Tag Archive: the importance of testing the teachings of men against Scripture


Are you aware of the dangers of Contemplative Spirituality? Would you know error as soon as you heard or saw something? Do you take the time to do some research on authors of books that are mentioned or suggested for you to read by those in leadership at your church before reading them? I pray that this post will help you learn to discern and show you just how very important it is to not only read and study God’s Word and to pray for discernment, but also how very important it is to always be alert for spiritual deception! I also pray that you will see just how subtle spiritual deception begins and how it can dangerously progress and lead you away from Biblical truth!

Before we begin, here’s some background information:

I used to be on Twitter quite frequently a few years ago. However, going on Twitter, as well as on Facebook, can turn the intended amount of time of being on there for just fifteen or twenty minutes, to at least an hour or two if you get drawn into commenting on a tweet or a post that you see the need to express your appreciation for or concerns about. It made me realize just how time consuming social media can be! All that to say this: I decided to go back on Twitter recently because I saw a huge spike in my blog stats on May 3rd, and the views were all coming from Twitter. Everyone was reading one of my most popular posts regarding why I left my church, Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, back in 2012 after attending there for 14 1/2 years: https://living4hisglory.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/warning-you-with-tears/  Jessica Hockett, also a former member of Harvest Bible Chapel, had discovered my post and after realizing that she had been — and continues to be — an important person in the ongoing investigation regarding the misappropriation of funds by former Pastor, James MacDonald, and the wrongdoings and coverups that have been taking place at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, I began to read up on the very latest of what had been happening.

Now, to get to the important point of this post:

After a few weeks of being on Twitter and connecting with many people who also have serious concerns about those who once were in leadership there, and concerns regarding some who are still in leadership, as well as love and concern for the people who are still attending there, I saw that some people had posted a recording of a recent HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS FAMILY MEETING – (MAY 29, 2019)  and decided to listen to see what people were being told by those in leadership and to also see if any emotional manipulation was taking place. There definitely was some emotional manipulation taking place by what was being said to those in attendance, but this post is going to focus on something else that is equally or even more serious. I will continue now by telling you what I heard in that audio that urged me to write this post in order to send out a serious warning not only to those who are still attending Harvest Bible Chapel, but also to everyone because these types of unbiblical teachings are coming full force into many churches these days through so-called Spiritual Formation classes and similar classes!

NOTE: To those of you who may now be read this post and are still choosing to continue attending Harvest Bible Chapel, (the Rolling Meadows location especially), I want to clearly state beforehand that my intention in writing this post is not to bring you any more pain as you are all trying to heal, but rather to help you — and every one else — realize the importance of thinking for yourselves, to help you realize the necessity of examining the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said is true (Acts 17:11), to alert you to what some — or all — of your leaders are involved in, and to give you information about some troubling things that they have already presented to some of you, and information about what they may very well present to you in the near future.

Although this information mainly has to do with HBC, this information is as relevant to every other Christian because what I am about to share with all of you is coming into many churches through numerous pastors, teachers, and authors of books that are being promoted at many churches these days.

Now back to the main thing that I heard as I listened to the audio of the family meeting at HBCRM and what I discovered after doing a lot of research:

As I continued listening, I heard Greg Bradshaw encourage everyone to “read” this summer and to “get a good book.” He mention a book entitled, Emotionally Healthy Church beginning at the 24:18 minute mark by saying:

“We’re reading as a church — we provided for our staff —  ‘Emotionally Healthy Church.’ We’re reading ‘Emotionally Healthy Church’ book this summer as a staff…”

I had never heard of that book before, so I decided to do some research on it, as well as taking some time to do some research on the author, Peter Scazzero. Here are some of the alarming things that I discovered:

Here is what you will see the Our Vision page on the website of the church that Pete pastors, New Life Fellowship Church that is located in Queens, New York. Red flag words: Spiritual formation practices, Monastic values, contemplative and monastic traditions, Desert Fathers and Mothers, and monks.

(SOURCE) http://newlife.nyc/vision/


The following 1 hour and 16  minute video is the first of many videos that I watched and listened to in order to find out as much as possible about Pete Scazzero and what he teaches. Below the video you will see a list of notes that I took as I listened. I did that for you for the first 30 minutes of the video.

  • Pete says people are not experiencing deep transformation.
  • Mentions self awareness, managing one’s triggers under stress
  • Pete claims to have had 4 conversions
  • Notices and says, “People are not changing deeply in our church.”
  • 1994 Pete starts an inward journey for 2 years
  • Started Christian counseling
  • His wife confronted him on how he’s not a strong leader – left his church, attended another one
  • Pete shows diagram created by now deceased professor of Fuller Theological Seminary , Robert Guelich and claims Emotional Health and Spiritual Maturity are Inseparable
  • Emotional component
  • He claims he and his wife were “born-again” again
  • 1996-2003 Claims “a little revolution took place in our church just by bringing in the emotional component”
  • He still felt “something more was needed.” He “began to read quite a bit about Monasticism.”
  • 2003, 2004 – For a 4 month period he and his wife “visited a variety of monasteries and lived rhythms of silence and solitude.”
  • A revolution. Third conversion.
  • Pete says about Christians in general, “We’re so busy we have to live off other people’s spirituality.”
  • Got people connected personally with God directly
  • Made drastic move to slow down their lives
  • “…people’s lives began to be radically transformed…finally wrote it down into a couple of books.”

The description that can be found under the following video on YouTube, says:

“Pete Scazzero interviews Rosy Kandathil about her experiences at the Monastery. Rosy is a former staff and pastor at New Life Fellowship and began a journey to become a Benedictine Sister.” 

Being a former Catholic, I find it very troubling that he presented this woman, Rosy Kandathil, who was once a “pastor” at his church and who is now in the process of becoming a Benedictine nun to speak to the people at his church, but it further shows that he is clearly promoting Catholicism and Contemplative  New Age spirituality.


Just in case the following video entitled, ‘Pete Scazzero Interviewing a Trappist Monk on Prayer‘ disappears for some reason, I did a quick capture of it for you to document the fact that Pete Scazzero is promoting eastern mysticism and Catholicism by featuring William Meninger, a Catholic trappist monk, at his church. Once again I must ask a question: Why would a professing Christian pastor choose to have a monk speak at his church if he wasn’t?

Here is the video:

 

Below are some quick captures from the above video that will show you how Pete Scazzero has embraced the teachings of Catholicism regarding communion, that being that Jesus Christ is truly present in the elements of bread and wine and that Jesus comes into us when we take communion:

Here is a reminder for you of what it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding their communion which they call, the Eucharist:

“In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” (Para 1374 CCC)

Here is one of the anathemas (curses) regarding the Eucharist that you will find in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent:

Canon 3 “If anyone saith that the Sacrifice of the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifices consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.”

[NOTE: Lord willing, I will be going in depth on the teaching  of the Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass in light of Scripture when we get to that part in the CCC book.]


One look at William Meninger in the following picture that was chosen as the main image for this video should leave no doubt in one’s mind that what he presents is not Biblical Christianity, but rather a form of mystical, New Age spirituality that is rooted in Buddhism, which is the same type of spirituality that Pete Scazzero is presenting at the church he pastors, New Life Fellowship Church in New York.

For those of you who have never heard of The Cloud of Unknowing, here are some resources for you to help you learn to discern so that you will not be deceived by this:

Lighthouse Trails Research:

The Cloud of Unknowing – “Take a little word, and repeat it.”

DAVID CLOUD – WAY OF LIFE – EVANGELICALS TURNING TO CATHOLIC SPIRITUALITY

 


The reason I am concerned that these mystical, New Age practices might very well be encouraged to be practiced by those attending HBCRM is not only because this book by Pete Scazzero was mentioned by Greg Bradshaw at the Family Meeting as a book that is being read by the staff, but also because of what Greg Bradshaw said beginning at 16:03-16:46 minute mark which was:

“How do you rebuild hope? I told our staff and I’m telling you, ‘The way you rebuild hope is intimacy with God.’ There’s no shortcut… but if your struggling a little bit with hope, ‘What is this going to look like at our church,’ the way to build hope is intimacy with God. And how do you build intimacy with God? There’s no shortcut, it’s disciplines. It’s finding time to get alone with God. It’s called solitude.”

In order to show you that I am not merely speculating, here is some documented evidence that I came across in my research that will prove to you that as far back as 2012 Pete Scazzero and his Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS) teachings have been promoted in some ways at HBC:

 

I am also very concerned for all of you at HBCRM because of Greg Bradshaw’s emphasis on having “intimacy with God” and “getting healthy” as a church in light of his focus on Pete Scazzero’s book, ‘Emotionally Healthy Church’ which clearly presents New Age/New Spirituality/Catholic mystical practices as ways to have intimacy with God. After listening to the audio of HBC’s Family Meeting, I just strongly felt led to write this post as a warning of what might be presented to you this fall as the leadership at HBC seems to be raising a level of excitement about what they desire to see take place starting this fall season.

UPDATE 7/3/19 10:22 A.M. NOTE ADDED FOR CLARIFICATION:
I need to make it very clear that I am not saying that the leaders at Harvest Bible Chapel are intentionally and knowingly promoting these unbiblical, occultic teachings…they may be deceived into believing these are acceptable practices to do to bring one closer to God like so many other Christians have been (wrongly) led to believe. Harvest Bible Chapel leadership has been promoting Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer for many years now, and these women (wrongly) teach how to hear God speak to you. (Please consider reading the following post to see the documentation that I have on these women: HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL LEADERSHIP, CHRISTIAN LEADERS, AND THE LACK OF BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT).
However, there is no excuse for pastors and teachers who are held to an even higher lever of accountability (James 3:1) to fall for or to present such unbiblical practices to the people at their churches. Sadly, when many pastors see that a certain teacher is popular, they simply order their so-called “Bible studies” and fail to take the time to test what they actually teach against the truth of God’s Word to see if it is true or not. Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows leadership has fail to be Biblical shepherds and to guard their flock from false teachers; instead they just invite them in: Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick, Levi Lusko, etc.

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

We are all called to: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22)  As Christians, we think that we can trust those in leadership, but that simply is not true. The only one who we can completely trust is Jesus Christ alone and His Holy Word that will endure forever. (1 Peter 1:25)

Besides constantly praying for discernment, now, more than ever before, we as Christians must: study God’s Word ( 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV), examine the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said (and done) is true (Acts 17:11) or not, and always be alert so that we are not deceived by the many ways in which our enemy, the devil, is attempting to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8)

Please also consider reading this post regarding Levi Lusko:  HOW DISCERNING ARE YOU? He was a guest speaker at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows in 2016 on January 2nd and 3rd. [NOTE: Just to let you know, this post also includes a Biblical analysis of a message that T D Jakes’ daughter (Sarah Jakes Roberts) preached, entitled, ‘The Displaced Crown,’ but she did not present this message at Harvest Bible Chapel. The video that she preached her message in was taken down shortly after I posted it.] END OF UPDATE


Dear Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows members and attendees — and every Christian — beware! Beware of what is being presented to you as ways to develop intimacy with God. We have God’s Word, the Bible. What more could we ever need in order to develop intimacy with God? Nothing more! Especially when the practices that are suggested for us to do in order to have intimacy with God is derived from unbiblical, New Age practices that can be found in Buddhism, Hinduism, and mystical practices derived from Catholicism –practices that open up doorways into the world of the occult!

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard. Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:25-31)

 

Thank you very much for stopping by today.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

RELATED VIDEOS

In the following video, Pete Scazzero, who is also the co-founder of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship (EHD), where they “help leaders around the world grow their people into mature disciples of Jesus,” tells us how EHD has helped thousands of people move from a shallow Christianity to a deep authentic relationship with God, themselves, and others. Although he may give some good suggestions in his courses, such as taking enough time to rest, to say that the Christianity of those who do not pursue the ways through which he suggests in his courses in order to be able to have a “deep authentic relationship with God” is “shallow Christianity,” is  very troubling!


In the following video, ‘Pete’s Take on Daily Office,’ that you will find further below this quick capture from the video, Pete Scazzero has this to say beginning at the 1:31 minute mark:

“…but the silence to me is the quality that probably I found most significant because again, I’m being with Jesus my lover, and I’m quieting myself down, I’m centering in Christ and abiding in this love relationship allowing Him to love me and I’m loving Him back.” (Emphasis is mine).

This is sometimes referred to as spiritual romanticism; it is a completely unbiblical form of thinking in which we view Jesus Christ as our “lover.” This is frighteningly becoming a more common belief among professing Christian teachers (such as Ann Voskamp), and it leads Christians down an unbiblical and dangerous path! 

Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Here is the video: Pete’s Take on Daily Office


In the video that you will find further below, which is entitled, ‘What is the Daily Office & Why is it Needed,’ at the 2:43 minute mark you will find this chart that shows ‘the core of the EHS (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) Course.’ These are very similar to the experienced based methods that you will find in transcendental meditation and in the New Age Movement.

At the 3:23 minute mark in the video below you will hear Pete Scazzero quote Brother Lawrence, and at the 4:43 minute mark in this same video you will also hear Pete Scazzero quote Dallas Willard. Both of these men promoted unbiblical, contemplative, mystical, spirituality. (See information on these men that I have added below for you at the end of this post).

Beginning at the 5:09 minute mark in the same video that you will find further below, you will also see this chart with Silence & Stillness Guidelines that clearly present the same type of steps that you will find in eastern meditation practices in Buddhism, but they have been repackaged using Christian terminology:

Finally, here is the actual video, entitled: ‘What is the Daily Office & Why is it Needed?’


At the 4:12 minute mark in the following video you will hear Pete Scazzero say:

“Remember, the purpose of the Daily Office is to commune with God.”

He ends this video by saying: “…and I trust that you will find, as I have, that you are remembering and thinking of God much more throughout your days, in ways that you never imagined or did before.”

When anyone tells you to practice spiritual disciplines that are the same types of spiritual disciplines practiced by Buddhist and Catholic monks only Christianized to make them appear acceptable, or if you are told  to read a certain book or that taking a specific course is going to change your spiritual life rather than telling you that all you need is to spend time with God in His spiritual life giving, life changing Word — the Bible — that should send up an immediate red flag within your spirit! We are sadly at a point in time when many professing Christian pastors and teachers are casting aside Biblical Christianity.  Instead they are now focusing on man’s emotions and promoting having experiences with God that come directly out of the world of the occult!

I am sure that Pete Scazzero and his wife are probably very sincere and wonderful people, but they have sadly been deceived by accepting these unbiblical practices as ways to develop a deeper relationship with God. When trying to search for ways to help their people grow in their relationship with God and to grow spiritually, they have wandered off the Biblical path and are now presenting to their people — and to the world — teachings that are telling everyone to look inward instead of looking to God and seeking Him in His Word.

God is the only one who transforms us by His Word and by His Holy Spirit when we choose to believe the good news of the Biblical gospel and come to Him through Jesus Christ; transformation does not come about by looking inward and dwelling on the past and on our emotional pain and struggles. (Isaiah 43:18) (Philippians 3:13)

Jesus Christ was and is God in the flesh. Jesus, being fully God, took upon Himself human flesh and entered our sin-filled world. He lived the perfect, sinless life that we could never live, and became the perfect sacrifice. Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, willingly went to the cross where He bore all of our sins as well as all of our grief and sorrows, and God poured out all of His wrath intended for us because of our sins upon His one and only Son. He died in our place, was buried, and was gloriously raised to life on the third day in bodily form to show that God accepted His death as full payment for every one of our sins — no matter what we may have done! God is love, but He is also just. Therefore sin must be paid for, and Jesus paid our debt to sin in full –tetelestai. That is the life changing good news of the Biblical gospel that transforms a person’s life!

May I share a personal illustration with you? During the twelve years of my marriage I became a broken and shattered woman emotionally because of the way that my ‘husband’ treated me. However, everything began to change when I began to read the Bible and came to see the truly good news of the Biblical gospel for the first time and chose to believe it and to place my full trust in all that Jesus Christ accomplished for us.  In the midst of my deep hurt I did not look inward. I cried out to God and read His Word often throughout each day as the tears fell and my heart broke in thousands of pieces. As I spent time in prayer and in His Word, God began to heal me and to renew my mind and troubled heart and I no longer based my worth as a person by how my ‘husband’ treated me, but rather by what God’s Word says. That is when my life began to change and God began to transform me into a new creation in Christ. Day by day I learned to trust God more, and day by day His strength became perfected in my weakness and His peace that surpasses all human understanding began to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus as I prayed and stopped worrying about everything. He proved Himself over and over to be faithful and able to meet all of my needs in ways that I never would have imagined!

I pray that Pete and his wife will begin simply seeking God in His Word and that one day he will cast these unbiblical practices out of his church, his books, and his presentations, as well, and that he will point his people — and all Christians — back to Jesus Christ — who was and is God in the flesh –so that they will find  true and lasting transformation! As true Biblical Christians that is what we are all to do.

I  hope you can now see that in many ways Christianity today is becoming more and more experiential based. Sadly, God’s Holy Word, the Bible, is now being used by many as a tool to bring one into an altered state of consciousness as it is twisted and repeated over and over.  God’s Word is no longer seen as having the greatest importance as it is read and studied in context. The only way to truly come to know God is through coming to Jesus Christ in simple faith and believing that His “once for all sacrifice” was truly enough to pay the debt for all of our sins in full!

Please do not be deceived by these unbiblical types of practices that may sound very appealing to you emotionally, but at their very core is New Age Catholic mysticism.

 

RELATED VIDEOS

More videos to show you how William Meninger, who was a guest at Pete Scazzero’s church, is heavily involved in New Age/ New Spirituality/Buddhism/Catholic mysticism.

Here is some information regarding Fuller Theological Seminary, the seminary that now deceased Professor of New Testament, Robert Guelich taught at. He was the one who made the chart that Pete Scazzero showed in his presentation at the 22:32 minute mark in the first video entitled, ‘Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – An Evening With Pete Scazzero.’

 

Brother Lawrence and Dallas Willard Information:

LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS – BROTHER LAWRENCE

DAVID CLOUD – WAY OF LIFE LITERATURE – DALLAS WILLARD

UPDATE:

Lord willing, another new post coming later this month or in August on this same subject regarding how Catholic mysticism is infiltrating many churches these days and leading many Christians astray in order to show the extreme importance of reading and studying God’s Word and praying for discernment.

Also coming later in July, Lord willing, will be another new post in the series in which we will continue comparing the teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church to a Catholic New Testament to show precious Catholics the truly good news of the Biblical gospel and that many of the things that they are being taught, which is based on the traditions of men, contradicts God’s Word, the Bible. It is equally important for all Christians to know this information so that they not only come to realize the need to share the truly good news of the Biblical gospel with their dear Catholic friends and family, but also so that they will not be deceived into thinking that Catholicism is Biblical and end up being lured into Catholicism by one of many ways that have been devised by our enemy, the devil.

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INTRODUCTION

There are two very important reasons why I felt compelled to write this series of posts, and I’d like to briefly share these reasons with you now before I go any further:

1) Since I am a former Catholic who is very aware of the teachings of the Catholic Church because I attended twelve years of Catholic school, attended Catechism classes, made my First Holy Communion, was Confirmed, and faithfully attended Mass not only every Sunday for many years, but also before school began for three years (as required by the school that I attended at the time),  and who came to the knowledge of who Jesus Christ truly is and what He actually accomplished for us by reading a Catholic New Testament Bible exactly like the one pictured above, I decided to write this series with the hope of reaching Catholics so that they can not only come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ truly is as His Word, the Bible, declares Him to be, but also so they can see by reading God’s Word that they can have complete forgiveness, lasting joy, true peace, and the assurance of salvation if they choose to believe God’s Word and place their trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Also, since many Catholics do not realize everything that the Catholic church actually teaches (as I once did not realize until after doing research and reading the CCC), I thought that it was extremely important to share this information to make Catholics aware of many things that are quite disturbing, as you will all soon become aware of as this series continues.

2) This series of posts is also being written with the intention of helping those of you who are born-again, Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ who have no idea of what the teachings of Catholicism are so that you can become aware of their teachings and be prepared to offer hope and assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ to Catholics based solely upon the truth that is recorded in God’s Word.

As we continue on in this series together comparing Scriptures in the Catholic New Testament to teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we must keep these important thoughts in mind:

When it comes to our eternal destination — heaven or hell — we must be certain that we place our trust in solid truth and not in speculation or in the traditions of men. The Catholic church claims to be the “one true Church.” Therefore, it stands to reason that their teachings must line up with God’s Word and not contradict it since God does not change (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8), and His Word stands firm forever. (Psalm 119:89, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24,25) If a contradiction is found it must be rejected because God’s Word is our plumb line by which we must measure (or test) the teachings of every religion to see if it lines up or not. If it is off in one point we can be certain that it will lead us further and further away from Biblical truth and lead us into spiritual deception.

This series will cover many different subjects ranging from what does the Catholic Church teach about the Bible, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, priests, the pope, sin, forgiveness of sins, salvation, prayer, and what must a Catholic believe in order to receive eternal life. Some of these teachings will shock even many Catholics when they learn what their church actually teaches!

Lord willing, I hope to share at least one post every month with you in this new series until I have covered all the most important teachings that need to be brought to your attention. The main goal that I have in writing this series is to present the Word of God to Catholics — and to every person — in order to point everyone to Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and ‘the only name under heaven given among men by which we can be saved.’ (Acts 4:12)

Dear Catholic, please take a minute now to pray, asking God to open your mind to the Scriptures and to reveal the truth to you –whatever that may be.

Because only God can reveal the truth to you, I will refrain from making any comments unless I find it completely necessary. Since God’s Word is truth I trust that He will not only give you eyes to see the truth, but also I trust that He will give you the courage to respond to His leading. However, each one of you will find yourself having to answer this question when you come to many points that I present to you in these posts after realizing that there are oftentimes extreme differences between what the Word of God says and what Catholicism teaches, and the question that you will have to answer is:

“Are you going to believe the Word of God, or the word of man?”

Please keep in mind, as you are carefully reading all of the statements made from the following Catholic sources, that every time you see the word “church” spelled with a capital c they are referring to the Catholic church, since they believe that the “Catholic Church” alone is the “one true Church.”All of the information that I will be sharing with you I have obtained from the following sources:

1) CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (pictured above) – Imprimi Potest – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) – Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2) THE WORD OF GOD – THE NEW TESTAMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR  IN TODAY’S ENGLISH VERSION – SACRED HEART LEAGUE EDITION – IMPRIMATUR JOHN FRANCIS WHEALON, ARCHBISHOP OF HARTFORD, APRIL 15, 1971 SIGNED AND SEALED BY BISHOP JOSEPH B. BRUNINI, DIOCESE OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

3) Occasionally when I share a Scripture with you from the Sacred Heart League (SHL) Catholic New Testament and notice that it lacks depth and clarity, I will then follow it with the same verse but in the King James Version in order to give you a better understanding of what is being said, and so that you can see what is missing from the SHL translation.

4) Very briefly in this series, I will also be quoting from THE CATHOLIC DOUAY RHEIMS VERSION OF THE BIBLE – in which you will find the following statements:

“EXCERPT FROM ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF OUR HOLY FATHER BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE POPE LEO XIII ON THE STUDY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE:

“The God of all Providence, Who in the adorable designs of His love at first elevated the human race to the participation of the Divine nature, and afterwards delivered it from the universal guilt and ruin, restoring it to its primitive dignity, has in consequence bestowed upon man a splendid gift and safeguard–making known to him, by supernatural means, the hidden Mysteries of His divinity, His wisdom, and His mercy. For although in Divine revelations there are contained some things which are not beyond the reach of unassisted reason, and which are made the objects of such revelation in order “that all may come to know them with facility, certainty, and safety from error, yet not on this account can supernatural Revelation be said to be absolutely necessary; it is only necessary because God has ordained man to a supernatural end.” This supernatural revelation according to the belief of the universal Church, is contained both in unwritten Tradition, and in written Books, which are therefore called sacred and canonical because, “being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and as such have been delivered to the Church.” (Page ix)

“Wherefore it must be recognised that the sacred writings are wrapt in a certain religious obscurity, and that no one can enter into their interior without a guide; God so disposing, as the Holy Fathers commonly teach, in order that men may investigate them with greater ardour and earnestness, and that what is attained with difficulty may sink more deeply into the mind and heart; and, most of all that they may understand that God has delivered the Holy Scriptures to the Church, and that in reading and making use of His Word, they must follow the Church as their guide and their teacher.  St. Irenaeus long since laid down, that where the charismata of God were, there the truth was to be learnt, and that Holy Scripture was safely interpreted by those who had the Apostolic succession.  His teaching, and that of other Holy Fathers, is taken up by the Council of the Vatican, which, in the renewing of the decree of Trent, declares its “mind” to be this–that “in things of faith and morals, belonging to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be considered the true sense of Holy Scripture which has been held and is held by our Holy Mother the Church whose place it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement  of the Fathers.” (Page xvii)

“Wherefore the first and dearest object of the Catholic commentator  should be to interpret those passages which have received an authentic interpretation either by the sacred writers themselves, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost (as in many places of the New Testament), or from the Church, under the assistance of the same Holy Spirit, whether by her solemn judgment or her ordinary and universal magisterium –to interpret those passages in that identical sense, and to prove, by all the resources of science that sound hermeneutical laws admit of no other interpretation. In the other passages, the analogy of faith should be followed, and Catholic doctrine, as authoritatively proposed by the Church, should be held as the supreme law; for seeing that the same God is the author both of the Sacred Books and of the doctrine committed to the Church, it is clearly impossible that any teaching can by legitimate means be extracted from the former, which shall in any respect be at variance with the latter. Hence it follows that all interpretation is foolish and false which either makes the sacred writers disagree one with another, or is opposed to the doctrine of the Church.” (Page xviii)

“For although the studies of non-Catholics, used with prudence, may sometimes be of use to the Catholic student, he should nevertheless, bear well in mind–as the Fathers also teach in numerous passages –that the sense of Holy Scripture can nowhere be found incorrupt outside of the Church, and cannot be expected to be found in writers who, being without the true faith, only gnaw the bark of the Sacred Scripture and never attain its pith.” (Page xix)

(To read PART 1 click HERE).

(For PART 2 click HERE).

(For PART 3 click HERE).

(For PART 4 click HERE).

(For PART 5 click HERE).

(For PART 6 click HERE

INTRODUCTION TO PART 7

In Part 7 we will be covering pages 224-251 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) which addresses ‘The Church–People of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit‘ as stated in the CCC.

Please keep in mind that every time “the Church” is mentioned and capitalized, they are referring to the Catholic “Church,” since Catholicism claims to be the “one True Church.”

As you continue reading this post, watch for the emphasis on “unity” and the proclamations that are made that cause total and complete dependency upon the Catholic Church as  the only means for one’s salvation.

Note the compromises that are made with Biblical truth as God’s Word is set aside at many points and the “Traditions” of men are elevated as if they are new revelations from God. The Canon of Scripture is closed (Hebrews 1:1,2); we are not to add or to take away from the truth of God’s Word to present something that is in complete contradiction to the truth that God has presented to us in His Holy Word.

I realize that this post is extremely long, but please take the time to at least read the Scriptures as well as the  highlighted portions of this post which I have done for the convenience of those of you who lead very busy lives and only have time to read short posts.

It is extremely important for those of you who are not familiar with the teachings of Catholicism to understand what they teach so that you do not embrace Catholicism as being Biblical. Yes, they teach the deity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, the Trinity, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, but what they add to Scripture by means of their “Tradition” truly does “nullify God’s Word” just as Scripture says (Matthew 7:5-13). (More on that in an upcoming post in a month or so –Lord willing). [MY NOTE: With the Traditions that  they add to Scripture it becomes quite clear that Roman Catholicism presents “another Jesus” and “another Gospel” as we are warned about in Galatians 1:6-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:2-4:

“I am surprised at you! In no time at all you are deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ, and are going to another gospel. Actually there is no “other gospel,” but I say it because there are some people who are upsetting you and trying to change the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to hell! We have said it before, and now I say it again: if anyone preaches to you a gospel that is different from the one that you accepted, may he be condemned to hell!” (Sacred Heart League Edition)

“I am jealous for you just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, who is Christ. I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ–in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake’s clever lies. For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a  different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the Spirit and the gospel you received from us!” (Sacred Heart League Edition)

As we continue going through the teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it will become very evident to all of you (at least that is my prayer) that Catholicism indeed presents “another Jesus” and “another gospel,” both having no power to save.

With all of that being said, let’s now begin PART 7:

II. THE CHURCH–BODY OF CHRIST

Para 787 From the beginning Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings. Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him:

“Abide in me, and I in you…I am the vine, you are the branches.” And he proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between his own body and ours: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

[MY NOTE: Catholicism teaches that the bread and wine presented at communion literally becomes the body, blood. soul. and divinity of Jesus Christ. (CCC 1374 PARA) They believe that the Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted by Jesus Christ (CCC PARA 611), They teach that the Sacrifice of the Mass is “truly propitiatory.” (CCC PARA 1367)These concerns will be addressed when we get to Pages 368 and beyond in the CCC. We will be ending this post at Page 251,so we have quite a few more pages to cover yet.

God’s Word makes it very clear that when Jesus Christ spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood He was speaking figuratively and not literally:

“Jesus said to them. “I tell you the truth; ‘If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you will not have life in yourselves. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him to life on the last day. For my flesh is the real food, my blood is the real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way, whoever eats me will live because of me. This, then, is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread that your ancestors ate, but then died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus said this as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum. Many of his disciples heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to this?” Without being told, Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling about this; so he said to them, “Does this make you want to give up? Suppose, then, that you should see the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before? What gives life is God’s Spirit; man’s power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.” (John 6:53-63) (Sacred Heart League Edition)

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”John 6:63 (KJV)

Para 788 When his visible presence was taken from them, Jesus did not leave his disciples orphans. He promised to remain with them until the end of time; he sent them his Spirit. [MY NOTE: Please keep the truth of this Scriptural statement based on John 14:15-18 in mind, because I will be addressing this in another post in this series –Lord willing.]

“One Body”

Para 790 Believers who respond to God’s Word and become members of Christ’s Body, become intimately united with him: “In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his Passion and glorification. This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ’s death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which “really sharing in the body of the Lord…we are taken up into communion with him and with one another.” [MY NOTE: I will also be strongly addressing  Catholicism’s teaching on the Eucharist/ the Sacrifice of the Mass in another post in this series, as well as in a completely separate post in the near future –Lord willing.]

Para 795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice we have become Christ.

III. THE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

PARA 797 “What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.” ~Saint Augustine

PARA 804 One enters into the People of God by faith and Baptism. “All men are called to belong to the new People of God” (Lumen Gentium 13), so that, in Christ, “men may form one family and one People of God.” (AG 1).

PARA 805 The Church is the Body of Christ. Through the Spirit and his action in the sacraments, above all, the Eucharist, Christ, who once was dead and is now risen, establishes the community of believers as his own Body.

PARA 808 The Church is the Bride of Christ: he loved her and handed himself over for her. He has purified her by his blood and made her the fruitful mother of all God’s children.

PARA 809 The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the soul, as it were, of the Mystical Body, the source of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the riches of its gifts and charisms.

PARA 810 “Hence the universal Church is seen to be ‘ a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit’ ” (Lumen Gentium 4 citing St, Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 23: PL 4 553).

Paragraph 3. The Church Is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic

PARA 811 “This is the sole Church of Christ, which is the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other, indicate essential features of the Church and her mission.  The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

PARA 812 “Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the “Church herself, with her marvellous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission.” [MY NOTE: Because of the many thousands of cases of sexual abuse by priests towards children that have come to light, it is clear that the“credibility” of the Catholic Church has been lost; they are not “an irrefutable witness of her divine mission.

THE CHURCH IS ONE

“The sacred mystery of the Church’s unity” (UR2)

PARA 813 The Church is one because of her “soul” :”It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church’s unity.” Unity is of the essence of the Church:

What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her “Church.”

PARA 815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity “binds everything together in perfect harmony.” But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

–profession of one faith received from the Apostles;

–common celebration of divine worship, especially the sacraments;

–apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God’s family.

PARA 816 “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. … This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.”

The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains: “For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the Apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.

Wounds to unity

PARA 817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church–for which often enough, men of both sides were to blame.”

PARA 818 “However one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. …All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

PARA 819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace, faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

Toward Unity

PARA 820 “Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.” The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.

PARA 821 Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call:

–a permanent renewal  of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity;

–prayer in common, because change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name ‘spiritual ecumenism;’

–fraternal knowledge of each other;

ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests;

dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities;

collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind. “Human service” is the idiomatic phrase.

PARA 822 Concern for achieving unity “involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike.” But we must realize “that this holy objective–the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ–transcends human power and gifts.” That is why we place all our hope “in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

II. THE CHURCH IS HOLY

PARA 824 It is in the Church that “the fullness of the means of salvation” has been deposited. It is in her that “by the grace of God we acquire holiness.”

PARA 828 By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors.

PARA 829 “By while in the most Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle, the faithful still strive to conquer sin and increase in holiness. And so they turn their eyes to Mary” : in her, the Church is already the “all holy.”

III THE CHURCH IS CATHOLIC

What Does “Catholic” Mean?

PARA 830 The word “catholic” means “universal,” in the sense of “according to the totality” or “in keeping with the whole.” The Church is catholic in a double sense: First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. “Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.” In her subsists the fullness of Christ’s body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him “the fullness of the means of salvation” which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession, The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of Parousia.

PARA 831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race: All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God’s will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one.…The character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit.”

PARA 834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome “which presides in charity.” “For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord.” Indeed “from the incarnate Word’s descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior’s promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her.”

Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

PARA 836 “All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God.…And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation.”

PARA 837 “Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who–by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion–are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but “in body” not “in heart.”

PARA 841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. [MY NOTE: If you will please take a few minutes to read some of the Islamic beliefs below regarding who their God is and  what they believe about Jesus and compare them with what Christianity teaches, you will clearly see that we do not worship the same God even though some professing Christians such as Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, and Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church, claim that we do. Precious Muslim people need to hear the good news about Jesus Christ just as everyone else does who have not yet come to know the truly good news of the Biblical gospel.]

 

PARA 843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as a “preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”

PARA 845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led away by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled. She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.”

Outside the Church there is no salvation”

PARA 846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly  asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter  it or to remain in it.”

PARA 847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience–those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

PARA 848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

Mission–a requirement of the Church’s catholicity

PARA 849 The missionary mandate. “Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men…”

PARA 851 Missionary motivation it is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us on.” Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”; that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.

PARA 853 Only by taking the “way of penance and renewal” the “narrow way of the cross,” can the People of God extend Christ’s reign. For just as Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty and oppression, so the Church is called to follow the same path if she is to communicate the fruits of salvation to all men.” [MY NOTE:Why then all the elaborate Catholic church buildings made with marble and decorated with gold? Why all of the expensive treasures in the Vatican? These are not examples of living in “poverty.”]

PARA 854 It must involve a process of incultration if the Gospel is to take flesh in each people’s culture. There will be times of defeat. “With regard to individuals, groups, and peoples it is only by degrees that [the Church] touches and penetrates them, and so receives them into a fullness which is Catholic.”

IV. THE CHURCH IS APOSTOLIC

PARA 857 The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles, in three ways:

–she was and remains built on “the foundation of the Apostles,” the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself;

–with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching, the “good deposit,” the salutary words she has heard from the apostles;

–she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops, “assisted by priests, in union with the successor of Peter, the Church’s supreme pastor”:

You are the eternal Shepherd who never leaves his flock unattended. Through the apostles you watch over us and protect us always. You made them shepherds of the flock to share in the work of your Son…”

PARA 862 “Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops.” Hence the Church teaches that “the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.”

PARA 870 “The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic,… subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.” (Lumen Gentium 8)

IN CLOSING

Time, and the length of this post already, does not permit me to add more comments in order to express more of my concerns to you regarding everything that I shared with you in this post, but I hope that you were able to see the many valid concerns that one should indeed have regarding the teachings of Catholicism.

If you took the time to read through this entire post, thank you! I hope that you saw how many statements made in the teachings of Catholicism emphasize “unity” and how oftentimes their teachings contradict one another. At one point they say “the [Catholic] Church is necessary for salvation,” and yet, at another point they can easily say: “…those who do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience–those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

It is out of my love for Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word — as well as out of my love and concern for precious Catholics — that I am writing this series. I urge those of you who are Catholic to please get yourself a Bible and begin reading through the Gospel of John on your own. Pray and ask God to reveal His truth to you. Continue reading through the New Testament and test everything that you have been taught against the truth of God’s Word. As I have basically said in previous installments in this series: “After reading what Catholicism teaches and when you see what God’s Word actually says, you will get to the point where you must make a choice; are you going to believe the Word of God [the Bible]? Or the word of man[Catholic Tradition]? Your eternal destiny truly depends upon what you choose to believe is true.” 

BIBLICAL TRUTHS AND SCRIPTURES FOR CATHOLICS TO REFLECT ON

1. The Bible is God’s Living Word, therefore that is all we need to determine what is true or not spiritually:

“But as for you, continue in the truths that you were taught and firmly believe. You know who your teachers were, and you remember that ever since you were a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the man who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good work. I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge all men, living and dead: because of his coming and of his Kingdom, I command you to preach the message, to insist upon telling it, whether the time is right or not; to convince, reproach, and encourage, teaching with all patience. The time will come when men will not listen to the true teaching, but will follow their own desires, and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17, 4:1-5)(SHL)

“The Word of God is alive and active. It is sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meets, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of men’s hearts. There is nothing that can be hid from God. Everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes; and it is to him that we must all give account of ourselves.” (Hebrews 4:12) (SHL)

2. Concerning needing personal or further revelations, we need  nothing else since God has given us not only His Holy Word, but also His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who is the living Word of God:

“Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God. From the very beginning, the Word was with God.  Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to  men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put  it out.” (John 1:1-5) (SHL)

“He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the firstborn Son, superior to all created things.

For by him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. He existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place. He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life; he is the firstborn Son who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things. For it was by God’s own decision that the Son has in himself the full nature of God.

Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son’s death on the cross, and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven. At one time you were far away from God and were his enemies because of the evil things you did and thought. But now, by means of the physical death of his Son, God has made you his friends in order to bring you holy, pure, and faultless into his presence. You must, of course, continue faithful on a firm and sure foundation and not allow yourselves to  be shaken from the hope you gained when you heard the gospel. It is of this gospel that I, Paul, became a servant–this gospel which has been preached to everybody in the world.” (Colossians 1:13-23) (SHL)

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. He shines with the brightness of God’s glory; he is the exact likeness of God’s own being, and sustains the universe with his powerful word. After he had made men clean from their sins, he sat down in heaven at the right side of God, the Supreme Power.

The Son was made greater than the angels, just as the name that God gave him is greater than theirs. For God never said to any of his angels, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” Nor did God say to any angel, “I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son.” When God was about to send his firstborn Son into the world, he also said, “All of God’s angels must worship him.”

This is what God says about the angels, “God makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.” About the Son, however, God said: “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever! You rule over your kingdom with  justice. You love the right and hate the wrong; that is why God, your God, chose you and gave you joy of an honor far greater than he gave to your companions.”

He also said, “You, Lord, in the beginning created the earth, and with your own hands you made the heavens. They will all disappear, but you will remain; they will all grow old like clothes. You will fold them up like a coat, and they will be changed like clothes. But you are always the same, and you will never grow old.” God never did say to any of his angels: “Sit here at my right side, until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet.” What are the angels, then? They are all spirits who serve God and are sent by him to help those who are to receive salvation.” (Hebrews 1:1-14) (SHL)

3. Beware of “another Jesus” and “another gospel” being preached to you:

“I am jealous for you just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, who is Christ. I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ–in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake’s clever lies. For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the spirit and the gospel you received from us!” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4) (SHL)

“I am surprised at you! In no time at all you are deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ, and are going to another gospel. Actually, there is no “other gospel,” but I say it because there are some people who are upsetting you and are trying to change the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to hell! We have said it before, and now I say it again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel that is different from the one you accepted, may he be condemned to hell! (Galatians 1:6-9)(SHL)

4. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, the only Mediator between God and man, and the only name by which we can be saved. The Virgin Mary, a humble and courageous woman who loved and obeyed God, was indeed blessed among women to have been chosen by God to give birth to His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who wrapped Himself in human flesh and came into this world to be our Savior. However, she must never be presented in such a way that what is taught about her goes beyond what God’s Word says and ends up even contradicting God’s Word and elevating her to the point of almost being equal to Jesus Christ, or even at times having more power and authority than Jesus Christ, as you will soon see by some of the information that I have added further below. Please keep these Scriptures in mind:

“Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6) (SHL)

“For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and men together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem all men.” (1 Timothy 2:5) (SHL)

“Peter,  full of the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders: if we are being questioned today about the good deed done to the lame man and how he was made well, then you should all know, and all the people of Israel should know, that this man stands here before you completely well by the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth–whom you crucified and God raised from death. Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says, ‘ The stone that you the builders despised turned out to be the most important stone.’ Salvation is to be found through him alone; for there is no one else in all the world, whose name God has given to men, by whom we can be saved.” (Acts 4:8-12) (SHL)

5. The Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Godhead, was sent by Jesus Christ to guide us into all truth and to be with us forever. Never in Scripture do we read that the Virgin Mary would be sent to us to be with us, as some of the messages in many apparitions declare:

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, to stay with you forever. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him.” (John 14:15-17a) (SHL)

6. All of us are sinners –including the Virgin Mary who humbly admitted her need for a Savior:

“Mary said, “My heart praises the Lord; my soul is glad because of God my Savior, because he has remembered me, his lowly servant.” (Luke 1:46-48)

7. The only sinless person who ever walked this earth was Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. God clearly shows us this truth in His Word, as well as His amazing love and mercy –if you will only take the time to read these Scriptures, dear Catholic, and anyone else who has not yet place your trust in Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection as your only hope for forgiveness and acceptance by a thrice Holy God:

“As the Scriptures say: “There is no one who is righteous, no one who understands, or who seeks for God. All men have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong; no one does what is good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12) (SHL)

“God puts men right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: all men have sinned and are far away from God’s saving presence. But by the free gift of God’s grace they are all put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In the past he was patient and overlooked men’s sins; but now in the present time he deals with men’s sins, to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus. ” (Romans 3:23) (SHL)

“Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great high priest who has gone into the very presence of God–Jesus the Son of God. Our high priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy with our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a high priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us be brave, then, and come forward to God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:14,15)(SHL)

8. Nowhere in Scripture do we see the Virgin Mary proclaimed to be the New Eve. We do, however, see Jesus Christ being declared as the last/second (New) Adam:

“For the scripture says, “The first man, Adam, was created a living being.”; but the last Adam is the life-giving Spirit. It is not the spiritual that comes first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first Adam was made from the dust of the earth; the second Adam came from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45-47) SHL

9. God’s Word shows us the importance of testing the teachings of everyone claiming to teach the truths of God in Acts 17:11:

“The people there were more open-minded than the people in Thessalonica. They listened to the message with great eagerness, and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was really true.” SHL

10. Dear Catholic, please listen to me carefully…nowhere in Scripture is the Virgin Mary ever exalted in such a way as to be called the Queen of Heaven as the Catholic church refers to her. Only God deserves such praise:

“I the Lord, this is my name: I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things.” (Isaiah 42:8) (Douay Rheims Catholic Bible)

“For my own sake, for my own sake will I do it, that I may not be blasphemed: and I will not give my glory to another.” (Isaiah 48:11) (DRCB)

 

RELATED VIDEOS

FORMER DOMINICAN PRIEST OF 22 YEARS — RICHARD BENNETT

 

Thank you very much for stopping by today.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

NOTE:

Lord willing, I hope to present you with at least two other important posts this month; another post regarding how New Age mysticism is entering many Christian churches these days, as well as another post concerning one of my previous churches –Harvest Bible Chapel. It is extremely important for all of us as Christians to read and to study our Bibles, to pray for discernment, and to take some time to do some research on the authors of books that may be recommended to us to read by a pastor or teacher before reading them, or we may very well be led right into spiritual deception just like what has happened to many Christians already.

SURVEY SATURDAY

Capture Survey pic

It has been quite a while since I have presented you with a survey, and because it is the desire of my heart to reach precious Catholics with the truth according to God’s Word, the Bible, I am wondering if any of you who are Catholic are finding this present series helpful.

I am also wondering if those of you who are born-again, Bible believing Christians, and who may not have been aware of the teachings of the Catholic church, are finding this series helpful, as well, in order to help you better understand your dear Catholic friends and co-workers as you seek to help them come to know all that Jesus Christ accomplished for us:

1. Through His sinless life

2. Through His “once for all” sacrifice on the cross in our place that completely satisfied the wrath that God has towards mankind because of our sins and rebellion against Him, and

3. Through Jesus Christ’s glorious resurrection from the dead that clearly showed that God accepted His death as fully paying the debt of our sins and removing the barrier of sin that separates us from Him because He is completely Holy. One must, however, personally choose to place their faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, and not in their good works or in the sacramental system of the Catholic church to save them.

For those of you who may never have read any posts in this Catholicism series before, I just want you to know that once a month I take the reader through a portion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and compare many of their teachings against Scriptures in a Catholic New Testament Bible in order to show Catholics and Christians alike, the extreme importance of testing the teachings of men against the truth of God’s Word so that they will not be deceived. I pray that you will consider looking into this series when time allows, and that many of you who have been reading through this series will consider taking part in the following survey which will only take a few moments of your time. You have a full week to participate in this survey; your ability to vote ends a week from today.

Thank you very much in advance!

 

 

God Bless You

~Mary/Living4HisGlory

RELATED SCRIPTURES

“He committed no sin; no one heard a lie come from his lips. When he was insulted he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge. Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. You were like sheep that had lost their way; but now you have been brought back to follow the Shepherd and Keeper of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:22-25)

“For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved, through faith. It is not your own doing, but God’s gift. There is nothing here to boast of, since it is not the result of your own efforts. God is our Maker, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good works, which he has already prepared for us to do.”                  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

“Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God’s judgment. Because no man is put right in God’s sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make man know that he has sinned. But now God’s way of putting men right with himself has been revealed, and it has nothing to do with the law. The Law and the prophets gave their witness to it: God puts men right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: all men have sinned and are far away from God’s saving presence. But by the free gift of God’s grace they are all put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In the past he was patient and overlooked men’s sins; but now in the present time he deals with men’s sins, to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus. What, then, can we boast about? Nothing! And what is the reason for this? Is it that we obey the law? No, but that we believe. For we conclude that a man is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the law commands. Or is God only the God of the Jews? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Of course he is. God is one and he will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their faith, and the Gentiles right through their faith. Does this mean that we do away with the Law by this faith? No, not at all; instead, we uphold the Law.” (Romans 3:19-31)

“Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinful men and raised above the heavens. He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day, for his own sins first, and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all when he offered himself.” (Hebrews 7:26,27)

“Happy are those whose wrongs God has forgiven, whose sins he has covered over! Happy is the man whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!” (Romans 4:7,8)

“Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6)

“Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says, ‘The stone that you the builders despised turned out to be the most important stone.’ Salvation is to be found through him alone; for there is no one else in all the world, whose name God has given to men, by whom we can be saved.” (Acts 4:11,12)

“For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and men together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem all men.” (1 Timothy 2:5,6)

“This, then, is the witness: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write you this so that you may know that you have eternal life–you that believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:11-13)

All Scriptures taken from the Sacred Heart League Catholic New Testament

UPDATE: After crying out to God for His help concerning my computer problems, I came across some information on Wednesday that resolved all of the serious problems, and my computer has not crashed even once over the past three days, praise His name! Therefore, Lord willing, in March I am hoping to present to you:

1) A post concerning the many apparitions of the Virgin Mary in light of Scripture

2) Another installment in the Catholicism series

 

capture-why-are-you-so-downcast-o-my-soul-psalm-42-11

As another year has come to an end, many of you may find yourselves disappointed because things did not work out as you had hoped and prayed that they would. Or you may be among the many who find yourself in the midst of an overwhelming trial that seems as if it will never come to an end. You may even feel as if you do not have the slightest bit of hope left and now you are spiraling down from just being discouraged to feeling as if you are sinking down in the depths of despair and into a deep depression. Sadly, this is what happens when our expectations are not met because we made the mistake of playing out certain scenarios in our minds on how we think God is going to do the things that we have prayed about. But we must choose to trust in God with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding; as Christians we must love God and live for Him regardless of what the outcome of our situations may be.

We must also come to the realization that because man has a free will, God will not violate man’s freedom in order to bring about an answer to our prayer. For example: I had prayed for many years that God would fill my “husband” with a godly sorrow for all that he had done and bring him to repentance and that he would believe the truth of the gospel that I had not only shared with him personally, but also through a very long letter that I had written to him, and through the truth of God’s Word in the Bible that I had given to him. I firmly believed that the day would come when he would believe the good news of the gospel and place his faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation and that he would repent and return home. I believed that God would restore our marriage and use us both in ministry for His glory and to give hope to others who had problems in their marriage. And in spite of the fact that God hates divorce, God did not violate the choice that my “husband” made to file for divorce and to bring our marriage to an end.

Our God is a mighty God who is capable of doing the most amazing miracles, but we must never forget the part that man plays in the scheme of things. Therefore, when the battles continue to rage, when our hearts continue to break, when the tears once again fill our eyes, we must choose to continue to trust Him and praise Him in spite of what we see.

When circumstances attempt to steal our hope, we must then recognize that we have put our hope in the wrong place; our hope must be in God alone. It is He who is the lifter of our heads and the one who gives us His strength where we are weak and His peace that surpasses all human understanding. True joy comes from knowing God through placing one’s trust in what Jesus Christ did for all of us when He lived the perfect, sinless life that we could never live, died a horrendously painful death by crucifixion in our place for all our sins, and arose from the dead on the third day for our justification. No matter how dark and evil your deeds may be, if you choose to believe the truly good news that Jesus Christ died for you and receive this free gift of salvation He will be the one who will change your heart and renew your mind; you will be born-again and become a new creation in Christ.  Your sins will be cast into the deepest sea never to be remembered again (Hebrews 10:4-14, Micah 7:19), and they will become as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).

So, dear reader, I will not say “Happy New Year” to you, because the happiness that the world speaks of depends on happenings which, as you well know, change from day to day. Instead, I pray that you will place your hope and trust in God and receive His love and forgiveness if you have not yet made the choice to do so. Life will still be hard and trials will come to test your faith to see if it is genuine or not, but I can assure you because of all that I have been through that His grace will be sufficient, His strength will be made perfect in your weakness, and His peace that surpasses all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus as you choose not to worry but choose instead to pray about everything. (Philippians 4:6,7)

And now to give you a glimpse, yet a rather detailed look, at what (Lord willing) I will be sharing with you on this blog in 2017:

I will be continuing to write more posts for the Catholicism series in which I am presently comparing many of the teachings that can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Scriptures in a Catholic New Testament Bible, trusting that God will use His Word to reveal the truly good news of the gospel to many precious Catholics. There will be many posts that will be written in this series in which the mystical aspects of Catholicism will clearly be shown to you (one of these posts is coming very soon), and you will, once again, not only realize the extreme importance and necessity of testing the teachings of men (and women) against the truth of God’s Word, but also you will realize  how we must make the choice to believe God’s Word over the words of men.

When I am finally finished writing the Catholicism series, I will then begin writing another series in which the teachings of Calvinism/Reformed Theology — T.U.L.I.P. – Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement,  Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the saints — will be compared to many Scriptures. These teachings have been weighing heavily on my mind over the past four years after learning about them by not only reading many articles written by Calvinists, but also by listening to many debates on the teachings of Reformed Theology/Calvinism as well as by listening to teachings and reading articles by former Calvinists and pastors who compare the teachings of Reformed Theology against Scripture. I will be sharing some of these teachings with you here, as well, when the time comes. 

I have personally come to know a few Calvinists who have become very special to me, so I am also doing this series with them in mind, and in my prayers, and upon my heart.

In the beginning of this year I actually thought and prayed about writing and expressing my concerns about Calvinism at some point this year, but clearly I had no idea then just how long it was  actually going to take me to write this series on Catholicism. Once I briefly mentioned my concerns about Calvinism when I  replied to a comment that someone had made about it in my post about Matt Chandler (who is a Calvinist), and in many of my recent posts this year when I found it necessary to post a warning about a false teacher that was written by a Calvinist I made it clear to all of you that I do not adhere to the teachings of Reformed Theology, but I never went beyond that –until now.

Since I do not want to mislead anyone, and because I want to make it clear to all of you just how serious I am about this, and how deeply concerned I am (just like many other Christians are) about what Calvinism teaches because it distorts the very character and nature of God and the Word of God, I just deleted one of the more popular posts that I wrote back in March of 2014 entitled, IS YOUR PASTOR A SHEPHERD OR A WOLF – WOLVES IN THE PULPIT. In this post I shared Tom Pennington’s message, as well as Phil Johnson’s message from the 2014 Shepherd’s Conference. I originally shared their messages because I was still deeply troubled due to the fact that my former pastor for 14 1/2 years — James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows — made the decision to place Steven  Furtick and Mark Driscoll in the pulpit while I was still attending there. Even though I thought Phil Johnson and Tom Pennington’s messages were good at the time that I posted them, I now realize that I cannot keep their messages on my blog and still claim to be deeply concerned about what Reformed Theology/Calvinism teaches. At the point in time when I shared that post with all of you I was not fully aware of all that Calvinism teaches. Since I am much more informed now after doing so much research on Calvinism I  did not even hesitate for a moment before deleting that post. When time allows, I will be going over all of my previous posts and either deleting other things that I have posted, or I will at least be adding warnings if for some reason I see the need to keep something that was done by a Calvinist.

The one thing that comes to mind that I would like to keep on my  blog is the video that Calvinist, James White did in which he analyzed everything that Modalist and Word of Faith teacher, T D Jakes had said when he took part in the Elephant Room II Conference in January of 2012. Christians need to hear what went on that night during that Conference and realize that T D Jakes did not embrace the doctrine of the Trinity as those in attendance that night were led to believe, and James White made that abundantly clear in his video. However, if I come across something equally as good that was written or recorded  by a pastor or teacher who is not a Calvinist I will delete James White’s video and replace it with what I find. Okay, I am beginning to ramble, so I need to get back on track:

Unbeknownst to those who read this blog, as I seriously thought and prayed about addressing the teachings of Calvinism on my blog I was actually contacted by three different people who requested that I write about it. What they shared with me will remain confidential, but I will simply say that God used them to strongly confirm to me that this is something I need to write about.

I will now admit to you that one reason why it is taking me so long to write the Catholicism series is because my concern about Calvinism is equally as strong as it is about Catholicism. Therefore, I sometimes find myself doing research on Calvinism when I should actually be writing the next post in the Catholicism series. But with God’s help I will be more focused in 2017 and I will choose to concentrate on writing what I need to share with you about Catholicism first before I do any more research on Calvinism.

When I do begin the series on Calvinism, I promise to be Christlike in how I present this information to you, and I will not bash any Reformed/Calvinist pastor or teacher as I present this information to you. I will also ask those of you who will choose to make a comment on any of these posts in this upcoming series to respectfully do the same, no matter what side of this issue you presently stand on.

One of the things that I will be doing in order to prepare to write this series on Calvinism is that I will be listening to all of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion which I found recorded on YouTube, and I will then compare John Calvin’s comments against Scripture and present them all to you.

For those of you who have subscribed to this blog and consider yourselves to be Reformed/Calvinists, I realize that some of you may now decide to unsubscribe to this blog after reading some of what I will be sharing here in 2017.  However, I truly hope and pray that you will at least consider reading what I have to share here when the time comes. After all, if you truly love Jesus Christ — and I believe that you do — I know that the desire of your heart is to walk in truth as God’s Word shows us that we are to do:

“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.” (2 John 1:4)

“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:4)

Will you be willing to test the teachings of Calvinism and the teachings of your favorite teacher on the subject against Scripture as God shows us in His Word that we are to do?I pray that you will.

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

In this series I will also be presenting posts to you in which former Calvinists will be sharing their testimonies. Two people have already agreed to share their stories here with all of you.

You will also be reading a post that will originally be written by someone who has a loved one who is presently deeply involved in Calvinism. By reading what this person is willing to share with all of you, my prayer is that many of  you will then come to realize how the teachings of Calvinism distorts one’s thoughts about God and Biblical Christianity.

If you are a former Calvinist and you are interested in sharing your story here, please contact me using the Contact Form and I will consider sharing your story here, as well, as long as you are a born-again Christian and not an Arminian…Arminianism  is based on some theological ideas of Jacobus Arminius who was a Dutch Reformed theologian.  Like I have said in many of my posts, as Christians we are to be followers of Jesus Christ alone; we are not to be followers of any man (or woman) and their ministry.

In the coming year I will also be presenting teachings to you on Reformed Theology by pastors who have compared these teachings against Scripture and have found them to be very troubling.

Recently I heard Pastor Chris Quintana of Calvary Chapel Cypress  announce that he will be having George Bryson speaking on Calvinism in March.  George Bryson has written books on Calvinism such as, THE FIVE POINTS OF CALVINISM:  WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING and THE DARK SIDE OF CALVINISM. If this presentation by George Bryson will be live streamed I will (Lord willing) share it with you here, as well.

A good suggestion was given to me way back in June of this year by a reader of this blog in which he stated in his comment that I should consider putting together a page or a post which lists some of the videos that I believe to be the most important or helpful. So Alec, thank you very much again for that very good suggestion! Lord willing, that post will be coming in January or February. I am so sorry that it is taking me so long to actually getting around to putting it together!

I will also be writing some posts to show the importance of praying for discernment –even while listening to so-called Christian songs!

As always, I will continue to challenge all of you in my posts to test everything that you read and listen to against Scripture so that you will never be deceived by the many pastors and teachers who are encouraging Christians to have experiences with God or telling them to look for truth outside of the pages of God’s Word.

Truly we are living at a time when Jesus Christ could return at any moment! Maybe even before the first day of this New Year comes to an end! If so, would you be ready? Is your faith in what Jesus Christ has already done for you? Or are you trusting that your good works will be the evidence that will grant you eternal life? Do not be deceived!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a  workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28,29)

 

 

Thank you to those of you who have taken time out of your busy days over this past year to stop by here to read some of my posts and poems. I appreciate all of you very much!

Thank you also to those of you who took the time to leave your comments  and words of wisdom, as well as your words of appreciation and encouragement. I can never thank you enough!

God bless each and every one of you in 2017 with His wisdom, His discernment, and His grace.

~Mary/Living4HisGlory

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