Catholic Infant Baptism

22 02 2021

Listen to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”

Let’s take the errors line by line. The catechism starts off by saying that baptism is the basis or foundation of the whole Christian life. Paul tells us that Christ is the foundation or basis of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 3:11). In Matthew 16:18 we see that the basis for entering the Christian life is profession of faith not baptism.

Rome claims baptism is the gateway to life in the Spirit. What does Scripture say of this? In Romans 8:9 we are told that those who do not have the Spirit are not His children,

What is the gateway to life in the Spirit? Let’s look back to the Scriptures for the answer.

In Acts 10 we see Peter take the Gospel to Cornelius. He and his household believed the Gospel and in verse 44 we see them receive the Spirit.

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”

Did they enter life in the Spirit through baptism? No, it was through hearing and believing the Gospel. It was by faith not of works as we see expressed in Ephesians 2:8-9.

In fact it mentions that they were baptized after receiving the Spirit. Not only did they not receive the Spirit through baptism but receiving the Spirit was the basis for baptism.

Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” (Acts 10:47)

The catechism claims that through baptism we are freed from sin. Scripture says that it is through our obedience to the Gospel that we are freed from sin.

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Romans 6:17-18)

The catechism claims that through baptism we are reborn as children of God. Does Scripture agree with this claim? Hardly, it actually opposes it.

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23)

Here we see that we are reborn not through baptism but the word of the Lord. What is the word of the Lord? Look a little further in this same chapter.

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (Vs. 25)

So the word of God is the Gospel. Look at John 1:12 and you will find the difference between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity.

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.”

We become children of God by believing on His name. Not by baptism, a system of penance, or the mass. Those who receive Him are born again.

The catechism claims that through baptism we are incorporated into Christ’s Church. We need to understand that they are referring to the universal body of believers not the local church. Let’s look again away from Rome and towards the Scriptures. At his sermon on Pentecost Peter preached Christ. We see the result in Acts 2:41.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

So the souls of those who believed the Gospel were added to the small group of believers. They were baptized but the focus on the verse is on them receiving their word not their baptism.

The catechism says that through baptism we are incorporated into Christ. What does the Bible teach?

Hebrews 3:14 says that we are partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence to the end. In other words if we continue in faith. Listen to Peter in 2 Peter 1:4.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

We are partakers of the divine nature by faith. How do I know this? Because the promises he mentions here are for “us” who is the “us”? Listen to verse 1.

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

The promise of partaking in the divine nature is to those who have received faith. We know that faith is a gift of grace according to Ephesians 2:8-9. A gift cannot be earned or merited. It can only be received.

Rome does not deny salvation is by grace they simply deny the sufficiency of grace. They deny that grace alone saves. In fact the Council of Trent condemned with anathema those who believed salvation was by faith alone.

Turn to Romans 4:2-9.

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.”

The catechism calls it regeneration through water in the word. This quote is almost Biblical. It comes from Ephesians 5 where Paul is talking about Christ and His church.

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (Vs. 26)

This is not in regards to the unsaved but the church and it’s not in regards to initial salvation but sanctification. He wants to present to Himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. He sanctifies His church through the washing of water.

Is this actual, literal water? No, it is the water of the Word. He uses His Word as a purifying and cleansing agent.

They lean heavily upon John 3 to justify baptism as a means of salvation. Let’s look at the passage in question to see what it says. (Turn)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

What they are doing is using a proof text. They do this by pulling a single verse out of a chapter to prove their point. We need to put the verse in context to see what it is actually saying. In verse 3 Jesus simply tells him that he must be born again. This confuses Nicodemus.

Nicodemus responds by asking how someone can be born a second time. He asks if he must enter his mother’s womb again and be born. Then in verse 5 Jesus draws the distinction. He says you must be born of water (physical birth) and of the Spirit (second birth).

Continue into the next verse, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” He clearly explains the birth of water is the physical birth and the birth of Spirit is the second birth. He closes His explanation in verse 7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” He explained that the command to be born again was referring to the spiritual not the physical.

What was God Doing in the Christmas Story? (Part 2)

13 12 2019

The place of His youth. (Matthew 2:23)

“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Now this is an interesting verse. It’s often used by enemies of Christ to prove the Bible is wrong. The reason is that there is no verse in the Old Testament that predicts the Messiah will be a Nazarene. Let me tell you what I believe this means.

The town of Nazareth comes from the word netser which means branch or sprout. Now follow me on this. Matthew didn’t say it was spoken by the prophet singular, but the prophets plural. The other prophecies were by a single prophet but this one was by more than one prophet.

Where is it spoken that the Messiah would be a netserene or a branch or sprout. It was spoken by several prophets, plural.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” (Isaiah 11:1)

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” (Jeremiah 23:5)

“In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 33:15)

“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.” (Zechariah 3:8)

“And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord.” (Zechariah 6:12)

He is a yes to the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah.

The trip to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-15)

“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

Herod hears from the wise men that the King of the Jews had been born. Fearful for the loss of power he tries to destroy the child. He kills all the male children 2 years old and under. Joseph is warned to go to Egypt until the king dies and it’s safe to return.

Why Egypt? The reason is that it was prophesied by the prophet Hosea.

“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” (Hosea 11:1)

This was based on a historical event that served as a type of the coming Christ. Everything in the Old Testament points to the coming Messiah even the Exodus from Egypt. We also see God using normal means to accomplish prophecy.

Just like He used a tax to bring them to Bethlehem, God uses the evil desire of the King as a means to take them to Egypt so that He can call them back out.

Also note that Egypt had once been a place of death for Israelite males but now it serves as a place of refuge for the holy child Jesus. God can make a river in the desert and bring calm in the midst of a storm.

He is a yes to the prophet Hosea.

The Rage of the King. (Matthew 2:16-18)

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

The King orders the murder of all males 2 years old and under. This fulfills a prophecy about Rachel weeping for her children. Rachel here the mother of Israel weeping for her children. This refers back to Jeremiah 31.

Jeremiah is writing about the carrying away of Israel into captivity by the Babylonians.

“Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

As the captives marched past the tomb of Rachel she is said to be weeping over them but not just about the captivity. Many of them would return this was looking forward to this event when the children of Rachel would be slaughtered.

In that same chapter Jeremiah talks about the new covenant that God would make with His people and here we have not only the fulfillment of this prophecy about Rachel weeping but it’s at the birth of the Messiah who would initiate this new covenant with His on blood.

He is the yes to the prophet Jeremiah.

I could go on and on. At the death of Jesus and throughout the ministry of Jesus we see many more fulfilled prophecies. We have many examples of the yes that Jesus is to all of God’s promises.

What God was doing in the Christmas story was showing that His word was trustworthy and that He could be trusted to fulfill His promises. He kept His word about the coming of Messiah so they could trust Him about the sacrifice of Messiah.

We can look back and see that He kept His promises about the death of Christ and trust that all He promised us in Christ He will likewise fulfill.

Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

14 02 2018

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday in Roman Catholic tradition. Catholics get a cross made of ash put on their forehead as an outward sign that they are fasting for Lent. I wanted to address some major concerns about this practice in light of what the Scriptures teach.

Ash Wednesday is a violation of the spirit and letter of Matthew 6:16-18

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Jesus is very clear that we are not to appear to fast in front of other people. Ash Wednesday violates this directly. I don’t believe that Jesus is just addressing the heart because He does tell us not to physically look like we are fasting. tries to cover for this by saying that Jesus didn’t really care if we look like we are fasting He was just concerned with the heart. They even argue from complete silence that the ones He is addressing were not truly fasting:

“First of all, Jesus’ primary concern is hypocrisy. What he is condemning are acts undertaken to show off one’s personal piety. If the intention in doing an otherwise good act of mortification is to draw public attention to oneself, then, Jesus says, the attention received from the public is the only reward that person will receive, rather than the heavenly reward for which we are searching.

It is also noteworthy that Jesus says these hypocrites are “neglect[ing] their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting.” Perhaps those Jesus was condemning were not actually fasting but creating a surface impression so as to win the praise of others for their presumed piety. God, who sees the heart, knows whether or not they were really fasting. Hypocrisy, after all, is creating an appearance that is at odds with reality. (Article by Michelle Arnold, 2017)

To argue they were not really fasting is to argue from silence. To argue that the only important point is humility which is the spirit of His instructions is to ignore the plain meaning of the text. Yes humility is the reason we are commanded not to make our fasting public but the command to not make it public is still valid. It would be a gross misunderstanding of the Scripture to say that Jesus meant only don’t make it public if you’re not humble otherwise its okay.

This same article argued that the practice is Biblical because of a text in Maccabees 3:47. First of all that text is not even accepted as Scripture by the Jews. It was never a part of the Hebrew canon and was even rejected by Jerome and others because of that fact. Secondly, these were Jews performing a historical mourning ritual. There is no command for or example of Gentiles doing this.

Also of note, they rent their clothes and wore sackcloth. Why only a partial obedience by Rome? The truth is that Rome is notorious for finding Biblical passages that have even the vaguest reference to one of the non-biblical doctrines to support it. Even though they argue against Sola Scriptura they know the importance of it. Another point is that these ashes were sprinkled on their heads not smeared on the forehead.

Another point in reference to the above article is that they say it’s not to be done as an outward form of false humility. Many, if not most, American Catholics rarely attend church or practice their religion, yet they accept Ash Wednesday in large numbers. What you have is millions of people with no sincere desire to follow the church wearing a false symbol on their heads simply to look righteous.

This is also part of the system of penance set up by the church. Penance is the idea that we need to help pay for our sins. We need to make satisfaction for our sins. This is a spit in the face of the work of Christ. He made a perfect offering for sins.

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:12-18)

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the propitiation or satisfactory payment for sins.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

If He is the satisfaction for our sins (and a perfect satisfaction I might add) how can we do anything to satisfy God’s wrath on our sin? The answer is we cannot. The article does end well and I want all Catholics to heed what it says.

“Believe in the gospel!”

The Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins. We cannot make atonement for our sins because we are dead in sins. A perfect atonement is needed and that perfect atonement is given by Jesus Christ. We are not saved by contributing good works to the work of Christ but by trusting entirely in what Christ did on the cross.

On the cross Jesus paid in full the debt of your sin by taking on Himself the guilt of your sin. He now offers you His perfect righteousness as a free gift. You can be right with God because in salvation we are united to His Son. All you must do is to put your faith and trust in Christ and what He did on the cross. Call on the Lord to save you. You can be perfectly purified right now for all sin by putting your faith in Christ. Turn to Him today He is a perfect and loving Savior.

Problems With Purgatory: Part 3

5 07 2016



What about the argument of antiquity? We often hear the church fathers quoted or as one ignorant man told me, “I read books hidden in caves and it proves people in the early centuries believed these things.”

Does Scripture or human tradition set the standard for belief? I’m sure Jews who wanted to worship a golden calf could point to the antiquity of it and say, “Well when they left Egypt one of the first things our fathers did was make a calf and worship it so it must be right after all they did it way back then.”

Corruption was already setting in during the time of the apostles. John pointed to the slide in Ephesus.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelation 2:4)

We saw John also warn about a man who as clergy/laity distinctions were being introduced was known to take control over a church.

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receive us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.” (3 John 1:9-10)

We see John continue his warnings to the church in the first century.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

We see Paul make a warning that not only would false teachers arise but that they would arise from the very people he was talking to.

“For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

Paul said that some of those who he taught would err from the faith and draw away disciples after themselves. The true test of truth is not whether or not the Jews did it, or how long it has been taught, or who trained the person who taught it. The only valid test for the truth of doctrine is does the unchanging, infallible, and inspired Word of God teach it? If not then it cannot, should not, and must not be considered truth.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

If anything is taught it needs to be in line with what the apostles taught through the inspiration of the Spirit. Paul said:

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

Paul was not accidentally inspired, he was aware of the inspiration upon him when he penned the Scriptures. This verse proves that. He said that the gospel he preached under inspiration was so sure that even if he were to come back and correct or add to anything he said then he would be accursed.

If the church fathers believed baptism, penance, almsgiving and the mass add to our salvation and make us righteous before God then they are adding to the Gospel Paul preached which was by grace through faith. They are not only wrong but accursed. Paul goes on to say:

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12)

Paul said in Romans 1:16 that the Gospel was the power of God unto salvation but then said in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent him not to baptize but to preach the Gospel. Paul is thus signifying that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. He said in the verse above that his revelation was from Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ says this about salvation it matters not to me the great mountain of church fathers, priests, councils, or men who teach otherwise they are all accursed.

Likewise the Scripture reveals through Jesus Christ that the redeemed live forever in Heaven and the damned are punished eternally in hell. It matters not to me how many so called fathers, or church councils declare a third place it does not make it valid or true. All that matters, all truth, and all authority are contained in the Scriptures.

Purgatory is a hill in the southern hemisphere and souls who obtain a second chance end up on Mt. Purgatory where they face two levels. The seven deadly sins are depicted in seven levels all with fitting punishments. This is the depiction in the 14th Century work The Divine Comedy by Dante. Many over the years have held this image as being partially if not entirely accurate.

In a papal audience from August 4th, 1999 Pope John Paul II called purgatory a “condition of existence” lending to the idea that it is less an actual place. In a general audience talk from January 12, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI spoke concerning St. Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510). He said the purification of souls in Purgatory was pictured as a location in space in her day but that she did not agree and saw it as a purifying inner fire, the kind like she experienced in her sorrow for sins committed, when they are compared with the infinite love of God.

He basically likened it to a process that could happen in life more than a place where one goes after death. The church continues to take prayers and offerings for departed loved ones. This shows an amazing disconnect.

The Second Edition of the Catholic Catechism says, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” The Pope himself seems to be in some conflict here as he sees it more as a process not a place where one goes after death. In this catechism it states that people can be friends of God and assured of eternal salvation but may still need purification. This is a foreign thought to Scripture.

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

The Bible says that Christ purged our sins Himself. The catechism says that we are imperfectly purified. The Bible says that He washed us from our sins in His own blood and yet the Romanist dare claim we are imperfectly purified.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

The above verse does not say that He washes us a little but then sends us to purgatory to purge us the rest of the way. It does not say He washes us only of former sins but sins committed after salvation must be atoned for by the fires of limbo. It gives us no hint of anything but a complete and perfect cleansing by Christ for us of all sins to God be the glory.

The doctrine of purgatory is a statement that what Christ did for us is imperfect or incomplete and that more must be done to purify us and make us ready for Heaven. This is not only a blatantly false doctrine but utter blasphemy and disregard for the work of Christ. The Roman Catholic Church has declared those whom Christ says He redeemed as imperfectly purified.

We are cleaned in Christ’s blood and declared righteous before Him. Abraham was declared righteous by faith. Scripture says that likewise all who come by faith are declared righteous.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Silver and gold would be faulty. Any corruptible things would leave a further need of cleansing but we have not been redeemed with such things. We have been redeemed with the precious, perfect Lamb of God to whom be glory forever Amen. Let me just throw a few more Scriptures in to settle the point.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)

Let’s look briefly at the few inspired texts that are used to justify this doctrine.

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32)

The argument that they try to grasp is that when it says that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this world or the world to come that it implies some things can be forgiven in the world to come.

There are several faults with this argument. First of all in the first part of the verse it says that those who speak against Christ will be forgiven. It makes no mention of being forgiven in this life and in the world to come. What is being shown here is the severity of the offense of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. It is not telling us some sins will be forgiven and some won’t. We see no evidence at all that forgiveness is attainable after death. We are told that after death comes our judgment.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:21)

Consider the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. After death we see them in Paradise and Hell exclusively and their destinations were decided during their lifetime. We do not see any forgiveness being offered after death.

The second problem is that forgiveness is predicated on simply confessing and asking in this life. Logic would follow the same would apply to the life to come. The payment is then applied not by asking but by others doing stuff to obtain it.

Purgatory is not just “another place” people go after death. It represents an entire change to the program of God’s forgiveness. Just finding a verse to show there may be another destination after death is not enough. The Bible never indicates a change to God’s plan of salvation.

It thirdly must be realized that if you look further into the text we see judgment being talked about not the possibility of forgiveness.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Those who blaspheme Christ can be forgiven and those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit are not forgiven but are to face condemnation. This is the clear meaning of the text.

The next Scripture that is used and all I can guess is that this one is used out of utter ignorance or desperation and that is 1 Peter 3:19.

“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”

I won’t insult your intelligence by staying here too long so let’s go to the next verse and see where this prison is.

“Which sometime were disobedient” are you ready? Wait for it now, “when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” (Vs. 20a)

This is speaking of hell not purgatory these were not imperfectly purified friends of God. What were these people? Wicked, sinners, condemned eternally.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)

The next passage is from the writings of the apostle Paul.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

They use this passage because it speaks of fire and it’s clearly not talking about hell so they figure this is a good place to fit their doctrine. They say that “being saved yet so as by fire” means they go to purgatory and fire burns away their sin and yet they are saved. The problem is that the thing being tried by fire here is not a person, neither is it sin. It is the works of the believer.

Our works are judged some being worthless, others with some worth and others shining as gold. The fire tries those works and only those of great worth make it through to be rewarded. Some will have their empty works burn up in God’s fires. They will be saved themselves but have little or nothing to show for the gift God has given them.

Another interesting point is the context of the passage in 2 Maccabees. The people he was making sacrifices for had been killed by God for idolatry. This according to Rome is a mortal sin which would send them straight to hell. Even in the context it was written it can’t refer to purgatory.

False religion not Scripture puts a relationship between the living and the dead. The only clear glimpse of the dead we are given is in Revelation 6:9-10:

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Here we see no evidence of prayers to them or them having knowledge of happenings on earth. We see no evidence in the Bible of praying to the dead. When we examine it in light of the Old Testament it is strictly forbidden.

What we see when we examine prayers for the dead is a long history of paganism. We see again and again Rome mixing paganism with Christianity. We see a pollution of idols being added to the clear Gospel given by the apostles. We see another Gospel being preached under the authority of a church that has usurped God’s throne, name, and power over His flock.

We see in purgatory a mechanism to obtain offerings and to control their followers all in the hope of possibly helping their loved ones get into Heaven although such hope is never realized officially. We see a Church that claims Christ imperfectly finished redemption and claim that they can complete what He lacked not just in His sacrifice but in the purification of the faithful. We see a system that gives the hope of eternal bliss but they themselves are the servants of corruption. They neither go into the kingdom themselves nor do they allow their followers to enter.

Problems with Purgatory: Part 2

13 05 2016

In the text given for Purgatory the sin they died committing was idolatry. According to Rome this is a sin for which there is no forgiveness after death. This invalidates this text as purgatory.

Often tradition is cited as the justification of a doctrine by Rome. Surely if the early believers or Jews held to it then it must be true. This is a grievous error that needs to be addressed. We will start as Scripture says with the Jews first.

The entire Old Testament is made up of stories of the mistakes and errors of the Jewish people. They were constantly caught up in idol worship, being carried captive, being returned, only to be carried away again. They had battle after battle many times having nations turned against them by God because of their waywardness. The prophets such as Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah preached a message of condemnation warning that the people had forsaken the LORD.

The Jews often strayed from the Scriptures and formed their own man made doctrines. They practiced these doctrines for years so when a new generation rose up they were taught that these “traditions” were just as valid as Scripture much like the modern day Romanist. Jesus had to rebuke them sharply for this.

“…Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15: 6b-9)

Jesus even confronted their traditions in Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, and 43-44. Each time He started His rebuke by saying, “Ye have heard it said by them of old,” and finished the correction with, “But I say unto you.” He was not correcting Scripture, He was correcting their human tradition, sometimes centuries old that deviated from or contradicted Scripture.

The greatest support for such a doctrine comes not from the accepted canon of Scripture but from the contested Apocrypha. I will likely cover that topic elsewhere but needless to say the Apocrypha was not accepted by the Old Testament Jews as Scripture, and the texts contained in the Apocrypha often contradict accepted Scriptures.

The early church fathers were never in agreement on which apocryphal books were to be included. When Trent needed them to support their doctrines (otherwise unsupported) the Council of Trent confirmed them as inspired. They were not considered as part of the canon prior to Trent at least not by the church officially.

The main apocryphal text use to support purgatory is 2 Maccabees 12:42-46.

And they begged him that this sin might be completely blotted out. Then, Judas, that great man, urged the people to keep away from sin, because they had seen for themselves what had happened to those men who had sinned. He also took up a collection from all his men, totaling about four pounds of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. Judas did this noble thing because he believed in the resurrection of the dead. If he had not believed that the dead would be raised, it would have been foolish and useless to pray for them. In his firm and devout conviction that all of God’s faithful people would receive a wonderful reward, Judas made provision for a sin offering to set free from their sin those who had died.”

This is the great proof text of the purgatory doctrine. In the passage all we see is Judas making an offering, and prayers for the dead. In the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church published in 2005, when asked question 211 on how we can help those in purgatory the answer is different. “Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance.”

So the text said he made offering and said prayers for those already dead but there is no mention of indulgences or works of penance to aid the dead. These were added by the church. Even if this were inspired and a proof of purgatory they stray from the text and add to it their own doctrines.

The text emphasizes prayers and almsgiving yet in the catechism answer it says “especially the Eucharistic sacrifice.” The mass is not mentioned and yet they say it is especially beneficial. I was debating a man who was Rome-ward and he tried to say the mass is not the sacrificing of Christ but here we clearly see it is.

Another point in the text that I noticed was that Judas did these things it says to set them free. He seems at least from the passage to have that hope and yet no such hope exists in modern day Romanism. The faithful are told to say mass, light candles, do good deeds, and pay offerings in order to free their loved ones from purgatory and yet the Church has no power to declare when this task is completed.

They just keep doing those things until they die. After their death someone else does the same for them until they die and so on and so on. There is no point where the priest says, “enough is done, keep your money your loved one is now in Heaven.”

Problems with Purgatory: Part 1

11 05 2016

I would like to address the doctrine of purgatory. Millions of souls over the centuries have perished because they gave offerings hoping to buy less time in purgatory. Ornate cathedrals and churches were built with the money given by poor, often uneducated and trusting souls.

Purgatory is where people go who die in what Rome calls a “state of grace.” This is a state in which people are purged completely from sin and made ready for Heaven. This concept has no Biblical basis but relies heavily upon tradition and ancient pagan roots.

The concept of purgatory is seen in ancient Buddhist practices of making prayers and sacrifices for the dead. The term purgatory does not appear on the scene until around 1160 but the concept is applied long before that. Purgatory has been defined by several councils including the Council of Trent in 1545, the Council of Florence in 1438, and the first and Second Council of Lyon in 1245 and 1274.

Prior to these declarations the doctrine was developed and underwent changes over time. This happens when we try to hold firmly to doctrines not clearly stated in the Word of God. When we build our doctrine upon the sinking sand of human tradition and philosophy we will have to make changes to avoid contradiction and ensure compliance. When a doctrine is founded upon the solid rock of the oracles of God then we can be sure they can stand the test of time.

Catholics accept the Scriptural life after death destinations of mankind. In Heaven the souls of the righteous spend eternal bliss in the presence of God, and on the opposite end of the spectrum those who go on in sin rejecting salvation spend eternity in the fires of hell (although some Romanists make the Biblical description of fire as only symbolic). The Romanists have inserted a third state to which all must go in order to be ready to go to Heaven. They call this place purgatory.

Rome teaches that some souls are not yet purified enough to enter Heaven and must be purified in purgatory in order to prepare for being granted admission into Heaven. Peter opposes this idea.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)

Peter is not saying that purification comes in some limbo state after death. He is saying our souls are purified by obeying the truth. This means that when we are saved our souls are purified not at some later time and place.

Romanism teaches that holiness is achieved in purgatory and that without purgatory we would still bear the stain of sin and not be holy enough to enter the presence of God. Scripture in several places disagrees with this idea.

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love…And (we) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 1:4, 2:20-21)

“I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.” (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

To follow this teaching to its conclusion would make it impossible to explain the plight of the thief on the cross. Here is a criminal who has lived his whole life in sin and degradation. While being executed he comes to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be.

In a repentant heart he asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. What was the response of Jesus to this man’s faith?

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

I must say if anyone needed purification or was not holy enough to enter Heaven it would be a criminal who just repented. Surely with no good works, no baptism, nothing to show for his faith he would need further cleansing and yet we have a statement from Jesus that by his faith he is counted worthy to be with Him in Paradise. No limbo, no waiting, just an immediate pardon for sin and access to God.

To better understand this view we must understand the Romanist view of sin. They categorize sin in two ways, mortal sins, and venial sins. Mortal sins would be grave violations of God’s law and venial sins are forgivable sins that don’t necessarily separate us from God.

I guess you could call them minor infractions. The Scriptures give us no evidence of God viewing sin this way. Some sins are greater than others in terms of the punishment for sin which is why those at the Great White Throne are judged according to their works when their fate is already determined (Revelation 20:11-15).

We also see examples of some sins being called abominations and others are not. We receive no hint as to whether that means non abominations are more or less forgivable. According to Scripture all sin brings spiritual death and separation from God.

Ezekiel 18:4b says the “soul that sinneth it shall die.” What is sin?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

Who has sinned?

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

What is the penalty for sin?

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

How is sin forgiven?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

While Rome teaches mortal vs. venial sins the Scriptures tell us that sin is the breaking of God’s law. It goes on to tell us that all have sinned. The Bible also teaches that our sin can be forgiven by the grace of God through faith. Let me ask faith in what? Faith in the finished work of Christ.

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)

This is where most Romanists miss salvation because they feel their works add to salvation and that the work of Christ must be repeated through the mass. Jesus said:

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4)

The Roman Church teaches her followers that Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to us. Rome teaches that we are infused with grace and each grace that we act upon makes us more righteous before God. They teach that our sin stains are still with us after salvation and that these must be purged in purgatory.

They can teach this because they do not see salvation as a possession but a state of being. In other words you cannot possess salvation as a gift and have it and hold onto it but rather you can be in a “state of grace” where you have done enough good to merit God’s favor. The bad news is that you can do enough bad to fall out of that favor.

Let me address each heresy with the Bible. Is Christ’s righteousness imputed?

“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:24)

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” (Romans 4:6)

Can doing good make us more righteous?

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

Do our sin stains stay with us after salvation?

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Is salvation a state of being or a free gift possession?

“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Can we lose the gift of salvation?

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37b)

These beliefs are at the heart of the doctrine of purgatory. The idea of fire in purgatory is common in Roman lore but separate from hell. Scripture speaks often, and definitely about hell but is silent on purgatory.

Some have agreed it’s a material fire, although some have used the term fire metaphorically. The Church has not condemned such use. It seems that even the Church in her supposed wisdom, and power cannot decide.


A False Forgiveness

24 03 2014

I was watching a debate not long ago between some Roman Catholics and some Christians on Facebook. What I found interesting was the references made by the Roman Catholic to the need to pay for our sins. She kept saying that although Christ has forgiven our sins more must be done to make things right. This puzzled me as I contemplated what the use of forgiveness was if it was only partial. I decided to look up the teachings of Rome concerning such matter and it states as follows.

“Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.”

I understand that sometimes there are remedies to a sin that must take place even after a person is saved. If a man leaves his family he may have to continue paying child support by law or if a person commits a crime he may have to pay restitution although God has forgiven him there is still an area of man’s law that must be paid. This is not what they are teaching. They are teaching that God forgives our sin but then has us pay for it as well. Many in Rome’s traditions give money or do good deeds or say prayers or even hurt their bodies in the hopes of making penance for sins.

This is a false forgiveness. The very meaning of forgiveness means that there is no debt to pay. If I “forgive” your debt but still demand you pay half of it then no matter what I call it I have not truly forgiven your debt. It’s good to bear fruits of repentance but those are natural meaning they naturally flow from a forgiven heart. These are not rules that must be enforced and if they are then they are not fruits. We should do all of these things that are listed but not to gain forgiveness or acceptance. We should do them because we are forgiven and accepted.

No place in the New Testament do we see forgiveness being conditioned upon any certain act with the exception of confessing our sin. John said in 1 John 1:9.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There is no mention here of having to do anything else but confess our sins. Are we to have sorrow for our sins? The answer of course is yes and confession will flow naturally from a contrite and humble heart. These are doctrines that this so called church has added to the words of Scripture. When we confess our sins we are cleansed from them no strings attached. Some would argue and say “so a person could not be sorrow and go on and never do good works?” The answer is not with he Holy Spirit. If he is truly sorry for sins then he will confess those sins and be cleansed. A person truly grateful for forgiveness will bring forth these fruits of repentance.

The problem is that the Roman Church is working off a system where the Holy Spirit does not indwell their people, most are not truly saved and therefore they need a religious system to force them to do these good works they would not otherwise do. A forgiveness that requires more works to make it real is a false forgiveness. It is not the forgiveness offered by Jesus or the Bible. It is the false forgiveness of a system that does not offer the full and free forgiveness of Jesus Christ. This type of forgiveness is absent from the inspired Word of God.

The Mystery of the Eucharist: By Bart Brewer Former Roman Catholic Priest

8 01 2012

    Of all the ancient dogmas of the Roman Catholic religion, the dogma of transubstantiation is the most wicked and satanic. It is the very heart of Romanism and the key to the so-called “sacrifice of the mass.” Transubstantiation is Rome’s most lucrative, powerful and fixed dogma. Certainly it is her most effective control device for the perpetuation of her gigantic corporation whose existence is maintained by sacraments administered by a supposedly divinely empowered priesthood.



The doctrine of transubstantiation does not date back to the Last Supper as is supposed. It was a controverted topic for many centuries before officially becoming an article of faith, which means that it is essential to salvation according to the Roman Catholic Church. The idea of a corporal presence was vaguely held by some, such as Ambrose, but it was not until 831 A.D. that Paschasius Radbertus, a Benedictine monk, published a treatise openly advocating the doctrine of transubstantiation. Even then, for almost another four hundred years, theological war was waged over this teaching by bishops and people alike until at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 A.D., it was officially defined and canonized as a dogma.

Like many of the beliefs and rites of Romanism, transubstantiation was first practiced by pagan religions. The noted historian Durant said that belief in transubstantiation as practiced by the priests of the Roman Catholic system is “one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive religion.” The Story Of Civilization, p. 741. The syncretism and mysticism of the Middle East were great factors in influencing the West, particularly Italy. Roman Society From Nero To Marcus Aurelius, Dill. In Egypt priests would consecrate mest cakes which were supposed to be come the flesh of Osiris. Encyclopedia Of Religions, Vol. 2, p. 76. The idea of transubstantiation was also characteristic of the religion of Mithra whose sacraments of cakes and Haoma drink closely parallel the Catholic Eucharistic rite. Ibid. The idea of eating the flesh of deity was most popular among the people of Mexico and Central America long before they ever heard of Christ; and when Spanish missionaries first landed in those countries “their surprise was heightened, when they witnessed a religious rite which reminded them of communion…an image made of flour…and after consecration by priests, was distributed among the people who ate it…declaring it was the flesh of deity…” Prescott’s Mexico, Vol. 3.

The Christian Church for the first three hundred years remained somewhat pure and faithful to the Word of God, but after the pseudo-conversion of Constantine, who for political expedience declared Christianity the state religion, thousands of pagans were admitted to the church by baptism alone with out true conversion. They brought with them pagan rites which they boldly introduced into the church with Christian terminology, thus corrupting the primitive faith. Even the noted Catholic prelate and theologian, Cardinal Newman, tells us that Constantine introduced many things of pagan origin: “We are told in various ways by Eusebius, that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own…The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” An Essay On The Development Of Christian Doctrine, pp. 359, 360. This unholy alliance also allowed the continuance of the pagan custom of eating and drinking the literal flesh and literal blood of their god. This is actually how transubstantiation entered the professing church.


True born again Christians who correctly interpret the Word of God see without any difficulty whatsoever that our Lord’s reference to His body and blood was symbolic. When Jesus spoke of Himself as being the bread, He was not teaching the fictitious transubstantiation of the Papal church. It is preposterous to hold that the Son of God turned a piece of bread into Himself. When Jesus said “this is my body” or “blood,” He did not change the substance, but was explaining that He is the one “represented” by the passover bread and wine. Jesus did not say touto gignetai, this has become or is turned into, but touto esti, which can only mean this represents or stands for. It is perfectly clear in the Gospels that Christ spoke in figurative terms, referring to Himself as “the door,” “the vine”, “the light,” “the root,” “the rock,” “the bright and morning star,” et cetera. In Luke 22:22, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” In First Corinthians 11:25, 26, He said, “This is the new covenant in my blood…For as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” “In these words He used a double figure of speech…The cup was not literally the new covenant, although it is declared to be so as definitely as the bread is declared to be His body. They did not literally drink the cup, nor did they literally drink the new covenant…Nor was the bread literally His body, or the wine His blood. After giving the wine to the disciples Jesus said, ‘I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come’ (Luke 22:18). So the wine, even as He gave it to them, and after He had given it to them, remained ‘the fruit of the vine’! Paul too says that the bread remains bread;…’but let each man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup’ (First Corinthians 11:28). No change had taken place in the element. This was after the prayer of consecration, when the Church of Rome supposes the change took place, and Jesus and Paul both declare that the elements still are bread and wine.” Roman Catholicism, Boettner.

Our beloved Saviour and His apostles repeatedly warned that there would be a great departure from Biblical truth, and that increasing apostasy would be manifest through the centuries until there would be a complete turning away from the historic faith. Any Christian, his mind illumined by the Holy Spirit, can see that these predictions have been fulfilled. He can see that Paul’s prophecy of Acts 20:29, 30 came true in less than a hundred years. He can see how “the mystery of iniquity” expressed itself in vain, unscriptural teaching through the Dark Ages when unregenerate popes, cardinals, bishops and priests “changed the truth of God into a lie,” substituting the authority of their religion for the authority of the Holy Scriptures.




When Europe was electrified by the eloquent preaching of the sixteenth century Reformation, the Roman Catholic hierarchy gathered her ablest theologians who worked for three decades in the preparation of a statement of faith concerning transubstantiation. This document remains, to this day, the standard of Catholic doctrine. As the Second Vatican Council commenced, Pope John XXIII declared, “I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent.” What did the Council of Trent decide and declare? The first sections are as follows:

Canon I: “If any one shall deny that the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure, or virtually, — let him be accursed.”

Canon II: “If any one shall say that the substance of the bread and wine remains in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, the outward forms of the bread and wine still remaining, which conversion the Catholic church most aptly calls transubstantiation, — let him be accursed.”

Canon III: “If any one shall deny, that in the venerated sacrament of the Eucharist, entire Christ is contained in each kind, and in each several particle of either kind when separated, — let him be accursed.”

Canon IV: “If any one shall say that, after consecration, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is only in the wonderful sacrament of the Eucharist in use whilst it is taken, and not either before or after, and that the true body of the Lord does not remain in the hosts or particles which have been consecrated, and which are reserved, or remain after the communion, — let him be accursed.”

Canon V: “If any one says that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins or that other effects do not result from it, — let him be accursed.”

Canon VI: “If any one shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even with the open worship of latria, and therefore not to be venerated with any peculiar festal celebrity, nor to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the praiseworthy and universal rites and customs of the holy Church, and that He is not to be publicly set before the people to be adored, and that His adorers are idolaters, — let him be accursed.”

How frequently we hear Catholics and liberal Protestants exclaim, “Rome is changing!” What optimism prevails among religionists that Rome is heading toward a new reformation. Even professing evangelicals are convinced that Roman Catholicism is changing, changing, changing. However, true believers are not impressed by Vatican window-dressing. The Romish mass, that wicked counterfeit of the Lord’s Supper, has been modernized but not renounced. The renowned Hislop states that “the doctrine of transubstantiation is clearly of the very essence of Magic, which pretended, on the pronunciation of a few potent words, to change one substance into another, or by a dexterous juggle, wholly to remove one substance, and to substitute another in its place.” The Two Babylons, p. 259. The God of flour and water, produced by priestly sorcery, is still worshipped and adored to this day as it was defined in the dark years of medieval religion (bowing, genuflecting, praying to the “Blessed Sacrament” may be seen daily in any Catholic church). Modern Catholicism has produced no change in doctrine, but only a change of position.


Vatican II began in 1962 and ended in 1965. Some two thousand, five hundred bishops, and each with his committee of theologians, worked the greater part of four years, and spent between forty and sixty million dollars. Dozens of resolutions, called “Schemae,” were passed, hundreds of similar ones were rejected, and thousands were proposed, most of which were reported in newspapers around the world. At the third session, the Council produced Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Holy Liturgy). One of its articles entitled “The Mystery of the Eucharist” completely reaffirmed its belief and practice in the changing of the bread and wine at the mass into the very body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. It was not long thereafter that Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical, Mysterium Fidei, which reads in part: “During the Second Vatican Council the Church has made a new and most solemn profession of her faith in and worship of this mystery…For if the sacred liturgy holds the first place in the life of the Church, the mystery of the Eucharist stands as the heart and center…Those who partake of this sacrament in Holy Communion eat the Flesh of Christ and drink the Blood of Christ, receiving both grace, the beginning of eternal life, and the ‘medicine of immortality,’…Indeed, we are aware of the fact that, among those who deal with this Most Holy Mystery in written or spoken word, there are some who…spread abroad such opinions as disturb the faithful and fill their minds with no little confusion about matters of faith as if every one were permitted to consign to oblivion doctrine already defined by the Church, or to interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the approved import of the concepts involved…the spread of these and similar opinions does great harm to the faith and devotion to the Divine Eucharist… we cannot approve the opinions which they express…We must therefore approach this mystery especially with humble obedience, not following human arguments, which ought to be silent…It is a logical conclusion, then, that we should follow as a guiding star in our investigations of this mystery the agisterium of the Church, to which the Divine Redeemer entrusted for protection and for explanation the revelation which He has communicated to us through Scripture or tradition having this from conviction that ‘what since the days of antiquity was preached and believed throughout the whole Church with true Catholic Faith is true, even if it is not comprehended by reason, even if it is not explained by means of words’…we are not to tolerate anyone who on his own authority wishes to modify the formulae in which the Council of Trent sets forth the Mystery of the Eucharist for our belief…It is the teaching of the First Vatican Council: ‘that meaning of the sacred dogmas must forever be retained which Holy Mother Church has once defined and we may never depart from that meaning under the pretext and in the name of deeper understanding.’…the Catholic Church has held to this faith in the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, not only in her teaching but also in her practice, since she has at all times given to this great Sacrament the worship which is known as latria and which may be given to God alone. As St. Augustine says: ‘It was in His flesh that Christ walked among us and it is His flesh that He has given us to eat for our salvation. No one, however, eats of this flesh without having first adored it…and not only do we not sin in thus adoring it, but we would sin if we did not do so.’…The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers the cult of latria to the Sacrament of the Eucharist…We therefore beseech you, venerable brothers…Tirelessly promote the cult of the Eucharist, the focus where all other forms of piety must ultimately meet and converge…May all those not yet in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, who though separated from her are honored by and glory in the name of Christian, share with us as soon as possible with the help of divine grace that unity of faith and communion which Christ wanted to be the distinctive mark of His disciples…May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary from whom Christ Our Lord took the flesh which under the appearances of bread and wine ‘is contained, offered, and received in this Sacrament,’ and all the saints of God, especially those who had a more ardent devotion to the Divine Eucharist, intercede with the Father of mercies so that from this same faith in and devotion to the Eucharist may come forth and flourish a perfect unity among all who bear the name Christian.” Thus Pope Paul VI reaffirmed his loyalty to those canons of Trent which belched curses for those who deny them. Every Roman Catholic, under pain of mortal sin and excommunication is obliged to render religious worship to the host. Is it not then “double-talk” for Rome to consider non-Catholics as Christians or “separated brethren” when indeed at the same time they are considered accursed or damned?

Because of her ecumenical move toward the one world church, statues may have disappeared, rosary beads may be unpopular, limbo and purgatory may be de-emphasized, even the term transubstantiation may be unfashionable, but the doctrine of transubstantiation is here to stay.


Our hearts are heavy for the millions of Roman Catholics who, not knowing the Scriptures, greatly err in believing the fable of transubstantiation, undoubtedly the greatest lever of the Roman Church. How little these sincere, but spiritually lost people realize that “the worship of what is called the Blessed Sacrament is as vile an idolatry as the worship by the Egyptians of onions and other pot-herbs which grew in their own gardens,” Charles Spurgeon. Any Roman Catholic who comes to a personal knowledge and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who has sincerely repented and is truly born again of the Holy Spirit of God, is no longer a Roman Catholic, doctrinally, whether he knows it or not. However, as he feeds upon the Holy Word of God and begins to grow spiritually, he will not only abjure the hideous dogma of transubstantiation, but all Romish teachings…the whole idolatrous circus! Those who truly understand what it means to have Jesus as Lord and Saviour immediately distinguish the teachings of God’s Word from the teachings of man (John 10:27) painful though it may be, the Word of God, “Come out of her my people.” (Revelation 18:4, also see First Thessalonians 5:22).

May God’s Spirit convict the hearts of false shepherds of the Roman Church who feed “the faithful” the old Roman recipes, much to their own eternal destruction and that of their misled flocks. May God’s Spirit have mercy upon the simple people who so unreservedly trust their eternal destiny to a sacramental priesthood that uses the host as a charm. May God’s Spirit open the eyes of evangelicals to know that Rome is not a part of the Christian Church. The Roman Church has never had God’s blessing. May God’s Spirit bend the wicked arm of apostate Protestant churches who are more excited about “union” than Biblical truth. Finally, may God’s Spirit raise up a faithful army of bold witnesses whose weapons “are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (Second Corinthians 10:4, 5).


9 11 2011

I have often been accused of being “against Catholics” yet nothing could be farther from the truth. I love Catholics dearly. I’m not against the homosexual simply because I believe his lifestyle is sinful. In fact I have had many good friends who were gay and we got along just fine. In the same way I have catholic friends and we get along fine.

I’m not against the person simply because I’m against the Roman superstition. In fact I love them dearly and want them to find the truth. I have faced the question what is my “Mariology.” I intend in this lesson to search it out for myself and find the answer. I don’t want to stop at mine however since my catholic friends always claim they don’t rely on the uninspired writings of the church fathers more than the Scriptures and they claim not only that their beliefs are in Scripture but that Peter the apostle was the first pope of the catholic church, I want to find out Scripture’s Mariology as well as the Mariology of Peter, Paul, and Jesus.

My Mariology is based entirely on Scripture, not on tradition or by making stretches in interpretation of Scripture but it rests in the clear meaning of Scripture. The story of Mary is told primarily in Luke 1:26-56. She was a young woman who was faithful to God, and God chose her to be the vessel by which His Son would enter the world. I believe she married and had other children as Scripture teaches (Psalm 69:8, Matthew 12:46, 13:54-56, John 2:12, 7:2-10, Acts 1:12-14) Scripture teaches and I believe that she did not remain a perpetual virgin (Matthew 1:25) I do believe she was blessed by God and is to be honored, as are many people in Scripture.

In short my Mariology I suppose is that Mary like many others in Scripture was faithful to God and blessed by God in being allowed to have a part in God’s redemptive plan just as others before her had. She remained faithful to the Lord and is in Heaven today as part of the great assembly of the firstborn.

My next question is, what is Scriptures Mariology? Well Catholics often try to make connections to the Old Testament that are simply a stretch in interpretation(see my lesson on Rome’s Marian Errors) As far as the New Testament goes she is not mentioned at all beyond Acts 2. We see no mention of her in Peter’s books, or in all the writings of Paul. You can hardly listen to a catholic speak or a catholic mass take place without hearing Mary’s name dozens of times and yet in all the New Testament writings that describe the church, it’s offices, and instructions to believers there is no mention whatsoever of Mary. If emphasis was to be placed on her surely the sacred text would have done so. Catholics rely on the uninspired writings of church fathers not on Scripture since Mary is absent beyond Acts 2 which shows her with the apostles at Pentecost and that’s it.

Moving on I would like to see the Mariology of Jesus. Surely if she is His Queen, the new Eve, who helped Him redeem mankind, and who today intercedes with Him for mankind then surely He in all of His teachings must have had many good things to say about her. Well let’s look at the first instance which is when He was 12 years old and she scolded Him for wandering off after they found Him teaching in the Temple. He responded by saying, “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.”(Luke 2:49-50) He pointed out to her that His Father’s business was the priority and even though He did submit himself to them as parents they clearly had to understand that He had a mission. It also points out that she didn’t understand what He meant which is interesting since Catholics insist she was fully a part of redemption yet here she seems oblivious to His mission.

The next point is when she and His brothers come to talk to Him. “But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!” (Matthew 12:48-49) Here He has an opportunity to glorify and magnify her in the sight of all present and yet He says that those who do the will of His Father are His mother and brothers or basically those who obey are His family. He actually shines attention away from her and says all who obey are to Him as His mother. Wow! What a different picture than Rome paints of Mary’s position.

The next point comes from the famous wedding in Cana. His mother comes to Him and asks Him to help since the wedding party is out of wine. He does help with the wine but His response to her is less than glorifying, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” (John 2:4) at no time in any passage of Scripture does Jesus glorify Mary or encourage us to do so. Rome says pray to Mary and Christ will answer your prayer better than if you pray directly to Him but Jesus said, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) When He taught His disciples to pray He did not tell them to call on Mary or some other saint, or angel. He told them to call on the Father. (Matthew 6:9) Christ’s intention is not to glorify His earthly mother but His Heavenly Father (John 17:1).

What is the Mariology of Peter? According to Rome Peter was the first pope(although he did not claim this title, was married, did not write most of the New Testament including rules for Christian conduct, church offices, church ordinances etc.) You can hardly hear the pope speak without him referencing Mary in fact most popes speak often about Mary. How many times did Peter reference Mary in his 2 Epistles? The answer is a big fat 0!!!! He mentions Jesus 9 times in just the first chapter of the first epistle.

What is the Mariology of Paul? Paul wrote most of the New Testaments 14 out of 27 books, he wrote and outlined rules of conduct for believers, offices of the church and the mystery of God. In all his writings he fails to mention Mary even once! That’s right not even once. You can’t listen to a catholic teach today without hearing of Mary more than of Christ and yet Paul did not mention her once. He did write in Colossians 1:18 that in all things Christ was to have the preeminence. That is surely not true of the Roman church today. One person said “we Catholics always get accused of worshiping Mary.” Well if the accusation is there then something must be there to warrant it.

Rome’s Marian Errors

2 10 2011

Where the Roman church often gets it wrong is when they take the Scriptures and add to them to create a doctrine. They claim many titles for Mary that simply are not in Scripture. They claim her to be a perpetual virgin, the spouse of God the Holy Spirit, Queen of Heaven, Mother of all the faithful, Co-redemtrix of mankind, The bridge between the Old and New Testaments, the only human unstained by sin, and the Mediatrix of mankind who intercedes for mankind. Let’s examine each of these claims briefly.

Is she a perpetual virgin? Matthew 1:25 says of Joseph, “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” Of course the knew her spoken of in the King James English is speaking of sexual relations. It does not say he never knew her but that he did not UNTIL she brought forth her firstborn Son. We see several verses where it speaks of the brothers and sisters of Jesus. Most Romans pass that off by saying the word used could also mean cousin but since that’s only a possibility I wouldn’t place an entire doctrine on the hope that a verse doesn’t mean what it says it means. Luke does use the word cousin in his Gospel. Others say it could be that they are children of Joseph but we see no evidence of Joseph being either divorced, widowed, or having multiple wives. This is once again an add on to the Scriptures. We can also take note how Scripture calls Jesus her FIRSTBORN son.

The doctrine of her perpetual virginity is a widely spoken doctrine in catholic circles and yet one would imagine the Holy Scriptures would not only declare it out right but give it much space, however it is silent on the subject. We don’t see the doctrine until the 2nd century. There was no full consensus on the doctrine of perpetual virginity within the early Church by the end of the second century, wider support for the doctrine began to appear within the next century. By the 4th century, the doctrine of perpetual virginity had been well attested. We must keep in mind that the church was already becoming increasingly corrupt, in fact the church of Ephesus was reprimanded in Revelation during the lifetime of the apostle John because it had left it’s first love. The decline and corruption in the church was well underway by the 2nd century when we see this topic arise.

Is she the spouse of God the Holy Spirit? On the website of Opus Dei, a Catholic institution, dated August 4th, 2003 the entry says, “On August 15, the Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption. “Think of Holy Mary, who is full of grace, Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Her Heart has room for all humanity and makes no distinction or discrimination. Every person is her son or her daughter” (St. Josemaría, Furrow,801). Monsignor Charles M. Mangan stated on “Our Blessed Mother Mary is the Immaculate Mediatrix who is the Chosen Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Our Lady is so intimately linked to the Holy Spirit—the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity—through her profound love and obedience that we can attest without a trace of exaggeration that she is the Spouse of the Paraclete.”

This is a perversion of Scripture and as close to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as you can get. Before you say, “well that is some catholic fanatics that believe that but not the church itself” look at how high this goes. May 9th, 1897 Pope Leo VIII said, “Unite, then, Venerable Brethren, your prayers with Ours, and at your exhortation let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her and the Holy Spirit, so that SHE IS JUSTLY CALLED HIS SPOUSE.” Pope Pius XII on July 13, 1958 said, “There is a Woman, –you know it, — upon whom God willed to fix His eyes with infinite tenderness, as He had destined her to be His Mother. His all-powerful love kept her virginal glory intact, and in addition HE BESTOWED ON HER THE CROWN OF A SPOUSE AND THE DIGNITY OF A MOTHER.” Pope Pius XII also taught: “And Paradise recognized that she [Mary] WAS REALLY WORTHY OF RECEIVING HONOR, GLORY AND RULE, because she is full of grace, holier, more beautiful, more exalted, incomparably more so than the greatest saints and angels, taken individually or all together; because, as the FIRST-BORN DAUGHTER of the Father, the PERFECT MOTHER of the Word, the BELOVED SPOUSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, she is related in virtue of the Hypostatic Union to the whole Most Holy Trinity….”

Is Mary Queen of Heaven? This teaching at least has a Scripture for it but it’s using a perverted interpretation of the passage to arrive at this doctrine. They use Revelation 12 as the basis. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”(Vs. 1) The 12 stars help identify the woman but I will go on before naming her. “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” (Vs. 5) Mary did give birth to Jesus who is the man child spoken of here but when you go on in the passage it speaks of her fleeing from persecution, and hiding in the desert. Mary never did those things, the woman is Israel which is why her head is crowned with 12 stars, Jesus may have been Mary’s Son but was was also the root and offspring of David of the tribe of Judah. Not just national Israel but true Israel. Believers have always been persecuted and Satan has always been in battle against true Israel, and Israel is spoken of in Scripture as a woman, the wife of God, and Christians are called the Bride of Christ.

Even when talking to Catholics I have found that they claim it’s talking about Mary only in the first part but later when she flees then they agree the subject is not Mary. You cannot interpret Scripture that way. The vision did not change nor did the subject. The woman at the end of the chapter is identical to the woman in verse 1. The queen of heaven is mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. “The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.” Jeremiah 8:7, we also find her mentioned in Jeremiah 44: 15-18 and there again she is a pagan goddess.

Is Mary mother of all the faithful? The Scripture they use for this is “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:25-27. The Roman church claims that when Jesus told John “Behold thy mother” John was a type of all Christians and therefore Mary is the mother of all Christians.

First of all that is not clearly stated in the text and that conclusion is not arrived at by simply reading the text. It is an example of misusing a passage for their own teaching. This is the same kind of abuse of Scripture we see from the pre-tribulational rapture folks when they say John was a type of all Christians in Revelation 4:1. It’s simply not there. It was custom at that time to leave your mother in the care of someone else and since His brothers did not believe in Him, He left her in the care of the disciple “whom He loved.” This is proven to be a literal gesture not a symbolic one by the end of verse 27, “And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”

If Mary is indeed the mother of all believers then Paul was blasphemous when he said, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Galatians 4:26) I can’t imagine any respected catholic making a statement like this today. The “mother of all the faithful” is similar to numerous historically pagan mother goddesses, including modern religions such as the LDS church which believes in a “Heavenly Mother” figure as counterpart to the Heavenly Father.

Is Mary the co-redemptrix of mankind? The Roman church teaches that Mary by allowing herself to be part of the virgin birth came into spiritual union with Christ and participated in His redemption. This is not a dogma which means Catholics can take it or leave it which seems odd that the “one true church” has a system where people can decide if something is true to them, a kind of relative truth. If this doctrine is true then Joseph is a co-redemptor for his role and on and on. The Scriptures do not give any such glory or title to Mary. If this were true would we not see some mention of it at least in the writings of Paul? The only way you can hold to this teaching is to believe that Scripture is not the authority and that doctrines that the church comes up with are just as valid as those in the Bible.

A similar title given to Mary is co-mediatrix. This doctrine teaches that Mary participates in Christ’s mediation for mankind. Once again this is not expressed directly or indirectly in Scripture. They cite the story in John 2:1-11, which tells of the marriage at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine when Mary pointed out that they had no wine. There are several issues with drawing this doctrine from this story. First, just because she interceeded to get them wine can you really stretch that to saying in Heaven she intercedes for the needs, and sins of mankind? It’s quite a stretch. Second, you can use the same logic in the story of the Roman Centurion that interceeded for his ill servant and say “police officers are the ones who interceed for sick people” of course thats a stretch but not much different from the one that Rome makes with this passage. Thirdly, the response of Jesus was not very becoming of someone speaking to the future “queen of heaven” He said, “And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”(John 2:4)

Was Mary the bridge between the Old and New Testaments? I read a few catholic teachings that say that the entire Old Testament is a pre-figuration of the “Blessed Mother” and that O.T. figures are a shadow of Mary in the N.T. This is once again not found in Scripture. The O.T. does pre-figure someone and O.T. figures are a type of someone but it’s not Mary, it’s the person Catholics push to the background: Jesus Christ! The O.T. laws, sacrifices, Temple, prophets, etc. all pointed to Jesus. He was the fulfillment of all types and shadows.

Paul said that the O.T. law was to point us to Christ, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24) Paul tells us in Galatians 4:22-31 that Abraham having two sons one with a slave woman and one with a free woman happened to point us to Christ and show us that we are free in Christ. In Hebrews 10:10-13 describes how the priest having to stand in the Temple was pointing to a time when sacrifice would cease and the Great High Priest would sit down in Heaven having completed His work. We see in Hebrews 7 that Melchisedec pointed to Christ. Hebrews 4:1-11 tells us that the sabbath day itself was only a foreshadow of Christ who is our Sabbath rest. Hebrews 3:1-6 tells us that Moses was a foreshadow of Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 tells us that what happened to the Israelites happened as a foreshadow of us today, and that just as Moses smote the rock and out came water so that too points to Christ who was smitten by God and from Him flows spiritual water. Christ Himself says that the O.T. points to Him. In Matthew 5:17, and John 5:39 Christ points to Himself as the fulfillment of the O.T. what is the bridge between the Old and New Testaments? It is Jesus Christ!

Was Mary the only sinless one? This title is often given to her under the title of the “New Eve.” Of course if Adam and Eve were husband and wife then for Christ and Mary to be the new ones they would have to be both husband and wife as well as mother and son. Scripture does give Christ the title of second Adam(Romans 5:12-21, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45) For Mary of course they argue once again Scripture only alludes to it but does not say it.

Was she born sinless? This is given to us under the mane of the “immaculate conception” that is to say she was born without original sin and never sinned in her life(even though she called Christ her Saviour). Jesus was sinless because He was God. If Mary were sinless would she not be a god or goddess? Jesus said, “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:18) Jesus was claiming Himself to be God in that verse and yet Catholics claim Mary is good…better than good, sinless.

I want to quickly address one other Marian error of Rome and that is the connection to the Ark of the Covenant. They make the connection because Mary bore in her body Christ who is called the Word, and who rose from the dead connecting her to Aaron’s rod that budded, and because the ark held manna and Jesus is that Bread that came out of Heaven. I understand the stretch they make to connect those things but many people and teachers such as the famous Harold Camping take Biblical things and connect one event to another or one person to another, or one number to another and come up with all sorts of doctrines. It does not mean they are right.

The Ark was only powerful for what dwelt on it not in it. The Spirit rested on it, once the Spirit departed it was worthless. This is a picture of the believer in whom dwells the Holy Spirit. If you could make the connection to Mary then it is only during those 9 months but that is a stretch and once again it is not stated in Scripture only assumed and read into it. In fact the teaching didn’t even arise until the 4th century.

Since it was called the Ark of the Covenant then if Mary were the “new ark” then that would make her the mediator of the New Covenant but Scripture clearly says, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, and when he says your come to Mount Zion, and Jesus etc. the writer makes no mention of Mary, Queen, Blessed Mother, Immaculate Conception or anything. Strange in light of the emphasis on her today.

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