Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Person of God: A Brief Lesson

A. God is a Spirit Being
1. John 4:24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

  • God is the ultimate reality. Therefore, the ultimate reality is spiritual.
  • God does not want us to think about him in as a material "thing". This is why He forbids man from making idols (cf. Exodus 20:4 - “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”).

2. Luke 24:39: (Jesus said), "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have”).

B. God (the Father) is Invisible
3. I John 4:12: "No man hath seen God at any time" (The visible appearances of God in the Old Testament are preincarnate appearances of Christ—see Exodus 24:9-11, 33:20).

4. I Timothy 6:16: “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”

To say that God is Spirit is to consider the form of existence (or essence) which God has. We may say that in His essence, God is spiritual. He is not material and possesses no parts such as material things have. He lacks such material qualities as shape, size, weight, divisibility, or ability of increase. These are all qualities that apply to things. God is not a thing. Yet on the other hand, do not equate spirit with the vagueness of a pantheistic belief system.

We live in a day when materialism seems to be the measure of all things. We tend to live for the present. We are impressed by "things" even though we don't want to be. As a result, if we are not careful, we end up sacrificing the permanent (the eternal, spiritual) on the altar of the immediate (material, now). Perhaps one reason dying is so hard for Christians is not because they are uncertain that Jesus is on the other side, but because they have made so much of life's investments here and have so little on the other side. The truth of the matter is, Christ redeemed both the spiritual (man's soul) and the material creation.

C. God is to be Worshiped.
1. Matthew 4:10: Jesus said, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."
This verse teaches that worship is not optional. Everyone is required to worship God.

2. John 4:23: "But the hour cometh, and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him"
God is actively seeking for worshipers.

3. Luke 11:2: "And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." (Matthew 6:9-10 is parallel)
Prayer is to begin with worship. Jesus provides a model for prayer. He teaches us that the first thing that should occupy our attention when we pray is our relationship with God ("Our Father which art in heaven").

a. The privileges we have when God is our Father are those of position, power, intimacy, community, and family.
God is not everyone's Father. The unsaved have the devil as their father. Jesus said in John 8:44: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do."

b. The perfection of God as well as (to a limited degree) the place of God's abode are signified in the phrase, "which art in heaven."

Heaven is said to contain the throne of God. Yet we are not to circumscribe or limit God's presence to heaven. He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12) and yet He is said to be "more" present some places than at others.  God is more present in the Divine Liturgy than at a football game. The fact that God is "in heaven" signifies that He is not limited to earthly resources. He has heavenly resources. Further, "heaven" speaks of perfection and reminds us that God is the perfection of Fatherhood and is always available to His children.

Concern for God’s "reputation" is the second thing that should occupy our attention when we pray ("hallowed be Thy name"). God's "name" refers to His character and his reputation. To pray, "hallowed be thy name" is to express concern that in all our thinking, asking, and doing we have as our main concern that which will bring honor and glory to God. We hallow God's name by living holy lives. As God shines out through us, God's reputation is enhanced before the world. The reverse is also true. Romans 2:24 teaches that the name of God was blasphemed by the Gentiles because Jewish professors of faith did not live lives that properly showed God's holiness. Remember, by our words, our lives, by being reflectors or detractors from the greatness and the glory of God and of His glorious attributes, we either "hallow" or profane God's name.

The rule and reign of God is the third thing that should occupy our attention in prayer ("thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"). Before we plead for our needs, we must learn to share in God's concerns for His kingdom: its expansion on earth through the saving of souls, the return of His Son, and the enabling and enforcing of His will on earth as it is in heaven. We have no right to ask for anything that will either dishonor His name, delay His kingdom, or disturb His will on earth.

God's Natural Attributes
When one discusses God's "natural" attributes he speaks of those qualities which are distinctly God's and are not communicated to man (incommunicable attributes). We must always remember that an attribute describes how God is. He does not possess them as qualities; they are how God is as He reveals Himself to His creatures.

A. God is One (a compound unity).
1. Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!"
The is the famous "shema" that is recited by Jewish people everywhere. It is the classic Scripture used to defend the unity of God. Please note that the word "one" (echad) is not a numerical singular. It is the same word used to indicate the unity of a husband and wife when they become "one" flesh (Gen. 2:24). It is a composite unity. There is one God eternally existing and manifesting Himself to us in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. Deuteronomy 4:35: "Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him."

3. Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God."

4. 1 Timothy 2:5: " For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Though God is revealed as the Holy Trinity, God’s substance is indivisible. He has no parts but is single in His unitary being. No contradiction between His attributes can exist. He does not suspend one attribute to exercise another, for in Him all His attributes are one. All of God does all that God does. He does not divide Himself to perform a work, but works in the total unity of His being. He is holy in all He does.

B. God is Infinite.
1. Psalm 145:3: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable."

2. Psalm 147:5: "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."

3. 1 Kings 8:27: "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"

God is limitlessness and therefore impossible for a limited mind to grasp fully. Whatever God is and all that God is, He is without limit, unbounded. He is without growth or addition or development. Nothing in God is less or more, or large or small. Because God's nature is infinite, everything that flows out of it is infinite also. His resources never run out. His resources are not diminished by His generous giving nor is He enriched by withholding. He has unlimited resources of grace, love, mercy and more for His children. If we take the concept of infinity and apply it to creation, we may derive others aspects of God's being. He is infinite as regards time (eternal), infinite as regards power (omnipotent), infinite as regards knowledge (omniscient), infinite as regards space or presence (omnipresent).

C. God is Eternal (self-existent).
1. Deuteronomy 33:27: "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them."

2. Exodus 3:14: "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM."

3. Psalm 90:2: "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

4. Psalm 93:2: "Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting."

5. 1 Timothy 1:17: "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

God exists in Himself and of Himself. God had no beginning and will have no ending. He always was, always is and always will be. He is unaffected by time or motion. He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for "where" has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. In eternity there is no succession of events. Therefore God exists in the eternal present. He is beyond time. The God who leads me through today knows my tomorrows. And because He has gone through my tomorrows already, He also knows what I need today. Because of His eternity, He can give all of Himself all of the time to anybody He chooses. Do not think of God's eternity as simply a state of existence. God is not static. God is eternally "Be-ing". He is the living God and as such has life in Himself (John 5:26). Various names, such as LORD  communicate that He is "the self-existent one" and He is the One who "causes to be." He is the eternal "I Am." His life did not come from another source nor is He the generator of His own life. He is not "in process" in the sense of growing or increasing in any manner. Due to the fact that God has life in himself, nothing is necessary to God; therefore no one is necessary. God seeks us but does not NEED us. We seek God because we need Him, for in Him we live, and move, and have our being. God gives all that is given, but who Himself can receive nothing that He has not first given. He has a VOLUNTARY relation to everything He has made, but has no NECESSARY relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself. And since His is the Being supreme over all, it follows that God cannot be elevated 

D. God is All-Powerful (Omnipotent, Sovereign).
1. Genesis 17:1: "The LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."

2. Revelation 19:6: "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

3. Jeremiah 32:27: "Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?"

4. Psalm 115:3: "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased."

5. Ephesians 1:11: "Who works all things after the counsel of His will."

6. Matthew 19:26: "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

7. Acts 4:28: "For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done."

God can do anything that is consistent with His character. For example, because He is Truth, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Because He is God and not man, he cannot repent (1 Samuel 15:29). God's ability to do what is consistent with His character can be called either "omnipotence" or "sovereignty."

Sovereignty and omnipotence go together. One cannot exist without the other. God can do anything as easily as any thing else. All His acts are done without effort. He expends no energy that must be replenished. His self-sufficiency makes it unnecessary for Him to look outside of Himself for a renewal of strength. All the power required to do all that He wills to do lies in undiminished fullness in His own infinite being. He has delegated power to His creatures, but being self- sufficient, He cannot relinquish anything of His perfections and, power being one of them, He has never surrendered the least iota of His power. He gives but does not give away. All that He gives remains His own and returns to Him again. Forever He must remain what He has forever been, the Lord God omnipotent.

The exercise of God's sovereignty and omnipotence is guided by His own wise and holy and loving will. God can do anything that is consistent with His character and reveals to us that He chooses to do only what infinite wisdom, holiness and love dictate. He therefore sovereignly chooses to operate on three levels: 

1) His decretive will; 

2) His desired will; and 

3) His permissive will. 

God sovereignly chooses to give mankind the ability to resist His "desired" will. He "permits" mankind to reject His offer of salvation. No one or nothing, however, thwarts His decretive will. Psalm 75:6-7 reminds us: "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Isaiah 46:9-10 says, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." (see also Isaiah 45:5-7).

The Scriptures not only reveal God to be sovereign, they also tell us how He exercises His sovereignty. Psalms 89:14 says, "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Thy throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before Thee". In His absolute sovereignty, God has chosen to have rule according to righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, and truth. As a result, He has sovereignly decided to have mercy upon the lost (Romans 11:32). In addition, God has sovereignly enabled mankind to accept or reject His offer of salvation and thereby determine the eternal destiny of his own life.

To define God's sovereignty to mean that God personally decides every minute detail or circumstance that ever has or ever will take place is to contradict Scripture and to arbitrarily place restrictions upon His sovereignty. God is no less sovereign in choosing to establish laws or operations which shall bring certain results and then enabling mankind the ability to choose which results he desires for himself. For example, God has established the means whereby a person can be saved. He says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Through the exercise of His sovereign grace He also has enabled mankind to accept or reject those means. Those who choose to accept the means of salvation God has provided are saved. The choice to accept God's offer of salvation is not a meritorious work (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is simply the result of meeting the conditions already chosen by the sovereign God. This is no less the exercise of sovereignty than the idea that God must control every choice a person makes.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Issue of Vexilla Regis Journal

The newest issue of Vexilla Regis Journal is now available. In this issue....

  • A Freemasonic Plot?- by Anonymous- Is there a plot by the Freemasons to further infiltrate and completely change the nature of the Vatican? If Bergoglio is any indication, this article seems to be right on the mark!
  • The Inquisition- by E. Vacandard- In light of the president's recent comments about the Crusades and the perceived "evils" of Christianity we thought an article on the Inquisition, demonstrating the good it did, would be timely.
  • Questions and Answers on Modernism- by Fr. J.B. Lemius- Taken from the 1908 book Catechism of Modernism, this series of questions and answers on Modernism and the evils thereof is as important today as when originally penned.
  • Plus articles by contributors Tracy Garnett, John C. Calloway and Rick Lunsford!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vexilla Regis Radio: Origin of the UFO Subculture

Our first live broadcast of Vexilla Regis Radio is tomorrow night, Feb. 27th at 8 p.m. eastern. My guest will be investigative journalist and philosopher Paul Collins.

Join Paul and I as we expose the origins of the UFO subculture and the "Ancient Alien" mythos. Listen in and chat in our live chatroom as we expose heresy and heretics!


Monday, February 2, 2015

The Foundation for Belief in the Inspiration and Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture.

There are 2 kinds of facts:

  • Scientific fact (observable, repeatable) and
  • Historical fact (based upon eye witness accounts).
Either kind of fact is acceptable in a court of Law. Both are not required. The disposition of a case may be decided upon historical facts (testimony) alone. Most court time is, in fact, taken up with witness examination and cross-examination of witnesses.

Christ is the Prime Witness as to the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Sacred Scripture. That he is certifiable as an expert in this subject is evidenced by His claiming to be God and proving His claim by rising from the dead. As God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Logos (Word), He is the Living Scripture—the Living Word of God. As God, He knows with certainty the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Sacred Scriptures. All of these claims are subject, of course, to His being resurrected from the dead. No record exists of any religious leader having died and subsequently raised from the dead. No other claims of such have ever been made by any major religion in recorded history. Muhammad is still in his grave. Buddha is still in his grave. Confucius is still in his grave. Lao-Tse, the founder of Taoism, is still in his grave. Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism (Pakistan), is still in his grave. Christianity stands alone in its claim that its founder, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead. This resurrection, if real, is conclusive proof that Jesus is who he claimed to be—the very Son of God, in fact, God of Very God!

Now, how can we know that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead?

The world is full of “experts” who insist that the Bible is not the “Word of God,” or insist that it only “contains” the Word of God. Many insist that the Bible is not inerrant, nor infallible. They have varying opinions of the “inspiration” of its message, many denying this as well. None however deny that fact that the Bible is history. It is universally accepted that the Sacred Scriptures are historical documents. Therefore, it is as proper to respect and believe the historical narrative of the Bible as it is to respect and believe our historical accounts of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, or any other historical figure or historical account. In fact we may and must attribute more validity to the historicity of the Bible, as, we shall soon see that there is much more evidence available to prove its authenticity than practically any other historical document.

So, we are going to look, first of all at the Bible as a totally acceptable historical document. We will see what the historical record says about Christ.

A. The historical fact of the resurrection is verified by eyewitness accounts. (Acts 1:3) - “he showed himself alive ... by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

1. Testimony of the angels (St. Lk. 24:5,6) - “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.”
2. Testimony of eye witnesses:
a. Mary Magdalene (in garden) (Jn 20:11-18);
b. Mary (Mk. 16:1);
c. Joanna (Lk 24:10),
d. the Emmaus road appearance (Lk. 24:13-35);
e. St. Peter, then the twelve Apostles, St. James, then of all the disciples, of above five hundred brethren at once (most of whom were still alive, then of St. Paul (a period of about 5 years) (I Cor. 15:5-8).
3. Behavior of eye witnesses verifies the truth of their testimony:
The Apostles went abroad preaching and teaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. There are at least 16 references in the Book of Acts to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Act 4:1-2 “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”

Act 4:33 “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”

They were beaten for it and imprisoned for it. Ultimately, they all died for this testimony (except St. John and Judas, of course). Let me assure you that people are not willing to be martyred for something they know to be false, or a hoax. They saw Him alive after His death and were willing to die rather than recant their testimony to the truth of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead! The very behavior of those who saw Him alive after His resurrection verifies the validity of Christ’s claim. Historical evidence of Christians being willing to be tortured for Christ substantiates their true claim to having seen Him alive after His death!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Vexilla Regis Radio!

Would you like to hear a radio program that defends the historic Faith? A show that confronts the heresies head on? A show that presents the true history of the Faith while dismantling the many lies of the modern world? A show that defends your values?

Vexilla Regis Radio is doing just that!

Our motto will be “Confronting Culture for Christ the King”.

Father Jack Ashcraft will tackle such topics as:

• The Infiltration of the Vatican
• The Truth about the Inquisition
• The Truth about the Crusades
• The Heresy of “Ancient Aliens”
• The Heresy of modern Templar myths
• The Heresy of the DaVinci Code

We will explore other topics as well, helping you to answer the hard questions on....

• UFO's
• Creation vs. Evolution
• Political Issues
• Modernism
• Relativism
• Occultism
• The Cults
• The Homosexual Agenda
• Politics and Culture
• History of Christendom
• The French Revolution
• Archaeology and the Bible
• and much more!

We will bring you informative discussion and guests who will help educate you on a wide variety of topics, as well as entertain you.

Where else will you hear the teachings of the Faith, the wisdom of the Saints, true historical perspectives on the Church, along with hard hitting commentary on current cultural trends and events?

This will be YOUR broadcast! YOUR voice will be heard in opposition to that of the Progressive revolutionaries or neo-conservative pundits!

Vexilla Regis is your radio seminary!

We begin broadcasting February 27th at 8 pm.

Friday, January 30, 2015

More Wild Eyed Fringe Fundamentalist Weirdness

Readers of my website are probably familiar with the brief run-in I had with self declared "apologist" and fringe fundamentalist kook, Cris Putnam. Putnam's tenuous grasp of the traditional Catholic faith, and his complete demonstrated ignorance of the issues behind sedevacantism are more than clear in his attacks on my person. While I thought I had responded concisely and with clarity on the issue, other fringe types (the same types you would find at a meeting of the Jack Chick Appreciation Society) continue to repeat and repost his original attempt at scandal and calumny. Another of these "dummy blogs" was set up recently, complete with a cut and paste of Putnam's original attack with a few new inanities tossed in. This time, in my final response to this wild eyed fringe ignorance, I will quote the article and respond section by section, accusation by accusation. Yes, I did respond to each of the accusations previously here, but those responses continue to be ignored by the Don Quixote's of fringe Protestant apologetics. Hopefully this time they will pay attention, though I doubt comprehension will be very high.
The Anonymous author of blog states: "Ashcraft issued a response of sorts... more like an elaborate excuse for why he is exempt from the educational standards the rest of the us are held to. His primary excuse is that as a "traditional Catholic," he cannot attend seminary because all of the schools are inundated with homosexuals:
A stumbling-block to orthodox men in the seminaries is a pervasive "'gay subculture', comprised of both students and faculty"; some of the seminaries have gleefully earned such nicknames as "Notre Flame (for the Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans)" and "Theological Closet (for Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.)."  "St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore has earned the nickname the 'Pink Palace.'"  Heterosexual, orthodox men who do make it into the seminaries often find themselves under siege by the homosexuals and having to fend off sexual advances, even rape."
MY RESPONSE: This was only one tiny part of an overall response as to why sedevacantists and other traditionalists do not attend the seminaries operated by the Novus Ordo. As for the assumption that traditionalist priests are to be held accountable to the same educational standards as those of the fringe Protestant extreme- I think the absurdity of that comment is obvious. More on education in a moment.

Anonymous states: "Would Ashcraft really have us believe there is not a single seminary he could attend that isn't over run with homosexuals? I wonder what real Catholics like Francis J. Beckwith might say?  Of course, this behavior is nothing new in Roman Catholicism. It traces back to the medieval period infamously known as the "pornocracy" by historians. The ex-Jesuit, Peter De Rosa, writes of the medieval popes,
They were less disciples of Christ than of Belial, the Prince of Darkness. Very many were libertines, murderers, adulterers, warmongers, tyrants, simoniacs who were prepared to sell everything holy. They were nearly all more wrapped up in money and intrigue than in religion."

MY RESPONSE: First, this demonstrates an ignorance of the vast differences between traditional Catholicism and the Novus Ordo. They are in fact two entirely different religions. The religion of the Second Vatican Council is Progressive and Modernist, and as demonstrated by the current heresiarch, Bergoglio (Francis I), it is diametrically opposed to everything of traditional orthodox Catholic dogma, doctrine and practice. The stupidity of this argument is obvious. Would a Baptist attend a Catholic seminary? No. The two are opposite in theology, sacramentology, ecclesiology, etc. Likewise a sedevacantist would not attend a Novus Ordo seminary.

Do note as well the anti-Catholic rhetoric spilling forth from the digital "pen" of this anonymous blogger.  This is a consistent theme, and I suggest the real reason behind these unintelligent diatribes.

And as for Beckwith, he is not Catholic. He is a Modernist. Beckwith's conversion from Evangelical Protestantism was no huge change, as the religion of the Novus Ordo resembles very closely that of Protestantism. Again, this demonstrates an ignorance of the differences between traditional Catholicism and the religion of the Novus Ordo.

Anonymous states: "The behavior described by Ashcraft is simply nothing new for Roman Catholicism and indeed should be expected from an institution whose own policies encourage it. In truth, the rule of celibacy has been an albatross to the Roman Catholic priesthood by forcing them to pursue proscribed means of satisfaction. It is not a new problem. John Calvin commented on it in his Institutes:
In one thing they are more than rigid and inexorable—in not permitting priests to marry. It is of no consequence to mention with what impunity whoredom prevails among them, and how, trusting to their vile celibacy, they have become callous to all kinds of iniquity."
MY RESPONSE: Starting to see the theme? If we want to call attention to sexual indiscretion by religious affiliation then lets do so. For example, Boz Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and Liberty University law professor who investigates sex abuse claims states that the evangelical mission field is a "magnet" for sex offenders. Comparing Catholic abuse charges to those of the Evangelical spectrum he says, "I think we are worse." Full Article

Or how about this? Focus on the Family, a high profile Evangelical program hosted by Dr. James Dobson, in 2001 reported that 21% of evangelical/Protestant pastors had "inappropriate" sexual contact with members of their congregations. 60% of evangelical pastors had problems with pornography. And 76% of evangelical pastors know of other evangelical pastors who had sex with a parishoner. Sexual Abuse in Evangelicalism

Do note that most of these men were married. Celibacy didn't even enter the picture. So can celibacy really be said to be the problem? No. What such accusations as those above demonstrate is a failure to understand the root cause of sin, which is self centeredness. For a person who would no doubt claim to follow the "Bible alone", the anonymous blogger has failed to even recognize this core Biblical truth. Of course, to acknowledge these facts would be to undermine the central theme behind the calumny, which is a rabid and irrational anti-Catholic hatred.

Anonymous states: "Ashcraft has still failed to account for his listed degree."

MY RESPONSE: First, I haven't failed to account for the listed "degree". As I explained previously on this blog, my "degree" was a "religious degree", not an academic nor accreditated one. As I stated then, I attended a private seminary program named for St. Sergius that was designed to prepare priests for service in the sedevacantist community. We had no need of accreditation. We weren't looking to be university professor's. We are simply priests. We studied for 7 years those things priests must study. What my anonymous fringe fundamentalist critic again demonstrates is an ignorance of traditional Catholicism and what seminary is for in that perspective. While evangelicals may seek accreditation for state recognition, we have no such need. My priestly formation was at the direction of and mentorship of a wonderful traditional Roman Catholic priest and Franciscan. I have never made a secret of this.

Anonymous states: "His LinkedIn profile lists an earned a Doctorate in Divinity from St. Sergius Seminary but only offers:
Sedevacantist bishops are purely sacramental bishops, and sedevacantist priests are purely sacramental priests. There are no claims of secular title, only religious titles and religious education alone. Such was the program I studied in, and I make no apology for doing so. ...My own studies were partly formal and partly at the direct mentorship of a traditional Roman Catholic priest."

MY RESPONSE: Originally the claim was that I deleted my LinkedIn profile. Now the claim has changed. Interesting. By the way, it does not say anything of the kind. The above quote is actually from an article here on this website found here:  On Priestly Education

Yet Anonymous and Cris Putnam both claim I have been obfuscating on my education. However, they demonstrate the fallacious nature of their claims by quoting my article addressing and explaining in detail exactly the nature of my priestly formation. Keeping a story straight doesn't seem to be a high priority for fringe fundamentalists.

As for my current educational pursuits, I am attending a seminary that is very conservative and will afford me the accreditation my Anonymous anti-Catholic "haters" seem so obsessed with.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Moral Argument for God

The best explanation of objective moral values and duties is the existence of God. Most atheists recognize that some things, such as the Holocaust, are objectively evil. However, if atheism is true, this cannot be said, as no moral position can be objective, but at best the subjective consent of the will of a person or people group. If man is nothing more than the product of nature, then what basis is there for the objectivity of the moral values we affirm? Evolution? Social conditioning? These factors may at best produce in us the subjective feeling that there are moral values and duties, but they do nothing to provide a basis for them. Let us not forget that it is the evolutionary model that gave rise to such things as racial eugenics, and it was the Darwinian view of humanity that permitted the National Socialist scientific establishment to bypass normative objective morality and ethics, since they were looked upon by the National Socialist state as coming from a theocentric model and therefore antithetical to the natural rights of Aryan man and the survival of the fittest. 

If there are no moral absolutes, if everything is relative, then genocide, pedophilia, rape, etc. cannot be said to be objective evils. By contrast, God Himself serves as the paradigm of goodness, and His commandments constitute the moral duties and dignities of humanity. They are inherent to man as part and parcel of his created self. Thus, theism provides a better explanation of objective moral values and duties.

Moral laws point to a moral law-giver.

There cannot be any such concept as morality without God. Nature, the animals of the wild, insects, etc. has no concept of morality, nor does it operate by moral law. If, as the atheist would have it, we are merely products of nature, then we cannot say there are objective evils such as genocide and pedophilia. Dostoyevsky said, “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” That there are moral laws, then, that not everything is permissible, is an evidence that God exists. Some facts are facts about the way that the world is. It is a fact that Paris is the capital of France because there exists a city called Paris that is the capital of France. For most facts, there are objects in the world that make them true. Moral facts aren’t like that. The fact that we ought to do something about the problem of famine isn’t a fact about the way that the world is, it’s a fact about the way that the world should be. There is nothing out there in the physical world that makes moral facts true. This is because moral facts aren’t descriptive, they’re prescriptive; moral facts have the form of internal commands to the conscience. If we acknowledge that some things cannot exist without something else existing with them, then we are closer to understanding the relationship of morality to the existence of God. 

For example, without oxygen, water cannot exist. Likewise, without hydrogen, water could not exist. The elements are interdependent to create water. Likewise, the internal commands of the conscience cannot exist without something or someone giving these commands and thus creating objective morality. Since moral facts are internal commands of the conscience, then we must ask who commanded them? Morality is of over-riding importance. If someone morally ought to do something, then this over-rules any other consideration that might come into play. It might be in my best interests not to give any money to charity, but morally I should, so all things considered I should do so. It might be in my best interests to pretend that I’m too busy to see my in-laws on Wednesday so that I can watch the game, but morally I ought not, so all things considered I shouldn't. If someone has one reason to do one thing, but morally should do another thing, then all things considered they should do the other thing. Morality overrules everything. Morality has ultimate authority. This very fact defies an evolutionary answer, as it does nothing to satisfy the demands of personal survival or comfort. Commands, though, are only as authoritative as the person that commands them. If I were to command everyone to pay extra tax so that we could spend more money on the police force, then no one would have to do so. I just don’t have the authority to issue that command. If the government were to command everyone to pay extra tax so that we could spend more money on the police force, though, then that would be different, because it does have that authority. As morality has more authority than any human person or institution, morality can’t have been commanded by any human person or institution. As morality has ultimate authority, as morality over-rules everything, morality must have been commanded by someone who has authority over everything. The existence of morality thus points us to a being that is greater than any of us and that rules over all creation. Morality proves the existence of an author of morality, of a being that has authority over and that actively rules over all creation. Together with the ontological argument, the first cause argument, and the argument for design, this would give us proof that there is a perfect, necessary, and eternal being that created the universe with life in mind and has the authority to tell us how we are to live it.