One of the reasons why former Catholics that are now saved, become such staunch defenders of the word of God, when it comes to being our final authority, is mainly down to the fact that for so many years, we were told how "holy mother church" was and is our "final authority" for the faithful Catholic, in all matters of "faith and practice."
This kind of message is normally indoctrinated into the child during their Catholic education and of course is reinforced by their parents, along with the parish priest.
However, for centuries and especially in Catholic Europe, a typical lay Catholic couldn't read or write, let alone follow along in their Roman Missal, as the priest performed the Latin Tridentine Mass, with his back to the congregation.
For the lay Catholic to even dare question the priest and the Mass was considered "sacrilege."
Therefore with the vast majority of lay Catholics being illiterate for centuries, the clergy quite happily became their interpreters, mediators, intercessors and spiritual "fathers," and spoon-fed them their own dose of Romanism.
Scripture says that every man in his best state is vanity (Ps. 39:5), and with every person that has and ever lived, carrying Adams sin nature, only the new birth and God's word could rescue man from tainted tradition and present him with the truth of Christ.
It was imperative therefore that the word of God be made available to all God fearing people, to enable them to grow and function according to what God said in His word and not what man said.
So in God's perfect timing, He raised up imperfect men, ranging from Tyndale to Luther and guided and blessed their translation work, with some even paying with their lives by putting His word into the common man's hand, in spite of everything that Rome did to thwart this, men and women got saved, dysfunctional families reunited, backslidden people were restored and illiteracy, especially in reformation countries, started to decrease.
This was the beginning of the great and long anticipated awakening. Once the papal shackles had final being destroyed, an entire generation of those that once lived in darkness, now witnessed and rejoiced in a new and perpetual life saving light.
However, as someone once said: "The one thing men learn from history is that men don't learn from history."
Did not the Lord Jesus continually deal with the problem of tradition with the Pharisees, much like the way in which Christians today dispute tradition with Catholics.
So serious was this, the Lord said it was destroying the supremacy of the word of God.
Please see two such verses in the New Testament that speak about God's loathing of tainted tradition:
"Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mark 7:5-9.)
The briefed Catholic will respond and point to other verses that they claim affirm tradition to be acceptable:
"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25.)
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thess. 2:15.)
The latter of these two verses is very much a favourite for Catholic apologists, for they believe it gives their system of tradition running parallel with the Bible, and in some cases even superseding the Scripture, some form of credibility.
Yet in reality, all this verse is saying is that traditions were given orally to local assemblies before the entire New Testament was completed. Also anyone who is well grounded in the Holy Scripture, can see straight away that the Catholic churches traditions are so diametrically opposed to the word of God, i.e., purgatory, Mary, priestly celibacy, intercessors, lucrative statues and prayers to the dead, that the early church, which was predominately Jewish, would have had no interest whatsoever in the way in which the Catholic church severely corrupted the New Testaments teachings and plan of salvation.
Therefore, the tradition spoken of in 2 Thessalonians reinforces the word of God being one's final authority, not tainted tradition, with unbiblical and heretical flaws.
Also in chapter 3:6, Paul warns his reader against "false tradition." With such a serious alert as this, along with Galatians 1:6-9, one would have to conclude that the New Testament must be a timeless and perfect guide, to help steer people away from falling into this eternal damnation, otherwise how would one be able to discern truth from tradition, fact from fiction?
And did not Paul encourage and even commend the Bereans, who checked the Old Testament diligently to see if what he said to them was true or not (Acts 17:11,12.)
With this in mind, any honest and open minded Catholic, including their priests, should be quite content and prepared for Bible believers to scrutinize their teachings to see if their system has any Biblical credibility or not.
PATRICK'S STREET REPORTS
Will there be laughter in Heaven? Well the reason I ask is because I briefly met a man who has spent a lifetime making others laugh. That man is the British comedian, Ken Dodd.
My ten-minute chat was mainly about secular matters, but Mr. Dodd who is 85 years old, was of that generation who attended Sunday school as a child regularly, so he has some knowledge of the Bible and of its implications to those who ignore its warnings.
So I decided to post him one of our popular Bible tract/post cards. It's a round about way of witnessing to lost people where the opportunity does not always present itself initially.
I also put a brief message on the back of the card.
(The Bible verse on this particular card was from Hebrews 11:6, which I thought rather appropriate.)
So I will pray for him to repent before it is too late for him.
Incidentally one interesting quote attributed to Martin Luther I came across has him saying: "If you're not allowed to laugh in Heaven, I don't want to go there."
The other reference which I find most encouraging is from Luke 6:21, with words from the Lord Himself: "Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh."
I like that, don't you?
And would not there have been laughing at that wedding feast at Cana, so long ago by the invited guests.
"Builders For Christ??"
One of the joys of doing frequent street work is that you never know what opportunities the Lord will send along.
Whilst handing out some of our tracts in a nearby town, I noticed some street work being carried out by the local council. Two workmen were replacing cracked headstones and while taking a break, one of them, who was a few feet away from me, came over to take a tract from me, always a good sign and see what it was all about.
He took the tract, read the Bible verse slowly printed on the front, and we then had a few words about what I was doing and the state of the country, and if we are still a Christian country. And with that he walked back to his parked truck and then to my surprise, he placed it face out next to the tax disc.
So seizing the initiative I asked him he would accept another. He paused and said why not, then placed that one next to the other over the dashboard.
I couldn't then resist taking a couple of pictures as a souvenir for the next newsletter and in fact, I don't think that kind gesture has happened to us before. So in future anyone passing by that lorry parked or otherwise in the town will see two distinctive coloured Bible cards on view with some beautiful verses on display for all to read and I hope meditate upon.
We continue to be blessed and humbled by the number of people that take the time to contact us, with heartfelt commendations.
This month saw the following e-mail arrive, and we considered it worth sharing (with permission from the sender given) in March's newsletter:
Anyway, yesterday and today I prayed, today as I walked on the beach with my faithful dog, a beautiful sunny day, to show me where I was in His plan...when I feel better, or sooner, what can I do? Then, researching Calvinism today, I found James' utubes and watched most of them. He is a sound teacher and answered many dilemmas for me, such as, "I am complete in Christ." No need to agonize over missing communion and feeling unworthy or in condemnation. Also, many things about the Rapture and that beautiful print showing the resurrection. James, please continue your sound teaching; be encouraged that you reached one person's need today, by God's grace I feel better.
I used to street witness when I was a new believer,
some twenty years ago. It is tough for a woman to witness on the street, but if you
go out in groups, maybe I'll take a vacation to UK. Keep up the good work, James and
Patrick. To God be the Glory. P.S. I always knew transubstantiation was a trick; and
the mass was a ritual recrucifying our Lord in a pagan manner, but I didn't realize
it also represented the futility of their religion regarding salvation. The last time
I went to Mass, maybe six months ago, when I got home, I got hit with a spirit of
depression. When I used to witness, I had the peace of God in my soul. My parents,
Catholics, thought I was so out there in my beliefs; my whole family has persecuted
me; but I know why and it's easier to take as I get older. Jesus has a work yet for
me to do. Either by Internet or outreach witnessing. Sometimes people mistake bible-believing
Christians to be JWs.
Also, today, James mentioned that the True Church was an organic, living thing, comprised of all who believe on Christ, his shed blood for our atonement, his burial and resurrection.
Now, after watching and hearing James' clear teaching in the Spirit of Truth, I could identify and feel not alone, or odd because I've rejected the false things. Reading the Word daily does bring in more truth, I think..."The entrance of Thy word giveth light." Anyway, I have to close now, I just desired to communicate to you personally that your ministry blessed me today and released some shackles, even for a grad theology student, which makes me no better than the man on the street.
Rick Santorum And Opus Dei
With Americans going to the polls in November, Bible believers that are registered to vote and believe in voting at all, are left with the frustrating dilemma about whether to vote from the Catholic, Rick Santorum, who is a member of the notorious fundamentalist right-wing Catholic group, Opus Dei or Mitt Romney, a bishop and alleged freemason in the Mormon religion.
The reality is, no politician can fix their country let alone restore it to its glorious God honouring status that it once enjoyed.
Only by faith in Jesus and a close and personal walk with Him, can the child of God be fulfilled and never let down (Ps. 146:3.)
UK Government For Homosexual Marriage
In 2010, the British people failed to give any of the three leading political parties enough votes to form a government, therefore for the first time in seventy years, a coalition government was formed, consisting of the conservatives and liberal democrats.
then, the coalition has initiated some of its
godlesspolices, which for the most part, were not part of their manifestos and one area that they, along with the Labour Party are very keen to promote, is to extend civil partnerships into marriage.
In other words, marriage will now carry the same weight in law as it once did for a man and a woman, for people of the same sex.
To those that dare oppose this, they are considered homophobic and bigots.
So much for being a tolerant society. Or as it was rather well put by someone, it's now intolerant not to be tolerant (Is. 5:20.)
The Vatican Nazi Rat Run
Newly opened Argentinean documents reveal over 9,000 wanted Nazis fled to S. America at the Wars end, with 5,000 arriving in Argentina and 2,500 settling in Brazil; a further 1,000 in Chile.
President Peron had previously sold 10,000+ blank passports to the "Odessa" ratline, a popular Vatican escape route at the time.
Eichmann and others had used this rare opportunity to escape European justice.
"These documents provide the hottest leads we have had for years," one researcher remarked.
Can we now expect that the Vatican open their own files for immediate inspection (Luke 6:26?)
Waiting, waiting, waiting, how much time
We waste, just waiting,
For is not all waiting just a waste of time?
Sixty seconds can seem like sixty hours,
With fluid months melting away into liquid years.
But is not all life a cycle that twists and turns
Through life's fading pleasures and lasting searing pains?
True prayer that we offer through
Petition or pleading,
Is never denied to friend or stranger by God
Who is listening?
And does not His precious Son, The Lord,
Hear all genuine seeking prayer,
That is offered when and where it will appear?
So remember dear friend that all
Will perhaps somewhere at
Be accounted for, in a perpetual
So please remember that all you have
Is in God's all seeing eyes wicked and