I found this in J. W. McGarveyâ€™s compiled writings volume titled Biblical Criticism. As McGarvey was a considered scholar in both the Hebrew and Greek, I thought it might be useful to note his remarks concerning the use of plural pronouns in the Hebrew language. The response was posted to a radical question concerning disputing the authorship of Moses for the Penteteuch; however, the answer is interesting on other levels as well.
Aurelius Augustinus (354 – 430) is known as Saint Augustine. I might offer evidence that suggests he was not a saint at all. You may find a hint of that as you read on. He was responsible for solidifying many of the doctrines of Catholicism. Augustine wrote dialogues on the Trinity and Mariolatry and on a wide number of other topics. His complete works measure at least eight full volumes on my shelves, having used up more words than the entire Holy Scriptures by a few hundred times. You might note that he lived during the early part of the period suggested for the start of Catholicism.
Here is just a smattering of his teaching:
- He suggested that baptism ought to be withheld until a person was close to death such as with the emperor Constantine, and as was then becoming common in the Romanized churches; so that converts might have the majority of their sins behind them when they repented.
The notion that you have a full knowledge of sin and will not make any changes is monstrously wrong. This is the argument “I cannot control myself” that is so prevalent today; so at least we didn’t invent it. It is sheer escapist nonsense. Does God now accept the sinner carte blanc, or do we need to rid ourselves of as much of the baggage of sin as we can possibly jettison? It also does not accord belief that we can ever give up sinning – “we just cannot stop, don’t you see that Jesus?” Augustine writes quite a bit about how he did not want to get rid of his mistresses – and so he did not. I wonder? Is the spirit willing, but the flesh weak? Or, is it the other way around?
You might as well believe that you must travel to Mars or to the bottom of the sea to be baptized and become a Christian. You would have equal authority. Such thought and instruction is completely against anything taught in the scriptures; and it will have the end effect of doing absolutely nothing for one’s status before God. Hear, believe, repent, be immersed and remain faithful – that is the prescription offered by the Holy Spirit. And you change for God or suffer the consequences. It is a very difficult but simple equation.
- Augustine believed that Adam and Eve never died but ate of the Tree of Life in Eden and lived on and were eventually carried up to heaven.
This indicates he never actually bothered to read the scriptures. That too remains a problem today. Mormons teach this also; so, that must mean they never read it too. In any case, it displays an ignorance of the scriptures as the record states exactly how long Adam lived and, that after a life of nine hundred thirty years “he died” (5:5). Someone is wrong, and I believe that it isn’t God or His Word. The scriptures are silent about Eve’s death, but then they are also silent about how long most of the women lived and when they died. Remember, God told them they would die, if they transgressed (Genesis 2:17).
- Augustine believed that infant baptism was a matter “rightly held to have been handed down by apostolic authority,” and that even without this, the church could form a “true conjecture of the value of the sacrament of baptism in the case of infants, from the parallel of circumcision…” He later posted: “Therefore, when others take the vows for them, that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete on their behalf, it is unquestionably of avail for their dedication to God, because they cannot answer for themselves.”
Uh huh! So, let me see if I have this one. The apostles handed down the authority for infant baptism, but the Holy Spirit forgot to record a word about it I the Word of God? Go figure. To paraphrase Elijah, perhaps God was busy that day. Then baptism, rather than being a token of faith and the anti-type to circumcision, became the NT parallel to it. So, Peter got it wrong too. And the baby babble is not to be taken as a dedication to God because they, after all, are not able to articulate. Who would have thought that? Ronald Reagan once posed, babies (which he compared to the federal government) possess “an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” Some might suppose they might have no responsibility period. If so, somebody had sure better do the dedication and talking for them. But how will we ever know when we get it right, babble being in need of serious interpretation, and the interpreters of babble but few?
Thank God, we have the right to believe whatever suits us, no matter how screwball and stupid. In my simpleton’s view, this is certainly a giant leap of faith and a blinding misappropriation of both reason and logic. This is mind control theory at its very best; and thousands have championed it, while millions have been brought under this control. Yet it is a historical and religious lie, and complete and utter nonsense, with no evidence to bolster it; and not so much as a shred of scripture behind any corner. As for the logic to the argument: there simply isn’t any.
But, just to be fair, Augustine here identifies original sin long before Jean Calvin ever thought it up. Which can only mean: Calvin did not think of it at all. To head straight down to the bottom of the rabbit hole, Augustine tells the reader that he had inappropriate thoughts while at his mother’s breast; and thus as an infant he needed redemption. Perhaps these were some of those thoughts? How could we ever know? The more I read these things, the more it makes me wonder. How could people read and accept such moronic nonsense.
There is so much more, it just boggles the mind. I have every intention to move further off in history (as I had said) with some similar records, and remarks about what amounted to the universal or Catholic “Christian” religion during the Dark Ages. But the road both here and there is so completely strewn and spread over with heresy, blasphemy, lack of care and the pure rot of godlessness, that it is hard to leave this part of history without offering some of the worst of it for us to ponder. It all makes the false teachers of today look like rank amateurs.
Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
(2 Timothy 4:2, HCSB)