Friday, September 7, 2018

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In these days of the Great Deception, when people prefer a reassuring lie rather than the inconvenient truth, this is a collection of articles I have written about the truth found in God's Word, the need for biblical teaching, and sound doctrine.  It includes articles that refute false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the prosperity movement, the eternal security doctrine, agnosticism, relativism, atheism, humanism, ecumenism, the New Age movement,  the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormons, also known as the Latter Day Saints (LDS), as well as the oneness doctrine of Unitarians.

As the Scriptures say:

“Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  (Tit 1:9)

"I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." (Jud 1:3b) 

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2Ti 2:15)

"In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures." (Jas 1:18)

"Jesus *said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" (Joh 14:6)

It is my prayer that these articles will lead you to pray earnestly and seek the Lord's face, as well as search the Scriptures, regarding what you have been taught and have come to believe, so that you will not miss the glories of heaven and wind up in hell for eternity.  “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (Joh 8:32)

Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church New Age-New World Order The Holy Trinity
Pagan Symbols of the Popes Pope Establishes One World Religion The Cult of Mormonism
Pope Francis Supports Homosexuality Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshiping Idols Exposing the JMS Cult
Accurately Handling the Word of Truth Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint Children of God
Pope Francis Validates Evolution and Big Bang Theory Why Infant Baptism if Not Scriptural What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?
Exposing Heresy Unbiblical Practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Rhema vs. Logos – Is there truly a distinction in the word?
Not Enduring Sound Doctrine The Nature of False Prophets The Creation Gap Theory
What is Truth? The False Gospel of Eternal Security The False Gospel without Repentance
Restored Truth Gabriel Doufle Issues and Concerns HOREMOW Issues and Concerns
Tradition vs. Truth TGRM Issues and Concerns Exposing the Darkness within HOREMOW
Is it Always a Sin to Not Tell the Truth? Heresies of C.S. Lewis Harry Potter is the Devil's Snare
The Shack is an Attack The Message Bible or "The Mess" Catholic Priests Molesting Children
The Truth About the Roman Catholic Church

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note:  You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Truth About the Roman Catholic Church

Pagan phallic symbol at the Vatican
I am a formerly devout, confirmed Roman Catholic, who served as an altar boy for several years, and later as a lector (reader) at mass. I have visited the Vatican and stood there in the crowd as Pope John Paul gave a general address to the audience back in around 1982. In my previous articles, I have revealed the shocking truth about the Roman Catholic Church from a theological, doctrinal, practical, traditional, and moral perspective. As an insider with first-hand knowledge and experience, I write these things in love, with the hopes that those who are still in that religion would know the truth that will set them free. In this post, I would like to make all those past articles available in one place for those who want to do some in-depth research or share this information with a friend or loved one for their information.


If you will take the time to read each of these posts prayerfully, and do your research in the Bible, in Church history, and in other authentic, verifiable sources to see if these things are really true, you will discover that what I am telling you is the honest truth. When I say prayerfully, I mean you need to pray and ask God to show you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.

The Roman Catholic Church is corrupt from top to bottom and is run like the mafia, which I can say based on reliable sources within the Catholic Church itself. I am not referring to some isolated incident or some trifling doctrinal difference that I have with the church. This is an occult, Babylonian religion that will lead you down to hell. It is not the true Christian Church that was started by Christ, and which we read about in the New Testament. It's a phony imitation of the Church -- a whore church -- that has satan's fingerprints and designs all over it. It certainly has enough documented, factual evidence of systematic sexual abuse going back over the past thousand years to be considered a perverted sex cult.

Therefore, in my opinion it is not something that we should seek to reform, since its leadership has already had many opportunities to do so in the past and failed miserably. Despite all the precious, sincere, well-meaning people who are a part of it without knowing any better, and who may consider themselves to be true lovers of God, the fact is that it is a satanic sect, which you need to escape from for the sake of your own soul and the souls of your family members. God loves each one of you and doesn't want you to perish.

Think about it. If I am wrong, then when you do your research, beginning with the links above, you can prove to your own satisfaction that I am wrong based on Scripture and historical facts. In that case, you would have nothing to worry about. But if I'm right, which I know I am with God as my witness, then the stakes are high and your soul depends on what I have presented to you here. If you really want to know the truth, then you will not be disappointed. Either way, no matter what you do, you will find out the truth at the judgment seat of Christ. Find out now before it's too late!

Author's note: If you enjoyed this article, I recommend Angelica Zambrano's First Visit to Hell and Angelica Zambrano's Second Visit to Hell. I also suggest visiting the Ivarjed website that has a photo journal of some horrible acts of paganism in the Catholic Church, and Jack Chick's page on Catholicism. My testimony of how I came to know Christ is found in my article called The Truth Set Me Free!. You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Catholic Priests Molesting Children

At numerous times over the past three decades we have heard news reports about cases of Catholic priests molesting children. This is truly a tragedy of the highest magnitude, when the very religious leaders that these children and their parents trust to be godly examples turn out to be evil predators.

Fr. Edward Avery, former Philadelphia
priest pleaded guilty of sex abuse charge
In the most recently example, a grand jury accused over 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests of molesting more than 1,000 children. The Fox News report said that the grand jury's "findings echoed many earlier church investigations around the country." What a tragedy! Here is the report, which you should be warned contains graphic allegations of sexual abuse. It says, "The 'real number' of abused children might be in the thousands." According to Fox News, "U.S. bishops have acknowledged that more than 17,000 people nationwide have reported being molested by priests and others in the church."

The victims were mostly boys, but some of them were girls also. The report documents the horrors perpetrated by these priests like anal rape, fondling, oral sex, and child pornography. These sometimes resulted in pregnancies and suicides. In some cases these priests even paid for abortions for girls they raped and got pregnant. They also further abused their victims by seeking to silence them and pay them off.

And rather than punish the priests responsible, the Catholic Church leaders merely move these pedophiles to another parish, where they are free to abuse more victims. The Fox article states that "The grand jury accused Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese, of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop." As I stated, they named more than 300 of these allegedly abusive priests, and while many of them are either dead or retired, a few of them are still in ministry!

What reproach they have brought upon the name of Christ! What torment for their victims! These are the kind of people that God is against. He does not tolerate hypocrisy, especially among the shepherds in the Church, who are supposed to be feeding the flock, but instead feed only their own carnal appetites. Ezekiel the prophet wrote, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?"'" (Ez 34:2).

The Lord goes on to describe how these shepherds, have slaughtered the sheep, ate the fat, and clothed themselves with the wool. They failed to strengthen the sickly, they have not healed the diseased, or bound up the broken, they have not brought back the ones who were scattered, nor have they sought for the lost; but with force and with severity they have dominated the sheep. They reason the sheep were scattered was for lack of a proper shepherd, and as a result they became food for every wild beast. The Lord says:

"Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 'As I live,' declares the Lord GOD, 'surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them."'" (Eze 34:7-10)

The Lord gave a similar message the Jeremiah the prophet as well. "'Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!' declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: 'You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,' declares the LORD." (Jer 23:1-2)

This is what Jesus condemned when He said, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Mt 18:6). It was in this very same context of harming children that the Lord said, "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!" (Mt 18:7).

The latest report proves that the Catholic Church is an organized crime syndicate like the mafia, in light of their systematic cover up of abuses that occurred over a period of 70 years. While the grand jury report covers only six of the eight Pennsylvania dioceses, there were already three previous grand jury investigations into abuses in the other two dioceses - the archdiocese of Philadephia and Altoona-Johnston. Therefore, this is a state-wide problem across all Pennsylvania dioceses.

These crimes were covered up by the Catholic hierarchy all the way from the local diocese to the Vatican. One of the things they have done is try to refer these cases to the Vatican in Rome where they can hold their own secret hearings and investigate themselves. The church has sought to reduce the church's legal exposure and maintain strategies to “avoid scandal.” When state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the report, he said that now at last “we can begin to understand the systematic coverup of church officials.”

Former Boston Catholic priest Paul Shanley,
Convicted of Raping Boy
This is not unique to Pennsylvania, nor is it the first such scandal to hit the Catholic Church. There was also the controversy in Boston, Massachusetts, surrounding John Geoghan, a convicted pedophile priest, who is now defrocked. He was accused of molesting more than a 100 victims over a period of 40 years. Since that scandal, other dioceses in Massachusetts have come forward and turned over their records of abusive priests to the law enforcement authorities.

Prior to that one, there was also a priest pedophilia scandal in Louisiana, and there was another one in Texas as well. According to Wikipedia, "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas paid $30.9 million in 1998 to twelve victims of one priest." The Wikipedia article, Catholic Church sex abuse cases in the United States, documents others scandals in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and other places, but there are also cases reported outside the United States as well. For example, a nun in Argentina was arrested for helping priests rape deaf children. In fact there is a large database of publicly accused priests, which is posted online. Of course, not all of those accusations contained in the database are true, but it helps to show the magnitude of the problem. These are not isolated incidents, but are pervasive throughout the church.

After decades of abuse, the Catholic Church has failed to adequately resolve the issue. But it is taking its toll on the church, because many dioceses have gone bankrupt from fighting the legal battles, and many people have stopped attending the church, as well as withdrawn their financial support. In fact, according to Wikipedia, "Eight Catholic dioceses have declared bankruptcy due to sex abuse cases from 2004–2011." However, as of 2018 the number has now risen to twenty dioceses and religious orders that have gone bankrupt over this scandal. According to Fox News, the clergy sex abuse of children has cost the Catholic Church more than $3 billion.

Furthermore, many Catholic nuns have broken the silence and come forth about the sexual abuse they faced at the hands of priests and bishops, such as sister Charlotte, whose testimony is posted online. She suddenly disappeared two years after giving this testimony.



You may read the transcript of the above audio recording of Sister Charlotte's Testimony.

Or here is a longer transcript of Sister Charlotte's Testimony with more details.

Priests Who Follow Their Own Sensual Desires
Peter the apostle warned that there would be false prophets who would arise like these priests and bishops have. He said. "Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned." (2Pe 2:2). As a result of the disgraceful acts that these priests have committed, others have blasphemed and spoken evil of the way of truth.

The Pope's Culpability
Pope Francis (L) and Archbishop McCarrick (R)
Ultimately the Pope is culpable, because he oversees the entire Roman Catholic Church universally, and the buck stops with him. He knew about these things, but has not properly addressed them and has actually covered them up.

According to FoxNews contributor Raymond Arroyo on 'The Ingraham Angle,' Carlo Maria Viganò, the former top Vatican diplomat in the United States, who is well-respected, has exposed the Pope and called for his resignation. Archbishop Viganò felt he could not go to his grave without clearing his conscience by writing a letter on August 25, 2018 revealing a major cover up of sexual abuse in the Church. He said his "conscience dictates" that he reveal the truth, because the corruption has "reached the very top of the church's hierarchy."

His 11-page letter states that the Pope and other top officials in the Church knew of the allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who is the former Archbishop of Washington D.C. In fact, the Vatican was informed in 2000 of McCarrick's "gravely immoral behaviour with seminarians and priests," and was subsequently informed again two more times between 2005 and 2011.

Initially Pope Benedict XVI placed severe restrictions on McCarrick for his behavior, but Francis later lifted the sanctions. According to Wikipedia, Viganò states that "Pope Francis subsequently removed these sanctions and made McCarrick 'his trusted counselor', even though Francis 'knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. He knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.'" Viganò reveals a potential motive for this special treatment, stating that McCarrick played an important role in Francis being elected to the papal office.

The Wikipedia article goes on to say that "Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, the former first counsellor at the apostolic nunciature in Washington D.C., confirmed that Viganò had told 'the truth.'" Additionally, Joseph Strickland the bishop of Tyler, Texas also made a public statement that Viganò's allegations are credible. According to Edward Pentin of the National Catholic register, reporting from Rome, his sources say that Viganò does seem to have a lot of credibility. Viganò states in his letter that he is ready to reaffirm under oath the statements he has made in his letter, calling on God as his witness. As I have stated, Viganò has called for the Pope and other officials who knew about McCarrick's behavior to resign.

When Francis was questioned about this letter by reporters aboard the papal jet, he answered evasively, declining to comment. On August 29, 2018, ANSA, the top wire service in Italy, stated in an article called Pope bitter over Viganò case that Francis is "embittered" by Viganò's letter, even though the former envoy has stated he is not acting in revenge. The article states that Francis is not considering stepping down.

In his letter, Viganò revealed that there is a "mafia" style culture within the Roman Catholic Church, and according to a report from EWTN Nightly News from a Catholic perspective, he fears for his own life, which is clearly in danger for coming out with these revelations. He even states in his letter that two other Apostolic Nuncios in the United States* are now both prematurely deceased after informing the Holy See of Archbishop McCarrick’s "gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests." One of those Nuncios was Pietro Sambi, whose death came unexpectedly following an incident when he called McCarrick into his office in either 2009 or 2010 and reprimanded him sternly, announcing Benedict's measures against him. It has been reported by multiple sources that Viganò has been forced into "hiding" for fear of his life.

Moreover, the aforementioned ANSA article stated, "Viganò also claimed there was a powerful gay lobby in the Church he blamed for the abuse cover-ups, naming names." I have personally read the entire letter and can confirm that Viganò definitely described this all in detail. He states that there was a certain collaborator of Pope Benedict, named "Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who notoriously favored promoting homosexuals into positions of responsibility." This is not a new revelation, but one that has been known for quite some time. In 2012 Fr. Dariusz Oko, Ph.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow and Assistant Professor at the John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow documented his discovery of a “huge homosexual underground in the Church,” which substantiates the belief that there is a "gay mafia" inside the Vatican, known as the "lavender mafia."

While pro-gay forces within the church deny that homosexuality is the root cause for the sexual abuses, Viganò states that "80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims." He further corroborates his claims by citing the results of independent studies that have been conducted saying, "Independent Reports by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004 and 2011...concluded that, in cases of sexual abuse, 81% of the victims were male. In fact, ...in most cases it is a question of homosexual abuse.”

He goes on to say, "The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced," and quotes another source who has likewise concluded that "The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated." This is not isolated to a specific case of abuse or to one location. In fact, "These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church." This proves the problem is widespread, and is intentionally being covered up, which challenges the pope's insistence that there is "zero tolerance" for sex abuse and cover ups. It is no wonder this is happening on Francis' watch, since he supports homosexuality.

One of the religious orders that Viganò explicitly calls out for abuse in his letter is the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, of which Francis is a member. Viganò reveals that there is a deviant wing of that order that is part of the church's problem.

He calls out "the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis." He has told Francis about specific immoral behavior going on the Roman Catholic Church in America, and the pope was neither surprised, nor did he show any concern. Viganò states: "...in the case of McCarrick, [Pope Francis] not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!" He concludes that Francis "has divided [the brethren], led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock."

A Thousand Years of Abuse
This sexual abuse is nothing new for the Roman Catholic Church, but has been going on for a thousand years. In his letter, Viganò cites a letter he once wrote to Pope Benedict in 2006, in which he requested permission to disclose to the pope the details of sexual abuse happening in the US. In that 2006 letter, Viganò said that doing so would be similar to what Peter Damian did in his letter to Pope Leo nearly a thousand years ago. He stated that he wished to document for Benedict the deplorable conditions in the present-day American church "with the same intensity that motivated Peter Damian to lay out before...Pope Leo IX, a description of the condition of the clergy during his time. The problems he spoke of are similar and as great now in the United States as they were then in Rome."

A Wikepedia article about Peter Damian states: "About 1050, during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX, [Damian] wrote a scathing treatise on the vices of the clergy, including sexual abuse of minors and actions by church superiors to hide the crimes. Liber Gomorrhianus was openly addressed to the pope." As we can easily learn from history, Pope Leo failed to address these abuses during those days, and Francis is failing to correct them now. They have never been properly dealt with, but instead covered up. It has been one continuous stream of evil for centuries within this corrupt church. When will people realize that this is a deviant branch of the true Church that for all intents and purposes may be classified as a perverted sex cult.

Idolatry in Vigano's Letter
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not call attention to the fact that Viganò ends his treatise by calling upon the name of Mary for help with this terrible dilemma, rather than the name of Jesus, which goes directly against Scripture. He prays, "Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us! Mary, Virgin and Queen, Mother of the King of glory, pray for us!" This is one of the many Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church that I have written about in my article by that name. The Lord Jesus Christ told us that He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father, except by Him (Joh 14:6). Mary is neither the Mother of the Church nor the Queen of Heaven as the Catholics call her, and I have explained this from Scripture in my articles Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols and The Marine Kingdom and Queen of the Coast.

Scripture teaches us that there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). When Jesus taught us to pray, he said to pray to the heavenly Father, not to Mary. To do otherwise would be in direct disobedience to His instruction to us in the gospels, and to the very first commandment that says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex 20:3-5).

The Matter is Established by Two or Three Witnesses
We should not receive an accusation against an elder, unless it is brought by two or three witnesses (1 Tim 5:19). However, this particular matter definitely has at least two or three witnesses. In fact, there are thousands of witnesses of the horrific abuses and cruelty perpetrated against the Members of the Catholic Church by their shepherds. And now we have this detailed treatise of abuses by a highly placed Archbishop, detailing the scandal with names and places.

As I wrote in The Power of Two or Three, Jesus said that "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed." (Mat 18:16). Therefore, the matter presented in this article has been duly confirmed. By that I don't mean to say that every accusation that any person ever made against a priest anywhere in the world is true or that every accused priest is guilty, but the fact that so many have made these same kinds of allegations over such a long period of time across such a wide geographical area nationally (and even globally) confirms that this is a pervasive problem throughout the Catholic Church. Such an overwhelming amount of evidence simply cannot be ignored.

Putting it All Together
I hope that this article has helped to expose the pattern of horrible abuses that have taken place withing the Roman Catholic Church, and which may still be taking place today. As John the apostle wrote in the book of Revelation:

"I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.'" (Rev 18:4-5)

If you are still in the Catholic Church, then come out of it. One of the things the Lord said through Ezekiel the prophet was that He is going to go after His lost sheep Himself and gather them back. The Lord Jesus loves you. He wants to be your Shepherd, feed you, care for you, and heal your wounds.

For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. "As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. "I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. "I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. "I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD. "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment." (Eze 34:11-16)

And the Lord said in the gospel of John:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." (Joh 10:10-15)

Jesus Christ laid down His life for you. He is not like those priests and bishops, who are actually wolves in sheep's clothing. He is the good Shepherd and He desires a personal relationship with you. He died on the cross so that you could be made whole, forgiven, washed, cleansed, and have a personal relationship with Him.

I have an important question for you below, so don't go away.

Footnote: *Nuncio is an ambassador from the Vatican to the United States or another country.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Photo of Paul Shanley copyright Associated Press via WBUR news, used according to Fair Use Act for commentary and educational purposes.  Photo of Edward Avery copyright McLaughlin & Lauricella, trial attorneys.

Author's note: I strongly recommend reading Viganò's 11-page letter and viewing the videos I have posted on my Eternal Destinations blog about a young Ecuadorean girl who has visited hell twice.  She testifies to some things about the Catholic Church that she saw in hell, which are directly relevant to the topic of this blog.  Don't miss Angelica Zambrano's First Visit to Hell, Angelica Zambrano's Second Visit to Hell, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint, Pagan Symbols of the Popes, Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church, and Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality. I also suggest visiting the Ivarjed website that has a photo journal of some horrible acts of paganism in the Catholic Church, and Jack Chick's page on Catholicism. Also see AP Exclusive: Despite denial, Pope got abuse victim’s letter. You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Message Bible or "The Mess"

Please beware, people, that the Bible version known as The Message is not a translation but a paraphrase. It is a mess written by Eugene Peterson, which has many words added that are not in the original text of Scripture.

New Age Connections of Author
Consider the fact that the author of the Mess (Eugene Peterson) says that the New-Age-religion novel called The Shack may be the Pilgrim’s Progress of our generation. In his endorsement on the front cover of this heretical book he states: “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s that good!” That is complete rubbish. Please read my article on The Shack here:

The Shack is an Attack 

New Age Expressions in the Message Bible
The Mess has numerous New Age expressions, including a heretical version of the Lord's prayer, which states "as above, so below," which is a pagan concept. Here is the whole prayer in The Mess:

The Lord's Prayer

"Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes."
(Matt 6:7-13, MSG).

The pagan and metaphysical communities use the expression "as above, so below" to refer to the relationship between the spiritual and physical realms. It is also used by those in the occult world, and has been accepted by every known religion. However, since the original text of the Bible states, "Your Kingdom come," there is no basis for inserting this pagan, occult expression into Scripture. It is nothing less than a New Age perversion of God's Word.

The God of Green Hope
Another example of adding to Scripture to create a New Age twist is in Romans 15:13 of the Message Bible, where it states:

"Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!"

The word "green" is not in the original text, and it should not be inserted here, unless the author is once again intentionally using an expression that appeals to the New Age community. The term has its origin with the Druids, who offered human sacrifices. But "green" is a term often heard among those who worship "mother earth" and seek to be one with nature. For example, they have terms like "going green," referring to being more eco-friendly, and "green energy", which refers to forms of energy that are less harmful to the environment. One of the most extreme and controversial environmental organizations in the world is called "Greenpeace," which claims to be fighting to save the planet. That being said, it's also worth noting that according to Hans Biedermann's Dictionary of Symbolism, "...the devil appears as 'the green one'..." (p. 159).

Changes to Injunctions to Avoid Sexual Immorality
Another change that Peterson made is to the clear injunction to "flee fornication" or "avoid sexual immorality" found in 1 Corinthians 6:18. The Mess says, "There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin."

Again in Acts 15, instead of recording the decree of the elders and apostles at the First Jerusalem Council to "avoid fornication" or "avoid sexual immorality", Peterson simply states, "guard the morality of sex and marriage." (Ac 15:20,29, MSG).

These few examples will suffice to show that the text has been altered considerably.

Catholic-Ecumenical Version
One more thing I'd like to mention is that Peterson also has a Catholic-Ecumenical version of the Message Bible. In case you are not aware of the Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church, I strongly recommend reading my article on that topic at the link I just provided. The ecumenical movement is just a part of the New Age New World Order that will take you down to hell.

What Are People Saying About The Mess
Here is what Don Koenig of The Prophetic Years website says about the Mess:

"I for one am fed up with those who quote 'The Message' as if it were the Bible. It is not. It is nothing but a very bad paraphrase. Stop quoting 'The Message' on your media programs or I will turn you off for good. Stop quoting 'The Message' from your pulpits or I will walk out of your church. Stop reading from 'The Message' in your Bible studies or I will not attend. Why? Because Eugene Peterson's popular paraphrase of the Bible is twisted. He has no biblical discernment, his bad paraphrase of the word of God is not the word of God no matter how popular it has become. If you cannot use a literal version of the Bible to get across your teachings perhaps you should not be teaching at all. Now Eugene Peterson is endorsing even more twisted writings for your deception."

Others have made the following comments:

"In a nutshell, the MSG 'translation' is just Eugene Peterson's heretical commentary on Scripture."

"It's new age garbage and many will be fooled by it."

"The message is a new age bible"

"IT IS PURE NEW AGE"

"Message bible is of the devil."

"The Message is the devil's MSG!!"

"It [shouldn't] just be thrown out but burned so no one else can get that copy."

"Burn the message, its garbage Acts 19:19."

"A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas." (Ac 19:19, NIV)

"BURN THE ROTTEN THING!"

"The author even says its not the Word of God and doesn't suggest it to be preached."

"The sewage version..."

"It's not faithful at all to the biblical text."

Putting it All Together
I hope this expose' has helped to open your eyes to the dangers of this heretical, mystic paraphrase by Eugene Petersen, as well as to his personal New Age leanings. Don't be deceived! I advise you to avoid using this version, and if you own a copy of it, I would suggest you burn it so nobody else can read it.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the Message Bible (MSG), copyright Eugene H. Peterson, used by permission. Other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible NIV (where noted), copyright Zondervan, used by permission. Image used according to Fair Use laws for commentary and educational purposes only.

Author's note I also recommend reading The Shack is an Attack, Deleted Scriptures in the Bible?, Scripture AloneAccurately Handling the Word of TruthExposing HeresyThe Rise of AntichristsNot Enduring Sound DoctrineSins That Will Keep You From Heaven, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, Angelica Zambrabo Hell and Heaven, Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church, and New Age New World Order. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org

Friday, December 15, 2017

Why Infant Baptism is Not Scriptural

Water sprinkled on infant in the Catholic Church
There are many errors of the Roman Catholic Church that have been carried over into other churches, which many people do not realize and simply take for granted. One of those is infant baptism, which has been adopted by the Orthodox Church, as well as many Protestant churches, such as the Anglicans (Episcopals), Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationals, other Reformed denominations, Methodists, some Nazarenes, and the Moravian Church. Since the Word of God is our sole rule of faith, any practice we engage in for the sake of Christ must have its foundation in Scripture, and baptism is no exception. Please allow me to explain.

Original Sin
In my article, Where Will You Go When You Die?, in the section where I debunked the false doctrine of limbo, I stated:

"In Catholic theology, it has been taught that babies must be baptized...The notion that babies must be baptized in order to be saved comes from the false notion that God will not allow them into heaven due to the stain of Adam’s original sin on their souls. The ancient Catholic theologians thought that these babies were not pure enough to go to heaven but would not go to hell, since they had never committed any sins of their own. But as I said, this is foreign to Scripture."

First the premise for infant baptism is the belief that babies are born with the "original sin" of Adam. This is not taught in Scripture. The apostle Paul taught that in Adam all die. He stated, "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned." (Rom 5:12, NIV).

It's true that sin entered the world through Adam, and he eventually died because of his sin. In this way death came to the human race, because all sinned. This is a general statement about all people, so we must be careful not to incorrectly apply it to babies. Paul taught that the reason death came to all people was that "all sinned." We know that all people are mortal and have to die sometime, including babies. It is appointed to each man once to die, but then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27). However, since babies have not yet committed any sin, there is nothing they could be judged for that would deem them unfit for heaven.

A person must first reach the age of accountability, before God holds them accountable for sin. And while the age of accountability is probably a lot younger these days than it was thousands of years ago, due to various societal factors in most cultures, babies have certainly not yet reached the age of accountability. They do not know right from wrong yet.

The concept of original sin began with a theologian named Augustine and became an important Catholic doctrine. However, we must realize that while every human being is born with a natural tendency or urge to sin, they cannot be held accountable for sin until they have reached the age of accountability, when they know right from wrong. Therefore, babies are not guilty of Adam's sin or any sin at all before God. They are innocent! This is explicitly stated in Scripture. Ezekiel prophesied that the Lord declares:

"For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die." (Ez 18:4, NIV).

The Lord said that a righteous man "will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin." (Ez 18:17b-18a). If that is true of a man, how much more does it apply to an innocent baby!

In the natural sense, Adam is the father of us all, including every baby born into the world. And the Lord declares: "The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them." (Ez 18:20, NIV, 1978). A baby will not share in the guilt of its father, its grandfather, or any of its forefathers all the back to and including Adam. That's a fact, and you have God's Word on it. It is only the one who sins who will perish.

Once you understand that babies are completely innocent, you realize that when they die they go straight to heaven. There is no such thing as limbo. That term and that concept is not found any place in Scripture. So there is no reason to baptize infants, since it is completely unnecessary and provides no assistance for babies in reaching heaven. It serves no purpose, but is merely a superstitious practice.

No Infant Baptism in Scripture
In my article, Where Will You Go When You Die?, I further stated that infant baptism is completely foreign to Scripture, where we never see babies baptized but only those who have made a commitment to follow Christ. There is not one single instance in Scripture of infant baptism. It simply doesn't exist.  I wrote:

"Jesus always welcomed little children and blessed them. He never pronounced one warning or rebuke to a child, although He rebuked the people who tried to keep the children from coming to Him. Jesus said you must become like children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Then He said the kingdom of heaven is such as these. And He said that God has ordained praise from the mouths of babes. So if we go by what the Word of God says, we will never find anything but complete acceptance in God’s heart for little children. He would never turn away one of these little ones."

Let me also add that when Jesus was baptized, He was not a little baby. Joseph and Mary didn't take Him to be baptized as an infant. Rather He was baptized as a fully grown adult in order to fulfill all righteousness. He knew what He was doing, but a baby does not know what he is doing. We are to follow the example of Christ and walk as Jesus did, so we should not baptize infants.

Only for Disciples of Christ
As I stated in my article, Holy Washings I, water baptism is an outward sign of what we have already demonstrated by our repentance and faith in Christ. In fact, you must be baptized after you repent and give your life to Jesus.  The Lord commanded it when He gave the Great Commission to His disciples:

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" (Mat 28:18-20)

We see that the apostles and other disciples who preached the gospel followed this pattern. Notice the sequence. The Lord commanded them to go and first make disciples, and then baptize them, as well as teach them to observe everything that Jesus commanded the first apostles. He did not commission them to first baptize people, then make them disciples of Christ. Neither did he tell them to first teach people everything He commanded them before baptizing them.

The Ethiopian eunuch
When the Ethiopian eunuch got saved, he was baptized immediately afterward when they came to some water (Ac 8:36-28). He had asked Philip if there was anything to prevent him from being baptized, and the only condition that Philip had given him was, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." Once the eunuch confessed his genuine faith in Jesus Christ, then he was baptized into Christ.

There are also other examples of disciples being baptized after they first experienced repentance and faith in Christ.

Peter's Listeners at Pentecost
One such example is the people to whom Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, who became convicted by the Holy Spirit of their sin at the preaching of the gospel.

"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" (Ac 2:37-38, NIV).

Samaritan Believers
Another example is the people of Samaria who were saved at the preaching of Philip:

"But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Ac 8:12, NIV).

Saul of Tarsus
Then we have the example of the apostle Paul himself. It was only after he, who was then known as Saul of Tarsus, personally met Christ and was converted that he was baptized.

"But the Lord said to Ananias, 'Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.' Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized." (Ac 9:15-18, NIV).

Notice that the Lord already considered Saul His chosen instrument and Ananias acknowledged that, when he referred to him as "Brother Saul."

Cornelius and His Household
Yet another example is Cornelius and his household, who were baptized in water after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, proving that they already belonged to Christ.

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 'Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.' So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." (Ac 10:44-48, NIV).

Furthermore, we can learn even more from the explanation Peter gave to the elders of Jerusalem for his actions in the home of Cornelius. He explained:

"'So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?' When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, 'So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.'”  (Ac 11:17-18, NIV).

The elders understood that God had granted these Gentiles repentance that leads to life and they had come to believe in Christ. The elders also understood that repentance must precede baptism.

The Philippian jailer
The Philippian jailer is another example.

"The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized." (Ac 16:29-33, NIV).

First there was the jailer's conviction for sin and repentance, then his question how to be saved, followed by the answer that he must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. And after preaching the Word to him and his household, the apostles saw his faith expressed in love as he washed their wounds. Immediately after that, they baptized him and his household in water.

The Ephesian Disciples
There is also the instance when Paul found some disciples in Ephesus, who had only received the baptism of John, and after explaining things to them, he baptized them into Christ.

"Paul said, 'John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.' On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

The fact that they had received John's baptism was evidence of their repentance. And once Paul explained that John taught his disciples to put their faith in Christ, the necessary requirements of repentance and faith in Christ were met, so that the disciples could be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Putting it All Together
There is a clear order in Scripture regarding the timing when baptism should take place. It is taught explicitly and demonstrated practically in the Bible. The Lord commanded us to go and first make disciples, and then baptize them, as well as teach them to observe everything that Jesus commanded. There is no basis in Scripture for any other order, nor is there any evidence of such.

Since the Bible is our sole rule of faith, we must go by what is written in it. That is why a true Bible- believing Christian should know that infant baptism is not something God requires or condones. In fact it is a hindrance to the gospel, because it gives people the false sense of security that they were saved when they were baptized as a baby, even though they had never repented or put their trust in Christ to save them. They may say, "I've been a Christian all my life." This false sense of security has led many to think they are going to heaven, and that they are true Christians, even though they have never been born again according to Scripture.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, NIV. Photo of infant baptism from Wikipedia and used per the Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes only.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this article, I recommend also reading The Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic ChurchHoly Washings - Part IYou Must Be Born Again, Scripture Alone, Entering the Kingdom of God, and Do You Want to Know Jesus?

I strongly recommend viewing the videos I have posted on my Eternal Destinations blog about a young Ecuadorean girl who has visited hell twice.  She testifies to some things about the Catholic Church that she saw in hell.  Don't miss Angelica Zambrano's First Visit to Hell, Angelica Zambrano's Second Visit to Hell, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint, and Pagan Symbols of the Popes.You may also like the other posts in this blog, such as Exposing Heresy, Accurately Handling the Word of Truth, Tradition vs. Truth, and Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality. You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.