The war on charismatics

It has been a while since I have written here, but lately I have come across a new frustration; the charismatic movement. The charismatic movement has a few years behind them, however it is only in the last 30 years that they have started growing at tremendous rates. Churches like Hillsong are drawing in thousands of people in including young, impressionable teenagers and young adults only to tell them about how they do not need to continually repent, and that all you need to do to get to heaven is try cry and get emotional in one of Joel Osteen’s “sermons”. (It’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point, I pray.)

My frustrations with the charismatic church start here:

1: The lies being told within “sermons”. Thou does not need to continually repent as God can “no longer see” your sins once you become saved? Why then does Jesus instruct the disciples to repent in the Lord’s prayer? Why does Simon Peter weep and repent for denying Jesus? Should I keep lying, and stealing, and murdering, and committing adultery because it’s ok to God because I am apparently ‘saved’??? The logic is fallible and these days, people will believe anything they get told.

2: Church, is not “church”. Church, run by the charismatics, is not when you sit in silence and reflection while you are listening to God speaking to you, or singing to God in praise. Instead, idiots like Joseph Prince are telling you about how much of a softball Jesus is while you scream and applaud and shout ‘Amen’, and sing songs about how much you are on top of the world. I think ‘party’ or ‘Sunday morning social club’ would suit it better.

3: Numbers and money: This sums up not all, but many charismatic churches. I remember watching a show and the story was about Kenneth Copland asking his congregation for money so that he can buy his own private jet. Now, his reasoning for this, was so that ‘he didn’t have to use public planes which might delay him from sharing the gospel around the world’. How ridiculous! And how will this be possible? Numbers. Simple. Whilst people were paying this liar money for his private jet, he was sitting in his chair going “haha! we got ’em! That whole God thing worked like a dream!” you’ll be surprised how many charismatic pastors have their own private jets…

4: How they stereotype conservatives. To them, we are bigoted, too out-of-date in our thinking, and spend most of our time being negative in our theology and telling people constantly that they will go to Hell after they die. After talking to someone I know, he has confirmed this to me and he is a charismatic. He stated, “I think I know your problem. You focus too much on the negative”. Of course he thinks this! He wouldn’t last 3 services at my church! Know why? Because at my church you aren’t going to get told what you want to hear! You will be told the TRUTH. (A large difference, guaranteed.)

5: You will often find that while there is emotion flying around in the church hall and people are in tears, you will often find that right after the service, it stops right after the service ends. And I mean it actually stops. It’s as if God wiped away every tear from everyone’s eyes at once. Upon other observation, charismatics tend to go back to their sinful, ungodly ways during the week. Swearing, for example, permitted during the week. See the logic?

My intent is not to serve hate, but rather to raise awareness for what is going on in the contemporary church. You may be wondering by now, what evidence I have for this? I can only speak from personal experience. When I moved from one state to another, My family struggled for nearly four years in finding a theologically stable church largely due to damage from the charismatic movement. We heard lines like “I love it when Alan gives me these topics to preach on, because then I get to talk about sex again” in so called, ‘sermons’, whilst the congregation laughed. People cannot be given rubbish talk like this!

Recently, the head pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Queensland, Australia, was challenged by one of his own elders due to his theology (which I really do not blame him for) and the head pastor ended up losing, as more elders finally rose up against him, and chose to resign from the Presbytery. The following Sunday morning, this pastor told his congregation that ‘The Presbytery forced him to resign’, and thus, 120 people walked out of the building immediately.

This madness cannot continue.

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Faith

Faith is a word that bears multiple meanings. The Latin word for faith, fides, gives us words such as fidelity, infidelity, infidel, and fiduciary. The Greek word for faith, πιστις (pistis), bears three important meanings in biblical usage:

  • intellectual assent (belief);
  • trust (faith);
  • loyalty (commitment).

Intellectual Assent

Belief is the faculty by which we hold propositions, and it is a necessary condition of propositional knowledge. One cannot know that without believing that p. Below are a few random examples of biblical propositions that one could believe.

  • Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee.
  • David son of Jesse was anointed king of Israel by the prophet Samuel.
  • Paul the Apostle saw a vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road.

Now consider the following verse (Jas 2:19):

You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble.

Believing propositions about God does not entail that one is in a relationship with God. The danger with some preaching is that people mistake assent to various propositions for communion with God. For all the mocking of the “sinner’s prayer” made in some Christian circles, it possesses the virtue of being a prayer: it is a conversation between a human being and God. A necessary condition of true biblical faith is reaching out to God.

Lesson: Do not let the study of doctrine come at the cost of relationship with God.

Trust

Let not your heart be trouble: you believe in God, believe also in Me.

-Jn 14:1

Propositional knowledge is not necessarily relational, but trust is. Trust is a fragile thing. When we feel let down by a person in whom we have placed our trust, the relationship is strained, damaged even.

Intellectually we can reason that when we feel let down by God it is not God’s fault: the fault lies with us and the world. Trust, however, is an emotional thing, not purely intellectual. This is why the free will defence is intellectually satisfying but not emotionally satisfying.

A relationship must be cultivated, tended. When we are angry with God, the answer is not to abandon the relationship. Rather, we must work at it with honesty, integrity, and vulnerability. Trust in God is not simply about faith that things will “work out in the end”; it is also about an ongoing willingness to commune with Him, to share our thoughts, and to listen to His.

Lesson: What is damaged can be repaired – if you will have it so.

Loyalty

You shall have no other gods before Me.

-Exod 20:3

Loyalty in the context of biblical faith means exclusivity, which is why it is compared with marriage in the words of the prophets. One cannot mix Christianity with other religions. Leaving Christianity for another religion (or none) is called apostasy in the Bible (e.g. at 2 Thess 2:3).

Loyalty is tested by temptation and persecution (indeed the term temptation means testing). The early Christians refused to compromise their loyalty to God by worshipping the gods of Rome or the Roman emperor. This came at a terrible cost: ostracism, ridicule, financial hardship, torture, and death. It continues in parts of the world today: in North Korea Christians are imprisoned for their faith; in many parts of the Islamic world Christians are persecuted and killed for their faith.

Why do these brave souls refuse to recant their faith? The answer: they know and love God; they trust that when they die their spirits will be with Him and He will raise up their bodies and vindicate them on the Day of Judgement.

Lesson: Following God comes at a terrible earthly cost. True loyalty to Him rests on trust in His goodness.

Happy Christmas

To all the readers, comment writers, and contributors at AATW, merry Christmas! Whether you are with family or having a quiet Christmas, whether you are eating turkey or ham, whether you have been to church or are missing it this year, God’s love remains with you in the person of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Have a blessed Christmas, and remember that He was born for you, died for you, and stays with you: now and forever.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

-Matthew 1:23

Whether you are excited about the new year or feel dread at what may lie ahead, remember that God goes through it all with you.

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 

Merry Christmas!

They betrayed the revolution

The Alt Left poses a great danger to the health and continuance of western civilisation. Its infiltration of the Democratic party in the USA and the Labour party in the UK mean that conservatives must work hard to prevent such parties from returning to power. The USA is leading the way as newcomers challenge establishment GOP candidates for seats in Congress. Will the UK do the same regarding the Conservative party?

Traditional leftists and feminists like Camille Paglia and Germaine Greer are appalled by the new-fangled take on their own positions. While no leftist myself, I could respect these ladies for their willingness to have a frank, well-constructed conversation. Empiricism (of a kind) provides a point of commonality between the old Left and the conservatives. But no such commonality exists between conservatives and the Alt Left: it is not possible to have a meaningful dialogue with them.

Where will this lead? If we are not careful, it will head towards totalitarianism. Either the Far Left will conquer us by means of a plethora of laws and peer pressure exercised through social media, or the Far Right will rise as an “immune response” to the outrages of the Far Left and impose draconian measures to stifle dissent. We must not allow either reaction to happen.

The best response we can make is to return to the kind of liberalism advocated by John Locke in the 17th and 18th centuries (minus his anti-Catholic bias, of course), and developed by subsequent political philosophers and economists. Our general angst is a consequence of increasing state interference in areas generally defined under the headings “private life” or “freedom of conscience and expression” (see the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998)).

The “sin” of the Far Left and the Far Right (amongst others) is that they bullishly impose their views on others. Lockean liberalism is a defence against this aggression on three fronts:

  1. it correctly defines toleration not as the endorsement of other views but as the civilised response to views that one personally disagrees with;
  2. it recognises that there is a class of data defined as “ambiguous” – i.e. susceptible of various interpretations – meaning that no one can impose his views in respect of such data on others because he cannot conclusively support his position or disprove his opponents’; and
  3. it removes the power of the state to get involved in such disputes.

Without the resources of the state or the power of the law behind them to oppress “dissidents”, we will place the burden back on these extremes to rationally persuade others of the correctness of their positions. A good first step in this direction would be to restore neutrality to the education system by removing leftist propaganda from various rubrics and curricula and introducing instead a general course on critical thinking and the analysis of data. A second step in this direction would be to remove state funding for partisan agenda, making them compete on equal terms with other parties in the intellectual market place.

***

If you have not come across Dr Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology, who is fighting the good fight against the Alt Left, I recommend you spend a few minutes watching an interview or lecture by him.

Thank you for your prayers for my friend: an aspirant to a Traditional Catholic priesthood

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UPDATE

Well it has been some matter of weeks since I posted that article here on the AATW website. Since that time he has made efforts to get an answer as to why he was dismissed from the prepratory year at the Institute of Christ the King without getting any reply at all. My thought is that the real reason is simply a question of money, insurance etc. which they fear may impact them financially if they keep someone within the Institute who has been diagnosed in his childhood with Aspergers.

This young man, however, is not to be dissuaded from his calling to the Tradtitional Catholic Priesthood. He arranged a visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska (pictured above) where he spent 4 days living the life of a seminarian and getting a feel for the life of the FSSP (the Priestly Fratermity of St. Peter) seminarian. He fell in love with the Fraternity, the  people and the beautiful surroundings of the area and is now filling out the necessary paperwork to apply for entrance beginning next year.

So let us not forget to keep praying for him that he might find admittance and successfully complete the seven years of formation that are required of these wonderful men.  Our prayers seem to have opened up a new avenue for this young man and now it is my hope that our prayers will see him through to a glorious end.

Thanks so much. St. Peter pray for us and for this young aspirant to your Priestly Fraternity.

Source: http://newsforcatholics.info/2017/11/25/thank-prayers-friend-aspirant-traditional-catholic-priesthood/

Happy Thanksgiving

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First, no, I’m not returning, at least in any regular way, at least not yet. But I do want to say a couple things. This is a post with a few things changed that I posted on Thanksgiving in 2015. I’ll say a bit more at the end.

Today, in America is Thanksgiving Day. It is a day of celebration of what we have made of God’s gift to us all. Its history reaches all the way back to our Pilgrim forebearers, who felt called to thank God that they had survived the first year in the Massachusetts Bay.

Now it is a day of parades, football, serious overeating, and sleeping off that overeating by sleeping through the football on TV. But I think we all deep in our hearts do remember to thank “The Big Guy” for all we have, and the freedom to enjoy it.

President Washington certainly knew something about dark days, far darker than ours are today, and he (and Congress) thought it fit to remember the Author of our blessings. So should we.

From the Heritage Foundation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

That’s the reason for the day put as well as anyone has, ever.

My family’s traditional table grace is this

AATW was my second home on the internet for many years. Why? Here I found love and friendship and did my poor best to reciprocate. I miss it, not as it became, but as it was, and I also pray for it to return to that. I also pledge that when that time comes, I will do my part, God willing. Yesterday, we saw many places lit in red in honor of our persecuted fellow Christians, including in the Kurdish controlled area of Iraq. This was a British instigated moment, that many of us followed, all around the world. Now it is time for action instead of making a gesture. The US Government has started to get on board with that, hopefully, others will follow.

Those of you that are in contact with others that have fallen from the fellowship we had here, I ask you to pass along my good wishes, and prayers, and yes, love for them, along with the wish that we will be reunited, in this world or the next. Many of you have become my friends, and all of you are in my prayers. God bless you all.

From the 1928 (US) Book of Common Prayer

MOST gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew; We yield thee unfeigned thanks and praise for the return of seed-time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of the fruits thereof, and for all the other blessings of thy merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we beseech thee, give us a just sense of these great mercies; such as may appear in our lives by an humble, holy, and obedient walking before thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving

The First Letter of John (No Podcast This Week)

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I apologize due to the upcoming American holiday of Veteran’s Day; there will be no podcast for I was mandated for overtime work this morning. However, I will like to post the introduction of the First Letter of John. In prayer, this morning, I was reading it in a form of Lectio Divina, something called to me to do so, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how beautiful this letter is to the faithful.

The First Letter of John

¶* That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship† with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. ¶ And we are writing this that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

¶ This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness‡ at all. ¶ If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; ¶ but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 ¶ If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Christ Is Our Advocate

¶ My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; ¶ and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ¶ And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.§ ¶ He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; ¶ but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: ¶ he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

A New Commandment

7 ¶ Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. ¶ Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. 10 ¶ He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake. 13 ¶ I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the Evil One. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

1.The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), 1 Jn 1:1–2:17.

 

Perhaps, I, too, must resign myself to the hills.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our friend Neo has bid farewell. I have thought about leaving in the past and I have said as much as well. However, this blog was something of a community, one that kept drawing me back. I do hope the call of the communio calls to Neo once more, but it appears as we’re all resigned to our sinful natures that one by one each pilgrim with the evening advanced looks to rid the sweat ridden clothes of our collective ecumenical dialogue.

The greatest lesson of scripture I believe is the call for repentance. I have a co-worker who is deaf and is debating whether to get a cochlear implant. She jokingly asked me today, knowing I am a man of faith if I could heal her or pray for her to receive her hearing. I told her first off that I am far from holy and that I am still working on my faith every day, but I expressed that in many of the healings of Christ in scripture, such as the paralytic, Christ preferenced the desire of forgiving sins over physical miracles. “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’

Love, repenting, and forgiveness

Many will claim are not miraculous,…but… with an examination of the nature of humanity, one could easily argue are perhaps the greatest miracles we can perform with our fellow man. The Spirit gives us many gifts: Understanding, Counsel, wisdom, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Gifts that aid us in communio and can give us the ability to show the world the true miracle of Christian love.

Our community is one that can only express ideas, therefore, we do not have the privilege to see each others’ love. The Word of God took flesh, one single word of utterance of God to show us His love. The Incarnation of our Lord is God’s word–it’s the  Word from the beginning. Christ has left us so that the Paraclete could guide us. As Teresa of Avila writes, Christ has no body, but as being baptized into the Body of Christ, I am the eyes, the ears, the arms, the feet so that others can hear the one utterance of God–the Word of God.–Love….Love.

My job takes me to some of the poorest parts of my community and it tears my soul. The Word of God with the guidance of the spirit has called me to show Christ’s love by starting a ministry in my parish, one that can put forth the love of the Word in our community. Ideas are grand and fun to discuss, but they do get bogged down and stale, ideas do not move mountains, but faith, as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

I do not know what my plans are for continuing with this blog. Many of the great Protestant voices and others have left. Chalcedon has left, Geoff gone, Jess and now Neo. We may have differences, but through the Word of God, I do love you.

God Bless.