Monday, August 11, 2014

Sadness Over the Death of Robin Williams

On my way home from work today I heard the news of the apparent suicide of Robin Williams.  I briefly looked on Facebook and saw many of the sad posts mourning the loss of Robin Williams.  Certainly as an actor, he will be missed.  He was a man of many talents and was able to bring his audiences to tears of joy, and sometimes tears of sadness too.  What saddens me more though is, if the reports are true, that he succumbed to suicide - which is a total lack of faith, even a rejection of faith.  Only God can judge what the state of Mr. Williams soul was at the point of death - so I will not presume to judge his eternal state, but it saddens me to hear about someone who felt his or her problems were bigger than God could handle.

My prayers go out to William's family, and I do pray for his soul - may God have mercy on him.

Photograph: Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times/

Friday, August 08, 2014

ISIS Monsters Beheading Children

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, aka ISIS, is taking "terror" to new heights.  They are beheading children simply because they are Christian.  I had thought about posting the picture of a Syrian father holding the lifeless body of his headless daughter for the shock value, but I have decided against it.  Or how about group crucifixions of Christians?  If you really want to see that morbidity, it's not hard to find in Google or Yahoo searches.  This is beyond terror, it is horror.

Meanwhile, many Americans sit at home and ponder the upcoming NFL season and/or speculate on what is in store for the NBA and NHL seasons which are not much further away.  Should the world stop and put an end to these monsters who claim to be fighting for Allah?  Or, should we just carry on as if nothing is happening, after all, it's not happening in our backyard?  How is this genocide any less horrific than Hitler's treatment of the Jews?  What is it going to take to get the world to take action against ISIS?  I know the USA is still recovering from many years at war in the region - but our pull-out was ill-timed and left a vacuum which was filled by radical factions of Islam.

Don't get me wrong here... most Muslims are not like ISIS.  I also do not support the errors of Islam, but ISIS is not representative of a majority of Islam.  While we can peacefully debate between Christianity and Islam - there is no "debating" with these radical elements.  All they know is violence and hatred of anything or anyone not like themselves.  The only thing which will end their horror will be their complete defeat in this game of war they have actively engaged themselves within.

I urge everyone reading this to pray and fast over these current events.  If an article like this is not enough to convince you, then do a Google or Yahoo images search for "beheaded children" and if that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will... perhaps just letting the forces of ISIS continue until they really are doing these acts in your own backyard?

I am deliberately NOT "linking" the URL below so that you may be fairly warned of the graphic images you will see if you copy and paste it into your browser.

Oh, and lest any have forgotten... it HAS happened in our backyard...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Conversation with a Non-Catholic

Questioner:  You know, when you pray to Mary you are introducing a mediator between God and man and that goes against God  because He said that “there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”

An adequate reply:  If that’s the way you feel then don’t you ever, ever ask me to pray for you ever again.  You see, the minute you ask me to pray for you in your time of need you are putting me between you and our one mediator, Jesus Christ.

What we Catholics are doing when praying to Mary is to ask her to pray to Jesus on our behalf in the same way as you would ask me to pray for you on your behalf.  When Paul spoke of the one mediator he introduced the subject by stating that it was good for us to pray for one another (1 Tim 2:1-5).  It is good for one member of the Body of Christ to pray for the well-being of another member of the Body of Christ and since not even (physical) death can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ (Rom 8:38-39) then even those members of the Body who have physically died are alive and well in heaven because Jesus tells us directly that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jabob is a God of the living implying that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive(Matt 22:32).  And because death will not separate us from the Body of Christ means that those who have died in friendship with God are not only alive but that they are STILL members of the Body of Christ.
Questioner: But they’re dead.  They can’t hear your prayers.

Reply: What would be the point of asking for intercessory prayers if the people we are asking are not aware of us or of our prayers?  Well we can find that they ARE aware of us in Heb 12:1 where it says: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Or in Luke 15:18 where Luke tells us that their is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
We can see that the saints in heaven are not only alive just as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive but that they are indeed aware of what is happening here on earth.

And so ‘dead’ saints are alive in heaven, aware of what is happening on earth and can pray for our well-being just as we can pray for the well-being of others.
God Bless

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Canon Revisited

At BeggarsAll another posting on the Canon of Sacred Scripture has been published.  Overall it seems a bit of a chastisement against a Protestant pastor who had the courage to state "the Bible didn't exist until around 300 - 400 AD".  "for 300 years there was no Bible" and "they had no New Testament for really, 400 years."   
Please note the facts:
  1. The Bible did not exist until around 300-400 AD
  2. They had no New Testament for really, 400 years
Both statements are true!  Actually, there were "canon lists" (several varying ones) for the first 400 years - but there was no "Bible," as we know it today, until about 405 AD.  It was commissioned by Pope Damasus in 382 AD, but not completed until about 405 AD (the Gospels were completed and presented to the pope in 384 AD). 

Why is this such a difficult concept for Protestants to take?  How can they deny the documented process the canon went through before it was finalized in the late 4th century?  Well I can answer for the "why" part, it is because it undermines the concept of sola scriptura.  

When Protestants separated from the one authority which Jesus Christ established and built for His people, they needed to create a new authority, and thus was born the slogan theology of sola scriptura (along with four "other solas").  The terminology itself is virtually unheard of until the 16th century, which this fact alone should cause concern for its adherents.  When the primary language of the West (where the concept of the Five Solas is invented) is Latin why is this allegedly foundational teaching (of sola scriptura, which is Latin) so foreign, even unheard of?

It is time for our separated brethren to come home to the one,  holy, Catholic and apostolic Church which Jesus Christ built (Matthew 16:18).  After all is said and done it is the desire of God that we be one, just as the Father and the Son are one John 17:21).

Addendum - Comments to the original post on BeggarsAll:

"Be Careful the way you communicate the issue of the canon in the early church"
1 – 9 of 9

Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
The fact that there was no "Bible" prior to the 4th-5th century is quite true. It is also true that all the books which comprise that which would be declared to be "The Bible" were all written prior to 96AD. That some books were widely read in the early churches MAY be true, but the fact is that there were few copies available in the first 300 years of the Catholic Church and not because they were forbidden, but because all copies would have been hand-written. There is no doubt that many of the books are rightly declared as being part of the Canon of Sacred Scripture in the earliest of canon lists - but likewise several books were included in these lists which eventually were not included while others were excluded but eventually made it into the official canon.
Should pastors be careful in how they describe the early canons? Yes, I would agree with that! They should also be honest about how the canon developed and was not 100% accepted.
7:31 PM, July 26, 2014
Ken said...
Basically I agree, if there is enough time to make clear that the individual books were already canon when written, because they are "God-breathed".
But I suppose you are also wanting books like Shepherd of Hermas, Barnabas, Didache, Wisdom of Solomon, and Apocalypse of Peter to be mentioned as possibly considered by some (Muration Canon and Codex Siniaticus) as "canon" also. But it could be argued that Codex Siniaticus is just making use of the space and material, not proof that they thought they were canonical.
4:05 PM, July 28, 2014
Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
And I would agree as well... except for the point of "just making use of space." In the time before the printing press (and we're talking more than 1000 years prior to it) adding to the "space" was much more laborious and thus not a very logical argument. So, while it "could be argued...", such a paradigm is quite unlikely. The more likely is that they appreciated the Shepherd, Barnabus, Didache, etc. and included them because they did preach the Gospel message - but for any number of reasons (and there are a few) the later counterparts decided against their inclusion in the canon.
As for the point about them being "canonical" at the time they were penned, while it is true they were and are God's Word at the time they were penned, it is a bit anachronistic to argue they were canonical prior to the existence of canon lists.
7:38 PM, July 28, 2014
Joey Henry said...
Scott, you have to define what you mean by canon. If canon for you means that there should be a canonical list defined by an ecclesiastical body, then you correct in saying that it is anachronistic to assert the canon prior to the list.
However, the definition of what is a canon and when a book becomes canonical is at issue. For me, the canon is a result of inspiration. When God inspired some books and not all books, he basically created the canon. Thus, the canon exist even if no ecclessiatical body defines it.
7:21 AM, July 31, 2014
Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
I understand what you're saying - but I must stress - words have meanings. A "canon" (in this context) is a LIST or COLLECTION of sacred books which are accepted as genuine. Thus, to say a book or collection of books is "canonical" BEFORE the LIST or COLLECTION is assembled is purely anachronistic. To be "canonical" does not equivocate to being "inspired." In the case of Scripture, those books which were eventually included in the Canon of Sacred Scripture are indeed ALSO inspired (God breathed) and the inclusion into the canon did not make them inspired. They were, indeed, inspired even prior to them being penned (the writer first had the inspiration and THEN put it to paper/papyrus). By the same token, just because something is not in the formal canon does not mean it is not inspired! Many other books are considered worthy to be read and could be considered inspired and inspirational - they just were not part of the official canon.
Back to the point - NONE of the books were "canonical" prior to the establishment of a "canon." In simpler terms, NONE of the books were part of the "list" prior to the "list" being compiled.
Also keep in mind, there were SEVERAL "canons" prior to the 4th-5th century.
Words mean things.
11:04 PM, July 31, 2014
Ken said...
. . . words have meanings. A "canon" (in this context) is a LIST or COLLECTION of sacred books which are accepted as genuine.
Words have meanings, yes. But the original meaning of "canon" was not a list, rather "criterion" / "standard" / "rule" - the meaning of "list of sacred books" came much later.
(the writer first had the inspiration and THEN put it to paper/papyrus).
No, 2 Timothy 3:16 says the writings are God-breathed, not the person. The person was guided by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21), using their own personality, but it was the writings themselves that are God-breathed.
3:25 PM, August 01, 2014

Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
> KT: Words have meanings, yes.
> But the original meaning of
> "canon" was not a list, rather
> "criterion" / "standard" /
> "rule" - the meaning of "list of
> sacred books" came much later.
sw: Without going into the etymological fallacy, the use that we are talking about (as indicated by "in this context") is clearly the use of canon lists as produced (several different ones) in the first 400 years of the Church.
The real underlying point here is that the canon did not determine itself. If the canon were self-determining, there would not have been any debate over it - much less 400(+) years of said debate! No, it was ultimately declared by the Church through the Holy Ghost.
The real reason you do not accept this explanation is that it is quite damning to the concept of sola scriptura because you accept, without exception, the canon of the New Testament as declared by the Catholic Church through the Holy Ghost. <> Scott<<<
1:50 PM, August 03, 2014

Ken said...
Before the word "canon" was used as a list of NT books, it meant "rule", "criterion", "standard" in the explanations of "the rule of faith" or "canon of truth" - in Irenaeus(180-200 AD), Tertullian(190-220 AD), Origen (250 AD) (D. L. Williams, The Free Church and the Early Church, page 17) and was basically organized around the Trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:18-20; and is basically, the same doctrinal content as what later became the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Chalcedonian and Athanasian Creeds.

This "rule of faith" or "canon of truth" was also called "the tradition", "the faith", "the teaching" (Athanasius, To Serapion, on the Holy Spirit, Epistle 1, 28) or "the preaching" (Irenaeus)

So, you are wrong. The standard, rule, criterion was the doctrinal truths of Christianity (which Protestants agree with because they came from Scripture and were taught to new converts before baptism, and functioned as "the standard" until all the NT books were discerned and discovered and put togehter under one "book cover", so to speak.

So, I did not make an etymological fallacy.

There was no real debate over the four gospels, Acts, Paul's letters, 1 John and 1 Peter.

Clement and Pseudo Barnabas seem to allude to 2 Peter.

Irenaeus, Tertullian - 180-220 AD affirm most of the NT books, both Irenaeus and Tertullian affirm the book of Revelation - before those 2 writers, there is just not much extant from the earlier writers; their output was small - Clement, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Papias. What we have of their writings is too small to even quote or allude to very many of the NT documents, though they do allude to and quote from some. Clement, very early, uses Hebrews.

The only debate was over Hebrews, Revelation, James, Jude, 2-3 John, 2 Peter. (mostly Eusebius tells us that there was debate over these books.)

But Revelation (Irenaeus, Tertullian) and Hebrews (Clement) are mentioned and affirmed early. 2 Peter by Clement and Psedo-Barnabas.

The power of the NT documents is self-evident and they eventually won because of their self-evident power and quality as being "God-breathed".
12:52 PM, August 04, 2014
What is the context of this discussion? Beyond etymology, we're talking about canon lists of the Canon of Sacred Scripture. Yes, the word "canon" or "kanon" also has the meaning of a "rule" or "criterion," but in this context we're speaking of the lists which were put together, several of them in the Early Church. So, when we speak of the Canon of Sacred Scripture, these books were not canonical until there was a canon or list to which they belonged. One canon of the Old Testament is the Septuagint or Greek canon, another is the Palestinian or Hebrew canon. Catholics, along with Jesus and the Apostles, used the Greek canon; Protestants and post-Christian Jews adhere to the Palestinian canon. Pre-Christian Jews followed a mix between the Alexandrian (Greek) canon and the Palestinian (Hebrew) canon.

Then there came the New Testament canons. One of the first recorded canon lists was the Marcionian Canon, and while Marcion was declared an heretic, it was not because of his canon - though it was controversial. Irenaeus argued for a 4 book Gospel canon and Origen presented a canon quite similar to the current New Testament canon, except he did not include James, 2 Peter 2nd and 3rd John and he did include the Shepherd of Hermas. I could go on, but the point is which canon list? If any book belonged to any canon, then it was "canonical" per that canon. The final canon of Scripture does not exist until the late 4th century, so per that canon, while many books were not disputed by that time, none were part of that canon until that canon existed.


1:54 AM, August 06, 2014

More to follow? Check back here and/or check on BeggarsAll.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Validity or Sacramentality?

Dr. Edward Peters, Canon Lawyer, wrote a very good - and not very long - article on the difference between validity and sacramentality of marriage especially as it relates to the annulment process.  The two aspects are not to be confused, but they often are.  Dr. Peters writes:
Not only is the sacramentality of a marriage NOT determined in an annulment case, the question of its sacramentality is not even RAISED in the process. The annulment process is about the validity of marriage and only about validity; a successful petition results in a “declaration of nullity”, not in a declaration of non-sacramentality.
All of us Catholics, and especially apologists, should not only be aware of this distinction, but should be prepared to answer to it when false information is presented.  Not all sacramental marriages are valid; not all valid marriages are sacramental.

At any rate, I hope you'll take the time to read Dr. Peters article.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Early Church and the Eucharist

The Early Church and the Eucharist.  Dr. Scott Hahn talks about one of his recent books and takes questions and answers them in a (now recorded) live stream.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

BeggersAll - Catholicism and Semi-Pelagianism per Sproul

In a blog comment at BeggarsAll, Ken Temple states:
R. C. Sproul demonstrates the contradiction in Roman Catholic Theology, when it claims it agrees with Augustine against Pelagius and the Semi-Pelagians (Provincial Synod of Orange in 529 AD), but later re-affirms Semi-Pelagianism by the decrees of Trent (1545-1563) and then, later, arguably, it approves of even Pelagianism by the condemnation of the Jansenists (roughly, 1638-1713) and the modern Roman Catholic Catechism of 1994.  Sproul calls it an "ambiguity".  Indeed, it is more than that; it is a real contradiction.  It also shows the Roman Catholic Church to be fallible; thus bringing down the whole system of its claim to be infallible.
Embedded Ken has a video with Dr. RC Sproul wherein Sproul makes the statement that the Catholic Church has theological hemophilia, and if you scratch her, she bleeds to death.  That is, since the Catholic Church claims to be infallible, if one can demonstrate a contradiction in infallible teachings - then infallibility is destroyed - "she bleeds to death."  In the video Sproul deals with the matter of Free Will and Original Sin.  

Sproul starts by explaining (briefly) what Pelagianism is and how St. Augustine opposed it.  He also explains what Jansenism is, and how the Catholic Church opposed it.  For a bit more clarity, let's explain those a bit more here:
Pelagianism views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam's sinoriginal sintotal depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation. Pelagianism is overwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431).
Jansenism was a Christian theological movement, primarily in France, that emphasized original sin, human depravity, the necessity ofdivine grace, and predestination
St. Augustine opposed Pelagianism in this respect:
These men are such opponents of the grace of God . . . that without it, as they believe, man can do all the commandments of God.

They confess in this way there is given to us divine knowledge whereby ignorance is dispelled, but they deny that love is given to us whereby we may lead a religious life: so that whereas knowledge, which, without love puffeth up, is the gift of God, love itself, which edifieth so that knowledge should not puff up, is not the gift of God. They empty of their meaning the prayers which the Church makes: whether for the unbelieving and those that refused the doctrine of God, that they may return to God; or for the faithful, that faith may be increased in them and that they may persevere therein.

They even go so far as to say that the life of the righteous in this world has no sin, and thus the Church of Christ in this mortal state is so perfected as to be altogether “without spot or wrinkle. ” As if it were not the Church of Christ throughout the world which cries to God, “Forgive us our trespasses.” They also deny that infants, born according to Adam after the flesh, contract by their first [sc. Natural] birth the infection of the ancient death. So they assert that they are born without any bond of original sin: with the result, of course, that there is in them nothing that has to be released at their Second [or New] Birth. The reason why they are baptized is that by their New Birth they be adopted and admitted into the kingdom of God, carried from good to better—not, by that renewal, delivered from any evil of ancient entail. For even if they are not baptized, they promise them eternal life and bliss of a sort, though not within the kingdom of God. Adam also himself, they say, even if he had not sinned, would have undergone bodily death; though, if he so died, it would have been due not to the deserts of his guilt, but to the conditions of his nature. Several other things are charged against them. But these are especially the points on which it may be understood how all, or nearly all, the rest depend.
So in summary, St. Augustine supports that in order for men to fulfill the commandments of God they must have His grace in them; that love (grace) is the gift of God; that the Church of Christ does have blemishes and cries out to God "Forgive us our trespasses;" that Original Sin does exist and we must be regenerated through baptism; and that the sin of Adam indeed brought about his death.  These things the Pelagians denied - and these things the Catholic Church taught and continues to teach (to this day!).

The "critical point" according to Dr. Sproul is that he states man still has the ability to choose evil or good, even after the fall.  He goes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and while he does not cite the paragraph, I have it here for you:
1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.
Two things here in answering Dr. Sproul: 
a) The CCC is not an infallible document/book/teaching from the Church - NO catechism is!  
b) Paragraph 1732 is saying that men who are not bound definitively to God can still choose to do good things.  There is nothing wrong with that statement!  It is not saying that such men are doing salvific things, only that they are still free to choose to do good things over doing evil things.  Many "unregenerate" people do many good things - there just is no "good" for them in God's eyes, outside of His grace.

So, even if Paragraph 1732 were in error here (and it is not) it would not be valid ammunition against the Church's teaching (really Christ's teaching, Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18) because NO catechism has ever been promulgated as an infallible document.  Again, there is no contradiction between what St. Augustine said and what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says - if anything, the CCC is saying that when one binds himself to God that his will is no longer "free" - that he is now bound to do good, and the choice to do evil would separate him from the love (grace) of God.  This is consistent Catholic teaching throughout the ages.

I have one more thing for Dr. Sproul and Mr. Temple in this regard...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

John 6 and Revisited

On the blog a person who uses the pseudonym of "TurretinFan" (hereafter "TF") posted a blog against the Catholic belief in the Eucharist truly being the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.  Since one has to be registered at (and I can see no way to do that there) to post comments, I am posting my reply here.

> TF: Roman Catholics like to try to claim that they are
> just taking Jesus “literally” when they interpret “this
> is my body” to mean that what was in Jesus’ hands was
> not bread but his physical body [FN1].

sw: No, we don't "try" to claim that, we do claim, accept and believe the words of our Lord and Savior.

> TF: Three passages in John help to illustrate the problem
> with that approach: John 4, John 6, and John 7.  In the
> first, Jesus refers metaphorically to living water, in
> the second Jesus refers to himself as food and drink, and
> in the third Jesus offers drink to those who thirst.
> In John 4:6-15, Jesus interacts with the Samaritan woman
> at Jacob’s well.  He asks her for water, she objects
> because he’s Jewish, and he responds that she should
> be asking him for water, because the water he offers
> is better than the water from Jacob’s well. She
> misunderstands him as speaking physically, even after
> some further explanation.  She wants to stop the labor
> of drawing water and misunderstands Jesus’ comments
> about “never thirst.”

sw: Certainly there is a spiritual message here, but it is also physical.  Those who will "never thirst" will physically never thirst for the spiritual refreshment in the eternal (a physical reality) drink He will give to them.  Eternal life (or death) is and/or will be a physical reality.

> TF: In John 6:26-71, Jesus interacts with a number of
> “disciples” who want Jesus to repeat the miracle of the
> loaves that’s reported at the beginning of the chapter.
> Jesus explains that the person who believes on him will
> never thirst and whoever comes to him will never hunger,
> calling himself the “bread of life” that “came down from
> heaven.” Jesus insists that the bread he offers is better
> than the manna that the people ate in the wilderness.

sw: The bread, which is His body, IS better than the manna that the people ate in the wilderness!

> TF: Jesus talks about them eating his flesh and drinking
> his blood, but they take him physically and go away in
> disgust.  Jesus explains that the words he speaks are
> spirit and life.

sw: Precisely!  His words ARE "spirit and life" (spiritual and literal)!  Just as the story in John 4 relates, there IS a spiritual side to Jesus' words - but there IS a literal side too!  His words are LIFE, and ETERNAL LIFE (which is a physical reality).  To simply stand on a metaphor is to lose the REALITY of eternal life, which Jesus promises to those who partake in His body and blood.  Later, on Holy/Maundy Thursday, He physically provides them with the spiritual food - which IS His body and IS His blood.  We claim, accept and believe our Lord and Savior's words!  Now, did Jesus call out to them, "Hey wait disciples!  I was only speaking in metaphors, come back and hear the explanation!"???  No, He let them walk away, not because they did not believe Him, but because they DID believe Him and would not claim, accept and believe the words of our Lord and Savior!

> TF: Jesus asks the twelve if they will go away too,

sw: Note, He still doesn't change or explain away the command - rather He further challenges The Twelve.

> TF: but Peter (speaking for the group)

sw: Thank you for recognizing Peter's leadership/spokesperson role.

> TF: says that they will stay with him because they believe
> and know that his words are the words of eternal life.

sw:  Precisely!  And what were those words?  "If do not eat My flesh and drink My blood, then you have NO LIFE in you."  "NO LIFE" is the physical reality of the spiritual truth - their physical eternity will be one of separation from God in death.

> TF: In John 7:37-39, Jesus interacts with those at the
> temple for the feast.  Jesus offers the thirsty people
> water.  John explains to us that Jesus is speaking
> about the Spirit as the “rivers of flowing water.”

sw: And did the Holy Ghost NOT come from Him?  Did this NOT really happen?  Was the REAL descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost NOT a real event?  My friends, "spiritual" does NOT mean "not real!"

> TF: These passages illustrate Jesus’ fondness for using
> food as a metaphor for trust in him.  We approach the
> Lord’s table by faith, coming to Him as represented by
> the bread and cup.  We gain a benefit from this if we do
> so by faith, but not if we do so any other way.  It is
> not the physical elements that provide the benefit we
> receive, it is the Spirit.

sw: We approach His table in TRUE Faith when we claim, accept and believe our Lord and Savior's words!  That which we see/perceive as bread, in reality IS His body!  That which we see/perceive as wine, in reality IS His blood!  He did not command us to participate in a metaphor, no, He commanded we eat His flesh and drink His blood, and then He provides the means to REALLY do just that!  We claim, accept and believe the words of our Lord and Savior.

> TF: Remember what Jesus said about clean/unclean foods:
> (Matthew 15:17)
> Unfortunately, it seems our Roman Catholic friends and
> relatives fail to understand this.  Christ is our
> spiritual food and drink, not our physical nourishment.

sw: The section TF refers to is critical of the pharisees violation of God's Law.  The reference is to the Corban/Korban/Qorban Rule - wherein "the law" allowed for someone to give to the temple that which they should have given in support of their parents and "justify" the crime against their parents because it was given to the temple.  The challenge to Jesus was over the fact that the Apostles did not wash their hands before eating bread, and Jesus said that it was not unwashed hands which corrupts the man - but an unclean heart.

> TF: Isaiah 44:3; Psalm 105:41; Isaiah 48:21; Psalm 78:20;
> 1 Corinthians 10:4
> The blessings we receive in Christ are primarily spiritual
> blessings.  We drink the spiritual drink from the
> spiritual Rock, and that Rock is Christ.  He is our Rock,
> we trust in Him.

sw: Interesting.  While the passages, for the most part, speak of spiritual truth - they also speak to a physical reality.  Psalm 78:20 actually recalls a physical reality in the striking of the rock - and challenges that if He can provide water from a rock, can He not provide flesh for His people?  Interesting that TF would select this passage which argues FOR the Catholic position!


> TF: Footnote 1: I should add that the Roman Catholic
> position is particularly absurd in that it takes “this
> is my body” as implying that the bread ceases to be
> bread and becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity
> of Jesus.  Likewise, it is claimed that “this is my
> blood” implies exactly the same thing about the
> contents of the cup.  That’s quite far from taking the
> words literally, in which the bread would just be the
> body, and the contents of the cup would just be the blood.

sw: And how does one separate the soul and divinity from the body and the blood?  Oh ye of little faith.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pope Misquoted?

In a recent MSN article it is reported that two percent of Catholic priests "are" pedophiles.  
But the Vatican issued a statement saying some parts of a long article in the left-leaning La Repubblica were not accurate, including one that quoted the pope as saying that there were cardinals among the abusers.
The article was a reconstruction of an hour-long conversation between the pope and the newspaper's founder, Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who has written about several past encounters with the pope.
It would appear the allegation is actually "in the Catholic Church" and is not a statistic restricted to Catholic priests.  Also in the article it says:
The pope was quoted as saying that, while most paedophilia took place in family situations, "even we have this leprosy in our house".
Note, "most paedophilia took place in family situations" - this would not be related to priests.  So the number of two percent relates to ALL cases, most of which are "family situations" so the number of priests involved would be much smaller - AND - the Vatican also has a zero tolerance for this. Also in the MSN article the Pope is reported as saying:
He vowed zero tolerance for abusers and said bishops would be held accountable if they covered up crimes by priests in their diocese.
So, if there is "zero tolerance" there would not be any known and "active" priests involved.
We need to be careful about what we read and especially about what we might repeat.