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Old 12-20-2012, 12:18 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Then we simply beg to differ on the issue of marriage and Christianity. I am not convinced by your arguements, and you are not convinced by mine.

I'm happy to beg to differ. We could go on but I think we both know by now that it would be fruitless.
Well, it's ok to differ.

The Baha'i view of progressive revelation is also related to "completness" of a religion.
Abdulbaha said, Religions have two parts: The Social Laws, and Spiritual Laws.
So, to me, if a Religion has also better social laws, that means more complete.

It seems to me Jesus has focused more on Spiritual Laws than Social Laws. Although in my view, He did also talk about some of the social laws, such as divorce, which was different than Jewish Faith.

But like I said, I don't believe, Revelation of Jesus abrogated all Social Laws of Jewish Faith. I understand you differ on this as well.
What I can say, is New Testament is somewhat more progressive than Old Testament.
When It comes to comparing Islam and Christianity, It seems, Islam is more complete in terms of social Laws. Although its social laws are not suitable for our Age anymore. But I think to judge, it is important to see each one in the Age they appeared, and were meant for.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-20-2012 at 12:40 PM.
 
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #202
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I am glad that we can differ on good terms

You see, I as a Catholic see it from a totally different perspective.

I see that Jesus didn't have any specific teachings on society or law because he didn't deliver a religious legal system but rather returned to 'natural law', rather than changeable, imperfect, human law.

I believe that he abolished the Jewish law, since it is unecessary when one returns to natural law, of which any positive law including the Torah is simply an imperfect application thereof. The Book of Hebrews in the Bible confirms that he abolished the law with its requirements.

Moses brought the law, Jesus brought grace.

I also don't see his teachings even on divorce as 'legal', since he didn't base his arguement on the Jewish Torah as the Pharisees expected, but on God's creation of Adam and Eve - that is, on natural law. Surely you can see this?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
I believe that he abolished the Jewish law, since it is unecessary when one returns to natural law, of which any positive law including the Torah is simply an imperfect application thereof. The Book of Hebrews in the Bible confirms that he abolished the law with its requirements.
Can you please quote this?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Can you please quote this?
The letter of Hebrews goes so far as to declare as I said before:

Quote:
Hebrews 8:13

He [Jesus] is the mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second...By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated is ready to vanish away

Quote:
Also Hebrews 10:9:

NRSV

He abolishes the first [covenant] in order to establish the second
Commenting on this passage, Pope Pius:


Quote:
"...By the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area - He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel - the Law and the Gospel were together in force; but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [and] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom...”

- Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, (1943) para. 29

Remember, the Old Law was not supersceded entirely until the Last Supper and his death, when he abolished it in the blood of the New. Before the Last Supper when he inaugurated the New Covenant, the law and the Gospel were both in force, although he was easing his way towards full abrogation by shocking the Pharisees and breaking laws. The New Covenant was not yet born until the Last Supper and his death. When Jesus said those words at the table, "the blood of the New Covenant", that was the moment, the Jewish Torah ended as its Messiah declared the birth of the New Covenant. Jesus was crucified as a blasphemer under the Old Law, and he nailed it to the cross with him, abolishing it, voiding it, making it null and obsolete in all its commandments, laws, regulations, ordinances, rituals etc.


Also Ephesians 2:15:


Quote:
New International Version (©1984)
by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,

New Living Translation (©2007)
He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.

Honestly, the Torah law is not binding in any way on Christians. It is outdated (as of 2000 years ago!), imperfect, it has faults and Jesus abolished its commandments, ordinances, regulations etc. the entire system of law, rendering it obsolete.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 01:53 PM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 01:39 PM   #205
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"...In this Torah, which is Jesus himself, the abiding essence of what was inscribed on the stone tablets at Sinai is now written in living flesh, namely, the twofold commandment of love. . . . To imitate him, to follow him in discipleship, is therefore to keep Torah, which has been fulfilled in him once and for all. Thus the Sinai covenant is indeed superseded. But once what was provisional in it has been swept away, we see what is truly definitive in it..."

—Pope Benedict XVI, Many Religions, One Covenant

The Pope, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, gave an excellent and accurate description above.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-20-2012 at 01:47 PM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:13 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Honestly, the Torah law is not binding in any way on Christians. It is outdated (as of 2000 years ago!), imperfect, it has faults and Jesus abolished its commandments, ordinances, regulations etc. the entire system of law, rendering it obsolete.
So, for example, one of the Laws of Torah was: "Thou shall not Murder"
Is this not binding anymore for Christians?

Sure it is:

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder', and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Mat 5:21-22)


Now, the question is, if someone commits murder, according to Christianity how should a Murderer be treated? Should they put him to death? should they put him in prison? should them let him be free, and let him kill others and at the end he will be judged by God and will be taken to hell instead? What solution Christianity have?

Likewise for adultery. What should they do with a man who commits adultery with the neighbour? in OT, he would be put to death. What about in Christianity?

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-20-2012 at 05:16 PM.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:30 PM   #207
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Investigate,

On page 1 of this thread I wrote this:

Quote:
Wikipedia has a (remarkably) decent (and referenced) overview of the Catholic scholastic teaching vis-a-vis the Old Covenant laws:

Quote:
Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas explained that there are three types of biblical precepts: moral, ceremonial, and judicial. He holds that moral precepts are permanent, having held even before the Law was given, since they are part of the law of nature;[9] ceremonial precepts, which deal with forms of worshipping God and ritual cleanness; and judicial precepts (such as those in Exodus 21[10]) came into existence only with the Law of Moses,[11] and were only temporary. The ceremonial commands were "ordained to the Divine worship for that particular time and to the foreshadowing of Christ".[12] Accordingly, upon the coming of Christ they ceased to bind,[13] and to observe them now would, Aquinas thought, be equivalent to declaring falsely that Christ has not yet come, for Christians a mortal sin.[14]...

Unlike the ceremonial and judicial precepts, moral commands continue to bind, and are summed up in the Ten Commandments. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

"2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: 'The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord ... the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.'"

2070. The Ten Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person. The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law: "From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 15, 1: PG 7/1, 1012).

2072. Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbour, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. The Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart


Other than the Ten Commandments and any strictly ethical teachings (not laws) relating to them (although even these are derived from a stage of revelation less progressive than the New Testament), none of the judicial laws, punishments or social teachings of the Pentateuch are binding or in any way relevant to Christians. We are strictly forbidden to observe them since they were ordained towards a specific time period and are therefore post-Jesus "imperfect and provisional" as the Second Vatican Council taught.

The Ten Commandments are of the "essence" of the Torah that is still binding, and will always be binding, because they are eternal and immutable.

Everybody can look into their conscience and innately know the moral truths which the Ten Commandments teach.

They are part of the natural law.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:39 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Now, the question is, if someone commits murder, according to Christianity how should a Murderer be treated? Should they put him to death? should they put him in prison? should them let him be free, and let him kill others and at the end he will be judged by God and will be taken to hell instead? What solution Christianity have?


Quote:
"...I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary, that there no longer be recourse to capital punishment, given that states today have the means to efficaciously control crime, without definitively taking away an offender's possibility to redeem himself. Our model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is therefore in opposition to the Gospel message. The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will acclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of Life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform...The universal abolition of the death penalty would be a courageous reaffirmation of the belief that humankind can be successful in dealing with criminality and of our refusal to succumb to despair before such forces, and as such it would regenerate new hope in our very humanity..." - Pope John Paul II, 1999

Likewise for adultery. What should they do with a man who commits adultery with the neighbour? in OT, he would be put to death. What about in Christianity?
Jesus explicitly halted the stoning of a woman. Adultery simply shouldn't be "punished". Its a gravely immoral and selfish act, but if a person wants to do it no one should stop them. Its of no business to the state but between that person and God.

On death, that is for the state to determine. It is not religion's place to mandate a judicial punishment.

Nonetheless, the early church fathers believed that murderers should not be executed since they opposed the death penalty, as does the modern day Catholic church:





Quote:
"We cannot endure even to see a man put to death, though justly.” – Saint Athenagoras of Athens (aprox 180 AD), Church Father, A Plea for the Christians 35

"When God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits the violence that is condemned by public laws, but he also forbids the violence that is deemed lawful by men. Thus it is not lawful for a just man to engage in warfare, since his warfare is justice itself. Nor is it lawful to accuse anyone of a capital offense. It makes no difference whether you put a man to death by word, or by the sword. It is the act of putting to death itself which is prohibited. Therefore, regarding this precept of God there should be no exception at all. Rather it is always unlawful to put to death a man, whom God willed to be a sacred animal.” – Lactantius, Church Father (aprox 240-317 AD), Divine Institutes 6.20

"During the first few centuries after Jesus' execution, Christians were instructed to not participate in the execution of a criminal, to not attend public executions, and even to not lay a charge against a person if it might possibly eventually result in their execution. Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr and other Christian writers who discussed capital punishment during the first three centuries after Jesus' execution were absolutely opposed to it." - VIEWS OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN MOVEMENTS ON THE DEATH PENALTY

Catholics are entitled to have their own opinions on the death pebalty, even though the church condemns it, as Pope Benedict explained a few years back:

Quote:
if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

Abortion - Pro Life - Cardinal Ratzinger on Voting, Abortion, and Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:42 PM   #209
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The letter of Hebrews goes so far as to declare as I said before.....
Well, It depends how you interpret that verse.

But like I said, If Jesus had said the Laws of Torah are abrogated, then that's it. It depends what the Manifestation explicitly had said.

What I found out, is that, even among Christians there is not much agreement if the laws of Old Testament still holds for Christians or not:

"Many traditional Christians have the view that only parts are applicable, many Protestants have the view that none is applicable, dual-covenant theologians have the view that only Noahide Laws apply to Gentiles, and a minority have the view that all are still applicable to believers in Jesus and the New Covenant."
Christian views on the old covenant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Logic says, If Jesus had anounced that the Laws of Torah are abrogated, then we can agree. Otherwise, it is just not clear if Christians decided that on their own or not.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
The Logic says, If Jesus had anounced that the Laws of Torah are abrogated, then we can agree. Otherwise, it is just not clear if Christians decided that on their own or not.
There are hundreds of forms of Christianity. I believe that Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the two oldest churches, correctly teach the correct understanding because it is the same understanding of the earliest Fathers.

There is no disagreement within the Catholic Church on this issue.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #211
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Jesus explicitly halted the stoning of a woman. Adultery simply shouldn't be "punished".
I think I can agree on that.

That is what I am saying. If Jesus halted a law of punishment, then that is the true view of Christianity as define by Jesus who was the Founder of Christianity.

Likewise, regarding other punishments, if Jesus abrogated them, I can agree, that is the true view of Christianity, otherwise, in my view, it is not the True view of Christianity. It is just trying to make it user friendly.



Quote:
On death, that is for the state to determine. It is not religion's place to mandate a judicial punishment.
But, that is your opinion Yeshua and you are entitled to it.
In my view, if Jesus had explicitly said something like"It is not religion's place to mandate a judicial punishment" then I can understand, that would be the Christian view.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 07:59 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
I think the reason that Baha'u'llah did not abrogate the Law regarding pork, is because, the Bab already announced that the Laws of Islam are abrogated.
Source please. I remember Tahirih doing this, but not the Bab.

Quote:
There was no need for Baha'u'llah to mention that with regards to such minor laws.
For a Muslim or a Jew this would hardly be a minor law!

Quote:
The reason that Shoghi Effendi said, there is nothing that prohibits from Pork, is because, that Law was already abrogated by the Bab.
And you know Shoghi Effendi's reasons how?

Quote:
Is that letter part of the Bible?
Yes, although most scholars believe it was written in the second century.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
You've forgotten (or omitted to mention) that deacons, the lowest level of clergy who in the early church had very few responsibilities compared with bishops, other than assisting the local bishops and elders (presbyters, priests),
I would disagree with you there. Besides distributing the sacraments, which often meant going door to door, the deacons were responsible for looking after the needs of the impoverished Christians and there were a lot of them!

Quote:
According to 1 Timothy an "ideal man" is thus a monogamous man and this is the example for the rest of the community.
I would agree with you there. But it also suggests that some Christians were *not* monogamous at this point. And we are talking about the second century.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 08:29 PM   #214
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[ You have to keep in mind that very early in church history sex and sin came to be nearly equated. Celibacy was the ideal and marriage was for those who couldn't handle celibacy. Or as Paul put it, "It is better to marry than to burn."

Quote:
But I think, there has been many Christians who also thought otherwise, which I am not going to quote them here.
Very, very few Christians practiced polygamy.

Quote:
Had the Bible been clear on this issue, there should not have been different opinions on it.
Since when have Christians not had different opinions about virtually everything regardless of what is in the Bible?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 08:59 PM   #215
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Yes, It can be said that Christian Revelation allowed divorce in the case of sexual immorality.
Likewise, it may be said Christianity allowed Polygamy, except in the case of Bishops and deacons. But did not put a limmit on the number of wives for others.
And maybe indirectly taught an Ideal relation is Monogamy, but not in a explicit way. It is a little vague to me. It does not seem to address polygamy clearly.
I think we need to make some clear distinctions here. We can debate whether or not Jesus ever insisted on monogamy. We can argue about what the Bible says or means. We can even debate that there may well have been some bigamy or polygamy within the church as late as the second century when the pastoral letters were written. But when it comes to the question of what does Christianity teach there can be no debate between Baha'is and Christians because only the church can say what Christianity teaches. We have no voice in that. We can't tell Christians what they believe.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #216
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The relationship between Israel and God is framed as a monogamous relationship and the faithfulness between the two is defined as holiness and explicitly harks back to the monogamy of Adam and Eve
I'm not sure that proves anything, Yeshua. It's not like Adam had a choice! Monogamy is always going to be the norm even in societies where polygamy is explicitly allowed for the simple reason that males and females tend to come out about even. So as long as there is nothing artificially decreasing the male population, monogamy will be the rule.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:29 PM   #217
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He's probably right about conciliarism. Collegiality is in my opinion the more important, realistic and feasible idea to push
But it is Conciliarism which could possibly re-unite the church. It is hard to see how collegiality would achieve that.

Quote:
It has never been fully implemented yet in the manner in which Lumen Gentium describes, partly because of the long, centralised very hands-on approach to the papacy that Blessed John Paul II took. One of the main things Benedict has achieved in his papacy is a less centralized one.
I was always under the impression that it was Ratzinger himself who was behind all this centralization during the reign Pope John Paul II.

Quote:
You're not wrong there. Some American Catholics scare me! In fact American Christians in general scare me. They seem cut off from the rest of the Catholic world. I don't know, they just act Evangelical Protestant-like. Is there something in the air over there? They're so conservative that the current Vatican looks like a bunch of hippies in comparison. All this stuff about being "saved", "big government" etc.
Paul Ryan, Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty are hardly representative of most American Catholics. The ones I know are closer to the Nuns on the Bus (who Pope Benedict does not like one bit.)

Where are you, by the way?

Quote:
I'm very familiar with Dominus Iesus and also think it has had a very poor press mainly because most people are unaware of the intracies of Catholic teaching on salvation for those outside the church. Its not as simple as the Evangelical dictum, "if your not a believer in Christ, your damned".
I would think that extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is even more restrictive. I'll grant you, the church has defined these in such a way to provide the possibility of non-Christians being saved but what it really fails to do in my opinion is acknowledge the extent of God's activity outside the church. There is a document you might want to look at by the Universal House of Justice. Message to the World's Religious Leaders | Universal House of Justice | UHJ
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
From what I saw, this has been a subject of arguments from the time of early Christianity.
Can you give us an example of early Christians who believed in polygamy? The only ones I can think of date from the Reformation or later.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:51 PM   #219
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I see that Jesus didn't have any specific teachings on society or law because he didn't deliver a religious legal system but rather returned to 'natural law', rather than changeable, imperfect, human law.
I realize that the concept of Natural Law plays a big role in Catholic theology but did anyone besides Paul ever even speak of it?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:58 PM   #220
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The letter of Hebrews goes so far as to declare as I said before:
Yeshua, none of those biblical quotes you cited say anything about natural law. As near as I can tell the only biblical support for the notion of natural law is based on Paul's letter to the Romans 2:14

"14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another"

I don't see Paul arguing here that the the Jewish Law should be replace by Natural Law. To the contrary, he is arguing that because Natural Law and the Torah coincide people stand just as condemned before God as do the Jews. If they don't know they one, they knew the other.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 10:03 PM   #221
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[QUOTE=Yeshua;37614
The Ten Commandments are of the "essence" of the Torah that is still binding, and will always be binding, because they are eternal and immutable.[/QUOTE]

Then why don't Christians observe the Sabbath?

Quote:
Everybody can look into their conscience and innately know the moral truths which the Ten Commandments teach.
They are part of the natural law.
Really? The law of the Sabbath?
 
Old 12-21-2012, 05:27 AM   #222
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Source please. I remember Tahirih doing this, but not the Bab.
Even if Tahirih did that, She did that under the leadership of Baha'u'llah.
But I think, since the Bab revealed a new Book of Laws, namely Bayan, that is anouncing a new Law.
Even if you think That cannot be concidered as formally announcing the abrogation of Islamic Laws, Baha'u'llah in Turkey has done that.
It is in the Book "God Passes By":

"Accelerated, twenty years later (after the Bab), by another trumpet-blast (Baha'u'llah), announcing the formulation of the laws of yet another Dispensation ..... the annulment of the Sharí’ah canonical Law in Turkey, led to the virtual abandonment of that Law in Shí’ah Persia..."


Quote:
For a Muslim or a Jew this would hardly be a minor law!
Yes, perhaps that is true for some muslims. But even if it is a major Law, the argument still holds.




Quote:
And you know Shoghi Effendi's reasons how?
It is clear from God Passes By, that Shoghi Effendi believed All the Islamic Laws were abrogated. Thus, Baha'is need to follow the Laws ordained by Baha'u'llah. Since, there is nothing in Baha'u'llah's Writings that prohibits pork, the Baha'is can eat it as much as they want.


"This Book (Bayan) at once abrogated the laws and ceremonials enjoined by the Qur’án regarding prayer, fasting, marriage, divorce and inheritance..." God Passes By, p.20


"A year later, His followers, under the actual leadership of Bahá’u’lláh, their fellow-disciple, were themselves, in the hamlet of Badasht, abrogating the Qur’ánic Law, repudiating both the divinely-ordained and man-made precepts of the Faith of Muḥammad, and shaking off the shackles of its antiquated system." God Passes By, p.26

"In conclusion of this theme, I feel, it should be stated that the Revelation identified with Bahá’u’lláh abrogates unconditionally all the Dispensations gone before it" God Passes By, p.64


I think it is fair to say, the Baha'i Writings very clearly states that the Laws of Islam are abrogated. But regarding New Testament, there is nothing that clearly says the Laws of Torah are abrogated.

As Jesus said in Matt. 5:17:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (New International Version)

"Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose." (New Living Translation)

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-21-2012 at 05:39 AM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 05:43 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
I think we need to make some clear distinctions here. We can debate whether or not Jesus ever insisted on monogamy. We can argue about what the Bible says or means. We can even debate that there may well have been some bigamy or polygamy within the church as late as the second century when the pastoral letters were written. But when it comes to the question of what does Christianity teach there can be no debate between Baha'is and Christians because only the church can say what Christianity teaches. We have no voice in that. We can't tell Christians what they believe.
Yes, I agree. Although the various Churches have different opinions themselves.
We use the Bible, as to see the Message of Jesus, and use Baha'i interpretations and explainations to understand what was the original Christianity as defined by Jesus.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 05:46 AM   #224
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Can you give us an example of early Christians who believed in polygamy? The only ones I can think of date from the Reformation or later.
I Think I have seen that in Wikipedia. Please see my previous post with the link.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 06:23 AM   #225
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Where are you, by the way?
The UK

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I would think that extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is even more restrictive.
You would think, yes, but it isn't as simple as that. Catholicism is a both/and tradition as the scholar I quoted earlier said. This means that we often have contradictory (or apparently contradictory) emphasises in the same church.

The doctrine of baptism by implicit desire, the idea derived from the Fathers of being outside the ark (church) bodily but within it in heart and the doctrine of "seeds of the word" in all religion which stems from the Fathers and the Universal action of the Holy Spirit, must be taken alongside this solitary phrase.

Let me give you the example of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.

When Pope Eugene IV made his famous statement of EENS (no salvation outside the catholic church) at the Council of Florence, who became his primary defender? He underwent much opposition but his staunchest defender was a man called Nicholas of Cusa. This man stuck by him all the way, and because of this Pope Eugene IV wanted to make him a Cardinal but Cusa declined. Later on the dying Pope Eugene IV basically told his close friend and defender to accept this honour, and so obeduently did, upon which he became the Papacy's right hand man - the highest ranking Cardinal in the entire Church at this time, to the extent that when the subsequent Pope Pius II wasn't in Rome Cardinal Cusa ruled in his stead as de facto leader of the Church there. He was a Titan of the medeival church.

Quote:
"...Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), cardinal, theologian and envoy of Pope Eugene IV. His efforts on the pope's behalf earned for Nicholas the nickname 'Hercules of the Eugenians'..."

"...Nicholas of Cusa, the determined champion of Pope Eugene IV at so many imperial diets during the 1440s, was rewarded by the Pope by being made a Cardinal..."

- Joachim W. Stieber

Now Nicholas of Cusa, this powerful cardinal, believed absolutely in EENS:


Quote:
"...Nicholas of Cusa was known in his time as one of the great defenders of Pope Eugene IV...He agreed with Pope Eugene IV (and that includes the role the Church has in salvation). He was also able to look beyond the Christian faith, and to see other religious traditions as being representations of the same basic religious truth, with each religion pointing in various ways to the one truth known and possessed by Christians. This is not to say each religion is of equal value or worth; he believed that the founders of world religions were inspired by God, but the human equation got in the way, and led to various imperfections which need to be purified in order for the members of those religions to see how their faith and tradition ultimately points to what is found in the Christian faith...He could be said to be an inclusivist..."

- Henry Karlson

The reason I bring this up is because the doctrine of EENS, has a long pedigree in Catholic history of not being interpreted restrictively so as too block any recognition of truths in other religions.

Here are some words from Cusa, "The Hercules of the Eugenians":

Quote:
"...But, how should we bring the manifold of religions to one unity, since our people have defended their religion with blood, and they hardly will be willing to accept a new, unified religion?

Answer: You should not introduce a new religion. But, you should yourselves comprehend, and then show to the peoples, that the true religion is presupposed before all other religions. The unity is before the separation occurs...You will find that not another faith but the one and the same faith is presupposed everywhere...Moses had described a path to God, but this path was neither taken up by everyone nor was it understood by everyone. Jesus illuminated and perfected this path; nevertheless, many even now remain unbelievers. Muhammad tried to make the same path easier, so that it might be accepted by all, even idolaters. These are the most famous of the said paths to God, although many others were presented by the wise and the prophets...Even though you acknowledge diverse religions, you all presuppose in all of this diversity the one, which you call wisdom...There can only be one wisdom. For if it were possible that there be several wisdoms, then these would have to be from one. Namely, unity is prior to all plurality...It is you, O God, who is being sought in various religions in various ways, and named with various names. For you remain as you are, to all incomprehensible and inexpressible. When you will graciously grant it, then sword, jealous hatred and evil will cease and all will come to know that there is but one religion in the variety of religious faiths..."

- Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401 –1464)
Quote:
I'll grant you, the church has defined these in such a way to provide the possibility of non-Christians being saved but what it really fails to do in my opinion is acknowledge the extent of God's activity outside the church.

Really?

Quote:
"...I have wished to recall the ancient doctrine formulated by the Fathers of the Church, which says that we must recognize “the seeds of the Word” present and active in the various religions (Ad gentes, n. 11; Lumen gentium, n. 17). This doctrine leads us to affirm that, though the routes taken may be different, “there is but a single goal to which is directed the deepest aspiration of the human spirit as expressed in its quest for God and also in its quest, through its tending towards God, for the full dimension of its humanity, or in other words, for the full meaning of human life” (Redemptor hominis, n. 11).

The “seeds of truth” present and active in the various religious traditions are a reflection of the unique Word of God, who “enlightens every man coming into world” (cf. Jn 1:9) and who became flesh in Christ Jesus (cf. Jn 1:14). They are together an “effect of the Spirit of truth operating outside the visible confines of the Mystical Body” and which “blows where it wills” (Jn 3:8; cf. Redemptor hominis, nn. 6, 12).

Every quest of the human spirit for truth and goodness, and in the last analysis for God, is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The various religions arose precisely from this primordial human openness to God. At their origins we often find founders who, with the help of God's Spirit, achieved a deeper religious experience. Handed on to others, this experience took form in the doctrines, rites and precepts of the various religions.

In every authentic religious experience, the most characteristic expression is prayer. Because of the human spirit's constitutive openness to God's action of urging it to self-transcendence, we can hold that "every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in the heart of every person". We experienced an eloquent manifestation of this truth at the World Day of Prayer for Peace on 27 October 1986 in Assisi, and on other similar occasions of great spiritual intensity.

3. The Holy Spirit is not only present in other religions through authentic expressions of prayer. "The Spirit's presence and activity", as I wrote in the Encyclical Letter Redemptoris missio, "affect not only individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions" (n. 28). Indeed, the Spirit is at the origin of the noble ideals and undertakings which benefit humanity on its journey through history...For the reasons mentioned here, the attitude of the Church and of individual Christians towards other religions is marked by sincere respect, profound sympathy and, when possible and appropriate, cordial collaboration. This does not mean forgetting that Jesus Christ is the one Mediator and Saviour of the human race. Nor does it mean lessening our missionary efforts, to which we are bound in obedience to the risen Lord’s command...The attitude of respect and dialogue is instead the proper recognition of the “seeds of the Word” and the “groanings of the Spirit”...May the Spirit of truth and love, in view of the third millennium now close at hand, guide us on the paths of the proclamation of Jesus Christ and of the dialogue of peace and brotherhood with the followers of all religions!..."

- Blessed Pope John Paul II, General Audience Address, September 16, 1998, Vatican

BTW I love that document of the UHJ. Brilliant as is many of the documents they produce!

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-21-2012 at 06:29 AM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Paul Ryan, Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty are hardly representative of most American Catholics. The ones I know are closer to the Nuns on the Bus (who Pope Benedict does not like one bit.)
I sympathised very much with the plight of the nuns. They took a brave stand though. They aren't the first either. Do you know of the Australian saint Mary McKillop? I see incredible similarities. I am reminded also of Saint Catherine of Siena, the woman who by herself on a solitary mission to France after years of letter-writing ended the Avignon exile and saved the city of Rome by walking at the pope's side back into Rome before dying at the tender age of 30 and who said:

Quote:
"Catherine: My sex, you know is here an obstacle for many reasons, whether because men disparage it or because of modesty, for it is not good that a woman consort with men.

God: Isn't it I who have created the human race, and divided it into male and female? I dispense where I want the grace of my spirit. In my eyes there is neither male nor female nor rich nor poor. All are equal for I can work my will through all equally"

- Saint Catherine of Siena (1347–1380), Catholic mystic & Doctor of the Church

That's recorded by Raymond of Capua.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-21-2012 at 04:45 PM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 09:18 AM   #227
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Yeshua wrote:

There are hundreds of forms of Christianity. I believe that Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the two oldest churches, correctly teach the correct understanding because it is the same understanding of the earliest Fathers.
My comment:

"hundreds" of forms of Christianity?

Try over thirty thousand...

See:

The Facts and Stats on 33000 Denominations: World Christian Encyclopedia (2001, 2nd edition)

Last edited by arthra; 12-21-2012 at 09:24 AM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 09:37 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by arthra View Post
Yeshua wrote:

There are hundreds of forms of Christianity. I believe that Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the two oldest churches, correctly teach the correct understanding because it is the same understanding of the earliest Fathers.
My comment:

"hundreds" of forms of Christianity?

Try over thirty thousand...

See:

The Facts and Stats on 33000 Denominations: World Christian Encyclopedia (2001, 2nd edition)

Yes you are right there brother Arthra

I was thinking more in terms of main denominations of which the number is probably smaller...

To be "fair" though there are only four Apostolic (pre-reformation) churches:


1) Roman Catholicism

2) Eastern Orthodoxy

3) Oriental Orthodoxy

4) Assyrian Church of the East



I would "sometimes" add the Anglican Communion even though it isn't strictly apostolic. In Catholic eyes these four are the four "real" churches with valid sacraments, theologies, saints etc. The protestant denominations are worthy of great respect and are vehicles of salvation due to the sacrament of baptism which puts these individual Christians in an imperfect communion with the Catholic Church, however we call them "ecclesial Communities" rather than 'churches' in the sense that the above four are. The Holy Spirit is nevertheless still active in these Protestant denominations and they are our brothers in Christ.

Its Protestantism that has led to this dizzying number of churches, the four apostolic, ancient churches are generally speaking basically unified within themselves apart from some tiny schismatic groups.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-21-2012 at 10:29 AM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 10:12 AM   #229
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What about the Copts?
 
Old 12-21-2012, 10:21 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by arthra View Post
What about the Copts?
Arthra, the Coptic Church is part of the Oriental Orthodox Communion

Wikipedia:

Quote:
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus...Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from those that are collectively referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Oriental Orthodox communion comprises six churches: Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Eritrean Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church) and Armenian Apostolic churches.[3]
The Catholic Church has very good relations with the Oriental Orthodox Communion:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/po...riental-ch.htm

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-21-2012 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #231
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Yep that's quite a few...
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
But I think, since the Bab revealed a new Book of Laws, namely Bayan, that is anouncing a new Law.
But your whole argument all along is that if a Manifestation does not explicitly abrogate a law of the previous dispensation it remains in affect.

Quote:
Even if you think That cannot be concidered as formally announcing the abrogation of Islamic Laws, Baha'u'llah in Turkey has done that.
It is in the Book "God Passes By":

"Accelerated, twenty years later (after the Bab), by another trumpet-blast (Baha'u'llah), announcing the formulation of the laws of yet another Dispensation ..... the annulment of the Sharí’ah canonical Law in Turkey, led to the virtual abandonment of that Law in Shí’ah Persia..."
Your ellipses completely altered the meaning of that passage. Shoghi Effendi is talking about the processes of disintegration in the Middle East. Canonical Law in Turkey was annulled by Ataturk and it was Reza Shah who caused the shariah to be virtually abandoned in Iran. (Guess what? It's back!)

Quote:
It is clear from God Passes By, that Shoghi Effendi believed All the Islamic Laws were abrogated.
True, which proves your position that the Manifestation has to explicitly abrogate the laws of a previous dispensation for them to be no longer binding is false. That's the very issue we are arguing about.

Quote:
I think it is fair to say, the Baha'i Writings very clearly states that the Laws of Islam are abrogated.
Usually what we mean by Baha'i Writings we mean the Writings of the Bab and Baha'u'llah (and maybe Abdu'l-Baha.) But your belief that the Laws of Islam are abrogated come from Shoghi Effendi.

Quote:
But regarding New Testament, there is nothing that clearly says the Laws of Torah are abrogated.
Yes, there is. The writings of Paul say this. Read Galatians and Romans. Most Christians regard Paul as just as authoritative as we regard Shoghi Effendi.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:09 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
We use the Bible, as to see the Message of Jesus, and use Baha'i interpretations and explainations to understand what was the original Christianity as defined by Jesus.
There is no Christianity until after Jesus dies so we can't say it was defined by Him.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:12 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
dual-covenant theologians have the view that only Noahide Laws apply to Gentiles,
This is the position which James (Jesus' brother) took at the first church council in Jerusalem, but it was not Paul's position. Only the Pauline form of Christianity survives to this day. The more Jewish form of Christianity dies out with the destruction of the Second Temple.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Yes, there is. The writings of Paul say this. Read Galatians and Romans. Most Christians regard Paul as just as authoritative as we regard Shoghi Effendi.


And the Baha'i view of Paul should also be noted:

A particularly pertinent statement by 'Abdu'l-Baha appears on page 223 of the Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha:

Quote:
One's conduct must be like the conduct of Paul, and one's faith similar to that of Peter.

(25 February 1980 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual)

And this letter:


Quote:


The Apostle Paul

To the Editor:

It has come to my attention that there are Baha'is who believe that the Apostle Paul was some kind of "false teacher." This viewpoint is not correct.

'Abdu'l-Baha referred to Paul, saying, "Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became his most faithful servant." (Paris Talks, p. 147)

The Universal House of Justice, in a letter to a believer dated February 25, 1980, wrote: "The Research Department has found nothing in the writings of Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha or the Guardian which states that St. Paul 'usurped the station of Peter' or that he 'changed the basic message of Peter' or that he 'changed the basic message of Christ.'" It is so much easier to teach Christians without having to deny Paul. In fact, I've found that Paul is my best friend when talking with Christians. Read his writings the way they really are -- not the way people have twisted them. Paul wrote: "We speak ... expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things which come from the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (I Corinthians 2:14; New International version)

Paul's teachings must be spiritually discerned or spiritually interpreted. Paul's writings on resurrection are the oldest on this topic in the New Testament. He explains that when a person dies, his/her being is like a seed. "It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body...." Speaking of Jesus' resurrection, he wrote: "the last Adam [who was Jesus] became a life-giving spirit...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 15; Revised Standard version) As one can see, Paul's teachings agree with the Baha'i view on resurrection. When his teachings are "spiritually discerned" you'll find they agree with the Baha'i writings. Resurrection, ascension, and return as taught by Paul and Peter are identical with the teachings of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha. Paul is a Baha'i's friend. It's time to start treating him as such.

Joel Smith

Carbondale (Letters of The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Feb 22, Station of Paul)

I accept that Jesus did not explicitly say, "Thou shalt not have multiple wives", so I can accept questions over that (although not over the Early Church which clearly was monogamous), however I am wearied with Investigate's seeming inability to accept that the Torah laws are not binding on Christians. He/she - a non-Christian - is telling me that a law which is pre-Christian and which I do not accept is still binding on me despite my great efforts directed towards proving the very opposite

I mean, really?
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post

Let me give you the example of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.
There is no doubt that Nicholas of Cusa was one of the most seminal thinkers of the late Middle Ages. I was surprised (and pleased) to see you quote him because he has been largely ignored by the church today.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:34 AM   #237
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delete
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:41 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by smaneck View Post
Why would you say the Anglicans aren't apostolic?
The Catholic Church from the time of Pope Leo XIII hasn't accepted Anglican orders as valid. The reason, is that in the chaos of the Reformation, there was a rupture in the apostolic succession and a debate over whether Episcopal government should even exist at all in England or should be replaced with something more akin to the presbyter system in Scotland.

There was debate up until Pope Leo as to whether Anglicans could be placed in the same category as Orthodox, ie valid churches with valid sacred orders, however that pope ruled negative and the ruling is still in place.

I'm afraid there is nothing I can do, its not a case of "me" saying Anglican orders are null and void but the church.

Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical letter "Apostolicae curae," of September 13, 1896 authoritatively declared that Anglican orders are invalid, he used the words "perpetual invalidity". Consequently, neither valid deacons, priests, or bishops exist in any of the Anglican churches, in Catholic eyes as they do in the Churches of the East that are not in communion with Rome.

Their orders are invalid according to the Holy Father because, first, they used an inadequate form for too long a time, and, second, their intention was defective.

Read:

Quote:
The essential requisites for the sacrament were wanting in the Anglican church for 112 years, from 1550 to 1662. Before the year 1550 their orders were valid because they had been received from validly consecrated bishops. But the period of time during which the invalid form, "Receive the Holy Ghost," and the defective intention (priests were not ordained to say Mass) prevailed was so long that all validly consecrated bishops had died and so there were no validly consecrated bishops to confer the sacrament. The papal pronouncement is clear.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:45 AM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
I would "sometimes" add the Anglican Communion even though it isn't strictly apostolic.
Why would you not consider the Anglicans apostolic?

Quote:
In Catholic eyes these four are the four "real" churches with valid sacraments, theologies, saints etc.
Valid theologies? The Catholic Church certainly did not use to consider the Monophysite views of the Coptics and Armenians to be valid, much less the Dual-physite views of the Nestorians (which you also include as apostolic.) Granted the theological difference between the Greek Orthodox and the Catholics is relatively minor (does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father or the Father and the Son) but it was considered a big deal at the time the split took place.

Apostolic refers purely to having a valid line of bishops going back to the apostles. That's what makes the sacraments valid, as I understand it. But if there had not been theological differences there wouldn't have been a split in the first place!

Quote:
Its Protestantism that has led to this dizzying number of churches, the four apostolic, ancient churches are generally speaking basically unified within themselves apart from some tiny schismatic groups.
Ironically, Islam is largely responsible for this as far as the eastern churches are concerned. Christianity became largely frozen in Islamic countries because the Muslim rulers gave the ecclesiastical leaders both religious and political authority over their followers. This made reform virtually impossible.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:51 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical letter "Apostolicae curae," of September 13, 1896 authoritatively declared that Anglican orders are invalid,
Are you sure that is still the case?

My understanding is that when an Anglican priest converts to Catholicism his ordination is accepted. I knew some Catholics that were considering converting to the Episcopal Church (as we call it in America) becoming priests and marrying, and then converting back to Catholicism because you can be a married priest within the Catholic Church if you converted from those churches whose ordination is recognized by the Catholic Church and you are already married. (okay, that's an awful run-on sentence.)
 
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