vendredi 2 mai 2014

Avoiding Apostasy is Not Endorsing It

First, what do I refer to as "apostasy"? There are many apostasies, and a Christian however duty bound to avoid all of them might fail in his duty and avoid one at the expense of falling into another. So, which apostasy are we talking about?

Gary Bates, this one is for you. The apostasy I suppose you might accuse me of endorsing but which I am really very much avoiding, is one which you have been warning against. Like here:

CMI : Scientific proof we were created by aliens?
The exo-creator idea continues to gain momentum
by Gary Bates
Published: 1 May 2014 (GMT+10)

Or here:

CMI : Did God create life on other planets?
Otherwise why is the universe so big?
by Gary Bates

In a certain modern "cosmos" (or rather concept of it, since the Cosmos itself, as created by God, hardly is "modern"), every star is a sun and every sun is a star, including ours. Some of them are in this idea also endowed with planets. Every planet or at least everyone close to conditions on earth has the capacity to evolve life and every life has the capacity to evolve into sentient and intelligent beings. Another planet somewhere else - in Vega or Orion or whatever - beat us in that race and evolved far enough technologically to get spaceships launched to earth in time for our human genome to be at least partially manipulated or even totally constructed from scratch by that team. This is a very big lie. And coming to it from Christianity is apostasy.

Now, angelic movers to or in every star and planet is something other than biological life on every planet.

Stating someone is either living as the sun or carrying the sun as a lantern and doing so either way under the orders of his Creator is very much not believing in E.T.s. Same with moon, or α Centauri as with the Sun.

In the cosmos I believe to be a correct account of the real one, God created angels in the beginning and on day four gave some but not all of them heavenly bodies to carry. Sun, moon and stars - the latter subdivided into fix stars, comets and planets under the sphere of the fixed stars. What is considered as parallax is really a dance move taken by the angel carrying for instance α Centauri. This is why my idea of cosmos need not at all be as big as the idea of Chris Impey.* I can consider Aristotle with his "cosy" one million miles across the universe as not far from the mark.

That in its turn means I cannot at the same time consider even a real exoplanet meaning a nonluminous but reflective body circling one of the fixed stars as far enough to be big enough to be a real parallel to earth. If I am right the largest exo-planet would very easily be as small as the planet of The Little Prince - a ludicrous environment for evolution to take place in.

This ties in with Romans 8.**

πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις (pasa hē ktisis, ‘the whole creation’) does refer to the whole creation in Romans 8, and Paul cites this as a matter of common, accepted knowledge among his Christian audience. It includes all of non-sentient, moral decision-capable creation—i.e. excluding humans and angels, because Paul goes on in the next verse to talk about the believers’ state, and angels are excluded by οὐχ ἑκοῦσα (ouk hekousa, not willingly) in verse 20—Schreiner (Baker Exegetical Commentary, 1998), is of the view that this excludes any being with a will. So basically what κτίσις denotes in the passage is all of non-human physical creation.

First off, I suppose you mean "moral decision-INcapable creation".

If I am right, the heavenly bodies are perhaps not under the fall, since so closely identified with angelic movers as not to be meant by all creation excluding angels and men. Here is Haydock on Romans 8:19 ...***

Ver. 19. The expectation[2] of the creature. He speaks of the corporal creation, made for the use and service of man; and, by occasion of his sin made subject to vanity, that is, to a perpetual instability, tending to corruption and other defects; so that by a figure of speech, it is here said to groan and be in labour, and to long for its deliverance, which is then to come, when sin shall reign no more; and God shall raise the bodies, and united them to their souls, never more to separate, and to be in everlasting happiness in heaven. (Challoner) --- Waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. That is, for the time after this life, when it shall be made manifest that they are the sons of God, and heirs of the kingdom of his glory. Several interpreters understand all creatures whatsoever, even irrational and inanimate creatures of this world, which are represented as if they had a knowledge and sense of a more happy condition, of a new unchangeable state of perfection, which they are to receive at the end of the world. See 2 Peter i. 13; Apocalypse xxi. 1. Now every insensible creature is figuratively brought in groaning like a woman in labour, waiting, and wishing for that new and happy state; but in the mean time unwillingly made subject to vanity, i.e. to these changeable imperfections of generations and corruptions, which then they shall be delivered from. (Witham) --- The creature, &c. The creatures expect with impatience, and hope with confidence, to see a happy change in their condition; they flatter themselves that they will be delivered from the captivity of sin, to which man has reduced them, and enter into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God. Not that the inanimate creation will really participate the happiness and glory of the elect; although in some sense they may be said to have part in it, since they will enter into a pure, incorruptible and perfect state to the end of ages. They will no longer be subject to those changes and vicissitudes which sin has brought upon them; nor will sinful man any longer abuse their beauty and goodness in offending the Creator of all. St. Ambrose and St. Jerome teach that the sun, moon, and stars will be then much more brilliant and beautiful than at present, no longer subject to those changes they at present suffer. Philo and Tertullian teach that the beasts of prey will then lay aside their ferocity, and venomous serpents their poisonous qualities. (Calmet) --- Other, by the creature or creatures, understand men only, and Christians, who groan under miseries and temptations in this mortal life, amidst the vanities of this world, under the slavery of corruption; who having already (ver. 23.) received the first-fruits of the Spirit,[3] the grace of God in baptism, have been made the children of God, and now, with expectation and great earnestness, wait and long for a more perfect adoption of the sons of God: for the redemption of their bodies, when the bodies, as well as the souls of the elect, shall rise to an immortal life, and complete happiness in heaven. (Witham)

In 1859 Haydock quoted Challoner (18th C. English Catholic bishop) and Witham (17th C. dito, never set foot in England after being consecrated bishop but rather ordained Catholic priests for Martyrdom and England in Douai or Reims) as saying this applies to "corporal creation, made for the use and service of man" or according to following: "Several interpreters understand all creatures whatsoever, even irrational and inanimate creatures of this world, which are represented as if they had a knowledge and sense of a more happy condition, of a new unchangeable state of perfection, which they are to receive at the end of the world." But St Jerome actually goes on to include creatures at least he considered angelic:

St. Ambrose and St. Jerome teach that the sun, moon, and stars will be then much more brilliant and beautiful than at present, no longer subject to those changes they at present suffer.

That St Jerome of Stridon, famous as Bible translator, considered the stars as having for a kind of soul a kind of angels is clear from St Thomas Aquinas, Prima Pars, Q 70, A 3. Now, St Jerome may have considered that Sun, Moon and Stars shall shine brighter in the New Heaven and New Earth, but he may not have considered they should go through the final conflagration first, at least St Thomas did not when writing things later incorporated into the Supplement of his Summa:°

Article 4. Whether that fire will cleanse also the higher heavens?

Objection 1. It would seem that that fire will cleanse also the higher heavens. For it is written (Psalm 101:26-27): "The heavens are the works of Thy hands: they shall perish but Thou remainest." Now the higher heavens also are the work of God's hands. Therefore they also shall perish in the final burning of the world.

Objection 2. Further, it is written (2 Peter 3:12): "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat of fire." Now the heavens that are distinct from the elements are the higher heavens, wherein the stars are fixed. Therefore it would seem that they also will be cleansed by that fire.

Objection 3. Further, the purpose of that fire will be to remove from bodies their indisposition to the perfection of glory. Now in the higher heaven we find this indisposition both as regards guilt, since the devil sinned there, and as regards natural deficiency, since a gloss on Romans 8:22, "We know that every creature groaneth and is in labor even until now," says: "All the elements fulfill their duty with labor: even as it is not without labor that the sun and moon travel their appointed course." Therefore the higher heavens also will be cleansed by that fire.

On the contrary, "The heavenly bodies are not receptive of impressions from without" [Cf. Sent. Philosop. ex Arist. collect. lit. c.--Among the works of Bede].

Further, a gloss on 2 Thessalonians 1:8, "In a flame of fire giving vengeance," says: "There will be in the world a fire that shall precede Him, and shall rise in the air to the same height as did the waters of the deluge." But the waters of the deluge did not rise to the height of the higher heavens but only 15 cubits higher than the mountain summits (Genesis 7:20). Therefore the higher heavens will not be cleansed by that fire.

I answer that, The cleansing of the world will be for the purpose of removing from bodies the disposition contrary to the perfection of glory, and this perfection is the final consummation of the universe: and this disposition is to be found in all bodies, but differently in different bodies. For in some this indisposition regards something inherent to their substance: as in these lower bodies which by being mixed together fall away from their own purity. In others this indisposition does not regard something inherent to their substance; as in the heavenly bodies, wherein nothing is to be found contrary to the final perfection of the universe, except movement which is the way to perfection, and this not any kind of movement, but only local movement, which changes nothing intrinsic to a thing, such as its substance, quantity, or quality, but only its place which is extrinsic to it. Consequently there is no need to take anything away from the substance of the higher heavens, but only to set its movement at rest. Now local movement is brought to rest not by the action of a counter agent, but by the mover ceasing to move; and therefore the heavenly bodies will not be cleansed, neither by fire nor by the action of any creature, but in lieu of being cleansed they will be set at rest by God's will alone.

Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 18,24): "Those words of the psalm refer to the aerial heavens which will be cleansed by the fire of the final conflagration." Or we may reply that if they refer also to the higher heavens, these are said to perish as regards their movement whereby now they are moved without cessation.

Reply to Objection 2. Peter explains himself to which heavens he refers. For before the words quoted, he had said (2 Peter 3:5-7): "The heavens . . . first, and the earth . . . through water . . . perished . . . which . . . now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire unto the day of judgment." The entire text differs somewhat from St. Thomas's quotation; but the sense is the same. Therefore the heavens to be cleansed are those which before were cleansed by the waters of the deluge, namely the aerial heavens.

Reply to Objection 3. This labor and service of the creature, that Ambrose ascribes to the heavenly bodies, is nothing else than the successive movements whereby they are subject to time, and the lack of that final consummation which they will attain in the end. Nor did the empyrean heaven contract any stain from the sin of the demons, because they were expelled from that heaven as soon as they sinned.

Obviously, part of the consideration about stars being brighter is that now they are circling is full circle in less than 24 h., which, together with sun whose full circle defines the night-and-day and its 24 subdivisions, is how time is measured, but afterwards, time will cease insofar as this movement ceases.

This scenario is valid if you accept the Geocentric premisses and that one can do if one accepts that "apparent parallax" (or rather real movement appearing as itself, but interpreted as parallax by Heliocentrics) is caused by angelic movers. This also makes the Distant Starlight problem a non-problem.

Baker on the other hand in 1998 started out saying that stars are inanimate and mindless and therefore concluded they too must in the full sense (needing cleansing by fire) are subject to the curse of Adam.

Is someone living in α Centauri as a soul lives in a body, or holding it as a man or angel (including sometimes fallen angels acting as Poltergeists on a very much lower level) holds a lantern, it is obviously not Han Solo and so obviously does not contradict that all men descend from Adam. It is only when we say that a planet held by α Centauri as Earth is supposedly held by the Sun in its turn holds intelligent beings as Earth holds men, it is only then that we encounter any conflict with the Gospel. One which may indeed have been active in making the late John Templeton apostatise, since Chris Impey is writing on a collective blog called Big Questions which in its turn depends on the Templeton Foundation. And as explained, I do not believe that more than St Thomas Aquinas did. Or Pope St Zachary. He has been accused of having condemned the roundness of earth, when in reality he was condemning E.T.s and therefore also "E.T. phone Rome?" - a paradigm which has become popular with supposed successors of Pope St Zachary:°°

From a letter of Pope St. Zachary (1 May, 748), addressed to St. Boniface, we learn that the great Apostle of Germany had invoked the papal censure upon a certain missionary among the Bavarians named Vergilius, generally supposed to be identical with the renowned Ferghil, an Irishman, and later Archbishop of Salzburg. Among other alleged misdeeds and errors was numbered that of holding "that beneath the earth there was another world and other men, another sun and moon". In reply, the Pope directs St. Boniface to convoke a council and, "if it be made clear" that Vergilius adheres to this "perverse teaching, contrary to the Lord and to his own soul", to "expel him from the Church, deprived of his priestly dignity". This is the only information that we possess regarding an incident which is made to figure largely in the imaginary warfare between theology and science. That Vergilius was ever really tried, condemned, or forced to retract, is an assumption without any foundation in history. On the contrary, if he was in fact the future Archbishop of Salzburg, it is more natural to conclude that he succeeded in convincing his censors that by "other men" he did not understand a race of human beings not descended from Adam and redeemed by the Lord; for it is patent that this was the feature of his teaching which appeared to the Pope to be "perverse" and "contrary to the Lord".

So Ferghil was presumably aware the Earth was round (who said Irish literacy was subpar in pre-Strongbow Erin?), the Pope who came from Byzantium was not but did not condemn it as such (who said Byzantium was superior to the West?), and the crime for which Ferghil was suspected was "E.T. phone Rome" theories. No, E.T., don't bother to phone the Rome of Pope St Zachary! But then again, he had no phones there, the first phones in the Vatican came with Pope Pius XI. However, if grey ones or such had shown their ugly faces in his Rome, they would have been scared back down to Hell with holy water and exorcisms. Not quite what we see in the Rome of these days, is it? How did Rome get there? By agreeing - Pacem in Terris, Roncalli pseudopope, 1963, § 6 which is somehow appropriate - with Baker (1998, how about dividing that number by three, btw!) that stars and such are governed by mindless laws. By diminishing the guardian angels of the stars to highly evolved beings on planets around them - because denying there are, in the first place, such a thing as guardian angels of the stars.

But Pope St Zachary who warned against this even wrote his letter same date as Gary Bates his latest article on CMI.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Athanasius of Alexandria

* Whom I found here:

E.T. phone Rome?
American Morning|Added on November 13, 2009
Summit attendee Chris Impey explains why the Vatican held a five-day summit on the possibility of alien life.

** Cited by Gary Bates and Lita Cosner here:

CMI : Is the whole creation fallen?
Published: 8 March 2011(GMT+10)

*** Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
ROMANS - Chapter 8

° Newadvent, Summa, Supplement to III Part
Question 74. The fire of the final conflagration
Article 4. Whether that fire will cleanse also the higher heavens?

°° Newadvent, Catholic Encyclopedia
A : Antipodes

Pope St Zachary's letter is thus 1226 years before Gary Bates' article. Did Bergoglio complain about some being "more Papist than the Pope"? Well, if even a non-Catholic like Gary Bates can be more Papist than he (as I presume he endorses the "E.T. phone Rome" thing, he may want to correct this impression if I am wrong), being more Papist than he is not very difficult or challenging. If one is not more Papist than he, one is not getting into Heaven, I should think.

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