April 11th 2011, 03:25 PM #1
The New Ark, the Seal of God: The Catholic Church
The New Ark, the Seal of God: The Catholic Church
I just realized another powerful analogy for my interpretation of the Seal of God in Apocalypse 7 (which protects the mystical "144,000 chaste Jewish Virgins" from the calamities and harm of the trumpets to follow in Apocalypse 8-9) as the Catholic Church. The ARK. Remember, the literal ark in the first darkness of humanity protected its members from the PHYSICAL harm of the Flood.
The NEW Ark is the Catholic Church, which protects not from PHYSICAL harm, which is the lot of the Christian, but rather SPIRITUAL harm, that is, in the mind and will. But the mind is free of harm only if it has no erroneous doctrine in it. That comes only from the Catholic Church, who alone is guided in Rome from falling into error in teaching on faith and morals.
And for grace, only the sacraments are the fullness of life. Only the full seven sacraments console the soul with mercy and strength. Again, only Rome has them in supreme degree (the Orthodox lack the supreme degree of Holy Orders, Peter's See.)
Hence, in the tumult of Church history, where the dragon summons up principalities and powers to attack the People of God in a SPIRITUAL sense through heresy and to lead astray into sin, only those within the Ark of the Catholic Church, led by Peter and the Other Bishops, will be protected from false teachings and have the fullness of Divine power and love, the sacraments, to give maximum aide in remaining in friendship with God. For also, the rains will come, but only those built of the rock of Peter will stand in the end.
Sola Scriptura is sand and the sea, the ever morphing contradictions and "to and fro of heretics" within Protestantism. Orthodoxy is a little better, they are the earth, but they fish a little bit, cuz they don't listen to Peter, who is the firmest foundation!
So what is the Seal then?
Will Christians or literal Jews at the end of the world be literally protected from physical woes? Where was such protection when Christians were horribly tortured under pagan Rome?
Where was the Seal of God protecting from PHYSICAL harm when millions of Christians of all persuasions were horribly tortured and killed under communism last century?
Where was the physical protection of the Irish during the potato famine of the 1800's? What are you saying? That true Christians who love and worship Jesus in a Bible Church do not suffer physically? Or only the ones at the end of the world? Or will these be literal Jews who will not suffer?
Did Jesus promise to protect His Father's true children from physical harm? Perhaps "and not a hair on your head will be harmed", and yet, in a nearby verse, "they will put some of you to death."
Or, "if anyone is sick, let him anointed by the presbyter."
What? The elect get sick? But somehow at the end of the world, they won't get sick? Or God will protect 144,000 literal Jews at the end of the world from getting sick? Or from the wormwood or the fire from heaven, or the flaming mountain, or the scorpion helicopters that torture for five months?
And yet, if the protection is spiritual, answer me this: are all Christians who love Jesus protected in their forehead of beliefs from error in doctrine? If so, then which are the true Christians on this doctrine: Whether you can lose your salvation or not?
Cuz a friend of mine went to a Baptist school in which the one dean thought you could lose your salvation, the other co-dean not? Are both of them protected in the forehead from false teaching?
Or maybe Jesus doesn't want His sheep protected from doctrinal error. If only Bible believing Christians are protected from error, which denomination is it?
First, all denoms can be broken into two categories, whether you can lose your salvation or not. So already one another of these groups is not protected by the Spirit. Then, I don't know, one lady founded a church that says that if you never learned to stop eating while you were still a little hungry, you were never saved to begin with. Is she right? Well i don't know, it depends. Some Christians believe that ANY sin can send you to hell, even a small one, and gluttony is a sin. Other Christians say that all sin is worthy of hell, but if you accept Jesus you will not go to hell no matter what you do. Others say, if you REALLY get saved, you will never sin again. Except maybe gluttony.
Well, but on the other hand, they will I am not perfect, but I am not a sinner anymore. But if you still do things that the Bible says is sin, like anger, or sloth, you are NOT a sinner, but you SIN? Well, Jesus doesn't hold me ACCOUNTABLE for my sin, because He only sees the Blood of the Lamb. I am immune to judgement because I love Jesus.
Wait, so you repented and are no longer a sinner but you still sin? Well one guy says, if you commit REALLY big sins, you will go to hell. Or wait, if you do that, you never knew God to begin with. But some Christians actually say, you COULD commit ANY sins after you get saved, and then LOSE your salvation.
Now some Pentecostals say if you can't speak in tongues you are not saved?
I also met some "followers of the Word" who said that if you don't have ALL of the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians you are not saved, let alone tongues.
Now the Oneness Pentecostals, who are BIBLE ONLY Christians, say if you believe the Holy Spirit is GOD, you are not a Christian and will go to hell.
The Seventh Day adventists and some other Sabbatarians say if you do not keep the seventh day, you will go to hell. And they are conservative, BIble Only Christians.
Most other Protestants say Sunday is the Sabbath, but you don't HAVE to go to Church. So, I don't know, maybe that means keep Holy Sabbath just means love God that day, don't gather. Gathering is optional.
Now some Baptist churches, like the IFD, say if you are not in their Church, even if you believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as Savior, you will go to hell.
Then there are Lutherans. There are liberal Lutherans, very conservative Lutherans and middle of the road Lutherans. The Lutherans do not quite agree on how grace and election work with Calvinists.
O, by the way, there are also two camps in Protestantism, Calvinist Soteriology, and Armenians. Which one of those is protected from error? Or are they both, and this is not important doctrine?
Now, the non-pentecostals in general don't say you need to speak in tongues to be saved.
Some Baptists say that masturbation is a sin, some more progressives say it ISN'T a sin as long you are not really lustful.
Some VERY conservative Protestants say that ANY birth control, even NATURAL, is evil and you should just continue to have children perpetually and place all trust in God that He will provide.
Some OTHER VERY Conservative Protestants actually say that you SHOULD use birth control and PREFERABLY ARTIFICIAL, since it is more effective than natural. That way you can show affection perpetually without abstaining.
But I have an evangelical, loving Bible Only Friend who believes that artificial birth control is wrong but natural is OK, like Catholics.
Some Bible only Christians say that if you drink ANY alcohol at all, you will go to hell. They might also add dancing, minor gambling and smoking.
Some other Bible only but otherwise conservative Christians think that moderate drinking is OK, along with modest dancing, even a little $20 for the night casino, and some smoke and just ask for forgiveness.
Some Bible only Christians say you CAN lose your salvation, but only if you stop BELIEVING that Jesus is God, but you could still rape your sister and murder your mother and go to heaven.
Others say, it is if you stop TRYING to be good, even if you believe in Jesus, because sin can send you to hell even AFTER justificiation.
Some bible only Christians believe you have free will, and that God does NOT know the future.
Some Bible only Christians deny free will and say there is only predestination.
Some Bible only Christians say there is BOTH free will and predestination.
Which, if ANY of these are protected in the forehead from error?
Well, no maybe it might be better to just go back to a LITERAL interpretation of the Seal, that it is a PHYSICAL Protection from the calamities of the end times trumpets. In which case, we will see if the Christians are spared or those literal 144,000 Jews, or ALL of the Jews at the end if it is symbolic.
Or maybe the Seal just means that all true Christians will go to heaven.
I don't know, this is confusing.
I ask you, use common sense, if you can realize that Apocalypse is largely allegory: what would SPIRITUAL chastity and virginity in the FOREHEAD be, if the forehead appropriately symbolized the INTELLECT of the soul, which it covers?
Clearly, it would mean, lack of IMpure doctrine, or having rather PURE doctrine.
I have pointed out the myriads of chaotic and conflicting doctrines even amongst BIBLE only Protestants who are at least somewhat conservative.
On the other hand, if the Seal were nevertheless PHYSICALLY literal, I would ask, which is more important: To be protected from PHYSICAL harm of environmental calamities and armies of warriors that kill a third of mankind (seeing as we will all eventually die anyway) or being protected from false doctrines?
If a Protestant claims that he himself is protected from having erroneous doctrine in their interpretations of Scripture, I would ask, how is that person any different from the ten other bible Only conservative Christians i could bring into a room with him, and no two of them could fully agree on a simple set of relatively important doctrinal questions?O, Blessed Kateri, pray for us!
April 11th 2011, 04:35 PM #2
Re: The New Ark, the Seal of God: The Catholic Church
Please allow me to clarify: this is not so much aimed at the Orthodox. In fact, i would be willing to bet that the Orthodox would tend to a similar interpretation of the Seal as not merely a general Christian, but one protected from the tossing waves of error and lack of fullness spiritual foundation and calm in the completeness and benevolence of the sacred mysteries, the Sacraments.
After all, the Orthodox very much understand, like the Catholic Church, the necessity of a visible communion of Christians guided by a formal leadership that is, by the Holy Spirit, assisted in preserving true and stable doctrine. Overall, and I think this is very fair to say, there is far greater stability in the Eastern Christianity doctrine wise than amongst the Protestants. And Why? Because the Sees of the East have the Sacred Tradition, the Oral Word of God expounded upon by the Fathers of the Church. For whereas if you tell a Protestant a doctrine and he will say, "Where is that in Scripture?" , the Orthodox person, far wiser than a heretic says, "Can you derive that from Tradition?" The Eastern Christian, guided by valid Apostolic Sees and Bishops, has far greater stability in doctrine than a sola Scripturist. He has 1000 years of more or less common doctrine with a Catholic, and can accept perhaps certain later claimed certitudes of Catholic teaching, such as the Assumption (not accepted by all Orthodox but some), or the clear reality that justification can be lost through grievous sin (at least, I would assume most Orthodox accept this, seeing as it is implied by the reality of the sacred mystery of Confession.)
Hence, I can foresee an Orthodox Christian being able to see the Seal of God in a more general light: Those Christians assembled under the Apostolic Sees of the True Church are protected from the chaotic waves of error. They have the general firm foundation of the "Church", the pillar and GROUND of the truth, in as much as the Tradition of the Apostles provides that surer interpretation of the Sacred Writings and that the Bishops, united in council by the Spirit, are preserved from diverging gravely on doctrine.
Also, there is a general calm and peace that an Orthodox Christian can have in regard to sacramental fullness. He has the certitude of God's desire for his salvation so much, that God leaves special assistance in sacred mysteries to nourish any scrupulous heart he might have: is he worried he has fallen from grace? He goes his earthly but spiritual father and confesses. Is he ill? Let the holy man of God come and anoint him for spiritual healing, for God desires to be with the soul in the final days of physical suffering.
The Orthodox Christian understands that suffering comes upon the Christian, and so he need not fear he is necessarily in sin if temporal misfortune comes upon him, unlike a Calvinist believer, who might be told, "This is a probable sign you are not right with God. Repent, and your temporal situation will improve."
The Orthodox Christian has the consolation of God's resolve to strengthen with the special gifts of the Spirit, for them, the Confirmation, usually given at the Baptism. And he has the great consolation of His Saviors flesh and blood, given whole to Him in the ultimate Sacred Mystery, the Holy Eucharist. And again, He knows his spiritual fathers on earth speak for God in general, he does not need to be tossed to and fro between one fiery preacher and another, all conflicting in teachings but condemning the rejectors to eternal fire. He has general stability of doctrine through valid Holy Orders in his society.
Hence, I would say in a certain sense that since the Orthodox very much, like the Catholic, see the importance of stable and certain doctrine, they could approach an interpretation of the Seal as a symbol of the Orthodox Church, generally protects one from false teaching and provides the foundation for general unity and sacramental calm, to heal from scrupulosity.
I hope this helps.O, Blessed Kateri, pray for us!
April 14th 2011, 06:25 PM #3
Re: The New Ark, the Seal of God: The Catholic Church
Your posting brings up the whole question of security. There have been many attempts to find ways of assuring us of our salvation. I don't think there is any doctrinal or abstract way to do that. Yes, in our relationship with God we should be able to feel confident in him. But any time you try to separate that from our relationship with God and turn it into a general proposition, we end up with "anyone who says XXX can be sure they're saved", or "anyone who participates in sacrament YYY can be sure they're saved." That never works. We can point people to Christ's promises that God will not abandon anyone who trusts in him. But even that is open to abuse if it starts people down the path of examining whether their trust is of good enough quality. There are ways we can try to help such a person pastorally, but I don't think there's any abstract solution. The pastoral approach is going to help them focus on God, his actions and his promises, and not on themselves.
You will note that I'm trying mightily not to feed the troll of the original posting. For the sake of fairness, I will note that the OP fails to do justice to Oneness Pentecostals. It's been a while since I've talked with one, but last time I went into any detail, my impression was that they were serious about the divinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are perhaps modalists, but that's different from saying that they don't consider the Spirit to be God. Indeed some of them seem to object primarily to the use of non-Biblical language and categories, and may not have much of a problem with the actual content of Trinitarian thought.
April 20th 2011, 10:34 AM #4
Re: The New Ark, the Seal of God: The Catholic Church
1Cr 11:16 that the "churches" (plural - what does that say about RC's "the church" claim?) of God have no other practice .....
If I take the apostle literally, apply reverse logic, then the RC is not a church of God.
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