Papal “Bull”

What is it that makes very intelligent people – both the leaders who have numerous degrees and the people who are not stupid either – believe such utter nonsense?

The Leader-Post (our local daily paper) ran an intem from the RNS (Religious News Service) on Saturday July 12th, 2008… “Damien cleared for sainthood”. Dateline Vatican City.

It seems that the patron saint of those with HIV/AIDS is on the verge of being canonized. Originally Father Damien de Veuster was a Belgian priest in the Roman Catholic structure. I have heard of him as he spent 15 years caring for the lepers on the island of Molokai, Hawaii until he died of the disease himself in 1889. He was quite the follower of Jesus Christ. A wonderful man and a “saint” in the Bible use of that term – as one who believes in and follows the Lord Jesus Christ.

On July 3rd the current pope – Benedict XVI – authorized a decree attributing a second miracle to his intercession. Pope John Paul II had already started this process towards canonization when, in 1995, he declared Damien “Blessed” after recognizing the first miracle.

It seems that a French nun had prayed to the late priest only a few years after his death. She prayed for healing and Father Damien apparently answered her prayer and she was healed.

The second decree in early July of this year was issued because now there is a second miracle declared by the Vatican to be the result of this dead priest’s intervention. A woman in Hawaii with lung cancer had prayed to this priest – who died remember in 1889 – and was healed of lung cancer. The case was actually written up in 2000 in the Hawaii Medical Journal and is now recognized as the second miracle and thus the second signpost on the way to sainthood for this faithful priest.

All that is left now is for the current Pope – Benedict XVI – to write a “papal bull” calling for his veneration as a saint. Apparently this is in the works. And, you will be glad (or sad depending on what you believe) to hear that this priest is already the patron saint of Hawaii and that statues of this dead priest stand in both the U.S. Capitol in Washington as well as the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu.

What a bunch of bull -and I don’t mean papal bull either. How do well educated leaders with masters and doctorate degrees actually believe this stuff? And, how are so many well-intentioned and faithful people so deceived by this stuff?

Why are we praying to dead priests? Whatever happened to Jesus who is forever making intercession on our behalf (Book of Hebrews)? I thought Jesus is the One and only Mediator between God and man (the Book of Hebrews)? I understood that He is our Great High Priest (again, the Book of Hebrews) and our Great Shepherd (1 Peter) and thus we don’t need to be praying to some dead priest as Jesus cares for us as a Shepherd does? I thought Jesus told us to pray to the Father in His Name (the 4 Gospels)?

And, I thought the book of Hebrews states that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment? Thus, dare I say it – Damien died, was judged, and is either in Heaven or Hell and is no longer available (nor was he ever available) to answer your prayers. Not his job! He is not God.

It is time for the real Church to stand up and proclaim the truth as found in Scripture. But then, the question remains, who or what is the real Church? Afterall, Charismatics speak with and even receive revelation from dead saints who appear to them in visions, dreams and in the flesh … so even this branch of the Church speaks to (“prays to”) dead saints under the teaching called “The Cloud of Witnesses”. So, that branch of the born again Church is no better than our Roman Catholic friends.

Where is the real Church of Jesus Christ that actually believes the Bible and believes in and stands for the truth as once delivered to the saints (Jude 3)?

Would the real Church please stand up! And do so soon! Many are being seriously deceived and the Truth needs to be spoken – quickly and loudly.

4 replies
  1. G.Johnson
    G.Johnson says:

    You use the phrase “our Roman Catholic friends”. I wonder after your attack on what they believe how many of them would consider you a friend. I don’t agree with the whole “saint” thing but I don’t think that I you are going to win an opportunity to speak into the lives of those that do with such negative/condemning language. I may be wrong but that’s how I feel. You know what? I have this feeling that if you think that I am wrong you will lash out at me in the same way. I will be interested to see what you have to say.

    Reply
  2. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi G. Johnson,

    I was certainly not attacking our friends in the Roman Catholic Church. My apologies if it came across that way as that was not my intention. When first saved and rescued from a similar denomination with a structure parallel to the Roman catholic Church – the first person I went to share with was my best friend at that time – a Roman Catholic priest. I have since had many opportunities to fellowship with born again Roman Catholic priests and lay people. I am not their enemy and neither am I mad at them.

    However, I do believe that the truth needs to be spoken and spoken rather loudly as we are not simply dealing with a matter of theology or a point of interpretation of a vague verse of scripture – we are dealing with people’s eternal destiny as these are vital and basic issues of the Christian faith.

    As a person whose first Master’s degree was earned from the Toronto School of Theology which included denominational seminaries from most Canadian Church structures – I took both dogmatic theology, systematic theology, moral theology and Soteriology (the theology of salvation) from the Roman Catholic seminaries (there were two or three in the TST structure). Their basic theology is fairly accurate to the scriptures. However, they add praying to the saints, Mary the Mother of God (and a number of false teachings on her as well as her role and place in salvation and prayer today), and a fairly large numer of other teachings which are either heritical or would lead people into serious spiritual error. So, I believe I speak from a fairly accurate knowledge base when expressing concern regarding theology and practices in this Church structure.

    So, I am deeply concerned for those who adhere to this religion – and believe that salvation is a result of Baptism and receiving the Eucharist. I am deeply concerned that so much time and effort is invested in teachings that are not biblical and that the idea of “salvation by grace through faith” which Martin Luther reintroduced into Christiandom is still not being taught in this part of the Christian Church.

    The Bible does say that “judgment begins at the House of the Lord” and I believe that all of our man-made structures (and not just those of the Roman Catholic system) will be dealt with by the Lord – and, in fact, already are. I also believe that as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ it is my obligation – in fact, duty – to speak up when I see a structure that is leading people away from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and making them reliant on a Church structure with its sacraments and priesthood and heritical teachings.

    I hope and pray that you too will pray and fast – and speak up for the Truth as found only in scripture whether it is to a Mormon, a Jehovah Witness or a Roman Catholic. Souls are precious to the Lord as He came to die for us to bring us home with Him … and we must be very careful that we follow His Word, our Bibles.

    Last, but not least, please note in my original blog, that I also made equal mention of problems in the Born Again and Charismatic sides of the Christian Church as well.

    I look forward to continuing this discussion with you. Your participation in this topic on my blog site is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  3. Bill
    Bill says:

    Somehow, I don’t understand why, I hear repeatedly people saying they believe that there is actually some unknown life between heaven and hell. Of course if they read the bible they will quickly dispell these notions. But my question is; where are these notions coming from? Are they actually being taught? I sincerely hope not.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share, God bless.

    Reply
  4. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Bill,

    The concept of purgatory or paradise came in during the dark ages and was actually a direct result of wrong teaching on salvation. Many denominations perpetuate these teachings today which is really sad because, as you mention, the Bible teaches otherwise.

    I am currently teaching on heaven and Hell and Life After Death – 5 part series – which will be mailed out to you one sermon at a time. Others will eventually be able to buy them on line in the web store as soon as the art work is accomplished and some slight editing done.

    If you have questions as you listen – write them on the blog and we will see what we can do to answer them.

    Blessings!

    Reply

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