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Contents:
  1. Mysteries of Faith (The New Church's Teaching Series, V. 8)
  2. Mysteries of Faith (New Church's Teaching Series)
  3. Ethics and Life Issues
  4. Mysteries of Faith by Mark McIntosh | | Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

There was a great and violent controversy at one time among different Christian sects over a certain diphthong. One party said that the word Homo-ousion should be used in a prayer; the other wanted Homoi-ousion-this difference had reference to the divinity of Jesus. Over this diphthong fierce war was raged and large numbers of people were slaughtered. I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.

Some have argued that Christianity is undermined by the inability of Christians to agree on matters of faith and church governance, and the tendency for the content of their faith to be determined by regional or political factors. Schopenhauer sarcastically suggested:. Christians respond that Ecumenism has helped bring together such communities, where in the past mistranslations of Christological Greek terms may have resulted in seemingly different views.

Non-denominational Christianity represents another approach towards reducing the divisions within Christianity, although many Christian groups claiming to be non-denominational wind up with similar problems. Individuals and groups throughout history have been persecuted by certain Christians and Christian groups based upon sex, sexual orientation, race, and religion even within the bounds of Christianity itself.

Many of the persecutors attempted to justify their actions with particular scriptural interpretations. During Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages , important Christian theologians advocated religious persecution to varying degrees. Nowadays all significant Christian denominations embrace religious toleration , and "look back on centuries of persecution with a mixture of revulsion and incomprehension".

Early Christianity was a minority religion in the Roman Empire and the early Christians were themselves persecuted during that time. Already under the reign of Constantine I, Christian heretics had been persecuted; beginning in the late 4th century AD also the ancient pagan religions were actively suppressed.

Mysteries of Faith (The New Church's Teaching Series, V. 8)

In the view of many historians, the Constantinian shift turned Christianity from a persecuted into a persecuting religion. After the decline of the Roman Empire , the further Christianization of Europe was to a large extent peaceful. In the late Middle Ages, the appearance of the Cathars and Bogomils in Europe laid the stage for the later witch-hunts.

These probably gnostic -influenced sects were seen as heretics by the Catholic Church , and the Inquisition was established to counter them. In the case of the Cathars, the Albigensian Crusade violently suppressed them. In the Baltic countries, pagans were killed, subjugated or forcibly baptized. From the start of Christian rule in Europe, Jews were increasingly discriminated against, at times rising to outright persecution. This sometimes took the form of events like the Rhineland massacres , and the Blood libel was often the source falsely claiming Jews ritually murdered Christian children.

Jews were also expelled from a number of countries, including from England and later Spain. In the latter case, if converted they could remain. However, as most did so only under duress, Judaism continued to be practiced in secret by many.

Mysteries of Faith (New Church's Teaching Series)

As a result, the Spanish Inquisition was formed to root them out, along with the secret Muslims there. After the Protestant Reformation , the devastation caused by the partly religiously motivated wars Thirty Years' War , English Civil War , French Wars of Religion in Europe in the 17th century gave rise to the ideas of religious toleration , freedom of religion and religious pluralism. Christians will sometimes point out that in their points of view, the wrongdoings of other Christians are not the fault of their religious scriptures but of those who have wrongly interpreted it. They posit that the mistakes of Christians do not refute the validity of their teachings, but merely proves their weakness and sinful nature, of which they then turn to Christ.

Reward Yourself

Thus, according to them, the "Word of God" can still be true and valid without it having been accurately followed. Contrast that with what the New Testament says about what happens when people come to living faith in Christ. There's supposed to be radical transformation in the power of the Holy Spirit 2 Cor , 1 Cor The disconnect between our biblical beliefs and our practice is just, I think, heart-rending. Similar arguments are held by Roman Catholics against critics of the Catholic Church, or by other Christians defending their respective Churches.

Such examples can be seen in Dante 's Divine Comedy , where Roman Catholic Clergy who had practiced simony find themselves in the lower circles of hell. Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party Platform promoted Positive Christianity —which mixed ideas of racial purity and Nazi ideology with elements of Christianity and removed "Jewish" elements.

Ethics and Life Issues

Nazism aimed to transform the subjective consciousness of the German people—their attitudes, values and mentalities—into a single-minded, obedient "national community". The Nazis believed they would therefore have to replace class, religious and regional allegiances. The plan failed, and was resisted by the Confessing Church. Persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany followed the Nazi takeover.

Hitler moved quickly to eliminate political catholicism. Amid harassment of the Church, the Reich concordat treaty with the Vatican was signed in , and promised to respect Church autonomy.

Parts of the Mass: Mystery of Faith

Hitler routinely disregarded the Concordat, closing all Catholic institutions whose functions were not strictly religious. Clergy, nuns, and lay leaders were targeted, with thousands of arrests over the ensuing years. Hitler was supportive of Christianity in public, yet hostile to it in private. Anti-clericalists like Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann saw the conflict with the Churches as a priority concern, and anti-church and anti-clerical sentiments were strong among grassroots party activists. According to biographer Alan Bullock, Hitler retained some regard for the organisational power of Catholicism but held private contempt for its central teachings, which he said, if taken to their conclusion, "would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.


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Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda , used his position to widely publicise trials of clergy and nuns in his propaganda campaigns, showing the cases in the worst possible light. In , soon after his election to the Reichstag, Goebbels wrote in his diary that National Socialism was a "religion" that needed a genius to uproot "outmoded religious practices" and put new ones in their place: "One day soon National Socialism will be the religion of all Germans. My Party is my church, and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery.

That is my gospel. There is, namely, an insoluble opposition between the Christian and a heroic-German world view".

Mysteries of Faith by Mark McIntosh | | Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Hitler's chosen deputy and private secretary, Martin Bormann , was a rigid guardian of National Socialist orthodoxy and saw Christianity and Nazism as "incompatible" mainly because of its Jewish origins , [] [] as did the official Nazi philosopher, Alfred Rosenberg. According to Bullock , Hitler considered the Protestant clergy to be "insignificant" and "submissive" and lacking in a religion to be taken seriously. His bid to create a unified Reich Church ultimately failed, and Hitler became disinterested in supporting the so-called " German Christians " Nazi aligned movement.

Hitler initially lent support to Ludwig Muller , a Nazi and former naval chaplain, to serve as Reich Bishop, but his heretical views against Paul the Apostle and the Semitic origins of Christ and the Bible see Positive Christianity quickly alienated sections of the Protestant church. Christian persecution complex is the notion that Christian values and Christians are being oppressed by social groups and governments.

Others like professor Candida Moss and lecturer Paul Cavill point out that this mentality of being persecuted roots back to the earliest times. Ram Mohan Roy criticized Christian doctrines, and asserted that how "unreasonable" and "self-contradictory" they are. Vivekananda regarded Christianity as "collection of little bits of Indian thought. Ours is the religion of which Buddhism with all its greatness is a rebel child, and of which Christianity is a very patchy imitation. Philosopher Dayanand Saraswati , regarded Christianity as "barbarous religion, and a 'false religion' religion believed only by fools and by the people in a state of barbarism," [] he included that Bible contains many stories and precepts that are immoral, praising cruelty, deceit and encouraging sin.

This influential report on controversial missionary activities in India recommended that suitable controls on conversions brought about through illegal means should be implemented. Panikkar 's work "Asia and Western Dominance" was published and was one of the first post-Independence Indian critiques of Christian missions. It argued that the attempt to convert Asia has definitely failed, and that this failure was due to the missionaries' claim of a monopoly of truth which was alien to the Asian mind; their association with imperialism and the attitude of moral and racial superiority of the Christian West.

The Indian writer and philosopher Ram Swarup was "most responsible for reviving and re-popularizing" the Hindu critique of Christian missionary practices in the s. Indian philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan , wrote:. When Europe accepted the Christian religion, in spite of its own broad humanism, it accepted the fierce intolerance which is the natural result of belief in 'the truth once for all delivered to the saints.

Shlomo ben Aderet criticized Christianity, adding that it has lesser form of monotheism, and lacks a unified deity compared to Judaism. He also highlighted the "failure of christianity to convert the Jewish people to the new message" as "precisely the reason for the strong anti-jewish trend in christianity. Professor Moshe Halbertal , regards Christianity to be "idolatrous religion" and he further adds that the idolatry by Christians "opened the door to the easing of many other restrictive prohibitions.

Stephen Samuel Wise in his own words was critical towards the Christian community for their failure to rescue Jews from Europe during Nazi rule. He wrote that:. A Christian world that will permit millions of Jews to be slain without moving heaven by prayer and earth in every human way to save its Jews has lost its capacity for moral and spiritual survival. They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God.

Muslim scholars have criticized Christianity, usually for its Trinity concept. They argue that this doctrine is an invention, distortion of the idea about God, and presentation of the idea that there are three gods. Some have argued that Christianity is not founded on a historical Jesus, but rather on a mythical creation.

Scholars and historians such as James H.


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