Pillars going nowhere

When Sir Christopher Wren designed the interior of the Windsor Town Hall in 1689, he built a ceiling supported by several pillars. However, when the town’s aldermen inspected the finished building, they decided the ceiling would not stay up, and ordered Wren to put in some more pillars. England’s greatest architect didn’t think the ceiling needed any more support, so he pulled a fast one. He added four pillars that looked like they reached the ceiling but actually stopped short of it and accomplished nothing – except for keeping the town council happy.
It makes me think of of all the useless additions that religious authorities have wanted added to the simple teachings of Jesus, who said that the whole law of God is ‘to love God with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself.’

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9 Responses to Pillars going nowhere

  1. BH says:

    Hi Bob,
    I’m a little confused by your comment. Do I just have to “love God with ALL my heart and my neighbour as myself” in order to attain eternal life or is there anything else I have to do?

    • Hello, thanks for your comment. Sorry if my final sentence caused some confusion. Our salvation, of course, comes through our faith in Christ, his sacrificial death and resurrection. The bit about loving God and neighbour is a quote from Jesus himself who said that the whole law of God was bound up in these 2 things. The point I was wanting to make is that religious bodies have a tendency to keep adding all sorts of rules, practices and dogmas which are supposed to be essential to please God, but in actual fact are just human additions to those 2 things Jesus said really do fulfil what God expects of us.

      • BH says:

        Still confused.
        So are you saying the Roman Catholic sacraments in particular baptism and receiving Jesus through eating His body and drinking His blood during the Sacrifice of the Mass are not necessary for salvation and are simply “just human additions”?
        Thank you.

      • What I am saying is that salvation comes to us as the free gift of God who loves us and sent His son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for our sins and to rise victorious over death. We receive that gift by faith and commit ourselves to living a life of love for God and humankind, inspired by the example of Jesus and energised by his Spirit within us. The sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion are means of Grace whereby our faith is strengthened and refreshed, as they are by prayer and the study of scripture etc. I am not saying that those means of grace are human additions – they were instituted by Jesus – but they are not works that we do in order to merit salvation. That’s already been done for us by Christ and received by faith. Our task now, continually refreshed by those means of grace is to live a life of love.

  2. BH says:

    Even more confused. You agree that Baptism and the Sacrifice of the Mass are sacraments instituted by Christ but then you say they do not merit salvation. The Roman Catholic Church is very clear and dogmatic about the fact that baptism and the Sacrifice of the Mass are absolutely essential for a persons Salvation. Baptism washes away original & actual sins and the Mass is offered every day but especially on Sundays and days of Holy obligation as payment for sins of the living and the dead. I don’t wish to burden you with lengthy treatise found in Papal encyclicals and Ecumenical Councils but these two quotes from the New St Joseph Baltimore Catechism should suffice:
    Q 320. “Why is Baptism necessary for the salvation of ALL MEN?” [emphasis mine]
    Ans: “Baptism is necessary for the salvation of all men because Christ has said: “Unless a man be born again of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.””
    Q 361. “What are the purposes for which the Mass is offered?”
    Ans: “The purposes for which the Mass is offered are:
    first, to adore God as our Creator and Lord;
    second, to thank God for His many favors;
    third to ask God to bestow His blessings on all men;
    fourth to SATISFY the JUSTICE OF GOD FOR THE SINS COMMITTED AGAINST HIM.” [emphasis mine]
    Please note in particular the 4th purpose of the Mass.
    So, you can see these Sacraments according to the RCC are not simply means of grace as you suggest! Do you agree????

  3. I agree that these sacraments according to the Roman Catholic Church are more than means of grace, but in this respect I do not agree with the Roman Catholic Church. I think you and I will have to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for your comments; I think you are are person of faith, and in this respect we stand together, even if not in all our doctrinal understandings.

    • BH says:

      Surely you cannot leave it at that? Someone here is in error and it has eternal consequences-either the Roman Catholic Church is correct & if they are then you Bob will spend eternity in Hell (which I would not wish upon you or anyone) because by your own admission you agreed that Jesus instituted the Sacraments and yet you reject them as the way of salvation. It’s not simply acknowledging that someone is a “person of faith”, because that begs the question faith in WHAT? Muslims are “persons of faith”!
      The Catechism of The Catholic Church which has the stamp of approval by the previous Pontiff puts it this way:
      #845 “Outside the Church there is no salvation”
      “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church,…..IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION:…. He himself [Jesus] explicitly asserted the necessity of FAITH and BAPTISM, and thereby affirmed at the same time the NECESSITY of the CHURCH which men enter through Baptism as through a door. HENCE THEY COULD NOT BE SAVED WHO, KNOWING THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS FOUNDED as NECESSARY by God through Christ, WOULD REFUSE either TO ENTER IT or to remain in it.”
      So Bob, since you now know and have acknowledged that the RCC is essential for salvation I hope that for the sake of your soul you will not refuse to enter it. When you are ready to join the Church (don’t leave it too long-“Boast not for to morrow, for thou knowest not what the day to come may bring forth.” or in the language of the Church “ne glorieris in crastinum ignorans quid superventura pariat dies”-Proverbs 27v1) send me a private email and I can assist you with your journey to attain Heaven as your eternal destination and not Hell.

      • Hello again. I appreciate your comments and especially your concern for my soul. However, much as I respect the right of Roman Catholics to hold to their particular interpretations of scriptural teaching, there are elements in it that I hold to be the teachings of men not of God. The message of the Epistle to the Hebrews is clear that Christ was offered a sacrifice for our sins once and for all, and no other sacrifice is required. This is the basis for the difference between a Protestant view of Holy Communion and the Catholic view of the mass. I believe that we are saved by Grace which we receive by faith – not by religious acts which, though important to the nourishing of our faith (means of grace) are not the means of salvation.

  4. BH says:

    I thank you also for willing to continue our discourse on the importance of knowing the way of salvation. I don’t know if you recall but in February of last year you wrote very positively about Mother Theresa, did you know that she believed in the Sacrifice of the Mass and spent many a time worshiping Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Thank you for quoting Hebrews (please don’t forget that it was the Roman Catholic Church that gave you the Bible). But the Lord’s words are very clear in St John’s gospel Chapter 6 v 54-55 “Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.” Jesus also told a man in St Matthews gospel to KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS in order to attain eternal life! Christ founded the Roman Catholic Church 2000 years ago and it still exists today, your belief system only surfaced some 500 yrs ago with the heretic Martin Luther!
    Let me ask you a question do you believe Roman Catholics are Christians and will they go to Heaven if they believe and adhere to the Churches (which of course are Christ’s teachings) official teachings, the two most important ones being 1) Water baptism washes away original sin and actual sins & 2) The Sacrifice of the Mass is required for the forgiveness of the sins of the living and the dead?

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