Monday, December 31, 2012

The Christmas Rosary reprise

coming up

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My recent online tussle with a street preacher over 'pain in heaven'

I don't know if you have ever encountered a street preacher before, so I will help you out quickly before I digress into the subject at hand.

You take 4 parts ignorance, 5 parts self-absorption, 5 parts abject hypocrisy and a pinch of bad theology and *poof*, you have a street preacher, a very special kind of hypocrite that even most evangelicals are embarrassed about.

In their warped, self-absorbed myopia, street preachers actually think they are doing the Lord's work by standing on the street corners screaming at people like the crazed berzerkers they are. In fact, this type of behavior is clearly and forcefully condemned in Scripture.

Matthew 6
5: "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6: But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret;  and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 
God is not at all impressed by street preachers and neither am I. Their theology is the worst kind of canned spam and they simply cannot waver from their talking points enough to answer even the most basic questions. Nothing infuriates a street preacher more than being bested by an informed Catholic and, since that is what happens each time they encounter one, they spend all their time in a state of perpetual prideful rage.

Yesterday, was a perfect example. When trying some of his very best bumper sticker theology and ill-formed logic on me, this street preacher was quickly found hoisted by his own petard.

His argument was as follows;

Since Catholics esteem Mary as our Mother and we pray to her as such. Would there not be some pain, sorrow and even tears at our plight, as we would expect from any loving mother?

When I answered 'of course', he quickly sprung Revelation 21:4 which he claimed proves that there is now, no pain of any kind in heaven.

4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away.
Scarcely had he begun what he though was a victory dance, when his ship was torpedoed and sunk by my counter- a counter he did not even attempt to answer.

Revelation 21:4 does not at all say what he is claiming and the context proves it.

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven of God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them,
 and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God:
4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall  there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. 

Now, it is true that the New Jerusalem (The Catholic Church) has come down and Jesus does indeed dwell in the Eucharistic Tabernacles therein and His is Our God and we are His people.

However, heaven and earth have not yet passed away, nor has death nor pain. These events, from near the very end of the Bible, are from the future! Today, there is indeed, no pain of punishment in heaven but we can surely know that God has sorrow over our disobedience and our plight.

I provided three specific arguments and it must be known that this coward absolutely ran from all three.
The first is Romans 8:26

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words

As any dictionary will tell you, a groan is a cry of pain or sorrow.

The second proof-text was from Matthew's gospel, Chapter 2;

Rachel is in heaven! This verse is telling us that heaven cried out in anguish at this atrocity. Rachel's spiritual children.

Here is the third, from Revelation Chapter 12;

1 And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,
 and upon her head a crown of twelve stars;  
2 and she was with child; and she crieth out, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered. 

The context of these verses are clearly prophetic. The Woman, the Queen Mother of the King (Jesus), who brought Him forth in physical birth, now agonizes over a lost world she tries to bring back to her son.

As long as there is love in heaven, and souls that can be saved, there will be anxious and anguished moments, seeking their salvation. This is totally different from the thorns and thistles of earth, or the eternal pain of hell that are pains of punishment. Any parent that does not hurt for a suffering child, doesn't love that child.

I invite everyone to contact Street Preacher and inquire as to why he was unwilling to answer these objections. I tried for nearly 40 minutes, he refused to respond. Is he unable? Or is he just a simple coward?

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Roll Tide

John, Are you Ready to R-u-m-b-l-e

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Take this Defender!

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Transsiberian Orchestra

Verizon centre. Washington, DC December 12th, 2012 Enjoy!

Courtesy of Deeper Truth Blog member Tamara Benko

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The Catholic Defender VS John Benko

The Battle Lines have been drawn, the Line in the Sand as the rubber meets the road.

The Catholic Defender verses John Benko in their first head to head debate ever.

 Few battles ever shook the dust, Hulk Hogan Vs The Ultimate Warrior, King Saul Verses David. But this battle of titans will be won or lost in South Florida as Alabama takes on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

The stakes couldn't be more high as the "Good, the Bad, the Ugly Award will go to the winner.

Mark your calenders, this coming January 7th, the earth will be shaking, the rumble will hit Florida like a hurricane.
Listen to internet radio with Deeper Truth on Blog Talk Radio

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My case for 2012 person of the year

Since I have recused myself from voting for the 2012 awards, it is probably best that I not speak too much about them. But as a character on M*A*S*H used to say “I can’t hep it”. Here and now, I will speak only with regards to “Person of the Year” and give my honest observations because this is sincerely on my heart. I determined, as a practical matter, that I had to use the same criteria for nomination as was used last year- that it be all the members who contributed consistently, in one or more ways, to the work we do. In that sense, we have six people who, in 2012, fit that standard. That is, six people who fit the criteria we set last year, by which a nomination could be made.

That does not mean that there are six people who I think are worthy of the award. That, I do not believe. I believe there are only 5.

 Last year, after some deliberation, we decided that Dr. Greg Thompson was deserving of the award because he contributed in so many ways- as a writer, on the shows, as a photographer, on the front lines defending life, and as an ambassador for Deeper Truth, largely responsible for our success. I am very confident we made the right choice, out of several worthy persons.

 This year, I think a very compelling case could be made for any of 5 persons. I do not want to sway the vote, so I will just make a brief case for each one, in alphabetical order.

 Hartley, Donald. He is known as the Catholic Defender and he is my hero and my mentor here at Deeper Truth Blog. Donald wrote more than 250 articles for a blog this year. That is a staggering total. He also, hosted, co-hosted or participated in more than 100 of our BTR shows and traveled all over the country, fighting for the unborn and promoting Deeper Truth Blog.

 Hoffman, Ross Earl. The generosity Ross displayed, in assisting a group in living the life long dream of seeing Rome, Assisi and Cascia, is enough, by itself, to make him worthy of the nomination. Add the fact that he did the same thing last year, with a Holy Land trip and you have to be impressed. Add the tremendous outreach he has been on Facebook and the quality of shows he has helped bring to our BTR show and a vote for Ross would be pretty tough to find fault with.

Martin, Christie. An appearance on Gus Llyod’s show yet! Christie is our Wednesday show host and her Garden of Holiness show and blog have been a great outreach of insightful apologetics for the home. Without question, the most purely talented person of our group as a writer, a philosopher and a nuts and bolts apologist. With about 50 shows and about 10 articles, she is about mid-pack in terms of quantity of production but if you look at our ‘best of’ articles and shows, she has the highest percentage of her total material in there. There is a reason for that.

While debate and exegesis and the Church fathers are all integral and indispensible parts of what what do, Christie is our chief apologist in the category of Ok, that sounds all very compelling and profound and stuff but what does it mean to me in my world???? 

There are two questions. Question 1 is what does love and mercy, and forgiveness and compassion and empathy mean and question 2 is what does it look like? Question 1 is of hearing and question 2 is of seeing. Do I believe that Christie Martin is the single best walking, talking example of the long suffering, forgiving and empathetic Christian? no. That title would go to her high school friend who, as it just happens, married me 27 years ago this month. Am I biased? Of course not! Perish the thought! A little procedural announcement, though…. Since my loving wife Tamara has joined as at DTB, I may reduce the maximum allowable nominations for 2013 person of the year to 1. I digress.

Christie is a foster parent who lives a simple life and in that simplicity is her strength. She is the person most able to reduce Thomas Aquinas to suitable consumption by Thomas the gas station attendant. Every apostolate needs one of those people.
 Sindelar, Margie Prox.  If you asked me which Deeper Truth Blog member grew the most in stature during 2012, Margie would be my choice. The Catholic roundtable with Ross and Margie show has really established itself as a centerpiece of our outreach. The show, as you may remember, started as the Ross Earl Hoffman show but I would argue forcefully that Margie has made that show equally her own.

Margie has become one of the most convincing apologists we have. In fact, I can honestly say that she almost single-hand-idly convinced me of the veracity of the Medjugorje apparitions with amazingly strong and cogent arguments. Like Christie, Donald and, especially my wife, she has helped my slow progression from the shadows in many facets of my life. Her biggest contributions have been in the variety of good old fashioned meat and potatoes apologetics with an emphasis on devotions and prayer with a special emphasis on the Holy Spirit. Yes, you can hear her voice in our Christmas Rosary. as well as in the Polytheist Rap.

Thompson, Greg. Our 2011 winner and I would certainly not rule him out for a repeat. Easily, the most humble of our group but maybe the most active as well, at least in terms of where rubber meets the road. A tireless defender of life, an accomplished author and an ambassador for what we do. The 2012 Marian Conference was his baby. He has contributed greatly to our shows and given numerous speeches for us and witnessed for life at abortion clinics. I truly love this man.

 Now that I have told you about 5 people who do deserve this award, let me tell you about 1 who doesn’t.
<<< This guy. This is no act. There is no feigned humility here, so please don’t think I am being anything but absolutely sincere here.

 Each of the 6 people above have helped me tackle the demons in my past and helped me personally find my way to the Grace that sanctifies and strengthens. Do I feel I grew as a person in 2012? I do, but not without setbacks. I was sick way too much this year through my own fault. Not taking good care of myself was a moral failing on my part.

 Did I have some contributions I am proud of? I did. The website has just turned out great and everything is taking off. I had a hand in a couple hundred shows give or take, a couple hundred articles give or take, some  really good videos, some banter on Facebook and, yes, I did go 10-0 in debates this year (11-0 if you count the forfeit by one of the nastiest prot hypocrites you will ever meet.)

 Did I accomplish some of my dreams this year? You betcha! Easter Vigil Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate conception, a trip to Notre Dame (one win away from a National title, yet).

 I humbly accept that you may consider all of these things in your vote. However, also please consider that I was also number one in a whole host of other categories;

  •  Most likely to come unglued and miss two weeks of shows due to depression and despondency. 
  • Most guilty of dropping the ball on the Rosary Patrol that I helped create.
  •  Least likely to make an actual trip in support of what we do.
  •  Most likely to lose my cool on the show or facebook and say something stupid.
  •  Most likely to miss Mass because I couldn’t get my act together.
  •  Least likely to get my health in line and take on a greater role in learning, educating and promoting.
If all the positives I had can be recognized, so than, can the negatives. Do I feel that I am getting stronger in simply the determination to get stronger, by the very practical means you all have shown? I absolutely do. I do feel I am a better man in the twilight of 2012 than I was in the twilight of 2011 but that is because of God and the help of my wife and these other 5.

Since I have recused myself from voting, I cannot tell you who my top 5 would be for 2012 (though I do know myself). I will tell you who I would put #6. John Benko.

 He has promise, I’ll admit. He has value to our team. He still has a lot of work to do. In this year’s strong chain, he was unquestionably, the weakest link. Maybe 2013 will be his year…. or maybe his wife will at least bring it home for the family. I cannot tell you how to vote. I can only make my observations.

Post script: After originally writing this article, I accidentally deleted it. fortunately, I found the text on Tumbler and had to reconstruct the whole thing...even the URL.


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Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Catholic Defender: Deepertruth contributions

We are dawning into a new year and I want to give some recognition to some of the great things deepertruth has done.

The first recognition I want to give is to the fans and followers of deepertruth.

Through your support and prayers, we have accomplished much in the way you have responded to the spiritual needs of people asking for help.

Your support of the Rosary Patrol and the Rosary Patrol facebook page estimates over 5,000 participating prayer partners on the Monday night Rosary/Divine Mercy devotions.

Another 200,000 Rosaries through the daily devotions through facebook.

I am personally humbled by this kind of support and devotion. The Lord has given so much through all of this as prayers have been answered.

I want to recognize John Benko for his contributions this past year improving the deepertruthblog website, writing 189 articles and doing a fantastic job in the public debates.

Through his efforts, our whole message has been improved taking us to a much larger audience.

According to American Catholic, an internet think tank, they estimated that the work we are doing along with "Catholic Answers", "Defenders of the Catholic Faith" (DCF), and "Catholics Come Home" that nearly 90,000 fallen away Catholics have returned back to the faith in Arizona this past year.

John's expertise and experience on Blogtalkradio has led the vast improvement of the deepertruth radio show. What a great opportunity this is and how pleased the Lord is with this effort.

Dr. Gregory Thompson, Deepertruth's "Man of the Year" last year, continues to be a strong loyal subject following the Lord with all he has got!

This past year he was important in the pro-life rally at the Jefferson City State Capital Building.

He was able to have Alan Keyes give the keynote speech for the rally. Ambassador Keyes also appeared on the deepertruth radio show as we continued in the week long rally.

 Dr. Thompson also organized the first Marian Conference held in Springfield Missouri. His weekly contributions to the Deepertruth radio show, the many hours spent praying at abortion clinics, speaking at churches promoting the Divine Mercy and Eucharistic Adoration, all gives glory to the risen Lord and His Mother.

Ross Hoffman, a convert to the Catholic Faith, has become a great apologist defending the Catholic Faith.

He is like a lion for the Lord on facebook and has developed a strong following in the world of the internet.

 He has also been out on the sidewalk doing sidewalk counseling for the Catholic Church.

 He has been an important team member and co-host with deepertruth member Margie Sindelar on the Tuesday evening radio show, "The Catholic Roundtable".

Ross's inspiring trip to the Holy Land with Catholic Apologist and friend Steve Ray was quite notable.

Conducting the radio show live from Jerusalem was fantastic and the recent trip to Rome with Margie Sindelar and family was a great Christmas event for all of deepertruth.

Margie Sindelar is the co-host with Ross Hoffman on the "Catholic Roundtable" and over the past year conducted many excellent shows.

Margie is also a noted defender of the Catholic Faith in the internet along with Deepertruth teammate, Ross Hoffman.

Her recent trip to Rome was a great Deepertruth event and through this experience, she will be providing great Catholic apologetic s.

Margie's support of Deepertruth coming on live on other Radio shows was a great contribution.

She has written and provided a number of articles for deepertruth, she has great incite and we hope to see many more great articles this coming year.

Christie Martin, her show, "Garden of Holiness" on Wednesday Evening, is one of Deepertruth's most popular series.

Christie is a Convert to the Catholic Faith and through her experience, she has developed into a great Catholic Apologist.

 Her articles on Deepertruth always is very timely and well written.

 Her contributions with the Rosary Patrol along with her family, how wonderful this is.

Richard Lane, a new comer to Deepertruth, continues to conduct Missions filling up Churches all over the United States.

We will be following more closely the contributions of Richard as he provides great apologetics and talks on the Catholic Faith.

He was a participant this past October at the Marian Conference held at Springfield Missouri.

Richard was among a short list of Catholics recognized as the most prolific Catholic Speakers of the year along Steve Ray of "Defenders of the Catholic Faith", friend of Deepertruth.

Russell Ford, one of the newest members of Deepertruth, known for his conversion to the Catholic Faith while serving 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

 Russell gave his story live on Deepertruth and how powerful this is. His story has been featured on other Catholic outlets, he was also a major keynote speaker at a Catholic Marian Conference held in Kansas City Missouri.

 Deepertruth will be following Russell Ford more closely this upcoming year.

Tim Francis is another member of Deepertruth who has been out doing Catholic Missions promoting Eucharistic Adoration through the miracles of the recent Eucharist Miracles taking place in Latin America.

He has been attracting large Catholic crowds with a lot of enthusiasm for the Faith.

It was great to participate with Tim as a keynote speaker in Arizona this past year.

Deepertruth will continue to follow the progress of Tim Francis as he continues to conduct his Missions across the Country.

Tim also has participated with Dr. Gregory Thompson doing Missions in Missouri.

Not only is Eric Genuis one of the most talented musicians of deepertruth, he is one of the most talented musicians in the world.

He is an accomplished pianist and song writer going across the United States performing for large crowds.

What a voice for the Lord using art inspiring people the world over. An example of this was this past November when he came to Copperas Cove Holy Family Catholic Church.

After the Concert, an 8 year old girl who was touched by Eric Genuis and his group of talented performers, came up to play the piano and what a joy this was to family members.

The influence of Eric and his music will continue to motivate deepertruth and audiences for years to come.

This past year, we lost one of Deepertruths most devoted members, David Nunez, he was a great friend and partner of Deepertruth.

David passed away and was taken by Our Lord where he can participate more fully with the mission of the Church and Deepertruth.

He was a daily member of the Rosary Patrol, devoted to Our Lord and Our Lady.

 He had joined a Religious Order to live a deepertruth life of prayer and devotion.

Together, we organized events for the Fort Hood Community such as Eric Genuis and John Michael Talbot performing live at Fort Hood.

He helped me with performing for the Senior Citizens in Copperas Cove.

David's contributions for Deepertruth will be missed, but we know that his participation with the Lord makes Heaven just a little more special.

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*BEST OF DTB #246* Deeper Truth Blog year in review 2012

In 2012, Deepertruthblog produced about 380 published articles, 123 which were added to our 'best of' collection. This brings our total to 245 'best of' articles and more than 875 overall. In the same year, we added more than 225 Blogtalkradio shows, 71 of which were added to our best of. Shows recorded in 2012 received nearly 37,000 listens. Overall, we have produced almost 400 shows, with more than 48,000 listens since our inception in 2009, 148 of which are considered 'best of' additions. Among the 71 'best of' shows we added, were 12 debates, all of which we won. We also had guests of the stature of Nick Alexander, Steve Ray, Colleen Hammond, Gail Buckley, Alex Jones, Dr. Alan Keyes, Dr. Dave Dubenmire, Richard Lane, John Martignoni, Russel Ford and others. Deepertruth members have visited Ohio, Missouri, Virginia, Rome and the University of Notre Dame. In Missouri, we even sponsored a Marian conference!

Technorati has our blog ranked just outside of the top 100 among religious blogs and Alexa has us ranked at about 6,300,000 which is about 3 million positions ahead of this heretic and about 13 million ahead of this one.

By year's end, we will have nearly 825,000 hits for the year from almost 37,000 unique visitors with almost 11.5 Gigabytes of downloaded information.

Yes, I think we had a good year. Thanks to all of you who supported us.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #43* The Catholic Defender: Mary, Mother of God

It was 29 December 2004, I received a Red Cross message informing me that my Mother was dying.

The Doctor and Hospice all were confirming Mom's status with the Red Cross. I was informed that my Mother was coming in and out of consciousness and she had been calling for me.

I was serving in New Orleans working at the Military Enlistment Processing Center (MEPS) as the Medical Element NCOIC.

I arrived home from work and that is when I was notified by my wife of the situation. My family in Missouri alerted us before the Red Cross message arrived to my unit.

My Command was afraid to let me respond to my Mother's wish because the next day was for the Recruiters, the opportunity to floor Applicants all day. I was able to work out support from my Element, but my Command would not budge.

I was able to fly to Missouri the following evening after the mission was completed. My Mother's persistence kept her alive as long as she hoped I was on my way home.

I finally arrived at home in Southwestern Missouri at 23:00 the following night. I flew wearing my Class A uniform. Mom had never seen me in uniform through out my military career. I always went home in civilian clothes, but on this trip, in honor of my Mother, I was determined to wear my uniform.

A friend picked me up at the airport and they briefed me what was happening. Mom had been in a coma for nearly 5 days, she has not had anything to eat or drink so she was dehydrated. They had to put a diaper on her because she was not conscious. When I arrived there I could see her skin tone was pale, her eyes were sunken in, her joints were swollen from lack of circulation, her vital signs were practically non-existent and her breathing was raspy.

I sat down at the foot of the bed and simply observed what was happening. One of my Aunt's was there with my Sister-In-Law and Brother who were trying to make Mom as comfortable as they could. After a few moments, everyone left the room leaving my Brother and me alone with Mother. Mom didn't know who I was, she was in a coma state. As we both sat there with Mom, my Brother began to sing a Johnny Cash song to break the ice.

I kind of just listened and watched. There was no response from Mom not even a twitch. When he paused, I began singing a song that came to mind, "Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing...." At this point, Mom began to respond to what I was singing. I began singing every verse I could think of. Mom began to sing with a voice that seemed to come deep from within her chest and she became stronger the more I sang.

I was singing every song I could think of as Mom seemed to be coming out of this death trap. We ended up singing praises to God for 30-40 minutes after which, Mom was alert, could see me and I was able to explain my medals on my uniform to her.

This was the most amazing thing, everyone there was scratching their heads as I was very excited.

The following morning, Father Bill arrived (childhood Priest) to give Mom the Anointing of the Sick.

As soon as Father left, Mom was able to get up and use the rest room, she sat down at the table and was eating chicken, chili dogs, and pizza. Again, everyone was scratching their heads trying not to get too excited about this.

I was only quoting James 5:13-15, "Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven".

This healing would take place on New Years Eve, the day before the the Feast of "Mary, Mother of God" celebrated on 1 January, or New years Day. This beautiful feast day has a long history in the Catholic Church.

Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council renamed the Feast celebrated 1 January from "Feast of the Circumcision" to "Mary, Mother of God":

In the revised arrangement of the Christmas season, we should all turn with one mind to the restored solemnity of the Mother of God. This feast was entered into the calendar in the liturgy of the city of Rome for the first day of January. The purpose of the celebration is to honor the role of Mary in the mystery of salvation and at the same time to sing the praises of the unique dignity thus coming to "the Holy Mother...through whom we have been given the gift of the Author of life." This same solemnity also offers an excellent opportunity to renew the adoration rightfully to be shown to the newborn Prince of Peace, as we once again hear the good tidings of great joy and pray to God, through the intercession of the Queen of Peace, for the priceless gift of peace. Because of these considerations and the fact that the octave of Christmas coincides with a day of hope, New Year's Day, we have assigned to it the observance of the World Day of Peace (Paul VI, Marialis Cultus, Feb. 2, 1974, no.5).

It is interesting that the original celebration, "Feast of the Circumcision", had a long history on 1 January.

If you believe that Jesus was born on 25 December, Luke gives 1 January as the day of the Circumcision.

This is more evidence of the Churches belief of December 25th as the actual day of the Lord's birth.

Origen of Alexander first documents about 230 A.D. of Mary as "Theotokos", Mother of God.

In 431, the Catholic Church declared this as truth to counter the Nestorian heresy that questioned the nature of Jesus.

The Catholic Church proclaimed that Mary was Mother of the whole person of Jesus. Jesus was true God and true man as one person.

The Nestorians rejected Mary as Mother of God. In truth, the doctrine is all about Jesus, but Mary is being honored because she is in fact Jesus Mother.

Some people have tried to mislead others that Catholics worship Mary, that the Church deifies Mary with such titles. However, anyone who evaluates the reality of this teaching will find this is a great abuse of misrepresentation trying to spread hatred for the Church.

I encourage both Catholics and Protestants to really take a good look at what the Catholic Church is teaching and I believe that this solemn Feast will enrich your faith.

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*BEST OF DTB #245* What is the solemnity of the Holy innocents doing in the Christmas season?

"Joy to the World" the trumpets blare, for it's Christmas time! "Merry Christmas!", "Ding dong Merrily on high". The season of Joy, the season of light. Gift giving and singing and feasting and celebration. A season of lifting spirits and shattering darkness. Isaiah 9 even proclaims "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, among those who walked in the land of gloom, a light has shown"

So, why, right in the very center of Christmas, are we commemorating this horrible atrocity?

The reason we are commemorating it is because ours is a church of truth and there is no escaping the fact the the slaughter of the innocents happened and if December 28th is not the exact day, it's pretty close.

We do not know how many children died at the hands of Herod in 2 BC but I just saw a historical special that put the number at about 20. 20 children senselessly murdered within days of Christmas. Horrible how history repeats itself. This shocks us but it shouldn't surprise us. If the author of joy is still at work, so, sadly is the author of misery.

In the Book of Revelation, Chapter 12, the Devil is depicted as a huge dragon with seven heads and 10 horns, the same depiction is made of the Roman beast in chapter 17 and the city of Jerusalem is shown as the whore of that beast.

What is being depicted here? We are being shown that all the evil of the world ultimately flows from the source of evil, the Devil himself. We cannot appreciate the power of the light and the urgency of the light, if we stop our ears and eyes to the darkness it is meant to dispel. The light doesn't merely shine on us, or around us, it shines through us but only if we will let it.

True, none of us have ever killed a 6 year old or a 2 year old as that which happened in Connecticut and Bethlehem. Yet, each of us, of our own free will has, at one time or another, cooperated with the evil that did. When a man looks at pornography or a woman defends gay marriage, we embolden the same malevolent enemy who would not even spare these innocent ones in his blood lust. When we are silent to the silent scream from a mother's womb, how can we claim we are not culpable when the roaring dragon becomes stronger in the devouring of fresh blood?

This is the message of this solemnity. Never forget who your enemy is and how heartless and cruel he is, lest he turn and devour you as well. The message of the Solemnity of  the Holy Innocents is that it's on! The battle is engaged. Onward Christian Soldier!

In the name of Rachel and all that is holy, we must resolve to stop the blood flow and turn back the powers of darkness. To do that, we must oppose Satan not at certain times and certain places, but at every time and every place. Every Catholic must be engaged, every Rosary raised and every effort made to produce more Catholics who can raise their Rosaries.

We must look beyond our own circles of comfort and find and convert prayer warriors and Holy livers wherever we can find them.

At judgment, may it be said by these holy innocents, and the thousands more who die in the womb each day and those victims of war and violence "they fought for the least of us, they fought for the likes of us".

What could do more to infuriate the enemy than we fight on despite his most grotesque acts of barbarism against us? That is the message of Christmas. The light came into the world and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:5), even the darkness of a day like this one.

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*BEST OF DTB #244* The Catholic Defender: The Passing of Authority

(Editors Note) Looking at Johns recent article (A Response To Yesica1993 On The Subject of Arrogance), this is how God's authority has been handed down. Notice that God placed men in position to lead the people of God through the power of His Word.

During the Sola Scriptura debate between Michael Ruggieri of deepertruth (the Ross Hoffman Show) and Dan Peterman (who has a Facebook Group), I was on hand to give a point to the debate.

Isaiah 11:1-2 states, "But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord".

What Isaiah is giving in a prophetic inference here is that from Jesse, Father of King David, would come from his seat of authority, from the loins of David, a successor.

The relevance here for this debate centered on a response from Dan Peterman of my explanation of the similarities of the oral tradition of the Jews and the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church. That Jesus and the Apostles had raised Oral Tradition in some instances to the level of Sacred Scripture.

The first example of this I shared Matthew 23:2, where Jesus is saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses".

The Chair of Moses, as an authority seat to be handed down as an office, is not reported in the Old Testament but is found in the Jewish Tradition kept in the "Mishna".

Dan referred back to Exodus 18:13 where Moses sat in judgment over the people of Israel. The text does show that Moses did in fact sat in judgment. The scripture itself does not speak to or address an office based on this "Chair" from which Moses sat from. It does however give foundation of the authority God gave to Moses.

It is interesting to note that Jethro, Moses Father-in-Law, gave Moses advice saying, "But you should also look among all the people for able and God-fearing men, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and set them as officers over groups of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens".

Jethro is giving us a perfect example of a "Chain of Command" concept.

This gives the foundation that even today, the Bishops, Priests, Deacons, those who are the ordained of God, are in union with the Bishop of Rome.

Dan Peterman asks a direct statement that I want to be more specific than last night I was able to afford.

Dan asked where in the bible does it give any successor to Moses? Dan, that is a great question and the bible does give a basis for succession of Moses. Dan, Deuteronomy 31:14 says, "The Lord said to Moses, the time is now approaching for you to die. Summon Joshua, and present yourself at the meeting tent that I may give him his commission..."

Verse 23 continues, "Then the Lord commissioned Joshua, son of Nun, and said to him, Be brave and steadfast, for it is you who must bring the Israelites into the Land which I promised them on oath. I myself will be with you".

Deuteronomy 34:9 states, "Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid hands upon him; and so the Israelites gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord's command to Moses".

Joshua 1:6-9 the Lord says, "Be firm and steadfast, so that you may give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers I would give them. Above all, be firm and steadfast, taking care to observe the entire law which my servant Moses enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the right or to the left, that you may succeed where ever you go. Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may observe carefully all that is written in it: then you will successfully attain your goal. I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you where ever you go".

Clearly, Joshua is the successor of Moses. At the end of Joshua's life, it is interesting that the nation of Israel "served the Lord during the entire lifetime of Joshua and that of the elders who outlived Joshua and knew all that the Lord had done for Israel" (Joshua 24:31).

Joshua would be a bridge between Moses, the placing of the Israelites in the land of milk and honey, and the time of the Judges.

With Joshua's death, the Elders of Israel consulted the Lord about the Cannaanites who had attacked them.

The following time period Israel is ruled by whom God chose to lead.

The tribes of Jacob were setting up their townships, they were clearing the land for the people of Israel.

Several battles were waged with the Canaanites and Perizzites, Caleb was one of Israels leaders. He is a pre-Judge figure that led the people during this time of war.

Judges 3:10 says that "The spirit of the Lord came upon him (Kenaz), and he judged Isreal'.

From Joshua to Kenaz, the Israelites had a series of infidelities and offended the Lord. There is no clear "Seat of Moses" as the scripture is silent to such an office, but it is clear that God chose men to lead the nation of Israel from Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and then Kenaz.

The Elders of Israel would continue the Lord's will until about a generation later when new blood succeeded them and this is when Israel first began to serve Baal abandoning the Lord. Notice that the Lord does not forsake his promise to Moses, that he keeps faith with Israel despite the peoples unfaithfulness.

God continue to raise men to lead the people. Ehud, Shamgar, Barak would be the earliest Judges. Barak had a unique helper that the Lord tremendously worked through in Deborah. Even though the Lord was clearly working through Deborah, she submitted to Barak's authority. Barak was wise to have Deborah to be with him. Judges 4:8 says, If you "Deborah" come with me, I will go; if you do not come with me, I will not go". Deborah responded, I will certainly go with you, but you shall not gain the glory in the expedition on which you are setting out, for the Lord will have Sisera fall into the power of a woman".

To Baraks credit, he didn't care, he put God first and Deborah joined Barak and journeyed with him to Kedesh.

Then the call of Gideon, Samson, Micah were among those who Judged Isreal.

Going back to Dan Peterman, I did present in a general statement, "During this time, God moved through the authority of Moses, the Priesthood of Levi, the Judges, the Prophets, and the Kings.

One point about the period of the Prophets, As we seen the authority given to Joshua, 2 Kings 2:7 states, "Fifty of the guild prophets followed, and when the two (Elijah and Elisha) stopped at the Jordon, stood facing them at a distance. Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water, which divided, and both crossed over on dry ground. After Elijah was taken in a fiery chariot into heaven through a whirlwind. Elisha picked up Elijah's mantle where it was dropped. Elisha struck the water as did Elijah and as before, the water parted as before and Elisha crossed back to the other side of the river. "

The guild prophets in Jericho who were on the other side saw Elisha and said, 'The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha".

What a powerful anointing that the Lord demonstrates in this text. Clearly, Elisha succeeded Elijah. Then, the people wanted a king and thus the story of the appointment by God for Samuel to anoint King Saul.

From here it is easy to follow the Keys given to the household of David and the transfer of those Keys to St. Peter by Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Dan, what I hope to have demonstrated, from Moses to Benedict XVI, God has ruled his people through the authority of the Covenants that were in place in accordance to God's revelation and his love for his people.

Man's unfaithfulness to God never broke the Lord's promise. We see the Lord establish the Apostles as a Church giving to the Church an authority that has been handed down through Apostolic Succession.

The laying on of hands and the anointing of the Lord upon men throughout the ages to proclaim God's word, to administer his justice, to care for the sick, to lead to salvation the people of God.

So, In comparison, the Catholic Faith was founded by Christ, His Apostles, the Priesthood of Christ. Just as the Lord instructs Joshua to "be firm and steadfast"! St. Paul writes, "Therefore,my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast,always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

John, you are totally correct in your assessment of the Church!

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*BEST OF DTB #243* A response to Yesica1993 on the subject of arrogance

This was a message I received on the Deepertruthblog Youtube channel from one of the supporters of the CARM organization. The comment was in response to my irrefutable statement that protestants have no authority to interpret scripture.

First, a prophet is someone who speaks for God. Contrary to popular misconception, prophecy does not always concern predicting the future. Prophecy of Scripture refers to the authority entrusted to record, translate and properly interpret scripture and the Bible is clear that this is not an issue entrusted to private individuals.

2 Peter 1:20
First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
Secondly, it is the very height of arrogance to call the Bible 'a book'. The Bible is a collection of books but these are not ordinary books, by any means. Scripture is Inspired by God (God breathed) and it is not at all easy to interpret.

 2 Peter 3:16
speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
The reason for this is that, since Scripture is from the mind of God, mere man cannot hope to attain to understanding it, accept God place that understanding within him. Through human effort, this is impossible. For this cause of direct Revelation, God did not give us a Bible He expects us to follow, He gave us a Church that He expects us to follow. He built this church on the Rock of Peter (emphasis mine).

Matthew 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter (Kephas), and on this rock (Kephas) I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
6 Times Jesus says you to Simon Peter so that the emphasis could not be missed. Giving the keys hearkens back to Isaiah 22:22 where the keys are given to the Prime Minister (second in command). The actual Greek rendering of v 18 is Petros Kai Tautee Te Petra which, literally translated is "You are Rock and upon this exact same Rock will I build my Church".

Kai means 'and' so there is no contrast. Tautee Te means 'this exact same' and refers back to the immediatly preceding noun (Petros). Finally, Petros and Petra mean exactly the same name, only that Petros, addressing Peter directly, is the Masculine form, while Petra, addressed indirectly is neutral or feminine. There is no question that Peter is the authority vested here.
  • He alone receives direct revelation from the Father.
  • He alone is the church built on.
  • He alone receives the keys to the kingdom.
  • He primarily is given the power to bind and loose.
It cannot be argued that Jesus established the Church as the final authority to speak for Him. (Matthew 18:15-18, Luke 10:16, 1 Timothy 3:15).

The Bible? That didn't appear until more than 300 years later and the very Church Jesus founded gave it to us. The question of which church is also not in question. It is the church Luke calls Ecclesia Kath Olos in Acts 9:31. Commonly translated 'The Church throughout' or 'The Universal Church', it is literally translated 'The Catholic Church'. We see the exact same term in Ignatius letter of 110 AD.

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution(17) of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either
See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out[through their office] the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be;
90 by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.(2) even as where Christ is, there does all the heavenly host stand by, waiting upon Him as the Chief Captain of the Lord's might, and the Governor of every intelligent nature. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast.(1) But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid.
~Saint Ignatius of Antioch, letter to the Smyrnaeans, chapter VIII (AD 110)

The reformers, nearly 16 centuries later, decided they did not need to follow God's appointed authority any longer. This is a very dangerous proposition indeed.

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 

Having said all this, let me directly address the meat of the person's objection. There is a fundamental flaw in your reasoning. You make the mistake of thinking that just because you can read the words on the page, this automatically translates to understanding the message being conveyed. This is utter nonsense. If you have no foundation is the Old Testament, and you do not understand typology and allegory and metaphor and linguistic subtleties, you have no hope of understanding Scripture. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to lead the Church to all truth (John 14:25-26). Without obedience to the Church (the branches from the vine), you cannot hope to find the truth.

That is why protestantism is lost. 33,000 denominations- blind guides leading the blind. 

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