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Our Journey Home
Coming Home Network ^ | Larry and Joetta Lewis

Posted on 04/03/2008 3:24:39 PM PDT by annalex

Our Journey Home

By Larry and Joetta Lewis

My father is a retired Assemblies of God pastor. My parents had a deep and abiding love for Jesus Christ. Their lives expressed who Christ was.

I vividly remember being awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of their praying. Praying for each of the people in their church. Although my parents never spoke in derogatory terms about anyone, including Catholics, many of the ministers I came in contact with were not so generous. I heard more than one preacher expound on the evils of Catholicism. For many it was taken for granted that the Catholic Church was the Great Whore of Babylon and the Pope the antichrist. I was in my thirties and an ordained Methodist minister before I met my first nun, Sister Monica Marie. Joetta had taught with her at Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas. It was through Sister Monica Marie that Joetta experienced a dynamic encounter with the Holy Spirit. To my surprise I discovered that Sister was truly a woman of God. My heart was warmed just by being in her presence. She was totally the opposite of all I had envisioned nuns to be.

My first contact with a priest was just two years ago. While working on my Doctorate at Oral Roberts University I met Father Amalor Vima from India. As class mates we spent a good deal of time together and became close friends. It was in this environment that something happened that would revolutionized my life forever. During a reflective moment in one of our sessions, Selmar Quayo, a Methodist Bishop from Brazil, stood to his feet and said: "In my country, as a Protestant, I am in the minority. Unfortunately, there is much animosity between our church and the Catholic Church. Many of my people are filled with bitterness toward all Catholics. Yet here, Father Vima is in the minority and I’ve seen nothing from his life but the love of Jesus Christ." With tears running down his face he said, "Father Vima, I want you to forgive me."

I watched as these two men of God embraced. There was not a dry eye in the room. In that one brief moment my mind began to envision a new possibility—Protestants and Catholics all over the world coming together, embracing in love, and dropping to their knees in prayer.

In this simple act Selmar Quayo had challenged all of us to become ministers of reconciliation. My thoughts raced. "Imagine what the Holy Spirit could do if Catholics and Protestants really were one."The words of Jesus flashed through my mind, "If you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift" (Matt 5:23-24). As I watched the scene unfold I could almost hear Jesus praying, "May all of them be one, Father . . . that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:21). I knew at that moment I must become a minister of reconciliation.

Years earlier Joetta and I had ministered at a Southern Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After the service, a woman came up to Joetta and asked her if she would pray for her daughter, Regan. She did not, however, want to divulge the specific prayer need. Joetta assured her that it wasn’t necessary to know the need because the Holy Spirit would intercede for Regan. For the next year, Joetta prayed faithfully for a young lady she had never met.

At that time Joetta was working as a Technical Writer for Thrifty Rent-A-Car. One day, her boss informed her that they had hired a new Software Trainer and were going to put her in the cubicle across from Joetta’s. They asked Joetta to make her feel welcome and to show her around. When the new trainer arrived, she introduced herself as Regan. To Joetta’s surprise, here stood the young lady she had been praying for all those months! God was definitely up to something. Joetta and Regan worked as associates over the next seven years. Although they never socialized outside of the work place, they began to develop a close relationship.

One day in 1995, Regan shared that she and her husband were having problems in their marriage. Kelvin was a Roman Catholic, and she was a Southern Baptist. For several years, Regan attended the Catholic Church off and on with Kelvin and although he did not fell comfortable in the Baptist Church he would attend with Regan on special occasions. This arrangement worked, until they had children and realized how strongly they both felt about how their children should be raised. To Regan’s chagrin Kelvin was adamant about baptizing and raising their children in the Catholic Church. They were at an impasse when Regan came to Joetta for advice.

Joetta told Regan that a house divided cannot stand, and that it was essential that they be in church together. Joetta suggested that, if her husband would not go to church with her, she should go to church with him. God would bless their marriage if Regan would submit to the spiritual authority of her husband. Joetta informed Regan of some classes held by the Catholic Church which she could attend, without obligation, to learn about the Catholic faith. Joetta said, "If I were you, I would want to know what my children were going to be taught, so that I could counter any incorrect teaching." For Regan’s peace of mind, Joetta said, "You go through the program, bring all of the material to me, and I’ll give it to Larry so that he can check it out and see if it is Scripturally sound."

I never paid any attention to the material Regan gave Joetta, except for two things. One was a newspaper article by a Lutheran journalist discussing Marian apparitions. The author of the article had spoken at Regan’s church and told how the Mother of God had been appearing to six young children daily since 1981. Regan was so intrigued she read everything she could get her hands on. The second thing she gave us was a cassette by a woman who had been miraculously healed at the same apparition site. This woman, a nominal Christian at best, was so impacted by the experience that she committed her life to serving Christ. I took these items and started to throw them away. On a whim I stuck them in a drawer instead.

The week prior to May 25, 1996, Regan told Joetta that she was going to a Marian conference in Wichita, Kansas. She was really excited about it because both the author of the article and the woman who had been healed were featured speakers. Regan, however, was bothered by a prayer she had received in the pre-conference material that supposedly would be prayed at the conference. "I would like," she told Joetta, "for you and Larry to look it over and see what you think." As Joetta read the prayer, all kinds of red flags went up. In almost a state of panic she brought the prayer to me. It was the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As I began to read the prayer the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. "Immaculate Heart of Mary, I give to you my body and soul . . . ." I stopped in mid sentence. Rage filled my heart. "This prayer is demonic!" I said, "You don’t give your soul to anyone but Jesus. Tell Regan she can go to the Conference but whatever she does don’t pray that prayer." Within three days, something deep within my spirit told me I had made a terrible mistake. Remorse for what I had said flooded my soul.

I decided to take a copy of the prayer to Fr. Vima, "I don’t understand this prayer," I said. "How in the world can you give yourself to Mary in this way?" With a twinkle in his eye Fr. Vima gently said, "Larry, have you ever held Joetta in your arms and said, ‘I love you, I adore you, I worship the ground you walk on’?" "Yes," I cautiously replied. "Have you looked lovingly into her eyes and assured her of your complete love and devotion? Have you spoken words like, ‘I am completely yours now and forever’? ‘All that I am and all that I ever hope to be is yours.’?" I was beginning to get his point. "If the truth were known," I admitted, "I’ve used those exact words."

"Catholics," he continued, "would never say of Mary, ‘We adore you.’ We venerate her. We honor her. But, we would never say ‘we adore you’ because adoration is reserved only for God. It is something we give only to Jesus. We adore Him. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and there is no one like Him. We believe that Mary, as the Mother of God, loves and cares for us. What we’re saying in this prayer is, ‘All of me, I place in your hands and I ask you to take me to your son, Jesus.’ Mary always points to Jesus."

As I listened to Fr. Vima I began to realize how wrong I had been. Two emotions flooded over me simultaneously—shame and joy. Shame for my quick assessment, and joy at the possibilities that were opening up.

I went home and found the Marian newspaper I had put in one of my dresser drawers and begin to read. As I read what Mary was reported as saying I was struck by how biblically based her messages were—pray, repent, fast, commit your life to Christ. This was obviously not the work of Satan. I wondered out loud, "Could this really be the Mother of God." If it were, than what she said was important and worthy of our consideration. One of her more frequent statements was somewhat puzzling: "Pray the Rosary every day." Joetta and I knew nothing about the Rosary. Perhaps it was time to discover what this prayer was all about.

As Regan was leaving for the Marian conference, Joetta gave her some money to buy a Rosary. Their relationship had become strained, and sometimes emotionally charged because of Mary, and Joetta felt that if she let Regan show her how to ray the Rosary, it would at least keep them dialoguing. When Regan gave Joetta her Rosary, she said, "What’s great is that the man who made this Rosary lives just outside Tulsa, in Claremore, Oklahoma. If there’s ever a problem with the Rosary, it is guaranteed."

The more closely that Joetta looked at her Rosary, the less she liked the centerpiece. "It looks like an idol. I think I’ll call Two Hearts Rosaries and see if they’ll exchange it for something else."

"Come on out," the voice on the other end of the line said, "Bob’s work is guaranteed, and he will be happy to replace it with something you like." When we arrived, Bob’s wife Johanna asked Joetta what was wrong with the Rosary. "It’s the centerpiece," Joetta said, "I don’t like the centerpiece." Johanna looked at her quizzically, "What about it don’t you like?" "Wellit looks too, you know, Catholic!"

"The Rosary," Johanna smiled, "is Catholic!" While Joetta looked at centerpieces, Bob was sharing with me what had happened to them on a pilgrimage to an apparition site in Europe. I yelled at Joetta, "Come in here and listen to this. You won’t believe this story!" These were the first real Catholics that we had ever spent any time with, other than Sister Monica Marie and Fr. Vima.

Bob shared with us how God through Mary had transformed their lives. As he told their story, tears rolled down his face. He said he hasn’t stopped crying since he got back from their pilgrimage. In his words, his heart "just turned to mush." When they got back, Bob went in and quit his job at Amoco. He was a laboratory technician and had been with the company for over 21 years. Not too long after that, Johanna quit her job at Tulsa University. God was calling them to complete obedience and dependence upon him.

During this time, Bob met a nun who showed him how to make Rosaries. Bob decided to make two Rosaries: one to thank Mary for leading him to Jesus, and one to thank Jesus for saving his soul. The rest is history. All of Bob’s rosaries are lovingly hand-made. He sees each bead as a prayer sent out by Mary to convert and bring souls to Jesus. Joetta’s and my conversion are the direct result of those prayers.

After our meeting with Bob and Johanna, I was emotionally shaken. As we drove away neither of us said a word. It was as if we had experienced an epiphany. I can’t explain it. I felt like I had been in the presence of Jesus. Not wanting to go right home I pulled into a Taco Bueno to get something to drink. As we sat there looking at each other tears began to stream down our faces. What was happening to us? What was God asking of us?

Our lives were literally being pushed toward the Catholic Church. Regan had introduced us to the owners of the local Catholic bookstore, so we decided to go there for more information. Lee and Anita lovingly welcomed us and pointed us to exactly what we needed. When we figured our income tax at the end of that year, we discovered that we had spent over $5,000 on books, cassettes, videos, and other materials in search of spiritual truths! We couldn’t get enough. We were in Lee’s store three and four times a day. "We’re here for our Catholic fix." Lee and Anita would just laugh and point us to another book, cassette, or video. It was like an addiction that we couldn’t get satisfied. One question just led to another and another. It was a wonderful experience.

We began going to bed later and waking up earlier trying to jam as much reading into the day as possible. We decided to maximize our time. I began taking Joetta to work and picking her up so that we could read out loud coming and going. I would pick her up for lunch, put a couple of lawn chairs and TV trays in the trunk and drive to a park so that we could read without interruptions. We took turns—one would eat while the other would read out loud. We did everything together. God was graciously speaking to us together. Drawing us at the same pace deeper into himself.

We read the Catechism from cover to cover. The Catechism is the greatest systematic theological work we have ever read. Answers to long sought after questions were coming like torrential showers.

I remember one Saturday morning in particular. We both woke up about 4 o’clock in the morning. We sat up in bed with our Bibles in one hand and Catechisms in the other. I would say, "Joetta, listen to this. This is fantastic. This just brings everything into focus!" Before I would finish, Joetta would interrupt and say, "Larry, wait, wait. Listen to this!" She would then read from a different section of the Catechism. We would read supporting scripture verses, go to the writings of the Early Church Fathers and then check a commentary. Before we knew it, it was 1 o’clock in the afternoon! We were like sponges. Issues such as the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine, the role of Mary in the Church, prayers to the saints, Scripture and Tradition as authoritative vs. Sola Scriptura, Papal authority, Purgatory, and Salvation as a process vs. Salvation as a completed work we began to see in a whole new light. It was like finding all the lost pieces in a huge theological puzzle. The full picture was becoming clear.

The Lord was taking us down two paths simultaneously: one intellectual and the other emotional. We had been praying the Rosary, and parking ourselves on Bob and Johanna’s sofa, asking question after question about Catholic doctrine, tradition, and culture. We asked God to somehow reveal to us if He was drawing us to the Catholic Church, because none of this made any sense to us. We had spent all of our lives in Protestant churches and were quite content in our ministry. We desperately needed to know about the Church to which God was calling us, so three short weeks into our conversion I prayed this prayer. "Father, if you are drawing us into the Catholic Church, I want a sign, and I want it big."

Several days later, we were coming home from a short trip to Dallas. As we largest, most vivid sun either of us had ever seen. It went from horizon to horizon, and it looked like we were going to drive right into it. An indescribable array of colors—orange, red, and pink. It was magnificent, so much so that our young grandson, who was sleeping in the back set sat up and said, "Grandpa, grandpa, do you see that? Isn’t it beautiful?" As brilliant as it was we could look right at it.

As the sun went down we put in a cassette tape by Dr. Scott Hahn and continued toward Oklahoma City. As I looked into the night sky I prayed again silently, "Oh God, if you’re drawing us into the Catholic Church, give us a sign and please make it big!"

At the same time, unknown to me, Joetta was staring out the passenger window silently praying, "Blessed Mother, if you’re real, we have to know beyond a doubt." Suddenly, I heard Joetta gasp and say, "Oh my, Larry, Larry, look!" As I looked to the right I saw what looked like a chain of stars falling in slow motion at a downward angle from right to left. Just before the stars reached the horizon they shot straight up and then fell back toward the earth again falling right in the center of the highway. Usually a falling star shoots downward and moves so quickly you don’t have time to tell anyone about it. We were speechless, because we both saw it! Finally Joetta broke the silence, "You did see that didn’t you?" We were both visibly shaken.

I put in a cassette by Catholic singer Dana in which she sings through the Rosary, and for the next hour and thirty minutes we prayed the Rosary with her. We finished just as we reached the exit road going toward our parsonage. As we turned under the freeway and went up over a little hill, there, sitting on the road in front of us was the most beautiful, enormous, vivid quarter-moon we had ever seen. Like the sunset, it seemed to literally sit in the middle of the road and extended as high into the sky as we could the sun. For 2 1/2 miles, we watched in total silence.

As we turned into our driveway the moon disappeared. "Joetta, what does all of this remind you of?" "Revelation chapter 12," she said: "‘A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.’" At that moment we knew that the Holy Spirit was not only bringing us to the Catholic Church, but that Mary was leading the way.

 Two months later Joetta and I knelt in a small chapel on the University of Tulsa campus and prayed the prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our love for her is without bounds. I had been afraid that she would somehow take away from my love for Jesus, but what I found was that my love for Christ has deepened beyond measure. Truly our cup runs over!

On September 12, 1997, I surrendered my ordination papers to Bishop Bruce Blake of the United Methodist Church. In doing so, I laid down 30 years of Protestant ministry to become a Catholic. To many of my colleagues, this seemed a horrible mistake, but to Joetta and I, it was "coming home."

In January, we made a pilgrimage to Rome to symbolize our desire to place ourselves under the authority of Pope John Paul II and the Roman Catholic Church. This March, Joetta and I made a pilgrimage to a Marian site in Eastern Europe to thank the Blessed Mother for bringing us into the Church. We now look forward with great anticipation to being received into full communion in the Catholic Church this coming Easter Vigil. This will be the culmination of a 23 month, life transforming odyssey. Thank you Mary for loving us home.

 

Larry Lewis has a Master of Divinity degree from Phillips Theological Seminary and is currently a Doctoral candidate at Oral Roberts University where his doctoral research is in Catholic apologetics. The Lewis’ have three married daughters and five grandchildren.



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To: Boagenes
It's not that I don't have profound respect for Mary as the mother of God. It's just that there is nothing within scripture that indicates Mary has any special position outside of agreeing to bear the Messiah and cooperate with God.

Yep, and Jesus had His chance, and He indicated His mother was no different than other believers.

51 posted on 04/03/2008 6:48:10 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
More sadness. Asking Mary to take you to Christ when Christ tells us over and over and over we are to come directly to Him for all blessings.

One of the reasons I read these testimonies is as an ongoing reminder, and caution, about how easy it is to topple over the edge into madness. And how sweet, wholesome, and convincing, that madness can be. As one who has skated too close to the edge of insanity for comfort, and has been delivered unto sanity by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this is an issue close to my heart.

52 posted on 04/03/2008 6:49:05 PM PDT by RJR_fan (Winners and lovers shape the future. Whiners and losers TRY TO PREDICT IT.)
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To: Boagenes
Seriously, how can Mary "hear" all the "prayers" directed at her if she isn't omnipresent?

The smart Catholics pray for intercession from the lesser known saints. Much better results.

53 posted on 04/03/2008 6:55:32 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Alex Murphy; Gamecock

Dr. E - I saw you pinged and was wondering when exactly you and Gamecock had started watching EWTN. lol. Alex Murphy hangs out on the catholic threads, largely to gently “poke”, but I’m convinced that he is a closet catholic and is already secretly wearing a scapular under his shirt. But you guys?


54 posted on 04/03/2008 6:59:23 PM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: Boagenes
And I've thought it through repeatedly - any attempt to get around the fact that Mary is only a human soul and cannot possibly interact simultaneously with potentially billions of human prayer "requests" ends up back at omnipresence no matter how you slice it.

Could you share every step of the argument?

Against the general question I'd offer that she doesn't need to be omni-present, just able to be at more locations at once than the average human in the not-yet-resurrected body.

I don't mean to be flippant. I DO mean to say that "more than I have" is not equivalent to "all". Mary's being able to "process" more than one praying person at a time doesn't mean she can do anything and everything.

And as for her having more abilities than I do, this is where examining the Xtian hope in general and the Assumption in particular comes in handy.

The Assumkmption does not proclaim that Mary, instead of dying, went up like a sky-rocket. It proclaims that she "currently" enjoys the fullness of what every saved Xtian will enjoy at the last day.

Then our "made up" traditions suggest that as our risen Lord was able to break bread and vanish or to appear suddenly in a locked room, but still could eat as we do and was palpable so the saints in glory seem to have the ability to show themselves to people here and there.

So, unless a tradition's being Catholic is sufficient grounds to disbelieve it, the issue of MORE abilities is pretty much settled. What we don't know is the limit of those abilities.

WE DO know that the number of souls on earth and in Purgatory is not infinite, though it's probably really really large. So infinite capacity is not required, just really really large capacity. So omni-presence is not required.

This is what I mean by being careful. NOT that I don't goof, but that going carefully, step-by-step, and taking seriously each apparently minor distinction is better than a bunch of tacit and unexamined assumptions.

Mary is only a human soul

ONLY a human soul? But humans are what our Lord came here to save - and while we have a decent idea of what we were saved FROM, maybe we need to look at what we are saved TO. And maybe it's pretty amazingly wonderful and more than we dared to hope for.

55 posted on 04/03/2008 7:00:03 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Boagenes
Well, that's the rub, isn't it? I do feel I am under guidance by the Holy Spirit, and it's what tells me instinctively, in the gut, in my being, that the entire Mary thing is bunk. I'm talking a deep, visceral conviction that it's absolute rubbish made up whole cloth.

Again, if your "feelings" where wrong, how could one prove it to you? To have no answer to that question is to admit you would be unresponsive even if one DID prove it to you.

You are very much at a point analogous to the rich young ruler. You are almost there, but you will not release the one vanity standing in your way. I pray you reconsider and listen to my witness regarding freedom from the law of sin and death as Paul spoke of in Romans 7.

Seriously, how can Mary "hear" all the "prayers" directed at her if she isn't omnipresent?

I don't know, but then I do not profess expertise on the physics of "The Presence of God."

Do you?

Not to mention, why on earth does anyone feel the need to put anyone in between themselves and Jesus when all you really need is Jesus (as Jesus himself says). It's illogical.

That is a misstatement of the Catholic position, as well as a fairly absurd assertion regarding logic. The first, I'm sure you know, you just don't agree. The second, ignores the testimony of Scripture that God often chooses things that "fly in the face" of man's wisdom.

One can not claim God didn't do something without the same authority one would need to claim God DID do something. Are you claiming such authority?

56 posted on 04/03/2008 7:00:06 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: Mad Dawg
You may not trust God's promise to His Church, and so you may find Scripture "all we have to go on".

So much of Catholic doctrine relies on one questionably interpreted scripture, and one that usually does not harmonize with other scripture. Jesus is the real rock.

57 posted on 04/03/2008 7:01:32 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Boagenes
Not to mention, why on earth does anyone feel the need to put anyone in between themselves and Jesus when all you really need is Jesus (as Jesus himself says). It's illogical.

Has a need been asserted?

58 posted on 04/03/2008 7:03:11 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Always Right
I ask this question with an honest desire to know, as my knowledge is weak here. Please don't think I have any ulterior motives.

So much of Catholic doctrine relies on one questionably interpreted scripture, and one that usually does not harmonize with other scripture. Jesus is the real rock.

Do you have any references to early Christians holding this position? Again, I really don't know either way, and your post interests me. Thank you.

59 posted on 04/03/2008 7:10:37 PM PDT by thefrankbaum
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To: annalex

Hello - please remove me from this ping list.

And if anyone of my Catholic sisters and brothers can do so, please give me any scriptural passage in which Mary is prayed to.

In the church I attend, the central issue for those who attend is not “coming home” to “the church”. Rather it is “coming home” to the Lord Jesus Christ and His life transforming mercy, grace, and righteousness = the Good News of Jesus Christ!

I could go to many passages in the New Testament to explain what I am talking about - but here is just one in Colossians 2: Notice that in this passage, which Catholics and Protestants unitedly believe are part of the inerrant Word of God - this passage after explaining in magnificent terms what our salvation means.....tells us that all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Jesus Christ alone! It further tells us to be on guard against being “taken captive” by hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on “human tradition” and the basic principles of this world rather than on CHRIST !

Colossians 2

1I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,[a] not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,[b] God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[d]

16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

20Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21”Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.


60 posted on 04/03/2008 7:15:46 PM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: Always Right
Yep, and Jesus had His chance, and He indicated His mother was no different than other believers.

WHAT!

Can't you see what's on the very page? What does the story of the Wedding Cana tell us except God alters the divine plan at Mary's request...and she doen't even have to make the request formally!

61 posted on 04/03/2008 7:17:22 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: Always Right
Almost anything can be proved if one gets to select the data.

I assume you're talking about tu es Petrus, and, yeah, that is a knuckle of the argument. But it's not all of the argument, from our POV.

It's interesting to try to find a mutually acceptable statement of the differences. Of course we don't think that Jesus is "First" and that that "firstness" includes a basic difference between Him and Mary. It's not just warmed over paganism to say that He is to her as Sun to moon: Without Him she is dead and cold, with Him and His light, with no other and certainly with none of her own, she lights up the night. And I say all that because to some of us it seems that you are saying we should take no joy in the Moon because it is not the Sun. While I would say that the joy I take in the Moon is finally nothing other than the joy I take in a great work of the Sun. I can praise the Sun without praising the Moon. I cannot praise the Moon, there would be nothing there worth praising, if it were not for what the Sun has done in her.

I mention this because it seems to me to be somehow emblematic of the difference not so much in theology but in the attitudes which our theology informs and represents.

62 posted on 04/03/2008 7:20:42 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg

That is very poetic. Well done.


63 posted on 04/03/2008 7:24:40 PM PDT by thefrankbaum
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To: thefrankbaum
1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

"The Lord is my rock" (Psalm 18:2)

"And who is a rock, except our God?" (Psalm 18:31).

1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

Just a few of many references to the Lord is the rock. Now here is what Catholics rely on to contradict that:

"He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Now you can read this as either Peter is the rock. Or you can read it that the fact that Jesus is Christ, the Son of the living God is the rock. Peter is just a man. The foundation of the Church is Jesus, not Peter.

64 posted on 04/03/2008 7:28:30 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
Jesus is the real rock.

Nevertheless, denying the clear meaning of Matt 16:18 is as fatuous as denying the uniqueness of Christ.

65 posted on 04/03/2008 7:31:34 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger
Can't you see what's on the very page? What does the story of the Wedding Cana tell us except God alters the divine plan at Mary's request...and she doen't even have to make the request formally!

You could say the same for many of the miracles in the Bible. For instance the lady with the blood sickness that reached for Jesus and was cured. It was her faith that Jesus responded to, not some formal request. So should we make statues of that (unnamed?) lady and say prayers for her intercession?

66 posted on 04/03/2008 7:34:59 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: papertyger
Nevertheless, denying the clear meaning of Matt 16:18 is as fatuous as denying the uniqueness of Christ.

The church is the body of believers, not some factious beliefs in the infallibility of the Catholic church. There are so many versus which brings into question the 'clear meaning' of Matt 16.

67 posted on 04/03/2008 7:38:55 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
I do understand your argument. However, I was wondering if there was any writing from early Christian leaders espousing your take on the Scripture. I am just having a hard time believing that the Holy Spirit would let such an egregious error stand. If your reading of Scripture is correct, Catholics have been wrong about the Scriptures and the Church for a long, long time. That is why I was wondering if there were any early Christians who might be quoted to support your view. Illiteracy was rampant in the world until the modern age (and is still the norm in many places) and I just can't swallow the pill that the Holy Spirit let Christian teachers lead the faithful away from the Truth.

Again, I ask this with all sincerity.

68 posted on 04/03/2008 7:42:09 PM PDT by thefrankbaum
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt
You are removed and prayed for. give me any scriptural passage in which Mary is prayed to.

In the Marriage at Cana, Mary inrecedes for the host of the wedding before Jesus. She is also our mother as disciples of Christ, according to the adoption scene in the Passion according to St. John. She is praised as full of grace by Archangel Gabriel, and she is to be called blessed by all generations. She is shown in heaven combatting Satan. In that we enlist her help.

Also, perhaps you don't know that we don't go by prooftexts. It would be a problem is Marian devotions contradicted scripture. I don't think they do, and that is it. We do not need every prayer and devotion to be spelled in the Bible.

I don't understand what the passage in Colossians has to do with Mariology. If it is relevant, please explain how.

69 posted on 04/03/2008 7:42:42 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt
And if anyone of my Catholic sisters and brothers can do so, please give me any scriptural passage in which Mary is prayed to.

Do you think Elizabeth was feining when she was filled with the Holy Spirit and asked who was she that the mother of her Lord would come to her?

Who was she asking?

It further tells us to be on guard against being “taken captive” by hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on “human tradition” and the basic principles of this world rather than on CHRIST !

Christ is not a book. The deceptive hollow philosophy is not the Churches, but rather those who presume on God. If He were ignoring your prayers, would you notice? I did. Now I'm a Catholic and set free from the law of sin and death.

You don't need me to tell you how vain quoting Scripture can be.

70 posted on 04/03/2008 7:46:56 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: thefrankbaum
If your reading of Scripture is correct, Catholics have been wrong about the Scriptures and the Church for a long, long time.

Hence, the term 'dark ages'. The beliefs of 'early' Christians should be considered, but the writings of the apostles are far more important.

71 posted on 04/03/2008 7:47:32 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right

I don’t disagree that the writings of the Apostles (at least the canonical Scripture) are important. But that is my biggest problem, and why I asked for some early Christian support for your position. As I’m looking around the Internet (which I’m doing now, when I should be doing work...whoops!), the interpretations of “rock” which match yours are all relatively modern as far as I can tell. I just can’t believe, if the “rock” was Jesus as you claim, that everyone missed it for thousands of years. Wouldn’t that be “the gates of Hell” prevailing against the Church?


72 posted on 04/03/2008 7:54:22 PM PDT by thefrankbaum
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To: Always Right
Peter is just a man. The foundation of the Church is Jesus, not Peter.

A man given a new name by God himself. Do you think that was a mistake?

I'm not going to pretend to understand why Our Lord does things the way He does, but Jesus said what He said while ordaining Peter, and I'm not going to deny his clear and obvious intent.

73 posted on 04/03/2008 7:56:45 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger
Now I'm a Catholic and set free from the law of sin and death.

I am glad Catholicism brought you to that level of faith, but it was not Catholicism that set you free. It was Jesus.

74 posted on 04/03/2008 7:58:50 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
You could say the same for many of the miracles in the Bible.

Find me someone God changes his plans for, then we'll talk.

75 posted on 04/03/2008 7:59:16 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: Huber; Gamecock; Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD; Frumanchu
Alex Murphy hangs out on the catholic threads, largely to gently “poke”, but I’m convinced that he is a closet catholic and is already secretly wearing a scapular under his shirt.

LOL! Superman underoos maybe, but never a scapular!


76 posted on 04/03/2008 8:04:01 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" -- Galatians 4:16)
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To: papertyger
A man given a new name by God himself. Do you think that was a mistake?

Nor is this a mistake...."And who is a rock, except our God?" (Psalm 18:31). Or when Jesus called Peter Satan just a moment later. "But He turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16:23) The foundation of the Catholic church rests on one no so clear verse. The rock is the Lord.

77 posted on 04/03/2008 8:07:12 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: papertyger
Find me someone God changes his plans for, then we'll talk.

Moses negotiated with God, for one as did other prophets. Anytime God answers your prayers, you could say He changes His plans. Of course the ultimate plan never changes, just the minor details.

78 posted on 04/03/2008 8:10:19 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
There are so many versus which brings into question the 'clear meaning' of Matt 16.

Only if one wants to deny the obvious.

79 posted on 04/03/2008 8:10:58 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger
Only if one wants to deny the obvious.

Which is Peter was a man who denied Christ three times. Peter was just an infallible man. Jesus is the rock, the foundation of the Church. The body of believers is the Church. It was what Peter said the sentence earlier (Jesus is Christ) that was the rock, not Peter himself.

80 posted on 04/03/2008 8:16:40 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
I am glad Catholicism brought you to that level of faith, but it was not Catholicism that set you free. It was Jesus.

So why didn't He do that for the twenty plus years I was a "born-again, saved, Bible-believing, Evangelical, Protestant?"

You're missing the point if you think I'm saying Catholicism did it. I'm saying submitting myself to the Church that Jesus founded imparted grace that was formerly withheld.

81 posted on 04/03/2008 8:21:21 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: Always Right
Nor is this a mistake...."And who is a rock, except our God?" (Psalm 18:31).

So if I can find Psalms that contradict Protestant doctrine, you will reject that doctrine?

82 posted on 04/03/2008 8:28:33 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger

1 Corinthians 10:4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.


83 posted on 04/03/2008 8:31:27 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right

Isaiah 26:4
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.


84 posted on 04/03/2008 8:33:23 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
Moses negotiated with God, for one as did other prophets. Anytime God answers your prayers, you could say He changes His plans. Of course the ultimate plan never changes, just the minor details.

Mary is nothing special, and the only analog you can come up with is MOSES?

85 posted on 04/03/2008 8:38:03 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: Always Right

Ephesians 2
Made Alive in Christ
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
One in Christ
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.


86 posted on 04/03/2008 8:38:31 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
It was what Peter said the sentence earlier (Jesus is Christ) that was the rock, not Peter himself.

That is not what the Scriptures, nor what Christ, said.

87 posted on 04/03/2008 8:40:18 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger
Mary is nothing special, and the only analog you can come up with is MOSES?

Do you pray for Moses to intercede or for David? Never said that Mary or Moses or David is nothing special. What I said was all believers as children of God and are special.

88 posted on 04/03/2008 8:43:27 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right

That’s not an answer to my question.

If all you’re going to do is engage is Scriptural tourette’s, this discussion is over.


89 posted on 04/03/2008 8:43:34 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,[b] the Son of the living God.”

17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,[c] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[d] will not overcome it.[e] 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[f] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[g] loosed in heaven.” 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.


90 posted on 04/03/2008 8:48:05 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right
Never said that Mary or Moses or David is nothing special. What I said was all believers as children of God and are special.

Yes, you did...in post 51.

Yep, and Jesus had His chance, and He indicated His mother was no different than other believers.
I showed how she was different, so you're trying to dilute that fact with tangentials.
91 posted on 04/03/2008 8:54:21 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: Always Right
1 Corinthians 10:4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

The role of the intercessor is the same thing as the role of a priest. Man is unworthy in his sin to come before the Great God Jehovah.

Under the Levitical priests, the sacrifice was given to the priest who sacrificed the animal and poured it out upon the alter. The priest was the intercessor for the sinner, and stood in his place before the Most High God.

But the Levitical priesthood has been superseded in Christ. Christ's priesthood is of the Order of Melchizedek. Only a Priest of the Order of Melchizedek can stand before Jehovah Almighty. Only a priest of the Order of Melchizedek may intercede for man.

There is only one Priest of the Order of Melchizedek.
There is only one intercessor to intercede on our behalf.
That intercessor is the Rock of our Salvation.
That Rock is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Intercession by any other is wrong, and invalid by it's nature.

Bless you brother! you remain 'Always Right'! :D

92 posted on 04/03/2008 8:59:13 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Always Right

Your point?

I see no declaration=rock anywhere in Scripture.

I DO see a play on words that is so strong it survives translation into other languages.

Furthermore, if the declaration is the “Rock,” what happened to all your proof texts?


93 posted on 04/03/2008 9:00:26 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger

What I objected to was your statement that I said ‘nothing special’. You are implying God views believers as nothing special, which is not even close to what I said or think. But in fact Jesus grouped all believers including His mother, as brothers and sisters.


94 posted on 04/03/2008 9:03:09 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: roamer_1
The role of the intercessor is the same thing as the role of a priest.

So we're usurping Jesus role when we pray for one another?

Talk about "knowing so much that isn't so!"

95 posted on 04/03/2008 9:08:13 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger
So we're usurping Jesus role when we pray for one another?

That is why we pray in Christ's name. We have no means or power of our own, and our prayers must go through Christ, as he is above all powers and principalities, and they are all in his charge. No one goes before the Father, but by Him.

96 posted on 04/03/2008 9:13:46 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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Comment #97 Removed by Moderator

To: roamer_1
That is why we pray in Christ's name.

So how does that change our usurping His role?

All you're doing, by way of analogy, is calling it a "mandatory, unpaid, vacation" instead of a "layoff," hoping no one figures out they can still apply for unemployment.

98 posted on 04/03/2008 9:34:18 PM PDT by papertyger (The left fosters lawlessness & bad culture by denying the legitimacy of the law and Western culture.)
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To: papertyger
So how does that change our usurping His role? Can you forgive your friend of his sins? Can you heal him? Can you cause his heart to be opened to our Lord? Not of your own will, you cannot. You may ask for those things for your friend, in Christ's name. It is still Christ that intercedes. It is still His work that forgives, heals, or saves, not yours or mine.
99 posted on 04/03/2008 9:43:49 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit.)
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To: papertyger

Well, Jesus’s words say that. From Matthew 12...

46While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

47Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

48But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

And I was not gnat-gagging. Your characterization of me saying Mary was nothing important is utter BS. You completely mischaracterize my statement than make personal attacks on my honor.


100 posted on 04/03/2008 9:47:33 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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