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Catholic-Muslim dialogue is at the end of the road

We weren’t wrong to begin dialogue, but it seems now to have gone as far as it can

By on Thursday, 3 February 2011

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, left, talks with Mustafa Ceric, head of the Bosnia Islamic Community (Photo: PA)

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, left, talks with Mustafa Ceric, head of the Bosnia Islamic Community (Photo: PA)

A week ago, I wrote a blog with the headline “Top Muslim scholars seem to be telling us that dialogue with them is a waste of time”: the president of the al-Azhar University in Cairo had broken off dialogue with the Vatican because of the Pope’s absolutely justified defence of the Egyptian Copts against their consistent persecution by the Muslim majority in Egypt; and a colleague had at the same time issued a fatwa justifying the suppression of all non-Muslim religions in the Arabian peninsula. 
 
I ended by saying that “it is now up to that section of Islamic opinion which fundamentally disagrees with the views emanating from the al-Azhar University to make its views known as vigorously as the ‘scholars’ have done. The ball is now in the court of ‘moderate’ Islamic opinion. Is there anyone out there? If so, for heaven’s sake, say something.”
 
Well, I have heard nothing, absolutely nothing from any moderate Muslim. And that can’t be because no Muslim is going to read a Catholic blog: non-Catholics often end up commenting on my pieces, having mostly arrived at them after scanning on Google to see what there is out there of interest to them. I bet there will be Muslims reading this. So I repeat my invitation now. But I’m not holding my breath.

So what precisely have we gained, from all these years of “dialogue”? Has it improved mutual respect? I don’t see why we shouldn’t respect Muslims of good will as long as we don’t start saying that we accept their religion any more than they accept ours. The difficulty with this is that showing signs of respect for them as individuals can backfire, and end up looking remarkably like a betrayal of the Catholic faith: the most spectacular example of that, of course, was the kissing by Pope John Paul II of a copy of the Koran. I don’t believe it was, in fact, a betrayal: but nobody who saw it as such can be blamed. The late pope was a great one for symbolic gestures: the trouble is that the symbolism of that one was dangerously ambiguous.
 
But the pope’s gesture nevertheless did not indicate, despite its deeply risky lack of clarity, any acceptance by him of the Muslim religion. Here is one explanation of his actions, written at the time by the American priest Fr Joseph Jenkins, putting them into context, which was that the copy of the Koran in question was a gift from an Iraqi delegation in the time of Saddam:
 

“Looking at the incident in question, the Holy Father received a delegation that included the Shiite Imam of Khadum Mosque, the Sunni President of the council that operates the Iraqi Islamic Bank, and a member of the Iraqi Ministry of Religion. The invitation of a papal visit was renewed. They even went so far as to say that it would be “a grace from heaven”. While Iraq has been guilty of real violations of human rights, this Islamic state has been the most tolerant of Christians than any of its Islamic neighbors. Many Catholics hold positions in government, commerce, education, etc.
 
“The Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon [Iraq], His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, was a major spokesman for the delegation. He applauded the Pope’s actions and words as a true sign of concern from the Successor of St Peter…. Islamic peoples are not casual in the giving of gifts. It represents the giver. They knew perfectly well that the Pope was a Catholic Christian, but they gave to him that which was regarded as most important in their life, their own holy book. Thus, at the end of the audience, the Pope showed his deep appreciation to this intimate self-donation, by bowing and kissing the Koran as a sign of respect …  He makes the first move, not in the capitulation of our faith, but in the recognition that the followers of Jesus and those who cherish Mohammed should not be engaged in name-calling, or worse, killing each other.”

Well, fine.  But, just as the great era of ecumenical dialogue with the Protestant churches (except for harmless assurances of mutual respect) has now come more or less to an end, this experiment having gone as far as it can or should, so the necessary process of discovering just how far the Islamic world genuinely shares the recognition, that “the followers of Jesus and those who cherish Mohammed should not be engaged in name-calling, or worse, killing each other”,  has now gone as far as it can. We have the answer: the answer appears to be that this is not an idea it recognises at all seriously.

It is, after all, quite a long time since Christians went in for killing or otherwise suppressing Muslims: the last time I looked, the Muslim world was still at it, name-calling and killing non-Muslims with impunity. Muslim toleration of Christians, wherever Muslims are in a clear majority and culturally dominant, hardly exists (this phenomenon can clearly be seen in certain areas of some English cities). If the president of al-Azhar University really thinks that for the Pope to protest against the oppression of the Copts gives him a good reason to break off dialogue with the Vatican, we should take him at his word. I hope I’m wrong, of course: but it looks to me as though we have reached the end of this particular road. 

  • Horace Zagreus

    As I said on your previous blog on this, Dr Oddie, I will say again here: Sheikh al-Tayeb is playing internal Egyptian politics. This is even more obvious now, with the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt now more than a theoretical, than it was at the time of your last blog on this subject.

  • Horace Zagreus

    I also wouldn’t underestimate the achievement of dialogue with Protestant churches. Fifty years ago in Liverpool, Catholics and Protestants would throw rocks at one another, and priests taking the Blessed Sacrament to the sick needed to be guarded. If dialogue has put a stop to that, then that is every reason to keep it up.

    I also think it’s dangerous to be impatient with these things. There has been a certain amount of success in dialogue amongst Christians – the document on justification agreed with the Lutherans comes to mind – but this has been just fifty years. It took centuries for us to hammer out some of our beliefs, it seems unreasonable to expect these things to come quickly.

  • Anonymous

    Dialogue or indifference?

  • Michael Petek

    ‘. . . . . “the followers of Jesus and those who cherish Mohammed should not be engaged in name-calling, or worse, killing each other”, has now gone as far as it can. We have the answer: the answer appears to be that this is not an idea it recognises at all seriously.’

    The conclusion this invites is that, although the Muslims can tolerate Christians as their dhimmis, we cannot tolerate them as ours.

  • Martin

    HZ do you have a web link to the document that you are refering to? i would appreciate reading what was agreed. Thank you

  • Auricularis

    Could Mr. Oddie, please in all honesty says he believes this statement with a straight face:

    “… the most spectacular example of that, of course, was the kissing by Pope John Paul II of a copy of the Koran. I don’t believe it was, in fact, a betrayal: but nobody who saw it as such can be blamed.”

    And he then goes on to quote Fr. Joseph Jenkins, that it was indeed the pope who made the first move in kissing the Koran.

    Well we can all stand here and make up a 101 excuses and try explain this shameful incident all away, but the question still remains as thus: why would a Pope, allegedly a saint, honour a book that denies the divinity of Christ and the existence of the Trinity? Are saints meant to show us an unequivocal guide to achieving sanctity or sow mass confusion and give off the impression Islam is as a good a religion, as Christianity?

  • Martin

    Auricularis – What if the Holy Spirit was making a prophetic point through the Pope? What if he was ultimately saying that regardless of how far we are willing to go or how much we are willing to open our hearts to you, you are unwilling or unable to do the same?
    I could never imagine a Muslim kissing the Bible out of respect for those around them. This is not surprising as their God never descibes himself as a ‘loving Father’. The God of Jesus however was willing give up everything in order to reach those he loves. I would honestly say that the action we saw was a mirrioring of Christ’s Heart for the Muslim. Legalism kills but the Spirit gives life. From the act of the Pope, it can never be said that he wasn’t willing to go the extra mile. This was a love that reaches out even at the risk of those who are of his own fold misunderstanding him. Through love, he was demonstrating his love for the giver of the gift not the gift itself, he was reaching out to the lost and proving that his love was supernatural and above legalism. His love was genuine. The Pope (whom people are condeming)? was proving that love is the heart of God and manifest in the actions he carried out. Maybe God was saying to the very people who deny his Son….look how far i am willing to go to meet with you, and for those that think i am not Emmanuel………Beat that!? God Bless

  • http://www.layadvocacyforchristianunity.org Isabelo S. Alcordo

    DEMOCRACY as preached worldwide by the United States as a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” conjoined with the doctrine of “Separation between CHURCH and STATE” is WEAKENING THE FAITH OF CHRISTIAN NATIONS and LEADING THEM TOWARDS ATHEISTIC HUMANISM. World events are unfoldfing that will soon force nations to choose so-called democratically-elected governments under ALLAH over one under CHRIST JESUS! Christian churches must REJECT the doctrine of “Separation between CHURCH and STATE” to strengthen the role of Christians in the governance of Christian nations or suffer its consequences!

    http://www.layadvocacyforchristianunity.org

  • Daniadco

    the united states does not have a seperation of church from state but a seperation of state from church this is an unfortunate manipulation of words and intent by those on the left or progresives

  • https://me.yahoo.com/robert_devi#144c0 Anil Wang
  • Anonymous

    Yes, love your enemy. God bless.

  • http://towertales.tumblr.com/ Londonistar

    Where is Baroness Warsi?

  • louella

    I totally agree! Time for the restoration of Christendom and the Catholic State othewise we will be subject to Islam in our formerly proud Christian homelands.

    Secular democracies will not make it into the next century (they have neither the will nor the energy) …….and are merely gearing up for handover to former Islamic colonies.

  • W Oddie

    In all honesty I do believe that the pope’s kissing of the koran was not a betrayal: but rather that it was, with hindsight, a mistake. I think you should carefully read Martin’s response, below: I think, with respect, that it is more authentically Catholic than yours.

  • http://www.layadvocacyforchristianunity.org Isalcordo

    Thanks for your comment.

    If only the Pope will try to reach out to all Christian nations and form an “International Conference of Christian Nations” (ICCN) to place Christian-Muslim dialogue into the consciousness of Christian governments and not just with the Vatican. The Pope should reach out to both Protestant and Catholic nations in exploring the concept. BUT HOW WILL THIS SUGGESTION REACH THE VATICAN? Any suggestion?

    Dr. I. S. Alcordo

  • louella

    I guess you could always approach the Vatican yourself, speak with someone there…….and maybe even secure a visit with the Pope.

    But the notion of Christendom and the Catholic State must emerge again……we can’t leave ourselves anymore at the mercy of secular or Islamic governments. I have even spoken with some atheists who agree….as they know which way the wind is blowing.

  • Martin

    Whilst i understand your concerns for Christianity i would have to suggest that a restoration of Christendom is probably not the answer. The reason for this is that when you start attaching real physical (Military?) power to a faith, regardless of the faith, it always imposes its will on others in its quest to spread its faith, e.g The Crusades and persecutions of Protestants and Catholics in UK during the reformation. Peter was told by Jesus to put away his sword, the Kingdom that Jesus is creating does not have boundaries or national borders. It is a kingdom of the Spirit. If you start copying the world then the same will happen as last time, Non Christians will come into the church and assume positions of authority and enforce the faith on others for political motives (i am not saying that this has not happened at the moment, only that it will get worse). The Kingdom Jesus wants is i believed based on the free will of those who wish to accept him as king through love. Not to have it imposed on him/them. But allowing that your right, i cant think of one nation on earth at this moment that could even be described as a potential candidate to lead this Catholic state. You would either have to force it on them or baptise everyone into it at birth…..The CofE is reaping those rewards at the moment, the state is interferring with what the church can do and should say. No, what you are asking is tempting but ultimately no better than what the muslims want. Jesus constantly said, As did our last pope, ‘Do not be afraid’. It is fear that drives us to want to fight and kill. We are called to pray, Speak out and endure. Let Jesus establish his kingdom in his own way when he returns, we are called to watch and wait and to to save as many as we can from Hell. I would ask you not to give up on the States that God have put in place, maybe we need to pray harder for them? ask forgiveness for them and be the Salt and light that we are called to be. A final thought, What rules would you impose on those that are in this Catholic state for those who are either none catholic christians or none believers in general? I can understand the church rightfully teaching those who want to be a member of the body of Christ on how to live (and we still have issues), how to we dictate to those within this state that dont want to follow? Please dont say enforce or prison, because then you would be the same as the muslim and if you agreed to live and let live…then you could have a Catholic State in the real sense of the word or a Christendom. Love your enemy is best, not fight. Jesus will always win in the end.

  • Isalcordo

    Only the United States believes in “Secular Muslim/Islamic States.” The term is an anomaly if not an oxymoron. They will not last – like Egypt now.

    Islam demands a theocratic government, and the wave of the future or the end of all Islamic nations being that of IRAN’s, whether Sunnis or Shiites, with the State carrying out the mandates of the Religious on matters of religion and morality. Vatican wake up!!!

  • Horace Zagreus

    Pope St Gregory VII, deliver us from would-be saviours of the Christian Church and naive would-be political scientists!

  • Martin

    Correction to the 2nd line from the bottom…Could have a catholic state should read Couldnt. God Bless

  • louella

    I see nothing wrong with the Crusades….as they were military action against Islamic military aggression. Christ also told his disciples to buy a sword…….meaning we are entitled to self defence. Christ’s Kingdom is certainly one of the Spirit……but as mere humans we are obliged to order our human societies and our own ‘kingdom’s according to some fashion. I suggest the Catholic State to the glory of Christ. It is from this that Western Civilisation grew. It is the most just arrangement I can think of.

    I don’t want to fight or kill anybody……but I do not want these visited upon myself or my family either. In a Catholic State as I imagine it…..everybody regardless of their religion is equal under the law…..and that (moral) law is based upon the teachings of the Church. Everybody also has the right to practise their religion freely…..and yes that means Muslims too can build their Mosques and minarets.

  • Martin

    Hi Louella and thank you. What you are describing is a Democracy or at least i think it is, Not the best type of Government but by no means the worst. Just for thought, the UK used to be like you describe as did the EU, now the people in power dont want it. How do we win back the people back to God? I would argue that we are reaping our rewards, we imposed almost puritianical laws on people who ultimately didnt want it. We will never, short of the second coming have a nation like you want. We could have a democracy that is near it but it will be through reaching out and transforming the mind and soul of a people. We should pray.
    On you comment of the crusades, surely you are aware of the rape and pillaging that were committed by the soldiers against Muslims (also made in the image of God)….you are content with this? i dont think you are. To go to war for something we didnt own (it may be important but not as important as a life) then we have lost before we start. We should have reached out and loved them in. Yes it takes longer, but so would the fruit. We also started the wars in the Crusades not the muslims. i welcome your thoughts

  • Martin

    Thanks

  • louella

    Of course I am aware of the atrocities of the Crusaders……but aren’t all armies guilty of atrocities. Wasn’t the dropping of a nucleur bomb on Hiroshima an atrocity…..or have you forgotten about that all ready?! And it’s you who is talking about war …..not me.

    In fact ….difficult as the establishment of a Catholic State is…..I think it is more plausible than your vague suggestion of ‘reaching out and transforming’ people. Aren’t we always meant to be doing this?! If a person supports a Catholic State no matter what their religion or lack of …..they are giving their consent to Catholicisicm.

  • Isalcordo

    I believe Christian Churches, Catholic and Protestants, and our theology have matured to the point that we will not and should never commit the errors of the past – the dark side of Christianity.

    As a Christian, in relation to another human being or groups, I recognize only ONE LAW to govern my action and that of my government’s, and it is this: (Mt 7:12) : “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    And this doing to others starts with the second law of Christianity: (Mt 22:39-40): “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    If we cannot follow the Law of Loving Our Neighbor, then take (Mt 7:12) stated NEGATIVELY: “So in everything, do NOT to others what you would NOT WANT OTHERS DO TO YOU.” This should be the standards for the TRUE CHRISTIANS, CHURCHES, and GOVERNMENTS.

    The point of louella is not the protection of churches as institutions but churches as people which is als my concern and should be the concern of all Christian governments against an emerging Islamic world!

    NIV

    NIV

  • Martin

    Louella, hi again. I didnt mean for the email to sound like i was insulting you, hopefully you will forgive me. The point i am making about a Catholic State is that it WILL have a military force. Lessons of history as you rightly point out above means that they will use that force. For better of Worse. Now if you are talking about a country that signs up to Christian ideals, then i am with you. But if you mean that the Christian State is Controlled by the Church then i am not. Can you clarify which you mean and i think this will solve my issue God Bless

  • louella

    A Catholic State is based on the words of Christ……Render unto Casear that which is Casear’s ….and unto God that which is God’s. And what do we render unto God?……we render the faith and morals of a nation. Secular matters are rendered unto Casear. Today in secular democracies…….ALL is rendered to Casear. And as somebody said……why then are we surprised when we are as barbaric as the ancient Romans?!

    Also if you are too be consistent…….wouldn’t you also forbid Catholics joining up to all armies and fighting in all conflicts?! And is it only secular powers that you consider capable of wielding military power. A frightening prospect I must admit.

  • Martin

    Just waiting for clarification on whether the State that we are talking about is controlled by the Church with is what i am argueing against..or the State has signed up to the standards of the Church…Which i am for.

    The problem with the latter, in order to project national policy, they regardless of the rules of the country, actually stick to them. I will respond to her comments when recieved,,,God Bless

  • Anonymous

    I am in agreement with the spirit of your argument, Martin, as I have indicated elsewhere on this blog, but Louella is right to remember that several centuries of Islamic military conquest preceded the Crusades, which began with the call to protect holy places and pilgrims to the Holy Land.

    It would be moral cowardice on our part to acquiesce in the disingenuous propaganda of muslim clerics that such military conquest could ever have been peaceful. This is not the same as excusing the attrocities of some (not all) of the Crusades and crusaders, I hasten to add; rather it is the recognition that human weakness is universal, irrespective of belief (or disbelief), and reinforces the transcendent Truth of Christ’s command: love your enemy.

    For my part, I choose to believe that this was Pope John Paul’s intention when he made the symbolic gesture which William Oddie (correctly, in my humble opinion) judges to have been a mistake – with hindsight.

    (Incidentally, this does not provide further ammunition for those on a mission to decry his proposed beatification. This was not an ex cathedra abuse of Infallibility. Saint Peter was also known for human errors of judgement in the heat of the moment, which God in his omniscience knew he would make, but Our Lord still declared him to be the Rock upon which Holy church is founded.)

    To err is human: to forgive divine.

    God bless.

  • Martin

    The Scripture that you are quoting was used by Jesus to get out of a difficult situation in regards to who you owe allegence to. Casear or God. There was no hint of the two being one. He was avoiding being accused of supporting the ROMAN empire on one hand or being accused of telling his disciples not to pay taxes, and rebel.
    Now please understand i understand what you envisage. But who really holds the power in this state, the government or the church. What happens when one wants to do something and the other doesnt. What happens on the discision to go to war over ideals or political force projection. The Reason i AM so concerned is because i am a Soldier and i do know how people react with power. A Church that has military influence or might is not the living in accordance with the Gospel. Can you see the church turning the other check when it is attacked by Muslims, no, because it would to closly liked with the military. It would have the option to go beyound what the Church was ment to do. The church would be accused of attacking IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN ect everything that the CHURCH is called not to do. The Church is to be prophetic to the goverments and show them the way of Christ. Even Jesus when he returns will slay the wicked with the words of his mouth, he wont be using soldiers. National governments and the Church have different rolls (or so i believe)

  • Isalcordo

    The relation between State and Church for Christian nations (Christendom as louella calls them) should be, as you have agreed to that “State has signed up to the standards of the Church.”

    But I would add that such standards must be based on the words of Jesus recorded in the Bible (see my earlier post) – - – with options for self-defense. A strong military force such as that of the United States coupled to a Biblically righteous people can withstand the strongest opposing military force – - – as long as God in Christ Jesus is with that nation.

    As it is now, the American people and their government appear to have rejected Christ in favor of Caesar ! And the time of reckoning is near!

  • louella

    You are interpreting the Scripture according to your own motives. I can interpret too and I stick by the above interpretation.

    As I said…..the Catholic State is a Church State partnership. And it is not without tensions…..but it did survive for centuries which is more than can be said for current secular democracies which are doomed after mere decades. Generally speaking the secular powers control the army. And why do you have so much trust in secular powers to wield huge armies and lethal weapons?! I have no faith in them. They are without the boundaries of moral obligations. That’s why I support the Church State partnership…….the Catholic State.

  • louella

    Correction……I mean..’.why do you have so much trust in secular democracies to wield huge armies and lethal weapons?!’

  • Martin

    Hi Louella, Sorry i have took a long time replying had to go shopping….but back to the challenge at hand.
    I do not have faith in democracy in the same way that i have faith in the church. The governments of this world have indeed fallen a long way from the ideal, that i why i fully believe the church should come along side the governments to act as a prophetic witness to Right and Wrong and challenge them and challenge hard where they should be challenged.
    My problem exists where you tie the Government and the Church that close together that you cant seperate any action they carry out. If they go to war, it is the Church going to war, if they bomb a nation, it is the church bombing a nation. Can you see where i am going. The Church is saying, Jesus agrees with this action because we agree with it, Jesus is therefore the one going to war, and Jesus is bombing them. Everytime a soldier pulls a trigger it would be that they do it belieiving that they have Jesus’s blessing. They would be fighting a holy War against another human being who in reality christ came to save. I wish i could make myself a lot clearer than i am. The Church is not to build a worldly kingdom, it is spiritual up until the point Christ Returns, then he sets it up. How can you preach to your enemy’s and love them when (if in the case of a Church state) you are pulling the trigger in the name of the very person who died to save them?
    I know that you veiw a Christian/Catholic state as a good thing and yes i can see the attraction of it. But and its a big but, when countries go to war now, it is in the name of a nation state or Alliance or UN charter, NOT God (which would happen).The church is mediator. It they are part of the state justifying the war, who stands the gap?
    As you stated earlier, there was a Church State before and it lasted a long time. You only have to read the history books to see the terror that it caused. It went from being the persecuted to the persecuter. I do not trust human beings enough to want that again. Likewise a Christ soldier in today’s world is free to come out of the army if he does not agree that a war is Just. How could he or she justify that it wasnt just if the church State says otherwise?
    Finally and i say this nicely, the interpretation of Scripture i made was the scriptural one in that it was literally what the bible was talking about, I was quoting in context.
    Final point, you asked why i have so much trust in democracies who wield huge armies. The honest answer is i dont but they dont do it in the name of God although some may claim to have prayed prior to an action. I believe we have wars because we have fallen from grace as a race. I believe the church is to show a better way, not ally itself or partner with it…..hope you havent fell asleep waiting for a reply!!! LOL God Bless

  • louella

    Well my problem is when you separate Church and State who then is to dictate the moral aspect of the law?! God does allow just wars. And as long as certain conditions are met….as outlined by St Tomas of Aquinas a war can be just…..and can be taken in God’s name. In fact I wouldn’t go to war for anything less. Can you imagine going to war for the cause of democracy?! Not me.

    And please…..we have had 2 World wars…the ravages of communism and fascism and the mass legalised murder of unborn children under secular democracies when the Church had lost all temporal power….and all in one century alone. Sorry ….but that is what I call brutal and terror. The reign of the Catholic State was long and mild in comparison. I do not trust human beings left to their own devices…..the Church has a restraining influence on us…..that must be formalised and incorporated into governance.

  • Martin

    Isabelo, you make some interesting points. Can i ask you for your interpretation of Self Defence. Would it mean being hit first before reacting (possibly resulting in the deaths of 100′s or thousands). Turning the other cheek several times before reacting (pretty christ like but a display of weakness to an enemy) or hitting them before they hit you? In the same way, if Christ is with you, why do you need a large military machine? look at Isreal in the 7 Day war. Could you justify the expense or americas might when you see all the suffering in the world as a Christian state?
    And here a bigger question (and reading back over this it is literally), When peter drew his sword to defend jesus, he was told to put it away. When Jesus could have called on 12 legions of Angels to save him at the cross, he didnt. When Christians suffered persecution (letters of Paul/Peter ect) along with the Great Cloud of Witnesses in Hebrews not one of them thought it was right to hurt or kill the people who afflicted them. Jesus doesnt command us within the Bible to build a Church and establish it by Military force. He wants a church that is true to his calling. Willing to suffer and love in return. To transcend national boundaries and become the salt of the earth. Why should we try to build something Jesus didnt want! With policies he wouldnt endorse. The Only weapons we have are in Eph 6.
    A common thread on this sight is that you have all lost faith in governments, the funny thing is i dont think Jesus is! I believe his holy spirit is moving across 1000′s of lives as we speak. Nothing is happening that God has not allowed. He is preparing the ground for his Son’s return. In Rev 22 it states that (governed?)Nations will still exist after his return. I look forward to your thoughts God Bless

  • Martin

    Not sure if i agree that these governments were Democratic, totalitarian more like and yes terrible. 100% agreement from me.
    It still doesnt justify a Church state however, it only proves that they are/can be all terrible when corrupt.
    Let me take a uncomfortable example – What if the same priests who carried out those terrible things with children where the same people in charge of this State. Would you therefore trust its judgement more than a current democracy?
    On a more wider question, what laws would you have a nation sign upto that consistutes Church State that a normal democracy doesnt in theory believe in?

  • louella

    Well these totalitarian AND secular democracies grew out of atheistic mindsets……when the Church was at her weakest. And of course these secular atrocious evils justify a Catholic State…….even legalised abortion alone justifies a Catholic State. We can’t support those states that condone such injustice and bloodshed. Thankfully they destroy themselves in a short space of time and then Islam comes in……to take them over in their weakened state and impose an Islamic democracy at best.

    And in a Catholic State there are no privileges for those that break the law even if they are clergy! For goodness sake…..that goes without saying. There would be no abortion divorce contraception etc all in line with Catholic teaching.

  • Martin

    Louella and this is were the church state worries me, especially in your last comments. Whilst as a Catholic i may agree with you because i am a Catholic, what about everyone else? What about the Protestants or other faiths or Atheists who wouldnt want to sign up to some or all of these ideals. How do you enforce your rules? and at what point do you become the tyrant?
    I believe everyone is answerable to God for their actions. If someone wants an abortion they will get one one way or another, if someone cant get a divorce they will simply live with another person. How do you intend to get them to live as you want. These rules are for the Church not those outside. You could become what you hate. What are your thoughts

  • louella

    People who live in a State consent to its rules….especially if they choose to live there. Yeah?! And I certainly hope you are not advocating for legalised abortion! That’s chilling for a Catholic. Catholic States have thrived in the past……and can again. Why not?……oh ye of little faith!

    And only those who want to should live in one. Not all Catholics would want to…..just as not all Jews want to live in Israel……but I bet they are glad it exists.

  • Martin

    I have just looked at my previous note and i dont seem to be agreeing with abortion. My point is that an atheist may. What present day country would you consider to sign up to this State agreement? It would have to originate from somewhere. I cant see (in the now or immediate future) any country signing up to these standards (that are in the main for the church). You only have to look at the EU and they are giving rights to anyone for anything as long as it is not christian in origin. Can you think of a European Country that even looked likely to go for such a thing? (We may have to start a new thread, we will be down to one word sentences soon.

  • louella

    I can’t see any nation signing up to a Catholic State at the moment…….but mainly because they haven’t been asked to. I think the Vatican should promote the idea again. I could see China signing up……or even Japan to ease their demographic problems……and because they haven’t got the deep anti-Christian feeling of historically Christian nations.

    The EU is an anti-Christ for sure…..and is very pro-Muslim…..but we are not asking their permission. As Islam rises in the West…..so too will the support for a Catholic State.

  • louella

    Start a new thread if you want!!!!!

  • http://www.layadvocacyforchristianunity.org Isalcordo

    Hi, Martin. Sorry for the delay in my response. Few hours ago was bedtime here in the Philippines. Now back to you.

    You wrote: Can i ask you for your interpretation of Self Defence.

    My response:
    By self-defense I mean a standing army “armed to the teeth” like what the US and Israel have been doing as a deterence against pre-emptive strike by an enemy.

    You wrote: Would it mean being hit first before reacting (possibly resulting in the deaths of 100′s or thousands). Turning the other cheek several times before reacting (pretty christ like but a display of weakness to an enemy) or hitting them before they hit you?

    My reponse:
    Definitely not. It would be suicide for any nation to initiate attack against another that has much superior war machine than it has. Any pre-emptive attack must be met with full force, but pre-emptive attack should not be an option for Christian nations.

    You wrote: In the same way, if Christ is with you, why do you need a large military machine? look at Isreal in the 7 Day war. Could you justify the expense or americas might when you see all the suffering in the world as a Christian state?

    My response: Israel is NOT a Christian nation, nor the United States as it was/is now governed. The former calls Christians idolaters for worshiping a Man-God; the latter is attempting to remove all influence of our Biblical God from all governmental afairs. After attending to its own interest and security, the US acts only in support of Israel, no more and no less, even in so doing, its acts lead to more human misery. As of now we have no true Christian State. We have only the Vatican.

    You wrote: And here a bigger question (and reading back over this it is literally), When peter drew his sword to defend jesus, he was told to put it away. When Jesus could have called on 12 legions of Angels to save him at the cross, he didnt.

    My response: The mission of Jesus, according to the Father’s will, was to die for the sin of the world. He has the option to call on 12 legions of angels, but then he would have FAILED to carry out the Father’s plan for the salvation of humakind from God’s divine justiciable wrath. Thankfully, Jesus did not, and now, in the name of Jesus, mankind has been given the way to approach God as Father and not stand before an avenging, wrathful God!

    You wrote: When Christians suffered persecution (letters of Paul/Peter ect) along with the Great Cloud of Witnesses in Hebrews not one of them thought it was right to hurt or kill the people who afflicted them. Jesus doesnt command us within the Bible to build a Church and establish it by Military force. He wants a church that is true to his calling. Willing to suffer and love in return. To transcend national boundaries and become the salt of the earth. Why should we try to build something Jesus didnt want! With policies he wouldnt endorse. The Only weapons we have are in Eph 6.

    My response: Eph 6:10-18 obviously refers to individual believers and community of believers (church) and NOT to governments or to secular authorities (Ro 13:1-5). But with the Islamization of nations, we are no longer dealing with secular governments but RELIGIOUS GOVERNMENTS that consider the worship of Jesus as IDOLATRY and the TRINITY as a three-deaded pagan god! As with the Judaism with its NOAHIDE LAW for Gentiles, such Christian worship is punishable by beheading!

    Now, Mt 28:18-20 ["All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ]

    calls for the conversion of all nations to Christ. But that was before Islam. THERE IS NO WAY THAT ISLAM, AS WITH JUDAISM, COULD EVER BE CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY! These religions demand THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS whose gods are opposed to Christ Jesus. This puts Christianity to a great disadvantage unless Christian Nations become THEOCRATIC, with the power of the State geared and committed to the DEFENSE OF THE FAITH!

    You wrote: A common thread on this sight is that you have all lost faith in governments, the funny thing is i dont think Jesus is! I believe his holy spirit is moving across 1000′s of lives as we speak. Nothing is happening that God has not allowed. He is preparing the ground for his Son’s return. In Rev 22 it states that (governed?)Nations will still exist after his return. I look forward to your thoughts God Bless

    My response: Believers are involved in a spiritual warfare. Satan has his proxy wariors in some human governments and so had Jesus then. Unfortunately for Jesus, His former proxy warrior-governments are begining to deny His divinity, leaning towards anoither god, and we are left with the Catholic Church, Roman and Orthodox, separated from their respective governments by the doctrine of “Separation between Church and State.” And the free-enterprise type Protestant church denominations, 38,000 strong mostly supporting the doctrine of the devil!

    Only the Vatican is left to speak for the future of Christianity. May the Holy Spirit overshadow the Pope and his cardinals and give them wisdom to speak and act for Christ as SAVIOR and SOVEREIGN LORD of all the nations and KING of the kings and rulers of all human governments on earth!

    God bless.

    Dr. I. S. Alcordo

  • Martin

    Good morning Isabelo and thank you for your detailed reply. Based on the length of it i will comment on only parts of it which i consider encapulates the thought of the thread:
    “My response: Eph 6:10-18 obviously refers to individual believers and community of believers (church) and NOT to governments or to secular authorities (Ro 13:1-5). But with the Islamization of nations, we are no longer dealing with secular governments but RELIGIOUS GOVERNMENTS that consider the worship of Jesus as IDOLATRY and the TRINITY as a three-deaded pagan god! As with the Judaism with its NOAHIDE LAW for Gentiles, such Christian worship is punishable by beheading!

    Now, Mt 28:18-20 ["All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ]

    calls for the conversion of all nations to Christ. But that was before Islam. THERE IS NO WAY THAT ISLAM, AS WITH JUDAISM, COULD EVER BE CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY! These religions demand THEOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS whose gods are opposed to Christ Jesus. This puts Christianity to a great disadvantage unless Christian Nations become THEOCRATIC, with the power of the State geared and committed to the DEFENSE OF THE FAITH!”

    My response would be that the Roman Empire was never just a secular society, it was run by a divine Emperor (their opinion), that you had to burn incense to once a year as a sign of submission and call him i believe Lord of Lords and King of Kings or face execution. Paul quickly turned that on its head by saying there was only one and he was Jesus. What i am saying here is that the Church was fighting a Theocracy in the shape of the Roman son of god on earth (Ceasar) v’s the real Son of God (Jesus). We were not told to raise up and destroy them, but to pray for the Governments. We are not to fight Humans as they are the ones he came to save, we ARE however to fight in the spiritual realm where the most important battles are fought. The church was never meant to command Military Armies nor should it, they are a sign of failure, not success. Even as we speak i think you will agree that there are Millions of True Christians, these have come about not my Military might, but the by the Words of Evangualists and the Blood of people who gave their lives for the Gospel. The harder the Church is crushed, the greater the motivation for the Spread of the Gospel. History i think proves it.

    I will have to disagree with you about Israel, i do fully accept that the Land of Israel is fully under the protection of God on behalf of the Patriachs. Whilst the Jews have been blinded to the Gospel for the Gentiles sake, i believe that the Land is God’s witness to the Christian Church that the God of the Old and New testiment are the same. (i could go on with this but time will not allow).

    Further to your quote above, Jews and Muslims ARE turning to the Christian faith, No they are not doing it as a Country, but then no country has ever really converted in heart to Christ. The point is that the Holy Spirit is fully active in carving out his church (his Kingdom) already.

    As for your comments on the Protestant churches ect i will have to say i say again i dont fully agree with you. The reason they broke away was because of the corruption of the last Catholic State and its practices. They can and do equally accuse the Catholic church of the very things that we accuse them. Most is based on ignorance on both sides. There is tradition and generational distrust bred into each side. But both sides have rediscovered parts that are essencial to the whole which is great. This is the Kingdom that we should look to unite prior to even thinking of the State.

    Now i maybe wrong but maybe your mind has been guided by prophecies of the French Emperor that is to come? I have to admit, i have only read bits about it but i can only find comments about him in Catholic documents. Does this guide your thinking or ust the situation we now find ourselves? I cant actually find any reference to the prophecies mentioned for instance within the New testiment esp the book of Rev. Your thoughts on this would be definately interesting.

    So whilst it is difficult to keep to the point because you only get to see the last 3 lines that you have typed! In the end i would still say that the need of Catholic State is uncalled for. Another reason would be that the Muslims would have something to justify and aim their hate at. It would be constant war. And it would be a Holy war, justified by faith, where God must win. The worst type of war.

    I think that everything that is happening is exactly the result of God’s overall plan, he is purifying his church through suffering and teaching them to have faith. The Bible talks about a great falling away of the faithful. We do not truely know where we stand as christians unless tested. And the fruit that God looks for is the fruit of the spirit and not the building of structures in reaction to fear….or so i believe. SO…hope you had a good nights sleep and i look forward to your thoughts.. God Bless

  • http://www.layadvocacyforchristianunity.org Isalcordo

    Hi, Martin:

    You wrote: My response would be that the Roman Empire was never just a secular society, it was run by a divine Emperor (their opinion), that you had to burn incense to once a year as a sign of submission and call him i believe Lord of Lords and King of Kings or face execution. Paul quickly turned that on its head by saying there was only one and he was Jesus.

    My response:
    I consider theRoman empire as secular in the sense that the empire allowed all gods of the various religions to be worshipped. It did not impose a law on or against idolatry.

    You wrote: What i am saying here is that the Church was fighting a Theocracy in the shape of the Roman son of god on earth (Ceasar) v’s the real Son of God (Jesus).

    My response:
    The Roman empire was not a theocracy. It is doubtul if one among the governmental elites believed that the emperor/caesar is truly god or son of true god altough he had political power of life and death over his subjects. And the Church was in no position to fight the empire that is why Paul called on alll believers to honor and obey all authorities, and so did Jesus.

    You wrote: We were not told to raise up and destroy them, but to pray for the Governments. We are not to fight Humans as they are the ones he came to save, we ARE however to fight in the spiritual realm where the most important battles are fought.

    My response:
    In my previous post, I never said that we should destroy non-Christian governments or to fight against non-Chrstians (humans).

    You wrote: The church was never meant to command Military Armies nor should it, they are a sign of failure, not success. Even as we speak i think you will agree that there are Millions of True Christians, these have come about not my Military might, but the by the Words of Evangualists and the Blood of people who gave their lives for the Gospel. The harder the Church is crushed, the greater the motivation for the Spread of the Gospel. History i think proves it.

    My response:
    I totally agree with you on these. I never advocated that the Church (leadership) itself should command any military force. It is not its business. It is for the state (leadership) to do that in defense of its citizenry and for the Church to demand that its conduct of war is honorable in the eyes of even its enemies and to pray to God for victory.

    You wrote: I will have to disagree with you about Israel, i do fully accept that the Land of Israel is fully under the protection of God on behalf of the Patriachs. Whilst the Jews have been blinded to the Gospel for the Gentiles sake, i believe that the Land is God’s witness to the Christian Church that the God of the Old and New testiment are the same. (i could go on with this but time will not allow).

    My response:
    Based on John’s definition, Israel’s rejection of the Messiah as having been born in the person of Jesus of Nazareth makes Israel a nation of anti-Christs. Depriving itself of the Son, the nation also deprived itself of the Father. Thus, Jesus’ declaration: “Jerusalem, . . . you shall never see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

    You wrote: Further to your quote above, Jews and Muslims ARE turning to the Christian faith, No they are not doing it as a Country, but then no country has ever really converted in heart to Christ. The point is that the Holy Spirit is fully active in carving out his church (his Kingdom) already.

    My response:
    The conversion of the emperor Constantine led the way for the whole Roman empire to become a Christian empire. Of course, true conversion is individual and personal. In Islamist nations, Muslims who convert to Christianity are persecuted and threatend with death. Not so of Christians converting to Islam in Christian nations. The Holy Spirit is being opposed by the opposing spirit of Satan.

    You wrote: As for your comments on the Protestant churches ect i will have to say i say again i dont fully agree with you. The reason they broke away was because of the corruption of the last Catholic State and its practices. They can and do equally accuse the Catholic church of the very things that we accuse them. Most is based on ignorance on both sides. There is tradition and generational distrust bred into each side. But both sides have rediscovered parts that are essencial to the whole which is great. This is the Kingdom that we should look to unite prior to even thinking of the State.

    My response:
    Both sides committed atrocities which are very, very unChristian to say the least. Some Protestant denominationstoday call the Roman Catholic Church “Babylon in the book of Revelation.”

    You wrote: Now i maybe wrong but maybe your mind has been guided by prophecies of the French Emperor that is to come? I have to admit, i have only read bits about it but i can only find comments about him in Catholic documents. Does this guide your thinking or ust the situation we now find ourselves? I cant actually find any reference to the prophecies mentioned for instance within the New testiment esp the book of Rev. Your thoughts on this would be definately interesting.

    My response:
    Sorry, I had nothing in mind whatsover about prophesies in my previous post.

    You wrote: So whilst it is difficult to keep to the point because you only get to see the last 3 lines that you have typed! In the end i would still say that the need of Catholic State is uncalled for. Another reason would be that the Muslims would have something to justify and aim their hate at. It would be constant war. And it would be a Holy war, justified by faith, where God must win. The worst type of war.

    My response:
    With or without a Catholic State, Muslims will move and are moving to establish Islamic States worldwide. Will there be religious war between Islam and Christianity in the near future? No, but there will be persecution against Christians until Christians convert to Islam – unless we have Christian Nations that are committed to the protection of the Christian Faith as it was in the past. This is louella’s point for the need of Catholic State or States.

    You wrote: I think that everything that is happening is exactly the result of God’s overall plan, he is purifying his church through suffering and teaching them to have faith. The Bible talks about a great falling away of the faithful. We do not truely know where we stand as christians unless tested. And the fruit that God looks for is the fruit of the spirit and not the building of structures in reaction to fear….or so i believe. SO…hope you had a good nights sleep and i look forward to your thoughts.. God Bless.

    My response:
    ISRAEL, initially God’s Kingdom on Earth, rejected God as its KING when they asked for a HUMAN KING TO RULE OVER THEM to which God acceded and gave the Jews SAUL as their first human king. In due time God sent His very own Son Jesus to call lost Israel, as a nation, to enter God’s Kingdom on Earth which Israel, again, as a nation, rejected. And God turned to the Gentiles to call a People who will constitute God’s Kingdom on Earth (Church) that would produce its fruit. The “fruit” I believe is/are Christian Nations that ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST as THEIR SOVEREIGN/RULER/KING in accordance with the Father’s WILL which is:

    (Eph 1:9-10): “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” NIV.

    God’s Kingdom that we are called to enter is a KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH, operating according to the ways of the Spirit and NOT according to the ways of the world. As Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not OF this world.” He did NOT say: “My kingdom is not IN this world!”

    God bless.

    Dr. I. S. Alcordo

  • Joel Pinheiro

    Did you know that Catholic Faith in the US is very strong and doing quite well when compared with Europe, even in countries in which the Church and the State are not separated, such as in Ireland? To say nothing of England… Think about that.

  • Martin

    Hi again:

    You Wrote:
    I consider theRoman empire as secular in the sense that the empire allowed all gods of the various religions to be worshipped. It did not impose a law on or against idolatry. AND The Roman empire was not a theocracy. It is doubtul if one among the governmental elites believed that the emperor/caesar is truly god or son of true god altough he had political power of life and death over his subjects. And the Church was in no position to fight the empire that is why Paul called on alll believers to honor and obey all authorities, and so did Jesus.

    My response: I disagree with you here as this worship of the Roman Caesar was none negotiable in that you did it or suffered death for it. You are correct that there were other gods accepted by the romans, but Caesar only cared that you worshiped him above everything else. Hence he is a pattern for the ultimate anti Christ throughout church history. Regardless of whether people thought he was god or not, they acted as if they did!

    You wrote:
    I totally agree with you on these. I never advocated that the Church (leadership) itself should command any military force. It is not its business. It is for the state (leadership) to do that in defense of its citizenry and for the Church to demand that its conduct of war is honorable in the eyes of even its enemies and to pray to God for victory.

    My Response
    To accept that it would be only? defensive in nature indicates that you would never consider attacking those already under the leadership of another Theocracy. What if a percentage of the people in another area want to convert to you but not enough in numbers to make a difference? do you attack under a vision of protecting those in another country? or do you say Sorry but we are defensive only? Do you allow missionaries of other religions on your soil especially if they start to convert individuals? In the same way do they allow missionaries onto their soil and if not what are your plans to deal with it? How do you reach all nations with the gospel? Are we only allowed to reachout to set areas of the world?

    You Said:
    Based on John’s definition, Israel’s rejection of the Messiah as having been born in the person of Jesus of Nazareth makes Israel a nation of anti-Christs. Depriving itself of the Son, the nation also deprived itself of the Father. Thus, Jesus’ declaration: “Jerusalem, . . . you shall never see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

    My response: The Jews are anti-Christ only in that they continue to reject the Gospel (which i again state was to our advantage). This is the same as everyone else who doesnt believe. They are no worse than a UK national who says they dont believe or a Muslim that doesn’t believe. That doesn’t stop God keeping his promises about the land of Israel in order to display as a sign to a) The Jews that he is faithful even if they arent and b) as a witness to the church that he is as active now as he was under the old covenant. God i believe only see’s believers and none believers. The only time that this changes is under the direct rule of the anti christ when his followers take his mark and forfeit any chance of salvation.

    You Said:

    The conversion of the emperor Constantine led the way for the whole Roman empire to become a Christian empire. Of course, true conversion is individual and personal. In Islamist nations, Muslims who convert to Christianity are persecuted and threatend with death. Not so of Christians converting to Islam in Christian nations. The Holy Spirit is being opposed by the opposing spirit of Satan.

    My response – The reason so many people converted was not because they probably believed, but because that they saw powerful positions going to those that did. It was good to keep in step with the emperor. It was here that the problem with the church started in ernst. The wolves in sheeps clothing now had control of a mans body (via the empire) and his soul (though apostate non believers in power within the church).

    You wrote:
    With or without a Catholic State, Muslims will move and are moving to establish Islamic States worldwide. Will there be religious war between Islam and Christianity in the near future? No, but there will be persecution against Christians until Christians convert to Islam – unless we have Christian Nations that are committed to the protection of the Christian Faith as it was in the past. This is louella’s point for the need of Catholic State or States.

    My response:

    How do you protect a faith? you can protect a group of people in a given area but you cant protect a faith in general. As i asked louella, how do you make the rules of this catholic state. The Multi-cultural set up of all our countries was not an accident. We are all too diverse at this moment in time for it to work. If we voted in any country now for it to turn to catholicism there would be an outcry From Christians of other denominations, atheist, other religions ect. If you enforced your rule you would end up being a tyrannt.

    You wrote:
    ISRAEL, initially God’s Kingdom on Earth, rejected God as its KING when they asked for a HUMAN KING TO RULE OVER THEM to which God acceded and gave the Jews SAUL as their first human king. In due time God sent His very own Son Jesus to call lost Israel, as a nation, to enter God’s Kingdom on Earth which Israel, again, as a nation, rejected. And God turned to the Gentiles to call a People who will constitute God’s Kingdom on Earth (Church) that would produce its fruit. The “fruit” I believe is/are Christian Nations that ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST as THEIR SOVEREIGN/RULER/KING in accordance with the Father’s WILL which is:

    (Eph 1:9-10): “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” NIV.

    God’s Kingdom that we are called to enter is a KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH, operating according to the ways of the Spirit and NOT according to the ways of the world. As Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not OF this world.” He did NOT say: “My kingdom is not IN this world!”

    My response:
    I totally accept that God’s kingdom will be on earth but as to when it comes about fully, i hold to it being when Jesus returns and that is what the scriptures you are referring to relate. Until then God is calling out a people from the gentiles to be grafted into the vine alongside believing Jews. When that full number has been reached Jesus will return to bring in his kingdom worldwide. Before then however we are called to preach to the nations, wait patiently, watch for the return of the Lord and pray.

  • louella

    Not as well as Islam is doing though……..for some strange reason! Islam has grown in the UK by 74% in the past 10 years……..and Catholicism?! Well I guess we are in decline overall…..though the committed grow!

  • http://www.layadvocacyforchristianunity.org Isalcordo

    Hi, Martin: Let me respond to some new points you raised

    You Wrote:
    To accept that it would be only? defensive in nature indicates that you would never consider attacking those already under the leadership of another Theocracy. What if a percentage of the people in another area want to convert to you but not enough in numbers to make a difference? do you attack under a vision of protecting those in another country? or do you say Sorry but we are defensive only?

    My response:
    Yes, the military machine in a Christian/Catholic State must be only for defense against foreign invaders. Protection of Christians and converts to Christianity in another Theocracy should be the main concern of diplomacy under a Christian/Catholic State coupled to OPEN DOOR policy for converts. Those who would not take this offer are understood to have decided to become WITNESS and potential MARTYRS for Christ in their nations. And the Church should glorify them. Should they be detained against their will, then underground channels must be facilitated even if this will lead to war.

    You wrote:
    Do you allow missionaries of other religions on your soil especially if they start to convert individuals?

    My response:
    Absolutely! Freedom of conscience, speech, and thought should be one of the hallmarks of any Christian/Cathoc State. People should be free to listen to all types of ideology and theology and decide for themselves, incuding the decision NOT to entertaim them. The State (government) should guarantee these while openly proclaiming its Christian Faith in all public affairs. For people of goodwill, I believe Christian Theology can stand its ground. It is for the Church to arm the citizenry with BIBLE-BASED Theology and not just her Catechism. Thus, Church Theolgians must encourage forum with lay theologians to raise issue with Church dogma not clearly supported in the Bible.

    You wrote:
    In the same way do they allow missionaries onto their soil and if not what are your plans to deal with it? How do you reach all nations with the gospel? Are we only allowed to reachout to set areas of the world?

    My response:
    It is the responsibity of the Church to spread the Gospel (Mt 28) to ALL THE NATIONS. The Gospel calls for martyrdom for this cause. Just as Islam has its “martyrs” giving their lives to Allah in acts of HATE, so must Christianity have her martyrs ready to give their lives to God in Christ Jesus in acts of LOVE!

    You wrote:
    The Jews are anti-Christ only in that they continue to reject the Gospel (which i again state was to our advantage). This is the same as everyone else who doesnt believe. They are no worse than a UK national who says they dont believe or a Muslim that doesn’t believe.

    My response:
    I agree.

    You wrote:
    That doesn’t stop God keeping his promises about the land of Israel in order to display as a sign to a) The Jews that he is faithful even if they arent and b) as a witness to the church that he is as active now as he was under the old covenant. God i believe only see’s believers and none believers. The only time that this changes is under the direct rule of the anti christ when his followers take his mark and forfeit any chance of salvation.

    My response:
    Those who would receive this visible “mark of the beast” have already long received this invisibly in their hearts and minds by their rejection of Jesus of Nazareth as the Sacrificial Lamb of God, their ejection of the vicarious dying of the Father and the actual dying of the Son on the cross to take away their sins and that of humanity’s.

    As for the land of Israel (Jerusalem), the Jews have to become Christians, as a nation, for God to allow them to live in that land IN PEACE!

    You wrote –
    The reason so many people converted was not because they probably believed, but because that they saw powerful positions going to those that did. It was good to keep in step with the emperor. It was here that the problem with the church started in ernst. The wolves in sheeps clothing now had control of a mans body (via the empire) and his soul (though apostate non believers in power within the church).

    My response:
    It is not for us to judge one’s motive to be baptized into Christ and into the Church. But one thing is sure: Emperor Constantine recognized the enormous responsibility of that conversion so that he refused to be baptized until the day of his dying – when he no longer was able to commit sin as he would be forced to commit as Emperor.

    You wrote:
    How do you protect a faith? you can protect a group of people in a given area but you cant protect a faith in general. As i asked louella, how do you make the rules of this catholic state. The Multi-cultural set up of all our countries was not an accident. We are all too diverse at this moment in time for it to work. If we voted in any country now for it to turn to catholicism there would be an outcry From Christians of other denominations, atheist, other religions ect. If you enforced your rule you would end up being a tyrannt.

    My response:
    I agree. I do not believe that a Christian State must necessarily be a Catholic State. That is why I suggested starting with the organization of an “International Conference of Christian Nations (ICCNN).” Here, antagonism of the Protestant churches against the Catholic Church must be resolve. This Conference must be centered, at first, on resolving theological difference based primarily on Biblical Theology by theologians, ordained and lay, diplomaed or not, of both sides.

    To initate this both sides must recognize TWO TYPES OF BIBLICAL COMMUNITIES (CHURCHES) (1) PETRINE and (2) PAULINE. Here to me are the Biblical verses defining the two:

    PETRINE (ONE CHURCH/COMMUNITY and PRIMARILY RITUALISTIC) (1 Pe 2:4-6): “As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” NIV

    PAULINE (SEPARATE MULT-COMMUNITIES/Churches and PRIMARILY EVANGELICAL) (1 Co 3:10-15):
    “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” NIV

    By the simple acceptance of these two types of Churches, Christianity would have made the first step towards recognition of each and everyone’s validity. Churches built on personal prophecies and revelations may be set aside as a THIRD GROUP. From this step and from then on I believe that the Holy Spirit will be leading them as long as they have goodwill towards one another.

    You wrote:
    I totally accept that God’s kingdom will be on earth but as to when it comes about fully, i hold to it being when Jesus returns and that is what the scriptures you are referring to relate. Until then God is calling out a people from the gentiles to be grafted into the vine alongside believing Jews. When that full number has been reached Jesus will return to bring in his kingdom worldwide. Before then however we are called to preach to the nations, wait patiently, watch for the return of the Lord and pray.

    My response:
    The Lord has long returned in Spirit and now dwells in my spirit (heart), soul (mind), and body. And where the King dwells, there His Kingdom is. Christians whol live according to the WAYS OF THE SPIRIT must recognize this and each be a leaven to build true CHRISTIAN STATES/NATIONS/SOCIETIES!

    God bless.

    Dr. I. S. Alcordo