So, I’ve been away from the blog for about a month, maybe more,.. for good reasons.
I’m getting married to a beautiful woman named Brittany!
In whatever spare time I have, I will be responding to comments and finishing up research projects that I started on this blog. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback.
I’ll be back, soon.
This is a flyer that was passed out by the Pentecostal church of Alexandria (better known as POA – Pentecostals of Alexandria) in the early ’90s. I found this gem in one of my dad’s Protestant Bibles that he used during his ministry as a Pentecostal pastor. He saved it for a chuckle–and I’m glad he did.
Go ahead, click on the image above to read it more clearly. I’ll wait.
Ok. Now I don’t want to be mean, but good Lord! It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sadly inaccurate. This is the kind of thing you would expect to find in a Jack Chick tract.
There’s so many theological and historical out-right falsities it’s difficult to know where to start. This flyer makes me want to write a series of posts to cover the false history and false representations of Catholic doctrine… oh and of course, the big tamale, the false doctrine of the “Rapture.”
I guess the best place to start is with history.
With such an abysmal knowledge and sense of history among most Americans… it’s no surprise that people would believe this sort of timeline.
The flyer asserts that after the first Church was founded, (which it assuredly says was Pentecostal, as in the modern Pentecostal brand), that the Church went into the “Dark Ages.” If you talk with a Pentecostal who has been taught this mess, they will tell you that after the Apostolic Age–that is, after the Apostles died–the Church fell into apostasy (e.g. the Great Apostasy).
I’ll start here.
“At the death of the last Apostle; the Church fell into apostasy!”
For the sake of this argument, let us assume that this is true. We will assume that the early Christian Church, which historically is the Catholic Church, fell into apostasy after the death of the last Apostle.
“300 years of persecution brought on the DARK AGES!”
Was there persecution during the first 300 years? Absolutely! Probably the worst persecution of the Christian Church that we have ever seen–only to be rivaled by the Great Tribulation to come.
We know by historic fact that early Christian churches did not have a full canon. What does that mean? It meant that Christians did not have the full New Testament as we have it today. For almost 400 years, Christians did not have a Bible! How did they “get saved” without the Bible?
Some Christian communities had different letters from different Apostles, but no one community had all of the letters from the Apostles that we have today, compiled into what we now call the New Testament. For example, some communities may not have gotten a copy of the Gospel of Mark, or the letter to the Galatians–for years!
The state of communication and travel of the day obviously was not as it is today. How were communities to know that the letter they had received was authentic? Let’s say the church in Sardis had gotten a copy of a copy of a copy of Hebrews. How were they to know that it was inspired or not? We know that St. Paul said in Sacred Scripture that there were forgeries going around with his name on it!
Many communities claimed certain letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit that are not included in our canon today. There was a lot of debate and controversy over inspired canon… for more than 300 years after Christ’s death.
The Council of Rome in 382 A.D., was the first official gathering of the Church that issued an official declaration to which “Books” that were to be considered Sacred Scripture. Pope St. Damasus I issued a decree of the list of Books that would make up the Bible. The same Books that the Catholic Bible has: 73 Books; 46 Old Testament Books and 27 New Testament Books.
The Catholic Church gave the world a unified, inspired canon, called the Holy Bible.
Christians could not consult the Bible to see what books were to be included within the Bible. The case to settle the canon of inspired letters once and for all was brought to the Church. The Catholic Church.
If the Church had been in apostasy, and as the flyer insists would be in apostasy for another 1,200 years, how do the Pentecostals explain using the New Testament canon that the Catholic Church gave them? There is no “inspired index” given in Sacred Scriptures. So how do they know that what they read from is inspired at all?
Most will point to 2 Timothy 3:16, but isn’t that a circular argument? It would be as if you wrote a letter and wrote in it that it was inspired by God, and then to prove it was–pointed back to your letter claiming “well, because I wrote that it was!” See what I mean?
So, you have to believe that the Catholic Church, who gave us the Bible as we know it today (minus seven books of the Old Testament for Protestants), was not in apostasy or it could not have given us inspired canon!
You can’t have it both ways.
Don’t think God hears your prayers? Read this.
My little cousin had been experiencing a high fever for two days straight.
He was admitted to the hospital this morning, and after they “tried everything,” they could not get his fever down from 103°-104°.
They sent him home and said if his fever hadn’t come down tomorrow morning, to bring him to the hospital again.
He had been asleep and still all day long suffering from a fever of 104°.
My cousin Michael asked friends and family to pray for his nephew via text message.
The message went out and told everyone to stop what they were doing and pray for my little cousin, his nephew, by name.
His fever had been running steadily at 103°-104°.
Within 20 minutes after disseminating the call to prayer, his fever subsided to a totally normal temperature of 98°!
Two days of modern medicine and health professionals could not bring his fever down, but God did in twenty minutes.
Then he woke up and asked for a popsicle :)
Thank you Lord Jesus!
(1 Chronicles 16:9-10)
Sing to him, yea, sing praises to him: and relate all his wondrous works. Praise ye his holy name: let the heart I of them rejoice, that seek the Lord.
As sort of a Part Two to my last post… I wanted to dedicate a full post to “Communion in the Hand.”
I was born after the Council and never thought twice about this sort of thing. I was taught to receive Holy Communion in the hand, creating a “throne” for our Lord to sit on His way to your mouth. Now, I’m not saying that someone is bad for doing this… many people don’t even know the difference–like I didn’t.
A 2008 study from Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University surveyed 1,007 self-identified adult Catholics in the United States on several points of the Faith.
Here is a PDF of the results from the study on the Mass and the Eucharist. They found that 91% of people who attend Mass weekly believe in the Real Presence. 65% of who attend less than weekly, but at least once a month… and unsurprisingly, 40% of who attend a few times a year or less.
Even NCR (National Catholic Reporter aka “Fishwrap”, or as Father “Z”uhlsdorf calls it, National Schismatic Reporter) weighed in on this issue, reporting the results of their 2011 survey. Here is an excerpt of what they said:
We found that half of adult Catholics (50 percent) know the church’s teaching regarding the real presence and half do not. We also found that close to two-thirds of adult Catholics (63 percent) believe that “at the consecration during a Catholic Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Therefore, more adult Catholics believe the statement than understand its source.
Whether or not you believe their assessment holds any water, it is definitely a trend in the Catholic Church in America–and likely throughout the world.
The question is, has communion in the hand affected the belief of the Real Presence?
No one can deny that we are visual creatures. We can recognize something seemingly sacred by observing the actions of other people… receiving the Eucharist on your knees and on the tongue is a powerful visual of the belief in the sacredness of the Eucharist.
On the other hand, receiving the Eucharist in the hand and popping it in your mouth as you walk away from the clergyman or (ugh) EMHC doesn’t quite send the same message.
Can the Eucharist be reverently received in the hand? Surely. That is how I was taught and received Jesus in the Eucharist for years… but did I hold the same sacredness for it–and did I fully grasp what I was receiving? Shamefully, no, I didn’t. I think more appropriately in this case than ever, actions speak louder than words.
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live
How we worship is how we believe, which affects how we live.
If we approach and receive the Blessed Sacrament like a Protestant approaches their version(s) of [originally Catholic] communion, in which they do not believe that Jesus is present Body and Soul in the Eucharist, then we will believe in that manner.
It’s as simple as that.
Enjoy some ChurchMilitant.tv (formerly RealCatholicTV.com) videos on the subject.
“Holy Communion in the Hand”
“Kneel before God!”
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI stated on February 14, 2013, that the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was hijacked by the media, and the consequences of the world’s interpretation of the Council was devastating.
Listen below to His Holiness’ words.
If the “closed caption” feature is not enabled, turn it on to read Benedict’s comments in English.
The breakdown and falling away from the Faith is a direct result from progressive elements in the Church interpreting the Council’s documents the way they see fit–all the while using the secular media as an echo chamber for their revisions and reinterpretations.
It has been used as an excuse to fill the sanctuary with “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion,” blurring the lines between clergy and laity. The Council was cited as an excuse to move the tabernacle out of the center of the Church and for swapping the altar out for a table, and turning it versus populus… when no document of the Council ever called for it.
The “community of believers” is overtly stressed at Holy Communion (hence the table for an altar)–probably the reason why so many EMHC’s are used. I’ve even had to try to dodge an EMHC attempting to bless my children… it just flat-out confuses the roles.
The playing of music, reminiscent of Reformer hymns, so loud during the “Eucharistic procession” (I don’t know if that’s what it’s called or not, but more often than not, it does feel like a procession to me) that you can’t even hear yourself pray when you return to the pew.
Also, what is with the congregation being told to stand after receiving the Eucharist? I’ve noticed this at a few Masses I’ve attended when I travel. I was told it is “dignifying” to stand with the congregation in (some sort of kum-ba-yah) communion. Bizarre.
Pope emeritus Benedict alluded to a butchery of liturgy by saying that the it was “trivialized.” The Council didn’t call for any of this, but it was interpreted that way by progressives in the Church who probably would have been more happy as Episcopalians.
I now agree with many “disgruntled” Catholics, that communion in the hand (which began as an abuse) diminishes the sacredness and destroys the belief of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in the hearts and minds of the faithful. We are not Protestant, and should not approach the Holy Eucharist like Protestants.
So, what are Catholics to do when they discover tradition contradicts “new traditions,” possibly better described as abuses, that have cropped up after the Council? Do we run to SSPX, now that they are no longer excommunicated (but still condemn the Council as heresy)? I’m no authority to say what one should do when it comes to their faith… all I can do is speak for myself. I’m reading about and learning the paradosis of the ancient Catholic Church; I’m studying the Mass of the saints and martyrs–the Tridentine Mass.
I’m not trying to blast the Novus Ordo Mass either, I have just recently seen a lot of quasi-Protestantism creep into Catholic thought during and through the N.O. Mass…. and it honestly bothers me a great deal.
Even The Economist is noticing a move back to tradition. They say it’s “trendy.” I don’t know about it being trendy, but what we do know is that the Church hasn’t experienced such a self-destruction in liturgy and its faithful until the Council and the advent of Pope Paul VI’s Mass.
Just listen to His Holiness Benedict’s words.
… it (the Second Vatican Council) created so many calamities,
so many problems,
so many misfortunes;
seminaries and convents closed,
the liturgy banalized…
You’ve got a New World Order of the revolution in a head-on clash with the Old World Order of Catholicism,
and it’s a fight which both sides are willing to shed blood for.
and it comes to blood again and again and again.
It’s Satan against Christ.
The New World Order is Satan.
In light of the new vicar of Christ on earth, Pope Francis I, I thought it would be worth posting the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi for Peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.
Where there is friction, let me sow union.
Where there is error, let me sow truth.
Where there is doubt, let me sow faith.
Where there is despair, let me sow hope.
Where there is darkness, let me sow light.
Where there is sadness, let me sow joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi, Pray for us.
We Have a Pope Francis!
Habemus Papam Franciscum!
I have learned that Pope Francis I took his name after St. Francis of Assisi, not St. Francis Xavier.
St. Francis of Assisi received the stigmata after praying to share in the Lord’s Passion; the wounds of the nails that pierced Christ’s hands and the spear that tore into His side.
One of the most awe-inspiring stories of St. Francis of Assisi’s life, in my opinion, was his travel to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan Melek-el-Kamil, a nephew of Saladin, in order to stop the Crusades, or to achieve martyrdom at the hands of the Mohammedans.
He succeeded in neither, but the story is worth reading about.
St. Francis challenged the Muslim scholars that whoever could walk through fire unhurt (a real trial-by-fire), the Sultan would recognize the victor’s religion. When St. Francis proposed to walk first, the Muslim scholars retreated. The Sultan was so impressed, that he let Francis preach to his subjects.
According to some late sources, Francis was permitted safe travels through the Holy Land and even to preach the Gospel.
Drawing on a 1267 sermon by Bonaventure, later sources report that the Sultan secretly converted or accepted a death-bed baptism as a result of the encounter with Francis.
At Greccio near Assisi, around 1220, Francis celebrated Christmas by setting up the first known presepio or crèche (Nativity scene). His nativity imagery reflected the scene in traditional paintings. He used real animals to create a living scene so that the worshipers could contemplate the birth of the child Jesus in a direct way, making use of the senses, especially sight.
Today, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, (2013.3.13) we are no longer sede vacante!
The Chair of Peter has been filled with the first Jesuit Pope in history, who took the name Francis (the First). He is the former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
I think it is interesting that the first Jesuit Pope would take the name Francis, as one of the two founders of the Society of Jesus was named Francis; Francis Xavier!
Aside from the bad light that the Jesuits have in the minds of many people, mainly because of fictional novels and movies like the (blasphemous) Da Vinci Code, St. Francis Xavier was a great missionary and pastor. I do not know if he took the name because of St. Francis Xavier, but that was the first thought that came to my mind when I heard his name announced.
Xavier is believed to have converted more people to Christianity than St. Paul. He was proclaimed the “Patron of Catholic Missions” by Pope Pius XI.
Regardless if he took the name because of Xavier or not, we are in great need of a “missionary” like Xavier, a strong (traditional) Holy Father that will bring the message of the Gospel to the world, topple the dictatorship of relativism, and continue to “reform the reforms” of the Second Vatican Council.
I hope and pray that Pope Francis I will follow in the footsteps of pope emeritus Benedict in moving the Church back toward traditionalism. His Holiness Benedict spoke to the Roman Clergy about what happened at the Council, on Feb 14, 2013 (excerpt):
…this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized [source]
The official translation of the full speech has not been made available yet, but Vatican Radio offers a commented translation in the above source link.
So, what’s this about a Bishop Dressed in White?
If you are familiar with the Message of Fatima, then you probably have heard of the famous (or infamous) Third Secret of Fatima. Here is the text in question that I will be referring to:
“And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.” [full text here]
The Vatican interpreted the Third Secret portion of the Holy Father being killed by a hail of bullets as the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II. That doesn’t make sense for many reasons. One, the city was not in ruins. Two, Pope John Paul II was not killed. Three, there were no other clergy, men and women Religious, and lay people who were killed.
Do you think it is strange that Sister Lucy could not tell the Holy Father when she saw him? Only the Pope wears white. So why would she “have the impression” that it was the Holy Father unless she was confused? Is it possible that the Holy Father she saw, was no longer the Holy Father–but gave them the impression that he was or used to be?
On February 20th, Benedict’s brother, Georg Ratzinger reported that the Pontiff will continue to wear white after his abdication. Good Lord, I hope that Benedict is not the “Bishop in white” that the Blessed Mother showed the three children of Fatima. But, before now, that portion of the secret did not seem to fit and made little sense.
The Pope is pretty recognizable! How could she not have known… unless the children were shown a situation like we have today. A Pontiff who resigned and is living out the rest of his life in the Vatican… while another Pontiff takes his place in the Seat of Peter.
Total speculation, I know. I think it is very interesting…nonetheless.
I never thought about this until I read Scott Hahn’s book, Rome Sweet Home.
- God’s Covenant with Adam was a marriage
- God’s Covenant with Noah was a household
- God’s Covenant with Abraham was a tribe
- God’s Covenant with Moses made the twelve tribes into a national family
- God’s Covenant with David established Israel as a national kingdom
- Jesus made the New Covenant to be God’s worldwide, or “catholic” (Greek: katholikos), family to include all nations, both Jews and Gentiles
Is the Seventh His return, and the completion of His Divine work? –I have no doubt.
Seven is the number of completion and perfection–attributed things of Divine nature. Six days of creation, one day of rest. Forgiveness, seventy times seven. Seven churches of the Apocalypse/Seven spirits. Seven Seals. Seven stars. Seven angels/Seven trumpets. … there’s way too many references to “seven” to list, but you get the point.
Very, very interesting.
Evaluating the “once saved always saved” Protestant theology -by an “AudioSancto” priest.
excerpts of homily:
“All you must do is believe” …
“Regarding the once-saved-always-saved theology, we don’t even need to love God.” …
“We’re free to live whatever kind of life you want just as long as you ‘accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior‘” …
“Sola Fide` … leaves the door open for every means of un-Christian behavior“…
“Justification by faith alone …is not taught in the Bible.”