As we look at the various comments of these forums, one issue stands out. It would seem that many, if not most, view the Roman Catholic Church as the benchmark for Christianity.
There are those opposed to Christianity and having no real background in "religion," that reference the RCC.
There are many that oppose Christianity that were raised in Bible based homes and walked away from God.
But it seems those most ardent in their opposition to Christianity were "raised" in an RCC environment.
And the question surfaces, "Why is the RCC the benchmark, the poster boy for Christianity.
You may reference, among other thiings, the various Councils of Niceae/Nicea, but understand that was not the beginning of organized "religion," only the beginning of the RCC. Further "religion" is no more Christianity than was the Inquisition.
So, again, "Why is the RCC the benchmark."
As you mention 'organized religion', is this to claim that Christianity had been previously organized, prior to the Catholic Church? Can you point to those organizations. My research indicates many splinter groups that were vying for position and power, with multiple views of what Christianity should be. I believe that it was these groups, that number about 100, that were commanded to attend Constantine's council. Research also indicates that these fractured segments were not opposed to killing each other to make their point. It was for this reason that Constantine held the Council, as such turmoil was beginning to have a very negative effect on the people. I, also believe that you will find that for about 70 years after the Council warring continued until the Catholic Church became the dominate force.
There were many theistic beliefs prior to Christianity that were organized and, essentially, many of their beliefs and rituals were fraudulently adopted by Christianity, as original to Christianity, but these were noted as pagan beliefs.
Perhaps, if not the Catholic Church, you can show what previous Christian organization Christianity is based on?
There is a possibility that I may be wrong, but merely to allude to that is not sustainable. "Where is the meat?"
If you refer to Protestantism, as an original Christian organization, you might want to check the year 1529 and a Catholic priest by the name of Martin Luther. If you refer to a Christianity as above and beyond it's history and manifested in the biblical word alone, then one needs to explain that it was the Catholic Church that. basically, codified Christian belief into a book form, the Latin Vulgate, which in turn was recopied by the King James group (the political quest for power here was the driving force) into what became the Protestant version/s. I do not think that one can escape Catholicism in the examination of founding of Christianity no more then Constantine can be excluded from the picture.
Mishpat, I recommended a book on another thread a few months ago, that you really should have a look at if curious at all regarding Catholicism.
http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Rides-Beast … +the+beast
From it's origins, through present day, and even on to it's place in prophecy, this book takes an honest look at the RCC. Is it critical? Appropriately so, but it documents it's sources, including many from within the church's own archives. Thoroughly footnoted, you needn't take the author's word for it since you can easily research the references for yourself.
If you are interested in history or comparative religions, it really is a must read on Catholicism. I apologize for the sales pitch, but it is important information that is not easy to find.
Regarding your OP, "Christianity" has lost it's meaning to a large degree, ( http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2484031 ), so I don't know what being "benchmark" for it would mean. If you mean regarding biblical followers of Christ though, I don't really count the RCC in the running. This has been discussed many times here, and this may not be the best thread to recommend, but it is the thread of a Catholic promoting their church, so it seems fair to refer back to it: http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2598625
Apparently you are simply responding to the initial statement by mesphat. The tread concerns itself with the premise that without the Catholic Church, Christianity would simply not exist. To further that idea, the existence of the Catholic Church is predicated on a guy by the name of Constantine who forced 'Christians' by popular vote, to decide what truths Christianity would adopt. With that in mind anything that you provide to discredit the Catholic Church serves only to discredit Christianity, as a whole. Keep up the good work.
I know your roots are in Catholicism, so perhaps you aren't aware of how the true church works. Of course, it is all nonsense to materialists, but from a biblical perspective there is no need for rosters, charters or even buildings for that matter. Early on it would be by word of mouth, or bits of scripture and spirit led believers assembling in homes. If a larger group did form, they may assemble at a venue, but the venue was never the church. If allowed to continue openly they would organize according to biblical instruction. Many still meet as small groups in homes or rented halls. In areas or times when persecution is occurring it only makes sense to keep a low profile for meetings. God knows who are His, and doesn't need an earthly accounting you could research to determine the history of the believers. Believers have existed and assembled like this from the very beginning. To paraphrase the atheists, "no Pontifex Maximus required." Ever.
If you'd like verses explaining how it is expected this would seem foolishness to you, how these things are spiritually discerned or how the body of Christ is His followers, and that too is the true church, (not a building, roll call in a pew or a huge organization wielding worldly power and influence), I can help with that. Folks tend to complain, so I won't post lots of verses unless you request it.
"I know your roots are in Catholicism, so perhaps you aren't aware of how the true church works."
---I would venture to say that you are being very presumptuous here.
" God knows who are His, and doesn't need an earthly accounting you could research to determine the history of the believers."
---Did this god now who would and who would not be his before he created anyone?
"Believers have existed and assembled like this from the very beginning. To paraphrase the atheists, "no Pontifex Maximus required."
---To quote this Atheist, "no god is necessary", but from the beginning of what? To say that Christians were the first to meet to worship a god, is to simply disavow the human need to gather those of like mind and enforce each others belief. Long before Christianity.
"If you'd like verses explaining how it is expected this would seem foolishness to you,---"
---From where do you get your verses? For example, if you would consider Psalms. as quotable, you might want to recheck authorship.
In any case quoting scripture to me would have the same value as a first grade teachers trying to educate a math major to simple addition. It it gives you comfort and purpose though you are welcome to submit your suggestions.
Am I? I thought this was what you had expressed in other threads when waxing on about your expansive education. Matters not to me, so excuse me if I am remembering incorrectly. I'm not inclined to go look for it.
Pointless to debate predestination with someone who doesn't even believe in God. Topic is RCC and they do not preach it.
My apologies as I didn't expect that to be confusing. We are speaking about Catholicism in relation to Christianity. "From the beginning" was a reference to the beginning of Christianity.
Lol. No need to carry on as clearly I can't cut through your hubris, entertaining as it may be. It does bring a verse or two to mind, but I expect they would just upset you. I see no point in that.
Your verses do not upset me, nor does your belief in a deity, but that you portray it as an ultimate truth possessed by you, to be spoon fed to those of lesser abilities, is not upsetting, but irritating, How is this not the epitome of an egocentric personality disorder, cloaked in a supernatural and mystical truth cape, not dissimilar to the one worn my superman?
Any degree of hubris exhibited by me, is, in fact, dwarfed by your claim to be in possession of this ultimate truth. If one were to research the word hubris conceit, self importance, pride, pomposity and arrogance are such traits and in your claim of self importance, is this not the character flaws of all, who promote supernatural claims.
I make no claim to an ultimate truth, you do. I make no claim to know a god, you do. I make to claim that anyone will suffer the wrath of a god, if they do not choose to believe, you do. Is this not the projection of superiority over others and how is this different than the maniacs of Islam who cut peoples heads off. They too, are in communication with a god and they too possess the ultimate truth.
As usual, most of what I am going to say is done with scripture in mind, so if you want related verses to support something, just ask. I thought about primarily just answering with verses, but again, I know many here prefer we not do that.
To me it appears you have clearly professed yourself to be wise in opposition to God. Satan's preferred tactic from day one in the garden was to encourage doubt in the word of God. His job is pretty easy, given man's natural predisposition to rebel. Satan doesn't care which of many wrong paths any particular person chooses to follow. Any false belief system is fine as long as it keeps people from acknowleding, or preferably even recognizing their need of Christ, lest they accept His free gift of redemption.
Scientism, though proving to be a very useful tool for a time, particularly with it's ability to distract and plant the seed of doubt while cultivating extreme self confidence, must not be Satan's ultimate favorite. Scientism masterfully instills confidence in science providing answers that are in truth just speculation, which works well for Satan, but adherents deny spirituality, which will be a major factor in uniting the world under one big ideology, ultimately coordinated by and through the RCC. Eventually those following scientism will acquiesce to spirituality, (probably thrown a bone in the form of some scientific support for it). RCC has been taking steps toward merging all belief systems under their umbrella for years, and when the time is right they will.
So, while his first choice is to lead someone away from the truth, Satan's second is to confuse that truth. No place is this better represented than in the RCC, where Paganism was married to Christian terms and characters. Isis, Horus and Seth, (IHS), become Mary, Jesus and Lucifer and off we go. If people are drawn to Christ, Satan happily offers a counterfeit, backed by all the gold, power and worldly influence needed to assure widespread exposure and success.
True believers are still a problem though. How best silence them? They are sealed by the Holy Spirit which instills unwavering confidence, but still battle against Satan, the world and their own flesh, so depending on how they present and conduct themselves a couple different approaches are effective. Through spiritual discernment, I have full confidence in Jesus and His gift of salvation. My certainty is an offense to the politically correct material world where nobody, it is believed, can be certain about anything. A good approach then is to exploit this and paint a confident believer as arrogant, self righteous, perhaps even as exhibiting the "epitome of an egocentric personality disorder, cloaked in a supernatural and mystical truth cape, not dissimilar to the one worn by superman." Ironic, considering I freely admit I was a lost sinner, considering myself as all should as the chief of all sinners. Any confidence I have is of the Spirit and the only boasting I can do is to boast of my Lord. I didn't earn my salvation, but long ago did accept the gift Jesus offers all.
For me, buckling under the pressure to pretend I have doubt, when I don't, is disingenuous. So I am an easy target for your approach. While my presentation is more likely to encourage believers who are having a difficult time speaking out, other believers see fit to soft pedal it much more, which is an effective approach for them. I have no issue with this as the field is diverse and different approaches will reach different people. Indeed their approach is likely to appeal to a much wider but different segment of unbelievers. It is a difficult path as those who wish to silence their testimony and witness will constantly attempt to sew doubt anytime they perceive trepidation or uncertainty, the appearance of which is frequently inferred. Regardless of their ministerial approaches, though, any spirit filled believer has a relationship with God and possess that ultimate truth, the claim of which you have framed pejoratively.
It was framed as a pejorative, because that is how it should be perceived. Christianity is a negative influence, as all deity beliefs now are, on humanity. It is only the non-believer, who can accept such a brutally distorted and convoluted history, as a truth of something good. A Believer is one, who believes in humanity, not one who turns his back on the reality of who and what he is, abandoning the only real solution to the problems of human existence, the human capacity to reason.
The belief in deities and the belief that one possesses an ultimate truth of that deity is, perhaps, the most damaging form of narcissism facing mankind. A runner up, may be the narcissism associated with the personality disorders of the likes of Hitler and Stalin.
I, do apologize if I sound a little terse. It is that I suffer, admittedly, from a slight case of hubris. I have found that it is the best way to deal with such an egocentric mindset. One that claims the possession of an ultimate truth, while shunning the only ability that Man has to find the truth, of anything, human reason.
The logical fallacy there stems from an Appeal to Belief in that no belief system has ever been shown to be valid or false, yours included.
Of course, by appealing to a third party (Satan) as the instigator of cause, you invoke a paradox; "man's natural predisposition to rebel", which of course must be a characteristic created by the very same God you worship as being perfect in every way.
It's funny how you set up a false premise and then knock it all down in the same breath.
In many cases, it's not a matter at all of silencing them, it's usually a matter of treating their disorders that cause them to hallucinate their battles against the world and themselves.
And, I would agree with you, you are free to be confident and certain in your beliefs. No one is trying to take that away from you. But, if you insist on "speaking out" in the public domain with "testimonies and witness", surely you must understand and accept the fact that will do little more than cause conflict, that which the believer has brought upon himself and is certainly not the victim who is to be silenced, but is instead the agitator who brings their own personal battles for everyone to confront.
That is indeed disingenuous, if anything.
Christianity was alive but not well during the Prefecture/Procuratory of Pontius Pilate of whom we are all aware by his deeds. We could refer to the writings of Josephus and Tacitus, or the edicts of Nero and Domitian to garner support that Christianity was in place before the end of the 1st century.
Of course we also have the Bible as history to give a more concise account of certain happenings. However, we are not looking at these subjects but are examining why the RCC is the benchmark used by so many for defining Christianity.
In truth, there was a group which the Bible calls Christians, Josephus calls them the “tribe of Christians,”Tacitus calls them“Chrestians,”(and there some debate by critics here about the spelling). Nero blamed them for the Great Fire, of which much is written and there is much more written by historians, secular and theologic, about Christians regarding the persecution of Domitian just prior to 100 AD. So there is a pre-RCC history.
Prior to the RCC, there were gnostics and charlatans, such as Simon Magnus and Cerinthus attacking the original Christian doctrines, but there were also Apostles present to refute these new comers.
After the turn of the century, when all eye witnesses of Christ were passed, Christianity was deluged by heretics such as Valentinius, Marcion, Montanus and Menander.
The persecution of Domitian continued under Trajan and Adrian. It had a short respite under Pius but picked up again at various levels of persecution until Constantine’s edict.
Now we have to understand that the “church” and Christianity, at that time, were one and the same so I will take liberty to use these interchangeably.
The “church” of the 2nd and 3rd centuries suffered great persecution which caused it remain underground, united in belief but separated into cells, individual and localized, not subject as a group to the power of any one person. And diary styled writings were apparently not important so there is little history here. We may assume this was also an effort to keep a certain anonymity and thereby, their heads.
There were folks that these individual churches looked to for support and interpretation of writings on hand, but none was subject, at least in the beginning, to any one doctrine. But that changed rapidly during time with the acceptance of a multitude of pagan practices and holidays, including the office of "priest."
From the time of Peter the Apostle to the time of Constantine and Nicea, the RCC lists some 33 popes. In reality, these were probably local church leaders who may have had the title of bishop according to scripture. The second pope (Peter being the first) is reported to have been “St. Linus.” There is one Linus mentioned in the Bible and only in a cursory fashion. Tradition would have him being a bishop but the evidence is lacking. An there is little support outside of the RCC to support these other “popes” having leadership positions.
As to Constantine, his Edict of Milan lifted the persecution of the church. Churches grew. Christianity, as a whole, was allowed to grow. But, as with all things directed by man, the coming “mega church” would be corrupted, even more. It would take took on a political structure with the spiritual being subservient in many cases.
There remained, of course, small independent groups. But, in the centuries that followed, these small independents, not to be confused with the Protestants of the Reformation, would feel the wrath of the soon-to-be RCC for holding to their beliefs. And others would also for not bowing to this corrupt system, i.e., Inquisition.
But this not a full history nor is it the point of the OP.
The OP is a question, “"Why is the RCC the benchmark."
A perspective could be that, like so many other issues, there is a lack of study assisted by a subjective mind set. One can rightly assume by the above that I do not accept this comparative, this benchmarking, as true, any more than I believe that Henry Ford invented the automobile. Or do you believe he did?
And, btw, Pontifex Maximus was the title for the god-kings we know as Roman Emperors.
"But, as with all things directed (and accepted on a mass level) by man…"
A. Because man is both corrupting and corruptible! You pointed it out yourself!
Thanks for the insight!
Mishpat, I appreciate the accounting and although it has been some time since I have studied this, your comments align with what I recall. Seeing the level of knowledge you already have here, I still think you would appreciate that book, (probably even more so).
I was not sure who this was directed at. I don't consider RCC to be a benchmark of Christianity at all, but perhaps the general public perception does. To me they have always been a distraction trying to mislead people from following Christ, with their own Jesus.
What I found telling about the title is that it belonged to the head of the Pagan Church, and Constantine carried it over to his "Christianity". Appropriate since that was a marriage of the Pagan church, with it's traditions, etc, and the Christian beliefs he sought to silence by converting would be believers to his new mix.
If you like, you certainly can appeal to Josephus, Tacitus, Nero and Domitian, but it will do you no good. Josephus, as a legitimate historian has little credibility and the authenticity of his work is questionable. Of Tacitus and the other two, authenticity or a direct accounting is not there.
No ones questions that there were many Christian sects in Rome and elsewhere vying for power and converts and as they gained in strength and numbers, not only did they assist in the downfall of Rome, but began to persecute Jews, as the early Church Fathers wrote of Jews as a "despised" and "rejected" people, who would roam the earth endlessly. The result was, not only rejection, but violence, burning of Synagogues and murder. This violence was not just directed at the Jews, but each Christian sect would target other sects for holding differing views and dogma on the Christ.
In the Peter 2: "even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them" This is a good example of the infighting that took place inside the early Christian church, so much so, that by the year 325 Constantine had enough and called the Council. And, as you know resulted in the truth of Christianity. This was just the beginning however, and another 70 years of infighting would only be stopped by the strength of the Catholic Church, endowed by Constantine.
Some of the infighting was caused by the rush for converts, but mostly by deemed heresies, to name a couple deoctism, adoptionism, arianism.
If there is a Father of Christianity, it is Constantine. If not for this man Christianity would have destroyed itself with its relentless infighting. The Catholic Church, as bad as it was and as far as I am concerned, still is, solidified Christian doctrine and unified the membership under a totalitarian or theocratic rule, which ushered in the Dark Ages. A span of years from the advent of Christian rule and continuing for the next 1000 years. A time of despicable leadership, corruption, poverty, torture and the spreading of Christian values with a sword. Then only lessening, as the great Catholic and Protestant wars unleashed their fury over Europe and any country that fell under the sword, to include the Americas.
The early church was a confused mess of beliefs and egocentric leaders vying for power and wealth.
Growing up in Detroit in the 40's, it was my sound belief that Henry did invent the car, but there comes a time when such things must be put aside. I could have refused to accept this new understanding of Henry, but then to deny a truth serves only to enhance a lie. Come to find out Henry did much more than invent the car, he invented an industry, the assembly line, and a car that everyone could afford that changed the world and employed directly and indirectly about 2 million people. A much greater truth.
Thanks for the input. We may not agree on the veracity or value of some of those mentioned (more at the bottom), but we have, at least, established an important point, or the important point. Christianity was in place long before the RCC. The assumption that Christianity would not exist today without the RCC is the reverse of reality. The RCC would not exist today without Christianity as it was the foundation of the RCC. The transmogrification of doctrine and belief to enable and include pagan rituals into the RCC pulls hard at the seams of Christianity but has not, as yet rent the fabric completely. Faith remains “the still small voice” that directs the true Christian.
The father of Christianity is God Almighty. He has and does protect its existence in the world. I am confident there will always be a remnant to carry on regardless on the number of setbacks.
There have always been vying factions. They vary according to interpretation of the Bible to the charlatans that employ the Bible for their own personal aggrandizement, and profit. These come to the fore when we view the actions of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the forerunners or foreshadows of the Republicans and Democrats. Man has not changed in the 6000 years of his existence. And try as he might, man cannot erase his history.
Mankind is fond of writing new and varied versions of history. It helps to get past that which does not fit with the social agendas of the day. It seems that there was another world that disappeared some 50-60 years ago and was replaced by the present thought processes and ideologies. The new school lunch program is a perfect example of new thinking and new history. The parents don’t like it and the kids don’t like it, but it is all they have so they will eventually eat it or be labeled in some manner. And parents are powerless against this malevolent regime to stop these changes. Like Frankenstein, a monster was created with the best of intentions only to have the monster become the master.
We even find this true in the newer versions of the Bible. We can find new and elusive words not found previously. New words and new definitions replace the old foundational words. And it is fed to the indolent. (Ever check the copyright on the newer versions? Can one copyright the things of God?)
And we find this to be true of the RCC. But they are unable to change course yet defenseless in their continuing the facade as history has noted their interests. However, the RCC is the great example of choice for non-believers, with good reason. So why not use the RCC as the example of Christianity, as the benchmark of Christianity, as the starting point of Christianity. The only roadblock is the Bible, but of course, it is only a book written by men.
Seems all books are authored and written by men. So who or which does one believe? Books that change from day to day, from icon to icon, from philosophy to philosophy? History books that are updated as is needed, without much question, to meet the needs of the latest dialogue of the latest power structure or neo-belief system. Or the Bible, written by men but authored by God.
But, again we stray. The OP is regarding the RCC as the benchmark of Christianity. I would submit that it is nothing more than a tool of the unbelieving to besmirch the true meaning and purpose of the church and Christianity.
That Christians were around was never in contention, what was in contention was the coherent and organized message that was created by the Council and brutally enforced by the Catholic Church. I believe that was pointed out.
Constantine is the great benefactor and father of Christianity and to further that scenario, the Mother of Constantine should be considered the Mother of Christianity, because without her influence over the Emperor, he may have just killed them all.
The bible, the mythology of a Jesus Christ, is simply the word of man, no more, no less and to claim otherwise is to deny a truth in the quest to justify a belief that has no more strength or value than the mythology of Isis and Osiris, which it is founded on.
To believe in a god is to turn ones back on humanity, to disbelieve in the reality of existence, the human capacity to reason in lieu of a supernatural mythology that allows one to escape human existence.
For well over a 1000 years Christianity, Christian values, principles, dogma and truth controlled the Western World through a theocracy and from this, what was the fruit? Freedom did not exist. Peace did not exist and humanity suffered the brutality of the Christian gods. It was not until 1776 and 1,776 years after this savior that men would put Christianity on the back shelf and the Rights of the people to the forefront, that is the value of Christianity. Even still, as Christianity stole the myths of Osiris, Aten and the Jewish, still to be realized promise of a messiah, steals the idea of American freedom, as it own. This is the essence of Christianity.
Christianity is Catholicism and exists due to the corruption and brutality of the Catholic Church, which spawned the ideology of Protestantism, which spawned all and every form of Christian belief or practice.
That Christianity exists today is due to the theocratic rule of Catholicism spawned by one man, Constantine.
The history of Christianity is there, written in the blood of human folly. One cannot be besmirch this truth, but one can deny it.
I believe we are in a loop here. As I move you back to the beginning of the term Christianity, you pull me forward some 300 years to the RCC. I would suggest your perspective may be clouded by your distaste for the system of religion in which you were first introduced, though at times your response might be seen by some as a defense for the RRC. Just a couple things and then it maybe be time to move on to other subjects, depending on your response.
Sometime back I believe you mentioned the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and maybe a couple others as comparatives to religion and faith (religion and faith being two different issues). Childhood fantasies are not religion, though you are free to assert such, and I don't know if you really went that far. Contrary to many legalist positions, I see no lasting harm in these. I believe you paraphrased 1 Corinthians 13:11 in this area in that we do grow out of these things with no lasting effects. But we do hang on to these childish moments, especially when we are able to share a smile with our own children as we reenact these pleasurable moments from our childhood through our children. I would agree that there is no reasonable explanation for believing in the existence of these creatures.
However, when we come to Judaism and Christianity, the is ample reason to believe these histories are correct and factual, including the use of secular findings for our proofs. (Findings include purposeful and disingenuous comments by the secular group in an effort to circumvent issues which cannot be proven.)
Your mention of Osiris, Aten and a couple others. These did not appear on the pages of history until the middle of the 3rd millennium, copies of the prior heathen gods, prior being before the Flood. Here in the history of Egypt we find one of the greatest reworks of history. Being that the so-called "sciences" could not rectify missing years in this time frame, they flip flop back and forth with the terms dynasties and intermediate period. And, of course, their comments about earlier dynasties and timeframes are always suffixed with "?" to indicate, as Spock would put it "their best guess."
So how do the believers of this system get past things they wish they had not found? They ignore their own facts and jump to another subject quickly, such as Enki and the Summerians. Ah, yes the long live kings of Sumer, 10 kings reigned in succession for 345,000 years. Then came the Flood of Sumer. The Flood again.
It seems every continent and ethnic grouping has a story about this "mythical event." It is a dividing point in history that does not exist according to the above experts. This one has always boggled me.
But again we have deviated from the question of benchmarking.
By your design, one would have to accept that Constantine was the Jewish messiah, the promised Christ, being the father of Christianity. I would ask that you reexamine your premise or wording, if for no other reason than to align with history. It would only be reasonable.
Christianity cannot be without Christ. He is the foundation of the word and the foundation of the faith. That is a fact which can only be misread purposefully. You may call what Constantine did anything you wish, however, it loses validity when it is non-sequitur with known, accepted or assumed historical identities.
And the question remains unanswered or at least without reasonable expanation, "Why is the RCC the benchmark for Christianity?
And my position stands. The comparative uses the best known and most nefarious of Christian based "religions." To sully it is to sully the whole of Christendom. Two birds with one stone as it were.
I see no loop, but disagreement. I understand your desire to define Christianity, in terms, that portray an organized, cohesive, benevolent and unified organization. That is simply not the case. As I pointed out, and that the early history of the church verifies, it was the opposite that carries the truth. Arianism is a prime example of that division and was even carried forward after the Council, but was squashed by the Catholic Church. Arianism did not accept the Jesus as equal to the god, but a later addition. The Gnostic Christians, another 'differing' philosophy. This 4th century quote (easily researched) carries with it my characterization of Christianity, "The enmity of the Christians towards each other surpassed the fury of savage beasts against man."
– Ammianus Marcellinus, 4th century Roman historian.
Below is a quote from Irenaeus, an early church father and cause for much hate among other Christians.
"The Thirty aeons are not typified by the fact that Christ was baptized in his 30th year: He did NOT suffer in the twelfth month after his baptism, but was MORE THAN FIFTY YEARS OLD WHEN HE DIED."
– Against Heresies, II, 22.
My opinion is not clouded, but open to reasoned disagreement. I have seen no evidence on your part that gives indication of a church unified prior to the Council and The Catholic Church, only to be split again by Luther and again and again and again. Nothing has changed here. We cannot romanticize what was never there and make it real today. This is the clouding that wishes are made from and reality is hidden by.
The Catholic Church through the power of a pagan emperor was able to squash all dissent and formalize the dogmas of belief, thus Christianity. That is why you gave it the title of 'benchmark' of Christianity. I would give that title to the power of Constantine, who enabled Catholicism.
Statements of belief are not fact, if not backed up.
You are correct, in that, I have absolutely no value or respect for the dogmas of Christian belief and if providing evidence to that end sullies the whole of Christendom, then let it be sullied and discredited.
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