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Featured I am excited....

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Willie T, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    … to have discovered a recently written book concerning the development of Protestantism.

    Here is just a tiny excerpt from that book:

    THE TRIGGER FOR LUTHER’S REFORM: THE “INDULGENCE” CONTROVERSY

    The event that is traditionally held to mark the beginning of the European Reformation, and hence the birth of Protestantism, took place at about midday on October 31, 1517, on the eve of All Souls’ Day. Martin Luther, a lecturer in biblical studies at the recently founded University of Wittenberg, nailed a piece of paper to the main north door of the castle church of that city. The paper fluttered in the wind alongside various other academic and civic notices, probably attracting little attention at first.

    Luther’s notice was a request to debate a series of theological propositions about the practice of “indulgences.” Such debates were a regular part of the academic life of the day and rarely attracted attention beyond the limited confines of the universities. There is no evidence that his attempt to arrange a routine debate attracted any interest within the University of Wittenberg, or any attention from a wider public. It was only when Luther circulated his demands more widely that controversy began to develop.

    So, what was the issue at stake? The immediate cause was the visit of Johann Tetzel to Luther’s hometown of Wittenberg to sell indulgences, partly in order to raise capital for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Occupying something of a theological gray area, indulgences were popular without being entirely theoretically respectable. If there was a theological foundation to the notion, it lay in the idea that through their exemplary actions, Jesus Christ and the saints of the church had built up a “treasury of merit” on which pious Christians could draw, as and when necessary.

    Over a period of time, the church had developed a complex theology of purgatory — an intermediate state in which the souls of believers were purged of their remaining sin in order to enter into the presence of God without stain or defect of any kind. This idea of an “intermediate state” could be traced back to the sixth century, although its elaboration is particularly linked with the later Middle Ages. By the early sixteenth century, a popular theology of purgatory had emerged that emphasized both the extended nature and the horrors of this refinement in purgatory — and at the same time offered a number of fast tracks through the process.12

    One such accelerated pathway was based on prayer for the dead by the living. Throughout Europe, a whole system of intercessory foundations was created to offer prayers for souls in purgatory, including trentals (cycles of thirty requiem masses) and obits (a yearly memorial service). Chantries were established in order to ensure regular prayer for those who had died.13 The expenses attending such cults of the dead were considerable, a fact reflected in the rise of religious fraternities dedicated to the provision of the appropriate rites of passage for their members. In times of economic hardship, at least some degree of anticlerical sentiment was thus an inevitability: the clergy could be seen as profiting from the anxiety of the impoverished living concerning their dead kinsfolk.

    It was, however, a second fast track through purgatory that aroused Luther’s ire. Although the theological foundations of the practice were highly questionable (it was abolished by Pope Pius V in 1567), the church began to finance military campaigns and the construction of cathedrals through the sale of “indulgences,” which reduced the amount of time spent in the torment of purgatory. Johann Tetzel was a shrewd marketer and knew how to sell his product. He had crafted a catchy slogan, making the merits of his product clear even to the simplest of people:

    As soon as the coin in the coffer rings,
    The soul from purgatory springs!


    The canny spiritual investor could thus ensure that both he and his relatives (assuming, of course, that his budget stretched that far) could miss out on the pains of purgation. Aware of the wide appeal of his product, Tetzel had developed an additional crafty marketing technique. The cost of an indulgence was tailored to individuals’ ability to pay as much as to the spiritual benefits they hoped to secure.

    Most people rather liked this idea, seeing it as a clever way of enjoying sin without having to worry too much about its alleged eternal consequences. Any extended experience of purgatory was strictly for those who failed to plan for the future. Yet Luther was appalled by the practice. Forgiveness was meant to be the free gift of God! For Luther, the indulgence controversy was a worrying symptom of a much deeper malaise — a loss of the foundational vision that lay at the heart of the gospel. How could the church claim to be Christian when it seemed, at least to Luther, to have lost sight of the most important of all Christian insights — that God offers salvation as a free gift? The sale of indulgences seemed to deny the essence of the Christian gospel, as Luther now understood it. And if the church denied the gospel, was it really a Christian church at all?
     

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  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    I have read awhile back, somewhere that their doctrine of purgatory is one of the reasons the CC is so rich...
     
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  3. LC627

    LC627 Well-Known Member

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    It does deny the essence of the Gospel.
    Thankful for Luther for standing up against that terrible system
     
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  4. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    Sadly it still exists, albeit in a modified form. And so do indulgences. The whole theory and concept is a twisted perversion of the gospel... Tetzel's sales pitch may have been way over the top, but it was merely a symptom of a far deeper problem that persists to this day.
     
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  5. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    This is all laid out in 'The Great Controversy' written over a hundred years ago.
    It's worth looking at Willie.
     
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  6. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    Let us not be led into believing however that Luther was the first Protestant. 500 years before Luther there was Berengarius, who though weak when faced with the stake, opposed and protested with great distinction the heresy of transubstantiation that was introduced into the church 100 years previously. The darkness had begun even before then, the practices and chsracter of the papal church coming into disrepute and exposed by such as the Waldenses and Albigenses, against whom were raised many a crusade and attempts at extermination because they also exposed the papacy as the Antichrist, as did Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and numerous others before and after.
    Many excellent books have been written on the history of these people, of the reformation, and the rise of the Protestant faith, and ALL are roundly condemned and pilloried as revisionist or downright lies, and their authors branded as heretical and"anti-Catholic" by those determined to cleave to error and pride.
     
  7. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    You may be excited, but the Catholics will be incited.:cool:
     
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  8. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Why not? You don't give up a cash cow. Or should we say the goose that lays the golden eggs. But Luther was by no means the first Protestant.
     
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  9. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    I left a church that was almost a mirror image of the SDA (the CoC), so I think I will pass on that one.
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Ruh Roh, here comes BOL :eek:
     
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  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    No He wasn't...I would say the first protestants were the Apostles :D
     
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  12. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    This was only one half of one page of well over 500 pages. The scope of the book seems to reach into much more than just "Yea, Luther" and "Boo, Catholics." I've read at least a dozen books on Protestantism, and this is, so far, the best.
     
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  13. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Think about mailing a copy to Pope Francis. He and his church are badly in need of a second Reformation, where all the clergy are totally abolished.
     
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  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    "profiting from the anxiety of the impoverished living concerning their dead kinsfolk." Sickens me. Wow, these kind of folks are gonna pay dearly.
     
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  15. Butterfly

    Butterfly Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I had no idea about all this, I have heard people talk about purgatory but never had any teaching on the subject and often wondered why or how it came to be part of the belief system within some churches.
    Sounds like an interesting book Willie - I have often wondered about how things developed, heard a sermon once on ' going back to the first moment ' , how if you trace a theme or subject back to the original it helps you to understand why things were applied or changed and how it can give you an understanding of why you do something now. It also laid the foundations for challenging why you do something now and if it is just routine or relevant anymore. I believe that was the moment when I started to question why we did certain things in church ........
    Rita
     
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  16. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    No, no Willie, i'm not talking about the SDA church, i'm talking about the book 'The Great Controversy' Please don't judge the book by the Church.
     
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  17. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    Am I thinking of a different book? Didn't Ellen White write it?

    I do, however admit that I liked this particular line of that book she wrote:
    "All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of His words of warning: "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:2. "
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  18. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    believe it or not they are forgiven, which is going to be even worse for them
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  19. BreadOfLife

    BreadOfLife Well-Known Member

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    Good grief – here we go again . . .

    I was just packing for a little vacation this weekend and thought I’d have one last look at the posts on this forum before I left – and I saw this putrid pile of anti-Catholic manure. You guys have GOT to stop reading those moronic Jack Chick tracts. This thread is so full of gaping holes, it’s difficult to know just where to begin . . .

    First of all – the Church NEVER sold indulgences. Let me repeat that: The Church NEVER sold indulgences.

    This was an abuse by men like Johan Tetzel. If you honestly believe that this was mandated by the Church – then produce the document, declaration or decree from the Pope. You CAN’T because it NEVER happened. This is yet another anti-Catholic LIE that ignorant people like YOU spread with impunity.

    Thirdly – the doctrine of Purgatory or a final cleansing is Biblical (2 Macc. 42-46, Cor. 3:12-15, Matt. 5:25-26, Matt. 18:32-35 and Luke 12:58-59). It is not a later “invention”. It wasn’t “invented” in the 6th century.

    Now – I am leaving later on today for my mini-vacation. If ANY of you wants to debate this – then let’s debate. HOWEVER – you’d better come prepared with some actual evidence for your claims – and not just quotes from an anti-Catholic author. Bring HISTORICL proof . . .

    Oh, by the way – here is what the Early Church taught about PurgatoryLONG before this phony claim about the 6th century.

    Look at the DATES, people . . .

    Abercius
    "The citizen of a prominent city, I erected this while I lived, that I might have a resting place for my body. Abercius is my name, a disciple of the chaste shepherd who feeds his sheep on the mountains and in the fields, who has great eyes surveying everywhere, who taught me the faithful writings of life. Standing by, I, Abercius, ordered this to be inscribed; truly I was in my seventy-second year. May everyone who is in accord with this and who understands it pray for Abercius" (Epitaph of Abercius [A.D. 180]).

    Tertullian
    "We offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries" (The Crown 3:3 [A.D. 211]).

    Lactantius
    "But also, when God will judge the just, it is likewise in fire that he will try them. At that time, they whose sins are uppermost, either because of their gravity or their number, will be drawn together by the fire and will be burned. Those, however, who have been imbued with full justice and maturity of virtue, will not feel that fire; for they have something of God in them which will repel and turn back the strength of the flame" (The Divine Institutions 7:21:6 [inter A.D. 304-310]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem
    "Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep, for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn sacrifice is laid out" (Catechetical Lectures 23:Mystagogic 5:9 [A.D. 350]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem
    "And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. I know that there are many who are saying this: 'If a soul departs from this world with sins, what does it profit it to be remembered in the prayer?' Well, if a king were to banish certain persons who had offended him, and those intervening for them were to plait a crown and offer it to him on behalf of the ones who were being punished, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we too offer prayers to him for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners. We do not plait a crown, but offer up Christ who has been sacrificed for our sins; and we thereby propitiate the benevolent God for them as well as for ourselves" (Ibid. 5:10[A.D. 350]).

    Gregory of Nyssa
    " If he have inclined to the irrational pressure of the passions, using for the passions the cooperating hide of things irrational, he may afterward in a quite different manner be very much interested in what is better, when, after his departure out of the body, he gains knowledge of the difference between virtue and vice and finds that he is not able to partake of divinity until he has been purged of the filthy contagion in his soul by the purifying fire" (Sermon on the Dead [A.D. 382]).

    Epiphanius
    "Useful too is the prayer fashioned on their behalf (the dead), even if it does not force back the whole of guilty charges laid to them. And it is useful also, because in this world we often stumble either voluntarily or involuntarily, and thus it is a reminder to do better" (Panacea Against All Heresies 75:8 [inter A.D. 374-377]).

    John Chrysostom
    "Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extant of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed BY THE APOSTLES that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf" (Homilies on the Epistle to the Philippians 3:9-10 [inter A.D. 398-404]).

    Augustine
    "There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. It is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended" (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 391-430]).

    Augustine
    "But by the prayers of the Holy Church, and by the salvific sacrifice, and by the alms which are given for their spirits, there is no doubt that the dead are aided, that the Lord might deal more mercifully with them than their sins would deserve. The whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prays for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them, on their behalf. If, then, works of mercy are celebrated for the sake of those who are being remembered, who would hesitate to recommend them, on whose behalf prayers to God are not offered in vain? It is not at all to be doubted that such prayers are of profit to the dead; but for such of them as lived before their death in a way that makes it possible for these things to be useful to them after death" (Ibid. 172:2).

    Augustine
    "The man who has cultivated that remote land and who has gotten his bread by his very great labor is able to suffer this labor to the end of this life. After this life, however, it is not necessary that he suffer. But the man who perhaps has not cultivated the land and has allowed it to be overrun with brambles has in this life the curse of his land on all his works, and after this life he will have either purgatorial fire or eternal punishment" (Genesis Defended Against the Manichaeans 2:20:30 [A.D. 389]).

    Augustine
    "Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment" (The City of God 21:13 [inter A.D. 413-426]).

    Augustine
    "That there should be some fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire" (Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 18:69 [A.D. 421]).
     
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  20. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    Enjoy your vacation.
     
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