The Apple Of God's Eye

October 25, 2009

Vatican Announcement: The Reformation Is Dead!

graspingthecross.wordpress.com

graspingthecross.wordpress.com

In a move with potentially sweeping implications, the Vatican has announced the creation of new ecclesiastical structures to absorb disaffected Anglicans wishing to become Catholics. The structures will allow those Anglicans to hold onto their distinctive spiritual practices, including the ordination of married former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests.

The Traditional Anglican Communion—a group of around 400,000 conservative Anglican churches that broke away from the Anglican Communion in 1990 to protest the liberalism creeping into that organization—has announced that the process toward full unity with Rome “will begin at once.” It is unhappy with liberals in the Anglican Communion who have allowed the ordination of women as priests and bishops, the ordination of openly gay clergy and bishops, and the blessing of same-sex unions.

According to the Vatican, former Anglican clergy who are married may serve as priests in the new ordinariates, but they may not be ordained as bishops. The details will be presented in a new apostolic constitution from Pope Benedict XVI, expected to be issued shortly and which will amend the church’s Code of Canon Law.

The new structure to absorb these Anglican “daughter” churches is very interesting, and required the apostolic constitution [creating a new structure] as a  recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. The fact that the Catholic Church—with the pope’s personal involvement—is making such major concessions to Anglicans shows just how much it wants the Anglicans back under its control.

Still, and probably shockingly to many, it happened. The Vatican note described the new “personal ordinariates” as separate dioceses, presided over by a bishop and with their own priests, seminarians, and faithful. This of course, is also similar to the canonical status of “personal prelature,” currently held by only one Catholic group: Opus Dei.

Though appearing to happen suddenly, such an invitation to disgruntled Anglican conservatives has long been in the works, with unity dialogues going back fourty years. The Vatican was careful not to have it seen as poaching, with Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s top ecumenical official, stating during  a Vatican news conference, “We are not fishing in the Anglican lake.” Yet out of respect for freedom of religion, the Catholic church has a responsibility to respond when someone knocks on its door.”

The bigger implication of course is that Protestantism will be absorbed into the ‘mother’ church—and despite the new legal framework, or apostolic constitution – will eventually be totally abolished. John Broadhurst, bishop of Fulham and chairman of the group Forward in Faith, formed to oppose the ordination of women bishops, said that up to 1,000 clergymen in England alone could move to Catholicism. Entire parishes or dioceses could make the switch.

A Deceptive Attack

This apostolic constitution represents a swift and brilliant (divide and conquer) attack on the Church of England—orchestrated by the pope himself—that will leave it mortally wounded. The Catholic Church deliberately kept its plan secret from the Church of England for as long as possible. Usually proposals like these are debated for months ahead of time, but Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, only found out about them two weeks ago. The press conference regarding the constitution was announced less than 24 hours before it took place—the Vatican usually announces such conferences several days in advance.

Britain’s Times newspaper declared that “Rome has parked its tanks on the archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn.” And little wonder, as this is a mortal blow to a shrinking and increasingly irrelevant Anglican church. The Vatican has added a potent spice to the integration soup by changing the power balance in the Church of England.  Catholics already outnumber Anglicans in their respective regular church services. With this switch, Catholicism would become by far the most dominant religion in Britain by marginalizing the Anglican Church’s role in British life. Anglicans will then have most of what they desired – a church full of liberals and modernizers, who aren’t really sure if God exists, but who attend church only a few times a year. It is a death knell of the Reformation, pure and simple.

Contrarily, the stage is being set for the greatest revolution in religion the world has witnessed. The final short-lived triumph of Catholicism, as recorded in literally dozens of Bible prophecies, is almost upon us as we see reconciliation of the Orthodox Schism of 1054 that divided the churches in the East, and the restoration to the Roman Communion of all Protestantism which developed from 1517 onward.

How can we know all this? It is prophesied in the Bible.

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July 12, 2009

Free Beer During Service: Church Of England Loses Reality!

2782874518_601ff9e585_m[1]Well, the state of modern religion is starting to border on the insane. I found an article in the London Telegraph which shows just how desperate churches are becoming to attract members. This article says the Church of England offered beer and barbecued meats on Father’s Day. Men attending St. Stephen’s church in Barbourne, Worchester were handed bottles of beers by children to slake their thirst during the service.

Other churches offered bacon rolls, chocolate bars, and even a hog roast to the few who found economic times hard enough to sit through a sermon in order to get their alcohol fix and grab some “manna.”

In some ways it is understandable, as a study recently found that less than 20% of men in England attend church monthly. So if you have the wrong message, at least give them the right product to fill the pews.

The archdeacon of St. Stephen’s defended the beer giveaway, comparing it to the flowers that are given to mothers on Mother’s Day. Another bishop tried to legitimize the giveaway by comparing it to the gospel story in which Jesus turned water into wine, because He was “in favor of partying.” This from a man supposedly versed in the Bible, which advocates moderation, rather than a party spirit.

He argued that the free beer was intended to be symbolic of “the generosity of God”. Nothing about the gospel message. Don’t you just love recognizing the truth of the Bible?

June 21, 2009

The Cross: A Symbol Of Faith Or Rank Paganism?

chr4.tripod.com

The hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” portrays the cross as the identifying sign of everything for which Christianity stands and around which Christians should rally in their fight against the forces of evil.

Throughout the world, people universally regard the cross as THE symbol of Christianity. Churches have crosses atop their steeples, on their walls, windows and doors. Catholics and Protestants wear crosses on necklaces, bracelets, rings, pendants, keychains and items of clothing. People in some churches “cross” themselves by touching the forehead, breast, and then each shoulder to form a symbolic cross in carrying out certain religious rituals or in blessing themselves or others. Some think the sign of the cross to be effective in warding off evil spirits and for generally protecting believers from harm.

So is it okay to wear a cross as a symbol of our personal faith? Is it OK to assume that the early Christian Church revered the cross as part of its religious observance? Check any encyclopedia or historical reference work on this subject. It makes for an interesting study for those who are not afraid to face the truth.

The cross, in many shapes and forms, was used centuries before Christ by abject pagans! Notice a few of the many examples:

  • In the British Museum is a statue of the Assyrian king Samsi-Vul, son of Shalmaneser. Around his neck is an almost perfect Maltese cross. On an accompanying figure of Ashur-nasir-pal is a similar cross.
  • The ancient Greek goddess Diana is pictured with a crosses over her head, in much the same way that the “Virgin Mary” is represented by many medieval artists.
  • Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, is often pictured wearing a headdress adorned with crosses.
  • Different types of crosses were used in Mexico centuries before the Spaniards arrived.
  • The Egyptians used cross symbols in abundance, as did the Hindus.

The shape of the two-beamed cross had its origin in ancient Chaldea and was used to represent the god Tammuz. Tammuz is the deified Nimrod, the first man to lead the opposition against God after the great Flood. He founded the city of Babylon, and along with his mother/wife Semiramis, founded the pagan Babylon mystery religion—the origin of all false religion today. The Egyptians used crosses in abundance, as did the Hindus.

The surprising thing is that the Christian use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after Christ. Archaeologists have found no Christian uses of the symbol before that time. According to one writer, “By the middle of the third century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had transvestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols” (W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, article “Cross“).

“In the papal system, as is well known, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross is looked upon as the grand charm, as the great refuge in every season of danger, in every hour of temptation as the infallible preservative from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for anyone to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, “the accursed tree,” is a mortal offense. To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”—that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified—is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretense. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source.”

“The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by paganism to the same magic purposes, was honored with the same honors. That which is now called the Christian cross was originally no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians—the true original form of the letter T, the initial of the name of Tammuz—which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee, as found on coins, was formed as in No. 1 of the accompanying woodcut (below), and in Etrurian and Coptic, as in No’s. 2 and 3. That mystic Tau was marked in baptism on the foreheads of those initiated in the Mysteries, and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol. To identify Tammuz with the sun, it was joined sometimes to the circle of the sun, as in No. 4; sometimes it was inserted in the circle, as in No. 5.” (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, page 197).

www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/Rites%20..

There is an enormous body of evidence proving that the cross is not a Christian symbol but has its roots in rank paganism. Some will argue, however, that we may use the sign of the cross because it represents the manner in which Jesus Christ died, or that they are not using it today to worship a pagan deity. However, using it as a Christian symbol is a product of syncretism, (the blending of pagan traditions and methods of worship with the true worship of God), something God strongly condemns.

Before entering the land of Canaan, God told the Israelites,

. . . take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.” You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)

Does the cross even represent the manner in which Jesus Christ died? I have argued against this in another article on this blog. The Bible does not specifically state which method the Romans used in the crucifixion of Christ, and as far as I can tell, no one has yet conclusively proven on what shape of instrument of torture Christ was crucified. Does it even matter? We have to consider if it is even appropriate to use the very tool that was used to kill our Savior as an emblem of our faith. If Jesus Christ had been killed by hanging, would we use a gallows or a noose as a symbol of our faith? If He had been beheaded, would we use a guillotine? It makes no sense to parade the instrument of shame and death before the world and be proud of it.

Satan the devil knew long before Jesus was born that Christ would die by crucifixion (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14; Psalm 22:16). He has deceived the entire world (Rev. 12:9) into worshipping a false Christ by making the cross a popular symbol of worship.

Most importantly, God forbids the use of any item that takes the place of faith. He instructs His true followers to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23), and forsake all of this world’s false religions, rituals and pagan symbols of worship. This includes the cross, which assists only to add to a dead, empty faith. As the apostle Paul exhorted, Christ’s true followers walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor. 5:7).

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