To all Roman Catholics I ask the simple question, did Jesus Christ on the cross actually pay the full price for your sins or is there something left for you to pay? Most assuredly you must answer the latter as your religion, that of the Papacy, teaches that Jesus Christ did not pay the full price for any man’s or woman’s sins. For this doctrine, that is the Scriptural one of Jesus Christ paying for all the sins of his people, is anathema in Rome.

Instead, your religion teaches that either you or your loved ones must pay for your sins where an individual is said to merit grace based on their good works and sacramental faithfulness. Likewise, Catholicism teaches that a faithful Catholic can merit the “…remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven” (1) through the receipt of indulgences.

This being taught by the leader of your religion as declared in URBIS ET ORBIS. One example of where one can cash in on this bonanza (assuming the offer is still valid in 2009) states that:

Each and every truly repentant individual member of the Christian faithful, duly absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and restored with Holy Communion, who devoutly makes a pilgrimage to the Papal Basilica of St Paul on the Ostian Way and who prays for the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions, will be granted the Plenary Indulgence from temporal punishment for his/her sins, once sacramental forgiveness and pardon for any shortcomings has been obtained. (2)

This my dear Catholics is blasphemy against what Jesus Christ truly accomplished on the cross. Because if one can be forgiven by what they do like taking a trip to Italy, why oh why did Jesus have to suffer the shame and humiliation on the cross? Why? For if righteousness come by what we do, then Christ Jesus died in vain!!!

Repent and turn from Rome and believe on Jesus Christ alone for your forgiveness. Also, listen to this short message that helps to highlight the chasm between the doctrine of Rome verses the truth in God’s word.

Footnotes:

1Kent, William. “Indulgences.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm&gt;.

2 – http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_trib_appen_doc_20080510_san-paolo_en.html

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Introduction

by brother Michael

I am blessed to know two Christians, Daryl and Renda Loofbourrow. These two, as husband and wife, are honest reflections of the grace of God working in their lives. Christ-centric and generous people they are, known by brethren, family and the community for their love and simple obedience to God’s word. Yet they, like all Christians, struggle and wrestle daily against sin. Sin that works night and day to keep them in bondage to old habits and beliefs, where God’s desire for them is that they might be set free.

But being set free from sin though is not an easy row to hoe as our nature can be hard soil to till as it is laced with rocks and intertwined with roots that have sent their tentacles far and wide throughout our personal landscape. Roots and rocks that prefer to be left unmolested and covered by the darkness of Satan’s deceptions and our pride, than to be exposed by the light of God’s word and uprooted by the sword of the Spirit.

This is why I was especially touched when Daryl and Renda shared with me and others one of their deepest struggles with sin(1). This being with food. A struggle that has been with them since their earliest days where food became to them a much beloved friend but also a much despised foe. One that promised to give them comfort, which, for a short season it did, but afterwards left them depressed and on “…a roller coaster ride” of ups and downs. If you struggle with this sin or any other, know too that you can be set free for the Lord Jesus says:

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:31-32;36)


A Revelation of Truth

by Renda Loofbourrow

I have been facilitating a faith-based class in my home to help women like me to lose weight. This class has been used to teach us quite a bit. However, in the 7th session, a class called, True Repentance, something out of the ordinary happened. One of the ladies received a phone call, so I stopped the tape we were listening to so that the one with the phone call wouldn’t miss any of the teaching. As I stood next to the tape player waiting to again push play to resume the class, I was quietly asked a question. My friend sitting next to the tape player asked a question in regard to what we had just heard on the teaching tape. The question went something like this, “Does it really feel like you are giving up a friend not to go to food?” It was like everything was still for a moment while I looked at her and contemplated her question. I answered her in the only way I could. “Yes. I guess it does, it really does.”

The answer took me by surprise really. I hadn’t thought about it like that. But now, I was not only thinking about this question and the reality of the answer, I was apprehended by it. Class resumed and I went back to my seat on the couch and began to write in my notebook all that was pouring into my mind. Food, I have gone to for every reason. Food was my best friend. Now I see that which I have trusted to always be there with me, for comfort, to laugh with me, to cry with me, to be with me when I was lonely, and to fill in my down time has actually been a deceitful underhanded traitor. As I gave this “friend” my heart, it devoured my life. “Oh Lord, forgive me!” I cried from the depths of my heart.

I became righteously angry at this “lie” of friendship. I knew I had to end this unhealthy bond. My devotion to this relationship was destroying me. The food itself is not the issue. Food for the proper reason: nourishment to my physical hunger was good and healthy; however, my “friendship” with it was not good. With great sobriety I began to write a proclamation in my notebook.

No More! Food is not my friend. I renounce my friendship with food, in Jesus name. From now on, by the grace of God, I will use food on a “as needed” basis. I will use food for its intended purpose. I will wait till I am truly physiologically hungry to eat, and I will stop eating when I am physically comfortable and not beyond.

After class was over and everyone had gone home, I started preparing our family’s evening meal. While doing so I mentally prayed and asked the question, “where did this ‘friendship’ all start?” My earliest memories of turning to food for comfort were when I was quite young and left alone. I would go to the kitchen, crawl up on the counter to the cupboard to find the powered sugar bowl. I would eat spoonfuls of it at a time. I even remember singing a little song as I did this. “I am sweet, because I eat sugar ever day” was my childish song. I also remember my mom sneaking food in to me at night as a treat because my stepdad, who was a cruel man, and among many other wicked things, would nightly wait till my brother and I were sent to bed and would then make a big ta-do about getting himself some ice cream or candy. He would laugh about his being able to have it and not my brother or I. My mom would, on some of these occasions, sneak something into us to try to make up for what she felt was injustice.

In addition to these memories, I could go on and on. The point is at a very young age and very subtly I formed a “relationship” with food. And this relationship has been a constant throughout my whole life. Diets, deprivation, binging, sneaking, hording, even releasing it to just pick it back up again has until this point, been my way of life. I have hated myself and then loved myself. I have gotten angry. I have fallen into depression. I have risen above only to fall again. I have heard of things in life being related to a roller coaster ride and I have to say this example is indicative of my lifelong struggle with this unhealthy “friendship” with food.

That night, after the children were in bed, I shared all these things with my husband. Unknown to me, he had been writing something about such a “friendship” in a Word document on the computer. After our talk, the next morning he was able to finish what he started and he brought it out to me. I read it and was awestruck by what he had written. I asked him what made him think of such a thing (besides the things he knew of both of our struggles in this area). He said that he had watched an overweight person coming out of the grocery store eating a candy bar with such an expression of lust that he thought he would write about it.

My Friend Snack

by Daryl Loofbourrow

Hi, you know me almost as well as I know you. My friends call me Snack but my real name is Food Lust. I have seen you look at me as you would a lover. I have seen the smile and excitement in your face when you find me in the cupboard or refrigerator. I know that passionate feeling I give you when you take me in. I see the look of shock on your face when you see someone eat a fast-food restaurant throw away half their French fries on the way out of the door.

I know that you can’t resist me and that you will never give me up, no matter what I do to you. I mock you when you look at yourself in the mirror and when you feel the tightness of your large clothing. I give you discomfort when you get up from the table after you spent time lusting after me. Even after you have gorged yourself I can still appeal to you when I smile at at you with with my sweet taste in the form of chocolate, ice cream, pie or cake. For the most part I have no fear of rejection when I have such a hold on you as I do. I love to tease you with sensual ads and displays in the grocery store and magazines. I mock you again when you try to find that nice shirt or blouse that doesn’t come in large sizes. I see you look at me at the check-out stand knowing that you really can’t afford me while I tease you at the candy display. But you pick me up and set me on the conveyor belt anyway. I guess you can do without the dish soap or those Q-tips until the check comes in, so you set them aside and ask the chashier to put them back for you.

As you leave the store you embrace me and take me in before you even get to the car. You got chocolate on your blouse/shirt and try to get it off with a napkin and spittle. You shy away from clothing stores because of shame. I mock you with the look on people’s faces that see you try to squeeze between the clothing racks looking for something that will fit you. Did you notice that your new sweater doesn’t make you look any thinner, or that your shadow on the sidewalk reveals your size? I have ruined all the beauty of your youth and taken away the bounce in your step. I cause you to feel sorry for yourself and then you come to me all the more. I have all you need and you know it. Who cares if you are sluggish and stuffed after a good meal? You know you have learned to embrace that feeling as comfort and peace. Exercise is too exhausting and hard especially when you have as much to lose as you do. It is like trying to empty a lake with a bucket, isn’t it? Who really cares anway? My only fear is Truth and Wisdom. I hate joy and happiness. Your having a relationship with God is my downfall but I feel confident that I can win you through depression and low esteem. It’s you and me girl/guy.

Signed,

Your best friend Snack

Endnotes:

(1) – It was at my request after I read Daryl and Renda’s writings to post them on this blog. They graciously granted me permission and only requested that I include their names for accountability.

Praying to Mary

The call is out to all Roman Catholics to contact their travel agents, pack their bags and head to the south of France to visit Lourdes. Here, you can not only escape the cold of winter that most in the northern hemisphere are experiencing now, but you can get the added benefit of “…be[ing] able to gain a Plenary Indulgence daily …which may also be applied, by way of suffrage, to the souls of the faithful in Purgatory.”(1)

That’s right. Take a trip to Lourdes between now and Dec 8, 2008, bow to a Marian image and you will receive a “get out of jail” pass from the Pope to lessen your days or years in the fires of purgatory.

And, if you cannot get to France worry not for you too can get in on the taking from the treasury of merit if between February 2-11 you “…visit a blessed image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes solemnly displayed for public veneration in any church, oratory, grotto or suitable place.”(2) But, please keep a close eye on your watch and the calendar because if you are a day early or a day late, sorry, no indulgences for you.

Tis true that I write with a tone of sarcasm and if my tone angers Catholics this may well be good. Because you must know that neither a trip taken to Lourdes or one to a local Marian shrine around the corner will not merit you anything from the Living God except his wrath and judgment. Wrath and judgment because first you are trusting in vain works of the flesh to remit sins and their penalty when no such work can ever do such a thing. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can remit sin and pay the price in full when applied in faith to the heart of a repentant sinner.

And second, you are looking to Mary and not Jesus as you worship the creature instead of the Creator. Mary is created, Jesus is Creator. Jesus is alive and lives forever more, Mary is dead and buried and she is not interceding for you contrary to all you have been taught. Praying the rosary, pilgrimages to idolatrous shrines, or bowing to statues in your home or church building will leave you dead in your sins.

Many a Catholic knows this because your conscience bears witness to the truth that for all your devotion to Mary and Rome your heart is still black with sin. You still are plagued by guilt, you still are in bondage to sin both in deed and thought, and you still are no different today than you were yesterday. Always believing that this pilgrimage, this recital of the rosary, this Mass, or whatever the work is will grant you the peace you so desperately are working towards achieving.

Yet none of these works will grant you what you seek for, and unless you repent, you will die in your sins. And no such cleansing from these sins will be found after death because “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Next stop after death is not purgatory as no such place exists, but rather the great white throne judgment spoken of in Revelation 20:11-15 which you will appear before after you are resurrected from the dead (see John 5:28-29). And unless you are found in Christ you will be cast into the lake of fire which is the second death.

This is why the Scriptures declare that “…now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2); today, not tomorrow and not when you die. The Scriptures also declare that there is a treasury of grace but it does not flow from Rome or any church but from the Father through Jesus Christ. A treasury where grace cannot be dispensed by the Pope or any man nor can one receive from this treasury per vain works such as pilgrimages to shrines. Instead, grace is given as a free gift from God per his will as he, not the Pope, is the giver of gifts unto men.

To this, the honest Catholic may ask the question in retort, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28) To this I will reply just as Jesus did unto those who asked him this very question where he said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29)

Believe on the Lord Jesus, repent from your sin, and turn to the Living God for salvation through Jesus and not Mary or “mother” Rome.

(1) http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_trib_appen_doc_
20071121_decreto-lourdes_en.html
(2) Ibid.