosophers pale into insignificance in the light of the Holy Scripture.

    Another factor is the antiquity of Scripture.

    The Law of Moses which records impartially the evil deeds of his own next of kin is another evidence of Divine inspiration.

    Another major proof is the fulfillment of many prophecies. For example, Isaiah's prediction of Cyrus' conquest of the Chaldeans (Isaiah 45:1)
    Jeremiah's prediction of the Jew's captivity for seventy years (Jer. 25:11, 12; 29:10)

    These are just a few of many other proofs of the divine inspiration of Scripture.

    Wayne M.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Small Town Guy02 April, 2010

    Lady Janus,

    One book is called "The Antiquities of the Jews" by Josephus. Wikipedia says about this:

    "Jesus of Nazareth is possibly mentioned in two passages of the work The Antiquities of the Jews by the Jewish historian Josephus, written in the late first century AD. One passage, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, discusses the career of Jesus. The authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum has been disputed since the 17th century, although most modern scholars agree that it is partially authentic.[1] The second passage mentions Jesus as the brother of a James, possibly James the Just. Most scholars consider this passage genuine.[2]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

    Another book is called "Early Christian Writings" by Andrew Louth and Andrew Staniforth.

    You can read some of the reviews on this book at:
    http://books.google.ca/books?sitesec=reviews&id=9m6fZSvxUU4C

    It is rated between 4 and 5 stars out of 5.

    I have not read it, but it is probably interesting reading.

    This next book appears to be online so you can read it or at least parts of it online. It is called "Historical Jesus" Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ by Gary R. Habermas.

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=pMMeqKHZIDkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+historical+Jesus&lr=&cd=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    Just scroll down and click on a chapter and it will take you to it.

    It talks about Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian. Also another write names Thallus is discussed and Julius Africanus who wrote about Thallus' writings, much of which were decayed or lost, but some critical information remained.

    This is an interesting book and is online.

    Wayne M.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "These are just a few of many other proofs of the divine inspiration of Scripture."

    None of that is "proof" of anything.

    But you're getting closer to what's needed...you've actually named books.

    I don't give Josephus any credit for veracity or accuracy, I've already mentioned that. That second book is not about Jesus -- it's about writing about Jesus -- writings that were produced long after he was supposed to have lived. And I don't care how many stars it's got. If it's not what I'm looking for, it does not matter.

    Now, that third book -- the one by Habermas -- looks like it might be an interesting read. I'll see if I can find a hard copy and take a look. But I have to warn you, he's not a historian, he's a theologian and an apologist, so he's got an agenda of which I'm aware, and there will be a large shaker of salt at my elbow as I read! Thanks for that link.

    ReplyDelete

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