“Enough ‘Comfort Catholicism.’ The Church must prepare for persecution” by Msgr Charles Pope

Msgr. Charles Pope

Enough ‘comfort Catholicism.’ The Church must prepare for persecution.

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 23, 2016 (NCRegister) — There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.

It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.

Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.

But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.”

But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.

The Church of the 1970s-1990s was surely well described as the era of “beige Catholicism” (a term coined by Bishop Robert Barron, and not by way of flattery either). Those of us who lived through that era, especially in the 1970s, remember it as a time when many parish signs beckoned people to “come and experience our welcoming and warm Catholic community.” Our most evident desire was to fit in and be thought of as “normal.” Yes, Catholics were just like everyone else; and we had been working very hard to do that, at least since the early 1960s when John F. Kennedy was elected. Catholics had finally “made it” into the mainstream; we had been accepted by the culture.

Church architecture and interiors became minimalist and non-descript. Music and language in the liturgy became folksy. Marian processions, Corpus Christi processions, many things of distinctive and colorful Catholicism all but disappeared. Even our crucifixes disappeared, to be replaced by floating “resurrection Jesus” images. The emphasis was on blending in, speaking to things that made people feel comfortable, and affirming rather than challenging. If there was to be any challenge at all it would be on “safe” exhortations such as not abusing the environment or polluting, not judging or being intolerant, and so forth.

Again, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.

More than ever we need to shift toward being distinctive from the culture we have refused to critique and call to reform. More than ever our faith needs to shine brightly and clearly in our churches and communities.

And if a world now accustomed to great darkness calls our light harsh, so be it. If our light does not shine, there is no light at all. Our Catholic faith is the sole and last hope for this world. It has always been so.

Simply put, it is time for clergy to prepare themselves and God’s people for sacrifice. Seeking to compromise with this culture is now unthinkable. Our only recourse is to seek to lance the boils. And the culture will cry foul. And we who do the lancing will be made increasingly to suffer. But we have to be willing to embrace and endure such suffering in increasing ways in the months and years ahead.

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well. We must study our faith and be more committed than ever. We must also know our enemy and his tactics, and we must be prepared to suffer — and even to lose our life.

We have to retool and provide every opportunity to get clear about our faith. Sermons and other teachable moments must sound a clear call to personal conversion and to battle for souls and to stop treating lightly the sinful disregard for God’s law in our families and communities.

Our bishops especially need to shift into another mode entirely. Collectively and currently they seem more interested in protecting what little we have left, than summoning the Catholic people to battle. Priests too seem loath to summon people to anything challenging or uncomfortable. The image of Peter trying to keep Christ from the Cross comes to mind. Peter said, “This shall never be for you!” And the Lord severely rebuked him saying that he was thinking as man, not God, and was in the service of Satan.

And what of us? The Church cannot even seem to ask people to attend Mass on a Holy Day if it is on a Monday or a Saturday. It is apparently too much to ask people to come to Mass two days in a row. If that be the case, who will summon them to withstand and vigorously protest unjust and evil laws, even if it means financial penalties or even jail? And blood martyrdom? It hardly seems likely that most clergy today would counsel readiness for such a thing or even be close to being ready ourselves. Bishops or priests who do so can expect to be called reckless and imprudent in shy and soft times like these. The cry will surely go up, “It is not yet the time for such things!”

But if not now, when?

Scripture says, If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? (1 Cor. 14:8). It cannot simply be priests who must make this call. Parents and other leaders need to sound it as well. Yes, parents need to prepare their children for more than a career. They need now to prepare them for difficult days ahead — days that will include persecution and even martyrdom if they decide to follow Christ unambiguously.

Am I wrong? I sure hope so. But we can no longer, as a Church, sit idly by and hope things just magically get better. As a culture, and even in segments of the Church, we have sown the wind, and now we are reaping the whirlwind.

Many, these days, like to criticize the Church of the past for any number of failings.But I wonder how the future members of the Church will remember the Church in our times. Columnist Joseph Sobran, writing over 15 years ago, wondered the same thing and wrote:

[Catholics of the future] certainly won’t accuse us of excessive zeal. They might be shocked by our lukewarmness, our cowardice masquerading as tolerance, our laxity, our willingness to countenance heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy, and immorality, even within the Church itself, our eagerness to ingratiate ourselves with the secular world … (Subtracting Christianity, p. 268)

Yes, I too wonder. From St. Peter to Constantine there were 33 Popes. Thirty of them were martyred and two died in exile. Countless clergy and lay people too were martyred. It is hard to imagine the Church in the decadent West being willing to suffer so. Surely our brethren in many less affluent parts of the world are dying in large numbers. But I wonder: After all these years of “comfort Catholicism,” would the average American parishioner or clergyman be willing or able to endure such loss?

It is time, past time, to retool. It is time to prepare for persecutions that will get bolder by the month and year. The dark movements that marched in under the banners of tolerance never meant it. And having increasingly gained power, they are seeking to criminalize anyone who resists their vision. No tolerance for us. Religious liberty is eroding, and compulsory compliance is already here. The federal courts increasingly shift to militantly secular and activist judges who legislate from the bench.

When will we as a Church finally say to the bureaucrats who demand we comply with evil laws: “We will not comply. If you fine us we will not pay. If you seek to confiscate our buildings, we will turn maximum publicity against you, but we still will not comply. If you arrest us, off to jail we go! But we will simply not comply with evil laws or cooperate with evil.”

Right now, most of us can barely imagine our clergy standing so firm. Quiet compromises and jargon-filled “solutions” will be a grave temptation to a Church ill-prepared for persecution.

Call me alarmist or call me idealist, but I hope we find our spine before it is too late.It is usually a faithful remnant that saves the day in the Biblical narrative. I pray only for the strength to be in that faithful remnant. Will you join me too? Let’s pray and start retooling now. Only our unambiguous faith can save us or anyone we love. Pray for strong and courageous faith. END QUOTES

Detachment: Allowing God to be all that we need. Reblogged from Jeannie Ewing

 

Detachment Letting God Be All We Need

JEANNIE EWING

In a culture that presents detachment as a distant type of apathy or indifference, the word detachment itself procures distaste and disdain for those who are genuinely seeking to deepen their interior lives.  Yet detachment can be holy.  We hear the word in terms of surrender or abandonment, as in “surrender to God’s will” or “abandonment to Divine Providence,” respectively.  How can one discern the difference between worldly and holy detachment?

Secular detachment is derived from a sense of selfishness.  The person who withdraws from the world does so out of a motive of fear, anxiety, ambivalence, and anger, among many other egocentric reasons.  With the onslaught of social media and the bombardment of selfies or self-aggrandizement in varying forms on the internet, it’s quite common for many of us to become swept away with a sense of emotional and spiritual distance that result in lack of charity toward neighbor and enemy alike.  This sort of detachment leads us inward in a self-protective sense, so that we begin (or continue) to build invisible barriers around our hearts that prevent us from risking vulnerability.

Vulnerability, however, is required in order for love to flourish.  When we remain in the womb of our comfort zones, we neglect to encounter the beauty of birth.  This birth, of course, is a metaphor for every new beginning that occurs when we risk losing ourselves in order to be filled with God’s very presence.  Loss, as we know, is not something we desire.  In fact, it would seem preferable to remain hidden rather than extend ourselves to those in need – a hurting neighbor, a lonely family member, a struggling friend.

Holy detachment, by its very nature, involves a necessary and often painful emptying of self.  Usually, when a soul is on the cusp of being deepened in virtue, God beckons it to detachment. Rather than the selfish detachment that bears fruit of vice, this type of detachment is an opportunity for renewal, for growth, for becoming more by having lessin our lives – fewer distractions, less emotional or mental clutter, fewer suffocating or toxic relationships that drain and damage our integrity.

Even healthy relationships can be hindrances to our spiritual growth, not because they exist, but rather in how we view or treat them.  When we find ourselves longing for human companionship over God’s companionship; when we desire affirmation and acknowledgment from our comrades; when we hope to be included among our friends at social gatherings or in conversations, we are exhibiting a particular level of insecurity that masquerades as authenticity.

God deserves to be the King of our hearts. When we fill our lives, thoughts, and days with busyness and details – even good ones – we deprive God from what is due Him; that is to say, we deny God by filling our hearts with everything,

except Him.  Only when we reveal a vacancy, a nothingness, or an empty space can God fill us with Himself. In order for this to occur, a painful pruning and purgation is often necessary, because we don’t relinquish our attachments willingly or easily. Yet, when we do surrender all to God, including our loneliness or desire for admiration among our colleagues, we begin to take the first step toward holy detachment.

While earthly detachment results in trepidation and ultimately a lack of charity, holy detachment always increases our capacity to love.  When there is less of self, there is room for expansion of God, who is Love.  Therefore, love exponentially multiplies within us when we allow God to draw us nearer to Him by way of detaching from earthly and fleshly desires.

Even good things and people can draw us away from God, and the enemy knows this, which is why we must remain vigilant and cautious of our daily habits and the fruit those habits produce.  To begin in advancing toward a true abandonment to God’s providence, we must ask ourselves, “Is this behavior (thought, attitude, habit) resulting in God’s glory or my own?”  With the answer, we will discover much by way of what constitutes secular, versus Godly, detachment.

The pining for human companionship, of course, is but a reflection of our true longing for God.  Since we cannot touch God in the same way we embrace our loved ones, we mistake the pure desire for God as a need for friendship or some type of emotional, intellectual, or spiritual affinity (or perhaps a combination therein).  Lest we be duped, however, we must allow God to do with us as He wishes, even and especially when that means we are annihilated of all that has become familiar and comfortable or comforting to us.

An example of this occurred to me on the Feast of the Assumption in 2014.  I attended Mass solo, as Ben and the girls decided on a Mass more fitting for small children.  The opportunity to worship alone granted me the cognitive space I needed to clearly identify a particular gnawing at my heart that had been present for several weeks.  The way the Holy Spirit operates within me is usually by way of a “holy restlessness,” or a specific stirring in my heart that is akin to a gentle tapping so that God can get my attention.

During Mass, I began to sense that God was asking me to detach from our parish home and all of the many friends we had grown close to over the past six years.  As I looked around and saw mostly familiar faces, I became keenly aware that I needed to distance myself from them in order to discover what God was asking of me.  This did not, however, mean that I became indifferent toward them.  On the contrary, I loved them more, but it was only because I didn’t need them anymore.

When I realized how greatly I relied on my friends to provide conversation, consolation, affirmation, and joy to my life, it was apparent that I possessed an unhealthy, or unholy, attachment to them.  I needed them in order to fill the void in my heart that comprised loneliness, rejection, fear, and the wounds of betrayal.  Yet, when God revealed to me that I must detach in the sense of loving, rather than using, my friends, I knew it was one step toward the particular level of detachment toward which He was calling me.

Detachment, like most aspects of interior advancement, usually occurs little by little, step by step, day by day.  Of course, the essential goal is that we become radically and entirely detached from all that is not God or of God, but, for most of us, this will take a lifetime of ups and downs, progression and regression.  The times we forge ahead in making strides toward authentic detachment are due to extraordinary grace, and the moments we become discouraged for the struggles we encounter are opportunities for us to grow in humility by way of humiliation.

All in all, we must realize our dependence on God to do all good things, and instead of needing people or material possessions, we can transform our inordinate desires to those of Heaven.  When God becomes all we need, only then will we discover our ability to love Him and those He placed in our lives – freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. END QUOTES

 

Why Should a Christian Consider Catholicism by Patrick Miron

Why Should a Christian Consider Catholicism? ….    Or Should they?

By Patrick Miron

 Let’s at least attempt to join the two questions into one.

How many true God’s are their? Notice please I did not ask how many true “gods” are their; but “God’s”. Meaning a Supreme Deity.

“God” defined by the Catholic Dictionary:

GOD. The one absolutely and infinitely perfect spirit who is the Creator of all. In the definition of the First Vatican Council, fifteen internal attributes of God are affirmed, besides his role as Creator of http://www.equip.org/article/the-attributes-of-god-what-are-the-attributes-of-god/ the universe: “The holy, Catholic, apostolic Roman Church believes and professes that there is one true, living God, the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth. He is almighty, eternal, beyond measure, incomprehensible, and infinite in intellect, will and in every perfection. Since He is one unique spiritual substance, entirely simple and unchangeable, He must be declared really and essentially distinct from the world, perfectly happy in Himself and by his very nature, and inexpressibly exalted over all things that exist or can be conceived other than Himself” (Denzinger 3001).

Reflecting on the nature of God, theology has variously identified what may be called his metaphysical essence, i.e., what is God. It is commonly said to be his self-subsistence. God is Being Itself. In God essence and existence coincide. He is the Being who cannot not exist. God alone must be. All other beings exist only because of the will of God  END QUOTE: Father John A Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary

The Attributes of God: What Are the Attributes of God?

http://www.equip.org/article/the-attributes-of-god-what-are-the-attributes-of-god/

  1. SELF-EXISTENT: God has no cause; He does not depend on anything for his continued existence.
  2. I AM WHO I AM (Ex. 3:14; see John 8:58) {singular}
  3. Life in Himself (John 5:26)
  4. First and Last, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End; as the Beginning, God has no cause (Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 1:8, 17; 2:8; 3:14; 21:6; 22:13)
  5. No God before or after Yahweh (Isa. 43:10)
  6. TRANSCENDENT: God is entirely distinct from the universe, as the carpenter is distinct from the bench; excluding pantheism (God in all) and animism (everything is a god).
  7. Separate from the world (Isa. 66:1-2; Acts 17:24)
  8. Contrasted with the world (Psa. 102:25-27; I John 2:15-17)
  9. Implied by doctrine of creation (Gen. 1:1; Isa. 42:5)
  10. IMMANENT: Though transcendent, God is present with and in the world; excluding deism (God is out there but not here).
  11. God is near, so He can be known (Deut. 4:7; Jer. 23:23; Acts 17:27)
  12. Bound up with God’s omnipresence (Psa. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:24; Acts 17:28)
  13. IMMUTABLE: God is perfect in that He never changes nor can He change with respect to His being, attributes, purpose, or promises; excluding process theology, Mormon doctrine of eternal progression.
  14. Unchangeable (Psa. 102:26-27; Isa. 51:6; Mal. 3:6; Rom. 1:23; Heb. 1:11-12; James 1:17; Heb. 13:8)
  15. God’s relations with changing men spoken of as God changing (Ex. 32:9-14; Psa. 18:25-27)
  16. ETERNAL: God is perfect in that He transcends all time and temporal limitations, and is thus infinite with respect to time.
  17. Duration through endless ages (Ps. 90:2; 93:2; 102:12; Eph. 3:21)
  18. Unlimited by time (Psa. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8)
  19. Creator of the ages ( i.e., of time itself; Heb. 1:2; 11:3)
  20. Implied by doctrines of transcendence, self-existence, and immutability
  21. OMNIPRESENT: God is perfect in that He transcends all space and spatial limitations, and is thus infinite with respect to space, with His whole Being filling every part of the universe and being present everywhere (not diffused through the universe, but present at each point in His fullness).
  22. The universe cannot contain God (1 Kings 8:27; Isa. 66:1; Acts 7:48-49)
  23. Present everywhere (Psa. 139:7-10; Acts 17:28; of Christ, Matt. 18:20; 28:20)
  24. Fills all things (Jer. 23:23-24; of Christ, Eph. 1:23; 4:10; Col. 3:11)
  25. Implied by doctrine of transcendence
  26. OMNIPOTENT: God is perfect in that He can do all things consistent with the perfection of His being. God cannot do the self-contradictory (e.g., make a rock He cannot lift), nor can He do that which is contrary to His perfect nature (e.g., He cannot change, He cannot lie, etc.).
  27. Nothing too difficult (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17, 27; Zech. 8:6; Matt. 3:9)
  28. All things possible (Job 42:2; Psa. 115:3; Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; 18:27; Eph. 1:11)
  29. God cannot lie, be tempted, deny Himself, etc. (2 Tim. 2:13; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18; James 1:13)
  30. OMNISCIENT: God is perfect in that He knows all things, including events before they happen.
  31. Perfect in knowledge, Job 37:16
  32. Knows the heart (1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Chr. 28:9, 17; Psa. 139:1-4; Jer. 17:10a)
  33. Knows all events to come (Isa. 41:22-23; 42:9; 44:7)
  34. INCORPOREAL: God has no body or parts, and is immaterial, being a simple and infinite being of spirit; excluding the Mormon doctrine of God as an exalted man.
  35. God is spirit (John 4:24)
  36. God is not a man (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29)
  37. Implied by doctrines of self-existence, transcendence, omnipresence, and creation.
  38. ONE: God is a perfectly unique and simple being, existing as one infinite Being called God. There is therefore only one God, who is called Yahweh in the Old Testament, and who reveals Himself in the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the New Testament; thus excluding polytheism, tritheism (belief in three gods), and subordinationism (in which Christ is a lesser god subordinate to the Almighty God).
  39. Only one God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5-7, 21-22; Zech. 14:9; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:5-6; 1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19)
  40. All other “gods” are only “so-called,” (1 Cor. 8:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:4)
  41. Moses was “as God,” not God or divine (Ex. 4:16; 7:1)
  42. Satan, idols, and the belly are all false gods (Psa. 96:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:20; 2 Cor. 4:4; Phil. 3:19)
  43. Wicked judges called “gods” in irony, not to describe nature (Psa. 82:1, 6; John 10:34-36)
  44. Yahweh is Elohim (Gen. 2:4; Deut. 4:35, 39; Psa. 100:3 [thus excluding the view of Mormonism that Jehovah and Elohim are distinct beings])
  45. Implied by the doctrines of self-existence, transcendence, and omnipotence
  46. CREATOR: God is the One through whom all things have come into existence; by His unbounded power and knowledge He created finite existence ex nihilo and formed the universe as it now is.
  47. Created all things (Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; 102:25; John 1:3; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:2; 11:3)
  48. Made all things by Himself (Isa. 44:24)
  49. Implied by doctrine of self-existence
  50. PERSONAL: God, as the author of personhood in the created universe, cannot be less than personal Himself; thus He experiences relationships with other persons, or self-conscious beings. Note that God may be more than personal, indeed, His infinite nature suggests that He must be.
  51. Scripture everywhere assumes the personhood of God in the use of personal pronouns, in recording Him speaking and acting willfully, etc. (e.g., Gen. 1:3, 26; Heb. 1:1-2; etc.)
  52. God gives Himself a name (Yahweh), and says “I am” (Exod. 3:14)
  53. Implied by doctrine of creation
  54. INCOMPREHENSIBLE: God is incomprehensible, not in the sense that the concept of God is unintelligible, but in the sense that God cannot be fully and directly known by finite creatures, because of His uniqueness and His infinitude.
  55. None like God (Ex. 8:10; 9:14; 15:11; 2 Sam. 7:22; 1 Chr. 17:20; Psa. 86:8; 1 Kgs. 8:23; Isa. 40:18, 25; 44:7; 56:5, 9; Jer. 10:6-7; Micah 7:18)
  56. Analogical language necessary to describe God (Ezek. 1:26-28; Rev. 1:13-16)
  57. God cannot be comprehended as He really is (1 Cor. 8:2-3)
  58. God can only be known as the Son reveals Him (John 1:18; Matt. 11:25-27)
  59. MORALLY PERFECT: {GOOD} The following are the moral attributes of God; they are listed here together because God’s moral nature is perfectly unified, with no tension between His wrath and His love, for example.
  60. GOOD: God is morally excellent, and does only good (Gen. 1:31; Deut. 8:16; Psa. 107:8; 118:1; Nahum 1:7; Mark 10:18; Rom. 8:28)
  61. HOLY: God is morally transcendent, utterly separated from all evil, and perfectly pure (Ex. 3:5; Lev. 19:2; Psa. 5:4-6; 99:5; Isa. 6:3; 8:13; Hab. 1:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:14-19)
  62. RIGHTEOUS: God is perfectly moral in all that He does, doing everything right ( Isa. 45:21; Zeph. 3:5; Rom. 3:26)
  63. TRUE: God is perfectly truthful, and cannot lie (John 17:17; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18)
  64. LOVING: God’s moral character is pure love, sacrificial giving for the true benefit of another (Deut. 7:7-8; Jer. 31:3; John 3:16; Heb. 12:6)
  65. WRATHFUL: God’s moral perfection requires Him to show displeasure against anything which seeks to act contrary to its moral purpose, to judge that which rebels against His authority as Creator and Lord (Psa. 103:8-9; Rom. 2:5; 11:22; Heb. 10:31) END QUOTES

Notable in the above is #10…. “GOD IS ONE “

From that objective reality, we can, and we should be able to comprehend that “One God”, can have only one set of faith beliefs. Nothing else is logical or even exist as a possibility.

So because there is but one true God; who objectively and logically can and does have just one set of Faith beliefs, and because today’s Catholic Church both historically & biblically, is that One True Chuech;

[1] http://www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-church-origin.html

[2] http://www.catholic.com/blog/jon-sorensen/the-evidence-is-on-our-side

[3] http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/common-misconceptions/back-to-the-beginning-a-brief-introduction-to-the-ancient-catholic-church.html

[4] http://shoebat.com/2014/09/05/new-archaeological-discovery-proves-catholic-church/

Having now established a secular historical record of the Early Catholic Church, let’s look briefly at the biblical record by first checking the dates of authorship of the New Testament:

The n order By Most Likely Date
Free Beginning Home

The Four Gospels:

https://carm.org/when-were-gospels-written-and-by-whom

Matthew: The earliest quotation of Matthew is found in Ignatius who died around A.D. 115 A.D. Therefore, Matthew was in circulation well before Ignatius came on the scene.  The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 – 140.  But Ignatius died around A.D. 115, and he quoted Matthew.  Therefore Matthew had to be written before he died.  Nevertheless, it is generally believed that Matthew was written before A.D. 70 and as early as A.D. 50.

Mark: Mark was not an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ life.  He was a disciple of Peter and undoubtedly it was Peter who informed Mark of the life of Christ and guided him in writing the Gospel known by his name.  “Papias claimed that Mark, the Evangelist, who had never heard Christ, was the interpreter of Peter, and that he carefully gave an account of everything he remembered from the preaching of Peter.”7 Generally, Mark is said to be the earliest gospel with an authorship of between A.D. 55 to A.D. 70

Luke: As far as dating the gospel goes, Luke was written before the book of Acts and Acts does not mention “Nero’s persecution of the Christians in A.D. 64 or the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65).” Therefore, we can conclude that Luke was written before A.D. 62.   “Luke’s Gospel comes (Acts 1:1) before the Acts.  The date of Acts is still in dispute, but the early date (about A.D. 63) is gaining support constantly.

John: The writer of the gospel of John was obviously an eyewitness of the events of Christ’s life since he speaks from a perspective of having been there during many of the events of Jesus’ ministry and displays a good knowledge of Israeli geography and customs.

The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John’s gospel dated in the year 135 contains portions of John 18, verses 31-33, 37-38.  This fragment was found in Egypt, and a considerable amount of time is needed for the circulation of the gospel before it reached Egypt.  It is the last of the gospels and appears to have been written in the 80’s to 90’s. End Quotes from above site

The following chart provides the dates when the New Testament books were written. In the cases in which historians disagree on the date, we have identified the prominent historians who support the earliest and lastest possible dates.

http://www.freebeginning.com/new_testament_dates/

Related topics:
Our sources
When were the New Testament writtings accepted as scripture?
Did Eusibius rewrite the New Testament?

N.T. Book Author Earliest Latest Most Likely
Galatians Apostle Paul A.D. 48 A.D. 50 A.D. 48
1 Thessalonians Apostle Paul A.D. 50 A.D. 52 A.D. 51
2 Thessalonians Apostle Paul A.D. 50 A.D. 52 A.D. 51
Mark Mark A.D. 45
John Wenham / John A. T. Robinson
A.D. 60
A. Harnack
A.D. 48-55
1 Corinthians Apostle Paul A.D. 55 A.D. 55 A.D. 55
2 Corinthians Apostle Paul A.D. 56 A.D. 56 A.D. 56
Romans Apostle Paul A.D. 57 A.D. 57 A.D. 57
James James
(half-brother of Jesus)
A.D. 38 A.D. 62 A.D. 50-60
Luke Luke A.D. 57-62 A.D. 57-62 A.D. 57-62
Ephesians Apostle Paul A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62
Philippians Apostle Paul A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62
Colossians Apostle Paul A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62
Philemon Apostle Paul A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62 A.D. 60-62
Acts Luke A.D. 62-63 A.D. 62-63 A.D. 62-63
Titus Apostle Paul A.D. 62 A.D. 63 A.D. 63
1 Timothy Apostle Paul A.D. 62 A.D. 64 A.D. 63
2 Timothy Apostle Paul A.D. 64 A.D. 64 A.D. 64
1 Peter Apostle Peter A.D. 63 A.D. 68 A.D. 64-67
2 Peter Apostle Peter A.D. 64 A.D. 68 A.D. 65-68
Hebrews Unknown A.D. 40 A.D. 69 A.D. 50-68
Matthew Apostle Matthew A.D. 40
John Wenham / John A. T. Robinson
A.D. 110
Paul Minear
A.D. 65-70
Jude Jude
(half-brother of Jesus)
A.D. 60 A.D. 85 A.D. 65-80
John Apostle John A.D. 60’s
F. Lamar Cribbs
A.D. 90’s A.D. 90’s
1 John Apostle John Unknown A.D. 98 A.D. 90’s
2 John Apostle John Unknown A.D. 98 A.D 90’s
3 John Apostle John Unknown A.D. 98 A.D. 90’s
Revelation Apostle John A.D. 68 A.D. 97 A.D. 95-97

Please take careful note of the fact that the entire New Testament is believed to have been authored by the end of the 1st Century, all though I have seen a view that it may have extended into the VERY early second century.

One would think that this objective, even scientific evidence would quell the reports from various protestant elements that deny the existence of the Catholic Church until sometime in the 3td century. I assume that they hold to Constantine being somehow the founder of today’s Catholic Church. The “Edict of Milan” in 313 AD by Constantine granted religious freedom effected ALL faiths, pagan and Catholic.

“Edict of Milan, a proclamation that permanently established religious toleration for Christianity within the Roman Empire. It was the outcome of a political agreement concluded in Milan between the Roman emperors Constantine I and Licinius in February 313. The proclamation, made for the East by Licinius in June 313, granted all persons freedom to worship whatever deity they pleased, assured Christians of legal rights (including the right to organize churches), and directed the prompt return to Christians of confiscated property. Previous edicts of toleration had been as short-lived as the regimes that sanctioned them, but this time the edict effectively established religious toleration.”  …Because at this point in history the only “Christians” were in fact, “Catholics,” as no other { except for small bands of heretical sects which came and disappeared} forms of Christianity were yet in existence.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Edict-of-Milan   …..

By virtue of the fact that the Edict granted tolerance to practice all existing faiths, it is historically provable that the Catholic Church was already in existence, and that it was sufficiently wide spread as to merit inclusion.  Indeed the terms “Christian & Catholics” were synonymous. Further the historical dates of Authorship of the New Testament preclude any nonsensical  agenda driven idea’s as being worthy of any serious merit, of a non-existent Roman Catholic Church until Constantine.

The Bible too affirms the existence of “a church” {singularly tied together by One common set of faith beliefs.} Objectively whenever the bible uses the term “CHURCH” it is referencing directly and exclusively today’s Catholic Church; no other “church” and no other form of Christianity would even exist until 1054 AD, and the advent of the “Great Eastern Schism” who choose to leave the Then Roman Catholic Church. http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-28/1054-east-west-schism.html

In instituting the RCC, Jesus was clear. Precise and unerring:

Matthew 16: 13-19

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare’a Philip’pi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” [14] And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli’jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” [15] He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” [16] Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [17] And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.[18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,  {singular} and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Secondly, we must note that it is also a logical and moral impossibility to separate the term “church”. From the Faith beliefs of that body. This reality is evident in two ways today:

  1. Today’s Catholic Church, after 2,000 years still is joined by One set of common Faith-beliefs.
  2. While the Protestant churches, after about 500 years {plural] are separated by an ever-growing multiplicity of differing sets of “faith-beliefs,” and thus, truly different churches.

Acts.2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts.19: 23 About that time there arose no little stir concerning the Way

Acts.24:14 But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the law or written in the prophets

Acts 24:14 {Douay Bible}[14] But this I confess to thee, that according to the way, which they call a heresy, so do I serve the Father and my God, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets

The simple truth is that nowhere in the bible, in its Old or its New Testament can one even a single shred of evidence where God desired. or even in any manner tolerated competing “faith-beliefs.” …. Such acts always’ brought reprisals.

In summary:

While evidence exist in secular history as well as the bible itself for today’s Catholic Church being the One True Faith and Church desired, and instituted by C-hrist Himself; there is no evidence that God desired, condoned or commanded the Protestant reformation. And that dear friends is why non-Catholic Christians ought to prayerfully and carefully consider Catholicism.

Only in the Catholic Church is the fullness of Christ One Faith available

Only in Catholicism {and the Eastern Orthodox churches} can one actually come “face to face” with Christ in the Eucharist

Only In the CC and Orthodox churches can one discover Known forgiveness of Sins, GOD”S Way. John 20:19-23  {the Seven Sacraments}

Only in the CC can one uncover and come to actually rightly understand the bible, as it is a Catholic book.

This is worth praying about, Catholicism rightly and fully practiced is the shortest route to heaven. AMEN!

God Bless you,

Patrick

Do you hold that everyone will go to heaven? by Dr. D’Ambrosiso {reblogged}

Marcellino D’Ambrosio (Dr. Italy)

This post is also available in: Spanish

Jesus’ call to enter through the narrow door seems to conflict with the idea that God wants all to be saved, that the universal, Catholic Church means “here comes everybody.”  But a deeper look resolves the inconsistency.

Start small, finish big. That seems to be God’s motto. He begins salvation history with two people from what is now Iraq. When planning to raise a really big family, why start with an elderly couple who’ve never been able to have kids? But this is precisely what God does. He turns the sterile Abram and Sarai into Abraham and Sarah, ancestors of a worldwide family which still celebrates their memory nearly 4,000 years later.

In God’s plan, this family was to turn into a mighty nation. An unlikely candidate for greatness, this “nation” was birthed out of a rag-tag band of Abraham’s descendants who’d been slaves for hundreds of years. A poet once wrote “how odd of God to choose the Jews.” But after 40 years of desert camping, they entered their promised land and eventually became a mighty kingdom.

But God had bigger plans still. This nation was not to hoard the treasure, looking down their noses at the rest of the world. That was the Pharisees’ mistake. No, they were to be a priestly people destined to bring salvation to all. This salvation was to come once again from the least likely of places. Galilee? What good could come from a land of hillbillies and fisherman? They spoke with an accent so thick that you could cut it with a knife (see Mat 26:73).

Do you see a pattern here?

The best and brightest, the biggest and the strongest– like Pharaoh, Goliath, and Caesar – these are not chosen. Rather, it’s the least likely to succeed, the little, ordinary people. That way, no one can take credit and no one can lose heart. No one is qualified and no one is disqualified. Even the all-stars can get in on it if they’ll step off the pedestal and humble themselves before God.

So all are called to be saved and find their place among God’s people, the Church. The only One who could earn salvation has already done so, and shared it with all of us as a free, undeserved gift. That’s what the word “Catholic” means – grace and membership are unrestricted, universal, for the “whole” world rather than some exclusive, elite club.

That means everybody is going to heaven, right? I mean, how could a loving, large-minded God send anyone to hell?

He doesn’t. God’s heart is large but as this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 13:22-30) points out, the door to heaven is narrow. Jesus is that door. No one comes to the Father except through Him. The map to the door is widely published. The Father issues regular, personal invitations. But people still need to accept the invitation and walk through the door.

Apparently many choose not to.

Some won’t enter the door because they’ve been offended, even scandalized by one of the doormen. Others won’t enter because they don’t accept that only this door was the right one. Some are really busy and put it off till things settle down.

There are many reasons. But there comes a moment when the journey is over and the door closes and locks. Wherever you stand at this moment is where you’ll stand forever.

That fact that you were baptized Catholic is no guarantee that you are now on the inside. Neither is the fact that you once accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

But we went to Mass every Sunday (“ate and drank in your company”). But we went to Wed night prayer meeting and bible study (“you taught in our streets”).

Actions speak louder than words. Your words may “Lord, Lord” (Matt. 7:21) and your lips may sing hymns every Sunday. But what does the “body language” of your actions say? What side of the door you stand on is not a choice that is made once, either on the day you confess Christ or the day you are baptized. It is a choice that must be made every day up till that last and final day.

You can’t know when that day will be. Here’s the question you need to be concerned with–where do you stand right now?

This post on the Lord Jesus Christ as the narrow door to the universal Catholic Church is offered as a reflection on the Scripture readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary time, cycle C (Isaiah 66; Psalm 117; Hebrew 12; Luke 13:22ff).

Apostolic Succession in the bible + by Patrick Miron

APOLOSTOLIC SUCCESSION [PROOF OF]

 Collected and assembled by

Patrick Miron

 Can be proven four way’s Heb.3: 1 Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.”

 Logic: A.S. exist and has existed for some 2,000 years. There must be a cause

  1. Secular History: http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=List_of_Popes Shows both the names and the dates of Office

 Tradition: From the Creation of Adam on God who is “unchanging” [Mal.3: 6] “”For I the LORD do not change; ”… has consistently chosen MEN to head his Chosen Peoples [John.15: 16] “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” From Adam, to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, the Judges, The Kings like David and Solomon, the Prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus Himself, who personally choose Peter and the Apostles.

  1. The Bible. Where it is prudent at ask 1. WHY? And 2. How?

The “WHY” is hinted at in God’s Practice and Tradition. Jesus who too is a Perfect God [unable to error] Deut.32: 4 “The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Also 2nd.Sam.22:31 out of absolute necessity knowing that He would soon suffer, die, Rise and Ascend back to heaven, and HAD to have  someone in  place to administer His New Covenant, for which He Died. His New Faith and New Church HAD to have a Leader in order to continue. That Leader was Peter: [Mt. 16:15-19] to whom Christ entrusted everything [vrs. 18-19] that He Planned to accomplish by becoming Incarnate man. [Except for humanities redemption] The evidence of this is summed up in Mt. 28:16-20.. “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” THIS COULD NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE LIFE SPANS OF THE APOSTLES ALONE.

The “HOW” John.14: 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. The H.S. is promised “Forever” Jn.14:15-17, and fulfilled in Jn. 20:21-22. Jesus then Transfers His Own Authority and His own Godly Powers to the Apostles. [Jn.17:15-19; v.18 and Jn.20:21] “As the father has sent ME; so too I [God] SEND YOU”..  Matt.10: 1-4, 8 “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. ..The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, ..“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay” & Jn.20-21-23 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.”

Proof: Acts 1: 15, 20, 23-24 “In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, For it is written in the book of Psalms, `Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and `His office let another take.’ And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab’bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi’as. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen”

Jesus Himself picks Paul as an Apostle: Acts 9:15-16 “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

1Tim.3: 1 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task.” THIS ENTIRE SHORT CHAPTER SPEAKS OF SUCCESSION vs.13-14 “Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.”

Acts.15: 22, 25 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsab’bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,”

God Bless you

 

Patrick

 

What if Catholics are right by K. Albert Little {reblogged}

 

What If Catholics Are Right?

Photo Credit: XTNa.

What if the claims of the Catholic Church are true?

What if Catholics are right?

What would you do?

What if you were humming along in your faith journey—a happy Evangelical Christian—when a warm encounter with a nun, a friar, or a Catholic priest suddenly stopped you in your tracks?

What if their genuine faith and humility was the sudden jolt your soul needed to stop and wonder about what made Catholics tick?

And what if you dug a little deeper?

What if something you read in passing, about the beauty of the human person—from conception to natural death—made you stop and consider your own views; consider what your own denomination says about end-of-life care.

Is it enough?

Or what if you were afforded some random opportunity to sit in on a Catholic Mass sung by sweet old religious sisters, rosaries in hand, and you were struck by the unspeakable beauty of the thing.

And what if you returned the next day? And the day after that?

Because, to be fair, Catholic Church makes some pretty outrageous claims.

The Church claims that the Eucharist—what I used to call “Communion” as an Evangelical—is meant to be the actual body, soul, and divinity of Christ.

The Church claims that we can, and should, pray to the dead; that there is power in their prayers.

The Church claims an unbroken chain of authority right back to the apostles, appointed by Jesus; a comprehensive theological framework; the ability to impart grace and forgive sins through confession; and that Mary, the Mother of God, is legitimately at work in the world.

To my formerly evangelical ears these things would’ve sounded nuts.

But what if the Catholic Church is right?

These are, after all, claims of a thousand plus years old.

What if they’re true?

Is it enough to soldier on; to grow where we’re planted?

Or should we, like Zacchaeus, invite Jesus to come into our home tonight and to see what happens?

To pray, and ask, and seek?

What if Catholics are right?

What if there’s more grace out there than you imagined as an Evangelical? The ability to really consume our Lord in the Eucharist? To truly be able to feel forgiveness for sins wiped away? To live and love in communion of Christians who lived, died, and loved God from the very beginning of time?

Wouldn’t you want to know more about that?

Ultimately, I like to think that if there’s even the hair’s chance that the ancient claims of the Catholic Church are true, it’s something worth investigating.

That there is more to the Christian faith than belied by the current evangelical ecosystem might be shocking to many evangelicals; that 2 million young Catholics turned out in the middle of the night to worship Jesus may be even more shocking still.

Catholicism is huge, and beautiful.

But, that these youth, and billions more, atest to the beauty and truth of the Catholic Church is something not to be taken too lightly.

It’s something, in the least, to consider.

What if Catholics are right?

“Give ALL of your cares and worries to God” … reblogged from “A Safe Harbor in Jesus”

 

Give all your Worries and Cares to God!

by Jesus is a safe harbor

I know that there are days that many of you feel many things, but peaceful certainly isn’t one of them. You have a tendency to think the circumstances in your life should dictate the peace you feel. I’ve come to understand God cares for us so much and everything that concerns us, or rattles our day. We can lay every un-nerving part of it at his feet. In releasing it into God’s hands, it becomes His and no longer ours to carry. Our focus then shifts, from all of the problems to our God. Have a wonderful day as you cast all your worries to God. Love you all in Christ.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Even though the circumstances are still surrounding you but so is His strength. Your perspective of the mountain changes when you realize, you are not climbing it alone. Your mind becomes fixed on God, and He takes you to the top of, what seemed, an un-reachable mountain top and showers you with His perfect peace all along the way.

God does not desire for you to carry such a heavy load. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He wants us to hand it all over to Him. He desires to fill you with joy and happiness. When you follow the paths that He lays out you can find it. But when you insist on carrying it yourself, you lose that joy and happiness and that peace that passes all understanding.

The joy and peace that Jesus gives does not rely on our past or our future, it is available today for us to experience. Give Jesus your cares and be determined that today you will let go of the past and the worry and the fear and live today. Don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus is a safe harbor | August 11, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:http://wp.me/p3mVVp-Qh

The Burden of Un-Forgiveness by Patrick Miron

 

 

Today’s Thought

by Patrick Miron

A meditation as we grow older

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John.13:35

 The Burden of Un-forgiveness

As I consider this topic, the visual image that first comes to my mind is my hand pointing a finger in accusing someone of some perceived-offence against me. This is a telling image of the condition of my soul, because the very instant that I am doing this, that same hand has three fingers pointing back at me. And how very appropriate, how very telling that is.

Being a self-professed Christian, I claim to “know Jesus as my Personal Lord and savior.” But do I really?  … Do I just give Jesus “lip-service” or do I actually {at least make a sincere effort to try to} KNOW, Love, Serve and fully obey Him in all that I do?

Isaiah 43: verses 7 & 21 “[7] everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” & [21] the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

Question for myself… SELF, do I by my actions, by my life choices give to My God ALL of the Glory, all of the obedience, all the humility that He seeks from me?

Below is perhaps the best known prayer in the entire word. It contains the very foundation – the command of God’s own,  if rightly understood, most basic expectation for our salvation, IF fully and correctly applied to our own lives.   Do we see as we should that … Life is a ‘”God-Test.”

Mathew 6: [9] Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. [10] Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. [11] Give us this day our daily bread; [12] And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; [13] And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. [14] For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; [15] but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”

What does this teaching mean to me; to my life, my salvation? Well it means exactly what it says. Here Jesus Himself is quoted as teaching us that He is willing to forgive us anything and everything, But and IF only we in turn forgive everyone for everything that they have done against us. And we are to expect in Divine Justice, to be forgiven for our sins, our transgressions, only to the very same degree that we choose to forgive everyone else.

Luke.6:[41] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? [42] Or how can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye”

Question for self SELF, is this teaching consistent with other bible teachings? Can we {anyone} presume to dictate to God how He must, how He will save them?   …. On what authority might one make such an assumption?

Rom.13: [10] Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”

John.14: [23] Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Matt.5 Verses 43 to 46 “[43] “You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ [44] But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, [45] so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

Mark.12 Verses 30 to 31 “[30] and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Luke.6 Verses 27 to 33 “[27] “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. [29] To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. [30] Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. [31] And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. [32] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

John.13 Verses 34 to 35 “[34] A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. [35] By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Question for self SELF, Is Gods Mercy unlimited or without conditions {Is everyone saved?}

Ps.23: [6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

My friend have you ever been exposed to the One Infallible Rule for right understanding of the Bible?

Never Ever; can, may or DOES

One verse, passage or teaching have the power or authority to

Invalidate, make void or override another Verse, passage or teaching:

Were this even the slightest possibility; [it’s NOT!] it would render the entire Bible useless to teach or learn Christ Faith”   

Ps.119:  [156] Great is thy mercy, O LORD; give me {eternal} life according to thy justice.

Isa.30: [18] Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him

Lam.2: [2] The Lord has destroyed without mercy all the habitations of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom and its rulers.

4Ezra.1: [25] Because you have forsaken me, I also will forsake you. When you beg mercy of me, I will show you no mercy.

Matt.5: [7] “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Matt.18: [33] and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’

Luke.1: [50] And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation

Luke.10: [37] He said {replied}, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Jas.2: [13] For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment.

Question for self SELF: What then is the “burden of un-forgiveness?”

It seems very clear, very evident in the bible that God who can be defined briefly as “All Good Things Perfected” does indeed set conditions for our salvation {whether we know them or not, and whether we accept them or not has no relevance, no effect on our eternal –life.} … by asking ourselves are “goodness and fairness good things?” And of course they are, we can know that God has to determine our Eternal life based on Not what we choose to believe or what we choose to accept {for whatever reasons”} No! God will, because God must, pass Judgment upon each of us based on what He God has made possible for us to know, to believe, to practice. Why? Because doing so is both “fair and just.” Doing so is God being GOD.

That then is the burden that we can, and we must choose to create for ourselves…. {It is our freewill choice as is heaven and hell}; a choice each of us must make for ourselves. And that means that God has to keep His Word, to forgive each of us ONLY to the same-degree that we freely choose to forgive everyone, for everything bad they have done to us. Matthew 6:12.

Deut.30: [19] I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” … Amen!       

A final thought: This does not mean that we must “Like” everyone. No, only that we are modeling Christ love for us, and must love everyone.  …. Love is a conscious decision, much more than an emotion.  Forgiveness begins with forgiving ourselves  

 This is such a critical issue that it MIGHT {????} well effect one’s Eternal salvation.

God Bless you!

Patrick

Addendum:

Because we live in a time where skeptism is not only ramped; but down right necessary; I’m adding a further teaching that proves the above:

Gospel: MT 18:21–35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”

{Inserted by PJM}

Numbers in the bible are often a teaching; a belief in and of themselves. For example the number seven stands for “completeness, fulfillment, and or perfection”

From : agapebiblestudy.org

SEVEN:   Spiritual perfection and fullness or completion.  It is the number of Covenant and of the Holy Spirit.

  • Seven is the second perfect number.
  • In Hebrew seven is shevah (shebah) from the root shava (shaba or sheba), meaning “to be full.”
  • God rested on the seventh day (Saturday) after Creation [Genesis 2:2]
  • To swear an oath in Hebrew is “to seven oneself.”
  • There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (CCC#1831; Isaiah 11:1)
  • The sacred Menorah has seven branches (six on each side of a central shaft) and seven cup shaped lamps for the olive oil
  • There were seven classes of furniture in the Tabernacle: Bronze sacrificial Altar, Bronze Laver, Golden Menorah, Golden Table of the Bread of the Presence, Golden Altar of Incense, Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy-seat/Seat of Atonement.
  • The Tabernacle was built in six days and dedicated on the seventh [Exodus 40:17]
  • It took Solomon seven years to build the Temple in Jerusalem. [1 Kings 6:37-38]
  • There are seven annual holy feast days observed under the Law of the Sinai Covenant [Leviticus 23:1-44]
  • The Feast of Passover is the 1st month of the liturgical year but the seventh month of the civil year. [Exodus 12:1-2]
  • The Feast of Tabernacles completes the cycle of Holy Days in the seventh month of the liturgical year.[Leviticus 23:33-43]
  • There are multiple sevens in the Book of Revelation: There are 55 sevens and 5 sevenths, 5×7 (35) phrases of sevens in the Book of Revelation.  List of “sevens” in the Book of Revelation:

The teaching up to that point in the “LAW” was an “eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth”; in other words, in charity inflict only equal damage to your enemy. Never exceed it. THAT was MAN”S way; NOT God’s.

Exodus 21: 22-24

[22] “If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child, and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman’ s husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award. [23] But if her death ensue thereupon, he shall render life for life. [24] Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, [25] Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

This was a logical, and seemingly fair and just response; even showing restraint. BUT it was NOT God’s way; what God desired in perfection.

{Now back to the Gospel reading/teaching}

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. {Meaning a never ending amount of times}…. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.

When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’

Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan
.

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt.

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.

Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’

Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.

So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” End QUOTES

Luke.6:[32] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them

And “72” were sent by Patrick Miron

72” Were sent out in Christ name

Why “72”? And WHY are numbers in the bible signifient?

by: Patrick Miron

Luke 10: 1-5 “And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house.”

Anytime one encounters a number in the bible, it’s important to ask if the number itself has significance. This is based on Jewish Tradition where numbers often have a meaning of their own, known by all, and understood by all for who the teaching or message is immediately intended for.

www.agapebiblestudy.com

“In sacred Scripture numbers usually have more significance than their quantitative indicators. More often than not, even when a number is used to indicate a certain quantity, the individual number given may point beyond the numerical value to a symbolic significance. At other times the number given is not to be taken literally and may represent an approximate value, a symbolic value, or may represent hyperbole-an exaggerated value. For example, the six day period of Creation may not be literal but may represent a symbolic period of time that was perfected on the seventh day when God rested-7 being one of the four “perfect” numbers. Or the number of the 144,000 heavenly souls marked with the “seal of the living God” in Revelation chapter 7 may suggest, as Bible scholars both ancient and modern have interpreted it, a number reflecting the symbolic perfection of redeemed man in terms of the “perfect” number 12 which signifies perfection of government in Scripture. 144,000 is the square of 12.”

 http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/the%20significance%20of%20numbers%20in%20scripture.htm: Much additional information can be found on this web site.

ONE: In sacred Scripture “one,” ehad, in Hebrew, represents unity and is the quintessential number of monotheism, the worship of one God.

TWO: This number can mean difference, division or double portion.

THREE: In sacred Scripture the number three represents that which is solid, real, substantial, and something in its completeness. This number usually indicates something of importance or significance in God’s plan of salvation by identifying an important event in Salvation History. This number operates as a “sign-post” in Scripture study for the reader to “pay attention” to the significance of the next event.

FOUR: The number four represents God’s creative works, especially works associated with the earth:

FIVE: This is the number of power and Divine grace.

SIX: Both man and the serpent were created on the sixth day, therefore, the number six represents both man and rebellion. In the Greek alphabet the number six is not represented by an alphabetic letter but is instead represented by a symbol called the “stigma.” In Revelation 13:18 the number of the Beast is written not as 666 but is instead is written with the Greek symbols for 600 and 60 and 6. In his book Numbers in Scripture, E.W. Bullinger observes that these three symbols correspond to first and last letters of the Greek word for Christ = CHRISTOS, with the symbol of the serpent in between the two other numbers of 666 [see Numbers in Scripture page 49]. Perhaps this arrangement can be seen to be Christ the Messiah crushing the serpent as God told the serpent in Genesis 3:15: I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he will crush your head and you will strike its heel.

SEVEN: Spiritual perfection and fullness or completion. It is the number of Covenant and of the Holy Spirit.

EIGHT: sh’moneh in Hebrew, from the root shah’meyn “to make fat” or “to cover with fat” which means to super-abound. The first of a new series: there are seven days in a week; the 8th day is the beginning of a new series of days. It is the number of salvation, resurrection, and new birth/regeneration.

NINE: This number is related to the number six, being the sum of its factors (3×3=9, and 3+3=6). It is significant of the end of man and the sum of all man’s works. Nine is therefore the number of finality or judgment.

TEN: Perfection of divine order

ELEVEN: disorder: 10 + 1 or 12 – 1; also disorganization, lack of fulfillment, imperfection

TWELVE: Perfection of government. Twelve is the number of the Church, both the Old Covenant Church of Israel founded by twelve physical fathers (the twelve sons of Jacob-Israel) and the New Covenant Church founded by twelve spiritual fathers (the twelve Apostles). This number also has a relationship with multiples of twelve END QUOTES

So dear friends we can now understand the core message in the choice of using “72.” It does NOT necessarily means that Christ ACTUALLY chose “72” additional disciples, even though it might have been?

 Here “72” represents [6x 12] = “72.” The “6” here represents both man, and man’s natural tendency to rebel against change and authority. While the “12” represents both the responsibility and the necessary POWER of independent-“GOVERNANCE.”

 The message then becomes that man [all mankind] is commanded by God, to “go forth and preach the [His] GOOD NEWS”; but the 6 x 12 lacks perfection and or competition, that the number “84” [7 x 12] would lend to the teaching. So the entirety of the message then is that this mandate becomes an ON-GOING; NEVER-ENDING task for humanity. It applied when Christ was here on earth, and it applies [perhaps even more urgently] to us today; to [1] Know the Good News; [2] to Live the Good News and to [3] SHARE the Good news as God grants us the opportunity to do so.

The “real-kicker” though is that the ability to KNOW the fullness of God’s “Good News“, and therefore the ability to share it [we can’t share what we ourselves do not have] resides exclusively within the confines of the Catholic Church.

 Mt. 15:18-19 “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, [singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

 Jn. 17:18-19 “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth”

 Jn.20:21-22 “He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

 Mk. 16:14-15 “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 Mt. 28: 16-20 “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

 And NOW dear friends, you know! Amen!

“Be Still” reblogged from a “Safe Harbor in Jesus”

 

A New post on A Safe Harbor is Jesus

Be still

by Jesus is a safe harbor

As I meditated on this verse, I saw that “be still” could be translated “cease striving” or “let go, relax.” Have you been doing everything you know to do, everything you could do, in order to get whatever you’re waiting for – and then came the Word of God: “Be still, cease striving… know that I am God.” If you are to walk in faith, if you are to live by faith, you have to cease striving. You have to shut your mouth and quit trying to teach, to instruct, to straighten out, and you are to know God. He sits as sovereign on His throne; He hasn’t moved. And you haven’t seen “the rest of the story.” You part in this situation is simply “to be still” rather than “to do.” Have a wonderful day in the Lord’s Presence. Love you all.

“Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10

So how many times have you felt the Lord saying these words…  “Just wait…”  We would love for Him to finish that sentence. Let us know what we’re waiting for and possible who and how long should we wait, and when can we be done waiting! I would assume waiting is not most of our strong suits. But this is where God has you, let me encourage you like I do myself to welcome the wait as I know the wait will be so worth it and even though you continue to go to Him in prayer and the answer continues to be, “Just wait…”

I’m not sure where you are at in life right now, but I promise your period of waiting is just a season. This is another opportunity to lean on God and His Word. This is another opportunity to watch God do incredible things. Really all we have to do is wait. Maybe that’s not so bad in the context of all that God can do when we simply choose to wait on Him.

So here it is,just be still. No matter how difficult it is! Choose to pray, seek God and His Word, and wait on Him, for the blessing He has in store for you. Let Him be in control. If that means waiting, then waiting you must do! Will you wait with me?  Will you allow God to come through in His timing and not yours?

Jesus is a safe harbor | August 10, 2016 at 9:29 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:http://wp.me/p3mVVp-Qe
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