Stirred not Shaken

April 30, 2010

Praying to Dead People

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 7:19 pm

Really?  Wow, if one believes that people are dead when they die, we are not reading the same book.  It is just not a valid argument for petitioning one who has gone on before us to pray for us, unless you are willing to say and show me in scripture where it says that the body that has gone on is incapable of knowing, seeing and hearing what is happening with us here.  Especially after giving several that indicate they can and do….

Let me be clear that in places such as Deuteronomy 18:10-15, God forbids necromancy (a form of magic in which the practitioner seeks to summon the spirit of a deceased person, either as an apparition or ghost, or to raise them bodily, for the purpose of divination.)

So, let’s get basic…. we as believers do not hold seances k?  We don’t conjure up the dead for the purpose of gaining information…. etc… “There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed” (Deut. 18:10–15).

It does take a little bit of common sense to discern the huge difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you, and someone who goes to their Mother and  humbly asks their her to pray for them, or help them through a problem.  The difference is night and day… an occult practice vs. a request for one to pray to God on one’s behalf…again, of course all prayer should be prayed directly to Christ… and if you want to think you are a “dead person” when you die, I suppose that is your business.  MY Bible tells me I am more alive with Christ after I die than now… sin free…

Why in the world would there be so many Psalms speaking to the Heavens and angels and hosts, asking them to Praise God with us if they can’t hear or see…. how do the angels rejoice over the saved if they can’t see… they body does not stop being the body in physical death, they are not severed from us, and they certainly are not “dead”.

April 28, 2010

The Saints

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:22 pm

There is a ton of stuff about this so it will probably be in two posts… I used to have many misconceptions and questions about this topic.  I used 1 Timothy 2 alot to disprove how wrong it was for Catholics to pray to or worship saints….  (They don’t worship them….)  I refused to pray to dead people…. and on and on….  I had a lot of wrong thinking on this topic, so hopefully I will be able to shed a little light on some things.

I think we can all agree that Paul refers to living Christians as saints.  All of us in the body of Christ are saints.  What I am also finding though is that there is over 80 instances in the Old Testament in which the word saint doesn’t refer to “living Christians”.  2 Chronicles 6:41 “Now arise, O LORD God, and come to your resting place,  you and the ark of your might. May your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your saints rejoice in your goodness.”  Daniel 7:18 “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”  Daniel 7:21 “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;”  Hosea 11:12 “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.”  to name a few.

Paul even gives distinction in Colossians 1:2 “2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  SO the term is used in a variety of contexts throughout the Bible.  Saint is a term that means “holy one” or “sanctified”.  It can be a Jew of the OT, a Christian in the NT, a faithful Christian living today or a believer in Heaven.

I think of the believers who have gone before us as alumni.  Similar to being alumni to a college, the brothers and sisters who have gone before us are part of the same “University”, but in a whole different capacity.  They are not the Dean, they don’t make decisions, but they are graduates.

Scriptures such as 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:6, 9:15,  and 12:24 make it very, very clear that Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man, God definitely wants us to directly communicate with Him….  yet 1 Timothy 2 does not say that God wants us only to communicate with Christ.  There is no caution to us about asking people to pray for us.  In fact this chapter begins requiring intercessory prayer by 3rd parties, which indicates to me to that it helps to bring people to salvation and knowledge of the truth.  Being a Mom I know this one.  1 Timothy 2:1-4 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

This is already starting to get long, so I’ll stop there for now… but we can not read the rest of this chapter in Timothy, without giving thought to the overarching idea in it.  I will deal with the “praying to dead people” in the next post, but I for one do not believe I will be dead when I die… and having someone pray for me in Heaven without the tainting of sin?  I like that… We are continuously asking eachother to pray for us here, and we never give it a second thought or accuse eachother of taking God’s place.  In praying for one another, we are participating in the petition, we don’t become the mediator.  Catholics feel that saints in Heaven, can pray for us just as well, and I’m sure infinitely better, than our friends on earth.  I tend to agree…….

April 27, 2010

Tradition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:56 am

The Catholic view of tradition is interesting to me.  It defines Sacred Tradition as “the apostles who, by their oral preaching, by example, and by observances handed on what they had received from the lips of Christ, from living with him, and from what he did, or what they learned from the prompting of the Holy Spirit”.

So think about this with me for a minute.  Did the Bible come from the church or the church from the Bible?  How were things passed before they were written down?  Orally….  In Mark 16:15, Christ instructs the Apostles to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation”… and they did this how, the gospels had not even been written yet?

If you look back to the scholars who are willing to give a date for the beginning of the writing down of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, it is about 1450 BC.  Looking at the Torah though, it conveys facts relating to God’s creating the universe and events that happened as far back as 1850 BC, which is when God brought Abram “from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan” Genesis 11:31.  Unless we are going to entertain the idea of dismissing the entire Bible, there had to have been an accurate oral tradition way before things were written down.  Tradition, by the way, is from the Latin “traditio” which means handed or passed down.

Think about our lives.  We are born, and learn to speak long before we learn to write.  We learn what is right and wrong (hopefully) from our parents by what they say and do.  After years of upbringing, we can read and write…. Oral tradition is the same.  It preceded the act of writing.  It’s how God worked and Catholics are a respecter of that process.

From the year of Christ’s Resurrection until around 100, the New Testament was not completely written.  Yet there was a huge growth in the Church during this time… The only way that these teachings could have effectively been passed down for so many years with accuracy IS by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  There is no way man could do this on his own.

Catholics are very good at distinguishing “T” tradition, which comes from God either through Christ or the apostles, from “t” traditions which are human traditions or customs.  Tradition, as respected by the Catholic faith, are simply normative understandings of biblical teachings.  The Bible is a testament to oral tradition that was alive and already working.  This is why the Catholic faith includes Tradition along with scripture as a source of the revealed word of God.

April 25, 2010

Mary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:54 am

Semantics and misinformation are the sources of most of the confusion about ANY Catholic teaching.  When I used to accuse Catholics of worshipping Mary, I was implying that they put Mary equal with God, but to any Catholic who explains their faith, it sounds more heretical to them than anyone.

Let’s look at some scripture:

Luke 1:28 “1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women.”   KJV  Seriously, was the angel Gabriel, a messenger of God, worshipping Mary when he said these words?  If you are going to say that Hail means worship, you are going to have to accuse Gabriel of worshipping Mary.

The phrase in this scripture “full of grace” is the Greek word “kecharitomene”. This word is only used one other time, in John 1:14 to describe Jesus Christ Himself.  No, it is NOT putting her on the same level as God, or as A god, it is saying that she has been perfected in grace BY God.  There is a huge difference.

Luke 1:42 “And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.”   Pretty self-explanatory… I can’t think of anyone else who has given birth to God, isn’t that kinda special?  Elizabeth thought so…

Luke 1:43 “And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  ****Gasp**** The phrase “Mother of my Lord” is indeed “Adonai” which means Lord God.  Jesus is divine, He is God, Mary is is mother….

Luke 1:48 “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”  If Mary says all generations will call her blessed, why don’t we?  It’s in the direction manual, we should be doing it.

Mary in infinitely small when compared to God, but, God chose to use her in such a special way, and she responded.  Catholics recognize that.  They do not “latria” Mary, that is reserved for God alone… this worship if given to any creature or thing aside from God is idolatry.  They “dulia” Mary, it is an honor and respect that is honoring God by honoring what He has done through His creation.  I think we can all agree that God’s creation illuminates His love and does this most intensely in His greatest creation, those made in His own likeness, human beings.  If an angel is going to say, “Hail Mary, full of grace”, shouldn’t we recognize her with the same respect?

April 23, 2010

Time for Truth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 5:36 pm

I have heard that if a lie is repeated enough, and sometimes loudly, people will eventually believe it.  I can attest to that.  Lies don’t have to be believed by all in every detail, it’s destruction comes by leaving a bad impression.  People believe that if a group decides to promote a lie, there has to be truth to it.  I know all of this because I have lived it, for forty years.

The same applies to exaggerations, and false implications.  Distorting the truth makes people think it has a basis for fact.  I know, that taking the truth and putting it in a way that will make it look suspicious, and add a little hint of “it is evil”  and your mind is then tempted to draw all sorts of ill-founded conclusions.  It’s something I have struggled with a long time.

So, over the next little while, I will be discussing and debunking many of the things, the false things, that I have been taught about the Catholic faith.  It isn’t so much for all of you as it is for me and my walk with God.  I welcome your comments and discussion, but I know it will be very healing for me to write truth, without distortion, without pressure…. just truth about a faith that is at the least misunderstood, at the most grossly thrashed by angry “Christians”…. who was me for many years.

I have come to realize that there are so many accusations that are simply misrepresentations of the Catholic Church’s position, and mixing those with misleading statements makes the Church look strange, and something that it is not.   No I don’t understand it all, in fact I don’t understand enough probably to make either side happy at this point, but it is not about making people happy, it’s about obedience to God, and it matters enough to me to be addressed.  Hopefully I will represent the Catholic faith in the light of truth that I feel it deserves.

April 22, 2010

All Things Are Possible

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 7:53 am

April 18, 2010

Let’s Talk About “Getting Saved” Shall We?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:51 am

I think a great place to start would be Acts 2:38 “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

Peter, tells people, in order to be saved, they need to “do” something.  It doesn’t get much clearer, and pretty much defeats the whole “man does nothing to receive salvation” theory, right there.  I think the biggest thing that is wrong with that teaching is done out of a very wrong concept of “works” and a failure to understand God’s grace.  Yes, we are saved by grace, there is nothing that can be done to earn that favor (Ephesians 2:8-9)  There is no way to catch God’s eye so that He will bless you with salvation, or do anything that deserves that priceless, free gift.  BUT…. eliminating works that earn grace, doesn’t eliminate every kind of human activity….

The evidence of salvation comes from seeing evidence of faith.  Peter’s command to “repent and be baptized” in no way nullified grace, and it did not exterminate their salvation by faith.  He only urged by the Holy Spirit, that people take the action necessary to demonstrate their obedient heart.  James also says this in James 2:18,24 ” But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works….You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

When Peter told the people of Acts 2 that they needed to do something to be justified, the action did not earn salvation, but they were necessary if they wanted to accept the gift of salvation.  See the difference?  Nowhere do I find in God’s Word “Do nothing because God will save ya’ll”… or “Do nothing because God has predestined some of you to get saved….”  That is NOT what he is teaching.  Some will remain lost, there is no way to get around it, but I don’t understand how people can ignore the obedience part of Peter’s instruction, and get off on a “works” tangent.  Where does Peter say, you will be saved by faith alone?  Where does he say, “Just ask Jesus into your heart….” there is something missing in that, the plan of salvation is incomplete and insufficient when we are told to just believe in Christ without telling them also what Peter said, “Repent and be baptized”.

How can anyone read Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you  as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” and say baptism is not part of the plan of salvation?  We need to get past the mentality that we are somehow “helping God” by being obedient to what He has told us to do.  It is amazing to me, that I could have been asked before if I believe I could be saved outside of Christ, to which I would reply “Of course not”… then turn around and resist the teaching that tells us the very things we must do to put ourselves into Christ in the first place.  Sometimes I confuse myself….. 😉

Here is another example “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matt 28:19-20

From this verse, how exactly are we to go and make disciples?  Just askin’

April 17, 2010

Yes…. they are….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 9:37 pm

One of the biggest lines of garbage I have been fed through the years is that Catholics are not Christians.  The word Christian means “follower of Christ”.  They do… end of story… but just cause that would be too short of a post….

Here is what they believe…  they believe in One God, the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, His Virginal Birth, substitutionary Death, Resurrection, His Second Coming, the Bible… sound familiar?  How many times have I heard Protestants say, that it’s ok to disagree on non-essentials, yet it’s ok to accept one another as true Christians as long as they agree on the core doctrine?  Can we not extend that to our Catholic brothers and sisters?

I really think that those who insist on putting all Catholics into the “non-Christian” status really need to look around their own congregation tomorrow at church and recognize that in every body of believers there are unsaved… so why are Catholics singled out?  God is bigger than our understanding, and God’s church transcends a denominational line.  God looks on the heart of man, and for us to look on the outward appearance and make such a claim is foolishness.

I think it would do us all well to focus on what matters, to seek unity not division.  This is how the world will know we are His, by our love for one another.  There should be no Christian vs. Catholic… no more than Christian vs. Baptist, or Methodist etc.  They are believing in the same God, and call Him Savior.  Let’s keep the focus where it should be, does the individual have Christ living within them, and what is the fruit or evidence of it?

In John it says “to all who received him [referring to Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  To say differently, is foolishness….

April 15, 2010

Finally.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:50 pm

Galatians 5:16-18 “16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”

Fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5, as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control….. this is who I was created to be.  This is who God wants me to be.

I learned in a big way several years ago, exactly what God means when He says we are to walk in the Spirit.  Somehow this last year, it went by the wayside, and I instead tried to walk by human reasoning and more to please people than God.  The end result?  Rotten fruit… the complete opposite of everything I was created to be…. so actually I have had, conditional love, no joy, zero peace, no tolerance, harshness, lack of good, no faith, far from meek, and as you have seen no self -control.

Alot of you know about my struggle with Catholicism in my life, and how I have continually had the poison that was first started within my family, fed to me from others who felt as they did.  The battle, as God has dealt with me on this, has been a spiritual one.  It’s never been against the people, unfortunately in the battle they were caught in the cross-fire.  There is no way for me to go back and change anything, but I can make a difference in the future.  Demons, they are real, they are big, they are ugly, but greater is He that is in me.

I was raised, for fourty years of my life, in a home where you received approval for Catholic jokes, bad ones… and animosity toward them.  I was taught by constant conditioning, that in order for there to be peace, you spoke harsh, unkind things about and to them, all the while claiming it was honoring to God.  Very warped way of thinking, but sometimes you will resort to, and do what you know will stop the battle no matter how wrong it seems, which is where I have been… and, when your family encourages such things, whose to say it is wrong anyway?  God.  That’s who.

He got my attention.  He took me back to walking in the Spirit, leaving the flesh behind.  In doing so, in allowing the Spirit of God to produce works of holiness, you have to walk in His power. In being told that we should walk in the Spirit… walk implies progress.  It is a picture of day-by-day, step-by-step existence in which a Christian yields each moment of their lives to the control of the Holy Spirit.  That is the key to holiness.  I have submitted to Him, and will allow Him to control my life.  Some will continue this journey with me, others will not, and I am at a great deal of peace about it.  People come and go, but God is my constant, and the things He has presented just this week as He stripped me clean, brushed me off and set me on my feet again, are mind-boggling.

He has restored my joy through a sequence of events that only He could have orchestrated.  His joy is my strength, and the struggle, the forty year struggle is over. Verse 17 in Galatians 5, when I read that, everything became clear.  “They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”  I truly was not doing what I wanted to do,  behaving  this way when there was such a conflict within, and I had my answer of why I was… I was simply against the Spirit that lives within me.  Now,  I have my love, joy and peace…. the rest are coming and it’s a good place to be.  It’s been a long war, and for whatever reason, God has chosen this time to end it.  Catholics are Christians… they love the Lord, and I will continue to learn and follow HIS lead, it’s a good place to be.  What the enemy meant for evil, no longer exists, and after forty years, I am no longer his pawn.

April 8, 2010

Time To Work On Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 3:53 am

Ever since my Mom died almost a year ago, the Lord has had me on quite a journey.  Mostly dispelling the myths and just plain misinformation I had been fed most of my life about Catholicism.  Two people have played a major role in doing that, namely Carlus and “Willison”… or Steve.

Yesterday, I very inappropriately argued with them in public, which mostly stems from old sucky habits and not being able to stand up to those who actually condone such behavior as “honoring to God”…. well, the post is gone.

There is a constant war inside of me where Catholicism is concerned.  On the one hand I don’t get alot of it, on the other hand much of what they believe and the ways they honor God is unparalleled in any other denomination.  I’m seeking, I’m struggling, and I needed to publicly apologize to both of them, as they have never done anything but be friends and answer questions.  They are very good people and love God very much.

I won’t be writing publicly anymore for however long it takes me to work through some things.  When God keeps you up most of the night because of the way you’ve treated a coupla brothers, and has you writing a post at 3:30 in the morning about it, it’s time to listen.  So I am leaving you with an amazing testimony below, from an amazing friend Bernard and an “I love you all very much”….

This back and forth in me has to stop, it’s wearing me out.  But I also know that my journey doesn’t have to be out there for all the world to see either…  even as I type this I am feeling a peace that I haven’t had in quite awhile, so thank you Lord 🙂  All I ask for is your prayers, and please check out Bernards testimony…. it’s pretty amazing.  Ok, time to go work on me….

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