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About Spammer

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    Senior Member: Divides Heaven & Earth

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  1. Spammer

    The Catholic scandal and the Church

    It’s 300 (or maybe 600, if we double to account for likely underreporting), out of the total number of all priests who served in the six Pennsylvania dioceses noted in the grand jury report, serving between 1947 and the year of the latest instance of abuse cited in the report. That’s our denominator, if we’re interested in measuring the scope of the problem accurately and fairly.
  2. Spammer

    The Catholic scandal and the Church

    The scandal directly impacts only the Latin wing of the Catholic tradition and its celibate clergy (aka the ancient Church of Rome). There are plenty of other Nicene Creedal, liturgical, bells and whistles, catholic places where disaffected Roman Catholics who know their tradition can go, where they can receive Christ Himself in the bread and wine and feel comfortable. No need to go anywhere else. E.g. they can go to Eastern Catholicism (Greek, Slavic or Syriac), Orthodoxy, the Copts, or the Church of the East (all of which comprise the ancient Catholic Churches of Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Selucia-Ctesiphon). To cite just one example, Eastern Catholics in communion with Rome, who worship according to the the Byzantine (Greek) Rite, can separate from Rome and it’s predominant Latin Rite and enter into communion with the Eastern Orthodox. Their Sunday worship is identical. Both are Catholic, but not Roman Catholic.
  3. Spammer

    Worship Music in the Church

    Oh wow, I would love to hear that.
  4. Spammer

    Worship Music in the Church

    I would love to hear the Motab perform Rachmaninov’s Vespers. It incorporates melodies from the Russian Orthodox evening service and is stunningly beautiful. Imagine what it would sound like with the Motab singing it.
  5. The Persian church (aka Nestorian Church aka Church of the East) officially accepted the Creed in 410 at the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, shortly after the Persian emperor (temporarily) legalized Christianity, allowing the persecuted church to leave the underground, organize and worship publicly. In 431, the Nestorian Church and the Roman state church broke communion, the latter formally anathematizing the former over Christological issues. The churches are still not in communion, although both have the same liturgical form of worship and recite the Nicene Creed each Sunday.
  6. What about Christians in the Persian Empire and points east? They were never subject to Rome, its emperors (including Constantine), and the councils of the Roman state church. Persian subjects supporting the Roman state church were viewed as supporting the Romans and their emperor, a seditious act. Whenever the Roman/Byzantine Empire and Persia would go to war, members of the Persian church were subject to horrific persecutions at the hands of the Persian emperors and their Zoroastrian priests. They never were subjects of the Roman/Byzantine Empire and its state church, yet at that time and to this day they were and still are Nicene Creedal Christians and Trinitarians. Why is that?
  7. Spammer

    Worship Music in the Church

    Hi there! I think you're right about Gregorian, but I think the Syriac, Byzantine and the Byzantine-inspired Western forms I mentioned are older. Play some Byzantine,Mozarabic or Beneventan chant side by side with some old Jewish chant and the similarity in modes seems clear. I think both derive from a common source. The question becomes exactly when did Christians first adopt the music of the synagogue and temple. Makes sense to me that the first Christians (since they were Jews) likely initiated the process. Check out Eric Werner. The Sacred Bridge: The Interdependence of Liturgy and Music in Synagogue and Church During the First Millenium. Columbia U Press.
  8. Spammer

    Worship Music in the Church

    Chanted psalms and prayers is the music of the ancient temple and synagogue. Listening to it, whether Gregorian or (in particular) Christian chant that sounds Middle-Eastern (Byzantine, Mozarabic, Syriac, Beneventan, Milanese, Old Roman), is to transport yourself musically back to apostolic times. I can’t imagine Christian worship without it.
  9. Spammer

    Apostasy and restoration

    Yes, there are many similarities, some of them uncanny, especially if you compare LDS temple rituals with Coptic, Eastern Orthodox and pre-Vatican II rites, which, to answer your question, should give you a hint about what I think of the Novus Ordo Liturgy. Henry VIII stripped the altars in England and Vatican II stripped them everywhere else. Pope Benedict’s issuance of his letter ‘Summorum Pontificum’ was therefore a great day for the Latin Rite churches.
  10. Spammer

    Apostasy and restoration

    When you mention what Stendhal said regarding the need for temples and the Restoration, I would hope your talk will include some mention that temples and temple theology are also part of the Catholic tradition, Liturgy and church buildings, to include such ancient temple elements as divinization (theosis), the Holy of Holies, bread and wine, anointing with oil, sacred clothing (vestments), the seven branched candlestick, the veil, and incense. Protestantism has mostly forgotten the temple-centric worship of the Catholicism they sought to reform, eliminating most of the temple elements I mentioned in the process.
  11. Spammer

    God is real and the Church is True

    For what it’s worth, I was a missionary in the mid-80s and conducted a few baptismal interviews. I also had to ask about masturbation and whether female investigators had had an abortion.
  12. Spammer

    Using the scientific method to recognize the spirit

    The first step is to recognize and accept that your own spiritual experiences have nothing to do whatsoever with the content of others’ spiritual experiences. You can never know what others have truly experienced without experiencing their experiences as they’re experienced. Which is impossible. Without that, your thoughts on what they experienced are merely a guess. Telling others they didn’t really experience what they think they experienced based on a guess is hubris. It’s also insulting, no matter how well intentioned. So, if someone says that God did not answer their sincere prayer, you have to accept it and not try to explain their experience away.
  13. Here’s what really happened. After reading the Book of Mormon, I prayed to ask God if it was true. But - I wasn’t truly sincere. I lacked faith in Christ. I didn’t really want an answer, because that would bring responsibility I wasn’t willing to accept. I was born into the church and raised in Utah, surrounded by Mormons. It’s easier for converts to detect the spirit. I secretly wanted to drink coffee and beer or look at porn. I had committed a sin that I never went to the bishop to clear up. My parents didn’t teach me properly and created false expectations. I did receive a witness, but didn’t recognize it. See what I did there? All of the above are things people have said to me to explain away my experience after I tell them I never received that witness of the Book of Mormon’s truthfulness. I appreciate your good intentions, but my experience is my experience and no one knows it like I do.
  14. I’m still waiting for you to tell me precisely how many of the 266 popes were bad men. You never did answer that question.
  15. You need another category. I’m formerly LDS, met all five of your prerequisites, but never received the expected confirmatory spiritual witness. I don’t believe Nephites existed.