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SCRIPTURE - EXO 20:4 -5                                                                                                           FEBRUARY, 2007

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;


In this country, we espouse religious freedom, meaning every one has the right, to believe what they want to believe, and practice it.

You have the absolute right to practice your beliefs, as long as they don't infringe on the rights of others.

That is what this nation was founded on, as stated in the very first amendment of the Constitution. It states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;......"

So, as you can see, I am aware of what is what.

Now, having said that, I would like to ask a question, and it is this. Can we agree, to disagree??

If your answer is yes, then good, and please read on. If, on the other hand, the answer is no, then, would you at least read this article a little further, and then, if you see I am saying something that totally offends you, then stop.

If the beginning of this message looks familiar, it is because I used it last month, when I was addressing the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now, as much as I support those that have put their faith in Jesus Christ, there are some things that I need to address, when, because of a lack of knowledge, on the part of the laity [congregation], due to the misdirection of the leadership, you are essentially violating what God says.

Notice the subject scripture.

This is a direction from God, as to what men shall not do. And, if you will notice, it is part of the first commandment.

Now, God, listed this first, because He wants us to, above all else, obey and worship Him, and Him only. There is no room for anyone else, much less any thing, to share in what God has designed strictly for Himself. One passage of scripture says [Isa 42:8] I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

What this means, is that whatever the situation, we are to come to Him, and Him only for help, and deliverance.

Our prayers are to be directed to Him, and Him only.

Now, here is my point concerning you of the Catholic faith. I don't question your devotion to God, however this practice you have in praying to saints, and even to Mary, is the very thing that God commands us not to do. The reason being, is that all of them, are human, and as such, have no divine connection to God, in that asking them to do something for you, will get God to move on your behalf.

Even when it comes to confessing of sins, no man can make you whole in the sight of God, other than Jesus Christ.

Again, the bible says, [1Tim 2:5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Do you see the problem here, as it pertains to what you are doing?? If you go to a priest, then that is one man. The priest, in turn, goes, presumably to Christ. That is the second man. Then Christ goes to God, the Father. So now, you have two men between you and God.

If the priest goes to a saint, then that saint is supposed to go to Christ, and then Christ to the Father, then you have three between you and the Father.

What you are actually engaging in, believe it or not, is the sin of idolatry.

An idol, is any man, or object, that you, worship, either by praying to it, or him, or by, as the bible says, bowing your knee to. Even when you have statues of Christ, hanging on the cross, or rosary beads, and you get on your knees, and pray to that object, that is man made, you are, in effect praying to the work of some man's hands.

How many times have I heard people get distraught at the defacing of a statue, or painting, or even of a church building, all of which were made by man. These are nothing more than symbols, and not to be treated as some divine work, that should be placed on a high pedestal.

Then, there is the worship of the Pope.

Once again, this is a man, that even though he is the head of your church, is still, just a man. Love him, yes, respect him, yes, but, anything that goes in to the area of obeying him, strictly because he is your leader, and what he says goes, and falling down on your knees before him, and kissing his hand, as in worship, is going in to dangerous territory.

I have heard it said, that Peter, was the first pope. And, I notice that there is a rule in your church that says priests must be unmarried. Well, if that is true, then what are you going to say about Peter, who was married?

If you didn't know that, then look in your bibles at this scripture. [Mat 8:14-15] And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

So, Peter was married.

With that being the case, then priests, should be allowed to be married. And notice what the bible says about bishops. [1Tim 3:1-7] This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

If you will notice the underlined parts, you will see, that the bishop, must be, the husband, meaning married. Then it goes on to say, if he is not, then how can a person, that has never been married, counsel a man, how to deal with his wife and kids?? It takes more than just reading about what to do, because there are many variations to problems that men face, that are not exactly that clear.

And, since God made us beings, with a sexual nature, then He knows it is best that we do get married, to avoid sexual temptations, that are all around us.

So, where did the church get the idea of having priests to stay unmarried, and celibate?? From the bible.

[1Cor 7:1] Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
[1Cor 7:9] But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
[1Cor 7:32-33] But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

Now, on the surface there seems to be a contradiction, where it says men should marry, to avoid sin, then it turns around and says, that those that are not married, have more time to dedicate to God.

So the question must be asked, is the bible, whose author is God, in contradiction???

The answer is, no!!

Here is the problem.

Your church, puts the burden of staying celibate, on all, that desire to be priests. Therefore, any one that is recruited for, or seeks that position, is forced in to a lifestyle, that they may not be anointed to be.

You see, only God, can anoint a person to be able to resist the temptation of the flesh. And, He will only do it, for those that He has called for that position. As the apostle Paul explained, certain men, were born, eunuchs, and others, were made eunuchs. These have a special ability, to not be tempted by the flesh. But, you take someone that is not endowed with that ability, and you have a disaster, waiting to happen, as you probably know from the molestation cases that are plaguing the priesthood in your church.

Now these are just a few of the things that you need to know. There are more, but, these three, are the most important to the church, because they are the most visible.

The church, not just the catholic church, is full of misdirected people, being led by misdirected leaders, who, may want to be seen righteous in His sight, but are causing a situation, that is driving many away from the church.

You would agree, that the mission of the church, is to bring the sinner, back in to fellowship with God, through Jesus Christ. Well, in order to do that, we must set an example that gives them something to desire to come to Him for.

No one wants to be put under undo pressure to conform to a standard, that is, for all intents and purposes, some man's idea of what it takes for a person to be acceptable in the sight of God.

Back in the time of Christ's presence on the earth, He had to deal with the religious leaders of that time, that had put all sorts of stumblingblocks in the path of people trying to worship God. They made up all sorts of silly rules, just to make it appear, that they were so smart, and, so holy. Jesus, put them all to shame by showing them, that rules, the ones that man makes, are far more burdensom, that what God, commands.

Man will make a rule, or law today, and somewhere down the road, he will change it, based on his own idea of whether it suits his purpose or not.

But, God, is the only one that sets rules that are designed, not only to give Him the glory, but also, to be a blessing to those of us that do.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not a message designed to force you to abandon your church as much as it is one to let you see, just what problems are arising because of your church's doctrine concerning these three things I have addressed.

What is needed in any church, is for the people to know what the bible says, and what it doesn't. Even though it is up to the priests, to teach you, it is still up to you, check the scriptures for yourself.

Too many Christians, rely totally on their church leaders to tell them what is what, concerning Christian living. But the bible says, [Tim 2:15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As that phrase that appears on the X-Files says, 'The Truth is Out There', and sometimes, it is up to you, to find it.