Saturday, April 28, 2012

Works of righteousness, what are they?

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Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, 

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

What are these "works of righteousness" to which St. Paul refers?

In my opinion, a work of righteousness can include any good deed which is commanded by God.  That includes the Commandments, the Beautitudes, the virtues, the works of spiritual and corporal mercy, etc. etc.

You see, I tie this verse back to this one:

Exodus 20:6

King James Version (KJV)
 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

But we are not saved by doing the Commandments.  But by His mercy.
Do you see the relationship?  The Commandments of God are the basis of every good work which we can do.

To put it bluntly, we can't wash our own souls.  God is the only one who can do that.  And God won't do it for anyone except for those who have kept His Commandments:

Romans 2:13

King James Version (KJV)

 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

In order to be justified, in order to be saved, we must keep the Commandments of God:

Revelation 22:13-15

King James Version (KJV)

 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
 14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


De Maria

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Case for the Gospels

First of all, Matthew is one of Jesus' Apostles. That means that he is Jesus follower and contemporary who witnessed many of Jesus miracles as well as His Resurrection. So, Matthew is an eyewitness. Eyewitness testimony is permitted in court.

File:McVey wide skyscraper.jpgThen there's Mark. Mark is Peter's secretary. Also a contemporary of Jesus and one of the disciples who was with the twelve from the beginning. Mark's gospel however, is the penning of Peter's teachings by Mark. So, Mark's Gospel can be considered both eyewitness testimony and substantiation of Matthew's Gospel.

Luke's Gospel is written by a learned man. A physician. Luke however, was not with the twelve from the beginning. He may have witnessed Jesus' resurrection but certainly he witnessed the miracles of the Apostles and of Paul, whose companion he became. These things he wrote about also in his other book, the Acts of the Apostles. So, Luke's Gospel is not eyewitness testimony. It is however, the documentation of eyewitness testimony by an investigator. Luke says so himself:

Luke1: 1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us; 2 According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: 3 It see med good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.

And that leaves John. John, of course, is an Apostle of Jesus Christ. He, therefore, is also a contemporary and an eyewitness. John's Gospel was written after the first three, or synoptic Gospels and includes in his Gospel many things which the others ommitted. He also leaves out many things which the others included. Therefore, John's Gospel is eyewitness testimony which substantiates and corroborates the other eyewitnesses.

How might the case go had it been brought to court?  It actually did go to court, see Acts 4:1-23 and Acts 5:17-42.  But I'm envisioning a more modern setting.

Mr. Simon bar Jonah to the stand please!

Peter!  Their calling for you!

Here I am sir!  My name has officially been changed to Peter, if you don't mind.

Who changed your name to Peter?

Jesus Christ sir.

Is Jesus Christ here present?

Yes sir.  But in the Spirit.  However, my brethren are here and they were witnesses to the event.

Who are these witnesses?

Well, there are many, but would four suffice?

That is more than enough.  What are their names?

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Are they the four whose testimonies I have read?

Yes sir.

There are some incredible things written in those documents.  Do you expect us to believe them?

Yes sir.  16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
 17For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
 18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
 19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet 1).

Well, compared to that Mohammed fellow, you have plenty of witnesses.  Can you imagine he tried to pass off his 40 secretaries as witnesses?  All they did was write what he told them to write.  Not only that, but some fellow named Uthman came along and burned all their original writings and substituted his copy claiming it was better than the original.  I wasn't born yesterday!

I look forward to hearing your case Mr. Peter.

It's St. Peter, sir.  Thank you!

So, in my opinion, there is much more evidence for the Gospels than there is for Islam.

See also Muslim Imam converts and the case for Islam.


De Maria

The Case for Islam

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A long time ago, a Muslim challenged me to provide a forensic defense of the Gospels. He claimed that compared to Islam, the Gospels had no verifiable evidence of even the existence of Jesus. In fact, he, point blank stated that evidence for the truth of the Gospels would be thrown out of court!

The first thing to remember is:

There are two types of evidence which are inadmissible in a court of law. Anyone making a claim which is supported by this type of evidence is regularly thrown out of court. In other words, the court will not even consider their case.

These types of evidence are:

1. Hearsay - Evidence given by anyone other than by the person giving the testimony.

2. Copies of maliciously destroyed originals


In Mohamed's case, he says that the Angel said that he should write the Quran and that the Angel told him what to write in the Quran. Therefore, all of Mohamed's case is based on the testimony of the Angel which no one else saw and no one else heard. According to Mohamed, the Angel himself was not speaking for himself but for Allah.

If Mohamed were to appear in a court of law today here is what I imagine the interchange would sound like:

Mohammed sir, is it true that an angel appeared to you with a message for mankind?


Sir, did anyone else see this angel?


Did anyone else hear the angel?


Can you bring the angel to court that we might hear the testimony for ourselves?


Mr. Mohammed, do you expect us to believe such an extraordinary claim without any evidence? Let me try a different tact. In the Bible, Moses was given a staff with which he could produce many miracles in order to prove the Divine source of his message to Pharoah. Mr. Mohammed, do YOU have any such miraculous signs which prove that an angel gave you a message?


Mr. Mohammed, there is not enough evidence here to warrant a case. Goodbye sir.

And that is how the case would end.

Copies of maliciously destroyed originals.

The second type of evidence that gets turned out of court regularly is a copy of an original document which was destroyed in order to prevent anyone from comparing the alleged copy to the original. In other words, a person destroys the original and substitutes the copy as evidence. If the copy was the duplicate of the original, and both were available, why not present the original?

Let me give you a bit of background in case you aren't familiar with Islamic history:

It turns out that Mohammed never did what he claimed he was instructed by the angel to do. He dictated the Quran in brief pieces called suras to various scribes. And the Scribes dutifully memorized or wrote down what Mohammed said. In the end however, Mohammed never compiled the Quran into a single book. Although Muslims claim that he edited the Quran, it seems unlikely since the Quran was never even in one place during his life.

So, when Mohammed died, Muslims began to dispute over who had the true Quran. They compared their memorized versions to the written versions. No match. They compared their written versions to other written versions. No match. Along comes a fellow named Uthman, he orders another fellow to compile the Quran but that fellow tries and is unsuccessful. Uthman makes a decision, he decides to BURN the originalsand impose his own version of the Quran on Muslims.

If you don't believe me, here it is in their own words:
Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to Uthman, O Chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur'an) as Jews and the Christians did before. So Uthman sent amessage to Hafsa, saying, Send us the manuscripts of the Qur'an so that we may compile the Qur'anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you. Hafsa sent It to Uthman. Uthman then ordered Zaid ibn Thabit, Abdullah bin az-Zubair, Sa'id bin al-As, and Abdur-Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, then write it in the dialect of the Quraish as the Qur'an was revealed in their tongue. They did so, and when they had written many copies, Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.479).

What does that mean for us? Well, if that were to happen in court, the copy which is being substituted for the destroyed original would be unacceptable as evidence. Why? Because the original was destroyed in order to prevent it being put into evidence. Therefore, the copy which is now being provided in its place would be unacceptable.

Here is what I imagine the case for Uthman would sound like.

Mr. Uthman, I understand you have provided us a copy of the Quran.


Mr. Uthman, don't you have the original so that we can compare it to the copy and see how accurate it is.

Yes, but I have already compared it and I provided you the best copy.

Mr. Uthman, the court would like to decide for itself whether you have provided the best copy.

It is no longer available, I had it burned.

You had it burned?! Didn't you say this was the Word of God! Yet you had it burned? Pray, tell, why did you have it burned?

Because the copy I gave you is better than the original.

What!? Mr. Uthman, I suggest you leave this courtroom before I have you thrown in jail.

Who in their right mind would destroy such an important document as the original revelation of God to mankind. Unless they didn't believe it was the actual revelation of God.

And, so, the Quranic version known as Uthman's rescension, the only Quran used by Muslims today, would be thrown out of any court as an inadmissible copy.

In summary, Mohamed's case would be thrown out of court for lack of evidence. Uthman's case would be thrown out of court for destruction of original evidence and substituting an inadmissible copy.

See also, Muslim Imam converts and the case for the Gospels.


De Maria

2 Tim 3:16 and Sola Scriptura

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Before we look at 2 Tim 3:16, lets review a few verses throughout the entire letter of 2 Tim to see what St. Paul is really talking about:
Chapter 1: 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
It sounds to me as though St. Paul is exhorting St. Timothy to give oral testimony, i.e. to preach and teach the Gospel.  Not to pass out Bibles.
Chapter 2: 2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Again, that is an exhortation to pass down information by word.  And to make certain that those whom he, Timothy, teaches will be prepared to do the same.  That is the essence of oral Tradition.
Let's skip over chapter 3 for now:
Chapter 4: 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Another exhortation to preach.
Do you really want me to believe, that throughout the epistle of 2 Timothy, St. Paul is telling Tim to preach and teach, but in Chapter 3 verse 15-16 he changes and tells him to pass out Bibles?  That seems far fetched to me.
But lets study the verse in its immediate context.  What is the immediate context of the verse?  It remains, oral teaching. Listen:
10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
I have taught you and you have learned.
14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
So practice what you have learned considering from whom you have learned them.
15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Now, think about this carefully. Does a child have to know how to read in order to know the Scriptures? In my house, my children and I meditated on the Scriptures since before they knew how to read. So I know that the answer is, "No."
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Remember what St. Peter said:
2 Pet 1:20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
And remember that the Bible says that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Now read 2 Tim 3:16 again:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect throughly furnished unto all good works.
The Bible is useful, not necessary, for a Preacher to use "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" So that the Preacher may bring up the man of God and make him perfect for all good works.
This verse is speaking to instruction. This verse is describing the Magisterium, the Teaching Church.
It is very simple. The Bible does not contradict Itself. Sola Scriptura contradicts the Bible.
De Maria

Thursday, April 26, 2012



The Catholic Church gave us the Bible, therefore you should submit to our Church.” Quite a statement… but is this really true?
Some Questions
Before answering him, we should start off by asking the Catholic a couple of important questions. First, we should ask, “What do you mean by saying the Catholic Church ‘gave us the Bible’?”
That the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament and canonized the every book in the New and Old Testament.  By "canonized", I mean that it is the Catholic Church which sifted through all the Old and New Testament books which purported to be inspired writings and selected from those the 73 book Bible we have today.
Is he suggesting that the Catholic Church wrote the Bible?
If so, this certainly cannot be the case, since the Old Testament was written long before the Catholic Church existed. 
But there were many books which the Jews held to be canonical which the Catholic Church rejected.  And many others which the Jews rejected because they were used by Jesus, namely the Deuterocanonicals or Protestant Apocrypha.

Neither can they claim to have written the New Testament, since that was written by the apostles and their close associates. And the apostles knew nothing of those teachings which are uniquely Catholic.
The Catholic Church was instituted by Jesus Christ.  The Apostles were the founding members of the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is, in fact, Jesus "corporation".  The Body of Christ.  And in His Corporation, Jesus established a Chairman of the Board, St. Peter.  And also, It's Officers, the Apostles.
What Catholics generally mean when they say that their Church gave us the Bible is that the Catholic Church, through certain councils, was responsible for revealing to us the “canon” of the Bible, i.e., which books are inspired by God and actually belong in the Bible.
If this is indeed what they mean, then we need to ask him our second question: “When did this happen?” And they will usually say that the canon was finally settled at the Council of Hippo (393 A.D.) and the Council of Carthage (397 A.D.), and it was later restated / reaffirmed at the Council of Trent (1546 A.D.).  
Local, Not Ecumenical
Point #1 - The Councils of Hippo and Carthage were local or “provincial” councils (synods), and they could not “finally settle” the canon or any other issue that affected all the churches…..So, according to this, the church existed for over 1500 years without an infallibly-pronounced canon. Why is this, if “infallible certainty” is so important?
File:McVey wide skyscraper.jpgThe Catholic Church does not fix things that are not broken.  Until the time of the Protestant Revolution, there were no serious challenges to the canon of Holy Scripture within the Catholic Church.  Therefore, the local councils sufficed.  Martin Luther, a Catholic Priest, changed that.  Because She took Martin Luther's challenge to Her authority very seriously, the Council of Trent was convened not only to settle the matter of the Canon of Scripture, but other doctrines as well.  The subject of Justification for instance.
Wrong Canon
Point #2 - To make matters worse for Catholics, the canon given by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage does not match the canon which was given by the Council of Trent.....The problem is that both canons contain a book called 1 Esdras, but the earlier 1 Esdras is different from the one at the Council of Trent….So, what if the Catholic says, “Ok, so the Catholic church gave us the Bible (i.e., the correct canon) at Trent instead of Carthage and Hippo, so what?” But, taking 1500 years to recognize the canon is not very reassuring, especially for a Church who insists on the need for infallible certainty. It certainly seems that Catholic “Tradition” failed to protect the early canon from error in this case….</b>
First, you yourself proved that the first set was not "infallibly defined" since it didn't meet the requirements for infallible definition in an ecumenical council.  They were local councils.  You proved that in this very message.
Second, before a doctrine is infallibly defined it is not an error or sin to accept or believe something which is not prohibited by the Church.
Third, if it is problematic that the Church took 1500 years to eliminate 1 book from the canon, how does that help you?  It took 1500 years for your religion to be established.  Because certainly, orthodox Christians were using the 73 books of the Bible for the prior 1500 years and there is no sign in those 1500 years of any Protestants.  Not one.
The Apocrypha
Point #3 – The Protestant Bible contains 66 Books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New). The Bible that the Catholic Church claims to have given us contains 7 more Old Testament books than the Protestant Bible (and some additional verses in the books of Daniel and Esther).
These 7 extra books Catholics call the “Deuterocanonical” books. Protestants usually refer to them as the “Apocrypha,” and they do not consider them to be inspired, but Catholics do. But there are some problems with these books that we will deal with only briefly:

1) These books were not accepted by the Jews, and it was the Jews who knew the canon best because they were the ones who wrote the Old Testament.</b>
They were accepted by the Jews.  It is the Jews who wrote them.  We have no Old Testament Scriptures which were not originally from the Jews.  After Christ, however, the Jews rejected the Septuagint version of the Old Testament because it is from that version that Jesus taught.
2) Some of these books contain historical and geographical errors. Do we really want to accept the “inspiration” of a book which is not even reliable in worldly matters?
There are no errors in the Deuterocanonicals.  The problem is that Protestants don't discern the difference between metaphor, parable and literal word.
3) Some of the books teach doctrines which contradict the rest of the Scriptures.
They teach things which contradict Luther's teaching.  That is why Luther rejected them.  He also rejected the Epistle of St. James and Hebrews on the same basis.
4) There are a number of people throughout church history who denied the inspiration of the Apocrypha. One is Jerome, the very person who translated the Vulgate Bible (which the Catholic Church embraces). 
But didn't you say that they are included in the Vulgate?  So, he must have changed his mind.  Otherwise, why did he include them.
Here's your other problem.  You are relying upon St. Jerome's authority.  Yet, St. Jerome is a priest (Bishop, in fact) of the Catholic Church, holding all the beliefs which that entails.  He believed in the authority of the Church and of his position in it.  The Eucharist, the Marian doctrines, Purgatory etc. etc.  Do you also hold these beliefs based upon his authority?  And how about the fact that later, he recanted his rejection of the Deuterocanonicals, repenting of his sin, and including them in his version of the Scriptures?  Do you still accept his authority?
Catholic Cardinal Cajetan, who opposed Martin Luther and his teachings, also believed that the Apocrypha should not be used to confirm matters of faith, but only for edification. 
Is that before or after the Council of Trent?  Please provide a quote by Cardinal Cajetan concerning the "Apocrypha" after the Council of Trent defined the Canon.
We could also mention Pope Gregory the Great, Athanasius (the bishop of Alexandria) and many others who believed that (at least some of) the Apocryphal books were not canonical.
Did they live before or after the decision of the Council of Trent was pronounced?
And that is the gist of the Protestant problem.  You don't recognize the authority of the Church which Jesus Christ built.  But they would have submitted to the authority of the Catholic Church.  Whereas, you don't.
Teachings Not Biblical
All the Doctrines of the Catholic Church are in Scripture implied or explicit.  It is Protestant doctrine which contradicts Scripture.  That is easy to prove.  
Do Protestants reject Tradition?  What does Scripture say? 2 Thess 2:15  That pretty much demolishes the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
How about Sola Fide?  What does Scripture say? James 2:24 Not by faith only.

Point #4 - If the Catholic Church really did give us the Bible, then why do so many of its teachings either contradict the Scriptures, or cannot be found within its pages (e.g., doctrines like confession to a priest,
The Church can't remit or retain sin unless the sins are confessed to a Priest (John 20:23).
Mary’s sinless birth and life, 
Mary is described as "kecharitomene", ever full of grace.  Where one is full of grace, there is no sin (Luke 1:28).
Mary’s Assumption into Heaven,
Rev 12:1
Matt 19:21;  I'd like to ask a question here, was Jesus suggesting that the Rich Man should buy his way into heaven?
Rev 2:10
the Treasury of Merit,
Matt 6:19
the office of pope,
Matt 16:18
 praying to saints,
Matt 10:41; Luke 16:24
etc., etc.)? Interestingly, we find none of these in the Bible they claim to have given us.
Read the Scriptures and divide the Word rightly.  You'll find them all there.
Used by God
Point #5 - When it comes to spiritual deception the most dangerous lies are the ones that contain a certain amount of truth mixed in. And that is the case here. The “certain amount of truth mixed in” is that the Catholic Church was used, to some extent, in preserving and copying the Bible. But the Catholic Church did not “give us the Bible.” GOD did.
God didn't hand the Bible to anyone.  He inspired men of the Church to write the New Testament.  And He inspired men of the Church to sift through the volumes of Old Testament religious writings and find the inspired writings amongst them. 
It is HIS Word given to His people… the Old Testament given through the Jewish prophets, and the New Testament given through the Apostles and their close associates. The universal church of the New Testament just recognized the inspired Scriptures… it did not create or establish them. It was simply used by God in identifying the canon.
The men who wrote the New Testament were all members of Christ's Church, the Catholic Church.
But apparently, some Catholics believe that if God uses someone, then we must submit to them.”
I don't know what you mean by that, however, it is one of the great downfalls of Protestantism that they each believe themselves to be the authority over the Word of God.  Whereas, Scripture actually commands us to submit to the Church (Heb 13:17).
But this does not logically or necessarily follow because God can use anybody or anything, good or bad, to accomplish His will.
And He has instructed us that it is the Church through whom He speaks (Eph 3:10).
But this only proves that God is sovereign. God has used a whale (Jonah 1:17), a rooster (Matthew 26:74-75), and even a donkey (Numbers 22:22-34) to do His will, but that doesn’t mean that we are to submit to whales, roosters or donkeys, does it?
God didn't tell us to submit to whales, roosters or donkeys.  But He does command us to submit to the Church (Matt 18:17).
God can also use evil men to prophesy (John 11:49-52), but are we expected to yield to them? Obviously not.
If they are officers of the Church, yes (Matt 23:2-3).  Note how Jesus Christ obeyed them unto death on the Cross (Phil 2:8; John 11:49-52).
 God can even use the devil to accomplish His will (Job 1:6-12; 42:10), but does this mean that we should be obedient to Satan? 
Does Scripture say we should be obedient to Satan?  No.  But perhaps you can show me where.
Does Scripture say we should obey the Church?  Matt 18:17; Heb 13:17  Yes.  It does.  So what excuse do you have for disobeying the Church?
Again, the point is, just because God has USED a person or group in some way to bring about His will, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we must now submit to them. We should only submit to a person or church whose teachings are biblical.
That means you should submit wholeheartedly to the Catholic Church because only Her Teachings are Biblical.  Protestant teachings often contradict the Scriptures.
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This same misguided reasoning would also require us to submit to Judaism, the religion of the Jews (including any of its un-Christian traditions), since God used the Jews to write and preserve three-fourths of the Bible which we have today (the Old Testament). After all, it was to the Jews that the oracles of God were first given (Romans 3:2). In light of this, the Jews would have more right to claim to have “given us the Bible” than the Catholic Church has.
They can and do have a claim for giving us the Old Testament.  Scripture tells us (Romans 3:2).   But now the Catholic Church is the minister of the New Testament (Heb 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Cor 3:6).
So Where Did it Come From?
The New Testament was written by the Catholic Church.  The Old Testament was written by the Jews but had fallen into disarray and the Catholic Church identified the true, inspired books and placed them in the Canon of the Bible.
Many Catholics act as though there was nothing but utter confusion over the canon in the early church and the multitudes were desperate to find someone, an infallible authority, who could “determine” the canon for them. Then the Catholic Church stepped in with their councils and saved the day… or at least that’s what many Catholics would like us to believe. But it was not so.
Have you read the history of the Scriptures?  One simple question ought to dispel your notion that everything was hunky dory before the Church stepped in to fix the problem.  How many purported gospels existed at that time?  I count 40 just going through this article.

Ok, so where did we get the Bible from, if it wasn’t from the Catholic Church?
We got it from the Catholic Church.  Certainly not from the Protestants.
Demanding an answer to questions like “Who gave us the Bible?” is actually misleading.
What you actually mean is that you don't like the answer which history provides and would prefer to obfuscate the matter.  But history is clear, the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament, canonized the Old and New Testament in the Bible and preserved the entire Bible for future generations.
There is no one person or group that is responsible for giving us the Bible. Just as the books of the Old Testament were, little by little, accumulated over the years by God’s people who recognized His Spirit moving in His prophets (and eventually writing it down)… it was the same with the apostles and the New Testament. It was a gradual process with many believers involved over time. And just as the Jews recognized Old Testament Scripture without an infallible authority, it was the same with the early Christians.
Not true.  The fact of the matter is that the Old Testament canon which we see today is the result of Catholic influence.  Even the Jews merely reacted to the fact that the Catholic Church was using the Septuagint version of the Old Testament and in rebellion, began to use the Hebrew texts exclusively.  Before that time, there is no record that the Jews maintained any particular canon.  The concept of a canon was developed by the Catholic Church.
Although the councils did help, to a certain extent, to crystallize the canon in the minds of the early Christians, these councils, for the most part, merely affirmed the books that were already widely accepted. They were simply attempting to make it “official.”
Again, simply look at the bewildering number of  New and Old Testament writings and you will see that it was absolutely necessary for someone to step in and identify those books which were truly inspired.
Even though there were some doubts concerning a few of the books that would eventually end up in the canon, there was, collectively, a general consensus among Christians on most of the books. Only a few of them were actually disputed.
It is said that virtually the whole New Testament could be reproduced simply from the writings of the Ante-Nicene church fathers (those who lived before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.). So, the early church was already familiar with the canon of Scripture at this time.
In all fairness, the Catholic Church (i.e., the Church of Rome) did have a role in preserving and copying the Scriptures, as we mentioned earlier. But this doesn’t mean that “the Bible comes from them.”

Yes, it does.  The Catholic Church wrote the New Testament and determined its canon.  Determined the canon of the Old Testament.  And then put them both together in one book.  The Book we call the Bible to day. 
The implications of all this are sobering and far-reaching. When Catholics say that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, they are in effect saying that this Church (along with its “Tradition”) is the final authority, and that we must submit to them.
The New Testament tells you that Jesus established a Church (Matt 16:18) and that you should submit to that Church (Matt 18:17).  If you claim to obey Scripture, you should at least attempt to identify that Church in order to begin to obey it in accordance with the Word of God.
As for me, I am convinced that Church is the Catholic Church.

They are implying that the Bible gets its authority from that Church
No.  The Church is teaching that:
1.  Christ established the Church.
2.  Christ ordered that Church to teach His all which He commands.
3.  The Church wrote the New Testament to help in the passing down of Christ commands.
4.  The Church also used the Old Testament which Jesus used, the Septuagint, to prove the prophecies of Jesus.
5.  The Church gets its authority from God and that authority is confirmed in the Word of God, the New Testament.
and only they have the authority to properly interpret it.
The authority to infallibly interpret it.  Many can properly interpret it.  But they also can make errors in interpretation. Whereas the Church is described as the Pillar of Truth (1 Tim 3:15).  Therefore the Church will not err in interpreting the Word of God.
But this is certainly not true. The universal church recognized the inspired writings. However, the Scriptures are not “church-
breathed,” but God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
That verse doesn't say that God breathed out the Bible. It means, as Scripture explains, that God inspired Holy Men to preach and then write the Bible. See 2 Pet 1:20-21).

Simply recognizing something (the canon) is not the same thing as being responsible for its existence.
In fact, it is.
First, there was nothing simple about it.
Second, if the Catholic Church had not identified the canon, it probably would be lost to history today.
The Bible no more owes its existence to the Catholic Church than gravity owes its existence to Sir Isaac Newton.
Show me the book of the New Testament that was written directly by God without a member of the Catholic Church having to put pen to paper?  If you can't, then you will have to admit that it was the Catholic Church which brought the New Testament into existence.
The idea of the Catholic Church giving the Bible to the world is yet another boastful (but empty) claim coming from the Catholic side. One has to wonder… how many of the Catholic Church’s claims need to be exposed as false, before the “lay Catholic” in the pew will see the light? How many exaggerated claims from his leaders must he endure before he breaks free of the Catholic Church’s shackles? Hopefully, very few.
It is Protestants who need to break free from the errors which have been passed down by Luther and the Reformers.  These errors have not only proliferated but multiplied until the Protestant religion can be identified directly with the many headed beast of the Apocalypse.  Thanks be to God that many have begun to see these errors and chosen to swim the Tiber in the direction of the Vatican.
De Maria

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Doctrine of Baptisms?

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How do you explain this teaching?
Hebrews 6:2
King James Version (KJV)
2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

I say that this is a teaching on the Sacraments.

1. There is one Baptism. And that is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
2. There is one Sacrament of Baptism and that is by water and the Holy Spirit. 

And in the Sacrament of Baptism, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is effected by water and the word.

Did you catch that?  In #2, #1 is effected by the sign of water and the word of the Priest.

But every single Sacrament is a bath of sanctifying grace.

Every single Sacrament is a washing the soul by the Spirit of God. 
Therefore, every single Sacrament is, by definition, a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation"Sacramental grace" is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.

In every Sacrament, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is effected by one sign or another.

In Baptism, it is water.
In Confession, it is the Priestly absolution.
In Confirmation, it is the anointing of oil.
In Eucharist, it is the consuming of the Eucharist.
In Anointing of the Sick, it is again the anointing of oil.
In Matrimony, it is the oath of the bride and groom.
And in Ordination it is the laying of hands.

Or do you deny that in the Sacraments, one is washed in the grace of the Holy Spirit?


De Maria

Friday, April 20, 2012

What were they thinking?

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Many times I've heard people say that the Ancient Jews were so well versed in Scripture. Yet, from reading the Gospels, I think they were probably asking  themselves, "What?  Where?"  when Jesus said:
John 5:
39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Unless Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, as He did the Apostles, they could not make the connections between the Old Testament Suffering Servant and the Messiah.

So, in a way, I feel sorry for them. Not all, but many, probably most of them, were sincerely following their faith. Then this guy shows up, performing miracles, doing signs and claiming He is God. But what does Scripture say to do with guys like that?

Deuteronomy 13

1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, ....
5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death;....

And that is what they did. They put Him to death on the Cross.


De Maria