Some more thoughts on Substitutionary Atonement

The Crucifixion (1311) (fragment), by Duccio

The Crucifixion (1311) (fragment), by Duccio (WikiPaintings)

Today, while reflecting on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, I had a few more thoughts about the recent controversy over Substitutionary Atonement.

Certainly there is a real sense in which the Atonement is substitutionary in the Catholic mind: For in the Sorrowful Mysteries, we are encouraged to think on Christ bearing the sufferings for our sins, the punishment and death that we deserve. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). “He is the true Lamb who has taken away the sins of the world; by dying He destroyed our death, and by rising restored our life” (Preface I of Easter). But the idea that Christ atones for our sins by satisfying or appeasing the wrath of God that would otherwise be poured out on sinners is just as surely contrary to everything we believe. If anything, in our mind, it is not God punishing Christ as we ourselves punishing Him through our sins. In the liturgy of His Passion, even, we the Church read the voices of Christ’s persecutors. Christ suffers for our sins, not because God pours out His wrath on Him, but because He in His Divine Mercy and love chose to take them on Himself.

El Greco, Christ Carrying the Cross (c. 1578)

She also posts a lot of beautiful artwork. Christ Carrying the Cross (c. 1578), by El Greco.

This idea of “penal satisfaction” stands opposed to the very idea of the Mass: In the Mass, we re-present the eternal sacrifice of Christ, together with the sacrifice of ourselves, to the Father — because this sacrifice is pleasing to Him, an act of total, self-emptying love, an act of worship; not because it satisfies His wrath. Christ “gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). We who share in His Body and Blood are partners in His altar (1 Corinthians 10:16–18), participating in His sacrifice, offering ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

But I think I can understand in this one of the reasons why some Protestants have such difficulty understanding and accepting the Mass, supposing that we are “re-sacrificing” Christ again and again, repeating His once and for all sacrifice (Hebrews 9:26). In their conception of the Atonement, because its primary purpose was to pay the penalty for our sins, and because He paid once and for all the penalty for all, for all times — because He satisfied the wrath of God once and for all — that sacrifice never has to be presented again. And in their minds, the very idea of re-presenting Christ’s sacrifice implies that we believe the wrath of God has returned and must be appeased again, that in our sins we have once again stirred His enmity. But we believe no such thing: In the Passion, Christ poured himself out wholly for us in love, a love that continues to flow, that is everlasting and never runs out; and in the Mass we continually join with Him in that love, in communion, in pouring out ourselves and offering ourselves wholly to God.

Addendum: I think, too, this might be a reason why Protestants misunderstand the Crucifix, the depiction of Christ “still on the Cross.” They object because this implies to them that we believe the work of the Cross, of the Atonement, is not finished; that Christ must continue to suffer again and again for our sins. But though His saving work on the Cross, the breaking of His Body and shedding of His Blood, is complete, He pours Himself our for us in love forever, a work that is never-ending. The grace, the love, mercy which flow from the Cross, will never cease to flow.

95 thoughts on “Some more thoughts on Substitutionary Atonement

  1. Once agian, another great post. No reseruction without crucifixition. Also, notice if you have seen “The Passion of the Christ” they spend a good 10-15 minutes showing the scourging before nailing him to the cross. This is Christ in his fullness, even out of the brutality, his glory shines. May the peace of Christ rule among you, all.

    • Yes, I saw The Passion of the Christ for the first time this past Easter and it changed my life. Only a Catholic view, I think, can bring such richness and depth to our understanding of the Crucifixion and Atonement, of Jesus’s love for us, raised up to the Father in His suffering. There’s no evidence of the “wrath of God” there — only His love. Peace be with you, friend.

  2. No one celebrates his birthday thinking he is actually being born again. 😉 Yet, it is a good day to honor God and one’s parents for their respective efforts in the process. Have a good weekend. God bless!

  3. I always took the whole crucifix thing as a joke about denominations–Roman Catholics focus too much on the crucifixion and not enough on the resurrection, while Protestants are the opposite. I think it’s just a matter of preference and tradition.

    • It is certainly about tradition, but I think the question runs much deeper than a joke. I have heard many people, especially of the Reformed tradition, argue that “Catholics have Jesus still on the cross!” as if this were something blasphemous or contrary to Christian belief. To them, it doubtlessly signifies something more than a matter of preference. Catholics don’t have any problem with a bare cross — there are plenty of representations of crosses without a crucifix throughout the Catholic world — but to do away with the crucifix entirely seems, from the Catholic perspective, to sterilize the Crucifixion and reduce Christ crucified to little more than a symbol. Regarding emphasizing the Crucifixion over the Resurrection: I wouldn’t agree with that. Every Mass is a memorial of both the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

  4. The rosary, is a blasphemous thing, and runs completely contrary to sound biblical teaching.
    Mary is dead. she is not god.she is not co-redeemer.she died a sinner,she did not die a virgin

    • Greetings, sir, and welcome. This is a place for sharing truth in love, and having polite, respectful, and rational discussions about the topics upon which we disagree with other believers. You are welcome to comment here if you keep a polite and charitable attitude and make comments that are relevant and on topic. So far, however, you have only left a couple of anti-Catholic videos that weren’t relevant to this post, and some comments critical to other people’s beliefs without either supporting your arguments or offering anything constructive instead. Also, this post is about the Atonement, about Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross for our sins, His Death and Resurrection. It has little or nothing to do with the Rosary or the Virgin Mary. I do hope you comment again — but please try to engage my blog, rather than simply trolling. Thanks, and peace be with you.

      • Those videos were very relevant. You would know that,if you watched them.
        I was shoft of time to comment prpperly,and the quickest way,was to paste those links into the comment box.
        The dogmas of rome go against any sound teachings regarding atonment, in fact the catholic persuasion,are more reliant on mary,than Jesus Christ’s victory on the cross.

        The video itself does cover the issues you mention.

        • Well, why don’t you summarize the arguments for me? I really don’t like to watch videos, not even Catholic ones. I am too ADD to sit still and listen to somebody talk. 😛 I prefer to sit down and read. And I think it will mean more if you make the argument yours, using your own words, rather than relying on somebody else to make your argument for you. It’s personal interaction and all.

          • What you are saying about the atonement,I.e. your view of it,is seemingly contrary to roman catholic teaching.
            Would it be true to say,that you do not accept everything that the canon law states.?

            It is perfectly correct to say Christ died for our sins,once,for all time,my understanding is that,Gods punishment,for our sins,was laid upon Jesus,on the cross,the veil torn in two,and thereby,the way to God,was open…and also,the redemption,occurred,was brought about,by this atoning sacrifice,…not many sacrifices…..Christ,being the Only redeemer..

            But, the roman catholic adds mary into the equation,as so called co-redeemer,this includes the blasphemous rosary, e.tc..

            I could say more, and perhaps have missed some stuff out??

            I see you deleted the videos though,which,can be seen on my blog,if anyone is interested ???

          • No, this I’m saying is all quite orthodox Catholic teaching. I think you may not understand what the Catholic Church teaches about this. Paragraphs 613–618 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church describe the Catholic view of the Atonement, and I think you will find it all agrees with everything I’m saying — and Mary is not mentioned in any of it.

            In particular, these sections:

            Jesus substitutes his obedience for our disobedience

            615. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who “makes himself an offering for sin,” when “he bore the sin of many,” and who “shall make many to be accounted righteous,” for “he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:10–12). Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father.

            Jesus consummates his sacrifice on the Cross

            616. It is love “to the end” (John 13:1) that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life (cf. Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2, 25). Now “the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died” (2 Corinthians 5:14). No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all. (478; 468; 519)

            For more about how the Catholic and Reformed Protestant views of the Atonement differ, you might read Bryan Cross’s account, which is more detailed and in depth than I can manage (though I did my best in a previous post).

            So no, Mary is not a “co-redeemer” in the sense that she played any role at all in the Atonement. She did not. I have already written a bit about what this really means. The “co-” prefix is an artifact of the Latin language, which likes to put prefixes on things when normally we wouldn’t in English. Consider the difference between a “pilot” and a “co-pilot” — the co-pilot is dependent on, and doesn’t have a role equal to, the pilot. Consider also the difference between the words “operate” (meaning “work”) and “cooperate” (meaning “work together”). Mary didn’t “operate” (“work”) the Redemption; but she did cooperate (“worked together,” went along with) God’s plan. We like saying nice things about our mother, but we don’t give her honor that is owed only to God.

          • She is not unique,in her co-operation,she was obedient to God,when the birth of a son was prophesied to her, but she was still in need of a redemptive work of God in her life,and,she would still need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

            I have read quite a few catholic leaflets,when I could get hold of them,and they are very contradictory to scripture.I should have kept them really.
            My understanding of the catholic view of mary,is not improved,when I read other blogs on here.
            There is a very strong emphasis on mary.
            One blog on here,by a catholic school girl,ref: what she was taking to college,a short list,mentioned a rosary,but as I pointed out to her, NO Bible !!!

            Perhaps you should talk to the other catholics on here,blogging ??
            Only an idea.

          • Yes, Mary needed the Redeemer, too — there’s no doubt about that. Nobody says otherwise. And, whether she was “unique” is not really the question, is it? She did say “yes”; she was obedient. And we honor her for that. And yes, we honor her a lot! Jesus loved His mother, and so do we! We are the biggest Jesus fans on earth — we are so crazy about Him, we are crazy about His mother, too!

            Well, I haven’t read said Catholic leaflets and I didn’t write them. There may be Catholics out there who don’t understand the teaching of the Church. But the teaching of the Church is clear, and you can read it for yourself in the Catechism. Other people can get things wrong, just as any other Christian can get things wrong. If there’s anything in particular you think is contradictory to Scripture, bring it here and I’ll tell you what I think about it. There is a lot of Catholic teaching that is contradictory to Protestant interpretations of Scripture — but what makes you so sure that your view is the right one?

            Regarding Bibles: Some Catholics aren’t very good about reading the Bible in private. But so are some Protestants! The nice thing about the Catholic Church is that you receive Scripture whether you take the time for private study or not. Scripture readings are a part of every Mass. If you go to Mass every week, you will have read more or less the whole Bible in three years (in one year, if you go to Mass every day!).

          • My ‘ view ‘ as you put it,is solely based on Scripture, Not tradion,culture,or catechism.
            Mary needed the redeemer,I.e. Jesus,for she was a sinner too,
            ( she did not die a virgin)….It is quite clear,that,of course mary,is not to be disrespected…Of course Not..
            But there is No teaching in Scripture,regarding praying to her..

            There are very few verses of Scripture,where Mary is even mentioned.

            Moreover,it is quite clear,from Scripture,that Only God is worthy of all honour and praise, as is Jesus Christ…

            ALL honour,praise and worship,is the right of God,and Jesus to expect,and no other.

            You say “teaching of the church “….but you really refer to the roman catholic,so called church…this teaching,I.e. of the catholic church etc has no authority from Scripture, and is not acceptable as Gods word,or equivalent to it.

            I’m thinking that,perhaps your putting a different angle on YOUR catecism,to make it sound more palatable as Christian.
            I do not accept,that anyone saying they are roman catholic,is christian.

            I do not accept that catholics are crazy about Jesus…if they were,they would keep his word,which they essentially deny,by their dogmas,and practices etc..as evidenced on quite a few blogs on here.

            You obviously have no experience of real christians etc..I know that not all study the word,or even believe, but the Christians,IS spend time with,study scripture very regularly.

            I think you know,that,the roman catholic church so called, teaches false doctrine..purgatory,indulgences,so called prayers to mary,transubstantiation,the rosary….scapular…confessional. ???

          • My ‘view’ as you put it, is solely based on Scripture…

            That’s nice. But by “view,” I mean “interpretation” (as I said). Your Bible doesn’t interpret itself. You have to read the words and understand them. What makes you so sure you are understanding them correctly?

            Mary needed the redeemer, i.e. Jesus…

            Yes, she did, as I have agreed several times.

            There are very few verses of Scripture, where Mary is even mentioned.

            That’s true. But you seem to know an awful lot about her private life, that isn’t even reported in Scripture! Are you going by some later tradition, perhaps?

            Moreover, it is quite clear, from Scripture, that only God is worthy of all honour and praise, as is Jesus Christ… All honour, praise and worship, is the right of God,and Jesus to expect, and no other.

            Are you saying, then, that we shouldn’t honor our Christian brothers and sisters? We shouldn’t honor our father and mother? Because I don’t think that’s what Scripture teaches at all.

            You say “teaching of the church,” but you really refer to the Roman Catholic, so-called church… this teaching, i.e. of the Catholic Church, etc. has no authority from Scripture, and is not acceptable as God’s Word, or equivalent to it.

            You are approaching me to criticize what my Church believes. Therefore, it is relevant for me to point out to you what the Church actually, officially teaches. Of course the Catechism is not an authority “equivalent” to God’s Word — nobody claims that it is. But it is an authority about what the Church actually teaches. (Also, you may or may not have noticed that the Catechism bases its teachings on the Word of Scripture.)

            I’m thinking that, perhaps your putting a different angle on YOUR Catechism, to make it sound more palatable as Christian.

            I’m only telling you the truth. I can cite the actual words of the Catechism or any other official documents of the Church to back up what I’m saying. Are you saying that you find it palatable?

            I do not accept that Catholics are crazy about Jesus… if they were, they would keep his word, which they essentially deny, by their dogmas, and practices, etc…. as evidenced on quite a few blogs on here.

            You shouldn’t take individual Catholic blogs on here as being representative of all Catholics, any more than I should take the actions of many people who call themselves Protestants as being representative of all Protestants. The Church has no control over other people’s blogs, and neither do I. Do you find any dogmas or practices in my blog that deny the teachings of Jesus? If you do, then that’s what we can talk about.

            You obviously have no experience of real Christians, etc…. I know that not all study the Word, or even believe, but the Christians IS spend time with, study Scripture very regularly.

            I’ve been a “real” Christian, and been around “real” Christians, my whole life. I’m afraid you have very little experience of them, if you think they all “study Scripture very regularly.”

          • It is clearly in scripture,that mary had other offspring,and therefore,did not die a virgin.
            What makes you think I don’t understand the scriptures correctly.
            ?
            Honoring your father and mother is right,but once they are dead,…then let the dead look after the dead…why do we need to honour our brothers and sisters in christ,when honour,glory,praise belong to God.respect yes..

            I do not find your catechism palatable at all,but that,
            You are trying to make it sound palatable.
            I certainly did not say all christians, I said the ones that I KNOW, I.e. that I personally have anything to do with.

            If you had really spent all your life around christians,then surely,you would have been converted by now.

            The so called catechism is not based on Gods word at all.
            Why not just go to God’s word,rather than your catechism then..??

          • It is clearly in scripture, that Mary had other offspring, and therefore, did not die a virgin.

            Scripture says that Jesus had “brothers” and “sisters.” It does not say that these were Mary’s children.

            Honoring your father and mother is right, but once they are dead… then let the dead look after the dead… why do we need to honour our brothers and sisters in Christ, when honour, glory, praise belong to God. Respect, yes…

            Catholics do not “praise” or “worship” the saints; we honor and respect the saints. Do you think that “honor your father and mother” means that we are to honor and praise our parents in the same way we honor and praise God? No, of course not. The word honor means something different here. We are to honor — that is respect — our parents.

            I do not find your catechism palatable at all, but that, you are trying to make it sound palatable.

            Again, I’m only telling you the truth.

            I certainly did not say all Christians, I said the ones that I KNOW, i.e. that I personally have anything to do with.

            I am glad you keep such good company, then.

            If you had really spent all your life around Christians, then surely, you would have been converted by now.

            You make me smile, friend. 🙂 Yes, I converted — to become Catholic. I was a Protestant for more than thirty years of my life. I have been, and still am, a Christian.

            The so called Catechism is not based on Gods word at all.

            It’s not? Then why does nearly every paragraph quote Scripture directly, and give Scripture references?

            Why not just go to God’s Word, rather than your Catechism then..??

            Why read any book, other than God’s Word? Do you think that just because you believe in sola scriptura, “Scripture alone,” you shouldn’t ever read another book? Books teach us things. Scripture tells us about God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us what the Catholic Church believes about God, how Catholics understand Scripture. It tells us what many other worthy Christians have said in the past about Scripture and about God. I like learning all I can about God, therefore, I read a lot of different books about God. They don’t have the same authority as Scripture, but they still teach me things and are worth reading.

          • Is anybody who is alive in Christ really dead? Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25–26). Do you believe this? Is He not “the God of the living and not the dead” (Matthew 22:32)? But yes, Mary has shuffled off this mortal coil. She is no longer living on this earth. If you think that means she’s “dead,” then okay, she’s “dead.” But I prefer to take our Lord at his word.

          • Yet,shall he / she live…future tense..
            Are you saying that mary is not dead then, at the same time as saying she has shuffled off this mortal coil.
            Mary is dead in Christ,as are all the other Christians who Have died up to now, but their soul,spirit,….God only..knows..
            But they will be resurrected…everyone will be resurrected, some to eternal life,some to eternal damnation…..

            The Lord rebuke you for falsely accusing me of denying Gods Word.

            What translation are you using??

          • Hmm, no, I didn’t. I said you might have a different understanding of Scripture than I do. That wasn’t sarcastic. Clearly, many people have many different understandings of Scripture, or there wouldn’t be 40,000 different Protestant denominations. How do you know that you are understanding Scripture correctly? Naturally, I don’t think you are — but I believe you are sincerely trying, and trying to follow the Lord, and aren’t intentionally “denying God’s Word.” I wouldn’t ever accuse you of that.

          • Not directly…but you certainly strongly imied,that I was or wouldn’t have taken Jesus to mean what he says/said.
            Anyway gotta go,and share the gospel with some roman catholics/muslims,prayerfully desiring the Lord to deliver them from demonic doctrines..and save them…

            He’s coming very soon….

            Are you saved !!!

            Bye bye..for now anyway.

          • I take the lord at his word too thank you.
            Please don’t insult my intelligence..I’m no genius,,,but not stupid either..

            I do not think this debate is going anywhere…I wish it was…

          • I don’t mean to insult your intelligence. I don’t think you are stupid.

            If you came here thinking you were going to change my mind, then you’re right, this debate isn’t going anywhere. I like to think we are making progress toward understanding one another, and that you are making progress toward better understanding what the Catholic Church teaches. I hope and pray that you will understand and accept that Catholics are your brothers and sisters in Christ, too.

          • I have had a lengthy conversation with a roman catholic on here,regarding Gods word,and contrary doctrines expressed by him.
            He was always trying to refer me to the so called catechism.
            He would refer to his catechism,as though it applied to me,in some way.

            I can assure anyone reading this,that I Do Not give Any credence or credibilty to the catholic catechism.!! It has NO bearing on Gods Word,and is not inspired.

            The person I was communicating with,on wordpress, used his catechism,as a lense,through which,he understood the bible.
            He was also of the opinion,that,Scripture does not interpret itself.

            This,of course,is an outright falsehood.
            Gods Word,does indeed interpret its self, I.e if you want to understand a doctrine better,you go through the bible,looking at other chapters,verses etc.in fact if you want to know the meaning of a word better,from a biblical view,you find out,where that word is First used,in scripture.
            A Strongs exhaustive concordance,will help there.

            The whole counsel of God must be applied.

            It is therefore,a demonic,false supposition,that one needs a catechism,of human origin,to gain knowledge of God.
            It has always been,the practice of the catholic,so-called church,to keep its adherents,subject to them,and their evil dogmas,

            ” Whom they desire still to keep in darkness…”
            (quoted from the dedicatory letter from,the translators/ from hebrew and Greek, to King James)

            As a matter of interest, I use only the
            KING JAMES BIBLE.!!

            The N.I.V has 200 errors in it,which I have marked out,
            in my King James Bible.

            It is clear to me,that there are catholics,on here that will make every effort,to twist your words to them,or will imply that you misunderstand actual catholic teachings.

            The roman catholic so called church is the most pernicious,perfidious organisation,on this earth,and I cannot realistically expect anything different,from its adherents.!!
            There are few exceptions.

            When you contradict them,they will accuse you of being a hater,or
            of being negative.
            Being negative is only the opposite of being affirmative.
            I would not want to affirm someone,in their demonic,blasphemous dogmas,so therefore,YES…I AM NEGATIVE.
            BUT WITH CHRISTIANS..I AM AFFIRMATIVE..I PRAISE GOD FOR MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST,

            AND REBUKE,REPROVE,THOSE THAT TEACH A LIE/LIES,AND ANTI BIBLICAL/UNBIBLICAL EVIL DOCTRINES.

            I REMONSTRATE WITH CHRISTIANS,WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER TOO.I DONT CARE IF THEY ARE PASTOR,BISHOP,FRIEND,FAMILY,…

            I PRAYERFULLY HOPE THAT THE TRUE CHRISTIANS ON HERE WILL DO THE SAME???

          • Whoa now, settle down, Brother Spook. Shouting will get you nowhere. In fact, it’s the single quickest way to turn people off and make them stop listening to you. We are friends here, and we are rational and intelligent adults. We can discuss these matters without resorting to shouting, name-calling, or abusive comments.

            Let’s slow down and look at this.

            This, of course, is an outright falsehood. Gods Word, does indeed interpret itself, i.e if you want to understand a doctrine better, you go through the Bible, looking at other chapters, verses etc., in fact, if you want to know the meaning of a word better, from a biblical view, you find out, where that word is First used, in Scripture. A Strong’s exhaustive concordance will help there.

            Slow down and listen to what you’re saying, brother. What do you think it means to “interpret” something? The Oxford English Dictionary says:

            interpret, v.
            1. a. transitive. To expound the meaning of (something abstruse or mysterious); to render (words, writings, an author, etc.) clear or explicit; to elucidate; to explain.
              b. To make out the meaning of, explain to oneself.
              c. In recent use: To bring out the meaning of (a dramatic or musical composition, a landscape, etc.) by artistic representation or performance; to give one’s own interpretation of; to render.
              d. To obtain significant information from (a photograph), used esp. of aerial photographs taken for military purposes.
            2. a. To give a particular explanation of; to expound or take in a specified manner. Also, To construe (motives, actions, etc.) favourably or adversely.
              †b. To render, explain, or translate by a specified term. Obsolete.
            3. absolute or intransitive. To make an explanation; to give an exposition; spec. to act as an interpreter or dragoman. †Formerly, also, in general sense, To translate.
            †4. intransitive. To signify, to mean. Obsolete.

            To “interpret” something means to expound the meaning of it, to explain it, to bring out its meaning. Does the Bible explain itself? Does it bring out its own meaning? No, it does not. You yourself admit that it does not. You say, “If you want to understand a doctrine better… if you want to know the meaning of a word better… you find out.” If Scripture “interpreted itself,” you would not need to “know the meaning of a word better”; the word would explain itself fully such that would have no questions; you would not need to consult other works in order to “understand a doctrine better”; everything in Scripture would be absolutely clear and in no need of seeking to “understand better.” You yourself admit that there are words and doctrines whose meaning is not immediately clear; they do not “interpret themselves” for you. You accuse your Catholic friend of “[using] his Catechism as a lens” to understand the Bible. Are you not doing the same thing by consulting Strong’s Concordance? Are you not using the concordance and its definitions as a means to better understanding the Bible? And who do you think wrote Strong’s Concordance? Dr. Strong himself had to interpret Scripture in order to put together his concordance. And how do you think you got your English Bible? Somebody had to interpret it from the original Hebrew and Greek and put it into words you could understand. Scripture does not interpret itself.

            I do not give any credence or credibility to the Catholic Catechism!! It has NO bearing on God’s Word, and is not inspired.

            Nobody claims it is inspired. It is just a book, like Strong’s Concordance, that helps us understand the teachings of Scripture better, and specifically what the Catholic Church teaches about Scripture. Do you have a pastor? Does he preach sermons? Do you place “any credence” in them? Do his sermons not help you understand Scripture better? What about if your pastor wrote a book? What if some other famous pastor wrote a book, and you read it? Would you not be looking to it to help you understand Scripture better? The Catechism is no different. It is a book put together by the pastors of the Church, a book of sermons and teachings that help us understand Scripture better. Nobody supposes your pastor’s sermons are inspired, and nobody supposes the Catechism is inspired.

            But I should remind you, brother, that you are making claims that what the Catholic Church teaches is “evil” and “blasphemous.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church lays out clearly what the Catholic Church teaches. If what you are saying about Catholic teaching does not agree with what is written in the Catechism — how the pastors of the Catholic Church have explained Catholic teaching — then you are mistaken about Catholic teaching; Catholic teaching does not teach what you say it teaches. Nobody is trying to use the Catechism to contradict Scripture. The Catechism itself is founded in Scripture and supported by Scripture. We are using the Catechism to contradict what you are saying about the Catholic Church, what you are claiming the Catholic Church teaches, when it in fact does not teach any such thing. Don’t you think it might be possible that you are mistaken, that you have been misinformed, about some things?

            It is therefore, a demonic, false supposition, that one needs a catechism, of human origin, to gain knowledge of God. It has always been the practice of the Catholic, so-called Church, to keep its adherents subject to them and their evil dogmas.

            No one claims that we “need a catechism … to gain knowledge of God.” Catechisms, like pastors and sermons, are useful for teaching us about God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church was not published until 1997, you know — it has not “always” been anything. And when Jesus walked the earth in the flesh, there was not even a New Testament. The New Testament was not formally canonized until several centuries after Christ. The letters and books of the New Testament were not even all written until near the end of the first century. So what do you suppose Christians were doing for that century or two when they had no New Testament? How did they “gain knowledge of God” without a Bible? How were they to believe in him of whom they had never heard? (Romans 10:14) The same way the Apostles did, and Jesus’ other disciples — by being taught face to face, in spoken words; by the teachings of Jesus Himself, and of the Apostles whom He sent out to “make disciples of all nations.” Christ Himself equipped men to be apostles, preachers, and teachers, for building up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-14). So, before you shun all teaching besides the Bible, you should think about our Lord’s Great Commission to His Apostles: to “make disciples of all nations” and “teach them to observe all that I have commanded.” A catechism is a book of teaching (that’s what catechesis means in Greek, is “teaching” or “instruction”). Martin Luther himself wrote a Large Catechism and a Small Catechism for the teaching of his doctrines. John Calvin also wrote catechisms, even his monumental, multi-volume work, Institutes of the Christian Religion, to teach everything he believed. These books are not inspired, but they are nonetheless valuable for teaching. You yourself say that words and doctrines in Scripture are often difficult to understand. Be careful, my brother, that you do not fall into pride, and declare that you have no need of teaching!

            The Roman Catholic so-called Church is the most pernicious, perfidious organisation on this earth, and I cannot realistically expect anything different from its adherents!! There are few exceptions.

            Do you think, brother, that I’m “pernicious” and “perfidious”? Do you think I am trying to mislead you or corrupt you? If so, why are you talking to me? Insulting people is no way to get them to listen to you. You need to settle down and learn to speak the truth in love.

            I am only telling you the truth. You charge that the Catholic Church is “pernicious” and “perfidious” and “evil,” and yet you’ve done nothing to substantiate those claims. You have not provided any evidence of this perfidy or even specified why you think what the Church does or teaches is evil. Your saying something is evil does not make it evil, and it will not convince anybody that it is evil.

            As a matter of interest, I use only the King James Bible!! The NIV has 200 errors in it, which I have marked out, in my King James Bible.

            This is a different debate, my friend, and a rabbit trail to what we are discussing. It will not be fruitful for us to get sidetracked into discussing the merits of different Bible translations. There are many different English Bible translations, many more than just the KJV and NIV. Catholics do not use either of those: two of the most popular Catholic Bible translations right now are the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (RSVCE) and the New American Bible (NAB). The truth is that no translation of a text from one language to another is perfect. Translating a text is a matter of interpretation — which you yourself admit, since if the Bible “interpreted itself,” it would not be possible for there to be errors in translating it! There is always something “lost in translation,” some nuance of the Hebrew or Greek that does not carry over into English. The only truly perfect texts are the original Hebrew and Greek texts themselves – and reading them is, of course, a matter of interpretation.

            You asked what Bible translation I myself use. My answer is, all of them! In my private study, I use Logos Bible Software, a very powerful software package that allows you to compare the texts of a lot of different Bible translations at once, including the original Hebrew and Greek. It contains many resources for delving into the meanings of words, searching as in a concordance, or analyzing the way words are used. For personal reference, I usually use either the English Standard Version (ESV), a version favored by many Reformed Protestants, or the RSVCE mentioned above, which is what I usually quote from in this blog. I have studied ancient Greek for about eight years and biblical Hebrew for about two, so I can also get around decently in the original texts themselves.

            As a matter of personal interest: all English Bible translations, even Catholic ones, owe a great debt to our friend William Tyndale. Many of his translation choices have so much become a part of the English idiom that it is nearly impossible to avoid them: for example, “Let there be light,” “work out your own salvation,” “hallowed be Thy name,” and all the rest of the Lord’s Prayer, which even Catholics pronounce according to Tyndale’s translation. Tyndale also coined many words that have become essential parts of the English language, including “Jehovah,” “scapegoat,” “Passover.” Tyndale had an impact on the English language probably greater than any other single person, greater than even Shakespeare, I would argue. Tyndale would never tell you that “Scripture interprets itself” — his entire goal, as even your quote declares, was to interpret the Bible from its original texts and present it in common English, so common people would be able to understand it. You should not denigrate his life’s work by claiming that “Scripture interprets itself”!

            May His peace be with you this Lord’s Day, my brother.

          • Too much stuff to read..
            Your right though..I do need to calm down..
            Just lost my job last week..really pi#$%@d off !!!

            No excuse…I do tend to think/ ponder things more deeply,than is needed..ie. reading too much into stuff.

          • I am actually meaning. Apply the whole counsel of God,and through prayer,and meditation on gods word,better understanding will arise..
            No catechism needed.!!

          • So, if somebody else has spent his life studying Scripture, and has valuable insights into it, is it wrong to listen to him and learn from him? Or, if the whole counsel of God is already clear to you, and there is nothing more you can learn, why do you even need a pastor or a church?

          • I can always learn something new,from pastors etc..

            I do not know everything,as you seem to imply..
            I verify everything that a pastor may teach,with scripture.
            I do not follow pastors, I follow Jesus.
            I do not follw a catechism either.
            Of course it isn’t wrong to listen,to someone who is more knowledgable….im no fool,…but I wont leave my brain at the chapel door either.

            Why the innuendo that IN already know the whole consel of God,…I posess,the whole. Counsel of God in my king james..
            I don’t profess to know everything..
            I am a member of the body of Christ…not a denomination….

            I’m christian,…

          • You suggested that consulting a catechism was “evil”; I just wondered if it was also evil to consult a pastor. How is learning something from a pastor any different than learning something from a book?

          • The catechism is not inspired!!
            Pastors are fallible of course,as am I….
            But I prefer to make my own blunders,not someone elses.!!
            A christian is not required to trust anyone other than God,Jesus,The Holy Spirit…
            Blessed is the man,whose faith is not in man,…..

          • I was not aware,that I had asked you any questions at all.??
            There was really nothing I needed you to help me with. 🙂

            I was merely making comments,that…I was not asking for someone to clarify, ….although I have/had no objection to someone responding with their own view.

          • The catechism is not inspired!!
            Pastors are fallible of course,as am I….
            But I prefer to make my own blunders,not someone elses.!!
            A christian is not required to trust anyone other than God,Jesus,The Holy Spirit…
            Blessed is the man,whose faith is not in man,…..

          • Blessed is the man, whose faith is not in man …

            I’m not familiar with that Scripture. Where does it come from?

            The catechism is not inspired! Pastors are fallible of course, as am I …

            If it is permissible for you to learn something from a pastor, why is it not permissible to learn something from a book?

            A Christian is not required to trust anyone other than God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit …

            You know, it’s this individualistic attitude that has resulted in there being 40,000 Protestant denominations. And it is quite contrary to Scripture. Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that a Christian is to be independent, individualistic, or self-reliant, “not required to trust” in anyone. Nowhere does it teach that “Scripture alone” is to be a Christian’s private guide. It teaches firmly again and again that we, the Church, are a Body, dependent upon each other and upon the leaders and authorities Christ has placed over us. Yes, God is our ultimate authority, but God has appointed men to tend his flock on earth. Hebrews 13:17 teaches that we are to “obey [our] leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over [our] souls, as men who will have to give account.” And who are these leaders? The “apostles, prophets, teachers” whom “God has appointed” (1 Corinthians 12:28). The Body does not consist of one member, but of many (12:11). The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you” (12:21). But you are saying that you have no need of pastors or teachers, that you are not required to trust in them or submit to them? A pastor is a shepherd (that is what the word “pastor” means), whom God Himself has called and appointed (Ephesians 4:11). Just as Jesus charged Peter to “feed” and “pastor” His sheep (John 21:15-19), Peter charged the elders (presbyters) of the Church to “pastor the flock of God that is in your charge” (1 Peter 5:2). Those who are younger in the Church, Peter says, are to be subject to those elders (1 Peter 5:5). The apostles appointed elders (presbyters) in every Church they founded (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5) — not to be mere advisors, but to be leaders and authorities. Paul teaches that “the elders who rule well [should] be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17): in addition to preaching and teaching, these were offices of leadership, as the other title by which some presbyters eventually became known demonstrates: overseer [ἐπίσκοπος or episkopos, in Latin episcopus] (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1:7) — or bishop.

          • Pslm 40:4. 84:12. Jer17:7 1Cor2:5. Rom14:22

            I didn’t quote an exact verse…my point anyway being that I am not required by Gods word to trust anyone other than God,not even to trust my own understanding..
            And from what I’ve been reading on here,and heard in some fellowships,its not a good idea to trust any human agency at all.
            I don’t care if they’re a pastor,bishop,or anything…

            My faith is in God, not people,christians,,,they are not the authors of my faith…….

            People are fallible,as you know…..

          • The number 40,000 is actually a very modest estimate. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary concluded that there were about 41,000 Christian denominations in 2011, as reported by the Pew Research Center in their 2011 study on Global Christianity. That is not even including so-called “non-denominational” Christians. The number rose from about 33,000 in 2007 — a rise of 8,000 denominations in five years (1,600 per year) — so if we accept the same rate of increase, there are probably at least 44,000 today.

            That’s quite a far cry from Jesus’s plea that we “all be one, as He and the Father are one” (John 17:21), don’t you think? And from Paul’s admonition that we “be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10)?

            You admit that no “exact” verse supports your position. Let’s look at the verses you cite for support:

            Blessed is the man who makes
            the LORD his trust,
            who does not turn to the proud,
            to those who go astray after false gods! (Psalm 40:4)

            O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in thee! (Psalm 84:12)

            Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:7)

            Yes, the Lord is to be our trust! We trust in the Lord! But how does any of this imply that we are “not required to trust anyone other than God”? Are two of these verses not written by King David, a man appointed by the Lord to be a leader over His people? I wasn’t going to bring the Old Testament into it, but hey, you opened the door.

            Does Scripture not say, when the Lord anointed Saul king over Israel:

            Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their enemies round about. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.” (1 Samuel 10:1)

            And again when He anointed David:

            In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you that led out and brought in Israel; and the LORD your God said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel. (1 Chronicles 11:2–3)

            And He even declares there will be a king on the throne of David forever — and even priests to make sacrifices forever!:

            “For thus says the LORD: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn cereal offerings, and to make sacrifices for ever.” (Jeremiah 33:17–18)

            And regarding these priests — the people were to obey them:

            The man who acts presumptuously, by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall die; so you shall purge the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and not act presumptuously again. (Deuteronomy 17:12–13)

            The Lord was always careful, even, that His people would not be as sheep without a shepherd:

            Moses said to the LORD, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep which have no shepherd.” And the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him; cause him to stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD; at his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.” (Numbers 27:18–21)

            So why would you suppose, contrary to Scripture, that we are to be “sheep without a shepherd” today? Does it not say that the Lord appointed pastors and leaders for us? (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12, Hebrews 13:17, John 21:15-19, 1 Peter 5:2, 5, Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5)

            Regarding these other Scriptures:

            When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1–5)

            Immediately, we see a problem with this! Paul is in no way telling the people that “they shouldn’t trust any man”! For Paul was a man, appointed by the Lord as an apostle to bring the Gospel to the Corinthians! Paul is making plain here, not that “men are not to be trusted,” but that the Gospel is not the fruit of human wisdom, but of God. He continues to say:

            Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us [the apostles] through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:6–10)

            It is through men, through Paul and the other apostles, that the Spirit revealed the wisdom of God, so that they were able to teach it to others. If the people were “to trust no man,” then certainly they shouldn’t have trusted Paul! If they were to obtain the knowledge of God solely from Scripture — they would have had to wait a little while, before there was such a thing as the New Testament.

            The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves. (Romans 14:22)

            Of course, when you take this out of context, you can make it seem as if you are to “keep your faith between yourself and God”! See, it means I shouldn’t trust in any person! … No, that’s not what it means. In the context of the passage:

            Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean. If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves. But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Romans 14:13–23)

            Paul is speaking of matters of personal conscience — whether or not to participate in practices that might be a stumbling block to other Christians, such as consuming food sacrificed to idols (cf. 1 Corinthians 8). This does not mean that your whole faith should be “kept between yourself and God.” Paul makes explicitly clear elsewhere, many times, that our faith is a matter of the Body of Christ, of all believers in community. In fact, just a few verses away, he says:

            For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him. For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:3–8)

            “Individually members one of another”! Not only is our faith a matter “between and us and God,” but we are actually a part of other believers!

            So no, friend, I think you’ve gravely mistaken. You say:

            I don’t belong to a denomination. I won’t be pigeonholed.. And I just don’t trust people AT ALL..!!!

            This is contrary to the Word of God. We are part of the Body of Christ. We are to be “individually members one of another.” We are to “obey [our] leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over [our] souls, as men who will have to give account.” (Hebrews 13:17) To whom are you accountable? In not being a part of a denomination, are you obeying our Lord when He urges that we “all be one”? Or are you only a continuing party to division (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)?

            Are you trying to convert me to Catholicism or something.??

            I believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ that He founded and gave us, yes. So if you ever decide you want to join us, I’m here to help. 🙂 But no, right now I am concerned about you as a brother in the Lord. You are denying yourself the communion of your fellow believers and the righteous guidance and authority that the Lord offers us through teachers and pastors. You should not “forsake the assembly of believers” (Hebrews 10:25), but gather together to encourage each other. Christianity is about love and trust and communion with our Lord and with one another — and I’m not sure you’re getting it.

          • Jer 17:5-9
            5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
            9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:who can know it?
            (KJV)

          • So… do you think taking one passage out of context somehow counteracts all the other passages in Scripture that say otherwise? What about “obeying [your] leaders and submitting to them” (Hebrews 13:17)? What about, from the same chapter, “remember[ing] your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider[ing] the outcome of their life, and imitat[ing] their faith” (Hebrews 13:7)? What about Paul’s urging that the Corinthian Christians “become imitators of me,” “for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15–16)? Or how the apostles, “like a father with his children, exhorted each one of you and charged you to lead a life worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:11)? Or Paul’s charge that “every person be subject to the governing authorities,” who “have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1–7)? Or that Christians “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21)? Or Peter’s exhortation that we “be subject to the elders” (1 Peter 5:5)?

            Anyway, in the context of Jeremiah 17, of course, you should remember that Jeremiah himself was a prophet, a man appointed by God to speak to the people! Before the Lord even formed him in the womb, he consecrated and appointed him a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5)! Were the people not to listen to him and trust him? Of course, Jeremiah was sent to speak out against the corruption and apostasy of priests, kings, and prophets of his day. People who trust in such men — especially who trust in such men, and don’t trust in the Lord, are cursed. We are to trust in the Lord above any man! But does this mean that the people of Israel were never to trust in any man again? What about men whom God appointed to lead them, guide them, feed them? What about their coming King (Jeremiah 23:5, etc.)? Does the Lord not say through Jeremiah that He “will give you shepherds [“pastors,” according to the KJV] after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15)? Or that He will “set shepherds over [Israel] who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing” (Jeremiah 23:4)?

          • There is only one leader,that’s Jesus Christ.
            If I obeyed every so called pastor,I would be in a right mess.
            I don’t actually need any man to teach me…
            1John2:27

          • I see no necessity to go to a pastor,when I can pray and read for myself..

            But having said that, I do listen to others,what they have to say,or read their material etc…
            I do not trust any man,human agency for understanding of scripture.
            I make my own mistakes,not someone elses.
            I need no catechism either!!!

          • There is only one leader, that’s Jesus Christ.

            That’s not what Scripture says. Does it not say, again and again, that he appointed pastors and teachers over us? (1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11-14, etc.)? That he would appoint shepherds to guide us, and leaders and elders to whom we should submit and obey? Are you going to forsake the Word of the Lord? And yet you have the gall to accuse other Christians of disobeying Scripture? To come to my blog and claim I am not following Scripture, when you yourself refuse to submit to it? Does John not say that “he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11)? I fear that you, brother, in forsaking your brother and sister, are being blinded by darkness. Your blog and your comments to and about others are full of hate.

            I don’t actually need any man to teach me…

            Once again, friend, you take a verse out of context. John tells us that he “write[s] this to you about those who would deceive you” (1 John 2:26) — about the “antichrists, [who] went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19). Have you not “gone out” from the assembly of believers, brother? Are you not denying Scripture and the authority Christ has properly placed above us?

            Was John not a man, writing to the believers of the Church — an apostle and pastor of souls? Does he not call them “his little children,” and himself “the presbyter” or “elder” (2 John 1 and 3 John 1)? Were they not to listen to him and learn from him? Then certainly he does not mean to say that no one should learn from a teacher appointed by God! He urges us, not a few verses later:

            “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1–6)

            Certainly what John is saying in 2:27 is that by their anointing, believers can discern truth and falsehood — not that they should “listen to no man.” Who do you suppose the “we” is John is referring to in this verse? Certainly the apostles and pastors and teachers of the Church!

            If I obeyed every so called pastor, I would be in a right mess.

            Of course that’s true. There are many pastors (guys on TV in particular) who are false teachers (2 Peter 2:1). That is why God has given you the power of discernment (1 John 5:20). In the Church Christ intended us to have, of course, there would be no doubt about who your rightful pastor is — but in the situation you’ve found yourself in, you should pray and search and discern, and find someone you trust. Continuing in the path you are, denying all authority, is the path of darkness. Every Christian should submit to someone, should be accountable to someone (Ephesians 5:21) — even pastors and teachers. Even the pope!

            I see no necessity to go to a pastor, when I can pray and read for myself…

            So, you don’t think the Word of God is binding on you? “Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account” (Hebrews 13:17). “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7). “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). “Be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ ” (1 Peter 5:5). My friend, I fear you are not practicing humility, in insisting you are the only authority you need, that the Word of God does not apply to you!

            But having said that, I do listen to others, what they have to say, or read their material etc…

            Apparently not. To whom do you listen? Whom do you trust? What in Scripture ever gave you the idea that you are entirely “independent” of the rest of the Christian body?

            I make my own mistakes, not someone else’s.

            Yes, I would agree — when you are accountable to no one else, you are bound to the kind of error you are now facing.

            There are no prophets today… If one turns up, he will be a false one. The last prophet to die,was John the Baptist.

            Not according to Scripture. The Book of Acts speaks of prophets — not false ones — who foretold things “by the Spirit” (cf. Acts 11:27, 13:1, 21:10) — long after the death of John the Baptist. Paul speaks of “prophets” appointed by God and the “gift of prophecy” (1 Corinthians 12:28-29, 13:2, 14:29-32; Ephesians 3:5, 4:11), and of “prophetic utterances” made to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14). So, if you mean to say that because “there are no prophets today,” the word of Scripture does not apply to you — you are wrong.

            You are not my teacher or pastor. If you fall into the ditch, why should I have follow …??

            Don’t follow me. Follow Scripture. Find a pastor who is trustworthy and wise and full of the Spirit. I’m not a pastor (yet).

          • Your probably right…but then I am/ will be left with the difficulty of finding someone,as a pastor,who is actually of God…
            I have survived as a Christian since 1992, without a padtor,and see no need to change..
            There are too many false teachers out there,….

            You cannot trust anyone these days….even Christians,,,,there’s always false brethren to watch out for.

          • Well, the first thing I would recommend is to think about what you believe. I found myself in this boat for a very long time, trying to decide what I really believed and what kind of church I should be looking for — until the Catholic Church hit me in the nose. I would say you should be Catholic, too (we all should be!) — despite many mistakes some Catholic leaders have made, the Church has really reformed itself and we have a wonderful man as pastor now in Pope Francis — but I don’t think you are there yet. I won’t be a butthead and push that on you. 😉 I don’t know what part of the world you are in (it would probably help if I knew that), so I don’t really know where to point you, but I know there are many good churches in a lot of different places. There are certainly “non-denominational” churches that are big and popular and hip — but I don’t trust those guys. Like I said, even pastors should be accountable to someone. And that is the value of denominations — they have some structure of authority and accountability, such that if somebody is teaching grave error, they won’t be for long. Southern Baptist churches are good, and spreading throughout the world, I understand; I go to a Baptist church once a week for a recovery ministry. Then there are Reformed, usually Presbyterian churches, if you like more intellectual rigor. Those are the ones, besides mine, that I would recommend. There are Christian communities and message boards you can go to online where you might ask around about a good, solid church and pastor to check out.

            And above all, pray!

          • I know what I believe,and in whom I trust,and who my faith is in.!!
            The disgusting suggestion,that I become a roman catholic,is just diabolical.
            You try to prate to me,and you are overburdened with false doctrine.???

            You need to repent and get saved joseph…
            You don’t fool me at all.

            And the so called pope as a pastor…lol
            He is no Christian,and neither are you…
            Do you seriously think you could pull the wool over my eyes..

            You illustrate,perfectly,why I need no man,to teach me..
            You are in need of instruction yourself…
            You actually think that yourchristian, etc with all the doctrines that you support..
            So called prayers to mary
            Transubstantiation
            Purgatory
            Catechism,
            Papolatry
            Rosary..

            I have learned more so now, what I am dealing with you catholics.
            I have witnessed to catholics before…and it is worse than I thought with them.

            So now I use different tactics….lol

          • … Did you not even read past the first sentence? I said “I’m not going to push that on you.” Dude, I am trying to be your friend and help you. Can you stop spewing your hate for just a second and think about where you are spiritually?

          • You could not push that on me..
            You seem to speak as though you think u could convert me to that disgusting catholic / babylonian religion…
            You must actually think that I am devoid of understanding.??

            I’ve been a Bible believing christian 21 years joseph, not 21 minutes.

          • !!! Dude, what is your problem!? I said, like three or four times, “I am not trying to convert you to Catholicism.” I actually recommended to you the Baptist and Presbyterian churches! Does that sound like somebody who is trying to convert you? I have been wasting hours for the past several days out of genuine care for you, because I think you need some help — and then the moment you finally admit “you are probably right” and behave as if you are actually listening to me, you turn around and attack me again!? Forget you, brother. I am through talking to you.

    • Hey good brother Joseph, good brother Spook is 100% correct. But what he doesnt realize, yet, is that telling you catholicism is fake wont do the trick. Ive been there and done that. And still do that, but i try to be friends with the people i talk to. I get to know them. Spook should get to know you. And you him. Youre a good guy. But you need to believe the bible instead of the catechism.

  5. I’m just visiting from Jessica’s blog to issue a challenge to all Catholics on this blog to pray a Novena of Rosaries for the Egyptian Copts and all Christians in fear of their lives for their Faith.

    Will you join me?

  6. But people are still subject to God’s wrath, are they not? I don’t mean to say that his wrath comes and goes, or that he is perpetually wrathful except to those who are hiding behind Christ. But as St. Thomas describes God’s wrath, God is wrathful by analogy to human wrath, in that when men are wrathful they mete out punishment, so when God metes out punishment he is called wrathful. Again not because he moves into and out of a state of wrathful passion, but because his eternal law requires punishment for sin, and we ourselves move into and out of the state of sin and therefore receive punishment at some times but not others.

    From this perspective it seems to me that the Mass does indeed shield us from God’s wrath, in that it helps to preserve us from sin, and assisting at Mass in fact takes away some of the punishment due to venial sins.

    • Yes, you’re right. But I definitely think the Protestants have misunderstood. God’s wrath upon sinners is reserved for the Day of the Lord more than for the present (Romans 2:5, Revelation 6:15-17, etc.) — and the wrath by which he “gives sinners up to a base mind” (Romans 1:28) is a meting out of justice; they are getting what they’ve earned — wrath by analogue, yes. I think the greatest flaw in the Protestant view is that it fails to understand the Atonement as Christ’s self-emptying sacrifice, giving Himself up for us in love. Rather, it sees a Father who would rather destroy us than save us, and a Son who places the Trinity of God at odds with itself.

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