Category Archives: Doctrine

Response to Mary’s Immaculate Conception

Reader Scottie has forwarded me this response he received via email from one Pope Michael, no affiliation with the original monks emailed.  We are pleased to receive critique and feedback on our posts here.  It is a bit late now, and the points raised in this response require deeper evaluation.  For now, I will simply post it here.  Please feel free to comment on this or the original post.

Dear Scottie,

This one is interesting.  First of all, four people were born without Original Sin.  Jesus, being God did not have Original Sin, obviously.  Secondly, the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without original Sin as a special privilege from God.  However, she did have to cooperate with these graces, and objectively speaking could have sinned.  What if she had said no to the Angel at the Annunciation?  Mary cooperated most perfectly with Almighty God in her salvation.  She simply got a benefit most of us do not have, which God may do.  Two others were born without Original Sin.  Saint John the Baptist was purified at the time of the Visitation, and thus born without Original Sin.  For this reason we celebrate the Birthdays of Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist and no other Birthdays in the Church.  I believe the Prophet Jeremias was also sanctified in this manner.
We all must cooperate with God in our salvation, because God will not save us without our cooperation.  This would deny free will, as the Calvinists apparently do.  I wish I had a copy of the special I saw on the History Channel about two years ago on how Protestant thought has influenced the modern world.  Calvin’s doctrine of justification had some surprising results.  He taught that we were either saved or not no matter what we do.  One group, and I forget the name, that spun off from this sinned like mad, because it simply does not matter under Calvinism.  This reaction is logical and dangerous and proves the falsehood of the the Calvinistic proposition of justification.  Remember also that Adam and Eve were not conceived in sin, but they sinned anyway, so being free from Original Sin is not a guarantee of salvation.
Yes it is well written, but it is what they do not say.
I hope this helps.

Pope Michael

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Mary’s Immaculate Conception?

This is a letter I’ve written to Most Holy Family Monastery, a sede vacantist group who’s tracts on the popes and protestantism are really fascinating.  However, in reading their tract on Mary, I had to respond to it.  I hope to receive a reply from them- if I do, I will post it.

Dear Brothers,

My biggest stumbling block in accepting Roman Catholicism has always been Marian doctrine, but in light of your other tracts addressing Protestantism, I was very much looking forward to reading your tract on her.  However, it has left me with even bigger doubts than I had to begin with, particularly regarding her immaculate conception.

In the tract, you state “God saved Mary by preventing her from contracting original sin. Suppose that a man falls into a deep hole in the forest, but is pulled out by his friend. It is true to say that the friend saved the man. Now suppose a man sees a woman walking toward the deep hole, and catches her just before she falls in. He stops her from falling into the hole in the first place, so that she doesn’t get injured or dirty at all. Did he save the woman? Certainly he did. He saved her in a greater way, by preventing her from falling into the hole and suffering any of the harmful consequences.”  Now, when I first read this passage, I accepted it.  “Well, I guess that makes sense.”  But upon reflection, it really didn’t, because it completely cheapens Christ’s redemptive death!

It has been established from the Garden of Eden that “the wages of sin are death.”  God performed the first sin sacrifice when He clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins.  The entire Old Testament is based on the concept that People Cannot Save Themselves; even when God tells them what needs to be done, they forget, or don’t care, or don’t do it right, etc.  God does not preserve His prophets, or even David, whom He loved.  Each of them screws up, and then has to make an atonement for it.  There are entire books of the New Testament dedicated to explaining that without Christ dying for us, we die.  It is a scriptural fact that Sin has to be equaled out for with Death.

Therefore, how would Mary get out of sin if Jesus did not die for her?  Mary was born of Adam (Luke 3 is nearly always cited as Mary’s geneology; some say that it is Joseph’s actual geneological line, whereas Matt 1 is his legal line, but regardless, it is common sense that Mary (a human) was born of 2 other humans, who were descended from the first 2 humans.)  She would then be expected to be born under Adam’s curse like every one else.  Now, if you maintain that Jesus’ death reached back and retroactively saved her, then what was the point of all of those animal sacrifices?  Why didn’t God save all of His chosen people, rather than letting them get smote over and over ad nauseum for not keeping up on their sacrifices?  Under that logic, no one should have been born under original sin, if Jesus’ death was able to wipe it away before they were even concieved.  The thought of this makes me sick, because it changes God from selflessly giving Himself to resolve the metaphysical quandry that has prevented Him from being with His creations, to God randomly deciding that He was tired of dead goats, preserving one backwater Judean girl, knocking her up, trashing her and her fiancees reputations, then murdering their offspring (which is actually Him) for no good reason at all because He clearly could’ve saved anyone He wanted to at any time.  This basically validates all of those stupid “If God really was omnibenevolent and omnipotent no one would ever go to hell!” arguments, because it means that rather than original sin being an insurmountable gap between us and God, it becomes something that can be crossed at any time, with no action at all on the saved persons part, based entirely upon the whim of God.

What are we, Calvinists?

Sarah

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OPINION PIECE: Baptism

Hi ya’ll- this site’s been a bit dead for a while, and so while I’m piecing together the final draft of an essay on the biblical basis for logical reasoning, I thought I’d post this school paper as a hold over.  Please note this is strictly my opinion, and my interpretation of scripture.

            Baptism is the most important sacrament in the Christian faith.  It is the only one common to all denominations, and is consistently affirmed by scripture as necessary (if not sufficient) for salvation.  However, it is most frequently performed by sprinkling holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Why is this incorrect and why does this matter?

 

            In Acts 2:38, Peter commands all the converts to “Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  This command is repeated again in Acts 10:48, making reference to “the name of the LORD.”  Name singular, LORD singular.  Many tri-baptists use Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commands them to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  This was not a command to use a formula, but to use a name.  And what is that name?  Jesus, coming from the Hebrew name “Yeshua”, meaning “Salvation.”  It’s common sense- you can’t be saved without salvation!

 

            Why is full water immersion important?  Well, just like every other Christian sacraments, it’s a metaphor.  It is symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection; Christian act it out to symbolize their own death, burial, and resurrection through Christ.  Romans 6:4, in laying out the plan of salvation, it is written “Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism.”  A corpse is not buried by sprinkling dirt on top of it.  By changing this, the symbolism of the baptism is effectively destroyed.

 

            Baptism is a Christian’s first commitment to the Christian faith.  By stripping baptism of it’s meaning, the newly created Christians lack a foundation to build on.  Without the solid rock of Christ to build on, their faith is left on shifting sand and the slow slide to relativism is inevitable.  

            Baptism is the most important sacrament in the Christian faith.  It is the only one common to all denominations, and is consistently affirmed by scripture as necessary (if not sufficient) for salvation.  However, it is most frequently performed by sprinkling holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Why is this incorrect and why does this matter?

 

            In Acts 2:38, Peter commands all the converts to “Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  This command is repeated again in Acts 10:48, making reference to “the name of the LORD.”  Name singular, LORD singular.  Many tri-baptists use Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commands them to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  This was not a command to use a formula, but to use a name.  And what is that name?  Jesus, coming from the Hebrew name “Yeshua”, meaning “Salvation.”  It’s common sense- you can’t be saved without salvation!

 

            Why is full water immersion important?  Well, just like every other Christian sacraments, it’s a metaphor.  It is symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection; Christian act it out to symbolize their own death, burial, and resurrection through Christ.  Romans 6:4, in laying out the plan of salvation, it is written “Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism.”  A corpse is not buried by sprinkling dirt on top of it.  By changing this, the symbolism of the baptism is effectively destroyed.

 

            Baptism is a Christian’s first commitment to the Christian faith.  By stripping baptism of it’s meaning, the newly created Christians lack a foundation to build on.  Without the solid rock of Christ to build on, their faith is left on shifting sand and the slow slide to relativism is inevitable. 

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The Trinity at One

THE TRINITY

Having recently completed a mini Comparative-Religions offered at my school, I’ve realized that many concepts I had thought to be shared and understood in most, if not all, religions, or at least in the Abrahamic faiths, were in fact unique to Christianity.  In light of this discovery, my next few posts will be dealing with sin, the afterlife, and the nature of God.  And what of God’s nature is more important to Christianity than the Trinity?

To explain the Trinity, I will be borrowing from the content of Vox Dei‘s argument against the Problem of Evil by eliminating Omniderigence (Which is to say, the purported trait of God foreordering all things) This is a brilliant article, which can be found in the fifteenth chapter of his book, “The Irrational Atheist” in which he points out the factual errors found in the “New Atheist’s” books.  The whole thing can be found online for free from his website, but be warned- he doesn’t really get to the point of his book until the fourth chapter.  The first three chapters are really just him patronizing Dawkins (“wrong”), Hitchens (“drunk, and he’s wrong”), and Harris (“so superlatively wrong that it will require the development of esoteric mathematics operating simultaneously in multiple dimensions to fully comprehend the orders of magnitude of his wrongness”).  Once he gets around to it though, the depth of his research is amazing and an invaluable resource to anyone trying to argue with the “new” atheists.  But back to my point…

Imagine that you’re a game designer, creating a virtual world populated with AIs.  You are in complete control of the world- you can read every line of code when ever you want to, see the very “thoughts” of your creations at will.  You create your own AI character in order to change the movements of your programming.  Your avatar is completely digital- it would be ridiculous to assert it’s flesh and blood.  And yet, it is in every sense you, since your will is in control of it’s AI.  You and the avatar act in complete sync.  You are both undeniably distinct, and yourself much “greater” then the avatar, but at the same time you are exactly the same.  You can also act apart from your avatar, whether through subtly tweaking lines of code in the NPCs, influencing the conditions in your virtual world, or by just causing the NPCs to act in accordance with your designs.  Your influence can’t be directly observed or noticed by the NPCs, but it is there.  That is, in a sense, how God works.  He is all at once Heavenly Father, creator of the world, Jesus Christ, God made Man, and the Holy Spirit, acting through believers.  It’s not a perfect metaphor- it can’t account for the Ascension, the Love between the Father and the Son, or the fact that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each distinct in will.  But at the very least, it’s not the usual heresies (I’m looking at you, water-ice-steam-one-substance and the “I’m a father and a son and a thought but I’m one person” metaphors).

-Sarah

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