Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Lord's Supper Is To Be Understood Symbolically

"That the bread 'is' his body means that it 'represents' it; we should interpret his words here no more literally than the disciples would have taken the normal words of the Passover liturgy, related to Deuteronomy 16:3 (cf. Stauffer 1960:117): ‘This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate when they came from the land of Egypt.’ (By no stretch of the imagination did anyone suppose that they were re-eating the very bread the Israelites had eaten in the wilderness.) Those who ate of this bread participated by commemoration in Jesus’ affliction in the same manner that those who ate the Passover commemorated in the deliverance of their ancestors....M. Pesah. 10:6 uses the Passover wine as a metaphor for the blood of the covenant in Ex. 24:8." 

Dr. Craig S. Keener, A Commentary On The Gospel Of Matthew, p. 631, n. 27, Cited by Jason Engwer of Triablogue 

Why The Catholic Material Sufficiency View Falls Short

  • Discussion:
          -While some Roman Catholics maintain that parts of divine revelation are contained in two distinct oral and written sources, others believe all the contents of apostolic tradition to be found in Scripture. The latter view which is being critiqued in this paper asserts the role of the Magisterium to be officially unpacking the meaning of allegedly ambiguous passages of the Bible in a manner understandable to lay members. The material sufficiency view essentially posits the necessity of having infallible certainty in regards to having the Scripture interpreted in its proper order. Though this perspective on biblical authority is touted as giving God's Word appropriate respect, the truth of the matter is that the Roman Catholic material sufficiency view is simply another deceptive attempt to get us submitting to their church hierarchy for scriptural interpretation. 

          The Scriptures are perfect. They are trustworthy. They are infallible. They are incorruptible. They impart wisdom to the simple. They convert sinners. They purify our souls. They enlighten our minds. They convict the conscience of sin. They are the foundation for moral discernment, and ultimately reality. The Word of God discerns the human heart. It equips the one who serves the Lord for every good work. The Scriptures were originally breathed out by God. We should be continually reflecting on biblical precepts, which point us to our Creator. We are accountable for how we interpret the Scriptures. Thus, we have arrived at the heart of the problem with the Roman Catholic material sufficiency view.

          It is not a high opinion of Scripture, at all. It fundamentally portrays the Bible as being a pile of bricks that need to be assembled for building purposes. It implies Scripture in itself to be dead, powerless, useless, incomplete, and disorganized. The descriptive language provided in the myriad of allusions to Scripture above hardly sound like an insufficient rule of faith. The intellectual substance of these texts only get obscured by the Roman Catholic material sufficiency view, which is ample reason to discard the theory altogether. The Catholic material sufficiency view is utterly foolish. The Lord Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the prophets never mentioned anything about submission to an infallible teaching authority. Also, if church leaders demand that faithful adherents be dependent solely on them for scriptural interpretation, then how are they fulfilling their obligation of aiding fellow believers in the process of becoming spiritually mature (Ephesians 4:11-15)?

          Ironically, many Roman Catholic apologists who profess to uphold the material sufficiency of Scripture unwittingly contradict themselves by bringing up canon issues (to argue for the need of an infallible teaching authority). These folks need to alter their understanding of canon certainty, if consistency is meant to be preserved. Otherwise, one is really stuck with the partim-partim view. Most Catholic theologians around the timing of the Council of Trent to the First Vatican Council subscribed to the theological concept of divine revelation being contained in two parts. What constitutes tradition in the Church of Rome does not appear to have a straightforward, definitive answer. Certain aspects of the meaning of tradition can be contradictory among official apologists. Even the meaning of the term "material sufficiency" is debatable. According to Scripture Catholic:

          "The Church has not defined this term for us; it is simply a theological concept."

           If the Roman Catholic Church cannot officially agree on the source of divine revelation from which dogmas are derived (whether or not it is contained in one source), then how is it qualified to critique Sola Scriptura? 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Sufficient Proofs For The Word Of God

"Men crave in these days some demonstration from the unseen world. Here is abundance of such evidence—Here is clear proof of an unseen and almighty intelligence presiding over human history, and showing us that He does so by describing beforehand the whole course of its events. What need we any further proof? The order of the visible world is evidence of the invisible to him who reads history in the light of prophecy! He beholds the hand of God in human experience, and watches the development of the Divine plan in the progress of the world. He knows, moreover, what events to expect, for he discerns his own chronological position in the stream of time; and as nine-tenths of the program have already been fulfilled, he doubts not that the remaining tenth will be in its predicted and fast-approaching season. And further, it is clear that if by so many infallible proofs we are convinced that the Bible as a whole is from God, no difficulties as to the mode of its inspiration, no scientific or critical objections, should be suffered to interfere with our hearty and thankful reception of its revelation. If God has spoken, man is responsible to hear, to believe, and to obey. And lastly, may we say, that to study the Christian evidences, whether of this or of any other kind, is merely to examine the foundations of the house. It is well at times to do this. But it is better to enter and abide in the house! It is infinitely better to avail one’s self of its shelter from the stormy blast, to enjoy its rich and spacious accommodation, to dwell in safety and peace under its blessed roof and to gaze on the widespread prospect from its windows."

Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)

Contradictions Between Sexual Revolution And The #MeToo Movement

"There is a deep tension between the premises of the sexual revolution and those of #MeToo. The sexual revolution promises greater availability and enjoyment of sexual pleasure without commitment or guilt. This promise can only be accomplished by the trivialization of the intrinsically personal meaning of sex. It is very difficult to see how we can simultaneously promote the trivialization of sex and treat sexual assault with the seriousness that it deserves.

But a powerful personal drive like sexual desire cannot really be trivialized, and its personal meaning cannot be completely denied. If sex ceases to be about love, it will necessarily be about war. This is evident in the hook-up culture, which pushes the revolution’s core premise—sex without marital commitment, or “free love”—to its logical conclusion by elevating sex without any commitment at all. In the hook-up culture and its #MeToo reaction, we can see how sex without comprehensive commitment necessarily becomes predatory, thus paving the way for sexual assault."

Elizabeth Schlueter and Nathan Schlueter, What #MeToo and Hooking Up Teach Us About The Meaning of Sex

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sex Needs More Than Just Consent

"Certain moral norms follow from the personal meaning of sex. In the first place, there is a need for consent. Sexual contact without consent is a direct assault against the whole person. It is deeply depersonalizing. But sexual assault is only the most extreme kind of sexual depersonalization. Every time a person is used for sexual gratification, he or she is depersonalized. This fact accounts for the true meaning of sexual modesty (and shame), not puritanical repression. It is our natural defense against the “objectifying” gaze, against being used for someone else’s gratification.

But not just any kind of consent is adequate to the intrinsic and personal language of sex, and thus to the dignity of the person. Because sex is an embodied union of thewhole person, consent to sex without total commitment to the whole person contradicts the meaning and language of the body. It makes an act that speaks love between persons into an act of use of persons.

Sex is thus very different from other human activities. In some contexts, the mutual “use” of persons is morally acceptable. In typical market transactions, for example, the parties “use” one another for their own benefit. When someone purchases bread from the baker, each person is unproblematically looking to his or her own advantage, and (unless the transaction involves force or fraud) neither person feels“used.”

Why is it that “feeling used” is a common experience in sexual intercourse, even when it is consented to? And what conditions for sexual intercourse would prevent that feeling? While “affirmative consent” may at least avoid rape, most people have a sense that consent should be broader, that sex should at least be “a part of a relationship.” But what kind of relationship is sufficient to prevent sex from being depersonalizing? A committed one? How committed? Experience leads us to the following conclusion: Nothing short of comprehensive personal consent—in other words, marriage—is adequate to the intrinsic language of sex or the vulnerability it necessarily entails."

Elizabeth Schlueter and Nathan Schlueter, What #MeToo and Hooking Up Teach Us About The Meaning of Sex

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dangerous Occult Mysticism In The Church

"We are also seeing as a part of the "signs and wonders" movement a burgeoning "church growth" movement, a "prayer and fasting for revival" movement, and a "spiritual warfare" movement, all working toward the same goal. Few are those who dare to see any connection between these movements within the church and the false "signs and wonders" which the Bible prophesies for the last-days apostate church. Those who call themselves Christians are just as reluctant to admit the possibility of any satanic movement in their "miracles" as the secular world is to admit the possibility of such involvement in the human potential and psychic powers it seeks to develop.

Already the label "Christian" has lost its true meaning and can now be attached to any anti-Christian belief. The latest poll identifies 26% of Mormons as "born-again Christians", yet their "God" is an exalted man and their "Christ" is the half-brother of Satan! Not only in Roman Catholicism, but in all denominations there are pastors, teachers, and other leaders who are spreading a false gospel. They misrepresent Christ and His teachings and lead entire congregations astray. They pretend to represent Christ, but do not accept all that He taught. The Christ they present is more like Antichrist. 

Even former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, an atheist turned pantheist, dares to say of socialists: "We promote the cause of Christ." Articles too numerous to quote follow Gor­b­achev across the country as he meets with religious leaders . . . and praises the importance of "religion" in the New World Order. What he advocates sounds like Antichrist's coming world religion.

It is sad how many people profess for years to be Christians and then denounce their "faith". No doubt this is, at least in part, because many churches are more interested in experience and in helping people cope and feel good about themselves than in sound doctrine that would give a solid foundation for faith. Christianity has become a feeling that easily fades. 

The Bible indicates that the coming world religion will be the foundation of Antichrist's world empire. That will be a revival of the Roman Empire under Antichrist, with ten divisions signified by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image (Daniel 2:42-44), the ten horns of Daniel's fourth beast (Daniel 7:7), and the ten horns of the principal beast in John's vision (Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3; 12). Some of the characteristics of ancient Rome's religion are specified, such as emperor worship with death the penalty for noncompliance. (Rev. 13:8, 14:15) It is therefore a reasonable conclusion that the coming world religion will be the same blend of Christianity and paganism as took place under Constantine and continued thereafter as Roman Catholicism. 

The deadly tentacles of the occult in its many guises have invaded the world, but also the church. We are at a crossroads in history. What will be our response to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? One day we will all give an account before God for that choice. Heaven and hell are not states of mind. Hell is where people go who turn to occult powers in rejection of God, who are determined to have things their own way. Christ was born the Saviour of sinners. How marvelous that He who is God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, loves us so much that He was willing to be born of a virgin, to grow up in a world that hated Him, to be despised, rejected, mocked, scourged, crucified-and more than the physical suffering, to bear our sins and to pay the infinite price of our redemption demanded by His own infinite justice! He is still mocked and rejected by the world and His gospel perverted even within the professing church."

Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church

1 Timothy 5:18 Is Important In Apologetics

                                                By Jason Engwer Of Triablogue

For example, the passage has significant implications for the canon of scripture, the dating of the Synoptics and Acts, whether Paul agreed with concepts affirmed in Luke's gospel (the virgin birth, the empty tomb, etc.), and how widely accepted the beliefs in question were (e.g., since Paul expects his audience to accept what he's saying without further explanation). And much of what I just mentioned is applicable to some extent even if Pauline authorship of 1 Timothy is rejected and the document is dated later than Paul's lifetime. For example, if the passage reflects widespread acceptance of the virgin birth, then that's significant even if Paul wasn't involved. In fact, if the initial audience was much wider than one individual (Timothy), as it presumably would be under a pseudonymous authorship scenario, then the implications of the passage are more significant accordingly.

I've sometimes cited Michael Kruger's work in support of the conclusion that 1 Timothy 5:18 is citing Luke's gospel as scripture. In a book published late last year, he provides a lengthier case for that conclusion. It's on pages 680-700 of Lois K. Fuller Dow, et al., edd., The Language And Literature Of The New Testament (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2017). If you don't want to pay the large price for the book, you can get it at a library or through interlibrary loan, as I did. Kruger's chapter is well worth getting and reading. He goes into a lot of detail, but here are some highlights:

Given that we have an exact match with a known source (Luke 10:7) - and exact matches are quite rare when tracing the words of Jesus during this time period - this raises the question of why we would prefer an unknown source to a known one. And there is another advantage of preferring the known source, namely that we know that (at some point) Luke actually acquired the scriptural status that 1 Tim 5:18 requires, whereas we have no evidence that any sayings source ever acquired such a scriptural status….

If it is too early for Luke to be regarded as Scripture, why is it not also too early for a written sayings source [a hypothetical alternative to Luke] to be regarded as Scripture? After all, one might think that Luke's purported apostolic connections (Luke 1:1-4) might allow his Gospel to be regarded as Scripture even more quickly than an anonymous sayings source….

He [John Meier, a New Testament scholar who's not a conservative and rejects Pauline authorship of 1 Timothy] states, "The only interpretation that avoids contorted intellectual acrobatics or special pleading is the plain, obvious one. [1 Timothy] is citing Luke's Gospel alongside Deuteronomy as normative Scripture for the ordering of the church's ministry." (689-91)

Scriptural Proof That Jesus Is God Almighty

  • Discussion:
          -If Unitarians are correct about Jesus not being God, then how do they account for the multiple occasions throughout the gospel narrative of Matthew where the people publicly worshiped Him? Consider the following texts:

          "After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11)

          "While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live." (Matthew 9:18)

          "And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!" (Matthew 14:33)

          "But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” (Matthew 15:25)

          "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him." (Matthew 20:20)

          "And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him." (Matthew 28:8-9)

          Yet, the Old Testament Scriptures expressly condemn idolatry:

           "You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6)

           "—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—" (Exodus 34:14)

           "You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name." (Deuteronomy 6:13)
           "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand." (Deuteronomy 32:29)

           "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images." (Isaiah 42:8)

           If our Lord Jesus Christ is not God, then He cannot rightly be the recipient of worship. It is also telling to note that the New Testament records angels and the apostles always refusing the type of honor that Christ accepted. Neither would it have made any sense for the Father to say that He was pleased with His begotten Son (Matthew 3:16-17), if He were acting disobediently. 

           If Jesus is not God, and wrongly accepted worship in violation of the Ten Commandments, then the New Testament must be in error for telling us that Jesus lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:14-16). It is obvious that Christ is the second Person of the triune God. In fact, we know that the Son is to be worshiped in the same sense as the Father because the Greek word latreuo is used in text of Revelation 22:3. Thus, the triune God shall reign for eternity.

Questioning Darwin

Chinese Professor: "The strange thing about these Cambrian fossil finds is that they turn Darwin's tree upside down. Instead of having the simple forms at the bottom and gradually morphing and then the complex forms arising and then branching out, we have the disparity between form at the very beginning of the [Cambrian] explosion, with nothing underneath."So there was some uncomfortable shuffling. And then we went to the Q&A time. And one of the geologists from the University of Washington raised his hand and he said, almost as if in warning, "Professor, aren't you a little bit uneasy about expressing scepticism about Darwinian evolution coming as you do from such an authoritarian country?"

And suddenly you could cut the tension with a knife, to use the old metaphor. But this Chinese professor - no one's fool - got a wry smile on his face, and he said, "In our country we can question Darwin, just not the government." And then he said, "In your country, you can question the government, but you can't question Darwinism."

Source: Stephen Meyer discussing (here at approximately the 23:15 mark) a lecture he attended given by a Chinese professor of paleontology


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

No Such Thing As "Co-Dependency"

"The literature on codependency is based on assertions, generalizations, and anecdotes. … To start without the slightest shred of scientific evidence and casually label large groups as diseased may be helpful to a few, but it is potentially harmful and exploitive as well. If as the best sellers claim, 'all society is an addict,' and 96% of us are codependents, that leaves precious few of us outside the rehab centers — but at that point the claims become ludicrous at best."

“Codependency,” University of California Berkeley, Wellness Letter, October 1990, pg.7, cited by Gary E. Gilley and M. Kurt Goedelman, “Twelve Steps in the Wrong Direction: A Biblical Critique of Codependency and Alcoholics Anonymous,” The [PFO] Quarterly Journal, January-March 2016, pg.15

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dangerous Occult Mysticism In The Church

"It should be of more than passing interest to everyone that Jesus Christ and the prophets and apostles, whose words are recorded in the Bible, predicted the burgeoning interest in generic “spirituality” which we are experiencing today. As we shall see, they foretold a time of unprecedented interest in the mysterious and apparently miraculous. Yet they warned that these “last days signs and wonders” would be a great delusion that would prepare the world and a false church for Antichrist.

The fact that Christ and His apostles accurately pinpointed more than 1900 years ago precisely what we are seeing today ought to pique our interest in what else they said, and why. We will examine these prophecies and seek to understand them in the context of today’s highly touted “spiritual awakening” that is occurring simultaneously inside and outside the church. Could there be a connection?

Biblical prophets and Jesus Christ Himself warned of a great spiritual delusion and occult seduction in a period of time called the “last days” just prior to Christ’s return. The warnings concerned “false prophets” who would perform “great signs and wonders” that would be so convincing that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). Paul also warned of a false “signs and wonders” movement in the last days (2 Timothy 3:8). Significantly, nowhere in the Bible do we find a good or legitimate “signs and wonders” movement prophesied for the last days, nor even a hint that it would be needed or helpful.

Today a growing “signs and wonders” movement in the Christian church is literally exploding and is involving not only charismatics and Pentecostals but even evangelicals who only a few years ago were opposed to what they would have characterized at that time as fraud. Today, in spite of the warnings by both Jesus and Paul, there is scarcely any thought that today’s signs and wonders might be part of the very spiritual deception which the Bible foretells."

Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church

The Shroud Of Turin Is Not Genuine

"Bloodstains found on the shroud of Turin burial cloth, believed by many to have once wrapped the body of Jesus Christ, are likely fake, according to new research reported in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

In June 2017, researchers at the Institute of Crystallography found traces of blood on the 14-foot-long relic, with initial analysis of the particles discovering "a scenario of great suffering, whose victim was wrapped up in the funeral cloth."

The nanoparticles uncovered were found to not be typical of the blood of a healthy person.

The Journal of Forensic Sciences report on July 10 revealed that the bloodstain patterns were analyzed in a type of crime scene scenario. In the test, researchers found that the linen seems to have been patched with bloodstains from a standing model, and not from a crucified man or a facedown corpse....

In 1988, radiocarbon measurements suggested that the shroud was a forgery made somewhere between 1260–1390 A.D., but later research found that the fibers tested at the time were from a patch added later on the shroud, and not part of the original cloth.

DNA sequencing tests in 2015 found pollen and dust particles from the shroud belonging to plants from South America, the Middle East, Central Africa, Central Asia, China, and other regions.

The Catholic Church has never declared the shroud to be a genuine religious relic, but regards it as an icon, attracting millions of people when it is put up for public display at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, where it is kept."

The Scriptural Definition Of Repentance

  • Discussion:
          -There is confusion among professing Christians as to the definition of repentance, namely whether it consists of a change in mind or a change in ways. The Bible does provide a simple, clear answer to this dispute, which will be found unsatisfactory to the many in our culture who preach a watered-down or seeker-sensitive version of the gospel (2 Timothy 4:3). According to the Scriptures, the act of repentance is more than a mere change of mind. It involves turning from sinful ways. It involves entrusting oneself to God, who gives lavish, tender forgiveness. Repentance is not a work, but a change in heart. It is a change in purpose. It is a change in perspective. It is crying out to God, admitting the futility of remaining in sin. This theme was taught especially in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:6; 18:20-31). The underlying theme of the gospel is repent or perish. Repentance is certainly accompanied with godly sorrow and grief, as was the case of the Apostle Peter who denied knowing Jesus Christ three times in a row (Luke 22:62-64). Notice how the Old Testament records the men of Nehemiah who heard the preaching of Jonah:

          "Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it." (Jonah 3:5-10)

          Note how Jesus Christ alludes to this event:

          "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here." (Matthew 12:41)

          People who profess the name of Christ have no excuse for having their lives continually characterized by sin. A genuine faith in Christ will be evidenced by good works. It will be accompanied with a desire to serve God. These are the evidences of a changed heart. The lives of the apostles themselves are evidence of this truth. If we truly wish to inherit eternal life, then we must turn to God and seek the forgiveness that He provides. If we truly want a relationship with God, then we must follow Him on His terms. True repentance will inevitably result in a changed lifestyle. Repentance is the conviction that sin should no longer persist in our lives. We must recognize that we are spiritually bankrupt sinners who are in need of His redemption. A faith that saves is one that obeys. We need to be given a new heart. We need to be given a pure mind.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

We Are Solely Responsible For Staying Out Of Poverty

"No one can blame a person if he starts out in life poor, because how one starts out is not his fault. If he stays poor, he is to blame because it is his fault. Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior."

Walter Williams, “Dependency, Not Poverty

Friday, July 20, 2018

General Causes Of Poverty

"A majority of poor people, however, are poor because they did it to themselves. They failed to educate themselves. No matter how lousy government schools are, you can learn in them if you want to. One study of Asian children found that they excelled whether they attended a good school or a slum school. The difference was, their parents motivated them to learn.

Besides, there is hardly a city or town in America that doesn’t have a public library, and there’s a Ph.D.’s worth of knowledge sitting on those shelves, free for the taking. Harrison Ford, the actor, went to a library and taught himself to be a master carpenter before he became a successful actor. The public libraries are probably one of the most valuable and least used resources in America that are available to everyone.

Some people are poor because they develop drug or alcohol addictions. Chemical addictions are not racial in the least. I know of a former lawyer and judge, white as bleached flour, who wrecked his career, his family and his life because of an addiction to crack cocaine. A chemical addiction can drive anybody down if it is not faced and stopped.

Some people are poor because they never developed good work habits or even good grooming. Nobody is going to hire some kid with his pants down around his buttocks, who talks jive instead of English, and who is two days from his last brush with soap and water. Nobody is going to keep or promote someone who is chronically late for work, watches the clock and is the first out the door...

Some people are poor because they never learn to handle money. Government schools and a lot of parents fail their children in this regard. It’s one of the most important things a child can learn, because the formula for success is simple: You must spend less than you earn; you must save and then invest. That’s all there is too it. There are thousands of how-to books written on the subject, but the good ones all boil down to those three rules. Spend less than you earn. Save it. Invest it…

Finally, as sad as it is to say it, some people are poor because they are stupid and/or lazy. These you can’t help. They will either squander or let somebody gyp them out of whatever you give them...But don’t buy this con game of laying poverty on the non-poor. It’s bull uttered by people with an ideological interest in big government."

Charley Reese, “Poor do it to themselves,” Conservative Chronicle 10/19/05

The Calvinist Misuse Of Romans 8:28-30

  • Calvinists Use The Following Text To Teach Unconditional Election:
          -"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be confirmed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:28-31)

          The people under consideration in Romans 8:28-30 are those who love God, not a select few whom God "irresistibly causes" to love Him. It does not state that certain people are predestined to become Christians. Rather, those who believe on Christ and His gospel for salvation are destined to inherit eternal blessings. This Scripture passage simply discloses what happens to the elect.

          Even so, it appears that the Apostle Paul places the concept of foreknowledge before predestination, which is problematic for unconditional election. Calvinism has traditionally argued that foreknowledge follows predestination. In other words, the inspired author presented the alleged sequence of the order in a backwards manner, not in a consistently Calvinistic fashion.

          Whether or not the term "foreknow" in this passage of Scripture simply means knowing basic facts before hand or God's eternal love is essentially moot. We can all agree that God foreknew believers personally as His children. He is not simply a cosmic hard drive that stores random information. He is all-knowing. He is all-powerful. Consequently, God predetermined a plan of redemption before the creation of the world. This does not amount to Him predetermining the eternal destiny of each individual.

          The type of election being addressed in Romans 8 is not a matter of identity, but rather concerns the character, intention, and plan for those who are justified in the sight of God. Believers experience fellowship with God. Believers are appointed for His glory. This process of reconciliation takes place when we first believe (Romans 5:1-2). It is a decree to save those who come to Christ by faith. These soteriological blessings are categorically applied to all Christians.

          The entire point that the Apostle Paul establishes here is that God works for the good of all who love Him, and that He wields absolute power over everything. Nothing is beyond His grasp. Nothing is beyond His comprehension. Humans having free will does not negate the sovereignty of God. We as believers should have great comfort and assurance because of these scriptural truths. God does interact with creation. He works things to His eternal glory.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Roman Catholicism And The Canon Of Scripture

"It is not that the Church and her Magisterium actually create the canon: even less do they endow Scripture with its authority, as mistakenly rather than intentionally certain Catholic apologists have sometimes maintained. With this dogma, as with the others, Church and Magisterium simply recognize the truth established by God's action, submit to it and, since they are responsible for it, proclaim it with authority, making it into a Church law." (Yves Congar, The Meaning of Tradition (Ignatius 2004), 110)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Graphs Published Since 2017 Invalidate Claims Of Unprecedented, Global-Scale Warming

"During 2017, there were 150 graphs from 122 scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals indicating modern temperatures are not unprecedented, unusual, or hockey-stick-shaped — nor do they fall outside the range of natural variability.

We are less than 3 months into the new publication year. Already 46 new graphs from 40+ scientific papers undermine claims that modern era warming — or, in some regions, modern cooling — is climatically unusual.

For example: “The record demonstrates a warming during the Roman Warm Period (~350 BCE – 450 CE), variable bottom water temperatures during the Dark Ages (~450 – 850 CE), positive bottom water temperature anomalies during the Viking Age/Medieval Climate Anomaly (~850 – 1350 CE) and a long-term cooling with distinct multidecadal variability during the Little Ice Age (~1350 – 1850 CE). The fjord BWT [bottom water temperatures] record also picks up the contemporary warming of the 20th century, which does not stand out in the 2500-year perspective and is of the same magnitude as the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Climate Anomaly” (https://www.clim-past-discuss.net/cp-2017-160/cp-2017-160.pdf).

Or: “Warming trends observed from 1986–2016 across the ice-free Greenland is mainly related to warming in the 1990’s. The most recent and detailed trends based on MODIS (2001–2015) shows contrasting trends across Greenland, and if any general trend it is mostly a cooling. The MODIS dataset provides a unique detailed picture of spatiotemporally distributed changes during the last 15 years. … Figure 3 shows that on an annual basis, less than 36% of the ice-free Greenland has experienced a significant trend and, if any, a cooling is observed during the last 15 years (<0 .15="" change="" i="" per="" year="">


Why The Left Loves And Hates Science

“Why do you hate science?”

That’s the question leftists have taken to asking non-leftists. Leftists claim to love science, insofar as anyone can love a method for testing a hypothesis, and accuse their enemies of hating it. How can anyone love or hate an indifferent set of techniques? And how can an ideology that believes technological civilization is destroying the planet really claim to love the science behind it?

But swap out “science” for “god” and the question, “Why do you hate science” makes perfect sense. So do the constant assertions of love for science. These aren’t scientific assertions, but religious ones.

Actual science doesn’t care whether you love or hate it. That’s not how you engage with the theory of relativity. But religion is measured by love and hate. Either you love a deity or you hate it.

No one loves or hates science. But they do love Scienticism. Scienticism is science without skepticism. It takes the ideas of science and uses them to create an infallible belief system that gives our lives meaning and dictates how we should live those lives.

In other words, a religion.

Its god is Homo Progressivus, born an ape and ascending to singularity synthesis. Its heaven is a social services agency. Its saints died for social progress. And if you want angels, why not try UFOs?

Religion is vanishing in Europe and America is catching up. Morals are as outdated as phrenology. No one believes in the golden future anymore. Least of all the worshipers at the chrome altar of Scientism.

Every crackpot leftist theory from Marxism to Global Warming is cloaked in an inevitable something. The revolution of the working class can’t be stopped. The world is bound to run out of food, oil and sanctimony. The rise of the oceans can’t be stopped (except by electing Democrats). Science says so.

But science is the opposite of infallible. Its strength is its fallibility.

Science offers a crab walk forward, because it’s willing to admit and correct errors. But Scientism never admits it’s wrong. Instead it claims that scientific testing has found it absolutely true. Then it hides its data and tries to pass laws banning anyone from questioning its absurdly premature conclusions.

Scientism strips science of its greatest strength and builds a cargo cult around wearing a lab coat.

The left loathes real science because it hates skepticism. But it loves infallibility. And that is all that’s left of its science. What was once the soul of secularism, a belief system bestriding civilization, now exists solely to offer infallibility to whatever loathsome nonsense the left believes at any given moment."

(Greenfield, “Why the Left Loves and Hates Science,” FrontPageMag Online, 5/30/18)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Scholarly Affirmation Denying Papal Supremacy

"It was during the Middle Ages that Christianity, in the form of the Roman Catholic Church, became a political power in western Europe. A leader called a bishop headed each major Christian community. By the A.D. 500s, the bishops of Rome, now known as popes, became the leaders of the Catholic Church." Eastern Orthodoxy was, “not under the leadership of the popes in Rome, but rather the emperors in Constantinople.” (Our World Today: People, Place and Issues, Boehm, et. Al, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill (2003), page 241, section "The Rise of Christianity")

Catholic Answers Provides Lousy Excuses For Marian Devotion

  • Discussion:
          -An apologist named Mary Beth Kremski wrote an article for Catholic Answers titled Making Peace with the Mediatrix, where she attempts to clarify Roman Catholic dogmas on Mary, especially the title of Mediatrix. This was done in light of objections raised by Protestants to Romish mariology, conjoined with a response to the citation of 1 Timothy 2:5 as being evidence against such theology. In fact, the author boldly stated:

          "The idea that Jesus alone can mediate grace actually contradicts Scripture: Ephesians 4:29 tells us that you and I are to "impart grace" to others by our words. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to "impart" (or mediate) grace in a variety of ways, including ministries of healing, teaching, and prayer."

          There are absolutely no words that can sufficiently express the degree of foolishness behind this deceptive apologetic. The Roman Catholic Church clearly teaches that Mary is co-mediator with the Lord Jesus Christ, whereas the Bible teaches that He is the one reconciler between God and man. This constitutes a flat contradiction. There is no explaining this away. Scripture plainly tells us that the only way that we can reach the Father is through the Son (John 14:6). There is no other name among men by which we can be saved (Acts 4:10-12). Thus, He is the only one who can impart to us salvific grace. The reason He is the mediator of the New Covenant is that He give Himself up as an expiatory sacrifice for the sins of the world. Yet, the author blindly suggests "the idea that Jesus alone can mediate grace actually contradicts Scripture." Now, consider for a moment the cited proof-text in the Catholic Answers excerpt being dissected:

          "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)

          This passage of Scripture speaks of us "imparting grace" in the sense of being forgiving, compassionate, and kind. Ephesians 4:28-30 is simply stressing the importance of godly conduct in the Christian life. It has nothing to do with praying to souls who have departed into the supernatural realm. It says nothing concerning the administration of grace that justifies, which the Church of Rome claims also belongs to Mary. The Bible teaches that only the Lord has this kind of power. He will not bestow His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8). Hence, the points made by the folks at Catholic Answers are outright wrong. The entire article which has been linked here in this post is a work of fanciful speculation, twisted exegesis, and cognitive sophistry. Nowhere in the New Testament do we see people giving Mary veneration. Never does the Word of God direct us to Mary for heavenly intercession. It is simply blasphemy to attribute traits, titles, and roles to Mary that rightly belong to God alone. It is idolatry to pray to, keel before statues of, and entrust salvation to her. The Lord was not joking when He told the Israelites that He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-6).

          The Romish concept of prayers to deceased saints is not only foreign to the pages of Scripture, but is also contradicted by primitive extra-biblical writers. Consider a handful of excerpts from various church fathers which can be found in this article at a Reformed blog called Christian Answers:

          "Neither does [the Church] accomplish anything by angelic invocations, or by incantations, or by some other perverse curious art, but she directs her prayers to the Lord, who has done all things, in a pure, sincere and upright spirit, and invoking the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, she is accustomed to doing miraculous works for the benefit of mankind, not to make them wrong...the altar is then in heaven. our prayers and directed offerings)." (Irenaeus of Lyon, Against Heresies 2: 32: 5 and 4: 18: 6)
          "Paradise, the place of heavenly bliss appointed to receive the spirits of the saints, cut off from the knowledge of this world." (Tertullian, Apology 47)

          "For whoever of his soul serves the Divine Being in any other way, who does not always take into account the Creator of everything, to direct his prayers to Him alone , and to do all things as if in the eyes of God, who sees us completely, even our thoughts." (Origen, Against Celsus 7:51)

          "But if we accept prayer in its full sense, we can never pray to any created being, not even to Christ himself, but only to the God and Father of all whom our Savior has prayed as we have already shown, and teaches us to pray." (Origen, About Prayer 10)

          "It is evident that those who pray to the dead , or venerate the earth, or offer their souls to unclean spirits, do not act as if becoming men, they will suffer punishment for their wickedness and guilt , who, rebelling against God the Father of the human race, committed themselves to inexpiable rites, and violated the whole sacred law." (Lactantium, The Divine Institutes 2:18)

           The Roman Catholic Marian dogmas developed gradually after the New Testament Scriptures were penned:

           "Thus the veneration of Mary gradually degenerated into the worship of Mary; and this took so deep hold upon the popular religious life in the Middle Age, that, in spite of all scholastic distinctions between latria, and dulia, and hyrerdulia, Mariolatry practically prevailed over the worship of Christ...Irenaeus calls her also the "advocate of the virgin Eve," which, at a later day, is understood in the sense of intercessor. On this account this father stands as the oldest leading authority in the Catholic Mariology; though with only partial justice; for he was still widely removed from the notion of the sinlessness of Mary, and expressly declares the answer of Christ in John ii. 4, to be a reproof of her premature haste. In the same way Tertullian, Origen, Basil the Great, and even Chrysostom, with all their high estimate of the mother of our Lord, ascribe to her on one or two occasions (John ii. 3; Matt. xiii. 47) maternal vanity, also doubt and anxiety, and make this the sword (Luke ii. 35) which, under the cross, passed through her soul." (Philip Schaff, "History of the Christian Church")

Formation Of The Old Testament Canon

"A possible model for the formation of the Hebrew canon may be suggested here in broad outline. Deut 31:26 records that the "book of the law" (presumably Deuteronomy or a text similar to it) was to be placed in the most holy place of the tabernacle. As the Word of God was being written, it continued to be collected and preserved in the Jerusalem temple, where it could be read and copied by others who were interested in its contents. By 586 BC copies would have been taken by the exiles out of the country, while other copies may have been hidden near Jerusalem. Even if copies were not already present at Jerusalem, Ezra returned with the books of the Law (the Pentateuch). He and others may have brought back various books of the Bible to Jerusalem. In any case, a collection in the temple allowed the priesthood to regulate what they considered as Scripture and what they did not. At some point prophecy was regarded as having ceased, and the final scrolls came into the collection [Thus 1 Macc 4:46, "Until a prophet should come," suggests the absence of prophecy]. After that, as far as the sources attest [1 & 2 Maccabees, as well as sources cited above that attest to major divisions and the number of books in the Hebrew Scriptures], no further scrolls were added to the Hebrew Bible as preserved in the Jerusalem temple. As noted above, these were the thirty-nine books that came to be known as the Old Testament. The rabbis recognized the authority of these texts after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70." (R. Hess, The Old Testament: A Historical, Theological, and Critical Introduction (Baker 2016), 8-9)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Abortion Is Wrong Even If The Fetus Is Not A Person

"Marquis thinks abortion is wrong even if the fetus is not a person.

Once again, to see the force of this strategy, imagine two people on a sidewalk debating the issue. If someone told you that the two debaters had come to agree that the fetus is not a person, you’d probably form the belief that the “pro-choice” side had won; likely, you’d conclude that the “pro-lifer” had been convinced.

But Marquis’ argument doesn’t rely on the fetus being a person.

Here it is:

(1) What makes killing someone wrong, in most respects, is it deprives them of a future of value.

(2) When a fetus is killed, it suffers the same kind of loss.


(3) Abortion is immoral just as killing an adult or a child is immoral.

As Marquis puts it:

When I am killed…I am deprived of all the value of my future. Inflicting this loss on me is ultimately what makes killing me wrong. This being the case, it would seem that what makes killing any adult human being prima facie seriously wrong is the loss of his or her future. …

The future of a standard fetus includes a set of experiences, projects, activities, and such which are identical with the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children. Since the reason that is sufficient to explain why it is wrong to kill human beings after the time of birth is a reason that also applies to fetuses, it follows that abortion is prima facie seriously morally wrong.

Notice that Marquis’ argument doesn’t rely on the fetus being a person. Marquis is in essence shoving the question of personhood aside and looking strictly at what it is that makes killing someone wrong.

If it turned out that what makes killing someone wrong crucially relies on personhood, then Marquis wouldn’t have an argument against abortion (using the assumptions he’s relied on). But the wrong-making feature of killing that he’s identified is something adults, children, and fetuses share when each of them are killed. So if the feature that makes killing someone from the first two groups wrong is that it deprives them of a future of value, then it also furnishes us with an argument against abortion, since the fetus, like the child and the adult, has a future of value.

(Interestingly, Marquis’ argument does not provide grounds for seeing euthanasia as wrong, given that in many cases the candidate for euthanasia does not have a future of value.)

Notice that Marquis’ argument is not vulnerable to the familiar “pro-choice” lament that anti-abortionists are “giving full rights to a potential person” or anything like that. The question of personhood is irrelevant.

Marquis’ argument relies on a theory about what makes killing someone wrong, and then noticing that the same effects occur when a fetus is killed — the fetus, like the adult, is wrongly stripped of a future of value. It’s not like, when an adult is killed, someone can plausibly respond “Yes, but, they only had this ‘future of value’ potentially — so there’s no wrongdoing here.” No one would accept this reasoning. That’s because, as Marquis notes, we see this future of value as something an adult possesses in the present. That’s precisely why we’re so scandalized when someone is killed — they are robbed of something — the most precious thing — they possess: their future of value.

That’s what makes abortion seriously immoral."


Friday, July 13, 2018

The Legacy Of The True Historical Patrick

                                            By Greg Bentley Of Berean Beacon

Ireland has a very distinctive history. It was an island untouched by the Roman legions, and Patrick, the Evangelist, brought to it the Gospel of grace. Patrick was descended from a family that had placed their faith in Christ Jesus for at least two generations. He tells us his father was “the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a presbyter, of the settlement of Bannaven Taburniae.”[1] These facts are recorded in Patrick’s own testimony of faith. This authentic document is preserved in five manuscripts: one in the Book of Armagh of the seventh century, the second in the Cotton Library of the tenth century, a third in the French monastery of St. Vedastus, and two more in the Cathedral Library of Salisbury. This authenticated document is the main source of both the person and the mission of Patrick, and also his clear statement of the Gospel of grace.

Patrick was born in the year A.D. 373[2] in a town on the River Clyde in Roman Britain, now a part of Scotland. When he was sixteen years old, Patrick was captured by a band of pirates who sold him to a chieftain in what is now county Antrim in Northern Ireland. For six years he tended flocks. In his testimony, he tells us, “I was taken captive before I knew what I should desire and what I should shun.”[3] It was during the time of his captivity that he turned from his careless ways and came to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. He was convicted that he was a sinner. In his own words,

“[B]efore I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and He that is mighty came and in His mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for His great favours in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure.”[4]

Patrick, like so many of the godly men of history, found God’s favor in the riches of the grace of Christ. This was the theme echoing throughout the testimony of Patrick, in his own words “I am greatly God’s debtor, because he granted me so much grace.”[5] He then grew in the grace of God. Having believed on “the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,”[6] he directly received “of his fullness…grace for grace.”[7] In his own words,

“More and more did the love of God, and my fear of Him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] from one up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number; besides I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.”[8]

Patrick relates how, after six years, he escaped and following a difficult journey on land and sea returned to his people in Scotland. In his own words, “I was again in Britain with my family [kinsfolk], and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go any where else away from them.”[9]

His Direct Mission from the Lord

Like the Apostle Paul, he received a clear and personal call from the Lord to preach the Gospel in the land of his former captivity. He described his call in these words,

“I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish’, and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many years the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry.”[10]

He speaks of being called again in a dream another night, but makes it clear how he interpreted what was happening by the Scriptures. He wrote, “‘Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for utterance.’” And again, “‘The Lord our advocate intercedes for us.’” Thus, Patrick relies on Scripture to understand his experience and to see that it was the Lord Himself who was calling him. In his own words, “He who gave his life for you, He it is who speaks within you.”[11] He understood that Christ Jesus, who had died for his sins, was the One who was calling him to work as an evangelist in the very island where he had been held captive.

A second historical document from Patrick’s own hand is his letter to Coroticus. In it he explains, “Thus I am a servant in Christ to a foreign nation for the unspeakable glory of life everlasting which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[12] This is a major factor in understanding Patrick. He knew himself as a sinner and found salvation where only sinners find it, “in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[13] The first words of his testimony read, “I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many.” Likewise, in the beginning of his letter to Coroticus he states, “I, Patrick, a sinner, unlearned, resident in Ireland”. Quite clearly Patrick saw himself as a sinner. He did not look to some spark of divine life from within himself or to some ritual; rather, he looked unto Christ Jesus. Patrick’s words, “unspeakable glory of life everlasting which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” shows his distinct and personal comfort and courage in Christ. Totally unlike religion that looks to rituals, Patrick had his eyes set on the Lord. Catholicism now, and to some extent even in Patrick’s time, looks to sacraments as necessary for salvation.[14] Patrick saw himself only as a sinner saved by grace in Christ Jesus. Patrick’s message is that salvation is totally in Christ alone—a message utterly diverse from that of Roman Catholicism, then and now.

His Mission Begins

Patrick, the Christian evangelist, being about 30 years old, together with some brothers in the Lord, set out for Ireland. He arrived in or about the year 405. This fact of history is authentic and verified. For example, Marcus, an Irish Bishop, who lived at the beginning of the ninth century, states that Patrick came to Ireland in the year 405, and Nennius, who lived about the same time, repeats the statement.[15] This date is of great importance because many centuries later there was an attempt made to confuse Patrick with Palladius, who had been sent out by Pope Celestine as a missionary to Ireland. When news of Patrick’s Christian success had reached Rome, Pope Celestine then sent Palladius as a bishop to bring the churches under the control of the Papacy. It was in 432, at least 27 years after Patrick’s commission from God, that Palladius from Rome came on the scene. When Palladius did come to Ireland, it was to an Ireland that had many Christian churches and that did not accept his message of subservience to the Bishop of Rome. In actual fact, Palladius was greatly discouraged by his lack of success. To quote from the historian Philip Schaff, “Palladius was so discouraged that he soon abandoned the field, with his assistants, for north Britain, where he died among the Picts…. The Roman mission of Palladius failed; the independent mission of Patrick succeeded. He is the true Apostle of Ireland, and has impressed his memory in indelible characters upon the Irish race at home and abroad.”[16]

God’s Grace Over the Course of Sixty Years

The work of Patrick and his associates in Ireland was extremely difficult. He came up against the old pagan religion of the Druids. The people believed in the Druids as pagan priests who would mediate for them in the things of the spirit. When Patrick preached Christ Jesus in his own words he said,

“I am greatly God’s debtor, because he granted me so much grace, that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon after confirmed, that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, and the masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the earth. As He once promised through His prophets: ‘To you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited naught but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.’[17] And again, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the uttermost ends of the earth.’ And I wish to wait then for His promise which is never unfulfilled, just as it is promised in the Gospel.”[18] He wrote of baptizing many thousands of believers after they had professed faith.[19]

He also wrote about anxious journeys, difficulties, and disappointments. He combated the powers of darkness in the priesthood of the Druids. He relied on Christ Jesus and the glorious Holy Spirit given to convict people of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He understood grace to be entirely from God when he declared,

“I, alone, can do nothing unless He Himself vouchsafes it to me. But let Him search my heart and [my] nature, for I crave enough for it, even too much, and I am ready for Him to grant me that I drink of His chalice, as He has granted to others who love him. Therefore may it never befall me to be separated by my God from His people whom He has won in this most remote land. I pray God that He gives me perseverance, and that He will deign that I should be a faithful witness for His sake right up to the time of my passing.”[20]

Over the course of 60 years, Patrick went the length and breadth of Ireland preaching the Gospel and, like Timothy and Titus before him, he ordained elders and established churches. It is reckoned that at the end of his days there were 365 churches across the island. These were established, as were the churches in biblical times, with the people served by a pastor or elder. The authority of the pastor was one of service, rather than lording it over the people. It was like the establishing of churches thatwere written about in the pages of the New Testament. Likewise, the monasteries set up by Patrick, were totally unlike the monasteries that were established under the Church of Rome. These monasteries were quite like those of the Vaudois and other early Christian churches of northern Italy and southern France, whereby men came aside for some years to be trained in the Scriptures and to learn how to evangelize and to bring the Gospel to others. Later in their lives, these men married and had families. These men were not forsaking the world for some retreat of inner holiness; rather, they were men who saw light and life in Christ Jesus and wished to evangelize others with the true Gospel. Because of these monasteries andthe churches that Patrick founded in Ireland, Ireland became known as the “Isle of Saints and Scholars.”

Six Hundred Years of Fruitfulness

The clarity of the Gospel message cherished by Patrick and those who worked with him was to live on for many years after him. There were many famous missionaries like Patrick, such as Columba and his companions who set out for Scotland in 563. Then there was Columbanus with his companions that went to evangelize France and Germany in 612. Kilian and the brothers that accompanied him went as missionaries to Franconia and Wurzburg in 680. Forannan and twelve brothers with him set out to bring the Gospel to the Belgian frontier in 970.[21]

For more than 600 years, Irish missionaries carried the Gospel with the same truthfulness as Patrick’s to Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, and beyond. Darkness covered Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. The Dark Ages had begun and the Roman Church, having gained rulership through intrigue and persecution, now held most of Europe in her iron grip. Even so, in those dark centuries, the Irish missionaries continued to spread the true Gospel, seed which for centuries to come would bear much good fruit all across Europe.
Embezzlement of the Legacy of Patrick

With the coming of the Danes in the ninth century, however, the Celtic Church in Ireland began to lose its biblical clarity. Furthermore, Papal Rome began to unleash military power to bring Ireland under her control. This began with the decree of Pope Adrian IV issued to King Henry II of England in 1155. The Pope authorized the invasion of Ireland and sent the k
ing a ring of investiture as Lord of Ireland, calling upon the monarch to, “to extirpate the vices that have there taken root, [in Ireland]…saving to St. Peter and the holy Roman Church the annual pension of one penny from each house.”[22]

King Henry carried out the designs of the Papacy in 1171 and with a strong military force subdued the whole Irish nation. He received from every Archbishop and Bishop, at the Synod of Cashel in 1172, charters whereby they confirmed the Kingdom of Ireland to him and his heirs. The King sent a transcript of these charters to Pope Alexander III, who, according to the letters of the Archbishops and Bishops, was extremely gratified by the extension of his dominion, and in 1172 issued a bull confirming the Papal decree of Pope Adrian. Further rulings were sent from Rome to Henry II and to the princes and nobles of Ireland, and to the bishops of Ireland to establish the hierarchy over the people and pastors and command obedience of both Ireland and England to the Papal throne.

The Heritage of Patrick Lives On!

The heartbeat and the soul of Patrick was the Gospel of Christ. He wrote in his testimony,

“I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless, I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul’s desire. I am not ignorant of what is said of my Lord in the Psalm: ‘You destroy those who speak a lie and a lying mouth deals death to the soul.’ Likewise the Lord says in the Gospel, ‘In the day of judgment, men shall render an account for every idle word they utter’’ So it is that I should fear mightily, with terror and trembling, this judgment on the day when no one shall be able to steal away or hide, but each one shall render account for even our smallest sins before the judgment seat of Christ.”[23]

These words of Patrick are like a prophetic trumpet of the Lord. It is most serious to steal the legacy from the people of the nation, particularly when that heritage was life and light in Christ Jesus! Many Irish have grown up engrossed in the rites and rituals of Roman Catholicism. Many of us, turning from those dead things and having drunk deeply of the biblical grace of God that is in Christ Jesus, now want to stand on Patrick’s words, “no one shall be able to steal away or hide, but each one shall render account for even our smallest sins before the judgment seat of Christ.” To publish abroad the Gospel of God’s chosen in Christ “before the foundation of the world”[24] is our longing now, as it was Patrick’s then. The wonder of Patrick’s life was simply God’s grace in Christ Jesus. The divine call to the true Gospel went forth from Ireland for more than 600 years. Just as Patrick expected the power of God’s grace to overcome the priesthood of the Druids, we now stand for the same biblical Gospel that he preached to evangelize even those in the Catholic priesthood and hierarchy. The battle is the Lord’s and the victory will be His. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”[25] In the legacy of Patrick, we pray Christ words, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.”[26] The frightening words of the Lord ring in the ears of those who spend their lives in man-made religion, “Not every one 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.”[27] No person by merely acknowledging Christ through a priesthood and sacraments shall have any part with God in Him, but only the one who does the will of His Father. The Lord made the will of the Father abundantly clear when He said, “this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”[28] “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts….”[29] As Christ Jesus’ Gospel stands, so also is His call on your life. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”[30] Believe on Him alone for, “this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”[31] Then you will stand where, before you, Patrick stood immoveable, and this is how it will be for all eternity. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”[32] “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” §

Permission is given to copy and distribute this article.

[1] The Confession of Patrick, http://irelandnow.com/confession.html 1/18/2012

[2] “According to the best authorities, Patrick was born about A.D. 373; and Lanigan has adduced good evidence to prove that he died in A.D. 465 (Apud Lanigan, vol. iv. p. 112). The Book of Armagh furnishes corroborative evidence of the same fact. It says, ‘From the passion of Christ to the death of Patrick there were 436 years.’ The crucifixion took place about A.D. 30; and adding these thirty years to the 436 that intervened between the crucifixion and the death of Patrick, we arrive at A.D. 466 as the year of his demise. Traditions of the highest authority attest that he spent sixty years in preaching the Gospel to the Scoto-Irish.” From, “St. Patrick: Apostle of Ireland” in History of the Scottish Nation by J.A. Wylie (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co. Andrew Elliot, Edinburgh 1886) Vol. II, Ch 9.

[3] The Confession of Patrick, p. 2.

[4] Ibid., p. 2

[5] Ibid., p. 5

[6] John 1:14

[7] John 1:16

[8] The Confession of Patrick, p. 2.

[9] The Confession of Patrick, p. 3.

[10] Ibid., p 3.

[11] Ibid., p. 3.

[12] Letter to Coroticus, http://prayerfoundation.org/st_patricks_letter_to_coroticus.htm 1/30/03, p. 2.

[13] “…that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith..” Philippians 3:8-9

[14] “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” (italic in the original). Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second ed., (United States Catholic Conference, 1997) Para. 1129.

[15] The historian, J A Wylie goes to great lengths of demonstrate the fact that Patrick came to Ireland to evangelise in 405. Among others, he quotes Dr. Killen as saying “‘Its [i.e., this fact] claims to have been acknowledged by the best critics of all denominations,’ by Usher, Ware, Tillemont, Lanigan, and Neander….He [Dr. Killen] thinks that Patrick arrived in Ireland immediately after the death of Nial, or Nial of the Nine Hostages, in the year 405.’” From “St Patrick: Apostle of Ireland” by J.A. Wylie in History of the Scottish Nation, Vol. II, Ch. 13, endnote No. 4.

[16] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 4, Ch. 2, Sect. 14, “The Conversion of Ireland”.

[17] Jeremiah 16:19

[18] The Confession of Patrick, p. 5.

[19] Ibid., p. 2.

[20] Ibid p 8

[21] For a more complete list, see Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 4, Ch. 2, “Conversion of Northern and Western Barbarians”, Sect. 15, “The Irish Church after St. Patrick. The Missionary Period”.

[22] The full text of the Papal Bull of Pope Adrian IV that empowered king Henry II to conquer and subdue Christian churches to Rome can be read at: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/medieval/bullad.htm 2/1/2003

[23] The Confession of Patrick, p. 8.

[24] Ephesians 1:4

[25] Luke 12:32

[26] John 17:24

[27] Matthew 7:21

[28] John 6:29

[29] Hebrews 3:7, 8

[30] Romans 10:17

[31] 1 John 5:11-12

[32] II Corinthians 5:17

Presenting A Different Jesus

"The Jesus being presented in many churches today is different because He is not the One we find in the Bible. The popular Jesus being presented is the one who fills churches to the rafters with fans and not disciples. People are following a genie in a bottle that will grant them all of their hopes and dreams. He is a Hallmark card version of Jesus who is willing to overlook sin and just be a good friend to pal around with. He never makes us feel bad or consider ourselves less than number one.

Many of our modern churches focus on self-improvement instead of dying to self. This is works based nonsense and basically, the same thing practiced among many pseudo-Christian cults including Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism. The logic is if you work hard enough and be good enough, you can earn eternal life.

Instead of lovingly warning people about fleeing the wrath to come, we decide we know a better approach. We attempt to woo people into the Christian life by presenting its features and benefits much like a good salesman. This isn't the biblical model of how to present the gospel and it is certainly not the way to make disciples.

The local church's main purpose isn't to help people improve their financial planning skills, have a better marriage, or to get them connected into activities galore for the whole family. What people desperately need is to hear the gospel to come to the end of themselves and be truly born again. We don't want to present a different Jesus who is a cosmic genie who caters to our felt needs and desires.

Trouble begins when seeker-sensitive hirelings who are not shepherds water down the gospel. They present a different Jesus and this is a deception plaguing many churches today. These preachers may want to improve their image, popularity, or ministry numbers, so they make coming to Jesus about life enhancement, not dying to oneself.

I feel the uneasy tension when [speaking] to people about heaven, hell, eternity, sin, and repentance. The Lord never promised it would be easy to be His disciple but he promised to be with us always and give us the words to say when we testify about Him. It's my deep desire and prayer for each of us to renew our commitment to speak the truth, with love as the motive and do it with boldness as the Holy Spirit directs us. While many are compromising and presenting a different Jesus, I pray the faithful remnant will continue to make Him known."