Are we entertaining angels or demons?
In Hebrews 13:2 we are told that we are not to neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. In this understanding, I am quite open to discussing matters of faith either in online forums or on the street. I generally give people a charitable benefit of the doubt. Sometimes in doing this, however, I have been confronted with angels of light — demons who are masquerading as messengers of God.
In a recent conversation on Facebook with a particular young man, it became clear that I was dealing with a being who was contemptuous of the things of God. Like Satan confronting Eve in the Garden, his focus was on the value personal experiences and pride that he knew better than scripture, the apostles, and even Jesus himself.
What’s your opinion? Is there anything about our faith in Jesus Christ to be prideful about? I personally cannot think of any reason to boast. Jesus did the hard part all by himself. Before the foundations of the earth, Jesus had a plan to redeem our fallen world. That plan found its culmination in the death, burial, and Resurrection of our Lord. How do we know this? It is written down for us in scripture. NO this is not a myth or legend. It actually happened. In fact, this one event is probably the most attested event of all ancient historical events. More about this further on.
What gave him away? Yesterday’s demon was not coming from a place of Christian maturity, or classic Christian thinking (Protestant or Catholic). From his responses, it is clear that he has no respect for sacred scripture, and he places more emphasis on personal feelings and life experience in determining his particular Christian values. He was disingenuous at best, claiming to be “playing Devil’s advocate, and would never identify his church affiliation. However, it was clear that he had no respect for either Protestant or Catholic faith paradigms. To top it off, he seemed to be more concerned with proclaiming his prideful superiority and “winning” an argument than listening patiently and commenting on differing views.
This became clear early on, but abundantly so when he attempted to skew the conversation based upon the pride of his education and racial identity. As a people of God, we must never resort to racial identity arguments, and pride should be avoided at all costs. Especially ministers of the Gospel who are reading this — we must become COLORBLIND.
In his pride and lack of properly formed faith, this demonically inspired person assumes that Catholics are not saved.
It was pride that caused the first sin in the Garden of Eden when Eve believed Satan’s lie regarding God’s word of warning about the forbidden fruit. It was the same evil lie that prompted Marcion, a 2nd Century heretic to discard the old testament and much of the new. Martin Luther, someone who frequently argued with Satan was deceived and wanted to remove the book of James and disliked John’s Revelation. Later reformers did, however, dispose of the Hebrew scriptures in common use at the time of Christ and the early church.
Whenever you hear someone disrespecting scripture, you MUST realize that these are lies directly from the darkest pit of hell. NO, I am not exaggerating. Do not let anyone tell you that what God has called good is otherwise. The Apostle Paul called the Hebrew Scripture of his day “INSPIRED.” He also taught his disciples to hold on to both oral and written traditions that have been passed down to the Church. If anyone ever tells you that those words are meaningless in our day, don’t you believe it.
Modern Christians in many circles have little respect for holy scripture. Like the young man above, they doubt its inspiration and usefulness. Instead, they say that it is merely a collection of mythology, and not worthy of taking seriously. In fact, This gentleman suggests we simply seek the Holy Spirit to guide our path.
Only his personal feelings-based view of Christ and how to apply the Christian faith to our lives seem to matter. This is an all too common position of modern liberal Christianity. Above is a link to my ebook “Authentic Faith, Radical Transformation and Contemplative Prayer. I suggest you get a copy and learn come truths and better understand the paradigm of faith we are living in.
Like the self-identified highly educated “young black man” above, I have personally achieved a higher level of education and success than my parents, but I don’t take that as a position of personal pride. My intellect or race has nothing to do with my success or failures. In every success, Nothing in my life experience suggests that I‘ve benefitted by what liberals these days are calling “white privilege.” Christians should not find their motivation is pride, but give glory to God for all things.
Our love of God should compel us to honesty in all things, especially when it comes to things of the Spirit. Additionally, communicating spiritual truth should come from a place of humility. I freely admit that as a man, I have human failings. I know that I don’t know everything. I am not infallible. Even my position as a bishop and so-called spiritual “father” or leader is subject to the grace, providence, and mercy of God alone. In all things, I strive to be a humble servant — as should we all.
We must each begin our walk of faith and witness to Christ from a place of humility. Understanding that, we must NOT attempt to create theological constructs out of whole cloth. It is essential that our personal feelings and ideas are not impacting proclamation of the Gospel. Neither should we be relying on a modern, politically correct world view, which has no place in determining our understanding of, or formation of Church teachings.
Years ago, I discovered that I needed a baseline on which to base my faith. As I matured, I discovered that despite Protestantism’s claims of disdain for tradition, they have developed their own traditions, and rely on the teachings of their own fathers. In their pride, they have been rewriting Christianity in their own image for the past 500 years.
We do not have the liberty to deny the inspiration of scripture, teach another gospel message and remain Christian. Paul teaches that all Scripture is inspired by God. When penned this, he was referring to the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, and by inference, we apply the same respect to the writings of the New Testament. Now, 2,000 years after the founding of the Church many are saying that scripture is out of date and out of touch with our times — those spouting this nonsense are out of touch with the Holy Spirit of God, who is immutable and unchanging. From the first page to last, scripture is just as valid and cogent today as it was when 1st written.
We have ample warning in scripture to beware of those thieves and robbers come into our midst full of deception. They are as cunning as serpents. Their lies are just as deadly.
Beware of those who dismiss the word of God because it is supposedly all “myth” or not “scientifically verifiable.”
The Modern notion that Christian theology can be modified according to your feelings and personal experience is not backed up by either scripture or historic teachings. These notions play on individual pride and conceit. Yes. Feelings are important to everyone. However, if they are contradicting the historic deposit of faith you need to flee, and not look back. We need to test all things to see if they are of (1 Thessalonians 5:21) God, and “hold fast what is good.”
Scripture was not written as a scientific or historical proof-text. From the beginning, the Holy writings have included a wide range of literary genre, presented to convey God’s truth regarding himself, the world around us, and how we may be reconciled with him. Primarily, scripture is Gods communication of his love towards us. Within these Holy texts, we are presented with guidelines and norms for a relationship with God and man. These writings have become the benchmark of our moral, civilized society for most of the past 2,000 years.
We ignore these standards or create conflicting moral codes at our peril.
In my Church jurisdiction, the International Catholic Confederation, we are not starting from a position of pride, but humility. We don’t claim some grandiose position of authority or spiritual superiority. Our goal is simple — follow our Lord Jesus, the Christ in Spirit and in truth. In order to support our position of orthodoxy, we have deliberately chosen to stand on the shoulders of the giants of the faith who have gone before us. We specifically choose to rely on the accepted teachings that have been handed down to us from the Church of the first thousand years —before the “Great Schism.” These early fathers and councils have already done the difficult work. They have struggled to combat multitudes of error, define our understanding of the Trinity, personhood, and divinity of Christ, and even gave us the bible itself. Our positions are not based upon self-serving “traditions of men,” but rather those coming to us from Holy Men who prayerfully struggled to discern what is right and pleasing to God. These men handed on to us the verbal traditions and faith understanding passed on to them from Jesus and the Apostles.
It would be the height of arrogance to suggest that the apostles and their disciples got it wrong. Disregarding the teachings of the early Church fathers was the biggest error of Luther and the other Reformers.
”Do you believe in Jesus”?
The signs of Christ’s imminent return are increasing. Are you ready? Have you followed him through the waters of baptism? Do you meet him regularly in the Eucharist? Do you seek him in prayerful contrition — praying for his mercy? Are you on the road towards sanctification, continually striving to do the will of the Father?
In this day and age, having an Authentic Faith is something supremely radical — it is refusing to be conformed to the Moral relativism of our age; it is about embracing something countercultural.
Like the adversary in yesterday’s conversation, the “devils” believe, and they tremble. ~James 2:19
Though they ridicule scripture like our demonic antagonist, they know it better than most Christians. Similar to the example from yesterday, Satan and his cohort are wondering the world like a roaring lion, seeking whom they may deceive. 1 Peter 5:8
“Don’t read your Bible or Pay attention to church teachings,” the demon told us! just pray about it and pay attention to your feelings and what your life experience is telling you. These are the classic lies from the pit of hell!
In attempting to be faithful to the ancient orthodoxy, our task is simple — don’t mess it up with human innovations. We see this happening all around us. Just as the Protestant Fathers disavowed the Hebrew Scriptures that the Apostle Paul called “Inspired,” in their pride, new-age Christians are listening to the lies of the evil one, supplanting God’s word with human wisdom, understanding, and reintroducing ancient errors and immorality.
Yes, we must indeed pray and study so that or teachings may be pleasing to God, but we must also understand that what was written in antiquity was done so for our edification. Our position of faith is based upon a three-legged stool, Remove one leg and the whole thing topples over. You cannot believe in Sola Scriptura, and remove the Septuagint version of the Hebrew Scripture. Relying on Scripture alone caused a multitude of heresy and erroneous teachings in the early church. And such reliance along with pride is the root of countless modern-day errors. Additionally, it is the responsibility of Church leaders, the Bishops to hold their clergy accountable to their teaching of authentic Christian truth. It is only through this approach that God will continue to use us and transmit an Authentic Faith on to succeeding generations.