Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Vic Biorseth, Friday, March
There is no getting around it. When you reject the Church He founded upon Peter, you reject Him. When you reject the authority He bestowed upon His chosen Apostles, you reject Him. When you reject His teaching, or His teachers, you reject Him. When you reject His Sacraments, and His Sanctifying Grace, you reject Him. You will either gather with Him, or you will scatter.
Don't count on this "Invincible Ignorance" business to save you; it's pretty hard to remain Invincible in your ignorance, with all the new research tools available to everyone today. All Invincible Ignorance is based on is the possibility - and it is a mere possibility - that if you don't know, through no fault of your own, that the Catholic Church is the original, one and only Christian Church founded by Jesus Christ, and you remain outside of it, then you may, possibly, not be damned to hell for all eternity.
It would be a very, very bad bet, comparable to Pascal's Wager.
Saint John Paul the Great once opined that, regarding actual Catholics who now suffered "Invincible Ignorance" of their own faith may still be saved, but that the Bishops and Priests responsible for that Invincible Ignorance among the flock would surely go to Hell.
Note that all who are Baptized, in the proper form, using water, and in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, are either full Catholics, in the Church, or "imperfect" Catholics, outside of it. For there is only one Church into which one may be baptized according to Christ's instructions, and that is the one and only Christian Church He founded. All the Protestant denominations who baptize in this formula are making imperfect Catholics, whether they recognize it or not. They are "imperfect" Catholics because they are incorrectly instructed in the faith, being spiritually formed under the ongoing and continuously dividing heresy of Protestantism.
Read history; that's all you have to do.
If you seek the Truth, you will find the Way.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Fri Mar 13 10:21:40 2015
Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Sorry Vic but you have taken this scripture and Jesus’s conversation out of context. Jesus asked Peter (Petra in the Greek) who Peter (Petros) said Jesus was and he responded; “Thou are the Christ the Son of the living God”. Jesus then said Peter (Petros) was blessed because no man or flesh could have told him that. Only God in heaven could reveal that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus then says it’s on this rock, (Petra) that Jesus will build His Church. The rock, (Petra) is referring to is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter is a little rock. The revelation of Jesus as Messiah is the big rock, (Petra) Jesus is not saying he is building His Church on Peter ( a little rock who is a flesh and blood man) Jesus said He is building His Church on a big rock, the revelation of Jesus as Messiah and son of the living God.
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter (Petros) answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (Petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Peter = Petros "a rock or a stone"
Rock = Petra = a rock, a large stone
Isaiah 43 is a good chapter to read on this subject; and verses10 and 11 should specifically be eye opening.
Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
The following scriptures from the NASB
John 8:23-24 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
Vic, I don’t attend Church. I am the Church. By the statement you made, you are saying I stand condemned and am not saved because I am not a Catholic. The bible doesn’t justify that thought. Jesus said, unless a man is born again he will not enter the kingdom of God. Nowhere in the bible does it say a man must be a Catholic to enter the kingdom. I am a retired prison Chaplain and still teach the bible and counsel there. I’ve hundreds commit their lives to Christ and go out from prison to lead Christ centered productive lives. They are not living out their spiritual lives because they are Catholic but because they are Christians, they are born again, and they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
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, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
I enjoy your column, especially the ones about Islam and these end times, but on this one subject I have to disagree with you. I am a born again Christian because I believe as Peter did. Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ and son of God. God revealed this to me just as God revealed it to Peter. Jesus said, you will know them by their fruit. I believe the fruit born of the Holy Spirit in me is sufficient evidence I am a son of God. The bible does not teach that being Catholic is a qualifier of salvation.. True salvation consists of acknowledging Jesus to be the Christ and Son of the living God. Repentance of sins and receiving Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior, and receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit plus being born again is true salvation. There is no other salvation apart from this.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
In His service,
Chaplain Dale Crowe
Date: Fri Mar 13 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
I'm no Greek scholar, but I know that Petra is the masculine form when the word is used as a human name, and Petra translates to Peter, a male name. Our Lord was using a play on words, building His Church on the rock He renamed Peter.
If you really believe you are saved by faith alone you haven't read James. (Hint: we are saved by neither faith alone nor by works alone, but by unmerited grace.) If you really believe there is but one way to be saved, you haven't read the whole Bible. Try the Eucharist page. He said unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you do not have life in you. There is only one valid Eucharist and it is found in the one and only Church He founded. Try the Are You Saved? page.
I've already answered Luther's dogmas of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Anyone who subscribes to those heretical doctrines is Protestant, whatever he may call himself, because those are the two most identifying dogmas of the Protestant Reformation. Even the non-denominational denominations are Protestant denominations if they hold to Luther's (or Calvin's, etc.,) invented doctrines.
If you reject His Apostles you reject Him. He said so. (Luke 10:16)
I'm sure you are comfortable in your one man church, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Thank you for the blessing, and may it return to you ten fold.
Date: Fri Mar 13 13:15:46 2015
From: F. Stolz
Location: Pflugerville, TX USA
I normally agree with your postings, but suggesting all but a few will or might be condemned to Hell for eternity sounds more like a Baptist preacher. That is,frequently stating to all that if they do not become Baptists and follow their specific doctrine, then all others will be sent to reside in Hell.
I do not believe that God intended the vast majority of mankind top reside in Hell while a very specified few will somehow reach the gates of heaven, since even the best of us are sinner except perhaps in the views of some--innocent children.
Whether coming from the Protestant or Catholic side of Christianity, to condemn the vast majority of Christians as well as non Christians to Hell is not my concept of the teachings of Jesus or the intent of God.
Many choose the secular route because so many are telling them they are born as sinners, and so any attempt to follow the words of God in the Ten Commandments to the letter so to speak, is a near impossible feat for even the best of people.
Furthermore, to martyr oneself is suicide, and so it is also wrong, and so one should not attempt to emulate or seek the fate of Jesus and most of the Apostles.
So in the minds of many they are born as sinners, and that cannot be overcome that as they cannot adhere to all of the Commandments and no matter how hard they try. Furthermore, they cannot lead the life of Jesus who a part of the Trinity, since we humans are incapable of being God Like. And so at best we can confess our sins and pray like heck, and also attempt to follow most of the church doctrine as best we can. Additionally, we can also pray that God will allow us to become a part of a very select group entering heaven, even though we have committed yet more sins during our lifetimes.
I think it is much better to have many Protestants and Catholics following their church doctrines and teachings as best they can, than to scare most that an eternity in Hell awaits them. And all the while ignoring the evils brought about at times by church leaders, including Popes and the heads of the various Protestant denominations. If you want people to follow religious scriptures then you have to provide hope for all, and not make it appear to be assort of fraternity or sorority for the very select few. That to me is one of the reasons so many have chosen secularism over the Christian or other religions, and it shows in the declining numbers of the faithful verses the rising numbers of secularists.
Date: Fri Mar 13 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
I'm sorry, but He said that we should enter heaven by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to hell, and those who enter by it are many. (Matt. 7:13) That's the way it is. It doesn't matter what any of us "believe" God intended; He gave us His revelation and His rules. He is God; we are not.
I am not saying that everyone outside the Catholic Church is automatically doomed to hell. It has been stated in many places in this site that, for instance, if a man who knows nothing of Jesus or of His Church proactively seeks after God by whatever light he has been given, he may be saved. But, again, the key word here is may. I'm glad I'm not in that position, but being a devout Catholic does not guarantee me entry into heaven, either. There is one and only one judge of salvation.
I am working out my own salvation in fear and trembling, as St. Paul recommended in Phil. 2:12, recognizing that even he, St. Paul, worried that he himself might lose the race. There are no guarantees of salvation or damnation for anyone.
Your "born sinners" paragraph has the ring of Calvinistic predestination in it; another invention of the Reformation. It takes human liberty and human choice out of it. Many Calvinists spend huge amounts of time in deep meditation, trying to discern whether they are among the elect or the damned. That's nonsense. We were made to love God, and we cannot love God unless we are free and at liberty to make a decision to love God.
It's a choice. If it's not freely made, it is not love. There can be no love in the absence of free choice.
As for choosing the secular route, well, that's certainly not the route to heaven.
While we Americans, in our wild diversity, may disagree on the path to heaven, what we share (I sincerely hope) is a mostly common morality, following those Commandments of God that deal with man's relationship with his fellow man, or, our morality.
That moral code is what we should be basing our worldly politics on. Any political ideology that is morally corrupt will lead to national or international corruption.
Judao-Chrisitan morality is what American Catholics, Protestants and Jews can and should agree on, and stand for, and fight for. We can disagree on the rules of salvation, at the risk of our souls. If we disagree on morality, it is only at the risk of the nation.
Date: Mon Mar 16 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
Chaplain Dale Crowe:
A friend who read your comment pointed out something I had overlooked. Your references to being "born again" can only be referring to John 3, and the Baptismal Discourse between our Lord and Nicodemus. Verse 5 speaks of being born anew of water and spirit, which is to say, Baptism into the one and only Church He founded. There is no other Scriptural reference to being born anew.
Protestants always, always omit the word "water" when they misquote that verse. But it is still there. And it's still Baptism.
He gave us His full Revelation. There is one and only one Gospel. There is one and only one interpretation, not many. We can accept it, or we can reject it, but we cannot change it. Only His Church possesses the fulness of Truth about it.
Date: Wed Mar 18 09:45:01 2015
From: Dale Crowe
Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Vic, perhaps you misunderstood my remark about not attending Church. The context was in making a point that some confusion exists that simply attending a Christian in a building makes you a Christian. Being in a particular denomination is not a requirement of salvation. If fact, Jesus never mentioned the Catholic Church because it did not exist while He was on earth. I recognize what you are saying about Petra and Petros but that is not correct in your assumption that Jesus was talking about building His church on a Man. Jesus built and is continuing to build His Church on the belief that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
You are also partly correct that I was referring to John 3:3, "Unless a man is born again, he will not enter the kingdom of God." You added this: "Baptism into the one and only Church He founded. There is no other Scriptural reference to being born anew." I've read all the translations of God's Holy Word and none of them say that. Verse 5 simply does not refer to a Church at all. It seems you're equating "water and blood" as being the Catholic Church. Although you again make the assumption that non-Catholics "always leave out the water"; I've found absolutely no evidence of that in my years of ministry. Even my inmates know of both the water and the blood. The water is referring to the baptism of repentance John the Baptist spoke of and Paul talked of in Acts 18 & 19. I not only teach that point, I participated in the water, or baptism of repentance at the time of my salvation; and still continue to do so as the Holy Spirit continues His sanctifying work in me.
At the least you are assuming Jesus is speaking of the Catholic Church and again, the Catholic Church was not formed until well after Jesus's ascension into Heaven. At the worst however, it could be said that you are adding to scripture by stating that Jesus was talking about the Catholic Church when he told Nicodemus that he must by baptized of water and blood. as for these many additional qualifications for salvation, Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 2:8-9; "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
And James said this in chapter 2, verse26: "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Works will always follow faith but works will never lead to faith. Jesus is the Author of our faith, (Hebrews 12:2). He alone begins our faith. You mentioned Calvin, Luther, etc. as if I am following them and their doctrine. You are assuming that point without foundation. I don't follow man's doctrine but I do follow and adhere to the doctrines of Jesus Christ alone. I can always agree to disagree with anyone as long as the disagreement can be judged by scripture. If one continues to press on with his/her dogma in spite of what the word of God says, I disengage and move on.
Even though I am not a member of the Catholic Church, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am a saved child of God. Why? "Jesus said you will know them by their fruits”. I am producing fruit in keeping with repentance, fruit in keeping with obedience to Christ and fruit in keeping with living in the service of Christ. As Paul says in Romans 8, Those who are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God. And finally, in Romans 8:16; the Holy Spirit is in continual testimony with my spirit revealing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a born again follower and disciple of the living Christ. You may condemn and judge all Christians to be unsaved who are not members of the Catholic Church; but scriptures prove that belief to be totally wrong. Finally Vic, in another viewers letter, you quoted Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. In proper context of the scripture, Jesus is not referring to the Catholic Church at all. (The Catholic Church was not in existence at the time). He is simply saying many will offer many paths to follow that are much easier. No repentance, no acceptance of Jesus as being the only way, (John 14:6, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, etc. I could go on but you know well of the wolves I speak of because you speak of them yourself. There is a narrow road Jesus took, a much more committed and disciplined path. It requires sacrifice, dying to self and living for Christ. It requires repentance of sins. It requires accepting Jesus as not just a Savior but Lord of our lives. You can believe what you want about my salvation Vic. If scriptures won't change your mind and if the fruit I bear makes no difference, then I can't change your mind because I'm only human. I have only one comment left, If the Holy Spirit convinces all Christians such as my self to accept the Christ, the cross, the discipline, and the obedience of the Christian life; why isn't His holy Word and His Holy spirit able to convince you that the narrow way is not talking about the Catholic Church but the path Christ Himself took? As Galatians 2:20 says; "For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."
When Paul pleaded his case before king Agrippa in the book of Acts, he said Jesus commissioned him to: "open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me."
I and untold millions of others like me are doing the exact same thing because Christ commissioned us to do the same as Paul. He didn't commission us to join the Catholic church, so is Jesus Himself wrong? Is the Holy Spirit wrong for convicting us of our sins? Was Jesus wrong for authoring our faith? Was God wrong to draw us to Christ? Was the Holy Spirit wrong for equipping me with gifts for prison ministry. Were I to believe what you are saying Vic, then I guess I may as well give up working with inmates, counseling free worlders, and teaching, and preaching the word of God. Even though I retired from prison in 2007 because of a crippling head on collision, I felt like the Holy Spirit wanted me to continue on ministering to the lost. As a result many have come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are also being healed of their wrong attitudes and new character is being developed as they are being sanctified. By your premise that salvation only comes through the Catholic Church, (even though the bible doesn't teach that belief) then I should disregard the scriptures that tell me salvation is a gift from God, that Christ is the Author and Finisher of my faith, that His shed blood paid the debt for my sins I could never pay, that His resurrection is proof that I too have defeated death by Christ's victory over death. Perhaps I should just trust that I am not saved because I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church. I should just give up all the ministries I am involved in and stay home and enjoy my retirement. On second thought; I think I will just trust the Holy Spirit who lives in me. I believe I will still continue to trust Jesus alone as my Lord and Savior and continue in the Ministry He has equipped me and gifted me to do. Sorry again Vic. I just can't and won't aver agree with your assertion that I am not saved because I am not a Catholic. Try as I might, I just can't find that anywhere in the bible. Even though I consider this matter closed, I will continue to read your articles. I think you are spot on about Satan’s religion, Islam.
May the Lord Jesus continue to bless you and your household and watch over you.
I also pray these prayers for you Vic and for your ministry. Ephesians 1:15-23; Ephesians 3:14-19.
Grace and peace,
Chaplain Dale Crowe
Date: Wed Mar 18 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
The sentence is an incomplete thought and the verse makes no sense if you separate the words Peter and rock from each other. It is clear the Church was founded upon Peter. And note that the word Church is singular, not plural. One Church. Only one.
It makes no difference when the word Catholic was first used. Our Lord founded one and only one Church, not many. The actual historical evidence that the Catholic Church is the one founded by Jesus Christ is overwhelming in quantity and irrefutable in quality.
The Baptismal Discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3 explains how one dies to this world, as did the Crucified Christ, and is born anew to the Kingdom, as was the risen Christ: we begin the journey through Baptism. Into the one and only existing Church Christ founded. The only other references I find to being born anew are in 1 Peter 3, verses 3 and 23, which speak of this rebirth giving hope while living in this world, if we remain true to the teaching.
There is no Scriptural reference to the Protestant interpretation of being "born again" by any means other than Baptism. It simply isn't there. It's an invention of man.
If you follow Luther's dogma of Sola Scriptura, and you do, and / or if you follow Luther's dogma of Sola Fide, and you do, then you adhere to Protestantism, not original Christianity. Post-Reformation Protestantism. Sole authority of Scripture is not in Scripture, and neither is salvation by faith alone. James 2:24 says explicitly that man is not saved by faith alone, yet you believe and follow these invented doctrines of man.
By what authority do you follow these non-Scriptural doctrines? Yours?
My reference to Matt 7:13 in response to FS simply meant to show that many will go to hell. Jesus said so. He made no bones about it.
And, again, I never said you, or anyone, was not "saved". There is only one judge of salvation, and I am not Him, and neither are you. What I said was that, once you know that the Catholic Church is the one founded by Jesus Christ Himself, you must enter it, or if you are in it, you must not leave it, lest you face eternal damnation. That's just the way it is. Whether you know that, or refuse to accept it, only you and Jesus know.
Like any other teaching, you can accept it, you can reject it, but you cannot change it. The Gospel is preached, and the speakers of the Good News move on, perhaps leaving more Church behind, perhaps shaking the dust; either way they move on. It's a free will thing.
The problem with Protestantism is the abandonment of authority. 40,000 denominations means 40,000 interpretations. No Apostolic Succession. No Pope. Every man for himself interpretation of the Bible the Church authored. But no one listens to the Church who wrote it.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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