Monday, May 23, 2011

Five Month Reprieve!

OK,  you have FIVE MORE MONTHS!  
Harold Camping has announced in his "Open Forum" that the REAL date is October 21, 2011 - which is the "end date" he originally claimed (it's not a "new date" as some are saying - this time around he's been saying October 21st is the "end of the world" date - May 21st was the alleged "Judgment Day").  Do I believe him any more now than I did before?  No, not in the least - but let's at least fairly report on him and his false prophecies.

Today Camping claims four crucial dates:
  1. May 21, 1988 - God brought down His judgment on all His churches.  God left Satan in charge of the churches as punishment. 
  2. September 7, 1994 - Camping had also predicted that date as "Judgment Day" in his book 1994?, but in that book he also stated that the more likely date of the Judgment would be 2011. Judgment continued upon the churches.  This Judgment "was lifted" on May 7, 1994 - it was still an opportunity to become saved.  (Hey, wait a minute!  Just prior to this statement of May 7, 1994-May 21, 2011 - he said it was September 7th of 1994 that was the "crucial day."  Which is it Mr. Camping?  September or May?).  This is the "Feast of the Memorial of the Jubilee."
  3. May 21, 2011 - Judgment came upon the churches.  The whole world is under Judgment Day until October 21, 2011...
  4. October 21, 2011 - The world will be destroyed.
So these are "the dates" Mr. Camping claims are the crucial dates... "no more billboard signs - in fact they're all coming down."  "We're not changing our dates at all."  He continues, "the Bible clearly teaches that then the world is going to be destroyed, altogether.   And it will be real quick, it won't be a five month period of trials... May 21st was a spiritual coming, but October 21st will be a physical coming."

If you would like to hear Harold Camping's broadcast from 5/23/2011, click here (right-click to download).  What I've included is Camping's monologue of his explanation of why we didn't perceive something happening on May 21st. 

Clearly Camping is changing his story as dates roll past and nothing happens.  As we've already stated, NO MAN KNOWS THE HOUR - so when Camping start giving us exact dates - even exact hours of when Judgment Day and/or the "End of the World" will be - KNOW THAT HE'S A FALSE PROPHET!  Still there's enough people who will accept him and believe him - and even send him money to keep him broadcasting his falsehoods.  Pray for THEIR deliverance from this FALSE PROPHET! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Called By Name

Last Sunday (May 15) in the Ordinary Rite it was "Good Shepherd Sunday," (it was the Sunday before last in the Extra-Ordinary Rite) and the Gospel reading was as follows:
Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
John 10:1-10
And that name is "Catholic!"  Jesus didn't build many churches, He built One Church (Matthew 16:18-19).  Jesus desires that we BE one, just as He and the Father are One (John 17:11).  That One Church, very early on got to be known as the Catholic Church - in fact the first use of the name "Catholic Church" was used by a disciple of St. John the Apostle, St. Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrneans writes:
Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not permitted without authorization from the bishop either to baptize or to hold an agape; but whatever he approves is also pleasing to God.
The Apostle's Creed states:
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
St. Augustine in his Fundamental Letter Against Manicheaus writes:
The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
Those who have ventured off, leaving the seat of St. Peter behind, are not fully part of (if at all) THE Church which Jesus Christ built.  Those who have further ventured off and even attack and condemn the Catholic Church have removed themselves in equal and just measure from the One, True Church which Jesus Christ Himself built.

His Church is built upon the BISHOPS - the first 12 of whom were the Apostles (Judas being succeeded by Matthias in Acts 1).  THE True Church is traced in valid apostolic succession to one of The Twelve.  Outside of this succession all you have is an imposter church, a fraudulent church promoting lies and deception "to fool even the elect."  These imposter churches DO possess a modicum of truth - which is why they are able to deceive so many - even claiming to be "Bible Believing," yet if this were completely so, they would be following a valid successor to one of the original Apostles - and their name would be "Catholic."   

Saturday, May 21, 2011

TODAY is JUDGMENT DAY

Here it is!  Judgment Day!  Well, according to false prophet Harold Camping it is today anyway.  Since "no man knows the hour" (Mark 13:32) there is NO WAY that Harold Camping knows!   And he claims to know, with certainty, that it will be TODAY at 3pm.  3pm WHERE?  As of the writing of this article it's already 8:27pm in Jerusalem - so if he was basing the time on the hour of Jesus' death - that hour has already passed.  So here we are Mr. Camping, Saturday, May 21, 2011 - and we're waiting.  Actually, those of us who KNOW their Scriptures KNOW Camping is wrong today just as he was wrong in September of 1994 when he predicted with 99.9% certainty that the same thing would happen back then.  I have just as much certainty that today he is just as wrong,  I'll reserve that .1% for the possibility that it IS today - afterall, I cannot have 100% certainty that Camping accidentally got this one right!  (grin)  

I hope you didn't quit your job or sell your assets, come Sunday - in whatever timezone - you might find you need these things!  

Addendum at 2:11 - Judgment Day:
From Harold Camping's site:
Didn't Harold Camping say that the world would end in 1994?
In 1992 Mr. Camping wrote a book entitled 1994? In that book Mr. Camping highlighted the abundant evidence pointing to 1994 as a probable year of Christ's return. Given the abundance of information pointing 1994 and the urgency of time, the book 1994? was written. Mr. Camping felt as a teacher, he must share the Biblical information he had found and warn the world.
Important subsequent biblical information was not yet known, so this book was incomplete. Mr. Camping warned there may be something he overlooked therefore the question mark was prominently placed on the title.
Mr. Camping wrote on pages 494 and 495 of the book 1994? he believed 2011 was the most probable year of Christ's second coming. Given the fact 2011 is the 7000 year anniversary of the flood, but he misunderstood Jesus' teaching in Matthew 24 verse 22 "except those days should be shortened"
At the time Mr. Camping concluded the period of "great tribulation" would be shortened from twenty three years, as the Bible teaches, to 2300 evening mornings or six and one third years. .
Mr. Camping wrote in 1994?:
"God appears to be declaring that this final tribulation period should be a certain length of time. If it were that length of time, it seems it would fit perfectly with God's plan of 7000 years. Judgment Day would be 2011 A.D.
But for the sake of the elect those day will be shortened."
So, apparently even in his book 1994? - he pointed to 2011.  Well, it's now after 2pm, MST, that leaves us with less than an hour before Camping's predicted Judgment Day.  As I said before, I am quite confident this day will continue as a "regular day"

Also from Camping's site:
What if May 21 ends and nothing occurs?
The Biblical evidence is too overwhelming and specific to be wrong. Christ's people can look with great confidence to this date because God promises His "beloved" He will not come upon them as a thief in the night.
God in His mercy has revealed the vital information needed to know the day. Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 will occur because the bible declares it. Anyone whom God has not saved will arrive at that day with no hope for salvation. God warns simply the "door will be shut."
But Scripture says He WILL come as a thief in the night!  1 Thessalonians 5:2 specifically states: "For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord shall so come, as a thief in the night."  It goes on to say that we should not be sleeping - but be awake so on that night we are not caught unprepared - but the Lord's coming most definitely will be "as a thief in the night."  Camping is just plain wrong again.

I think I'll take the dog for a walk...



Friday, May 20, 2011

Eucharist Literal or Symbolic?

Steve Finnell writes on the topic of the “Lord’s Supper” (Eucharist) being literal or figurative (which Finnell equates to symbolic).  I’ve discussed this many times in the past, but let’s look at it again:

THE LORD'S SUPPER---LITERAL OR FIGURATIVE?

When Christians partake of the Lord's Supper are they literally drinking the blood of Jesus and literally eating His body? No they are not.

Finnell makes this bold statement, but if he is correct, then Jesus is a liar - as well as St. Paul and a host of the Early Church Fathers.  Let us examine his arguments further...

1 Corinthians 11:23 -25 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks , He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

Jesus was using figurative language to describe His body and blood.

No, figurative language would be to say, “This is LIKE my body... etc.”  Jesus said, “...this IS My body...” there’s no “figurative language” here!  Mr. Finnell is simply wrong.

Jesus was not suggesting that He and the twelve disciples were literally eating and drinking His body and blood.(Matthew 26-28) Jesus was speaking metaphorically.

With all due respect to Mr. Finnell, simply repeating a statement does not make it more true the second time around.  When Jesus spoke in metaphors, the whole passage would be figuratively stated, such as when He declares, “I am the Gate...” in John 10, the whole passage uses metaphors like we are the sheep and He is the Good Shepherd, etc.  In the Eucharistic narratives He takes bread and declares, literally, to BE His body and literally declares the wine to BE His blood.  The words “This IS...” are NOT “figurative language!”

Jesus makes it very clear He was not talking about drinking His literal blood. ( Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.")

A statement saying that He will not drink of the fruit of the vine is NOT a negation of what He earlier declares to BE the TRUTH.  I understand that for Mr. Finnell this is a rather inconvenient truth - but it IS the TRUTH whether he accepts it or not.

FIGURES  OF SPEECH ARE USED IN SCRIPTURE

John 10:1-6 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door......6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

I know of not one person who believes Jesus was a literal door. Why would those same people surmise that Jesus was teaching we would drink His literal blood and eat His literal body?

I have already addressed John 10 - and that whole passage speaks in metaphors - but even still, those metaphors are for a spiritual TRUTH!  Jesus LITERALLY is THE DOOR (or THE GATE) by which to enter into Heaven - we cannot enter by any other means.  Is Jesus a piece of wood with hinges and a latch?  No, but He IS the door/gate into Heaven.

John 1:19-29.....29The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said "Behold , the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

When John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God he did not mean Jesus was a  literal four- footed sheep, John was using a figure of speech.
The reader must ask him/herself what the meaning of “Lamb of God” is.  Lambs were used to sacrifice to appease the Lord - and thus Jesus, being THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE truly IS the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  Hallelujah!

Figurative and literal speech are not the same, it is one or the other.
Mr. Finnell must realize that “figurative” does not mean “not real” or “not true!”  He would like to dismiss the REALITY that the Eucharist IS the body and blood of Jesus Christ by declaring Jesus’ declarative words to be figurative - but these words are TRUTH!  What once was mere bread is NOW His body!  What once was mere wine is NOW His blood!  THIS is the spiritual truth - and that which is spiritual IS REAL TOO!

When Christians, during communion eat the body and drink the blood of Christ, it is symbolic, figurative, metaphoric, emblematic.

If this were true, then those who partake of the Eucharist unworthily could not possibly be guilty of not discerning the body and blood of Christ - if the bread and wine are mere symbols, then there is no crime against His body or blood!  Yet, 1 Corinthians 11:27 says: “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”  Mr. Finnell does not have an argument for this passage, even though he quotes the verses just prior to this statement!  Context has utterly destroyed what he said earlier.

The fruit of the vine and the bread of communion represent the blood and body of Jesus Christ. THEY ARE NOT THE LITERAL BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS.

Again, if we were to accept Mr. Finnell’s word here - then Jesus is a liar.  Personally, I trust Jesus over Mr. Finnell.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

One Day from Judgment Day!

OK,  well "Judgment Day" is only ONE DAY AWAY!  OK, that's according to the already proven false prophet, Harold Camping. 


Again, as I said previously, be ready - but don't be surprised when the huge earthquake which Camping predicts does not materialize tomorrow.  Live as if the world IS ending tomorrow - but plan as though it won't end within your lifetime.

Scott<<<

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Infallible Canon of Scripture

Steve Hays writes on Triablogue:

i) Catholics are fond of quoting Sproul’s adage about how the canon is a fallible collection of infallible books. They make a big deal about how the Bible doesn’t list its contents.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, this is misleading, so I won’t repeat myself here. Now I wish to make a different point.

Hays may wish to make a different point, but the point still remains that the Bible does not contain an infallible table of contents - on its own - the Church, specifically the Catholic Church, put it there.  Protestantism has removed several books from the infallible canon, but the FACT remains that THEY got THEIR canon FROM US!  Let us move on and see Hays’ “different point,” shall we?  

ii) Suppose the Bible came with a table of contents. An infallible list of the books comprising the Bible. How would a Catholic apologist respond? Would he withdraw his objection? I doubt it.

I imagine that he’d simply shift the goalpost. For he could always say, “How do you know the books listed in the table of contents correspond to the books in your edition of the Bible? How do you know those two go together?”

He’d then say that just goes to show that having an infallible book is useless unless you have infallible church to infallibly identify the book.

Well, let’s not get into Hays’ straw man factory here.  The simple answer is, the Catholic wouldn’t HAVE an objection to withdraw if Scripture somewhere, anywhere, listed the Canon of Sacred Scripture within it!  Again, all straw man arguments aside - Hays’ assertion of “I doubt it,” is groundlessly based upon an imaginary scenario which does not exist at all in reality.  Come back to the real world, Steve.

iii) However, this merely pushes back the problem which the Catholic posed for himself.

a) Trent has a list of books. Even if (arguendo) the list is infallible, how do we know what the list refers to? How do we infallibly match the books on the list with a corresponding set of books to which the list ostensibly refers? The list itself doesn’t single out a physical book.

After all, different books can go by the same title. Moreover, what if the title is spurious?

Well Mr. Hays is just flat out wrong (again) here.  The Canon of Sacred Scripture as infallibly delineated by the Council of Trent SPECIFICALLY states:
Moreover, the same holy council considering that not a little advantage will accrue to the Church of God if it be made known which of all the Latin editions of the sacred books now in circulation is to be regarded as authentic, ordains and declares that the old Latin Vulgate Edition, which, in use for so many hundred years, has been approved by the Church, be in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions held as authentic, and that no one dare or presume under any pretext whatsoever to reject it.  (The Council of Trent, Session IV).
So the edition of the “old Latin Vulgate” is that which the Council of Trent declares to be THE volume of the Scriptures to be used by the Church.

b) Trent also mentions the Vulgate, but was there a uniform edition of the Vulgate? No. Was there an official, infallible edition of the Vulgate? No.

So to what edition of the Vulgate was Trent referring?

Simple, Mr. Hays, “the old Latin Vulgate Edition, which, in use for so many hundred years...”  Your denials aside, “the old Latin Vulgate Edition” is specifically stated.  Again, you are simply wrong.  

iv) One traditional line of evidence for the NT canon are patristic attributions. Church fathers attribute certain books to certain authors.

But the Catholic objection to the Protestant canon undercuts that appeal. Before we know that Irenaeus attributed a certain book to the Apostle John, we must know if the book attributed to Irenaeus is authentic. Is there an infallible list of which church fathers wrote which books?

Even assuming the writing attributed to a church father is authentic, how do we know the book he named in his writing denotes a book in our edition of the Bible?

Well, 1) the Church has told us which books are to be contained in Scripture and 2) we are in AGREEMENT over the New Testament Canon!  I smell a red herring.

v) And it’s not just the canon. Catholics also try to prooftext the papacy (among other things) from the church fathers. But where’s the infallible list of church fathers?

Ah yes, it is a red herring.  The discussion is not over an infallible list of Church Fathers or about the papacy, it is about an infallible list of Canonical Books of the Bible.

vi) Likewise, is there an infallible list of papal encyclicals? And even if there were, how do we know that the listed encyclicals refer to the same encyclicals that happen to go by that name? What if some encyclical by that name is misattributed?

Again, more diversionary tactics involved - but the simple answer is there is no “infallible list of papal encyclicals.”  Typically speaking, papal encyclicals are NOT infallible documents to begin with!  With as long as Mr. Hays has been an apologist opposing Catholicism one would THINK he would not blunder so badly as he has here.

Same thing with church councils. Is there an infallible list of church councils? And even if there were, how do we know what historical gathering that list refers to? How do we connect names on a piece of paper with historical events? The list itself doesn’t pick out the corresponding event.

And again, the discussion is not about Church councils and no, there is no “infallible list of Church councils.”  However, there IS consensus regarding which councils are considered to be ecumenical and dogmatic councils.  That being said, not EVERYTHING which comes even from these ecumenical councils are infallible statements!  The decrees from said councils are infallible, but not every word.

vii) Catholic apologists fondly claim the canon depends on the church. Yet when they try to prove the church, they act as if the church depends on the canon.

For instance, they try to prooftext the papacy from Mt 16. But if the church must first vouch for the canon, then how can a canonical book vouch for the church? If the church must establish the canon, then the same church can’t very well quote from a canonical book to establish the claims of the church.

Unless it already had a canon, independent of the church, it can’t use Mt 16 to prooftext the papacy. For the canon is supposedly a product of the very church that authorizes the canon. How can the church authorize the canon if the canon must authorize the church?

Mr. Hays has presented a false dilemma here.  Just because the Church can show proof of the papacy in Matthew 16 this does not make the canon authorizing the Church - that’s called a non sequitur.   The fact is Matthew 16 demonstrates that Jesus gave to St. Peter, and to St. Peter ALONE in this chapter, the authority to bind or loose whatsoever he chooses.  That authority is not only bound/loosed on earth - but bound/loosed in heaven - therefore this authority is, by its very nature, infallible authority - for nothing errant could be bound/loosed in heaven.  Now just because the Book of Matthew is also contained among the Canonical Books of Scripture, that doesn’t make the Church reliant upon the Canon.  Hays attempt to present a circular problem for the Church fails.

Catholics like to question the Protestant canon.

No, Catholics like to question where Protestantism got their canon!  We ask the question because we already know the answer - you got it from US!  Well, you got the New Testament from us - and the Old Testament you rely upon Jews who didn’t decide their canon until sometime AFTER Jesus was crucified.  The FACT is the Jews had TWO canons of Scripture at the time of Christ, the Palestinian Canon and the Alexandrian (Greek) Canon.  This article is not the place to discuss the two Jewish canons - but the truth is there are many very persuasive arguments that the canon used by Jesus and the Apostles was indeed the Greek or Alexandrian Canon - the same one the Catholic Church codified in the late 4th century - and some 1100 years later protesting Christians decided to go with the protesting Jews, who also rejected the Catholic Church.

But questions beget additional questions. They start asking questions, but they prematurely stop asking [I think he meant to say “answering” here] question(s). Yet answering the question by reference to the church doesn’t logically terminate the interrogative process. Questions don’t suddenly halt where Catholics come to a halt. Once you begin, the questions continue. The questions circle back on yourself.

Well, no, the questions do not circle back upon ourselves - we’re quite assured by the linearity of the arguments and answers we can and have provided.  Again, Mr. Hays' attempt to make our position circular has failed.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Two Days Till Judgment Day!

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!  So goes the children's fable, and so goes the "prophecy" of one Harold Camping.   Camping predicts the Judgment will happen on May 21st, of this year - that's TWO DAYS FROM NOW!  I am quite confident that he is just plain WRONG, just as he was 17 years ago.  But how does he come up with this date? 
An "infallible, absolute proof" of Camping's assertion rests on a head-spinning numerological argument about the number of days that have elapsed since Jesus was crucified. The date of the crucifixion is itself somewhat uncertain, but Camping takes it to be April 1 in 33 AD. Come May 21, 2011, Camping says, 722,500 days will have elapsed since that occurrence. And 722,500 is (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17). Those numbers are important, according to Camping, because 5 symbolizes atonement, 10 represents completeness, and 17 is for heaven. (Quoted from Scientific American Blog).  The same article reminds us that Harold Camping predicted the same thing, with 99% certainty, that "The End" was to be in September of 1994.
So are you ready for the Judgment?   Well, since Scripture CLEARLY tells us that NO MAN knows the hour, (Mark 13:32) we must reject such outlandish predictions of already proven false prophets!  However, YOU SHOULD STILL BE PREPARED!  You do not want to be caught without enough oil, as the five foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), or not wearing the proper wedding garment (Matthew 22:1-14).  So, even though "the end" likely is not happening this weekend - ALWAYS BE READY! 

I, personally, have always had an interest in the "End Times Prophecies" or "eschatology" (the study of the End Times), so I read and listen to folks like Camping with some curiosity, but never losing sight of the FACT that he could not POSSIBLY know, with ANY certainty that any given day or hour is THAT HOUR of our Lord's glorious return.   So have some fun playing with the "facts" and numbers - but don't go quitting your job or selling your house, etc.  Live as if Judgment Day is TODAY, but plan as if it will not be within your lifetime.

Back to Camping, he claims:
On May 21, 2011 two events will occur. These events could not be more opposite in nature, the one more wonderful than can be imagined; the other more horrific than can be imagined.
A great earthquake will occur the Bible describes it as "such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of the all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God.

On the other hand the bodies of all unsaved people will be thrown out upon the ground to be shamed.
The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011 when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants. (Source).

So, the world does not come to an end on May 21, 2011 - but, according to Camping, it will on October 21, 2011.  Are your affairs in order?  Again - don't go by what this false prophet says - but BE READY!  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dance Your Shoes Off

Well, even Baptists get some things right!  I don't mind showing my appreciation when they do too...

Enjoy...





This one is pretty cool too, I wish they didn't feel the need to change it from "Easter Sunday" to "Resurrection Sunday" though...



And remember! It's still Easter Season! Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mortal Sin, Venial Sin and Scripture

In a recent discussion between Ken T. and myself, the subject of mortal v. venial sins came up.  The original post/response was on a different topic so rather than continue to diverge that topic, I have started a new article to deal directly with what he’s asserted.

Ken wrote: all sin leads to death. all sins are mortal sins.
Romans 6:23

Most may already know that verse, but let’s quote it for clarity:
For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23 DRB)
This does not specify - whereas 1 John 5:15-17 does:
15 And we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask: we know that we have the petitions which we request of him.
16 He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.
17 All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.
Clearly there are at least TWO TYPES OF SIN HERE!  One which is “unto death” and another which is “not to death.”  Just because Scripture is not specific about types of sin in one place, that does not mean where it IS specific in another place that the latter is wrong.  No, Ken is wrong here - not all sins are mortal sins, as verse 17 makes clear, “all iniquity is sin.  AND there is a sin unto death (mortal).”  

I would also add, Romans 6 is more about sin in general and along with the concept that we ALL have sin due to our First Parents (Original Sin) and the wages of that Original Sin is death, we ALL die (though there has been at least a couple exceptions to that rule in Enoch and Elijah).  So what Ken has done is take a general statement and attempted to contrast that with the more specific example I have provided him with.

Ken continues:  James 1:13-14 – when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Let’s look at the text itself again, and we’ll use the NASB:
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
Well, Ken appears to be off a verse here, as 15 says what he said:
15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
There’s no delineation here - but where there IS delineation, we cannot ignore it!  Plus what is being described here would also fit the definition of a mortal sin!  The conception of lust itself is not sin, but it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death - for a sin to be a mortal sin it must be a grave matter, one must know ahead of time it is a sin and then go forward or accomplish it with that full knowledge.  THAT IS a “sin which is unto death!”

True believers, when they sin, will repent and confess sooner or later.

“True believers” fall into sin all the time.  Those who do commit a “sin which is unto death” (mortal), and do NOT repent prior to death (say an untimely accident or heart attack) will likely perish in everlasting torment (I cannot say what God in His Mercy might do, and/or if at the moment of death that person was contrite and given a chance to repent, etc., only God can make that final judgment on a soul).  

I believe this “True believers” statement is along the lines of “once saved, always saved” (OSAS), which is also a false teaching, but is not the topic of this article, so I will refrain from further comment at this time.

so I John 5:15-17 has to mean "commiting a sin that does not lead to physical death"
Like I Corinthians 11 – those that were judged and God killed.

Well, 1 Corinthians 11 is talking about those who are “among you” and yet are in “schism” and/or “heresy.”  It is among THOSE who are “infirm” or “weak” and/or “sleep,” for they are dead to Christ, even though (being among you) testify that they are “true believers,” but they have followed a lie and believe in a lie and thus will face the Judgment.

I Cor. 5 – Paul says he delivered him over for the destruction of his flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of Christ Jesus.
(God's judgment in killing the person - as in His judgment on Saul in I Samuel. It is not clear to me whether or not Saul was a true believer.
Those are good examples of what John means, “a sin unto death”.

Well, 1 Cor. 5 deals with St. Paul warning them against intermingling with those who claim to be fellow Christians, yet they are participating in sexual immorality (specifically mentioning one whose sin is worse than even the pagans would endure - one who sleeps with his father’s wife), that we are to shun them, we are not to associate with them - not even eat with them.  

As for Saul, in 1 Samuel - he most certainly was a “true believer” - but he lacked faith.  He did not trust in God’s Divine Providence in regard to his kingdom.  

So, whereas in the case of the one who sleeps with his father’s wife, that’s definitely a mortal sin.  Saul visiting a medium - well, that was expressly forbidden by God’s Law - so that too would be a mortal sin.  Yes, these are good examples of sins which are unto death, though in either case - the sinner could repent and be forgiven of their sin.

Christ saves completely. Hebrews 10:10-14
Let us look at this passage too:
10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Yes, the Sacrifice of Christ was once for all!  Catholics do not dispute this at all!  Catholics also see God as not limited by our linear sense of time for God just is, period.  God sees ALL time in the present.  He sees the past, the present and the future all at once because He is outside our man-made concept of time.  This is why we see each act of God as an act which exists in eternity.  The Mass, therefore, is not a new and/or repeated sacrifice - but “taps into” that eternal Sacrifice of the Cross, which redeems the world.  This passage is also referring to the Old Testament sacrifices, not the once-for-all-time Sacrifice of Christ.

the believer who sins, confesses and repents constantly; walking in the light.

This statement appears to come from out of nowhere, but we would agree here!  And since ALL believers sin - ALL believers should make use of the means by which Jesus provided His Church for the forgiveness of sins - namely through His bishops (or those whom they have so empowered/given faculties).  Jesus, speaking to His First Bishops - the Apostles, and to them only (they were alone with Him at the time) told them that whatsoever sins THEY forgive are forgiven - and sins they do NOT forgive are NOT forgiven (John 20:23).  By-passing this authority is contrary to Scripture - and thus Protestantism is fundamentally devoid of forgiveness of sins.  Now certainly God could, and I mean COULD as in POSSIBLY, not hold those who in their ignorance, which is through no fault of their own, culpable for this avoidance of this Sacrament.  Those who are reading this and/or articles like this one, in my humble opinion, would no longer be able to claim such ignorance.

there is no venial and mortal sin distinction in Scripture. (in the RCC sense) That was a later historical development was wrong and unbiblical.

We have already proven this statement to be false, so I won’t repeat myself here.

some sins are worse in their consequence and affects, of course. Real murder is worse than hatred and anger, but hatred and anger are the roots of murder, and make us guilty, but the consequences are not as bad.

What consequences could you possibly be referring to?  If you are consistent in your belief, there are NO consequences for the believer who repents!  For one who does NOT repent, the consequence is eternal damnation!

Back to the point...  Scripture tells us there are two types of sin, one which is unto death and the other is not, therefore the concept of mortal and venial sins is not a later historical development nor is it not biblical.  Since the Catholic concept is scripturally based the only way it could be “wrong” is if Scripture is wrong.  I posit that it is Ken who is wrong, not Scripture and not the Catholic Church on this matter.

In the spirit of the Holy Family (JMJ),
Scott<<<

PS- I was able to repost this article because I had it in Google Docs - but the comments got zapped when Blogger reset back to a time prior to the original posting of the article.

Friday, May 06, 2011

O Ye of Little Faith!

This is in response to Ken’s reply to my article (which is responding to his!).  Since the response(s) are getting too long for the combox, I’m writing a new article to address Ken’s posts.  Ken objects to my use of "O ye of little faith," but I believe the objective reader here can see the point I have been making and how Ken's faith is lacking when it comes to accepting this direct teaching from our Lord and Savior.
Scott,
Your statement "O ye of little faith" makes no sense to me or Protestants like me. Nowhere in John 6 or the Upper Room texts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or I Cor. 11 say what you and the RCC try to make them say.
Well, Ken, it says what it says.  Catholics don’t “make them say” anything, we read the words as they are written.  No, it would appear that those who have to rationalize and impute all sorts of interpretation and explanation to the plain text - it would be those who are trying “to make them say” something they are not.
Jesus did not say "by saying/commanding (?) "this is My body" and "this is My blood", that it will change the bread and wine into His body and blood.
No, He just held it up and declared it so.  No rationalizations here from the Catholic side, we accept Him at His word - it IS His body and blood - period.
Jesus held up the bread and cup, and said to His disciples, "this is My body" and "this is My blood" - He was in His real body at that time in space and time on earth, holding up the bread and cup; so since He could not be incarnated twice ( or more), and His death is "once for all" - He obviously meant "this bread represents or signifies my body, and this cup represents or signifies the blood of the new covenant", etc.
O ye of little faith!  You have said that the Eucharist could not BE His body and blood because “He was in His real body at that time in space and time on earth.”  You limit God’s power and omnipresence - Catholics do not!  If HE says it IS His body and blood - IT IS SO!  Consider that in John 6 the chapter opens with the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand from five loaves of bread and two small fish - yet SOMEHOW there was enough to feed the five thousand AND to have twelve basketfuls of left-overs!  How could five loaves of bread and two fishes be in so many places at once?!  You (I trust) accept the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, but somehow MISS the FACT that this prefigures the Eucharist - and in context is part of a eucharistic treatise!   I pray that God will grant you the FAITH necessary to accept Him and His Word.
Moving along to St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians...
To judge the body rightly or "discern the body rightly" does not mean "judge the bread as the literal body of Jesus that has been changed, but no one can see it, etc."; rather in context in I Cor. 11:17-34 - it means to "discern the body of Christ" rightly - that is, discern right by relationships with "one another" and confess your sins to one another before you partake in the supper - be patient with one another, love one another, don't be selfish (remember that thing called context - the context was that there was gluttony, impatience, selfishness, hoarding, and drunkeness at the Lord's supper and Paul was rebuking them for that.)
St. Paul rebukes them for these things - yes!  But WHY is he rebuking them?  Because they did not rightly discern the body of Christ!  Yes, he speaks of divisions among themselves and some feasting while others go hungry - but THE POINT IS when they do THAT while approaching the Eucharist - they are not rightly discerning the body of Christ!
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.
32 But when we are judged by the Lord,we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat [see back up at verses 17 and 18 - "when you come together as a church"], wait for one another—
34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
"discerning the body" in v. 29
is parallel with
Judging ourselves rightly in v. 31 = "examine yourself before you partake" - confess your sins - Matthew 5 and 18 also talk about this. Make things right with people first, then come and worship.
No matter how you try to spin it - “the judgment” comes upon them for not “discerning the body...”  All the rationalizations you want to throw at this passage doesn’t change the fact that the REASON they would be bringing judgment upon themselves was due to them not discerning His body!  Yes, they did wrong things - but the judgment came upon them for not discerning.
Now, back to St. Augustine...
Augustine got the Hebrew wrong, and from there went too far with the "footstool" and "earth" etc.
He was wrong on the Hebrew and application of the footstool to the Lord's human body and nature, but He was right in that we worship the Lord Jesus Christ as God, and that He has both a Divine and Human nature.
You claim he (St. Augustine) was wrong about the “footstool” and “the earth” - yet it has been demonstrated that God Himself calls the earth His footstool in Isaiah!  (Isaiah 66:1 and Acts 7:49).  So where, exactly is St. Augustine “wrong” here?
there is a lot more that could be said, especially that Stephen rebukes the Jews in Acts 7 (Quoting Isaiah 66:1-2) for the Jews not seeing the spiritual meaning behind the temple and that they placed too much emphasis on the physical temple, which is what RCC does by trying to take OT physical contexts and put them into the NT ( priests, infant baptism as the same as circumcision, and the cherubim and seraphim as justification for having images of saints and angels to pray to in churches today.
Ken, take a look at verses 52-53!  
52 "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;
53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."
Note, the criticism is due to the fact that they were given the law and did not keep it!  Amen!  You have been given the truth, and you do not believe it - O ye of little faith!  May God grant you the faith necessary to accept His truth.
I should add that the way you use "O Ye of little faith", makes no sense to Protestants because it is applying that Biblical phrase to the Eucharist/Lord's Supper, when Reformed and other Evangelical Protestants fully believe in Christ and His Deity and humanity and the Trinity and in His atonement for the forgiveness of sins, etc. We have faith in Christ.
I will say that you, (“Reformed and other Evangelical Protestants”) DO have faith in Christ, but it is an incomplete faith.  I speak as a former Protestant, I believe I too had faith prior to my conversion to the Catholic Faith, but it was lacking.  The fullness of faith comes in following the Lord through the Church He Himself built, as He promise He would do.  You don’t find this fullness in schisms of men which began some 1500 years after Jesus built His Church.  You will not find the fullness of faith in the rationalizations of men who seek to dilute the very words of our Lord into something LESS than what He said - and that’s EXACTLY what you’re doing here!  You’re watering down the plain reading of our Lord’s words to appease your lack of faith in Him to fulfill in us what He commanded we must do, and that is eat His flesh and drink His blood - or we have NO LIFE in us.  It is also in BELIEVING HIM when He declares, “This IS My body...”  To rationalize and reduce His statements to human/physical understanding is to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ and His ability to miraculously BE the Eucharist.  Again I remind you, the opening of John 6 begins with our Lord and God taking five loaves and two fishes and feeding five thousand people, with twelve baskets left over!  Do not doubt your God’s ability to be miraculous!
We we celebrate the Lord's supper,
You (as did I) celebrate a memorial.  You do not believe Jesus can actually BE the Eucharist, even though He declares it IS His body and IS His blood.  No, you have to come up with rationalizations (excuses) for why Jesus could not BE the Eucharist because He is IN His body at the same time He’s declaring “this IS My body” - why?  Because you cannot accept that Jesus could miraculously BE in more than one place at a time, yet (and I repeat) He could make five loaves and two fishes BE in multiple places at the same time!  THIS is why I use the phrase, “O ye of little faith!”  You do not have the faith necessary to accept Jesus at His word without making excuses.
we are careful to look at the texts and follow them - examine yourselves - so, if we are worshiping God in spirit in truth; and Christ has ascended to the Father, then the bread and wine are symbols of the once for all death of Christ - "as often as you do this, you proclaim the Lord's death" ( I Cor. 11) - "Do this in remembrance of Me" - it is a memorial of looking back on His once for all atonement for sins.
Just because something is done in remembrance does not mean what is done is not REAL!  The Eucharist is not a mere memorial, as Protestants (most of them anyway) believe it is.  Remember again, from the context of 1 Corinthians 11 (you’re citing that chapter!) that those who fell into the judgment did so because they failed to discern His body!  How can one be guilty of His body if the Eucharist is merely a symbolic memorial?  
So, we have faith, and that phrase is never used in regard to the Eucharist or Lord's Supper.
Again, I agree you have faith - incomplete faith.  Whether or not Scripture uses that phrase in regard to the Eucharist is irrelevant to the FACT that you’re displaying a lack of faith in Him.
And a true believer in Christ, experiences a deep communion with Christ, by faith, spiritually, after examining oneself and confessing sin and making things right with others and worship and prayer. Yes, the spiritual presence of Christ is real by faith in the true believer with the Lord.
Ask yourself, and I ask the objective reader here to ask themselves as well, does Jesus say He is spiritually present in the bread and wine or “this IS My body” and “this IS My blood?”  Does He say “this bread represents My body” or that it IS His body?  Without coming up with all sorts of excuses and rationalizations - what does He plainly state?
The way you use the phrase, is more in line with Ignatius Loyola's statement, over 1500 years after Christ, "Whatever we say is white, is white, even if to your eyes it appears black." ( I am paraphrasing it) ( In his "Rules for Thinking with the Church") This is proof that the Roman Catholic Church is just authoritarian in an un-thinnking and dictator like style, and that is one of the key reasons why good Christians have objected to its self proclaimed authority and false doctrines. (Hus, Wycliff, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli and onward to today).
The way I use the phrase is the way JESUS uses the phrase!  I do not ADD to it so that it makes sense to the carnal mind.  I believe Jesus and don’t make rationalizations and non-spiritual explanations.
I also made one comment on your previous post critiquing my article on RC Wrong Use of Augustine.
Here is that other comment:
(Quoting Scott) Actually, it says: "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy."
No, it says, "Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool, for He is Holy."
You appear to have used the New American Standard Bible, I used the Douay-Rheims Bible.  The DRB is based upon the Latin Vulgate, which is what St. Augustine used.  You’re using a modern version which inserts “at” - which from what I gather from the Hebrew, does not exist in the Hebrew.  I stand by what I said - especially in light of the fact that we’re discussing what St. Augustine was commenting on and the version available to him.  (I also fixed your typo, so did not include your correction).
We know this when we study the entire Psalm 99 in its context, and the context of the temple, and the arc of the covenant.
2 The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
The object of worship in verse 2 and 3 is the Lord Himself, not the furniture in the temple, nor the temple itself, even though the place for worship of Yahweh was at and in the temple.
I agree that the object is the Lord Himself in these verses.  There is no mention of temple furniture nor the temple.  You might say that the worship of the Lord is unlimited because He is holy!
5 Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!
Again, the word “at” is not in the Douay-Rheims, which is based upon the Latin Vulgate and the Latin Vulgate is the version St. Augustine would have been using.  Note as well the difference in the numbering; St. Augustine refers to this as Psalm 98, as does the Vulgate and the DRB, but in Protestant versions it is Psalm 99.  In looking at the Hebrew, we don’t find the word “at” in there either.  That word is assumed by modern translators.  Also, the DRB says at the end of this verse, “for it is holy” and the NASB says “Holy is he!”  Let us look at the text, I have provided the English (NASB) and the Hebrew below.  The blue words in English are the only ones which appear in the Hebrew:

http://www.biblestudytools.com/interlinear-bible/passage.aspx?q=psalms%2099&t=nas
So, in the Hebrew all we have is: “Exalt Lord God worship footstool holy.”  So the DRB says: “Exalt (ye the) Lord (our) God, (and) adore (his) footstool, (for it is) holy,” is just as valid as the NASB.  I am not calling the NASB “wrong” - as Ken has so labeled St. Augustine’s use of the Catholic translation he had in the 4th century, I’m just saying St. Augustine isn’t “wrong,” nor would St. Jerome have been in the Vulgate.
Verse 9
Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!
verses 3, 5, and 9 are parallel, and verse 9 helps us interpret verses 3 and 5 rightly, if one tries to interpret 3 and 5 as meaning "it is holy" (the footstool)
So, Augustine was wrong to read the Eucharist back into Psalm 99. My case still stands.
Again, let us look at the English translation of the version St. Augustine was reading from, and not a modern translation which adds at least one word to this context:

Psalm 98 (DRB)

1 A psalm for David himself. The Lord hath reigned, let the people be angry: he that sitteth on the cherubims: let the earth be moved.
     2 The Lord is great in Sion, and high above all people.
     3 Let them give praise to thy great name: for it is terrible and holy:
4 and the king's honour loveth judgment. Thou hast prepared directions: thou hast done judgment and justice in Jacob.
     5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests: and Samuel among them that call upon his name. They called upon the Lord, and he heard them:
7 he spoke to them in the pillar of the cloud. They kept his testimonies, and the commandment which he gave them.
8 Thou didst hear them, O Lord our God: thou wast a merciful God to them, and taking vengeance on all their inventions.
     9 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore at his holy mountain: for the Lord our God is holy.
If we look at the Eucharist in the terms of “coming from the earth” - then no, St. Augustine was not “wrong” here - he just took the interpretation down a different path than Ken has (and/or whomever Ken is getting his information from).
The Lord did not like it when the Israelites used the holy things wrongly (the bronze serpent, the arc, the temple) - That is why He had the bronze serpent destroyed later; and let the Philistines take the arc; and let the Babylonians (586 BC) and Romans (70 AD) destroy the temple.
Ken has gone off on a tangent here in his closing statement.  It sounds almost as if he’s “preaching” at us here - yet he has established none of these closing statements nor tied them to the entire thesis of this current discussion!  Even if we accept what he closes with here, that the Lord did not like it when the Israelites used these things wrongly (which he doesn’t delineate how they were used wrongly, but then again that would be MORE of a red herring to THIS discussion) - that has NOTHING to do with St. Augustine’s treatise on Psalm 98 and worshipping God’s Real Presence in the Eucharist.  I repeat, this is nothing more than a red herring to the rest of the discussion we’re having.  These might be interesting topics to discuss, but are nothing but distractions from the topic at hand.

I reiterate, I pray that the Holy Ghost comes upon Ken, and all who believe as he does, and is given the faith to see Almighty God in His Eucharist.

In the spirit of the Holy Family (JMJ),
Scott<<<