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A NOTE: So why do we waste our time following the antics of the pope and others? It may just be a weakness of the web master and his Roman Catholic background. On the other hand, it may be an appropriate way to warn the faithful of things to come. The Bible clearly tells us that the end times will include the rise of an apostate "Christian" church. Even among so-called Christian denominations, there has never been a time that they admitted their attraction to Rome as they do today. The recent admiring words from so-called Protestants that continue to pour forth since the death and burial of John Paul II offers plenty of proof. The errors of JPII and Benedict and their  church don't seem to phase certain "ecumenical" Protestants in the least.  It's foolish to ignore the biblical prophecies of mass apostasy and fail to see that it is already here...

Here's the LATEST...

The ape pictured at the right is my uncle. He had a role in "Planet of the Apes." Can you guess who he is in real life and who he played in the movie?

August '07 

The pope voluntarily proves again that he doesn't know the biblical Gospel!

In late August Pope Benedict decided to share his "Gospel" with the world at his Angelus on Aug. 26. Without hesitation, the pope told us there are certain things you can do to get yourself to heaven. Once again, he proved he just doesn't believe the Gospel found in the word of God. As Benedict put it:

"...everyone may enter life, but the door is "narrow" for all. We are not privileged. The passage to eternal life is open to all, but it is "narrow" because it is demanding: it requires commitment, self-denial and the mortification of one's selfishness.

Salvation, which Jesus brought with his death and Resurrection, is universal. He is the One Redeemer and invites everyone to the banquet of immortal life; but on one and the same condition: that of striving to follow and imitate him, taking up one's cross as he did, and devoting one's life to serving the brethren. This condition for entering heavenly life is consequently one and universal.

...True friendship with Jesus is expressed in the way of life: it is expressed with goodness of heart, with humility, meekness and mercy, love for justice and truth, a sincere and honest commitment to peace and reconciliation.

We might say that this is the "identity card" that qualifies us as his real "friends"; this is the "passport" that will give us access to eternal life.

Thomas Lane of New Jersey answered the pope just as good if not better than I could:

The Pope stressed that on the last day, “it is not on the basis of alleged privileges that we shall be judged but on the merit of our deeds. The ‘agents of iniquity’ will find themselves excluded while those who did good deeds at the cost of sacrifices shall be welcomed.” This is the typical "works-righteousness" theology that stenches up the whole of Christianity. 

 The Pope deigns to assert that he is the keeper of that small door to which this article refers, when Saint Paul asserts that no one is righteous before God - that our works are insufficient to merit our salvation. Saint Paul, our greatest saint and evangelist - the patron saint of gentiles - asserted that the work of God for us was to have faith in whom He sent - Jesus Christ - that the merits of Christ's suffering for all sins of all time, and the free gift of grace from God the Father as a result was the key to the small door to which the pope alludes.

Due to our fallen nature, even though sanctified by Christ's gift of salvation to us, our works continue to be insufficient to merit our salvation. The pope is all wrong about this issue, and he leads God's flock away from truth.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Thomas Lane

 

July '07

What a big month! The pope has reinstated the "traditional Mass" which priests will have to train to be able to say by September of this year. Like they need one more thing to do. And the Pope reminded everyone who is not Roman Catholic that they are not in the true church! You must be in the Roman Church which preaches a false gospel, in order to be in the "true church." Sure it's the church that has forgotten the Gospel
     What a blessing this will be, speaking our worship in a foreign tongue. Back to the good old days when no one gave a hoot and just showed up at Mass to try to ensure they wouldn't go straight to hell when they died. Thank God for Purgatory! That's where all the folks from EWTN want to go, how about you? Christ died only for the "possibility" of your salvation, according to the Pope and his Church.    

May '07   Protestant leader returns to his R. Catholic roots

There is always something interesting to read among the Catholic news bureaus featured at EWTN.com. The latest is that a guy who ran the Evangelical Theological Society (apparently a Protestant society) has quit to return to Roman Catholicism – the faith of his youth.

Dr. Francis Beckwith explained his decision: “In January, at the suggestion of a dear friend, I began reading the Early Church Fathers as well as some of the more sophisticated works on justification by Catholic authors. I became convinced that the Early Church is more Catholic than Protestant and that the Catholic view of justification, correctly understood, is biblically and historically defensible.”

But what is this “Catholic view of justification” that Beckwith has gone back to? In its most simple form it is a justification that can be lost by the believing sinner. All the believing sinner need do is to commit a mortal sin (serious sin). According to Roman Catholicism, such a sin essentially erases what Christ has done for the sinner in a “serious sin” situation. Unless the sin is confessed to a priest, the sinner is destined to go to Hell if he/she dies with a mortal sin on their soul.   

Dr. Beckwith has decided that he can embrace this false gospel. Let us pray for him and all those who believe that they have any role in their salvation. We are saved by Christ alone.

April '07

Giving God some due for creating all things

Okay, we'll break down and admit it. Our hats are off to the pope for stressing that evolution is not proven. You may remember that some months back (September) we took a guess that because of the notorious bishops and so called Vatican experts who were go to join Benedict at a retreat on evolution, he would come out supporting it. We are thankfully wrong and glad to admit it, although we feel the following statement was more diplomatic (as we've seen lately from Benedict) than theological:

"The question is not to either make a decision for a creationism that fundamentally excludes science, or for an evolutionary theory that covers over its own gaps and does not want to see the questions that reach beyond the methodological possibilities of natural science."

Does creationism fundamentally exclude science, as Benedict insinuates? There are several creationism scientists who would most ardently argue against Benedict's conclusion and provide what they see as geological evidence. But perhaps Benedict's conclusion is to be expected when you are surrounded by such hardcore evolutionary bishops and Vatican "experts" as he was last September.

I find it important to underline that the theory of evolution implies questions that must be assigned to philosophy and which themselves lead beyond the realms of science," said the pope in his new book, Creation and Evolution, which emerged from his ongoing meetings with fellow theologians he ahs known for years.

Now, if we could just move the pope toward the true Gospel, which tells us that Christ truly accomplished the salvation of those who believe in him as Lord and Savior, as God in the flesh.  But that is the work of the Holy Spirit, not us.   

March '07

Van Impe claims to really believe the pope has changed his mind and now embraces "faith alone." $$$Jack knows better.$$$  (also see below--the pope and universal salvation)

I had to write this down tonight because it was so ludicrous, not to mention terribly misleading. I happened to be flipping channels and ran headlong into TV evangelist Jack Van Impe. Anybody who watches Jack on a semi-regular basis knows that he and his beloved Rexella live in a world all their own and Jack proved that again tonight (3-21-07).

Jack actually told his TV audience that He believes the agreement the pope's people signed with the (liberal, abortion providing ELCA) Lutherans some years back proves that Roman Catholics now believe they are saved by faith alone. Well Jack, I sure hope some of them do, but you've got to understand that the pope has already declared the Roman church's major teachings on such matters "irreformable" and that means they are not subject to change.

The current pope Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger at the time of this joint signing (Oct. 1999) and he was widely reported as being against the signing of the document even though it stopped short of any real agreement on the Catholic side. Instead, the document merely served to allow the Roman Catholic Church to  restate that both faith and good works are necessary for the justification (being made righteous in the eyes of God) that leads to salvation. Richard Bennett did a great analysis that shows the Catholic Church has not by any means changed its teachings from the Council of Trent, here's an excerpt:

Trent in new garments

            In the Joint Declaration, imputed righteousness is cleverly sidestepped for the old lie of establishing one’s own righteousness.  The central point that separated the Reformation from Rome was the Biblical doctrine of extrinsic justification.  A person is accepted by the All Holy God only “in the beloved” to the praise of the glory of his grace.”[11]  The doctrine of imputed righteousness struck at the very heart of the Roman Catholic insistence on one being made inherently just, i.e., just within oneself.  In the Joint Declaration, the doctrine of extrinsic or imputed righteousness has been wiped out in favor of the Catholic Church doctrine of inherent righteousness (also known as "intrinsic righteousness").  Clearly, the Joint Declaration is an attempt to do away with the biblical Gospel.  Thus the Official Common Statement  2. A) reads,

“We confess together that God forgives sin by grace and at the same time frees human beings from sin’s enslaving power ” (JD 22).  “Justification is forgiveness of sins and being made righteous, through which God “imparts the gift of new life in Christ” (JD 22).  “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Rom 5:1).  We are “called children of God; and that is what we are” (1 Jn 3:1).  We are truly and inwardly renewed by the action of the Holy Spirit, (Editor's note: intrinsic righteousness--our own righteousness) remaining always dependent on his work in us.  “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Cor 5:17).  The justified do not remain sinners in this sense”.

This is a convoluted mixture of the doctrines of justification and sanctification rather than merely a problem of semantics.  Justification nowhere in Scripture ever means inherent righteousness (i.e. “being made righteous”).  The believer’s justification is not based on a single iota of anything in him: it is based wholly in his standing in Christ.  This is the crux of the matter in the Joint Declaration.  One goes the way of all flesh to the judgment of hell if he adds anything to the pure and perfect righteousness of Christ.  One needs to be, “afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of Christ”[12] 

To read Richard's full analysis, go to http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles/Catholic_Lutheran_Accord.htm

What Richard is saying is that those of us who believe in Christ are accounted "righteous" (made right with God - fit for heaven) only because of Christ's righteousness, and not any righteousness of our own. However, the Catholic Church used some creative "word smithing" in this document to claim that the believer is indeed made righteous on his own by his own good works with a little help from Christ. Go to Richard's link (above) and see that this matches perfectly with the teachings of the Council of Trent. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church did not change its teaching by signing this agreement with the Lutherans. It was a big public relations ploy to net a few more Protestants. It apparently paid off since several Lutheran pastors from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America were among those who "swam the Tiber" (converted to Roman Catholicism) after this agreement was inked.

Really Jack (Van Impe), you are some kinda' dude. You sat there at your anchor chair tonight and played like you were quoting John Paul II and telling everyone that he believed we are saved by faith alone and that good works were just fruits of that faith. Shame on you Jack, you need to repent and tell your audience the truth. JPII didn't believe that and neither does Benedict. If they did it would be really big news.

Nevertheless, I'll bet it will be a money-making "scoop" for you. Considering the fact that there are more than 30 million U.S.  Catholics out there who could potentially send money for your latest TV offering Jack ...I understand how you might be tempted try to make them feel good and get them to buy some product. Nevertheless, it is a cruel lie and it's hard for me to believe you don't know that. 

What all of us really want to know Jack is...where are you and Rexella headed for Spring Break--is Paris nice this time of the year?

 Benedict and his universal salvation gospel

(Also read Benedict's false gospel)


While pope Benedict may be better at telling Roman Catholics to "tow the doctrinal line" than his predecessor, traditional Catholics are well within reason to label him a heretic, just as they did JPII, Paul VI and John XXIII. Some of them have finally started including Pope Pius XII in that lineup as rightfully they should since he was the one that really got the ball rolling with "outside the faith (church) there is salvation." Pope Benedict (Ratzinger) has taken that concept to its zenith these days by intimating that belief in Christ is not necessary for those of other religions (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc...) to be saved. Benedict would fit right in at a liberal-minded Masonic Lodge.

While traditional Catholics are right about Benedict's heresy, the problem is that they themselves, just like their so-called Novus Ordo counterparts still don't have the Gospel. Without the Gospel, none of them can practice the true universal (catholic) faith. They don't believe that Christ died to secure the salvation of those who believe in him. Instead, they preach a Christ who died to offer everyone no more than the "possibility" of salvation.

In other words, Christ didn't really accomplish anything specific himself by dying on the cross.  If anything, He just provided an "option" for everyone to decide to follow him or not. The so-called "freewill" is what really matters and not what Christ did on the cross. The problem is they can't find anything about their "freewill" in God's word and St. Augustine warned them that they better depend on God's grace because their so-called "freewill" isn't worth trusting for a second. And as for Christ telling them that "He who believes in me has everlasting life" (John 6:47)--Perhaps they'd argue, he didn't mean it since they are firm believers that their good works are also necessary for their salvation.

But back to Benedict--he added insult to injury in November when he prayed with the Muslims and publicly intimated that Catholics and Muslims worship the same God.

In his speech to the President of the Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey, Benedict pointed to Vatican II and proclaimed:  

“Christians and Muslims belong to the family of those who believe in the one God and who, according to their respective traditions, trace their ancestry to Abraham (cf. Second Vatican Council, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate 1, 3). This human and spiritual unity in our origins and our destiny impels us to seek a common path as we play our part in the quest for fundamental values so characteristic of the people of our time.”

Yes Benedict, historically, we all trace our belief in one God to Abraham, but there is absolutely no “spiritual” unity because, from their very inception, Muslims chose to believe in a very different “one god.”

Benedict continued:

“I would like to quote some words addressed by Pope Gregory VII in 1076 to a Muslim prince in North Africa who had acted with great benevolence towards the Christians under his jurisdiction. Pope Gregory spoke of the particular charity that Christians and Muslims owe to one another ‘because we believe in one God, albeit in a different manner, and because we praise him and worship him every day as the Creator and Ruler of the world.’”

By using this quote, pope Benedict confirmed that this heresy had a been a long-standing one in the Roman Catholic Church, one that even “traditional” or Latin Mass Catholics cannot avoid. He confirmed that he truly believes, as did pope Gregory, that Muslims and Roman Catholics worship the same God and only the “manner” of the worship is different.

Nevertheless, Christ himself plainly tells us this is not a truth of the universal (catholic) faith. Jesus insists there is no God but his Father and only those who believe in him as the true Messiah, worship the one, true God.

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (John 14:7)

“…no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22)

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44)

“No one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.”  (John 6:65)

"I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)

All of these words of Christ are an abomination to the Muslim, who does not call or recognize God as “Father” and certainly does not recognize Christ as “one with the Father.”  The Allah of the Muslims did not send his Son to save those who believe in him, as any practicing Muslim would readily confirm. Yet, Benedict clearly intimates that Muslims and Roman Catholics believe in the same “one God?”

Tell me Benedict is not a heretic. He tells people they can be saved without Christ, he tells them we worship the same God when clearly we don't. Benedict most certainly is a heretic and that's why, in the love of Christ, I must echo God's call found in the book of Revelation "Come out of her my people so you do not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;..." (Revelation 18:4)

I call on Roman Catholic fathers to take the lead as the family's "priest" and read them the Gospel found on this website and use the Gospel Mass to worship at home on Sundays. As a believer in the true Gospel, your priesthood is secured by Christ, not ordination. What good is ordination if the so-called bishop who lays hands upon you does not even believe the true Gospel? I can tell you from personal experience, it is worthless--no matter what the Roman Catholic Church teaches about "apostolic succession."

Buy some MD 20/20 wine and ask the wife to use the following recipe to make unleaven bread for the Gospel Mass. Welcome to the end times church. Invite a neighbor. Get familiar with God's word (get a start at the Gospel Verses link). 

Unleavened Bread Recipe

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup water

Mix water and flour first-stir. Spread thin on baking sheet. Bake as hot as you can about 500-600 degree oven for 6 to 7 minutes.
 

  

August 2006

Priests moonlighting as witch doctors!

CNN.com reports that the Bishops of Africa have been forced to address a letter to their priests asking them to avoid dabbling in witchcraft for the locals. While this at first may sound shocking to some Roman Catholics, it really shouldn't be since the church constantly invites prayer to Mary and other dead saints. When you think about it, many of these priests probably consider witchcraft, including incantations to evil spirits and certain dead relatives, no more than a practical outgrowth of their usual duties. 

Perhaps not coincidentally, EWTN's Raymond Arroyo interviewed an African on this week's (Aug. 18) edition of "The World Over" who had survived the holocaust that took place there in the 1990s, when the government of Rwanda ordered one tribe to begin killing the other. A female survivor of that harrowing experience told Raymond how she had given her father a brown scapular to wear around his neck before she fled in hopes that the legend behind the scapular would prove true and Mary would usher her dad into heaven if he were killed. To this day, she trusts he is in heaven, thanks to the scapular and the woman behind it (Mary, the mother of Jesus). If that legend can pass for the way to salvation among some Roman Catholics around the world, sadly, it's easier to understand why others might be willing to give witchcraft a chance.

Mary the focal point of a new ecumenical center in Nazareth

The first report on "The World Over" that same evening involved the Vatican's plans to be part of a joint effort with a few Protestant and Orthodox churches in Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew to manhood. They're planning to construct a center of sorts there and the focal point will be, not Christ, but Mary. The commentators and those interviewed for this canned Vatican report, known as "Vaticano," lauded the idea for the center and insisted that it was Mary who could lead this world to true unity! They argue that she was appreciated, in one way or another, by those in Christianity as well as being revered among Muslims. Think about it. Idolatry as the way to unity? Oh, brother. In any case, once the Muslims see all the statues in the Catholic section, I doubt that they'll want much of that unity.

The pope and evolution!

Pope Benedict is reportedly preparing for a periodical conference in September with some of the former students from his theology classes in Germany and the topic is evolution. While alive, John Paul II told everyone he saw how evolution could be in agreement with the Bible and most of Benedict's students seem to feel the same way. They apparently have no problem with the idea that God did not truly make man in his own image, he made him a monkey first! When you read about all the unbiblical dogmas that emerged from the Council of Trent, it all starts to make a lot of sense--at that time, the dear bishops simply hadn't finished evolving yet.

Some of the Jesuit scholars, who fully support Darwin's theory, the notorious Vatican "astronomer" Rev. George Coyne S.J. for instance, have taken the time to bash the only guy who seems to be a hold out of sorts. The editor of the latest Catholic Catechism, Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, said he had real reservations about whether evolution could co-exist with the biblical account and noted a preference for intelligent design. He came under so much pressure for airing his thoughts that he had a veiled retraction printed in the media:

"I see no problem combining belief in the Creator with the theory of evolution, under one condition -- that the limits of a scientific theory are respected," Schoenborn said.

Science studies what is observable and scientists overstep the boundaries of their discipline when they conclude evolution proves there was no creator, said the cardinal, 60, a top Church doctrinal expert and close associate of Pope Benedict.

"It is fully reasonable to assume some sense or design even if the scientific method demands restrictions that shut out this question," said the cardinal.

.That's apparently the best the cardinal could muster under the circumstances. We'll see if he's willing to speak out at the upcoming gathering. Real hope for tomorrow for Roman Catholics and their leaders?!

Those poor Methodists

The Methodists (40 million) became the latest to sign another "vehicle to false unity" with Roman Catholics by confirming the so-called "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification." This spurious document so confuses the justification of sinners by faith that most who sign it have no idea that it means they are agreeing to the Roman Catholic doctrine of "faith plus works" as necessary for being "made right" with God for salvation. However, since both Methodists and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, believe salvation can be lost, they may as well sign it.

The Methodist leader, Bishop Mvume Dandala, told a gathering that it was all about reconciliation and explained that essentially meant confirming people in their lifestyle and not trying to change them to yours. In other words, there's no such thing as a sinful lifestyle or certainly not one that we can lovingly call others to repentance. No matter, the Methodist leader got a big hug from Roman Catholic Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who was described as "all smiles" for the ecumenical partnership.

 

 December 05...When Pope Benedict proved that a great theologian doesn't necessarily have to know the Gospel!

“For the time will come when men 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.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

 On Christmas Eve 2005, Pope Benedict XVI, hailed by many as one of the world’s greatest theologians, delivered his first Christmas message and conclusively proved that he does not know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His words left no doubt that he believes, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, that Christ died to save everyone and that the only reason that Christ is supposedly “unable” to save everyone is because some have closed their own hearts against him. Their so-called “free-wills” are stronger than Christ's ability to save them. As the Pope put it at midnight Mass:

God loves everyone because everyone is his creature. But some persons have closed their hearts. There is no door by which his love can enter. They think they do not need God, nor do they want him. Other persons, who from a moral standpoint are perhaps no less wretched and sinful, at least experience a certain remorse. They are waiting for God. They realize that they need his goodness even though they don’t have a clear idea of what this means. Into their expectant hearts God’s light can enter and with it his peace. God seeks persons who can be vessels and heralds of his peace. Let us pray we will not find our hearts closed. Let us strive to be active heralds of that peace in the world of today.”

God loves everyone because everyone is his creature?

While these words from the pope may initially seem compassionate to our human ears, (2 Timothy 4:3) they smack of a theology that is totally disconnected from biblical truth. For instance, it seems quite reassuring for the pope to tell us that because God created each one of us, he very much loves each one of us. While we would agree that we should certainly love others because they are God’s creation, God himself is the Creator, and as the Bible tells us "he does what he pleases" (Psalms 115:3). But let’s see how the pope’s insistence that God loves everyone because he created everyone stacks up with God’s word, the Bible. Let’s start with the Old Testament.

Certainly none of us who claim to be Christian would doubt that indeed God does create all things, people, creatures, plants—everything! We read that in the very first chapters of the Bible in the book of Genesis.

We would also agree that God had certainly created all the people who were alive in Noah’s time and yet God sent a great flood to wipe all of them from the face of the earth except Noah and his extended family. Is this an expression of God’s love for everyone because “everyone is his creature?”  Certainly not, for God would have never sent the flood to kill all the other human beings in Noah’s time had he loved all of them.

Next, we turn to the Pharaoh of Egypt and find that God himself has hardened the Egyptian king’s heart, so that Pharaoh refuses to let God’s people go from his country. Ultimately, we learn that Pharaoh, this man God created, along with the all the God-created men in his army, were drowned as God closed the waters of the Red Sea upon them.

Next, God orders Joshua and his army to kill every man, woman and child in the countries of Canaan which God has chosen to give his people. Certainly God had created everyone of them, yet God ordered Joshua to destroy them.  To believe what the pope teaches, in each of these instances, we would have to believe that God destroys the people he loves, since all these people who were killed were indeed God's creation. How ridiculous! We haven’t even moved passed the first books of the Old Testament and already we see that the pope’s theology, which seeks to connect God’s love for us to the fact that God created us, has been dashed to pieces. It simply is not true.

Instead, God protects those he has chosen

Yet, each of the cases we have pointed to in the Bible, does prove something much deeper about this God we worship. Namely, that he protects and effectually saves all those he has chosen. In each case, the destruction that fell upon some was designed to protect God’s chosen people.  He wiped the wicked people from the face of the earth to give Noah and his family a chance to start over. He destroyed Pharaoh and his great army to show his chosen people his power to protect them and lead them from their terrible bondage. He ordered Joshua and his army to totally destroy every man, woman and child in the Promised Land that he was giving the Israelites to protect them against the idol worship that these other people practiced.

In each case, God was indeed showing love, however, that love was not directed at everyone he had created, but specifically toward those he had chosen.

He still chooses, Christ says so

And the New Testament tells us that God still very much chooses those he saves to this very day. In fact, Christ himself tells us that repeatedly:

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

John 15:16 It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you…

John 6:64 No one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.

Luke 10:22 ...no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 17:2 Thou has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him.

All this biblical evidence from Christ himself, yet the pope still refuses to believe that it is Christ who chooses us for salvation. Instead, he believes that we choose Christ. And as you know, many Catholics and Protestants believe the same. By this they prove that they still have not heard nor believed the true Gospel, because Christ clearly tells us that he does the choosing. That is important because it is further proof that the salvation of believers is strictly from Christ and we play no role whatsoever in it. We do not, will not, and cannot “choose” Christ unless he has first chosen us. Without his gift of faith, we cannot believe in him nor can we make choices that please him in anyway: ... without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:5-6)

Clearly, it is Christ alone who saves us and the “instrument” he uses to allow us to know that he has saved us is the gift of faith that he gives us to believe in him as Lord and Savior as God in the flesh. It is this gift that allows us to acknowledge that he alone has accomplished all that was necessary to absolutely secure our salvation. In short, we must believe in the person of Christ and his fully accomplished saving work on our behalf. We believe in the person and work of Christ for our salvation.

In the Bible we find clear evidence that the choice for our salvation was made before the world began, long before any of us drew our first breath:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. (Ephesians 1:4-5)

So, if anyone should ever tell you that Christ did not know for sure who he was dying for on the cross or that he died for everybody even though not everybody is saved but only those who of their own free will choose Christ. Politely tell them: No! Then tell them the true Gospel, that Christ died for his chosen people—all those he gives the gift of faith to believe in him as Lord and Savior—all those who believe he died to absolutely secure their salvation!

Saying what itching ears want to hear

In his homily or sermon on Christmas Eve, the pope asked the following series of rhetorical questions: “It would be better to ask: ‘who are those who God loves and why does he love them?’ ‘Does God have favorites? Does he love only certain people while abandoning the others to themselves?’” (Our answer is a resounding "YES," see Romans 9: 22-24)

Of course, the pope’s ultimate answer is that while God obviously loves certain people (he listed Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Simeon, and Anna in his homily) he also loves everyone because God created everyone.  As we have already seen, there is absolutely no biblical basis for this papal teaching that God loves everyone simply because he created everyone. In fact, it is contrary to what the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, tell us. As we read in the verses above, it is contrary to what Christ himself told us.

During the same Christmas sermon, the pope mentions “other persons” in this world today who have not closed their hearts to God:

“Other persons, who from a moral standpoint are perhaps no less wretched and sinful, at least experience a certain remorse. They are waiting for God. They realize that they need his goodness even though they don’t have a clear idea of what this means. Into their expectant hearts God’s light can enter and with it his peace. God seeks persons who can be vessels and heralds of his peace.”

Who are these “other persons” the pope speaks of who don’t have a clear idea of what it means to need God’s goodness? They are people who do not know God. They, along with the people he mentioned who have “closed their hearts” desperately need to hear the Gospel. Yet, this pope is utterly unequipped to tell them the Good News. In his sermon, he acknowledges that these “other persons” exist and they are waiting for God, yet the pope does not tell them the Gospel even though he has an audience of millions on hand. Why? Because he cannot. He cannot share what he does not have.

No Gospel from this mouth

This great theologian doesn’t know the Gospel. Sure, he knows part of it. For instance, that Christ died on the cross, but he does not know who Christ died for or what his death means to them. His church teaches that Christ's death was for everyone and it simply gives everyone the “possibility” of everlasting life and that their good works are the determining factor after their faith. He believes Christ died to simply make everyone “savable.” He does not understand that Christ's death absolutely secured the salvation of all who come to believe in Christ.

If the pope did understand this, he would preach this Gospel freely to all. And those who have been chosen to receive the gift of faith would believe and truly turn and acknowledge Christ as fulfilling all that was necessary for their salvation.  Instead, this great theologian of a pope, by this one sermon alone, shows us that he rejects the true Gospel. He sees salvation as something that is ultimately based on the choice of man and not of God. Therefore he cannot preach the Gospel that God uses to draw his chosen to salvation. As St. Paul tells us:

I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe… (Romans 1:16)

The true Gospel does not begin with the pope’s lie that God loves everyone because he created them. Instead it tells them the frightening truth: Everyone who is born on the face of this earth is a sinner who was born headed for hell because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.( Romans 3:23)  The wages of sin is death...(Romans 6:23) 

Next, that true Gospel speaks to them of the Savior who was born of the virgin to rescue or save them from their sins and eternal hell. It tells them this Savior, Jesus the Christ, died to absolutely secure heaven, salvation, everlasting life for all those who come to believe in him as their Lord and Savior. All who come to believe in him, his chosen, can know and trust that he keeps all of his promises for he is the sovereign Son of God, God in the flesh. And what is among the most important of his promises? “He who believes in me has eternal life.” (John 6:47)

In short, Christ died to absolutely secure the salvation of all those who come to believe in him as Lord, Savior and God in the flesh. Do you believe this?

Do you believe?

Those who believe in Christ and the work he fully accomplished for them will rejoice over this simple yet beautiful Gospel of a God who has chosen them for everlasting life, not for anything they did nor anything they will ever do but simply because he loves them. They will seek to serve him, not in some hapless attempt to help themselves attain heaven, as the pope teaches, but to bring glory to the Christ who has saved them. Why does God love them? Why does he show mercy upon them and not others? Why do they believe while others do not? As the scriptures tell us, the best answer we can find is that “God does what he pleases.”

Therefore, rejoice that God, the creator of the universe, was pleased to give you the gift of faith to believe in Jesus his only Son and the work that Jesus did by dying on the cross to absolutely secure your place with him in eternal life.

Sure you will have doubts about your salvation; Satan loves to try to get you to waste your time with such doubts. But each time those doubts arise, remind yourself that the gift of faith Christ has given you is not a gift to help you trust in yourself or your own actions, no. You do not trust in yourself, you know you’re a sinner. Instead, through the gift of faith Christ has given you, the Holy Spirit turns your thoughts to Christ. The faith Christ has given you allows you to trust in him alone for your salvation! He’s the one who died for you. He’s the one who rose bodily from the grave for you. He forgives your sins. He covers you in his righteousness and it is by his righteousness alone that you will join him in heaven when you die.

He may also give you the opportunity someday to share this wonderful Gospel with others!

Seek to show your gratitude by obeying his commandments to love God and love others, even as Christ has first loved you. We are not under the commandments, not under the law but under the grace of Christ, who alone has saved us. Nevertheless, we seek to keep the commandments that we may bring glory to the Christ who saved us. That men may see our good works and give glory to God!

The trials ahead

Certainly, you will face trials along the way and at times you will sin and fail Christ miserably. But he will never let you lose the gift of salvation he has won for you. (Read John 10:27-30.) Take your sins to him. You will know the forgiveness and mercy that only he can give. Rejoice daily that he alone has won your salvation—it was paid for by his blood alone. He is the unblemished, sinless Lamb of God. He allowed himself to be sacrificed in substitution for all those he has chosen for everlasting life—all those who come to believe in him as Lord and Savior, as God in the flesh. All those who believe that he alone has done all that is necessary to secure their salvation.

Seek him daily. Read the Bible, pray and grow in the fullness of his truth. Christ taught us this prayer to pray. You may wish to pray it to start each new day:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

A warning of condemnation, eternity in hell

As for the pope and all those who would preach the so-called gospel that insists that salvation has anything to do with the will of man, or is in any way by man’s choosing, they must be warned that they are preaching a false gospel because they are essentially denying that “salvation is of the Lord.” (John 2:9, Romans 9:16).

Speaking as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul warns that there are eternal consequences for those who preach “another gospel:”

“As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (condemned to hell).” (Galatians 1:9)

We pray that, if it pleases him, God will choose to turn the hearts of the pope and all who preach a false gospel to him before it is too late. God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. -- Bro. Jim

 

More September stuff: I truly had some hope for those who call themselves "Evangelical Anglicans" but that hope was definitely dimmed when I read a recent news article. The good news is that they're planning to get together for a national conference in Pittsburgh in November. The bad news is that they've invited Rick Warren to speak to the gathering. Who is Rick Warren? He's the guy that wrote the best-selling false gospel The Purpose-Driven Life. How sad, I had such high hopes for this latest movement of the Anglican Communion. They so want to distance themselves from the errors of their U.S. Episcopal Church counterparts, but by inviting Rick they show us that there is a very good chance many of them do not yet know the true Gospel of Christ. Please read Richard Bennet's piece on Warren when you get a chance. Go to bereanbeacon.org and click on the articles list to find Bennet's review of Warren's best seller.

In other news....a study by a Vatican committee shows that "surprise" Roman Catholics still aren't reading the Bible! That's why so many of them are easy prey to anyone in that church who claims to know it. Those who claim to know it claim show how heretical they are on a regular basis by making various arguments that eventually insist that Christ didn't mean what he said when he told us "He who believes in me has everlasting life." (John 6:47) They never give that verse out when they try to explain that we are saved by both faith and works! It just doesn't fit their argument, their false gospel that contends we are saved by both Christ and ourselves (our good works).

 

September - A story from the Catholic News Service (dated Sept. 8, 2005) is telling the sorry truth, "Experts say Catholics still don't read the Bible regularly. According to Italian Bishop Vicenzo Paglia, the president of the Catholic Bible Federation, recent research in Italy, Spain and France found that many Catholics consider the sacred Scriptures as something "reserved for the clergy" rather than an accessible resource for them to draw upon for truth and inspiration in their own lives. The story quotes one cardinal as describing the divine revelation of the Bible as, "God talking to us as friends." It quotes another bishop as saying: "It is by listening to the word of God, in fact, that the believer discovers himself to be a disciple and even an apostle, that is, an evangelizer," said the bishop. "In that way, the sacred Scriptures become the light that illuminates one's whole life and all fields of culture, science and politics."

 

August - Did you hear the Gospel preached even once during the whole World Youth Day? Of course not. Try to imagine what would have happened had one of the youths there suddenly blurted out on EWTN--"We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!" You can bet that would have been edited out in any encore edition on the TV network.  Instead, what we heard was the numerous mentions about this "Holy Father" compared to the last "Holy Father." This sort of blaspheming is common place among Roman Catholics who have been taught to give the title of honor that is due God alone to the pope as well. 

 

     The pope and the kids have packed up and gone home from their visit in Cologne and little has been said about the pope's homily at the closing Mass. We'll analyze that a bit in the weeks to come. In the meantime there is plenty for Benedict to deal with. More and more are reading his writings and the traditional Latin Mass Catholics and their sedevacanists  counterparts are appalled by what they read--from Benedict's agreement with Luther on some topics to his total ecumenical agreement with the late John Paul II on matters of the salvation of Muslims. There is also a  long overdue discussion about evolution brewing in the church and perhaps it will force it to return to the Bible a bit for guidance. In the meantime, it's clear from the reports that some of the church's own scientists have bought into everything their secular brothers are telling them and they see no problem believing that man evolved from ape--no matter that the Bible says we were made in God's  image. It should make for some interesting analysis in the weeks and months ahead, God willing.

 

Oh, by the way, Reuters reports that a Belgian nun got a little out of hand by dancing with a missionary during World Youth Day. Seems her "mother superior" had to reprimand her for "acrobatic and indecorous" moves. How grateful we are that this is the wildest "problem" to report. Seems there was a moment in the acrobatics that her legs wrapped around the missionary during the dance. As the 29 year old nun was later quoted: "I wouldn't do this at home but at such occasions I get carried away by the enthusiasm of the group." Congratulations, katholic kids. All you need is the true Gospel to set the world on fire.

 

 

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You gotta' watch EWTN this week Aug. 18-21 as Katholic Kids go "hippie" for Jesus at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. It should be interesting to see how the new pope handles this one, especially since he supposedly has such a hard act to follow in JPII. Novusordowatch.org (go to "News and Archive") should be especially fun to follow as the priests of the so-called "New Mass" will be "sacrificing" Jesus on cardboard boxes etc...for the katholic kids. You can trust EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) to put the best face it can on all the activities, no matter how far they wander from the "Catholic Faith."

 

As the pope gathers his own for World Youth Day there is already a foreboding about the closing day (August 21) that is very worthy of mention. It seems one of the "Christian" bands scheduled for the so-called  "ecumenical concert" has been cancelled. Organizers have cut the Argentine band Rescate from the schedule because it dared criticize Pope Benedict XVI, who will be the central figure at the celebrations in Cologne, Germany, according to the Catholic News Agency (CAN).

 

What could any of the band members have possibly said to warrant such a decision? They spoke the truth of course (as quoted by CAN): the band said, "Personally, we don't think the Pope is God's representative on earth. Jesus came to do away with any intermediary between God and man, and therefore we have a direct relationship with Him." Bravo Rescate!

 

The Bible clearly tells us there is one intermediary between God and man and that is the Christ--Jesus by name. "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:3) Christ himself tells us "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18)

     St. Paul echoes Christ's words: "He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18)

     However, the pope teaches otherwise: "We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff. (the bull "Unum Sanctum")

     More recently at Vatican 1, the pope declared: "...This power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff...is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite and dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world...This is the Teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation."

     But what does Christ say? "For one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren." (Matthew 23:8)

     Yes, this pope tells us he is so very much in favor of "unity" but he keeps showing us that his brand of unity comes with a very high price, starting with the loss of freedom of speech, or more specifically, the rejection of the truth of the Gospel.  He and his have been rejecting the truth for a long time now. Read how they were doing the same thing back in the 1500s at the Council of Trent.

July 05 - Don't think for a moment that the pope has any stranglehold on error. In these days error is a best-seller! Error is everywhere in the professed Christian Church. From the recent declaration by the United Church of Christ that it recognizes same sex marriages as blessed by God to the top-selling book by Rick Warren on The Purpose Driven Life, the false gospel abounds! 

You can identify the false gospel most clearly when it begins to exalt man in place of Christ or contends that Christ himself is about the business of helping you exalt yourself in this life. Most often, the false gospel does not tell you that you are a sinner destined for hell or that Christ died on the cross to save true believers from that hell and secure the salvation of all who believe in him. Instead, most modern-day TV evangelists make their millions by soothing the masses with a man-pleasing gospel that tells us of our "self-worth" and bids us to realize it by "being all that we choose to be."

For many these days, salvation is a matter of making all the "right choices" to quit smoking, drinking, gambling and having sexual relations and then God will bless you! It's all up to you! What you do in this world secures you place in the next! Baloney! Only Christ secures your place in eternal life with him. The good we do to avoid vices and glaring public sin is done so that we may better glorify the one who has saved us--and not in any attempt to save ourselves. Yes, Christ wants us to keep his commandments, he says so repeatedly in John 14. He promises there also to send us "another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." (14:16) Christ saves us and provides us with the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

All these "other gospels" are part of the "new age" of positive thinking and positive "doing" based on a misconception of Jesus and why he came to earth in the first place. These messed up messages call us to join ourselves with others who do not believe the true gospel, to "learn" from those who do not know Christ. They tell us that Christ will make us successful by the world's standards, provide us with big bucks and all the material amenities we wish to have in this life. They say we just simply have to have the fortitude to lose all our vices and then and only then will God look kindly upon us. He will make us a success in this life and send us to heaven in the next. It's all about the big YOU and your choices in this life! It's all about you and what you do. In fact, they contend, all you really need to do is: "make a choice for Christ."

They don't tell you that no one can make a choice for Christ if Christ has not chosen or given them the faith to believe in him. They try to get true Christians off on the wrong foot by making them believe that they somehow made their own choice for Christ without Christ first making his choice for them! They don't tell you that your salvation is all about Christ and who he is and what he did for you. They don't tell you that the simple fact that you actually believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior and as God in the flesh should be a great comfort to you. Instead, they do all they can to draw you into their "system." Send such-and-such amount of money, say 20 Hail Marys and everything will be made right. No, it won't.

If you have come to believe in Christ as Lord and Savior, as God in the flesh, then you have been given a great gift, a gift that only God can give--the gift of faith. Only through God's gift of faith are you able to believe in what you cannot see--to believe in his only Son and to believe that his Son indeed died to secure everlasting life for you in heaven--he has won your salvation!  Only through God's gift of faith will you be led by the Holy Spirit to give all--absolutely all--the credit for your salvation to Christ and to him alone.

You can tell if you have received this gift because it makes you aware of your sins. Those who have not been given the gift of faith still don't see their sins. You know you have this gift of faith if you find yourself asking yourself, "how can it be that Christ has possibly saved someone like me who thinks such sinful thoughts and does such sinful deeds?" You can tell that you have received this gift if you have desired to relieve yourself of your sins. You will have a burning desire to confess them to God--to lay yourself bare before him and throw yourself on his mercy. You want to be baptized, you want to receive Holy Communion, you want to obey Christ's commands, you desire all his promises. You are coming to the awareness that it's not about you and what you have done or what you will do but instead it is about Him, that is, Christ and what he has done for you! 

If this describes you, Rejoice! Christ has chosen you--a wretched sinner--for everlasting life with him! Now, seek to glorify him in all you say and do. Now you can let him work on all your vices but don't ever rely on your own righteousness to get you to heaven, no matter the victories you  may see. Be patient. Rely on Christ and his righteousness. If you are a true believer, you have been covered in that righteousness. Now, live your life in thanksgiving and repentance. Read his word, the Bible, and experience how the Holy Spirit works through that word, changes your life and leads you to an ever deeper trust in Christ and what he alone has done for you! God bless you, Bro. Jim.

June 2005: The most interesting news of late is the pope's call for "concrete" measures that would allow intercommunion between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholics. While we'll have to see what takes shape, he's definitely going to try to push this forward as a priority on his ecumenical agenda. It would move the world rather quickly toward what might be viewed as a "one world church" of sorts. At least it would be large enough to claim something like that. Roman Catholics now constitute more than 1 billion adherents in the world, with 60 million plus in the U.S. The Eastern Orthodox branches are more than 200 million strong worldwide, second only to the Roman Catholic Church. While the Orthodox Church is not weighed down by all of the Roman Catholic dogmas, sadly, just like Rome, it rejects justification by faith alone. In other words, like many churches these days, it does not have the Gospel, therefore it could be somewhat open to a "Roman intervention."  

What's he doing visiting the WCC?
Another interesting overture from the pope came recently with his visit to meet the head of the World Council of Churches. At the same time, there is word that the rather large Russian Orthodox Church is also stepping up its meetings with the WCC--which has, in the past at least, been considered much too liberal for either church to consider membership.

Roman Wars

In the meantime, the sidelines are screaming with reaction to the new pope. Traditionalist Catholics who will only attend the Latin Mass are going to war with him. None are lobbing their ammo more forcefully than those traditionalists who have long claimed that the so-called "Seat of Peter" is vacant. They are called sedevacanists. They make some good points in critiquing recent popes as to the impact their ecumenical leanings have already had on the Roman Church. However, the problem is that the sedevacanists themselves suffer from the error of continued trust in all the popes before John XXIII and in all their erroneous teachings (see dogma link). If you want a better idea of what this is all about, see traditionalmass.org. That site explains the sedevacanist viewpoint quite directly. We have plenty of folks to pray for. Lord, convert them all. Let them see your true Gospel. We pray the same for those Protestants who continue to attend churches that do not preach the true Gospel or have decided that certain sins are no longer sins, despite the clear word of God.   

May 2005 - Jesuit fired

 The new pope is already about takin' care of business. He fired the Jesuit priest who edits the publication America. This is a canon volley across the bow of the Jesuit order and a definite "alert" to the so-called "black pope" or priest (in black cassock) who is the leader of the Jesuit order. It could be that the new pope is using this as a warning signal that he will not tolerate published excursions into issues that in anyway appear to diminish or bring into question teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a definite sign that it is Benedict XVI and not the "black pope" who is now in charge of the Jesuit order. The teeth are beginning to chomp.

April 2005 - The Role of the Mass in this Pontificate

 The elevation of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papal throne is an elevation of the “teeth” of John Paul II’s pontificate. Beyond the many media references to Ratzinger that involve certain aggressive breeds of dogs, I’ll tell you what that really means. First, It means that Ratzinger will re-enforce the Mass as a literal re-sacrifice of Christ.

So-called “traditional” Roman Catholics love this. They’ve been moaning and groaning for sometime about how the modern version of the Mass (New Order of the Mass or Novus Ordo) is too “Lutheranized.” This means, they believe it does not emphasize enough the re-sacrifice of Christ in the Mass. Yes, they are taught that Christ is re-sacrificed at every Mass! This may even come as a surprise to some Roman Catholics.

These so-called “traditionalists” as well as others also very much believe, as they were taught by the pope(s) and bishops at the Council of Trent, that the Mass is a “propitiatory” sacrifice. That means it is a sacrifice that must take place in order to “turn back or appease” the wrath of God against their most recent sins.

In other words, they believe that Christ died to give them a way to, again and again, appease God by practicing what they call the “unbloody sacrifice or holy sacrifice of the Mass.” That’s why many believe that the Mass should be celebrated daily and why Sunday attendance is required for all Roman Catholics. 

Ratzinger and all his bishops are supposed to teach that if you miss Sunday Mass or a so-called “holy day of obligation” (unless you are sick) you have committed a “grave or mortal” sin. That’s the type of sin that, unless you confess it to a priest, it will send you straight to hell when you die (another required-for-salvation Roman Catholic Church teaching).

The Council of Trent put the teaching on the unbloody, propitiatory, re-sacrifice of Christ in the Mass this way:

“And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated (sacrificed) in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propitiatory…For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, …forgives even heinous crimes and sins.” (Council of Trent, Session 22, Chapter 2)

This decision and teaching, which the bishops of the Council of Trent “require the faithful to believe or lose their salvation” is in direct conflict with the word of God, which repeatedly tells us that Christ appeased God’s wrath “once for all time” on the cross:

Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for sins once and for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7:27-28

He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood having obtained redemption. Hebrews 9:12

Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:26  

Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these (sins) have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. Hebrews 10:17-18

Click here for more scripture verses and information.

How much more plain can the word of God make it? The Lord’s one sacrifice upon the cross is a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of all who come to believe in him. It need not be repeated or re-offered in any manner, even if we could somehow do so. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

And as BibleCatholics, we gather not to re-sacrifice Christ nor to re-offer him to God the Father in any manner, but instead to thank God and celebrate Christ's one, complete sacrifice on our behalf. The offering at the Mass is an offering of ourselves and our very lives to the one who has given us everything—including eternal life! We believe, as Christ has told us, that we receive his very body and blood when we receive the bread and wine but there is absolutely nothing in his word to indicate that he would have us re-sacrifice or re-offer him to God the Father! Quite the opposite.

Remember Christ himself, following his resurrection, sat at table with two disciples at the end of their road to Emmaus. Here was the Lord’s perfect opportunity to tell them—"You must re-sacrifice or re-offer me to God the Father right here and now! But he did no such thing. Instead, scripture relates:

And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake and gave to them.  And their eyes were opened and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.  (Luke 24:30-31)

And so, we too thank God for the bread and wine he gives us, and true to his son’s promise, he feeds us in a way that we cannot fully explain nor fully understand. Yet we know, as he promised, that this simple meal shows forth his Gospel of the forgiveness of our sins and we readily, and with gratitude, seek and accept that forgiveness. (Click for more on Holy Communion.)

Our Gospel does not uphold the continual sacrifice of Christ but the one and only complete and sufficient sacrifice he made on our behalf. Cardinal Ratizinger’s gospel, that is, Pope Benedict XVI’s gospel, does not and there is no reconciling one with the other.  Therefore the new pope’s words of “peace” and “unity” no matter how well intended—are as empty as the gospel of re-sacrifice he preaches.--Bro. Jim