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Friday, February 27, 2009

Catholic Heresy

To my dear Catholic friends and loved ones --- please forgive me, but today's blog is about the insane level of deception in your faith. I mean the Catholics are more deluded than the Jews.

These are hard words for me to write, because I have some very dear friends who are both Catholic and Jewish. I pray for both groups of loved ones. I pray that they will stop being deceived by their own religions and religious traditions. I pray that they will see the truth.

It is easy for us to write off the false world religions like Islam, Hindu and others. But the Jewish faith and the Catholic faith seem so very close to Christianity. They seem so very close to the truth. We tend to think highly of them and regard them well. We shouldn't.

Today's Jews are denying that Jesus is who He said He is. That puts them on par with the Muslims --- they both seem to believe about the same thing about Christ. Quite frankly, that's an easier proposition for Christians to deal with.

But the Catholics take Jesus Christ and pervert Him in so many ways! I have blogged before about Catholic heresy. (I think the last time was when they cancelled or closed "limbo" for babies who haven't sinned but can't get into heaven because they haven't been baptized.) Today, we are faced with a comeback of the Catholic notion of "indulgences" regarding "absolution."

In Catholic terms, "indulgence" is the full or partial remission of the temporal punishment for sin which has already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the (Catholic) church after the sinner has confessed and received "absolution." This "absolution" is just forgiveness imparted to the sinner in the name of the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) on behalf of the (Catholic) church. Absolution is usually not granted until after "penance" has been assigned by the priest receiving the confession of the sin. Penance is simply a penalty to be paid. It can range from repeating "Hail Mary" prayers to self punishment in physical forms to making restitution of parties injured by the confessed sin.

Did you catch all of that? Did you see all of the heresy in this? It is most noteworthy that not a single bit of this Catholic crap is Biblical. Let's break this apart a bit and examine why.

First of all, there is no such thing as "temporal punishment for sin which has already been forgiven." When our sin is forgiven by God, that is it. There is no punishment. Natural consequences will still belong to us each. God rarely intervenes to take those away from us. But there is no punishment. Jesus took the punishment for our sin, on our behalf, on the cross. When He did it, His closing remarks were, "It is finished." And it was! So no priest (or anyone else for that matter) has the power to take the punishment for our sins away from us. Even if they did, the only way they could would be to take the punishment on our behalf --- like Jesus did!

Second, forgiveness of sin (absolution) cannot be extended to a sinner in the name of the Trinity on behalf of the church. God never authorized any church to forgive sin. He instructed men (and women) to forgive each other. He said if we don't forgive each other then we will not ourselves be forgiven. But nowhere in any Bible does God delegate authority to forgive sin to the church or any other worldly body of mankind. The Catholic church is guilty of thinking more highly of itself than it ought to (a sin that the Bible warns against).

Third, penance is not Biblical, except in the context of making amends to those we may have wronged with our sin. God doesn't want our worship (of Him) if we have fractured relationships with each other. He specifically says that if we are coming to Him to worship and find that someone else has something against us, we should set aside our worship and go be reconciled with our brother (or sister) before returning to worship God. That is the entire definition of penance in God's book. It really does go no further than that.

The simple truth is that we are to confess our sins to God. When we do, He forgives them. End of story. We are also to confess our sins to "each other" (meaning a "saint" who is at least as spiritually mature as we are). When we do, He heals us from those sin patterns that control us. Forgiveness and healing. They are the only two consequences that God has in store for confessed sin.

The news reports are that the Catholic church is bringing back indulgences as a way to incent its members to confess their sin. Incentive or not - it is still heresy. Let us not be deceived by heresy, be it Catholic or otherwise.

And let us pray earnestly for our Catholic brothers and sisters who want to believe on Jesus Christ. They are unfortunately trapped in an ungodly religion that takes the Jesus who is and perverts Him to such an extent that He is unrecognizable --- and untrue.

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