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raygun

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A brief study of the etymology of the English word "religion" may suggest to Christians that they might not want to allow the word "religion" to be associated with their faith. There are several Latin words which may have served as the origin to the English word "religion." The Latin word religo meant "to tie or fasten."1 A similar word, religio, was used to refer to "respect, devotion or superstition."2 Religio was a recognition that men are often tied or bound to God in reverence or devotion. It can also convey the meaning of being bound or tied to a set of rules and regulations, to rituals of devotion, to a creedal belief-system, or to a cause, ideology, or routine. Some have suggested that "religion" may be derived from the Latin word relegere, which refers to re-reading. There is no doubt that "religion" is often associated with repetitious rites of liturgy and litany, and the reproduction of creedal formulas and expressions. Most etymologists, however, regard the English word "religion" to be derived from the Latin word religare which is closely aligned with the root word religo. 3 The prefix re- means "back" or "again," and the word ligare refers to "binding, tying or attaching." Other English words such as "ligature," referring to "something that is used to bind," and "ligament" which "binds things together," evidence the same root in the Latin word ligare. Thus the English "religion" stems from Latin roots intimating "to tie back" or "to bind up." In the dictionary, "religion" is defined as a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by, or an object, practice, cause, or activity that somebody is completely devoted to or obsessed by. This can be anything that takes us away from the true living God-Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Religion can be alcohol, drugs, pornography, a career, sex; thus, anything that drives a wedge between us and the trinity of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is a religion. Religion teaches us to hide our sinful attitude behind a mask of goodness, righteousness, and secular humanism. How many self-help gurus have we heard claim to have the secret to our happiness by giving us self-esteem, pride, and true self worth? I tire of hearing pompous professors and teachers of "higher learning" telling young folks that the only way to fulfillment is through "enlightenment of the mind." Cain was the first "religious" man and the inventor of the first religion in history. John MacArthur hits the nail on the head in his book Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus:

 

"Natural reason seeking God ends up ignorant, idolatrous, and demonic. Demons are behind all false religions. They are behind all philosophical and religious systems. They are behind every lofty thing lifted up against the knowledge of God. Any unbiblical, anti-God idea is demonic."

 

The purpose of Jesus' coming was not to "bind us" or "tie us" to anything or anyone, though it might be argued that in the reception of Jesus Christ by faith there is a spiritual attachment of our identity with Him. Jesus clearly indicates that He came to set us free ­ free to be functional humanity in the fullest sense, by allowing God to function through us to His glory. To some believing Jews, Jesus explained that "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jno 8:32). Further explanation of the personification of that "truth" in Himself was then made when Jesus said, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." To the Galatians Paul affirms that, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery" by reverting back to the bondage of Jewish religion (Gal 5:1). "You were called to freedom, brethren" (Gal 5:13), Paul exclaims. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (II Cor 3:17).

 

Jesus did not say, "I came that you might have religion, and practice it more faithfully," or "I came that you might have religion, and adhere to it more commitedly," or "I came that you might have religion, and define it more dogmatically," or "I came that you might have religion, and defend it more vehemently," or "I came that you might have religion, and thus behave more morally." What Jesus said was, "I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly" (Jno 10:10). The life that He came to bring and express within us and through us is His life. "I AM the way, the truth and the life," declared Jesus to His disciples (Jno 14:6). The apostle John wrote that "He that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son does not have life" (I Jno 5:12). "Christ is our life," is the phrase Paul uses in writing to the Colossians (Col 3:4), for Christianity is not "religion," but the life of Jesus Christ expressed in receptive humanity. Moreover, it is a personal relationship with one's Redeemer.

 

Religion emphasizes precepts, propositions, performance, production, programs, promotion, percentages, etc. that leads to empty formulaism of the rankest kind, vain repetitions of man-made prayers, confessions and endless routine established by creeds, codes, books of rules, arranged form of worship, as stipulated by archbishop, synod, central committee, convention, conference, or headquarters delivering edicts from on high. In contrast Christianity emphasizes the Person of Jesus Christ, and His life lived out through the receptive Christian believer. Religion concerns itself with form, formalism and formulas; ritual, rules, regulations and rites; legalism, laws and laboring. The "good news" of Christianity is that it is not what we do or perform, but what Jesus has done and is doing in us. Jesus exclaimed from the cross, "It is finished!" (Jno 19:30). Jesus has done all the doing that needs doing for our regeneration, and continues to do all the doing that God wants to do in us. "God is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Phi 2:13).

 

I believe that titles and denominational pigeon-holing of Christians according to the tenets of their faith and / or practice thereof, is fundamentally a source of division between true Christians, which is something forbidden in I Cor 1:12. While the evolution of the various present day denominations can be traced to stem from the "Holy Catholic Church" prior to the Great Schism of 1054, however, that origin can find no justification as having a Scriptural foundation as being the first church, or that that denomination fundamentally is the universal church, i.e., the Body that is in Christ.

 

The English reader with little or no Greek has, of course, the standard concordances, notably Wygram's Englishman's Greek Concordance; the student of Greek has his Grimm-Thayer, Moulton-Milligan, and Bauer. While these works provide a lexical skeleton, W.E. Vine's work clothes that skeleton with the flesh and sinews of living exposition, and makes available for the ordinary reader the expert knowledge contained in more advanced works. In fact, the Expository Dictionary comes as near as possible doing for the non-specialist what is being done for the specialist by Kittel's work Theological Dictionary of the New Testament4 If one uses as adjunct to this other works, e.g. that of A.T. Robertson's New Word Pictures, it should become apparent that an advanced seminary doctorate is not prerequisite so as to establish the veracity of doctrinal truths contained within Scripture.

 

A. T. Robertson was the premier New Testament scholar of his generation. A voluminous writer, Robertson published forty-five books: four grammars of the New Testament, fourteen commentaries and studies, six volumes in the series Word Pictures in the New Testament, eleven histories, and ten New Testament character studies. This body of literature reflects a general bent toward language study over theological reflection. His work A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, published in 1914, was the capstone of his career. It drew accolades from all corners of the globe and was used by diverse figures in their work, including Robertson's seminary contemporaries, professors in secular institutions, and the pope.

 

Recent proof has been provided that the language of the New Testament is not a debased form of literary Greek corrupted by Hebrew idioms, but that in the main it was the vernacular, the speech of the everyday life of the people in the countries which came under Greek influence through the conquests of Alexander the Great. As a result of those conquests, the ancient Greek dialects became merged into one common speech, the Koine or common Greek. In one form it became the literary Koine, or Hellenistic, of such writers as Josephus. In its spoken form it was the everyday speech for millions of people throughout the Graeco-Roman world, and in the providence of God it was under these conditions and in this world-language that the Word of God was written.5

 

Most contemporary print media articles are written at or below 8th grade level. It would be absurd to think that one presently needs more than a decent high school education to comprehend what is being conveyed in the Koine vernacular of Scripture, written at a time when virtually nobody had any formal education whatsoever. The Scriptures are not written using a literary style requiring a genius intellectual acumen to unravel philosophical sophistry or didactic treatises by contemporary intellectuals of the time, e.g., Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Seneca, Epictetus, Cicero, Plutarch, Pythagorus, Philo, etc.. Only the most educated elite could plausibly understand what any of these people were saying, let alone be able to comprehend what they wrote. Who stands to gain from a perception that Scripture, despite being written in common vernacular and idiom of a generally uneducated audience, requires advanced letters to interpret? Scripture says that God is a respecter of no person. What does Scripture suggest concerning the value of the wisdom obtained from academia?

 

The Greek word, ekkleisa is translated in most places in the New Testament as "church." The Greek word is used one hundred and fifteen times in the New Testament. It is translated as "church" one hundred and twelve times, and three times as "assembly." To Greek speaking individuals of the New Testament era ekkleisa meant "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly."6 The word as used in the New Testament is taken from the root of this word, which simply means "to call out." The New Testament uses the word exclusively to represent a group of people assembled or "called out" to meet together for a particular cause. It is never used to refer to a universal or catholic church.

According to Vine:

 

There are two applications to "companies" of Christians however, (a) the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era (Mat 16:18) "I will build My Church", and which is further described as "the Church which is His body" (Eph 1:22), and (B) in the singular number, i.e., a company consisting of confessed believers (cf., Act 20:28; I Cor 1:2; Gal 1:13; I Ths 1:1; II Ths 1:1; I Tim 3:5; and in the plural with respect to churches in a district. In Acts 9:31 there's an exception between the RV and the KJV where the latter has "churches" the singular seems to point to a district; but the reference in either case is clearly to the church as it was in Jerusalem, from which it had just been scattered. Again in Rom 16:23 that Gaius was the host of "the whole church" simply suggests that the assembly at Corinth had been accustomed to meet in his house, where also Paul was entertained.7

 

Some conclude that the term "body of Christ" (cf. I Cor. 12:27, Eph. 4:12) refers to a universal church. However, "the body of Christ" and the "ekklesia" are two different bodies (and two different words). The "body of Christ" is made up of all believers of all times from Pentecost to the Rapture. The word ekklesia, on the other hand, only refers to those alive and assembled together in a particular locality. The New Testament explicitly refers to believers universally only once and this will occur at the Second Coming of Christ (cf. Rev 21:9, here not called the church, but "the bride of Christ.").

 

The normal common usage of ekklesia in New Testament times was understood by all to mean simply "an assembly." And normal common usage of the time could refer to various kinds of assemblies. A town meeting, for example, would be called an ekklesia. Acts 19:39-41 references the civil assembly of local townspeople of Ephesus (which included idol makers). The modern English word "church" cannot be translated into Koine Greek because there is no word in Koine Greek carrying the equivalent English connotation. A look at any English dictionary will reveal the etymology of the English word "church" from the late Greek kyridakon which is not found anywhere in the New Testament; a word not in use until the 16th Century (long after New Testament times).

 

1 Cor 16:19 is rendered in the KJV as "the churches of Asia." However in Acts 7:38 the word "church" refers to the group of assembled Israelites at Mt. Sinai, in Moses' day. In Acts 19:32, 39, 41 we know that the ekklesia or assembly was a group of idol makers. Acts 19:24-25 states that a man named Demetruis, a silversmith, who made idols, called all workman of like occupation together for a meeting. In verse 32, it says "the assembly was confused." Verse 41 states, "And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly." The Greek word translated to English in all of these verses is ekklesia. There is no grammatical reason to translate the word ekklesia into "assembly" here, and in other places, into the word "church." The context of each usage of the word tells us what kind of ekklesia was meeting. The Bible does not make any other distinction with respect to usage of the word.

 

The Matthew's Bible (1537), translated by John Rogers who used the pen name of Thomas Matthew, correctly used the word "congregation." Rogers was an assistant and friend of William Tyndale. The Matthew's Bible was the first complete Tyndale Bible. Although Tyndale completed the New Testament (1526), and part of the Old Testament, he was martyred before he could complete his work. Rogers picked up Tyndale's incomplete translation, and using some work from Coverdale, completed Tyndales initial effort. Both Testaments he then published under the name "Thomas Matthew." The Great Bible (1539) also used the term "congregation." Theodore Beza, a Protestant, and follower of John Calvin at Geneva, first used the term "church" in 1556. It would be normal for a Protestant, who followed a hierarchical "Presbyterian" (elder rule) form of church government to use the word "church" instead of "assembly."8 The use of the word "congregation" or "assembly" would not support his church's hierarchical government.9 William Whittingham's Geneva New Testament (1557) was the first edition of the Geneva Bible and followed Beza's usage of "church."10 It was also a revision of the Tyndale's New Testament of 1526 which correctly used the term "congregation". The Bishop's Bible (1568) was a revision to the Geneva Bible and continued the use of the term "church." It was this Bible that was the foundation for the King James commission.

 

When King James authorized the translation of the Bible in 1611 he made a number of rules which the translators were to use. Following are the two rules imposed on the KJV translators that dealt with this matter:

  1. The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit.
  2. The old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. the word "church" not to be translated Congregation etc.

The reason for this should be obvious, i.e., the word "assembly" or "congregation" can not, and does not, support a hierarchical form of church government such as what the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches had established. King James was a theologian and fully understood the ramifications to properly translating the word ekklesia into "assembly" or "congregation". It would expose the unbiblical hierarchy of the Church of England itself (and thereby undermine its own authority); which denominationalism fundamentally is all about.

 

Of Eph 1:22,23, Robertson says:

 

 

He put all things in subjection
(
panta hupetaxen
)
Gave him to be head
(
auton edôken kephalên
,
edôken
is first aorist active indicative of
didômi
)
to the church
(
ekklêsia
here intimating the universal
spiritual
church or kingdom as in Col 1:18,24)
Christ as Head
(
kephalên
, predicate accusative). This conception of
ekklêsia
runs all through Ephesians (Eph 3:10,21; 5:23,24,25,27,29,32)
Which
(
hêtis
) "Which in fact is," explanatory use of
hêtis
rather than
[
is his body
] ...All things are summed up in Christ (Eph 1:10), who is the
plêrôma
of God (Col 1:19), and in particular does Christ fill the church universal as his body. Hence we see in Ephesians the Dignity of the Body of Christ which is ultimately to be filled with the fulness (
plêrôma
) of God (Eph 3:19) when it grows up into the fulness (
plêrôma
) of Christ (Eph 4:13,16).
11

 

Robertson states that "the body", i.e., soma, that the passage references is a metaphor. In his discussion concerning I Col 1:18:

The head of the body
(
hê kephalê tou
sômatos
[emphasis mine]). Jesus is first also in the spiritual realm as he is in nature (verses Col 1:18-20). Paul is fond of the metaphor of the body (
sôma
) for believers of which body Christ is the head (
kephalê
) as seen already in 1Co 11:3; 12:12,27; Ro 12:5. See further Col 1:1; 2:19; Eph 1:22; 4:2,15; 5:30. The church (
tês ekklêsias
) Genitive case in explanatory apposition with
tou sômatos
. This is the general sense of
ekklêsia
, not of a local body, assembly, or organization. Here the contrast is between the realm of nature (
ta panta
) in verses Col 1:15-17 and the realm of spirit or grace in verses Col 1:18-20. A like general sense of
ekklêsia
occurs in Eph 1:22; 5:24-32; Heb 12:23. In Eph 2:11-22 Paul uses various figures for the kingdom of Christ (commonwealth
politeia
, verse Col 1:12, one new man
eis hena kainon anthrôpon
, verse Col 1:15, one body
en heni somatic
, verse Col 1:16, family of God
oikeioi tou theou
, verse Col 1:19, building or temple
oikodomê
and
naos
, verses Col 1:20-22).
12

 

IF the church referenced is the universal temporal church on Earth, when does it "grow up into fullness of Christ" that Eph 1:22,23 refers to? This can NOT be reference to a physical entity, albeit an abstract one such as an assembly of the assemblies across the globe. For even such abstract entity, i.e., organized Church of churches, exists physically in the temporal realm. While Christ does indeed possess a physical body, where is it temporally at present? Christ's physical body exists in heaven presently, which is a "spiritual" place. So any reference to "the Body that is in Christ" must likewise be spiritual.

 

Moreover, if the Body of Christ is indeed referencing a temporal (as opposed to a spiritual) "universal" church, then why didn't God give clear instructions as to its government? In the Bible, God always gave some degree of organization to everything he created. There is no reference or even a hint of an organization of a "universal" church other than Christ is head of it. God clearly did not establish a hierarchical system of government over the churches (plural). Each church rules itself following the New Testament example and principles. God in Rev 2:6, 15, said he "hated" the Nicolaitans who sought to set up a hierarchy to rule over the people. It would be against God's very nature to sanction human government over a universal church. This would violate the autonomy of the local assembly of believers which He clearly established and set that into opposition with what is said He hated (Rev. 2:5, 15). The ekklesia that Christ established had organization: it met together, had pastors (bishops), it took the Lord's Supper, it baptized new converts into its assembly, it supported missions, administered and edified the members of the church. A so called "universal" or "invisible" church can do none of these things.

 

The concept of the church "as a mystery" must also be addressed when considering a "universal" church. "It was no mystery that God was going to provide salvation for the Jews, nor that Gentiles would be blessed in salvation. The fact that God was going to form Jews and Gentiles alike into one body was never revealed in the Old Testamentand forms the mystery of which Paul speaks in Eph 3:1-7; Rom 16:25-27; Col 1:26-29. This whole mystery program was not revealed until after the rejection of Mat 12:23-24 that the Lord first makes a prophecy of the coming church in Mat 16:18. It is after the rejection of the Cross that the church had its inception in Acts 2. It was after the final rejection by Israel that God called out Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles through whom this mystery of the nature of the church is revealed. The church is manifestly an interruption of God's program for Israel, which was not brought into being until Israel's rejection of the offer of the Kingdom. It must logically follow that this mystery program must itself be brought to a conclusion before God can resume His dealing with the nation of Israel...The mystery program, which was so distinct in its inception, will certainly be separate at its conclusion. This program must be concluded before God resumes and culminates His program for Israel. This mystery concept of the church makes a pretribulation rapture a necessity."13

 

It has been shown that the correct definition of the word "church" has great and far-reaching implications. Ultimately there can be no conclusion other than there is no Biblical basis for a church hierarchy outside the local church or local assembly of believers (either singular or within district). Since the only ekklesia that is evident in the New Testament was a local assembly of believers, there is no Scriptural foundation for a Holy Catholic Church prior to the great schism of 1054. Furthermore, purely secular historical records are neither kind nor flattering to the Holy Catholic Church.

 

Contrary to Catholic dogma, the papal office did not originate with Peter. It was centuries before the Bishop of Rome attempted to dominate the rest of the Church, and many centuries more before that primacy was generally accepted. Leo the Great's letter to Flavian in 449 was not accepted until the Council of Chalcedon had approved it. Leo I himself acknowledged that his treatise could not become a rule of faith until it was confirmed by the bishops.14

 

There were eight councils of the Church before the schism of 1054, and the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated each other. None of these eight councils was called by the Bishop of Rome, but by the emperor, who also put his stamp of authority onto their decrees. As for papal authority:

 

Pope Pelagius (556-60) talks of heretics separating themselves from the Apostolic
Sees
, that is Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria plus Constantinople. In all the early writings of the hierarchy there is no mention of a special role for the Bishop of Rome, nor yet the special name of 'pope'...Of the eighty or so heresies in the first six centuries, not one refers to the authority of the Bishop of Rome, not one is settled by the Bishop of Rome...No one attacks the [supreme] authority of the Roman pontiff,
because no one has heard of it.
15

 

The Easter Synod of 680 called by pope Agatho was the first ecclesiastical body that asserted the authority of the primacy of Rome over the rest of the Church, but this was not an ecumenical council of the entire church, so its decision was generally not accepted. As de Rosa points out:

 

...not one of the early Fathers of the church saw in the Bible any reference to papal jurisdiction over the church. On the contrary, they take it for granted that bishops, especially metropolitans, have the full right to govern and administer their own territory without interference from
anyone
. The Eastern church
never
accepted papal supremacy; Rome's attempt to impose it led to schism.

...one looks in vain in the first millennium for a single doctrine or piece of legislation imposed by Rome
alone
on the rest of the church. The only general laws came out of Councils such as Nicea. In any case, how
could
the Bishop of Rome have exercised universal jurisdiction in those early centuries when there was no [Roman] Curia, when other bishops brooked no interference in their dioceses from
anyone
, when Rome issued no dispensations and demanded no tribute or taxation, when all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome, had the power to bind and loose, when no bishop or church or individual was censured by Rome?

 

Further, for centuries, the Bishop of Rome was chosen by the local citizens - clergy and laity. If he had jurisdiction over the universal church, would not the rest of the world want a say in his appointment? When he was believed to have [universal] supremeacy the rest of the church
did
demand a say in his election. This came about only in the middle ages.
16

 

W.H.C. Frend, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in his classic The Rise of Christianity, points out that by the middle of the 5th century the Church "had become the most powerful single factor in the lives of the peoples of the empire. The Virgin and the saints had replaced the [pagan] gods as patrons of cities."17 and pope Leo I (440-61) boasted that St. Peter and St. Paul had "replaced Romulus and Remus as the city's [Rome's] protecting patrions."18 Frend writes that "Christian Rome was the legitimate successor of pagan Rome...Christ had triumphed [and] Rome was ready to extend its sway to the heavens themselves."19

 

The Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church stood unanimously against the current Catholic dogma of papal supremacy and an unbroken line of succession back to Peter:

...the great Fathers of the church saw no connection between it [Mat 16:18] and the pope. Not one of them applies "Thou art Peter" to anyone but Peter. One after another they analyze it: Cyprian, Origen, Cyril, Hilary, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine. They are not exactly Protestants.

 

Not one of them calls the bishop of Rome a Rock or applies to him specifically the promise of the Keys. This is staggering to Catholics as if they were to find no mention in the Fathers of the Holy Spirit or the resurrection of the dead...

 

For the Fathers, it is Peter's faith - or the Lord in whom Peter has his faith - which is called the Rock, not Peter. All the Councils of the church from Nicaea in the fourth century to Constance in the fifteenth agree that Christ himself is the only foundation of the church, that is, the Rock on which the church rests.

 

...not one of the Fathers speaks of a transference of power from Peter to those who succeed him...There is no hint of an abiding Petrine office.

 

So the early church did not look on Peter as Bishop of Rome, nor, therefore, did it think that each Bishop of Rome succeeded Peter...The gospels did not create the papacy; the papacy, once in being, leaned for support on the gospels [though it wasn't there].
20

 

No justification for making themselves the absolute and infallible rulers over the Church, much less the world, can be found in the writings of the early Fathers and certainly, as demonstrated, not in Scripture. The early popes chose, instead, to rewrite history by boldly manufacturing allegedly historical documents, e.g., The Donation of Constantine (circa 8th century), where pope Stephen III convinced Pepin, King of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, that territories recently taken by the Lombards from the Byzantines actually had been given to the papcy by the Emperor Constantine. Pepin routed the Lombards and handed to the pope the keys to some 20 cities (Ravenna, Ancona, Bologna, Ferrara, Iesi, Gubbio, etc.) and the huge chunk of land joining them along the Adriatic coast.

 

Dated 315 Mar 30, the document declared that Constantine had given those lands, along with Rome and the Lateran Palace, to the popes in perpetuity. In 1440 that document was proven to be a forgery by Lorenzo Valla, a papal aide, and is so recognized by historians today. Nevertheless, and that notwithstanding, successive popes over the centuries continued to assert the document to be genuine and on that basis to justify their pomp, power and possessions. The fraud continues to be perpetuated with an inscription in the baptistery of Rome's St. John Lateran, having never been corrected.21

 

That fraud in and of itself being insufficient for the Church's purposes, the pseudo-Isodorian Decretals were concocted. These were early papal decrees allegedly compiled by Archbishop Isidore (560-636), but where actually fabricated in the ninth century. Those frauds became the foundation for much of today's "tradition" that the Church relies upon today.22 Prior "to the time of the Isodorian Decretals no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the neo-Roman theory of infallibility. The popes did not dream of laying claim to such a privilege."23

 

snip

 

 

===========================================================

Notes:
  1. Marchant, JRV and Charles, JF, (eds); Cassell's Latin Dictionary (London: Cassell and Co.), pg. 478.
  2. Id.
  3. Ayto, John; Dictionary of Word Origins (New York: Arcade Pub.), 1990. pg. 438.
  4. Vine, W.E., Unger, Merril F., White, William Jr.; Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (with Topical Index) (Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville TN, 1996). An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Foreward to New One-Volume Edition by F.F. Bruce (1952).
  5. Id., Preface by W.E. Vines.
  6. Scott, and H. G. Liddell; A Greek-English Lexicon, p.206
  7. Vines, Assembly; pg. 42
  8. Robinson, H. W. ; The Bible in Its Ancient and English Versions (Oxford Press, 1940), p199.
  9. It should be well to noted that this is the same church that murdered the Ana-baptists for refusing to practice infant baptism and preaching without a license from the Swiss church.
  10. Robinson; Id., p. 183
  11. Robertson, A.T.; Robertson's NT Word Pictures (volumes 1-4 public domain, volumes 5 and 6 copyright renewed 1960 by Brodman Press, permission granted for personal non-commercial use).
  12. Id.
  13. Pentecosst, Dwight J.; Things To Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 1958), p. 201.
  14. von Dollinger, J.H. Ignaz; The Pope and the Council (London, 1869), p3.
  15. de Rosa, Peter; Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy (Crown publishers, 1988), pp.205,206
  16. Id., pp.248,249.
  17. Frend, W.H.C.; The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia, 1984), p.773.
  18. Chadwick, H.; The Early Church (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1976), p.243.
  19. Frend; op. cit., pg 707.
  20. de Rosa; op. cit; pg. 24,25
  21. Hunt, Dave; A Woman Rides the Beast (Harvest House Publishers, 1994), pg.72,73
  22. Hunt; op. cit.; pg 95.
  23. Dollinger; op. cit.; p.62

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  • 3 weeks later...
righteousmomma

@raygun, I am glad you added a preface to this thread.

Very interesting reading. While I agree with the major thesis toward defining religion there is One Central and Vital Influence missing. I discerned this all the way through the various opinions of the various notable persons quoted.

#1. I agree totally. Christianity is not a religion. It is The Way of Life for all humanity. At least for those individuals who will receive and accept. (Romans explains)

#2. There is One God. Life here is His Purpose and Plan. True that a relationship with Him is vitally paramount.

3. This relationship involves transformation - of the whole being - soul and spirit - the mind must be renewed

4. The Influence missing in the preface dissertation is the Holy Spirit.

Each person has to be rooted and established in God' s Love by serving Him in trust and obedience. Each person must have the Holy Spirit living within - receiving Him and being ever filled with and by Him.

Without the Spirit one has no transforming power for the mind or heart.

 

 

Denying the Trinity or Trinitarian aspect of the One True God totally misses the point from Genesis to Revelations and one will never understand Paul or John or Peter or any of the other writers and apostles and disciples or, for that matter, the entire Old Testament.

 

The other issue I have with the article is the confusion of certain Pentecostal practices and being a Charismatic and lumping them all together in one big blanket.

 

Every True, Believing transformed Christian is called to be a charismatic evangelist.. Actually each person cannot help but be and wants to be.

Why?

The Love and Power of the Living God is poured out into their hearts - enabling them to live the Life - through the Indwelling Holy Spirit

Yet we are in total control to quench,grieve,dampen or deny His Presence.

They can also love God and desire to serve Him but miss the Key.

Christ in you. Christ in me. The Hope of Glory.

 

 

 

 

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righteousmomma

I deleted my delete. As far as your subsequent thoughts if you want to be able to express your opinions without asking for a response you could do a "blog". See the top of the TRR toolbar .

I have been on a Religion subforum (which is what you are attempting to set up )on another site. The only rules, and I did not make them, were to remember that we were adults and to be respectful of others opinions whether agreeing or not and no name calling nor flaming. Only about a half dozen ever had the interest to post. I enjoyed the debate but most do not.

I have seen responses to Religion on several other sit es and, you are right about some of the responses.

Personally I have come to the age that I do not argue with fools nor try to convert, convict or change. When I do see clear error and false understandings and opinions about the Gospel or the Doctrines and Precepts of the Bible then I do speak my opinion about the topic or subject. Not my personal opinion about the poster' s character or his momma. Personally I am tolerant of others' beliefs or faiths because I have come to know and see that only God can open eyes and ears and transforms hearts. My only obligation is to love in His Name and to speak revealed Truth.

We have a large membership here but at heart it is a small community of like minded conservatives. We are pretty well divided equally between practicing, believing Catholics and Protestants.

Others are Jewish or Nominal Christians. We are each and everyone TOLERANT of each other in the best possible sense of the word whether in politics, religion or community. We show consideration and kindness.

The other key is to express oneself in an understandable manner. Most folks tune out after a paragraph or two. So I close.

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righteousmomma

I forgot that you had requested that I delete All my replies.

Not going to happen.

You posted some pretty heavy duty opinion and I responded to some of it. I am not in the needless censoring business nor zotting business whether of myself or others.

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Dunno.

 

You state that you deleted your delete (unclear wht that means)

 

It'd be neat and tidy if you did delete your posts ON THIS THREAD and just wait for me to post: SOUP'S ON!

 

Soup's not ready yet.

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Draggingtree

I deleted my delete. As far as your subsequent thoughts if you want to be able to express your opinions without asking for a response you could do a "blog". See the top of the TRR toolbar .

I have been on a Religion subforum (which is what you are attempting to set up )on another site. The only rules, and I did not make them, were to remember that we were adults and to be respectful of others opinions whether agreeing or not and no name calling nor flaming. Only about a half dozen ever had the interest to post. I enjoyed the debate but most do not.

I have seen responses to Religion on several other sit es and, you are right about some of the responses.

Personally I have come to the age that I do not argue with fools nor try to convert, convict or change. When I do see clear error and false understandings and opinions about the Gospel or the Doctrines and Precepts of the Bible then I do speak my opinion about the topic or subject. Not my personal opinion about the poster' s character or his momma. Personally I am tolerant of others' beliefs or faiths because I have come to know and see that only God can open eyes and ears and transforms hearts. My only obligation is to love in His Name and to speak revealed Truth.

We have a large membership here but at heart it is a small community of like minded conservatives. We are pretty well divided equally between practicing, believing Catholics and Protestants.

Others are Jewish or Nominal Christians. We are each and everyone TOLERANT of each other in the best possible sense of the word whether in politics, religion or community. We show consideration and kindness.

The other key is to express oneself in an understandable manner. Most folks tune out after a paragraph or two. So I close.

Very well said !
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Draggingtree

You know the more I think about what was said in your “quote opinion” Raygun the more I want to disagree, but I am going to leave it alone and this is my last comment on Quote Religion, as a practicing Roman Catholic, I’ll just say Christ Peace Be With U.

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You know the more I think about what was said in your “quote opinion” Raygun the more I want to disagree, but I am going to leave it alone and this is my last comment on Quote Religion, as a practicing Roman Catholic, I’ll just say Christ Peace Be With U.

 

I'm sorry to hear about that. I'm just going to leave the matter as is and attempt to focus attention upon paragraph #4 of my original post.

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righteousmomma

Since you have added so much more to your original post and since my original response to the original information has caused my original response to be needless I am not sure to which paragraph #4 you are referring?? This one?

 

 

Jesus did not say, "I came that you might have religion, and practice it more faithfully," or "I came that you might have religion, and adhere to it more commitedly," or "I came that you might have religion, and define it more dogmatically," or "I came that you might have religion, and defend it more vehemently," or "I came that you might have religion, and thus behave more morally." What Jesus said was, "I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly" (Jno 10:10). The life that He came to bring and express within us and through us is His life. "I AM the way, the truth and the life," declared Jesus to His disciples (Jno 14:6). The apostle John wrote that "He that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son does not have life" (I Jno 5:12). "Christ is our life," is the phrase Paul uses in writing to the Colossians (Col 3:4), for Christianity is not "religion," but the life of Jesus Christ expressed in receptive humanity. Moreover, it is a personal relationship with one's Redeemer.

 

I totally and completely concur and agree and add an AMEN.

Thanks for being receptive to my original response and elaborating.

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  • 4 weeks later...

"The essence of Christianity is that we give the Son of God a chance to live and move and have His being in us, and the meaning of all spiritual growth is that He has an increasing opportunity to manifest Himself in our mortal flesh." - Oswald Chambers

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  • 1 year later...
Draggingtree

The American Conservative

 

Church Of England Modernizing Self To Oblivion

By ROD DREHER June 30, 2014, 1:14 PM

 

The Guardian reports that the fast-declining Church of England will consider getting rid of mention of the devil in its baptismal ritual — this, as a consumer service for post-Christian Brits:

 

Among the other business, the revision of the baptism service will attract most attention. The present modern language version asks parents whether they will “reject the devil and all rebellion against God”, “renounce the deceit and corruption of evil” and “repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour”.

 

In the new version they are asked only to say that they “turn away from sin” and “reject evil”.

 

The Church of England is making the changes to adapt to a population which increasingly has no Christian background at all. Where once the pattern was for couples to get married, live together, have a baby, and then have it baptised at about six weeks, they are increasingly living together, having babies, and then, after a couple of years, getting married and having the children baptised at the same time.

 

As a result, there is a need for a shorter, simpler service that will not put off people who are offended to be addressed as sinners. Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/church-of-england-satan-sin-oblivion/

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