A. The only foundation of it.
B. The only way into heaven.
Everything else is peripheral and not all the important to be nasty to other Christian’s. We must never forget this basic fact. To illustrate this I’ll take it one by one.
There are SOOO many arguments about baptism, the reason is because the scripture itself has a lot of grey areas on the matter. Yes Jesus was baptised by John, but it was John who said: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”- Matthew 3:11
Considering christ came after he said this, does this mean when we really even need water baptism? One could also contend the Apostles only baptised people because that is what they knew to do, there wasn’t any direct command from Christ to do it. Apparently it doesn’t seem to hurt anything – yet I can say for myself during the hour long prayer I had to repent to Christ, I was feeling a heat that is hard to explain. I just could tell something big was happening in my spirit, and I like to think it was the Holy spirit coming into me. So if we are baptised by the Spirit perhaps that is it, and it’s plenty. Of course I hear the baptist tell me it’s absolutely necessary, but to be honest I’ve yet to hear a strong argument as to why exactly other then Jesus himself was baptised – admittedly that’s a good enough reason, considering there’s nothing to it. Other then that even Baptist maintain repentance to Christ is absolutely necessary above all else. So you tell me if that in itself sounds a bit peripheral?
Hahaha, yeah ok – Which one people like Joel Osteen?
My point on this is your pastor I’m sure is a good guy, I know for a fact many have done great things – or they are very educated, and even great speakers. A good many are humble people whom excel at tending the flock of christ, going above and beyond the call of duty. What it boils down to is, any pastor who tells me he is the only way to god or heaven, my book says plainly to run as far away from him as possible. Period.
One of the things I actually like about the catholic church is by keeping the saints, in a way, they tell us the bible doesn’t end at the book of revelation… though revelation is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. In that it shows us God is still working in the world, and there have been many prophets since the apostles. Keeping church history, is a value I think is too rare for the protestant church. However, this obsession with Mary is just nutty, and baseless in scripture – even in their own scripture when you really look into it with seriousness. Sure Mary was a special woman, but I’m certain she too would condemn idolatry. Nevertheless as I understand it, it’s not really about Mary even to them – it’s about Christ. He is the center focus of attention for the reason, grace and salvation come only from him.
So a gay guy can’t be Christian, but yet we can eat ham for Easter dinner? Both of these are an abomination to the lord according to the law of Moses. Perhaps this is too controversial for some to explain very quickly, but the fact remains thus:
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” – Galations 3: 10-14
There are 2 definitions of ‘church’, the first is a building, the second is people. The building isn’t going to heaven, so the scripture must be talking about people… Maybe in that definition, ‘church’ can be anywhere there is people gathering together in the name of christ for whatever given reason they do so. Recently I tried going to a pub church, just to see what it was like – to be honest it was great. People were so friendly, and the sermon had alot of surprising substance. Once more there were people there whom never even went to church before, yet here they were for the first time learning about Jesus! Following the sermon there was a discussion group over beer, it was more or less like a bible study… all in all I’m glad I went to a Church Pub. Just to have a change in scene made it well worth it.
Yet also I met a lady from Japan at a church in Florida. She was telling me she just got back taking her kids with her for 2 years because her mother was sick. Her husband stayed here while she was gone.. but anyway. The town she was in didn’t have any church’s to go to, but one of the ladies in her mother’s neighborhood ran a church in her living room for all 6 people in the area whom were christian… yet I was reminded of my Grandmothers family in west Germany. oh sure Japan didn’t have many churches just because there wasn’t much interest. However the communist government banned church’s and they had to go to church in secret. It was very dangerous behind the Iron Curtain to be christian. We must never forget also house church’s were the original church under Roman persecution. As humble of a beginning as it is, I doubt Christ doesn’t care about the building.
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18: 20
Well the cats already out of the bag I’m a protestant, so I won’t bother to give you much a lecture. I’m a student of ideals of the reformer Martin Luther, so you might imagine already what I have to say about the Pope. I won’t even get started on this Marxist Pope Catholics have now, because I know it’s a sensitive subject. Here’s the good news, God is above all things – including the Vatican. You don’t need him to pray for you, though I can imagine a good many Catholics have been praying for the Pope.
What I want you to do now is Imagine
I want you to imagine that Christianity is about 2000 years old. In all that time do you think people just sat around and stared at the wall with it?
They have twisted it around, flipped it upside down, Debated it, tried to manipulate it, burned it, banned it, tried killing people who do it, translated it, made holidays with it, plagerised it, try to control it, try to reinvent it, established countries and even kings with it. They’ve read every line of scripture many times over and over and over – and they’ve discussed just about everything there is to discuss about it….. For 2000 years….
In this time, through all this commotion – the simplest message is as true now as it was in the first century.
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” – 2 Timothy 2:10
…Well not quite. During the midway point of the reformation, debates were becoming very heated among protestant leaders. They all got together and decided there can’t be any grey area on what exactly defines, or proves, a Christian from an absolute heretic. Equally they wanted a measure on which they all agreed, so they do not become too divided in opinion. Based on scripture alone these men agreed there are 3 absolute non negotiable, no grey area, no shadow of anyone’s doubt – tenets . Just 3. So allow me to make this, if you will, just a wee bit more complicated.
1. Salvation and grace is through Christ alone. No one comes to the father but through him.
2. Honor and accept the father son and Holy Ghost. All 3 not one being missing or something else added.
3. Keep to Christ’s law, of which Paul coined the name “The Royal Law” – love thy neighbor. The way in which Christ loved us, and not by mans definition of love.
If any protestant disagreed with these 3 things, they can not be considered a Christian. The reason they can’t is because the scripture in these three can not be anymore clear. If one or two or any part of these three are missing, one must be considered a heretic or agent of Satan… They agreed to disagree on many points and also called those points as I have; “peripheral”.
I should say, in this simplicity, it has stood to scrutiny for well over 400 years now. You simply can not read the Bible and find it to be saying something else. What that means is
You can say whatever about:
Angels, which bible version to use, baptism, communion, church service, worship style, songs, prayer, tradition, child care, money, friendship, saints, mary, Thomas the apostle, drinking, marriage, 7 deadly sins, bumble bees, eschatology, Jacobs ladder, holidays, Israel, Indoor plumbing, How to evangelize, the chicken, Predestination…. and just about anything anyone could possibly humanly come up with. God bless.