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Author Topic: Exposing Roman Catholicism
Sa:ji:sdo:de
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Roman Catholicism is a very old religion; and traces its beginning all the way back to the first century. However, age should never be assumed an eo ipso guarantee that a particular belief system is valid; because even while the apostles were still alive, even in their own day, professing Christians were already starting apostate movements. (e.g. Gal 1:6-9, 2Tim 2:15-18, 1John 2:18-19, Jud 1:17-19)

I'm convinced, from years of study and experience, that Rome's version of Christianity is an end product of one or more of those early apostasies.

My mother was Catholic. My aunt and uncle were Catholics, their son is a Catholic, one of my half brothers is now a semi retired Friar. My father-in-law was a Catholic, as was my mother-in-law. Everybody alive on my wife's side are Catholics; her aunts and uncles, and her cousins. My sister-in-law was a "religious" for a number of years before falling out with the hierarchy that controlled her order.

I was baptized an infant into Roman Catholicism and anon enrolled in catechism classes where I went on to complete First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

I have things to thank Rome for. It instilled within me an unshakable confidence in the Holy Bible as a reliable authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice. It also instilled within me a trust in the integrity of Jesus Christ. Very early in my youth; I began to believe that Christ knew what he was talking about and meant what he said.

Oddly, though I was confident that the Bible is a reliable authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice; I had never actually sat down and read it. When I was 24 years old, a co-worker in a metal shop where I worked as a welder in 1968 suggested that I buy my own Bible and see for myself what it says.

Everything went smoothly till I got to the New Testament, and in no time at all I began to realize that Rome does not always agree with the Holy Bible; nor does it always agree with Christ. Well; that was unacceptable with me because I was, and still am, confident that the Holy Bible is a reliable authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, and that Christ knew what he was talking about and meant what he said.

Well; I soon became confronted with a very serious decision. Do I continue to follow Rome or do I defect and switch to following Christ and the Holy Bible?

The decision was a no-brainer due to my confidence in the Holy Bible as a reliable authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice; and due to my trust in Jesus Christ's integrity— that he knew what he was talking about and meant what he said. So I defected, and here I am today 49 years later as of this writing and still a Protestant.

"Man has the right to act in conscience, and in freedom, so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters." (CCC 1782)

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Abba, Father

†. Mark 14:35-36 . . He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him. He said; “Abba, Father"

The bulk of the New Testament is translated from manuscripts penned in koiné Greek. But the word "abba" isn't translated from Greek: in point of fact, it isn't translated at all; it's the actual word; viz: a transliteration.

Abba (ab-bah') is an Aramaic word that means "father" the same as the Greek word pater means father; except that abba means father in a special sense. It's a filial vocative.

For example: when I'm out in the garage working, and my son and his mother are in the kitchen talking about me, the label "dad" merely informs my wife who my son is talking about. But when my son wants to get my attention and calls out: Dad! Where are you? Then "dad" is a filial vocative.

†. Gal 4:6 . . And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of His son into your hearts calling out: Abba! Father.

Gal 4:6 reveals something very important. The spirit of God's son always compels Christ's believing followers to call out to his Father, never to his mother, and the reason for that is actually quite simple. Christ always prays to his Father; never to his mother; ergo: the Father's children exhibit the very same behavior because the spirit of His son compels them to pray like His son.

That, by the way, is a pretty good litmus test. If somebody is comfortable praying to Christ's mom, they give away the fact that they lack the spirit of God's son in their hearts; which means of course that they have yet to undergo adoption into His home.

†. Rom 8:15 . . For you have not received a spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received a spirit of adoption, whereby we call out: Abba! Father.

The Bible instructs Christ's believing followers to pray in the Spirit (Eph 6:18, Jude 1:20). When people pray in the Spirit; they pray in accordance with Mark 14:35-36, Gal 4:6, and Rom 8:15. In other words: they don't pray to Mary and/or angels and/or departed saints; no, they pray to the son's Father.

Bottom line: God's kin should feel an overwhelming compulsion to pray to their adoptive Father without their having to be told to. It should come naturally (so to speak), just as naturally as it came to Jesus. And they should feel an equally overwhelming disregard for praying to somebody else.

So then, people with a habit of praying to Mary, and/or angels, and/or departed saints; obviously have neither the spirit of God's son in their heart, nor the spirit of adoption; and that is a very serious condition to be in.

†. Rom 8:9 . . If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

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Life In The Eucharist vs Life In The Manna

Transubstantiation is defined as the miraculous change by which, according to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox dogma, the Eucharistic elements (a.k.a. species) at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while retaining only the appearances of bread and wine

Even if so-called transubstantiation were actually Christ's body and blood, the elements would need to be consumed only once rather than time after time after time because the kind of life they provide is eternal life.

†. John 6:54 . .Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life

Eternal life is an unnatural quality of life that's superior in every respect to human life. In point of fact; eternal life is divine (1John 1:1-2). Seeing as how eternal life is divine, then it should go without saying that eternal life is impervious to death, decay, and the aging process. Were that not true, then God would have passed away long, long ago.

That being the case then it's necessary to obtain eternal life only once rather than go about attempting to replenish it every so often because eternal life never loses its vitality, nor ever wears out, nor wears off.

†. John 6:49-50 . . Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

Seeing as how eternal life is perpetually impervious to death, decay, and the aging process, then it's eo ipso perpetually impervious to the wages of sin spoken of at Rom 6:23.

FYI: Were it possible to kill eternal life, then it would be possible to kill God. In point of fact, were it possible to kill eternal life, then it would even be possible for God to commit suicide!

NOTE: The grammatical tense of the verb "has" in John 6:54 is present tense rather than future, indicating that when someone consumes Christ's flesh and blood correctly, they are granted eternal life instantly-- no delay and no waiting period.

Suppose what I'm saying turns out to be true. What might the ramifications be for Roman Catholics? Well; first off, the serious ones would immediately begin to question the value of the Church's communion services, and almost certainly become disillusioned with Rome and stop coming to church altogether.

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Sa:ji:sdo:de
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Rote Chanting

†. Heb 4:15-16 . . For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The word "boldly" is actually two words in New Testament Greek-- meta parrhesia (met-ah') (par-rhay-see'-ah). The term means frankness; which Webster's defines as: free, forthright, and sincere expression. Frankness implies lack of shyness or secretiveness or evasiveness due to considerations of tact or expedience; viz: frankness implies unbridled freedom of speech and the liberty to speak your mind without fear of criticism, censure, ridicule, reprisal, shame, disgrace, retribution, or retaliation.

Frank prayer is far and away much better than rote prayer. Rote prayer is really no different than reciting a poem and/or chanting a Hindu mantra. Frank prayer is conversation from the heart, not from memorized oratory. Rote-prayer models like the Our Father, the Act Of Contrition, the Apostles' Creed, and the Hail Mary, are not even close to being acceptable to God. No, on the contrary, those kinds of prayers insult the spirit of adoption; and are inappropriate; viz: it's abnormal for children to speak to their own daddies in a rote format.

†. Gal 4:4-7 . . But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are kin, God sent the spirit of His son into our hearts, calling out; Abba! Father. So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

†. Rom 8:15-16 . . For you have not received a spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received a spirit of adoption, whereby we call out: Abba! Father. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are God's kin.

If I were to meet President Barack Hussein Obama, I would have to make an appointment first; and then stand back and address him as Sir or Mister President. But his two daughters Sasha and Malia can run right up uninvited and cling to his arm because he's their father; and they call him daddy. Now if the Obama's should adopt a little boy some day, he will have all the very same rights and privileges as the Obama's natural born daughters; including a right to inherit. Their new son would have every right to run up uninvited to Mr. Obama yelling: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! and cling to his other arm.

The spirit of adoption imparts to The Father's adoptees the heartfelt bond that enables adopted children to feel the love, and the friendship, and the security feelings that natural-born boys and girls feel with their birth parents. So I'm sure you can see just how ridiculous it would look for God's own precious little adoptees-- having all the God-given liberty in the world to run up and clutch His arm and address Almighty God as their daddy --were to speak to Him in rote. Do you speak to your own parents in rote? No? Then why on earth speak to God like that? The Father is no less a sentient, sensible, and sensitive person than your own parents; and I would appreciate it if Rome would show just a little more respect for His intelligence.

FYI: The teaching to come boldly unto the throne of grace is not a suggestion. The tenor of the language of Heb 4:15-16 is enjoining; in other words: it's a requirement. Therefore people who approach the throne chanting rote are grossly out of harmony with a sensible adoption relationship and behaving like a demented child.

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Purgatory

One of the Church's earliest official proclamations regarding a purgatory was Pope Leo X's Bull of Exurge Domine. In the year 1520 he stated, along with some other things, that death is the termination not of nature but of sin, and this inability to sin makes [purgatorial souls] secure of final happiness.

In other words: according to Leo X, the occupants of a purgatory are unable to sin; consequently they won't commit any new sins while undergoing discipline and purification.

I'm sure it can be seen right off just how essential it would be for souls in a purgatory to be incapable of sinning, because if they weren't, then Rome’s promise in CCC.1030, of an assured eternal salvation for purgatorians, would be a tenuous guarantee indeed since each new sin committed while interred in a purgatory would add time to the penitent’s original sentence; with the very real possibility of potentially snow-balling to the point where they would never be released.

If Pope Leo X's Bull of Exurge Domine is correct as regards the absence of sin in purgatory then I would have to conclude that it's a very peaceful place seeing as how everyone in residence there would be complying with the Sermon On The Mount and all the beatitudes.

One of the things that I would really appreciate in Leo's purgatory is civility. I've participated on better than thirty Christian internet forums beginning in 1997, and one of the things I've noticed is that too many people wearing the Christian label have forgotten all about turning the other cheek. Oh m' gosh you wouldn't believe how ugly, spiteful, and vindictive Christians can be when they put their minds to it!

In Leo's purgatory; there's no cruelty of any kind; for example dishonesty, malicious gossip, demeaning comments, thoughtless remarks, name-calling, toxic rejoinders, discourtesy, chafing, quarrelling, bickering, mockery, relentless ridicule,

. . . fault-finding, nit picking, spite, rivalry, carping, bullying, heckling, intimidation, wiseacre retorts, needling, taunting, biting sarcasm, petty ill will, yelling, ugly insinuations, cold-shouldering, calculated insults, snobbery, elitism, arrogance, subterfuge, antisocial behaviors, sociopaths, crime, war, despotism, oppression, injustice, human rights abuses, character assassination, etc, etc, et al, and ad nauseam.

If Leo is correct. then we can expect that all the Christian virtues, every one of them, are being exemplified 24/7/365 in purgatory.

However, if Leo's Bull is full of bull, then I think we can reasonably expect purgatory's social environment to be little different than what we're accustomed.

Most Catholics regard purgatory as a safety net whence they will be taken in the event they fail to sufficiently measure up to God's standards. However, purgatory is not all that easy to attain. According to the Catechism, CCC 1035, Catholics are just inches from the worst. Should it happen that they leave this life with just one un-absolved mortal sin on the books, just one, they go directly to Hell; no stop-over in a half-way house. No, their trip is a direct flight. Even if they've been a faithful Catholic for 49 years, they will miss the boat just as if they had been a Hindu, or a Muslim, or an atheist. All their years as a faithful Catholic will be stricken from the record and count for naught.

Q: Does the Bible teach a purgatory?

A: Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility; purgatory isn't an obvious, clear-cut, black and white teaching. Rome has appropriated those suggestive passages as their proof texts. However, passages that suggest one thing, can also be made to suggest another, so I do not recommend putting too much stock in Rome's ideas. It is much safer to assume the worst, and then begin preparing yourself for it in the event that purgatory turns out to be a huge mistake. Better to aim too high than too low.

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The Church Below

†. Matt 16:18 . . The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against my church.

At some time during Jonah's nautical adventure, he went to a place called sheol (Jonah 2:3) which is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word haides; translated netherworld in Matt 16:18.

Jonah sited the netherworld at the roots of the mountains. (Jonah 2:7).

Well, needless to say, mountains aren't rooted in the tummies of fish, rather, they're rooted deep in the earth; which is the very same place to which the Lord retired during his demise. (Ps 16:8-10, Matt 12:40, Acts 2:25-31)

The gates that Jesus spoke of are called bars in Jonah's adventure. (Jonah 2:7)

In other words: though Jonah was alive in the fish at some time during his adventure (Jonah 2:2) he wasn't alive the whole time because people don't enter the netherworld as whole men, rather, they enter it as dead men. In point of fact, Jonah 2:7 speaks of his resurrection.

The point is: Though a percentage of Jesus' sheep will have to pass away and part company with their body at some point in their lives, none of them will stay disembodied forever.

†. John 6:39 . . This is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what He gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.

†. John 6:40 . . For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.

†. John 6:44 . . No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.

†. John 11:25 . . I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

Neither Matt 16:18, nor any of the other passages I quoted allow for losses. In other words; were the Roman Catholic Church the church that Jesus spoke of in Matt 16:18, then no Catholics, not even one, would ever be in danger of the second and final death spoken of at Rev 20:10-15.

But of course that is not the case because when Catholics pass away with un-absolved mortal sins on the books, they go straight to the netherworld's infernal zone where there's of course no chance of escape.

CCC 1035 . .The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

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The Pillar and Ground of the Truth

†. 1Tim 3:15 . . If I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God; the pillar and foundation of truth.

It's a very common error among Catholics to look at that verse and let their minds see the church as the pillar and foundation of truth rather than God. But that would make no sense at all since the church of the living God consists of mortal human beings plagued with human nature and a natural propensity to twist the truth rather than preserve it.

1Tim 3:15 is saying that if there were no real live God of out there somewhere, then Christianity would be a silly myth. It's only the reality of God that makes so-called "truth" to be actually valid and reliable.

FYI: The Bible is highly recommended by the Church.

"The Scriptures are sacred and canonical because: Having been written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and as such have been handed down to the Church" (Vatican Council; Sess. III, c. ii)

"In its pages we recognize His voice, we hear a message of deep significance for every one of us. Through the spiritual dynamism and prophetic force of the Bible, the Holy Spirit spreads His light and His warmth over all men, in whatever historical or sociological situation they find themselves." (Paulus PP VI, from the Vatican, September 18, 1970)

So then; according to that Vatican Council and to Paulus PP VI; when I listen to the Bible; I'm listening to the voice of God, and I'm also listening to that which the Holy Spirit utilizes to spread His light and His warmth over all men.

Ironically, it was by listening to the voice of God on the pages of the Bible that the Holy Spirit led me to part company with Rome.

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Sa:ji:sdo:de
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Mother(s) of God

CLAIM: To say that Mary is not the mother of God is to deny that Jesus is God.

RESPONSE: I learned in Biology that like reproduces like; viz: bears give birth to bears, opossums give birth to opossums, coyotes give birth to coyotes, and moles give birth to moles. So then, in order for a woman to give birth to God, she herself would have to be God too. But since Mary was a Jewish human being, then her offspring was a Jewish human being. That's just simple biological genetics.

The angel who announced Jesus' birth, informed his mother that her son would not be God, rather, God's progeny, and David's too.

†. Luke 1:31 . .The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.

So then, if Mary was the mother of God, then David was the father of God; and so on all the way back to Adam. Ergo: every paternal father in Jesus' biological lineage would a father of God, and every maternal mother in his biological lineage all the way back to Eve would be a mother of God; so that Mary would not have a lock on the distinction.

In point of fact, it is very easy to prove that Eve had a hand in bringing God's son into the world of men.

†. Gen 3:15 . . 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.

Just about everybody on both sides of the aisle agrees that prediction refers to Christ.

FYI: Seeing as how Eve was derived from Adam, then Adam was first in the long line of Jesus' many paternal fathers.

†. Luke 3:38 . .The son of Adam

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The Rosary

The beads of a rosary are little more than page upon page of indifferent sing-song lyrics rather than the candor commanded by Heb 4:16. So then rosaries are in essence mantras repeated over and over and over again, which is a clear violation of not only Heb 4:16, but also Christ's God-given instructions.

†. Matt 6:7-9 . . In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

OBJECTION: Jesus prayed a third time in the garden of Gethsemane, saying the exact same words again.

RESPONSE: Christ's prayer with his Father was an honest conversation; and yours should be too.

†. Heb 4:16 . . Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The Greek word for "boldly" is parrhesia (par-rhay-see'-ah) which means all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, and/or confidence.

Rote prose is not what I call forthright, nor blunt, nor out-spoken, nor confident. It's actually not much different than mindlessly chanting Hindu mantras over and over and over again and/or reading the lines of a script like a Hollywood actor. It's just as ridiculous as bobbing back and forth while reading from a siddur like a Jew at the Wailing Wall.

If people calling themselves Christians don't have enough command of their native tongue to speak up and tell God exactly what's on their minds-- clearly, coherently, candidly, intelligently, succinctly, and to the point --then maybe they ought to go back to school.

I appeal not only to your reason, but also to your sensibilities. Suppose the door bell rang one day and when you opened up-- yikes! --it was God himself in person! Would you welcome Him into your home by reading from a missal and/or chanting rote prose; or would you greet Him as you do real visitors? Well, the Bible's God is real; so treat Him with the courtesy and respect that His intelligence deserves if you expect Him to reciprocate and treat you with courtesy and respect in return.

Do you speak to your friends, your associates, your spouse, your domestic partner, your significant other, your doctor, your dentist, supermarket cashiers, or the cops by repeating the same thing over and over again? Of course not. They would write you off as one in desperate need of therapy if you did. Then why would anyone think it makes sense to speak to God by saying the same thing over and over again every tyime the approach Him: every day, every week, every month, and every year?

Don't you think He looks upon rote chanters as mental cases when they do that? Of course He does; who wouldn't? How would you like it if everybody spoke to you like that? Well, He doesn't like it either. God is far more intelligent than anybody you could possibly name and rote chanters are treating Him like a totem pole. The Bible's God is a king who deserves far more respect than a US President yet people are speaking to Him as if rewinding and replaying a tape recorder rather than the ultimate Sovereign that He is.

Don't ever treat Christ's father like some sort of sounding board. Not even Forrest Gump would appreciate being spoken to in rote, and God's IQ is way higher than Forrest's; so how do you suppose He feels about being addressed in rote. The Bible's God is a sentient, sensible person; and we all need to show some respect for His intelligence. I guarantee He will be most grateful for your regard.

A very serious flaw with rosaries is the number of mantras devoted, not to God, but to a woman-- Jesus' mom --which is in direct opposition to the spirit of God's son, and the spirit of adoption.

†. Rom 8:15-17 . . For you have not received a spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received a spirit of adoption, whereby we call out: Abba! Father.

†. Gal 4:6 . . And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of His son into your hearts calling out: Abba! Father.

When people are comfortable calling out to Christ's mother, instead of his Father, it can only be because they have neither the spirit of adoption, nor the spirit of His son, in their hearts.

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Mary's Selection & Christ's Tribal Identity

ASSERTION: Mary was selected to be Christ's mom because she was a wonderful, ultra pious human being.

RESPONSE: First and foremost; Christ's mother had to meet an irrevocable prerequisite that had nothing at all to do with her personality. She had to be David's biological progeny because Christ in turn had to be David's biological progeny in order to qualify as a candidate to inherit his throne.

That prerequisite was chipped in stone way back in the Old Testament by a promise that God made to David as per 2Sam 7:12-13 and Ps 132:11, cf. Acts 2:30.

ASSERTION: Mary was a kinswoman (or cousin) of Elizabeth who was a daughter of Aaron; a man of the tribe of Levi rather than David's tribe Judah. That makes Mary a Levitical woman instead of David's kin.

RESPONSE: Levi and Judah were Leah's biological progeny (Gen 35:23) so Elizabeth and Mary are related to each other via a common biological grandmother.

Q: So what are you saying? That the "Holy Mary, Mother Of God" was merely a baby mill?

A: Women have been milling babies since the very beginning-- it is one of their God-given purposes in life; there's no shame in it.

†. Gen 3:16 . .Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children

†. Gen 3:20 . .And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she became the mother of all living.

Rome has so mystified Christ's mom to the point where she's no longer a real-life Jewish woman with thoughts and feelings of her own. And for somebody to be ticked off because I called her a baby mill is both an oxymoron and a non sequitur.

Perhaps my critics would prefer that men have the periods, and the bloating, and the pregnancies, and the deliveries, and the means for breast feeding. Christ's mom had all that, and I'm not even going to get into feminine hygiene and the ladies' room.

I demand that Rome bring Christ's mom back to reality: de-mystify Joseph's wife, and make her a human being again like she was to begin with.

ASSERTION: Inheritance was passed only through the male, whose "seed" (viz: his male sperm) was thought to contain the entire offspring. The mother's body only provided the nutrients if she was "fertile" or not if she was "barren."

RESPONSE: A woman's egg qualifies as biblical seed. Eve had seed (Gen 3:15), Hagar had seed (Gen 16:10) and Rebecca had seed (Gen 24:60). So that biblically, human seed is not only a male's sperm cell, but also a female's ovum.

Besides; inspiration clearly, and without ambiguity, testifies that Christ was produced by the tribe of Judah (Heb 7:14) and specifically by David (Acts 2:30, Rom 1:3)

FYI: David was announced as Jesus' father before the lad was even conceived, thus indicating that Joseph had nothing to do with Jesus' primary lineage to David. That being the case, then Jesus' primary lineage to David was via his birth mother. Ergo: Jesus wasn't David's adopted progeny; no, he was David's biological progeny.

†. Luke 1:32 . .The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David

Christ had to be David's biological progeny in order to qualify as a candidate to inherit his throne. That prerequisite was chipped in stone way back in the Old Testament by a promise that God made to David as per 2Sam 7:12-13 and Ps 132:11, cf. Acts 2:30.

I should explain something about women.

Adam was a discreet creation put together directly from the earth's dust. Not so Eve. She was constructed from a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's body. Thus Adam was a child of the earth while Eve was a child of the man-- she wasn't a second, discrete species of h.sapiens.

Eve was biologically just as much Adam as Adam except for gender because she was Adam's flesh (Gen 2:22-23). In other words: Eve was the flip side of the same biological coin. According to Gen 5:2, Eve is Adam the same as Adam is Adam.

So then, any human life on earth biologically descending by Eve-- whether virgin conceived or normally conceived --is biologically just as much Adam as Adam because the source of its mother's flesh is Adam's flesh.

By the same token, any human life on earth biologically produced by David's biological female progeny is David's biological progeny-- whether virgin conceived or normally conceived makes no difference because the source of its mother's flesh is David's flesh.

Now; unless someone can prove beyond a shadow of any sensible doubt that Mary wasn't biologically related to David, then rational thinking has to conclude that any, and all, human life produced by Mary's body was biologically related to David.

But Christ's biological lineage goes back quite a bit further than David; for example;

†. Gen 3:15 . . 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.

Just about everybody on both sides of the aisle agrees that prediction refers to Christ; ergo: if Christ is Eve's offspring, then he is Adam's too.

†. Luke 3:38 . .The son of Adam

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Infant Baptism

Christ spoke for God.

†. John 3:34 . . For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon him without measure or limit.

†. John 8:26 . . He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.

†. John 8:28 . . I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me.

†. John 12:49 . . I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

†. John 14:24 . .The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.

†. Heb 1:1-2 . . In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His son

It is his Father's wishes that people heed Christ.

†. Matt 17:5 . .While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is My beloved son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to him!

It's risky to ignore the words that Jesus Christ spoke for God.

†. John 12:48 . . He who rejects me, and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

According to the words that Jesus Christ spoke for God: it is his Father's wishes that non believers be evangelized first and baptized afterwards (Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16). Seeing as how infants are de facto incapable of believing, then their baptism has to be held off until they're old enough to understand.

There are Christian churches out there who've got the cart before the horse and by doing so declare themselves Christ's opponents.

†. John 15:14 . .You are my friends if you do as I wish.

And they don't think much of him much neither.

†. John 14:15 . . If you love me, you will comply with what I command.

†. John 14:21 . .Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.

†. John 14:23-24 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

I've noted in my many years of Bible study that there are two things that God values very highly. One is honesty, and the other is loyalty; which Webster's defines as unswerving in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign or government.

†. Luke 6:46-49 . .Why do you call me lord and master and do not do what I say?

. . . Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

. . . But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.

Churches that circumvent Christ's instructions as per Matt 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16 by baptizing infants are not only disloyal; but they are also akin to pagans practicing dark arts and/or worshipping Shiva and Vishnu.

†. 1Sam 15:23 . . Rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.

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Half-Baked Communion Services

†. John 6:53 . . Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.

When I was growing up a young Catholic boy back in the decade of the 1950s, we were given the bread at communion, but never the wine. In other words; in accordance with the principles of transubstantiation; we ate Jesus' flesh without his blood.

Well; Jesus' recipe for "life within you" consists of both his flesh and his blood. Therefore, none of my communions counted because they were incomplete. I obtained no life from them: none of them; not a single one. I might just as well have used the host to make a peanut butter and jelly hor d'oeuvre for all the good it did me without the wine element.

It is not only necessary to include the wine element in order to obtain life, but it is also necessary to include it in order to attain to Jesus' resurrection.

†. John 6:53 . . Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

So then, according to the principles of transubstantiation, I not only lacked eternal life due to my total, 100% lack of Jesus' blood; but my afterlife future was in grave peril too.

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Apostolic Succession

Roman Catholicism has constructed for itself a papal tree showing its own succession all the way back to Peter. However, age should never be assumed an eo ipso guarantee that a particular belief system is valid; because even while the apostles were still alive, even in their own day, professing Christians were already starting apostate movements. (e.g. Gal 1:6-9, 2Tim 2:15-18, 1John 2:18-19, Jud 1:17-19)

Those early apostates could easily show that their own hierarchical successions connected to Peter; who was actually just a few steps away. In fact, their distance from Peter was very short, shorter by more than 1,900 years than it is today. I sincerely believe there's cause to suspect the Roman Church to be the end product of some of those early apostate movements.

OBJECTION: That couldn't be because certain passages in the apostles' epistles exposed the errors of the time so that people wouldn't follow the apostates.

RESPONSE: The epistles weren't sent out to the world at large; like as if there were millions of copies run off the presses and shipped out to news stands, television stations, radio stations, and book stores in every city and country. No, the epistles were hand-written letters sent by courier only to designated recipients. The world at large didn't have a clue, nor would it have cared anyway even if it had access to those letters.

And anyway; just because those early apostates were "exposed", do you really think that stopped them from proliferating?

Apostate movements grow at astounding rates in spite of the now wide-spread availability of New Testaments. For example, Mormonism has grown from just one man in 1820 to approximately 9.37 million in 2015; and that figure doesn't even factor in the numbers of Mormons who have lived and died during the 195 years since the Mormon Church was founded. Those 9.37 million Mormons are those of today, not the past. Mormonism's belief system incorporates the New Testament, including every one of those epistles I referenced above. In point of fact, the Mormon Church offers free Bibles to anybody who requests one.

The Watchtower Society (a.k.a. Jehovah's Witnesses) has grown from one man in 1881 to approximately 8.2 million in 2015; and that figure doesn't factor in the numbers of Watchtower Society members who have come and gone during the 134 years since the movement began. The Society bases its Christology on the New Testament.

The Roman papacy has had its humorous moments. It's a historical fact that at one time there were no less than three different "infallible" popes all in power at the same time.

In the 14th century a division occurred in the Church of Rome, and the two factions vied for superiority. One faction officially elected Pope Urban VI as the infallible Head of the Church, while the other party elected Pope Clement VII as the infallible Head of the Church.

That put two infallible Popes in power opposing each other. Pope Urban VI was succeeded by Boniface IX in 1389 and later Pope Gregory XII. Pope Clement VII-- called, historically, the Anti-Pope --was succeeded by Pope Benedictine XIII in 1394. Then in 1409 a third party of reactionaries, claiming to represent the true Church, elected Pope Alexander V as head of the Roman hierarchy. Voilà. A triune papacy.

Then, in June, 1409, the infallible Pope Alexander V officially excommunicated the other two infallible Popes, and gradually the incident was resolved. For an interesting discussion of this historical account see the Encyclopedia Britannica under the article on "The Papacy".

That, however, was not the only time when the Roman Church had more than one infallible head. In 1058 Pope Benedict X was elected, but another faction elected Pope Nicholas II. The feud between these two opposing infallible Popes resulted in the expulsion of Pope Benedict and the selection of Nicholas II as supreme head of the Church.

What is so ironic about Rome's past is that modern Catholicism is constantly going on about Protestant schism while its own infallible papacy was so bitterly divided in the past.

NOTE: Were the Holy Ghost really leading Rome in its selection of Popes; there would never be a divided vote when the college of cardinals meets in conclave. Popes are elected based upon a 2/3 majority rather than unanimous approval. Makes me wonder who the Holy Ghost is leading: the minority vote or the majority; or quite possibly neither.

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Rome's Savior

†. Luke 2:8-12 . .And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

. . . But the angel said to them; "Don't be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a savior has been born to you; he is Messiah, the Lord."

Not every Christian denomination heralds a Xmas message that qualifies as "good news of great joy". Several announce a version that is neither good nor joyful at all; but is actually bad news indeed because their message-- although adequately announcing the reality of divine retribution --fails to tell of a guaranteed fail-safe, sin-proof, human nature-proof, Ten Commandments-proof, bad behavior-proof, apostasy-proof, reprobate-proof, back-sliding proof, God-proof, Devil-proof rescue from the wrath of God. Roman Catholicism, the very centerpiece and public image of Christianity, can't even guarantee safety for its own Popes nor its outstanding nuns.

Friday, April 8, 2005; millions of Catholics around the world-- including Cardinals, Bishops, and Monsignors --prayed for Karol Wojtyla during his funeral. Let me point out something that should go without saying: if someone has already gone on to eternal life; is it really necessary to continue praying for them? Of course not. They'd be home free. The millions of Catholics left behind would be the ones in need of prayer; not Mr. Wojtyla. But the sad reality is: no Catholic, not even a Pope, knows for sure where they're going when they cross over to the other side.

If Popes and super duper nuns like Mother Teresa are in danger of missing out on eternal life, then what "great joy" does news like Rome's gospel have to offer John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer? None, no joy at all. The best they can do is cross their fingers and pray for the best while in the backs of their minds dreading the worst.

The angel announced the birth of a savior. Webster's defines a "savior" as one who rescues. You've seen examples of rescuers-- lifeguards, firemen, cops, emergency medical teams, Coast Guard units, snow patrols, and mountain rescue teams. Rescuers typically save people who are facing imminent death and/or grave danger and utterly helpless to do anything about it.

Of what real benefit would the rescuer of Luke 2:8-12 really be to anybody if he couldn't guarantee a fail-safe rescue from the wrath of God? He'd be of no benefit to anybody. No; he'd be an incompetent ninny that nobody could rely on.

But, if a rescuer were to be announced who guaranteed anybody who wants it, a completely free of charge, no strings attached, guaranteed fail-safe, sin-proof, human nature-proof, Ten Commandments-proof, bad behavior-proof, apostasy-proof, reprobate-proof, back-sliding proof, God-proof, Devil-proof rescue from the wrath of God, and full-time protection from future retribution; wouldn't that qualify as good news of great joy? I think just about everybody concerned about ending up in the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:10-15 would have to agree with me that news like that would not only most certainly be good; but also cause for celebration, and for ecstatic happiness.

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Patron Saints

Paul said that things written in the past, were written for our instruction (Rom 15:4). Here's a case in point.

†. Gen 28:20-21 . . Jacob then made a vow, saying: If God remains with me, if He protects me on this journey that I am making, and gives me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safe to my father's house-- Yhvh shall be my god.

What did Jacob say? Yhvh wasn't his god up to that point? Not necessarily. It wasn't uncommon in those days for people to dabble in other gods right along with Yhvh. The practice was later strictly forbidden by the first of the Ten Commandments.

†. Ex 20:1-3 . . And God spoke all these words: I am Yhvh your god, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods in my sight.

"in my sight" is a combination of two Hebrew words that essentially refer to Yhvh's competitors. In other words: it is not the God's wishes to have a market share of His people's devotion; no, He'll settle for nothing less than 100%. (cf. Mark 12:28-30)

†. Ex 20:5 . . I, Yhvh thy God, am a jealous God

Webster's defines "jealous" as intolerant of rivalry and/or unfaithfulness.

Jacob's uncle Laban was notorious for polytheism. On the one hand, he recognized Yhvh as a legitimate deity (Gen 24:50, Gen 31:29) while on the other hand he harbored a collection of patron gods in his home (Gen 31:19, Gen 31:30). In the ancient Semitic world; patron gods were equivalent to Catholicism's patron saints-- objects of devotion; venerated as special guardians, intercessors, protectors, and/or supporters; viz: alternate sources of providence.

Jacob's vow reflects a personal decision of his own volition to make Yhvh the sole source of his providence to the exclusion of all the other gods that people commonly looked to in his day. So Gen 28:20-21 could be paraphrased to read like this:

"If God remains with me, if He protects me on this journey that I am making, and gives me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safe to my father’s house-- Yhvh shall be my only patron."

So, although I didn't worship Jesus' mom and the patron saints during the 24 years I was a Catholic from infancy, nevertheless, I practiced polytheism just like uncle Laban because of my devotion to God's competitors rather than narrowing the field down to just the one benefactor like Jacob did.

Anyway; that was a very important milestone for Jacob; and it's a very tall obstacle for John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer to overcome because most of them feel far more comfortable looking to after-market providers such as Christ's mom and departed saints rather than looking to God only.

Q: What about Rev 5:8 where it talks about the prayers of the saints. Doesn't that indicate they pray for us?

A: Even if Rev 5:8 did indicate that departed saints pray for people down here on the earth, it doesn't eo ipso indicate it's okay for people on the earth to reciprocate with prayers either to them or for them.

However, when that passage in Revelation is read with care, it's easily seen that the prayers in question are not the active prayers of saints; but rather, archived prayers.

†. Rev 5:8 . . And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

You see, the bowls in that passage are already full; strongly suggesting that those particular prayers were prayed in this life; not in the next; and it also indicates that no new prayers will fit in the bowls because they are already to capacity.

The details of the prayers in those bowls aren't stated; so it would be purely conjecture to allege they're intercessory prayers. It's likely the current prayers of departed saints are for justice and vindication (e.g. Rev 6:10).

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The Father vs. The Mother

†. Luke 11:1-2 . . One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him: Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. He said to them: When you pray, say: Mother of God

There are no instances of the Lord and Master of New Testament Christianity-- nor of any of the inspired New Testament writers --either commanding, teaching, encouraging, leading by example, or even so much as suggesting --that prayer be made to celestial beings and/or afterlife human beings; and for good reason. Christ, a devoted, observant Jew, never prayed to celestial beings, nor to afterlife human beings, nor to any deities other than the one true God; which is what all Jews are commanded.

†. Deut 6:13 . . The Lord, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear. You shall not follow other gods, such as those of the surrounding nations, lest the wrath of the Lord, your God, flare up against you and he destroy you from the face of the land; for the Lord, your God, who is in your midst, is a jealous God.

Webster's defines "jealous" as intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness. Christ was fully aware of his Father's feelings about rivals competing for His people's affections.

†. Mark 12:28-30 . . One of the scribes asked him: Which is the first of all the commandments? Jesus replied, "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

You see; when somebody is devoted to the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength, then there is nothing left of their heart, soul, mind, and strength for a rival to share.

If Christ's mother were really, and truly, a mediatrix between himself and humanity, it would certainly be developed in the New Testament because that would be a really big deal; but it is nowhere even so much as hinted. Therefore, in accordance with Luke 11:1-2, Deut 6:13, and Mark 12:28-30, conscientious Christians must-- if for no other reason than respect for God's feelings --regard prayers directed to a celestial female eminence as offensive to Christ's Father.

In looking back at my years as a Catholic youth, I cannot recall catechism instructors ever once telling me that God is sensitive; viz: that He has feelings and/or that His feelings get hurt. Maybe they said something about it and I wasn't paying attention; it's just that I don't recall.

Point being: God has given Christ's believing followers a protocol for associating with Himself; and I am of the very strong opinion that His feelings get hurt when Christ's supposed followers ignore the protocol and attempt to circumvent it.

NOTE: The objection is often made that seeing as how it's okay to ask fellow Christians on earth to pray for one another, it should be okay to ask those who have passed on to pray for us.

The argument is based upon Jas 5:16 where it's said; "The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful."

The logic of the argument states: Who are more righteous than people in heaven to pray for us?

Well, of course that's just the kind of clever sophistry that Eph 4:11-14 addresses because nowhere in the entire Bible are Christ's believing followers instructed to attempt contact with folks in the afterlife.

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Hailing Mary

POSIT: The Hail Mary is a biblical prayer. God gave it to us. It's in the Bible in black and white.

RESPONSE: Some co-workers of mine who soldiered in Viet Nam during the decade of the 70's, related to me how they were detailed to go out into the jungle and tally the number of VC dead so that high command could evaluate the effectiveness of heavy bombing runs. The enemy's bodies were often ripped to pieces making the dead difficult to count; so what the guys did was scrounge up enough body parts to assemble a John Doe; then they could enter the man they assembled into the log as a dead soldier. That came to be known as a kick-count.

What Rome has done is cobble up an alleged biblical prayer by piecing together excerpts; in effect, scrounging up a kick-count prayer.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the "Hail Mary" is not an in-the-Bible prayer, but is a developed prayer; and it was developed over a number of years.

Here's the entire text of the so-called Hail Mary.

Hail [Mary] full of grace, the Lord is with thee,
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb [Jesus].
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

"Hail, the Lord is with thee" was plagiarized from Gabriel's greeting at Luke 1:28 (Douay-Rheims version).

"[Mary] full of grace" is fabricated.

"blessed art thou amongst women" was plagiarized from Elizabeth's greeting at Luke 1:42 (Douay-Rheims version).

"blessed is the fruit of thy womb" was also plagiarized from Elizabeth's greeting at Luke 1:42 (Douay-Rheims version).

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." is stated by the official Catechism of the Council of Trent to have been fabricated by the Church itself.

Obviously then, portions of the Hail Mary, in its official form, are borrowed from the Bible; but the body text of the prayer itself, is not actually in the Bible; viz: rather than God-given, it's a man-made supplication concocted from plagiarized excerpts; with an ending invocation composed entirely from somebody's imagination.

Some Catholics have attempted to preserve their self respect by claiming that the Hail Mary isn't a prayer, rather, it's a conversation. However, according to the Catholic Catechism, the Hail Mary is very definitely a prayer.

"This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria: Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]: the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer." (
CCC 2676)

Other sources concur; for example:

"The Hail Mary (sometimes called the "Angelical salutation", sometimes, from the first words in its Latin form, the "Ave Maria") is the most familiar of all the prayers used by the Universal Church in honor of our Blessed Lady. (Catholic Encyclopedia)

What's so bad about a prayer like the Hail Mary? Well; for starters, it fails to comply with a very straight forward command to pray from the heart rather than from a missive.

†. Heb 4:15-16 . . For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

The Greek word for "confidently" is parrhesia (par-rhay-see'-ah) which means all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, and/or candor.

Rote prose like the Hail Mary, is not what I call forthright, nor blunt, nor out-spoken, nor candid. It's actually not much different than mindlessly chanting a Hindu mantra over and over and over again and/or reading the lines of a script like a Hollywood actor. It's really no different than bobbing back and forth while reading from a siddur like one of those Jews at the Wailing Wall; but worst of all: it's a blatantly disobedient way to pray.

†. Matt 6:7-8 . . In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

The Greek word for "babble" is battologeo (bat-tol-og-eh'-o) which essentially means to stutter, i.e. (by implication) to prate tediously.

The Greek word for "many words" is polulogia (pol-oo-log-ee'-ah) which means loquacity, i.e. prolixity.

Webster's defines loquacity as the quality or state of being very talkative, and prolixity is defined as unduly long and/or drawn out.

In other words; when you speak to God via the priest spoken of in Heb 4:15-16, get down to business and tell Him exactly what's on your mind instead of wasting His time and attention on superfluous rhetoric and/or mindless rote.

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God's Hands

CLAIM: I am a Catholic! Therefore, I am safe and secure in God's hands.

RESPONSE: In respect to safety and security, it is very easy to prove for a fact that Catholics are NOT in God's hands.

Does the claimant have a guaranteed fail-safe, sin-proof, human nature-proof, Ten Commandments-proof, bad behavior-proof, apostasy-proof, reprobate-proof, back-sliding proof, Devil-proof pass to heaven? No, they don't; nor would they dare to say they do.

Let me ask the claimant: Is there the slightest possibility that you, as a Roman Catholic, might go to Hell? Is there even the very teensiest possibility that you as a Roman Catholic might not make it to Heaven? I already know from the Catechism that your answer is supposed to be YES to both of those questions or otherwise you would fall within the jurisdiction of a very grave ecclesiastical curse.

"If anyone says that he will for certain, with an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance even to the end, unless he shall have learned this by a special revelation, let him be anathema." (Council of Trent Session 6, Chapter 16, Canon 16)

In addition, according to the Catechism, (CCC 1035), Catholics are just inches from the worst, because if it should happen that they leave this life with just one(1) un-absolved mortal sin, they go directly to Hell and eternal suffering; no stop-over in a purgatory. No, their trip is a direct flight. Even if they've been a faithful Catholic for 49 years, they will miss the boat just as if they had been a Hindu, or a Muslim, or an atheist. All their years as a faithful Catholic will be stricken from the record and count for naught.

Since the claimant, as a Catholic, is living day by day in imminent danger of eternal suffering; then then there is just no way that they are in God's hands in regards to safety and security as per the statement below:

†. John 10:27-29 . . My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.

Every Catholic with whom I've discussed this issue is of the very sincere opinion that Christ's sheep can take themselves out his hand and out of his Father's hand. However; not only did Christ say that his own will "never" perish, but he also said that "no one" is able to pluck them out of either his own hand or out of his Father's hand. That would certainly preclude the possibility of one of the sheep taking themselves out of either Christ's or his Father's hand; unless of course the claimant is arrogant enough to honestly believe that the sheep have enough strength to overpower God.

Now; there is a way to be in God's hands that is not so good.

†. Heb 10:30-31 . .We know the one who said: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” and again: “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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Generosity vs Achievement

†. Php 2:12-13 . . So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.

Rome's interpretation of that passage pretty much echoes Santa Claus' business practices. For example the lyrics from the classic jingle: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

"You better watch out, You better not cry, Better not pout, I'm telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list, And checking it twice; Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice: Santa Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake!"

There's no generosity in that song; none at all. Nor is there any altruism, nor charity, nor any kindness. There are no gifts in Santa's bag; only merit awards for those who prove themselves worthy to deserve them.

Stay with me; I have a point to make.

CLAIM: Regarding eternal assurance, and your apparent view that Catholics do not think they are saved, please consider the official position of the Church:

"By grace alone, through faith in Christ's saving work, and by no merit of our own are we called by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who equips and calls us to good works."

RESPONSE: There is no salvation in that position. The quote is basically speaking of being called, not to salvation, but to good works. In a nutshell: the Church believes that Christ's crucifixion makes it possible to be spared the wrath of God by means of good works.

CLAIM: While I and other faithful Catholics can feel comfortable in our salvation at this very moment, it is presumptuous and arrogant to assume your eternal destiny before the end of our earthly life. Maybe you should think a bit more about working out your salvation, in fear and trembling..

RESPONSE: That claim corroborates the Church's official position that Christ's crucifixion makes it possible to be saved by good works; while at the same time failing to state exactly how many good works are necessary to succeed. Jehovah's Witnesses believe pretty much the very same thing.

A good-works salvation is diametrically opposed to a grace-salvation; and turns what is supposed to be a kind-hearted freebie into a merit award.

†. Eph 2:8-9 . . God spared you by His benevolence when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it's a gift from God. Salvation is not compensation for the good things we have done; so none of us can boast about it.

†. Titus 3:4-8 . . He spared us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy; by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs to an anticipation of eternal life.

By failing to understand that a gift is a gratuity— which Webster's defines as something given voluntarily beyond recognition and/or obligation —Rome subsequently failed to properly interpret Phlp 2:12. People who insist upon a merit-based salvation have not yet believed the gospel; because Paul said that God's benevolence is available "when you believe" and by no other method.

Working in order to earn one's rescue from the wrath of God insults the spirit of altruism, and places God's benevolence in the category of an obligation.

†. Rom 4:4-5 . . Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who acquits the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

†. John 4:10-14 . . If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, "Give me a drink" you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

. . .The woman said to him: Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?

. . . Jesus answered and said to her: Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

†. Rev 22:17 . .The Spirit and the bride say, "Come" And let him who hears say, "Come" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

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Absolution

†. 1Pet 1:22 . . Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart.

Some Christians truly feel that the purification of one’s soul is transient; viz: the moment they leave a confessional their souls begin getting soiled all over again. No; according to John 13:10, that would be a matter pertaining to one's feet rather than their soul.

Peter is not talking about that. No, his focus is upon something far more effective than a confessional. He’s talking about a one-time purification, rather than a weekly routine; and it’s permanent too rather than a temporary expedient.

†. Heb 10:11 . . Day after day every Levitical priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

. . . Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by just that one sacrifice alone he has made perfect forever those who have been set apart for God.

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The Conscience

There are no sacrifices, nor any atonements, in the Aaronic qorbanot system stipulated for the human conscience; no, none at all.

†. Heb 9:9 . . For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them.

The koiné Greek word for "conscience" in that passage is suneidesis (soon-i' day-sis). It means perception; which Webster's defines as the way you think about, or understand, someone or something. For example:

†. Gen 3:22 . .Then the LORD God said: See. The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.

The man's knowledge of good and evil at that point in time wasn't God-given. In other words: due to his disobedience in the matter of the forbidden fruit, humanity lost its God-given moral compass and became its own moral compass, i.e. man's moral compass is now humanistic instead of divine.

According to Rom 2:14-15 it's possible to debate with one's humanistic conscience, and according to 1Tim 4:1-2, it's possible to cauterize it. But the better way to deal with one's humanistic conscience is to simply have it absolved.

NOTE: The NLT's word "cleanse" isn't translated from a Greek word because there is no Greek word for it in the manuscripts; hence: it's been penciled in; viz: it's an editorial insertion. The KJV, NAS, NASB, RSV, and the Catholic Bible insert "perfect". The NIV inserts "clear".

So one could conceivably insert any old word they cared to in that passage. Personally I would like to see Heb 9:9 translated like this:

"For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to address the consciences of the people who bring them."

In other words: the sacrificial system in the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy only addresses people's words and actions; while leaving their humanistic perception of good and evil ignored.

Human perception is produced by a three-pound lump of flabby organic tissue housed within our bony little skulls. It's not all that difficult to control one's words and actions; but I have yet to encounter someone who can exercise 100% control over their brain. It just can't be done. Our brains literally have a mind of their own; and we are prisoners of it.

Paul once complained that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelt no good thing Well; his "flesh" refers to the meaty parts of his body; which of course included his brain. That portion of himself had a "will" of its own, over which Paul had absolutely no control; ergo: he referred to his flesh as "this body of death" and referred to himself as a "wretched man".

†. Heb 10:1-4 . .The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-- not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

. . . If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The focus of that verse is Yom Kippur. It's kind of a humorous ritual because the people are not assembled for the purpose of obtaining an atonement, but rather, for the purpose of beating themselves over the head for past sins.

In other words: the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy never, ever, allows people to stop feeling guilty. Anyone who attempts to stop feeling guilty gets slammed with a curse.

†. Deut 27:26 . . Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.

My point is: The Roman sacrament of reconciliation can't obtain absolution for the conscience any more than Aaronic sacrifices can; ergo: Catholicism's reconciliatory system is really no better a reconciliatory system than Judaism's. Though both systems address people's words and actions, neither address people's natural perception of good and evil.

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Unpardonable Sins

According to
CCC 1035, when people die with even just one(1) un-absolved mortal sin to their credit, they go directly to Hell and eternal suffering-- no stopover in a purgatory; it's a direct flight.

So then, if somebody has been a faithful Catholic for say, 45 years, and then dies with just that one(1) un-absolved mortal sin on the books, then those 45 years were all for nothing. Those faithful years are stricken from the record and they face eternity really no better off than if they'd been an Atheist, a Hindu, or a Muslim all their lives: and according to the Catechism; there is no absolution in the afterlife.

"It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death." (
CCC 393)

Just how difficult is it to commit a Bible-grade mortal sin? It's a piece of cake. All that the offender has to do is already know in advance that the act they are about to perform is forbidden.

†. Num 15:30-31 . .But the person, be he citizen or stranger, who acts defiantly reviles Yhvh; that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has spurned the word of Yhvh and violated His commandment; that person shall be cut off-- he bears his guilt.

This means mortal sins cannot be done inadvertently. A person who commits a mortal sin is one who knows that their act is wrong, but chooses to defy God's wishes and go through with it anyway.

Q: If there is neither forgiveness nor sacrifice for willful sins as per Num 15:30-31, then how is anybody supposed to make it heaven?

A: There's a safety net for willful sinners.

†. Acts 13:38 . .You must know, my brothers, that through him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you in regard to everything from which you could not be justified under the law of Moses

†. Heb 10:26-27 . . If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins but a fearful prospect of judgment and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries.

In other words: seeing as how the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy provides neither forgiveness nor atonement for willful sinners, then Christ's crucifixion becomes their final option-- in point of fact; their only option.

But there's a catch. In order for Catholicism's willful sinners to obtain absolution via Christ's crucifixion, they must confess their willful sins; typically to clergy; i.e. to a priest. (
CCC 408, 409, and 411) Failure to confess willful sins leaves them on the books as un-absolved mortal sins.

NOTE: It is believed among Catholics that in an emergency, they can confess their sins to each other in the absence of access to clergy. (Jas 5:16)

The below is also believed among Catholics.

"Sacramental confession is normatively required for the forgiveness of mortal sins; it is not absolutely required. What this means is that, in extraordinary circumstances, mortal sins can be forgiven outside of sacramental confession. If a Catholic is dying and cannot go to sacramental confession, his mortal sins may be forgiven if he repents with true contrition (i.e., sorrow for sin) and has at least the implicit intention to go to sacramental confession if the opportunity is made available."

It's said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well; I'd have to say that particular intention is certainly one of them because it can't be supported by the Bible. Rome dreamed it up right out of thin air and a fertile imagination.

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Erotic Fantasies

Roman Catholicism has helped to shape thousands of warped psyches and totally unnecessary guilt complexes due to its interpretation of the passage below.

†. Matt 5:27-28 . .Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Before we can even begin to apply what Christ said about adultery; we first have to categorize the "woman" about whom he spoke. Well; she's obviously somebody's wife because adultery is defined as voluntary carnal activity between a married man and someone other than his wife, or between a married woman and someone other than her husband. In other words; in order for an incident to qualify as adultery, at least one of the participants has to be married.

The koiné Greek word for "lust" is epithumeo (ep-ee-thoo-meh'-o) which means: to set the heart upon.

Setting one's heart upon something is a whole lot different than merely liking something and wanting it. The one whose heart is set upon something is in the process of finding a way to get it; and as such comes under the ruling of covetousness; which reads:

†. Ex 20:17 . .Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his burro, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

Coveting, per se, isn't a sin. Paul encouraged the Corinthian Christians to "covet earnestly" the best spiritual gifts (1Cor 12:31) and to covet prophesy (1Cor 14:39). To "covet earnestly" means you go after something with the full intention of possessing it.

Ex 20:17 doesn't condemn erotic fantasies nor a healthy male libido, no, it condemns scheming to take something of your neighbor's instead of getting your own.

†. Rom 13:14 . . But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

The emphasis there is not upon human nature's desires, rather, upon taking steps to fulfill them; which has the distinction of being the correct interpretation of Matt 5:27-28.

So then, are Ex 20:17 and Matt 5:27-28 saying that a man can't look across the street at his neighbor's Harley and drool over it, turning green with envy? Or that a man can't gape at his neighbor's buxom wife, undressing her with his eyes, and having erotic fantasies about her? No, the kind of lust we're talking about here doesn't imply that at all. It implies a man going after the neighbor's Harley, and the buxom wife instead of getting his own.

Coming at this from the opposite direction: in the movie The Bridges Of Madison County, there's a precise moment when a married Francesca Johnson makes a definite decision to initiate an affair with free-lance photographer Robert Kincaid. Francesca was okay with Robert up till the moment of her decision; but from that moment on, Mrs. Johnson was an adulteress before she and Robert even slept together because it was in her heart to make it happen.

Supposing a Catholic man sincerely believes it really and truly is adultery to entertain thoughts about women-- any woman, whether somebody's wife or single? Well; too bad because if that's the way he feels, then whenever he does, he's an adulterer.

†. Rom 14:14 . . To him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

†. Rom 14:23 . . If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

That is indeed tragic because there are perfectly decent Catholic men out and about stacking up mortal sins against themselves and at risk of eternal suffering for nothing more than thinking about women.

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I disagree. If you are thinking about it, then you are doing it in your mind. That is what Christ said, and that is His law. This applies to married persons.

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Semper Fidelis

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Eternal Life

According to John 5:26-27 and 1John 1:1-2 Christ had eternal life when he was here. However, according to Rom 6:9 he didn't obtain immortality until his resurrection. The same holds true for Christ's believing followers. According to Rom 8:23-25 and 1Cor 15:35-54, they too won't obtain immortality until their resurrections.

So then, eternal life has zero to do with the longevity of a human body. But like as Christ had eternal life while being mortal; so do his believing followers.

Note the grammatical tense of the "have" verb in the passages below. It's present tense rather than future, indicating that believers have eternal life now, in this life-- no delay, and no waiting period.

†. John 3:36 . . He who believes in the Son has eternal life

†. John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who heed my message and trust in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

†. John 6:47 . .Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

†. 1John 5:13 . . I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Eternal life sets Christ's sheep apart from other kinds of sheep.

†. John 10:27-28 . . My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life

So then, according to Christ; people lacking eternal life are not his sheep, neither do they hear his voice, nor follow him.

The possession of eternal life is very crucial because according to God's testimony, as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to life and death; Christians currently lacking eternal life do not have God's son. In other words: they are currently quite christless.

†. 1John 5:11-12 . . This is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. So whoever has God's son has this life; and whosoever does not have this life, does not have His son.

I should think that it goes without saying that christless Christians are in grave danger of the sum of all fears.

†. Rom 8:9 . . If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

How many christless Christians are there? Well; for starters: Roman Catholicism-- known everywhere as the largest single denomination in the world --currently consists of approximately 1.2 billion followers who all, to a man, including the Pope, insist that no one obtains eternal life till sometime after they pass on.

Well; that can mean but one thing, and one thing only: seeing as how those 1.2 billion souls are currently lacking eternal life, then according to God's expert testimony they are currently living without Christ, and they will die without Christ. And you can safely apply that rule to any, and all, denominations who insist that nobody obtains eternal life till sometime after they pass away.

Q: John 5:24 says: "Amen, amen, I say to you: whoever hears my word, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life." What happens to born-again Christians who stop listening to Christ and stop believing in God who sent him? Do they then lose eternal life, pass back from life into death, and go on to condemnation?

A: The question is based upon an inadequate understanding of the qualities of eternal life.

1• Eternal life is impervious to death; therefore its impervious to the wages of sin.

†. Rom 6:23 . . For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

†. Rom 8:2 . . For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death.

Ergo: people with eternal life cannot pass back from life into death because eternal life is impervious to death. Were that not so, it would be possible to assassinate God. In point of fact, it would be possible for God to commit suicide

†. John 10:27-28 . . My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

Webster's defines "never" as; not ever, at no time, not in any degree, not under any condition.

2• Truly born-again Christians are incapable of rejecting Christ's message and/or disbelieving in God.

†. 1John 3:9 . . No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.

Once again: According to God's testimony, as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to live and death: people lacking it are also lacking His son; viz: they are quite christless.

†. 1John 5:11-12 . . This is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. So whoever has God's son has this life; and whosoever does not have this life, does not have His son.

People resisting God's testimony, are insinuating that He's a dishonest person of marginal integrity who can't be trusted to tell the truth.

†. 1John 5:10 . .Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about His son.

When people do that-- when they insinuate that God is dishonest --they imply that He belongs in hell because according to Rev 21:8, hell is where all liars are destined.

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The Woman Taken In Adultery

The incident depicted below is often appropriated to substantiate the opinion that Christ is a soft touch.

†. John 8:1-6a . .Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the Temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.

. . .They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus; Rabbi, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?

. . .They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

That scene took place outdoors. Israel's covenanted law permits only Levitical priests to enter the structural portion of the Temple facility. The acreage adjoining the structure served as a sort of sacred town square, where just about anybody with the moxie and the wherewithal could set up a soap box yeshiva to teach and/or preach, and vendors such as money changers and livestock and fowl dealers could set up for business.

In those days, when Jews spoke of "God's house" the term always included the courtyard as well as the structure, and the whole precinct was enclosed inside a very large retaining wall.

Gentiles are often unaware of the Levitical restrictions controlling the structure's entry and typically think of it as a church. But the rank and file did their worship outside; not inside. Their closest approach was the Altar, which was situated at the foot of steps leading up to a portico.

Christ wasn't a member of the Sanhedrin. So his Jewish opponents didn't bring the woman to him for legal proceedings. This incident was wholly an entrapment staged only to see where Christ stood regarding the stipulations mandated in Israel's covenanted law regarding adultery; but as the woman's accusers were to soon find out, Christ was a stickler for due process.

The covenant mandates that adulterers be put to death-- both the man and the woman --no excuses and no exceptions.

†. Lev 20:10 . . And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

However, the covenant requires the testimony of a minimum of at least two witnesses in capital cases.

†. Deut 17:6-7 . . At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

As it turned out; every one of the witnesses against the woman disqualified themselves.

†. John 8:6-9 . . Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them: He among you without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

. . . Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

Consequently; the accusation was dropped.

†. John 8:10-11 . . Jesus said to her: Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you? And she said: No one, sir. And Jesus said: Neither do I condemn you

You see; even if Christ had been a legitimate witness, he couldn't testify against her because the covenant requires a minimum of two witnesses in capital cases.

Q: Isn't Christ supposed to be God; therefore knowing all things and seeing all things? Why couldn't Christ prosecute the woman in that capacity?

A: The covenant requires adulterers be put to death via human due process rather than divine. And besides; Christ wasn't here the first time to judge-- he was here as John Q Citizen and as such wasn't authorized to come down on his fellow Jews.

†. Luke 12:13-14 . . Someone in the crowd said to him: Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. Jesus replied: Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?

†. John 3:17 . . God didn't send His son into the world to condemn the world; but to spare the world through him.

NOTE: It's fun to speculate about what Christ wrote on the ground in the incident of the woman taken in adultery. Well, as for me; I suspect it was the names of girlfriends that the woman's accusers had on the side that they thought nobody knew about. Hence when Christ said "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" he wasn't talking about sin in general; no, he talking about the same sin; viz: adultery.

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Of Rock And Stone

Q: In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church." (Matt. 16:18) What is the meaning of that verse?

A: The Greek word for Peter in Matt 16:18 is petros, which is a masculine noun. The word for the rock in Matt 16:18 is petra, which is the feminine version of the same noun.

It seems strange to me that Jesus would change Peter's gender if he was still talking about the apostle when he said "upon this rock". Wouldn't it make more sense to say upon this petros I will build my church instead of saying upon this petra?

Grammatically, it would make even better sense to say "upon you I will build my church".

Peter's surname was Cephas; a moniker that Christ pinned on him at John 1:42. Cephas is from the Aramaic word kephas (kay-fas') which means "the Rock".

But in Matt 16:18, Peter isn't called Cephas. Instead; he's addressed by the Greek word petros (pet'-ros) which refers to rock, but not to a specific rock, nor to a specific variety of rock; rather, to nondescript rock of any size, shape, chemistry, or configuration.

The rock to which Christ referred in relation to his church as "this rock" isn't petros. It's the Greek word petra (pet'-ra) which refers to rock formations; e.g. bedrock, and/or immovable monsters like the monoliths decorating Yosemite Valley.

What we're looking at in petra rock is a suitable anchorage upon which it's safe to erect a permanent structure. You wouldn't want to erect something like that on just any kind of rock; no, it has to be immovable; viz: able to hold your structure in place during adverse geological and meteorological conditions like earth movements and severe storms.

The great skyscrapers in New York City's lower Manhattan are anchored in a huge underground mass of dense material called schist. It's some pretty tough stuff and not easily cut by tunneling machines for aqueducts and subway trains. Manhattan's schist can be likened to the rock about which Christ spoke in the Sermon on the Mount.

†. Matt 7:24-26 . . Everyone who hears these words of mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon rock.

The Greek word for "rock" in that passage is petra (pet'-ra) which is the very same word for the rock that Christ labeled "this" rock in Matt 16:18.

Petra rock can also be an entire mountain of stone like Gibraltar, or Mt. Palomar in California. Palomar was chosen to site the Hale telescope because underneath it's coating of earth, Palomar is just one huge hunk of solid granite.

Another good example of petra rock is the ancient rock-hewn city of Petra in the country of Jordan. Major portions of the city are carved right into stone cliffs and mountainsides

Christ is clearly identified as petra rock in Rom 9:33, 1Cor 10:1-4, and 1Pet 2:8.

Peter is nowhere in the New Testament even once identified as petra rock.

There are very convincing arguments supporting both sides of this issue: the one side insists that Peter is the bedrock of Christ's church, and the other is that Christ is the bedrock of his church. I would highly recommend erring on the high side with Christ rather than erring on the low side with Peter and thereby relegating Christ to a position of less importance than the men who served him.

NOTE: The Latin words "Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam" (You are Peter (the rock) and on this rock I shall build my church) are carved in marble above the main altar in Ste. Peters. Why can't we just let it go at that?

A: We can't go with Rome on that because Christ's church is built upon his crucifixion for the sins of the whole world, and his subsequent resurrection for our justification. Had it been Peter who was crucified for the sins of the whole world, and then raised from the dead for our justification; I'd go with him instead of Christ, but as everyone knows; that's not how it went down.

POSIT: The language that Christ and the Apostles spoke was Aramaic; and in that language, Peter's name is Cephas e.g. John 1:42. Cephas means the Rock.

RESPONSE: It wouldn't matter if the language Jesus spoke was Martian. The Gospels were written, not in Martian, but in a language common to the whole Roman world because Jesus commanded his apostles to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).

Nobody has ever proven the existence of a Matthew written in Aramaic by the original author; nor has a so-called original Aramaic manuscript of Matthew ever been quoted by early Christian authorities. Whether it ever existed cannot now be established with any degree of certainty. The oldest (and considered the best) Matthew manuscripts (including that of the Vatican Manuscript: circa 350-400 AD) are written in Greek.

Let's just say-- for the sake of argument --that Matthew's version really was originally in Aramaic. Then whoever translated it into Greek surely must have used corresponding Greek words to express the original's Aramaic words. So then, unless the translators were blatantly dishonest (which would surely cast suspicion upon the Vatican Manuscript), the word petros for Peter, and the word petra for the site of Christ's church, are both correct. Therefore, since there exists no good reason to believe otherwise, Bible students should feel confident it's perfectly safe to accept extant Greek manuscripts of Matthew as authoritative.

NOTE: Though word play is important; what's even more important is Christ's grammar. For instance his adjective "this". Here's how "this" speaks to me.

"You are Petros (Christ pointing at Peter) and upon this petra (Christ pointing at himself) I will build my church."

I should think it's pretty obvious to even an atheist that without Christ's crucifixion for the sins of the whole world, and subsequent resurrection for our justification, his church would have just as feeble a foundation under it as Buddhism, Scientology, and/or Islam and Hinduism.

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The Church Below

†. Matt 16:18 . . The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against my church.

At some time during Jonah's nautical adventure, he went to a place called sheol (Jonah 2:3) which is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word haides; translated netherworld in Matt 16:18.

Jonah sited the netherworld at the roots of the mountains. (Jonah 2:7).

Well, needless to say, mountains aren't rooted in the tummies of fish, rather, they're rooted deep in the earth; which is the very same place to which the Lord retired during his demise. (Ps 16:8-10, Matt 12:40, Acts 2:25-31)

The gates that Jesus spoke of are called bars in Jonah's adventure. (Jonah 2:7)

In other words: though Jonah was alive in the fish at some time during his adventure (Jonah 2:2) he wasn't alive the whole time because people don't enter the netherworld as whole men, rather, they enter it as dead men. In point of fact, Jonah 2:7 speaks of his resurrection.

The point is: Though a percentage of Jesus' sheep will have to pass away and part company with their body at some point in their lives, none of them will stay disembodied forever.

†. John 6:39 . . This is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what He gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.

†. John 6:40 . . For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.

†. John 6:44 . . No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.

†. John 11:25 . . I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

Neither Matt 16:18, nor any of the other passages I quoted allow for losses. In other words; were the Roman Catholic Church the church that Jesus spoke of in Matt 16:18, then no Catholics, not even one, would ever be in danger of the second and final death spoken of at Rev 20:10-15.

But of course that is not the case because when Catholics pass away with un-absolved mortal sins on the books, they go straight to the netherworld's infernal sector where there's of course no chance of escape.

"The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, eternal fire." (CCC 1035)

"It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death." (CCC 393)

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The Church As Noah's Ark

Rome sometimes compares itself to Noah's Ark. But If Rome were truly a model of the Ark; then not one single Catholic would ever be in the slightest danger of hell and eternal suffering because nobody aboard the Ark perished in the Flood.

And not only that, but were the Church a true model of the Ark, then nobody would be able to apostatize. The reason being that after all were aboard, God sealed the hatch.

†. Gen 7:16 . .Those that entered were male and female, and of all species they came, as God had commanded Noah. Then Yhvh shut him in.

The Hebrew word for "shut" actually means to shut up; like as when a corral gate is closed to pen livestock and/or the door of a jail cell. In other words, Noah was locked inside the Ark by a door that could be opened only from the outside.

That's interesting. It means that once the Ark's door was sealed, Noah became a prisoner; and were he, or anybody else inside, to change their mind about going, it was too late. In other words: God alone controlled access and egress, viz: were someone aboard to change their mind and want off the Ark; they couldn't.

Ring a bell?

†. John 10:7-10 . . I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.

NOTE: One of the meanings of the Greek word for "saved" is to protect. In other words: Christ's sheepfold is the place of safety from a big bad wolf called the wrath of God.

The gate controlling access and egress to Christ's sheepfold isn't something that can be carelessly left ajar so the sheep can get out and run off because the gate is Christ himself. You'd have no more luck getting past Christ then Noah would have getting past the Ark's hatch.

†. John 10:26-29 . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

It's sometimes alleged that Christ's sheep are strong enough to overpower God and snatch themselves out of both Christ's and his Father's hands; but I should think that the words "no one" would preclude that possibility.

In addition, were the sheep able to escape; it would reflect very poorly on Christ's ompetence as a shepherd. Well; in my estimation, shepherds that let their sheep escape are careless: they're not good shepherds at all; they're just average shepherds; viz: no better than most.

I think most Christians would agree (at least in theory anyway) that Christ is a competent shepherd, and that as the sheepfold's gate he's secure enough. But apparently they're of the opinion that once outside in the open, their safety can be compromised.

†. John 10:3-4 . .He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice.

It's at this point that the sheep are most vulnerable because now they're out in the open where they can wander off while their master's back is turned. Well; that's never going to happen because according to John 6:39, it is God's will that His son lose nothing of what He has given him. And according to John 8:29, Jesus never fails to comply with his Father's wishes. And besides: according to John 10:29, John 17:11, and John 17:15, Christ doesn't watch over the sheep all my himself.

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The Pillar and Ground of the Truth

†. 1Tim 3:15 . . If I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God; the pillar and foundation of truth.

It's a very common error among Catholics to look at that verse and let their minds see the church as the pillar and foundation of truth rather than God. But that would make no sense at all since the church of the living God consists of mortal beings infected with human nature and a natural propensity to embellish the truth and twist it rather than preserve it.

1Tim 3:15 is saying that if there were no real live God out there somewhere, then Christianity would be a silly myth. It's only the reality of God that makes so-called "truth" to be actual fact; valid, and reliable.

FYI: The Bible is highly recommended by the Church.

"The Scriptures are sacred and canonical because: Having been written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and as such have been handed down to the Church" (Vatican Council; Sess. III, c. ii)

"In its pages we recognize His voice, we hear a message of deep significance for every one of us. Through the spiritual dynamism and prophetic force of the Bible, the Holy Spirit spreads His light and His warmth over all men, in whatever historical or sociological situation they find themselves." (Paulus PP VI, from the Vatican, September 18, 1970)

So then; according to that Vatican Council and to Paulus PP VI; when I listen to the Bible; I'm listening to the voice of God, and I'm also listening to that which the Holy Spirit utilizes to spread His light and His warmth over all men.

Ironically, it was by listening to the voice of God on the pages of the Bible that the Holy Spirit led me to part company with Rome.

NOTE: Truth in the Roman Church has never really been consensual. Take for example the selection of its Popes. You would think that an agency reputedly led by the Holy Spirit would always cast a unanimous vote for the correct candidate; but it seldom does. Instead, the Roman Church selects its Popes based upon a two-thirds majority. You can't help but question whether it's wise to trust Rome when the top of its food chain is so divided.

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Mother(s) of God

POSIT: To say that Mary is not the mother of God is to deny that Jesus is God.

RESPONSE: I learned in Biology that like reproduces like; viz: bears give birth to bears, opossums give birth to opossums, coyotes give birth to coyotes, and moles give birth to moles. So then, in order for a woman to give birth to God, she herself would have to be God too. But since Mary was a Jewish human being, then her offspring was a Jewish human being. That's just simple biological genetics.

The angel who announced Jesus' birth, informed his mother that her son would not be God, rather, God's progeny, and David's too.

†. Luke 1:31 . .The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.

So then, if Mary was the mother of God, then David was the father of God; and so on. Ergo: every biological father in Jesus' biological lineage would be a father of God, and every biological mother in his biological lineage all the way back to Eve would be a mother of God; so that Mary would not have a lock on that distinction.

In point of fact, it is very easy to prove that Eve had a hand in bringing Mary's baby into the world.

†. Gen 3:15 . . 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.

Just about everybody on both sides of the aisle agrees that prediction refers to Christ.

FYI: Seeing as how Eve was derived from Adam, then Adam was first in the long line of Jesus' many biological fathers.

†. Luke 3:38 . .The son of Adam

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The Church; Which Is His Body

The koiné Greek word for "church" is ekklesia (ek-klay-see'-ah) which has little reference to an ecclesiastical structure such as Catholicism's hierarchy. The word essentially refers to rallies, assemblies, and/or excusive communities. For example; the Jews who accompanied Moses were a church. (Acts 7:38)

Crowds such as those in attendance at Super Bowl games don't qualify as a church. Anybody with the money for a ticket can attend a Super Bowl, while the kind of assembly we're talking about is populated by means of recruitment, i.e. by invitation only. Even so; those invited have to meet certain requirements.

†. Matt 22:14 . . For many are called, but few are chosen.

Anyway, when the New Testament speaks of "the church" it's talking about an exclusive community consisting of a hierarchy plus a congregation rather than just a hierarchy by itself. The bosses in the Vatican are not a church; they're just church managers.

Christ's church is stated to be his body (Col 1:24, Eph 1:22-23, Eph 5:30). This is very important because the interesting thing is: Jesus' current body is not quite the very same body in which he was crucified. He died as a mortal man; he rose from the dead as an immortal man.

†. Rom 6:9 . .We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.

The wafer that Catholics eat during their communion service represents Jesus' mortal body.

†. Luke 22:19 . .Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you"

In addition; the wine species represents Jesus' mortal blood.

†. Luke 22:20 . . Likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you."

Jesus' mortal body, and his mortal blood, no longer exist. (1Cor 15:35-53, Php 3:21).

NOTE: Transubstantiation's proponents are in a bit of a dilemma with the extinction of Jesus' mortal body and his mortal blood, but therein is fodder for another canon.

The point is: If Christ's church is his immortal body, rather than his mortal body, then everyone who is correctly "in Christ" has immortality in the bag; though for now they have to live out their days in a mortal body. Christ's true church is immortal; viz: everybody in his body possesses immortality right now because he himself possesses immortality right now.

The ramifications of that fact are astounding to say the least because immortal people are immune to execution; which means that were the Catholic community really the one true church, then it would be impossible to terminate even the worst among them by means of the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:11-15.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
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Purgatory


Q: Does the Bible teach a purgatory?

A: Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility; purgatory isn't an obvious, clear-cut, black and white teaching. Rome has appropriated those suggestive passages as their proof texts. However, passages that suggest one thing, can also be made to suggest another, so I do not recommend putting too much stock in Rome's ideas. It is much safer to assume the worst, and then begin preparing yourself for it in the event that purgatory turns out to be a huge mistake. Better to aim too high than too low.

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POST THEM! "Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility"
Also - "then begin preparing yourself for it"

REALLY?

Why do you continue to SPAM the board with such dribble that NO-BODY READS!

Not to mention its WEED SEED and FALSE TEACHING!


[cool_shades]

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That is all.....

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Immunity

Webster's defines "immunity" as exempt; viz: free, or released from, some liability or requirement to which others are subject.

Immunity is the current possession of all Christ's believing followers.

†. John 5:24 . . I assure you: those who heed my message, and trust in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already transferred from death into life.

†. Rom 6:14 . . For sin shall not control your destiny, for you are not under the jurisdiction of God's law, but under His grace.

†. Rom 6:15 . . God's grace has set us free from His law's jurisdiction

†. Rom 8:1-3 . .There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Gospel immunity is not the same as diplomatic immunity; wherein foreign ambassadors are exempt from prosecution by American laws. That kind of immunity is not only insulting to law-abiding citizenry, but a miscarriage of justice as well. No, the gospel's immunity is not like that. God can't turn a blind eye to people's sins without seriously compromising His own integrity. God's law has to be vindicated and enforced to its maximum extent: somebody has to pay.

Christ's crucifixion is a "ransom" in that it satisfies debts to God's law by punishing offenders via proxy participation in Christ's execution.

†. Rom 6:3-11 . . Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? . . For we know that our old self was crucified with him

†. Gal 2:20 . . I am crucified with Christ

†. Col 3:2-3 . . Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God

When Jesus was nailed to the cross to die for the sins of the world, God somehow-- in a way that I have yet to fully understand --counted me nailed to the cross right with him; so that on God's books, I satisfied justice that day on Calvary. True, I got through it without a scratch. But on God's books, Christ's injuries are my injuries, and his execution my execution. And since I fully expect that the Bible's God would never lower Himself to the evil practice of double jeopardy; then I fully expect that I will never again be dragged to justice for my sins. The gospel's proxy justice system is a very good deal for sinners; and a deal that is really just too good to pass up.

The sweet part is this: once Christ's crucifixion executes a sinner, they can never commit a sin that God didn't foresee and subsequently place on the cross already; because Jesus didn't pay for their sins up to a point; no, he paid for them all the way to their grave; so, in reality, Christ's believing followers have been fully punished already for every sin that they will commit in their entire lifetime; from the first sin to the last sin. In point of fact, if his believing followers didn't die for all their sins when Christ was crucified; then they themselves will have to die for the balance later on in the lake of fire depicted at Rev 20:11-15.

Although I have a number of legitimate reasons for apostatizing; it's mostly because Rome's way cannot, and does not, promise its followers immunity from the wrath of God; whereas Christ's way does. So, I dumped Rome's way and took up Christ's instead because his way guarantees whoever wants it a fail-safe, fool proof, human error proof, sin proof, Ten Commandments proof, God proof, Devil proof, human nature proof, stupidity proof, free of charge, no strings attached rescue from the wrath of God and full time protection from retribution.

†. Rev 22:16-17 . . I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say: Come. And let the one who hears say: Come. And let the one who is thirsty come-- let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

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Freedom of Speech

†. Heb 4:15-16 . . For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The word "boldly" is actually two words in New Testament Greek-- meta parrhesia (met-ah') (par-rhay-see'-ah). The term means frankness; which Webster's defines as: free, forthright, and sincere expression. Frankness implies lack of shyness or secretiveness or evasiveness due to considerations of tact or expedience; viz: frankness implies unbridled freedom of speech and the liberty to speak your mind without fear of criticism, censure, ridicule, reprisal, shame, disgrace, retribution, or retaliation.

Frank prayer is far and away much better than rote prayer. Rote prayer is really no different than reciting a poem and/or chanting a Hindu mantra. Frank prayer is conversation from the heart, not from memorized oratory. Rote-prayer models like the Our Father, the Act Of Contrition, the Apostles' Creed, and the Hail Mary, are not even close to being acceptable to God. No, on the contrary, those kinds of prayers insult the spirit of adoption; and are inappropriate; viz: it's abnormal for children to speak to their own daddies in a rote format.

†. Rom 8:15-16 . . For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received a spirit of adoption by which we call out; Abba! Father. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are God's kin.

†. Gal 4:4-7 . . But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are kin, God sent the spirit of His son into our hearts, calling out; Abba! Father. So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

If I were to meet President Barack Hussein Obama, I would have to make an appointment first; and then stand back and address him as Sir or Mister President. But his two daughters Sasha and Malia can run right up uninvited and cling to his arm because he's their father; and they call him daddy. Now if the Obama's should adopt a little boy some day, he will have all the very same rights and privileges as the Obama's natural born daughters; including a right to inherit. Their new son would have every right to run up uninvited to Mr. Obama yelling: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! and cling to his other arm.

The spirit of adoption imparts to The Father's adoptees the heartfelt bond that enables adopted children to feel the love, and the friendship, and the security feelings that natural-born boys and girls feel with their birth parents. So I'm sure you can see just how ridiculous it would look for God's own precious little adoptees-- having all the God-given liberty in the world to run up and clutch His arm and address Almighty God as their daddy --were to speak to Him in rote. Do you speak to your own parents in rote? No? Then why on earth speak to God like that? The Father is no less a sentient, sensible, and sensitive person than your own parents; and I would appreciate it if Rome would show just a little more respect for His intelligence.

FYI: The teaching to come boldly unto the throne of grace is not a suggestion. The tenor of the language of Heb 4:15-16 is enjoining; in other words: it's a requirement. Therefore people who approach the throne chanting rote are grossly out of harmony with a sensible adoption relationship and behaving like a demented child.

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Questions Rome Cannot Answer

1• Where did your deceased Catholic relatives go when they died?

2• Where will your of-age Catholic children go when they die?

3• Where did the previous Catholic Pope go when he died?

4• Where will Catholic you go when you die?

Catholicism is a gamble. Nobody in the Church knows what to expect when they cross over to the other side. Theirs is a hope-so religion rather than a know-so religion; which is really not much different than a roll of the dice at Las Vegas.

As a Catholic, I sincerely believed myself to have a better chance of going to heaven than non Catholics. But the reality is: chances are not sure things; no: a chance is a cross-your-fingers risk no matter how good the odds.

In reality, Catholics are gambling their afterlife futures on the chance that Rome's religion is right; when there exists no empirical evidence proving that it is.

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Rome's Bad Shepherd

Q: Aren't faith and obedience the same thing?

A: I think that it's far more accurate to say that faith is an act of obedience, e.g.

†. John 3:27-29 . . Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set His seal.

. . . So they said to him; What can we do to accomplish the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them; This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.

The koiné Greek word translated "believe" is pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o) which entails something far more important than academic consent. In pisteuo we have the element of trust; something that most Catholics dare not permit themselves to exercise.

For example: I am persuaded that Christ never, ever, disappoints his Father's wishes.

†. John 8:29 . . I always do what is pleasing to Him.

The word "always" is translated from pantote (pan'-tot-eh) which essentially means: at all times.

So then, were Jesus to disappoint his Father's wishes even once, then he would not be able to say "always". Jesus might be able to say that he pleases his Father some of the time, or even most of the time, but certainly not at all times.

One of his Father's ongoing activities in the world is the rounding up of sheep and bringing them to His son.

†. John 6:44 . . No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,

It is his Father's wishes that Jesus lose none of those hard-earned sheep.

†. John 6:39 . . This is the will of the One who sent me; that I should not lose anything of what He gave me

John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer are typically of the opinion that it's possible for Jesus to lose a number of the sheep that his Father entrusts to his care; and by doing so, they cast a vote of no-confidence in Jesus' statement that he always pleases his Father, i.e. they don't trust Jesus; thus they are failing to accomplish the work of God as per John 3:27-29.

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Rome vs Melchizedek

Melchizedek was a high priest of the Most High God contemporary with Abraham. (Gen 14:18-20, Heb 5:10)

Mel, along with Abraham, existed prior to the covenanted law that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

†. Deut 5:2-4 . .Yhvh our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. Yhvh did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.

This is very important seeing as how the covenant's law wasn't set up to be enforced ex post facto; i.e. it isn't retroactive.

†. Gal 3:17. . The law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to cancel the promise.

Enacting the Jews' covenant after their father's time, instead of before him or with him, was done to protect Abraham's covenant from his posterity's curse-worthy failures to comply with their covenant. In other words; no matter how many times, nor in how many ways, Abraham's posterity breaks the laws of their own covenant, they cannot endanger the fulfillment of their father's covenant; which is a really good thing because otherwise neither Christ nor his believing followers would benefit from one of the promises God made in Abraham's covenant.

†. Gal 3:8 . . Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, “Through you shall all the nations be blessed.” (cf. Gen 12:3)

Continuing:

†. Rom 4:15 . .The law produces wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

In other words: where there is no law, there is no law to break. However; it's not saying that things like dishonesty weren't sins back in those days because they were.

†. Rom 5:13a . . Up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,

Rom 4:15 is only saying that seeing as how God hadn't as yet enacted a law forbidding dishonesty in Abraham's day, then whenever Abraham lied; God didn't write him up for it.

†. Rom 5:13b . . .Sin is not accounted when there is no law.

The koiné Greek word translated "accounted" is ellogeo (el-log-eh'-o) which essentially speaks of keeping records.

So; seeing as how Christ's priesthood is patterned after Melchizedek's rather than Aaron's (Ps 110:4, Heb 5:1-7:28), and seeing as how Mel officiated prior to the Jews' covenant; then just as Abraham wasn't written up for breaking the Jews' covenanted laws; then neither are Christ's constituents written up for breaking them; which includes the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17, Ex 31:28, Deut 4:13, Deut 10:4).

†. 2Cor 5:19 . .God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them

Now, according to the rules and regulations of the Catholic catechism; when people pass away with just one un-absolved mortal sin on the books, they go directly to hell with no stopover in a purgatory. (
CCC 1035)

There's a fatal flaw in that rule. Know what it is? Well; according to Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and 2Cor 5:19, God isn't keeping books on Christ's believing followers. In point of fact, none of their sins of any kind are on the books-- either mortal or venial.

You know what that means? It means that as far as God's criminal justice system is concerned, Christ's believing followers are fully acquitted and 100% innocent, i.e. as far as God's criminal justice system is concerned; Christ's believing followers never committed even one single sin in their entire lives! So when the archives are reviewed as per Rev 20:11-15, there will be nothing recorded in them with which to accuse Christ's believing followers.

/

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Sa:ji:sdo:de
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The So-Called Lord's Prayer

†. Luke 11:1-2 . . He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: yada, yada, yada, yada, etc."

When I was a little boy, just about every night at bedtime I recited the classic lay-me-down-to-sleep children's prayer. In my opinion; a rote prayer like that one is okay for getting kids started communicating with God.

Jesus' disciples were full-grown men physically. But they were just babies spiritually. A prayer like the Our Father is a good place for spiritually immature Christians to begin, but it's not a good place for them to stay.

†.1Cor 13:11 . .When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

Now you take Jesus for example. There is no record of him ever even once praying the Our Father. In point of fact, when examining Jesus' prayers, it's readily apparent that he always prayed in a conversational style instead of rote. A really good example of his style is located at John 17:1-26. Jesus' style is the style that mature Christians are to follow as their role model.

†. Eph 4:15 . .We should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ

†. Heb 4:16 . . So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

The Greek word for "confidently" is parrhesia (par-rhay-see'-ah) which means all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, and/or boldness.

Reciting a rote prayer like the Our Father is not what I call forthright, nor blunt, nor out-spoken, nor bold. No; it's actually quite childish.

When people have been Christians for some time, and still reciting rote prayers, I'd have to say that their spiritual growth has been stunted, i.e. they're not developing properly because they haven't been getting adequate nourishment.

†. Eph 4:11-13 . . And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ,

/


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Contrition

Here's Rome's definition of contrition:

"Among the penitent's acts, contrition occupies first place. Contrition is sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again." (
CCC 1451)

The resolve not to sin again is of course a big joke because no natural-born human being has enough self control over themselves to truly honor that kind of a commitment. The so-called Act Of Contrition is just that: an act.

However, resolve is not our concern in this post; but rather, the concept of sorrow and how it relates to repentance.

The primary New Testament Greek word for repentance-- used thirty-four times in various places --is metanoeo (met-an-o-eh'-o) which just simply means to think differently, or to reconsider; viz: to change one's mind.

Metanoeo never, ever implies either regret or remorse. Although those emotions may accompany changing one's mind, they are not metanoeo: no, the changing of one's mind is the true metanoeo, with or without remorse (e.g. Matt 21:28-30).

A second New Testament Greek word translated repent/repentance-- used but six times in various places --is metamellomai (met-am-el'-lom-ahee); which means to care afterwards; viz: regret.

A useful example of metamellomai is Judas.

†. Matt 27:3 . . Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders

Although Judas experienced regret for what he did to his friend, it didn't result in his salvation simply because he never did believe in Christ's Messianic claims to begin with; and at this point, hadn't changed his mind about it. Judas simply felt bad about himself for being instrumental in executing an innocent man. But did he go and confess his sin to God seeking forgiveness and absolution? No. He went out and committed suicide instead.

A useful example of metanoeo occurred on the day of Pentecost.

†. Acts 2:36-41 . . Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do? Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.

. . .With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Rescue yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Peter's sermon succeeded in convincing his countrymen to change their opinion about the very man they had so recently consented unto his death; and as a result, they were spared the wrath of God.

So then, where does repentance fit into the scheme of reconciliation? Well; that's pretty easy. It simply means to agree with God that certain of your thoughts, words, and deeds are evil (1John 1:8 & 1John 1:10).

It's important to note in 1John 1:9 that regret is not part of the formula; no, in order to obtain cleansing and forgiveness one only has to own up to their bad. Contrition plays no role in the formula at all.

/

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
-
Purgatory


Q: Does the Bible teach a purgatory?

A: Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility; purgatory isn't an obvious, clear-cut, black and white teaching. Rome has appropriated those suggestive passages as their proof texts. However, passages that suggest one thing, can also be made to suggest another, so I do not recommend putting too much stock in Rome's ideas. It is much safer to assume the worst, and then begin preparing yourself for it in the event that purgatory turns out to be a huge mistake. Better to aim too high than too low.

/

POST THEM! "Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility"
Also - "then begin preparing yourself for it"

REALLY?

Why do you continue to SPAM the board with such dribble that NO-BODY READS!

Not to mention its WEED SEED and FALSE TEACHING!


[cool_shades]
 -
[cool_shades]

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That is all.....

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Penance

Webster's defines "penance" as an act of self-abasement, mortification, or devotion performed to show sorrow or repentance for sin.

Extreme forms of penance include things like malnutrition, hermitage, celibacy, walking around with a pebble in your shoe, privation, self flagellation, and the wearing of garter belts studded with metal spikes; viz: in Rome's mind; pain and suffering = holiness and purification.

Those things may seem logical to a humanistic sense of piety; but actually Christ's believing followers can get by just fine without self-abasement, mortification, and devotion performed to show sorrow and/or repentance for sin.

†. 1John 1:9 . . If we confess our sins, He is faithful, and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

According to the above; the only requirement for absolution is admission of guilt, and God is guaranteed to forgive and purify; and He won't do it arbitrarily, no, He will do it justly; which simply means that God doesn't sweep sins under the rug. That's because the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) and those wages have to be paid before God can let people off.

†. 1John 2:2 . . And he himself is the propitiation for our sins

Webster's defines propitiation as: pacify, appease, assuage, conciliate, mollify, placate, sweeten. In other words, Christ's crucifixion adequately satisfies Rom 6:23's demand for its pound of flesh.

†. Isa 53:4-6 . . Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Bottom line: Penance insults the spirit of charity. It says people have to prove they deserve the application of Isa 53:4-6 before God will grant it; and if they fail to prove they deserve it, He puts a lump of coal in their Xmas stocking, so to speak, instead of a goody.

/


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Redemption

One of the New Testament Greek words for redemption is apolutrosis (ap-ol-oo'-tro-sis); which means: to ransom in full.

Another is lutrosis (loo'-tro-sis); which means: a ransoming

†. 1Tim 2:5-6 . . Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all.

A ransom can be defined as a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something in a captive situation; e.g. an overwhelming debt that a debtor cannot possibly ever pay off, and or slavery from which the slave himself hasn't, nor will ever have, the means with which to buy himself out. For example:

†. 1Pet 1:18-19 . .You were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.

Speaking for myself; I highly value Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as God's one and only acceptable ransom from an otherwise disagreeable future in the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:11-15.

Another not so obvious aspect of Christ's ransom that I also highly value is liberation from human nature.

†. Jer 13:23 . . Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

No, I cannot change my spots so to speak. Like the leopard; I too am a prisoner, not of a captor, rather, of myself.

Writing about this situation; the apostle Paul said:

†. Eph 2:1-3 . .You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once lived following the age of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest.

The pronouns "us" and "our" and "we" indict the apostle Paul right along with the recipients of his letter.

This implies that even if people were totally forgiven for every sinful word they ever spoke, totally forgiven for every bad thing they ever did, and totally forgiven for every bad thought they ever imagined; they would still be barred access to heaven because of their propensity for evil. The Oxford dictionary defines propensity as an inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way.

Christ's crucifixion and resurrection have made it possible for God to strip away people's human nature and replace it with His own; thus essentially liberating people from themselves.

†. Col 2:9-11 . . For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ.

†. 2Pet 1:3-4 . . His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.

/

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
-
Purgatory


Q: Does the Bible teach a purgatory?

A: Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility; purgatory isn't an obvious, clear-cut, black and white teaching. Rome has appropriated those suggestive passages as their proof texts. However, passages that suggest one thing, can also be made to suggest another, so I do not recommend putting too much stock in Rome's ideas. It is much safer to assume the worst, and then begin preparing yourself for it in the event that purgatory turns out to be a huge mistake. Better to aim too high than too low.

/

POST THEM! "Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility"
Also - "then begin preparing yourself for it"

REALLY?

Why do you continue to SPAM the board with such WEED SEED and FALSE TEACHING!



 -

--------------------
That is all.....

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Behold Your Mother

There are parts of The Holy Bible that are very easy to understand if people would only let the Bible speak for itself while they listen to what it has to say instead of tuning it out and putting a spin on its words. Here's a good example of what I'm talking about.

†. John 19:26-27 . .Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

It is just amazing that anyone would construe that tender incident in Christ's dying moments as a teaching that Joseph's wife was appointed the mother of all Christians. It only goes to show you just how seriously lacking in Spirit-filled intuition Rome really is. Reading that passage sans a self-induced psychological blindness caused by the mind's propensity to disregard concepts that are incongruous with deep seated, preconceived notions, it's very easy to understand what took place.

Jesus and his mother were both Jews born under the jurisdiction of the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, The covenant obligates Jewish children to care for their parents. Jesus was leaving; and apparently Joseph was somehow out of the picture. So then, since Jesus was Mary's firstborn son, he became the default male head of the house in the absence of the paterfamilias.

There are some Catholics who sincerely believe that Jesus appointed his mom to be the Mother of all Christians in that passage. However, those sincere Catholics are overlooking three important details in the narrative: the other women-- the sister of Christ's mom, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala (John 19:25). If Jesus had really intended Christians to interpret that passage as Mary's appointment to be the Mother of all Christians; then he would've spoken in the plural thusly: "Children behold your mother" and; "Woman behold your son and your daughters."

Let's say, just for the sake of discussion, that Jesus really did appoint his mom as the mother of all Christians. Then you have got to ask: Why isn't that concept developed in the book of Acts, nor in any of the epistles? I have yet to find even one sentence written by any of the post Gospel authors pointing to Christ's mother as a caretaker of Christ's sheep, nor as an example for the sheep to emulate-- not one single verse!

Yet the Catechism-- CCC 966 and CCC 969 --exalts her to the position of Queen, Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix: a queen, advocate, helper, benefactress, and mediatrix who is not even one single time in the book of Acts, nor in any of the twenty-one epistles, mentioned as somebody special. Christ's mom isn't even listed in 1Cor 15:3-8 as one of the people who saw him alive after his ordeal. She's barely given a passing mention in Acts 1:14; and that's it.

†. Gal 3:28-29 …And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

Since I believe myself belonging to Christ, then logic and conscience constrain me to accept that I am, in a Scriptural way, belonging to Abraham; ergo: if I were to actually have a valid spiritual mother, it would be Sarah, Christ's grandmother; rather than Joseph's wife Mary.

Q: Why can't you understand that if you're Christ's brother by adoption; then Mary is automatically your mother?

A: The question errs in assuming I was adopted into Mary's home. No, I was not. I was adopted into God's home, not Mary's. That's an extremely important distinction; and one that everyone should really give some serious thought.

†. Gal 4:6 . . As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of His son into our hearts, crying out: Abba, Father!

†. Rom 8:15 . .You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry: Abba, Father!

Mary, same as me, is now Christ's sister by adoption; so that Mary's earthly distinction, as Christ's mom, is out the window because in Christ, she's a new creature in a new order wherein she and all other Christians are siblings. (2Cor 5:16-17, Gal 3:26-28).

/


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The Purification To End All Purifications

†. 1Pet 1:22 . . Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

The koiné Greek word translated "have purified" is hagnizo (hag-nid'-zo) which means to make clean, i.e. sanctify. In Peter's statement, hagnizo is grammatically past tense, indicating that the purification he's talking about isn't an on-going process, rather, it's a done deal, i.e. a one-time event not to be repeated.

In the book of Genesis, the cosmos' creator sanctified the sabbath day (Gen 2:3). He did that only once, i.e. sanctification of the sabbath isn't an on-going process; no, it was a one-time event not to be repeated; viz: once was enough to set aside the sabbath for God's purposes for all time. That, I believe, is the intended meaning of 1Pet 1:22.

†. Heb 10:11 . . Day after day every Levitical priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

. . . Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by just that one sacrifice alone he has made perfect forever those who have been set apart for God.

/


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The Conscience

There are no sacrifices, nor any atonements, in the Aaronic qorbanot system stipulated for the human conscience; no, none at all.

†. Heb 9:9 . . For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them.

The koiné Greek word for "conscience" in that passage is suneidesis (soon-i' day-sis). It means perception; which Webster's defines as the way you think about, or understand, someone or something. For example:

†. Gen 3:22 . .Then the LORD God said: See. The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.

The man's knowledge of good and evil at that point in time wasn't God-given. In other words: due to his disobedience in the matter of the forbidden fruit, humanity lost its God-given moral compass and became its own moral compass, i.e. man's moral compass is now humanistic instead of divine.

In other words: the sacrificial system in the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy only addresses people's words and actions; while leaving their humanistic perception of good and evil ignored.

Human perception is produced by a three-pound lump of flabby organic tissue housed within our bony little skulls; and not even all three of those pounds are utilized for cognitive processes; and in point of fact, something like 60% of the human brain's mass is fat.

It's not all that difficult to control one's words and actions; but I have yet to encounter someone who can exercise 100% control over their brain. It just can't be done. Our brains literally have a mind of their own; and we are prisoners of it.

Paul once complained that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelt no good thing Well; his "flesh" refers to the meaty parts of his body; which of course included his brain. That portion of himself had a "will" of its own, over which Paul had absolutely no control; ergo: he referred to his flesh as "this body of death" and referred to himself as a "wretched man".

†. Heb 10:1-4 . .The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-- not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

. . . If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The focus of that passage is Yom Kippur. It's kind of a humorous ritual because the people are not assembled for the purpose of expunging their records, but rather, for the purpose of beating themselves over the head for past sins.

In other words: the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy never, ever, allows people to stop feeling guilty. Anyone who attempts to stop feeling guilty gets slammed with a curse.

†. Deut 27:26 . . Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.

My point is: The Roman sacrament of reconciliation can't obtain purification of the conscience any more than Aaronic sacrifices can; ergo: Catholicism's reconciliatory system is really no better a reconciliatory system than Judaism's. Though both systems address people's words and actions, neither address people's natural perception of good and evil.

/

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
-
Purgatory


Q: Does the Bible teach a purgatory?

A: Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility; purgatory isn't an obvious, clear-cut, black and white teaching. Rome has appropriated those suggestive passages as their proof texts. However, passages that suggest one thing, can also be made to suggest another, so I do not recommend putting too much stock in Rome's ideas. It is much safer to assume the worst, and then begin preparing yourself for it in the event that purgatory turns out to be a huge mistake. Better to aim too high than too low.

/

POST THEM! "Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility"
Also - "then begin preparing yourself for it"

REALLY?

Why do you continue to SPAM the board with such WEED SEED and FALSE TEACHING!



 -

--------------------
That is all.....

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Erotic Fantasies

Roman Catholicism has helped to shape thousands of warped psyches and totally unnecessary guilt complexes due to its interpretation of the passage below.

†. Matt 5:27-28 . .Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Before we can even begin to apply what Christ said about adultery; we first have to categorize the "woman" about whom he spoke. Well; she's obviously somebody's wife because adultery is defined as voluntary carnal activity between a married man and someone other than his wife, or between a married woman and someone other than her husband. In other words; in order for an incident to qualify as adultery, at least one of the participants has to be married.

The koiné Greek word for "lust" is epithumeo (ep-ee-thoo-meh'-o) which means: to set the heart upon.

Setting one's heart upon something is a whole lot different than merely liking something and wanting it. The one whose heart is set upon something is in the process of finding a way to get it; and as such comes under the ruling of covetousness; which reads:

†. Ex 20:17 . .Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his burro, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

Coveting, per se, isn't a sin. Paul encouraged the Corinthian Christians to "covet earnestly" the best spiritual gifts (1Cor 12:31) and to covet prophesy (1Cor 14:39). To "covet earnestly" means you go after something with the full intention of possessing it.

Ex 20:17 doesn't condemn erotic fantasies nor a healthy male libido, no, it condemns scheming to take something of your neighbor's instead of getting your own.

†. Rom 13:14 . . But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

The emphasis there is not upon human nature's desires, but rather, upon taking steps to fulfill them; which has the distinction of being the correct interpretation of Matt 5:27-28.

So then, are Ex 20:17 and Matt 5:27-28 saying that a man can't look across the street at his neighbor's Harley and drool over it, turning green with envy? Or that a man can't gape at his neighbor's buxom wife, undressing her with his eyes, and having erotic fantasies about her? No, the kind of lust we're talking about here doesn't imply that at all. It implies a man going after the neighbor's Harley, and the buxom wife instead of getting his own.

Coming at this from the opposite direction: in the movie The Bridges Of Madison County, there's a precise moment when a married Francesca Johnson makes a definite decision to initiate an affair with free-lance photographer Robert Kincaid. Francesca was okay with Robert up till the moment of her decision; but from that moment on, Mrs. Johnson was an adulteress before she and Robert even slept together because it was in her heart to make it happen.

Supposing a Catholic man sincerely believes it really and truly is adultery to entertain thoughts about women-- any woman, whether somebody's wife or single? Well; too bad because if that's the way he feels, then whenever he does, he's an adulterer.

†. Rom 14:14 . . To him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

†. Rom 14:23 . . If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

That is indeed tragic because there are perfectly decent Catholic men out and about stacking up sins against themselves and at risk of eternal suffering for nothing more than thinking about the women that God created for men in the very beginning.

/


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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by WildB:
quote:
Originally posted by Sa:ji:sdo:de:
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Purgatory


Q: Does the Bible teach a purgatory?

A: Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility; purgatory isn't an obvious, clear-cut, black and white teaching. Rome has appropriated those suggestive passages as their proof texts. However, passages that suggest one thing, can also be made to suggest another, so I do not recommend putting too much stock in Rome's ideas. It is much safer to assume the worst, and then begin preparing yourself for it in the event that purgatory turns out to be a huge mistake. Better to aim too high than too low.

/

POST THEM! "Though there are numerous passages in the Bible that suggest its possibility"
Also - "then begin preparing yourself for it"

REALLY?

Why do you continue to SPAM the board with such WEED SEED and FALSE TEACHING!



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BUMP!

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That is all.....

Posts: 6727 | From: USA, MICHIGAN | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator



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