Tag Archives: Catholic

Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)

​The Bible was not put under one cover until the Councils of Hippo (393) and 3rd Council of Carthage (397) accepted the official list of books. Not for over 1000 years after these early Councils was the printing press invented (~1450), so Bible manuscripts were quite rare and costly before the printing press came about. Between 397 and 1450 then, how did most people learn about the contents of Scripture, and who was the authoritative figure for the early Church during these centuries? The authority clearly could not have been the Bible, but clearly was the Church Herself who preached it to the faithful. So how can Scripture have been our only guide for the centuries before copies of the Bible were readily available, and were the people who lived during those centuries all damned because they did not have access to Scripture?

Consider this verse from Scripture: “Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name” John 20:30-31. What else does this tell us than Jesus did and said other things that were not recorded in Scripture? Are we really to think that anything Jesus did or said that didn’t make it into the books of Scripture are false or should not be adhered to?

Consider the verse, “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written” John 21:25. Clearly there are many things Jesus said and did that were passed on as tradition (by word of mouth) and did not make it into the books of Scripture.Nowhere in Scripture do we see references to Jesus writing anything down during His public life, nor does Scripture show that He ever asked His Apostles to write down what He was teaching either. We can see only Peter, Paul, James, John Jude, Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote parts of what Our Lord taught, the others did not write anything as far as is recorded. If Scripture were the ONLY resource we should have for our salvation, surely Jesus and His Apostles would have written constantly, but they did not. Instead Scripture shows that the Apostles TAUGHT as they were instructed by Our Lord: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” Matt 28:19. So while Scripture is essential, tradition is also essential. Nowhere in Scripture does it say Scripture alone should be accepted as revelation, and it certainly does not say we should condemn Apostolic tradition. Look all through the Gospels and you will see nothing spoken against tradition except for traditions which are human or against Scripture. Why do the Protestant reformers add this to Our Lord’s words? It is forbidden to add anything to Scripture, as it is to take anything away from it. Why do the Protestant reformers also take away the traditions which are expressly authorized?

Consider the verse, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:14. What else does this tell us than the Apostles spread the word of God not only through Epistles, but also by WORD, and that we should hold to the traditions which we are taught? Any unwritten Apostolic doctrine we call Tradition. 

Consider the verse, “If any man be hungry, let him eat at home; that you come not together unto judgment. And the rest I will set in order, when I come.” 1 Corinthians 11:34. This clearly shows St. Paul writing important words to the Corinthians, then stating he will “set the rest in order” when he comes, yet we do not have writing about them elsewhere. What he said then, will it be lost to the Church? No, it has come down through tradition.

Consider the verse, “Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full.” 2 John 1:12. St. John had something worthy of being written yet he chose to speak instead. Instead of Scripture, he has made tradition.

Consider the verse, “Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13. This is clearly St. Paul recommending to St. Timothy an unwritten Apostolic word. This is tradition! Also consider the verse, “And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. What is this but the Apostle speaking, the witnesses relating, and St. Timothy teaching, followed by these teaching others? This is clearly tradition.

Consider the verse, “I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now” John 16:12. When did He say these things which He had to say? Was it all written? It is also said that He was forty days with them teaching them of the Kingdom of God, but we have neither all of His apparitions nor everything He told them during that time.

Consider the verses, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” Matthew 28:20, and “He that heareth you, heareth me” Luke 10:16, etc. This clearly shows the Apostles teaching is true revelation.

God Bless BJS!!

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Sola Fide (Faith alone)

​Nowhere in the bible does it state faith “alone” justifies, and this new doctrine was not heard of before the 16th century. Why did the Protestant reformers propose it and what authority gave it to them?

Consider the verse, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in. Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.” Matthew 25:34-36. Are these not examples of good works? 

Why would Our Lord give them so much emphasis if only faith was of importance?

Consider the verses, “And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.” Matt 19:16-21. Are the above verses not filled with good works?

How much more proof from Scripture do we need to show that Our Lord commanded us to do good works for our salvation?

Consider the verse, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27. Again here we have more proof that good works are required of us.

Consider the verse, “And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:8. Again this clearly does NOT refer to faith alone, but to labor, which is works.

Consider the verse, “And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2 (St Paul). What is charity other than helping the needy? Charity is clearly considered among good works. And in the same Chapter we also see the verse, “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). This clearly puts charity BEFORE faith, so to say “faith alone” is all that is required of us is clearly contrary to Scripture.

Consider the verse, “Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?” James 2:24. How much more plain can it be said that faith alone is not enough for our salvation?

Consider the verse, “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?” James 2:14. And we see several verses later that the answer to this question is NO.

Consider the verse, “So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.” James 2:17. No explanation is needed for this verse!

Consider the verse, “But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.” James 2:18. Another extremely obvious verse that proves our point on the subject.

Consider the verses, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?” James 2:20-21. No explanation is needed for these verses.

Consider the verse, “For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.” James 2:26. How can the Protestant reformers claim faith is sufficient when we read a verse like this with such obvious meaning?

And finally consider the verse, “Wherefore, brethren, labor the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election.” 2 Peter 1:10

In summary, justification by faith alone has overwhelming opposition in Scripture. Some Protestants have been known to reference other verses from Scripture in an attempt to show that works are NOT required for our salvation. However if one looks at verses that appear to speak negatively about works, they are clearly referring to works that glorify men and not God. Here we agree; works done to please men do not help with attaining our salvation.

God Bless BJS!!

Free Masonry

Some facts about Freemasons

Freemasonry and the Masonic Lodge
· 6 million masons worldwide: 33,700 lodges
· 4 million members in U.S.: 15,300 lodges
· Formed in 1717 in London, England
· All masons enter the “Blue Lodge” in the beginning and make their first three degrees
· From there, they can choose to go into the Scottish Rite (32 degrees with 33rd being honorary) or York Rite (13 degrees and opportunity to join Shriners)
· Shriners are the highest level of Masonry
· Every mason takes a blood oath to preserve masonry
· Oath taken before “Worshipful Master”
· Dr. Albert Pike is the leading quotable authority on freemasonry wrote “Morals and Dogma”
· Masonry is a religion “Every masonic lodge is a temple of religion and its teachings are instruction in religion” pg. 213. “Masonry is from the earliest times the custodian and depository of the great religious truths, unknown to the world at large and handed down from age to age by unbroken current of tradition that was embodied in symbols, emblems and allegories.” Pg. 210. “Masonry is a worship. Masonry is the universal religion in the heart of universal humanity. The ministers of this religion are all masons. Its sacrifices are to God, our good works and perpetual efforts to attain to moral perfection of which man is capable” pg 219
· “The mystery of the Blue Lodge, which every mason joins, finds symbolic meaning within the temple and the whole structure which was intended to represent the universe. The grand principle of the occult philosophy, veiled under the name Kaballah, and so little understood by the mass of initiates of the ancient and modern free masonry.” Pg. 304
· Symbolism behind the compass and rule: Compass represents the heavens and the male generative deity. The rule represents the earth and the female deity. They are coming together in the generative action. The “G” in the middle stands for the “generating principle of life”.
· Mason’s God is named “JBO” for Jehovah, Baal, and Osiris
· According to Masons, Jesus was simply a great reformer and that He taught a lofty morality. He was just like Confucius, Buddha, Mohammad, and Moses.
· All Shriners take a blood oath and swear allegiance to Allah, the God of Mohammad and the Arabs as his God.
· Red Fez for Shriners: “Why do they wear the red fez and why does it have an Islamic sword and crescent on it. When Mohammad and the Muslims swept across North Africa in the 7th century they came to Fez, Morocco. In Fez, there is a large Christian Community and Mohammad had ordered the slaughter of all the infidels, meaning Christians, who would not bow down to Allah and Mohammad. When those Christians refused, the Muslims went in with the Islamic Sword and they slaughtered the Christians by the thousands. And then to glory in the defeat of Christianity, the Muslims would take their Fez and dip it in the blood of the Christians slaughtered by the Islamic sword to glory in the defeat of Christianity. And every Shriner now wears the red Fez with the Islamic sword to glory in the defeat and slaughter of Christians.”
Historic Origins of Modern Masonry
Modern Masonry was founded in London in 1717 when four small Masonic lodges united to become the Grand Lodge of England. Subsequently, in 1736, the first Masonic Lodge in Europe, the Grand Orient Lodge in Paris, was founded.
Freemasonry known also as the Craft or the Brotherhood, was no longer a guild of operative stone masons who had built Europe’s great Catholic cathedrals, It had become a collection of intellectuals who out of pride valued reason over faith which in turn led to a descent into the spiritual darkness of self-deification.
In Defense of Christianity
Since 1738, the Popes have warned of the intrinsic deceitfulness of Freemasonry and similar secret societies because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer.
The intrinsic evil of Masonry, which embraces organized naturalism and denies the divinity of Christ, was already so evident by 1738 that Pope Clement XII in an encyclical binding to the entire Christian Church admonished the faithful to avoid membership in and association wit Freemasonry: ” All the faithful of Christ of whatever state, grade, condition or order, we ordain stringently and in virtue of holy obedience, that they shall not under any pretext enter, propagate or support the aforesaid societies, known as Freemasons, or otherwise named, that the faithful shall not be enrolled in them, or take part in their proceedings, assist them, or afford them in any way counsel, and, or favor, publicly or privately, directly or indirectly, by themselves or by others in any way whatever under pain of excommunication to be incurred by the very act without further declaration….” Absolution from this most grievous offense against God, was only obtainable from the successor to St. Peter.
Clements’s condemnation was absolute “…because of the wickedness and perversion of Masonry and their ability to deceive.”
In 1829, Pope Pius VIII stated, ” Lying is their rule, Satan is their God, and shameful deeds their sacrifice.” And in 1885, Pope Pius IX told the Archbishop of Paris that Masonic secret sects formed ” The Synagogue of Satan.”
Pope Leo XIII, in Human Genus, labeled Freemasonry “this foul plague [with] a fraudulent external appearance,” and proclaimed, “we wish it to be your rule first of all to tear away the mask from Freemasonry and let it be seen for what it really is; and by sermons and pastoral letters to instruct the peoples as to the artifices used by societies of this kind in seducing men.”
Masonic Black Masses
In a 1991 interview Cardinal Eduard Gagnon, member of the Church’s Curia, said he knew from his personal experience in Canada, that Masons stole the Consecrated Hosts to be used in the celebration of Masonic black masses. The Cardinal stated further that Masons had made repeated efforts to influence the Vatican to lift all prohibitions against Catholic membership.
Masonic Wars and Assassinations
The Masonic lodges, together with the Jacobins and the Illuminati masterminded the bloody French Revolution to overthrow the Catholic monarchy and the catholic Church so as to install a Masonic republic. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded; the Catholic clergy were either murdered or forced to hide; a Masonic black Mass desecrated the high altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and Masonic governments have ruled France for most of the past two centuries. In 1914, World War I was precipitated by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Hapsburg throne and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Gavrilo Princep, one of the assassins, testified that the Serbian Masonic Lodge had ordered the assassination-the goal was to destroy both the Hapsburg dynasty and the Austro- Hungarian Empire. Kaiser Wilhelm II stated in his biography that the Masonic Grand Masters of Europe intended to destroy the Catholic Hapsburg dynasty, eliminate the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and destroy the Catholic Church. They were successful in two of the three goals!
In 1917, Maximilian Kolbe watched in horror as the Freemasons, celebrating their bicentennial, marched through the streets of Rome carrying banners depicting Satan defeating St. Michael and declaring: “Satan will rule on Vatican Hill and the Pope will serve as his errand boy.” Martyr and saint, Fr. Kolbe worked tirelessly against Masonry because he knew how this enemy of the Church insidiously effects revolutionary social changes by promoting spiritual paralysis, moral compromise, secular humanism, and the heresy of indifferentism.
In July, 1992,Mexico’s Masonic Grand Master Francisco Valle Guzman condemned the Catholic Church as “the most powerful and ruthless enemy of science, civilization, fraternity and love. Any reconciliation between us is impossible.” He then added that Masonry’s “duty” is to be the “gravediggers” of the Catholic Church.
In the spring of 1993, Mexican Cardinal Posadas Ocampo stated, “the principles and traditional philosophy of the Freemasons makes it clear that they don’t act in our favor,” adding that the 1994 presidential elections “would be an appropriate occasion for change.”
In May 1993, the Cardinal was gunned down in the Guadalajara Airport. Although circumstantial evidence points to a Masonic assassination, Mexico’s Masonic government continues to declare that the murder was an accident.
Warning
At each degree of initiation, Masons take a deadly oath, and swear allegiance to Masonry above God and Country. Under pain of death, they swear never to reveal the secrets of Freemasonry- not even to their wives.
Therefore, no matter what Masons claim about their good works or intentions, they cannot be believed. They are the Church’s diabolical enemy.

Agents of the Anti Christ
Root Causes of the Great Apostasy
St Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians foretold events which must take place before the second coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Let no one deceive you in anyway, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God.” (2:3,4)
St. Paul’s letter explicitly prophesizes that the great apostasy and the advent of the Antichrist must precede the second coming. “It is possible for the faithful to recognize the era of the great apostasy or will they be deceived by the lying wonders of the son of perdition the marks of which deceive.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ established His Church to be His teaching authority on earth and He chose St. Peter as the first Pope. It was Pope Pius XII one of St. Peter’s successors who, at a pastoral conference on May 23, 1958, while warning the faithful of the great apostasy also identified the causes of the great apostasy: “the roots of modern apostasy lay in scientific atheism, dialectical materialism, rationalism, illuminism, laicism, and Freemasonry which is the mother of them all.”

The following link is invaluable in the clarification of Free Masonry and Catholicism. It contains several important links to other documents please feel free to explore.

‘Tradition in Action’ uses Masonic Source to implicate Pope Pius IX in Freemasonry

https://wp.me/p92lyf-IU

God Bless BJS!!

Where are the elements needed for Eternal Salvation?

“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day“.John 6:55

“Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” John 6:54

If it is a matter of indifference  what a man believes,  assuming he is a “decent person” then it was absolutely  useless for God to make any revelation.  If someone is free to reject what God reveals, what purpose was it for Christ to send forth His Apostles and disciples to teach all nations, if those nations can freely believe whatever they desire? This would be insulting to the very nature of God. If God makes a point to reveal something through Divine Revelation (by miracle or prophecy) He wants it to be believed. Mankind is bound by his conscience among other things, to believe what God has revealed. Man is also bound to worship God with his reason and intellect along with his heart and will.  God owns everything He has given  us, we are only stewards of these gifts in our lives and are to use them for His glory alone and not ours.  There should be no man and certainly not a Christian who rightly asserts that we are not bound to believe what God has has revealed and taught.  This religious indifferentism (more in a later writing), is heretical to everything Christ has put before us as our God, and is a rejection of the one true religion revealed by Him. 
True Faith as stated by the majority of Protestants, is to believe in the Lord Jesus.  Catholics agree with this as well, they share the belief that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and that we must believe all that He has revealed and taught us to have True Faith.  Without which, there is no salvation, no hope of Heaven, and eternal damnation as we have Jesus’ own words for it.  If Jesus under that pains of Hell commands me to believe what He has taught, then He must provide a means in which to learn and understand His teachings.  This has to be a means that is present at all times, through all ages, and to every type of person smart or ignorant, all over the world.  This means must teach without error, because if it did not, it would surely not be a means for salvation at all. Both Catholics and Protestants state that Christ has provided such a means, but where they differ is the means in and of itself.  Protestants state it is the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, while Catholics state it is the Church of the Living God.

Suppose God had intended for mankind to learn His religion from a book. Would not have Jesus given us all books? Perhaps, He would have instructed His Apostles to “write Bibles and give them to everyone so they can figure out what works best for their salvation.”  Instead Christ said, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” If Christ had stated the former, there would have been no Christianity, just confusion.  As we can see from history however, THAT did not start happening until the 16th century.  Ever since then, religion after religion, and church after church popped up all fighting against each other due to private interpretations of the Bible.

Christ never even gave His Apostles the command to write anything down.  They went forth and preached everywhere, planted the Church of God throughout the earth, never writing during Our Lord’s time on Earth.  

1.) St. Matthew – wrote about 7 years after Christ left the Earth for the benefit of a few people. So there was a Church that had already existed for 7 years prior to that.

2.) St. Mark – wrote about 10 years after Christ.

3.) St. Luke – wrote about 25 years after Christ.

4.) St. John – wrote about 63 years after Christ. And he wrote the last portion of what is in the Bible, the Book of Revalation, about 65 years after Christ. So the Catholic (comes from Hebrew “Catholo” or universal), Church had existed for 65 years prior to this point.

If anyone during anytime was to be considered Christian, it was these direct followers of Jesus Christ Himself.  They were the pillars on which Christ built His Church.  How were they suppose to know how to achieve salvation if they were in the process of writing parts of the Bible?  Would Jesus have left His Church 65 years without a teacher if the Bible is suppose to be that?  The answer is no, God would not do that.  Out of these men, maybe St. John read the Bible, but no other did, everyone of them died martyrs and heroes for the Church of Jesus Christ.  They knew how to save their souls just as true Catholics do today, from the teachings of the Church of God.

For over 300 years the Church that Christ established at the Last Supper spread itself all over the world without the Bible.  No one even knew what books constituted the Bible at this time.  During the time of the Apostles many false gospels and epistles were being spread.  Gospels such as Simon, Nicodemus, of Mary, of Barnabus, and the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus were all being spread amongst people who had no way of knowing which were truly inspired and which were false.  Even those more learned disputed their validity.

In the 4th century the Pope of Rome, Head of the Church, succesor of St. Peter, brought together all the Bishops of the world into a council.  The decision was made to decide which books constituted the Bible which is how we Catholics have it now.  The Gospels that did not display sufficient evidence of Divine Inspiration from the Holy Ghost were rejected.  Until this point in history the Bible was unknown to the whole world.  There was no Bible to guide anyone.  It is impossible to believe that Christ would leave the human race without a book for salvation if that was His intended means to learn His religion.  And not just for 300 years was the Christian world left without the Bible but for over 1400 years!

The printing press was invented in the middle of the 1400s, about 100 years before there was a Protestant in the world.  Before the printing press was invented, Bibles were rare and costly things.  Historians will tell you that only about 1,000 years ago, Bibles were so rare and costly that it took a fortune for one to buy himself a copy.  Everything had to be written by hand with pen, upon parchment or sheepskin.  It was very tedious, slow, and costly.  Historians also state that it took approximately 20 years to hand copy a Bible, if someone were paid even just a dollar a day that would amount $8,000.  With todays standards of minimum wage that would be well over $300,000!  How could people afford such a thing so necessary to the salvation of their souls?  Before printing it is estimated that not even 1 in 20,000 people owned a copy of the Bible.  Why would Jesus make it so hard for men if He intended for the Bible to be the end all be all for eternal salvation?

Supposing that every person did have a Bible, what good would it do those who could not read?  As the Bible was also written in Greek or Hebrew, what good would it do for someone who could not understand these languages?  Even as today it is translated into English, French, and many other languages; how are we to know whether or not these translations are faithful to the original text?  If they are not, then it is no longer the Word of God but a false translation.  Most people have to depend on the opinions of the learned.  But if learned opinions vary and often contradict one another on how the Word of God is to be translated, than who is correct?  There are a great number of Protestant layman, preachers, and bishops, who have written whole volumes on errors contained in different versions, the King James Version alone is said to have over 30,000 errors.  How can one be so sure of eternal salvation with 30,000 errors?

Assuming the problem of unfaithful translations is completely out of the picture, and everyone had enough money to procure faithful translations of the Word of God for use in private interpretation; who’s interpretation is correct?  How are you to save your soul if you hesitate and doubt certain people’s interpretation of Scripture?  Throughout the world there are over 350 different denominations or churches that all state the Bible is their guide and teacher.  However, just as truth is one, God is one, there can be no contradiction.  Protestants state that the man who reads the Bible right and prayerfully has truth, and they all say they read it right.

Scenario:

Let us suppose there is an Episcopal minister.  He is a sincere, honest,, well-meaning and prayerful man.  He reads his Bible in prayerful spirit, and from the word of the Bible, he concludes that it is clear there must be Bishops.  For without Bishops there can be no priests, without priests no Sacraments, and without Sacraments no Church.  The Presbyterian is a sincere and well-meaning man.  He reads the Bible also, and deduces that there should be no bishops, but only presbyters.  “Here is the Bible to give you the lie,” says the Presbyterian.  Yet both of them are prayerful and well-meaning men.

Then the Baptist comes in.  He is a well-meaning, honest man, and prayerful also.  “Well,” says the Baptist, “have you ever been baptized?”  “I was,” says the Episcopalian, “when I was a baby.”  “And so was I,” says the Presbyterian, “when I was a baby.”  “But,” says the Baptist, “you are going to Hell as sure as you live.” 

Next comes the Unitatrian, well-meaning, honest, and sincere.  “Well,” says the Unitarian, “allow me to tell you that you are a pack of idolators.  You worship a man for a God who is no God at all.”  And he gives several texts from the Bible to prove it, while the others are stopping their ears that they may not hear the blasphemies of the Unitarian.  And all of them contend that they have the true version of the Bible.

Next comes the Methodist, and he says, “My friends, have you got any religion at all?”  “Of course we have,” they say.  “Did you ever feel religion,” says the Methodist, “the spirit of God moving within you?”  “Nonsense,” says the Presbyterian, “we are guided by our reason and judgement.”  “Well,” says the Methodist, “if you have never felt religion, you never had it, and will go to Hell for eternity.”

The Universalist next comes in, and hears them threatening one another with external hellfire.  “Why,” says he, “you are a strange set of people.  Do you not understand the Word of God?  There is no Hell at all.  That idea is good enough to scare old women and children,” and he proves it from the Bible.

And now comes in the Quaker.  He urges them not to quarrel, and advises that they do not baptize at all.  He is the sincerest of men, and gives the Bible for his faith.

Another comes in and says, “Baptize the men and leave the women alone.  For the Bible says, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “So,” says he, “the women are all right, but baptize the men.”

Next comes in the Shaker and he says, “You are presumptuous people.  Do you know that the Bible tells you that you must work out your salvation in fear and trembling, and you do not tremble at all.  My brethren, if you want to go to Heaven shake, my brethren, shake!”

End

So in this scenario we see seven or eight different denominations, all differing from each other as to what is essential for salvation.  All using whatever version of the Bible, illustrative private interpretation to justify their reasoning, and opinions.  What if one were to bring over 350 different denominations that exist in the world?  All taking the Bible as their guide and teacher, and all differing from each other.  Are they all right?  Some believe in Hell, some do not.  Some believe Christ is God, others do not.  Some believe Baptism is essential, some do not.  All cannot be true.

Who, then, is correct?  He who has the true meaning of the Bible?  The Bible never tells us who holds the true meaning, it never settles that quarrel because it is not the teacher.  The Bible is a good book, we Catholics admit the Bible is the inspired word of God (Jesus being the actual Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us), the language of inspiration, but your explanation of the Bible is not the language of inspiration.  Your understanding of the Bible is not inspired, for surely you do not pretend to  inspired!

When the Constitution in the United States was established George Washington did not say, “Let every man read the Constitution and make a government unto himself.  Let every man make his own explanation of the Constitution.”  If Washington had done that, there would have never been a United States, it would have been a Divided States.  Instead the Constitution along with Supreme Law, was given to the American people.  A Supreme Court and Judges were appointed to provide the true explanation of the Constitution for everyone from President to homeless Veteran.  In fact its a three tier check and balance system (3 is a good number, remanant of The Blessed Trinity), if anyone takes the Constitution and laws into their own hands and are not kept in check, anarchy ensues.

Every government is of this way, a Constitution and a Supreme Court or Judge that gives the meaning of this Constitution.  Someone visible that you can go to, lay complaints or questions before.  Our Divine Lord established His Supreme Court, His Supreme Judge, “Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18)  It gives us the true meaning of Scriptures, The Son of the Living God has pledged His Word that His Court is infallible, and therefore, the TRUE Catholic never doubts. 

“I believe,” says the Catholic, “because the Church teaches me so.  I believe the Church because God commanded me to believe her.”  Jesus said:  “Tell the Church.  And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.”  (Matthew 18:17)  “He that believeth you believeth Me.  He that despiseth you despiseth Me.”  (Luke 10:) Sadly everyone despises the Church nowadays and there has always been great adversity towards it.  The Catholic believes because God has spoken, and upon the authority of God.

Protestants say, “We believe in the Bible.”  They understand it to the best of their opinions as those who came before them (most broke off from the Church for some personal gain), and use private interpretation.  This is only a testimony of man, therefore it is only human faith, not Divine Faith or taking God’s Word for something.  It is Divine Faith alone by which we give honor and glory to God, by which we adore His infinte wisdom and veracity.  That adoration and worship is necessary for salvation.

God Bless, BJS
Parts of this blog were taken, adapted, and abridged from a sermon given by Fr.  Arnold Damen, S.J. (1815-1890)