Saturday, July 28, 2012

Interpreting scripture

When we read the bible in this age, we take for granted the fact that we even have an organized book to call a bible. Sometimes when we read it we get the impression that Paul the apostle just went around preaching the gospel as a modern preacher would. The problem with that , is that the bible wasn't put together as a collection called the New Testament until the 4th century. So how did Paul insure that the message he gave them was preserved perfectly? He is very clear on a few things in his letters that we need to account for.

I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.
-1 Corinthians 11:2 (NABRE)

These traditions are called Liturgy. Right off the bat Paul is telling them not to stray from the things he taught them. Without the New Testament , the church came up with a liturgical service they called The Mass. Every church that Paul writes a letter to, is following this unified tradition, called the liturgy. The early church didn't just make up any old ritual to follow for no reason. This liturgy was what Christ revealed to them on the Road to Emmaus.

And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”
-Luke 24:30-32 (NABRE)

This was the first post resurrection Mass. The last supper was the institution of the Eucharist. The road to Emmaus is the first after he rose. The Eucharistic liturgy is the tradition that Paul is giving them. If we do any reading about the early church, we find the church Fathers reinforcing this.

Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (the Didache), 9:2; 14:1, circa 90 A.D.:
Regarding the Eucharist ... Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too, the saying of the Lord is applicable: Do not give to dogs what is sacred.
On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations. [Mal 1:11,14].

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 6, 110 A.D.:
They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, 8:1, 110 A.D.:
Let that Eucharist be held valid which is offered by the bishop or by the one to whom the bishop has committed this charge. Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

In the year 110 the church was already being called the Catholic Church. Everywhere in the new testament there are warnings against false doctrine.

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences.
-1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NABRE)

Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate (priests) . Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
-1 Timothy 4:13-16 (NABRE)

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.
-2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NABRE)

We live in a time where anything goes in Christianity. From health and wealth gospel to hellfire and brimstone. We were left with strict instructions to hold to the things we were taught, by the original 12 apostles.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The human soul

Human Beings
Have lost all sense of good , and evil. They've reserved evil for murderers, rapists, and pedophiles. Everything else is fair game for being heaven bound. Selflessness Is not even an afterthought. Our entire culture has been desensitized to the concept of sin. Sin no longer exists , because for any man to say something is a sin, he automatically is viewed as narrow minded. The belief in God went from being an admirable quality that you would look for in a man or woman, to being something that makes you weak, and naive. The world has decided that having faith means you're afraid of the concept of no longer existing. People have been convinced that it's impossible to know God. And anyone who claims they do know Him, is viewed as a quack. Men are losing their very souls, because they think this life is all that there is. If we don't believe in the afterlife , then there is no reason to do anything other than live it up, without regard to anyone other than yourself, and the few people you actually love. What a selfish scary world we have become. If men continue down this road, and the human spirit is truly killed, what are we worth?
How can men be so intelligent with science, but so oblivious to the concept of having a soul. Somewhere along the line, science decided it didn't want philosophy butting into its business anymore. And we're left with a technologically advanced, meaningless life.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Typology and foreshadows

Types and foreshadows in the old testament of Jesus.
What is being suggested here is not simply that; Jesus is the promised messiah to the old testament prophets, and that each story in some way is a foreshadow of his coming. What is being suggested is that he is the fulfillment of the entire old testament Jewish faith . In other words it's not as simple as seeing the story Moses , and concluding that Moses is a type or foreshadow of Jesus. The suggestion is, that every single thing God did in the old testament was related directly to Jesus. Every feast in the old has major relevance to what Jesus came to do. From Noah's flood being a symbol of baptism, to the first Pentecost being where God scrambles their languages to cause confusion , to the new Pentecost being the untwisting of that confusion and reuniting those languages.
Each gospel writer is trying to get old testament typology across to us. Take Matthew for example. He is clearly trying to show us the similarities between Jesus and Moses. Both Jesus and Moses come into the world when a decree is put out to kill infant boys. When the time is right, Moses takes the Israelites through the Jordan as a foreshadow of baptism and into the desert to fast for 40 days. During that fast the israelites make the golden calf. When the time is right Jesus too goes to the Jordan to be baptized and into the desert for 40 days , only Jesus doesn't fail as the Israelites did. The verses Jesus uses to respond to the devil are straight from Deuteronomy. After that Moses goes to mount Sinai, and receives the 10 commandments of the old covenant. Jesus gives the sermon on the mount to give the law of the new covenant. In the old covenant, the people were rebellious, so curses were given. In the new, Jesus knows he's giving us the holy spirit, so the beautitudes are given with blessings that are promised along with the holy spirit. Moses went up with his 3 closest companions, Aaron , Joshua , and Herr. When he comes down from the mountain his face is shining brilliantly. Also known as the transfiguration. Jesus too goes up the mountain with his 3 closest companions, Peter , James, and John. Then has the transfiguration with Elijah and Moses. Moses chooses leaders for the 12 tribes, Jesus chooses 12 leaders also. Moses couldnt govern the 12 tribes with only the 12 princes, so he appoints 70 more. In Luke 12 Jesus appoints 70 more. Moses gives us the Passover. Jesus is the reason for the Passover being given to Moses. The first plague Moses brings on pharaoh is turning water into blood. Jesus's first miracle is turning water into wine. And later wine into blood. Moses builds the ark of the covenant, in it he puts the 10 commandments (the word of God) , the manna (bread from heaven) and staff of Aaron (to signify authority) Jesus is the new covenant, the incarnate word, the true bread from heaven, and has the authority of God himself. This is typology in the old testament. Everything written in the old testament was written for a reason. Augustin said that the old testament is concealed in the new, and the new is revealed in the old. The treasures in this book are too deep to comprehend.
Thank you for reading.