"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's O.K. to like zombie movies!

Another blogger beat me to the punch on this one. This past weekend I watched some more of The Walking Dead and thought I might pontificate on my blog about zombie movies. I have been fascinated at myself for a few years that I like them so much, and wondered why. I hoped the answer was not “because you are a psycho, Dave” and as it turns out, I very likely am not a psycho! Hooray! It turns out that many normal people like horror and zombie movies and find them stimulating on a deeper or even spiritual level. The blogs author even identifies The Walking Dead as Southern Gothic horror in the vein of Flannery O'Connor. That makes me feel super smart for liking zombie movies! So go ahead and watch Shawn of the dead, The Walking Dead or Zombieland guilt free.

Here is my take: Like all good sci-fi, horror movies have the ability to distill the meaning of life into precious small spaces. What do you take from your giant house when you flee it from attacking zombies? Family pictures and guns to protect your loved ones, of course. What do you do when a little girl is alone in the woods with zombies? Risk everything to find her, of course. What these human instinctual responses in the viewer tell us is that we are human, and being human is more than eating and breathing. Being human is about what you love, and what you were created to do. And unfortunately, many people seem to think they were created to pursue personal peace and affluence instead of walk toward their creator. Zombie movies make these choices clear. The Walking Dead even makes a point of having a scientist show a film of the brain activity of someone dying and coming back as a zombie. We see that only the "instinct" part of the brain stem is active. There is never any doubt by anyone in the show that these people are not human. They are dispatched with bloody abandon and indifference by the dozens. There is more pity taken on animals in the show than the zombies.

The message is loud and clear.

So loud in fact that my guess is that many fans of the show never notice it because it is plain obvious to them, although in their daily lives they might easily deny it. The message is that human beings are a special creation of a loving creator, and that we are made in His image and likeness. We are not the sum of our parts, or merely a central nervous system to be pleasured. One human life is worth every single zombie life even though they are made of the exact same physical material. So lets think about it:  if they are made of the same material and one can be slaughtered with less care than a pig, while the other is a precious life worth risking everything to save... what is the difference other than an eternal soul? And what does modern man scream to fulfill in all his depraved abuses of himself more than his soul? In this way, zombie movies are some of the most "christian" themed movies around. What other movie will the viewer always find himself making the correct choice with the characters-- to do the human thing. If only we all could pretend we lived in a zombie Apocalypse in our day to day lives, perhaps we would live the gospel each day.

Here is an excerpt of  Red Cardigan's excellent thinking on this topic:

“It's almost as though in order for us even to begin to touch base with the reality of life for so many, with such a universal human experience of the uncertainty of existence and the constant presence of things like fear and pain, we have to wipe away all the material clutter we've accumulated; we have to envision a world so destroyed that our pretenses at safety and stability no longer mean anything; we have to recognize our glorified caves and technological voodoo for what it all really is, and what it's all really worth, against the brevity and coldness and harshness of life at its most basic level. In such a fictional setting, we can see and value the mere works of human hands for what they are—“

Here was my response in the comments:

“Bizarre. I just watched the episode you describe this past weekend, and was struck by it as well. I did laugh out loud at the crucifix in the Baptist church though.
I believe we like zombie movies because they show us what we know to be true: humans are more than animals. Our culture around us knows this too, though they continually try to deny it by degrading human life through abortion, porn, etc. But in the end, they love zombies, because when they look at a zombie, they get a reassurance that to be human is to be more than a walking meat bag. Strangely, watching zombie movies can bring them/us closer to God.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

Subsidiarity and Distributism

A friend writes:

I'd like to get your opinion on the idea of a "one world government"? Evangelical people always associate it with evil / end time / anti-christ. What is your opinion (or what does the RCC teach) about it?

I don't think of things in terms of government "types". And I think in general the Catholic Church operates that way too. The "types" of governments we often compare with one another just seem to be different types of pickpocketing, or different types of cages to organize wage slaves (that is you and me). Choosing between anarchy, democracy, republic, or monarchy, is like choosing between brown eggs or white: Who cares what the shell looks like, what is inside? Is it rotten or yummy.

That yumminess increases the more a government lets families take more and more power. For example: familial ownership (not corporations) of the means of production. And decreases when the government tries to be the family by doing work given to families ( example: declaring sodomite marriage to be just fine).

If we ignore the types and focus on principle, the main, basic principle that will lead to a good government (whatever the "type") is the Catholic principle of Subsidiarity. As far as a "one world" government, of course the world has been-there-done-that in the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, so we don't have to wonder about it, history can tell us about it. And history tells us it is a neutral thing. It aint good or bad to have a one world government. Jesus lived under a one world government and didn't seem too upset about it. Personally what form my government takes makes me want to yawn. As long as my family has freedom to be Catholic and freedom from the "tyranny of relativism" (as BXVI puts it), I don't much care what they do... as long as they leave my family the hell alone when we try to practice our religion. And if they dont, then I will practice it anyway, and when Obama's goons come for my family, and my case of 1000 armor peircing 7.62mm rounds are spent, they can come nail us to crosses. A one world government did that to Jesus, and very small governments can do it too. And that is why the ideal government will always be the same size... the size of a family. The King just builds the road out in front of the family's house, but the family uses it. The FAMILY is the kingdom, NOT the King. So to define that government as a "monarchy" is not useful, because it says nothing about what the family does in the monarchy. See what I mean?

The Catholic magisterium sees the family as the top form of government in any society, with all other levels being of far less importance, or subsidiary to the family. Understanding this will help one to understand why Catholics get so upset about changes to the way a society views marriage. When society redefines marriage, they are striking the root of the tree... the family. The ussurpation of the identity and rights of the family is truly a revolution of greater significance than the French or American ones. JP2 and many others condemned communism and fascism, because they tend to take the rights of families away.

Here is the CCC on the principle of subsidiarity:

"1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."

Subsidiarity is not followed very well by most governments, including the US of course. Socialist, banana republic weasels like Obama would not like it at all, and would hate Distributism even more.

The way the principle of subsidiarity "fleshes out" best is Distributism. Distributism was envisioned by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Beloc, who are my favorite 20th century thinkers. Almost everyone dislikes Distributism, so it is still left untried and unheard of. Capitalists hate it, commies hate it. I love it.

Hehe, Evangelicals and the end times, I have been there done that too. What if we had a one-world government and it was a GREAT government? What if it wasn't a tyranny but was all smiles and roses? I suppose they would be expecting the antichrist even more. As for me, I already live under a one world government... Christendom. Christ is the King of Kings, and I don't think that is figurative. Any government that does not submit to that fact is just organized thuggery who are given power by the true King to make martyrs. They are mere pawns.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Man's "Attempt" at Playing Church

Bob said:
"Let me see if I can explain what I mean about the church better. The church is 1 thing - the body of Christ (with Christ as its head). The church attempts to assemble itself here on earth... in multiple "churches". The final assembly of the church won't happen until death / Christ's return."

So the Church is "1 thing" yet is "multiple". Uh yeah, I think I see what you are trying to say. You failed to explain anything though. Again, what you describe is not a visible Church, which Scripture and Tradition say is something the Church MUST be! You just blithely waltz past those considerations however, and insist the Church is invisible, contrary to the Scripture you pretend to follow. Your conception of the Church is a product of the 16th century. Found nowhere in scripture or Tradition, and in fact the opposite is found in scripture. Yes, Christ is the head, and the Church is one, but I cant believe what you said next... "The church attempts to assemble itself here on earth." Huh? The Holy Spirit assembles the Church. And it assembles it so that it is one Church. God is not the author of disorder. The Church does not "attempt" anything, nor can it do ANYTHING without the animating life of the Holy Spirit, who is the "soul" of the Church. And just as two bodies cannot have one soul, there cannot be such a thing as "churches" which disagree with each other. Unless the Holy Spirit is the author of error.

"The final assembly of the church won't happen until death / Christ's return."

Where do you get that from? You are just making stuff up as you go man. You certainly didn't get that from scripture. In the scripture (which supposedly is your rule) the Church is described as being ONE and VISIBLE, binding and loosing, forgiving sins. Yeah, of course at the end of time after the resurrection, the Church will all be physically together, but that is not the point. The point is RIGHT NOW the Church (according to Scripture) needs to be ONE and VISIBLE. Again something you blithely are ignoring.

"If you find that belief insulting, I'm sorry. However, it is equally insulting to insist your "Pontiff" is the head of the church I am apart of."

What is insulting is not your conclusion, which many people come to, but your lack of good reasons for coming to it. And if you are insulted by having a pope, you are insulted by Christ then. He is the one who gave Peter the keys, and the power to bind and loose in heaven and on earth. Jesus said to his apostles "he who hears you hears me".

"I have no use for them or the office they claim to hold."

Yeah I gathered that. But just a correction, there is no mere "claim", there is a historic fact. The current Bishop of Rome is descended in ordinations from St. Peter. That is rarely disputed by anyone except the most mental fundies. If you look at the book I lent you by Fortiscue, (which was written to Anglicans btw) you will see a very basic sketch of the evidence up till Chalcedon of the Papal role in the Church and the uncontroversial nature of the succession. That is IF you read it, which at this point I think is just beyond you. Your level of argument with me has never exceeded the level of the most surface level internet "shock" apologetics. Case in point was when you thought you had really struck gold finding out that the Catholic 10 commandments are different and claiming they changed them so they could commit idolatry. I pointed out that Luther numbered them the same way, and I get silence from you. You obviously want to just pick up whatever sloppy argument from the internet you can to prove what you want to be true: Rome is the Antichrist. Or need I bring up the example of the "low hanging fruit" you attempted to pick from the Catholic tree of errors. What was the lowest fruit you could find? The perpetual virginity of Mary! Again, something Luther and Calvin believed, as with many modern Protestants and Catholic such as Augustine. It is low hanging fruit for the already convinced, but not for anyone interested in reality.

Even James White and his crew at AOM at least make an attempt to reference the early Church, you seem to have no desire to do so. And unlike the clipped haired Lesbian Bishops of your future ecclesial community, Catholic Bishops are in communion with Rome, something the early Church considered necessary to be called the Church. But of course to you, all those men were idolatrous (bowing to images), necromancing (praying to the dead), anti-Christ (submitting to the pope) and legalistic (rejected sola fide). Yep, they all got it wrong but the Reformation and Bob got it right.

What I find most revealing at this point is that less than two months ago you had basically decided on Catholicism and were agreeing that it's claim to being the true Church was valid and saying thing like:

"I think the evidence points more towards God punishing the RC church with protestantism for failing to root out evil. At the same time, the protestants are wrong for schisming."

I couldn't agree more.

One month ago you said:

"My guess is we'll end up at the church of the sacred heart in Robinsdale."

Then a week later you were calling Rome the anti-christ! To me this says it all dude. You are being led by emotions or something to be that up and down in so short a time. And when I read your current critiques of Catholicism, which have included all the most trite red herrings and straw men available,  I can't help but conclude you are not really looking into serious arguments on either side. You seemed very easily swayed towards Catholicism 2 months ago. I assumed you had been really looking into things. I am convinced that you have not however. Now that you are on the other bandwagon of hating the evil Romanists, you are still operating on the same emotional level. Homosexual Priests? Yes, remember you seriously gave that as an argument against Catholicism! The "changing the 10 commandments" straw man? You still have not conceded that you were duped (probably by some goofy website) on that one. Like I keep saying, go ahead and reject the Catholic Church, it's been done many times by better men than me and you. But either admit you just don't care to do the research to make an informed choice (which imo is quite obviously the case) OR be fair and do the research enough to find some real, solid Protestant objections. They are out there, I have heard them, but so far you have failed to find them or articulate them. If you truly think the "naughty popes" or "worshipping statues" arguments are good, solid arguments, then it is game over for the truth. You will be tossed about by whichever window-dressing argument you find.

THAT is what I find sad... not that you would reject Catholicism, but the poor reasons you are doing so.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Naughty Popes Argument

From a comment on Shameless Popery, a Lutheran minister asks:

"Would you really want Leo X to be the next Pope?"

My response:

The question implies an assumption that the pope is merely a man in all respects. But that is not what Catholics believe. We believe he is "protected" from teaching error when he determines to publicly teach the Church. That is a supernatural protection.

Personally I would not want Leo X as the next pope, but NOT because he might teach error, (that could never happen and HAS never happened) I would want someone like SAINT Pius X because he would be a better man and a better leader, and perhaps bring more people to Christ. Just remenber, a pope could murder and pillage and do all sorts of evil yet still be protected from teaching error. Think of the prophecy of Caiphas.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Women belong in the home. Men belong at work. Any questions femi-nazis?

And yes, of course the exceptions prove the rule. I myself  was raised by a single Mom who HAD to work. Key word: HAD. But lets not play games and pretend it is ok for a woman to choose that role unless it is a necessity/exception. Just having to give this caveat shows how far we have degenerated as a society.

Word on Fire contributor Dave Brenner made what I think are some common observations in an article today. All true and very sad. But I think he is way off the mark in his solution to the problem. The article is about how women are outpacing men in all areas of society now. His proposed solution is a sort of "let them eat cake" thing. My paraphrase would be something like "Do better, men". Well, it ain't that easy. Men and women are different, and papering over the gross abuse of gender roles in our culture is not helpful. I tried commenting on the blog, but I don't know if it went through, so here was my comment, beginning with a quote from the author:

''Those statistics are not a problem by themselves—it’s a good thing that women have more opportunities and are striving to fulfill their calling in life. The issue is not that women are catching up but that men are falling behind. ''

I disagree and I think you have truly missed the point. And missed it badly. When women are prominent in any important endeavor, they take it over completely, leaving men in their dust. The men will invariably turn into Seth Rogan. This is at the heart of Eve's curse to "desire her husband". She desires the authority position proper to men. When women en masse become players in the workforce or academics, it will never be 50/50. The women will win, and men will drop out.

For me it is frustrating to see so many women at my workplace taking jobs/pay away from fathers trying to support our families who are unemployed. And for what? An extra car to be able to go to work in your pant-suit?

The vast majority of these women by and large should be at home fulfilling their role as wife and mother. Raising godly children to conquer the world for Christ is the most important job in the world! Yet many women throw that chance away to collect a paycheck doing things they have no business doing. Their job is to nurture children and being a HELPER to their husbands, not taking on his role.

There can be no parity.

There can be no 50/50 of men/women in the workplace and university. If women try to fill men's roles, then the curse of Eve takes effect and God will give them over to their arrogation. The result is that men WILL become disillusioned and WILL give up. Which is exactly what is happening. Make fun of immature men all day, but unless we call our women back to their proper role, don't expect men to take back theirs.

What we men need to do is yell this truth from the rooftops. Get our women back in the home and out of the workforce, and take charge of society again. Until we reassert our role as the "garden tamers" God created men to be, women will continue to usurp our birthright, and to give up theirs at the same time. I the end, both sexes will not be fulfilled, and find only frustration. This is not sexist people, just true.

A Former Reformer is Coming Home

My old friend Andre has decided to swim the Tiber. Any Catholic readers here please go ahead and subscribe to his new blog Former Reformer and give him some encouragement and advice in this strange and exciting time for him and his family. On a personal note, it is nice to have a local Reformed friend here in the Twin Cities on the Catholic side of the river now.

On a recent post he compared the Reformed and Catholic liturgies/theologies and said that unlike the Reformed system:
 "...the true work and involvement is done at the Mass, where we meet Christ at Calvary and pray on our knees to break the power of the enemy. The fact that I was weary in my faith because I didn't feel like I was living up to the "Reformed theology standard of living" was because I was without the Eucharist. God's word did not return void,..."

I replied:

I just have to comment again! This past weekend, I went to confession and was totally renewed. I had some sins weighing on my mind and I let them go in the confessional, and Christ absolved me in the person of His priest. I then walked out of the confessional and kneeled down. It was the middle of the consecration, and as I joined my prayer with that of the silent group of people around me, I had a tangible sense of the "other-worldly" nature of what I was experiencing.
This was not about a sermon. It was not about tithing. It was not about being chummy with my buddies at church. It was about meeting God and destroying evil in myself and in the world. As RC Sproul would say, it was about being "coram deo". Before the face of God. When I looked up at the altar and saw Christ offering His body and blood to the Father, and thought of my former experience in Reformed churches, I thought how starved I had really been. Going from Reformed to Catholic is like going from an intravenous drip to thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bad Catholic is my new favorite blog. How I have not stumbled on this before is beyond me. Hilarious stuff.

Here is an appetizer:
Our world is in the pitifully awkward position of informing us that our gravest sins are not sinful at all, while damning the most modest and the most innocent of our vices. Thus we have it that abortion and euthanasia are in and with-it, masturbation is healthy, pornography is good for your marriage, sodomy is an old-fashioned, oppressive term…and it is illegal to smoke in a bar. (I mean, my dear man! We do have standards, you know.) The daring and exciting – Kinky Sex OMG! – is toted as normal, while boring, old, human vice – smoking, drinking and punching other men – is outlawed, banned, damned for ever existing. There is no shame in killing babies, but you better be sure you follow the sign: ‘employees are legally required to wash their hands before returning to work.’

More on the site: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2011/10/serial-killers-are-boring/

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It finally happened

My two oldest were exposed to the reality of being the Catholic minority in a Protestant saturated culture. The little angels found themselves eating proverbial hamburgers in a Hindu cow shrine yesterday. Blissfully unaware of themselves.

First off, let me say that I love having other Christian kids on the block for my kids to play with. The alternative could be bad. There are two/three solid Evangelical households on the block, and having some of our values overlap is quite refreshing. But eventually the distinctives clash. As they did yesterday.

Near my house there is a roadside memorial for a lady who drove off the road and hit a phone pole. She was a young mother who had too much to drink and should have called a cab. Sad stuff. Every now and then someone puts up a fresh picture on the pole or ties a balloon to it or something. Yesterday I noticed a new balloon and suggested to my 6 and 8 year old daughters to ride down there on their bikes and say the Night Prayer in memory of her. They did, and a little while later they went back, but this time the Baptist and non-denom neighbor kids went with them.

Uh, yeah. lets just say these kids were not impressed about praying for dead people. My 8 year old comes back to her good ol' dad (who is enjoying his pipe and a vodka tonic on the porch), and says "I don't get it, they keep saying that there is no such thing as purgatory and we shouldn't pray for the dead lady." My response was "Annabel, you know Protestants don't believe in Purgatory right, and get upset about praying for dead people right? Remember?"

She gave me a puzzled look. "Really?!"

I guess the topic had never come up in any of my Reformed theological training with her from our Protestant past. "She is really getting the whole "Catholic thing" down as second nature" I thought to myself. "Cool!"

After further debriefing, I found out that the neighbor lady had said "she is long gone, so there is no point in praying for her." Her son also informed my girls that all they needed to do was say the "salvation prayer" and they could be guaranteed to go to heaven.

By the way, didn't Protestants used to call that the sinners prayer? I suppose that is to offensive now. The Jesus salvation slot machine cant have any words like SIN associated with it, goodness no! We just want to pull the lever once and hit the jackpot. Anyhoo...
The 12 year old neighbor girl also informed my daughter that purgatory is not real because it is not in the bible. (BS, it is in the bible) And then she informed Annabel that she only believed things that are in the bible.  Her pre-teen description of sola scriptura of course... is not in the bible, but lets not look at the man behind the curtain kids, keep your heads down and repeat the mantra please. Repeat after me:

we only believe what is in the bible...we only believe what is in the bible...we only believe what is in the bible...

Will it become true if it is repeated a hundred more times? 500 years of Protestantism and counting. I think they will be repeating it for a while more. And if each denomination they have spawned only repeated it once, it would take another hundred years just to hear them.

So click your heals Dorothy, and repeat after me... there's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home...

My daughter was a bit rattled by the forcefulness and preachiness of the other kids, but she is a trooper. And next time this happens, she can ask them why they don't confess sins to a priest like Jesus says to in the bible.

Or why they disregard Tradition contrary to the bible.

I love, love, love that she is getting some practice defending the faith. That's my girl!

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Sneaky" Catholic Ten Commandments

Bob said:

I took your advice, and started reading the RCC Catechism. I'm pretty sure I found a place where the Roman Catholic Church is teaching error. It is sufficient evidence for me, but I'm sure that you lot won't accept it.

In particular, the issue is the teaching of the 10 commandments. I understand and recognize the ten commandments to be those laid out in Exodus 20: 3-17.

The RCC, however, in teaching their catechism does something quite sneaky. The first thing they do is diminish the 2nd commandment, making it a footnote of the first and stripping it of any meaning. Instead of "You shall not make for yourself an image", the teaching is "images of saints are OK".

All the other commandments then get bumped up a number... which leaves you with 9. Not exactly convincing, since at the very least people know that God gave Moses 10. To make up for this discrepancy, they split the true 10th commandment into 2 commandments - effectively "don't covet" and "don't covet v. 2".

You can see this teaching quite clearly from the Vatican website - just scroll through the table of contents, it should jump out at you. The 10 commandments are in part 3 section 2.


The obvious reason for this is that the RCC has tons of idols, but they don't want to admit they are idols. At the very least, they should have tackled this commandment head-on instead of playing a numbers game with them. I guess this is just a case where the tradition knows more than the actual Word of God.

Bob, you made it really far into the CCC! Or you are skipping around. Nothing wrong with that, just sayin. Either way, congrats for going to the source for your research. That makes choices easier.

Unfortunately you say:
"It is sufficient evidence for me, but I'm sure that you lot won't accept it."

Well, if it passed muster as being evidence, then I would consider it, but it just does not. Neither would Luther BTW, but I will get to that.
Here is what the INTRO to the section on the first commandment says:



I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.
It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."

The prohibition against making graven images is right there in the catechism Bob!

My daughter learned the 10 commandments last year in her religion class at Holy Family and she learned the part about graven images. We just number them differently, as do many PROTESTANTS who have zero love for Rome.

Get this Bob, my LUTHERAN mother learned the “graven images” as part of the FIRST commandment too! That is right, perhaps you don’t know this (perhaps because you grew up Reformed) but Lutherans use the same numbering as Catholics! So did many church fathers, among which Augustine stands out. And Orthodox (who venerate images like there is no tomorrow) use the Reformed numbering, go figure. (or I guess the Reformed use the Orthodox numbering… chicken/egg thing)

So are Lutherans “sneaky” too?

“I understand and recognize the ten commandments to be those laid out in Exodus 20: 3-17”

Uh, yeah, so do all Christians. No crap. But if you’ll notice, they are not numbered dude. They are also in Deuteronomy 5, but there again, no numbering.

“The first thing they do is diminish the 2nd commandment…”

Huh? The second commandment for Catholics is to not take the Lord’s name in vain. Potentially a mortal sin because it is a serious matter. We don’t diminish it! You are using your numbering to correct their (and Luther’s and Augustines) numbering. Who cares about numbering. The point is what the commandments SAY. And Catholics still accept fully the command against graven images. As do you. We just understand it differently.

The point is though, the prohibition against graven images IS RIGHT THERE IN THE CATHOLIC FIRST COMMANDMENT! Nothing is ignored or deleted! For goodness sake Bob, even the Rabbis from the Jewish Talmidic tradition have traditionally held all the separate parts of the first commandment (Catholic one) to form one solid unit.

There are THREE parts of the same prohibition of idolatry, which I know you agree are all related: 1. Have no other gods before God, 2. Don’t make idols, 3. Don’t bow down to idols.

Catholics (and Lutherans) have ALL THREE in their first commandment. You have parts 2 and 3 as your second commandment. Both ways have them though.

Which begs the question, why isnt your third commandment Exodus 20:5/Deut 5:9 “You shall not bow down to them or serve them…”?

These Deuteronomy and Exodus verses are specifically about not bowing down, and are some of the more lengthy verses. Certainly longer than the “You shall not kill” ones. So WHY is that not one of your 10? Could it be because it is so similar to the other 2 parts of the commandment (no other gods, no graven images) that it is redundant to make it its own commandment?

Within the CCC section titled “the first commandment”, is a whole section about graven images. No sneakyness. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7F.HTM

What you don’t like is your interpretation contradicting the other ¾ of Christendom of the past 2000 years.

The Orthodox have your numbering, yet venerate images!

The Holy Spirit, through the Church at the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) has spoken, and you want to do your own thing.

“The obvious reason for this is that the RCC has tons of idols, but they don't want to admit they are idols.”

Yeah, it is a big conspiracy. With the Orthodox as well. 2000 years of godly men are all deceived, but Bob is not. Yeah.

“At the very least, they should have tackled this commandment head-on instead of playing a numbers game with them.”

It was tackled in 787AD! Been there done that! And the Orthodox have YOUR numbering but yet still venerate images! So there is no numbers game.

“ I guess this is just a case where the tradition knows more than the actual Word of God.”

The Word of God IS the Tradition AND the Scripture! You are making a false division of two inseperable things. And what you are calling the “Word of God” is really just your interpretation. Unless you want to show me where the numbering system is in the scripture. Even Luther would be looking at you with the squinty eyes right now man.

Veneration is not idolatry. Saying it is "obviously" idolatry is not convincing. Because MOST Christians of all ages have had zero problem with veneration of saints through images. Even ones who were angered by pagan images of false gods have venerated images of Christ and the saints! They saw a clear distinction between the two practices.

Reformed "Authority"

This is a comment I left at the Reformed site Green Baggins:

I am glad they exonerated Lawrence, and my former pastor Josh Moon. The confession you all subscribe to says all disputes are to be resolved by scripture. That is what everyone here is doing, and you all are doing the best you can. When I read Rev. Dr. Moon, or TE Lawrence, or most of what has been written here in these comments, I think to myself “sounds fair enough”. You all have very good points, and take the scripture at its word as best you are able.

The obvious problem is you all disagree as to WHAT the scripture is saying.

That is problem one.

Problem two comes in when your own authorities decide a matter, and those who are supposedly in submission to that authority decide they will just ignore it in favor of their own! (Comment #36,)

And all those who disagree with their exegesis are “Christ’s enemies” (#100)!

Hmm, well, having been someone you would probably accuse of being an “FV” guy myself fro having believed in baptismal regen and paedocom, (although I would have just called myself a bible believing Reformed Christian) and having known Josh Moon and many men like him which you accuse of being FV, all I can say is have fun in your tiny denomination. If you are willing to turn on men like Moon and lawrence and refuse to even call them brothers, and call them “enemies of Christ”, and yet these men agree with you on so very much, much more than most evangelicals certainly, then you will just have to leave the PCA and start your own new micro-denomination I guess (gee that is a new concept). When will it end?

What do the worker bees in the pew do? I was one of those guys. No theological training beyond bedtime theology reading and R.C. Sproul videos. But I desperately loved Reformed theology. But when someone like me starts to agree with Wilson AND Sproul, Horton AND Leithart, both “sides” sounded biblical to me. Who gets to decide who is right and who is wrong? what do I do then?

You cannot answer that question. All you will say is “read the scriptures” or on a bad day you will say “listen to me read the scriptures”. But in the end, when I cannot choose who is right or wrong, and both sides sound scriptural, what do I do? Who do I listen to? Who is right and who is wrong? Where is the authority which is supposed to be so solid in the Reformed polity when the GA passes down a verdict and people choose to ignore it anyway? Doesn’t that prove who is really in charge? Doesn’t that prove that that person will only agree with the GA decision if it agrees with their opinion?

Instead of “semper reformanda” or “sola Scriptura”, I have a new suggestion for the 21st century Reformed motto:

“When I submit (so long as I agree), the one to whom I submit is me.”


Though I am now a Catholic, I still long for unity with you brothers. Ironically, some here would not consider me a brother as a Catholic OR an FVer. I can’t win.


David Meyer