"The film takes us away from Vatican II!" |
Those words in quotes above are not ours, but the anti-Catholic agitator Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and the Museum of Tolerance (if that doesn't say it all about the political correctness agenda of today what does?) who, along with his cohort the notorious Abe Foxman, have made it a personal crusade to demonize Mel Gibson and his masterpiece 'The Passion of The Christ' opening tomorrow nationwide.
Little do they realize how their attacks have boomeranged on them and that hopefully Protestants and Vatican II Catholics will awake to the truths of "Gibson's theology," which is the very theology of the Catholic Church - the first dogma of salvation: Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.
We take to task one internationally-known Protestant evangelist who has claimed such dogma in error. We prove who really is in error in this apologetic commentary. The Deo Gratias is our exclamation to the fact that Mel's film does take all away from the madness of Vatican II and return a sense of true theology, true sensus Catholicus. Finally people will go back to read Holy Scripture and see it not just "Mel's theology," but true theology! True Doctrine and Dogma! Finally! YES!
Ash Wednesday tomorrow will become Good Friday when we, along with countless millions across the land, will stand in line at the multi-cinema complex to finally experience 'The Passion of The Christ'. Knowing the story line so well, one would think one won't be surprised at what emotions and soul searching will develop. We'll see. But even before I see it, one thing we need to clear up is the fallacies being bandied about over Mel Gibson's "false theology."
Bill Keller is a well-meaningful Protestant evangelist who sponsors the Daily Devotional via e-mail not to mention broadcast media and other outlets of evangelization as well as the bold launch this week of LPEmail that will stop spamming, and which I heartily recommend by going to LPeMAIL to filter out spam. As I have written in these pages before, I have great admiration and respect for Bill and we have corresponded often, agreeing to disagree on our Faith beliefs for Bill has more courage and zeal in his little finger than the whole of the USCCB. Sad, but true. That being said, however, I must take Bill to task for his latest statement for this time Bill has gone over the edge and could mislead countless souls over that edge. That edge, by the way, is the other edge on the far side, the lost side of the edge opposite the edge Mel wants to push. If you recall Mel's marvelous, inspired method to his madness, so to speak, was to push the viewer to the edge and even over. But Bill is pushing them over the other side, not the edge of salvation.
Bill is not the only one to lambast or ridicule Mel. In fact Mel is used to it by now. Every Traditional Catholic is. Keller wrote in his daily devotional for Monday, February 23rd,
"I want to start by saying thank you to Mel Gibson for his personal sacrifice to make this movie. He was truly an instrument God used to make this happen."
Okay, so far. Now comes the big "but" and 'thank you, Mel, we'll take it from here' as so many Christian sects and neo-Catholic groups have done in jumping on the bandwagon and helping to promote the film while inserting the disclaimer of "Mel's medieval thinking." Please! Anyway, here are Mr. Keller's comments:
"I do need to address however an error in Mr. Gibson's theology. He is widely quoted as saying, 'there is no salvation for those outside the Church (meaning the Roman Catholic Church).' That of course is not what the Bible, our final authority in ALL matters, teaches. It is NOT a church that saves you, but your faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2: 8, 9 clearly tells us that salvation is a two-part process, God's grace and our faith plus nothing else. No church can save you, no amount of good works can save you, ONLY faith in Jesus Christ can save you. As for the movie itself, it was theologically very true to the Gospels."
And now, Mr. Keller and all our Protestant friends, and Catholic friends who have learned their faith via the ecumaniacal curriculum of Vatican II, I will proceed to show you that "Mr. Gibson's theology is indeed very true to the Gospels" as well.
Though I disagree with Bill Keller that the Bible is the final authority on ALL matters, for Divine Tradition was in effect from Christ to the Council of Nicaea and beyond to present time, let us, at the outset and for argument sake, focus on Bill's view of the Bible as the sole authority in proving his statements wrong and Mel right.
First of all, if "no church can save you" is true, then why would Christ have ever said to Saint Peter in Matthew 16: 18-19:
"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed in Heaven."
Now since Christ took His charge of establishing upon the Rock (Petrus) His Church so seriously, it clearly proves that the Church - His Church - is a very necessary ingredient to salvation. Maybe Bill Keller plays down its importance, but Our Lord sure didn't as is only too evident. The words of this particular passage of Matthew in the King James Version (sixteenth century) are the same as the Douay-Rheims, the approved bible directly flowing from the Latin Vulgate translated by Saint Jerome into Latin in the fourth century.
Now, let's get to the heart of Keller's strength of argument: Ephesians 2: 8, 9. The Apostle Paul says to the Ephesians,
"For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: for it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man may glory. For we are His worksmanship, created in good works which God hath prepared, that we should walk in them."
Oops, I added verse ten, something about 'good works' prepared by God. Now what was that Mr. Keller said about no amount of good works? If they are prepared by God, then good works would have to be an important quotient of salvation. We might also look at the preceding three verses that preface verses 8 and 9:
"But God, who is rich in mercy, through His exceeding charity, with which He hath loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, (by Whose grace you are saved) and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the Heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that He might shew in the ages to come the abundant riches of His grace, in goodness towards us in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2: 4-7).
Now that is the Douay-Rheims translation, henceforth referred to as DRV. The King James Version, henceforth referred to as KJV, says "by grace ye are saved." Notice anything different there? The version handed down through Tradition says "By Whose grace (Christ's) you are saved" whereas the more homogenized Protestant version is by plain ol' "grace ye are saved." But those discrepancies are ripe throughout the revised interpretations of the Holy Word both in the New and Old Testaments, even to the Protestants eliminating five books altogether and changing the names of some of the books, most notably the Apocalypse of Saint John as 'Revelation.' The maxim lex orandi, lex credendi comes into play here as the deterioration of truth and tradition have enabled error to become Gospel, and the truths of the Gospel and the Gospel Truth that outside the Church there is no salvation have been called into question as Mr. Keller and many others. who truly do not know what they are talking about, claim.
Of course the truth has been eroding since well before Martin Luther's time, but particularly spiked during the Reformation and has been ramped up in these latter times by a humanistic organization that infiltrated the hierarchy of the Holy Catholic Church over the past half century seeking to blot out what the Church has always held as dogma.
Case in point the First Dogma of the Church, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus - "Outside the Church there is no salvation," which Mel and every Traditional Catholic rightfully uphold. Why? Because this dogma has been proclaimed by over 100 saints throughout the history of the Church from Saints Peter, Paul and John through Pope Pius XII. No less than 28 Popes have spoken ex cathedra on this, and at least eighteen Doctors of Church have treated it in detail in proving the error of Keller's words. Dogma is never up for conjecture or 'opinion.' Dogma is a doctrine one must believe as true and necessary of belief for one's own salvation. You see it is not "Mr. Gibson's theology" per se but Church theology - CHURCH DOGMA!
With that established, let us look first and foremost at Christ's words in the Gospel of St. Mark 16: 15-16:
"And He said to them: 'Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be condemned.'"
Well, now, that right there solidifies that if one does not believe in everything that is in the Gospels and is not baptized, well, pretty darn hard to get into Heaven. Almost like trying to thread a camel through an eye of a needle. Jesus said that didn't He? With that established we can eliminate the Buddhists, Hindhus, Moslems and New Agers who do not embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ and who shun the waters of Baptism. Hey, folks, it's not us, it's Christ Who said that. When I say 'dismiss' I do not mean that they cannot be saved. They can be if they abandon their pagan ways and return to the fold and to the care of the "one shepherd" - the appointed successor of Peter - the Sovereign Pontiff - within the one fold: Christ's One True Church. Only prayer and evangelization with one purpose in mind can bring this about: conversion, never compromise! Hopefully that should put to rest the ecumaniacal madness that those not of the Christian faith can be saved in their own beliefs. Only if they have not heard the truth could they possibly be saved for we cannot presume the mind and mercy of God. That is why Mel hesitated when Diane Sawyer asked him that very question if others could get to Heaven. But Mel did say, "Catholics have it easier, the fast lane." Well, of course, because it is the only Church with the four indelible Marks - One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. It is the only Church with the seven sacraments which give grace - Christ's grace.
Now, let us return to the Scriptures and John 8: 24:
"Therefore, I said to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sin."
Ergo, if one is in sin and not in the state of sanctifying grace, "you shall die in your sin." That death is eternal damnation. Now let us continue with John 10: 9-16:
"I am the door. If any one enter by Me, he shall be saved: and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures. The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for His sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf snatcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine, and Mine know Me. As the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father, and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
The hirelings are those who did not heed the constituted evangelic traditions handed down from Divine Revelation through the centuries. Their numbers are legend today for they have broken away from the 'one fold' which Christ established in Matthew 16: 18-19. Even today in the One True Church, the only Church which can trace its lineage back to Matthew 16: 18-19 is the Roman Catholic Church. No other 'church' can claim the same heritage of Christ; not Bill Keller's church, not the Lutheran church, not the Baptist church, not the Methodist church, not the Anglican or Episcopal church, neither the First Church of Christ on the corner or the Christ Church down the road or the Missionary Synod of the first Mennonites of the latter day Redeemer of Quakers or Latter Day Saints or the Congregation of Fellowship, or whatever other names concocted to qualify as a 'church;' nor is the charismatic church on the left or the evangelical non-denominational, or the Unity church or...well, you get the picture, because they are all man-made; all broke away from the true Tree of the Root of Jesse just as the 12 Tribes of Israel broke away in 750 B.C., scattered to the four winds. Only the Roman Catholic Church can trace the commission of Christ from Peter on down through the successors of Peter.
We will be the first, Bill Keller, to admit there have been many bad popes over the centuries. Hey, Peter himself denied Christ three times and cowered until visited by the Holy Ghost on Whitsunday. But then the Sanctifier is none other than Christ's Spirit for They are one with the Father. Consider Christ's charge in John 21: 15-17, in which He directed Simon Peter alone to "feed My lambs;" and a second time, "Feed My lambs" and yet a third time, "Feed My sheep." This commission was given to Peter alone. Those who succeeded Peter as Sovereign Pontiff inherited the same responsibilities and graces. What they did in accountability to the grave duty they were entrusted with in preserving Divine Revelation and Divine Tradition is how God will judge them for no man can judge the soul of a Pope. We can judge, and must for the good of the Mystical Body of Christ - the Church - a man's actions, deeds and pronouncements whether this be a lay person or an ecclesiastic, even and especially a Pope, but no man can ever judge another man's soul. Likewise, no man can sit in judgment of a Pope's heart or soul. That is left solely to God. In effect, right or wrong the successor of Peter is above the soul-scrutiny of others. Can any other religion make that claim of patrimony? From the deafening silence I take it you get the drift of why the Roman Catholic Church is the True Church linked directly to Christ and which He spoke of as His institution - Church - on earth. Those who have broken away are scattered.
Yes, we pray that they return to the fold - ut unum sint - "that they may be one," but not in the manner that Vatican II and the aftermath upheaval of doctrine suggests with the ecumenical agenda of approving the scattered sheep in their error. You see, Mr. Keller, in order to please man and be accepted by the world in Angelo Roncalli's strange mindset of aggiornamento the Church had to cease and desist from the First Dogma of the Church - Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus - "Outside the Church there is no salvation." So few have heard of that dogma since Pope Pius XII. But you see, that is how Mel was brought up. He was taught the infrangible truths of the Catholic Church as set in stone by past dogmatic and infallible councils, Doctors, Fathers and Popes in full accordance with Divine Revelation. Remember Our Lord's words in Matthew 16: 19. So while Mel may sound like a fringe fanatic who is expressing 'a schismatic thought and a false theology,' in truth, he is stating the dogmatic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and no matter of spin by John Paul II or the spineless men he has appointed as bishops can honestly deny that. They would like to, but they can't.
But it's not politically correct and we can't have that, so the Modernists in the Vatican and the church of Vatican II plant rumors and lies about Gibson that is gobbled up by the dumbed-down Catholics who have been starved for the true tenets of their Faith. You see the truth is not welcome in today's synthetic world of revisionism and humanism. Because, well, it wouldn't play in Peoria or Paris. Can't have that and so, in fashioning a New Order - a One World Order: the Novus Ordo - most of the association with the absolutes of the past 1950 years had to be ignored if Catholics were going to convince Protestants that they had changed and they could all be one big happy family witnessing to Christ with grace a figment of their imagination for the sacramental graces were absent as well as the indelible marks of the Church that holds it as indefectable.
So, yes, Mr. Keller, there are many today within the true Church who have scattered because those in charge have seen themselves more as hirelings than sincere shepherds. That is a sad fact of these times, but Christ promised in Matthew 16: 18 that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Consider the history of the Church and She has not only survived, but grown especially when faced with the kind of storms that would destroy any human institution. Nations and empires have come and gone, but the Church stands strong, even today, when it looks like there is only a remnant left of true Catholicism. Yet from the vine will grow higher, fuller and more abundant than ever the fruits of the One True Faith because Christ has assured it. Can any other church, religion, faith or belief make that same claim. Again, I rest my case.
To enhance our apologetics, let us take Acts 2: 46, "The Lord added daily to their society as should be saved." The inference here is obvious that those not added to the ranks would not be saved per Christ's words in Mark 16: 16. Now this is the DRV translation from the Latin Vulgate for the Latin words "ad omnem plebum" means "to their society." Isn't it interesting that the KJV translates it thusly: " And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." The Latin word for Church is 'Ecclesiam' not plebum, yet the Protestants translated it to "the church" - not many churches, not to those who believe in Jesus, but to "THE CHURCH!" There is only one Church, per Christ's words in Matthew 16: 18, so therefore, without realizing it, Protestants have impugned their own credibility with that very line.
Want more? Okay, let us move up ways in Acts to chapter 27: 31, wherein Paul is on the sea and proclaims the very imagery of the Barque of Peter as he proclaims to the centurion, "Unless these stay in the ship, you cannot be saved." The KJV confirms this: " Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved."
Now there are many other passages that confirm the definitive Church and those outside the Church, not on the Barque of Peter will be drowned in the eternal depths of hell. But Keller refers to the Bible as the only Authority. Does he realize that before the "Bible" - which means "book" from the Latin word biblia, the etimology deriving from the Greek plural for books blibion - the "Authority" was very definitive: Oral Tradition as passed down by the Apostles of Christ.
Is it not interesting then that the books were not not compiled in 92 A.D. when Pope Saint Clement I wrote in his Epistle to the Corinthians
"Heretical teachers pervert Scripture and try to get into Heaven with a false key, for they have formed their human assemblies later than the Catholic Church. From this previously-existing and most true Church, it is very clear that these later heresies, and others which have come into being since then, are counterfeit, and novel inventions."
Not only were the books not compiled when St. Clement pronounced that, but St. John had not finished the Apocalypse as of that time. In other words, Divine Revelation had not been completed when already Oral Tradition and the "Catholic Church" was being held up as the authority "in ALL matters."
And then there was the direct disciple of St. Peter Saint Ignatius of Antioch who in his Epistle to the Philadelphians asserted the following irrefutable truth:
"For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the Bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion of Christ."
Interesting. Are not Protestants, no matter what sect, or anyone else for that matter, including the ecumaniacs of the church of Vatican II who have abandoned so many of the absolutes Holy Mother Church held so sacrosanct for nearly 2000 years, in schism? Have they not all broken away from the Catholic Church established by Christ and formed their own 'churches'? If you have doubts, then consider St. Ignatius' words whom Peter counseled and conveyed the truths of the Gospels: "if any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom." Can't put it much clearer than that.
Lastly, for now, we lean on that famous passage of Paul to the Galatians, which warns us to stay on the straight and narrow, to cling to the Gospel truths and follow them religiously.
"I wonder that you are so soon removed, from him who called you to the grace of Christ, to another gospel: which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you beside that which you have received, let him be anathema" (Galatians 1: 6-8)
You'll note that Paul already, well before he had completed his mission and the Sacred Scriptures, said "that which you have received" as in past tense, meaning Oral Tradition had already been established as the "final authority in ALL matters." You'll also note that the KJV is the same except instead of anathema is an even stronger word: "accursed" as in condemned. To emphasize the importance of his words, Paul repeated his warning:
"As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I did yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ. For I give you to understand, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor did I learn it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1: 9-12)
Finally, we have the Council of Jerusalem, the first council of the Church, where the Apostles, after the descent of the Holy Ghost, gathered before they parted to their assigned destinations for evangelization of the Gospel. They decided to put in a brief statement the principle doctrines so that their teachings might be uniform wherever they preached so there would be no anathema. The statement of the articles of Faith which they compiled was the Apostles' Creed in order to put into fruition the command Christ had given in Matthew 28: 19-20,
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
Here then are the 12 articles of Faith that every follower of Christ must believe in order to be saved:
1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord;
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
7. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost;
9. The Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; [which includes the doctrine of Purgatory]
10. The forgiveness of sins;
11. The resurrection of the body;
12. And life everlasting. Amen.
These twelve articles, all scripturally referenced, contain the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, one God in three distinct Divine Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, - with the particular operations attributed to each Person. The Creed contains three distinct parts. The first part treats of God the Father and creation. The second part treats of God the Son and our redemption. And the third part treats of God the Holy Ghost and our sanctification. Yet, according to Keller and countless mistaken Protestants, sanctification is not necessary. All one needs to do is have faith in Christ without the necessary institution to sustain and nourish that Faith which Christ founded and promised that it would and could not be destroyed. So what is the Church for then, Bill, if not to enable souls to fulfill the promises of Christ?
The very problem is that, as His Excellency Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow so elegantly wrote in 1949 in his masterful, dogmatic work 'My Catholic Faith', "Neglect of the study of the truths of the Faith is frequently the cause of lukewarmness, a bad life, and final apostasy and impenitence." We all know what Our Lord will do as St. John recorded in Apocalypse 3: 16, "But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of My mouth." If God does this he is not expectorating souls into Heaven but casting them out forever. The KJV substitutes the word 'spue' which is a derivative of 'spew' which means the very same thing: vomit.
Every Christian of every sect needs to realize the truths of the dogma that outside the Church there is NO salvation. They need to vomit from their psyches and false teachings the errors they have been taught and take up Holy Scripture and read, not interpreting it to suit them, but to discern through the Holy Ghost. How does one do that? By adhering to the inalienable truths taught and passed down from Christ through Pope Pius XII for therein is contained all the truths of the Gospels. You'll note I do not include the Vatican II popes within this lineage for indeed it is a fact that, in their efforts to please men rather than God, they have become lukewarm and led the flocks they were entrusted with away from these infrangible truths and have, in effect, become anathema just as Paul asserts. As Bishop Morrow affirms,
"The deposit of Faith which Jesus Christ entrusted to the Church is made up of two parts: Holy Scripture, and Divine Tradition, this latter being composed of the truths passed down by word of mouth, and not written down till after the death of Christ's Apostles and disciples, principally by the Fathers of the Church. Divine Revelation was completed at the death of the last of the Apostles (John). Since that time no new revelation has been made [or can be made] for the instruction of the whole of mankind. Whenever the Church decides a point of faith, it does so according to Scriptures [read Bible] or Tradition. It simply finds out what has been revealed from the beginning."
Thus, having rejected Tradition, Keller and all who do not proclaim the dogma Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus cannot be certain that the books they have accepted are genuine. On whose authority have they accepted what they have? Certainly not on Christ's for the Protestant Bibles, most notably the KJV, omit all or parts of the Books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and the two Books of the Machabees, as well as parts of Esther and Daniel. In fact, Luther rejected the Epistle of Saint James chiefly because the Apostle affirmed that faith without works is dead. Luther couldn't have that because he had already gone on record as saying that faith alone is necessary for salvation. That, as we have clearly pointed out in this rebuttal to Keller's ridiculous charge against Gibson, is anathema.
The facts are that there is no error in Mr. Gibson's theology. Rather the error exists with Keller and those who subscribe to the new revelations of Vatican II doctrine which so conforms with the heresies of Protestantism. The notorious anti-Gibson, anti-Catholic Rabbi Marvin Hier, yesterday morning on Fox Network's Good Day Live said it quite succinctly and we can only hope every Catholic and persons who call themselves 'Christian' will sit up and take notice of the truths of Mel's theology, which is true Catholic theology. The Rabbi, in his latest complaint said what we have been hoping would be brought to light, and we can only say 'God bless, Mel Gibson for having the guts to do it!' This is what Hier whined on national TV: "The film takes us away from Vatican II" - YES! and back to the Truths of the True Church! What a great title for this rebuttal to those in anathema: We've waited for 40 years to hear someone other than a Traditional Catholic say what we have been hoping and praying for. Who would have thunk a rabbi, a rabid and radical one at that, would finally state the truths of one of Mel's main purposes for producing and directing 'The Passion of The Christ'? Hier said it so well and I hope and pray the Novus Ordinarians and Protestants are listening to the obvious truth that, Thank God, "The film takes us away from Vatican II!" Deo Gratias!
Michael Cain, editor
For past CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorials, see 2004ed.htm Archives