My views on various Christian topics . . .
As a Christian, I look to the Bible and the early Church to show the way regarding true Christian faith and morals. Sadly, this was corrupted rather early by the early development of the Catholic Church, the Great Schism of 1054 A.D., and the rejection of true doctrine by the Protestant Reformers in favor of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Today we have disunity and chaos in the Church. We must look to the apostles and their successors to light the way.
There are really only five choices for Christian authority. Certainly everyone agrees that the teachings of Jesus and the apostles are the source of Christian truth:
- The New Testament, written by the apostles, but missing many topics. Many contradictory interpretations but Protestants all accept Sola Fide (Faith Alone)even though the New Testament clearly states the opposite (James 2:17,24)
- The Early Church Fathers,but they contradict themselves and scripture, and add church hierarchy
- Councils of bishops (Orthodox)
- The infallibilityof bishops and pope (Catholic), guided by the Holy Spirit
- The teachings of Jesus and the apostles found in the New Testament and the writings of the Early Church Fathers.
Recent Catholic Articles . . .
On July 16, 2012 I rejoined the Catholic Church (I don't remember why, and it didn't stick.) Here are articles from then.
Essentials . . .
God, the Trinity, Jesus
- God exists and is all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, eternal.
- God is the creator of everything and everyone.
- The Trinity. One God in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
- Jesus is deity.
- I accept the Nicene Creed.
The origin of humanity
- Adam and Eve were the first two humans, created by God.
- Adam and Eve were created without sin but capable of sinning by their free will.
- Adam and Eve lived in a utopian place called the garden of Eden.
- God created two trees in the garden of Eden: (1) the tree of life, and (2) tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- God commanded Adam and Eve to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Lucifer and the angel's rebellion
- There is a spiritual realm inhabited by angels.
- Lucifer (Satan) rebelled against God.
- Many angels followed Lucifer and also rebelled against God.
The fall of man
- Satan tempted Eve to disobey God's command to not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- Adam and Eve both ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in disobedience to God's command.
- As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were separated from fellowship with God.
- As a result of the judgment of Adam and Eve, the human race is tainted with the sin nature by being immersed within the kingdom of Satan.
- In sinning, humans displease God and he turns his face from them.
- It is impossible to not sin: the sin nature cannot be resisted by the weak human will.
- There is a sense in which the human soul is tangled up in Satan's kingdom of darkness resulting in God's presence being drastically reduced in the world of humans. It's as if our souls are swimming in dirty water.
- Each human is created by God with a moral soul capable of worshipping and loving God; or of rejecting his love.
- God desires a personal relationship with each human.
- Once created, the soul never dies.
- Reincarnation and karma are false concepts.
- After death is judgment for each human.
- There are two final destinations for every human: heaven (new heavens and new earth) and hell.
- Life in heaven (new heavens and new earth) is eternal.
- Life in hell is eternal.
- Those in hell cannot cross over to heaven.
- Jesus took on humanity during the incarnation via the virgin birth from Mary.
- Jesus remained deity even while human.
- Jesus died sacrificially to redeem human nature.
- Those who repent of their sin and turn to Jesus in faith become redeemed.
- Jesus conquered sin and death for all of the redeemed via his resurrected.
- I believe the Bible is the inerrant, inspired, infallible Word of God (but it is not the only Word of God).
- I believe the Bible should be interpreted literally. (Many fundamentalist, evangelical Christians interpret the Bible figuratively when it suits them — but I don't.)
- The church has two aspects: (1) the set of all redeemed believers (the body of Christ), and (2) an institutional component consisting of leaders, creeds, rules, communities.
- Church leaders are to be orthodox, holy, Spirit-filled, good teachers, evangelistic, good pastors.
- Christians should reject unqualified church leaders.
Non-essentials . . .
Here are my views of these topics:
- The earth and universe are very old.
- I reject young-earth creationism. I should mention I interpret the Bible strictly literally.
- The claims of evolutionists are generally true with these additions:
- All new species were designed and created by God, perhaps using directed "random" radioactive interactions with genes.
- There were two human parents of the human race — Adam and Eve. All other humans are descendants of these two.
- Every aspect of the universe is created by God.
- Noah's flood was a local flood which wiped-out all of humanity living in that area except those on the ark.
- I reject the notion of a global flood. I should mention that I interpret the Bible literally.
- Species have come into being over billions of years.
- The creation account in Genesis is literally true. It simply does not say that the world was created in six 24-hour days.
- There is no literal 1,000 yearmillennial kingdom. It is not Biblical. I should mention I interpret the Bible strictly literally.
- The 1,000 yearsis literal: from the time of Christ until about 1054 A.D.
- There is no rapture. The verses interpreted as referring to the rapture actually refer to the final resurrection.
- There is no yet-future Antichrist.
- There is no literal 7 year (or 3–1/2 year) great tribulation.
- The final eternal destination of the redeemed humans in the new heavens and new earth, not heaven.
I believe in the following (but I am not Catholic):
- We are saved by a combination of faith and works. I don't believe we are saved by works only.
- The Catholic doctrines about Mary. These are: (1) she was conceived sinless, (2) she remained a virgin for her whole life, (3) she is now the Queen of Heaven.
- The Eucharist. That during communion, the consecrated bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ.
- That sins are remitted during baptism.
- That Catholic devotions have value. Such devotions and prayers as: (1) Rosary, (2) Chaplet of Divine Mercy, (3) Sacred Heart of Jesus, (4) Immaculate Heart of Mary, (5) Stations of the Cross, (6) Icons, (7) Miraculous Medal.
- Apparitions such as: (1) Guadalupe, (2) Lourdes, (3) La Salette, (4) Fatima.
- The Bible is not our only authority.
- We should study and practice the virtues.
Heretical and Non-Christian Views . . .
I reject all of these:
- Alternate "Christian" theologies such as those of Mormonism, modalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and many others.
- Any form of liberal Christianity. Such ideas as: Rejection of miracle stories; the Bible as myth; Jesus is a great teacher but not deity; feminism; that stories such as Jonah and the big fish, the virgin birth of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus are fiction.
- Saved by works (the Catholic Church does not teach that you are saved by works as many wrongly claim).
- The following are all to be rejected: astrology, new age practices, yoga, eastern mysticism and philosophy.