Idolatry

That’s what it is.

Idolatry. I was gonna be sick when I saw the headline the other day–was it Yahoo?–that put up a picture of Michael Jackson with “Princess Diana” and talked about “Jacksons friends who died young” or whatever.

I don’t get it. When these people are alive, the media tear them apart, and then, as soon as they croak, it’s “Oh, what a good person he/she was.”

One of my all-time favorite essays is Fr. George Rutler’s classic from the December 1997 Crisis, “Speaking Well of the Dead,” which contrasts the funerals and media canonization of Gianni Versace, Diana Spencer, and Justice William Brennan with the death of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta.

Michael Jackson was a wreck of a man, and a miserable musician. Now, there’s a post at Vox Nova asserting that Michael Jackson’s so-called “music,” not the Consecration of Russia, brought down Communism! 

I can’t believe any Catholic would actually *listen* to Michael Jackson’s music, much less be a fan of it. 

And while I’m singling out the Viva La Revolution folks, some of my conservative Catholic internet friends have expressed similar sentiments. 

I can’t believe any Catholic would actually *listen* to Michael Jackson’s music, much less be a fan of it. 

Listen, I don’t know what the man did or did not do with little boys.  But it’s surprising the vitriol at Catholic bishops for their negligence of dealing with child molester priests, that every single Catholic priest is tainted by the behavior of a few, but Michael Jackson, despite the many allegations against him, is still idolized, and his critics are the ones despised.

He quite obviously engaged in multiple cosmetic surgeries, which is intrinsically evil. 

That a man who showed very little virtue of any sort is being so held on a pedastal. 

That people are looking to the satanic music of this man who helped build the edifice of evil that is MTV, and trying to interpret as somehow working for good.

Because, of course, rebellion is good to those who reject the past, and Michael Jackson’s music is about rebellion.

Bach said all music is worship.  If your music isn’t pointing to God, then who is it worshipping?

I have Michael Jackson to thank for one thing.

He’s a major reason I’m a conservative.  He’s also a major reason I’ve always had a great deal of scorn for my generation.  Him and Garbage Pail Kids.

Other kids would watch his videos on MTV, and I’d think, “this is disgusting!  How can you watch this garbage right under your parents’ noses?”

I’m sorry he’s dead for the same reason I’m sorry George Tiller is dead: he’s very likely in Hell, having died an unprovided death.

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65 responses to “Idolatry

  1. Pingback: Idolatry | Michael Jackson Died | RIP MJ 1958-2009

  2. Pingback: Idolatry « Michael Jackson Is Dead : StarLogz.com

  3. MICHAEL THE NARC-ANGEL

    Millions of little members of the worldwide F.F.A. (Future Followers of the Antichrist) have finally learned how to find a certain part of their lower anatomy and quickly touch it while dancing – thanks to Michael Jackson, the highest paid Lower Anatomy Toucher of all time! Special thanks also go to the Jesus-bashing, Hell-bound Hollywood moguls who were just as quick to see higher profits in lower anatomies! [Just saw this opinion on the web. Other grabby items on MSN, Google, etc. include “Separation of Raunch and State,” “David Letterman’s Hate, Etc.,” “Tribulation Index becomes Rapture Index,” and “Bible Verses Obama Avoids.” – something for everyone!]

  4. You got something against your lower anatomy, Carry? Or have you just never felt divine inspiration while you dance? You would do well to emulate Michael Jackson as much as you can: generous, empathic, sincere, loving, kind, warm, a true friend to all who knew him, creative, talented, a musicologist, innocent and did I mention generous? You probably have never done as much to enhance the lives of others in your entire life than Michael Jackson did in just one day of his extraordinary life.

    • I love it how our perverted society immediately jumps to “people who have traditional morals have something against sex.” No, you’re the ones who denegrate sexuality. We honor it.

      I hardly see how Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” could be called a “musicologist.” Generous? Yea, and Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could be called “Generous.” But generosity is not the same thing as self-sacrifice.

      Salvation cannot be bought; that’s Simony. Acts of virtue, though a necessary aspect of salvation, are not capable of “winning” salvation—that is Pelagianism.

  5. SillyLittleDitty

    SoCalGal didn’t say Carry had anything against sex; however, s/he seems to perceive that a man or woman placing his/her own open palm on his/her lower torso as automatically sexual. * gasp!* Where does it come from that one’s own torso, especially while dancing, should be off limits? What is it about one’s lower torso that’s taboo? What evil resides there, in your perception, that must be stamped out?

    You should perhaps read analyses by people who do in fact understand music–particularly pop music. Joe Vogel is the author of “Man in the Music: An Album-by-Album Guide to Michael Jackson.” Here are excerpts from Vogel’s insightful forthcoming book.

    Michael Jackson: Man in the Music
    http://tinyurl.com/nn2tpx
    http://tinyurl.com/qkcojh
    http://tinyurl.com/lyv6g3
    http://tinyurl.com/mj249m

    Michael Jackson was a huge classical music buff.
    http://tinyurl.com/kqoep4

    And, according to those who actually conversed with him, he was extremely well read in the Classics.

    http://tinyurl.com/m8vcf6

    Who said anything at all about salvation or, for that matter, whether it can be bought? Where are your nonsequiturs coming from? No one really knows the status of Michael Jackson’s soul, and it shouldn’t matter to you, anyway, salvation being solely a matter being a Creature and his Maker and no one else should judge.

    Michael Jackson not self-sacrificial? He contributed over $300 million to various children’s charities throughout his life, a fact thoroughly vetted by the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Most of his personal profit from his Bad World Tour was given to charity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_World_Tour

    All his personal profit from his Dangerous World Tour was given to charity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_World_Tour

    If you don’t call working extremely physically hard on world tours that lasted for months and months and giving the net gate to charity self-sacrificial, I don’t know what is.

    Finally, why the need to find the Bogeyman in Michael Jackson? Everyone whom he called a friend cherished him immensely. Michael Jackson did more good in ONE day of his extraordinary life than most people do in their ENTIRE lives. Are you, GodsGadfly, just another jealous nobody who can’t stand to see someone rise to incredible heights of talent and fame? Are you angry at God about your mediocrity?

    http://www.mjtruthnow.com

    • 1. There is such a thing as decency.
      2. Tell me what about it–or Elvis’s hip-swaying–is *not* sexual?
      3. I said you can’t buy salvation, then you proceed to preach Michael Jackson’s “merits” because of money he gave to charity. As I said, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates give lots of money to “charity”. That does not make them “good people.”
      4. So, “experts” in “pop music” think Michael Jackson is a great musician? Isn’t that like stacking the deck?
      5. As for your ad hominems, hardly. First, as I said, I’ve despised Michael Jackson since I was a kid. I thought he was creepy on MTV when I was a kid. I thought his music was disturbing, his dancing was disturbinjg, etc.
      6. I do not envy success, and I’m certainly not angry at God.

      However, your desire to defend this pervert just proves my point about idolatry.

      I really don’t understand the adulation and worship people give this man. There are many performers whose work I enjoy. There are many celebrities I even admire for some of the things they do in their personal life. But I would not give *any* of them the level of dulia people give to Michael Jackson.

      Finally, as I’ve noted several times on this issue: Michael Jackson had numerous accusations of child molestation. He *admitted* to sleeping in bed with boys who were not related to him, claiming he didn’t do anything sexual with them.

      Any Catholic priest who admitted to what Jackson admitted to, or had those accusations against him, would have been ostracized by the Church, villified by the media, etc. Of course, the priest wouldn’t have Michael Jackson’s fortune to buy off a trial, and the Church settles out of court to avoid the embarrassment and cost of a trial.

      Yet a Catholic priest does far more than just give millions of dollars to charity. He provides people with the Sacraments, with salvific grace. He provides people with Jesus Christ Himself.

      I dont’ envy or hate Michael Jackson at all, and if he’s in Heaven , I’ll be glad he somehow made it after basically committing suicide.

      What I don’t get is the extreme, idolatrous devotion of his fans. What I don’t get is how anyone can be broken up with grief over the death of some celebrity.

  6. What if one or both boy accusers appeared on national television and said, “I’ve had an attack of conscience, and I want to state publicly and emphatically that Michael Jackson never laid a hand on me.” Would you then think Michael Jackson was “perverted?” On what basis would you think this?

    You know, it wouldn’t be unprecedented that a young boy who was instrumental in bringing down an adult accused of “perversion” then retracted as an adult. Here’s an example:

    http://tinyurl.com/ygy8z3a

    Why is admiring someone for their artistry and who they are as a person (generous, compassionate, loving, kind, etc.) considered “idolatrous?” I have no illusions that Michael Jackson was anything but fully human and flawed–as we all are.

    Speaking of flawed, Catholicism itself is severely flawed. No priest alive provides anyone “with Jesus Christ himself.” Only Christ gives Himself to anyone who accepts Him through grace alone, “lest any man should boast.” If you think you gain God’s forgiveness and mercy through anything you do because you’re Catholic, you’re in for a big surprise on Judgment Day.

    Back to MJ: What sickens Michael Jackson’s Advocates is that he spent half his life under vicious and malicious attack by the media that, as a result, turned people like you against him via outright lies. I personally wasn’t a fan of his while he lived. I enjoyed his music but I never saw him in concert nor did I follow his career. After he died, I learned what happened to him in 2005 and I was incensed–as many people are–that mainstream media essentially tortured him unto death. No one–not even a child molester (which Michael Jackson decidedly WAS NOT)–should be subjected to the cruel harrassment and lies that dogged Michael Jackson for nearly 25 years.

    It’s just not right, and it’s going on today even after his death. The media continues to slander this man for ratings (profit). There’s no law against defamation of the dead, so I guess we’ll be presented with lie after lie after lie until no one who ever knew him personally is gone.

    In the meantime, I sincerely hope you will educate yourself about Michael Jackson. Try this:

    http://www.mjtruthnow.com

    • 1. The way he danced was perverted. The fact that other people also dance in perverted ways is merely a bandwagon argument.
      2. The Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ. The Blessed Sacrament is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, just as truly as He was in first century Palestine. Your apparent hatred of the Catholic church just further validates the dangers of listening to Michael Jackson “music.”
      3. You keep saying that the media poisoned me against him. Michael Jackson poisoned me against himself. I *always* disliked his “music,” and especially his videos.
      4. He admitted to sleeping with boys who were not related to him. My point is that that admission itself would have destroyed anyone else’s reputation.
      5. I have no doubt that people make false accusations. Again, woud you show the same magnanimity towards a Catholic priest whose accuser came forth and said, “I lied”?

  7. SillyLittleDitty

    1. It’s YOUR perception that his dancing was “perverted.” Thrusting one’s pelvis does not equal perverted–only in perverted people’s minds. Putting one’s open palm on one’s own lower torso also does not equal perverted–only in perverted people’s minds. And just because equally uptight people agree with you doesn’t mean his dancing was perverted. I found his dancing utterly mesmerizing and delightful and millions agree with me.

    2. False. The Catholic Church is itself a perversion of Grace–which is the ONLY thing that reconciles us to God through Christ. The. Only. Thing. Reconciliation is unachieveable through anything we do and no church we join. Sorry…but you’re missing the boat [salvation] entirely if you depend on being a Catholic to save you.

    3. Apparently, you’re a tabloid junkie, because you read and believed the tabloids’ lies. Later, mainstream media joined in.

    4. He also said he did not have sex with them. Sleeping with boys (and girls) unrelated to him is not a sin. There’s not even a law against it. Just because you can’t comprehend how that might be possible and still be sin-free isn’t Michael Jackson’s problem. Lots of people sleep in the same room with children other than their own. In fact, it’s quite common in other cultures.

    5. Yes.

    • 1. Typical liberal argument. “You think homosexuality is wrong because you’re a closet homosexual.” You’re missing the point. I thought his “dancing” was creepy when I was 7 years old. Do you think I was a pervert at age seven?
      Has no one ever taught you about modesty?

      2. Grace comes through the Sacraments. Jesus Christ Himself said that just calling on His Name is *not* enough to get into Heaven. He also said that unless you eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, you “have no life in you” (John 6). I don’t depend on “a Catholic.” I depend on Jesus, who established the Catholic Church, and not upon fraudulent religions that the Devil started to draw people away from it. BTW, are you, like Michael Jackson, a Jehovah’s Witness?

      3. Never read tabloids.

      4. Another moral principle you’re apparently ignorant of is the sin of scandal, and the sin of intentionally putting oneself in the occasion of sin. Again, there have been plenty of priests who said, “I just slept with him; I never touched him,” and they were defrocked and villified in the media for it.

      I thought I *did* answer your question (with a question), but if the accusers recanted, that would still not change my mind about his “music,” his “dancing” or what he himself admitted to.

      So far, you’ve done nothing but confirm how morally obtuse people become from listening to MTV.

  8. SillyLittleDitty

    GodsGadfly, you forgot to respond to my question: What if one or both boy accusers appeared on national television and said, “I’ve had an attack of conscience, and I want to state publicly and emphatically that Michael Jackson never laid a hand on me.” Would you then think Michael Jackson was “perverted?” On what basis would you think this?

    I believe one or both boys (now men) will eventually retract. What will the media and Michael Jackson’s detractors say then?

  9. SillyLittleDitty

    1. Whether Jackson’s dancing was perverted is a matter of taste. Fred Astaire loved Jackson’s dancing and, in fact, considered Jackson a better dancer than himself. It’s not immodest to place one’s own hand on one’s own torso while dancing, nor is it immodest to flex one’s own pelvis while dancing. If that were so, then a male ballet dancer placing his hand on a female ballet dancer’s crotch during lifts would be immodest, too.

    2. You are misinformed about the impact of being Catholic on reconciling with God through Jesus Christ. It isn’t the “sacraments’–a Catholic invention–that assures salvation, but trust in God through Jesus Christ. Of course, surrender to God’s will manifests in outward ways, but the sacraments isn’t one of them–except maybe to Catholics. There are thousands of Christians who don’t celebrate Catholic sacraments but who are nonetheless going to be welcomed into God’s Kingdom. Surely you don’t believe otherwise.

    3. Me, either. 🙂

    4. Michael Jackson didn’t sleep in the same bed with little boys. Please…become informed. I agree that slander is a sin and Jackson was repeatedly slandered for over two decades. As far as scandal, no one can control what the media–the creators of scandal–does.

    OK…if the accusers recant, you will let go of your belief that he was a pedophile, but you would still not enjoy his music and dancing. Fair enough but not understandable, really, because much of his music is quite beautiful, even if you don’t like it all. “Beautiful Girl,” “Speechless,” etc.

    What do you think the media and Michael Jackson’s detractors (besides you) will do when the boy accusers retract?

    BTW, I’m surprised that Gordon MacRae, unjustly accused himself, would not identify with Michael Jackson, who was also unjustly accused. I wrote to Mr. MacRae to tell him so.

    • Focusing on the vastly more important issue (though modesty and decency are not matters of personal opinion), “Catholic inventions”? Huh?
      1. Who came first? Catholics. Have you read the Apostolic Fathers? The Didache? There was debate about whether to include I’m guessing not to include Clement of Rome in the New Testament, since he lived at the time of the Apostles, and his letters were read at liturgy interchangeably with those of St. Paul.
      2. Speaking of which: when was “the Bible” put together? Who decided which books to include? The Catholic Church . Between the Septuagint (including the Dueterocanon) and the Hebrew Scriptures in Hebrew, which version of the Hebrew Scriptures is quoted in the New Testament ? The Septuagint. The decision to reject the Septuagint as valid Hebrew Scriptures was made by the Sadducees at the end of the first century AD, to get rid of the explicit prophecies of Christ that appear in the Greek version. Judaism waas hemorrhaging adherents to Christianity. 1400 years later, Martin Luther would choose the anti-Christian version of the Hebre wscriptures because it eliminated some passages referring specifically to Catholic doctrine.
      3.
      Baptism: John 3:2-4; Matthew 28:19-20
      Communion: John 6:52-56, Luke 22:19-20; and veryimportantly 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, which is the *only* time St. Paul directly quotes Jesus or tells a story from the Gospels. Must be pretty important, huh?
      Confession: John 20:22-23
      Confirmation: John 20:22-23; Acts 1:8
      Holy Orders: John 20:22-23; John 13:2-11; 2 Tim 1:6-7
      Matrimony: Mark 10:2-12 — for an explanation of this, read John Paul II’s _Theology of the Body_. He expands this passage, in conjunction with Genesis 1-3, to show how Jesus restores God’s original plan for marriage.
      Anointing of the Sick: Matthew 9:18-30; Mark 6:5; 16:17-18; Luke 4:40; 13:10-13; Acts 5:12; 28:8; James 5:14-15.

      4. Against Fundamentalism:
      Matthew 7:21-23.
      James 14:12-17

      “Anyone who understands history ceases to be a Protestant.”–John Henry Cardinal Newman
      Same goes for anyone who understands the Bible.

  10. SillyLittleDitty

    The church I attend does all those things: confirmation, confession (but not to a priest), baptism, communion, holy matrimony, etc., but I’m not Catholic. Nonetheless, I’m just as reconciled to God as you are. That’s my point.

    I don’t question your relationship to God–how could I?–but to say that one must be a Catholic to be reconciled to God is just not true. The New Testament is clear that all works (ritual, etc.), without grace, are but filthy rags to God. Works flow out of the believer as a result of grace.

    The thing that’s abhorrent about Catholicism, in my view, is the short shrift it gives to God’s grace–which, of course, was Martin Luther’s protest as well. Too much reliance on ritual/ works and hardly any on God’s grace to save. “By grace are you saved, lest any man should boast.” I thought “being a good Catholic” as the road to salvation/reconciliation had long ago been found to be completely bogus. When you meet your Maker, what are you going to say? “You should let me live with you in paradise forever because I was a good Catholic.” Good luck!

    I would say, “Because I believe that Christ died for my sins. He paid the price I should’ve paid. I followed You as best I could in gratitude for that sacrifice.”

    If you knew Michael Jackson, you’d see that he, too, followed Jesus’ teachings as best he could. He certainly was a loving person. Every person who actually knew him will tell you that.

    BTW, did you read the Coroner’s report? It fully refutes many of the lies told about him.

    • So, you’re either Episcopalian, which would explain your liberal attitudes, or else Mormon, which is just an extension of Freemasonry.

  11. I’m a non-denominational follower of Christ.

  12. Here is what my church (and therefore I) believes:

    1. God is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

    Gen. 1:1-2, 26-27; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:1-2; Ps. 145:10-13; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:10-12; Rev. 1:8

    2. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Word made flesh, and equal with the Father. He is the centerpiece of God’s plan for providing salvation to mankind. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, offered up as a sacrifice for man’s sin on the cross, rose to life on the third day, and ascended to Heaven’s glory where He reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    Is. 9:6-7, 11:1-4, 53:1-6, 53:12; Matt. 1:22-23; John 1:1-5, 14:6-7, 17:1-5; Col. 1:15-23, 2:9; Heb. 4:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:3-6; Heb. 7:24-26, 13:8; Rev. 22:12-16

    3. The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God, and is God’s presence in the world today. His task is to make all people aware of their need for Jesus Christ and to live within those who have trusted in Him. He provides Christians with understanding and discernment of spiritual truth and the power to live within God’s boundaries.

    John 14:26, 15:26; Rom. 8:26-27; 1 Cor. 1:9-11; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; Gal. 5:22-25; Titus 3:5-7

    4. The Bible is God’s written word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error, and is the primary source for Christian beliefs and guidelines for living.

    Ps. 119:89-96, 105; Is. 40:8; John 20:31; Eph. 5:25-27; Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21

    5. Human destiny refers to the plan of the Creator in making humans the supreme objects of His creation by creating them in His image. As such, we have tremendous potential for good, but have been marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude has separated us from God, breaking the relationship we were created to have with Him.

    Gen. 1:26-28, 3:22-23, 5:1; Ps. 8:3-8; Is. 59:2; Rom. 3:10-12, 23; Rom. 5:12, 6:23; Col. 1:10-14

    6. Salvation is the restoration of relationship between God and Man, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is a gift from God to us, and is something that we could never have attained through self-improvement or good works. Salvation is granted to those who have acknowledged their total dependence on the work of Jesus Christ, and have given their lives to Him in faith.

    Eph. 2:8-9, 13-18; Rom. 10:9-11; Col. 1:19-23; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-7

    7. Eternal security is the confidence that once the relationship between God and an individual has been restored through Jesus Christ, that it will never again be broken. This confidence is based on the incomparable power and strength of Jesus Christ to maintain that connection and not let anything separate the believer from God’s love.

    John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:28-39; 2 Tim. 1:10-12; Heb. 7:25; I Peter 1:3-5

    8. Eternity has been set in the hearts of men by God. He created our souls to live forever, and following our physical death, we will either be eternally separated from Him in Hell or eternally present with Him in Heaven. The difference between destinations is the personal choice we make while alive to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

    Ecc. 3:11; John 3:16; Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27; 1 John 5:11-13; Rev. 20:11-15

  13. SillyLittleDitty

    Every Catholic I have ever known, when you ask, “what do you think is required for everlasting life?” they will say, “Well, I try to do good and be kind, and well, I’m not the best Catholic, but I try to be a good Catholic–” Bzzzt! Wrong answer. Being good or kind or performing the various rituals of Catholicism has nothing to do with salvation. Sorry…no. Acts of kindness or following the rituals of one’s religion are a manifestation of our faith, to be sure, but being good or kind or not “perverted” is “like filthy rags” to God. You sound very legalistic, like the Pharisees. I’m not judging you, but salvation by grace brings “the peace that surpasses understanding.” I’m glad I was not born Catholic. So much baggage! Workin’ your way to heaven. Working! Working! Working! And still never enough for a God who is perfect. (I do know some born again Catholics, however.)

    What questions are outstanding? I thought I answered all your question.

    • Apparently, you’ve known some stupid, poorly educated Catholics. Your view, by the way, is highly Calvinist, whether you call yourself a non-denominational.
      Sadly, most Catholics today have been infected by the disease of Freemasonry that came into the Church over the past century or so and had its day at Vatican II.

      All your statement says to me is that you are ignorant of what Catholicism is really about. And it’s not about “performing rituals” per se but about receiving Christ’s grace the way *HE* set it up.

      The question you haven’t answered is how you know your version of Christianity is true.

      I know that the Catholic Church is the true Church because history, the Bible and logic all back it up. I have the witness of thousands of canonized saints over the centuries whose lives document profound witness to Christ. I have a direct line of Popes that go back to St. Peter, with only a couple breaks that serve as exceptions to prove the rule. I have a direct line of teachings that go back to the days of the Apostles, that while they have grown like a tree from a mustard seed, the core teachings are there, in the Apostolic Fathers.

      What do you have to back up that yours is the “right” “version” of Christianity?

      How can you know your sins are forgiven when Jesus gave the power to the Apostles, and St. Paul tells us that the Apostles give that power to their successors, to forgive sins? When the practice of *all* Christians for 1500 years until Martin Luther was to confess their sins to a priest?
      When Jesus says you must eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood to be saved, when Jesus says that the Eucharist is truly His Body and Blood, and your pastors dare to call Him a liar by saying He was speaking symbolically?

  14. SillyLittleDitty

    Have you ever read “Mere Christianity?” That book was VERY influential in my life. I think C. S. Lewis captured the essence of grace and the Christian life. He wasn’t Catholic–not that it makes any difference–but it was fascinating how he went from being an atheist to being a believer.

    • Of course I’ve read _Mere Christianity_. I’m a C. S. Lewis scholar. But as much as I admire Lewis, he had certain shortcomings regarding the Church, which Tolkein himself said came from a deep-seated Ulster bigotry. Those shortcomings are addressed in books such as Thomas Howard’s _Evangelical is Not Enough._

      Many of the top Lewis scholars, btw, end up crossing the Tiber: Howard, Peter Kreeft, Sheldon Vanauken, Walter Hooper, Mark Shea. . . . Vanauken called Lewis a “Christian Moses” who led his fellow Protestants to a Promised Land he himself could not enter. When I attended the Seattle C. S. Lewis institute in 1998, another of the big names had just been received into the Church.

  15. SillyLittleDitty

    Well, we have something in common: we at least both read C. S. Lewis. I really liked “Surprised by Joy.” I also enjoyed “A Severe Mercy.” Did Vanauken ever remarry? I had an experience similar to the one he had when he saw his wife after she died. Weird.

    To me, Catholicism is a bunch of mumbo jumbo because if someone had never been exposed to a priest, he or she could still be a Christian (follow Christ) just by reading the Bible. You’re right…I may know some poorly educated Catholics but many people are saved who don’t even know how to read. They just hear the Good News and they believe.

    I care not about the “true church.” I care only about my personal relationship to God through Christ and I can read all about that in the Bible. I also don’t believe in saints and I sure wouldn’t confess my sins to someone who calls himself “Father”–even though he’s not related to me–when I can go straight to my Father in Heaven all by myself. I do, however, appreciate my minister’s teachings. And I SURE don’t believe the Pope is directly descended from Paul! What hogwash! See…too much suspension of belief to be healthy, in my opinion. Black smoke/white smoke. Sheesh.

    You seem to place a lot of emphasis on Catholic history from centuries ago but I say, “So what?” We’re living now.

    • You don’t have to believe it; it’s historical *fact*. Not Paul, Peter. Jesus made Peter the chief of Apostles, a fact acknowledged in St. Paul’s letters. Peter founded the Church in Rome and remained there as bishop till he died. The first successor of Peter was Linus, and so on.

      How do you know people can have a relationship with Christ by just reading the Bible? And, again, why should some random person believe the Bible? The Bible doesn’t even attest to its own existence. Jesus never wrote a word on paper that we’re aware of, but we *do* know Jesus founded a Church.

      First you say people can be saved by reading the Bible, then you say you don’t even have to be literatre to be saved (I agree there).

      You cannot go straight to God, because that’s not the way God wants you to do it. It’s not the way Jesus Himself set it up. Read John 20.

      You don’t believe in Saints? Then what’s the point? If there’s no one in heaven, what’s the point? Have you never read the book of Revelation? It’s all about the saints in Heaven.

      Saints are people who’ve lived a particularly profound witness, known as “heroic virtue.”

      Here’s a question: what does your “relationship” with Christ consist in? I have a very intimate personal relatoinship with Christ. I receive Him into my body–as He commanded–weekly, if not more than weekly. I visit His body in Adoration weekly. I sit and pray the Psalms with Him. I have His picture all over my house. I attend the service that, as He said at the Last Supper, re-presents (Greek word “anamnesis”–a bringing forth) the Pascal Mystery. At every mass, the veil of eternity is torn, and men stand not just on earth but in Heaven, in the midst of the Heavenly Court, witnessing through time, simultaneously, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

      This may sound like “Mumbo jumbo” to you, but it’s what we call Mystery–Sacrament–Apocalypse–Revelation. Indeed, one of the things that influenced Scott Hahn’s conversion from Protestant minister to Catholic was realizing that what the Book of Revelation describes, metaphorically, is the Catholic Mass (he wrote a fantastic book called _The Lamb’s Supper_ that breaks it down).

    • Oh, BTW, did you notice in _Surprised by Joy_ that Lewis expresses shock that the Christians who most influenced his own conversion to Christianity–particularly Chesterton and Tolkein–were Catholics? Indeed, Lewis is often seen as merely a gateway to those two. Those who start with Lewis’s apologetics and take them seriously inevitably study Chesterton, and those who seriously study Lewis’s fiction inevitably turn to Tolkein.

  16. SillyLittleDitty

    I’m not saying Catholics can’t be Christians. Some are. But the thrust of Catholicism is reconciliation to God by being something (a Catholic), by doing what Catholics ritually do (sacraments), by being members of something (the true Church) or because of what they do (attend church, annoint the sick, pray, give alms, etc.). All of this…the communion (2-5 times per week), the genuflecting, the crossing oneself, the praying to so-called saints, church attendance, the beads, the habitual confessing to another person, are as filthy rags to God. This is what the Pharisees did. This is works. Nothing but rags.

    If FIRST you accept His gift, manifest through the sacrifice of Christ, THEN the intimate relationship with Christ follows. Catholics have it backward. There’s no emphasis on grace alone. This is wrong. Understanding the nature of grace is the epiphany Martin Luther experienced on the Lateran steps. There’s never enough you can do to warrant God’s gift of salvation. Never. Nothing.

    I would urge you to accept the gift–which can never be taken from you–and in your gratitude your worship will follow. Not the other way around.

    Satan has diverted your eyes to the wrong thing. You’ve put the em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LA-ble. 🙂

    • So you don’t believe you have to be reconciled to God? You believe you’re “eternally secure” and sinless? Then you call God a liar, as St. John puts it in his first letter. I’m aware of the fact that I’m a sinner, and I fall, and I always need God’s grace to bring me back.

      You’re the one who’s got it all backwards. You don’t “earn” grace by the sacraments, and you don’t “do” the sacraments. The sacraments *ARE* grace: outward signs of invisible grace.
      The rest of it has to do with what you rightly call “having a relationship with Christ.”
      Comparing people to the Pharissees is like comparing people to the Nazis; it’s an overused, though sometimse valid, analogy, but it needs to have some groundind, and you obviously understand very little about Catholicism (or Pharisaism, which was a doctrine of Jewish isolationism).

      You’ve picked up a bunch of buzzwords, and a bunch of anti-Catholic sentiments, without any real understanding of what they mean.

      Prayer to saints is about developing a relationship with those who are Jesus’ special friends. You talk about reading C. S. Lewis. Why do you read C. S. Lewis? The same reasons you (and I) read C. S. Lewis are the reasons why I read about, read the works of, and pray to the saints (including C. S. Lewis). They’re witnesses to faith in Christ by the way they’ve lived their lives.

      Catholic prayer forms go back to the earliest Christians, who based their prayer on the Lord’s Prayer, the Prayer of the Publican in the parable (“Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner”) and the Psalms. Desert hermits would pray 150 Psalms a day, and the practice grew out of that of saying 150 Our Fathers if you didn’t have the time or literacy to pray the Psalms. Eventually, that was combined with the Angelic Salutation, and reflections on events in the Gospels to what we have today as the Rosary, the “Gospel in miniature.”

      It’s about spending time with Jesus.

      Again, your beliefs have no grounding. You referred to not caring about history. That’s what C. S. Lewis says is the #1 problem of the average person, whether atheist or Christian. History is the revelation of God’s plan of salvation, a plan laid out in the Bible.

      If you don’t care about history, than Jesus is just a fiction you’ve created for yourself. And He has to be, because you base your faith on “the Bible alone.”

      That’s no different than a Mormon believing the “book of Mormon” or a Muslim believing “the Koran,” or someone who says, “My religion is _Stargate_”. . . . You’ve taken a book that you happen to think has a positive message and adopted it, subjectively, as the basis of your life, without any real thought as to *why* you should listen to that particular book.

      The Bible has no authority without the Church to back it up.

      I believe in Christianity because it’s *true*. Jesus was a real Man who lived at a real time in History that can be well-documented, and one of the ways it is well-documented is the testimony of the Church throughout the ages, going back to the Apostles, particularly the testimony of the martyrs and of miracles. And I know the Catholic Church is true because it has that historical veracity to say it is the authentic witness to what Jesus taught. And that verification comes not only from history but from miracles, which continue today. Can you tell me of any great miracles worked by Protestants?

      And I’m not talking about Pat Robertson sitting on TV saying, “Somewhere out there is someone with back pain, and that person is going to get better today.”

      I’m talking about honest to God (literally) miracles. The authentic healings that happen *every day* at Lourdes and other shrines. The Sun “dancing” at Fatima. The amazing charismatic gifts of saints like Padre Pio and John Vianney and John Bosco. The profound charity of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta or Vincent de Paul or John of God. The mysticism and intimate relationship of Christ we see in Anthony of the Desert, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Catherine of Siena, Faustina Kowalska, Gemma Galgani–I’m talking about people who *saw* and spoke with Christ on a regular basis; people for whom direct interaction with angels and even the Devil was a matter of daily life.

      And they got this by their works, not that they “earned” it it or were “better” than anyone else, but that they engaged in an active relationship with Christ.

      They didn’t treat Jesus as a “vending machine” they went to for help. They didn’t say, “Jesus forgives me, so I can do whatever I want.”

      They did their best to avoid even the most minor of sins. They tried to live in absolute purity (rather than saying, absurdly, that purity is a matter of opinion). They sacrificed profoundly and lived in the manner Jesus calls *all* His followers to do, in poverty: they lived the Beatitudes. They prayed “endlessly,” as you sarcastically put it.

      A person with habits of sin cannot have a true relationship with Christ. They may be saved by Jesus’ forgiveness, but it is a lie to say you have a “relationship” with Christ if you dont’ integrate Christ into every aspect of life.

  17. SillyLittleDitty

    Of course a believer would strive to integrate Christ into every aspect of one’s life. That’s what the Christian walk is, but to say that being Catholic is the only way to do that is absurd, and I think you know it.

    You’re very legalistic when grace is what’s required. You depend on rules and rituals and historical examples when grace already exists. I have experienced that grace. I know what it feels like and how it affected me by providing “the peace that surpasses all understanding.” While you’re still fingering beads and flagellating (yes, some of your “special friends” did that), I’m basking in God’s love.

    I really think you’re in grave danger of being quite surprised one day. Relax. It’s not work to live surrounded by God’s mercy. Remember, God wants to give you a gift. All you have to do is stop being so proud to be a Catholic, accept it and say thank you. 🙂

    Of course, being thankful means you would want to live as He instructs in His owners manual called the Bible.

    • You really are clueless. You’ve made up a fake religion in your head, without any consideration for historical fact or philosophy. You might as well be an Oprah Winfrey New Ager, and that’s basically what you are, with your support for Michael Jackson.

      Your religion is based entirely upon your feelings, and not about any objective standard–including an objective standard as to whether or not you are actually forgiven by God.

      Despite what I’ve said, you persist in your ignorant views of what Catholicism is all about. You don’t care if Jesus is real; just that believing in Jesus makes you feel good.

      And thanks for bringing up the topic of self-flagellation. I was going to post on that, as there’s some controversy among modernist Catholics about revelations that John Paul II engaged in self-flagellatoin.

      What’s wrong with that?

      Nothing. According to you, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing one’s crotch. That’s just a “personal choice.” Yes, sin is always a personal choice. I guess contraception, divorce, homosexuality, adultery and fornication are all OK, too, right? It doesn’t matter what you wear or look at it? YOu can just engage in all the lustful or lust-inducing behavior you want, because it’s personal choice, and you have Jesus, right? Amy Grant’s “God just wants me to be happy” brand of religoin, right?

      Well, that’s not what Jesus says. It’s not what Jesus teaches. And Jesus Himself teaches self-mortification.

      • You came into this discussion on an extremely bad footing. You came here in defense of a Satanist, who is responsible for teaching millions of people to “rebel” against rightful authority, and teaching millions of people to be “free” about their sexuality, and so on. You came here saying that said Satanist was to be admired for all his “good works.”

        Then you turn around and condemn Catholics, and the Saints, and say that “Good works” don’t matter, which is a self-contradiction, a concept you probably don’t understand because your modern American education hasn’t taught you logic.

        Isn’t it interesting how, when it comes to attacking Catholicism, Evangelicals will ally themselves with liberals and Satanists and Atheists? Everyone always goes after the Catholic Church. When atheists and others want to deny the historical truth of Christ (e.g., _Da Vinci Code_), they go after the Catholic Church–and Protestants have to turn to the Church for help!

  18. SillyLittleDitty

    Well, I’m not allowed to judge the condition of Michael Jackson’s soul, and you shouldn’t, either. I don’t condemn Catholics, and good works do matter, but works is not what’s required to be reconciled with God and enter into His presence upon death.

    Let’s do some role playing. Let’s say that entry into Heaven involves “checking in,” and there’s just one question that is asked: “Why should you be granted entry into the Kingdom of God?”

    What would you say?

    • 1. I’m not judging his soul. It’s pretty certain he’s not in Heaven, but if he’s in Purgatory right now, on his way to Heaven, good! Jesus told St. Faustina He calls to every soul three times at the moment of death. Even someone who committed suicide, like Michael Jackson did (an irresponsible drug overdose is indeed suicide, whether he intended to kill himself or not), has a chance at salvation. I do not judge his soul, but I *do* judge His actions, which is something Jesus explicitly commanded: To be wise as serpents in recognizing evil in the world.

      And, really, I’m not “judging” Jackson at all, but his adoring fans who worship at his altar, falling over themselves with grief over the death of a side-show entertainer.

      2. For the last time: the sacraments are not “works”. They are outward signs of invisible grace that Jesus Himself instituted, that He passed on to the Apostles, who attest to them in their writings. The Sacraments are described in the earliest Christian writings after the Apostles and were practiced for 1500 years even by heretics until Martin Luther’s rebellion.

      3. Here’s what I know: I know the Catholic Church goes back to Jesus Himself. I know every other form of “Christianity” broke itself off from the Catholic Church.

      I know that every one of those breaks were caused by people who may have claimed to be just in their motivations, who founded their own little theologies based upon out-of-context Scriptures to justify themselves, but they were all very corrupt men themselves. Martin Luther just wanted to have sex with women; Henry VIII just wanted to divorce and remarry at will; Calvin had a grudge against the Church because of his own father’s imprisonment for embezzlement. They weren’t saintly men.

      I know that, whatever corruption has persisted in the membership and leadership of the Catholic Church, the “deposit of faith” has always held secure–itself a proof that the Catholic Church is the true Church guided by the Holy Spirit . After all, every time Protestants have a fight or find corruption in their ministers, they split. Such division can hardly be the sign of Christian unity.

      There were certain forms of corruption rampant within the 1500s Church, but while Luther, Calvin and Tudor used those corruptions to justify their *own* corruption, there were also great saints of that period who fought to reform the Church from within, such as Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

      I know that the sacraments come straight from Christ and they are how we most truly encounter Christ in this life. I know that I encounter Christ in a tangible way in the Sacraments. I know that one can feel His Presence in a Catholic Church, even if “cradle Catholics” take that feeling for granted. Even atheists will admit it.

      I know that when I enter a Protestant building, I feel no presence of God, but feel like I’m sitting in a meeting hall or theater.

      I know that the saints are in Heaven. I know that we can have an *act8veI relationship with Jesus in this life, and with His Saints, and not just the imaginary “relationship” Evangelicals talk about where they sing cheesy love songs to Jesus and try to pretend they have the Grace that I encounter tangibly at Mass.

      I know that all of this has been verified by historical evidence, testimony, and most of all by miracles that continue to happen as frequently today as they did in the New Testament era.

      What I don’t know is that Evangelicals can really call themselevs “Christians” when they deny these obvious truths, when they are confronted with explanations of the Catholic faith and insist on maintaining their ignorant, bigoted views. That tells me all the more that they are under deception of Satan.

      If you’re right, and all I have to do is “confess Jesus,” I’m in good shape, cause I’ve done that in spades. My Catholic practices do not detract from my faith in Jesus; they merely amplify it. So I’m better off, even if there is doubt, being a Catholic.

      Which brings me to your question:
      4. Now who’s judging? I think the question is more like, “Do you love Me?” But it’s not one question. When each person dies, that person will be called to account for every one of his or her actions in this life.

      I also know that those who die in a state of grace have nothing to fear from death, and that we get a state of grace by having our sins forgiven by the Church and doing our best to avoid the occasion of sin, as well as to pray and perform good works to help avoid sin and build a habit of virtue.
      I know that if I were not Catholic, I wouldn’t know how to deal with guilt, because I have sins like every other human being, and I know that, when I try to “go straight to God” without going to Confession, I just begin saying, “Well, God understands,” and I keep sinning. We Catholics call this the “sin of presumption.”

      I also know that, conversely, if I die in a state of mortal sin I *may* have an opportunity for an extraordinary act of salvation, but I will likely go straight to Hell.

  19. You certainly have an interesting take on things, Mr. GodsGadfly! LOL

    1. Michael Jackson was more loving, non-judgmental and Christ-like than a lot of so called Christians I’ve met. I wouldn’t for one minute judge the status of his soul or where he is at the moment. I know one thing: he’s not in “Purgatory”–a human invention if ever there one one! Personally, I think the media killed Michael Jackson, slowly but surely. No one could withstand the wholesale persecution he suffered for so long. I agree with you that many Jackson fans are over the top, but grieving for Jackson probably isn’t all they’re over the top about. In my opinion, they need to move from grief to activism and work for a more responsible media that doesn’t psychologically torture people just because they’re well known. Talk about Satan at work. Satan OWNS the world’s media!

    2. Sacraments most certainly are “works.” One must physically carry them out; therefore, they’re little chores, rituals and milestones that one does in the hope that these activities somehow make one pleasing to God. When do you get an “A,” Mr. GodsGadfly? When are you good enough? Do you ever feel joyously confident that when you breathe your last breath, God’s waiting, arms open?

    3. It’s interesting you should mention church buildings. My church doesn’t display a single religious icon. There’s no cross, no altar, no candles, no smoke, no nuthin’. Baptisms take place in the ocean. The pastor wears jeans and a nice shirt; no pointy hat. But the building is filled with believers; therefore, it’s a church. I can see how some would find comfort in the outward trappings of churches–Catholic churches being among the most ornate–but those are just what you’ve become accustomed to, not anything God demands. And I don’t have to tell you how wealthy the Catholic Church is, so it can afford those trappings and fancy frocks for its priests!

    4. Now you’ve really got me worried, GG! What if, on a Monday morning, you fought with your spouse, really flew off the handle and most definitely sinned. Your anger toward your spouse booted you right out of a state of grace. On your way to work, you’re killed in a car accident before you had a chance to swing by the church and confess to your priest. What then? Are you lost forever? Or are you on your way to Purgatory where you get a second chance at getting that “A.” What a dreadful way to live! Apparently, timing’s everything to a Catholic.

    It’s like some of the most powerful statements of the Gospels are completely lost on Catholics:

    I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me. John 14:6

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

    I could go on and on, but you get my drift. Any doctrine but belief alone in God is not of God. God’s plan of reconciliation…so simple…so sweet…so dear. We love God because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

  20. Of course I should’ve said: Any doctrine but belief alone in Jesus Christ is not of God. Christ died so I don’t have to be eternally damned. I’m not going to insult His sacrifice by not accepting it as the price paid in full–once and for always. I’ll live my best to be respectful of that sacrifice.

    • Glad you think my views are interesting, since they’re the teachings of authentic Christianity, that is Catholci and Orthodox Christianity, the way all Christians believed and practiced their faith from the time of the Apostles until the Prostant Revolt, when a bunch of people who were possessed by the Devil misled millions of people into rejecting true Christianity.

      (Oh, BTW, C. S. Lewis believed in Purgatory).

      It’s funny we’re having this conversation, and I just learned last night how Martin Luther expressed the desire to burn all copies of the Letter of James.

      So, are the Demons redeemed? After all, St. Paul also famously says that *every* tongue, on the earth, in the heavens and under the earth, will proclaim that “Jesus Christ is Lord”. If all that’s required is declaring “Jesus Christ is Lord,” I guess Satan is saved?

      As for your hypothetical, if the content of the argument was mortally sinful, yes, because to engage in sin is to reject Christ.

      You insult Christ’s sacrifice by engaging in sin and presuming His forgiveness. Have you ever *read* John 20?

      And I’m sure Satan likes your “church”: stripped of all images of Jesus, stripped of sacramentals, Having no semblance to a Christian church at all. Just the way the Devil wants it, just the thing the Freemasons have been working for for centuries.

      As for Michael Jackson, he was *part* of the media! Of course he was non-judgemental. He was a liberal media persona. The kind of “non-judgementalism” you’re talking about is not Christianity. It’s Freemasonry.

      Jesus was not non-judgemental. Jesus says we’re not to condemn each other, at least not unless we, ourselves, are in states of grace, but He’s very clear that we are to condemn sinful actions. People love to quote “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” but they totally ignore, “Go and sin no more.”

  21. SillyLittleDitty

    You wrote: As for your hypothetical, if the content of the argument was mortally sinful, yes, because to engage in sin is to reject Christ.

    Oh, dear. I hope the timing of your death works out OK.

    Seriously, where is Purgatory discussed in the Bible?

    • That’s why Catholics are taught to pray for a “happy death”.
      You know, sin is not some random thing we fall into that we have no control over. (Oh, BTW, isn’t it an “action” to bow your head and turn your life over to Jesus? Do you think that being “saved” is something that passively happens to everyone with no act of will?)
      Mortal sin is a deliberate choice to defy a serious matter of God’s law (usually defined as breaking a Commandment). Taking your hypothetical a step further.
      Do you think a man who “confesses Jesus”, and goes to Church on Sunday, can turn around on Monday morning and have sex with a woman who is not his wife? If he dies in a car accident on his way home from committing adultery, is he “saved”? What if, after having intercourse with his mistress, he stabs her to death and then stabs himself? Is he “saved” regardless?

      Mortal sins are things like murder (though Jesus, of course, says that the commandment against murder extends to anger), abortion, contraception, adultery, divorce, fornication, using profanity, skipping church on Sunday, doing unnecessary work or business on Sunday, lying about people, stealing, etc.

      Now, as for Purgatory, there are passages in the Bible that refer to it. A common example is the parable where Jesus talks about people being thrown into prison until they pay the last penny (this of course cannot refer to Hell, since no one can get out of Hell).

      But the real question is: why does every Christian doctrine need to come straight from the Bible?

      After all, you’ve never answered that fundamental question: why does the Bible have any authority???

      Jesus never even talks about a Bible, but He speaks quite frequently of the Church.

      St. Paul says in 2 Thess 2:15, “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” This, for Catholics and Orthodox–and therefore for all Christians before 1500 and the vast majority of Christians since–is the basic statement of how the Christian truth is conveyed.

      The Bible only gets its authority because the Church teaches that the Bible is the word of God. The Catholic Church decided what books went in the Bible to begin with. Jesus conveyed His teaching authority to the Apostles, not to any book. Therefore, it is not necessary that every Christian doctrine be expressed explicity in the Bible, but only that it have authoritative tradition dating back to the time of the Apostles.

      Nothing impure or imperfect can stand before God. The Bible is *very* clear about personal and final judgement, when each person will be held accountable, first in private and then in front of everyone who’s ever lived, for his or her actions, both good and evil. Purgatory is the process of having not just sins, but the *inclination* to sin (concupiscence) stripped from the soul. That process can be avoided on earth by prayer and works to overcome the attachment to sin in this life.

  22. SillyLittleDitty

    Holy smokes, your religion is complicated. I’m grateful for God’s simple plan of salvation as described in the Gospels.

    Answer to your questions in the order posed:

    …isn’t it an “action” to bow your head and turn your life over to Jesus? YES

    Do you think that being “saved” is something that passively happens to everyone with no act of will? NO

    Do you think a man who “confesses Jesus”…can have sex with a woman who is not his wife? HE CAN BUT HE OUGHT NOT.

    If he dies … is he “saved”? YES What if, after … Is he “saved” regardless? YES

    For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

    One of the greatest, if not the greatest, motivations to live for God is absolute assurance of eternal life NO MATTER WHAT.

    But the real question is: why does every Christian doctrine need to come straight from the Bible?

    Because only the Bible is inspired by God. It is truth without any mixture of error, and is the primary source for Christian beliefs and guidelines for living.
    Ps. 119:89-96, 105; Is. 40:8; John 20:31; Eph. 5:25-27; Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21

    …why does the Bible have any authority? See above verses. The reason Jesus never talks about a “Bible” is because the New Testament was written after his death. Prior to his death, we were all under the Law. Catholicism is still under the Law–which is wrong.

    GG: The Bible only gets its authority because the Church teaches that the Bible is the word of God. The Catholic Church decided what books went in the Bible to begin with.

    Well, then something thereafter went kerflooey, GG, because, like the Pharisees and Sadducces, Catholics are still living under the Law, not under grace! God’s plan provided for grace because it’s impossible for man to live under the Law and still please Him.

    BTW, did you know that Father Gordon MacRae does NOT believe that Michael Jackson was guilty? Quite the contrary; he was happy that Jackson was acquitted. Proof to follow.

    • Twice now you’ve mentioned someone named Fr. Gordon McRae. I have no idea who this person is, and I thought you said we weren’t supposed to judge? If that’s the case, how can you “judge” Michael Jackson to be innocent? (esp. since I’ve said repeatedly that Michael Jackson’s personal guilt is not the question, but how someone with his reputation could be so adulated).

      “Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh be longs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3).

      Actually, it’s not *that* complicated, except you don’t strike me as a very well-educated person.

      For example, you say that the Sacraments are bad because they’re actions, yet you admit that some action is required to accept Christ.

      I note that a lot of your verses about “the Bible” come from the Old Testament, yet you condemn the Pharissees and Sadduccees for living “under the law.” Don’t you realize that they were teaching “the Bible alone”???

      In any case, of course there’s a lot “kerflooey” about false Protestant doctrines, because they don’t stand up to any test of reason or logic or history or conformity with the *entirety* of the Bible. Martin Luther expressed the desire to burn all copies of the Letter of James. Did you see the video I posted last night about Martin Luther?

      Here’s what Jesus has to say:
      “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. ” (Matthew 7:13-14).
      Contines on to Matthew 7:15-24, where Jesus condemns false prophets, says you’ll know a tree by its fruit, and says that not everyone who claims to follow Him will enter Heaven–not even if they claim mighty deeds and prophecies–but only those who do the will of His Father.

      Heck, read the whole Gospel of Matthew. It’s full of invectives. Chapter 25 is pretty strong, too, saying that people will be judged based upon whether they do acts of charity in Jesus’ name.

      John 6, as I’ve noted several times, says that unless you eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood, you have no life in you, and of course He explains that at the Last Supper when He presents the Eucharist.

      Yet, your “pastors,” possessed by satan, lie to you and call Jesus a liar by saying this is just symbolic language, and that receiving the Eucharist is “just works” and the other blasphemies you’ve written against Jesus’s sacraments.

      “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. . . . But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one [NOTE: THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION], and you all have knowledge.
      . . .. Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist. . . .. I write these things about those who would deceive you” (1 John 2:14,20,22,26).

      “No one who remains in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or known him. Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:6-8)

      Not judging?
      “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. ” (1 John 5:16)

      Why eternal security is false and Confession is necessary:
      “If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10).

      “The Law”:
      “Are we then annulling the law by this faith? Of course not! On the contrary, we are supporting the law.” (Romans 3:31).

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
      Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. ” (Mt 5:17-21).

      Confession:
      “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. ” (Matthew 5:23-24).

      Purgatory:
      ” Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:25-26).

      Jesus says that not just will we be judged on whether we kill, but whether we’re angry (Mt 5:21-22), not just on whether we commit adultery but whether we’re lustful (Mt. 5:27-28).

      Self-mortification:

      “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna. ” (Mt 5:29-30).

      It’s funny. So called “red letter Christians,” like Barack Obama, like to say, “I follow the sermon on the Mount.” Well, all these teachings I just listed are part of the Sermon on the Mount. It goes on for quite a while with expansions on the Law.

  23. SillyLittleDitty

    Oh! I thought you referenced (in Vox Nova blog) MacRae’s article on his website as evidence that you weren’t the only Catholic to label Michael Jackson a pedophile. Well, you know how the Internet is–link leads unto link unto link.

    MacRae is a Catholic priest imprisoned for molesting a male parishoner. His sentence is so severe that it constitutes a life sentence. The charges were brought by someone decades after the alleged act; someone seeking money–just as Jackson’s accusers sought money. MacRae’s story is a heartbreaking one, but some people interpreted what he wrote about Jackson as saying Jackson was guilty. MacRae personally told me in writing that that is not what he believes.

    Anyway…I can see there’s no way on God’s green earth that I’m going to convince you that I’m a Christian…and vice versa. Well, actually, no, I don’t know your heart. Maybe, against all odds, you have accepted God’s gift of eternal life through his Son, Jesus Christ. Some Catholics have, but most are firm in their belief that the only path to salvation is through full membership in the Catholic Church, and that simply isn’t true.

    I shall read the verses later. Happy Valentine’s Day–a commercial holiday named after a bogus saint. (Kidding!)

  24. SillyLittleDitty

    Is this a “Satanist” song? Why or why not?

    • I don’t know it that well. Don’t know enough about musicology to know if the chords are atonal. However, apparently the song is about coveting another man’s wife, so in thesense it glorifies sin, yes.

  25. SillyLittleDitty

    ?! Well, surely you know what you like. Do you consult The Musicologist’s Network before you decide if you like a composition?

    GG: Hey, Fred (the Musicologist), are these chords atonal?

    FM: Uh, yeah, GG, they are.

    GG: Then I like it.

    How does this song “glorify” unrequited love? The man is obviously in anguish–which surely illustrates that coveting another man’s wife is not a good thing to do.

    • No, but atonal music is atheistic: tonal music is based upon the principle of harmony, that there is order in creation, and is designed to reflect God’s craftsmanship. Atonal music is direct from Nietzschean and Marxist philosophy (it is, specifically, Communist music). It says that there is no God, therefore the universe is chaotic, therefore music does not need to have rules.

      He’s in anguish because he can’t have her. That’s called covetousness. He’s not saying that the desires are wrong, or that they’re self-destructive. He’s saying he wants her to leave her husband for him.

  26. SillyLittleDitty

    I agree about chaos in music. Most if not all of Michael Jackson’s music was very melodic. He refused to use profanity in any of his songs. His musical colleagues and music critics made fun of him because he used “doggone” instead of the usual profanity.

    Alright, I cede to your opinion about the lyrics but then I don’t see the Devil around every corner. 🙂

    • L’Osservatore Romano doesn’t speak directly for the Pope, and it’s been issuing lots of controversial articles lately.

      L’Osservatore Romano said that the Brazilian abortions were OK, and the excommunication of the doctors and mother were wrong–then, several months later, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued a major smackdown.

      Plus, the Satanic, drug-promoting Beatles are on the list.

  27. “That a man who showed very little virtue of any sort is being so held on a pedastal.”

    But you, with your smug judgmental nature, will sleep well tonight knowing how virtuous you are.

    It must feel great to have all the answers, Godsbusybody, kind of how God feels?

    It is people like you who disgusted me to the level where for many years I rejected the Church, and indeed refused the title Christian because of the hypocrisy, pride, judgment and venom spewed by so-called “Christians” and “Catholics.” It is only until the death of Michael Jackson, through listening to his music, that I felt Christ’s hand on my shoulder. Christ was waiting, and had never left my side. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and it is not for you, a mere mortal, to pass judgment on the workings of God and the Holy Spirit. Humble yourself before God.

    • I’m not smug. I just know the truth. And I know that we’re not supposed to idolize human beings. That is my point. My point is that Michael Jackson is not someone to be admired, and that his work has done a great deal to corrupt young people’s souls. Whatever “good” he might have done through charity cannot mitigate the amount of people he’s led into sin and perversion through his “music” and his “videos.”

    • Also, all these comments I keep getting from people jumping so viciously to Michael Jackson’s defense merely proves my point. Did you show this kind of fervor when Penn and Teller were disgracing the memory of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta???

      I admire saints. I don’t admire celebrities.

  28. It is only until the death of Michael Jackson, through listening to his music, that I felt Christ’s hand on my shoulder. Christ was waiting, and had never left my side. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and it is not for you, a mere mortal, to pass judgment on the workings of God and the Holy Spirit. Humble yourself before God.

    Listen to Will You Be There, Man In The Mirror, and Heal The World to start. Even a learned scholar such as yourself might find there is something yet for you to learn.

  29. God can work through anything. It doesn’t mean what he’s working through is good . I enjoy Barry Manilow’s music. That doesn’t make Barry Manilow a “good person,” and I really don’t care about his personal life, other than praying for his soul as I pray for everyone’s soul.

    But I wouldn’t get all broken up by his death the way people got broken up by Michael Jackson’s death. I wouldn’t support the media doing its “instant saint routine.”

  30. SillyLittleDitty

    The media has hardly made Jackson an instant saint. They castigating him still every chance they get. They still hold their nose even as they eulogize him. That’s the hypocrisy of the media; that while they make money on the mere mention of him, they refuse to acknowledge that he was innocent.

  31. SillyLittleDitty

    It should not be surprising that you’re the only one who considers yourself a Christian in this discourse.

  32. Pingback: Amazing what posts get lots of hits « The Lewis Crusade

  33. Was just linked to your Idolatry posts about Michael Jackson.

    I was raised a Catholic, and left it when I was about 20 – when I realized I should have a mind of my own.

    Thank you for confirming my decision.

    • So bowing down to the GroupThink of the MTV Generation constitutes having a mind of your own? Bowing down before the Almighty Television constitutes having a mind of your own? Glorifying a pedophile constitutes having a mind of your own?
      Joining with the throngs in raising some celebrity who committed suicide to godlike status is having a mind of your own?

  34. As many have told you many times, GodsGadfly, Michael Jackson was not a pedophile. Furthermore, you will have a lot to answer for when you meet Him and He tells you so. He will ask, “Why did you bear false witness against my child, Michael Jackson?”

    • And you’ll have a lot to ask for about why you give so much adoration to a man who promoted the Satanic Television Network, AKA MTV.

      Every pro-Michael Jackson commentor has just proven my point that Michael Jackson’s “fans” are guilty of idolatry.

      I don’t know about “pedophilia.” He did admit to sleeping with children in his bed who were not related to him. Several priests have been defrocked and publicly excoriated for the same admission. Explain the double standard.

    • The only reason I can see for the double standard is that you MTV-watching satanist pervs see nothing *WRONG* with sleeping with children (let me guess, are you a NAMBLA member?) And you just hate Catholicism as much as you hate little children. Let me guess. A re you pro-abortion? Pro-contraception? Did you vote for Barack “Children are a punishment” and “helping disabled people is a mistake” Obama?

  35. Me, I voted for McCain.

    You mistake “admiration” for “idolatry.” Michael Jackson did more for the poor, sick and underserved in one day than you have in your entire life.

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