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9-5/6-2016 Gospel Saints

The Apostle Paul wrote: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1 Corinthians 1:2 NKJV).  There were “saints” in the church of God in Corinth.  Paul had “testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ,” “And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:5,8 NKJV).  “Saint” is short for “sanctified,” or set aside for spiritual purpose.  A “saint” calls on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.”  When Saul of Tarsus was told to “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16 NKJV), “he arose and was baptized” (Acts 9:18 NKJV).  There were “saints” before any Roman Catholic Church.             

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#church-of-god, #roman-catholic-church, #saint, #sanctified

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9-7-2016 Saints Serving The Poor

There was no Roman Catholic Church in existence when Paul wrote: “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7 NKJV). They were “distributing to the needs of the saints” (Romans 12:13 NKJV).  Paul was “going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem” (Romans 15:25-26 NKJV).  There is more than just serving the poor, however, for “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV).   Serving without love “profits nothing.”  Corinthians “hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8 NKJV) and were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#love, #poor, #roman-catholic-church, #saints

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9-5/6-2016 Gospel Saints

The Apostle Paul wrote: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1 Corinthians 1:2 NKJV).  There were “saints” in the church of God in Corinth.  Paul had “testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ,” “And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:5,8 NKJV).  “Saint” is short for “sanctified,” or set aside for spiritual purpose.  A “saint” calls on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.”  When Saul of Tarsus was told to “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16 NKJV), “he arose and was baptized” (Acts 9:18 NKJV).  There were “saints” before any Roman Catholic Church.             

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#roman-catholic-church, #saints

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9-7-2016 Saints Serving The Poor

There was no Roman Catholic Church in existence when Paul wrote: “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7 NKJV). They were “distributing to the needs of the saints” (Romans 12:13 NKJV).  Paul was “going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem” (Romans 15:25-26 NKJV).  There is more than just serving the poor, however, for “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV).   Serving without love “profits nothing.”  Corinthians “hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8 NKJV) and were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#roman-catholic-church, #saint

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2-10-2016 “Mardi Gras” And The Bible

Though Mardi Gras is not officially approved by the Roman Catholic Church, it is officially ignored! It is the Tuesday of sinful excesses before their official “Ash Wednesday” beginning their 40 penitential days of “Lent.” (1) None of this is taught in the New Testament of God’s Word; (2) Everyone who practices these things do so by the authority of the apostate Roman Catholic Church, not God; (3) Before conversion, Christians “once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Ephesians 2:3 NKJV), but not afterward; (4) Paul preached to Jews and Gentiles “that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20 NKJV), but there was never a “season of repentance.”

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#mardi-gras, #roman-catholic-church, #season

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Please go back to the Words of…

Please go back to the “Words of Wisdom” for 6/23/2015. A Roman Catholic has replied, and I have replied to him.

#roman-catholic-church, #words-of-wisdom

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6-23-2015 Catholic Church Bails Out Again!

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. On June 18, 2015, he sent an encyclical to be read to Catholics endorsing a new world political authority” action based upon “Climate Change.” Is this another abandonment of true scientific facts for Catholic Church political gain? This Church, in 1633, persecuted the Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo with house arrest for the last 8 years of his life. In 1992 they admitted he had been right: the Earth DOES revolve around the sun! “Climate Change” is another unscientific idea being popularized for political power. After the Earth’s destruction by flood in Noah’s day, God decreed, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22 NKJV). No “climate change” on God’s real world!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#climate-change, #galileo, #political-power, #roman-catholic-church, #unscientific-idea

Pope Francis has only "half of the saint’s love"

According to a recent story, pope Francis has been credited with a miracle…wait a second, make that a “half miracle” after a vial of 1,700-year-old blood partially turned to liquid when he kissed it. This same blood purportedly liquefies at least three times a year, if the “faithful” are faithful enough in prayer; the blood has being doing so for the last 600 years, although this is the first time the blood has done such in the presence of the “papacy” in over 150 years.

In response to why the blood only partially liquefied, the pope said, “If only half of it liquefied that means we still have work to do; we have to do better….We have only half of the saint’s love.

In response to why the blood only partially liquefied, the Bible says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 – ESV)

#catholicism, #pope-francis, #roman-catholic-church

WHO ARE SAINTS?

With its widespread influence through its practices, teachings, and traditions, Roman Catholicism has tainted the original idea of the word “saint” in the minds of many to the extent that very few in the world would ever think of calling what the Bible describes as a Christian a “saint.”

Notice the following concerning the process by which one may become a “saint” in the Catholic Church. “Canonization is an act or definitive sentence by which the Pope decrees that a servant of God, member of the Catholic Church and already declared blessed, be inscribed in the book of saints and be venerated in the universal Church with the cult given to all saints.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, Pg. 55). In other words, a person could read and study his Bible, obey the gospel through faith, repentance, confession and baptism, and thus be saved from past sins (Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:10), do all he could to please God, die a faithful Christian and go to heaven eternally, but never be recognized as a “saint” because the Pope did not declare it and he never belonged to the Catholic Church. Continue reading

#catholic-doctrine, #denominational-errors, #roman-catholic-church, #saints, #sanctification

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Was Jesus Christ Beheaded?

If the Roman Catholic Church is right, Jesus Christ was decapitated on September 17, 2013 in Malaga, New Jersey. Among nine statues damaged were 3 five-feet-tall statues of Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was beheaded, Virgin Mary, and Our Lady of Fatima. These were located outside of St. Mary’s Malaga Catholic church. Spokeperson for the Camden Diocese Peter Feuerherd said, “These are important symbols of the Catholic faith and in that way when you attack the symbols of faith you attack the faith.” —CBS Philly, September 19, 2013

The fact that there is no physical description, drawing, image, or icon of Jesus Christ in Scripture or out of the Scriptures in the 1st Century doesn’t seem to influence anybody. Jesus was “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), and God always condemned every attempt to recreate His image. To the Israelites under Moses’ Law, God said: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 5:6-9). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul preached to idolaters: “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (Acts 17:29). There is no physical description of God, whether in the flesh or not, although “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Every statue, icon, painting, or other representation of Jesus Christ comes only as “shaped by art and man’s devising,” not God’s revelation! To call a church building or statue “sacred” is purely by the authority of men, and is totally contrary to the Will of God, for Jesus said, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father’” (John 4:21). It is the church of Christ, not a building, but the people, who form the “building” that is “a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-22).

That physical buildings and statues are “important symbols of the Catholic faith” is yet another proof that the “Catholic faith” and the faith in the Word of God are completely separate and contrary to each other! The Roman Catholic Church is not the church of Christ in the New Testament, and never has been true to the Word of God. The practices of the Roman Catholic Church are based upon idolatry, not the faith of Scripture, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), and the Word of God condemns idolatry (1 John 5:21)! An idol means nothing to a Christian’s faith, for there is only “one God, the Father,” and “one Lord Jesus Christ,” so food sacrificed to an idol is not “sacred.” However, Paul asked: “if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?” Though such idols mean nothing to a Christian as a matter of faith, Christians are to show respect for the consciences of idol worshippers who are converted to Christ, but still haven’t elevated God to His supreme place in their hearts. This should be done without compromising their own Christian faith (1 Corinthians 8:4-13). A Christian would never offend another Christian’s conscience who has not developed to his own level of understanding, and wouldn’t think of intentionally desecrating those things that are considered religious “symbols” of others. Christians would, however, strive to teach the emptiness of such practices, as Paul did (Acts 14:8-18).

Instead of considering a statue of Jesus “holy,” why not let Jesus, Himself, be “that Holy One” (Luke 1:35), who died for you and God raised up (Acts 3:12-16), for whom you “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), so that you may be “holy” (Colossians 1:21-23)?  —–John T. Polk II, Dover, TN

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #faith, #god, #idolatry, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #religion, #roman-catholic-church, #statues, #teaching, #truth, #worship

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God and “The Pope” Agree!

          According to the “Living faith” section C of The Huntsville Times, Friday, June 14, 2013, the article on Religion & Church News carried an item titled, “NO, I did not want to be Pope.” It was an interview from McClatchy-Tribune that quoted the 3-month-in-office “Pope” of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, as saying: “’No, I didn’t want to be pope. A person who wants to be pope does not love himself,’ the pontiff added, in a trademark show of humility.’”  Based upon his comments, God would agree that:

1. Since “Pope” is a Latin term for “father,” and since Jesus Christ forbade anyone using the term “father” as a term for a spiritual leader (Matthew 23:9), then God would agree that Francis should not be “pope!”

2. Francis “didn’t want to be pope,” a position which is supposed to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Apostle Paul claimed that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11). Since God’s “mighty power” raised Jesus from the dead and “put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23), then God placed Jesus Christ over His church, not a “pope!” Thus, God would agree that He didn’t want Francis to be “pope” over the church!”

3. Francis said, “A person who wants to be pope does not love himself.” God’s Word has said that, after “the falling away,” “and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), but whose followers would be “among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10), then Francis must not “love himself” for taking the position of apostasy that God condemns! God would agree that any man who takes such a position “does not love himself” or the truth, either!

4. Contrary to the article cited above, there is no “trademark show of humility” in anyone who opposes God, sits in God’s temple, or claims to forgive sins which only God can do (Matthew 9:1-8)! Jesus Christ condemned public displays of the Pharisees, which are remarkably like that of a “pope:” “all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues” (Matthew 23:5-6). No “pope” has ever manifested a “trademark show of humility,” while claiming to be equal with God! The real head of the church of Christ, “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). No “pope” has ever humbled himself to die on a cross for the church of Christ! God would agree that there is no “trademark show of humility” in this, or any other “pope.”

It’s too bad the “pope” refuses to tell his followers what Jesus said would give salvation in Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Will this “pope” agree with God?

#church-of-christ, #father, #god, #humble, #hypocrisy, #jesus-christ, #pharisees, #pope, #roman-catholic-church, #salvation, #show-of-humility, #teaching

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“Has the church of Christ Lost Its Head?” (a power point presentation)

http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/HasTheChurchOfChristLostItshead.swf

#bible, #church-of-christ, #foundation, #jesus-christ, #peter, #pope, #process, #roman-catholic-church, #truth

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Where Was “Vatican Smoke” In The New Testament Church?.

Please read Acts 15:1-31, then read the following:

1. There was NO appeal to Peter, but to “apostles, elders” and the “whole church” gathered to hear Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 12 (“all the multitude”), 22

2. EVERY speaker proclaimed only the Word of God (Oral & Written):

    (1) Acts 15:2-4:  Paul and Barnabas proclaimed what God had been doing among Gentiles (before Acts 13-14 had been written);

    (2) Acts 15:5-11: Peter reminded them of the events of Acts 10-11 in selecting Gentiles to be saved (before it had been written down);

    (3) Acts 15:12-21: James preached God’s Prophecy about the goal of bringing in Gentiles, quoting Amos 9:11-12, THEN gave HIS “judgment”;

    (4) Acts 15:22:  THE CONCLUSION WAS INSPIRED ENTIRELY BY GOD’S WORD (A.K.A. “SCRIPTURE”), AND IT WAS UNANIMOUS – LIKE NO Roman Catholic Church COUNCIL!!!!

3. The letter sent to the Gentiles with this Apostolic preaching (Acts 15:23-31) was an Apostolic “letter” (Greek: epistole). When copies are actually distributed to the Christians of a Gentile background (Acts 16:4), they are termed “decrees” (Greek: dogmata): The “DOGMA” was necessary and delivered immediately to the Gentiles!!!!  Refer to Acts 15:1-16:5 and notice that:

(1) The church didn’t wait hundreds of years to know “dogma.”

(2) This was an epistle of Scripture from the Apostles, and NOT from a Roman Catholic Church “Magisterium,” or “Vatican Council,” or “College of the Cardinals,” or announced by “smoke!” When Peter and the REAL Apostles of Jesus Christ taught and wrote Scripture, it was in writing that WAS “Scripture,” based upon Scripture, NOT the result of political “in-fighting” and out-maneuvering ,as is continually practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. People who “blow smoke” are NOT Apostles of Jesus Christ!

(3) “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” Acts 16:5. The churches of Christ are always strengthened by Scripture and always apostatize when following human commandments (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). Wrong attitudes always produce and defend wrong doctrines(1 Timothy 6:3-5)!

4. THERE WAS NO VOTE TAKEN, NOR SUCCESSIVE SESSIONS OF THIS COUNCIL!

5. There was NO: supremacy of Peter, voting on doctrine; waiting hundreds of years to deal with controversy; multiple sessions to arrive at a conclusion; opposition to the views expressed; PRESENTATION OF ANY OUTSIDE “TRADITION;” “COMMENTARIES;” OR PREVIOUS “COUNCIL” CONCLUSIONS; BUT ONLY SCRIPTURE (BOTH WRITTEN & UNWRITTEN)!

6. This was the ONLY council gathering like it in Scripture.

    (1) The gathering to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:13-26) did nothing to replace James the brother of John
when Herod killed him (Acts 12:1-2);

    (2) The gathering to disprove Jewish heretics sent Gentiles their “dogma” (Acts 15:1-31) and never met again!

—–John T. Polk II

#bible, #bible-study, #christianity, #church-of-christ, #dogma, #epistle, #faith, #preaching, #roman-catholic-church, #scripture, #vatican, #writing

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Was Peter the First “Pope?”

Matthew 16:13-20: When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

 1. Jesus had said to “Simon Peter” John 1:40, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas (which is translated, A Stone [petros])” John 1:42

a. Why did not Jesus give Peter the name “Petra” (feminine) in this passage, to relieve any confusion later?

b. Jesus, not Peter, is referred to as petra in the New Testament:  Matthew 16:18: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Romans 9:33:  “As it is written: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame’” (quoting from Isaiah 8:14; 28:16). 1 Corinthians 10:4: “For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Peter 2:8: “’A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.”

c. There is NO original Aramaic manuscript of Matthew known. (1 If Matthew wrote it in Aramaic, God preserved a majority of Greek MSS; (2 Matthew, himself (guided by the Holy Spirit!), would have translated his book into Greek, for Greek was understood by most people then; (3 The only “Aramaism” preserved in this passage would be “Cephas,” but because the Greek word makes a distinction between Peter’s name and the foundation of the church, no appeal to the “Aramaic” would justify making Peter’s name equal to the foundation of the church of Christ! (4 As there are no original MSS of any other New Testament Books, either!

d. Paul condemned as a “schism” any who followed Peter, not Jesus, as the Head of the church 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.

e. When Jesus said to Peter “Follow Me” John 21:19, Roman Catholic Church says it is teaching Peter’s Primacy. But when Jesus tells Philip “Follow Me” John 1:43 NO ONE suggests the Roman Church is built upon Philip!!

2. IF this clearly taught Peter’s Superiority over all the other Apostles, then:

a. Why were they still disputing the issue later? Matthew 20:20-28

b. How were James, Cephas & John all “pillars?” Galatians 2:9

c. Then was Paul the Gentile “Pope?” Galatians 2:7-10

d. How was the church of Christ “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone?” Ephesians 2:20

 3. Peter IS IN the foundation, but IS NOT “THE Foundation!”

a. The Church of Christ is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstoneEphesians 2:20

b. NOTHING IN SCRIPTURE separates Peter from the other apostles in their work of establishing the church of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:5: “For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles.”  1 Corinthians 9:5:  “Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?”

c. Peter was never acknowledged as being in Rome, or its “Bishop!” (1 Paul was prisoner in Rome and wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Philemon, but NEVER MENTIONED PETER AS BEING IN ROME! (2 Paul wrote Romans and saluted 27 Christians, but NOT Peter!   (3 Peter wrote 2 letters, but never mentioned being in Rome!                 —–John T. Polk II

#bible-study, #christianity, #church-of-christ, #peter, #pope, #roman-catholic-church

“Compelle Intrare”

In Jesus’ banquet parable (Luke 14:12-24), the master sent his servant to gather up guests for the feast. His instructions were, “Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled” (v. 23, ESV).

In Latin, “compel people to come in” is written, “compelle intrare.” From early centuries of church history through medieval times and beyond, the Roman Catholic Church leaned on a grotesquely twisted interpretation of “compelle intrare” in Luke 14:23, concluding that governmental authorities had the right to coerce people into the church. In a perverse marriage, Catholicism and the state were so tied together that the former could dictate the latter use deadly force against the church’s enemies. And, the church’s enemies included whatever men and doctrines were not in lock step with what the Catholic Church taught. Forced conformity to Catholicism was the glue holding society together. Naturally, if people were allowed to study the Bible for themselves, voluntarily practice what they believed from their own study, and freely preach their views, it would be a fundamental threat to the church’s power (and the crumbling of society, as they knew it).

Reformers such as Martin Luther are often hailed for their courage in confronting the status quo in religion (i.e. Catholicism). Yet, what they created in the Reformation was simply another state religion like Catholicism—only with certain different doctrines. In other words, while Luther opposed the Catholic Church, he very much endorsed the idea that the Reformed church could use force against its own enemies.

While the reformers (such as Luther, John Calvin, etc.) were battling Catholicism, there were others insisting that both sides were wrong in their concept of a church which forced itself on everyone in a given locale. The view of these objectors was that the church of Christ consisted of voluntary believers, and that it had no connection to the state; nor was it biblical to use force in spreading the gospel. They studied their Bibles and clung to their convictions. They also found themselves mercilessly persecuted by both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers.

Martin Luther commissioned his friend, Urbanus Rhegius, to fight those who were calling for a church formed only of voluntary believers. Rhegius said:

“The truth leaves you no choice; you must agree that the magistracy has the authority to coerce his subjects to the Gospel. And if you say, ‘Yes, but with admonition and well-chosen words but not by force’ then I answer that to get people to the services with fine words and admonitions is the preacher’s duty, but to keep them there with recourse to force if need be and to frighten them away from error is the proper function of the rulers….What do you suppose ‘Compelle intrare’ means?” (quoted in Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren, p. 74).

Those who thought the church and state were separate, that the state should not interfere with the church, and that the church should be organized along New Testament lines, were considered radicals and hated as enemies. One of them was Felix Manz, of Zurich, Switzerland. His goal was “to bring together those who were willing to accept Christ, obey the Word, and follow in His footsteps, to unite with these by baptism, and to leave the rest in their present conviction” (ibid.). In other words, Manz was opposed to coercion and held that the church should consist of true believers—those who wanted to accept and obey the gospel.

For his “heretical” ideas, Felix Manz had his hands tied around his bent knees, with a big stick shoved between his elbows and knees so that he could not move his arms. He was put in a boat and rowed into the Limmat River, where he was thrown into the frigid water to drown. The date was January 5, 1527.

Over the recent centuries, both Catholicism and Protestantism have had to back off of “compelle intrare,” but neither the former nor the denominations that sprang from the latter have gone all the way back to the primitive church’s organization and practice. Therein lies their insuperable problem.

If we, in the church of Christ, had lived back then, we would have been hunted like dogs by both Catholics and the Reformers. We are still at spiritual war with their religious descendants, but, thanks be, at least they cannot come after us today with a death warrant.

#catholic-church, #catholicism, #denominations, #felix-manz, #john-calvin, #martin-luther, #protestant-reformers, #protestantism, #reformation, #roman-catholic-church, #urbanus-rhegius