+ + + + +
Where Self-Styled ‘Born Again
Believers’ Go So Terribly Wrong When It Comes to
the Bible, Infallibility, the Church, Roman Catholic ‘Crimes’,
Faith, Obedience, Works, Love, Tradition, Heresy, Dogmas,
Liberty’, Opposing False Religion, the
Between Talmudic Jews & Real Christians,
the Ever-Virgin Mary & etc., etc.
COMPOSED & EDITED FEBRUARY TO APRIL 2009.
+ + + + +
“Brethren, the will of my heart, indeed, and my prayer to God, is for them unto salvation. For I bear them witness, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, not knowing the justice of God, and seeking to establish their own, have not submitted themselves to the justice of God… How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things!’ [Isaias 52:7, Nahum 1:15] But all do not obey the gospel. For Isaias saith: ‘Lord, who hath believed our report?’ [Isaias 53:1] Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, ‘Have they not heard?’ Yes, verily, ‘their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the whole world.’ [Psalm 18:5]… But… he saith, ‘All the day long have I spread my hands to a people that believeth not, and contradicteth me.’ [Isaias 65:2]” (Romans 10:1-3, 14-18, 21 DRC)
“Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries. Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have digged a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in thy sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away thy indignation from them.” (Jeremias 18:19-20 DRC)
“And Jesus said: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” (Luke 23:34a DRC)
+ + + + +
Intended by the Author of This Book
for the Greater Glory of the Adorable Triune Catholic God,
for the Worship of
the Sacred Heart of King Jesus Christ of
for the Praise of the Immaculate Heart of Queen Mary, the Blessed Ever-
Virgin Mother of God,
unto the Protection & Propagation of the Holy Roman Catholic Church &
Her Most Precious Heavenly Dogmas,
under the Euphonious Patronage of St. Cecilia, the Eloquent Patronage
of St. Catherine
Ven. Mariana de Jesus Torres, Virgins &
“Domine, non est
exaltatum cor meum, neque elati
sunt oculi mei. Neque ambulavi
in magnis, neque in mirabilibus super me. Si non humiliter sentiebam, sed exaltavi animam
meam; sicut ablactatus est
super matre sua, ita retributio in anima mea. Speret
St. Francis Xavier, Patron of Catholic Missioners, Ss. Catherine of Alexandria & Francis of Sales, Patrons of Catholic Philosophers & Apologists, respectively, and St. Peter of Verona, the Glorious Martyr, may you be pleased to guide this arrow to its target, either unto eternal life or eternal death! “Now thanks be to God, who always maketh us to triumph in Christ Jesus, and manifesteth the odour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are the good odour of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one indeed the odour of death unto death: but to the others the odour of life unto life.” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16b DRC)
St. Francis of Assisi, Humble Seraph of the Incarnate God, and St. Dominic the Preacher, Dogged Cherub of the Triune Deity, pray for your children that they may not fail the test but suffer the malice of the wicked gladly and so gain the Crown of Life!
+ + + + +
Part One of Protestant Protests Rebutted (Chapters 1-21)
+ + + + +
A NOTE TO THE READER:
This book was a long email to a Protestant reader of this website who wishes to remain anonymous to me under the guise of a pseudonym. Namely, ‘Joy Given’. This is the same anonymous reader to whom I wrote last autumn, which letter is posted in the L&A section of the website as Regarding ‘Scripture Alone’, ‘Faith Alone’ & the So-Called ‘Crimes’ of the Catholic Church. At the time, I gave this reader to understand that I would not further address the issues in the title of the letter with him unless he grappled specifically with the very specific points that I had already made. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of communication? We are only talking past one another instead of resolving any particular conflict. He makes a complaint; I answer it with specific points; he makes another complaint or the same complaint all over again, ignoring the specific points that I made; and so forth and so on… nothing is accomplished. It’s useless.
However, the anonymous reader then sent me a series of five long emails that were remarkably thoughtful. Not exactly reasonable, mind you, acknowledging the simple plain truth & evident good sense of the Catholic Religion that I have presented throughout The Epistemologic Works website. But thoughtful, at least, and free of needless rancor. It was this relatively placid tone, along with a bit of soul-searching on the part of ‘Joy Given’, that gave me impetus to respond once more. And since the letters were many & long, then a book-size rejoinder on my part was in order. Selecting carefully amongst a wide tableau of things that I could rebut, I chose several old topics (subjects that I’ve previously addressed elsewhere to a great extent) and a few new topics (subjects that I’d never addressed before, or only in a fleeting or indirect way). But whether new or old, the controversies are drawn out in a fashion that is fresh, often more in-depth, and I focus on important aspects that I had not yet nailed down in other places to the degree that I do here. In short, it’s worth studying this book carefully. If not Catholic and styling yourself ‘born again’ or a ‘follower of jesus’, then this tome will show you why your ‘spiritual beliefs’ are inescapably false and thus also very much against what God actually says. Whereas, if truly Catholic, then you will find the tools & ammunition necessary to avoid the pitfalls of a phony ‘christianity’ and to handily refute the attacks of all those who do not actually know Jesus but merely pretend (and no matter how sincerely) to live His teachings.
Unfortunately, I could not send this email to ‘Joy Given’. He had apparently closed down his email address or allowed it to lapse. Yet I post what I have written because I did not write it solely for ‘Joy Given’. I also know that ‘Joy Given’ returns to The Epistemologic Works website from time to time to see what is new or to read some more. I therefore hope & pray that he will find this email that was intended for him. Indeed, assuming you are perusing this, my dear soul, know that I tried three times to transmit this email, to no avail, and only a month-and-a-half after your most recent letter to me. Should you want me to transmit it again (I had attached your five original emails in case you didn’t remember them and hadn’t bothered to save them), I will gladly do so. Just let me know, and provide me with an address that works.
A final note, then, before the main body of my long letter. First, nothing in this letter has been changed from the original other than a paucity of letters to correct a few typos or a handful of words to better explain certain topics. I have also added chapter headings so as to let readers better navigate the scope of the text, as well as keep a constant overview of the various subjects addressed. And, second, should you want a synoptic perspective of all the chapters & topics, then refer again to the webpage you just came from that hyperlinks the two separate parts that I divide this book into --- each of the individual chapters of the Protestant Protests Rebutted book and brief descriptions of their contents are listed in order on that hyperlinking page. May anything that is true or praiseworthy in this work be attributed to the efforts of the Holy Triune God through the Immaculate Hands of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary. And may anything which is false or blameworthy be laid firmly in accusation at my own wayward feet.
+ + + 1. Introduction + + +
17 April 2009
My Dear ‘Joy Given’ –
Thank you kindly for your five most recent emails (counting the two
separate parts of your communication on October 16, 2008) during October,
November & December of last year. I’m sorry it’s taken me so
very long to respond to you. Aside from my tasks as the father of a large
family, not to mention my religious duties as a Catholic, we have moved hundreds
of miles from western
Yet things are calming down and Lent is done (Ash Wednesday was on February 25th this year). Too, your latest letters were thoughtful & courteous. I don’t wish to ignore them. I am therefore addressing selected points from them in a mostly sequential order. Some I will write about in this epistle. Others I will show where you can find adequate answers on my website, www.TheEpistemologicWorks.com. In either case, you will be able to see why I am Catholic and had to abandon the false religion of my youth.
Incidentally, I have read carefully through your five lengthy emails. (Which, if you have forgotten their content & no longer have them in your possession, you may find attached to this email for your review.) Please, then, I beg you, return the favor and read carefully through every single word in this one long email which responds to you --- including those parts of my website to which I refer you as answering your challenges.
+ + + 2. What Good Is a Bible That Is Misunderstood? + + +
= Point #1
You said, “Yes, I do believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Yes, I do believe that the Word of God is infallible just as he himself is infallible.” [1st email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008. All quotes are untouched except for occasional, minor errors of spelling or punctuation corrected.]
‘Infallible’ means never being wrong. As used by Catholics, it specifically means the Pope instructing the Church about faith & morals and protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error while doing so. It thus applies to a person, not a book. The reason this is important is simple:
Persons, having minds & mouths, can tell us what they meant to say after something is already said, whereas books can’t.
The Bible is inerrant. That is, there is no error in its words. Yet what good does this do anyone if he cannot understand these words correctly? The good-willed eunuch read the messianically prophetic words of St. Isaiah and couldn’t properly understand them short of St. Philip’s help, St. Philip explaining to the eunuch what they meant and hence how to save his immortal soul.
“And the angel of the Lord spake
unto Philip, saying, ‘Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from
My dear soul, the eunuch was a man of great power, holding huge responsibilities under Queen Candace. He was thus also a man of more than adequate mind, being intelligent & perceptive. Yet even he, worshipper though he was of the One True God within the One True Religion of the Old Covenant Church, could not comprehend what he devoutly read in the book of Isaiah! He needed someone to help him. Someone who had the knowledge necessary already, who had both ability & authority to teach him the means of eternal salvation. As the eunuch replied when asked if he fathomed what he read:
“How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31a KJV)
And how did St. Philip exercise this guidance? Starting with the very same verses of Sacred Scripture that he had been reading, he “…preached unto him Jesus.” (Acts 8:31c KJV)
Bingo. There you are. The Bible all by itself is not sufficient unto salvation. Why?
Because men can’t understand everything necessary to understand in Sacred Scripture, all by themselves and without any authoritative & knowledgeable help, knowing rightly or adequately what they need to comprehend in order to save their souls.
Or, to put it still another way, people require someone who is both knowledgeable & authorized to do so to explain to them what they will not be able to understand correctly & fully without such assistance.
Indeed, so necessary is this kind of help that missing out on
salvation is not the only risk that a person takes by not having it, but
--- and even after understanding what he needs to know in order to save his
soul --- a person still risks damning his precious soul if he
reads the Bible on his own and then pretends to have, all by himself without
any authoritative assistance, all of the intelligence, knowledge & ability
needed to understand what he reads adequately & rightly, and that he must not
get wrong! As St. Peter warned the earliest Catholics about misinterpreting the
divinely-inspired words of
“…even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” (2 Peter 3:15b-17 KJV.)
My dear soul, the Bible is large, sprawling & complex. It is also ancient and hard for modern people to comprehend. How, then, does Sacred Scripture do you any good when you have no way of knowing for sure that you interpret its meaning correctly? There are things in it that are “hard to be understood…” (2 Peter 3:16b KJV) How do you know that you’re not one of the “unlearned and unstable” who sometimes “wrest” --- mangle & misinterpret --- its words into meaning something that God never intended them to mean? Just what is your God-given authority for claiming to understand everything in the Bible correctly that needs to be understood in order to save your soul?
You have no such authority. You have no way of being sure that you’re right. You have only your opinion about what the Bible means to say. An opinion that sometimes clashes with other Protestants, not to mention with those of the Catholic Faith. So how is it you would dare to say that the Roman Catholic Church is not infallible? You yourself are not infallible! How is it, then, that you can be sure you’re right that the Catholic Church is wrong? You have only two sensible choices, dear soul:
Either, one, you are not infallible and thus you must admit that your condemnation of the Catholic Church could be wrong. In other words, the Catholic Church really could be infallible!
Or, two, you are infallible and hence you must come straight out & say it so that others may benefit from your infallibility. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose by doing so since you couldn’t possibly be wrong!
Please read (or re-read) Regarding the Bible, Infallibility & the Church in the Letters & Admonishments (L&A) section of The Epistemologic Works website for more wisdom in this matter. You may also look at Chapters 37-42 & 58 in the Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus book in the Books & Articles (B&A) section of the website. Infallibility is the crux upon which everything hinges. It is a hinge the world does not possess and thus why the world is left in a darkness of its own making, having rejected the God-Given Infallibility of His One & Only Roman Catholic Church. A darkness of mind & soul that propels them toward Hell forevermore.
+ + + 3. A Protestant’s ‘Infallible’ Condemnation + + +
= Point #2
You said, “And yes, I do believe that the Roman Catholic church has committed many crimes against humanity and that those orders came from the pope then in charge at the time. This I do believe is historically provable and actually happened. And no, I do not and shall never believe that these crimes are justifiable by any method or rationalization.” [1st email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
You do not determine what a crime is. God does.
You are not infallible. God is.
Therefore, by what authority do you condemn the Roman Catholic Church for having committed “many crimes against humanity”?
By the ‘authority’ of your own opinion?
That’s all it comes down to. And since the vast majority of people alive today in the world share your opinion --- and since most persons are afraid to buck the majority, wanting to get along with them --- then your opinion appears to you to be beyond questioning.
Or is it?
Think about it, my dear soul. Most of the world does not believe that the Bible is from God. Yet you would oppose them on this. Consequently, you must agree that the opinion of the majority is not always right. And, as a result, you must also admit that your condemnation of the Catholic Church is not correct just because most of the world thinks that it is. The opinion of the majority has nothing to do with whether something is true or not. Nor are you infallible. You could be wrong in this matter. Ergo, how is it you would dare to say, “…I do not and shall never believe that these crimes are justifiable by any method or rationalization…”?
Because what if you’re wrong and the method or rationalization is right?
Why, then, your refusal to admit the truth is sheer stubbornness or stupidity, a self-imposed blindness!
Dear soul, you must admit your fallibility, that you could be wrong in condemning the Church. Until you do this, all the explanations in the world will never make a difference. Because even if an explanation is right, you won’t admit it. But as soon as you can admit that you could be wrong, then please go to Roman Catholic Church in the Questions & Answers (Q&A) section of the website and read (or re-read) Questions 307 to 360. The answers to your accusation are there in sufficient detail to satisfy the person seeking wisdom in this matter. Their good sense & solid facts are plain for all to see.
In the meantime, if you still wish to pick a bone about the supposed ‘crimes’ of the Catholic Church in centuries past, then get specific and respond to the precise points that I make in Roman Catholic Church. Anything less than this is a waste of my time and yours. And, as I said to you before in my email of 8 October 2008, “Should you have problems understanding what I have explained, then say so. I won’t mock you for not comprehending something, particularly when I see proof of good will in you otherwise.” [Regarding ‘Scripture Alone’, ‘Faith Alone’ & the So-Called ‘Crimes’ of the Catholic Church, Chapter 4, as found in the L&A section of The Epistemologic Works]
The point is --- and I have broached this subject again only because of your quietly pleasant attitude, hoping you will respond specifically to what I have said in Roman Catholic Church --- we will get nowhere if you don’t take my words seriously. For instance, don’t send me more lists of supposed ‘crimes’ of the Catholic Church occurring on certain dates in history. This does me no good (I already know the allegations well enough), some of them are imaginary (either rumors or outright lies), and, most importantly, a crime isn’t a crime if it doesn’t break God’s Commandments and is something that practically anyone else necessarily does when confronted by similar circumstances.
So, then, if you’re going to get anywhere further with me on this subject, address what I’ve said in Roman Catholic Church. Be specific. For example, in Question 330 I say:
“Stop and think for a minute about what you’re really saying. Because if there truly is no Salvation outside of the Catholic Church --- and Catholicism is literally infallible in Her Teachings, which is the only way that people could be assured of obtaining Salvation provided that they become members of this Church by holding to all that She professes & obeying all that She commands in the first place --- then you are as much as saying that people have a right to commit spiritual murder.”
This was in response to the claim that no one has a right to stop someone from practicing the religion that he wants. And I very sensibly point out how --- given that the Catholic Church really is the only way God has made for us to save our souls, and given that She really is infallible in Her teachings --- then, yes, a Catholic nation truly does have the right (and a moral obligation!) to restrict other religions in their practice, and to punish Catholics for leaving Her membership or attacking Her dogmas. Just as most anyone in the United States would agree that the government has the right to restrict her enemies from organizing within her borders, and just as they would also agree that our leaders have the duty to punish severely those Americans who turn traitor, attacking us; so, too, do Catholics have a right to do these very same things in a Catholic nation in order to protect God’s Religion and their own nation’s existence!
Now, you should acknowledge the plain good sense in these words.
There’s no way you can get around them. If the
The question is not, therefore, ought anyone to do these things, but, rather, whether Catholics are justified in doing these things. And, given that Catholicism really is the One True Religion that God has given all of mankind for the salvation of souls, then, yes, they most definitely are justified in doing these things! Hence, if you still want to quibble with this particular point, then you must knuckle down and address the real issue:
Is it true that Catholicism is the only way to save your soul? Has God truly made the Catholic Church infallible in matters of teaching & morals?
This is the real issue. All the complaints in the world that you could cite are irrelevant, even if every single accusation of a ‘crime’ that you made in them were rooted in the facts of history. Because a crime is only a crime if it breaks the Commandments of God and goes against what anyone would naturally & sensibly do in similar circumstances. And doesn’t anyone seek to protect his life or the lives of others, or the well-being of his country?
Yes, he does.
So how can anyone rightly condemn Catholic nations for protecting the souls of their citizens from going to Hell (which is eternal death and thus spiritual murder for the one who causes it) or for protecting their own existence from being harmed or destroyed?
Thus, my dear ‘Joy Given’, get specific and tell me how, with absolute certainty, I can know that Catholicism isn’t God’s One True Religion and that the Catholic Church isn’t infallible in Her Teachings. Were you able to do this, then I would be forced to agree that --- however well-intentioned --- Catholics did indeed commit many crimes in opposing other religions within their own nations or when punishing Catholics who left membership in the Roman Church.
Do you understand?
+ + + 4. Faith in the ‘Aloneness’ of Faith + + +
= Point #3
You said, “Faith alone seems to bother you considerably… You have one book out of the whole Bible that questions faith alone. That would be the book of James.” [1st email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
And you, my dear soul, have no book out of the whole Bible that upholds ‘faith alone’. That’s the point! So where do you get off imagining that it is ‘faith alone’ that saves a man’s soul? Sacred Scripture never says this! As a result, all of the verses in existence that you could quote at me about faith are irrelevant, not a one of them saying that it is ‘faith alone’ that saves a man. Whereas --- and to the contrary --- there is, in fact, one very clear verse that comes straight out and says the exact opposite!
The ‘born again christian’ stance is demolished by this, dear soul. It proves that you don’t believe what is plainly stated in your own bibles. It also proves that you think yourself infallible, able to interpret Sacred Scripture without ever being wrong about something that is crucial to get right… and even though your interpretation has no explicit support in any of its verses (nowhere does it say the word ‘alone’ in conjunction with the word ‘faith’ in the Bible) and despite the fact that the Bible says the precise opposite in one very clear & explicit verse! (James 2:24)
But I am repeating myself. And I am doing so again in the hope --- given your quietly pleasant demeanor in your last five emails --- that you will get specific and address these very sensible points. That is to say, don’t keep telling me how you can explain away what James plainly says against the notion of ‘faith alone’. That will get us nowhere. Rather, tell me why I am to consider you infallible and hence take your interpretation of his words as certain, when in fact your interpretation obviously contradicts the plain & simple meaning of his very straightforward words! Then I would back down.
As it is, you are not infallible. Therefore, I would be placing the eternal fate of my immortal soul in your hands were I to agree with you --- making a bet that your fallible opinion does truly prove to be the correct opinion in the end. Because ‘faith alone’ is no minor thing. It is one of the linchpins of Protestant-derived religions, and it directly denies the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church --- which does dare to say that She is infallible and cannot be wrong in this matter.
Do you dare to tell me the same thing, that you are infallible?
Do you dare to say to me that you cannot be wrong in your interpretation of James’ words, going against their plain & obvious meaning?
Do you dare to tell me that you cannot be wrong in your interpretation of the Bible’s other verses about faith, infallibly interpreting them to mean ‘faith alone’ and even though none of them candidly say so, never using the word ‘alone’ in conjunction with the word ‘faith’?
Please read (or re-read) the entire book, The Dogma of Baptism Upheld & the Lie of ‘Faith Alone’ Cast Down, in the B&A section of the website, especially Chapters 1j to 1t, as well as Chapters 9i to 9k. Also review Question 213 in Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section. Too, go over Chapter 2 of Regarding ‘Scripture Alone’, ‘Faith Alone’ & the So-Called ‘Crimes’ of the Catholic Church in the L&A section, which is part of the previous email that I sent you.
= Point #4
You said, “…I have to wonder how you came to rely on the statements in the book of James since you do not really believe that the Bible, including the book of James, is the written word of God.” [1st email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
This is a false statement. Please read Chapter 36, “Fathoming the Word of God”, of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus in the B&A section of the website, to see my actual position and what I really believe about the Bible. As a matter of fact, read Chapters 34 to 45 to get the fuller context of what I am saying there about Sacred Scripture.
+ + + 5. Jesus Shatters the ‘No Need to Obey’ Stance + + +
= Point #5
You said, “The obedience that is required for salvation is to believe.” [1st email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
A man came to Jesus and asked him the following question:
“Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16b KJV)
To which Jesus replied:
“…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17b KJV)
“…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Obviously, you claim to follow Jesus. Well, then, my precious soul,
here are His words. And just as obviously, a fool determined to argue the
nonsense of ‘works alone’ could use this verse to uphold his
position. But it is not an either/or situation. It is not ‘faith
alone’ to the exclusion of works, nor is it ‘works
alone’ to the exclusion of faith. It is, rather, right faith in
tandem with right works. You cannot have one without the other. Both are
necessary to save one’s soul.
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Galatians 5:6 KJV)
In the midst of fighting against the Judaist heresy, wherein certain Jews under the pretense of being Christian tried to persuade Catholics to pervert their Faith by relying on Jewish ceremonial rites & sacrifices --- such as circumcision --- to save their souls, Paul supports the Catholic teaching that ‘faith alone’ cannot save you! Which is why he also says:
“…and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2b KJV)
Which directly contradicts your Protestantism, my dear soul. For you insist that ‘faith alone’ will save you. Whereas Paul tells us that even if a man has “all faith,” he is still nothing without charity! And what is charity?
Charity is love. But not love in the abstract, a mere feeling. This
is why he very specifically says in Galatians 5:6b, “…but faith
which worketh by love.” (KJV) In
other words, it has to be a charity --- love --- that obeys God’s
Commandments, which is just what Jesus said in Matthew 19:17. Nevertheless,
do not think that love is simply doing nice things for other people. As
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3 KJV)
Most people think feeding the poor automatically makes the one doing the feeding an inarguably ‘loving’ or ‘charitable’ person. Yet this is not so. As Jesus said to the lawyer who had asked Him which was the greatest of God’s commandments:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37b-38 KJV)
Only after this, He added, is the second most important commandment:
“And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39 KJV)
So, in God’s Sight, loving Him is more important than loving your neighbor. Not that loving your neighbor isn’t important… only that loving God with your whole heart is more important. Which is why Jesus said as well about the Day of Judgment, wherein God rejects many souls despite their claiming Jesus as their Lord or Saviour:
“Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:21-27 KJV)
That is to say, loving God above all things means doing His Will. And doing His Will cannot consist merely in ‘believing’ since Jesus commanded many things other than just believing in Him! Which is why Jesus additionally told His Twelve Apostles:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:15, 21 KJV)
Pretty simple stuff, my dear soul. Yet how does someone directly love God by obeying His Commandments? After all, aren’t we obeying His Commandments by being charitable to our neighbors --- isn’t this part of His Ten Commandments?
Yes, but only the last seven of His Ten Commandments (or the last six, as Protestants would have it). The first three of the Ten Commandments are about Him, exclusively. To wit, that we should have no false gods or false religions in place of Him or His True Religion, that we should not take His Name in vain and instead use His Name properly by praying rightly in His True Religion, and that we should keep the sabbath days holy, not worshipping Him wrongly in a false religion. (Exodus 20:1-17, Deuteronomy 5:1-22) These commandments, then, are how --- more than anything else --- human beings love God above all other things, and how we, then, do His Will. The last seven of the commandments (obeying parents & authority, not murdering, not fornicating, not stealing, not lying, not coveting a neighbor’s wife or anything else a neighbor has) are also important, sending a man to Hell forever (even a Catholic man!) should he break them in some serious way without adequately receiving God’s forgiveness, but they are not nearly as important as keeping and obeying the first three commandments by loving God Himself directly, worshipping Him as He has ordained in the One & Only Religion that He gave us.
So, my dear ‘Joy Given’, this is still another example of how Protestant-derived religions take something said in the Bible --- in this case, that it is necessary to believe in order to receive salvation --- and then either ignore or explain away everything else in the Bible that tells us it is also necessary to obey. For, my dear soul, you, and others like you, pretend to be infallible, knowing for certain what in Sacred Scripture is important unto Salvation and what is not. And then, seeing things spoken of in the Bible as important that you refuse to believe are important, you as well, in your pretended infallibility, claim that these verses mean something entirely different than what they very obviously say, taken quite literally & plainly.
The verses quoted above, while but a drop in the bucket of all of the verses that speak of the necessity of obedience to receive salvation, are more than enough to demonstrate this. ‘Born again christians’ such as yourself ignore this. And where you can’t ignore it, being forced to confront it by someone such as myself, you then resort to explaining them away, misinterpreting Sacred Scripture unto your own eternal destruction.
Please do not do this! I implore you, dear soul, think clearly, admit your fallibility, and don’t keep pretending that you couldn’t possibly be wrong in explaining away the plain, literal meaning of all of those verses in the Bible that speak about the necessity of obeying God’s Commandments in order to save your soul.
+ + + 6. Jesus Christ Kept Tradition + + +
= Point #6
You said, “…I have had to decide what I believe about tradition -- although, I would not have called it that until I investigated religion. I would have called it ritual, habits, ruts, opinions and such like. But I have been forced to look at it and I have looked at it from the viewpoint of Jesus Christ. He does not and did not ever embrace and verify tradition.” [1st email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My poor dear soul, this is not true. The Pharisees & scribes hated Jesus, being determined to find something that they could use against Him. Now think about it. Had Jesus broken the tradition of their Old Covenant Religion left-and-right all of the time, then their job would have been very simple. It wouldn’t have even taken a day for them to come up with something to hold against Him. Instead, not finding anything obvious, they grew so desperate that they watched Him like hounds, hoping He would heal someone on the sabbath.
“And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.” (Luke 6:7 KJV)
This is inarguably a sign of desperation --- it being plain that they couldn’t get Him on anything else, Jesus being a conscientious observer of the Old Covenant Law with all of its sacred traditions --- because in reference to the same incident mentioned above, Jesus elsewhere is recorded as having chastised them with the following words:
“What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.” (Matthew 12:11b-12 KJV)
The Pharisees & scribes weren’t stupid. They were very learned & intelligent men. They knew very well how desperate they were getting, and how vulnerable they were to sensible chastisement. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that if it’s lawful to rescue your animal on the sabbath, which is a good work, then how could it be unlawful to rescue (heal) a man on the sabbath, which is an even better work?
No, they weren’t stupid. They were just really, really, really desperate, very much envying Jesus and fearing His teaching, which they thought threatened their own hegemony, not to mention ruined their plans for eventual escape from the rule of Rome’s Empire and reestablishment of the Kingdom of Solomon.
Jesus was a Jew. He fulfilled the Law in every way, upholding His own words in Matthew 5:17-19. Therefore, He observed the major feast days of the Old Covenant Church --- the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:18-23, Leviticus 23:1-44, Deuteronomy 16:16) --- during His Life on earth. This is particularly plain in the Gospels from how He met the obligations of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, also known as the Passover or Pasch.
These feasts were written about in modest detail in the books of
St. Moses (see the references given just above, for instance), but not in
enough detail to cover every single little contingency. Plainly, then, Sacred
Scripture had to be augmented with Sacred Tradition during the Old
Covenant in carrying out these divinely-instituted religious feasts rightly.
And again, Jesus did not fail to obey these sensible traditions of the
The point is, they were so desperate that they had to go after Jesus for doing good things on the sabbath, for healing people of their infirmities. This is how pathetic their attempts were, how desperate they were to find something --- anything! --- which they could use against Jesus in their efforts to destroy Him, persuading the public to acquiesce. Had Jesus made a routine practice of disregarding or belittling the right & sensible traditions of His forebears, then those of the Jewish public who were good would have been aghast at Him, and wicked Jewish leaders could have lambasted Him so hard that His ministry would have been finished right there & then.
But this is not what happened. And Jesus’ words in Mark 7 that Protestants love to invoke against Catholicism --- as if they are against the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Faith --- are not against ‘tradition’ all by itself, as if any & all tradition is bad, but against bad tradition. Which is why Jesus distinguishes the “tradition” that He excoriates with the trailing phrase, “of men…” (Mark 7:8b KJV) In other words, there’s a big, huge difference between traditions of men, which may or may not be good, and traditions of God, which are always good!
But enough said here. Have you any good will, then you will look very closely at Chapters 12, 35-37, 55-57 & 60-68 of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. These chapters more than adequately lay to rest Protestant attacks against Sacred Tradition, not to mention exposing the hypocrisy of they themselves holding to ‘born again’ religious traditions without knowing it or admitting it. Read them carefully unto full understanding and then, if you still have qualms, then please get down to the nitty gritty, specifically addressing my precise points in these chapters and not just making general criticisms or throwing out things that are unrelated or are not directly pertinent to what I have said there.
+ + + 7. Proof of Too Much Is Proof of Nothing + + +
= Point #7
You said, “I’ve read many of the written reasons for why scripture is scripture and I agree with most of it. But actually for me, Scripture proves itself. Book after book and page after page verifies its own self.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
This again is an example of an opinion, my dear soul… not a solid fact or an infallible statement. Many people have contrary opinions. Lots of people in this world think the Koran is scripture. Plenty of Jews think only the Old Testament is scripture. Tons of Hindus consider the Bhagavad Gita to be scripture, or the ancient Vedas. Mormons venerate the Book of Mormon as scripture. And so forth and so on.
Each of these types of persons can, and often do, justify their opinion by the very same argument that you use. Namely, that ‘scripture proves itself’. The problem is, if ‘scripture proving itself’ proves for them that the Koran, only the Old Testament, the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, the Book of Mormon, or what-have-you, are scripture, then where does that leave you?
Your proof is worthless since, for them, the very same proof proves the thing that denies that the Bible is God’s One & Only Scripture. How can a proof prove one thing and a contrary thing at the same time?
This is inane!
Yet this is what results when people recognize no God-Given Infallible Authority on Earth to tell us, with absolute certainty, what actually is Sacred Scripture, and hence what really is necessary to understand rightly, lest one’s soul suffer the fate of Hell forevermore.
But you should read more in Chapter 9g of The Dogma of Baptism Upheld & the Lie of ‘Faith Alone’ Cast Down book. Please do not broach this subject again with me until you grapple specifically with my precise points about this subject both here & there.
+ + + 8. Working Really Hard to Avoid Works + + +
= Point #8
You said, “I too have pondered Philippians 2:12 and have come to believe that this passage does not mean working to merit or gain my salvation. Rather I believe that since I have received so great a salvation that cost my savior his life and blood that I need to work out my walk of faith in him with a fear and trembling that I would not treat his grace and mercy as a light thing or a thing that cost him nothing.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My poor, dear, blinded soul… once again this is an example of
your fallible opinion masquerading as an infallible statement.
Where is your authority for deciding that Paul couldn’t possibly
mean what he very obviously & plainly says in this verse? Who are you
to tell me what
Dear ‘Joy Given’, be honest.
You clearly have enough intelligence, despite your humility about your lack of learning or ability, to see that Philippians 2:12 can’t dovetail with your ‘born again’ convictions. Much like James 2:24, it is a thorn in the side of those Evangelic Protestants who pay attention to it. It starkly opposes ‘faith alone’ and just as starkly upholds the Catholic teaching of faith & works being both necessary to the reception of salvation.
Which is why your attempt at a rationalization falls
way flat. Because
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12 KJV)
So I say to you, poor soul, that you did not ponder Philippians 2:12 and then “come to believe that this passage does not mean working to merit or gain my salvation.” Rather, you already believed that no one has to work to merit his salvation, and you simply had to find a convenient way --- in your opinion --- to explain away St. Paul’s obvious words here in Philippians, and so maintain your ‘born again’ Protestantism in my sight without having to admit that this verse is a Catholic statement and not a ‘born again’ Protestant teaching!
May God’s Grace & Mary’s Prayers humble you enough to admit this.
Nevertheless, I understand why you fight so hard not to acknowledge
the obvious. Because once you capitulate on this point, admitting the obvious
= Point #9
You said, “…I do cherish the idea that I can share with you openly and candidly.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
Thank you, ‘Joy Given’. That is very kind of you to say. And you may share with me openly. However, realize that the sharing must get somewhere. That is to say, we can’t just shoot the breeze, nor can we merely talk past one another, not actually resolving in plain sight which of us is in the wrong, religiously speaking, and which of us is in the right. This is why, regardless of how sweetly or courteously I may wish to talk to you, I cannot refrain from speaking candidly, as well, and tell you bluntly where you are wrong --- and why. Hence, if you won’t knuckle down and try to address at least one or two of my precise points very specifically, then we’ll get nowhere and I will not waste my time going on with this. I’ve already done what I said, in my previous email to you, that I wouldn’t do, by talking about these things further with you. But for a very good reason… because your tone in the last five emails was quietly pleasant. I have thus dared to hope that you might have enough good will to get somewhere with me, a somewhere that is concrete & specific. I pray that it is so, my dear soul!
+ + + 9. The Myth of Changing Catholic Teaching + + +
= Point #10
You said, “You speak of the Christian church ever splintering, being malleable, and constantly changing its teachings over the decades and throughout the earth. I could make the same declaration about the Catholic church.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My dear soul, you cannot make the same claim about Catholics. The reasons are simple:
Number one, both the Bible and ancient Christian writings reveal earliest Christians to have held nothing but Roman Catholic beliefs, and nothing that is peculiar to Protestant or ‘born again’ adherents. Or, to put it differently, the very first Christians were Roman Catholic and had nothing to do with Protestantism or ‘born again christianity’!
Number two, people like you confuse new terminology & later infallible declarations with beliefs that are ‘new’. For instance, you think that just because a new term like ‘transubstantiation’ was used for the first time in an infallible definition of the early second millennium, then that means belief in transubstantiation did not exist amongst Catholics prior to the early second millennium. Whereas, just as Christians believed in the Trinity prior to the term ‘Trinity’ coming into existence by the 4th century, so, too, had real Christians --- Roman Catholics --- believed in transubstantiation prior to the word ‘transubstantiation’ coming into common use by the early second millennium. The term was something that learned theologians devised out of the Latin language to better describe what Catholics had always believed; and the Catholic Church infallibly defined this belief in the early second millennium, using the new Latin terminology, since that’s when lots of Church members first began to seriously doubt transubstantiation, coming up with clever arguments to justify their unbelief. The infallible definition, then, was given in order to prevent even more Catholic souls from falling out of the Ark of Salvation and into the Pit of Hell.
Proof of this is not too hard to find… provided you’re willing & able to read thousands upon thousands of pages of earliest Christian writings from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th centuries, etc., etc. Fortunately, I was willing & able. This is how my conversion to Catholicism began in 1997. I actually dared --- and bothered --- to find out what the earliest Christians taught & believed, those who had lived in the first three or four or five hundred years after Jesus Christ lived and died and resurrected upon this earth. And, lo and behold --- and much to my initial shock & consternation --- they didn’t teach or believe anything that is unique to Protestant or ‘born again’ beliefs! Rather, everything they taught & believed, right down the line, was absolutely & totally conformable to the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church, and none other.
This includes, for example, belief in transubstantiation. It
quickly became apparent to me that earliest Christians very plainly believed in
the teaching that the Holy Eucharist (what Protestants usually call
‘communion’, if they even remember or practice anything like it at
all anymore) is the literal, actual & very real Flesh & Blood of Jesus
Christ after it has been consecrated by the priest during
Incidentally, only lack of time & strength prevents me from writing about the enormous proof for this assertion on my website. Heaven willing, I will be able to write these things up in exhaustive detail in the next two to five years and post them to The Epistemologic Works so that all may see who have eyes to see and are willing to look, not pretending that they are infallible and couldn’t possibly be wrong in their religious beliefs.
Meanwhile, realize how I’ve already done what is sufficient in the meantime. To wit, what is the central teaching around which Catholicism stands or falls?
Correct. The Papacy.
Or, to be very specific, the teaching that one man, the Bishop of Rome, has God-Given Authority over all real Christians (Roman Catholics) everywhere on earth, he, in turn, possessing God-Given Grace to speak infallibly on matters of faith & morals to all real Christians everywhere in order to prevent them from falling for the lies & confusion of the Devil, which would then cause them to leave the Catholic Faith and so end up damning their souls by dying in the practice of a false religion.
Hence, study the earliest Christians and the Bible enough to uphold this one single teaching --- that the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is the Supreme Leader of Christ’s Church and able to speak infallibly on matters of faith & morals --- and every other teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is secondary in the matter of hard proof for Catholicism. That is to say, authenticate historically & scripturally this one single teaching about the Pope, and you have no need to doubt any other teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Because if God makes the Pope infallible in his declarations about faith & morals, then how could any other Catholic teaching, which has been infallibly upheld by God’s right hand man, the Pope, be wrong? How could there be any doubts left?
There can’t. It is mere idle curiosity or scholarly defense of the Roman Catholic Faith to investigate carefully the historical & scriptural support for other Catholic teachings. As a result, historical & scriptural proof of the Papacy is all that is really needed.
Which is why, then, I most of all focused on the Papacy at the start of my conversion from 1997 to 1998, and why I focused my first book about Catholicism, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, on the Papacy by way of upholding the bedrock teaching of the Catholic Church that there can be no hope of Salvation outside membership in Her ranks.
And which is why, too, I therefore say to you:
Read (or re-read) Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. The rock hard evidence and good solid sense are there, from earliest centuries, that ancient Christians both believed in and truly followed the Bishop of Rome as their supreme leader, knowing his official teachings to be infallible and protected by the Holy Spirit. This is particularly shown in the first 33 chapters of the book, which demonstrate the historical proof in spades. I have 72 chapters posted thus far. Another 150 chapters or so will arrive, God willing, in the coming year.
By the way, don’t use the unposted portion of the book as an excuse to disbelieve what I have said --- namely, that the Pope really is the God-Given Leader of Christ’s Church and really is infallible when he officially teaches the Church about faith & morals. You will be tempted (as are all Protestants, especially the ‘born again’ type) to dismiss the historical evidence as ‘irrelevant’ (pretending it doesn’t matter that nobody believed in Protestantism or ‘born again’ religion in the first five centuries) due to your pretended reliance on ‘scripture alone’. The Bible, you will probably try to claim, doesn’t say anything about a pope! Ergo, Jesus didn’t start the Papacy with St. Peter, and Roman bishops never ruled in his stead from that moment onward.
The catch is, you will have to eat your words if you try to argue this. Be patient, be humble, and wait quietly regarding the Papacy till I have time to post the next portion of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. This part focuses exclusively on the gargantuan evidence from Sacred Scripture for the Papacy, in both the Old & New Testaments. Nor is it something that I haven’t yet written… I composed it many years ago, close to the time when I converted. It is hence not just hot air that I am blowing; I know what I’m talking about and already have ironclad reasoning & simple plain proof from the Bible for what I am saying. The only reason I haven’t posted it yet is that I need to finish revising it. Revise, in the first place, because I was not as wise as I am now, having composed the book near to when I first converted, and the book needs to reflect this greater wisdom. And revise, in the second place, because the first two-fifths of the book is already revised, making it awkward were I to post the last three-fifths without polishing it up to match the quality & organization of the initial two-fifths properly. It takes time to do these things, though, since the book is hundreds of pages long and must be carefully correlated to eliminate errors & ensure continuity.
+ + + 10. Imaginary Christians + + +
But back to our series of points. For you claimed that the Catholic Church, also, has changed Her teachings and split up over time, just like the Protestants. Yet this ignores point number three, that only Catholics maintain a consistent standard & understanding of who Christians really are. Or, to put it alternately, only Catholics actually care to get right what Jesus taught & commanded, the Infallible Papacy being His means of doing this for the members of His Body, the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, when Catholics leave the Catholic Church, forsaking Catholicism, the Church Herself is not ‘splitting up’. It is not, because those members who left Her Sanctuary are no longer members of Her Body, having been cast out, and hence no longer honored with the name of ‘Catholic’ or ‘Christian’.
Whereas in stark contrast, Protestants have constantly split up against each other and often continued to grant each other the name of ‘christian’, as if all of them each followed Christ satisfactorily, upholding His teachings & commandments adequately unto an actual hope of salvation.
This is not even sensible. If you really are Christians, then you shouldn’t be disunited in separate congregations in the same local area or disconnected at higher levels via distinct ‘denominations’. Ergo, at least one side of the split is in serious sin, displeasing God. But if, as is much more common, the split is over important doctrinal matters, then how can a Protestant grant the name of ‘christian’ to his fellow Protestant when at least one of the two sides in the split has to be terribly wrong about what Jesus taught & commanded? There’s nothing ‘christian’ about someone following Christ wrongly!
And this doesn’t even begin to address the most fundamental problem of all… that Protestants, whether of the ‘born again’ variety or not, have never, in all five hundred years of their existence, been able to maintain doctrinal & moral consistency during this same time. Every single century, every single decade, in every part of the world, either near or far, has seen Protestants or ‘born again christians’ change their opinions about what Jesus taught and what really matters over and over and over and over and over again.
While in contrast, one only needs to look at the writings of Christians from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th centuries to see that they taught & believed nothing but Roman Catholic teachings & beliefs. Consequently, how is it that you dare to say that the Catholic Church has changed Her teachings? And how is it you dare to say that these teachings were not taught & commanded by Jesus & His Twelve Apostles right from the beginning?
Moreover, the Bible upholds Catholicism as well. Your difficulty with James 2:24 & Philippians 2:12 is proof of this, out of hundreds of other verses I could cite & explain to show how Catholicism really does ooze from every single page of Sacred Scripture, had I the time right now to do so and you had the good will, or at least the curiosity, to read it all. Because what are the obvious, plain & simple meanings of the words in these two verses, if not Catholic? Clearly, they are not Protestant or ‘born again’!
And let us remember how Protestantism --- and all Protestant-derived religions, such as ‘born again christianity’ --- rest upon two pillars of belief. One, that everything they believe is from ‘scripture alone’. And, two, that ‘faith alone’ saves them.
Notwithstanding --- and as I have shown many a time repeatedly elsewhere in my writings --- neither of these beliefs can be found explicitly revealed from the passages of Sacred Scripture. The Bible nowhere says that it is ‘scripture alone’ upon which a man is to build his religious beliefs, and the Bible nowhere says that it is ‘faith alone’ by which he is saved.
End of sentence.
In the meantime, the Bible says lots of other things that are very clearly & explicitly Roman Catholic, which people like you either ignore --- not knowing they exist or, if knowing, pretending that they don’t exist --- or else explain away, pretending to be ‘infallible’ in your misinterpretation, as if you could never be mistaken about the meaning of Sacred Scripture… and even though the obvious meaning of the passage is often as plain as day, being in direct contradiction to your ‘born again’ belief!
My poor dear soul, please be humble & honest. What I have said is factual. What I have said is sensible. What I have said is the truth.
To save your immortal soul, you must acknowledge it and begin to live by it.
+ + + 11. The World Truly Does Hate Real Catholics + + +
= Point #11
You said, “You speak of those who hate Catholics. I have lived a very long time and I know no one that hates a Catholic. So if you know them then you know something I don’t know. I often thought people hated me when they didn’t. They hated my life style, my arrogance, my know it all attitude, and my obnoxious behavior. But I don’t think they hated me. They didn’t agree with me then, and some don’t agree with me now.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
Jesus said to His disciples:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ (Matthew 10:24, John 13:16) If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’” (John 15:18-25 KJV, quoting Psalm 25:19 & 69:4 near the end)
Once more, Catholics are shown to believe in the Bible whilst Protestants, or others who go by the name of ‘christian’, don’t even know what their bibles say. Because Jesus told His disciples, forewarning them --- the world hates you. And the reason it hates you is because it hates Me. So if they’ve persecuted Me, says Jesus, then they’ll persecute you, too. But if they listen to Me, obeying My words, then they’ll obey your words, also.
It’s as simple as that.
Therefore, my dear ‘Joy Given’, when you suggest that hatred of Catholics is imaginary, that no one really has a problem with a real Catholic personally, then you miss the point. Catholics are true followers of Jesus. The world hates Jesus, as He plainly announced. Ergo, since Catholics are members of His Body, the Church, then the world also hates individual Catholics. And they do so, if for no other reason, because real Catholics actually uphold what Jesus actually taught & commanded.
This infuriates people of the world. They are children of their father, the Devil. The Devil hates God, hates God’s Son, Jesus Christ, hates God’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, hates God’s Church, Roman Catholics, and hates everything Jesus’ Church stands for, which are Her Dogmas & Commandments, being what God Himself proclaims.
As a result, it is entirely correct for me to say, whether directly or indirectly, that people hate Roman Catholics. It is both factual & scriptural.
Yet the reason it seems unbelievable to you, dear soul, is because you fancy yourself a ‘christian’. And who hates Protestants or ‘born again christians’? Oh, to be sure, there are a few violent diehards out there who despise Protestants & ‘born again’ adherents. But mostly it’s just indifference or mockery. Which is a form of hatred, but doesn’t truly get down to brass tacks, which is pure, seething & intrinsic hatred.
This is because Protestants are actually a part of the world. They love the world, and one of the proofs of this is that they don’t want to offend the world. They want to be loved by the world, and thought of as really great guys. Which, in turn, is why Protestants --- including the ‘born again’ type --- harp on ‘love’ and ‘friendliness’ a whole lot. This is their way nowadays of marketing themselves attractively. It used to be that ‘born again’ types were very insular, and much more concentrated in certain parts of the country. They could afford to be tough-sounding, talking about ‘damnation’ of those who were headed to Hell since they were not ‘born again’ like they are. But then, in the past 50 years, ‘born again’ adherents started looking more-and-more longingly at the rest of the world, wanting what they had… which was money, respect, fun, pleasure, power & learning. They wanted these things, too. Moreover, the country became more-and-more homogeneous, causing ‘born again christians’ to rub shoulders a lot more often with people who weren’t ‘born again’. All of this contributed to the outcome that is dominant today:
That ‘born again’ adherents, for the most part, no longer want to be separate from everybody else. They want to fit in, and to belong. They want everybody to like them. And so they’ve changed their ‘message’, their ‘emphasis’, from ‘damnation’ & ‘you’re going to Hell if you’re not born again’, to, “God is love. Jesus loves you. I love you. I don’t believe in thumping anybody over the head with a bible. I’m just like you. I like you. Let me give you a hug. Why don’t you come to the skate park with me? A bunch of my friends are gonna be there. It’ll be fun, and they’ll be playing ska & hip hop music! Because, you see, we’re just like you. It’s just that we have Jesus, that’s all. And He loves you. And so do I. We’re really nice people. Tomorrow we’re feeding the poor hungry homeless people downtown. We love them! We love everybody. We’re really nice & cool. Why don’t you just accept Jesus into you’re heart? Then it’d be even more cool! He feels your pain & hurt. He wants to heal you. He wants to make you happy. Wouldn’t that be cool? Then we could skate at the park every week and listen to ska & hip hop music, talking about how cool Jesus is.”
Now, plainly, I’m being a little silly. But not much. Because that really is how most ‘born again christians’ (or ‘followers of jesus’ as the latest fad terminology goes lately) --- especially amongst the youngest generation --- think & act today. And whether or not that describes you, too, is beside the point. Because this attitude is the dominant trait of the vast majority of those who still call themselves Protestant or ‘born again’ or a ‘follower of jesus’ in the present time. It was the wave of the future, and the future is now.
The point is, even if you don’t think or act exactly like the caricature above, most Evangelic Protestants (which is what the ‘born again’ or ‘follower of jesus’ variety usually are) want people to like them. They want to fit in as much as possible. They want to seem ‘normal’ and ‘in tune’ with the rest of the world. They therefore cannot believe that anyone truly hates them. And, for the most part, they’re right. No one in the world, for the most part, really does hate them. People tend to look down on them as kind of clueless, or uneducated, but even that’s changing as the ‘message’ of Evangelics mimics, more-and-more, the beliefs & attitudes of the rest of the world today. Add to this the fact that a greater-and-greater number of Evangelics are pursuing higher education & high-paying careers. As a result, Evangelics are slowly but surely ‘blanding in’ with the world around them. They are becoming just like the mainstream Protestants, contemporarily speaking, that their ancestors rejected and left behind back in the late 1800s.
This is why, dear soul, you can hardly believe that anyone actually hates Catholics.
Whereas the truth is obvious to me. And it is obvious because I actually know & believe the Bible, being Catholic. And Jesus told me, via His Twelve Apostles --- who were the first bishops of His Body, the Catholic Church --- “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you… If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also… But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’” (John 15:19, 20c-d, 25 KJV)
+ + + 12. Big Delusion, Mixed Up Identities + + +
= Point #12
You said, “I always noticed that the world -- that is the secular world -- accepted Catholics when at the same time rejected Bible believing Christians.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
This is because Catholics were going bad in the 1800s in the
At the same time, so-called ‘born again christians’ arose in the late 1800s in reaction to mainstream Protestants embracing Darwinism and rejecting anything that smacked of the supernatural in their religion while preaching a ‘social gospel’ that emphasized charity & political liberalism. By the beginning of the 1900s this reaction had crystallized into a series of books called The Fundamentals. Ergo, the term ‘fundamentalism’ to describe conservative Evangelic Protestants, the adjective ‘Evangelic’ referring to their stance that everybody must have the ‘good news’ about their ‘christianity’ in order for them to be ‘born again’, too, and so get into Heaven.
It was this political conservatism, rejection of Darwinism & worldly higher education, taking many of the things in the Bible literally (like Salvation being exclusive, etc.), odd practices (e.g., sporting styles which always seemed at least a little bit out of fashion or holding incessant ‘revival meetings’, etc.), and a desire to convert everyone to their religion, that caused them to be treated with disdain by everybody else.
Why did God allow this?
One, to punish Catholics for becoming bad Catholics and eventually fake Catholics.
Two, to punish the rest of the world for their willful blindness by letting them be led astray by those who would appear to be ‘christian’, but were not.
And, three, when this punishment is finished, to show the entire world who He favors by destroying most of those who reject Him & His Catholic Church while miraculously preserving those who are true & good Catholics or willing to be Catholic.
+ + + 13. What Does God Say Is a Crime? + + +
= Point #13
You said, “…I want to speak about the murders and crimes committed by the Catholic hierarchy. For you insist that no pope ever gave such orders. I strongly disagree. I believe I gave you some examples in my last e-mail. My point was to see if you had any sorrow for what your church has done in the past. It seems that you have convinced yourself it never did it so therefore you do not need to sorrow. Or you have convinced yourself that the ones in your church who did it were not acting under orders but acting out of their own volition. I disagree with both assumptions.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My dear soul, this has already been addressed in Point 2 of this rebuttal email. You also need to read (or re-read), if you haven’t already, Questions 307 to 360 in Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section of The Epistemologic Works. This addresses your allegations quite sufficiently for the time being. And, as I noted, should you wish to continue with this topic, then you need to get specific and grapple with my precise points in these writings. More historical litanies from you of purported ‘crimes’ will get us nowhere.
In other words, you first need to address the very real & very valid question:
Exactly what is a ‘crime’? What does God say? And how do most people sensibly & naturally respond when put in circumstances where their lives (which includes a religion they believe to be true & crucial) or nation is gravely threatened?
Grapple honestly with these questions --- which are but distillations of my points earlier in this email and in Roman Catholic Church --- and we can get somewhere. Fail to do this and there is no reason for further communication about this topic. We will be talking past one another.
+ + + 14. Two Leos & Two Modern Religious Dogmas + + +
= Point #14
You said, “Please think about looking… at… Pope Leo III who decreed forcible baptism of the Jews and most Jews at this time were given a choice to profess belief in Christ or be put to death, imprisonment or expulsion from the country…” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
Dear ‘Joy Given’, here is an example of how I can know
you are talking falsehoods. Sincerely spoken falsehoods on your part, I’m
sure --- not being intended as such --- but falsehoods, nonetheless. For did
you know that it is an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church that no
adult of a sound mind can be literally ‘forced’ to receive the
Sacrament of Baptism, or that, where a man could be coerced unduly, this undue
coercion is forbidden? This goes back to the time of Jesus & His
Twelve Apostles, the founders of the
But it is not so clear cut. For you have made an historical error. To wit, you have mixed up Pope Leo III, who ruled with St. Peter’s authority in Rome, Italy, over Christendom around the turn of the 9th century, with Emperor Leo III, who ruled with Constantine’s authority in the latter’s self-named city of Constantinople --- present day Istanbul, Turkey, hundreds of miles distant from Rome --- over the Byzantine Empire during the first half of the 8th century. This imperial Leo was known as Leo the Isaurian and was an iconoclast heretic, despising holy images in the Catholic Church. Which doesn’t mean we can call him an ancient ‘born again christian’ or ‘follower of jesus’ since most of what he believed was otherwise quite Catholic! But he did, per some accounts at least, ‘force’ the Jews under his rule to receive water baptism. Something I note with prudent skepticism due to modern historians almost always indulging a certain amount of misinterpretation (they not able to stand in the shoes of ancient man, seeing with his eyes) & outright lies (not wanting to represent ancient man fairly lest men of old sometimes step on their modernist toes), as well as, far too often, sheer ignorance of the documentation contemporary to the events which they purport to explain or describe.
In any case, you’ve confused Pope Leo III with Emperor Leo III, as a careful review of references in a decent public library or on the world wide web reveals. Perhaps your anti-Catholic sources misled you. Whatever the cause, you see how the study of history can be a difficult undertaking. Without sweeping knowledge or meticulous study, it’s easy for unfamiliar names or similar monikers to slip people up, not to mention the foreign cultures, events & ideas that are so alien to most of us alive today.
Nevertheless, for the sake of illustrating good sense and the accomplishment of my goal, which is bringing you to the Eternal Truth of the Roman Catholic Faith, I am going to take your claim --- however historically awry --- and answer it as if it were accurate. Which leads us to the next point. For you have made another mistake:
You have taken modern standards of behaviour, which say that no one should ever be confronted with such terrible choices as death, imprisonment or expulsion as a result of religion, and then interpret the historical event --- using modern standards --- to mean that Pope Leo III ‘forced’ Jews under his rule to convert to the Catholic Faith.
The problem is, do you know what a ‘forced’ conversion to Catholicism actually is?
No, I’m afraid you don’t. If you did, then you wouldn’t have made the accusation above. So read carefully and think clearly, my dear soul, setting aside your modernist prejudices:
A ‘forced’ conversion is either 1) literally & physically forcing a person to submit to water baptism by gripping their torso, limbs & head in order to make their body do so, or else 2) giving the person an ultimatum, with no other options available, to receive water baptism lest he be killed for not doing so.
Now, if we take your allegation about Pope Leo III at face value, adding my own knowledge as a Catholic about the Middle Ages, then all Leo did was say:
“You have four choices in the present situation. One, accept water baptism and become Roman Catholic, thereby ceasing to be our enemies. Two, face execution for those who have committed terrible crimes against us. Three, go to prison for a long while for others who have committed less terrible but still serious crimes against us. Or, four, for the rest of you who are our implacable enemies but are not yet guilty of any terrible or serious crimes, leave the country and your wealth behind with us.”
This is shocking to modern persons since they buy into Modern Religious Dogma #1:
“Thou shalt not act like only one religion is true, or that the members of this one true religion ought to oppose, suppress, or otherwise harass the members of other religions when they say they have a good reason and the earthly power to do so.”
This Modern Religious Dogma is known nowadays as ‘religious liberty’. But it is better to call it ‘religious indifference’ since, when you get right down to it, what people are really saying, by believing in Modern Religious Dogma #1, is that there is no one true religion worth upholding --- either because there is no Creator and religion is a fantasy, or because this Creator doesn’t truly care what you do with your life or how you believe & worship. Whichever, people who buy into this Modern Religious Dogma are always indifferent toward religion, not usually caring what they or anyone else believes & practices… unless, of course, it’s real Catholicism, which they will always oppose, suppress or otherwise harass & condemn!
But people today also combine this Modern Religious Dogma with another Modern Religious Dogma. Namely, Modern Religious Dogma #2:
“The individual will is supreme. Thou shalt not restrict an individual from doing whatever he wishes to do, unless his actions hurt another individual (‘hurt’ being defined as whatever popular modern opinion thinks it to be) or violate Modern Religious Dogma #1.”
This particular Modern Religious Dogma is known as ‘human rights’. But it is better to call it ‘human pride’ since, when you get right down to it, what people are really saying, by believing in Modern Religious Dogma #2, is that nobody can tell them what to do or make them obey, especially when it comes to religion. Such men are very proud of their rebellion, not even afraid to ignore or deny their Creator and what He designed them to be & do --- including His One True Religion and those on earth who rule with His Authority over them.
These two modern religious dogmas (though there are many others) together sufficiently explain the horror & condemnation that modern men feel toward someone like Leo III for doing what you say he did.
Unfortunately, my dear soul, this condemnatory horror is a temporary weakness & blindness of modern times, not an eternal & unchanging truth.
Think about it. God the Son, Jesus, really did say He’s the Only Means to Heaven:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6b-c KJV)
And God through
“Which he wrought in Christ… and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20a, 22-23 KJV)
And God via
“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15-16 KJV)
And God by way of
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16 KJV)
The point is, my dear soul, both God and the Saving Truth of His Son’s Church (dogmas & morals) really do exist and really are needed to save one’s soul. No other way exists. Ergo, to deny God’s existence or to deny that His Singular Religion is necessary for Salvation is equivalent to murder of the soul. We repeat:
To deny the existence of God or the necessity of His Singular Religion is the same as murdering your soul.
This is because denying the Saving Truth sends a person’s immortal soul to Hell if he dies believing & practicing these spiritual falsehoods. Therefore, there is nothing at all intrinsically wrong, when you have the power to do so --- and let us recall that it is God Who permits men to have such power on earth, He being in control of everything --- with laying down an ultimatum about God’s True Religion, wherein people are given the stark choices of either converting, dying, going to prison, or leaving the country. I repeat:
Such an ultimatum about the True Religion is not intrinsically wrong. Period.
To the contrary, such a deed, where circumstances compel, is an act of mercy for such persons’ precious & immortal souls. It might be the only thing that gets through to them about how urgent & necessary is their conversion to God’s One & Only Religion, in order to save their souls from everlasting torment in Hell.
Nor is it a ‘forced’ conversion. To the contrary, no one has physically coerced adults of sound mind, by brute strength, to accommodate their torso, head & limbs to the waters of baptism, nor has anyone told them their only choice is that they either receive baptism or else face execution. They have, in fact, been provided two other options beyond death or reception of water baptism --- to wit, going to jail or exiting the country. These may not be pleasant alternatives, yet they are a far cry from bodily death.
Nevertheless, what if someone were to issue an ultimatum in which the sole choice was to receive water baptism or else face certain death? What then?
My dear ‘Joy Given’, this is against the disciplinary law of the Roman Catholic Church. In other words, the Church has never officially condoned such a measure, considering such ‘conversions’ --- if they can even be rightly called that --- to be unreliable & easily reneged upon. That is to say, people who are confronted by such a stark choice will frequently, out of fear of dying, choose baptism without actually believing in or wanting the Catholic Religion that comes along with it. They will then automatically end up being bad Catholics or even fake Catholics. As a result, the Catholic Church wisely decided, from earliest times, to forbid such severe measures.
Not that it couldn’t be sensibly argued that someone ought to be willing to die for his religious beliefs. After all, if you think that your religion is true and that you’re going to Heaven or some sort of neverending ‘paradise’ for sure… then what is there to be afraid of? Why, when you really think about it, should you have any trouble with that?
What’s the fuss when your destiny is everlasting bliss?
Indeed, isn’t this exactly what earliest Christians
faced in confronting the demands of a wicked, pagan
The thing to realize is that the Christians (Roman Catholics) of the first three centuries after Christ faced these threats with courage and even delight, knowing that their bravery would mean Heaven forevermore and release from this earthly vale of tears. They were not afraid of dying for their religion. They were more than happy to do so.
So why shouldn’t the adherents of other religions act similarly under identical circumstances? Given that they think their false religion is true and results in eternal happiness after death, then why should they, of all peoples, cringe & acquiesce to their potential executors?
The thing to remember is this, dear soul:
The threat of death is not, automatically, the equivalent of ‘coercion’ --- as in, you have no choice and are being, literally, ‘forced’ against your will to do what you otherwise would not do. You have a free will. Your choices may be really limited --- but you can still make a choice. You can choose death. It is a choice that is yours to make, not the one in power who is presenting the very limited options to you. The ancient Christians prove this, having time-and-time again made that very choice in favor of upholding their One & Only Saving Religion by not backing down to pagan demands that they apostatize & worship false gods via the practice of false religions. They stood firm, instead.
So if they can do it, why can’t the members of other religions, too?
But rather than belabour this fact, we admit the obvious:
That most men prove cowardly in such a situation. Even if they claim to believe that they’ll go to Heaven or some sort of everlasting ‘paradise’ after their death, they are too frightened of dying to stand firm & uphold their religion. They would prefer to continue living on earth, their body unharmed. Like Esau in the Bible, they will sell what is supposed to be precious to them for a mess of pottage. (Genesis 25:29-34)
The Catholic Church recognized this sad fact. Hence, She forbade her members --- including the visible head of the Church, the Pope --- from giving such stark & limited ultimatums to those who are not Catholic to begin with. For what would such so-called ‘conversions’ accomplish? Nothing, for far too many of the souls purportedly converted. They would not really believe or truly want to practice Catholicism. They would just want to save their own skin. And the supposed conversions could, what’s more, be very harmful to the Church, with bad or fake Catholics rubbing elbows with those who are real & good Catholics, causing them to wind up being bad or fake Catholics, too.
Yet what about the remaining forbidden option? I.e., physically coercing a grown-up man into receiving water baptism by holding his torso, head & limbs in the grip of brute strength while the baptism is performed upon him?
This option is so ridiculous as to be laughable. For not only is this act condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as a disciplinary matter, but it is declared to be ‘invalid’. That is, not really done, even if the action is performed! A man who is not a baby or very young child or mentally retarded must understand what he is doing in the Sacrament of Baptism and must freely consent to it being done to him. Bereft of such comprehending, voluntary consent, there is no Sacrament of Baptism actually administered --- merely a pretense that kind of looks like the real thing in a really bizarre way.
This is the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church.
Hence why I said that, had Leo III literally ‘forced’ Jews to be baptized like your charge insinuates, he would have become a heretic and been excommunicated automatically by Canon Law from the Catholic Church’s membership, and thus also stopped being the Pope as soon as he was automatically excommunicated.
Do you see, then, why your accusation against Leo III (and hence against the Catholic Church, too) is an obvious falsehood? The Church does not ‘force’ anyone to convert to Her because She cannot ‘force’ anyone to convert to Her. Somebody --- whether it be you or the anti-Catholic sources you use for your information --- is badly mixed up. And you are mixed up for a very plain reason, a reason I can confidently assert without even doing a lot of study to make sure your facts are straight about various other charges.
+ + + 15. Talmudic Jews vs. Roman Catholics + + +
Namely, that the Jews as a collective people have been for the most part, from day one with Jesus Christ until this present day so far, the enemies of His Body, the Roman Catholic Church.
This is an incontrovertible fact, as Sacred Scripture clearly demonstrates (for instance, see Chapters 9i-9l, as well as Chapter 8c, in The Dogma of Baptism Upheld & the Lie of ‘Faith Alone’ Cast Down book in the B&A section of The Epistemologic Works website to find this statement overwhelmingly supported by the Bible). As a consequence, they have continually sought to assail, poison, undermine, pervert & ultimately destroy Catholics & the Catholic Faith.
Jews, of course, deny this. They act --- in public, at least --- like they have never done anything violent or hideous to Catholics & the Catholic Church, and that all of the clashes between them & Catholicism are simply the result of big, bad, terrible Catholics ‘hating’ them for no good reason at all. This is what they pretend. The truth is otherwise.
The question is, why does the rest of the
human race nowadays believe them? Why do they axiomatically presume, out of
thin air, that the Jews are telling the truth? Why do they swallow, hook, line
& sinker, the claim that Jews never did anything bad to Catholics, and that
Catholics have always mindlessly ‘hated’ them and tried to hurt
them for no good reason since the start of
Why doesn’t the rest of the human race also, at the very least, listen seriously & respectfully to the Catholics’ side of things, suspending judgment till they have heard both sides out fully? Why don’t they try really hard, before rendering judgment, to find out why Roman Catholics say what they say about the Jews? To wit, that it is the Jews who have always mindlessly hated the Catholic Church and tried to hurt Catholics for centuries on end since the very first century with Jesus & His Apostles? Why, when the rest of the human race is neither Jewish nor Catholic --- and hence, one might assume, without natural bias in the matter toward one side or the other --- do they automatically presume that it is the Jews who are telling the truth and the Catholics that are lying?
What is going on here?
We will not delve too deeply into this mystery here. Suffice it to say that the rest of the human race is subject to God’s Curse for their religious rebellion & unbelief against His One & Only Roman Catholic Faith, the Faith which Jesus commanded and which alone saves a man’s soul, provided he believes & obeys, joining with Jesus’ Body via a correctly received water baptism:
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 KJV)
So it is a lack of love for the Saving Truth --- which love, if they had it, would result in them seeking for & believing in this Saving Truth, thereby converting themselves to Jesus’ One & Only Catholic Church --- which binds men over into spiritual darkness, causing them to damn their own souls. This is why, then, the rest of the human race, which is neither Jewish nor Catholic, at this point in time automatically believes the Jews and unjustly refuses to take heed of Roman Catholics, whether to Catholics reasonably explaining their Divine Faith or to Catholics defending it against the attacks of the Jews. Instead, this part of the human race, being neither Jewish nor Catholic, runs after the lies of wicked Jews and joins with them in slandering, attacking, opposing & trying to destroy the Roman Catholic Faith of Jesus Christ. Which is only to be expected, for did we not read earlier in this letter about how the world will hate both Jesus & His Disciples without good sense?
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord.’ (Matthew 10:24, John 13:16) If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’” (John 15:18-25 KJV, quoting Psalm 25:19 & 69:4 near the end)
We certainly have.
Which brings us full circle. Because were your claim about Pope Leo III to have not been mistaken --- to have been true, instead --- then what really happened with Leo III and the Jews? Or, to put it more broadly, what really happened between Catholics & Jews in the Middle Ages? And we preface the answer to this question by stating:
No man can know what occurred before his lifetime through personal, eyewitness knowledge. That is to say, not having been alive before you were alive, then you --- personally --- cannot have eyewitness knowledge of what actually transpired way back then before you were alive to see it.
This is pretty obvious.
What isn’t so obvious to most people, though, is the fact that we therefore depend --- long after the events have happened --- on written & oral accounts of what happened way back then, left to us by people who were actually alive all the way back then at that long ago time. And when you take the trouble to read such personal, eyewitness accounts, or read the reports of the honest historians who have taken the trouble to read such personal, eyewitness accounts, you find out --- and regardless of whether the original account or the careful historian is Catholic or Jewish or something else --- how the Jews made themselves obnoxious and even dangerous in their constant scheming & perpetual assaults against non-Jews, especially against Catholics. Or, to put it another way:
Jews as a whole so disdained & looked down upon non-Jews (what they call the ‘Goyim’ and what you might call ‘Gentiles’) --- and so hated & despised Catholics, especially --- that this disdain & hatred constantly drove them to assume positions of wealth, power & influence over non-Jews, and to subvert, corrupt & destroy Roman Catholics in particular. The non-Jews (as well as Jews who converted and became good Roman Catholics) of Catholic countries thus faced a dilemma…
How did they treat Jews in a way that wouldn’t ‘force’ them to convert (namely, coerce their bodies into receiving water baptism via brute strength on the part of their baptizers, or give them an ultimatum which left them with a severely limited choice between baptism & death), but, at the same time, wouldn’t allow them to continue to manipulate & subdue Catholic peoples?
Many ideas were tried over the centuries. Jews were restricted from mingling with Catholics in particular businesses (such as practicing medicine on Catholics or hiring Catholics as servants in their homes), or made to live within particular areas of a city to prevent them from mixing socially with Catholics. Sometimes Jews were required to wear symbols on their clothing or heads that would identify them as Jews. Oftentimes they were brought to justice in courts of law, to stand trial on the charges that were brought against them (e.g., for conspiring to overthrow a Catholic monarch, or for spreading heresies & false religion amongst Roman Catholics). Occasionally, angry mobs of Catholics took matters into their own hands, without authorization of either a pope or a king --- and, frankly, sometimes because a bishop or a king refused to take rational & just legal action against murderous or greedy Jews --- to massacre thousands of Jews. These kinds of mob actions were always roundly condemned by the popes, for not only were such riots the source of unjust murder & mayhem against Jews, but, once in awhile, the setting for such Jews being most literally & truly forced by the irrational mobs into accepting water baptism.
And, almost everywhere in Roman Catholic Europe, eventually, Jews were expelled from various Catholic nations to rid Catholics of the Jews’ perpetual plotting & evil attacks on the Catholic Faith and against Catholic rulers & their citizens. This took hundreds of years in every case of which I am aware. That is to say, Catholic leaders did not turn to this course with knee jerk alacrity. It was a last resort, after tons of other strategies had been tried. The lies and slanders and schemes and attacks and attempts at destroying Christendom neverending, Catholic rulers would invariably --- and sometimes only in the nick of time, when the Jews had nearly succeeded in their designs --- do the sole thing left to do… expel them, leaving the Jews no chance for the time being to try to destroy the Roman Catholic Faith in that particular country. And, some if not many Jews being quite rich (and more often than not at the unjust expense of Catholics), they very sensibly required them to leave behind most of their wealth, confiscating it for the use of the civil rulers or the bishop of a diocese, this wealth frequently applied to fixing the wrongs that the Jews had done to various poor Catholics or cheated craftsmen, etc. Wrongs that were part & parcel of Jewish behaviour toward Roman Catholics, their ancient Talmud (the authoritative book of their religion after their exile from Babylon, particularly after their Messiah, Jesus, had fulfilled His Mission on the earth) unceasingly commanding them to view non-Jews with contempt, especially Christians, and sanctioning all sorts of lies, cheats, frauds & attacks against Christians wherever they can get away with it.
This is what the Catholic Church had to deal with. This is what Catholic leaders had to contend with. This is the battle everyday Catholics faced in their intercourse with Jewish persons, most Jews being impassioned foes of Catholicism in every way, shape & form.
So what did Leo III really do, were your mistake about him in regard to the Jews true?
Based on the historical outline given above about the age-old animosity of most Jews toward Catholics --- they hating Catholics nearly as much as they hated Catholicism’s founder, Jesus, and despising His Catholic followers for being living proof that it was they, the Jews, who as a collective people murdered Him, their Messiah --- and on my other general knowledge of ancient times, then I can very reasonably & confidently surmise a couple of things.
One, we’re probably talking about the Papal Estates, since no pope ever directly governed a nation’s civil authority apart from that mid-section of modern day Italy that belonged to the Papacy due to what the converted Roman Empire bequeathed them in ancient times for the support of the visible head of the Catholic Church.
And, two, the popes confronted the same thing that all Catholic
Give the Jews a stark ultimatum.
To wit, either drop your battle against Catholics and receive water baptism, entering the Roman Catholic Church, or else face grave charges for which many of you might end up being executed, or face other serious charges for which many of you might wind up in prison, or leave most of your wealth behind (so that the nation would not be suddenly impoverished and those you have cheated or hurt can be compensated) and leave this Catholic nation completely for the time being.
Notwithstanding, we know that Pope Leo III did not give Jews in the Papal Estates an ultimatum like this since you have confused him with Emperor Leo III, who apparently did say something like this to the Jews in the Byzantine Empire. Yet the good simple sense and general historical facts stand, regardless. Which is why I have bothered to answer your point as if it were true --- for the sake of illustrating the actual & greater truth of the topic.
There remains, therefore, this important thing left to say in relation to this particular point:
Roman Catholics did not mindlessly hate Jews for being Jews.
Roman Catholics did not mindlessly hate Jews for being Jews.
The proof of this?
Very simple. In all Catholic nations of Europe during the so-called Middle Ages --- and even, and especially, in Spain, that nation which moderns most love to condemn for the Inquisition and for their relatively staunch catholicity --- people who were of Jewish blood were never --- repeat, never --- routinely kept from high office or great power within a Catholic nation merely because they were Jewish.
End of sentence.
In Spain and other Catholic nations of Europe you will find, were you to refer to the historical documents and writings of the place & time, innumerable examples of men who were of Jewish descent that were allowed to hold high positions and enormous authority within these nations --- and even within the Catholic Church Herself --- provided they actually held to the Roman Catholic Faith whole & entire. Hence, the rejection of most Jews by Catholics was not based on race, but on religion.
The fight of Catholics against most Jews is not based upon Jewish race or ethnicity but upon their false & antagonistic religion and their ceaseless attacks on the One True Religion of Catholicism.
After all, were Catholic opposition to Jews based upon Jewish race or ethnicity, then why in the world would Catholics ever have given Jews the option to be baptized (or ‘forced’ them into baptism, as so many calumniators will insist), since baptism --- and consequent entrance into the Catholic Church along with profession of the Catholic Faith --- can never change a man’s Jewish race or ethnicity, physically speaking?
Do you get it?
Were Catholics mindless ‘haters’ of Jews merely because a Jew is of Jewish race or ethnicity, then killing the Jews would have been the only course of action to take since only killing them would rid the world of persons of Jewish ethnicity!
To the contrary, Catholics --- as even you must admit --- constantly gave Jews the opportunity to receive water baptism and thus enter into the membership of the Roman Catholic Church… and despite a Jew’s race or ethnicity remaining unchanged (which is physically impossible to change!) upon becoming a member of the Catholic Church.
The facts are clear. Catholics oppose Jews because of their false Talmudic religion and because of their hatred for Jesus Christ & His Catholic Body, and not because their race or ethnicity is Jewish. Once a Jew becomes a good Catholic, he ceases to hate the Church and becomes the enemy of those Jews who still practice a false & Talmudic religion.
+ + + 16. In Defense of Life! + + +
= Point #15
You said, “And what of Pope Urban VII’s 1627 bull ‘In Coena Domini’ which Pope Gregory XI had originally brought out in 1372 and Pope Gregory XII reconfirmed it in 1411 as did Pope Pius V in 1568: this bull ‘excommunicates and curses all heretics and schismatics as well as all who favor or defend them, including all princes and magistrates...’ Pope Pius V stated that this bull was to remain an eternal law in Christendom. This bull is still in force today because it has the ex cathedra pronouncements of four infallible popes behind it.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My dear soul, without bothering to double check each of your assertions, I will take your claims & quotation at face value for the sake of simple good sense applied to the situation right now. This is because my rebuttal stands irregardless of your particular assertions in this matter. And it all boils down to this:
If, as the Roman Catholic Church says, She really is the Body of Jesus Christ on earth and the Only Way of Salvation for a man’s soul, being the only group of men who correctly uphold Jesus’ Truth --- all that He taught & commanded --- then anyone who dares to call himself ‘catholic’ or ‘christian’ or so forth while denying what Jesus through His Singular Body, the Catholic Church, teaches & commands, is in direct defiance of God Almighty and headed to Hell forevermore should he die in this defiance, practicing a false religion which Jesus never taught or commanded.
End of story.
Ergo, what you say that Pope Urban VII declared is absolutely, dead-on, utterly & without doubt accurate. Indeed, not merely accurate, but necessary to be said so that all who dare to call themselves Catholic or Christian can know how to either remain truly Catholic & Christian or else become truly Catholic & Christian. Otherwise, how is a man to save his immortal soul when disbelief in & disobedience toward Jesus’ Truth --- His Teaching & Commandments --- sends a man to Hell everlastingly if he dies in that disbelief & disobedience?
My dear ‘Joy Given’, this is the bottom line.
You react with shock & scorn because you don’t want to
accept that Catholicism really is what God teaches & commands. So,
naturally, anything the Church does to defend Her
teaching & commandments --- which are only God’s Teaching &
Commandments --- offends you. It especially grates on you because what the
Church has done in centuries past is effective. That is to say,
this isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, hand-wringing, whiney, oh-so-gentle-sounding
‘plea’ to have people remain Catholic. This is brass tacks, iron
hard, common sense deeds guaranteed to make people think twice before
they betray that to which they are obligated, in God’s Sight, to uphold.
Or, if not a member, to think twice about attacking God’s Church before
they do so. In fact, it is only what Ss. Moses (the premiere legislator of the
And you expect me to believe that God doesn’t still care to this very day that His Church is upheld with lawful authority & effective force wherever that is possible, just as much as He cared to have it upheld with lawful authority & effective force during the Old Covenant for His Church of that ancient time?
If God’s Church is justified upholding Her teachings & commandments amongst Her members --- or in defending Herself against those members or non-members who attack Her --- during the Old Covenant, then God’s Church during the New Covenant is just as justified upholding Her teachings & commandments amongst Her members --- or defending Herself against members or non-members who attack Her --- until this very day, provided that there exist Catholic nations strong enough (and willing enough) to do so.
It is the very same principle.
Yet enough said here. As I have remarked twice, you need to read (or re-read) Questions 307 to 360 of Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section of the website. This addresses all of these concerns quite adequately, laying the sensible groundwork for why Roman Catholics have acted as they have done in defense of their divine religion. You need to comprehend it thoroughly. Too, you need to read (or re-read) Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus in the B&A section to understand completely how it is anyone can be utterly & reasonably certain that the Roman Catholic Church is what She says She is… the Singular Ecclesial Body of Jesus Christ, His Only Means of Salvation.
+ + + 17. First Read What I Have Said + + +
= Point #16
You said, “How can you say that no pope and no headship of the Roman Catholic church issued any order to kill, torture and imprison someone that did nothing but choose to not follow the Roman Catholic church? Or is it that you believe as did the Roman church that the Roman church did persecute, but only heretics and not what she would call saints? To persecute heretics is not wicked but laudable?” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My dear soul, I have never said that no pope issued any authorization to execute, torture or imprison obstinately fallen-away Catholics & enemies who attack the Church. Rather, in a nutshell, I have said that no pope, to my knowledge, ever exhorted unjust death, pain or jail for someone who has come under suspicion for either betraying Catholicism (if Catholic to begin with) or attacking Catholicism (whether Catholic or not). Thus, the second & third sentences in your quote above are on the right track.
However, this then reveals your hand. For it shows that you haven’t yet truly read everything pertinent on my website unto a full understanding. Because if you had, then you wouldn’t have phrased things the way you did in the quote above, or elsewhere in your last five emails to me. You wouldn’t, because you would have known better, knowing what I have actually said in defense of the Catholic Church.
Therefore, my precious soul, your duty is clear. Read Questions 307-360 of Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section of The Epistemologic Works, all of them. Read it carefully and make sure you understand fully what my position as a Catholic really is. If you don’t understand something, even after a lot of thought & pondering, then tell me. I’ll help you understand. I won’t mock you when you’re trying your best to comprehend. Until you do so, it is no good you & I hassling over these things since you will not be arguing sensibly & pertinently against my actual positions and won’t be sensibly & correctly addressing my specific points.
+ + + 18. Different Kinds of Heretics + + +
= Point #17
You said, “Pope Damasus… adds, ‘it is permitted neither to think nor to speak differently from the Roman church.’ Every Bible believing Christian in the world is therefore a heretic according to Romanist canons and as such liable to ‘punishment.’” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
Whether or not Pope Damasus actually said this (and were I to substantiate every quote or assertion in your five lengthy emails then this response would have taken far too long to compose), it is irrelevant to my stance. Because what you quote him to have said is absolutely, totally, 100% true. And it is what I have said about ‘born again christians’ or ‘followers of jesus’ since the very first day of my conversion to the Catholic Faith (I was a ‘born again’ adherent like yourself before becoming a Catholic). I have never hidden this. Nor am I ashamed of the truth.
Which is a problem for you. Because the rest of the human race --- those who are not Catholic --- has, in modern times of the last two or three hundred years, come to condemn the Catholic Church vehemently for daring to call ‘born again christians’ heretics or schismatics. Practically everyone nowadays buys into this condemnation. Ergo, someone like me is not supposed to uphold it without flinching. I am supposed to get embarrassed, be ashamed, become all wishy-washy and backtrack, making lame excuses for Catholic ‘excesses’ of years past. That I do not do so is 1) infuriating to most people, and 2) dumbfounding. That I do so intelligently & reasonably, not falling into the simplistic caricatures which modernists have of real Catholics nowadays, is totally mystifying to them. Real Catholics are supposed to be ‘narrow minded’ --- not rational & broadly-instructed, crushing modern prejudices with simple good sense & aplomb. We are supposed to be ‘unreasonable’ & ‘hysterical’ --- not calm & unabashed.
So, my dear soul, yes, you are a heretic. But merely in a limited sense. Heretics in the primary, original & full sense are those who once were Catholic yet who have left the One True Faith. Heretics in the secondary sense are those who have been baptized in water properly, holding to heretical teachings that pervert the Infallible Dogmas of the Catholic Church, but who have never professed the Catholic Faith to start with. Heretics in the last & tertiary sense are what you most probably are --- persons who have never been baptized in water properly, but who hold to heretical teachings that are, no matter how far back one has to go to find its beginning, perversions of Catholic Dogmas.
This last, tertiary sense is important. Because were you to inhabit a truly Catholic nation that upheld the One True Religion, then you would not be subject to an Inquisition merely because you professed heretical teachings. You would not since the Catholic Church only has spiritual jurisdiction (direct authority) over those who are baptized in water properly. It is proper water baptism which joins a person to Jesus’ Catholic Body. Nevertheless, you would be very restricted in how you could practice your false religion. And were you to flout these restrictions or tried to convert a Catholic to your heresy, or even violently attack the Church or attempt to subvert Roman Catholic rulers, then an Inquisition could handle your case in order to protect Roman Catholicism… and not because they had immediate & direct jurisdiction over you as Catholic leaders.
If the very idea of rational inquiry (a professional investigation)
for the sake of prosecuting crime or uncovering enemies appalls you, then you
aren’t thinking clearly. You will most likely defend our country for
seeking out and killing, imprisoning or expelling those who try to overthrow
So how is it that a Catholic nation can’t do what a non-Catholic nation does, in order to defend her Catholic existence & preserve her Catholic convictions?
There seems to be a double-standard here, doesn’t there! It would seem that modern people unthinkingly presume that their anti-Catholic beliefs are infallible, and that only their modernist teachings & modernist commandments are to be upheld & obeyed.
Otherwise, how is it that they justify doing what they do to defend the existence of their modern nations & modern ideals?
Either the Catholic Church is God’s Singular Religion or She is not. If She is, then both She and all Catholic nations are totally justified in defending their existence as Catholic nations & preserving the teachings of the Catholic Faith. They are justified because it is what God commands and because Catholicism is the only way to save men’s souls.
That you probably don’t want to admit the perfectly good sense of this simple & sensible point is due to one single thing:
You don’t want to believe that the Catholic Church is God’s One & Only Religion and the Sole Means Given by God to Save Men’s Souls.
Hence, what we should really be trying to hash out, you & I, is the evidence & reasoning for the dogmas of Catholicism… and not all of the so-called ‘crimes’ committed in centuries past.
+ + + 19. Mistaking Justice for Hatred + + +
= Point #18
You said, “I do not understand how you can even call this church the true body of Christ for Christ never advocated revenge let alone murder or hate.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
This shows both your confusion, my poor ‘Joy Given’, and your lack of knowledge of the Gospels… not to mention the rest of the Bible.
As to “revenge”, it is not merely ‘revenge’ for those in authority to carry out God’s Commandments. It is rational & necessary justice. Or would you be so foolish as to claim that those in authority in our government are not supposed to seek out & punish a man who has committed murder since this would be ‘revenge’ on their part?
Obviously not. God permits men to rule with His
Authority on earth. Part of ruling with His Authority is carrying out the law.
And there are laws against murder. Which in turn at least partly upholds
God’s Commandments, since the fifth of the Ten Commandments (or sixth, as
Protestant-derived religions will insist) tells us not to murder. This is why
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13:1-5 KJV)
Ah, so God approves of those who are in authority over us. Not in
everything they do, for most men --- including rulers --- are evil to some
extent or another. But inasmuch as they do good,
upholding what is right & proper. Indeed, the Holy Spirit through
Which is why, in turn,
“For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:6-7 KJV)
Which segues with what the wicked Pharisees said to Jesus, trying to slip Him up in the eyes of the public regarding paying taxes to the government (“tribute”):
“Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give?” (Mark 12:14b-15a KJV)
Who, knowing their evil motive, replied:
“‘Why tempt ye [test] me? Bring me a penny, that I may see it.’ And they brought it. And he saith unto them, ‘Whose is this image and superscription?’ And they said unto him, ‘Caesar’s.’ And Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marvelled at him.” (Mark 12:15c-17 KJV, annotation added)
But, of course, the only reason a person pays taxes to his government is that his rulers “…are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” (Romans 13:6b-c KJV) To wit, upon the matter, “upon this very thing”, of upholding justice:
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:3-4 KJV)
So we see that Jesus did not disrespect the God-given authority of men governing on earth. How could He have, when He upheld the Jews paying taxes to Caesar? The only reason to pay taxes is so that one’s rulers can have the money they need to carry out justice amongst men. Thus, Jesus was most definitely upholding the principle of mere men exercising God’s Authority on earth. Indeed, He even confirmed the God-given authority of mere men governing in spiritual matters, in God’s Church:
“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do…” (Matthew 23:2-3a KJV)
His beef, therefore, with the Pharisees was not that they
pretended to have religious authority in the
“…but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” (Matthew 23:3b KJV)
Consequently, my dear soul, the injunctions in the Bible against ‘vengeance’ or ‘revenge’ concern individual souls who do not wield earthly authority over a particular evildoer, yet who take it upon themselves, in their hatred for their personal enemies, to ‘revenge themselves’ upon these evildoers, who are their personal enemies. Whereas, when it comes to men who exercise God-given authority on earth --- whether in the government of the state or the government of God’s Church --- they most certainly are supposed to take rightful vengeance against those particular evildoers who are under their proper jurisdiction:
“…for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4d-e KJV)
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’” (Romans 12:19 KJV, citing Leviticus 19:18 & Deuteronomy 32:35)
Clearly, St. Paul can’t have become schizoid --- contradicting his own self in the next chapter (chapter 13 of Romans) --- or else Sacred Scripture is not truly sacred, not having been inerrantly inspired by the Holy Spirit. Ergo, we must understand the injunction against vengeance in Romans 12 to pertain to those who do not exercise authority over others (at least, not over those who have been evil to them), whilst understanding the instruction to obey one’s rulers in Romans 13 to mean that they, wielding God’s Authority on earth, are then acting rightly on God’s behalf when they punish evildoers and uphold those who are doing good. Truly, that a ruler on earth in doing so is “…a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4e KJV)
But as to your accusing Catholics of murder during the Inquisition or something similar (“…for Christ never advocated revenge let alone murder or hate…”), I make a most excellent point in Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section of The Epistemologic Works. Specifically, that there is a gigantic difference between murder (which is unjust killing) and execution (which is just killing). Plainly, Jesus would never advocate that His followers commit murder. This is unjust. Yet just as plainly, He most certainly upholds execution --- which is just. Proof of this is easy to see. For what does the Bible tell us about the two men crucified with Him on the hill of Calvary?
“And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’” (Mark 15:27-28 KJV)
So we see that these two men were thieves, and that they were justly executed (as opposed to the sinless Jesus, Who was unjustly murdered) for their sins, being “transgressors.” Yet do we doubt that their punishment was just?
“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, ‘If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.’ But the other answering rebuked him, saying, ‘Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.’” (Luke 23:39-41 KJV)
There it is, dear soul. The truth is stark in Sacred Scripture. Jesus was killed unjustly on the Cross, having done “nothing amiss.” Whereas, and in vivid contradistinction, the two thieves, being “malefactors” (evildoers), suffered the “same condemnation” as Jesus, but “justly”! How so? “For we,” said the good & repentant thief, “receive the due reward for our deeds…” In this way he “rebuked” his companion in crime, the bad & impenitent thief, who only “railed” at Jesus in his torment, despising Him for claiming to be the Christ and angry at his own, personal, torturous punishment.
But did Jesus agree with the good thief? He says not one thing in correction of the good thief’s words, which are recorded for all future generations to read in Sacred Scripture. Instead, this repentant thief’s follow-up request to Jesus is made loud & clear:
“Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42b KJV)
Who, in replying like He did by rewarding Him the endless blessing of Heaven, confirms both the good thief’s reprimand of the bad thief and assures the repentant man that He is indeed the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah:
“Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43b-c KJV)
Hence, the ‘sweet’ and ‘gentle’ Jesus of Protestant imagination is a fantasy. For not only did this same Jesus heal the lame or blind and raise the dead, etc., but He also excoriated the wicked Pharisees with very harsh words (for instance, Matthew 23:27-36) and drove the moneychangers out of the Temple with physical violence (for example, John 2:13-17). As a matter of fact, this ‘sweet’ and ‘gentle’ Jesus of modern myth even said:
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” (Luke 12:51-53 KJV)
And this same Jesus said additionally:
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26 KJV)
So Jesus wasn’t just ‘sweet’ & ‘gentle’. He was stern & reprimanding, too. And, while the Catholic Church does not teach that Jesus’ words regarding hating one’s family --- and even one’s self --- are to be interpreted to mean that you literally hate them, seeking to do them unjust harm or murder (the right interpretation being that a Catholic is to love the Triune Catholic God far more than he does the things of this earth, including his family, and that he should be willing to give them up if God calls him to the life of monasticism or the priesthood or some other Godly sacrifice), we see, then, that your accusation of ‘hatred’ (“…for Christ never advocated revenge let alone murder or hate…”) is also askew. Because when Catholics in Catholic nations are tough with obstinate traitors or vicious enemies, they are not doing it because they ‘hate’ them. Indeed, Catholics being tough with obstinate traitors or vicious enemies is not in any way, shape or form the same as them hating these traitors & enemies!
When Catholics in Catholic nations are tough with obstinate traitors or vicious enemies, it is not the same as them hating these traitors & enemies.
The truth of this is simple to understand. For if a man is arrested for murdering a crowd of people and then this allegation is substantiated carefully with hard evidence & reliable testimony in a court of law, his sentence being long imprisonment or execution, is this imprisonment or execution an act of hate merely because it is ‘tough’ on the man being imprisoned or executed?
Is the imprisonment or execution of a justly condemned criminal an act of hate merely because his captivity or death is ‘tough’ or really ‘painful’ for the man being imprisoned or executed?
And the answer:
Of course not!
The correct & proper condemnation of a proven criminal is an act of justice, not hatred.
We say it again for those who have ears to hear:
The correct & proper condemnation of a proven criminal is an act of justice, not hatred.
Therefore, my poor dear soul, your real difficulty with the so-called ‘crimes’ of the Catholic Church is not that are intrinsically unjust --- that is, that there is something horribly wrong with the very fact of investigating a crime and punishing a proven criminal --- but that you don’t want to believe that Catholicism is God’s One & Only Commanded Religion and hence that it is a crime in God’s Sight for opposing His Singular Catholic Religion or for attacking His Catholic rulers or people.
I reiterate for he who has ears to hear:
Your real difficulty with the so-called ‘crimes’ of the Roman Catholic Church is not that they are basically wrong & unjust, but that you don’t want to believe that the Catholic Church is Jesus’ One & Only Means of Salvation, being His Body, and, therefore, that it is a terrible crime to oppose Catholicism or attack Catholics.
End of sentence.
Any authority on earth, to truly be an authority and to be able to
remain in authority, must have the ability to root out & render harmless
those who would oppose its authority. This is because men are naturally
rebellious in a fallen world, as well as ignorant & stupid. Proof that this is so, and that you must necessarily admit it, is
that you are not likely to condemn the
Likewise Catholic nations who prosecute obstinate traitors (those Catholics who publicly deny the Catholic Faith and will not back down, repenting) & vicious enemies (those men who, whether Catholic or not, plan to attack and often do indeed actually assault Catholic leaders, Catholic citizens, or Catholic property). Regardless of how noble the individual Catholics are (free of worldly sentiments of ‘hatred’ against these traitors & enemies), their prosecution of such traitors & enemies is an act of justice, not an act of hatred.
It is the principle that matters, not the sentiment of those who put the principle into practice.
Wherefore I tell you, dear ‘Joy Given’, that your accusation against Catholics by way of invoking Jesus Christ (“…for Christ never advocated revenge let alone murder or hate…”) is way off base & wildly inaccurate. Your complaint is with the truth of Catholicism, not with the deeds of Catholics.
Your complaint is with the Universal Truth of Catholicism, not with the various deeds of individual Catholics in either carrying out this Truth or failing to carry it out.
+ + + 20. Let’s Get the Facts Straight + + +
= Point #19
You said, “I have to assume with
great compassion for you that you also would call me a heretic and seek to kill
me if you thought you could get away with it in
Only if we were a truly Catholic nation with good Catholic rulers, and only if you were flouting the restrictions placed on you for practicing your false religion, or were trying to convert Catholics to your heresy, or were plotting to attack or actually assaulting Catholic leaders, citizens & property. And, finally, only if you were unrepentant in your crime. Then, yes, absolutely, my precious & dear soul, I would seek your execution were that my duty to do so (that is to say, were I an inquisitor responsible for carefully investigating such crimes & handing down a just sentence).
And, as I noted already in Point #17, you are probably not baptized in water properly (most heretics of the ‘born again’ variety are not nowadays). Ergo, you are not spiritually subject to the direct authority of the Roman Catholic Church, since it is a water baptism that truly links a person to Jesus’ Body, the Catholic Church. You are only indirectly subject provided that you attack Her or Her members & institutions in some way. This wouldn’t much change the paragraph I wrote right before this one, but it does apply in some rare circumstances. E.g., a properly baptized heretic would probably have his children also properly baptized, which could in certain cases --- were such a heretic not living in a neighborhood of heretics in large numbers --- justify Catholic authorities in removing the children to make sure, as baptized members of the Catholic Church not yet old enough to reason for themselves, that they are raised in the Only Saving Faith of Roman Catholicism.
Which, of course, will outrage you. But that’s not my fault. Your trouble is with God’s Infallible Teachings, not with me personally. And an immortal human soul is vastly more important than a parent’s earthly affections for, or physical duties toward, his child. Hence, where a child belongs to Jesus through His Body, the Church, via a proper water baptism, it is the responsibility --- when it is reasonably possible to do so --- of Roman Catholic authorities to ensure that this tiny little member of the Catholic Church is raised as a Catholic in order to save his soul.
= Point #20
You said, “Please reconsider your rationalization of these historic facts.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
My dear ‘Joy Given’, you first need to consider rightly & wholly my ‘rationalization’ before it can even begin to make sense to exhort me to reconsider that ‘rationalization’. To wit, you have shown yourself in your lengthy emails’ comments to have not read fully and unto a complete comprehension what I have said about this subject in Questions 307 to 360 in Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section of the website. Read this fully first, address my specific points in it reasonably, and then, maybe, we can further debate the matter in a worthwhile way. Until then, we are talking past one another, you not actually grappling with my very sensible & simple observations. As I said previously, you can’t rationally talk about a man’s ‘crimes’ unless you first understand rightly what the law tells us that a crime is. Your problem is that you don’t think the Catholic Church is Christ’s Body, being His Only Way to Salvation. Were you to admit that She is, then you’d be inclined to investigate the so-called ‘crimes’ more closely, listening to the Catholic side of things with unprejudiced ears, and you would eventually acknowledge that Catholic nations are fully justified in defending both their religion & their nations from obstinate traitors or vicious enemies. This is only natural. It is only right.
You need to acknowledge it.
+ + + 21. Free to Be Wrong & Unopposed? + + +
= Point #21
You said, “…I weep over all my brothers and sisters that have paid with their lives and blood for the freedom that I now have to worship freely as I choose.” [2nd email of ‘Joy Given’ to Paul Doughton on 16 October 2008]
And that is the fundamental problem, isn’t it? You --- as well as most of the world today --- think that you have a ‘right’ to “worship freely as I choose.” When, in reality, God has given no such privilege to men. He has instead made men in His Image, commanding them to have no false gods or false religions in place of Himself & His True Religion (for instance, Exodus 20:2-6, Deuteronomy 5:6-10, Romans 1:18-32, Revelation 13:1-8 & 20:10-15). This is in blatant opposition to Modern Religious Dogmas #1 & #2 (see Point #14 to refresh you memory about these Modern Religious Dogmas).
You despise Catholicism, pretending it to be a ‘manmade religion’, when, in fact, it is God’s One & Only Eternal Religion. Plain simple sense & good hard evidence for this from a highly respected Protestant bible can be found in the article, Catholic Ritual Defended, in the B&A section of my website. Please study it meticulously.
The point is, my poor dear soul, God has given men free will, not sovereign will. As I say in Question #344 of Roman Catholic Church in the Q&A section, just because someone is always free to will something doesn’t mean he’s always free to accomplish it without opposition or repercussions. And God has not said that men shall be free to accomplish the practice of any religion they wish without any opposition or repercussions. Just as nations are required to uphold the last seven of the Ten Commandments (obey authority, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t covet your neighbor’s wife, don’t covet your neighbor’s possessions), so, too, are nations required to uphold the first three of the Ten Commandments (no false gods or false religions, don’t take God’s Name in vain, keep sabbath days holy). All of the Ten Commandments are sacred, especially the first three, and they are commandments because God commands them. They are not ‘suggestions’ or ‘guidelines’ or ‘helpful hints’ that may or may not apply to someone’s life. They are commandments, as in ‘God commands them.’ Ergo, God’s authority on earth --- government either civil or ecclesial --- must uphold them.
That they do not at all uphold them correctly nowadays, particularly the first three, is proof of mankind’s heinous rebellion… not evidence that men of old were wrong to think that men are not free to do whatever they want when it comes to religion, worshipping “…freely as I choose.” God’s Law does not change. Man’s ideas do. Thus, when mankind’s ideas clash with God’s Law, it is man’s ideas that are wrong.
+ + +
Part Two of Protestant Protests Rebutted (Chapters 22-40)
+ + +
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