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THE MANIFESTO 

Preamble 

Catholicism faces the challenges of the scourge of materialism and the yearning spiritual hunger of humanity. Only Biblical Catholicism can meet both these situations. 

 

In a time of theological dilution, a contemporary restatement of historic Biblical truths and beliefs is needed and the following affirmations of Biblical Catholicism is offered:- 

 

Statement of Faith

The historic faith of Biblical Catholicism as revealed in the Bible and interpreted and expressed in the Nicene Creed[1] and writings and life of the Church is reaffirmed. 

 

The Holy Trinity

Biblical Catholicism affirms the reality of One Eternal God revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One in Essence but three equal but distinct Persons with distinct functions, historically described as the Holy Trinity by the Church. Humans and all creation are duty bound to worship God and God alone and as God each Person in the Holy Trinity is worthy of worship.

 

God the Father

Biblical Catholicism affirms that the first Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, is the Eternal Almighty One who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent and Creator of heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible, and as God is worthy of worship. 

 

God the Son

Biblical Catholicism affirms that the second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Eternal Son, is the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages and is true God and true Light by whom all things were made, and as God is worthy of worship. He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made the man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, for humans and for their salvation.  In His unique Person, Jesus reveals the fullness of deity and the fullness of humanity. By His life, suffering, death by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate, resurrection and ascension, He provided the only way of salvation. His sacrifice on the cross once and for all reconciled the Holy God and sinners, thus providing the only way of access to the Father. Now Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father as High Priest, interceding for humans as the Only Mediator, and He shall return in glory to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate His Kingdom.

 

God the Holy Spirit

Biblical Catholicism affirms that the third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Father and the Son, and as God is worthy of worship. As giver of life He is active from the beginning in creation, revelation and redemption. Through His anointing the Old Testament prophets received the Word of God, though His presence and power were limited in them. The Spiritís presence and power were found without limit in Jesus of Nazareth, the Anointed. The Holy Spirit came to indwell the Church at Pentecost, endowing believers with spiritual fruits and spiritual gifts and confirms the Holy Bible as the Word of God with signs and wonders. All the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit are now available to the believers as it were to the New Testament believers. He bears witness to Christ and guides Godís people into His truth. He inspired the Holy Scriptures, Godís written Word. He guides people concerning His will and truth, always in harmony with Christ and the truth as given in the Holy Bible. The Spirit convicts and woos the lost, gives new birth to the penitent, and abides in the believer, perfecting holiness. He empowers the Church to undertake Christís mission in the world.  

 

Humanity

Biblical Catholicism affirms that in love God created humans in the image of God from one man Adam.  Humans are created superior to all other creation, with spirit, soul and body, the spirit being eternal. God intends that humans love, glorify and enjoy Him forever. However Adam disregarded the will of God and sinned. Since the Fall of Adam, the corruption of sin pervades every person and extends to all creation and social relationships and societal systems. However, in mercy God provided a covenant through which humans can be redeemed and through which creation will be liberated from all evil and brought to final righteousness at the end of the age. Sin incapacitates humanís positive response to Godís offer of redemption, except by the prevenient (preparing) grace of God. Only through the justifying, regenerating and sanctifying work of the Triune God can humans be saved from the corruption of sin, become increasingly conformed to the image of Christ, and restored to the relationships which God has intended for humans. 

 

The Holy Scriptures

Biblical Catholicism affirms Ďthat the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their authorí[2] and are the only written Word of God. ĎGod chose men who consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wantedí[3]. The Holy Bible provides whatever is necessary for knowing God, His Will, Jesus Christ, human salvation and sanctification. The Holy Bible is the guide and final authority for the faith and life of humans and the doctrines and life of the Church. Whatever is not clearly revealed or plainly established as truth by the Holy Bible cannot be required as an article of faith nor be taught as essential to salvation. Whatever is contrary to the teachings of the Holy Bible is contrary to the Will of God. The words of the Holy Bible Scripture are God's own works, human part in producing the Holy Bible being merely to transmit what was received. The Holy Bible has been accurately preserved during the long process of transmission through copyists and translators by the work of the Holy Spirit. God being the author, the Holy Bible is inerrant and infallible and has been kept free from historical or scientific error. Where human information contradicts the Holy Bible, either the human information is wrong or human interpretation of the Holy Bible is wrong.  But the Holy Bible itself is inerrant. Variegated human interpretation of the Holy Bible are possible and are to be tolerated unless it causes serious doctrinal or ethical difficulties jeopardizing salvation of humans, in which case the interpretation of Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church given ex-cathedra is to be accepted. As has been said: "There are certain basic Christian truths about which there must be agreement. On all other doctrines there should be liberty. In all things there must be charity."        

 

Salvation

Biblical Catholicism affirms that God provides salvation to the sinful humanity and the lost world through Jesus Christ. By His death on the cross, the sinless Son propitiated the holy and righteous wrath of the Father occasioned by human sin. By His resurrection from the dead, the glorified Son bestows a new life to humans. When Godís atoning work in Jesus Christ is appropriated by faith, humans are forgiven, justified, regenerated by His Holy Spirit, and adopted into the family of God. By His grace He sanctifies His children, purifying their hearts by faith, renewing and transforming them into the image of God, and enabling them to love God and neighbor with whole heart. The fullness of Godís great salvation will come with the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saved to eternal life and the lost to eternal damnation, the liberation of creation from the Adamic curse, Godís final victory over every power and dominion, and the establishment of the new heaven and the new earth.

 

The Church

Biblical Catholicism affirms that the Church of Jesus Christ is the community of all true believers under Lordship of Jesus. This Church is the mystical Body of Christ and is a single entity sharing the  Same Lord, the same faith and the same baptism, whatever maybe the forms of baptisms or the age at which baptisms are taken or the number of baptisms or the renewals thereof. The Church is holy because it belongs to God and set apart for His purpose in the world. It is apostolic because it has inherited the authority granted to the apostles by Christ Himself and conferred by unbroken apostolic succession. It is catholic because it includes all believers, both living and dead, in every nation, regardless of denominational affiliation. The authenticity of the Church is verifiable by preaching of the pure Word of God, by administration of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharistic Celebration in obedience to Word of God, by manifestation of the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit, by the creation of a loving, caring and disciplined fellowship, by selfless service to humanity and by persistent evangelization efforts to preach the Gospel to every creature and make disciples of every nation, even braving persecution and martyrdom. The Church is the Bride of Christ and will be united with Him in glory. The Church is called to transform the current culture, not conform to it.

 

The Holy Eucharist 

Biblical Catholicism affirms that there is only one all-sufficient sacrifice for sins, accomplished by Jesus once for all on Calvary. Christ's redeeming death and resurrection took place once and for all in history. Christ's death on the Cross, the culmination of His whole life of obedience, was the one perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world. There can be no repetition of, or addition to, what was then accomplished once for all by Christ.[4] Biblical Catholicism affirms that on the consecration of the Bread and the Wine (which should appropriately be unfermented grape juice) there occurs a mystical transformation, or trans-signification often called ďtrans-substantiationĒ in Catholic theology into the mystical Body and mystical Blood of Christ. Biblical Catholicism further affirms the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is: (1) a memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord (2) a source of loving communion with Him in the power of the Spirit, and (3) a source of the eschatological hope for His coming again.[5] 

 

Ethics

Biblical Catholicism affirms that believers are Godís workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which they undertake compelled by the love of Christ in them and in gratitude for their new life in Christ. Good works cannot earn salvation or substitute Godís work of redemption; but are the result of regeneration and the evidence of a living faith. Faith without works is dead.

 

It is the duty of every human to love others and be merciful, kind and just to them, be humble before God and others and be persons of total integrity. The Holy Bible is the standard for the ethical conduct in every walk of human life. Believers are called to a holy living; but are not to be self-righteous. They are to uphold Biblical standards of holy living, even when they fall short thereof. The believers are called to establish Biblical standards of ethics and justice in the world and to be faithful to these standards in their personal life even in the face of suffering and death. Humanity reaps what is sown. Only high familial ethics will reap happy families. In a world of disintegrating family, believers are called to the highest standards of sexual and familial ethics including premarital celibacy and absolute marital faithfulness, loving and caring relationship between all family members, and respect and care of elders and the aged. Only high financial ethics will reap financial prosperity. In a world of crumbling financial ethics and rampant poverty in large parts of the earth, believers are called to integrity, diligence and excellence and to respect dignity of labor. It is the duty of every believer to promote a culture of life and respect human life from the moment of conception to natural death. It is also the duty of every believer to promote systems that recognize freedoms of religious belief, of expression, of economic pursuits and absolute right to private property to safeguard these freedoms. Believers are to be good stewards of Godís creation and the resources that God entrusts to them and to reach out to the spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, familialy, socially, politically marginalized and hurting humanity.    

[1]The following is a literal translation, by J. Wilhelm, transcribed by Fr. Rick Losch, of the Greek text of the Constantinopolitan form of the Nicene Creed:- ďWe believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. Light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition © 2003 by K. Knight 

 

[2] Catholic Church Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Republished in New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.

[3] ibid   

[4] Refer:  The Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission on the Eucharist, 1981.

[5] Refer: The World Alliance of Reformed Churches/Roman Catholic International Dialogue, 1977.

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