Category Archives: Catholic

The Pope Agrees with Al Gore

In 2015 Pope Francis issued an encyclical letter supporting the Paris Agreement on climate control. The Vatican officially positioned the Church on the side of environmental activism. This week the Pope stated his concerns about the Trump Administration’s reversal of Obama-era policies regarding global warming.

While I believe that mankind needs to be a responsible caretaker of earth’s natural resources — conservatives like clean air and water, too — we need to look deeper into the forces that are behind the environmental movement, and whether the Pope’s sympathies are misguided.

Let me just say that I honestly believed that fossil fuels would have been a dying industry by the year 2000. I imagined hydrogen fueled automobiles, and solar panels atop every home and business. This is a an achievable goal if we had the same commitment that landed men on the moon. A national policy of energy independence would spur technological innovation and economic growth while contributing to a cleaner environment.

Having said that we need to examine more closely the genesis of environmental activism. As of this writing we are just a few weeks out from Earth Day. Several years ago there was a featured article on the official Earth Day website titled, Let Capitalism Die.

Today’s movement was essentially born out of the anti-war protests of the 1960’s. A number of radicalized isms including feminism morphed into a global resistance to the socio-economic dominance of western, capitalist democracies; and it wasn’t particularly accepting of Christianity which makes the Pope’s alignment somewhat disturbing. Environmentalism is not only socialism, but it is a religion. As such, America was cast as the scapegoat upon which all the sins of the world were assigned.

In the 1970’s, Ralph Nader and Carl Sagan were the public face of the environmental movement. TIME and Newsweek published cover stories warning of catastrophic climate change due to industrial pollution.

TIME covered the drought and famine in Africa; record rains that caused flooding in the United States, Pakistan and Japan; shortened harvest seasons in Canada; and cooler temperatures that suggested a global climatic upheaval. The magazine quoted a climatologist who warned that, if current trends continued, the earth could not sustain its current population. It concluded that man is the reason for the changing weather.

Preceding this crisis was a deep-freeze which caused record cold temperatures and snowfall across Canada and the Northeast in what meteorologists dubbed the winter from hell (1966).

A decade later TIME issued a dire warning of the coming Ice Age. Within 20 years the Northeast would be uninhabitable and New York City glaciated.

Newsweek warned of a grim reality if we didn’t find a way of coping with dramatic climate changes. Shortened growing seasons would lead to mass starvation by 1980. The magazine attributed devastating storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes to changing weather patterns caused by man’s contamination of the environment.

That was then … this is now.

In 2006, the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth was released. It re-energized the environmental movement which had lost credibility after the dire warnings of the 70’s did not come to pass. New York City was not an iceberg, and Chicken Little now blamed CO2 for global warming.

It was evident that climate change was not so much scientific theory as it was political doctrine. To save the earth, governments had to enact regulations curbing their nation’s carbon footprint. Seemingly, the rules did not apply to the guru of climate awareness, Al Gore, whose utility bill was 30 times higher than the average person — not to mention that one trip in his private jet was the equivalent of adding 20 cars to the roadway.

We can’t ignore the political angle of global warming. The Heritage Foundation concluded that the implementation of the Paris Protocol would have devastating economic costs and zero environmental benefits. It would essentially un-develop the industrialized world.

There is a brown cloud that perpetually hangs over the Himalayas. Was it caused by developed countries burning fossil fuels? No, but by the tribal people who inhabit the Indian subcontinent and Tibetan Plateau.

Let’s now turn to the geological evidence. Meteorologists typically compare weather charts that are only hundreds of years old. Geologists, on the other hand, examine evidence that is millions of years old.

In the 20th century, for example, the decade of the 90’s was not the hottest on record. The 1930’s posted record high temperatures, but when was the last time the earth was really hot? That would be during the Medieval Warming Period 1,000 years ago. Human civilization prospered by today’s standards due in part to the longer growing seasons.

The error made by global warming theorists is in the measurement of CO2. Do elevated levels cause warming, or cooling? Forty years ago carbon dioxide was stored in the oceans. Today, it is concentrated in the atmosphere. The earth cycles through periods of shifting weather patterns. These cycles are influenced by wind, ocean currents and precipitation.

Evaporation is a process similar to perspiration. The earth has an internal regulator much like the human body — an amazing design when you think about it. Our planet goes through natural cycles of freezing and thawing. Man’s impact is negligible. Humans contribute .001% of the CO2 that is measured in the atmosphere, and it is not even the primary greenhouse gas. What is?

Water. There is 30 times more water vapor in the atmosphere than CO2. Ocean currents and wind patterns determine where the vapor falls as precipitation. Humidity has a greater effect on temperature than does carbon dioxide.

As the earth cycles through periods of warming and cooling it is CO2 that is affected. In cooler conditions the gas is stored in the ocean; but when the earth warms the gas is released into the atmosphere. It is a reactant not a causal agent. Think of it in terms of a bottle of carbonated soda. What happens to the carbonation when you open a cold bottle and leave it on the counter overnight?

The inconvenient truth was, that after the movie’s release, the winter of 2007-08 recorded the coldest temperatures and snowfall since the winter from hell. No problem for Al Gore who simply explained that cold weather was caused by global warming. Understandable from a student who got a “D” in Physical Science.

TIME and Newsweek were partially correct. The last Ice Age occurred 12,000 years ago, and the earth is overdue. There have been 16 warming cycles during the interval known as the Interglacial Period. The earth is essentially thawing out from the last deep-freeze. For only 20% of earth’s geologic history have there been polar ice caps. The Arctic and Antarctic are still recovering from the last glacial period.

The alarmists, and their pseudoscience, would have you believe that melting ice caps is a looming environmental catastrophe. Why is there oil in Alaska? Because the Arctic region was once a veritable Garden of Eden — for dinosaurs, that is.

I wrote about this extensively a decade ago, but presented here only a brief outline for you to consider. This topic will heat up once again at the summer release of An Inconvenient Truth Sequel.

In the meantime, another Earth Day will have come and gone. It is the most popular secular holiday in the world, and idolatrous in its virtual worship of the planet. Not unlike the ancient pagan rites that celebrated the gods of the Spring and Winter solstice.

That the Pope would align the Church with this humanistic movement should be a cause for alarm to those of us who worship the Creator — not the creature.

Notes:

George Carlin

Let me tell you about endangered species, all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It’s arrogant meddling. It’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn’t anyone understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90%, way over 90% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone. They’re extinct. We didn’t kill them all. They just disappeared. That’s what nature does. We’re so self-important, so self-important. Everybody is going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all, save the planet. What?!

I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths, people trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. There is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The people are (messed) up — difference, difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. It’s been here four and a half billion years. We’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little more than 200 years.

Two hundred years versus four and a half billion, and we have the conceit to think somehow we’re a threat, that somehow we’re going to put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun? The planet has gone through a lot worse than us, been through all kinds of things worse than us, been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, and we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference?

The planet isn’t going anywhere. We are! We’re going away.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

What is Truth?

I am afraid of the Protestant Church. Not a day goes by when I discover a new heresy, or deviation from the truth. A follower of this blog said he doesn’t believe the Book of Revelation belongs in the Bible. Granted, it was one of the disputed books along with Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, Jude, 2 John and 3 John. Martin Luther only inserted Revelation into the index of his Bible for it was too Jewish.

Luther was anti-Semitic, and a nationalist. His writings, though not the catalyst, were influential in the rise of German nationalism in the 1930’s.

This is the fruit of the Protestant Reformation. Thousands of splintered, divided congregations led by pastors who teach a false gospel to members who are free to interpret, or discard scripture according to their own understanding. (See 1 Corinthians 1:10.)

R.C. Sproul said that when Martin Luther was warned that this would happen he answered, “So be it.”

If I may be so bold, it’s enough to turn a soul Catholic.

Something that has nagged me for some time is whether the Protestant Reformation was the Great Apostasy spoken of by the Apostle Paul …

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Catholics and Protestants interpret Paul in opposition to one another. Rome cited the Reformation as the rebellion against the one, true church while Luther condemned the papacy as the seat of Antichrist.

Assuming that the Pope was the man of sin, why is the papacy still intact? The day that Paul spoke of was the day of the Lord. That day would come, but not until the rebellion (or apostasy) first occurred. The Dispensational view is that the Antichrist would reign for 7 years, and then be conquered at the return of Jesus Christ.

Well, it’s been 500 years since the apostasy, and nothing is changed. Christ did not return, the Pope still sits in Rome and the Protestant Church continues to tickle people’s ears with every manner of false doctrine.

When I look to the church for sound teaching on issues such as abortion, marriage and moral absolutes there is only one voice that stands firm, united and unwavering — and that is the Catholic Church.

The Protestant Church has surrendered to sociocultural pressures, and welcomed blasphemies that are mindful of the sins of the churches in the Book of Revelation.

Have you heard about the atheist pastor at the United Church of Canada (UCC)? I’ve followed this story since it was brought to my attention by John MacArthur. UCC was founded in 1925 and is Canada’s largest Protestant denomination. It has evolved into an ecumenical blend of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches. UCC holds to a liberal theology that is inclusive and tolerant even though attendance is declining.

Gretta Vosper is pastor at the West Hill United Church in Scarborough. She has been a minister for 20 years, but over time, and in the permissive environment of the UCC, Vosper came to the self-realization that she no longer believes in essential Christian doctrines.

So the West Hill United Church has been led by a person who does not believe in God. Her sermons have been centered around love and community. The UCC ruling council found itself in a dilemma. The governing policies of the church created the problem by permitting — even encouraging — Vosper to refine and preach her core beliefs which, ironically, no longer conform with what the church believes.

A year ago, the church opened an investigative hearing as to Vosper’s pastoral qualifications. Her congregation organized a petition drive to retain her services. The advisory report concluded that Vosper was allowed to amend her beliefs; but the ruling council would have to determine whether it was compatible with mission directives to have someone who doesn’t believe in God lead a congregation.

The church council completed its investigation a month ago, and ruled that Vosper be defrocked. In a 39-page report, the church’s Toronto Conference Review Committee determined that Vosper was not suitable to continue in ordained ministry because she does not believe in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit.

We have concluded that if Gretta Vosper were before us today, seeking to be ordained, the committee would not recommend her. After prayer and much discussion the 23-person committee voted 19 to 4 in favour of a motion that found Vosper unsuitable to continue serving.

Vosper said,

My sadness is for the many clergy and members and individuals currently studying for leadership in the UCC who are now also being told they need to keep quiet about their true beliefs or risk censure. The majority report said nothing about ethos and spoke exclusively to theological belief. A very sad day for the UCC.

Friends, I don’t understand any of this. Why are there even people in pastoral training who don’t believe in Christianity? Liberalism has once again reared its ugly head. Humanism and social activism are pushing aside the Gospel of Jesus Christ even within mainstream Protestantism.

Where does this leave the West Hill United Church? Evidently, the beliefs of Gretta Vosper are widely accepted in the UCC. Advocates are pushing for even more liberal reform. Abortion, ordination of practicing homosexuals, gay marriage — even atheists — are welcomed.

The UCC council acknowledged that it is no surprise that atheism is a fruit of their tolerance and inclusivity. The church does not become apostate overnight. It’s incremental. Satan has taken the church, placed it in a pot of boiling water and turned up the heat.

Get out of the water, people! Stop drinking the Kool-Aid!

The apostate course of the Protestant Church has led me to an intensive study of church history. Reading from the fragments of the church fathers, before there was a Bible — when the church had to rely on custom and oral tradition — there was a pre-existing catholic dogma from which the church received what we call essential Christian doctrine.

One of the central break-points between Catholics and Protestants was the doctrine of justification. Luther charged Rome with teaching salvation by works. However, what I found was that the fathers taught salvation as it was presented in James 2:24.

This is why Luther thought that James should not be included in the Bible. Luther’s sola fide has given birth to a church that is unconfessional, unrepentant, fruitless and centered on ear-tickling, private interpretation of holy writ. Christians understand faith alone to mean Christ is away, let’s play. Like when Moses, a type of Christ, was on the mountaintop, and the children of Israel partied like heathens.

These are the Christians I have known, “Christ did everything, I don’t have to do anything”. That’s not what the Catholic Church teaches (nor Jesus Christ). Now, I’m not excusing the peculiarities of the CC. I’m only pleading Jesus Christ in John 8:7

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

All I am saying is that some Protestants may be surprised to see Catholics in heaven.

Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate

Between Christians

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Dr. McGee remembered when he was a boy he would go to Sunday dinner at his uncle’s house, and his aunt would always serve “roast preacher”.

At the Sunday dinner another aunt would drop in and she’d argue with the other about religion. My uncle’s wife was a Methodist and his sister a Presbyterian, and they just didn’t agree on anything. My uncle would quietly eat his meal then go spend the rest of the afternoon at the club. He’d come home later — not drunk, but he’d had a few drinks — and you know what, my aunt’s just couldn’t save him. He never became a Christian. When Jesus said, By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you are what — a Baptist … one who gives a lot of money to the church … someone who believes in the right doctrine? No, by the love you have one for another. The world sees Christians fighting and they think to themselves, “I don’t want that. I’ve got enough strife in my life”.

When Martin Luther was warned that allowing everyone to privately interpret the Bible would spawn chaos Luther replied, “So be it.”

The fruit of the Reformation has been division. There are over a dozen churches (Catholic and Protestant) within walking distance of my home. They each have their own doctrine, creed, liturgy and baptism. They split over a number of disagreements such as the rapture, speaking in tongues, communion, or contemporary issues such as the definition of marriage.

Demominationalism is division as Paul wrote the assembly at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10-13):

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Were you baptized in the name of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Ellen White, William Miller, John Knox, John Smyth, John Darby, Charles Russell, Joseph Smith, Herbert W. Armstrong, Mary Baker Eddy, Sun Myung Moon … or Witness Lee? They all claimed to be the keeper of the Word, but what they wrought was division.

The Apostasy

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition … (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Catholics and Protestants both saw the Reformation as the Great Apostasy — not in rebellion against God, but in the renunciation of Papal authority. Catholics still believe that the rock built upon Peter is the true church of God; while the Reformers believed that the Pope was the son of perdition.

It is not in the scope of this abbreviated piece to lay bare the grievous sins of the Catholic Church, but the Protestant Church will neither stand innocent before God.

What has the Protestant Church given us? Endless interpretative debates about theology and doctrine — date-setting, rapture, tribulation, mark of the beast, sprinkling, immersion, healing, speaking in tongues and so forth.

Interestingly, Mormons believe that the apostasy began with the death of the last Apostle; and the church was not restored until God anointed Joseph Smith, a prophet, in 1820. The 19th century, in fact, saw the birth of Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Dispensationalism.

What is overlooked is that the falling away was to precede the day of the Lord. Did Christ return when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg? The cult-isms that arose in the 19th century suggested that Christ returned spiritually, if not bodily.

A Plea for Peace

This short essay was born out of a disagreement I recently had with a dear sister in Christ. Her position was that the King James Bible stands alone as the Authorized Text while newer translations are corrupt. She presented a lengthy, but scholarly defense of her position to which I do not agree. While the King James version is preferable to some translations it, too, has errors. We went back and forth on this issue, and some of the commentators were unnecessarily contentious — sort of like Sunday dinner at McGee’s house (I would imagine).

To insist that the church believed a lie for 1600 years (until the KJV in 1611) is not a tenable position. The Gospel of Jesus Christ — His death, burial, and bodily resurrection — has endured the test of time as Paul wrote,

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).

If the Lord comes tomorrow it will make petty our disagreement about the rapture — pre, mid or post. Dr. McGee — an advocate of the King James Bible — said that we can disagree on these other issues, “But,” he added tongue-in-cheek, “if you want to be right you’ll agree with me.”

Let the Bible Speak

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions … (1 Timothy 6:3-4).

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out (Proverbs 17:14).

Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel (Proverbs 20:3).

Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife (Proverbs 26:21).

When you study the Bible it is always good to examine parallel passages in different translations. I also recommend a Greek and Hebrew lexicon, an interlinear Bible, a concordance and two or more commentaries. All of these study helps are linked to in the footer section of this blog. Two that are most useful to me are Bible Hub and Study Light.

If I condemn you for reading any other but the King James it is I who must repent. Each time we open the Bible (King James or NASB), God’s word reveals our ignorance. To assume that I possess all knowledge is a sin born out of pride. May the Lord grant us wisdom, a discerning spirit and a humble heart.

For strife between Christians insofar it is of our own doing may we seek Divine grace and forgiveness.

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Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate

I am Elijah

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Are you Elijah? The underlying theme of Scripture is that God will keep for Himself an elect remnant. Elijah, when he feared that all had forsaken the LORD, fled to the shelter of a cave to escape the enemies who sought to kill him.

Jehovah told Elijah that there were 7,000 faithful who had not bowed down to the false god. And so it will be on the last day when the winnowing fork of the Lord separates the chaff from the wheat. He has allowed the weeds to grow with the grain until the harvest is gathered (Matthew 13:24-30).

Weeds can choke a healthy plant, and absorb the nutrients needed to produce good fruit. The church of Jesus Christ is like a field of wheat. Apostasy and false teaching are tares that were sown even before the death of the last apostle.

There are two schools of thought as to how this unfolds. Either things will get better due to the influence of the church, or conditions will deteriorate as the body of Christ becomes marginalized by an increasing secularization.

If we don’t understand that Revelation is unfolding in this age then it will only embolden the Satanic assault that seeks to take advantage of a church that is not fully dressed in the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

I am utterly stunned at the outpouring of support within the church for social changes that are inconsistent with a Christian worldview. I am told that I must be reeducated or rehabilitated — that my thinking is wrong and I don’t possess the love of Christ. I will restate once more: Christian love is corrective — not permissive. Yes, Jesus loved sinners. But He exposed their sin with the admonition to go and sin no more (John 8:11).

After 2,000 years liberalism has become deeply rooted in the church. People don’t like to be admonished. So the church — in a vain effort to stay relevant — has conformed to the world. No one wants to sit and listen to a fiery condemnation and then be hustled for a donation. That’s why upwards of 7,000 churches close their doors every year.

A prominent Midwest pastor who was defrocked for moral failings was asked if he ever went to church. “No,” he said. “I don’t need to go and be told that I’m a sinner. I already know that.” He added that he watched Robert H. Schuller because his sermons made him feel good. Schuller authored the Ten Commandments of Possibility Thinking which was a hodgepodge of motivational, humanistic, metaphysical, New Age concepts that entranced the laity and pulpit. Think Fulton Sheen and Norman Vincent Peale. Where is the Crystal Cathedral today? So we simply anoint new faces who will tickle our ears and make us feel good (2 Timothy 4:3).

Of course, the genesis of our devolution began in the Garden of Eden. The serpent was the first liberal, but evil suffered a monumental defeat at the Cross; and Satan knows his time is measured. This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ for those who have ears to understand. The papacy has given ground in the midst of ongoing spiritual warfare, but the church in Rome remains a steadfast defender of the sacrament of marriage and the sanctity of life.

The fruit of Reformation has been pornography, divorce, drugs, abortion and gay marriage. At the heart of the Reform movement was a liberal rejection of Rome’s conservative tenets. Granted, some of these were extra-Biblical (or based on tradition), but they were the cohesive glue that maintained unity. Understand that only the Spirit of God can keep the church together, and even then only a remnant will be saved. Some Catholic, some Protestant, but not all. It has always been about a remnant, or the elect few.

In his article, Why the Gay Marriage Debate was Over in 1950, Joel Miller suggests that psychotherapy supplanted religion. The 50’s generation that grew up with Freud and Spock (not the Vulcan) were essentially taught that they could obtain joy and peace without the Bible. This may offend you but until 1974 the American Psychiatric Association (as codified in DSM-11 — Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. At the APA convention in San Francisco (1974) gay advocates were able to overthrow the classification. Homosexuality was deemed “normal” behavior by politics — not medicine.

And the church has bought into this “new religion” that love overrides all else. This is the crux of the matter. If love is the greatest commandment then the church must be tolerant of abortion and gay marriage. My friends, God does not tolerate sin. Indeed, unrepentant sin will be judged.

Calvin and Luther were branded heretics because they both denied that marriage was a holy sacrament as defined by the Council of Trent. Okay, so the Catholic Church does translate the Greek word mystērion (μυστήριον) — as used by Paul in Ephesians 5:32 — to mean sacrament rather than mystery; but this doesn’t alter the doctrine that God, not men, invented marriage as a typology of the sacramental relationship between Christ and His church.

Calvin went so far as to equate marriage with agriculture, architecture, shoemaking and hair-cutting. [1]

Luther could have written the Court’s majority opinion:

No one can deny that marriage is an external, worldly, matter, like clothing and food, house and property, subject to temporal authority, as the many imperial laws enacted on the subject prove. [2]

Marriage is a civic matter. It is really not, together with all its circumstances, the business of the church. [3]

… marriage is outside the church, is a civil matter, and therefore should belong to the government … [4]

I feel that judgments about marriages belong to the jurists. Since they make judgments concerning fathers, mothers, children, and servants, why shouldn’t they also make decisions about the life of married people? [5]

God is the ultimate judge — isn’t He. Where are the 7,000, as Elijah, who will stand with me in defense of God’s truth?

Editor: The tone of this article is in no way a blanket defense of Catholicism, but an indictment of the Protestant church for its liberal interpretation of essential Christian doctrine which has sown division, and deviancy from the true Word of God. The seed of the Reformation has produced the fruit of so much of the false teaching that is preached today. Prosperity gospel?

Notes:

1. Institutions, John Calvin, IV, xix, 34.

2. What Luther Says, CPH 1959, Vol. 46, page 265.

3. Ibid, Vol. II, page 885.

4. Ibid, Vol. 54, page 363.

5. Ibid, Vol. 54, page 66.

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Copyright © 2015 Messiah Gate

Holy Chaos

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For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

This topic won’t go away. The seed of this rebellion has not fully germinated — much like the issue of abortion. Make no mistake … we are engaged in spiritual warfare and the Evil One has scored another victory.

New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, elected in 2003 as the first openly gay (non-celibate) bishop in the Anglican Church, since retired, is quoted:

We don’t need to win the argument, but simply change minds. This is going to end with the full inclusion of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the church. Let me tell you a little secret: the conservatives know it, too … there is no stopping it.

Throughout his tenure Robinson used the pulpit to promote the homosexual agenda including same-sex marriage. He praised gay advocates for creating enormous confusion and holy chaos within the church.

This is evil speaking. Pure evil.

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them (Romans 16:17).

I feel like Abraham pleading for Sodom:

“Lord, if there be one righteous man left will You spare the nation?” (Genesis 18:32)

Is there a remnant in the Episcopal church worth saving, or will they be spewed out as the church at Laodicea? (Revelation 3:16)

My soul is afflicted and deeply wounded. Where are the God-fearing men and women?

Where is the “church”?

We are ruled over by those who violate both legal contract (Constitution), and moral covenant (Bible). More sinister are the pulpit liberals who throw away the epistles, charge Paul to be a heretic (for his condemnation of immorality); and who justify their acceptance of transgression because Jesus, they say, was silent on this issue. Shall we discard the moral law? Yeshua came to fulfill, not throw away, Moses and the prophets. When asked about moral issues, Jesus would typically respond, What is written in the Law? (Luke 10:6)

So, no, Jesus did not itemize every jot and tittle of the Law. Nor should He. Making rules based on our fallen sense of justice and fairness is to live outside the will of God, and in disobedience.

If it was sin in the Torah it is sin in the B’rit Chadashah. Nothing is changed. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever  (Hebrews 13:8).

Faithful Christians — distinguished from those who are Christian in name only — are further marginalized and set apart from secular society. We who walk in the light are called hateful and phobic.

We are chastised to love and not judge as if those who recite these commands have any contextual or spiritual understanding of God’s word.

We live in an age where the truth has become a lie, and the “church” apostate. Reformers did not break enough from Rome to rebirth that which was anointed in Jerusalem; and Protestantism has wreaked further division through the establishment of denominated assemblies. Know this — the judgement of God will fall hardest upon the ecclesia.

There is no unity when the papacy has usurped the authority of Christ, and priests commit heinous sexual crimes while the Protestant assembly is fragmented by doctrinal and theological disagreement.

So the church across the street celebrates gay marriage … the one on the corner denies the divinity of Christ … and the parish across town says none of it matters — just count a few beads, recite a few “Hail, Mary’s” and all will be fine. Oh, my brothers and sisters, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth come Judgement Day (Matthew 13:42).

And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:23)

Answering an altar call and mumbling a two-sentence recitation does not make you a Christian. Jesus said to follow His commandments and abide in Him:  John 14:15, 14:21, 14:23.

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3). 

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned (John 15:6).

If we could ask Jesus for a definition of marriage He would point to Adam and Eve. As for Paul’s condemnation of sexual immorality, well, the apostle was speaking on behalf of our Lord.

When Jesus says, “Truly, truly,” we best take heed:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me (John 13:20).

To the red-letter Christians and Hebrew Roots disciples who frenetically disparage and reject Paul, I ask this question: By whom was he sent?

Of Paul, Jesus said, … he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel … (Acts 9:15).

If you reject Paul … you reject the Son of God (Luke 10:16).

Paul was unmistakably clear. It is dishonest to ignore his writings simply because they offend contemporary mores. But, if you are one who is willing to throw out one-third of the New Testament then may I leave you with the following quote by a church father who is revered by both Catholics and Protestants — St. Augustine:

Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife. Nor did God create these each by himself, and join them together as alien by birth: but He created the one out of the other, setting a sign also of the power of the union in the side, whence she was drawn, was formed. For they are joined one to another side by side, who walk together, and look together whither they walk. Then follows the connection of fellowship in children, which is the one alone worthy fruitTherefore the good of marriage in every nation and for all mankind lies in the purpose of procreation and in chaste fidelity; but for the people of God, it lies also in the holiness of the sacrament. [1]

Marriage is the Holy union of man and wife for the purpose of having children, and as a testimony of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church. That a court of judges can overthrow the foundation of human society — that which was established by Eternal God — should be a clarion call for the truly born again.

The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me (Luke 10:16).

Notes:

1. On the Good of Marriage (De bono coniugali), St. Augustine, 401 A.D.

Credits:

Scripture — New American Standard Bible, Lockman Foundation, 1995. “Used by permission.”

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Pope: Atheists Need Not Believe in God

The word of our Lord:

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (Jn 14:1).

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (Jn 5:24).

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all (see Shema at end of post), bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? (Ro 10:9-14)

[Editor: The following article is a reprint from The Independent-UK published on September 11, 2013. If only by our conscience we can be made right with God then why did Yeshua HaMashiach die on the cross? My brothers and sisters in Christ, what do you think?]

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences
 
Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.” 
 
“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” 
 
Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff’s comments were further evidence of his attempts to shake off the Catholic Church’s fusty image, reinforced by his extremely conservative predecessor Benedict XVI. “Francis is a still a conservative,” said Mr Mickens. “But what this is all about is him seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world.” 

In a welcoming response to the letter, Mr Scalfari said the Pope’s comments were “further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all”. 
 
In July, Francis signalled a more progressive attitude on sexuality, asking: “If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?”

Editor: What if Francis had asked, If someone is a sinner and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him? The understanding should be that they follow our Lord’s admonition to: Go and sin no more (Jn 8:10-11). 

Letting one’s conscience be their guide absent the will of God can lead to tragic consequences. Otherwise, I could simply choose to define my own morality convinced in my mind that I will be saved outside of God’s righteous plan. That is a false message of hope bordering on heresy. My conscience is clear before God because I do believe that His Son died for my sins, and there is no other way to salvation but through Him.

There is an adulterated gospel being preached today that any number of paths will lead you to God. We have heard often the justification, “But I am a good person.” Even if we embrace the false assumption that all people have a good conscience this will not justify them before the Father (we are justified by faith); and it denies essential Judeo-Christian doctrine that none are righteous:

Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins (Ec 7:20).

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Ro 3:23). 

…as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD” (Rom 3:10-11). 

If you think you are a good person, consider this teaching from our Lord:

As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:17-18). 

A good conscience, like good works, will not get you into heaven. Look to Christ — not to a man, dear Catholics — if you are truly seeking God. We would remind the Pope that the God of the Christians (his reference) is one God as the Torah reveals in the Shema:

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! (Dt 6:4The same Lord is Lord of all (Ro 10:12).

Blessed be the name of the LORD.

(Link to original article.)

Next: Our Christian Walk

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Drink from the Cup of Christ

The Word of the LORD:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).

It is St. Patrick’s Day (and Spring Break) as we write this, and millions of people are celebrating — as if they needed an excuse — what has become nothing more than a drinking holiday. We make no apologies for being sober-minded, but the shamrock is an idol and alcohol is an excess. The Bible most definitely condemns drunkenness. A drunken mind is fertile soil for the Evil One to plant seeds of strife, envy, anger and desire.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

St. Patrick’s is a Christian Feast Day established by the Catholic Church; and the customary restrictions on eating and drinking (due to Lent) are rescinded thus permitting a day of gluttony and intoxication.

Why do people drink if not for the drug effect? Some will argue that Jesus made wine, and Paul instructed Timothy to drink a little with his meals; but we must understand the Biblical context of scripture before applying its meaning to contemporary standards.

In ancient times water was not safe to drink, and it was prudent to mix it with a little alcohol for purification. Timothy had a stomach ailment due to drinking unclean water so Rabbi Saul (Apostle Paul) instructed him to drink a little wine:

No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments (1 Timothy 5:23).

Alcohol was a medicinal, and the wine Timothy drank was so diluted that it was not an intoxicant.

With regards to the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine we must carefully examine not only the context of the story, but its symbolic meaning. There was a wedding at Cana of Galilee to which Jesus and His disciples were invited. His mother (who was also in attendance) came to Him saying there was no more wine. Marriage feasts in those days lasted up to a week and it was the groom’s responsibility to provide his guests with wine. Mary understood that running out of wine would be an embarrassment to the groom’s family so she approached Jesus with this problem, and He delivered an interesting response

Woman (not a derisive term), what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come (Jn 2:4).

Of course, His hour, was a reference to the Cross. We might recall that there was a jar of sour wine at the foot of the Cross; and when Jesus said, I thirst, the guard dipped a sponge into the jar and raised it to His mouth (Jn 19:29).

(When framed within the context of the crucifixion we can glean so much more from the miracle of turning water into wine.)

So it was at the wedding feast that Christ told the servants to fill the stone water pots with water. (There were six pots each holding 20-30 gallons of water.) What did Jesus say about Himself? That He was the Living Water:

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life (Jn 4:14).

It was during the Feast of Booths (or at the ingathering of the grape harvest) that the disciples of Jesus entered the city to celebrate, but Christ would not enter because the Pharisees had sought to kill Him, and it was not yet His time. However, in the midst of the festival, Christ secretly entered the city and began teaching in the temple. On the last (8th) day of the feast He proclaimed:

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water (Jn 7:37-38).

The stone water pots (at the wedding feast) stored water that was used for the Jewish custom of purification. Jesus Christ is our justification and sanctification; and the water that was turned into wine represented His blood shed for the sins of the world. When we drink the fruit of the grape at Communion we are recognizing the washing and regeneration by the precious blood of the Lamb:

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood (Lk 22:20).

So, the miracle of turning water into wine was symbolic of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the Living Water and the Passover Lamb slain for the sins of the world. It also gives us insight into the response to His mother, My hour has not yet come.

It is our belief that the wine Jesus made was non-alcoholic. There are two Hebrew words for wine used in the Bible: tirosh and yayin.

Noah, in his tent, was drunken of (wine) yayin (Ge 9:21). Lot’s daughters made him drunk with (wine) yayin so that they could sleep with him (Ge 19:32). The Levites were commanded not to drink (strong wine or strong drink) yayin, when they entered the tabernacle (Lv 10:9). (Wine) yayin is a mocker and deceiver (Pr 20:1). Kings are advised to not drink (wine) yayin or (strong drink) shakar (Pr 31:4-5).

But to those who are perishing it is permissible to offer wine or strong drink to ease their pain and suffering (Pr 31:6). And isn’t that why people drink, anyway, to self-medicate their fear, worry, anxiety, trouble, emptiness, loneliness and doubt?

The child of God is commanded to be anxious for nothing (Php 4:6), and to be not worried about life (Mt 6:25).

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2Ti 1:7).

And Christ consoled His disciples with these words:

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful (Jn 14:27).

Paul wrote:

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Php 4:7).

John wrote:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1Jn 4:18).

The one who drinks from a bottle is drinking fear not cheer in contrast with those who drink from the cup of Christ which is love, peace and joy.

Now, we said earlier that in the Hebrew there are several words for wine, or strong drink: yayin, or fermented wine, and shakar which is a stronger drink made of fermented dates. Another word for wine is tirosh which is an unfermented, non-alcoholic grape juice.

Tirosh is the wine that Jesus made from water. Considering that the wedding party had emptied the wine barrels it was not likely that our Lord produced 180 gallons of fermented wine that would leave the already tipsy guests unable to stand.

Unleavened wine, or grape juice, is very sweet compared to the sour, vinegar-tasting wine that was served the wedding guests. When the headwaiter tasted the water that was turned to wine he said to the bridegroom:

Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now (Jn 2:10).

Jesus Christ did not serve fermented wine at the Passover meal. Leaven (a yeast agent used in the baking of bread and wine fermentation) was removed from Jewish homes during Passover as a reminder of their exodus from Egypt (they left in such a hurry that the bread they baked hadn’t time to rise).

Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land (Ex 12:19).

The B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) represents leaven as pride, sin and false teaching.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough (1Co 5:6)?

At the Last Supper, Christ passed to His disciples a cup of unleavened grape juice (tirosh) which represented His sinless blood sacrifice. In Him there was no (leaven) sin. Paul said that some were sick and others died because they did not examine themselves and properly discern the blood and body of our Lord:

For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (1Co 11:29-30).

The Bible condemns drunkenness. Our Lord did not turn water into fermented wine (yayin) nor did He drink alcohol. That lightheaded buzz is not the quenching of your thirst, but the shrinking of your brain as alcohol dehydrates the body.

Maybe you take a glass of wine with your evening meal. Paul wrote that all things are lawful (within the bounds of Christian liberty), but not all things edify (1Co 10:23). Our liberty ends when it causes a brother to stumble. Suppose there is a member in your church who is a recovering alcoholic, or maybe they have a problem with pornography, and they see you going into a bar, or an R-rated movie, and it causes them to sin. My brother, you have committed the greater transgression by causing your weaker brother to fall.

Paul said that we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength (Ro 15:1). We are to deny ourselves for the sake of our weaker brothers even as Christ denied Himself for our sake. That simply means we don’t drink the glass of wine if it’s going to cause harm to our brother.

Aabid was a member of the local Chaldean assembly. His family escaped Iraq during the brutal reign of Saddam Hussein who tortuously persecuted the Christian community. Aabid drove a taxi to support his family. One night he stopped at a gas station to fuel up and buy a cup of coffee. He was a block away from the gas station when his taxi was broadsided by an SUV that ran a stop sign at 55 mph. The sound of the collision roared through the quiet residential neighborhood. The driver of the SUV (who had a prior conviction for drunk driving) fled the scene, but was later apprehended by the police who conducted a sobriety test which the driver failed.

Aabid died instantly. His family arrived on the scene and held a vigil all night long in prayer and mourning.

How many lives have been destroyed because of alcohol (drugs)? How many jobs have been lost? How many families have been torn apart?

How many, Lord, we pray Thee?

Oh, you might say I’m only a social drinker. We can deceive ourselves, and we can lie to ourselves, and we can make excuses; but we cannot hide our heart from God. Do you buy into the world’s party attitude towards alcohol and drugs?

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).

To the parents who read this we pray that your children are not spring breaking their way into judgement. It is your responsibility to bring up your child in the way of the LORD:

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Pr 22:6).

We pray that your family attended church on this St. Patrick’s Sunday; and not a neighborhood pub drinking themselves senseless.

We pray for sobriety and faithfulness even as God has been abundantly faithful to us.

Alcohol is the devil’s brew.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise (Pr 20:1).

Be not deceived. That buzz you get is, in fact, a level of intoxication.

And, remember this, sinners drink from the intoxicating cup of Satan, but the righteous drink from the sanctifying cup of Christ.

You won’t find the power of God in a six-pack. Put down that glass, cork that bottle and be filled instead with the Holy Spirit.

Suggested Reading: Did Jesus Make Alcoholic Wine?

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