To Lent Or Not To Lent, That is The Question

To Lent or Not to Lent, That is the Question.

Introduction

The heading of this article “To Lent or not to Lent, that is the question” is, as our readers can see, a skit on one of the most famous quotes of all time, “To Be or not to be, that is the question” from Hamlet by William Shakespeare. In some strange way, the quote from Hamlet seems to undergird to some degree the concept of self-denial and self-mortification, or ascetic detachment from material things and even foods which most Eastern religions advocate in their various rituals. It is also one of the main aims of those partaking in the rituals of worldly extrication during Lent.

The only difference is that Hamlet is contemplating suicide whilst self-mortification and self-denial consider the necessity to die to the ego (the “self” or the “I” principle prevalent in everyone’s’ life) without having to commit suicide. This death to self (the ego), which Paul describes in Romans 6:1-14 is a fait accompli and there is nothing believers can or need to do in preparation for a so-called holy series of six weeks in order to come closer to God or to enhance one’s relationship with Him and others. How much closer do real Christians need to get to God when they are already in Him and He in them (John 17:23). There is not a single verse in scripture that commands us to observe a forty-day period of Lent in commemoration of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness to go deeper, nearer and further on our so-called spiritual journey. In fact, God says: –

 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a savor or take delight in your solemn assemblies. (Amos 5:21).

Your New Moon festivals and your [hypocritical] appointed feasts My soul hates. They are an oppressive burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. (Isaiah 1:14).

Lent – That Time of The Year

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Jippee!! Lent is here again!

It’s that time of the year again when cows and chickens rejoice (as multitudes abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent as a token of self-denial), when chocolate, candy, and coffee companies dread a decline in sales, and the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant and evangelical denominations, most of whom have joined Pope Francis in his quest for ecumenical unity, consolidate to celebrate Lent, the forty days set aside to commemorate Jesus Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides for a 40-day fast (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.

Of note is the phrase “in imitation of Jesus Christ” which one may say has become the most important expression within the ranks of the emergent, mystic, and contemplative stylized churches. It calls for “believers” of every shape and shade, and even unbelievers to look upon Jesus as their supreme example in their efforts to imitate his lifestyle, which, they believe, qualifies them as followers of Jesus. Primarily, the acts of following and imitating Jesus involve the denial of self and the mortification of the flesh. To illustrate what they mean by following and imitating Jesus, I have chosen to recount a conversation between John Ortberg and Dallas Willard during a question and answer session.

John Ortberg:

We’re taking one more question in this session. One person writes I believe there is a God. I believe we do not cease to exist. I pray, I try to be good, I try to live by the golden rule. What I don’t understand, is Jesus. Why is He such a big deal if I believe in God? And if He is such a big deal; how would you advise me to pursue into experience Jesus?

Dallas Willard:

Don’t start by trying to believe the big truths about Jesus. Start by simply putting into practice the things that He said and trusting Him to be right about it, and if you do that then you gradually find out what a big deal He is. I mean the big deal about Jesus . . .

John Ortberg:

You say, if there’s somebody who finds himself saying, “you know I’m just not sure about could He be the Son of God thing,” instead of trying to get them to believe or them trying to force themselves to believe that, actually start by trying to live what it is that He taught.

Dallas Willard:

That’s right and that’s how you find out what He’s really like. You know I, and I really do advise people constantly, is don’t try to make yourself believe something you don’t believe. Belief is not something you can do by choice. It comes as a result of finding reality. Reality brings belief.

This is perhaps one of the best classic examples of how mystics encourage unbelievers to become Jesus-followers. They are not required to understand the big Gospel truths on how to be saved. They only need to discover the reality of Jesus being a big deal by imitating Him. Judas Iscariot followed Jesus and even performed miracles in his Name like all the other apostles but never came to a saving knowledge in Jesus Christ because he thought he already knew God and that Jesus wasn’t such a big deal after all. Guess where Judas Iscariot is now. Multitudes of people think they have found Jesus by trying to emulate Him in all his ways.

What it actually boils down to, is that they are catering for the gratification of their own personal carnal experiences (the so-called “journey” as the emergent church defines it). Lent has undoubtedly become the foremost exemplar of this journey into an experiential parody of self-denial, walking the twelve stations of the cross, fasting, adding purple adornments to your living space, designing a Lenten calendar, eating Lenten foods and hot cross buns, having a sacrifice meal every week (bowl of rice and milk), burning palms from last year’s Palm Sunday, and making the sign of the cross regularly.

The abstention from alcohol seems to have become somewhat of a hot spot during Lent. Although churches do not forbid drinking during Lent, many devout followers prefer not to indulge in any kind of liquor. There are, of course, those bizarre exceptions when Jesus-followers boast that they piously abstain from food while getting their calories from beer. (Read here).

In his Lent message Monsignor Fernando Capalla, Archbishop of Devao and President of Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines said,

Lent can have two effects on people: it can transform their lives, and it can renew society. Both, however, depend on a reawakening that comes from repentance. To reach this point [of repentance], one must go through the traditional steps of the Via Crucis, as well as intense prayer and scriptural meditations (Lectio Divina], self-denial and mortification, fasting and abstinence, sacramental confession, recollection, and retreats.

“But one can also view again Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. ‘Even though it is but a human shadow of Christ’s suffering, the motion picture,’ Archbishop Capalla writes, ‘is a powerful help to evoke the sorrow caused by sin and lead us to the Sacrament of Confession. The time leading up to Easter,’ the prelate explains, ‘must lead us to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness. Our sins have been embraced by our Lord in His suffering body. Only [by] embracing the example of Jesus are we able to forego the many comforts and privileges that have weakened our spirit and prefer God above everything and everyone else. Hence, we become Christ-like—a new creation. This is what Easter means. This is what Lent must bring about.’” (Online source). (Emphasis added).

Here, again, the notion of Jesus being the supreme example to be imitated in order to become Christ-like—a new creation, and that Lent is one of the topmost spiritual tools to attain Christlikeness, highlights the cultish veneration of good works in Catholicism. In fact, the way of Cain (doing good works; the offering of the fruit of your own toil) to obtain justification is prevalent in Roman Catholicism (Jude 1:11).

Cultic Bondage

roman-catholic-church-purple-scarlet-golden-cup-mystery-babylon-harlotMost cults have their own hierarchy of superiors whose main job it is to keep subjects in line with their many man made rules and regulations. Mormons have twelve apostles who call the shots while the vast number of priests clothed in their purple, scarlet and golden raiment in the Roman Catholic Church make sure that their subjects worshipfully obey the Pope’s ex-cathedra decisions. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “ex-cathedra” as follows:

Ex cathedra is a Latin phrase, meaning not “from the cathedral,” but “from the chair.” The phrase does have religious origins though: it was originally applied to decisions made by Popes from their thrones. According to Roman Catholic doctrine, a Pope speaking ex cathedra on issues of faith or morals is infallible. In general use, the phrase has come to be used with regard to statements made by people in positions of authority, and it is often used ironically to describe someone speaking with overbearing or unwarranted self-certainty. (Emphasis added).

The alleged infallibility of the Popes and their unfailing decisions strike fear into the hearts of their church members and keep them in bondage to the great whore of Babylon (Revelation 17:5) because they are taught there is no salvation outside the peripheries of Mother Church. Members who hardly ever attend church and the Mass often summon a priest on their deathbeds to absolve them of their sins. The well-known movie actor, John Wayne converted to Catholicism two days before he died of cancer (Online source). Consider for a moment what many popes taught on salvation.

The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman: unique, the Chair founded on Peter … Outside her fold is to be found neither the true faith nor eternal salvation, for it is impossible to have God for a Father if one has not the Church for a Mother. — Ven. Pope Pius IX

If any man be outside the Church, he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for Mother. — Pope Leo XII

This Church, thus marvelously founded, assuredly could not cease with the death of its Founder, nor of the Apostles who led the way in its propagation, for to it the commission was given of bringing all men to eternal salvation: all men, without distinction of time or place … Now, no one is in this One Church, and no one perseveres in it unless he acknowledges and obediently accepts the power and authority of Peter and his legitimate successors. — Pope Pius XI

He Who reigns on high, to Whom is given all power in Heaven and on earth, has entrusted His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which there is no salvation, to one person on earth alone, namely: to Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and to Peter’s successor, the Roman Pontiff, to be governed by him with the fullness of power. — Pope St. Pius V

The mystery of salvation is revealed to us and is continued and accomplished in the Church, and from this genuine and single source … it reaches the whole world. Dear young people, and members of the faithful … we have to be conscious of and absorb this fundamental and revealed truth, contained in the phrase consecrated by tradition: There is no salvation outside the Church. From her alone there flows surely and fully the life-giving force destined, in Christ and in His Spirit, to renew the whole of humanity, and therefore directing every human being to become a part of the Mystical Body of Christ. — Pope John Paul II (Online source). (Emphasis added throughout).

It is often said that political power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Corruption is rampant in South African politics. Wikipedia reports:

Corruption in South Africa includes the private use of public resources, bribery, and improper favoritism. The 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index assigned South Africa an index of 43 out of 100, ranking South Africa 71 out of 180 countries. This ranking represents a downward direction change with a drop of two points down from 45 (2016 CPI). Countries with scores below 50 are believed to have a serious corruption problems. Recent scandals surfacing since 2016 involving former South African President Jacob Zuma have drawn attention to corruption in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected South African President, has vowed to root out existing corruption and further the development of anti-corruption initiatives.

South Africa has a robust anti-corruption framework, but laws are inadequately enforced and accountability in public sectors such as healthcare remain low. In addition, negative sanctions have been put in place to discourage whistle blowers from reporting corrupt activities in both the public and private sectors. A recent scandal involving the Gupta family and former South African President Jacob Zuma, has pushed Zuma out of office while resurfacing a long list corruption complaints against the former president. Complaints against Zuma range from the former leader’s lavish spending of state funds to the delegation of contracts to businesses with familial connections or close ties. [Online source]

A corruptive power that is far more dangerous and lethal than political corruption, is the corruption of the precious souls of men and women who in their millions are being led astray to the Lake of Fire. God’s righteous judgments on South Africa are imminent, not so much on account of Jacob Zuma’s and other political figures’ mischievous corruption, although it too attributes to it, but the corruption of God’s eternal Word in most Christian churches who are sheepishly following the Vatican’s bid to join them in their quest for ecumenical unity and world peace. Religious power in the Roman Catholic Church reached its zenith when the authority to interpret the Bible was invested in the priestly hierarchy because lay members of the church ostensibly cannot understand the Bible for themselves. DTW recently received a comment by someone who calls him-/herself CRC Crossroad whose eyes have since been opened to the false teachings in At Boshoff’s church in South Africa. What’s interesting about the comment is that it illustrates the abuse of authority in most churches to keep the members in bondage to their teachings. The person wrote:

One has to understand that not everything that comes out of CRC’s ministry is bad, a lot of good things came and still comes from this ministry. Not everything preached contradicts the Bible, but their theology as a whole is offbase and brittle. That makes their movement unbiblical and thus dangerous. They are one of the most influential churches of our time after the Vatican. . .

The loyalty to the authority in that place is intensely intimidating. If you cause division you’re compared to cancer.

Cardinal Ratzinger, when reminded by a theology professor that the Assumption of the Virgin Mary which was declared a Roman Catholic dogma in 1950 by Pope Pius XII, could not be supported by the Bible, he simply said, “the Church is wiser than I.” He pledged total allegiance “to follow the Catholic faith and not my own opinions.” The new universal Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.” “and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”

As a result, the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” (Emphasis added).

THE DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON DIVINE REVELATION DEI VERBUM SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965, states.

. . . the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, (cf. First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chap. 3 “On Faith:” Denzinger 1792 (3011) has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, (cf. Pius XII, encyclical “Humani Generis,” Aug. 12, 1950: A.A.S. 42 (1950) pp. 568-69: Denzinger 2314 (3886) whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.

God never said, “Faith cometh by the biblical interpretation of the Church hierarchy to whom it was entrusted exclusively to explain it faithfully in the authority and name of Jesus Christ.” He says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). There is not a word in this passage, or any other, that the Bible reader must first consult a hierarchy of some sorts to understand the meaning.

The serpentine lie that only an appointed elite knows how to interpret the Bible has already infiltrated many evangelical churches in South Africa via contemplative prayer and Lectio Divina, a Benedictine (RCC) practice that does not treat scripture as text to be studied and understood rationally but to promote communion with God and his presence intuitively and imaginatively. Melissa van Biljon, one of the elite Bible expositors of the Mosaiek church, together with Johan Geyser, Theo Geyser, Trevor Hudson, and Jacques Born, say the following,

. . . God can speak in many different ways, through other people and nature, but He also speaks to us through his Word, and to sit with his Word with an intentionality. . .. One of the old Church fathers said the most important thing you can have when you come to the Word of God is an intent, an intentionality that God is here, that God meets me here; He is waiting for me.

And then to take Scripture or a passage and not to use it to gain knowledge; it is not a reading of the Word as in a Bible study or to work through a one year reading plan.

It may be part of the exercise because it can help you to get the context, but this is a kind of reading with an open heart, an open life, a consciousness, an intentionality for his Spirit to speak to me, and to read a short passage slowly twice or three times, and then to read it out loudly one more time. And then to look which word or phrase or idea comes to you, and not to remain caught up in your rational, analytical thoughts . . .

No, but to allow God’s Word to move from your mind, your rational mind, to your innermost functions, your soul, your whole being, your intuition. . .. to meditate on what I feel or visualize when a word or phrase comes to me.

To their mind, whilst they use it cognitively and analytically, Bible study is OK because it can help you get the context. Nonetheless, the Word of God is not enough according to their analytical thinking. You need to intentionally surrender your will, your mind, your heart, your life contemplatively so that you may go beyond your rational and analytical thoughts.

You must intentionally repeat a word or a phrase from Scripture until you reach an altered state of consciousness (a consciousness that moves beyond your natural inclination to think rationally and analytically) so that the Spirit of God may speak to you in your innermost being. And this, my dear friends, is how they manage to control your mind and to teach you how to open yourself to doctrines of demons (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Lent has become the pinnacle every year when Catholics and many apostatized protestant churches practice their contemplative activities more intensely and devotedly.

How The Sheep in Wolves Clothing are Leading the Sheep into The Arms of Mother Church

Johan Geyser3

Johan Geyser

Having established from Roman Catholic sources that the priestly elite have placed tradition on par with God’s Word, to the extent that “Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence,” it is no surprise that experience has taken precedence over a child-like faith, especially in the Emergent Church. “Hearing the Word of God” and responding to it in child-like faith in order to be saved (Romans 10:17) are in the eyes of the emergent church inadequate, for the rational mind cannot grasp the true meaning of the words.

To their liking, the common way of reading and studying the Word of God is analogous to the Pharisees’ searching and examining the scriptures, thinking that in them they had eternal life (John 5:39), as Johan Geyser suggested in his Lent message “Wilderness Lessons: Words in the Wilderness” on 24th March 2019 at the Mosaïek Church. This is one of their famous passages to prove that Lectio Divina (a Roman Catholic practice) is the only acceptable way to get to the nitty-gritty of the Word so that you may experience it as the living word intuitively without having to understand it rationally. Wikipedia states:

Before the emergence of the Western monastic communities, a key contribution to the foundation of Lectio Divina came from Origen in the 3rd century, with his view of “Scripture as a sacrament”. In a letter to Gregory of Neocaesarea Origen wrote: “[W]hen you devote yourself to the divine reading … seek the meaning of divine words which is hidden from most people”.

Origen believed that The Word (i.e. Logos) was incarnate in Scripture and could, therefore, touch and teach readers and hearers. Origen taught that the reading of Scripture could help move beyond elementary thoughts and discover the higher wisdom hidden in the “Word of God”.

In Origen’s approach, the major interpretive element of Scripture is Christ. In his view all Scriptural texts are secondary to Christ and are only revelations in as much as they refer to Christ as The Word of God. In this view, using Christ as the “interpretive key” unlocks the message in Scriptural texts.

The “primordial role” of Origen in interpreting Scripture was acknowledged by Pope Benedict XVI. Origen’s methods were then learned by Ambrose of Milan, who towards the end of the 4th century taught them to Saint Augustine, thereby introducing them into the monastic traditions of the Western Church thereafter.

In the 4th century, as the Desert Fathers began to seek God in the deserts of Palestine and Egypt, they produced early models of Christian monastic life that persisted in the Eastern Church. These early communities gave rise to the tradition of a Christian life of “constant prayer” in a monastic setting.

Origen’s belief that The Word (i.e. Logos) was incarnate in Scripture bears a very strong resemblance to the sacrament of transubstantiation, the belief that the Eucharist (wafer) and the wine when served by a priest at the Mass, turns into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. It follows that whoever practices Lectio Divina to discover the higher wisdom hidden in the Word of God, is not content with the biblical teaching of faith but aspires to come into contact with the incarnate and literal Christ in God’s Word, so that He may touch and teach them intuitively and imaginatively. Bear in mind that the emergent Christian mystics never deny the relevance and importance of God’s Word and its directness when speaking to the reader, and often quote passages that fall into place with the categories of their chosen agenda which is contemplative to its core. Nonetheless, as Johan Geyser said in his sermon,

“We must come into contact with that deep longing and hunger, and the primary function of scripture, as we are going to deal with it, is to be fed by the Word . . . We should be able to hear Him; we must acknowledge Him; we must receive Him so that He may become food in our hearts. In the 3rd Century, a method began to develop whereby Christians acquired a way to engage with scripture so that it became a word from God to them.

If Christians developed a discipline only as late as the 3rd Century AD on how to engage with scripture so that they may receive a word from God, the legitimate question to ask is how did the Old Testament saints interact with God’s Word without the contemplative discipline of the Desert Fathers at their disposal? For instance, how did the prophet Daniel receive the living word from God when He began to read the book of Jeremiah nearly nine centuries before so-called Christians (the Desert Fathers) discovered the discipline called “Divine Reading” (Lectio Divina)? Was Daniel’s study of Jeremiah, not a Godly inspired divine reading?

It is impossible to promote RCC contemplative mystic practices without wrenching the Word of God out of its original context. Johan Geyser and his companions are acutely fond to project certain passages from Scripture onto their smart an impressive on-stage projector screen containing words that support their contemplative practices, and then to wrench it out of context. These are mostly the words they highlight in their sermons.

  1. SIT: They derive the necessity to “sit” from Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus lovingly rebukes Martha, the sister of Mary who chose to sit at his feet and to listen to his teachings (doctrines), while Martha grudgingly attended to the chores of serving them. According to Johan Geyser, “sit” signifies that you have been chosen to be one of his disciples, his followers. However, the “sit,” in their reckoning, is merely a technical term which needs to become something more of an esoterically experienced movement in your innermost being than the mere reading of the text as it stands. Therefore, the very first discipline involves an innermost attitude which requires you to empty yourself. What he means, is that your mind should be emptied of all its preconceived ideas, archaic models of worship, and immodest mindsets so that you may unreservedly receive his word for you personally in your own so-called circumstantial wilderness.
  2. SCRIPTURE READING: It’s a practice to enable you to listen to and to hear what the Lord wants to convey to you personally, Geyser said. The one thing followers of RCC mysticism have perfected is to jump from one Bible passage to another and to blend them into a contemplative hodgepodge of perceived harmonious unity so that their congregants may be duped so much the easier. Johan Geyser neatly jumps from Luke 10:38-42 to Luke 10:26 [it is called “reverse or U-turn eisegeses”) and admits that the reading of the Bible texts as it stands is very important to gain insight into its meaning. However, and here’s the punchline, you must know how to read it, as Jesus suggested in his question, “How do you read it?” In the contemplative mind which is usually empty and completely void of any rational thinking, Christ’s question “How do you read it” refers to the mode, method, technique, approach, practice, or discipline you use to read the Bible. It’s not like the reading of a newspaper to gain information or a textbook to increase your knowledge, or of a novel to relax by. You must read it slowly, continually and repetitively. That’s how you should read the Bible. It is called “Divine Reading” (Lectio Divina), according to Johan Geyser (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus never promoted a mode or a method to be followed when He asked, “How do you read it.” He simply nudged the lawyer to tell Him how he understood the meaning of the Law in scripture. He wanted to know how the lawyer interpreted the Law.In fact, the lawyer’s understanding and rendition of the Law was correct and Jesus rightly commended him for his reading of the Law in Luke 10:27-28. Ironically, the very thing Jesus warned the lawyer to guard against, that is to rely on his own obedience to the Law as a means of justification, are the very things Johan Geyser and his church promulgate on the Internet, on KYKNET TV, churches throughout the country, at conferences and on their retreats. They have made a law of the practice of Divine Reading (Lectio Divina) in a set of five steps to attain unto incarnational spirituality, two of which we’ve already discussed. The rest are —
  3. PAY ATTENTION/BE AWARE:
  4. SPEAK TO HIM:
  5. BE STILL:

In conclusion, Johan Geyser said this about the practice of these five laws of incarnational spirituality.

An old Church father said:

“If you pray in this manner, with scripture, then you take the word and put it in your mouth when you hear it. If you pay attention to that word, you begin to chew on it. That’s meditation; then you meditate. And then, when you begin to talk about it with the Lord, and you pray about it, then you swallow it. And then, when you have swallowed it and you sit with Him a bit, you are busy digesting Him, not necessarily on a rational level but on an intuitive level, on an imaginative level, on an awareness, experiential level. It’s like a pot of food that begins to simmer . . . and the word is then absorbed in your flesh, and in your tissue — the word becomes flesh in you.”  [DTW comment: What he essentially is saying, is that you become a god in the flesh].

Whoa! Adherents to this abominable demonic teaching are taught to practice what I’d like to call “Divine Reading Transubstantiation” which, as we’ve already mentioned earlier may be likened to the doctrine of transubstantiation in the Roman Catholic Church whereby the wafer and wine are turned into the literal body and blood of Jesus during the Mass. Like so many other enemies of God, Johan Geyser and his church are leading many people into the arms of MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5). In addition, like so many others in the Emergent Church, he is paving the way for his congregants to accept the Antichrist when he eventually appears on the scene. (Proverbs 14:12).

A Child-like Faith is Too Abstract

The biblical principle that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1), is too abstract and should preferably be made visible and experiential within the confines of tradition. Hence, the voracious impetus worldwide to bring all the Christian churches (also those in name only) and all the religions into Mother Church where everyone can take part and enjoy in practice and in experience the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, such as Lent. Consider the following explanation of “Catholic evangelism” by Fr. Tom Forrest to a group of Catholic charismatics:

Our Job is to make people as richly and as fully Christians, as we can make them by bringing them into the Catholic Church. So, evangelization is never fully successful, it’s only partial, until the convert is made a member of Christ’s body by being led into the [Catholic] Church.

Now listen again to the words of Pope Paul VI. Now, this is a document every one of you should have in your homes . . . called “Evangelization in the Modern Word.” This is what the Pope says: “The commitment off someone newly evangelized cannot remain abstract (‘Oh, I’m a Christian,’ now that’s too abstract) . . . it must be given concrete and visible form through entry . . . into the [Catholic] Church our visible sacrifice of salvation.”

I like saying those words; I’m going to say them again: “Our visible sacrifice of redemption!” That’s what the Church is, and if that is what the Church is, we have to be evangelizing into the Church! . . .

No, you don’t just invite someone to become a Christian, you invite them to become Catholics . . .  Why would this be so important? First of all, there are seven sacraments, and the Catholic Church has all seven . . . On our altars we have the body of Christ: we drink the blood of Christ. Jesus is alive on our altars, as offering . . . We become one with Christ in the Eucharist . . .

As Catholics we have Mary, and that Mom of ours, Queen of Paradise, is praying for us till she sees us in glory.

As Catholics, we have the papacy, a history of popes from Peter to John Paul II . . . we have the rock upon which Christ did build His Church.

As Catholics—now I love this one—we have purgatory. Thank God! I’m one of those people who would never get to the Beatific Vision without it. It’s the only way to go . . .

So as Catholics . . . our job is to use this remaining decade evangelizing everyone we can into the Catholic Church, into the body of Christ and inti the third millennium of Catholic history. (Roman Catholic Doubletalk at Indianapolis ’90.” Foundation, July-August 1990, excerpts from talk by From Forrest to the Roman Catholic Saturday morning training session)

Lent and Ramadan

roman-catholic-church-harlot-mystery-babylon-revelation-17-purple-scarlet-vatican-system-933×445Enter Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Francis, the 266th and first Jesuit Pope of the Vatican) who became a very close friend of the late Tony Palmer, an Anglican priest who died in a motorcycle accident on 20th July 2014 in the UK. They forged a renewed and very sturdy ecumenical bond between the Roman Catholic Church and the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches when Kenneth Copeland invited Tony Palmer to speak to his congregation a few months before he died. Twenty years prior to this historic event, when a special reconciliatory video of Pope Francis was viewed by Kenneth Copeland’s congregation, another significant event took place on 29th March, 28 days into the Lent festivities of 1994.

On that day several leading American evangelicals and Catholics signed a joint declaration entitled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd Millennium.” Whilst this declaration signed by well-known evangelicals Pat Robertson, Charles Colson, Bill Bright of Campus Crusade, Mark Noll, Os Guinness, Jesse Miranda, Richard Mouw, and J.I. Packer, called for the overturning of the Reformation, Pope Francis used Tony Palmer to convince evangelicals that the Reformation was over, kaput, finished, defunct.

The signing of the joint declaration in 1994 included a shocking admission on the part of leading evangelicals which makes a mockery of the Reformation and the millions who were martyred and murdered for their rejection of the Roman Catholic Church, and that is that active participation in the Catholic Church makes one a Christian.  Could this be the reason why so many evangelicals are actively taking part in Lent and other Romish practices like contemplative prayer, Labyrinth walks, retreats, the Via Crucis (twelve stages of the cross) and even the Eucharist?

Moreover, could this be the reason why Lent and Ramadan are moving closer together to eventually be united into one festival? These are questions that are coming to the fore more and more as we notice an increasing number of evangelical Christians admitting that they have already or would participate in the Muslim fast of Ramadan. The Vatican News reported in May 2018—

To counter this “competition and confrontation”, the message called on Christians and Muslims to recognize the “religious and moral values they share” and respect their “legitimate differences” in order to bring about an “effective cooperation for the common good.”

This particularly consists in helping those most in need, which allows Muslims and Christians “to offer a credible witness to the Almighty’s love for the whole of humanity.”

The Pontifical Council thus called on both communities to work together and honour each other in order to further peace and fraternal relations and promote harmony in society which is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pope Francis also extended his “cordial wishes” to Muslims worldwide who on Thursday began Ramadan.  He wished that this “privileged time of prayer and fasting help in walking the path of God which is of peace.”  (Online source).

The Masonic Jesuit Pope Francis must have forgotten the Quran says God has no Son (Surah 6:101). The prophet Isaiah calls the Messiah (Jesus Christ) the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ is simultaneously the only Way (Path) to God, that is, the Path of peace. (John 14:6). So, how can Muslims and true Christians walk the path of God which is of peace when Muslims reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Prince of peace? The peace Pope Francis and Muslims, and for that matter, the entire world is aiming to achieve, is a false peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Once again The Call to Prayer was performed by Hassen Rasool who was delighted to be asked to perform the Adhan at The ancient church of St Pancras, on Euston Road, London, United Kingdom on the 4th July 2018.

Should Christians Fast During Ramadan with Muslims?

A true born-again Christian should not even contemplate such a question and here’s the reason why:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Paul basically says you cannot call God your Father and Jesus Christ your Lord and claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit when you participate in pagan festivals like Lent and Ramadan. And yet, the magazine Christianity Today used the question “Should Christians fast during Ramadan with Muslims” as the headline of their October 2009 edition. Here are some of the responses of people who call themselves Christians.

“I would say it’s absolutely appropriate, particularly if one does it for spiritual reasons, combining it with prayer and strengthening your discipline and submission to God. If there are side benefits, like showing some solidarity with your Muslim friends, that’s fine too. It’s best not to be bragging about it. (But) it has to be a personal decision.” Donald Wagner, co-founder, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding

“The idea of Ramadan and the feast of Eid is Muslims are asking that they would encounter God more. What that means to them varies from place to place and person to person, I’m sure, and Islam has so many different manifestations, that varies dramatically across the globe. But still—that’s something we can agree with, that we pray and get to know God more.” Lynn Green, international chairman, Youth With a Mission.

“In order to bridge the gap between the East and West Muslim and Christian cultures, rather than condemning and criticizing, here’s something very easy that we could do as followers of Jesus that’s consistent with the teachings of Christ and the scriptures. Not that we’re supporting every viewpoint and doctrine, no—we’re supporting them as neighbors in the spiritual journey. We’re all on a spiritual journey.” Mark Siljander, author, A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman’s Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide.

“There’s such fragmentation between the Christian community and the Muslim community that it makes sense to me that we participate in something that is both inherently Christian and, for Muslims, inherently Islamic, to build bridges of peace.” Ben Ries, pastor, Sterling Drive Church of Christ, …

The things observed during Lent are of the flesh and cannot please God in the very least. The flesh has no benefit and profits nothing, as Jesus said. (John 6:63). So, why are so many “Christians” from every conceivable demon-nomination falling in line with the Roman Catholic Church? Jesus Himself presented the answer when He said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Prophecy in the Making

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (Daniel 2:41-45).

The best thing members of the Mosaïek Church, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches can do to save themselves from the road of destruction they had chosen (Proverbs 14:12), is to repent, believe the Gospel with child-like faith and to leave their churches immediately. Your pastors are leading you straight into hell while they themselves are contemplatively paving the way to destruction for themselves and their congregations.

Please share:

Tom (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

12 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thank you. Very informative article. I for one will never join with either catholic or muslim ideologies and I despair at the falling away of the church into these deceptions

  2. Juan says:

    The irony is that many “Christians” who reject lent have no problem following Kosher laws and giving up pork, thinking that’s what Jesus wanted (Hebrew Roots mentality).

  3. Hi Juan,

    Both are legalistic and, therefore, wrong and not pleasing to the Lord.

  4. Seeker says:

    Hi DTW,

    Very interesting article Tom. As a born again believer in Jesus Christ, I will not put a black cross on my fore head on Ash Wednesday, nor will I do lent, nor ramadan, nor sit in a place where a ghuru sings to poor old Alla (false god with no son). I want NO part in it. Lent is not cool. :nope:

  5. Seeker says:

    Tom,

    Is it also “legalistic” to give up drugs, smoking, drinking, stealing, murder and homosexuality and lent and pork and other sins?

    How is it not pleasing to God? Are these things not elementary and milk, and part of holy living, and sanctification after salvation?

    I can give up lent as easily as giving up my small shoes that press on my bunions. Giving up sin is a pleasure, I would give up anything for my God. I will follow the Law that He gave to Moses, because He wrote it on my heart. Am I doing wrong, Tom?

  6. Seeker

    There is a vast difference between the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and the subsequent confession and repentance that follows it and the annual ritualistic abstinence from meats, chocolates, coffee and whatnot during the festivities of pagan origin. The Mardi Gras, an equally horrific pagan festival of nudity, sex, and debauchery, usually precedes Lent when participants whoop it up and then when Lent arrives, they suddenly and hypocritically imitate Jesus’ 40-day fast. I’m surprised that you who say you are a Christian cannot see the difference. There is not a single instance in the Bible where we are commanded to celebrate Lent. You may as well take part in the fasting of Ramadan.

  7. Dear Tom,

    The article about lent is quite understandable and I couldn’t agree more. I was referring to your answer to Juan, when you said it was legalistic to give up pork.

    Was just wondering what you would say the difference is between the prompting of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life to stop sinning, and the reading of the Law of Moses and also the New Testament, which also commands the same thing to a believer, to repent and turn from sin. Is there a difference between the written Word and the Spirit? 2 Tim 3: 15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convince us by both his Word and his Spirit that this testimony is true. So.. will the Law say: “don’t eat Pork”!, but the Spirit say “eat it!” huh? :ohno:

  8. Seeker (of the Truth).

    Allow me to ask you whether you are sincerely Truth(ful) when asked some questions, like for instance, do you eat pork?

  9. Tom,
    I used to eat, but lately I don’t eat pork or sea food. Because I am not sure. My mother had a severe allergy to sea food. I wonder why God said not to eat certain animals, there must be a reason other than the law only. He must know more than we do. Maybe just trust in what He said, and not eat what He said we shouldn’t eat. Not because salvation is dependant on what we eat, but just because He said so in the law. :read:

  10. Hi Ida

    First off, God did not just say the things in the Law for Israel to trust and obey just because He said so. His commands always had a purpose, a purpose that every Israelite could understand. Moreover, He did not give Israel his dietary laws because the eating of some foods may have had some malevolent physical consequences for his people, the Jews. We find the reason and purpose for giving his dietary laws in Leviticus 11:44, “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall, therefore, sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Leviticus 11:44).

    Two words stand out in this verse – “sanctification” and “holy.” Sanctification means to be set apart for the use of the designer” and “holy” (which is similar to sanctification) means to be dedicated, hallowed or sanctified unto the will of God. The one thing God chose Israel for, and which required them to be sanctified and holy unto the Lord, was to prepare them as a nation so that the Father may use them to give the world his Savior. (John 4:22). In order for God the Son to be fully human, He needed an ancestry like anyone else. However, his ancestry needed to be set apart from all the other nations who indulged in idolatry, sexual immorality, gluttony, drunkenness, debauchery, child sacrifice, etc. etc. And one of the means God chose to remind his people that they needed to live sanctified and holy lives in separateness from all the other nations, was to give them his dietary laws.

    The so-called unclean animals were not of themselves unclean because they allegedly caused all kinds of physical illnesses. God declared them unclean in his chosen depiction of all the other unclean nations. Eating, as you may know, is one of the most intimate acts we can participate in. It not only satisfies hunger; it also enhances fellowship, relationships, friendships, and so forth. Thus, whenever the Jews ate their meals it reminded them of their separateness unto the Lord, and their distinctiveness from all the surrounding idolatrous nations who were all depicted by the unclean animals. The apostle Peter knew this too well, causing him not to eat with Gentiles because in his mind they were still unclean (separated from the Jews). God had to give him a vision or a sign from heaven (1 Corinthians 1:22) to show him that the New Covenant which was inaugurated by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ did not require such a separation any longer. In fact, Jesus Himself censured any abstention from foods for the sake of pious religious habits and rituals. (Matthew 15:11).

    The only reason for not eating certain foods (like pork and seafood) can and must only be based on the fact the one is allergic to it and, therefore, not good for one’s health. Anything other than this, such as keeping the Law, is religious hypocrisy. Christians who keep the dietary laws of Leviticus must then also keep the law on mixed fabrics in Leviticus 19:19 and Ezekiel 44:17-18.

  11. Ida says:

    Thanks for great teachings and answer, God bless you.

  12. Mary says:

    “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.”
    Galatians 4; 9-11
    “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”
    Colossians 2; 20-23

    That nails it to the wall!

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