I woke up from my sleep as I choke under the sheets. I stood up, opened the window and felt no wind on my skin. I went out to the woods and stared at the dark bluish sky. Nothing I can see but the form of a doubting troubled eye.
I sighed. I gasped. I tried to catch my breath. But every air is gone, as if there is really none.
I’m strangled. I throttled. I trembled down my spine I run and I tried to escape, This awful life I couldn’t take.
There I was, so alone in the woods With doubts in my mind, there I stood
Then I saw a flowing river I wheeze as I reach the water I felt its breeze that comforted me I drowned myself but then I see Under the water, there is life In the water, that’s my life.
I close my eyes, and let my fingers move. I am not sure if what I am writing is aligned. Maybe words overlap, I don’t know. My eyes are close so I can see you clear. With music of happiness to my ears, I try to find you. My heart pounds as I feel you. Tears are starting to build up for I am happy, I am thankful. One moment of everyday, I will close my eyes, find you, and write with candour. Let my fingers speak for my heart with eyes closed so I can see clearly. And so I may declare, I am happy. I am thankful.
I once believe that everyone has dreams, that everyone aims something, wants something to achieve. But thinking about it, I guess I was wrong.
Personally, I dream about a lot of things. I dream of being everyone else in the world because I dream of having to experience the experiences of others, so I can write about them first-hand. I know I can’t be everyone, so I just try to be with anyone, instead. Other than that, I have bigger dreams, so big that I don’t know where to begin. Sometimes, I get discouraged. At one point I let go.
Then I realized, if we let go of our dreams, what’s the point of dreaming? If we know we can’t achieve them, and we lose hope, then what is it for us? Is it just a sort of procrastination?
One day, I was told by a colleague, "If you dream, make your dream so big to the fact that you can’t achieve it, so that you will depend on God."
She was right, coz if we dream something that we know we can achieve, then that’s not a dream after all. Therefore, not everyone actually really has dreams.
I was encouraged that no matter how big my dreams are, and how little I can do, I have a God that’s bigger than all things combined.
Yes, I may be ordinary, but I have an extraordinary God.
You know how good it is to pray for someone? How good it is on your part… How overwhelming?
Back in Highschool, I used to be someone who does not care at all. If there is God, if there isn’t, what’s the point? I am going to die anyway and whatever happens after death is something I am not bound to know. Yes, I was agnostic. And I remember already writing about it before.
However, sometimes in a person’s life, it does not have to take a near-death experience just to have a life-changing occasion. I was not diagnosed of any disease, nor was I hit by a truck. I didn’t wake up one day realizing how useless my life was. No. I was only invited to attend a Christian service, but it wasn’t overnight that I cared about a god.
It was seven years. It took me seven years of hearing the word of God, before I finally cared, and believed. And it’s not over yet, not even halfway. I’m not there yet. But now I know in my heart and mind, that the God I believe in and serve now is the only true God. And He is faithful.
I have a friend whom I have been talking for a couple of weeks about her life and problems. I have been giving her worldly advices for days, but she is still suffering from the same scenario that keeps her depressed. It was only this morning that I get to pray for her. I did not know why I did it only now, but I did. And after that, she cried and felt better. She was very thankful because she told me that for the past few days, nothing felt good, until I prayed for her. Surely, it was God who touched her. It was God who made her feel loved and special.
My God is so true and faithful that he can heal emotional sufferings. Praying for my friend felt good, even if she told me that she was not used to me praying. She felt good as well, and I am overwhelmed with what God can do. If he can heal emotional pains, what else can’t he do? I am not there yet, but I am excited for more of God, aren’t you?
Trust plays a big role in every relationship. One without it will surely break apart. Many relationships fail because of insecurities. It is failing to trust one another. You hate it when you are not trusted even if you are doubtful if you can really be trusted. You hate doubting him and you hate being doubted. You doubt, he doubts. It is because you fail to trust. He fails to trust you.
But this is how mine goes. I trust him. I can say with confidence that I trust him. I really do. How much? How well? That, I don’t know. I said I trust him, I know I do, but I always fail to entrust him everything, not even most. He said it will be fine, but I am rather anxious. He said he will take care of it, but I am rather cynical. He said he will do it, but because I am uncertain, I would do it instead, not waiting for him to do it, not letting him do what he says he would, when he would.
And then, here I am again. I am not trustworthy. I fail many times, most of the times. He knows about my lying, cheating, and stealing… He knows me too well, but he still trusts me. I don’t know why, I’ve yet to discover. All I know is…. that’s how much he loves me. That’s a short clip of my love story.
Ever wonder when and where in the world will you find the man who will be completely faithful to you till the end? You may be wanting that kind of man for years, but on second thought, are you even as faithful as you want the man to be?
Lies, discontentment, disobedience, temptation, <insert word here>… Any of these things makes one unfaithful. What would you do? Push him to turn away from them? Let them control? Can they? Until when? When he falls short, you ask yourself what was lacking. Was it passion, connection, compatibility? Or was it love? It is depressing to think that your man might not actually love you as much as you require…
But it is even more depressing on my part.
I know a man who loves me beyond compare. He would provide everything I basically need may it be food, money, house. Everything. He promises me a lot of things that sometimes sound too good to be true. He promises me all the things everyone would want. Some of which he made come true, some are still waiting, and none he broke. He is so good to me. He loves me. But I was the problem.
I was unfaithful. I lied, I am not contented, I disobeyed, and I am tempted. All these I know would break his heart. Despite knowing how much he loves me, I still managed to fail him. I am the problem of this relationship. I break his heart many times in a day and I wonder how he fixes it back. I tear his heart everyday but he was and is so strong. He still loves me even with his broken heart.
I failed and I continue to fail him. But even when I am unfaithful, he remains faithful to me. That’s how much he loves me. That’s a short clip of my love story.
It’s been years already since the last time I really blogged about Love. You can see from my previous posts that what I think of love varies depending on my emotions or my inspiration as some of my friends ask me to write and relate to their love life situations.
Reading back, I realized that my views had somehow changed.
I used to think that love always fails. It is temporary, and we have to enjoy it as soon as it lasts.
We became pessimists with love not because love fails but because we failed to see what love really means. Love has been misrepresented by the world and the people living in it tend to misinterpret the meaning. It is not just about affection or adoration. It is not pleasure or happiness; it is not the feeling of euphoria or seventh heaven. Not finding joy in caring, and not finding delight in being cared after. A love like these is shallow.
Love means being hurt many times over but you are still joyful thinking about loving more. It is being rejected and still loving. It is being rejected once more, twice more or even a hundred times more but still you do not love less. It is being offended but nothing changes. It is about loving despite knowing every lapses of the heart. It is about sacrifice. Not just sacrificing for the one who loves you but also for those who do not. This is love. It is never shallow.
2000 years ago, a Father sacrificed his only son for people who are against him. A man died for us on the cross despite how much we had taken him for granted. He chose to save us. He loves us even if we reject him over and over and over. That’s what love really is. It is unfailing, it is undying, and it lasts beyond a lifetime.
Fly out. It has been a common option for Filipinos to fly out if situations in the Philippines get bad. For whatever reason, some simply just have no other choice but to leave this country “for good.”
Whether they just graduated, or they can’t find a job, or they have a job but with insufficient salary; they have all the reasons to leave.
Why is that so? Most Filipinos leave the Philippines thinking there are better opportunities outside of it. Is this country really hopeless? Is this country doomed not to be blessed?
I always tell my friends never to settle for less. I always tell them that if you are going to be enslaved by other countries, why not choose to be slave in your own? Why not choose where you really belong? Is it because of the value of currencies? Many Filipino doctors sacrifice their professions to be nurses or caregivers abroad. Many teachers leave to be housemaids. Why? Do we value money too much, more than we value our lives? Do we really have to sacrifice our white-collars?
Many Pinoy maids abroad take good care of others’ children. They will fly far away, with the Philippines and their own children left behind. You left them because you want a “bright future" for them. You are thinking that only a Dollar or a Pound can give them that. If the Philippine Peso has emotions, it could have left us instead.
I surely believe that what our children need more than any is the presence of their parents; for them not only to be told that they are loved, or not only to be shown of material things as a symbol of love. Not of being given food, but being fed. Not of being provided of education, but being taught. Not of being given money or gadgets on their birthdays, but being with the one who gives them. What if they rebel? What if they get lost because you are not there to guide them to begin with? Then, is leaving the country really is “for good?”
The problem is that we look too closely on small details. We see only the mistakes, the misfortunes. We tend to omit the sight of a completely larger picture. We forget that our God is not only in the United States. Not only in Dubai or in Saudi Arabia. He is everywhere and He is huge; definitely bigger than our problems. If God is with you, anywhere you are, you will be blessed. Even if you are in Manila, or Cebu, or Davao you will be blessed. Hope is not from other countries. Hope is from God and we only have to grab it to see what is huge. Hope is here. There is hope in this country and we don’t have to go to the other side to find it.
A lot has been talking about this new Zodiac Sign Ophiuchus and how their zodiacs has changed. What’s the matter with that? Will this even affect us?
Do we rely on the formation of the stars? Do we believe that the constellations describe who we are? Let’s say your former zodiac tells you that you like to love people, and because the zodiacs have changed and tells you now that you like to hate. Would you really be that kind of person?
The addition of this new Zodiac Sign is a manifestation that everything changes and God is the only one who does not.
Let us not put faith in constellations and stars but to the One who created them. Follow God, not the horoscope.
Most College students think that trying to make it to graduation is the hardest. Some wanted to rush college, and that included me. I wanted to graduate just so I can earn on my own, and for the first time, buy something out of my own pocket – the one I produce, the one I harvest. But after graduation, I realized it’s not a joke, and in my first few months of working, I wished I could go back to school instead.
It has always been hard for people to earn a living. In school, you pay them. And because you pay them, they are a little too careful to be against you. Some are nightmares to you, but these school nightmares become beautiful dreams, once you started working.
I first worked in a production and events company which required me to stay up late at night without any overtime pay or night differentials. I loved my job, but I hated the management. I received just a little more than my monthly college allowance, enough for me to buy a new piece of clothing monthly. That’s because I am not required to help my family’s living costs, but for someone in need, my previous salary will get you nowhere. I resigned.
I promised myself not to give in to opportunities that are less than what’s best for me. I asked God, and asked Him more. I was jobless for five months just because I do not want to settle for less. I came to interviews and declined six nice job offers. I just believed that the best from God is yet to come. And I prayed once more. I got another two opportunities, one is a regular post in World Vision, and another is a month long contract in World Health Organization. My mind told me to be practical and choose the regular post, but God told me to choose the other and so I did. I was worried that after one month I will become jobless again. But I just know that God has plans for me better than the best I could think of for myself.
During my last day on my month long contract, I got extended for another 2 months. And during my second contract I got extended again for another 3 months. And I believe it won’t stop there. I am receiving four times my previous monthly salary. God knows my weakness is public transport and He made me work to a walking-distant office. He knows I love Graphic design and He gave me just that. God blesses me too much; I got more than enough to help my family and friends in need. I got a lot of spare time to even write this blog. God is faithful. Work-related problems are always there, and sometimes we cannot handle them anymore and we feel like giving up. But that is why Jesus Christ was sent. He was sent to save us. He did and he always will. It is hard to earn a living, but God made it possible for us to enjoy, to be blessed and to be loved. And soon, we’ll realize that earning doesn’t kill you for earning is living.
Since the Purgatory is a big issue that has been debated on for centuries already, I have to separate this more detailed explanation of the non-existence of Purgatory.
Written by Doug: An answer to Catholic’s basis of Purgatory in Matthew 5:25-26, Matthew 12:31-32 and Corinthians 3:11-15
As the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 1 Peter 3:15, it is always good to test and question why we believe the things we do about our faith to ensure that they are consistent with Scripture.However, I remain comfortable and confident that it has accurately reflected the Biblical truth regarding purgatory.
The added fact that purgatory is not mentioned directly anywhere in Scripture makes it difficult to support this concept, especially when alternative, logical and Biblically supported interpretations for the passages used to justify purgatory exist.
In brief, there is only one payment for sin and that is blood.This was demonstrated in the sacrificial system begun by God in the Old Testament and ended with Jesus’ blood sacrifice “once for all” (Hebrews 7:27) for any of us who would accept it.
Please allow me to review a few of the verses you mentioned to see if there is any clarity that I can add regarding their meaning and translation: Matthew 5:25-26 is direct teaching from Jesus encouraging us to settle disputes quickly so that they don’t cause you prolonged harm.There is no evidence that Jesus had changed the subject away from this subject and into a reference to purgatory but even if th is was a veiled reference to the afterlife, the Bible is clear that the punishment for sin is eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23, etc.).Rather, this message is one of loving encouragement to strive for attitudes of love and forgiveness instead of hate.
This was echoed by Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 4:26-27.Matthew 12:31-32 is an encounter where Jesus has been accused of being “of Beelzebub” and He simply establishes the truth that His work and the work of Satan are like oil and water…they don’t mix.
Like Matthew 5 passage above, He gives no indication that He is trying to make any point other than that men may sin against Him (as the Pharisees had just done), but as long as they don’t d ie before accepting the gift of the Holy Spirit that would soon be offered them through Christ’s sacrifice all else can be forgiven if forgiveness is asked for.This was echoed by John’s writings in 1 John 5:16.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 speaks of the importance of having a proper faith foundation under you as you go through your daily life.What we do here for our own worldly purposes (pride, selfish-ambition, etc.) will not be counted to your credit in heaven.It is meaningless and will be burned up because it is of no value to God.Only the things we did in honor of God will escape the fire and be counted as a credit to us.
If we are true Christians but have not lived lives that honor Him we will still enter heaven – by Jesus’ atoning sacrifice – but only because His blood kept us from being burned for of our meaningless, fruitless existence.
The consistent message from Scripture is that we can do nothing to change the judgment we will receive from God once we breathe our last breath.Hebrews 9:27 tells us that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”That judgment is immediate and permanent.In fact, Jesus shared a story that was recorded in the Gospel of Luke about a rich man and Lazarus that gives us a glimpse of the impossibility of reversing the Judgment of God.
In the story, which is found in verses 19-31 of Luke 16, the rich man is sent to hell for his self-centered behavior on earth.He is unable to even receive a drop of water on his tongue for relief from the agony he is in, let alone to be freed from his judgment after a period time spent apart from God in purgatory.This would have been a perfect opportunity for Jesus to tell followers that the rich man could have attained heaven after a stay in purgatory – but Jesus said no such thing.
The Bible and The “Saints”
The Bible is very clear on major issues (God’s Sovereignty, the pathway to Salvation, Christ’s Deity, the existence of heaven and hell, etc.) and the fact that there are, at best, only indir ect references to purgatory should cause us to question whether this is truly a Biblical concept.Regarding the suggestion that it is appropriate to ask saints in heaven to pray for us; I was raised Catholic so I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that it is appropriate to pray to those other than God (Saints or even family members) for help, wisdom and guidance.Unfortunately, even though it may bring comfort to you, praying to or talking to the dead is not something that is taught or condoned in the Bible.
God tells us that He is the only one who is worthy of praise and Exodus 20: 2-3 “I am the Lord your God…You shall have no other Gods before me.”Even if we don’t intend to offend or insult God by praying to or revering the dead, it is clearly outside his will and he sees it as an assault to his sufficiency and sovereignty as the one true God.
God tells us in Colossians 1:16 that “All things are created by Him and for Him.”He is the author and creator of all life and it doesn’t make sense to seek council or assistance from a created being (our departed loved ones) when we can seek council from the creator himself (God). As you may remember from the archived question that you referenced above, God is all seeing and a ll knowing and doesn’t need anyone to help him to hear us.
In fact, God prefers that we come directly to him and he is willing to hear our prayers: 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” Since praying to (trusting in) those other than God for help and guidance is an insult to God’s sufficiency and sovereignty, it is something that should be confessed as a sin. The good news is that God loves you and is willing to forgive your sin and you can ask him for it directly. 1 John 1:9 assures us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us of all unrighteousness.”
We must always be careful not to let that reverence for the departed interfere with God’s position as the leader and author of our lives.
Hi Ashley, thank you for your time and willingness to read my very long blog. I even thank you more for having to respond to it. I appreciate your time, effort and openness. I respect your opinion and they are very much appreciated. Here now is my yet another long response. This is too long already, so I find it easier to read this ‘short’ way. Really, this is the shortest I could.
I am assuming that you are disagreeing with the traditions of the Catholic Church.
I am nothing against traditions for as long as these traditions are built on the firm foundation of Scripture, and in full agreement with the entirety of Scripture. We also follow traditions like attending services, prayer meetings, small groups, praying and fasting etc. Which Catholic traditions are you talking about? There are some religious traditions that are contradicting to the word of God.
Mark 7:1–4, “7 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.”
…. Catholics do not the hold the Protestant belief of Sola Scriptura. Catholics believe that in the oral and written traditions of Jesus, not man. What is your understanding of Sola Scriptura? Actually it is not an argument against traditions but against unbiblical doctrines since the Bible which is true, authoritative and reliable is the only way God revealed His Word to us. I am not very familiar with the Catholic’s oral tradition, but from what I understand, since the bible was compiled many years after Jesus’ death (aside from those written in scrolls), then there must be disciples orally preaching the Word of God. And all these were then written and were compiled, then were called the Bible. Now I strongly believe that if there is anything else orally preached with equal importance of which was written, then it could have been written for the Bible is inspired by God.
You mentioned that "the Bible gives many instances in which we are to hold to the traditions that Jesus started", then these traditions must be in the New Testament. Where then can you find Catholic traditions (like the Rosary, Non marriage of priests, Calling priests “fathers”, Calling Mary “Virgin Mary” and Mother of God”, Bowing to images, Papal Authority, Sin of Presumption) in the New Testament?
And it is also contrasting because you said:
"the scriptures of the New Testament were not even necessary to have faith" By this, do you mean the Life, death and Resurrection of Jesus isn’t necessary to have faith? Isn’t it that we were separated from God and only through Jesus can we have salvation? Then, if the New Testament isn’t anymore necessary, how do you think or in what way can we be saved, imagine the Scripture without the New Testament?
Actually, references to Purgatory can be found in 1 Corinthians 3:11–15, and Matthew 5:25-26, 12:31-32. These all support the idea of an after death purification before a person can enter Heaven.
I know 1 Corinthians 3:15 is commonly used passage by the Catholics to point out the evidence of Purgatory. However, this passage is interpreted differently by the Catholics and by the Born Again Christians. Here’s how it goes, the passage illustrates our foundation of faith. The “gold, silver and costly stones" are those with a strong foundation which will pass through the fire unharmed. While the "wood, hay and straw" pertains to a weak foundation which will be consumed by fire as it passes. This passage nowhere tells that the ‘believers pass through the fire’ (as per to Catholic’s belief of Purgatory), but rather that a ‘believer’s works pass through the fire’.
Matthew 5:25-26 is a part of a parable that deals with the issue of forgiving your brothers.
Matthew 12:31-32 is about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
It is clearly written in many verses of the bible that it is only either heaven or hell will you end up after death. (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Luke 16:23-24; Revelation. 20:10-15 and a lot more)
The Jewish faith, and Jesus was a Jew,…..
Is it Judaism you’re talking about? A religion that believes in Monotheism? Remember that the old covenant has changed because of our sin which separated us from the Father so He sent His Son Jesus.
….holds as a truth to this day that there will be a final purification after a death of a loved one for eleven months after their passing. Where is this written but in Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books which I already discussed in my first blog. Jewish people as a matter of fact, rejected Apocrypha after the overthrow of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
If you would like I can go into more detail of quotes from the early apostles and disciples of Jesus on this matter and of the reasons why the Protestants during the Protestant Reformation took out these books of the Bible. I have read quite a few about the Reformation, but these books have long been rejected by the early Christians even before the Protestant Reformation. It is by this reason, that in the days in which our Bible was translated, it is a placed neither in the Old nor the New Testament but was put up in between as an appendix of reference material (only because of its historical value, but was not accepted as scripture).
As mentioned in my previous blog, Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books have proven contradictions and historical errors. None from these were quoted in the New Testament. And by the way, it was not only the Protestants who took these books out. The Catholic bible is also missing other Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books because of errors. If these then were taken out of the Catholic bible, the remaining Apocrypha have the possibility of being unreliable. However, there is really no missing books of the Bible, everything that God intended to be in the Bible is in the bible. Hundred other religion books or scrolls were written the same period as the books of the bible but none of these are inspired by God. These books as I have said were proven errors, some were proven forgery like the gospel of Thomas, epistle of Barnabas, gospel of Philip, the apocalypse of Peter, etc.
Why must a person choose to be baptized? If Baptism gives us certain graces, then why wouldn’t you want a child or infant to be baptized? Just wondering the reason for your stance on this issue.
Because a child or an infant doesn’t know in their minds and hearts the real reason why they are being baptized. Baptism doesn’t save, it is just a symbolism. It cannot save us. Water Baptism is a symbolic burial of the old us. That is why we become born again, for the old has gone and the new has come. We do no get baptized if we do not believe that Christ is the only way for salvation. It is our way of confession that we are sinners and a public declaration of receiving Christ as our Lord and Savior. The only way God can declare a person righteous is for that person to receive forgiveness through faith in Christ. How then can a newly born infant understand this?
Now, you might ask how can these babies be saved? Even babies or infants are held accountable of sins, because although they are “innocent” and are not capable of personal sin, they are still guilty of inherited sin.
Psalms 51:5, David write, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
In Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Remember in Revelations 20, all those (including babies, mentally ill, non-Christian nations) who were never given the chance to hear the word and understand the truth will be given a chance to receive salvation after their resurrection? It is by then will they be judge of either eternal life in heaven or eternal damnation.
Intercession of Saints:
Misinterpretations happen usually because we think of the word “saint” as those canonized by a man in authority. As I mentioned in my first blog, saints as mentioned in the bible are on earth. The saints are the living people who believe in Christ – Christians.
As the saints are in Heaven, they are not limited by the restraints of time and space that we are in this life. I believe “not having enough time and space” (as per your use of “not limited”) is not the right reason why we ask our “friends” to intercede for us. We do not ask our friends “hey, I got a lot of things to do, can you pray for me?” We ask our friends to pray for us because we are only human with the possibility of sinning and giving in to temptation. We ask our friends who are also believers to pray for us because they are willing to listen with love and concern.
So if God wants the saints to be able to hear our prayers, why can’t He allow that? As I said, saints are those who believe in Christ, therefore if Christians pray for one another, nothing is wrong. But for the context which you believe in with saints as those who are in heaven, He won’t allow it because God is a jealous God and again, only He is omniscient.
Rev 5:8 answers your question as to whether saints can hear us when the saints offer our prayers to God in the form of bowls of incense, so if they are offering our prayers to God, aren’t they more than likely aware of them as well? John explicitly states that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints.
Okay, here I will explain to you Revelations 5:8, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
This text does not say that the prayers of the saints are offered to God as intercessions for those living on earth. No, the last part of what I have just said, “as intercessions for those living on earth” would have to be inserted in the text to mean what Roman Catholics believe. But the text of Revelation does not teach such a false doctrine. The prayers, in this text, are the ones of the dead saints, and are offered to God as praise offered to Him for what He is and does. The next verse says that explicitly. Therefore, there is nothing in this passage that allows us to believe that the dead may pray for us, as intercessors.
The bible nowhere mentions anyone asking someone in heaven for intercession; neither has it mentioned that Mary or the “saints” in heaven can hear us in any form or way. They are still finite beings. Mentions of praying or speaking with the dead in the bible always pertain to the context of witchcraft, sorcery and divination.
1 Tim. 2:1–4 upholds this belief that Christians should intercede for others. Yes, we do intercede for one another.
Jesus, when praying in the garden before being betrayed, prayed to His Father three times. Psalm 150 records a twelve-fold repetition in one psalm. The Rosary is not just the repetition of prayer, but it is a form of meditation. While praying the Hail Mary one is to be meditated on the mystery that the decade is in. The rosary is anything but the meaningless repetition that is referenced in Matt 6:7.
There are many things I like to disagree on about the Rosary and how the Catholics see Mary.
read back to the intercession of saints.
Why do you call her the “Queen of Heaven”? The “Queen of Heaven” appears in the book of Jeremiah pertaining to a false god. Jeremiah 7:18 “The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.” A longer explanation of the Queen of Heaven as a false god is in Jeremiah chapter 44. There we can see that God is indeed a jealous God.
Why do you call Mary the “Mother of Mercy”? Mercy in the bible is God not punishing us as much as our sins deserve. It is by God’s mercy that we are still alive for He said in His word that the wages of sin is death. How then can Mary extend her mercy to us?
Calling her “Virgin Mary” – Earthly Jesus has brothers and sisters. Mary and Joseph have children.
Calling her “Our life, our sweetness, our hope”. Jesus is our only hope (1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 2:13) because only by believing in Him can we be saved. Even Mary herself believes she needed a savior. How then can she be our hope? How then can she be our life? In John 1:1-14 and Colossians 3:4, Jesus is pertained to as our life, then is Mary and Jesus equal?
In the Rosary, for every 10 praises to Mary, there is only 1 to God. Remember in the book of Luke, Jesus could have praised and adored Mary after a woman did so Luke 11:27 One time when Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd proclaimed, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed” But instead, Jesus said in Luke 11:28 “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it”. It is Mary’s obedience to God’s word that is more important, than being the one that gave birth.
Calling her “most gracious advocate”, but the bible calls Jesus our advocate to the father. Does this mean that Mary is more gracious than Christ?
"Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ." – Does this mean that only when Mary "prayed for us" then we may be worth of Christ’s promises?
Calling Mary the “mother of God” – how can she be? She is the mother of the earthly Jesus. In Isaiah 43:10 it says “Before me there was no God formed……” how can she be the mother of God. God is everlasting, Mary is not.
Kace, I had a lot of the same issues with the Catholic Church that seem to come out of your writing. What are these?
I tried to figure out what modern church was that Church. I wanted to know so badly. After researching and reading about the first followers of Jesus and who their successors were, I saw that these people practiced their faith the same way that Catholics do! They even celebrated the Mass in the same way that Catholics do today!
I remember you mentioned somewhere here about Peter being the “first father” of the church. In Matthew 23:9, it is written “Call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” By the way, what’s with the forbidding of priests to marry? Isn’t Peter, the “first father” of the church, was a married man?
Popes on the other hand, are called “Holy Father”. The “Holy Father” is only mentioned once in John 17:11 which refer to God. Then, calling popes “Holy Father” means acknowledging them as God.
Bowing to Images is a catholic tradition. Isn’t it that even making images itself is against the word of God?
Exodus 20:4 “Thou shall not make any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven…”
Exodus 20:5 “Thou shall not bow down thyself to them…” Even Peter doesn’t want people to bow to him for he is also just a man.
What is the Catholic’s basis of “Sin of Presumption”? Is it not written in 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Are these Catholic practices the same way as Jesus’ followers? Where are they in the bible then?
BTW sorry for any misspellings! It is late and I have to get up early for school and work tomorrow, so I kind of rushed with this!! Again, thanks for your time and inquiry. I am also sorry for the misspellings. I am hungry and is in need of food now :) Take care and may God bless you as well :)
It has been half a year since I started to discover who God is. Although, I have been attending Victory Christian Fellowship for almost 8 years already, it is only now that I am finally sincerely walking with God, and there are things revealed to me that most non-Christians are confused of. Let me dissect some.
1. Did you change your Religion?
Common question. Being born again is most of the times alarming to people especially those who belong to a family of Catholics. But really, it’s not about the religion but the relationship. It is your Relationship with God that you are changing. Religion is accompanied with rituals, commands and repetitions, whereas relationship is something you form while knowing God and having a personal encounter with Him. It is not an order or a decree. It is just plain relationship; not always a Master-Servant, but also a Father-Son relationship. Perhaps, we do worship the same God don’t we?
2. If it is not a religion, why is there a Baptism?
Water Baptism is done in front of many people to show them that you are a sinner and that you long for repentance and thus, receive Christ as your Personal Lord and Saviour. It is an indication that the old is gone and the new has come which symbolizes the death, burial and ressurection of Christ. But it does not stop there for it is written, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I tell you?” Baptism isn’t the end. It should be accompanied with reading the Word, honouring God, obeying Him, and making Disciples. We cannot do that by our own effort that’s why the Lord sent His Spirit in us to guide us. That is why it is a change from the inside out. The difference between Christian and Catholic Baptism is that in Christianity, it is your personal choice to be baptized and not your parents’ or anyone else’s.
3. Why do you not believe in saints?
First of all, saints are those who believe that only Jesus Christ can save us. They are not just those who a man appoints or canonizes so to speak. Either way, Saints are just people; human like us with no power but only that, which comes from Christ. We do not hate the Catholic saints but we do not pray to them like some Catholics do, for it is written, “No one comes to the Father except through me" says Jesus. Some Catholics pray for intercessions through saints because they are "in heaven", Catholics believe that those who are in heaven have more direct access to God than us on earth, and so the prayer would be more effective. But doesn’t this way make Jesus’ power too little? In Hebrews 7:25 it is written, "Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them”. Would God listen to others than His Son? Jesus never taught us how to tell the ones in heaven to pray for us, only the one who’s living. In the bible, many times the disciples would ask one another for prayers, but none of them ask those glorified in heaven to pray for them.
In Acts 10:25, 26, JB, it is written, “As Peter reached the house Cornelius went out to meet him, knelt at his feet and prostrated himself. But Peter helped him up. `Stand up,’ he said `I am only a man after all!’”
Ex. 20:4, 5: “You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God.” (JB)
If we think about it, if we ask the saints in heaven to intercede, do they hear us? Isn’t it that only God is omnipresent and omniscient? Isn’t it that only the living can intercede if we ask since only them and God are capable to hear us?
Back in the days of Abraham, Moses and David, God directly spoke to them. But the world has changed and people became sinners which led to the separation between man and God. It is the separation caused by sin. But because of God’s Grace, He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross and save us. It is therefore, only through Him that we can reach God; only through Him that we can talk to God. And the Holy Spirit that He sent in us is our way to hear Him. For Christians, praying to saints is acknowledging them as gods which is a form of idolatry.
4. Why do you not pray the Rosary?
It is because we pray from the heart guided by the Holy Spirit. And remember in praying, we talk to God who has a personal relationship with us. Imagine talking to your friend or your father about the same thing and same words over and over again, would it feel like having a relationship at all? Doesn’t it feel like robots having to repeat yourself over? In praying the Rosary, which one do you actually think of? Do you actually think and feel like Praying or do you count how many Hail Mary and Holy Mary you’ve been mentioning? Have you actually talked to God about your concern, or have you only tried to figure out which mystery is next? Think about your friends, didn’t you built relationships by conversation and spending time together? It is the same with prayer. You talk to God; you and Him alone.
It is written, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:6-7)
5. How about “The Lord’s Prayer”?
In Matthew 6:9-14, Jesus introduced “The Lord’s Prayer”. However beforehand He instructed, “This is how you should pray”. He didn’t say, this is what you should pray. It means that “The Lord’s Prayer” is a pattern of prayer. We do not just simply recite memorized words, but we pray from the heart with the pattern instructed by Jesus.
The Pattern of “The Lord’s Prayer”:
“Our Father in heaven” – Who do we pray to.
“Hallowed be your name” – Praising and Worshipping God.
“your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – We ask God that may His will be done and not ours. Not our desires but His.
“give us today our daily bread.” – We ask God for our needs.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” – Repent for our sins. And forgive others as How God forgives us.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” – We ask for guidance against evil.
6. What is your stand on the statues of Jesus? Example: The Black Nazarene
Putting faith in statues for Christians is a form of Idolatry. It is telling God that His power is limited and only through touching the statue can He perform miracles. No. God is so much bigger than that, and thinking and believing that only by the statue can they be healed makes God too small than He really is. His power is immutable and immeasurable. He is everywhere and He can heal, provide, and forgive us anywhere and anytime.
7. What can you say about the ritual of Penitence during the Holy week?
It is an indication that you do not believe that only Jesus can save us from our sins. Isn’t God too gracious to forgive and love us despite our fallbacks? God doesn’t require us to suffer the same suffering Christ Jesus did. And we cannot even feel half of the suffering He did. We are not required to do such a suffering because God sent His only son to save us and only Him who is righteous can do that. We cannot save ourselves because we are sinners. Jesus who is sinless was sent to save us. These rituals of Penitence tell God that His Grace is too little that we have to suffer too much. No. It is not like that for his Grace is limitless.
8. What is a church?
A church is where the people of God gather to preach the word and hear the word, not necessarily a building. We do not worship the church but God who is the centre of it. Obeying and worshipping God must not only happen while in Church but everywhere in our everyday lives, every hour and every second. Nowadays, we see people too nice and too religious inside a church but transforms while he or she is out. Try to ride a public transport and observe what most of the people do while passing through a church. They, for a second forget about their life, do the sign of the cross and for another second, you can hear them curse again as they pass. In that way, we see God as an object of the Church and that He is only in that place. We see Him so little that we only obey Him while in church. No. As I said, He is everywhere and He sees us. He is our Master, our Father everywhere and all the time. We go to church to hear the word to help us know God more and be close to him. Most people think that to be close to God means being literally near Him. But it is not; by the word close, I mean developing a closer relationship with God.
9. Does the church only want our money?
Not in anyway. Giving our tights and offering is a personal will. God is not only concerned of our 10% tithes. He is concerned of our 100%. Our tithe is a manifestation of our faith. If the Church wants our money, there could have been an entrance fee. Giving and helping is purely voluntary. No one forces you to give. We are not required to pay before we be prayed for. In the same way, we do not announce who gives and sponsors for it is written, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”
10. What is Purgatory?
The Catholic’s basis of Purgatory is written in the book of Machabees. Here it is written that the jews prayed for their fallen that their sins might be forgiven and sent silvers for sacrifice. However the book of Machabees and other several more books were rejected from many early christians because of their historical errors and contradictions. These books are referred to as the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books.
These are only included in the Catholic Bible. Some of the teachings these book have are praying for the dead, petitioning “saints” in Heaven for their prayers, worshipping angels, and “alms giving” atoning for sins. These teachings were not found nowhere else in the scriptures. You can notice that the New Testament is supported by several quotes from the Old Testament, none from the Apocryphal or Deuterocanonical books were ever quoted.
The Catholic Apocrypha today is three books shorter than the original. Meaning, if the Catholic rejected three of these books because of thelogical error, then the rest may be unreliable.
There is only heaven and hell. And only through our Faith in Christ that we may go to heaven. Again, it is our personal choice. No one else can pray for our assurance in heaven. But people can pray for others that they may also hear the word and believe, in order to have salvation. Again, it is their choice. Our choice.
11. If I become born again, do I lose my happy youthful life?
Not at all. I was once an alcoholic. Some have their lives in terror before they come to Christ. Are these things the thing you call happy youthful life? I bet not. Our God is a joyful God. He wants us to enjoy our lives in this world. In fact He wants us to live our lives to the full. In Christianity there is nothing you are not allowed to do. But because we know what God wants us to not do, there is a conviction for us not to do otherwise. We can but we won’t, or atleast try not to. But then again, it is not by our own effort but with God, through the Holy Spirit in us.
Ahh, this will be much more abridged. I was trying to clarify that, as a catholic, we do not pray TO saints. We pray to God for their intercession (that is that the saints will pray with/for us). Saints are people who we believe are in heaven already. When one is in heaven we believe their prayers are very powerful. Therefore praying for a saint’s intercession is much like asking a close friend to pray for you. We do not worship saints in any way. (I just wanted to make this clear, I’m not trying to criticize you). Also, I hope your relationship with Christ flourishes, for He is definitely the best friend anyone could even dream of.
Hi. Thanks for sending the message again. :) First, thank you for the clarification. As you notice, I added some to my blog so that no one else gets confused.
Actually, not all of catholics “do not” pray to saints, some “do”. But you as you call it as intercession because they are in Heaven “closer” to God, I’d like to ask you if you actually believe that if you ask the saints in heaven, do they hear you? Being glorified in heaven doesn’t make them gods. and only God is omnipresent and omniscient.
Therefore asking saints in heaven are not the same when we ask our friends who we can directly talk to, to intercede and to Jesus to mediate. We do not ask God to ask our friends to pray for us. We ask our friends directly. and we pray to God through Jesus.
“We pray to God for their (saints) intercession” ——So this means, it’s like Going to God first then to the saints…. if you can ask God already, why ask God for other’s intercession? If so, the flow would be like this: You-Jesus-God-Saints, which is ironic.
Again, I appreciate your reply and I respect your opinion. :) Thanks and I hope yours flourishes too. You are definitely right indeed in your last sentence. :)