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Friday, March 31, 2017

Time For A Creationist Meme

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Why A Christian Should Be A Conservative Republican

Republican vs. Democrat
Conservative vs. Liberal
Part 1 Gay Marriage and Gender Choice
By Catholic Apologist Sean Dolan



  • In modern times, evil ideologies seem to be developing. “Women abandon their natural desires for one another, and men commit shameful acts with each other” (Romans 1:26-27). In many parts of the world, especially in Western Europe and the United States, the people have a growing acceptance of liberal ideas such as homosexual marriage, the choosing of one’s own gender, birth control, abortion, euthanasia, and the promotion of Islam as a religion of peace. When Christians or others who uphold similar views point out the deterioration in overall moral values in society, their opponents tend to depict them as merely being homophobes, Islamophobes, sexists, racists, and a longer list of other derogatory terms. They call us hateful, but are they right in calling us these cruel names? Do they have any valid reasoning to substantiate their claims? Should a real Christian lean on the side of Conservatism or Liberalism?
  • First of all, let us acknowledge that there are extreme forms of bias against each other on both sides. On the other hand though, when investigating the main beliefs to both sides of the debate, a Christian should be on the conservative side. In these next papers, we will look at the main beliefs of Liberals to explain why they are wrong from a biblical standpoint.
  • Gay Marriage:
          -One of the main liberal beliefs is gay marriage. This is morally unacceptable, for in Scripture we see that God intentionally made male and female, and that a man and a female will unite to become one. (Genesis 1:27, 2:24). God made for man a woman in the Garden of Eden. He did not make him another man. If gay marriage was morally acceptable, then why don't we see the creation of two men in Scripture?
          -One may say that there is no direct condemnation of gay or lesbian marriage in these passages, but farther along in this study we are told more directly that homosexuality is wrong.
  • Lot and Sodom (Genesis 19):
            -In the Book of Genesis, Abraham’s nephew Lot goes to Sodom and stays there a while. While there, two angels in disguise show up, and Lot takes them in. Then, the people of the city go to Lot’s house to demand for the angels so that they can have “relations” with them. This was abominable in the sight of God. Lot did not give them the angels. After a period of struggle, they escaped the City of Sodom. The corrupt men of that city did not go without punishment. After Lot leaves Sodom, God destroys the city along with Gomorrah, another evil city, by throwing meteors of fiery sulfur upon them. The two cities are known for their evilness. If what they had done was okay, then why would God destroy the cities?.
  • Condemnation in the Law:
          -“You must not lie with a man as with a women. This is a hateful thing” This is pretty clear that a man should not be acting gay. Marriage is for a man and a women, not a man and man or a woman and a woman" (Leviticus 18:22 JB)
  • Condemnation in the New Testament:
          -Some may argue that the Law was wiped out by Jesus or made inactive, but this is clearly wrong. Jesus Christ was simply the fulfillment to the Law (Matt. 5:17-20). The Apostle Paul even stated that the Moral Law is upheld by our faith in God (Romans 3:31). The New Testament Scriptures clearly condemn homosexuality, which means that it cannot be accepted.
“He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body?" (Matthew 19:4-5 JB).
            ^Though many may claim that Jesus never condemned gay marriage, He affirmed the original design that was intended by God in the above passage. Even if this argument isn’t enough, Jesus Christ never said that it was morally permissible. Saying nothing on it doesn’t mean it’s alright.
“That is why God abandoned them to degrading passions: why their women have turned for natural intercourse to unnatural practices and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men and an appropriate reward for their perversion” (Roman 1:26-27 JB).
           ^These two verses say that humans have chosen to reject God, who has made Himself evident through nature. Because of their rejection of His will, their reason has become darkened. As a result of this inherent spiritual corruption, these men and women were handed over to unnatural sexual desires. In short, this mental delusion lead them into homosexual acts, which is called “an abomination.” These two verses are the clearest condemnation of homosexuality in the whole New Testament. Homosexuality is unnatural and disgusting.
          -“You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 JB).
              ^Some translations have slightly different wording, but this is yet another outright warning against homosexual thoughts and behaviors.  It plainly states that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God, if they choose to remain in that state of sin. The term “Sodomites” refers to people who do homosexual things, as the people of Sodom did in Genesis 19. Other translations such as the NASB translate the word to mean "homosexuals".
  • A Logical argument:
         -We do not need Scripture to see the perverseness of homosexual actions. From the Natural Law, one can see that the pieces do not fit together, like mismatched pieces of a puzzle. Men can not procreate with men (and women likewise). It is against our natural bodily design. If gay marriage is morally acceptable, then that means everyone can do it. But if everyone does it, then the human race will not continue on because there will be no more babies born into the world.


  • “Gender Choice”:

           -“God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them”Genesis 1:27; 2:24 JB).
              ^God planned for every human to have a specific gender; male or female. This was set; never to be messed with. The Bible does not say that God gave man his own choice over what gender that we wishes to be.
  • The Law: 
          -“A woman must not wear men’s clothes nor a man put on women’s dress; anyone who does this is detestable to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 22:5 JB).
           ^God forbade people to even wear the other gender’s clothes. If it was wrong to do this, one should conclude that we shall not change our gender. 
  • The New Testament:
           -Review: Matt. 19:4/Rom. 1:26-27/1 Cor. 6:9-10
           -These passages condemn gender change. The Lord Jesus Christ, again, restates the theme found in Genesis. Just by looking at the sexual perversions that Paul condemned in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6, a person should conclude that gender change is evil.

Sola Scriptura And Divisions

  • Although this article is dedicated primarily to the Roman Catholic apologists who maintain that there are 33,000 (or more) Protestant denominations (in order to disqualify the principle of Sola Scriptura), the contents that are about to be presented hold true for all who tout the same argument around.  
  • There is a great deal of controversy between  the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and all of the Protestant churches due to the issue of "private interpretation". Private interpretation of Scripture is the concept of a person using his or her reasoning to make a judgment on a particular passage from the Bible. It is a more individualistic approach to determining what Scripture means.
  • Hierarchical structured churches always insist that we absolutely must have their leaders "infallibly interpret" the Scriptures in order to preserve absolute truth in doctrinal matters and thus aid in the prevention of division within the entire congregational body.
  • The claim that we need an infallible interpreter of Scripture is essentially the same as saying that the Bible is too difficult for the common people to understand. In other words, both arguments use the same logic in there premises in order to reach their conclusions. If Scripture is simple enough for us to comprehend without the need of an infallible interpreter, then why would we even need one in the first place?   
  • Consequently, the Church of Rome claims that Christians who rely on the Bible alone for the development of doctrine (instead of its Magisterium) will inevitably end up in a state of soul endangering confusion. In summary, one of the most common arguments raised against Sola Scriptura is that it unavoidably results in irreconcilable doctrinal contradictions and thus points to the need of an infallible teaching authority.
  • Scripture Is A Perspicuous Guide And Is Therefore In Need Of No Infallible Interpreter:
           -Scripture repeatedly implies and assures that its readers can understand its message (i.e. Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Kings 22:8-13; Psalm 19:7-9; 119:97-105; 130; Matthew 22:29-32; Luke 1:1-4; 10:25-28; Acts 17:11-12; Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 1:13; 3:15-16; Colossians 4:16; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 2 Timothy 3:15).
           -With the exception of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus, all of the New Testament epistles were written to Christians in general: Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; Philemon 1:1-2; Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; James 1:1-2; Revelation 1:3-4.
           -Calls to read and obey Scripture demonstrates that we can understand it (Joshua 1:7-8; 23:6; 1 Kings 2:3-4; Matthew 12:3; 5; 19:4; 21:16; 42; 22:31; Luke 10:26; John 10:34; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:13).
           -The common people understood the teachings of Jesus Christ without an "infallible interpreter" (i.e. Matthew 11:25; 13:51; Mark 12:37). In other words, there was never an infallible interpreter sitting next to Jesus when He was teaching in front of the crowds. Neither do we see one in any of the sermons documented in the Book of Acts. Furthermore, the New Testament epistles to the churches of the first century say nothing about submission to an alleged infallible teaching authority who makes spiritual teachings simple enough for the common people to understand.
           -Three powerful observations that we can gather from the New Testament against the belief that it is too difficult for us to understand is that Jesus Christ did not always explain His parables to those who were confused by His teachings, He made individuals interpret the Scriptures for themselves, and held them accountable when they interpreted them incorrectly. He neither demanded the people who heard His teachings to blindly submit to Him nor instructed His disciples to act in such a manner.These actions clearly show us that God expects us to use our reason in order to discover the truth."Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:17). 
           -Jesus usually attracted the poor, uneducated, and the common people. Anyone with a humble and prayerful heart can understand what God desires for mankind (salvation), apart from an infallible interpreter.  
  • Attacking Common Straw Man Arguments/ Misrepresentations Of Sola Scriptura:
           -"What use is an infallible book without an infallible interpreter?":
               *The above question can be likened to asking, "What is the use of an infallible God without an infallible human mind to understand Him?" He does not expect us to understand Him infallibly because our minds are finite. However, we can have more than sufficient certainty behind the meaning of Scripture. Now, I am certainly not saying that we can interpret the Scriptures in any random way that we desire. We have the obligation to examine Scripture in its proper context, compare our interpretations of particular Scripture passages to what other passages say about the same topic, use our common sense, and use study aids such as defining the proper meaning of specific Hebrew/Greek words and commentaries. 
           -"By What Authority Do You Interpret Scripture?":
              *We might as well retort by asking, "By what authority do you obey Ten Commandments?" These things are completely irrelevant to the issue of our own "personal authority", but rather, are things God is expecting us to do. He wants us to choose and act in accordance to His will. This in no way implies that no additional church authorities besides the Bible exist. They exist, but are under the judgment of the Scriptures because they are fallible. But we do not need "special authority" to search the Scriptures to discern God's will.  
           -Scripture is clear enough for readers to at least get the basic message of the gospel.  
           -An underlying, fundamental flaw to the argument against Sola Scriptura from church divisions is that it confuses misusing Scripture with the insufficiency of Scripture.
  • Religious Division:
           -The cause of religious division among churches is not the fault or difficulty level of reading the Bible, but rather, is a result of our own inherent sinful desires. In other words, religious division forms as a result of people refusing to accept the clear teachings of Scripture and an intentional lack of devotional study of the sacred Christian texts. It is not the fault of the Bible that people misinterpret it, but their own.
           -The mere fact that divisions exist within the Protestant body neither proves that the Bible is too hard to understand nor that the principle of Sola Scriptura is false. Furthermore, the fact that divisions exist within Protestantism does not logically prove that the Church of Rome has the solution to the problems. Refuting an opponent's argument(s) in a debate does not guarantee the accuracy of your own. Both sides can be wrong.          
           -While it is true that contentions within the Body of Christ over significant doctrinal issues are unfortunate and painful, they may sometimes be necessary. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you” (1 Corinthians 11:19). We are called to publicly expose false brethren and separate ourselves from those who propagate heretical doctrines (Galatians 2:4; Romans 16:17). Although Jesus Christ emphasized spiritual unity (John 17), He never supported organizational unity. In other words, it is wrong to merely set aside our doctrinal differences for the sake of unity because truth cannot be mixed with error. So true conservative Christians must separate themselves from the liberals and other apostates in order to preserve doctrinal purity. Unity does not guarantee truth or preservation of the truths revealed in the gospel.
        -The New Testament reveals to us that churches had significant divisions over doctrinal and moral issues such as the ones located in the ancient cities of Corinth, Galatia, and Colosse. These first century churches had the same problems that exist in our local congregations today. Instead of simply appealing to the allegedly infallible Papal authority of the Apostle Peter for a short, clear, inspired declaration to settle matters once for all, Paul reasoned directly from the Scriptures with these divided churches. Not only did he reason in such a manner, but he also gave them supplemental scriptural material to furnish the discerning ability of the entire church for future generations. If we stay within the boundaries of God's wisdom as revealed through the testimony of Holy Scripture, then we will have no reason to be bitterly divided against each other (1 Corinthians 4:6).        
      -If individual Christians worshiped together, assembled to peacefully resolve disputes on doctrine, studied Scripture more often, and stopped taking it out of context, then religious division on significant doctrinal matters would gradually fade away. There would finally be unity in the Truth. But people need to stop looking at Scripture through the lenses of their church traditions, and let themselves see the truth of Scripture through the lenses of their own reason. People need to seek and discover the truth for themselves because it will set them free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32). 
      -According to Scripture, Christians are permitted to uphold their own views on minor-doctrinal issues (i.e. Romans 14:1-12). Therefore, the New Testament provides us with a list of essential Christian doctrines such as the Virgin Birth, the deity of Christ, and the elements of the gospel. It distinguishes between essential and non-essential doctrines.
  • Unity Does Not Prove Truth:
         -Let us test the argument that unity guarantees absolute truth to the claims of a religious group. If Mormons and Muslims held a unanimous consensus on all of the doctrines of their own religions (in the same manner as the Church of Rome claims), then would it not follow that they are the "true religions of our Lord Jesus Christ"? Of course not. No seasoned Roman Catholic would ever agree with the conclusion of such an argument. Furthermore, we must ask what happens when those two religions CONTRADICT each other on essential doctrinal points? The point of this hypothetical scenario is to demonstrate that unity does not prove truth. Even if the Roman Catholic Church was unified on many doctrinal issues (which is far from being the case), having a standard of unity does not logically make the professing Christian denomination the "one true church of our Lord Jesus Christ". All religions can make such a claim. Additionally, it is also possible to be unified in error.
  • A Hypocritical Double-Standard:
         -While it is true that there are many divisions within Protestantism, Roman Catholics who raise this argument against Sola Scriptura fall into the category of being hypocritical because they have just as many, if not more, divisions within the realms of their own denomination, even though they scarcely choose to recognize that fact.              
          -While the Church of Rome may appear to be fairly unified because of it is structured and organized manner under the headship of a worldly king called the pope, the unity in which Catholics appeal to is simply a delusion. It is simply a trick to deceive those who only look at things from a very superficial perspective, for there are significant theological differences among the Catholic laity, priests, scholars, theologians, and bishops. There are all sorts of societies, movements, and orders forming within the chambers of Roman Catholicism. Consider, for example, the existence of liberal and conservative Catholics. 
         -Many individual Roman Catholics are unlearned in regards to the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The vast majority flatly contradict many of the official teachings of the Catholic Church on issues such as abortion, artificial birth control, the death penalty, homosexuality, on whether priests should be married, letting females join the priesthood, stem-cell research, and much more. Roman Catholics are in a state of bitter division over additional issues such as creation/evolution, the material sufficiency of Scripture, charismatic occurrences, whether practicing Jews and Muslims can be saved without conversion, and whether Mary is the co-redemptrix. Catholic theologians are even divided over the interpretation of Vatican II documents! Although all of these significant divisions are hidden under the umbrella of Rome, the dramatic differences still exist and are still very severe in nature.        
         -In reality, comparing the unity of the Roman Catholic Church to Protestantism as a whole is like comparing apples to oranges. Catholicism is a group that is lead by an individual leader and occupies the same title all throughout its domain ("Roman Catholic"), whereas Protestantism is made up of individual churches with many different labels. Within Protestant Christianity, there is a general consensus as to what constitutes the essential doctrines of Christianity. Though it may shock some to hear this, there is a great sense of spiritual unity amongst all genuine Christians across all different denominations within the realm of orthodoxy. All genuine Christians accept the fundamental doctrines of the faith. We all have a sense of genuine love and fellowship toward each other. We are not lost and always contradicting each other, as Rome arrogantly claims. But it is true that doctrinal differences exist within Protestantism; with some being heretical. Every church group has its own set of divisions.
         -If Sola Scriptura cannot be the correct method of determining truth because of religious division among churches who claim to use this method, then the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches' method of using tradition to determine truth must also be invalidated because they contradict each other, as well. 

  • Refuting The 30,000 Protestant Denominations Myth:
         -This argument is derived off a complete misinterpretation of the World Christian Encyclopedia (David A. Barrett; Oxford University Press, 1982).
         -Out of the cited figure of 20,780 denominations, only 8,196 are labeled as being Protestant. According to Barrett's figure, 223 Roman Catholic denominations exist.
         -The figure of 8,000 denominations is pretty misleading because David A. Barrett separates "distinct denominations" according to their jurisdiction, rather than differing doctrinal practices and beliefs. In reality, these individual "denominations" only have slightly different beliefs. 
         -Then, Barrett breaks the Protestant section down into 21 major traditions, and the Church of Rome is subdivided into 16 different traditions. The word "denomination" in this context is best defined to mean "tradition".
         -Interestingly, the National Catholic Register agrees with me when I say that the 33,000 Protestant denominations argument is utterly false. 
         -In conclusion, the argument that Sola Scriptura does not work because it results in a endless cycle of confusion is based on a completely unfair case of intentional intellectual dishonesty.  

  • An Argument That Backfires:
          -If the Roman Catholic apologist still wants to use this totally false argument against the biblical principle of Sola Scriptura, then we can point out the fact that the same Word Christian Encyclopedia ranks Roman Catholicism as being the fifth worst when persecuting martyrs (total of: 4,951,000):

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sola Scriptura And The Church Fathers

Question: You strongly hold to the principle of Sola Scriptura. This teaching is relatively new, it cannot be found anywhere in the history of Christendom until the Protestant reformation in the 16th Century. I would deeply appreciate if you could show me why you would believe such an erroneous teaching.
Answer: The principle of Sola Scriptura - the Holy Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith for the church - is neither new nor erroneous. On the contrary, the Church Fathers testify that they too upheld the Scriptures as the sufficient and authoritative font of divine revelation.
The Fathers also held tradition in high esteem, but for them tradition was not a supplementary source of divine doctrines in addition to the teaching of the Scripture. Historian Philip Schaff explains:
“Besides appealing to the Scriptures, the fathers, particularly Irenaeus and Tertullian, refer with equal confidence to the "rule of faith;" that is, the common faith of the church, as orally handed down in the unbroken succession of bishops from Christ and his apostles to their day, and above all as still living in the original apostolic churches, like those of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, and Rome… the substance of its doctrine this apostolic tradition agrees with the holy scriptures, and though derived, as to its form, from the oral preaching of the apostles, is really, as to its contents, one and the same with their apostolic writings… In the narrower sense, by apostolic tradition or the rule of faith was understood a doctrinal summary of Christianity, or a compend of the faith of the church.” History of the Christian Church, II:12.
The following quotations prove that the Fathers considered the Scriptures as both sufficient and the highest authority in the church.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III.
We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.
Athanasius; Against the Heathen, I:3.
The holy and inspired Scriptures are fully sufficient for the proclamation of the truth.
Athanasius, De Synodis.
Vainly then do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith's sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point, there are the proceedings of the Fathers, for the Nicene Bishops did not neglect this matter, but stated the doctrine so exactly, that persons reading their words honestly, cannot but be reminded by them of the religion towards Christ announced in divine Scripture.
John Chrysostom, Homily 8 On Repentance and the Church, p. 118, vol. 96 TFOTC.
Regarding the things I say, I should supply even the proofs, so I will not seem to rely on my own opinions, but rather, prove them with Scripture, so that the matter will remain certain and steadfast.
Gregory of Nyssa, On the Holy Trinity.
For if custom is to avail for proof of soundness, we too, surely, may advance our prevailing custom; and if they reject this, we are surely not bound to follow theirs. Let the inspired Scripture, then, be our umpire, and the vote of truth will surely be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words.
Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection.
We are not entitled to such licence, I mean that of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings.
Basil, The Morals, p. 204, vol 9 TFOTC
What is the mark of a faithful soul? To be in these dispositions of full acceptance on the authority of the words of Scripture, not venturing to reject anything nor making additions. For, if ‘all that is not of faith is sin’ as the Apostle says, and ‘faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,’ everything outside Holy Scripture, not being of faith, is sin.
Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 7.
We are not content simply because this is the tradition of the Fathers. What is important is that the Fathers followed the meaning of the Scripture.
Basil, Moralia, 72:1.
The hearers taught in the Scriptures ought to test what is said by teachers and accept that which agrees with the Scriptures but reject that which is foreign.
Augustine, Contra litteras Petiliani, Bk 3, ch. 6.
If anyone preaches either concerning Christ or concerning His church or concerning any other matter which pertains to our faith and life; I will not say, if we, but what Paul adds, if an angel from heaven should preach to you anything besides what you have received in the Scriptures of the Law and of the Gospels, let him be anathema.
Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, IV:17.
For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell you these things, give not absolute credence, unless you receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures.
Augustine, De Unitate Ecclesiae, 10.
Neither dare one agree with catholic bishops if by chance they err in anything, but the result that their opinion is against the canonical Scriptures of God.
Augustine, De Unitate Ecclesiae, 3.
Whatever they may adduce, and wherever they may quote from, let us rather, if we are His sheep, hear the voice of our Shepherd. Therefore let us search for the church in the sacred canonical Scriptures.
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, II, 9.
For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life.
Augustine, De Bono Viduitatis.
What more shall I teach you than what we read in the apostles? For Holy Scripture fixes the rule for our doctrine, lest we dare be wiser than we ought. Therefore I should not teach you anything else except to expound to you the words of the Teacher.
Hippolytus, Against the Heresy of One Noetus, 9.
There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source… so all of us who wish to practice piety will be unable to learn its practice from any other quarter than the oracles of God. Whatever things, then, the Holy Scriptures declare, at these let us look; and whatever things they teach, these let us learn. 
Copyright Dr Joseph Mizzi
www.justforcatholics.org
Used by permission
Thank you for your partnership in the proclamation of the gospel!
Joseph Mizzi, 2000 - 2014

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Is The Roman Catholic Communion Of Saints Biblical?

  • The Church of Rome maintains that "saints" are a select group of deceased faithful Catholics whom it recognizes as worthy of "saintly veneration" through the processes of beatification and canonization. In other words, only a very small group of special, faithful, dead Roman Catholics qualify to be considered as "saints" by the approval of the pope.
  •  On the contrary, the Bible clearly teaches that all Christians are saints. This includes every follower of God; the living and the dead. In fact, the New Testament occupies the term "saint" or "saints" over sixty-seven times in reference to all believers. 
  • Consider a few examples. Every living Christian at the Church of Corinth was called a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). Every living Christian in Rome was called to be a saint (Romans 1:7). The average Christian in the Church of Philippi was called a saint, along with all of the bishops and deacons (Philippians 1:1). The Apostle Paul did not write an epistle to dead saints at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:1). The same is equally true with the epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 1:1-2).
  • Consider some more Scripture passages to see if the Catholic teaching on dead saints is reconcilable to the biblical teaching that all Christians are saints:
            - "Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13).
         -"And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda" (Acts 9:32).
         -"Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them" (Acts 26:10).
         -"But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints" (Romans 15:25).
         -"Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them" (Romans 16:15).
         -"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia." (2 Corinthians 1:1)
         -"Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work" (1 Timothy 5:10).

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Truth About The Government

Image result for we live in a society where people are more offended by swear words than they are by famine, evironmental destruction , and warefare

Modern Society Downfall

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Refuting The Atheistic/Naturalistic "God Of The Gaps" Argument


  • Atheists and naturalists define the existence of a deity as merely being an explanation for things science has not yet answered. In other words, they commonly lay the charge against theists that they are assuming without proof the necessity of God's existence in all areas that science alone has not been able to explain. But does the "God of the gaps" argument hold any sort of validity under scrutiny?
  • Christians are not pointing to the existence of a deity to seal up any sort of missing or incomplete scientific information. In other words, we are not simply saying, "Oh, God did it." Neither are we making arguments based on mere ignorance.
  • When we develop arguments in favor of the existence of God, we are making inferences from the best observations gathered by science and from the principles of elementary logic to substantiate our beliefs. In the end, all of our collected evidences point to the existence of a external, much greater reality. These logical proofs for the existence of God point beyond the scope of the natural world.   
  • The validity of each logical premise in these arguments is based on the validity of each scientific or logical fact. For instance, the universe does indeed have a fine tuning and a first cause. These many theistic arguments do not simply appeal to God as a means to provide an explanation, but rather, are logical deductions that are unpacked to get there intended point across.
  • If the premises of such arguments are true, then their conclusions automatically follow. This is true, regardless of how people feel or react to the validity of the presented deductive arguments. 
  • It is very illogical to completely deny the existence of a transcendent, supernatural realm when you do not have any evidence to base your beliefs on. A true scientist must always be willing to admit to the possibility of anything, for they are supposed to be dedicated to seeking answers. They are supposed to be all about "evidence". Atheistic scientists are indeed being very biased. They are raising a double standard (they cannot in any way disprove the existence of external deity). Atheistic scientists are thus poorly doing their job.  
  • In my opinion, the arguments presented for the existence of God are by far stronger than any possible negations or anti-theistic arguments. 

Refuting Atheism: "Who Created God? Where Did God Come From?"


  • A very common question raised by atheists in response to logical theistic arguments for the existence of God is, "If God is the creator of the universe, then who created God? Where did He come from?" So let's provide them with a concrete answer.
  • Quite simply, the response to this question is that God has no beginning or end. In other words, He is eternal. We know beyond any shadow of a doubt that something cannot create itself from nothing. It is impossible for nothing to create something.
  • Skeptics may object to this response by claiming that the universe itself is eternal. In other words, they try to remove God from the equation by substituting Him with matter, time, and space as being infinite. However, you cannot reach infinity by using finite instances or materials. In other words, it is impossible to have an infinite number of finite things. So the universe cannot be in itself eternal because it consists of finite particles. Hence, there must be an infinite outside Source, that is, an all-knowing and all-powerful Creator who has existed for all eternity.
  • See these articles:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 And 1 Corinthians 11 Do Not Support Eucharistic Theology

Eucharist: Paul’s Teaching in 1st Corinthians
Question: St Paul teaches the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He states that the cup of blessing is the participation in the blood of Christ and the bread we break is the participation in the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 10:16). What must the cup and the bread be to make possible this participation in the blood and body of Christ? The most obvious and logical answer is that the bread and cup of wine must really be the body and blood of Christ. St Paul also said that whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord; and any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself (See 1 Corinthians 11:27, 29). How can eating mere bread and wine unworthily be so serious? Paul’s comments make sense only if bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ.
Answer: It is important to read these two passages in their entirety (see Appendix) so that we may understand Paul’s words in their context.
In chapter 10, Paul corrects the behaviour of some Christians in Corinth who had been participating in pagan temple banquets (8:10). He demonstrates that these social gatherings had a profound religious significance. He appeals, first of all, to the Eucharist, reminding them that partaking of the bread and wine signified their communion (or sharing) in Christ’s body and blood. Moreover, their sharing of the one life-source produces a unity among them; they are one bread, one body. He then gives a further illustration from the sacrifices offered by the Israelites. The victim was divided between God (represented by the altar) and the person who offered it (Leviticus 3 and 7); this sharing was understood to create a bond between them. In the same way, taking part in the pagan temple banquets created a “common-union” between the pagans and the demons they unwittingly worshipped. Hence Christians should not take part in those pagan feasts; otherwise they would be “participants with demons”!
The communion between the Israelites and God was true. That does not mean that the victim was transubstantiated, does it? Similarly the communion of the pagans with demons was also real, and yet there is no suggestion there was a “change in substance” of their offerings. Even so, there need not be a change in substance of the bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ for the communion of Christians with their Saviour and with one another to be genuine and real.
During the Lord’s Supper, we “break the bread” and we partake of “one loaf” (10:16, 17) -- and not of a human body, as Catholic theology would have it. Your conclusion that the eucharistic elements must “really” be the body and blood of Christ is neither obvious nor logical; rather you import the idea of transubstantion which is completely foreign to the context.
In 1 Corinthians 11, the apostle deals with a different problem. He rebukes the Corinthians for their selfish and inconsiderate conduct during their church meetings. “When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?” (11:20, 21).
This sheds light on what Paul means when he says that some were eating and drinking “without recognizing (discerning) the body of the Lord” (10:29). Their problem was not a failure to understand that the bread and wine represented the body and blood of Christ. Rather, they failed to understand and respect the unity of all Christians in the church, the body of Christ. A Catholic commentary concurs: “discerning the body: This is the criterion by which believers must judge themselves. They must evaluate the authenticity of their relationships to other members of the body of Christ, a theme already known to the Corinthians (6:15) and mentioned in 10:17.” So, “not discerning the body” has to do with the unity of the church rather than the nature of the eucharistic elements themselves or transubstantiation. [1]
Some Corinthian Christians were eating in an “unworthy manner” because their selfish behaviour was a contradiction of the unity of the church, the body, brought forth by the bodily sacrifice and the shed blood of Christ represented by the eucharistic bread and cup.
“How can eating mere bread and wine unworthily,” you ask, “be so serious?” Surely you understand why the man who tramples on the nation’s flag is, in fact, dishonouring the country even though the flag is “mere” piece of cloth. Similarly, the profanation of the sacred symbols of Christ’s body and blood is a sin against Christ Himself even though the bread remains “bread” as Paul calls it (v 27).

Appendix
1 Corinthians 10:14-22
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. 18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

[1] (Murphy-O’Connor J. The First Letter to the Corinthians, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Roland E. Murphy (Bangalore: Theological Publications in India, 2000), p 810).

Some commentators, both Catholic and Christian, interpret 1 Corinthians 11:29 as a reference to the physical body of Christ. Still, it would be difficult to make this verse a proof of transubstantiation since it can be reasonably understood in a different way (i.e. "the church" -- as we have seen). Moreover, even if it is a reference to the physical body of Christ, it is still not a proof of transubstantiation -- why does it have to be understood in the Aristotelian categories of "accidents" and "substance" rather than the usual biblical symbolic language? In other words, "not discerning the body" could be understood "not discerning the body represented by the bread" rather than "not discerning the body in what appears to be bread but which is in substance the physical body of Christ". [back]

Copyright Dr Joseph Mizzi
www.justforcatholics.org
Used by permission
Thank you for your partnership in the proclamation of the gospel!
Joseph Mizzi, 2000 - 2014

Logical Reasons To Believe That Jesus Actually Performed Miracles

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Say No To Lust And Adultery!

  • Defining The Issues:

         -We live in a society that has been entrenched with sexual sin--from the songs that we hear on the radio, to commercials and shows on the TV, to straight up pornography. Sexual sin can be found pretty much anywhere on the planet. Why is sexual temptation such a big deal? Why is lust, fornication, and adultery morally wrong? What measures can we as Christians take to prevent ourselves and others from falling into a state of sexual temptation?
  • A Straightforward Confrontation: 
        -Lust for another person is clearly based on selfish motives, for we cannot be made into the "property". It gives us men the totally wrong implication that woman are merely "baby making" machines. But human beings are not simply "tools" that are used for the sake of self-pleasure. Not only is it wrong to deny human dignity, but engaging in sexual activity with random people reduces our nature to being on the same level as the wild animals. If we were truly programmed to function on the basis of mere instinct, like animals do, then we would have no recognition for morals. Neither would it be possible for us to have personal values. But we do have such traits due to our advanced intellect, reasoning capacities, and free will.
        -Marriage is supposed to be the life-long, romantic commitment and companionship to a partner of the opposite sex. Adultery is wrong for obvious reasons: it is lying and unfair. The lives of many people and long-term relationships have come to a tragic end simply because of a single act of adultery. So matters like these are not something to joke about.
        -If fornication and adultery are morally permissible, then why even bother with getting married in the first place?
        -Pornography is very addictive. In other words, the brains of people who continually watch "porn" end up getting stimulated to the point that they end up getting engrossed in the films. As a result, the brains of the people involved must watch the same films repeatedly and/or get even deeper into watching more disgusting films because they are seeking to be in the same stimulated mental state. Pornography negatively affects a person's psychological health in the same sense that illegal drugs such as heroin, bath salts, methamphetamine, amphetamines, and cocaine do! People end up becoming enslaved to this film monster. It has ruined many lives. Not only does the pornography industry completely disregard the value of the human body and deteriorate our overall quality of life, it earns itself several billion dollars annually. The people who are bold enough to run such businesses are incredibly careless of the needs of other people. Why not shut down the pornography industry to donate the amassed money to infinitely more important aspects of life such as the starving and homeless people of this world or to helping millions escape religious persecution in other countries?  If the answer to this question is to maintain the strength of the economy, then why not find better alternatives? Why not spend as much effort on working to do what is morally right?  

  • Jesus Christ specifically taught that having a mental sexual desire for another person is just as evil as actually committing the deed and can thus put the soul in danger of going to hell after death (Matthew 5:28-29). This teaching of the Lord is certainly not anything new (Proverbs 6:25-26; Job 31:1). Lust itself is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
  • We are not to focus on finding ways to indulge our own sinful lusts (Romans 13:14). Sexual temptations are waging war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). So we either must choose to rebel against them or let them conquer us. The Apostle Paul instructed us to keep ourselves pure (1 Timothy 5:22).
  • The Apostle Paul instructed women to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). And Jesus Himself warned against being a stumbling block to others (Matthew 18:6).
  •  Measures That Should Be Taken (Speaking In A General Sense):
        -Eliminate the source: the best way to get rid of any temptation is to get eliminate the source; you first need to identify with certainty the source(s) of your sexual temptation(s); then, find ways to permanently remove/avoid temptations (to the best of your ability).           
        -Prayer: acknowledge God's infinite lordship; beg the Lord for forgiveness; pray for those who are ensnared by sexual sin.
        -Study: read the Bible and meditate upon the moral principles taught within; spend some quality time studying Scripture or memorizing specific verses (Psalm 119:10-11).
        -Find wholesome Christian people: though a difficult task, you should try to find a group of true Christians who can help you steer out of the direction of sexual temptation; you need to carefully examine professing Christians (rather than blindly accepting their mere profession by mouth) because Satan can also use other people as a means to drag you back down; might have to cut off contact with people who live immoral lifestyles (unless they are your co-workers, etc.--then you can do nothing about that situation).
        -Find some good Christian music to distract you from sinful thinking; take brakes from the TV and video games (or cut them out of your life for good); spend much valuable time doing godly things.
  • Yes, You Can Overcome The Struggles Presented By Sexual Temptation:
          -We are fully capable of being victorious over our spiritual weaknesses such as lust, just as Joseph in the Old Testament refused to sleep with his master's wife (Genesis 39:6-21). He wasn't even married during that time! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Christian Dating And Courtship

  • Introduction:
          -This article is dedicated primarily to the people in the Christian community who are interested in, searching for, or are actively involved in dating another person of the opposite sex. Choosing the right partner for yourself is indeed a paramount decision, as will be explained on this page. So a few theological insights will be provided to help you choose the correct partner to marry. 
  • Marriage Is Permanent (lasts until the moment of physical death):
          -"For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man." (Romans 7:2-3)                 
          -"and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:8-12)
  • What Happens If You Choose The Wrong Spouse?:
           -According to the Bible, people who marry are stuck with the partner that they have chosen until one of the two passes away. If a spouse dies, then the living one is free to marry again. It is therefore best to marry another Christian.To marry somebody from a different religious or a secular background is not at all recommended because he or she could pose a great threat, if not a fatal blow, to one's spiritual life. This would mean that a once saved individual will be on his or her way to eternal condemnation in literal flames. Furthermore, a person who marries after a divorce is in the state of adultery, which will lead an unrepentant sinner to hell (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). 
           -We need to stop judging people by worldly factors such as physical appearance, charm, intellect, and wealth. Neither should one choose a spouse on the basis of a mere profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21). What a person should be looking at in a potential spouse is their overall doctrine and state of heart. It is better to suffer from the pains of loneliness than to make the poor decision of marrying the wrong person! Some people may have to wait a long time before finally getting married, like Isaac who was forty before he got married (Genesis 25:20). In fact, not everybody has been called to live a married life. And remember, there will be no marriage in the afterlife (Mark 12:18-27).

Marriage From The Christian Perspective

  • The Biblical Purposes Of Marriage:
          -For human reproduction (Genesis 1:28)
          -Love/Companionship (Genesis 2:18; Proverbs 31:10-31)
          -Prevention of lust through sexual satisfaction; "due benevolence" (1 Corinthians 7:1-5; 9)
  • Biblical Description of Marriage:
             -"And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE"and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?" (Matthew 19:4-5)

  • Biblical Responsibilities Of The Husband:
          -According to the Bible, the husband is supposed to show loving leadership over his family (1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19). In other words, he is to exercise  complete authority over his household, be responsible, and thus provide for the needs of the household. The man is meant to be the head of the household.
  • The Functions Of The Wife:
         -The wife is supposed to be the manager of the home, but under the supervision of the husband. In other words, she is supposed to care for the children, prepare the meals, and keep the house organized (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Timothy 2:15; 5:14). The wife is free to take on other responsibilities, as long as they do not interfere with her mandatory duties (and thus distracts the husband from fulfilling his tasks). 
  • Submission To The Husband Does Not Equal Inferiority Or Lack Of Dignity:
        -Women are not in any way intellectually subordinate in nature or worthy of less respect than men. In other words, both genders posses equal intrinsic value because they were both created by God, who is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Women are not merely slaves or indentured servants. Women can have their own thoughts. They have the same inherent rights as men.  
       -Wives have been called to be obedient to their husbands because man was created first in order and Eve was the one who was directed manipulated by the devil, who was in the form of a serpent (1 Timothy 2:11-15). The biblical form of submission to the husband, however, is totally different than the types submission described previously. This "obedience" actually points to the closeness of the two partners in marriage. It is the sharing of a mutual goal, a romantic partnership. It represents the different responsibilities that both leading figures of the family have, as described above. The wife of the household has indelible value and a vital role for the success of the family, regardless of whether she works outside the house or not.     
  • The Necessity Of Compromise:
         -In order for marriage to work, both partners must agree to fulfill the necessary obligations that have been assigned to them. No successful relationship can thrive without compromise. There has to be necessary conditions for the husband and wife to abide by, for the household cannot stand in a state of division, an individual cannot complete a job which requires many people to work together, and are simply limited by bodily design. 
       -Human beings were never meant to be stand alone creatures. In other words, we all have the inherent need for social interaction, mental settlement, and compatibility. We all need each other. Both genders, when isolated from each other, are essentially incomplete. One cannot survive without the existence of the other. In summary, I have been stressing the fact that compromise is an underlying component to human survival and rationality. This is why marriage must also have strict boundaries and obligations for authoritative figures of the family.               

Friday, March 24, 2017

Biblical Objections To Sola Fide Refuted

  • Introduction:
          -Many Scripture passages have been thrown around on the subject of justification, that is, how mankind is saved from eternal damnation in flames. Are works necessary for salvation or not? How does ta person get saved, anyway? The controversy amongst differing parties continues to brew, even though the Bible has already provided a fairly straightforward answer. Quite simply, the answer to these questions is by the grace of God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, and that alone (Acts 16:29-31). Opponents such as Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Seventh-Day Adventists would argue otherwise. In other words, many professing Christian groups believe that salvation is determined in part by, if not entirely, on the basis of human efforts. Interestingly, all world religions believe in the concept of a works-based salvation. Perhaps such a belief originated from proud mankind's internal desire to selfishly earn rewards, including salvation. But the purpose of this paper is to provide solid responses to the most commonly cited verses against the biblical doctrine of Sola Fide.
  • "You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24):
          -If this text is teaching that people are saved in part by works, then the Bible must contradict itself because the Apostle Paul emphatically states that works do not justify us (Romans 4:2-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; 2 Timothy 1:9-10). But this cannot possibly be the case, since all Scripture is equally inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
           -James clearly occupies the word justify to mean vindication, or proven. He does not argue against salvation by faith alone, but rather, a salvation that stands without any good works to accompany it. In other words, he is warning against living a Christian life that is devoid of good deeds. What James is saying is that we demonstrate the reality of our faith by good works (v. 18). Are we going to merely talk the spiritual talk or actually going to walk the spiritual walk (v. 14-17)? Faith and works must accompany each other because works are the evidence (not the cause) of our genuine faith in the Lord (v. 19-20), which justifies us. The inspired writer then provides is with two biblical examples to illustrate his point on the relation between faith and works (v. 21-26). While the Apostle Paul repeatedly uses the word justify in the sense of salvation (i.e Romans 3-5), James uses the term in the sense of vindication, which is also used elsewhere in Scripture (i.e. Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:29; 10:29; 16:15).
  • "...work out your salvation with fear and trembling..." (Philippians 2:12):
            -Notice that the verse says "work out", not "work for" your salvation. People who have genuine faith in Christ will by definition be doing good works as a result of their salvation (i.e. Matthew 7:15-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Ephesians 2:10). Thus, Christians are able to "work out" their salvation.
  • "Not everyone that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21):
           -The context is about differentiating between true and false Christians. Jesus said, "So by their fruits you shall know them" (v. 20). Genuine believers will produce "good fruits" (works) because they are the result of salvation, not the cause. 
           -The "will of the father" is to believe in (accept)/place your trust in Jesus Christ (John 6:28-29; 40).
           -Notice that in verses 22 and 23, professing Christians were condemned for trusting in their own alleged works of righteousness and for thus being in an improper state of heart. In reality, this passage only enhances the cause behind the "faith only" argument!
  •  Lacking in the afflictions of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:24)?:
         -No, the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to redeem mankind from sin (i.e. Hebrews 10:10-18). In fact, the Apostle Paul never even says that man's suffering justifies anyone. He was simply telling his audience about what was lacking in the church and is reminding the people of his epistle of his suffering for them. Today, we suffer in the same sense of bearing burdens for other people and winning lost souls over to Jesus Christ.  
  • "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48):
          -The quick stock rejoinder to the citation of the above passage is to ask the opponent, "So are your perfect?" According to the Bible, nobody has ever reached God's perfect standard of morality (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10-23). For this reason, God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that He could make the final propitiatory sacrifice to redeem mankind from the repercussions of the Fall and thus spiritual death (John 3:16). If a person denies the fact that he or she is a sinner, then he or she is a deceptive liar who turns God into a "lair" (1 John 1:8-10), which is blasphemy against His name. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus was simply emphasizing the fact that holiness is an essential characteristic of an authentic Christian. We have been called to let the light of our faith shine in the spiritual darkness for other people (Matthew 5:16). Or hearts are perfected, or purified, by faith in His work (Acts 15:7-11; 1 John 3:3). Jesus was simply telling His followers to mimic the example of the Creator by striving to be the best person that they can be. 
  • "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be saved." (Romans 2:13):
           -There was a group of Jews who believed that they could be saved by keeping the Law (Romans 2:17). In other words, some Jewish people were relying upon the keeping of the Mosaic Law to save them. In response, the Apostle Paul dedicates much time to reprimanding them. He goes on (Romans 2:18-3:19) to call the Jews hypocrites because they had in reality failed to perfectly keep the Law, which demands perfect obedience in order to get saved by it (Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10). He finishes his indictment against them by saying, "Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the knowledge of the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). Nobody is saved by keeping the Law (Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:20-28; Galatians 2:16-21; Philippians 3:9). Otherwise, everybody would automatically be disqualified from inheriting eternal salvation in heaven because nobody is capable of fulfilling the demands of perfection which is prescribed by the Law for salvation (Galatians 3:10). In this text, the Apostle Paul was simply speaking in a hypothetical sense to illustrate the point that nobody is able to follow the Law in a perfect manner.
  • "Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague broke in upon them. Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And it was counted unto him for generations unto all generations for evermore." (Psalm 106:30-31):
            -The background of this event is recorded in Numbers 25. In it, some of the men of the nation of Israel were committing fornication with the woman of Moab. Consequently, God was provoked to anger and He cast a plague over Israel. Then Phinehas took a spear and drove it through a couple in the act of fornication, which killed them both. Because of his desire for righteousness, he obtained mercy from God, terminated the plague, and was simply regarded as being righteous. His deed would be blessed and remembered in every future generation. 
            -Although some have tried to link Psalm 106:30-31 to Genesis 15:6 (meaning to equate their messages as being the same), this is not a valid argument because the two passages have different contexts. Neither Psalm 106:30-31 nor Numbers 25 have contexts pertaining to justification or how to get saved. Genesis 15:6 is relevant to the debate because A.) Both James and the Apostle Paul used this text in their illustrations on justification and the Christian life, and B.) The passage in Genesis 15 is not the moment of Abraham's justification, but rather, the promise of salvation to him and posterity, which is by faith in the Lord. It is foretelling the complete message of the gospel, which is centered around the Messiah. In light of this, it is safe to conclude that Phinehas did this act as a result of his salvation. Is driving spears into random people a requirement for salvation or something?
  • The Story Of The Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:17-30; Luke 18:18-30):
        -A young man who was wealthy approached Jesus Christ and asked him about what kind of works he needed to accomplish in order to obtain eternal salvation in heaven (Matthew 19:16). Then, Christ revealed that the young man fell short of meeting God's perfect standard of obedience to the Ten Commandments (v. 21-22), as we all do. He concluded the conversation by reinforcing the fact of the impossibility of salvation apart from the work of God (v. 26). So this in another passage that is supportive to the "Faith Alone" argument.
      -The Parable of The Tax Collector and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14), which was told right before Jesus ended up meeting with the rich man, clearly teaches that one is saved by his or her faithfulness to God's will (not dependent upon one's own works).
  • The Parable Of The Sheep And Goats (Matthew 25:31-46):
           -In this text, Jesus is not giving us a specific list of things that we need to do in order to obtain salvation. In other words, the context of Matthew 25:31-46 is not about justification, but rather, faithfulness to the will of God. The "sheep" symbolize the true followers of God, whereas the "goats" represent the people who never experienced (or fell away from a) true conversion of heart. The works mentioned within this context merely describe the type of person who fits into one of the two distinct, general categories. In every judgment scene found in Scripture, the Lord points out to our works because they are the evidence of our faithfulness to Him. These works of obedience are the evidence of what is already in our hearts, by faith. While it is true that we will be rewarded for our good works, none of them have any bearing on our salvation (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Eternal life is a free gift that is given to us out of God's infinite love and unmerited grace to mankind. It is something that we cannot and do not earn