I do know strange things are happening in the religious scene and I will back off from insisting I am totally right in my questioning. Perhaps I should keep my distrust to myself? In any case, if there one who is grieved for what happened years ago, I want to be the first in line to inform him that I do not hold him/her responsible for the atrocities committed against innocent people. http://www.goodorient.com/prom_Dress_C333http://www.goodorient.com/Wedding_C671http://www.goodorient.com/Wedding_C671
What has happened during the reformation is a fulfillment of Jesus words as recorded in John 16:1-4:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.How we treat those who disagree with us is revealing. It demonstrates who motivates us, who lives within us. If I recall, a lot of this hatred the reformers and Catholics had towards dissenters was rooted in their fear of the loss of power, prestige and revenue. The sale of Indulgences, e.g.,  by the Catholics was used as a fund raiser to build. Babies at baptism were taxed...Now if too many people refused to baptize their babies, refused to buy Indulgences this would create a shortfall upon the powers that be to fund their pet projects.[EDIT] Dreadful, is it not, how people will pervert scripture to wheedle money out of ignorant folks?Ahhh, some things never change...
Ginnyrose,It is unfortunate that people abuse the Scriptures and use the Church as a means to extort money as it makes it difficult for unbelievers to believe in our God.Did you have any thoughts on the verses in Revelation?Matthew
I hope now I can write something and not have the internet connection freeze like it did an hour ago when I wrote a reply - there was a thunderstorm in the area. Revelation 2 and 3 speaks to corporate churches in different places, thus giving rise to the assumption that corporate repentance is indeed possible. I do not for one minute believe it is not possible, but has it ever happened? All the revivals I have heard of occurred among a remnant of people who may have been churched but not necessarily always. Most well-known denominations today are an outgrowth of an earlier revival. They are people who have stuck together for mutual encouragement and edification and this is good - we all need this. But what has happened is that a slow decline set in when people lost their first love and from there it was all downhill into apostasy. Perhaps this is one of the greatest lessons these churches teaches us? Yes, Revelation would indicate this to be possible and, Matthew, if you are optimistic that it will, God bless you. But if it doesn't don't allow it to bring your faith to ruin. Does this answer your question?Blessings,ginnyrose