The Religious leaders of the Jews did not recognize Christ’s authority to forgive sins.
Jesus asks what is easier; to tell this man your sins are forgiven or pick up his mat and walk.
Jesus astounded the crowd when the man picked up his mat and walked.
Jesus states, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”.
When I read John 20:23 I find that Jesus did instruct his Apostles to forgive mens sins and hold them bound. This is an authority commanded by Christ!
It is Jesus who forgives in the action of his Ministers. The question becomes, do you believe in Jesus, and does he have the power to forgive sins?
I say, yes he does! Can Jesus use his Church? Yes, he can!
He has commanded it! Jesus gives this authority to forgive sins to his Church saying, “Recieve the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retaned” (John 20:23).
St. Paul would refer to this Ministry as the Ministry of Reconciliation. I’ve heard some say they do not need a “middle man” for forgiveness, they believe you can go straight to Jesus.
I encourage to take all concerns to Jesus everytime. However, when dealing with sin and reconciliation, I must say that we are to go to the Catholic Priest to recieve absolution. St. Paul writes, “And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their traspasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
St. Paul continues, “Working together, then, we appeal to you not to recieve the grace of God in vain. For he says: In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6: 1-2).
James sees this “middle man” important for the sick man saying, “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
I prefer to have this “middle man” as well, those who are present that the Lord is working through.
The Ministry of Reconciliation was important to the poor sinner who has strayed from the truth, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).
When you confess your sins, the Lord takes those confessed sins and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness and he remembers them no more.
You also recieve a judgment in the Confessional, a judgment of mercy. The Confessional is the mercy seat of God.
To be truly free and clean of sin, the Lord gives us his “Ministry of Reconciliation!
In a very recent article, I answered some questions regarding the false rapture doctrine. One more question has arisen and I thought it appropo to deal with it as a second post.
My friend wants to know how to reconcile 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16* For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.
With Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
An excellent question.
First, let’s explore the context.
Regarding the verses in 1 Thessalonians 4, they refer to the second coming and the last day, that is the Great White Throne Judgement. (Revelation 20:11-15). John 6 tells us quite clearly that the dead in Christ will rise from the grave on the last day.
However, it isn’t just the dead in Christ. All the dead bodies will rise from the grave.
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”
So, at that point, there IS no more death, in the earthly understanding. At this point, there is only eternity. Eternity in Heaven or Eternity in hell. The Bible is clear that the dead cannot rise from the grave before Jesus returns and the alive cannot rise up to meet Him until the dead have risen first.
When this occurs, all of the people who have ever lived will be divided into two groups- the saved and the doomed. Those who did God’s will and those who did not.
31* “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32* Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34* Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35* for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40* And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41* Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46* And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Physical death is the normal transition for us from this world to eternity. The Bible records at least two persons (Enoch and Elijah) as having gone straight to heaven (and I would add two others) but that is a article for another day.
For most of us, there will be 2 judgements;
- The particular Judgement. This occurs between You and Jesus and will occur at the moment of your death. Your soul will then go to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory (Yes, some will go there temporarily, we can discuss it later)
- The General Judgement (spoken above). You will be judged along with all mankind. Your body will be raised and reunited with your soul and both will go to heaven or hell. Earth and Purgatory will pass away.
This will be the case for everyone who dies from now until the second-to-last day.
For those fortunate (or unfortunate) souls who are still alive on the last day, they will pass straight from this life to both Judgements and will, that day, be in Heaven or Hell, Body and Soul.
This is why there is no contradiction between Jesus saying we will be raised on the last day and saying to the Good Thief “This day you will be with me in paradise”.
I welcome more questions!
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A good friend, a godly man, called me with some honest questions regarding the doctrine of the rapture. His questions were actually insightful and showed me that he is truly seeking the truth on this matter. I gave him my best summation, then promised I would follow with Scriptural support of my position. My friend’s name is Rodney.
This is an important issue of our time and one that I feel should be addressed. Therefore, I have decided to make public, my response to my friend.
The doctrine of a rapture of the church was born in 1830, as the result of an alleged vision by a young girl named Margaret McDonald, a disciple of a Church of Scotland minister named Edward Irving.
McDonald stated that it was revealed to her that Christ would return in two stages. The first was an invisible stage where the righteous would be taken to heaven and then, later, in Judgement against the unrighteous.
Irving held to the belief that all Christians would manifest the charismatic spiritual gifts of the infant church, of prophesy and speaking in tongues. As a result of the chaos of some of his church gatherings, he was dismissed from the church of Scotland and went on to become the father of modern Pentecostalism. Irving would go on to say that “voices from heaven” instructed him to preach this doctrine. I will not speculate on what he actually heard or didn’t hear. I can only give the irrefutable facts.
- Prior to Irving and McDonald’s testimony, there had never been a historical figure that suggested this doctrine.
- The Bible is clear on these kinds of new doctrines;
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel– 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8* But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
Some have speculated that Irving’s views were shaped by the 1827 writings of a Spanish Jesuit priest. Whether this is true or not cannot be known. What we do know, for a fact, is that the belief in a rapture of the church is less than 200 years old, by even the most generous estimation of it’s origin. So, this is a doctrine that has emerged in the last 10% of the duration of the time from the birth of Christ So, the only question that remains is whether an infallible Biblical case can be made in support of this doctrine. As I will soon show you, it certainly cannot.
John Darby, founder of The Plymouth Brethren movement became fascinated by Irving’s new doctrine and traveled to Scotland to interview him.
Darby’s devotion to this doctrine, led him to search for Scriptural support. Believing he had found support for this doctrine, in Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4, his theories caught the attention of Cyrus Scofield, he published the same in the cross-notes of Scofield Reference Bible
This was, essentially, the beginning of the modern dispensationalist movement and would lead to an almost unbroken succession of date setters for Jesus Christ’s return including the Jehovah Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists and the recent fanatic who predicted Christ’s return on May 21st of this year.
The guy who really put the rapture doctrine on the map is one of the most famously wrong date setters in American history. I mention his famously wrong prediction because it strikes to the very heart of how very wrong this interpretation of Matthew’s 24th chapter is and why it doesn’t support a rapture doctrine at all.
The man’s name is Hal Lindsey and his work The late Great Planet Earth revolutionized the way the people looked at the end times and the Book of Revelation (to great detriment, I’m afraid).
Lindsey is the man responsible for taking Dispensationalism from the extreme to the mainstream but he interprets Matthew 24 very wrongly.
To understand Matthew’s 24th chapter is difficult but if you cling fast to Our Lord’s own words, and do a bit of research, you can come to get it.
So, let’s start there-
Taking the chapter apart, piece by piece, we start with verses 1 and 2, and a pretty straightforward account;
So, even as the disciples are marveling at the amazing buildings of the Jewish Temple, Jesus is predicting it’s utter destruction. Do not lose sight of this. Jesus first prediction deals solely with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
To the people of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day, this would be more unthinkable than the destruction of the Titanic or the World Trade Center was to our time.
So, The disciples ask Him when this will occur but they don’t stop there. They add two additional questions. Read carefully.
3* As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, 1when will this be, and 2what will be the sign of your coming and 3of the close of the age?”
- When will this be? That is, when will the Temple be destroyed?
- What will be the sign of your coming? That is, the sign of the second coming.
- The close of the age. That is, the end of the world.
If you fail to recognize that these three questions are asked in order and answered in order, you reduce Matthew 24 to a frustrating and unsolvable mass of contradictions. However, if you follow this model, Jesus was, indeed, promising to return twice but not in a Rapture and then Judgement. He is promising to return twice in Judgement, first on the city of Jerusalem and then, on the world. The first Judgement would occur within a specific period of time and the second, at the end of the age at a time we do not know.
Read along and you will see. Jesus takes the longest amount of time to answer question 1 and, if you are not careful, you might think this is an end-times prophecy. However, He actually assures us that it isn’t. Allow me to walk you through it and please pay close attention. My commentary is in Bold Red. This may be a little long-winded but it is important, so I can tie it all together.
24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
A week of years= 7 years. Therefore, 70 weeks of years is 490 years by the Jewish calendar or 476 years by our reckoning. After that time the sacrifice ends, so do the prophets, the Messiah is brought in and the Jewish religion comes to an end, culminating with the end of the city of Jerusalem.
25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.
That decree was made by King Artaxerxes of Persia approx. 443 BC and the rise of Ezra the prophet, about seven years later, fulfills the first week of years, up to 436 BC.
Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, *an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing;
Literally translated, “the Christ”, this takes us forward another 62 x 7 years, that is 434 Jewish years or about 428 years by our reckoning. When the prophesy is converted to days, it takes us to April 3rd, 33 AD. The date of a known eclipse and a Friday immediately preceding the Passover.
To say that this fulfills the “the Christ is cut down” part of the prophecy goes without saying. April 3rd, 33 AD is the date of the crucifixion.
and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its * end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. 27* And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Reading this prophesy correctly shows that the beginning of the events leading to the end of the city of Jerusalem begin at the halfway mark of the 70th week. This takes us to 37 AD and the placement of the bust of Zeus Olympus on the temple wing by the Roman emperor Caligula. This is the Abomination that leads to desolation. In other words, precisely the desolating abomination Jesus spoke of.
It was at that point that the fate of the city of Jerusalem was sealed. It’s destruction was sealed and it’s destruction was no longer a question of if but only of when. This is why, returning to Matthew 24, we see Jesus exhorting people to get out of that city and quick.
18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. 20* When the disciples saw it they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21* And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22* And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Verse 34 clinches it. Jesus is testifying that everything He has spoken of since verse 4 takes place in the current generation. The word generation comes from the Greek genea and denotes a period of about 40 years. So, the only way to properly interpret this prophecy is that it is fulfilled within 40 years of the time Jesus made it. This would mean no later than 73 AD. The city of Jerusalem and it’s Temple, and all the Priests within it, were destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans, exactly as Jesus predicted.
20* “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written. 23* Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; 24* they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Thus, all 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy were fulfilled. There was no stopwatch. Only be inserting the wholly unsupported stopwatch theory, is Lindsey able to manipulate the text to be referring to the end times. Lindsey then re-starts his stopwatch at the date the UN recognized the Nation of Israel (1948). Lindsey then totally misinterprets the following;
30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The earth is to mourn because the Lord is coming in vengeance against the City of Jerusalem. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus actually records that figures were seen in the clouds! Misinterpreting this to be a gathering up of the saints, a rapture, Lindsey adds the 40 years for a generation, and predicts that Jesus would rapture the church in 1988. One of the most famously wrong predictions in history.
Just as Jesus prescribes a definite time-frame (one generation) for His first return (Judgement against Jerusalem, not a Rapture), He is just as clear to distinguish it from His second coming.
36* “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, * but the Father only. 37* As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40* Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42* Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43* * But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
You see the distinction? When will Jerusalem fall? Within one generation. When will Jesus return? No one knows- not even the angels of heaven. And the Final Judgement (question 3) follows immediately after
45* “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49* and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, 51* and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
So, the sentences 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left, that people like Lindsey refer to as referring to a rapture, and Tim Lahaye has made a fortune off of with his left behind book series, do not refer to a rapture at all but to what will occur at the second coming. In fact, Jesus, Himself compares it to the days of Noah. In the days of Noah, the ones who were taken were the evil. So, it will be this time.
Now, let’s look at the other chapter, used to defend this doctrine 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. Again, my commentary is in Bold Red.
13* But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14* For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
That clinches it right there. The dead in Christ must rise first and that happens on the last day (John 6: 39-40, 44, 54)
16* For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Notice that those who are alive are called up in the sky to meet the Lord. The terminology speaks to meeting or welcoming. The people will actually escort Him back to earth where Judgement will commence. This meeting of the Lord is actually expounded upon in 2 Thessalonians 2 where we are told that this cannot happen until the Anti-Christ comes first. Paul calls him the son of perdition (literally, the son of hell)
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition.
Anti-Christ is a specific person. The rapture is impossible.
- Anti-Christ must come before Christ’s return.
- The dead must rise first when He returns.
I hope this helped.
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Fantasy, strict entertainment. The bible and the Church has much to say about spells and incantations directed towards other gods or the devil.
With the rise of the Harry Potter sensation, so has the Wiccans benefited.
They have 1-800 numbers and witchcraft books where ever Harry Potter is advertized in book stores or libraries.
Some have even tried to “christianize” Harry Potter? The following are some of my thoughts:
The casting of spells is not a natural but a supernatural occurance. They are the product of demons who do the bidding of the one who summons them. There are specific incantations for different spells. It may appear laughable but it is not what God wants us to entertain ourselves with (1 Samuel 15:23).
What is magic? Especially when a supernatural power is attributed to it. A sorcerer. Magic is the “use of means as charms and spells believed to have supernatural power over natural forces”. I know we try to look for the good in all these movies, but a duck is still a duck, no matter how you clothe it.
This is typical for the average American. We feel that we are old enough and mature enough to enjoy what we want to watch. It is a personal right.
“Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them”.
How we have lifted ourselves up in our own eyes! Rebellion is the same as witchcraft!
I’m not saying that watching Harry Potter will cause you to become a witch, though I do think it may cause people to become desensitized to it. If it’s OK to create a story line that makes magic and spells fun that opens the box that magic and spells are fun. How many people out there can tell the difference from a spell that is genuine and one that is fabricated. Where does the fabrication get the source that makes it fiction?
For me, this is a question of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If it is offensive to Him, I could care less if it has an impact on me or could sway me. If He says don’t play with it, I’m going to stay clear of it. I might think I could handle it, but He knows better! Satan’s power is deception! He certainly has been given a lot of play!
What is a spell? Is that associated with Christianity? Does dressing yourself with a pentagram mean your a witch? Does that mean you practice witchcraft?
What about fads that become popular? What about those who wear their pants baggy and halfway down their butt, does that mean they are from prison and homosexual? Maybe not, but it’s not a good fad to form the next generation.
Demons can be a lot of fun in fantasy, but I would hope that we can see it for what it is.
There is a great difference from a crucifix and a pentagram, from holy water and a wand, from the miraculous medal and tarot cards, from the bible and crystals.
The wicca (white light) believe that their spells are from goddesses that are good.
It’s not fantasy that I’m opposed to, but the origin from where it comes. Just reading the Cover to the DVD which informs us to join HP on his “amazing journey into the world of wizardry” and talks of their “magical abilities and courage in this spellbinding” book.
Wizardry, the art or practices of sorcery.
“But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, SORCERERS, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death”.
Consider the continued rise in popularity of witchcraft. More young people are getting involved in it. I’ve had soldiers who practiced it and they thought of Harry Potter as free advertizement. people might not be affected by it, your salvation might be intact, but what about your neighbor, the girl down the street? Are we to the point that we don’t care about our fellow man? That’s not what the Church is about! We are suppose to bring the gospel to every nation. Seems like we have retreated and consorted with the enemy!
Another example: George Harrison (former Beatle) donated thousands of dollars to the Krishna movement, wrote a forward to a book encouraging Krishna consciousness in the western world, had a number one song dedicated to Krishna “My Sweet Lord”. The Beach Boys would have Mahareshe Mjewinf speak at their concerts. They would dim the lights down and encourage people to become followers. Mike Love would prance on stage dressed as a Krishna monk. It was ugly especially for me who loved the Beach Boys. Sadly, after about one year of this, nearly 1,000,000 young Americans became followers.
Is this harmless? For many people, it elevates curiosity. I know Psychiatrists who will say that few sins are brought on by a spur of the moment, but usually planned, developed through thought. People don’t wake up one day thinking that they want to be a witch or something, it is a process, moral, spiritual, and physical. But to a child who sees this as fantasy, many today are trying to get out of reality and are moving to the supernatural. They understand what they know and experience. They see nothing wrong with HP and so they do not see spells as evil.
“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.”
Now of course, the situations change when it involves a child’s book or a movie!
One final thought, have we ever thought to consider what the sin was that Judas Maccabees discovered among his fallen Soldiers? “On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of jamnia, which the law forbids to the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain” (2 Maccabees 12:39-40).Making occult symbols into fads of fantasy does not change the Lord’s position of such symbols! The following video is dedicated to all the deepertruth friends out there!
Are there any questions?
The attack comes after the Potter series was also
slammed by Pope Benedict XVI who said the seven books contained ”subtle
seductions” that undermined children’s religious development by blurring the
line between good and evil.
I have been saying this for about a decade now. Why in the heck won’t you listen?
“What?!” thinks the average nonCatholic reader, “I thought only Catholics had idols!”
“What?!” thinks the average Cafeteria Catholic, “I’m not interested in reading about anything that doesn’t affirm me in my quest for…” <—that’s as far as those folks are going to get before they drop off the radar by clicking off to another page in the endless search for the infallible evidence that they are indeed, the center of their own universe.
“What?!” thinks the average reader of this blog, “I don’t get it yet, but at least it’s not another recipe.”
“Interesting,” thinks the average, open-to-life, NFPer. “I think I know where she’s going with this one.”<—please not that I am talking about a specific type of Natural Family Planning practitioner here. More on that later.
This means that these men see women “as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,” Fiske said. “The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens.
Except for one little detail. No one should be used by another, and this sounds dangerously close to the “tool man” mentality we were laughing about a few minutes ago.
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The father of protestantism, and, thus, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, had this to say in the prologue to his commentary on the Gospel of Saint John;
“We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of GOD,
that we received it from them, and that without them, we should have no
knowledge of it at all.”
Martin Luther was correct in saying this. It is an undeniable historical fact that it was the Catholic church that created the Bible and, if not for the Catholic Church, no one would have a Bible today.
I say this not as a gotcha argument but as something on which I would ask you to prayerfully reflect. For, when the Catholic Church set about the task of sorting through all the books that would purport to be Scripture, it was no small task, even if only by the sheer volume of works She had to sort through. For example, there were about 50 gospels that were eliminated, leaving us only the 4 we have now. Further, many of the books of the Bible do not record the authors in the text and how are we to know in which order the chosen books go?
This task speaks to authority. Before we can even begin a discussion of what are the best translations of Holy Scripture or what are the best interpretations, we must first be able to arrive at what is and is not Scripture, and to provide an index of how the books should be bound together in a single volume. Absent an infallible path for reaching these ends, we have no hope of looking to the scriptures for God’s truth. This is argument #1 of how Sola Scriptura is untenable.
Imagine if the New Testament canon was given to us with the caveat that only 24 of the 27 books were inspired but the church had no idea which were the uninspired 3. If you went to 70 people in your church, how many different combinations of 3 books would you get?
About the second century BC, the Jewish leaders faced a simple problem. Since Greek was the universal language, they sought to create an Old Testament Bible. According to Jewish tradition, Seventy of the best Scripture scholars were employed for the task. They worked in isolation but when their work was complete all had miraculously translated all the same books exactly the same, word for word.
This translation became known as the Septuagint or LXX which both mean Seventy. This refers to the number of scholars, not the number of books.
Some of the books in this sacred translation were later removed by Luther and the first protestants. Two books that barely missed being cut were the epistle of James and the Book of Revelation. Luther referred to the Epistle of James as an epistle of straw, stating further that he should like to throw Jimmy into the stove. Luther described the Book of Revelation as having ;
“…. no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character… Everyone may form
his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to
me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it.”
Argument #2- Translation.
In addition to a genuine cry of anguish, Our Lord’s words were a quote of King David, in Psalm 22. Those words were translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin and then to English.
All of these examples refute Sola Scriptura because they prove that the translation of the Scriptures must be safe guarded by a trust worthy authority.
My 3rd argument speaks to the historical untenability of Sola Scriptura. Since we hold that Jesus died in 33 AD, we can say that the church survived for about it’s first 17 years without even one of the New Testament books having been written. In fact, it is entirely possible that the Epistle of James, that Luther despised so much, was, in fact, the first New Testament book written circa 50 AD. The next 26 would be written over about the next 50 years, most likely ending in about 100 AD with John’s gospel and His 3 Epistles. It would be about another 300 years before these 27 specific books would be chosen as our New Testament at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage and another 1000 years from there to the invention of the Gutenberg press.
In other words, the Christian church was about 1,450 years beyond the death of Jesus before the idea of Sola Scriptura could have even been suggested as a plausible, practical possibility. Further, there is no evidence, whatsoever, that any historical person had ever suggested the Bible alone as authority prior to Luther in the 16th century.
The 4th argument, and most important, which nullifies this doctrine is the fact that it is explicitly refuted by the very text it purports to uphold. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 tell us that we are to obey all that is handed down to us- Oral AND written. 2 Timothy 3:15 tells us that the Church, not the Bible is the pillar and foundation of all truth. Matthew 18:17 tells us that the Church is the final arbiter on a dispute over sin. Matthew 18:18 tells us that what the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven. Luke 10:16 tells us that who HEARS, not reads mind you, HEARS His apostles hears Him and he who rejects them, rejects Him. Romans 13 tells us that he who rejects the earthly authority God has put in place, risks Judgement.
The word Church appears more than 100 times in the New Testament, the word Bible 0. This is because the Church gave us the Bible, not the other way around.
Finally, the Bible itself tells us in John 21:25 that the whole teachings of Jesus could not be contained in all the books contained since the foundation of the world.
The Bible tells us that Scripture is inspired, infallible, profitable for reproof, correction and training in righteousness. Inspired, infallible and profitable. We agree. However, we are not arguing that. What we are arguing is the practical sufficiency of Scripture and nowhere in Scripture is that even suggested.
In fact, as we have said, it is explicitly refuted. 1 Peter 1:20 tells us that no scripture is a matter of personal interpretation and 2 Peter 3:14-16 tells us that Paul’s letters, and all the other Scriptures, are written according to the wisdom implanted in the writers, with which the unstable and ignorant will twist to their own destruction.
Sola Scriptura is untenable Logically, Historically, practically and Biblically. Finally, it has been proven unworkable in practice by the splintering of Christendom into more than 33,000 different denominations. The Bible says a House divided against itself cannot stand. Sola Scriptura creates exactly such a house.
Rebuttals of expected arguments:
2 Timothy 3 says;
16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Answer: Profitable for every good work and sufficient for every good work are two different things. The preceding verses are key
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
The scriptures are important but as important are who Timothy learned the Scriptures from. Here Paul is telling Timothy directly that the Scriptures are subject to the Church. Further, these were the Scriptures learned from Timothy’s childhood, when no New Testament books had been written, to now, when only some had been written including only 2 of the Gospels.
Expected argument: The Bible says “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6).
Answer: Of course we are not to go beyond what is written but that does not mean that we are not subject to the authority of who wrote it! In this very same chapter, Paul tells the Corinthians that he became their spiritual father through the gospel and is sending Timothy to teach them. Paul threatens to return with a rod if he must.
Expected argument: Do not add to, or subtract from, God’s Word.
Answer: Again, going above or below God’s Word is not the issue with regards to Sola Scriptura. The issue is who decides where that line actually is and who is crossing it. When one is using this angle, they are making a circular argument. In saying that going beyond God’s Word necessitates going beyond Scripture, they are stating an unsupportable premise. Direct revelation can very clearly be seen in scripture.
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
The Bible shows us that Jesus gave the Church the Keys to the Kingdom and He told His disciples to go forth and preach. He told not one of them to go forth and write. In fact, only 5 of the original 12 wrote at least one book making the NT canon.
Expected argument: 2 Timothy 2
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Answer: We are indeed to study, including the study of Scripture. But what is the basis of that study?
Acts Chapter 8
29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?”
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
These verses very clearly tell us that Scripture is subject to a teaching authority and study means studying what has been revealed, not trying to figure it out ourselves.