Monday, October 27, 2008

1 Samuel (pt. 1)

"Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us." - Charles Spurgeon

I'll say it, outside of reading for class and RCIA I haven't read the bible (until tonight) for weeks. I am afraid of what I have become. I'm so worned out with everything in life, I'm too afraid to go forth anymore. I feel extremely guilty about life and I read this passage tonight.

"There was a certain man ... whose name was Elkanah... He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh... On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb." - 1 Samuel 1:1-6 NRSV

I was thinking about Hannah and how in her world she was probably seen as cursed by God. She had no sons, and in that world this meant she was shamed and had basically nothing - except her husband. The woman she has to compete with as wife also criticizes her. It says something hear that I always seem to gloss over when I read the bible. "year by year", or year after year. This was going on for years.


I'm only 20 years old and I have very few problems and stresses which have lasted for years, nothing this bad for sure.

I also like that Elkanah gives her a double portion. At this point in the story Hannah has not talked to God and did not know why she was in this predicament, and in all likelihood felt absolutely abandonned. But her husband gives her a double portion... because he loved her. I bet after all that time she ended up hating herself as well, and that her husband was the one who reminded her of her value and great worth. I think maybe, Hannah, was her own worst enemy.

In some small incomparable way, I feel alot like her.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law." - Romans 3:23-28

I love this passage. I was reading the Qu'ran the other day for World Religions and I was reminded of John Stott's quote about why he could never be any religion other than Christian, he says that it is the Cross, and that it stands at the centre of our faith, history, and the divine drama that we find ourselves in, it is on that Cross that Jesus made it possible for all men to come to faith (though Stott would disagree with the last part), and it is a redemption by GRACE, in fact it is a redemption by GRACE, ALONE!!!!

I was sitting in my heretical RCIA class today listening to the teacher exhort us in a Pelagian fashion that if we are nice to people and talk to them, even if we still hate them, this is Christian love and God will then let us into heaven if we do it.

"But if it is BY GRACE, it is NO LONGER ON THE BASIS OF WORKS; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." -Romans 11:6

This annoys me to no end. I'm definately not advocating justification by faith ALONE, but I am advocation salvation by Grace Alone, and Justification by faith first. (which is actually what the Catholic Church teaches, if you didn't know)

I read this passage from Peter Kreeft the other day who says that we cannot buy our way into Heaven by good works, and that we do not do good works to get to Heaven, we do good works because Heaven has gotten into us.

Kreeft also writes:

"The plant of our new life in Christ is one; the life of God comes into us by faith, through us by hope, and out of us by works of love. That is clearly the biblical view, and when Protestants and Catholics who know and believe the Bible discuss the issue sincerely, it is amazing how quickly and easily they come to understand and agree with each other on this, the fundamental divisive issue . . ."

But many Catholics to this day have not learned the Catholic and
biblical doctrine
. They think we are saved by good intentions or being nice or sincere or trying a little harder or doing a sufficient number of good deeds . . .

"I remember vividly the thrill of discovery when, as a young Protestant at Calvin College, I read Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent on justification. I did not find what I had been told I would find, `another gospel' of do-it-yourself salvation by works, but a clear and forceful statement that we can do nothing without God's grace, and that this grace, accepted by faith, is what saves us."

For the love of God, I hope everyone who knows me, knows firmly that Salvation is not by good intentions, nice things, or going to Church, it is about the gracious salvation that Jesus Christ is offering to you, you choose whether to accept it or not. I guess I'm still an Evangelical at heart, and pray that I always will be. I'll leave you with this line from an amazing hymn (which I happened to make an entire post ridiculing, but nonetheless it's good)

"For on that Cross where Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied, for every sin, on Him was laid, here in the death of Christ, I live" - Hymn "In Christ Alone"

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Once Saved, Always Saved" heresy refuted by Charles Finney

Right now I'm doing an essay on Charles Finney's Lectures on Revivals of Religion, it's mostly how Americans tend to anthropomorphize God into an image of themselves, etc. (You know those Canadian profs). Finney was a Baptist Preacher, Abolitionist, and the founder of Evangelicalism's greatest weapon: "The Altar Call" and anxious seat manuevers, yes this is the man who destroyed the Monergism of historic Protestantism. But I found one passage I like, he lets loose on the popular twisting of Calvin's doctrine of perseverance. This is the detestable heresy known as 'Once Saved, Always Saved'. I've found it everywhere -even Capernwray- but to throw the Mennonites a bone here, they reject it (one of their few but notable successes). I'll let Finney do the talking from here out though:

"Sanctification is obedience, and, as a progressive thing, consists in obeying God more and more perfectly. Young converts should be taught so as to understand what perseverance is. It is astonishing how people talk about perseverance. As if the doctrine of perseverance was "Once in grace, always in grace," or "Once converted, sure to go to heaven." This is not the idea of perseverance. The true idea is, that if a man is truly converted, he will continue to obey God. And as a consequence, he will surely go to heaven. But if a person gets the idea that because he is converted, therefore he will assuredly go to heaven, that man will almost assuredly go to Hell." - Charles Grandison Finney "Instructions of Young Converts in Lectures on the Revivals of Religion".

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who Obscured Scripture - Luther or the Medieval Church

Much like the assumption of Catholics that Protestants will scream when doused with Holy Water, there is another myth coming from the other side. I would argue that this myth has so pervaded Protestantism that their historians have spread it even unto the academic world. Today I encountered it.

It is the great Protestant myth that the Catholic Church is somehow 'scared' of the Bible. It is a natural assumption of most people, that the Protestant Reformation saved the bible from the ashes. This is a lie. Over 100 editions of the Bible were produced by the Catholic Church in the 50 years preceding the Reformation in the vernacular languages (spoken or common languages) of the people. Martin Luther produced one, which the Church forbid -as it did with Wycliffe's because it was an improper translation, Luther added 'alone' to Eph 2:8-9, and other such disfigurements of the word of God as preserved by the Catholic and Orthodox Church.

People complain about the 'Vulgate' - the Latin Bible being used, and that it's purpose was to 'hide' the bible from commoners in a foreign language. The name Vulgate is interesting because it comes from the same english root as Vulgar - meaning in the common speech of the people.

Here is an amazing article showing that this Protestant Myth is just that - a myth - and not a fun myth like Lord of the Rings, or a true myth like Gen 1-3, but a fake bad myth.

here it is: (thank you Lord for Dave Armstrong)
"because of the human tendency to dichotomize differing viewpoints and to create "good guys" and "bad guys" in the most sweeping terms, it becomes almost "psychologically necessary" to come up with a villan, historically-speaking. If Protestants are for the Bible, then (in this mindset) someone has to be the "bad guy" and against the Bible. Therefore, in a movie of this sort, which deals with the myth and folklore of Protestant origins, the Catholic Church "must" be the "bad guy" and enemy of the Holy Scriptures (otherwise, much of the Protestant self-understanding and historical importance and rationale for the very movement itself is greatly hindered). Alongside this is the commonly-held Protestant caricature of claiming that the Catholic Church "feared" the Bible, and how it would expose the falsity of Catholic beliefs, which is why she allegedly forbade it to the common people, in the common tongue, and discouraged its study.

The only problem with such embellishment of one's own epic and noble tale of origins is that it can't hold a candle to the true history concerning the Catholic high reverence for Scripture. It is a simple, indisputable historical fact that the Catholic Church was the guardian, translator and preserver of the Bible for the nearly 1500 years between the time of Jesus Christ and Martin Luther. Anyone at all familiar with the Middle Ages knows about learned monks copying the Scriptures laboriously by hand.

Had the Catholic Church hated or feared the Bible as is so often absurdly claimed, it was an easy matter during this period to destroy all copies. Nor were the masses ignorant of the Bible in the Middle Ages before the Protestants came into the picture. If anything, Bible literacy in the fifty years before Luther's revolt (1467-1517) among lay non-scholars was arguably greater than in our own time.

Before the modern printing press was invented in the mid-15th century, Bibles were chained at libraries not in order to "keep them from the people," as the stereotype goes, but rather, to protect them from thieves, so the common people could have more access to them, as books were very expensive. This practice persisted long after 1517 in Protestant countries such as England, since older books would have continued to be very valuable. Every Protestant (even the most anti-Catholic sort) ought to be profoundly thankful to the Catholic Church, without which they would not possess their Bible.

Nor is it at all true that the Catholic Church was opposed to the printing and distribution of Bible translations in vernacular languages (it did oppose some Protestant translations which it felt were inaccurate). For instance (utterly contrary to the myths in this regard which are pathetically promulgated by the movie Luther), between 1466 and the onset of Protestantism in 1517 at least sixteen editions of the Bible appeared in German, with the full approval of the Catholic Church:

High German:
Strasburg: 1466, 1470, 1485
Basel, Switzerland: 1474
Augsburg: 1473 (2), 1477 (2), 1480, 1487, 1490, 1507 [also in 1518]
Nuremburg: 1483

Low German:
Cologne: 1480 (2)
Lubeck: 1494
Halberstadt: [1522]
Delf: [before 1522]
(From Johannes Janssen, History of the German People From the Close of the Middle Ages, 16 vols., translated by A.M. Christie, St. Louis: B. Herder, 1910 [orig. 1891], vol. 1, 56-57, vol. 14, 388)" - Dave Armstrong in a Response to the movie "Luther"

Roman Fire Upon These Profs!!!@#$@%@#%!!!

WARNING: This is an inflamatory piece of Catholic Rhetoric that was written in anger to all the Protestant Rhetoric I've had to read at university. Do not expect objectivity. Probably only Philip Wilson will enjoy this post.

It seems in life that one of two things is happening to me:
1) in an andrew-centric cosmos all effort is being thrown against him and thus last year he was almost overwhelmed by Atheist Profs, and this year by Mennonite Profs


2) Andrew is paranoid

I'm choosing 1.

This year at Brock it would seem that the heresy train has arrived before the atheist train and thus all of my Profs are what I like to call 'ignorant Protestants' - PLEASE NOTE - this category excludes Traditional Reformed, Lutheran, and Anglican Protestants who actually understand history and Catholicism for the most part. At least these people hold the 'catholic' faith (, unlike the Anabaptists.
But it would seem that Munster has been so overrun with garbage that they had to send some to Brock. I have 3 highly 'Evangelical' Mennonites, spreading the good news of 'Papist Evils', and the beauty of the late Dr. Martin Luther, clinically depressed schismatic, responsible for the greatest divisions in Church history, thus making him a Protestant saint.

Today I sat through a world religions lecture where Menno-Prof 1 - who was Liberal Theology Prof last year - waxed theological about how Catholics don't believe in salvation by grace alone (a strange claim as they invented the phrase "grace alone conquers sin" St. Augustine), and that they believe that salvation is through ALL 7 sacraments and the Pope. How on earth any individual could recieve all seven sacraments, I have no idea - it would certainly be tricky to be ordained a Priest with a vow of celibacy and be married to someone... I also apparently missed the part in the Catechism's treatment of salvation where wthe Pope directly saves people, but check for yourselves:
We also had to sit through 3 U2 Songs to show us the 'beauty of protestant music'.
The only fact that he got right was when he said 'If you ever go to a Non-Denominational Church, it is just a Protestant Church disguised as something completely Christian and that alone'. Amen...

So what's wrong with Mennonites? you might ask: (I was hoping you would)
the following are a list of heresies prevalent in the Mennonite Tradition
-Credobaptism/Zwinglian view of baptism (see nicene creed - forgiveness of sins, not symbolic)
-Sola Fide (James 2:24)
-Sola Scriptura (1 Tim 3:15)
-Mariadelendaology (Mary hatred, delenda - is to destroy in latin)- my own latin invention for
the opposite of the heresy of Mariolatry (Mary worship). Menno Simmons actually taught
(arguably, as there is only one source) that Jesus was born through Mary's side (How Buddha
was born), and not in the natural way, and that Jesus wasn't actually any part of Mary, this is a
strange heretical mix of Buddhism with a special medieval protestant twist of hatred to women
(see John Knox) in that they are inherently dirty and unclean, and that no saviour could pass
through their _____. (Gen 3:15, 1 Jn 3:8)

-Priesthood of all believers/Congregationalism/idiots leading the church - I think one of the greatest heresies, that there should be no Church authorities. This is the reason why you have 50 year old car salesmen as elders of a church deciding on matters of theology when in some cases they don't even have a high school diploma, let alone any formal training in theology. If the Israelites were Mennonites they would've killed Moses, picked a new leader, killed him, ad infinitum, and Christ would never have come - barring he didn't pick the Irish or Egyptians or some other group to be his people.

-Antisophism : another word I just made up Sophia being greek for wisdom, mennonites being against it. When I was taking philosophy, my grandmother advised me not to 'seek after the vain knowledge that SOME would call wisdom' - I realized that once I did learn philosophy, I understood that all the Mennonite premises were logically faulty and thus realized why they hate intellectuals, because they have none themselves (barring John Howard Yoder).
Now that I just burned all of my bridges with Mennonite friends and family, I will take a time to catch my breath, watch the show, and heat my hands on their fire.

Sorry to everyone who read this and was offended/Sorry to everyone, i'm not belittling you, just your logical premises for belief.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Catholic Church, pray for us