Announcing the 2014 Deepertruthblog Christmas special.

Posted by John Benko - December 24th, 2014

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Join us for our 2014 Christmas special. The show can be heard live on Christmas Eve day from 12 NOON- 2 PM Eastern. You can listen live right here!. The show will feature interviews, wonderful stories, a chance to win Dave Armstrong’s new book and a special countdown of my all-time top 25 favorite holiday songs!

You can follow the show and give us your comments right on the Facebook link for the show! (It will appear on the show page). You can also email your comments to email@deepertruthblog.com

We cannot wait! Spread the word far and wide!

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My critique of James White’s debate vs Tim Staples on Purgatory.

Posted by John Benko - January 24th, 2014

[iframe class="video" width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CKq7kSq9DOA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe] Since James White has been a peripheral subject of late, as a consequence of our recent tet-a-tet with “Proclaiming the Gospel”, I took it upon myself to listen to this debate he had with Tim Staples. Previously, I had listened to his debate on Sola Scriptura which was, frankly, more of a debate with himself than with his opponent.

Nevertheless, I set-out to listen to this debate as objectively as I possibly could. There were a number of things I found interesting/disconcerting.

First of all, the very first thing that struck me is that Mr. White acted as both moderator and opponent. I would never do this if it could be helped simply because the appearance of an unfair advantage would be obvious. I think Mr. White made a sincere effort to be objective in this role but there were obviously a few times where he fell short. One of the most glaring was when Mr. White departed substantially from the direct context of a caller’s question, taking some gratuitous shots but not allowing Mr. Staples a rebut.

Secondly, talking specifically about the closing statements, I think both men departed dramatically from the topic being talked about and did some grandstanding.

All of that being said, I think that James White clearly and unmistakably lost this debate by his own standards of proof. This was the classic example of the man hoisted by his own petard. It was Mr. White’s constant and unrelenting straw man erecting and goal post moving that gave Mr. Staples an easy victory that would have been far more difficult without Mr. White’s unintentional assistance.

Allow me to explain.

The crux of this argument was the proposition, offered by Mr. Staples, that the fire of 1 Corinthians 3 referred to the judgment of Christ towards all men on the last day. The works, represented as gold, silver, wood or stubble, are metaphors for the kinds of works that can or cannot withstand that fire. The person who will suffer loss but still be saved, as through fire, is the soul in purgatory.

Thus, the fire is a fire of purification and the kinds of works were good works vs sinful works.

James White departed from this view in three essential respects;

  1. That the kinds of works are merely the motivations of the workers in building up the church.
  2. That the workers are religious leaders only.
  3. That the fire is one of revealing only and not of purifying.

This is where the goal post moving began.

Mr. White begins his case by making a number of claims concerning the Catholic position that are incorrect and holds to those positions throughout the debate.

The first mistake was to state that the Catholic position is untenable because it suggests that the “gold”, under the Catholic schema are the purest works and that those works could, therefore, not be in purgatory. I thought Mr. Staples was more than effective in exposing this as a strawman. That is not the Catholic position at all. 1 Corinthians 3 does not intimate, nor does the Catholic understanding of it intimate, that all works (and workers) would receive the same fate. In fact, our position is exactly the reverse. 1 Corinthians 3 is very clear that all workers and all works would be subject to the same test of fire. Some workers will be revealed as Holy by that fire, some will be consumed by that fire and some will be saved through that fire. Mr. Staples was extremely effective in rebutting Mr. White’s false characterization of our position citing, among others, Pope Benedict XVI.

Secondly, Mr. White asserted that Mr. Staples could not demonstrate by Scripture God’s fire as a purifying agent. Mr. Staples simply leveled that assertion showing multitudinous scriptural proof texts as well as quotes by protestant theologians that supported this view.

Mr. White responded by stating that Mr. Staples could not appeal to the clear sense of the text but had to prove the word purification lexically from the direct text. Further, Mr. Staples had to show a direct connection from any other proof text, back to 1 Corinthians 3 or he could not use it.

This is where Mr. White lost this debate. Why? because it was very clear to the listener that Mr. Staples was clearly establishing the love of God as a purifying fire through multiple examples. Mr. Staples very clearly shows how God chasten those whom He loves and draws a direct line to what is occurring in 1 Corinthians 3 with those saved as through fire on that day. Mr. White did not, at all, make any compelling argument to support another view. In fact, Mr. Staples did a very effective job of showing that Mr. White’s contention that the kinds of works referred, not to sin, but motivation, was completely without support. It actually came off as made up out of thin air, not to be too blunt about it.

Mr. White mad a maddening gaffe that I am astounded that Mr. Staples did not pick up on.  Mr. White hammered Tim on the concept of drawing a parallel between God’s chastening or purifying in life, to a purifying after life.  I thought Tim really left this one on the table because White painted himself in a corner here by admitting that what is being spoken of here occurs on the last day.  If one is saved, as through fire as a result of a judgment rendered on the last day, how could this possibly be referring to anything but temporal suffering after death?

Yet, as I mentioned before, Mr. White hung his whole argument on asserting that Staples needed to, and implied he could, find the actual word purification and not merely the concept. Mr. Staples replied correctly that he couldn’t and didn’t need to. As everyone knows, the Word Trinity is not in Scripture either but the concept is. Mr. Staples showed, with crystal clarity, the concept of purification in Scripture and tied it very convincingly to 1 Corinthians 3.

This is where White flamed out, hoisted by his own petard.  At no point did he even attempt to demonstrate, conceptually or lexically, the concept of motivation excluding action, of revealing fire excluding purification and of the concept that this passage narrowly focuses on church leaders.

Mr. Staples definitely left a few arguments on the table and cost himself some style points by drifting. Mr. White definitely had the built in advantage of acting as moderator/debater and used it to his benefit.  Quizzing Staples on a particular Greek word won White a point, for example.

Both are eloquent speakers and I’d score style about even.

On substance it wasn’t close. Staples made his case very effectively. White danced on questions to run the clock out, proposed ludicrous burdens of proof on Staples and failed to make any kind of an affirmative case whatsoever. Staples wins this one in a rout.

 

 

 

 

*BEST OF DTB #256* The Catholic Defender: Lifting Up The Arms

Posted by John Benko - October 20th, 2013

The attacks on the Catholic Church today from outside the Church and even from within carries a tremendous weight on the shoulders of Pope Francis.

The stress of the world can certainly bear down on any one, the Japanese disaster and the great suffering there is extraordinary.

World events taking place such as the threat of the Muslim extremist and the uprisings in the Middle East has to be a heavy burden for the Pope.

The blood of the martyrs must bring tears to his eyes as there is little he can do but pray and intercede. The diplomacy can only go so far.

The Secularism of the world has to be a top concern, the abandonment of the holy to the free thinker. Abortion, pornography, the priest scandal, divorce and the breakdown of the family has to weigh heavy on his shoulders as well.

The threat of disease especially AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases attacks the core of the Church. Condoms and other forms of Artificial Birth Control seem to be the preference of the sexual revolutionary.

Even shepherds supposedly backing the Holy Father do not preach the truth from the pulpit. The rebellion of Notre Dame a chilling example. What must break his heart the most is some Catholics abandoning the faith for just about everything out there.

The infiltration of Communist, Marxist, Socialist, even Homosexual men into the priesthood with the purpose of causing scandal and the scattering of the faithful bears much weight upon the Popes shoulders.

These are just some of the issues that confront the world today. What is the answer that can turn things around for the hope of mankind and the Church?

Exodus 17:8-13 has the answer: “At Rephidim, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword”.

I want to take a few things from this scripture and take a deeper look at this.

1. Moses instructed Joshua to “pick out certain men”, these were to be taken into the battle. The Church needs to “pick out certain men” who are faithful to the Magisterium. St. Peter said, “So I exhort the presbyters among you, as fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:1-5).

2. As Moses was taken up to the top of the hill, so too must the Church be set upon the top of the hill.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).

When the Shepherds stand up for the truth the flock follow with confidence.

The people will be encouraged. Otherwise the people will scatter.

3. As long as Moses held his hands up Israel had the better of the fight, when he would rest them the enemy was getting the better of the fight.

We must spiritually help hold the Popes hands raised supported by prayer on the one side and adoration on the other side to strengthen the Church Militant.

Jesus promised that the gates of the Netherworld would NOT prevail against the Church, we must keep his hands raised towards heaven to win the fight against the enemy of our time.
4. Through the supports given Moses, he was able to keep his hands raised until sunset when Joshua won the victory.

Jesus has been raised from the dead, he is alive alleluia! The battle has been won, yet the Church continues to battle for souls accomplishing the works of God in the power of his name.

We have a choice either to follow Christ or to follow the way of the world. Choose Christ!

There are great problems to solve in this day and time, yet, if we keep our eyes on the Lord and his Prime Minister, we can prayerfully keep the Popes arms raised for battle to lead the Church through the stormy seas as they are swirling.

Please keep the Pope, the Bishops in union with him, all our Priests, all our religious in prayer so they will represent that leadership the Church needs today.


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The Catholic Defender: The Seven Woes of Jesus

Posted by John Benko - October 13th, 2013

Matthew 23 is perhaps one of the most famous chapters in the Bible where Jesus gives the seven woes to the scribes and Pharisees.

A “woe” is a “condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief”.

Because of the disobedience of the Jewish people and the religious leaders Jesus lowers the boom against them.

Consider Leviticus 26, we see a clear warning God gives the Israelite’s.  The Lord says, “I will punish you with terrible woes” for refusing to obey His Commandments and breaking the Covenant.

Verse 17, “I will turn against you, till you are beaten down before your enemies and lorded over by your foes.

Verse 18, “…I will increase the chastisement for your sins sevenfold, to break your haughty confidence”

Verse 21, “…I will multiply my blows another sevenfold, as your sins deserve.”

Verse 25, “I will make the sword, the avenger of my covenant, sweep over you.  Though you then huddle together in your walled cities, I will send in pestilence among you, till you are forced to surrender to the enemy.”

Verse 26, “And as I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will need but one oven for baking all the bread they dole out to you in rations, not enough food to still your hunger.”

Verse 28-29, “I, also, will meet you with fiery defiance and will chastise you with sevenfold fiercer punishment for your sins, till you begin to eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters.”

Verse 30, “I will demolish your high places, overthrow your incense stands, and cast your corpses on those of your idols.”

Verse 31, “I will lay waste your cities and devastate your sanctuaries, refusing to accept your sweet-smelling offerings.”

Verse 32, “So devastated will I leave the land that your very enemies who come to live there will stand aghast at the sight of it.”

Those are some very important warnings that the Israelites  were given and yet, they fell flat on their faces over and over again.

Because the religious leaders did not recognize the true Messiah, because the people killed the prophets of God, Jesus  declares the woes of disobedience to the Scribes and Pharisees.

Matthew 23:13, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings.  You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.”

Verse 15, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.”

Verse 16, “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.”

Verse 23, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law.”

Verse 25, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.”

Verse 27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.”

Verse 29, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets blood.”

Jesus would call the Pharisees, “brood of vipers” and warns, “Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Matthew 23:36)

Recall the warning God gives in Leviticus 26? Jesus states, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate.  I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39)

It is clear that Jesus is very familiar with the “woes” of Leviticus 26 and Jesus is clear that this will happen during this generation. (Matthew 23:36, Matthew 24:34)

The Fall of Jerusalem did in fact occur as Jesus forewarned and the Jewish Historian Josephus wrote the history of this epic siege.  He writes of a woman called Mary, the Daughter of Eleazar:

 “My poor baby, why should I keep you alive in this world of war and famine? Even if we live till the Romans come, they will make slaves of us; and anyway, hunger will get us before slavery does; and the rebels are crueler than both. Come, be food for me, and an avenging fury to the rebels, and a tale of cold horror to the world to complete the monstrous agony of the Jews.” With these words she killed her son, roasted the body, swallowed half of it, and stored the rest in a safe place. But the rebels were on her at once, smelling roasted meat, and threatening to kill her instantly if she did not produce it. She assured them she had saved them a share, and revealed the remains of her child. Seized with horror and stupefaction, they stood paralyzed at the sight. But she said, “This is my own child, and my own handiwork. Eat, for I have eaten already. Do not show yourselves weaker than a woman, or more pitiful than a mother. But if you have pious scruples, and shrink away from human sacrifice, then what I have eaten can count as your share, and I will eat what is left as well.”

Matthew laments as he quotes Jesus saying, “Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.” (Matthew 24:19)

The Siege of Jerusalem was total devastation and the destruction was brutal.  More than a million people were killed.  Many crucified. 

So terrible was the plight of the Jewish people within the walls of Jerusalem.  Because of Jerusalem’s unfaithfulness, riding on the back of Rome, St. John would write of this in the 17th and 18th Chapter of Revelation.

Jerusalem would be the seven hill (mountain) city that would become known as the “Whore of Babylon”.  St. John simply spoke of Jerusalem as “The Great City”, ‘Where indeed their Lord was crucified.’ (Rev 11:8).  Because of the political ties between Jerusalem and Rome, St. John recognized the “Woman”represents the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.”  (Rev 17:18)

It is interesting that St. John is giving a play on words here.  Something that he recognized from something Jesus once said, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Mark 12:17) 

To St. John, obviously God is supreme and the people’s refusal to accept His sovereignty lands the seven woes of Jesus and the coming destruction of Jerusalem. 

Because the Jews failed in keeping the Commandments and the Covenant, St. John saw this rebellious spirit  regarding this woman (representing Israel) whom God called the “harlot”, the “prostitute”, the “adulterous wife”.  (Ezekiel 16)

As a result, the Old Testament Priesthood was obliterated and the sacrifice ceased on the 9th of Av, 70 A.D. exactly as Jesus foretold.

With this behind us, are we sure that in the United States we want to turn our gaze away from the Lord?


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The Catholic Defender: The Council of the Lord

Posted by John Benko - September 14th, 2013

Here on earth, the people of God are called to pick up our cross and follow the Lord.  Psalms 73:24 states, “With your counsel you guide me, and at the end receive me with honor”.

As we live for the council of the Lord, there is a stir taking place in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ has called for a meeting with his top Archangels.  In attendance is his holy Mother Mary, the Queen of heaven.

Outside this great Council of the Lord, the heavenly host sing out “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.”  All are filled with great joy and grace.  The angels were singing Jesus’s victory song.

“On the sea of glass were standing those who had won victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name.  They were holding God’s harps, and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,” “Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty, Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations.  Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name?  For you alone are holy.  All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

It is at this point that Jesus calls his messengers together and calls for a meeting.  Jesus received “dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.”  Jesus informs his Archangels that he has a hunger for souls who have rebelled against him. 

St. Michael comes forward and speaks, “Lord Jesus, You have shown and given great mercy for your people. You appeared to St. Faustina who now is among those singing your praise.  You told her, “I promise that the soul that venerates this image will not perish.  I also promise victory over it’s enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death.  I Myself will defend it as My own glory”.

Jesus responds, “Yes, this image I gave to my loved one, St. Faustina, I explain the meaning of the two rays coming from my heart…  “The two rays denotes Blood and Water.  The pale ray stands for the water which makes souls righteous.  The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls.  These two rays poured forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart on the Cross was opened by the lance.”

St. Michael continues, “Yes Lord, and I also recall your words, “I shall protect them Myself at the hour of death, as My own glory.  And even if the sins of the soul are as dark as night, when the sinner turns to My mercy, he renders Me the greatest praise, and becomes the glory of My passion.  When a soul praises My goodness, Satan trembles before it and flees to the very bottom of hell”.

I said to my Apostles, at the call of St. Matthew, (Matthew 9:13), “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’  I did not come to call the righteous but sinners”.  My Saints have attested to this: “I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.”  “I am Love and Mercy itself.  When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such abundance of grace that it cannot be contained within itself, but radiates to other souls”.  Remember, the greater the sinner, the greater they deserve my Divine Mercy with their repentance.”

At this point, St. Gabriel speaks, “Lord Jesus, I recall your appearing to another one of your children, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, whom also is here praising your name in perfect happiness forever and ever.  At this time she happens to be right next to St. Faustina.  They must be interested in that we are talking about them.” 

In the background, the praise continues, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come”

Jesus responds, Great is my compassion for the love of mankind, how I cherish my Daughter, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, I told her, My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind…that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means.”  And St Margaret shown great faith which pleased me so much.

St. Gabriel continues, “Yes Lord, and you offered mankind your 12 Promises to all those who practice the devotion of your Sacred Heart.”

Jesus responds, “Yes,because of terrible heresies that Satan planted, I had to intervene against the effects of Jansenism, this is also held by certain Protestant groups that pains My Heart bitterly.  I said, ‘I promise you in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that it’s all-powerful love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure nor without receiving the Sacraments, My Divine Heart becoming their assured refuge at that last hour.”

 St. Raphael, who had been listening, speaks, “Lord Jesus, I can’t help but see your word as testified in the Sacred Scriptures, Your beloved Apostles who are like resting stones, “The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb”.  Lord, this is your Catholic Church, it’s foundation that you gave it and through it your Divine Love is made manifest for the people of God.”

Jesus responds, “Yes, I am the Word made flesh who gave Myself as a ransom for my people.  I placed Simon Peter as my first Royal Steward as My Foundation Stone, My Rock that I built my Church.  I gave him the Keys of My Kingdom.  The current Pope is his true successor, I said, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.  I gave then power to forgive sins in My Name.  It is I who forgive people’s sins through the Confessional.”

The praise being offered to God fills the highest heaven, “Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created”.

At this point, Mary, the Mother of Jesus speaks, “My Divine Son, you have sent me to many places to remind people of your great love.”

Jesus at this point, turned to His Mother and gave her respect placing her on a chair at his right hand.

Mother Mary continues, “My Son, people are growing tremendously through the devotion of the Rosary that many pray with me for many things.  I am thankful to continue this great work of yours.  The 15 Promises given to those who faithfully pray the Rosary are a great blessing to those who are my children, those who proclaim Your Name.”

Jesus responds, “Yes My Mother, I have blessed those who faithfully consecrate their lives to your Immaculate Heart that was pierced by a sword of love for Me.  I honor this love for me by rewarding those who honor you.  Mother, you revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche My Will for those who pray the Rosary.  “The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.”

Jesus looks at those within His hearing and says, “My heart so loves the world, I came that everyone who believes in me might not perish but might have eternal life”.  My Mother warned at Fatima that more souls go to hell because of the sins of the flesh than any other reason.  Look at what the enemy has planted? Gay marriage, an affront to me, they have abortion which grieves my heart to it’s depth, I so love the little children, I am reminded of my promise, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”.  If only men would head my warning.  Those who would hurt a child invokes my anger and wrath.

This is my call, “I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Of My Church, I told my Apostles, “Whoever listens to you listens to Me.  Whoever rejects you rejects Me.  And Whoever rejects Me rejects the one who sent me.”

I implore my people, who are called by My name to humble themselves and seeks my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land.  I bring life and give it more abundantly.  Come to Me you who are weary and you shall find rest.  Frequent My Sacraments of the Church, listen to My Voice which is found through St. Peter and his successors.  Hold fast to my oral and written Word.  My Heart yearns for all of the Prodigals who have lost their way, when one returns, that soul is saved from death and a multitude of sins are forgiven.  I show My Mercy in the Confessional

Know that I Am coming again to Judge the living and the dead.  Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and I will give you light.” 

The Saints in heaven continue singing as they worship God and exclaimed, “Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever.  Amen (Revelation 7:12)

Dear Friend,  if you have been away from the Catholic Church for a while, perhaps you might be sitting on the fence.  The Lord loves you so much, He offers you every opportunity to find His truth.  Here at Deepertruth, we all want to encourage you to seek a deeper relationship to Jesus.  Seek His presence in your life.  


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*Best of BTB #104* The Catholic Defender: The Faces of Mary

Posted by John Benko - September 4th, 2013

Recently, I have been hearing anti-Catholics attack Mary on the basis that she has similarities in picture and statues resembling Pagan deities.

I want to take a closer look into the charge and see why there is so much resentment towards Mary, the Mother of Jesus?

Biblical Christianity recognizes that Mary is seen through Old Testament prophecies such as “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers: He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
The woman here originally represents Eve and the offspring represents the descendants of man. However, with the revelation of Jesus Christ as the “Son of Man”, the woman’s offspring then is primarily Jesus Christ.

St. Irenaeus, a second century Church Father, viewed Mary as the “New Eve”. The first Eve was disobedient causing mankind to fall into a fallen race.

Mary, as the “New Eve” was obedient to God’s command restoring the relationship that was lost through the merits of Jesus Christ. Mary’s role is clearly shown from the beginning of the Church age.

As Jesus is the “New Adam”, Mary is the “New Eve”. The implication from the above scripture is that the woman will have a unique relationship with her Son.

Isaiah 7:14 gives another clue to the woman saying, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall name him Immanuel”.Immanuel is a name that means,”God is with us”. This is important for the Christian who believes in the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

That Jesus would have no earthly Father, but the Word made flesh would come into the world through a humble virgin.

At the appointed time, when Mary was a Young girl, the Archangel Gabriel is sent to Mary to announce the good news of the coming Messiah.

Mary is the vessal to accomplish God’s will. The angel greets Mary, “Hail,full of grace “Chaire, Kecharitomene”. Mary responds, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man”?

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God”.

This scene is known as the “Annunciation” because it was the announcement of the angel that the good news of Jesus Christ was made manifest.

There are a number of pictures that relate to this scene, sometimes they show the angel, other times they do not. But it is clear from the artist mind to give a picture relating to the Gospel of St. Luke.

These images were in no way connected to any Pagan entity. Still, there are those who will attempt to tie Mary to any such influence.

One of the most common and accepted images of Mary involve the actual birth of the Lord.

Christians the world over celebrate the birth of the Lord. Pictured many times are the holy family, Joseph with his staff, Mary and the Christ Child.

Many times a scene with animals, usually a camel, a donkey, maybe cattle are involved with the scene. The Wise Men and the shepherds are usually present.

Mary is the “virgin” whom Isaiah foretold would be the sign given the “House of David” (Isaiah 7:13).

It is interesting that the angel said to Mary at the Annunciation, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

This is no Pagan entity, but the complete work and plan of God coming to pass. To understand the teaching regarding Mary and the Catholic Church, there must be an understanding of the foundations of the Old Testament.

The most strongest attack on Mary strangely comes from those who respond to Mary with the Christ Child.

Many times, Mary is seen holding baby Jesus with a motherly love. I have always associated this image as representative of the love between a mother and her child.

I would never have dreamed of connecting this image to any other Pagan entity. That argument is really reaching to find something to grasp, it’s like trying to find something that can stick, like a snake in blind autumn?

All cultures can certainly identify with the love of a mother and their child so just because other entities might have a “goddess” that depicts a child means nothing against Mary’s depiction with the child Jesus.

Consider the comparison that people make between Mary and Semiramis? Mary is the “Mother of God (Theotokos)”, Semiramis is known as “God the Mother” by the Babylonians.

Mary as the “Mother of God” does not make Mary a deity; Mary points to her Son, who is 100% God and 100% man from the moment of the incarnation.

The singular graces given to Mary were specific to the role she said yes to God. She obtained the grace as a “past-perfect participle” meaning that Mary received the fruit of Jesus redemptive act on the cross.

His resurrection was already secured in her because of her faithfulness. It is also important to note: There is no real comparison between Jesus and Nimrod. They are not equals competing for worshippers.


Mary has appeared to many parts of the world at different times and the message is echoed throughout time, “Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you” (John 2:5).The Faces of Mary reflects the light of the Lord as she continues to bring Christ to those who are searching for the true Messiah.

On the world stage, Christians recall the words of Mary, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, and dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering 
  his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever”  (Luke 1:46-55).
 

Considering that Mary was a young girl studied on the law of God, surely, she was mindful of Psalms 45, “Daughters of kings are your lovely wives; a Queen arrayed in Ophir’s gold comes to stand at your right hand. Listen,my daughter, and understand; pay me careful heed. Forget your people and your father’s house, that the king might desire your beauty. He is your lord; honor him, daughter of Tyre. Then the richest of the people will seek your favor with gifts. All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters, her raiment threaded with gold; In embridered apparel she is led in with glad and joyous acclaim; they enter the palace of the king. The throne of your fathers your sons will have; you shall make them princes through all the land, I will make your name renowned through all generations; thus nations shall praise you forever” (Psalms 45:10-18).

Mary is not competing with Jesus, she is pointing the way to Him.



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The Catholic Defender: To Whom Shall We Go

Posted by John Benko - July 23rd, 2013

Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” The Lord was reacting to the many who were formerly following him. When Jesus is speaking to “the Twelve”, he is speaking to the whole Church. St. Peter’s response is the million dollar question! “To whom shall we go”? With all the voices out in the public square competing for position in the heart and mind of people, St. Peter clearly defines Jesus: “You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

It’s interesting that it was also St. Peter speaking for the “Twelve“, the whole Church, identifying who Jesus is. Jesus asked his disiples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The response was varied, “some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” It was St. Peter who came out saying, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

It is important to understand who Jesus is because he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus has the words of eternal life!

St. John put it this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” He was in the beginning with God… And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus Said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is what St. Peter and the Apostles came to believe through following the Lord and witnessing his public miracles. Jesus changed the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee and revealed his glory, “and his disciples began to believe in him”.

Of the works of Jesus, St. John writes, “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world contain the books that would be written.”

I want to come back to St. Peter’s question, “To whom shall we go”? What does this mean? Can we know where to find this truth?

At the Trial of Sir THOMAS MORE Knight, Lord Chancellor of England, for High- Treason in denying; King Henry VIII’s act of Supremecy, May 7, 1535. St. Thomas said:

” Who presently made Answer in these words: For as much as, my Lords, this Indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament, directly repugnant ,to the Laws of God and his Holy Church, the Supreme Government of which, or of any part thereof, no Temporal Person may by any Law presume to take upon him, being what right belongs to the See of Rome, which by special Prerogative was granted by the Mouth of our Savior Christ himself to St. Peter, and the Bishops of Rome his Successors only, whilst he lived, and was personally present here on Earth: it is therefore, amongst Catholic Christians, insufficient in Law, to charge any Christian to obey it. And in order to the proof of his Assertion, he declared among other things, that whereas this Kingdom alone being but one Member, and a small part of the Church, was not to make a particular Law disagreeing with the general Law of Christ’s universal Catholic Church, no more than the City of London, being but one Member in respect to the whole Kingdom, might enact a Law against an Act of Parliament, to be binding to the whole Realm: so he shewed farther, That Law was ,even contrary to the Laws and Statutes of the Kingdom yet unrepealed, as might evidently be seen by Magna Charta, wherein are these Words; Ecclesia Anglicana libera sit, & habet omnia jura integra, & libertates suas illcesas: And it is contrary also to that sacred Oath which the King’s Majesty himself, and every other Christian Prince, always take with great Solemnity, at their Coronations.”

So great was Sir Thomas’s Zeal, that he further alleged, that it was worse in the Kingdom of England becasue of their rebellion. St. Thomas More believed Obedience to the See of Rome was likened to any Child to do to his natural Parent: for, as St. Paul said to the Corinthians, I have regenerated you, my Children, in Christ; so might that worthy Pope of Rome, St. Gregory the Great, say of us Englishmen, Ye are my Children, because I have given you everlasting Salvation: for by St. Augustine and his followers, his immediate Messengers, England first received the Christian faith, which is a far higher and better Inheritance than any carnal Sather can leave to his Children; for a. Son is only by generation, we are by Regeneration made the spiritual Children of Christ and the Pope.”

St. Thomas More was put to death because he would not renounce Jesus Christ before any court of man. Of the Church that Christ founded, Isaiah wrote, “No weapon fashioned against you shall prevail; every tongue you shall prove false that launches an accusation against you. This is the lot of the sevants of the Lord, their vindication from me, says the Lord.”

Because of King Henry’s persecution of the Catholic Faith, bringing Protestantism into England, a massive persecution of the Church took place between 1534 until 1829. Also, other denominations grew out of the Protestant movement such as the various Baptist groups, the Methodist and through the King James Bible, they influenced much of the Protestant world.

St. Paul writes, “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

This is the answer to St. Peter’s question, “To Whom shall we go!” We are to go to His Church, the Catholic Church. The Church St. Paul referred to as the “pillar and foundation of truth.”

God’s grace is imparted upon the world through the Lord Jesus Christ’s Church. St. Paul writes, “Because of this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles–if, as I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was GIVEN TO ME for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier.” The Apostles became the arbitors of Grace, transmitting this grace through the Sacraments.

This is why the Lord chose the Apostles and commissioned them to go to all the nations. St. Paul himself received this grace states, “Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace that was granted me in accord with the excercise of his power. To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.”

What are the “riches of Christ?” What is the “mystery hidden from ages past?” It is the fulfillment of the new Covenant promised through the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), it is the sign the people who first abandoned Christ asked for (John 6:30).

Jesus Christ is the sign come down from heaven, he is the “Bread of Life” who comes to us at every Eucharist. Jesus is present to you each and every Communion. When the Priest elevates the host proclaiming “the Body of Christ“, by saying “Amen”, we answer St. Peter’s question, “To whom shall we go”! To go to Him who has called us, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed”. Amen!


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The Catholic Defender: Father Byles Made a Difference

Posted by John Benko - April 7th, 2013

I have met some great Catholic Priests in my 26 years in the United States Army.

There are great stories of heroism and courage displayed by many Catholic Priests.

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church beginning with the Apostles on down many gave their lives.

Of the original faithful eleven Apostles, 10 of them gave their lives for the Lord and His Catholic Church.

Father Maxmillian Kolbe, Father Kapaun and Father Capodanno are three great examples during World War II and the Korean War.

I can give some great examples as recently as the Iraqi Freedom Campaigns, there are many Catholic Priests as well as the faithful who have suffered great persecution and trials.

I want to remember another Catholic Priest that few are aware of the heroism displayed by this man of God.

This week many of us will remember the sinking of the Titanic, something that had been thought impossible.

On it’s first voyage, the Titanic struck an iceburg and as a result, the ship sunk. There have been movies that have given the story, there have been songs performed that told the tale of the sinking of the Titanic.

I do not recall in any of the stories about the Titanic the heroism of Father Thomas Byles. Father Byles had been given two opportunities to get into a lifeboat, but instead, he continued to give spiritual aid to the other victims hearing confessions and showing the true love of God.

Father was an Eglish convert to the Catholic Faith and was on his way to America to officiate his Brother William’s marraige.

Eye witness accounts show that Father Byles was offering his breviary and the Rosary at the time of the collison with the iceberg.

It was April 14, 1912, according to witnesses, Father Byles was seen helping the women and children get into lifeboats.

He heard confessions and calmed the frantic with the Rosary.

What a picture this places in my mind, what a great focus that none of the movies and songs I’ve heard have presented.

Father Byles standing on the deck with people on their knees praying.

According to FatherByles.com, a website that keeps Father’s story alive, it shares the testimony of Agnes McCoy who said, “Father Byles was saying the rosary and praying for the repose of the souls of those about to perish” as told to the New York Telegram on 22 April, 1912.

Father Patrick McKenna, a friend of Father Byles, said later, “He twice refused the offer of a place in a boat, saying his duty was to stay on the ship while one soul wanted his minisreations”. The Church Progress, by the end of April early May, wrote this tribute to Father Byles:

“In almost every line that has been written, and in every sentence that has been spoken, there stands boldly out above every other expression a picture of sublime heroism that will be copied into the pages of history. And well it may, for it is deserving of that honor.

But when it is, mention should be made of one whom pens and tongues have almost forgotten in their accounts of this awful sea tragedy. Among those who safely reached the land again no one seems to have been aware of his presence on the ship, but we may hope that many who meet him in a blissful eternity will praise God that Father Thomas Byles was there to administer absolution unto them.”

There were other heros of great courage, Fr Juozas Montvila (27 years old), gave his life for another as he also refused to be place on one of the ship’s life boats, he served out his duties with his fellow travellers.

A Benedictine Priest, Father Joseph Peruschitz (pictured left) from Scheyern was another priest who showed great courage giving his life for the victims of the Titanic.

To imagine the horror of a sinking ship and to be a source of strength to support those who were lost. These are great acts of heroism.

Annie Kate, taking the trip with a cousin, Patrick Canavan, her cousin, was 16 months older than Annie. He gave is life ensuring that Annie was placed on a life boat. Annie did survive as she became a Catholic Nun taking the name Sister Patrick Joseph Kelly.

The story of Annie and her cousin, Patrick sounds very close to the fictional story of the movie “Titanic” without the romance, of course. Annie (Sister Patrick Joseph Kelly) died in 1969 after giving her life to the service of God and recounting the Titanic.

These are but a few, how tragic was this terrible accident. It should serve as a reminder that man will never become invincible. The Twin Towers were also though to be indestructable.

Jesus commanded the Catholic Church to go to all the nations, teaching them to observe all that he commanded it. Courage is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that all great Saints depended on to do God’s will. What an encouragement to all the faithful to have the courage and faith of Father Thomas Byles and company whose bravery recalls the Lord’s words: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Of the 2223 passengers on board the Titanic, 1517 perished.


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*BEST OF DTB #250* Les Miserables

Posted by John Benko - January 6th, 2013

One of the promises I was required to keep, during this Christmas season, was to see Les Miserables in the theater with my wife and daughter. I completed that mission, on this feast of Saint John Neumann (the patron saint of our parish), and on the eve of the last day of Christmas- the Epiphany.

As many of you know, January 6th, 2006 was the worst day of my life and seven year’s passing has not reduced the pain enough that I don’t still dread it’s dawning. A day of joy, a day of celebration….not for us. At least, not yet. Recently, a friend (who shall remain anonymous) posted on his blog, that he got through Les Miserables by watching the LSU game on his smart phone. As much as I enjoyed the word that LSU lost to Clemson, knocking the mighty SEC from it’s perch, this was not a movie to ‘get through’. There are movies to watch and there are movies to ‘get through’ and then there are movies to drown in and and be washed by.

Les Miserables is a movie in which you sink all the way to the bottom and remain there for the duration as wave after wave of emotion of grace sweep over you.

I could make a list of movies that affected me this way- Titanic, The Passion of the Christ, The Lord of the Rings; return of the King and United 93 come to mind. The list would not be many more titles in length. I do not get into movies that rest alone on special effects or mindless violence or overly superficial depictions of love and life. A movie has to really speak to me. I walk away asking what does this film say to me? How is my life affected or changed in having seen it?

If You’ve Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally are the kind of trite, sugar coated mush that make people like me want to throw up, Les Miserables is a baptism of blood- an relenting and seemingly merciless way of the cross. It drags you down out of the warm confines of your comfortable life and into the darkly lit abodes of the lost and forsaken, the despairing and the hopeless who seek death as a respite from the misery that oppresses them and hangs over them like a menacing darkness.

How many of the actors and actresses in this movie really know of this despair, this blackness?

In the event you are not familiar with the story, it starts and ends with the struggle between a man, Jean Valjean who spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread for a starving child, and his merciless tormentor Javert, whose Pharisaical zeal for the letter of the law, could not grasp the concepts of love and mercy and redemption. On his road to redemption, Jean first finds mercy from a Bishop and that starts his journey to this hopeless man both finding hope and giving hope, saving others and saving himself.

Javert finds himself in need, from Jean’s hands, the very mercy he, himself refused to ever give. Where mercy saved Jean Valjean, mercy crushed Javert. Unable to give it, he was unable to receive it. Unable to comprehend what it means to love and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven, Javert’s whole world view explodes. Unable to change, he kills himself instead.

Judgement vs Mercy, Mercy vs Judgement, these are the themes that ring through the whole film. The story is unmistakably Catholic, through and through. Not merely superficially Catholic but Sacrament-ally Catholic, so much so that one bristles at the suggestion that Hollywood was capable of making such a film.

One marvels at the ability of God to speak so boldly through a film created in a town with such a rabid hatred for Him. Then it dawns on you that maybe their derision and disdain for us is not entirely without merit.

One of the central themes of Les Miserables, one that fires at you over and over, is that you cannot reach a soul by condemning and judging that soul. Label him a thief and he’ll just become more of a thief. Label her a whore and you give her no reason to believe she is, or can be anything more. How many Jean Valjeans or Fantines have you made? How many have I? Yes, it is true that Hollywood and America are drenched in a sex craving, money worshiping worldview that can not work.

I just wonder, though, do you reach a wounded animal by barking at it? Love is the message of Les Miserables is the same as the movies I mentioned above- Love costs. One must be willing to lay down his very life for love, carry other’s burdens, heal other’s wounds. Only then, do we give the sinner the space to change- the way Jean valjean changed.

How many people perish and are damned simply because there is no one who cared for them or prayed for them or even noticed them stirring in the shadows? God forbid you were ever such a one, just needing one hand of compassion and never finding it.

Matthew 25
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which
 is prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat;
 I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked,
 and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye
 visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer, saying,
 Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst,
or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison,
 and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily
 I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto
 one of these least, ye did it not unto me.
46 And these shall go away into eternal
 punishment: but the righteous into eternal life. 

The worst mistake one could make watching Les Miserables, would be to focus too heavily on the characters themselves, and not enough on the message. The characters are you and me- our good sides and our bad. The times we were low and lost and just needed to be seen as more than a whore on the street or the number 24601, the times when we were haughty and called down God to be merciless judge to anyone not meeting with our approval.

The story of Les Miserables is one of crosses, endless painful crosses and of how the outcasts of the world are the very precious souls that lead us to heaven.

January 6th, 2006 was the day I entered my darkness. It was a darkness I could not have hoped to extricate myself from. The prayers and compassion of others, over time, pulled me out of it, as it did my wife, my son and my daughters. Les Miserables uses the French Revolution merely as a backdrop. Hunger and desperation and loneliness and despair are themes as raw and real and fresh in 2013 as they were in France in the 1800s or even Israel in the first century.

The desire is too strong to stone the transgressors we know but who among us is really worthy to cast that stone? If measured by the same standard, how many stones do we deserve cast at us?

In the end, what we take from Les Miserables might be shaped by what we really value and how we really view life and salvation. How do we really view the least of us. Are they really just Les Miserables (the miserable), the hopeless dregs of society? Or are they children of God, our brothers and sisters, called to be cared for by us?

I give Les Miserables an enthusiastic 5 stars and urge you to see it.


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*BEST OF DTB #235* Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival

Posted by John Benko - December 20th, 2012

In participation with the Catholic Bloggers network, here is our article for the Keep Christ in Christmas Carnival.

Over the past couple of years, Deepertruthblog has endeavored to study on what date Jesus Christ was actually born, given that there is so much contradictory conjecture on the matter.

Engaging in this, we decided to keep an open mind and truly follow where the evidence led us. What resulted was a video that we believe makes an almost airtight case that Jesus Christ was, in fact, born on December 25th, 2 BC. Here is the video, should you wish to view it. At first, I basically agreed with those who said that it really doesn’t matter what day He was born on but now I am finding it more and more and more important.

The reason why is because it is becoming more and more fashionable to either claim that the day was chosen to cover a pagan feast or to claim that the whole thing is a complete invention of fantasy.

The birth of Christ is not merely an event commemorated, once a year, by a subjectively chosen date, it is an event around which all of history is centered. Jesus circumcision, and initiation into the Jewish faith happened on the eighth day of His life- January, 1st, 1 BC. All of time is measured by those 8 days, those events that happened before it, during and after.

If Jesus is a figment of our imagination, then Christmas should not be celebrated at all. When members of my own family have reduced this day to a day of presents that will break and trees that will die, it becomes an empty, soulless day of vanity and futility. On the other hand, if Christmas day is a real birthday of a real God-Man who was born to save me from the emptiness and despair of this valley of tears, then the star on my tree reckons a real sight beheld by the Magi and the angel recalls the very same who shattered the darkness of the night sky, electrifying the stunned and lowly shepherds.

Christmas is a day for the latter, not the former and I cannot comprehend the gall of those who would steal our day of light and forge it into their own barren and selfish image.

The kind and benevolent Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop and a model of the love and kindness born this day, has been reduced to a peddler of high end luxury cars in a world where self-indulgence trumps self-sacrifice and the entire message of Christmas has been turned on it’s head.

Joy is not found in a Mercedes. Joy is found in the breaking news that thundered through the chilled air over Bethlehem. As the shepherds stared up, mouths open aghast with their breath visible in cloud like puffs, the bleating of sheep drown out with the roaring of Gabriel’s voice and a celestial choir soaring in song.

Fear not! For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy! For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior who is Messiah and Lord.

It gives me chills to imagine the ecstasy experienced by these men of lowly estate. I have a very hard time believing that even one of them would trade those moments for the prestige of owning a new Benz.

Why should we keep Christ in Christmas? Because how can you have a season that fulfilled the festival of lights without the light itself? How can you have a birthday party without the birthday boy? How can you have a season of hope, joy, truth and redemption without He who is the very fountain of all these things. How can you gaze in wonder at a emblazoned tree and not stand in awe at the author of life who animated it, but for a season.

How true were John’s immortal words that the true light came unto the world but the world did not know Him. He came to His own people but they rejected Him.

To those of you who do not accept Him and, out of stubbornness, will not, I shed a tear of sorrow. Yet, I still ask of you one thing. Create your own day. Call it whatever you wish and give whatever honor to whoever you will. If it be your desire, create a day of nothing where you can heartily and joyously celebrate the day on which nothing happened by anybody, to anybody, or for anybody, for no particular reason. You could commemorate it by walking around blindly in the dark, eating nothing, drinking nothing, feeling nothing and owing nothing. Do all this and more (or less, for that matter). All I ask is that you do it on any day other that December 25th.

Surely, out of the 365 days of the year, you can spare one where those who are filled with sorrow can feel hope, those who filled with guilt can find reconciliation, those who love and believe in Jesus Christ can worship and adore Him as real. As you preach to us of tolerance, how tolerant are you to demand we remove all our creches and stay silent with our hymns and well wishes?

You, who constantly push your secular views on us all of the 365 days, cannot tolerate driving past a park where cold spectators kneel before a small model of a stable marking our sacred day. Will you melt if you overhear someone say ‘Merry Christmas’?

Christmas is OUR day. Get your own and leave us be. We would will that you share in our joy but that is your call. What we will not do, is share in your misery. We the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. We pray that you will one day see it. If you chose not to, know this- we will not let you douse that light. If you try, expect a fight.


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