Dogmatic division and differences of opinion

This is about division within the ranks, whichever ranks they happen to be at the time – including Christological division but also Brexiteer division.

Just been brushing up on:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism

… which followed a reading of:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Chalcedon
… which followed a reading of:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalcedonian_Definition

… which begat:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-chalcedonism

… which followed a reading of:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monothelitism

… which followed a reading of:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_papacy

… not forgetting the first Pope according to some:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Linus

… along with many other jolly topics.

Before going further with any of that, I’m deeply conscious of Dearieme, FoS, our readers in general whose Christian adherence is not, shall we say, devout and they do have a point in many ways which has coloured my own thinking.

It’s one thing having differences of opinion, it’s how far one takes them though is it not?

What I’m driving at [again] can be summed up in this clip. [For the respectable, there are some bad words in here, not to be used in front of ladies]:

It may be a parody of leftist factionalism, but any -ism in itself can split down ever increasing lines.

Seems to me that the question comes down to:

There are always going to be shades of opinion

For example, the concept of Party lends itself to dogmatism.  You may support a party on one issue but not on others – until the whip gets to you.  It’s a silly way to conduct business.

Going further, it’s one thing to be dogmatic on which action to take, especially when it means opposite directions, on fundamental points like the divinity or not of Christ, but excommunicating someone over a filioque clause or even torturing and murdering him – and there was much of that in Christianity’s developing years, always done by pointy hats and their minions – that seems silly, because it is arguing over human interpretation.

There’s little room for interpretation in what is contained in Matthew Chapters 5-7, it’s fairly categorical.  Similarly, the Dome of the Rock or that other one has scrawled on one wall that Jesus is a prophet, not the Messiah, not even a very naughty boy, and the Jews whom the Muslims wish to exterminate agree with that.

We will never compromise on that or say it doesn’t matter – it does. Tonight or tomorrow morning is commemorated the whole point of Christianity – not the dying but the resurrection – that’s the sticking point and that’s what sorts out, in Christian theology, the saved and the damned.

Don’t be angst ridden over things which can’t be established

It’s pretty clear that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, the issue is his divinity.

That’s the key issue, not splitting a church up over whether the bread and water change form or whether they co-exist or are symbolic. The main thing is that the communion happens – that was the point of the last supper.

In parody, what is it whether it’s a gourd or shoe – the issue is going along to hear what he says:

Look, if the Catholics want to sprinkle the incense and use a rosary, I say why not?  And I do have trouble with all the happy clapping in Methodist services … and as for being shoved under in a river … hmmmmmm, jury’s out on the Baptists. As for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, yes I do run and hide in a back room, I admit it.

By the way, just love the signs people have been putting up on their doors of late, telling canvassers to get lost, but not in those words. LOL.

As long as things are kept scriptural, then devotees have done what they should. The filioque clause is something we’ll know doubt find out about one day, I’m not fussed now as there are too many other things we should be speaking out on.

On the other hand, Gnosticism is clearly antithetical – its demi-urge is  satanic dualist, and while I have no intention whatever of kidnapping gnostics and taking them to the Temple late night on a High Day for a bit of ritual abuse and sacrifice, they might not extend the same courtesy to me.  Who’s more dangerous – a 33rd degree Mason, a jihadi, Antifa or Plod?

Fine to have denominations, fine to have shades of interpretation on those things subject to interpretation – it’s the fanaticism and violence, plus the clearly unscriptural doings of the pointy hats which need stopping.

Here endeth the rant.

9 comments for “Dogmatic division and differences of opinion

  1. john in cheshire
    April 20, 2019 at 14:02

    James, I grew up in a Roman Catholic household, was Christened and confirmed in that branch of Christianity. I stopped going to church around the time of Vatican 2 and started to question the doctrine of Roman Catholicism only about 10 or so years ago.

    Churchmouse directed me to John MacArthur and I’m thankful for that. I have watched videos by Walter Veight,7th. Day Adventist, and Chuck Missler. I have watched Steven Anderson’s videos too but I always return to John MacArthur, because I believe his interpretation of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

    What I disagree with in the Roman Catholic doctrine are not matters of interpretation or secondary issues, it’s fundamental to being a Catholic and I can no longer accept it as being Christianity as Jesus Christ taught it and as detailed in the Bible.

    Praying to dead people is wrong, that includes Catholic saints and Jesus’mother, Mary. Putting the Church above the Bible is wrong; putting the Pope above the Church is wrong. And ecumenism is wrong. Mary is not an intermediary between man and God but that’s what the Roman Catholic church preaches. It’s not necessary to confess our sins to a priest but that’s fundamental to Roman Catholicism.

    Not everyone is going to be saved because Jesus said no one comes to the Father except through Him. But the Roman Catholic church is now preaching that there are many paths to salvation. And Roman Catholic teaching is that everyone outside the Roman Catholic church is destined for hell, so there’s an apparent contradiction. That’s wrong; the individual’s relationship with Jesus Christ is what matters, not some worldly organisation. The Roman Catholic church, I think, has become just like the Pharisees where what it says is regarded as more important than what God says.

    Until the Reformation, and even now, the Bible is absent in the congregation during Roman Catholic services, and I hadn’t even realised that for years. The priest is the only one who needs to know what’s written there. And the Roman Catholic hierarchy still seethes with hatred of Protestantism and is still trying its best to destroy it. Hence its championing ecumenism.

    I could go on. But I won’t. I’m not a good Christian but I try to be. I now wonder, though, just how many faithful Christians there are in the whole of Christendom. And how to recognise them.

    • April 20, 2019 at 15:16

      As a Protestant, I do see the issues, I’ve posted on the symbolism and practices, have mentioned Vatican II.

      However, just look at what’s happened to the Protestant denominations too – the CofE into which I was baptised is a disgrace. As for the megachurches in the States – it seems they’ve all been infiltrated. The Evangelicals there are teaching falsehoods.

      But is this not also so in politics at this moment – everything is being white-anted.

      • April 21, 2019 at 02:54

        However, just look at what’s happened to the Protestant denominations too

        If you have no way of enforcing orthodoxy then you end up with a church where everybody believes whatever he wants. And then you end up with a church where everybody believes whatever happens to be popular and fashionable, because everybody wants to be popular and fashionable.

        And since atheism, feminism and sexual degeneracy are popular and fashionable you end up with a church that embraces atheism, feminism and sexual degeneracy. So you end up with modern Protestantism.

        And since atheism, feminism and sexual degeneracy are what everybody believes in there’s no need to join a church to celebrate those things. So the churches die.

    • fos
      April 20, 2019 at 15:44

      Hi John

      I was brought up as a Protestant, but had a six-year flirtation with Catholicism during my post student days. It was quite intense at times – Lent stopped short of the self-flagellation, but only just.

      I can only agree with a lot of what you say. My first job was teaching in a secondary school in a very RC area, partly RE. The local priest was a complete thicko – it’s an undemanding job in a predominantly RC area, a deprived one at that. He went to a lot of trouble to make sure I was doctrinally sound – he hated the comparative religion stuff we had to teach. I asked him a question once – I forget about what – and he told me that such things were ‘not matters for the laity’. That was it for me.

      Nice to hear your views. The only trouble is, you seemed to have chucked away all organized religion in favour of some personal relationship with the almighty. You seem to be from what you say currently beyond Quaker without the aspect of fellowship and support. Your taking a hard road.

    • April 21, 2019 at 00:11

      With respect (he said through gritted teeth) John, I think the only thing you missed was the propensity for some to prefer the wrong myths. You have plenty enough for most. Let’s just take the last few….

      “”..and even now, the Bible is absent in the congregation during Roman Catholic services, and I hadn’t even realised that for years. The priest is the only one who needs to know what’s written there. And the Roman Catholic hierarchy still seethes with hatred of Protestantism and is still trying its best to destroy it. Hence its championing ecumenism.””

      The Holy Mass is almost completely ‘the Bible’. Perhaps you just never bothered to listen to the prayers you were saying. As for the old days when only the priest could read the bible…. well duh!! , most of the congregation could not read at all. It wasn’t until that Catholic chap who invented the printing press and printed off the Bible as one of his first major projects that any bibles existed that were not hand-written.

      Then there’s the Catholics hating protestants furphy. Who is it doing the protesting, did you think? Whay do you think one lot are even called Protestants? Isn’t that the hint you need to sort out who is doing the hating? I pray for Chritian Unity. That, to you, seems to mean destroying. It doesn’t to me.

      • dearieme
        April 21, 2019 at 15:09

        Come off it. One of my Roman Catholic cousins was explicitly taught, in primary school, to hate Protestants. None of my protestant or atheist cousins was taught to hate Roman Catholics.

        • April 22, 2019 at 02:41

          Oh dear Dearieme, I must apologise. I got a little terse there. I should have acknowledged your extremely ecumenical extended family and praised their inclusivity. They wouldn’t be Irish, perchance? Irish Catholics are well known for having a fossilised, blighted potato on their mantlepieces which they Venerate. Some deny it, of course.

          🙂

  2. dearieme
    April 20, 2019 at 15:29

    As an atheist I am, of course, well placed to opine on what a Christian should (perhaps) believe.

    (i) I used to think he should believe in the Trinity though the expression “Trinitarian Christianity” does imply that there is another kind. Fair enough, I’ll accept that.

    (ii) He should believe that, in some sense, Jesus was both man and god. Or is that all tied up with (i)? Anyway, as part of that he should believe in the resurrection.

    (iii) It seems to me that only the dimmer sort of Christian could possibly believe in the nativity yarns. And no intelligent Christian could possibly believe in both yarns since they are contradictory.

    (iv) The biggest issue, I assume, is what to make of the reported doings and sayings of Jesus. Is he “meek and mild”, a bringer of peace? Or did he really say ‘Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.’? There must be thousands of equally important questions to answer.

    (v) What should the Christian make of the Old Testament? My own view is that everything foundational in it is poppycock – sheer invention, written centuries after the purported events. Moreover, much of the instruction about behaviour is vile filth: advocating genocide, for instance. But is the Christian allowed to pick and choose?

  3. fos
    April 20, 2019 at 16:07

    Like Dearieme I am an atheist – but a slightly more respectful one. I have no idea about the nature and the purpose of life on Earth, so I am not in a position to tell anyone else what to believe.

    It is difficult not to agree with him, though, that the rituals and tales propagated by the organized churches are ‘poppycock’. Despite its defects, the institutional church has developed rituals which give psychological comfort to many.

    Unlike a certain other religious tract we might mention, the bible at least contains some wonderful, uplifting passages which, though they may escape Dearieme’s truth test, are great catalysts for reflection. I just did a piece on Isaiah which made me realise how uplifting even he could be. Every blogger should have his vocabulary handy.

    On the other hand, we all attempt to add some meaning to our lives and if some of this stuff is a help and a comfort then so be it.

    I know alpine farmers in Switzerland who are deeply pious Catholics – personally pious: they take it completely seriously. When you talk to them their reverence for the ‘mouldy old brocade’ (or whatever Larkin called it) was so heartfelt and so strong that it was in itself uplifting.

    Few can be philosophers or theologians – if someone likes to believe their Nan is still watching over them, or that the intercession of Saint someone-or-other will save them from a lightning strike, that’s OK by me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.