As noted in the previous post, Protestant Christianity differs significantly from Orthodox Christianity and from Catholicism. There are aspects of Protestant Christianity not found in these other, older branches of Christendom.
Christian Zionism is a relatively recent phenomena among some Protestant denominations and among some non-denominational Christians. For our purposes, Christians who unquestioningly support the modern state of Israel and who believe that Jews are still the “apple of God’s eye” and thus are worthy of their support in all matters can be considered Christian Zionists. As well, these Christians do not believe they ought to attempt to evangelize Jews (both secular and religious Jews) as these “chosen” people are still governed by the Old Covenant.
Protestant Christianity differs significantly from Orthodox Christianity and from Catholicism. There are aspects of Protestant Christianity not found in these other, older branches of Christendom.
As to the Paulist teaching that Christians are saved, sanctified or justified by faith alone, consider Christ’s public ministry. Read the Gospels. Christ was not a lone hermit or sage living in a remote cave or deep in the forest or on a distant mountain top. No, He was out among the people. He performed many miracles and did many loving, charitable works in His time on Earth. Think on this.
As Protestants look to Scripture, let me suggest you read the following verses from the letter of James, and think on them.
Read James, Chapter One, verses 22 – 23. Read James, Chapter Two, verses 14 through 26.
Today, we offer some constructive criticism to those self identifying as Christians.
G K Chesterton (died 1936) lamented that “Christianity had been found difficult and was left untried.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), 130 years ago, claimed that Christians lived their lives no differently than pagans.
There is a lesson here.
If some accounts or sections in the Bible were (are) allegorical or metaphorical in nature and not literally accurate, would that cause your faith to come crashing down like a house of cards?
While perusing other blogs, I came across a blogger who spends much time attempting to prove that the Earth was created in 6 days and also to disprove the accepted science that the Earth is billions of years old. He disputes that there are mountain chains many millions of years old today on the planet. Basically, this man is insisting on a literal interpretation to all that is in the Bible.
Our feature image is of low lying clouds over the bay seen from the Bay Bridge in early twilight.
As to this idea of predestination in Protestant circles of mental speculation, we do not buy it.
Because it negates human free will. You cannot have both free will and predestination.
Here is how we see it. As Boethius (died circa 521 A.D.) wrote that God exists outside of time, it follows that He sees past, present and future all in one glance so to speak. But God’s foreknowledge (remember we are taught to believe that God is all-knowing) of what we will choose does not condition or necessitate that choice. God knows how we will freely choose, but His advance knowledge does not make us choose what we choose.
This is Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi, India. The picture was taken on 3 February 2017.
From the late Middle Ages, this work of art depicts the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (as a dove). These pictures are of works that are on display at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco.
The purpose of religion is to teach people how to love God. That was said by Srila Prabhupada (1896 – 1977), a Vedic religious teacher and prolific author who helped to popularize the Vedic religion, Hinduism, in the West in the 1960s and 1970s.
If we accept this statement, then we will likely conclude that some religions are doing a poor job of fulfilling their purpose.
Loving God, we think, requires more than just attendance at ritualized worship services, more than reciting (by rote) Scripture verses, more than socializing and fellowship with like-minded co-religionists. Loving God requires an internal change – call it a change of heart if you like. One needs to go beyond the mere outward displays of religiosity and work at centering one’s consciousness on God and awakening what Prabhupada referred to as our “innate love for God” – that is deep within our souls.