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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Historic Roman Catholicism And Private Interpretation

        Historically speaking, the Church of Rome has displayed unreasonably hostile opposition against the personal ownership of Bible translations. For centuries, the average laymen were forbidden by the hierarchical structured Church government to interpret Scripture independently of its intense supervision and restriction. There were times when circulated Bibles would even be burned. The Roman Catholic Church demanded unquestioning loyalty of adherents. Even in modern times, devout followers are indoctrinated from childhood to submit to the allegedly infallible, God-ordained Papacy. Dissuasion of personal Bible study has lessened somewhat within the past few decades, most probably around the timing of the Second Vatican Council. Thus, Roman Catholics have been instructed to defend "Mother Church" at all costs, even at the expense of contradicting plain scriptural teaching.

         While the apologists of Roman Catholicism may contend that their Church's prohibiting the reading of Scripture was never meant to serve as a permanent establishment, the decrees issued by councils such as Toulouse and Tarragon were essentially unconditional prohibitions on Bible reading. During that time, the only way that a person could actually read the Bible was if they had obtained special permission from the local bishop. In fact, most members of the laity could not even read Latin! Men such as Tyndale and Wycliffe were killed simply because they wanted to translate the Bible into the common language. Pope Innocent III (1161-1216) likened teaching the Bible to casting pearls before swine. Pope Leo XII (1760-1829) expressed condemnation of Bible societies in his encyclical titled Ubi primum. All of this could be elaborated in much more detail. In short, harsh penalties were employed on those who challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church:

        “In the West, the clergy had begun to assert an exclusive interpretive, indeed custodial, right to the Bible as early as the ninth century; and from about 1080 there had been frequent instances of the Pope, councils and bishops forbidding not only vernacular translations but any reading at all, by laymen, of the Bible taken as a whole. In some ways this was the most scandalous aspect of the medieval Latin Church. From the Waldensians onwards, attempts to scrutinize the Bible became proof presumptive of heresy a man or woman might burn for it alone and, conversely, the heterodox were increasingly convinced that the Bible was incompatible with papal and clerical claims.” (Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, 273)

        “From 1200 to 1500 the long series of Papal ordinances on the Inquisition, ever increasing in severity and cruelty, and their whole policy towards heresy, runs on without a break. It is a rigidly consistent system of legislation: every Pope confirms and improves upon the devices of his predecessor. All is directed to the one end, of completely uprooting every difference of belief... The Inquisition ...contradicted the simplest principles of Christian justice and love to our neighbor, and would have been rejected with universal horror in the ancient Church." (Johann Joseph Ignaz Von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council, p. 192-193)

          If these bans on Bible reading by Rome were only supposed to be temporary, then surely, successive popes would not have repeatedly issued them. Quotes on the prohibition of personal Bible reading from sources do not seem to indicate anything about being "temporary." If the motives of the Papacy were really to preserve scriptural purity, then it would most certainly would have published and circulated doctrinally safe translations, rather than forbade them. How come Jesus Christ and the apostles never took the scrolls from the Scribes and Pharisees who obviously promulgated doctrinal error? Why would any genuine Christian argue against translating the gift of God's Word for other people? Whatever happened to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44)? Why has Rome stopped persecuting so-called heretics today? Obviously, the Roman Catholic Church would have to admit that its conduct has been anything but holy. It would not pass the examination of knowing people by their fruits (Matthew 7:20). In other words, Rome is a bad tree which simply refuses to accept reproof. It is an arrogant church. It is a center for moral and political corruption. Consider these words on Pope Pius IX in regards to him defining the novel concept of papal infallibility:

             “One of the chief issues dividing Catholics on the eve of the council was that of a possible definition of papal infallibility." (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIV, p. 561)

          If it were not for the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press in 1436, then, chances are, neither the Protestant Reformation, nor Bible translations, would have taken place. And if the Church of Rome truly was confident in possessing the truth, then it would not raise opposition to people examining its claims in light of scriptural instruction. If any of this were false, then can anybody account for the widespread biblical illiteracy amongst Roman Catholic circles? If any of this were false, then why is it that Roman Catholic apologists adamantly debate us? If Scripture is understandable, then why would we need an infallible interpreter in the first place? The Scriptures declare: 

            "Brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself as examples so you could learn through us the meaning of the saying, “Follow only what is written in the Scriptures.” Then you will not be more proud of one person than another." (1 Corinthians 4:6)

          Whenever one departs from the self-sufficiency of Scripture, whatever the written revelation affirms, denies, or says in general becomes irrelevant. Hence, that is the explanation for the development of all the unbiblical doctrinal developments which happened within the Church of Rome throughout history. 

          It is a proven fact that the Roman Catholic Church cares nothing about the Bible. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Is Jesus Michael The Archangel?

  • Defining The Issues:
          -The Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists believe that Jesus Christ and Michael the Archangel are the same person.
    • Jesus Christ Cannot Simply Be Michael The Archangel Because The Angels Worshiped Him:
              -"You are My SonToday I have begotten You”?...And let all the angels of God worship Him...Your throne, O God, is forever and ever...You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earthAnd the heavens are the works of Your hands... But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right handUntil I make Your enemies footstool for Your feet”?" (Hebrews 1)

              Thus, the author of Hebrews clearly distinguishes between Christ and the angels.

              "And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped." (Revelation 5:13-14)

              "And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.” (Revelation 14:6-7)

           Scripture forbids the worship of mere creations, which includes angels:

              "You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name." (Deuteronomy 6:13)

              Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ must not be an angel, but God Himself. He is co-eternal with the Father:

              "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (John 1:1-3)

              For those who object to the citation of John 1:1-3 as a proof-text for Jesus being God, notice how Scripture tells us plainly that He is the Word which became incarnate:

              "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:12-14)

              "He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God." (Revelation 19:13)

              If Michael the Archangel was Jesus, then why is it that he had to call upon the name of the Lord in order to cast judgement on the devil?:

              "But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you." (Jude 9)

             Our Lord Jesus Christ openly rebuked the devil without invoking any name of authority because He is God in the flesh. Consider this text, for example:

             "and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." (Matthew 4:9-10)

              If Jesus Christ is not divine, then how is it that He made atonement for all the sins of mankind--past, present, and future? How does one account for His bodily resurrection from the grave? How could He possibly be conceived miraculously through the power of the Holy Spirit? How could He be sinless? How could He perform miracles? Not only is it obvious that our Lord Jesus Christ is not Michael the Archangel, but we also can see how unitarian theology poses a major threat to biblical gospel teaching.

    A Bold Admission Of Evolutionary Bias

    "Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
    The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen." (Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons (review of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan, 1997), The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997)

    Presenting Biblical Evidences For The Trinity

    • This Text From Matthew's Gospel Narrative, Within The Context Of Jesus Christ's Baptism, Shows Us That There Are Three Separate Persons Working Together:
              -"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
    • There Are Many Other Passages In Scripture Affirming That The Three Persons Of The Triune God Function In Constant, Perfect Harmony With Each Other:
              -"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." (John 14:16)
            -"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:26)
              -“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me." (John 15:26)
              -"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." (John 16:13-14)

              These verses may not be explicit declarations regarding the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but they clearly demonstrate the working of the three persons in the triune God. They reveal the inseparable unity among the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is a foundational premise of trinitarian logic. 

    Monday, April 16, 2018

    Darwinism And Probability

    "applied all the laws of probability studies to the possibility of a single cell coming into existence by chance. He considered in the same way a single protein molecule, and even a single gene. His discoveries are revolutionary. He computed a world in which the entire crust of the earth - all the oceans, all the atoms, and the whole crust were available. He then had these amino acids bind at a rate one and one-half trillion times faster than they do in nature. In computing the possibilities, he found that to provide a single protein molecule by chance combination would take 10, to the 262nd power, years." (That is, the number 1 followed by 262 zeros.) "To get a single cell - the single smallest living cell known to mankind - which is called the mycroplasm hominis H39, would take 10, to the 119,841st power, years. That means that if you took thin pieces of paper and wrote 1 and then wrote zeros after (it), you would fill up the entire known universe with paper before you could ever even write that number. That is how many years it would take to make one living cell, smaller than any human cell!" (Kennedy, D. James, Why I Believe (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1980), p. 56)

    Evolutionary Bias Against Intelligent Design

    "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." (Todd, S.C., correspondence to Nature 401(6752):423, 30 Sept. 1999.)

    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    Sabbath Keepers Refuted

    • Our Lord Jesus Christ Never Taught That Keeping The Sabbath Was The Most Important Commandment:
              -"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

              This of course refutes Seventh-Day Adventist theology, and others who demand that Christians observe the Jewish Sabbath.

    Disemboweling Catholic Answers' Logical Case For Purgatory

    • Following Is A Syllogism Provided In An Article From Catholic Answers Titled The Logical Case for Purgatory, Which Was An Attempt To Demonstrate The Reasonableness Of Purgatory:
            "There will be neither sin nor attachment to sin in heavenWe (at least most of us) are still sinning and are attached to sin at the end of this life. Therefore there must be a period between death and heavenly glory in which the saved are cleansed of sin and their attachment to sin."

             The underlying problem with such reasoning is that it completely ignores a quintessential truth of the gospel, namely that our Lord Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for our sin via atonement on the cross at Calvary. In other words, He has already accomplished purification for sin on our behalf. Christ is the one and only remedy for the problem of sin. He is our Purgatory. We are made complete in Him. His expiatory work is absolutely sufficient in itself. He cleanses us from every sin. God does not impute sin to believers. He does not count sin against those who have been forgiven in His sight. The blood of Christ is applied to believers by faith:

              "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of Godwaiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feetFor by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:10-14)

              If we truly must make amends for any of the sins that we have committed in this lifetime, then how does it not follow that Christ's work was insufficient to atone for the sins of mankind? How is that the forgiveness of sin? The Scriptures clearly teach justification by faith, apart from the merit of all works:

              "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

              Our Lord Jesus Christ once said of His atonement sacrifice, "It is finished" (John 19:30). This utterance certainly must bear significance, considering that the Greek word for this phrase is tetelestai. During New Testament times, this message would be imprinted on business records and receipts whenever a transaction would be completed successfully. The Greek term tetelestai simply indicates the full payment of a bill. Respectively, that is what Jesus affirmed regarding the completion of His earthly mission. He paid our sin debt in full, thereby enabling us to enter directly into the Father's presence. It is impossible for man to make reparation for sin. We can neither compliment nor supplement what He has accomplished on our behalf. We are healed by Christ's wounds. It is solely by the grace of God that we can be saved from eternal condmnation. Thus, the Romish doctrine of purgatory utterly misunderstands the nature of the biblical atonement. It can only make sense in a works-based justification theological framework, which is flatly contradicted by Scripture. 

              The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus presents to us a handful of insights as to what happens to souls in the afterlife (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus immediately entered Abraham's bosom upon death, whereas the rich man woke up in the torment of literal flames at his appointed hour. Upon pleading for water to sooth his burning tongue and begging to be resurrected from the grave to warn relatives of their upcoming spiritual fate, the rich man was denied access. There also exists a great chasm that cannot be crossed (Luke 16:26). Hence, we learn that the moment of physical death seals our eternal destiny. There are no chances to receive God's forgiveness after death. Either heaven or hell will be the set eternal destiny of every person, according to Scripture. It mentions no third place for souls to enter after death. What purpose then, can purgatory serve? Where is this place supposed to be, anyway? Interestingly, our Lord Jesus Christ made no mention of purgatory to the repentant thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43).    

              The reasoning comprising the logical syllogism employed by Catholic Answers is deceptive at best. It is highly fallacious, for it draws a conclusion that simply does not follow from the two mentioned premises. This is known as a non-sequitur. Catholic Answers is guilty of presenting a false dilemma. It presents to unsuspecting readers a false dichotomy, assuming that purgatory must be the only logical conclusion. But that is simply not true. It has no scriptural backing. The blood of Christ cleanses believers from all sin. This is a perfect example of philosophy gone wrong:

              "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

               The Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory developed gradually over time:
               
               “. . . the early church believed deceased Christians to be residing in peace and happiness and the nature of the prayers offered for them were that they might have a greater experience of these . . . these prayers often used the Latin term refrigerium as a request of God on behalf of departed Christians, a term which means ‘refreshment’ or ‘to refresh’ and came to embody the concept of heavenly happiness. So even though the early Church prayed for the dead, it does not support the concept of a purgatory for the nature of the prayers themselves indicate the Church did not believe the dead to be residing in a place of suffering.” (William Webster, Roman Catholic Tradition: Claims and Contradictions, p. 63-64) 

    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    Information Is Nonmaterial

    "The genetic information system is is the software of life and, like the symbols in a computer, it is purely symbolic and independent of its environment. Of course, the genetic message, when expressed as a sequence of symbols, is nonmaterial but must be recorded in matter and energy." (Hubert Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, p. 7)

    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    Is It Wrong To Pray To Jesus Christ?

    • "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:13-14)
    • "To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours." (1 Corinthians 1:2)
    • "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word." (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)