Be Ready – Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World

Anyone in the Calgary Alberta area should be aware that William Lane Craig, Clay Jones, JP Moreland, Sean McDowell and many more Christian Apologists of note will be speaking at the Be Ready Conference. The dates are March 8th and 9th and directions to the conference as well as more vital information can be found at http://www.faithbeyondbelief.ca

This is a great opportunity!

God Bless

Brian Mason

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Terminology Tuesday: Polemics

This is a term that some apologists have an issue with due to its appearance of being an “Offence” as opposed to a “Defense”. Polemics exist in some form with most religious beliefs. By definition;

*The art of disputation or controversy (the defense of a thesis by formal logic). A polemic can also be the aggressive refutation of another position or principle. In theology polemics often refer to the attempt to show the superiority of Christian teachings over its rivals by means of a systematic, ordered declination of the Christian belief system (a systematic theology) that shows the internal consistency of Christian doctrine as well as its congruence with human knowledge as a whole.

God Bless

Brian Mason

* Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 92

The Baha’i Faith and the Problems with it: Problem # 1

First a brief history of the faith:

Baha’I is a religious system that is found in 188 countries around the world with over 5 million followers today. The founder of this religion was Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad, aka “Bab” which is Arabic for the word “Gate”. He declared that he was the bearer of this divine revelation in the year 1844. His main teaching was that there was going to be a second messenger of God greater than him, “Bab”. This second messenger was to bring about an age of “peace and justice” that all other religions have failed to produce.

The believed to be second messenger was Baha’u’llah, who was born to a wealthy family in Persia (now know as Iran) in the 19th century. He spent most of his days helping the down trodden and living a life that was thought to be set apart. While imprisoned in Tehran in the year 1852 he claimed to have a vision of God, showing the creator’s will for mankind. God apparently told him that he was the “Bab” that was foretold. This was also know to the followers now that he was the latest prophet (manifestation of God) in the lines of Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Buddha, Muhammad et al.

Baha’u’llah was jailed for over 40 years. In that time that he was in prison he wrote over 100 volumes of the religious writings that the Baha’i believers still follow today. Baha’u’llah died in Palestine in the year 1892.

So that is a brief history on this false faith, and I will now deal with several problems with this faith and its false doctrines.

Problem # 1

The Baha’i faith does not believe that Heaven or Hell are actual “places” that people go to after death. The followers believe that the soul makes a journey to different worlds on the way to God. The direction the soul takes depends totally on the efforts of that individual during life. This contradicts what the Bible states on the existence of a place called Heaven, check out 1 Kings 8:27:

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!”

Or Psalms 2: 4:

“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.”

The faith also contradicts the evidence written about Hell in the Bible, check out Matthew 13: 41-42:

“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire, in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Or Matthew 25: 41:

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’”

In my next article I will deal with the Baha’i’s problem with their synergistic position on Salvation.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Terminology Tuesday: Pluralism

*The advocacy and embrace of a social system that promotes the autonomy and ongoing development of diverse religious, ethnic, racial and social groups within the system. In theology, pluralism suggests that there are many paths to and expressions of truth about God and several equally valid means to salvation.

God Bless

Brian Mason

*Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 92

Why Do Roman Catholics Pray To Mary and the Saints?

A few days ago I found a prayer in the form of a tract that was given to someone near to me that is a Roman Catholic. It is called a Novena Prayer. By definition ***A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an institutional act of religious pious devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.
The prayers are often derived from devotional prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the rosary (a “rosary novena”), or of short prayers through the day. Novena prayers are customarily printed in small booklets, and the novena is often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, a specific Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or it invokes one of the personages of the Holy Trinity.
Within the Roman Catholic discipline, novena prayers for public use must have an Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, and Imprimi potest. These ecclesiastical sanctions are usually granted by a bishop or any ranking prelate for publication and approval.

This particular “novena” reads this:

****Novena Prayers To Our Lady of the Snows
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen
Our Father Hail Mary Our Lady of the Snows, Pray for us.
ST. JOSEPH, pray for us.
ST. THERESE, THE LITTLE FLOWER, pray for us.
ST. EUGENE DE MAZENOD, pray for us.
GLORY BE TO THE FATHER.

Hebrews 12: 1-2 is very clear we are to have our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Mary herself, was greatly blessed, however she still needed a savior as she too was a sinner, see Luke 1:46-49,
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.

As for praying to Mary and the Saints, this is contrary to Biblical scripture as Jesus says in Matthew 4: 10,

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.

Where in the Bible does it say that Mary is to be prayed to let alone the Saints? The Bible actually condemns such action. Read Exodus 20: 4-6

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Here is a sample of Rome’s teaching of Mary the “mediator”:

“Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'” (CCC, par. 969)

Here is what the Word of God says in the Bible:

1 Timothy 2: 5-6
5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

Does anyone see the obvious contradiction here?

I ask we pray for the Roman Catholic people, to see the true God and not worship Mary as they have raised her to level of Goddess. They will deny this but their own false doctrines states this clearly:

Mary is the Queen over all things: CCC 966, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.”You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”

Again check the Word of Jesus:

John 14: 6,
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I see no other way!

God Bless

Brian Mason

*** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novena
**** Missionary Obiates of Mary Immaculate National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Belleville Il, 62223-1160

“The Four Agreements”: A Christian Response

Don Miguel Ruiz a “spiritualist” and “New Ager” penned the best seller book “The Four Agreements”. It has developed quite a following and people seem to be lapping it up like sweet milk, but what should a Christian’s reaction be to this book? Oprah Winfrey had Don Miguel Ruiz on her show and she also believes in the fundamental points of this book. So what are “The Four Agreements”?
They are based upon the ancient people of Southern Mexico that followed “Toltec Wisdom” *”The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy – material or ethereal – is derived from and governed by the universe.”

1. Be impeccable with your word – that is, speak with great integrity, avoid gossip and say only what you mean.

2. Don’t take anything personally – that is, whatever anyone says to you is only a projection of their own reality it is their own dream. Huh? Seriously that is what he is trying to get you to buy.

3. Don’t make assumptions – he claims that this agreement will in itself change your life. He says to communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, basically express exactly what you want.

4. Always do your best – subjected to any circumstance, simply do your best, so you will avoid self-judgment, regret and self-abuse.

As a Christian, my first and main response would be that it is a very self-centered philosophy. It fits the Oprah mantra of “ME, ME, ME” very well, and that would likely be why she had him on her television show. It was definitely a beneficial move for both of them. Basically it is narcissistic self worship, a form of idolatry. It is self- help that does not involve God and even the shunning of God.
It reeks of Shamanism. Shamanism believes that all energy – material or ethereal originates from and governed by the universe. It entails that everything has a spirit and everything is alive, clouds, rivers, dirt, as well as animals and people. It is defined that all things that have spirits are equal with us.
It is plainly sorcery! Let’s see what God has to say about this type of divination and selfishness;

Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer.”

Leviticus 19:26 “‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.”

Galatians’ 5: 19-21, The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Philippians 2:3, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

Oprah Winfrey and Don Miguel Ruiz both do not agree with (at the time of this writing) Jesus’ words in John 14:6,
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

We must pray that the followers of this Shamanism have a conversion experience and become followers of Christ and cease this distortion of the truth.
God Bless
Brian Mason

* http://www.businessballs.com

Terminology Tuesday: Baptism

*The practice of sprinkling with, pouring on or immersing in water as an act of Christian initiation and obedience to Christ’s own command. Baptism as a Christian ordinance or sacrament is nearly universal in application throughout the Christian church, although there is great diversity in whether it is applied solely to those who consciously exercise faith in Christ (believer’s baptism) or whether it is also to be extended to the infants of Christian parents (infant baptism, or pedobaptism).

*Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 18

Today’s theological term “Baptism” is highly argued from the standpoint of the necessity of baptism for salvation, whether or not infants should be baptized or even the actual physical action such as “total immersion” or “sprinkling of water”. I personally do not believe in infant baptism however I do not see any Biblical basis to exclude the “sprinkling of water”to baptize.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Yikes! Mormons Believe This?

One of a few cults that will come knocking on your door is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka The Mormons. There are heresies and non-Christian doctrine that they preach and you should be aware of them. Yes I did type that they NON-CHRISTIAN! Beware! Ultimately they deny the Biblical doctrine of Salvation and the very word of Jesus Christ. The name they boldy state in the title of their Church!
It would be wise for you to remember what they believe and when a Mormon Missionary comes to your door you should be gracious first to them, but it is incumbant that you question their beliefs and proclaim the truth of the word of God to them.

Here is a few of the heresies they believe:

– God had sexual relations with Mary to create Jesus’ body

– They believe that the Trinity is three separate Gods

– Gods’ body is comprised of flesh and bones

– Jesus and Satan are “Spirit Brothers”

– Good works are a requirment for the forgiveness of sins

– God was once a man who lived on another planet near the Star Kolab

– Mormons can become Gods of their own realm (worlds)

– There are many Gods

– God is married and creates “spirit babies” after having “physical” relations with his wife.

– Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet and God must consent to entering the celestial heaven

These are just a few, and I mean just a few of the heresies that they believe and preach. We must pray that they find the real Jesus as the way of Mormonism is the way to hell. They are good people being taken down the path to damnation!

God Bless

Brian Mason