Book Review: “Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal” by Sarah J. Richardson

 lifegreynunneryWhen one gets a glimpse into the evils of Romanism perpetuated in the name of Jesus throughout history, words are hard to find to express the tempest of emotions roiling within.  Here, the account of Sarah J. Richardson and her years spent in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal are no exception.  Incredulity, shock, grief, loathing and more will flood your heart as you read the incredible account of her years spent imprisoned in this whitewashed sepulcher, which indeed appeared outwardly beautiful, but inwardly was full of all manner of dead men’s bones and uncleanness.

The book starts by providing a little background on Sarah’s earliest years and how her partially intoxicated father, in an act he thought for her best interests, gave his daughter away to the nunnery.  Sarah recalls this painful time of parting from her father by writing:

I am sure my father did not realize what he was doing. Had he waited for a little reflection, he would never have consented to such an arrangement, and my fate would have been quite different. But as it was, he immediately sent for the priest, and gave me to him, to be provided for, as his own child, until I was of age. I was then to be allowed to go out into the world if I chose. To this, Priest Dow consented. … Though I was at that time but six years old, I remember perfectly, all that passed upon that memorable occasion. I did not then comprehend the full meaning of what was said, but I understood enough to fill my heart with sorrow and apprehension.

But reflect on what he was doing was not to be for Sarah’s father, for his mind was made up and for his rashness he would never again see his daughter.  And so Sarah was torn away from her family and the world at large and carried away unto the world of the convent from which the eyes of most are prevented from venturing too deep into its hidden recesses.

From here Sarah begins the recollection of her life and the strict discipline and monastic life she was subjected to.  Something for which Roman Catholics are well known for where self-denial and beating of the body are held in high esteem.  As far as discipline is concerned, the nunnery was marked by it where the slightest infringement of the law of the land could yield the harshest of penalties.  One such law was that the children were not to speak, nay not even to groan or turn on their sides at night lest they cause the least bit of disturbance to the “holy” silence so cherished in convents.

This “holy” silence was to be observed throughout the convent where the nuns had to walk on their tip toes, and upon opening and closing a door had to do so with the utmost of care so as to not disturb the “peace.”  A rule which Sarah found herself mistakenly breaking when one morning in haste, she closed the door much to quickly where “it came together with a loud crash.”  We pick up her story where she writes about what happened next.

On entering the room, I found the Superior waiting for me; in her hand she held a stick about a foot long, to the end of which was attached nine leather strings, some twelve or fifteen inches long, and about the size of a man’s little finger. She bade me come to her, in a voice so cold and stern it sent a thrill of terror through my frame, and I trembled with the apprehension of some impending evil. I had no idea that she was about to punish me, for I was not aware that I had done anything to deserve it; but her looks frightened me, and I feared,–I know not what. She took hold of my arm, and without saying a word, gave me ten or twelve strokes over the head and shoulders with this miniature cat-o’-nine-tails. … But when I began to cry, and beg to go to my father, she sternly bade me stop crying at once, for I could not go to my father. I must stay there, she said, and learn to remember all her commands and obey then. She then taught me the following verse:

   I am a little nun,
The sisters I will mind;
When I am pretty and learn,
Then they will use me kind.
I must not be so noisy
When I go about the house,
I’ll close the doors so softly
They’ll think I am a mouse.

And so began the life of Sarah in the convent.  A life which would be filled with torments and griefs that far surpassed her beating for closing the door too loudly.  Beatings not for her alone though but for all within its walls who dared to violate the orders of the Superior and priests, not matter how inane or petty they were.

More can be said but the reader of this post is encouraged to take the time and read this book for themselves.  In posting this I know many will outright dismiss Sarah’s account as the ravings of a lunatic or the ramblings of yet another anti-Catholic conspirator. To this charge the reader would be well advised to study the history of Rome before making such a hasty verdict.  For we only need to look back a few years to recall the horrors and abject wickedness of Romanism brought into the light as the “sex scandal” became headline news.  Horrors that if protested against before this story broke, would have met with the same denial, incredulity and ridicule.

Or, one should peer back a little into history at the time of the inquisitions to find that men were of such hardened hearts that they could inflict the most horrible of terrors upon those who would not submit to the Papacy.  All of which that Rome would assiduously deny until there was so much proof she could do nothing but slink back into her corner.

The Disrobing of Society and the Church

Swimwear not too long ago

In light of Pilgrim’s post on the quote from Jeremy Sonnier about swimwear I feel it a good time to add a post on this subject as it is something very near and dear to my heart.  It also is timely as a few weeks back I completed reading a booklet on Christian Modesty and swimwear.  I was hoping to do a formal study on this subject, but right now I have too many irons in the fire.  And so I will share some thoughts and then present the reader with this wonderful albeit challenging booklet.  Something I pray you will study on your own, prayerfully consider and then share far and wide with the Christian community who are in desperate need of such a teaching.  A teaching that few men who call themselves shepherds of God’s flock will touch with a ten foot pole.

Don't touch me, I'm sacred!

As I write, please know that in no way am I judging any individuals as I write to teach and not  to condemn as my sincere desire is the glory of Christ and the building up of his church.  Something that is easy when you preach on subjects that always result in a resounding amen, but rather difficult when dealing with a subject like the one before us today.  A subject one might rightfully classify as a sacred cow that is rarely touched by the church where there are even those who hold to the Reformed faith that remain woefully silent.  This is a travesty where men of God who claim to be shepherds of Christ’s flock need well to examine themselves to ascertain why they will preach on the evils of decadent society outside their four walls, but will quickly become mute in addressing it within their congregation.  Are we not told to get the plank out of our own eye first so that we might then clearly see to remove the speck from our brother’s eye?  Does not judgment begin first with the house of God?

I also recognize in writing this article and posting the booklet by Jeff Pollard that there will be some who will not take the time to study this matter out as good Bereans, but will instead rail against it as being legalistic bondage that seeks to place fetters on our liberty in Christ.  As if liberty in Christ means that we can do anything the world does, slap a Christian liberty label on it, and go our merry way as if we’ve done nothing wrong.  This sadly is the mantra heard in many a church and from many a Christian where all manner of immodest dress have become as citadels that will be defended tooth and nail.  So much so that in only a few generations we have gone from a secular society that use to promote and defend modesty (due to Christian values undergirding it), to one that mocks modesty and promotes nakedness.  And tragically backing up the purveyors of indecency we have ourselves, the church to thank.  Thank either due to our silence and apathy, or thank due to our approval and defense.

One last item of introduction is vitally important that I ask the reader, and especially the ladies, to keep in the forefront of your mind.  For if you miss this, you will miss the true meaning of Biblical modesty and what we can learn from studying it.  Both quotes come from two messages given by Jeff Pollard which sum up beautifully the issue of modesty as it relates to our dear Christian sisters.  We read,

Modesty is not first an issue of clothing.  It is primarily an issue of the heart [1a] … that expresses itself in outward behavior. … [For there are] “women who can cover themselves from the neck down to the floor and be sensual, and there are Christians who have a  heart towards the things of the living God that being taught nothing in our culture regarding these things often display sensuality that they do not intend.[1b]

Zzzzzz...

I would build upon this and add that donning modest apparel does not in and of itself mean that a woman is righteous any more than wearing a bikini means a woman is wicked.  No, most assuredly not for we as Christians know that our righteousness that allows us to stand holy and pure before our God is not a matter of dress.  Rather, it is based on the imputed righteousness of another, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  But, this reality does not negate the call in Scripture for us to be holy (cf. I Pet 1:16), nor does it nullify the command given unto woman to adorn themselves in modest apparel (cf. I Tim 2:9).  But one of the huge impediments to this it is that we live in an extremely immodest world where many of the ladies in the church have not been taught these things.  Thus, a large part of the blame lies at the feet of the men  in the church (fathers, husbands, elders) who are supposed to be teaching on these matters and are not.

Likewise, many of the women, just as is true for the men, are wearing the fashions they have been taught to wear by their parents, society and even the church. And just as the fish gaily swimming about in the sea is ignorant that he is wet, so too we who swim about in the waters of an immodest world, are often oblivious to our immodesty.  Today, I hope that some of this will change even in a small way.  With this said, let us move forward in looking at swimwear.

The study of swimwear and how it evolved from the conservative style you see at the top of the article, to the licentious bikini found towards the bottom is quite a fascinating study.  In conducting such a study, or simply reading a booklet like the one by Mr. Pollard, one thing you will find is that our fashions for modern swimwear did not pop up out of thin air.  No, most assuredly not.  Instead, they were created by haters of Christianity and designed for a purpose and that purpose had nothing in view regarding holiness, modesty or Christian values.  Rather, they were created and designed then even as they are today, whether implicitly or explicitly, to break the shackles of Christian restraint and to “free” men and women to bare their bodies in expressions of so-called sexual freedom with women as the primary target.

These facts stated above, and they are facts, are not glossed over nor denied by the swimwear designers.  No, actually the exact opposite is true as the swimwear fashion moguls are unashamed to declare both the intent of these fashions, as well as the end result on society.  Many quotes, quotes from their own mouths, bare this out.  A few I will share below where you will find many more in Mr. Pollard’s booklet, and even more if you do your own research.  I only wish the same honest handling of the facts would be true for those Christians who earnestly seek to deny these realities and gloss them over in a Pollyanna-like manner.

The twentieth century defined a new era for swim wear. The revolution was instigated by two things: a greater interest in recreational sports and the influence of daringly cut French swimsuits. The torturous corset was finally dispensed with and the task of eroticizing the body was taken over by exposing the skin itself since there was nothing to equalize or camouflage the shape of the body. What occurred during the evolution of the bathing suit during the 20th century was a merciless exposure of the flesh due to the rapidly shrinking suit. [2] (bold added)

…the swimsuit has traveled through several different styles and designs, meant to both conceal and display, to excite and mollify. … [T]hroughout history, the swimsuit has always maintained a somewhat exciting presence in its combined purposes of revealing and concealing. In many ways, the swimsuit is so titillating a piece of clothing because it is—and always has been—the most revealing, socially appropriate clothing worn by either men or women. [3]

Socially appropriate is key.  If society says a given style of swimwear is acceptable such as a bikini, people wear it (including many in the church).  If society frowns on it, then people do not.  An interesting point to note is that the determiner of what is right or wrong is not God and his word, but rather the lost world.  Something to think about for the Christian who blindly accepts the fashions of this world.  And it is for this very reason that this “standard” based on the shifting sands of unregenerate man’s views is always trending in a downward direction.  A downward direction that results in the removal of more and more fabric, and the revealing of more and more flesh.  We see this very thing with swimwear.  And we see also that what was to one generation a moral outrage, becomes a celebrated right to the next.  This transpiring as “[t]he public’s concern with nudity eroded as time passed.” [4]

Everything's okay here!

Do we not see a continuation of this downward spiral today as even the bikini is becoming passé?  Certainly we do where this declension can be likened unto the proverbial frog being slowly boiled in a pot of water as he is totally oblivious of his being moved from life unto death.  In like fashion the same is happening with our world as we are being slowly boiled in a pot of wickedness as we too are moved from life unto death as we quickly slide towards Gomorrah.  But most are totally unaware of this “boiling” as our hearts have largely grown cold due to the increase of wickedness in our generation.  In part due to growing up and partaking of the sinful things of the world before Christ and not having them completely purged (as none of us do); in part due to our partaking of the same after Christ, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and in part due to our not being taught these things from the word of God.

Returning to our societal slide into Gomorrah, we find this has happened with swimwear in large part based on a few “trend setters” in the fashion industry who, in a quest to make a name for themselves, push the envelope on what is socially acceptable (the same happens with entertainment, music, etc.).  Again, the history of the swimsuit bares this out where the iconic bikini, a symbol today of a woman’s “freedom”, was only 60 years ago viewed as “scandalous” [5] by most (unsaved!) woman where it was either banned by law, or heavily discouraged [6].  Even the Parisian models for the inventor of the modern bikini, Louis Réard, would not initially wear this suit as it was too shocking to them.  The same was true with consumers as woman gasped at the idea of wearing such a provocative garment [7] where I’m sure most in the church of Jesus Christ fully believed it would never be widely adopted by secular women, let alone those professing the name of Jesus Christ.   Boy were they wrong.

Colored underwear - the new standard

The next step after the upper limits are pushed is to settle a little lower and make a few compromises to quell discontent and to ensure acceptance of the new standard.  The key to note is that this new standard has moved past what the prior generation accepted (i.e. the moral standard has been lowered) where it now becomes the new foundation.  A foundation that the next generation of designers will build upon as their starting point as they seek to lower the standard even further.  This done as they follow in the footsteps of their forefathers and seek to push the envelope in their generation.  And so it has happened with swimwear; something easily proved by reading a basic history coupled with a timeline that illustrates how what was unacceptable to one generation became acceptable to the next.  All as society went in a few generations from being totally covered and modesty dressed at the beach to being almost totally naked and dressed more erotically than a prostitute on a street corner.

Again, this is all by design and it is the intent of modern swimwear where designers see how far can they can go in not only stripping society down to bare minimums, but also in cleverly covering the body in innovative ways with modern stretch fabrics so as to craft an erotic package than can excite and arouse more than complete nakedness.  The one-piece being especially adept at this where women who may not have the much coveted flat abs, or sculpted backside deemed essential for the bikini, can magically make their so-called imperfections disappear by donning the modern one-piece.  These suits, along with the bikini and other styles are designed to ostensibly cover but not really clothe as their intent is to reveal and not to conceal.  We read,

Bathing suits are very important in the history of fashion because they are a garment in which one is dressed but not really clothed.  One is wearing enough clothing to be seen in public but not something that would be socially acceptable in any other context but on the beach. So it really shows us the limits of what society is willing to tolerate in terms of exposure of the body. Cynthia Cooper – McCord Museum (bold added)

We must pause here and ask some honest questions of ourselves if we profess to be Christians.  The first being, is the direction of the fashion industry moving in a more Christ-centric direction, or in a more pagan-centric direction?  That is, are the designs of swimwear in particular helping women to adorn themselves in modest apparel (cf. I Tim 2:9), or are they leading women to walk naked where the world sees their shame? (cf. Rev 3:17, 16:15)  Two, are Christians, generally speaking, salt and light unto this generation regarding beach/pool attire, or are they simply adopting the exact same titillating swimwear as worn by the unregenerate?  Three, what work of God would one say transpires in the heart of an individual when they step foot on a beach, or go to a pool or lake and strip down to what amounts to their underwear?  What  Biblical principle are they walking in that causes them to pop out their hidden body parts neatly and fashionably arrayed in a most alluring and sensual packaged that scream out look and lust?  And how is it that this can be done without blushing or feeling even a modicum of shame?  Finally, why is this disrobing viewed as acceptable at Christian beach parties and other like events, but would be deemed wicked if done at a Bible study or at a Sunday morning gathering of the church?

Underwear or swimwear?

I need to add that although woman’s fashion is by nature more sensual due to their bodies, men are not immune from these trends.  The Speedo is a perfect example of such an invention.  Nothing more than dyed underwear it has become perfectly acceptable in society due to the fact that it is approved swimwear for competitive swimming, water polo and other like sports.  Most men, Christian and otherwise, do not don these suits (unless they are competitive swimmers) as they prefer board shorts, but even so, they still bare mention as to how a perceived need (i.e. less drag in swimming to get a fast score), outweighs Biblical modesty.  The end result is clothing that would never be worn to work, school or with the body of Christ, now becomes socially acceptable by a verdict from our lost culture.  A verdict that most Christians give a hearty amen to.

The same holds true for men baring their naked upper bodies where history reveals, regardless of what your view is, that not too long ago this was totally unacceptable both by social mores and existing laws.  Laws again that were based on Christian values.  But sadly much of the church today is not only ignorant of history, but largely unconcerned with what it teaches as we are the “me” generation where all that matters is what we believe and how we feel.

Regarding male fashion, we read,

Modesty was an issue well into the 1920’s. Under the “Bathing Suit Regulations” published in May 17, 1917, men’s suits had to be worn with a skirt or have at least a skirt effect. The skirt had to be worn outside of the trunks. The other alternative was to wear a flannel knee pants with a vest and a fly front. During this time, the knitting mills were rapidly churning out many styles of suits, including the “speed suit,” an one piece suit with deeply slashed armholes and closed leg trunks. [8]

But, men were not satisfied as they too wanted disrobe like their female counterparts.  And all too ready to help these men out, the fashion industry gladly responded with a helping hand.

Though men were getting the opportunity to look better, there was still the little matter of baring the chest. Quite simply, it was frowned upon. However, men continued to fight for their right to expose their chest and by the early 1933, the result was a convertible-style suit that allowed the top to be removed. The introduction of the “Men’s Topper” introduced a new thrill in men’s swim wear. This unprecedented belted, two-tone wool suit gave the wearer the option to go bare (or not to go bare…). [9]

I ask where will this end?  What limits are being pushed today and what will be acceptable in tomorrow’s generation and defended by the church as Christian liberty?  Personally, I shudder to think as one need not conduct an extensive study (and I do NOT recommend it) to see that there is no shortage of rotten fruit pouring forth from the wicked imaginations of the fashion industry’s elite.  Thongs, tangas and other forms of “extreme” swimwear are widely gaining acceptance and popularity at a beach near you.  Wickedness that takes the bikini as its foundation and shaves off as much fabric as possible so that only the smallest patches and treads remain.  All of it being nothing more than pornography.

Another trend I need to mention is the taking of swimwear and like clothing from the beach out into the public square.  Red Carter, a famous swimwear designer, hopes to take the swimwear business into new categories such as sportswear and resort wear [10].  And no surprise as this is already happening where most Christians hardly blink an eye as it is being accomplished so surreptitiously and easily passes under the radar of the slumbering church.  For just one example, consider the mini, mini skirts that female tennis pros wear, coupled with the skin tight and low cut tops.  Now we are privy to viewing both their underwear and heaving breasts without having to set foot on the beach.  Anna Kournikova and Ana Ivanovic, two example out of many that could be cited, are poster girls for this immodesty.  Is it any wonder men love woman’s tennis?

I must close here but before I do, I want to reiterate that I write in love and not condemnation.  For if I were to condemn you, I would have to first condemn myself.  This as the one who pens this article is not some monk living high in the Himalayas who has gained mastery of his flesh and looks down with disdain on the mere mortals who struggle with these issues.  No, most assuredly not as I am a man not unlike any other.  Here, I have wrestled much with these areas and have been rebuked by the Spirit for the pride in my heart that has tempted me to disrobe so as to gain an approving look from any passing females.  And it need not be said, but say it I will, that I have struggled with lust due to the bombardment of so much nakedness before my eyes.

Bombardment an appropriate word as I from infancy have spent countless hours at the beach as my family owns a house that is only a few hundred feet or so from the surf.  As such, I grew up surrounded by copious amounts of nakedness and young nubile vixens who had no shame in strutting their wares up and down my street and in strategically planting themselves on the beach so as be front and center for all to admire.

But I have come to see things much differently than I did growing up, and even as I did for many years as a Christian.  Being part of a beach community, surfing, and attending churches that saw nothing wrong with these things made matters that much more difficult.  It was not until I moved a few thousand miles away from the beach that I began to hear that still small voice speaking to me on this subject.  At first I kicked hard against the pricks, but in time I saw clearly I was wrong as my heart and the issue at hand were laid bare before me.

My prayer for the reader is the same where I welcome you write to me if you want to discuss this matter further.  My plea is that you do not reject these things outright in knee-jerk fashion just because it is novel or because you don’t hear your pastor or favorite Christian personality speaking on these subjects.  Or, you reject it simply because it goes against what you “feel” in your heart.  Instead, please take the time to read Mr. Pollard’s book and especially listen to the multi-part audio presentation, study the Scriptures, pray for wisdom and even study history.  Be willing to go against the flow of society and even modern Christianity regardless if it means that you are labeled a legalist, fundamentalist, or all other manner of ignominious titles.  For such is the calling for all those who seek to truly follow Christ Jesus and to mortify (i.e. crucify) the deeds of the flesh.

To read the booklet by Jeff Pollard titled, Christian Modesty – The Public Undressing of America, please click here.

For a highly recommended audio presentation from Jeff Pollard, which is a follow-up to the booklet noted above, please listen here.

Papacy Set to Recapture the United Kingdom

 
 
 

A friendly Masonic handshake

Mother Rome has never been satisfied in looking back at her days of infamy when she sat as a gueen over the nations of the earth.  Instead, she is ever looking ahead devising means to once again reign supreme over all peoples of the world.  In light of this, a very important development is transpiring where él Pope is on his way to the United Kingdom in the fall.  Please read the very imporant article from Berean Beacon and forward to others who may be ignorant as to this harlot who rides the beast.  bro Michael

 

[Following From Berean Beacon]

Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the U.K. September 16-19th.

Government and church leaders are already welcoming the upcoming event.  Significantly, the visit comes less than a year after December 1, 2009, when the Treaty of Lisbon went into effect in the European Union.

One of the major features of the Treaty is that it “introduces a single, legal personality for the Union.”

Consequently, the U.K. has to a large extent been subsumed under the legal entity of the European Union.  Now, in our time, 477 years after King Henry VIII opened the conflict with the Papacy, the Pope comes officially as the head of a sovereign civil state to address British civil society at both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.

Equally important, he comes as head of the Roman Catholic Church in order to re-establish Roman Catholicism as the religion of U.K.

This upcoming event needs to be seen in its proper context, which is what we have done in the article entitled, “Papacy Set to Recapture England.”

Experiencing God Through Deceitful Mysticism

Many today in the evangelical church speak as if they are daily receiving personal revelations from God much like the prophets of old.  God speaking not through his word, but rather directly to them. Thus establishing the individual as the source of truth whereby all others are rendered defenseless to counter any false prophecies, wild speculations or personal deceptions.  For if God is speaking to them, who will dare speak a word against them?

Of course this is not limited to the evangelicals as it is found in many churches where it is all too common in Charismatic circles.  Here it seems every preacher out there has a word for someone.  And as the teacher preaches so follow the pupils.

And it goes beyond just personal revelations as some on this path will journey deeper where they will enter the realms of mysticism and seek even deeper contact with God.  A trend we see flooding the church today being welcomed in by many big names in Christiandom, especially those in the Emerging/Emergent Church movement.  The video below speaks to this which I hope many will watch and forward to those caught up in this movement.  – bro Michael

p.s. Click here to find a series of articles at Apprising Ministries that delve deeply into mysticism.

Introduction to video from Berean Beacon:
Professional deception and clever fraudulence are running rampant in mystical claims to experience God. Thus, the signature of Satan is seen in St. John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, Madame Guyon, Carl Jung, Richard Foster, and in such as Mother Teresa, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Phyllis Tickle, and other deceivers of the Emerging Church movement who transmit this plague. In this illustrated DVD, Richard Bennett and James Sundquist expose the deceitful shams that prevail at the present time. They also explain the scriptural method of biblical meditation and genuinely experiencing God.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50geMDUvZnM&]

Chuck Smith on predestination.

WARNING!!! This is an example of BAD theology.  Believe at your own peril…

“…you could go to the race tracks with this kind of knowledge (God’s foreknowledge). Imagine what you could do, having foreknowledge knowing every horse what he was going to do in that race and you would go to the race track with this kind of knowledge. Now if you could do you think you would go there and pick out a ticket of losers?…Would you pick out a bunch of losers? You would be stupid if you did. Of course you wouldn’t you would pick the winners, because you know in advance who is going to win the race. What the outcome is going to be. And so you make your choices predicated on what the outcome is because you already know in advance what it is going to be. That is just using your head. Now that’s what thrills me about God choosing me.  Because he don’t choose no losers.  God’s only chosen winners. … God already knows the choice you are going to make. But you are the one that makes the choice, but God in all of His wisdom, knows the choices each person is going to make. But He doesn’t make the choice for you. He only knows in advance, that which you are going to choose.”

[Source: Teaching on Ephesians]

Quotes (745)

We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel under ground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

The Church of No Offense

[This article by Paul Proctor really speaks to so much of what we see in the church today.  The church that uses pragmatic and carnal means and foolishly believes that these flesly tools are going to do a spiritual work.  Sadly, this betrays a complete ignorance of the truth that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  The word of God that likewise must be quickened or made alive by the Holy Spirit else it will fall upon deaf ears. 

But such truths are not believed by countless preachers who would rather employ gimmicks, rock and roll, skits, dramas and the like, instead of faithfully preaching the whole counsel of God’s word.  And why not because you cannot grow a successful money-making business unless you have a product that will appeal to a mass market.  Peter Drucker taught his church growth disciples well and they are doing their utmost to give the people what they want.   

Enjoy the article…brother Michael]

By Paul Proctor
April 7, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

From compromise to capitulation

There was a time during Jesus’ earthly ministry when the crowds that followed him grew quite large. He had become what we would call today, a “celebrity” and, by those same societal standards, a “success,” even though He had not yet faced the cross for which He came.

The Gospel of John tells about “a great multitude that followed Him because they saw His miracles.” When Jesus looked up one day and surveyed the enormous crowd before Him, He knew they needed to eat. So, taking “five barley loaves and two small fishes” that were found among them, He fed His followers. The men alone numbered five thousand.

Considering the seductive tactics many churches use to draw crowds these days, it is important to note that Jesus did not use food or the promise of it to bribe people into following Him. More…

The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism

[Posting an article on Dominionism from Herescope.com.  This being something that has been on my heart recently as I watch with rapt attention what is going on in the world.  No doubt evil is growing not only in America (and has been for years long before Obama) but also across the land as evil men and seducers wax worse and worse as they strive to unite the world in a one-world union. 

Here, not only in America, but across the globe, serfs or the common man are viewed by the PTB (powers that be) as nothing more than cattle who need to be under the constant eye (look at the back of your dollar) of the state as she watches their every move and listens to their every word.  Based of course on the pretense that we need to give up liberty in order to be protected from those nasty terrorists; terrorists who in fact may be you!  Cameras recording conversations and actions are ubiquitous, e-mails and phone calls are often tracked and archived for years, full-body scans are now being implemented; in short, personal freedom and privacy are vanishing and are quickly being replaced with an Orwellian police state.

What is more, the economies of most industrialized nations are in shambles.  Largely due to the concerted efforts of politicians to redistribute wealth to third world nations.  Hence, jobs and industries that existed in many of these countries have disappeared from their given shores and are now off-shored in nations such as India, Mexico, China and elsewhere.  Thus, in America at least, we have an unemployment rate that is well into the double-digits (see Shadow Stats for real numbers and not the govt/media lies) where many people wonder how they will make in through the next week and where they will find a job that pays more than $8.00 an hour.

All of this and more is causing many Americans to rise up and express their anger at the current administration across all areas of government (Congress, Presidential, State Governers, etc.).  Their anger and passions being directed and even fueled by “conservative” talk show hosts/personalities like Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Ted Nugent and others.  Also, there is the “grass roots” Tea Party movement that is gaining much traction as it attracts many folks from across the nation; some of them Christians, but many not.  Thus, you will have the ecumenical mixing of light and darkness as Christians inevitably will be called upon to compromise in many, many areas the more involved they become.  How about praying with Mormon Glenn Beck, or listening to Ted Nugent’s wicked rock at a Tea Party rally, or suffering Michael Savage to blaspheme God? 

And, I won’t even touch the host of “conservatives” in these movements where many (I don’t speak to all Rebublicans any more than all Democrats) are nothing of the sort but rather are sly politicians using the state of affairs as an opportunity to advance the same globalist goals of the Democrats.  This being so much easier for a Rebublican since most evangelicals give anyone with a “R” after their name a free pass (think George Bush).  My encouragement here is for the reader to not for a moment think the good guys/gals are the Republicans and the bad the Democrats for nothing, and I mean, nothing could be further from the truth.

In ruminating on these things and more I wonder what is the Christian response?  Of course I know that we as Christians are to do good and be lights in our world which certainly does not preclude civic involvement, yet I cannot escape the words of the Lord where he says that his kingdom is not of this world.  And if his kingdom is not of this world, then it follows by course that the kingdom of his followers is also not of this world.  Yet for many Christians the truth be told, their kingdom is of this world and for many that kingdom is America.  A nation that many wrongly ascribe to be Christian and God’s New Testament apple of his eye even as Israel was for the Old. 

Personally, I fear for the days ahead where violence may well come to our land with Christians facing a crossroad as to whether to pick up the sword, or turn the other check.  This does not mean I am advocating that Christians do not protect their families if a criminal breaks in.  No, I am talking instead about the Christian purposely employing the physical sword to battle the government.  Much as was done in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War where if you study history you will find that many professed Christians took place in the shedding of blood.  Blood which by fact would have involved that of their fellow Christian brothers who found themselves on the other side of the battle field!  Something which per my reading of the Scriptures I cannot in any way justify or support. 

Well – enough of my words, following is the intro to the Herescope article with a link to the full paper.

bro Michael

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It is not about FREEDOM, it is about DOMINION

The NEW BREED of Christian is poised to take over the earth, precinct by precinct. God’s Army is rising up. It is time to put on the militant garb. The glint in the eye becomes fixed as the exhilaration of the hour sweeps through the masses. They can make a difference! The world has been waiting with bated breath for this LAST DAY GENERATION. False prophets in their midst are caught in sin, under discipline, yet their tapes sell to believers of their false prophecies. The call for unity is the common cause bringing them from every denomination. They are calling their unity “revival.” After all, when they have set up the Kingdom here on the earth – they will have fulfilled the mandate given to Adam to subdue the earth. A new sound is heard in the land. The music gets louder and the beat gets stronger (even bringing in rock, metal, and funk) but oddly enough the lyrics are always the same! – The choruses proclaiming the triumphant song of the conquerors! [“The Kingdomizers Have Arrived!” Discernment Newsletter, May/June 1992]

Note to Herescope readers: What follows may be the most important article ever published by Discernment Ministries in its 21 year history. The first edition of the Discernment Newsletter, published in May 1990 began chronicling the activities of a group of men calling themselves “prophets” and “apostles,” claiming to have extra-biblical revelation and calling to build an elite army to take over the Earth.

More…

Helping our Persecuted Brethren with a Living Faith

Our FamilyI came across In Jesus’ Name Ministry today and it appears that they are doing a wonderful work to help the poor and persecuted Christians who live in the most hostile regions opposed to Jesus Christ and his word.  These being our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers whom we are to love not in tongue only but in deed and in truth. 

Below are some facts posted on their website that I hope will prick all of our hearts to reach out more and more to those who are in such great need.  Please reach out and help and share with others. 

  • Most Christians in our world live as minorities, are increasingly persecuted, and are very poor. They live “behind the gates of  hell.” They urgently need our love and help.
  • The overwhelming emphasis on  New Testament giving is for Christians who are prosperous to help fellow believers who are lacking food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.  
  • There is little or no teaching in American Churches on the immense sufferings of our brethren, or on our clear Biblical responsibility to be helping them.  
  • When Christians suffer in our world, Jesus suffers with, and in them. He is at the right hand of the Father, and at the same time dwells in the hearts of His children. 
  • When we help our brethren, we are helping our Savior. When we ignore the sufferings of our brethren, we are ignoring the present sufferings of Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:31-46  
  • If we do not help our brethren who are in great need, how will we, as prosperous western Christians, and pastors, answer to our Lord when we stand before Him. The Word of God is clear on this issue – We are to help our less fortunate brethren, IN WHOM CHRIST LIVES.
  •  Most Christians in our world live as minorities, are increasingly persecuted, and are very poor. They livebehind the gates of  hell.” They urgently need our love and help.
  • The overwhelming emphasis on  New Testament giving is for Christians who are prosperous to help fellow believers who are lacking food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
  • There is little or no teaching in American Churches on the immense sufferings of our brethren, or on our clear Biblical responsibility to be helping them.
  • When Christians suffer in our world, Jesus suffers with, and in them. He is at the right hand of the Father, and at the same time dwells in the hearts of His children.
  • When we help our brethren, we are helping our Savior. When we ignore the sufferings of our brethren, we are ignoring the present sufferings of Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:31-46
  • If we do not help our brethren who are in great need, how will we, as prosperous western Christians, and pastors, answer to our Lord when we stand before Him. The Word of God is clear on this issue – We are to help our less fortunate brethren, IN WHOM CHRIST LIVES.

A Medical Nun’s Story

This video shares the story of Lolly Harding, a woman who was a Catholic medical nun for 13 years.  It is really a timely video and provides some more insight in how Catholics will accept without question what they hear from their superiors.  Something Bill encountered in a conversation he had with two Catholics.

But more than this, Lolly shares her story about how she came to believe in Jesus Christ alone for her salvation.  She goes through her time in the convent and how religious life is nothing more than a facade which covers up the reality of the sin that the religious are in bondage to.

I believe everyone will profit from watching this video as Lolly is a very authentic believer who speaks frankly about the sin in her life and how, even though she was a nun, was still dead in trespasses in sins.  Lolly then goes on to explain about what happened in her life to lead her to forsake the Catholic religion and to embrace Jesus alone for her salvation.

Please watch this video and share with others.

Catholic Agenda Embedded in Manhattan Declaration

 At DefCon we have dealt with The Manhattan Declaration in previous posts (see here, here and here) speaking to its ecumenical postering and Evangelical signatories.  Just recently, Richard Benett from Berean Beacon has published a paper looking into this important matter. Here, Mr. Bennett has highlighted how this declaration is rife with Rome’s agenda.  An agenda that can be summed up wth the following quote where we read,

In order to soften up the Evangelicals in their separation from the Catholics on biblical doctrinal issues, particularly the authority of the Bible alone and the Gospel, the Catholic modus operandi calls for using social issues on which both Evangelicals and Catholics agree as preliminary common ground. 

To read the rest of this very important paper, please go here.

Rome’s Purgatorial Arguments and Blasphemy

Please watch the video below where James White from Alpha and Omega critically analyzes Catholic Answer’s Tim Staples’ purgatorial arguments.  He also shares about the Catholic doctrine of purgatory which statues that nearly all Catholics must endure the purging flames of purgatory to make full expiation for their sins.  Sins that the Catholic Jesus was unable to remove from his work at Calvary.

 

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina, the new rage of the Emergent Church as they run pell mell back to Rome.  The subject itself is very serious but sometimes laughter is much needed medicine to the soul.  In this light, I’ve included a link here for your listening enjoyment.  It is a satirical radio sketch of Rob Bell’s Lectio Divina by Marty Python’s Flying Circus Church which, if you have a sense of humor like mine, will not only give you a great laugh but also will, in a more serious way, reveal the foolishness and absurdity of this so-called spiritual practice.  [Thanks to A Little Leaven!]

The Reformation View of Roman Catholicism

From the works of Martin Luther (1483-1546)

What is the whole papacy but a beautiful false front and a deceptively glittering holiness under which the wretched devil lies in hiding? The devil always desires to imitate God in this way. He cannot bear to observe God speaking. If he cannot prevent it or hinder God’s Word by force, he opposes it with a semblance of piety, takes the very words God had spoken and so twist them as to peddle his lies and poison under their name. (What Luther Says, II: 10007)

Since the papal church not only neglects the command of Christ but even compels the people to ignore it and to act against it, it is certain that it is not Christ’s church but the synagogue of Satan which prescribes sin and prohibits righteousness. It clearly and indisputably follows that it must be the abomination of Antichrist and the furious harlot of the devil. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)

The negotiation about doctrinal agreement displeases me altogether, for this is utterly impossible unless the pope has his papacy abolished. Therefore avoid and flee those who seek the middle of the road. Think of me after I am dead and such middle-of-the-road men arise, for nothing good will come of it. There can be no compromise. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)

Read the rest of the article here.

Haiti – A Nation in Darkness Needing Light

As we all know Haiti has suffered a catastrophic earthquake that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, where countless additional lives hang in the balance due to lack of water, food and medical care.  What many may not know though is that Haiti is a nation in darkness, spiritual darkness as it is largely given over to Voodoo and has been for years. 

Before continuing, what exactly is Voodoo?  According to Dictionary.com, it is said to be:

A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of slaves from West Africa, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.1

From the same source, animism is said to be:

1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.  2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that are separable or separate from bodies.2

So we can see that “Voodoo grew out of the animist religions [which were] brought to the country by [African] slaves.” This religion “…was then overlaid by the Catholicism of the plantation owners … [which] led in many places to syncretism, or fusing, of the two belief systems.” 3  A fusing that has given Haiti its dominant syncretistic  religion that mixes Catholicism and Voodoo; a religion it has practiced  for hundreds of years. 

But Voodoo was never a recognized religion in Haiti even though most practiced it in one form or another.  All of this changed in 2003 when Voodoo was “…recognised as a religion on a par with others worshipped in the country.” 4 This formal recognition was done by Haiti’s President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

A godly nation would have wept at such a decision, but not so in Haiti since it is said that “…over 90% of Haitians are voodooisant.”5  Voodoo being a religion that is practiced in the open and in the home “…where each family has their own collection of household gods, many of them Catholic saints. In many households, it sits comfortably alongside a family’s Catholic observance.”6  Catholic observance that is not merely winked at but supported as the “…Catholic church officially backs the right of families to practise voodoo.”7  How accommodating of the Vatican!

Yet there is hope for the people of Haiti even in the midst of such unimaginable suffering.  Hope that will not be found in Voodoo any more than it will be in Catholicism.  Rather, the hope is in Jesus Christ, the light of the world that came to destroy the works of the devil and darkness; the very works that Voodoo glorifies and embodies.  Jesus can set the people of Haiti free but it must be the Jesus as revealed in the Scriptures and not the idols of Catholicism or the “Eucharist Jesus” which lead not to freedom but more bondage. 

Thankfully, the gospel message is being preached in Haiti as there are believers and missionaries there.  Individuals who obviously need our prayers and support not only due to their physical sufferings, but also the spiritual darkness that covers their land.  We can only hope that the earthquake will engender godly fear in the people whereby they repent lest a worse thing happen unto them.

Below I have included a few videos for the readers of DefCon to get better educated on Haiti so you can properly pray for the people of this land.  Note that the first two videos show demonic posession.  If you only watch one video, please make sure it is the last one.

Footnotes
1 – “voodoo.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 29 Jan. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/voodoo>.
2 – “animism.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 29 Jan. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/animism>.
3 – Gledhill, Ruth. “Voodoo faith ‘could hinder Haiti’s recovery from quake’.” TIMESONLINE January 15, 2010. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6990002.ece
4 – BBC News.  “Haiti makes voodoo official.” BBC News April 30, 2003.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2985627.stm
5 – Ibid.
6 – Gledhill, Ruth.  “Voodoo faith ‘could hinder Haiti’s recovery from quake’.”
7 – Ibid.

Islamic Paradise and Jesus

Video about the work of God in Islamic nations and a searcher for truth who places his faith in Jesus. Please pray for this very dangerous work and that Islam might fall not by the bloody sword of the Crusaders, or the bombs of the American military machine, but rather by the Living Word of God. And that men might be raised up to translate sound doctrinal materials into Arabic and send to our brothers and sisters and those on the front line.

فيديو حول عمل الله في الدول الاسلامية والباحث عن الحقيقة الذي يضع ثقته في يسوع. على المسلم الصادق ، ونحن نصلي عليك أ

تنظر في هذه الأمور والبحث كما فعل هذا الطالب من أجل الحقيقة ، الحقيقة سوف تجد في يسوع.

Roman Catholic Mysticism and the Emerging Church Reexamined

A very important presentation by Richard Bennett from Bearean Beacon given to an audience in London about Roman Catholic mysticism and its promotion by the Emerging/Emergent Church.  From the YouTube posting we read:

Mysticism attempts to gain ultimate knowledge of God by a direct experience that bypasses the mind. Catholic mysticism, now officially married to the Emerging Church, needs to be reexamined. Old-time mystics such as Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross need to be examined again along with modern so-called evangelical mystics such as Richard Foster. All of this, and more, is accomplished in this professional presentation along with graphic inserts of persons and events. An analysis is also made of Phyllis Tickle who has surfaced as a formidable leader of this toxic movement. The fall from power of Tony Jones, a former leading light of the movement, is also documented.

Please watch to get educated on this critically important subject and share with others.

EE-Taow – It is Truth!

Words cannot express how one will be touched by this video that depicts the power of the gospel in ways that few of us have ever witnessed.  Prepare to shed copious tears in rejoicing in the power of the Great God whom we serve.  

Because the video is from Veoh, I am unable to get it to link here and successfully play.  Please select this link to watch.

A Catholic Funeral – The Dead Burying the Dead

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of an Aunt who died this past week.  And, as is true for any funeral, it was a sad time as yet another life has come to an abrupt end.  Never again will her voice be heard or will she be able to interact with the sons of men for the time granted unto her by God to live on this earth has expired.  And as such there will be no returning to life for the grave will surrender none of its victims to family or friend no matter how many tears they shed or prayers they pray.  It will only be on the Last Day when Christ Jesus, he who has the keys of the grave and death, will call forth to all the dead to come forth even as he did unto Lazarus, some unto the resurrection of life, and some unto the resurrection of damnation (cf. Joh 5:28-29).  My Aunt, as I am nearly certain (barring a last minute conversion), will be called unto the resurrection of damnation.

I make this last statement because my Aunt was, as is the case for the majority of my family, Roman Catholic.  A Roman Catholic who had religion, but not Jesus Christ.  A woman who was baptised with water, but not with the Holy Spirit.  A woman who ate the Eucharist, but did not eat of Jesus’ flesh or drink of his blood.  A woman who had good works, but never recognized that they were as filthy rags.  A woman who though appearing alive was in fact dead; dead in trespasses and sins as all are who are not born of the Spirit of God per his will.

And what so grieved my spirit and incensed me as I sat through the Mass (not participating in any way) and listened to the words of the priest was that from the moment he opened his mouth and spoke his first words until the time when he closed his mouth as her coffin lay over the grave, all he spoke were lies.  Lies that for the one lying in the coffin were meaningless as she heard not a one of them, but for the living were deadly.  Deadly because they acted as yet another hot iron further cauterizing their conscience to believe that as a baptized Roman Catholic they were in no peril, regardless of anything God’s word or one of his servants might say to the contrary.

This is the tragedy for never once were the people in the pews ever challenged to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith (cf. II Cor 13:5).  Of course this can not be so because Catholicism is not the faith of the Bible, but even beyond this, they were not challenged even to see if they were in the Catholic faith.  This being all the things that Catholic apologists love to quote when you are debating with them about how they believe this and that, yet when the rubber hits the road and you hear the words from the priest at a funeral, it is all together another story.  All that matters is that you are a baptized (technically sprinkled) “card-carrying” Catholic and if so, you will have a priest say your funeral who will tell all of your family and friends that you are now in heaven (even though Catholic doctrine says you are in the torments of purgatory).

So rest easy all ye Catholics and do not fret about any sins or repentance for what I have stated above will be true regardless of the life you have lived, the sins you have been in bondage to, the company you have kept, the drunkenness, the fornication, the lust, the pride, the hatred of all things righteous, the deception, the disdain for the Scriptures, and any other evidences of a tree bearing bad fruit (cf. Mat 7:13-27).  Because as long as you were at one time sprinkled as a baby, worry not dear Catholic, for you need not be troubled about anything else and can live like the devil, because there will be a priest who will say Mass at your funeral and he will by the supposed powers vested in him transport you to the feet of Jesus in heavenly bliss.  The same thing of course will be true for your family and friends, even if they never attend Mass, avoid Confession, or are the twice of year Catholics who only attend Mass on Christmas and Easter, for they too will be sent to heaven by your local Catholic priest.  Just make sure you pay him for the Mass.

All of this is exactly what I witnessed at my Aunt’s funeral where according to this priest it was Catholic water baptism, the perennial Catholic ticket to heaven, that made her a child of God.  And it was because of this baptism or infant sprinkling, and that she was deemed a “good” person (cf. Romans 3:12) who did “good” things in her life (cf. Isaiah 64:6) and loved those who loved her (cf. Matthew 5:46-47), that this priest in essence told one and all, rest easy and shed not a tear, for she is now in heaven.  Words ironically coming from a man who never even met my Aunt once and only knew of her from the brief bio (all positive of course) presented to him by her daughter before the Mass.  Amazing, simply amazing and oh how tragic indeed.

Much more was said by the priest that made a mockery of God’s word and what true salvation is but to the people sitting in the pews it was music unto their ears.  Music because it sang sweet words of rest and ease unto them whereby they could continue their present course of life, regardless of how dark it might be, because in the end, it would all work out.

It also was music unto their ears because who among them was not likewise, according to their personal scales of justice, a good person, or who did not likewise do good things and love people around them.  Possibly even trumping my Aunt in these areas as they all compare themselves among themselves (cf. II Cor 10:12).  And so one and all left the funeral with a lift in their gait where possibly any twinges of conscience per the convicting of the Holy Spirit (cf. Joh 16:8) were quenched by the words of this one priest.

But this need not be for the Roman Catholic who believes that in spite of their religion, they are sick, for Jesus says, “They that are whole [healthy] have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mar 2:17)  Jesus is more than able to save to the uttermost those who come to the Father through him (cf. Heb 7:12) and this he will do unto you.  Yet you must believe that you are sick and a sinner in need of repentance.

If this be you than my encouragement unto you would be for you to call out unto the Lord for him to save you, to forsake vain and dead religion, to  repent from your sins, and believe on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  Because baptism will, in and of itself, bring none into the kingdom of God and those Catholics who are trusting in their baptism and church to save them will be sorely disappointed on that day.  But for those who repudiate the false doctrine of Catholicism and place their hope solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ and not in infant baptism or their church, they will be wonderfully overjoyed on that day.

Finally, let it be clearly stated that the final arbiter of entrance into the kingdom of God is not a priest and his unoffending words of false hope, but rather the two-edged word of God.  Because it will be by this word that all will be judged, not tradition, not smooth sounding words, but solely by the word of God.  For the Lord spoke that, “…if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (Joh 12:47-48)

May all Catholics take these things I have written to heart and today, while you still have breath in your lungs and blood in your veins, seriously consider the words I have written.  For today may in fact be your last day as I can assure you my Aunt but a week ago was in no way thinking that the following week she would be lying dead and lifeless in a casket.  So too the same may be true for you whereby next week it will not be my Aunt lying in a coffin, but you the reader of this paper where then it will be too late.