Monday, April 30, 2018

The Roman Catholic Church Views The New Testament As A Dead Letter

  • Roman Catholics Believe That The Magisterium Brings To Life The Supposedly Dead And Lifeless Scripture:
          -"The Scriptures indeed is a divine book but it is a dead letter, which has to be explained, and cannot exercise the action which the preacher can obtain!" (Joseph Bruneau, Our Priesthood, p. 142)
  • Further Attestation From Other Catholic Sources:
          -"Through Luther, although Calvin seems to have been the first to announce Monobiblicism clearly, the Bible became the arm of the Protestant revolt. A dumb and difficult book was substituted for the living voice of the Church, in order that each one should be able to make for himself the religion which suited his feelings. And the Bible open before every literate man and woman to interpret for themselves was the attractive bait to win adherents . . ." (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, General Editors were Bernard Orchard, Edmund F. Sutcliffe, Reginald C. Fuller, and Ralph Russell, p. 11)
  • Other Vain Proclamations:
          -"The Bible does not pretend to be a formulary of belief, as in a creed or catechism. There is nowhere in the New Testament a clear, methodical statement of the teaching of Christ. It was never intended as such." (Bertrand L. Conway, The Question-box Answers, p. 66)
  • Catholic Officials Want Us To Believe That Their Tradition Is Safer To Follow Than Scripture Itself:
          -"Like two sacred rivers flowing from paradaise, the Bible and divine tradition contain the word of God, the precious gems of revealed truths. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still of the two, tradition is to us more clear and safe." (Joseph Faa' di Bruno, Catholic Belief, p. 33)

          On the contrary, this Roman Catholic criticism of Sola Scriptura (that the Bible is a dead letter) reflects a shockingly low view of biblical authority. It is meant to portray the New Testament as being basically a dead and unintelligible letter, apart from the so-called teaching authority of the Magisterium. It is simply another one of Rome's attempts to bolster its prideful claims of universal authority over Christendom. But this kind of reasoning runs directly contrary to what the Word of God affirms regarding its own perspicuity, integrity, and trustworthiness:

          "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." (Psalm 19:7-8)

          "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89)


           "But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God:" (Matthew 22:31)

          "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught." (Luke 1:1-4)

          "Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life." (John 6:68)

          "If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken)." (John 10:35)

          "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

          "and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15)

          "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

          "for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God." (1 Peter 1:23)


          If Roman Catholic officials are indeed correct in regards to the Bible being a dead letter, then it surely is odd that it proclaims itself to be a living, powerful, and even lucid guide for the average reader. The quoted excerpts above from Catholic literature can hardly be reconciled with what divine revelation proclaims about itself. The two are diametrically opposed to each other in this case. The Word of God obviously does not portray itself as needing to be unpackaged by a religious organization. How unfortunate, yet the Church of Rome publicly proclaims deep, heartfelt reverence for the Word of God. This truly is ironic.

          Whenever the self-sufficiency of Scripture gets rejected, whatever it affirms, opposes, or says in general basically becomes irrelevant. This is a door to heresy. For proof of this, all that one has to do is look at all the abhorrent doctrines taught by groups who adamantly deny Sola Scriptura such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. Cults like these are in much worse shape than anybody who relies on (with an open and prayerful heart) Scripture alone for discerning truth from error. One can also take the time to examine all of the apostate denominations that reject biblical inerrancy. Nonetheless, our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the devil by saying the following three times in a row, "It is written" (Matthew 4:1-11). Allow us to confidently follow His perfect moral example. Scripture is the safest route to use in building doctrine because it has been given to us by an infallible God.

          Never once does Scripture present itself as needing to be interpreted by an allegedly infallible church hierarchy. Who infallibly interprets the words of the infallible interpreter when people still fail to grasp allegedly infallible dogmas? If disagreements in interpretation of the Bible prove it to be obscure, then is God's existence proven to be obscure just because atheists disagree with us on that matter (Romans 1:18-20)? How can we adhere to a body of extra-biblical oral tradition when it has never even been clearly defined? What exactly constitutes tradition, anyway?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Hebrew Roots Of The Trinity

  • The Old Testament Contains A Number Of References Where Plural Pronouns Are Applied Exclusively To God:
          -"Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22)
          -"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:7)       
          -"Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

          If this is not evidence supporting the the triune nature of God, then why would He speak for Himself using plural pronouns?

          Elohim, which is plural, is a name for God used frequently throughout the Hebrew Bible. Consider, for example:

          "In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2, AMP Bible)

          Thus, it would be rational to deduce from this text that God as the three divine persons of the Trinity were involved in creation of the universe. Even the Old Testament plainly vindicates the notion that there exists plurality within the divine Godhead.

          Even the Old Testament confirms the fact that the triune God speaks as one:

           "For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me. Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you." (Zechariah 2:8-11)

           Additionally, Isaiah saw the Lord Jesus Christ as Yahweh (Isaiah 6:1-10; John 12:37-41).

           In fact, there are scenarios in the Hebrew Scriptures where the term Elohim is applied to two personalities:

           "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows. All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad." (Psalm 45:7-8)

           "Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." (Genesis 19:24)
  • How The Term Elohim Is Grammatically Plural:
           -"Interestingly, the word Elohim is grammatically plural rather than singular (the -im suffix in Hebrew indicates the plural form). The singular form of Elohim is probably Eloah. What are we to make of the plural? Does the plural form of Elohim imply polytheism? No, the Torah makes clear that God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). Polytheism is expressly forbidden in the Old Testament." (Gotquestions, "What is the meaning of the word Elohim?")
  • Concerning The Uniqueness Of The Term Elohim:
           -"The name Elohim is unique to Hebraic thinking: it occurs only in Hebrew and in no other ancient Semitic language. The masculine plural ending does not mean "gods" when referring to the true God of Israel, since the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular (e.g., see Gen. 1:26). However, considering the Hashalush HaKadosh (Trinity), the form indeed allows for the plurality within the Godhead." (Hebrew4Christians, "Hebrew Names of God")
  • Even Hebrew Scholars Have Confessed That Elohim Suggests Plurality:
           -"Virtually all Hebrew scholars do recognize that the word Elohim, as it stands by itself, is a plural noun. Nevertheless, they wish to deny that it allows for any plurality in the Godhead whatsoever." (Jews For Jesus,"Jewishness and the Trinity")
  • Presenting Further Evidence:
           -"The Hebrew word translated "God" is the word El or Elohim. Elohim is the plural form of El. The plural form is used 2607 of the 2845 times the word "God" is used in the Old Testament. Not only is the word for God usually used in the plural form, but several verses refer to God as "Us". An example of how the Hebrew word Elohim is used in the plural is that it is translated "gods" (referring to idols) 235 times in the Old Testament. It is exactly the same word that is translated "God," referring to the Almighty. An example is given below: "I am the LORD your God [Elohim], who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. "You shall have no other gods [Elohim] before Me (Exodus 20:2-3)." (God and Science, "The Triunity (Trinity) of God in The Old Testament")

Pornography and Exploitation

"Pornography is the new frontier to explore and exploit in the name of liberation. It is the invention of totally deprived minds. Based on the dehumanization of women and the ridicule of the family, it represents the total absence of equality between men and women."

Hope MacDonald, The Flip Side of Liberation: A Call to Traditional Values, pg.112

Friday, April 27, 2018

Evidence Christians Are Not To Observe The Sabbath

  • The Inherent Implications Of A New Covenant Prove That Christians Are Not Supposed To Observe The Sabbath:
          -"When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant." (Hebrews 8:13-9:4)

        The New Testament never commands Christians to observe the Sabbath. In fact, neither Jesus nor the apostles warned against failure to observe this Jewish holiday. Nowhere does the Old Testament even condemn Gentiles for not observing Saturday.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Roman Catholic Misuse Of Moses' Seat

  • Discussion:
          -Roman Catholic apologists oftentimes quote the following passage of Scripture in support of their extra-biblical oral tradition:

          "Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses." (Matthew 23:1-2)

          They seem to view this text as a parallel biblically establishing an office that functions similarly to their Magisterium, but such an interpretation only makes sense at a superficial glace of the passage being examined.

          What needs to be understood, however, is that the reference to Moses' seat was a symbolic expression of teaching the Pentateuch, which is the first five books of the Bible (Exodus 18:13-16):

          "Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn." (1 Kings 2:3)

           So, this would actually be more supportive of Sola Scriptura because it emphasizes written revelation rather than oral revelation. Furthermore, this "Seat of Moses" would pertain much more to civil law than issuing religious dogma. Moses was judge; the priesthood constituted a theocracy. These Jewish leaders did not continually make up new laws, but rather upheld the laws that God had originally given to His people through Moses.

           Roman Catholics simply assume without proof that there exists a logical connection between Moses' seat and their chain of so-called apostolic successors. They simply commit eisegesis by applying Matthew 23:1-2 to their church hierarchy. In fact, this Catholic argument is anachronistic. They cannot produce one inspired saying of Jesus Christ or the apostles, that is not recorded in Scripture. The New Testament says nothing concerning a chair of Peter, let alone apostolic successors. Christ says nothing in Matthew 23:1-2 about adherence to extra-biblical authorities or traditions. There is no evidence for a tradition of successors from Moses' seat. The Old Testament knows nothing regarding the existence of a "pre-apostolic succession". Neither is there any evidence existing that the Jewish people attributed infallibility to their leaders. In fact, we know from Scripture that the Scribes and Pharisees did indeed promulgate doctrinal error. They were even once referred to by Jesus as "blind guides" (Matthew 23:16).

           Whatever teaching from the writings of Moses and the Prophets that the Scribes and Pharisees had enforced, Christ instructed the people to obey. He told them to not emulate the poor moral example of these teachers:

           "therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them." (Matthew 23:3)

           These religious leaders made themselves appear extremely pious and zealous in their daily religious practices before others, but God knew that their hearts were in reality far from Him. He knew that these Jewish authorities were only seeking flattery from the public. Their worship of God was fake, which is something that He absolutely detests. We should all take this passage of Scripture as a warning against arrogance. But why would Roman Catholics want to apply a text addressing religious hypocrites to their own church hierarchy?

            It is quite ironic to see that there exists striking parallels between the Scribes and Pharisees back in the days of our Lord Jesus Christ's earthly ministry and the modern Church of Rome, which are anything but positive. Catholics appeal to a physical, traceable lineage to lend credence to the veracity of their arguments, yet Christ rejected the Scribes and Pharisees who advanced the same logic (Matthew 3:7-9; John 8:36-45). The Church of Rome claims to possess divine oral tradition, yet Christ strongly rebuked the religious leaders of His day who made identical claims (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:7-13). Roman Catholic officials unashamedly wield religious titles of honor, yet Christ expressed emphatic disapproval of the leaders who reserved such for themselves (Matthew 23:8-12). Just as the critics of Jesus asked by what authority He performed miracles (Luke 20:2), Roman Catholic apologists ask the same question in regard to us making interpretations of Scripture. Perhaps all of these likenesses are symptomatic of the Church of Rome being a hive festooned with pompousness and religious hypocrisy.

            If Jesus Christ had really instituted an infallible interpreter of Scripture, then why is it that He held people accountable for how they interpreted Scripture?:

            "But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29)

            "And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” (Luke 10:26)

Christians And Conspiracy Theories: Discernment Or Distraction?

"Let’s acknowledge that there are unscrupulous people who, under the guise of "biblical discernment," engage in unbrotherly criticism. Their tactics often include innuendo, character assassination, guilt by association, and other dishonest methods. They weave conspiracy theories, sensationalize their attacks against others, and favor personal slurs over substantive doctrinal analysis. Militant fundamentalism has made this type of criticism its specialty. As a consequence, that movement has steadily lost its influence, forfeited its credibility, and fragmented into tiny, warring factions. My appeal for discernment is not a call to that sort of factious attitude."

John F. Macarthur, "Divisiveness vs. Discernment"

Daniel 7:13-14: An Explicit Affirmation Of The Deity Of Christ

  • Presenting The Passage Of Scripture In Question:
          -“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)

          This messianic prophecy articulated through Daniel emphatically describes God ("Ancient of Days") as sitting in judgement over the conquered nations of retaliation, represented in context as various beasts, alongside the establishment of the eternal throne of Jesus Christ His Son. He is clearly portrayed in this text as being sovereign over creation. He is thus a figure worthy of our worship. This vision reveals to us that both the Father and Son rule over all creation.

          Additionally, the text of Daniel 7:13-14 can be paralleled with Revelation chapters four and five, where we see the Lamb of God is found to be worthy of opening the scroll declaring the inheritance of the nations. This takes place when the evil kingdoms of this world get eliminated once for all. He has been given authority over everything. Our Lord Jesus Christ reigns with majestic glory for all eternity onward. He shares the throne of God. Christ is truly God incarnate. Reflect on some of the vivid language that Jesus employed in regards to Him being glorified as documented in the gospel narratives:

          "You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)

          "I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)
  • Note The Words Of St. Jerome In His Commentary On Daniel 7:13: 
           -“And behold, there came One with the clouds of heaven like unto the Son of man.” He who was described in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar as a rock cut without hands, which also grew to be a large mountain, and which smashed the earthenware, the iron, the bronze, the silver, and the gold is now introduced as the very person of the Son of man, so as to indicate in the case of the Son of God how He took upon Himself human flesh; according to the statement which we read in the Acts of the Apostles: ‘Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up towards heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him going into heaven' (Acts 1:11)”.
  • Further Insights By Prominent Evangelical Scholar Wayne A. Grudem On The Text Of Daniel 7:13-14 Being A Messianic Prophecy: 
           -"Someone who had heavenly origin and who was given eternal rule over the whole world. The high priests did not miss the point of this passage when Jesus said, ‘Hereafter you will see the Son of man seated on the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven‘ (Matt. 26:46). The reference to Daniel 7:13-14 was unmistakable, and the high priest and his council knew that Jesus was claiming to be the eternal world ruler of heavenly origin spoken of in Daniel’s vision. Immediately they said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy…. He deserves death’ (Matt. 26:65-66).” (Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith)
  • Strong Evidence Exists Supporting The Historic Christian Understanding Of Daniel 7:13-14: 
           -"The earliest Christian writings outside the Bible also frequently point to this interpretation. Even the Jewish apocryphal "Book of Enoch," borrowing from Daniel, describes the "Son of Man" as an eternal, divine figure who is given the Messianic Kingdom by the "Head of Days," (who is obviously parallel to Daniel's "Ancient of Days"). While this book is completely apocryphal and carries no authority, it does show us that at least some Jews reading Daniel 7understood that both the "Ancient of Days" and the "Son of Man" must be divine figures worthy of universal worship, yet without violating biblical monotheism. The Christian understanding of this passage fully answers this conundrum in the doctrine of the Trinity and the incarnation of God the Son." (Luke Wayne, CARM, "Who is the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7?")

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Roman Catholic Myth Of 33,000 Protestant Denominations

“Barrett identifies seven major ecclesiastical “blocs” under which these 22,190 distinct denominations fall (Barrett, 14-15): (1) Roman Catholicism, which accounts for 223 denominations; (2) Protestant, which accounts for 8,196 denominations; (3) Orthodox, which accounts for 580 denominations; (4) Non-White Indigenous, which accounts for 10,956 denominations; (5) Anglican, which accounts for 240 denominations; (6) Marginal Protestant, which includes Jehovah s Witnesses, Mormons, New Age groups, and all cults (Barrett, 14), and which accounts for 1,490 denominations; and (7) Catholic (Non-Roman), which accounts for 504 denominations”.

“Barrett indicates that what he means by “denomination” is any ecclesial body that retains a “jurisdiction” (i.e., semi-autonomy). As an example, Baptist denominations comprise approximately 321 of the total Protestant figure. In other words, if there are ten Independent Baptist churches in a given city, even though all of them are identical in belief and practice, each one is counted as a separate denomination due to its autonomy in jurisdiction. This same principle applies to all independent or semi-independent denominations. And even beyond this, all Independent Baptist denominations are counted separately from all other Baptist denominations, even though there might not be a dime’s worth of difference among them. The same principle is operative in Barrett’s count of Roman Catholic denominations. He cites 194 Latin-rite denominations in 1970, by which Barrett means separate jurisdictions (or diocese). Again, a distinction is made on the basis of jurisdiction, rather than differing beliefs and practices”.

“However Barrett has defined “denomination,” it is clear that he does not think of these as major distinctions; for that is something he reserves for another category. In addition to the seven major ecclesiastical “blocs” (mentioned above), Barrett breaks down each of these traditions into smaller units that might have significant differences (what he calls “major ecclesiastical traditions,” and what we might normally call a true denomination) (Barrett, 14). Referring again to our seven major ecclesiastical “blocs” (mentioned above, but this time in reverse order): For (1) Catholic (Non-Roman), there are four traditions, including Catholic Apostolic, Reformed Catholic, Old Catholic, and Conservative Catholic; for (2) Marginal Protestants, there are six traditions; for (3) Anglican, there are six traditions; for (4) Non-White Indigenous, which encompasses third-world peoples (among whom can be found traces of Christianity mixed with the major tenets of their indigenous pagan religions), there are twenty traditions, including a branch of Reformed Catholic and a branch of Conservative Catholic; for (5) Orthodox, there are nineteen traditions; for (6) Protestant, there are twenty-one traditions; and for (7) Roman Catholic, there are sixteen traditions, including Latin-rite local, Latin-rite catholic, Latin/Eastern-rite local, Latin/Eastern-rite catholic, Syro-Malabarese, Ukrainian, Romanian, Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, Ruthenian, Hungarian, plural Oriental rites, Syro-Malankarese, Slovak, and Coptic. It is important to note here that Barrett places these sixteen Roman Catholic traditions (i.e., true denominations) on the very same level as the twenty-one Protestant traditions (i.e., true denominations). In other words, the true count of real denominations within Protestantism is twenty-one, whereas the true count of real denominations within Roman Catholic is sixteen. Combined with the other major ecclesiastical blocs, that puts the total number of actual denominations in the world at ninety-two obviously nowhere near the 23,000 or 25,000 figure that Roman Catholic apologists constantly assert and that figure of ninety-two denominations includes the sixteen denominations of Roman Catholicism (Barrett, 15)!”

“Roman Catholic apologists have hurriedly, carelessly – and, as a result, irresponsibly – glanced at Barrett’s work, found a large number (22,189), and arrived at all sorts of absurdities that Barrett never concluded.” (Eric Svendsen and J. C. Ryle, Upon This Slippery Rock: Countering Roman Catholic Claims to Authority)

AMA Statement on Abortion

"There we shall discover an enemy in the camp; there we shall witness as hideous a view of moral deformity as the evil spirit could present…. Men who seek not to save, but to destroy; men known not only to the profession, but to the public, as abortionists….

“Thou shalt not kill.” This commandment is given to all, and applies to all without exception…. Notwithstanding all this, we see in our midst a class of men, regardless of all principle, regardless of all honor; who daily destroy that fair fabric of God’s creation; who daily pull down what he has built up; who act in antagonism to that profession of which they claim to be members….

It matters not at what state of development his victim may have arrived—it matters not how small or how apparently insignificant it may be—it is a murder; a foul, unprovoked murder; and its blood, like the blood of Abel, will cry from earth to Heaven for vengeance….

Every practicing physician in the land (as well as every good man) has a certain amount of interest at stake in this matter…. The members of the profession should form themselves into a special police to watch, and to detect, and bring to justice these characters. They should shrink with horror from all intercourse with them, professionally or otherwise. These men should be marked as Cain was marked; they should be made the outcasts of society."

American Medical Association 1871 statement on abortion, as cited by Randy Alcorn in "ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments," pg.217

Richard Dawkins’ Philosophy

"Intolerance, prejudice, disrespect, hatred, and offense are all within the fruit of [Richard] Dawkins’ philosophy. In creedal form, his philosophy is hate, discriminate, judge, mock, castigate, eliminate, stop…do whatever you need to do to put an end to belief in God. Ironically, he condemns God for being prejudiced, hate-filled, egotistical, judgmental, and demeaning to those who don’t agree with Him. He derides the attributes of God by making a caricature of Him, but justifies the same attributes in himself without caricature."

Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Secular Gods, pg.3

The Fraud of Ethanol Fuel

"Corn ethanol is 30 percent less efficient than gasoline and far less efficient than its sugar-based ethanol cousin. Translation: It takes more energy to make corn ethanol that other fuels. Looking at it another way, one hectare (2.471 acres) of sugarcane yields 7,500 liters of ethanol, while the same acreage of corn yields about half as much fuel.

But forget hectares and efficiency, the worst thing about corn-based ethanol is that it’s not even clean. A recent [as of 2009]University of Minnesota study found that corn ethanol is actually worse for the environment than regular gas.

So corn ethanol is not only inefficient and expensive, but it also makes the problem we’re trying to solve even worse. Genius! I can see why Washington threw $3 billion at it in 2007, an amount that represented 76 percent of all renewable-energy tax credits."

Glenn Beck, Arguing With Idiots, pg.100

An Argument That Backfires--Rebutting King James Only Claims Of "Missing Portions Of Scripture"

  • Discussion:
          -Members of the King James Version only camp commonly complain about supposedly removed passages of Scripture in our modern English translations. What they do not realize, however, is that their translation of dogmatic preference is also a product of textual criticism:

          "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:14, NASB)

          "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14, KJV)

          "and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 1:4, NIV)

          "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:4, KJV)


          "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does." (Psalm 145:13, NIV)

          "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations." (Psalm 145:13, KJV)

          "Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18:19, New American Bible)

          "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 18:19, KJV)

          "I know him, and if I say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar; but I know him, for of him I am, and he sent me." (John 7:29, WYC)

          "But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me." (John 7:29, KJV)

           "But they are all gone out of the way, they are all together become abominable; there is none that does good, no not one. [Their throat is an open sepulcre: with their tongues they have disceaued, the poison of aspes is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and unhappiness is in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known, there is no fear of God before their eyes.] Have they known me, that are such workers of mischief, eating up my people, as it were bread and call not upon the Lord? There were they brought in great fear [even where no fear was] for God is in the generation of the righteous." (Psalm 14:3-4, Great Bible)

           "They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord." (Psalm 14:3-4, KJV)

           "they understood, and fled together to the cities of Lycaonia, and Lystra, and Derbe, and into all the country about [and all the country in compass]. And they preached there the gospel, and all the multitude was moved together in the teaching of them. Paul and Barnabas dwelt at Lystra." (Acts 14:6-7, WYC)

           "They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they preached the gospel." (Acts 14:6-7, KJV)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Identifying The Consequences Of Addiction

  • Proverbs 23:29-35 Sets Forth Practical Reasons For Not Becoming Subdued By Sin (Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Etc.):
          -It results in great sorrow, distress, and anxiety.
          -It causes contentions, groaning, anger, bitterness, and weariness.
          -It ensnares people/takes over their lives. Thus, we can deduce that addiction is a craving that is simply impossible to satisfy. This is the underlying reason for it correctly being deemed futile.
          -Addiction perverts our sense of perception, judgement, and reality.
          -Addiction distorts our sense of morality. It perverts holy conduct. It destroys good character.
  • The Apostles Rightly Commanded That We Literally Flee From Evil. Consider, For Example, What The New Testament Says In Regard To Both Sexual Desire Outside The Marriage Framework And Idolatry:
          -"Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18)
          -"Little children, guard yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21)
  • Let Us Put To Death The Deeds Of The Flesh Through The Transforming Power Of The Holy Spirit: 
          -"for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13)

The Gospel Narrative Of Mark Proves Jesus Is God

  • Consider The Introductory Passage Of Mark's Gospel:
          -“Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.’” John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." (Mark 1:3-4)

          First of all, it is vital to note how the author quotes two Old Testament prophets, Isaiah and Malachi. Following are the two scriptural references cited in the above excerpt from the Markan gospel account:

          "A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3)

          "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3:1)


          These passages are obviously speaking of God the Father. But the New Testament applies both of these messages to Jesus Christ, as well.

           Therefore, it is abundantly clear that these texts, when connected, are saying that John the Baptist is the prophesied forerunner to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord God. Jesus is God in the flesh. God the Son is the promised Jewish Messiah.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

King James Onlyism And John 7:53-8:11

  • Discussion:
          -King James only proponents commonly mention the fact that most modern English Bible translations place into brackets or footnotes the story of the woman caught in adultery, which can be found in John chapter seven verse fifty three through the eleventh verse of the next chapter. This group of professing Christians views all of these textual modifications to be part of a hostile conspiracy to pervert and destroy the Word of God. But an objective examination of the facts will plainly reveal otherwise, with this article serving as an example.

          The story of the woman caught in adultery most certainly wields intrinsic value because it firmly sets in stone the superiority of our Lord Jesus Christ over the Law and portrays the cross as being the fountain of mercy that washes away iniquity. It strongly emphasizes grace over law; salvation rather than condemnation. It reveals to us the indispensable role that Christ played in rescuing us from upcoming judgement according to the Father's perfect standard of conduct. The text of John 7:53-8:11 strongly conveys to us the message that the Lord has been compassionate to us. Thus, it is no wonder why Christians would want to preserve this tradition in writing. Furthermore, there exists no legitimate reason to deem this event of Christ pardoning a women who was about to be stoned for harlotry as being false.

          The oldest manuscripts available do not incorporate the text in question into John's gospel narrative. In fact, some manuscripts locate the passage of John 7:53-8:11 after John 21:24. There is one manuscript that has the passage inserted after John 7:36. Others have the story of the woman caught in adultery placed after Luke 21:38, or at the very end of Luke's gospel. There are many non-Johannine features present in the vocabulary and sentence structure of this passage. The motifs here are much more Lukan in nature (view source). It reflects characteristics of Luke's authorship. So John 7:53-8:11 would most probably read more naturally if placed at the end of Luke 21. There is nothing necessarily wrong with embracing the text as canonical Scripture, for it contains no doctrinal error and does accurately reflect the nature of Jesus Christ. It does not contradict any historical facts. Translators have simply reported their findings, namely that this text is missing from the oldest and most reliable New Testament manuscripts and is not found in the earliest translations. It simply was a scribal interpolation into the Gospel According to John.

Forgiveness Is Key

"If we are going to have any healthy, growing relationships in this world, then we must put those two magical words, “I’m sorry,” into our vocabulary and use them often. With these two words comes forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the ointment of love that brings healing to our marriages and to other relationships. Without it, relationships wither and die. It requires humility to ask for forgiveness, and it takes love to forgive. But it is the only pathway to restoration for the broken relationships we all encounter.

God doesn’t ask us to ignore the hurt or wrong done to us. He simply asks us to forgive one another. Forgiveness means giving up our right, something today’s culture tenaciously holds on to. 

Forgiveness means giving up our right to be right. And perhaps most difficult, it means giving up our right to our self. …

The essence of forgiveness is the willingness to let go of hurts and resentments. It is the willingness to show compassion and mercy. This is possible because we were shown the ultimate mercy, complete eternal forgiveness, at the Cross."

Hope MacDonald, The Flip Side of Liberation: A Call to Traditional Values, pg.87, 88

Saturday, April 21, 2018

King James Onlyism And The Doxology Of Matthew 6:13

  • Discussion:
           -King James only proponents oftentimes complain about how modern Bible translations tend to omit the doxology in the Lord's Prayer, which is the underlined section of the Scripture passage as follows:

          "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:13)

           This, of course, is an example of these people's attempts to demonstrate how modern Bible translators have corrupted the Word of God, but they ignore the simple fact that a difference in manuscript rendering does not in itself constitute a difference in doctrine or corruption of the text. In other words, different translations have different renderings because they use different manuscripts. Not one reads identically in every place. Thus, this King James only argument has already been negated before the main talking points of the discussion have been set forth. Additionally, King James only proponents just assume without proof that their translation of preference is the standard by which all others be judged, which is circular reasoning. It cannot be proven that textual criticism was supposed to stop with the King James Version. Nothing gets closer to the manuscripts, than the manuscripts themselves.

           To preface, it is widely known that the doxology translated into Matthew 6:13 of the King James Version can be traced back to the first century. However, there is great evidence that the omitted phrase was simply an appendage by early Scribes to manuscripts for the express purpose of glorifying God. These words were adopted strictly for liturgical purposes in the early church. The doxology was essentially an oral tradition, not Scripture itself. Notice how it echoes very similarly the message from this Old Testament passage:

           "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name." (1 Chronicles 29:11-13)
  • The Oldest And Most Reliable Manuscripts Do Not Contain The Doxology Of Matthew 6:13: 
           -"Although a majority of manuscripts include the doxology, the most ancient and trustworthy manuscripts, like the fourth-century parchment codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, the fifth-century Codex Bezae, and most of the earliest Latin Gospel manuscripts as well as Hieronymus’s Latin Vulgate translation, lack the words. In addition, important church fathers like Cyprian, Origen, and Cyril knew the short version. The doxology is preserved in a number of different forms in the sources, which is not surprising: readers and users, especially in liturgical contexts, could have been expected to add a suitable doxology, which at some point (or at many separate times) entered the text and continued to develop." (Excerpt taken from Bible Odyssey, "Manuscripts of the Lord's Prayer")
  • The Doxology Did Not Become Prominent In Greek Manuscripts Until The Eight And Ninth Centuries:
           -"The clause is not present in earlier manuscripts. Nor is the phrase mentioned in any early Christian commentaries on the Lord’s prayer (of which there are several). The earliest this phrase occurs in the manuscripts is the fourth or fifth centuries (once), and is not prominent until the eighth and ninth centuries (in one manuscript from the ninth century, scribes specifically noted that the phrase was not found in important copies)." (Excerpt taken from Start 2 Finish, "Lost in Translation: Textual Criticism")
  • Further Insights On The Spurious Reading Of Matthew 6:13:
           -"While it is true that neither Vaticanus nor Siniaticus attest to the doxology found in W at Matt, 6:13, the conclusion that the doxology was not original to the text of Matthew is hardly drawn from this fact alone. To say so is to ignore that the doxology is also not attested in Western (D), most of the Old Latin, and other MSS witnesses to the text of Matthew (i.e. f 1) or by such early commentators on the LP as Origen, Tertullian and Cyprian…And it is entirely fallacious to conclude, as proponents of the originality…when they do note that there MS evidence apart from that in Vaticanus and Sinaticus for Matt. 6:13 ending as Siniaticus and Vaticanus say it does, that when a majority of witnesses testify to a particular reading, that reading is indeed original.” (Excerpt taken from Academia, "Did the Original text of Matt. 6:13 contain a doxology?")
  • There Were Some Archaic English Bible Translations Which Included The Doxology Of Matthew 6:13, While Others Omitted It. One Example Of A Translation That Omitted The Phrase Is The Douay-Rheims Translation, Which Existed Prior To The King James Version:
           -"And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen." (Matthew 6:13)
  • Notice That The Latin Vulgate Does Not Include The Doxology, Either:
           -"Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen." (Matthew 6:13)

           So it would be absolute nonsense to suggest that this omission was part of some sort of a conspiracy to attack the King James Version. Translations contain slight differences because they use different manuscripts. That is the nature of the translation process, which is not simply a matter of matching words identically to an original sentence structure in a foreign language. They must also be accurate and coherent to the reader.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Evaluating Roman Catholic Claims Of Apostolic Succession

  • The Catechism Of The Roman Catholic Church Declares:
          -“In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. Indeed, the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.” (CCC # 77)
          -"The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." (CCC # 882)
  • Additional Attestation From Other Official Catholic Sources:
          -“…the Church is one moral body, possessing the mission entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Apostles, and transmitted through them and their lawful successors in an unbroken chain to the present representatives of Christ upon earth. This authoritative transmission of power in the Church constitutes Apostolic succession...Hence in tracing the mission of the Church back to the Apostles, no lacuna can be allowed, no new mission can arise; but the mission conferred by Christ must pass from generation to generation through an uninterrupted lawful succession.…Apostolic succession as an uninterrupted substitution of persons in the place of the Apostles…” (New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, "Apostolicity")
  • Presenting Biblical Arguments Against Roman Catholic Apostolic Succession:
          -Nowhere does Scripture say anything in regards to the Apostle Peter having a position of unique primacy, apostolic successors, and the concept of papal infallibility. He does not even say nothing about these concepts in his two New Testament epistles.
          -The Apostle Paul mentioned nothing about "Pope Peter" in his epistle to the Romans.
          -There is very little evidence that the Apostle Peter stayed in Rome, apart from the timing of his martyrdom.
          -Nobody can claim to be successors of the apostles because they have not seen the resurrected body of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 9:1).
          -Nobody can rightly claim to be successors of the apostles today because they have obviously not be bestowed with the gift of performing miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12). Nobody has the same authority as the apostles today. They were a totally unique group.
          -The New Testament never records the apostles passing on their authority to successors. They say nothing about apostolic successors.
          -The original teachings of Jesus Christ, the apostles, and their closest associates have been accurately recorded and preserved in the New Testament. Scripture equips the man of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Truth can easily be determined when Scripture is exegeted in its respective context.
          -The determining factor of the trueness and faithfulness of a church is its adherence to God's will as revealed through Scripture (Acts 17:11-12). The Scribes and Pharisees claimed to have a physical, traceable lineage back to Abraham, yet Christ still rejected them (John 8:36-45). We do not need a chain of apostolic successors (Matthew 3:7-9). They claimed to posses divine extra-biblical tradition, yet Christ publicly refuted them with the Scripture (Matthew 15:1-9).
          -The only known historic record containing the inspired words of Jesus Christ and the apostles is the New Testament documents themselves. That is the remnants of apostolic authority. Church history is descriptive, not prescriptive, in nature. Thus, church history needs to be viewed through the lens of inspired Scripture.
          -Even if we had all agreed to accept Papal authority, that would only eliminate doctrinal conflict in a circular, tautological sense. But that would still not reveal to us whether we should be in communion with the Roman Bishop (i.e. whether we are right or wrong in our decision making). It still does not build a case for Roman Catholicism. Anybody can make a claim to having perfect doctrinal unity. Additionally, it is possible to be unified in error.
  • Is Acts 1:15-26 An Example Of Apostolic Succession, As Roman Catholic Apologists Contend?: 
          -The context of this passage is talking *specifically* about the traitor Judas. Also, Acts 1:15-26 fails to mention anything about the apostles having future successors. If this passage proves anything at all, then it does not provide us with an argument for apostolic succession, but rather, provides biblical warrant for replacing ungodly and unfaithful church leaders with ones who are fit to serve God according to His will.
          -At this point, the apostles did not begin their apostolic ministry and did not even receive the power Christ had promised to bestow upon them earlier in the chapter (Acts 1:8). They did not receive it until the Day of Pentecost. Therefore, this was not an example of the apostles passing on spiritual authority to successors because they did not have any power at this time.
          -This occasion was the actual replacement of an apostle with another apostle. This is very dissimilar with the Roman Catholic understanding of apostolic succession, considering that they teach that only the power is passed on (not the essence of the office itself). These so-called Catholic "successors" are not apostles, as was the case in the Book of Acts!
  • Does 2 Timothy 2:2 Provide Evidence For Apostolic Succession?:
          -The Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to pass on the truth to "faithful men", not to "priests and bishops". We are called to proclaim the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Peter 2:5-9). This passage only describes the simple process of discipleship and the passing on of apostolic doctrine ("what you heard from me"). In fact, this theme is echoed throughout the two epistles directed to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:6-11; 16; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 3:14-15). There is nothing about passing on extra-biblical oral tradition or infallible teaching authority. Catholics simply read these concepts into texts like these, when in reality they are not present. Notice that Paul does not mention anything about his future successor, but rather points to Scripture as our rule of faith (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He mentions no other rule of faith to turn to in future times of deception. Thus, the apostle only points us to Scripture.
  • Apostolic Succession And The Early Church: 
          -When one finds references to apostolic succession in the earliest patristic writings, it is in reality quite different from how the modern Church of Rome perceives the concept. In other words, both use the term "apostolic succession" to mean two entirely different concepts. The earliest congregations occupied the term as a proof of the preservation of doctrinal truth, whereas the Roman Catholic Church has coined the phrase to describe the passing on of authority in a specific office. The use of apostolic succession as a preservation of truth given by the apostles was used by all of the churches that were established by the apostles in the first century. Apostolic succession was a great argument to use in defense of the truth during the first few centuries of the Christian church, especially against Gnosticism.
          -The early church developed creeds which were all constructed off the principle of Scripture. In other words, doctrinal traditions were formed in accordance to Scripture. These doctrinal developments were originally not foreign to Scripture. They were in perfect harmony with Scripture. These apostolic traditions were actually biblical doctrines. New ideas would be tested to see if they would contradict already established doctrines. If any new doctrinal developments would conflict with scriptural principles, then they would instantaneously be rejected. This practice essentially amounts to Sola Scriptura, which teaches that traditions are to be subjugated to the authority of God's written Word.
  • The Papacy Is Not Historical:
          -The most primitive Christians were not governed by an overarching church hierarchy. The emphasis of lineage in the early church was spiritual, NOT physical. Each congregation worked independently to preserve apostolic truth, but worked together to settle disputes. In fact, it was not until 150 AD that the Roman church even began to develop a one-head bishop structure.
          -No writings from the first and second centuries affirm that the Apostle Peter was appointed the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. The most primitive sources documenting the existence of the Christian faith say nothing about the necessity of believing in the primacy of Peter and the infallibility of the Roman Catholic Church. What is also interesting, is that the earliest pagans never objected to the existence of the Papacy in their dialogues with early Christian apologists such as Justin Martyr. These ideas began developing in the mid third to early fourth centuries. Nevertheless, the earliest Christian congregations were governed by pluralities of elders.
          -In the earliest days of Christianity (prior to Constantine), the Roman church was viewed with a position of honor among Christians (a position of honor but not of primacy). First of all, it was located in the capital of the empire, which was also known as the "Eternal City". This church was the largest, eventually totaling around 30,000 by the middle of the third century, despite the intense persecution by the Roman Empire. The church at Rome was the most prosperous church financially in the western world. It was once a center of doctrinal orthodoxy. It was a center for charity. Its huge size greatly enhanced its impact. The Apostles Peter and Paul were viewed as the founders of the Roman church by the timing of the second century. Even though the Roman church was accorded high esteem, there is no evidence that it exercised external jurisdiction for three centuries. The church of Rome possessed no more authority than the other churches.
          -Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital east from Rome to the city of Byzantium. It was given the name Constantinople. It was regarded as the “New Rome“. The political focus of the Roman empire was moved to the east. Consequently, the bishop of Constantinople acquired the status of religious headship. A fundamental cultural dilemma which led up to the split of the Roman Empire was that Christians within the Western church spoke the Latin language and the Eastern church was Greek. This separation increased upon the death of Constantine in AD 337 as his two sons inherited a divided kingdom.
          -In 381, Roman Emperor Theodosius summoned an assembly, where he declared the bishop of Constantinople to be in a position of supremacy, as Constantinople was considered the New Rome. However, the church of Rome reacted in strong disagreement. The Roman bishop Damasus announced for the first time the supremacy of Rome, and argued in the same fashion as do modern Roman Catholic apologists who appeal to Matthew 16:18.
          -In Rome, the leadership position was passed along seven bishops after Damasus up to Leo, who was appointed bishop in 440. He afterward taught on the matter of the Christian church's authority being grounded in the Roman bishop because of the authority of the keys given by Jesus Christ to Peter on which it would be established (which was a gross misapplication of Scripture). Authority was wrongfully bestowed upon the bishop of Rome on this basis— 400+ years after the death of Christ. So, no it was not the early church nor was it the apostolic church. The Papacy developed as a result of political tactics as the Roman Empire collapsed
  • Contradictions In Succession Lists Of Roman Bishops:
          -"There are contradictory late second century and early third century succession lists of alleged Roman bishops. Why is this so? Many scholars note it is because there actually was no succession of a single bishop until A.D. 150. This is why such later church fathers contradicted each other on who the earliest single bishops were. Writing around A.D. 180 Irenaeus wrote that Peter and Paul instituted Linus as the first Roman bishop and then Anacletus, Clement, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telephorus, Hyginus, Pius, Anicetus, Soter, and Eleutherius followed (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.3.3). However, writing around A.D. 200 Tertullian offers a rival view. Instead of Peter and Paul instituting Linus as the first Roman bishop and then Clement being third in the list as Irenaeus claimed, Tertullian said Peter ordained Clement as the first Roman bishop. Clement went from being the third bishop of Rome to the first." (Exegetical Apologetics, "Absence of Papal Views Among the Earliest Christians")
  • Vatican Forgeries:
          -The Donation of Constantine and Pseudo-Isidorian decretals are examples of fraudulent documents written and latter used by popes to bolster claims of their supremacy over the church.
          -The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia online says that the, "Substitution of false documents and tampering with genuine ones was quite a trade in the Middle Ages."  The Encyclopedia Britannica affirms that, "the origins of episcopacy are obscure."
  • The Claim Of The Roman Catholic Church Having An Unbroken Line Of Successors Is Simply Not True:
          -According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, there are several gaps in the list of dates for individual popes reigning.
             ^In the list provided, there was no pope at all during the years 259, 305, 306, 307, 639, 1242, 1269, 1270, 1293, 1315, and 1416.
  • We Know That Roman Catholic Apostolic Succession Is A Myth Because They Themselves Have Confessed To Not Knowing Exactly Who Was Pope Or Antipope At The Correct Time: 
          -“But it must be frankly admitted that bias or deficiencies in the sources make it impossible to determine in certain cases whether the claimants were popes or antipopes.” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I, page 632)

Papal Infallibility Exposed As An Absurd Doctrine

  • The Catechism Of The Roman Catholic Church Boldly Declares: 
          -"The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful--who confirms his brethren in the faith--he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals...The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council...This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself." (CCC # 891)

          So, the pope can say whatever he wants, as long as he does not speak ex-cathedra? If so, then how come Scripture never implies the existence of such a distinction? How does such a scenario not corrode personal accountability?

          What if the pope uttered a heretical ex-cathedra pronouncement (i.e. one that goes contrary to Scripture)? What if popes uttered ex-cathedra statements that contradict other ex-cathedra statements?

          If the pope was meant to be the infallible speaking instrument of the church by authorization of the Lord Jesus Christ, then why did so many church councils have to assemble (for periods of many years) to resolve doctrinal disputes? What was stopping the pope from resolving those matters once for all by simply making ex-cathedra statements?

          If the Church of Rome truly believed that we needed to be guided by its allegedly infallible interpretations of Scripture, then why has it dogmatically interpreted so few passages throughout history?

          Why did it take nearly 1,500 years for the Church of Rome to officially add the apocrypha into the canon?

          If the church was meant to be infallible, then why is it that the Apostle Paul exhorted his younger companion Timothy to watch and guard his doctrine?:

          "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (1 Timothy 4:16)

          "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)

           Is it reasonable to uphold the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility in light of the fact that the pope can officially be deemed a heretic?

           Why is it that papal infallibility was not officially considered a dogma until 1870? Following is an excerpt from A Doctrinal Catechism, authored by Stephen Keenan, bearing the Imprimatur of Scotch Roman Catholic Bishops, prior to 1870:

           "Must not Catholics believe the pope himself to be infallible? This is a Protestant invention; it is no article of the faith; no decision of his can oblige, under pain of heresy, unless it is received and enforced by the teaching body, that is, the bishops of the church."

           This question and answer section bears significance because it was removed from Keenan's catechism after 1870.

           Comments On The Ecumenical Spirit Of Vatican Two--Does This Really Sound Like An Infallible Church Council?:

           "There were times, however, when no reconciling statement could be found, and attempts to induce a surrender by one side or the other failed. In those cases, the Council would only endorse both positions with professional aplomb as if their mutual incompatibility were no longer glaringly obvious." (Evangelical Review of Theology, p. 153)

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, around the timing of the First and Second Vatican Councils (part of the Ecumenical agenda). 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, p. 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 doctrinal 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.

        If it were not for the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press in 1436, then, most likely, neither the Protestant Reformation, nor further Bible translations, would have taken place. 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 an objective standard. If any of this were false, then can anybody account for the widespread biblical illiteracy amongst Roman Catholic circles? If Scripture is understandable, then why would we need an infallible interpreter in the first place? The Apostle Paul once uttered the following words:

        "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)

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 Son, Today 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 earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands... But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A 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 the major threat of undermining the biblical gospel.

    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)