Saturday, April 28, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #177* Rachel's Story part 2

Part II.  "Go to your room!" my husband stated in his cold, commanding voice.  "You don't have to talk to me like a little child."  I responded with indignation.  He then grabbed my arm to show his power over me, and I said, "Let go of me."  With that all-too-familiar air of final authority, he relayed this information: "I will let go when you stop resisting me."   As I was trying to pry his strong fingers off my wrist and forearm, he tightened his grip.  "Let go of me now!"  I insisted.  Annoyed by the inconvenience of my resistance, he picked me up and put me over his right shoulder, and began walking towards the stairs which led up to my bedroom.  Fearing that I might fall, I begged him, "Put me down - put me down!"  Seeking an opportunity for getting out of this awkward position, I grabbed hold of the doorframe we were passing through.  At this moment, I was at an advantage (for a shouldered, 4-months-pregnant woman.)  He could not proceed up the stairs with my grip on the doorframe.  For a fleeting instant, I felt like freedom from his grip was only a couple seconds away.  But in that couple of seconds, everything changed.  

My firstborn child, now 12 months old, walked into view of our struggle holding her ears and screaming "No!  Nooo!" at the top of her lungs.  Her little face was blood red, her eyes full of terror and lack of understanding.  In that couple of seconds, I lost sight of breaking free from my husband's hold, and I thought only of my child's point of view - of her nightmarish reality.  This was the innocent child I had conceived in rape, and whom I have loved since the moment I learned of her presence in my womb! Remembering also my unborn baby, I reluctantly released my grip on the doorframe as my husband carried me up the stairs and to my room.  He plopped me on my bed and commanded, "Now you stay there until you're ready to be submissive!"  I went limp with the thought that I could never resist him again for the sake of the children.  I lay there, sobbing.  I should've gotten out of this marriage before another child was conceived.  Now I'm really stuck!  But where can I go with a toddler and while pregnant?  I'm an exile from my family and hometown.  It's just as well that I'm far away from everyone who knows me.  Anyways, this must be what it means to lay down one's life - that's why I feel like I'm dying.  Thoughts like these hung over me like a dark cloud.

John 15:13 - "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

That day, when I let go of the doorframe and gave in to my husband's abuse, something inside of me changed.  Or died.  I had to be Mommy.  I couldn't be a warrior, battling with my unreasonable husband.  I couldn't put up a fight again; these types of incidents were traumatizing my little girl, and none of these fights could be good for my unborn child.  So I gave up resisting his assaults, I gave up demanding to be treated with dignity; I gave up my very self in exchange for what I thought was the best for my children.  I made up my mind that if holiness was the difficult and narrow path, I was already on it and had better start marching.  My drumbeat was that "greater love" referred to in John 15:13.  I rationalized every sacrifice of self and every act of "submission" to my spouse by believing that I was practicing the love of dying to self.  With every day that passed, and every step I took on this path to "holiness", I grew farther and farther away from a healthy understanding of what marriage was meant to be.  

Isaiah 55:8 -"For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord." 

Looking back now, I see how our ways are not God's ways; and how sometimes we cling to our ways so tightly that we cannot see the answer - for years, or for the better part of a lifetime.  All things work out for the good for those who love God, and I was loving Him as best as I knew how.  My answer would come, in time.  In a long, long time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #176* Rachel's Story Part 1

Part I.  "It makes me sick to see you pregnant, your belly sticking out like that, with another man's baby."  These words shot out of my husband's mouth like hollow point bullets, mortally wounding the hope in my young, naive heart. The low-pitched disgust in his voice struck fear into my soul.  This was the same man who promised to care for me and the child I had conceived after being raped by a stranger at the age of 21.  Now, my protector couldn't stand the sight of me, let alone stand up for me against a world that held me in contempt for my pro-life decision.  What was I going to do?  I had only been married four months, and already, we had grown apart.  Was this for better or worse?  Maybe the people who advised me not to marry this man had been right.  Would I ever be able to earn his acceptance and approval?  What would happen when the baby came?  Questions about the future ricocheted in my mind.
My love for my unborn child was not compromised by the circumstances of her conception.  Sitting on the edge of a table in the cold emergency room ten days after the rape, where I was being seen for abdominal pain, I quietly told medical staff about the incident.  A pregnancy test came back positive; the printed paper results rustling in the hands of a doctor, who with two nurses assured me they could give me a pill that would "take care of the problem."  Shaking my head no, I replied, "I don't want a pill that will kill the baby."  An acquaintance who had driven me to the ER said with an air of finality, "Don't worry about it; I have money.  I'll pay for you to get an abortion." My answer was loud and clear: "I will not kill my baby."

Psalm 139:13 - For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast protected me from my mother's womb.

Seven years earlier, at the age of 14, I had viewed the famous pro-life "Silent Scream" video at a presentation by the Knights of Columbus in my hometown parish.  The image of an unborn baby struggling for its life never left my mind or heart. Even before that, in elementary school, the good Sisters of St. Joseph had us recite the end the Pledge of Allegiance with these added words, "with liberty and justice for all, born and unborn."  This early, solid foundation of respect for the dignity of human life payed out huge dividends once the tragedy of my rape came to fruition.  Thanks be to God for my Catholic faith, which has a virgin Mother saying, "Be it done to me according to thy word."  Although I am nowhere near the sanctity of Our Most Holy Mother Mary, I completely trust her.  I adore her, I adulate her, and I reach towards her open arms in all my troubles.  I always have.  For these reasons, today I am able to say to my firstborn child, "I have always loved you! From the first moment I learned that you were in my womb, I have loved you!"  

Hi, I'm Rachel, and I'm writing to share with you my story of survival, imprisonment, escape, and new life.  The purpose of my telling is to show forth the Glory of God in all things; sufferings, joys, trials, and blessings alike.  I hope through this blog you will find within your own life the Hand of God always upon you as He has been in mine, and give praise to Him Who brings good out of evil, turns night into day, raises the dead to new life, and Loves us all Truly.  God Bless you!

A comment regarding last night's debate that was sent to the moderator's website

I have no idea where we are supposed to submit our comments. You gave your website so I am assuming this is where I can state my view. John Benko clearly won the debate hands down. Yes I am Catholic so there is naturally a bias, however I was an evangelical bible believing Christian for 27 years and what finally led me back to the Catholic Church was a huge amount of things I must say. It wasn't any one thing. The case with Mary for instance, Protestants say they go by scripture alone and after years of watching and hearing them I was surprised at how little they actually do go by holy scripture. Back to Mary, not once in all those 27 years did I ever hear a Protestant refer to Mary as blessed yet  in holy scripture Mary herself says that  all generations shall call me blessed. Interesting note from the New World Dictionary which is used in many colleges, its meaning for the word shall is should, indebted, obligated. So according to the dictionary 's interpretation of shall, all generations should and are obligated to call Marry blessed. My question is why don't the Protestants call Mary blessed is she has so commanded all Christians throughout the generations.  Also, your first caller questioned George on his statement that he made at the beginning of the show that he uses his own interpretation of the Bible which he did in fact say yet he danced around it which was disingenuise to say the least. What the caller wanted to know and which always alluded me when I was in Protestant Christianity and that is by whos authority  do we go by when it comes to the proper interpretation of scripture when there aare so many different denominations? Whos interpretation is correct? She asked if George's interpretation is infallible and I thought it was the most important question of the evening. I stand with the church who compiled the books of the Bible in the first place and that was the Catholic Church in th e 3rd Century. Thank you very much, I enjoy the debates
ps John Benko is sharper than a two edged sword I have learned alot from listening and I'm glad your back as moderator-you'll keep up the good work-this is so needed.

Home page
DTB facebook Page
You Tube
Blog Talk Radio Show

*Best of DTB #175* The Catholic Defender: Asleep In Christ

I want to congratulate my Cohost, John Benko for a fine debate on Mary. He did a real good job exposing the anti-Catholic argument that Catholics "worship Mary".

I thought John really presented the Catholic position on Mary, the Saints, and prayer. In an Earlier debate, George (the opponent) made the argument that no one is in heaven, that the saved are in the ground body and soul in a "sleeping" state.

He believes that both the body and the soul are in the grave waiting for the resurrection of the Lord.

They are taking this from 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ, shall rise first."

This is not how the early Church interpreted this text, the body is indeed in the grave, but the soul lives on. The Catholic Church has for 2,000 years have taught that the soul will go to one of three places immediately after death.

The saved will go to Heaven or Purgatory, the damned will go to hell. Purgatory is not an eternal state so the soul will go to Heaven eventually due to the grace and mercy of God. When the trumpet of God sounds on that great and glorious day, the dead in Christ will rise, just like Matthew 27:51-54:

"And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

The General Judgment will be far more a complete and dramatic scale, a grander scale more than this, the soul will be reunited with the body and then judgment. The saved will enter into Heaven and the damned will go to hell.

The soul does not die, I remember the medical establishment taught us that no one knows when the soul of a person passes on so we should always be mindful of those who are dying in the hospital.

I think this is true so we need to give them as much comfort as we can by being encouraging. When I worked in the Emergency Room, I was very mindful of this. I remember one Lady who had been pronounced dead by the doctor, when I was getting her prepared to put her in a shroud, she woke up and I began to respond but she was ready to go.

She did not want me to help her, she immediately went back into her prose, she looked very much in peace. The doctor let her go.

One of the important Priests who played a major role in my formation, Father Micek, he told me the story when he was a young priest in Arkansas, a Mission Territory. He was teaching an elderly lady the Catholic Faith when one evening, Father was called about the lady going into a coma. The Lady's Daughter called Father because her Mother was in a coma for 5 days. At this time, there was not the great medical ability to give IV, so the Lady was greatly dehydrated, this was a serious health issue, close to death. Father baptizes the woman and then begins to administer the Annointing of the Sick. She was totally unconscious, yet at the point when Father finished the Annointing, the woman sat right up and cried, "Thank God, thank you Father"! Father was a young man and just beginning his ministry. He almost fell over in totally surprize! Father's story has always stuck with me as I can imagine this scene!

It was 29 December 2004, I received a Red Cross message informing me that my Mother was dying. The Doctor and Hospice all were confirming Mom's status with the Red Cross. I was informed that my Mother was coming in and out of consciousness and she had been calling for me. I was serving in New Orleans working at the Military Enlistment Processing Center (MEPS) as the Medical Element NCOIC.

I arrived home from work and that is when I was notified by my wife of the situation. My family in Missouri alerted us before the Red Cross message arrived to my unit. My Command was afraid to let me respond to my Mother's wish because the next day was for the Recruiters, the opportunity to floor Applicants all day. I was able to work out support from my Element, but my Command would not budge. I was able to fly to Missouri the following evening after the mission was completed. My Mother's persistence kept her alive as long as she hoped I was on my way home.

I finally arrived at home in Southwestern Missouri at 23:00 the following night. I flew wearing my Class A uniform. Mom had never seen me in uniform through out my military career. I always went home in civilian clothes, but on this trip, in honor of my Mother, I was determined to wear my uniform. A friend picked me up at the airport and they briefed me what was happening. Mom had been in a coma for nearly 5 days, she has not had anything to eat or drink so she was dehydrated.

They had to put a diaper on her because she was not conscious. When I arrived there I could see her skin tone was pale, her eyes were sunken in, her joints were swollen from lack of circulation, her vital signs were practically non-existent and her breathing was raspy. I sat down at the foot of the bed and simply observed what was happening. One of my Aunt's was there with my Sister-In-Law and Brother who were trying to make Mom as comfortable as they could.

After a few moments, everyone left the room leaving my Brother and me alone with Mother. Mom didn't know who I was, she was in a coma state. As we both sat there with Mom, my Brother began to sing a Johnny Cash song to break the ice. I kind of just listened and watched. There was no response from Mom not even a twitch. When he paused, I began singing a song that came to mind, "Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing...."

At this point, Mom began to respond to what I was singing. I began singing every verse I could think of. Mom began to sing with a voice that seemed to come deep from within her chest and she became stronger the more I sang. I was singing every song I could think of as Mom seemed to be coming out of this death trap.

We ended up singing praises to God for 30-40 minutes after which, Mom was alert, could see me and I was able to explain my medals on my uniform to her. This was the most amazing thing, everyone there was scratching their heads as I was very excited. The following morning, Father Bill arrived (childhood Priest) to give Mom the Anointing of the Sick.

As soon as Father left, Mom was able to get up and use the rest room, she sat down at the table and was eating chicken, chili dogs, and pizza. Again, everyone was scratching their heads trying not to get too excited about this.

I was only quoting James 5:13-15, "Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven".

Consider Elisha, "Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."

Also Samuel, "Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.” So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage."

From a Christian perspective, the soul lives and is aware of the things through the power of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

It is clear from this text that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. St. Paul sees this as a major reason we should fight the battle of life because we are being watched by heaven.

At the death of Jesus, he went to preach to the spirits in "prison" indicating that those in this state were with Jesus. Jesus opened the doors for all those in his hearing, those saved from the foundation of the world. They were not spiritually dead, but they clearly were waiting. The Catholic Church does not believe that the soul sleeps in the tomb until the Resurrection. The Saints are seen praising God around the throne. Revelation 4 is basically the heavenly worship that is taking place in the Mass, we are participating in that heavenly worship.

Home page
DTB facebook Page
You Tube
Blog Talk Radio Show

Saturday, April 21, 2012

*Best of DTB #174* Alleged idolatry show notes

Alleged Idolatry

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

These show notes correspond to this blog talk radio show
Opening audio clip.

The show notes to this debate are at Email as at with comments or questions.
In the previous 6 debates with George Lujack, we have held our show notes close to the vest until broadcast time.

However, for this debate, we are putting all our cards on the table well in advance.. All materials were published days before this debate and even made available to our opponent himself. In short, we are telling George exactly where we are going to run and daring him try to counter it.

Since day 1, he has unabashedly claimed that the Catholic Church worships and idolizes Mary as a goddess. Those are not my words, they are his. The assertion is absurd and, in making it, he reduces his own credibility to zero and appears much more a desperate, irrational polemicist than a serious debater. In short, George is breaking the commandment of God by bearing false witness against his Catholic neighbors. It really is just that simple.

I will come right out and say openly that it is my view that George doesn't believe this foolish nonsense any more than I do and that he probably understands that no Catholic will ever really take him seriously as long as he spouts such mush.

On the chance that George really does believe that Catholics worship Mary and the Saints, the Pope, Statues and Leprechauns as assorted Idols and gods and goddesses, he will be afforded every generous opportunity to prove it. He will also be pressed hard to put up or shut up on this ridiculous charge.

So, here and now, I will not set any burden of proof to be met, I will only explain in detail the bar George has set for himself, with his own words, and then I will sip coffee while his own nutty polemic comes crashing down on his own head.

Remember, I will do nothing here but use George's own ridiculous assertions against him. That he is hoisted by his own petard, don't blame me.

First, we will start with a vocabulary lesson, starting with the word worship.


[wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, wor·shiped, wor·ship·ing or ( especially British ) wor·shipped, wor·ship·ping.
reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
the object of adoring reverence or regard.
( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her ).

When I speak of Worship, I am holding to the first and second definitions because they are literal and I am not British. Catholics hold this worship as due God alone. George, therefore, must prove that Catholics view Mary as Divine, since He has already claimed that.

The British use, often extracted from the Catholic encyclopedia, is of no value here because I speak American English and so does George, referring to a Judge as your honor, not your worship as our British counterparts do. Attempting to juxtapose British English on me would be dishonest to the extreme. I hope he doesn't even try it.

Secondly, Idol.


[ahyd-l] Show IPA
an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.
Bible .
an image of a deity other than God.
the deity itself.
any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion: Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.
a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.
a figment of the mind; fantasy.

Once again, George has already shown his hand. Therefore, he must prove that Catholics view Mary as a material Diety, worthy of worship. Not a pure human. He must prove that we hold her to be a goddess.

Thirdly, goddess.


[god-is] Show IPA
a female god or deity.
a woman of extraordinary beauty and charm.
a greatly admired or adored woman.

Since definitions 2 and 3 are of slang and hyperbolic use, George must prove definition #1. A LITERAL female god.

If George can prove that we hold Mary to be a Divine being, possessing the attributes of Divinity, he wins. To do this, he must show that Catholics hold her to be eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. That means she is uncreated and has no limits to her knowledge, presence and power.

Also, since the Bible itself shows that worship requires a sacrifice, please show where Catholics offer Sacrifices to Mary. One of the proof-texts he will obviously use is Jeremiah 44, referring to the cult of Ishtar, the so-called Queen of Heaven. This is wonderful. I look forward, with great eagerness, for George to demonstrate how Catholics gather wood for fires, offering cake and drink libation sacrifices to Mary. As if!

Produce one Encyclical, Council document or verse from the catechism that shows that, as a Catholic, I am to Adore and Worship Mary as a Divine being, that I am to offer sacrifices to her and raise her to equality with God.

Do all this, or concede the argument up front.

Since George has already stated that Catholics have adored, idolitrized and worshiped Mary as a goddess, he cannot even assert unintentional worship, as if that were possible.

We opened this show with audio of clips of George's own words and the show notes begin with a screenshot of George claiming in facebook that he can prove Catholics make Mary a goddess.. By his own words he is condemned. He has painted himself into this corner and was very foolish to do so.

Accusing Catholics of worshiping Mary and the Saints is among the ugliest slander and vitriolic, gutter polemics. It is usually offered in 2 equally absurd variations-

  1. That Catholics somehow unintentionally or unknowingly worship Mary, the saints etc.
  2. That Catholics openly consent to the worship of Mary, the saints etc., then lie about doing so.
Both are equally absurd. The first is impossible and illogical, as worship requires assent to Divinity. It is beyond the worst perversion of the definition of worship to suggest that it is something that can occur without the full consent of the mind, heart, body and soul. In short, version number one is flat-out impossible. The second version is even worse because it accuses Catholics, falsely, of two mortal sins- Idolatry and false witness.

At least the first can be excused as ignorance.

George openly accuses Catholics of elevating Mary and the saints to the level of gods. In doing so, he mortally wounds any possible chance of meeting his own burden of proof.

By the standard George has set, he must prove that Catholics;
  1. Fully consent, mind, body, heart and soul, to the elevation of Mary and other saints to the level of diety.
  2. Fully consent to the deception of said worship
Not only are both of these assertion ludicrous, they are even less ludicrous than the claim that he can prove them true. In other words, George is claiming he can prove what Catholics think and that they all lie about thinking it!

George would have to be mentally unstable to truly believe he can demonstrate this, so I have to assume he is just blinded by irrational, anti-catholic hate. No other explanation makes sense.

In view of this, George cannot offer anything in his opening statement- or any of his arguments- that will be even remotely credible....

....with the possible exception of an apology for breaking one of the ten commandments and smearing his neighbors.

Briefly, I'll address the points George will surely make in the desperate attempt to buttress this disgusting slander. He will start by accusing us of violating the second commandment (which is actually part of the first) in making unto ourselves graven images of worship. As if! Remember that the Israelites consented to the worship of the golden calf and other false gods.

God's word from Exodus 32;

8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'"
I have a small statuette I won, of the Holy family. I can assure you that it is made of plaster and should I be unfortunate enough to drop it, it will probably break. I have never once prostrated myself before it, nor have I offered sacrifices to it. It is no more a god to me than the statues of angels Moses made, at God's command, in the Temple and on the Ark of the Covenant. It does not possess any of the attributes of humanity much less divinity.

Next, he will assert that prayer is worship. Hogwash. To pray means to ask, nothing more. nowhere in the Bible is prayer called worship. This is indefensible nonsense.

Quoting his own King James Bible, 1st Kings, chapter 2;

16 And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.
17 And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.
18 And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.
19 Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and
she sat on his right hand.
20 Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.
In this instance, prayer is not called worship. Nor is prayer called worship in any of the 188 instances of the word worship in the King James Bible.

Not only do Adonijah and Bathsheba both use the word pray as what it means- to petition- but the King- Solomon- actually gives a bow of respect to his mother, the Queen Mother and places her on a throne to his right.

Luke chapter 1 tells us that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Davidic Kingdom. This makes Mary the Queen Mother, not as a goddess, but as her rightful position in the King's court. To deny this is to deny scripture.

Following this, George will doubtless assert that the Angels and Saints cannot hear our prayers. This, once again, is a direct contradiction to Scripture. In the book of Revelation we see both Angels and Saints receiving our prayers and passing them on to God.... Angels in chapter 8, Saints in chapter 5.

I am positive George will quote Colossians 2 regarding the worship of angels, trying to make a hallow juxtaposition against Catholics. He will offer nothing but implication linking this to Catholics.

Yet, if you are still convinced that those in heaven cannot hear petitions, consider this exchange straight from the 16th chapter of Luke's gospel;

23And in hades lifting up his eyes, being in torments, he sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he crying out said, Father Abraham, have compassion on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Child, recollect that *thou* hast fully received thy good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted here, and *thou* art in suffering.

The accusation that Catholics worship Mary, or anyone else but God Almighty is not merely false but the worst kind of polemic garbage and bile. To even attempt to make it plausible requires George and those of like mind to invent a definition of worship wholly alien to the Bible.

  1. Prove to me that you worship Christ. List for me all the things one must believe about the person of Jesus to properly be called a worshiper of Him. Then, using the same standard, prove that I am a worshiper of Mary.
  2. Each time I, as a Catholic, pray the "Hail Mary", I echo the words of Scripture "Blessed are you among women". Here, I expressly assent to her humanity and that she is blessed no further than that. Further, I ask her to pray for me. If I saw Mary as a goddess, please explain why I would call her human and ask her to pray for me.
  3. George, you claim that prayer equals worship, yet not one of the 188 appearances of the word worship in the King James Bible say such a thing. In fact, the word pray appears twice in 1st Kings Chapter 2 in a way expressly showing non-worshipful petition. How is it that you can insist on a definition of worship that has no Biblical support whatsoever?
  4. Revelation 11:19 to 12:17 shows a woman who is called the Ark of the Covenant, who is in heaven, who has a physical body, who has a crown on her head, showing queen-ship, who gave birth to the child called up to God's throne who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, who is the mother of all Christians. This is not what I say, this is what the Bible says. Who else could this woman possibly be other than Mary?
  5. The Queen Mother (1 Kings 15:13, 2 Chronicles 15:16, Jeremiah 13:18, 22:10, 29:2 ) was the mother of the King in the davidic kingdom. Luke 1:32 tells us that Jesus fulfills the throne of the Kingdom of David. Under this Kingdom, Mary IS the Queen Mother. How can you seriously deny this?

Here are some points that I think are likely to be raised during the course of this debate. The argument will be in BLUE with my Response in GOLD.

Argument: If Catholics do not worship Mary, why do they call her Theotokos- the Mother of God? Is this not putting her above God?

Answer: Not at all. To call Mary the Mother of God is only to confirm what Scripture says about her. Elizabeth, in Luke 1 says what is it to me that the Mother of My Lord should come to me. 'My Lord' is translated from the Greek Kyrios which is equivalent to the Hebrew Adonai, a name used for God. To call Mary the Mother of God, is simply confirming the Biblical reality that is the Incarnation.
It is a simple logical syllogism. Jesus is God, Mary is His Mother, therefore, Mary is the Mother of God.

Argument: Catholics call Mary a co-redemtrix and co-mediatrix. The Bible clearly says that there is only one mediator between God and man. Are you not elevating Mary to the level of God?

Answer: You are comparing apples to oranges. A Redeemer and a co-redemptrix are two totally different things. Likewise, a co-mediatrix and a mediator between God and Man are not even close to the same thing.

The key word is 'co' which means 'with', not 'equal'. In calling Mary a co-redemtrix and co-mediatrix, the Catholic church is simply affirming a fundamental reality- that Mary co-operated with the plan of redemption by bring Jesus to us.

Argument: Catholics claim that Mary has appeared all over the world. At Fatima, Catholics claim that Mary said: The soul which recommends itself to Me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish. Isn't this elevating Mary to a level of Savior?
Answer: First of all, no Catholic is bound to believing in private revelations. However, Jesus did say that there would be signs by which many would believe and the documented miraculous events at places like Lourdes and Fatima are undeniable. At the heart of Mary's statement- properly context-ed, is one of the most fundamental divisions between Catholics and Protestants, the notion of intercessory prayer. Yet, Mary never claims to be a Savior, she claims to be an Advocate. In the Rosary are the Apostles Creed and the Our Father as well as the Hail Mary. Mary's entire message at Fatima is one of prayer, fasting and penance and returning to her Son. Mary is offering her assistance in leading souls to her son. Her messages at these events always point to Jesus. True, one may reject these events as inauthentic if they so chose but to call them worship is quite a stretch. 

Argument: Doesn't the Bible warn against believing signs and wonders?

Revelation 13:  11: Then I saw another beast which rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.

12: It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its
 inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 
13: It works great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of men;

14: and by the signs which it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth, bidding them make an image for the beast which was wounded by the sword and yet lived;

Answer: Signs and wonders are not at all what is being condemned here, unbelief and apostasy are what is being condemned.

Let's take the quotes one by one. The quote in Matthew 16 did not mean Jesus didn't perform any signs  in the Gospels, we know better than that. In fact, just 5 verses later, Jesus reminds the disciples of the miracle of the fish and loaves. Jesus did not condemn the signs themselves, he condemned the evil and adulterous pharisees who sought to put him to the test because of their lack of belief.

In 2 Corinthians, we are warned that Satan disguises himself as a being of light. There would be no need for him to do this if it were not for the fact that actual beings of light have appeared to people. 

It is the same with the proof text from Revelation 13 . When the anti-christ brings fire down from heaven, he is merely doing a cheap imitation of what Elijah did in 2 Kings.

It is nonsense to suggest that the Bible tells us to unilaterally reject all miracles. Both the Prophet Joel and Peter told us that in the last days young men would see visions and old men would dream dreams. The key is knowing how to discern.

1 John 4 
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God : every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God ; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God ; this is the spirit of the antichrist
It may well be noted that every approved apparition of Mary passes this Biblical test.

Often used as a gotcha claim that Catholics worship Mary, anti-catholics sometimes quote the catholic Encyclopedia using the British use of the word worship. Even when they do so, the full context proves them wrong. Also, isn't it ironic that proponents of the King James Bible would try and impose the Saxon dialect on us?

The word worship (Saxon weorthscipe, "honour"; from worth, meaning "value", "dignity", "price", and the termination, ship; Latin cultus) in its most general sense is homage paid to a person or a thing. In this sense we may speak of hero-worship, worship of the emperor, of demons, of the angels, even of relics, and especially of the Cross. This article will deal with Christian worship according to the following definition: homage paid to God, to Jesus Christ, to His saints, to the beings or even to the objects which have a special relation to God.
There are several degrees of this worship:
  • if it is addressed directly to God, it is superior, absolute, supreme worship, or worship of adoration, or, according to the consecrated theological term, a worship of latria. This sovereign worship is due to God alone; addressed to a creature it would become idolatry.
  • When worship is addressed only indirectly to God, that is, when its object is the veneration of martyrs, of angels, or of saints, it is a subordinate worship dependent on the first, and relative, in so far as it honours the creatures of God for their peculiar relations with Him; it is designated by theologians as the worship of dulia, a term denoting servitude, and implying, when used to signify our worship of distinguished servants of God, that their service to Him is their title to our veneration (cf. Chollet, loc. cit., col. 2407, and Bouquillon, Tractatus de virtute religionis, I, Bruges, 1880, 22 sq.).
  • As the Blessed Virgin has a separate and absolutely supereminent rank among the saints, the worship paid to her is called hyperdulia (for the meaning and history of these terms see Suicer, Thesaurus ecclesiasticus, 1728).

The show notes to this debate are at Email as at with comments or questions.
At the end of this debate, there is no change from the beginning. The basic assertion, that Catholics worship or idolatrize Mary, Angels, saints is unsupported and unsupportable. Nothing more need be said on the matter. If George had merely stated that prayer and devotion to Mary and the Saints constituted material worship, or confined his line of attack to the appropriateness of icons or prayers, or even Mary's rightful place in the plan of salvation, we would have much to discuss. He would have still lost, but t would have been a contest.

However, when George actually accuses me of fashioning Mary into a goddess, I can truly do nothing but roll my eyes and go on to the next topic. This is one debate our opponent simply made too easy for us, by grossly overreaching on his assertion.

This accusation is not merely false but is nothing more than bitter, hyper-polemic drivel. The Mary goddess canard is the invention of rabid anti-Catholics with over-active imaginations and too much time on their hands. There has never been any evidence produced whatsoever to support such idiot, paranoid nonsense.

George is too obsessed with paganism, druidism and babylonianism, none of which have anything to do with Catholicism whatsoever. George's entire case is a supposition, inside a juxtaposition, wrapped around a paranoid, conspiratorial fabrication.

As a Catholic, I could not give two flips if the Babylonians had a goddess, two goddesses or two legions of goddesses and 47 hobgoblins with snakes in their hair. That has squat to do with me and his lame assertions to the contrary are so much hyperventilated smoke. In short, if George truly believes that I worship Mary as a goddess then what can I say but that I feel sorry for him?

This is exactly the kind of irrational lack of charity that causes divisions rather than heal them because George wants to believe the lie...he needs to believe the lie. It is not enough that he believe that Catholics are wrong, he needs to believe they are evil and that is really a shame.

It is that irrational hatred that made this debate so easy because it caused George to lose his center and strike out irrationally.

The accusation that Catholics worship Mary is false, irrational polemics based in nothing but hate. It is an anti-catholic invention totally lacking in any substance or logic and George should be ashamed of himself for suggesting something so asinine. As far as debate goes, I hope George has learned a valuable lesson. He spent all his credibility capital right here by claiming he could prove about me what no man could possibly prove about another... what I believe.

I hope he will be more rational going forward, he really went off the reservation this time.

Opening Statement: ‘Alleged’ Idolatry of the Catholic Church 04/26/2012 by George Lujack Alleged idolatry of the Catholic Church? Alleged? Really? Saying that there is alleged adultery in the Catholic Church is like saying there is alleged prostitution going on in a brothel. Idolatry is what the Catholic Church is all about. Idolatry is what keeps Catholics faithful to their church, when all logic and reason should alert them to flee from this unbiblical and corrupt organization. Idolatry of the Catholic Church would include the idolatrous history of the Catholic Church (that would include actual history and false revisionist history), idolatry of the grand Cathedrals they build, and of course idolatry of their art and graven images that the Catholic Church makes, honors, reveres, adores and worships. Whether they realize it or not, practicing Catholics are idolaters in one form or another. Catholics are idolaters if they own and revere statues of Christ, Mary, saints or any other figure that they pray through or to. Catholics worship false gods if they pray to or attribute powers to saints - powers that are only manifested by God. Therefore, when Catholics pray before a statue of Christ, Mary, or pray the rosary, or bow before images of other dead Christian saints, and expect Mary or these other dead saints to answer their prayers, or intercede on their behalf before God, these Catholics are breaking the 1st and 2nd Commandments simultaneously. They are attributing powers reserved for God, prayer and answers to prayer, to dead saints. Therefore, Catholics are breaking God’s Command to not have other gods, as ONLY He is God. Catholics also disobey God by having graven images of God, Mary and of other saints that they worship as demigods. Catholics that use graven images as a vehicle or medium to ‘better’ communicate with God, should heed the warning given by God for not listening to Him or His commandments, in this case the commandment forbidding the use of graven images… PROVERBS 28:9: He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. Catholics like to re-define what worship is, in order to justify having their graven image statues, bowing before them and serving them. In Acts chapter 10, we see the righteous Roman centurion Cornelius merely bowing before Peter, and Scripture defines this “falling down to his feet” bowing before Peter as an act of worship. ACTS 10:25-26: As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” How is it then that Catholics can say with a straight face that when they have and maintain graven images, bow before these graven images and pray to and/or through theses graven images, that they are not engaged in worshiping graven images and false demigods? Scripture defined Cornelius for falling at his feet before Peter as – an act of worship. Peter admonished Cornelius and told him not to do such a thing, for he only was a man. Can you imagine what Peter would say if he saw Catholics throughout the centuries making, bowing and praying before statues made of Him? What would Peter say if he could speak today to Catholics who make statues of him and pray to him through those statues? I assure you, If Peter saw such things he would say to Catholics today as he once said to Cornelius, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” Peter would also tell Catholics to not pray to him, for he is a man and as such, cannot hear nor answer prayer. Only God should be prayed to and only God can hear and answer prayer. The Catholic 10-Commandments are not the same 10-Commandments of Judaism and Christianity. They have altered the word of God, the 10-Commandments written with the finger of God, and have deleted the 2nd Commandment forbidding graven images. The 2nd command was obvious deleted from the 10-Commandments by Catholicism, so that they could break the 2nd commandment. In order to keep the Commandments numbered at ten, they split the 10th Commandment against coveting, into the 9th and 10th commandments, which they list as coveting a neighbor’s wife as the 9th Commandment and coveting a neighbor’s property as the 10th Commandment. EXODUS 20:4-5: You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. EXODUS 20:23: You shall not make anything to be with Me—gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves. Since it is IMPOSSIBLE for man to make an actual god, the commandment against making gods refers to making a representative or graven image of God - used to worship God, or the making of false gods, gods that are created by man. Making a representative of God was the justification the Hebrews used after their Exodus from Egypt. Many of the Hebrews that made the golden calf, knew it was wrong to do so, and they had not yet been given the 10-Commandments. The Hebrews wanted a god to go before them, just as Catholics want their graven idols today to go before them, to be with them and comfort them. Exodus 20:4 proclaims that it is not merely a sin to bow down to an idol, it is a sin to make one, or own one, or worship in a church before one. God is a jealous God, and He will not share His glory or allow images and worship to be conducted through the work of craftsmen. Cursed is the man who makes a graven or molten image and sets it up, such as they do throughout the Catholic Churches (Deuteronomy 27:15). Catholics who make, own, pray before, serve, honor and worship graven images are often in denial that they are doing anything wrong. Unfortunately, they often cede their logical mind and obedience to God and lay it at the alter of their Catholic Church, falsely believing that the Catholic Church is the authority on such matters, and not the everlasting word of God. Closing Statement It is in truth and spirit that we should worship and honor God. God is the author of truth and Scripture is His manual. Man does not get to choose and worship God in a manner of his choosing. God is sovereign and it is He who commands us how we should worship Him. Prayer is defined as: A solemn request, request for help, reverent petition, expression of thanks made to God, a god, or another object of worship When Catholics pray to Mary, or the saints, they give them an attribute that belongs to God and they make Mary into a goddess and the saints demigods. The Catholic Church, since it’s foundation, had absolutely no intention of worshiping God in spirit and in truth, but instead through idolatry and deception, false doctrines and Babylonian tradition. God does not want, nor will He accept worship through the use of graven images, nor through the false doctrines of the Catholic Church that have promulgated the making and wide distribution of statues. God does not permit the worship of saints that have been set up through the Catholic Church, in the tradition of paganism’s polytheism, in the role of tin demigods. Mary and all the Christian saints are dead in their graves, awaiting their resurrection upon the return of Christ, as plainly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:53. The dead will rise from their graves to be with the Lord at the last trumpet, something they cannot do if they are already with the Lord in heaven. The use of false-god graven image idols within the Catholic Church and by the Catholic faithful, has inevitably lead to alleged moving images and weeping and bleeding statues. God would never use a graven image to work a miracle through. Deceived Catholics believe in many of these false miracles and lying wonders attributed to these statues, as disobedience in breaking God’s 2nd Commandment can only bring forth bad fruit and unrighteousness. Further signs and lying wonders will usher in the wicked one, as Scripture foretells… 2 THESSALONIANS 2:9-12: 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.

Home page
DTB facebook Page
You Tube
Blog Talk Radio Show

Friday, April 20, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #173* The Catholic Defender Sola Fide Show Notes

The debate is set for April 20, 2012 at 7:00 Central , 8:00 Eastern live here on deepertruth. The show notes can be found at

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honored to participate in this debate on the doctrine of Sola Fide. Classical Protestantism is basically founded on two primary columns called Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide.

These two columns were built upon the foundation of Martin Luther, the "Father" of Protestantism.

The Late John Gerstner was a Professor of Church History at Pittsburg Theological Seminary and Knox Theological Seminary once said, "If Protestants were wrong on Sola Fide--and the Catholic Church was right that Justification is by faith and works, I'd be on my knees tomorrow morning outside of the Vatican doing penance".

According to Luther and Calvin this was the article on which the Church stood or fell, Sola Fide was the material principle of the Reformation (From Scott Hahn's testimony).

I have always answered the question posed to me about faith and good works with the use of a good rope. I also include grace giving the example of how the rope is made. Grace, faith, and good works together provide a solid strong secure lifeline. However, when there is the absence of a component, the life line is weakened.

Consider 1 Corinthians 13:2, "If I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." St. Paul is essentially saying that if you have no love, your faith is in vain.

This is in total agreement with James 2:14. St James asked the question, "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works. Can his faith save him?"

The answer is quite obvious as vs 17 says answers his question, "So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead". As St. Paul had already noticed, "I am nothing" meaning I gain nothing. This was the prinicple reason Martin Luther placed the book of James on the back burner, calling it a gospel of straw, that it had no backbone. You will see why in a minute.

Consider 1 Corinthians 13:13, "So faith, hope, and love (charity) abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love." St. Paul has already said that without love, he was nothing, so when you read St. Paul, he writes to encourage the Church to develop the gifts which up build the Church.

Good works is often seen as fruit in both the Old and New Testaments. Matthew 7:15 states, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing but inwardly are revenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." This is really saying, or you will know them by their works. Jesus would continue saying in verse 23, "And I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you evil doers."

Psalms Chapter 1 is among my favorite Old Testamtent scripture, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers: but his delight is the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water: that yeilds it's fruit in it's season. And it's leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."

Notice the tree planted by streams of water? This is a reflection of grace. We are to bear good fruit from the tree of life. The grace that is given freely we are to utilize in our life, to allow it to blossom. What God does in this light prospers because it is His work being accomplished.

St Paul echoes this writing, "For by grace you have been saved". This is clearly refering to the running water in Psalms 1, from this grace, we are to bear good fruit. St. Paul continues, "this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God". Just like the leaf that does not wither, it is God doing the work in us and so the work prospers. St. Paul point out, "Not because of works lest any man should boast" because it is God doing the work through your faithfulness. St. Paul is clear about this, saying "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them". If we choose not to walk in them, we are in effect, throwing God's gift back in His face. That's why faithfulness is so important in this debate.

St. Paul's basic view on faith is this: faith is complete trust in the Lord, obedience to Jesus Christ. St. James agrees, he sees faith as belief in Jesus Christ, the resurrection and salvation coming from the Lord.

St. Paul's basic view on works of the Old Testament law as acts of ritual adherence to a code to attain merit. Consider Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust consume and where theives break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where theives do not break in and steal. For where your treassure is, there will your heart be also."

A person is basically known by three main areas in their life, you are known by what you say and by what you do. but most of all, we are known by what you love.

So why is there this debate and so much disunity concerning faith and good works? Remember Martin Luther, why he wanted to toss out the book of James from the New Testament Canon? St. Paul writes, "For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Romans 3:28).

Clearly St. Paul is speaking to the works of the Old Testament law of Moses. The Council of Trent following St. Paul, states, "If anyone shall say that man can be justified before God by his own works which are done either by his own natural powers or through the teaching of the law, and without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathama."

What was the Council of Treat responding to? Martin Luther! Romans 3:28, Luther, in his German translation of the bible, specifically added "alone" to the text so it read, "For we consider that a person is justified by faith "alone" apart from works of the law". This word being added was not in the original Greek text and when questioned about this, Luther responded: "You tell me what a great fuss the Papist (Catholics) are making because the word "alone" is not in the text of Paul... say right out to him: 'Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,... I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word "alone" is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. rebuilding a lost faith, 1922 p 101-102).

That is an amazing sentiment of defience against the Church and really placing upon himself a heavy burden to bear going against 1500 years of Christian tradition.

St. James sees works as spontaneous acts of love that spring from the fruits of the Spirit. Galations 5:22 lists the fruits of the Spirit as "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." This all has to come from the heart which builds the works through faith in Jesus Christ.

The real problem of Sola Fide is what it rejects. Daniel writes a prophecy about the Church stating, "And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall it's sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44).

Isaiah 54:17 states, "No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, says the Lord."

The Lord Jesus said to Simon, son of Bar-Jona, "And I tell you, you are Kapa, and on this Kapa I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

St. Paul echo's this writing, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the Saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:19-20).

Once again, recalling the Prophet Daniel, he writes, "As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet on iron and clay, and broke them in pieces! Jesus is the stone the builders rejected who became the cornerstone."

For Protestants grounded in the doctrine of Sola Fide, the Sacraments become a system of works, no longer necessary for salvation. The Protestants want to tie Catholic Sacraments to the Old Testament works of the law which St. Paul saw as rituals that adhere to a code to attain merit.

That is a total misrepresentation of the Sacraments which are the outward signs of inward grace received by the faithful. The Sacraments are life giving because it is Christ Jesus who administers them through His Catholic Church.

The Council of Jerusalem in 49 A.D. set the direction the Catholic Church would move recognizing the importance of faith (Acts 15:9), that we are saved by God's grace (Acts 15:11), which is the call to action by the Holy Spirit and us (Acts 15:28).

St. Paul responds to those who sought to uphold the law of Moses saying "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor un-circumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love (Gal 5:6).

Colossians 9-12 states, "Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with every power in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light."

Looking back at the two major pillars of Protestantism, Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, the Catholic Faith on the other hand, has the three pillars resting on the promises of Jesus, that the gates of hell will not prevail against it, that Jesus would remain with the Church until he returns, and Jesus promise to sent the Holy Spirit.

I used to listened to a local Christian radio station near Ft. Campbell KY from time to time to check out what they would teach. On one occasion, the topic of faith and good works was the focus. I called up the radio station to see if I could enter the conversation. Unfortunately, it was only a tape recording and so there was no discussion that was live. Since it was a tape played in the studio, the only person available was the clerk answering the phone. To me that was enough!

I began my challenge with Matthew 25:31-46. If faith would get you to heaven and you do not need "good works", why would Jesus warn us if we do not perform the Corporal Works of Mercy, you would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Jesus spoke that we must feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, cloth the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort the imprisoned, and visit the sick!

Jesus clearly states, "out of my sight, you condemned, into that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels... As often as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me. These will go off to eternal punishment and the just to eternal life".

As important as faith is, Jesus doesn't speak to that issue, He is speaking of works that He fully expects His people to conduct. The Lord hears the cry of the poor, we become His hands when we seek to do His will! The lady at the studio was a bit taken back! She was not expecting a rebuttal like this, especially from a Catholic! To me, this was the opening argument! If someone claims to believe in God, but does nothing to help their fellow man, I simply was taking the Lord's word on the issue.

This debate goes back to the original Protestant, Martin Luther! He taught "Faith Alone" and "Sola Scriptura", which attacked the very core and foundation of the Church. This attack would shake the Church to her foundations! The sacraments could not be "life saving" or "necessary" because they would be the products of "works"!

Luther's issue was far more than the selling of indulgences or disputes about the souls of Purgatory! This would undo 2,000 years of Christian teaching. Baptism, for example, is seen more as a public act, not a matter of necessity.

I encourage the reading of James chapter two. This speaks loudly about "faith alone" which it clearly says there is no faith alone! Philippians 2:16 states, "As I look to the day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose. Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation, over the sacrificial service of your faith. I am glad of it and rejoice with you".

St. Paul also says (Philippians 2:12), "So then, my dearly beloved, obedient as always to my urgings, work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation..." If you are studying for a test and the teacher during review stomps his foot or pounds his hands on the desk to insure you get the point, what should you do? You should take note of the essential information! Well, what does God tell us about Judgement? Our finals, the test we should all want to pass!

Jesus states, "But he who ACTS in the truth comes into the light, to make clear that his DEEDS are done in God (John 3:21)". Romans 2:5 states, "In spite of this, your hard and impenitent heart is storing up retribution for that day of wrath when the just judgement of God will be revealed, when He will repay every man for what he has DONE..."

1 Peter 1:17 says, "In prayer you call upon the Father who judges each one justly on the basis of his ACTIONS. Since this is so, conduct yourselves, reverently during this sojourn in a strange land". Hebrews 13:21 states, "Furnish you with all that is good, THAT YOU MAY DO HIS WILL. Though Jesus Christ may carry out in you all that is pleasing to Him. To Christ be the glory forever! Amen."

Revelation 22:12 states, "Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his CONDUCT DESERVES." John 3:36 says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever DISOBEYS the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him (Romans 5:9)".

Scripture after scripture tells us we will be held accountable to our deeds. We must do the will of the Father! If you KEEP His Commandments, you SHOW you love Him! The Catholic Church recognize that we must be obedient in faith. The skull has what we call "infused joints" that keeps our brain protected and intact. We need each part for it to function properly. Likewise, faith and good works are infused, both are essential.

Jesus tells us to "store up heavenly treasure that no one can steal". Our faith must produce fruit! Don't take your faith and bury it in the backyard (Matthew 25:24-28). As I talked with the lady who answered the phone, I realized that the issue will not be won or lost based on this discussion. If I did nothing else, I hope that Jesus would chalk this up to one of the spiritual works of mercy, to instruct the uninformed, to be patient with those in error.

I think the Catholic Church has made some in-roads through the Protestant world! I have heard many of them tell me that "people of faith" will have good works as a result of the fruits of the spirit! That makes the argument more obsolete! Oh, Can you imagine that? Martin Luther would be rolling over in his grave if he heard that!

Faith is a gift! Good works are the product of our response to that gift. Salvation is not earned so that we can punch our own ticket, but good works that pleases God and are God ordained makes that ticket complete. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few!

Opening Statement: ‘Sola Fide’
April 20, 2012
By George Lujack

Sola fide (Latin meaning “by faith alone”), also known as the doctrine of justification by faith alone, is a Christian doctrine that distinguishes most Protestant denominations from Catholicism.

The doctrine of sola fide or "by faith alone" asserts God's pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received solely through faith, and not through works. All humanity is fallen and sinful, under the curse of God, and incapable of saving itself from God's wrath and curse, which is eternal death and separation from God. It is through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone that grants pardon to sinners or justification through Christ. Salvation or redemption is a gift of God's grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus, who died as an atonement sacrifice for all sinners who repent and place their faith in Him.

Catholics believe that faith is necessary for salvation but not sufficient. Catholics assert that sola fide is an error because, in addition to believing, God also requires good works, obedience, acts of love and charity as a prerequisite for acceptance into His kingdom, and for the reward of eternal life.

Martin Luther elevated sola fide to the principal cause of the Protestant Reformation and the main distinction between Protestant Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Luther said, “Works are necessary for salvation but they do not cause salvation; for faith alone gives life.”

John Calvin, also a proponent of the faith alone doctrine, taught that "every one who would obtain the righteousness of Christ must renounce his own."

The Bible has seemingly contradictory statements of faith and works. James 2:24 states, “… that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. Romans 3:28 declares, “We conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”

There seems to be a semantic component to this debate as well, which has gained new attention in the past century. Luther's supporters may have understood "salvation by faith alone" to mean "salvation by being faithful to Christ," while his Catholic opponents understood him to mean "salvation by intellectual belief in Christ."

Now the latter, salvation by mere intellectual belief in Christ should be rejected by Christians, for Scripture declares that even the demons intellectually believe in Christ (James 2:19). Mere belief that God exists is insufficient for salvation. Thus, as Scripture declares, faith (mere belief in Christ) without works is dead (James 2:17).

An intellectual believer in Christ who refuses to do any works; whether it is tithing, charitable deeds, proclaiming the gospel, etc., is not alive in Christ, but dead in his own spirit - having faith that merely believing in God is sufficient for salvation.

Faith without works would equate to someone who believes in Christ, but refuses to do any charitable works, good works for Christ, or Christ’s kingdom. Someone who has faith without works is an unworthy, unprofitable servant as illustrated in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. In that parable, the king cast the lazy and wicked servant into the outer darkness, or hell (Matthew 25:30).

This parable of the talents is a reflection of how Christ views lazy, unprofitable, “lukewarm” Christians. According to Revelation 3:15-16, He will say to many in the various churches that He knows their works (or more accurately their evil works or lack of good works), and that these believers are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, and because they are lukewarm, He will vomit them out of His mouth.

Salvation by being faithful to Christ is a sound biblical position and doctrine to live by. Being faithful to Christ compels a believer to do good works.

On the other hand, works alone cannot save us. Those who refuse to accept Christ for their salvation and believe there are “many paths” to God will be doomed to hell. Popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey has recently promoted the many paths to God theology on her television program. Christ declared that there is only one way to the Father and that is through faith in Him (John 14:16). Adam, after he sinned, was doomed to hell (which is eternal death and separation from God). There was no work that Adam could do to re-attain his salvation. All that Adam, and all sinners that came afterward could do, is to have faith in the promised Messiah who would take away the sins of the world. Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus the Christ fulfilled the OT prophecies written about Him and salvation is available to all mankind. Hallelujah!

If works were absolutely necessary for salvation, all babies that died prematurely as well as all persons who genuinely repent before dying, such as was the case of the thief on the cross, would be doomed. Christ declared that the thief on the cross would one day be with Him in paradise, even though the thief had apparently done no work to attain salvation.

Much of the divide between Catholicism and Protestantism is over the faith vs. works issue. At least some Catholics, I would argue, do good works to be seen by men and not so much because of their love for man. Sister Theresa comes to mind. Christ said in Matthew chapter 6, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

The Roman Catholic Church institution, throughout the ages, has abused the issue of repentance and works; often requiring repentant believers to do penance for sins. Penance cannot absolve a sinner from their sin; only true repentance and prayers for forgiveness can. God never commanded penance for sins against Him, but He did command recompense if you sinned against your neighbor – to repay your neighbor for their loss.

To this day, there are Catholics that believe they can self-suffer for Christ, as if Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was insufficient. This pious, self-righteous, self-suffering for Christ differs from martyrdom, where a believer suffers physical abuse and/or death against their will at the hands of another. Those who believe they can suffer for Christ are an insult to Christ and deny His atonement on the cross was sufficient for their salvation.

On the other hand, at least some Protestants rely on their faith in Christ alone, and do no works at all. God views Protestants who do no works at all as lazy, wicked, lukewarm servants. It is this type of faith, faith without works, that is dead (James 2:17).

As a non-denominational, Scriptural Christian, I cannot wholeheartedly accept either the standard Protestant Sola Fide by faith alone doctrine, or the Catholic belief that works is necessary for salvation. As for my biblically held position on the topic of faith and works, I will state it as the following...

Salvation is attained through faith in Christ who was sacrificed in our place as atonement for the sins of mankind, so that we may receive eternal life. It is through being faithful to Christ that we gladly do good works. Without Christ’s sacrifice and if Christ had not risen, then neither faith, nor good works, nor faith plus good works could save us (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Jesus Christ’s atonement sacrifice made salvation available to the world. It is through repentance of sin and faith and obedience to Him, that we can attain salvation through Him (John 14:16). Being faithful to Christ compels us to do good works. Good works do not save us; they demonstrate that we are faithful Christians. Having intellectual faith in Christ, or merely believing in Him, but refusing to do good works and acting in a manner unbefitting a Christian, equates one to being a lazy wicked servant (Matthew 25:14-30). Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Christians who do not do any good works are in danger of losing their salvation (Matthew 25:30). Likewise, Christians who do not obey Christ’s commandments are liars and are also in danger of losing their salvation (1 John 2:4). Christians, who do good charitable works to be seen by men, will receive no reward from God (Matthew 6:1-4).

Closing Statement:
Salvation is through faith in the atonement sacrifice of Christ. Salvation is a gift from God. Salvation is unmerited grace and no one can earn it. Faith in Christ brings forth fruit, which brings forth good works. Faith without works is dead. Works without faith is in vain. Believe in God and do His will in your life, and let His Holy Spirit guide you to proclaim the gospel and to do the good works that He will equip you to do

Home page
DTB facebook Page
You Tube
Blog Talk Radio Show