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Why We Will Never Go Back To Roman Catholicism



Prologue                                 

This particular chapter was written in order to list some of the reasons why we left The Roman Catholic Church. It's not our intention to condemn Catholic individuals; nor Catholic people per se, nor to express hatred for any of them in particular. However, due to the gravity of eternal destinies like Heaven and Hell; the gloves have got to come off; viz: there is just no way we can word our reasons in such a way as to completely avoid hurting somebody's feelings without compromising our own integrity.

Gal 1:10 . . Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Joanne and I aren't especially qualified to critique Catholicism. We're just two ex Catholic pew warmers responding in a similar fashion to the way that Kevin McCarthy's character, Dr. Miles Bennell— in the 1956 movie; Invasion Of The Body Snatchers —responded upon discovering the horrifying truth about otherwise innocuous-looking pods. We feel compelled to warn people before they become assimilated into the Borg-hive collective of a religion that we know for our own selves is a glamorous Judas goat, leading many thousands of unsuspecting souls to a terrible doom.

It's our personal ambition to comply with Christ's wishes at Mark 16:15 to the best of our abilities; and we believe that the most effective way to fulfill that obligation is to utilize our experience, and our online access, to expose Catholicism's fatal errors to as large a public as possible. We truly believe that is what God rescued each of us towards, and we are determined to fulfill our destiny so that some day we can hear Christ say, in all honesty and good conscience; "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Introduction                           

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)

Clashing With Jesus                           

The New Testament's Jesus was a Jewish man, born in the land of Israel of a Jewish woman, and raised by Jewish parents in an orthodox Jewish home; and was, by virtue of his genetics and his ritual circumcision, obligated to comply with every last point of the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That was the religion that Jesus believed, taught, and practiced when he was here the first time. In point of fact, Jesus is the only Jew in the history of Israel who never broke a single one of the Old Testament's religious laws. (2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 1Pet 1:18-19, 1Pet 2:22, and 1John 3:5)

But the Jewish elite of his own day believed, taught, and practiced a rabbinical form of Judaism that was so far removed from genuine Old Testament Judaism, that when his countrymen heard Christ's teachings, they actually thought he was trying to propagate a new belief system; and they truly believed that he grossly violated the Sabbath.

What I find to be absolutely fascinating in modern times is that large numbers of professing Christians of all denominations— not just Catholics —are so far removed from New Testament Christianity in their thinking that when they're exposed to it, they're unable to recognize it as such.

An overwhelming majority of Christians today comprise an essentially apostate church, and they look upon the real church as a cuckoo bird: sometimes even regarding its teachings as something akin to Mormonism where Mormon men are expecting to become Gods in their own right some day. But although I find that fascinating; it really comes as no surprise because the apostle Paul predicted that professing Christians would, in time, depart from the original and follow humanistic reasoning, fantasy, and myths; and they would do that because humanistic reasoning, fantasy, and myths are far more appealing than the real thing.

2Tim 4:2-4 . . Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when they will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.

Paul wasn't talking about the world at large in that passage; no, he was talking about Christians who, even in the depths of apostasy, profess to follow the teachings, beliefs, and practices of the New Testament's Jesus, and they were already operative while the apostles were still here, e.g. Gal 1:6-9, 1Tim 1:3-4, 2Tim 2:15-18, 1John 2:18-19, and Jud 1:17-19.

1Tim 4:1 …Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

The interesting thing about doctrines of devils is that they are sometimes Bible-based. For example when Satan tempted Jesus; he quoted the Bible. (Matt 4:6)

The "latter times" have been going on now for some time, ever since the days of Jesus and the apostles.

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

1Pet 1:20...He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

1John 2:18 ...Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

It's our goal in this chapter to show that Catholicism's version of Christianity fulfills, to a large degree, Paul's predictions; and is so far removed from New Testament Christianity as to be essentially a completely different religion altogether.

Religious Hostility                       

OBJECTION: Why are you people picking on Catholics?

RESPONSE: It's oftentimes difficult to discuss New Testament Christianity with the average Catholic because many are so fiercely loyal to Rome, so proudly identified with their religion, and so infected with a superiority complex stemming from a sort of master-race mentality, that they rarely receive the Holy Bible with joy and gratitude; au contraire, it isn't unusual for the average pew warmer to become defensive and indignant; reacting in a spirit of contention, hostility, and resentment when a non Catholic dares to insinuate their belief system is plastic, and that they might actually be in grave danger of eternal suffering.

OBJECTION: But don't you think it's natural for people to get defensive when an important core value like their own personal religion is challenged?

RESPONSE: Yes, it's natural; as all sins are; but defensiveness and religious hostility are not spiritual.

2Tim 2:23-26 . .The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

OBJECTION: And so you blame the Church and not your parents for the pain you went through in childhood?

RESPONSE: When people say "Church" I assume they mean the Roman Catholic Church the theocratic monarchy reputed the world over for its cruelty, its wealth, its crusades and inquisitions, its treatment of Galileo, Copernicus, and the scientific community in general, its collusion with fascist Germany, its shameful disregard for the plight of Christ's Jewish countrymen during WWII the so-called seat of Christ that covered up decades of its own clergy's shameful sexual sins? Rome's credibility on any matter of eternal significance is in serious question.

Matt 7:15-20 . . Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It has always been a mystery to us why so many Catholics assume that we are angry, or that we are suffering from abuse and psychological damage that is somehow related to our experience with Rome. Apparently, it is just too impossible for them to accept that any rational, objective person would part company with Rome for any other reason. I assure you our defection from Rome had nothing to do with angst and/or abuse. We are fully persuaded that Catholicism is a doctored version of the Christianity taught by the New Testament's Jesus and his apostles.

OBJECTION: But you annoy Catholics with non-Catholic teachings for which they have no interest.

RESPONSE: All evangelism programs, including Rome's, would come to an immediate halt if people's feelings and interests were the primary concern. No, when Christ commanded his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel everywhere to everybody, he did not predicate his command upon people's feelings, but specifically said that those who believe and are baptized will be spared, and the rest will be damned (Mark 16:15-16).

Gal 1:10 . .Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Try to understand it from our point of view. If you were passing by a burning apartment building late at night, would you consider it annoying to do all in your power to waken the occupants and alert them to the danger?

I truly believe that Christ pulled me out of Catholicism not just to save my soul from Hell, but to return and preach "good news of great joy" to my ex fellow Catholics and to share with them not only how I was ransomed from the wrath of God, but also how provisions of the new covenant repaired the psychological damages that my abusive mother caused by 17½ years of mental and physical cruelty so I could go on to become an effective husband and a father, and to enjoy 35+ years of successful marriage, and raise a well adjusted son who graduated from University of Oregon in 2005 with a degree in journalism.

Jesus himself didn't go out into the whole world, but confined his operations largely within the borders of his own country and among his own Jewish countrymen, and it was his habit to visit his own religion's synagogues wherever he went. He didn't go into any of the Roman world's pagan shrines and preach to those people. No, he preached to people professing to believe and practice the very same religion that he professed to believe and practice; which was Old Testament Judaism; and in my own case, it's to people professing to believe the very same religion that I profess to believe and practice; which is New Testament Christianity.

OBJECTION: So then, it is you and your wife's wish to get a sort of commission on each sale, which will be applied towards a pearly-gates pass for yourself? The motive of the fundamental, evangelical Christian is always to save his own theological skin, not his victim's.

RESPONSE: I have no clue where that kind of objection gets its information, but I can assure you that proselytizing would not serve to protect either our soul, or anybody else's soul, from criminal justice and eternal suffering.

Eph 2:8-9 . . God spared you by his kindness and generosity when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it's a gratuity from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Titus 3:3-8 . . For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved 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 according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement

Dissent; An American Civil Liberty           

The right to dissent is an implied right guaranteed by the first Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The chief instruments of dissent are freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. Democratic theory proclaims that all people should be free to speak, write, publish, broadcast, assemble, demonstrate, picket, and organize on behalf of their beliefs, their opinions and their points of view. A necessary complement to these freedoms is the existence of many independent mass media of communication (e.g. newspapers, web sites, magazines, radio stations, and television networks) with the right to freely convey to the public news of social controversy as it occurs in our legislative bodies and in the community.

Religious organizations like the Roman Catholic Church can abridge the freedoms of speech protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution only if their membership voluntarily waives those freedoms and makes itself willing subjects to a despotic hierarchy.

The Vatican is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome in the country of Italy. As such, it sure as hell has no legitimate right whatsoever to silence criticism of its beliefs and practices here in the land of America.

Making Changes                         

A common New Testament Greek word for repent is metanoeo (met-an-o-eh'-o); which means: to think differently, or to think about it afterwards; viz: to reconsider and change the mind. For example:

Acts 26:12-14 . . I was traveling to Damascus with the authorization and commission of the chief priests. At midday, along the way, O king, I saw a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my traveling companions. We all fell to the ground and I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew; "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad."

Paul was fully identified with rabbinical Judaism, it was his #1 core value, and he opposed Christ with a fatal passion; but at the Lord's prodding, Saul dumped his identity to follow Jesus (Phlp 3:4-8).

The opposite of repentance is backsliding. Let me explain what backsliding is just in case you're unfamiliar with ranching practices.

Cows are commonly transported to market via cattle trucks. To load cattle in the truck, ranchers construct sloped ramps for the cows to walk up. But sometimes you get a cow or two that doesn't want to go up the ramp into the truck. They'll start up the ramp, and then balk: planting their feet, and stiffening their front legs so you can't push them in. The more you push, the stiffer they set their legs to resist you; and an 800-1000 pound cow can really resist; especially when gravity's to their advantage! There's times when cows resist with such energy that they actually begin sliding back down the ramp instead of going on up ahead. So, sometimes you just have to give 'em the prod in order to get them going in the right direction.

Scripture Clips                                     

You're going to run across Bible quotes that, at first glance, will seem incomplete and/or ripped out of context. This is no cause for alarm as it's a valid teaching method. If you're an astute student of the Bible, then you're already aware that New Testament authors, and even Christ himself, often used Scripture clips to illustrate a point.

A critic once accused of us of conveniently leaving out the words "and truth" from John 6:63 in our discussion of the Eucharist; which insinuates that we deliberately manipulated the Bible to our advantage and suppressed important information. But Christ's comment "my words are spirit" is really all that we needed for illustrating that he did not intend for either his disciples, nor anybody else, to literally dine upon his actual flesh and blood in order to obtain eternal life.

Incidentally, our critic misquoted Christ's testimony. What Jesus actually said in John 6:63 was "my words are spirit and life" rather than "and truth". Apparently our accuser's mind subconsciously combined John 6:63 with John 4:24.

There's an object lesson in that. Never risk quoting the Bible from memory when your quote will be in writing. It's far better to do so from an open Bible and/or copy and paste quotes directly from Bible software in order to avoid embarrassing errors.

Copping Out                           

Occasionally, Catholics respond to our comments by saying: "Your exegesis of such-and-such passage is your own personal opinion and not much more" when the real problem is; they simply lack the skills and training necessary to refute our material. We've labeled people like that "obtuse" which is a pretty snazzy word to describe people who are just simply contrary; which Webster's defines as: temperamentally unwilling to accept control or advice. A contrary opponent isn't a person of reason and objectivity; but rather, an ignorant individual with an attitude.

Objections                                    

The overwhelming bulk of the material on our Catholicism web page was accumulated from literally years of dialogue with Roman Catholics. The "objections" on this page were real-life objections from actual Catholics.

Editing and Word Substitutions                          

People's minds are very creative; with an especially annoying propensity to subconsciously revise our comments, and construe them to mean things that they don't say in writing. At least a portion of that particular problem is caused by scotoma: which, if you've seen The Davinci Code, you know is a subconsciously induced psychological blindness caused by the mind's propensity to disregard concepts that are incongruous with deep seated, preconceived notions. In other words; the mind automatically glosses over the obvious when the obvious doesn't harmonize with the mind's already in-place concepts.

When data enters your head, the human mind begins an automatic, subconscious search for points of reference so it can process the data into a context that you can understand. Left to itself, the mind will automatically discard unfamiliar data rather than expend the energy to learn something new; which is exactly why learning something new takes effort.

Matt 6:23 . . If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how extensive is that darkness!

Luke 11:35 . .Take heed therefore that the light which is in you be not darkness.

Scotoma often does its best work when we hear somebody say something that we just know can't possibly be true. So we think to ourselves; "I'm sure I heard him wrong. He must have meant........" and so our minds automatically revise the person's words in order to make them say something believable rather than unbelievable.

Subconsciously induced mental blindness is not an unusual mental activity. How many times have you looked right at something on a supermarket shelf and not seen it because the item didn't have a familiar label; or walked past an acquaintance without speaking simply because you weren't expecting to see them in that particular location?

An excellent example of scotoma happened to us during a discussion of the term "free gift".

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.

Our opponent, upon reading that verse, then asked us: Is their anything required on your part? Well . . I'm sure you can see right off that a free gift didn't really mean "free" in their thinking because they were conditioned to believe that anything one might obtain from God has to be earned, merited, and/or deserved. (Commercial advertising gimmicks certainly aren't any help with this problem. People are bombarded every day with give-aways that always have a catch. So to us here in capitalist America, free gifts always come with strings attached.)

So we had to stop and deal with their scotoma and explain that a free gift in the Bible is a gratuity, which Webster's defines as: something given voluntarily and/or beyond obligation. In other words, the water of life is a token of good will from God's house to yours; with no strings attached and nothing asked in return; like the presents that women give to a new mom at a baby shower.

When Christians go about trying to deserve the water of life, they insult the spirits of charity and altruism; and are out of the gratuity range and into the category of a wage-earner. Wages are not something given voluntarily and/or beyond obligation. No, wages are something owed. But the water of life is not something to be deserved. No, far from it: the water of life is something to simply accept. Can you imagine how insulting it would be if a new mommy were to ask her friends at a baby shower: Okay, what do I have to do to before you'll give me that Dora The Explorer comforter? No, No, No; that's unthinkable!

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

As you examine our material, be especially on guard against word substitutions. For example; when you see words like many and/or most; don't substitute them with the word "all". It will just result in your getting the wrong idea and subsequently setting you up with false premises. I've lost count of the number of times people have challenged us with questions that were utterly non sequiturs because they were based upon easily avoidable false premises if only they had paid closer attention to language and grammar.

Skimming is another poor way to absorb material. When it skims, the human mind runs ahead so fast that it can't help but fail to retain important details like, for example, the grammatical tense of verbs. That is an especially fatal error when studying Christ's statements about the possession of eternal life. It's very important to comprehend that eternal life is a benefit to obtain from God in this life prior to leaving for the next. According to God's testimony as an expert witness, people without eternal life don't have His son; viz: they are quite christless and alienated from the New Testament's Jesus.

1John 5:11-12 . . And 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 the life; whoever does not have the life, does not have His son.

Christless people not only don't have eternal life, no, they are unbelievers who neither listen to Christ's message, nor trust in God; consequently they abide in death, and in grave danger of the wrath of God.

John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who heed my message, and believe 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.

Misunderstandings                        

We cannot be held responsible for the way people choose to react to our comments, nor can we be blamed for the wrong impressions they take away with them. Impressions, like insults, are arbitrary; and often exist only in one's own mind. What one person might "feel" is an insult, may just simply be a matter of fact to another; and people are just quite naturally prone to getting the wrong impressions about things.

In order for a comment to be objectively condemned as an insult, there must first be demonstrated some evidence of intentional malice.

We highly recommend that everyone purchase and read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book: The Proper Care And Feeding Of Husbands. Our detractors just might learn one or two useful things about abusing people with spurious accusations.

Target Audiences                                   

We're going to confront not only some of the official dogma of the Catholic Church, but also the personal beliefs of individual Catholics harboring some really strange religious concepts in their heads which at times go completely contrary to official dogma. Oddly, there are numbers of practicing Roman Catholics who are heretics and don't know it simply because childhood catechism was the last of their religious training.

Heb 5:11-6:3 . .There is so much more we would like to say about this. But you don't seem to listen, so it's hard to make you understand. You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't know much about righteousness.

. . . Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to distinguish between good and evil. So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to advanced understanding.

For those Catholics whose religious education has been pretty much limited to early-childhood Catechism, we feel it's fair to forewarn  they're in for not just a shock, but for many shocks as they're about to be introduced to some Bible information they never dreamed existed.

Expert Witnesses                                

Let's say you were called to jury duty where someone claiming to be a Christian was on trial to determine the validity of their claim. And lo and behold, Almighty God was called to the stand and sworn in as an expert witness.

An "expert witness" can be defined as: A witness, who by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience, is believed to have knowledge in a particular subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the witness's specialized (scientific, technical or other) opinion about an evidence or fact issue within the scope of their expertise, referred to as the expert opinion, as an assistance to the fact-finder.

You would think that most Catholics would readily agree that when it comes to testing the validity of someone's claim to be a Christian, Almighty God would certainly be an unimpeachable expert witness. But no, it rarely works out that way; especially among Catholic jurors. It has been my own personal experience that Catholics almost always, and with scant few exceptions, throw out God's testimony and lean upon Rome's instead. That is a very dumb thing to do.

1John 5:10 . . Whoever does not believe God has made Him a liar

Catholics have taken it upon themselves to inform us that believing Rome is all the same as believing God; but I can easily assure them that it is not now, nor has it ever been, the same.

Okay; let's get up that ramp and onto the truck— and no backsliding! Don't be a stubborn cow and force God to poke your derriere with a prod.
 

 

Menu                                

Transubstantiation                                     Jeconiah's Curse & Jacob's Precedent              The Holy Family

Apostolic Succession                                 Eternal Perfection                                             The Conscience

Freedom of Speech                                    Rome's Savior                                                    Satisfying Justice

The Lord's Prayer                                       Questions Rome Cannot Answer                       Patron Saints

Fellowship                                                 Eternal Life                                                        Half-Baked Communion

Apparitions                                                Erotic Fantasies                                                 God's Hands

Favoritism                                                  Abba, Father                                                      The Good Book

The Dark Side Of Love                             Of Rock And Stone                                            Christ's Ancestors

Unrighteousness                                         Zechariah & Elizabeth                                      Sanctification

The Rosary                                                 Penance                                                             Eternal Redemption

Holy Water                                                 Generosity vs Achievement                              Behold Your Mother?

Rome's Recipe                                           The Woman Taken In Adultery                         

Mother(s) of God                                        Confirmation                                                    God's Paterfamilias

The Good Shepherd                                    The Church As Noah's Ark                               Mary's Perpetual Virginity?

The One-Time Purification                         Unpardonable Sins                                           Heretics

The Church; Which Is His Body                Catholics In The Treetops                                The Bible

Pillar and Ground of the Truth                    Immunity                                                         Interpretation

Role Model For All Mothers                       Mary's Selection                                             Acquittal

Christmas or Marymas?                              The Immaculate Conception                           Ways To Define Grace

Mary's Unbelief                                           My Lord                                                          Cursed Christians

Rome's New Eve                                         Death By Christ                                               Safety In Numbers

Apostolic Traditions                                    Unconfessed Sins                                            Capital Punishment

Perseverance                                               Rome Has Spoken                                             Redemption

Keys To The Kingdom                                In Christ                                                            Purgatory, Basic

Christless                                                    The Lord's Day                                                  Purgatory, Advanced

Underlings                                                  Abraham's Performance                                    Holding The Line

Christ's Prayer                                             Conversion To Catholicism                              Rome's Idolatry

Peter's Hope                                                 Love                                                                  Hailing Mary

Contrition                                                     Rome vs Melchizedek                                                

Good Friday                                                Infant Baptism                    

Suicide                                                        

                                                                                                                     

                                                                             

 


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.
 

Transubstantiation                                

John 6:53-54 . . 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.

The kind of life that Jesus spoke of in that passage is eternal life;

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

The grammatical tense of "has" is present tense, indicating that people who eat Christ's flesh and blood obtain eternal life right away— no delay and no waiting period.

Eternal life, unlike organic life, is a quality of life that's immune to death, putrefaction, and the aging process; which means that it's necessary to obtain eternal life only once and you never have to obtain it again seeing as how the first time is permanent.

The manna that the Jews ate when they were wandering in the wilderness didn't give them eternal life; in point of fact, it didn't even give them immortality. It gave them organic life; viz: the nourishment they obtained from manna sustained the Jews only one day at a time. They had to keep eating the stuff in order to avoid starving to death. But the bread about which Jesus spoke in the sixth chapter of John doesn't need to be eaten every day because it gives its eaters divine life rather than organic life. Organic life breaks down, but divine life can never break down.

Seeing as how eternal life is immune to death, putrefaction, and the aging process, then it's immune to the wages of sin.

John 5:24 . . 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.

That's not an easy promise to believe, but nevertheless; Jesus' statement is true whether people accept it or not.

Bottom line: Even if transubstantiation were true, it would need to be taken only once in a person's lifetime.

Transubstantiation And The Old Testament

Jesus and his men were all Jews. The covenant that their ancestors agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy forbids Jews to eat blood.

Lev 7:26 . .Wherever you dwell, you shall not eat any blood, whether of bird or of animal. Every person who eats any blood shall be cut off from the people.

I suppose it could be argued that human blood isn't specifically named in that passage, but it seems to me that the prohibition against eating "any blood" would include it.

According to Heb 9:15-17, the new covenant wasn't legally in force until Jesus was crucified. So then, the night of Christ's last supper, he and his men were still under the jurisdiction of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Ergo: had Christ ordered his men to eat his blood that night, whether literally or transubstantiated, he would have led them into a breech of the covenant, resulting in an instant curse upon everyone in the room; himself included.

Deut 27;26 . . Cursed be anyone whose actions do not uphold the words of this law!

And Jesus would have relegated himself to an inferior position in the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 5:19 . .Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Bottom line: We can, and we should, rule out transubstantiation as a valid explanation of John 6:32-58.

The World Of Spirit Words

Jesus explained to his loyal disciples that the words he spoke about his flesh and blood were spirit words. (John 6:63). Not that people can't read and/or hear spirit words spoken in their native tongue; but in order to understand what spirit words are saying, people need some way to decode them.

So then, though the words Jesus spoke were true; they were not meant to be taken prima facie. In point of fact, his words revealed a sacred secret that only people with the ability to de-code spirit words can understand and accept. (1Cor 2:1-16)

Obviously Rome is unable to de-code Jesus' spirit words in that section of John because they've taken it all prima facie; which is the very same error that Jesus' disloyal disciples made when they abandoned him at that time.

Q: Well then; what's the correct way to partake of Christ's body and blood if not by transubstantiation?

A: I suggest you begin by acting upon Jesus' teachings about the deadly snakes in John 3:14-17 by praying this really simple, forthright prayer.

"Lord, I'm a sinner. I would like to take advantage of your son's death"

However, I should caution that the prayer won't be heard unless the one praying is confident that there really is a God out there.

Heb 11:6 . . But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Remembering Christ

The Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington DC isn't set up as a food court where visitors come and dine upon the bodies and blood of the servicemen and women whose names are on the wall. No, the memorial is set up for remembering the people whose names are on the wall; lest we forget.

1Cor 11:23-25 . . For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Note that, unlike John 6:48-58, the above passage doesn't say "do this in order to obtain eternal life". Not even! No, it's a memorial service; and the intent is to prevent Christ's crucifixion from becoming marginalized; and thus out of mind.

1Cor 11:26 . . For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.

Q: But what about 1Cor 11:29? Doesn't that teach real presence?

A: No; it teaches that when people regard the Lord's supper as merely food on the table; they devalue the importance of his death; which is a pretty serious sin.

1Cor 11:30 . . That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Apparently the Corinthian Christians set the Lord's supper up as sort of a potluck and/or an all you can eat buffet where people helped themselves instead of being served by altar boys. Well; that would have been okay except that it led to excess and poor manners.

1Cor 11:20-23 . .When you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

1Cor 11:33-34 . . So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
 

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

POSIT: It isn't necessary to partake of both species. According to 1Cor 11:27, Jesus' body and blood are contained in both; easily discerned by Paul's use of the word "or" in his teachings.

"So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord."

RESPONSE: Seeing as how Christ is the undisputed lord and master of Christianity; I do believe that whatever he says about his body and blood should trump whatever Paul says.

When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper, he had his men partake of both species: the wine and the bread. He did not give them the option to select between the two. No, he ordered them to partake of both species, and that while he supervised.

Matt 26:26-28 . .While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said: Take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying: Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

Matt 26:26-28 corroborates John 6:53-54 where Jesus testified: 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. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

NOTE: Be especially careful not to let your mind pull a fast one on you by construing "and" as and/or.

1Cor 11:23-25 also corroborates John 6:53-54 by assigning each species its own special purpose: the bread for Christ's body, and the wine for his blood.

Therefore I must conclude that when Catholics partake of only one element of the Lord's Supper instead of both; they fail to obtain the life about which he spoke in John 6:53-54; ergo: they not only go away dead, but also in grave danger of missing out the better of the two resurrections spoken of in the book of Revelation.

They also fail to properly proclaim the Lord's death.

1Cor 11:26 . . For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
 

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)

And anyway; Catholicism's so-called apostolic succession is a red herring. What matters most is not Catholicism's past, rather, its present.

I think that any conscientious, well-informed Bible student with an honest, unbiased perspective, has to conclude that although the Roman church may possibly have once been faithful and true to the original version of Christianity; it is no longer; rather, today it is an apostate entity so far removed from the original version of Christianity as to essentially represent its own version instead of Christ's.

Today's Catholics are following a glamorous Judas goat whose only possible end is the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:11-15 because according to Rev 21:8, that is the predetermined destination of all forms of deception.

POSIT: 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.
 

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.
 

Patron Saints                  

The apostle 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).
 

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.
 

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.
 

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)

Q: What's so bad about a prayer like the Hail Mary?

A: Well; for starters, it's impersonal; viz: it's a scripted performance; thus it fails to comply with a very straight forward command to pray from the heart.

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.

Reciting the lines of the Hail Mary is not what I call forthright, nor blunt, nor out-spoken, nor candid. It's actually not much different than mindlessly reading from a siddur like one of those Jews bobbing back and forth at the Wailing Wall.

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 insulting His intelligence like one of those mindless robocallers that annoy everybody to no end with their pre-recorded messages.

POSIT: Mary is no longer a human being; so prayer to her is not paganism!

RESPONSE: When people die, they exist out of the body, yes, but they never stop existing as a human being. I don't know why that objector would think the ghost of a human being is somehow less human than the body of a human being. So that praying to the spirit of a human being is really no different than praying to them while they're flesh and blood.

And anyway, Rome teaches that Christ's mom left this earth as a whole person as a whole human being, not as a spirit being.

"By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Likewise, the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium that "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things." (Catholic Encyclopedia:)

Since Rome teaches Christ's mom was taken up "body and soul" then I believe there's justification to conclude that Rome's Mary would have been a viable human being at the moment of her alleged assumption because a body without a soul is a dead body; e.g. when God created Adam, his body lay on the ground as a corpse until God breathed into it the power of life; and it was then that Man became a conscious being (Gen 2:7). A body without its spirit, is a dead body; viz: a corpse (Jas 2:26). Would that objector really have us to believe that Rome's Mary went up to Heaven in two pieces: as a spirit and as a corpse?

Bottom line is: Whether as a spirit or as a material being, praying to a celestial being other than the one true God is a violation of the very first of the Ten Commandments; and Christ said to that when you pray, to pray "our Father" he didn't say to pray "our Mother".

And anyway; praying to people on the other side pretty much defines a séance; which is an occult practice.

Q: If praying to people on the other side is an occult practice, then how is it okay to pray to Christ; or do you not consider him "people"?

A: The Bible teaches that Christ is not only Man, but also God; viz: human and divine. Were Jesus' mom both God and Man, i.e. human and divine; then it would be okay to contact her on the other side.

When we wrote this section, there were approximately 1.227 billion Catholics worldwide. Let's say that during the next seven days, one half of one percent (.5%) of those Catholics will attempt to contact Jesus' mom with personal concerns.

Those concerns would add up to something like 6,135,000 prayers for her to process in just seven days; i.e. 876,428 concerns every twenty-four hours; amounting to 36,518 concerns every sixty minutes on the clock.

It is humanly impossible for one person to process a case load of that magnitude; viz: Jesus' mom would have to be divine in order to do so.

Well; according to the Bible, Christ is divine; so it wouldn't be a strain on his capabilities to process 36,518 personal concerns in only one hour's time. But I have yet to be shown any Biblical evidence that his mom is divine and/or possesses divine capabilities.

So then, here's my recommendation.

Seeing as how Christ left behind no Biblical instructions to contact his mom with personal concerns, then I consider the practice optional, if not downright occult. So then, just to be on the safe side, and to avoid a crisis of conscience, leave off on the practice. Since Christ doesn't' require people to attempt contacting his mom; then don't


The Rosary                           

The beads of a rosary are little more than page upon page of indifferent sing-song lyrics. 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.
 

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. Two really good examples of his style are located at  Matt 11:25-26 and 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
 

God's Hands                                

POSIT: 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.
 

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' holiday 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 grace in that song-- none at all --no generosity, no altruism, no kindness, no charity, no love, no peace, no understanding, no sympathy, no patience, no tolerance, no courtesy, no compassion, no forgiveness, i.e. there are no gifts in Santa's bag; only merit awards for those who prove themselves worthy enough to deserve them.

Stay with me; I have a point to make.

OBJECTION: 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.

POSIT: 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 "work(ing) out your salvation, in fear and trembling." (Phlp 2:12).

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 pretty much believe 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 a debt.

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.
 

The Purification To End All Purifications                   

1Pet 1:22 . . Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto sincere love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently

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.
 

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.

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 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 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.
 

Holy Water                        

Hag 2:10-15 . .On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yhvh came to Haggai the prophet saying; Thus says Yhvh of Legions; Ask now the priests for a ruling:

. . . If a man carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become consecrated? And the priests answered and said; No.

. . .Then Haggai said; If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean? And the priests answered and said; It will become unclean.

. . .Then Haggai answered and said; So is this people. And so is this nation before Me; testifies Yhvh, and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.

This is a fascinating principle. The consecration of a consecrated item, cannot be transferred to an unconsecrated item by physical contact with it.

In contrast, the uncleanness of an unclean item can be transferred to an otherwise clean item by physical contact with it.

So then, when people bless themselves with holy water when passing through the vestibule of a Catholic church, all they are really doing is making the holy water unholy; viz: the instant the consecrated water makes contact with the skin of an unconsecrated human being; it makes the sacred water just as unsacred as the water in a hog trough.

OBJECTION: What about the sacred potion made by mixing water with the ashes of a red heifer? (Num 19:19)

RESPONSE: In order to correctly interpret the sprinkling portion of the ritual, it is necessary to examine the entire process in Num 19:1-22.

Bottom line is: the contaminated person must comply with every step of the cleansing process in order to become clean; which includes bathing his flesh and laundering his clothing.

A very important point to note is that the water of purification is actually toxic. Anyone who comes in physical contact with it becomes unclean till sundown; including the clean person who applied it he too is required to bathe his flesh and launder his clothing just the same as the unclean person(s) upon whom he sprinkled the water.

In the final analysis then; according to the principles of Num 19:22 and Hag 2:10-15, the very first person to come in physical contact with the holy water in the vestibule of a Catholic church destroys its holiness; and from then on, every person following the first person is made ritually unclean by reason of contact with the contaminated water.

Q: Is Hag 2:10-15 saying that when the bleeding woman in Matt 9:20 touched Christ's clothes, her contact rendered him unclean? How can that be when Jesus, who is totally sinless, exemplified holiness, cleanness and all perfection?

A: It needs to be reiterated from time to time that the New Testament's Jesus was never in his life exempt from the law that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God in the covenant as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He was a Jewish man by birth. So then; by virtue of his genetics and his ritual 8th day circumcision, Christ was obligated to comply with every last item of the law.

Gal 4:4 . .But when the time had fully come, God sent His son . . born under the law

Gal 5:2-3 . .Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

Deut 4:2 . .You shall not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, but keep the commandments of Yhvh your God that I enjoin upon you.

Had not Christ exemplified the law of the covenant, and set himself up as its role model, he would have relegated himself to the position of least in the kingdom of God.

Matt 5:19-20 . . Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

And he would have incurred a curse upon himself.

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

Hag 2:10-15 aside; the covenanted law clearly stipulates that when a Jewish man comes in contact with a bleeding woman, he's rendered unclean.

Lev 15:19 . . And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.

Somebody might be tempted to make an excuse for Jesus because the bleeding woman sneaked up on him and touched him without either his knowledge or his consent. No; the covenanted law is very clear. Contact is contact whether its knowing or unknowing.

Lev 5:2 . . If a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcass of an unclean beast, or a carcass of unclean cattle, or the carcasses of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and accountable.

The uncleanness that Jesus derived from contact with the bleeding woman (and with lepers) was small potatoes. His ultimate submission to uncleanness was when he went to the cross bearing the entire case-load of human sin.

Isa 53:6 . . All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yhvh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

No one should be shocked that the New Testament's Jesus was willing to get down and dirty in order to be of service to his fellow Jewish countrymen. The New Testament's Jesus was not only a savior, but also a physician; and today, we would say that for doctors, contact with unsanitary conditions (e.g. disease) quite naturally "comes with the turf" just as naturally as professional welders have to submit themselves to occasional burns in the performance of their duties.
 

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.
 

Eternal Redemption                

The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).

The problem is that people have only one life to work with; and that one life is already ear-marked for Adam's sin.

Rom 5:12 . .Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

Serial Sins

The longer we live, the more sins we add to our record for which we must receive retribution. Your life is already ear-marked to satisfy justice for Adams' sin, so you have absolutely nothing with which to satisfy justice for additional sins that you yourself commit on your own. You're not only over-budget on sins, but your life-account is under-funded and you don't have near enough left in your account with which to pay for your own sins. So then, you desperately need a bail-out, because the cost of escaping the wrath of God is very high.

1Pet 1:18-19 . .For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were ransomed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

A common New Testament Greek word for save is sozo (sode'-zo); which means: to rescue and/or protect.

Rescuing is what the Coast Guard does when boats capsize. Rescuing is what Firemen do when people are trapped inside burning buildings. Rescuing is what mountaineer teams do when climbers are in trouble. Rescuing is what EMT paramedics do when someone needs to get to a hospital in a hurry; and kept alive till they arrive. Rescuing is what surgeons do when someone needs an organ transplant.

I could go on and on giving example of rescuer after rescuer; but I think you get the idea. The New Testament's Jesus is like that: he rescues people from the wrath of God— people who not only fully deserve Hell, but definitely in line to go there.

Matt 20:28 . .The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1Tim 2:5-6 . .For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all

Salvation is not only a rescue but also a redemption.

The New Testament Greek word for redemption is lutrosis (loo'-tro-sis); which means: a ransoming.

Webster's defines ransom as a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or some thing from captivity.

The annual animal lives that Aaron paid for his constituents sins weren't enough. Every year he had to go through Yom Kippur all over again because the Jews kept right on sinning and kept right on needing to pay more and more ransoms for their sins because the value of animal life is far too minimal. The moment Yom Kippur was over, the Jews began accumulating sins towards the next Yom Kippur.

In contrast; Christ's life is of such infinite worth that God's son needed to offer himself as a ransom for his own constituents just the one time.

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.

So for the people of God relying upon Jesus as their priest instead of Aaron, there is no annual day of atonement, because Christ's one-time offering of his own life's blood was sufficient to ransom the people of God permanently— forever.

Heb 9:12b . .thus securing an eternal redemption.

The ransom is a donation; a gift of friendship from God's house to yours. It costs you nothing.

John 3:16-17 . .For God so cared for the world that He donated His only son, so that everyone who relies upon him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His son into the world to condemn it, but to rescue it.

If the redemption you possess at the moment can be either lost or forfeited, then you don't have an eternal redemption; no, you have some other kind.

My point is this: Catholicism cannot guarantee anybody a safe passage to the afterlife, no, not even for its Popes; nor even for an outstanding nun like Teresa of Calcutta (a.k.a. Kolkata). Don't you see? Catholicism doesn't recognize an eternal ransom; ergo: Rome's constituents are really no better off in regards to redemption than Aaron's because once an eternal ransom is paid, those once held prisoner should never again be in danger of re-captivity because the ransom is always on hand to guarantee their freedom— and the ransom's custodian in this particular situation is Almighty God; so it's not going to get lost, or slip through a crack.

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.

Beasts can't ransom a human being because a beast's life isn't equal in value to a human being's life. According to Gen 1:27, God created Man in His own image. That places the value of human life far and away above the value of creatures in the animal kingdom. Man is, in point of fact, a kind of divine being in his own right (Gen 1:27-28, Ps 82:1-8, John 10:34-36). So then, since Man was made in the image of God, then only a God Being can truly stand in for Man's retribution.

Even today, in modern times, Jews take a day out of the year on Yom Kippur to reflect on their past sins because Moses' Law doesn't permit them to forget what they are, nor to forget what they've done. But under the terms of the new covenant, the people of God are encouraged to put it all behind them.

Jer 31:34b . .For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.
 

Eternal Perfection              

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 one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

There is a distinct difference in that passage between "perfect" and "holy".

In regards to perfection, there is now no more of anything that beneficiaries of Christ's crucifixion can do to make themselves any more suitable to participate in Messiah's future. However, holiness is something else again, but I won't go into that portion of the passage at this time because it regards piety and fellowship with God, rather than obtaining a pass to Messiah's kingdom.

Particularly note the phrase: "by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever" those who are being made holy. Christ's death completely deleted every sin that believers are ever going to commit for the rest of their lives. If that were not true, then it would be necessary for him to die over and over again for each new sin— just like the Levitical priests offering the same sacrifices day after day. But that is not going to happen because Jesus offered himself only just that once; and it was good enough.

Heb 9:25-26 . .Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Again, the author's audience is reminded of the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice. Believers don't build themselves a criminal record, nor are they encouraged to beat themselves over the head in affliction and sorrow for their sins. It's as if whenever believers commit a sin— they don't. (I'll get into the purpose of confession up ahead). Some may call that a license to steal. Well, a license to steal just happens to be the only sure-fire way anybody is going to escape retribution. However, believers are exhorted to avoid taking advantage of their license to steal as a license to continue living a life out of harmony with God (Rom 6:1-22, Rom 12:1-2, Gal 5:13).

There are Catholics who truly believe that Christ's blood only works on sins that are confessed. But that is not what that passage in Hebrews is saying. It's saying "perfected forever" it's not saying perfected for the time being.

Point being: Rome cannot provide its constituents eternal perfection via a one-time ritual. If it could, then no Catholic, not one, would go to Hell. Rome does not accept Christ's crucifixion as a guaranteed ransom from the wrath of God. No, it only sees his blood as a basis for absolving confessed sins rather than a guaranteed, commandment proof, God proof, sin proof, ransom from the wrath of God and full time protection from future retribution; viz: Rome isn't listening to Christ's message.

John 5:24 . .Truly, Truly, I say unto 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.

OBJECTION: Your whole argument is false. Christ's words "he that endureth to the end shall be saved" clearly indicates that people have to remain faithful to the very last if they hope to escape the wrath of God.

RESPONSE: (chuckle) I just love it when disbelievers attempt to use The Lord's own words to refute his own words.

John 5:24 . .Truly, Truly, I say unto you, those who heed my message and believe 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.

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

The word *never is from the Greek words ou me (oo may) which is a double negative strengthening the denial; viz: not at all. Webster's defines "never" as: not ever, at no time, not in any degree, not under any condition

First off, it's important to know that Catholics are forbidden, under the penalty of a curse, to have any confidence in themselves in the area of perseverance.

Council of Trent Session 6, Chapter 16, Canon16: . . 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.

Let's face it: what Catholic has even managed to persevere in exemplifying the Beatitudes, let alone the remainder of the Sermon on the mount? Answer: none. So then, I think it's pretty safe to assume that the objector has already failed to make the cut in the perseverance category.

Now; let's say you were a sheep instead of a Catholic. Whose responsibility is it then to make sure you persevere to the end? You the sheep? No, not you the dumb little stupid prone-to-wander sheep; but rather; he the competent Shepherd.

Isa 53:6 . .We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and Yhvh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

John 10:14-15 . .I am the good shepherd . . and I lay down my life for the sheep.

John 10:28-30 . .No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me.

You see, when people put the responsibility for perseverance in their own hands, they are actually casting a vote of no-confidence in Christ's and his Father's trustworthiness and competence as shepherds.

Canon 16 is right on, and I fully agree with it. However, though no Catholic will persevere, the good Shepherd's sheep will all persevere because he will see to it himself personally. All the rest of the "work out your own salvation" crowd are guaranteed to utterly fail because they have no shepherd.

Phlpns 1:6 . .Being confident of this very thing: that He which has begun a good work in you will see it through to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.

Col 2:10 . .you have been made complete in him
 

Fellowship                 

Although beneficiaries of the new covenant are already completely acquitted of their entire lifetime of sin, and look forward to implementation of the promise of a sinless psyche as per Jer 31:31-34 and Ezk 36:24-28; they still need to confess their sins in a timely manner while they live down here on the planet in an Adamic situation— but not so's they can go to Heaven; no, not that at all. The purpose of a believer's confession is *fellowship which is derived from the Greek word koinonia (koy-nohn-ee'-ah which means partnership.

One aspect of fellowship is that of two or more parties working together in harmony towards a common cause.

1John 1:3 . .We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

The pronouns we, ourselves, us, and our in that passage refer to the apostles. So then, their message has the potential to effect a fellowship with the apostles. But everybody who refuses their message, walks in darkness and has no fellowship with either the apostles, or with the Father, or with the Father's son— Jesus Christ.

1John 1:5-6 . .This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

Christians out of fellowship with God, are unclean.

1John 1:7 . .But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His son, purifies us from all sin.

So then, in order to protect and maintain a consistent partnership with God, it's necessary to wash up in a timely manner.

1John 1:8-10 . .If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Here's an example of the concepts of partnership and non-partnership. Abraham and his nephew Lot were both righteous men (2Pet 2:7) and neither went to Hell. But of the two, only Abraham lived in fellowship with God. Thus divine providence worked to Abraham's benefit— but not so for Lot; no, there was no providence because he went out on his own down there to the city of Sodom; and there's no record of his ever praying and building altars like his uncle did; and even when Yhvh advised him to flee into the mountains to escape Sodom's destruction; Lot resisted and went to a nearby town instead.

My point is: Catholicism cannot guarantee its confessees safety in between confessions, because it doesn't accept the purpose of confession as merely a means of preserving harmony between God and the adopted children in His own home. No, its teachings revolve around something called a state of grace; without which one cannot go to Heaven. According to Rome's teachings; a state of grace is achieved by the rank and file primarily via confession. Thus the New Testament's teaching of proxy participation in Christ's crucifixion, and the circumcision made without hands, is simply brushed aside in favor of a temporary kind of safety that is easily lost between confessions.

The longer a Catholic goes in between confessions; the greater their danger of going to Hell because a Catholic's safety doesn't really depend upon the kindness and generosity of God, nor upon Christ's competence as a rescuer, nor upon Christ's one-time-only offering of his own self for Man's ransom from the wrath of God; but rather, upon their own personal state of grace.

FIY: It's very important when studying the New Testament's epistles to pay strict attention to the antecedents of pronouns like we and our and us because they rarely, if ever, refer to ordinary rank and file pew warmers or to just anybody who happens to be looking in. No, they typically relate to a specific people group whom the authors often identify as "brethren" viz: their fellow believers. Genuine believers are all siblings (Rom 8:29, 1John 3:1-2).

The entire epistle of 1John is really none of a Catholic's business because that particular letter wasn't written to ordinary rank and file pew warmers, no, it was written and sent to believers currently in possession of eternal life. Note the tense of the "have" verb in this next verse: it's in the present tense, not future.

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

So then, any Catholic who doesn't currently possess eternal life, is currently not believing in the Son of God; and according to God's testimony as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to His son; those Catholics are quite Christless.

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

And according to Christ's testimony; Catholics who lack eternal life abide in Death, and are in grave danger of the wrath of God.

John 5:24 . .Truly, Truly, I say unto you; those who heed my message, and believe 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.

Pew warmers who don't believe in the possibility of obtaining eternal life right now— in this life prior to dying and crossing over to the other side —insinuate that the Bible's God is a dishonest person of low moral integrity who cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

1John 5:10-12 . .Anyone who does not believe God insinuates that He's a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His son. And this is the testimony: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. So whoever has God's son has the life; whoever does not have the life, does not have His son.
 

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 piles of unnecessary sins against themselves due to their perfectly normal, God-given feelings about women.

Christ And Celibacy

Gen 2:18 . .The Lord God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.

"suited" is from the Hebrew word neged (neh'-ghed) which means: a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate.

The word for "helper" is 'ezer (ay'-zer) which means: aid.

In other words: woman's primary purpose is life is very simple: to be a man's BFF (best friend forever). Well; that is something Christ had to do without because of the brevity, and the severity, of his mission; and though the Bible says nothing in that regard; I, being a man, know it bothered him.

According to Mark 15:40-41, Jesus was supported by a number of devoted women. But none of them were the kind of female friend that Gen 2:18 is talking about.

In making a statement like Gen 2:18; God made it very clear right from the beginning that men were not intended to live a celibate life. If men were packaged in a box of software, one of their system requirements would be Female Companion.

The problem with a vow of celibacy is that although it may hinder a priest from getting wedded and bedded, it does nothing to prevent him from pining for a female companion.

Some time ago, a Catholic priest here in Oregon quit the vocation after serving more than 30 years to get married because he couldn't stand the loneliness anymore. He wasn't especially looking to get bedded, he just wanted to be with somebody; which is exactly how normal guys are designed.

No doubt Jesus' divine side could easily get by without female companionship, but I seriously doubt that Jesus' human side got by near as well. I believe that Jesus suffered the same amount of loneliness and longing for a female companion that all normal men undergo when doing without.

Heb 2:17 . .He had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest

Heb 2:18 . . Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to aid those who are being tempted.

Heb 4:15 . . 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

Heb 5:7-8 . . Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

Oh how dark the night the Lord walked through
On his way to die for me and you.
Loneliness plagued his righteous soul,
Love and family were ne'er his bowl.
 

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, and they shall never perish.

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 die and cross over to the other side.

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, religions, and/or spiritual ideologies 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.

Spirit Words                          

Jesus stated at John 6:63 that the words he spoke about consuming his flesh and blood are spirit words rather than human words; which is problematic right out of the box because it says to me that the meanings of the Lord's choice of words are not always what they appear. Paul said the same thing about his own choice of words. Spirit words and human words sound the same, and they're spelled the same; but should never be assumed saying what the human mind thinks they're saying.

1Cor 2:13 . .These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual

Therein is the very reason why the various denominations have so much difficulty all believing the same things; viz: spirit words are literally a foreign language; and as such eo ipso require the services of a competent interpreter— and good luck finding one of those because unless Bible students themselves are blessed with the anointing described at 1John 2:26-27, then they have no way of knowing if the interpreter upon whom they rely knows what they're doing. In point of fact, non-anointed Bible students are pretty much stuck with taking their interpreter's word for it— and if the blind lead the blind; shall not both fall into a ditch?

So then, since Christ's body and blood are only spiritually represented in the elements rather than physically present, then 1Cor 11:20-29 has to be addressing an offense other than murder. The true offense was not murder, but rather, a gross lack of solemn appreciation for what Jesus voluntarily endured on the cross. Here's the wording from a version that brings out the true meaning.

1Cor 11:20-29 . .When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! . . Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of The Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to soul-search himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body of The Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

What happened in the Corinthian church was that the members had expanded The Lord's supper into a fellowship buffet; thus totally losing sight of it's solemn intention of reminding them of the terrible price Jesus paid for their ransom from the wrath of God. You can just imagine how insulting that must be for Jesus and his Father; not to mention what it did to their feelings.

In one Conservative Baptist church I attended in San Diego, the Pastor wouldn't permit serving the elements till after he completed a solemn half-hour lecture on their purpose, including a word-for-word reading of Matt 26:26-29, and 1Cor 11:23-26, so that nobody had any excuse for assuming they were being served a gratuitous snack; and thus eat the bread, and drink the cup of The Lord in a thoughtless manner.

Some men name ranches, towns, factories, highways, buildings, and bridges after themselves. Others erect ostentatious grave markers. Jesus wanted nothing grand. He wanted to be remembered only by a humble meal consisting of a common bakery product and a nondescript vine-based beverage; and his followers should honor his wishes and not go beyond with cathedrals, religious art, gold chalices, and cities like the Vatican. That's not what Jesus wanted; and it's downright insubordinate to presume he did.

In Summary:

John 10:10 . .I am come that they might have life

People who fail to correctly consume the Lord's flesh and blood are lifeless; viz: they're quite dead.

John 6:53 . . Jesus said to them: I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

People without life in them are eo ipso omitted from the book of life. Consequently; they will be terminated in a special reservoir of liquefied flame.

Rev 20:15 . . If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

That information is reported in the grammatical past tense because John was given a glimpse into the future and saw for himself the lifeless dead being executed by a method somewhat akin to burning at the stake— and all because they failed to correctly consume the Lord's flesh and blood.

And since there is but one resurrection allotted per person (Dan 12:2, John 5:28-29) then nobody is coming back from that reservoir because they will have used up their one resurrection in order to face justice at the Great White Throne; and from thence they will go on public display like the bones exhibited in the La Brea Tar Pits museum in Los Angeles.

Isa 66:22-24 . . All humanity will come to worship me from week to week and from month to month. And as they go out, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me. For the worms that devour them will never die, and the fire that burns them will never go out. All who pass by will view them with utter loathing.
 

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: 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.
 

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 (pet'-ros), which is a masculine noun. The word for the rock is petra (pet'-ra), 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 he isn't called Cephas. Instead; the author of Matthew's gospel had Christ address Peter by the Greek word petros, 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 word which the author of Matthew chose for the rock upon which Christ would build his church isn't petros. It's the Greek word petra, 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, which is the very same word for the rock that the author of Matthew's gospel 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.

Q: 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 adjudication of innocence. Had it been Peter who was crucified for the sins of the whole world, and then raised from the dead for our adjudication of innocence; 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.

The Aramaic Debate

I think I know why the Holy Ghost inspired Matthew to use Greek words in his own Gospel rather than Aramaic. It's because his is the only Gospel of the four that contains the entire dialogue between Jesus and Peter. Mark and Luke record only excerpts.

The Holy Ghost is God, so then, the Holy Ghost could see down the road into the future and know ahead of time how Romanism was going to convolute the New Testament and construe Christ's words to mean something they weren't supposed to; and in doing so, would draw attention away from the founder of New Testament Christianity and transfer the focus to one of his associates. To prevent that error from becoming a world-wide Christian falsehood, God's Spirit (the true custodian of Holy Writ) made sure that only Greek manuscripts of Matthew would be available. That way, nobody would have any excuse for getting it wrong.

OBJECTION: The Greek word petra is simply the feminine form of the word petros; so that petros and petra are essentially synonymous.

RESPONSE: Greek doesn't work that way. We're not talking about modifiers we're talking about nouns.

If petros and petra meant the very same thing, then Matthew would simply have repeated Peter's appellation in Matt 16:18 to read like this:

"Thou art Petros, and upon this petros I will build my church."

In addition; the syntax looks weird if Peter is the base upon which Jesus was intending to construct his church. It would make far more sense to replace petros with a pronoun and word Matt 16:18 like the below if Peter were the rock of which Jesus spoke:

"Thou art a rock, and upon you I will build my church"

But that is not what Jesus said at all. People really have to stretch their imaginations in order to construe Christ's words to mean something they don't say in writing.

According to John 1:42, cephas (used but six places in the New Testament; and always to indicate Peter) is the Aramaic equivalent of petros, but there are no Aramaic words in the New Testament equivalent to petra. The only person in the whole New Testament whom petra identifies is Christ (Matt 16:18, Rom 9:33, 1Cor 10:4, 1Pet 2:8).

I believe it is significant that Christ is not once referred to as cephas rock and stone, nor of petros rock and stone. He is only identified with either lithos, a nondescript kind of rock and stone (e.g. Matt 21:42-44) or petra, a specific kind of rock and stone (e.g. Rom 9:33).

Far too many Catholics miss the fact that Jesus is actually two kinds of rock and stone in the New Testament. Failure to recognize, and to properly apply, these two kinds of rock and stone has led Catholics to make the easily avoided error of putting Simon before Christ in the construction of Christ's own church— literally having Christ the corner stone laid in position upon Peter as the base, instead of having Peter laid in position adjacent to Christ, and upon Christ, who is both corner stone and base.

1Cor 3:1 . .For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Eph 2:20 . .And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone

At first glance, that verse appears to identify the apostles and prophets as the foundation of Christ's church; but the editors' inserted punctuation is deceptive. It should read like this:

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets: Jesus Christ; himself being the chief corner stone"

In order for Catholicism to be correct in its interpretation of Matt 16:13-18, then those verses above would have to read like this:

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Simon Peter."

"And are built upon the foundation of Peter, himself being the chief corner stone"

Is Peter The Rock?

Q: If the Roman Catholic Church isn't the true church, then which one is?

A: The true church is the "my" church.

Matt 16:18 . .And I also say to you that you are Petros, and upon this petra I will build my church; and the gates of the netherworld shall not overpower it.

Note that I used the New Testament's Greek words for not only Peter but also for the rock upon which the "my" church is built so as not to confuse the "my" church with the Roman Catholic Church.

The word petra is never used to identify Peter; while it is used four times to specifically identify Christ (Matt 16:18, Rom 9:33, 1Cor 10:4, and 1Pet 2:8). Note that Peter himself identified Christ with petra in 1Pet 2:8; viz: Rome is built upon Peter, while the "my" church is built upon the New Testament's Christ.

Nobody in the "my" church is going to either Hell or eternal suffering.

John 5:24 . .Truly, Truly, I say unto 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.

John 10:27-30 . .My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me.

It's amazing the number of professing Christians who sincerely believe it is possible to snatch one's own self out of God's hands. However, the words "no one" clearly preclude that possibility. What they are really doing by their disbelief is casting a vote of no-confidence in Christ's and his Fathers' reliability as good shepherds who are fully capable of keeping their sheep safe in all manner of difficulties, circumstances, and conditions.

Eternal life is a kind of life that cannot die. So then, eternal life is invulnerable to the wages of sin. According to John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:47, John 6:54, and 1John 5:11-13, I have eternal life right now, no delay, and no waiting period. Therefore, I am impervious to the wages of sin.

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

Rom 8:1-2 . .There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and of death.

Now do you see how Jesus could promise that the gates of the netherworld would not overcome the "my" church? It's because every one of the members of the "my" church have eternal life; which is a kind of life that not only cannot die, but is invulnerable to the wages of sin. If you were to meet a Roman Catholic who claimed they are invulnerable to the wages of sin, that would be very unusual.


The Good Shepherd                             

One of Christ's characteristics, in which I have complete confidence, is that he is conscientious about making his Father happy; thus he stated:

"The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him." (John 8:29)

Were Christ to fail in any way, any way at all, pleasing the one who sent him. then it would be dishonest of Christ to claim to "always" please Him. Christ might be able to claim pleasing the one who sent him a high percentage of the time, but certainly not always.

Here is the will of the one who sent him.

"This is the will of the one who sent me; that I should not lose anything of what He gave me." (John 6:39)

The one who sent Christ has given him sheep (John 10:27-30). Were Jesus to lose one single head of those sheep-- even just one --he would fail to always please the one who sent him.

Regarding those sheep, Jesus stated:

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)

It has actually been posited that the sheep are an exception. In other words; it's been posited that the sheep of their own free will can take themselves out of Jesus' hand. But of course they can't because God's free will trumps the sheep's free will.

"This is the will of the one who sent me; that I should not lose anything of what He gave me." (John 6:39)

The posit is a vote of no-confidence in the good shepherd's determination to succeed at pleasing the one who sent him; and reveals a belief that the sheep have enough strength and cunning to overpower their shepherd and run off.

Were the good shepherd only human, then I would be inclined to agree with the posit that his sheep might get past him and run off. But the Bible teaches that Christ is not only human, but also the divine architect of the entire cosmos with all of its forms of life, matter, and energy. So then, the good shepherd has at his disposal all the powers and abilities of the supreme being to utilize in keeping the sheep right where he wants them to be.

Surely no one in a right mind would dare to suggest that sheep have sufficient powers and abilities of their own at their disposal to overcome Christ. Were that the case, the sheep would have no need of his services; the sheep could shepherd themselves.

But even were the sheep to somehow manage to escape Christ's hand, they would still have his Father's hand to contend with; and good luck getting away from Almighty God!

Now, seeing as how the good shepherd has all the powers of the supreme being at his disposal to keep the sheep, then it shouldn't take too much more to persuade the sheep that it's okay to fully trust in this next statement of his.

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." (John 10:9)

Were Christ a so-so shepherd; then he wouldn't dare say "will be" saved; no, he'd have to tone it down a bit and say "can be" saved. That would leave him some room for error. But when Christ says "will be" he's claiming a 0.0% failure rate. That's how confident Christ is that he will lose nothing of what his Father has given him.

The Vine and Branches

John 15:1-7 . . I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

. . .You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

. . . I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

That passage makes a lot of people nervous; but it shouldn't make the good shepherd's sheep nervous because none of them will be either taken away or thrown into the fire.

John 10:9 . . I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.

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

Were the Father to cull Jesus' sheep, then the Father would be thwarting His own will; and would have to admit incompetence in His selection of sheep that He delivers to His son for shepherding.

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

Sheep delivered to the good shepherd not only have the guarantee of John 10:9, but also this one:

John 6:44b . . and I will raise him on the last day.

That would be an hollow promise were the Father to cull the sheep-- any of the sheep; even one.

As of 2016 there were approximately 2.4 billion Christians throughout the world. Every one of them, regardless of religious denomination, were vine branches, but not all were the good shepherd's sheep.

The reason I say that is because according to John 6:39 and John 10:9, none of the good shepherd's sheep will be lost; while according to Matt 7:21-23 and John 15:1-7, a number of the vine's branches will be lost.

The assumption that the vine and his branches = the good shepherd and his sheep, is a very common error.
 

The Good Book               

OBJECTION: You Protestants worship the Bible as if itself were God. Matt 16:18 doesn't say; "upon this book I will build My church". Your God is a paper God: you worship the almighty printing press.

RESPONSE: The Confraternity version, the Douay-Rheims version, and the New American version are three official Catholic Bibles produced by Catholic scholars, and sanctioned with Rome's imprimatur and nihil obstat; which means there is nothing in Rome's own versions harmful to Catholic beliefs and practices. Apparently the objector doesn't trust Rome's scholarship.

Catholics spit on God and His spirit when they ridicule use of the Bible as worshipping the almighty printing press while their own hierarchy regards the Bible as the word of God inspired and authored by God.

According to the Vatican Council (Sess. III, c. ii) 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"

As a professing Roman Catholic: do you, or do you not, agree with Rome's ruling that the Bible is:

1) inspired by the Holy Ghost,

2) authored by God, and

3) handed down to the Church as such

To disagree with Rome, and oppose it's evaluation of the Bible, is to be an heretic.

The words that holy men spoke are so important that they were recorded for future generations. If the Good Book was unnecessary, then its writers wouldn't have been inspired by the Bible's God to pen it.

Rom 15:4 . .For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

2Tim 3:15-17 . .from childhood you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

No book = no learning, no patience, no comfort, no hope, no wisdom, no salvation, no doctrine, no reproof, no correction, no instruction, no perfection, and no knowledge of what constitutes good and evil; ergo: if your religion isn't built upon the Good Book, then your religion is built upon sand, and will totally fail to protect you from the wrath of God.

Matt 7:26-27 . .And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

It is via the Good Book that people can discover God for themselves.

John 3:11-12 . .Truly, Truly, I am telling you what we know and have seen, and yet you won't believe us. But if you don't even believe me when I tell you about things that happen here on earth, how can you possibly believe if I tell you what is going on in heaven?

John 3:31-36 . .He has come from above and is greater than anyone else . . He tells what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Those who believe him discover that God is real. For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon him without measure or limit . . All who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't will never experience life, but the wrath of God remains upon them.

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

John 12:48-50 . .He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For 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. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

A knowledge of the Good Book can protect you from falsehood.

2Tim 4:2-4 . .Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when they will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.
 

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 competence 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.
 

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.
 

Mother(s) of God                    

SPURIOUS 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 all the way back to Adam. Ergo: every paternal father in Jesus' biological lineage would be 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 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 paternal fathers.

Luke 3:38 . .The son of Adam


Rome's Idolatry                                                  

The "little children" within the context of John's epistle has no reference to John Q and Jane Doe pew warmers. It specifically addresses a special class of Christians in the present possession of eternal life.

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

So then, it should go without saying that people lacking eternal life are not believers; no, they are disbelievers no matter what their denominational affiliation nor what church they attend.

The koiné Greek word for "idols" is eidolon (i'-do-lon) which means: an image (for worship) viz: by implication, a heathen god.

Religious art such as paintings and sculptures don't really qualify as idols until somebody gets a little too carried away; for example:

There's a statue of Ste. Peter in Rome whose big toe has been eroded over the years by the lips of people kissing it. I would have to say that easily qualifies as idolatry. I've no objection to paintings, statues, and stained glass, but when people kneel to, pray to, speak to, and/or kiss those items, then I believe they've trespassed into forbidden territory, and broken the very first of the Ten Commandments.

Deut 4:15-16 . . Be strictly on your guard not to act corruptly by fashioning an idol for yourselves to represent any figure, whether it be the form of a man or of a woman

Ex 6:5 . . I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God

Using that as a guideline, I would have to say that praying to, and/or looking to, patron saints for providence and protection easily qualifies as both polytheism and idolatry; as well as marginalizes God and diminishes one's affections for Him. If somebody loves the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength, as per Mark 12:30, there will be nothing left for patron saints, artworks and/or statuary; and so idolatry would never be an issue.

Rom 1:22 . .While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man

1Thes 5:21-22 . . Test everything; retain what is good; refrain from every kind of evil.
 

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.
 

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.

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.

Though Christ's believing followers are dead men walking, they are alive forever more.

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.

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.

OBJECTION: You have yet to stand before the throne of God and be judged.

RESPONSE: That objector is a dunce. You know something; this is precisely why professing Christians like that are on their way to hell: they just don't listen.

I am a believer; and according to the testimony of the lord and master of New Testament Christianity as an expert witness; believers are NOT going to stand trial for their sins.

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

According to Christ, when I heeded his message and trusted in his God, I was given eternal life; which is a kind of life that cannot die. Therefore it is impervious to the wages of sin.

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

Rom 8:1-2 . .Therefore, 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.

In point of fact; not only have I already passed from a status of death to one of life; but I am also already a citizen of the Kingdom.

Col 1:12-13 . .giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.

I've been ransomed from the wrath of God (Rom 5:6-11).

My judgment, as regards Heaven and Hell, is past tense; it already took place with Christ's crucifixion (Rom 6:3-11).

Peter gives me the right to rejoice right now, rather than wait and see if I have cause to rejoice later (1Pet 1:8).

If you're still not getting it, then not only do I pity your future, but I highly recommend that you toss religion. Yes, you're just frittering away your time and could spend it better elsewhere like playing video poker, trimming the shrubs, shopping for socks, or vacuuming the floors. The gospel's immunity is not for you, and instead of paying for your sins on Christ's cross, you will pay for them all alone at the Great White Throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15; and I guarantee you nobody but nobody goes to Heaven from that judgment because that is a judgment for the Dead rather than for those who got themselves transferred from the Dead to the Living while they were still here.
 

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.

Question: What about The Lord's prayer of Matt 6:9-13. Isn't that what Jesus taught his students to recite?

Here's a portion of that passage.

Matt 6:9 . .In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.

The Lord's prayer wasn't intended to be recited like a rote mantra; but rather, as an example: and in point of fact, you won't find that prayer prayed by anybody else but Jesus in the entire New Testament. I would have you to particularly note that the object of prayer in Christ's example is his Father; not his mom or any of the departed saints.

If you choose to recite the Lord's Prayer, be advised that you will be plagiarizing someone else's prayer. It won't be your own, no, it's The Lord's because I've a suspicion that he looked towards Heaven when he spoke it; viz: it was a real prayer. Leading by example is very effective.

Question: Well, what about the Psalms? Surely you don't object to reciting those prayers.

I object to reciting the Psalms just as strongly as I object to reciting any other rote prayer. The Psalms were true prayers prayed from the heart and then written down by inspiration so people seeking an honest rapport with God would have models how to go about it.

Rom 15:4-5 . .For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

If you recite the Psalms, you will be plagiarizing someone else's prayers as your own instead of using them for what they were intended; "for our learning."
 

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.
 

Favoritism                                 

Rome decrees it worthy of excommunication to presume oneself perfectly safe from eternal suffering.

Council of Trent Session 6, Chapter 16, Canon16: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.

That anathema includes presuming sacred cows like Teresa of Calcutta are perfectly safe. No; nobody is perfectly safe from retribution in Catholicism, not even its Popes; ergo: no Catholic knows for certain where they'll go when they die. Catholics who profess otherwise just simply don't understand how precarious their situation really is because every Catholic is just one(1) un-absolved mortal sin away from Hell and eternal suffering no matter how good a Catholic they were in the past.

1Cor 4:3-5 . . But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.

I used to think my chances were better than ordinary people because I was a Catholic. But in point of fact, my chances were worse because since I was a professing Catholic, then God would be holding me accountable to comply with everything Rome teaches and stands for: all the commandments, all the dogma, all the rituals, all the traditions, all the Councils, all the Bulls, all the rites, all the holy days of obligation, all the whole entire Catechism— everything —and that's why Catholics go to Hell just like everybody else because there's no favoritism with God.

Rom 2:6-11 . . God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

OBJECTION: Sure there's favoritism with God. The good and holy are favorites and go to Heaven. The bad and evil go to Hell.

RESPONSE: What that objector described wasn't favoritism; that was justice. Let me expand a little more on what I mean by favoritism.

A mother has two boys. One is a cute, charming little guy, with a sweet personality whom she loves very much: mommy's little buddy. His brother is unattractive and bratty; he's homely, insolent, gets on his mother's nerves, and treats her like dirt. One day, the boys get a craving for one of mom's famous chocolate chip cookies that she stores in a secret (so she thought) cookie jar. Subsequently; both boys raid the secret jar and sneak a cookie without her permission.

Later, when mom discovers their deed, she spanks the brat and grounds him from Sponge Bob and Nintendo DS for a week; but lets mommy's little buddy off with only a scolding. That's favoritism: as evidenced by the disparity in punishment meted for the very same crime.

There was a time when I expected God would show me some favoritism just because of who I was. Other people deserved to go to Hell, yes; but I was special: surely He wouldn't think I deserved it. After all, I was a Catholic; and doesn't that count for something? But to my horror, I discovered God is impartial; He's indifferent to labels and affiliations. Nobody's special.
 

Love                                     

All of Judaism's commandments hang on the two old commandments below.

 Mark 12:30 . . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.

 Mark 12:31 . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

I categorized those two commandments as old because Christianity's commandments do not hang on them. No; Jesus merely parroted Moses.

 Deut 10:12-13 . . What doth Yhvh thy God require of thee, but to fear Yhvh thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve Yhvh thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of Yhvh, and His statutes

 Lev 19:18 . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself

Christianity's commandments hang on a new commandment; the one below.

 John 13:34 . . A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you.

Jesus taught the Jews (as per Moses' covenanted law) to love their neighbors as themselves, but he taught his followers to love each other not as themselves, but as Christ: and his is a sacrificial kind of love.

 1John 3:16 . . Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 1John 4:10-11 . . Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if that's the way God loved us, then we ought to be loving one another in the same manner.

The epistles contain many Christ's commandments, and every one of them hang on his new commandment. People who love Christ will obey them.

 1John 14:15 . . If you love me, keep my commandments.

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

 John 14:23 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.

 John 14:24 . . He who doesn't love me won't obey my teaching.

If a person's belief system is based upon Deut 10:12-13 and Lev 19:18, then they are not yet loving the New Testament's Christ and keeping his commandments; and they need to upgrade their belief system to John 13:34— which, I'll tell you right now, is impossible without supernatural assistance.

 Ezk 36:26-27 . . And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender heart; and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My edicts and faithfully do whatever I decide.
 

Catholicism Breeds Unrighteousness                             

The Catholic religion is an intrinsically unrighteous religion because its plan of salvation is essentially a merit system based upon performance: a blend of faith and works; so that even if a Catholic had all the faith necessary to heal the sick, move a mountain, and pray down fire out of Heaven; they could yet still go to Hell if their works are not up to an acceptable level of consistent performance.

Matt 7:24-27 . .Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

So then, even if a Catholic had all the faith in the universe, and yet fails to exemplify The Beatitudes (which are only a small portion of The Sermon On The Mount), then they will fail to obtain The Beatitudes' attendant blessings; au contraire, they will obtain just the opposite; viz: they will not be shown mercy, they will not enter the kingdom of heaven, they will not inherit the earth, they will not be called a son of God; and their future will be an utter ruin.

Heb 6:7-8 . .For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Jas 1:22-25 . .And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law the law that sets you free and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

Any Christian denomination that requires its adherents to comply with commandments in order to be worthy to escape eternal suffering rather than depending entirely upon the kindness and generosity of God; is a religion of law that condemns its members to a status that the Bible calls: fallen from grace.

Gal 5:3-5 . .For if you are trying to make yourselves righteous with God by keeping commandments, then you have been severed from Christ! You have fallen from grace.

Gal 2:21 . .I am not one of those who treats the kindness of God as meaningless. For if we could be spared by keeping commandments, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Gal 3:21-22 . .If the commandments could have given us new life, then we could have been made right with God by obeying them. But the Scriptures have declared that we are all prisoners of sin, so the only way to receive God's promise is to believe in Jesus Christ.

Rom 4:13-16 . .It was not through commandments that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by commandments are heirs, then faith has no value and the promise is worthless because law brings retribution. But where there are no commandments; there is no transgression of commandments. Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace, and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring not only to those who are of the law; but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham.
 

Zechariah & Elizabeth                         

Following is a brief perspective of the Christian's relationship to the commandments.

Luke 1:5-6 . .In the time of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all The Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.

Is Luke saying that Zechariah and his wife were 100% compliant with the commandments?

No; he isn't saying that at all. He's saying they were 100% compliant with all the Lord's commandments and regulations.

Those "regulations" include the Aaronic qorbanot system (for which Zechariah was a priest) which is designed to atone for one's failings to comply with the commandments. Moses' covenanted law is a two-part system consisting of civil law and religious law. When Aaron's constituents fail in the one, they have the option of resorting to the other as a means of restoring peace between themselves and Yhvh.

Are born-again Xians asked to obey the commandments?

Yes, they are; and refusal to obey devalues scofflaws to the level of a little squeaking gerbil.

Matt 5:19 . .Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

John 14:15 . .If you love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 . .He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me.

John 15:10 . .If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love.

1John 2:3-4 . .And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith "I know Him" and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

John 5:2-3 . .By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.

2John 1:6 . .And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.

Are born-again Xians obligated to obey the commandments?

No. It's strictly voluntary.

1John 3:4 . .Whosoever commits sin transgresses the commandments: for sin is transgression of the commandments.

Rom 6:15 . .What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? God forbid!

Rom 6:12-14 . .Let not sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Rom 6:19 . .For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Rom 12:1-2 . .I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you all present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When born-again Christians break a commandment; should they resort to Aaron's qorbanot system to restore peace between themselves and Yhvh?

No. They should resort to Christ's; which is of the order of Melchizedek rather than Aaron's.

Heb 5:4-6 . .So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to him, "Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee" and also "Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

Heb 5:8-10 . .He became, to all those who heed him, the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Heb 6:19-20 . .This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

1John 2:1-2 . .My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Webster's defines propitiation as: pacify, appease, assuage, conciliate, mollify, placate, and/or sweeten.
 

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.

The Publican's Experience

Luke 18:14 . . I tell you, this man went down to his house forgiven rather than the other

No; Jesus didn't say "forgiven" he said justified.

The koiné Greek word is dikaioo (dik-ah-yo'-o) which essentially means to regard as innocent.

In order for God to grant the tax man innocence, He couldn't merely forgive him; no, God had to exonerate him; and how does one do that when there is evidence enough to indict?

Well, according to the Bible, Christ was restored to life for our justification (Rom 4:25). In other words; though Christ's crucifixion was sufficient to obtain forgiveness for people's sins; his crucifixion alone wasn't sufficient to make it possible for people to obtain an acquittal.

1Cor 15:17 . . If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

An acquittal can be defined as exoneration; viz: an adjudication of innocence, which is normally granted when there is insufficient evidence to convict. In other words: by means of Christ's resurrection, God was able to cook the books so that it appears the tax collector never did anything bad. On the surface; this looks very unethical, but from God's perspective it's all on the up and up.

This is a serious issue under the terms and conditions of the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The covenant's sacrifices obtained forgiveness for the people, but the sacrifices did not, and could not, obtain them exoneration. No, a record of their disobedience remained on the books, hanging over their heads like a sword of Damocles. Out ahead, at the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, those books will be opened for review.

Q: Don't Catholics obtain justification when they go to confession?

A: The scope of the Roman church's reconciliatory process is somewhat limited. It's primarily designed for absolution; i.e. while it forgives a sinner's debt to God's law, it does nothing to expunge the sinner's history.

In other words: sinners leave the confessional with their rap sheets unchanged. That's unfortunate because those records are subject to review at the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15 where they can, and will, be used to vet people, i.e. evaluate their character; viz: the records constitute people's references as if they were applying for immigration and/or employment.

Justification, on the other hand, as per the koiné Greek word dikaioo, completely deletes the offender's criminal history; i.e. dikaioo wipes their records so clean and efficiently that there is nothing left that can in any way be used to prove that the sinner has ever been anything less than 100% innocent.

Now, the advantage of the kind of justification I'm talking about is that sinners need obtain it only once because from thence, God stops keeping records on them.

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

The koiné Greek word translated "counting" is logizomai (log-id'-zom-ahee) which means to take an inventory.

Rom 4:8 . . Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.
 

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.
 

Rome's Recipe                                

A key ingredient in the recipe of Rome's plan of salvation is compliance with the Ten Commandments; which are a component of the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

The problem is: according to Deut 4:2, Deut 5:29-30, and Deut 27:26 the covenant can't be cherry-picked; viz: it's all or nothing at all

Jas 2:10 . . For whosoever shall keep all the law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Which means that Rome's use of even one point of that covenant in the recipe of its plan of salvation, puts Catholics in grave danger of being prosecuted as repeat offenders.

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.

Heb 10:26-27 . . If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Seeing as how human sacrifices are illegal under the terms and conditions of the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God; and seeing as how compliance with the Ten Commandments is a key ingredient in the recipe of Rome's plan of salvation; then all the while I was a Catholic, Christ was of no use to me whatsoever. In my case, Christ died for nothing.

Gal 2:21 . . I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

Gal 3:21 . . If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

Gal 5:4 . .You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Rom 3:20 . . By the works of the Law, no flesh will be justified in His sight
 

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.
 

Sanctification                            

The Greek word for sanctify is hagiazo (hag-ee-ad'-zo) which just simply means to set aside; viz: to "consecrate" and/or "designate" something for God's purposes. Some Christians prefer to use the word "dedicate" rather than consecrate since consecration sounds a bit ritualistic. Others prefer the word "commitment". All four of those words— designate, dedicate, consecrate, and commitment —accurately express the meaning of hagiazo.

There are two sanctification processes in Christianity. One is Christ's crucifixion; which served to justify believers and set them aside for God once and for all.

John 17:19-20 . .And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.

Heb 10:1-10 . .For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

. . But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith; "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God."

. . Above when he said; "Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein"; which are offered by the law; then said he; "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all

Catholic friend, if Christ's crucifixion and resurrection haven't sufficed to set you aside for God once and for all, then you are obviously not yet a beneficiary of the sanctification spoken of in Heb 10:1-10.

Additionally, sanctification is not only a one-time event, but also an active, on-going process whereby ransomed sinners become more and more pleasing to God while they live out their lives.

Gen 17:1 . . And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Yhvh appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Walking with God is something you have to want to do, and something you have to do voluntarily; in other words; you have to yield; which Webster's defines as: to surrender or relinquish control.

Rom 6:13 . . Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Rom 12:1-2 . . I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

One's personal conduct is usually the very first thing God wants dedicated to Him before they get the notion to run off and perform some great work in the name of Christ.

2Tim 2:20-21 . . In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

1 John 1:5-7 . . This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Fellowship is from the Greek word koinonia (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) which means: partnership, participation, and/or association. Church attendance is not the same as koinonia; no, anybody can go to church, even the Devil, and he often does.

2Cor 11:14-15 . . Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness

In order to partnership with God, one must walk with God, just as Abram was urged to in Gen 17:1. Church attendance may be a part of one's walk with God, but it should never be used as a substitute. That's sort of like people who only go to church on Easter, and then the rest of the year live, act, think, and conduct themselves like heathens.

How does one renew their mind in a way that makes it possible to test and approve what God's will is? Easy. By intense Bible study.

Vatican Council (Sess. III, c. ii) . .the Scriptures are sacred and canonical because "having been written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author"

Ps 119:105 . .Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

John 8:31-32 . .If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Jas 1:22-25 . .And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law— the law that sets you free —and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

God, right now, is actively utilizing His providential skills and abilities to eventually bring all Christ's sheep up to a level of total commitment to Himself.

Phlp 1:6 . .And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

Phlp 2:12-13 . .Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.

The remnant has a day of sanctification coming too.

Jer 31:31-34 . .See, a time is coming— testifies Yhvh —when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them— testifies Yhvh.

. . But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days— testifies Yhvh: I will put my Teachings into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, "Heed the Lord"; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me— testifies Yhvh.

Ezk 36:24-28 . .And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender heart; and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My laws and faithfully to observe My rules.
 

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 work 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.
 

Catholics In The Treetops                             

When people are desperately clinging to a treetop, with murky flood waters roiling beneath their feet, just inches away from death and the hereafter, the last thing they need is somebody coming by to lecture them on good citizenship. No, they don't need lectures on citizenship; they need a National Guard helicopter to lower a harness down and pull them up from that treetop. That's the redemption stage of salvation. It rescues sinners from certain death regardless of their degree of piety or depravity.

Rom 5:5-10 . .While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

. . . Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

"His life" refers to the kind of life that God is; viz: eternal life. The reason that His life saves people is because eternal life is impervious to death. Therefore, eternal life is impervious to the wages of sin.

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

John 5:24 . . I assure you: those who listen to my message, and believe 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.

Note the grammatical tense of Christ's statement: it's present tense rather than future, indicating that people who listen to his message, and believe in God who sent him, have eternal life right now— no delay and no waiting period. People lacking eternal life, lack it because they don't listen to him; neither do they believe in God who sent him.
 

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!

And anyway; Joseph's ex wife lost her distinction as Christ's mom when she became a Christian.

1Cor 5:16-17 . . From now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

Gal 3:26-28 . .For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Bottom line: Joseph's ex wife is nobody's mother anymore, rather, she's just another sibling among the rest of the children of God. That's not true of Catholics of course. They're not children of God in Christ Jesus, no; not as long as they go on venerating a female principal in their religion.

POSIT: Joseph had no ex wife.

RESPONSE: Joseph is believed by some to have been a widower before taking on Mary. So even if she wasn't his wife, there is at least one woman somewhere who was.

The term "ex wife" brings us up to speed. You see; according to Rom 7:1-3, death dissolves the marriage bond. Though Joseph and Mary were husband and wife in this life (Matt 1:20, Matt 1:24) they are not related to each other like that in the next. In that respect, Mary, at present, is not only Joseph's ex wife, but he, at present, is her ex husband. This principle is especially true for the children of God in Christ Jesus.

1Cor 5:16-17 . . From now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

Whereas at one time Joseph and Mary were man and wife, now, as children of God in Christ Jesus, they are siblings.

Gal 3:26-28 . .For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

POSIT: Mary is the Mother of God, therefore she is the mother of all Christians because she is the spouse of the Holy Ghost.

RESPONSE: Women become mothers by bearing children. That alone disqualifies Mary because none of Christ's believing followers are born of women; no, they are all, every one, born of God.

John 1:12-13 . . But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision; but of God.

John 3:6 . .What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.

Bottom line: Mary didn't give birth to spirit when Christ was born; she gave birth to flesh.

John 1:14 . . And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us

Most Catholics readily bleat that they believe Christ is fully God and fully man; but in reality, they only believe he's fully God. If they really believed that Christ was fully man, then they would readily accept the fact that Eve was his biological grandmother, and consequently Adam his biological grandfather seeing as how Eve was formed from a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's side.

It is commonly alleged that Mary was somehow espoused to God's spirit so that she was not only the mother of God, but also God's wife. That particular belief cannot be found in the Gospel records; nor is it developed in either the book of Acts nor any of the epistles.

Not only is it unscriptural; but it also slanders God by insinuating that His spirit is an adulterer. You see, back in that day, when a girl was engaged; she was counted another's wife. In point of fact, the Bible speaks of Joseph and Mary as husband and wife prior to their nuptial.

Matt 1:18-20 . . Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.

. . . Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.

NOTE: Claims like the ones above are generally the result of human reasoning and a fertile imagination rather than gleaned from revelation. As such the wise thing to do is regard them as pagan.

POSIT: The very fact that Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, makes her the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

RESPONSE: Yes, Christ's mom conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) but she didn't conceive with the Holy Spirit. That's a distinctive difference.

The one is a miracle; while the other is a sin because it alleges that Jesus' mom and the Holy Spirit became married by means of sex; which is outrageous to say the least. In point of fact, by using sex in lieu of a proper marriage, the Holy Spirit would've turned Jesus' mom into a harlot.

In addition, Mary was engaged to Joseph. Had the Holy Ghost engaged in sexual activity with her, He would have been an adulterer because in that day and age, betrothed women were considered married even before the knot was officially tied.

For example: when the angel of the Lord spoke with Joseph in a dream, the celestial being referred to Mary not as Joseph's girlfriend, nor as his fiancée, but as his wife. (Matt 1:20). Compare Deut 22:23-24 where a betrothed woman is considered a man's wife.

NOTE: The God-given law, according to which Joseph and Mary lived, required the death penalty for men who sleep with betrothed women. (Deut 22:23-27)

So you see; claiming that Mary conceived with the Holy Ghost, and thus became His wife; is a pretty serious allegation.

POSIT: Joseph was Mary's husband by proxy, not in the normal way. He was merely assigned to take care of Mary, not to actually cohabit with her.

RESPONSE: Webster's defines proxy as: 1) the agency, function, or office of a deputy who acts as a substitute for another, 2) authority or power to act for another, 3) a document giving such authority; specifically: a power of attorney authorizing a specified person to vote corporate stock, and 4) a person authorized to act for another: procurator.

What the claimant's application of the word proxy suggests is that Joseph was never really Mary's husband at all, but that he went through the wedding ceremony as a duly authorized agent of the Holy Ghost with the power of attorney to speak for the Holy Ghost in order to wed the Holy Ghost to Mary. So that the wedding ceremony that Joseph participated in, wasn't his own, but was actually the official wedding of Mary and the Holy Ghost.

I would like to ask that claimant something related to that particular time in Israel's history. Who would have performed such a ridiculous ceremony? A rabbi? I don't think so. No self-respecting Jewish rabbi in his right mind would wed a Jewish woman to Yhvh. Who then? A Catholic priest? There were no Catholic priests in Joseph's day. So then, what the claimant claims is a marriage ceremony that simply couldn't have taken place, and even if it had, the marriage would have been illegal anyway because Jewish law of that day would never have allowed it, nor would ever have permitted it to be registered.

To the absolute contrary; the New Testament clearly, and without ambiguity, testifies by inspiration of God, that Mary's husband was Joseph rather than the Holy Ghost.

Matt 1:18-25 . .Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

. . .Then Joseph, her husband being an equitable man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of The Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of The Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not sleep with her before she gave birth to her firstborn son.

Joseph "did as The Lord commanded him" and "took to him his wife". Would that objector seriously have me to believe that the record is wrong— to believe that Ste Joseph disobeyed what The Lord commanded, and refused to take to him Mary as his own wife?

The only passage in the entire New Testament that even so much as alludes to a wedding between Mary and God is found in Luke's narrative.

Luke 1:35 . .And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy one who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

The words "the Highest will overshadow you" have been construed by some Catholics to mean "God will be your husband." But a construction of that nature misses the thrust of the virgin birth. Gabriel merely said that God would substitute the part of a biological father with a special miracle; and that's why Mary's boy is called (in his own native tongue) ben 'elohiym, which in English means "son of God". It in no way implies Mary and God got married, nor does it imply Mary and God copulated. Christ's conception was a miracle— an act of God —not an act of conjugal sex.

Mary's final word on the matter should tell you something about her own personal understanding of Gabriel's message. I'm going to deliberately misquote her in this next passage. Watch for the error.

Luke 1:38 . .Then Mary said, "Behold the wife of The Lord! Let it be to me according to your word."

Catch the error? No, she didn't say behold the wife of The Lord, she said behold the handmaid of The Lord.

Mary fully understood what was going to happen to her; but Catholicism has somehow missed it. The thrust of Gabriel's announcement was not a marriage between Mary and God, nor a conjugal act; but the fact that a human being was coming into the world via a special miracle.

POSIT: Had Mary really intended to consummate her marriage to Joseph, she would not have asked Gabriel how she was to conceive without a man (Luke 1:34).

RESPONSE: The objector neglected to factor in the New Testament's inspired testimony that Joseph and his best girl were engaged to be married before either one of them were informed about a somebody coming named Jesus.

Since Mary was already engaged prior to Gabriel's announcement; the logical conclusion is that she was marrying a Jewish guy for the usual reasons that Jewish girls want a Jewish husband to settle down, cohabit with a Jewish man, and raise a Jewish family.

And since Joseph was already engaged to Mary prior to his dream sequence, the logical conclusion is that he was marrying a Jewish girl for the usual reasons that Jewish guys want a Jewish wife to settle down, cohabit with a Jewish woman, and raise a Jewish family.

If you never get anything else out of the Gospel narratives, I hope you can at least appreciate that Joseph and his best girl were both Israelis who lived in an ancient Jewish culture: a culture about which most Gentiles haven't a clue.

Since the Gospel narratives do not clearly, and without ambiguity, indicate otherwise, it has to be assumed, from the normal round of Jewish human experience, that those two Jewish adults fully intended to sleep together after their wedding.

That said, then the answer to the objection is a no-brainer. It's quite obvious from Mary's response in Luke 1:34 that she fully understood Gabriel to mean that her pregnancy was imminent, any second; prior to consummating the marriage to her fiancé. And that's exactly how it went down.

By the time Mary got back from visiting Elizabeth, she would have been in her second trimester. People in Nazareth (especially her mother) would begin to notice. Once Mary's parents discovered the shameful news, it became their sacred duty to notify the groom's family that his fiancée was carrying somebody else's baby; and that's very likely how Joseph found out his best girl was expecting even before he learned the identity of the baby's father in a dream.

POSIT: John 18:36 has already been rightly "interpreted" from the Greek into English, and it plainly states that Christ's kingdom is "not of this world".

RESPONSE: Note that the proposition is "of" rather than "in".

The Greek word for "of" is ek (ek) which is a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds) viz: from and/or out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote)

ek is the word used of the origin of John's baptism in Matt 21:25-27. John's baptism was in the world, but it wasn't of the world.

The "interpretation" about which I wrote is not the translation of one language into another, but rather, the explanation of a text.

When Jesus said his kingdom is "not of this world" he didn't mean it won't be on the earth; after all that would be totally contrary to the Old Testament's Messianic prophecies and predictions. The Greek word translated "world" is the very same one translated world in John 3:16.

John 3:16-18 . .God so cared for the world that He donated His one and only son, that whoever relies upon him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not dispatch His son into the world to condemn the world, but to rescue the world through him.

Jesus didn't give his life primarily to rescue the earth from the wrath of God; no, he gave it primarily as a ransom to rescue human beings (Rom 5:6-11). Although kosmos includes the entire universe; the word typically indicates the sphere of human life.

Jesus is simply saying that his authority and power will not be established by human means and methods; but rather; by Divine.

John 18:36 . .Jesus said; My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now, my kingdom is from another place.

That statement was one that Pilate could easily understand. If the man standing before him on trial for his life were a true revolutionary, Pilate would have a war on his hands. But as it is, Christ's army consists not of human soldiers, but of angels (Matt 13:40-42, Matt 26:53, Rev 19:11-18)

Jesus is destined to sit upon David's throne and govern the people of Israel.

Luke 1:32-33 . .The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

David's throne, right from the get-go, has always been in Jerusalem; not up where God resides. Heaven is where God's throne is, David's throne is on earth.

Matt 23:37-39 . .O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look! your House is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say; Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

"your House" is the Temple; which will remain void of the presence of God all the while Christ's fellow Jewish countrymen refuse to accept him as their king (cf. 1Sam 21:5)

Acts 1:10-11 . .They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee; they said; why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.

Rev 1:7 . .Look! he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will wail because of him.

POSIT: Colossians 1:13 forces one to realize that Christ's kingdom existed in the first century, and is not to be some yet future earthly kingdom, when it states: "Who [the Father of verse 12] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:". Note the past tense of the verb "translated." This affirms the existence of God's kingdom at the time Paul wrote. Indeed, the Colossians had already been translated into it.

RESPONSE: That objector is simply going to have to revise their explanation of that passage in order to bring it into conformity with the Old Testament's Messianic prophecies and predictions. Yes, it is possible to obtain citizenship in Messiah's kingdom right now, but it will not be fully up and running till the kingdom's monarch takes his place on David's throne and the angels purge his enemies. Until the world's estimated 1.5 billion Muslims are crushed, there can be no peace in the Prince of Peace's kingdom.

If Messiah were on-site, in person governing the country of Israel today, the whole world would be shivering in mortal panic; especially the Muslim world (cf. Zech 14:1-21, Ps 2).

POSIT: Surely you must understand that Almighty God loves the devotion, the veneration, & the honor that is paid to the Holy Virgin; His own sacred spouse.

RESPONSE: I don't think Almighty God loves anything of the kind. To begin with, Christ's mother has never been God's spouse: she is His daughter by adoption; same as every other genuine Christian (Rom 8:15-17, Gal 4:4-7, Eph 1:4-5). And secondly, it is a gross violation of Divine Law to offer religious veneration to any being— whether terrestrial or whether celestial —other than to The True God.

Mark 12:30 …You shall love The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.

In order to fully obey Mark 12:30, Catholics are going to have to repent, give up their Marian devotion; and transfer their affections to The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. If you give God your all, then there will be nothing left to give Christ's mom; will there? No, because all means everything— the whole ball of wax —not just a portion of the wax.

Let me point out something very, very important about Mary's current status. Catholics seriously need to get their minds off the earthly order and get it focused on the heavenly order because the earthly order is passing away; while the heavenly order is permanent. Joseph's wife is no longer a member of the earthly order, but of the heavenly.

2Cor 5:16-18 …Therefore from now on we acknowledge no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

The mother/son relationship that Jesus once had with his mom while on earth doesn't exist in heaven because their earthly relationship doesn't matter any more. Mary's status as the mother of Jesus was a status she held in her first existence. That existence is dead: gone forever.

Col 3:1-3 …If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Compare Matt 22:30 and Rom 7:2 where death dissolves the marriage bond.

Even if Mary were in truth a spouse of the Holy Ghost while she was on earth, she would no longer be its spouse now because that relationship would have occurred while she was on the earth. Now that Mary is dead and gone; she would no longer be God's wife; but rather, she'd have a new status as His adopted little girl; and you certainly wouldn't want your God married to one of His own daughters would you? That's incest.

I began my existence "in Adam" as an earthly human being. I will shed my entire Adamic existence when I die, and go into eternity not just renovated, but as a brand spanking new, whole other style of human being— as a heavenly human being; no longer in Adam, but in Christ; just like my sister Mary is right this very moment. Her status as Christ's mom was as an Adam human being. She's no longer an Adam human being and neither is Jesus. When he came back from death, Jesus didn't return to his previous Adamic human existence; but rose as a new genera of human being altogether; which is why he's the first-fruits from the dead. Jesus is the first ever to be resurrected as a heavenly human being.

I know from the 15th chapter of 1Corinthians that there are two genera of human beings. One is of earthly origin— the Adam human being —and the other is of heavenly origin— the Christ human being. Christ's and Mary's earthly lives are over and gone; totally shed when they died. They no longer have a mother/son relationship as heavenly human beings. Now they're siblings.

Rom 8:29-39 …For those whom God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many siblings.

Eph 1:5 . .He predestined us to be adopted as his kin through Jesus Christ

POSIT: Mary is Christ's mother in Acts 1:14 after her son rose from the dead and was already back in Heaven.

RESPONSE: There are several women named Mary in the New Testament: James the less' mother, Lazarus' sister, Mary of Magdala, Mark's mother, Joseph's wife, and a Mary of Rome. In order to keep the record straight, it's necessary to distinguish all those Marys one from another by accompanying their names with an identifying remark. If the author of the book of Acts hadn't done that, then it would be impossible to know which of the six Marys was in the upper room of Acts 1:14. Compare John 19:25 where three Marys attended Christ's crucifixion; and Mark 16:1 where two Marys went out to the cemetery.

It is foolhardy to brush aside the sibling relationship that all Christians, including his own mother, now connect with to Christ. And people need to be made aware that if he is not their sibling, then Christ is nothing to them but their judge.
 

The Role Model For All Mothers                                   

POSIT: The Blessed Virgin Mary is the role model for all mothers.

RESPONSE: The real role models for Christian mothers are married women with children of their own.

Titus 2:3-5 . .Teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

POSIT: According to Ste. Paul, women serve The Lord better when they're celibate (1Cor 7:32-35).

RESPONSE: Christ's mom wasn't a loner. She was a mother with a child to raise; which no doubt put heavy demands upon her time and attention. Children are a major distraction if ever. In point of fact, a child is far and away more distracting than a husband.

So if Christ's mom could still be of use to The Lord as a mother in spite of the distractions of raising a child, then why can't other women? Bottom line is: it all depends upon what you're cut out for.

1Tim 2:15 . .Women will be saved through childbearing-- if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

If a woman is happier as a loner, then celibacy is right for her. But if a women is happier with marriage and family, then celibacy is absolutely not right for her. And let me tell you something, if celibacy drives a woman to weeping and thoughts of suicide, then just how much real use is she to The Lord and to her fellow man in that condition?

The Lord's followers are supposed to be content, not racked with depression and thoughts of suicide. Those negative characteristics are a very poor testimony to the value of New Testament Christianity.

Mary's Selection  &  Christ's Tribal Identity                       

POSIT: 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's 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.

POSIT: 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


Christmas or Marymas?                            

At the epicenter of New Testament Christianity is a man named Jesus Christ. But at Rome's epicenter is the woman who gave birth to him. It's just a shame that Christ has to compete with his own mother for the loyalties, the veneration, and the affections of people passing themselves off as his faithful followers when the Bible puts so much emphasis on Christ; for example:

John 12:32 . . And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto [not my mother] me.

● Matt 17:5 . .While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said; "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. You listen [not to his mother] to him!"

Matt 28:18 . .Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given [not to my mother] to me."

John 14:6 . . "I (not my mother) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Dan 7:13-14 . . In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped [not his mother] him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Phlp 2:8-11 . . And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [not his mother], and given him [not his mother] a name which is above every name (every name includes his mother's name): that at the name of Jesus every knee (every knee includes his mother's knees) should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue (every tongue includes his mother's tongue) should confess that Jesus Christ [not his mother] is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Col 1:18-19 . . And he [not his mother] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he [not his mother] might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him [not his mother] should all fullness dwell

1Tim 2:5 . . For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus (not his mother).

Heb 12:24 . . Jesus, (not his mother) the mediator of a new covenant,
 

The Immaculate Conception          

POSIT: Christ's mom was sinless since the Holy Bible says she was "full" of grace (Luke 1:26-30).

RESPONSE: The Douay-Rheims and the Confraternity are both in error because the New Testament's Greek of Luke 1:26-30 doesn't contain the words "full of grace." The current official Catholic Bible renders Luke's testimony like this:

Luke 1:26-30 . . In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."

Rome duped Catholics for years with its erroneous version of Luke 1:26-30, and even incorporated the error into a rote prayer well known to penance and rosary chanters as the Hail Mary, a.k.a. Ave Maria.

I have never seen any Bible texts that clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity, state that Christ's mom was full of grace. I have however seen one that says Jesus was (e.g. John 1:14).

I have never seen any Bible texts that clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity, state that Christ's mom was sinless. I have, however, seen Bible texts that clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity, state that God's son was sinless (e.g. 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 1Pet 1:18-19, 1Pet 2:22, and 1John 3:5).

Bouncing off of it's own Church-made construction of Luke 1:26-30— enhanced by a similar Church-made construction of Luke 1:42 —Rome announced that the soul of Christ's mom was miraculously created in an immaculate, sinless state of being, and legislated the Immaculate Conception an official dogma Dec 8, 1854. That's about 1,700 years after the apostles, which is very recent— a mere 154 years ago, about the time when gold was discovered in California and America's continental railroad was completed.

The Dec 8, 1854 dogma has absolutely no basis in fact. In reality, there are no Bible texts that clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity state that Miriam's conception was a miracle. On the other hand, in reality, there are Bible texts that clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity state that the conception of God's son was a miracle (e.g. Matt 1:18-24, Luke 1:26-35)

POSIT: The immaculate conception was believed in The Church much earlier than its becoming an official dogma; e.g. Franciscan John Duns Scotus (c. 1264-1308), introduced the idea of pre-redemption in order to reconcile Mary's freedom from original sin in her conception before the coming of Christ.

RESPONSE: That's precisely my point. The so-called Immaculate Conception is an introduced idea; viz: a fantasy conceived in the minds of presumptuous clergy; rather than a clear-cut Biblical revelation. But still, even John Duns Scotus' idea came along more than a thousand years after the fact; which would make his idea retroactive rather than proactive. You can't just arbitrarily legislate retroactive revelation in order to lend credibility to somebody's ideas. That's tantamount to creating your own revelation rather than accepting God's.

And anyway; it should go without saying that a concept's antiquity is not an eo ipso guarantee of its reliability. Untruths were being propagated by professing Christians even while the apostles were still here (e.g. Gal 1:6-9, Jud 1:3-4, 2Pet 3:15-16, 1John 2:18-19).

If Rome's clergy considers itself the keeper of the keys to the kingdom, then it has a fiduciary responsibility to be honest, and a responsibility to keep the truth pure and uncontaminated from the injection of man-made fantasies somebody contrived in an effort to reconcile things they don't understand.

Paul admonished his fellow believers at Thessalonica to "hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us" (2Thss 2:15). A tradition legislated into dogma 1,700 years after the apostles certainly does not qualify as a tradition "from us".

POSIT: It is absolutely unthinkable that the Son Of God— the second person of the Holy Trinity —would ever allow himself to be born of an ordinary woman!

RESPONSE: A statement like that reads sexism, personal biases, and human sensibilities into holy writ instead of just letting holy writ speak for itself while listening to what it has to say; and does in fact mirror a snob's attitude towards women of lesser estate.

Luke 7:37-39 …And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

. . . Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

The supercilious Pharisee thought that the woman wasn't good enough to be on touchy-feely terms with a prophet, but boy was he ever wrong about that! (cf. John 4:5-9)

It was absolutely essential that Jesus be born a fellow man. Not just a man, but a fellow man. Take away a normal mother, and Jesus would not be a fellow man; no, he would be an alien.

Heb 2:16-17 …For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the genetics of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be sympathetic

Take way Christ's normal mother and he might be empathetic, but he could never be sympathetic. You have to be fully human in order to be sympathetic with another fully human being.

Mary's own human DNA was laced with the genes of prominent immoral females in Christ's blood line: Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba; to name just three without even mentioning the immoral males like Judah and David. And Peres himself was a baby of adultery since Tamar was betrothed to Shelah when she slept with Judah.

Ergo: Mary's female body was genetically impure from those six people; so that even if she herself had actually been born sinless, the flesh and blood of her female plumbing was not. Her flesh and blood was the genetic product of at least five immoral human beings in her family's pedigree; and a sixth born of adultery. So then, in reality, the baby Jesus passed through the birth canal, and the labia and the pubic hairs, of tainted female flesh.

POSIT: How can you possibly think it's proper for an ordinary woman to carry the very Word himself in her body?

RESPONSE: The question infers that Christ's mother was divine because the logic of the question demands that only a god is good enough to carry God in its body.

Well; if Rome's Mary is a god, then they have a problem because according to 2Chron 15:3, Jer 10:10, and John 17:3, there is only one true god; ergo: Rome's Mary would be a false god; and Rome would be pagan because according to the very first of the Ten Commandments it is wrong to venerate false gods.
 

The Fall Of All                                      

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

Seeing as how Mary's body was derived from Eve's body, and Eve's body was derived from Adam's body, then if Mary was Jesus' biological mother, then Christ's body was derived from Eve's body, and from thence derived from Adam's; same as everybody else.

In point of fact, it is very easy to prove that Eve had a hand in producing Jesus.

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 the prediction in that verse refers to Jesus.

So; what's my point? Well; my point is: though Christ never committed any sins of his own to answer for, he was collateral damage right along with everybody else.

Rom 5:12 . .Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

Rom 5:18 . .The result of one trespass was condemnation for all men

Rom 5:19 . .Through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners

Q: If Jesus Christ was slammed with Adam's liability same as everybody else, then how can it be honestly said that he was a lamb without blemish or spot?

A: The fact that Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh rather than that of sinless flesh is very easy to prove so there is no use in fighting it (Rom 8:3, Heb 2:16-17). In other words: it's easy to prove that Adam's disobedience made Christ culpable right along with his fellow men.

However, though Adam's act made Christ culpable, it didn't make him sinful; viz: Christ committed no personal sins of his own (John 8:29, 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 1Pet 2:22). In point of fact, it was impossible for Jesus to commit sins of his own. (1John 3:9)

We're not talking about the so-called "fallen nature" here, nor about Rome's man-made "stain" fantasy; no, we're talking about a class-action felony, so to speak: a class action that impacts everyone born of women regardless of whether they're the son of God or the son of Sam.

Fortunately the penalty for Adam's disobedience isn't hell. No; it's very simple to clear his sin off the books seeing as how mortality is the proper satisfaction of justice for that (Gen 2:16-17, Heb 9:27). Did Christ die? Yes. So then POOF! there went his share in Adam's disobedience. All done.

FYI: On numerous occasions, Christ identified himself as "son of man". That title was neither new nor unique in his day. God addressed the prophet Ezekiel as "son of man" on at least 93 occasions; and in every case, the Hebrew word for man is 'adam (aw-dawm') which is the proper name of the human race God that created in the very beginning from the flesh of just that one man (Acts 17:26). If Jesus Christ had not biologically descended from Adam, then he would be a bald-faced liar for calling himself son of man.
 

Jeconiah's Curse & Jacob's Precedent                                         

POSIT: Jesus had to be virgin-conceived in order to evade Jeconiah's curse.

RESPONSE: I doubt very many Gentiles are aware of Jeconiah's curse, and I dare say totally unaware of even Jeconiah himself (a.k.a. Jehoiakim and/or Coniah). He was a very bad king; so bad that God black-listed his portion of the Davidic dynasty. Here's the text of the curse

Jer 22:29-30 . . O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord! Thus said the Lord: Record this man as without succession, one who shall never be found acceptable; for no man of his offspring shall be accepted to sit on the throne of David and to rule again in Judah.

Well; it just so happens that Joseph is biologically related to Jeconiah (Matt 1:11, Matt 1:16)

So then, it's very common for Bible students to appropriate Jeconiah's curse as one of the reasons why Joseph could not be allowed to sire Mary's son Jesus. They say that had Jesus been in Jeconiah's biological line, he would have been disqualified from inheriting David's throne.

However; the wording "to rule again in Judah" indicates that the curse was relatively brief.

The curse on Coniah's offspring was limited to the time of his family's jurisdiction in Judah. In other words: the curse was in effect only during the days of the divided kingdom with Judah in the south and Samaria in the north. That condition came to an end when Nebuchadnezzar crushed the whole country and led first Samaria, and then later Judah, off to Babylonian slavery.

When Christ returns to rule, the country of Israel will be unified. His jurisdiction won't be limited to Judah within a divided kingdom, but will dominate all of Eretz Israel. (Ezek 37:21-24)

So the curse doesn't apply to him. In point of fact, it didn't apply to Joseph either seeing as how the curse ran its course only up to the time of the end of the divided kingdom.

Another very common error is one that says Jesus circumvented the curse via adoption. In other words, seeing as how he was Joseph's legal son but not his biological son, then Jeconiah's curse didn't pass to Jesus.

But adoption doesn't work like that.

According to most, if not all, adoption laws; adopted children have all the rights, privileges, benefits, liabilities, and responsibilities of natural children, including a right to inherit just as if they were 100% biological progeny.

NOTE: It's not uncommon for a young inexperienced fellow to marry a girl with children from a previous relationship only to find himself paying child support for another man's progeny when they separate because he adopted the woman's kids and gave them his name. Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

Therefore, since Jesus was Joseph's legal son by law, then Jesus would have inherited any, and all, curses that may have filtered down from Mr. Jeconiah right along with Solomon's throne; just as if Jesus were Joseph's biological progeny. In other words: the curse would have come with the throne as a package deal. So if you take away Christ's inheritance rights to Jeconiah's curse, then you must of necessity take away his inheritance rights to Solomon's throne too.

NOTE: A number of Jews with whom I've dialogued in the past refuse to accept Jesus' adoption as a valid succession to David's throne. But they pretty much have to because their patriarch Jacob set a precedent for it at Gen 48:5-7.

Long story short: Jacob adopted his own two biological grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim; thus installing them in positions equal in rank, honor, and power to his twelve original sons. The adoption of his own grandsons not only had the effect of making them tribal heads, but also had the effect of adding additional children to Rachel's brood.

Jacob's motive for adopting his two grandsons was in sympathy for his deceased wife Rachel's misfortune to be cut off during her child-bearing years, which subsequently prevented her from having any more children of her own. Ephraim and Manasseh bring Rachel's total up to six: two of her own, two by her maid Bilhah, and two by Asenath.

OBJECTION: Jesus isn't a product of two earthly parents. Therefore He doesn't fall into the human procreation process.

RESPONSE: It is just beyond belief that anyone could be so ignorant of Christ's genealogy in the gospel of Luke. Jesus had dozens of earthly parents beginning with Mary's mom and dad, and stretching back to David and Bathsheba, Judah and Tamar, Jacob and Leah, Isaac and Rebecca, Abraham and Sarah, and Adam and Eve. All those parents' genes were present in Mary's ovum and had a role in Christ's conception.

Who were Eve's earthly parents? She had but one; her husband. Eve's creation was even more difficult than Christ's conception because there were no women in Adam's genealogy to provide female genes for God to work with in creating Eve. Jesus, to the contrary, wasn't created; no, he was conceived, and his conception was a much simpler miracle than creating Eve because a gene pool consisting of dozens of men were in Mary's ovum for God to work with whereas in Adam's organic tissues, there were no female genes.
 

The Holy Family                                   

"Just as we do not deny these things which are written, so do we repudiate things that are not written. That God was born of a Virgin we believe, because we read it. That Mary was married after His birth we do not believe because we do not read it."
— Ste. Jerome

Jerome was correct on one point. Up till the time of Christ's birth, Mary and Joseph were betrothed, but not yet married. (Luke 2:5)

At one point in their engagement, Joseph wanted to break it off. (Matt 1:18 19)

But a celestial messenger intervened to prevent him. (Matt 1:20)

Consequently, Joseph continued to honor the engagement. (Matt 1:24)

Now the really significant part is: the messenger instructed Joseph to name his wife's baby. (Matt 1:21)

Joseph did as he was told. (Matt 1:25)

Mary too was ordered to name her baby; with the very same name the messenger dictated to Joseph. (Luke 7:31)

So when the time came to give the baby his legal name, both Joseph and Mary stepped forward together to identify themselves as Christ's parents.

Luke 2:21 . . And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Now; by some strange twist of the imagination, Jerome somehow convinced himself that when Joseph and Mary stepped forward to give Christ his legal name, they did so as a betrothed couple rather than a married couple. In other words; Jerome somehow convinced himself that Christ's parents remained engaged forever and never got around to tying the knot!

But that's not how engagements work. They are not meant to be perpetual arrangements with no end in sight. No. When a man and woman commit themselves to an engagement, it's with the intent and fore view of getting married and settling down together. Why Jerome didn't get it I just don't know.

A far more sensible take on Joseph and Mary, is that sometime between Christ's birth and his circumcision, Jesus' parents tied the knot. So when they stepped forward to give Christ his legal name, they did so as man and wife. Thus, in full accord with the normal round of human experience: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were a family in every sense of the word— a holy family; not some freak coven consisting of a fatherless child shared by two people engaged to never be married.
 

God's Paterfamilias                         

POSIT: If Jesus is God, and Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is the Mother of God.

RESPONSE: Christ's biological mother didn't just pop up out of nowhere. No, she was the natural human child of a normal human relationship between a man and a woman— and having her biological father's and mother's genes in her system, she would quite naturally transfer those genes to her baby whether the baby was virgin-conceived or not.

In other words: if the Holy Spirit, as per Luke 1:26-35 used a portion of Mary's ovum for Christ's conception, any portion at all; then Christ has a biological ancestry stretching clear on back to Adam.

In point of fact, prior to Christ's conception; the angel said that Mary's baby would be David's progeny (Luke 1:32). It's easy to establish that David was Adam's progeny because every human being that ever existed before us was Adam's progeny.

Acts 17:26 . . He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth

So then, in accordance with Rome's logic: Every woman in Christ's biological line, including Mary's mother and going back to Eve, are mothers of God; and every man in Christ's biological line, including Mary's father and going back to Adam, are fathers of God.

If my comment isn't true; then the angel lied when it predicted Christ would be David's progeny.

OBJECTION:  Mary's female ancestors don't count as mothers of God

RESPONSE: It is not your right to count Christ's mothers; it is the Bible's right.

Gen 320 . .The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

If Eve was the mother of all the living, then she was the mother of Christ; ergo: according to Rome's logic; Eve was the mother of God.

Seeing as how Eve began producing all the living by sleeping with Adam, then Adam was the father of Christ; ergo: according to Rome's logic; Adam was the father of God.

Acts 17:26 . . He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth.
 

Mary's Unbelief         

The Bible says that Christ was restored to life for our justification. (Rom 4:25)

In other words: though his crucifixion was sufficient to obtain forgiveness for people's sins; Christ's crucifixion alone wasn't sufficient to render people innocent. Though pardoned, people would have been stuck with a guilty conscience for ever and ever.

This is a very crucial issue in the religion of Christianity and I believe the Devil knows it and that's why it's in his interests to convince people— e.g. the Jehovah's Witnesses —that Christ's crucified body remains deceased.

1Cor 15:17 . . And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

But did his mom believe he would be back from the dead? I don't think so. Search the list of names of the women who went out to Christ's gravesite on Easter morning, and you will not find her mentioned among them. None of Christ's original disciples believed he was going to recover from crucifixion, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that Christ's mom didn't believe either. It's not like she committed some kind of heinous atrocity or gross sin. Her doubt was simply status quo among Christ's followers.

There's really very few plausible Bible reasons why Christ's mom wasn't out in the cemetery waiting to greet her son Easter morning.

1• She didn't believe he was coming back

2• She didn't believe he could come back

3• She forgot he said he was coming back

4• She didn't know he said he was coming back

5• She was indisposed when he came back

6• She was out of town when he came back

In regards to #1; because normal mothers are so bonded to their own flesh and blood, this reason seems to us the most likely.

In regards to #2; the physical mess Jesus was in after his ordeal makes this a likely possibility; but no excuse.

In regards to #3; that actually happened to a number of the disciples— but would a normal mother forget something like that?

In regards to #4; it's highly unlikely Jesus would confide such an important matter with his disciples and not his own mom the alleged Queen Of Heaven and the Mother Of All Christians?

In regards to #5; there's nothing in the Gospel narratives suggesting Christ's mom was indisposed.

In regards to #6; it's highly unlikely Christ's mom would leave Jerusalem if she knew her boy was going to recover from crucifixion. Any truly loving mother would want to be on hand when her boy was restored to life and his injuries healed. Surely that would be just as much cause for a joyous reunion as a son coming home alive and well from Afghanistan.

I don't know if you have any children of your own, but I can tell you from 34+ years of parental experience with a very sensitive woman, that if my son were to be killed, and his mother expected him back in three days; she would have been camped out in that cemetery all three of those days waiting for him; and threats to cut her throat wouldn't persuade her otherwise. Any normal mother would have been out there in that cemetery even if there was only a remote chance their boy might recover. I know, because I've seen that kind of mother's love right here in my own home.

If Christ's mom truly believed her boy would recover, and truly expected him to; then if she was even half the mother my wife is; she would have been out there at the very least on the third day waiting for him with food and water and fresh clothing; but alas, she wasn't: not because she didn't love her son; but simply because she wasn't expecting him to be there.

OBJECTION: Why would Mary seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5)

RESPONSE: If Christ's mom had truly believed he would revive, then don't you think the cemetery would be a reasonable place to find him? In point of fact, Jesus was still in the cemetery during the early hours of resurrection morning: right there at the grave site (John 20:10-18).

But aside from that; the angel's question should be taken like this: Why do you seek a dead Jesus? You see, the women of Luke 24:1-8 had somehow totally forgotten his promise to recover.

Luke 24:6-8 . .Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee; The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered his words.

But I seriously doubt that a normal mother would forget something like that. No, she'd mark her calendar with bold red ink and start a vigil. The reality is: Christ's mom simply didn't expect him to recover.

Mary loved her boy deeply; there can be no doubt about that because it was predicted while he was yet an infant that Jesus would cause his mom to experience the pain of a sword piercing her soul (Luke 2:35) which I take to mean she experienced a depth of anguish at Christ's crucifixion that only a mother who's watched her own precious flesh and blood mutilated and crucified can truly understand how that really feels.

So I believe, with all my own parental heart, that Christ's mom would have been the very first person out at the cemetery on Easter morning if for no other reason than to be there just in case what he predicted about his three days and three nights resurrection might actually be true. I think she would have been out there with food and water, and a fresh change of clothing like any normal mother would do for a child who's survived a terrible ordeal. My wife and I would certainly have been out there for our own son if for no other reason than to give him a ride home.

Anybody who's watched the televised home-comings of servicemen returning from Iraq and/or Afghanistan; have seen for themselves what that does to the emotions of kin waiting for their loved ones' safe return. And where do the families typically wait? At home? No, they mostly wait at the airport; sometimes several hours ahead of arrival times. If Mary had sincerely believed that her boy was going to return from his ordeal in just three days; there's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that she would have already been out there on Easter morning way before anybody else arrived.

Note:

 Isa 52:14 . . Many were amazed when they saw him— beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was human.

Did the Roman guards do all that to Christ? No. That they beat him it's true, but no man could possibly disfigure Jesus beyond human semblance. What really happened to Jesus on that cross? What went on between him and God the Judge during those three hours of inky darkness when he was made responsible for every sin the world ever committed up to that time, and ever would commit beyond it?

Isa 53:5 . . Yhvh laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.

Isa 53:10 . . Yet it was Yhvh's will to crush him and cause him to suffer

Let me tell you something. If God the Judge would disfigure His own beloved son beyond recognition for sins he didn't commit, what do you suppose He has in store for people who mock him?

OBJECTION: What about John 19:26-27? "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, 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 into his home." - - Doesn't that indicate Mary was out of town?

RESPONSE: Does anyone really know the location of the home of the disciple whom Jesus loved?

The word "took" doesn't automatically imply that the disciple whom Jesus loved put Mary in his buggy and drove her to his house. It can also mean to accept something and/or someone; like in marriage vows; e.g. Do you take so and so to be your lawfully wedded wife?

From that angle, it can be seen that the disciple, whom Jesus loved, accepted responsibility for the care of Christ's mom without hesitation; as if she were his own kin; in accordance with Ex 20:12.

The disciple whom Jesus loved was still in Jerusalem on resurrection morning (Luke 24:9, John 20:2-9). So I think it's safe to assume his new dependent was still in Jerusalem too; most especially if she was expecting her boy to recover. So Christ's mom had an opportunity to go out to the cemetery on the third day with Peter and John (John 20:1-10), but didn't. Christ's mom and Mary Magdalena were close friends (John 19:25). Even after her friend Mary M. reported Jesus alive, Christ's mom still didn't go out to see if maybe he was.

The first woman on record to see Jesus back from the dead wasn't his kin; no, it was an outsider, Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9, John 20:11-18). And she subsequently became Christ's messenger to the other disciples; which of course, would include his mom.

Think of that— the so-called Mother Of God, the Queen Of Heaven, the prime focus of prayer and mediation between Catholics and Heaven, the "Madonna of the" everything you can imagine, and believed to be the channel of graces from God —wasn't the very first woman to whom Jesus showed himself alive and back from death! Doesn't that seem just a bit odd to you? Shouldn't Jesus at the very least have shown himself alive to his own mother first in order to solace her grief at his passing? Well . . he would have; had she been out to the cemetery on time.

Later that first day, Jesus showed himself alive to more disciples, and yet even then his mother isn't named among the group (John 20:19-20). And there's no record that he ever made a special trip to the home of the disciple to whom he entrusted his mom's care. Christ's mom isn't named among the disciples until after he left the earth (Acts 1:9-14) and then she disappears; never mentioned again in not one single verse in the rest of the entire New Testament. Paul doesn't even list her name among any of those that saw Jesus alive (1Cor 15:3-8).

The conclusion to draw from Mary's conspicuous absence at the tomb, and from subsequent events, should be obvious to any unbiased observer. God's Spirit— the inspirer and custodian of holy writ —knowing human nature's propensity to elevate motherhood to the heights of deity, and gravitate towards a female-centered religion; deliberately left Mary's activities blank from the day of her son's death to the day of Pentecost, and afterwards, in order to discourage unwarranted veneration of an ordinary human being so as to keep the spotlight on the Christ of Christianity where it belongs. But Rome has managed to somehow circumvent the Holy Ghost, and do exactly what He would prefer they didn't.
 

my Lord                                    

Luke 1:43 . . And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

That passage is a common proof text as scriptural evidence that Mary is the mother of God; but its a poor choice for that purpose.

When Elizabeth made that statement, she was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41). To be consistent, the Holy Spirit would have to be in agreement with Gabriel's announcement.

Luke 1:32-33 . .The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

To a Spirit-filled Jew like Elizabeth, the term "my Lord" doesn't mean my God; no, it means my king; viz: the ultimate Davidic monarch predicted in the Old Testament to rule over the nation of Israel from within a theocratic kingdom of peace and prosperity.

New Testament Greek isn't classical Greek, nor is it modern Greek. It's a kind of ancient Greek called koiné, which was a lingua franca in common use during the first century. There's no formal capitalization in New Testament Greek and no punctuation either.

Capitalizations and punctuations have been penciled in at the discretion of translators, and often reflect their own best guess, and quite possibly their own personal religious beliefs and biases too. So then "my Lord" can just as easily be translated; "my lord" and even as "my master" (cf. Matt 18:26 where a debtor addressed his king as lord, and also fell down and did obeisance).

New Testament Greek doesn't have a glossary of precise terms for God like Old Testament Hebrew does. The Greek word kurios (koo'-ree-os) is sort of a catch-all. It can apply to God as well as to anybody who's either superior in rank, in authority, or social status (e.g. Matt 10:24, Matt 13:27, Matt 18:25, and Matt 24:45). The kurios at Luke 1:43 is the same kurios used for Abraham at 1Pet 3:6, and used for Jesus by non Spirit-filled people at least twenty times in the book of Matthew alone.

So then, when interpreting kurios in Luke 1:43, it first needs to be remembered that Miriam and Elizabeth were both Jewish women. The religion that they each believed and practiced wasn't Catholicism, nor was it Christianity; no, their religion was Old Testament Judaism. According to their religion, it's appropriate to address the Aaronic priests, and the kings of the Davidic dynasty, as "my lord" (e.g. 1Sam 1:26, and 2Sam 4:8).

Miriam was told that her baby would ascend the throne of its ancestor David. Thus, it was quite appropriate for a Spirit-filled Jewish woman like Elizabeth to refer to Miriam's baby as "my kurios" in recognition of its right to rule over her own self, as well as over the whole nation of Israel.

Dan 7:13-14 . . In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is the one that will never be destroyed.

Compare Psalm 110:1 and Matt 22:42-45 where David recognized his Messianic son's superior rank and called him 'adown in the Old Testament, which doesn't mean God, no, it means master— the same word Sarah referred to Abraham in Gen 18:12, and the same word Ephron referred to Abraham in Gen 23:11-15, and the same word Rachel referred to her dad Laban in Gen 31:35.

It's very common for non-Jews, poorly trained in Old Testament Christology, to read Christian thinking into the Bible and thus err in regards to Christ's Davidic royalty. Below is an example of an enlightened Gentile woman who knew a thing or two about Messiah's rank; and accepted his sovereignty over not only the Jews, but over herself and the entire world as well.

Matt 15:21-22 . .Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying; "Have mercy on me, O lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil."

That woman called Jesus "lord, son of David" rather than Lord son of God because she knew nothing of the so-called deity of Christ that so obsesses Catholics today. All she knew was Christ's Jewish relationship to Davidic royalty, and that is how she addressed him.

People commonly addressed Christ by the title kurios; e.g. the promiscuous woman at the well (John 4:11). The only thing she knew about Jesus was his gender and ethnicity. He was just some Jewish guy the cat dragged in; yet she addressed him by a title that Catholicism would dearly love to assume means God in Elizabeth's statement. In that woman's case, kurios certainly did not mean God; not even close.
 

Mary's Perpetual Virginity?                                 

It needs to be pointed out that God's spirit, the custodian of sacred writ, put the focus upon Mary's virginity at the time of Christ's birth, and leaves her virginity after Christ's birth to the imagination.

In a nutshell, Rome's dogma on the perpetual virginity of Joseph's wife is nothing less than a shameful rumor. There is not one shred of inspired biblical evidence that clearly, without ambiguity, and without a sensible doubt supports such a theory; Rome pulled it right out of thin air just like they've done with so many others of its Traditions.

Some go so far as to say that Christ's followers have always believed in Mary's perpetual virginity; citing the teachings and beliefs of an elite group that they piously label church fathers a.k.a. patristic fathers. But the beliefs and opinions of so-called church fathers should never be granted a higher credibility than the Holy Bible. And along with that axiom is that antiquity is no guarantee that a particular belief 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)

The normal round of human experience will not support Mary's so-called perpetual virginity; nor will the Bible's inspired record.

According to the New Testament; Joseph and his best girl were already engaged to be married before either one of them were informed about a somebody coming named Jesus. Since Mary was already engaged prior to Gabriel's announcement in Luke 1:26-38; the logical conclusion is that she was marrying a Jewish guy for the usual reasons that Jewish girls want a Jewish husband— to settle down, cohabit with a Jewish man, and raise a Jewish family of her own.

And since Joseph was already engaged to his best girl prior to the dream sequence in Matt 1:18-15, the logical conclusion is that he was marrying a Jewish girl for the usual reasons that Jewish guys want a Jewish wife— to settle down, cohabit with a Jewish woman, and raise a Jewish family of his own.

If people never get anything else out of the Gospel narratives, I hope they can at least appreciate that Joseph and his best girl were both Israelis who lived in an ancient Jewish culture— a culture about which most Gentiles haven't a clue; and I seriously doubt a normal Jewish couple in that era would plan to wed with the full intent of living a 100% platonic union in a community where such a practice was culturally an embarrassment; for example:

Luke 1:23-25 . .When Zachariah's time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant; and for five months remained in seclusion. The Lord has done this for me; she said. In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.

Had Joseph and his wife deliberately entered a 100% platonic marriage then they would have failed to appropriate the blessing of procreation and assist in earth's subjugation.

Gen 1:27 . .God blessed them, saying: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.

A Jewish man with no children of his own loses out on a particular blessing.

Ps 127:3-5 . . Sons are a heritage from Yhvh: children His reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

A deliberate platonic marriage is unthinkable to conscientious Jews as it would fail to contribute to the fulfillment of their ancestor Abraham's blessing.

Gen 22:17 . . I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

The real question is not whether Joseph and his wife produced children together. No, that's not it. The real question is: Did they, or did they not, sleep together and try to produce children together? In other words: Did they or did they not consummate their marriage?

Whether they succeeded in producing children together is irrelevant; and any arguments that go in that direction are nothing less than red herrings because even if it could be proven beyond even the slightest reservation that Joseph and his wife produced no children together; their barren marriage would not be an eo ipso, air-tight indication that nothing conjugal ever happened in the bedroom.

Q: What about Ste. Jerome's reason that: What bigger blessing could two Moses-trained Jewish adults wish for than the Messiah? Surely they would neither want, nor need, any additional children.

A: That is truly an amazing statement coming from a religion that doesn't believe in birth control and/or planned parenthood; plus the statement itself is a blatant non sequitur. Moses-trained Jewish adults would never stop at just one child just because the first one was some sort of wunderkind. That notion is incredibly uneducated.

And what about daughters? Are little girls a curse? Don't you think Mary would've liked at least one little princess scampering around the house?

And let's remember that Jesus was Mary's kid. Don't you think Joseph would want some children of his own? Yes, he would, because that's no doubt why he was engaged to wed Mary in the first place.

You see, it would be thoroughly un-Jewish to limit Joseph's family to just Mary's kid. It's only right that she help Joseph produce some of his own. Had Jerome a family man's heart, he wouldn't have made such a thoughtless remark.

A Jewish family with only one child is missing a blessing.

Ps 127:3-5 . .Behold, children are a gift of Yhvh; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!

By limiting the household to just Mary's kid, Joseph would be relegated to a woman's helper rather than the way God planned marriage from the very beginning.

Gen 2:18-19 . .Then Yhvh God said; It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him an helper suitable for him.

You see, Mary was supposed to be Joseph's helper, not the other way around. Therefore, it was her sacred duty to help her husband bring his own children into the world.

For those who haven't already guessed, the basis of Rome's reasoning is that men are unsanitary: they somehow contaminate the sanctity of women when they copulate, consequently it is unthinkable (in their minds at least) that any man, including Joseph, would dare to insert his filthy pudendum into the very birth canal that bore the Holy Son Of God; ergo: Rome implies that Joseph would have insulted God's sensibilities had he slept with his own wife.

Moses taught his people (which eo ipso includes Joseph and his Jewish wife) that ewish men and women both contaminate each other by copulation; and that women temporarily render Jewish males unsuitable to participate in worship services and partake of holy things (e.g. Ex 19:15, Lev 15:16-18, 1Sam 21:4). So then, if, and whenever, Joseph and his wife copulated, she made him just as contaminated as he made her.

Rome's dogma is thoroughly inconsistent with one of its own Popes— I can't remember exactly which —who wrote a treatise on the beauty of sex in marriage. Apparently sex is beautiful in marriage for John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer, but not for Joseph and his wife. For the holy couple, normal marital relations are carnal, unholy, nasty, and unthinkable; which again, is inconsistent with ancient Jewish culture. Moses taught his people (which eo ipso includes Joseph and his Jewish wife) that it is blessed to procreate.

Gen 1:27 . .God created man in his image; in the divine image He created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying; Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.

For Abraham's posterity (which eo ipso includes Joseph and his Jewish wife) to fail to make an honest effort to procreate, would be inconsistent with Abraham's blessing.

Gen 22:17 . .I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

There are Catholics who sincerely believe it is a sin to marry with no intention of producing offspring; and that if one spouse should later change their mind and express a wish to remain childless, then the other has grounds for annulment. A belief of that nature makes Joseph and his wife sinners if they did not sleep together and make an honest effort to produce children in accordance with Gen 1:27 and Gen 22:17.

OBJECTION: Shouldn't you take into account the controversy between Jerome and Helvidius, written around 380ad, regarding Mary's perpetual virginity?

RESPONSE: I consider it much more profitable to consider the controversy between Rome's fantasies and the Bible's realities.

Matt 16:23 . .Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.

Catholics who persist in rejecting the New Testament as Almighty God's final authority, are doomed to be judged by that very same New Testament rather than only by their church's proprietary catechism, or its traditions, its encyclicals, its ecumenical councils, or the beliefs and opinions its so-called church fathers; and the preposterous yarns spun by its fertile imagination.

John 12:48-49 . .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. For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father himself who sent me has given me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.

The Holy Spirit, the divine inspirer of holy writ, puts the emphasis on Mary's virginity at the time of Christ's birth. I think it's quite out of harmony with God's Spirit to quarrel over whether or not two Jews lived out their days in platonic chastity after Jesus was born.

It reminds me of a scene in an old Sean Connery movie titled "The Name Of The Rose" where church dignitaries argued whether the Christ owned the clothes that he wore, or not. People are tumbling into the dungeons of hell every hour even as we speak, and that's where those dignitaries put the emphasis?!

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census' current estimates: one person dies on average every 12 seconds in America. That's 7,200 homeland deaths in the course of just one 24-hour day.

According to 2009 US Census data; roughly 27.3% of America's daily deaths are under the age of 19, which would indicate that approximately 5,234 of the current daily death rate of 7,200 per 24 hours are adults. Giving the "many" the benefit of the doubt by setting their maximum percentage at 51%, would indicate a minimum of 2,669 American adults transferring to perdition every day: which translates to roughly 111 per hour. Think of that! By the time CBS completes its half-hour evening news, 51 Americans have passed away and transferred to hell.

Those numbers would fill the new 51,800 seat Yankee Stadium in roughly 19½ days; and that's only the numbers arriving in hell from America. Similar numbers are arriving from other countries all around the world; and a portion of those people are doomed Roman Catholics.

Do you really think that any of those doomed Roman Catholics actually think it's important whether or not Christ's mom remained a perpetual virgin?

1Tim 6:3-5 . .If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of depraved minds and deprived of the truth.
 

Rome's New Eve                       

"Because of Eve’s disobedience to God and Adam’s cooperation with her, they lost sanctifying grace for themselves and their offspring. Like Eve, Mary was created full of grace. But unlike Eve, Mary remained obedient to God, just as Christ, unlike Adam, remained obedient to God. In cooperation with God, Mary became Mother of the Redeemer and, in cooperation with Christ, she became Mother of the redeemed as well.

The phrase "New Eve" or similar expressions occur in the early Church Fathers. Take, for example, Justin Martyr, who wrote within a couple of generations of the apostles. In his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew (ca. A.D. 150), Justin explains that Christ destroyed Satan’s work in the same way evil originally entered the world. Evil entered through Eve while she was still a virgin; so too salvation entered through Mary while she was still a virgin. Each woman willingly participated in the act they performed. Neither was an unconscious instrument.

Eve listened to the serpent and conceived death. Mary listened to the angel Gabriel and conceived life. Justin sees this clearly in Luke 1:38 when Mary says, "Let it be to me according to your word." Thus, for Justin, Christ’s becoming a man involved his Mother’s willing cooperation in undoing the tangled web of sin that Eve introduced. The concept of the New Eve taught by the Church Fathers is a case in point because it is a summary and natural extension of Paul’s doctrine of Christ as the New Adam." (KJ Howell)

Howell's primary error of course was in labeling Christ the "new" Adam. The correct title is "last" Adam (1Cor 15:45). That may seem like nit picking but significance is lost when the last Adam is labeled new instead of last.

The Greek word is eschatos (es'-khat-os) which doesn't mean new; it means final. That's important; especially when final is the final option.

Webster's defines "final" as pertaining to something not to be changed or done again and/or something that is not to be either altered or undone.

Howell also believed that Jesus' mom was a new Eve which of course isn't biblical: it's the product of humanistic reasoning, tricky extrapolation, clever sophistry, and semantic double speak. Nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus' mother labeled either a second Eve, a new Eve, a last Eve; or any other kind of an Eve for that matter. Eve was the mother of an entire human race. In contrast, Mary's baby was simply an addition to Eve's race.

When the Word came into the world as an h.sapiens, he was just as much an extension of the first Adam as all the rest of us. His biological link to the first Adam is very easy to demonstrate. In point of fact, Jesus described himself as the son of man; meaning of course the son of Adam. (Luke 3:38)

The final Adam isn't even human; he's a spirit, and it should go without saying that Adam's female progeny do not give birth to spirits; rather, they give birth to more of Adam; viz: flesh and blood.

1Cor 15:45 . . the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

In other words: the last Adam is the source of life for all creatures great and small, including Jesus' mom. (John 1:1-4)

The first Adam is perpetuated through Eve.

Gen 3:20 . .The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

However, the last Adam is not perpetuated through a woman. No, Jesus' mom plays no role in perpetuating the last Adam because none of the life-giving spirit's progeny are born of women, instead, they are born of God.

John 1:10-13 . . He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God.

John 3:5-7 . . Amen, Amen, I say to you: no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you: You must be born from above.

In other words: the life-giving spirit of 1Cor 15:45 is none other than the Spirit spoken of in John 3:3-7.

FYI: Mary herself had to undergo the spirit birth about which Jesus spoke at John 3:3-7. I know that's true because the language and grammar of his speech permits no exceptions.
 

Heretics                            

Webster's defines an heretic as: (1) a dissenter from established church dogma; especially a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who disavows a revealed truth, and (2) one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine; viz: a nonconformist.

There are lots of Catholics right here in the USA disagreeing with Rome who would never consider themselves heretics; but that's exactly what they are anyway. The New Testament Greek word for heretic is hairetikos (hahee-ret-ee-kos') which means: a schismatic; viz: someone in your very own church who causes dissent, reformation, division, discord, disputes, and disharmony.

In other words: heretics aren't outsiders; no, a true heretic goes to the same church you go to and professes to believe and practice the very same religion that you profess to believe and practice; viz: for Catholics, a heretic would be a professing Catholic who openly disagrees with Rome, and attempts to persuade other Catholics to follow suit; for example on issues like abortion, female priests, and LGBT marriage.

Heresy is a serious sin; stubborn cases call for excommunication.

Titus 3:10-11 . . A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Heresy is different than apostasy, which is defined as: renunciation of a religious faith, and/or abandonment of a previous loyalty. In other words: an apostate is a defector whereas an heretic is a dissenter.

Q: Why can't I oppose Rome's stance on some things? Surely you don't suggest that makes me a bad Catholic. I'm just being democratic; after all: dissent is a human right.

A: The USA is a democracy consisting of a representative form of government. Christ's church is a theocracy consisting of a monarchal form of government; viz: his church is not a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; but rather; it's a government of Christ, by Christ, and for Christ— a monarch who expects nothing less than 110% loyalty from his subjects; which, relative to John and Jane Doe pew warmer, implies submission to Rome.

Matt 16:19 . . And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Those keys were not given to John and Jane Doe; they were given to the hierarchy; therefore, Catholics who dissent with Rome are actually rebelling against the Christ whom Rome supposedly represents. It's a domino effect all the way to the top.

Luke 10:16 . .Whoever listens to you; listens to me. Whoever rejects you; rejects me. And whoever rejects me; rejects the one who sent me.

Dissention within Christ's church isn't democratic; no, dissention within the Church is all the same as pagans practicing dark arts and/or worshipping Shiva and Vishnu.

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

Several years ago, on Good Morning America, a Monsignor was asked by David Hartman and Joan Lunden about Catholic dissidents, and he replied: They've left the Church; and don't know it.

Matt 12:30 . . He that is not with me is against me

One of the New Testament's Greek words for "lord" is despotes (des-pot'-ace) which indicates absolute rule; viz: despotism. That word is applied to Christ in more than one location in the New Testament. Despots typically have little patience with dissenters.

According to the May 2, 2005 issue of Newsweek, a Gallup pole taken during April 2005, on "difficult moral questions" showed that 74% of USA Catholics would follow their own conscience rather than the authority of Rome. Just 20% said they would follow Rome. Apparently 6% were undecided.

Look; let me give that 74% a word of advice (and also that 6% who're undecided); and this coming from a 71 year-old ex Catholic who was faithful to Rome for the first 24+ years of his life. If you can't give your whole-hearted support to those whom you profess to believe hold the keys of the kingdom; then it's time to bow out. It would be far better for all concerned, yourself included, to defect and to self-excommunicate rather than to hang around causing division and attempting to reform a religion that you find impossible to support as-is.

Dissenting Catholics are not true Catholics at all; no, not in any sense of the word. They're hybrids; actually Protestant Catholics, who have, in spirit, already left the Church but just can't bring yourselves to step out the door and make it final.

Rev 3:15-16 . . I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

OBJECTION: More often than not, what was once "heresy" is now dogma. We call ourselves "progressives" in the certain knowledge that our views will eventually become canonical. We're just biding our time until the church catches up with us.

RESPONSE: It is upon the rank and file to catch up with the hierarchy, not for it to catch up to them. In other words: the true sheep follow; they don't lead.

John 10:4-6 . . When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice.

The meanwhile that rebels wait for the hierarchy to catch up to them; they're not following Christ; and according to Titus 3:10-11, they're warped, sinful, and self condemned. Plus, according to 1Sam 15:23, they're no better than pagans practicing dark arts and/or worshipping Shiva and Vishnu.

I don't know how so many people think this is all just a tempest in a teapot because if perchance what we're saying here is true and reliable, then Rome's dissidents face an unpleasant reckoning.

Heb 13:17 . . Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

OBJECTION: But what about Paul confronting Peter? (Gal 2:11)

RESPONSE: Paul and Peter were members of the hierarchy. Rank and file pew warmer are not permitted to challenge the hierarchy; they are expected to do as they're told.

Heb 13:17 . .Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you

Titus 3:10-11 . .If anyone is causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with that person. For people like that have turned away from the truth. They are sinning, and they condemn themselves.

We are indignant with Catholics applying the Catholic name to themselves when all the while publicly undermining the authority and integrity of Catholic Church leadership. We are especially chafed by subversives who publicly discredit the text of the New American Bible— an official Catholic Bible certified by their own Church's imprimatur and nihil obstat, and introduced with a testimonial by Paulus PP VI. Those kinds of Catholics are telling me they don't trust Catholic scholarship; nor do they accept overall Papal authority.

And heretic Catholics who condemn and oppose Vatican II are the worst kinds of rebels as they are refusing to accept their own hierarchy's bindings upon their beliefs and practices.

Matt 16:19 . .whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

According to the May 2, 2005 issue of Newsweek,, a Gallup pole taken during April 2005, on "difficult moral questions" showed that 74% of USA Catholics would follow their own conscience rather than the authority of Rome. Just 20% said they would follow Rome. Apparently 6% were undecided. In the 2008 Presidential election, roughly 54%-57% of the Catholic electorate that voted sided with Mr. Barack Hussein Obama; a man Rome disapproves as way too pro abortion. Did those 54%-57% listen to Rome? No, because heretics don't listen.

There are lots of Catholics right here in the USA disagreeing with Rome who would never consider themselves heretics; but that's exactly what they are anyway. The New Testament Greek word for heretic is hairetikos (hahee-ret-ee-kos') which means: a schismatic; which is someone in your very own church who causes dissent, reformation, division, discord, and disharmony. Heretics are not outsiders; no, a true heretic goes to the same church you go to and professes to believe and practice the very same religion that you profess to believe and practice; viz: for Catholics, a heretic would be a professing Catholic who openly disagrees with Rome, and attempts to persuade other Catholics to join their cause; e.g. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joseph Biden.

BTW: Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama should never have been running mates in the first place.

2Cor 6:14-15 . .Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

What I find interesting about the word hairetikos is that it's used but one single time in the entire New Testament (Titus 3:10) yet Catholics wield that word as if it were a whole Bible; and utilize it like some sort of sacred mace to clobber anybody, anywhere, who disagrees at any time with the overall Catholic belief system: when they're supposed to be using that word to clobber their own schismatic Catholics, not to clobber outsiders.

Look; let me give that 74% a word of advice (and also that 6% who're undecided); and this coming from a 70 year-old ex Catholic who was faithful to Rome for the first 24+ years of his life. If you can't give your whole-hearted support to those whom you profess to believe hold the keys of the kingdom; then it's time to bow out. It would be far better for all concerned, yourself included, to defect and to self-excommunicate rather than to hang around causing division and attempting to reform a religion that you find impossible to support as-is. Catholic pew-warmers like that are not true Catholics at all; no, not in any sense of the word. They're hybrids; actually Protestant Catholics, who have, in spirit, already left The Church but just can't bring yourselves to step out the door and make it final.

For a worst-case scenario of heresy, and it's tragic consequences; see Num 16:1-40.
 

Safety In Numbers?                     

According to the 2011 World Almanac and Book Of Facts, the approximate number of Christians tallied in the six major continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Northern America, and Oceania as of mid 2009, was 2,264,492,000 or roughly 2.26 billion. Of that number were 1,142,604,000 Catholics. Those 1.14+ billion Catholics represented a whopping 50½% of all Christendom. The remaining 49½% were splintered into five major non Catholic groups— Protestant, Independents, Orthodox, Anglican, Marginal, and Unaffiliated.

If God's experiences with Yhvh's people in the Old Testament teaches me anything at all it's that the majority is never in the right; no, it's always a remnant that's right. A remnant is what's left over; like food at the end of meal, or pieces of wood after a home is built, or material after a carpet is laid.

According to Christ's and his Father's combined testimony as expert witnesses, only Christians in the right-now possession of eternal life qualify as valid believers (John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:47, 1John 5:13). That really narrows the field.

So then, we can rule out any, and all, Christian denominations teaching their followers that nobody obtains eternal life before they die and pass over to the other side. Within that group of denominations just happens to be the single largest Christian denomination in the whole world: Roman Catholicism.

Are you currently in possession of eternal life— right now? The reason I ask is because according to Christ's Father, as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to His own son, Christians lacking eternal life; also lack His son.

1John 5:11-12 . . And 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 the life; whoever does not have the life, does not have His son.

Christians lacking Christ are not his sheep.

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

Isn't that amazing!? Rome's huge following of approximately 1.14+ billion Catholics is truly a church of the walking dead because according to the testimony of God's son, as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to the living and the dead; Christians have to possess eternal life in order to qualify as one of the living; viz: without eternal life the default is death.

John 5:24 . .Truly, Truly, I say unto you: those who heed my message, and believe 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.

According to John 5:24, I didn't have eternal life as a Catholic because:

1• I heeded Rome's message instead of heeding Christ's

2• I believed in Rome instead of believing in God
 

Apostolic Traditions                   

Q: Where in the Bible do you find where it says apostolic traditions exist only in the Bible's texts? What about 2Thss 2:15? "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours."

A: The New Testament canon was incomplete when Paul penned his second letter to the Thessalonian believers; and in the really early days of Christianity, the primary source of New Testament teaching wasn't from books at all, but was totally via word of mouth; viz: itinerant evangelism.

No doubt everything that Paul and Silvanus meant to pass on to their friends as tradition, via word of mouth and/or via letters, was eventually put down in writing, authored by not only Paul and Silvanus, but also by Peter, James, John, and Jude too; as those men all preached a unified, homogenous, harmonious message (cf. Gal 1:15-2:9, 2Pet 3:15-16). And whatever's supposedly missing from the sacred texts, is dangerously subject to human error, private ambition, bias, and a fertile imagination.

If Paul and his associates should show up here in Oregon at a speaking engagement, then I will listen to the traditions that they teach by mouth. Until that happens, I will obey his command to hold fast to the traditions he and his associates taught by letter rather than what Rome claims those men taught by mouth; and I would advise everyone to do the same.
 

The Bible                    

POSIT: There would be no Bible but for the Roman Catholic Church.

RESPONSE: That is a good example of the political axiom that if you repeat a lie often enough, anon it will be accepted as truth. It is totally false to say there would be no Bible but for the Catholic Church. The Old Testament canon was already completed and in wide-spread circulation throughout the Greek and Roman worlds way before Jesus himself was even born.

Nazi Germany introduced the world to rocket science; and by it America transported men to the moon and built an ICBM national defense system. Does that validate Nazi Socialism as a good political system? Of course not. While Nazi Germany may have pioneered rocket science; it's well to remember that the Roman Catholic Church did not pioneer either the Old nor the New Testament. Constantine's panel merely condensed an already-existing abundance of early Christian manuscripts that the Roman Catholic Church itself did not author; and his motives were far more political than spiritual. The man was a pig; and his panel chairman a tyrannical bully.

Modern Christian scholars of all denominations accept the existing New Testament not because it was compiled by Catholic authorities, but because they're own independent investigations have led them to conclude (as did Constantine's panel) that extant manuscripts of the New Testament scriptures are valid reproductions of the inspired originals.

Constantine himself didn't actually become a Christian until he was an old man on his death bed. Although he didn't submit to Christianity's Christ during his active years of life; he did manage to change the laws of his kingdom so that it was no longer illegal to be a Christian within his jurisdiction: which was quite prudent of him given that Christians were multiplying and might have turned to rebellion. But rivalry and agitation amongst the Christians themselves was a far greater problem.

It's a well known political principle that a nation divided in its religion cannot be unified in its politics. It was Constantine's hope that a universal Christian handbook would unify the Christian factions in his kingdom; subsequently bringing about an improved domestic tranquility. You can see how Islam's factions are causing serious problems over in Iraq. If someone could just find a way to unify Muslims, the entire Mid-East would benefit considerably.

Rome has been very good at conquering people, and at forcing people to take up its religion; but it has utterly failed to unify people's minds. Rome may subdue people, it may subjugate them and control them, it may torture and abuse them, and it may oppress them, but that doesn't mean it won them. Catholicism its very own self is infected with schism. It has failed to unify itself, let alone unify the rest of Christendom.

OBJECTION: How can you possibly think that God would let someone that you label a "pig" be responsible for one of the holiest compilation of documents to ever be introduced into the world of men?!

RESPONSE: While I'm answering that objection, keep in mind that Constantine himself did not author the documents compiled in the New Testament, nor did anybody on his committee.

Have you ever considered the operation of the holiest sacrifice for sins ever offered in the world of men: Jesus Christ's crucifixion? Was he crucified by Christian holy men? Was he crucified by Jewish holy men? No, Jesus Christ was sacrificed for the world's sins by a pagan Roman governor's pagan Roman military garrison.

And the Temple, the one that existed in Jerusalem in Christ's day, wasn't built under the auspices of a Jewish holy man, nor of a Christian holy man; but rather, a heathen pagan named Cyrus, king of Persia (Ez 1:1-4). That same Temple was later remodeled and beautified not by a Jewish holy man, nor by a Christian holy man, but by a bloody heathen named Herod The Great, the very same Herod who ordered the wholesale slaughter of all the little Jewish children two-years old and under (Matt 2:16). Herod's Temple was labeled by Jesus as "my Father's house" (John 2:16) and was the very one he zealously purged of merchants and their wares.

Let that be a lesson; God oftentimes uses means that the world of men consider inappropriate. After all, it was a promiscuous slut who helped Joshua's scouts escape detection in Jericho. You know what became of her? Well; after the campaign, she married a Jewish guy named Salmon, and of them came Boaz, who married Ruth, which led to David, and eventually to the holiest human being this planet has ever hosted: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And oh! My favorite is the naughty lady by the well of Samaria who was married five times and shacking up with a guy when she and Jesus met. It was to her that he revealed the nature of the "water" of John 3:5. To this good day, educated Xian theologians professing to be Christ's followers still squabble over the precise nature and purpose of that water; while she got it straight from the horse's mouth.

Ironically, most Catholics are far more influenced in their religious thinking by the Roman Catechism than by the 27 manuscripts Constantine's committee chose for a New Testament. When the average Catholic is introduced to New Testament Christianity for the first time, very often they don't recognize it as New Testament Christianity; and readily dismiss it as Protestant heresy because the New Testament clearly does not harmonize with Rome's Catechism; and in point of fact, the Catechism all too often actually contradicts the Bible; in addition to seriously embellishing it; making Christianity more strict, and more cumbersome, than it really is; just as Judaism's traditions did in Christ's day.

Below is a book I highly recommend to anybody curious about the origin of the Bible. It's a small book, approximately 5½ x 8½ of 224 pages counting the index and the notes. The font is roughly Courier New size 11 which is large enough to be easily read by most folks.

How We Got The Bible
By Neil R. Lightfoot
ISBN-10: 1-56731-722-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-56731-722-0
 

Perseverance                                         

Matt 7:24-25 . . Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

That passage speaks of the so-called Sermon On The Mount, which extends from Matt 5:1 to Matt 7:28.

The inference is that people who live by the Sermon are in no danger of hell; while those who don't are of course dead men walking.

But there's a lot in the Sermon, and staying out of hell by means of compliance with it is not easy. The problem is: God requires consistency. In other words; it isn't good enough to comply with the Sermon some of the time, nor even most of the time. No, in order to stay out of hell by means of the Sermon, it's necessary to comply with it all the time, i.e. zero laxity.

Rom 2:6-7 . . Go will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.

The key word in that passage is "perseverance" which Webster's defines as continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition, i.e. steadfastness.

Ironically, Catholics are not allowed to assume themselves successful at perseverance except under special circumstances.

"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)

OBJECTION: Paul wasn't consistent (Rom 7:15-25). Are you suggesting he went to hell?

RESPONSE: Had not Paul decided to rely upon Christ's crucifixion as a way past the wrath of God instead of trying to merit his way past; he certainly would have gone to hell; no doubt about it.
 

Rome Has Spoken                               

A false premise like "Rome Has Spoken" renders Rome's followers vulnerable to scotoma; which, if you've seen The Davinci Code, you know is a subconsciously induced psychological blindness caused by the mind's propensity to disregard concepts that are incongruous with deep seated, preconceived notions.

Scotoma is a serious condition. It causes people to disregard what Christ has spoken in favor of what Rome has spoken. Curiously, they don't deliberately disregard what Christ has spoken in favor of what Rome has spoken; they actually do so without even thinking about it because scotoma is a mental weakness rather then a weakness of the will.

For example: note the grammatical tense of Christ's statement below. It's in the present tense rather than future, indicating that people who correctly imbibe his blood, and correctly ingest his flesh, obtain eternal life right now, rather than later in the next life after they pass on.

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

The average pew warmer's mind will miss the grammatical tense of Christ's statement; and without even thinking push the possession of eternal life into the future because the pew warmer has had it drilled into their head ever since catechism that the afterlife is where people obtain eternal life; and there is no use in debating this issue with them because their belief is a deep-seated, preconceived notion that will resist any and all reasoning to the contrary no matter how well presented.

Here's another example:

John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who listen to my message, and believe 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.

According to Christ's statement, the one possessing eternal life will never be condemned for their sins; which means they are guaranteed to persevere to the end. Ironically, the Church severely disciplines people who believe such things.

Council of Trent Session 6, Chapter 16, Canon16: 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.

I sincerely believe that Christ's statements qualify as special revelations. Rome doesn't agree? Well all I can say is: shame on Rome.

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 3:36 . . He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

The Magisterium

1John 4:1 . .Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

In order to "try" the spirits (whoever and/or whatever those spirits might be in, whether thoughts, prophets, writings, clergy, or laymen) one must first have access to an independent, non proprietary source of truth with which all other instructional materials must comply. That in itself is an impossibility for rank and file pew warmers because they depend entirely upon the integrity of Rome's magisterium for the truth— a magisterium composed of human beings who, in reality, may be under the influence of the very spirits whom Catholics are supposed to try; but have no independent, non proprietary means to do so.

What I'm saying is this: if the magisterium itself is the unwitting pawn of dark beings, then the rank and file are inadvertent puppets of the dark beings through their trust in the integrity of Rome's magisterium; viz: a Catholic is the perfect patsy because Rome has convinced the rank and file that the clergy alone has the truth, and convinced them that, on their own, they cannot find the truth without the clergy's help: a classic catch-22.

In the study of logic, that's called circular reasoning; viz: pointing to Rome's own proprietary teachings to prove that it's right. That kind of evidence is inadmissible in a court of law because it's like dismissing the charges against a defendant simply by virtue of the fact that he says he didn't do it. In other words, Catholics are confident Rome has the true interpretation of The Holy Bible because Rome's teachings say it does. Thus John and Jane Doe pew warmer are naïve children who render an utterly thoughtless compliance to the string-pulls of an organization which the rank and file have absolutely no way to validate except by taking its own word for it.

Catholics may read the Holy Bible on their own; but must interpret any doctrines they derive from Scripture in accordance with Rome and with Tradition.

CCC 85 . .The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone.

To that rule, John and Jande Doe might be inclined to retort: So what? Well; the consequence of that "so what" attitude is the destruction of conscience and integrity.

A famous social psychology experiment published in Stanley Milgram's "Behavioral Study of Obedience", revealed that people are too easily persuaded to compromise their integrity and suppress their own conscience while under the supervision of a higher authority. The experiment was performed with subjects who were under the impression that they were giving increasingly higher doses of electricity in 15 volt increments, wired to strangers in an adjoining room who answered questions incorrectly. The registered voltage could go as high as 420, and the person receiving them (who was of course just an actor playing a part in the experiment) would let out increasingly agonized cries from the shocks.

Amazingly, the subjects throwing the switch would sometimes break into tears from the stress of knowingly causing a stranger undeserved pain. Others would be sweating, trembling, stuttering, or biting their lips, and some even broke into uncontrollable nervous fits of psychotic laughter like souls gone mad; but would still faithfully continue to administer what they were led to believe was pain and near-causes of death from the electric shocks jolting suffering people in the adjoining room failing to answer questions correctly. And even when the actors protested the shocks because of an existing heart condition, the electricity continued to flow because the switch operators were told they would not be held accountable if somebody should die during the experiment.

When Nazi guards were asked how they could, in all good conscience, justify abusing and killing so many innocent men, women, and children; they simply answered: "You can't blame any of us for that; we were only following orders."

It's beyond belief, but many of those very same German guards were Christians who attended church on Sunday, sang the lovely hymns and partook the Eucharist; then during the week, impaled newborn Jewish infants— thrown out of hospital windows —in midair on their bayonets.

There you have the typical Catholic mentality: "It is not for me to reason why, it's only for me to faithfully comply." Thus many Catholics willingly suppress their conscience, and surrender control of their sensitivities, their reasoning, and their better judgment to the Borg-collective nerve center of a Magisterium like all good little Catholic boys and girls are supposed to do. And if The Magisterium is wrong? Well, so what? Can you really blame the rank and file? After all; they were only doing their duty; and how could God possibly condemn anybody for that?

But it's not going to work that way at the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15. Nobody but nobody is going to pass the buck. If an otherwise intelligent pew warmer foolishly chooses to let others do their own thinking for them, then they will perish in a fool's death even if their own personal IQ is 200 or better.

Luke 6:39 . .Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?
 

Interpretation                                

2Pet 1:20 . . Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation

That verse is easily interpreted by merely reading the information that accompanies it.

2Pet 1:21 . . for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.

You see: Peter isn't saying that John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer can't possibly understand the Old Testament on their own; he's merely saying that the books of the Old Testaments aren't the product of a fertile imagination and/or somebody's creative writing skills like Steven King and/or Stephanie Meyer and Beatrix Potter.

When the language and grammar of 2Pet 1:20-21 are carefully examined; it's readily seen that what Peter is actually talking about is not the understanding of prophecy, but rather; the origin of prophecy.
 

Keys To The Kingdom                      

God granted Jewish rulers the authority to legislate in regards to cases not specifically spelled out in the laws of Old Testament Judaism; and it is a death offense to ignore their decisions. (Deut 17:8-13)

However, the rulers were never given carte blanche to add to, embellish, diminish, nor repeal already-existing covenanted Law.

Deut 4:2 . .You shall not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, but keep the commandments of Yhvh your God that I enjoin upon you.

Deut 5:29-30 . . Be careful, then, to do as Yhvh your God has commanded you. Do not turn aside to the right or to the left: follow only the path that Yhvh your God has enjoined upon you.

Deut 27:26 . .Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Law and observe them.

The intent of Deut 17:8-13 was to give Jewish rulers the authority to apply the covenanted law to Jewish civil life; not to write new laws for the religion of Judaism that would actually make the religion of Judaism more strict and more burdensome than it really is. Israel's religious laws were God-given and set in stone; any additional laws Jewish authorities legislate have to be regarded as non-covenanted law; e.g. the Talmud and Halacha (a.k.a. Halakhah)

By that same principle, Christ gave his top men the authority to police his church (Matt 16:19, Matt 18:15-18) but he did not give them authority to independently add to the religion of Christianity nor to repeal it, nor to diminish it. Whatever they taught in their teachings, and/or their writings, they did by the inspiration and/or revelation of God, not by the fertile imaginations of despotic men of ambition.

Although the laws, rules, teachings, traditions, and commandments of the Apostles are binding upon all Christians, the in-house laws, rules, teachings, traditions, and commandments of individual denominations are not. Any laws, rules, teachings, traditions, and commandments that an individual church and/or denomination binds upon itself and its members have to be considered local only, and binding only within the jurisdiction of the individual church and/or denomination.

No one is bound to the laws, rules, teachings, traditions, and commandments of just one denomination within Christianity claiming to be the "one true church". That's laughable. Christ's church alone is the one true church; there is no one denomination like Roman Catholicism or Mormonism that is the one true church. A claim of that nature is nothing but downright fraud.

If Christ was chafed with Jewish rulers for legislating laws, rules, teachings, traditions, and commandments that countermanded, added to, embellished, repealed, and/or diminished from Old Testament Judaism, don't you think he would be just as chafed with Christian rulers who legislate laws, rules, teachings, traditions, and commandments that countermand, add to, embellish, repeal, and/or diminish from, New Testament Christianity? Yes, of course he would; primarily because it invalidates Christ's personal guarantee that his yoke is easy, and his burden is light (Matt 11:28-30)

Case in point: The Roman emperor Constantine initiated a committee to compile a universally acceptable Christian handbook from an archive of already-existing manuscripts in hopes it would unify the Christian factions in his kingdom.

Ironically, the Catholic Church, which takes sole credit for the existence of the New Testament, has succeeded in fragmenting Christ's church with far more effect than Constantine's efforts to unify it. As of mid 2009, there were 1.14 billion Catholics worldwide totally alienated from the rest of Christ's church via Rome's catechism, and the laws of its Ecumenical Councils, its collection of Bulls, and its encyclicals. The average pew warmer's Christianity is a smothering religion that has become far more strict, and far more cumbersome than the Apostles ever dreamed or expected.

Matt 15:7-9 . .You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God's will with their own man-made teachings.
 

Christ's Personal Beliefs and Practices                            

Christ's Jewish opponents weren't pagans. No, the religion that they professed to believe and practice was the very same God-given religion that Christ himself professed to believe and practice.

Their differences of opinion with Jesus came from the fact that Jesus went strictly by the Bible; while his Jewish opponents were followers of a rabbinical form of Judaism, which isn't purely Old Testament Judaism, but rather an unholy amalgam of Scripture and Tradition.

While professing to follow the Bible's God; in reality Rome opposes His son just as vehemently as rabbinical Judaism opposed him 2,000 years ago. The rabbis doctored Old Testament Judaism with tradition, just as Rome has done the very same thing to New Testament Christianity; so that Rome doesn't go strictly by the Bible like Jesus did.

Christ's Jewish opponents didn't claim the fatherhood of another god. No, they claimed that Christ's God was their Father. Rome doesn't claim the fatherhood of another god either. No, they too claim that Christ's God is their Father; yet are no more inclined to abandon their traditions in order to follow Christ than the Jews are inclined to abandon theirs.

OBJECTION: You are so wrong! Jesus wasn't a fundie at all, he was a radical.

RESPONSE: Jesus wasn't just filled with the Bible God's spirit; no, he was empowered with His spirit to the point of being over-maxed by It.

John 3:34-35 . .For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's spirit is upon him without measure or limit.

An agent of the Bible's God, stated to be empowered with God's spirit without measure or limit, and speaking God's words; is highly unlikely to go off on their own agenda speaking their own words.

Gal 5:16 . .But I say, walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Webster's defines fundamentalist as: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles; viz: conservative, old liner.

The New Testament's Jesus was a Jewish man, born in the land of Israel of a Jewish woman, and raised by Jewish parents in an orthodox Jewish home; and was, by virtue of his genetics and his ritual circumcision, obligated to comply with every last point of Moses' covenanted law. Had Jesus been a radical, then he would have fallen under a special curse.

Deut 27:26 . .Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Law and observe them.

Jer 11:3-4 . . And say unto them: Thus testifies Yhvh, God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeys not the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt

Gal 3:10 . .Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Gal 5:3 . .And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

Matt 5:17-19 . .Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God's law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Father in the New Testament is the very same God as the Yhvh of the Old Testament; against whom Jesus never once rebelled; nor broke with His way of doing things.

John 8:29 . .And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.

John 10:30 . .I and my Father are one.
 

Christ's Ancestors                             

I was taught in catechism that seeing as how Jesus Christ's mother was a virgin when he was conceived, then he didn't have a human father. That notion is easy to debunk.

According to the book of Genesis; God created Adam's flesh from the earth's dust. That one lone male's flesh is the only human flesh that God ever created from the earth's dust. God then proceeded to use a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's body to construct a female version of himself; in other words: the flip side of the same coin. (Gen 2:21-22)

Eve, then, wasn't a discreet creation. In other words: biologically, Eve's flesh was just as much Adam's flesh as Adam's. In point of fact, the Bible refers to Eve as Adam just as it refers to Adam as Adam, (Gen 5:22)

From that point on; any human flesh that came into the world via either Eve's body or via the body of one of her female descendants, whether normally conceived or virgin conceived, would also be just as much Adam's flesh as Adam's.

Others object that women cannot provide the Y chromosome necessary for producing a male child. And that's right; they can't. However, seeing as how God constructed an entire woman from a sample of man flesh; then I do not see how it would be any more difficult for God to construct a dinky little Y chromosome from a sample of woman flesh. And seeing as how woman flesh is just as much Adam's flesh as Adam's, then any Y chromosome that God might construct from woman flesh would actually be produced from Adam's flesh seeing as how Eve's flesh was produced from Adam's flesh.

So then; unless somebody can prove— conclusively and without ambiguity- that Jesus Christ's mother isn't biologically related to either Adam or Eve; then we are forced to conclude that Adam is Jesus Christ's biological father.

On numerous occasions, Jesus identified himself as "son of man". That title was neither new nor unique in his day. God addressed the prophet Ezekiel as "son of man" on at least 93 occasions; and in every case, the Hebrew word for man is 'adam (aw-dawm') which is the proper name of the human race God that created in the very beginning. (Gen 1:26-27, Gen 3:9, Gen 5:2). If Jesus Christ had not biologically descended from Adam, then he would be a bald-faced liar for calling himself "son of man".
 

In Christ                               

 1Cor 15:22 . . For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The key to properly interpreting that passage is the little preposition "in".

The Greek word is en (en) which is an ambiguous preposition that denotes either position (in place, time or state) or instrumentality (method)

1Cor 15:22 could just as easily have been translated like this:

"For as by Adam all die, even so by Christ shall all be made alive."

But I do not know of any English translations in common use that translate 1Cor 15:22 like that; no, not even the WatchTower Society's bible.

The New Living Translation does a good job of bringing out the correct application of Paul's statement.

 1Cor 15:22 . . Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life.

So then the terms "in Adam" and "in Christ" indicate genetic relationships. (I used the biological term genetic to make this a bit easier to grasp.)

So then, everybody on earth is in the family tree of the earthly man Adam, but not everybody on earth is in the family tree of the heavenly man Christ. Everybody gets into the earthly Man's family tree by means of a natural birth. So then, to get into the heavenly Man's family tree, it is necessary to undergo another kind of birth— a supernatural, heavenly kind of birth.

 John 1:12-14 . . As many as accepted him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

NOTE: the privilege of identifying one's self as a child of God is a restricted right rather than a natural right: and the right is conferred only upon those who have first undergone a supernatural birth.

Supernatural births are not optional; no, they are a must if one is to obtain a place in the heavenly Man's family tree.

 John 3:3 . . Jesus replied: I assure you, unless you are born from above, you can never see the kingdom of God.

 John 3:5 . . Jesus replied: The truth is, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.

 John 3:6-8 . . Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. So don't be puzzled at my statement that you must be born again.

People who fail to undergo a Spirit birth prior to leaving this life, will have to appear later on at the Great White Throne of Rev 20:11-15 as one of Adam's people rather than Christ's; and afterwards hurled into a reservoir of liquid flame where they'll be deep-fried alive, shrieking, and infected with the worms Jesus spoke of at Mark 9:43-48.

The koiné Greek word for "worms" is skolex (sko'-lakes) which identifies grubs, maggots, and/or earth-worms. The worms, of course, are implied to feed upon the damned just as normal worms in life thrive on an open corpse. A worm that thrives in liquid flame is pretty amazing, but not totally unreasonable. The 4-inch Pompeii worm lives in sea water temperatures of 176 degrees— hot enough to destroy salmonella germs. So I guess if God could create a worm like the Pompeii, it shouldn't be too difficult for Him to create worms that like it even warmer.

Acts 12:21-23 records a death in the line of the Herods caused by skolex of the infectious parasitic type. The biblical record goes right to the bottom line without any details, but according to Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17, chapter 6, section 5; that particular Herod didn't die right away as the concise New Testament record suggests; but suffered with the malady for some time.

What the Bible omits is the rather grisly detail that the skolex were in his privy-member (which would no doubt have included the prostate) and caused him a great deal of agony so much so that at times he could hardly walk or conduct state business. In the interests of propriety; I leave it to your imagination as to where the skolex might zero-in on hell's condemned women.

Some people accuse Bible Christianity of being a religion of fear. (chuckle) That's not an accusation; no, that's an understatement.

●  Luke 12:4-5 . . And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into Hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

 Rev 20:15 . . And whosoever was not found recorded in the book of Life was hurled into the lake of fire.
 

Satisfying Justice                               

God is not in the habit of sweeping sins under the rug.

Ex 34:6-7 . . Yhvh, Yhvh God: compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished

Nahum 1:3 . . Yhvh is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked

Looking at those two scriptures one cannot help but scratch their head and wonder how it's possible that God forgives the guilty, and yet at the same time does not acquit the guilty. Well; the answer to that is quite simple: forgiveness and acquittal are two very different things in the Old Testament.

In other words; though God forgives the guilty, He never clears the guilty; viz: forgiveness in the Old Testament is merely a reprieve; which Webster's defines as: to delay the punishment of someone; such as a prisoner who is sentenced to death. In point of fact, Yom Kippur, though a day of cleansing, is also a day for the Jews to remember that their sins are still on the books, hanging over their heads like a sword of Damocles.

But God has devised a procedure for rescuing the Jews from their rather precarious position.

Isa 53:5-6 . . He was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Yhvh has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.

Christ's crucifixion is commonly referred to as a vicarious substitutionary sacrifice. But that's a misnomer because the Bible does not allow for substitutions. The soul that sins; it shall die in its own place rather than another soul in its place because that would not be justice; in point of fact, that would be a miscarriage of justice. No; people themselves have to die for their sins in order to satisfy the law of sin and death which reads like this:

Ezek 18:20 . .The one who sins shall die.

Rom 6:23 . . For the wages of sin is death

So; in order for Christ's crucifixion to protect people from a second physical death in the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:10-15, it has to be, in some way, accounted as their own crucifixion as well as his; and God has invented an ingenious way for them to do that very thing by means of a baptism that involves neither clergy nor H2O.

1Cor 12:12-13 . . For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Seeing as how this particular baptism is supernatural rather than physical, then of course it's to be expected to make no sense whatsoever. However, in a nutshell; what this particular baptism does is make people participants in Christ's crucifixion instead of merely observers.

Rom 6:3 . . Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Rom 6:6 . . Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him

Gal 2:20 . . I am crucified with Christ

Col 3:3 . . For you died when Christ died

The Watchtower Society agrees that Holy Spirit baptism did occur back in the day, but that it was only temporary. The Society insists that it ceased early-on so that now the one baptism spoken of in Eph 4:5 is the ritual of water baptism. Well; that is very tragic to say the least because it means that every one of the Jehovah's Witnesses alive today is on a road to termination in the lake of brimstone because they are merely observers of Christ's crucifixion instead of participants.

FAQ: What's the old man?

The "old man" is the obsolete man; viz: the first Adam; viz: the original human race. There now exists a second human race— totally unrelated to the original human race —that the Bible calls the new man; a.k.a. the last Adam.

1Cor 15:42-50 . .So it is written; the first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The supernatural did not come first, but the natural, and after that the supernatural. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

Everything about me as a first-Adam man is now reckoned judged, condemned, executed, and dead on Heaven's books. My body is dead, and the me that I am is dead too; lock, stock, and barrel: accounted all gone, obliterated; thanks to Christ's crucifixion.

Rom 6:8-10 . .Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Col 3:1-4 . .Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

When redeemed people leave this life, they shed their old selves like a dead skin by a power of God that I really do not quite understand, and go into the future as brand spanking new selves. This is already on the books as a done deal; so now it's only a matter of time before it becomes a practical reality.

Col 2:11-12 . .and in him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with him through faith in the operation of God, who raised him from the dead.

Christ is the prototype of the new selves. By studying him, the redeemed can get a pretty good idea of who, and what, they'll be on the other side. Everybody starts out on earth as chips off the first-Adam block; but in Heaven, I will be a chip off the last-Adam block.
 

The Acquittal To End All Acquittals               

The Bible says that Christ was restored to life for our justification. (Rom 4:25)

The Greek word for justification is dikaiosis (dik-ah'-yo-sis) which essentially means acquittal— a legal term that can be roughly defined as the act of adjudicating that a person is not guilty. In other words; an acquittal is a legal declaration of innocence.

Though his crucifixion was sufficient to obtain forgiveness for people's sins; Christ's crucifixion alone wasn't sufficient to make people innocent. Though pardoned, people would have been stuck with their guilt for ever and ever.

This is a very crucial issue in the religion of Christianity and I believe the Devil knows it and that's why it's in his interests to convince people— e.g. the Jehovah's Witnesses —that Christ's crucified body remains deceased.

1Cor 15:17 . . And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

Now the interesting thing about this is that Christ's believing followers are never actually innocent.

1John 1:8-9 . . If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

However, His son's resurrection made it possible for God to adjudicate Jesus' believing followers innocent. In other words: they may never in this life be truly free of guilt; but by means of Christ's resurrection, their guilt is so effectively sanitized that God can legally, and justifiably, declare Christ's believing followers innocent for all time.

Heb 10:14 . . By one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Seeing as how God is the supreme court in all matters pertaining to sin, then in order for a prosecutor to make a charge stick against one of Christ's believing followers, the prosecutor would have to convince God that the accused is indeed guilty. Well; that would be very difficult seeing as how God has already ruled that Christ's believing followers are innocent for all time.

Rom 8:33 . . Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

So then; in order to adjudicate one of Christ's believing followers guilty, God would have to reverse Himself; and that is not likely to happen.

Rom 11:29 . . God's gifts, and His call, are irrevocable.

Therefore, through Christ's resurrection, I'm now a permanently acquitted man. In response to my God-granted perpetual innocence; I fully agree with the angel's announcement at Luke 2:10, that Christ's arrival certainly turned out— at least for me anyway —to really and truly be good news of great joy!

OBJECTION: That's preposterous! Nobody can get a one-time acquittal. It's necessary to keep coming back to God with timely confessions (1John 1:9-10). And though God forgives our sins; we must maintain our relationship with Him by keeping the Commandments. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

RESPONSE: Personal righteousness in and of itself is not a bad thing; after all it's an important ingredient in the recipe for associating with God.

Gen 4:7 . . If you act rightly, you will be accepted;

1John 1:5-7 . . Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another,

But personal righteousness, though important to fellowship, is not a high enough quality of righteousness to obtain salvation. For that; people need the righteousness of God.

Rom 10:1-3 . . Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God on their behalf is for salvation. I testify with regard to them that they have zeal for God, but it is not discerning. For, in their unawareness of the righteousness that comes from God and their attempt to establish their own [righteousness], they did not submit to the righteousness of God.

The righteousness of God is humanly impossible to duplicate, which is why it's an imputed righteousness rather than a righteousness produced by effort. In other words: the righteousness of God is a gift; viz: free of charge with no strings attached.

Rom 3:22 . . The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus.

Rom 3:9 . .And be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the Commandments,. but that which comes through faith in Christ; the righteousness from God.

"justified freely" indicates a generous adjudication of innocence; which is what I was talking about in post #1.

Now I think you have to admit that you are not now, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be, innocent. No, you are now, you have been, and you will always be, guilty of one sin or another: especially dishonesty, Nobody is 100% truthful all the time. Maybe you're truthful some of the time, or even most of the time; but not all the time. God can forgive and cleanse you of dishonesty when it's confessed; but He cannot acquit of you of dishonesty. No, you have to pay for that because the law of sin and death demands that you pay.

Ezek 18:20 . .The one who sins shall die.

Rom 6:23 . . For the wages of sin is death

Now, with all that under our belts, it's very easy to see that the common interpretation of Php 2:12 is in error because nobody, no matter how hard nor how long they work at it, will ever succeed in producing the righteousness of God.

NOTE: The objector fatally erred by confusing the one-time acquittal obtained through Christ's resurrection with the timely washings obtained through confessions. Justification permanently rescues a sinner from the gallows, while confessions remove daily contaminations so they can associate with their rescuer. You can leave this life contaminated with sin and still go to Heaven; but you can't go to Heaven while you're on the gallows because until one obtains an acquittal, the noose stays around their neck. Confessions aren't about justice; no, they're about fellowship.

The model for this can be seen in the dedication process of the Aaronic priests in the Old Testament. They were dedicated one time, and one time only (Ex 29:1-21) but they washed each and every time they reported for duty (Ex 30:18-21) ergo: without first obtaining the acquittal, confessions are a futile pastime.

The one-time acquittal available by means of Christ's resurrection is a criminal justice procedure intended only for condemned sinners on their way to Hell. The washings obtainable by means of confessions— although premised upon Christ's crucifixion (1John 2:2) —aren't available to condemned sinners on their way to Hell; and wouldn't do them any good anyway while they remain condemned. No, the washings obtained by means of confessions in 1John 1:9-10 serve a different purpose and are a sacred privilege reserved only for current members of God's family (1John 2:1-2, 1John 3:1-2) :it is not a privilege granted to outsiders.

The reason, is that confessions are like the already-dedicated Aaronic priests' daily washings in that they cleanse the family of God so they can associate with God.

It may seem odd, but it is entirely possible for a rescued sinner to be on their way to Heaven while 100% out of fellowship with God the entire distance because the acquittal is a gratuity rather than a wage or a meritorious service award. (Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-7)

Outsiders desperately need an acquittal above all else: they're condemned sinners who need to be rescued from the gallows and given safety and security in God's home. The acquittal granted via Christ's resurrection accomplishes that very purpose. This very special acquittal acquits the sinner himself, which is far more important than just simply absolving his daily sins. After a condemned sinner has been fully acquitted and transferred into God's home (Col 1:13-14) from then on, any, and all sins they commit are no longer criminal matters; no, au contraire, those sins are family matters— sort of like the naughtiness of a child in the home —which is a whole lot better arrangement; wouldn't you agree?

OBJECTION: You are wrong! Read Heb 10:26. "If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins"

RESPONSE: (chuckle) Isn't that just like the Devil to oppose Christ with scripture.

The letter to Hebrews was written to Jews whose religion is the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

In accordance with the covenant, there is neither forgiveness nor atonement for scofflaws.

Num 15:30-31 . . Anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes Yhvh, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised Yhvh's word and broken His commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.

That's a very strong selling point for Christ's crucifixion because it covers willful sins.

Acts 13:39 . .Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.

Below is what Heb 10:26 is actually saying to Jews whose religion is the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

"Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins."

In other words: Christ's crucifixion is the final option for Jewish scofflaws. And what the hay; they've got nothing to lose with Christ seeing as how they're already condemned anyway.

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

Cleansing The Conscience              

Everyone pretty much instinctively knows that sin is an impurity. But then; so is a guilty conscience.

Heb 10:21-23a . . Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience

Sprinkling was a common ritual in the Old Testament-- sometimes with water, sometimes with oil, and sometimes with blood --for example: Ex 29:16, Ex 29:21, Lev 14:7, Lev 14 16, and Num 8:7, et al.

Sprinkling typically serves to de-contaminate someone or some thing in order to make it suitable for God's purposes. Well, in point of fact; none of the Old Testament's sprinklings served to sanitize people's conscience once and for all time. They had to keep bringing one sacrifice after another in a perpetual stream of sacrifices because each sacrifice sanitized their conscience just that one time instead of for all time.

Heb 10:1-3 . . Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins.

Well; thanks be to God that Christ put an end to the tedium of perpetual sprinklings.

Heb 10:14 . . By one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

The Greek word for "perfected" in that verse is teleioo (tel-i-o'-o) which essentially speaks of completion; viz: finished.

The Greek word for "sanctified" is hagiazo (hag-ee-ad'-zo) which essentially speaks of things and/or persons set aside for God.

In other words: the sprinkling doesn't actually clear somebody's conscience; It only makes it possible for God to account their conscience clear.

Accounting practices like that are a bit strange, but not unusual. For example; at Num 23:21, the prophet Balaam, speaking for God, said: "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel"

Well; anybody familiar with the Old Testament would certainly disagree with God's assessment seeing as how the record plainly attests that there was iniquity and perverseness aplenty in Moses' people.

Another example is Rom 6:3-11 where Christ's believing followers are urged to account themselves crucified with Christ and also to account themselves risen with Christ from the dead 110% sinless and immortal.

I have no clue how those kinds of accounting practices work; but if they're okay with God, then for sure they're okay with me too.


Unconfessed Sins                                   

Q: What happens to Christians who pass on with unconfessed sins?

A: For beneficiaries of the new covenant, this is actually a non issue.

2Cor 5:19 . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them

The Greek word in that passage for "imputing" is logizomai (log-id'-zom-ahee) which means to keep an inventory.

According to Jer 31:31-34 and 2Cor 5:19 God is not keeping a record of unconfessed sins with which to slam new covenant beneficiaries at the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, and Jesus gave his word that such a tragedy will never occur.

John 5:24 . . I assure you: Those who listen to my message, and believe 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.

So then, I suggest we take a different tack.

1John 1:3-10 . . What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

. . . And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: That God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

. . . If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

The most important word in that whole passage is "fellowship". It's from the Greek word koinonia (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) which has nothing to do with heaven, hell, or purgatory, rather; the quality of one's right-now association with God.

Take for example David (Psalm 32 & 51). His blunder with Bathsheba put a big chill on David's association with God and it wasn't until David came clean about it that he and God became chummy again.

Although David's deed caused him to lose the joy of his salvation, it did not, even for an instant cause him to lose his salvation and that's because God was not keeping an inventory of David's sins.

Rom 4:6-8 David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying: Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Q: Can we really expect people to respect the law— any law, human or divine —without law enforcement?

A: God fully enforced His law on the cross.

Isa 53:6 . . All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

2Cor 5:19 . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself

2Cor 5:20-21 . .Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

That may seem a strange way to enforce law but seeing as how it works for God; then I'm definitely all for it.

Luke 2:8-12 . . And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

. . . And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Well, I think it goes without saying that a savior unable to protect people from their unconfessed sins is pretty much a paper tiger; and the angel's announcement of "great joy" is about as reliable as a campaign promise.

OBJECTION: But faith is a necessary component; so when one's faith diminishes due to sin it is very possible for some to cross a line of rebellion and sin that their faith becomes presumption.

RESPONSE: It seems that wherever the meaning of the cross is heralded, there's somebody comes right behind with a wet blanket to smother its message of "great joy" and it's usually people who place more value upon piety than upon the competence of the savior announced by that angel.

The Greek word for "savior" in Luke 2:8-12 is soter (so-tare') which means a deliverer; viz: a rescuer.

Rescuing is what the Coast Guard does when boats capsize. Rescuing is what Firemen do when people are trapped inside burning buildings. Rescuing is what life guards do when people are foundering. Rescuing is what mountaineer teams do when climbers are in trouble. Rescuing is what EMT paramedics do when someone needs to get to a hospital in a hurry; and kept alive till they arrive. Rescuing is what surgeons do when someone needs an organ transplant.

I could go on and on giving example of rescuer after rescuer; but I think you get the idea. Rescuers typically assist people in grave danger who are in no condition to assist themselves.

The New Testament's Jesus is like that: he rescues people from the wrath of God— people who not only fully deserve it, but definitely in line to get it.

John 6:39 . .This is the will of Him who sent me: that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

Some rescues can be very expensive, like an organ transplant. But Jesus doesn't require beneficiaries of the new covenant to pay their own way, nor does he require a co-pay. No, he's got it covered; all of it.

Matt 20:28 . .The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1Tim 2:5-6 . .There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all
 

Christless Christians                

1John 5:9-13 . .We accept human testimony, but God's testimony carries more weight because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in himself. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His son.

. . . And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. Whoever has The Son has the life; whoever who does not have the life, does not have God's son. 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.

I don't think 1John 5:9-13 needs any interpretation. Bible students may obtain the following information from it just by a simple cursory reading.

1• Verses 11-12 are God's own personal testimony.

2• To deny the validity of verses 11-12 is to insinuate that God is a person of low moral integrity who cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

3• Those who currently possess eternal life, currently possess Christ

4• Those who don't currently possess eternal life; currently don't possess Christ

5• John's first epistle was written to believers who currently possess eternal life.

Since no conscientious Catholic would ever claim that they currently possess eternal life; then the obvious ramifications of 1John 5:9-13 is that the overwhelming majority of Catholics are Christless— it's as simple as that —and  they will die Christless.

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

The Lord's Day                                

Christianity's so-called Lord's Day is sometimes confused with Judaism's weekly 7th day Sabbath; which is associated with creation. (Ex 20:8-11)

The Lord's Day is mentioned by name only once in the entire New Testament at Rev 1:10. The Greek word for "Lord's" is kuriakos (koo-ree-ak-os') which appears in only one other verse— 1Cor 11:20 —where it refers to a Christian ritual associated with Christ; which in turn is associated with the 1st day of the week rather than the 7th. (Acts 20:7).

So we're probably pretty safe to assume that the Lord's Day should be on Sunday seeing as how Judaism observes its 7th day Sabbath on Saturday

The Sabbath is mandatory for Yhvh's people because it's incorporated in a covenant that they agreed upon with God.

Ex 31:13 . . Speak to the children of Israel, saying; You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yhvh who sanctifies you. Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you.

Yhvh's people are in breech of covenant whenever they fail to honor their obligation to keep the Sabbath; and thus incur a severe covenanted penalty.

Ex 31:14 . .Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

Christ's believing followers are not covenanted with God to keep the Sabbath; so then, for them, it isn't a mandatory obligation. The exception is when his believing followers are residents in the land of Israel.

Ex 12:49 . .The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

Lev 24:22 . .There shall be one standard for you: it shall be for the stranger as well as the native

The covenant was intended to be not just Israel's religious law but also its civil law; so then, according to Rom 13:1-7, Christ's believing followers are responsible to comply with it if and whenever they reside in Israel.

The Lord's Day didn't begin as a sort of Sabbath day; but merely a conveniently designated day for Christ's believing followers to assemble together for various purposes. Biblically, the Lord's Day is not a mandatory observance; though according to the RCC it is: at least for Rome's followers anyway.

CCC 2177 . . .The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."

Ste Peter and the Sabbath                                  

Acts 15:4-11 . .When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying; "It is necessary to ....direct them to observe the Law of Moses."

. . The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them; "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

. . Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are spared through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are."

Catholic Christians who insist that it is necessary to observe the Sabbath in order to obtain the grace of God and escape Hell and eternal suffering, are actually opposing the very man whom they claim as Rome's first church father. Isn't that amazing!?

OBJECTION: Then why did God sanctify the seventh day if it wasn't important?

RESPONSE: It's not quite true to say the seventh day wasn't important. It was, and it still is, important to everybody under the jurisdiction of Moses' covenanted Law. However, to observe it like Jews observe it, is sin for a Christian. There is a Sabbath rest for Christians, but it's not the Mosaic one.

There are basically two versions of the Gospel out and about. One demands obedience to commandments and the performance of good works. I've labeled that kind of gospel: works-leavened. Those kinds of gospels are in violation of Christian-Sabbath principles; here's how.

Heb 3:1-4:11 focuses upon the first generation of Jews whom Moses helped rescue from Egyptian slavery in order to enter the land God promised their ancestors. But they didn't enter; and why didn't they? Because they failed to commit themselves to God's hands.

That generation didn't trust God to give them the victory. No, they lost sight of the mighty powers that God had only just recently demonstrated while saving them from Egypt. They saw only their own inadequate capabilities; and truly, their own capabilities were inadequate. So how does this apply to works-leavened gospels?

When professing Christians believe it's possible to go to Hell in spite of being under the care and protection of Christ's and his Father's hands, then they are practicing the very same kind of unbelief as that first generation of Jews. They are failing to fully commit themselves to the competency of Jesus and his Father as guardians of the sheep.

John 10:28-30 …And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anything snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all things; and nothing is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand.

Among professing Christians, those of us who fully trust the competency of Jesus and his Father as guardians of the sheep, put absolutely no trust in our own capabilities. We soundly reject any and all works-leavened gospels because to accept them would be casting a vote of no-confidence in Christ's and his Father's competency as good shepherds. We believe that they can be trusted to see the sheep through in spite of attacks by predators as well as falls into sin brought upon themselves by their own stupidity.

Heb 4:8-12 …There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his own works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of unbelief.

Heb 4:3 …For we which have believed do enter into rest
 

Ways To Define Grace                            

1Cor 1:3 . . Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I seriously doubt the average rank and file pew warmer even knows what grace is. I suspect that most are under the impression that grace is somehow a quantifiable substance like butter and gasoline; but in regards to God, grace is an abstract noun that expresses qualities apart from substance.

The New Testament Greek word for "grace" is charis (khar'-ece); which means: graciousness.

Webster's defines graciousness as: kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.

Cordial stresses warmth and heartiness

Affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals

Genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality

Sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others

Generous is characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit; viz: magnanimous, kindly, and liberal in giving

Charitable means full of love for, and goodwill toward, others; viz: benevolent, tolerant, and lenient.

Altruistic means unselfish regard for, or devotion to, the welfare of others; viz: a desire to be of service to others for no other reason than it just feels good to do so.

Tactful indicates a keen sense of what to do, or say, in order to maintain good relations with others in order to resolve and/or avoid unnecessary conflict.

Compassion defines a sympathetic awareness of others' distress, coupled with a desire to alleviate it.

The Old Testament Hebrew word for grace is chen (khane); and means the same as charis (e.g. Gen 6:8).

When you put all those lovely attributes together, you get a pretty good picture of the bright side of God's personality; and the extent of His good will towards the Corinthian church.
 

The Dark Side Of Love                                 

I picked up an interesting line from an exasperated father in the final episode of Downton Abbey that goes like this:

"As my son, I love you, but I have tried, and failed, to like you."

The father who spoke that line wasn't a difficult man. He was actually a very gracious man who had it up to here with his grown son's toxic personality.

That so reminds me of a passage in the book of John: here paraphrased a bit:

"For God so loved the world, that He offered His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be rescued through him." (John 3:16-17)

Yes, God loves His human creations; enough to even sacrifice His only son's life and limb to protect them; but I honestly believe that He has tried, and failed, to like them. For example:

"Now the Lord observed the extent of the people's wickedness, and He saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them. It broke his heart. And the Lord said: I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them." (Gen 6:5-7)

Bottom line: God doesn't owe humanity anything. God's offering of His only son was neither an obligation nor a duty; it was a courtesy. Far from deserving kindness, humanity deserves the cold shoulder. But God, being the sensitive person that He is, willing to go the extra mile, still finds it in Himself to extend humanity an opportunity to turn itself around and give Him cause to like them instead of humanity, with its overall toxic demeanor, always making it impossible for Him to do so.
 

Death By Christ                   

Grace is a lethal religion. It quite literally, in some mysterious way that I don't quite understand; put Christ's believing followers to death.

Rom 6:3 . . Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Rom 6:6 . . Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him

Gal 2:20 . . I am crucified with Christ

Col 3:3 . . For you died when Christ died

The "old man" can be roughly defined as everything about people that's related to Adam; viz: their human life and their human nature.

One of my chronic fears as a Roman Catholic was that something fatal would happen to me in between confessions. Well; you can just imagine my relief at discovering that people punished on the cross with Christ are in no danger of double jeopardy; which Webster's defines as: putting someone on trial for an offense for which they have previously been put on trial under a valid charge viz: two adjudications for one offense.

In a nutshell, the principle of double jeopardy protects Christ's crucified followers from being put on trial for their lives all over again seeing as how that was done for them once and for all when Christ went to the cross.

Heb 2:9 . . Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, that he, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

The Great White throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15 is for the purpose of putting people on trial for their lives. Afterwards they will be executed by a mode of death akin to a foundry worker falling into a vat of molten iron.

If I appear at that event at all, it will be only as a spectator and/or a witness for the prosecution because I was put on trial for my life when Christ was put on the cross, and I lost my life when he lost his. I have no clue how this works; I only know that I'm supposed to reckon it true. (Rom 6:3-11)

Grace offers a version of Christianity that guarantees a Ten Commandments proof, God proof, sin proof, Devil proof, temptation proof, fool proof, human nature proof, human error proof, mortal sin proof, fail-safe rescue from the wrath of God (John 3:14-18, John 5:24). It just amazes me the number of people, even those warming pews in old-school Christian churches, who want nothing to do with it.

In too many Christian minds, it is truly believed that a sinner's salvation rests upon the grace of God; but in most minds that is nothing in the world but a mental spin to mask their true belief that it is by the grace of God that they now have a chance to earn their salvation, where before, they had no chance to earn it.

So when you strip away the spin, you're right back to the reality that the plans of salvation enjoying the widest acceptance are essentially merit systems based upon personal performance rather than solely upon the kindness and generosity of God's altruistic nature. Thus they rule out the principle of courtesy, and stick to the old rule of proving one's worthiness.

Grace as per Noah

Gen 6:5-8 . .Then Yhvh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And Yhvh regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So Yhvh said; I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I regret making them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yhvh.

This is the very first instance of grace in the Bible. The Hebrew word is chen (khane) and means: graciousness. The important thing in Gen 6:8 is that Yhvh didn't find chen in Noah's eyes; no, just the opposite— Noah found chen in Yhvh's eyes; but what does that mean?

You know, the human face is very expressive. You can tell in an instant whether somebody is going to treat you nicely, and you can also tell if they are going to be difficult. Sometimes people look at you through eyes narrowed and squinted so tightly that you can't even see their pupils; and even if you do, they look like little chips of black flint. I think that's called knives. Other times, when people are in a rage, they glare at you with a look that can only be described as a passionate desire to rip your head off with their bare hands and cook it on the stove. And then there's the look of indifference; a blank, disconnected expression that tells you a person wishes you would just go away and stop bothering them. Those expressions (and more we could describe) are definitely not eyes of grace.

But when Noah looked at Yhvh's face; he could tell instantly that Yhvh was disposed to be helpful.

When the Dead stand before Christ at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11-15) each in their turn; and look into his eyes, they are not going to see the face of a friend nor of someone disposed to be helpful; no, they are going to see a look on Christ's face that will chill them to the bone as they instantly realize that the sweet little sugar-coated momma's boy they were led to believe wouldn't swat a fly is now on the very brink of casting them alive and head-long into a reservoir of flaming liquid; and not with an attitude of judicial indifference, but with an attitude of extreme prejudice.

Luke 4:18-19 . .The Spirit of The Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of The Lord.

When Jesus quoted that passage from Isa 61:1-2, he left out the portion that didn't pertain to his first visit. Here's the part that pertains to his return.

To proclaim . .the day of vengeance of our God.

Grace as per Abraham

Gen 18:1-5 …Yhvh appeared again to Abraham while he was camped near the oak grove belonging to Mamre.

. .One day about noon, as Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent, he suddenly noticed three men standing nearby. He got up and hurried to meet them, welcoming them by bowing low to the ground. "My lord," he said, "if I have found grace in your sight, stop here for a while. Rest in the shade of this tree while my servants get some water to wash your feet. Let me prepare some food to refresh you. Please stay awhile before continuing on your journey.

The phrase; "found grace in your sight" seems to have been a common colloquialism in the Old Testament. It's even in the Proverbs.

Prov 3:3-4 …Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart; and by them find favor in the sight of God and man.

The Old Testament Hebrew word for *favor in that verse is chen (khane); which is often translated: grace.

Doesn't that sound familiar in a New Testament sort of way?

Luke 2:52 …And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor in the sight of God and men.

The New Testament Greek word for *favor in that verse is charis (khar'-ece); which is often translated: grace.

So then, it becomes pretty clear to me what Abraham meant when he said "My lord, if I have found grace in your sight". He was saying; "If you are here at my home for a peaceable reason, then let me be your host."

Actually, Abraham himself was a very gracious man. At first, he didn't know that the men before him were God because he used the generic term for lord to address them, which is 'adown (aw-done'). Later, after realizing who they really were, he addressed them as 'Adonay (ad-o-noy') in verse 27; which is an Old Testament name used of God only; and no one else.

So then, some of the components of grace— cordiality, courtesy, good will, generosity, affableness, sociable-ness, and tactfulness —were very evident in all of Abraham's social contacts.

It's typical that most people are no doubt willing to be gracious to God; but unfortunately inclined to abuse their fellow men. But not Abraham; no, he was even-Stephen all the way around.

Jas 3:9-11 …With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with the same tongue we curse men, who were made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brethren, this should not be.

Grace as per Abraham's nephew

Gen 19:19-22 …Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar (which means: small).

What exactly was the grace that Lot found in God's eyes? Well …this is the same thing I discussed in grace as per Noah. Although Lot chose a poor environment to raise his family, he was a righteous man and God was sympathetic towards Lot's predicament, and didn't want to see him go down with his neighbors.

2Pet 2:6-10 …if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by incinerating them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the unGodly; and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy customs of an unrighteous society (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the immoral deeds he saw and heard) —if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue Godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

If any of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had looked into God's eyes, they would not have seen the slightest bit of sympathy whatsoever; as God was fully determined to incinerate them and their towns to a man, women, child, toddler, baby, handicapped folk, senior citizen; and everybody's pets, puppies, parakeets, kittens, and livestock. Though God was disposed to spare Lot, He was not disposed to spare Lot's neighbors; and God does not apologize for the disparity; but rather, points to that particular holocaust as a taste of things to be expected.

Jude 1:6-7 . .Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

Grace as per uncle Laban

Gen 30:25-28 …And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban; Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you. And Laban said to him; If I have found grace in your eyes, stay here, for I have learned by experience that Yhvh has blessed me for your sake.

Actually, at this point in their association, I can just about guarantee that Laban was finding like zero grace in Jacob's eyes because his uncle had sorely mistreated him the whole time he worked on his ranch; beginning with the dastardly bride-swap stunt Laban pulled on Jacob's wedding night. Exactly how Laban expected Jacob to ever trust him again after that, I just don't know.

But some individuals really do have the colloquial "brass cajones" to think that people should "get over it" no matter what they've done: you know; let bygones be bygones, bury the hatchet, turn the other cheek, let's focus on the things upon which we agree— and all that sort of thing? Well; I think that's exactly what that shrewd old devil was up to.

After 14 years on his ranch, Laban knew Jacob well enough to know that he was a man of character and integrity who didn't let personal feelings overrule his better judgment. (Actually, other than the trick he and his mom pulled on Isaac, there isn't much sin in the Bible's record of Jacob's life). And Jacob was a conscientious employee too; that much about him was very valuable to an opportunist like uncle Laban. So then, Mr.Laban fully intended to continue taking advantage of what he himself felt were exploitable character weaknesses.

God has exploitable character weaknesses too; and it can be very tempting to take advantage of them.

You see, once someone has been fully ransomed from the wrath of God (John 3:14-17, Rom 5:6-11) , undergone a second birth (John 3:3-8), paid for their sins via proxy participation in Christ's execution (Rom 6:3-11), adopted into God's own home (Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:15-16), and owner's marked by God's own Spirit (Eph 1:13-14); they pretty much have a license to steal after that. However, God doesn't rescue sinners from retribution to free them up for a life of sinning at will; but rather, to take up a life of righteousness at will.

Rom 6:1-2 …What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin continue to live in it?

Rom 12:1-2 …I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Gal 5:13 …Brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh

Eph 2:10 …For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God decreed beforehand that we should walk in them.

NOTE: Those four passages do not apply to just any old rank and file pew warmer, nor do they apply to just any old Jack and Jill who happens to be looking in; no, no, no. They apply only to believers fully ransomed from the wrath of God, undergone a second birth, paid for their sins via proxy participation in Christ's crucifixion, adopted into God's own home, and owner's marked with God's own Spirit.
 

Underlings                                 

POSIT: According to Paul, exemplary behavior is necessary in order to merit the kingdom; e.g. Gal 5:19-21.

RESPONSE: Here's a good rule of thumb that has kept me from making a lot of silly errors over the years: Never, ever, use something from an epistle to invalidate Christ's testimony in the gospels; nor ever use the epistles to contradict themselves; for example: Paul vs. Paul or Peter vs. Peter.

The objector erred by assuming that Paul instructed the saved-by-the-grace-of-God Galatian believers that they would go to Hell if they walked in the flesh. But an interpretation like that invalidates the doctrine of salvation by the grace of God; which Paul had just gone to great lengths defending in the previous 4½ chapters of Galatians. And if they assumed that the grace of God has to be earned, then they have not only managed to brush aside those 4½ chapters, but also succeeded in reducing the grace of God to the level of a wage rather than that of a gratuity motivated by the spirit of altruism. Let's review what Jesus said in the Gospels and then we'll know better how to interpret what Paul says in his epistles.

John 3:14-19 . .And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness [Num 20:5-9] so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. For God so cared for the world that he donated His only son, so that everyone who trusts him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His son into the world to condemn it, but to rescue it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in God's one and only son.

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.

According to Christ's testimony as an expert witness in matters pertaining to the plan of salvation, everybody trusting in his crucifixion as an adequate ransom to rescue their souls from the wrath of God, come in for several immutable benefits, but I just want to list four; 1) there is no judgment awaiting those who trust him, 2) believers will not perish but have eternal life, 3) they will never be condemned for their sins, and 4) they have already transferred from Death into Life.

Now then, since Christ is the lord and master of New Testament Christianity, it is improper for somebody to attempt to use an underling's writings to refute The Master's first-person teachings. The proper thing to do is find out how an underling's writings harmonize with The Master's first-person teachings so that there's no conflict nor schism in the New Testament.

Although the outside world is definitely going to Hell for walking in the flesh, absolutely no true believer is because according to Christ's testimony, true believers have no condemnation awaiting them, they will not perish but have eternal life, and they will never be condemned for their sins. So then, what Paul taught in Gal 5:21 is that walking in the flesh in inappropriate for God's saved-by-the-grace-of-God people because that's the way the damned live, therefore it is not the way that ransomed sinners should continue to live (cf. Gen 17:1, John 15:1-8, Rom 6:1-2, Rom 12:1-2, 1Pet 2:9-11, 1Pet 4:1-3).

POSIT: According to Gal 1:11-12, Paul got his own gospel message directly from Jesus; he didn't make it up. So that although he's an underling, Paul's testimony should be received just as if it were The Lord himself speaking.

RESPONSE: It only stands to reason that the Lord and Master of New Testament Christianity would never introduce schism in his own church by giving an underling a gospel message that contradicted His own. The proper way to interpret the underling, is to first fully accept what his Master taught in the four Gospels. For that objector to jump ahead of The Master, and pick out something from an underling's epistles in an effort to refute The Master's teachings, is out of order. Accept The Master's teachings first; then the epistles will be much easier to understand correctly.

Q: What about James? Didn't he, another of Christ's inspired underlings, clearly teach that salvation is obtained by works and faith together?

A: No; a dead faith is not an absent faith; it's simply inactive. Believers are expected to put their beliefs into practice.

John 15:16 . .You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit

Rom 6:1-3 . .Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?

Rom 12:1-2 . .Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— which is your reasonable service. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For an explanation that in no way contradicts either Christ's teachings in the Gospels, nor Paul's teachings in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians; click the link below.

Works Without Faith Are Dead
 

Abraham's Performance                          

Were you to ask John Q and Jane Doe pew warmer if sinners are saved by grace; they would probably answer YES, that is; if they've been properly catechized. However, what they really mean is that grace makes it possible for them to be saved by works; viz: in their minds; Christ's crucifixion protects sinners from facing justice only if they prove themselves worthy of it.

For example: Abraham proved himself worthy of being called God's friend, and a believer in God's promises, by offering his son Isaac as a human sacrifice.

Jas 2:21-24 . . Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called "the friend of God." See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone?

That passage in James' writings appears to contradict Paul's.

Rom 4:1-5 . .What then can we say that Abraham found, our ancestor according to the flesh? Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works, he has reason to boast; but this was not so in the sight of God. For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." A worker's wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due. But when one does not work, yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Rom 5:6-10 . . For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life.

Eph 2:8-9 . . For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.

Poorly-trained pew warmers are often stumped by the seeming contradiction between Paul and James; and it's usually because they're unaware that some of the same words that they use are ambiguous.

Take for example the word "justification". It can mean acquitted of guilt, and/or it can simply mean vindication. For example if you were accused of being God's friend, and of believing His promises: would your actions prove the accusations true? Well; Abraham's could; and did.

Another ambiguous word is "save".

Jas 2:14 . . What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

A study of "salvation" throughout the Bible reveals that it doesn't eo ipso pertain to hell and/or the wrath of God. Mostly it pertains to providence; which can be roughly defined as the benefits of God's kindly patronage; which plays out in preservation, support, guidance, and assistance, etc. The Old Testament is loaded with stories of God's providence. Well; providence is conditional. In other words: one's conduct has an effect upon the amount of kindly patronage that God sends their way. For example:

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.

The Philippian believers did not have to worry about hell. According to Php 1:1 and 1:6, they were already marked out for safety in heaven. And besides, the Paul who penned Php 2:12-13 is the very same Paul who penned Rom 4:1-5, Rom 5:6-1, and Eph 2:8-9. So in order to harmonize his writings, we simply have to conclude that Php 2:12-13 is not talking about hell and the wrath of God, but rather, about obtaining His providence.
 

Conversion To Catholicism                                

Q: I'm considering becoming a Catholic. What do you think?

A: I strongly advise conscientious inquirers to consult non Catholic, independent sources of information about the religion of Roman Catholicism. In spiritual matters pertaining to heaven and hell; one cannot be too cautious considering the potentially grave consequences for choosing unwisely.

Q: What's wrong with attending the Church's RCIA classes?

A: The Roman Church's conduct, past and present, has adequately demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to be honest about itself. Seeking the truth about Catholicism from the Roman Church is about as reliable as seeking the truth about North Korea from Kim Jong-Un.

The paragraph below; from the official catechism of the Catholic Church; acknowledges everyone's rights and freedoms in regard to selecting a religion of their own personal choice.

CCC 1782 . . 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.

However, be aware that once you join the Roman Church, you will be relinquishing those rights. You will placed under the jurisdiction of Rome, and be expected to fully comply with everything in the Catechism, plus all of Rome's traditions, and every Bull, every Holy Day of Obligation, every Encyclical plus all of the Sermon On The Mount and everything taught in the epistles of Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John; along with every ruling of Rome's Church Councils including Nicaea 1 & 2, Constantinople 1 & 2 & 3, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Lateran 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5, Lyons 1 & 2, Vienne, Constance, Florence, Trent, and Vaticans 1 & 2.In addition, you will not be permitted to either interpret, or apply, the Holy Bible's teachings sans hierarchy oversight.

CCC 85 . .The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

Rome asserts that not only CCC 85, but also the passage below grants them the final say in all matters pertaining to your faith and practices.

Matt 16:19 . .And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Be advised that Catholicism isn't a democracy; it's a theocracy; viz: dissidents merit punishment; even to the extent of excommunication.

Matt 18:17 . . If he refuses to listen even to the Church, treat him as you would a pagan or one who collaborates with the enemy.

Titus 3:10-11 . . After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned.

If conscientious inquirers are unsure that they can fully comply with all that Rome demands, and all that Rome teaches and stands for; then they might want to consider looking for a version of Christianity that's a bit more accommodating: like maybe Christ's version.

Matt 11:28-30 . . Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
 

Cursed Christians                       

When you strip away all the superfluous glitter, all the glorious facades— e.g. Popes, Vatican City, Ste. Peter's Basilica, the hierarchy, robes, special garments, miters, rituals, rites, confessions, dogma, sacraments, catechism, saints, stations of the cross, the Eucharist, Mother Teresa, sculptures, frescoes, stained glass, crucifixes, virgin sightings, rosaries, rote prayers, candles, ornate churches and cathedrals, convents, seminaries, fasts, holy days of obligation, ceremonies, novenas, John the Baptist's arm, nails and splinters from the cross, etc, etc, etc —here's what's left: here is the gist of Roman Catholicism's plan of salvation.

Mark 10:17-21 . .And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him; Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him . .Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, honor thy father and mother.

Christ's counseling is valid. The running man wanted to know what he had to do in order to obtain eternal life; and Jesus told him.

If the man had followed up with another question that went like this: What happens if I fail to obey the commandments consistently? Then Christ's next reply would have been this:

 Gal 3:10-11 …For as many as are of the works of the commandments are under a curse; for it is written; Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the books of The Law to perform them. (cf. Deut 27:26)

And according to Jas 2:10, breaking even one of the commandments is tantamount to breaking every one of them.

Consistence is the key to obtaining eternal life via commandments. Webster's defines consistent as: 1) possessing firmness or coherence, 2) marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity; viz: free from variation or contradiction, and 3) showing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom.

Let's say you are normally a conscientious driver— always coming to a complete stop at STOP signs, never J-walking, never making an illegal U-turn, always within the speed limit, always using your turn signals, and that sort of thing. But one day while gabbing on a cell phone with your wife, you absent-mindedly run a red light. Are you consistently a good driver? No. You broke the law and a cop is justified in writing you a ticket for running a red light, and the violation goes on your driving record.

You see consistence doesn't mean you obey the law some of the time, nor even most of the time. Consistence means you obey the law all the time. Lack of consistence results in a ticket: viz: the curse of Deut 27:26.

That's exactly why so many Catholics will never escape. It's because they will never measure up to their own religion's plan of salvation which is essentially a merit system based upon performance. Thousands of Catholics, no, millions, right now, today, don't measure up to their own religion's teachings— they have yet to even exemplify the Beatitudes let alone the remainder of the Sermon on the mount— and even if you were to grant them another 59 years to work it out, they would still fail to measure up. You know why? Because they cannot be God; and according to the Lord and Master of New Testament Christianity; God-likeness is exactly what Catholics must produce in order to inherit eternal life via a merit system based upon compliance with commandments.

A common New Testament Greek word for save is sozo (sode'-zo); which means: to rescue and/or protect.

Rescuing is what the Coast Guard does when boats capsize. Rescuing is what Firemen do when people are trapped inside burning buildings. Rescuing is what mountaineer teams do when climbers are in trouble. Rescuing is what EMT paramedics do when someone needs to get to a hospital in a hurry; and kept alive till they arrive. Rescuing is what surgeons do when someone needs an organ transplant. I could go on and on giving you example of rescuer after rescuer; but I think you get the idea. The New Testament's Jesus rescues people from the wrath of God— people who fully deserve Hell, and definitely in line to go there.

You see, if people could comply with Christ's teachings at Mark 10:17-21 they would be in no need of a rescue. That's because they would be in no danger of the curse of Deut 27:26. No, they'd be perfectly safe. But everybody needs a rescue because everybody is failing to consistently comply with the commandments; ergo: everybody is in grave danger (Rom 2:6-16, Rom 3:10-20).

But praise, and thank, and kiss the Bible God's feet and toes that Christ's Father devised a contingency— an honest to gosh bail-out resulting in a totally gratuitous, no strings attached, free of charge, fail-safe, sin-proof, God-proof, commandment-proof, guaranteed safe passage to the other side, and full-time protection from retribution that relieved me of any obligation whatsoever to comply with Mark 10:17-21.

Rom 8:3-4 . .For what the commandments could not do, in that they were weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the commandments might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after The Spirit.

Gal 2:15-16 . .We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that no man is righteous by commandments, but rather by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be made righteous by the faith of Christ, rather than by commandments: for by the commandments shall no flesh be righteous.

Gal 2:21 . .I am not one of those who treats the kindness of God as meaningless. For if we could be spared by keeping commandments, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Gal 3:21-22 . .For if a commandment had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by commandments.

Gal 5:3-4 . .You who are trying to be righteous with God via commandments have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from His graciousness.
 

Confirmation                                  

In a nutshell; Catholicism's confirmation is a sacramental rite of passage that supposedly equips fledgling Catholics with the Holy Spirit in order to empower them to

1• Become rooted more deeply in divine filiation (being children of God)

2• Unite them more firmly to Christ

3• Increase the gifts of the Holy Spirit within them

4• Strengthen their bond with the Church

5• Associate them more closely to the Church's mission of bearing witness to Christ

6• Help them, and more strictly oblige them, to spread and defend the Catholic faith by word and deed

You know what's missing from that list? Assurance of their salvation is missing; and that is precisely why there is not one single Catholic on earth, including the Pope, who has a conscientious clue about where they will end up when they pass on.

Eph 1:13-14 . . In him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession

According to CCC 1317, the seal is an imprinted spiritual mark or indelible character on the believer's soul. However, the best way to explain Eph 1:13-14 is to go all the way back to the Old Testament book of Genesis.

Gen 38:16-17 . . Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said: Come now, let me sleep with you. And what will you give me to sleep with you? she asked. I'll send you a young goat from my flock; he said. Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it? she asked.

The Hebrew word for "pledge" in that passage is 'arabown (ar-aw-bone') which means a pawn (given as security) as in pawn shop. This is the very first place in the Bible where that word is used. In the usury business, an 'arabown is forfeited if the borrower fails to repay his loan. This is a very important principle in the divine plan.

The Greek word for "guarantee" in Eph 1:13-14 is arrhabon (ar-hrab-ohn') which means essentially the same as the Hebrew word 'arabown except that the Greek word indicates a little something extra.

Real estate transactions usually involve a sum called the earnest money. Although it may be applied towards the purchase price of property, earnest money itself serves a specific purpose of its own in the real estate business. In some quarters; this is also called good faith money.

When the contract, and all the other necessary documents are submitted to Escrow, the buyer is required to also submit a token amount of the purchase price. It's usually a relatively small number of dollars compared to the full price of the property. I think ours was just $1,000 back in 1988 on a $74,000 home. When the buyer follows through on their intent to purchase the property, the good faith money (minus some Escrow fees of course) goes towards the purchase.

However, if the buyer loses interest in the property and decides to renege, then they forfeit the good faith money. No doubt that's done to discourage vacillating buyers from fiddling around with other people's time and money.

So then, since God's Spirit is the earnest depicted in Eph 1:13-14; then, according to the principles underlying the arrhabon, should God betray a believer's trust by reneging on His promise to spare people who hear and believe the gospel, then He forfeits; and the believer gets to keep the Spirit regardless of their afterlife destiny.

But of course God won't renege because doing so would not only embarrass Himself, but embarrass His son too as Jesus has given his word that believers have nothing to fear.

John 5:24 . . 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.

There are people who actually believe that the one who sent Jesus can get away with reneging on His promises. A belief of that nature of course eo ipso insinuates that the Bible's God is capable of dishonesty and can't be trusted to make good on anything He says.

NOTE: The possession of eternal life is quite an advantage seeing as how it is a divine quality of life that's impervious to death. In order to take eternal life away from people who have it, God would have to kill it; which of course is impossible. Were it possible to kill eternal life, it would be possible to kill God. In point of fact, it would even be possible for God to commit suicide.

Rom 5:10 . . Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life.

The kind of life that constitutes "his life" is eternal life.

1John 1:2 . . For the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us

Bottom line is: According to John 5:24 and Rom 5:10, people with eternal life are assured to be spared rather than condemned to death in the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:11-15.
 

Peter's Hope                                  

A portion of the so-called Apostles' Creed reads: "I believe in the resurrection of the body"

There's going to be at least two distinctly separate resurrections. There's the first resurrection as per Rev 20:6 and then later on a second resurrection as per Rev 20:11-15.

There's quite a bit of information given in the New Testament related to the quality of the first resurrection's bodies, but scarcely anything about the second.

One thing I do know about the second resurrection's bodies is that they won't be immortal. Their termination in the lake of brimstone makes that pretty obvious.

I also know that all the terminations will be final because according to Dan 12:2 and John 5:28-29 there is only one resurrection allotted per person, so that nobody is coming back from the lake.

But although the second resurrection's bodies will all be terminated, none will go out of existence but instead will be preserved as perpetual nourishment for a curious species of fire-proof worm.

Isa 66:23-24 . . From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the Lord. They shall go out and see the corpses of the people who rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be extinguished; and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

That rather ghastly scene depicts a sort of tourist attraction similar to the La Brea Tar Pits museum in Los Angeles where the remains of prehistoric creatures, excavated from ancient asphalt deposits, are on display.

A worm that thrives in flame is pretty amazing, but not unreasonable. The 4 inch Pompeii worm inhabits sea water temperatures of 176° Fahrenheit: hot enough to kill salmonella and sanitize an egg. So I guess if God could create a worm like the Pompeii, it shouldn't be too difficult for Him to create worms that like it even warmer.

But then, the properties of fire are easily revised by the genius who created them. For example: fire totally incinerated the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but left unscathed a desert shrub that Moses encountered in the Sinai outback while tending his father-in law's sheep. (Ex 3:1-3)

Compare Dan 3:8-27 where a blistering hot fire didn't even so much as singe the clothing of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego while slaying the guards that threw them in the furnace.

Now, the million-dollar question is: Though someone believes in the resurrection of the body; which of the two resurrections do they anticipate for themselves— the first or the second.

1Pet 3:15 . . Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.

The New Testament Greek word for "hope" in Peter's command is elpis (el pece') which means to anticipate (usually with pleasure) and to expect with confidence. Note the elements of anticipation, and expectation, and confidence.

Webster's definition of hope as a verb is very similar: 1) to desire with expectation of obtainment, and 2) to expect with confidence and trust. Note the elements of expectation, and confidence, and trust.

Webster's definition of hope as a noun is: 1) a desire accompanied by expectation of, or belief in, fulfillment, and 2) expectation of fulfillment or success. Note the elements of expectation, and belief.

In other words: elpis hope is a know-so hope rather than a cross your fingers hope.

So, unless someone knows for proof-positive, beyond even the slightest glimmer of sensible doubt, that they are in for the first resurrection, then of course it is impossible for them to comply with Peter's instructions seeing as they would not yet have the kind of hope about which he wrote.

Rom 12:12 . . Rejoicing in hope.

When people are praying for the best, while in the back of their mind dreading the worst, they have absolutely no cause for rejoicing; no; but they do have plenty of cause to fear the unknown.
 

Purgatory, Basic                             

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. For more on this issue; see Purgatory Advanced.
 

Holding The Line                          

The Catholic's comment below is from an actual case history.

CATHOLIC: Although there are many things about which you speak that I cannot refute; deep down I know you are wrong even though I can't prove it. And anyway, all you've really done is manipulate the Bible to support your own personal beliefs. I will never leave the Roman Catholic Church. I am stronger in my Catholic faith now than ever before.

RESPONSE: People in that state of mind have gone and done the very same thing that an obstinate Pharaoh did when he went toe to toe with Moses in the book of Exodus. They've stiffened their resolve; so that no matter what Rome's critics say now, they'll never give in. For example:

● Mark 3:22-30 . . And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said: He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.

. . . So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables. How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.

. . . I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin. He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."

Matthew's version says that Jesus "knew their thoughts". So then, he was fully aware of which among the teachers of the law were convinced in their own mind that Jesus was sanctified; given miraculous powers from God, and commissioned by God for a divine purpose.

According to Nicodemus (John 3:1-2) there were a number of Pharisees who knew very well that Jesus was on the up-and-up. Most of them never admitted to it of course because they were obtuse— the natural result of being seriously infected with a spirit of rivalry, envy, spite, and religious pride and elitism.

Their remark that Christ is in league with the Devil, was all the same as slandering God's spirit because Christ spoke in its power.

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.

Theirs wasn't an innocent mistake; no, they deliberately suppressed the voice of their own conscience, and fiercely contradicted their own better judgment; which only serves to illustrate just how sadly lacking in integrity that many of Christ's opponents really are. They not only can't be true with God, but they can't even be true to themselves. When people get to that point, their afterlife destiny is pretty much set in concrete.

Rev 21:5 . . Deceivers of every sort; their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
 


True Story                       

In 1968, I was a young single guy of 24 years old and living solo in a tiny rented room in a family home's daylight basement in Portland Oregon. I had lots of time to myself to think about things since I had no friends, nor any kind of social contact whatsoever other than at work. I wasn't distracted with a girl friend, nor by pals and beer buddies, nor by an obsessive hobby. It was just me, my 1961 Volkswagen, and a 305 Honda motorcycle that I rode all over northwest Oregon. One of the things that occupied my thoughts a lot was hell and the very real possibility of my going there.

At the time, I was working as a welder in a large metal shop located in an old WW2 Kaiser shipyard located in Vancouver Washington on the banks of the Columbia River. The blueprint man was a Protestant minister who, one day, out of the blue, asked me if I was ready for Christ's return.

Well, I had never been taught about that in catechism so I asked the man why Christ would want to return. He responded: to rule the world. I had mixed emotions to the man's reply: I was half afraid and half indignant to be made afraid. But I instinctively knew that were I subpoenaed to stand before Christ to answer for the things I had done in life, it would not go well for me.

Anyway I demanded of the man to know where he got his information. He replied: from the Bible. So I informed him that I was a Catholic and trusted only Rome's version of the Bible. He responded that all Bibles say pretty much the same thing; which was news to me since in those days the Church insisted that Protestant Bibles were unreliable.

Then he asked me the million dollar question: Would I be going to heaven when I died? I responded, in so many words; that I had no clue. And he replied: Don't you believe Christ died for you?

BANG! for the first time in my life; Christ's crucifixion made sense; and not only made sense, but seemed a very possible ticket to heaven. In point of fact, in an instant I was positive it was my ticket. Up till then I had always thought of Christ as a sad victim of circumstances beyond his control; never dreaming his ordeal made an acquittal possible.

In time; the man suggested that I come with him to his church and make a public profession of my acceptance of Jesus' death on my behalf. So I went with him and we informed the Pastor why I was there.

After the service was over, and the people had left; the Pastor and I, plus my friend and an elder, went down to the rail in front of the stage; where I prayed a very simple, naïve prayer that went something like this:

"Lord, I'm a sinner. I would like to take advantage of your son's death."

While saying my brief, unrehearsed prayer, I became strangely aware of a heavy chair just in front of the rail, suspended maybe about four feet up in the air, and a bit off to the left side, with a lone figure sitting on it looking in my direction.

I couldn't really make out the face, but the person wearing that face was just sitting there, silently, neither moving nor uttering a sound while intently observing me speak every single syllable of my childish prayer. I was thoroughly unraveled, and could hardly wait to get up and get out of there. I told no one what happened, and the scene I perceived vanished as quietly, and as suddenly, as it had appeared.

The human mind is produced by a 3-pound lump of flabby organic tissue, and not even all three of those pounds are devoted to cognitive processes. It's very likely that the scene I perceived in front of the rail was the result of emotional stress that pushed my flabby little mind into imagining things; who really knows for sure? But I will always be fully persuaded that at that very moment, the Bible's God made Himself real to me in such a way as to convince me that I no longer had anything to fear from the wrath of God.

Believe me when I tell you I was overwhelmed with immense relief— to the point of weeping uncontrollably like a man condemned to the guillotine suddenly given a 12th hour pardon —because the one thing Rome had succeeded in instilling in my heart was a dread fear of hell.

Having the assurance that I need no longer fear going there has been the happiest happy thought that to this day has ever gone through my mind; and I know for myself, by personal experience; that the passage below is true and reliable.

Rom 8:16 . .The Spirit himself corroborates with our spirit that we are God's children.

All the years I was a Catholic, no one in authority— not one nun, not one priest, nor even my own half brother who's now a semi retired Friar —had ever suggested that I speak with God about taking advantage of His son's death. That's really curious behavior from the largest Christian agency on earth advertising itself as Christ's ambassador.

All those hours in catechism, and all those hours in church were just academic. I was encouraged to be pious— to attend church, to pay my dues, to go to confession, to take the Eucharist, to conform to the Ten Commandments, the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount —but never once encouraged to consult God one-on-one about my afterlife prospects.

Do you sometimes wonder if you're going to hell? Why not speak with God about it? Get it off your chest: get it all off your chest. There's no shame in being nervous and scared. The shame is in pretending you're not.

 

 

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