Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Religion is probably the biggest divider in world history, but for those that believe in God it is central to our existence. Share your views.
silentwssj
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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby silentwssj » January 30th, 2015, 8:48 am

The Anti-Catholic Bible

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Not so long ago people were saying that anti-Catholicism was going the way of the dinosaur. If so, it looks like the dinosaur has made an unexpected comeback, because anti-Catholicism is healthier and more widespread now than it has been for years.

Since the late 1970s several new anti-Catholic organizations have been founded, and some older ones have been revitalized. A partial lineup includes Chick Publications, Mission to Catholics International, Lumen Productions, Research and Education Foundation, Osterhus Publishing House, Christians United for Reformation (CURE), Harvest House, and Bob Jones University Press. Combined they turn out more anti-Catholic tracts, magazines, and books than ever before—millions of copies each year.

When one reads enough of this material, one becomes aware that the same points tend to be made by different writers in the same way, even in the same words. Who is borrowing from whom? It doesn’t seem that any of these groups relies very heavily on any other. Instead, they all fall back on one source, Loraine Boettner’s work, Roman Catholicism, a book first published in 1962 by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company of Philadelphia and reprinted many times since.

This book is the origin of much of what professional anti-Catholics distribute. It can be called, to use a phrase that might rankle some, the "Bible" of the anti-Catholic movement.

At first glance Roman Catholicism seems impressive. Its 460 large pages of text are closely packed with quotations. The table of contents is broken down into dozens of categories, and the indices, though skimpy, at least are there. But a careful reading makes it clear that the author’s antagonism to the Catholic Church has gravely compromised his intellectual objectivity.



He Swallows Them Whole



The book suffers from a serious lack of scholarly rigor. Boettner accepts at face value virtually any claim made by an opponent of the Church. Even when verification of a charge is easy, he does not bother to check it out. If he finds something unflattering to Catholicism, he prints it.

When the topic is the infallibility of the pope, Boettner quotes at length from a speech alleged to have been given in 1870 at the First Vatican Council, where papal infallibility was formally defined. The speech, attributed to "the scholarly archbishop [sic, bishop] Strossmeyer," claims that the "archbishop" read the New Testament for the first time shortly before he gave the speech and found no mention at all of the papacy. The speech then concludes that Peter was given no greater authority than the other apostles. The trouble is that the speech is a well-known forgery. Bishop Strossmeyer did not make that speech, and, in fact, when it was being circulated by a disgruntled former Catholic, the bishop repeatedly and publicly denied that it was his and demanded a retraction by the guilty party. A glance at the Catholic Encyclopedia or a work like Newman Eberhardt’s A Summary of Catholic History would have clued in Boettner.

This gross error has been repeated by many of the anti-Catholic groups that rely on Boettner. None of them, apparently, became suspicious, though the speech reads as though it came from a stereotypical "Bible thumping" Protestant rather than a "scholarly" Catholic bishop.

Sometimes Boettner’s mistakes are just juvenile. He calls All Souls’ Day (November 2) "Purgatory Day," a term never used by Catholics because the feast is not in commemoration of purgatory but of the souls there.

He argues that the book of Tobit cannot be an inspired book of the Bible because its "stories are fantastic and incredible," and it includes an account of appearances of an angel disguised as a man. Boettner does not seem to realize that such an argument could be used against, say, the book of Jonah or Genesis. Is living in the belly of a great fish any more incredible than meeting an angel in disguise? And then there’s the more basic problem that other books in Scripture—books Boettner and all Protestants accept as inspired—also contain references to angels appearing disguised as men (cf. Gen. 19; Heb. 13:2).

When he writes about the definition of papal infallibility, Boettner says that a pope speaks infallibly only "when he is speaking ex cathedra, that is, seated in the papal chair." He then points out that what is venerated as Peter’s chair in St. Peter’s Basilica may be only a thousand years old, implying that since Peter’s actual chair is not present, there is no place for the pope to sit, and thus, by the Church’s own principles, the pope cannot make any infallible pronouncements.

Boettner entirely misunderstands the meaning of the Latin term ex cathedra. It does translate as "from the chair," but it does not mean that the pope has to be sitting in the literal chair Peter owned for his decree to be infallible and to qualify as an ex cathedra pronouncement. To speak "from the chair of Peter" is what the pope does when he speaks with the fullness of his authority as the successor of Peter. It is a metaphor that refers to the pope’s authority to teach, not to where he sits when he teaches.

Notice, too, that the term ex cathedra, as a reference to teaching authority, was not invented by the Catholic Church. Jesus used it. In Matthew 23:2–3 Jesus said, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat (Greek: kathedras, Latin: cathedra); so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice." Even though these rabbis did not live according to the norms they taught, Jesus points out that they did have authority to teach and to make rules binding on the Jewish community.



Where Did You Get That?



Boettner’s Roman Catholicism contains a mere two dozen footnotes, all of them added to recent reprintings to reflect minor changes in the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council. Within the text, biblical passages are properly cited, but references to Catholic works are so vague as to discourage checking by making it difficult or impossible to locate the work or the reference. Many times there is no reference. A certain pope will be alleged to have said something—but there is no citation given to support the claim. A Catholic author of the seventeenth century is alleged to have claimed something—but again no reference that can be checked. Sometimes there may be mention of a Catholic book, but no page number or publication information given.

By contrast, when non-Catholic authors are cited, the reference usually includes title and page number. One suspects that Boettener took his alleged Catholic quotations and citations from Protestant works and then deliberately failed to reference them in order to conceal the extent to which he is dependant on secondary sources. This is a common tactic among writers who have not done primary source research and rely on second-hand sources.

What is even worse, Boettner seems to have no appreciation of the Catholic Church from the inside. He seems to have made little effort to learn what the Catholic Church says about itself or how Catholics answer the objections he makes. His "inside information" comes from disaffected ex-priests such as Emmett McLoughlin and L. H. Lehmann, or outright crackpots like the nineteenth-century sensationalist Charles Chiniquy.

The bibliography lists more books by ex-Catholics with grudges than by Catholics. Of the mere seven books he cites written by Catholics, one is an inspirational text (by Archbishop Fulton Sheen), one concerns Catholic principles of politics (a topic hardly touched on by Boettner), three are overviews of the Catholic faith written for laymen (one dates from 1876), and the last is a one-volume abridgment of Philip Hughes’s three-volume work, A History of the Church, from which Boettner takes a few lines (out of context) because, in isolation, they look compromising. These books are all fine in themselves, but refer to only a fraction of the topics Boettner writes about, and none of them were written as a response to Protestant arguments. On most issues he provides only a statement of the Fundamentalist position, which he contrasts to a caricature of the Catholic position as set out by one of the ex-priests he cites.

It may be that a man leaving one religion for another can write fairly, without bitterness, about the one he left behind. John Henry Newman did so in his autobiography, Apologia Pro Vita Sua. But some people have an urge to write about their change of beliefs to vent their frustrations or justify their actions. Their books should be read and used with discretion, and if they show signs of rancor or bitterness, they shouldn’t be regarded as trustworthy, unbiased explanations of the religion they abandoned. Alas, Boettner can’t keep away from such books. He even uses works by the notorious anti-Catholic writer, Paul Blanshard, whose writings were so contorted they were disavowed in the 1950s by other anti-Catholics.



Do Your Homework First



When writing about his own faith, Boettner remarks that the Evangelical or Fundamentalist position "came down through the ante-Nicene Fathers and Augustine," which suggests that he accepts as in some way authoritative Christian writings prior to 430, the year of Augustine’s death. But Boettner shows virtually no familiarity with the patristic writings of the first several centuries of the Christian era. His book includes only six references to Augustine and nine to Augustine’s contemporary, Jerome. There is one mention of Pope Gelasius I, who lived a century later, and the next oldest writers cited are from the Middle Ages.

Boettner could have examined Patrology, Johannes Quasten’s four-volume work on the writings of the early Church, composed in the decade before Roman Catholicism was written; or Joseph Tixeront’s History of Dogmas, an older but standard Catholic work on historical theology. Even a casual reading of these works would have demonstrated to him that from the earliest years distinctive Catholic doctrines were held and taught by the Church—belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, a hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons, the Mass as a sacrifice, the special authority of the bishop of Rome, prayers for the dead—and he would have seen that the contrary Fundamentalist positions he espouses are not supported. He thinks he knows what Augustine and the other Fathers wrote, but he gives no impression that he is at all familiar with their writings.

In the chapter on Mary he claims, "The phrase ‘Mother of God’ originated in the Council of Ephesus, in the year 431." Boettner makes a score of blunders here. Does he expect his readers to believe that the phrase "Mother of God" was never used until the day it became a dogma? He presupposes that his readers trust him with a blind obedience, never bothering to do the homework that he failed to do.

By suggesting that a doctrine is not taught until it is infallibly defined, one could equally argue that no one believed that Jesus was God until the Council of Nicaea defined the matter in 325. The divinity of Christ was taught centuries before Nicaea, just as the phrase "Mother of God" permeated the writings of the Church Fathers long before Ephesus. Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Ambrose, Jerome, and numerous others took for granted that Mary could rightly be given this title. Boettner curiously omits reference to these, as they would decimate his argument.

In his introduction, Boettner boasts: "Let Protestants challenge Rome to full and open debate regarding the distinctive doctrines that separate the two systems, and it will be seen that the one thing Rome does not want is public discussion." The curious thing is that many of the anti-Catholic groups that rely so heavily on Boettner are unwilling to engage in public debates.

Many representatives of such groups will give talks at Fundamentalist churches to stoke the fires of anti-Catholicism, and those in the audience will be sent to stand outside Catholic churches and distribute tracts. But challenge any to a debate and what happens? The people with the tracts will say they have to check with their pastors. Besides, they say, they aren’t professional debaters and don’t want to be set up. Their pastors refuse to sanction any public forums because they say they "don’t see the need," or they worry about heat from their congregations for consorting with papists. Is this the "full and open debate" Boettner calls for?

Many Protestants—whether or not they realize how inaccurate and unscholarly Boettner’s work is—look to Roman Catholicism for their arguments against the Catholic Church. Catholics should prepare themselves for discussions with Protestants by studying Scripture and Church history and by reading solid books on apologetics. That way they will be prepared to heed Peter’s exhortation: "Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15).


NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004


.



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"If I have written anything erroneous, I submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life."

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silentwssj
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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby silentwssj » January 30th, 2015, 8:54 am

Hey there Bumperjack! Real quick, Lorraine Boettner is garbage complete trash! Everything that he writes has been thoroughly debunked! It is sad in my eyes because he is misleading millions of people straight to hell. There is nothing scholarly about him. He is the best example of an anti Catholic that I can think of! There are plenty more but he is by far the worst one out there! His work is even clowned on by other Protestants and true Historians alike! My advice is to look real hard at why you don't believe in Catholicism and then check your sources! You are being deceived my Brother! As always much L&R, Silent!

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » January 30th, 2015, 2:34 pm

Silent:before we started conversing I knew a little about Catholicism,of course you have opened my eyes wider, and I applaud your wisdom and knowledge my brother. I really enjoy your wisdom in all area's(Not just Religion)and believe you are my brother in Christ truly,I got baptised and saved at the early age of 8 years old.I plan on becoming a pastor or Chaplin within the next 1-4 years are so,God willing,I have spoken to priests,Chaplins and ministers...I don't have all the answers? but I have faith in my Savior Jesus Christ who payed are sin debt in full my brother I dont believe any church saves us truly. My salvation and my faith are based on my faith in Christ Jesus, t
When it's time to be called home,heaven will be my home I'm sure of it no doubts.God's word states so.In Romans if you study God's infallible word you don't have to work out your salvation the price has already been paid by the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.Silent we will continue to be friends & Homies,I guess I believe like you do you are being mislead also by your focus on a Church that saves you.If in my continues study's if God lied to me I'll become a priest my brother and you will confess your sins to me after I'm ordained.God does not lie,His promises are real.L&R BJ.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » January 30th, 2015, 2:55 pm

I don't know that writer Lorriane Boetner brother.I believe what you have said about him.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » January 30th, 2015, 3:56 pm

Silent:I guess to answer your question about why I don't believe In Catholicism is because the Church has been corrupted over many centuries and there is proof of that.God's word is incorruptible,God breathed and has never changed.Is Catholicism been around along time there is know debate on that brother, it predates back along time, and it's debatable if it is the one true church?Something that has been around that long with infallible men is why it got corrupted.It is the second largest Religion in the World that men run that they say have the Authority of Christ on earth and the Church dictates your Salvation.Without God's infallible uncorrupted word as truth in our lives today it is real easy for us to be deceived,we are all saints and ambassadors to Christ brother,Today we have free will to choose what faith we are to believe.Remember the master of deception is smarter than most my brother.The final judge of authority is in my eyes not corruptable,the Catholic faith is because you put your trust in corruptable men wh poi claim they have the same authority on earth as our Savior "Jesus Christ" I disagree totally whole heartedly brother,Im learning everyday and our beliefs differ,you believe I'm being mislead and I believe you are being mislead.Thats commical,but it is what it is I guess as long as we hold that brotherly love and respect for one another its all. Good. hopefully & prayerfully you won't be at the wrong address.(Hell) when that time comes,I only say that because your Assurance for Salvation is not secure,mine is.With L&R BJ

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » January 30th, 2015, 5:39 pm

I meant "fallible" men :oops: because no man on earth is infallible not even your "Holy Father" The Pope. :cry: My bad Silent.hey who you rooting for Seahawks or Patriots?
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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby silentwssj » January 30th, 2015, 8:48 pm

Hey there Bumperjack! I got to say that you crack me up Homeboy! Its never a dull moment with you BJ! I especially like the part about you becoming a priest so that you can hear my confessions, Lol! On a real note you can never become one because you are married! As far as your Salvation being assured and mine not being assured, that is debatable to! I like to think that I am following the path that Christ set before all of us Christians. I definitely have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I am Baptized as well. When I am conscious of committing Mortal sin I repent and Confess to God through his established Priesthood! In my opinion that is a much safer bet than merely being Saved many years ago but never have been granted any absolution for your Sins since! You pointed a verse out about a month ago that said something about once being saved if you continue in your sins you never were Saved! If you were saved at age 8, I can guarantee you that you have definitely sinned seriously since then! How does that verse sit with you then? I am not doubting the sincerity and reality of your Salvation at age 8. What I am doubting is that you have not exactly led an exemplary life since then. That is why I am pointing this out to you BJ! You see when I sin, I take it to God through his Priesthood that he gave the authority to bind and loose my sins. I know that I am forgiven! You on the other hand are rejecting what he established. I view that as playing Russian roulette with your soul! All I can say is I truly hope he grants you pardon due to ignorance and disbelief in his one true, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! As far as the Catholic church goes it is founded by God himself! Yes there have been plenty of bad men involved in its history but it remains faithful to this day to the original deposit of Faith as passed on by the Apostles themselves! Our Traditions can be proven through Scripture and history! Protestantism's Traditions are man made and found by taking the Bible out of context! Real talk right there! Loraine Boettner is the author of the so called 45 Catholic inventions by the way. He is one of the most quoted of all erroneous Anti Catholics! His book Roman Catholicism is considered the source book for the rest of the Anti Catholic crowd. Unfortunately instead of considering their source, which has been thoroughly debunked, most Protestants simply blindly participate in propagating his many un scholarly myths and lies by quoting his works! That is why I posted the articles about him earlier today. I could have gone into much greater depth, but I figured why flood this site. I am sure that I will have to continue on though as you love to reference these false teachers. Bart Brewer is another one that you quoted a few days ago! I am going to give you an article here on Jack Chick as I am sure you will attempt to pull that rabbit out of your hat before to long! Enjoy! Anyhow, much love and respect Brother! We will remain civil and friends! We simply have different viewpoints on all of this! Silent!




The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick

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You've seen them.

Perhaps left in a phone booth, Laundromat, or other public place. Maybe a Fundamentalist coworker or a street evangelist gave one to you. Perhaps a child gave one to your child at school. They have titles such as Are Roman Catholics Christian?, The Death Cookie, and Why Is Mary Crying? They are Chick tracts—tiny cartoon booklets produced by Jack T. Chick ("J.T.C.") and his publishing house, Chick Publications.

You've seen them . . . but have you read one? Do so, and you step into the nightmarish world of Jack T. Chick.

In this world, few things are as they appear. It is a world of shadow and intrigue, a world of paranoia and conspiracy theories, a world where demons haunt people sincerely trying to follow God, and the Catholic faith is the devil's greatest plot against mankind.

Here are just a few things you will "learn" if you start reading Chick tracts and comic books:
The Catholic Church keeps "the name of every Protestant church member in the world" in a "big computer" in the Vatican for use in future persecutions.[1]
But the conspiracy is much broader than this, and it has been going on for a very long time. In the sixth century, for instance, Catholic leaders manipulated the Arabian tribesman Mohammed into creating the religion of Islam to use as a weapon against the Jews and to conquer Jerusalem for the pope.[2]
The Jesuits instigated the American Civil War, supporting the Confederate cause and seeking to undermine the Union. When they failed, they arranged the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.[3] Later, they formed the Ku Klux Klan.[4]
"Jesuits worked closely with Marx, Engels, Trotsky, Lenin, and Stalin" to create Communism, and it was "believed that soon . . . Communism would rise up as the new strong daughter of the Vatican."[5] It was Rome that instigated the Bolshevik Revolution and the murder of the czar's family.[6] The Communist "liberation theology" movement also is a Vatican plot.[7]
The Nazi Holocaust of the 1940s was a Vatican-controlled attempt to exterminate Jews and heretics.[8] Further, "Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco were backed by the Vatican for the purpose of setting up a one-world government to usher in the '˜Millennial Kingdom' under Pope Pius XII."[9]
The Vatican conspiracy is so extensive that, through the Jesuits, Rome controls the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, international bankers, the Mafia, the Club of Rome, the Masons, and the New Age movement.[10]
The Jesuits created the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Unity, Christian Science, and other religious groups.[11]
"Pope John Paul II has been a good Communist for many years"[12] and engineered a phony assassination attempt against himself in 1981 to shame Islam into warming relations with the Vatican, since the would-be killer was a Muslim.[13]

Tracts are only one of the ways Chick spreads his messages of hate and paranoia. His website (www.chick.com) lists large-size comic books, posters, booklets, books, videos, and DVDs for sale. Still, it is the tracts for which he is most famous. According to Chick Publications, more than 500 million of them have been distributed.

With shocking, sensationalist allegations such as these being distributed to hundreds of millions of people, you may be wondering . . .

Who Is Jack T. Chick?

Jack Thomas Chick is a recluse. Little is known about him. He does not give interviews. Only two out-of-date pictures of him are publicly known (one is a high school yearbook photo). Rumors about him abound, making it difficult to sort fact from fiction concerning his life. He was born April 13, 1924, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles,[14] and he was not always a Fundamentalist. According to the biography posted on his web site:


While in high school, none of the Christians would have anything to do with him because of his bad language. They all agreed not to witness to him, convinced that he was the last guy on earth who would ever accept Jesus Christ.

After graduation from high school, Jack won a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse to study acting, but his studies were interrupted by the military. He spent the next three years in the Army, which took him to foreign countries like New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines and Japan.

After being discharged from the service, Jack returned to the Playhouse, where he met and married his wife, Lynn, who was instrumental in his salvation. While visiting Lynn's parents in Canada on their honeymoon, Jack's mother-in-law insisted that he sit and listen to Charles E. Fuller's Old Fashioned Revival Hour radio program. Jack recalls, "God was already working on my heart, but when Fuller said the words, '˜Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow,' I fell on my knees and my life was changed forever."[15]

The scene of falling on one's knees to accept Jesus is one repeated over and over again by characters in Chick tracts. But how did Jack Chick make the leap from being an ordinary Fundamentalist to the foremost Christian comic publisher in the world? For a time, he worked as a technical illustrator for an aerospace company in California, but he longed to be work for God:


He wanted to be a missionary himself, but his new wife wanted no part of missionary life. Her aunt had been a missionary in Africa. While pregnant, she was being carried across a river on a stretcher, when one of those carrying her lost a leg to an alligator.[16]

Eventually, Jack started combining his work as an illustrator with his passion for evangelization, producing his first published religious works, Why No Revival? and A Demon's Nightmare. He became convinced of the effectiveness of this technique after using it with a group of prisoners:


[Chick] was invited to present the gospel to a group of inmates at a prison near his home. He drew several pieces of cartoon art and prepared a flip chart to illustrate what he was saying. At the conclusion of his message, nine of the eleven inmates present trusted Christ as their Saviour. Jack became convinced that God had given him a method of reaching people with the gospel that worked. That art was later put into booklet form and became the tract This Was Your Life![17]

Following this episode, Chick Publications became a full-time venture for Jack, and, in the more than forty years since it was started, his tracts, comic books, and other publications have reached hundreds of millions of people, spreading their message of simple Fundamentalist theology fused with elaborate conspiracy theories.

In time, the art in the tracts received an upgrade—not because Chick changed his own style of drawing but because he hired an artist with much better skills. Yet he did not announce this fact and did not put the new artist's name on the works he produced. Instead, they continued to carry the credit "by Jack T. Chick" or simply "by J.T.C." The difference between the two drawing styles was so dramatic that it was immediately noticed by readers, and rumors circulated about who the "good artist" might be. It would be some time before Chick disclosed that the man's name was Fred Carter.


In 1972, he hired Fred Carter, an African-American painter and illustrator from Danville, Illinois, who had studied at Chicago's American Academy of Art. Carter's realistic illustrations and distinctive inking style made him a perfect fit for the [Crusaders comic book] series' action sequences and exotic locales. Witch burnings and ritual murders are captured in gleefully visceral detail, while the books' sexual overtones—as well as scantily clad biblical sirens like Eve, Delilah, and Semiramis—have led critics to describe Carter's work as "spiritual porn."

At once, the artwork improved tenfold. Chick, however, kept Carter's name off all of the comics. Rumors and speculation about the identity of the so-called good artist at Chick Publications began to spread. For years fans theorized that Carter's work was produced by a team of illustrators or an unknown Filipino man dubbed "Artist J." Chick finally revealed Carter's identity in 1980, claiming that the artist is "rather shy and declines to put his name on his art."[18]


Jack Chick's art in The Hit

Fred Carter's art in The Deceived


Jack Chick's art in The Hit

Fred Carter's art in The Deceived


Through the years Chick also became associated with others who had an impact on his publications. The conspiracy angle in his works jumped significantly through his involvement with two men in particular.

One was John Todd, an evangelist who claimed to have been raised in a "witchcraft family" and supposedly was part of a gigantic conspiracy of witches called "the Illuminati."[19] According to Todd, numerous political and religious figures were part of the conspiracy. He claimed that as a "Grand Druid High Priest" he was given a thirteen-state territory and that "over 90 percent of politicians in that thirteen-state area received financial support from him and took orders regarding political decisions from him."[20] The religious figures allegedly part of the witch conspiracy included Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, Walter Martin, Oral Roberts, and Pat Robertson. Also involved were C. S. Lewis, Pat and Debbie Boone, and a number of Protestant denominations, "from Assemblies of God to the Southern Baptists."[21]

One way the Illuminati spread their occult tendrils through society was through rock music. Songs in this genre often "contained coded spells or incantations that the listener wasn't aware of."[22] Based on Todd's claims, Chick issued a number of publications, including the large-format comic book Spellbound? (against rock music) and the tract Dark Dungeons (against fantasy role-playing games).

Todd was exposed as a fraud in publications such as Christianity Today[23] and Cornerstone. He later was convicted and sent to prison for rape. Nevertheless, Chick is still publishing materials repeating his claims and thanking him openly for providing the information.[24]

The other major figure hyping Jack Chick's conspiracy theories was the late Alberto Rivera, and he is important enough to Chick mythology to deserve his own section.

Who Was Alberto Rivera?




Alberto Rivera and His Comic Book Namesake Alberto Rivera and His Comic Book Namesake
Alberto Rivera and His Comic Book Namesake



Aside from Jack Chick's own name, the name most familiar to readers of Chick comics is that of Alberto Rivera (1935—1997). He is mentioned in numerous tracts and serves as the central character in six issues of Chick's The Crusaders full-size comic book. Chick even devotes space to him in the handful of books the house publishes.

Alberto Magno Romero Rivera was born in 1937 in the Canary Islands. He claimed to have been a priest who served as an undercover operative of the Jesuit order to infiltrate and destroy Protestant churches and institutions. He maintained that he was so successful that he secretly was made a bishop. Yet he turned his life over to Christ and became a Fundamentalist evangelist. He claimed to have rescued his sister—a nun—after she nearly died in a convent in London.

In the 1970s he met Jack Chick, who publicized his story with much fanfare. It added immense amounts of detail (and implausibility) to Chick's global Catholic conspiracy theory. The Alberto series included some of the wildest claims found in Chick's publications—that the Vatican started Islam, Communism, the Masons, and the Klan; that it controls the Illuminati, the Mafia, and the New Age movement; that it created the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, and is databasing the name of every Protestant church member for a future inquisition.

The Alberto series started a controversy that resulted in Chick being unable to sell the comic books in many Protestant bookstores. Following a complaint from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the Christian Booksellers Association began considering whether to expel Chick.[25] Soon afterward, Chick withdrew from the CBA.

The protest against the Chick Alberto series was waged by both Catholics and Evangelicals. Many Catholics, naturally, protested the lurid and inaccurate depiction of their faith, and many Protestant bookstore owners who saw their point removed the series from their stores.

In response, Chick published My Name? . . . In the Vatican? in which he repeated many of Rivera's sensationalistic claims and gave grudging acknowledgement to the ability of Catholics to get his works taken out of Evangelical bookstores.

While it is natural to expect Catholics to be upset over Chick and Rivera's outrageous claims, many Evangelicals were upset as well, and they began to investigate Rivera. Prominent Protestant publications, including Christianity Today, Cornerstone, and even Forward—a publication of Walter Martin's Christian Research Institute—did investigations leading to exposés of Rivera as a fraud.



From My Name? . . . In the Vatican?
From My Name? . . . In the Vatican?

From My Name? . . . In the Vatican?



Christianity Today's story by researcher Gary Metz revealed that:


He is being sued in a Los Angeles court at the present time [1981] by a man who said that Rivera, on behalf of the Hispanic Baptist Church, which he started, borrowed $2,025 with which to invest in property, but never purchased the land. When the man asked for his money back, he received a receipt acknowledging his "contribution" of $2,025.[26]

The Christianity Today investigation further reported:


In October 1967, Rivera went to work at the Church of God of Prophecy headquarters in Tennessee and began collecting money for a college in Tarrassa, Spain. When the Church of God of Prophecy wrote the college to ask if Rivera was authorized to receive donations for the college, it received a reply stating the college had given him a letter to collect funds only during the month of July. The college later discovered that while "he claimed to be a Catholic priest . . . he had never been one." The college reported that he left debts he had acquired in the name of the parish of San Lorenzo and that Spanish police were seeking him for "authentic swindles and cheats." Finally, they said that no funds had ever reached the college from Rivera. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, Charles Hawkins of the Church of God of Prophecy said Rivera's bank had contacted them because he had written a check on a closed account.

In 1969 two arrest warrants were issued for him in Florida. One was for the theft of a BankAmericard: The criminal division of the Bank of America reports that he charged over two thousand dollars on the credit card. The second warrant was issued for unauthorized use of an automobile. Rivera abandoned the vehicle in Seattle and went from there to southern California, where he started a number of organizations.[27]

Concerning Rivera's alleged liberation of his sister from a convent, Christianity Todayreported:


The sequel [to the Alberto comic], Double-Cross, devotes its first nine pages to a description of how Alberto flew to London and contacted an Anabaptist church, whose people helped him rescue his dying sister Maria from her convent. Actually, the person he contacted was not an Anabaptist but Delmar Spurling of the Church of God of Prophecy. Spurling said in an interview that Rivera did not rescue his sister, because she wasn't a nun but rather a maid working in a private London home.[28]

Concerning Rivera's claim that he had been a priest, Christianity Today noted:


The Catholic Church denies Rivera's most important claim, that he was a priest. To substantiate the claim, the Alberto comic book carries a picture of an official-looking document from the Archbishopric of Madrid-Alcala in Spain, dated September 1967. It identifies Rivera as a priest and gives him permission to travel abroad in his ministry. There is no other church documentation, such as an ordination certificate, shown in the book. An individual in California, who grew suspicious of Rivera in 1973, wrote to the archdiocese office in Madrid-Alcala to ask if Rivera were really a priest. The response was that no diocese in Spain had any record of Rivera as a priest. The archbishop's office concluded that he was not a priest, and that the travel document, which was little more than a form letter, was "acquired by deceit and subterfuge" to enable Rivera to get a passport.[29]

Christianity Today further discovered that "that not only was Rivera not a Jesuit priest, but also that he had two children during the time he claimed to be living a celibate life as a Jesuit." It explained:


Although Rivera claims to have been raised and trained in a Spanish Jesuit seminary, his hometown friend, Bonilla, said Rivera was living at one point with a woman in Costa Rica named Carmen Lydia Torres. (Alberto says Rivera was sent to Costa Rica to destroy a [Protestant] seminary and that a woman named Carmen was with him, posing as his girlfriend. The seminary was not named.)

Rivera later stated on an employment form that he and Torres were married in 1963. Their son, Juan, was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1964, while Rivera was forking for the Christian Reformed Church there. Juan died in El Paso in July 1965, after his parents had fled New Jersey leaving numerous debts and a warrant for their arrest on bad check charges. The couple had two other children, Alberto and Luis Marx. The first two children were born during the time Alberto claimed to be a Jesuit priest in Spain.[30]

Concerning Rivera's claim to have been made a bishop, Metz reported in Cornerstone that:


Alberto now claims that he was once a Jesuit bishop. None of his former associates remember this being part of his testimony until early 1973. Former associate Rev. Wishart (once a pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Fernando), who questioned Alberto about this, reported that Alberto admitted that he had never been ordained a bishop but used the title for prestige. He continues to call himself the bishop of his own church, the Hispanic Baptist Church (Oxnard, California).[31]

In Alberto, Rivera claimed that his conversion to Protestantism happened while he was being detained in a sanitarium following a public break with the Church. YetChristianity Today's piece noted that:


His later accounts of his conversion are contradictory. While speaking at the Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park, California, Rivera pinpointed his conversion as March 20, 1967, after three months in the sanitarium, and he said he immediately defected from the Catholic Church. Five months later, however, he gave a newspaper interview in his home town of Las Palmas [in the Canary Islands], in which he was still promoting Catholicism. He said in the interview that he was doing ecumenical work for the Catholic Church in Tarrassa, Spain, during the previous six months, from February to August 1967. According to Alberto, he was in the sanitarium at the time.

Rivera, who now [1981] lives in California, was asked for an interview to discuss the discrepancies in his tale, but he posed so many restrictions before he would agree that a legitimate interview was not possible. He did say that any wrongdoings prior to his conversion to Christ in 1967 were done under the orders of the Catholic Church and that any wrongdoings since his conversions are fabrications by conspirators.

Of course, if Rivera had been a secret Jesuit agent bent on conspiratorial acts, such deception and subterfuge might well have been part of his mission. Yet his fantastic tale lacks credibility. The numerous legal entanglements suggest that he was a simple con man. There are the contradictory accounts of his conversion, his admission that he was married, and the fact that he was the father of two children during his alleged time as a Jesuit priest. And then there is what was uncovered by the Christian Research Institute in its investigation of Alberto:


Bartholomew F. Brewer, a former Catholic priest who is now director of Mission to Catholics International in San Diego [a man long known to Catholic Answers supporters for his anti-Catholic activities and an authentic ex-priest] . . . related to us that several years ago Rivera wanted to work in conjunction with Mission to Catholics. Dr. Brewer did interview Rivera and decided not to use him in his ministry. Over a period of time, however, Dr. Brewer got to know Rivera better and he eventually concluded that Rivera was not only unfamiliar with Catholic theology, by obviously had never been a Catholic priest, let alone a bishop.

In examining the two Chick comics, one finds that statements are made that would seem to substantiate Dr. Brewer's views. Rivera is apparently unfamiliar with Catholic doctrine, church history, and other factual information.

For example, in Alberto, Rivera seems to imply that celibacy is a sacrament. Also, he states that students studying for the priesthood were not allowed to read the Bible. He also claims that, in Catholic doctrine, Mary is co-equal with God the Father. These are all misrepresentations of the truth.

Rivera further calls his reliability into question by stating that the masterminds behind the Inquisition were Jesuits. This is an impossibility, since the Inquisition began around a.d. 1200, and the Jesuits were not established until the 1540s.[32]

CRI also discovered Rivera inaccurately quoting sources:


Rivera's believability becomes still more questionable in Double-Cross, when he claims that [suicide cult leader] Jim Jones was secretly a Jesuit deacon and an agent for the Vatican. He says that the Jonestown massacre was part of the Roman Catholic Church's "diabolical conspiracy." For support of this contention, he refers to Dr. Peter Beter's Audio Letter #40, November 1978 (Beter is a self-proclaimed "conspiracy" expert). But, on listening to the tape, one discovers that Dr. Beter believes that Jones was a manipulated dupe of the CIA! Thus, the authority Rivera cites for supportive evidence is opposed to his view.[33]

Rivera's response to this investigation was to call CRI "a '˜tool' of the Jesuits and its director [Walter Martin, at the time] an '˜agent' of Rome."[34] He subsequently claimed that Martin "was working with the Vatican and stated that his name was on a secret Jesuit list."[35] CRI further reported:


After our initial research gave us reason to question the comic's reliability, we attempted to contact both Alberto Rivera and Chick Publications' founder Jack Chick. With no success in contacting Rivera by mail, two certified letters were sent to Chick Publications. In them, we conveyed our concern over some apparent discrepancies in Rivera's story and asked for answers. When no reply was made to our letters, follow-up phone calls revealed that Jack Chick would make no reply whatsoever. He said that he was not answerable to any man and that the comic books could stand on their own.[36]

Alberto Rivera went on to found the "Antichrist Information Center" or AIC (which later explained its initials as meaning "Assurance in Christ"[37]). He died in 1997 of colon cancer, and his ministry was carried on by his widow, Nuzy Rivera.

The impact of Alberto Rivera on Jack Chick's universe is difficult to underestimate. It was Rivera that provided Chick with his most sensationalistic, most anti-Catholic claims and allowed Chick's conspiracy theories to grow increasingly complex and bizarre.

Jack T. Chick's Gallery of Anti-Catholic Tracts[38]

It's hard to judge a book—or a comic book—by its cover. You can tell that some of Chick's tracts are clearly aimed at Catholicism just by looking at them. Others you have to read before you discover the anti-Catholicism buried within them. Here is a brief guide to Chick's anti-Catholic tracts and what they contain.

Are Roman Catholics Christian?

Unlike most Chick tracts, this one is not primarily a story. It is an essay intended to prove that Catholics are not Christian. To show this, it tries to walk through the life of a typical Catholic woman—"Helen"—from the time of her baptism to the time of her death. At each stage, Chick takes swipes at Catholic doctrine and practice.

Themes[39]: Anathema, Anointing of the Sick, Baptism, Clergy & Religious, Confession, Divided Loyalties, Eucharist, Inquisition, Mary, Other Christs, Paganism/Idolatry, Pope, Purgatory, Whore of Babylon

The Attack

The Attack

Chick's defense of the King James Version of the Bible. According to this tract, the devil and the Catholic Church vigorously opposed the KJV and even murdered some of its translators. In its place they have sought to provide modern translations based on corrupt manuscripts for their own evil ends. All modern translations except the KJV are evil and the product of a Catholic conspiracy. A key objective of the conspiracy is to insert "the Apocrypha" (i.e., the deuterocanonical books of Scripture) into the Bible.

Themes: Anathema, Bible Corruption, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics

The Beast

A look at the end times, á la Jack Chick. In the near future the Rapture will occur. Afterward, the pope will be revealed to be the Antichrist and will compel all to take the number 666 on their foreheads or right hands. The world will become a gigantic, occult "witches' coven," in which true Christians are persecuted. The battle of Armageddon will be fought, leading to a 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth. Then, God will condemn the wicked—including those who remained faithful Catholics—to hell and reward Protestant Fundamentalists with heaven.

Themes: Antichrist, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Millennium, Rapture

The Death Cookie

The Death Cookie

Jack Chick's most prominent attack on the Eucharist. He tells the story of an unkempt man who wishes to control others. This man is counseled by a sinister (satanic-looking) advisor who encourages him to invent the doctrine of the Eucharist. Based on this advice, the man is soon controlling those around him as the Catholic pope.

Themes: Eucharist, Clerics & Religious, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Other Christs, Paganism/Idolatry, Whore of Babylon

The Deceived

The Deceived

Two Muslims start reading a Chick tract and are horrified to discover that Islam is a fraud. Worse, they discover that the pope manipulated Mohammed into starting Islam to conquer Jerusalem for him. Even Mohammed's wife Khadijah was a Vatican operative on a secret mission to set up her new husband!

Themes: Conspiracy, Mary, Paganism/Idolatry

Fat Cats

A Latin American young man named Juan joins a Communist revolutionary movement, only to discover that the movement is tied in with liberation theology. This, Chick informs us, is a Vatican plot. Among other things, it allows Latin American Protestants to be killed as heretics and enemies of the state.

Themes: Conspiracy, Communism, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Repulsive Catholics

Here He Comes!

Here He Comes!

The priest who becomes a Fundamentalist is having nightmares about being left behind when the Rapture happens. A Fundamentalist tells him that he won't be, but goes on to him about the horrors to come, including the revelation of the pope and "the Jesuit general" as the false prophet and the beast.

Themes: Antichrist, Millennium, Pope, Rapture

Holocaust

Holocaust

After a tense confrontation between a Jewish concentration camp survivor and a group of American Nazis, a Fundamentalist kindly explains that the German Holocaust was actually a Vatican plot to kill Jews. In fact, "the Gestapo was run by the Jesuits" and "Hitler was a faithful Roman Catholic simply following the laws set forth in the Council of Trent." Worse, the Vatican plans a new inquisition in America to force Catholicism on the United States.

Themes: Anathema, Conspiracy, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Nazism, Pope, Repulsive Catholics, Whore of Babylon

Is There Another Christ?

Is There Another Christ?

An essay tract in which Chick attacks the pope as the vicar of Christ, the role of the priest as an alter Christus, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Each of these, Chick claims, is an infringement on the person and work of the true Christ.

Themes: Clerics & Religious, Eucharist, Other Christs, Pope, Tradition, Whore of Babylon

Kiss the Protestants Good-bye

An essay tract in which Chick details the Vatican conspiracy to wipe out Protestantism—and his own role in fighting it! Chick claims that Catholics have subverted Protestant Bibles, including the Scofield Reference Bible, which Chick himself learned from. The goal has been to first rid Protestantism of its anti-Catholicism and then impose Catholicism. Chick has worked to thwart this plot, the tract explains, by publishing the Alberto series of comic books, which infuriate the Vatican.

Themes: Bible Corruption, Conspiracy, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Rapture, Repulsive Catholics

The Last Generation?

The Last Generation

In the near future, a global totalitarian state is proclaimed, with the pope as its head. The announcement is made by a Jesuit at the United Nations. True Christian believers are driven underground and betrayed to the sinister superstate at every turn, even by evil "Hitler Youth"-type children.

Themes: Antichrist, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Mary, Rapture

Last Rites

Last Rites

This tract tells the story of an unpleasant Catholic man named Henry who gets killed in a car crash. He receives the last rites, but after dying he is taken before God, who condemns him to hell for trusting in Catholic "works" to save him instead of Jesus Christ.

Themes: Anointing of the Sick, Assurance of Salvation, Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Paganism/Idolatry, Purgatory, Repulsive Catholics, Whore of Babylon

Man in Black

Man In Black

A drunk, suicidal Catholic priest attempts to kill himself but is stopped by a passing Fundamentalist. After the suicide attempt the two discuss Catholic doctrine over coffee. The Fundamentalist convinces the priest that Catholicism is a revived form of paganism, and the priest gives his life to Christ.

Themes: Bible Corruption, Clerics & Religious, Conspiracy, Eucharist, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Mary, Paganism/Idolatry, Pope, Repulsive Catholics, Whore of Babylon

Murph

Murph

An obnoxious Catholic policeman—"Murph"—is mortally wounded in the line of duty. His ex-Catholic partner tells him that he must trust Jesus instead of the Church before he dies. When Murph's priest comes up short on answers, the dying cop does so and goes to heaven.

Themes: Assurance of Salvation, Purgatory, Repulsive Catholics, Tradition

My Name? . . . In the Vatican?

My Name? . . . In the Vatican?

Chick explains—based on information from Alberto Rivera—that the Vatican keeps the name of every Protestant church member in a "big computer." The purpose is to make future persecutions easier. Chick laments the resistance he's met in getting his Alberto comic books carried and cites the effectiveness of Catholics in getting these comics pulled from Protestant bookstores.

Themes: Conspiracy, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Repulsive Catholics

The Only Hope

The Only Hope

A more-explicit-than-usual look at the future Chick envisions. It expressly tells us: "The last pope will be the antichrist, or the Beast. Satan will enter his body, and he will be worshipped worldwide." In the course of re-treading events from the book of Revelation, it also tells us that "ten nations hate the '˜whore' of Rev. 17 and destroy the Vatican by fire" while "the pope (Antichrist) escapes to Jerusalem."

Themes: Antichrist, Millennium, Rapture, Whore of Babylon

The Poor Pope?

The Poor Pope?

Claims that "the pope controls more wealth than any other man on this planet" and gives a fanciful history of how this came about, with numerous unsourced allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the Vatican in a relentless drive to gain wealth. (For example, when the California Gold Rush started in the 1800s, the Vatican sent "liquor, gambling tables, and Roman Catholic prostitutes to take back the gold from the miners.") The tract declares that "the average person would go into shock if he knew the extent of the Vatican's wealth and political power."

Themes: Conspiracy, Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics, Paganism/Idolatry, Pope, Purgatory, Vatican riches, Whore of Babylon

The Story Teller

The Story Teller

A Muslim returns home after many years abroad and tells his village the story of what he learned. During his travels he met Alberto Rivera and was informed not only that Catholicism is a false religion but that it created Islam as part of a Vatican plot. More recently, the Vatican staged an apparition at Fatima (named after Mohammed's daughter) to cozy up to Muslims. It also staged the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II using a Muslim as the marksman "to guilt-induce the Muslim world, bringing them still closer to the Catholic faith!"

Themes: Conspiracy, Mary, Paganism/Idolatry

Who's Missing?

Who's Missing?

A Fundamentalist and the ex-priest from Man in Black try to scare the priest's sister into accepting Fundamentalism by telling her that the pope is the Antichrist, that we are living in the end times, and that if she wants to escape the great tribulation she must become a Fundamentalist in order to be raptured and to escape to heaven.

Themes: Antichrist, Millennium, Pope, Rapture

Why Is Mary Crying?

Why Is Mary Crying?

Chick's attack on Marian doctrine and practice. He tells us that these devotions deeply sadden the real Mary and make her cry. In this tract the Virgin Mary herself declares that she is a sinner and implores Catholics not to believe Catholic doctrine concerning her. She says that Catholic teaching and practice regarding her is an outgrowth of Babylonian paganism and that Catholics must repent and follow what God teaches in the Bible.

Themes: Mary, Paganism/Idolatry, Whore of Babylon

Answering Chick Tracts

It's tempting to laugh off Jack Chick's tracts and comic books. Their lurid tales and paranoid conspiracy theories make them hard to take seriously. But millions of people take them very seriously. That is why Chick has been able to distribute more than half a billion of his tracts. What is worse, many are aimed directly at Catholics, attempting to convert them to Fundamentalism. His most anti-Catholic tracts tend to conclude with a final panel like this one, urging Catholics to repudiate their faith:





With many Catholics weak in their faith today, there are a lot of people who are vulnerable to appeals such as this, especially when they have just been told untruths that they don't know how to refute. Even Catholics who are strong in their faith can have a difficult time knowing how to answer specific anti-Catholic charges, because Chick makes so many and such bizarre ones.

This is part of the problem: With the sheer volume of errors, half-truths, and misrepresentations that Chick makes about the Church, there is simply no way to refute them all. Often even a single panel from one of his tracts contains multiple mistakes. Doing a thorough refutation of everything Chick says would require several book-length works.

The procedure this report recommends is to use critical thinking skills whenever one looks at a Chick tract—whether one is a Catholic seeking to answer the tract or a non-Catholic seeking to evaluate what it has to say. To that end, keep several principles of critical thinking in mind:
1.
Use common sense. If something seems to violate common sense, it probably does. Think about it: Is it really plausible that the Vatican is operating a multi-century conspiracy during which it created Islam and Communism, started the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, arranged the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the assassination attempt of John Paul II? That it keeps the name of all Protestant church members in a database so that they can be hunted down, interrogated, and if need be tortured or killed in a future persecution? That the Vatican created or runs the Masons, the Klan, the Mafia, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the host of other organizations and religious groups that Chick says it does?

This is all a gross violation of common sense, and that ought to tell you that something is wrong with the picture Chick is painting. So if you encounter something in Chick's works that is incredible, outrageous, or unbelievable—go with your instincts and assume that it's false unless it can be backed up with solid evidence. This leads directly to the next point.

2.Identify, evaluate, and check sources. Chick tracts make many assertions but cite few sources—and fewer reliable ones—yet he needs to provide solid sources in order to give evidence for the preposterous claims he makes. Therefore, when reading a Chick tract, you should evaluate the sources he is using. Ask yourself: Does he even provide a source to document this claim? Often he does not. If there is one, ask: Is this a reliable source? Some of his main sources are notoriously unreliable, including Alberto Rivera, John Todd, and Alexander Hislop (discussed below). Finally, check the source. It may not say what Chick would lead you to think it does. For example, above we saw an instance in which CRI found Alberto Rivera erroneously claiming that a source said something it didn't say.

3.Check for misrepresentations. Very often when Chick cites a source (including the Bible), he misrepresents what it says. Sometimes this is because he doesn't understand how a word is being used. (We will see later that he is greatly mistaken about what the word anathema means.) Other times he will cite Bible verses that are on the general topic he wants but that don't really say what he wants. In other words, they are not relevant to the claim he is making. So ask yourself: Is this passage really relevant? Does it say what he wants it to say? What else could it mean?

4.Consult authentic sources. Don't let matters stop at what Chick and his sources say. Consult other sources—the best ones that you can find. If Chick says that a doctrine is taught by the Catholic Church, look it up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and find out. If you don't know where to check out a claim he makes, call Catholic Answers.

5.Note admissions of lack of evidence. Sometimes when Chick doesn't have evidence for what he wants to claim he will try to conceal the fact by saying "this was all covered up" or that someone "secretly" was a Catholic. When this happens, take note of it and recognize it for what it is: an admission that he can't back up the claim with evidence.



From My Name? . . . In the Vatican?


From My Name? . . . In the Vatican?



6.Think through the implications. As part of using common sense to evaluate Chick's claims, think through the implications of what he says. Ask yourself: What else would have to happen for this to be true?For example, take the claim that the Vatican has a database of "every Protestant church member in the world." How would the Vatican get such a list? Many countries (the U.S. among them) do not require people to register their religious affiliation. In these countries, most Protestant churches don't publicize their membership rolls. The Vatican would have to spies everywhere, gathering evidence about the members of every one-room, backwoods country church in the world. This violates common sense.

7.Look for double standards. Chick often will portray a particular belief or practice as an abomination when it is done by Catholics, even though the same thing occurs in Protestant circles.For example, he points to the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, belief in baptismal regeneration, and the practice of infant baptism as key points in his argument that Catholics are not Christian.[40] Yet each of these is paralleled among Protestants. Lutherans and many Anglicans believe in the Real Presence. The same also believe in baptismal regeneration. And infant baptism is practiced by the majority of Protestants in the world, including not only Lutherans and Anglicans but also Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, Methodists, and others. Only the Baptist and Pentecostal traditions (and those movements stemming from them) oppose the practice.

8.Watch for prejudicial presentations. A key technique that Chick uses is to make Catholics, their beliefs, and their practices "look" or "sound" bad by presenting them in a prejudicial light. This happens when he takes something innocent and uses language that makes it sound sinister. Or when he shows Catholics as angry, ugly, and foul-mouthed. Or when he uses exaggerated, hysterical language. Or when he tries to play upon one's emotions by drawing demons lurking about. Be aware that this kind of subterfuge is a major part of what Chick does and be on the lookout for it. When you see it, ask yourself: How could this same thing be presented in a balanced, non-prejudicial manner?

These principles of critical thinking will go a long way toward helping you answer and evaluate Chick tracts. They will let you see through a large number of the errors, half-truths, and misrepresentations that fill their pages. But you also need specific facts to answer or evaluate many of the particular things he says. It is not possible in a special report to do a thorough refutation of all of Chick's claims, but here are some things you should be aware of concerning the most common themes in his tracts, as well as pointers for where to go for more information.

Anathema

Like many, Chick does not understand what the term anathema means. He thinks that it means "damned as a heretic."[41] Elsewhere he uses "damned as a heretic" in place of the word anathema.[42]

But this is not what the term means. In Catholic documents the term refers to a kind of excommunication. By the time of the Council of Trent (which Chick faults for using it), it referred to an excommunication done with a special ceremony. Thus when Trent says things like "If anyone says . . . let him be anathema," it means that the person can be excommunicated with the ceremony. It also did not apply to Protestants since they were not part of the Catholic Church. Only someone who is part of the Catholic Church can be excommunicated from it.

The purpose of excommunication is not to damn a person but to bring him to repentance—the same principle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2:5—10.

Further, though ordinary excommunication still exists, the ceremonial form of excommunication (anathema) does not exist. The 1983 Code of Canon Law ended the penalty. Thus, while one can still be excommunicated for holding beliefs against the Catholic faith, one cannot be anathematized.

Anointing of the Sick

Chick doesn't like the anointing of the sick,[43] but it has a firm biblical basis. The book of James tells us: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (Jas. 5:14—15).

Antichrist


From The Only Hope

From The Only Hope


Chick presents Alberto Rivera as saying that John's prophecy (cf. 1 John 2:18—22) of many antichrists and a final Antichrist "are fulfilled in the dynasty of the papacy and that the Antichrist will be the pope who is in power when Jesus Christ returns."[44] Chick himself agrees. He always shows the Antichrist wearing papal robes and says that "he rules from the Vatican."[45] In The Only Hope we are told bluntly: "The last pope will be the antichrist, or the Beast."[46]

This is not possible. John tells us: "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22; cf. 4:3; 2 John 7). The Antichrist will deny that Jesus is the Messiah. But the pope's authority as the vicar (representative) of Christ depends on Jesus being the Christ. The pope is the one man least likely to deny that Jesus is the Messiah. His job depends on it! For this same reason one cannot refer the "many antichrists" (cf. 1 John 2:18) to "the dynasty of the papacy."

Assurance of Salvation

Chick occasionally takes swipes at the Catholic Church for not teaching "assurance of salvation" and cites verses such as 1 John 5:13—"I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life." He's taking this verse out of context. John has just been giving tests by which one can tell whether one is in a state of salvation (1 John 4:16—5:12). These tests include whether one believes in God and Jesus, whether one loves God and one's neighbor, and whether one keeps God's commandments. This means that one can have a reasoned assurance of salvation but not an absolute one. One cannot claim to "know" that one has eternal life without applying (and passing) the tests, and there is always the possibility that one could be self-deceived about whether one passes the tests. Thus assurance can be only relative, not absolute.

Baptism

Chick singles out two problems with baptism as understood and practiced by Catholics. The first is that one is born again in baptism and the second that Catholics baptize infants.

Scripture clearly indicates that we receive God's grace in baptism. Peter says that in the ark "eight persons were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body [i.e., not by the physical effect of baptism] but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ [i.e., by the spiritual effect of baptism]" (1 Pet. 3:20—21). Paul tells us that when we were baptized we were united to Christ's death so that "we might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4), and when Paul himself was baptized, he was told: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:38). The early Church Fathers were unanimous in understanding John 3:5 ("unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God") as referring to baptism.

Regarding infant baptism, when Peter preached baptism for the forgiveness of sins, he added: "For the promise is to you and to your children" (Acts 2:39). Jesus himself said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:16), and he was speaking of infants (cf. Luke 18:15)! It is no surprise then when we see entire households being baptized at once (Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Cor. 1:16). This is natural when one recognizes that baptism is "the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11) or the Christian equivalent of circumcision—which was applied to infants.

It also is worth noting that many Protestants believe in baptismal regeneration and practice infant baptism. The first Protestant of all—Martin Luther—did so, as does the Lutheran church to this day.

Bible Corruption

Chick is a supporter of the King James Version of the Bible. He denounces multiple other Protestant translations. His chief grievances are: (1) that the other translations are based on corrupt "Alexandrian" manuscripts rather than on the "Textus Receptus" manuscript tradition, (2) that even Protestant preachers "correct the Word of God" according to what the original languages say, (3) that some Bibles have footnotes, and (4) that some Bibles contain the deuterocanonical books of Scripture ("the Apocrypha"). All of this, Chick says, is a satanic and Catholic plot.[47]
1.The issues regarding what manuscripts are the closest to the original is too complex to go into here, but suffice it to say that the differences between the different manuscript traditions are tiny. They do not, as Chick says, "downplay" the deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, or salvation by grace through faith.[48] Westcott and Hort (the textual scholars Chick blames most) were not "closet Catholics." They were Anglicans.

2.It is good for Protestant preachers to correct Bible translations in light of the original languages because no translation is perfect—even the KJV. For example, in Acts 12:4 the KJV says "Easter" where the Jewish holiday of Passover is being referred to.

3.While bad footnotes are a problem in many Bibles, footnotes also can help, given the complexity and obscurity of some passages. When Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch if he understood the prophet Isaiah, he replied, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" (Acts 8:31).

4.The deuterocanonical books were reckoned as Scripture by the early Christians. As Protestant church historian J. N. D. Kelly writes, "It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive [than the Protestant Bible]. . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called apocrypha or deuterocanonical books."[49] Further, some New Testament passages clearly allude to passages in the deuterocanonicals. (For instance, compare Hebrews 11:35 with 2 Maccabees 7.)

Clergy & Religious

Chick has a big problem with the pope, priests, and religious (e.g., monks and nuns). We will deal with the pope in another section, but as for priests, the word priestis actually taken from the Greek word presbuteros ("elder").




From Are Roman Catholics Christians?

From Are Roman Catholics Christians?


Further, Paul tells us that God's ministers in the New Testament age doperform "priestly service" (Rom. 15:16).

Regarding monks and nuns, the Old Testament records people who took special vows of consecration to God (Nazirites, cf. Num. 6), the Old Testament equivalent of monks and nuns. In the New Testament, Anna the prophetess seems to have lived like a cloistered nun, as "she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day" (Luke 2:37). Paul tells us of an order of widows devoted to good works who had vowed to not marry again (cf. 1 Tim. 5:9—12).

Communism

Chick's claim that Communism is a creation of the Vatican is one that does not pass the common sense test. Historically, Communism has been militantly atheistic, and the Church has condemned it in extremely forceful terms.

Neither is the claim that "liberation theology"—the misguided attempt of some third-world priests to fuse Catholicism and Marxism—credible as a Vatican plot. The Vatican cracked down on the movement and censured its theologians.

The claim that John Paul II is a Communist is especially preposterous. He suffered under Communist rule, has written against it forcefully, and is credited by many as one of the key players in the downfall of the Soviet Bloc.

silentwssj
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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby silentwssj » January 30th, 2015, 8:51 pm

Here is the rest of this article! It would not all fit into the last post!
12).

Communism

Chick's claim that Communism is a creation of the Vatican is one that does not pass the common sense test. Historically, Communism has been militantly atheistic, and the Church has condemned it in extremely forceful terms.

Neither is the claim that "liberation theology"—the misguided attempt of some third-world priests to fuse Catholicism and Marxism—credible as a Vatican plot. The Vatican cracked down on the movement and censured its theologians.

The claim that John Paul II is a Communist is especially preposterous. He suffered under Communist rule, has written against it forcefully, and is credited by many as one of the key players in the downfall of the Soviet Bloc.

Confession

Chick tells us that "no man has the power to forgive sins." It's true that God's forgiveness is the one that counts, but this doesn't mean that God doesn't use men as the instruments by which he absolves people.




From Last Rites

From Last Rites


The Pharisees made the same charge against Jesus during his own public ministry (cf. Mark 2:7), but Jesus proved he had the power to forgive sins by healing the paralytic man. When the crowds saw it, "they glorified God, who had given such authority to men" (Matt. 9:8, emphasis added).

With the coming of Christ, God began to use men as instruments of his forgiveness, and after the Resurrection Jesus commissioned his disciples to do this, telling 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 20:22—23).

Conspiracy

One of the problems with Chick's grand, Vatican-centered conspiracy theory is that so many of the groups the Vatican allegedly created or controls are anti-Catholic. Muslims, Communists, Nazis, Masons, the Klan, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.—all are anti-Catholic, some as much so as Jack Chick. Further, many of these movements are large enough that they have been specifically rejected by the Vatican. The idea that the Vatican started or runs them is simply absurd.

Demons




From The Death Cookie

From The Death Cookie


Demons lurk the pages of Chick tracts, sometimes guffawing at the misfortunes of humans, sometimes plotting devilry, sometimes just hovering sinisterly.

The extensive use of this theme is one of the ways Chick plays on the emotions of his readers. Instead of making a calm, rational appeal for why his readers should or should not believe certain things, Chick wants to engage the reader on a sub-rational level. He substitutes disturbing, even horrific imagery for reason and argument. He doesn't want the reader to think. He wants to generate emotions of fear and revulsion toward certain doctrines and practices and so associates demonic imagery with them. No proof is necessary to show why a doctrine or practice is bad; Chick just wraps demons around it to make the reader want to reject it.




From Bewitched

From Bewitched



From Man In Black

From Man in Black



From The Death Cookie

From The Death Cookie


Chick attributes many things he doesn't like directly to the devil. Again, no proof or argument is offered. He simply asserts that something was engineered by Satan. Sometimes he even shows the devil plotting the object of Chick's contempt. Once again, he substitutes fear and revulsion for offering evidence.




From The Attack

From The Attack


Frankly, he gives the devil too much credit. While one may reasonably assume that the devil looks favorably on every moral evil that occurs in the world, this is not the same as saying he causes every individual evil. While he may have set the human race on a bad road in the beginning (Gen. 3), this does not mean that he directly engineered every individual sin since that time.

Divided Loyalties

Chick occasionally takes swipes at Catholics for having divided loyalties between the Church and the U.S. (insinuating or directly stating that their loyalty to the former is greater than to the latter). This kind of argument was common in many older American anti-Catholic works. At the time these works were written, many Catholics in the U.S. were immigrants, and their loyalty to their new country was suspect. Most anti-Catholics today have dropped this allegation—and with good reason—yet Chick hangs onto it. It's essential to his Catholics-out-to-subvert-the-U.S. conspiracy theory.


From Are Roman Catholics Christians?

From Are Roman Catholics Christians?


The reason that most anti-Catholics no longer make the charge is that now most Catholics in the U.S. are native-born. They are as loyal to America as anyone. They have put their lives on the line for her whenever the nation has gone to war, and many are war heroes.

In addition, Chick's facts are wrong. Catholics are not "citizen[s] of two countries." The Vatican City State has a tiny number of citizens—fewer than a thousand.[50] They are mostly people who live and work at the Vatican. The vast majority of Catholics are citizens of only one state—their homeland—and they understand their civic duties as well as anyone. The Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses these duties,[51] and the Catholic Bible says just as much as the Protestant one, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Matt. 22:21).

Eucharist

Chick makes the usual charges against the Eucharist. He doesn't like the Real Presence and the sacrifice of the Mass in particular. He even says that the Mass is not mentioned in Scripture, despite the fact that the very first Mass occurred during the Last Supper (cf. Luke 22:19—20). The charges he makes have been answered many times.

What is distinctive about his approach is the attempt he makes to link the Eucharist with paganism. He claims: "On the altars of Egypt were sun-shaped wafers made of unleavened bread. These wafers were consecrated by the Egyptian priests and supposedly they magically became the flesh of the sun god, Osiris."[52]

Although Osiris was an Egyptian god, he wasn't the sun god. That was Ra (in some cases identified with Horus). Osiris was the grain god and the god of the dead. There were grain cakes (little and not so little) connected with the worship of Osiris, but, since he wasn't the sun god, they were not shaped like the sun. They were shaped like a man since Osiris was pictured as a man. The use of these grain men was connected with Osiris's annual cycle as the god of grain. Every year, the Egyptians made cakes shaped like Osiris out of grain as an offering asking the grain god to reappear and make the land fruitful again. According to Egyptian wall art, priests even watered the cakes to get the grain in them to sprout and send up shoots. These Osiris cakes weren't anything like communion wafers.[53]

From Man In Black

From Man in Black


Another of Chick's attempts to link the Eucharist with paganism is found in his frequent depictions of the host imprinted with the lettersIHS. He tells the reader that this stands for a trio of Egyptian gods (who were not a trinity, incidentally). Chick's claim is nonsense. The letters aren't English at all, but Greek. In fact, they are the first three letters of Jesus' name in Greek: iota-eta-sigma (capital etain Greek looks like the English H). This has been a common abbreviation for Jesus throughout Church history.

Though you wouldn't know it from Chick, few Catholics have ever seen a host imprinted with these letters. Most hosts either have nothing on them or a cross design. What design, if any, is imprinted on a host is up to the maker. There is no Church regulation on this, and few makers have used the IHS design. Yet Chick would lead one to believe that it is omnipresent in Catholic churches.

Faith Alone

One would expect Chick to have problems with Catholic teaching on salvation, and he does. The verses he uses most often[54] to attack it are Ephesians 2:8—9—"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast."

Catholics agree with what is being said in these verses. Even if one grants Chick's understanding of "works" in this passage as "good works" rather than "works of the [Mosaic] Law," it remains true. Good works do not contribute to our coming to God and being saved. In fact, Catholic theology holds that it is impossible for a person who is not in a state of justification to do good works, because he lacks the principle—charity—that makes them supernaturally good. It is when one is in a state of justification and has the virtue of charity that good works become possible.

Inquisition/Death to Non-Catholics

Chick's lurid comics are filled with tales (and scenes) of Catholics killing non-Catholics. These images are often linked to one of the various historical inquisitions (though Chick does not seem to be aware that there was more than one of these). He sees the breaking out of a new inquisition as not only an ever-present danger but a certainty.

Regarding the historical inquisition, Chick credits it with killing 68 million victims from 1200 to 1800.[55] This is not accurate. The inquisitions that took place in Europe were localized—in France, Spain, and Italy—and there the total population never approached 68 million. Even spread out over six hundred years, that many executions is impossible. Chick is relying on sources using grossly inflated figures.[56]

Chick also is wrong about the identity of the people who were executed. He portrays them as "Bible-believing Christians"[57] (meaning those with Fundamentalist theology), many of whom were hiding the Textus Receptus to keep it safe,[58] and claims that English Bible translator William Tyndale was executed for translating the Bible.[59] These claims are false. Protestantism did not exist during much of the time in question, and there is an utter lack of evidence of anyone being put to death for hiding the Textus Receptus. Indeed, this Greek New Testament manuscript tradition springs from the work of the Catholic scholar Erasmus.

Chick does not seem to understand what a heretic is. Heretics are baptized individuals who obstinately reject an obligatory part of Christian dogma.[60] They do not include Jews, though Chick appears to think they do.[61] Further, the fact that someone may be a heretic does not give anyone the right to kill him. The penalties for heresy specified in the Code of Canon Law include things like not being able to receive the sacraments and not being able to exercise a Church office.[62] Death is not one of these penalties. Yet Chick assures his readers that Trent created the right to "slaughter Jews and non-Catholics alike."[63] It didn't, though Chick thinks it did based on his misunderstanding of anathemas.[64]

He further tells his readers: "Still in effect? Yes! All the popes during the Vatican II council and since have accepted the ratification of the entire council on this decree [of Trent]."[65] This isn't the case, since Trent did not order the death of anyone and the penalty of anathema has since been abolished.

As for the prospect of a looming attempt of the Catholic Church to exterminate non-Catholics, apply the common sense test: Canon law contains no provisions calling for the death of anyone (read the entire Code of Canon Law from front to back; you won't find any). The penalty of anathema (which did not mean death) has been abolished. Rome is very reluctant to see the death penalty used at all.[66]

Anti-Catholics of Chick's ilk often wish to portray the Catholic Church as bent on bloodshed and their own religious forebears as opposed to religious violence. But this is erroneous. Both sides have things to apologize for. Religious violence tainted every stream within the Protestant Reformation. To cite a few cases: Henry VIII executed St. Thomas More, Elizabeth I executed St. Edmund Campion, John Calvin executed the heretic Michael Servetus, Martin Luther advocated the killing of Anabaptist leaders and the burning of Jewish synagogues, and Anabaptists seized the town of Münster in 1534 and killed many people before their attempt to establish a "New Jerusalem" in the town fell apart the next year. Protestants have the same fallen human nature as Catholics and are just as prone to violence.

Mary

Chick makes a lot of the conventional anti-Marian arguments that are common in Fundamentalism: that Mary is not the Mother of God, that we are not to ask for her intercession, that statues of her should not be venerated, that she was not preserved by God's grace from sin, etc.[67]

What is distinctive about Chick's approach is his is claim that "the '˜Mother of God' that Catholics worship is not the Mary of the Bible. Satan has tricked them into worshiping a counterfeit goddess."[68] The basis for this claim is a story he borrowed from Alexander Hislop, according to which there was a queen in ancient Babylon named Semiramis. She married her son, Nimrod. After his death, she claimed to have had a virgin birth of another son, Tammuz, who was Nimrod reincarnated. This pair of Semiramis and Tammuz was often depicted in artwork as a mother and child. They form the basis of all of the mother-child statues in the different religions of the world, and when Catholics worship Mary and the Baby Jesus, they are actually worshiping Semiramis and Tammuz.

What is one to make of this? Setting aside the fact that Catholics do not worship Mary, it is still complete nonsense. Hislop's wild ideas cannot be substantiated historically.[69] We have mother and child images from cultures that predate Babylon. Further, if you want to depict a famous mother, a good way of doing it is by picturing her holding her child. Thus before literacy became widespread Christians often would picture Mary holding the Baby Jesus, and it became an established image in Christian art.

Millennium

All Christians recognize the existence of the time period known as the Millennium, which is spoken of in Revelation 20:1—10. During this period Satan is bound so that he cannot deceive the nations (Rev. 20:3). The question is: When in history does this period refer to? Chick belongs to a school of thought known as pre-millennialism or millenarianism, which holds that the Millennium is a future time period during which Christ will reign on earth as its King. He further holds that the Millennium will be preceded by an event known as the Rapture. These views are common among Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants, though the idea of the Millennium being preceded by the Rapture goes back to only about 1830.

The Catholic position is similar to the position of traditional Protestants. In Protestant circles the position is called amillennialism, and it was held by Luther, Calvin, and the majority of traditional Protestants. It holds that the Millennium is a present reality—that the devil is bound now in such a way that he cannot deceive the nations by stopping the proclamation of the gospel. This is why the world is no longer swallowed in pagan darkness the way it was at the time of Christ. The devil has not been able to stop the spread of Christianity, and now a third of all men are Christians, and half are believers in one God. Today, the prophecy is fulfilled that "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Is. 11:9), and Christ reigns from heaven (1 Cor. 15:25—26) and through his Church on earth (Rev. 20:4). At the end of the Church age, there will be a period of bitter deception and persecution of the Church as the devil is again freed to deceive the nations (Rev. 20:7—8). Then Christ will return, as the Creed says, "to judge the living and the dead" (Rev. 20:11—15).

Nazism

Chick makes the bizarre claim that not only was Pius XII sympathetic to Nazism (as some in the popular press have claimed) but that Hitler and his cohorts were trying to conquer the world in order to bring about the "Millennial Kingdom" under Pius XII. This doesn't pass the common sense test since Catholics view the Millennium as a present rather than a future reality.

Further, Pius XII was not sympathetic to Hitler at all. On April 28, 1935, four years before the war started, Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII) caught the attention of the world press. Speaking to an audience of 250,000 pilgrims in Lourdes, France, Pacelli stated that the Nazis "are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of social revolution, whether they are guided by a false concept of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult."[70] It was talks like this—in addition to his private remarks and numerous notes of protest that he sent to Berlin as Vatican secretary of state—that earned Pacelli a reputation as an enemy of the Nazi party.

Other Christs

Chick periodically rails against Catholics worshiping multiple Jesuses, as in this picture:

From Man In Black

From Man in Black


Let us see if Chick's charge of idolatry holds up:
Images of the Baby Jesus: Catholics do not worship these. They worship Jesus by venerating images of him, just as one might kiss a photo of a departed loved one.

Crucifixes: First, who says that Jesus on the cross is dead? He is depicted being crucified, and there is no reason to suppose that crucifixes depict only the brief time between when he died and when he was taken down from the cross. Second, we worship the real Jesus in heaven by venerating his image on earth. The crucifix is an image of the most important thing he did for us on earth.

The Pope: The pope is not "Jesus on earth," and Catholics don't worship him. He is the vicar (representative) of Christ. What is wrong with treating one of Christ's representatives with respect?

Priests: Priests aren't worshiped, but they do represent Christ as his ministers. Don't Protestants treat their own ministers with respect (1 Thess. 5:12)?

The Eucharist: The Eucharist is worshiped, but since it is Jesus himself it does not amount to worshiping "another" Jesus. Many other Christians, including Lutherans, believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (although they do not in fact have the Real Presence in their churches) and recognize that Jesus is to be worshiped wherever he is.


From Last Rites

From Last Rites
The "Angry Jesus" in Heaven: Literal anger is not compatible with being in the beatitude of heaven. In keeping with the language of Scripture one can speak of God being "angry" with our sins (Eph. 5:6), but Catholics recognize this as a metaphor for divine justice.[71] It is far less clear that Chick understands the concept of divine wrath as a metaphor, and his Jesus sometimes seems very angry. In any event, the Jesus ruling in heaven is still the real Jesus, not another one.

Paganism/Idolatry

One of the major themes of Chick tracts is the attempt to portray Catholicism as a form of paganism. According to Chick's mythology, ancient Babylonian paganism spread all over the world, with deities taking new names in different cultures but remaining fundamentally the same. He holds Catholicism to be one of its expressions and devotes many pages to showing that the Catholic Mary is actually the ancient Babylonian queen Semiramis and that the Eucharist is based on the worship of ancient sun gods.

Unfortunately, Chick gets his mythology all wrong. For example, he claims that "in ancient Babylon, they worshiped the sun god, '˜Baal.' Then this religion moved into Egypt using different names."[72] In reality, ancient Babylonians worshiped the sun god Shamash. Baal was neither a Babylonian deity nor the sun god. In fact, he was the Canaanite storm god. Chick could not have had his ideas more muddled.

The source Chick depends on for his mythological ideas is The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, an eccentric nineteenth-century Anglican clergyman. Chick essentially recycles Hislop's central thesis of Catholicism being a revival of Babylonian paganism. This allows him to identify the Catholic Church with the Whore of Babylon.

Yet the book lacks credibility. Hislop was writing when anthropology and archaeology were in their infancy, and the idea that all world religions spring from a common source (especially one in Babylon) has been completely disproven. We have knowledge of multiple mythologies from all over the world that are unrelated to Babylonian paganism. Fundamental differences between them are easy to illustrate. For example, Indo-European paganism (to which Babylonian mythology is related) typically has the sky deity being male and the earth deity as female. But in Egyptian mythology this is reversed: The sky deity is female and the earth deity is male.

The most thorough refutation of The Two Babylons was written by one of its chief twentieth-century popularizers. As a young man, Ralph Woodrow wrote a book called Babylon Mystery Religion, which introduced many to Hislop's ideas. It was very popular in Fundamentalist circles. Yet with time Woodrow realized that Hislop's claims and logic were deeply flawed, and he wrote a new book—The Babylon Connection?—to refute them.

Pope

Chick's problems with the pope seem to be as follows: (1) The line of popes is a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of there being many antichrists, and the final pope will be the Antichrist. (2) The popes have been engaged in a global conspiracy spanning centuries, with tendrils in almost every major world event. (3) There is no biblical basis for the office of the pope.

It is very clear in Scripture that Jesus told Peter, whose name means "rock," that "you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). To undermine this, Chick makes the familiar claim that two different words are used here in Greek—petros and petra—and that the first means a small stone or pebble while the latter means a huge rock or boulder.[73]

This simply is not true. The difference in meaning can be found only in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—a different dialect. In Koine, both petros and petra simply meant "rock." The argument shows a faulty knowledge of Greek.[74] Further, Jesus' native language was Aramaic, not Greek, and in the Aramaic underlying this passage, the same word—kepha—would have been used in both instances.

Purgatory

Chick claims: "Purgatory is NOT in the Bible! It was created by the Vatican as one of the greatest sources for money ever invented. Billions have made '˜the Whore' rich from poor Roman Catholic survivors who paid to get their loved ones out of purgatory."[75]

What Chick is referring to (as he makes clear in context) is the paying of Mass stipends when a priest says Mass for a departed loved one. This does not make the Vatican rich. A typical Mass stipend is five dollars, and if a priest gets an occasional five dollars for saying Mass for someone's loved one, it doesn't make him or the Church rich. The priest himself keeps the stipend, and the practice is closely regulated to prevent abuse.[76] As a moneymaking scheme, purgatory leaves a lot to be desired.

But then that isn't what it is. It has been part of the Judeo-Christian tradition since before the time of Christ. Judah Maccabee and his men prayed for and took up a collection for an offering (the Old Testament equivalent of a Mass) for men who, although they "fell asleep in godliness" (2 Macc. 12:45), nevertheless needed to be purified from the consequences of their sins. Similarly, Paul tells us: "The fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:13—15). Even common sense tells one that, since we will be totally pure in heaven, we must be purified if we are still impure at our deaths. Purgatory is the name the Church gives to this purification.

Rapture



From The Only Hope

From The Only Hope



"The Rapture" is the name given in Evangelical circles to an event where living and dead Christians are caught up in the air to be with Christ. When this term is used, it usually is assumed that the event will occur shortly before the Millennium, conceived of as a period in which Christ reigns in person on earth, before the end of the world. This idea dates back to around 1830, when it was popularized by John Nelson Darby and by a school of thought called "Dispensationalism," which stems from his work. Chick is a big believer in the Rapture, and it appears in his tracts.[77]

Though it does not use the term Rapture, the Catholic Church acknowledges that Christians will be gathered to Christ (likely not with exploding graves), but at a different time. The Church's view is like that of traditional Protestants: The dead in Christ will be raised and caught up together with him and living Christians at the Second Coming, at the end of the world. Thus Paul speaks of the event happening in the time of those who "who are left until the coming of the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:15, cf. 4:16—17).

Repulsive Catholics

From Fat Cats

From Fat Cats


A typical tactic in Chick tracts is to portray Catholics as being unpleasant or revolting in various ways. They drink. They smoke. They cuss. They are mean-tempered. They may even be willing to kill non-Catholics. Some are eager to do so. Frequently, Catholics are drawn to be physically ugly as well. The only good Catholics in Chick tracts are ex-Catholics—those who have left the Church to become Fundamentalists. (Apparently becoming a Fundamentalist helps your appearance, too, because the ex-Catholics are better looking than their former co-religionists.)

When you see this in Chick tracts, recognize it for what it is: an attempt to avoid calm and rational discussion by substituting emotional manipulation, making Catholics "look bad"—literally and figuratively—so that you won't like them and will transfer this dislike to their beliefs. This is a prejudicial way of presenting Catholics, and it illustrates the prejudice Chick harbors against Catholics.


From Last Rites

From Last Rites

From Man in Black

From Man in Black

From Murph

From Murph


Tradition

Chick makes the typical charges against tradition, for example, quoting Matthew 15:3—"Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"[78] What Chick fails to note is that the Bible does not condemn all tradition, only traditions of men that are contrary to the Word of God. Traditions of men that are notcontrary to the word of God (e.g., having carpeting in churches) are not a problem.

Then there is a whole other class of tradition: apostolic ones, traditions coming from the apostles. These not only are not problematic, but the keeping of them is praised and commanded by Scripture. Thus Paul tells the Corinthians, "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2). He commands the Thessalonians: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).

Vatican Riches

Like many, Chick faults the Catholic Church for having too much money.[79] It is true that the Church does have a lot of money invested in churches. You need a lot of churches for a billion Catholics to worship in. It also is true that many of these churches are beautiful and ornate, but it is the natural impulse of Christians to honor God by making the places where he is worshiped beautiful and ornate. This same impulse is reflected in the Old Testament, where God actually ordered his house to be made of costly materials, down to gold c.asps for its curtains (Ex. 26:6).

In terms of its liquid assets, the Vatican has a remarkably small budget and regularly runs deficits. For example, in 2002 it spent $260 million but only took in $245 million, with a deficit of $15 million.[80] This budget—much of which is devoted to human relief efforts—is quite modest on the scale of world affairs. Many individual dioceses have budgets this size, and it is dwarfed by numerous companies and by every state in the U.S.

Whore of Babylon

Chick identifies the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon described in Revelation. He frequently cites Revelation 18:4 as a biblical imperative to leave the Church—"Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues."[81] This would be a good proof text—if the Catholic Church were the Whore of Babylon. But it isn't.

When the Whore falls we read, "Rejoice over her, O heaven, O saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her! . . . And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth" (Rev. 18:20, 24). This shows that the Whore persecuted not just Christians but apostles and prophets. Apostles existed only in the first century, since one of the requirements for being an apostle was seeing the risen Christ (1 Cor. 9:1). Prophets existed as a group only in the Old Testament and the first century (Acts 11:27—28, 13:1, 15:32, 21:10).

Since the Whore persecuted apostles and prophets, the Whore must have existed in the first century. This demolishes the claim that Christian Rome or Vatican City is the Whore. Rome was not a Christian city at that time, and Vatican City did not even exist, so neither of them could be the Whore. Furthermore, Chick (wrongly) claims that Catholicism itself did not exist in the first century but was created by the emperor Constantine.[82] This means that on his very own argument Catholicism could not be the Whore.

Who is the Whore? Most likely first-century Jerusalem, which was renowned for persecuting both apostles and prophets. The fall of the Whore is likely a depiction of the fall of Jerusalem in a.d. 70.

Conclusion

You have completed your journey through the nightmare world of Jack T. Chick. It is time to take a break, breathe a sigh of relief, and settle back into the real world, glad at last to see the light of day.

But you must not forget what you have learned.

Chick has still sold over half a billion tracts in the forty-year life of his company, and he is still selling tens of thousands of copies per day. Chick and his tracts are deceiving countless individuals—both Protestants and Catholics. That's why he can continue to print and sell so many tracts. Someone is paying the printing and distribution costs for all these tracts. People really do respond to them.

If you care about the cause of truth—and Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6)—then you must do what you can to fight the errors found in these tracts.

If you are an ordinary church member—Protestant or Catholic—you can get more general information on Jack Chick from Catholicism and Fundamentalismand The Usual Suspects by Karl Keating. For added help, check out www.catholic.com.



If you are a Catholic, you now know answers to many of the anti-Catholic slurs Chick makes in his tracts—and you have seen the principles to use in answering them.



If you are a Protestant, you have seen something of the magnitude of Chick's misrepresentation of the Catholic faith. Even though you may disagree with parts of the Catholic faith, you know enough now to recognize that Chick tracts fundamentally misrepresent it and are not good witnessing tools.



If you are an Evangelical bookstore owner, you have seen the gross distortions of Catholic teaching and the paranoid conspiracy theories that he weaves around the Catholic Church. You know that—regardless of your differences with the Catholic Church—distributing Chick tracts to your patrons will do a disservice to the body of Christ by spreading error, fear, and prejudice among your customers.



And if you are an employee of Chick Publications—or even Jack Chick himself—you have seen a more thorough answer to the material in your tracts than you may have seen before. Numerous errors and misrepresentations have been documented. You now know why, if you are to be a faithful servant of Christ, these tracts must be pulled from the market and the presentation of Catholics in your publications must be changed.


In the love of Jesus Christ,

—Catholic Answers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » January 31st, 2015, 3:46 pm

Silent: Its understandable your beliefs,Jesus is our Savior! He is The head of the body you claim to be the Church is the body of believers,we were born into sin, Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross at Calvary,I understand Catholics categorizes sin into mortal sin and venial sin.God is the head and the judge, so I won't try refuting your beliefs... brother,what you believe is in the Church which is the foundation of morals and truth,and what Jesus did on the cross is not sufficient for Catholics.There are many inconsientencies in History for me to believe "Apostlic Succession" and the one true church that was around in the first Century,I have personally found no truth to that claim.My eternal destination is Heaven not Hell my salvation is assured.I guess you also believe if we are not Catholic we are destined to Hell,I guess will let God be the judge because we are not to judge but have faith and belief in the gospel and our Savior "Jesus Christ" Jesus came before the Church I don't need a church to save me because your church or no church saves you my brother but apparently without your church your belief is your are bound to Hell?I appreciate your input wether your right or wrong or I'm right or wrong I guess in the end will find out if you make it threw the narrow gates? Im positive I will make it because I don't have to be good and say 20 hail Mary's and our fathers they cleanse my sins,Jesus blood is sufficient,repenting is turning away from sin praying and asking for forgiveness He is just and faithful to do so.I believe the Church has you in bondage.What happens if at the end He don't know you because scripture states not all of us will enter the kingdom? I guess our theology differs a bit.Im saved by faith by grace in Jesus Christ... you are saved by being apart of the Catholic church.Jesus is the Head of the Church not the Pope on Earth, we serve a living God and as a believer when we are born again and then saved the same spirit comes alive in us...
as we are saved the same spirit that rose Jesus from the dead.Church does not save faith in Our Savior Jesus Christ saves us and when that ? Takes place past present and future sins are forgiven...All the Catholic theology I don't believe one that blows the whole faith truly out of the water brother.I understand your faith is in the Church just remember which came first Jesus not the Church,I do not believe there was any Authority passed on to a Church called the Catholic Church...It dictates your Salvation,Your faith,and keeps you under it's bondage as the truth
of Gods infallible word.Your
interpretation of scripture comes From your Savior on earth the Pope a SUCCESSOR has the same power as God the Son God the father and The Holy Spirit,Im not buying that fallacy brother.I'm not the judge of anyones faith and salvation I'm a ambassador of Christ. I'm saved and have turned and repented from all sin brother,and God as my witness the Holy Spirit resides within me as my teacher and Counsler I believe your Counsler and teacher is the Church because if don't do as they say your bound to purgatory? Alot is just preposterous in the Catholic theology,Im not sold on that faith is it false or untrue thats for God to judge I believe and I wont state I truly am in a position to do His Job "God" So I will say you are being decieved or mislead with brotherly love and respect is all I was on your Catholic answers website and believe me the guy is very informational but I guess one must believe the Catholic faith from its start from Apostle Peter and so on...The Apostles were Jewish Christians not Catholics my brother in Christ the fist century church was in Jerusalem not Rome from my studys and I know there is nothing I say you will believe because you will rebutt with church fathers.The papacy is alsi debatable early Christianity is also questionable truth be told.So I dont want to play Im right your wrong because its the wrong approach to reach someone...In reality what you believe is what you believe brother and I can just post my beliefs wether they are CNN right or wrong you nor me will find out th he . Tru th h untill we are called home.L&R BJ.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » January 31st, 2015, 4:25 pm

Silent “what happens if I sin, and then I die before I have an opportunity to confess that sin to God?” Another common question is “what happens if I commit a sin, but then forget about it and never remember to confess it to God?” Both of these questions rest on a faulty assumption. Salvation is not a matter of believers trying to confess and repent from every sin they commit before they die. Salvation is not based on whether a Christian has confessed and repented of every sin. Yes, we should confess our sins to God as soon as we are aware that we have sinned. However, we do not always need to be asking God for forgiveness. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, all of our sins are forgiven. That includes past, present, and future, big or small. Believers do not have to keep asking for forgiveness or repenting in order to have their sins forgiven. Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins, and when they are forgiven, they are all forgiven (Colossians 1:14; Acts 10:43).

What we are to do is confess our sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). What this verse tells us to do is “confess” our sins to God. The word “confess” means “to agree with.” When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we were wrong, that we have sinned. God forgives us, through confession, on an ongoing basis because of the fact that He is “faithful and just.” How is God “faithful and just”? He is faithful by forgiving sins, which He has promised to do for all those who receive Christ as Savior. He is just by applying Christ’s payment for our sins, recognizing that the sins have indeed been atoned for.

At the same time, 1 John 1:9 does indicate that somehow forgiveness is dependent on our confessing our sins to God. How does this work if all of our sins are forgiven the moment we receive Christ as Savior? It seems that what the apostle John is describing here is “relational” forgiveness. All of our sins are forgiven “positionally” the moment we receive Christ as Savior. This positional forgiveness guarantees our salvation and promise of an eternal home in heaven. When we stand before God after death, God will not deny us entrance into heaven because of our sins. That is positional forgiveness. The concept of relational forgiveness is based on the fact that when we sin, we offend God and grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). While God has ultimately forgiven us of the sins we commit, they still result in a blocking or hindrance in our relationship with God. A young boy who sins against his father is not cast out of the family. A godly father will forgive his children unconditionally. At the same time, a good relationship between father and son cannot be achieved until the relationship is restored. This can only occur when a child confesses his mistakes to his father and apologizes. That is why we confess our sins to God—not to maintain our salvation, but to bring ourselves back into close fellowship with the God who loves us and has already forgiven us.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby silentwssj » January 31st, 2015, 5:19 pm

Hey there! I have to say that you are resilient in your beliefs Bumperjack! I don't agree with any of them but hey who am I to judge right! All I am going to say is you have the role of the Pope and the Church twisted! You make it sound as if all Catholics are eagerly waiting his next pronouncement of some new Salvific revelation! We are not Mormons, Lol! The popes role is head of the visible and living church here on earth. he does nothing without consulting the college of Bishops first. You make it sound as if the pope is walking around making "Ex Cathedra" statements all day long. Truth be told very few of these statements have ever been made in the entirety of Church history! When these type of statements are made they always in response to something that has always been believed but is being challenged by people such as Protestants! I hate to say it Bumperjack but you have the role of the pope twisted beyond anything that a Catholic would recognize as being true! Christ's sacrifice on Calvary is quite sufficient for us by the way. What isn't sufficient is taking an unbiblical view of Salvation that all Protestants make. The Bible is quite clear that your Salvation is not guaranteed! It is only when a person Cherry picks verses out of context and ignores all others that you come the conclusions that you have made. As far as confession goes most sins that a person commits are not Grave or Mortal! It is only those serious sins that a person needs to Confess! If you happen to die without repenting them you are literally at the Mercy of God. If you are suffering from some sort of addiction it is possible that he may give you pardon because the definition of an addict is someone who has no control of the said actions. In a nutshell sinning seriously is deliberately turning your back on God! You are rejecting him and his Grace! To do so means that if you die without repenting of those actions you are definitely and absolutely going to hell! Remember nothing impure can enter into heaven. God established a church and a Sacrament to absolve people of their sins. To willfully disregard that is to turn your back on what God has willed. The consequences for taking that course of action when you know better is eternal damnation! As far as what happens if you forget to confess a sin, you can make blanket statements. Lets pretend that Bumperjack finally comes around to his senses and finally decides to actually confess his sins to God through his priesthood. Obviously you have a lifetime of unrepented sin and there is no way that you can possibly remember everything. What you would do is say everything that you do remember and then say something to the effect of I have never before confessed any sin in my life therefore I would ask God to pardon me for these sins and any and all that I do not remember for my entire life! That should do it. God is a forgiving and understanding God. he knows your heart better than you do yourself! He knows if you are sincere or not! Hopefully this helps you Brother Bumperjack! As always much love and respect, Silent!

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » February 1st, 2015, 7:33 am

Silent: I'm trying to understand your faith truly. I believe the crucial problem with the"Catholic Church" is what I have learned Silent is this is it's belief that faith alone in Christ Jesus is not sufficient for Salvation. God's word clearly and consistently states that recieving Jesus Christ as our savior by grace through faith grants "Salvation"(John:1-12-3-16-18-36) (Acts16:31) (Romans 10:9-10-13) (Ephesians 2:8-9) What I have learned correct me if Im misinterpreting your faith,the church tells you to believe in Jesus Christ,be baptized, and recieve the eucharist along with other sacraments and obey the decrees of the Church and perform meritorious works and not die with any mortal sins and maybe more I'm not sure but Wow that's alot my Brother Silent that sounds like alot of work? But you claim Jesus Christ's is work on the cross in Calvary is or was Sufficient? REALLY,Anything added like works or rituals to faith in order for Salvation to be achieved is a claim that Jesus Christ our Savior was not sufficient to fully purchase our Salvation.Silent I'm not a judge but I'm a ambassador to Christ a Saint and a priest the bible states,Were I get confused is how can there be more then one head to any body which is the Church,Jesus Christ is the head He is the Rock of our Salvation,"Not Peter nor the Pope"Yes I might have some tjings twisted with the Pope but when we give authority that only Jesus Christ had and past to His Apostles who are dead Jesus rose from the dead He is a living God whom I serve and believe His promises,I believe we're it goes south or soured is believing in fallible men for your faith and taking ypur eyes off God's promises,Im not the final Judge of Authority and I don't believe the Church is also.L&R BJ (PS Enjoy the Super bowl I'm going to my Homeboys after Church) All this is with brotherly Love God Bless you and your family brother.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » February 1st, 2015, 8:10 am

Sient here are my beliefs on Salvation to know it is secure my brother:
For many years people have debated the issue of whether a Christian can lose his salvation. Some within Christendom believe you can lose your salvation; others say you can't. That, perhaps more than any other single doctrine, has been a dividing issue in the church. How sad that is, because the Bible is clear about the matter. It is surprising that many Christians would deny or ignore the straightforward presentation of the doctrine of security in Romans chapter 8. There are other texts in the Bible that discuss the security of the believer, but none are as pointed as Romans 8:28-30.We find in those verses that everyone who has been redeemed by Jesus Christ, without exception, will be glorified.

The key phrase in this trilogy of verses is at the end of verse 28: "called according to His [God's] purpose." We are forever secure because that was God's purpose. The Son of God and the Holy Spirit intercede for us so that the plan of God might come to pass. So our security is guaranteed not only by the purpose of God, but also by the outworking of that purpose through the intercessory ministries of the Son and the Spirit.

The phrase "called according to His purpose" helps us to understand verses 29-30, which explain God's purpose: "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."

God causes all things to work out for the believer's good, which is "according to His purpose." There is no other way to explain why He does that; He simply wants to. God is free to make whatever decisions He wants. And He sovereignly chose for all things to work together for the good and glory of those who are redeemed. Nothing can change that.


Your Salvation Was a Sovereign Act of God

You are a Christian not because of something you did, but because of something God decided. In Ephesians 1:3 the apostle Paul says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Why are we to bless the Lord? Because "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him" (v. 4). God chose us and will make us holy. Ultimately, all sin will be overruled. That is another way of saying that all things work together for our ultimate good.

Paul continues in verse 5, "[God] predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will." God predetermined to make us His sons.

He planned that our salvation would lead to glorification. We are saved by God's plan, and preserved for future glory. So our security does not depend on our ability to stay saved, but on God's ability to keep His promise (Heb. 6:17-18).

Ephesians 1:9 says that God "made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him." God swore by Himself, for there is nothing or no one greater that He can swear by (Heb. 6:13 ). Because He is absolutely perfect and the Persons of the Trinity cannot violate their word, we are assured of our security.

Ephesians 1:11 tells us that in Christ also "we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His [God's] purpose who works [Gk., energeo] all things after the counsel of His will." God energizes all things according to His will. He planned to redeem us. Salvation is not based on what we decide, but on what God decides. John 1:12-13 says, "As many as received him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." It is true that we have to respond to the gospel message. We have to receive Christ and believe in Him (Acts 4:12 ). However, we are regenerated by the will of God. Even our response is according to God's decision.

Much of contemporary evangelism leaves people thinking that salvation is predicated on their decision for Christ. Actually, it is based on God's decision for them. That's the emphasis of Scripture. How could a person ever make a decision for God? First Corinthians 2:14 says the "natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him."

Second Corinthians 4:4 says, "The god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Man is ignorant in darkness, and dead in sin (Eph. 2:1). There is no way he could muster up enough of whatever it would take to turn around and accept Christ. God makes the first move in line with His eternal purpose.


The Paradox of Salvation

Contemporary Christianity has a shallow view of salvation. Many people don't understand the security of the believer. God, in eternity past, chose us to believe in the truth (2 Thess. 2:13 ). Now we have to show a response. I don't fully understand how those two come together. Some people think that the people who go to hell go there because God rejected them. But the Bible says that people go to hell because they reject the gospel (John 3:18 ). That may not make sense to us, but it shouldn't matter. God is smarter than us. Would you want a God who is our equal? I wouldn't!

The paradox regarding God's choice and man's responsibility isn't the only paradox in Scripture. For example, who wrote the book of Romans? Paul did, but so did God. Did they take turns writing verses? On the one hand, every word is pure and from the mind of God. Yet, every word also came from Paul's heart and his vocabulary. How could Romans have been fully written by both God and Paul? We know it was, but we can't explain it fully.

Is Jesus God or man? He was both. Christ was not a blend of God and man. He was 100 percent Himself. He was fully God and fully man. We can't figure that out.

How about this: Who lives your Christian life? Paul said, "I discipline my body and make it my slave" (1 Cor. 9:27 ). He also said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20 ). Which is the right answer? Both you and Christ live your life.

Most major doctrines in the Bible have an aspect that we cannot fully explain. When we try to bring God down to our level, there is still much we won't understand. We simply can't resolve everything in our minds. So the reason anyone goes to hell is because he rejected Christ and is completely responsible. But when a person comes to Christ, it's because he was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

The Purpose of Salvation

God Wants to Make Us Like Christ

Romans 8:29 says the purpose of salvation is for us "to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren." We have been called according to God's purpose (Rom. 8:28 ), and His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son. God planned for you to be saved in eternity past to be made like Christ. It is impossible for a person to become saved yet never become like Christ because he lost his salvation. God promised glorification; that is His eternal purpose. Heaven, the forgiveness of sin, and the gifts of love, joy, peace, and wisdom are only a part of the reality of salvation. The main reason God saved us was to conform us to the image of His Son. God is redeeming an eternally holy, Christlike, glorified community of people. When you became a Christian, the process of your being conformed to Christ began. That process must be fulfilled because that is God's holy purpose.

Romans 8:24 says "in hope we have been saved." Verse 17 says that if we are children of God, we are "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." We were made sons of God so that we might be heirs. Our inheritance is to be like Christ and to receive all that belongs to Him. It's unbiblical to say that people can lose their salvation, because God's purpose in salvation is to conform us to the image of Christ. The Greek verb translated "to become conformed" in verse 29 means "to bring to the same form with."

Philippians 3:21 says we will be transformed bodily--the Lord "will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory." Our glorified bodies will be like Christ's. Outwardly, we will be conformed to the post-resurrection body of our Lord. However, I don't think we will all look alike. Every human being is different, but we have basically the same body. Our bodies work in the same way, in the same environment, and by the same principles. Likewise when we go to glory, we will receive glorious bodies that work in the same environment and by the same principles as the resurrected, glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Created Us for a Purpose

God created us so that there would be a group of people who would give Him the glory He deserves. A rebellion began in the Garden of Eden, yet God set out to redeem sinners. By His marvelous sovereign wisdom, He called back people who rebelled against Him to a place where they could give Him glory. His goal in salvation is to bring believers to glory and let Christ stand as the preeminent One, receiving worship and praise forever.

Now do you understand why you were saved? It wasn't just to keep you out of hell or to make you happy. The ultimate reason God is conforming us to Christ's image is so we will be able to give glory to the One who is most glorious.

That Christ is "the firstborn among many brethren" is a beautiful thought. Christ didn't have to make us His brothers. He could have made us His servants. He didn't have to bring us into His family, but He did. Even though God wants us to glorify Him and His Son, He also desires intimacy with us. He is redeeming us to be one in essence with Himself. We are brothers and sisters of Christ!

God gives us joy, peace, and a future in heaven. Those are all elements of His grace to sinners. But it's not our happiness or our holiness that is the apex of the divine purpose--it is glorifying the Son. Christ is the central point of redemptive history, not you. Therefore, if God saved you, He will glorify you to fulfill His purpose in bringing you to salvation. God's plans don't get thwarted. If they did, He wouldn't be God.

So the purpose of salvation is to conform us to the image of Christ so we can forever exalt the One who is over us.

The Progress of Salvation

There are five elements in the unfolding plan of salvation:

Foreknowledge

Romans 8:29 begins, "For those whom He foreknew." That is where the redemptive plan of God starts--with His foreknowledge. Some people have suggested that God's foreknowledge is the same thing as His foresight. They envision God in heaven looking into the future with binoculars. If He sees that you will believe, He chooses you; if you aren't going to believe, He doesn't choose you. It's true that God can see everything that will happen in the future. He does know exactly what people will do. However, if you maintain that salvation is based only on God's foresight into the decisions of men, you are stating that man secures his own salvation.

Just believing that God knew who would and would not accept Christ doesn't explain how salvation starts with God's foreknowledge. The ultimate problem we have in our finite minds is why God allows people to go to hell. Many try to explain it by saying it isn't His choice to send people to hell; He just knows it is going to happen. However, if God knew certain people would go to hell, why did He bother creating them?

Also, if you believe that God just knew what was going to happen in the future, you still haven't explained how sinners become saved. How can a person who is dead in sin, blinded by Satan, unable to understand the things of God, and continuously filled with evil suddenly exercise saving faith? A corpse would sooner come out of a grave and walk! Simply defining God's foreknowledge as foresight into the future still leaves us with problems.

This is the definition we should give for God's foreknowledge: God does indeed foresee the faith of everyone who is saved, and the faith He foresees is the faith He Himself creates. Jesus Himself said, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me .... No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6:37, 44). John 1:13 says that Christians are "born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." God does foresee a person's faith, but it is a faith that He Himself creates.

Acts 13:48 illustrates this truth: "When the Gentiles heard this [Paul and Barnabas preach], they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." Salvation is ordained by God, and it ultimately ends in eternal life and glory. There is no salvation where a person doesn't ultimately become conformed to the image of Christ for the purpose of exalting the preeminent One. The reason the Gentiles in Acts 13 believed is they were ordained to do so.

God not only sees what will happen in the future, but also ordains it. The Bible clearly teaches that God sovereignly chooses people. First Peter begins with these words: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (1:1-2). We are elect by God's foreknowledge. We tend to think that the foreknowledge basically means "foresight" because we don't understand the full meaning of the word. It includes both foresight and foreordination.

Predestination

The Greek word translated "predestined" in Romans 8:29-30 (proorizo) means "to appoint before" or "to mark out before." This word is also used in Acts 4: "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur" (Acts 4:27-28).

The Greek words for predestined and foreknowledgeare both used in reference to Christ's crucifixion (Acts 2:23;4:28). So if we say that God's foreknowledge is simply foresight into the future, we are saying that He saw what Jesus--on His own prerogative--was going to do and reacted to it. That is heretical. However, if we understand foreknowledge and predestination to mean that God predetermined Christ's death to redeem all who believed, then it could logically follow that He predetermined us to be redeemed.

Calling

Romans 8:30 says that those whom God predestined, "He also called." This is where God's eternal plan intersects with your life. In eternity past, He predetermined to have a love relationship with you--He predestined your salvation. The calling is when God moves into your life on this earth, within the boundaries of time. Foreknowledge and predestination describe what happened in eternity past.

Romans 8:28 says that all things "work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called." The term "called" refers not to an outward call, but an inward one. It speaks of when God turns around a person's heart--a heart that could never turn to God, know Him, understand the gospel, or know hope on its own. We know this refers to a saving call because of the context of Romans 8:30: "these whom he called, He also justified." The calling here is an effectual call. It's not just an invitation to anyone. If God predetermined a love relationship with us and foreordained our salvation in eternity past, then He will fulfill it by moving into our lives. As I mentioned earlier, you are not saved because of something you did but because of what God decided.

What happens when God calls us? He moves in us and convicts our hearts. He draws us away from sin and toward the Savior. Second Timothy 1:9 says that God "has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity." You were called to salvation to fulfill a purpose that was planned before God created the world. That is the reason we are secure in our salvation. We were saved to be like Christ and to be part of a redeemed people that will exalt His holy name. If that was God's plan from before we were even born, He will fulfill it. No one can lose his salvation; all things are continually overruled by God to work for our ultimate glory

God's call comes to us through the gospel. Second Thessalonians 2:13-14 says, "We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation.... It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." God chose to save us so that glory could be given to Christ.

Now don't think that just because God chose you, you're better than someone else. There is no way of knowing why God chose you or me. One small hint of why He did appears in Ephesians 1:6: "to the praise of the glory of His grace." Whatever reason God had for choosing us, it was for Him, not us. Galatians 1:6 says that God calls us "by the grace of Christ." We are called to salvation through the gospel, by grace, and through the Spirit of God.

Justification

The word "justified' in Romans 8:30 means "to be made right with God." How does that happen? The sin in your life must be removed. God must take your sin and put it on Christ (Rom. 3:23-25). When He moved into your heart and called you to Himself, you were made right with Him. Some people wonder how much time there is between God's calling and our justification. I don't know. That would be like asking how much time it takes for a bullet to go through two sheets of paper. The distinction between calling and justification is theological; there isn't necessarily a time lapse. You are called to be justified. The calling is when God moves to change your heart, and justification is the result.

Glorification

Since God predetermined to love you, redeem you, call you away from your sin, and make you right with Him through your faith in Christ, the next step is glorification. Romans 8:30 says that those "whom He justified, He also glorified."

Did you notice that statement is in the past tense? Your glorification is so secure that God speaks of it in the same tense that He spoke of your salvation. And your salvation is so secure that He used the same tense to speak of your calling, justification, and predestination. The moment He predetermined to love you, your glorification was so secure that He could speak of it as if it had already happened.


The Guarantee of Glorification

You were saved for glory, and all things are working toward that end. This is God's purpose: to make you like Christ so that you can be part of the redeemed, over which Christ will be preeminent. You will glorify and praise Him forever. Before the world began, God predetermined to set His love on you and foreordained your salvation. In time, He moved into your heart and called you away from your sin. He made you right with Himself through Jesus Christ, and destined you to be glorified. That is the security of the believer.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby silentwssj » February 1st, 2015, 9:06 am

Hey there Bumperjack! Real quick as I am about to leave for Mass! This article should help you to understand more. I am still working out of town. I will leaving for a five hour drive roughly when the super bowl begins. I am anticipating a lay off hopefully this week, it could be as long as a month though. :| I have already cancelled my internet in anticipation of this. I will be moving out of my apartment out there this weekend. If I have to stay any longer I will simply bunk up at a friends house. Lets take a break on the posting for a while until I get all of this resolved. I will only have my phone with me and I really don't want to do any posting with that. I should be home and laid off though later this week! 8) once that happens I will let you know and we will continue ok! Peace out, much love and respect your Brother in Christ Silent!


Can You Lose Your Salvation?

Taylor Marshall
Published: 07 September 2009 5:10 AM CST
Can You Lose Your Salvation?
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Can a Christian lose his salvation. According to Saint Paul, the answer is “yes”.

Once Saved Always Saved?
Most Evangelical Christians hold that a Christian is “once saved always saved,” by which they mean that once a person has committed his life to Christ, he can never do anything to undo this gift of salvation. The explanation assumes that since the gift of salvation was freely granted, there is nothing that one can do lose it. Contrary to this, we know that gifts can be abandoned, rejected, or destroyed by of the ill will of the recipient. A father may purchase a sports car and freely give it to his son as a gift. It is rightly assumed that a gift cannot be “ungifted” or taken away. I am sure that the son would receive the car gleefully. However, the son may turn around and sell the car for drugs, crash the car, or neglect the car so that it no longer functions. The gift was not “ungifted”. Rather, the worth of the gift was rejected through negligence.

Catholicism views salvation in a similar way – a gift is given freely, but it may be spurned and squandered. The Father freely gave His Son Jesus Christ to suffer, die, and rise again for our salvation. Through the Holy Spirit, God pours out this love upon us so that we become the children of God. In the words of Saint Paul, we become earthen vessels containing inestimable treasure (1 Cor 4:7). And this salvation is a gift. As Saint Paul wrote:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10)
This gift of God is not “earned by works of our own doing” but rather is received “through faith”. However, notice that salvation has a purpose in this life. We are “created in Christ Jesus for good works…that we should walk in them.” Paul is opposed to certain persons trying to earn salvation through works without faith, but he finds no tension between faith and good works once faith has been established in the Christian. In fact, Paul expects that good works will necessarily grow up as the fruits of faith. Remember that Saint Paul, like the Catholic Church, finds salvation through “faith working through love” and not through “faith alone”.

This difference demonstrates that for Saint Paul and the Catholic Church, salvation is understood as progressive and multidimensional. When Evangelicals read Paul, they observe a stress on “faith” and so they focus on this aspect of Paul’s teaching. The Catholic Church reads Paul and discovers in his writings a stress on faith but in the context of various over doctrines: baptism, the church, good works, tradition, liturgy, sanctification, etc. To use an illustration, it is as if two different people look at a written piece of music. The first looks at the piece and after studying concludes, “The note “D” seems to be predominate.” Then he walks over to the piano and strikes a “D” on the piano. The other person studies the same sheet of music and concludes, “This piece of music is in the key of D.” He then walks over to the piano and plays the beautiful piece of music from the sheet in the key of D. The first person tried to distill the music down to one note and as a result, he neglected the rest. However, the second person realized that “D” was the overarching theme and yet he incorporated all the other notes so that something more beautiful resulted.
Evangelicals and other kinds of Protestants in their commendable zeal often distill the writings of Saint Paul to such an extent that they miss the complexities and nuances of the Apostle. This is especially the case when it comes to Saint Paul’s doctrine of salvation. As a result, the Evangelical doctrine of “once saved always saved” misses the nuances of Paul’s doctrine. Paul does in fact teach that “nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Rom 8:39). However, he also clearly states that certain Christians have “fallen from grace” (Gal 5:4). What does the Apostle mean when he says that certain Christians have fallen from grace?

The Apostle explains, “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Cor 9:27). Here the prize is salvation, as is clear from the preceding verses. Saint Paul follows a disciplined life because he knows that there is a possibility that he might forfeit the salvation that he preaches. For this reason, in the very next chapter, Paul encourages the Christians in Corinth to do the same: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Cor 10:12). The “fall” here is the “fall from grace” spoken about by Paul in Galatians 5:4. Interestingly enough, the warning about falling from grace in Galatians 5:4 is immediately followed up by Paul’s exhortation to have “faith working through love” in Galatians 5:6.

Since the Apostle believes that one might fall from grace, he elsewhere encourages the Christians in Philippi to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). Here again we see Paul’s emphasis on a “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). We are to work out our salvation. While it is a gift, it requires our effort. If you receive the gift of a bicycle, it is worthless until you actually get on the bike and start peddling. If the giver of the gift saw the bicycle leaning against the wall in your garage covered in dust, he would be offended. The giver wanted the recipient to enjoy cycling, but this intention was never realized. The same is true of salvation. The gift of salvation has been given to us so that we can be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29). This is a profound honor. We are called not only to believe in Christ, but also to become like Christ. We participate in the life of Christ. It is for this reason that we are called Christians. This means that our life is characterized by acts pertaining to faith, hope, and charity (1 Cor 13:13). When we willingly break the bond our bond of charity with Christ, we fall from grace.

We learn from Saint John that some sins are “mortal sins” and some sins are not mortal in this way:


If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal (1 Jn 5:16-17).

Following John’s classification of these two kinds of sins, the Catholic Church teaches the following about mortal sin:


Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it” (CCC § 1855).

Mortal sins are called “mortal” because as Saint John explained, they bring death to the soul. The other class is called “venial sin” from the Latin word venia, meaning “forgiveness” or “pardon”. Evangelicals understand the difference between mortal and venial sins whether they acknowledge it or not. If you were playing golf with your pastor and he let out a cruse word when he hit his golf ball into the forest, you would be disappointed, but not broken-hearted. However, if your pastor were engaged in an adulterous affair with the church’s secretary, you would have cause for alarm. The same is true in marriage. There are certain sins that inhibit the growth of love between a husband and wife, but they do not rupture the loving relationship, as would adultery or physical abuse.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, three conditions must be met in order for a sin to be mortal: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent” (CCC §1857). Would Paul agree with this? As a matter of fact, the Catholic Church looks to Paul as the foremost delineator of mortal sins. The Catechism cites no less than seven passages from the letters of Paul as examples of mortal sins (CCC §1852), but in particular it cites the Apostle’s Epistle to the Galatians:


Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:18-21).

Saint Paul lists a set of sins and concludes with, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21). Who is Paul warning? He is warning Christians. If they do these things, then they will fall from grace. In other words, they “shall not inherit the kingdom of God”. Paul shows that there are certain sins that are mortal. These sins disqualify a Christian from inheriting the kingdom of God. The Apostle could not explain it any more clearly. In fact, these “mortal sin lists” are a common feature of Paul’s epistles. For more examples of Paul’s lists of mortal sins, see also Rom 1:28-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5-8; 1 Tim 1:9-10; 2 Tim 3:2-5.

We find further confirmation of “falling from grace” when we turn to the Epistle to the Hebrews. While the Epistle to the Hebrews does not bear the name of Paul, Catholic tradition has held to be “Pauline” in origin. Some have speculated that its core was by Paul and that it was later composed and polished by Saint Luke on behalf of Paul. Others believe that it lacks the signature of Paul because it is addressed to the Hebrews. This makes sense when we remember that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles. Whichever the reason, the epistle certainly incorporates the theology of Paul and resembles Galatians in many ways.

In The Epistle to the Hebrews, we find three passages that echo the exhortations found in the other epistles of Paul about falling from grace. In Hebrews 4:1 we read, “The promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” Here, the assumption is that a Christian may “fall short” of entering into Heaven. Hebrews 6:4-6 is a difficult passage for Evangelicals and is often admitted to be the one passage that refutes the Evangelical doctrine of “once saved always saved”.


For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt (Heb 6:4-6).

Here we have persons who have been “enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,” and yet they are able to “commit apostasy” and reject the Son of God. Two verses later, he compares such apostates to thistles worthy only of being burned (Heb 6:8).
The Epistle to the Hebrews later takes up the problem of apostate Christians in its tenth chapter. It is worth quoting in full. The emphases are mine:


For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:26-31).

This passage confirms Paul’s doctrine of apostasy and the warning set forth in the sixth chapter of Hebrews. A man will fall into “a fury of fire” (Heb 10:27) who has “spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace” (Heb 10:29). Notice how the person in question has already been “sanctified” by the “blood of the covenant”. This person has received the gift of redemption of the New Covenant through the precious blood of Christ. And yet such a man will forfeit all those benefits and fall into the fires of Hell. Clearly, the Epistle to the Hebrews and the epistles of Paul in general teach that the Christian can “fall from grace”. This fall occurs through apostasy or through committing mortal sin and this accords perfectly with the Catholic doctrine of salvation as it regards the possibility of falling from grace.

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » February 1st, 2015, 9:09 am

You got it my brother be safe love and respects my brother in Christ.BJ

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Re: Teaching Authority in Sacred Scripture?

Unread postby bumperjack » February 13th, 2015, 4:58 pm

Understanding God's Salvation Plan Silent hope all is well just wanted to share this with you!!!
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:10.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13.

Only God knows how many dear souls have been led to the Lord Jesus Christ by the above verses of Scripture. These verses, commonly referred to as the "Roman's Road," are used worldwide by Christian workers in an effort to present God's Salvation Plan to the lost in a step by step fashion. The Roman's Road is wonderful for getting straight to the point and dealing with the primary issues of sin and salvation. Millions have come to know Christ after reading these verses (including myself), and it is our prayer that millions more will come to know Him in the future.

But there is a problem. Because of the habitual use of such quick and easy portions of Scripture, more and more Christians are developing a very shallow concept of New Testament Salvation. Time and time again I find myself speaking with people who profess to be saved, and yet they aren't sure about their eternal destiny. Many of these people can tell of a specific time in their life when they prayed and asked the Lord to come into their heart and save them, but still today they live in a state of uncertainty. This should not be happening.

Then there are others who have never been saved and really do not understand the need to be saved. Someone says, "Well, they probably just don't care." Yes, that's often the case, but not always. I believe there are many people who would like to have a better understanding of Jesus Christ and the Salvation that He offers, and I believe that many such people WILL receive Christ once they truly understand their need for Him.

Friend, if you fit into one of these categories, this tract is for you. This tract has been written for the sole purpose of helping people UNDERSTAND New Testament Salvation. Whether you're saved or lost, this tract can help you . So why not set aside a little time and read the following pages, prayerfully and carefully. You will not be disappointed (Lk. 11:9-10).

God's Personality

There are many things that can be said about God in this study, but the one thing that must be said is that God is a RIGHTEOUS and HOLY God. So often we hear of God's love for US, and we very seldom think of God standing alone without man in the picture. Let's first consider God Himself, without even thinking of mankind. Let's take a look at the personality of God Almighty.

Exodus 15:11 says, "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?" The seraphims of Isaiah 6 praised God, crying "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." If something is holy, then it is whole or complete. God is holy. He lacks nothing, for he is complete. God simply cannot be improved upon.

Someone has said, "God without man is God, but man without God is nothing." How true these words are! One who wishes to know God must IGNORE himself. It was God who created man. God existed first, without man in the picture. So, in order to really understand New Testament Salvation, we must first focus totally upon the eternal God of Glory. We must know something of God's personality.

We must realize that God never has and never will do anything wrong for any reason. God has always been holy, and He always will be. He says in Malachi 3:6, "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." God never has and never will make one single adjustment within His person. His state of sinless perfection is eternal. If the entire universe were to turn against God, including all the hosts of Heaven, it would not change God. He would still be the eternal God of Glory. Consider these strong portions of Scripture from the Book of Isaiah:

"All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" Isa. 40:17-18.

"I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Isa. 42:8.

". . . .Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no god; I know not any." Isa. 44:8

"I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no god beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me." Isa. 45:5

"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Isa. 46:10.

So let's first understand one great truth: with or without us, GOD IS GOD. He is the unchangeable, holy, and eternal God of Glory. Regardless of what happens, this will always be true.

God in Relation to Man

Genesis chapter one gives to us the account of the creation, including the creation of man. We read in Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Man was created in the image of God. That image, as we have already seen, was an image of RIGHTEOUSNESS. It's an image of absolute holiness. God did not create man in a sinful condition. It would have been foolish to do so! God created a sinless man in HIS OWN IMAGE. Luke 3:38 tells us that this first man, Adam, was actually "the son of God." No other man after Adam is called a son of God. But Adam was called this, because he was made in GOD'S IMAGE.

Being absolutely sinless, Adam was now ready to carry out God's plan. God is a SPIRIT (John 4:24), but He created a PHYSICAL earth. So He needed a physical being to rule over the earth. Genesis 1:28 tells us that God gave Adam DOMINION over the earth and over all of its inhabitants. "Why?" you may ask. Couldn't God manage to run things for Himself? Sure He could, but He wanted something more. God had a very special reason for creating man. Notice how clearly the reason is given in Isaiah 43:7: "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." Why did God create man? He did it to bring GLORY to Himself! All through the Bible we find that God wants to be GLORIFIED (Psa. 22:23; 50:15; Mt. 5:16; John 12:28; Rom. 15:6; I Cor. 6:20; etc.), and the beginning was certainly no exception. God wanted to form a living being out of the ground and have that being live in close fellowship with Him. God wanted His human creation to live in RIGHTEOUSNESS. God wanted to see His children prosper! He didn't want them to fail; He wanted them to prosper. This would bring honor and glory to His name. Just as any respectable father delights in watching his own children live right and succeed in life, God wanted the same for His children! Like any responsible father, God knew what was best, and He had a wonderful plan for His children.

So God created man and placed him in a perfect environment. Would man be obedient and fulfill God's will, or would he become disobedient? God had to put man to the test. He had to give man a choice. God could have FORCED Adam and Eve to always obey Him, but that would be against His nature. God wanted man to LOVE Him and ENJOY serving Him, so a choice was given.

Rather than populate the entire universe at once with newly created humans, God, in His infinite wisdom, placed one man and his wife in a garden and gave them a choice. You know the story. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-6). Satan's way seemed more pleasant at the moment, so man fell into sin by disobeying God.

Worst of all, man LOST the IMAGE OF GOD. God was still holy, but man was now UNHOLY. Man was now a transgressor against God. Man had failed the test. In his sinful condition, Adam could not carry out God's divine plan. He was no longer qualified, for he was now a sinner.

At this point, God could have chosen to destroy His creation and start with a new one, or He could REDEEM the fallen creation. He chose to redeem fallen man. He chose to set forth a master plan that would allow man to become RIGHTEOUS once again. Being the merciful God that He is, God chose to work out a wonderful redemption plan for fallen man.

But wait! This will be no easy plan, because Adam and his wife aren't the only sinners. Every child born after Genesis chapter three has been born in Adam's SINFUL image (Gen. 5:3). All men are natural sinners upon being born into the world:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 51:5.

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:10.

Men are no longer made in God's image. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said "Ye are of your father, the devil..." in John 8:44. God is not a sinner, so sinners are not God's children. Sinners are natural-born children of the Devil. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:2 that lost sinners are "children of disobedience." Why? Because we naturally receive a SIN NATURE at birth.

In addition to this, we must also realize that we cannot rid ourselves of this corrupt sin nature. We are "stuck" with a fallen image of unrighteousness. Unless God works a miracle in our lives, we are absolutely hopeless--forever doomed to the eternal fires of Hell. We cannot earn our Salvation by performing righteous works, because our righteousness is no good. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our righteousness is like "filthy rags!" Instead of being clean in the eyes of God, men are FILTHY, because of the sin nature in us all. God is holy, but we are unholy. He is Godly, but we are ungodly. He is righteous, but we are unrighteous. Our sin nature stands like a brick wall between us and God, separating us from His dear fellowship.

Now try comparing a HOLY God with unholy men. Contrast the two in your mind. You see, there must be a separation. Just as you keep your clean laundry separate from your dirty laundry, God must keep Himself separate from ungodly man. God is not a sinner, so He cannot fellowship with sinners. Unless sin is somehow removed from man, there is no hope. Unless man is somehow redeemed from his fallen nature, God has no choice but to sentence him to Hell forever. The sin debt must be paid so that man can regain his original righteous image and his fellowship with God. Someone must pay the price.

God's Plan of Redemption

There once was a king who had a very strong reputation for enforcing the law in his kingdom. He never compromised for anyone. If someone broke the law a penalty was always required.

Then one day this king sat upon his throne hearing case after case, when suddenly a very shocking thing happened. A young man was brought in for judgment. He had been caught red-handed in theft. The whole kingdom stood in silence to hear the king's judgment. You see, this was no ordinary case: the young man was the king's son!

Being as broken hearted as he was, the king knew that he still must give judgment. Justice must be done. One hand would have to severed. Then suddenly the king surprised everyone by ordering HIS OWN HAND to be cut off. He chose to pay the penalty himself!

This is precisely what God did for you and me. Notice these important words from Isaiah 53:5-6:

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Just as the king suffered and fulfilled the law for his son, God came to this earth and fulfilled the law for us. Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh (I Tim. 3:16), and He came to FULFILL the law (Mt. 5:17)! The law demanded a payment for sin. Either man could spend eternity in Hell, paying for his sins, or God could make the payment Himself. God, because of His love for lost man, chose to make the necessary payment Himself. He gave His only begotten Son as a payment for our sins:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree." Galatians 3:13.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." II Corinthians 5:21.

All men are born under "the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2). We are under a curse. But the Lord Jesus Christ came to our rescue by dying and paying for our sins. Hebrews 10:14 says, "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." It took only one offering to pay for our sins. Now that the payment has been made, all men can be "perfected" through Jesus Christ! Through Christ we can be set FREE from the law of sin and death! Through Christ, and Him alone, we can escape the curse! Through Christ, we can be saved!

After Jesus pays for the sins of the world and returns to Heaven, a very special Gospel (Good News) message is preached by the Apostles and early Christians:

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

As lost and doomed sinners, we must take God at His word and believe that Jesus Christ is our only hope for Salvation. We must trust that His payment for our sins is sufficient. We must STOP trying to "do good" that we might go to Heaven. Our good works cannot save us, as the above verses reveal. Only the good work of the Lord Jesus can save us. We are hopeless without Him. As a criminal sits upon death row awaiting the electric chair, we sit upon the death row of eternity awaiting Hell Fire.

God's Imputed Righteousness

While sitting upon the "death row" of eternity, our only hope is for God to MAKE US RIGHTEOUS, for we cannot establish righteousness for ourselves (Rom. 10:3). We read in Romans 4:5 the following words:

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

God's desire is to MAKE us righteous by GIVING us HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS! This portion of Scripture goes on to say:

". . . .Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Romans 4:7-8.

God has a way of cleansing us from our sins and giving to us HIS righteousness so that we may have Eternal Life. Referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:14 says, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. . ." The "blood" spoken of here is God's Blood (Acts 20:28). The blood of the Lord Jesus was not natural human blood; it was PURE blood from the Father above. Remember, Mary was a Virgin; so the blood of Jesus Christ came from His heavenly Father. This blood was shed at Calvary to be an ATONEMENT for our sins. The atonement can make us "at one" with God, just as Adam was in the very beginning. Through the Blood Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can have our sins washed away (Rev. 1:5), thus being placed back into God's righteous image.

All throughout the Old Testament, God required a blood sacrifice from His people. This blood was obtained from various animals such as bulls, goats, and lambs. Sacrifices were made daily, because people would sin daily. By offering to God a sacrifice--something of value to them--men were showing God that they were aware of their sin nature and desired forgiveness. Upon seeing this, God would then accept their sacrifice and forgive their sins. This is called remission. Hebrews 9:22 says, ". . . .without shedding of blood there is no remission." These many animal sacrifices served as a foreshadow or a type of the blood of the Lord Jesus that would eventually be shed at Calvary.

However, FORGIVENESS of sin isn't enough. A penalty still must be paid. The law must be fulfilled. The record must be cleared. God could cleanse His people TEMPORARILY from their sins with animal sacrifices, but only the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ could CLEAR their sin record forever. The Old Testament sacrifices were for forgiveness, but not for making a person CLEAR from sin (Ex. 34:6-7). This is why Jesus had to come and CLEAR the record forever. He came to wipe the slate clean for all Eternity. When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior, you receive a CLEAN RECORD! You receive HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and since you are trusting Him alone for your Salvation, God will not impute sin to you!

Suppose you receive Him as your Savior. What then? Then you become a "son of God. " John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." You RECEIVE Christ by BELIEVING on Christ. You can be "born again" SPIRITUALLY (John 3:3) by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Once you truly turn to Christ alone, asking Him to wash away your sins, you are FORGIVEN and your sin record is CLEARED forever. Your soul has been made RIGHTEOUS through the Blood of Jesus Christ. That's precisely why He came and died. Once you have been born again you will be in God's family for the first time in your life! God's human creation was lost in Genesis chapter three, but you, a part of that growing creation, can be FOUND and REDEEMED to God this very moment!

There once was a little boy who made for himself a toy sailboat. While playing in the stream one day, the boat drifted away. A few days later another boy found the boat. The first boy said, "Hey! That's my boat! I made it myself, and I want it back!" The second boy would not hand over the boat, but instead he offered to SELL it to the boy. So the original owner and maker of the toy boat reached into his pocket and gave all his money to pay for the boat. As he walked away, he held the boat to his chest and said, "You're mine! You're mine! You're mine TWICE! I MADE you, and then I BOUGHT you: YOU'RE MINE!"

Upon receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, you will become God's property (I Cor. 6:19-20). You will become His child, His responsibility. You will become the property of God, for he BOUGHT you with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Nothing can ever change that.

Friend, if you've never really been born again, please repent of your sins right now and place your total trust in Jesus Christ to save you. Tell Him that you're sorry for your sins and that you want to live for Him. Tell Him that you want to have a new life in Christ (II Cor. 5:17). Aren't you tired of sin? Do you not want to please God? Repent of your sins right now and ask the Lord to save you. He said that He would save you, if you will call upon Him (Rom. 10:13). Why not call upon Him right now!

If you have been saved, then the next section of this tract is very important for you. Please read it immediately.

If you have not been saved, the next section is NOT for you. You will not understand it, and you will not believe it (I Cor. 2:14). Our prayer is that you will meditate upon the things you've already read and ask the Lord to show you the truth. May you find peace with God today.

God's Promise of Eternal Security

Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria's Prime Minister, was crossing Westminster Bridge one day when he came upon a little girl who had just dropped a jug of milk. The girl broke into tears as the glass jug shattered into pieces. Palmerston had no money with him at the time, but he was able to stop her crying by promising her that he'd return at the same time the next day and pay her for the jug and the milk. The following morning he was in the midst of a cabinet meeting when he suddenly remembered his promise to the girl. He stood up and rushed out to the bridge and paid the girl the money. You see, to him, a promise was a promise, and he had to keep it. Nothing was more important.

With or without us, God will always be God. He will carry out His wonderful plan, regardless of our actions. He never HAD to promise us Eternal Security, just as Lord Palmerston never HAD to make the promise to the little girl. But God CHOSE to promise us Eternal Security. It was a pure act of grace on His part. He chose to COMFORT and STRENGTHEN us by making the promise:

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:27-28.

"Being confident of the very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6.

"Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.

We are told in Romans 8:38-39 that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ, and the Lord tells us in Hebrews 13:5 that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. Eternal Life is a PRESENT POSSESSION for the Christian. If you've received Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you HAVE eternal life. You will not go to Hell, for you have been saved by believing on the record that God gave of His Son (I John 5:11-13, which see.). If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have received eternal life, because Jesus Christ IS eternal life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4; Rom. 6:23). He placed His Spirit within you to keep you and to preserve you (John 14:16-17; II Cor. 1:22); so you should be REJOICING in Christ, not WORRYING about losing Him!

You say, "But what if I sin after I've been saved? Won't I lose my salvation?" No, because it really isn't your's to lose. You are totally God's property. You didn't earn salvation by any good work of your own, and you can't lose salvation by any bad work of your own. Your salvation is based entirely upon the FINISHED work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Your conduct can affect your FELLOWSHIP with God, but not your RELATIONSHIP with Him. You're His son, if you're saved, and that's the way it's going to stay.

Someone asked Luther, "Do you feel that you've been forgiven?" He answered, "No, but I'm as sure as there's a God in Heaven!
For feelings come and feelings go, and feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the word of God, naught else is worth believing.
Though all my heart should feel condemned for want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart Whose word cannot be broken.
I'll trust in God's unchanging word till soul and body sever;
For though all things shall pass away, His word shall stand forever."
God's Treatment of Disobedient Christians

What happens when a Christian sins? If God doesn't send us to Hell, then how does He deal with us about our sins after we've been saved? This subject becomes rather easy to understand when we fully realize that we are now God's CHILDREN. We have entered into a Father/son relationship with God. He will deal with us as a Father deals with a child, NOT as a judge deals with a criminal.

Christians need to understand that their BODIES have not been born again. Only our SOULS have been saved. Our flesh is still corrupt, and it will die one day. Paul said that in the flesh dwells no good thing (Rom. 8:18). Since the soul has been made righteous through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has found it necessary to SEPARATE the soul from the body. This is called spiritual circumcision. Notice these important words from Colossians 2:11:

"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ."

Instead of being PHYSICALLY circumcised as the Old Testament Jews were, we have been SPIRITUALLY circumcised by the Holy Spirit. Our flesh has been cut loose from our righteous soul. When you received Jesus Christ as your Savior, your soul was SET FREE! The burden of sin was LIFTED, and the Holy Spirit of God came to live within your soul (not in your flesh!). A Christian's flesh is still corrupt and sinful, so we are to live in the SPIRIT, not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh (Rom. 8:1-9; Gal. 5:16). In Matthew 26:41, Jesus Himself said, "....the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Since the soul has been made righteous, God sees us as righteous individuals. He does not see our sins, because Jesus PAID for our sins. Our souls are FOREVER PERFECT (Hb. 10:14). So, if I sin, I do so in the flesh, and God will deal with me in the flesh about it. He will NOT judge my soul, for it's sinless.

Let's take an example of a Christian who sins against God. For stronger emphasis, let's take an extreme case where the sin committed is a most horrible sin. Such a case is found in I Corinthians chapter five, where a man is charged with having his father's wife. That's pretty bad, is it not? Some would think that this man should go to Hell for this sin, but that's not what happens to him. Paul tells the Corinthians to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the FLESH, so that the spirit might be saved. What happened? God dealt with this man just as a Father would deal with a child. God did not disown the man, but He DID chasten him in order to get him back in fellowship.

To "chasten" is to punish or discipline. Revelation 3:19 tells us that God rebukes and chastens his children. He does NOT forsake them, but He does correct and instruct them. Hebrews 12:4-8 explains how that all of God's children are chastened of the Lord. In fact, Hebrews 12:8 actually says that you're a "bastard" if you're not chastened! So there are two kinds of people in God's sight: sons and bastards. He corrects His sons, but He doesn't worry so much about the bastards, because they're going to get their punishment in Hell. Notice these inspired words from I Corinthians 11:31-32:

"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."

You wouldn't send YOUR children to Hell, and God doesn't send HIS there. But He does discipline Christians in order to keep them in tune with His will. No one gets away with sin. No one has a "license to sin."

If you are a Christian, then you should always be conscious of the fact that YOU are not your body; you are INSIDE your body. Your soul has already been redeemed, but you are still waiting for the redemption of your body (Rom. 8:23). Your body is no good, for it is still under the law of sin and death. But remember, your SOUL has been made perfect by the Blood of Christ. The words of this poem by Dora Johnson illustrate this truth very well:

You tell me I'm getting old, I tell you not so;
The "house" I live in is worn out--and, that, of course, I know,
It's been in use a long, long while, it's weathered many a gale;
I'm really not surprised you think it's getting somewhat frail.
The color's changing on the roof, the window's getting dim,
The wall's a bit transparent, and looking rather trim.
The fountain's not so steady as once it used to be.
My house is getting shaky, but my house isn't me!
My few short years can't make me old--I feel I'm in my youth;
Eternity lies just ahead, a life of joy and truth,
I'm going to live forever there; life will go on--it's grand!
You tell me I'm getting old? You just don't understand!
The dweller in my little house is bright and young and gay--
Just starting out on a life to last throughout eternal day.
You only see the outside, which is all that most folks see.
You tell me I'm getting old? You've mixed my house with me!
Being a Christian, you are like a prisoner chained up in his cell. He is lonely and miserable. Then one day someone comes in and cuts his chains loose, allowing him to begin moving freely in his cell. He's no longer chained to the wall, but he is still in the cell until someone comes and frees him completely. Do you get the picture? You are no longer "chained" to your sins. You're free from them. Geographically speaking, you are still stuck in your corruptible flesh until the Lord calls you home to Heaven, but SPIRITUALLY speaking, you are IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. If you slip and fall, you'll do so IN CHRIST. You see, there is a difference between falling IN Christ and falling OUT of Christ, just as there is a difference between falling down IN an airplane and falling OUT OF an airplane! Spiritually, we are seated in Heavenly places IN CHRIST, according to Ephesians 2:6, and that's where we'll stay - FOREVER!

God's Judgment for Christians

God also has a separate judgment for Christians. It is called the "judgment seat of Christ" in Romans 14:10 and II Corinthians 5:10. This is not a judgment for determining whether or not we go to Heaven, but rather a judgment to determine whether or not we receive any REWARDS for our Christian service. II Corinthians 5:10 says, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

Unsaved people have their own judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. No one will go to Hell from the Judgment Seat of Christ. A Christian may lose his rewards, but he himself shall be saved (I Cor. 3:11-15). All Christians will be judged for their Christian service at the Judgment Seat of Christ, so we are supposed to be laying up treasure in Heaven (Lk. 12:33-34), and we do this by SERVING GOD in this life. So let's get busy and serve Him. Let's stop worrying about salvation (If you've been saved), and let's START earning some rewards, lest we find ourselves ashamed in that day!

May God save you, bless you, and use you for His honor and glor


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