This is October? In Virginia?
Some people really go all out in this. You can go to the History Channel or some place on cable TV and find late at night some “Ghost Chasers” trying to catch something on tape.
You’ll be in a haunted house with all kinds of modern technology trying to pick up energy.
There have been movies based on the imagination which adds to some people more evidence of ghosts.
People may have their own idea of what a ghost is, but I will use the Webster’s Dictionary for a baseline for the purpose of this article.
According to the dictionary, a ghost is:
1. the seat of life or intelligence.
OK, well, that knocks out Progressives and liberals?
2. a disembodied soul, the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in a bodily likeness.
That explanation is interesting. That one has some teeth to it.
3. Spirit, Demon. This definition may fit most of the examples given behind legend.
1 Samuel 28: 8-19 states, “So he (King Saul) disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and set out with two companions. They came to the woman by night (The Witch of Endor), and Saul said to her, Tell my fortune through a ghost; conjure up for me the one I ask you to. But the woman answered him, You are surely aware of what Saul has done, in driving the mediums and fortune-tellers out of the land. Why, then, are you laying snares for my life, to have me killed? But Saul swore to her by the Lord, As the Lord lives, you shall incur no blame for this. Then the woman asked him, Whom do you want me to conjure up? and he answered, Samuel. When the woman saw Samuel, she shrieked at the top of her voice and said to Saul, Why have you deceived ME? You are Saul! But the King said to her, Have no fear. What do you see? The woman answered Saul, I see a preternatural being rising from the earth. What does he look like? asked Saul. And she replied, It is an old man who is rising, clothed in a mantle. Saul knew that it was Samuel, and so he bowed face to the ground in homage. Samuel then said to Saul, Why do you disturb me by conjuring me up? Saul replied: I am in great straits, for the Philistines are waging war against me and God has abandoned me. Since he no longer answers me through prophets or in dreams, I have called you to tell me what I should do.
To this Samuel said: But why do you ask me, if the Lord has abandoned you and is with your neighbor? The Lord has done to you what he foretold through me: he has torn the kingdom from your grasp and has given it to your neighbor David. Because you disobeyed the Lord’s directive and would not carry out his fierce anger against Amalek, the Lord has done this to you today. Moreover, the Lord will deliver Israel, and you as well, into the clutches of the Philistines. By tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and the Lord will have delivered the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines”.
There are some thoughts about this passage of scripture, the reaction of the Witch of Endor is very telling to me.
She was able to recognize a true manifestation of Samuel from the impersonations of demons.
Another question this creates is where Samuel came from. He did not come from heaven. The woman said, “I see a preternatural being rising from the earth”.
A preternatural being means to be beyond nature, one who is existing outside of nature. Samuel is coming from a State or abode of the dead, the netherworld. Sheol, that place St. Peter refers to as “prison” (1 Peter 3:19).
Another thought from this text is that Samuel appears as an old Man, one who King Saul recognized.
Samuel had not seen the Beatific Vision yet as he was among those awaiting for the Messiah. This is important to the Israelite following the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When these died, their bodies were buried with their ancestors.
Jacob gave this directive: “Since I am about to be taken to my kindred, bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for the burial ground. There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there, too, I buried Leah– the field and the cave in it that had been purchased from the Hittites” (Genesis 49:29-32).
This has a sacred foundation based on the promise of the general resurrection.
We see an example of this in Matthew 27:51-53, “And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city (Jerusalem) and appeared to many”.
Was Samuel among this group released from “prison”?
Maybe, along with Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob? God is so good and praise his holy name for giving us his salvation.
I do not think that the image of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was what caused the Roman centurion to remark,“Truly, this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54)!
In the Old Testament, another interesting happening occurred when a band of Moabites were conducting a raid in Israel.
When the dead man came into contact with the bones of Elisha, “he came back to life and rose to his feet”.
Now, the text does say that “everyone went off”, was it for fear of the Moabites or was it from Elisha (2 Kings 13:21)?
Nobody hung around, that was for sure.
During a major storm the Apostles were being tossed about far off into the sea. Jesus meant to pass by the Apostles, but they saw him walking on the sea.
St. Matthew adds that St. Peter said in reply “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water”! He said, “Come”.
St.Peter got out of the boat in the midst of the roaring waves and walked on water at least until he realized what he was doing and became distracted and began to sink. He took his eyes off the Lord and that still happens to any of us trying to make it on our own.
All Peter could do was to cry out “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:26:30)!
Sometimes we find ourselves in situation where we need the Lords help to save us from all kinds of disasters and events in our lives. At the end of our life there are three possibilities we will have: Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. At the end of the next age, Purgatory will totally be released.
Matthew writes that at the Resurrection of Jesus, many saints were raised, at the end of time, all will be raised.
With the Judgment, there will be only two places, Heaven and hell.
Purgatory will be totally released and these will go to Heaven. Until then, we must be faithful to the “Bark of Peter” from which the voice of the Lord springs forth.
The following comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and should be the light of the faithful as we hear the Lords voice:
CCC 2115 states, “God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility”.
Remember the case of King Saul and the Witch of Endor? Sometimes it might not be the best thing to know your future.
I think it would be best to let Providence give us tomorrow for today is the only thing we can be assure of. Now is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).
CCC 2116 states, “All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to unveil the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect,and loving fear that we owe to God alone”.
There have been some of the most known exorcisms brought about because people got involved with Ouija boards and other Occult enterprises.
We have seen a growth in witchcraft in our time through through the Wiccan covens. There is a serious cry for the supernatural by many people curious of extraordinary occurrences.
CCC 2117 States, “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 the so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity”.
St. Catherine stressed that it is more holy to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory than for sinners who are still alive.
Casper might be a funny children’s story, but people get lost sometimes between fantasy and reality.
God’s revelation of those in Purgatory reminds us of the importance to remember them and pray for them. I don’t know about a Ghost of Uncle Buck haunting the attic, that probably might be of demonic origin.
However, the Catholic Church does have authentic revelation of the Lord through his Saints that can keep our spiritual bearing grounded on the truth of God.
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What an astounding spiritual insight! She likes to refer to these kinds of things as “God’s 2×4′s” and the analogy is so apropos.
It is the ones we love that we make suffer most and because we make them suffer most, we suffer the most for having made them suffer and then they suffer because they see you suffering over having made them suffer and it builds and builds and builds……
Quick note: See “Jesus and Mary at Calvary”
This is the kind of stuff that the easy-religion non-catholics just don’t get. Though the physical, emotional and spiritual bumps and bruises we sustain through life, are tough enough, they are as nothing compared to the guilt of the sin of scandal.
Quick note: The sin of scandal is that sin by which your actions cause another to sin.
5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Contemplating every monumentally stupid decision you made in trying to raise your kids and be a spouse, really brings these verses home. I can think of at least a hundred decisions and actions that I would gladly don the millstone necklace, for a midnight swim, if I could but undo them. I’m sure some of you feel the same.
But we can’t, can we? We can only go on, each day, grinding ourselves into the dirt, wondering how much their shattered faith is the result of our past arrogance or moral cowardice.
True, not all of our families sufferings are our fault but that is little comfort knowing that part of it certainly was. Did we have the best of intentions? For the most part (excepting when we were nearly psychotic from stress and anxiety).
It is just amazing how strongly your bad day at work can reverberate through most of your child’s life. Foolish words, foolish actions do damage. The bell cannot be un-rung.
So, we see our families with their shattered faith and we struggle to find the magic words that will fix it all. They swirl around in our heads like so many wasps but they never break out. The cold silence locks them in and paralyzes you. Occasionally, you find the strength to mutter out something like “Hey, you want to go to church with me?” but it is quickly rebuffed and you slink back to your corner, clueless to what the next step may be.
Apparently, the first 2×4 to the head wasn’t enough? She countered with that one. This is the stuff that makes us Catholics know that we have it right,if only we can contort our will and our actions to our knowledge.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.
Non Catholics look at the concept of rejoicing in our sufferings as folly. How many times have you said “I’d do anything for them”?
Well…now is your chance. Bear a little suffering now, and offer it up, that both you and they may get to heaven, and suffer no more. Two lumps on the head are a small price to pay for this course correction. Thanks, Christie.
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“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray’. He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me’. He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will’. When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, ‘So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:36-41).
We are living in a time when many are asleep and will unfortunately undergo the test. Many will fail this test because they are asleep. Sin is dominate in their life. Jesus warns “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth” (Luke 18:8).
St. Paul encourages us saying, “But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14).
We have the truth within us to stir us from our slumbar. Jesus invites us to wait with him, to pray with him. Do we really want to put an end to Abortion and to stand for true Marriage? It is important that we turn to Jesus.
Pope John Paul II said during his trip to Korea, “It is most fitting that my first stop among the Korean people should be in a church such as this, where the minds and hearts of the faithful are constantly raised up in adoration before Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist” (Seoul Korea, October 7, 1989).
Psalms 119:97-104 states, “How I love your teaching, Lord! I study it all day long. Your command makes me wiser than my foes, for it is always with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, because I ponder your decrees. I have more insight than my elders, because I observe your precepts. I keep my steps from every evil path, that I may obey your word. From your edicts I do not turn, for you have taught them to me. How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I gain insight; therefore I hate all false ways”.
Ephesians 5:14 says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”.
Vatican II said, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of all preaching of the Gospel”, the Catholic Church has the ability to turn the tide for the good that God wants to bestow upon His people. Jesus wants to bless you with great graces.
Philippians 4:4-9 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and recieved and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you”.
Every Catholic Church has the opportunity to spend time with the tabernacle, the faithful has the direct source where Jesus is truly present.
Hebrew 13:10 says, “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle “Sanctuary” have no right to eat”.
The Eucharist is the bread that came down from heaven. Jesus is our thanksgiving!
The prayer of the Angel of Portugal given to the Children of Fatima: “My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love you! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love you”.
A true Christian is one who believes that Jesus is alive today in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus is truly there in the tabernacle.
The Angel held a consecrated Host and the chalice, leaving this suspended in the air, the Angel bowed down low before the Eucharist praying these words, “O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly, I offer you the most precious body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferance by which he is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners”.
I must conclude that all the angels recognize Jesus in the Eucharist. It is important that we do to! Pope John Paul II, in his letter, On the mystery and worship of the Holy Eucharist - April 1980: The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic Adoration. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet him in Adoration, and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our Adoration never cease”.
A Eucharistic Miracle occurred through St. Clare of Assisi. She was a friend of St. Frances! St.Clare took advantage of Lent her whole life giving herself totally to God as St. Francis had done. On one occasion when the army of Frederick II was devestating the Valley of Spoleto, some of the Soldiers threatened to sack Assisi.
The Towns people surrounding the convent where St.Clare lived were fleeing the countryside fearing the worst for their lives. As the Soldiers came upon the walls of the city, they placed ladders against the walls.
St. Clare prostrated herself before Jesus in the Eucharist. Her prayer was heard as she took the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament and went to the wall before the enemy.
As the Soldiers were climbing up the ladders with crowbars, axes, bow, and spears, the town appeared lost. Then Jesus in the Host illuminated brightly before the Soldiers. The Host became dazzling white blinding the attackers.
Due to a sudden panic, the Soldiers subsequently fled in terror. This lent let Jesus transfigure our hearts so that our hearts will beat a little faster when we receive our Lord in the Eucharist.
If you do, then surely when you stand before Jesus on “that day”, He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant, you listened to my voice”!
It all started as a quiet day on the morning of 6 May, 2009. It was a sunny Sunday morning and I was given an opportunity to sleep in so I woke up about 06:30.
I got up and got myself together preparing to go to Mass at the Division Chapel.
I had to make sure that all our obligations were covered and that gave me ample time to go to Mass at 10:30.
It’s about a 15 minute walk to the Division Chapel but this particular morning, I was excited about the news I wanted to report to the congregation.
His conversion to the Catholic Faith was like a shot heard around the world. Well, here in Iraq, I heard it and I was anxious to share the news about it.
So, I grabbed my weapon and my gear and I set off to the Chapel. By the time I arrived there, I was drenched, sweating profusely in this 100 plus heat, but it was worth it!
I guzzled down a quick quart of water and prepared for Mass. At the end of Mass, Father would give me the opportunity to announce the upcoming events for the week.
We had RCIA that was currently continuing for many people kept coming who wanted to become Catholic. We had just received about 70 Soldiers for the Easter Vigil earlier in April.
Now I had several more Soldiers who were coming forward to be received into the Catholic Faith. Many from my Battalion! We also had Bible Studies that I was conducting at our Chapel (Warrior Chapel) and at the Division Chapel.
It was at this time that I had the chance to tell everyone about Mr. Beckwith coming home to the Catholic Faith.
I had a number of them come up and asked me more about this when this young man came over to ask me a question. He had originally approached Father, but Father refer ed him to me.
I pulled him to the side and he asked me what an apostle was.
I responded that an apostle was simple one who is sent. That is the textbook definition.
However, I explained that Christ sent his Apostles out into the world after preparing them for three years for the Great Commission.
The Gentleman then identified himself as a “Nestorian” Christian who represented about 5% of the Iraqi Christians in Iraq.
He wanted to challenge me on why the Catholic Church refereed to Mary as “Theotokos” meaning “Mother God”?
I responded with a question of my own, “What is the difference from referring to Mary as “Mother of God” as opposed to “Mother of my Lord”?
I then quoted Luke 1:42-44, “Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled”.
Notice that St. Elizabeth refereed to Mary as “blessed” twice during this exchange. Notice also that she refereed to Jesus as “Lord” in her womb as well as the word of the Lord.
Adoni was the word used to illustrate “Lord” referring to God. By this time, my Nestorian friend understood my meaning and with that, he had no further questions. He was interested in our bible studies from this point on.
In this way, Jesus led me to Mary, then Mary, as always leads us all back to Jesus.
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Zack Keuker, the rabid Calvinist zealot with the pathological hatred for Catholics, had the misfortune of calling into the Deeper Truth show, attempting to trap the host (yours truly) in a quandary.
It went something like this;
- Did Jesus die to save all mankind?
- Was Jesus death sufficient to save all He intended to save?
Zach contends that if you answer “Yes” to both questions, then the only logical conclusion is that no one goes to hell.
Obviously, any actual Christian (Calvinists are not Christians) can see the fatal flaw in this attempted syllogism because of the third- silent- line of logic, inserted by stealth.
That is, that all those who were provided the necessary graces to be saved, were saved. In other words, Zach is asserting that Material Sufficiency equals Practical Sufficiency. Upon running into this brick wall of a distinction, Zach could only stumble and mutter and repeat the two questions as if they had never been answered. When Zach was asked to explain what the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:24-25, about that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, he could not answer.
Zack Kueker, the never-ending fountain of anti-catholic vomit was stumped.
To explain the fatal flaw in Zach’s disordered and heretical logic, let’s enumerate his logic to include the unstated, but essential elements of his alleged syllogism of Universal atonement.
- Jesus died for all mankind.
- Jesus death was materially sufficient for the salvation of all He intended to save.
- Material sufficiency equals practical sufficiency, therefore-
- All men are saved.
As you can see, Zach’s premise is dependent on the silly “It is finished” canard that protestants like to use, purporting that Christ’s last words “It is finished” mean that only a verbal and intellectual assent to faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice is necessary for Salvation. This logic applies that the Material Sufficiency of Christ’s atonement is applied to the sinner by a simple, one-time request. In short, that man is justified by faith alone.
However, since man is not justified by Faith alone, Zach’s alleged Syllogism crumbles into rubble.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
This poor girl’s name is Aisha and she was gang raped. In the depraved muslim nation she had this misfortune of being born into, she was the guilty party, destined for hell.
At 13 years old, she was stoned to death and, according to Zach’s own words, on my show, she is in hell.
Romans 10:14 But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
Zack Kueker’s satanic doctrine of limited atonement turns a merciful and loving God into a monster. May God have mercy on you, Zack.
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Dam Peterman presented this article to me. His arguments are in Blue, while mine are in Red.
Think about it for a minute.
I suppose after you finish shaking your head, you will say that of course whatever thing is first alone is obviously no longer alone when anything else joins it. Right? Confused?
It is natural for us to look at this scenario and say, “Hey, those guys are pouring a slab together.” In other words we would not look at the group of guys and say they were alone.
Here is where it gets interesting and we move to the heart of my point. In logical, reasonable actuality we can safely say that the first man is “pouring out the slab” alone. He is at the shoot behind the truck alone and sliding out the concrete onto the ground. We can say that the second man is raking the mud alone. It is right to say that the third man is screeding the concrete alone. We can easily say that the fourth man is floating the edges alone, and we know it is obvious that the fifth man is bull floating the main slab….alone. You see, the minute that an additional person actually puts their hand to the exact task that any one of these men are performing, then that specific task is being done not alone, but by more than one person. Even though all the men are operating in unison to perform the act of laying the slab, each has his own task and is doing it all by himself.
This is pure reason and causes us to think in ways that we do not always think.
On the contrary, sound reasoning is not being used here. Dan is attempting to establish a premise that runs exactly counter to the facts presented.
There are not 5 jobs being done here, there is one job. Each of the 5 workers are engaging in a part of that activity but each is cooperating with the other and each is dependent on the other.
The fifth man cannot run the bull float to get a smooth finish if the first man has not shot the concrete into the grid. The first man cannot continue shooting the mud into the grid unless the second is there raking it and the third screeding it and so on. In attempting to establish the premise of each person acting alone, he has, instead established the very premise of interdependence.
Here is why this exercise is so very important. When we look at God and the way He works in the lives of the elect, we see various elements operating entirely by themselves, and at the same time in perfect unison.
This is actually how life works, but for some reason when we look at God, we say,
“No that can’t be right.”
Once again, you have only succeeded in disproving the very precept you aim to prove. When a man is single, he is alone. When he marries, he has a partner. The two are individual but they are not alone. They cooperate and work together. In the example you cited above, it is very unlikely that one person would always do the same part of a job and only that part. The way “life works” clearly refutes the “on an island” mentality that your religion dictates.
In salvation as described by the Bible, God is on display, not man.
Again, you make a false claim, as though God’s prescence and Man’s are mutually exclusive. If we believe (and I assume you do) that God is Omnipresent, than man must be able exist in God’s presence. If man could not exist in God’s presence, then he should have nowhere to exist for God exists in all places. In the story of salvation, from the point of the fall, to the point of the ascension, we do, indeed, see God on display. However, we see man on display as well. From Eve, the woman who brought sin into the world, to Mary, the woman who brought salvation into the world and a whole host of others. In fact, it is precisely your vision of salvation- God acting alone, to the exclusion of humanity- that is wholly alien to scripture.
We know from the accuracy and innerancy of God’s Holy Word that the Almighty is more than capable of getting His instructions into our hands.
A silly and circular argument. You deny the necessity of the church even though you cannot historically deny that the Catholic church is the only reason you have a Bible. Whether or not God was capable, should He have chosen, to deliver the written word by another means is both uncontested and irrelevant.
It was God who chose to build a church and deliver His word through that Church.
One of the most important truths we can ever come to grips with is that God does not need us. He is actually God.
Straw man. No one has argued that God needs us. Quite the contrary. We need God. Should God chose not to give us a path to salvation, we would be doomed with no recourse whatever.
Further, it defies human logic, in consideration of who God is, to understand why He should be predisposed to show us mercy after we have offended Him.
Nevertheless, this is how He is predisposed to us. Therefore, we must meet God where He is and not where we would have Him be (metaphorically of course).
Down through history, so many have tried to pervert the truth of God by adding to who He is, how He does things, and what it is that He does.
True. You non-Catholics need to stop doing that.
In fact, when Constantine merged Christianity with Roman statism and paganism, we ended up with a very grotesque beast that festooned the precious words of God with every kind of man-made trappings available.
Unsubstantiated, hyperbolic polemics.
False doctrines such as the Eucharist, Baptismal Regenertion, baptizing of and praying for the dead, Purgatory, Indulgences, Tradition and extra-Biblical revelation, and works-based faith became rampant.
Not one of those is a false doctrine and it is a demonstrable, historical fact that the early church believed every one of those doctrines. Further, in a Biblically based argument, on any one of those doctrines, you would lose. The Biblical basis for all of those doctrines are all plainly present in Scripture.
In the 1500′s men began to raise up in faith and strength from God to declare these doctrines false and exhort the church and all those who would listen back to authentic, Biblical Christianity.
This was the time of the Reformation.
Actually, what happened in the 1500 was the great apostasy. Godless heretics who bore no resemblance to what a Christian is, either by doctrine or lifestyle, foisted upon us the age of ear-tickling, man made religion. It is no coincidence that the “protestant reformation” began on the high holy day of Satanism- October 31st.
If you call yourself a Christian, you can thank the Reformers that you do not kiss the ring of a priest on Sunday and say your “hail Marys”. You do not attend a Catholic Mass, because brave men stood up against the spirit of totalitarian, self-righteous maligning of God’s word that the Christ Himself had faced in the religious men of His day. Like the Ark from the flood, a bright hope of true believers emerged from the flood of apostasy that had threatened to destroy all of Christendom.
What you lack in substantive fact and credible history, you make up for in hyperbole and rhetoric. I will give you that. Yet, the facts that remain, unmolested are these;
- None of the teachings of the “reformation” find their root in Scripture. In fact, they contradict the plain words of the Bible.
- None of these teachings can be found to have existed prior to 1571.
- None of the teachers of the protestants can establish any historical or authoritative link to the person of Jesus Christ.
- The very Bible you twist to support your fallacious nonsense was given to you by the Catholic church and no matter how much you ruminate about the many other means God could have chosen to deliver the Scriptures to you, the method He chose was the Roman Catholic Church. That is a fact and it cannot be disputed.
Of the many precious confessions of sound, Biblical faith that emerged from the Great Reformation as lenses peering into the endless depths of Scripture, one amazing creed stands out. It is that of the Five Solas.
Once again, short on substance, long on grandstanding. The fact is that there isn’t one jot or tittle of support for any of the 5 solas. In fact, each one is explicitly refuted by Scripture.
Sola is Latin for alone and is used in this creed to describe the secret workings of God. In Scripture, when we see the word “mystery” it is always describing that which is being revealed.
Sola does indeed mean “alone”. The other two assertions you make are absurd and you will not attempt to support either one by any means, Biblical or otherwise. You know it, I know it. The preeminent example is that James 2:24 explicitly, and with no doubt, refutes Sola Fide. It doesn’t even give you wiggle room.
We have everything that God wants us to have of Himself and these things are clearly defined in Scripture
Another contention that you cannot provide one line of scriptural support for.
It is quite OK to speak of such things, and to determine by God’s Holy Word the right and wrong ways of perceiving them.
According to who? Where in Scripture is such authority given to you? Chapter and verse, please.
Paul conferred his office on to Timothy by the laying on of hands (2 Timothy 1:6). Thus it was the same with every Priest, Judge, Prophet and Apostle and every successor to the Apostles. Nowhere in Scripture is it suggested that Martin Luther, John Calvin or you have been given the authority to speak for God. Matthew 18 tells us that the Church, not you, has this authority. (Matthew 18:15-18).
A great mystery revealed is how God operates in the lives of those He elects unto salvation. This mystery is easily defined in the Five Solas. They are as follows:
If this is a great mystery revealed by God, why was it not revealed by Him when He walked the earth in flesh? Nowhere, in the entire history of Christianity, prior to the so-called reformation do we see the church embracing any of these silly doctrines. Further, you defend them with rhetoric and hyperbole because, you know- just as I do- that they are wholly alien to Scripture.
1 Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
You will notice that the word “alone” is absent from your citation. That grace is given for a reason- for the purpose of works.
Ephesians 2:8* For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
So Grace must be cooperated with. Just as man can choose to cooperate with God’s Grace, He can, likewise, choose to turn from it.
2 Peter 21 For it would have been better for them not to have
known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn
back from the holy commandment handed down * to them.
22 * What is expressed in the true proverb has happened
to them, “The dog returns to its own vomit,” and “A bathed sow
returns to wallowing in the mire.”
This destroys Calvinistic heresy regarding total depravity and irresistible Grace and establishes both the free will to cooperate with God’s Grace and to reject it.
Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:6-11)
The Bible explicitly says that a man is not justified by faith alone. Why do you reject the plain and unambiguous words of Scripture?
3 Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time…For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. (1TI 2:5-6; COL 1:13-18)
There is a world of difference between Christ first and Christ alone. The notion of salvation being of Christ alone negates the meaning of the Covenant. A Covenant is an agreement between persons. The term Covenant appears more than 160 times in the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. The term Christ alone appears zero. It, like pretty much everything else Dan believes regarding Salvation, is wholly alien to the Scriptures.
That Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and Man is not in dispute. After all, He being the only person to be both human and divine, He is the only person qualified. Yet, that doesn’t mean we do not have obligations under that mediation and it does not mean that mediation nullifies Covenant. On the contrary, the very fact that Jesus choses to mediate between God and man, proves that Salvation is something that must be worked out and that we must contribute something of our own, in order to fulfill our part of the covenant.
Phillipians 2: 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13* for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Colossians 1: 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25* of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26* the mystery hidden for ages and generations * but now made manifest to his saints.
Notice that Paul does not speak of Salvation in the sense of a personal relationship with Christ, as non-Catholics allege, but as a communal relationship, mitigated through Divine office. This destroys the sola nonsense of the reformers.
4 Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (Psalm 119:18; Psalm 138:2; II Tim. 3:14-17)
2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
The usefulness of Scripture for any of the above noted purposes is not in dispute. What is in dispute here is Dan’s notion that the books of the Bible are formally sufficient for salvation. This doctrine is utter nonsense and is absent from the text of scripture itself. The very Scriptures he purports to support, not only obliterate this notion but actually establish the Church as the final authority. (1 Tim 3:15, Luke 10:16, Matthew 16:18-20, 18:15-18) Of all the five Solas, this one is by far the easiest to refute. It is historically untenable in the sense that there was no Bible for the first almost 400 years of the Church and it is practically untenable since you must rely on the Church to even have a Biblical table of contents. Sola Scriptura is not merely satanic in it’s origin (The Devil seeking to divide), it is silly and unworkable and makes a book into a god instead of a very useful, but very inanimate resource.
John 21:25* But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
5 Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God; Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (1CO 10:31; 1PE 4:11; REV 1:6; 2PE 3:1; EPH 3:21; REV 7:12; ROM 11:36)
God’s Glory is made manifest in His creation. Since God has always spoken to us, in one way or another, it is precisely His creation that reflects His Glory. In Luke Chapter 1, the most magnificent of His solely created beings- Mary- is inspired by the Holy Spirit, to say of Herself My soul doth magnify the Lord. This flies in the face of the Calvinist nonsense of total depravity.
If man were totally depraved, he would lack the ability to choose good and reject evil. Thus, the entire notion of evangelization that Dan engages in would be utter nonsense. The source of all glory is, indeed God and the fulfillment of all glory returns to God. Nevertheless, Salvation is about reconciling accounts between God’s Mercy and God’s Justice. Calvinism asserts that God’s choice to save this person or damn that person is solely an act of God’s choice, for no discernible purpose. Under this notion of predestination, God creates some people for the eternal joys of heaven and others for the horrible punishments of hell, solely for His good humor. This doctrine of limited atonement makes a loving and just God into a monster. Therefore, I can say, most assuredly, that Calvinism is an abhorrent cult and bears no resemblance to legitimate Christianity. The Bible is clear that the doers of the law will be Justified (Romans 2:1-13)
Dan’s article stands refuted. We will discuss this Friday on the Deeper Truth show.
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One of the arguments most often used against Catholicism is that it is supposedly not a “Bible” church. The fact is that exactly the opposite is the case. The reason our protestant/ non-Catholic brothers and sisters don’t see us splashing around in the Bible pool is not because we are not in the water, and they are. It is because they are still splashing around at the surface instead of going into the deep water with us, where true Biblical understanding is found.
In fact, diving into that deeper water is the entire mission behind Deeper Truth. We don’t want you to not know your Bible. On the contrary,we want you to know it much better. It is our contention that the more you truly know and love the scriptures, the more likely it is that you will be Catholic.
This article is a companion guideline to this blogtalkradio show. We sure hope you find this informative and edifying.
So, getting started, we intend to focus on 10 principles of effective Bible study that we hope will enhance your growth in knowing the scriptures.
1) The Bible is not a book. This must be clearly understood. The Bible is a library or collection of books. Many people make the mistake of seeing the Bible as a single work, compiled by a single author. It is not. Though all of the Bible’s 73 books (66 if you are a protestant) share the same Divine inspiration and doctrinal infallibility, they were written by human authors and display a wide range of literary forms, writing styles, linguistic differences and cultural idiosyncrasies.
As a Library of books, the books of the Bible were cataloged and placed in a specific order, for the specific purposes of the types of books.
Briefly, the entire Bible takes it’s division in the human person of Jesus Christ. Those 46 (or 39 if you are protestant) books that were recorded before the coming of Jesus are known as the Old Testament. Those 27 books that record the events of, and immediately after, Jesus earthly life are known as the New Testament.
The Old Testament is further divided into the Pentateuch (the first 5 books) which center around the mosaic law. Following that are the historical books, then the wisdom/poetical books and, finally, the Prophets. The Prophets are further divided into major prophets and minor prophets.
The New Testament starts with the 4 Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, followed by the Acts of the Apostles, then 14 letters from the Apostle Paul, followed by a handful of letters from John, Peter, James and Jude. Finally, the Bible ends with the Book of Revelation.
2) The Bible is only as good as the translation you are reading. There are two principle types of Bible translations- Literal translations and Dynamic translations. Of themselves, there is not a good or bad choice. Each type reflects a specific purpose. It is a good idea to have at least one quality translation of each type.
Let me explain.
The English Bible you hold in your hand went through a myriad of language translations to get to you. Your Old Testament books, such as Genesis, were originally written in Hebrew. Then they were translated into Greek in a version called the Septuagint. This was the version must used by Jesus and the Disciples. The New Testament books were almost certainly first written in Aramaic. At the very least, we see that the accounts were first handed down in Aramaic before being penned into Greek (see Matthew 27:46, John 1:42).
In the late 4th century, these books were first compiled into a single volume or Bible in Latin. This first Bible was known as the Vulgate.
The first English Bible compiled was the Douai Rheems in 1609 and all other English versions (including the King James) owe a debt to the Douai.
So, if you are reading a passage from Matthew, for example, you are reading a passage that was originally Aramaic, translated to Koine Greek, later to Latin and ultimately, the English. These translations took place over centuries and involved the translation of linguistic and cultural influences as much as the events themselves.
The terminology and phrases of one time and place do not automatically translate to another. Therefore, there are two ways to tackle this, and that is what comes down to dynamic and literal translations.
Let’s look at one example from our current lexicon and that of the British. It just so happens that in American English, the meanings of the words honor and worship are reversed with respect to our British counterparts. Where we would call a judge “Your honor”, a British citizen would call Him “Your worship”. Does this mean that British people consider their judges to gods? No. It means that they define the words differently.
One more example. If today, you went to a play and described it as “awful”, the actors would be insulted. However, if you did so in Elizabethan English time, the actors would have been humbled at such a positive review.
Taking these two examples, you would tend to translate the events dynamically. That is, you would seek to overcome the language barrier and translate the intention of the speaker.
Therefore, the beginning Bible student will do better with a good dynamic translation because he/she may not yet understand the historical and linguistic influences at play and simply wants to know what reality the Biblical writer was trying to convey.
The downside is that the Dynamic translation- in essence- interprets the passage for you and this can be very dangerous if the translator has a particular bias. Here is an example from the New International version.
27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
The passage itself, is never addressed towards the person of Mary, but merely to her maternity.
27And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.
This changes the meaning of the passage from a question of why Mary was blessed to whether She was. (She was, of course Luke 1:28, 42, 45, 48)
So a dynamic translation is only helpful if it is accurate.
Literal translations seek to do just what the name implies- translate the passage in as literal a form as possible. However, you can run into the same problem. The King James Version is a literal translation that takes quite a few liberties with it’s translations.
For example, translating the Greek Kecharitomene (which is a perfect, past participle meaning “endured with perfected grace”) as “highly favored” is patently absurd.
However, even with a good literal translation, you can have problems if you take the English rendering of a passage to literally.
25 Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them, 26* “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
3) There is no scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation. (2 Peter 1:20). The scriptures are clear that they are no open to individual interpretation. There is only 1 truth. In interpretation a passage, it is always a good idea to go back and examine how the early church interpreted that passage and why. All manner of aberrant doctrines have been invented due to individual interpretation. Among them- the “rapture”, being “born again” (in the pentacostal sense) and salvation by faith alone.
4) Context is key. There is little that is more frustrating for a Catholic than an anti-Catholic flinging out of context Bible verses at them. Most of the time, the entire meaning of the passage is changed by the few verses left out that immediately preceded or followed the passage given. Take the time to read at least the entire chapter in which the verse is contained. For example, Ephesians 2:8-9 is often given to suggest that salvation is freely given and no good works are required from the believer. However, if you continue to v 10, you see that it is Grace that is the free gift and that it is given, through faith for the specific purpose of accomplishing the very, prepared works that we are required to do to obtain salvation. Another example is the context of Matthew 23:9 (which is addressing comparing God to men). “Call no man father” is not a ban on the use of the term “father” for earthly religious figures our Jesus would be violating that ban Himself in John 8:56.
5) Authority. The scriptures, themselves point to earthly ecclesiastical authority. There is no escaping it. You have only to read to see this. In the Book of Acts this is especially clear. The word “Church” appears more than 100 times in the New testament
6) Community. When you read the scriptures, try to see if the common “alone” thread of protestantism jibes with the Scriptures. Protestants contend that salvation is a matter of grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, by the authority of scripture alone, for His Glory alone.
I challenge you to challenge yourself to see if this form of spiritual isolationism squares with scripture. What is the answer to the question Cain asks in Genesis 4:9.
It is my contention that, if you search honestly, you will find Martin Luther’s five solas (alones) to be wholly alien to scripture.
7) Follow the plan in order. If you believe that the Bible is the blueprint for salvation then follow that premise logically. When I hear people recommend a path of Bible study, I often hear “start with the Gospel of John” or “start with the Psalms”. For me, the best approach is to start at the beginning and that means Genesis chapter 1, verse 1. Don’t skip ahead. Go in order, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book.
Along your journey, you will be surprised how much your view changes. There will be times that you will be immersed in deep allegorical language and fables and parables. Other times you will find yourself shocked by violent imagery. Other times you will have to push yourself through paragraph after paragraph of laws and of historical accounts and lists of names. other times you will be amazed by beautiful wisdom and poetry and other times find yourself even frightened by God’s anger.
From Genesis to Malachi, the Old Testament lays the very foundation by which you can understand the New Testament. In your study take notes at things that jump out at you. Here is some food for thought. Count how many times you see the term “Covenant”. Try to find what this means.
8) Take a break after you finish the Old Testament and study what the catholic church teaches about Old Testament typology.
You may find yourself rereading some sections or passages. Then begin reading the New Testament with this in mine. Leave the prophecy to the prophets and concentrate on what the Scriptures mean by “Covenant”
There are two questions to ask yourself. a) What is God’s response to the problem of sin? B) What is supposed to be my response?
9) Truly examine what the New Testament says about who will be saved and how. Don’t just skim over it. Read it. The Gospel of Matthew is a treasure trove of information on how we are saved. Ask yourself if this squares honestly with the protestant notion of salvation by “faith alone”. James 2:24 speaks directly to this.
10) After you finish reading the Bible, get a hold of a Catechism of the Catholic Church. Go through it doctrine by doctrine and see how the catholic church’s doctrines actually grow from Scripture.
Follow these principles and I think you are on a great journey!
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