Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category

Sermon: Which Church of God for You?

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

True Christian Church Cove Finalr

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce a sermon which is at its ContinuingCOG channel:


1:30:52

Which Church of God For You?

There are many claimed Church of God groups.  Which should you be part of? Dr. Thiel was raised Roman Catholic and explained why he rejected both Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as why he has been particular about WHICH Church of God.  He explains various standards from the Bible to encourage all to support the most faithful Church of God which is a remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God which began under Herbert Armstrong in 1933.  He explains some of what issues that other claimed COG groups have, and prophetic issues related to the Great Tribulation.  He explains the proper priorities of the most faithful, as well as certain doctrines that the faithful would be expected to hold fast to.

Here is a link to the related booklet: Where is the True Christian Church Today?

Here is a link to the sermon: Which Church of God For You?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: Unidad: ¿Cuál Iglesia de Dios para usted?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
The Philadelphia Church Era
was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of GodContend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV), “Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue” (Hebrews 13:1) “…continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI.
Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ? This overview answers that and explains what the Church of God basically stands for. In the appendices provides information about certain complaints and as well as an overview about many COG-related groups.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here is a sermon Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos This is the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God in Tagalog, the primary language of the Philippines.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Use of the Dalmatic?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014


Roman Catholic deacon wearing a Dalmatic (Eric Stoltz)

COGwriter

The pro-Vatican news agency Zenit reported the following today from priest Edward McNamara, who is a professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university:

September 23, 2014

The proper vestment for a deacon at Mass is an alb (with an amice if required), cincture, stole worn in the diaconal manner, and dalmatic. The stole and dalmatic should be of the corresponding liturgical color.

This vestment is a knee-length, sleeved garment. It was originally developed in Dalmatia, modern-day Croatia, and was imported into Rome during the second century.

At first the dalmatic, which was originally longer, reaching the heels, and more ample than today, was not well received, being seen as somewhat effeminate. Later, however, it became popular among Roman senators and imperial officials as a substitute for the toga and was even used as the proper garb for the consecration of the emperor.

From this it became a habit proper to the pope and to bishops. Finally it was introduced as a vestment for the deacons of Rome by Pope Sylvester I in the fourth century and gradually became their proper vestment. For a time, especially during the ninth to 14th centuries, bishops and even priests would sometimes wear the dalmatic under the chasuble. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/when-to-wear-a-dalmatic

So, what does this report tell us?

Consistent with other historical reports, this shows admits that the vestments of Catholic deacons was not an original Christian practice. 

Specifically, Catholic priest and scholar priest Edward McNamara is admitting:

  1. The dalmatic was not from the Bible.
  2. The dalmatic was not an original garment that deacons wore.
  3. The source of the dalmatic came from worldly society.
  4. People had concerns about the dalmatic because it was considered to be effeminate.
  5. The dalmatic became associated with imperial politicians, including emperors.
  6. Because of its ties to politics, it was adopted by pontiffs and bishops.
  7. During the time of Emperor Constantine, it was adopted for use by deacons.

Sylvester I was bishop of Rome from 314 to 335 A.D., which was during the reign of the sun-god worshiping Emperor Constantine.  The Bishops of Rome did not take the title Pontifex Maximus, which Constantine held, until several decades after his death.  But because of how the pagan priests dressed, it was during the reigns of Sylvester and Constantine that the Church of Rome adopted the vestments that they now wear.

Although Edward McNamara is referring to the dalmatic as part of the proper vestment for deacons during Catholic mass, this most certainly does not come from the Bible nor the practices of the early followers of Christ.

Notice what was written by a former Roman Catholic priest named Peter de Rosa:

Rome…successors will be not the servants but the masters of the world. They will dress in purple like Nero and call themselves Pontifex Maximus…

By the time Stephen III became pope, the church was thoroughly converted to the Roman Empire. From the Donation, it is plain that the Bishop of Rome looked like Constantine, lived like him, dressed liked him, inhabited his palaces, ruled over his lands, had exactly the same imperial outlook. The pope, too, wanted to lord it over church and state. (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, pp. 34,45).

Pontifex Maximus was a title, literally meaning bridge-builder (but figuratively meaning the link between God and man) that Roman Emperors, including Constantine, used for themselves. Emperor Constantine had been a follower of Mithras, and apparently influenced many of the Greco-Roman clergy to dress like the clergy of Mithraism. Why else would Bishop Sylvester do this as it was not from the Bible?  This was an obvious change to the practices of the original Christian leaders (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?).

Much of the Greco-Roman clergy wears distinctive robes, but notice that Jesus even denounced religious leaders of His day for doing so:

38 In his teaching he said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted respectfully in the market squares, 39 to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; 40 these are the men who devour the property of widows and for show offer long prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’ (Mark 12:38, NJB)

6 ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes and love to be greeted respectfully in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets, 47 who devour the property of widows, and for show offer long prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’ (Luke 20:46-47)

So, twice in Catholic translations of the Bible, dressing in distinctive robes is condemned. Also, it appears that the practice of priests trying to get money from widows related to ‘purgatory‘ would also seem to be being specifically condemned by Jesus.

Furthermore, the New Testament has a warning about appearing effeminate.  The following is from a Catholic translation of the Bible:

9 Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

11 And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Douay-Rheims)

Furthermore, the Bible (using another Catholic translation) warns:

15 Do not love the world or the things of the world.If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2:15-17, NABRE)

Yet, Bishop Sylvester was enticed and chose pretentious garments, not from the Father, from the world.  Every time one sees a Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopal, or Eastern Orthodox clergyman dressed in their typical ecclesiastical vestments, realize that they are outwardly displaying compromise that earlier leaders made with Emperor Constantine and his pagan religion in the fourth century.

None of the commonly used external vestments by the clergies of those religions came from the Bible nor the original apostles.

The Greco-Roman faiths are NOT the continuation of the original Christian religion.

 

Some items of possibly related interest may including the following:

Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Catholic scholars admit Linus was not a Pope

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

History of Early Christianity

COGwriter

September 23rd is the day recognized by the Catholics of Rome to honor Linus of Rome. Typically he is shown second on the list of bishops that purport to show the Roman Catholic pontiffs. For information about him in the Spanish language, check out Linus no fue obispo de Roma.

There is an individual named Linus in the Bible. He is mentioned one time. Here is the only passage that mentions him:

Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen (2 Timothy 4:19-22).

The above was probably written, in approximately 67 A.D. – 68 A.D., by the Apostle Paul while in prison in Rome to the evangelist Timothy, who was in Ephesus.

This shows that Paul knew someone named Linus. Linus, therefore knew Paul, and was in Rome when Paul wrote this letter. It can probably be reasonably implied that Linus probably knew Timothy, and perhaps others in Ephesus. And based on Paul’s writings, it can be concluded that Paul, at that time, considered that particular Linus to be a Christian. It is probably logical to conclude that Linus met with Paul in prison on multiple occasions and probably, like the others, assisted him to some degree.

What it does not show is that Linus was to be the leader of those in Rome or ordained by Peter. Others are listed before him, hence, at least at the time Paul wrote this letter, there is no preeminence for Linus in Rome (and it should be noted that one of the proofs that Rome often cites to prove that Peter had preeminence is that Peter was quite often listed first in various New Testament passages involving multiple people). Linus simply was one of many who knew and probably assisted the Apostle Paul. The lack of emphasis/preeminence in Paul’s writings would seem to suggest that Linus could not have been the one to become the “bishop of Rome” and the successor of Peter and Paul in 67 A.D. Especially since it is believed that the Apostle Paul probably did not die until 68 A.D.

Whether or not this is the same individual named Linus that many Roman Catholics consider to be the first pope (the first “bishop of Rome”) to succeed Peter cannot be determined from the passages in 2 Timothy. This is confirmed by Catholic scholars, such as J.P. Kirsch, who wrote:

We cannot be positive whether this identification of the pope as being the Linus mentioned in II Timothy 4:21, goes back to an ancient and reliable source, or originated later on account of the similarity of the name (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

But it seems that even if the Roman Catholics are referring to the same person, that he was not the one who was going to immediately become THE bishop of Rome–if he was it would be logical if Paul would have given Linus some special mention. Instead, he is simply grouped in with several others in Rome at that time (nor is Linus even mentioned first).

There are several demonstrably incorrect claims made about him by some in the Church of Rome. For example, here is something from a book I purchased in Vatican City:

2. LINUS, ST. (67-76)…He was the first to take up the inheritance of St. Peter…He made disposition for women to be admitted to the holy places and attend functions with their heads covered…He was buried beside St. Peter in the first Vatican burial spot. It is certain that he did exist while some have thrown doubt on his election to the pontificate. (Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni as sponsored by the Pontifical Administration, Roma, 1997, p. 1)

The main historical fact is that Linus’ name showed up on a list. Not that he was Peter’s successor.

Here is some of what the Catholic scholar J.P. Kirsch wrote in The Catholic Encyclopedia about Linus:

The “Liber Pontificalis” asserts that Linus’s home was in Tuscany, and that his father’s name was Herculanus; but we cannot discover the origin of this assertion. According to the same work on the popes, Linus is supposed to have issued a decree “in conformity with the ordinance of St. Peter”, that women should have their heads covered in church. Without doubt this decree is apocryphal, and copied by the author of the “Liber Pontificalis” from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (11:5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. The statement made in the same source, that Linus suffered martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)

Much about Linus is more than improbable.

Netherland’s Priest Roderick Vonhögen is the Chief Executive Officer of a pro-Catholic media group (SQPN) which correctly teaches, “Pope Saint Linus…ancient documents about his papacy have proven to be inaccurate or apocryphal” (Pope Saint Linus. saints.sqpn.com/saintl23.htm, viewed 09/18/12).

Yet, Linus is claimed to have been the first successor of Peter and head of all Christendom by the Church of Rome.

Here is what John O’Malley, a Jesuit Priest and Catholic historian, published:

The earliest lists of popes begin, not with Peter, but with a man named Linus. The reason Peter’s name was not listed was because he was an apostle, which was a super-category, much superior to pope or bishop…

The Christian community at Rome well into the second century operated as a collection of separate communites without any central structure…Rome was a constellation of house churches, independent of one another, each of which was loosely governed by an elder. The communities thus basically followed the pattern of the Jewish synagogues out of which they developed. (O’Malley JW. A History of the Popes. Sheed & Ward, 2009, p. 11)

It should be pointed out that the Apostle John outlived Linus and some of the others considered to have been early “popes.” Thus, the above admission is consistent with the Church of God view that the leadership of the Christian church in the late first century was clearly in Asia Minor, and not Rome, as that is where the Apostle John was based.

It should also be mentioned that none of the Roman Bishops took the title Pope until the late 4th century, so there is no way that Linus was Pope Linus.

Anyway, there likely was a genuine Church of God Christian leader in Rome named Linus who may have been an elder. Since there is no contemporary biblical nor other historical evidence that Rome had a bishop over it then, etc. Linus was certainly not the “Bishop of Rome” who somehow supposedly succeeded the Apostle Peter. Catholics and others might be surprised to learn that the first known “Bishop of Rome” did not take that title until the mid-second century and that title “Pope” or Pontificus Maximus was not taken by the bishops of Rome until the late fourth century.

Some items of possibly related interest may including the following:

“Pope” Linus (67-76)…He is claimed to be the first to take up the inheritance from Peter, but he is omitted from Tertullian’s list. There is a Linus mentioned in the Bible. For some information about him in the Spanish language, check out Linus no fue obispo de Roma.
Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? How should Matthew 16:18-19 be understood?
The Apostle Peter He was an original apostle and early Christian leader. Where was Peter buried? Where did Peter die?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Blessing of little children or infant baptism? What does the Bible actually teach?

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

COGwriter

Traditionally, the Church of God has a ceremony called the “blessing of little children” for infants and young children. Greco-Roman faiths such as Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxism, and Lutheranism instead teach infant baptism. (Here is a link to this information in the Spanish language Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños.)

Which is scriptural?

Baptism of Infants/Children

Of the 100 or so times the terms Baptist, baptize, baptized, etc. are used of those in the New Testament, there is never one time that infants or young children are specifically mentioned as being baptized.

There is no recorded instance that baptism not allowed unless there was some type of repentance or professed belief. The Roman Catholic Church (as well as other churches, like the Eastern Orthodox) understand that, but they change the practice for infants.

Notice what what Catholic named Jodocus Tiletanus admitted,

We are not satisfied with that which the apostles or the Gospel do declare, but we say that, as well as before as after, there are divers matters of importance and weight accepted and received out of a doctrine which is NOWHERE SET FORTH IN WRITING. For we do blesse the water wherewith we baptize, and the oyle wherewith we annoynt; yea and besides that, him that is christened. And (I pray you) OUT OF WHAT SCRIPTURE have we learned the same? HAVE WE NOT IT OF A SECRET AND UNWRITTEN ORDINANCE? And further what scripture hath taught us to grease with oyle? Yea, I pray you, whence cometh it, that we do dype the child three times in that water? Doth it not come out of this hidden and undisclosed doctrine, which our forefathers have received closely without any curiosity, and do observe it still? (Harvet, Gentianus. Review of Epistles, PP. 19B, 20A, London 1598, as quoted by Hislop, A in The Two Bablyons, emphasis mine).

Hence it is known that infant baptism is not from scripture and that somehow it entered Catholicism from a secret ordinance. Furthermore, the Catholic Church itself teaches that following about baptism:

Baptismal Vows The name popularly given to the renunciations required of an adult candidate for baptism just before the sacrament is conferred. In the case of infant baptism, they are made in the name of the child by the sponsors (Delany J.F. Transcribed by Janet Grayson. Baptismal Vows. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

1427 Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 398).

However, since a baby cannot repent nor confess belief in Christ, any statement by an adult sponsor cannot be imputed to the baby. That is one of the most important reasons why infant baptism is not appropriate. The Catechism of the Catholic Church sort of even admits that when it states:

1231…By its very nature infant baptism requires a post-baptismal catechumenate. Not only is there a need for instruction after Baptism, but also for the necessary flowering of baptismal grace in personal growth…

1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism…

1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents help is important. So too, is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized–child or adult–on the road to the Christian life. There task is a truluy ecclesial function (officium) (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, pp. 342,351).

What is a required post-baptismal catechumenate? The statement does not make logical sense (as the dictionary definition of catechumenate does not seem to mean “godparents”, it seems to mean one new to the faith instead, which is about the same definition of a catechumen). More importantly, an infant does not have any faith to begin with, hence does not the have faith that grows after baptism. An infant is incapable of repentance and no one can repent for someone else (the Bible, in Philippians 2:12 teaches, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”).

In addition, there is nothing in the entire Bible that suggests that any “godparents” are assigned to either children or adults after baptism (there also is no example of infant baptism in the entire Bible). How can “the role of the godfather and godmother” be an important and ecclesial function if it is not even mentioned in the Bible? It is also not mentioned in any early Christian writings.

Interestingly, Irenaeus says that the Valentinians had heretical views regarding baptism:

But there are some of them who assert that it is superfluous to bring persons to the water, but mixing oil and water together, they place this mixture on the heads of those who are to be initiated, with the use of some such expressions as we have already mentioned. And this they maintain to be the redemption (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book 1, Chapter 21, Verse 4).

Yet is this not close to what is done today within Roman Catholicism, as well as other groups, that practice infant baptism?

Blessing of Little Children is Scriptural

On the other hand, the Bible does enjoin the fact that infants/toddlers can be prayed for and blest. Notice what Jesus said and did:

14 “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:14-16).

15 Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. (Matthew 19:13-15)

It is likely that the worldly churches, who had read the accounts in the gospels and perhaps heard of it performed in the early COG, may have used that as part of their justification.

In fact, when I researched this further today, I found that the Catholic Church does refer to this passage in Luke 18 & Matthew 19 as part of its justification for infant baptism (see article Baptism in The Catholic Encyclopedia). But sadly, they are confusing a blessing ceremony with baptism.

None of the children that Jesus laid hands on are recorded to have been immersed into water or sprinkled with water prior to Jesus blessing them (which is part of why I thought I should list all the accounts in the gospels on this).

Hence what Jesus did WAS NOT a form of infant baptism, but instead a ceremony that is retained by relatively few today, like those of us in the Continuing Church of God. But oddly, those groups that embrace infant baptism do not seem to have kept this.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church Was it by immersion? Did it include infants? Does Polycarp prove infant baptism? Here is a link to some information in the Spanish language: Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños. A related sermon video is titled Baptism: What is it and how should it be done?
Did Real Christians Practice Nude Baptism? This is not a joke. Find out what was taught in the second and later centuries.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
Real Conversion Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion.
False Conversion Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this article on this important subject.
All About Water Baptism What is baptism? Would you like to know more about it. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. As far as early history, see also Baptism and the Early Church.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Seventh Month Movement and CG7

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Blowing of a Shofar

COGwriter

Sunset Wednesday, September 24th, 2014, will begin the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar known as Tishri.

Tom Roberts, who at the time he produced this was part of a group called CG7 Meridian (not to be confused with the vastly larger CG7-Denver), wrote:

In 1858, Gilbert Cramer from the Marion Party, founded eight churches which would ultimately become the Church of God Seventh Day. Out of this ministry arose the Remnant of Israel under the leadership of G. G. Rupert who definitely advocated the meaning of Holy Day observance. (“Remnant of Israel”, G. G. Rupert, Vol 10, No. 11, September, 1929) Some today are suggesting that G. G. Rupert was a delegate at the 1888 Seventh Day Adventist Conference which began the change of direction of the SDA Church from its founders with the departure of Wagner and Jones.This conference was very significant because its theme was “Righteousness by Faith” and was needed to free Sabbatarians from legalism.Unfortunately, as the years passed, many of the founding voices of Adventism who once gave support to the Seventh Month Movement were no longer influential.Ellen White even stated that the Adventist camp meetings should replicate the Feast of Tabernacles…

As the years progressed, Adventist scholars such N. L. Andreason, Raymond Cottrell, Ken Richards, Desmond Ford, and many others began to question the classical Adventist positions taught about the history of their beginnings and the direction the church was taking. There were those who wanted to go back to the non-trinitarian, Holy Day, Kingdom of God on earth positions of the church. Others such as Desmond Ford, wanted the church to move in an evangelical direction while some at La Sierra University have tried to place the church on a more progressive path. Once again, the church is beginning to denounce all feast day keepers. Angel Rodriguez, PhD, and others have denounced the entire feast day movement. In spite of this, the ethos of feast day movements are still are behind the thinking of much of Seventh Day Adventist theology. One such example is Leslie Hardinge’s In the Shadow of His Sacrifice. He does an absolutely brilliant job of teaching Christianity the meaning of the Holy Days and the lessons that should impact their thinking about the Messiah.

Today there is a growing but small number of small groups of Adventist Holy Day Keepers who are attempting to resurrect the Seventh Month Movement in the Adventist Church. Dr. John Vandenberg is leading the charge along with a few other scholars and pastors by showing the Seventh Month Movement should never have been buried in Adventist history but instead modified to exclude its theological errors. It should have retained the spirit of Holy Day keeping in the worship and the life of the church.

Let us all pray and support this movement and fellowship with them as offer our love and service.

Gilbert Cranmer helped form a group that was called Church of God, Adventist. Eventually, various changes occurred to that group and it became, in the 20th century, the Church of God, Seventh-day (CG7).

The reasons for the term “Seventh Month Movement” include the fact that the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar contains what are commonly referred to as the ‘Fall Holy Days.’ The first day of the seventh month (Tishri) is the Feast of Trumpets, and then all the rest of the Fall Holy Days occur in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Hence “Seventh Month Movement” connotes observance (to some degree) of the biblical Fall Holy Days.

Most Sabbath-keeping Church of God groups observe and endorse the biblical Fall Holy Days of the seventh month (the Church of God, Seventh-day Denver does not, but it now does allow its members to do so).

There are also some within the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) movement that endorse the holy days, but they are a minority.

Yet, the late SDA scholar Samuele Bacchiochi not only endorsed the biblical holy days late in his life, he also wrote books about them (which I purchased and read) explaining why he felt that they had biblical and historical support for their observances.  He even cited some statements from Ellen White hinting that she supported their observance.

Every now and then, I hear from some associated with the SDA movement who recognize that doctrinal compromise has occurred within it and that they lean more towards Church of God doctrines in certain areas.

CG7 itself allows its members to observe the biblical holy days if they do not insist that others need to.  Interestingly, A.N. Dugger, who was president of CG7 in the early part of the 20th century ended up keeping the holy days himself after he left that organization.

Those of us in the Continuing Church of God do observe the biblical holy days.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not?
Offertory: Blow the Trumpet This is an offertory video for the Holy Days, and specifically was made for the Feast of Trumpets. It goes through various scriptures in Jeremiah Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, and Isaiah related to blowing trumpets. It also contains an audio clip of the blowing of a shofar. It discusses who is blowing the trumpet now. And provides statistics to back up that conclusion.
The Trumpet Release This is a sermon focused on the Feast of Trumpets for 2013. What is the Feast of Trumpets? How can this be part of God’s plan of salvation? Why do the Jews refer to it as Rosh Hashanah? What is the seventh year of release? Should it be restored and proclaimed? Did early Christians keep the Feast of Trumpets? Why should any one keep it now? What will happen with the seven trumpets of Revelation? Why do many not understand aspects of it?
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014 This is information on the expected Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God for 2014. The Feast in 2014 begins the evening of October 8.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The real Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, and differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. It also answers the question, “Did Ellen White make clear prophetic errors?”
Church of God, (Seventh Day): History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace part of their history through some affiliation with this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Bosserman Claims Jesus Was Not Deified Until Constantine

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

History of Early Christianity

COGwriter

In issue #165 of The Journal: News of the Churches of God was a full two page advertisement that contains the following:

Jesus was just a man for 300 years. How did he become God?

Most of us have been exposed to the Trinity and other extrabiblical teaching, but how many of us know that Jesus didn’t become God until 300 years after his death!  …

Is it possible that “one God” means exactly that? One, not two or three? The concept of two or three Gods took root in Constantine’s council of Nicea some 300 years after Jesus’ death.

Was the early church unitarian until the 4th century Council of Nicea (325 AD)?

No.

Is this easy to demonstrate?

Yes.

Early Christians considered that the Father and the Son were God and that the Holy Spirit was the power of God. And while some dispute this, historically it is a fact.  While I firmly believe that the Bible demonstrates the deity of Jesus, since the headline of the ad addressed the subject of church history, this post will mainly answer the questions from church history.

First, we in the Continuing Church of God do not recognize the Council of Nicea or other Greco-Roman councils put together as authoritative for defining doctrine.

Second. as I stated earlier the Bible deified Jesus, so this was known in the first century.

Third, early Christians, including leaders that seemed to be part of the Church of God in the second century were binitarian.

Ignatius  wrote around 100-115 A.D.,

For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit. He was born and baptized so that by His submission He might purify the water (Ignatius of Antioch, Letters to the Ephesians 18,2–note this is translated the same by at least three separate translations as done by Dr. Lightfoot, J.H. Srawley, and Roberts & Donaldson).

…God appeared in human form to bring newness of eternal life (Ignatius. Letter the Ephesians, 19,3. In Holmes: The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI), 2004, p. 149).

Hence, Ignatius (who apparently lived in the times dominated by both the Ephesus and Smyrna eras of the Church), who received Polycarp’s praise, also recognized Jesus as God, and thus could not have been a traditional unitarian.

Ignatius also stated:

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy (Ignatius’ Letter to the Ephesians, Verse 0. In Apostolic Fathers. Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation).

He also stated something similar to the Smyrnaeans:

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, to the church of God the Father and of Jesus Christ the Beloved, which hath been mercifully endowed with every grace, being filled with faith and love and lacking in no grace, most reverend and bearing holy treasures; to the church which is in Smyrna of Asia, in a blameless spirit and in the word of God abundant greeting. I give glory to Jesus Christ the God who bestowed such wisdom upon you” (Ignatius’ Letter to the Symrnaeans, Verses 0-1.1. In Apostolic Fathers. Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation).

It is important to note that Ignatius referred to both the Father and the Son as God in both places (and I verified that it is in the original Greek), but he never called the Holy Spirit ‘God.’

Polycarp was known as the Bishop of Smyrna and probably the first physical head (under Jesus Christ) of the era when Smyrna dominated. He was neither trinitarian nor unitarian according to various historical documents. The following quote attributed to him shows that he (and thus by inference the rest of Smyrna) was not unitarian,

Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal High-priest Himself, the [Son of] God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth, and in all gentleness and in all avoidance of wrath and in forbearance and long suffering and in patient endurance and in purity; and may He grant unto you a lot and portion among His saints, and to us with you, and to all that are under heaven, who shall believe on our Lord and God Jesus Christ and on His Father (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians in APOSTOLIC FATHERS (as translated by J.B. LIGHTFOOT) 12:6,7).

It probably should be noted that Dr. Lightfoot left out “Son of” in his translation, which is in the Latin. It should also be pointed out that I am aware of another translation of this section by Roberts and Donaldson in Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol, 1 which omitted the term “God” before Jesus Christ, but I verified that the term “deum” is in the Latin version of this epistle {the original Greek versions did not survive pass chapter 10}. Dr. Lightfoot’s translation “our Lord and God Jesus Christ” is a literal translation of the Latin “dominum nostrum et deum Iesum Christum.” The University of Notre Dame Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid states “deus -i m. [a god , deity].” The term “deum” is the masculine accusatory form of the word “deus”. Since traditional unitarians do not call Jesus God, it appears clear that Polycarp clearly was not one of them. Furthermore, he did not ever call the Holy Spirit God.

Near the end of the second century, Melito of Sardis (whom Catholics and others consider to be a saint) wrote

No eye can see Him, nor thought apprehend Him, nor language describe Him; and those who love Him speak of Him thus: `Father, and God of Truth” (Melito. A Discourse Which Was in the Presence of Antoninus Caesar. In Ante-Nicene Fathers by Roberts and Donaldson, Volume 8, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), printing 1999, p. 755).

Melito also wrote, “For the deeds done by Christ after His baptism, and especially His miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the Deity hidden in His flesh. For, being at once both God and perfect man likewise…He concealed the signs of His Deity, although He was the true God existing before all ages” (Melito. On the Nature of Christ. In Ante-Nicene Fathers by Roberts and Donaldson, Volume 8, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), printing 1999, 760).

This clearly shows that Melito considered Christ to be God, as well as the Father (though a God without some signs of His deity). There is no indication in any of the surviving writings of Melito that he considered that the Holy Spirit was also God, hence he seemed to hold a binitarian view. Actually, like most binitarians, his writings suggest that the Holy Spirit was simply the power of God as he wrote:

The tongue of the Lord-His Holy Spirit. In the Psalm: “My tongue is a pen.” (Melito. From the Oration on Our Lord’s Passion, IX. In Ante-Nicene Fathers by Roberts and Donaldson, Volume 8, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), printing 1999, p. 760).

The finger of the Lord-the Holy Spirit, by whose operation the tables of the law in Exodus are said to have been written (Melito. From the Oration on Our Lord’s Passion. In Ante-Nicene Fathers by Roberts and Donaldson, Volume 8, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), printing 1999, p. 761).

Since God had the written the ten commandments Himself (Exodus 31:18), this shows that Melito only considered the Holy Spirit to be the power of God, not a separate person.

Modern scholars, like Larry Hurtado, have realized the Christians who claimed to be Nazarene including most considered to be proto-orthodox” held a binitarian view of the Godhead:

…”Nazarene” Christianity, had a view of Jesus fully compatible with the beliefs favored by the proto-orthodox (indeed, they could be considered part of the circles that made up proto-orthodox Christianity of the time). Pritz contended that this Nazarene Christianity was the dominant form of Christianity in the first and second centuries…the devotional stance toward Jesus that characterized most of the Jewish Christians of the first and second centuries seems to have been congruent with proto-orthodox devotion to Jesus…the proto-orthodox “binitarian” pattern of devotion…(Hurtado LW. Lord Jesus Christ, Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, 2003, pp. 560-561,618).

as recorded in the New Testament, Jude wrote:

…contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered for the saints” (Jude 3).

The faith delivered once for all should not have been changed.

Regarding the New Testament, even a non-binitarian scholar has admitted:

The binitarian formulas are found in Rom. 8:11, 2 Cor. 4:14, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:20, 1 Tim 1:2, 1 Pet. 1:21, and 2 John 1:13…No doctrine of the Trinity in the Nicene sense is present in the New Testament…There is no doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense in the Apostolic Fathers…(Rusch W.G. The Trinitarian Controversy. Fortress Press, Phil., 1980, pp. 2-3).

Since modern scholars know that the early church was binitarian have you been taught this before?  It certainly was not unitarian.

If not, perhaps you had better look into this further.

Some items of related interest may include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
What is the Holy Spirit? This is an article by Rod Reynolds.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Orthodox Bishop John Chrysostom

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

John Chrysostom on Ceiling in Constantinople

John Chrysostom (Istanbul, Turkey. May 2008)

COGwriter

Today is the day that the Church of Rome and the Church of England honor one of their ‘saints,’ who is also a ‘doctor’ of the the Roman and Eastern Orthodox churches, named John Chrysostom.

The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches the following about him:

St. John Chrysostom

John — whose surname “Chrysostom” occurs for the first time in the “Constitution” of Pope Vigilius (cf. P.L., LX, 217) in the year 553 — is generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. (Baur, Chrysostom. “St. John Chrysostom.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 11 Aug. 2013 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08452b.htm>)

Here is some information from another Catholic source:

Saint John Chrysostom

Also known as

  • Greatest of the Greek Fathers
  • Golden-Mouth
  • Giovanni Crisostomo

Memorial

  • 13 September

Profile

John’s father died when he was young, and he was raised by a very pious mother. Well educated; studied rhetoric under Libanius, one of the most famous orators of his day. Monk. Preacher and priest for a dozen years in Syria. While there he developed a stomach ailment that troubled him the rest of his life.

It was for his sermons that John earned the title Chrysostom = golden mouthed. They were always on point, they explained the Scriptures with clarity, and they sometimes went on for hours. Made a reluctant bishop of Constantinople in 398, a move that involved him in imperial politics…Archbishop and Patriarch of Constantinople. Revised the Greek Liturgy. Because John’s sermons advocated a change in their lives, some nobles and bishops worked to remove him from his diocese; he was twice exiled from his diocese. Banished to Pythius, he died on the road.

Greek Father of the Church. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 451. (http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-john-chrysostom/ viewed 08/11/13)

He is considered to be so important, he is one of the four ‘doctors of the church’ who is shown supporting what is called the Cathedra Petri (Chair of Peter) in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. This is a structure that I have pointed out has been called Satan’s Throne (see Another view of ‘Satan’s Throne’?).

While some apparently thought John, the Bishop of Constantinople, was a captivating speaker, he did not understand the Bible nor properly explain it.

Over 1600 years ago, God’s Holy Days were condemned by this racist, John Chrysostom, who is now considered to be a Catholic and Orthodox saint. Several years ago, the Protestant Christianity Today named John Chrysostom the person of the week and the then Pope Benedict XVI praised him (see Christianity Todays’ “Person of the Week”).

Here is what their John Chrysostom publicly preached in 387 A.D.:

The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies…Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that festival, but all of them together. (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407) : Eight Homilies Against the Jews. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html 12/10/05).

The wicked and unclean fast of the Jews is now at our doors. Thought it is a fast, do not wonder that I have called it unclean…But now that the devil summons your wives to the feast of the Trumpets and they turn a ready ear to this call, you do not restrain them. You let them entangle themselves in accusations of ungodliness, you let them be dragged off into licentious ways. (John Chrysostom. Homily II Against the Jews I:1; III:4. Preached at Antioch, Syria on Sunday, September 5, 387 A.D.).

So also the Law fixed the feast of Tabernacles (John Chrysostom. Homily IV Against the Jews IV:3. Catholic Christians of Antioch Turning to Sabbath and The New Moon Day and Other Holy Days. 387 A.D.).

John Chrysostom preached against the Fall holy days, because some who professed Christ were observing them. Specifically he mentioned the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement (Fasts above), and the Feast of Tabernacles. It is interesting to note that John Chrysostom must have realized that the second century church kept Passover the same time as the Jews did (this was even true in the early second century in Rome). And that the Catholic Church still kept Pentecost. Thus by preaching what he did, John Chrysostom is preaching against his own church as the Roman and Orthodox Catholics claim to keep both Passover (though on a different date, and with a different name) and Pentecost–as both of those festivals would be part of “all of them together.”

It should be noted that the basic reason that John Chrysostom preached against the holy days was due to antisemitism. In demonstrates this in his Homily Against the Jews (of which there are at least eight antisemitic homilies) as he calls the Jews by a variety of names. Here are a few of his statements:

But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable (I:II:1).

So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on a par. But the Jews practice a deceit which is more dangerous (I:VI:4).

Do you see that demons dwell in their souls and that these demons are more dangerous than the ones of old? (I:VI:7).

Since it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle line, let me extend my instruction further. Let me show that, by fasting now, the Jews dishonor the law and trample underfoot God’s commands because they are always doing everything contrary to his decrees. When God wished them to fast, they got fat and flabby (VI:IV:2).

Indeed, the fasting of the Jews, which is more disgraceful than any drunkenness, is over and gone (VIII:I:5).

But the facts are that the Holy Days were kept by Jesus, the New Testament Church, and those faithful to their teachings. And the other fact is that no where in the Bible do we see hatred against the Jews. Jesus taught we were to love our neighbor (and most the of “neighbors” He was then talking to were Jewish).

Furthermore, the New Testament calls one of the so-called “Jewish” holy days “great.” Notice the following from both a Protestant and a Catholic translation:

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out (John 7:37, NKJV)

And in the last, the great day of the festivity JESUS stood, and cried (John 7:37, Rheims New Testament).

So who is right?

Those who follow Jesus’ practices or those who condemn them?

Recall that John Chrysostum, in this case, somewhat correctly stated,

If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies.

So which days should be observed? Which have a “great day” according to the Bible? Which days are lies?

John Chrysostom supported days with pagan ties such as Christmas and Easter.

John Chrysostom was not faithful to the scriptures and no one should follow his false traditions above the word of God.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople and Antisemite This late fourth/early fifth century Bishop of Constantinople is considered to be a ‘saint’ and ‘doctor’ by the Church of Rome, Church of England, and the Eastern Orthodox, but he did not teach Christ’s love.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Recollections of WCG, etc. in Canada

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Victoria, B.C. Harbor, Canada Children's Choir in Victoria, B.C.

COGwriter

A reader from Canada, who was once part of the old Worldwide Church of God, sent the following to me and gave me permission to post this:

Considering the short time (two years) that the Continuing Church of God has existed, to have “a couple dozen congregations” is a fairly good achievement. You also mentioned having a few supporters scattered in [across] Canada. Recalling the history of the (original)  Radio/Worldwide Church of God in Canada, the number of Canadian supporters is more than that of the WCG for the first two years they had. Radio stations, in Mr. Armstrong’s time were less powerful and were barely reaching the northwestern Canada/USA border. It took several years and many more stations added across the USA before Canadians were able to listen to the “World Tomorrow” broadcast. As more stations were added to the Pacific Northwestern states, more Canadians were able ‘tune in’ and started to write for literature.

Finally, in the 50′s (I cannot recall the exact date) Mr. Armstrong sent his son Garner Ted to Vancouver to obtain a post office mail box and and open a small office there. I believe Mr. Dean Wilson was sent there to operate it and later became the first Canadian director of the Work in Canada. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wilson several times (during the 70′s) both at the Feast of Tabernacles in Penticton, BC and Victoria, BC. He also held a Personal Appearance campaign at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton. A (then) young minister, Ronald Miller sang two solos during this event. During the early years, these two men (with possibly one or two others) took a ‘baptizing tour across Canada. Soon afterwards, there were bible study groups, that later became congregations in every province across Canada. My wife and I started attending WCG Edmonton in the summer of 1972. In 1975, Ron Miller baptized my wife and his ministerial assistant Clyde Killough (now president of COGWA) baptized me while they were ministers here. I would say that in 1976, the WCG in Canada reached its peak in membership. At that time in Edmonton, there were four congregations in the city with an average of 210 attending in each congregation. Calgary had two. However, as bible studies were flourishing throughout the province, they quickly became church congregations and many people, who came into Edmonton for Sabbath, started attending a congregation closer to home. We then merged Edmonton North with Edmonton West for the north side of the river and merged Edmonton East with Edmonton South for the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, which runs right through the centre of the city. Calgary did the same and went back to having only one congregation. Both cities were ‘field training centres’ for many Ambassador College Graduates from Big Sandy and Pasadena, and even a few from Bricket Wood. We have had somewhere between 30 and 40 ministers that spent time In fact, I could list most of their names and I am sure you would remember many of their names from COG news articles you either read about in Dixon Cartwright’s Journal or your own research (for COG News) as they have surfaced in many stories. These years in the 70s were indeed exciting times. I get carried away writing or talking about this era.

I will not write much more but feel it necessary to briefly mention when I left the WCG. When my sister died in 1992, I moved to Chilliwack, BC, 80 miles east of Vancouver to look after my elderly mother for seven years … It was while I was there that the WCG started to fall apart and early in 1996, I left the WCG as did 70 percent of the Abbotsford congregation. While ‘in transition’ I met with others in various homes. Occasionally, I attended Global in that area, as did many of my friends who left WCG but then problems started occurring there as well. Finally, I started attending UCG in White Rock, just east of Vancouver and later a UCG congregation, although less than thirty people, was started in Abbotsford, which was closer to Chilliwack. …

That briefly tells the story of the church situation in western Canada, and a little bit of my own COG experience.

The writer wanted me to add that this was the recollection of events to the best of his knowledge, but that he felt it accurately represented what happened with him and various others in Canada.  It should be mentioned, however, that while Clyde K. is with COGWA, he is not its president.

Anyway, in 1991, our family went to Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) for the Feast of Tabernacles. Over 1,000 (perhaps 2,000 or more) attended. At the beginning of this post is a picture of Victoria Harbor and the children’s choir at the Feast that year.

As far as Canada and the Feast of Tabernacles goes, the Continuing Church of God is planning to have a video site in New Brunswick, Canada next month (see Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7.The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Marcion, the Early Church of God, and COGaIC

Friday, August 29th, 2014

History of Early Christianity

COGwriter

Several years back, David Hulme of COGaIC interviewed John Garr about Church History, and here is how that interview began:

Reexamining the roots of Christianity has become a major endeavor among New Testament scholars. In an attempt to better understand and relate to Judaism in the wake of the Holocaust/Shoah, their studies have yielded some surprising admissions and necessary corrections to the way Jesus of Nazareth, Paul of Tarsus and the early Church are regarded. A general conclusion is that first-century Christianity was far more Jewish or Hebraic in its beliefs and practices than has been accepted for almost 2,000 years.

One scholar who has pondered the implications of these rediscovered roots is John Garr, president of Restoration Foundation, which specializes in making known the Hebrew heritage of what came to be called Christianity. Vision publisher David Hulme interviewed him…

DH You have written: “In the middle of the second century, the Hebrew foundations of Christian faith were attacked by the first great heresy that challenged the church.” You also note that “some of the ideas of this heresy so permeated the church’s corporate psyche that it has not yet fully recovered its spiritual and scriptural equilibrium.” What was the heresy and what has been its specific effect?

JG The heresy was called Marcionism after Marcion, a very wealthy man who was strongly influenced by Hellenic culture, the ideas of Plato, and much of Gnosticism. Marcion wanted to separate Christianity from any connection with Judaism and the law. He said that the Old Testament was a record of a failed religion that should be destroyed, and actually had been destroyed by Jesus Himself. He even went so far as to rewrite Matthew 5:17, where Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to destroy them but to fulfill them.” Marcion turned it around and said that Jesus’ actual words were “Think not that I have come to fulfill the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to fulfill them but to destroy them.” Further, he took some of Paul’s epistles and some sections of the book of Luke and edited them to eliminate any connection with Judaism or the Old Testament. As a result of his actions, church leaders finally branded him a heretic and excommunicated him.

With this background one would think Marcion would have faded into history, but the residue of his influence has continued to permeate the Christian church even to the present time. It is probably best characterized as antinomianism—the position of being against the law—which is very much a part of many denominations. Many antinomians would say that they are preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and that grace and law are violently opposed to each other and cannot exist in one another’s presence. So the idea that the law has been completely abrogated, that the Old Testament is no more of any effect, that Jesus came to destroy the law, and that believers today are only under the grace of God, is fundamentally neo-Marcionism…Von Harnack’s thinking in this regard was really a pure form of neo-Marcionism. He went so far as to say that if the church had had the courage to do so, it would have recognized that Marcion was right, that Judaism had been abolished and the law destroyed. He was very adamant about that view.

The above interview did not go into much more detail about Marcion and his heresies, but there is an article at the COGwriter.com website that does: Marcion: The First Protestant?

Irenaeus in the second century noted that the faithful Polycarp opposed Marcion:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time — a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles — that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me?” “I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.”(Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Polycarp, and other true early Christian writers, kept all the ten commandments that were first mentioned in the Old Testament (an article of related interest may be The Ten Commandments and the Early Church). This is how Polycarp (and others) differed from many of the early heretics like Marcion.

Another to specifically opposed Marcion was Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century). The Syriatic version of Eusebius’ Church History notes:

BUT as to Theophilus, concerning whom we have said that he was Bishop of Antioch, there are three treatises by him against Antolycus, and another which is inscribed “Against the heresy of Hermogenes,” in which he uses testimonies from the Revelation of John; and there are other books by him which are suitable for teaching. But those, who pertained to heretical doctrine, even at that time like tares were corrupting the pure seed of the doctrine of the Apostles; but the Pastors which were in the churches in every country, were driving them like beasts of the wilderness away from the flock of Christ; at one time by teaching and exhortation to the Brethren, but at another time openly before their faces they contended with them in discussion, and put them to shame; and again, also, by writing treatises they diligently refuted and exposed their opinions. But Theophilus, together with others, contended against them; and he is celebrated for one treatise, which was ably composed by him against Marcion, which, together with the others that I have already mentioned, is still preserved. And after him Maximinus received the Bishoprick of the Church of Antioch, who was the seventh after the Apostles.

But Philip, respecting whom we have learned from the words of Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth,2 that he was Bishop of the church of the city of Gortyna, he also composed with accuracy a treatise against Marcion (Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, Syriac version, Book 4 (Extract), Chapter 24. Spicilegium Syriacum (1855). This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font/Polytonic Greek).

This is of interest because it shows that both Philip and Theophilus also wrote against the heretic Marcion (though the document, while apparently available to Eusebius, is currently unavailable).

Notice what the Protestant historian Kenneth Latourette stated:

Marcion insisted that the Church had obscured the Gospel by seeking to combine it with Judaism (Latourette KS. A History of Christianity, Volume 1: to A.D. 1500. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1975, p. 126).

In other words, the original true Church of God truly did combine faith in Christ with practices that Marcion considered to be to Jewish. And Marcion was denounced by leaders from Asia Minor for rejecting the true faith.

Most know very little about early church history or where their doctrines came from–and what many think they know is clouded by misinformation and misconceptions.

But those willing to be called and led by God can find the truth in the Bible and the scattered records of early church history (e.g. the free booklet Continuing History of the Church of God).

COGaIC used to post more related to its understandings of early Church History in a blog called “First Followers.”  However, after 2011, this reduced to only one or two posts per year there.

Those interested in early Christianity may wish to read the following documented articles to learn more:

Marcion: The First Protestant? Considered to have been an organized heretic, he taught against the Old Testament, the law, and the Sabbath. Some have considered him to be the first Protestant reformer. But was he?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Polycarp of Smyrna: The Heretic Fighter Polycarp was the successor of the Apostle John and a major leader in Asia Minor. Do you know much about what he taught?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Church of God, an International Community (COG aic) This is the group led by David Hulme. It seems to minimize parts of biblical prophecy.

Roman Bishop and Theologian Hippolytus

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

An Originally Female Statue Transformed to Allegedly Represent Hippolytus (found in 1551)

COGwriter

August 13th is one of the dates that Catholics of Rome set apart to honor Hippolytus of Rome (the Eastern Orthodox use January 30). He was a Bishop of Rome in the third century.

Although known as the first “antipope,” The Catholic Encyclopedia claims that Hippolytus is a Catholic saint and was “the most important theologian…of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era” (Kirsch, Johann Peter. “St. Hippolytus of Rome.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 18 Jul. 2012 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07360c.htm>).

Despite being a Catholic saint and important theologian, Hippolytus apparently held a binitarian, not trinitarian, view of the Godhead:

He did not say, “I and the Father am one, but are one.” For the word are is not said of one person, but it refers to two persons, and one power…(Hippolytus. Against Noetus: Against the Heresy of One Noetus, Chapter 7. from The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus: Dogmatical and Historical. Roberts-Donaldson English Translators. Copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby)

Hippolytus also taught that God has a 6000-7000 year plan, like those of us in the Continuing Church of God do (see Does God Have a 6,000-7,000 Year Plan?):

And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day “on which God rested from all His works.” For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they “shall reign with Christ,” when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse: for “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years. “Since, then, in six days God made all things”, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled. (Hippolytus. On the HexaËmeron, Or Six Days’ Work. From Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books of Scripture. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0502.htm viewed 9/17/07)

Hippolytus thus taught the 7,000 year plan (6,000 for humankind, followed by 1,000 from God).

Hippolytus also noted that in the third century celibacy was not required for the clergy (and not by his rival, Roman Bishop Callistus) including bishops, and he condemned this:

About the time of this man, bishops, priests, and deacons, who had been twice married, and thrice married, began to be allowed to retain their place among the clergy. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VII. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886)

The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that the 3rd century Bishop of Rome, “Callistus allowed the lower clergy to marry.” (Chapman J. Transcribed by Benjamin F. Hull. Pope Callistus I. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Hippolytus also wrote about idol or icon makers:

If someone is a sculptor or a painter, let them be taught not to make idols. Either let them cease or let them be rejected. (Hippolytus. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome, Chapter 16, Verse 3)

Idols and icons were not even part of the early worship practices of the Church of Rome (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).

Hippolytus noted:

That it is not meet for Christians to bear arms…(Hippolytus. Heads of the Canons of Abulides or Hippolytus, Which Are Used by the Ethiopian Christians. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886.)

16:6 A charioteer, likewise, or one who takes part in the games, or one who goes to the games, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 7 If someone is a gladiator, or one who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows, either he shall cease, or he shall be rejected. 8 If someone is a priest of idols, or an attendant of idols, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 9 A military man in authority must not execute men. If he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall be rejected. 10 If someone is a military governor, or the ruler of a city who wears the purple, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. 11 The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God. (Hippolytus. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome. From the work of Bernard Botte (La Tradition Apostolique. Sources Chretiennes, 11 bis. Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1984) and of Gregory Dix (The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, Bishop and Martyr. London: Alban Press, 1992) as translated by Kevin P. Edgecomb http://www.bombaxo.com/hippolytus.html viewed 08/06/09)

All legitimate scholars realize that until the late third/early fourth centuries, even Greco-Roman professors of Christ were generally opposed to Christians being in the military (for more information, please see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).

Hippolytus wrote the following about Zephyrinus (who is believed to have been Bishop of Rome from 199-217):

Zephyrinus, an ignorant and illiterate individual, and one unskilled in ecclesiastical definitions. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VI)

Perhaps it should be noted that Callistus (Bishop of Rome from 217-222) was considered to have been corrupt. Callistus was condemned by Hippolytus for his corruption, allowing abortion/infanticide, and for instituting a Saturday fast.

In circa 217 A.D., Callistus became bishop of Rome and somehow succeeded Zephyrinus. After he did, as Hippolytus reports, Callistus lowered standards and many who professed Christ liked that:

Callistus…a man cunning in wickedness, and subtle where deceit was concerned, (and) who was impelled by restless ambition to mount the episcopal throne. Now this man moulded to his purpose Zephyrinus, an ignorant and illiterate individual, and one unskilled in ecclesiastical definitions. And inasmuch as Zephyrinus was accessible to bribes, and covetous, Callistus, by luring him through presents, and by illicit demands, was enabled to seduce him into whatever course of action he pleased. And so it was that Callistus succeeded in inducing Zephyrinus to create continually disturbances among the brethren, while he himself took care subsequently, by knavish words, to attach both factions in good-will to himself. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VI)

The impostor Callistus … And the hearers of Callistus being delighted with his tenets, continue with him, thus mocking both themselves as well as many others, and crowds of these dupes stream together into his school. Wherefore also his pupils are multiplied, and they plume themselves upon the crowds (attending the school) for the sake of pleasures which Christ did not permit. But in contempt of Him, they place restraint on the commission of no sin, alleging that they pardon those who acquiesce (in Callistus’ opinions). For even also he permitted females, if they were unwedded, and burned with passion at an age at all events unbecoming, or if they were not disposed to overturn their own dignity through a legal marriage, that they might have whomsoever they would choose as a bedfellow, whether a slave or free, and that a woman, though not legally married, might consider such a companion as a husband. Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur with them. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VII)

Notice that Callistus’ allowance of biblically condemned sin led to an increase in Roman Church attendance, and that Callistus allowed (or at least permited) abortion and adultery. Callistus apparently thus caused many pagans to become part of the Church of Rome.

Note that even The Catholic Encyclopedia admitted this about Callistus and Zephyrinus:

Callistus…Our chief knowledge of this pope is from his bitter enemies…He obtained great influence over the ignorant, illiterate, and grasping Zephyrinus by bribes. We are not told how it came about that the runaway slave (now free by Roman law from his master, who had lost his rights when Callistus was condemned to penal servitude to the State) became archdeacon and then pope…Again Callistus…permitted noble ladies to marry low persons and slaves, which by the Roman law was forbidden; he had thus given occasion for infanticide. (Chapman , Pope Callistus I)

Here is Hippolytus’ condemnation of Callistus’ Sabbath fast:

Even today some allow themselves the same audacities: they order fasting on the Sabbath of which Christ has not spoken, dishonoring even the Gospel of Christ. (Hippolytus. In Danielem commentarius, 4, 20, 3 as Cited in Bacchiocchi Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, p. 65)

Hippolytus also wrote about nude baptism, which apparently was a practice in Alexandria, and possibly for a while in Rome. But neither the Alexandrian Orthodox nor Roman Catholics currently teach that.

Despite having some views consistent with genuine Church of God positions, Hippolytus condemned others. Notice some complaints from Hippolytus concerning beliefs of those he considered to be heretics:

…a passover of the Lord God kept unto our generations, by those who are able to discern (this mystery), at the commencement of the fourteenth day…

And certain other (heretics), contentious by nature, (and) wholly uniformed as regards knowledge, as well as in their manner more (than usually) quarrelsome, combine (in maintaining) that Easter {Passover} should be kept on the fourteenth day of the first month, according to the commandment of the law, on whatever day (of the week) it should occur. (But in this) they only regard what has been written in the law, that he will be accursed who does not so keep (the commandment) as it is enjoined… In other respects, however, these consent to all the traditions delivered to the Church by the Apostles. ( Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book 8, Chapters 7 and 11)

So sadly, Hippolytus of Rome clearly is condemning the views and practices of those who kept Passover on the 14th as heretical (a term he referred to them as in the verse that followed the one above), even though he seemingly otherwise considers them to be faithful.

Hippolytus also wrote about Simon Magus (Simon Magus, What Did He Teach?), prophetic matters (When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?, Some Doctrines of Antichrist, and Who Are The Two Witnesses?) and is one who also attempted to put together the locations that the original apostles went to (see Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome).

Yet, while he was not truly part of the genuine Church of God, his writings show that many practices that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox now hold were simply not even the practices of those churches in the third century. They changed, but the genuine Church of God has not.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Hippolytus of Rome A third century Catholic saint and one elected to be Bishop of Rome who condemned others for taking bribes and allowing abortions. Why was he considered to be the first antipope?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years. It also discusses the concept of church eras.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it?
Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
Did Real Christians Practice Nude Baptism? This is not a joke. Find out what was taught in the second and later centuries.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? What about the use of the cross, by the early Church?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians?
“Pope” Zephyrinus (199-217) He was the first bishop publicly accused of accepting bribes (and this was by one now recognized as a saint by Roman Catholics). He refused to condemn the Montanists and seemed to have had a confused view of the Godhead.
“Pope” Callistus (217-222) He is the first bishop known to have been a criminal prior to his election. He was also accused of a variety of corrupt acts, including allowing indulgences and infanticide (abortion).
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios .