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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?



Filed under Christian Arguments, Doctrine, Inter-Christian Apologetics, Opinion

Sarah’s Confusing Post

Sarah recently responded to a question posted by a man named Brett on the Cosmological Argument.

“God, or the “eternal cause”, is eternal in time, and infinite in space. Thus He (or it) is infinitely larger than the universe, but is unchanged by the passing of time.” : Sarah

confused-full1I really don’t understand what it is she is trying to say here, and I just wanted to post this in order to distance myself from the inevitable fallout from Sarah’s post. I think it’s extremely confusing and deceptive, and takes up far too much space making unnecessary points, and even more making incorrect ones.

The beginning is good, though. I more or less agree that therein lies the answer to Brett’s question. I would normally take the time to personally dismantle any objections or answer questions, since I’m easily more philosophically capable than Sarah, (though she has me beat in some areas.)

To reconnect with the beginning of my post, I just want to point out what I thought was the most retarded thing Sarah said, which is quoted at the top of this page. Barring consideration of the corporeal Christ, God has no size. He does not occupy space, so I have no idea what Sarah means. Moreover, Sarah does not seem to understand that actual infinites such as she has described cannot exist. You cannot have one physical object which is infinitely larger than another physical object. That simply cannot be. (I will post on this topic later)

The distinction to be made is between actual infinites, potential infinites, and eternity. An actual infinite is a thing which is physically infinite as a measure, not as a property. An abyss would be a good example. Another good example would be a beginningless universe, or a hotel with an infinite number of rooms. A potential infinite can be characterized as something indefinite or potentially infinite. An example would be an endless universe. A universe which goes on forever does not happen all at once as one big infinitely long timeline with two ends. It would have one end (the beginning) and at no given point in it’s history could someone look back and say, “The universe is infinitely old”. No matter how far you go along the line, there is always a finite traversed-distance behind you.

I will post more later.


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The Trinity at One


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).



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Not-So-Average Joe

Just in time for the holiday season! Now, this isn’t a strictly apologetic type post like we make a habit of doing. This is just a short post about the earthly father of Christ, good ol’ St. Joe.

I think that, for all that Mary deserves the attention, it’s really rather unfair that Joseph get’s third wheel in the Holy Family. For all the tribulations her pregnancy brought her, they also fell on Joseph. It would have been perfectly acceptable, in fact, expected of him to have divorced her, as he was planning to. It was actually within his rights to have her stoned, or made an example of, but Joseph was a good, but reasonably very embarrased man who decided to just deal with the matter quietly. When he heeded the angel’s commandment not to divorce Mary, it was no small thing he did. When he accepted Jesus as his own son, he also took the perceived sin of his conception upon him. After all, children normally don’t just pop up out of wedlock! It is exceedingly admirable that he went to such lengths to protect his young bride and her child.

That’s what Christmas is celebrating. Not pagan frivolities, nor that stupid “spirit of giving” stuff spooned to us as a justification to buy gifts for each other. Not that I, or anyone else on this blog, are against these things, but we shouldn’t let them eclipse the real reason we are celebrating. It is about two people, a teenaged girl and her older fiancee, who had to make difficult decisions for God. Mary could’ve said “No. Don’t do this to me.” Joseph could’ve divorced her. But they, in a foreshadowing of Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross, took a sin they did not commit upon themselves, so that God’s Grace could be delivered to the world.

Merry Christmas

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The Resurrection

I think that this might be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for non-believers to accept.  “The resurrection never happened- people don’t just rise from the dead!” they scoff.  Well, yes.  People don’t.  That’s why it’s a miracle.  Now, I’ll talk about miracles a little later, but let’s just stick with the assumption that they can happen, for the moment.  While keeping our minds open to the possibility of a miraculous occurence, let’s consider the theories surrounding Jesus’ death and return to life.

1. The Apostles Lied
Jesus died on the cross and, three days later, as he failed to come again, the Apostles gathered together and came up with a plan- if they just said he returned, no one could prove them wrong, could they?  So they go out and preach the word of the “risen” lord to the unwitting public and dupe them into joining their church.  This theory has some major flaws in it, the greatest of these being this- the Apostles died.  All of them were tortured to death, the exception being John who was boiled in oil and then thrown off a tower, and after these failed to kill him, was exiled to the Island of Patmos.  Peter was crucified upside down.  James was torn apart.  Matthias, the oft forgotten twelfth-prime apostle, was captured and eaten by cannibals for his beliefs.  At any point in the events leading up to their death, if they had renounced their beliefs they would’ve been allowed to go free.  But no one did.  No one who is morally corrupt enough to lie to thousands would have the strength of character to stick to that lie whist being burned alive, or being thrown to the lions.  There was no conceivable benefit for them to lie about this, which brings us to the next hypothesis.

2. The Apostles Were Deranged
In a fit of grief, they experience a group hallucination of Jesus coming down and speaking to them.  This doesn’t fit the facts either.  Having a psychotic break, and then continuing to adhere to the beliefs produced as a result of it makes a person at the very least mentally ill.  The disciples of Christ, about 70 people, went out and converted people by the thousands, taking what was a very small messianic ‘cult’ in Judaism, and turning it into The Major Religion of the western hemisphere.  While mentally ill people can and do convince others of their beliefs, they will by and large turn people off with their fervor.  Consider UFOlogists.  There is a substantially sized group of people in the world with rational explanations and what they consider real experiences with aliens.  But they are still dismissed as kooks to the fringes, and very few people seriously believe that extraterrestrial beings are abducting corn farmers in Nebraska.

3. Jesus Didn’t Die
The Roman soldiers made a mistake and took him off the Cross when he had simply passed out from the pain or from blood loss, and he later recovered in the tomb and made his way back to the Disciples.  This theory is extremely absurd, but it is still oft mentioned so I have to address it here.  The Roman Soldiers who performed the crucifixion were highly experienced.  Their entire job consisted of killing people, and if they failed to perform their job up to snuff, they were likely to be killed themselves.  They would’ve made very sure Jesus was dead before taking him off the cross, knowing that to botch the job that utterly would result in their deaths.  Anyone who holds the belief he didn’t die has not seriously considered the mechanics behind crucifixtion.  One isn’t scourgified, beaten, have nails the size of railroad spikes driven through your forearms and feet, and then be left to the elements all day, and then be able to walk away from it all.  Jesus died after his lungs collapsed- we know that because they had filled with water when his side was pierced to see if he was dead or not.  He was laid to rest in a tomb with a boulder rolled in front of it and two Roman guards posted in front of it.  How would a seriously wounded, fainting man push aside a boulder from the inside and then by pass two soldiers with out attracting attention?  Or, how would the Disciples have overpowered the guards, removed the stone, and made off with Jesus’ body with out being identified and stopped?

The fact is, there is a great deal more evidence FOR the resurrection then their is AGAINST it.  For the entirety of the Early Church’s history, when it was still widely attacked as heretical and blasphemous, there was one condemning piece of evidence that would’ve stopped it in it’s tracks- the body of Jesus.  Had the Jews or Romans been able to provide Jesus’ body, wouldn’t they have?


Other Resources:
Evidence for the Resurrecton
All About Jesus Christ: The Resurrection
Catholic Encyclopedia: Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Religious Tolerance.org: The resurrection of Jesus Christ; Fact or Fable?


Filed under Christian Arguments, Exterior Subcategory, Theoretical Category


Hello, this is Sarah.  Along with Payton and Lauren, we’re going to be posting up arguments for the rationality of faith in God, and more specifically, Christianity.  We hope you enjoy our blog and learn something too!


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