Sunday, October 05, 2008

Flying bishops and the church within a church

There comes a point when the historic via media of the Church of England ceases to be a rational. It was never adopted in its essence as a tactical compromise or as an intellectual expedient, but a quality of thinking - an approach in which elements usually regarded as mutually exclusive were seen to be in fact complementary. These things were held in living tension, not in order to walk the tightrope of compromise, but because they were seen to be mutually illuminating and to fertilise each other.

The diocese is a millennia-old territorial entity which permits the diocesan bishops to identify and oversee the clergy within their jurisdiction. Clergy take an oath of canonical obedience to their bishop who exercises ecclesiastical authority within his domain. The idea is as old as the Roman Empire, and one which the Church adopted during the fourth century. After the Reformation, the Church of England saw no need to change the arrangement, for it was scriptural and it worked.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury has proposed that those ‘traditionalist’ clergy who would rather not minister under the authority of a woman bishop may elect to be supervised by a ‘flying’ bishop – one who has no terrestrial unit of authority, but who will join the prince of the power of the air in flying hither and thither like tinkerbell. And these flying bishops will, of necessity, be male, so we are immediately presented with a level of episcopacy to which women will be barred. And the Archbishops of Canterbury and York – who is already acquainted with the exhilarating challenges of flying - will be charged with appointing them, so those vying to be the first ought to begin their licking and fawning.

This is not a via media, but fence-sitting of the most uncomfortable picket or iron railing variety. And one wonders how long it will be before the most uncomfortable point penetrates the anus. What is designed to prevent an exodus to Rome will be such an affront to the ‘liberal’ wing that it might see them declaring independence, or demanding some sort of ‘associate’ status. The proposal pleases no-one: women will still be discriminated against, and the ‘traditionalists’ will be deprived of their territorial diocesan bishop. Women will be perpetually reminded that their ministry is of questionable legitimacy, and diocesan bishops will cease to have authority over all the parishes within their diocese.

The Church of England has ceased to be ‘broad’: it has become amorphous. The Anglo-Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical wings have tolerated the liberal and progressive contingents for quite long enough, and the liberals have been equally frustrated by the ‘bigoted’ or ‘discriminatory’ views and actions of the traditionalists.

Is it not time for an amicable divorce, not only for the safety and wellbeing of the children, but for the peace and security of the realm?


Anonymous evelina said...

I would just like to be able to go to church on Sunday knowing that I am going to hear the Word through the medium of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, adorned by the music written to glorify it, and spoken by a priest who regards that as his most sacred duty. I believe that the priest should be a man, but do not care what his sexual orientation is as long as he is a good and devout person. I would like the service to enable me to concentrate on the mystery of the Eucharist, not oblige me to exchange clumsy handshakes with embarrassed neighbours or put up with being embraced by unembarrassed ones. I would like an Archbishop who wants to be the guardian and guide of his church rather than a political campaigner or a social worker. If any reorganisation could provide all that, I would support it.

5 October 2008 at 14:04  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

The tragedy is, Evelina, that till not all that long ago the organization you are hoping for would have been the C of E itself. The present husbandmen have forgotten whose vineyard it is and are treating it as their own to do as they like with (cf New Labour with the whole country).

5 October 2008 at 14:19  
Blogger Holy Smoke said...

When you try to please all the people all the time you end up failing to please anyone. A church founded on fundamental principals can not hope to amend those principals with the stroke of a pen. Religion is unlike a political institution which can change its laws to reflect current opinion.

5 October 2008 at 14:27  
Anonymous len said...

There is only one shepherd of the flock , and all the undershepherds would do well to remember it!
Jesus Christ is The supreme Head of HIS church.
Stop splitting hairs and get on with preaching the gospel of Jesus christ!!!
You are getting entangled with trivia.!
There is a lost, dying world out there that needs the Gospel of jesus Christ!

5 October 2008 at 15:15  
Anonymous Morus said...

Whilst not agreeing with the proposal of 'flying Bishops', I don't think that the hierarchy of the Chuch is necessarily as territorially-bound as Your Grace suggests.

What of the Titular Archbishops of the Catholic Church? The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain is His Excellency, the Archibishop of Novaliciana. This titular archdiocese (which astute and learned readers of His Grace's blog will be aware corresponds to the Roman territory of Mauritania Sitifensis, the North-Easter province of Algeria and the northern half of Tunisia, around the ancient cities of Setif and Tunis) has no clergy, or parishes, and yet is none the less an Archdiocese.

Without forsaking a recognition of the temporal, it is not beyond the wit of the Church, nor out of step with its history, that it should recognise that not all organic structures need bind themselves so rigidly to the Earth, and that territoriality is not a matter that the Church should feel governs it, but rather guides it.

Whilst perhaps being wrong-headed and inadvisable for many other reasons, would flying bishops of non-territorially-bounded dioceses be really that radical?

5 October 2008 at 16:35  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Very interesting! You appear to being saying that flying bishops are new, but we have had them for some time. I do not understand why you should use the words bigot and discriminatory about those unable to accept the innovation of female ordination.

The fact that there are women in clerical positions is one thing. Those of us who do not believe in this are not bigoted, just that we have a different understanding of the catholic faith.

Those that are implementing novelty seek to force some kind of compliance. I would have thought that was bigoted. The idea of live and let live does not sit well with ecclesiastical liberals. More's the pity!

5 October 2008 at 16:48  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Forester,

His Grace placed those words in inverted commas precisely because he does not believe them to be appropriate words to hurl in any ecclesial or theological discourse. Of course he does not believe traditionalists necessarily to be guilty of either.

5 October 2008 at 17:27  
Anonymous Yokel said...

Its time we let the liberals fly off to their pantheistic heaven to join all the others in the one world religion that is shortly to come. Then the rest of us can settle down to preparing for the fight that is on its way.

5 October 2008 at 19:34  
Anonymous Brita said...

Great responses on here. Thanks all for saying it.

5 October 2008 at 22:23  
Anonymous the recusant said...

This really is a completely new idea of what a bishop is. From the beginning a bishop was the chief elder of a particular city or geographical area. What seems to be emerging is the idea that a bishop can be the pastor of a group of people who hold the same views that he does. This began in the 1990s when the Church of England created a special temporary provision for parishes that could not agree with women's ordination to have their own non-geographical 'flying bishops'. The 'flying bishop' was brought in for sacramental ministry to the parishes who could not, in good conscience, accept the sacramental ministry of their own bishop. The other administrative and financial aspects of the local church continued within the diocese as before.

So the Anglo-Catholics who did not want bishops who ordained women were allowed to have their own bishops. If that is allowed, then it only makes sense that the Evangelicals who do not want homosexuality may have their own bishops too.

What is novel about all this is that the new bishops and their new denominations are not actually breaking away from the Anglican Church. Instead new ecclesial bodies are being created within an existing ecclesial body in order to maintain 'unity'.

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. If the Anglican bishops who disagree on women's ordination and homosexuality already don't have sacramental unity, how does this new arrangement actually guarantee sacramental unity, or for that matter, any unity at all?

What happened with the 'flying bishops' is that, for all intents and purposes, a sub-denomination with the Church of England was created. The parishes who had flying bishops have their own network of priests and people. They have their own publications, and their own clergy meetings. The ones I knew withdrew themselves from most diocesan committees, did not attend clergy fraternal meetings, and absented themselves from the diocesan structures of power. Some of them also with held their diocesan 'quota' payments- kind of clerical tax to support the bureaucracy. They even advertised their parishes displaying their special status. So a church in my area would call itself, "St Paul's Church of England, We are a Forward in Faith parish. (Forward in Faith being code for 'we don't have women priests and we have our own bishop)

If the more ecclesially minded Anglo Catholics were so independently minded, the Evangelical parishes will be even more so. Not only are they likely to advertise something like "We are united with the Anglican Bishop of Nigeria" but they are very likely to withhold at least some of their donations to the Anglican hierarchy, and disengage from diocesan structures. The fact that the Evangelicals are the ones with youth, numbers and money should be even more worrying to the Anglican establishment.

The result will be this: the Liberals will control the Anglican Church (as they have always done) but it will be a Pyrrhic victory. They will find themselves having to manage an increasing burden of aging and de-motivated clergy and people. They will also find that the great burden of maintenance for the medieval buildings will fall on them. As the Evangelicals withdraw their support, their enthusiasm and their money the Liberal hierarchy will look around and discover that their church has become politically correct sect for people who for whom the only virtue left is tolerance.

They'll have discovered that in a church where anything goes. Everyone goes

Originally by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. RC Convert

5 October 2008 at 23:33  
Blogger Christian said...

I actually feel that the idea, while far from perfect, could be a good idea. After all the Lefebre-ist bishops in the Roman Church are basically flying bishops and in may ways they made sure that Traditionalist remained an important force until the better times that are now arriving. Maybe Anglo-Catholic Traditionalist might find this can happen for them.

5 October 2008 at 23:38  
Blogger Christian said...

PS: Dwight Longenecker,

What about Opus Dei...

5 October 2008 at 23:45  
Anonymous len said...

What is a catholic?.
Did Jesus say all become good catholics?
Did jesus say worship the pope?.
Did jesus say set up images in my church?
Did jesus say pray to saints,
Did jesus say make confession to priests,
Where did all this come from?
I am sure someone out there can tell me?

6 October 2008 at 07:45  
Anonymous the recusant said...


I cannot find any similarity in the events surrounding Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre and the creation of the flying Bishops, on 1 July 1988, for performing a schismatical act by the episcopal consecration of four priests, he and Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta were excommunicated from the main body of the church. On the other hand the introduction of flying bishops would be at the direction of the AC and under full authority of the House of Bishops.


Your questions betray such enormous vincible ignorance of the RCC that I don’t know where to start, so I won’t. If you really want answers try to the matters you raise, start with a good Catholic Answers or Catholic Apologetics site.

6 October 2008 at 09:30  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Oh dear Len!!

Catholic simply means universal. Nobody "worships" the pope.

Images in church? Does praying to the saints bother you? Confession? Jesus said to the apostles that the sins the forgave would be forgiven and those they didn't would be retained.

I someoneone out there! Woah!!

6 October 2008 at 11:17  
Anonymous WannabeAnglican said...

I actually think flying bishops is not that bad of an idea. It may be the best idea available given what Synod decided. To just push traditionalists away is certainly not an acceptable course.

As for this . . .

What is designed to prevent an exodus to Rome will be such an affront to the ‘liberal’ wing that it might see them declaring independence . . .

And that's a bad thing? If only it would be so!

6 October 2008 at 13:09  
Blogger prziloczek said...

I am utterly in favour of an all male priesthood myself. And so is the Holy Father too. He has also heard, len, of Jesus and written a fairly scholarly book about Him.

This is all such old hat. I left the Anglican Clergy in 1989 when, in America, a lady was consecrated as a bishop. I didn't mind that so much as the fact that, in direct opposition to St Paul, she was a divorcee.

Is the way forward, perhaps an Order rather than a flying Bishop? Rosmini, for instance, founded an Order which had its own ideals (one of them to reform the Church) and which also had its own system of hierarchy within the Church.

From outside, the Anglican Church has morphed into the Methodists with intersex Superintendants, Ministers and language. The only thing that doesn't seem to have changed is the Historical Shreds like the vestments and the Bishops' Palaces.

If anyone wants to move over into the Catholic Church, I would say, "Don't be afraid. Come on in, it is lovely!"

6 October 2008 at 17:06  
Anonymous len said...

Thanks for your answers , quite enlightening!
I was curious why someone should be catholic as opposed to , anglican, methodist,etc, etc.
I would have thought that being a catholic would have to be a positive decision that one would be able to explain in simple terms?.

6 October 2008 at 18:23  
Anonymous the recusant said...

OK Len I'll answer your questions though why you should expect Christianity to be simple is just, well simple. Christ exhorted us to be child-like in faith not childish, the phrasing of your questions betrays their agenda but I will attempt to keep my answers as easy as possible

Did Jesus say all become good catholics? Yes. – see above

Did jesus say worship the pope?. No - See above

Did jesus say set up images in my church? OK, It’s a daft question but as you ask, Jesus never said a lot of things however I think what lays behind the question is do Catholics worship or pray to images, No we don’t, so why have them you ask?
Catholics believe in the Church, that is not the building you go to on Sunday but the Church historical, present and future, all those who have gone before, who are living now and who are yet to be born, we call this the Church Triumphant (those already in Heaven), the Church Militant (Christians living now) and the Church Suffering or the Holy Souls who are saved and enduring the purgation (I know protestants have problems with purgatory but lets leave that alone for now.). Collectively we call this the Communion of Saints. We believe the saints in the presence of God can with Gods grace hear our prayers and intercede with Jesus on our behalf (note not with God the father, there is only Jesus who can do that) Its like having a friend who can ask for a favour on your behalf, and which son can refuse his Mother anything she asks, so yes the Blessed Virgin is held without equal in this regard. So what are the images about, do you keep photographs of a loved ones, Grandparents passed on, do you worship the photographs, No! Neither do Catholics. Would you be offended if someone were to disrespect your precious photograph, yes! Guess what? Do you have your images in a place of honour to remind you of the people you love, we do You may call this the cult of saints, that is what it is and it is not idolatry, we venerate those who have lead lives that have brought the reward of heaven, isn’t that what we all seek therefore is it not worthy to imitate the lives of the saints, veneration is not idolatry, it is high regard, respect admiration that’s all. Please if you get chance pass this on. It may surprise you to know that synagogues from the time of Jesus have been found with images in them, Elijah, Moses, Issiah, this was common in Jewish prayer life and was carried on by early Christians in the catacombs as still evident in Rome.

Did jesus say pray to saints. Jesus as an orthodox Jew prayed for the dead just as His faith taught (Jews pray for the dead and always have), Jesus talked to the saints (see transfiguration) we do as he did but seek petition, ask intersession. Can we go direct to Jesus just like Protestants do, of course, we do it as well as, not instead of, Christ taught us to ask, ask and ask again (parable of the old woman seeking justice), we do that and get all our friends, relatives, mates, neighbours, to do it as well (alive and dead). Have you never said, “Say one for me?” Or even asked for prayers to be said for a particular intention. I can’t make it simpler than that

Did jesus say make confession to priests, Yes - see above

Where did all this come from? - Jesus, St Peter, the Apostles and the early church.

I am sure someone out there can tell me?

"I was glad that all this time I had been howling my complaints not against the Catholic faith but against something quite imaginary which I had thought up in my own head…I had not yet discovered that what the Church taught was the truth."

—St. Augustine of Hippo, 397 AD

6 October 2008 at 21:03  
Anonymous ever and anon said...

I say the euSSR intends the CoE to deconstruct - all its wealth and influence then devolve to Rome: outside the UK. Furthermore, should the monarchy still stand, it would have to do what el papa tells it.

Being euros, they don't understand arguments against transubstantiation; confession (oh watch those databases grow!); graven images and crucifixes; genuflexion; affective piety, and priestesses and the BVM. They're certainly not in favour of having prayers and scriptures in our own local language (which they've set about anyway).

They definitely don't understand about 'reserve' - that's why they tout freud and lacan so much: we need to 'liberate something' instead...[misery loves company-so the nastier the liberated legion, the better they'll like it: and if incense acts like soma -so much the better].

That being said, some Anglicans manage to stick the euros in the eye by catering to the 'diversity' of out congregations, indeed, to attract 'diversity.' Thus, if the mod guitars, handy pandys, and appalling theatric enactments appeal to the kids - well necessity is the mother of Invention. I can only take so much of it, though, and appreciate that my church keeps that to a special afternoon service especially for the young (parents also welcome). But I love other community activities that bring in the young: like "The Blessing of the Animals," on St. Francis Day {+ pet wash, + treats and water}; or the excellent education programme for all age groups. The one on the Psalms that I attended this Summer was outstanding.

BTW - I have nothing against guitars per se: Bream, Segovia, et al. My niece plays classical guitar music wonderfully: I'm so proud of her. Our Rector's daughter has a beautiful singing voice - and the choir benefits from being near an excellent School of Music.

So...we have our ways...

7 October 2008 at 01:56  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Recusant: itis not a new idea but the old idea of a bishop. To say catholics want a bishop who happens to agree with them is to misrepresent them: they want catholic bishops who uphold and teach the true faith. And as for the flying bishops being "temporary", that indeed is proving to have been the case, but we were promised a period of "reception" to see whether the new version of sacramental order would be accepted by the church. After a very short time the majority of the Pseudo-Synod have decided unilaterally that the period of reception - which might have lasted for centuries - is over, that the Church has accepted the changes, so out the rest of us must go if we will not toe the line. You accuse others of not understanding the RCC; you show some misunderstanding of the CofE.

7 October 2008 at 12:35  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Mr Little Black Sambo,

I think there are a few crossed wires here, The article you read was written by and ex Anglican vicar who crossed the Tiber and became a (married) Catholic Priest and has a blog of his own as I indicated at the bottom of the piece, I reproduced it because I thought it topical to His Graces Blog from a man who understands both sides of the fence, and who but for the ’92 vote would probably have remained Anglican.

The idea of a bishop having ecclesiastical authority within the diocese of another bishop of the same communion certainly is a new concept and singularly Anglican in this regard. There is no tradition of this in either the Roman or Orthodox Church, this is not to confuse the idea with a Bishop who may be remote from his diocese or have it split over many geographical areas but not two bishops in the same diocese because a particular unreformed section of his flock will not accept his (in this case her) authority. Sorry to disagree but this is most definitely new territory.

For the rest of your points I do not disagree in the main, having said that I think one must be wearing a particularly rosy set of spectacles to imagine after such a deliberately hostile take over the new liberal management structure in the AC would allow ‘flying bishops to last for centuries’, not a chance.

Am I biased towards the RCC, yes unashamedly so, but I am also a firm believer in, and supporter of the essential contribution the CofE makes (or did once) to the UK and take no comfort in its present self-inflicted decline.

7 October 2008 at 17:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting the first comment wishes to hear the word of God via the King James Bible. Unfortunately no serious Christian academic studying the Greek of the earliest texts would agree that the King James version is an accurate translation. Whatever our views on the other factors surrounding liturgy, wings of the church sexuality or female clergy, surely we should attempt to hear the word of God as it was intended to be heard.

8 October 2008 at 12:32  
Anonymous len said...

In the new testament there is no mention of the papacy,worship/adoration of mary,petitioning saints in heaven for their prayers,,apostolic succession,the ordinances of the church functioning as sacrements,,infant baptism,confession of sin to a priest,purgatory,indulgences,or the equal authority of church tradition and scriptures.I came to Jesus late in life so I haven`t gone down the religious route so I am a bit puzzled about different denominations and their practices and origins.

8 October 2008 at 19:45  
Anonymous Ever and Anon said...

Anonymous @12:32.

One hears this argument about 'accurate translation from the Greek' often; and, of course, so few learn Greek now that even fewer are qualified to challenge the opinion on your ground.

However, I believe it is true that all translation involves some degree of interpretation. One way to test variations, therefore, is to compare English translations against each other. When I do that, I develop a strong suspicion that the new translators suffer from limitations and restrictions in their English. I also believe that they use translation as a way of forcing modern and euro agenda upon us.

My impression began by taking my own KJV to church - to stop my ears and hide my face, since I can't stand the ugly whatever it is they force on us nowadays. So often the KJV words are replaced by banal, limited, modernized terms that force a single interpretation on the hearer - a sometimes ignorant word choice that can fail to lead to a deeper understanding of the text. I have no specifics to hand, unfortunately, but will take careful note in future - the discussion is worth continuing.

In the prayers alone, though, how anyone can meddle with something as beautiful as the Magnificat is a test of philistinism in itself. In the "Pater Noster" - to replace 'in earth' with 'on earth' is to lose the sense of the soul within the body that the earlier translation allowed.

One especially irritating case involves forcing foreign vocabulary on us - as in the euro measurements that replace traditional English ones - thus diminishing the point of having a vernacular Bible anyway! Similarly - why deprive us of our 'thees' and 'thous' - English words both, and both still current in some areas of the country? Surely your translators insult us by indicating that our language is not good enough for the sophisticated foreigners who think that English is limited to formal (or do they think informal?) language! The same goes for the use of 'spirit' instead of its English equivalent 'ghost': both terms relate to 'breath' - and the Latin word has no intrinsic superiority to the English.

Having taken Church classes that allowed comparison of several versions of some readings in Jewish, KJV, Douay Rheims, other Bibles, and your horrid thing - I remain unconvinced of the inferiority of KJV. Quite the opposite.

So if you seek reasons why many English people have stopped going to church - I think you should consider your translations as a strong contributory factor. You denigrate the language, and you deprive us of the texts that we love.

9 October 2008 at 02:00  
Anonymous the recusant said...


Lies on stilts, who told you this nonsense, what other lies did they tell you? Did they say Catholics didn’t read their bibles either? There are many snake oil salesmen out there don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself and remember Matthew 10:16.

You Said :In the new testament there is no mention of the papacy
Our Survey said:
Primacy of Peter
Mt 16:18 - upon this rock (Peter) I will build my church
Mt 16:19 - give you keys of the kingdom; power to bind & loose
Lk 22:32 - Peter's faith will strengthen his brethren
Jn 21:17 - given Christ's flock as chief shepherd
Mk 16:7 - angel sent to announce Resurrection to Peter
Lk 24:34 - risen Jesus first appeared to Peter
Acts 1:13-26 - headed meeting which elected Matthias
Acts 2:14 - led Apostles in preaching on Pentecost
Acts 2:41 - received first converts
Acts 3:6-7 - performed first miracle after Pentecost
Acts 5:1-11 - inflicted first punishment: Ananias & Saphira
Acts 8:21 - excommunicated first heretic, Simon Magnus
Acts 10:44-46 - received revelation to admit Gentiles into Church
Acts 15:7 - led first council in Jerusalem
Acts 15:19 - pronounces first dogmatic decision
Gal 1:18 - after conversion, Paul visits chief Apostle
*Gal 2:11-14 - I opposed Cephas to his face for his hypocrisy
Peter's name always heads list of Apostles: Mt 10;14; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14-16; Acts 1:13
"Peter and his companions" Lk 9:32; Mk 16:7
Spoke for Apostles - Mt 18:21; Mk 8:29; Lk 8:45; 12:41; Jn 6:69
Peter's name occurs 195 times, more than all the rest put together

You Said : worship/adoration of mary,
Our Survey said:
Lk 1:28, 30 - angel: "full of grace, found favor with God
Lk 1:42 - Elizabeth: "most blessed among women"
Lk 1:48 - Mary: "all generations will call me blessed"

Mother of God
Lk 1:43 - Elizabeth calls her "mother of my Lord" = God
Mt 1:23 - virgin bear a son, Emmanuel = "God is with us"
Lk 1:35 - child born will be called holy, the Son of God
Gal 4:4 - God sent his Son, born of a woman

The Assumption
Gn 5:24 (Hb 11:5) - Enoch taken to heaven without dying
2Kg 2:11 - Elijah assumed into heaven in fiery chariot
Mt 27:52 - many saints who had fallen asleep were raised
1Thess 4:17 - caught up to meet the Lord in the air
1Cor 15:52 - we shall be instantly changed at the last trumpet
Rom 6:23 - for the wages of sin is death
Rev 11:19-21 - ark in heaven = woman clothed in sun
Ps 132:8 - Arise, O Lord & go to thy resting place, thou & the ark of thy might.
The Immaculate Conception
Lk 1:28 - hail full of grace[highly favored] Lord is with you
Lk 1:30 - you have found favor with God
Lk 1:37 - for with God nothing shall be impossible
Gn 3:15 - complete enmity between woman & Satan, sin
Ex 25:11-21 - ark made of purest gold for God's word
*Rom 3:23 - all have sinned & are deprived of God's glory
*Lk 1:47 - my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

Perpetual Virginity
Lk 1:34 - how can this be, since I do not know man
Lk 2:41-51 - age 12, Jesus evidently only son of Mary
Mk 6:3 - "the son of Mary" not "a son of Mary"
*Mt 13:55-56 - brothers James, Joseph, Simon & Jude
Mt 27:56 - Mary the mother of James & Joseph also
Jn 19:25 - Mary the wife of Clopas
Jn 19:26 - entrusted Mary to John, not a younger sibling
Jn 7:3-4 - brothers advise like elders: "go to Judea, manifest self"
unthinkable for younger siblings (see next verse)
Mk 3:21 - set out to seize him, "he is out of his mind"
*Mt 1:25 - Joseph knew her not until she bore first-born
Mt 28:20 - I am with you always, UNTIL the end of the age
1Tim 4:13 - until I arrive, attend to reading, teaching…
1Cor 15:25 - he must reign until has enemies underfoot
Lk 1:80 - John in desert until day of his manifestation
Ex 13:2; Nb 3:12 - consecrate first -born that opens womb
Ex 34:20 - first-born among your sons you shall redeem

You Said : petitioning saints in heaven for their prayers
Our Survey said:
Communion of Saints
Eph 1:22-23 - he is head of the Church, which is His body
Eph 5:21-32 - Christ is the head of the Church, Savior of the body
Col 1:18, 24 - He is head of the body, the Church
1Cor 12:12-27 - if I suffer, all suffer; if I am honored, all rejoice
Rom 12:5 - we are one body in Christ, individual parts of one another
Eph 4:4 - one body, one Spirit, called to one hope
Col 3:15 - you were called in one body
Rom 8:35-39 - death cannot separate us from Christ
Rom 12:10 - love one another with mutual affection
1Thess 5:11 - encourage, build up one another
Gal 6:2 - bear one another's burdens
Gal 6:10 - let us do good to all, especially those in family of faith

Intercessory Prayer of Saints
Rom 15:30 - join me by your prayers to God on my behalf
Col 4:3, 1Thess 5:25 - pray for us
2Thess 1:11 - we always pray for you
2Thess 3:1 - finally, brothers, pray for us
Eph 6:18-19 - making supplication for all the saints & for me
Tob 12:12 - angel presents Tobit & Sarah's prayer to God
Ps 148 - David calls upon angels
Zech 1:12 – angel intercedes for Jerusalem
Mk 12:25, Mt 22:30 - men in heaven are as the angels
Rev 5:8 – those in heaven offer prayers of the holy ones to God
*Saints dead, prayer is necromancy (Dt 18:10-11)
Mk 12:26-27 - he is God of the living, not of the dead
Mk 9:4 - Jesus seen conversing with Elijah & Moses
Lk 9:31 - Elijah & Moses aware of earthly events
Rev 6:9-11 - martyrs under altar want earthly vindication
Heb 12:1 - we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses
Lk 16:19-30 - departed rich man intercedes for brothers
Rev 20:4 - saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
Wis 3:1-6 - the souls of the just are in the hand of God
2Macc 15:7-16 – the departed Onias & Jeremiah pray for the Jews
Jas 5:16 Prayers of righteous man
1 Cor. 13:12 - I shall understand fully
1 John 4: 20-21 whoever loves God must love his brother
1 Cor 12:21 - parts of Christ's Body cannot say to other parts, "I do not need you".

*1Tim 2:5 - "One mediator between God and man"
1Tim 2:1-7 - offer prayers, petitions for all men
1Pet 2:5 - be a holy priesthood to offer sacrifices through Christ
Mk 10:18 - only God is good
Mt 25:23 - well done my good and faithful servant
Jn 10:11-16 - I am good shepherd; one flock I shepherd
Jn 21:15-16 - feed my lambs, tend my sheep
Eph 4:11 - He gave some as apostles…others as pastors
Heb 3:1, 7:24, 9:12-13 - Jesus eternal high priest; one sacrifice
Rev 1:6, 5:10 - He made us a kingdom of priests for God

Veneration of Saints
Jos 5:14 - Joshua fell prostrate in worship before angel
Dan 8:17 - Daniel fell prostrate in terror before Gabriel
Tob 12:16 - Tobiah & Tobit fall to ground before Raphael
Mt 18:10 - angels in heaven always behold face of God (we venerate
angels because of their great dignity, which comes form their union with God.
Saints also are united with God)
1Jn 3:2 - we shall be like him, we shall see him as he is
1Thess 1:5-8 - you become an example to all the believers
Heb 13:7 - remember leaders, consider/imitate their faith & life

2Kgs 13:20-21 - contact with Elisha's bones restored life
Acts 5:15-116 - cures performed through Peter's shadow
Acts 19:11-12 - cures through face cloths that touched Paul

*Ex 20:4-5 - do not make and worship any graven images
Ex 25:18-19 - make two cherubim of beaten gold
Num 21:8-9 - Moses made bronze serpent & put on pole
1Kgs 6:23-29 - temple had engraved cherubim, trees, flowers
1Kgs 7:25-45 - temple had bronze oxen, lions, pomegranates

You Said : apostolic succession,
Our Survey said:
Apostolic Succession
2 Chr 19:11 - high priest is over you in everything of Lord's
Mal 2:7 - seek instruction from priest, he is God's messenger
Eph 2:20 - Church built upon foundation of apostles & prophets
Eph 4:11 - God gave some as apostles, others as prophets…
1 Cor 12:28-29 - God designated in church: apostles, …
Acts 1:20 - let another take his office
Acts 1:25-26 - Matthias takes Judas' apostolic ministry
1 Tim 3:1, 8; 5:17 - qualifications for: bishops, priests, & deacons
1Tim 4:14 - gift conferred with the laying on of hands
1Tim 5:22 - do not lay hands too readily on anyone
Acts 14:23 - they appointed presbyters in each church
2Tim 2:2 - what you heard from me entrust to faithful teachers
Titus 1:5 - appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed

You Said : the ordinances of the church functioning as sacrements,infant baptism, confession of sin to a priest,
Our Survey said:

Infant Baptism
Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16 - baptism required for entering heaven
1Cor 15:21-22 - in Adam all die, in Christ all made alive
Mk 10:14 - let children come; to such belongs the kingdom
Lk 18:15 - people were bringing even infants to him…
Col 2:11-12 - baptism has replaced circumcision
Jos 24:15 - as for me and my house, we will serve Lord
Mt 8:5ff. - daughter healed because of centurion's faith
Mt 15:21ff. - daughter healed because of Canaanite woman's faith
Lk 7:1ff. - just say the word, and let my servant be healed
Acts 16:31 - believe in Lord Jesus you & house will be saved
Acts 16:15 - she was baptized, with all her household
Acts 16:33 - he and all his family were baptized at once
1Cor 1:16 - I baptized the household of Stephanas

Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Jn 6:35-71 - Eucharist promised
Mt 26:26ff (Mk 14:22ff., Lk 22:17ff.) - Eucharist instituted
1Cor 10:16 - Eucharist = participation in Christ's body & blood
1 Cor 11:23-29 - receiving unworthily his body & blood
Ex 12:8, 46 - Paschal lamb had to be eaten
Jn 1:29 - Jesus called "Lamb of God"
1 Cor 5:7 - Jesus called "paschal lamb who has been sacrificed
Jn 4:31-34; Mt 16:5-12 - Jesus talking symbolically about food
1Cor 2:14-3:4 - explains what "the flesh" means in Jn 6:63
Ps 14:4; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Mic 3:3; 2Sm 23:15-17; Rv 17:6, 16 -
to symbolically eat & drink one's body & blood = assault

Acts 19:5-6 - Paul imposed hands on baptized, received Holy Spirit
Acts 8:14-17 - laid hands upon them, they received Holy Spirit
2Cor 1:21-22 - put seal on us and given Holy Spirit in our hearts
Eph 1:13 - you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
Heb 6:2 - instruction about baptism & laying on of hands

Mt 9:2-8 Son of Man has authority to forgive sins
Jn 20:23 - whose sins you forgive/retain are forgiven/retained
Jn 20:22 - breathed on them, "receive Holy Spirit" [recall Gn 2:7]
2Cor 5:17-20 - given us the ministry of reconciliation
Jam 5:13-15 - confess your sins to one another

Mt 18:18 - whatever you bind & loose on earth, so it is in heaven

Anointing the Sick
Mk 6:12-13 - anointed with oil many sick, cured them
Jam 5:14-15 - presbyters pray over sick, anoint, sins forgiven

Holy Orders
Acts 20:28 - Holy Sprit appointed you overseers, to tend Church
Lk 22:19 - do this in memory of me
Jn 20:22 - As Father sent me, I send you...receive Holy Spirit
Acts 6:6 - the apostles prayed and laid hands on them
Acts 13:3 - they laid hands on them & sent them off
Acts 14:22 - they appointed presbyters in each church
1Tim 4:14 - gift received through laying on of hands of presbyterate
2Tim 1:6 - gift of God you have through imposition of hands
Tit 1:5 - appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you
(also see The Priesthood)

Mt 19:5-6 - leave father & mother, join wife, 2 become 1 flesh
Mk 10:7-12 - what God joined together, no man separate
Eph 5:22-32 - union of man & wife image of Christ & Church
Heb 13;4 - let marriage be honored among all
Divorce and Remarriage
Mal 2:14-16 - for I hate divorce, says the Lord
Mt 5:32-33 - to divorce or marry divorced wife is adultery
Mt 19:4-6, 9 - to divorce wife and remarry = adultery
Lk 16:18 - to divorce & remarry or marry divorced = adultery
Rom 7:2-3 - wife consorts = adulteress if living, but not if dead
1Cor 7:10-11 - if wife separated, stay single or reconcile

You Said : purgatory,
Our Survey said:
Mt 5:48 - be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect
Heb 12:14 - strive for that holiness without which cannot see God
Jam 3:2 - we all fall short in many respects
Rev 21:27 - nothing unclean shall enter heaven
Jam 1:14-15 - when sin reaches maturity gives birth to death
2Sam 12:13-14 - David, though forgiven, still punished for his sin
Mt 5:26 - you will not be released until paid last penny
Mt 12:32 - sin against Holy Spirit unforgiven in this age or next
Mt 12:36 - account for every idle word of judgment day

You Said : the equal authority of church tradition and scriptures.
Our Survey said:
Bible Alone or Bible Plus Tradition?
1Cor 11:2 - hold fast to traditions I handed on to you
2Thess 2:15 - hold fast to traditions, whether oral or by letter
2Thess 3:6 - shun those acting not according to tradition
Jn 21:25 - not everything Jesus said recorded in Scripture
Mk 13:31 - heaven & earth shall pass away, but my word won't
Acts 20;35 - Paul records a saying of Jesus not found in gospels
2Tim 1:13 - follow my sound words; guard the truth
2Tim2:2 - what you heard entrust to faithful men
2Pet 1:20 - no prophecy is a matter of private interpretation
2Pet 3:15-16 - Paul's letters can be difficult to grasp & interpret
1Pet 1:25 - God's eternal word = word preached to you
Rom 10:17 - faith come from what is heard
1Cor 15:1-2 - being saved if you hold fast to the word I preached
Mk 16:15 - go to the whole world, proclaim gospel to every creature
Mt 23:2-3 - chair of Moses; observe whatever they tell you

Tradition Condemned?
*Mt 15:3 - break commandment of God for your tradition
*Mk 7:9 - set aside God's commandment to uphold tradition
*Col 2:8 - seductive philosophy according to human tradition
1Cor 11:2 - commends them for following Apostolic tradition
2Thess 2:15 - commands them to keep traditions
2Thess 3:6 - shun those acting not according to tradition

You say you came late in life to Christianity, that doesn’t matter, see Luke 15:11-32, and Matthew 20:1-16. I can point you in the direction of the earliest practices of Christians, see The First Apology of St. Justin Martyr, Chapter 66. Of the Eucharist is of particular interest

“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”

Flavia Neapolis (Justin Martyr) was born around 100 AD, converted to Christianity about A.D. 130, taught and defended the Christian religion in Asia Minor and at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about the year 165.

Now can I sell you an indulgence or two, guaranteed to get you into heaven? [joke!]

9 October 2008 at 13:17  
Anonymous len said...

Thanks for the info, will take some time to digest!,will get back to you, thanks once again, len

10 October 2008 at 17:42  
Anonymous len said...

Thanks for the info, will take some time to digest!,will get back to you, thanks once again, len

10 October 2008 at 17:42  
Anonymous More Christ Like said...

Les McFall has an interesting way to deal with the exception clause in Matthew 19:9. He has written a 43 page paper that reviews the changes in the Greek made by Erasmus that effect the way Matthew 19:9 has been translated. I reviewed McFall's paper at Except For Fornication Clause of Matthew 19:9. I would love to hear some feedback on this position.

21 November 2008 at 22:42  

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