"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Some Baptists More Roman Catholic than Baptist?

Pope Francis
On March 20, 2020, during the midst of a global pandemic, Roman Catholic Pope Francis issued the following proclamation.
"People who cannot get to confession because of the coronavirus lockdown or another serious reason can go to God directly (without confessing to a priest), be specific about their sins, request pardon and experience God’s loving forgiveness,"
It is amazing how a global epidemic has a way of exposing doctrinal errors.

Official Roman Catholic dogma teaches that "ordained priests" are the intermediaries between God and man.

From the beginning, Roman Catholicism has taught that God’s forgiveness only occurs through the sacrament of reconciliation (confession to a priest).

Listen to the Roman Catholic explanation of the doctrine of confession (emphasis mine):
This power to forgive sin which Jesus conferred upon his Apostles was not, of course, to die with them; no more so than the power to change bread and wine into his Body and Blood, which he conferred upon his Apostles at the Last Supper.
It is evident then that the power to forgive sins is a part of the power of the priesthood, to be passed on in the sacrament of Holy Orders from generation to generation.
It is the power which every priest exercises when he raises his hand over the contrite sinner and says, “I absolve thee from thy sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” These are called “the words of absolution.
Good for the Pope to set aside official Roman Catholic doctrine and truthfully tell the people that they have the right to go to God directly.

 9 Marks, Mark Dever, and Reformed Baptists


Mark Dever
Mark Dever is the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC.

Mark is the founder of 9 Marks,  close friends of Tom Ascol (Founders Ministries), Al Mohler (Southern Seminary), CJ Mahaney, and a host of other Reformed Baptists in the Southern Baptist Convention.

I like Mark. He's personable and smart.

But the movements he's either founded (9 Marks) or supported (Founders) are more Roman Catholic in some ways than Catholics themselves.

Let me illustrate.

During this Covid-19 crisis, Mark Dever sent a letter to his church stating that "temporally cease all our public gatherings." So far, so good. That's smart.

But then Mark goes on to say that there will be no on-line worship services, nor will there be any on-line ministry by Capitol Hill Baptist Church during the Covid-19 crisis because...
"A video of a sermon is not a substitute for a covenanted congregation assembling together and all the various means of God's grace in that. I think it would be healthier to respect God's strange providence in a period of abstinence from meeting together." (Mark Dever, March 13, 2020)
Allow me to translate.
"God's grace is only imparted as you gather in a covenant congregation to receive instruction from those men set aside ("ordained") for your oversight. It's better to abstain from going online for your spiritual encouragment than to risk minimizing the spiritual authority that God has placed over you (i.e. "pastors/priests").
Yikes!

Mark Dever's friend, Tom Ascol, put this view of sacramental grace even more succinctly.


I never dreamed I'd see the day when some Baptists are more Roman Catholic than they are Baptist.

Baptists have historically believed and taught that every individual Christian is a priest unto God. We need no intermediary between God and us or His grace and our lives.

During the Covid-19 crisis, Pope Francis set aside the false doctrine that a soul needs an intermediary to go to God.

But a few Baptists have doubled down on their unbiblical doctrine of pastoral authority and the need for pastoral piety over languishing laity before God's grace can invade our space.

Silly us.

Southern Baptist pastors often confuse our state-certified 501-C3 non-profits (plural) with Christ's church (singular)

Christ's Church has no buildings, no budgets, and no boundaries, local or global.

Baptists need to get back to being baptistic. Every believer is a priest.

The video below has an enlightening discussion on the subject of the government and "the church." Are some Baptists more Roman Catholic than Baptist in their views of the church? Maybe. There's nothing like a global pandemic to expose docrinal errors.

45 comments:

Tamara said...

Funny you posted this...we've been "going to church" online (from another state) via Emmanuel Enid for months now.

Wade Burleson said...

Tamara,

I'd love to know your story! :) wwburleson@gmail.com

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

The title of your post does a good job of portraying the information. Your saying “Mark Dever’s movements are more Roman Catholic in some ways than Catholics themselves” led me to think this title wouldn’t be too bad:

Some Baptists More Roman Catholic than Roman Catholics

You quoted Roman Catholics: “This power to forgive sin which Jesus conferred upon his Apostles…”

WHERE DID THEY GET THIS IDEA? I guess they got it from Jesus telling his disciples:

“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19 NLT)

BUT

The “keys” was the Gospel. Whoever rejects the Gospel on earth “will be forbidden in heaven”, and whoever accepts the Gospel on earth “will be permitted in heaven.”

Yes, when Calvary ripped the veil of the curtain that separated man from Priest interceding for them, man became his own priest.

This is the best thing I’ve heard that coronavirus has caused.

Ken said...

Thank you, Wade. What a magic show they've got going. Blessings to you and Emmanuel Enid!

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

The Faith of a Centurion (from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 8)

5 When He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, appealing to Him,

6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.”

7 And He said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who followed Him,
“Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel[d] have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment."

Debbie Kaufman said...

I love Abraham, but totally disagree and I sincerely pray that he sees the Church as you and I see it. It is so freeing and allows even more reason to Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

If he continues to be a part of our "501 non profit", which I sincerely hope he does for many years, under your discussions, I have no doubt he will. :) I did.

Anonymous said...

'THE Church' (the Body of Christ)
is called to service without thought of 'self' and in the case of 'coronvirus', as we are all potential weapons against one another IF we carry the virus and do not have symptoms ourselves and do not care enough about our neighbor to keep ourselves to ourselves for a season, until the worst is over and the crisis has passed.

No time for being smug or know-it-all, no. If ever HUMILITY made a difference in the Church, let it be now, let us not 'weaponize' the Church by ignoring common sense warnings from health officials and saying, 'we don't have to listen to anyone',

let's not pull that 'I know better' garbage now, no. We owe God to show love for our neighbors and, right now, staying home is the best way to do that.

RB Kuter said...

"Catholicism is centered on the One Who can heal our souls with a word. No other explanation is needed."

Well, perhaps additional explanations are needed if the Catholic Church desires to help us non-Catholics have insight into the logic of their having intermediaries who profess to have an exclusive authority to pronounce forgiveness upon a confessor and how that is compatible with so much of what the Bible teaches to the contrary.

Either there is no explanation and the Catholic Church is determined to practice this dogma without concern or interest in what non-Catholics understand, or there is no explanation that would explain the inconsistencies between what the Catholic Church practices and what the Bible teaches.

Anyway, seems this post opens the door for productive dialogue to expand and improve the understanding we have. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Christiane, Catholics may feel close to Christ and this I understand. But to tell people they need to confess to a Priest before their sins can be forgiven is not of Christ. And now you have the Pope openly admitting the error of Catholic teaching. Instead of seeing the fullness of Christ in the Catholic Church perhaps now they can see the fullness of Christ in Christ.

Unknown said...

Wade, I often benefit from your posts but feel you reached quite a bit this time.

You quote Dever as saying that "A video of a sermon is not a substitute for a covenanted congregation assembling together and all the various means of God's grace in that."

Dever specifically mentions "various means of grace" without ever identifying what these "means" are. You then "translate" his statement to mean that he is (exclusively?) referring to his indispensable role as God's "ordained" spokesman. You then seem to conclude that Dever's sole motivation results from his interest in maintaining his spiritual authority.

You may be right. Perhaps this is Dever's motivation, but it doesn't follow from the offered citation.

You then "translate" Ascol's brief statement and identify Ascol and Dever as being "more Roman Catholic than they are Baptist."

Nothing in Dever's or Ascol's statements provide cause for summarily identifying them with the Roman Catholic doctrine of their priests operating as intermediaries between God and man.

I see that John MacArthur, Kevin DeYoung and other T4G speakers had online services yesterday. I'm guessing that their convictions line up closely with Dever and Ascol, yet they had online services.

You may have some reason for identifying Dever and Ascol with the Roman Catholic priesthood, but I don't think their views on online services provided you with the right argument to prove your case.

May God continue to bless your life and ministry.

Nathan Petty said...

I neglected to leave my name. Nathan Petty

Anonymous said...

"let's not pull that 'I know better' garbage now, no. We owe God to show love for our neighbors and, right now, staying home is the best way to do that."

Evidently, Chuck would completely disagree (lots of folks in the audience every week probably armed with AR15's and 30 round mags): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYjmZGddWMU

And, in a weird way, Doc Fauci would too since he's stating Covid-19 is probably just another flu (but he just doesn't want too many to know or else they might do whatever they want and not what he wants): https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387

So would the UK (but they don't want the Brits to know either): https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/26/lockdown-britain-quietly-downgraded-status-virus-t/

Considering the social conditioning GOV wants you to conform to (shame those churches who meet!!) why would any of us believe the CDC "authorities" recommendations when they keep getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar? They are like the Evil One who masquerades as an angel of light (I Cor.11:14). If you don't read any of the links I've posted above, do yourself a favor and please read this one:

https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/03/26/corona-if-they-lied-then-why-wouldnt-they-lie-now/

"As Doshi states, every year, hundreds of thousands of respiratory samples are taken from flu patients in the US and tested in labs. Here is the kicker: only a small percentage of these samples show the presence of a flu virus.

This means: most of the people in America who are diagnosed by doctors with the flu have no flu virus in their bodies.

So they don’t have the flu.

Therefore, even if you assume the flu vaccine is useful and safe, it couldn’t possibly prevent all those “flu cases” that aren’t flu cases.

The vaccine couldn’t possibly work.

The vaccine isn’t designed to prevent fake flu, unless pigs can fly."

Something else is going on here with this Plandemic.

Ken

Anonymous said...

The key to all this lies in the blood tests, as I understand it.

Both are not specifically identifying the COVID-19 virus, but rather merely a corona strain which most everyone has in their system to some degree or another because the flu each year is generally made up of a certain percentage. Nor does either test identify viral load. Many false positives. Make people think they are carrying the virus and are sick.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/12-experts-questioning-coronavirus-panic/5707532

Ken

Anonymous said...

Wade--I wonder how many during this crisis will "lose their religion" while finding themselves more truly Christian than ever before?

linda

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter,
sorry you found my comment inadequate.
I will remove it.
I will leave the verses from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew. I don't see anyone having a problem with that.

Please pray for our medical health professionals who are endangered now on the 'front lines', and thank you. God Bless!

Christiane said...

Dear KEN,

I have to say that it is very important for people to double check their sources of information and I will recommend for you that you go to more than one type of source for any medical advice or report on medical research.

Please be careful not to overlook 'warning signs' of Covid-19, and please do pay attention to advice on avoiding contagion even though you may not think the problem is as large as it seems from all the reports and deaths.

Truth is, we have had our hands tied in the USA over getting enough test kits to screen our population and not even our health professionals are able to get themselves tested if they have a concern unless it is 'extreme', which by then they have been around other people. So we may have a much larger group of virus victims who just haven't been properly tested and identified, and the only thing saving us at all is that many ARE heeding advice and sheltering in place and practicing proper safe-guards.

So be safe, and although your theories are interesting, the deaths are real and you need to be realistic and take precautions. Some cheap advice from me, but well-meant.

Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous,
I found your comment confusing. So sorry for not responding.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, sorry for my slowness. I did see your reference to the Centurion and how it was not necessary for Jesus to actually visit in his home in order to perform the healing of his servant. I tried to relate that to the Catholic priest being considered the channel through which forgiveness for sin was rendered at confession, but wasn't sure if that was the intent of the use of the Centurion event. Is it that the power to forgive is delegated to the Catholic priest? I considered that might be your intent but then couldn't understand why the priests would have exclusive assignment for that.

At any rate, I certainly didn't mean to suggest your comments were in appropriate and should be removed nor did I have a problem with it. Sorry for that.

RB Kuter said...

Linda said, "Wade--I wonder how many during this crisis will "lose their religion" while finding themselves more truly Christian than ever before?"

Interesting that you mention that. Recently watched a GREAT VDO on the booming church in Iran entitled "Sheep Among Wolves" (free on internet) and the testimony of the persecuted Iranian Christians is that persecution culls out the Christian posers (my feeble attempt to paraphrase). They say that hard times does have the effect of identifying those who genuinely are devoted to following Jesus Christ.

But not sure if this virus pandemic would have the same effect of gleaning out insincere posers. When you think of it, crisis seems to attract a lot of folks into churches in desperation only to see them disappear as soon as the fear of danger subsides, hence, "9/11".

Anonymous said...

By "losing their religion" I was not speaking of posers.

I was wondering how many will find they do not need a mediated religion. How many will stop relying on their baptism, on absolution by priest or pastor, on getting pumped up by their favorite music at "worship", on hearing words of wisdom from their favorite speaker, or on following the latest book trend. (Purpose Driven, Prayer of Jabez, etc stack up often and no longer sell in used book stores.)

How many will lose their religion (RCC, SBC, CotN, AoG, whatever, doesn't matter which or what denomination) and find instead a strong, unmediated, direct, close relationship with Jesus?

This is a good time to restudy the old E Y Mullins book "The Axioms of Religion."

linda

RB Kuter said...

Oh, I get it now, Linda, and I think you are hitting on something. I know I have had incidents since all of this unfolded with individuals having little or no interest in God's involvement in their lives now seeking to have discussions or asking for prayer. But you have too. Seems it has resulted in opportunities for us to be used.

Anonymous said...

RB--actually I wasn't thinking at all of people with little or no interest in God's involvement in their lives. I was thinking of people who have fallen into the trap of mistaking a vibrant religious life with actually walking with Jesus. How often are we taught, do we convince ourselves, or just get blindsided by Satan into the sweet trap of religion?

I think Satan loves for us to be good church people, provided that becomes a substitute for a relationship with Jesus. I love to evangelize. I cannot go do that. I love to teach SS. Cannot go do that either. Love to do lady's home Bible studies. Out the window. Love attending church, love serving there. All gone. Love ministering to hurting folks everywhere I go. Except now we are not to go anywhere.

Personally I am finding this a time where all the to do list is stripped away. All the serving, all the obeying, all the striving and trying to live for Jesus. What is left is Bible study, prayer, southern gospel on the radio, some phone/text/online stuff but basically it is like Jesus has said "Sit down, shut up, let Me bring you some sweet tea and let's rock and visit a spell. Come on up on the porch, see the redbuds, smell the grass, relax, chill, and just be together. Now."

And if a lot of people experience that, churchianity will be very different after covid19.

Sometimes revival starts with costly cleansing. This time I think we have had our chisels and axes messing up the altar. He might be cleansing away all we do for Him to remind us first and foremost it is what He has done for us.

And to never let any human being try to step in a get between us again.

linda

RB Kuter said...

I understand your sentiments, Linda. I know there have been times in my past when I invested minimal time and effort into serving Christ in ways that could be considered sacrificial. I was not even active in church for an extended period and certainly not actively serving Christ or sharing the Gospel during that time. Fortunately for me, our Father remained faithful and kept nudging, sometimes shoving, me back to be more serious about my relationship with Him.

We do have to remember that it is all about a relationship with God that has its ups and downs. For a lot of folks, simply attending church and beginning to be involved in the church environment with other believers is a big step in the right direction. That's how I found the process toward increased growth in my relationship to occur.

So I do understand your concerns while at the same time relating to those are not yet where they're going to be.

Christiane said...

Hello Linda,

you sound like a person who has a story about her faith journey

sometimes we have a bad image of 'Church' from experiences, mine have been good, but I have heard many stories from other Christian people, on the Internetmonk site, who had some very troubled times and were searching for something with meaning for them

every journey is different, but one size doesn't fit all and for some 'The Way' is more personal and private than for others, and for some the idea of 'Church' brings back memories of experiences that are difficult for them to recall, and so, having suffered, they find a more peaceful and solitary walk for themselves and I'm certain God understands this need

Anonymous said...

RB, I think we are still talking past each other. The idea is I am NOT talking about a sacrificial walk, or getting more serious about God, or any other do more try harder "stuff." I'm not talking about finally getting anything right.

I am talking about the freedom to do absolutely nothing for Lord, and know that is fine by Him for a time.

Christiane--my faith story has been one of joy in my church life. We have folks in our family who range from RCC to LCMS to SBC to charismatic to home church. Every single one of them thinks their way is best. (BTDT myself lol.) Pope Francis is "getting" it right now, telling Catholics if they cannot do confession they can find forgiveness going directly to God.

And that is the key. Most churchgoers do find their niche to bring them great comfort and will tell you it leads them to greater intimacy with Christ. So far so good. But at some point we might start to rely on that setting, that vibe, that way of doing things to get us to Jesus. At that point it becomes an idol.

I'm going over parts of 3 books during this: The Axioms of Religion, Wade's book about the New Covenant changing everything, and Pagan Christianity. The Christianity that functions fine without sacred spaces, special clothing, special language, or shamans will function fine right now--real fine. The faith that depends on religion, not one to one contact with Jesus, will fail.

linda

RB Kuter said...

"I am talking about the freedom to do absolutely nothing for Lord, and know that is fine by Him for a time."

Now that does raise some questions. If taken literally, and I can only presume your are, "doing absolutely nothing for the Lord" would disobedient. It would mean not thinking about Him, not loving Him, not speaking to Him or acknowledging Him. And if you include your subsequent qualifier, "know that is fine by Him for a time". I don't think so. But I'm sure you have your own understanding of your intent and if we had time to qualify all you're seeking to communicate we would probably be in agreement.

Christiane said...

Hello Linda,
you wrote, this:

"Pope Francis is "getting" it right now, telling Catholics if they cannot do confession they can find forgiveness going directly to God."

The Church has long taught that a 'sacrament' involving the grace of God need not depend on the bells and whistles meant to help us . . . look at the sacrament of 'baptism' which involves a 'ritual' of sorts that Our Lord Himself showed us and yet when Christ was on the Cross, there was a man we call 'the good thief' (St.Dismus) who was told he would be with Our Lord in heaven that same day,
and the Church has always said that the words of St. Dismus to Our Lord indicated that he 'wanted' to be with Him and the Church has called this 'the baptism of desire' . . . no ritual needed, no water, just the faith that is found in complete 'trust'.
And a sinner who died crucified beside Our Lord entered heaven that very day.
Yes, the Church has long known and taught of the power of a man's trust in Christ to save him. This is shown in the Church's formal recognition of the way Our Lord saved St. Dismas because the good thief trusted in Him completely.

I think most people don't 'get it' what Francis is saying, but Catholics were reminded by Francis of an age-old teaching, that God is closer to us than our own souls, and if we seek Him, we will not be abandoned. He comes 'near' in times of trouble, if we call on Him.
I think you also know that the daily prayed words 'Libera nos a malo' are CHRISTIAN words also. BTW, we can all count on Francis to stir the pot and shake up the Body of Christ, thank God. He is not one to worry about being 'misunderstood', no. I wonder what he will say next. :)
Linda, I hope you stay safely sheltered from harm and thank you for responding.

God Bless.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RB Kuter said...

Christiane, that being the case, why does the Catholic Church continue to practice the procedure of people going to the priest in private confession seeking absolution? From your explanation given to Linda, it would seem that is not necessary.

Also, if you don't mind explaining, what's the significance of people having a priest to give last rites in those cases where imminent death is anticipated?

Seems to be a lot of seemingly contradictions. I know I could do some internet searches to get some of these explanations but prefer hearing the perspective from an informed church member such as yourself.

Maybe I need to write down a lot of my questions about the Catholic church and make an appointment to visit a priest so he could explain.

Anonymous said...

Christiane--yes and amen to much of what you said. But how many Catholics today actually believe and practice that? How many get into a panicked tizzy when they cannot utilize the rites and rituals? Of course the same can be said of ANY denomination. How many of my friends in the CotN are sort of falling apart because they cannot have their time of "praise and worship" aka rock music, dim lights, and carefully crafted neurotransmitter releases? (Sorry Wade, but THAT is the root purpose of fog machines, not better digital recording.) How many Reformed are going nuts in that they cannot hear live exposition of the Scriptures?

All of these good and helpful tools are being quickly stripped away from us. We are in a real sense losing our religions. Those with a robust relationship with Jesus will not be hindered. Those with religion only are going to be having all sorts of hissy fits.

linda

Anonymous said...

Oh RB, all I can say is you seem through this medium (I'm sure you would not in person, from your other comments!) to have a penchant for seeing our Lord as a cosmic angry daddy out to clean up his dirty, disobedient children. Of course, He will do that. But sometimes--and this may be that time--He just wants to take them in His lap, love them, and spend time with them. He may not want them taking out the trash, mucking out the barn, doing the dishes, redding up the house, washing the car, or doing their homework. He sometimes just wants us to be still with Him.

Remember Mary and Martha? I am saying this may be a time where He is literally or figuratively taking the wooden spoon and the dishtowel out of all our Martha hands and calling us to be Mary. I grew up out in the desert in NM, far from town. Lived in many western states in fairly remote places, had friends even more remote, so will leave you with this question:

If you lived all alone on a desert island would your "religion" hold water? When you got back to the mainland would you still "need" all the rites and rituals?

linda

lina

Christiane said...

Hello RB Kuter,

The sacrament of 'confession' is a great help to me in my journey, I can share that with you honestly.

for someone who is not Catholic, there is some solid information about the sacrament of confession in the Vatican Catechism;
and I do think that if you have questions, it is not at a bad idea to write them down and call a priest and make an appointment to sit down and ask those questions

I don't 'proselytize' and Catholicism is of the old ways and is very different from what I do know about the Southern Baptist faith, so I imagine it would be difficult to hear about it from all kinds of sources, most of them incomplete, and come out of the process understanding what must seem confusing. So I sympathize.

As for the last rites, (we used to call it that), or 'the sacrament of the sick', I believe many Protestant ministers also have a similar practice of visiting the sick and the dying and praying with them. The sacrament involves an 'annointing' which is done while prayers are said, and these last prayers often bring peace to the dying person. But it's not just 'Catholic', as the nuns used to teach us in school that if we got hit by a bus in front of the Orthodox (Greek) Church down the road, their priest could come out and give us the 'last rites'. There are some biblical verses about anointing and praying over the sick and the dying also.

If I was concerned for another person and I wanted to help them with their spiritual journey, I wouldn't try to 'convert' them;
instead I would point them to Christ. That's what the Holy Spirit does, He points us always to Christ. That is the most 'Catholic' bit of advice I have to give you: keep centered and focused on Christ. You can't go wrong that way.




Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter,

I once wrote something about a minister who prayed with someone who was very upset in a hospital, and while wasn't 'the annointing of the sick', it was a blessing to witness the grace of what happened there, so here's the story:

" While staying in a corridor off the emergency room waiting for my father to be admitted to the hospital, I stood long hours by his stretcher, one of many in that crowded passageway. Across from us was a man who was strapped down and crying and mentally disturbed, in short he was suffering. And he was alone. He was alone until a minister came by and stopped and prayed for him and talked with him, and stood there I know, for the better part of two hours 'with' the poor man, who eventually fell asleep . . . I know the minister wore a collar, and had a Scottish brogue, but I do not know more than that, other than what I had witnessed was 'kindness' and 'patience' and 'long-suffering' and a kind of compassion for someone the world saw as unlovable and I was, I am, sure that 'witness' involves more than lecturing people about 'their sins'. I am very sure that witness strengthened my own faith that night.

No, no one was 'converted'. But a person who suffered was soothed, and for a time, was not 'alone', and that memory is to me more than all the sermons I have ever heard. I am thankful for having been privileged to see what true Christian ministry looks like. Time stopped. And when the poor man slept, the minister still remained with him for a while praying silently."


Mr. Kuter, the 'intent' of the 'sacrament of the sick' is to help someone who is in need and there are times when the 'formality' and the 'ritual' and the 'denomination' even fades away and there is a 'grace' that witnesses to the Presence of God at work in compassionate ministry. Catholic? Protestant? does it matter?
Remember this: the Holy Spirit goes where He will go. And Christ found a way to bring that minister to that troubled man that night and I was a witness to something holy to God.

Christiane said...

Hello Linda,

I was thinking about your image of seeking God in an empty desert setting without water or 'all the trappings',

and I wondered if you have ever heard of the early Christian 'Desert Fathers' (circa 3rd century)?
There is an old tradition of monks going into the desert to meditate and pray;
they were known for their simplicity and humility

Rex Ray said...

My brother-in-law was raised Catholic, and as a boy the Priest got tired of him confessing that he’d taken money like a nickel or quarter from his father’s pockets when he wasn’t wearing them. Priest said not to bother him unless it was over a dollar. After that, he had a clear conscious taking money less than a dollar. Much later in life, he experienced salvation when he asked Jesus to save him.

On the subject of COVID-19, after a couple had been quarantined at home for weeks, the wife was knitting her husband a sweater that had a noose.

Another husband said, “My wife took up gardening by won’t tell me what she’s going to plant.” (Picture of a hole shaped like a grave.)

Christiane said...

Thank you for the funny stories, REX RAY

You really make my days better with your stories.

Please take precautions and stay sheltered. I know it's hard. My brother says that the covid-19 deaths are not 'easy' deaths, and elderly folk are much at risk.
I have a husband who will not listen and wants to go to the store whenever he wants to get something (usually once a day). Talk about pig-headed. What to do? What to do?
(I could hide his car keys, but he'd call an Uber cab, so that's not going to work either)

Any ideas? :)

RB Kuter said...

Thank you for providing your views on things, Christiane.

Of course, demonstrating compassion is a Godly endeavor and different Christian denominations do have their preferred methods for doing that. Some choose to exhibit their expressions of compassion through particular ways of practicing that. They may use an anointing with oil as they pray over those who are ailing. Some use particular rituals and verbiage familiar to their members. The defining aspect of it being done in a way that God honors is the intent of the heart.

I don't propose to criticize, simply to understand more accurately. Thanks for your effort in doing that.

RB Kuter said...

Linda introduced her comment in response to mine with "Oh RB, all I can say is you seem through this medium..to have a penchant for seeing our Lord as a cosmic angry daddy out to clean up his dirty, disobedient children."

And where in the world did you acquire the basis for saying, "If you lived all alone on a desert island would your "religion" hold water? When you got back to the mainland would you still "need" all the rites and rituals?"

What "religion" are you even talking about? I don't have a "religion". But apparently you have fabricated one that you believe I practice from something that I have said earlier.

You are obviously correct in you and I not being able to communicate our intent or message effectively through this medium because you have completely derailed in interpreting anything I have attempted to express. Perhaps the fault for that is my lame attempt at writing.

I believe that to maintain some sort of Christian civility you and I will simply have to avoid responding directly to each other. That is sad and I apologize for whatever it is that I have written that apparently resulted in this level of misunderstanding between us. I am sorry.

Having to apply "social distancing" with another follower of Jesus due to personality differences that create hostility is a very sad outcome for two followers of Jesus to practice in order to not inflict additional brokenness in their relationship. It's certainly not the portrayal of how Christ intended for us to express our love for one another but rather is an example often cited by the world of how hypocritical we Christians can appear.

No argument regarding our views on doctrine, Christian lifestyle, ways we live out our relationship with our Father is worth it.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Go with him and spend lots of money!

Christiane said...

REX RAY !!!!

LOL, that's not funny! Why am I laughing so hard? :)

I knew you would come up with a novel 'solution', thanks a lot, but no thanks!

Just wait until YOU need advice next time. Bwahahahaha

(the stress of all this is getting to me, I needed to laugh, and thanks for that, old friend)

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Your reply made me feel good as it was funnier than mine.

On the subject of removing driver’s licenses, when our Dad was old (couldn’t hear much) he watched police cut his license in two pieces. He was never to drive again. But in the country, his brother, Hez, lived a mile away. Dad would drive there and Hez would drive them to town.

The last time Dad drove happened like this. In town, Dad decided he would drive home. He thought he had his foot on the break but it was on the gas pedal. He couldn’t hear the motor going like an airplane. He thought he put it in reverse, but it was in low. Car jumped the parking ‘curb’, over the next ‘curb’, and ‘took out the side’ of a Cadillac on the left, and the side of a new Chevelle on the right.

Police asked Hez if he had his seatbelt on. “No, but I was reaching for it.”

Dad’s insurance paid the damage. Dad said, “I bet that cost them a hundred dollars.”

Christiane said...

This is SO funny and horrific at the same time! LOL

Your Dad had more than his share of guardian angels on duty, that is the ONLY explanation for how he survived. Thank God he did.

In our family, my husband will spend if he wants something, and I have no problem with this. I tend to want to live a more 'minimal' existence in my old age, so I'm into 'use it up, wear it out' and sometimes I go overboard with this a bit, but it is strangely satisfying to realize I didn't need all the nonsense I used to spend on. It's a kind of freedom really.
So I don't mind 'sheltering in place'. We even have Express Scripts mailing us our doctors' prescriptions now (Tricare), so there are no long waits in a pharmacy waiting room on the base. And all the restaurants around here that are still open delivery to the front door. I am content EXCEPT for my dear spouse who is not worried a bit about going out to a store, but enjoys the outing tremendously, partially I think because he knows I am not happy at ALL about his exposure to the virus. So it goes. I happen to think he also has his share of guardian angels on duty, or there is no way he could have crashed his truck years ago and survived . . . it was a little Nissan pickup that he bought to save gas, and along comes a Mercedes and runs him off the road into a brick retaining wall on a private property, knocking the stones down and TOTALLING the little truck and even though the air bag did not deploy, he walked away without a scratch. I was more shaken when I heard about this than he was after the accident! But that's not the end of the story. His next venture was to go out and buy the biggest Ford pickup truck going (enormous) and he drives it home and says: with this truck, nobody is going to run me off the road!

Well, that did it. I've been worried ever since. He feels totally invincible in that truck. (sigh)

I believe in guardian angels and in Providence. The older I get, the more evidence I've seen of both.

Thanks for the laugh. I can always count on your stories to brighten the day. :)

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Just read your story about your husband having a bad experience from driving a small car, so he bought a large truck in case someone tried to run him off the road.

When our mother was 68, she was driving a large car that saved her life. This drunk was driving a small car and ran off the road at a high speed. He over-corrected and went sideways into my mother’s car.

His passenger door hit our mother’s front bumper even though she was partly in the ditch trying to avoid him. Local newspaper wrote: “Woman Kills Man.” It took nearly an hour for them to cut her car apart to get her out. She used a walker until she met Jesus at age 94.