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  • Eugene Adkins 9:08 pm on 2016-09-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , false doctrine, ,   

    Twice dead? Not without being born twice. 

    In his description of sneaky false teachers, Jude uses these words:

    These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit—twice dead, uprooted; wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.” (Jude 12,13 – NET)

    Nearly every reputable translation (as well as some not-so-reputable ones) uses the simple phrase “twice dead” when it comes to these fruitless trees. This is a description that should not only be concerning to anyone who falls into this spiritual category, it should be concerning to anyone who teaches or believes that once an indidvual is born-again, he or she can never abuse God’s grace to the extent that God’s grace is no longer afforded to that individual. The simple fact of the matter is one cannot be twice dead without being born twice. Someone who has never been alive spiritually cannot die spiritually one time, much less twice.

    God’s grace through Jesus can indeed keep us from falling away from the gift of salvation – all you have to do is read how Jude ends his letter; but to say that keeping ourselves in the love of God is equal to not being able to forsake that love is to say something that holds no more water than the clouds that get mentioned right before the trees.

     
    • docmgphillips 9:54 pm on 2016-09-27 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, dear brother. I had never thought about those words—twice dead—in that light. You have given me something to think about, and that is always a good thing.

      • Eugene 2:25 pm on 2016-09-28 Permalink | Reply

        Good deal. Hope others find it as useful as you did.

  • Eugene Adkins 9:27 am on 2016-03-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , false doctrine, ,   

    The Absurdity of “Christians” Denying a Literal Resurrection 

    They’re out there…the wolves in sheep’s clothing that deny the Bible-based literal interpretation of a bodily resurrection. Their deceptive and destructive appetite even goes so far as to deny Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.

    When I think of these sort of “Christians” I am reminded of a retortful rebuke given by Christopher Hitchens (yes, the well-known and noted and quoted late atheist) to a “Unitarian Christian”, who attempted to dodge the age-old derision of skeptics toward the fundamental Christian elements taught in the Bible by saying the she did not believe in a literal interpretation of the scriptures. His response was simply, “I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

    That’s not exactly an “out of the mouth of babes” moment, but it would be hard to get any closer to the real thing.

    The truly astonishing thing to me isn’t that denominational ladened “Christians” two millennia on this side of the empty tomb deny the resurrection (don’t confuse my lack of astonishment with a lack of disapproval), but rather that Christians two decades on this side of the empty tomb were doing the same thing! Such was the reason that we read, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?…For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-17, 19) And the continuation of such denials to this day is the very reason why 1 Corinthians 15 is as applicable today as the day it was written.

    If one desired to see the word absurdity played out in real life, all one has to do is watch a “Christian” try to deny that the Bible teaches a belief in a real resurrection.

    Related Article:

     
  • John T. Polk II 9:52 pm on 2015-09-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , false doctrine, lie, , ,   

    9-22-2015 Evolutionary Contradictions 

    Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. “The prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie’” (Jeremiah 28:15 NKJV). The false doctrine of “Evolution” causes people to exchange “the truth of God for the lie” and worship and serve “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 NKJV). There is no scientific fact to prove it, and it contradicts Scripture and scientific facts! God will reject the immoral and “whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15 NKJV). “Evolution” cannot account for: amazing design and detail; a human’s emotional heart; cell DNA; faith and hope; an eternal soul; or life, itself. It substitutes primordial goo for God; survival of the fittest for mercy; and outer comparisons for inner connections.

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:57 am on 2015-08-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: biblical forgeries, false doctrine,   

    How about an authentic forgery? 

    The latest news about the letter that says Jesus was married (in it he supposedly says “my wife”) has left some people wondering if it’s authentic or a forgery. I would simply settle the matter by saying it’s an authentic forgery!

    Even if the letter is authentic, by genuinely dating back to 1,200 years ago, as the “tests” have reportedly shown, I believe it would be wise to keep in mind that the neighborhood of 1,200 years ago is more than a few zip-codes away from the neighborhood of 1,900 years ago. So the letter may in fact be genuine – but genuinely wrong nonetheless.

    Through the centuries following the establishment of Jesus’ church (the actual biblical bride of Christ – Ephesians 5:22-33), and up to this very day, many people have circulated false ideas (a.k.a. false doctrine) about Jesus’ person and doctrine; whether this was done in spoken word or in circulated letter it matters not, the errors are still the same. People could have very well taught around 1,200 A.D. that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, but that makes the belief no more accurate than that of the idea that Mary, Jesus’ mother, physically ascended into heaven after her death (that’s if she died to begin with) several centuries before 1,200 A.D. (but keep in mind that this idea didn’t receive the Catholic Church’s unfailable “stamp of approval” until 1950). Both ideas are as foreign to scripture as any notion that Judas was politically misunderstood.

    Can ideas be authentic and a forgery at the same time? Sure they can. It all depends upon from whom the ideas originate.

    For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

     
    • John T. Polk II 10:56 am on 2015-09-01 Permalink | Reply

      Eugene, Well-done! Succinctly stated and Scripturally nailed! The only “bride” of Christ is the church of Christ. Christians are dead to the Law of Moses that we may be married to Christ (Romans 7:1-4). So, Christ was not married to anyone on Earth, that He may be married to His Church (Revelation 19:1-10). “Preach the word.”

  • John T. Polk II 9:35 am on 2015-05-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , false doctrine   

    5-29-2015 God versus “Climate Change #4 

    The false doctrine of “Climate Change” assumes that humans can influence and/or control our “climate.” Climate control is in the hand of God, not man. Paul showed that “the living God [is He] who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them”…“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” (Acts 14:15, 17). After the world-wide destruction of the Earth by the flood in Noah’s day, God decreed, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22 NKJV). How arrogant are those who try to act like God and claim to have control over the seasons?

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • docmgphillips 3:57 pm on 2015-03-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: false doctrine,   

    Black Ice 

    Yes, black ice. That thin, invisible skim of ice on a surface which is so dangerous because you don’t see it. A few months ago, a friend of ours stepped out her door. She very carefully looked for ice, as it was very cold. Seeing none, she stepped down…onto the only piece of black ice in her yard, and fell, breaking her arm and thigh bone.
    The same is true with sin. Sometimes, only a very small item or error is preached. So small that only a very few catch it. Because only one or two approach the elders, they decide to let it go rather than upset the congregation. But sin begets sin. Soon, a whole congregation is led astray, little by little, until the Lord’s Word is unrecognizable.
    Take care. Watch for small errors before they become large errors. Search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) and do not be afraid to confront false teaching,

     
    • Eugene Adkins 8:19 am on 2015-03-20 Permalink | Reply

      1 Corinthians 5:6-7

      • Eugene Adkins 8:30 am on 2015-03-20 Permalink | Reply

        And in case someone feels that reference does damage to the context, since it deals with personal behavior and not doctrine, they can read Galatians 5:4-9; it uses the same principle of leaven in connection with doctrine.

    • Eliza 3:17 pm on 2015-03-21 Permalink | Reply

      Amen!

  • docmgphillips 1:24 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: false doctrine   

    False Doctrine 

    A word to the wise is sufficient…or so they say. The congregation we worshipped with for 14 years was sound…or so we thought. On the evenings of March 1, 2015, and March 8, 2015, I listened in amazement as the preacher I had thought was true to the Word suddenly was declaring that the church had an obligation to fellowship anyone and any congregation where there were “baptized believers.” According to his sermons, it matters not what they believe and what they teach…if they have been baptized, that is the only thing that matters. Yes, baptism matters, but so does the doctrine. Many have been “dunked,” but, if they do not obey the doctrine taught in the New Testament, they are still not Christians. At any rate, please study the Bible on your own. Know the Doctrine of the New Testament. Be ready to dispute and expose those who teach false doctrine.

     
    • James Craven 1:35 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply

      Which congregation was this?

    • docmgphillips 1:43 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply

      The congregation in Frederickburg, Texas.

      • docmgphillips 2:57 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply

        By the way, this was the Fredericksburg Church of Christ, NOT the Oak Hills Church which is also here, but is under the leadership of Max Lucado. We were being told that the Fredericksburg Church of Christ needed to be in full fellowship with the Lucado group. The sermons were posted on the church website, but have since disappeared as has the article I posted on the church blog refuting the sermons. If any is interested in hearing the sermons themselves, I downloaded them before they disappeared, and can send as an e-mail link if you give me an e-mail to send to.

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:35 am on 2014-03-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: false doctrine   

    You may be, I am not 

    wafflesToday I do what I don’t often do, in the short piece, “Are we or are we not, and does it matter?” on the underused Gospel Progress site.

    I call a name.

    This in the serious, eyes-open spirit of Ep 5.11, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” NET.

    The Asbury Bible Commentary says of this verse, “… as the Lord himself, they should turn the light of God’s truth upon the secret deeds practiced by false teachers and be quick to point them out for what they are: sins against God …” (emphasis mine). (More …)

     
    • Michael Summers 9:25 am on 2014-03-01 Permalink | Reply

      Recently while perusing an evangelical blog site frequently cited and praised by some of our brothers, I found an area of the site that critiqued the broad spectrum of “Christendom” by categories. This site did not categorize churches of Christ as evangelical; it placed us in the “restorationist” category with Christian Churches and Disciples of Christ. The site’s curator labeled us all as heretical. No, we are not evangelicals.

  • Eugene Adkins 9:55 am on 2013-09-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , false doctrine, Limited atonement, ,   

    The Absurdity of the Calvinistic Invitation to come to Christ 

    I just listened to a sermon by John MacArthur entitled, “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1” in which he tried to ridicule “evangelicals” who believe that Jesus died and paid the price for sin for every single person by saying that they use the Gospel to try to “coerce” people into coming to Jesus; and once again, which is on par for Calvinists, his lesson became full of circular logic, inconsistent reasoning’s and error filled conclusions that were reached because the starting point was wrong to begin with.

    On multiple occasions he referenced how a belief in universal atonement automatically requires a belief in universal salvation – which are two different things! And then he proceeded to “explain” how any atonement other than a “limited one” is actually an atonement that fails, thus requiring Jesus, due to his own logic (he actually talks about what makes sense to him which I didn’t think matters to Calvinists due to the whole irresistible aspect and perverted sovereignty of God), to only shed his sin atoning blood for people who were always going to be saved to begin with and not for people who believe of their own free will through the preaching of God’s grace and judgment of sin in the gospel.

    But the kicker for me is how Mr. MacArthur ended the sermon. After all the berating of “evangelicals” who supposedly coerce others with emotion, and after all the talk about how a person has no free will in the matter, this is how he ended his sermon* on “Actual Atonement” (aka Limited Atonement):

    All who will ever believe, will believe because the Father will draw them, and he will grant them repentance, and faith, and regeneration. Jesus’ death then is to be understood as a full satisfaction to God’s holy justice on behalf of all whom God will save. The atonement is an actual atonement, not simply a barrier removed. And it is in behalf of all who would ever believe, and since the sinner is unwilling and unable to believe apart from divine intervention and regeneration it comes then down to the power of God based upon the decree of God.

    People say, “Well how do you know whether Christ died for you?” The answer is, “Whosoever will may come, and if you come and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then the death of Christ was for you.” Don’t hold back, come to Christ.” (John MacArthur – minute 18:00 – 19:15 of the audio from “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1“)

    Here are my big issues with such a conclusion based upon the content of what had already been said in the sermon:

    • Why in the world would someone invite someone to believe when that individual has no choice in the matter?
    • Why would you say that a sinner is unwilling to believe when they are unable to believe? One overrides the other making a “person’s will” in the matter non-influential, non-negotiable, non-consequential and non-existent.
    • Why would someone mention anything about “whosoever will” or even use the word “if” if a person’s salvation is supposedly unconditional?
    • Why would someone’s response to the invitation matter if a person’s response to the invitation doesn’t determine whether or not they’re actually saved – because you never know, Jesus may not have died for them, right?
    • Why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t hold back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Heaven? Or why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t keep from holding back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Hell?
    • Why would a person try to “coerce” an individual by using emotion and saying don’t hold back and come to Christ if in reality the response to the invitation has nothing to do with a person’s will at the end of the day?

    An invitation given by a “true Calvinist” is nothing but an absurdity that does the very thing that they ridicule others for – encouraging people to make a decision about the death of Jesus upon the cross when he shed atoning blood for the entire world; but what they fail to understand is that whether or not a person accepts that free gift has nothing to do with overriding God’s sovereignty. That’s why it’s called free will by the will of God.

    The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is nothing but a doctrine invented by men that, in a twist of irony, does nothing good spiritually speaking, thus leaving it useful only as a rotten support beam to build the rest of the error filled elements of the house called Calvinism.

    O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37 – BBE – emphasis mine)

    * the given quote from the sermon was written down by author of this post as he listened to the recording and not copied from a supplied document or manuscript; therefore it may contain some grammatical errors, but the sermon snippet itself has been given word for word

     
    • Scott Shifferd Jr. 5:42 am on 2013-09-30 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent points in a needed article Thank you for the clarity of thoughts. — I continue to find that Calvinism undermines “the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5, cf. John 3:5). Combining God’s sovereignty with irresistible grace, a person’s regeneration now becomes when one first believes and would thus be saved without dying, being buried, and raised with Christ. Regeneration and salvation are thus separated from and placed before the Gospel, the death of Christ, and His resurrection. That is shameful.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:42 am on 2013-09-30 Permalink | Reply

        I hear you on the regeneration. But going even further, in reality, Calvinism is all about salvation without having to do anything at all because it’s all done for and to you no matter what the topic/element/petal is that’s being discussed. In Calvinism there is absolutely no personal responsibility for anything good but somehow complete responsibility for the bad that cannot be helped. Trying to figure up that double speak makes even an accountant crossed-eyed; unless they’re a Calvinist and then it makes perfect sense because the “columns” never have moved to begin with.

        Thanks for the comment and the encouragement. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • calvinandcalvinism 11:45 am on 2013-10-18 Permalink | Reply

      The question to Mac would be “how was it actualized?” The problem with strict limited satisfaction is that it entails the elect were saved on the cross. Not wanting to say that the elect were saved on the cross, they will admit a delay, but accounting for this delay is problematic because they want to see the atonement as somehow self-applying or self-actualizing, that it causes its own application, namely the reconciliation of God to the sinner and the sinner to God.

      To get to that tho, they have to plug in instated premises like the atonement infallibly purchases faith for all for whom Christ died. Good luck on proving that though.

      So when they say the atonement actually saves, the thing to do is to ask what exactly does it mean and how exactly does it “actually save”?

      David

      • Eugene Adkins 3:53 pm on 2013-10-20 Permalink | Reply

        Your third sentence is an interesting one and it points out the frustration of following the path that the idea of “limited atonement” lays out…namely irresistible grace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, David.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:40 am on 2013-07-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , false doctrine, , , , , , ,   

    The Fallacy of Rejecting “Paul’s Words” 

    For various reasons of self-interest and faulty theology there are those in the religious world who believe and teach that the “word’s of Paul” should be rejected.

    If one were to reject the “words of Paul” then they by default have to reject basically every other letter that makes up the New Testament.

    Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Peter’s words either since he endorsed what Paul taught and considered him to be a brother in Christ (2 Peter 3:15-16).

    Don’t like “Paul’s word’s” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Mark’s words either since history/tradition teaches that Mark wrote through the guidance of Peter who, again, endorsed the “words of Paul” and due to the fact that Mark was very familiar with Paul and considered him a brother in Christ who taught the truth (2 Timothy 4:11).

    Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Luke’s words either since Luke greatly supported Paul and due to the fact that they labored together on missionary trips teaching the same thing to others who were coming to Jesus through their preaching (Colossians 4:4, 2 Timothy 4:11, Acts 21:1-19…notice how many times “we” and “us” are used).

    So I guess that leaves a person with the words of John and James and Jude…except for the fact that both John and James endorsed Paul’s preaching (Acts 15:6-29) and Jude is just too judgmental!

    So you still want to reject the “words of Paul” huh? I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a whole lot like, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

    Failing to listen to “Paul’s words” is a failure to listen to the word of God.

    If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)

     
    • Morris Monkus 6:59 am on 2013-07-26 Permalink | Reply

      I think you are right, there is much misunderstanding about the letters of Paul. Many of Paul’s letters are addressed to churches and gives us instructions of how we are to live today and the order of the Church. Without his letters we do not have the complete word of God.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:49 am on 2013-07-27 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the comment, Morris. It’s hard to put a finger on any “one thing” that causes people to reject Paul’s letters but I’d say most of the time it comes back to rejecting Paul’s authority as an apostle; which was something that Paul even dealt with it in his day (2 Corinthians 10:7-18).

    • KATHY ENGELKES 12:31 pm on 2013-07-26 Permalink | Reply

      PAUL WROTE 14 BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT TO SAY YOU DON’T LIKE PAULS WORDS IS TO SAY YOU DON’T LIKE THE NEW TESTAMENT

      • Eugene Adkins 6:43 am on 2013-07-27 Permalink | Reply

        I hear ya.

        • Morris G. Monkus 6:53 am on 2013-07-27 Permalink | Reply

          If you reject Paul’s epistles it means you don’t believe all of the word of God.

    • Eliza 3:18 am on 2013-07-30 Permalink | Reply

      Or the other error is sharing the gospel according to Paul instead of the gospel according to Christ! Amazing!
      http://holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/not-all-have-faith/

      • Eugene Adkins 6:09 am on 2013-07-30 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not too sure about the meaning of your comment, Eliza. Are you saying that Paul taught a different gospel than that of Christ?

        Paul did preach the gospel in the same way we might say “John’s Gospel” or “Matthew’s Gospel” as we read in Romans 2:16 – “in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

        But at the same time the gospel “according to Paul” was the gospel of Jesus as we read in Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

        Or perhaps you’re just talking about how some people ignore Jesus’ teachings and focus entirely on the epistles of Paul.

        Feel free to clarify if you wish.

    • Morris G. Monkus 3:21 pm on 2013-07-31 Permalink | Reply

      Probably the simplest way to be sure of what Eliza is talking about is to ask him, to publish what he believes the Gospel that saves is (provided he would want to).

  • Eugene Adkins 8:27 am on 2013-03-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , false doctrine, 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.

    Thanks.

    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 2013-03-02 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/

      and

      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 2013-03-02 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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.

      • tiffanystttt 10:39 am on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

        I am clearly quite late in reading all these comments, but please let me, at this late hour, add some detail to this Marian issue.

        1. There is no evidence anywhere in the Bible for praying to or through anyone other than God the Father. Jesus continued this example for us in the Scripture known as the Lord’s Prayer. To pray to anyone other than God is idolatrous. Yet every Catholic who possesses a rosary begins their prayers with ‘Hail, Mary, Mother of God.’ This is entirely unscriptural and thus not Christian behaviour.

        2. I have met Catholics in many countries who proudly tell me they worship Mary. Again, no human can be worshiped, no human can be leader of a true Christian faith. Only GOD is the Creator, the ultimate power in the world; and only Jesus is our leader, who has given all the rules/ examples we need in this day and age through the letters and gospels provided in the New Testament. No one can worship Mary and still pretend to be a Christian (e.g., one who follows Jesus Christ).

        3. The entire belief of Original Sin was the root cause why the Catholic leaders had to come up with the idea that Mary was somehow special; otherwise, baby Jesus would have been born in sin. Both teachings, e.g., Original Sin and the ‘Immaculate’ nature of Mary are never supported in the 27 books of the New Testament. Thus, they are not to be followed by Christians.

        4. Catholics may want to skate over the verses that clearly state that Jesus had at least one ‘brother’. Again, this ignores clearly stated and worded scripture; to accept the scripture would be to run contrary to point 3, e.g., that Mary being ‘immaculate’ would mean all other children were also sinless. Again, Catholics deviate from Scripture and thus Christian teaching.

        5. To believe that Mary was a virgin her entire life is also never supported in scripture. It is clear she took a husband, Joseph, and that sex is part of God’s marriage plan. And contrary to Catholic tradition, sex is not sinful except when trying to make a baby. The very colourful language of Song of Solomon clearly outlines the pleasure in the bonding that takes place between a man and woman when performing sexual intercourse. To preach of sex as sin, or to abstain from sex except for when trying to conceive; or even to demand someone take a vow to abstain from sex to show their devotion to God is not supported by Scripture and thus is contrary to Christian teaching.

        My discussions with atheists, Catholics, CofEngland and Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to collapse when I insist that the only source for a Christian’s faith can be found within the 27 books of the New Testament, supported by the 39 books of the Old Testament to understand who God is (Creator, etc.) and what He has done for His people. I pray that I can prick a conscience or two, to spread the seed in men’s hearts that God can give the increase.

        • Joseph Richardson 3:33 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks for the respectful comment, Tiffany. I would agree that discussions tend to collapse between members of the Protestants and Catholics when the Protestant insists on what you say, that Scripture can be the only source for a Christian’s faith (an extreme form of what the Protestant Reformers called “sola scriptura,” one that goes far beyond what even they intended). Having been a Protestant most of my life, I can certainly understand the position — but applied as rigidly as Fundamentalists want to apply it, I don’t think it is a reasonable proposition. I agree completely (and the Catholic Church agrees) that Scripture is the only absolute, inerrant source, the very written Word of God. But it makes little sense to simply ignore and discard the valuable knowledge that the history and tradition of the Church — especially the writings of the earliest Christians, who knew and were taught by the Apostles — can teach us. It is important to remember that Scripture nowhere teaches us to do this: nowhere does Scripture dictate that it is to be the only source of faith or doctrine, or that others should be discarded. On the contrary, we are instructed to “hold fast to the teachings [the Apostles] taught [us], whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

          1. To “pray to” another person in the sense that traditional Christians understand the term is simply to ask or beseech them: we are asking others to pray for us, which, according to my Bible, is not only permissible but encouraged. “Idolatry” is to worship another thing as a god that is not a god — and there is none of that at all in asking for another’s prayers.

          “Hail Mary, full of grace / Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Latin Ave, Maria, etc.) is in fact a direct quote from Scripture (Luke 1:28,42). “Mother of God” is a paraphrase from Scripture: Elizabeth calls Mary the “Mother of my LORD” (v. 43). In any case, the fact that any particular prayer is not found in Scripture is irrelevant: if this were a requirement for “Christian behavior,” then every kind of extemporaneous prayer would be excluded.

          I have met Catholics in many countries who proudly tell me they worship Mary.

          2. I cannot speak for them, but only for every Catholic I have ever known, and every official teaching of the Catholic Church I have ever read: Catholics do not “worship” Mary. Pointing to “many Catholics” whom you can neither name nor produce is the stuff of straw men.

          The entire belief of Original Sin was the root cause why the Catholic leaders had to come up with the idea that Mary was somehow special; otherwise, baby Jesus would have been born in sin. Both teachings, e.g., Original Sin and the ‘Immaculate’ nature of Mary are never supported in the 27 books of the New Testament. Thus, they are not to be followed by Christians.

          3. In fact, the belief that Mary never committed sin predates the Church’s understanding of original sin (which is quite scriptural, understood especially from Romans 5:12-21, Ephesians 2:1-3, Psalm 51:5, Genesis 8:21, etc.). Christians as early as the very earliest Christian documents following the New Testament (late first century) demonstrate a convinced belief in both Mary’s all-holiness and her perpetual virginity. This is not something that “Catholic leaders” invented, but that Christians have believed since the beginning. To return your argument: there is nothing in Scripture to support that Mary did sin, and more than a little to suggest that she was extraordinarily holy and blessed. It is in fact only a small minority of Christians who do not believe this.

          Catholics may want to skate over the verses that clearly state that Jesus had at least one ‘brother’.

          4. In fact, references to Jesus’s “brothers” do not at all “clearly state” that any one of them was Mary’s child. If she had other children, then Jesus would have slighted them in asking John to take her into his home (John 19:25-27).

          To believe that Mary was a virgin her entire life is also never supported in scripture.

          Neither is it indicated anywhere in Scripture that she wasn’t.

          To preach of sex as sin, or to abstain from sex except for when trying to conceive; or even to demand someone take a vow to abstain from sex to show their devotion to God is not supported by Scripture and thus is contrary to Christian teaching.

          5. The Catholic Church does not “preach of sex as sin”: in fact, Catholics are far more open in praising both the beauty and the holiness of the marital state and act than any Protestant sect I have ever known. Pope John Paul II presented a whole, developed Theology of the Body expounding on the idea that the marital union is an image of the intimate love of God exchanged between the Persons of the Trinity. So no, your criticism misses the mark.

          On the other hand, Scripture does in fact praise the state of celibacy, Paul even calling it a “special gift from God” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).

          God bless you, and His peace be with you!

          • Eugene Adkins 7:09 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

            “Christians as early as the very earliest Christian documents following the New Testament (late first century) demonstrate a convinced belief in both Mary’s all-holiness and her perpetual virginity.”

            Do you know why documents following the New Testament say that? Because the New Testament does not. People who sin need a savior – Mary needed a savior (“My spirit is glad in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47) – therefore, according to the scriptures, Mary committed sin like any other adult, save Jesus Christ, who has ever lived (Romans 3:23).

            “Neither is it indicated anywhere in Scripture that she wasn’t.”

            The scriptures don’t say it’s wrong to eat more than the bread and the fruit of the vine while observing the Lord’s Supper, therefore it must not be wrong to add to the meal, right? The scriptures don’t say it’s wrong to get baptized every year, therefore it must not be wrong to teach or do so, right? The scriptures don’t say Mary fasted for two years without any food or drink, therefore this was something that she possibly did, right? The scriptures don’t say a man named Joseph Smith wouldn’t come along and claim to have received another testament of Jesus Christ, therefore the possibility of such is possible, right? After all, the scriptures don’t say anything to contrary of any of these things.

            Such a list of questions shows the fallacy of depending upon the “but the Bible doesn’t say this or that” when it comes to wholesome doctrine so there must not be anything wrong with it – such as the idea that God has ever told us to pray through anyone other than Jesus; one mediator it what the scriptures teach, therefore there is no need, nor desire of God, for anyone to mediate between God and mankind be it either mediator or mediatrix (1 Timothy 2:5).

        • Joseph Richardson 7:39 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

          Hi, Eugene.

          Do you know why documents following the New Testament say that? Because the New Testament does not. People who sin need a savior – Mary needed a savior (“My spirit is glad in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47) – therefore, according to the scriptures, Mary committed sin like any other adult, save Jesus Christ, who has ever lived (Romans 3:23).

          Eugene, your logic here is sketchy on two different counts. First, “If a person sins, then he needs a savior” does not entail “If a person has a savior, then he sins.” This is a formal logical fallacy known as “affirming the consequent.” You can look it up if you’re interested. Second, “Early Christian documents say this because the New Testament does not” simply doesn’t follow at all. Why would early Christian documents — the writings of the very people who were taught by the Apostles, who affirmed faith in the Lord and who held the New Testament as the Word of God — hold and write something that they believed contradicted the Word of God? Where would such a doctrine come from, if not from their own teachers?

          In fact the Scriptures do contradict the contrary cases you have named:

          The scriptures don’t say it’s wrong to eat more than the bread and the fruit of the vine while observing the Lord’s Supper, therefore it must not be wrong to add to the meal, right?

          The Scriptures give us a very clear and closed formula for the Lord’s Supper.

          The scriptures don’t say it’s wrong to get baptized every year, therefore it must not be wrong to teach or do so, right?

          The Scriptures affirm that there is “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).

          The scriptures don’t say a man named Joseph Smith wouldn’t come along and claim to have received another testament of Jesus Christ, therefore the possibility of such is possible, right? After all, the scriptures don’t say anything to contrary of any of these things.

          Scripture teaches that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of the Word of God, and all that awaits now is His final appearing (1 Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13).

          The scriptures don’t say Mary fasted for two years without any food or drink, therefore this was something that she possibly did, right?

          And yet there is no story, report, or tradition reporting such, and so no one has ever entertained such a thought. The difference between this and the beliefs you insist on opposing is that these are traditions which have been reported from the very earliest days of the Church.

          Such a list of questions shows the fallacy of depending upon the “but the Bible doesn’t say this or that” when it comes to wholesome doctrine so there must not be anything wrong with it – such as the idea that God has ever told us to pray through anyone other than Jesus; one mediator it what the scriptures teach, therefore there is no need, nor desire of God, for anyone to mediate between God and mankind be it either mediator or mediatrix (1 Timothy 2:5).

          Which is it, then? “The Bible doesn’t say,” or a contradiction of Scripture? It cannot be both. But Scripture in fact does instruct us to pray for all people, to ask others to pray for us — that is, to pray through them. Do you then reject intercessory prayer?

          God bless you, and His peace be with you.

          • Eugene Adkins 7:49 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

            It sure is funny how the Bible saying there’s one baptism means that there’s no authority to baptize someone each year, but when the Bible says there’s one mediator then the Bible isn’t saying that it’s wrong to pray through others as a mediator or a mediatrix. The Bible only settles an issue for a Catholic when the Catholic oral teachings also teach such, but when the scriptures don’t align with the Catholic Church’s oral teachings then it must the Bible that fits the oral teachings and not the other way around. One means one my friend for baptisms and mediators/mediatrixs.

          • Eugene Adkins 7:52 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

            And what did Mary need saving from if it were not her sins? The Bible doesn’t say that “all have sinned (except Mary) and fallen short of God’s glory (except Mary)” (Romans 3:23).

            • Joseph Richardson 12:45 pm on 2015-08-20 Permalink

              Mary answers that question in the very next phrase: From her “lowly estate.”

              The verse in Romans also does not mention Jesus as an exception to “all having sinned,” but nonetheless He is.

            • Eugene Adkins 1:14 pm on 2015-08-20 Permalink

              Actually, the very next verses (Romans 3:24-25) give the only exception of sin’s guilty partakers to Jesus since redemption, remission and propitiation are only found in Jesus’ blood – hence, the only blood not guilty of sin.

          • Eugene Adkins 7:57 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

            “But Scripture in fact does instruct us to pray for all people, to ask others to pray for us — that is, to pray through them.”

            And how in the world, my friend, do you get that the scriptures teach us to pray through people when it simply tells us to pray for each other? For and through are two completely different things. I think your “affirming the consequent” applies here for you are doing the very thing that you have accused me of.

        • Joseph Richardson 8:02 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

          And how in the world, my friend, do you get that the scriptures teach us to pray through people when it simply tells us to pray each other?

          One is a necessary product of the other. If you are praying for someone, you are becoming their agent or intercessor (hence, “intercessory prayer”) — i.e. they are praying through you.

          • Eugene Adkins 8:03 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink | Reply

            No, they are not praying – you are praying…these are two different things.

            • Joseph Richardson 8:09 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              Yes, you’re exactly right. 😀 When we ask someone to pray, to intercede, for us, they are praying for us; we are no longer the ones praying. Just so with the intercession of our brothers and sisters in heaven.

            • Eugene Adkins 8:11 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              And where do you get the idea that you can ask a dead person to pray for you? Just use the same scriptural logic about mediators that you used with baptism and you’ll finally start to get somewhere.

            • Joseph Richardson 8:13 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              … Just where do you get the idea that are brothers and sisters in the Lord are “dead”? If we truly believe in the Resurrection, then they are more alive than they’ve ever been before (Hebrews 12:23).

            • Eugene Adkins 8:17 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              Being alive has nothing to do with our ability to communicate with them or them for us (Luke 16:26). So again, praying for someone is not the same thing as praying through someone. It’s an unscriptural theme cooked up to defend the oral traditions of the Catholic Church that have no basis in the scriptures…which really does get back to the point of my original post.

            • Joseph Richardson 8:25 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              Luke 16:19-31 presents a “chasm” so wide that the rich man is having a conversation with Abraham across it. That’s not really very good for your argument. 😀

            • Eugene Adkins 8:26 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              Abraham represents God/paradise/rest, and if you read the whole thing you’ll see that the rich man is told that his brothers must hear the word of God because his suggestion wouldn’t be considered. Keep reading my friend 😉

            • Joseph Richardson 8:28 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              Far be it from a Catholic to read a meaning into Jesus’s own words contrary to what He said. 😉

            • Eugene Adkins 8:29 pm on 2015-08-19 Permalink

              Just remember what the gulf represents and how the lesson ends and the scriptures will help to guide you in the right direction of the difference between praying for and praying through.

        • RichardS 1:56 am on 2015-08-20 Permalink | Reply

          Joseph, it looks to me like you might have proved Tiffany’s point in #4 but she didn’t give any Scripture references. If you think that Jesus didn’t have any brothers what about Matt.12:46-50, Matt.13:55-57, Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21, John 7:3-5, or Acts 1:14?

        • LaraIngalls 3:41 am on 2015-08-20 Permalink | Reply

          Joseph:
          I would agree that discussions tend to collapse between members of the Protestants and Catholics when the Protestant insists … that Scripture can be the only source for a Christian’s faith (an extreme form of what the Protestant Reformers called “sola scriptura,” one that goes far beyond what even they intended). Having been a Protestant most of my life, I can certainly understand the position — but applied as rigidly as Fundamentalists want to apply it, I don’t think it is a reasonable proposition. … it makes little sense to simply ignore and discard the valuable knowledge that the history and tradition of the Church — especially the writings of the earliest Christians, who knew and were taught by the Apostles — can teach us. It is important to remember that Scripture nowhere teaches us to do this: nowhere does Scripture dictate that it is to be the only source of faith or doctrine, or that others should be discarded. On the contrary, we are instructed to “hold fast to the teachings [the Apostles] taught [us], whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

          Lara:
          Please understand I am neither Protestant nor Fundamentalist; I am a Christian. I believe in the inspired Word of God as GOD’s sole message, down through the ages as timeless as GOD himself. Anything else is just as the Bible called, and Eugene quoted, a ‘tradition of men’ (Mark 7:5-13; Colossians 2:8-10). A tradition is an add on, as it were, and most certainly at most can be a personal preference – not a dogma to hold over anyone as belief. It makes perfect sense to discard an opinion of another man, whether live or dead, so called ‘saint’, ‘priest’ or ‘layman’, if it is contrary to the teachings in the Holy Bible. To determine this, one must first read and understand the Bible, studying it diligently and prayerfully to really digest it fully and let its words guide our hearts (2 Timothy 2:14-19). We are indeed to hold fast the teachings Jesus and His apostles taught us… everyone else is fallible, thus is not to be held in the same category (Matthew 5:17 – 20; Galatians 1:6-12). There are no more apostles after those fourteen appointed by Jesus.

          Joseph:
          The scriptures don’t say it’s wrong to eat more than the bread and the fruit of the vine while observing the Lord’s Supper, therefore it must not be wrong to add to the meal, right? The scriptures don’t say it’s wrong to get baptized every year, therefore it must not be wrong to teach or do so, right? The scriptures don’t say Mary fasted for two years without any food or drink, therefore this was something that she possibly did, right? The scriptures don’t say a man named Joseph Smith wouldn’t come along and claim to have received another testament of Jesus Christ, therefore the possibility of such is possible, right? After all, the scriptures don’t say anything to contrary of any of these things.

          Lara:
          As Eugene pointed out, this is faulty logic at best. Unlike human law, which seems to need a version 9.79 every time a new technology or loophole is revealed, GOD’s law, once enshrined in Scripture, has remained timeless, ageless and as relevant today as it was when first written. It is, as the church of Christ paraphrases, our obligation to speak where Scripture speaks, and be silent where it is silent.

          Let’s pick apart your questions, assuming they are genuine enquiries. The Lord’s Supper is outlined as two ingredients: bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice). This is related in three Gospels (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20). It is clear this was done weekly by the first Christians (Acts 20:7). The same phrase, ‘upon the first day of the week’ is used also for collection (1 Corinthians 16:1,2). I have never heard any Catholic, Protestant, ‘high church’ or ‘low church’ that argues that they can’t take money weekly. But somehow, they will argue that the Lord’s Supper was not observed weekly by the first Christians. Both mention weekly (upon the first day of the week), so, without any other evidence within Scripture, then we should also observe these every Sunday (it is the first day of the Julian Calendar) until Jesus returns. The Lord’s Supper’s content is outlined, bread and fruit of the vine; we know since Jesus was meeting His apostles during Passover that the bread on the table was unleavened; hence, we also use unleavened bread. Jesus was indeed having a meal with His apostles when He instilled the Lord’s Supper (see above Gospels). But to add a meal to the Lord’s Supper would entirely be a preference; and if it were to be added, it should in no way detract from the meaning of this Lord’s Supper: “Do this in remembrance of [Jesus].”

          Eugene has already tackled the question regarding baptism.

          As for Mary’s fast, the only Scriptures that reference Mary are: Luke 1:27 – 2:19; Matthew 1,2; Luke 2:34; Matthew 13:55,56; Mark 6:3; John 19:26, 27; Matthew 27:56, 61; Mark 15:40, 47; Matthew 28: 1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:10; Acts 1). These Scriptures tell us all we need to know: Mary was a virgin who was betrothed (engaged) to Joseph when the Holy Spirit impregnated her; Joseph married her, but they did not have sex until after Jesus was born in Bethlehem; Mary and Joseph raised Jesus in Nazareth; Mary and Joseph had other children: James, Joses, Simon, Judas and ‘sisters’ to Jesus; Mary was present at Jesus’ crucifixion, where Jesus, as her firstborn, appealed for His apostle, John, to look after her as a firstborn son would; and she was present on the first day of the week, when the apostles discovered Jesus’ resurrection. Anything else that is taught about Mary is from sources outside Scripture and thus not to be accepted as fact – or basis for belief.

          Joseph Smith, Muhammed, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Pope John Paul II, etc., are all covered in Mark 7:5-13; Colossians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 2:14-19.

          Let’s take Matthew 5:27, 28 as my example. Jesus very clearly covers lust coming from the heart of man, thus any one who looks upon another lustfully, (for women can do this to men, also) outside of marriage, has committed adultery. There is no need for this to be brought up to date or clarified by synods, edicts, ex cathedra statements, papal bulls, etc. Pornography, whether print or virtual, word or picture or movie, is covered. Sex, whether virtual or actual, is covered. Women coveting men in the same way is covered. All else is just men’s opinion or addition – which does not carry the same weight as Scripture.

          This is the most important discussion, above all others. If we do in fact agree that there is a purpose to life; there is a GOD; that GOD is the one who provided the Holy Bible… then the disagreement begins when I believe the Holy Bible is the sole source of GOD’s law, and you or others believe other sources provide GOD’s law, also. If we cannot agree this one point, all else becomes irrelevant, including the Catholic veneration of Mary. Once we agree on this point, then only can we move forward to discuss what is or is not within Scripture.

          I prayerfully wish to continue in growing my faith and understanding, and hope you also are of this mind.

    • Eugene Adkins 7:59 pm on 2013-03-23 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/

      and

      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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          Yes, he is, and is often called such.

          • Eugene Adkins 8:41 pm on 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

          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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 2013-03-23 Permalink | Reply

            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 6:51 am on 2013-02-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Damascus, , false doctrine, , , ,   

    Damascus or Straight – They Don’t Lead To The Same Place 

    There are many in the religious world who claim that Paul was “saved” on the road to Damascus. Then using the ole’ Damascus road example they teach that all a person has to do to be saved is believe in Jesus and say a prayer and then their salvation is secure. Anybody can stake a claim, but the deed of truth can be something entirely different.

    Now, it’s definitely true that Paul met his Savior on the ole’ Damascus road but it’s not true that he received the gift of salvation from Jesus at that point. Paul was told by the Lord to keep traveling on the ole’ Damascus road and head on into the city and wait for instructions…he hadn’t arrived at his destination yet!

    The man who couldn’t wait to get to Damascus was now going to have simmer there for a time while waiting for Ananias’ instructions, and Ananias wasn’t out there on the ole’ Damascus road – he would later meet a multi-day blind, fasting and praying Paul in a house on the street called Straight. It was there, on the street called Straight, that Paul would receive the heavenly instructions on what to do to begin his walk in Jesus as a Christian (Acts 9:18, 22:16).

    If we want to reach our destination when it comes to the salvation found in Jesus we need to look to the street called Straight and not the broad way of the Damascus road. The street called Straight may be a little more difficult to find, but the scriptures make it clear that it’ll be worth the effort.

    Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

     
    • Morris 7:05 am on 2013-02-25 Permalink | Reply

      Works for salvation is completely foreign to salvation in the Age of Grace.

      In your opinion, how is a person saved today?

      • Eugene Adkins 8:23 pm on 2013-02-25 Permalink | Reply

        How is a person saved today? By God’s grace my friend. The same way any person is going to make it to Heaven whether they lived under the Old Testament or New Testament.

        But what you’re going to have to prove is that one is not saved by God’s grace when they do what God asks/tells them to do. For that is exactly where baptism for the remission of sins comes from – from God.

        Until you’re able to show that following/submitting to God’s commands earns any person his or her salvation then your accusation is sorely lacking any biblical truth.

    • Clarence Honnold 9:55 am on 2013-02-25 Permalink | Reply

      Yet, when Paul referred to his conversion, he always pointed to “the ole’ Damascus road,” never to his baptism. I once attended a baptism where the one baptizing said that the lady’s sins who was being baptized were now at the bottom of the swimming poor they had used as a baptistry. I’m afraid I’d didn’t appreciate the gravity of the time. My immediate thought was, “Boy, I don’ want to go into THAT water!”

      • Eugene Adkins 8:16 pm on 2013-02-25 Permalink | Reply

        Never to his baptism my friend? Baptism is mentioned 2 of the 3 times that the account is given. The point about the Damascus road is that it only began what was finished on the street called Straight as far as Paul’s salvation is concerned.

        The reason it starts on the road to Damascus is because Paul used that encounter to tell others why he was doing what he was doing when it came to preaching Jesus. So I don’t really see what baptism never being the beginning of his conversion account has to do with the post.

        At the end of the day, people today don’t need to stop on the road into town when it comes to becoming a Christian, they need to keep traveling and visit the street in town if they want to learn about the way that Paul received the remission of his sins…because it was not on the ole’ Damascus road as the rest of the scriptures plainly show.

    • Morris 4:26 am on 2013-02-26 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you that a person is saved by Grace and that Grace is given because of what Christ accomplished through His death and resurrection, not because we walk a straight road. When we add works to Grace it is no longer Grace.

      Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

      It is not about us, it is about Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary and His glorious resurrection. If it was about us then we would have reason to boast.

      Ephesians 2:8-9
      8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:14 am on 2013-02-26 Permalink | Reply

        So we agree that a person is saved by grace, that’s good. But are you saying salvation is by grace alone? If, and again I say if you are saying that it is by grace alone please read Ephesians 2:8 again. Salvation is not by grace alone. Grace is the only thing that’s opened the door to salvation, but grace won’t force a person to come into Christ to receive His gift – or else it wouldn’t be a gift.

        Grace is unmerited favor, but my friend don’t confuse unmerited favor with unconditional salvation. There is nothing a person could ever do to put God in his or her debt when it comes to earning salvation; there is nothing a person could ever do to have earned the right of God sending Jesus to die for our sins. But to say that walking the straight road has nothing to do with an individual’s salvation is to completely ignore what Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:14: “For narrow is the door and hard the road to life, and only a small number make discovery of it.” (BBE) Right there Jesus simply, but clearly said that if a person isn’t interested in salvation they’re not going to find salvation despite the fact that salvation is by God’s grace. To ignore this is to walk the wide and open way of “salvation” that in reality leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).

        Again, according to what you have said, what you must do is show how listening to God’s command about baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 41, 8:36-38, 10:47, 18:8, 19:3-5, 22:16; Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:26; Colossians 2:11-12; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21) makes a person put God in his or her debt. All of those cited verses show that baptism is a command and work of God to be followed according to His will; not a work designed by man that earns a person’s salvation. So if a person submits to God’s will in baptism how can one be told that they are earning his or her salvation by works?

        Please do not confuse “works” that place God in our debt with “works” that respond to His grace through faith. These two are not the same, hence a person needs to do what the Bible says they need to do when it comes to Paul’s example: Don’t stop on the road to Damascus and expect to be saved by simply “believing in your heart” or “saying a prayer” as some teach – do as the Bible says and go on into town and follow Paul’s example and be baptized to have your sins washed away, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16, Revelation 1:5).

    • Morris 6:01 pm on 2013-02-26 Permalink | Reply

      Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      Yes, I believe it is by grace alone through faith alone.
      Not sure why you think that someone is forced as that is not the case and I have stated no such.
      As Jesus said the road to life was a hard road, but He took the hard out when He took our place on Calvary. Hard to be saved, no, hard to live as we should as Christians, yes.
      Today and let me stress the word today, baptism has nothing to do with our salvation.
      The Gospel by which we are saved today is stated in

      1 Corinthians 15:1-4

      1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
      2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
      3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
      4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

      V1 Paul is about to state the Gospel which had been received
      V2 It is the Gospel by which we are saved – the vain belief being anything other than what he is about to state
      V3 The first part of the saving Gospel: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
      V4 The second and third part of the Gospel – Christ was buried, and Christ rose again the third day
      No baptism – So if baptism is not required for salvation – why do we do it? As a testimony to what has happened to us – we are not baptized to be saved – we are baptized because we are saved for a testimony

      Paul said it himself:

      1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

      We are saved by believing that Christ died for our sins, and rose again the third day – this is a gift of God and cannot be earned.

      Don’t confuse the message to Israel with the message to the Church – you can’t cash a check written to someone else without getting into trouble.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:48 pm on 2013-02-26 Permalink | Reply

        Hello again, Morris,

        I’ll be fairly quick with this.

        1) You added the words alone to Ephesians 2:8. It’s not there in the Greek or in the English or in the Spanish or in the Latin or in the Russian, etc. Don’t know what translation you’re using to get that, but I’ve never seen one that says what you’re saying.

        2) A person obeys the gospel and receives the gift of God’s salvation when they die to sin through repentance (there’s the crucifixion), when they are buried in water (there’s the burial in the tomb), and when they are raised out of the water to walk in the newness of life that they did not have before (there’s the resurrection). All of this is very plainly taught in Romans 6 and it matches 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 perfectly so your point isn’t really a point at all.

        3) You’re trying to say that salvation is conditionally unconditional because you sorely misunderstand what it means for a person to believe. The saving faith the scriptures speak of is not faith alone. Faith alone never has and it never will save a person. It won’t work for the demons and it won’t work for people (James 2:17-24). No where does the Bible say that a person is saved faith alone. If you believe it does then provide the scripture verbatim and not what you think it says.

        4) Paul preached the gospel first because unless a person believes it’s a little silly to baptize people. That’s what the Catholics and others do to babies who don’t believe. It’s sad, it’s unscriptural and it has nothing to do with the baptism that a believer in the gospel of Christ is supposed to submit to. Hence the instructions of Jesus Himself for His followers to preach the gospel and then to baptize those who believe so they can have their sins remitted through His blood (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, 22:16, Revelation 1:5).

        5) You have failed again to show how a person earns his or her salvation by simply obeying the will of God. Simply because you call something a work of man does not make it so. I gave you multiple scripture references that show baptism to be a command and a work of God and not man, so please, if you would like to continue the discussion answer this one question: How does a person submitting to God’s command to be baptized cause someone to earn his or her salvation? I don’t mean to sound rude, but if you’re not willing to answer this question that gets back to the original post and your original comment then there isn’t going to be any reason to continue the discussion. Thanks for your time and cooperation.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:27 pm on 2013-02-26 Permalink | Reply

          Morris failed to even acknowledge the question again for the third time so unfortunately the conversation had to end.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:35 am on 2013-02-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , false doctrine, ,   

    Another Example of “Penknife Religion” 

    Ole’ Jehudi (Jeremiah 26:33) wasn’t the first person to try to change God’s word but people still love follow in his tradition of cutting out and altering the scriptures to make them fit their sinful lives like a custom suit. Here’s a link to the second part of a two-part series from the GospelofChrist.com about the latest perversion of God’s word called the “Queen James Bible” that’s been translated in a way to make homosexuality seem spiritually/morally acceptable. I thought some here might find it an interesting and saddening read at the same time.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 9:01 pm on 2013-02-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , false doctrine, 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)

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  • TFRStaff 6:42 am on 2013-01-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , false doctrine, , , religious fables   

    Comforting Fiction (Hugh’s News & Views) 

    According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word fiction means “something invented by the imagination or feigned.” In other words, it is something that is not true or factual, something not rooted in reality.

    While the Bible does not use the English word “fiction,” it does warn of fables and teachings that are not true. The apostle Paul spoke of those who would “turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Timothy 4:4). “Fables” is from a word that means “a tale, i.e., fiction” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament).

    Elsewhere Paul warned against “giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14). He urged Timothy to avoid “profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (I Timothy 6:20, italics and underlining mine for emphasis.) He alerted the Colossian Christians to

    “Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    In spite of these sober warnings about being deceived by that which is false in religion, there are those who seemingly prefer the “comfort” of the fictitious over that which is factual.

    Consider, for example, the following:

    “Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort” (The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, Article IX, p. 61, 2008 Edition).

    But the fact is that one is not justified by faith only and it is fiction to teach and/or believe otherwise.

    James wrote, “You see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Christ is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). One is made free from sin when he obeys “from the heart that form of doctrine to which he was delivered” (Romans 6:16-18). At His second coming Christ will take vengeance on those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:6-10).

    Justified by faith? Absolutely! Justified by faith only? Absolutely not! We are justified by “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) — a faith that obeys! Don’t be deceived by the fiction!

    The notion that if a person lives a good, decent, and morally upright life he will go to heaven when he dies is another piece of religious fiction.

    We read in the New Testament of just such a man. His name was Cornelius. He was “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to all the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:1-2). In spite of these sterling moral qualities Cornelius nevertheless needed to be told “words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). The apostle Peter went to Caesarea, preached the gospel to Cornelius and his family, and “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). These were the words by which he could be saved! His moral uprightness was not sufficient to save him. (More …)

     
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