Saturday, 18 October 2014

THE "CHURCH" JESUS WANTED

THE "CHURCH" JESUS WANTED


JESUS CHRIST DID NOT COME TO FOUND A CHURCH - HE CAME TO ANNOUNCE A KINGDOM - THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Jesus was not a Catholic - and especially not a Roman Catholic.




Jesus was a Jew and always remained a Jew. The early "Christians" were Jews who worshipped in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and met in each other's homes to remember Jesus in the "Breaking of the Bread".

This situation pertained until the early Christians were persecuted in Jerusalem and they moved to Antioch. It was at Antioch that people were first called "Christians".

The first "Mother Church" was Jerusalem. The second "Mother Church" was Antioch. 

Rome was a later development.

APOSTLES, PRIESTS AND BISHOPS:

The first 12 Apostles were mainly married men, The Apostles were NOT priests or bishops. They were Apostles = founders of churches.

Jesus was NOT a priest in the sense of priesthood we understand today. In the spiritual / scriptural sense he was the High Priest of the New Covenant. 

The early Christian communities were "congregational" and democratic. The whole community made decisions. 

The first emergence of an office was the office of "deacon" - a servant - whose first job was to look after widows and orphans. 

Over time the office of "presbyter" (elder, priest) emerged as numbers got bigger and order needed to be maintained. Many Christian communities, including Rome, were run by this presbyteral group in consultation with the congregation. 

It took a further period of time for a senior or presiding presbyter to emerge. When it did emerge it was not in the form of the monarchical bishop we see today. 

ROME:

Peter was never a priest or a bishop and therefore you cannot call him "the first bishop of Rome". 

It seems he may have visited Rome and may have died in Rome with Paul. he archaeologists have never been able to say that the tombs of Peter and Paul under that Vatican, are in fact the tombs of those men at all. 

The earliest list of "bishops of Rome" is regarded by scholars as a 2nd century forgery.




A monarchial bishop of Rome can only be demonstrated from around the middle of the 2nd century in Bishop Anicetus who became the bishop of Rome in 155 AD.

That means that their is no historical evidence for the "popes" Rome says were popes - Linus; Anacletus; Clement 1; Evaristus; Alexander 1; Sixtus 1; Telephorus; Hyginus and Pius 1.

In any event the word "pope" was not used until 384 AD by Bishop Siricius who called himself pope! That is nearly the first 400 years of the Church WITHOUT a pope!

EMPIRE:

The early Christian Church was at its purest when it was a small persecuted church.

When Constantine (who was not himself a Christian) made Christianity the state religion the Church turned a very bad corner - turned away from Jesus Christ and towards the world. From that time onwards we had the coalition of church and state - which has led to many evils. 

To this day the Vatican is a state (although only a quarter of the size of Monaco) and has so called diplomatic relations with other states through papal nuncios.




Where in the New Testament can you find the justification for papal nuncios?

LATER DEVELOPMENTS:

Much of Roman Catholicism is not of the New Testament and is the result of later man made developments:

1. Obligatory celibacy for clergy.




2. The second class citizenship of women.
3. The papacy, the Vatican and canon law.
4. The Inquisitions and The Crusades.
5. Cardinals and archbishops.
6. The Church as a sponsor of art.
7. Dioceses and parishes.
8. Titular bishops.
9. Papal infallibility.
10. The Vatican Bank.




I could go on......




THE "CHURCH" JESUS ENVISAGED:

1. Disciples who worshipped God and who met in each other's homes for the Breaking of the Bread.
2. Communities in which there would be no "lord", "bosses" and servants - where all would be equal.
3. Communities that would look after the needy among them.
4. Communities that would stand up for justice.
5. Communities that would look forward to his Second Coming but in the meantime, by their love and actions make "heaven" a reality here and now.
6. Communities that would share all their possessions in common for the good of all.
7. Comunities that would have a special love for the sick; the hungry; the naked; the thirsty; the stranger and the prisoner.

If you like Christianity is two things:

1. A spirituality and a faith.

2. Christian Humanism.




GENUINE AND USEFUL TRADITIONS:

Do not get me wrong. I see no problem with the early and later church introducing things that served the Christian message and that served the Peopel of God.

I see nothing wrong with the development of clergy as servants of the people but not as overlords.

I see nothing wrong with having nice ceremonies and liturgies that lead us to God and service of brother and sister.

I see nothing wrong with sacraments that spiritualise and mark life's rites of passage.

I see nothing wrong with buildings that serve worship and the Christian message.

I see nothing wrong with the church having funds to serve the community.

HOWEVER:

THE QUESTION FOR CATHOLIC CHIRSTIANS TODAY IS THIS:

HOW CAN WE MAKE OUR WAY, BACK OVER TWO MILLENIA, FROM THE POWER AND GRANDEUR OF ROME TO THE INTEGRITY AND SIMPLICITY OF THE EARLY COMMUNITIES THAT MET IN JERUSALEM AND ANTIOCH?

THAT - IS THE CHALLENGE TO US - THE CHALLENGE FROM JESUS OF NAZARETH!

PS: I could just as easily write a very similiar blog about the so called "Protestant" churches.

+Pat Buckley
18.10.14.


THOUGHT FOR TODAY:


C S Lewis


“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” 
― C.S. Lewis

HUMOUR:



12 comments:

  1. This Blog has opened my eyes !

    Struggling Catholic Falls Road

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Catholic Falls Rd,

    The blog opens a lot of eyes, and that is why it is very unpopular in some church circles !

    Priest of Down & Connor.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is all about the Church that Pat built!
    Everyone else is out of step except him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoever you are -

      You have no understanding of theology or church history.

      ITS ALL ABOUT THE CHURCH THAT CHRIST BUILT !

      You cannot argue with ignorance.

      Pat

      Delete
  4. I argue with ignorance constantly.Try it. It's my job sir!
    -Teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Teacher,

    I have teacher friends. I do not envy you your very difficult job and I applaud you for persevering.

    But what about the theology / history of the church?

    Have you looked into it?

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Pat,

    The beatification ceremony for Pope Paul VI took place in the Vatican this morning.
    I saw some of it, but it did NOT lift my spirits.
    Why do we as a church feel that beatifying or canonising Popes of recent history is either necessary or beneficial at this time ?
    The further deification of the Papacy is not the answer to the problems facing our church at this time. The system of church governance, including the Papacy needs a radical overall, and canonising pontiffs 'left, right, and centre' is simply creating an unhelpful smokescreen.
    In relation to Pope John Paul II, I can think of a number of reasons why he should NOT have been canonized.
    We as a church need our focus to return to Jesus the anointed one, and those who need his healing. Theatrical ceremonies for deceased Popes have little to offer the needy of this world.

    Priest of Down & Connor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to see Pope John Paul the First beatified, possibly even as a Martyr.

      Delete
    2. Priest Brother,

      I agee. It seems to me that being pope is not enough. Now deceased popes are being made saints.

      If this keeps going they will want to replace God!

      And God will become the pope's vicar in heaven!

      Pat

      Delete
  7. This making of saints has outlived its usefulness. Turning the church into a circus. The late Ian Paisley made a lot of valid points about rome. Pity he had to be so angry though. Sean

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pope Francis is constantly reminding the church leadership and those still faithful to be essentially Christocentric! That was his constant call during the Synod. Can't understand why some on this blog - priests included- don't seem to hear that call.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How is making saints Christocentric. Is a modern saint recognised in Orthadoxy or in the wider Christian communions? The Pope is not Ronald McDonald and Christianity is not MCDonalds Sean

    ReplyDelete