Showing posts with label Spiritual Warfare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spiritual Warfare. Show all posts

Friday, February 24, 2012

Do You Understand Your Faith?

Many times, I have said that the main problem within the Church, is that the laity does not understand their Catholic faith. Many attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation, yet don't know why. Some just go to Mass out of habit, and not out of conviction.

This was plainly made apparent to me when I was attending RCIA classes in preparation for my coming into the Catholic Church. I don't know how many times "cradle Catholics" would sit in on the RCIA class conducted by Father Arnsparger, and hearing his teaching would say, "I never knew that"...or..."Is that in the Catechism'?

So, I see from the news from The Vatican Information Service (VIS) that I am not alone in thinking this. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI thinks the same thing, and gave an "off the cuff" commentary after the reading of a passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

The report from VIS on the Holy Father's remarks are reproduced below. The emphases are mine:

Christians Need To Understand Their Faith In Order To Help Others To God

Vatican City, 24 February 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday morning the Holy Father met with priests of the diocese of Rome. Following a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, Benedict XVI delivered a long off-the-cuff commentary on the Gospel passage.

The Apostle says: "I ... beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".

The first call we receive is that of Baptism, the Pope explained, the second is the vocation to be pastors at the service of Christ. "The great ill of the Church in Europe and the West today is the lack of priestly vocations. Yet, the Lord calls always, what is lacking are ears to listen. We listened to the Lord's voice and must remain attentive when that voice is addressed to others. We must help to ensure the voice is heard so that the call will be accepted".

According to St. Paul, the primary virtue which must accompany vocation is humility. This is the virtue of the followers of Christ Who, "being equal to God, humbled Himself, accepting the status of servant, and obeying even unto the cross. This was the Son's journey of humility, which we must imitate. ... The opposite of humility is pride, the root of all sin. Pride means arrogance, which above all seeks power and appearance. ... It has no intention of pleasing God; rather of pleasing itself, of being accepted, even venerated, by others. The 'self' becomes the centre of the world; the prideful self which knows everything. Being Christian means overcoming this original temptation, which is also the nucleus of original sin: being like God, but without God".

By contrast "humility is above all truth, ... recognition that I am a thought of God in the construction of His world, that I am irreplaceable as I am, in my smallness, and that only in this way am I great. ... Let us learn this realism; not seeking appearance, but seeking to please God and to accomplish what He has thought out for us, and thus also accepting others. ... Acceptance of self and acceptance of others go together. Only by accepting myself as part of the great divine tapestry can I also accept others, who with me form part of the great symphony of the Church and Creation". In this way, likewise, we learn to accept our position within the Church, knowing that "my small service is great in the eyes of God".

Lack of humility destroys the unity of Christ's Body. Yet at the same time, unity cannot develop without knowledge. "One great problem facing the Church today is the lack of knowledge of the faith, 'religious illiteracy'", the Pope said. "With such illiteracy we cannot grow. ... Therefore we must reappropriate the contents of the faith, not as a packet of dogmas and commandments, but as a unique reality revealed in its all its profoundness and beauty. We must do everything possible for catechetical renewal in order for the faith to be known, God to be known, Christ to be known, the truth to be known, and for unity in the truth to grow".

We cannot, Benedict XVI warned, live in "a childhood of faith". Many adults have never gone beyond the first catechesis, meaning that "they cannot - as adults, with competence and conviction - explain and elucidate the philosophy of the faith, its great wisdom and rationality" in order to illuminate the minds of others. To do this they need an "adult faith". This does not mean, as has been understood in recent decades, a faith detached from the Magisterium of the Church. When we abandon the Magisterium, the result is dependency "on the opinions of the world, on the dictatorship of the communications media". By contrast, true emancipation consists in freeing ourselves of these opinions, the freedom of the children of God. "We must pray to the Lord intensely, that He may help us emancipate ourselves in this sense, to be free in this sense, with a truly adult faith, ... capable of helping others achieve true perfection ... in communion with Christ".

The Pope went on: "Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".

"Where there is truth, there is charity", the Pope concluded. "This, thanks be to God, can be seen in all centuries, despite many sad events. The fruits of charity have always been present in Christianity, just as they are today. We see it in the martyrs, we see it in so many nuns, monks, and priests who humbly serve the poor and the sick. They are the presence of Christ's charity and a great sign that the truth is here".

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stumbling Blocks In Our Midst

Pope BenedictXVI in a recent interview stated that he did not believe that the use of condoms and the encouragement of their usage would stem the epidemic of AIDS in Africa. He said a moral and responsible attitude towards sex could fight the disease. Immediately there were editorials condemning his statement from the New York Times, from politicians, and various officials of AIDS/HIV organizations around the world. Some failed to report that what he also said, means that according to Catholic belief encouraging people to use condoms, was in fact encouraging them to give into their carnal desires, and encourage sexual activity outside the bounds of holy matrimony. There was even a resolution from the Belgian Parliament calling the Holy Father's comments unacceptable. France and Germany also called Pope Benedict's remarks dangerous and irresponsible.

The United Church of Christ quickly jumped on the bandwagon of critics on the Pope's statement, and evidently just could not resist going further. On March 19, the HIV and AIDS Network of the United Church of Christ (UCC) advocated the distribution of condoms at places of worship and “faith-based educational settings.” (Church ran schools?) The statement of advocacy was given at a presentation to the UCC Wider Church Ministries Board. Michael Shuenemeyer a UCC executive said, “The practice of safer sex is a matter of life and death. People of faith make condoms available so that we and our children may live.”

“The UCC denomination is descended from Puritan and Congregationalist traditions. The UCC has about 1.2 million members today, down from 2.1 million in 1967. In the most recent year from the data available, the UCC reportedly lost 6 per cent of its membership. This is according to its 2009 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.” [1]

I can start to see why they have lost membership. Apparently, the UCC does not see that the first duty of any Christian church is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That duty also entails the discouragement of sin among the members, not the encouragement of sin. When a so-called religious body or group encourages sin, it is failing to heed Christ's warning not to become a stumbling block, and not to cause “one of these little ones to sin”.

The Catholic Church, along with the vast majority of Protestant churches, knows and teaches that any sex outside the bounds of marriage is a grave sin. When any church advocates the distribution of condoms, when it advocates sin, it is no longer an institution of faith, but it has become an institution of the world. When any Christian advocates sin and the world and does not advocate Christ, His Church, and His Kingdom then they effectively and completely deny Christ. They have then become teachers of false doctrine, and teach in opposition to what Christ taught. Man may change, the world may change, but God and God's Law never changes. We cannot change God or God's law to suit us; we cannot change truth to suit us. When we think that we can change whom God is, what His Law is, by using the feeble excuse that “the world has changed”, then we are making ourselves god, and we are in fact calling God a liar and His Law obsolete and unneeded.

Pope Benedict XVI was criticized by these different nations, organizations, and the U.C.C. who saw this as an opportunity to show how open minded and tolerant they are, and how closed minded and intolerant they perceive Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church to be. What they have shown in fact is that the UCC and other like-minded organizations are more in love with the world and what the world thinks of them. Pope Benedict upheld the Commandments against adultery and Christ's teaching on marriage. Yet these others upheld the world.

People of faith would and should make sure that the members of their churches, especially the young people of their churches and “faith-based educational settings”, know and understand that any sex outside of marriage is wrong. It is a mortal sin, and people who engage in sex outside of marriage are being disrespectful to each other and to themselves. They are not only harming themselves and endangering their lives, but most importantly, they are endangering their soul and eternal life with Christ. It seems that a truly Christian church would make Christ and His teachings known so that “we and our children may live”.

From Holy Scripture:

Exodus 20:14, and Deuteronomey 5:18: You shall not commit adultery.

Isaiah 5:20-24 : Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that rue wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him. Therefore as the tongue of the fire devours the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumes it: so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Matthew 7: 15-20: Beware of false prophets,who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.

Luke 17:1-3: He said to his disciples, "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Romans 16:17-18: I urge you brothers to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.

2 Timothy 4: 1-4: I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. Be sober.

1 Peter 3:17: For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

From The Catechism of the Catholic Church :

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.
2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."(Mat. 18:6;1 Cor 8:10-13) Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing. (Mat. 7:15)
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
Therefore they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."(Pope Pius XII, June 1941) This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, (Eph 6:4;Col 3:21) or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.
2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!” (Lk 17:1)

Copyright © 2009 Steve Smith. All Rights Reserved.
[1] Catholic News Agency

Monday, July 10, 2006

Today’s Christianity:

Pick and Choose Theology

There is a trend in today’s Christianity that is ever growing, and is an alarming trend that threatens the very foundations and tenets of our faith. That trend is not limited to any one geographical or denominational identifier, but, is widespread among all nations, all peoples, and all systems of Christian belief. Thousands and thousands of people who would identify themselves as Christian have willingly been led into "pick and choose" theology. Most of these pick and choosers tend to identify themselves as “progressive Christians”.

What was that? You’re asking me what is a "progressive Christian"? You sure you want the answer? Especially coming from me, one who is an unabashed conservative. You really want my answer? OK, then…you asked for it…too late to cry now, so here it is: A “progressive Christian” is a person or group of people who though they claim to be nominally Christian, do not have the faith, courage, integrity or intestinal fortitude to stand up for God and His truth, but, have the unwavering, unflinching, unmitigated gall to stand up for anything and everything that opposes God, opposes His Church, opposes the teachings of His prophets and His Apostles. They are the ones who will call sin good, and call that which is good evil.

We see these people making their outlandish and ungodly stands on television, radio, the internet, and in the print media as well. If there is a camera, a microphone or pen and paper to be had, they will do all that they can to try to destroy all that God has wrought. You will see them use terms like “social justice” where they accuse the conservatives of ignoring the poor and vulnerable while focusing on issues like abortion and same sex marriage.

I tend to think they want we conservatives to ignore abortion and same sex marriage issues, because deep down they know that theologically the “progressives” don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to those two issues. The “progressives” would like for us all to think…no, to believe that because man changes, God changes, too. I think they actually believe that God should reform to suit what they think and what they believe, and that God and His law are merely words written in a book that can be taken or discarded at will.

They really don’t understand scripture or the teachings of the Apostles and the Church, and they tend to prove so each and every time they open their mouths. For instance, when conservatives oppose the gay lifestyle that is so often promoted by these “progressives”, the progressives will tell us, and in quite a smug manner, too, that “if Jesus was walking on earth today, He would be spending His time with the gays and lesbians” and so forth. I have to agree. He more than likely would. What they fail to comprehend with what they have said, is that they themselves have just made an admission of the gay lifestyle being a sin, and that all of us... are in need of His redemption. For when Jesus taught in Palestine, He was always with the sinners, and in Mark 2: 16 And the scribes and the Pharisees, seeing that he ate with publicans and sinners, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 17 Jesus hearing this, saith to them: They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For I came not to call the just, but sinners. Further, they also should realize, that as His instructions to them would be as His instructions to the woman caught in adultery in John 8: 10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? 11 Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.

So, yes. I agree Jesus would be with them, and He would tell them, as He tells us all to “go and sin no more". His being with them would not be to approve their lifestyle, but, to reprove it.

What people do not want to realize, do not want to admit, is that no matter how much man changes, no matter how much the times may change, God does not change. God is not bound by time, He is beyond all time, and His ways and His thoughts are above our ways and our thoughts. God is not bound by what we may think is right or wrong, but, man is bound to honor and obey what God says is right and what He says is wrong, and there is nothing or no one who can change what God’s law is, and no matter what man may think it should be, God has told us all what His law is, and a feeble excuse on His Day of Judgment that “the times had changed” is not going to hold up. We know what His law is. It is up to each of us to do it. Calling oneself “progressive” is just an excuse to live as we please, and not as God pleases. After all, God’s way is tough. The progressive way is not, and is a way of denying that sin is indeed, sin.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.21 Woe to you that rue wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. 22 Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. 23 That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him. 24 Therefore as the tongue of the fire devoureth the stubble, and the heat of the dame consumeth it: so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the Holy One of Israel.

2 Timothy 4: 1 I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: 2 Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. 3 For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: 4 And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. 5 But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.

Copyright © 2006 Steve Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Interview with Early Church Fathers

As so many seem to have deviated away from the Teachings of the Catholic Church, let us then examine the difference between the Faith of today and the Faith that our Martyrs died for many centuries ago.


The Words of Polycarp to the Philippians;

"Wherefore, girding up your loins," serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and "believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory, and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him...if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: "Judge not, that ye be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you...once more, "Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'Wherefore, girding up your loins, keep always the thought of what others may think of you to the forefront. Do not offend those who hold different views from yourself, it could be the case that your God may not be everyone's god so just choose a god that appeases all. Do not talk about such things as the one who Judges all, it may cause offense and may be seen as a hate crime so keep the truth quiet in order to get along with the world.'


The Words of Polycarp of Smyrna

"For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist;" and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning; "watching unto prayer," and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God "not to lead us into temptation," as the Lord has said: "The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'For whosoever does not confess Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an enlightened human being; and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross is sensitive to those who wish to embrace other spiritualities and validate those who worship such things as crystals, fire, water and air much like the Wiccans and pagans. Whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord should be allowed to explore their own version of what they believe and explore their own sexuality without fear of committing offense. Let us therefore embrace inner freedom and respect those who wish to fornicate, lust after their neighbors goods or who prefer to live alternative lifestyles. Let us not remind others of sins, lest you incur their wrath.'


The Words of Polycarp of Smyrna

"I exhort you all, therefore, to yield obedience to the word of righteousness, and to exercise all patience, such as ye have seen [set] before your eyes, not only in the case of the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles. [This do] in the assurance that all these have not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are [now] in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world, but Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

' I exhort you all, therefore. to yield obedience to anything you hear so long as it appeases the crowd and those who have chosen to live outside of the Word of God, lest a minority find us to be intolerant. Do not take much note of men such as Ignatius or Paul, they lived long ago what relevance do they have in this year 2006? Do not concern yourselves with righteousness it may cost you your popularity therefore go along with the crowds who wish to believe in Buddha, Wicca, Crystals, séances etc. Live for the present world, embrace all worldly philosophies and spiritualities, why should you put your life on the line just for mere 'words'? These men are long dead forget about them and live for today.'


The Words of Polycarp of Smyrna

"For I trust that ye are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted. It is declared then in these Scriptures, "Be ye angry, and sin not," and, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Happy is he who remembers this, which I believe to be the case with you. But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who "raised Him from the dead." Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest to all, and that ye may be perfect in Him."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'For I trust that ye are not to well versed in the Sacred Scriptures for if one were to understand the Word of God then your excuse of ignorance is gone, therefore do not read the Scriptures lest it indicts you! Do not pray too much, many find the word God offensive and prayer is out of place in this 'peaceful' world. Remember there is no 'God' as you know it but there are many gods, let us call 'god' the 'universal spirit' or the 'feminine goddess' so that all may feel included and may pride reign forever.'

The proconsul said to Saint Polycarp such things as "Have respect to thy old age" and "swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists."
When Polycarp entered the stadium a voice from Heaven rang out, 'Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp'!"
The Proconsul said"...say, Away with the Atheists", Saint Polycarp "gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, 'Away with the Atheists'."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'Gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen Polycarp then changed his expression to one of benevolence and acceptance as he looked upon the crowds in the stadium and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, and said, 'Let me join you in the stadium, after all your idea of 'god' is fine so long as you feel validated, it is only right you should worship whom you believe in whether that be God or your 'god' of choice. We must learn religious toleration, any 'god' or 'gods' should be acceptable for who am I to tell you different? That would make me intolerant if I do not accept your choice of 'gods'. What is 'truth' for your 'truth' may not be my truth so let us all embrace and live our own 'truths' lest we be considered pious or holy.'


Justin Martyr was born approximately 100 AD, let us examine his words and then the politically correct Justin.

These are the words of St. Justin

"When I was a disciple of Plato, hearing the accusations made against the Christians and seeing them intrepid in the face of death and of all that men fear, I said to myself that it was impossible that they should be living in evil and in the love of pleasure"

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

'When I was a disciple of Plato, hearing the accusations made against the Christians and seeing them intrepid in the face of death, I thought what 'god' are they willing to die for? Should we not be embracing all 'gods' in order to appease and be seen as tolerant toward those who share other views? Should we not applaud nay even follow after those who follow the 'gods' of power, wealth, beauty and where sin no longer exists? Do they not have a better 'god' where all conduct is acceptable as a lifestyle choice?' Surely this is more acceptable than dying for what you actually believe? I ponder these things.'


The words of Justin Martyr

"To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy neither of blame nor of condemnation. I have endeavoured to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians, even though they do not please those who hold false opinions..."That according to which we worship the God of the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible; and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples. And I, being a man, think that what I can say is insignificant in comparison with His boundless divinity, acknowledging a certain prophetic power, since it was prophesied concerning Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold His appearance among men."

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

'To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is not a good idea, it is far to constraining and many prefer to live in an age of freedom, surely we must show ourselves to be broadminded and accepting of what others choose to believe. As for Jesus divinity that is now in dispute who am I to go against the masses, surely I should be accepting of all 'truths' no matter what that 'truth' is? Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold his appearance, but then again this is a new age, and the prophets wrote these words so long ago. Should we really take note of old men with old ideas?'


The words of Justin Martyr

"Yes, I am a Christian...I hope that, if I endure these things, I shall have His gifts. For I know that, to all who have thus lived, there abides the divine favour until the completion of the whole world. No right-thinking person falls away from piety to impiety. Through prayer we can be saved on account of our Lord Jesus Christ, even when we have been punished, because this shall become to us salvation and confidence at the more fearful and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour."

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

'Yes, I am a Christian...though I am also accepting of other idea's and philosophies, why should I demand that others believe as I do? What matters is that I am saved I care not for speaking the Truth lest others may feel offended. No right-thinking person should actually live their Faith or they may be called 'holier than thou' or worse they may lose their popularity. As for universal judgement-seat of our Lord and Saviour, who and what is your 'god' of the day, surely we have become to sophisticated for this outmoded thinking of 'judging'.'


"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

The Politically Correct Saint Irenaeus

'For this is why the Word became man, so that we could internalise what Jesus was really saying by reading and watching heretical works pertaining to who Jesus really is. Why should we be chained by the Truth, especially in these days where every 'truth' is acceptable."


The Words of St Irenaeus

"God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all his greatness by any of his creatures. Yet he is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel, "No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; he has revealed him."

The Politically Correct Saint Irenaeus

'God is the source of all activity throughout creation. We must accept that we are descended from apes for this is what science teaches us, has not science become a new 'god'? Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father. Surely as intelligent human beings we understand the Bible was written by men who are fallible, do we trust this 'man written bible' or should we rely on our own reasoning abilities? God is what you want him to be, lest anyone feel excluded, therefore as proud 'catholics' surely we should be open minded to realise that there is no truth outside of your own perceived 'truths', therefore all 'truths' are true, are they not?'


When we review the words and the lives of these great Martyrs and then study the politically correct language of today, we must ask ourselves.... Where do we stand when it comes to speaking the Truths of the Church? Or did our Martyrs die for nothing?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Forgiveness. Just what is forgiveness? According to the Pocket Catholic Dictionary by Father John A. Hardon, S.J., the following applies:

  • FORGIVENESS. Pardon or remission of an offense. The Catholic Church believes that sins forgiven are actually removed from the soul (John 20) and not merely covered over by the merits of Christ. Only God can forgive sins, since he alone can restore sanctifying grace to a person who has sinned gravely and thereby lost the state of grace. God forgives sins to the truly repentant either immediately through an act of perfect contrition or mediately through a sacrament. The sacraments primarily directed to the forgiveness of sins are baptism and penance, and secondarily, under certain conditions, also the sacrament of anointing.

Yet, we are also called to forgive. Time and again, we are asked by Jesus to forgive those who have wronged us, those who have hurt us. Yet, we being too human for own good, sometimes find it almost impossible to forgive others for wrongs that they have committed against our person. I think that a good example of this is a quote from President John F. Kennedy: "Forgive your enemies, but, remember their names."

That quote I think, shows our true "human" character. We say we forgive, but, is it true forgiveness, or do we say we forgive in order to try to fool ourselves, fool our "enemies", or are we trying to fool God?

When we say we forgive, then we are to forgive others, as Our Lord forgives us. To do otherwise is not living up to his example in forgiving us. Saint John said, he who hates His brother, and says he loves the Father, is a liar. He has no love in him. I will also say, he that says he forgives his brother, but, will not forget his brothers offense, is a liar. For any man or woman who cannot and will not forget the offenses against him by his/her brother/sister, is placing themselves above God, and saying their giving or refusing forgiveness is above God's forgiveness. When we are told to forgive, we are to totally and completely forgive, and we are to totally and completely forget the wrongs done unto us. When God forgives us, our sins, our wrongs are completely forgotten by Him, as if we had never sinned. If we do not forgive as completely as God does, then we are in the wrong. By not forgiving completely, and by not forgetting what was done to us, then we are saying that we are above God. "Mary Jane was just so mean to me. I can forgive what she said, but, I'll never forget what she said!" Is that the kind of forgiveness Jesus wanted us to show? Or is the kind of forgiveness He shows us, the same kind He showed to the woman caught in adultery?

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst,
4 And said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?
6 And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground.
7 When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again stooping down, he wrote on the ground.
9 But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?
11 Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.

Is that not the same kind of forgiveness that we should show? For if we truly forgive, then there is nor was any wrong against us. If we say we forgive, and still manage to hold onto a grudge, still have memories of the wrongs, then we have not forgiven them as we have asked God to forgive us. We see from this that not only was she forgiven, but, her sin was forgotten, because there is no one to accuse her. In God's sight, when He has forgiven us our sins, there is no one to accuse us, no one to remember our offense, so it is as if our sin never happened.

In His prayer, He said for us to pray: "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". How much more clear can it be?

Forgive us Father, as we forgive them who have hurt us. So that we may strive, to make our forgiveness as true, perfect, and loving as yours is to us. Strengthen us, encourage us, and embolden us, to be as loving and forgiving unto others as You, Our Lord and Master, are unto us.

James 2:8 If then you fulfill the royal law, according to the scriptures: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; you do well.
9 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, being reproved by the law as transgressors.
10 And whosoever shall keep the whole law, but offend in one point, is become guilty of all.
11 For he that said: Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also: Thou shalt not kill. Now if thou do not commit adultery, but shalt kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye and so do, as being to be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment without mercy to him that hath not done mercy. And mercy exalteth itself above judgment.

So, let us always strive to forget the offense of those we have forgiven. Granted, we are human, we are weak, but, rely on His strength, His Love, His forgiveness to guide us, strengthen us, and encourage us to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Him. Remember, asking for forgiveness, and then bestowing forgiveness to another, is a two fold occurrence of humility. One must humble him or her self to ask forgiveness, and we being only human, must also humble ourselves, and as true Christians grant forgiveness to those who are truly sorrowful. Now, that having been said, that does not mean that once you have forgiven someone, you have to become "best friends", hang out together, have them over to your house for dinner, etc., etc. It just means you have to love them, as He loves you.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.

Copyright © 2006 Steve Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Alive and Well In The 21st Century

Catholics and other Christians read or hear about Gnosticism, and think it a heresy that was well defeated almost 2,000 years ago. The truth is, that although Gnosticism in and of itself is “dead” as a religion (thanks mostly to the work of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons for his work “Against Heresies”), it is a major component in all heresies, and in many heresies, it is the largest contribution to those heresies. In truth, many works read and believed...unfortunately...are rampant with Gnosticism. As are many “New Age” religions. Gnosticism, has just been reworked so to speak, with new names but the same tenets.

First, let us take a look at the work that is so full of Gnostic beliefs and ideas, that it is mind boggling that many Christians took this work of fiction, which is what it has always declared itself to be, as a work of fact! The title of this infamous novel, is “The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown. Yet, many people who attend Mass, who attend services at their church, who will call themselves true believers, grabbed onto this book, and began exploring this work of fiction as truth. The dictionary tells us what fiction is:
1. a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.
2. A lie.
3. a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
b. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels and short stories.

Amazingly enough, people forgot all about this warning from Christ Himself, as recorded in the Gospel of Saint Mark:

Mark 13:22 For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, and they shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce (if it were possible) even the elect.

And people were seduced, and are still being seduced into believing a work of fiction, instead of believing the Holy Word of God. They would rather accept as fact, the words of a man who is willing to get paid for what he wrote, as opposed to accepting as fact the words of men who were willing to die for what they wrote.

People who are accepting “The Davinci Code” as fact, accepting it as truth, and are ready, willing, and able to throw away the truth of Holy Scripture, are not Christian, but, are in fact apostates and heretics, who have thrown the truth of Jesus Christ out the window, and have thrown their salvation away as well. Apostasy is the total rejection by a baptized person of the Christian faith he once professed. Heresy is an opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs, especially dissension from or denial of Roman Catholic dogma by a professed believer or baptized church member.

Now, there is the National Geographic Channel, who is pushing a special in April, that touts a discovery that exasperated 21st century Bible scholars, The Gospel of Judas. Now, it seems that the National Geographic Society, through its television channel, is out to destroy it's own credibility. Saint Irenaeus himself, showed the fallacy of this so-called “gospel” in “Against Heresies” about the “Doctrines of the Cainites” Book 1, Chapter 31, paragraph 1:

“Others again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator, yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.”

Now, I ask you...if you have read the truth of the Holy Scriptures, especially the Gospels, how could a person be so ignorant, so intellectually challenged, as to actually believe that there was a “Gospel of Judas”?
Especially, as that “gospel” is widely acknowledged to have been written in the 2nd century!

Why do people make such a great effort to read those Gospels known as the Gnostic Gospels, such as The Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Nicodemus, and others? Yet these same people cannot and will not take the time, or make the effort to read the Gospels of Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The Church has consistently advised the faithful to not read the Gnostics as they are heretical, and lack genuineness and canonicity. They have none of the truth that is Christ Jesus, but, they do have all of the deceit and lies of a false heretical belief system known as Gnosticism.
If people have grown weary of the teachings of the one true Church, have grown weary of professing their faith by the reception of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, what hope is left for them? I am afraid that all we can do is pray for them, and gently remind them, that although they are weary of the Church, God, and His one true Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church are not weary of them. For the Shepherd always welcomes His lost sheep back to the fold.
These people are like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They willingly defy what God wants for us all. Eve's first mistake, was not eating the apple. Her first mistake, was listening to Satan to begin with. The people who are so ready for these heresies, have also made the mistake of listening to Satan. Adam and Eve allowed their pride to overrule what God had told them. It was pride which made them eat the apple, to not just be “like God” as the serpent said, but, to surpass God. They, like Satan, wanted to become greater than God Himself. The people who so readily latch onto this modern day Gnosticism also are allowing their pride to lead them into believing that they can have a knowledge that is only obtainable by God, and that with this knowledge they can surpass God. Adam and Eve had no predecessors to warn them of the consequences of their actions. All they had, was the Word of God, and in the end, who did Adam and Eve follow, and whom did they obey? Adam and Eve, like us, had God's Word, because as Saint John says in his Gospel:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In the end, as always the choice is ours. Do we follow our first parents, and allow our pride to lead us to a fall? Or, do we follow Christ, and His Church, and like Jesus and Mary, remain obedient to God and His word? For whoever or whatever fills your heart, mind, and soul, is your God, your faith.

Copyright © 2006 Steve Smith. All Rights Reserved.