Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Prime Minister of the King of Love

After speaking of Mary, the Queen of Fair Love, let us at once turn our thoughts to the Roman Pontiff, the living voice and the very image of Jesus Christ in the Church.

The Pope is one of the richest gifts of Christ's most merciful love. Recall that beautiful scene along the Lake of Tiberias, when after receiving a threefold profession of love from Peter, the divine Master makes him His Representative on earth, the dispenser of His power, investing him with that full authority to which Kings as well as their people are subject. His dignity far surpasses all human grandeur. The Vatican, that summit ever colored with the divine majesty, is the Sinai of the new Law whence God dictates to the new Moses - the Pope - His sovereign Will.

Apostles and friends of the Great King, lend me an attentive ear, a docile heart. The devotion to the Pope, so important, so eminently Catholic, is not sufficiently known.

The King of Glory and His august Vicar must be loved, I should say with a selfsame love, venerated with a selfsame veneration; both must be obeyed with the same unlimited, perfect obedience. Not that we wish to confound the Christ-God with His Repre­sentative, but because the honor bestowed upon the Sovereign Pontiff is rendered to Jesus Himself. Has He not said: “He that heareth you, heareth Me - ­He that despiseth you, despiseth Me”? (Luke 10:15) And may we not add with as much certainty: “He that honors and loves you, honors and loves Me”?

Fear no exaggeration, for the Gospel testifies most explicitly that the Pope is, by right divine, our visible Jesus upon Earth.

This reminds me of a private audience with which I was gratified by the Sovereign Pontiff and the an­swer His Holiness made to one of my remarks. ­

“Holy Father,” said I, “I always request prayers for the Pope, for I unite the Eternal King and His Vicar in one same love. I often preach the devotion to the Pope, whom I consider as a kind of second Eucharist.”

His Holiness suddenly interrupted me and said: “Oh! you do well, my son, and you are quite right in saying that the Pope is as a second Eucharist. Un­fortunately the beauty and necessity of devotion to the Pope is not always understood. You, my son, spread this devotion wherever you preach the King of Love.”

Yes, dear Apostles, the Pope is a visible Jesus, con­cealed beneath a thin white veil as in the Sacred Host; another Jesus, a living; authentic Jesus is truly present under the cover and disguise of Peter. The name changes: we call him Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI. These are external accidents which disappear and change: the substance remains immutable, it is ever Jesus to whom the Father has given as a heritage, all nations of the Earth (Psalms 11:8) and a name which is above all names. (Philippians 11:9)

From this true and beautiful symbolism, let us now draw some practical conclusions. To the Pope, this Eucharist of the Vatican, we owe the greatest, the most profound respect, the highest honors, as a homage of our intellect; to Him we owe an immense, devoted, tender and filial love; as a homage of our will. To prove our submission, our steadfast obedi­ence, our unswerving devotion to the Pope, we should be ready, as O'Connell, the great Irish hero, says, to waive all personal interests, and if necessary seal our loyalty with our blood.

Happy, a thousand times happy are you, dear Apostles, whose enlightened faith enables you ever to distinguish Jesus beneath this thin white veil, the Pope. Happy are you who well nigh confound what Our Lord seems to have confounded and blended together on Earth - His own Self and the Pope - whether in the attribution of His power; “Whatever thou shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven,” (Matthew 16:19) or in His formal demand of perfect submission to the appointed Shepherd of His Flock: “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” (John 21:15 & 17)

If Jesus has promised heaven in reward for the good done to a little child; (Matthew 18:5) if He has condemned the scandal given to this little one who represents Him, (Matthew 18:6) how much richer must be the blessings He bestows on the families that honor, serve, console and obey His own Vicar on Earth. On the contrary, what wrath do they not bring down upon themselves who, in thought, word or deed, dare to profane this second Eucharist, the Pope?

This doctrine is but pure Catholicism, very elemen­tary and officially defined. A mountain, the Vatican, separates us from Lutherans, Anglicans and Schis­matic Russians, for the touchstone is and ever will be Peter. His authority soars far above and beyond all human discussion and control. It is indeed the Pope who, in the face of all human authorities all existing tribunals, may apply to himself, in the full sense of the word, the categorical expression of St. Paul: “He who judges me is the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 4:4) Yes, the only Judge, the only tribunal to which the Sovereign Pon­tiff accountable is the tribunal of the Most-High, the tribunal of the King of Kings. In the meantime, while on this Earth, his commandments have the char­acter of “supremacy” for all true Catholics. Hence the axiom: "Rome has spoken, the question is set­tled." A truth which shall remain eternally in spite of Luther and his followers.

Dear and zealous Apostles, teach this beautiful doctrine, spread it around you, weary not in explain­ing that the Holy Father's slightest desires are sacred to his children, to Catholics, true at heart and worthy of their title. Especially stress the point that his for­mal orders are inviolable laws which are not to be discussed, and which cannot be transgressed, without committing a sin. This you know full well is a fundamental principle of our faith and of religious dis­cipline. To assume any other attitude is espousing the Protestant view and criterion.

Promote true love for the Pope wherever the Sa­cred Heart has been enthroned as King of the family. By this sublime term “love”, I wish to imply all that the immortal Pontiff, Pius X, did imply when he wrote the following words: “When people love the Pope, they do not discuss his orders; they do not question the extent of their obedience, nor in what matters they are to obey; when people love the Pope, they do not pretend that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to whisper in each one's ear that which he has oftentimes expressed so clearly in words and Encyclicals. One cannot cast a doubt upon his orders under the pretext so commonly adduced by those who are unwilling to obey, that if is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; one cannot limit the ground on which he may and ought to exercise his authority; in matters of authority, one cannot give the preference to persons whose ideas clash with those of the. Pope, however learned these may be, for though they be learned, they are not saints.” Such are the very words of the great Pontiff of the Eucharist. .

Families of the King of Love, you His intimate, friends, do you wish to know a secret that shall ravish His Sacred Heart? - Love, oh! love the Pope with an immense, filial love. Love him with that supernat­ural affection made of a profound gratitude, a per­fect, integral submission that will stand any proof. To the love which is due to the Vicar of Christ, we may apply the ringing words of St. Paul: “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38) and of His sweet visible Christ, His alter ego, the Pope.

I have spoken of the Pope as a second Eucharist. Consider therefore, that if the Eucharist, the God­-Man, is at an infinite distance above all creatures, yet, it is the voice of the Pope alone that has the right to assure us of that Divine Presence in the con­secrated Host. Sublime right which marks the tran­scendency of the Papal Authority. Hence it is that all heretics, all, have begun by rejecting the corner­stone, Peter, accusing him of going beyond his pow­ers, of trespassing on the domain of Philosophy, Science, History, Politics, etc…. And once they have broken away from his authority for one or other of these reasons, they have logically thrown overboard the treasures of our Faith which we call Catholic Unity, the Holy Eucharist, the Sacraments, etc….

I close these reflections, so important, and no doubt, so sympathetic to all friends and promoters of the Reign of the Sacred Heart, by relating the little anecdote that gave rise to the title of this chapter.

At the audience which followed the reception of the famous Autographed Letter of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XV, which officially entrusted to us the Work of the Enthronement, as I was thanking the Holy Father for this great and unexpected favor, His Holiness said to me: “Do not thank me, my son, do you not say that you are the Apostle of the great King Jesus?” – “Oh yes indeed, Your Holiness, that I wish to be with my whole soul !”

“Well then,” replied the Pope, “you preach the King, I am His Prime Minister; it is I then who am to thank you for what you do for the King of Love.”

Dear apostles Of the King of Love, may Jesus con­firm the word of His Prime Minister, may He confirm it for you and for me in life and in death. Yea, may He confirm it by the richest blessings of His adora­ble Heart.

Jesus the King of Love, Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey SS.CC., Fairhaven, 1945, pp. 270 - 6


Many, not fully understanding the Catholic theology, may no doubt get the wrong impression that the Popes confess themselves to be Jesus Christ His very Self incarnate. As Fr. Mateo noted over 60 decades ago, we must not confound "the Christ-God with His Repre­sentative." Every Christian is Jesus Christ thinly veiled in flesh, but it is to the Pope alone that has a greater responsibilty than we. Even if the Pope did not personally believe in Christ, as history affirms, this does not prohibit Christ from Shepherding His Church. Why? Because He is All-Soverign, and He is the Master-Designer of all things, and despite the wickedness of those within His Mystical Body, His Divine Will will be done. Though Satan himself tried to thwart God's eternal plan, God incorrporated Satan's treachery as part of the natural flow to His Will, and in the end, His Will is that which declares and defines the cosmic course of events. This is why Catholics [true Catholic by faith, not those who merely 'say' they are 'Catholic'] are at perfect ease when even a most vile, blasphemous, God-hating Pope declares infallibly a dogma of the Faith. It is not the Pope who declares, but it is God Himself restricting Satan from causing the Pope to slip into doctrinal heresy. His infallibility does not mean he is sinless, nor that his every word and action are pure.

"The infallibility of the Pope does not mean that he cannot sin; it does not mean that he cannot err in matters of science; it does not mean that he cannot err in political matters; it does not mean that he cannot err in his personal theological views; it does not mean that he cannot err in his private theological utterances relating to faith or morals; it does not mean that he cannot err in his personal decisions; it does not mean that he cannot err in his measures concerning the discipline and practice of the Church, for example: sanctioning or dissolving an Order, precepts of worship, ecclesiastical rules etc." (Illustrations for Sermons and Instructions, Rev. Charles J. Callan O.P., New York, 1916, page 147)

Now consider St. Catherine of Siena's words, "Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom."

Why such language? I will reply that Israel's and Judah's kings were worse than incarnate devils, wicked and depraved men that blasphemed God in word and action. Yet it was God Himself, Yahweh the Lord of lord, the God of gods, that ordained the Office of Kingship to His chosen people. The people demanded a king, even though God was their King, and so to give them their request He also gave to them the curses of having monarchs. David was righteous, but Saul a devil. Manasseh king of Judah sacrificed his own son on the altar to false gods, yet he was a lawful and true king. It was the people's duty to respect and obey his office, but to resist him concerning things which he decreed that went contrary to God's previous revelations. Likewise, for the true Catholic, it is a lawful and even holy deed to completely resist the Pope if he teaches or imposes a set of false doctrines and practices [all of which would never be infallibly declared].

"Just as it is licit to resist a Pontiff who attacks the body, so it is licit to resist him who attacks souls, or who disturbs the civil order, or, above all, who tries to destroy the Church. It is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will. It is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for such acts belong to a superior." (St. Robert Bellarmine Doctor of the Church "De Romano Pontifice" Book II, Chapter 29)

We cannot judge because it is a sin for the sheep to judge the shepherd, since as St. Paul says by Apostolic Office, "No man may judge me but God." We also cannot and should not judge nor inflict punishment on the Pope because it would also go against Yahweh's own decree, which decree is the most terrible and horrifying to anyone who dares invoke it, "Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD, I will repay." To any Pope that has been foolish enough to invoke this Divine Decree, God has Judged him with Supreme Judgment, and has inflicted Supreme Punishment upon all these shepherd which have pastured themselves on their sheep. Every bishop, every pastor, is subject to this Decree. We as the laity may lawfully resist what we should resist, but we may not judge, for that is left to God alone, and His Judgment is eternally Just. Even if Satan himself were elected Pope, that would only happen because it was in the Divine Will of the All-Soverign Triune God, and just as He set Pharoh, Nebbecudnezzur, Hitler, and others, in their offices "to fulfill My glory", so He would have also set up Satan himself in the Papal Office, to fulfill His Divine Will. It is to God alone that we are obliged to obey the Pope [were he Satan himself] only to the extent that is needed, "Give to Ceasar what is Caesar's, and to God the things that are God." But on the same note, as an obligation to God, if this Satan-incarnate Pope were to rise up and say, "You will worship me as your God and you will worship the Eucharist as my flesh," we would under pain of death be obliged to resist.

Because He is the God above all things known and unknown, He alone decrees who is the Pope, who was the Pope, and who will be the Pope. In all, Jesus Christ is in the Office of Pope, and when the Pope sins gravely, he blasphemes the very character and Holy Name of Jesus Christ, earning for himself the worst of damnations. But that matter is left up to Yahweh Himself. To us, "He who listens to you listen to Me," is taken very seriously, and we know that Our Lord's words are True, and we know He is the Truth, and because He lives we have faith that no matter what the outcome, obedience to the Pastor of the Church is a holy thing in God's eyes, and it is by His grace that we maintain that obedience, even when we would rather curse him.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Why the Christian Church needs a Pope

Let's skip over the Matt.16:18 verse, where Christ says He'll build His Church on the Rock. Majority of Protestants. Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, and Evangelicals will admit the Rock is Peter, according to the Greek. However all of them unamiously likewise say this is not a sufficiant proof text that Peter had a Pope-role in the Church. Indeed, he was the pre-eminent Apostle, the spokesman for the Apostles. Yet at the same time in Revelation, when the Thrones of the Apostles are mentioned, we do not see a special chair for Peter alone, who apparantly was the first Pope. Neither do we see a special pillar for Peter among the Pillars of the Apostles, which is strange if he is supposed to be the visible Head. But this is the problem we run into when we look at leadership in the Bible strictly as a heirarchy. Leadership on God's terms has no rank, but all are on the same level - i.e, we have countless pastors in the world who tend to us the sheep, yet at the very core of it all pastors are sheep as well in God's eyes. Yet the pastor has authority over the laymen, and can perform the Sacraments (in the Roman Catholic and East Orthodox Churches alone), but in Heaven's eyes, he himself is still a sheep. Of course, there must be some structure of order, for God does not create confusion, but is a God of order. So there must be a heirachy in the Church to keep it from falling into chaos. One need only look in the Old Testament for numerous examples of heirachy ordained by Yahweh Himself, so that His Laws be obeyed and His ordinances kept. And one need only look at the Evangelical communities and witness the jaw-dropping chaos and confusion which entails our brethren by Baptism. Logic alone should bring us to the conclusion that a heirachy in the Church - according to God's terms - is an absolute must. Consider the fact that the early Church called together Ecumenical Councils to blot out the rising heresies of the day; do you really think the Protestant denominations of today can do the same? Have they? Albeit, the secular Emperor, Constantine, called together the first Council, but it was Pope Sylvester that moved the emperor to do so - all the Bishops formed the Nicene Creed, agreeing on the correct doctrine to express infallibly. Suppose the Prime Minister, or the President, were to call all the denominations of the world together and demand from them an infallible statement on the Protestant Creed, one Statement, for one Protestant Church - what would be the results? If such a Creed could come about, they would have to set aside or at least throw out much of the Augsburg and Westminster Confessions, which when read are contradictory in places. Even the Eastern Orthodox have an Ecumenical Patriarch, and though he cannot call Councils for the Greek Church, he is a head of some sort - not a head that expresses jurisdiction over the Greek Church - but someone to look to for some kind of official word from the Church. And he is no Emperor. Neither were the Apostles emperors or kings, but they came together in technically the First General Council, which took place at Jerusalem, as found in Acts. They declared, professed, defined, proclaimed, and pronounced at this Council that mankind is saved by grace: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us." Notice the remarkable language here. "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit AND to us," linking the descision of Almighty Yahweh the Holy Spirit with the descision of the Holy Apostles and bishops at the Council. It is not merely an opinion of the Apostles, but an infallible declaration which is first proclaimed in Heaven by God the Holy Spirit, and then spoken verbally by the Holy Apostles, viz., the Holy Spirit has spoken through the very mouths of the Apostles and bishops gathered here. This was to be the model for the Church on how to handle heresy - have the Protestants come together as one, and with infallible declaration produced a Creed which is the standard for all the denominations of the world which fall under Christianity, but are neither Catholic nor Orthodox? Not at all - instead, we have many creeds, two of them already mentioned, which not only disagree on points but contradict entirely. Why the need for Westminster if the Protestants already had Augsburg? You see, the fact is, there is no heirachy in the Protestant communities, and this is the cause of many thriving heresies which even in their eyes are not founded in Scripture. The Calvinist sees heresy in Pentacostalism; the Lutheran sees heresy in the Baptist doctrine of Communion, etc.

Seeing that heirachy is needed, how are we to understand in what sense God's views it? One need only listen to Christ's words, "The greatest among you shall be the least...The servant is not greater than his master..." - but above all, His own example, when He said "I did not come to be served, but I came to serve." For this reason, the Pope is called Servant of the Servants of God. His role is the greatest among all; not in the sense as a king is greater than his subject, but in the sense where Christ said, "My Father is greater than I." - J. 10:29. The Arians and Jeovah's Witnesses apostasies declare that this verse means Christ is lesser than God, but this is far from the truth. The word "great" does not denote nature, but rank. Remember, at this point, Christ had already emptied Himself of all His divinity, but still was "very God from very God."

Let's contrast this with Hebrews 1:4, "(Jesus) being so much better than the angels.."

Notice the verse says He is "better" than the angels, not "greater". The Greek word here is κρείττων, which denotes nature. But in John 10:29, the Greek word for "greater" is μέγας, which denotes...

1) great 1a) of the external form or sensible appearance of things (or of persons) 1a1) in particular, of space and its dimensions, as respects 1a1a) mass and weight: great 1a1b) compass and extent: large, spacious 1a1c) measure and height: long 1a1d) stature and age: great, old 1b) of number and quantity: numerous, large, abundant 1c) of age: the elder

To put it simply, this particular Greek word implies position, not nature. Jesus, when He was a man, was "made a little lower than the angels", and therefore looked to the Father for guidance, since His Father was in a higher position than Christ. But Christ was still 100% God, never less than God, continually Yahweh the Son. The Father did not lord over Christ as a tyrant, but served Him just as Christ served the Father. In Hebrews Christ is called "better" than the angels, which most certainly denotes nature. Why is He better? Because He created them. The Father did not create Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ was continually with the Father, "eternally begotten." Do you see the difference?

The Pope is greater than any man in this sense: as the Father is no more and no less than the Son, so the Pope is no more and no less than his flock. Christ looked to the Father; we look the Pope as the Church's Pastor, the Leuitenant-General of Christ. He confesses his sins at every Mass, why? Because he's a sinner like us. He confides in his bishops, why? Because despite the gift of infallibilty, the Pope must recognize the tradition of his predesesors, that in the Council of his fellow pastors there is wisdom. By theory, he can infallibly declare dogma by himself - but never has any pope infallibly declared something which was not already believed 'unofficially' by the Church.

The Roman Church, as the Greek Church will testify, has always been the Church which holds the Primacy of Honor. Why? Because Peter set up his See there and died there. St. Paul too preached the Gospel there, and for this reason St. Irenaeus encouraged the masses to flock to Rome for guidance on doctrinal matters, since in his mind this particular Church could not err. She is the Mother of Churches in the sense that she nurtures them doctrinally. Jerusalem is the Mother of Churches in the sense that this is where the first Christians sprang from. It was the Roman Church that decided what was orthodoxy and what was heresy. Concerning the Eastern heresies, St. Jerome said to the Roman Bishop "To whom shall I go save the See of Peter?" As history clearly shows, the Roman Church was and still is by the Orthodox considered a See of Primacy. The Orthodox see this Primacy as one of Honor, not jurisdiction, but history reveals that the orthodoxy of the popes were from earliest times recieved by the Eastern bishops. To this day there remains 22 Eastern Catholic churches in communion with the Roman Bishop, Benedict 16th.

History also shows how certain Popes abused their authority, and lorded over the Church like tyrants, just as Israel's kings lorded over the people like monsters. It seems that whatever God ordains Satan tries to supress by corrupting those in such positions. Despite their hideous actions, these Popes were the Heads of the Church, they were God's Pastors, not His Prophet's, but Pastors, and they had to be obeyed to whatever degree that did not go against Christ's words. It is little known to non-Catholics that Catholics are obliged to resist any Pope who does not teach, nor practice, the Christian doctrine. For example, when Pope John Paul 2 allowed the Buddah idol be set upon the Holy Altar at an Interfaith Prayers meeting. As great and beautiful as this man was, he being a sinner could at any time fall into error by trying to do good - in this case, meet with other religious faiths and hope to dialogue. In his eagerness to bring them to Christ, he erred in practice, by allowing a demonic idol be set upon the Holy Altar. Any Catholic can remain a good Catholic and still disagree entirly with Pope John Paul 2's action here. He was rightly resisted by anyone who saw this as going too far. This must not be confused with total rebellion from the Pope, for this too is a sin since he is the rightful Pastor of the Church - but, it is not a sin to those who out of ignorance [in the positive sense] of his role in the Church, do not see him as the Pastor, but instead see him as Antichrist. Of course, I speak of the Protestants. Some Protestants today see him as Antichrist not because they hate God, but out of zeal for God and because of the past sins of the Popes, they cannot see how such a man of so great authority can in any way lead the Church of Christ. This is execused, but it cannot be excusable to Catholics who know perfectly well the role of the Pope, and how he represents Christ in a pastoral way. In all Protestant writings, you will not find statements against the Pope to this extent:

"The Pope must not be adhered to because he is the Deputy of the Jew-God...The Pope is a God-pushing fundametalist...", etc.

Instead, you'll find words to this extent:

"The Popes have led people away from Christ and have set themselves up in Christ's place, as though they were God, and have devoured the flock..."

So you see how Protestants are against the Pope, or more accuratly, they are against what they think the Pope is, because of their love for God. This is why it is the duty of every Catholic to minister not only to Protestants, but to all people of every religion and nation, why we believe what we believe. Christ said He alone is the Way, Truth, and the Life; there is no other religion that can bring men to God. Indeed, outside the Church there is no salvation.

The Pope is needed for tue unity of the Church. Spiritually Christ unites all Christians. For this reason we call Protestants and non-Catholic believers "seperated brethren", even though their religious systems contain heterodox beliefs. Visibly Christ unites us with the Pope. There is one Church, there is one Head Jesus Christ, the King from David, who has left His House in the hands of His steward, the Pope (Is. 22:20). Directly, this verse refers to Christ who is the Chief-Steward and holds the Key (singular); indirectly it refers to the Pope, who holds the keys (plural), which obviously are not the Master Key, which Christ alone has. With the keys the Pope has, he binds and loose that which Christ has already bound and loosed by His lone Key in heaven. The Church, all the Bishops, have the heys indirectly, but the Pope has them directly. The Church, the laymen, have the keys even more indirectly, since "where two or more are gathered in My name I am there also." We bind and loose by prayer, not doctrinal matters, but spiritual matters which involve our personal lives.

No one is bound to like the Pope. He could be the most miserable brutish man on the planet, compared to him Hitler could be a choir-boy. Thankfully, Benedict 16th is far from this description. But if he were a monster, we would still be bound to respect his authority, his position as the Pastor. Any Protestant understands respecting the pastor's role even though the man himself might be a jerk. In the army one can hate the General as a man, but still one is bound to respect his uniform and obey him concerning war-matters. We are bound to obey the Pope when he speaks infallibly concerning Faith and Morals, or when he speaks or practices things which do not contradict God's laws nor the Tradition of the Church. Were Benedict 16th to say Jehovah's Witnesses were true Christians, we would have perfect right to resist that and disagree entirly with him. Examples of this nature can be found throughout Church history too.

If for no other reason, the Pope is needed because the Church needs a Pastor. Every local church has a only stands to reason. Christ is our Head, but our Head is not physically here for now, and so the King has left His steward to mind the place till He returns. When He returns, He will be the visible Head of the Church. The Pope will no longer be needed in that particular role. But by then, we wouldn't need any sheperds in general, I think. After all, the Good Shepherd is omnipresent, even physically. When He returns, we will see Unity as is never seen on the earth before.

Until then, let us look to the Pope as a visible sign of unity, the true Pastor of the Church.

For further reading, please consult these links:

Link 1

Link 2

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Discussion with the Backyard Professor

As I’ve been looking over Michael Hesier’s works, I found myself amazed once again at the total mutilation by Mormon apologists of excellent biblical and historical studies. Kerry Shirts is among the predominant mutilators in this area. Kerry adores Hesier’s work on the Council of the gods, because it seems to fit Mormonism’s doctrine of the Plurality of gods. I’ve got news for you, folks…it doesn’t. Not in the slightest. Kerry would have us assume that Hesier promotes the plurality of gods as Mormonism understands it. However, as we dig deeper into Hesier’s research, the opposite is in fact true. I encourage, as an introduction, a reading of Hesier’s “You've Seen One Elohim, You've Seen Them All? A Critique of Mormonism's Use of Psalm 82” for both Mormon and Christian alike. David E. Bokovoy wrote a response to Hesier’s critique, which was followed up by the last word from Hesier. You can find this at the BYU website. That said, it should be quite clear Hesier’s research does not bring us to the Mormon conclusion of the gods. Joseph Smith never taught what accurate biblical and historical research shows, neither does the whole Mormon Church. So at this time I invite Kerry to close his eyes and scroll down until he thinks he’s reached the end, since Truth does not play a role in his work. For anyone else serious about this study, continue reading.

First, let’s take a look at a little something from Norman Geisler, B.A, M.A., Th.B., and Ph.D in religion,

“What is more, Romans 1 affirms that monotheism preceded animism and polytheism, affirming that "what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator -- who is for ever praised" (Rom. 1:19-25)…” (Primitive Monotheism)

He goes on to say,

“Contrary to popular belief, the primitive religions of Africa unanimously reveal an explicit monotheism. The noted authority on African religions, John S. Mbiti wrote of the 300 traditional religions, "In all these societies, without a single exception, people have a notion of God as the Supreme Being."6 This is true of other primitive religions as well, many of which have a High God or Sky God which reflects a basic monotheism.” (Ibid)

Let it be said here that in Mormonism there is no Supreme Being. Elohim was a man who worshiped his god. Eventually he got glorified. His god was once a man who became glorified, etc, etc, etc. McConkie tells us that the…

“plurality of gods exist . . . there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods." (Mormon Doctrine, (Salt Lake: Bookcraft, 1991), 576-577)

“It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.” (Smith, HC 6:305)

"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).

"Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God. And you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves--to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done--by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power." (Josepj Smith, The King Follet Discourse)

Obviously, from the “Prophet’s” own mouth, the God of this earth is not the Supreme God. So who exactly is this Supreme God in Mormonism? The Mormons don’t know. And if they do, let them declare his name. Their doctrine goes against reason and logic. The law of motion, for instance, alone refutes such a claim. Newton said an object that is not moving will not move until a net force acts upon it. It, motion, is the actuality of a potential. For something to be moved from the potential to the actual is by something in the state of actuality. .... I.E - Fire is actually hot. Wood is potentially hot. Fire makes wood actually hot. The world is actually in motion, and it therefore must be put into motion by something that is actually in motion. Something that puts something else into motion must likewise be put into motion, and that thing must be put into motion, etc. Obviously this cant go on forever, because this means there is not a first mover. Without the First Mover, no other mover can move, because they themselves are being moved.

Bishop Winchester once wrote in 723-24AD, concerning the polytheistic heathens,

"Whence or by whom or when was the first god or goddess begotten? Do they believe that gods and goddesses still beget other gods and goddesses? If they do not, when did this cease and why? If they do, the number of gods must be infinite. In such a case who is the most powerful among these different gods? Surely no mortal can know. Yet men must take care not to offend this god who is more powerful than the rest." (The Correspondence of St. Boniface)

Christendom has never gotten an answer from Mormonism concerning this particular issue, and I doubt Kerry will – or can – give such an answer.

Let’s get back to Geisler. He continues,

“Outside the Bible, the oldest records come from Ebla in Syria. And they reveal a clear monotheism declaring: "Lord of heaven and earth: the earth was not, you created it, the light of day was not, you created it, the morning light you had not [yet] made exist." This lucid statement of monotheism from such early tablets is an evident sign of early monotheism. It alone should lay to rest the idea of an evolved and late monotheism.” (Ibid)

But contrary to history and logic, Mormonism declares that multiples gods formed the worlds and the cosmos. To sum it up, Geisler says that “there is every evidence to believe that monotheism was the first religion.” (Ibid)

Hesier, in “The Divine Council”, tells us,

“Despite the facts that popular Israelite religion *may* have understood Yahweh as having a wife (Asherah; Hess), it **cannot be sustained that the religion of the prophets and biblical writers contained this element or that the idea was permissible**.” (emphasis mine)

This disproves already the Mormon claim that God has a wife, a Heavenly Mother. But Kerry will refrain from giving us that information, since he’ll be eaten up by his own praised scholar. In fact I think it’s insulting the way Kerry uses Hesier for his own devices.

Let Hesier be Hesier,

“In the divine council in Israelite religion, Yahweh was the supreme authority over a divine bureaucracy that included a second tier of lesser elohim (the bene elim, bene elohim, or the bene ha elohim), and a third tier of mal’akim (angels).” (Ibid)

What have I always said? Yahweh Himself is the ultimate Supreme Being and Authority over all the gods! He is their Creator, the First Mover, the one true God.

Hesier continues,

“In the book of Job some members of the council apparently have a mediatory role with respect to human beings…The vice regent slot in the Israelite council represents the most significant difference between Israel’s council and all others. In Israelite religion, this position of authority was not filled by another god, but by Yahweh himself in another form. This “hypostasis” of Yahweh was the same essence as Yahweh but a distinct, second person.” (Ibid)

This is clearly a bolstering piece of evidence for the Deity of Christ as on par with the Father, yet another fact Mormons deny. In Mormonism Yahweh, (or Jehovah) is Jesus Christ only, not God the Father. Hesier and other scholars all know and proclaim that Yahweh is indeed the God worshiped by the Hebrews. In Mormon thought, El – or its plural counterpart Elohim – is the name of the Father.

But Hesier says, “…Yahweh, the God of Israel, is identified with both El and Baal.” (The Concept of a Godhead in Israelite Religion)

But Mormons don’t truly view Our Lord as Yahweh, but instead as a lesser god. McConkie reminds us,

“I shall express the views of the Brethren, of the prophets and apostles of old, and of all those who understand and are in tune with the Holy Spirit.... Everyone who is sound spiritually and who has the guidance of the Holy Spirit will believe my words and follow my counsel.... We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son and we do not worship the Holy Ghost. I know perfectly well what the Scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense -the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator” (Bruce McConkie, "Our Relationship with the Lord," 2 March 1982).

There is no adoration paid to Jesus Christ – but only to the Father. If Christ is Yahweh, He deserves all the adoration man can give. But Mormons fail in this area.

Moving on, Hesier writes,

“Many scholars have concluded that the presence of a divine council in the Hebrew Bible means that Israel’s religion was at one time polytheistic (there are many gods) or henotheistic (there are many gods, but one is preferred) and only later evolved to monotheism. Polytheism and monolatrous henotheism both presume “species sameness” among the gods. Henotheism in particular assumes the possibility of a power struggle for supremacy in the council, where the supreme authority could be displaced if another god defeats or outwits him. This does not reflect orthodox Israelite religious belief.” (The Divine Council)

Mormonism teaches that all men become gods, and will inherit their own worlds, powers, and so on:

"Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (D&C 132:20).

Hesier continues,

“The biblical data indicate that orthodox Israelite religion never considered Yahweh as one among equals or near equals. The biblical writers refer exclusively to Yahweh as “the God” (ha elohim; I Kings 18:39) when that term occurs with respect to a singular entity. Yahweh is the “true God” (elohim emet; Jer 10:10). The assertion points to the belief that, while Yahweh was an elohim, he was qualitatively unique among the elohim. The primary distinguishing characteristic of Yahweh from any other elohim was his pre-existence and creation of all things (Is 45:18), including the “host of heaven” (Ps 33:6; 148:1-5; cf. Neh 9:6), language that at times clearly refers to the other divine beings…Yahweh’s utter uniqueness to all other elohim is monotheism on ancient Semitic terms, and orthodox Israelite religion reflects this at all stages.” (Ibid)

Contrary to what Kerry wants us to believe, Hesier is giving us a clearer picture. Kerry foolishly wants us to believe – as does Satan who gave Smith his inspiration – that all the gods are of the same equal essence and substance. He calls them not ‘gods’, but ‘Gods’, implicitly stating what I just described. The fact is we’ve already seen, as Hesier agrees with me, that only Yahweh Elohim is the Supreme God, and the rest simply gods. But who then are the gods?

Let’s allow Hesier to answer for us,

“The lesser elohim are not merely idols. Deuteronomy 32:17, when understood against a broad view of Deuteronomy’s statements about gods and idols, nullifies this explanation: “They sacrificed to demons (sedim) who are not God (eloah; a singular noun), to gods (elohim) they did not know; new gods that had come along recently, whom your fathers had not reverenced. If the lesser elohim are demons, their existence cannot be denied. One psalmist (Ps 97:7), while mocking the lifeless idols, demands that the lesser elohim worship Yahweh, a puzzling command if there were no such entities.” (Ibid)

The gods are demons; at least, some of them are. The gods in the heavenly council are not Gods as we would understand the term. They cannot create nor act in supremacy over creation, since they are in all fact created beings themselves, created by the un-created Being, Jehovah God Himself. Neither does the biblical text implicitly or explicitly say that these gods know all and see all, but rather show numerous times how they are subject to Yahweh and worship Him alone as the One Supreme God.

Why then does Elohim demand that we worship Him alone? After all, He is one of millions of gods in Mormonism. Why doesn’t He, like His other brother-Gods, worship the Supreme Being, the First Mover that set Him into motion, and why does He not reveal to us who the First Mover is? Or are we sure Elohim is not some rebel god, an enemy of the Supreme Being?

The passage in Isaiah where God says, “Before me no god was formed, neither shall there be after me,” would be more clearly understood to read, “Before me no God was formed, neither shall there be Gods after me.” God makes it all too clear that there will never be any gods of His essence, substance, and authority. He alone is the only One who is Sovereign, and while He calls His ministers ‘gods’, He is clear that they are not Gods. They are gods, but not Gods. Divine because He caused them to be so, and pronounced over them, “I have CALLED you gods…” but they are not worthy of adoration, nor infinite as He is infinite. They had a beginning; He didn’t. They worship Him; He worships no one.

Kerry Shirts also makes use of the Dead Sea Scrolls to support his Mormon doctrine on the gods,

"Here is the newest info on the Dead Sea Scrolls that I think will astonish a lot of you. I found it very enlightening. Not the idiot in the video, but the information he shares - GRIN! It's my new series on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Deification of Humans and the Council of the Gods. It is the top row of videos, but Number one is the next row down and all the way to the left. THey post them backwards for some reason, sigh...... anyway it's in 6 parts and I shall video link them as replies so you can watch one right after another. Just click on the video response for the next one in the series." (Shirts)

I reply thus.

Using the Dead Sea Scrolls to supposedly substantiate the religious beliefs of Mormonism has its fallacies. First, according to Mormonism itself, God's true religion is not truly established upon the earth unless His prophet is there. The Essenes, the keepers and writers of the Scrolls [excluding the biblical texts], did not have God's prophet over them. Among their beliefs and practices, they did many countless ceremonial baptisms for a single individual, which of course the Mormon church doesn't do. Secondly, it's futile to cite non-orthodox sources to substantiate so-called "orthodox" teachings [in this case, the so-called deification of mankind according to the Mormon doctrine]. Orthodox Judaism had their primitive theosis, further developed by ancient Christendom - but this is distinct from apotheosis. How do we know apotheosis isn't in ancient Judaic thought? Because in Isaiah God says there are no Gods like Him, none that are His equal, of His essence or nature or substance. The contrast is found when in the same book when Babylon says, "I am, and there is none else beside me." (Is. 47:8,10). This doesnt mean there are no other cities, but that there are no other cities that are Babylon, either in name, size, power, influence, etc. Likewise, with God, though there be many that are CALLED gods [i.e., Satan, who is the god of this world], they are not ontologically one with El Elyon Yahweh Elohim. Thus when Moses' face shone with glorification, it is not the glorification as found in apotheosis, for this would make Moses ontologically one with God - even as the Pharohs were thought to be the god Osiris after death. Rather, this shows how Moses experienced theosis, a Union with God, a theosis-glorification. This is the same formula for all the OT and Christian saints who have obtained heaven. Fletcher-Lewis seemingly does not draw this distinction, but patristic scholars do. I think it is safe to assume Fletcher-Lewis is not a patristic scholar.

Another thing. I must admit I haven't read in-depth into Fletcher-Lewis' works, but from what I have read it seems to me he is arguing for apotheosis, a view which neither Orthodox Judaism according to Moses, nor the holy fathers of Christendom ever advocated. His interpretation of the biblical glorifications of human beings does not accuratly state the doctrine of glorification as understood by Israel or the Church. Even Mormons do not even regard the works of men who deny the historic validity of the BoM, even showing how the book has no historic validity. In fact, they have excommunicated quite a few BYU professors who, stumbling upon this truth, revealed this in their writings. So why should Christians be expected to believe the findings of men such as Fletcher-Lewis, who attempts to interpret the biblical theosis passages in light of a much later break-away sect from Judaism? In their context, this sect, the Essenes, believed and practiced quite a few things which were contrary to the historic Judaic faith, even though they have at the same time incorrporated many true elements of the same Faith into their religion.

In an attempt to prove the deification of man as taught by Mormonism, Mormons must attempt to prove out of the Bible and the historic Judaic thought, and out of the early Christian thought to make their claims seem at least important enough. But the truth is, no such "facts" exist for the Mormons on this issue. All throughout the Scriptures and Moses' Judaism, through the early Church, we find man's deification in the sense of theosis, not apotheosis. Looking at the sources of break-away sects does more damage to the Mormon view than good.

Let’s stop it here for now, since we have much more to cover. But in closing, let me just ask: If Mormonism’s concept of the gods is incorrect, what is the Christian concept?

Christians see these divine beings as simply that: divine beings. They are marvelous creations of God, but they are not Gods, as Kerry would have us believe. As Christians, we become gods too, but not in the same way that God is God. I encourage the reading of St. Thomas Aquinas concerning this subject, and “Ye Are Gods” by Fr. Michael Azkoul for an Orthodox belief. These explain the Western/Eastern doctrine of Theosis. From OrthodoxWiki:

“Theosis ("deification," "divinization") is the process of a worshiper becoming free of hamártía ("missing the mark"), being united with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in bodily resurrection. For Orthodox Christians, Théōsis (see 2 Pet. 1:4) is salvation. Théōsis assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the all-Holy Trinity. Therefore, an infant or an adult worshiper is saved from the state of unholiness (hamartía — which is not to be confused with hamártēma “sin”) for participation in the Life (zōé, not simply bíos) of the Trinity — which is everlasting.
This is not to be confused with the heretical (apothéōsis) - "Deification in God’s Essence", which is imparticipable.”

Mormonism preaches apotheosis, but Christendom theosis. In fact, the same source takes pains to specify that,

“The doctrine of theosis or deification in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs significantly from the theosis of Orthodox Christianity. The Mormons' belief differs with the Orthodox belief in deification because the Latter-Day Saints believe that the core being of each individual, the "intelligence" which existed before becoming a spirit son or daughter, is uncreated or eternal. Orthodox deification always acknowledges a timeless Creator versus a finite creature who has been glorified by the grace of God. The Mormons are clear promoters of henotheism, and the Church Fathers have absolutely no commonality with their view.”

The Second Response is found in video format here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8