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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Holy Bible - where did the Bible come from?

One of the most basic questions that every Christian should want to know the answer to is “where did the Holy Bible come from”? Although we realize it is the Inspired Word of God, obviously it didn’t drop from the sky. Yet, most Christians have no idea as to its origin or lineage and have never pursued the subject to learn the answer to that question.

As mentioned before, many protestant institutions of higher theological learning do not wish to delve too deeply into the subject because of where the answers will lead and what may result once one has truly learned its origin and lineage. In recognizing that the Gospels of the New Testament were written by the apostles or early disciples of the apostles on their behalf during the infancy of Christianity, and that these texts have been unquestionably Inspired by the Holy Spirit, learning how the Bible came to exist would further lead to interests of the ancient texts written by the Early Church Fathers and you will soon understand why. From there, the lineage of the Catholic Church as the true body of Christianity would be obvious reflecting the consistency and fullness of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Here we will give a simplified but verifiable and indisputable account of the origin of the Holy Bible, how it came to be and why there are so many “versions” of interpretation available today; that is, verifiable and indisputable for those who wish to learn.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Separated Catholics - Ex-Catholics: Part Three

“Ex-Catholic” Conversion to Denominational Christianity

The term “Ex-Catholic” as one may refer to them self after separating from Catholicism and entering into a protestant faith, is no more valid than to be ex-Irish or ex-blood type ‘o’. None of what is written here is intended to be demeaning to any protestant congregant who has never been a part of or educated in the true and full teachings of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Faith. Protestant faithful are more often than not, very devoted to Scripture and their own system of beliefs regardless of their individual interpretation of Scripture. In fact, it is the lack of familiarity of one’s faith and Scripture on the part of the non-practicing Catholic that leads them to be persuaded by a person of a Protestant congregation when they (Protestants) can more readily refer to Scripture, which is very sad to acknowledge. This is also why some Catholic-to-protestant converts believe they are “reborn” when in fact they only finally become somewhat knowledgeable of Scripture which they should have been in the first place.

Every valid Baptism brings a rebirth into the soul of the Baptized but it is what he or she does through their life with that rebirth that determines their depth of relationship with the Holy Spirit. The knowledge one pursues in Scripture and faith is what determines the level of intimacy one enters into with God. It is therefore misguided to suggest a Catholic or other previously and validly baptized individual is later “reborn” when in fact they are most accurately awakening to that which was already previously provided them, whether it is from the time of their rebirth through Baptism or the time they seriously open their mind and heart to the Word of God in Scripture.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

RU486 - increase in serious side affects released quietly

New FDA Report: Abortion Drug Kills 14 Women, Injures 2,200
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 7/12/11 3:02 PM

The Food and Drug Administration has quietly released a new report about the deaths of and injuries to women from the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug and the Obama administration has done nothing to make the information available to women.

Following its approval during the Clinton administration, the FDA released a report in 2006 that received widespread attention for showing more than 1,100 women had been subjected to “adverse effects” resulting from their taking the abortion drug mifepristone, commonly known a RU 486. Pro-life advocates have waited five years for the FDA to come out with a new report of problems associated with the drug — despite mounting evidence that the abortion drug continues to kill and injure women across the globe.

The FDA, with no fanfare, has released a new report, dated April 30, 2011. The report indicates 14 women in the United States alone have died from using the mifepristone abortion drug and 2,207 women have been injured by it.

Of the women experiencing medical and physical problems resulting from the abortion drug, 612 women required hospitalizations, 339 experienced blood loss significant enough to require a transfusion, 256 experienced infections and 48 women experienced what the FDA labeled as “severe infections.” Given that the RU 486 abortion drug caused sepsis, a potentially lethal infection that resulted in the deaths of women from around the world, the “serious infections” were very likely life-threatening situations.

“Severe infections generally involve death or hospitalization for at least 2-3 days, intravenous antibiotics for at least 24 hours, total antibiotic usage for at least 3 days, and any other physical or clinical findings, laboratory data or surgery that suggest a severe infection,” the FDA report states. Read full article

Monday, July 11, 2011

Interdenominational communion - Can Catholics receive protestant offered communion?

Co-authored by participants of SDM

This is a subject often misunderstood by those of non-Catholic faiths and even by Catholics at times. Catholics on occasion will attend Protestant worship services such as weddings and funerals as well as attendance at times with family members who are of a particular denomination. This is permitted by the Catholic Church with the understanding it is not a substitute for the required Sunday Mass. In addition, one can not partake of the communion presented in a protestant congregation if offered. For an in depth understanding of the reason behind this, one must first understand the unwavering beliefs the Catholic Faith teaches and maintains both through various passages of scripture as well as Canon Law. For it is through these beliefs and unquestionable trust in the Word of Jesus Christ that reflect our Catholic devotion. Founded in this recognition, there is only one Eucharist instituted by Our Lord, which is recognized to be a sacrament by the Catholic Church and only one teaching that even the distance of time can never change, that being the real presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ in the communion elements. Here are but a few of the passages relating to this devotion rendering the Catholic faithful incapable of receiving communion under the offering of other pretenses as exemplified in other denominations.

Jesus said to them, “….Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.” (John CH6; 47-59)

[Also refer to additional verses: (Matthew CH26; v26+), (Mark CH14; v22+), (Luke CH22; v14+), (Luke CH24; 30+), (1 Corinthians CH10; v16+), (1 Corinthians CH11; v22+) and Here for more information on the Eucharist.]

The proclamation of the consistancy of Church teachings throughout Christian History:

Ephesians CH4; 3 “striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: 4 one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”.

1 Corinthians CH1; 10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment."

The Catholic faith has maintained throughout its lineage of almost 2000 years the consecrated Eucharist consisting of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ can not be received by those in a state of sin or received “unworthily. As Scripture declares in 1 Corinthians CH11; 27-29 “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself."

Because Catholics believe the changing of the consecrated Eucharist to be what is called "transubstantiation", they are likewise not able to receive communion in another denomination because this implies they accept the belief of that particular faith, which as we know is considered to only be representative of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

If the Apostles were to believe and teach that the bread and wine are merely symbols representing the Body and Blood of Christ, it would then be completely inappropriate and inaccurate regardless of ancient language, to say we “participate in the Body and Blood of Christ”. Symbolic means to be a symbol of or representing something or someone that is not present. Therefore it is only rational and with common sense in making reference to such participation would then be in the commemoration or tribute to, not the participation directly in the Body and Blood of Christ. To say one participates in the Body and Blood of Christ as Scripture confirms, the true elements must be present. In the Protestant belief system, the elemental graces are considered present but the changing of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ do not occur as communion is not a sacrament, is not presided over by those individuals capable of changing the bread and wine through the sacrament of Holy Orders(Catholic priest) and therefore again only regarded as representative or symbolic.

It would be irrelative for condemnation to be imposed against one for receiving only bread and wine unworthily. As warned in 1 Corinthians Chapter 11, "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord."
So why has Scripture declared such harsh warnings of condemnation against those knowledgeable of the true teachings of Christ regarding taking the Eucharist unworthily? Because Jesus’ proclamation was specific, intentional and unwavering that the Bread and Wine after His consecration was His Body and Blood of the New Covenant and as such the warning becomes extremely relative that consuming the Eucharist in a state of serious sin is the desecration of His Body and Blood. Such can not occur if only bread and wine were consumed.

Canon Law of the Catholic Church regarding the transmission of communion under all circumstances;

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Separated Catholics - Part two

Separation From Faith - Part two
Our Children today
The lack of knowledge and separation from faith of our children now matured is most distressing for those who have realized the results of their parental disregard. Many young adults attempt to practice their faith to the best of their understanding which is commendable, but do not seek answers to those issues they question. They seem to believe it is OK to accept certain aspects and disregard what they believe is not acceptable to them. This belief is based on the liberalism of current society and lack of true knowledge in their faith. It is affirmed that “cafeteria Catholics” as some have been labeled (referring to those who attend mass when convenient or a few “special” times during the year), “non-practicing Catholics”, or by self proclaimed “ex-Catholics” who at some point “converted” to a protestant faith, do not properly understand the basis of which the Church’s teachings are founded. Many were not given the guidance to know deeply and properly to truly make an informed choice on their own in the first place.

In regard to most, when questioned in regard to the Bible, they can not answer. They have no idea what the Didache is, the Vitus Itala, or the Latin Vulgate. They know little of the Catechism of the Catholic Church nor have much of an idea on why the Church teaches some of it's doctrines. Critically, they have no true knowledge of who the Apostolic Fathers or Early Church Fathers are nor do they know the depth of their ancient writings from the 1st century forward. They believe the Catholic education they received in grade and/or high School was sufficient but never or very rarely have they referred to reading Scripture and questioned what they may not understand. But all of these things have been available to them had they asked questions.

No Catholic properly educated within their faith would ever separate or consider conversion away from it. There is no such status as being “ex-Catholic”. Let me repeat that as to stress the point; there is no such status as being “ex-Catholic”. One cannot unlearn what has been learned any more than one can disassociate their family lineage. One can not deny what He or she has already received in order to abide by something more easily acceptable on a personal level, as though never having been provided the more. Whether one knows their family lineage or not, whether one knows their faith properly or not, it changes nothing of either. As an adult, the responsibility to seek the truth in God becomes that of the individual.

Years of research into the origin of Christianity and numerous discussions with separated Catholics made it overwhelmingly obvious that in addition to the influence of social peer pressure and the promoting of liberalism in society there are two major underlying reasons many choose to separate from or avoid growth in their faith. First and foremost it can not be stressed enough they never truly knew their faith although many thought and still think otherwise. From personal experience with many others and the discovery in recent years of my own past ignorance, they would never allow themselves to be separated from the Catholic Church and the fullness of Jesus Christ. Yes, I was one of these separated Catholics for 25 years. Properly aware of their Faith, the intimacy of their relationship with our Lord would run far too deeply to allow anything to interfere. They would have a true understanding of the love and devotion of the early Christian martyrs. Their sense of fulfillment in life would be too precious to loose and would be the foundation of their lives rather than an inconvenience or interference. They would also realize life is a gift actually meant to be enjoyed and just how beautiful it is when lived in union with God who created and intended life as His gift.

Secondly, many express the opinion the Church presents too many moral requirements (as though fabricated by the Church) in the practice of faith that they do not agree with. Requirements that they believe will directly interfere with the “liberties” granted by this younger society. This is the motivation for avoiding questions they prefer not learning the answers to. It’s not that they don’t have legitimate questions regarding certain aspects of Church teachings, they do. But they avoid asking those questions in fear the answers will lead to “restrictions” of self gratifications, or a deeper awareness of moral responsibilities that once learned can not be so easily disregarded. They do not realize the difference between falling victim to crises and then desperately praying for God’s intervention, and living in God’s guidance never experiencing many of today’s crises in the first place. They assume committing to the practice of their faith and truly living in a relationship with Christ will create an infringement on their pursuit of “happiness” and although they certainly would hope for salvation and eternal life, they want it by their terms.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Home Is Where The Heart Is

There are two very simple yet profound principles some understand and live by in life realizing the importance of these principles in establishing their personal priorities and subsequent goals. As the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 6 expresses; “…for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be”, which reflects what should be the first priority over all, seeking and keeping a relationship with Jesus Christ. And the second being “Home is where the heart is”, which reflects the true fulfillment in personal human relationships in this earthly life.

Some have always known the one true fulfillment this human existence can offer. Some who are deeply blessed know the fulfillment of life in its completeness which is God and loved ones, the family. Priorities determine the level of achievement leading to fulfillment. Pride is misleading and the pursuit of fulfillment of pride leads to a future awakening of a lost opportunity to live life at its true intent and meaning.

God gave us the means to fulfill our lives. It is up to each of us to appreciate and pursue our goals based on properly ordered principles, our priorities. The test of priorities first comes in our relationship with God. If that relationship is maintained and lived accordingly, one can not deny that the many crises individuals fall into today would never have occurred in their personal lives. The second priority is that of a truly loving and devoted relationship as reflected in its expression of love and the significance of retaining family interaction and relationships between children and parents. This will also be well reflected in the same level of priority between husband and wife.

If a husband and wife do not possess the yearning as loving companions to be with each other more strongly than the pursuit of wealth, they will never achieve satisfaction or fulfillment. If one does not understand there is a difference between satisfaction and fulfillment, they have already lost a great deal in the pursuit of life’s treasures.

Monetary and materialistic gains will never be enough and will never provide fulfillment. The more one earns, the more one desires. The more the desires grow, the more one has to earn monetarily. In a truly loving relationship, marriage is a joyful confirmation of the sincere commitment between both people entered into voluntarily. In this relationship two people would find prolonged and frequent separation disheartening and would more often choose to be in one another’s accompaniment rather than frequently be apart from each other for prolonged periods to pursue monetary or materialistic gains beyond what is considered reasonable by social economic standards. It should be the loving companionship the relationship is based upon and the pursuit of goals then supportive of the relationship.

Goals are most certainly a necessity but should never be THE priority or come at the expense of familial relationships. If the marriage is based on what one can obtain financially or materialistically, there will never be enough to satisfy monetarily, materialistically or personally. Home will not be were the heart is because the heart has no true home, but rather an ever growing price. The master becomes money and the acquisition of property. And there is always something better than what one possesses. The esteem sought by owning an appealing car, the elegance of a yacht, the extravagance of an “impressive” home, the quality and magnificence of the jewelry or the popularity of the designer who’s name label’s their clothes, – there will always be a car more appealing; there will always be a yacht more elegant; there will always be a home more extravagant; there will always be jewelry more magnificent; there will always be a newer and more popular designer.

There will never be satisfaction or fulfillment if monetary and materialistic gains are placed equal to or greater than familial relationships. And if those relationships are sacrificed for those gains, one has already made a bad investment at the expense of their own life. The family relationship provides the friendship, love, support and companionship of a spouse. The love, sincerity, compassion and guidance of the elder more experienced parents, and for the youngest of the family, the children and grandchildren, the opportunity for them to benefit from the love and sharing and interaction of all their family through active participation with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and so on. The influences offered in these traits can not be bought or recovered if squandered away.

See part two of Separated Catholics this week.