Monday, June 30, 2003

Letter to my senators:
I hear Sen Frist wants a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

I would prefer he support an amendment that says that privacy rights do not extend to crimes. The "right to privacy" that is not in the Constitution allows abortion, sodomy, and who knows what in the future. This "right" has to be limited to unreasonable searches and self-incrimination as the forefathers intended. I can also understand that some privacy is necessary (for medical records, for example), but I think it needs to be spelled out more clearly.

Friday, June 27, 2003

From the forum:
Perhaps you have picked up on my disillusionment with the US government today. It seems no matter what laws our representatives pass, the Supreme Court will overturn them by judicial fiat. The Supreme Court seems hell-bent on usurping the will of the people with the individual privacy "rights" of a few. The Supreme Court is making our country more secular by the day.

"Our government could recoil on us on a whim" happened yesterday when the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws in the US. The "right to privacy" came into being when the Supreme Court struck down laws against contraception, which has led to legal abortion and euthanasia, and now sodomy. The Supreme Court might as well have made atheism the official state religion of the US yesterday.

This makes me wish that there had never been a trend toward secularization and that the moral authority of the Catholic Church could have some clout. The individual seems to have too much power and little concern is given to the welfare of the society. It makes me wish all the more that the scism within Christianity had never happened, because that is the origin of the loss of respect for authority.

The privacy "rights" of the individual is closely related to private interpretation of Scripture. Some have taken that to mean everyone gets to make their own rules. The "anything goes, do what feels good" attitude is legal now. The people can't make laws against anything when that attitude is legal.
From the forum:

In Reply To

Shouldn't speak having come w/ 2 cents to offer & run, (51pages!)
just thinking when Government joins w/church, double minded comes to mind.
Know what i mean, Vern?


Maybe I know what you mean and maybe I don't. I'll take a stab at it though.

The trend toward secularization began during the Enlightenment when people revolted against monarchs. That is when different forms of government were experimented with. In the US, democracy was one of those experiments as was separation of church and state. From the 300's to the 1500's, there was one set of laws, made by the church, and no civil law. The kings interferred in church matters and there was a lot of tension between the two. The interference was not good for either the church or the state. But the problem is that people revolted against ALL authority whether it came from a king or a pope. The Enlightenment promoted a different view of God; He was not involved with man anymore after He created man. Laws should be based on reason, not the Bible, they said.

Civil laws in the US were parallel to church laws until the current era. In the last thirty years, there has been a divergence. This comes from the idea that "Why should people who do not believe in God or morality have to obey laws that are based on the Bible?" Gradually, the "right to privacy" has trumped the basic morality on which civil laws were based. (Perhaps that is why there is such a fight about displaying the 10 commandments in courthouses?) They old traditional ways of morality have caved into the "do what feels good" trend.

We're at the point where the civil law and church morality have become so far apart it is double-minded. People could become confused in not knowing which way to go. I'm afraid it will only get worse in the future. The hopeful part of me wants people to wake up and say we've gone too far and it is time to get back to traditional morality and put that back into civil law. A part of me is in favor of separation of church and state, but another part of me wishes there were a way the church could have more influence on the morality reflected in the laws. I guess Christians will have to change people's hearts so that we can get laws that reflect our values. Anyway, God will judge which way is best.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

From the forum:
So I asked her [a Catholic] if she was saved and she said she didnt know.

She asked what that meant and I told her. She seemed like she had never heard of such. After a brief explanation of salvation, I asked her if she wanted this, and she accecpted.
Catholics believe salvation and santification are not separate. I think Protestants separate them, but I'm not sure. So Catholics talk a lot about becoming holy. Salvation is assumed for those who are cooperating with God's grace. Salvation is like an inheritance given freely to all God's children who are baptized. You have to do something very bad to get disinherited. Our free will lets us choose to reject God's gift through serious sin.
There are some Catholics though, who have a "going through the motions" attitude. They may need your help to trust Jesus' love for them and surrender control of their life to Jesus. But I guess that is a common problem with most folks. That "leap of faith" part is hard. They may not have a high emotional experience in their relationship with Jesus, but that does not mean they are not "saved". Catholics will all agree that we are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Please don't think they need to change denominations just because they don't understand your jargon nor have an emotional relationship with Jesus. Jesus asked us to obey the commandments and repent, not have an emotional experience. You won't find Catholics wondering whether they are really saved if they don't feel excited about their faith.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

That then brings up the question as to whether the "church" is the "decider of truth" or the Spirit is the revealer of truth. What a can of worms.
----------End Quote---------
Here are some good web sites to answer your question. HOW TO FIND JESUS' TRUE CHURCH Some Tough Questions for “Bible Christians”
Protestants usually claim that they all agree “on the important things.” Who is able to decide authoritatively what is important in the Christian faith and what is not?
Since each Protestant must admit that his or her interpretation is fallible, how can any Protestant in good conscience call anything heresy or bind another Christian to a particular belief?

Here are some good verses to answer your question.
Eph 5:25-26 ... Christ loved the Church.
1 Tim 3:15 ... church is pillar/foundation of truth.
Mt 16:18; 20:20 ... Christ protects Church.
Heb 13:17 ... obey.
Mt 18:17-18 ... church as final authority.
Mt 23:2 ... Pharisees succeeded Moses (seat of Moses).
1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20 ... excommunication.

The Holy Spirit is the revealer of truth, but all things must be tested and consistent with what was taught before.
2 Thess 2:15 "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle."
2 Peter 1:20 no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of personal interpretation."
2 Peter 3:15-16","and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. "

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I would like to know, too!!! Especially since I go to a church that is a part of this movement and teaches the "speak and it shall come to pass". It's in the Bible, in Proverbs. "Life and death is in the power of the tounge."
-----End Quote-----
I think we can hope God will answer prayers that are in agreement with his will, but I don't think I am God's boss. I can't tell God what to do. I am not in control of the universe. Asking God to give me healing or a jet is not always in agreement with God's will for me. I have experienced God's healing power but I never commanded him to heal me. It would not be humble to do so. "Not my will, but thine be done."

I think the reason why a lot of Christians say it is "false" Christianity is because we teach *positivity*. We teach that your life is in your controll, that God desires for you to have good things.
-----End Quote-----
Sometimes, the best thing for us is to suffer for a while because it strengthens our faith and teaches us the virtue of patience and endurance as Job found out. Some folks are obsessed with self-fulfillment, self-help, and oftentimes, outright selfishness, rather than the traditional Christian stress on suffering, sacrifice, and service. I watched Kenneth Hagan a few times. It seems he is in this camp. He said he prayed for God to give him a jet. Meanwhile, people in Africa are starving. Why doesn't he sell the jet and send the money to starving people? Matthew 4 tells us that the temptation to have power and be in control is not God's will.

1 Peter 1:7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"

Revelation 3:18 "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."

Christianity has a history of gloom and doom, and total power trips- most of us who were raised in the church were raised to believe that God doesn't want us to ever be happy (ever), that anything good we want for our lives, God doesn't want it, that we have to suffer for God, etc. .....To some Christians, God always has to be mean and abusive.
-----End Quote-----
Have you thought about the biblical doctrine of mortifying the flesh, or, suffering with Christ ? See Mt 10:38; 16:24: Rom 8:13,17; 1 Cor 12:24-26; Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 4:1,13. Mt 10:38 says, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."

That doesn't mean God does not want us to be happy. My happiness comes from knowing, loving and serving God and neighbor, not in prosperity and comfort in this life. I want to be what Philippians 3:10 says. " That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" I do this out of love for God, not out of fear of God. I am willing to serve him no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. I do door-to-door evangelization to invite people to church, though I hate talking to strangers, but I am obedient to what God has called me to do. If I am obedient in small things, I am training myself to be obedient in larger things.

Catholics believe man was created good, but is deprived of grace and therefore has a tendency to sin. We don't believe that "snow-covered dung heap" stuff. Luther invented that "man is depraved" stuff. I don't believe the doom and gloom either. We look forward to being in the presence of God and that is something to be joyful about.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

The Catholic Church needed to compile a list of saints because they made a rule against selling relics of saints, some of which were fakes. They had to make a list of the dead people for whom this rule applied. For example, it is customary to have an estate sale after someone dies. That would be OK. But what was happening was people were selling possessions of people considered saints. How can that be illegal if estate sales are OK? The list of people whose possessions could or could not be sold solved the problem. The list of saints is like being inducted into the Christian's Hall of Fame. If we can have a Hall of Fame for dogs, why not people? Honest! There is a Hall of Fame for dogs!

Mt 7:16-20 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, ...
1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Mt 7:16-20 tells us we can know who is holy by the way they lived. Their lives are tested by what they wrote, the virtues they lived, how many people they led to Christ, and whether they set a good example for the rest of us. The people on the list of saints are thoroughly investigated.
Mt 16:18-19 says the Church has the authority to make rules (bind and loose was legal language for judging) for believers and it is protected from error. "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

They have recieved strong delusions whether it be a marian apparition or a bleeding eucharist. There are many other examples in many other false religions as well.

I sincerely doubt anyone who is telling people who is in heaven and who is not right now when they don't know the condition of that person's heart.
Since you say, "they don't know the condition of that person's heart." how do you know " They have recieved strong delusions whether it be a marian apparition or a bleeding eucharist"? If you don't admit they can know whether someone is holy in spite of what Mt 7:16-20 tells us, then how do YOU know they are delusional? Aren't you doing exactly what you say is impossible? Check out and see the results of a Eucharistic miracle with your own eyes. The says, "The Event took place in the 8th century A.D. in the little Church of St. Legontian, as a divine response to a Basilian monk's doubt about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist. During Holy Mass, after the two-fold consecration, the host was changed into live Flesh and the wine was changed into live Blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size." Is that a delusion? Go see it yourself in Lanciano, Italy.

Did I mention that some of these people who were 'popes' in the past were proven to not even exist!
Check out this web site: It gives links to the biography of each of the 265 popes. I don't know where you get your information, but it is not accurate history.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

I've stated in other threads that my husband and I have considered leaving our church, one of the issues is that they teach baptismal regeneration. While I do not believe that baptism saves people, I wonder what the point is of intentionally not getting baptised?
Titus 3:5-6 "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" 1 Pet 3:18-22 "For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit. In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God 7 for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him." Both these verses say baptism saves us. That's pretty clear to me.

Oh and on Baptism, what does the Christian Writings say about age? How to do it? etc? Do we have actual 'rules' or only examples and we may not know the actual rules?

Acts 16:15, 16:33, 18:8 says whole households were baptized. Presumably, there were some very young children in those households. Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16 all say "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." While these verses do not mention baptism, I think it would be hindering children from coming to Jesus if one keeps them from being baptized. Salvation is not earned, so what better way to symbolize that than letting little, powerless children come to him. Let them become part of God's covenant family too by washing away original sin (Ps 51:5, Rom 5:12-19, 1 Cor 15) so that they may inherit eternal life.

Acts 2:38-39 "Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit."

Col 2:11-12 "In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."
This means circumcision (normally performed on infants c.f. Gen 17:12) was replaced by baptism.

Jn 3:5; "Jesus answered and said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born 3 from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother's womb and be born again, can he?" Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, NO ONE CAN ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHOUT BEING BORN OF WATER and Spirit." Jesus is not talking about amniotic fluid here. That is reading between the lines. Baptism is how we receive "the gift of the holy Spirit" and "newness of life."

Rom 6:4 "We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life."

If both Jesus and Peter say we need to be baptized, why do people think it is optional? I can include baptism of desire (wanting to be baptized) and blood (martyrdom) as being the same as water baptism, but why argue about what Scripture plainly says?

Monday, June 09, 2003

Perhaps this issue seems sticky because you assume that salvation is instantaneous, not a process and that sanctification is separate from initial salvation. If one changes these assumptions, Scripture makes more sense. If salvation is a process, then sin and repentance are part of the journey; part of the process of surrendering control of our lives to Jesus. Gradually, we become more like Jesus because our love for Him increases and we don't want to offend him. However, I think we still sin in minor ways (1 John 5:17) because of our weakness. Through grace, we become more cooperative. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, "Be holy because I (am) holy." (1 Pet 1:14) We keep coming back like the prodigal son. Jn 14:15 & 21 if you love me, keep my commandments. The word "commandments" does not sound optional to me. When Paul says "works of the law", he is talking about the 613 Jewish laws, not the 10 commandments.

Where does works fit into this? Good deeds strengthen our faith. Luke 6:47-49 says, "I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed." Mt 25:31-46 tells us that those who fail to do good will be punished.

Friday, June 06, 2003

"Repentance from dead works" means the Hebrews were starting to follow the Judaizers who taught that Christians had to follow the 613 laws of Torah. Romans 3:28 "For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law." echoes this theme. Paul wanted them to practice the "obedience of faith" (Rom 1:5.) , "good works" (Rom 2:7) "put to death the deeds of the body" (Rom 8:13) and "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom13:14). Paul told them grace was necessary to do this. (Rom 5:21). Heb 10:13 says, " [Jesus] waits until his enemies are made his footstool." That means Jesus is waiting for us to conquer the world by preaching the Gospel. "We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works." (Heb 10:24) because "And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' " (Mt 25:40) and "I will give to each according to his deeds." (Rev 22:12 and Rev 20:12)
From the forum:

No one ever forces anyone to become a priest. As I said, "One does not apply for seminary if one does not voluntarily decide to remain single." This is not because marriage if evil, but because foregoing a family is a big sacrifice for God. A man would be less willing to die for the faith if it meant his children would be orphaned. Who knows? It's not likely to happen in this country, but in other parts of the world this is an issue. By remaining single, he is able to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and get paid peanuts without a wife complaining. There is no temptation to nepotism in the clergy, either. It's a matter of being practical. Very few men are cut out to be a priest. Only by the grace of God are these men able to forego a family.

You say, "...priests are turning into pedophiles." Catholic priests who do these things are homosexual, so marriage would not cure the situation. Pedophilia applies to those less than 12, which is not always the case in the recent scandal. Also, there are 45,000 priests in this country. Only a couple hundred are bad and they are mostly from the liberal east and west coast, not the mid-west. There are about two-thirds of 1% that have been involved, which is less than the general population. Most pedophilia happens at the hands of the child's own relatives, but it is also happens in public schools at the hands of public school teachers. No one talks about how much of this goes on there. Perhaps the media have an agenda of destroying the reputation of the RCC because they are mad that the RCC calls homosexual behavior a sin and is against same-sex marriage?

When the Southern Baptists had a convention last year, one of the speakers told folks not to be happy that this is happening to Catholics because the media could come after the Baptists next. Anyone who stands up for traditional values will be attacked by the liberal media in this country. At least the SBC has been warned what could happen.

You wrote, "Roman Catholic Church is still, hundreds of years later, too self-idolatrous to admit their mistakes or to even admit that the Pope makes any mistakes when he's acting in his official capacity."
That's not what I see. The meeting of the bishops in Dallas last year was the beginning of some reforms. Every Catholic who ministers to kids has had to attend training classes this year on this topic. I think there will be a lot more scrutiny about who we let work with kids and they will be more careful never to be alone with a child. Most ministers have been doing that for a long time, anyway so it is not a big change, but everyone is more cautious. As for the Pope being infallible, Mt 16:18-19 says Jesus gave Peter the keys of heaven and the authority to bind and loose and said the gates of hell would not prevail against his church. He was referring to Is 22:22; Rev 1:18 where the keys are a symbol of authority. In Is 22, the keys were given to the Prime Minister who acted in the king's name. The Pope's infalliblity is guaranteed by Scripture. Otherwise, the gates of hell would prevail against his church and cause disunity in the Body of Christ. The devil wants to divide and conquer, so I prefer to stick with the one and only church Christ founded.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

From the forum:
As far as "getting the girl" or marriage if you were thinking about that eventually, it's the Catholics who think that there is something inherently bad about marriage, tolerating it as a lesser optional evil only for laypersons and forbidding it for clergy.
I disagree with this statement. It's no where near the truth. The RCC believes marriage is a sacrament and forbids divorce and remarriage, but not marriage for the first time. In this way, it is one of the most pro-marriage/pro-family denominations around. Lots of ecclesial communities have caved to pressure to allow divorce and remarriage though Matthew 19:9 forbids it.

As for unmarried clergy, being single is part of the package. One does not apply for seminary if one does not voluntarily decide to remain single. Why it this a requirement? Scripture recommends it. Matthew 19:12 (NIV) "For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage BECAUSE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The one who can accept this should accept it."

1 Corinthians 7:32 "I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--"

Celibacy is a discipline of the RCC, not a doctrine. It is something that we could change because Scripture does not require it. It is something we think is in the best interest of the RCC at this time. Unmarried clergy are freer to serve God because they have no wife and children to support. They would be more free to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth if they don't have to worry about the safety of their children.

I hope this helps you understand the RCC's position.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

The House will vote on a ban on partial birth abortion today. Write your Congressman.
Acts said
>>Here we go with the name caling of being an heretic again. Thats OK. The Apostles were labeled as a heretic, and the reason that the Ctholic church ordered the death of so many saints was because the POPE said that they were heretics because they refused the trinitarian doctrine. "Heretic" has always been the name that the world has labeled those who follow scripture and not the main-stream follow the crowd religion. <<

The doctrine of the Trinity was defined by an ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 AD. That means representative bishops from all over the Christian world made this decision, not just the pope.

We live in an age of heterodox doctrine. We are supposed to tolerate widely divergent doctrines that conflict in spite of the disunity in the Body of Christ. It's an era where morality is relative and the ends justify the means. In ages past, that was not the cultural view. There was no separation of church and state, so heresy was considered treason. Religion was the unifying bond in a society. We can't say that our era is right and previous eras were wrong if we also believe that it is OK to disagree on doctrine. If we think it is wrong to judge the beliefs of those who are alive, we have no right to judge the beliefs of those who are dead. That would be inconsistent. The Council of Nicea believed they were following Scripture and what the apostles taught.

TNBeloved said

>>The Pope didn't come around in existence until about 590 AD. That's approximately 6 centuries after Pentecost. << has The List of Popes from 33 AD to now. John Paul II is the 265th pope. It took awhile for the pope to be called pope, but the office exixted from the beginning. Check this site http://www. catholic .com/library/Authority_of_the_Pope_Part_1.asp for more info. Take out the spaces in the URL.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

This is a hopeful sign:
North Carolina Methodists Fight Conference on Abortion
Fayetteville, NC—This week, when United Methodists from across Eastern North Carolina gather for their yearly meeting, they will consider three resolutions that attempt to change the denomination’s decades-old statement of support for abortion. If approved, the resolutions would be forwarded to the national denomination’s top legislative body, the General Conference.

I'd like to offer some help in finding a new denomination. Here are a couple web sites that will help you compare Calvanism to Catholicism. I want you to consider Catholicism because it is the original, historic Christianity. There are lots of myths about what Catholics believe that aren't true. When most people check the facts, they find a ton of Biblical truth and a lot to like. Some of the myths were started by cohorts of King Henry VIII because he wanted to take property away from the Catholic church and give it to the Anglicans. Here are the web sites: > Files > Grace, Free Will, & Predestination > A Tiptoe Through TULIP
150 Reasons Why I am a Catholic
Featuring 300 Biblical Evidences Favoring Catholicism

Catholics have many things in common with Protestants -- we are redeemed by the death/resurrection of Jesus, the Trinity, inerrancy of the Bible, 10 commandments -- all the basic Christian stuff.

Personally, I love being Catholic because I can receive the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. I can't get a more intimate or personal relationship with Jesus in most Protestant denominations. This is the center of my life.

I also love the way Catholicism fits the Bible. We're the ones who wrote and compiled it, so naturally it fits every page. I don't have to read between the lines, ignore certain passages or try to understand verses that conflict with a preconceived doctrine. The doctrines fit Scripture like a glove.

Catholicism will never follow the latest liberal fad or cave to popular opinion. It is steadfast on pro-family, pro-life, and old-fashioned morality. It is neither excessively liberal or excessively conservative.

Despite being old-fashioned, it can be very lively in its worship style. We have charismatic prayer and praise groups and contempory music if you look for it. Our youth groups are often called Life Teen. On college campuses, you can find Newman Centers. There is a worship style to fit everyone.

You ask, "How could a be a member of something that says that as long as Hitler repented on his death bed, he and mother Theresa end up equal?" I think this shows God's mercy. Remember the parable about the men that were hired in the morning getting paid the same as the guys hired late in the day? It's like that. Rev 22:12 says, "Let the wicked still act wickedly, and the filthy still be filthy. The righteous must still do right, and the holy still be holy." "Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds."

Too bad you didn't get a scholarship. A college education will give you a better life if you study something that leads to a good job. It may be worthwhile to take out student loans because you will earn more money --- more than enough to pay off the loans and then some. It's a good idea to find out how well a career pays and the availability of jobs before you decide on a career. A good education will help you support a family and that is attractive to women. College is a nice place to find smart, self-disciplined women. The trick is to find a woman with good morals because that is the kind of woman that makes a good wife and mother.

John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." The same is true in the spiritual life. You will find more fulfillment by asking yourself what you can do for God. That's what gives life meaning. The rest will follow.
Are you assuming that I don't direct my prayer to Jesus? If so, you misunderstand me. Jesus is the focus of all Catholic prayer. If I ask you to pray for me, does that take anything away from Jesus?

Personally, I don't pray to dead saints. I prefer to pray to Jesus. Besides, the ones in heaven are not dead (Mk 12:26-27). They are alive in Christ. Jesus is not one to hog his role as mediator. He shares everything and is jealous of no one. He told us we would do even greater deeds than he did. All mediation is through Jesus, whether directly or indirectly. Look at Jn 15:1-8 ... vine and its branches.
1 Cor 12:25-27; Rom 12:4-5 ... body of Christ.
Eph 6:18; Rom 15:30; Col 4:3; 1 Thess 1:11 ... intercessory prayer.
Jos 5:14; Dan 8:17; Tob 12:16 ... veneration of angels united with God (Mt 18:10).
1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2 ... saints also united with God.
Lk 20-34-38 ... those who died are like angels.
2 Mac 15:11-16 ... deceased Onias and Jeremiah interceded for Jews.
Rev 8:3-4; Jer 15:1 ... saints' intercession. Was the Early Church Protestant? Against Marcion By Tertullian Marcion taught a heresy of an evil and a good god. Marcion wanted to delete all the books of the bible except his heavily edited version of Luke. Tertullian wrote to refute this heresy. If Catholics had wanted to be pagan, they would not have refuted it.

For the first three centuries, Christianity was a persecuted religion. Since Catholicism was the only form of Christianity, this means there were Catholic people who would prefer to burn at the stake than burn a pinch of incense to Caesar. Read about one of them, Justin the Martyr at
Pope St. Gregory wrote to St. Augustine "The temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed but let the idols that are in them be cast down; let water be blessed and sprinkled in the said temples and let altars be built and relics placed therein. For if those temples be well built it is meet that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God."

That there are parallels in pagan religions with some of the things Catholics do does not prove a cause and effect relationship. Perhaps the pagans imitated Catholics. Perhaps there is no influence on each other at all. Perhaps it is just coincidence. The Spanish conquerors found Mayans who believed one day a God would die for his people and they would then stop sacrificing people. This God was supposed to come in exactly the year the conquerors landed. Perhaps the Holy Spirit taught them this and that is why it was so easy to convert millions of Mexicans to Christianity. It certainly didn't hurt that a picture of Mary miraculously appeared on a peasant's tilma either. At the sight of this tilma, 8 million converted to Christianity in 10 years. One can still see it at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Mexico City. Miraculously, this tilma has never rotted as one would expect. No one is required to believe this, but perhaps Jesus wants such things to happen this way. One can judge this by the fruit it bore. The human sacrifices stopped. I think that is good fruit.

Perhaps you need to think that Jesus works through things and people in mysterious ways, not just mentally or spiritually. We have bodies that God can use to reach our souls. I don't limit God's power to just using my mind to know him. I think God knows we need tangible things too.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Re: Predestination
Is it possible we are predestined to be a child of God and that is not the same as being predestined to eternal salvation? We have the free will to resist grace or cooperate with God. "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you" (Acts 7:51). Jesus died to save the whole world. 1 John 2:1-4 "My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the WHOLE WORLD. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him." What happens if we don't keep his commandments? 1 John 2:1-4 says we have to do that.

There are people who receive some salvation-related graces from the Holy Spirit which do not of themselves bring those people to full and final salvation. Hebrews 6:4-6, speaks of people "who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and have fallen away."

If one does not resist God and his grace, then one cooperates with God and his grace. "And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with (sunergountos) them [the apostles] and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen" (Mark 16:20). God cooperates with men in producing salvation, since that is the goal (and result) of the apostles' preaching mission. "We know that in everything God works for good with (sunergei eis agathon) those who love him, who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). There is synergism between God and man. "Working together with (sunergountes) him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain" (2 Corinthians 6:1). This shows that some of God's graces can be accepted but then made vain. "For we are God's fellow workers (sunergoi); you are God's field, God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:9). This verse shows men cooperate with God. These verses make clear that graces which lead toward salvation can be resisted. This cooperation or resistance is what determines our salvation.