Vatican Says Gays Have ‘Gifts and Qualities to Offer’ – So What?

LGBT-CatholicsRoman Catholic gay rights groups hail the paper titled Relatio as a breakthrough, because it says:

50.        Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony? source

While point 50 is being cited as a revolutionary step forward for Rome, it amounts to babbling incoherent nonsense. Here is the implied argument: 1) Gays have talents and gifts to offer the church; 2) Gays wish the church to welcome them; 3) Therefore, we should guarantee them space in our communities.

Reasoning carefully is important and this line of reason fails. Formally, it is called a non-sequitur (does not follow). Why? It is easy to demonstrated.

All groups of people have gifts but not all groups are consistent with Christianity. Extreme examples make this obvious. For example, predatory pedophile priests like  Fr. Robert Brennan have gifts too but the nature of such sin requires the church to break fellowship, correct? I only use an extreme example to prove that gifting alone is not the basis for acceptance. Even satan worshippers have talents but we do not want to worship with them.  It does not follow that the giftedness of homosexuals (or anyone) demands the church to “make space” for them (whatever that means).  Thus, the logic fails.

The New Testament teaches:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Co 6:9-10)

A Christian cannot “accept and value their sexual orientation” because it is sinful (1 Cor 6:9). This documents reveals that Rome does not understand the Gospel. One joins the true church by acknowledging ones sinfulness and need of the Savior’s redeeming blood. If a homosexual believes the Gospel (1 Cor 15:3-5) acknowledges that such activity is sinful, struggles and resists the proclivity then they are Christian. If they refuse to acknowledge that it is a sin, freely indulge it and ask the church to compromise, then they are in open rebellion no matter what gifts and talents they might offer.

Response to Joseph P. Farrell Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men

I have been reading Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men by Joseph P Farrell. While I am sympathetic to many of his speculations, I was taken aback to read him citing 19th century German Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch. He is famous as an early proponent of the idea that the Genesis narrative were borrowed from the ancient Babylonians. This was expounded in his 1902 lecture, “Babel and Bible.”  Here is the page from Farrell’s book with an illustration from Delitzsch asserting the name Yahweh is found in ancient Sumerian tablets long before the time of Moses.
[i]

In truth Delitzsch is known today as a rabid antisemite that helped to fuel the rise of the Third Reich.[ii] His attitude toward the Hebrew Bible is laid bare in this quote from a later book:

The so-called “Old Testament” is entirely dispensable for the Christian church, and thereby also for the Christian family. It would be a great deal better for us to immerse ourselves from time to time in the deep thoughts, which our German intellectual heroes have thought concerning God, eternity, and immortality.[ii]

Delitzsch’s vitriol is characteristic of the prevailing antisemtism in Germany during that era. As to his assertion that the name Yahweh is nothing special, it is no longer seriously entertained by scholars.

Delitzsch (1850-1922) was one of the early pioneers of ancient near eastern scholarship. At that time, there was a new field called Assyriology dealing with the newly discovered cuneiform tablets. Of course knowledge has advanced greatly since that time. Today the language of the Assyians and Babylonians is referred to as Akkadian. Delitzsch  was soundly criticized by other German scholars during his day[iv] and as linguistic studies have advanced, scholars dismiss his assertions as extremely doubtful.[v]  Most lexicons assert, “No certain etymology of the divine name can be offered.” [vi]

This information is widely available in any good Hebrew lexicon, which begs the question of why Farrell is promoting  discredited19th century scholarship with absolutely no criticism offered? I asked Semitics scholar Dr. Michael Heiser for his opinion and he wrote, “No one should be taking Farrell seriously on biblical studies. His field is Patristics. He’s perpetuating outdated and refuted scholarship in a different field – Semitics. Yes, you can quote me.”[vii] ANE languages scholar Dr. Michael Brown handled this question at 1:01:39 in his August 24, 2012 radio show here.

I am still reading the book but this uncritical use of long debunked scholarship sends up red flags.

 

 

 

[i] Joseph P. Farrell, Genes, Giants, Monsters, and Men: The Surviving Elites of the Cosmic War and Their Hidden Agenda (Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2011), 21.

[ii] see: http://www.michaelsheiser.com/PaleoBabble/BabelBibelBias.pdf

[iii] Friedrich Delitzsch, Die Grosse Täuschung (The Great Deception) as quoted in Arnold and Weisberg, “Babel und Bibel und Bias” Bible Review 18:01.

[iv] see: http://www.logosapologia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Driver-Studia-Biblica-1885-Tetragrammaton.pdf

[v] Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 218.

[vi] Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann, Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997), 522–523.

[vii] Personal email 8/4/2014

Gnostic Christian – A Blatant Oxymoron

the-gnostic-soul-universeI have a confused commenter on my facebook wall who claims to be a “gnostic Christian.”  He was commenting on my link to Dr Peter Jones’ The Errors of Gnostic Texts. Many times I have pointed out to him that “gnostic-Christian” is an oxymoron because there is a contradiction with gnosticism holding that the creator God of the Old testament, Yahweh, is the evil demiurge. The same God that Jesus worshiped and quoted as the Father.

Astoundingly, this “gnostic” wants to have his cake and eat it too because he will argue that he follows Jesus while still calling Yahweh the evil demiurge. I cited instances of Jesus quoting the OT to no avail, he always twists the text to support his conclusion.  It’s so absurd that it is hard to know where to start but this evening I found the passage that ends the discussion.  When an expert in the law tried to trap Jesus he asked him for the greatest commandment:

“And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”(Mt 22:35–40)

Jesus is quoting directly from the book of Deuteronomy.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”(Dt 6:5)

Where the English translation reads LORD, the Hebrew text reads  יהוה Yhvh  or Yahweh.  So Jesus taught the greatest commandment is to LOVE YAHWEH.  It is not possible to be a gnostic and a Christian.

 

 

More Obfuscation from Ashcraft…

Mr. 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.

Would Mr. 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.”[i]

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.”[ii]

Unfortunately, the Roman system encourages and invites perversion. While we already covered Pope Benedict XVI’s role in covering up and protecting the pedophiles, here we offer some explanation. Number one, it is important to note that no one starts out as a pedophile. Pedophilia is at the end of a long-term addiction which continuously escalates requiring more and more bizarre perversions to titillate and satisfy. The problem for Rome is that it will never stop because enslavement to sexual sin is inherent in the design of the priesthood.

Priests are forced into the impossible (for most) demand of lifetime celibacy. The vast majority, of course, fail in one form or another. In regard to sexual desire, Paul also taught, “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Co 7:9). But the celibacy rule makes it much easier to sin. If he commits a sexual sin like fornication, all that is required for absolution is confession to a fellow priest(s). All he has to do is tell one of his peers. It is easy to imagine a tit-for-tat arrangement: you forgive me of mine, I’ll forgive you of yours. However, if a priest were to engage in the only God-ordained means for sexual fulfillment—that is, within the bounds of a marriage covenant—then he is in big trouble.

In fact, the only way to get absolution for getting married is directly from the pope. If they do not get absolution, they believe they will suffer in hell. Can you see how they are virtually enslaved into a world of sinful, sexual pursuit? If they fornicate, they can easily gain absolution. If they marry, they risk excommunication. In this way, the system encourages them to pursue illegitimate perversions outside of God’s design. It is no wonder that Catholics with sexual attraction disorders flock to the seminaries. Because the homosexual issue is demonstrably nothing new, Ashcraft’s excuse amounts to so much special pleading.

Even unaccredited theology programs like Columbia Evangelical Seminary allow themselves to be accountable to the public. Unlike Ashcraft’s mystery school, transparency is indicative of holding high standards. Ashcraft has still failed to account for his listed degree. 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.

His argumentation is full of double speak. If formal then where? If via mentor then why create a fictional St. Sergius Seminary? If he is not looking for worldly recognition, then why list the faux credentials on a public profile?

 

[i] Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, 1st American ed. (New York, NY: Crown, 1988), 47.

[ii]John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Institutes of the Christian Religion, electronic ed., IV, xii (Garland, TX: Galaxie Software, 1999). 23.

Who Is Father Ashcraft?

mystery ManAccording to his website The Bare Fisted Cleric, “Fr. Ashcraft is a sedevacantist Byzantine Catholic priest and an independent author addressing topics in the realm of the Paranormal, Historical and Religious Mysteries, Cults, The Occult, Exorcism, Demonology, and Eschatology. He has been called ‘the Malachi Martin of the 21st century.’” That is a pretty tall claim. Malachi Martin held three PhDs  (in Semitic languages, archeology, and Oriental history), was an officially ordained exorcist and an adviser the three popes. Is Father Ashcraft really qualified as an expert in such matters? It seems dubious at best.

On his LinkedIn page, Ashcraft claims an earned Doctorate of Divinity from St. Sergius seminary where he allegedly attended from 1999 until 2009. Interestingly, an internet search  lists only one legitimate Christian theological institution going by that name: Institut de théologie orthodoxe Saint-Serge (St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute) in Paris, France.  Impressive credentials indeed… Giving Ashcraft the benefit of a doubt, I wrote them and they responded:

Dear Mr. Putnam,

Here at St. Sergius Theological Institut we have never heard of Father —- Ashcraft.

Sincerely,

Secrétariat de l’Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge

(email to author dated June 25, 2014)

So now we have a mystery that no one but Ashcraft can solve. Yet, he refuses to identify the school. In the interest of fairness, I emailed to ask but he refused to give me a straight answer.

Your opinion of my credentials or lack thereof means absolutely nothing to either myself or the other clergy with whom I am associated. You see, we don’t seek your approval. We’re trying to serve Christ, not man. For someone who eschews sacerdotal titles, seeing them as some attempt to elevate oneself above others, you certainly cling to a form of that very sin yourself in your appeal to your educational titles and/or achievements. (personal email 6/28/204)

But Ashcraft’s claimed Doctorate is the same sin he is accusing me of, especially if it is not a legitimate degree. It might even be illegal. According to About.com, “In some states, using a diploma mill degree is actually illegal. In many cases, using such a degree to get a job, promote your business, or enhance your resume is punishable with a fine or even jail time.” Since I am still paying off my student loans, I take exception to phony credentials. 

Ashcraft sure seems to be hiding something because he even threatened to file criminal harassment charges when I pressed him to identify the school.  If he really held a Doctorate of Divinity it seems like it would be much easier to just to identify the school. I can’t conclude for certain if his credentials are valid, from a diploma mill, or made up out of whole cloth… but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it’s probably a duck.