Friday, September 30, 2005

Strange Similarity

It is amazing as I listened to a debate between a RC apologist and a Protestant apologist that I just realized the claims of Rome (RCC) matches the claims of Utah (LDS). They are similar in their claims to infallibility of their hierarchy.

Rome claims infallibility for its magisterium. In the RCC catechism, it stated this in point 2035
"The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed.[77]"
What about point 2051
"The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed"

The LDS also claims infallibility. Look at this statement...

by Charles W. Penrose
"Our organization is a very glorious one. It is a perfect organization -- perfect -- because it is divine. It was not made by man. It was not originated by Joseph Smith, or by any of his associates. It came down from above, direct from eternal worlds. It was not taken out of the Bible. It was not taken out of the Book of Mormon, or any other book" Journal of Discourses, vol. 24, p. 304 (1883)

by Brigham Young -
"The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother's arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth." Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 289 (1862)

If you are not bothered with it I am, for I have dear friends in the RCC who will fight tooth and nail to show that the RCC is the real Church.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Done or Do?

At the Cross the Lord said it is finished - John 19:30. They say there are only two kinds of religions in this world - the religion you do or the religion that has been done for you. Christianity is unique, Biblically based Christianity that is, for those who come from the Reformation side of Christianity. It asserts that it has been done for you by Christ. Other forms of Christianity mixes faith and works together. This boils down to their view of sin, is sin just a weakness or is it a defect? We are dead in trespasses and sins, we need a savior. We can not even make an effort from a pure heart to draw to God. God gave a Savior it is Jesus - whose name is - the Lord Saves. He died and rose again for the payment for our sins, said the Bible. This is the gospel.

This message is the power of God, the gospel that says - it has been a done deal, your sins have been put on Christ, he carried it at the cross in his body. He lived the perfect life for you and carried your sins (and mine) on the cross of calvary. He did it all. Unfortunately in some churches, aside from RC and EO, they teach that yes, he died you are to believe that and Christ will help you do good works and when you have done these works you will be declared righteous. There is one thing I asked when I was an RC, how much work do I have to do to be righteous? No one can tell you.

Yesterday I spoke at Word for the World, and spoke on Rom 1:16-17 and I believe the Word of the Lord did not return void. There was no altar call. I will stop giving one. I find it interesting that after church lunch a lady came up to me in tears and said "thanks for the message, often I come to church with heavy burdens and leave church still with a heavy burdens, today I go home released with my burdens lifted". I said, it was not my message it was the work of Jesus and what he did for you , and it is also for your children. She walked off with a beaming smile in her face. I too walked off smiling and happy. I believe she received the gospel. It produces faith in the heart of the hearer, it is God's way of delivering his salvation in Christ, so why should we be ashamed of it. We should be happy it has been done, this is good news. It can not be better than that.

Monday, September 19, 2005


It is often a wonder why the three major streams of Christianity differ in the contents of their Old Testaments. Between the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants, it is the Protestants that have the smallest number of books of the Old Testament(OT). The differences all stem from the way theses streams treat the OT books found in the Septuagint - the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. At the end of the Book of Malachi, a few more books were appended like Tobith, Judith, Baruch etc. in the Septuagint.

The word apocrypha stands for the Greek word "hidden" which was used by the church father Jerome to describe these books - meaning of questionable inspiration. Another church father Augustine considered these books to be inspired. Which church father do you believe? It is a myth to think that the church fathers, to which RC apologists are proud to appeal to as their source of doctrine and practice, were always in agreement. Well did the Reformers say that these church fathers contradicted each other. At anyrate, the RC called these books euphemistically "deuterocanonical", i.e. to mean accepted later as inspired.

Why then did the Protestants not include these books in their OT? Because the Jews did not consider them inspired either. I think this is a sound procedure, because the OT is the book of the Jews from which the Lord comes from and if there is a people who would know their OT, it would be the Jews. Besides this, all along there were early Christians who did not consider these apocryphal books as divine either, whereas the regular canonical books of the OT were accepted without any disputation as inspired. Therefore, it is a safer policy to consider these books as not inspired, and not to take one's doctrine and practice from them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hmmm, Evangelical

Hmmm. I am not sure. I am not sure if I can still identify with being evangelical or pentecostal. Do not get me wrong, I still believe the Bible is the rule for faith and conduct and is inerrant. I still believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today. I have the following reasons why I am now hesitant to being given that label...

  1. They limit the gospel to the unsaved, there is more law rather than gospel preached to Christians. I guess that is the problem, there is misunderstanding as to what the gospel is.
  2. The preaching focus is what you must do; what God has done or will do is put on the background. All now is left up to you.
  3. Even the worship choruses centers on YOU. The songs are about your love, your dedication and your good will towards God rather than God's love, commitment and good will towards the sinner.
  4. The Lord's Supper and Baptism are considered mere symbols, and again focuses on what you ought to do. For example, Baptism is your first step to obedience, the Lord's Supper is your observance. The Lord seems absent in the practice of the sacraments.
  5. There is too much theology of glory rather than theology of the cross. The focus is bring heaven now here on earth. You can have a good time here on earth and then in heaven too.
  6. There has to be something new and "cutting edge of the HS" every couple of years. Ten years ago there was the "holy laughter", then "the prophetic", and now there is PDL.
  7. Most modern day evangelical/pentecostals do not know the Apostles Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments. No systematic catechising.

These are just a few that make me think. Could this be because most evangelicals/pentecostals are non-confessional, i.e. they follow no confession of faith? They do have statements of faith, but such statements are very brief leaving other Bible issues wide-open. Consequently, there is a misunderstanding of the gospel because it is not emphasized in most preaching event. The message is more tilted to what you must do or how you do this or that etc. It is too Arminian and revivalistic with loathing for reformation teaching.

It is strange because the word "Evangelical" was first used by the Lutheran Protestants to signify that they were "evangel" or gospel oriented. Yet today evangelicals are unaware what the reformers taught, if not indifferent to them. Today you mention Luther or Calvin's insight to an evangelical/pentecostal and you get a silent reaction. Either they do not know them or they are taught to avoid them like a plague. There are now two types of Evangelicals , either they are -confessional or non-confessional! I think I like to be lumped w/ the first -with the confessional group since I follow a confession. Start here and please consider what I say. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Luther and Mary

I read about protestants who converted to RC refer to the fact that Luther 'honored" or "venerated" Mary. This "fact" is one of those things that led them to embrace RC. In this respect, these protestants think that they have been "short changed" by their churches.

When I read people say that Luther was a Marian and read the quotes from his sermons and works to prove this, I always ask the question - when did he say this? I do not have to deny that he said what he said, the question is when did he say them, did he say them while he was in RC or were they said after his break with RC? Why should we ask when? Because it matters, a man's understanding goes to development, it goes to maturity and greater understanding. I will naturaly expect him to toe the line before he broke away, that would be expected. The issue is what did he teach after he broke away?

At anyrate, even if Luther praised Mary, the Lutherans do not follow Luther in all things he espoused, the same way that Calvinists or the Reformed do not follow all of Calvin's espoused teachings. Why? Because like any human being their teachings will have to line and be at par with scripture. The issue are the confessions written up by the Lutheran and Reformed Protestants. Luther subjected himself to his fellow reformers and when they drew up their confessions , you will find that there is no veneration of Mary or the saints. In the Apology of Augsburg Confession article XXI, the veneration of Mary and the saints have been rejected and considered a pagan origin.

Lastly for a balanced and well researched discussion of how Mary played in Luther's Christianity see

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Before Katrina hit New Orleans, LA (USA), my friend was sharing with me how he is awed at God at the same time how he feared Him. Reading of what has happened in New Orleans, how could we not be at awe and in fear of God? He is again reminding us that we are not in control, He is.

We have to go past what the TV portrays and put ourselves in the shoes of those refugees. The TV has a way of making us feel detached and un-affected because it is too remote, too far, to feel what the people in New Orleans are going through. Those of us who have never experienced such floodings, never experienced losing a loved one because nature has turned itself on us could never feel their agony/pain. However, it should make us think of the one who owns the storm, it should make us think of God - a healthy fear of him and awe as my friend says, is healthy and will produce wisdom in us.

O Lord be merciful to the people of New Orleans, and to us too who are not there.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Do you sometimes wonder if you are fit for heaven? It has been said that the faith of a Christian goes through growth and development and somtimes doubt becomes a problem. When we look at ourselves, doubt will creep in and screwtape will be there to fuel your doubts (no doubts about it). Our human and carnal mind resists or find it boggling that we can live in the presence of Almighty God, the Creator and Lord of the Universe. This is sometimes too marvelous to believe.

However, when we look at what Jesus has done, when we look at the atonement, and consider that at the cross, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, we will not be surprized. No I do not think so. The atonement makes people fit for heaven not because there is anything in ourselves that makes us appropriate to live there, but because it is Jesus' work that makes us fit to live there. His sacrifice makes you ready. You are fit, on account of Christ's work, not yours.

When we are tempted to look inside us to find if there is anything in us that makes us ready, we should immediately agree that we are not, but at the same time in haste look away from ourselves and look outside us, look to the one who did it all - Christ Jesus the Lord, God's Son.

I encourage you on this and remind me of this too.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I do not think so, I do not think we need to make the gospel relevant, that is if we truly know what the gospel is. It is not about having a clean moral lifestyle and it is not about being born again though one gets that way when the gospel is received. So long as there is sin in this world, the gospel will be relevant because sin is what the gospel fixes.