Monday, June 30, 2008

Catholics "made up" the Rapture

So heres how it happened...ahem...according to a Protestant, who engaged said CJ in a non Religious forum, here on the old InterWebNet:

Mr. Protestant said:
"I dont want to step on any toes, but were you guys aware that the whole Rapture /Tribulation thing was made up by the Catholic church to counteract Martin Luthers movement, and the belief that was becaoming predominant among Protestants that the Pope was the Anti-Christ? I have all the historical evidence and the names of the two authors if anyone is interested."

To which I replied:
"Oy, .....yeah I'm interested....John Nelson Darby invented the "Rapture" (dispensationalism) in 1830-31 after he left the Angelican Priesthood. No previous Christian, neither Catholic nor Protestant, had ever proposed or taught such an thing. It is not the same as the Tribulation based in 1 Thes. Ch 4-5 and Revelation sources."

MP Response:
"OK, Im not sure this is the place for it, and maybe we're opening a can of worms here-but here goes..........The foundation of the rapture theory was laid over 400 years ago upon the specific orders of the Catholic Church. Every Christian needs to understand how this fabrication of error was designed to neutralize the great Protestant Reformation. If the facts of history were known by Protestants today who defend with such great emotion the rapture theory and the futurist antichrist doctrine, they would be horrified. Luther and his fellow reformers boldly identified the pope as the "man of sin," and labeled the Catholic Church as the antichrist of prophecy. In response to those charges, the hierarchy assigned two Jesuit priests to develop counter- interpretations which would turn the onus away from the Catholic Church. In spite of the fact that the two men founded opposing schools of interpretation, their theories have survived to form the basis of most modern Protestant theology today. Not only did they effectively blunt Luther's assessment of the papacy as the antichrist, but they cleverly divided and diluted the "protest" of all the churches which grew out of the Reformation movement. Modern religious observers were astounded in January, 1984, when men like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell meekly accepted and defended the establishment of United States political ties with the Vatican. Why could those famous Protestant spokesmen see no danger in being allied with the Church of Rome? Because they are deceived, along with millions of others, by the Catholic-contrived theories of those two priests which have almost eclipsed the historic, biblical position of the Reformers. If the spiritual descendants of Luther and Wesley now had the same doctrine which they taught, not a single Lutheran or Methodist would favor any kind of alliance with the papacy today. Now let's take a look at these two Spanish priests who flooded the sixteenth century with their counter-Reformation propaganda.Alcazar of Seville applied all the beast prophecies to Antiochus Epiphanes, who lived long before the popes began to rule in Rome. His system of interpretation came to be known as the Preterist School of prophecy.On the other hand, Jesuit Francisco Rivera invented a system known as the Futurist School of interpretation. He taught that the antichrist was to be some future superman who would appear near the end of time and continue in power for three and a half years. It is his clever, unscriptural theory which has been resurrected by modern evangelical Protestant Christians. And today millions of Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc., hold this anti-Protestant concoction of the Jesuits as some kind of infallible doctrine. Yet, those same denominations claim to be faithful supporters of Protestant theology. Luther and other stalwart protestors against Catholic errors would be astounded if they were suddenly resurrected to hear what is being taught in the name of Protestantism. In the early 1800s the futurist view of Jesuit Ribera passed through certain refinements and additions, including the seven-year tribulation and the snatching away of the saints. For the first time, it was espoused by Protestant teachers who were seeking ways of reconciliation with Rome. Through the influence and writings of John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren Church in England, the new doctrine spread to the United States. During the middle and latter nineteenth century, it received its biggest boost from Cyrus Scofield, who incorporated it into the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible published in 1909."

After gaining my composure, I did a good bit of digging, confirming and happened upon the following info and responded:

"Mr. Protestant, here's where your post was copied from, word for word basically.

...which in my view is a highly political attack on Catholics today and in the past. Too bad you didnt post Catherine Andrew's appropriate response as a balance, as the site and your quote is a Catholic Apologetic site resource. I stand by the fact I stated above and Catherine Andrews response in the link. Specifically "The Catholic faith has had a line of her own would-be prophets speaking about the Last Days......The fact that certain Protestant groups borrowed from Catholic eschatology does not constitute a conspiracy on her part." Whats really more important than engaging you, Mr. Protestant, in a "chicken or egg" contest about a warmongers motives in 175 A.D. (Antiochus Epiphanes), is that Catholics today, with any reasonable knowledge of that faiths origins and practices, bear more fruit with Protestants in finding common ground and biblical basis of debate. Catholics did not make up the Rapture theory. "

(End of said lively debate.)

Notice the distinct attack language by MP in his first statement, baiting anyone to challenge him "if anyone is interested". Without regard to the narration that follows (which is opinion and not historically supported), this is a perfect example of intentional ignorance. MP read something emotionally charged against Catholicism, valid or not, and not only chose to repeat it as truth, but published it with a request for engagement!

This is the danger of a Protestant attack, and why I have a specific post category for it. We, as Catholics must research all angles before any assertion, so as not to fall into the same intellectual laziness trap. As well....we have an obligation to our Church to defend it. A non-response is validation, in the perception of the writer. This is actually the essence and primary purpose of this website.

Now, did I win him over to my point here...I couldnt tell. My motive is not to spew "Down
Goes Frasier!" at conclusion. Maybe calling out the partial source of errant info by Mr. Protestant played to the Catholic credibility...I hope so. Maybe the no fluff answer and a call for finding fruit bearing common ground will prevail. Its all I can do to leave it there for someone, just one maybe, to see a misinformed conclusion get a valid, factual response, and remain approachable.

I want to believe thats what He wants me to want, so I do.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

R. C. Sproul has it wrong.

I just spent a few hours with a recording of him...again.

I had been given a cd of Dr. Sprouls speech to the Shepards Conference a few years ago. I had listened through the entire hour once back then, and he addressed the Catholic practice of indulgences and the Lateran Church Relics in an outright attack on RCC Doctrine and Trents councils published practice for receiving indulgences. 3 years ago...not having researched Trents documentation at all, he had a convincing argument against the RCC's practice. He quoted several Trent documents directly with what sounded like accuracy, and certainly, most undeniably, Dr. Sprouls talent and articulation of public speaking added to a high level of perceived credibility to his Lutheran points of attack.

So this week I loaded that speech into itunes, and sat down with some resources on Trent from the Vatican. It didnt take long to uncover why Dr. Sproul turned down a direct debate offer from Robert Sungenis. which is summarized by Mr. Sungenis as follows:

"Upon receiving the letter, Sproul had his secretary call me. She said he was simply too busy to engage in a formal debate, citing his many activities: books, radio, tapes, and so on. I asked her to tell Sproul that if he is going to travel the country accusing Catholics of heresy, he should stop hiding behind his schedule and engage with some respectable opponents who can answer his claims. After all, I said, 1 Peter 3:15 commands us to "give an answer of the hope that is in you to everyone that asks."

Not receiving a return call, I wrote Sproul another letter asking him to reconsider. I also asked that if he maintained his option not to debate, to let us know in writing rather than have his secretary call us. That he did. (See sidebar.)

In reading the letter I was immediately struck by the two-sided answer he gave. First, he attributed his incapacity to debate to the board of Ligonier Ministries, which apparently does not let him out but twice a year. I'm sure, however, that if Sproul really wanted to debate us he could. The second answer probably gives the real reason for his reluctance. He says that the "speaking committee doesn't see the value of my being involved in a debate on sola fide, and I am in agreement with the committee's decision." Here is a man who has spent virtually half his life attacking the Catholic view of justification and now has the audacity to say he doesn't see any "value" in being involved in such a debate."

Sprouls well delivered verbal painting that we can buy indulgences for days off in purgatory were actually dealt with by Trent directly, and are shown to be false.

I think its time someone take him on. I plan to do a podcast on this specific attack by Dr. Sproul, then hopefully some unsuspecting victim will catch our truth before falling for his false conclusion and incomplete research.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

You cannot be Serious....

I really should'nt have to excercise this much self restraint.

The a-C just got off the phone with me, after a lengthy diatribe by him stating that the Crusades/Inquisition murder of Heretics era of Catholicism is active in the minds most Anti-Catholic Protestants. (Um...tell something new please)

Essentially, I was pointing out to him that calling himself an "Anathema" (see previous post)was misinformed of current doctrine. Here is his answer to that:

"So were they (Rome) wrong with the tradition then? It really wasn’t meant to be a tradition? Do we issue an apology to all that were murdered or was that correct for the time and now we now longer do that…so God intended this truth for a brief period of time…I know you see the problem you face here…there is no way around it, the answer is no, you can’t redefine it the word…you are merely muddying the discussion to evade the need to realize that there is nothing that Rome can do with the papal decrees here popery issued in the 1400’s, are you saying they were wrong and now you are correcting? You answer is insufficient…your example is grossly minimizing the significance of this decree (anathema for faith alone, anathema if you don’t hold that the priestly order is only capable of discerning scripture, anathema for many things), these decrees resulted in condemnation both physically and pronounced spiritually….do you have formal issuances from popery that addresses this, NO, they unlike the mormans have never written anything to correct the issuances because they were inerrant in their giving…. You can’t answer no…. don’t they can’t answer this question, and I trust they can’t dupe you into thinking a logical answer is warranted…Rome is not the church and the traditions they prescribe are lies as this one scenario clearly renders…."

The a-C, while I find this attack language offensive, (note: well trained restraint required to absorb Content and not Tone) has a point worthy of addressing. While gathering my answer, I cited a portion of Mr. Akin's article on this subject, thus:

"8. The Church cannot retract its anathemas. Anti-Catholics love to repeat this falsehood for rhetorical flourish. But again, it isn’t true. The Church is free to abolish any penalty of ecclesiastical law it wants to, and it did abolish this one."

I see the a-C's point of linking an Anathema definition to the "victims" of the Crusades is that he would suffer far more greatly if today was...say the year 1067, and he denounced Catholicism. Valid point. So lets address the statement:

"Do we issue an apology to all that were murdered or was that correct for the time and now we now longer do that? you have formal issuances from popery that addresses this, NO,.... "

Pope John Paul II did in fact make as formal an apology and penance act as one could obtain forgiveness for the acts of long ago deceased Catholic "Instigators". This CNN article of the 2000 JP II apology takes a mid-line view.

So, the answer is yes, "we" did apologize for all that...although I'm still not sure Catholics had anything to apologize for. I have read purportions by Catholic Apologists that state Calvin executed Servetus, which in plain fact is also not true, factually. So when this kind of debate spurs, coloring Catholics with the brush of murderous motive against Protestantkind, and its left to non-biblical, fallible history books to get right, I cant get conviction from those sources on fault. Fair is fair.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

CJ Podcast #001 is up

CJ Podcast 001

The beginning of a Christian discovery.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catholic Carnival #177

I am honored to mingle with the best Bloggers this post title to see!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Green Frost

Green Frost

Took this photo outside a business meeting in Leon County area of Florida. What a piece of work from the Man upstairs eh?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Podcast This...

I am halfway into the first podcast recording/production. While recording and editing, I am finding myself needing to post a description and introduction to format, mainly to keep my purpose within certain lines. (So I can refer back to this post for my own guidance)

The primary message I want to convey here is that I am the American everyman. I am you (unless you are Mr. Akin or Mr. Grodi, etc). I am the guy who lives in this stress charged, media driven Culture and have taken on not just seeking Christ, but am immersing myself in Catholic Faith Re Formation, Catholic Faith Life and Catholic Doctrine Study....all while being attacked by a fallen Catholic Fundamentalist...who I cannot walk away from. The a-C and I have dealings together that require almost daily communication, and those dealings are long term and cannot be dropped for survival reasons.

Initially, the podcast is intended to get you to relate to me. Narrating my intellectual struggle in comprehending this Faith, as deeply as possible. For now, I have no motive to record anything but my voice and some bumper music. This is about the journey as it has been in the last few years up to now. No sound effects, no attempt at lay comedy, no false front that I am trying to be a professional broadcaster. Feedback I'm sure will come.

I hope you come back and find my first podcast and listen.


Hypocracy or Intentional Ignorance

I read a blog post comment today that rang my bell severely.

A while back, I was given a tract at a "Bible Church" that has 52 reasons the Catholic Church was a Cult. I cant seem to locate that tract now but a few things stuck with me enough that when I read this particular post comment it came back vividly.

Many of the "reasons" in that tract were way off, so far off Catholic doctrine and Scriptural Basis that I was dumbfounded. Something like this:

#37 - Catholics worship Mary = Idolatry - The Bible says thou shalt have but one God....blah, blah, blah..." you know the verse language, etc. etc.

Its one thing to outwardly oppose the doctrine of a given religion. Its a whole other thing to misrepresent that religion entirely. That's like me saying Mormons find polygamy acceptable today...basing my assertion on ancient Mormon history/rumor/hearsay, which is not today's Mormonism (as a general rule).

How audacious is it to proclaim a non-fact (Worship Mary) and then print it up and distribute it? What picture does that convey to anyone, once the facts are made known? It conveys intentional ignorance, that is, the Protestant wants to believe a lie in order to save some kind of face with their peers. There is nothing biblical about this kind of attack. The a-C says in doing this he is following scripture in leading Catholics to Christ...away from the false prophets of Catholicism. But he wont hear the correct facts to begin his effort.

That doesn't work, plain and simple. Let alone being a loving attempt at moving someone to his view, right or wrong. Loving approach, not attack is biblical.

Apologetics don't even enter this kind of situation. Its futile, to explain away a non fact is useless wind. Catholics don't worship Mary. End of story. Now, should you require an explanation of why Catholics pay so much attention to Mary, then see my first post....that's when Apologetics find a worthy use.


The a-C has a take on Lanciano

"Hey...a-C, ever heard of Lanciano?

What is it?

Google it...better yet, I'll send you a site link."

I then emailed the a-C 9 different website links, one is a secular science publication article on the testing done on the Holy Sacrament validating its biology. Here's his take after maybe looking at one site:

a-C says....."you believe that hoax?"


"Thats the mark of the Devil" says a-C.

When all logic, facts and supporting tangible evidence prevails, he goes with evil supernatural, and then proceeds to find a way to insult me as gullable enough not to see through the "hoax" of the miracle of Lanciano.

nice, huh?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just the Facts

I work in an intense Corporate environment. There is never a black or white solution to any obstacle in this work life. The ramifications of any business decision being made are analyzed for political, perceptive, time cost and quality impacts from every point of view before the hammer drops on the decision. Although I have some autonomy over staff and my firms internal process becomes to a large by process. Very little creativity can be used in the official side of decisions. I do get to throw some practice pitches which test out what the most effective angle of a decision might be. While decisions are made using facts, the facts are selected, positioned and emphasized in an effort to gain the best result. Lots of the people that are a part of the process become intensely frustrated either short term or long term, which has a hangover through exposure on many others. The amount of restraint required to personally communicate negative facts in a personally accountable position does lead to life ending stress for some. In the big picture corporately, the work of this environment is self-regulated by policy, who has the power, and what decision comes closest to the answer that power holder requires. That is one slant or mindset on this work life.

On the other hand...

If you have been through enough years of this type of result driven process to get a paycheck, ultimately you can choose to have your personal identity created by it, and effected by it hourly....or do the best you can (which means get enough sleep, food, vitamins, and stress relief routinely) and find a more consistent identity outside of your work life. This gives significant weight to the cliche' "God, then family, then self". You or I can choose to be a one of a perceptively insignificant number or "workers" or take the work to live stance and become a person instead.

...a person.

On my journey, I am finding at this, ahem, middle age of life (much too late in my opinion) this a value generating attitude. A prioritizing philosophy for self identity. The freedom then to choose an identity of passion is evident. Right now its a Catholic Journeyman...and this journey is worthy of my focus.