Friday, December 25, 2020



Acts 8:18 – Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

19 – saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 – But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!”

21 – “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.”

22 – “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.”

23 – “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.”

According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (online), the term “simony” comes “from Simon Magus; Acts 8:18-24.”  It describes simony as “a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual or annexed unto spirituals.”

This same article also states that simony is a very serious sin:

“To estimate accurately the gravity of simony, which some medieval ecclesiastical writers denounced as the most abominable of crimes…”

“To uproot the evil of simony so prevalent during the middle ages, the Church decreed the severest penalties against its perpetrators.”

See here:

Ok, that’s great.  I am glad to see the Catholic Church officially condemning the sin of simony.  They certainly should.  However, there is another aspect to what Simon did. 

What he witnessed was the people receiving the gift and manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  But what about the gift of salvation?  Almost everyone would agree that salvation (the new birth) is certainly a gift from God.  In fact, eternal life is the greatest gift that God has offered mankind.

But can anyone buy this gift?  Absolutely not.  The very fact that it is called a gift tells us that it is not for sale. 

Then why do so many people in the world (including Catholics) think that salvation can be received, or merited (at least partially), by good works?  Catholics would look down on Simon for what he did, but they are doing exactly the same thing!  Aren’t they trying to buy salvation/eternal life when performing good works?  They’re trying to purchase it, but they’re just not using money here.  So, what’s the difference?  

Peter didn’t say, “No, Simon, you can’t use money to obtain this gift, but you can use good works or personal suffering!”  No, attempting to buy salvation with works or personal discomfort also falls under the condemnation of Simon Magus.  It is just as bad as trying to do it with money.

But Catholics may say, “But the works that merit justification/salvation are grace-driven (or grace-infused) works from God.  These works come from God’s grace, so our works-based salvation is still by grace!”

But if these works are done by grace, then aren’t our money and our effort obtained by God’s grace also, since God gave us the strength to earn that money?  Grace-infused good works would be no different than grace-infused labor to earn and use money, right?  It would be the same thing – but the Bible tells us that works and grace are in two different categories.  Romans 11:6 says:

“But if it [salvation] is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

If Simon was so severely rebuked for trying in any way to purchase any gift from God, shouldn’t those who try to earn or merit salvation by anything other than faith be rebuked just as harshly?  What Simon did was an insult to God and to the apostles, and if Simon was wrong, so are all those who believe in a works-based salvation (including Catholics, Orthodox, and even some Protestants).

We MUST understand that the new birth is not obtained from the ability to do “grace-infused” good works, but it is obtained by faith, apart from works (Romans 3:21, 28), by SURRENDERING to the will and purpose of God and by trusting ONLY in Jesus’ work on the cross.  Again, it is a gift. 

Trying to buy salvation with your works tells everyone that:

1) You, like Simon, have no portion in the kingdom of God (Acts 8:21)

2) Your heart is not right before God (v. 21)

3) You need to repent, since it is wickedness in the eyes of God (v. 22)

4) You are in the gall of bitterness (v. 23) and

5) You are in the bondage of iniquity (v. 23).

Doesn’t sound like a very good place to be.  Once again, to answer the question that the title of this article asks, eternal life/salvation is a gift, and no, this gift can never be purchased.

Catholics, along with the apostle Peter, rightly condemn Simon for trying to buy this gift of God.  Interestingly, the Catholic Church has recognized simony in their own papal “elections” in the past where the “chair of Peter” was given to the highest bidder, yet, they don’t seem to recognize the parallel when it comes to purchasing salvation with good works.

We could also mention indulgences, which could certainly be considered (by Catholics) to be a gift from God.  An indulgence was a promise to get out of Purgatory earlier than “scheduled” and not suffer as long.  Yet this “gift” of an indulgence, from its beginning, was always purchased with either money or good works, and it still is today.

Let’s learn a lesson from Simon – salvation is not obtained by silver or gold, not with good works, or a “spiritual” lifestyle.  It is not by godly suffering, enduring persecution, being kind to people, helping the elderly across the street, or by being a pastor’s kid.  It is not by going to church every week or by frequent Bible reading.  These may all be good things, but none of these can do what only the blood of Jesus Christ can.

See these links:



Sunday, November 29, 2020


“Sola Scriptura” (Latin for “Bible only”) – you’ll hear this term often in discussions and debates between Catholics and Protestants.  It simply means that Scripture is the final authority for the church, since it is the only infallible authority we have today. 

Protestants generally believe in Sola Scriptura, but Catholics will often tell us that Jesus didn’t leave us a book, He left us a church.

But what does that mean, “Jesus left us a church”?  Who is the “us” in this sentence?  I think that we can safely assume that Catholics mean the “us” is referring to believers, those who are saved, those who are right with God.  But according to the Bible, believers ARE the church!  Since we are the church, it doesn’t make sense to say that Jesus left the church a church!  That would mean that He left us ourselves, and that is ridiculous.

When they say that Jesus didn’t leave us a book, but a church, what they mean is He left a final authority for all believers, and they believe that this authority is the Catholic Magisterium.

But Catholics are defining “church” in an unbiblical way.  According to Scripture, the church is not a building, nor is it a “magisterium” of infallible leaders.  Catholics will often say things like, “The Church teaches…” or “The Church has always believed…”, etc.  When they use the term in this way, they are speaking of their leaders, the Magisterium.  But the Bible never uses the term “church” when referring to leaders only.  Never.  The Bible uses the term to mean either the local assembly of believers, e.g., the church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:2) or the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1), or to mean the universal assembly of believers worldwide (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:17-18).

Yes, Jesus did indeed establish a church.  No one is denying that.  But we Protestants could counter and say that Jesus didn’t give us an infallible church, but an infallible book, the Bible, as the final authority.  Catholics act as though the Bible has less authority than the church.  Are they suggesting that Jesus did not leave us an infallible book?  Would they dare say that Scripture is not inspired (God-breathed)?  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. (BSB)

Keep in mind the fact that 2 Timothy is the Apostle Paul’s last letter he ever wrote to the church, and that he knew he would soon be martyred.  And because of that, we know that he wanted to impart some very critical information to believers in this letter, but he never said that the church or church leaders were God-breathed.  Not in this or any other of his many letters does he state or imply this.  If the church’s leaders were the final authority for the rest of the church, it seems that this would have been the time to say so.  But Paul leaves us with the understanding that Scripture is the only thing God-breathed today.  Not only is it inspired/God-breathed, it also equips us for every good work.   

Catholics admit that Scripture is inspired.  In fact, it is the official position of the Catholic Church that Scripture is above, or greater than, the Magisterium:

“This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it…” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, chapter 2, paragraph 10)

“Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #86)

Ok, that sounds really good, even biblical.  But in actual practice, it is the Catholic Magisterium that is over Scripture.  I say this because it is supposedly the Magisterium alone that infallibly determines what Scripture is, and it is the Catholic Magisterium alone that officially and infallibly interprets Scripture.  Therefore, for the Catholic, the Magisterium is really the ultimate authority.

If common sense dictates that verse “A” should be interpreted a certain way, but the Magisterium demands that it be interpreted a different way (even if it appears to be contradictory), then they must obey the Magisterium.

If other Bible passages, as a whole, taken together, dictate that verse “A” should be interpreted a certain way, but the Magisterium demands that it be interpreted a different way (even if it makes the Bible contradict itself) the will of the Magisterium must prevail.  That’s why they say that Jesus gave us a church, not a book.

For Catholics, lip service to the idea of the Bible being over the Magisterium is just that – lip service.  But the Catholic idea of an infallible Magisterium does not line up with the very Bible that the Magisterium claims to follow!  They want their members to think that the Catholic Church holds the Bible in high regard, yet in practice, the Bible is down-played. 

But according to Scripture, the bottom line is this:  Jesus Christ made believers (imperfect, common, fallible people) to be a church, both as part of a universal entity and as part of a local assembly, and He gave us an infallible book to guide us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Today, I’d like to address another one of Catholic speaker/writer John Martignoni’s newsletter articles which is on faith, works, and assurance of salvation.  This one is #319, titled “Matt Slick’s False Teachings,” and it can be found here:

In this particular newsletter, John Martignoni critiques a letter from (Protestant) Christian apologist Matt Slick of C.A.R.M. (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry).

I do enjoy many of Matt Slick’s articles, but I don’t agree with his Calvinism.  For the record, I’m not associated with him, so I’m not one of his students trying to blindly defend him at all costs, or anything like that.  I just think what he wrote in his letter is correct.  But John Martignoni doesn’t agree.   

First, John Martignoni deals with the issue of assurance of salvation.  Matt Slick says that he knows he is going to Heaven.  But John accuses Matt of being arrogant in saying this and John responds with two Bible passages:

1 Corinthians 10:12 – Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

In the context of this verse, the apostle Paul is warning us not to do as the Jews did in the Old Testament, not to fall away from the truth through unbelief and disobedience.  Of course, this is great advice, but this verse is NOT saying that we can’t have the assurance of going to Heaven.  In fact, it is implying just the opposite!  Just as a coin has two sides, so does this promise in 1 Corinthians 10:12: 

1) There is a warning if we don’t learn from the Old Testament Jews’ example, and

2) There is the promise of eternal life if we do continue to trust God.  There’s the assurance.  

Either way, the warning/promise stands.  But John is wrong if he thinks that this verse denies us assurance.  If we maintain our faith, our trust in Jesus, we will make it to Heaven.  That is a promise from God.

The second passage John quotes is:

1 Corinthians 4:3 – But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 

4) I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 

5) Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

This passage is speaking of passing judgment on someone concerning the stewardship of his ministry.  It is about divisions and boasting in favor of one minister over another (v. 6).  There is nothing at all here to indicate that we cannot have assurance of salvation.  So John is trying to twist these passages and force them to say something they’re not saying.  He seems to want them to say that we can’t have the assurance of making it to Heaven.

But the beloved apostle, John, says that we can know:

1 John 5:13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (Emphasis added)

So, it is not arrogant to say you have assurance of your salvation if you maintain your trust in Christ.  It is not wrong to say that you know you are going to Heaven.   

Salvation by Works

In Matt Slick’s letter, another of his main points is that the Catholic Church offers a works-based salvation, which means “faith plus works equals salvation.”  Matt quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church several times to prove his point:

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.” (CCC 1257)

“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation.” (CCC 846)

“This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.” (CCC 980)

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” (CCC 1129)

“Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation...” (CCC 1816)

“The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation.” (CCC 2036)

Notice how many times “necessary for salvation” occurs.  This means that the Catholic Church believes these things are the MEANS and the CAUSE of salvation, at least indirectly; in the Catholic Church’s eyes, they are REQUIREMENTS to get to Heaven.

·      To recap the Catholic Catechism above, sacraments (like baptism, penance, etc.) are necessary for one’s salvation.  And these are works – no one can deny that.  They are religious formalities and rituals that one performs, or at least allows the priest to perform on him.

·      Also, the Church is mentioned as a means of salvation.  That’s because it is the (Catholic) Church who supposedly dispenses the true sacraments.  Again, works.

·      The Catechism also mentions service and witnessing.  These are also works.

·      And lastly, Matt Slick brings out one part of the Catechism that requires a person to observe the Law (the Ten Commandments).  The works of the Law are certainly considered good works.  No one denies this.

So, Matt is correct in saying that the Catholic Church promotes a works-based salvation.  This is clear by the Catechism quotes he used. 

Strangely though, Catholics are often offended when Protestants point this out. If you’ll notice when you debate a Catholic on justification, that it is almost a guarantee that they will initially deny that they teach a works-based salvation (just as John Martignoni does in his newsletter).  It is almost as if this concept would be embarrassing to them.  Yet, in the end, they will forcefully proclaim that works are indeed necessary for salvation (again, just as John does) and will often wrongly appeal to passages like James 2:24.  But the context of James 2 is NOT “how to be saved.”  It is about the demonstration of your faith when you are truly saved.

“Grace-empowered” Works?

But John Martignoni would say that Catholics do not believe that their works, in and of themselves, merit eternal life.  He says that it is not by a person’s “own goodness and abilities.”  He would say that only special works can merit salvation, those that he elsewhere calls “works empowered by God’s grace,” and he would therefore say that because of that, they contribute to your salvation. 

But EVERYTHING we can possibly do is by God’s grace!  You can’t speak or sing or even breathe, except by His grace.  Just because we are given grace to do something, doesn’t mean that that particular “something” will save us.  It is the work that Jesus did on the cross that saves us – but the way to enter into this eternal life is to believe, to trust in Him, accessing His benefits by faith, not works.

The Scriptures clearly teach that salvation is not by works of righteous (Titus 3:5) and that it is by faith apart from works (Romans 4:4-5).  It is by grace through faith:

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

9) not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Paul is saying about these works, to “walk in them,” meaning after salvation, not in order to be saved.

Question: Were these works that the apostle Paul speaks of here “grace-empowered” saving works?

If yes, then why does it say that we are NOT saved as a result of these works (v. 9)?

If someone says that the works in this context are merely “works of the Law” from the Old Testament, or some form of “lesser” works, we can ask, why then should we walk in them?  Those same works that we should walk in are the ones that cannot save us.  They cannot merit our salvation, but God does expect us to walk in them daily.

The Bible never makes a distinction between “works of righteousness that save” and “works of righteousness that don’t save.”

If these God-ordained, “grace-empowered” works that John Martignoni mentions can save, then Abraham should have been saved this way.  But he was clearly not saved by his circumcision (Romans 4:9-13) – even though his circumcision was a God-ordained work!  God specifically told him to do it.  I don’t think that John, nor any other Catholic, can answer this dilemma.  Again, no matter how great a work is done by mere humans (even if "grace-empowered"), it cannot save.  Only the work of the Savior on the cross can.

Justification vs. Sanctification

In Matt’s letter, he states that Jesus cleanses us totally of our sin.  But John asks him, “Oh, and one other thing: If Jesus has cleansed you from your sin ‘totally,’ then how come you still sin?”

The answer is, we still sin because we are not yet fully sanctified, even if we have already been justified through faith.  Catholics conflate the two terms and it causes them trouble by muddying the water, like in this scenario.  What Jesus did on the cross is to totally pay the penalty for sin.  He paid it all and there is nothing left to pay.  “It is finished!” (John 19:30).  No more works or suffering are needed as a payment for sin. 

In justification, Jesus paid the PENALTY for sin.  The sanctification process helps us against the POWER of sin, and final glorification will deliver us from the very PRESENCE of sin.


Those passages in Scripture that link salvation with works need to be balanced with the passages that teach faith APART from works.

Question: If salvation is by faith plus works, what were the works of the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43)?  He had none!  Yet, for centuries, the thief on the cross has been the great example of salvation by faith alone, i.e., by faith apart from works.

In the end, what does the Catholic do with passages like Romans chapters 3 and 4 (which actually deal with justification)?  There is nothing Catholics can do to escape the plain meaning of these passages, as well as the book of Galatians.  They either ignore them or misinterpret them by taking them out of their proper contexts.

And what about Romans 11:6:

But if it [salvation] is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

It can’t be any plainer.  It is telling us that grace and works are opposites!  John Martignoni would have us believe that they are actually in the same category!  It is not Matt Slick’s teachings in his letter that are unbiblical, but rather, John Martignoni’s.

I have previously seen John Martignoni accuse another Christian teacher of “linguistic trickery,” but, in this case, he is the one guilty of this.

Friday, September 25, 2020



One day, Bob [a fictional character] went to the hardware store to buy a table saw.  Bob is a fine craftsman and he only uses quality tools.  The salesman showed him a nice saw, but he was unfamiliar with this particular brand of table saw, so he was a bit concerned about its quality.  But when he observed the saw’s trademark, i.e., its “seal of approval,” and the warranty that came with it, he was relieved.  This seal of approval told him that this table saw was indeed of good quality.  When a company uses a seal of approval, it is to assure the customer that their product is truly dependable. 

It is a similar situation when dealing with written documents.  If a document has a seal or stamp, it is normally considered “legal” or “official.”  The seal verifies the truth claims of the document, for instance, as when a document is notarized. 

Enter Catholic Seals

The Catholic Church also uses certain seals to authenticate its documents, and to approve certain books and articles, as well.  Two of those seals include the Nihil Obstat (Latin, meaning “nothing hinders”) and the Imprimatur (“let it be printed”). 

When a Catholic book, for example, is submitted to the
Church, and the author wants to receive the Catholic seal of approval, it typically first goes through a “censor.”  A censor is generally a knowledgeable Catholic appointed by the bishop, who examines the book for errors.  If the censor finds no errors, the book can receive the Nihil Obstat, since there is now “nothing to hinder” the book from being printed.  It is now up to the bishop to determine if the book is worthy of receiving the Imprimatur.  The bishop has the final say and he can “let it be printed.”

I’m not aware of any symbols representing the Nihil Obstat, but you can sometimes find (along with the Imprimatur) a Maltese cross before the bishop’s name.

Greater Certainty?

According to the Catholic Code of Canon Law:

“In order to preserve the integrity of the truths of faith and morals, the pastors of the Church have the duty and right to be watchful so that no harm is done to the faith or morals of the Christian faithful through writings or the use of instruments of social communication.  They also have the duty and right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgment and have the duty and right to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals.” (Canon 823, paragraph 1) 

See here:

The seals are supposedly a sign that the “integrity of truth” has been preserved.  They are about ecclesiastical (Church) approval.  See the Code of Canon Law 824, paragraph 1; 827, paragraph 1 and 2; and 829.

So, what is the benefit for the average Catholic of having these Catholic seals before he ever reads this book?  The “advantage” is that the seals tell him that the book is officially approved by the Church.  It is to give him a greater sense of certainty about the truthfulness of the contents in the book.

But how much certainty do these seals actually provide for the average Catholic?  Do they provide infallible certainty for him?  No, the Catholic Church does not claim that its seals provide infallible certainty (although they do claim to have it elsewhere). 

But these seals of approval can certainly cause confusion, since two different books, each having the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur, can have vastly different ideas from each other.  How can this happen?  How can this be considered a safeguard?

Preserving the Integrity of Truth?

But Catholics will say that the censor is not making a statement as to whether or not he personally likes the book.  These seals allegedly mean that the book is free of doctrinal and moral error only, that is, there is nothing in the book that would be damaging to the Catholic Church’s doctrines or its moral teachings.  The seals are not necessarily an endorsement of what’s in the book – it’s just about what is NOT in the book, that is, doctrinal error.  They’ll say that it is specifically designed this way, that is, as a “negative safeguard.”

Ok, so what about non-doctrinal things like names, dates, places, and other information that could be wrong or misrepresented?  Does that not matter?  Is it ok to get these things wrong and still receive the Imprimatur?  It certainly seems so. 

I’m not saying that a book needs to be perfect to be published, only that the accuracy of the non-doctrinal and smaller details is also important.  Now, I’m not talking about a few misspelled words.  That’s not really an issue, but it appears that you can have the Catholic seal of approval, and yet still have a collection of false information in the book.  The “integrity of truth” that the Code of Canon Law speaks of is certainly not here.

The Experts

Ok, so the Imprimatur and the Nihil Obstat tell us that the book has been reviewed, examined, proofread, critiqued, and double-checked.  But so what?  This should happen to all books before being published!

Someone could say, “Yeah, but these are experts in Catholic teaching who are reviewing this book!  That makes a big difference.”

But what about the times that these seals were retracted and withdrawn from certain books and the author had to go back and change something inside?  It has happened several times before.  So having experts to examine them doesn’t really prove anything.

Catholic apologists love to talk about the certainty they have about their teachings compared to Protestants.  But, in this case, it can only be one bishop’s opinion – another bishop may reject this same book!  So, the Catholic has no more certainty in these cases than what the Protestant has in his writings.  We should test the truth of any religious articles, documents or books by the Scriptures, which are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The supposed certainty of a Catholic book’s truthfulness that comes from these seals offers no advantage at all for Catholics. So these seals are essentially merely judgment calls.

Package Deal

There is not just one aspect to any book.  Books are multi-faceted and their content is a “package deal.”  As a whole, either the book is trustworthy or not.  You either want your seal on it, or you don’t.  Remember, when you put your seal on it, you’re taking the credit or blame for the whole thing.

The seals of the Church only guarantee faithfulness in doctrine and morals.  But they are incomplete seals.  I would agree with the Catholic Church that doctrine and morals are indeed the most important part of the book, but the rest seems to be irrelevant to them.

What if the manufacturer of the table saw in our story above had a seal of approval like the Catholic Church does?  Suppose they said, “Well, our seal guarantees the quality of only the most important components of our table saw, like the frame, which is made of the strongest alloy steel.  Also, the saw blades are carbide-tipped and super sharp, and are the finest available!”  Yet, when the rest of the table saw is inspected, one finds the bearings to be rusty and rickety, the belts are the wrong size, the wheels are lopsided, its motor is weak and below-standard, and its bolts and screws are made of aluminum and they quickly fail during vibration. 

No one would think that’s acceptable!  Each of these weak links reflects the quality as a whole.  And so do the non-doctrinal errors and mistakes in certain books and articles that contain the Catholic seals.


Knowingly putting your seal of approval on a document that has wrong dates/places/facts, etc., is self-destructive.  It doesn’t help your case for assurance or certainty at all.  But it seems that it really doesn’t matter to the Catholic Church, as long as Catholic doctrine is promoted.  And in doing so, the seals allow Catholic doctrine to be contaminated with sloppy “facts.”  They seem to care more about promoting uniquely Catholic ideas than the full truth.

Therefore, the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur are effectively just for show, as many things are in the Catholic Church.  There is a lot of pomp and circumstance, flowing robes, respectful titles, and outward religious display.  No, Protestants are not immune to this, but Catholic leaders seem to have it down to an art.

The Catholic Church’s leaders are modern-day Pharisees.  Out of all the people Jesus dealt with, He hated the deeds and attitudes of the Pharisees the most, and reserved the strongest rebuke for them (Matthew 23).

Doctrine and morals are extremely important, but to throw everything else to the wind is not wise.  Truth is truth, whether doctrine or data.  One would be better off just saying, “The book is interesting and even informative, but I can’t put my seal on it!”

If a book containing the Imprimatur was actually biblical… if the seal protected ALL its contents, that is, all its doctrine, its morals, its dates, times and places, etc. THEN I could respect such a seal… one that is not vague or ambiguous.  Such a seal would actually mean something.


Saturday, August 29, 2020


Imagine a train – a very long train - one that can carry many, many people and travel at a very high speed.  Imagine its conductor encouraging everyone to join the people on the train because its destination is a beautiful, wonderful place – a type of “holy city,” where problems and worries are few, and everything is fully provided for the people.  There, all will be treated with respect, consideration and equality.  It appears to be the nearest thing to perfection here on earth.  
Now imagine, after a while, the train beginning to go faster and faster on its way.  Uncomfortably fast.  It is soon apparent to those on the outside that this train is out of control and is headed for danger.  Disaster awaits as the train screams down the rails and will soon slip off the tracks and violently crash into something, bringing certain death and destruction to many.  But the passengers seem to be blissfully unaware of the danger, since they believe that they would soon arrive at their promised “holy city.”
The Pope’s Train 

This “train ride” and its destination is a metaphor for the type of government that Pope Francis is offering to the world.  But why is the pope’s train such a dangerous one?  It is because the “wonderful” place to which it is going – the place where he envisions an environment of peace, equality, social justice and fairness for all – is a Marxist/socialist/communist world... and he is not shy about it.  This is the train wreck, and it is moving quickly toward its goal, and it is unfortunate that so many are getting on board. 
In his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium [or EG] (translated “The Joy of the Gospel”), Pope Francis speaks of the New Jerusalem, the holy city of Revelation 21:2-4 and compares it with his concept of a “holy city” on earth (EG, paragraph 71). 

In this same document, Francis – a left-leaning pope – thought it necessary to insult capitalism (i.e., private ownership of goods; a “market economy”; limited government; free enterprise) and to extol the “virtues” of socialism.  The pontiff expresses his disdain for America’s capitalism and calls it “an economy of exclusion and inequality.”  He also says that “such an economy kills” (EG, paragraph 53), and he sees capitalism as a “new tyranny” (EG, paragraph 56).   To Pope Francis, capitalism is the enemy.  See here:

But according to one source, since the time of the Second Vatican Council, the enemy has been communism, not capitalism.  But “Francis says, the global economy needs more government control – an argument that would have been unthinkable for the pope just 50 years ago.”  See here:

So why the drastic change?  Is there something special about the wisdom of this pope?  Or is he on some kind of revolutionary mission?  Someone once said that Pope Francis has a “divine mandate” to radically change our American politics.  It seems he would think so.
The pope apparently strongly favors the principles of Marxism/socialism, but the end result is communism, and communism will eventually enslave its followers!
There is Hope 

But according to at least one source: 

“The rise and development of capitalism has resulted in a massive decrease in global poverty.” 


“Wealth must first be created before it can be given to others.  Capitalism is the greatest wealth creator the world has ever seen, lifting billions of people out of abject poverty.” 

See this article: 

Capitalism, used correctly, and the biblical principles that go along with it, have made America the greatest nation on the face of the earth.  Why else would people from all over the world risk their lives to come here?  If it’s so bad here in America, why aren’t Americans fleeing from here by the thousands to go live in communistic countries like North Korea?  By the way, anyone (i.e., any non-criminal) is free to leave the United States of America at any time.  Can communist or socialist countries say the same to their citizens?
Just ask those who have lived in these “wonderful” socialist economies and see how much “fairness” and “justice” they enjoyed.  The respect, consideration, and “equality for everyone” that they were promised were never realized.  In fact, the only "equality" they received was equality as slaves. 

In fact, I would invite the whiners, the liberals and leftists, the freedom haters and the Constitution haters in America to follow through with their disapproval and leave.  Surely, you would be happier in a Marxist or socialist country, right?  Ok, so either feel free to leave, or quit bad-mouthing this country whose blessings and freedoms you are enjoying.  Quit being a hypocrite! 

And speaking of Marxist ideas, it is a little-known fact that the official “Black Lives Matter” website is Marxist at its roots.  Look it up for yourself.  You can see my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement here: 
By the way, the pope supports this Marxist BLM movement.  See here: 

Concern For the Poor? 

A Newsweek article has the pope saying: 

“The poor must always come first.” 

See here: 

But if Pope Francis feels that strongly about the plight of the poor, he should openly condemn his own church for using indulgences (giving money to reduce punishment for sin) to build St. Peter’s basilica.  This magnificent building was financed off the backs of the poor, by the way, by using indulgences as a guilt trip to help friends and relatives in Purgatory.  This is an unbiblical practice that the Catholic Church still officially uses today (though they try hard to downplay what happened in the past concerning indulgences). 

Furthermore, if it’s true that the poor must always come first, then why doesn’t the Vatican – with all its gold, silver, art, land, architecture, and investments – give a major portion of its own significant wealth to the poor?  I’m sure it’s tough living in the “squalor” of the Vatican’s possessions.  The pope likes to complain about “inequality” in others, but there seems to be some inequality here.  Maybe he could give St. Peter’s basilica to house the less fortunate?  So, Pope Francis, how about practicing what you preach? 
Popes are nothing like their supposed predecessor, the apostle Peter.  Peter didn't inherit great wealth from his position as an apostle.  In fact, he told the cripple man, “Silver and gold have I none...” (Acts 3:6).  But popes have lived in luxury. 

No Perfect System on Earth 

Now, any system (including capitalism) can be abused and corrupted, and Francis is emphasizing the fact that there are greedy people within capitalist governments.  That’s true, but greedy people exist in all forms of government.  No system of laws on this earth is perfect, but I believe that capitalism is the most consistent with biblical principles and is the best economic system there can be for a fallen creation.  Capitalism cannot promise equal outcomes, but it does offer equal opportunity for everyone. 

Communism is anti-Christian and it is a worldview that is rooted in materialistic atheism.  In fact, someone once said that atheism is the “taproot of communism.”  My Catholic friends, ask yourself: What is the pope doing, promoting an atheist-related system?

This article is not intended to be a lesson in economics, but it is intended to encourage deep concern for both the teachings and the political leanings of a man so prominent and influential worldwide known as Pope Francis. 

Our concern about this pope should be three-fold: First, he is leading his followers into a bad economic system, which leads into the slavery of all its people. 

Second, he is the spiritual leader of a church that has numerous unbiblical or anti-biblical teachings, leading many astray. 

Third, he is probably the main leader spearheading the ecumenical movement which will climax in a one-world church with mandatory worship of the son of perdition, the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Revelation 13:8,12,15). 

I have written other articles in more detail on this blog about the dangers of the Ecumenical Movement.  They can be found by using the search bar on the top left of this blog page.
The pope’s “holy city” is absolutely nothing like the one in Revelation 21:2-4.  The pope not only offers a false “holy city,” he offers a false religion, a false hope, a false unity, a false peace, and a false equality.  Should you trust him?  Open the Scriptures and see for yourself.