Daily Archives: May 29, 2013

Adam, Eve and Andy

Via Do Not Be Surprised:

“Andy Stanley has demonstrated the inevitable confusion that results from pragmatic compromise. In his efforts to please even the critics, he has undermined his own argument and his own professed faith. Andy Stanley does not believe that Adam and Eve were historical because the Bible says they were, but because Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, says they were historical figures. This does not make sense. Either the Bible is reliable as a source of trustworthy information or it is not. Yes, Jesus affirmed the historicity of Adam and Eve, but how does one know that He did? By reading it in the Bible.

The only true and authoritative record of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and of His life, death and resurrection, exists within the pages of Scripture. The only way to convey these truths, then, is to do so under the power and authority of the Word of God. One cannot toss aside Scriptural infallibility and authority, but then argue that something is true because Jesus said it is true, for it would not be known that Jesus said a thing at all if it was not recorded in Scripture.”

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/05/adam-eve-and-andy/

Read the full story and see the video here:

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/05/adam-and-eve-and-andy-stanley.html

The Student Loan Delinquency Rate In The United States Has Hit A Brand New Record High

37 million Americans currently have outstanding student loans, and the delinquency rate on those student loans has now reached a level never seen before. According to a new report that was just released by the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent. That is a brand new record high, and it is almost double the rate of a decade ago. Total student loan debt exceeds a trillion dollars, and it is now the second largest category of consumer debt after home mortgages. The student loan debt bubble has been growing particularly rapidly in recent years. According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003. That is a staggering figure. Millions upon millions of young college graduates are entering the “real world” only to discover that they are already financially crippled for decades to come by oppressive student loan debt burdens. Large numbers of young people are even putting off buying homes or getting married simply because of student loan debt. (Read More….)

Top US Brand of Children’s Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

The #1 Children’s Vitamin Brand in the US contains ingredients that most parents would never intentionally expose their children to, so why aren’t more opting for healthier alternatives? Kids vitamins are supposed to be healthy, right? Well then, what’s going on with Flintstones Vitamins, which proudly claims to be “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice”? Produced by the global pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, this wildly success brand features a shocking list of unhealthy ingredients, including:

http://chrisinmaryville.net/top-us-brand-of-childrens-vitamins-contains-aspartame-gmos-other-hazardous-chemicals.html

Cicero 54 B.C.

“We are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of men, but for foreign nations, complaisant nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace – these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare, and surely it is becoming bare! We are taxed to maintain legions on their soil, in the name of law and order and the Pax Romana, a document which will fall into dust when it pleases our allies and our vassals. We keep them in precarious balance only with our gold. Is the heartblood of our nation worth these? Were they bound to us with ties of love, they would not ask our gold. They take our very flesh, and they hate and despise us. And who shall say we are worthy of more? … When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself.”

http://www.dailypaul.com/286889/cicero-54-bc

‘Iran nuclear, Syria chemical, Hezbollah rockets: Axis has crossed all red lines’

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avigdor Lieberman says Iran is moving at a “crazy pace” toward a nuclear weapon; no doubt that Assad has used chemical weapons; and Hezbollah missiles can hit anywhere in Israel.

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=9579

U.S.-backed Syrian rebels reportedly massacre Christian village

Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army interfered.

http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-backed-syrian-rebels-reportedly-massacre-christian-village?cid=rss

Christian Pastor Murdered as Nigeria Declares State of Emergency

Nigeria continues to own the shameful title of being the deadliest place to be a Christian. In 2012, 70 percent of Christians murdered due to persecution were killed in Nigeria.

http://www.religiontoday.com/blog/christian-pastor-murdered-nigeria-state-of-emergency.html

Turkey Stakes Claim in America With $100 Million Mega-Mosque

The government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland. Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site on May 15 as part of his official visit to the U.S.. The state of Maryland was officially represented at the event by its Secretary of State John McDonough. The event was also attended by the leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.

http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/turkey-stakes-claim-america-100-million-mega-mosque

A Bad Relationship: How the Press Came To Love Obama More Than Itself

What would you think of a president whose obsession with leaks and secrecy was so great that he used the Justice Department to obtain phone records of reporters, in violation of Justice’s established procedure? …there is an entire class of journalist so invested in a certain moral and ethical image of the president its members are unable to entertain facts that might tarnish that image.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/29/a-bad-relationship-how-the-press-came-to-love-obama-more-than-itself.html

Half of America: I’d kill to protect my own

The sobering new poll by Wenzel Strategies, a public-opinion research and media consulting company, also shows a stunning number of Americans say they would be willing to kill a neighbor under such circumstances.

http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/half-of-america-id-kill-to-protect-my-own/

Children’s Network Launches Transsexual Superhero Show

Nothing says “child-appropriate material” quite like gender-bending underage superheroes. At least that’s the theory over at the Hub, the network co-owned by Discovery and Hasbro, which is trotting out its latest soon-to-be-dud, SheZow. That show follows the adventures of a 12-year-old boy named Guy who uses a magic ring to transform himself into a crime-fighting girl.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2013/05/28/Children-network-transsexual-superhero

Liars and Tyrants and Bureaucrats – AND the Media!

Who’s in charge here, anyway? The Obama administration is responsible for everything, but knows nothing. America is in ruins, scandal, and no one’s to blame. Evidently, the buck permanently stopped with George W. Bush.

The ever so smug White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, has had a tough go of it lately creatively answering questions saying he doesn’t know anything and the president had absolutely no knowledge or involvement – in anything. Apparently, ‘at no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing.’

It’s funny, infuriating, and sad all at the same time. The most corrupt government in American history has not, is not, and will not be held accountable for their actions.

View Article

Did Pope Francis just say Atheists are saved?

By Dr. David R. Reagan

Founder & Director, Lamb & Lion Ministries

On May 22, 2013, Pope Francis shocked the world when he delivered an off-the-cuff homily in which he declared that Atheists could be saved by doing good works because Jesus died for everyone (see article).

The amazing assertion was, of course, thoroughly unbiblical. It violated two very fundamental biblical principles.

View Article

Finding Joy in a Fallen World

I’ve been deeply convicted lately, about my own writing and interaction on social media. I enjoy keeping up with current events, politics, and movements in the Church. I like writing in reaction to news stories, helping people think biblically about what is going on in the world. I’d like to think I do a fair job at doing this, but I know that because I see “through a glass darkly” even at my best, my view of the world is tainted by sin. It’s a good thing to help people size up the world biblically, but if we’re not careful (and by we, I mean me), people can assume that the Christian faith is all about cynicism, negativity, and opposition.

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New spectre of cloned babies: Scientists create embryos in lab that ‘could grow to full term’ – Raises possibility of babies being cloned in the lab by rogue scientists

The prospect of cloned babies has moved a step closer after scientists extracted stem cells from human embryos created in a laboratory.

The breakthrough could lead to customised cells to help treat and even cure a range of diseases, from Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis.

However, it also raises the spectre of babies being cloned in laboratories. This could allow couples who lose a child to pay for the creation of a ‘duplicate’.

View Article

It’s Not Me, It’s You – Tullian Tchividjian

Listen: self-righteousness is no respecter of persons. It reaches to the religious and the irreligious, the “buttoned down” and the “untucked”, the plastic and the pious, the rule-keepers and the rule-breakers, the “right” and the “wrong.” The entire Bible reveals how shortsighted all of us are when it comes to our own sin. Steve Brown writes:

You will find criticism of Christian fundamentalists by people whose secular fundamentalism dwarfs the fundamentalism of the people being criticized. Political correctness and the attendant feelings of self-righteousness have their equivalent in religious communities with religious correctness. If you look at victims, you’ll find self-righteousness. On the other hand, if you look at the people who wield power, they do it with the self-righteous notion that they know better, understand more, and more informed than others…arrogance, condescension, disdain, contemptuousness, and pomposity are everywhere.

For example, it was easy for Jonah to see the idolatry of the sailors. It was easy for him to see the perverse ways of the Ninevites. What he couldn’t see was his own idolatry, his own perversion. So the question is not whether you are self-righteous, but rather, in which direction does your self-righteousness lean? Depending on who I’m with, mine goes in both directions. Arghhh!

Thankfully, while our self-righteousness reaches far, God’s grace reaches farther. And the good news is, that it reaches in both directions!

If God Is Sovereign, Why Is My Sanctification So Slow?

If God is sovereign (and he is), and if my sanctification brings him glory (and it does), then why do I continue to struggle so much?

For example, Christians know that communion with God in prayer, faith, and the Word will give us substantive joy. But we often cut it short or skip it all together for trifling things.

Writing to a correspondent in 1776, John Newton described it this way:

Though he knows that communion with God is his highest privilege, he too seldom finds it so; on the contrary, if duty, conscience, and necessity did not compel, he would leave the throne of grace unvisited from day to day. He takes up the Bible, conscious that it is the fountain of life and true comfort; yet perhaps, while he is making the reflection, he feels a secret distaste, which prompts him to lay it down, and give him preference to a newspaper.

Newton then raises the sovereignty problem:

How can these things be, or why are they permitted? Since the Lord hates sin, teaches his people to hate it and cry against it, and has promised to hear their prayers, how is it that they go thus burdened? Surely, if he could not, or would not, over-rule evil for good, he would permit it to continue.

Here is how he answers:

By these exercises he teaches us more truly to know and feel the utter depravity and corruption of our whole nature, that we are indeed defiled in every part.

His method of salvation is likewise hereby exceedingly endeared to us: we see that it is and must be of grace, wholly of grace; and that the Lord Jesus Christ, and his perfect righteousness, is and must be our all in all.

His power likewise, in maintaining his own work notwithstanding our infirmities, temptations, and enemies, is hereby displayed in the clearest light; his strength is manifested in our weakness.

Satan likewise is more remarkably disappointed and put to shame, when he finds bounds set to his rage and policy, beyond which he cannot pass; and that those in whom he finds so much to work upon, and over whom he so often prevails for a season, escape at last out of his hands. He casts them down, but they are raised again; he wounds them, but they are healed; he obtains his desire to sift them as wheat, but the prayer of their great Advocate prevails for the maintenance of their faith.

Farther, by what believers feel in themselves they learn by degrees how to warn, pity, and bear with others. A soft, patient, and compassionate spirit, and a readiness and skill in comforting those who are cast down, is not perhaps attainable in any other way.

And, lastly, I believe nothing more habitually reconciles a child of God to the thought of death, than the wearisomeness of this warfare. Death is unwelcome to nature;—but then, and not till then, the conflict will cease. Then we shall sin no more. The flesh, with all its attendant evils, will be laid in the grave. Then the soul, which has been partaker of a new and heavenly birth, shall be freed from every incumbrance, and stand perfect perfect in the Redeemer’s righteousness before God in glory.

Newton goes on to answer the question of how such sin can be mitigated or overcome. Here’s a summary of what he recommends:

Faithfulness to light received, and a sincere endeavor to conform to the means prescribed in the word of God, with an humble application to the Blood of sprinkling and the promised Spirit, will undoubtedly be answered by increasing measures of light, faith, strength, and comfort; and we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord.

Read More here:

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/05/28/sovereignty-and-sanctificatio/

Top 10 Bible Apps And Best Bible Apps For IOS & Android

Looking for the best Bible apps with the most translations and stellar functionality? We have assembled our list of the top 10 Bible apps and best Bible apps for iOS and Android Devices. With the ease of mobile devices, having a bible app on your phone or tablet makes it easy to have God’s Word wherever you go!

Read More here:

http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2013/05/top-10-bible-apps-bible-apps-ios-android/

Catholic Questions: Are apparitions of Mary, such as Lady Fatima, true messages from God?

In Catholic tradition, there are many reported occurrences of Mary, angels, and/or saints appearing and delivering a message from God. It is likely that at least in some of these cases, the people were genuinely seeing something supernatural. While some of what is seen in various places is perhaps the work of charlatans, other apparitions were apparently authentic. However, with that said, an apparition being authentic does not mean it is a message from God or a genuine appearance of Mary, an angel, or a saint. Scripture declares that Satan and his demons masquerade as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14–15). Satanic deception is just as possible an explanation for the apparitions.

The only way to determine whether an apparition is a “lying wonders” or a genuine message from God is to compare the apparition with Scripture. If the teachings that are attached to these apparitions are contrary to the Word of God, the apparitions themselves are then Satanic in nature. A study of the teachings of Our Lady Fatima with its “Miracle of the Sun” is a good example.

A webpage containing detailed descriptions of the “Miracle of the Sun” can be found at: http://www.religion-cults.com/fatima/sun.htm. It would indeed seem that something spectacular happened on October 13, 1917 … the something did in fact appear and deliver a message. The fact that its timing coincided with what had been told to the shepherd children three months earlier would seem to tie this event with the apparitions they had been seeing over the previous months, first of the angel and later of the “Lady of Fatima.”

When one compares the message of Fatima to what the Bible teaches, it is evident that the message of Fatima combines some biblical truth with several unbiblical practices and teachings. The following paragraphs are quoted directly from a website dedicated to the “Lady of Fatima,” http://www.fatima.org. Specific words or sentences are underlined to indicate them to be unbiblical (not taught by the Bible), or anti-Biblical (contradictory to the Bible). Following the lengthy quotations, more information will be given with specific reasons for classifying these apparitions as “lying wonders.” Here then is a quoted summary of the overall message given by the Lady of Fatima:

The Message in General

“The general Message of Fatima is not complicated. Its requests are for prayer, reparation, repentance, and sacrifice, and the abandonment of sin. Before Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children, Lucy, Francisco and Jacinta, the Angel of Peace visited them. The Angel prepared the children to receive the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his instructions are an important aspect of the Message that is often overlooked.

“The Angel demonstrated to the children the fervent, attentive, and composed manner in which we should all pray, and the reverence we should show toward God in prayer. He also explained to them the great importance of praying and making sacrifices in reparation for the offenses committed against God. He told them: ‘Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication, for the conversion of sinners.’ In his third and final apparition to the children, the Angel gave them Holy Communion, and demonstrated the proper way to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist: all three children knelt to receive Communion; and Lucy was given the Sacred Host on the tongue and the Angel shared the Blood of the Chalice between Francisco and Jacinta.

“Our Lady stressed the importance of praying the Rosary in each of Her apparitions, asking the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace. Another principal part of the Message of Fatima is devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, which is terribly outraged and offended by the sins of humanity, and we are lovingly urged to console Her by making reparation. She showed Her Heart, surrounded by piercing thorns (which represented the sins against Her Immaculate Heart), to the children, who understood that their sacrifices could help to console Her.

“The children also saw that God is terribly offended by the sins of humanity, and that He desires each of us and all mankind to abandon sin and make reparation for their crimes through prayer and sacrifice. Our Lady sadly pleaded: ‘Do not offend the Lord our God any more, for He is already too much offended!’

“The children were also told to pray and sacrifice themselves for sinners, in order to save them from hell. The children were briefly shown a vision of hell, after which Our Lady told them: ‘You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.’

“Our Lady indicated to us the specific root of all the troubles in the world, the one that causes world wars and such terrible suffering: sin. She then gave a solution, first to individual people, then to the Church’s leaders. God asks each one of us to stop offending Him. We must pray, especially the Rosary. By this frequent prayer of the Rosary, we will get the graces we need to overcome sin. God wants us to have devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to work to spread this devotion throughout the world. Our Lady said, ‘My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.’ If we wish to go to God, we have a sure way to Him through true devotion to the Immaculate Heart of His Mother.

“In order to move ever closer to Her, and therefore to Her Son, Our Lady stressed the importance of praying at least five decades of the Rosary daily. She asked us to wear the Brown Scapular. And we must make sacrifices, especially the sacrifice of doing our daily duty, in reparation for the sins committed against Our Lord and Our Lady. She also stressed the necessity of prayers and sacrifices to save poor sinners from hell. The Message of Fatima, to individual souls, is summarized in these things.”

On the same web-site, there is recorded an interview between Sister Lucy (the 10 year-old shepherd girl who was among the three children who saw the apparitions in 1917) and a Father Fuentes. The interview took place in 1957. In this interview focusing on Fatima and its message, Sister Lucy says the following:

“Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin, and the devil knows what it is that most offends God, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.

“Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but She made me understand this for three reasons. The first reason is because She told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat. Hence from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil; there is no other possibility.

“The second reason is because She said to my cousins as well as to myself, that God is giving two last remedies to the world. They are the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two remedies which signify that there will be no others.

“The third reason is because in the plans of Divine Providence, God always, before He is about to chastise the world, exhausts all other remedies. Now, when He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, He offers us with a certain trepidation the last means of salvation, His Most Holy Mother. It is with a certain trepidation because if you despise and reject this ultimate means, we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven, because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Ghost. This sin consists of openly rejecting, with full knowledge and consent, the salvation which He offers. Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother. We have recorded through many centuries of Church history the obvious testimony which demonstrates by the terrible chastisements which have befallen those who have attacked the honor of His Most Holy Mother, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always defended the honor of His Mother.

“The two means for saving the world are prayer and sacrifice. [Regarding the Holy Rosary, Sister Lucy said:] Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls. “Finally, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, consists in considering Her as the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon, and as the sure door of entering Heaven.”

In the above paragraphs concerning the message that Sister Lucy felt that the apparition that appeared to her wished to communicate to the world, you find so many things that are not only not found in Scripture but are contrary to Scripture.

1) Mary is referred to as the “Most Holy Mother” and having an “Immaculate Heart.” By this they are not meaning that she is given the righteousness and holiness given to saints through the imputed righteousness of Christ but rather that she was saved from sin in every form through having been conceived in her mother’s womb without the stain of original sin. Never does the Bible refer to Mary as being sinless. Never does it refer to her having an immaculate heart. Rather, she refers to God as her Savior (Luke 1:47). This would seem to place her with the rest of humanity, but the Catholic Church holds that Mary was saved from sin through the merits of Christ by being conceived without sin and then living a sinless life. Again, never is this taught in Scripture. Rather what Scripture teaches is that there is only one exception to the truth that we are all sinners (Romans 3:10, 3:23, etc.). That single exception is Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

2) Sister Lucy speaks of devotion to the “Immaculate Heart” of Mary and saying the rosary as the “last two remedies to the world.” She also states that there is no problem that cannot be solved by saying the Rosary. It is the teaching of Fatima that it is through the same that will lead to the saving of many souls. Again, never is such a teaching found in Scripture. The Rosary’s main prayer is the “Hail, Mary” which is repeated fifty times. The first half of it is a quote from Scripture of the greeting of the angel to Mary, “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb …” but the second half says, “… Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” Besides giving Mary a title which Scripture does not, it then asks Mary to pray for us. Indeed, Catholics not only see Mary as the one through whom ALL of God’s grace flows, and the one who intercedes to her Son on our behalf, but Catholics also direct prayers to her to deliver people from sin, from war, etc. Pope Paul II’s prayer from the early 1980’s to Mary is an example of such. In this prayer he repeatedly pleads to Mary to “deliver us” from nuclear war, famine, self destruction, from injustice, etc.

Again, never do you find a godly person in Scripture praying to any one but God nor asking for intercession by anyone but those still living on this earth. Rather, Scripture directs us to pray to God (Luke 11:1–2; Matthew 6:6–9; Philippians 4:6; Acts 8:22; Luke 10:2, etc.)! He entreats us to come boldly unto the throne of grace (His throne) that we may find grace and help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14–16). God promised us that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God with groanings that cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26). Why do we need to go through a saint, angel or Mary, especially considering the fact that neither the example of doing so nor the command of doing so is ever given in Scripture? There is only the repeated example of two things in Scripture:

a) Prayer is made to God alone (1 Corinthians 11:5; Romans 10:1; Romans 15:30; Acts 12:5; Acts 10:2; Acts 8:24; Acts 1:24; Zechariah. 8:21–22; Jonah 2:7; 4:2, etc.)

b) Requests for prayer are made only to the living (1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 13:18, etc.)

In addition, nowhere is it taught that Mary is all-seeing, all-hearing, and omniscient (or nearly so) as she would have to be to hear and respond to the multitude of prayers that are directed toward her from the many Catholics who pray to her simultaneously around the world. Instead Scripture teaches that both angels and the spirits of the dead are finite beings, able to only be in one place at a time (Daniel 9:20–23; Luke 16:19f.).

3) One of the repeated messages of Fatima is the call for personal “reparation” or “penance.” This Catholic concept teaches that we must make amends to God and to Mary for the sins we have committed against them. Repeating one of the phrases from the “The Message in General,” the angel told the children to “Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended …” A reparation is a “expiation … something done or paid as amends; compensation.” This ties in with the Roman Catholic teaching of temporal punishment which a person can take care of through penance now or through time spent in purgatory later. The Bible NEVER speaks of the need to make “reparation” for our sins or doing “penance” to pay for our sins. Rather, what it teaches is that we are to offer our lives as living sacrifices to God in response and in gratitude for all of the mercies He has shown us in salvation (Romans 12:1–2). When a person becomes a Christian, His sins are forgiven and paid for in full by Christ. There remains no further payment that can be made for them, no further expiation required.

4) A key aspect of the Lady of Fatima is the bowing down before and venerating the images associated with the apparition. Throughout the entire Bible, you will find that any time that someone bows down before one of the “saints” or angels, they are told to get up and to stop. Only when done to “the Angel of the Lord” (a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ), or before Jesus or God the Father is such veneration accepted. Catholics make a distinction between “worshiping” God and “venerating” Mary and the saints; but when John the Apostle prostrates himself before an angel, the angel does not ask, “Are you worshiping me or venerating me?” The angel simply tells him to stop and to “worship God” (Revelation 19:10). Likewise, when Peter was being “venerated” (prokuneo—the Greek word that the Catholic Church uses for “veneration” as opposed to “adoration” which only God deserves) by Cornelius in Acts 10:25, Peter tells Cornelius, “Stand up, I myself am also a man.” I might note that his same word is used in the Revelation passage mentioned as well. Thus, the repeated example that we have of an angel or “saint” being “honored” is accompanied by a command to stop!

Thus, praying to Mary is contrary to the Scriptural admonition to pray to God and the Scriptural example to do so. It is also illogical to substitute praying to an all-loving, omniscient, omnipotent God (Psalm 139; Hebrews 4:14–16), to pray to some saint or Mary, for which there is no Scriptural evidence that they can even hear prayers. To pray to saints and to Mary on a worldwide basis is to attribute to them attributes of omnipresence and omniscience which God alone possesses … this truly is idolatry!

5) Lastly, concerning the “Miracle of the Sun,” there are repeated cases in which “lying wonders” are spoken of in Scripture (Exodus 7:22; 8:7; 8:18; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; Revelation 13:13–14). God even tells us in Deuteronomy 13:1f. that when someone gives a prediction that comes true or a “sign” that seems miraculous, but he is teaching the worship of strange gods, to not give heed to him but rather to treat him as a false prophet.

For a Christian, the “content of faith” ought to be the Bible and what it teaches (Isaiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 3:16). And while Catholics may argue that the “Lady of Fatima” is not calling on us to worship “strange gods” but to worship the true God, the idea of venerating Mary to such an extent that her “Immaculate Heart” is put on the same level of devotion as Jesus’ “Sacred Heart” is undeniably the exaltation of a godly woman to a position never given her in Scripture … that of equality with God; for to honor her as one would Christ is to do just that. Likewise, to focus on Mary to such an extent that we spend more time praying to her than to God is also idolatrous, especially in light of the direct commands of Scripture to pray to God and the complete silence in Scripture concerning any exaltation of Mary.

Was the “Miracle of the Sun” a lying wonder? Based on biblical teaching, it would certainly seem so. Satan has no problem mixing enough truth to make a teaching seem right with just enough error to damn souls to hell. Where is it ever mentioned throughout the whole message of Fatima the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ … the message that is repeated throughout the whole of the New Testament?

Where is it ever mentioned that salvation is only through Christ’s finished work on Calvary and that our works have no merit apart from Him? Penance and making offerings for reparation of our sins are antithetical to Christ’s finished work on Calvary and of our need for salvation by grace alone through faith in Him alone. The calling upon Mary and her Immaculate Heart and the saying of the rosary as the ultimate and final means of saving souls flies in the face of such biblical truths as Acts 4:12 and 1 Timothy 2:5. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Life Decisions: Can a Christian consider a career in acting / entertainment?

This is a hard question to answer because the entertainment business includes many aspects. There is a vast difference between a theatre that presents only classics such as Shakespeare’s plays and TV shows that glorify sex and violence. Both are considered part of the entertainment business and both involve actors and actresses, but the impact on the performers and the audiences is quite different. Christians considering a career in acting or performing must consider the bearing their roles will have on them spiritually, the lifestyle into which they will be entering, and the influence their performances will have on others.

For the Christian actor/actress/performer, involvement in a movie that glorifies sin or the devil’s work is clearly not an option. Because actors struggle to find roles, they often take whatever parts come along, especially when they are first starting out. For unbelieving actors/actresses, the decision to take a part involves little more than the effect it will have on their careers and future roles and the money involved. But for the Christian, there is also the problem of whether the role glorifies God or at least is not actually glorifying rebellion against Him with violence or sex or other evils. Granted the big money is probably with the ungodly roles because we live in a world where the devil has a huge influence on these matters, but the Christian actor should not take parts which promote Satan’s agenda. The overriding principle involved is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

In addition, the issue of the lifestyle of performers in general must be a consideration for a Christian. There is an enormous amount of drugs, alcohol, and immoral behavior in the entertainment industry. Young people eager to get the “big break” are often used and abused by those in power. While it may be possible for a Christian to be in this world and not be affected by it, 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ ” If God warns us to avoid bad company so as not to be corrupted by it, we would be foolish to ignore that warning.

Finally, the impact performers have on others must be considered. When unbelievers see professing Christians in movies, TV shows, or live performances that promote ungodliness, they sense the hypocrisy and are given cause to “blaspheme the name of God” (Romans 2:24). There is also a detrimental effect on the faith of other believers, especially young people and those immature in the faith. Anytime a young believer can justify ungodliness by saying, “Well, so-and-so does it and he’s a Christian,” the cause of Christ suffers and the young person is drawn away from truth into sin. Jesus spoke harshly of those who cause “one of these little ones who believe in me to sin” (Matthew 18:6).

Ultimately, the decision to enter into a career in acting or entertainment must be made prayerfully, seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5) and the counsel of mature Christians, remembering always that “everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness” (2 Timothy 2:19).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.