You’re Kind of A Big Deal

Real Life Catholic is one of the best evangelical apostolates for young people in the web. I strongly recommend to visit Real Life Catholic and watch their inspiring videos.

An excerpt from You’re kind of a Big Deal:

God had you in mind before the big bang.
He had you in mind when he created space and time
He had you in mind when he enter space and time to save us
He had you in mind when he hung in the Cross
He had you in mind when he rose from the dead…

-Christopher Stefanick

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “You’re Kind of A Big Deal”

  1. The exerpt of your poem is beautiful. I would love to read it without having to sign up for more email. I can hardly keep up with all my computer stuff as it is! 😛

    1. Dear Debbie,

      It is not my poem, it is a quote from the YouTube video by Stefanick! It is amazing that it reads like a poem. As soon as I listen to it I had to write it down because I thought it was so powerful! Thank you for commenting and the support!

      Cheers!

  2. Creation is another issue I feel very strongly about. For 4 summers in my twenties I went to the Institute for Creation Research and working on a writing team of teachers from all over the world. It was a very life changing time to be around the scientists from all over that have much science proving scientific evidence from the Bible so fascinating. Thank you for bringing up this issue.

  3. I’m surprised Caleb you believe in the big Bang theory, instead of what God tells us in Scripture, even Scientists who are Christians have proven it to be fallacy, since you like links I will leave one for you, it has other links to follow too.

    Big Bang – https://answersingenesis.org/big-bang/

    I really dislike Truth and error being mixed together, it waters it down and so does God dislike it.

    Christian Love – Anne

    1. Dear Anne,

      Thank you for the link to answering genesis website and their video about the Big Bang theory. I am somewhat familiar with the Young Earth Creationist’s literalistic interpretation of the Book of Genesis. The problem with such position is that it falls apart when we look at the scientific evidence for the origins of the universe.

      The evidence for the Big Bang is one of the most beautiful, solid and elegant demonstrations you will ever find in science. Even Einstein thought that Fr. George Lemeitre’s theory (later known as the big bang) was the most beautiful explanation of creation once he looked at the evidence that support his theory, the red shift of Galaxies and later confirmed by the Cosmic Background Radiation.

      As a Christian I don’t see how science opposed faith. God created a rational universe, as the book of Wisdom say:

      “But you have disposed all things by measure and number and weight.”

      Wisdom 11:20

      God is a rational being. The universe is a rational creation and to study, to learn form it is to study and learn from God’s creation! To know his Creation is to know him. So, if science demonstrates something about nature or about the universe it is really demonstrating something about God.

      The problem that arises with Young Earth Creationist is their literal interpretation of the bible. As the young creationist says in the video a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis is incompatible with the Big Bang Theory that explains that the universe is about 13.7 billion years, not only a few thousands years old, as young earth creationist believe. The evidence for the universe being 13.7 billions years old is beyond reproach and I hope I don’t offend you but the science presented in this website is suspect at best. On the other hand a non-literalistic interpretation of the Book of Genesis does not opposes science.

      Early Christianity did not take a literalistic interpretation as a starting point. They understood that different books in the bible are written in different literalistic style and they are not all meant to be an accurate historical account, like the book of Judges or Numbers.

      St. Augustine the great bishop of Hippo who has a great influence on the Calvin and Luther and who argue in favor to include the book of Revelation and the Letters to the Hebrew in the cannon of scripture and fought relentlessly against those heretics who denied the divinity of Christ…was open to the idea that the book of Genesis was not a literalistic account of creation:

      As an article published in Christianity Today states:

      Augustine draws out the following core themes: God brought everything into existence in a single moment of creation. Yet the created order is not static. God endowed it with the capacity to develop. Augustine uses the image of a dormant seed to help his readers grasp this point. God creates seeds, which will grow and develop at the right time. Using more technical language, Augustine asks his readers to think of the created order as containing divinely embedded causalities that emerge or evolve at a later stage. Yet Augustine has no time for any notion of random or arbitrary changes within creation. The development of God’s creation is always subject to God’s sovereign providence. The God who planted the seeds at the moment of creation also governs and directs the time and place of their growth.
      Augustine argues that the first Genesis Creation account (1:1–2:3) cannot be interpreted in isolation, but must be set alongside the second Genesis Creation account (2:4–25), as well as every other statement about the Creation found in Scripture. For example, Augustine suggests that Psalm 33:6–9 speaks of an instantaneous creation of the world through God’s creative Word, while John 5:17 points to a God who is still active within creation.

      Further, he argues that a close reading of Genesis 2:4 has the following meaning: “When day was made, God made heaven and earth and every green thing of the field.” This leads him to conclude that the six days of Creation are not chronological. Rather, they are a way of categorizing God’s work of creation. God created the world in an instant but continues to develop and mold it, even to the present day.

      http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/may/22.39.html

      The book of nature can be as powerful instrument of conversion as the written word of God. To ignore it is put ourselves in perilous predicament. I don’t see science contradicting scripture but both breathing out of the same lung. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Caleb

      1. God tells us Caleb that all the Scriptures are His inspired words not just some of them, they are His thoughts, His Heart Convictions, His guidelines for us, His proof of His existence, we can’t say this part of the Bible is not relevant and others are.

        2 Timothy 3:1-17 ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the Man/Woman of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)

        The Book of Genesis is the foundation of the Bible, in it is proof of God’s existence and Jesus’ Divinity and The Godhead or Trinity as They are called today but also that He did indeed create the earth in six days.

        Evolution Scientists have not established that there is no God, even after trying for many years, they are still working on theories without facts, they have never been able to create viable life from nothing or even from simple substances like jelly larva which they said we evolved from and the Big Bang is proven as you said yourself on a previous Post to be a fallacy, the only things they have found agree with Creation too and even their dating of the earth has proven to be in error but we knew that was impossible by the Scriptures and even by Secular History and fossils.

        We have a fully formed belly button that no other animal has, so we couldn’t have evolved from one also when Man had no way of knowing, the Bible tells us the earth was round, man believed it was flat for many years after this was recorded and God tells us about D.N.A over 2000 years ago, He said that man and animals blood is different and does not mix and He tells us were Aids really comes from and it’s not a virus which has now been confirmed medically and there was no Pathology in those days. God told us many others things too that have come True and others that will come true, we can already see the beginnings of them.

        I will leave you a link Caleb that will explain why Evolution as propagated today and God’s Creation of the Universe in six days don’t fit together but even if you take another look at the Power point I created for you, unless you are completely in darkness, the Scripture in it shows the reality of Creation as Genesis confirms it

        What you don’t seem to know and those who you are listening to, there were no Chapters or verses in the original Manuscripts they were added latter, Chapter one of Genesis is continuous and is the complete picture to its end.

        Creation – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/gods-6-days-of-creation/

        Christian Love from both of us – Anne

      2. Dear Anne,

        I think you are imposing a strict literalistic interpretation of the bible that is not warranted and forces the text to agree with your opinion. I agree with you that the Scriptures reveals in the Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God. That they convey the fullness of revelation that is necessary for salvation. Our disagreement mainly consists in the interpretation of scriptures.

        As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and you rightly quoted, scripture is indeed inspired and it is indeed profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. We need to read Scripture. We need to know it. We need to ponder it, soak in it, meditate on it, pray it, and be able to share it.

        “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

        2 Timothy 3:16-17

        However, what this passage is saying, is that all of Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching and correction and so forth, as a Catholic, we agree 100% with this passage however, it nowhere says anything about the Bible being the sole rule of faith for Christians.

        The question is who has the authority to resolve disagreements about different interpretations of the bible. Is it the bible itself or is it the Church? Jesus is absolutely very clear:

        Jesus is very clear that it is the Church who has the ultimate authority:

        “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector”.

        Matthew 18:15-17

        I personally go with what Jesus said. I go to the Church that he founded. Which by the way allow Christians to uphold either interpretation, as long as they accept the fundamental and transcendent truth that God created the universe.

        Now I will like to clarify certain points about Science and Faith that you eluded in your response.

        First, Science cannot proof or disproof the existence of God. Because science is limited to study the natural world, that is the observable universe. God is a transcendent being that exists outside the boundaries of space and time. Therefore, science cannot claim to disprove the existence of God. Now I do believe that science can demonstrate the God’s footprints in his creation.

        Second, a point of clarification, in my previous post I referred to science inability to demonstrate or explain creation out of nothing. This is what was revealed in the Book of Genesis and confirmed in other books of the Old Testament: that God created the universe out of nothing. The point that I was making was that the best solid cosmological scientific evidence for the Big Bang shows a beginning out of nothing. Which is what was divinely revealed through scriptures and that as Christians we are bound to believe.

        Third, I most challenge you to give proof or show me the reference where it was demonstrated that the dating of the Earth was found to be wrong. There are multiple independent ways to show that the Earth is for older than what the Young Earth Creationist hold.

        For example: Did you know that our Sun was part of another star that exploded Billions of years ago? That the elements that made up our planet where created through nuclear fusion in that ancient star, billions of years ago? Just recent evidence that Mars once had a ocean (much shallower than our oceans) show that our solar systems is far older than the so-called 6,000 years.

        Fourth, you mentioned that people believe that the Earth was flat. This is actually a fallacy or rather protestant propaganda against the Church. No serious historian will tell you that at any point anyone believe that the Earth was flat, on the contrary people understood from the time of Aristotle that the Earth and the heavenly bodies where spheres.

        I didn’t understand your point about Aids, but just to clarify, Aids are the medical symptoms developed by someone who is carrying the HIV virus.

        I know you are coming from a loving place and I do appreciate it. However, I do believe Sir Francis Bacon once wrote that God wrote two books: scripture and creation and that both are not in disagreement with each other but rather both complement each other.

        Cheers,

        Caleb

      3. Dear Caleb I will keep this brief , well at least for me as I have Funday School to organize for the Children today.

        We have already spoken about many of your believes but you continue to reject the Scriptures that I have shared that show you are in error and also do not confirm with Scripture what you believe.

        We must never water down God’s Truth in Scripture to fit in with what we or others think.

        Once again, Jesus did not start the Roman Catholic Church, you need to read up on the History of God’s Church, which is not a Denomination, it is in the hearts of His Redeemed Children Worldwide from every Denomination including the Roman Catholic Church.

        We are to meet together as The Body of Christ who He is The Head of and has total Authority over, so we can fellowship, have Holy Communion and bring our Worship, Praise and Thankfulness to God in Prayer and Song as He teaches us through the empowering of The Holy Spirit, who does not say one thing to one person and something different to another when they contradict.

        What is very sad Caleb is that you prefer to believe Secular Scientists who are motivated by Satan instead of Christian Scientists who Trust God to lead them into all Truth.

        Also it is apparent that you have not asked for and believed you have received God’s wisdom and the empowering of the Holy Spirit but are still choosing to remain in ignorance believing in your own and others fleshy understanding. 1Corinthians 2:9-16

        I’m sorry Caleb but as I refuse to argue about Carnal man’s understanding and also I do not agree to disagree, I will no longer respond to your messages but will continue to pray for you and those who are also deceived by false teachers.

        Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

      4. Dear Anne,

        I hope you have a great FUNDay School!

        I have to be honest Anne, sometime I am discourage by your responses. Although I understand that written responses are deaf tone and are incapable of translating the tender charity that is needed in these discussions. Your responses some time make assumptions that no other person can really make and ignore substantial points. I take exception when you say:

        “… you have not asked for and believed you have received God’s wisdom and the empowering of the Holy Spirit….”

        I don’t think that there is anything I can tell you that will convince otherwise unless I agree with your particular interpretation of scriptures.

        Since I was kid God has been pulling at my heart and calling me to him and as I have grow older I have always do my best to listen and follow him in all that I do. I always ask him as St. Thomas pray too:

        Oh, Lord my God, grant me,
        a mind to know you,
        a heart to follow you,
        wisdom to find you,
        conduct pleasing to you,
        faithful perseverance in waiting for you
        and a hope to finally embrace you.

        I trust in Christ my life and I know that he always listen to my prayers.

        He not just gave us a bible, actually he never said that he was going to give a bible, rather he gave us a Church, that you believe is just something that symbolized the “unity of all believers” but all the early Christian testify otherwise. This is real and historical evidence that you ignored over and over because it argues against your belief.

        As St. Ignatious of Antioch, (he was martyred in Rome and knew both Paul and the apostle John) said:

        “Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist, which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter, priests]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church”

        Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110].

        This reflects the believe of the early Christian church the ink of the Gospel writers was still fresh…the people who he address this letter knew the apostles…some may have been relative of people who met Christ! This are not the words of the flesh as you continue to allude but the words of someone who love so much Christ that was Martyred for his faith in Rome.

        I don’t know if you know who Cardinal John Henry Newman is but he was a Anglican priest who set out to disprove Rome historical claims about being the Church that Christ founded and demonstrate that the Anglican Church of England had a better claim than the Catholic Church well by the time he finished his research and his book he converted to Catholicism and wrote this words:

        “To be deep in history is to cease to be protestant”.

        There are many great former protestant pastor from many different denominations who set out on the same journey and converted to the Catholic Church…many of them virulent anti-catholics, such Dr. Scott Hahn, David Ander (his blog is from protestant to Catholic) and Steve Ray (Catholic-convert.com) among many many others.

        I also shared with you scriptures and far from ignoring the scriptures that you shared with me I have fully engage them, and provided a charitable and reasonable defense for the teaching of the Christ’s Church, but we always meet at the same cross road that point toward different interpretations.

        I still appreciate and need all of your prayers. 🙂

        Cheers,

        Caleb

      5. We cannot combine worldly wisdom and God’s wisdom they conflict one is inspired by God the other by Satan.

        No point in saying more, you don’t listen Caleb because your deceived by your Roman Catholic theology.

        I share only what God confirms in Scripture, you don’t, where does it say that Mary never sinned or that she remained a virgin or that we are to bow down and worship and pray to her ? Where does it tell us in Scripture about Purgatory and that we have to buy our way out of it, or that a Priest can forgive sins ?

        You have never responded Caleb with Scripture to confirm these beliefs and I have asked you to much more that once, to say you have like you did in your reply above is untrue, please do not lie to me and others. Many are deceived today because of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, now and past and because of not confirming what they are taught with Scripture instead they believed in what fleshy Carnal man told them regardless of who he is.

        The Scriptures are inspired by God and He tells us not to take away from them or add to them, how sad you believe otherwise.

        Yes I will be Praying you come to your senses Caleb before it is too late – Christian Love Anne.

  4. Dear Anne,

    I was hoping to continue a fruitful dialogue with you, which I have always enjoyed, but it is becoming increasingly difficult by your uncharitable tone and misrepresentation of my positions.

    I have to point out that you are incorrect in stating that I have never shared with you scriptural basis that support Catholic teachings. You may disagree with the Catholic interpretation of those scriptures but you cannot say that I haven’t share them with you.

    In just this discussion I proposed to you that the nature of our disagreements was in the interpretation of scriptures and I challenged you with the question of who has the authority to interpret scriptures. You responded by quoting 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in order to make the argument that the scripture alone is sufficient because it is self explanatory. I agree with the general premise of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 but I also stated that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 does not in itself support the idea that the bible is the only rule of faith and I challenge you with what Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-17:

    “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector”.

    Matthew 18:15-17

    I argued that Jesus did not left us with a bible but left us with a Church to resolved such issues like interpreting matters of faith and morals.

    I brought this example to demonstrate that I am willing and able to defend Catholic positions with the bible as I have done in many other instances and quite frankly your statement:

    “You have never responded Caleb with Scripture to confirm these beliefs and I have asked you to much more that once, to say you have like you did in your reply above is untrue, please do not lie to me and others”.

    This is flat untrue.

    Let me give more examples:

    Read the comments session in the following posts:

    1.

    https://intrepidmuses.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/life-is-beautiful/#comments

    Here is my response:

    Pertaining our on going debate about the intersession of saints in heaven on our behalf, well they are not dead, they are ALIVE in Christ!

    As Jesus says:

    Jesus said, “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled”

    Mk 12:26-27. See also Wis 3:1-3 and Jn 17:3

    Pertaining the interpratation on the

    and St. Paul also makes very clear:

    “What will separate us from the love of Christ? . . . I am convinced that neither death, nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    Rom 8:35-39

    Your understanding of the book of Revelation as something that hasn’t happens yet, is a new interpretation absent from Christian teaching for almost 2,000 years. In other words some came up with that recently. Taking it your interpretation at face value it still is a biblical example of saint in heaven presenting the prayers for those that are on still on Earth.

    2.

    https://intrepidmuses.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/be-a-saint/#comments

    Dear Annie,

    A saint is someone who has completely and totally given themselves to Christ, without holding anything back, as St. Paul says in Galatians 2:20: “no longer I, but Christ lives in me…”

    Galatians 2:19-20:

    “… I have been crucified with Christ;

    yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.”

    In Charity,

    Caleb 🙂

    3.

    https://intrepidmuses.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/archbishop-fulton-sheen/#comments

    I will like you to revisit this exchange we had. I will help you remember that I used scripture in almost all of my responses. This is a very long discussion with long posts.

    Or you can read some of my post where I constantly quote scriptures such as Love and Salvation:

    https://intrepidmuses.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/love-and-salvation/

    I did this to disabused anyone reading the post of getting the wrong impression.

    I still love you very much because I know that your have a great caring heart. I do really mean this.

    Cheers,

    Caleb

    1. I’m responding Caleb because I care that a man who I believe Loves God is deceived and Trusting in error and once again you didn’t provide Scripture to confirm …

      Mary never sinned

      Mary remained a virgin

      We bow down and worship Mary and pray to her and other Saints

      Where does it tell us in Scripture about Purgatory and that we have to buy our way out of it, or that a Priest can forgive sins ?

      The Scriptures you shared Caleb in Revelation were not in reference to praying to Mary and the Saints, and I explained why, go back and read my response and also know without doubt that no Carnal man can know Gods Truth which is way it is very sad Caleb that you prefer to believe Secular Scientists who are motivated by Satan instead of Christian Scientists who Trust God to lead them into all Truth.

      You cannot interpret the Scriptures without God’s wisdom and the empowering of The Holy Spirit, both of which we ask for and receive in Christ Jesus and what He revels will be confirmed, it is not kept private.

      By saying Caleb I don’t have God’s wisdom you are calling Him a liar and me too, but you can be sure I asked for and received them and regardless if you believe me, God’s tells us it is True, so what I share is His Truth because it is The Holy Ghost that shares it through me ..

      2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of Prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no Prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

      Christian Love Always – Anne.

  5. P.S In reference Caleb to your understanding that I’m being uncharitable in my tone and misrepresenting your positions, perhaps it would help you to read your own comments first before you make a critical and disrespectful judgement on mine.

    What many don’t understand is that God’s Love is not Saccharine sweet, it also does not accept or agree with error and like Jesus and Paul, will at times be very firm in correction..

    As an example of error, let’s look at the Scripture you shared from the your own modern Translation which has quiet a few of man’s Translation errors as others do too, some have also added and deleted important Scriptures that are confirmed in other Scriptures and also changed Scriptures from their original Translation, which they claimed was written through the leading of The Holy Spirit but He does not change His mind.

    Your Translation – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

    The K.J.V

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture given is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be “Perfect” thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)

    As you can see Caleb they have deleted “Perfect” which we are to all aim for and we can see this Truth confirmed below and in other Scriptures, because all Scripture is confirmed by Scripture, the Old Testament with the New and the New with the Old, it cannot be added too or parts deleted, if done deliberately to deceive, those who do it will be made accountable (Revelation 22:18-19 )

    No Scripture can be understood without God’s wisdom and His empowering by The Holy Spirit, (1Corinthians2:9-16) and what He shares from God will be confirmed in Scripture, it is never a Private Interpretation by man (2Peter 1:19-21)

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made Perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but Perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made Perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore Perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect.

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto Perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    2Timithy 3:17 That the man of God may be Perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    You have also changed your mind Caleb, you agreed both with Ron and I that the Big Bang was not acceptable before according to Scripture, so were you Trusting in The Holy Spirit than or are you now.

    Christian Love Always Caleb, in Christ Jesus – Grannie Annie.

    1. Dear Anne,

      A famous biblical scholar once said: “Scripture without a context is a pretext for proof text”. This is an extremely relevant point in our discussion. In order to understand and dwell in the richness of scriptures it is important to keep not only the historical and literary context from which they were written but also the whole bible in context.

      I think you will agree with me that some of the most common heretical teachings, such as the denial of Christ divinity stem from well-intended people taking scriptural verses out of context and in isolation to proof their theological interpretation. I previously gave you the example of the Mormons, which claim that the Holy Spirit inspires their interpretation of the bible. They refer it as the burning of the boson”. The Jehovah’ witness is another great example of a protestant denomination taking a number of scriptures in an isolation and out of context to proof text their heretical belief.

      A brief example is the protestant objection of the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches referring to their priest as Fathers. They will point out to Matthew 23:9 and say you see: Jesus prohibits calling anyone father. However, such literalistic interpretation not only is taken out of context by ignoring rabbinic teaching traditions of Jesus’s time but also in isolation from other biblical passages.

      “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father… for you have one Father…Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ”.

      Matthew 23:9

      Jesus was objecting the usurpation of the Divine Fatherhood that belongs only to God by the teaching authorities of his time, not a prohibition of the tittle “Father” as many protestant like to argue.

      This is clear when appreciate the long standing tradition of rabbinic hyperbole often used by Jesus and other biblical passages such as in Matthew 5:30:

      “And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell”.

      This become very clear when we take Matthew 23:9 in context with other scriptural passages such as 1 John 2:13-14:

      “I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning…”

      St. John the beloved disciple understood what Jesus meant in Matthew 23:9 other wise under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he would be contradicting Jesus.

      Also Stephen when he said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

      And Stephen said: “Brethren and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham…”

      Acts 7:1-2

      Or when St. Paul very clearly refer to himself as an spiritual father of the early Christians:

      “I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel”.

      I Corinthians 4:14-15

      Noticed how he says “For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel”. This is precisely what our Priest become to us our fathers, not because of their own power or holiness but because they do so in Christ and with Christ! Just as St. Paul said.

      I bring this example to illustrate the importance of looking to scripture not in isolation but as a whole body that contains the whole history of salvation. Scriptures are the love letter that God wrote to his Creation.

      Here is my response to your scriptural challenges. I hope you appreciate my responses by taking the time to read them.

      Purgatory

      The bible is very clear that nothing unclean or impure will enter the Kingdom of Heaven:

      “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life”.

      Revelations 21:27

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as that final purification:
      “…experienced by those “who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified.”

      Paragraph 1030

      That is those who died in grace and friendship with God but still are not perfectly purify will undergo a final purification as to make them ready to enter Heaven. This can happen in an instant or be experience over a period of time.

      St. Pauls talks about a purification of our works:

      “According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.

      If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,the work of each will come to light, for the Day* will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire”.

      1 Corinthians 3:10-15

      Notice the imagery that he uses: “But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire”. The person will be safe but only as through fire. It is a clear imagery of purification that is well articulated in the doctrine of purgatory.

      We also know that sins and their consequences can be forgiven not only in this age but also in the next. That is while we are alive and when we pass on to the next age to come, as Jesus says in the gospel of Mathew:

      “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come”.

      Mathew 12:31-32

      There are multiple references to purgatory in Jesus parables.

      “Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.”

      Matthew 5: 25-26

      It is clear that no one can get out of hell and if you are in heaven you have already been purified so what place does someone “pays the last penny”? That is purgatory.

      Again Jesus uses the same imagery of jail in Mathew 18:23-24:

      “And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

      Matthew 18:34-35

      Sinning has consequences. It not only separates us from the supernatural love of God but also wound us and darkens our intellects. These are consequences that we have to deal even after we are forgiven and most of the time we are still dealing with those consequence up to them moment we will meet our creator. Think about a kid who brakes the a window playing rugby…he father will certainly forgive him if he ask for forgiveness but there still is the matter of the broken window that needs to be fix. Purgatory is not this horrid place of torment but rather the ultimate healing place for our souls on the way to heaven.

      St. Paul was very conscientious of this final purification when he pray for those who died before him:

      “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me; may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus”.

      2 Timothy 1:16-18

      Confessing the sins to a priest:

      Through the Old and New testament God uses men as his instrument of salvation. In John 20:21-23, Jesus commission his apostles as instrument to communicate God’s forgiveness:

      “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

      John 20:21-23

      This is very clear biblical reference of the institution of the sacrament of reconciliation:

      “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:23).

      The authority to forgive sins comes from Christ. It is through Christ, with Christ and in Christ that they have such authority. As St. Paul says:

      “Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for you in the presence of Christ,”

      II Corinthian 2:10

      How beautiful and powerful is to humble yourself, confess your sins and hear those most powerful words of absolution: I absolve you of your sins! The Sacrament of Penance not only gives us the certainty of our forgiveness but also an opportunity for humility and obedience. It is such a witness of Christ mercy and the love that we all share in his body.

      About the Blessed Virgin Mary:

      As Catholics we do not worship Mary. Rather we honor her as she prophesizes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

      “And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.”

      Luke 1:46-48

      The reverence that we give Mary only reflects the monumental importance of Christ in our salvation. We don’t worship Mary. To do so would be a grievous sin. We do ask her and the saints in heaven to pray for us. As Christian we believe that we are called to pray for one another:

      “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”.

      1 Timothy 2:1-15

      St. Paul teaches that neither death or principalities can separate us form God (paraphrasing Romans 8:38) and therefore we know that once in heaven we will be even closer to God and able to intercede and pray for those that are here on earth as John describes in Revelation:

      “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people”.

      Revelation 5:8

      To pray is not to worship. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as introducing a question, request or plea. When I pray to the Saints and Mary I am not praying to dead people, as Jesus said:

      “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”.

      Matthew 22:23

      The Saints in heaven are more alive that we can ever imagine because they are so much closer to God! That is the beauty of the fullness of faith as shared by Catholics, Orthodox, Coptic Christians (who have churches that trace back from the time of the apostles) and the testimony of the very early Christians. If Mary had other children then such evidence would have been recorded in their writings but it is completely absent.

      I understand your perspective on this and I doubt that I can completely clarify the position of the Catholic faith in such a format but I hope this helps a little bit concerning praying to Mary.

      Mary remained a Virgin (as I previously responded to you):

      If you look closer at Mark 6:3 you will noticed that these two brothers James and Joseph who are referred as brothers of Jesus have another Mary as their birth mother. This is very clear in Matthew 27:56 and in Mark 15:40:

      “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children”.

      Matthew 27:55-56

      There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

      Mark 15:40-41

      So, James and Joseph have a different Mary as their mother that was not the Blessed Mother. This is not a question of interpretation but it is clear biblical evidence. Moreover in neither instances thus the inspired author mention that James nor Joseph were the sons of the blessed mother. I hope you can study these passages and pray about it.

      One more note the term brother, adelphos in Greek, has a broader meaning that can include extended family members. The passage in Genesis 13:8 is a great biblical example in which the term brother is used to refer to the relationship between Abraham and Lot, who were not biological brothers but uncle and nephew.

      Mary remain sinless:

      The theology of Mary immaculate conception and sinless life is not only scriptural but also deeply rooted in the study of typology of the Old and New testaments. Scripture tell us that the Ark of the Covenant carried the word of God (Commandments), the Aaron’s rod (symbol of the priesthood) and the manna from the desert. We believe that the Virgin Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant that carried with her the Word of God made Flesh (John 1:1), the High Priest (Hebrew 9:11) and the new Manna from Heaven (John 6:31) our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore it is expected that Marry like the Ark of the Covenant would remain undefiled and pure.

      Conclusions

      Ultimately your own private interpretation of the bible is going to be influenced by your own protestant biases. You interpret scripture from a faith tradition that was founded no more than 500 years ago and in some instance not even a hundred years ago.

      I challenged you in my previous response but you did not answer: who ultimately has the authority to resolve matter of faith and morals? I told you that I go with what Christ said:

      “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector”.

      Matthew 18:15-17

      Cheers,

      Caleb

      PS I just read your last response but I honestly do not have time to go over it with you…may be some other time. Just to say that I quite never change my mind about the Big Bang. The scientific evidence breath perfectly with the scriptural account of creation. What I said was that it disagrees with a strict and literal interpretation of the bible.

      1. Caleb if you haven’t the time to confirm with Scripture what you believe and what you have been taught than I also do not have the time to read your comments , you have not read what I have shared before either, so I will say good bye, you know where to find me.

        As for the Big Bang, I still have your original Post and your responses to Ron and myself and you stated you did not believe in it. Seek the Lord while He may be found and stop Trusting in Secular man.

        Christian Love – Anne.

      2. Dear Anne,

        Please read things in context. You know that I am extremely busy with work and not always have the time that I would like to give you a proper response. Instead of just dismissing it I want it to let you know that I just log in to post my response (took my a long time to write) and didn’t have time to address your latest response but that I was planning to do so as soon as I had time.

        I have always taken the time to read very carefully your posts and responses.

        If I have assume a uncharitable tone please accept my apologies. It was not my intention, for from it. Also, if you can help me by pointing them out to me, it will be very helpful so I know how to communicate better. 🙂

        I hope you take the time to read my response to your scriptural challenges, at the very list you will have a sense that the doctrines of purgatory, the sacrament of reconciliation and the intersession of saints to have a solid scriptural basis. I will read your response and hopefully in time I will let you know what I think. 🙂

        Cheers,

        PS I am still confused about your point on the Big Bang…I think it may have been a misunderstanding on my part or your part. If you can point to me what I said in the original post I would greatly appreciate it.

    2. Dear Anne,

      Sorry I didn’t respond before. I agree 100% with what you are saying:

      “No Scripture can be understood without God’s wisdom and His empowering by The Holy Spirit”

      That is absolutely correct and we both agree on it.

      I specially like Hebrew 6:1-3

      “Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, instruction about baptisms and laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And we shall do this, if only God permits”.

      In one passage you have the successive stages of the Christian journey—repentance, faith, baptism, confirmation, resurrection, and judgment!

      Now in terms about the issues you had with the translation I don’t see how the difference affects what the passage says in the context of our discussion of Sola Scriptura.

      Yes, scriptures are sufficient but no where in the passage does it says that scripture is sole rule of Faith.

      For example:

      A basic diet of water, bread and meat are sufficient to sustain life but that does not mean that a rich diet in fruits and vegetable are other proteins can also sustain life.

      I hope you have time to take an objective view at my scriptural responses.

      Cheers,

      Caleb

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s