Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“Holy Anorexia” and Sanctified Starvation

Catherine of Siena was bulimic. So was Theresa of Avila.

Did you know that? I’ll bet you didn’t know that fellow mystic, Catherine of Alexandria, is the patron “saint” of anorexics and bulimics.

One of the most bizarre chapters in Christian history is that of the Medieval ascetics. Many of these devotees to Christ and the so-called “cult of the Virgin” daily flagellated themselves, starved themselves, wore chains and hair shirts, mutilated their own bodies (particularly their sexual organs), and even purged food as an act of piety and self-denial. Some even ingested cat vomit as an act of 'penance' (Norman Cohn, review of Holy Anorexia, 1986).

Amy Indyke writes about Catherine of Siena: This 14th century woman subjected her body to ruthless abuse and neglect throughout her life; these severe practices informed her theological constructs. Catherine does not discuss the extent of her asceticism in her writings, but the eyewitness accounts of her practices are innumerable. Her bulimia was so infamously extreme that she was reported to have shoved “twigs down her throat to bring up the food she could not bear to have rest in her stomach. Other accounts report spontaneous vomiting.” The idea of swallowing twigs and “spontaneous vomiting” denotes extreme pain caused by bloody lacerations, scratches, and the blood vessels that burst from forced vomiting. Rudolph Bell, author of Holy Anorexia, asserts that "not only did Catherine die from starvation but also from her perverse bodily mortification. She was also a flagellant who whipped herself “with chains for an hour and a half three times daily. At one time she wore a hair-shirt, but later replaced it with a chain bound to tightly about her that it embedded itself in her flesh. She reduced her sleep to approximately one half hour every two days, and used only a board for her bed.” Whipping and tightly-bound chains must have left her body bruised and torn. She believes suffering is necessary also because it imitates Christ’s paradigm, embodied by his crucifixion, and facilitates the Soul’s reintegration with God.” (Emphasis mine).
<== A heavily "re-touched" picture of Catherine of Siena

This kind of twisted thinking is difficult to fathom, even for the unregenerate mind. Self-destructive behavior is sinful, and the idea that it was held as a sign of holiness is a perversion, obviously, of biblical truth. Elevating starving and purging to the level of virtue is a twisting, a bastardization of the spiritual discipline of fasting and self-control (which is one of the fruits of the Spirit).

“In the medieval period, the control, renunciation, and torture of the body were understood not so much as a rejection of the physical, but as a way of achieving the divine…Theresa of Avila began frequently to use twigs of olives to induce vomiting and completely empty her stomach. In this way she was able to truly take into herself the Host, which became her unique source of sustenance. From an investigation of the conduct of 170 Italian medieval saints by Rudolph Bell (1985), fully one half of them exhibited symptoms of anorexia.” (Mario Reda,“Anorexia and the Holiness of Saint Catherine of Siena”).

As a former Catholic, I can attest that a much more subtle form of this "piety by suffering/starvation" still exists - especially among women who grew up before the Second Vatican Council. These medieval "saints" were held up to women of my mother's generation as heroines and role-models (I recognized the painting of St. Catherine above immediately -- from my mother's "Lives of the Saints for Children"). My mother's particular hang-ups about food may or may not have had anything to do with her fanatical catholicism, but the morbid fascination with "mortifying the flesh" rampant in that religion is a sort of gnosticism (the idea that matter is inherently evil, and the physical flesh must be subjugated). Nowadays, it is far less pronounced - I am quite sure none of my Catholic neighbors sleeps in a hair shirt, or that the local priest would condone (or even knows about) Catherine and Theresa's bulimia.

Without getting into a lengthy discussion of medieval mysticism and why altered states of consciousness are demonic, (Ray Yungen does an excellent job of addressing this subject in “A Time of Departing”, as does Dave Hunt in “The Seduction of Christianity”), suffice to say that contemplative spirituality, which gripped the Roman church and thousands of pious young women during the Middle Ages, is a counterfeit trap of Satan. The lure of mysticism arises from it’s emphasis on personal experience, and is essentially a flesh-pleasing form of spirituality. Subtly, all biblical principals are misconstrued or ignored – the soul is seduced with the promise of “union with the divine”. Extreme fasting has traditionally been a part of this practice, which elevates altered states of consciousness to a holy rite.

The TRUE face of anorexia

Since the mystical practices associated with “sanctified starvation” are so clearly demonic – levitation; self-mutilation; demonic attacks – is it not logical that the eating disordered behavior these “contemplative saints” practiced was of the devil, as well? Here’s why:

1. Humans were made in the image of God.

2. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) children of God.

3. One way he attempts this “revenge” against God is by harming you physically (even killing you, if possible).

When writing my book, I discussed at length the fact that Satan cannot make the believer do anything, but he can tempt you to harm yourself. This is especially effective if he has convinced the believer that the self-harm is a good thing, or has spiritual value (on some level, many women today believe that self-starvation is a noble, if not spiritual practice). One of the main ways the devil has operated from the beginning is by twisting God’s words and thus brainwashing His children.

<==A "holy woman", or one desperately in need of help?

I am convinced this is what happened among the medieval mystics, secluded in their austere convents. They were not reading God’s Word, which was forbidden at the time, but instead were relying heavily on their subjective, ecstatic experience. Furthermore, the notion that they, as sinners, could participate by physical suffering in Christ’s redemption of humanity belies an almost incredible hubris on their part. From the scant amount of research I’ve done on these Catholic ascetics/contemplatives, I am convinced that many of them were demon-possessed (or at least suffering demonic oppression). Out of body experiences are one of the characteristics of occultism, and combined with the unscriptural practices of the monastic life, demonization was the natural result.

“….a certain level of pain and suffering through careful dieting may be required. Women are not forced to do this by male religious authorities. This is not masochism either. On the contrary, young anorexics and bulemics believe that their pain brings them closer to God, for self-inflicted suffering imitates Christ’s own pain and suffering on the Cross. Saint Catherine is therefore the patron saint of anorexics. Modern women have a tendency to suffer guilt and remorse when they diet, instead of regarding it as a healthy spiritual process. Such suffering is unnecessary if modern women can learn that through the pain of the Eucharist and fasting that they can attain that higher mystical state. Women must learn to renounce food while the men must renounce power.” (“Voices and Saints”, emphasis mine).

How food and spirituality became intertwined is an interesting historical subject, but the spirituality ascribed to self-starvation did not begin with 20th century Western culture. I like to think, though, that no woman today purges in the Name of Christ. It is inconceivable to me that these “holy” women are canonized as saints; their purging and cutting given sacred value.

As a Christian counselor, it is particularly bizarre to me seeing how the concept of faith and holiness has historically been perverted to sanctify anorexia and bulimia. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20). Ladies, self-starvation, mutilation (including cutting), induced vomiting, and excessive restricting is not God’s will for you, and it never was. It is a false idol, an impure practice and is destructive to your body – the temple of the Holy Spirit. There is NO virtue in this practice, and it does not make you one iota holier – only progressively enslaved to sin. You cannot live the abundant life Christ promised – which includes obedience to Him and service to others – if you starving and purging yourself to death.

Catherine of Siena starved herself to death, by the way – in “atonement for the Church’s sins”. A rather ignoble end to a tortured life.


4simpsons said...

How enlightening . . . and awful! I had not idea of their disorders. The key to me was that they couldn't read the word for themselves.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thanks for the history lesson. How totally bizarre!

Marie said...

This from an online bulletin board:

"Anorexia Mirabilis and the Catholic Church
Coming at this from personal experience, and therefore biased, I don't want this to come across as nasty. However, I want to see the opinions of others on this.

Anorexia Mirabilis is an eating disorder that is slowly regaining more footing in the ED community. It is basically, a religious version of Anorexia Nervosa, induced by a desire for a closer relationship with God, or emulation of certain saints, most notably St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Angela of Foligno, Marie of Oignies, and St. Catherine of Siena.

In fact, one of the most "inspiring" quotes you can find on an ED site, or in the Anorectic's Favourite trigger, Wasted, by Marya Hornbacher, is this:

I have no intention of making a peace pact between my body and my soul, and neither do I intend to hold back. Therefore, allow me to tame my body by not altering my diet; I will not stop for the rest of my life, until there is no more life left.You should not think my body is so mortified and weak as it seems; it acts this way so that I should not demand the debt it contracted in the world, when it liked pleasure...Oh my body, why do you not help me serve my creator and redeemer? Why are you not as quick to obey as to disobey His commands? Do not lament, do not cry, do not pretend to be half-dead. You will bear the weight that I place on your shoulders, all of it...I not only wish to abstain from bodily food but I wish to die a thousand times a day, if it were possible in this mortal life of mine.
--Letter from St. Margaret of Cortona to her confessor later used as evidence of her sainthood by the Vatican.

Do you think the Catholic church should actively condemn cases of Anorexia Mirabilis or religiously induced Anorexia Nervosa, and discourage the veneration of saints that could cause harm through emulation?"

Sick stuff.

Anonymous said...

While doing an on-line Bible study today, I realized for the first time that bulimia, in and of itself, is rebellion to God. I used to think that the things that drove me to binge and purge (negativity, an inability to problem-solve, relationships which often disintegrated into feeling like I was taken advantage of, etc.) was the problem. In other words, I THOUGHT that bulimia was caused by others! In reality, bulimia is a wrong choice to turn FROM God to another way.

Since I was brought up Catholic, I find this article interesting. There are many, many contradictions in Roman Catholicism mainly because the Word of God was only to be read by 'the noble few.' I never realized that there is a connection between EDs and the practice of self-mulilation in the Dark Ages. Thank you for sharing the truth.

BTW, a picture IS worth a thousand words!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading you for about a year, and your hatred of the Church breaks my heart. Your blatant misrepresentation of St. Catherine testifies to your hatred of truth. You say your are a "former Catholic" but I know that you know almost nothing about Catholicism. As the Catechism teaches, "religious ignorance is ignorance of God." Your blog is proof of it.

I know, you think I'm some sort of "romanist" or "occultist" but I promise you, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ.

The way I view your blindness of the Church and your hatred for St. Catherine is symptomatic of your hatred of yourself. I think you see some of yourself in St. Catherine. And since you hate the Catholic Church, you hate her. You also hate yourself.

Your hatred defines you. As a reader of your blog, I see that you are defined by what you hate; not by what you love--you are literally energized by slandering heavenly beings, bearing false witness of the Church, and taking the Lord's name in vain. You wave the Bible over your head propping yourself up as some sort of authority over the Church, but all you are is someone who has broken into a house and stolen a cherished book. The Bible is the Catholic Church's book, it is built by Her, given to us by Her, and it is interpreted by Her. An honest student of history cannot trample that fact, though you tell yourself repeatedly that it is not so.

Your hatred leads you to accept revisionist history, false assumptions, and any lie about the Church you come across.

Instead of hating St. Catherine or misrepresenting her, pray to her to help you in understanding her (it is biblical to do so if you study the bible). Instead of hating St. Mary, pray for wisdom and love.

That "romanist" Church which Christ established will accept you, though you still insist on implying that it has satanic roots. Just as contemporaries of Jesus accused Him of being demonic, you too accuse the Church of being demonic--you are nothing new, Marie.

Just as you say monasitic lifestyles are "unbilblical" you use the Catholics book (the Bible) to suggest that Mary's and Paul's lifestyle are something other than a models of a monastic lifestyles. Your zeal for your new (modern) version of Christianity has replaced your judgement and discernment. You are a lost and a hateful wanderer, Marie. I pray you abandon your pride and turn to the Foundation and Pillar of truth--the Church.

Your version of self-interpretation Christianity is newer than my own house. It, along with every other man-made version will perish. Your brand is just a small blip on the radar screen of the Church and will pass away just as other heresies. Christ is accepting of you, Marie, but on His terms--not your "infallible" terms.

Patrick, Colorado.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Talk about spewing vitriol and venom! I find Patrick's comments to be the ones I'd define as "hateful." Marie, I've found you to be the exact opposite of this assessment. As I've told you before, you tackle some tough assignments. That being said, you can be prepared for harsh responses from those who take an opposing position. But this? I find nothing in his response to indicate any degree of redemptive love. Let's hope he doesn't start another Inquisition.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I’ve been reading Marie longer than you have and I have never seen any display of hatred for the Romanist church from her (I will use that title - Romanist - to distinguish it from other Catholic bodies). What I have seen is her exposing their false teachings.

If you are indeed a Romanist, then you are not so much a follower of Jesus Christ as you are a follower of the papacy. There is a whole world of difference.

Your whole nonsense about Marie hating herself is 100% pure psycho-babble. I find it interesting that you even attempt to psychoanalyze someone via blog entries! I think that is evidence of YOUR hatred for her.

You say Marie is full of hatred but you did not give one piece of evidence for your slander. Where did Marie ever engage in “slandering heavenly beings, bearing false witness of the Church, and taking the Lord's name in vain”?

The Bible is NOT Rome’s book. It was around long before the Papist church came into existence. If you studied just a wee bit of history outside of the Romanist propaganda you would know that. The Romanist church didn’t even exist as such until after the 4th century when Constantine made Christianity the state religion. The O.T. was the Jew’s book and all the books of the N.T. were written before the end of the 1st century. The books that made it into the NT were already accepted by the church as Scripture before the middle of the 2nd century when your papist organization didn’t even exist. Gathering the books together was even done before the Romanist church as such existed. Your ignorance of history is due to letting Rome revise it for you rather than you study for yourself.

You are correct that Rome interprets the Bible for her followers, but then again so do the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists and a host of other cultic organizations. The Bible commends those who study for themselves and not let someone else dictate the meaning (Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 2:15) and tells us there is nothing else necessary for us - no church, no papacy - to be able to know what it says (2 Pet. 1:3-4).

Your blind following of a man-made organization “leads you to accept revisionist history, false assumptions, and any lie about” those outside the Romanist organization.

Show me one place in the Bible - just one - where it says we are to pray to anyone other than the Triune God. Show me just one example where Marie is “hating St. Catherine or misrepresenting her.” Show me just one example where Marie is “hating St. Mary.” (By the way, according to the Bible every Christian is a saint.)

Christ did NOT establish the Romanist/Papist church. That is a lie from the popes to puff themselves up. History shows different. Christ would not establish a church which has so-called “vicars of Christ” who were immoral in the nth degree, persecuted and killed people for wanting to read the Bible on their own, persecuted and killed people for not accepting a pagan ritual of Mass, and in fact, murdered anyone who just flatly disagreed with them!

Find one place in Scripture where Mary or Paul practiced monasticism! Go ahead, cite it chapter and verse.

You accuse Marie of having pride, but your comments are extremely prideful with the claim to the only truth and everyone else being wrong. It is your Papist organization which long ago left orthodoxy and plunged into aberration and heresy.

Lastly, if your church teaches you to be mean and vicious to other believers, making such slanderous personal attacks, that should be proof enough that it is not a church of Christ.

Marie said...

Well hello Patrick,

and a Happy New Year to you, too! :)

I find it sadly amusing that you had nothing better to do at 11:25 pm on New Year's Eve than leave hate mail on other people's blogs. Sad.

BTW, if you find my writing so "heartbreaking" and offensive, why do you visit my blog EVERY SINGLE DAY by googling "Theogeek"?

Hmmm..okay, now that you've finished insulting me, care to address any of the arguments? You accuse me of "revisionist history" (guess those three primary sources I quoted in this one entry really got under your skin, huh?) yet that is exactly what the RCC has been doing since it's very inception in the 5th century. Keep the "sheep" in the dark by obscuring God's Word, and you can control them by fear. That's modus operandi for all dictatorships, and the institution you defend so passionately is one of the clearest historical examples.

For the record, you err when you state that I hate catholics et al. I do NOT hate them, nor the Mormons with whom I've debated, Children of God (another cult I once wrote about), agnostics or the liberal Unitarians with whom I attended high school. "Hate" is actually the opposite of what motivates me. If anything, (and I say this not to sound condescending), I pity those whose eyes are still blinded to the truth and enslaved by a lie. One of the most frustrating things to me ministry-wise is our human inability to enlighten anyone to the truth. Christ Himself made it clear that unless the Holy Spirit opens someone's eyes and regenerates them, they remain spiritually dead. We are commanded to share the Gospel, but are powerless to "resuscitate" a dead man. That's why I feel sorry for you. However, I bear no ill will towards you and want you to know that I completely and unilaterally forgive you for your unprovoked hatred towards me.

As far as your speculation that I "hate myself", the term that popped into my head was "psycho-babble" (Glenn beat me to the punch). With all due respect, Patrick, if you want to spout psycho-babble, you picked the wrong person. I type this with a broad smile on my face and not a hint of malice; I don't know if you've read any of my entries holding pop psychology up to the light of Scripture.

Re: your suggestion that I pray to Catherine of Siena for insight or whatever. I have to admit, even if I were a necromancer (which I'm not), I'd have no desire to pray to, or emulate, someone who snacked on animal puke and was what today they call a "cutter".

You know, though, I do wish we had been contemporaries because I would have loved to have counseled her. Like most of the young eating disordered women I've counseled, she seems to have held a significantly flawed view of God. There's nothing more joyous than seeing someone's knowledge and faith in God increase, and watching as they walk free of their addictive behavior.

As far as Mary goes, (I assume you meant the mother of Jesus?) naturally I have great respect and admiration for her, particularly in her courageous obedience to God and humility (which we see throughout Scripture). I have never said otherwise. Naturally, it is the Mary of the Bible of whom I speak, and not the mythical "goddess" worshiped by devotees of your religion. And yes; you DO worship her - it matters not how you want to parse latreo, doulias, and hiperdoulias to get around that fact. How the Vatican chooses to define "worship" matters not; what matters is how GOD defines it.

But come to think of it, isn't it like that for all things?

It seems I have touched a very raw nerve for you, Patrick. Otherwise you would not be so upset by a blog written by a complete stranger on the other side of the country. Could it be that the Holy Spirit is calling and convicting you yet? I pray that He indeed is.

Have a nice day! :)

Anonymous said...

The snakes are disturbed!

Where's the creativity? You all just assume I don't study history (I have advanced degrees from fundamentalist schools, was a minister, etc.) History is what drove me from fundamentalism. It is clear that anyone who says READ HISTORY YOU ROMANIST had been educated by bumper stickers.

"CONSTANTINE" you cry! Anyone who still throws that out as a "proof" that the Catholic Church started in the 4th century does not deserve to sit at the adult table.

I have no "proofs" of what I say about Marie slandering people, taking the Lord's name in vain??? READ the post, people.

It is true, though your pride has blinded you. You (and those like you) are defined by your hate. Nearly every other post is about what you hate, who you hate, how your mind has figured things out.

You are SO bold as to say Catholics worship Mary... Whatever makes you feel comfortable in your hate.

The view of your churches/brands/franchises is a lot like looking at a bunch of animals trying to devour each other. At no time does the Catholic Church service give sermons on trying to undermine others, we are secure in what we are. Fundies, on the other hand, are defined by trying to tear down the truth so they can build themselves up.

I too was a self-appointed spiritual know-it-all, so I understand the security in telling my self over and over again that the Catholic Church is a lie.

I grew up, I decided to read history that is not published by zondervan.

As Mark Noll showed so well in his Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, fundamentalism is the ism of stupidity. This blog has been a great window into the hate-filled world of fundies, into the nonsensical world of "the bible says what the bible is" and the self-ordained world of infallible self-interpretation that only result in chaos and more hate.

BTW, since your readers here are SO smart and SO well-read, someone show me what body gave us the Bible if it was NOT the Catholic Church. Who built it? Who preserved it? Point me in a direction. It's OK, you can't. But be honest with yourselves and realize that your religion is as old as plastic. That the Church is the authority--the bible was a gift from that authority, authored by that authority, and is "useful" for teaching. Nothing self-validates itself, and the bible validates the Church.

I know, this is just too hard...

Marie, you are the one who insisted on showing off your ignorance to me a year ago on a blog I had--I did not look for you;) And for that, I thank you! I'm rebuilding my blog! In fact, the window into hate-filled fundamentalism that you've given me is already in the foundation of material that we are compiling.

I'll let you be. Maybe you can run along and build some unaccredited university, give yourself some face degree, self-ordain yourself to some fake church, and feeeel good. So many others you admire have done it!


Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Regardless of your degrees, etc. if you think the Romanist church originated before the 4th century, you are deceived by the Romanist church! you will find nothing before the 4th century of a church anywhere near the organization the Romanist church became.

I have never read a bumper sticker about Romanism. Talk about people jumping to conclusions!! I have studied the Romanist faith for a couple decades and have in my personal library official Romanist documents including the catechism. I get my information from the source, not from anti-catholic rants.

I don’t use Constantine to prove that the Papist church started in the 4th century, I just used that as a benchmark where to find the origins of what became a syncretized religion of Christian and pagan belief systems. Your condescending remarks are what don’t deserve to be at an “adult table.” Stick to the subject and drop the personal attacks.

How about instead of telling us to read the post, you cite what you are referring to and then give your evidence that it is slander. Or are you not able to do that?

You again make charges of pride blinding Marie, claiming she is all about hate, yet anyone who follows Rome are the ones blinded to the truth. Have you ever considered comparing Papist teachings with what the Bible says? And why is it “hate” to expose error? The gay activists make the same claim against those of us who expose the immorality for what it is - oh, it must be “hate” that makes us want to stop the agenda. As with you, it must be “hate” if we want to expose false teachings.

Papists do indeed worship Mary. Call it veneration or anything else to marginalize what actually takes place. When you pray to Mary you are putting her in the place of God; you make her omniscient and omnipresent to be able to hear and respond to prayers of millions of people all over the world.

Papist churches may not have sermons about the teachings of others, but the Papist dogma and doctrine says everyone outside of Rome are unsaved and anathematized on top of that.

You say you once were “a self-appointed spiritual know-it-all,” but you are demonstrating that you still are!

Maybe you should read history as published by someone other than Rome!

It is Rome and the Papacy who took it upon themselves to be the final interpreters of Scripture. Of course you won’t find the Mass, purgatory, perpetual virginity of Mary, rosaries, indulgences, inquisitions, murder of dissenters, celibate priests, etc. in the Bible.

So you think the Papist church gave us the Bible? Explain how they gave us the O.T. then, when that text was around for centuries before Christ?!?!? And the N.T. , as previously stated, is no more than a collection of writings that the church already accepted as Scripture (2 Pet. 3:16 e.g.). The Papist church didn’t declare these NT books Scripture, the individual assemblies had already accepted them as such in the 1st century when the Romanist church hadn’t yet existed. Even Turtullian in early 3rd century called these scriptures the “New Testament”; where was Romanism then? in a writing against Montanism an unknown author c.190 called these scriptures the “New Testament.” Where was Romanism then? There was no need for defining the canon until the 4th century when heretics and false scriptures were becoming a problem. It under Constantine’s reign that the books considered canon for the previous almost three centuries were collected apart from the false writings. But it wasn’t the Roman church that gave us the N.T., it was the writers themselves and the churches who collected them and called them “scripture.” The Bible did not come from Romanism - it already existed and Rome just approved of it!

The Bible does indeed “validate the Church” but not the Romanist-Papist institution called the Roman Catholic Church.

People like you marginalize every argument by calling it hate. “It must be a weak position that can only be defended by vituperation.”

Marie said...

Hold on Patrick...which blog are you talking about, where I allegedly "showed my ignorance"? What did I say? (It must have been good if it prompted you to stalk me for a year!) Do you have the url, by any chance? Seriously, dude, that's pathological. Now you've got me curious.

Honestly, though, I don't believe that you were an ordained minister OR have "advanced degrees", because of the juvenile style with which you write. How old are you - 18, 20 maybe?

I have a graduate degree, although not in history, which I have nonetheless studied extensively. Now make of this what you will: my father, who is also a cradle-catholic like my mother, hoolds a PhD in history and has published 2 books. His specializations are medieval Europe and WWII, and he is a well-respected professor here in MA. Interestingly, BECAUSE of his in-depth knowledge of history, he has been an agnostic for at least the last 25 years. It's sad, because he and others like him cannot distinguish between the reality and heart of God (which we get from the Bible) and the atrocities committed in God's Name throughout the centuries (perpetrated by Pope Leo and his successors). Thus, he threw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater and was totally turned off to God (although he still attends weekly mass with my mother, who is another story. She admits she is actually afraid to read the Bible). My point is that it was the evil of the very institution you defend that drove him away from God's true Church, the Christian one. I don't need "some face degree" (sic) to realize that.

Back to your issue with this particular post....I don't see how any sane person could defend the practices I mentioned, or the rationale of personal holiness behind them. It's a rather obscure chapter of history (and I myself didn't realize it even had a clinical name until last week), but it was interesting to me as a Christian counselor of women with EDs.

I fail to see how my writing is about "stuff I hate". I've seen blogs like that, and while they may be entertaining, I prefer to be edifying. Let's see...I write about the persecuted Church, missions, charities, specific Scripture applications, apologetics, edifying movie and book reviews, and a lot of biblical counseling (as I have been studying it for a couple of years). Somehow I must have missed the "hate theme" on my own blog! :)

Marie said...

Here is some info about the compilation of the Canon, which you asked about (although Glenn did a comprehensive job).

Compared to the New Testament, there was very little controversy over the canon of the Old Testament. Hebrew believers recognized God’s messengers and accepted their writings as inspired of God. While there was undeniably some debate in regards to the Old Testament canon, by A.D. 250 there was nearly universal agreement on the canon of Hebrew Scripture. The only issue that remained was the Apocrypha, with some debate and discussion continuing today. The vast majority of Hebrew scholars considered the Apocrypha to be good historical and religious documents, but not on the same level as the Hebrew Scriptures.

For the New Testament, the process of the recognition and collection began in the first centuries of the Christian church. Very early on, some of the New Testament books were being recognized. Paul considered Luke’s writings to be as authoritative as the Old Testament (1 Timothy 5:18; see also Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7). Peter recognized Paul’s writings as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). Some of the books of the New Testament were being circulated among the churches (Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27). Clement of Rome mentioned at least eight New Testament books (A.D. 95). Ignatius of Antioch acknowledged about seven books (A.D. 115). Polycarp, a disciple of John the apostle, acknowledged 15 books (A.D. 108). Later, Irenaeus mentioned 21 books (A.D. 185). Hippolytus recognized 22 books (A.D. 170-235). The New Testament books receiving the most controversy were Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John.

The first “canon” was the Muratorian Canon, which was compiled in A.D. 170. The Muratorian Canon included all of the New Testament books except Hebrews, James, and 3 John. In A.D. 363, the Council of Laodicea stated that only the Old Testament (along with the Apocrypha) and the 27 books of the New Testament were to be read in the churches. The Council of Hippo (A.D. 393) and the Council of Carthage (A.D. 397) also affirmed the same 27 books as authoritative.

Also see "The Canon of Scripture" by F.F. Bruce.

lyn said...

To expose the erroneous teachings of the RCC may SEEM like hate to you, someone who claims to follow Christ...BUT the bible commands us to speak out against false teachings.
I will ask you this, what makes you think you are a follower of Christ? If you truly are, then why do you defend the false teachings of the RCC?
The Roman Catholic Church has done more to twist God's word than all other cults combined. This is a deadly cult that blinds all who are caught up defending it. We are not called to defend denominations, we are called to defend God's word alone.

[Here is the testimony of a former Roman Catholic, I pray God will lead you to read it -- http://defendingcontending.com/2009/10/23/a-child-of-rome-set-free/]

The gift of eternal life is a supernatural work by God. You cannot earn it, work for it, or obtain it on your own. 'By GRACE are you saved, through faith, and that NOT of yourselves, it is a gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest any man boast' Ephesians 2:8,9. Going to church will not save you, being baptized will not save you, following traditions of denominations will not save you...humble yourself before a mighty God and cry out for mercy and grace. Acknowledge you are a sinner, only Christ can forgive sins. Open the bible and cry out for His wisdom, seek it as if it were a treasure.

When you accuse Marie of her 'hatred of the church', you must understand this...Marie is speaking out against the FALSE TEACHINGS of the RCC, she is NOT attacking individuals. I too hate the teachings of the RCC...why? Because if you truly love Christ then you must hate what He hates, and He hates lies, falsehood, apostates, false prophets/preachers/teachers, deception, etc.
You then expose lies with the truth of God's word, praying that God will bring some out of the bondage of these false teachings.
I assure you, by the authority of God's holy word, you are not saved and going to heaven if you follow and are loyal to the Roman Catholic church. You are still in your sins, in bondage to sin. No man or religious organization can free you from that bondage. Only the grace of God can save your soul, and that's only because Christ reconciles lost sinners back to a Holy God through His finished work on the cross. Remember those words of our Lord, 'it is finished'. There is not one thing you, or any religious organization can do to add to what Christ already has completed. It is all of grace...

Marie said...

Thank you, Lyn. Amen!

4simpsons said...

Yes, many Catholics worship Mary -- http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/ap/bona/PSALTER.htm .

Marie & Glenn, excellent points. The truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth.

brothermichael said...

Patrick - It is amazing how you accuse Marie and others of hate yet you come to her site as a guest and spew forth venom, acrimony and ad hominem. Truly amazing.

Do you have any concept of Biblical love? I mean the Bible is YOURS and only for Catholics and not for us fundies so you must understand it, right? Have you read how Jesus spoke to the Scribes, Pharisees and Lawyers? Did Jesus HATE them when he called them vipers, whitewashed tombs, deniers of God's commands, etc.? Did Jesus hate Peter when he told him he was in essence speaking for Satan? Did Paul hate the Galatians when he rebuked them sternly telling them they had believed on another gospel? Did Paul hate the Corinthians when he severely rebuked them for their many sins? Did Jesus hate the churches of Asia Minor when he issued stern warnings to them to repent lest they lose their candle stick. Judge righteous judgment!

Marie, from all I can see is filled with love and is desiring people come out of Romanism and worship God in spirit and truth. And what she wrote about Rome's infatuation with self-flagellation is true and well attested to.

No need for a founding of an unaccredited university as I trust Marie desires to be like the Apostles who, while accused of being ignorant and unlearned (just like you have done), were instructed at the feet of Jesus and turned the world upside down.

Repent and believe the gospel.

Four* Pointer said...

In one of his comments, Patrick said, As Mark Noll showed so well in his Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, fundamentalism is the ism of stupidity. And yet he calls US "hateful."

Hmmmmm........Pot...kettle...black...do the math.

BTW, since your readers here are SO smart and SO well-read, someone show me what body gave us the Bible if it was NOT the Catholic Church. Who built it? Who preserved it? Point me in a direction.

Well, it is true that the catholic church was responsible for collecting and establishing the canon of Scripture. However, that statement is true only if you spell "catholic" with a lower-case 'c'.

Marie, I wouldn't take Patrick's scathing gutter talk to heart. It's often difficult for Romanists to believe the truth of their religion. There was nothing "hateful" about your post. You simply stated facts--something the Papists don't like to admit to.

And, for the record, if anyone wishes to learn more about the history of the TRUE church--not the Church of Babylon--there is a 49-part series from James White that is available for free on the internet. You can find it here in mp3 format, or you can listen in Real Player format here.