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Christianity Under Fire

Catholics, Cliques and Cults

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Ultra Dispensationalism: Scriptural or Not?
Group Think or Whosoever Will?
Chronological Chart of New Testament
You Might Be A Closet Dispie If:
Body of Christ versus Israel
The Mark of the Beast: Is it Literal?
You Know You're A Preterist If:
You Know You're a Preterist if: Part Three
The Comings of Christ: The How, When and Where
Groupthink and Cliques in the Church
Focus on the Family or on God
Cult Aware
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Transubstantiation or Unsubstantiated: If The Plain Sense Makes Sense...
DaVinci Code: Was Christ's Divinity and the Bible invented at the Council of Nicea?
Plain Sense Interpretation/P'shat: Christs Comings
Isaiah 53: Human Sacrifice?
Isaiah 53: Christ Has Risen!!
Who Hath Believed Our Report?
Isaiah 53: Christ Our Passover Lamb
Isaiah 53: Messianic Prophecies Refuted?
Chart comparing Israel to Messiah
Isaiah 53: The Suffering Messiah
Bible Chart: Does the Bible conflict on Salvation Messages?
Christs Coming and Time Gaps
Got Charts!
Are There Two Programs?
When Did the Church Begin?
When Did the Church Begin Pt. 2
Is America Cursed?
How and Why Christianity is Under Fire
Was Mary a Perpetual Virgin?
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Tribulation or Jacob's Trouble?
Jewish Wannabes and the Holidays
Christmas Under Fire: When Christians Attack
Is Celebrating Christmas Scriptural?
Was Iraq a Just War?
Category 7: The End of the World
If It Believes, Then Waddles and Quacks like a Christian it is a....
Why Homosexuality Should Be Confronted and Exposed
The Doctrine Of Eternal Security-Can You Lose Your Salvation?
Does the Soul Sleep?
Did Jews Kill Jesus?...Hear What Some Jews Have to Say
Some Unscriptural Teachings of the Catholic Church
Arguments That Catholics Use
Pantribulationism: Are There Two Programs Going On?
Before and After
Pantribulationism: What A Day That Will Be!!!!
Definite Article Theology: The Way
Pantribulationism: Extrabiblical Nonsense
My Old Ship, the USS Shreveport Assisting Hurricane Victims
Pantribulationism: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Trinity of God and Trichotomy of man: Definite Article Theology
Definite Article Theology
Pantribulationism: Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing
Pantribulationism: The Departure
Pantribulationism: It will all pan out in the end
Straining Out Gnats, Majoring on the Minors
Jewish Wannabes and Eschaholics
When Jewish Wannabes Attack What They Don't Understand
How Jewish Wannabes Attack and How to Identify Them
Historical Method and Homosexuality
If the Plain Sense Makes Sense: Christ's Coming
If the Plain Sense Makes Sense: Evolution
The Silliness of Jack Chick
Inspirational and Patriotic Songs
Communism and Islam -vs- the Faith of America's Founding Fathers
Bridging the Generation Gap
Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth
Let's Worship the Lord
Faith Under Fire Television Show and Website
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Prophecies Yet To Be Fulfilled: Zechariah 12:10-14
Are You Happy?
When Jewish Wannabes Attack the Bible
Why Jewish Wannabes Attack
The Masters List
You're A Hopeless ....
Preterism Versus Dispensationalism
What's Love Got To Do With It?
When Jewish Wannabes Attack!
Preterism and Calvinism?
Who Do Men Say That I Am?
Signs You Are Doing Something Right
Ivory Tower Theologians and more about me
Satan the Counterfeiter
Saved By Race or By Grace?
Wanna Know Some Secrets?
Distortions of the Resurrection
Apostles Today?
Message and Ministry of Paul compared to the twelve
Maxwell House...Good For Your Desktop
The Feminization of Christianity
Absurd World Views
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Replacement Theology
How did the Tribes and Books get Lost?
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Should Christians Observe the Sabbath?
The Power of One
Be Thankful
Group Think and the Jew
You Must Be Born Again!!
Tribute to a Friend
Who's That Babe in the Manger: Does it matter
President Bush and the Movie: Unbreakable
Having a Form of Godliness
The Natural Supernatural Connection
Spiritually Challenged Skeptics
Speaking or Praying to the Dead
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"Their teachings are but rules taught by Men." (Matthew 15:9)

"Their teachings are but rules taught by Men." (Matthew 15:9)

 

"All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped unto every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

 

Scripture is God breathed, and is quite sufficient to complete and equip the man or woman of God for holiness and obedience. Any exegesis, tradition or work (Jewish, Catholic, Protestant) of the bible can be used to illustrate passages in the bible, but not to change obvious meanings, add burdens, create new questionable doctrines from hard to understand or vague scriptures or seen on an equal or higher level than scripture. (2 Peter 3:15,16)

 

The age old arguments from supplementalists is that this scripture in 2 Timothy is referring to OT scripture and that we need more than what is necessary.

 

First, Paul is talking about OT scripture as well but also recognizes that what he is writing/grapho/scripture are the words of God.

 

Next, other works are beneficial such as commentaries but the problem arises when we elevate these works to the level of scripture, as Catholics and Mormons do.

 

The potentially errant should always be judged by the inerrant, and also the questionable, vague or later additions should be tested by the already established clear and concise Word of God (scripture)

 

This is how you test every groups claims.

 

If you didn't do this every cult out there would be just as legitimate as the other.

 

If the perpetual virginity of Mary, her assumption into heaven, immaculate conception, her mediatorship, advocacy, status as Queen of Heaven, her sinlessness, salvation by grace through faith plus the sacraments and baptism cannot be found in scripture (the established truth), then it needs to be tested by the already established truth.

 

Of course any group out there needs to be tested by these same standards.

Jesus doesn't just condemn traditions that contradict the word of God but tradition that overloads the faithful.

 

"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." (Matthew 23)

 

Jesus does say do as they say but not as they do but the apostle Paul after the death and resurrection of Christ condemns to hell anyone that teaches another gospel, spirit or Jesus that is not taught in scripture. (Galatians 1:8,9; 2 Corinthians 11)

 

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

 

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1)

 

Notice in the scriptures above that Paul says:

 

1) There are those that would pervert the gospel, any additions would be a perversion. An addition to 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.' (Acts 16:31), is a perversion.

 

a) Those that pervert are also those that add. Any additions to the salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, is a perversion.

 

This automatically rules out additional tradition that would add.

 

2) They are condemned to Hell

 

3) Paul condemns those that pervert the gospel that he preached and received from JC himself, not through Peter or any man.

 

Now to him that is able to establish you, according to MY GOSPEL and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret from eternity; (Douay-Rheims, Romans 16:25)

 

Peter even recognizes the special wisdom given to Paul. (2 Peter 3)

 

Catholics, Jewish Wannabes and Judaizers not only contradict the simple gospel that Paul preached but make a simple gospel message into a burdensome message.

Many think that we need their experience and expertise to understand the scripture. In difficult areas of the bible the argument states that this is where we need expert commentary and insight. Commentary by men can be useful as long as we see it as commentary. When speaking of Paul Peter says this,

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3)

 

The Catholic church places such doctrines as the immaculate conception of Mary, her assumption into heaven, infant baptism and purgatory on an equal level with the other doctrines that are actually and clearly taught in scripture. There is no scriptural evidence implicit or explicit for these doctrines.

 

Repentance and faith in Jesus resulting in salvation must precede baptism, according to the Bible order and infants cannot do this. This kind of extrabiblical nonsense occurs when people put commentaries and the tradition on an equal level with scripture.

 

Listen to the Catholic church's commentary on commentary.

 

"As a result the church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, 'does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, pg 26, DV9)

 

Can you see how dangerous it is to entrust the interpretation of scripture to those who place tradition or extrabiblical commentary on an equal par with the bible, whether they be Catholics, Jews or anyone else for that matter. This also takes away the individual's responsibility of trusting the Holy Spirit and study for illumination.

 

"Their teachings are but rules taught by Men." (Matthew 15:9)

 

This verse was originally intended for the Religious Rabbinic Jews of Jesus' day but there is an obvious application for today as well.

 

Being skeptical of information from sources other than the Bible is appropriate for the Bible believing Christian. Why do I talk about this group, and is this not divisive?

 

This group (Catholics) speak of their desire for unity, but it is a unity with their church. Their idea of unity is really assimilation because 'Resistance if futile' Non Catholics are sometimes referred to as the separated brethren. I will be giving my two pennies worth on more than the Catholic church.

 

I also am not throwing the baby out with the bathwater either. The Catholic church has been phenomenal in resisting abortion and Homosexuality.

 

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God...So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ...the Holy Spirit came on all. (Acts 10:44-48)

 

God astonished these Jewish believers in Acts that all he required for salvation and filling of the Holy Spirit, of these Gentile believers was faith in Jesus.

 

I am sure some of the Jewish believers above wanted to respond with something similar to what their modern counterparts have said here, "If anyone says that faith which justifies is nothing else but trust in divine mercy, which pardons sin because because of Christ: or that it is that trust alone by which we are justified: let him be anathema" (Catholic Council of Trent)

 

But if God says A and you will be saved and then later someone comes along and says that you must A and do B and C, then they have obviously perverted what God has said.

 

Anyone that wants to go to what Peter said to the Jews for salvation, is not recognizing the special wisdom given to Paul (2 Peter 3:15,16) and are not recognizing Paul's gospel (Romans 16:25), and Paul condemns those that don't recognize the 'gospel which we (Paul and Barnabas) have preached.

Anathema means, doomed to eternal punishment.

 

More on the Catholic Jewish connection later.

 

Tradition does not always conflict with truth but it certainly should not be put on an equal par with scripture. (The bible), whether it conflicts or not. When people are too dependent on sources, other than the Bible for spiritual instruction, it makes them captive to these sources.

 

"Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem, saying, 'Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.' But he answered and said unto them, 'Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"... (Mark 7; Matthew 15)

 

Then Jesus goes on to give even yet another example of tradition conflicting with the commandments of God.

 

But let's go to the washing of the hands question. Many wash their hands before they eat, and for obvious reasons. The washing that the Pharisees were talking about were also for religious reasons. This is what the Talmud says about washing the hands:

 

The Talmud contains many centuries of Jewish oral tradition that was finally written down.

 

The Pharisees warned of finally writing the oral tradition down and then they did just that.

 

Washing the Hands upon Waking

 

From the book, 'The Talmud For Today' which is a compilation of quotations from the Talmud.

 

R. means Rabbi.

 

"252. R. Muna used to say that a hand that touches any part of the body [without being washed upon waking] deserves to be cut off. [hand makes the eye blind and the ear deaf, and it causes a polyp. The hands remain in a dangerous condition until they are washed.] Sabbath" 108b Feinsilver Rabbi, pg. 86,87

 

Washing the Hands Before Eating

 

"253. R. Avira said, at times in the name of R. Ammi and at times in the name of R. Assi, Whoever eats bread without previously washing his hands is like one who has intercourse with a harlot. Sotah,4b-Ibid"

 

Yikes! How would he know this? Do you think this Rabbi has a flair for the dramatic?

 

The Hands Should Also Be Washed After Eating

 

"255. R. Judah said in the name of Rab, in comment upon the words Lev.

 

11:44 'Sanctify yourselves therefore and be ye holy, Sanctify yourselves means washing the hands before the meal, and be ye holy means washing them after the meal.', 53b" This was a real surprise to me. I never thought that when God said to be holy, that what he really meant was to wash ones hands after a meal. Thank goodness we have such insightful teachers (or is it incite full). So the more meals I eat, and wash afterwards the holier I become.

 

256. R. Hiyya b. Ashi said in the name of Rab one. "When washing the hands before a meal, one should hold his hands up. But when washing the hands after a meal, one should keep his hands down.' We are simlarily taught in a baraitha that whoever washes his hands before a meal should lift them up so that the water should not flow back on his hands causing the hands to become unclean."

 

The reason I have used all these quotations rather than summing them up, is to show the Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), that these Rabbi's are encouraging on such things as washing hands. this is similar to what Jesus described as, 'straining at gnats and swallowing camels.' Is it any wonder that Jesus said, They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them." Some of the religious ones have probably helped in creating many neurotics that will actually follow these guidelines. In today's society this is called OCD. this is doing things like checking doors excessively, and washing hands excessively. They have told me that I have this problem. Excessively checking doors and windows are my specialty.

 

Back to the washing of hands, Jesus says, "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean', but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean." (Matthew 15:11.) Evil speaking, coarse jesting, etc are what makes a man unclean, but it is out of the heart that these things are spoken. The word Pharisee means, 'separtist'-one that separates himself. the Pharisees were instrumental in putting Jesus on the cross and clearly demonstrated that they needed forgiveness along with the Gentiles (Romans 11:32)

 

Some have said that the bible is vague and hard to understand so we need commentary and expert opinions to clarify it. Commentaries are good for illustrative purposes or striking arguments . Still, they are never to be seen on an equal level with the bible. In the bible we have a wonderful thing in place. God confirms his truth in more than one place in scripture. A good example is the gospel accounts. The gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John confirm each other.

 

"Sacred Tradition and the Bible are not competing revelations"

 

(Catechism)

 

Oh Really!

 

This what some say, "Sacred Tradition and the Bible are not competing revelations. They are two ways the Church hands on the gospel. Apostolic teachings such as the Trinity, infant baptism, the inerrancy of the Bible, purgatory, and Mary's perpetual virginity have been most clearly taught through Tradition, although they are implicitly present in (and not contrary to) the Bible. the Bible itself tells us to hold fast to Tradition whether it comes to us in written or oral form" (Pillar of Fire Pillar of Truth-The Catholic Church and God's Plan For You, pg 11)

 

This is so wrong, and to put teachings such as infant baptism, purgatory, and Mary's perpetual virginity in the same category as the Trinity, inerrancy of the Bible is abominable. Read what the bible says about Tradition?

 

What does the Bible really say about Tradition? (Matthew 15:2,3,6; Mark 7:3,5,8,9,13;Colossians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians; 1 Peter 1:18)

 

According to these scriptures we are to avoid traditions that contradict the Bible. (Galatians 1:14;2 Thessalonians 2:15).

 

The tradition that this group conceived (not immaculately) about Mary,

 

contradict the scriptures that say, "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. " (Romans 3) This includes Mary. The only one that is not a sinner is the one who is the saviour. This passage contrasts the sinner from the saviour.

 

Nowhere in the bible does it describe Mary as a sinless Mediatrix.

 

As the bereans tested what Paul and Barnabas had to say with Old Testament scripture, because it was first, so we must test tradition and the claims of every group out there with what came before and that is the New Testament scriptures, because they were first. (Acts 17:10,11)

 

Isn't the Catholic church doing what the Pharisees and Rabbinics were doing in Jesus day?

 

The saying that 'everything in the Bible is true, but not everything that is true is in the bible.' is true, but is it necessary for our spiritual walk?, is it more than the words of men?, does it add burdens or pervert/add to the simple message?, and does it mesh with scripture?

 

These are questions that Mormons, Catholics, JW's have to answer.

 

I personally do not see any differences between the Pharisees of Jesus' day and the Catholics, Mormons and JW's of today.

 

BJ Maxwell 05/05/2006