In the spirit of the “Desanitizing Christmas” and “Misused Scripture” series, we’re looking to start a new series of articles here at CRN.Info, dealing with Jesus’ parables – particularly in light of the out-of-context beating they seem to have taken by some commenters of late…

To kick us off, I’d first like to take a look at the parable of The Good Samaritan.  Normally, this parable is used in conjunction with teaching that we should have compassion upon the weak, sick and wounded – an excellent teaching supported by Scripture, but not the point of this particular parable.

So, to get at the context of this parable, let us first examine what question Jesus was trying to answer with it:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

So – the question at hand is “Who is my neighbor?”  Contextually, it should also be noted that the man was ‘testing’ Jesus – which does not automatically confer that this was an adversarial relationship.  Rather, the man was honestly seeking an answer – and his ‘testing’ was to find the Scriptural basis of Jesus’ answer.

One other piece of information that is quite useful in examining this parable is in the relationship between religious Jews and the Samaritans.

Blood Enemies

From Josephus and other first-century contemporaries, we know that the Samaritans and Jews were bitter enemies.  Traditionally, Samaritans were seen as the peoples who lived in Judea during the Babylonian exile, who built a Temple for God upon Mount Gerezim, worshiping him there, and not at the Temple on Mount Zion.  Both the Jews and Samaritans viewed the Torah as their holy Scriptures, and both worshiped the same God – but each viewed the others as apostate.

Josephus records a number of transgressions made by the Samaritans against the Jews, including spreading human bones in the courts of the Temple, defiling it.  While he doesn’t mention similar offenses against the Samaritans, there is enough other evidence to suggest that the antagonism was not a one-way street.

Rabbinic Debate

Against this backdrop of religious/racial hatred, there was a good deal of rabbinic debate, primarily between the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai.  All schools of thought agreed that God calls them to love their neighbors, but there was intense debate as to who your neighbor was.

The followers of Shammai believed that one’s neighbor was only a religious Jew.  Thus, one need only love other religious Jews.  The Hillel-followers believe that all people – except Samaritans, who were apostates – were legitimately your neighbor, and must be loved.  The other rabbinic schools fell somewhere between these two vastly-different interpretations.

Thus, the real question being asked of Jesus was not “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”, but rather “who is my neighbor?”  Jesus was being asked a politically-charged question on the order of (in modern parlance) “Which is correct – free will or predestination?”

The Parable

Jesus responded to “Who is my neighbor?” with the most famous of parables – The Good Samaritan:

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

Now, for a little bit of context -

First off, the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (having read first-century descriptions and seen it first-hand) is about three-to-five feet wide in most places, sometimes narrower.  On one side of the ‘road’ is a drop-off of a hundred or more feet.  On the other side is a steep wall.  So, for someone to be left in the road meant that the road would be blocked by the body.  “Passing by on the other side” is a bit of humor used by Jesus, since it would actually require being contfronted with stepping over the body.

Next, it is important to note that the man was left ‘half-dead’.  According to cleanliness law, it was forbidden for priests to touch dead bodies (even of close relatives), and this was extended to include the bodies of people ‘half-dead’, who were about to die.  If the ‘half-dead’ person were to die soon, after being touched by a priest, the priest would be considered “unclean”.

However, according to the Oral Torah, this could be excused if one were trying to save the life of the dying person.  Per the Oral Torah, the sanctity of life was more important than all Torah regulations with the exception of blasphemy, sexual sin and murder.  There was also intense debate on this topic, as the Sadducee party (which contained a number of Shammai’s followers) believed that only the Torah (first five books of the OT) was required for Jews, and the Oral Torah was useless.  The Pharisee party (which was more in line with Hillel) followed the full TaNaKh and the Oral Torah.  So, Jesus was also making a pronouncement in this debate, as well, by telling this story.

The Three Passers-By

So, first a priest came by.  His holy book was the Torah, and if he touched the body, he would become unclean and be unable to serve in the Temple when he arrived in Jerusalem.  So, he chose to obey the ceremonial law of cleanliness, rather than the Oral Torah of caring for a dying man.  According to Brad Young and other scholarly experts on Jesus’ parables, it is likely that Jesus’ listeners would not have seen the priest’s “passing by” as a callous act, but rather one that would have torn him up inside to be unable to help.  He believed he was doing God’s will, unallowed to help the dying man.

The Levite would have been in the same position as the priest, except that his service in the Temple was more integral to worship there, and was scheduled years in advance.  So, to become unclean might result in losing one of his only chances of ever serving in the inner courts of the Temple.  He, too, chose to follow the ceremonial law, rather than helping the half-dead man.

Finally, the Samaritan came by.  His holy Scripture was also the Torah, so touching the half-dead body might make him unclean, just like the previous two travelers.  Additionally, Samaritans did not consider the Oral Torah to be binding, so he was going out on a limb, because if the man died, he would become unclean.  However, he stopped and helped the man – reversing the actions taken against the wounded traveler.

By bringing the Samaritan into the picture, Jesus probably shocked his audience.  The normal structure of such a story would have had a Pharisee as the third traveler, the one showing ‘correct’ behavior (see this article for some background on Jesus and the Pharisees).  By bringing in the Samaritan, Jesus was prepared to make a ruling on “neighbors” beyond what any of his contemporary rabbinic schools taught.

The Answer

So, having told the parable, Jesus answered the man’s question “who is my neighbor?” in the fashion of his contemporary rabbis – with a question of his own:

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

Remembering that the answer to the rabbi’s question would also be the answer to his own question, the man’s answer should have been “the Samaritan” – but he couldn’t even bring himself to say the word.  Instead, he answered:

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

So, the answer to “Who is my neighbor?” is “the Samaritan”.  Scandalous!  And Jesus’ response?

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

So while, yes, it is important for us to have compassion on the hurt, bleeding and broken, the key teaching here is to show true love to our greatest of enemies.

Application

So, in parlance of modern Christianity, if Jesus were to tell a similar story today, the three main characters would likely be a Lutheran, a Presbyterian and a Catholic, and we would call this story “The Good Catholic”.  The parallels, in a number of ways are stark – The bolus of Catholicism and Protestantism see the other ’side’ as apostate.  Both have the same holy book.  Both are often antagonistic toward one another.  Both often tend to be nicer to unbelievers than one another.

Granted, I’m sure we could call it “The Good Emergent”, or “The Good Calvinist” (for Rick Frueh), or “The Good Armchair Discernmentalist”, as well…  Each would be scandalous in its own right.

So – choose that group which most personifies your intra-church prejudice and insert them into the story as the “Samaritan”, and then ask “who is my neighbor?” and follow the advice of Rabbi Yeshua -

“Go and do likewise…”

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 6:34 pm and is filed under Devotional, Original Articles, Theology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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108 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 31st, 2009 at 6:59 pm

I believe your application lacks some defining qualities that create a better understanding. The Catholic vs. Protestant example does not differentiate between acts of respect and kindness and honest and deep theological issues.

“Both have the same holy book” is simplistic and fails to recognize how that book is viewed and what is added to that book. Mormons and JWs have that holy book as well. We should treat everyone will a Christian level of respect, however that essence may seem lacking when reproving or rebuking or correcting false teaching.

There is very good information in your post, and some good application, however there seems to be (to me) an ecumenical quality which I am sure the parable does not support.

2   Neil    
March 31st, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Here’s a good example: Link

3   Bo Diaz    
April 1st, 2009 at 12:03 am

Sorry, my brain shut down when I read the words “sacred desk” and realized they were written in seriousness.

4   Neil    
April 1st, 2009 at 12:12 am

Try again, it’s worth it…

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 1st, 2009 at 1:11 am

Mark Driscoll did a great job in representing the gospel. I continue to believe that public debates are “camp edifiers” and do not have an expansive productivity. In fact, Carlton Pearson should be rejected and rebuked, not given the dignity of speaking in a forum as if he had something of value to contribute.

In my opinion we make more of apologetics than is warranted. Public forums like that one often confuse and evangelistic outreaches are much better avenues of our time and energy. Unless the Spirit is allowed to open a heart all the apologetics spoken by Paul himself is useless.

I applaud Steve’s words about Mark, I will be anxious to see how others in his genre will tolerate his variance. Hatred and self righteousness do not surrender ground easily.

6   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 1st, 2009 at 8:38 am

Chris,
As usual, this was both edifying and informative.

Good thoughts to chew on, especially your application.

Shalom

7   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 12:29 pm

The parallels, in a number of ways are stark – The bolus of Catholicism and Protestantism see the other ’side’ as apostate. Both have the same holy book. Both are often antagonistic toward one another. Both often tend to be nicer to unbelievers than one another

.

Catholics are, for the most part, apostate. In fact, according to Paul, they are Ananthema, for they add good works to what they view as an incomplete justification by Christ. As Rick stated earlier, we do not have the same Holy Book, for theirs includes apocrythal texts as well as encyclicals and teachings added on by popes and bishops and cardinals. Roman Catholics, in the strictest sense, are not Christians. They are Catholics (and most will tell you so.) I am not antagonistic, I see them as unbelievers so I treat them kindly as I try and share my faith with them. I am sure they see me the same way, but since they believe in a form of universal salvation (after cleansing in purgatory…) they see no need.

Other than that, a good article.

8   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 12:39 pm

When living in a black and white world everyting is… well black or white…

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Evangelical churches have made many mistakes over the years. However the Roman Catholic Church has taught people to trust the church for salvation, the blood of Christ is insufficient for redemption, money buys forgiveness, dead people can get you to heaven, and a literal laundry list of profoundly heretical teachings.

That does not mean that the average Catholic person cannot believe on Christ and be saved, or that there are no saved Roman Catholics, but it does mean that anyone who takes the Scripture as truth must reject the RCC as Biblical and as teaching salvation by grace through faith alone.

10   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I guess the over/under for this one is 7…

11   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Catholics make baby Jesus cry…

12   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 3:32 pm

I know you all know this, but it is even better when you factor in that Catholics (at least the ‘important’ ones) think the same thing about so-called protestants. I guess none of us has a chance, do we?

13   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 3:45 pm

And Mormons believe the same about us as we do about them. (irrelevant) I guess it just depends on where you draw the doctrinal line, if indeed we draw any at all.

I do not understand why respectful and dispassionate disagreement is unacceptable and worthy of demeaning asides rather than legitimate conversation.

14   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Personally, anytime I hear someone use the word “anathema”, I get a little silly. But that’s just me…

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 4:00 pm

“Personally, anytime I hear someone use the word “anathema”, I get a little silly.”

Sure, if PB is the only one commenting. He is not and many of his comments deal in such hyperbole and dismissiveness that Biblical interchange is impossible.

I listed several areas of legitimate concern over some RCC teachings. Serious stuff.

16   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 4:21 pm

#12
Actually, no, they do not.

Pope Benedict recently (in the last year) clarified the universal salvation stance of the Roman Catholic Church. They believe, for one, that no one can say for certainty that they are going to heaven when they die. But faithful Roman Catholics are on the fast track (my term) Other religions, and even protestants will wind up in heaven eventually, after a period of purification.

So, while they believe they are the only way in the sense of worship on this earth, they look at us sadly as those who will have to spend more time getting purified because we didn’t see the right way on this earth.

17   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 4:42 pm

PB,

That is a serious distortion of Catholic doctrine. The Catholic Church continues to hold to the doctrine of hell, as well as some version of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

Second Vatican did hold out the possibility of salvation for those outside the Church, but only if they were ignorant of the truth through no fault of their own.
I must say, your capacity for misstating the truth continues to surprise me.

18   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:02 pm

The truth war is alive and well…

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21460090-2,00.html

19   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:06 pm

#17

Sorry, MG

Here is the Dominus Iesus, reiterated in 2007….

So much for research…

20   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:08 pm

From the article….#18

He had wanted to reinforce the new Catholic catechism, which holds that hell is a “state of eternal separation from God”, to be understood “symbolically rather than physically”.

Yep…

21   Brett S    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Hello Good Gentlemen,

Long time no see, heh! Sorry haven’t been around lately, sometimes real life gets in the way of cyber people :)

However the Roman Catholic Church has taught people to trust the church for salvation – Rick

Rick,
If Christ built “His Church” and “His Church” is his body; Can you really be fully trusting in Christ if you are not trusting in his Church?

Ps – I don’t really understanding the point that Pastorboy is trying to make (does anybody ever?). But the statements he makes about the Pope are not correct.

22   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:11 pm

From MG’s link….

In 1999, pope John Paul II said heaven was “neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but that fullness of communion with God, which is the goal of human life”.

Hell, by contrast, was “the ultimate consequence of sin itself. Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy”.

yepper….

23   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:12 pm

PB:

Please point out where it says in the Dominus Iesus that all men are saved.

Also, it was published in 2000 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Thanks!

24   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Also, PB, I must say I’m impressed.

You managed to take a story that debunked your theory, and find the one untruth in there.

You quote a church historian, who manages to misquote the Catechism.

The word symbolic appears nowhere in the Catechism’s description of hell.

Nowhere.

The truth war continues…

25   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:15 pm

#23…

III, subsection 15:

Not infrequently it is proposed that theology should avoid the use of terms like “unicity”, “universality”, and “absoluteness”, which give the impression of excessive emphasis on the significance and value of the salvific event of Jesus Christ in relation to other religions. In reality, however, such language is simply being faithful to revelation, since it represents a development of the sources of the faith themselves. From the beginning, the community of believers has recognized in Jesus a salvific value such that he alone, as Son of God made man, crucified and risen, by the mission received from the Father and in the power of the Holy Spirit, bestows revelation (cf. Mt 11:27) and divine life (cf. Jn 1:12; 5:25-26; 17:2) to all humanity and to every person.

In this sense, one can and must say that Jesus Christ has a significance and a value for the human race and its history, which are unique and singular, proper to him alone, exclusive, universal, and absolute. Jesus is, in fact, the Word of God made man for the salvation of all

mmmmhmmm

26   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:20 pm

That’s the best you’ve got? That Jesus came for all, and not a select few?

And then you’ve got the Pope, reminding everyone that hell is real, and you go there is you refuse to repent?

Fail. Fail. Fail.

I’m tempted to stop ascribing any decent motives to you.

27   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Yep…

Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”.77 This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.78

The Church is the “universal sacrament of salvation”,79 since, united always in a mysterious way to the Saviour Jesus Christ, her Head, and subordinated to him, she has, in God’s plan, an indispensable relationship with the salvation of every human being.80 For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit”;81 it has a relationship with the Church, which “according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.82

Yep…ummhmmm

28   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Hell, by contrast, was “the ultimate consequence of sin itself. Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy”.

Actually, I think that’s not a bad way to put it…

I’ve never understood the fascination that some evangelicals have of portraying Hell in physical and locational terms.

29   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:22 pm

#26…

No, MG..it says VERY CLEARLY…for the salvation of all….

30   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

PB,
You are bringing up good points that are worthy of consideration and conversation.

However, your varied “mmmmhmmm’s” and “yep’s” come across as very arrogant and make you sound like a jerk.

You may not be a jerk in real life. But in type, it often comes across that way.

31   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:26 pm

The Christian mystery, in fact, overcomes all barriers of time and space, and accomplishes the unity of the human family:From their different locations and traditions all are called in Christ to share in the unity of the family of God’s children… Jesus destroys the walls of division and creates unity in a new and unsurpassed way through our sharing in his mystery. This unity is so deep that the Church can say with Saint Paul: ‘You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are saints and members of the household of God‘ (Eph 2:19)”.

U N I V E R S A L I S M
plain and simple….

32   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:26 pm

#30
Sorry, Nate.

Don’t mean to bug you.

33   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Oh, it doesn’t bug me.
It just negates any mature conversation.

34   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Well, I’m off.
I don’t really have a dog in this fight.

Be blessed.

May you all discover tonight, in a new a fresh way, the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

35   Brett S    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Pastorboy,

I’m trying to understand!
Are you claiming that the bible teaches that UNIVERSAL salvation in NOT available to Christ’s Church (ie: the houshold of God)?

36   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:35 pm

#31:

I’m sorry, that’s just a plain distortion of the text. The reference to traditions and locations is *clearly* a reference to cultural barriers being overcome by the unity of Christ.

I mean, really? Do you really believe the stuff you write?

37   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:43 pm

No Brett, I am saying that the way that this is written, it says the church (Roman Catholic) can unify with those of different traditions and make them part of the family of God- in other words the church can make them saints….

Does not work that way..

38   Brett S    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Pastorboy,

What does different traditions have to do with anything? Repent, believe in Jesus, and be baptized is the the way it works, right?

If the Lord’s Church can allow me to “unify with it”, I thinks they’ll let just about anybody in!

39   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:51 pm

PB,

This is my final comment.

In light of everything I’ve cited, do you still stand by comment 16, that all will end up in heaven following purgatory, and that Catholics do not have a doctrine of hell?

Otherwise, good evening to you!

40   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Just to pull this back to the OP, I’d note that PB’s reaction is a perfect example of the scandal of Jesus’ answer to “who is my neighbor?”…

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Many of the doctrines of Rome can be overlooked, but their mixing of works with faith must be confronted. The wierd doctrine of purgatory teaches that the works of living men can be redemptively corraborative in the effort to gain a dead sinner’s entrance into heaven. That elevates the works of men and minimizes the blood of Christ.

I have no problem with the expanse of the Good Samaritan parable, but it seemed like an ecumenical point was being made. Perhaps I was wrong.

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 6:04 pm

To be clear the RCC does not teach universalism. They do teach a good Muslim can get to heaven without believing in Christ. (Vatican II)

In full disclosure so do a lot of Protestants such as Billy Graham.

43   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 2nd, 2009 at 6:39 pm

To be clear the RCC does not teach universalism. They do teach a good Muslim can get to heaven without believing in Christ. (Vatican II)

You see the problem I have with a whole argument when it comes to eternity and whatnot is the phrase “get to heaven”. I guess I tend to think that “going to heaven” isn’t what being a Christian is all about. It’s about being in relationship with Christ and being a citizen of the Kingdom of God, working with Him, and praying that the Father’s will is done here as it is in heaven.

Yes, I believe one day we will see Christ face to face, but when we keep on talking about who gets to go to heaven, it’s no wonder that we come off as some sort of sanctified country club to people.

In a way, the parable of the Good Samaritan is an illustration of this point. Our doctrine is rather meaningless if it causes us to say, “that guy over there – yeah, he’s not me problem…”. I guess the thing that personally convicts me is this. When the people I know who are Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, etc. think of me, do they immediately just think that I think they are wrong, or do they think of how I showed love to them? If I have trouble showing them love, then the fact that I can prove they’re wrong means nothing.

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 7:06 pm

It is true we should exhibit love and graciousness to people, regardless of their spiritual views or condition. But there must be an awareness of Who we represent and some compassionate assessment of the redemptive condition of people in our lives.

The entire reason for overseas missionaries is the understanding that people are in need of Christ. Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase. I believe an awareness of eternity (heaven if you will) is appropriate as well.

45   Bo Diaz    
April 2nd, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Anytime an ADM complains about someone else adding works to the gospel… sheesh.

46   nc    
April 2nd, 2009 at 9:26 pm

45:

True, true.

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 10:39 pm

OK, Bo and nc, how do respond to someone like me who tries not to have an axe to grind? That is the point, the teachings, not the people, but the teachings of the RCC are Scripturally aberrant, some goofy and some very serious.

Of course you have pointed out a basic problem with the ODMs, their hatred and hyperbole and self righteousness seems to deter productive exchanges even when they have a legitimate point.

48   Bo Diaz    
April 2nd, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Rick,
The point I’ve made, is that I don’t see any difference between official RCC teaching and ADM teaching except for what work you do to add to grace.

I’ve pointed out to you before that what’s on the RCC books isn’t what is taught or believed by most American Catholics.

49   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 pm

But that is not what has been said. The discussion in this part of the thread was concerning the official teachings of the church.

Most parishes teach the official catechism as well. I speak against the ODMs when they add works in a non-doctrinal way also.

50   M.G.    
April 2nd, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Not to open a can of worms, Rick, but I have a hard time telling the difference between holding to a theology that you can “lose” your salvation, and the Roman Catholic Church.

In both instances, they merely believe that there is something one must “do” to remain saved.

If Nazarenes are extended fellowship, then why not Catholics?

51   Bo Diaz    
April 2nd, 2009 at 11:52 pm

But that is not what has been said. The discussion in this part of the thread was concerning the official teachings of the church.

No it wasn’t. It was about Catholics. Which is who I’m talking about.

If you want to argue about whether or not a collection of titles and documents are in the Kingdom of God, you can, but I won’t.

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 6:37 am

MG – I have a major problem with any teaching that says if a saved person sins enough he “loses” his salvation. I happen to believe in apostasy as suggested in Hebrews 6 and 10, but I do not subscribe to the term “lose”. That is a major issue, however it is dwarfed by the plethera of major doctrinal issues that are a part of official RCC teachings.

But if we are speaking with charity toward Roman Catholic people, I am in full agreement. But let us not pretend that official church teachings are moderately off center when in fact they are Biblically incongruous. I own Pope Benedict’s book “Jesus of Nazareth” and have read it twice. It isn’t what the RCC teaches about Jesus, it is the conundrum of the other teachings that create the atmosphere of heresy.

1. The place of Mary
2. The power of dead saints
3. The papal “ek cathedra”
4. Baptismal regeneration
5. Purgatory
6. Salvation belongs to the church

And others. I wholeheartedly agree with being the Good Samaritan to EVERYONE, but I* am humbly disinclined to acquiesce to your request for ecumanism. :)

* I am not an ADM, ODM, M&M, or any other abreviation. Some have called me other things, though…

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 7:05 am

I also consider Brett S. as a brother in Christ, and a good one. (if that means anything to anyone!)

54   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 8:34 am

I also consider Rick as a brother in Christ and a good one… :wink:

55   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 8:48 am

Rick, and others

The biggest problem Catholics ( and some other mainline denominations have) is the insufficiency of the death of Christ to provide for the Justification of those who repent and believe. This belief results in doing the good works or the sacraments in hope of adding grace, that is, to remain in good standing with the church.

The problem is, as Paul states in Galatians 1, that if we add any works- if we believe any good work will add to our salvation, or is needed to make Christ more pleased with us, we are anathema.

The second, less significant but still important is the way the churches wield their influence over people which allows a licentious lifestyle m-sat, if only the people will be in the church on Sunday AM where all their sins of the past week can be forgiven them by benefit of coming to church/confession.

56   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:43 am

“The problem is, as Paul states in Galatians 1, that if we add any works- if we believe any good work will add to our salvation, or is needed to make Christ more pleased with us, we are anathema.”

So John, to be consistent and a bold witness for Christ, will you openly call Chris Rosebrough “anathema” since he openly teaches Baptism Saves ?

57   Brett S    
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:45 am

Brother Rick,

If you mean that the broken tendency of the human soul to believe that we can be saved if only we can be good enough, and do more good things than bad things exists in members of the church of Rome; I agree with you. Just as many good Baptists, Pentacostals, Muslins, Hindus, and Unitarian Universalists, have the same outlook on life. That is a grave error because Jesus Christ is the only hope that any of us has for salvation.

But I have a hard time with this statement:

doctrines of Rome can be overlooked, but their mixing of works with faith must be confronted – Rick

I find enumeral passages spoken by the Lord in the 4 gospels that faith in Christ can not be separated from works in Christ. And I think the bible specifically states that faith in Christ and works in Christ ARE mixed.

James 2:17 – So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Scripturally aberrant?

ps: I believe that Christ alone can save me. I also went to confession last night with my wife and daughter. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if the old priest was awake or listening to what I was saying; but you can’t make me believe that real Grace was not present. He was there!

58   Brett S    
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:53 am

The biggest problem Catholics ( and some other mainline denominations have) – PB

Pastorboy,

Sorry to disagree with you yet again. From my experience of probably being around more Catholics than you on a daily basis.

I can infallibly declare that the biggest problem Catholics have is SIN.

59   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:57 am

Rick,
No, because I agree with what Chris/the Bible teaches. You saying baptism saves is a mischaracterization of this doctrine. Baptism does not save, Faith is Christ saves. Baptism is part of the formula so to speak. Repentance and faith are ‘invisible’, Baptism is a visible testimony of an event that has already happened. It does not save anybody, but is is an act of obedience to what Jesus has commanded in that we must ‘fulfill all righteousness’.

But I think you know all that.

60   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:57 am

The biggest problem Catholics ( and some other mainline denominations have) is the insufficiency of the death of Christ to provide for the Justification of those who repent and believe. This belief results in doing the good works or the sacraments in hope of adding grace, that is, to remain in good standing with the church.

It’s kind of ironic to me to here this coming from you, PB…

I just saw a video of your Spring Break trip where one of the evangelist dudes yelled out into the crowd “stop sinning!” as if people making the choice to not sin is going to save them somehow. If people don’t know Christ telling them to “stop sinning” is certainly giving them the impression that their salvation is a matter of something they can work toward.

It’s interesting to me that when the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He forgave her without any mention of repentance on her part. True repentance comes after we realize we have been forgiven. If our forgiveness is dependent upon our repentance, I think we all have a big problem.

61   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:58 am

#58 Brett AMEN.

Thats why we must believe in Christ ALONE rather than our sacrifice of good works to save us.

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 9:59 am

Brett – I have no desire to speak about your church personally with someone like you. I respect your views and I sense God’s Spirit in your faith. I believe we could be Christian friends if you were in Florida.

BTW – I am a RABID Notre Dame football fan and my German Shepherd dog is named “Rudy”! Can I get Catholic points for that?? :)

Notre Dame Our Mother!!!

63   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:00 am

#60

I guess ‘go and sin no more’ has nothing to do with the forsaking of sin aspect of repentance….

hmmmm

And yeah, I said that, but in context, we were speaking about repentance to a group of people who claimed to be Christian at that time.

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:04 am

John – read the link I provided and then tell me if Chris R. believes it is “a visible testimony of an event that has already happened”. He believes baptism forgives sins.

65   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:09 am

And yeah, I said that, but in context, we were speaking about repentance to a group of people who claimed to be Christian at that time.

Really? It looked to me as if you were shouting into a crowd of people on the beach. Certainly some of them may have claimed to be Christian, but there was nothing from the context that said it was some sort of church service on the beach.

Sin isn’t humanity’s biggest problem. It’s a symptom of it. Telling people to “stop sinning” is kind of like giving someone with a broken arm an aspirin. Sin is a fruit of separation from God, and living a life that honors God comes from being in right relationship with Him.

66   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:10 am

Funny in the Bible Jesus forgives the sin or healed the person then states ” go and sin no more…”

You spoke condemnation and cast insults… and then told people to “go and sin no more…”

So you are saying Jesus condemned people as you were doing… I don’t remember Jesus casting an insult on those he healed or forgave… and then told them to “go and sin no more…”

I think you are misusing scripture and Jesus to justify abusing people…

iggy

67   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:13 am

Yes, Jesus said, “Then neither do I condemn you,” before He said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” There is no record of the woman actually acknowledging her sin at all.

68   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:14 am

Chris R definitely teaches that Baptism forgive sins… thus negating the Cross.

In the Acts of the Apostles, we see baptism play an important role in the growth of the young Church. Baptism has many benefits for the believers, but the most important is the forgiveness of sin. The first time we hear this is then Peter tells those in Jerusalem that it is baptism that brings the forgiveness of sin (Acts 3:38) (link).

So PB states he agrees with Chris R but states that Catholics are heretical over this teaching…

Hmmm… double minded again.

iggy

69   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:14 am

Dang codes… mess up everything.

70   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:15 am

Iggy nails it again.

71   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:17 am

I tried to clean up your html, Igs…

Repent of your poor coding!

72   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:19 am

Iggy said dang – MODERATION!

73   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:20 am

How about this for a salvation formula?

Water + the Promises of God = Baptism

Ummm… I thought it was Solus Christus?

So it is “promises and water”?

And PB claims to agree…

iggy

74   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:21 am

Rick Frueh offers a prophetic utterance:

PB will not admit he was wrong and call Chris R. anathema which would be consistent.

75   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:25 am

Again, according to this quiz it is clear what Chris R is teaching… baptism saves

He even twists a few scriptures to negate being clothed in Christ… as being baptized… sorry… we are immersed into the Body of Christ… which has nothing to do with getting wet!

iggy

76   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:27 am

You done good Phil… you can keep your job! :smile:

77   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:30 am

Rick Warren teaches sole fide and Chris R. teaches baptism saves. Any comments, PB?

Hmmm? Waiting. The inconsistency and partiality of men like PB has become scandalous.

78   Brett S    
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:32 am

Rick,

Brett – I have no desire to speak about your church personally with someone like you.

I love you to man! But I have no problems (and in fact a responsibility) to correct the record when people make incorrect/ridiculous claims about what my church teaches.

I’m not forcing anyone to agree with the RCC, but what you said about Catholic teaching not being about Jesus is just wrong:

teachings that create the atmosphere of heresy.
1. The place of Mary
2. The power of dead saints
3. The papal “ek cathedra”
4. Baptismal regeneration
5. Purgatory
6. Salvation belongs to the church

B16’s book was all about Jesus, because the teachings of the RCC are all about Jesus. If you separate any of these teaching (some you misrepresent, ie. “dead saints”) from Jesus Christ you strip them of their meaning. You may not except these teachings (no problem! you’re a free man) but the Catechism is entirely Christocentric, and the RCC claims that all of it’s teachings come from Jesus Christ.

And yes indeed Mary is the most Christocentric person that ever lived. From nursing him and changing diapers when he was born, from taking him to temple for holy week, to suffering by his side when he was brutally murdered, her entire life was about nothing but Christ.

79   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:34 am

Notre Dame Our Mother!

Go Irish!!

( I am always tempted to say a Hail Mary during football season)

80   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:34 am

I do not agree that Rick Warren teaches sola fide. He may say it, but he does not teach it.

I still am not seeing anything on this link…I will read it again…where Chris claims Baptism saves. If h does say that, he is wrong. Does that make him a heretic, Rick?

81   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:36 am

#79
Too bad they got smoked by USC again this past season….LoL

So which catholic team does God really cheer for?

82   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:36 am

BTW Brett – The Apostle Paul never mentions Mary. The entire theology concerning Mary was constructed by a tortured and expanded interpretation of the narratives.

83   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:39 am

“Does that make him a heretic, Rick?”

Yes.

Baptism Saves – the link.

84   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:40 am

From your link, Rick…

It is wrong to conclude that baptism is the only way of salvation. Baptism is a way of salvation that God has given us. We find examples of those who were saved through baptism and those saved prior to their baptism or with no baptism at all.

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:43 am

From my link:

“God is active in baptism while we are passive. We can only receive what God gives through baptism.

In Acts 4:38, Peter states that we receive both forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit in baptism. We are the passive players in this action.”

I see your quote and raise you this one. Chris R. believes that God forgives sins by water baptism. That is what the RCC teaches as well.

86   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:44 am

It is wrong to conclude that baptism is the only way of salvation. Baptism is a way of salvation that God has given us. We find examples of those who were saved through baptism and those saved prior to their baptism or with no baptism at all.

If baptism is “a way” of salvation, that kind of negates Solus Christus as Iggy already mentioned. That’s even more problematic…

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:45 am

PB – Are you defending Chris R. because he states there are more than ONE WAY to receive salvation. You are defending that?

Rick Warren is more orthodox than are you, he only believes in ONE WAY – as does Paul and me.

88   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:50 am

We are not saved by baptism. We are saved through faith alone in Christ alone.

Baptism is a way that we demonstrate that this is an inward reality in our lives. It is also being obedient to the clear call in scripture.

That is what the Bible teaches. That is what I teach. That is what I read Chris to be teaching.

You guys who talk all about being generous readers are sure being judgmental on this one…

89   Brett S    
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:51 am

BTW Brett – The Apostle Paul never mentions Mary. – Rick

I reiterate. RCC teaching on Mary is based on Jesus Christ; not St. Paul.

If you think that whole lightning and temporary blindness thing was bad, I’m sure St. Paul was quite careful what he said about the Lord’s momma.

90   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:53 am

#89
I am just glad she showed up in NYC the other night.

91   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 am

You guys who talk all about being generous readers are sure being judgmental on this one…

Generous reading doesn’t have anything to do with this particular issue. Chris R. believes In baptismal regeneration – a good number of Protestant denominations do. That’s simply a fact. That’s why they baptize infants. It’s been an ongoing struggle in Protestantism for a long time. Heck, many people have been killed over it.

I believe the point is that you seem to be rather selective in your outrage.

92   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:01 am

Phil,
You must be speaking of covenant baptism, like they practice in the Anglican church. They baptize as an act of faith that the child will him/herself respond to the Gospel when they come of age. Nothing wrong with that, it is not heresy. Baptism does not save them in that instance, but it is a place they start, and in the future, hopefully respond by faith.

93   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:03 am

It is wrong to conclude that baptism is the only way of salvation. Baptism is a way of salvation that God has given us. We find examples of those who were saved through baptism and those saved prior to their baptism or with no baptism at all.

Again, so much for Sola Christus! Toss it out the window!

Jesus is now only ONE of the ways as long as you are baptized… thanks for clearing that up PB…

I will stick to the bible though… where Jesus states He is The Way… not a way… and shares another way with works… in any form.

iggy

94   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:09 am

You must be speaking of covenant baptism, like they practice in the Anglican church. They baptize as an act of faith that the child will him/herself respond to the Gospel when they come of age. Nothing wrong with that, it is not heresy. Baptism does not save them in that instance, but it is a place they start, and in the future, hopefully respond by faith.

That is what Anglicans believe, but that isn’t what many Lutherans historically believed. They believed that an infant who was baptized was saved. This is why they killed many Anabaptists. They thought re-baptism was a heresy worth killing for. Granted, they’re aren’t hoards of Lutherans roaming around killing people today, but many of them still believe in baptismal regeneration.

All I’m saying is that if Rick Warren were saying what Chris R. is saying you’d be all over him…

95   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:15 am

Rick Warren teaches a lot more inaccurate things than Chris R does…and he has a bigger and more visible ministry.

96   Joe    
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:33 am

John Chisham,
RE: #88

That is what the Bible teaches. That is what I teach. That is what I read Chris to be teaching.

Then, you’ve never talked to him or read anything that he has written. He sat in my living room and laid out his case stating that he believed in Baptismal Regeneration. That he did not believe that Baptism was symbolic or a public display of our obedience but it was tied to our salvation.

I’ll anxiously await your post(s) castigating him and calling him a heretic.

97   Brett S    
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:34 am

I don’t understand why you guys make everything so difficult sometimes.
I think almost every one here is agreed that Jesus saves.
I plain reading of the words of scripture will tell you that baptism saves.
(That doesn’t mean that Jesus does NOT save)

The waters of baptism save because of Jesus. Bread and wine save because of Jesus. The words of the bible save because of Jesus. The old priest that heard my sins in the confessional last night saves because of Jesus.

God gave us real things to save us because of his son who became flesh and dwelt among us. So we don’t really have to become merely spiritual, ethereal beings, that can perform truly spiritual WORKS like asking Jesus into our hearts, and listening to truly spiritual preachers.

98   M.G.    
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:57 am

#97

You know, that makes more and more sense to me everyday.

Catholicism here I come!

:-)

99   ncgal55    
April 3rd, 2009 at 11:59 am

Chris R has a podcast on World View Weekend. There he teaches his views on baptism.

100   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 12:10 pm

“You guys who talk all about being generous readers are sure being judgmental on this one…”

And you, who can pick a doctrinal fly on the Moon, look the other way when it comes to an attack partner. Can you say duplicitous?

I think I would rather attend Brett’s church than Chris R’s. I, like Joe, look forawrd to your open castigation of Chris R. and his aberrant teachings. (or not)

101   Bo Diaz    
April 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 pm

You know, that makes more and more sense to me everyday.

Catholicism here I come!

The more Pastor Boy talks, the more Catholicism sounds better than Protestantism.

102   Brett S    
April 3rd, 2009 at 12:17 pm

MG,

I suggest the following:

1. Say 10 Hail Marys immediately
2. Find the nearest priest and put $1000.00 down payment on your indulgences to shave off 100 years in purgatory.
3. Pledge allegiance to whatever the pope says and say 10 more Hail Marys
4. Place a statue of Mary somewhere near your front lawn and begin worshipping it immediately
5. Bury St. Joseph statue in your backyard and say 10 more Hail Marys
6. Cut the heads off of 1 bat and 2 chickens (I don’t recall what to do with the blood, but I’ll look it up in the Catechism and get back to you).
7. Say 10 more Hail Marys
8. Burn any bibles in your home immediately
9. Say 10 more Hail Marys (add 1 Hail Holy Queen)
10. Show up with candles next Saturday Night at the Easter Vigil [they’ll almost have to let you sign up, right :) ]

103   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 12:19 pm

FF

(Father Frueh)

104   nc    
April 3rd, 2009 at 1:53 pm

“Truth, sir. Your vindictiveness almost persuades me to return to Rome.”

;)

then again, if KS is correct, we’ll all be there eventually anyway.

105   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I will be exuding profundity concerning baptism on my new outlet,

Thug Christian Radio

The topics include:

* The water must be chlorine free
* Set to between 70 and 74 degrees
* No pictures
* No applause
* You must dry naturally – no towels
* You must be under the water for 3 minutes (symbolic)
* If genuine salvation does not occur, rinse and repeat

106   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
April 3rd, 2009 at 4:42 pm

You must be under the water for 3 minutes (symbolic)

LOL!

I was baptized… at least 3(?) times… the last time was by a Pentecostal preacher who was known for long winded “Holy Ghost” prayers… I have no idea how long I was under…

When the ambulance came and revived me I felt I was truly “saved”…

OK that last part was made up… but I really do not remember how long I was under water… I do remember the preacher stating just before I gave a short testimony, “Don’t grab the mic or we will both die.” :lol:

iggy

107   Bo Diaz    
April 3rd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Brethren churches all baptize you three times. They just do it all at once to get it over with.

108   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
April 4th, 2009 at 1:05 am

I could not get into CRN.Info for some reason yesterday so this comment should have been posted around the #80’s:

Let us not forget what the question was that was answered by this parable (as highlighted by the post) – who is my neighbour? The Jews (and Jesus) had doctrinal differences with the Samaritans which I think can be gathered from Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4:

Joh 4:20-22 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither worship the Father in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

In spite of doctrinal differences (maybe even considered heretical by the Jews?) Jesus chose to use a Samaritan as the example of a loving neighbour. Now that is scandalous!

So to the point that Chris L made, who is my neighbour? The Catholic to Pastorboy, the Slice Lady to Pontificate Frueh, RA to Ken, Pastorboy to Iggy, Rick Warren to Chris R…