Friday, September 29, 2006

a Rabbi, a Priest, and a minister...

Larry King has a habit of interviewing religious leaders (from many different religions and Christian denominations) and he is meticulous about asking one line of questioning to all of them. The gist of his question is this, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” There have been confessions made by many different people, and many of them (from what I have seen) have fallen into a similar category of deceived non-biblical nonsense. And by the way - I am primarily referring to those people who claim to be Christians. Sure, we get the same universalistic and all-inclusive drivel from other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age religions, and (sadly) Judaism, but we cannot expect false religions to provide us with the truth. But we can and should expect more from those who are or claim to be Christians and who claim to hold dear the very gospel that Christ died to give to us.

If you don’t think that the devil has set up false systems to be inclusive of everything but the truth, here is a quick rabbit trail. I have found, interestingly enough, that the position of many (if not most or all) modern Jewish Rabbis is that if a person keeps the laws of Noah (Noahide law), they will have a share in paradise. These 7 Laws of Noah are (although not universally agreed to in order or in content) these:


  • Prohibition of idolatry

  • Prohibition of blasphemy

  • Prohibition of murder

  • Prohibition of theft

  • Prohibition of illicit relations

  • Prohibition of eating live meat

  • Prohibition of failing to establish courts of justice

The basic doctrine associated with these laws is that if a non-Jew keeps these laws, they will inherit eternal life. It is interesting to note that “Maimonides has maintained that Islam is a Noahide religion” while, although there is some debate, “the strict view is that Christian theology is considered [idolatry] for all people, both Jew and gentile, as it subscribes to the Trinity.“ It is funny that the Jewish tradition holds that practicioners of Islam would be keeping the laws of Noah when true Muslims (in my view) are the ones practicing the Ji’had on everyone else. I call them “true Muslims” because their holy book calls for war and destruciton and of the infadel as plainly as Christ claimed exclusively to be the only way to God in the New Testament (John 14:6). Is it more ironic or more wicked that this doctrine most specifically rejects Christ, but accepts Mohammad and those who wage an endless war on Jews?

Leaving false religions aside (because, really, how much truth can we expect to find in those who openly and viciously deny the deity of Jesus?), I want to focus again on various “Christians” and their affrmations of the gospel. In order to do this, I have found a few video clips from the Larry King Live show that I would like to share. The first video is one that I have sent to a few Catholic friends and it has received by them with anything from calling the Priest a heretic to defending him totally on what he says. Let us just listen to this ordained minister and Priest of the Roman Catholic Church talk about the gospel:

(Click here to view the video Clip)

The universalism is so thick; I had a hard time listening to it. The sickening works righteousness of being a good person “doing the best he can” which then allows one to get eternal life just oozes out of his mouth. This is another gospel than the one contained in the Bible.

Now, to show that I am not just ragging on Catholic statements of Christ and salvation, here is the poster-boy for contemporary (pseudo) Christianity: Joel Osteen.

(Click here to view the video Clip)

To be fair to Mr. Osteen, he did pretty well for the first 31 seconds of this exchange. After that, it wasn’t just that he went downhill; he did a freefall plummet out of the sky. Saying that the people in India (who presumably are not Christians by the context of his statement) “love God” by practicing what the Bible declares to be idolatry is nothing less than pure theological garbage. He is right that we don’t know definitely who is or who is not saved, assuming that we’re only looking at professing Christians, but to say regarding other faiths, “I don't know if I believe they're wrong.” is to skip past humility and jump straight into a denial of God’s Word and it is heresy of the first order.

In the final clip, there are three primary speakers here: a rabbi, a priest, and a minister. No joke, that’s the case. Rabbi Harold Kushner, Father William Byron, and Albert Mohler who is the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary fulfill these three different roles. You can watch for yourself, but you will see both Rabbi Kushner and Father Byron basically say that regardless of what you believe, your good works will get you to heaven. After that, Mohler will give the appropriate, correct, and biblical response. (this clip has bad video quality)

(Click here to view the video Clip)

I don’t think that Rabbi Kushner, Father Byron, or Father Manning represent the crazy wacko-wings of their respective religions, but rather I think that they represent the main-stream. In the same way, I think that Joel Osteen represents much of those who would now call themselves evangelicals. Albert Mohler represents the traditional and historical affirmations of the Christian faith in that we are saved in Christ alone by the preaching of the Word of God (Romans 10:13-15).

I am not in line with Mr. Osteen’s presentation of the gospel, his emphasis on prosperity (health, wealth, etc.), or that Christians can live your best life now in Christ (unless by that he means and articulates that we will undergo trials, tribulations, persecutions, and possibly martyrdom for the cause of Christ). If he were a pastor in my denomination, I would call for disciplinary action and most likely removal from his pulpit because he clearly does not understand the gospel. Dr. Mohler affirms the gospel, and although we may disagree on some issues (none come to mind right now), I applaud his stance and encourage him on in his ministry.

If these two Catholic Priests are correctly articulating Catholic theology, then it is proof positive that the Catholic Church is as apostate as the Mormon church or the wishy-washy self-help protestant churches like the one that Mr. Osteen pastors. Again, if indeed this is the official gospel preached by the Roman Catholic Church, neither I nor you owe it any allegiance, nor should we pay it lip service, nor should we genuflect to it. If, however, these Priests are preaching a gospel that is contrary to official Roman Catholic theology, with the very intricate hierarchy that exists, why are they still active Roman Catholic Priests? Why have they not been corrected by whatever disciplinary system that is present? Why have they not been defrocked? Why have they not been excommunicated?

If the Roman Catholic Church is unwilling or unable to severely discipline those members of its clergy who so blatantly blaspheme the gospel, I cannot support it, I cannot defend it, and I cannot be in communion with it. Any church that allows men to preach the false gospel that these men (Byron, Manning, or Osteen) preach is apostate to the very gospel that Christ died to bring to us in such a basic and foundational way that there is no excuse for it.

16 comments:

St. Michael the Archangel said...

EJ,

I can't wait until you become Catholic. Believe it or not, you will be one day, either here on earth, or before you enter heaven.. if it comes to that. I fear for your salvation with all the anti-Christ ramblings. When you bash the church, you bash Christ.

Pax...

EJ said...

How did I bash Christ? I did not. I have defended the clear teaching of the Word of God and I have shown the apostates (Jewish, Protestants, and Catholics) for what and who they are in light of the gospel based upon the words out of their own mouths. The true Church, the Bride of Christ, will always exalt Christ and espouse correct doctrine. How can it be correct doctrine that the Catholics here have espoused when it is basically the exact same message as the Jew and the Protestant (who again, I have no affiliation with, nor does he represent biblical Christianity).

The ones who you should truly be worried about concerning their “the anti-Christ ramblings” would be Father Manning, Father Byron, Rabbi Kushner, Pastor Osteen, yourself, and any other Catholic who espouses this perverted and man centered non-gospel according to man’s intention or works. Why do I include you, St. Michael the Archangel, because you have attested to this very thing yourself. After I pointed you to the Father Michael Manning clip from a previous post, you said, “I agree with this Priest 100%. What kind of God do you think we have? Do you think he is like ALLAH, that he wants us to kill all the people that don't convert to our faith? Do you think he will damn everyone that hasn't heard the truth of the gospels? What exactly, do you think God is?” (source)

You also said something in your next comment after the one that I just cited that I didn’t comment on before, but I would like to now.

“Your unbelievable.. Basically I assume that you therefore believe that me as a Catholic am also damned, correct? So you believe that if the world ended today, that out of 6 billion people, there is only about 500 million non-catholic Christians, and 1.3 billion Catholics, that the 500 million christians would be saved, the 1.3 billion catholics along with the rest of the population would go to HELL! Is that what you are basically saying!” (source)

Assuming your figures concerning the number of Catholics and “non-Catholic” Christians are correct, I disagree with your conclusion that the 500 million would be saved and the 1.3 billion would be damned. There are many of the 500 million who claim to be Christian, but are no more a Christian than I am a Hindu. So, not only would the 1.3 billion confessing Catholics (who hold to the theology that one is saved by baptism, the Eucharist, and other Cahtholic dogmas), many of the 500 million non-Catholic Christians will also probably not inherit eternal life because they were never known by Christ. That also means that the rest of the world who hold to their pagan and false religions, or those who hold no religion at all, will be condemned because (a) they (along with you and me) sinned in Adam, and we’ve incurred the wrath of God because of it (Romans 5), and (b) because of their personal sin against God (Romans 3).

How can I say this? Well, Christ Himself said, "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

Christ and His gospel are exclusive. There is no exception.

solus Christus

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Eric,
I have commented on this before, these priests are not mainstream Catholics. Yet you keep insisting that they are. What is your agenda? If you want to know what Catholics believe you are not going to find it on a show like Larry King!

Watch EWTN if you want to know what we believe. Listen to people like Fr. Corapi. He is mainstream.

I watched the videos again and what the Catholic priests were saying is false. If a rabbi lives a good life according to Judaism he will not be saved (unless he has never heard of Christ, which I highly doubt would be the case with a rabbi, then he MAY be saved).

As for what the second priest who was referring to a guy who, it seemed new about Christ but did not believe, and otherwise lived a sinless life, the guy will not be saved.

It's plain and simple. If you reject Christ, you reject salvation. This is what Catholics believe.

Please stop saying that Catholics who say otherwise represent mainstream Catholics, because they simply do not!

Danny Garland Jr. said...

And Eric, you cannot condemn the whole Catholic Church over what two priest say. They are not the whole Church and they are certainly not the majority!

EJ said...

Danny

Regarding whether these priests are “mainstream” – I pray that you are right and that they are not. And that is why I asked why have they not been defrocked, excommunicated, or publicly condemned for their heretical teaching? I would love it if the Catholic Church disciplined these two priests (along with any others who preached a non-exclusive salvation theology). If they have been disciplined, condemned, or excommunicated because of this teaching, then I will (a) rejoice for the gospel being defended and (b) apologize and not bring them up again unless to refer to them in an “out of the mainstream” way.

Again, if I can see that Rome has disciplined these men, I will not use them as examples. Not only that, but if that has been done in the past and these men have been defrocked, excommunicated, or whatever – I will apologize to you here, and on your blog for using them as Catholic examples. But, if they have not been disciplined in a serious way showing the error of their doctrine…why? Why has, as you believe the True Church of Christ not disciplined these men who so clearly articulate a different gospel? Or they, at best, horribly distort true Catholic teaching because of their horrible presentation.

Secondly, your comment concerning Rabbi Harold Kushner, “unless he has never heard of Christ, which I highly doubt would be the case with a rabbi, then he MAY be saved” is also troubling. There is no biblical text to support the idea or theology that God will save anyone apart from being found in Christ. And the only way to believe in Christ is to hear about Him (Romans 10). So, if “Person X” who lives in a stone-age tribe in the middle of the Amazon and dies before anyone can bring them the gospel, he will be judged by God for his sins and go to hell for eternal and just punishment. But, as Romans 5 tells us, it is not primarily for his sin that he goes to hell (even though that would send him there too), it is for his sin in Adam. He has the law of God written on his heart, just like everyone else, and he has sinned greatly against the revelation that God has given to him, even though that did not include the wonderful news of the gospel.

To affirm any possibility that anyone can be saved outside of Christ (even if they haven’t heard the gospel) is non-biblical, anti-Christian, and heretical.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Notice I didn't say WILL be saved. I said MAY be saved. As you affirmed before, God can send a missionary to such person or by other means God can reveal the Truth to them. We don't know the way God works. Therefore the Church doesn't say for certain that the person WILL be saved. It states that it is up to God's good grace whether or not they will or not.

As for the status of these two priests, I do not know. As Christ is forgiving, so likewise the Church gives them a chance to change their ways before outright condemning everyone.

As I said before, If they are on Larry King, they most likely do not represent the mainstream Catholic Church. Another giveaway (not always, but most of the time) is if a priest is a Jesuit (they have the initials S.J. after their name).
Watch EWTN and find out what the Catholic Church teaches for real.

Jeff said...

Danny,

So being a Catholic, how do you know which priest to believe and which not to believe. I was under the impression (from many Catholics) that Catholicism was united in their teachings. But we see, in practice, there is as much division within Catholicism as there can be within protestantism. You use the word "mainstream". Who has decided which priests are mainstream or not? And if the others are not mainstream, is there any current action being taken against such priests?

St. Michael the Archangel said...

EJ and JEff,

All you are looking for is blood. That is very clear in your writings. I have my opinions, I have my beliefs, and believe it or not, I believe that we have a merciful God, but also a just one. Personally I think you are going straight to hell, but that is my opinion. I pray that you don't, from what I have read from visionaries, and saints, its not a pretty place and I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to go there.

You want these Priests defrocked, damned, condemned? What did Jesus do when Mary Mag. (the adultress) was about to be stoned to death? Did Jesus pick up a stone and throw it in first? NO! He forgave her and asked that the other people did too. That is how Jesus wins people for salvation, he forgives them, yes they still have to pay for that sin. But by throwing those to priests out, not reaching out to help them, that is called extremism and you and Jeff are the definition of extremism in the dictionary. Take a big fat chill pill, and stop reading things in the bible literally as they were clearly not meant.

Father was just giving us a good sermon yesterday at mass about where in the bible it says. If you hand sins, cut it off, if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out, if you foot sins, cut it off, for it is better to enter the kingdom of God as a cripple than to burn with the rest of your body in HELL. And he made a comment about people such as yourself... You take what you want to be literal, but I am sure that you haven't taken that verse literally, or you would be lame, just as I would be. You would be without hands, eyes, feet. You are a sinner just like me, no matter about you being saved, and yet your whole body is still here. So my question is, why haven't you cut off your limbs yet, if the bible teaches so?

EJ said...

Michael – “All you are looking for is blood. That is very clear in your writings.” First of all, I have made my intentions and my goals very clear concerning what I write and why I write it – the salvation of lost sinners. But apart from that, you have no idea what my intentions are, and you cannot judge them. I am not, and have not, judged the intentions of you or these two priests (or Pastor Osteen or Rabbi Kushner for that matter)…I have simply discussed what they said and exposed it for being against Scripture.

“Personally I think you are going straight to hell, …and I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to go there.”

It is from this exact same desire that I am so harsh on the men in this article. The Priests and the Minister are preaching a false gospel (the Rabbi is preaching his false “good news” too, but he doesn’t claim that it is “Christian”) and if people believe that, they will not be saved. We’ve had this discussion before about our eternal destinations – I can tell you that I know (based on the scriptures) that I am saved and that I will go to heaven when I die. You have said that you do not know where you will go when you die and you have admitted to having a problem with hate…, and 1 John 4:20 says “If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” The reason that you don’t know for sure that you’re going to heaven is that you haven’t thrown yourself on the mercy of Christ alone, but you grasping your works, clinging onto your baptism as an infant, and anticipating the next giving of the Eucharist to find some hope of salvation.... Salvation or the forgiveness of sins is not found in these works. I have clearly shared the gospel with you before, it is up to you to believe.

Quickly regarding the “cuttin off of your hand” – that is to show how much we should hate sin, and be willing to go to that length if necessary to stop from sinning, it is not an order to cut of hands and pluck out eyes.

Regarding the Mary Mag. Issue – of course Christ had mercy, but if He would have stoned her, He would have been just in doing it (because only He met the “sinless” qualification). But she was not teaching a false perversion of the truth, she was living in sin. He was not kind to the Pharisees who were against Him, but only to Nicodemus who came and earnestly sought for the truth. See how Christ treated the false teachers of His day, He called them out because He knew that eternity was at stake.

"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves." (Matthew 23:13-15)

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous," (Matthew 23:27, 29)

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous," (Matthew 23:29)

To not call out the false gospel is to let it go unchallenged and people will be fooled that much easier. No one may heed the warning (few have heeded Christ’s warning throughout the ages), but it is not up to me to get results, only to be faithful in proclaiming the truth.

doc said...

Good point, Jeff, clearly Catholicism truly is as divided as Protestantism. That is why it is vital to not hold onto a religion, but to be known by and to know Christ. If any man is not known by Christ, he will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. The gospel is completely exlcusive of any other means by which people think that they can be saved. My Catholic father is always quick, also, to point out that the Bible is not always literal. Well, I agree, the Bible is not always literal. However, the parts that he does not like, are those that he says are figurative or allogorical in nature. Isn't that interesting. Instead of allowing the spirit to convict through the clear, literal teachings of scripture, he is quick to say that it is not meant to be taken literally. Also, he would be quick to say not to take life so seriously. Well, it is serious. Christ teaches clearly that you can know that you are saved. If you can know that you are saved, then the converse is true. There is no biblical foundation for works that save. There is however, a biblical foundation for works being a result of true salvation. The very same reason that you know a duck is a duck. You watch a duck. It looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it talks like a duck. It is only logical to conclude that he is an Elephant. What? No way, he is a duck. That sounds foolish, I know, but so it is with those who are truly saved. You will know them by their works. Christ has always done the saving. Christ will always do the saving. A person, no matter their sincerity cannot be saved apart from Christ.

doc said...

As to your first comment, Michael, on this post, how misguided you are. You are still clinging to your Catholicism instead of solely clinging to Christ. I agree with one statement you made, "when you bash the church, you bash Christ." I will add a little word to make it accurate. When you bash the true church, you bash Christ. The true church does not have a denomination as its title or a pope as its leader. The true church is the bride of Christ whose head is Christ Himself. "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone."(Psalm 118:22) or "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ...." (Eph 5:23-24). The church has one authority, Christ. These two verses, out of many, many more make it clear. There is no talk of anyone else being the head of the church. Of course, here on earth it is natural to set up a system within our churches of leadership so that the church can function. However, at any point, if any church strays away from the true Christ, the person or people who are leading others away from the true gospel ought to be taken out of authority.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Doc,

I feel sorry for your poor father. What a dissapointment to raise a son in the faith, or watch his son go down the wide and dusty road of the evil and misinterpretted Protestantism. What a trajedy! J-M=J, I will keep your father in my prayers that he will not be as blind as you to go off the deep end and follow a man made religion instead of one that Christ himself started.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Doc,

News to DOC! You have strayed from the Church of Christ, Christ is the head and the church is his bride. What little you know, how sad. How has the Catholic church lasted so long and stayed the same, if it is not the church of Christ, look at the countless divisions of the Protestant churches... how sad. And you are amongst it, pull the blinders off your eyes and look around... your standing in a thorn bush as your poor father weeps for your soul.

EJ said...

Touching sentiments, Michael, but you have failed to address anything.

You malign Christ with praying to saints, angels, and Mary. You malign Christ and spit on his face when you cling to your baptism and the Eucharist in hopes of salvation.

When speaking about those who are saved by Christ, you miss-spoke concerning the fact that the redeemed must pay for their sin. They (I) don't because Christ paid for their (my) sins completely. You are right in one sense. If you cling to your false gospel of salvation through grace and baptism and the Eucharist, etc, you will pay for your sins. The only problem is that you will pay for it forever, ""And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." (Revelation 14:11)

St. Michael the Archangel said...

EJ,

I replied to your attack that you left on my blog. I replied to your link, so please go read that and reap it. By the way, you are not with the body of Christ, therefore you may be with the beast burning for ever and not I. Don't judge me, by your wack interpretations of what you think Christianity is. How sad Jesus is when you make such comments.

doc said...

Michael,
I follow no man-made religion. I follow Christ alone. It is as simple as that. I follow the Christ of scripture alone and His teachings. I do not, nor will I ever stand on teachings or traditions of man. I stand on the gospel alone. Of course Catholicism can trace its roots back, but as I stated before, Catholicism is just as divided as protestantism. That is why it is vital that you not follow a religion. I also learned information about priests who have the initials J.P. after their name, and the information I found said that they are under direct authority of the pope. Aren't you too? A religion divided.
As far as my father, he is blind and hard-hearted, and yet thinks that somehow he will go to heaven. He believes that anyone can get to heaven based on how good they are, yet lacks to see his own sin. We are all condemned through Adam. There is no one righteous. There is no one who can attain righteousness apart from Christ. Even then, it is not man who attains it, but God who gives it. I pray that you would search the scriptures alone. Do your best to ignore your Catholic roots and all the rules and regulations, feast days, and rituals. Bow your heart before God alone who gives salvation and seek Him and His truth. EJ has said this before, but if you are right in your religion, then you will go to purgetory and so will I based on my merit and get outta there to earn my place and your place in Heaven. However, if I am right, and we die. I know that I am going to Heaven based on Christ's death and ressurrection for my sins, and if you do not accept Him, you will go to Hell. There is no middle ground. There is no biblical teaching for anything other than Heaven and Hell. I know that I am going to Heaven because of Christ's merit and the Holy Spirit dwelling inside me as a seal of a future home in Heaven. You have said before that you are not sure of your salvation. You can be. The Bible teaches that.
All glory to God alone who has given me salvation and called me His child.

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