Fundamentals of Christianity
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Christians believe that God took human form as Jesus Christ and that God is present today through the work of the Holy Spirit and evident in the actions of believers. While the actual nature of this life is not known, Christians believe that many spiritual experiences in this life help to give them some idea of what eternal life will be like. These days, the word saint is most commonly used to refer to a Christian who has lived a particularly good and holy life on earth, and with whom miracles are claimed to have been associated after their death.
The formal title of Saint is conferred by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches through a process called canonisation. Members of these Churches also believe that Saints created in this way can intercede with God on behalf of people who are alive today. This is not accepted by most Protestants.
In the Bible , however, the word saint is used as a description of anyone who is a committed believer, particularly by St. Paul in the New Testament e.
mentiscopia [licensed for non-commercial use only] / Twelve Fundamental Principles of Christianity
Ephesians 1. The New Testament records that Jesus taught his disciples how to pray and that he encouraged them to address God as Father. Christians believe that they continue this tradition. Whilst prayer is often directed to God as Father, as taught by Jesus, some traditions encourage prayer to God through intermediaries such as saints and martyrs.
Prayers through Mary , as the mother of God, are central to some churches and form a traditional part of their worship. The Christian church is fundamental to believers. Although it has many faults it is recognised as God's body on earth.
The church is the place where the Christian faith is nurtured and where the Holy Spirit is manifest on earth. It is where Christians are received into the faith and where they are brought together into one body through the Eucharist.
The Christian church believes in one baptism into the Christian church, whether this be as an infant or as an adult, as an outward sign of an inward commitment to the teachings of Jesus. Eucharist is a Greek word for thanksgiving. Its celebration is to commemorate the final meal that Jesus took with his disciples before his death the Last Supper.
This rite comes from the actions of Jesus who, at that meal, took bread and wine and asked his disciples to consume them and continue to do so in memory of him. The Eucharist also known as a Communion meal in some churches is central to the Church and is recognised as a sign of unity amongst Christians. Different Churches understand and practice the Eucharist in different ways. As a result, the central ideas of the Eucharist can cause disharmony rather than unity.
For example, the idea that Christ is present in the bread and wine is interpreted literally by some churches and metaphorically by others. This has given rise to substantial and often irreconcilable disagreement. Search term:. Read more. It is still, however, the same; and, if examined, will be found to be so different from, and so hostile to, real Christianity, that it is not, in fact, Christianity at all.
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Christianity, as revealed in the Sacred Writings, is salvation by Christ. It sets Him before us as at once a perfect man, the everlasting God, the Godman Mediator; who, by appointment of the Father, became a Substitute for all who were given Him. It teaches that by Him God's justice was magnified, and His mercy made manifest; that, for all who trust in Him, He fulfilled the law, and brought in a complete righteousness; and that by this alone they can be justified before God.
It teaches that His death was a perfect sacrifice, and made full satisfaction and atonement for their sins, so that God lays no sin to their charge, but gives them a free and full pardon; that He has ascended to the right hand of God, and has sent down the Holy Spirit to be His only Vicar and Representative on earth; that He is the only Mediator between the righteous God and sinful man; that it is by the Holy Spirit alone that we are convinced of sin, and led to trust in Jesus that all who trust in Him, and obey Him with the obedience of faith and love, are saved, and, being saved, are made "kings and priests unto God" [ Revelation ], and have "eternal life" in Him.
This is Christianity, the Christianity which the Apostles preached. But side by side with the Apostles, Satan went forth also, and preached what Paul calls " another gospel" [ Galatians ]. Paul did not mean that it was called "another gospel;" but that as Satan "beguiled Eve through his subtlety" 2 Corinthians , so some, while professing to teach the Gospel, were turning men away "from the simplicity that is in Christ;" and by doing so, did, in fact, teach "another gospel.
He calls those who did so "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ;" and he adds, "no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" 2 Corinthians Let us consider well the meaning of these passages of Scripture. Paul says that there cannot be another Gospel; the conclusion, therefore, is evident, that these teachers were not teachers of Christianity, but of a Satanic delusion.
I submit that the teaching of Rome is at least as different from that of the Sacred Writings as that which Paul calls "another gospel;" and that, therefore, his words authorize us to say that Romanism is not Christianity.
But Romanism does not even profess to be founded on Scripture only: it claims a right to depart from what is contained in it—a right to add to Scripture what is handed down by tradition; and both to depart from and add to Scripture by making new decrees. It forbids the cup to the people, for instance, in what it calls "the mass," and yet admits that it was not forbidden to them at "the beginning of the Christian religion" Council of Trent, Session 21, chap.
It says that councils and the pope have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to make decrees by which, in reality, the doctrines delivered by Christ are entirely annulled.
To show how extensively this has been done, let the reader endeavor to trace the full effect of what Rome teaches as to baptismal regeneration, transubstantiation, justification by means of sacraments and deeds done by us, the invocation of saints—things which are entirely opposed to the teaching of Christ. The canons of the Council of Trent, which sat at intervals from to , may be called the Bible of Romanism.
They were translated into English, as late as , by a Roman Catholic priest, under the sanction of Dr. The Council tells us that one end for which it was called was "the extirpation of heresies. It tells us that Rome receives The Sacred Scriptures and " The Unwritten Traditions …preserved in continuous succession in the Catholic Church, with equal affection of piety and reverence " Session 4 ; also that "no one may dare to interpret the Sacred Scriptures" in a manner contrary to that "Church; whose it is to judge respecting the true sense and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures;" nor may any one interpret them "in a manner contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers" Session 4.
Christ commands us to "prove all things" 1 Thessalonians ; to "search the Scriptures" John ; to ascertain for ourselves, as the Bereans did, whether what we hear agrees with what we read in Scripture Acts He commands us to "hold fast the form of sound words," uttered by Himself and His Apostles 2 Timothy ; to "contend earnestly for the faith delivered once for all to the saints" Jude 3. But Rome says, "Let no one dare to do so"—let all " Christian princes…cause [men] to observe " our decrees Session 16 , nor "permit" them to be "violated by heretics" Session The Romanist must not dare to have an opinion of his own; his mind must exist in the state of utter prostration and bondage; he must not attempt to understand the Scripture himself.
And if others attempt it—if they dare to receive the teaching and do the will of Christ, instead of receiving fictions and obeying commands of men, which wholly subvert and destroy the truth and will of Jesus, Rome commands the civil ruler to restrain them; and, by the use of fines, imprisonment, and death, to compel them, if possible, to renounce what God requires them to maintain and follow, even unto death. The Bible, the whole Bible, nothing but the Bible, is the standard and the rule of Christianity. To know its meaning for ourselves, to receive its teaching, to rely on its promises, to trust in its Redeemer, to obey Him from delight of love, and to refuse to follow other teaching, is Christianity itself.
But Romanism denies all this; and therefore, Romanism is not Christianity. He says, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who use you despitefully and persecute you" Matthew But Romanism teaches men to hate, and, if they are able, to persecute to the death all those who will not receive it. Its deeds have been diabolical and murderous. It is "drunken with the blood of the saints.
Such a warning is what is told of the 24th of August, On that day the Protestants of Paris were devoted to slaughter by members of the Papal Church. For the one offence of being Protestants, thousands were slain. The streets of Paris ran with blood; everywhere cries and groans, were mingled with the clangor of bells, the clash of arms, and the oaths of murderers. The king, Charles IX; stood, it is said, at a window, and, every now and then, fired on the fugitives.
Every form of guilt, cruelty, and suffering, made that fearful night hideous and appalling. Never, in any city, which has professedly been brought under the influence of Christianity, was there such a reveling in blood and crime. You may say, "Why do you recall the atrocities of a time so remote?
When the tidings of this wholesale murder were received in Rome, the cannon of St. Angelo were fired, the city was illuminated and Pope Gregory XIII and his cardinals went in procession to all the churches, and offered thanksgivings at the shrine of every saint. The Cardinal of Lorraine, in a letter to Charles IX, full of admiration and applause of the bloody deed, said, "That which you have achieved was so infinitely above my hopes, that I should have never dared to contemplate it; nevertheless, I have always believed that the deeds of your Majesty would augment the glory of God, and tend to immortalize your name.
Some say that Rome has ceased to persecute. But this is not the fact; either as to her acts, or rules of action. S he asserts that she is unchanged, unchangeable; that she is infallible, and cannot alter, except so far as necessity, or plans for the future, may require; and facts are often occurring which prove that persecution is still approved by her. Rome has little power now; her persecuting spirit is kept in abeyance for a time; but it is still there.
When it is free from restraint, it knows no way of dealing with difference of opinion but by the rack, the stake, the thumbscrew, the iron boot, the assassin's dagger, or a wholesale massacre. Let all who value their liberty, all who love the truth as it is in Jesus have no fellowship with such deeds of darkness, nor with those who work them. Let us show that we have no sympathy with such a cruel spirit; and that we love the names and memory of the noble army of martyrs of the Reformation; of those who sealed their faith with their blood; of those who died to release their country and their posterity from the bondage of Rome.
I agree with Dr. Samuel Waldegrave, when he says that, "The Convocation of the English clergy did wisely, when, in the days of Elizabeth, they enacted that every parish church in the land should be furnished with a copy of Foxe's Book of Martyrs;" and that it would be well if a copy of it were "in every house, yea, in every hand;" for "Rome is laboring, with redoubled effort, for the subjugation of Britain," and "the people have forgotten that she is a siren who enchants but to destroy.
THIRDLY: As to the sacrifice of Christ, Christianity teaches that He was " offered once for all, to bear the sins of many" Hebrews ; that those who are sanctified by His sacrifice are so "by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all " Hebrews ; that "by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified," or made holy Hebrews : these passages declare that the sacrifice of Christ was offered once for all, never to be repeated.
But Rome declares that Christ is sacrificed anew, every time that the Lord's supper, which she calls "the mass," is celebrated; and that those who administer it are sacrificing priests.