Wednesday, May 27, 2015

On Beatification

“It is the most impudent of all impudence to affirm that to be a part of Christianity which Christ never taught.”
Martin Luther
A certain dead nun was declared “Blessed”, based on miracles attributed to her. The event took up the limelight as it was the first beatification ceremony to be held in Africa. Among the by-products of the main event were a cleaning upgrading of Nyeri and an explosion of economic activity in the period when visitors thronged the town. Who’s complaining?

Any true Protestant (one who believes in the Bible alone as a rule of faith) should immediately be disquieted by a series of question marks when they encounter this curious ceremony.
1. Who is a saint? Has the Catholic church authority to canonize saints?
2. What is the state of the dead? Are they conscious in afterlife, or asleep in the grave?
3. Can the dead intercede for the living? (Can the living intercede for the dead!?)
4. What role do miracles play in a believer’s faith?
True Christianity is to worship the Creator and believe and obey His revealed Word. The just shall live by faith.

The bitterest enmity against GOD’s kingdom is not to be found in the ranks of sworn Satanists. Rather, counterfeit Christianity fabricates an elaborate series of decoys that masquerades as the real thing. Paganism in the guise of Christianity, like a wolf in sheepskin, betrays the Son of man with a kiss. Paganism simply defined is the worship of the creature more than the Creator.

Counterfeit Christianity is actuated by the same spirit as paganism. While the human heart is naturally awed by scenes of beauty and themes of grandeur, being proud it lacks the humility to ascribe the glory to GOD and rather prefers to view the object itself as intrinsically glorious. Romans Chapter 1. This is the root of idolatry. Satan knows this – idol worshippers really worship Satan. Therefore his counterfeit has just enough religiosity on the surface to be called Christianity. But the substance is the same lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life that lays aside judgment and ignites in the heart of man veneration for legendary and monumental false gods of doubtful virtue. The seduction once complete blinds the deceived worshipper to the inefficacy of rites painstakingly observed, even while enchaining the supplicant to a useless round of ceremonies impossible to be understood, being rooted in lies and fables, whose end is destruction.

The history of sainthood in the Catholic church is fraught with controversy. In the early days of the church, the Catholic church made many compromises with the pagan religions in order to attract more followers. One of these compromises was the inclusion of pagan dieties into their worship, except that these false gods were “baptized”: renamed and retitled as “saints!”
Apostasy is like the descent of heavy bodies, it proceeds with ever-accelerating velocity. First, lamps were lighted at the tombs of the martyrs; next, the Lord's Supper was celebrated at their graves; next, prayers were offered for them and to them; next, paintings and images began to disfigure the walls, and corpses to pollute the floors of the churches. Baptism, which apostles required water only to dispense, could not be celebrated without white robes and chrism, milk, honey, and salt. Then came a crowd of church officers whose names and numbers are in striking contrast to the few and simple orders of men who were employed in the first propagation of Christianity. There were sub-deacons, acolytes, exorcists, readers, choristers, and porters; and as work must be found for this motley host of laborers, there came to be fasts and exorcisms; there were lamps to be lighted, altars to be arranged, and churches to be consecrated; there was the Eucharist to be carried to the dying; and there were the dead to be buried, for which a special order of men was set apart. When one looked back to the simplicity of early times, it could not but amaze one to think what a cumbrous array of curious machinery and costly furniture was now needed for the service of Christianity. Not more stinging than true was the remark that "when the Church had golden chalices she had wooden priests." 
James Aiken Wylie, the History of Protestantism, volume 1

The righteousness of men is as filthy rags; it avails nothing to themselves much less to others, only the righteousness of Christ in man constitutes the kingdom of GOD. A saint is anyone who has Christ enthroned in their heart and life. Yet Rome would have men regard and venerate fallen dead men rather than the Savior. The army of intercessors which Rome would interpose between humanity and Jesus Christ and GOD the Father, spanning millennia since Mary until Irene Stefani, with more doubtless to come, serves only to obscure Christ from view.

Besides, these “saints” are dead, unconscious and therefore incapable of hearing anything, much less prayers to them; which even if they could hear (an unwarranted speculation!), they would grieve for their utter inability to do anything with, and would cry sorely for the dire delusion of their petitioners in targeting prayer at them, even prayers to them to pray for them to the Father.

The idea that one’s prayer to GOD for forgiveness needs to be pushed through and by dead “saints” is reprehensible. It calls GOD’s character into question by depicting Him as a hard wrathful avenger only to be placated by the intervention of a dedicated galaxy of austere dignitaries pleading tirelessly on the sinner’s behalf. No, rather GOD himself in His word promises to us that whosoever seeks after Him with the whole heart shall find Him, also that He is afflicted with the feeling of our afflictions. His terms to accept us are our repentance of sins, to turn away from them, but the doctrine of dead saints praying for us non-stop seeks to relieve us of that burden of sacrifice. The attitude is “Let them be praying for me as I go off and live my own life, that will work.”

Truly the need for repentance remains, for our sins have separated us from GOD. But the only one who can mediate our reconciliation with GOD is One who paid with His own blood the penalty our sins demanded. No one else in the entire universe dare stand in that gap but the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Go to Him with your heavy burdens and He will give you rest.

Nor does Rome’s superimposition of unworthy and incapable intercessors stop at the veneration of dead saints to the work that is Christ’s alone. By the use of priests who hear confessions and claim authority to absolve sinners, a great blasphemy is perpetrated, an attempt to usurp a prerogative of GOD alone – the forgiveness of sins. In truth the sins thus confessed remain unforgiven and the conscience rests carelessly in the shadow of a fellow sinful mortal human. This mindset emanates from the apex of that idolatrous system whose head titles himself the Vicar of the Son of God; in layman’s language the “deputy of Jesus Christ on earth,” a lofty imposture rebuked in Scripture, whose perks include the keys of heaven and hell. Strong delusion!

Many have lent support to this beatification without understanding its background. Of the army of dead people that the Catholic Church declares to be saints worthy of interceding for sinners before GOD, none are actually doing that, for they are dead. Nor would sainthood thus attained confer any special intercessory obligation or capacity on anyone as only Christ can intercede for humanity before the Father in that sense. This is why our prayers are said in Jesus’ name – He alone is perfectly God and perfectly man; he having been tempted as we are and yet overcoming in all points is a worthy representative, he presents His own blood for our justification. Between Jesus and His followers the bond is close and personal, real by faith. Come boldly before the throne of grace. Pray more, pray always, pray directly to Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

But communication with the dead is abomination before GOD. The dead cannot communicate with the living – it is impossible. Yet even here Satan erects a lie. What happens is that evil spirits impersonate the dead person’s voice and appearance so that they may mislead the living that they are hearing instruction from ‘the other side’ whereas it is the league of fallen angels beaming doctrines of devils at them. Saul’s experience at the medium of Endor, when he called up ‘Samuel’ from the dead, is a warning to others in this respect. The whole class of people who claim to be able to communicate with the dead, summoning underworld solutions for temporal problems, are an abomination before GOD, because they are really in advanced talks with Satan and his demons.
ISAIAH 8:19-20 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and mutter: should not a people seek unto their GOD? For the living to the dead? To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Nor have we seen the worst of this spiritualistic assault from the demon world. Prophecy testifies that in the last days evil spirits will play a leading role in deceiving the world’s political and religious leaders to unite in rebellion against GOD in forming the image of the beast by Sunday legislation. At that time the Spirit of GOD will be withdrawn from the earth, and men will be left to the control of the evil spirits they have allowed to deceive them by rejecting the truth. Only these evil spirits will likely manifest as dead saints and departed luminaries of ages past bringing ‘wisdom from beyond’ which will contradict GOD’s Law.

In short, let us repudiate the veneration and intercession of the saints. Look, I hold nothing against the woman they canonized, I never knew her. She’s just as dead and ineffective as all the other “saints” they pray to/through. Satan would like to take advantage of people’s ignorance of their privilege and responsibility to pray for themselves in Jesus’ name. Just you be certain the whole idea that anyone other than Christ is in heaven praying for sinners is a pleasing fable. It is one of many false teachings in that blend of doctrines Revelation calls “the wine of Babylon’s fornication.”

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