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Monday, October 26, 2020

Why I Am Not Catholic Anymore - God Doesn't Taste Good.

 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." ... Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. - [John 6:51, 53-54 NKJV]

 The Roman Catholic Church teaches the context of John chapter 6 is a literal interpretation, thus in John 6:53, Jesus is saying that unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you will not have eternal life. In other words, giving absolute and unconditional requirements for eternal life and forms the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation -- the miraculous changing of bread and wine into the living Christ: His body, His blood, His soul, and His divinity. When the lifeless wafer is raised and the priest whispers "Hoc corpus meus est", he is calling Jesus down from heaven to become the Eucharist, in which all in the mass will worship and consume.

What Does The Bible Teach?

If this truly were a miracle and that Jesus' body, soul, spirit, and divinity became the Eucharist...then there would be an outward evidence to indicate a miracle had taken place. For instance, when Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding in Cana recorded in John 2 -- the water not only tasted like wine, but had the same consistency, feel, and look as wine. Why? Because it WAS wine. Those who drank of it said it was the best wine (John 2:9-10). It was a noticeable, physical change that was verified by others. Therefore, if the wafer and wine became Christ's body and blood, it would have the same properties and taste as flesh and blood. 

Also, drinking of blood was forbidden in the bible. Mosaic law forbade Jews from drinking blood (Leviticus 17:10-14). If Jesus was teaching that we were to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood, He would be violating God's law and would be worthy of death. Thus His death on the cross would have been justified and Christians would still be unforgiven and under the penalty of sin. 

There were many times in the bible when Jesus spoke of Himself in spiritual, figurative terms. Metaphors if you will -- in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which is not litterally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.  Just in the gospel of John alone, Jesus declared of Himself that He was: 
  1. "The bread of life" (John 6:48). 
  2. "The light of the world" (John 8:12). 
  3. "The door" (John 10:9). 
  4. "The good shepherd" (John 10:11). 
  5. "The resurrection and the life" (John 11:25). 
  6. "The way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). 
  7. "The true vine" (John 15:1). 
  8.  Referred to His body as the temple (John 2:19). 
The bible also spoke in metaphors concerning other things: 
  1. Jesus said of His disciples, "You are the salt of the earth." (Matthew 5:13). 
  2. David said of the cup of water that his mighty men brought back for him as a gift, was the cup of their blood. (2 Samuel 23:17) He didn't mean that it was literally the cup of their blood, but that they risked their own lives, and their blood, to get it for him. 
Jesus declared in John 6:63 that His words were spiritual. He also informed His disciples that there were many times He spoke figuratively (John 16:25). This was no surprise to the disciples, and was actually confirmation that what they were believing was from God (Matthew 16:17, Matthew 11:25).

Several times in scripture the reading of God's Word is described as eating God's Word.
  1. "So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every [word] that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 8:3)
  2. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary [food]. (Job 23:12)
  3. How sweet are Your words to my taste, [Sweeter] than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)
  4. "Your words were found, and I ate them...(Jeremiah 15:16). 
  5. as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious. (1 Peter 2:2-3)
Communion was done as a remembrance of Jesus. He even said regarding the purpose of communion: 
  • "Do this in remembrance of Me," (Luke 22:19). 
  • "Do this in remembrance of Me," (1 Corinthians 11:24). 
  • "Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me," (1 Corinthians 11:25).
  • "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes," (1 Corinthians 11:26). 
Therefore, communion was not about salvation, but about remembering Christ and proclaiming His death. 

How Do We Get His Life In Us?

So how do we get the Christ in us, and His life manifested in us? The life in us, the Holy Spirit, is given to us for both as a comforter, helper, and as a down payment, or promise, of the life to come. 

Why I Am Not Catholic Anymore - The Worship of Saints

 Earlier this month I was blessed to be accepted as a Staff Writer for Got Questions Ministry. This was a website that I used frequently to get questions answered when I first became a new believer over 17 years ago. The ministry and website was small, but it has grown into an amazing resource for Christians and unbelievers wanting to know more about Christianity, cults, and other religions. As a Staff Writer, I will be answering personal questions; some difficult, and others easy. A ministry I was hoping Honest Answers could have become, and I am ecstatic that I am a part. 

With that said, my latest question I received, Who Is Francis Xavier, even though is an easy question, but difficult on a personal level, and brought me again to the memories of being a Roman Catholic, and one of the many reasons why I left. I knew who he was right away, and am knowledgeable to an extent to carry on a conversation about who he was and what he did over 400 years ago. But it wasn't really his life that disturbed me, but those who "follow" him, and in many ways worship him. 

Watch this short video from CBC Canada Public Broadcast and ask yourself, "Would this be considered worship?" "Would God be pleased with this form of veneration?" 

Roman Catholic idolatry and the worship of saints was one of the main reasons why I left Catholicism. I knew from the moment I understood my sin, is that what I did showing any veneration towards other human beings, alive or deceased, was an abomination of God. 

Some may argue that this is just veneration towards a person's life or body. But according to the Merriam-Webster definition of venerate: to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference. To honor (an icon, a relic, etc.) with a ritual act of devotion -- how is this not idolatry? 

Even according to the Roman Catholic Catechism, idolatry is condemned in paragraph 2113 and 2114:

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. the commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."

Paragraph 2112 concerns about venerating other gods and divinities, so it may not exclusively work in this context. 

This is also backed up with the textbook, United Stated Catechism for Adults. On page 347 it reads: 

"Based on our faith in the Incarnation of Christ, we venerate images of Christ, Mary, the angels, and the saints. We do not worship the images themselves, but in venerating the image, we venerate whoever is portrayed -- Jesus Christ, Mary, a saint, or an angel. This in turn can lead us to a deeper contemplation of God himself." 

So here is a dilemma for a Catholic. What if you venerate a body part, or the entire body of a saint himself? While Francis Xavier's arm is touring Canada, the rest of his body is in Goa, India being venerated by Catholics there. This isn't the image of the saint. This is the saint himself! Same for other saints that are incased in glass for the world to see: St. Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo in southern Italy; St. Robert Bellarmine in Campo Marzio, Rome; and St. Francesca Romana of Rome are just to name a few. These disturbing images of cadaver worship can be seen here.  

I implore you, before it is to late, to repent and run from Catholicism and turn to Christ. Worship Him. Pour your devotion on the only One who is worthy of honor and glory!!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month where armature, professional, and hobbyist writers from all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Since I was in High School, writing a book has always been on my bucket list. I wanted a career as a writer and danced between writing and going into electronics. At the time, electronics engineering was more of a logical choice, but writing was always on the back of my mind. Since leaving one crappy job for another "crappy" job, I thought I made the wrong choice many years ago.

Getting back into writing has been really good for me, both physically and mentally. It allows me to free up my mind and become less stressed. Between working with Optavia as a weight loss coach, and writing, I have lost about 50 pounds, and have never been this stress free in my life. Though I am not making the money I used to when I was working as a Field Service Engineer, I am not worried about it. The sum of a man's life is not based on riches. I am a rich man because I am a Christian child of God, I have a great understanding wife, and good health with my wife never seeing me this thin.

So you're probably wondering what my book is about. Well, I am calling it Parallel Lines, a memoir of my first year and a half as a newly married new Christian. When I got married my wife and I were not Christians. The Pastor who we wanted to marry us said that he couldn't because after taking a personality test, our graphs never intersected on anything. It was if we were two parallel lines going in opposite directions. So, when the Lord found me, and I became a believer, that pretty much sealed the coffin of my marriage. But through the things God led me through, and using my new Pastor, his wife, and Christian friends, we were able to come to the other side beat up, but alive. I am writing this memoir to give hope to believers married to unbelievers and maybe some of the good guidance I received along the way.

So this is the reason why you haven't seen me in a while. I'll try to post some more things, but in the meantime pray that I can see the other side and this work of art published. Also I will be writing another article for the Gideon's International Magazine, which is exciting.