14 October, 2010

They who confront false gods

They who confront false gods

15 comments:

  1. "...[we] may also rise above our animal nature."

    Why? Other animals don't kill one another over differences in ideology, and they almost never kill within their own species, or for sport, as humans do.

    "While Nobel prizes in themselves are garbage..."

    Says one who has never -- and will never -- received one. It's always safe to revile that which one will never have; it must make him feel soooooo superior.

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  2. Forget lamenting about "false gods", I think all god(s) is/are false.

    Cheers...Martin

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  3. Michael, Tim,

    This article zeroes in on one of basic differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. This explains why the Reformation was so necessary. A correct understanding of grace and justification are the building blocks of true biblical christianity. Former RC priest Richard Bennett's article explains justification quite well. Here is a part of it:

    "Grace freely and directly given
    According to verse 23, “for all have sinned, [past tense] and come short [present
    continuous tense] of the glory of God.” The human predicament is precisely that no one has
    rendered an obedience that would make him worthy of justification. Because of man’s sinful
    nature, no one will ever be acceptable to God on the basis of his performance. Being justified is in no sense a human attainment; it is not a reward for a sanctified life nor is it through anything that man does. God is shown to work directly in verse 24, “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
    The design of God is highlighted by the adverb “freely”. This excludes all consideration of anything in man or from man that could be the cause or condition of justification. “The redemption that is in Christ Jesus” was the ransom paid by Christ Jesus by which God is able in true justice to justify the believing sinner. The Word of God is the instrument of the Spirit,
    “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The
    believer’s right standing before God is in the ransom paid, the everlasting righteousness brought in by the Christ Jesus. In this verse, as continually repeated by the Apostle Paul, a person’s right standing with God and all the blessedness of grace comes to him is because he has been placed in Christ. The hallmark of Biblical truth, is that the righteousness of God that is credited to the believer is in Christ and not in himself and not in any man made ritual. Thus “being justified freely by his grace” is through the sacrificial payment made by Christ Jesus alone and nothing
    contributed by the believer or anything or anyone else. Only the Lord Christ Jesus is declared to be, and actually is the Righteousness of God. God’s grace is in found in Him and in Him alone. The Romans 3: 21-24 passage completely negates the whole teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that God's grace is in her sacraments that she proclaims are necessary for salvation. Unquote.

    For the full article go to:
    http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles.php?link=?name=Articles

    Scroll down the articles on Catholicism and select "Salvation and the Sacrament".

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  4. Wayne:

    Before I attempted to read the article you referred to, I looked into Bennett's biography. The man was raised without being catechised. The things he claims to be authentic teachings of the Church are anything but generally, and he misrepresents the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They are the fruit of the erroneous things that were taught him by priests and others who were equally poorly catechised.

    It may come as a surprise to you that there were many priests educated (??) in seminaries in the 40's and 50's, who had no foundation in the Bible. Sadly, it does not surprise me.

    Since he has no credibility, and his claims are fatuous, it is hard to read what he writes for any good purpose.

    Having read what the Catechism actually says about Grace and Justification, I find it hard to reconcile to what he presents. Here are brief opening sentences at the head of each of the following numbered sections of the Catechism. All have more detail behind what I have put here.

    This is what the Catechism actually says:
    1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us.

    1988 Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ's Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life.

    1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus' proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

    1990 Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin.

    1991 Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ

    1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men

    1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom.

    1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God's love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit.

    1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life.

    These are summaries only of what can actually be found online here in the English translation of the section of the Catechism on Grace and Justification.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6Y.HTM

    So, how do we get to some erroneous belief that Catholics can justify themselves, and that justification comes any way but by the grace of God. Our one job in life is to assent to the work and grace of God in our lives, using our free wills. Seems pretty clear to me.

    If you want to tell us what you believe and why and then ask us what we believe rather than trying to tell us what it is, which seems to me like a pretty wierd way to have a dialogue with someone, both Father Tim and I would really enjoy it, but you seem bent on telling us about the Catholic Church from an outsiders view, with all the hidden agendas that are included therein, not usually your own.

    The hurts of 500 years of separation won't go away in a hurry, but asking so as to learn, rather than looking to pounce, looking for ways to win points, and asking rather than pontificating is more likely to engage us all productively.

    I am frustrated by reading so called Christian people writing about the Catholic Church from the outside, taking things out of context to prove some point they want to make, and not listening to the truth, or really caring about it.

    Which is more important knowing the truth, or being right?

    Michael

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  5. Michael,

    You stated "I looked into Bennett's biography. The man was raised without being catechised. The things he claims to be authentic teachings of the Church are anything but generally, and he misrepresents the Catechism of the Catholic Church."

    Have you read Richard Bennett's testimony from the man himself or are you reading something by someone else who is trying to discredit him?

    Bennett said in part in his personal testimony of his life, "We were a typical Irish Roman Catholic family. My father sometimes knelt down to pray at his bedside in a solemn manner. Most evenings we would kneel in the living room to say the Rosary together. No one ever missed Mass on Sundays unless he was seriously ill. By the time I was about five or six years of age, Jesus Christ was a very real person to me, but so also were Mary and the saints. I can identify easily with others in traditional Catholic nations in Europe and with Hispanics and Filipinos who put Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and other saints all in one boiling pot of faith.
    The catechism was drilled into me at the Jesuit School of Belvedere, where I had all my elementary and secondary education. Like every boy who studies under the Jesuits, I could recite before the age of ten five reasons why God existed and why the Pope was head of the only true Church. Getting souls out of Purgatory was a serious matter. The often quoted words, "It is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins," were memorized even though we did not know what these words meant. We were told that the Pope as head of the Church was the most important man on earth. What he said was law, and the Jesuits were his right-hand men." ....

    Further down, he goes on to say "I left my family and friends in 1956 to join the Dominican Order. I spent eight years studying what it is to be a monk, the traditions of the Church, philosophy, the theology of Thomas Aquinas, and some of the Bible from a Catholic standpoint. Whatever personal faith I had was institutionalized and ritualized in the Dominican religious system. Obedience to the law, both Church and Dominican, was put before me as the means of sanctification. I often spoke to Ambrose Duffy, our Master of Students, about the law being the means of becoming holy. In addition to becoming “holy,” I wanted also to be sure of eternal salvation. I memorized part of the teaching of Pope Pius XII in which he said, “...the salvation of many depends on the prayers and sacrifices of the mystical body of Christ offered for this intention.” This idea of gaining salvation through suffering and prayer is also the basic message of Fatima and Lourdes, and I sought to win my own salvation as well as the salvation of others by such suffering and prayer."

    "Then in 1963 at the age of twenty-five I was ordained a Roman Catholic priest and went on to finish my course of studies of Thomas Aquinas at The Angelicum University in Rome. But there I had difficulty with both the outward pomp and the inner emptiness. Over the years I had formed, from pictures and books, pictures in my mind of the Holy See and the Holy City. Could this be the same city? At the Angelicum University I was also shocked that hundreds of others who poured into our morning classes seemed quite disinterested in theology."

    Does this sound like someone who was not properly schooled in Catholic theology? He sounds more like someone who worked harder than most others to learn as much as he could. I don't know where you are getting your information but I would suggest you read what Bennett himself wrote about his life, training, and experience.

    http://www.bereanbeacon.org/

    Click on "Read Richard's Testimony".

    con'd

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  6. Michael,

    While Richard Bennett chose not to go on to obtain a degree in theology, he had the catechism drilled into him at the Jesuit School of Belvedere. Then later he spent eight years studying to be a monk in the Domincan Order, which included "Theology of Thomas Aquinas and the Bible from a Catholic viewpoint". After that he went on to finish his studies at the Angelicum University in Rome where he studied more Catholic theology. He had become a priest and was assigned to Trinidad as a missionary. He had studied diligently for many years and then put his training to work.

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  7. It's getting late. I will respond to the catechism and subject of justification tomorrow Lord willing.

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  8. Michael,

    "1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirt is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus' proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

    Can you explain what the word justification means in this part (1989)?

    "1990 Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin."

    Again can you explain what the word justification means in 1990?

    Can you explain what you think justification means in Romans chapters 3 to 5?

    Seems to me Richard Bennett has given ample quotes from Romans to show what it means. Have you even read what he said about justification?

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  9. Wayne:

    I read Bennett's testimony. I don't think anyone has ever bothered to criticize his testimony, so I wrote based on what I read from him directly.

    His witness story mirrors yours and mine a lot I expect.

    I was raised in a very Catholic household, was an altar boy for 7 years, attended daily mass most often, particularly in Lent and Advent, went to Catholic Central High School, and the Catholic King's College at UWO, and promptly left the Church.

    When God woke me up from my long sleep, He began to make Himself known to me personally. One of the things revealed to me, and the main reason that I can never leave the Catholic Church, is that He is present in the Eucharist, and as I have just come from receiving Him there, it remains at the core of my faith.

    I don't need to brow beat you with scripture to get you back to the Catholic Church. I don't need to deny your belief in your personal salvation, or criticize what you believe.

    Belief in the Eucharist is the MAJOR difference between Father Tim and me, and you and Bennett.

    Yes, I read what Bennett said. It seems to mimic the Catechism pretty well, in general, but I don't have time or interest to dissect it.

    But, what justification does not mean, is that neither Father Tim, or I or any other Catholic, for that matters, needs to justify our salvation, which is only through Jesus Christ to you or to Bennett.

    Why are you persecuting the Catholic Church?

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  10. Michael,

    "Why are you persecuting the Catholic Church?"

    I am not "persecuting the Catholic Church."

    I am only obeying what God taught that believers are to do. Jude (who was a brother of James and a half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ) wrote in his epistle "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
    Jude vs 3,4.

    That's what I am doing in contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.

    You say Jesus is in the Eucharist and that is the core of your faith. Are you aware the apostle wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;" Acts ch17 vs24.

    The apostle Paul was in Athens preaching in the middle of Mars' hill, and said "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD." Acts ch17 vs 22,23

    If Paul said God does not dwell in temples made with hands, how can you say Jesus, who is God, is in the Eucharist which is made with men's hands? How can God be dwelling in the tabernacle where the Eucharist is kept? Yet the Eucharist is carried about and dispensed to people under the claim that Jesus Christ is present in flesh and blood and this is worshipped as God.

    When Jesus gave the bread and wine to his disciples at the last supper, was He not present physically, reclining, at the supper? Why would he be present physically in the bread and wine as well? What purpose would it serve?

    You say you don't have time to dissect what Richard Bennett said. But what about the central doctrine of justification in the Bible in Romans chap 3, 4, and 5? This is a key doctrine concerning salvation.

    But if you don't have time to read what is posted here, consider it and give a reasoned response, why even comment? How is it possible to have a rational dialogue?

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  11. One vital point of doctrine is the subject of sin and repentance. The Bible teaches repentance is necessary. Repentance is a change in attitude toward sin. God calls mankind to repent and turn to Christ as Lord and Saviour. The RCC divides sin into two categories, venial and mortal. The Bible knows no such distinction. Of course some sins are more serious than others, but there is no sharp distinction in the Bible.

    According to RC dogma, if one commits venial sins, he may simply be forgiven the next time he goes to confession. If it is mortal sin, one must go to confession as soon as possible or if one dies in the state of mortal sin, he could go to hell.

    The Bible calls for repentance or a change of heart toward sin, not penance which is the sacrament of confessing to a priest and receiving absolution and a penance. The penance might be to say a certain number Hail Marys and Our Fathers. This is not biblical repentance.
    The Bible teaches one must repent and believe on Christ as one's Saviour.

    The RC system actually results in a much less serious view of sin because if one commits sins, they simply go to confession at the next opportunity and go through the formula of receiving absolution and penance. This does not necessarily mean any change in attitude toward sin (repentance) as the Bible calls for.
    True repentance is something entirely different.

    This does not mean a person will not fall into sin again, but it does mean there is a different attitude toward sin. It should be mentioned there is no such thing as sinless perfection in this world.

    But "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just for forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John ch1

    If one thinks he can simply follow the ritual of penance, he will be OK, I think he is seriously mistaken. Check the Bible. This is a dangerous doctrine and not taught in the Bible. We must go to God through Christ, repent and believe on Christ, that he has paid for our sins completely. (see Hebrews)

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  12. Wayne:

    Your understanding of Catholic dogma is not an understanding at all, and the conclusions you draw from it are in error TOTALLY.

    You are caught up in misperceptions that are not productive.

    I am well aware of the sinfulness of my own life, and we go to Jesus for the remission of our sins, though we may indeed go through the ministry of alter christus.

    Please stop pretending that you know what you are talking about. It leads to false understandings of the true teachings of the Catholic Church.

    For successful dialogue, we need a to move to a paraphrase of the recently defeated American rule from the armed services. In this case, it would be more appropriate to "Ask. Don't tell."

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  13. Dear Michael, Do you believe the Lord Jesus has made a complete atonement for your sins and that there is no more sacrifice or satisfaction to be made for them? Or do you believe satisfaction for sins must be made with the aid of penance, the Mass, etc.?

    "1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him." 63"

    -RC Catechism from KofC website RC Catechism.
    http://www.kofc.org/un/catechism/getsection.action?part=2&sec=2&chap=2&art=4&parasec=0&subsec=7&hdr=3&par=1459&paratype=7

    Did you know that only the shedding of blood could atone for sins, even in the time of Moses with the Levitical law? "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." Leviticus ch17 vs11 Under the Old Testament economy, animal sacrifices were offered, but these were only picture looking forward to the blood of Christ.

    "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" Hebrews ch10 vs 11, 12.

    "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." Hebrews ch10 vs18

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  14. Former priest Richard Bennett in his article "Forgiveness through a priest" says:

    "The Church of Rome claims a Biblical base for forgiveness through a Priest. The Scriptural backing claimed by Rome for the priest purportedly being able to absolve others of sin is found in Para. 1485 of her Catechism,
    “‘On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,’ Jesus showed himself to his apostles.
    ‘He breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ (John 20:19, 22-23).”
    The biblical response to this claim is found in a study of the actual words of John 20:23, “Whose
    soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are
    retained.” This confirms that rather than anything judicially enacted through any “sacrament”,the forgiveness spoken of is that which is proclaimed by the Gospel. Here, unquestionably, the Lord has declared, in a few words, the sum of the Gospel. The Lord gave authority to His disciples to declare forgiveness to those whom God had already forgiven. The commission given in this passage in John is a parallel to similar passages such as Luke 24:47, Matthew 28:18-20, and Mark 16:15-16. This is the way the Apostles understood and obeyed the commission, as evidenced throughout the Acts of the Apostles, for Christ did not appoint confessors to probe intimately into each sin of people in whispers in a confession box. Rather He commissioned preachers of his Gospel and He caused their voice to be heard. Thus the Apostle Peter proclaimed, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name
    whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”10 The manner of forgiving sins in Scripture is the proclamation of the Gospel, not the whispering of sins committed, into the ear of a man in a confession box."

    http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles.php?link=?name=Articles

    On the menu on the left side select Articles.
    Under articles, scroll down to the article "Forgiveness through a priest".

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