"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Blueprint For Finding The True Church...

Today is the feast of two of the greatest Pillars of the Universal Church of Christ-- Sts. Peter and Paul.  They were among the first Christians who defended the TRUTH of Christ of which this blog is dedicated for.  Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sts. Peter and Paul, soon to be Blessed John Paul the Great, may Christ's truth in his own founded Church be the light of those still waling in the darkness of ignorance and lies by false angels and prophets prophesied .. and now they already have scattered their lies .

Below is a concise article against anyone claiming to be the "true church" such as the Iglesia ni Cristo™ cult in the Philippines founded by Felix Manalo and its sister cult the Mormonism. 

Icon of Sts. Peter & Paul
Source: aculink
Follow this blueprint and it will lead you to the one true Church...

Truth is ONE...
There can be only one Truth...
Truth Excludes Error...

Jesus Christ said, "I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE."
John 14:6
This must be true because He said it!

Jesus Christ said, "THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH." Matthew 16:18
Notice that He did not say Churches.
This must be true because He said it.
"...Just as Christ is head of the Church..." Eph 5:23
"...and Him He gave as head over all the Church, which is indeed His body..." Eph 1:22-23
Therefore if Jesus Christ is the head of His Church, then His Church has to be the Church of Truth, just as He is Truth!

This is confirmed in 1Timothy 3:15, "...but in order that thou mayest know, if I am delayed, how to conduct thyself in the House of GOD, which is the Church of the living GOD, the pillar and mainstay of the Truth."

Now that we have the Church of Truth, headed by Truth Himself, then we have recourse to use that authority of Truth without trepidation.
"...AND IF HE REFUSE TO HEAR THEM, APPEAL TO THE CHURCH, BUT IF HE REFUSE TO HEAR EVEN THE CHURCH, LET HIM BE TO THEE AS THE HEATHEN AND PUBLICAN." Matthew 18:17
This must be true because He said it.

So Jesus Christ said those who refuse to hear His Church. let him be as a heathen (not Christian).

So now that we have the Church of Truth, how do we know it is still with us?
We know because Jesus Christ guaranteed it would be!
"...AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT." Matthew 16:17
His Church will be defended from within and from without.

"...I AM WITH YOU ALL DAYS, EVEN UNTO THE CONSUMMATION OF THE WORLD." Matthew 28:20
He will be with His Church until the end of time.

"...AND I WILL ASK THE FATHER AND HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER ADVOCATE TO DWELL WITH YOU FOREVER, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WHOM THE WORLD CANNOT RECEIVE, BECAUSE IT NEITHER SEES HIM NOR KNOWS HIM." John 14:16-17
The Holy Spirit will be with His Church until the end of time.
These three verses are truth because He said them.

To sum it all up:
There is only one truth, and it is Jesus Christ.
He founded the Church of Truth and He will be with it and defend it forever.
The Holy Spirit will dwell in His Church of Truth forever.
His Church is still with us because He guaranteed it would be.

Now you can make your choice as to which Church is the Church which Jesus Christ founded. The choices are few.
It has to be the one He founded in about 33 A.D., so it has been around for almost 2000 years. Is it your Church?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Misunderstanding Iglesia ni Cristo™

Misunderstanding the Iglesia ni Cristo™, a cult disguising as a Christian "church" founded by an ex-Catholic, ex-Protestant Minister, convicted "rapist" Felix Y. Manalo who abused some women of his cult including his first wife, the term "Roman Catholic Church" as they use to call the Universal Church of Christ for them connotes two thing: that Catholics are Popish and Romanish. Below is an excellent un-biased  exposition of the term, its origin, terminology and history. At least they will not accuse Catholics of manipulating all historical facts being presented. Thanks to Wikipedia.

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Source: Wikipedia The term Roman Catholic first appeared in the English language in the 16th century to differentiate specific groups of Christians in communion with the Pope from others. It has continued to be widely used in the English language ever since, although its usage has changed over the centuries. It is now even used to distinguish different groups of Catholics who recognize the Pope, e.g., those who belong to the Western (i.e., Latin Rite) Church from those who belong to the Eastern Catholic Churches.

The church widely known as the Catholic Church consists of 23 autonomous churches — one "Western" and 22 "Eastern" — governed by two sets of Codes of Canon Law. To refer to all 23 autonomous Churches together, official Church documents often use the term "Catholic Church" or, less frequently, the term "Roman Catholic Church". The usage that makes the term "Roman Catholic" mean members of the Latin Rite or Western Church to the exclusion of those who belong to the Eastern Catholic Churches does not appear in recent documents of the Holy See.

In popular usage, "Catholic Church" is usually understood to mean the same as "Roman Catholic Church". In compound forms such as "Roman Catholic worship" the term is sometimes used to differentiate Western (Latin Rite) practices from Eastern. However, in itself the word "catholic" translates into English as "universal" or "pertaining to the whole", as opposed to "particular" or "related to a part". Being "catholic" is one of the Four Marks of the Church set out in the Nicene Creed, a statement of belief accepted by many churches, even if not in communion with the Pope.

Early Church

The word "church" comes from the Greek word "ecclesia", meaning "coming together". It was coined by the early Greek converts to Christianity in and around the Jerusalem area. The word "Catholic", meaning "universal", was first applied the Church by St. Ignatius of Antioch in his letter to the Smyrnaeans in 110. It was repeatedly used to describe the "universal" congregation of the believers of the pure Word of Christ in theological works such as St. Augustine of Hippo in his books Confessions in 394 and City of God in 410. In 1088, the Church split, the Western Church loyal to the Pope and the Eastern Church was Loyal to the Patriarch. St. Thomas Aquinas repeatedly used the word "Catholic" to describe the Church loyal to the Pope, or the bishop of Rome, as opposed to those loyal to the bishop of Constantinople, called the Patriarch.

16th and 17th centuries

The terms "Romish Catholic" and "Roman Catholic", along with "Popish Catholic", were brought into use in the English language chiefly by adherents of the Church of England, which saw itself as the Catholic Church in England, so that they were not willing to concede the term Catholic to their opponents without qualification.

The reign of Elizabeth I of England at the end of the 16th century was marked by conflicts in Ireland. Those opposed to English rule forged alliances with those against the Protestant reformation, making the term Roman Catholic almost synonymous with being Irish during that period, although that usage changed significantly over time.

Like the term Anglican, the term Roman Catholic came into widespread use in the English language only in the 17th century. The terms "Romish Catholic" and "Roman Catholic" were both in use in the 17th century and "Roman Catholic" was used in some official documents, such as those relating to the Spanish Match in the 1620s. There was, however, significant tension between Anglicans and Roman Catholics at the time (as reflected in the Test Act for public office). Even today, the Act of Settlement 1701 still prohibits Roman Catholics from becoming English monarchs.

18th and 19th centuries

The official and popular uses of the term Roman Catholic in the English language grew in the 18th century. Up to the reign of George III, Catholics in Britain who recognized the Pope as head of the Church had generally been designated in official documents as "Papists". In 1792, however, this phraseology was changed and in the Speech from the Throne, the term "Roman Catholic" was used.

By early 19th century, the term Roman Catholic had become well established in the English-speaking world. As the movement that led to Catholic Emancipation through the Catholic Relief Act of 1829 grew, many — though not all — Anglicans and Protestants generally began to accept that being a Roman Catholic was not synonymous with being disloyal to the British government. While believing that in the past the term Roman Catholic may have been synonymous with rebel, they held that it was by then as indicative of loyalty as membership in any other Christian denomination.[7] The situation had been very different two centuries before, when Pope Paul V forbade English members of his Church from taking an oath of allegiance to King James I, a prohibition that not all of them observed.[8]

Also in the 19th century, prominent Anglican theologians such as Palmer and Keble supported the Branch Theory, which viewed the universal Church as having three principal branches: Anglican, Roman and Eastern. The 1824 issue of The Christian Observer defined the term Roman Catholic as a member of the Roman Branch of the Church. By 1828, speeches in the English parliament routinely used the term Roman Catholic and referred to the "Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church".

In the United States, the use of the term Roman Catholic and indeed the number of Roman Catholics began to grow only in the early 19th century, given that in 1790 there were only 100 Roman Catholics in New York and some 30,000 in the whole United States, with 29 priests. As the number of Roman Catholics in the United States grew rapidly from 150,000 to 1.7 million between 1815 and 1850 — mostly by way of immigration from Ireland and Germany — the clergy followed the people to serve them, and Roman Catholic parishes were established. The terms "Roman Catholic" and "Holy Roman Catholic" thus gained widespread use in the United States in the 19th century, both in popular usage and within official documents. In 1866 President Andrew Johnson attended a meeting of the Council of the Roman Catholic Church.

20th century

American Catholics, who by the year 1900 were 12 million people and had a predominantly Irish clergy, objected to what they considered the reproachful terms Popish and Romish and preferred the term Roman Catholic.

In the early 20th century, the use of the term Roman Catholic continued to spread within the United States and Canada, to refer to individuals, parishes and their schools. For instance, the 1915 Report of the Commissioner of Education of the United States had a specific section for "Roman Catholic Parish Schools". By 1918, legal proceedings in state supreme courts (from Delaware to Minnesota) and laws passed in the State of New York used the term "Roman Catholic parish".

By the middle of the 20th century the use of the term Roman Catholic was widely established in the United States and a 1957 survey by the United States Census Bureau determined that 25% of the US population applied the term Roman Catholic to themselves.

Current usage

The term Roman Catholic is generally used on its own to refer to individuals, and in compound forms to refer to worship, parishes, festivals, etc. Its usage has varied, depending on circumstances. It is sometimes identified with one or other of the terms "Catholic", "Western Catholic" (equivalent to "Latin Catholic"), and "Roman-Rite Catholic".

"Roman Catholic" and "Western or Latin Catholic"

The term "Roman Catholic" is also used to refer to Western (i.e. Latin) Catholics, excluding Eastern Catholics. An example is the statement in the book When other Christians become Catholic:

"...the individual becomes Eastern Catholic, not Roman Catholic".

Similarly the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth states that

"...not all Catholics are Roman Catholics and there are other Catholic Churches",

using the term "Roman Catholic" to refer to Western Church members alone. The same distinction is made by writers in the Eastern Catholic Churches. That this view is not the only one, especially perhaps at popular level, is shown by the use of terms such as "Byzantine Roman Catholic" and "Maronite Roman Catholic" as self-identification by individuals or as the name of a church building. Additionally, in other languages, the usage varies significantly.

Although the Catholic Church has Western and Eastern branches, many, even Catholics, are unaware, or only dimly aware of this fact, partly because, outside the Middle East, Eastern Catholics are a small fraction of the total number of Catholics.

"Roman Catholic" and "Roman-Rite Catholic"

When referring to worship, the term Roman Catholic is at times used to refer to the "Roman Rite", which is not a church but a form of liturgy. The Roman Rite is distinct from the liturgies of the Eastern Catholic Churches and also from other Western liturgical rites such as the Ambrosian Rite, which have a much smaller following than the Roman Rite.

An example of this usage is provided in the book Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to today states:

"We use the term Roman Catholic Worship throughout to make it clear that we are not covering all forms of Catholic worship. There are a number of Eastern Rite churches that can justly claim the title Catholic, but many of the statements we make do not apply to them at all.".

ompared to the Roman Rite, the other Western liturgical rites have little following. Hence, the Vatican department that deals with forms of worship (including music) in the Western Church often issues documents that deal only with the Roman Rite. Any involvement by the Holy See in questions of Eastern liturgies is handled by a different department.

Some of the writers who draw a contrast between "Roman Catholics" and "Eastern Catholics" may perhaps be distinguishing Eastern Catholics not from Latin or Western Catholics in general, but only from those (the majority of Latin Catholics) who use the Roman liturgical rite. Adrian Fortescue explicitly made this distinction, saying that, just as "Armenian Catholic" is used to mean a Catholic who uses the Armenian rite, "Roman Catholic" could be used to mean a Catholic who uses the Roman Rite. In this sense, he said, an Ambrosian Catholic, though a member of the Latin or Western Church, is not a "Roman" Catholic. He admitted, however, that this usage is uncommon.

Parishes and dioceses

When the term "Roman Catholic" is used as part of the name of a parish it usually indicates that it is a Western parish that follows the Roman Rite in its liturgy, rather than, for instance, the less common Ambrosian Rite, e.g. St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, Oyster Bay, New York. The shorter term "Catholic" may also appear in parish names and "Roman Catholic" sometimes even appears in the compound name of Eastern Catholic parishes, e.g. St. Mary's Byzantine Roman Catholic Church.

All Catholic parishes are part of an ecclesiastical jurisdiction, usually a diocese (called an eparchy in the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches). These jurisdictions are usually grouped in ecclesiastical provinces, headed by a metropolitan archdiocese. All dioceses and similar jurisdictions — Eastern and Western — come under the authority of the Pope. The term "Roman Catholic archdiocese" is formally used to refer to both Western and Eastern Churches. As of January 2009, there were 630 Roman Catholic archdioceses, Western and Eastern.

Name of the Church

The terms "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" are names for the entire church that describes itself as "governed by the successor of Saint Peter and by the bishops in communion with him". In its formal documents and pronouncements the church most often refers to itself as the Catholic Church or simply the Church. In its relations with other churches, it frequently uses the name "Roman Catholic Church", which it uses internally also, though less frequently. Some writers such as Kenneth Whitehead and Patrick Madrid argue that the only proper name for the Church is "the Catholic Church".

Some Catholic writers such as Kenneth Whitehead argue that the proper name of the Church is the "Catholic Church" rather than the "Roman Catholic Church". Kenneth Whitehead and Patrick Madrid argue that the term "Roman Catholic" has Anglican origins and that the term is used to leave open the possibility that there are other "Catholic" churches.

The name "Roman Catholic Church" is occasionally used by popes, bishops, other clergy and laity, who do not see it as opprobrious or having the suggested overtone. The use of "Roman", "Holy" and "Apostolic" are accepted by the Church as descriptive names. Some American states and the country of England require the Church to use the legal name "Roman Catholic Church".[citation needed] At the time of the 16th-century Reformation, the Church itself "claimed the word catholic as its title over Protestant or Reformed churches". It believes that it is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Throughout the years, in various instances, official Church documents have used both the terms "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" to refer to the worldwide Church as a whole, including Eastern Catholics, as when Pope Pius XII taught in Humani Generis that "the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing". However, some Easterners, though in communion with the Bishop of Rome, apply the adjective "Roman" to the Latin or Western Church alone. Representatives of the Catholic Church are at times required to use the term "Roman Catholic Church" in certain dialogues, especially in ecumenical milieu, since some Protestants consider themselves authentic instances of Catholic faith.

In the 21st century, the three terms Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Catholic Church continue to appear in various books and publications, and scholarly debates on the proper form of reference to the Catholic Church within specific contexts continue. For instance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not contain the term "Roman Catholic Church", referring to the Church only by names such as "Catholic Church" (as in its title), while the Advanced Catechism Of Catholic Faith And Practice states that the term Roman is used within the name of the Church to emphasize that the center of unity of the Church is the Roman See.[

Branch Theory

There is controversy about the name "Roman Catholic Church" because of its use by some outside the Church to suggest that the Church in Rome is only one part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This argument is linked especially with the Anglican Branch Theory, (i.e., that the Church in communion with the Pope is only one branch of a divided Catholic Church, of which the Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglicanism are the other two branches).

In 1864, the Holy Office rejected the Branch Theory, affirming in a letter written to the English Bishops that the Roman Church is not just a part of the Catholic Church and stating that "there is no other Catholic Church except that which is built on the one man, Peter ...." In 1870, English bishops attending the First Vatican Council raised objections to the expression "Holy Roman Catholic Church" which appeared in the schema (the draft) of the Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith. These bishops proposed that the word "Roman" be omitted out of concern that use of the term "Roman Catholic" would lend support to proponents of the Branch Theory. While the Council overwhelmingly rejected this proposal, the text was finally modified to read "The Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church".

Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council did not use the term "Roman Catholic Church", and in one important passage replaced it with an equivalent phrase, "the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in union with that successor", while also giving in a footnote a reference to two earlier documents in which the word "Roman" was used explicitly.

The Second Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium declares that the phrase "Roman Church" has been applied in the Tridentine Profession of Faith to the Church itself, the Church "governed by the successor of Saint Peter and by the bishops in communion with him". Even as far back as 1208 the adjective "Roman" was applied to the Church "outside which we believe that no one is saved".

Catechism of the Catholic Church

While the phrase "Roman Catholic Church" does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Advanced Catechism of Catholic Faith and Practice states that the term "Roman" is used within the name of the Church to emphasize that the centre of unity of the Church is the Roman See.

View of Eastern Catholics

Some Eastern-rite Catholics reject the description of themselves as "Roman", even though they're a part of the Catholic Church. Others are proud to call themselves Roman Catholics,[69] and "Roman Catholic" sometimes even appears in the compound name of Eastern Catholic parish churches, e.g. St. Mary's Byzantine Roman Catholic Church.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Number of Catholics in Korea continues to grow

South Korean Flag
Seoul (AsiaNews) - For the first time, the number of Catholics in Korea has exceeded 10% of the total population. There are 115,997 more Catholics than in 2008.

It is the Church to bear witness to the considerable increase of the faithful in Korea, today 10.1% of the population. The statistics were compiled based on pastoral documents collected from 16 dioceses, seven universities and a number of Catholic religious institutes in Korea.

Of the 15 dioceses, which have a total of 5 million and 120 thousand faithful, the largest is the Archdiocese of Seoul, where 27.4% of Catholics live. The number of baptized in 2009 rose to 157 thousand, 10.9% more than in 2008. If the number of children baptized grew by 7.5% in one year, the number of those baptized before reaching one year, which decreased significantly, is of concern, indicating that it is still necessary to encourage the baptism of newborn infants.
In 2009, 149 priests were ordained, 21 more than 2008 and 69% of 4913 priests present in Korea are between 20 and 40 years of age. According to statistics, by comparing the number of priests with that of the faithful, in Korea there is one priest for every 1,171 faithful.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

4th century icons of Peter and Paul found in Rome

Icons of Sts. Peter & Paul (AP Photo)
ROME (AP/Yahoo!News) – The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.

The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew. They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.

The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman in the Santa Tecla catacomb and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity, Vatican officials said in opening up the tomb to the media for the first time.

Last June, the Vatican announced the discovery of the icon of Paul — timed to coincide with the end of the Vatican's Pauline year. At the time, Pope Benedict XVI also announced that tests on bone fragments long attributed to Paul "seemed to confirm" that they did indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint.

On Tuesday, Vatican archaeologists announced that the image of Paul discovered last year was not found in isolation, but was rather part of a square ceiling painting that also included icons of three other apostles - Peter, John and Andrew - surrounding an image of Christ as the Good Shepherd.

"These are the first images of the apostles," said Fabrizio Bisconti, the superintendent of archaeology for the catacombs, which are maintained by the Vatican's Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology. Read more...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Purgatory: Where is that in the Bible?

Thanks to Jon for his in-depth, easy to read, direct to the point, biblical and scholarly explanation about the splendor of truth in the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church of Christ which anti-Catholics rejected this profound and practical truth on PURGATORY found in the Holy Scriptures, which is the Holy Book of the Catholic Church of Christ.

Where is Purgatory in the Bible?

The Bible does not mention the exact word "purgatory," but instead it makes reference to a place. To claim that it does not exist because of this is a cop out.

You might as well even deny that there is a book called the Bible because no such name is found in the inspired writings.

You also might as well deny the Trinity, Incarnation, etc... because these words are not found in the Bible.

The name does not make the place; the place must exist first, then we give it a name. We call this place "purgatory" because it means "a cleansing place." Therein souls are purged from the small stains of sin, which prevent their immediate entrance into Heaven.
In the Old Testament

The first mention of Purgatory in the Bible is in 2 Maccabees 12:46: "Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from sin."

Granted 2 Maccabees may not be in Protestant Bibles, but even if it cannot be used doctrinally then it at least has to have some historical worth. In it we can see what the pre-Christian community believed.

In Chapter 12 we can see Scriptural proof for Purgatory and evidence that the Jews had sacrifices offered for those of their brothers who had lost their lives in battle. That the Jews prayed for the dead shows that they believed in a place where they could be helped (now called Purgatory) and that the prayers of their living brothers and sisters could help them in that place.

These words in the book of Maccabees had so clearly favored the Catholic custom, that the whole book was removed from the Protestant Bible. Unfortunately for them, even if the book was not inspired, it still tells us of the practice of God's chosen people.
In the New Testament

In Matthew 5:26 Christ is condemning sin and speaks of liberation only after expiation. "Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." Now we know that no last penny needs to be paid in Heaven and from Hell there is no liberation at all; hence the reference must apply to a third place.

Matthew 12:32 says, "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."

The same person as in the previously mentioned verse, Matthew, speaks of sin against the Holy Spirit. The implication is that some sins can be forgiven in the world to come. But not in Hell from which there is no liberation; nor in Heaven because nothing imperfect can enter it as we see in the next part. Any remission of sin cannot occur in either of these places because they are a final destination unlike purgatory.

Revelation 21:27: "...but nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies." The place that is to be entered (the place to which this passage refers) is heaven (read the stuff around it for context).

The Bible clearly implies a place for temporary punishment after we die in the many passages which tell that God will reward or punish according to man's works.
What if purgatory really doesn't exist?

Say that there is no such thing as purgatory. What becomes of us? The Bible declares that nothing impurified can enter Heaven, but yet a careless word can defile the soul (Matthew 12:36); if there is no place of temporary punishment, the one guilty would be damned to Hell!

Who would be saved? Those who teach against purgatory teach an unreasonable doctrine.

So, why do non-Catholics reject a teaching so full of consolation? My guess is that they want to believe that the merits of Christ applied to the sinner who trusts in Him, will remove all sin; hence the believer will go at once to Heaven (also known as the belief called Sola Fide or faith alone).

Nowhere in the Bible does it say faith alone. This is un-Scriptural, since Christ tells us that to enter into life we must keep the commandments, hear the Church, do the will of His Father and much more with faith. Yes, actions plus faith.
Gain more truth in the Catholic Church. Visit About Catholic and be spiritually nourished.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Instant Cash for Anti-Catholics

Old news but it’s still a good news. Anti-Catholics are given the chance to win a fabulous amount of money. The matrix is simple. You only have to prove something. From March 30, 1913 the prize is still unclaimed. This is your chance!

Here is how:

Those who can successfully provide evidence of the proof for the many anti-Catholic accusations can win US$ 10,000.

Who are eligible to join? All Anti-Catholics!

I would like to invite all members of the Iglesia ni Cristo, this is your chance to improve your life. Make sure to invite your neighbors, friends and Ministers to join this once-in-a-lifetime chance. Make sure you get the best evidence of proof from your Council of Elders who told you everything about what they perceived to be “Catholic” teachings.

Among these anti-Catholic accusations that you need to prove are:

1.That Catholic are forbidden to read the Bible
2.That Catholics worship statues.
3.That monasteries and convents were full of immorality.
4.That the Jesuits taught the principle “the end justifies the means”
5.That the Bishop of Rome is the anti-Christ.

If you think you are ready to submit your evidence of proof, please contact The Sunday Visitor for the reward.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sagot sa Tanong ng Kaanib ng Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo

Conrad J. Obligacion, through one of his aliases README has always demanded for an answer, where we can read the name Roman Catholic Church in the Bible. This has been repeatedly demanded by every member of the Registered Trademark cult Iglesia ni Cristo de Manalo like a certain username Plaridel. Thanks to Mr. Beltran, OP for this scholarly answer to anti-Christ cult of Felix Manalo.

INGKONG: Heto ang una kong katanungan! Heto ang una kong katanungan! ok gusto mo magtanong ako syo? heto ang ktanungan ko syo! SAANG TALATA S BIBLIA MO O KHIT SANG BIBLIA MBABASA N ANG PNGALAN NG IGLESIA N ITINAYO NI CRISTO AY “ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH”.. ibigay mo sa akin yung talata n sinabi ni cristo n ang pangalan ng simbahan nya ay tatawaging “ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH” word by word! TUTAL MUKHANG BIHASA KNA KAMO S BIBLIA IBIGAY MO S KIN YUNG TALATA N MKIKITA KO ANG PANGALANG “ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH”! Yan ang UNANG tanong ko sa iyo! SAAN TALATA? Naghihintay ako..

Eto po ang Sagot natin kay INGKONG na hindi maisend sa youtube:

Introduction:

Alam mo ingkong, una sa lahat. Kailangan mo munang mag-aral ng kahit kakaunting “Griego” .. ok? J ang salitang “Catholic” ay hindi tagalog, HINDI INGLES, HINDI NIPPONGO, kundi GRIEGO. Catholic ay pinaikling salitang GRIEGO NA “KATA-HOLOS..” meaning, PANGKALAHATAN SA TAGALOG (oopss.. sounds familiar ), UNIVERSAL SA INGLES, UNIVERSO SA LATIN. Katunayan MAGBASA KA NG DICTIONARY PARA MALAMAN MO KUNG ANO KAHULUGAN NG CATHOLIC AT SAAN ITO NAGDERIVE etymologically.

Ngayon ang Tanong mo: SAAN MABABASA SA BIBLIA ANG “ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH” ?

Aba konting basa lang.. kaya lang dapat ORIGINAL ang babasahin mo, kasi kami ay ORIGINAL CHURCH hahaha .. ROMA 1:7-8

“Kayong lahat na nangasa ROMA mga iniibig ng Dios, tinawag na mga BANAL … nagpapasalamat ako sa Dios dahil ang inyong pananampalataya ay BANTOG SA BOONG SANLIBUTAN”

Ngayon, dahil sabi ko nga sayo SALITANG GRIEGO ANG CATHOLIC, dapat basahin din sa Salin na Griego.. eto..

“Pas ho on en ROMA agepetes Theos cletes HAGIOS . . . he pistis humon KATAngeletai en HOLO to kosmo”

AYOWN!!! Ang mga BANAL (IGLESIA) na nasa Roma (ROMAN) ay may pananampalataya na bantog sa BOONG mundo (KATA-HOLOS) ano bay an? Hndi ba tinuro sa inyo ni Michael Sandoval iyan? Db? May elective siya sa “Greek” ?? hehehe .. oh .. baka sabihin mo nagkakalokohan tayo, basahin pa natin..

Sa GAWA 9:31 .. ang Iglesia ay sinasabing kalat sa BOONG Judea , Galilea at Samaria. Pano basa neto sa Griego?

“Ho men ho EKKLESIA KATHOLIS..” (Gawa 9:31)

Yown!!! EKKLESIA KATHOLIS (English: Catholic Church) nga!! Hahaha.. oh baka gusto mo pa ng ibang salin? Sa Latin naman..

“si ergo conveniat universa ecclesia in unum et omnes linguis loquantur intrent autem idiotae aut infideles nonne dicent quod insanities’ ( 1 CORINTO 14:23 Novum Testamentum latine)

Yown nanaman!!! UNIVERSA ECCLESIA !! (Universal Church) !! Catholic Nga!! Haha .. oh ayan ahh? Kailangan lang na MARUNONG KA MAG TRANSLATE .. otherwise, di mo talaga maiintindihan, kung sabagay, malinaw naman sa biblia

“Na binulag ng dios ng Sanlibutan na ito ang mga mata ng di sumasampalataya” (2 Cor 4:4)

Hehehehe .. kung tutuusin ang salitang KATHOLIS ay nababanggit din sa mga salin sa Griego, sa ibang pagkakataon tulad ng pagkakakilanlan kay Cristo, ayon sa Lukas 4. si Cristo ay nakilala sa boong lupain..



“Kai hupostrepho ho Iesoos en ho dunamis ho Pneuma eis ho Galilaia kai pheme exerchomai KATHOLIS..”(LUCAS 4:14 Novum Testamentum Graece)

AYOWNN!! Hahaha . translate ko sau ahh? Hehehe .. si Kristo daw ay naging bantog sa BOONG LUPAIN..

Isa pa.. you want?

“Apelthen KATHOLIS ten polin kerruson hosa epoiesen auto ho Iesoos” (Lucas 8:39)

Yown !!! nanaman!! .. you want more? :) ok .. eto pa ..

“Anaseis ton laos didasko KATHOLIS ..” (Lucas 23:5)

Hahaha .. ang dami naman niyan.. sa GREEK LANG MABABASA .. ano? Want more? O no more? Hahaha .. MORE PA .. eto pa..

“Gnotos de egeneto KATHOLIS ..” (Gawa 9:41)

Oh ?? ok ka pa? baka sabihin mo nagkakalokohan ulit tayo, at wala naman talagang SALITANG KATOLIKO (KATAHOLOS) Sa biblia ehh, kaya eto pa

“Humeis oidate ho genomenon rhema KATHOLIS” (Gawa 10:32)

Ngayon bakit Roman? Syempre, nuong unang Siglo, si Pedro na syang TAGAPAMAHALA sa Iglesia ay nasa Roma, kaya dapat lamang na ang naging sentro ng Cristianismo ay sa Roma. (Matapos ang pang uusig ng mga judio at pagbagsak ng Jerusalem nalipat sa Roma ang sentro)

Anong katunayan? ROMA 16:16 (oops.. parang , kilala ko itong talata na ito ahh? )

“Mangagbatian kayo ng banal na halik BINABATI KAYO ( mga taga Roma) ng LAHAT ng MGA IGLESIA ni Cristo (Roma 16:16)

Sa Griego , napakalinaw na ang ginamit sa salitang BATI ay ASPAZOMAI .. na sang ayon sa strong greek dictionary ay SALUDO.. ngayon? Sino ang sinasaluduhan ng LAHAT NG MGA IGLESIA NI KRISTO? Napakalinaw sa talata.. ANG IGLESIA SA ROMA!!

Oh? Akala ko ba? Kayo ang INC na nasa Roma 16:16? Eh ang mga INC jan SUMASALUDO SA IGLESIA ROMANA ehh? Kayo ba sumasaludo ngayon sa IGLESIANG NASA ROMA? :p hahaha ..

Ngayon, sabi ni Kristo, “Huwag niyong gagawin sa kapwa ninyo ang ayaw niyong gawin ng kapwa mo sa inyo” MALINAW YAN.. uulitin ko lang ang tanong ko. AT NASILAT KA NG MALAKI dito ingkong

1) Saan mo nabasa sa Biblia na dapat BAWAT ARAL AY WORD FOR WORD.

2) Sino sa mga Apostol ang nag practice niyan? Bigay ka naman ng pangalan. Baka sakaling makilala ko

3) PARA FAIR. Saan mo mababasa sa BIBLIA WORD FOR WORD ang EXECUTIVE MINISTER AT ANG “EKKLESIA TAN CHRISTOU” (Iglesia ni Cristo) SA ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS??

Oh dapat FAIR ahh? J hehehe.. pinakitaan kita ng EKKLESIA KATHOLIS (Iglesia Katolika) mula sa Biblia. Dapat pakitaan mo din ako ng EKKLESIA TAN CHRISTOU (Iglesia ni Cristo) sa Biblia .. WORD FOR WORD” .

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Challenge to find Discrepancy in the Quran


Over the years, a number of Muslims and some non-Muslims have asked me why I had problems defending my Islamic faith. While a Muslim in the late 1980’s, and seeking the truth within Islam, I was faced with a number of issues in defending my faith. One such issue was finding discrepancies in the Quran. The purpose of writing this response has been to provide an answer to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters regarding the challenges I faced at that point in my faith. In studying the Quran I was faced with many areas of faith and practice that seemed to be discrepant. During this time I was not seeking to put down or reject the Quran or Islam, on the contrary, my goal was to invite others to Islam and use the Quran as my standard for the perfect, uncorrupted truth revealed from Allah. I, therefore spent much time studying this topic, armed primarily with the Quran, Hadith and other supporting works by Muslims and some non-Muslim authors. Please note that the purpose of this response is similar to my earlier response on Abrogation. It is not to publish an academic work with a thorough and critical evaluation on the entire topic of discrepancies in the Quran, but mostly a reflection on some key points as I was contending with my Islamic faith.

As a Muslim I believed that the Quran was the universal and eternal word from God and had no error or discrepancies – in fact the Quran makes this claim for itself. It declares that no part of it is at variance with another. Note for example what Surah 4:82 claims.

Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.
Note, for example, what Yusuf Ali says in his commentary regarding this ayah, that if the Quran were not from God, there would be much discrepancy. Unfortunately, I was saddened that, as I studied the Quran more, I found what I believed to be real discrepancies and problems within it. For example, fornication and adultery are considered sin, but a man can have sex with many slave women with no legal marriage status. Another example is found with the messages regarding the Qibla, the direction one faces while praying, which was changed from Jerusalem to Mecca. Also there is the tolerance and peace message of earlier revelation, but the command to fight all unbelievers in later revelation. Was I misunderstanding the Quran? Was I not studying it "with care" (a phrase Yusuf Ali adds in his English translation for Surah 4:82)? Was it perfect at the time of revelation, and somehow corrupted over time? How could that be? The integrity of textual transmission is one of the strongest claims made by Muslim scholars. Unlike other scriptures of Isa and Musa, which Muslim scholars claim have become corrupted, the Quran, they claim, has been guarded perfectly. So I was left with accepting, for the moment, that what was in the Quran was revealed to Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah.

An area that was very disturbing to me as a father of three daughters and one son was that under special circumstances men having sex with women outside the bounds of marriage was perfectly legal and acceptable in Islam. How could Allah who rightfully dealt with punishing adultery and fornication allow such a thing? This was a question that challenged me. To my shock and dismay I found these ayahs in the Quran that said that it was perfectly acceptable to Allah that a man could have wives for sexual partners and also have women "who his right hand possessed".

Surah 70:29-31

And those who guard their chastity,Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) they are not to be blamed, But those who trespass beyond this are transgressors;-
Now I understand from ancient history that during war, barbarians and others of like mind would pillage the enemy property, kill the men and rape their women. But this was the Quran, a teaching and mandate for all time and all people. So I checked into other parts of the Quran to make sure I understood this topic of sexual relations with someone other than a spouse correctly.

Surah 33:50

O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
This ayah in the Quran did not help at all. It confirmed to the Prophet of Islam that the practice of taking captives as sexual partners is blessed by Allah. To get a better understanding and the context of taking sexual partners outside the bounds of marriage, I started looking into the Sahih Hadith from Bukhari for details.

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 718:

Narrated Ibn Muhairiz:

I saw Abu Said and asked him about coitus interruptus. Abu Said said, "We went with Allah's Apostle, in the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we captured some of the 'Arabs as captives, and the long separation from our wives was pressing us hard and we wanted to practice coitus interruptus. We asked Allah's Apostle (whether it was permissible). He said, "It is better for you not to do so. No soul, (that which Allah has) destined to exist, up to the Day of Resurrection, but will definitely come, into existence."

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 637:

Narrated Buraida:

The Prophet sent 'Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and 'Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, "Don't you see this (i.e. Ali)?" When we reached the Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, "O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumus."

To my sadness, the Hadith confirmed what I did not want to believe. That it was not only acceptable to have sexual relations with captives, but that it was not necessary to take precautions if the sexual act would result in a child. It seemed very uncharacteristic that Allah would allow sexual relations in these circumstances, which would normally be fornication or adultery and require punishment by 100 lashes or death by stoning respectively. (For a more in-depth discussion on this topic please refer to the earlier link to the abrogation response).

As I reviewed works by Muslim scholars to explain this I found many different answers. Some consider this practice of rape to be humane compared to what some barbarians would do and hence better than the alternatives. While others considered that slaves were property or spoils of war and did not have the same rights as free women, and hence there was no issue regarding the having of sexual relations with property. They focused rather how wonderful Islam is since it recommends that it is better to free slaves. To me, the issue was a very simple and practical man/woman relational issue - was sex outside of marriage right or wrong? Unfortunately none of the scholars addressed it to my satisfaction. Hence to my dismay I discovered the discrepancy that men who had sexual relations with slave women were not charged with fornication or adultery. It seemed to me that this was a special favor offered to men who went to war. I felt embarrassed that this was in Allah’s Holy Book and that Allah would allow, what is considered a barbaric practice to be delivered to the Seal of the Prophets, and cast it for all eternity as acceptable.

The topic of the Qibla, the direction of prayer was another sticky point with me. The consistency of facing a certain direction was not uncommon during the time of Mohammad. The Jews faced Jerusalem, and pagan Arabs faced the Kaaba in Mecca. When Mohammad and his followers migrated to Medina, the direction of prayer that was established for the community was Jerusalem. However, within a short time the direction was changed to the Kaaba in Mecca. This caused quite a stir as the concern was that this change could not be one that was from Allah. How could Allah, within a short span of a few months change his mind – men change their minds when they learn from their mistakes, God does not make mistakes. To that end, Allah revealed these ayahs that say it was done so as to test the faith of the Muslims.

Surah 2:142-144

The fools among the people will say: "What hath turned them from the Qibla to which they were used?" Say: To Allah belong both east and West: He guideth whom He will to a Way that is straight.

Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.

We see the turning of thy face (for guidance to the heavens): now Shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is Allah unmindful of what they do.
It is clear from the above ayahs that Allah says he did this to test people. But the challenge for me was that it was not consistent with Surah 2:115 where it is said that God is everywhere and there should be no concern for the direction we face when we pray.

Surah 2:115

To Allah belong the east and the West: Whithersoever ye turn, there is the presence of Allah. For Allah is all-Pervading, all-Knowing.
The fact is that some Muslims were concerned as to the affect of this change had on others who had died before this change of direction. Hence the question is does the direction matter or not? The answer comes in Surah 2:143 which says that for those who faced Jerusalem before this ayah, their prayers are valid by the Mercy of Allah. Note the background on the change in the Sahih Bukhari Hadith below.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 39:

Narrated Al-Bara' (bin 'Azib):

When the Prophet came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansar. He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka'ba (at Mecca). The first prayer which he offered facing the Ka'ba was the 'Asr prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him came out and passed by some people in a mosque who were bowing during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He said addressing them, "By Allah, I testify that I have prayed with Allah's Apostle facing Mecca (Ka'ba)." Hearing that, those people changed their direction towards the Ka'ba immediately. Jews and the people of the scriptures used to be pleased to see the Prophet facing Jerusalem in prayers but when he changed his direction towards the Ka'ba, during the prayers, they disapproved of it.

Al-Bara' added,
"Before we changed our direction towards the Ka'ba (Mecca) in prayers, some Muslims had died or had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers.) Allah then revealed: ‘And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. the prayers of those Muslims were valid).’" (2:143).
We know that all communal prayers by Muslims are offered facing the Kaaba. In fact, there are Hadith that say that if certain unclean people or animals are directly in front of the person praying, their prayers are interrupted and they have to start over. For that to be the case, then, that would mean that the direction is crucially important. Because, if God was truly everywhere and it did not matter which direction we turned, it would not matter who was directly in front of us, our prayers would not be interrupted. Now some Muslim scholars such as Yusuf Ali point out to consider this ayah to be "abrogated" by the ayahs above. Note what Surah 2:145 adds about facing another Qibla:

Even if thou wert to bring to the people of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow Thy Qibla; nor art thou going to follow their Qibla; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qibla. If thou after the knowledge hath reached thee, Wert to follow their (vain) desires, - then wert thou Indeed (clearly) in the wrong.
If one considers and supports that this is not abrogated, then the only option left is that the Quran in inconsistent regarding this matter – either it should not matter the direction we pray facing, or it does. Clearly from Surah 2:145 which is a continuation makes it clear that if we Muslims were to follow any other Qibla, we would indeed be in the wrong. Other Muslim scholars, however, take the position that it is preferred to pray facing the Kaaba, but not obligatory. They quote Sahih Hadith that clearly show when the Prophet Mohammad was traveling he would say his prayers while facing in the direction he was riding and not the Kaaba. Unfortunately, what is not known is the time of the events reported in some of these Hadith. Was it before or after Surah 2:145 was revealed? Hence we have what I considered a discrepancy, as both set of ayahs cannot be true. Thus the integrity and reliability of the Quran as we have it today was further cast in doubt.

Probably the biggest challenge regarding the issue of discrepancies was the treatment of non-Muslims in the community. This was a difficult task to traverse, as the Quranic Surahs are not chronological and this requires some careful analysis to help us know which came first and the probable reasons behind them and the end result regarding tolerance of other faiths. So, please bear with me as I take it step-by-step. In the early Meccan ayahs it seems that the message of toleration is taught and Prophet Mohammad is sent to warn – making the point that there is no compulsion in religion – sort of ‘to each his own’, but the one who rejects evil and believes in God has got hold of the most trustworthy hand that never breaks. For example let’s take note of some of these ayahs.

Surah 2:256

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands our clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.

Surah 22:49-50

Say: "O men! I am (sent) to you only to give a Clear Warning:
"Those who believe and work righteousness, for them is forgiveness and a sustenance most generous."

Surah 109:4-6

And I will not worship That which ye have been wont to worship,
Nor will you worship That which I worship
To you be your Way and to me mine.
These ayahs are all regarded as having been revealed to Mohammad before the Hijra while the Muslim community was small and the Prophet lived in Mecca. If this was the complete Quranic teaching, then one could say simply that the Quran teaches tolerance and supports that each person under Islam may choose to worship who they want and there is clearly no coercion or persecution of other faiths under Islam. However we find other ayahs that say that something very different. Note below, what has happened now that the community of Muslims has got larger and stronger in Medina after Hijra.

Surah 2:190-194

Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do no transgress limit; for God loveth not transgressors.

And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out From where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; But fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; But if they fight you, Slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, And there prevail Justice and faith in God; But if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those Who practice oppression.
In these ayahs the commands imply that one must fight in the cause of Allah if Muslims are not given their opportunity to freely practice their faith. Some Muslim scholars like Yusuf Ali call these defensive wars as it states in the Surah "those who fight you". Hence making a point that if the Muslims community is oppressed in the expression of their faith, then slaughter is the lesser of the evils. Note the expression "for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter". Note what Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary for this ayah: "If they want forcibly to prevent you from exercising your sacred rites, they have declared war on your religion, and it would be cowardice to ignore the challenge or to fail in rooting out the tyranny." Hence it becomes clear that if the Muslims are not given rights to freely exercise their faith, then the command to fight is given as a defensive measure until this right to worship becomes available to Muslims. But note that while in Mecca the Muslim community was under the same situation, yet there was no command to fight then. That is why a small band of Muslims had fled Mecca to friendly neighbors where they were free to worship Allah. Later, all of the Muslim community, including the Prophet fled Mecca to Medina marking the Hijra. Up to that point in the stream of Quranic revelation, there were no such ayahs of fighting. Taking a look at the same topic in another Surah.

Surah 2:216-218

Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.

They ask thee concerning fighting in the prohibited month. Say: ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the sacred mosque and drive out its members. Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the hereafter. They will be companions of the fire and will abide therein.

Those who believed and those who suffered exile fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of God, they have the hope of the mercy of God, and God is oft-forgiving, most merciful.

Let’s take note of two key items that are new in this above Surah not covered earlier. First, there was the custom in the Arab land that there was to be no war during the sacred months. This was the common honor system in the Arab lands at this time. However, these ayahs clearly call for war, even during the sacred months. A number of Muslims complained against this and these ayahs clearly address their complaint as if they do not like something that is good for them. Second, note that now there is the additional stipulation that if one denies God that may be construed as another criterion under which one could go to war. At this point one may now extend the position from "defensive" to pre-emptive wars also. Let’s take a look to see if that is supported in the early history of Islam as verified in Sahih Hadith of Bukhari.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 196:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah 's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)"

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 386:

Narrated Jubair bin Haiya:

'Umar sent the Muslims to the great countries to fight the pagans. When Al-Hurmuzan embraced Islam, 'Umar said to him. "I would like to consult you regarding these countries which I intend to invade." Al-Hurmuzan said, "Yes … Khosrau." So, 'Umar sent us (to Khosrau) appointing An-Numan bin Muqrin as our commander. When we reached the land of the enemy, the representative of Khosrau came out with forty-thousand warriors, and an interpreter got up saying, "Let one of you talk to me!" Al-Mughira replied, "Ask whatever you wish." The other asked, "Who are you?" Al-Mughira replied, "We … Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says:-- "Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master." (...)."

Notice in both of these Hadith, it is not defense that is being discussed, but invasion. Hence it became clear that as far as I could tell, the Quran in its chronologically early ayahs makes the case for tolerance for all faiths. Then the time progresses, ayahs allow defensive wars. Finally the ayahs support fighting pre-emptive battles. Note where the Hadith says invade, not defend. Troops were sent to great countries to fight the pagans, not to defend the local community of Muslims. If these pre-emptive wars were isolated cases, one could say it was an aberration. However, it is clear from the early history of Islam from Muslim sources that this was not the case.

Hence I was left perplexed. Was this truly a discrepancy in the Quran as there are many ayahs on tolerance, or were those ayahs truly abrogated and there is no discrepancy but the ayahs about tolerance have been abrogated? Perhaps worse, one is left with a set of ayahs and supporting Hadith that state when the community of Islam is small and weak, tolerance for other religions should be the way of life. However, at the appropriate time as Allah has made the community of Muslims strong, then it is the duty of the Muslim, as an act of great charity to fight in the way of Allah and his rightly guided Imams so that the truth may prevail and all other religions are subdued. At this point I started evaluating in depth what Muslim Scholars have said. I discovered that I was not far off in my analysis and understanding. Muslim scholars have studied this at length and their classifications can be divided in three groupings.

* First group is the classical Muslims scholars who were well versed in Abrogation in the Quran. They simply dealt with this topic by stating the obvious. There is no Discrepancy since that is stated in the Quran, and Abrogation is acceptable since that too is stated in the Quran. Hence, the later ayahs that command the Muslim to fight all unbelievers abrogate the earlier ayahs on tolerance.

* Second group is of Muslim scholars who support the evolutionary theory, which was made popular in the ages of great Islamic expansion. In this theory, the proponents simply use all of the ayahs and attribute that just as the early Muslim community in Mecca and Medina were evolving, the Muslims of today need to follow that example. That is to be tolerant and peaceful when one is small and living under a non-Muslim rule, however, when opportunity affords itself, Muslims are to spread the kingdom of Allah. This is made clear in the Quran and Hadith. This is the position taken by the four schools of Sharia Law.

* The third group of scholars is those who live in the modern days and are coming into contact with principles of tolerance, democracy and human rights of the West. They are re-interpreting the Quran by stating that the tolerant ayahs are for all times, but the intolerant ayahs are for very context and situation specific challenges that the Muslim community was faced with during the time of the Prophet and the Caliphate. The wars in those cases were primarily because treaties were broken and the offending tribes needed to be dealt with as a matter of state and not religious preference.

As I studied which of the positions above had the most credibility, I could come to no truthful conclusion other than to side with the Muslim scholars during the ages of great Islamic expansion. It is truly the one that is based on the most scholarly work and is honest to the Quran and Hadith, the principal authorities in Islam. Since the Quran does not always give the context, it is important to interpret the Quran with the Sahih Hadith as applicable. Hence, with the added study, much clarity was brought to mind. I was satisfied, that in this case there was no discrepancy, but very dismayed at learning that the Quran does teach intolerance against those countries and people who deny Allah and his Prophet.

As I studied more of the Quran and its teachings, I found many other areas to be discrepant or problematic. Some of these include:

* Only God is to be worshipped, but Allah commands the angels to bow down to Adam (Surah 2:34, 7:11).

* Different number of days to complete creation - 6 versus 8 days (Surah 25:109, 32:4, 41:9-12).

* Maryam, the mother of Isa, being sister of Aaron (Surah 19:28). Resulting in confusing Miriam the sister of Aaron with Mary, the mother of Isa.

However to keep this article to a reasonable length, I have chosen to stop here.

For many Muslims, the fact that the Quran makes the claim that there are no discrepancies in it is the final word. Others, like myself, who have investigated these and are seeking the truth wherever it leads, find the discrepancies and problems regarding faith and practice real and unacceptable. As a result there was no other option, but to conclude, based on the evidence in the Quran and the Sahih Hadith, that these discrepancies and problems in the teachings of the Quran could not come from an all-knowing, all-wise, and loving God.

At this point I was very distraught. Throughout my Muslim life I was taught that the Arabic Quran was the perfect and uncorrupted words of Allah and perfectly preserved by him through the centuries with no variations. It was the truth and Allah himself would protect it. It was supposed to be perfect in every way. So what was I to do now that I had discovered otherwise? My desire had been to use the Quran as my standard, to live by it and also to invite others to seek guidance from it. I also desired very much to prove to the Christians I was in contact with that Bible was corrupted and they needed to study and seek guidance from the Glorious Quran. But now I had reached a place in my life of faith where I was unable to defend the Quran as the true words of God. I was now convinced and reluctantly came to accept that the Quran as we have it today is not the eternal and in-errant truth from God.

For those of you who are interested in further study on the Quran please refer to the references found at www.answering-islam.org/Quran/index.html and other websites and books. If you would like to send me your comments or questions, please use this email address.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Soon to be Beatified, a Saint from Lebanon

Maronite Friar to Be Beatified in Lebanon
Stephen Nehme Was Always Aware of God

KFIFAN, Lebanon, JUNE 10, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Stephen Nehme (born Joseph), who will be beatified June 27 in Kfifan, Lebanon, was known for his constant awareness of God's presence in his life.

On Tuesday the Vatican announced that Benedict XVI approved the beatification of this Lebanese professed religious of the Order of Maronites who died Aug. 30, 1938, at the age of 49.

The ceremony will be presided over by the prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, Archbishop Angelo Amato, on behalf of the Pope.

Friar Stephen was known as a man of prayer and was called a "disciple of the land." He saw this land as a "school of sanctity" and a "source of spirituality."

Joseph (Yusuf) Nehme was born in March 1889 in the town of Lehfed, in the Jbeil district, as the youngest of seven children.

He studied at Our Lady of Grace School, which was run by the Lebanese Maronite Order.

It is said that one day, Nehme, who was in the fields watching over animals of his father's farm, saw a small badger enter an underground cave.

After noting the presence of traces of water, he began to dig and saw water spring from inside the cave until it became a fountain. This fountain is currently known as the "badger's fountain."

Religious life

In 1905, two years after his father's death, Nehme entered the novitiate of the Order of Maronites, in the Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina in Kfifan.

On Aug. 23, 1907, he made his monastic vows, taking the name Stephen after the patron saint of his birthplace.

Having become a friar, Nehme spent his life in different monasteries of the order, working in the fields and gardens, and dedicating himself to carpentry and construction jobs.

Always and everywhere Friar Stephen was known for his ability to transmit the Good News to his brothers. He lived an intense life of prayer, faithful to the order's constitutions and spirituality.

His generous spirit, his prudent judgment and his compassion for the difficulties of others won him the respect and love of his coworkers.

Friar Stephen's spirituality was marked by the awareness of the Lord's constant presence in every instance of his life, which he himself summarized by often repeating: "God sees me."

Nehme lived through the adversities of World War I, carrying his cross, denying himself and following the Lord with trust and courage.

His whole life can be described as a great act of love, a total gift of his being to God and an uninterrupted pilgrimage to heaven.

Friar Stephen died of natural causes and was buried in the monastery at Kfifan, where his body remains intact.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Married Man to be Ordained as a Catholic Priest!

Members of the cult founded by Felix Manalo, the Iglesia ni Cristo may surely be fretting out with this news. A married man will be ordained to the priesthood and he is a Catholic! Married Catholic priests will always be exceptional.

Local husband, dad to join Catholic priesthood Source: York Daily Record
The former Anglican pastor will be ordained Saturday in Springettsbury Township.

A former Anglican pastor will become the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg's first married priest when he's ordained Saturday in Springettsbury Township.

Paul Schenck, 51, of Manchester Township will be ordained by Bishop Victor Galeone of the Diocese of St. Augustine (Fla.) during a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Galeone, a longtime friend of Schenck's, will perform the rite because the Diocese of Harrisburg has been without a bishop since Kevin C. Rhoades moved to an Indiana diocese in January.

Schenck, a father of eight children ages 9 to 31, began his journey to the priesthood six years ago when he converted to Catholicism after more than 20 years in evangelical and Anglican ministry.

Brought up in a Jewish home, a teenaged Schenck found Jesus in a Methodist chapel in western New York.

At 16, he was baptized in the Niagara River by a Salvation Army officer and later became a Protestant pastor. For 10 years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he and twin Rob helped lead the anti-abortion movement in Buffalo, N.Y. Later, Paul founded the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington, D.C.

After several years serving an Anglican church in Maryland, Paul joined the Catholic Church in 2004, later expressing to Rhoades his interest in beginning the formation process to become a priest. He completed the required training and exams and learned last fall that the Vatican had approved his petition.

A 30-year-old church provision allows the ordination of married men on a case-by-case basis, although the situation is an exception.

"The norm continues to be a celibate priesthood and discernment through seminary, followed by ordination," Schenck said.

There's an estimated 100 married, former Protestant ministers in the Catholic priesthood -- many former Episcopalians and Lutherans.

"It's the first time it's happened here," said Joe Aponick, spokesman for the Harrisburg diocese.

With the special permission of Pope Benedict XVI, Schenck won't promise celibacy on Saturday. If he were to become a widower, he would be bound to celibacy like other priests and couldn't remarry.

Schenck isn't the first married pastor from York County to join the Catholic priesthood.

The Rev. Leonard Klein left Christ Lutheran Church in York in 2003 after 22 years for Catholicism. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Wilmington (Del.) in 2006.

mburke@ydr.com; 771-2024

About him
Name: Paul Schenck
Age: 51
Hometown: Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Lives in: Manchester Township
Family: Wife, Rebecca; and children Leah Crowne, Ari, Abraham, Jordan, Miriam, Marta, Isaac and Eva
Occupation: Director of the Office of Respect Life Activities for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg

Clerical assignment: Parochial vicar, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Harrisburg

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mother Teresa of Calcuta's Legacy by CNN

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

No other religions on earth has the kind of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. And no other Christian sects or cults like the Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism etc. produced saintly men and women like the Catholic Church. This is because one of the Four Marks of the Church of Christ is Holy. Thanks to CNN for highlighting the life of Blessed Mother Teresa as a Catholic nun who has showed us how to love even in our own nothingness.

You can read her other significant biographies here or here or here or here

Diplomatic squabbles over Mother Teresa's legacy

(CNN) -- August marks the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth and few will be prouder than the citizens of her birthplace Skopje.

However, such is the appeal of the world's most famous Catholic nun and humanitarian that since her death there have been diplomatic squabbles over which nation can lay claim to her.

Last year, Albania called for her remains to be returned to lay alongside her mother and sister in the capital Tirana. India rejected the plea on the grounds that she was an Indian citizen.

India, where she made her life's work, has made it clear that Mother Teresa, buried in the heart of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), will not be leaving her final resting place. "Mother Teresa was a citizen of India," said Vishnu Prakash, spokesman for the country's external affairs ministry.

Mother Teresa, however, acknowledged herself as a world citizen, saying: "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus."

At the time of her birth, August 26, 1910, Skopje was part of the Ottoman Empire, now the capital of Macedonia.

A long-held dream for many in Skopje was realized in January last year when a memorial house was opened on the site of the Heart of Jesus Catholic Church where she was baptized and which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1963.

The museum, funded by the Ministry of Culture and private donations, was opened by the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Macedonia, Kiro Stojanov.

With so many laying claim to Mother Teresa, the memorial house is a vital reminder for Macedonians that their country played an important part in her formative years.

Summing up the strong ties Macedonians feel for the modern day saint, curator of the memorial house, Andriana Spirova, told CNN: "She's a huge person from Macedonia. Macedonians are very proud."

Not everyone, however, was pleased with the museum. The influential London magazine Architectural Review described the building as "hugely offensive" and a "lost architectural opportunity".

It said: "It offends with its skewed selection procedure, with its pretentiousness, with its arrogance, with its tastelessness. But most of all, it offends by totally ignoring any architectural correlation with the life and work of Mother Teresa."

Skopje also had a memorial plaque erected in 1998, the year after her death, on the site of Mother Teresa's family home at the edge of the city's wall. Its inscription includes her message to the world: "The world is not hungry for bread, but for love".

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents who lived in pop Kocina street 13, in the Vlach neighborhood of the city.

The family had a long tradition in the fabric-dyeing trade, and Gonxha, the youngest of their three children, attended Catholic schools, where she enjoyed drama, literature and the church chorus.

At 12, she joined an Abbey, and at 18 she left the family home in Skopje to join the Sister of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.

After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India, where she took her vows as a nun in 1931. She dedicated the rest of her life to helping the poorest of the poor in Kolkata.
Mother Teresa returned to Skopje four times after she left at the age of 18, according to ExploringMacedonia.com, the national tourism portal.

During her first visit in 1970, as the guest of the Red Cross, she was interested in the rebuilding of Skopje after the 1963 earthquake. In 1978 she returned as guest of the city to visit relatives and neighbors of her youth.

The year after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Teresa again returned to Skopje, where she was welcomed by a large crowd and proclaimed an honorary citizen of the city. On her final visit the same year she bought a house in Skopje's central area Kisala Voka for the sisters of her Order.

Mother Teresa died at the age of 87 in 1997 and was buried in the Mother House of her Order, the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Six years later she was beatified by Pope John II before a crowd of 300,000 in St Peter's Square, Rome.

Blessed Mother Teresa, Pray for Us!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Mosque at Ground Zero?

At Ground Zero, was the Twin Towers hit by Muslim Extremists n 2000 who hated America and the West. Thousands died on that event witnessed by the world.  The violence will always remind us peace loving citizens that Islamic supremacism should not be entertained in our cities and in our democratic countries.  Just as we non-Muslims respect their culture while in their Shariah countries, so they should adhere to our culture.  Even today, Muslims around the world hated America and I can categorically say this is the existing collective feeling of every Muslim in the world including its ally, Israel for all they know. I believe only those Muslims within the American society are trying to be somewhat "different". Should a Grand Mosque be built at Ground Zero? I strongly believe, Muslims can build their mosque somewhere else but please spare the Ground Zero. Muslims should try this-- SENSITIVITY.  It will not make them less people. Rather it will make them humans too.  While non-Muslims are persecuted constantly in their land of origin, their sensitivity to others feelings also counts. Maybe an ecumenical Church building could be a better idea but NOT A MOSQUE!
Protesters descend on Ground Zero for anti-mosque demonstration

New York (CNN) -- Protestors gathered in lower Manhattan mid-day Sunday to demonstrate against plans to build a mosque near the site of Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Protest organizer Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger, and her group, "Stop the Islamicization of America," planned the event because, according to the group's website, "Building the Ground Zero mosque is not an issue of religious freedom, but of resisting an effort to insult the victims of 9/11 and to establish a beachhead for political Islam and Islamic supremacism in New York... Ground Zero is a war memorial, a burial ground. Respect it."

Geller said the NYPD and security at the rally told her about 5,000 demonstrators were there. But NYPD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hayes said the police department's policy is to not provide crowd estimates and that he could not confirm Geller's number.

CNN iReporter Julio Ortiz-Teissonniere, who attended the rally and sent photos to CNN, said the number was closer to 200-300 while he was there for the first 45 minutes of the event. All three said the protest was peaceful.

Human rights advocates, politicians and families of 9/11 victims addressed the crowd. Both Geller and Ortiz-Teissonniere said those family members elicited a powerful, emotional response from the protesters.

Geller recently told CNN's Joy Behar that no one's telling the mosque's planners they can't build it, but "We're asking them not to."

"We feel it would be more appropriate maybe to build a center dedicated to expunging the Quranic texts of the violent ideology that inspired jihad, or perhaps a center to the victims of hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars, land enslavements, cultural annihilations and mass slaughter," Geller said.

The project calls for a 13-story community center including a mosque, performing art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.

It is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative.

The Cordoba Initiative aims to improve relations between Muslims and the West.

"The Cordoba Initiative hopes to build a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming, similar to the 92nd Street Y," its website says, referring to the cultural institution on the upper East side of Manhattan.

Daisy Khan of the American Society for Muslim Advancement told CNN it was a "community center with a prayer space inside."

She said the project was an opportunity for American Muslims living in New York to "give back" to the community.

"There is a lot of ignorance about who Muslims are. A center like this will be dedicated to removing that ignorance and it will also counter the extremists because moderate Muslims need a voice," she told CNN. "Their voices need to be amplified."

Local political leaders turned out in support of the community last month after Mark Williams of the conservative Tea Party Express reportedly said the mosque was for "the worship of the terrorists' monkey-god."

"To make room for peace there can be no room for hatred, bigotry or prejudice," City Councilman Robert Jackson said at the May 20 demonstration.

The project has the backing of the Community Board of lower Manhattan. It does not require city permission to go ahead.

The plan has split people touched by the September 11 attacks.

"Lower Manhattan should be made into a shrine for the people who died there," said Michael Valentin, a retired city detective who worked at ground zero. "It breaks my heart for the families who have to put up with this. I understand they're [building] it in a respectful way, but it just shouldn't be down there."

Others such as Barry Zelman said the site's location will be a painful reminder.

"(The 9/11 terrorists) did this in the name of Islam," Zelman said. "It's a sacred ground where these people died, where my brother was murdered, and to be in the shadows of that religion, it's just hypocritical and sacrilegious. "

But Marvin Bethea, who was a paramedic at ground zero, said it was "the right thing to do."

"I lost 16 friends down there. But Muslims also got killed on 9/11. It would be a good sign of faith that we're not condemning all Muslims and that the Muslims who did this happened to be extremists," he said. "As a black man, I know what it's like to be discriminated against when you haven't done anything."

Read also JIHADWATCH.

5,000 free people stand for freedom against the 9/11 mega-mosque at Ground Zero

They started showing up long before the rally began at noon today. They came from Washington state, California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere. They were Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists, Muslims of conscience. They were lovers of freedom.

An hour before the rally began, they numbered 1,000. Zuccotti Park's owners sided with the Islamic supremacists and withdrew their permit to allow us to gather there, and so the police repeatedly requested that people leave the park and move into the pens that the police had set up at Church and Liberty streets. Before noon, however, the pens were full -- and so, with free citizens having every legal right to be in the park, the park became a site for the rally despite the best efforts of its clueless dhimmi owners.

By the time the rally was in full swing, the crowd filled the pens, the park, and the other side of the street. Police estimated that 5,000 people were there, and other estimates ranged as high as 10,000. The crowd carried signs expressing their love for freedom, their contempt for Sharia, and their anger at Islamic supremacism and insult to the memories of those murdered on 9/11 that this mosque represents.

And we had a full spectrum of top quality speakers. There were 9/11 family members, including C. Lee Hanson, who lost his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter on 9/11. There were people who experienced the oppression of Sharia firsthand, such as the Egyptian ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, the Sudanese ex-slave Simon Deng, and the Hindu human rights activist Babu Suseelan. There was Dennis McKenna, who worked recovering remains from the ruins of the World Trade Center; Alan T. DeVona, the patrol sergeant on duty on September 11, 2001; and Keith LeBow, an ironworker who was one of the first responders on the scene on September 11. There was Herb London of the Hudson Institute and Beverly Carlson of the Band of Mothers -- and a host of other speakers, all lovers of America and lovers of freedom.

The theme among all the speakers was common: the mosque is an insult to the Americans who were murdered there. It is a manifestation of a radically intolerant belief system that is incompatible with the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. And even with all the political elites against us, and the mainstream media indifferent or compromised (5,000 to 10,000 people at the rally, and no mainstream media coverage!), we will prevail. All we have on our side is the truth.

Pamela Geller did interviews with Al-Jazeera, AP, Chilean television, Italian television and many others; I was interviewed by Italian television and TV Asia. ABC? NBC? CBS? CNN? Even FOX? AWOL.

And the truth is powerful. The forecast had called for rain, but it didn't start raining in New York until after the rally had broken up. Many took it as a sign that we represented the cause of right and justice. And even with all the indifference of the politicians and the media, we sent a signal today: we will not let this injustice stand. We will be rallying again in September, and again when construction begins on the mega-mosque. We will be filing suit against the Federal Government, asking that the Burlington Coat Factory site where the mega-mosque is going to be built be designated a war memorial, a la Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, etc., because of the part of one of the 9/11 airplanes that crashed into the roof there, and that is in the makeshift mosque that Muslims are using there now.

And above all: we will never give up!

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