A Message For All Nations 

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"A Letter To My Catholic Friend"

Dear xxxxxx,

 

     Just to re-cap & clarify a little of what we talked about concerning 'absolutes'. I don't attack your faith, but when you wish to know a bit about me, here is my vein of thought:   

 

      Our teaching is that there is unequivocally one God, the 'first and the last of the Old Testament is the 'Alpha and Omega' of the New Testament. We reject the word 'persons' for 'manifestations' or modes of one God. There is a BIG difference. Example: you are a mother, a wife and a daughter (or a father, a son and a husband). But how many of you are there? Jesus commanded disciples to be baptized 'in the NAME (singular) of the Father, Son and of the Holy Ghost. Check out all the examples of how people were baptized in the Acts of the Apostles and you'll find out no one was ever baptized in titles, but in the name of Jesus (singular). And to be baptized in the 'name' is to 'call' upon the name of the Lord, which means to be surnamed or 'called after'. And that name is Jesus. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not names, but titles. To us, this is important.  


      Jesus was the mighty God incarnate, Emmanuel God with us, the Everlasting father, according to Isaiah 9:6. He was not 1/3 of the godhead, the godhead was complete in him (Colossians 2:9). He had a duel nature; as God, he was fully God, and as human he was fully human. Mary brought forth the humanity of Jesus, she was not 'immaculate' nor was she the 'Theotokos' or the bringer forth of God - which was the center of the great controversy that divided the East from the West. The doctrine of the Trinity, God in three persons, in itself has had a very tragic and far reaching impact upon the history of the Jews, as a true monotheist could not ever accept the concept of a triune God. 


      As for apostolic succession, I don't attack Catholicism when I say there was a suppression of writings and viewpoints that differed from Roman Catholicism, this is a known fact. Writings and viewpoints that did not reflect Nicene Creed and subsequent councils were indexed and either changed to reflect 'orthodox' viewpoint, or destroyed along with their proponents. It was actually the death of Michael Serventus (died in Geneva, 1553), as well as William Tyndale (who died 7 years earlier in 1536) that began to enlighten people to freedom of thought. But from the Edict of Thessalonika in 380 until even on through the 18th and 19th century religious thought was suppressed. Centuries, at least 600 years of ruthless inquisition is a historical fact that cannot be erased. The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1786 was a block buster in its day. How absurd is the thought that Barak Obama (and his wife Michelle), congress, the Pentagon and Attorney General would decree religious thought. But in the 4th century, this is exactly what occurred.  


        So who is it that is going to tell us about apostolic succession? The ones who were the suppressors? I prefer to have a viewpoint independent of the emperors, monarchs and religious entities that gained houses and land and power through their political connections and have attempted to write history for us. 


       The word 'protestant' was a word that emerged years later, like the word 'reformation', and renaissance. People living in that time did not wake up and say, 'we are protestants'. The word is sometimes misleading, as has become the name of a division of Christianity; almost everything that is not Catholic becomes 'Protestant', when in fact the origin of the word reflects the movement in the 15th and 16th centuries as those who 'protested' the status quo Roman Catholicism. So then does Pentecostalism fit this term? By saying it does, it is assumed that a date is placed upon it, which kicks it out of any lineup for apostolic succession. This is as unfair as Roman Catholicism saying they are the true church and only apostolic succession. As William Shakespeare wrote, 'that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet', meaning to call a rose anything else does not make it so. One must put aside all dogmas subsequent to the early church and go straight to the scripture. There and only there will we know exactly what Jesus intended his disciples to teach. 


       I know that brings up another subject, and that is Sola Scriptura or 'scripture alone'. In light of the centuries of suppression and out and out persecution when it was against the law punishable by death for the common man to possess a bible or even read it on his own, to make the case that 'church tradition' and the authority of the priesthood is equal to the scripture is totally unacceptable. There are numerous warnings by the writers of the New Testament to beware of those who would 'turn their ears from the truth and be turned unto fables'. And there are a landslide of centuries of fables that have become 'tradition' and Catholic doctrine. Are they now to be equal to scripture? I rather reject them all to find out what is truly important, and to do so, I must take scripture alone. Is a group of clergy allowed to decree dogmas that supersede or contradict scripture? That is exactly the power they have when one declares them to have as much authority as scripture; the same scripture that urges us to "earnestly contend for the faith (or doctrine) that was once delivered to the saints" (Jude v. 1 & 2). 

 

     What is it that is going to keep our "absolutes" from being corrupted by a changing world? It isn't additional fables and church councils adjusting their positions against a changing world, but it's "looking unto the perfect law of liberty (the word of God) that liveth and abideth forever."