20 May 2008

Why I Do What I Do

Some people accuse me of stirring the pot or poking a stick into an ant pile. I just recently came across some wise words by some of our Popes throughout the ages.

"It is an act of great piety to expose the concealments of the impious and to defeat there the devil himself, whose slaves they are." - Saint Leo

"
It is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he is among the sheep, wherever he is." - Saint Frances de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

So, if you're going to complain about me stirring the pot, you're out of luck. I hope you know that I am not bringing up all these stories for the heck of it, just for fun. My motives are to defend the Church from attacks both external and internal, and to defend the laity who deserve nothing short of the Catholic Faith, 100%.

Pope St. Felix III said, "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them."

16 Comments:

Blogger Anthony M Piferrer said...

Thank you so much, Jon, God bless you

May 21, 2008 11:35 AM  
OpenID faylei said...

Dear Jonathan,

I realize you are young in Catholicism, so perhaps you will accept a bit of the wisdom of the ages from one who has been on the spiritual journey for many years. It is just this: focusing on the faults and sins of others (whether perceived or real) is a serious hindrance to the spiritual life.

You are young enough and zealous enough to let go of that practice, with God's grace, before it becomes too ingrained in your heart and prevents you from growing into a mature Catholic, one who has taken on the mind and heart of Christ.

I know God has good plans for you, and I wish you all the best.

May 22, 2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Knox,

faylei knows what he is talking about. I would also encourage you to use the Bible as your source to quote instead of quoting bishops and priests when it comes to defending your arguments. There is no greater Word on earth than the Word of God. Sometimes we get too caught up in our denomination and forget the teachings of the Bible completely. I know Catholics are notorious for not knowing their Bible, but I hope this isn't the case for you! Good luck!

May 23, 2008 9:27 AM  
Blogger Anthony M Piferrer said...

I'd say that quoting a bishop or priest who has devoted his life to preaching and to studying the Bible is a double-safeguard, but that's just me. Keep in mind that the first bishops and priests wrote the Bible, it didn't pop up out of thin air.

May 23, 2008 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, Anthony, that it was not bishops and priest who wrote the Bible, but rather, God Himself. Priests and teachers of the law merely wrote down what God told them to. The Bible is NOT made up of the ideas of the bishops and priests, but rather the words of God Himself ALONE. Therefore, the highest authority that we can cite is God himself. This is not to say that I am discrediting the words of bishops and priests (although some have gone beyond their calling e.g. homosexuals caused Katrina), but rather reminding Mr. Knox to not forget what God says first and foremost. But I understand where you're coming from, Anthony.

May 23, 2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Thank you for your comments and advice, faylei. And thank you, Anthony, and may God bless you too!

Faylei, while I appreciate your advice, I must disagree. I have the support of several priests, many of my Catholic peers, and several older Catholics who I trust.

If I were just always dwelling on the heresy and lack of solid teaching in the Church, then I might be in trouble. However, if you couple what I do here (which is not always focusing on the bad) with prayer and entrusting yourself and the Church to Our Lord through His Blessed Mother, you can't go too far off the track.

Anonymous, I find no reason to thank you because you seem to be disparaging the Catholic Church. As a Catholic, by the way, I am not in any denomination. The Catholic religion is that one Church that Christ founded almost 2,000 years ago. He reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures and in Sacred Tradition. It is the Magisterium of the Catholic Church that interprets the Divine Word of God, so it is a good practice to read and quote holy priests and bishops.

And not all Catholics are ignorant of the Bible. We hear the Bible at Mass every Sunday, which is more than what I can say for some Protestant denominations.

May 23, 2008 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Catholic Catechism For Adults on page 52 says, "Can you learn to save your soul just by reading the Bible? No, because certain things in the Bible can be misunderstood, and because the Bible does not have everything God taught."

Hmmm...interesting. You'll find, Mr. Knox, that there are teachings of the Catholic Church have nothing to do with the Bible and often contradict it. Jesus never said that the Catholic Church was to be the one church of Christ (although, catholic means "universal") nor did he mention many of the traditions created by men. I encourage you to look at Mark 7 below (you may need an indulgence after reading this one!):

1The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. 3(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

5So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"

6He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[b] 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

9And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,'[d] and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[e] 11But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."

14Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.' "[f]

17After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18"Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")

20He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "

May 23, 2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

That is very true. Try 2 Peter 1:20 "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation"

Christ didn't use the words Catholic Church. He said He would build his Church (singular) on the petros, whatever you hold that to be. The truth is that petros is Peter. Christ founded one Church and wished that the Church be one "as you (the Father) and I (Jesus) are one". He set the 12 apostles as the leaders of the Church, and those apostles created a visible structure, ordaining presbyters and deacons.

May 23, 2008 3:05 PM  
Blogger Anthony M Piferrer said...

St. Paul, the earliest of bishops, writes in 1 Corinthians 1:10: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment." I challenge you, Protestant Anonymous, to name one single Catholic tradition that detracts from sanctifying and saving mankind for the sake of doing God's will or that is in any way exclusively a "tradition of man", i.e., something that serves purely mundane purposes.

Protestants are very quick to condemn tradition (that was Luther's big bone) and immediately invoke sola scriptura, and yet is sola scriptura itself NOT a tradition? I've seen few religions cling to a single (fallacious) tradition so steadfastly. In Scripture itself it is written that it is good for instruction and edification, NOT all-sufficing (Timothy). To deny tradition is to imply that God did ALL of His works and made ALL of His revelations in Biblical time and that after that we're all on our own/nothing more has happened or been revealed/etc.

May 23, 2008 4:31 PM  
Blogger Anthony M Piferrer said...

Jon is right that Jesus did not use the words "Catholic Church". Until the Protestant Rebellion (:P) if you said you were Christian, that meant that you were (in modern terms) Catholic. It's still that way nowadays. If you say you are Christian in many countries with predominantly Catholic populations, people assume you are Catholic. Part of what Catholic means is not just universality of location, et al, but also fullness of revelation and teaching. The fullness of God's revelation to mankind is contained in the Catholic Church, as opposed to Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, etc. which only contain portions of that fuller revelation. They are thus incomplete religions with (limited) sanctifying potential.

May 23, 2008 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Gerald said...

"Keep in mind, Anthony, that it was not bishops and priest who wrote the Bible, but rather, God Himself. Priests and teachers of the law merely wrote down what God told them to. The Bible is NOT made up of the ideas of the bishops and priests, but rather the words of God Himself ALONE."

Sorry, anonymous, but you are betraying a tremendous ignorance of the nature of the written Word with this statement.

The fact of the matter is, just as the Word made flesh is fully human and fully divine in His being, so is the written Word fully human and fully divine in its authorship.

The Holy Spirit no more denied the free will of the human authors of Scripture than God denies our free will when we choose to embrace or reject that which is of Him.

Yes, the Holy Spirit is the primary author of Scripture; but He respected the intentions of the human authors as they wrote and allowed their meaning to be conveyed in the pages of Scripture. The human meaning is every bit as present in Scripture as the divine meaning. In fact, proper biblical exegesis requires the understanding of the literary meaning of Scripture that is conveyed by the human authors to be the crucial first step in interpreting the divine meaning that is conveyed by the Holy Spirit.

The Vatican II council fathers echo this theme - taught by the Church throughout the ages - quite forcefully in the dogmatic constitution on divine Revelation, Dei Verbum.

And, as it happens, many of the authors of the books of Scripture were in fact bishops and priests, with even a pope making two contributions of his own. Anthony was dead on in his justification for quoting bishops and priests - particularly those of the Saintly variety - in moral and theological arguments.

Jonathan, keep up the good work. It's time Catholics rediscovered the true meaning of Christian charity - namely, loving the Lord our God above all things and for His own sake. This requires rejection of Satan and his evil works, while calling on those who promote such works - whether or not they do so wittingly - to reject that which is evil and embrace that which is good.

May 23, 2008 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both well put, Mr. Knox and Anthony. These statements ring true in the hearts of believers (by the way, I'm not a Protestant (: ). In fact, almost all of Mr. Knox's publishings on this blog I have agreed with. My only concern, like faylei, is that in a time where the world is falling to Satain around us, we must reach out with the love that Christ has first shown us. Although I agree with many of these misguided acts that Mr. Knox has been writing about (especially God our "Mother"), we must be careful in what we say to those that are wayward or don't know Christ. I think the most important thing we can take away from this conversations in that we are all laboring for Christ here on earth, and our passion to serve Christ is so evident in the way we speak out against the things and evils of this world (e.g. Mr. Knox's postings). I hope to read more posts from you in the future.

May 23, 2008 7:21 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Thanks to everyone for contributing to this discussion. Let us all pray that the Truth is proclaimed by all God's children in all the churches and everywhere.

May 23, 2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Anthony M Piferrer said...

God bless everyone. This blog is so enjoyable to discuss on, Jon.

PS BTW Jon, if you don't mind my advertising, I have a blog which receives next to no visitors all about Catholicism but it has a slightly different approach/tone to this one. It's http://deprofundisadte.blogspot.com. All are welcome to check it out.

May 24, 2008 11:26 AM  
Anonymous bill said...

test

May 24, 2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Sure thing, Anthony! I hope everyone checks it out!

Test? ;)

May 24, 2008 12:18 PM  

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