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  • Eugene Adkins 6:41 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism, Pope Francis,   

    Pope Francis has only “half of the saint’s love” 

    According to a recent story, pope Francis has been credited with a miracle…wait a second, make that a “half miracle” after a vial of 1,700-year-old blood partially turned to liquid when he kissed it. This same blood purportedly liquefies at least three times a year, if the “faithful” are faithful enough in prayer; the blood has being doing so for the last 600 years, although this is the first time the blood has done such in the presence of the “papacy” in over 150 years.

    In response to why the blood only partially liquefied, the pope said, “If only half of it liquefied that means we still have work to do; we have to do better….We have only half of the saint’s love.

    In response to why the blood only partially liquefied, the Bible says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 – ESV)

    • docmgphillips 9:08 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Sound teaching?” You mean anything taught is not good enough? Wow! What a revelation! On the serious side, this is something we all need to pay strict attention to.

      • Eugene Adkins 10:00 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        It can serve as a teachable moment for those who are interested in being taught.

        Thanks for commenting.

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:40 am on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism, , , religious differences   

    “What is the Difference Between Catholics and Protestants?” is the title of an article on a popular Protestant website. You can probably imagine how the author answers the question. (I didn’t bother to read it. I have other priorities.) As a New Testament Christian who eschews sectarian divisions, how would you answer this question? Are there any real differences between the two groups? If so, what are the basic differences? Feel free to share your perspective in the comments area.

    • James 3:09 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      There used to actually be some big differences, but not so much anymore. It seems like the whole denominational world is merging into one big conglomeration of believe what you want, worship how you want, live how you want and don’t say anyone else or anything is wrong. The major differences that are slipping away were that 1) The Catholics believed they were the only true church while protestant denominations accepted each other more or less. 2) Catholics had statues, prayed to Mary and saints, and the pope. More protestants are moving toward those things. 3) Catholics said the church overruled the Bible, protestants used to believe the Bible more not so much now. Of course there is the no birth control position of the Catholic leaders that is not followed by most of the members. The Catholics used to believe you had to be baptized (sprinkled) to go to heaven. But this most recent Pope has gone so far as to say even atheists can be saved. It really does seem like we are about to just have individual groups of Pentecostal, Calvinist, “Spirit led”, Catholic, interdenominationalists before long.

    • Jack 6:59 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The conclusion of the matter is_ Catholics are saved by the Church_ Protestants by grace.

  • John T. Polk II 10:33 pm on April 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Catholicism, , , , , pagans,   

    Calendar Apostasy 

    God sent His people, Israel, into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, but with these “statutes and judgments” in Moses’ final declaration to them:

    “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks” (Deuteronomy 12:1-6). The people in that land were pagans and idolaters who worshiped the Creation rather than the Creator. They worshiped the various “gods” which supposedly represented the powers involved in life on Earth. God did not allow His people to simply adopt, nor adapt, the Canaanites’ religious practices as worship to Him. All of: “the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods,” “their altars,” “their sacred pillars,” “their wooden images,” “the carved images,” were to be “utterly” destroyed so they would have no influence among the Israelites, whatsoever. Only the specified worship in the manner God described would be acceptable to God. The Israelites were not to be allied to the worship proscribed by the seasons, but that which was determined by God.

    After the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the kingdom of Christ was established on earth, the Gospel of Christ was to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15-16). While in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man (Acts 14:8-10), but then the idolaters sought to worship both Paul and Barnabas:

    “Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them” (Acts 14:11-18). God’s inspired Apostle Paul stopped any idolatrous practice from being used as an explanation for, or an application to, Christianity. There is nothing in idolatrous teachings or practices which should be admitted or accepted by Christians.

    Catholicism, whether Roman or Greek, has incorporated idolatrous practices and seasonal calendars into what they call “Christian,” when all they have done is find some Scripture or event in Christ’s life with which to “tag” what would otherwise be a rejected practice. The disciples were called “Christians” by God first in Antioch (Acts 11:26), but Catholicism has spread the term, like an umbrella, over practices of paganism and idolatry. No Christian in the New Testament ever celebrated an “Easter,” “Christmas,” “Lent,” “Seder,” or any of the 40 days of mishmash found on today’s religious calendars, which are mistakenly termed a “Christian Calendar.”

    No denomination is “Protestant” that follows Catholicism’s religious calendar. “Seder” is simply a re-creation of the Jewish Passover, which Jesus died to remove (Colossians 2:14-16); “Yule” is from witches, “Eoster/Ishtar” is from idolaters, and “Fertility rites” demonstrated by rabbits and eggs, are the very things forbidden by Paul (Galatians 4:8-11); and “Lent” is hypocritical display of a misunderstanding of “fasting” condemned by Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18). The Lord’s death, represented in the Lord’s Supper, must be kept free from the impurities of falsehood (1 Corinthians 10:15-22). Everyone who keeps special days on a religious calendar did “not so learn Christ” (Ephesians 4:20).

    To be a disciple of Christ, one must believe the historical and factual evidence of His life found in the New Testament (John 20:30-31; 21:25) and obey His command to be baptized  “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The only events in Christ’s life to be memorialized are: (1) His death, burial, and resurrection first, when a sinner repents and is baptized into death, Romans 6:1-6, then raised “in newness of life”; and secondly, when Christians observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26); and (2) the day of His resurrection remembered each week when Christians assemble (“the first day of the week,” Luke 24:1-9; Acts 20:7). There are no other special or seasonal days for Christians, according to the New Testament. “The churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) never observed a religious calendar that would lead them into apostasy (1 Timothy 4:1-3), because those who follow such stand contrary to inspired truth (2 Timothy 4:1-5). “The churches of Christ salute you” but we salute Jesus Christ above all.

    —–John T. Polk II

    • Joseph Richardson 12:08 am on April 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, whoa, slow down, man. Let’s think this through.

      The first Christians, I’m sure you realize, were Jews. They continued to celebrate the Passover (Pascha) and the Sabbath for at least the first century after Christ. Christ didn’t die to “remove” these things: He came to fulfill them (cf. Matthew 5:17). Paul says in Colossians 2:16 “let no one pass judgment on you” with regard to practices of Jewish festivals or traditions. This is essentially his message in Romans and Galatians — in which he does not condemn circumcision per se, or condemn any Jewish Christian who had received circumcision (for he himself had, as did Timothy, Acts 16:3), or declare that Jewish believers should no longer practice the traditions of their heritage. What he taught (in opposition to the Judaizers) was that no Christian was justified by the works of the law (cf. Romans 3:20), but rather by faith (Romans 3:20-26). Did God no longer justify believers who had been circumcised? Did Jesus “remove” the covenant of Abraham or of Moses? Can God go back on His promises, or nullify the covenants He has made? No, of course not. He justifies the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised by faith (Romans 3:30); and by faith in Christ, even the Gentiles become children of Abraham and heirs to God’s promises through him (Galatians 3:29).

      So to the idea that observing religious festivals is tantamount to idolatry: The first, Jewish Christians did, and their Gentile brethren followed suit; so this is a practice as old as the Christian Church. Jesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) — so should Christians no longer care about the Passover? Are we not heirs to God’s promises then, too? Jesus presented Himself as the fulfillment of that sacrifice, even instructing us to keep a remembrance of it, in the very language of the Passover celebration (Exodus 12:24; 24:8, Luke 22:19). Paul, in reference to this, instructs us to “celebrate the festival” (1 Corinthians 5:8).

      For what it’s worth: The Resurrection of our Lord has only ever been called “Easter” in England and English-speaking countries (in both Greek and Latin, it was called “Pascha,” Passover, since the first century); and the Christmas season has only ever been referred to as “Yule” among Germanic peoples. So you may thank our Anglo-Saxon forebears for that “idolatry,” not the early Christians. The practice of fasting before celebrating our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection is by all appearances apostolic, in emulation of our Lord’s own fasting (Matthew 4:1-11), and He did not at all condemn fasting (in the very verse you cite, Matthew 6:16, he instructs us regarding “when [we] fast”).

      As for all your other charges of “idolatrous practices” and “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1) — you should be prepared to back that up before lobbing such accusations at fellow believers. No one in the early Church read or applied these Scriptures the way you are applying them. There is nothing in Scripture that forbids remembering and celebrating the great events of the history of salvation — in fact, it’s an essential part of the faith and covenant we have inherited from our Jewish Lord. No, these things do not contribute to our salvation in themselves, and no one believes they do; but the calendar is, as it was for the Jews, an ancient model and pattern and custom for worshipping God, for setting our minds and our hearts on Him and on His promises — especially now, in the Christian caledndar, on Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection.

      I respect your position, brother, but I think you’re mistaken. If the Christian calendar so leads a believer away from Christ — why is every bit of it focused on Christ’s work of salvation in our lives? God bless you, and His peace be with you!

  • TFRStaff 6:01 am on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism, , ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Significant Statements) 

    Hugh’s News & views


    Last week I told of the conversion to Christ of Joanne Howe, a former Catholic nun. I mentioned that Joanne has written three books: A Change of Habit, From Nun to Priest, and Biblical Answers to Catholic Questions, all published either by the Gospel Advocate Company of Nashville, TN or a subsidiary of the Gospel Advocate. With permission from Neil Anderson, owner of the Gospel Advocate Company, I am sharing with my readers this week some of the many significant statements from Joanne’s pen as she recounted her “journey” from Catholicism to the church of which we read in the New Testament, the church of Christ. All the quotations will be from the first two books mentioned above, and for convenience I will abbreviate them as “Habit” and “Priest.”

    “Although I knew the Bible was the world’s best-selling book, I couldn’t explain the purpose of its message, nor did I understand why it was written. The contents of both the Old and New Testaments were mystifying in their teachings and overwhelming in the information they conveyed. Because I had never been taught how to read the Bible or how to understand its message, I felt woefully ignorant of God’s purpose for having it written. When I was told that it would tell me who I was, where I was going, and how I would arrive at my destination, I was confused and concerned that I had never received any instruction like this as a Roman Catholic” (Priest, p. 19).

    “Anxious to discover other messages, I arranged a Bible study with Mr. Coffman. I was impressed with his knowledge of Scripture, and I admired his ability to quote passages accurately from memory. As a result of counseling, my self-confidence was strengthened, and thoughts and feelings became stabilized” (Habit, p. 92).

    “My conscience reeled. Throughout my adult life I had sincerely believed that I belonged to the only true church established by Jesus, under the guidance and direction of the Pope . . . Now I was confounded with the scriptural teachings that the Roman Catholic Church was not founded on Peter, but on erroneous interpretation of the Bible” (Habit, p. 96).

    “Though confused over the conflicts between my religious views and Scriptures, I remained steadfast in my belief that the Roman Catholic Church was the true church and that its teachings and traditions were divine and apostolic. I had been taught that the Bible was not a sufficient rule of faith and that God’s revelations were also contained in tradition. Scriptures alone could not convey a sure knowledge of faith and morals. Determined to uphold my Catholic principles, I refused to believe that my church would teach me error” (Italics Joanne’s, Habit, p. 97)!

    “I was totally bewildered! Many teachings, traditions, and doctrines of my religion were nowhere to be found in the Scriptures! My faith in Roman Catholicism was shattered by the revelations in God’s Word” (Habit, p. 100).

    “I felt numb as the impact of the Scriptures sank in” (Habit, p. 107).

    “Confronted with Roman Catholic doctrines that were in complete contradiction to God’s inspired teaching, I wrestled with remaining in my parents’ religion, or choosing God’s plan for salvation. Finally, after many hours of prayer and study of God’s promises, I abandoned my life to Jesus and was born again in the waters of baptism” (Habit, p. 111).

    “Today, as a New Testament Christian, I have joy and peace in my heart, knowing that Jesus is my shepherd and will guide and protect me wherever I go. He is the joy of my salvation” (Habit, p. 111).

    “Many with whom I have spoken do not believe in the Bible nor in the existence of absolute truth. They believe that all truth is relative and that what may be true for one is not true for another . . . I am a believer in the Bible as God’s Word. I accept God’s teachings as absolute. I understand that truth is knowable and that the Scriptures are truth” (Priest, p. 11, 12).

    “We live in troubled times, days of uncertainty, religious divisions, confusing philosophies, doctrinal error, and threat of nuclear annihilation. Jesus came to this earth so that you and I might have life and have it more abundantly” (Habit, p. 116, 117)

    Are you saved, based on what you have read and learned from God’s Word, or are you depending on the doctrines of man” (Habit, p. 117)?

    Significant statements, indeed!

    Speaking Schedule:

    July 22: Hilldale Church of Christ, Clarksville, TN

    July 24: McEwen Church of Christ, McEwen, TN

    July 31: GreenHillChurch of Christ, Mt. Juliet, TN

    Hugh Fulford

    July 9, 2013

  • TFRStaff 5:46 am on July 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Nun’s Conversion) 

    Hugh’s News & Views


    Joanne Howe is a native of Pittsburg, PA, and the oldest of eleven children born and reared in a devout Roman Catholic family. After attending Catholic elementary schools, in 1949 she entered a preparatory school for girls who wanted to dedicate their lives to God as nuns. In 1953 she entered the religious order of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, PA, where she remained until 1968. As she later wrote in From Nun to Priest (Christian Communications, 1994): “Returning to society after three years in a preparatory school and 16 years in the religious order left me unprepared for the challenges that lay ahead” (p. 16).

    I am honored to know Joanne as a good friend and as a faithful member of the Nashville Road Church of Christ in Gallatin, TN. In her remarkable book, A Change of Habit (Gospel Advocate Company, 1986), Joanne tells the touching story of her growing disenchantment with her life as a nun, the questions and doubts that she came to have with reference to various Catholic doctrines and practices, the struggles she experienced in exiting the Catholic Church, and finally the exhilaration of coming to know the truth of the gospel in its original purity and simplicity. (More …)

    • Joseph Richardson 8:12 am on July 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Eugene, you know, I would read her books, but I’m not going to pay for them (I’m just a poor, unemployed grad student). ;) It would be interesting to see by what interpretations of Scripture she refutes our “superstitions” and “philosophies” and “traditions.”

      • Eugene Adkins 3:18 pm on July 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, Joseph. I don’t know if you just wanted to start a conversation with me or not, but I thought I’d let you know that I didn’t post the article so I can’t answer any of your questions specifically.

        But I might add that any translation of the Greek that is free from bias should be clear enough to reveal that the majority of the doctrinal practices and beliefs of the Catholic Church just simply can’t be supported with the written word of God…hence the need for the heavy emphasis of the supposed “oral traditions” of the Catholic church (several of which are mentioned above) that can’t be substantiated with the Bible.

        If a person sticks to speaking where the Bible speaks (1 Peter 4:11) they won’t be able to remain a Catholic, and that’s why many Catholics vehemently oppose the scriptural practice of sola scripture when it comes to discussing matters of the faith which has been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

        • Joseph Richardson 4:03 pm on July 2, 2013 Permalink

          Hi Eugene. I didn’t suppose that you had posted it, but I saw that you had “liked” it, and figured you would see my comment eventually.

          You prove my point completely. You have quoted 1 Peter 4:11 half a dozen times to me, and each time I’ve read it and said, “So?” I’ve had no idea what point you were trying to prove with that verse, until you explained it just now. Let’s look at it in context:

          (7) The end of all things is at hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers. (8) Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. (9) Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. (10) As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (11) whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

          This has absolutely nothing to do with Scripture. It does not mean what you are taking it to mean or convey the point you are trying to convey, that one should “speak [only] what the Bible speaks.” Peter is referring here, first to maintaining charity within the Church, and then in particular, to the proper use of spiritual gifts, in order to build
          up the body of believers (and not tear it down). As each one has received a gift, he should employ it for one another, as a good steward of God’s grace. Whoever has received a gift of speaking (probably preaching) should only speak “as one who utters oracles of God” only words that edify and teach and instruct and build up. The Greek word here for “oracles” is λόγιον (logion), which is related to the word λόγος (“word”), but not the same. It means something closer to “saying,” something said. With regard to this verse in particular, the BDAG (the premier and most respect lexicon of New Testament Greek) explains that it refers to “the sayings of Christians who have been endowed with the gift of ministry through spoken words.” Again, nothing to do with Scripture, and nothing to do with what teachings should be taught. That interpretation simply doesn’t fit either the words or the context.

          And this is what I mean by “interpretation.” By taking verses out of context and interpreting them how you want to, you can make them mean anything you want to. This is a prime example. You have used this verse as a hammer to attack Catholic doctrine, citing it every time we’ve talked for “why I’m wrong for teaching something that isn’t in the Bible,” when that isn’t what it means at all.

          Regarding “the need for the heavy emphasis of the supposed ‘oral traditions’ of the Catholic church”:

          Every Catholic doctrine can be supported by Scripture. I am sure you would want to interpret Scripture in a different way than we have, but the Scripture came first, not the doctrines — we base our doctrines on Scripture just the same as you do. And, as a good Protestant who believes in sola scriptura and the idea that Christians should be free to interpret Scripture by their own conscience, you ought to be okay with that.

          Also, you seem to misunderstand what the Catholic Church means by Tradition: It’s not “oral tradition” as something shady passed down by storytellers at powwows. The Tradition of the Church is just as written as Scripture. But it was “oral” in that it what was what was from the mouths of Jesus and the Apostles (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Timothy 2:2) — which was the way the Apostles taught, you know. And the Apostles taught their disciples what Jesus said, and they taught their disciples — and eventually, within a few generations, it was all written down, by who we call the Church Fathers. Check out this post of mine, in which I try to explain Tradition better:


          I think you might also enjoy this recent post of mine, in which I demonstrate exactly what I’m talking about: Irenaeus, who gives us his memories of Polycarp, who gave his memories of John — this is the passing town of Tradition, and Irenaeus wrote it down.


          “Catholics vehemently oppose the scriptural practice of sola scriptur[a] when it comes to discussing matters of the faith …”

          When have I ever “vehemently opposed” sola scriptura to you? I’ve pointed out several times that it’s not, in fact, scriptural; but Catholics place ultimate authority in Scripture same as you. We believe it is the very infallible, unquestionable Word of God — but many Protestant interpretations of Scripture are definitely questionable.

        • Eugene Adkins 6:51 am on July 3, 2013 Permalink

          Joseph, I’m not going to get into a long discussion since we’ve hashed this topic out many times. It’s funny how you claim my “interpretation” is wrong but your interpretation is always right, and why is that…it’s because the man-made doctrines of your church say that.

          The true oral traditions of the church in the first century did not contradict the written traditions of the first century found in God’s word but the Catholic church’s oral traditions do just that!

          I saw a debate between a “catholic apologist” and a preacher of the Lord’s church one time that covered several topics, one of which was infant baptism. The preacher consistently asked for scripture to support and show why such a thing was practiced by the catholic church. The “apologist” finally gave his answer and said (and I quote), “The Bible doesn’t say not to do it.” That’s garbage and that’s only one of many examples of how the supposed “oral traditions” of the catholic church clearly contradict the written tradition of the word of God – that’s why a person needs to speak as the oracles of God allows them to.

          Candidates for a scriptural Christian baptism must believe the gospel (Mark 16:15-16). Babies can’t believe.

          Candidates for a scriptural Christian baptism must repent of their sins (Acts 2:38). Babies can’t repent.

          Candidates for a scriptural Christian baptism must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 22:16). Babies have no sins that need forgiveness.

          Candidates for a scriptural Christian baptism must have a desire to have a clean conscience (1 Peter 3:21). Babies have no such desire nor need.

          Candidates for a scriptural Christian baptism must be buried in the water (Romans 6:1-6). Babies in the catholic church are sprinkled to keep the oral traditions of man and not the command of God.

          This example by itself can be repeated over and over and over with Catholic doctrine. If a person sticks with the Bible and the Bible alone they can’t be a Catholic and they will not be allowed to remain a Catholic by the Catholic church. Praise God that the woman mentioned above was able to see the truth of God’s gospel through the dark smoke of the Catholic Church’s oral traditions.

          I allowed you to post your links on here, and now I’ve given you an answer with a clear example of how the Catholic Church desperately holds to its own “oral traditions” and not the oral traditions of God’s true universal church, so I’m asking kindly that you allow the discussion to end here. Thanks.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:41 am on April 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Catholicism, , , , , ,   

    Random Thoughts 

    I watched the final episode of The History’s Channels “The Bible” last night. In my humble opinion, which is based upon what a person would actually read in the Bible, the further into the Bible the show got, the worse it got! There were a couple of moments that were done really well last night, but for the most part it seemed as if the directors, producers, actors or whomever, had decided that there wasn’t much point in following what the Bible actually says and instead decided to follow what they think the Bible says or what they think it should say. This is so very unfortunate because the TV show that was supposedly meant to educate people has only added to the growing sources of biblical ignorance that are so readily available…goes to show you that there’s more than more way to waste millions of dollars on error.

    I got an email this weekend about a product called the TV Guardian. Does anyone know much or anything about this product? The makers/sellers claim that it has the ability to filter out foul language from TV shows and movies. I talked to one brother who’s in the satellite business and he said that he had seen them before but he wasn’t really able to give me a thumb’s up or down. If you know anything about the product, speak up because if it does 90% of what it claims I think it would be worth the money.

    Have you ever thought about how God not only sees what we do during the day, but that He also sees what we dream at night?

    I saw a member of the catholic “hierarchy” get interviewed on CBS’ Sunday Morning yesterday. I hope they realize there’s a difference in “hierarchy” and “heirarchy.” They have one, but they don’t have the other! I also heard the man push the false catholic notion that the church “moved” from Jerusalem to Rome. Of course the church moved to Rome, just like it moved to Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, etc. Now what the man meant is that the “mother” church moved from Jerusalem to Sinai…I mean Rome. The Christians in Galatia were reminded about the origins of the church, an origin that the catholic church can’t lay claim to (Galatians 4:21-26). And by the way, may we never forget that the church has only one Head, and the Head of the church sits upon His throne in Heaven because He carried a wooden cross to victory – not a gold one (Colossians 1:18, Acts 2:29-36).

    • Galt Church of Christ 6:54 am on April 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The tv guardian does work most of the time, but not always. However, I ditched it years ago. The shows which include vulgarity are not worth my time – even if I don’t have to ‘hear’ the words. The ideas and violence, are still all there. Save your money and just avoid all shows that have questionable content.

      • Eugene Adkins 7:17 am on April 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I am particularly picky of what shows I and my family watch, but there are times when a devise like this could be useful I believe. I don’t know of very many shows, save something like Jeopardy, that doesn’t have questionable content whether it be blatant or suggestive in nature. For example, the History Channel’s “The Bible” got a lot of things wrong about the Bible, but one thing that I believe it got right many times was the violence. So although it got much of the dialogue wrong, the violent content could’ve been much more graphic if they had chosen for it to be.

        I agree 100% that shows with blatantly profane and foul themes should be avoided, but there are times when TV shows (like Myth Buster’s or even American Pickers for example) are great educational shows but something like the TV Guardian could make it more enjoyable and palatable to watch.

        Thanks for the advice on the product.

        • Stephen R. Bradd 10:52 am on April 1, 2013 Permalink

          I’ve owned 2 TV Guardians for about 10 years or so. I still like them very much. TVG is as perfect as the closed captioning feed is. We leave ours on the strictest setting (except when watching religious videos, where it continually mutes “Jesus Christ”, etc.). There are a number of “decent” movies out there (PG) that contain some level of profanity. TVG takes care of it beautifully. It can be set to mute the volume for the sentence containing the bad words AND it can be set to display an alternative phrase on screen simultaneously. I’m sure the versions they are selling now are different than the old ones I own, but I highly recommend them for any Christian family.

          As a side note, I used to own some Clear Play DVD players as well. The concept was great but the players never held up very long. I was very disappointed.

  • TFRStaff 2:03 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism, ,   

    A big deal about the pope 

    The news media and the world have made a big deal about the appointment of the new Pope.

    Our world is very careless about religion and religious terms. During this time while the Catholic Church was appointing a new Pope, I never heard anyone ask, “Is there a Pope in the Bible?” No one seems to care about God’s arrangement for the church.

    Even the word “church” is used most often in unbiblical ways in our world today. People speak of “the church” when they are talking about the building where the church meets. Some use the word “church” when speaking of a denomination or all the denominations; denomination and our Lord’s church are totally different things.

    The church is men and women who have been called out of the word and called into Jesus Christ. When Saul persecuted the church he dragged “men and women” off to prison.

    “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:1-3)

    This church was not built upon Peter nor was he the first Pope! (More …)

    • John Henson 9:23 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is part of my radio program this week. I said, “Those who study logic know we must only draw conclusions that are supported by the evidence. Any conclusion not supported by evidence is an assumption and assumptions can get people into trouble. We need to stay on firm ground by making sure that all the conclusions we draw are supported by biblical evidence.”

    • Joseph Richardson 10:30 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. You seem pretty resolute in your views, so I suppose that you are probably not open to reconsidering them. But you have quite a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about what the Catholic Church teaches in the above, and quite a lot of unfair accusations and charges. I would hope that as a Christian you would be willing to listen to another view in charity before you go about accusing your Christian brothers and sisters of practicing a “false religion.” I assure you, Catholics are just as much Christian as you are, following the same Christ, believing the same Gospel, trusting in the same grace. Addressing your post: To begin with, most topically: nobody supposes that the office of “pope” is in the Bible; but “pope” in an honorific title for the bishop of Rome, and the office of bishop (episkopos or “overseer”) is quite in the Bible.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:55 am on March 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hello Joseph,

        I’ll only make this one reply for there are many, many sources on why what you have said about the “pope” is wrong. If you believe that the catholic office of the pope is only honorary then I believe you misunderstand what the catholic church teaches about the office. The catholic church teaches, among many other false things, that the pope is the earthly head of the church. The church has only one head in Heaven and on the earth, and that is Jesus Christ who rules the earthly church from Heaven (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). Jesus never installed an earthly head, Jesus never asked for an earthly head nor does Jesus need an earthly head. If the catholic church followed/believed the same gospel they would not transfer heavenly authority to an earthly man who holds an earthly office that causes people to fall down and kiss his ring like earthly idolaters (Acts 10:25-26). This may sound harsh, but you must believe that I am not saying to be harsh; I am saying what I am saying because it is the truth. Look to Heaven, not to Rome. And by the way, one of the requirements according to the Bible for a man to be a bishop is that he must be married and he must have children (1 Timothy 3:1-7). And no catechism will ever change that edict from Heaven.

        God bless in your studies, Joseph.

        • Joseph Richardson 2:14 pm on March 22, 2013 Permalink

          I know very well what my Church teaches, since God has devoted my life to it. I said that the title “pope,” to which you objected on the grounds that it can’t be found in Scripture, is an honorific one; “papa” in Latin is an affectionate term along the lines of “daddy.” The office is another matter.
          As I said, you have some misconceptions. The Catholic Church does not claim that the successor of Peter is the “earthly head” of the Church: as you say, there is only one Head, and that is Christ. Cf. the Catechism:

          “Christ is the Head of this Body”
          792. Christ “is the head of the body, the Church.” He is the principle of creation and redemption. Raised to the Father’s glory, “in everything he [is] preeminent,” especially in the Church, through whom he extends his reign over all things.
          807. The Church is this Body of which Christ is the head: she lives from him, in him, and for him; he lives with her and in her.

          The office of Peter and his successors is merely as the Church’s pastor, its shepherd, the vicar (stand-in, substitute, or representative — not replacement) of Christ:

          936. The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is “head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth” (CIC, can. 331).

          Surely you don’t object to pastors, called by God to be the shepherds of their churches? Just as God never left His people Israel without His authoritative voice — through prophets, priests, and kings — Jesus will never leave His people the Church without an authoritative shepherd. And Scripture affirms that He did not.
          I think an honest reading of Scripture requires one to acknowledge that Jesus did delegate His authority, first to the Twelve Apostles as a group and then to Peter in particular. The references I could cite are numerous, but I will give you just a few of the most prominent and explicit:

          Matthew 10:1: And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.Matthew 10:5–8:These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” v. 40: “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”

          By Jesus’s own words, His gave authority to His disciples, and they received something from Him: the authority to carry out their ministry in His name. He sends them out as His representatives: “Whoever receives you receives me.”

          Matthew 18:18, to the Twelve, in the context of dealing out church discipline: “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

          Binding and loosing are rabbinical terms and concepts, which, according to the Jewish Encyclopedia, mean “to forbid and permit” with regard to doctrinal and disciplinary pronouncements, such that “they [those with this authority; in the context of the article, the Pharisees] possessed and exercised the power of tying or untying a thing by the spell [i.e. word or formula] of their divine authority, just as they could, by the power vested in them, pronounce and revoke an anathema upon a person.” “This power and authority, vested in the rabbinical body of each age or in the Sanhedrin, received its ratification and final sanction from the celestial court of justice.” I don’t know how you read this, but it sounds very clear to me, first that this authority was Jesus’s to invest in whom He chose (surely the Pharisees would have considered this a gross blasphemy), and second that He invested that authority in His Apostles.

          Matthew 16:17–19, to Peter solely (using singular pronouns and verbs), after Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ: And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

          Protestants like to reject the “upon this rock” statement with an argument involving the supposed difference between πέτρος and πέτρα in the Greek — but this argument does not hold any weight in Greek, as even most knowledgable Protestant scholars of Greek admit. Jesus’s wordplay between Peter’s name, explicitly stated, “You are Peter (Rock),” and the “rock” upon which Jesus said He would found His Church, mirrors grammatically Peter’s statement: “You are the Christ.”
          What is more, that argument does not deal with the other, equally important parts of Jesus’s pronouncement. Jesus gives three separate blessings to Peter and Peter alone which cannot be interpreted in any way but as an explicit investment of authority:

          You (Peter) are “Rock,” and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
          I will give you (Peter) the keys of the kingdom of heaven [mirroring “the gates of hell”].
          Whatever you (Peter) bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [linked implicitly to the “keys”].

          The fact that each is clearly directed to Peter negates the argument of some that the “rock” of the statement was only Peter’s faith or his confession.

          Isaiah 22:20–22, the passage which Jesus was clearly referencing in His speech to Peter, as acknowledged even by Protestant exegetes (cf. ESV Study Bible): [To Shebna, steward of the royal palace:] “In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”

          This passage describes a stripping of authority from one to whom it had been entrusted and an investment of that authority in someone new. In the context of the passage in Matthew and its application to Peter, the authority of binding and loosing with divine approval (“opening” and “shutting” the gates of the kingdom of heaven, with the key), which had been entrusted to the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin, was now being removed and entrusted to Peter and the Apostles in Christ’s new order. Peter is installed as steward over the house of Judah, to exercise order over the household [the Church] in the absence of the king [Christ]. Christ certainly foreshadowed this stewardship in His parables about wise and foolish stewards or servants and their care for the affairs of the house while their master is away (Luke 12:35–48, Matthew 24:45–51). Given this understanding, the kissing of a ring — a very ancient sign of respect and acknowledgement of authority, not of worship — begins to make a bit more sense.

          John 20:21–23, Jesus appearing to the Apostles after His Resurrection: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.
          Just as the Father sent [Jesus], Jesus sends the Apostles in continuation of His ministry and authority, “to make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18–20). Just as Jesus has the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10–12) — an authority with a clear association to physical healing, cf. James 5:13–16) — He imparts that authority to the Apostles — an authority with an implicit connection to that of “binding and loosing,” but rightly exceeding any authority before claimed by any other rabbi.

          Evidently, we Catholics interpret Scripture more literally and realistically than you, and accept it more readily for what it actually says. I don’t think that leaves you much ground to stand on from which to accuse the Catholic Church of “unbiblical practices.”

        • Joseph Richardson 2:34 pm on March 22, 2013 Permalink

          P.S. Regarding “requirements” for being a bishop: I don’t think the passage supports your interpretation; neither do most knowledgeable Protestant exegetes; neither has any Catholic exegete over the entire history of Christianity. To cite the well-respected ESV Study Bible, which has quite a bit of commentary on this matter (as it happens, the editor of the notes for 1 and 2 Timothy is Ryan Van Neste):

          The meaning of husband of one wife (Gk. mias gynaikos andra) is widely debated. The Greek phrase is not common, and there are few other instances for comparison. The phrase literally states, “of one woman [wife] man [husband].” (1) Many commentators understand the phrase to mean “having the character of a one-woman man,” that is, “faithful to his wife.” In support of this view is the fact that a similar phrase is used in 1 Tim. 5:9 as a qualification for widows (Gk. henos andros gynē; “one-man woman,” i.e., “wife of one husband”), and in that verse it seems to refer to the trait of faithfulness, for a prohibition of remarriage after the death of a spouse would be in contradiction to Paul’s advice to young widows in 5:14. Interpreters who hold this first view conclude that the wording of 3:2 is too specific to be simply a requirement of marriage and not specific enough to be simply a reference to divorce or remarriage after divorce. In the context of this passage, the phrase therefore prohibits any kind of marital unfaithfulness. (2) Another view is that “husband of one wife” means polygamists cannot be elders. Interpreters who hold this view note that there is evidence of polygamy being practiced in some Jewish circles at the time. On this view, the phrase means “at the present time the husband of one wife,” in line with other qualifications which refer to present character. On either of these views, Paul is not prohibiting all second marriages; that is, he is not prohibiting from the eldership a man whose wife has died and who has remarried, or a man who has been divorced and who has remarried (these cases should be evaluated on an individual basis). (3) A third view is that Paul is absolutely requiring that an elder be someone who has never had more than one wife. But that does not fit the context as well, with its emphasis on present character. On any of these views, Paul is speaking of the ordinary cases and is not absolutely requiring marriage or children (cf. v. 4) but is giving a picture of the typical approved overseer as a faithful husband and father.

        • Joseph Richardson 2:45 pm on March 22, 2013 Permalink

          Also FWIW: Peter was married, you know (Matthew 8:14), as were most of the Apostles (1 Corinthians 9:5), and as were many bishops around the Christian world for much of the first two or three Christian centuries. Clerical celibacy is a discipline of the Church, not a doctrine, and could be revoked. But it too is well rooted in Scripture (cf. the Old Testament precepts that priests abstain from sexual union before their temple service, and St. Paul’s recommendation of the celibate life in 1 Corinthians 7, for example). There are many married priests in the eastern rites of the Church, where celibacy is not the norm, and even in the West there are many married priests who have converted from, say, Anglicanism, for whom the Church makes dispensations for their married state.

        • Joseph Richardson 2:47 pm on March 22, 2013 Permalink

          My point being that even if marriage were a requirement for bishops, that would not be relevant to the question of whether or not Peter and the Apostles received authority over the Church.

  • TFRStaff 4:53 am on March 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Pope’s Resignation) 

    hugh’s news & Views


    Monday morning, February 11, the world awoke to the startling news that Pope Benedict XVI would resign the papacy effective February 28, 2013. At dusk last Thursday he flew off into the sunset to the Castel Gandolfo, some fifteen miles southeast of Rome, for an extended period of recuperation before returning to a monastery in Rome where he will live out his remaining days in mediation and prayer (and with a very nice retirement package to which, of course, he is entitled). This is only the fourth time in history that a pope has resigned and the first time it has happened in almost six centuries! Benedict’s reason for resigning was failing health and the lack of strength to lead the more than one billion members of the Roman Catholic Church. The College of the Cardinals will soon enter a conclave (the word is derived from a Latin term meaning “room locked with a key”) in Rome to elect a new pope.

    Back on November 13 of last year I made a “wild” proposal that the pope should resign and that every local Catholic church in the world should become an independent, autonomous congregation governed solely by the Scriptures under the oversight of biblically qualified local church elders/pastors/bishops (in the New Testament all three terms refer to the same persons). I also proposed that every protestant church of every stripe and kind should abandon its denominational structure, name, creed, and practice and become an independent, self-governing congregation of Christians only (Christians without denominational affiliation) under the headship of Christ alone. The pope has resigned (though my “wild” proposal had nothing to do with it) and the Cardinals will soon have a new pope in place. I am not so naïve as to think that either the Catholic Church or the protestant denominations will actually dismantle their man-made organizational structures and go back to the New Testament alone for their way of being governed, for their doctrine, and for their practice. I will, however, continue to make the plea that such is what all churches should do!

    The New Testament knows nothing of popes. While the Catholic Church maintains a list of popes from the apostle Peter to the papacy of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the recently resigned pope), the New Testament is silent about such an office. For several hundreds of years following the close of the New Testament, there was a gradual (and sometimes not so gradual) departure from the simplicity of the New Testament way. Bishops, Archbishops, and Patriarchs strove for power. In A.D. 588, the Bishop of Constantinople, known as John the Faster because of his extraordinary abstinence and austerity, assumed the title of ecumenical or universal bishop of the church. He was promptly condemned by Gregory (later called “the Great”), Bishop of Rome. Phillip Schaff in his History of the Christian Church (Volume III, page 220) says that Gregory “was provoked and irritated beyond measure by the assumption” of John the Faster. Gregory wrote: “Whoever calls himself universal priest, or desires to be called so, was the forerunner of Antichrist.” Yet less than twenty years later, in A.D. 606, Gregory’s successor as the Bishop of Rome, Boniface III, was appointed Universal Bishop of the church by Phocas, the Roman Emperor. John Lawrence Mosheim in his Ecclesiastical History (Volume I, page 160) describes Phocas as “that abominable tyrant,” and goes on to say, “thus was the papal supremacy first introduced” (emphasis mine, hf). Therefore, A.D. 606 is the actual date for the beginning of the papacy. It was not characteristic of the church of which we read in the New Testament! (None of the above is intended as disrespectful of my Catholic friends, but simply to set forth the facts of church history.)

    The New Testament church was established by Christ upon the foundation of His being the Son of God (Matthew 16:13-20; I Corinthians 3:11). The church was purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28), and is composed of every person who has been washed in that blood by obeying the gospel of Christ and being saved from his/her sins (Matthew 26:28; Revelation 1:5b; Acts 2:37-47). Christ is the one and only head of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). He never resigns, but “ever lives to make intercession” for His people (Hebrews 7:25). He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8).

    Speaking schedule:

    March 10: Stuart Church of Christ, Stuart, Florida (p.m.)

    Hugh Fulford

    March 5, 2013

    • John Henson 3:21 pm on March 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      As stated, I have often wished the same, that the Catholic church should renounce its divisive ways and become what the New Testament teaches the church must be. The Catholic church, however, has been too potent a tool of the devil for it to pass from his control, now.

    • Bernad Barton 7:14 am on June 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The Pope is even held higher than Jesus Christ in some religions

  • Eugene Adkins 8:27 am on March 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Catholicism, , , Immaculate Conception, , , Original Sin,   

    Just a few questions for my Catholic friends… 

    Been thinking here lately (I’m really opening myself up to zingers there!) about the catholic church situation and what the catholic church itself teaches about the pope and even Mary.

    So the pope’s word is supposed to be infallible, right? When does it become so? Was his word as a “cardinal” infallible? And since he’s still alive does his word continue to be infallible? If not, how does one go from being fallible to infallible and back to fallible again? Talk about a rollercoaster ride! And also, is Benedict still the most-holy or is he only normal-holy? Or is he even Benedict anymore?

    Now when it comes to Mary and her conception being “immaculate” from “original sin” how did she come to be that way? Jesus was born in the flesh according to her genetic material, right? Were her mother and father immaculate as well? How about her grandparents? And her great-parents and their great-grandparents? When did this whole “immaculate” thing start in the gene pool? Why didn’t the siblings of Jesus get the same benefits of their mother’s “immaculate” condition? Scratch that last question – seems like I remember something about sex between a husband and a wife not being allowed and no other children being born. But the other questions still stand.


    And by the way, if you do give an answer in the affirmative, please give a scripture reference that affirms your affirmation along with it :) That would be most helpful.

    • Eugene Adkins 11:31 am on March 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      One Catholic did respond in a respectful way, but unfortunately he used scripture by adding the Catholic church’s word to the word of God. Here’s a quick run down.

      As to the questions about the “pope” he quoted Mathew 16:18-19 and inserted the word popes. He quoted John 21:15-17 and again inserted the word pope and supreme pastor. He then quoted Luke 22:31-32 and inserted the words head apostle and head of the church concerning Peter and did indeed refer to the pope as infallible.

      As to the questions about Mary he quoted Luke 1:28 and said highly favored (finding grace) means “full of grace.” There’s a salvation’s span of difference between needing grace (which Mary did indeed need – Luke 1:47) and being made to not need it and thus becoming the only unique person to have ever lived who didn’t need a Savior from sin. Being born of a virgin was a sign to God’s people that the Savior had been born, not that the woman who had borne the Savior was sinless.

      Here is a direct quote from his reply about Mary and his reference to Luke 1: “Because the Archangel Gabriel addressed in this way in this salutation, it gives the “proper name” to Mary as being “Favored One” or “Full of Grace.” This, therefore, must express a unique quality of Mary alone. God favored her / filled her with Grace because of her unique election as the Mother of God. She was prepared by God from the beginning for this role. She is unique in all of the universe…The blessing of God which rests upon Mary is made parallel to the blessing of God which reest upon Christ in His humanity (in her very womb). This parallelism suggests that Mary, just like Christ, was from the beginning of her existence, free from all sin.

      For these simple errors alone I didn’t approve the comment because if one is bold enough to add so plainly to God’s plain word they will not be willing to listen to God’s word if a conversation were had.

      For a further explanation and proof according to the scriptures of how Peter was in no way above the other apostles or that he was even the “pope” check out John T Polk Jr.’s post(s):

      Was Peter the First “Pope?” Here’s the link – http://fellowshiproom.org/2013/02/12/was-peter-the-first-pope/


      Where Was “Vatican Smoke” In The New Testament Church? Here’s the link – http://fellowshiproom.org/2013/02/12/please-read-acts-151-31-then-read-the-following/

    • Sandra Moore 12:40 pm on March 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I found this to be interesting. It is from a article in The Huntsville Times on Friday, Feb 15. The questions were asked and answered by “the Explainer,” and I’m not sure who or what that is.

      “Q: Will he still be infallible?
      A: No…and in fact, he’s never been infallible. In accordance with the First Vatican Council of 1870, the pope is infallible only when he makes an ex cathedra statement– that is, a statement concerning “a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church.”

      Most popes never make ex cathedra statements during their papacy; only one infallible statement (regarding the Assumption of Mary) has been made since the first Vatican Council of 1870. Pope John XXIII was quoted as saying, “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible.” Pope Benedict XVI has never spoken ex cathedra, and he will lose the ability to do so once he resigns from the papacy.”

      Seems to me that John XXIII was making sure he never got into trouble by trying to be infallible. ;)

      • Joseph Richardson 3:47 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        HI. Thanks for this quote. I’m from the Huntsville area (Decatur, actually).

        Pope John was right. Few popes have ever spoken, nor ever had the need to speak, ex cathedra. The only time the need at arises is when some aspect of Christian faith or morals has to be defined dogmatically; and the only time that is needed is when some aspect of the faith is challenged. For example, in the first centuries of the Church, the doctrine of the Trinity was only defined, progressively, to refute the challenges of heretics who taught something in opposition to the truth. A heretical sect would teach, for example, that Jesus wasn’t truly God, and the Church would have to reject that teaching infallibly; then another sect would teach that the Father and the Son were not equal, or that the Holy Spirit wasn’t really God, and the Church would have to reject those teachings. By successive hammering out, the Christian faith arrived at the Trinitarian and Christological (having to do with Who and What Jesus is) doctrines that all Chrisians hold today. Every pope hopes that he never has to face the kind of challenges that would require an infallible pronouncement to resolve.

    • Joseph Richardson 10:51 am on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi again. I appreciate that you are interested in asking questions and having a respectful dialogue. It doesn’t look like you’ve gotten any adequate answers here. I do hope you will consider me your “Catholic friend” and, I do hope, “brother.” I look forward to your response to my other comments on the authority of the papacy.

      I’ll try to reply here in brief, and then we can expand if you wish.

      Your question about infallibility again reflects some misunderstandings. I think you are misunderstanding the ways in which the Catholic Church sometimes uses the word .holy. For the sake of discussion, let’s define that word. From TheFreeDictionary.com:

      ho·ly [ˈhəʊlɪ]
      adj. ho·li·er, ho·li·est
      1. Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.
      2. Regarded with or worthy of worship or veneration; revered: a holy book.
      3. Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly: a holy person.
      4. Specified or set apart for a religious purpose: a holy place.
      5. Solemnly undertaken; sacrosanct: a holy pledge.
      6. Regarded as deserving special respect or reverence: The pursuit of peace is our holiest quest.
      7. Informal Used as an intensive: raised holy hell over the mischief their children did.

      When we call the pope the “Holy Father,” that is an aspect of his office — that office is (1) “belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power,” the Church, and his office is (4) “specified or set apart for a religious purpose”; that office is (5) “solemnly undertaken,” and because of that office, he is (6) “regarded as deserving special respect or reverence.” The pope, as a man, may or may not be holy as in (3), “living [a holy life],” being “a holy person.” Certainly there have been popes who were not!

      To say that God is holy is an entirely different sense of the word. God alone is infinitely holy and (2) “worthy of worship”; He is also, by his nature, (1) “a divine power” and “sacred.” The saints (sanctus, holy, set apart), on the other hand, are holy first and foremost because they (3) lived holy lives, and we believe that after their deaths they’ve gone to Heaven and are with Jesus and are thus (1) associated with a divine power. They are (2) deserving of veneration, not akin to worship but more akin to (6), a special respect or reverence.

      Well, so much or brevity I guess. ;-)

      Now, to your question about infallibility: Again, you are misunderstanding the Church’s claims. Infallibility is an aspect of the office of the papacy, not of the person of the pope. There was nothing “infallible” about Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he was pope, or about him now that he is no longer pope. And this is why I got into that about holiness: you ask how holy he is: well, he’s only as holy as the life he lives. Having read his writings and followed his life for the past eight years, I think he’s a pretty holy guy — but there’s nothing divine about him as a person, and never was. Further, there is nothing infallible about the person of Pope Francis, or the former Cardinal Jose Bergoglio.

      With regard to infallibility: the best way to think about it’s not so much about the pope being infallible, but that when he sits in the captain’s chair, it’s really God steering the boat. Literally, that’s pretty much exactly what the Church teaches: by the formal definition of the doctrine, the pope is only said to be infallible when he speaks ex cathedra (“from the chair” of the episcopate) regarding matters of faith and morals (and “the chair” is not a literal chair). Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church into all truth (John 16:13), and it’s only as an aspect of that that the pope is ever considered infallible. And his infallibility only “kicks in” when he invokes it; and it is only formally invoked in very limited circumstances. The pope in his day-to-day life isn’t infallible when he declares his favorite pizza or gives his opinion about football (soccer, you know), or even when he writes encyclicals about Church practice or discipline (which are not considered ex cathedra, but, by analogy, written standing up). He is considered to have authority when he writes such, just as a prominent pastor or scholar is considered to have authority when he speaks, by nature of who he is and what he knows. But papal infallibility has only really been invoked twice in the past couple of centuries. And ex cathedra pronouncements are only ever made in union and agreement with the cardinals and bishops of the Church.

      It all boils down to this: Papal infallibility is an assurance that the Holy Spirit, not the pope, is guiding the Church, when push comes to shove. That is not to say that the pope is the Holy Spirit, or always follows the Holy Spirit, or even necessarily lives in accord with the Holy Spirit — certainly there have been popes who have not. But even in the darkest times of the Church, corrupt popes have never promulgated dogma that is contradictory to the teachings of Christ or the Bible or the Church: they have never declared, say, that the pope is divine, or that Mary is divine, or that Jesus is anything but divine. They have never declared that usury or theft or murder is okay, or that everybody has to give all their money to the Church. The fact that even the most dastardly people who have held the office of pope, regardless of how they lived their personal lives, have never promulgated such heresy or error should be a confirmation of the truth of this doctrine. Infallibility — the guidance of the Holy Spirit — ensures that the Church will never run off the rails. And the fact that in 2,000 years it hasn’t is a sign of the Church’s Oneness, Holiness, Apostolicity, and Catholicity. You and I disagree about interpretations of Scripture — you may even disagree that the Church has never “run off the rails.” But in the 2,000 years of the recorded history of the Catholic Church, the Church has never promulgated any doctrine in opposition or contradiction to its own doctrines, or contradictory to the truth of Scripture. You would be hard pressed to prove that it has.

      As an extension to the doctrine of infallibility: the Magisterium of the Church (Magisterium means “teachership” — the teaching authority of the Church) — that is, the collected body of bishops in communion with the pope, the chief bishop — is considered infallible in its agreement. This means that the ecumenical councils of the Church, from Nicaea to Vatican II, have taught infallible doctrine.

      There you have an explanation of the Church’s teachings on infallibility. I will let you chew that up before I continue with the Marian doctrines.

      • Joseph Richardson 10:55 am on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Correction: Benedict XVI is still pope (he’ll always be our “papa,” just as popes who have passed on from this life are still “papas” to us), only not the sitting pope. He is pope emeritus. And his teachings and writings will not be infallible.

        • Eugene Adkins 11:11 am on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Quick and simple, Joseph. One, the church has already been guided into all truth. The church doesn’t need a pope for that. Listen to the word of God and not the word of Rome and you’ll see that. Two, Benedict is not “pope” anymore for if he were there wouldn’t have been a need to find a new one.

          What the catholic church says, and what the catholic church believes/does are two different things. They say the pope is only a man, but then they fall at his feet (and the feet of statue’s of Peter – idolatry) to kiss them and his ring and look to his golden cross. Nothing you say will change what people can see when they look at the actions of the catholic church.

    • Joseph Richardson 11:17 am on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The Church has been guided into all truth — with 40,000 Protestant denominations who can’t agree on anything? With as many diverse and conflicting interpretations of Scripture?

      “Pope,” as I said before, is an honorific title. You call your grandfather “Gramps” or “Granddaddy” or “Pawpaw.” We call our pastor “Papa.” And even after our pastor retires, he’s still our Papa.

      Also as I said before, what you’re referring to is not “idolatry” (the worship of an inanimate object as a deity) or even “worship” at all, but showing honor to the man and his office, the same way people stand up for the president of the United States or kneel for the queen of England. You may not agree with it, but you’re mistaken if you call it “idolatry.”

      What I hope to change is your perception that what you see is something different from what it is, or something different from what the Church or the Christian faith teaches.

      Now, you asked the questions. Am I wasting my time to reply? Are you even interested in my answers?

      • Eugene Adkins 11:33 am on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        There were people who argued about Jesus’ teachings while He was still alive, Joseph, don’t confuse catholic unity and the spirit of unity with the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). People can be universal in their agreement and still be universally wrong. I’m not a protestant – I am a Christian and that’s where you fail to understand me. I don’t care what people say, people of any religious affiliation. I will only listen to God’s word (1 Peter 4:11), which is found in the Bible and not in the catechism’s of Rome. The mother church started in Jerusalem and not in/at Rome. The source of truth is found in God’s word and not in the pope’s.

        The catholic church does not use pope as an “honorary” title – it’s a title of supposed “authority” and if you don’t believe that then you have a lot of correcting to do with the followers of catholicism who say otherwise. I don’t think your unity is as universal as you think. As I said before, and as the scriptures teach, the church only has one head, and since one means one and that one head is Jesus I guess that leaves the pope and the catholic church claiming authority where it does not exist; at least not outside of the creeds and councils of men.

        Standing up or kneeling out of respect is not the same as kissing, graveling and worshipping at the feet of religious figures. Cornelius made a mistake with that at Peter’s feet and Peter corrected him. Something the so called “popes” fail to do today. Don’t exchange the golden cross of the pope for the cross of Calvary, Joseph.

        I heard your answers, and your answers were not given with scripture. They were given with the doctrines and commandments of men and these answers will never bring a person closer to God; in fact they will push a person further and further away from Him. No, I don’t believe you’re wasting your time with me, but I do believe you’re wasting your time with the catholic church.

        • Joseph Richardson 1:06 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Hi, Eugene. Did you know you are named for a series of well-respected popes? Probably not directly, of course — my dad’s middle name is Eugene, named for his great-grandfather, and I don’t think he was named for the popes — but it is nonetheless a good name. Pardon my slowness; I’m now replying from my iPad.

          I appreciate your kind words. That’s an interesting suggestion, that I am “wasting my time” with the Catholic Church. Would you say that all the followers of the Catholic Church over its history have “wasted” their time, and if so, for how long? What about the ones who led holy lives, whom we proclaim as “saints”? Many Protestants respect, say, St. Francis of Assisi, or St. Augustine, or St. Gregory the Great. What about the early ones, like St. Ignatius and St. Irenaeus, who gave their lives for the Christian faith? St. Bernard of Clairvaux was always my favorite when I was a Protestant. He was an ardent proponent of what you would call a personal relationship with Jesus.

          People who disagreed wih Jesus during His ministry on earth stopped following Him (John 6:66, ironically). He Himself prayed that his followers all be one, as He and the Father are One (John 17) (that is, in complete union and agreement, in one mind and one accord [Acts 1:14]). Jesus was, naturally, the authority on what Jesus taught; any disagreement with Him, and folks were no longer Christians. Now you say that the Spirit has guided the Church (I suppose you don’t mean the Catholic Church but the “Church” in a broader sense that includes Protestants into all truth, and that is a difference between universal (catholic) in agreement and being in unity with the Spirit. Are you supposing that Protestant churches have been “in agreement” with the Spirit (the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ)? Why, then, do they not all agree with each other? Why do they have such different understandings of the Christian faith? Wouldn’t “unity in the Spirit” entail “catholic” unity? That’s certainly the sense in which Paul meant those words in the Scripture you cited (Eph 4:3; cf. 1 Cor 1:10), and what Jesus meant at the Last Supper. (For what it’s worth, you sound an awful lot like you are “Protesting” against the Catholic Church; therefore, by definition, you are a Protestant.)

          So you also reject “creeds and councils”? Do you reject, then, the Holy Trinity? Or that Jesus is wholly God and wholly Man? What about the canon of the New Testament? Are you okay, then, with the teachings of the Arians (that Jesus was not truly God), or the Docetists (that Jesus didn’t have a true human body but was only a divine phantom), or Pelagians (that man is not truly tainted by original sin and is capable of rising to divine favor without the grace of God)? All of these were either agreed upon, or rejected, by “councils and creeds.”

          My Bible (ESV, not any weird Catholic translation) at 1 Pet 4:11, that we should love and show hospitality to all those who serve the Church and speak oracles (λόγια, “sayings”) of God. I’m glad we agree on that.

          You seem to like calling things what they are not. The bishop of Rome is not the “Head” of the Church. Let me ask you, does your church have a pastor? Is Scripture wrong when, through the words of St. Peter, it recommends that pastors “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight [ἐπισκοποῦντες, episkopountes, the same root as ἐπίσκοπος, episkopos, bishop or overseer]” (1 Peter 5:1–2)?

          Holy Mother Church was born in Jerusalem, but, you ought to know, it’s not centered in any one place, but in its people, who are the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13,27, Eph 4:4–5). I quote from the Catechism to you to demonstrate what the Catholic Church teaches, about which you are making incorrect statements. The Catechism is an official and authoritative source of Catholic teaching — what the Church teaches about Christian truth. To say that the Church teaches something different than what is defined in the Catechism is self-contradictory. I quote from Scripture, the source of Truth, to demonstrate that what the Church teaches is true. The questions you asked before were about what the Church teaches, not about whether it was true; therefore I quoted from the Catechism. I am doing my best to answer your questions; please let me answer the questions you have asked.

    • Joseph Richardson 6:14 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Regarding your Marian questions: my answers will be brief and simple enough. If you care for a lengthier explanation, I can provide it.

      The dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception teaches that by the prevenient (“coming-before”) grace of the Holy Spirit, Mary was spared from the stain of original sin. By that gratuitous grace, because of the love God has for the human race and for His Son, Mary received the same graces that we receive at our Baptism. She, just as human as you or me, and just as much in need of salvation as you or me (cf. Luke 1:47), was “saved” from the moment of her conception. Though the dogma was not formally defined until 1854 — see my comments above about dogma not needing to be defined until they were challenged — the Church has held this belief in more-or-less these terms since the days of the Apostles, and her understanding of it developed over the ages through extensive study of the Scriptures.

      So, no, neither her parents nor grandparents nor anyone else in her family was “immaculate.” And as you should know, sin is a spiritual state, not a physical one, and original sin is not inherited genetically, and has nothing to do with any “gene pool.”

      This was one of the dogmata that I had a harder time with — so I do not expect to get anywhere in arguing with it with you; I only wanted to answer your question about the teachings of the Church.

      And yes, you are correct that the Church believes and teaches that Mary remained a virgin all her life and never bore any more children. This has nothing to do with “sex between a husband and wife not being allowed” — but as the spotless vessel that bore God Himself into the world, she could not conceivably have borne any more. And this is very well supported by Scripture. Aside from the few ambiguous references to Jesus’s “brothers,” you will not find any more explicit statement that these children belonged to Mary. If you care, I can make the case to you.

      You might be surprised to learn that both Martin Luther and John Calvin, as well as nearly all of the early Protestant Reformers, held these doctrines without question.

      • Eugene Adkins 7:40 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Joseph, to put it kindly, yet plainly still, all of your answers to questions like this, like all other catholics, are given by/through the word of “dogma’s and catechisms” and sorely lack the proper dividing of the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15), and that’s even if any scriptures are given at all, which your reply shows to be true. If you will go back and read the original post you will see that I did not ask for the word of the catholic church to be used – I asked for the word of God to be used; and these two things are completely different.

        With your very answer you have failed miserably to show any respect towards marriage and Joseph’s marital rights as a husband, and you have concluded that sex defiles a married person which it does not (Hebrews 13:4). The longer you talk, the farther and farther you get away from the Bible and the closer and closer you get to the words of the catholic church’s “holy father(s)” instead of getting closer to God, the only Holy Father. Everything you just spouted out about Mary cannot be taught with the Bible, hence the catholic church needs to go by the fabricated “oral tradition” because there is no written tradition to defend it with. The only case you have to make is with the words of the largest man-made church ever created and not with the word of God.

        The catholic church promotes and propagates the idolatry of Mary in ways that are clearly blasphemous to spiritual eyes which have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit with the word of God and not darkened, confused and blinded with the words of men.

        “As she suffered and almost died together with her suffering and dying Son, so she surrendered her mother’s rights over her Son for the salvation of the human race. And to satisfy the justice of God she sacrificed her Son, as well as she could, so that it may justly be said that she together with Christ has redeemed the human race.” (Pope Benedict XV (INTER SODALICIA)

        This is complete and utterly gross blasphemy! It can never be justly said that Mary redeemed mankind in any way, shape, form or fashion! Jesus alone is the redeemer of mankind, Jesus alone is the Mediator of mankind, Jesus alone is the Head of His church and Jesus alone is the Chief Shepherd.

        For these reasons alone are why catholics and the catholic church condemns people who use only the Bible to learn about, come to and have a proper relationship with God. This is because the catholic church knows their traditions are contrary to the Bible’s and that’s why for hundreds of years the catholic church fought so hard to keep God’s word out of the hands of the “common” man because they prefer sheep who have had the wool pulled over their eyes instead of seeing the light of the glorious gospel. And if you disagree then you need to spend time going around and telling other catholics on Word Press that using the Bible alone (sola scripture) is a completely acceptable way to come to God because there are many out there who teach otherwise.

        There are many things in your replies directed toward me and directed toward the truth of God that I could correct with numerous scriptures, but if you’re not willing to the see the plain blasphemy of idol worship that runs rampant in the catholic church, then for now it would be fruitless to go into other areas of your error.

        • Joseph Richardson 7:43 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I figured this comment would get your dander up. ;-) I would still like you to reply to my earlier post on the authority of the papacy, very well and plainly supported by Scripture, and to my other comment regarding holiness and infallibility.

        • Eugene Adkins 7:45 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          So you choose to ignore the plain idolatrous quote about Mary? Figured you would. I have failed to have any catholic try to defend that one…among many, many other quotes given by the pope(s) that show how the catholic church worships Mary.

        • Eugene Adkins 7:49 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          And if you’ll pay attention to my first reply to the catholic who actually tried to use scripture (but failed by inserting words like “pope”) you’ll find links to articles here in The Fellowship Room that uses an abundance of scripture to show plainly and beyond a shadow of a doubt that what the catholic church teaches about the pope cannot be defended with the Bible…in fact the Bible defeats it.

        • Joseph Richardson 7:49 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I don’t ignore it, but it makes little sense to argue with it at this point. I don’t consider the Church’s Marian beliefs “idolatrous” or “blasphemous” in any way, but I don’t expect you to understand that. You and I would be much more productive, I think, in discussing the things we are closer to agreement on. I am especially interested in your thoughts on the biblical case for apostolic authority.

        • Eugene Adkins 7:53 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Apostolic authority was only given to the apostles. To be an apostle one had to see the resurrected Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:8). Nothing more needs to be said about that.

        • Joseph Richardson 7:51 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          So, then, please reply to my biblical argument I made to your other post, if the Bible so well defeats it.

        • Eugene Adkins 7:55 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I have already said once, Joseph, that there are articles here in The Fellowship Room that defeat the catholic church’s teaching about the pope. I won’t reteach what’s already been taught.

          And I am still “tickled” at how you won’t even try to defend the blasphemous words of your pope.

        • Joseph Richardson 7:56 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I asked you to reply to my post, sir. I spent several hours in constructing that argument for you, and your reluctance to address it leads me to believe that you have no answer to the plain truth of Scripture.

    • Eugene Adkins 7:59 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Here, Joseph, take your mouse pointer and click where the words are blue:

      Was Peter the First “Pope?” Here’s the link – http://fellowshiproom.org/2013/02/12/was-peter-the-first-pope/


      Where Was “Vatican Smoke” In The New Testament Church? Here’s the link – http://fellowshiproom.org/2013/02/12/please-read-acts-151-31-then-read-the-following/

      • Joseph Richardson 8:02 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Don’t insult me, sir. I have read the linked posts, and they do not address at all the argument I made in the other post. They do not even reference the Scripture I cited to you. Do not pretend they do. If you have an answer to my argument, please make it; if you don’t, either admit you don’t, or I will assume it.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:05 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Joseph, you’re being obtuse now. Much like the popes:

          “O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Pope Leo XIII – ADIUTRICEM)

      • Joseph Richardson 8:08 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You’re the one refusing to defend your own words. If you call me “obtuse” for holding you to them, then I suppose I am. Apparently you have no answer to that or any of the well-meaning questions I asked above, and have no other resort but to hurt baseless accusations and name-calling at me.

    • Joseph Richardson 8:06 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “As she suffered and almost died together with her suffering and dying Son, so she surrendered her mother’s rights over her Son for the salvation of the human race. And to satisfy the justice of God she sacrificed her Son, as well as she could, so that it may justly be said that she together with Christ has redeemed the human race.” (Pope Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia)

      I fail to see what’s “blasphemous” about this quote. Mary cooperated with God’s plan of salvation. She said “yes” (Luke 1:38). She allowed herself to be a tool of God’s redemption. She gave up her only son, just as God gave up His only Son, so that mankind could be saved. Do you argue otherwise?

      • Eugene Adkins 8:08 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, and so does the Bible. First, Jesus wasn’t Mary’s only child. Second, there is no co-redeemer. It’s a shame that Mary’s name gets drug through the spiritual mud by the catholic church.

        • Joseph Richardson 8:10 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          1. Mary cooperated with God’s plan of salvation.
          2. She said “yes” (Luke 1:38).
          3. She allowed herself to be a tool of God’s redemption.
          4. She gave up her only son [we’ll leave that one alone for now, since it’s not relevant to this question], just as God gave up His only Son, so that mankind could be saved.

          Which exactly of these statements does the Bible prove untrue?

        • Eugene Adkins 8:14 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Jesus’ earthly father Joseph cooperated with God’s plan of salvation. He also said yes. He allowed himself to be a tool of God’s redemption. So I guess Joseph is a co-redeemer of mankind too! I’m only following catholic logic here.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:18 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          When you try to prove too much, you prove too little, Joseph. Everything you said about Mary can be said about Joseph, but for some reason the catholic church doesn’t look at him the same way it looks at Mary. You know, the “Mary” that led the pope to say, “O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Pope Leo XIII – ADIUTRICEM)

      • Eugene Adkins 8:12 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not refusing to defend “my words.” You’re the one spouting off here on someone else’s blog, Joseph. There’s no point in rehashing what’s already been taught. Those articles that are linked address and undermine every thing you’ve said about the pope. I’m sorry you feel like your time is being wasted, but I’m also sorry that it takes so long to come up with words to defend error.

        • Joseph Richardson 8:31 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          When did I say my time was being wasted? I’m rather enjoying myself. :)

          Here, I will make it simple for you. Please answer these questions which I kindly asked above, if you are able. So far you have evaded them:
          1. Would you say that all the followers of the Catholic Church over its history have “wasted” their time, and if so, for how long?
          2. Are you supposing that Protestant churches have been “in unity” with the Spirit (the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ)?
          3. Why, then, do they not all agree with each other?
          4. Why do they have such different understandings of the Christian faith?
          5. Wouldn’t “unity in the Spirit” entail “catholic” unity?
          6. So you also reject “creeds and councils”? Do you reject, then, the Holy Trinity? Or that Jesus is wholly God and wholly Man? What about the canon of the New Testament? (etc.)
          7. Is Scripture wrong when, through the words of St. Peter, it recommends that pastors “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight (1 Peter 5:1–2)?

          Here, I will summarize my argument of the other post. I would like you to address it, if you can.
          You argued (your own words) that, “Jesus never installed an earthly head, Jesus never asked for an earthly head nor does Jesus need an earthly head. If the catholic church followed/believed the same gospel they would not transfer heavenly authority to an earthly man . . . ”
          I prove the contrary by showing that:
          1. Jesus did entrust His authority to “earthly men” (Matthew 10:1, 5–8)
          2. He sent these men as His representatives. (Matthew 10:40, etc.)
          3. The powers of “binding and loosing” are a clear investment of authority that would be divinely ratified. (Matthew 18:18)
          4. Jesus certainly, and without a doubt, invested this authority to His Apostles and especially to Peter. (ibid., Matthew 16:17–19)
          5. This investment, or stewardship of His “household” the Church, was prophesied by Isaiah and foreshadowed by Christ Himself. (Isaiah 22:20–22)
          6. This authority, by the plain words of Scripture, included the authority to remit or retain sins (John 20:21–23).

          Now, you can see that this is quite clearly a different argument than the ones addressed by the posts you linked to. If you have an answer to it, I would appreciate you giving it (it would be nice to give it over at the other post since the thread here is already pretty muddy. If you can, you may answer the other questions above here.

          Thanks, and I do wish you the peace of Christ.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:34 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I’ll answer these when you answer whether or not Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, is a co-redeemer of mankind. Yes or No? And you if you say “No” remember, Joseph, that he meets all the “qualifications” that you mentioned when it comes to Mary. If you’re not willing to be consistent here, when will you be?

    • Joseph Richardson 8:35 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      By the way, in care you’re not aware: Joseph is the most highly regarded saint of the Church, and is held nearly as high as Mary. He is the patron saint of the whole Church. He is also venerated for His role in the plan of salvation, for taking Mary and protecting her and the young Jesus, and not “putting her away” as the Scripture said. Mary, of course, has a slightly more involved role, since it was through her flesh that Christ was born. (And oh, I’m being consistent; you’re just not being patient.)

      • Joseph Richardson 8:37 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Second most highly regarded, meant to say, but the word got lost somewhere. Mary is a saint, too.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:37 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Nearly as high? I don’t think that’s the same height, is it? Please answer the question with a yes or no. Is Joseph a co-redeemer of mankind?

        • Joseph Richardson 8:39 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Yes, he is, and is often called such.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:41 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Amazing! I never knew there were co-redeemers (at least 2) of mankind’s salvation. Can you give scripture for that? Which is kind of the whole point I was trying to make if you’ll go back and read the original post, Joseph.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:43 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          So Joseph is co-redeemer, but Mary is still, “O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Pope Leo XIII – ADIUTRICEM) right? Because none, except and none and except would seem to infer that she doesn’t share that with anyone else.

    • Joseph Richardson 8:45 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      No, there is no Scripture that says that either Mary or Joseph are “co-redeemers” or even says the word “co-redeemer.” But there’s also no Scripture that says the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit form the Holy Trinity. There’s no Scripture that says that Jesus Christ is fully-God and fully-man. There’s no Scripture that says what books belong in the New Testament. There’s not even a Scripture that says that you have to base everything you believe on Scripture (in fact, no one did until the time of the Reformation).

      [Forgive my poor placement of this comment. Please reply to this one to keep the tread going downward.]

      • Eugene Adkins 8:50 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Until you can give scripture for what your pope infallible taught the conversation is over because my point has been proven.

        And I already replied before you did, sorry. Here’s what I said:

        Different topic, Joseph. Those points can be proven with scripture. And now here comes the true feelings/following of a catholic – “There’s not even a Scripture that says that you have to base everything you believe on Scripture”

        Remember when you said you agree with me about 1 Peter 4:11? Because it’s not sounding like it right now! You see, Joseph, you can’t defend your beliefs with the word of God as a catholic, and that’s why you have to so heavily depend upon the words and traditions of a man-made church.

        • Joseph Richardson 9:01 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I have already said that the word “co-redeemer” is nowhere in Scripture. (For what it’s worth, the word “co-redeemer” was also not in that quote from Benedict XV.) It is a logical consequence (especially in the Latin mind, which likes to stick prefixes on things) of saying that someone cooperates with the Redeemer (co + redemptor = together with the redeemer). Our fundamental difference, as you say, is that I don’t believe I have to base every single thing I say on the plain face of Scripture. I have already explained to you, citing Scripture, how Mary cooperated with God’s plan of salvation, and you did not argue with that: your answer was that Joseph did, too. And he did. If you believe that a lack of direct scriptural proof proves your point, then you’re welcome to think that. I disagree.

          Now, I have given you my best answer. So far that his looked like a game of chicken, with you doing everything you can to avoid answering my questions, which I asked first, eight hours ago (the argument on the other post, at 2 p.m. yesterday), long before you started this whole line of argument about co-redeemers. If you think this conversation is over, then you’re probably right, but not for the reasons you seem to think, and you’re not the only one walking away thinking his point was proven.

        • Eugene Adkins 9:07 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          For what it’s worth, the word “co-redeemer” was also not in that quote from Benedict XV.”

          Really? He’s not saying Mary is a co-redeemer? Why then you could’ve avoided the whole conversation by not using it yourself.

          And by the way, he said:

          As she suffered and almost died together with her suffering and dying Son, so she surrendered her mother’s rights over her Son for the salvation of the human race. And to satisfy the justice of God she sacrificed her Son, as well as she could, so that it may justly be said that she together with Christ has redeemed the human race.” (Pope Benedict XV (INTER SODALICIA)

          Yeah, that sounds like co-redeemer to me. So if the catholic church teaches idolatrous error when it comes to Mary, then why should I be concerned with anything else it teaches?

        • Eugene Adkins 9:11 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Facts and thoughts, like the written tradition that makes up the Bible and the “oral tradition/fabrication” that the catholic church is built upon, are two different things my friend.

    • Joseph Richardson 9:11 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Dude. Chill. I just defended the argument that Mary and Joseph are co-redeemers. I also just said, as an aside, that the word “co-redeemer” is not in that quote. The word “co-redeemer” is not in that quote. And it’s not. It was a non sequitur, a random comment, which is true. You continue to avoid my well-meaning questions with baseless accusations and name-calling. I really do think you don’t have an answer for me. You’re right. We’re done here.

      • Eugene Adkins 9:14 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You defended it alright, but not with scripture…which is/was the whole point of the post. Remember?

        • Joseph Richardson 9:16 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          As I said, again, repeating myself for the third time, the word co-redeemer is not in Scripture. If you feel triumphant about that, then I’m happy for you. You still refuse to answer my questions, but instead keep changing the subject. I will not reply to you again unless you pick up the arguments you are clearly unable to answer.

        • Eugene Adkins 9:19 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          I don’t feel triumphant, but you should feel defeated since, again for the third time, that was the whole point of my post – catholics can’t defend what they believe with the Bible. It’s as simple as that. Why should I answer your questions with scripture if you’re not going to listen to scripture??? You have already said that you don’t base everything you believe in on the scriptures – so what’s the point of me answering with the scriptures alone if you’re not going to listen to them alone??? Do you see my point that I was trying to make and the one that I am making now?

        • Joseph Richardson 9:24 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          Okay. Literally, the very last time I will say this.

          1. I already “defended what I believe with the Bible,” now some 32 hours ago, at 2 p.m. yesterday.
          2. I also quoted Scripture to you in my comment above, “defending what I believe.”
          3. You have refused to answer either post.

          This Catholic is perfectly able and willing to “defend what I believe with Scripture,” but either my arguments were so solid that you have no answers to them, or you lack the good faith to admit that I raised good points. In either case, I have absolutely nothing more to say to you.

        • Eugene Adkins 9:29 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          You said:

          “I quote from Scripture, the source of Truth, to demonstrate that what the Church teaches is true.”

          But then you said:

          “Our fundamental difference, as you say, is that I don’t believe I have to base every single thing I say on the plain face of Scripture.”

          Which is it? But anyways, Joseph, back up what you said…quote from the scriptures to show that what “the church” teaches about Mary (and now Joseph) being “co-redeemers” is true.

        • Eugene Adkins 9:36 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink

          You raised no points. All you said was that the Bible doesn’t use the word co-redeemer but you still believe Mary and Joseph are co-redeemers because it’s what the catholic church teaches even though the Bible doesn’t.

          And don’t forget what else the catholic church teaches about Mary:

          “O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Pope Leo XIII – ADIUTRICEM)

          I don’t think you’ll find that quoted in the Bible either…but you can try to prove me wrong if you like since you, “quote from Scripture, the source of Truth, to demonstrate that what the Church teaches is true.”

  • Eugene Adkins 7:22 am on March 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Catholicism, , , , ,   

    If The Catholic Church Were Biblically Wise 

    If the Catholic church were biblically wise they would allow the vacancy of the pope to stay just that way – vacant. Many Catholics (and even some people who aren’t Catholic???) worry about their church because it has no head. If they understood the true biblical nature of the church they would know that the church is never without her head. Jesus is the head of the church and his reign as such has not ended (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 1:22-23). Two heads are not better than one!

    If the Catholic church were biblically wise they would allow the vacancy of “Peter’s throne” to stay just that way – vacant. Many Catholics (and even some people who aren’t Catholic???) worry about finding the right person to continue Peter’s legacy. If they understood the true nature of Peter from the Bible they would know that Peter would never allow himself to sit on a “throne” over the church, they would know that Peter would never allow people to “bow and kiss his ring” and they would know that the Bible never refers to an office in the church called the “pope” (Acts 10:24-26, 1 Corinthians 12:27-28). Peter never sat with a golden scepter upon any “throne” above the church which Jesus Himself rules with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:8-9, Revelation 2:26-27).

    If the Catholic church were biblically wise they would allow the silence of uninspired and fallible words to stay just that way – silent. Many Catholics (and even some who aren’t Catholics???) worry about the lack of spiritual guidance without a pope. If they understood the true biblical nature of the church they would know that they should listen to the inspired and infallible word of God that the church is called to follow. The word of God guides the church of God, the church of God does not guide the word of God (Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).

    If the Catholic church were biblically wise they would know there’s a difference between universal unity based upon error and universal unity based upon the truth…that’s one big if though!

    endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)

  • Eugene Adkins 9:01 pm on February 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Catholicism, , , Idol Worship,   

    “Universal” Blindness to the Blasphemy 

    The Catholic Church prides itself on being the “universal” church, but the only universal thing they own is error. I do not feel bad for the deceivers, but I do feel bad for the Catholics who have been deceived into thinking that Rome has their best interest in mind. Rome has Rome’s best interest in mind and nothing more. Rome is not interested in listening to Heaven’s word because Rome thinks their word is on equal authority with Heaven’s. They are blind to their own blasphemy and to the blasphemy which they cause others to commit.

    In fewer areas is the blasphemy of Rome more apparent than in its doctrine of exalting Mary above that which a person should be exalted (1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 12:6). Not only does Rome itself fall before Mary in false and idol worship, but it urges, no, it wickedly compels those who have been deceived into doing to the same. Many people who refer to themselves as Catholics are ignorant of the dangers that the Catholic Church promotes when it comes to Mary. Through deceiving leadership, many individuals, my mother’s side of my own family included, have been led toward the pits of Hell through a make-believe Mary who cannot be substantiated by the word of God. Make no mistake, Mary the servant of God whom we see in the scriptures as Jesus’ mother is not the same Mary the “Queen” of Heaven found in the catechisms of Rome.

    From time to time there are some who think that Rome doesn’t really teach the things concerning Mary that it is accused of teaching. If the truth were told, people have no idea just how entrenched the Catholic Church is in idol worship and blasphemy. You don’t have to take my word for it though, take the word of Rome itself:

    It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her aternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God.” (Pope Leo VIII – Supremi Apostolatus)

    O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Pope Leo XIII – ADIUTRICEM)

    As she suffered and almost died together with her suffering and dying Son, so she surrendered her mother’s rights over her Son for the salvation of the human race. And to satisfy the justice of God she sacrificed her Son, as well as she could, so that it may justly be said that she together with Christ has redeemed the human race.” (Pope Benedict XV  – INTER SODALICIA)

    From our earliest years nothing has ever been closer to Our heart than devotion-filial, profound, and wholehearted-to the most blessed Virgin Mary. Always have We endeavored to do everything that would redound to the greater glory of the Blessed Virgin, promote her honor, and encourage devotion to her.” … “For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation.” (Pope Pius – IX UBI PREMUM)

    It is impossible to measure the power and scope of her offices since the day she was taken up to that height of heavenly glory in the company of her Son, to which the dignity and luster of her merits entitle her. From her heavenly abode she began, by God’s decree, to watch over the Church, to assist and befriend us as our Mother; so that she who was so intimately associated with the mystery of human salvation is just as closely associated with the distribution of the graces which for all time will flow from the Redemption.” (St. Germ. Constantinop – Orat. 11, in Dortnitione B.M.V.)

    How much clearer can it be? Catholics can deny that Rome teaches people to worship Mary, but they can only make that claim if they have never heard or do not understand what Rome is teaching to begin with.

    If you ask a devout/practicing Catholic to explain or defend the above views with the Bible they cannot, for the Bible condemns such teachings and behavior (Acts 10:25-26; Revelation 22:8-9; 1 John 5:21). God alone is the church’s Savior. God alone redeemed the souls of the lost. God alone deserves glory and praise from the church. God alone is the church’s refuge. God alone satisfied His justice. God Himself gives gifts of mercy from Heaven. Mary never asked to be exalted, and the Bible never tells anyone to do such a thing. She was as dependent upon God for her salvation as any other person ever was. She was and is no more holy than any of God’s people who have been cleansed by the blood (1 Peter 2:9).

    Sadly, because of Rome’s darkness many eyes have been closed to the light of Jesus’ glorious gospel that leads to life and immortality (2 Timothy 1:10) never to be opened again; but if you are a member of the Catholic Church please don’t stand idle, leave the path of idol worship while you have the time and opportunity. Trade in catholicism for Christianity. Come to God through His Son alone. No other word, no other path and no other person is needed (John 14:6). Leave the church that began in Rome for the church that began in Jerusalem (Acts 2:47). While all roads may lead to Rome, the roads of Rome do not lead to Heaven. You can escape the “universal” blindness of blasphemy by receiving the sight of God’s grace found in His word (Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 1:22-23).

    Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Eph. 5:14)

    And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.'” (Luke 1:46-47)

    Who will not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name, because you alone are holy?…” (Revelation 15:4)

    Related Articles:

  • J. Randal Matheny 1:18 pm on January 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism, ,   

    What’s wrong with this article? 

    Marriage isn’t a sacrament. One. But is there anything else in this article you’d differ with?


    • Stephen R. Bradd 9:03 am on January 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Randal. The only thing that I question is this:
      How is it the case that the love Adam & Eve shared was sacrificial?
      I suppose one might reply in regards to Eve’s origin. As I read Gen 2, however, there is no indication that Adam volunteered his rib. If Eve was created without Adam’s foreknowledge, is this really sacrificial love on Adam’s part OR rather God doing what was best for man?
      It is true that Adam is pleased with the bride God provided him, but I see nothing of sacrificial love in Gen 2.
      I definitely don’t see it in Gen. 3 either. Adam throws Eve under the bus pretty quickly for their transgressions, though he was more responsible (per I Tim 2).
      Am I missing something here? Can we support the notion that Adam & Eve shared a sacrificial love?

    • J. Randal Matheny 1:36 pm on January 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Stephen, good question. I didn’t think much about it when I read over it. I suppose one could apply the idea of a sacrificial love to the daily relationship, though there wouldn’t be much textual evidence for that, only suppositional. I agree with you that Adam probably had no idea that he was going to give up a rib.

  • Ron Thomas 5:32 am on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, Catholicism   

    Recently I have finished two extended outlines on assignments I have for a preacher’s retreat in southern Illinois. Those extended outlines amount to about 30 pages in total (for both). If you are interested in receiving them via email attachments from me, please let me know and I will send them to you. The outline are on Catholicism and Buddhism. I will need your email address to do this.

    • James 6:47 pm on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Please send me the outlines on Catholicism and Buddhism.
      Thank You

    • Morris G. Monkus 4:48 am on May 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Please send me the outlines.

    • Robert McCurdy 2:04 pm on May 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Your articles and studies are always interesting and helpful. Please send study material on Catholicism and Buddhism. Thanks much and may God continue to bless you richly.

      • Ron Thomas 12:29 am on June 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        You are very kind, Robert. Thank you.

        • Royce Pendergrass 7:58 am on June 1, 2012 Permalink

          Please send me your two outlines you have graciously offered.


  • Ed Boggess 8:04 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism,   

    Last October the USA Today reported a survey with the headline: “US Catholics’ religious identity slips”. While one in four Americans identify themselves as Catholic, 86% say you can disagree with teachings of the church and still be loyal to Catholicism. Only 30% support the teaching authority claimed by the Vatican. Since 1987 attendance to Mass has declined from 44% weekly to 31% and those who attend less than monthly rose from 26% to 47%. When asked why, the prevailing answer was they are simply not very religious. This is not true of Catholics alone; it is equally true of Protestants. Americans have become simply not very religious and the results are all around us and not very pretty. Some call it progress; I call it regress. This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess

  • Weylan Deaver 2:18 pm on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Catholicism, , Felix Manz, John Calvin, , Protestant Reformers, , , , Urbanus Rhegius   

    “Compelle Intrare” 

    In Jesus’ banquet parable (Luke 14:12-24), the master sent his servant to gather up guests for the feast. His instructions were, “Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled” (v. 23, ESV).

    In Latin, “compel people to come in” is written, “compelle intrare.” From early centuries of church history through medieval times and beyond, the Roman Catholic Church leaned on a grotesquely twisted interpretation of “compelle intrare” in Luke 14:23, concluding that governmental authorities had the right to coerce people into the church. In a perverse marriage, Catholicism and the state were so tied together that the former could dictate the latter use deadly force against the church’s enemies. And, the church’s enemies included whatever men and doctrines were not in lock step with what the Catholic Church taught. Forced conformity to Catholicism was the glue holding society together. Naturally, if people were allowed to study the Bible for themselves, voluntarily practice what they believed from their own study, and freely preach their views, it would be a fundamental threat to the church’s power (and the crumbling of society, as they knew it).

    Reformers such as Martin Luther are often hailed for their courage in confronting the status quo in religion (i.e. Catholicism). Yet, what they created in the Reformation was simply another state religion like Catholicism—only with certain different doctrines. In other words, while Luther opposed the Catholic Church, he very much endorsed the idea that the Reformed church could use force against its own enemies.

    While the reformers (such as Luther, John Calvin, etc.) were battling Catholicism, there were others insisting that both sides were wrong in their concept of a church which forced itself on everyone in a given locale. The view of these objectors was that the church of Christ consisted of voluntary believers, and that it had no connection to the state; nor was it biblical to use force in spreading the gospel. They studied their Bibles and clung to their convictions. They also found themselves mercilessly persecuted by both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers.

    Martin Luther commissioned his friend, Urbanus Rhegius, to fight those who were calling for a church formed only of voluntary believers. Rhegius said:

    “The truth leaves you no choice; you must agree that the magistracy has the authority to coerce his subjects to the Gospel. And if you say, ‘Yes, but with admonition and well-chosen words but not by force’ then I answer that to get people to the services with fine words and admonitions is the preacher’s duty, but to keep them there with recourse to force if need be and to frighten them away from error is the proper function of the rulers….What do you suppose ‘Compelle intrare’ means?” (quoted in Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren, p. 74).

    Those who thought the church and state were separate, that the state should not interfere with the church, and that the church should be organized along New Testament lines, were considered radicals and hated as enemies. One of them was Felix Manz, of Zurich, Switzerland. His goal was “to bring together those who were willing to accept Christ, obey the Word, and follow in His footsteps, to unite with these by baptism, and to leave the rest in their present conviction” (ibid.). In other words, Manz was opposed to coercion and held that the church should consist of true believers—those who wanted to accept and obey the gospel.

    For his “heretical” ideas, Felix Manz had his hands tied around his bent knees, with a big stick shoved between his elbows and knees so that he could not move his arms. He was put in a boat and rowed into the Limmat River, where he was thrown into the frigid water to drown. The date was January 5, 1527.

    Over the recent centuries, both Catholicism and Protestantism have had to back off of “compelle intrare,” but neither the former nor the denominations that sprang from the latter have gone all the way back to the primitive church’s organization and practice. Therein lies their insuperable problem.

    If we, in the church of Christ, had lived back then, we would have been hunted like dogs by both Catholics and the Reformers. We are still at spiritual war with their religious descendants, but, thanks be, at least they cannot come after us today with a death warrant.

    • John T. Polk II 2:30 pm on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the historical reminder, since we “have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4), but we may yet pay our dues (Hebrews 11:32-40). Islam, like Roman Catholicism, is passively agreeable as a minority of a population, but in a majority, they are like our adversary the Devil, walking about like a lion, seeking whom they may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Whatever our lot, we must not “fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Keep admonishing, brother.

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:28 am on December 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Catholicism, , ,   

    Daily Nudge: life motto — and news 

    Do you have a motto for your life? Or a mission statement? A word, phrase, paragraph that sums up who you are, who you want to be, what you think it’s all about? Plinky.com asked this recently, and since we’re coming up on a new year when such thoughts are common to man, it seemed a good one to ask today. I hope it’s not been asked before, but if so, consider it again, in light of the fast train approaching that is 2011.

    We’re taking our guests today to see the second largest Catholic basilica in the world, after the Vatican. It’s one of the testaments to that religion, and considering we work in its shadow, seeing it provides a perspective hard to get elsewhere.

    Don’t think I mentioned that we had a baptism on Saturday. Was a wonderful moment. A young girl that Paula studied with and Jorge baptized, after our BBQ together. What news have you?

    • Mike Riley 3:38 pm on December 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      We praise God for this young girl’s obedience and commitment to Christ! May she ever grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

  • J. Randal Matheny 3:45 am on November 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Catholicism   

    Catholicism on the move 

    Two items came to my attention yesterday about developments in the Catholic Church.

    First, the pope released a document, “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.” From the noise, it would appear to be a major pronouncement, but it remains to be seen if their approach will change. Don’t hold your breath. In a striking phrase, Benedict is being touted as the “pope of the word of God.” With the bashing of fundamentalists, it appears to be another move to preempt them and keep from losing ground to those sad and despised souls who take the Bible literally.

    The other item is talk between the Catholics and a few Protestant groups on the mutual recognition of each side’s baptisms. The Catholics want to make it easier for others to convert. So says one article about the main benefit of the talks:

    For Catholic parish life, the accord would be advantageous in cases where someone baptized in the Reformed traditions wishes to enter full communion with the Catholic Church or wishes to marry a Catholic.

    The Catholic Church recently invited Anglican bishops over to their side, and facilitated that move. The impression is the Catholics are hungry for converts, and they’ll take them where and how they can get them.

  • John Henson 5:13 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism,   

    Where’s Cardinal Law? 

    What happened to Cardinal Bernard Law, and why has he disappeared from his “diocese?”

    The answer has to do with the Catholic Church’s long struggle with pedophile priests and the hierarchy that has shielded them and kept the authorities at bay for years and years.

    “Newsweek Magazine” reports that Law was rescued by Pope Benedict (formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) when the Massachusetts Attorney General decided the Cardinal should appear before a Grand Jury investigating the incidents of sexual abuse by priests of the church and the subsequent cover up of those cases. Here’s the link: http://www.newsweek.com/id/236934.

    “Newsweek” reports that the pope himself is likely to be served with court papers during his upcoming trip to Great Britain, and the Vatican is pushing hard for the British to accept Vatican City as an independent state so that the pope could be granted diplomatic immunity.

    The problem with this is that the formation of Vatican City as its own little country was done only by Mussolini in what “Newsweek” calls “a sweetheart deal” during Mussolini’s reign of power in the 1940s. There’s never been any official recognition of the Vatican as an independent, sovereign state.

    Should the pope be brought to justice to answer for his alleged cover up of sexual abuse cases committed by priests? Should the pope be held accountable for ordering cardinals and bishops to prevent cases from being reported to the police?

    Should those who call themselves Catholic reconsider the foundation of their beliefs in light of the sexual abuse of children by priests who were supposed to remain celibate by the “infallible” fiat of the pope?

    Socrates was supposed to have said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Shouldn’t people ask themselves if a religious system should be abandoned that denies the truth and tries to keep it from becoming known?

    Concerning false teachers, Jesus said, “Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them,” (Matthew 7:20). Isn’t it time we ask some serious questions and get some serious answers about a system of religion that permits the abuse of children and allows the guilty to hide and escape justice?

    • Mike Riley 6:35 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      John, you made some great points in this article! If members of the Catholic church would simply search the Scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:11), they would find all kinds of things unscriptural about the Catholic church, but the question is, “Will they search?”

  • John Henson 1:48 pm on March 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholicism,   

    Brethren, I hope we’re all availing ourselves of the opportunities to teach the truth to those in Catholicism in light of the recent headlines concerning pedophilic priests. There is a whale of debate going on the news Web site message boards about it, and people in the Catholic church are at the least upset and at most ready to leave. They’re looking for the truth, and we have an opportunity to give it to them. I’ve posted some of the news articles on Facebook, because I wanted my Catholic friends to see what was going on warts and all. They don’t like it, and a couple have clicked me “off,” but if they can see the inconsistency and evil involved, perhaps they can search for and find the truth.

    • Mike Riley 9:44 pm on March 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      John, the Montana St. congregation has a 30 minute evangelistic television program here in El Paso every Friday evening, in which the Bible is taught by a preacher and an elder who are members of the church. The program reaches to all of El Paso County (approximately 750,000), most of the residents being of the Catholic faith. After almost a year since it began, we’ve had no responses to the gospel call, but we are still hopeful for some to respond.

      However, since this recent episode concerning the pedophilic priests, there may be those Catholic folks who are looking for the truth. We pray that you are correct and that God will provide us the opportunity to teach these truth seekers.

  • J. Randal Matheny 3:36 pm on December 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Catholicism, liberation theology   

    This comes from a conservative Catholic author, so take that into account, but his take on Benedict 16’s criticism of Liberation Theology and his points on Brazilian society and economy are spot on. The Catholic head’s speech can be read on the Vatican website here.

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