In an article at Word of Fire Catholic Ministries, Bishop Robert Barron tries in vain to answer the question “What Precisely is the Gospel?”
He begins by ribbing Evangelicals on their ability to succinctly articulate what the Gospel is. Apparently, our understanding is simplistic as it is ‘reduced’ to some version of justification by grace through faith.
My, aren’t we just a bunch of rubes.
Catholics, of course, have dug much deeper into the Gospel and have a far richer understanding of this extremely complex topic. They would not be so pretentious as to put the Gospel in a box. This would make it far too easy for the laity to understand the Scriptures. If that were to happen, it would eliminate any need for the Catholic Church to tell them what to believe.
According to Bishop Barron, the basic meaning of the good news is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. When God raised Jesus from the dead, he showed that his love was more powerful than sin and death. This apparently was the primary purpose of his resurrection. Jesus had to prove himself to us.
As you can see when you read this article, Bishop Barron has slowly and meticulously taken the Gospel off the rails.
According to the good Bishop, the good news is that the “new and authentic king has won a great victory.” In reality, the Good News is that Christ died for our sins. According to the Bishop, since Jesus won this victory, which was apparently in doubt, it is now time to join his army.
It is time for us to become members of the mystical body of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC).
This is where the trainwreck that is Catholic theology begins. The idea that Jesus thought he had to prove to his creations that his love was more powerful than sin and death sounds unbiblical. Jesus went to the cross to take the sins of the world upon himself and thus earn our salvation. He really did not need to prove anything to us so that we would then feel the need to join his church.
After various meanderings through the ‘church fathers’ and the delightful ‘Council of Trent,’ he concludes by finally answering the most pressing question, So what is the Gospel? His answer is that “God became one of us that we might become participants in his life!”
I can’t believe he wrote that with a straight face.
Paul was very clear about the Gospel and how it is defined. He reminded the Corinthians of the Gospel that he preached and was completely unequivocal about it. It is the primary doctrine that the church has taken its stand upon. It is by this Gospel that we are being saved as long as we firmly hold to the word that Paul preached to us. If we reject the Gospel, then our faith is in vain.
Paul said of the Gospel:
15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve (I Corinthians 15:3-5).
The question then becomes, can Bishop Barron, or the papacy for that matter, read above a third-grade level? He seems fairly intelligent and well-read so that cannot be the problem. Somehow, he has become spiritually blinded so that he is literally incapable of understanding the one Christian doctrine that is of first importance.
If we insert Bishop Barron’s new gospel into this passage, it looks like this:
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that God became one of us that we might become participants in his life! 4 that he showed us that his love was more powerful than sin and death, and due to this enlightenment we can all merge into the mystical body of the church.
This false understanding of the Gospel is not exclusive to Bishop Barron.
If you ever experience the need to torture yourself, feel free to sit down and immerse yourself in the text of Vatican II. You can begin with the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum Solemnly Promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965.”
Self-flagellation is a ‘sacred’ tradition in the RCC and laboring through Vatican II is the perfect whip to ensure that you are properly chastened.
Just like Bishop Barron, you will find that the Gospel is so incredibly complex that only the most erudite can understand it. In Chapter One of the ‘Dogmatic’ alone, “His Holiness” lists upwards of 25 different passages that he uses to explain the divine revelation of God’s hidden purpose.
Not surprisingly, I Corinthians 15:3-5 is not among them.
This is called obfuscation. All that is necessary is to take a simple truth and try to make it more complex than it needs to be. By inundating people with numerous Scriptures, most people will find that they are more than willing to rely on the ‘authorities’ rather than seek their own understanding of a simple topic.
It becomes very easy to lead lay people astray once this is accomplished. You load people down with so much Scripture their eyes roll back in their heads and they wait for you to tell them what it all means. Redefining the Gospel is much easier once this is accomplished.
According to Vatican II, because the RCC is the ‘one true church,’ it seems that the Apostles of Christ left only Catholic bishops in charge of teaching in their place. They handed down to these few humble bishops ‘everything’ that “contributes towards the holiness of life and increase in faith of the peoples of God.”
Armed with this understanding, the RCC then “moves constantly forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.”
Only Roman Catholic bishops are capable of comprehending the close connection between ‘sacred tradition’ and Sacred Scripture. These traditions and Scripture, allegedly entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, have been handed to their Catholic successors in their full purity. These ‘successors’ are the only ones who can proclaim them, preserve the word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known.
And thus, Vatican II leads us into cult territory.
So when you come to your local Catholic Church, check your coat and your mind at the door. There is no need for you to explore Scripture yourself like those pesky Bereans. All you have to do is commit your spirit, your eternal soul, into the hands of the ‘experts.’
In fact, the RCC is like your mother. You can trust that the church, by her authority and maternal concern, to see to it that suitable and correct translations of the Bible are available should you feel the need to fruitlessly examine all the complexities of the word of God.
Your mother church encourages you to seek a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture. She also encourages you to study the “holy Fathers of East and West,” as if you had the motivation and patience to do that, along with exploring the sacred liturgies.
However, you must do this under the “watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church.” In other words, don’t waste your time because they will tell you what you are to believe.
As we ‘solemnly’ trudge through Vatican II, the “Lumen Gentium” lays out the new strategy that will be used to undermine the true church. The ‘sacred tradition’ of proclaiming Protestants as heretics deserving of death has been revised. No longer are they to be burned in the fires of the inquisition.
A more insidious strategy has been devised.
First, ‘His Holiness’ informs us of the new gospel that he has invented. After peppering his treatise with false piety, we learn that God’s plan was to” raise men to a participation of the divine life.” That false gospel sounds familiar.
Although this has an element of truth, it is not even close to the Gospel but rather a complete confusion of it.
When Satan tempted Jesus, he took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple. He then said to him, “if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down because the Scripture says that God will send his angels to save you.”
In reality, God promised that he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of God, and in this rest he will guard you in all of your ways.
We are to fear the Lord and serve only him. The Lord does not serve us. Satan misused Scripture to tempt Jesus into obeying him, thereby turning God into his servant. To obey Satan would have revealed a colossal lack of faith and Christ’s mission would have come to an end.
In the same way, the pope misuses Scripture to bring people under his power.
According to the pope, the mystery of the holy church is manifest in its very foundation. Jesus allegedly set the church on its course by preaching the “good news,” that is, the coming of the kingdom of God. Since the church is run by the pope, it is the pope who will build the kingdom of God, which he believes is the church.
Unfortunately for the pope, the ‘Good News’ is not the coming of the kingdom of God, the ‘Good News’ is that Christ died for our sins.
If the pope does not know what the Gospel is, we can assume that the over one billion Catholics who attend the RCC do not know what it is either. This is truly disturbing because now we are seeing that the vast majority of Protestants cannot accurately explain what the Gospel is, just like their Catholic counterparts.
I wonder if that happened by accident.
When the pope moves on to the Eucharist, what we Christian’s call ‘the Lord’s Supper,’ we find that the Catholic church has redefined that as well in its relentless effort to empower itself. This is no longer a ceremony in which we eat and drink the elements in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
It is necessary for the RCC to redefine the Lord’s Supper in a way that will create obedience to the Catholic Church and its pope.
It seems that Jesus, during the last supper, actually turned the elements into his body and blood by his divine power. In the same way, only ordained RCC priests have the power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Jesus apparently gave them this power when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.’
That is quite a stretch.
The implication, of course, is that only a priest of the RCC can administer this sacrament. And only members of the RCC can partake of this ‘means of salvation.’ Those members of the RCC who approach this sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from the wrath of God for the offense committed against Him. No one from any other church can administer or receive this pardon.
At the same time, those who partake of this sacrament are reconciled with not only God but the church as well. It seems that we “wound” the RCC when we sin and are then obligated to correct our transgression by humbly submitting to their authority.
If that sounds like one of Satan’s temptations, that is only because it is.
And that, dear brothers and sisters, is everything that you need to know about the heresy of Transubstantiation but were afraid to ask.
According to Vatican II, the pope and the entire hierarchy of the RCC share in Christ’s prophetic office and are a living witness of him. They are ‘anointed’ by the Holy One and cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when “from the bishops down to the last of the lay faithful they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals.”
If I am not mistaken, didn’t Jesus mention something about many coming in his name claiming they are the ‘anointed ones’ and will deceive many?
In true Satanic fashion, the pope goes so far as to claim that the RCC “sojourns on the earth as an exile.” Far from being an exile, the RCC has achieved incredible political power and wealth by fornicating with the kings of the earth. It used its beauty, given to it by God, and became a prostitute to every wealthy and powerful suitor that propositioned it.
Blasphemously, the pope claims that membership in the RCC is necessary for salvation. The pope proclaims, “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. As shepherds of the church, he who hears them hears Christ, and he who rejects them rejects Christ.”
Speaking as a dragon who has two horns like a lamb, the pope declares, “But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church.
And he is always free to exercise that power.” We can add to this boast, ‘without restraint.’
It is because the human race is joining more and more into a civic, economic and social unity, that “it is necessary that priests, under the leadership of the bishops and the Supreme Pontiff, wipe out every kind of separateness, so that the whole human race may be brought under the unity of the family of God.”
And here is the religious justification for global religion which will guide global government.
In order to achieve global government, Vatican II requires all religions be brought together by reverence for a single figure. That figure is the virgin Mary who is “the Mother of God and therefore surpasses all other creatures in both heaven and earth. She was holy and free from all stain of sin as she freely cooperated in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience.”
She is the Mother of all the living as she is worthy of the proclamation “death through Eve, life through Mary.”
Whatever happened to that Jesus guy?
The Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix. And, according to the Book of Revelation, this false ‘Mary’ will no doubt be invoked under the title of Dominatrix.
Far from being the Mother of God, God calls the Mary of the RCC the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the earth. The greatest abomination to come out of the earth is the False Prophet who rises up with the Antichrist. He has two horns like a lamb, just as Jesus was the lamb of God, but this lamb speaks like a dragon.
Sounds an awful lot like a pope to me.
Those of us who were once denounced as ‘accursed’ by God, according to past popes, have now been elevated to the office of ‘separated brethren.’ No one bothers to explain this transition in Vatican II, we are just supposed to take it on faith that the RCC no longer means us any harm.
Currently, we ‘separated brethren’ are offended by the elevation of Mary who is now a co-redeemer with Christ. We will need to get our minds right on this issue. The RCC and its pope will ‘insist’ that all of humanity adhere to its vision for all of Christendom.
The pope boldly proclaims, “The entire body of the faithful pours forth instant supplications to the Mother of God and Mother of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above the angels and saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether they are honored with the title of Christian or whether they still do not know the Saviour, may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into one people, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.”
He left out, “or else.”
After this diatribe, we move on to the strategy that will serve to undermine the true church of Christ and replace it with an abomination. Not long after Vatican II, in the late 1960’s a new ‘Christian’ movement reared its ugly head. Out of the 1960’s counterculture came ‘The Jesus Movement.’
The ‘Jesus Freaks’ that arose out of this movement were far more interested in experience and emotion than with sound doctrine. They were heavily involved in rock and roll which began to take the place of traditional hymns. This environment gave birth to the Emergent church which would slowly and meticulously undermine the truth faith.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), the following describes the Emergent Church Movement (with my commentary included in bold):
The Emergent Church is a trans-denominational, praxis-oriented (a Marxist version of the Hegelian Dialectic), noncentralized movement that seeks to reconfigure, to varying degrees, the theology (to reconfigure the Gospel and empty it of its meaning), worship (from reverent to profane), biblical hermeneutics (to deemphasize the Bible), and social engagement of the Church, in light of the cultural and intellectual shift (to become ‘relevant’ to the culture) from modernity (the belief in absolute truth) to postmodernity (the rejection of absolute truth).
Though the movement originally comprised those who had become dissatisfied with conservative evangelicalism (Christianity as described by Jesus), it soon grew to include members of mainline Protestant churches (which were the first to accept the above heresies and achieve ‘dead’ status).
One can properly distinguish the terms "Emerging" and "Emergent" by remembering that there is a wide variety of theological traditions and liturgical expressions within the broad phenomenon of the Emerging churches, whereas the term "Emergent" is a more precise term (as these churches ‘emerge’ as corpses), often associated with particular publications produced by the Zondervan publishing house and with three thinkers: Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, and Tony Jones (who were the first to successfully adopt the Marxist attempt to deconstruct the Gospel, and replace it with social justice.
According to the pope, “The restoration of the unity among Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.” The Jesuits were created to restore this unity by engaging in a counter-reformation. The main goal of the counter-reformation was to create discord in Protestantism and cause its congregations to disburse.
In this way, many would become disenchanted with Protestantism and return to the ‘stability’ of the RCC. If we combine this strategy with the strategy of the evil Globalists of causing discord in our culture, it is easy to see how this plan has begun to take shape.
The pope and his Jesuits will issue weak resistance, if any at all, to the evil Globalists’ sexual and cultural agenda. At the same time, they will be infiltrating and undermining Protestant churches. They will then stand ready to accept any ‘Christians’ who are frustrated with their dead and Laodicean churches. After they have been sufficiently battered by their corrupt culture, the faithful will then eagerly enter the RCC fold.
By undermining the true faith and creating a church movement that was ‘trans-denominational,’ an ‘emergent church could arise and lead people to the RCC. Many of the individual heresies that infect the dead churches in this modern era find their origin in the RCC.
The greatest victory of the RCC was its ability to distort the Gospel in the Protestant churches.
To make this transition, the Gospel had to be deconstructed to the point where it was unrecognizable. No one in Roman Catholicism can accurately define what the Gospel is. If we examine our dead and Laodicean churches, we will find that their leaders have the same deficiency.
Once this was accomplished, it was an easy matter to wait for the Protestant churches to conform to the world.
The church began to conform to the world with the arrival of such false gospels as “The Purpose Driven Life” and “Best Life Now Theologies.” A new emphasis was placed on a worldly notion of self and a ‘love’ that was devoid of truth and righteousness.
These man-made philosophies also moved the church from being Christ centered to being self-centered.
With Vatican II, the pope embarked on what he referred to as the ‘ecumenical movement.’ This movement was designed to overcome the ‘obstacles to unity’ created by the Protestant Reformation. According to Vatican II, because Protestants have been baptized, we are still members of the body of Christ, just deficient.
The Protestant churches are not blessed with the unity which Christ wished to bestow on all those who were born again into one body. The problem with the RCC is that the church was to unify under the Gospel, not some cultlike submission to a pope.
Now that the Gospel has been sufficiently undermined so that few really know what it is, there is nowhere to look for ‘stability’ but to the pope.
Admittedly, many Protestant churches did form their own denominations due to disagreements over doctrine. However, despite this weakness, the church was able to avoid the outrageous corruption that has been found in the RCC since the birth of the papacy.
The Protestant churches did have unity in the sense that we all knew what the Gospel was.
However, the ‘separated brethren,’ who are called anathema in the “holy convocation of the Council of Trent”, are now invited to ‘advance to’ membership in the RCC. There will be no threats this time; no burning at the stake, no torture on the rack. Instead, we will be treated to their ‘ecumenical movement.’
A Hegelian Dialectic process will be used by the RCC to lead the ‘prodigal sons’ back into their fold. That process looks like this:
Thesis: The RCC is the one true church
Antithesis: The Protestant churches represent the true communion of the saints
Synthesis: All churches must achieve “spiritual ecumenism” with the RCC.
The mechanics of the Hegelian Dialectic offered in Vatican II look like this:
Step One: All Catholics must avoid expressions, judgments and actions that the ‘separated brethren’ find objectionable.
Step Two: Catholics are to dialogue with ‘competent experts (a.k.a. saps)’ from different churches and communities.
Step Three: At these meetings, each sect is allowed to air out their doctrines in a spirit of cooperation.
Step Four: Each group gains a greater understanding of the position of the other spiritual groups.
Step Five: The whole group then brainstorms to find areas of agreement so that all groups can cooperate for the common good of humanity.
Step Six: All parties will find areas where each group can engage in common prayer.
Step Seven: All are led to examine their own faithfulness to Christ’s will for the church and accordingly to undertake with vigor the task of renewal and reform.
These steps should be understood within the context that the RCC is the one true church and the rest of us are ‘separated brethren.’ This fact, of course, renders everything that was stated above completely meaningless and absurd.
The ‘renewal and reform’ will take place in the Protestant churches because the RCC is filled with the ‘anointed ones’ who cannot err in matters of faith.
Those who are drawn into this foolishness will find themselves slowly being manipulated by professional schemers of the RCC. The RCC will help the ‘competent experts’ of Protestantism to get their minds right. They can then go out to the Protestant churches and bring them into mystical union with Roman Catholicism.
These ‘competent experts’ are even now receiving “instruction and spiritual formation” by representatives of the RCC. They have gained political leadership within the various Protestant churches and seminaries where they intentionally undermine the true faith.
The professional connivers of the RCC intend to help us ‘separated brethren’ become more Christ-like. We will be taught spiritual disciplines like meditating on Scripture, practicing silence and solitude like the monks, and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
We will be taught such monastic practices as Lectio Divina which many Protestant churches have adopted. Instead of exegeting Scripture to determine the meaning of what God is saying to us, we can instead read large portions of Scripture, without discernment, in our effort to ‘commune with God.’
We are to meditate on the words as if they have some mystical quality, in and of themselves, to get us in touch with the divine.
The last thing we want to do is treat Scripture as texts to be studied. They should be treated as the living word. When we make no effort to discern what Scripture is saying, we allegedly ‘experience’ Christ through the reading of his word. We are to enter into and share the peace of Christ through the reading of Scripture rather than exegeting it.
In this way, we can impose ignorance upon ourselves and turn our hearts and minds over to the pope.
However, in our ignorance, following such practices will “enable us to enter into an integrated and holistic deepening of our love for God and neighbor and express this love in mission and service.” We can all achieve a vacant, mesmerizing sense of ‘love’ that has no meaning whatsoever.
And thus was born the love gospel, which is no Gospel at all.
In a doctrine that would make Joel Osteen proud, we find that God has created each person with a unique personality. Our unique personality influences how we relate to people and situations and is of paramount importance when expressing the ‘love’ of God.
Gee, aren’t we special?
“Spiritual Formation is about discovering oneself in order to live out ones calling.” Or, in the words of the nineteenth century philosopher Kierkegaard, “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.”
Through the various spiritual disciplines of the RCC we allegedly experience a way of life oriented towards God. Wikipedia states, “The disciplines associated with spiritual formation involve an element of self-reflection, self-examination, and contemplation such as prayer and sacred reading to help increase one’s love for and knowledge of God and others.
If you are wondering where the Gospel is in any of these spiritual disciplines, you will search for it in vain. So much for the phony ‘love’ of the RCC.
This ideology contains within it all of the false gospels that have plagued Protestantism for the last fifty years. It meets perfectly all of the ideals of the Emergent Church Movement.
The emphasis on self, experience, emotionalism, the love gospel, postmodernism and every other aberrant philosophy is bound up in spiritual formation. It completely empties the Gospel of its meaning and sends you down a rabbit hole that leads to spiritual destruction.
The last three churches of Revelation precisely describe the state of Christendom in the last days of the church age. Most of our mega churches have a reputation for being alive but they are dead. Jesus is outside of all of our Laodicean churches and gently requesting to be allowed in.
However, Jesus has placed an open door before those who are faithful. It is a door that no one can shut. This church has little strength but it holds firm to the Gospel and to the name of Christ.
Since we will keep Christ’s command to endure patiently, he will keep us from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world. We are not of the earth so we will not be tested like those who love the world. Jesus will write on us a new name that will be ours for all of eternity.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.