Friday, December 24, 2010

Pope tells millions false freewill gospel again

The Roman Catholic Pope Benedict used his latest midnight Mass to re-iterate his false gospel that elevates the freewill of the individual to a level that is just as necessary for salvation as God’s action (see full script at bottom of this blog) He tells us that the expression in the Bible “men of good will” indicates that our free will or our “free response to love” is as important as God’s action for our salvation.  As the pope put it:  "It would be a false interpretation to see this exclusively as the action of God, as if he had not called man to a free response of love."

Wow. Did you know that it wasn’t really Jesus who saved you completely? Did you know that it’s also about you and your response that saves you? Don’t you believe it. The pope is trying to tell you that it takes your response, your work, as well as God’s grace to give you the help necessary to get you to heaven. That is a lie straight from hell that devalues the complete and saving act of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we are celebrating. It directly contradicts numerous verses in the Bible, the word of God, including:

"For by grace you are saved through faith; and this is not from you, it is a gift of God, not of works, so no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We cannot make a positive response to Christ without faith in him and that faith is a gift from God. Our response is not based on our individual good will, it is based on the gift that only God can give--faith in his son who alone has saved all who come to believe that Christ alone saved them completely.

Yes, this child eventually grew up to go to the cross and shed his blood to save all those God has chosen for salvation. But the pope is preaching something different, a semi-Pelagian gospel that requires the combination of our works with Christ's works to get to heaven. But God's word tells us our salvation is by God's grace alone through Christ.

In fact, Jesus himself tells us through the Bible, that God alone saves us through him. Jesus’ fellow Jews asked him “What must we do to do the work that God requires (for eternal life)?”

Jesus’ answer was clear: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29) Jesus should know, since he is the one who was sent by God the Father and he is also God in the flesh.

The above verses in God's word show us how deadly wrong the pope is. Our salvation is not a matter of us helping God to save us by the “freedom of our wills,” our salvation is the work of God –more specifically—the work of God who gives us the grace to believe that his only Son saved us completely. Our response does not save us, it is simply the sign that God gives us to show that he has saved us. We can know that we are saved when we begin to put our full trust in Jesus for eternal life and put no trust in ourselves, our actions or our responses.
Jesus tells us that no one comes to him by his so-called freewill—here’s how he puts it:

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

John 15:16 It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you…

John 6:64 No one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.

Luke 10:22 ...no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 17:2 Thou has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him.

Ephesians 1:11 In him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

All of these verses directly oppose and contradict the pope’s so-called gospel of man helping God with his salvation. Read the pope’s words for your self (see below) taken directly from the homily script provided by the Vatican’s website.

Excerpt from the pope’s midnight Mass message of 12-24-10:

..the angels’ message on that holy night also spoke of men: “Peace among men with whom he is pleased”. The Latin translation of the angels’ song that we use in the liturgy, taken from Saint Jerome, is slightly different: “peace to men of good will”. The expression “men of good will” has become an important part of the Church’s vocabulary in recent decades. But which is the correct translation? We must read both texts together; only in this way do we truly understand the angels’ song. It would be a false interpretation to see this exclusively as the action of God, as if he had not called man to a free response of love. But it would be equally mistaken to adopt a moralizing interpretation as if man were so to speak able to redeem himself by his good will. Both elements belong together: grace and freedom, God’s prior love for us, without which we could not love him, and the response that he awaits from us, the response that he asks for so palpably through the birth of his son. We cannot divide up into independent entities the interplay of grace and freedom, or the interplay of call and response. The two are inseparably woven together. So this part of the angels’ message is both promise and call at the same time. God has anticipated us with the gift of his Son. God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways. He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need. He does not abandon the lost sheep in the wilderness into which it had strayed. God does not allow himself to be confounded by our sin. Again and again he begins afresh with us. But he is still waiting for us to join him in love. He loves us, so that we too may become people who love, so that there may be peace on earth. –Pope Benedict XVI

One of these days the pope is also going to have to explain why Jesus tells us to pray that God the Father's will (thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven) be done and not our own. For instance, we don't pray "thy and my will be done" do we?

For now, the pope has again proved by his own words that he remains under the curse of condemnation to hell that Paul warned of in Galatians 1: 8-9 for all who preach a false gospel.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Arminianism teaches that you can lose the salvation Christ promised believers

Anglicanism definitely had an Arminian side. How can I be sure? The Holy Communion from the 1552 Book of Common Prayer talked about believers losing their salvation (something Christ promises will not happen (John 10:27-30). This error was deleted from later editions of the Book of Common Prayer.  However, here is your chance to read it now and learn.

(taken from 1552 Anglican Prayer Book)

Then shall the Priest say this exhortation.

DEARLY beloved in the Lord: ye that mind to come to the holy Communion of the body and blood of our saviour Christ, must consider what St. Paul writeth to the Corinthians, how he exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that bread, and drink of that cup: for as the benefit is great, if with a truly penitent heart, and lively faith, we receive that holy Sacrament (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood, then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us; we be made one with Christ, and Christ with us;) so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. For then we be guilty of the body and blood of Christ our saviour. We eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's body. We kindle God's wrath over us, we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer, adulterer, or be in malice, or envy, or any other grevious crime, bewail your sins, and not come to this holy Table; lest after the taking of that most blessed bread, the Devil enter into you, as he did into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquity, and bring you to destruction, both of body and soul. Judge therefore yourselves (brethren) that ye be not judged of the Lord. Repent you truly for your sins past have a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our saviour, and be in perfect charity with all men, so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. And above all things: ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the father, the son, and the holy ghost, for the redemption of the world, by the death and passion of our saviour Christ, both God and man, who did humble himself, even to the death upon the Cross, for us miserable sinners, which lay in darkness and the shadow of death, that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding love of our Master, and only Saviour Jesu Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits (which by his precious blood shedding) he hath instituted and obtained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort. To him therefore, with the father and the holy ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks: submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life. Amen.

Thank God that Anglicanism also had Richard Hooker. Compare what Hooker wrote to the above:

ETERNAL SECURITY IN CHRIST

I might, if I had not otherwhere largely done it already, show by sundry manifest and clear proofs how the motions and operations of life are sometimes so undiscernible and secret, that they seem stone-dead who notwithstanding are still alive unto God in Christ. (by Richard Hooker http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hooker/just.ix.html)

For as long as that abideth in us which animateth, quickeneth, and giveth life, so long we live; and we know that the cause of our life abideth in us for ever. If Christ, the fountain of life, may flit and leave the habitation where once he dwelleth, what shall become of his promise, "I am with you to the world's end"? [Mt 28:20] If the seed of God, which containeth Christ, may be first conceived and then cast out, how doth St. Peter term it immortal? [1 Pet 1:23] How doth St. John affirm it abideth? [1 Jn 3:9] If the Spirit, which is given to cherish and preserve the seed of life, may be given and taken away, how is it the earnest of our inheritance until redemption, [Eph 1:14; 2 Cor 1:22] how doth it continue with us for ever?" [Jn 14:16f] If therefore the man who is once just by faith shall live by faith and live for ever, it followeth that he who once doth believe the foundation must needs believe the foundation for ever. If he believe it for ever, how can he ever directly deny it? Faith holding the direct affirmation, the direct negation, so long as faith continueth, is excluded.

But ye will say that, as he who today is holy may tomorrow forsake his holiness and become impure, as a friend may change his mind and become an enemy, as hope may wither, so faith may die in the heart of man, the Spirit may be quenched, [1 Thess 5:19] grace may be extinguished, they who believe may be quite turned away from the truth. The case is clear, long experience hath made this manifest, it needs no proof.

I grant that we are apt, prone, and ready to forsake God; but is God as ready to forsake us? Our minds are changeable; is his so likewise? Whom God hath justified hath not Christ assured that it is his Father's will to give them a kingdom? [Lk 12:32] Which kingdom, notwithstanding, shall not otherwise be given them than "if they continue grounded and established in the faith and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel", [Col 1:23] "if they abide in love and holiness."[1 Tim 2:15] Our Saviour therefore, when he spake of the sheep effectually called and truly gathered into his fold, "I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand," [Jn 10:28] in promising to save them, promised, no doubt, to preserve them in that without which there can be no salvation, as also from that whereby salvation is irremediably lost. Every error in things appertaining to God is repugnant unto faith; every fearful cogitation, unto hope; unto love, every straggling inordinate desire; unto holiness, every blemish whereby either the inward thoughts of our minds or the outward actions of our lives are stained. But heresy, such as that of Ebion, Cerinthus, and others, against whom the Apostles were forced to bend themselves, both by word and also by writing; that repining discouragement of heart which tempteth God, whereof we have Israel in the desert for a pattern; [1 Cor 10:6ff; Heb 3:7ff] coldness, such as that in the angel of Ephesus; [Rev 2:4] foul sins known to be expressly against the first or the second table of the law, such as Noah, Manasses, David, Solomon, and Peter committed: these are each in their kind so opposite to the former virtues that they leave no place for salvation without an actual repentance. But infidelity, extreme despair, hatred of God and all godliness, obduration in sin, cannot stand where there is the least spark of faith, hope, love, or sanctity, even as cold in the lowest degree cannot be where heat in the first degree is found.

Whereupon I conclude that, although in the first kind no man liveth that sinneth not, and in, the second, as perfect as any do live may sin, yet since the man who is born of God hath a promise that in him the seed of God shall abide, [1 Jn 3:9] which seed is a sure preservative against the sins of the third suit, greater and clearer assurance we cannot have of anything than of this, that from such sins God shall preserve the righteous, as the apple of his eye, for ever. [Dt 32:10; Ps 17:80] Directly we deny the foundation of faith, is plain infidelity. Where faith is entered, there infidelity is for ever excluded. Therefore by him who hath once sincerely believed in Christ the foundation of Christian faith can never be directly denied. Did not Peter [Mt 26:69ff], did not Marcellinus [see Keble, p 519], did not many others both directly deny Christ after they had believed and again believe after they had denied? No doubt, as they may confess in word whose condemnation nevertheless is their not believing (for example we have Judas), so likewise they may believe in heart whose condemnation, without repentance, is their not confessing. Although therefore Peter and the rest, for whose faith Christ had prayed that it might not fail,[Lk 22:31f] did not by denial sin the sin of infidelity, which is an inward abnegation of Christ (for if they had done this their faith had clearly failed); yet, because they sinned notoriously and grievously, committing that which they knew to be so expressly forbidden by the law, which saith, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve, [Dt 6:13; Mt 4:10] necessary it was that he who purposed to save their souls should, as he did, touch their hearts with true unfeigned repentance, that his mercy might restore them again to life whom sin had made the children of death and condemnation.

Touching this point, therefore, I hope I may safely set it down that if the justified err, as he may, and never come to understand his error, God doth save him through general repentance; but if he fall into heresy, he calleth him either at one time or other by actual repentance; but from infidelity, which is an inward direct denial of the foundation, preserveth him by special providence for ever. Whereby we may easily know what to think of those Galatians whose hearts were so possessed with love of the truth that, if it had been possible, they would have plucked out their very eyes to bestow upon their teachers. [Gal 4:15] It is true that they were afterwards greatly changed, both in persuasion and affection, so that the Galatians, when St. Paul wrote unto them, were not now the Galatians which they had been in former times, for that through error they wandered, although they were his sheep. [Gal 1:6] I do not deny, but I should deny that they were his sheep, if I should grant that through error they perished. It was a perilous opinion which they held, in them who held it only as an error, because it overthroweth the foundation by consequent. But in them who obstinately maintained it I cannot think it less than a damnable heresy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When did the church fall into an unrecoverable errror?

While there were many errors that marked the early church before the year 786 or 787, the last council that was agreed to by both the Roman Church and the Constantinople Church--today the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches--was the seventh council, which was forced to meet in Nicea to do its dirty deed.

That deed was to reverse an earlier council that rejected the use of icons or statutes because they could cause idolatry. Finally, a woman or queen mother came along who would help apostate bishops reverse this blessed stand against icons--flat pictures--by calling a new council. Though it had to move from one location to another to work its darkness, it managed to accomplish the adoption of paintings and iconography and drive these churches into the darkness of idolatry that remains to this day, despite their supposed distinction between worship and honor of icons.

In addition, the Roman church started allowing the honoring of statues (sculpture in the round) which was rejected even by this apostate seventh council.

In fact, a promotion on a show about icons on EWTN recently featured a priest who called icons the "vicarious presence of God and his saints."  This means the paintings or photos or statues should be treated as though they are the God or saints they represent.

Here's more on the background of all this from wikipedia...

In 786, the council met in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. However, soldiers in collusion with the opposition entered the church, and broke up the assembly.[2] As a result, the government resorted to a stratagem. Under the pretext of a campaign, the iconoclastic bodyguard was sent away from the capital — disarmed and disbanded.

The Second Council of Nicaea -- The council was again summoned to meet, this time in Nicaea, since Constantinople was still distrusted. The council assembled on September 24, 787. It numbered about 350 members; 308 bishops or their representatives signed. Tarasius presided,[3] and seven sittings were held in Nicaea.[4] Proof of the lawfulness of the veneration of icons was drawn from Exodus 25:19 sqq.; Numbers 7:89; Hebrews 9:5 sqq.; Ezekiel 41:18, and Genesis 31:34, but especially from a series of passages of the Church Fathers;[1] the authority of the latter was decisive.

Aya Sofya of Nicaea, where the Council took place; Iznik, Turkey. It was determined that "As the sacred and life-giving cross is everywhere set up as a symbol, so also should the images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the holy angels, as well as those of the saints and other pious and holy men be embodied in the manufacture of sacred vessels, tapestries, vestments, etc., and exhibited on the walls of churches, in the homes, and in all conspicuous places, by the roadside and everywhere, to be revered by all who might see them. For the more they are contemplated, the more they move to fervent memory of their prototypes.

Therefore, it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration, not, however, the veritable worship which, according to our faith, belongs to the Divine Being alone — for the honor accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented." St. Basil the Great The clear distinction between the adoration offered to God, and that accorded to the images may well be looked upon as a result of the iconoclastic reform.

However sculpture in the round (statues) was condemned as "sensual". The twenty-two canons[5] drawn up in Constantinople also served ecclesiastical reform. Careful maintenance of the ordinances of the earlier councils, knowledge of the scriptures on the part of the clergy, and care for Christian conduct are required, and the desire for a renewal of ecclesiastical life is awakened.

The papal legates voiced their approval of the restoration of the veneration of icons in no uncertain terms, and the patriarch sent a full account of the proceedings of the council to Pope Adrian I, who had it translated (the translation Anastasius later replaced with a better one).

This council is celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as "The Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy" each year on the first Sunday of Great Lent—the fast that leads up to Pascha (Easter)—and again on the Sunday closest to October 11 (the Sunday on or after October 8). The former celebration commemorates the council as the culmination of the Church's battles against heresy, while the latter commemorates the council itself.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Casey -- a swing and a miss

 Superior General of the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy, the priest William Casey (on a promo that runs on EWTN for his show "Mission of Hope"):

“You better learn your faith because, sooner or later, someone could put one over on you, and you could lose your soul!”
Really priest Casey? Really? What did Jesus promise those who believe? Did he warn them that "someone could put it over on them, and they could lose their soul, without your fine warnings? No. Quite the contrary. Here's what Jesus promised to those who put their trust in him:
John 10:28-30 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. I and the Father are one.
and what warning does the apostle Paul have for people like the priest William Casey?
 Galatians 1:8-9 "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than that which you have accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"
In other words, repent William, repent now of your false freewill gospel, believe that Christ alone has saved you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pope again gives false gospel

In an address during a visit with the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace on Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, the pope again hauled out his false gospel. See if you can catch the total contradiction he himself expressed in the following sentence (which can be found at the Vatican website):

“At the same time, we Christians must never hesitate to proclaim our faith in the uniqueness of the salvation won for us by Christ, and to explore together a deeper understanding of the means he has placed at our disposal for attaining that salvation.” --Benedict XVI

First, the pope insists that Christ “won” salvation for us. And the very next phrase, he insists Christ has “placed at our disposal” “means” for “attaining that salvation.”

Which is it great pope? Has Christ indeed won our salvation? If so, why would we then need to “attain” it?

Obviously, you preach a gospel that insists Christ didn’t actually win anyone’s salvation, instead, he actually won for us no more than the “possibility” of our salvation. This is the so-called “gospel,” according to the Roman Catholic Church. Rarely stated so plainly.

That’s why the pope also mentions “means” for attaining that salvation. Of course, the chief means, according to the pope, is the Church and its baptism and Holy Communion. But how can a church that has lost the true gospel, still claim that its baptism and Holy Communion properly reflect the work of Christ on the cross? If they have not the gospel, their sacraments cannot properly reflect the true gospel, which is “Christ alone has saved us.”

Christ alone has saved us dear pope. His one work on the cross did indeed win salvation for all who believe in him as Christ himself has promised us: “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47) You cannot call individuals to believe anything less than what Christ promises us, O pope.

Christ promises us that those who believe have passed from judgment and condemnation, (John 5:24). He promises us that he gives us eternal life and he will let no one snatch us from his hands (John 10:27-30). He promises that though we die, we shall live (John 11:26). Jesus promises that he goes to prepare a place for us to be with him forever (John 14:3).

This O pope, is the true good news of Jesus Christ. Return to him in repentance and he will save you too from the condemnation promised all those who preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More puff from pope

You should have seen that unrepentant guy who calls himself the pope tonight. He told all those gathered for an outstanding Evensong at Westminster Abbey that he was da' man. Boy was he "nice" about it. And the Archbishop of Westminster Abbey just let the pope know that they still love him.

Of course, nobody talks about the gospel unless they need to use it in a throwaway sentence. Did Jesus die for the "possibility" of everyone's salvation or did he die to save his chosen ones? Do these guys care? If so, it's interesting that they don't mention it.

The commentators on EWTN said it was all about the pope telling Rowen Williams that he had really screwed up by ordaining women and homosexuals. Bid deal. That's where I'd start too, if I didn't know that Christ had died to secure the salvation of those who believe in him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pope arrives, what divides?

The pope started his visit to the UK today in Scotland. So far the theme is unity, according to both the pope and queen.

Here is what the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia of the early 1900s identifies as the chief doctrines which are essentially and specifically characteristic of the Protestant Reformation as a whole are the following nine:


• rejection of the Papacy,

• denial of the Church Infallibility;

• Justification by Faith only;

• supremacy and sufficiency of Scripture as Rule of Faith;

• the triple Eucharistic tenet [viz. (a) that the Eucharist is a Communion or Sacrament, and not a Mass or Sacrifice, save in the sense of praise or commemoration; (b) the denial of Transubstantiation and worship of the Host; (c) the denial of the sacrificial office of the priesthood and the propitiatory character of the Mass];

• the non-necessity of auricular Confession;

• the rejection of the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints;

• the rejection of Purgatory and omission of prayers for the dead;

• the rejection of the doctrine of Indulgences.

To these may be added three disciplinary characteristics which are founded on doctrine:

• the giving of Communion in both kinds;

• the substitution of tables for altars; and

• the abolition of monastic vows and the celibacy of the clergy.

These twelve doctrines and practices of the continental Reformation have undoubtedly, though not always in the same measure, entered into the fibre of the English Reformation, and have all found expression, more or less emphatic, in the Anglican formularies. Hence, while the name "Protestant" is not found in the Prayer Book, it is used in the Coronation Service when the King promises to maintain "the Protestant religion as by law established". It was from the beginning popularly applied to the Anglican beliefs and services. In the Act of Union the Churches of England and Ireland are styled "the Protestant Episcopal Church", a name still retained by the Anglican Church in America.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weakened Anglicans to face the pope

Benedict XVI will soon visit Great Britain and evangelicals are mobilizing in hopes of limiting the damage.

So why is the Anglican world so susceptible to the Pope and his Roman Catholic Church? The answer is: The Gospel and the Eucharist.

Despite the Anglican’s 39 Articles, which clearly outline the Gospel of Christ dying for those who believe in him—the elect—Anglicans have always been at odds among themselves as to whether Christ died for all or for the elect alone.

No agreement on the true Gospel means Anglicans are weak and susceptible to receiving the pope’s gospel of Christ dying for only the “possibility” of salvation for all—which is the gospel the pope preaches. Therefore, the pope convinces people that they need him and his church’s sacraments to help Jesus in his mediatorial work if they are to ever enjoy the possibility of getting to heaven.

You can know when a church believes and preaches such a false gospel because they will tell you there is no assurance of salvation or heaven for anyone, and that a person can lose their salvation at anytime. All of these contradict Jesus’ own promises, found throughout the Gospel of John, especially see John 5:24, 6:44, 6:47 and 10:28-30.

Many Anglican priests continue to preach a similar false gospel about Christ dying for the “possible salvation” of all people and are thus condemned in Gal. 1:8-9 unless they repent. They mislead many.

Similarly, when it comes to the Eucharist or Holy Communion, again—few Protestants (mainly, only Lutherans) believe that they truly receive Jesus’ body and blood as he promised at the Lord’s Supper—though they too are mislead in believing that Christ died only for the “possible salvation” of all—for Lutherans believe you can lose your salvation.

As for the Anglicans, this is a case where the wording of the article (Article 28) on the Lord’s Supper has proven to cause further division. Instead of being urged to simply believe Christ’s promise that we receive his body and blood, the article goes on to insist it is taken and eaten in a “heavenly and spiritual manner.”

In any case, the Protestant Truth Society has issued the following “Joint Protest agaistn the 2010 Papal Visit,” which will be published in The Times of London and presented to the Queen and the Government:

Joint Protest Against the 2010 Papal Visit to the United Kingdom

Remembering Martin Luther’s historic protest in 1517 against the errors of the Church of Rome, we the undersigned protest against the state visit of the Pope to the United Kingdom.

The Pope claims to be the supreme head of the universal church and that all governments should be subject to him. There is only one head of the universal church and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. No man can claim that title. In the United Kingdom, the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and is pledged to uphold the Church of Scotland. She is the head of state and, together with the British Parliament; we accept no other temporal authority.

We reject the Pope’s absurd pretensions to power over governments and churches. In particular, we reject his blasphemous claim to infallibility. God alone is infallible. We affirm that there is only one mediator between God and men – the man Christ Jesus. At Calvary, Jesus Christ died for the sins of His people. That sacrifice was made once for all and can never be repeated. Repentant sinners find forgiveness by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

The Bible, the inspired Word of God, is our supreme rule and contains no shred of evidence for the false and idolatrous doctrines of the Roman Church. Thanking God for the great outburst of spiritual light that shone during the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century we declare: The Pope cannot mediate between man and God. Neither Mary nor the ‘Saints’ can make intersession for us. Jesus Christ is our only advocate with God the Father.

The so-called sacrifice of the mass is, as the Articles of the Church of England make plain, a ‘blasphemous fable’ and a ‘dangerous deceit’. God alone can absolve our sins and the confessional is a fraud. There is no biblical authority for the Roman doctrine of purgatory. There are only two possible destinations for men and women after death – heaven or hell.

The papal visit is a betrayal of our Protestant Constitution and of the Gospel that sustains it. Christ promised, ‘He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.’ He alone is King of kings.

For more on this, read Richard Bennett’s article, “Biblical Protest and Witness Await Pope’s UK Visit,” at his website http://www.bereanbeacon.org/.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jesus's take on freewill

Roman Catholics, like many of their Protestant coutnerparts, claim Jesus died for all and all have the freewill to choose or reject him. That's not what Jesus says in John 6...
Jesus on freewill

43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.'[d] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

53Jesus 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. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"

61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? 62What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit[e] and they are life. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

Jesus refuses to pray for the world--much less die for it
 
In addition, just before Jesus, God the Son, goes to his death on the cross, he prays to God the Father for those the Father has given him--he flatly refuses to pray for everyone in the world...
 
"I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them." John 17:10
 
Jesus refuses to even pray for the world--much less die for it.
 
Freewill is simply a false teaching that comes with the false gospel, which claims Christ died for all.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our name is Mephibosheth

By Bill Parker

Mephibosheth is a great picture of how God saves His covenant children for Christ’s sake. Mephibosheth was the grandson of a fallen king, i.e. Saul, and so are we as we are by nature the fallen sons of Adam. (Romans 5:12)

Mephibosheth “was lame on both his feet” (II Samuel 9:13), because of a fall, and so are we. We were all born dead in sin with no ability or desire to seek God (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:1-3).

Mephibosheth was the object of a covenant made between David and Jonathan (I Samuel 20:11-17, II Samuel 9:1,7). WE who are saved by God’s grace in Christ were and are the objects of an everlasting covenant made between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:1-13; Hebrews 13:20)

Mephibosheth did not come to the king’s house of his own free will. He was “fetched.” (II Samuel 9:5) – “taken, laid hold of, seized, bought, and brought.” (John 6:37; 12:32)

King David did not ask Mephibosheth to come to him. He sent his servant to bring him to the palace. Christ saved us and brings us to Himself by the work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth. (John 1:12-13)

Mephibosheth feared the king’s wrath until he heard the king’s word. (II Samuel 9:6-7) We by nature fear God’s wrath and seek to hide behind false refuges, but Christ speaks words of mercy and love in the Gospel. He draws us to Himself as He tells us of His great sacrifice for our sins, the satisfaction and righteousness he established for us. (Romans 3:21-26; I John 4:10)

Mephibosheth expressed his own unworthiness – “And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” (II Samuel 9:8)

When the Holy Spirit shows us our sin and brings us by faith to Christ, we, like Mephibosheth, whose name means “utterance of shame,” express our unworthiness and proclaim Christ alone as worthy. (Revelations 5)

Mephibosheth ate CONTINUALLY at the king’s table as one of the king’s sons. We who are saved by the blood of Christ are children of God, and we feast at His table forever even thought we are still lame on our feet. Even as saved sinners, born again by the Holy Spirit, we still have no power or ability of our own – “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

We are already complete and perfect IN CHRIST, but not yet in ourselves. We will one day be perfect within ourselves when we are glorified together with Christ. (Titus 2:13; I John 3:2)
http://testallthings.com/2009/11/15/bill-parker-our-name-is-mephibosheth/

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where the reformed often fall short... adding SEA to TULIP

Why Reductionist Five-point TULIP Calvinism is Bankrupt

by Robert R. Higby 6-2-2010

Five-point TULIP Calvinism was formulated in response to the 1610 five articles of the Remonstrants, who were followers of Jacob Arminius. At the time of its assembly, when the Synod of Dort formulated TULIP, the issue of counteracting the five articles was paramount to continuing ANY semblance of a Reformation.

The soteriology (salvation theology) of the 16th century Reformation in essence counteracted the great apostasy prophesied by Paul conceived by the late 1st and 2nd century Church Fathers. For 14 centuries men in popular religious institutions called ‘Christian’ had attempted to destroy the pristine apostolic gospel.

Though the Synod of Dort scored a huge victory for gospel truth at the time of its occurrence, the pertinence of what was achieved is mostly ignored today. The rise of evangelicalism under the immensely popular teaching of Andrew Fuller mostly destroyed the practical impact of the synod of Dort.

Though a tongue-in-cheek confession of the correctness of the 5 points still remains, for centuries Reformed Calvinists have shunned any doctrine of absolute, positive, double, and causative predestination of all events.

In reality the Reformed churches hate such teachings. They embrace Arminians as full brethren in Christ and fellow evangelicals. This is because there is a common teaching of passive, non-causative predestination of sin among both. Both strains of evangelicalism cherish and promote a doctrine of God’s general love, common grace, bare foreknowledge of rebellion that is permissive but not caused, and the free offer of the gospel to reprobates.

The 5 points deal with redemption as it occurs existentially within time. These confessional statements do not cover the broader issues of how salvation and reprobation are purposed and carried out from the Divine perspective. So we need an expansion of past fundamentals to include the greater reality of how God relates to all aspects of predestining redemptive history from the inception of time to eternity future.

Adding the points of Supralapsarianism, Eternal Justification, and Active Decree to the historic five points of TULIP will provide a new and comprehensive basis for defending the truth of the gospel in future generations. Therefore I am convinced we need to pursue this formulation in earnest. The SEA-TULIP articles will provide an 8-Point confession of Gospel Predestination that will permanently reject and stand against evangelical Fullerism and its anti-Reformation heresies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_tulip
Supralapsarian

Eternal Justification

Apermissive Decree

Total Inability

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Preservation of the Saints

Why not?...



btw, look for this original to be plagiarized elsewhere on the internet (but watered down immensely) as soon as it is posted!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CARM vs Roman Catholicism

Before July gets by without a post, here was something I found interesting...

Matt Slick at CARM.org took on Roman Catholic convert apologist Dr. Robert Sungenis on three radio shows this month. He found that Sungenis wanted to change the subject much of the time. The event also prompted the following from Slick:

Roman Catholicism teaches salvation by faith and works -- works, they say, that are done under God's grace. You cannot be saved without those works, so they are necessary, but at the same time don't "earn" salvation...even though salvation is merited by your works! Make sense? Well, when I was preparing for a class I'm teaching on Mormonism, I found some interesting quotes. Check out this comparison.


"If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Roman Catholic, Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).

"All that we can do for ourselves we are required to do. We must do our own repenting; we are required to obey every commandment and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If we will do this, then we are freed from the consequences of our own sins. The plan of salvation is based on this foundation. No man can be saved without complying with these laws" (Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p.172).

"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema." (Roman Catholic, Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 14)

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation," (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 206, Spencer W. Kimball who was the 12th President of the Mormon Church).

Released new articles - In light of my discussions with Dr. Sungenis, I have released three articles on Tradition (http://www.carm.org/new). Also, to my utter delight, I found on my computer an electronic file of the Anti-Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. It is public domain so I have been converting some of the files to articles on CARM for linking. Yes! This will come in very handy when dealing with Roman Catholic Tradition and, later, with Eastern Orthodox Tradition. Lots more articles on Roman Catholicism are now in the works including the Assumption of Mary, The Church Fathers and Tradition, The Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura, and more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Luther on the gospel and those who seek their own sacrifice...



Martin Luther relates the gospel as he prepares to point out ways that the “silent mass” of those days departed from that gospel. …


First, I want to remind each one of the ground on which our faith and all our preaching rests. I shall repeat it briefly. But I preach now only to those who accept the gospel as the Word of God and nothing else, for those who still do not know that or are in doubt about it will not accept this ground of our faith. Well, you have heard in the gospel and learned from it that the problem of our salvation from sin, death, the devil and an evil conscience, the problem of attaining true righteousness before God and eternal life, is by no means solved or helped with works or laws, no matter what they may be or may be called. For God will accept no other mediation and no other mediator than his only Son, whom the Father sent into the world and whom he caused to shed his blood for the sole purpose that he might thereby obtain for us the treasure of faith.

That, briefly, is the sum total of the gospel that we preach. And if anyone seeks another way to be freed from his sins and stand before God, he blasphemes and insults God and accuses him of lying, as if he had let his Son shed his blood in vain and his death had accomplished nothing and was of no importance. For this is what God insists on and nothing else, that on one shall stand before him except by that innocent blood alone. And if anyone undertakes some other method, such as his works or order or station in life, he shall belong to the devil much more than anyone else. For it is a very serious matter with God and he will have no jest made of it, because for this purpose he gave his Son to die. For that reason we know and have no other sacrifice that that which he made on the cross, on which he died once for all as the Epistle to the Hebrews (9:12, 20) says, and thereby put away the sins of all men and also made us holy for eternity.

That, I say, is our gospel, that Christ has made us righteous and holy through that sacrifice and has redeemed us from sin, death and the devil and has brought us into his heavenly kingdom. We have to grasp this and hold it fast through faith alone. We have preached this and reiterated it so often that everyone can know it well and can conclude from it that all our own works undertaken to expiate sin and escape from death are necessarily blasphemous. They deny God and insult the sacrifice that Christ has made and disgrace his blood, because they try thereby to do what only Christ’s blood can do.

–Luther, April 1525 as found in “The Abomination of the Secret (or Silent) Mass”

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jesus' body and blood

When this Jesus, who has won heaven for those who believe in him, tells us that he gives us his body and blood—we should indeed believe it.

Do we need to believe in the Roman Catholic teaching of transubstantiation? No. We need to believe Jesus. We need to believe that he gives us what he promises us.

He has promised all who believe in him receive his body and blood at his Supper in this life, and they receive everlasting life with him in the next life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is God the author of sin? No, no no.

For he (God) saith to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." So it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. Romans 9:15-16

Most Christians say that they believe that their God is indeed "God almighty." He is over all, in control of all. If He were somehow unable to control this or that, He would not be an almighty God, would he? Almighty is in control of all. Isn't it? Isn't He?

When anyone mentions predestination, one of the first charges that goes up is the charge that in order to believe in predestination, you have to believe that God is the "author of sin."

That's ridiculous.

The Bible makes it clear. God does not force people to sin, they do so naturally. All people are born in sin. God simply leaves some people in their sinful state while rescuing others by giving them the faith to believe in His only Son, Jesus, and his saving work on the cross. (read Romans 9)

In other words, since the fall of Adam and Eve, all people choose to sin (Romans 3:32) "...and were by nature, children of (God's) wrath." (Ephesians 2:3). God simply allows some to pursue their natural choice (reprobates) while saving others by sending his son to die in their place and giving them the faith to believe in Jesus and what he did on the cross.

For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

And you hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. (Ephesians 1:4) We are covered in Christ's righteousness (Romans 4:7-8).

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. (Ephesians 1:11)

This is a biblical description of predestination. Therefore to believe in predestination is to believe God's word. It is not to believe that God is the author of sin—instead, it is to believe that He is the Savior of many (Matthew 25)--the true Gospel.

If God did not intervene to give us faith, all of us would be lost to the fires of hell. A good example is that several people are caught in a burning building and all are condemned to die in the fire, but God, by his grace, his undeserved favor, chooses to save a few of them. How grateful would those few be? Those few are believers--you and me.

So how should we, who have been saved from the firey house of hell we deserve, then live?

If we have been so blessed to be rescued from sin, death and the devil and promised an eternity with Christ in heaven, we live in grateful thanksgiving, humbly confessing our sins and always anticipating a glorious future with Christ.

As the reformed theologian R.C. Sproul puts it: If God, when He is decreeing reprobation, does so in consideration of the reprobate's being already fallen, then He does not coerce (force) him to sin. To be reprobate is to be left in sin, not pushed or forced to sin. If the decree of reprobation were made without a view to the fall, then the objection to double predestination would be valid and God would be properly charged with being the author of sin. But Reformed theologians have been careful to avoid such a blasphemous notion.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bush to Hasselbeck--a sad Mother's Day

This is a bit late I know, but I had to express my disappointment.

Laura Bush proved it again just a few days after Mother’s Day—sadly, there is very little worth celebrating about so many mothers in this day and age. Many have gone the way of the world and have turned or spurned any attempt at convincing them that God’s word should come before their “feelings” about so-called gay marriage or abortion--even divorce.

There she is the former “first mother,” on the Larry King show, essentially telling everyone that she rejects the key moral imperatives of the Bible and therefore “disagrees” with God as well as her husband’s moral stand against gay marriage and abortion.

A day or two later, Elizabeth Hasselbeck (of "The View") tells everyone she supports gay marriage now that she’s had a sit-down conversation with twice divorced singer Melissa Etheridge who recently separated from her “partner” of eight years, Tammy Lynn Michaels.

Elizabeth even goes so far to recommend everyone sit down with someone gay who is in love and wants to marry another gay person. I'm sure Elizabeth let her "feelings" be the guide too. God's word just has nothing to do with how most folks make decisions these days--it's all about their personal feelings. So many churches have turned from biblical doctrine to their feelings that they are no longer legitimate churches.

Wonder if singer Melissa told Elizabeth how she first convinced Julie Cypher to leave her husband Lou Diamond Phillips back in 1986? Cypher eventually left Etheridge herself after giving her two children with donated sperm from rock singer David Crosby--it gets more and more bizarre. After reconsidering her own sexuality, Cypher left Etheridge in 2000 and married Matthew Hale in 2004.

Can you disagree with God on such central teachings of his word and still call yourself a Christian? I wouldn't want to be believing these errors when Christ returns in glory. Would you? Surely these people will answer to the King of kings and Lord of lords. A true church would have to do the hard thing and excommunicate them until they repented.

Let's remember these gals in our prayers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Roman Catholics: Living in fear of eternity

Because the Roman Catholic Church rejects the eternal assurance that Christ himself promises those who believe in him (John 10:27-30), practicing Roman Catholics believe that can rarely if ever be certain where they will go when they die.

That’s because they essentially believe that their own actions here on earth determine where they go after death. In other words they are not taught the true gospel that Christ himself died to secure their everlasting life with him.

Therefore, they spend much of their spare time in life concerned with the possibility they might die with a mortal (serious or grave sin deserving of hell) sin on their soul. So they pray prayers such as the following

“Prayer for a Happy Death”
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. O my God, I am sure to die, yet I know not when, how, or where I may die. This alone I am certain of, that, if I were to die in mortal sin, I should perish eternally (go to hell forever). Most blessed Virgin Mary, holy Mother of God, pray for me a sinner, now and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Think of it. Living with that occasional nagging thought that there’s always a chance that you could mess up and go to hell. A lot of people have learned to live with that because there are many churches who teach that a Christian can lose their salvation –Roman Catholic, Lutheran, some Anglicans, Methodists, Church of Christ, Free Will Baptists and on and on.

But that’s not what the Bible—God’s word—teaches. Instead, it reveals the promises of Jesus himself, who tells us that those who believe in him have everlasting life (John 5:23) ….and will not be snatched from his hands (John 10:27-30).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Is your church in simple doctrinal error or damning heresy?

Pentecost is certainly good as any day to ask yourself about the church you attend. Do you belong to a church that is in doctrinal error? Does its doctrine amount to damning heresy? Heresy so bad that it goes against the gospel?

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed (condemned to hell). As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)

Doctrinal error – the misinterpretation or misapplication of any biblical teaching by a particular church that however does not affect its preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Example: Sprinkling for baptism is a doctrinal error found among some churches, but that error is considered not so imporant  as long as the church continues to preach the true gospel of Christ alone saving –winning heaven—for those he has chosen for everlasting life.

Damning heresy – is any doctrine or practice that is contrary to salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. In other words, any doctrine or practice that promotes a gospel different from the biblical gospel, which tells us that Christ won heaven for those who believe in him and his work on the cross.

Example: The doctrine that Christ died for all people in the world is an example of a damning heresy because it is contrary to the clear biblical gospel which tells us Christ died for his elect—only those who believe in him before their death.

Just hours away from his death on the cross, Jesus plainly told us in the Gospel of John that he would not even pray for the world—so why do some believe he died for it?

(John 17:9) I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Distilling the truth--on Holy Communion

The Heidelburg Catechism differentiates between the Mass and the Lord's Supper.

LORD'S DAY 30
80. What difference is there between the Lord's Supper and the Pope's Mass?

The Lord's Supper testifies to us that we have full forgiveness of all our sins by the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which He Himself once accomplished on the cross;[1] and that by the Holy Ghost we are ingrafted into Christ,[2] who, with His true body, is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father,[3] and there to be worshipped. [4] But the Mass teaches that the living and the dead do not have forgiveness of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is still daily offered for them by the priests, and that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and is therefore to be worshipped in them. And thus the Mass at bottom is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ,[5] and an accursed idolatry.

[1]Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 25-28; 10:10, 12, 14; Jn. 19:30. [2]I Cor. 6:17. [3]Heb. 1:3; 8:1. [4]Jn. 4:21-24; 20:17; Lk. 24:52; Acts 7:55; Col. 3:1; Phil. 3:20-21; I Thess. 1:9-10. [5]See Hebrews chapters 9 and 10; *Mt. 4:10.

81. Who are to come to the table of the Lord?

Those who are displeased with themselves for their sins, yet trust that these are forgiven them, and that their remaining infirmity is covered by the suffering and death of Christ; who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and to amend their life. But the impenitent and hypocrites eat and drink judgment to themselves.[1]

[1]I Cor. 10:19-22; 11:28-29; *Ps. 51:3; *Jn. 7:37-38; Ps. 103:1-4; *Mt. 5:6.

82. Are they, then, also to be admitted to this Supper who show themselves by their confession and life to be unbelieving and ungodly?

No, for thereby the covenant of God is profaned and His wrath provoked against the whole congregation;[1] therefore, the Christian Church is bound, according to the order of Christ and His Apostles, to exclude such persons by the Office of the Keys until they amend their lives.

[1]I Cor. 11:20, 34a; Isa. 1:11-15; 66:3; Jer. 7:21-23; Ps. 50:16-17; *Mt. 7:6; *I Cor. 11:30-32; *Tit. 3:10-11; *II Thess. 3:6.


Needed adjustments -- according to bible-based bro. Jim...

The Heidelburg is right when it comes to point 4--this is how the Roman Church changes the gospel. It sacrifices the gospel that CHrist died to win the salvation of those who believe in him to make the Mass necessary for the forgiveness of the latest sins committed on earth as well as a way to reduce the time of the "holy" souls in Purgatory.

Nevertheless, we would adjust the reformation viewpoint on 3 to reflect the true reception of Christ's body and blood (perhaps worded like below) for us BibleCatholics.

[3] and also by his glorified body is fully able to be received by us on earth through the elements of bread and wine as promised by Christ himself. --bro. Jim

Monday, April 19, 2010

False Gospel Alert in Malta

The pope did it again. He preached it during Christmas in 2005 and repeated it again this weekend in Malta. What was it? Nothing less than a false gospel that tells people that God loves them--all of them, whether they believe in him or not.

This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He plainly told people that no one can come to the Father, except through him (John 6:44, 6:64, 14:6). He never said that God loves everyone.

For instance, Did God really love Pharoah? Is that why God let Pharoah and his army drown in the Red Sea? C'mon, get real pope. If God loves everyone, then everyone would be saved.

But we know that there are thousands upon thousands that die daily rejecting Jesus as the Christ, rejecting him as the Son of God.

The Gospel that is being preached by the pope is a false gospel and St. Paul tells us that those who preach it are condemned. (Galatians 1:8-9)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is brother Jim a Calvinist? Maybe just a Bible Catholic?

It doesn't surprise me at all that some people want to label me. Labels make everything at least "seem" a little easier to understand. What I like about labels is that they often get you at least a little closer to the truth about someone. With that in mind, I've got some labels I'll readily admit to.

For instance, I'll readily admit that I'm not offended by being called a Calvinist, to a certain extent at least, because I certainly agree with the gospel that is preached by honest 5-point Calvinism.

However, you would have to call me more of a Lutheran of sorts when it comes to the Lord's Supper. You could even call me a "Eucharistic Calvinist" and I wouldn't be offended, though you might find several Calvinsts real stirred up about that.

I write this because, unlike Calvinism, I very much literally believe the promise of Christ that we recieve his very body and blood when we receive the bread and wine during the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. Not because the priest has some special charism or gift from the Holy Spirit that makes it possible for him to "confect" the body and blood of Christ, as taught by the Roman Church. No. I believe that I receive the body and blood of Jesus because Jesus himself promises it to all who believe in him.

Jesus plainly promises us that we receive his body and blood when we receive the bread and wine during Holy Communion (Matthew 26:-28). Though you may think that's the Roman Catholic teaching, it is not. The Romans teach that the bread and the wine become the body, blood as well as soul and divinity of Jesus Christ--the whole Christ (transubstantiation). This makes it possible to bow down to the bread.

They say the bread and wine are totally destroyed during the priest's prayer and become his body, blood, soul and divinity--which was added by popes who believed the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. While they get an "A" for being imaginative, they get an "F" for making this a belief that is required for salvation. They get an F minus for urging people to kneel and pray to the bread from Holy Communion as they would pray to Jesus (known as Eucharistic adoration). Even the Orthodox Church rejects this teaching.

Again, we very much disagree with Roman Catholics when it comes to the teaching of transubstantiation. We say that Aquinas and the church borrowed way too much from the pagan philosopher Aristotle to come up with an explanation that suddenly became the "word of God" (according to the pope) for Roman Catholics. Because they made this explanation a belief required for salvation for all, they messed up big time. It became part of their whole false gospel.

Roman Catholics and Protestants should listen all the more to Paul who clearly tells us that "whosever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11: 27)

How can we be "guilty of sinning agianst the body and blood of the Lord, if what we eat and drink is not the body and blood of the Lord? For more specifics, go to http://www.biblecatholics.com/holy_communion.htm.

In addtion, I very much oppose those so-called Calvinists who favor "Common Grace" and I am very much with the Protestant Reformed Church when it comes to the total rejection of Common Grace. To read the specifics, go to http://www.biblecatholics.com/grace_uncommon.htm.

In other words, I don't believe "common gracers" are true Calvnists. Sadly, this is another reason (in addition to Holy Communion) that I am essentially at odds with most Calvinists, even though we certainly agree on the gospel. Amazing isn't it? We agree on the gospel, the message about and from Christ, but disagree on the gospel of Christ through the sacrament of Holy Communion. They believe that we spiritually receive Christ's body and blood. I believe that too, but I also believe that we receive him physically through the bread and wine. My excuse? I've just got to go where the word of God leads me.

By the way, The basic reason I reject the idea of common grace is that I don't believe God even "passively" blesses those who don't believe in him. Yeah, unbelievers may be alot richer than me in dollars and cents but that money just ensures that they don't much care about God and what he can do for them. What good is their money if they're headed for hell? In this case, their money makes life a lot more comfortable, but what is that compared to an eternity in hell? My hope for them is that God with have mercy via annihilation.

The concept of Common Grace is also an essential denial of predestination. While people get all hot and bothered about that word, as I have written before, it is essentially no more than our humble admission that God is in total control of everything. If he wasn’t in total control, he would not be an almighty God. All who worship a God who is not in total control, worship an idol of their own making.

Because we worship a God who is in total control, we know he can keep all of his promises. He has proven that many, many times already by showing us that his Old Testament phophecies have indeed come to pass in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

 --brother Jim

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The true church: The gospel in both word and sacrament

The true Church, founded by Christ, tells us of the gospel—his dying on a cross to save completely all those he died for. This comes from God’s word, the Bible, where Jesus himself promises everlasting life for all who believe in him and his complete and finished work for their salvation (John 6:47). In short, by his death and resurrection Jesus--the Son of God in the flesh—defeated sin, death and the devil and won eternal life—heaven—for all who believe in him.

The gospel in word and sacrament

This gospel is the “good news” that is from and about Jesus the Christ. Jesus and what he has done for us is celebrated every week in the true Church when believers come together. They hear the presbyter or elder preach the gospel from the Bible and also remind them of the words of Jesus at his Last Supper, when he clearly promises us his body and blood as we wait for his return.

So, although we may be accused of seeking a perfect church, we can say in all honesty that we ask only that these two biblical marks be most obvious in any true church: The gospel of Jesus dying and rising again bodily to win believers eternal life, and that same gospel in the form of his Last Supper empowering us by his body and blood, his grace, which he promised us for this life until he comes again. This is what we call the gospel in both word (Bible) and sacrament (baptism and Lord’s Supper—Holy Communion).

All that believers do in this life is done in simple thanksgiving that Jesus alone has saved us by his one great work on the cross. He died and rose bodily for nothing less than the complete salvation of all whom he has given the gift of faith to believe in him. (Ephesians 2:8-10). Those who have this gift of faith to believe in Jesus should know that it is also a wonderful sign to each of them that he has chosen them for everlasting life with him.

False gospels abound—warning signs

We pray for those who have never heard or have wondered away from this true Gospel to worship a christ of their own making--someone who shed his blood for no more than the "possibility" of every ones' salvation. This false gospel is told in many ways, but no matter how many ways it is explained, it is no gospel at all, for in it Jesus actually saves no one, but relies on the help of each person to work with him to attain their own salvation or eternal life by what they do in this life.

Any gospel that claims that you have any--even the smallest role--in your salvation, is a false gospel. It is a perversion that offers a false christ who only "helps" you toward salvation, but does not save and is therefore not the true Christ, but no more than an idol. Those who preach such "gospels" are condemned (Galatians 1:8-9) unless they repent. Those who worship this false jesus have fallen into idolatry.

While this gospel perversion is not always clearly evident in certain faith statements offered by so-called churches or denominations, it is most easily identified when the group admits that it believes a true Christian may “lose his or her salvation.” Whenever you hear such a thing, you can know you are dealing with a false body of worshippers. They may be sincere, but they are sincerely mistaken about the good news of Christ Jesus.

Jesus has promised us that all who believe in him have eternal life and that he will not let us be condemned, perish or be snatched from his hands (John 5:24 and 10:27-30). Those who do not believe these promises from Jesus, reject Jesus himself and his gospel. To believe that a true Christian can lose his or her salvation, is a rejection of Jesus's clear gospel promises and thus a rejection of Jesus. It is a refusal to give him all the credit for our salvation.

These people usually believe instead a false gospel that claims Christ can die for someone without saving them. They claim that Jesus shed his blood to the death for some people who will end up in hell. Of course, this false gospel makes Jesus himself a failure, and causes people to focus on themselves instead of Christ for their salvation. They start trusting in their own works, prayers and good deeds to help them attain heaven instead of putting all their trust in Christ.

This false gospel is found in Roman Catholicism and among many Protestant denominations as well. Sadly, it has spread like a cancer in the last 100 years to encompass most of what is called Christianity in our day.

You will most often hear this false gospel preached when you hear the word "free will." Those who believe in the power of this so-called "free will" of man often give it a very elevated place in their lives. Though they cannot tell us where to find it in the Bible, they insist that it is very important to God that we come to him voluntarily, of our own "free will" or choice. However, this is contrary to Christ’s own words in the Bible where he tells us that no one comes to him, unless the Father calls him (John 6:44, 6:65), that it is not we who choose him, but he who chooses us (John 15:16), and that we are to pray that God's will, be done (Matthew 6:10), not our own will.

Their false belief in their own "free will" control of their life and destiny also allow them to reject the fact that God is in total control of all things, past, present and to come (Ephesians 1:4-5). In other words, they also reject the doctrine of predestination, which is no more than our humble admission that God is in total control of everything. If he wasn’t in total control, he would not be an almighty God. If he wasn't in total control—we could not believe all his promises, but because he is in total control, we can believe all those promises. All who worship a God who is not in total control, worship an idol of their own making.

Exploiting or reducing the Lord’s Supper

The Lord's Supper has also been corrupted in Roman Catholicism as a re-presented sacrifice that goes far beyond any biblical explanation provided by Jesus himself, ending in idolatry. On the other hand, in most of Protestantism, Christ's own words and biblical promise to give us his body and blood, have been rejected by being reduced to no more than a representation—and usually a shallow representation at that. All of these so-called churches claim to know the gospel, but continue to reject it in either word or sacrament and sometimes both.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, the true church is able to see these false teachings and reject all false gospels. It celebrates the truth of the gospel of Christ in both word and sacrament. It proclaims the truth of Christ's finished work--that has won the salvation of all who believe in him, and it invites them to be baptized and receive Christ's body and blood in his Supper for their strengthening. It calls upon true believers to join in the community of faith that is the true church.

The church is the community that the Lord himself founded with the promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
Amen. -- brother Jim

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What do I want most for my wife? That she believe the Gospel.

As a Roman Catholic who stayed in the "church" for 40 years before he left, this message is what I pray first and foremost for my wife who divorced me:

That she believe that Christ alone has won the salvation of all who believe in him--which is the message or the gospel of his finished work that he accomplished by his death on the cross.

I ask her, and all who claim to be Roman Catholics, to read these following paragraphs to get a taste of the real Gospel promises that Jesus has made for all who truly believe in him.

First and foremost, Jesus promises all who believe in him everlasting life! What’s that? It’s heaven, it's eternal life with Him!

“He who believes in me has everlasting life.” (Jesus speaking in John Chapter 6, verse 47)

Yes, Jesus absolutely promises that all who believe in him will one day be with him in his heavenly kingdom.

But what about all of our sins? He died to erase the sins of everyone who believes in him, and he rose from the dead to prove his promise of everlasting life!

Jesus put it this way: “He who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned (will not go to hell). He has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrightousness. (1 John 1:9)

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin (whose sin the Lord will never count against him). Romans 4:7-8

But, can’t we lose our salvation through sin and go to hell? No. Because Jesus has given you your belief in him (faith) and your salvation as a gift. So, though you may fall from time to time, you are always in his hands—he says so himself in the Bible—it’s his promise. As God in the flesh, you can count on him to keep it! ..the gift of God is everlasting life. (Romans 6:28)

"I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." (John 10:28-30)

Jesus promises he is preparing a place for all who believe in him: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and rece ive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Remembering March 6, 1982... our wedding day


It was 28 years ago today--the wedding of the century--for me at least. As I recall, we were both pretty excited about it. I think she had to get some blood because her red blood cells were running low or something. It was a great service with our marriage counselor priest and two other priests who were quite close to me as concelebrants at Mass. There was a nice little reception afterward, and two exhausted newly weds headed off to a nice hotel room in Tulsa. Looking back on it, they were a real sweet couple.

Jesus said:
"But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife: And the two shal be one flesh; so they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

And in the house his disciples asked him (Jesus) again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another she commits adultery." (Mark 10:6-12)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

No support system and plenty of contacts make “Catholic divorces” easy (series)

Growing up in a "different" community
I was a Roman Catholic for more than 40 years. I was the eldest of nine kids and all of us piled into the car every Sunday with mom and dad and made a 15 mile journey to the little mission church in Eufaula.

That was “our church” though it was usually just a Sunday thing, except for an occasional “holy day of obligation” and maybe a church dinner once or twice a year at most.

We really liked all the folks at that little church and they felt like family to us—for a couple of hours every Sunday. And after those two hours…we rarely saw any of them for the rest of the week.

In fact, the rest of the week, we were “real ecumenical” in a hometown that was wall to wall Protestant. Mom even sent us to vacation bible school at the Church of Christ (where I first learned to read the bible) and the Methodist Church (more bible practice).

Another favorite summer vacation bible school was the one out at the lake with the Federated Church minister and his wife (more singing and crafts than Bible reading). We even occasionally went on youth trips throughout the year with the First Baptist (Southern Baptist) Church. And yes, believe it or not, as teenagers, me, my two brothers (twins) and sister made the headcount look a lot better in the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF). I’m not kiddin’—Catholic kids moonlighting as MYF members. We did it.

So what’s the point? We were Catholic kids who grew up in a Protestant community. Consequently, if we ever had an important conversation, it was usually with a Protestant and not a Roman Catholic. The few times I had an important conversation about one Roman Catholic doctrine or another—mom and dad would go ballistic—especially if I noted the bible we’d learned about with our Protestant friends didn’t say a thing about this Catholic belief or that one.

I wanted to know too much
I was really the only kid, among the older ones in my family, who was interested in what the Catholic Church had to teach us. The same thing was true with the woman who became my wife. She really just didn’t care what the church taught. She was raised to go to a certain church every Sunday and that was that—just like me—except I had this "stupid" interest in what the church required us to believe.

Still, for both of us, the word “church” simply meant a “place” to “be near our Maker” for an hour or two a week. That was all. Even when Roberta began singing at church, that was just another hour of practice. She enjoyed singing, so the extra hour just made her feel better that she was contributing to the worship.

Did we have close Catholic friends who cared enough about the faith that they called us to be “good Catholics?” No. We had some Catholic friends, but we didn’t see them much, except for Mass and none of them ever offered any “spiritual” support. That just really wasn’t to be found—it was always treated as something that was just too “personal.” We didn’t really even talk about it.

When I finally began trying to practice the Roman Catholic teachings I was raised in—my wife was having nothing to do with it. Weekly or monthly confession? I had to be kidding! Daily Mass? What’s wrong with you?

And that was only the beginning, the list of required-for-salvation Catholics beliefs is a long one: Papal infallibility and supremacy, Mary’s immaculate conception and her bodily assumption into heaven, Mary’s perpetual virginity, the existence of Purgatory, the absolute necessity for confession of our sins to a priest and absolution from the priest, the teaching that you will go to hell if you die with a mortal sin on your soul, no assurance of salvation, transubstantiation, the consecrated host containing the “whole” Christ—his body, blood, soul and divinity, the Mass as an actual sacrifice, to name just few.

Blocking me out--facilitating the divorce
So my wife decided she just wasn’t even going to think about all that—just keeping going to Mass and singing on Sunday—block out what she considered negative. She never had anyone but me asking her to try to support the teachings of the church and I was easy to block out. Where were the priests? Where were the devout Catholics? Where was her own family? Her Roman Catholic deacon daddy?

Her Roman Catholic deacon daddy? He was the guy who made it easy for his “baby” to divorce me. He facilitated the whole thing. He and Grandma were there to take our own babies away so their daughter could tell me she’d filed for a divorce, then dash off to join all her liberated “Mary Kay” girl friends for the “conference” in Kansas City.

Had her parents tried to slow her down? Asked her to consider a temporary separation? Urged some serious counseling? Inquired about her antidepressant medication? If her parents did so, they never mentioned a word of it to me and never gave me even one supportive word—and its been nine years now.

Instead, they made it their goal to meet and exceed all their daughter’s selfish, over-medicated decisions. They paid for the divorce attorney, put her up at their place for several months while she got a job and got her feet on the ground, took care of the boys, helped her get into a home. Yes, they’re the salt of the earth, and they haven’t done a damn thing to this day—to help give our marriage a second chance in any way. Baby don’t want that.

On to the annulment
But now comes the one contribution they can make to drive the stake of sure death into this marriage—help baby get that annulment—so she can feel good about doing “things” with other men.

My wife’s own mother has spent the last several years telling my two boys it’s ok for their mom to date other men—because she "deserves" to do so! What? Yep, even Grandma gets to air her twisted doctrine of "divorce deserves good things."

As for my own mom? My wife told the boys that all my “mommy dearest” had to tell her was that she couldn’t believe my wife hadn’t divorce me sooner! I swear, you’d think I had been building a brothel or beating my wife or something. As always, thanks so much for your support mom. There’s nothing like family!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get better for baby—her daddy, the good “deacon emeritus” has a bunch of friends in Tulsa where he’s helped from time to time at the tribunal. Yeah, he’s helped people get annulments there before—and you can bet he’ll be right there for his baby again this time.

These people don’t care about doing the right thing—they just want to help baby get what baby wants. And no, it don’t matter if it’s a sin or not. And no, it don’t even really matter that Jesus says baby will commit adultery if she remarries (Mark 10:12). What matters is what baby wants, and what baby wants, is what baby gets. How’s that for some REAL Roman Catholic doctrine?

To top it all off—the local priest is a canon lawyer! Go baby, go baby, go baby go! We’ll get you the handbasket you want for Hell, and give you the church’s blessing to boot!

The witnesses
The hypocrisy doesn’t get much deeper than this folks. And to think my two young sons are plenty old enough that they’ll remember all this for the rest of their lives.

Talk about a model family.

Lord, have mercy.

Annulments simply finalize divorces--throw spouses to wolves

The easy divorces, like the one my wife got from me, are the norm in the good ol’ U.S.A. these days. She filed in March of 2001, and less than two months later, sometime in May, the divorce was finalized. I wanted to fight it, but my attorney insisted there was no use and he reminded me that’s why I had hired him—to appear in court on my behalf. Still, if I had to do it over again, I’d at least read a message to the judge telling him I was against the divorce.

On the other hand, I had just spent two months in the same house with a wife who had filed for divorce (much to the amazement of my attorney) and I was dead tired of begging her to reconsider and crying myself to sleep at night, knowing we’d have to tell our children soon.

Yes, the attorney was amazed to find that although my wife had filed neither she nor I had any intention of leaving the place we were staying until school was out in May. She’d move with the boys and I would follow two months later

So two short months, and bam—she took off with the boys for her mom and dad’s house, and I was just lucky to find a job nearby. Otherwise my sons may have seen very little of me. Nine year later, I guess I should be grateful they’ve seen their dad about a quarter of the time.

In any case, these easy divorces do nothing good for anyone. The woman in the divorce is immediately potential food for the wolves of the online dating services—which may be what she wanted if she was the one who filed. But it’s hard to believe many women actually “want” that.

One of the things I wondered as soon as I found myself “single” was how stupid this whole “divorce” thing was. In my mind. How dumb could my ex be? I mean, maybe I hadn’t been the most gracious husband lately, but at least I was a damn site better than most of these guys online who want nothing to do but get into someone else’s pants!

I mean, geez, talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. I wonder how many women actually consider their aloneness and the wolves as they file for divorce? Maybe that’s what it’s all about with these women—going for the fire?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's not me on the annulment babe, it's Jesus. See Mark 10:12

If it was just me arguing that marriage should be this way honey, I promise, I would not bother.

But it's Jesus...you know the Savior--the Son of God in the flesh!? You do know him, right?

Consider the following a quote from him:

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mark 10:12)

Monday, March 1, 2010

She says divorce is her "God-given right," but Jesus and the pope say "no" (series)

You may remember from a previous post that I told you that my wife was adamant: “she will do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it,” and she believes that is her “God-given right.” She told me she believes that’s exactly what she was doing—exercising her God-given right—when she filed for divorce from me without so much as a marriage counseling session back in March of 2001 (despite the fact that she's a Roman Catholic who is not supposed to believe in divorce).

Thankfully, both Jesus and the pope disagree with her. Yes, it seems the only problem with her “God-given right” complaint is that neither her church nor Jesus himself support her claim. In fact, both flatly reject her claim to such a so-called “right.” Both the pope and Jesus are real clear on the matter.

The pope says a marriage is an “indissoluble bond” and that without some sort of obvious defect, which means someone entered a marriage without the intent to be married or really try (our marriage lasted 19 years) to remain married, or there was something that made it impossible for the couple to have intercourse, etc..(we had two children) then the marriage must be considered valid.

In fact, the pope insists that, even if there is a doubt about the validity of the marriage, without ironclad evidence, the pope says the local tribunal must find that the marriage is valid.

“Marriage enjoys the favour of the (canon) law. Hence, in case of doubt, a marriage must be held to be valid until the contrary is proven. Otherwise we run the serious risk of remaining without an objective point of reference for pronouncements of nullity, transforming all conjugal difficulties into a symptom of a failed union whose essential nucleus of justice - the indissoluble bond - is thus effectively denied.”

In other words, the pope says you can’t just uphold the flimsy reason a person may have used to get a divorce, such as “irreconcilable differences” just because she or he wanted a divorce. And just because the civil government gave it to them easy, you cannot take the easy rout. In fact, the pope told the Rota, the highest authority on Roman Catholic marriages, that easy way must be avoided:

This latter virtue (justice) “becomes more important when injustice seems the easiest path to follow, in as much as it involves giving in to the desires and expectations of the parties involved, or to the conditioning of the social environment.”

My wife has told me she plans to pull out all the stops to make sure she gets her annulment and that means she’s planning to use a lot of character assassination tactics. In other words, she plans to trump up reasons to try to prove that I was immature (at the age of 23) and not ready for marriage and she will come up with reasons that the same might apply to her ( at the age of 21) as well. Of course, the idea is to try to give the tribunal some sort of ammo to come to a declaration that will nullify the marriage.

God the Father forgive me that I left his (God the) Son’s comments on the matter for last. But the fact of the matter is that Jesus specifically mentions the woman’s role in a divorce only once in Mark 10:12 and he is very specific:

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

In other words, no matter what the Tulsa tribunal may rule, Christ himself insists that if my wife marries another man, now that she has divorced me, she commits adultery.

Of course, my wife believes all she has to do is ask Jesus for forgiveness and everything will be alright. She doesn’t seem to realize that every time she and her “new squeeze” have “relations” they commit adultery—even if its his first marriage. Jesus says they will never be able to come together except in a state of sin—adultery. In other words, what they are doing is “unforgiven” until my wife leaves him, truly repents and seeks to return to me.

Does any of this make me feel better? Not really. My concern is for my wife and her ultimate salvation. As her husband, I can only do what I can to try to seek reconciliation with her and trust in the Lord to at least help me endure whatever I must.

It’s been tough, but he has been good to me for more than nine years now. Bless his name. Jesus is Lord and I thank him so for saving me completely. My prayer is that it will be his will to awaken the love of my earthly life for her sake first, and mine second.