Think Before You Convert

Originally written in 2004; has become one of the most popular stops on this site.  At the time I was unaware of the many "variations on a theme" (such as Anglican Use) and we've had two changes in Pontiff, which has brought some new possibilities.  Yet I think that most of this is still relevant to the decision making processes that people are going through when they consider "swimming the Tiber."

Many years ago, I made a trip to Pennsylvania for my family business. My mission was to visit Bethlehem Steel, who was making a large piston-rod for our pile drivers (like the one shown at the left in the lathe.) As they turned it to the appointed size on their lathe, they cut it too small. My job was to inspect the damage and approve their proposed repair.

After visiting the shop and seeing the damage, I went to their office. We unrolled the drawing that we had sent them. Their quality assurance people had stamped on the drawing a big stamp with the following words: “THINK BEFORE YOU CUT.” I couldn’t resist pointing this out to Bethlehem’s people; evidently someone in the shop hadn’t noticed this. (I did approve their repair and it worked fine.)

Today, in the chaos of the Anglican Communion(s), many parishioners and priests are seriously considering conversion to Roman Catholicism. This has been a loud siren song to Anglicans ever since the Oxford Movement. I can sympathise with this: I did it myself. The problem of liberalism in the Episcopal Church has been going on for a long time and Roman Catholicism is an inviting solution to that problem.

Although I believe that God was in my decision to convert, and used that decision to further my Christian walk in ways I did not imagine at the start, experience has been a stern schoolmaster. There are many pluses and minuses for anyone coming from an Anglican background to become a Roman Catholic; what appears below isn’t meant to bash anyone, but to put some things forth that you may not have thought about. (It’s not an exhaustive list either.) My only exhortation is like that to the machinists in the Bethlehem Steel shop: THINK BEFORE YOU CONVERT.

The Pluses:

  • Strong Intellectual and Cultural Tradition. The Roman Catholic church has the strongest intellectual tradition in Christianity; there is none to match it anywhere else. Any church that can produce thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, Pascal, Augustine, and yes even Jerome must have something going for it. The cultural tradition is equally deep, in all of the art forms with the likes of Dante and Raphael. This is a strong draw for many.
  • Broad Ethnic and Socio-Economic Reach. Roman Catholicism deserves the designation of “catholic” because it is truly encompasses so many groups of people. This is especially interesting for Episcopalians because, as noted elsewhere on this site, the rhetoric about being “inclusive” frequently runs out of gas. (The liberals are getting an expensive lesson in real “diversity” from the Africans these days!) When he visited my first Catholic parish, my brother noted that there were people there who actually looked like they had “worked with their hands” for a living. Also, traditional Catholics have a humility about them that so many of the rest of us could stand to emulate (their marriages stay together better, too.)
  • Solid Eucharistic Theology. The Catholics have the best (not necessarily perfect) theology of the Lord’s Supper of anyone. The Bible simply doesn’t support a purely symbolic Eucharist.
  • Strong Apostolic Succession. The Catholic church has a better documented continuity of apostolic succession than anyone else. The issue of Petrine succession underscores this.
  • Well Thought Out Liturgy. Doctrinal difficulties noted, the Catholic liturgy is well thought out and succinct, and when performed properly is of great beauty.  (Well, in English, it was until they messed up the translation…)

The Minuses:

  • Authoritarian Structure. This is a common gripe of non-Catholics. Roman Catholicism invented the reduced role of the laity, which has been sadly reproduced elsewhere. But there are some other implications of this that most people don’t think about:
    • Catholic parishes have even less autonomy than their Episcopal counterparts. Freedom to pursue an agenda (be it “traditional” liturgies, Charismatic renewal, etc.) that isn’t popular at the diocesan level can get “cut off at the pass” in a hurry.
    • The current conservatism of Roman Catholicism is largely a product of Pope John Paul II. The forces of liberalism in “first world” Roman Catholicism are stronger than most people realise. Had his election gone another way, their response to, say, Gene Robinson’s elevation would have been entirely different. Although John Paul has stacked the College of Cardinals with conservatives, as with Supreme Court nominees, anything can happen with a new Pope.
  • The “Article 32” Problem. Although not a cure-all to the child abuse woes, the celibate priesthood is in reality a disaster.
  • The Sacrifice of the Mass. The Catholic view of the Mass as a sacrifice–which is tied up with their view of the church–is unbiblical. (So is their view of the church.) The Anglican emphasis on the “once offered” sacrifice is Biblical.
  • An Aversion to Enthusiasm: “Via Media” Anglicanism has its own brand of this, but Roman Catholicism, from Joan of Arc to the Jansenists, has an ingrained aversion to any kind of real “sold out to God” kind of commitment on the part of its laity, and to some extent on its religious too. This is a product of institutionalism, which sees this as a threat. The problem with this is simple: in these anti-Christian days, people in the middle of the road get run over.

If I Were an Archbishop…

One thing that gets kicked around in Anglican circles is the idea of an “Anglican Rite” within Roman Catholicism. (That shouldn’t be confused with the existing “Anglican Use” that one does find in the American Catholic church.) From a Roman Catholic viewpoint, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, and if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t pursue it for the following reasons:

  • The Maronite and Byzantine Rites came from Eastern Churches with independent apostolic succession. Anglicanism, like the Confederacy, seceded from Roman Catholicism. That’s why they don’t really accept the apostolic succession of Anglican orders. (what that has to do with apostolic succession is hard to understand.)
  • The Episcopal Church has shown a real talent in shedding membership. Why go to the trouble of setting up another rite when you can just wait and pick up the pieces on your own terms?
  • The existence of a married clergy in any “Anglican Rite” would create serious problems with the rest of the church.

Some Parting Thoughts

Anglicanism is in many ways the greatest lost opportunity in Christianity. It was started with the idea of restoring the Church to a sound Biblical-Patristic base while including the apostolic succession and liturgy–in effect, “having it all.” Things got sidetracked in the “Roundhead-Cavalier” struggles of the seventeenth century, and Anglican churches too often cater to people whose first desire in their relationship with God is to limit it. The liberals have used this to their advantage and now the bitter fruit of that has come full circle.

Growing up Episcopalian, I always got the impression that the church had a gut lack of confidence in the validity of its own sacraments and the value of its own doctrine. But in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the preface for Whitsuntide reads as follows:

Through Jesus Christ our Lord; according to whose most true promise, the Holy Ghost came down as at this time from heaven with a sudden great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the Apostles, to teach them, and to lead them to all truth; giving them both the gift of divers languages, and also boldness with fervent zeal constantly to preach the Gospel to all nations; whereby we have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of thee, and of thy Son Jesus Christ.

If we have the apostolic succession, the apostles’ teaching, and the power of the Holy Spirit, what else do we need?

Update: Note to my Roman Catholic friends

As you can see in the comments below, I get many comments from Roman Catholics on some of the things I say here.  My only request is this: before you comment away, take a look at one or more of the following:

I enjoy the dialogue, but make a stab at least at understanding my position before initiating it.

63 Replies to “Think Before You Convert”

  1. Thankyou for such a well thought out and clear article- I think you raise a great deal of interesting points, although much of what you say strikes this putative convert as rather a matter of opinion! The reduced role of the laity and the strong institutional nature of the Catholic Church strike me as two definite pluses, rather than minuses, probably because I’m highly suspicious of enthusiasm and worry that emphasis on personal readings of the Bible rather than an authoritative tradition can lead to all sorts of trouble. On the other hand, I struggle strongly with the eucharistic tradition you cite as a plus…

  2. The fact, James, that you cite my negatives as positives and e converso (to use a good Aquinan phrase) positives as negatives tells me that you basically like the list, but would rather rearrange it.

    No one goes through the conversion/church change process as much as I have without forming some opinions along the way.

  3. Yes, I think it’s a good list, and again thanks for the time and trouble you’ve taken to arrange it- my comment wasn’t really meant as a criticism, rather a friendly contribution.

  4. This is a really good, concise article. I’ve swum the Tiber, crossed the Channel & forded the Thames to Canterbury. I wouldn’t trade having been raised & educated as a Catholic for anything. Theology, liturgy, liturgical music, spirituality have all been a lateral transfer for me. However, I really appreciate having men AND women as priests & deacons; this inclusiveness lends the Episcopal (Anglican) church a richness that Catholicism has yet to offer. And, yes, the American Episcopal church is experiencing some definite upheaval. May Katharine Jefferts Schori, Rowan Williams & Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) work well in their somewhat overlapping spheres.

  5. I suggest strongly that you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Our Saviour did sacrifice Himself once on the cross, but also on the night of the last supper, made a new covenant which is Himself, in the sacrifice of His Sacred body and blood, this is a perpetual sacrifice, ever present till the end of time when he will come in glory to judge the living and the dead.
    Pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you, in all humility and with a real desire to know the truth about our Saviour and the reason he came into time and space from eternity.
    To actively deny the holy sacrifice of the Mass and worse to put it down in words to wrongly inform others is a grave matter, i leave it with you, my advice is get praying.

  6. You should know that an Anglican Rite that would allow married priests does not cause serious problems, because Eastern Catholic priests can indeed marry and priests converting stay married, obviously. The celibacy of priesthood is not a dogma, but a tradition.

  7. First, xave, one should never underestimate the power of tradition on Roman Catholicism.

    Second, the RCC didn’t create an Anglican Rite but an Apostolic Constitution, which gives local bishops more authority over the formation of these “Anglo-Catholic enclaves.” If anything hinders the progress of this outreach from the standpoint of the RCC, it will be this.

    Third, Eastern Rite churches are primarily aimed at certain ethnic groups, so they don’t pose as much of a threat in the general population as, say, an Anglo-Catholic parish in the RCC. (This is a battle Orthodox churches have dealt with in their outreach, with varying results.)

    There is still a jealousy/morale issue that the RCC will have to deal with–and deal with carefully–with its existing celibate priests. And that’s significant.

  8. Loved your article, and as a member of the second (or third ) biggest Rite (the Syro Malabar Catholic Church) in the Catholic Church, I would love to see an Anglican Rite. The Syro Malankara Church is a different rite. In the Syro Malabar Catholic Church all our priests remain celibate whereas in the Syro Malankara Catholic Church married men can become priests but priests cannot marry. (Married men who are priests cannot become bishops either.) Both rites are also in the same ethnic group the Malayalees.

  9. Your list of “pluses” are, I feel, most compelling while the list of “minuses” identify not significant issues of orthodozy and the necessity of Apostolic Succession” but instead somewhat lessor issues of local or individual preferences. Wether ones church is “right” is far more important than whether ones church is “doing things right for my comfort level”.

    1. I wouldn’t characterise the issue of the “sacrifice of the Mass” as insignificant.

      As far as the issue of the role of the laity is concerned, that speaks to the whole concept of why we as Christians are here and how we have been called into the church. Those are existential issues.

      I find that most Roman Catholic apologists emphasise authority as the leitmotif of the life of the church. This is understandable; continuity of authority and the consistency of the theory is the raison d’être of Roman Catholicism. It is also the source of many of the RCC’s problems as well. What bothers me is that evangelicals in the U.S. have acquired the same obsession with authority, and will end up with the same unsatisfactory result:

      http://www.vulcanhammer.org/2007/12/07/authority-and-evangelical-churches/

  10. Your fear that others will “aquire the same obsession with authority” as the CC seems to equate to fear of that authority she claims (where there is a vaccum everywhere else) which has been the source for the great “draw” she exerts on those who would convert and also responsible for the great strides she has made over the centuries in becoming and maintaining her status as the “elephant in the room” of Christianity.

    Your statement that “the concept of the sacrafice of the mass” is “unbibical” is not of course shared by Catholics and therefore the issue is insignificant – to them. For an Anglican “considering conversion” that “hurdle” seems no more significant than many other Catholic doctines not shared by the “Protestant” Angican Church. With all due respect – my opinions are sorely my own.

  11. You’re correct, Edmund, that the whole business of authority is an appeal of the RCC. That’s terrific until some of us discovered that there’s more to Christianity than the exercise of authority on the earth. Like I said in the article I linked to: the day I make human authority #1 is the day I’m going back to the RCC.

    And you’re also right that the concept of the “sacrifice of the Mass” isn’t an issue for most Roman Catholics. That’s because they either a) agree with the concept or b) don’t understand it. Never underestimate the ignorance of Catholic theology by the faithful; that was one important lesson from eight years as a Roman Catholic.

    But for Anglicans who are thinking about “swimming the Tiber,” issues such as this one and others I raised (and some I didn’t,) insignificant as they may seem to you, are the kinds of “make or break” issues that will determine whether individuals will take the Holy Father up on his offer or not.

  12. The Sacrifice of the Mass. The Catholic view of the Mass as a sacrifice–which is tied up with their view of the church–is unbiblical. (So is their view of the church.) The Anglican emphasis on the “once offered” sacrifice is Biblical.
    Read John 6 and see if you can identify “The Mass” here or what you subscribe to?

    1. Higgins, I’m not exactly sure what you’re getting at.

      John 6–the “great Eucharistic discourse” in Catholic parlance–deals with Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. This is something I’ve affirmed repeatedly on this site, most recently in this piece. The matter of the Mass as a sacrifice is not unrelated to the real presence but is not identical.

  13. What, for you, is the pillar and foundation of the truth? And who is the final arbiter of truth?

    According to Scott Hahn, an Evangelical convert to Roman Catholicism: “Ever since the Reformation, over twenty-five thousand different Protestant denominations have come into existence. . . Every single one of them claims to be following the Holy Spirit and the plain meaning of Scripture.”

    If you and I disagree on certain Bible verses, whose interpretations are we to go by?

    On my next comment, I will share with you Bible verses on the Eucharist. And why the Catholic Church will cease to exist; if you take away the Eucharist. Hopefully, you will see in the Roman Catholic Church what Saint Thomas More did. Thank you.

  14. The Eucharist (from The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1322-1419)

    In the Old Testament, as they prepared for their journey in the wilderness, God commanded his people to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts, so the Angel of Death would pass by their homes. Then they ate the lamb to seal their covenant with God.

    This lamb prefigured Jesus. He is the real “Lamb of God, “ who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Through Jesus we enter into a New Covenant with God (Luke 22:20), who protects us from eternal death. God’s Old Testament people ate the Passover lamb.

    The Apostles and the early Christians understood the words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper as He really meant them – that is, in the literal sense. (1 Cor. 10:16) St. Paul referring to the drinking of the consecrated wine, which was common in those days, and the eating of the consecrated bread says, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?”

    Lest there be any doubt that he was referring to Holy Communion as the real and actual Body and Blood of Christ, he says “ Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord . . . For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the Body eats and drinks judgment upon himself” (1 Cor. 11:27-29).

    Now we must eat the Lamb that is the Eucharist. Jesus said, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life within you” (John 6:53). At the Last Supper he took bread and wine and said, Take and eat. This is my body (not this is a symbol of my body) . . .This is my blood (not this represents my blood) which will be shed for you” (Mark 14:22-24). In this way Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrificial meal Catholics consume at each Mass.

    The Catholic Church teaches that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross occurred “once for all.” It cannot be repeated (Heb. 9:28). Christ does not “die again” during Mass, but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar. That’s why the Mass is not “another” sacrifice, but a participation in the same, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

    After the consecration of the bread and wine, no bread or wine remains on the altar. Only Jesus himself, under the appearance of bread and wine, remains.

    “It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). The fact that Jesus said ‘spirit and life’ does not mean he was speaking symbolically for nowhere in Scripture do we find a single example where “spiritual” means metaphorical or symbolic.

    In response to the Jews’ grumbling about his talk of “eating his flesh and drinking his blood:

    Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever. ” (John 6:52-59). He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

    “I solemnly assure you . . .my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink” (John 6:53,55). Scripture says his teaching was so difficult for some that many of them “returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” (John6:66). When this occurred, Jesus didn’t say, “Wait, folks! You misunderstood. I just meant you have to come to me and believe in me as your personal Lord and Savior. You don’t think I really meant you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood, do you?” No. Jesus let them leave and then turned to his disciples and said, “Do you also want to leave?” (John6:67). Peter answers for all who believe the Lord’s teaching: “Master to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the holy one of God” (John 6:68-69).

    Cross the Tiber and come home to the Roman Catholic Church. Tony Blair and John Cardinal Newman did. Hope you will too.

  15. It’s taken me 12 years to realise I made a mistake converting to R.C.I enjoyed reading all these comments-very dogmatic like I used to be.Controlling theology seems to be an obsession for Rome.Why can’t they just say some things are ‘mysteries’ like the orthodox church does(the real prescence).
    I’ve decided to return to Anglicanism.Oh, another thing-every R.C. document seems to be full of Marian prayers.It gives me the creeps.

  16. Raised born again evangelical Catholic -eventually converted to Reformed Episcopal/Anglican after marriage to a protestant. I could go back to being a Catholic, but only if the parish was right. The Catholic church is like much of the world, it isn’t all in the law, it’s in the enforcing. Therefore you will find in one denomination a microcosm of the entire rest of the body of Christ from left wing feminist pro-choice nuns to tongue speaking charismatics. They all are allowed a quiet corner to hide in the “don’t ask- don’t tell” world of American Catholicism.
    It’s only those of us with theological, biblical and catechistic leanings who trouble ourselves, never even realizing who has snuck in under the tent with us.

  17. Everyone should consider converting to the Episcopal Church. Then they will not subject their families to the hands of the Catholic child molesters when all the Catholic Church does is transfer their priests around to repeat their crimes and keep the business going.

    Do not forget, God is a liberal God.

  18. Anglican Orders Null and Void – enough for me to swim to the Church of Christ’s One, Ho;y, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  19. Anglican Orders Null and Void – enough for me to swim to the Church of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  20. How could a non-Christian be born again?

    Should a person use only one verse to conclude messages that God intends for us? Let’s meditate Matthew 5:9 as follows: Matthew 5:9, “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. As the word, peacemakers, is mentioned in Matthew 5:9 with the phrase, the children of God, a false message could come about that as long as a person, whether he is a believer or not, declares peace in this world, he or she could be considered as a child of God or a Christian. Thus, using a verse to conclude God’s message is erroneous.

    Examples to prove that not all the people, that proclaim to believe in Jesus, will automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit:
    1) Acts 19:1-2, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” The phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:1-2 implies that not all the people, that believe in Jesus, would automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit or else it would not justifiable for Acts 19:1-2 to enquire whether these people had received the Holy Spirit at the time of their believes with the assumption that the Holy Spirit would automatically be granted at the time when they began to believe.
    2) Acts 8:14-17, “…Samaria HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD,….when they were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.). Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” As the phrase, received the word of God, is mentioned in Acts 8:14-17 with the phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, it implies that believing in Jesus does not imply a person would receive the Holy Spirit automatically unless requesting it.
    3) Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” The phrase, every one that saith unto me Lord Lord, in Matthew 7:21 refers undoubtedly to those people that believe in Jesus since they call Jesus to be their Lord. Would these believers be accepted by the Lord? No, they will not be accepted by the Lord since Matthew 7:23, “(mentions that) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” As these people, that call Jesus as Lord, could be rejected by Him in the last days, it implies that not all, that believe in Jesus to be their Lord, are Christians.
    Is it irrational to use Matthew 7:21-23 to jump into conclusion that Christians would lose salvation since 1 Corinth 3:12 opposes it? The following is the extract:
    1 Corinthians 3:12-15, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. IF ANY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.”
    As proved above that Matthew 7:21 should not be applicable to backsliders since Christians would never lose their salvation, the only possible reason to think of and that is those people that are mentioned in Matthew 7:21 that proclaim Jesus to be Lord are not Christians at all.
    The same is supported in Luke 13:24-25 that many believe in Jesus and yet not many are saved. The following is the extract:
    Luke 13:24-25, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: FOR MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK TO ENTER IN, AND SHALL NOT BE ABLE. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT WHENCE YE ARE:” The same is mentioned in Matthew 22:14, “(that) For many are called, but few [are] chosen.”
    Some Christians might use the two criminals that hung on the cross as an excuse for not requesting the receipt of the Holy Spirit. They have to bear in mind that Jesus had not resurrected yet at that time and the criminals did confess that they were sinners too. Besides, one of the criminals did not reject when Jesus called him to follow Him to be with Him in the paradise. Do you find this to be his acceptance of Jesus for his confession when he agreed to be with the Lord to be in the paradise without opposing Him?

    Should a Christian declare that faith alone could save a person without accompanying with any action? James 2:21-24, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. YE SEE THEN HOW THAT BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY.” The same is mentioned in James 2:18-19, “(that) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: SHEW ME THY FAITH WITHOUT THY WORKS, AND I WILL SHEW THEE MY FAITH BY WORKS. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

    Should a non-Christian repent for their sins or should he or she declare to believe in Jesus and yet worship Buddha simultaneously? John the Baptist went before Jesus to declare repentance and this shows that repentance is significant for Christianity’s conversion. James 1:21, “(even mentions that) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” As the phrase, lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, is mentioned in James 1:21 prior to the phrase, receive…the engrafted word, it implies the significance of repentance prior to receiving Jesus as his or her Personal Saviour.

    Why should a non-Christian confess sin? 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” As the phrase, we say that we have no sin, is mentioned in 1 John 1:8 with the phrase, the truth is not in us, it implies that non-Christians would not have God’s truth with them if they declare that they are not sinners. As God’s truth is not with non-Christians if they do not confess that they are sinners before God, there is a query whether God would dwell within their bodies at the absence of biblical truth in them. Thus, it is a must for non-Christians to declare before God to be sinners to seek His forgiveness. The absolute promise of God for those who confess their sins before Him and that is: 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    Repentance and confession are significant to non-Christians for their receipts of the Holy Spirit since John 9:31, “(mentions that)…God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” The phrase, God heareth not sinners, in John 9:31 implies God’s rejection of those non-Christians that insist not to repent and continuing in worshipping Buddha and the insisting that they are not sinners before God. These people would have their prayers to be in vain even if they declare to believe Jesus Christ and Buddha at the same time. The phrase, God heareth not sinners, in John 9:31 implies purity is significant for non-Christians’ conversions and prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit and that is why it demands non-Christians to repent and to confess their sins before God to have their sins to be cleansed for purity. Thus, it is significant for all the people that declare to believe in Jesus Christ to have their sins to confess before God especially Psalms 5:4, “(mentions that) For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Psalms 5:4 seems to highlight to us that God would not dwell among non-Christians if sins are with them. For this reason, it is advisable for all the people that declare to believe in Jesus Christ to confess their sins before God so as to have their sins to be cleansed with purity for God’s dwelling.

    Did the Gospel highlight to us to request for the Holy Spirit? The following are the extracted verses to prove that Jesus and even His disciples did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit:
    1) John 4:10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; THOU WOULDEST HAVE ASKED OF HIM, and he would have given thee living water.” The phrase, have asked of him, in John 4:10 has stressed the significance of the request for the Holy Spirit.
    2) John 6:32-34, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. THEN SAID THEY UNTO HIM, LORD EVERMORE GIVE US THIS BREAD.” The phrase, Then said they unto him Lord evermore give us this bread, in John 6:34 is another proof that Jesus’ disciples did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. However, their requests could only be fulfilled until after Jesus’ resurrection in the Calvary.
    3) Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
    From the above extracts, these give an absolute certainty that a person could receive the Holy Spirit through requesting for the receipt of it.
    Bear in mind that Romans 8:9, “(mentions that)…if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” As the phrase, any man have not the Spirit of Christ, is mentioned in Romans 8:9 with the phrase, he is none of his, it implies that those people, that do not have the Holy Spirit/Jesus Christ with them, are not considered to be Christians at all.
    Assurance from God that we will receive the Holy Spirit when we ask from Him: Luke 11:10, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” The same is supported in Mark 11:24, “(that) Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].”

    Romans 10:9, “(mentions) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” This verse implies that our faith should be grounded upon the resurrection of Jesus. Muslims too believe in Jesus, but they reject the resurrection of Jesus. However, Romans 10:9 demands not only to confess Jesus but also to believe He has been resurrected.

    Sinner’s prayer has met the requisition of the confession since it demands non-Christians to confess themselves before God of their believes in the name of Lord Jesus Christ. It demands also the non-Christians to acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus and that meets the requirement of Romans 10:9. Not only that, it requires non-Christians to confess their sins before God for purification and also to express their needs for Jesus Christ to be their Personal Saviour. One should bear in mind that God will deny those people that believe in Jesus and yet refuse to proclaim the name of Jesus. The following are the extracts:
    1) Luke 9:26, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
    2) Luke 12:8-9, “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”
    3) Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”

    There should not be any worry if a person does not have confidence whether he has received the Holy Spirit before, he should not hesitate but to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since spiritual baptism only takes effect once. Once a person has received the Holy Spirit, he would not receive any more in the future since Ephesians 4:5, “(mentions that) One Lord, one faith, one baptism”. The phrase, one baptism, in Ephesians 4:5 implies one spiritual baptism instead of more than once.

    Now, let’s meditate Matthew 5:9 again: Matthew 5:9, “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. As we know once a person receives Jesus Christ to be His Personal Saviour, his spiritual fruits will grow and these include peace in God and that is why Jesus mentions Matthew 5:9 to be appropriate since Christians would have their spiritual fruits to grow and these include peace, one of the spiritual fruits (John 15:5).

  21. If one accepts that Jesus established His church on earth, (and the bible says church–not churches), and if one believes that Peter is the rock then it’s only logical to see that this church is the Catholic Church. And in Timothy, Paul says that “the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth”. If Jesus established a church on earth and this church is the foundation of the truth, then ALL that this church teaches comes from Jesus Christ himself. We either believe it or don’t. We cannot pick and choose what is truth for we are at times illogical and of course, fallible creatures. We cannot understand the mind of God, but only catch glimpses here on eartth.
    And as for the mass being a sacrifice—read ALL the church Fathers and they say the same thing. The Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. Christ sacrificed his body for us all and his body went through death and resurrection. That’s what we partake of as Catholics.

  22. DOES THE BOOK OF ACTS SUPPORT THAT BELIEVING IN JESUS ATTRACTS IMMEDIATE RECEIPT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

    1} Let’s meditate Acts 22:12-16 below:

    Acts 22:12-16, “And one Ananias…came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive they sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and washed away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

    From the above verses, it is easily to spot out that nothing is mentioned whether Saul had repented from sinning in persecuting Christians or he had confessed his sin or he had believed in Jesus or the Holy Spirit had come to him except the phrase, be baptized and washed away thy sins. Despite nothing is mentioned that is pertaining to the above factors that contributed to his salvation, it is irrational to conclude that he needed not to exercise any of these elements prior to his salvation. Similarly, it is irrational to conclude that he did not request for the Holy Spirit just simply giving the explanation that the above verses do not mention it. As the phrase, washed away thy sins, is mentioned in Acts 22:10 with the phrase, be baptized, it implies that baptism in the past was accompanied with sin cleansing.

    2} Let’s meditate Acts 8:14-17 below:

    Acts 8:14-17, “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM,, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”

    Nothing is mentioned in Acts 8:14-17 that the Samaria had believed the word of God except the phrase, had received. It is erroneous to use these verses to support that salvation could come about simply by receiving the word of God instead of believing. Thus, the absence of certain factors, such as, repentance of sin; confession of sin; and the requesting for the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14-17, do not give any strong proof that they did not exercise prior to their conversion to Christianity. The phrase, had received, in Acts 8:14 implies that Samaria should have believed in Jesus at that time. Did they receive the Holy Spirit immediately after believing? No, they did not receive the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14 until Acts 8:17, “(that mentions that)…laid they their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost.” As there is an obvious gap between Acts 8:14 and Acts 8:17 in which they believed and yet the Holy Spirit was not with them, it implies that believing does not attract the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. As the phrase, prayed for them, is mentioned in Acts 8:15 with the phrase, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, it implies that requesting for the receipt of the Holy Spirit is acceptable from the Scriptural point of view. As praying with the receipt of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:15 should be associated with baptism, it implies baptism in the past should be accompanied with also praying with the receipt of the Holy Spirit in addition to sin cleansing as mentioned in Acts 22:10.

    3} The apostles were told to Acts 1:4-5, “…be…assembled together…(and) should not depart from Jerusalem…(so as to) be baptized with Holy Ghost…” Did these apostles ask for the receipt of the Holy Ghost? In order to tackle this question, let’s meditate John 6:32-34 as below: John 6:32-34, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. THEN SAID THEY UNTO HIM, LORD EVERMORE GIVE US THIS BREAD.” The phrase, the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, in John 6:33 certainly refers to the Holy Spirit. The phrase, Then said they unto him Lord evermore give us this bread, in John 6:34 implies that the apostles did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet Jesus turned them down by saying, John 7:39, “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” The same is mentioned in John 16:7 that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at the absence of Jesus. The following is the extract: John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” The same is in Philemon 1:15, “(that) For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever.” Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit did not come to the Apostles even though they did ask Jesus in John 6:32-34 until the day of Pentecost.

    4} Let’s examine Acts 8:26-37 below to determine whether these verses do support sinner’s prayer:

    Acts 8:26-27, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise…And he arose, and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians…had come to Jerusalem for to worship…” Acts 8:37-38, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and he eunuch; and he baptized him.”

    Observe carefully the above verses and you would have discovered that none of the verses between Acts 8:26 and Acts 8:38 mention that the words, believe, and the phrase, the Holy Spirit came to the eunuch except the phrase, he baptized him. The absence of the word, believe, and the phrase, the Holy Spirit comes to eunuch, does not imply that he had not believed in Jesus and that the Holy Spirit did not come to him, The same that it is irrational to use Acts 8:26-38 to jump into conclusion that repentance and confession of sin and the requesting for the Holy Spirit are not necessary just because they are not stated among these verses. The phrase, had come to Jerusalem for to worship, in Acts 8:27, gives us the possible idea that he should have believed in Acts 8:27 or else there should not be any reason for him to travel for worship. The phrase, he baptized him, in Acts 8:38 gives us the idea that he should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38. Despite he had believed in Jesus when he was in Acts 8:27, he only proclaimed his belief that was followed by baptism in Acts 8:38. There is an obvious gap between Acts 8:27 and Acts 8:37 in which he believed and yet the Holy Spirit had not come to him and this could come to the conclusion that believing does not attract immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    As mentioned in Acts 22 above that sin cleansing has to be associated with baptism and that Acts 8:15 that praying for the Holy Spirit has to be associated with baptism. As the word, baptized, is mentioned in Acts 8:38 and that baptism is to be associated with sin cleansing and praying for the Holy Spirit, sin cleansing and praying for the Holy Spirit should have been exercised at the time of baptism even though they are not stated in these verses at all.

    5} Let’s mediate the extracted verses from Acts 10 below:

    Acts 10:1-2, “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band…one that feared God…” Acts 10:30-32, “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, A MAN STOOD BEFORE ME IN BRIGHT CLOTHING and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard…Send therefore to…Peter…” Acts 10:25-26, “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up I myself also am a man.” Acts 10:43-44, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sin. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”

    Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:1-26 that Cornelius had believed in Jesus except that Peter prevented him to fall down and worship him as mentioned in Acts 10:25-26. It is only mentioned in Acts 10:43-44 that the Holy Spirit came down upon him when he heard Peter that declared that whosoever believe in Jesus shall receive remission of sin. It is erroneous to use Acts 10:43-44 to jump into the conclusion that a non-Christian could be saved simply by hearing the words of God instead of through faith just because Acts 10:43-44 are not indicated that Cornelius believes except that he heard the words. The same is for repentance and confession of sin and the praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of all these words in Acts 10:1-44, does not imply that Cornelius did not do it.

    6} Let’s meditate Acts 16:29-33 below:

    Acts 16:29-33, “Then called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sir, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway.”

    The phrase, And they said Believe on the Lord, in Acts 16:31 refers undoubtedly to the preaching words from Paul and Silas to the keeper of the prison. However, nothing is mentioned in the subsequent verse that he believed in Jesus or the Holy Spirit had come to him except the phrase, was baptized. As nothing is mentioned that he believed in Jesus or the Holy Spirit had come to him, it does not imply that he had not been born again. The same that nothing is mentioned that he had repented and confessed his sins and even to request for the Holy Spirit, it is irrational to conclude that he did not do it.

    7} Acts 19:2, “…HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED?…”

    Nevertheless, it could come the conclusion that it is erroneous to extract any event from the book of Acts to comment that certain practices, such as, believing in Jesus; repentance and confession of sin; and praying for the receiving of the Holy Spirit, are not mentioned in that event, and immediately derive a conclusion that those practices are not necessary to be exercised in order to be born again.

    It has been proved in Clauses 2 and 4 above that believing in Jesus does not necessarily attract immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    SALVATION IS THE WORK OF FAITH

    In order to be saved, a person that believes in Jesus Christ has to be born again through receiving the Holy Spirit. It is irrational to support that a non-Christian that believes in Jesus will automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit since Acts 19:2, “…(enquire those people that believe in Jesus,) HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED?…” Furthermore, Romans 8:9 mentions that those that do not have the Spirit of Christ are not Christians at all. The following is the extract: Romans 8:9, “…if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

    Salvation is truly the work of faith. When a non-Christian prays a sinner’s prayer, he has to exercise his faith throughout his praying. When he prays to confess his sin before God through sinner’s prayer, he has to believe that God has forgiven his sin immediately after his confession or else he would not expect to receive any forgiveness of sin from God. This is due to James 1:6-8, “(mentions that) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” As the word, wavereth, is mentioned in James 1:6-8 with the phrase, let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord, it implies that a non-Christian, that does not believe that his sin has been forgiven immediately after sinner’s prayer, would not have his sin be forgiven. As his sin would not be forgiven if he does not believe that he has been forgiven immediately after sinner’s prayer, his sin would not be forgiven and that would not cause the Holy Spirit to enter into his body since John 9:31, “(mentions that)…God heareth not sinners…” The same is in praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit, the same person must believe that he has already received the Holy Spirit after sinner’s prayer. Or else, his prayer is in vain and would not cause him to receive the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, faith has to be exercised throughout sinner’s prayer in order to cause a non-Christian to be born again.

    Could a non-Christian mention that he believes in Jesus Christ and yet he does not believe that his sin has been forgiven and he also does not believe that the Holy Spirit has come into his body immediately after sinner’s prayer? Certainly, there is a question whether this non-Christian has believed in Jesus since he questions about whether his sin has been forgiven and the existence of the Holy Spirit in his body immediately after his sinner’s prayer.

    Salvation does not depend upon emotion but faith. A non-Christian must believe that his sin has been forgiven and that he has received the Holy Spirit without relying upon feeling. With his faith immediately after sinner’s prayer, he would then be born again.

    RELIANCE UPON EMOTION TOWARDS TO EXISTENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

    Reliance upon emotion towards the existence of the Holy Spirit within our bodies to determine whether we are born again is not scriptural due to Job 9:2 and John 3:5-8 provides the truth we could not sense the existence of the Holy Spirit. The following are the explanations:

    i} Job 9:2, “…God” Job 9:11, “Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not.” As the phrase, he goeth…and…passeth on, is mentioned in Job 9:11 with the phrase, I perceive him not, it implies that we could never sense the existence of God.

    ii) John 3:5-8, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. THE WIND BLOWETH WHERE IT LISTETH, and THOU HEARST THE SOUND THEREOF, BUT CANST NOT TELL WHENCE IT COMETH, and WHITHER IT GOETH: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

    Let’s analyse John 3:5-8 in two different approaches as follows:

    a} Let’s relates the word, wind, in John 3:5-8 to be the Holy Spirit and the phrase, the wind bloweth where it listeth, in John 3:8 would turn up to be the Holy Spirit goes as He wishes. The phrase, thou hearst the sound thereof, in John 3:8 can be interpreted as you hear the Holy Spirit speaks to you whenever He guides you in truth or whenever He informs you that you have committed sin or etc. The phrase, thou…canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth, in John 3:8 implies that we cannot tell when the Holy Spirit has come and where He has gone to. We could sense His existence only if we could know when He comes and where He goes within our bodies. As it is mentioned that we could not tell where the Holy Spirit comes and goes, it implies that we could not sense the existence of the Holy Spirit.

    b} Let’s interpret the word, wind in John 3:5-8 in a straightforward way that has no connection with the Holy Spirit. The phrase, The wind bloweth where it listeth, in John 3:8 implies that the wind blows as it wishes. The phrase, thou hearst the sound thereof, in John 3:8 could be interpreted as we are aware of the wind by the external environment, such as, the sound of the wind; the coolness of our bodies; the movement of the external objects, i.e. tree & etc. The phrase, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth, in John 3:8 implies that we can never have any unusual sensation about the movement of wind within our bodies that drives us crazily. The reason is simply that wind can never penetrate into our bodies & to move within our bodies. The phrase, so is every one that is born of the Spirit, in John 3:8 implies that it happens the same to the Holy Spirit.

    As proved above that we could not sense God, our prayer through requesting for the receipt of the Holy Spirit, must rely merely on faith instead of depending upon whether there is any emotion within our bodies to determine the existence of the Holy Spirit within our bodies.

    JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD AND HE IS ALSO GOD

    There are many instances to prove that Jesus is God Himself:

    1} Human beings and angels worship Jesus Christ. The following are the extracts: Hebrews 1:6, “…firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.”; Matthew 2:1-2, “…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for WE have seen his star in the east, and are COME TO WORSHIP HIM.”; Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…”: Matthew 8:2, “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt,…”; Matthew 9:18, “…there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him..”; Matthew 15:25, “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”; Matthew 20:20, “Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him…”; Matthew 28:9, “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”

    For instance, if Jesus Christ is not God, worshipping Jesus contradicts the Ten Commandments as mentioned in Exodus 20 and even Luke 4:8, “….Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

    2} Jesus did miracles, but the surrounding audience glorified God and this implies that Jesus Christ is God Himself. The following are the extracts: Luke 5:24-25, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. “; Luke 13:12-13, “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”; Luke 13:17, “…and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”; Luke 17:15, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God.”; Luke 18:42-43, “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God…”

    3} Jesus is God and is even obvious in John 1. The following are the extracts: John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:10-11, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

    4} Jesus even admitted Himself to be God. John 8:24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:27, “They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.”

    5} God even called Jesus Himself to be God. The following is the extract: Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son he saith, THY THRONE, O GOD, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”; Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a child is born, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED Wonderful, Counseller, THE ALMIGHTY GOD…”

    6} Jesus Christ is our Saviour and yet Titus 1:3, “(mentions)…God our Saviour;”, it implies that Jesus Himself is God since this verse links up God to be our Saviour even though Jesus Christ was the one that died for our sins.

    7} Jesus Christ has neither beginning nor ending and the same is for God. The following are the extracts: Hebrews 7:3, “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”; John 8:56-58, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”; John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”; Proverb 8:22-24, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When [there were] no depths, I was brought forth; when [there were] no fountains abounding with water.”

    8} Jesus Christ is our Lord and yet the name of the Lord is God and this indirectly refers Jesus Christ as God.

    The following are the extracts that refer Jesus as the Lord: 2 Peter 2:20, “Lord and Jesus Christ…”; 2 Peter 3:18, “.Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”;; Hebrews 1:8, “But to the Son he says…”Hebrews 1:10, “And, ‘You, Lord…”; Philemon 1:3, “…the Lord Jesus Christ.”; Titus 1:3, “…the Lord Jesus Christ.”; Titus 1:4, “…the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Matthew 8:5, “…Jesus..a centurion beseeching him, and saying, Lord…”; Matthew 8:25, “And his disciples came to him…saying, Lord…”; Mark 16:19, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat as the right hand of God.”; Luke 2:11, “…Christ the Lord.”; Luke 6:5, “And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.”; Luke 13:15, “The Lord then answered him…”

    The following are the extracts that the Lord is God: Isaiah 30:18, “…for the Lord is a God of judgment…”; Isaiah 33:22, “…the LORD s our King; he will save us.”; Isaiah 45:3, “…I, the Lord…am the God of Israel.”; Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all fresh…”; Habakuk 3:18, “…the LORD…the God of my salvation”; Deuteronomy 4:35, “…the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.”; Psalm 33:12, “…God is LORD…”; Psalm 118:27, “God is the LORD…”; Psalm 144:15, “…whose God is the LORD.”; Psalm 18:31, “For who is God save the LORD? Or who is roc save our God?”

    9} Jesus created the Universe and God was the one that created the Universe as mentioned in the Book of Genesis and all these point to the fact that Jesus is God Himself:

    The following are the extracts that Jesus was the creator of this Universe: Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:8, “But to he Son he says…” Hebrews 1:10, “And: ‘You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”; John 1:7-11, “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe. He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light. [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

    10} Jesus Christ was with the Holy Spirit since birth instead of at the time of His baptism with John the Baptist. Matthew 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”; Luke 1:34-35, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

    THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES FROM GOD

    1 John 4:12, “No one has seen God at any time…God abides in us.” 1 John 4:13, “By this we know that we abide in him and he is in us, because HE HAS GIVE US OF HIS SPIRIT.”; Numbers 24:2, “…the Spirit of God came upon him.”; Ezekiel 37:1, Isaiah 4:13-14, “…the Spirit of the LORD…”; Proverbs 1:23, “…I will pour out my spirit unto you…”; Nehemiah 9:20, “You also gave Your good spirit to instruct them…”; Isaiah 44:3, “…I will pour my spirit upon thee…”; Isaiah 59:21, “…saith the LORD, my spirit that is upon thee…”; Matthew 3:16, “…the spirit of God…”; John 15:26, “But when the COMFORTER is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, WHICH PROCEEDETH FROM THE FATHER…”; 1 Peter 1:11, Romans 8:9, “…Spirit of Christ…”

    THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS CHRIST

    The first coming and His next coming will be in physical form absolutely since 1 John 4:2, “(mentions that)…Every spirit that confesseth that JESUS CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH is of God:”

    Even though the coming of Jesus Christ will be in physical form, he could appear in spiritual form too. The following are the explanations: The phrase, Spirit of Christ, in Romans 8:9 and 1 Peter 1:11 gives us absolute proves that Jesus Christ could be in spiritual form. Another proof that Jesus could be in spiritual as well as physical form could be located in Luke 24:33-37 in which Jesus appeared suddenly in midst of the disciples and caused them to have the fear that He was ghost. Jesus Christ should have been with them in the spiritual form prior to His sudden appearance in the midst of them to cause them to have the fear. The following are the extracts: Luke 24:33, “And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,” Luke 24:36-37, “And AS THEY THUS SPAKE, JESUS HIMSELF STOOD IN THE MIDST OFTHEM, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. BUT THEY WERE TERRIFIED AND AFFRIGHTED, AND SUPPOSED THAT THEY HAD SEEN A SPIRIT.”

    UNIT OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

    Does a person invite the Holy Spirit as well as God into his body by praying merely to receive Jesus Christ as his Personal Saviour? John 14:10-12 spelt out the unity between God and Jesus. The following is the extract: John 14:10-12, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me,…Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me…” As the phrase, I am in the Father, and the Father in me, is mentioned in John 14:10-12, it implies togetherness between Jesus Christ and God and that they could never be separated. The phrase, I am in the Father and the Father is in me, in John 14:10-12 strongly opposes the possibility of the separation between God and Jesus and it also rejects the likeliness that God might not be in Jesus and vice versa. The same are supported by the following verses: John 8:29, “And he that sent me is with me…”; John 10:38, “…the Father is in me, and I in him.”; John 14:20, “…I am in my Father, and ye in me…”; John 16:32, “…I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” As proved above that God and Jesus Christ could never be separated, that implies that a person, that prays to receive Jesus Christ into his body, receives God into his body too.

    The unity of God the Father, the son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit could be found in the following verses: John 17:22-23, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one…”; John 17:21,”…thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us….”; 1 John 5:7-8, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, THE FATHER THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: and THESE ARE ONE. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” As the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus Christ are united into one and they can never be separated, that make it possible for one to mention that there is only one God even though there are three persons since none of them could be separated from each other and that the three have been viewed as one as a whole number.

    As the Holy Spirit, God and the Holy Spirit could never be separated and they are united into one, a non-Christian, that prays to receive Jesus Christ into his body, receives the Holy Spirit and God simultaneously.

  23. Does Acts 19:1-9 (Christians in Ephesus ) give a strong proof that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit?

    Let’s meditate Acts 19:1-9:

    Acts 19:1-9, “…at Corinth , Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus : and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

    The phrase, finding certain disciples, in Acts 19:1 does not give any strong proof whether these disciples were Jesus’ disciples or John at the time of their dialogue. There were a number of possibilities that can be viewed for the phrase, certain disciples, as mentioned in Acts 19:1:

    a) it could be that there were Jesus’ disciples and they did not know about the existence of the Holy Spirit and yet they did receive water baptism from John;

    b) it could be that there were John’s disciples and yet lately believed and followed Jesus;

    c) it could be that there were John’s disciples and had not believed in Jesus and yet lately followed Jesus:

    d) it could be that there were neither Jesus’ nor John’s disciples, yet had just converted to disciples not long ago; or etc.

    In view of the above possibilities, it is hard to jump into the conclusion using Acts 19:1 that these disciples were John’s disciples.

    Whether these people were John’s disciples or not, were not significant. The main thing that needs to be highlighted is that these people should not be questioned, Acts 19:2, “..Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” This is by virtue of if these were John’s disciples and they had believed in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would have come immediately upon them at the time of their believes even though they only received John’s baptism and they did not know the Holy Spirit, with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. The reason is simply the knowledge that they acquired (whether they knew the Holy Spirit or whether they received only John’s baptism0 would not affect his salvation with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. As the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, is mentioned in Acts 19:2, it gives an uncertainty that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    Some might argue that certain parts of the book of Acts were transitional period for the receiving of the Holy Spirit. However, the transitional period should have been ended at the time of Pentecost since John 16:7 mentions the receipt of the Holy Spirit was after the resurrection of Jesus.

    Those people that insist not to request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit while they are on earth with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, would regret eternally what if they have discovered their past knowledge was wrong and that Jesus would speak to them that He does not know Him at end time as mentioned in Matthew 7:23.

    Disciples in current context. Acts 11:26, “(mentions that)…the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch .” As the phrase, the disciples, is mentioned in Acts 11:26 with the word, Christians, it implies that the word, disciple, and the word, Christian, can be interchangeable.

  24. SINNER’S PRAYER (CONTINUED)

    THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD, BELIEVE, IN THE BIBLE

    The word, believe, in Strong’s Concordance in its original form is as follows: πιστεύω. The transliteration of the word, believe, in the Strong ’s Concordance is pisteuō. The following are the translations of the word, believe, as spelt out in the Strong’s Concordance:

    1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
    a) of the thing believed
    1) to credit, have confidence
    b) in a moral or religious reference
    1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
    2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
    3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
    2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
    a) to be intrusted with a thing

    From the meaning of the word, believe, in the Strong Concordance, it is obvious that the word, believe, in its original word does not include repentance; justification; the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit; and etc.

    THE REASONS THAT EPHESIANS 1:13-14, JOHN 3:16 AND ACTS 16:30-31 DO NOT PROVIDE ANY STRONG PROVES THAT BELIEVING IS SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IMMEDIATELY:

    Let’s meditate Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31 as follows:

    Ephesian 1:13-14, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

    John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

    From the extracts, it is obvious that none of the verses above mention that a non-Christian needs to repent from sin in order to be saved except that he must believe. The meaning of the word, believe, in its original Greek/Hebrews word as mentioned early, does not give any implication that this word has to be dealt with repentance.

    It is erroneous to use Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31 to support that salvation could come about merely by believing without repentance since Psalm 5:4, “(mentions that) For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” As the phrase, not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee, is mentioned in Psalm 5:4, it implies total rejection from God for those people, that are without repentant hearts, continue in sinning, such as, worshipping idols and etc.

    Despite the absence of repentance in Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31, repentance of sin, such as, continuing in worshipping idols, has to be exercised in order to be born again. Otherwise, it would turn up to be that a non-Christian could continue in sin, such as, keep on worshipping idols and believe in Jesus at the same time, yet they could be saved on the condition that the concept of believing could be sealed with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true. The teaching would turn up to be absurd without any justification due to salvation could be brought out simply by believing at the absence of repentance and that the non-Christian could believe in Jesus as well as worshipping idols at the same time without any repentant heart.

    The support, that believing has to be followed with repentance, implies that believing is not sealed with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit since there is something (and that is repentance) to do prior to a non-Christian to be born again. The reason is simply that a non-Christian, that believes, would not receive the Holy Spirit if he does not repent.

    It is irrational to use simply Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31 to conclude God’s message intend for us. Matthew 5:9 is an excellent extract to prove the risk of misinterpretation of the Scripture by means of a single extract: Matthew 5:9, “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. As the word, peacemakers, is mentioned in Matthew 5:9 with the phrase, the children of God, a false message could come about that as long as a person, whether he is a believer or not, declares peace in this world, he could be considered as a child of God or Christian. Thus, using a verse to conclude God’s message is erroneous.

    As repentance is a must in order to be born again and yet it is not stated in Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 as well as Acts 16:30-31, there should not be any unjustifiable ground to think that requesting for the receipt of the Holy Spirit should not be exercised just because it is not stated.

    COULD MATTHEW 7:21-23 BE APPLICABLE TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS?

    Let’s meditate Matthew 7:21-23 below prior to our tackling to this question:

    Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    The phrase, saith unto me Lord, in Matthew 7:21 implies that these people certainly believe in Jesus or else there should not be any reason for them to call Jesus as Lord. The word, never, in Matthew 7:23 implies that the Lord did not and do not and will not recognize them. For instance, if these people are professing Christians, Jesus should mention that He does not and will not recognize them since He surely knew them at the time of their conversion to Christianity initially. Jesus certainly knows His sheep for their callings at the time of their conversion to Christianity since John 10:27-28, “(mention that) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” As the word, never, is used in Matthew 7:23 instead of the phrase, does not and will not, it implies that He did not recognize them at anytime of their life span. This rejects the possibility that these people could have been born again in the past since, if that should be so, at least, Jesus should have recognized them in the past instead of mentioning, He never. As Jesus did not recognize them in the past, how could there be any possibility of them to have turning point to be born again? However, if Matthew 7:21 has been treated as there are for non-Christians, the whole sentences would turn up to be justifiable since Jesus did not and do not and will not recognize them due to there are not God’s people. In order to be Christians, Jesus Christ has to come into their lives to dominate in their lives and that is why sinner’s prayer has to be stressed.

    It is irrational to use Matthew 7:21-23 to conclude that Christians would lose salvation since 1 Corinth 3:12 opposes it? The following is the extract: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. IF ANY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.”

    As proved that Mathew 7:21-23 should be applicable to non-Christians. Despite they were non-Christians, yet they believe in Jesus since they call Jesus as Lord as mentioned in Matthew 7:21. What if those people strongly believe that believing is sealed with the Holy Spirit and they fail to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet in reality, the Holy Spirit would not be with them, they would regret eternally for their actions in not asking for the receipt of the Holy Spirit while they are on earth since Jesus would tell them that He never knows them as mentioned in Matthew 7:23.

    DO THE VERSES IN ACTS 19:1-6 GIVE A STRONG PROOF THAT BELIEVING IS SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IMMEDIATELY?

    There is no justifiable ground for one to assume that Acts 19:1-6 could support that believing is sealed with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit for the following reasons:

    a} The phrase, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed, in Acts 19:2 was the spoken words from Paul and this verse should not have any doctrinal error especially 2 Timothy 3:16, “(mentions that) All Scripture (is) given by inspiration of God, all (is) profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

    b} The subsequent verses of Acts 19:2 do substantiate the query about the uncertainty of the existence of the Holy Spirit among those people that declare to believe. The following is the elaboration:

    Those people did not receive the Holy Spirit when they heard the words of God as mentioned in Acts 19:5. They only received the Holy Spirit after Paul had laid his hands upon them in Acts 19:6. Bear in mind there is an obvious gap between the word, heard, in Acts 19:5 and the phrase, the Holy Ghost came on them, in Acts 9:6 in which they believed and yet the Holy Spirit was not with them.

    The following are the extracts for Acts 19:5-6:

    Acts 19:5-6, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

    Unless they had received the Holy Spirit in Acts 19:5 at the time of their believes, it is rational to support that believing is sealed by the Holy Spirit. However, they received the Holy Spirit after Paul had laid his hand on them. It implies that believing is not sealed with the Holy Spirit immediately.

    As there is an uncertainty that believing could be sealed with the Holy Spirit immediately, those people, that proclaim to believe in Jesus, have to be accompanied with sinner’s prayer in order to be born again.

  25. When talking with a young priest, during 13 appointments, the continued use of Scripture broke through his adept and profuse use of 13? years of Philosophy, Psychology and Hermeneutics training. When I continued presenting the WORD of GOD in asking why ROME calls HER ‘Mary’ by a name which is ONLY used in the OT in reference to BAAL’s MOTHER (Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17-25), he finally put his head down for an extended pause — before telling me of “an Ancient PAGAN MYTH about an ANGRY young GOD who Never Refused a Request of His Much More Loving and Compassionate MOTHER.”
    When he finished telling me of the MYTH I THANKED him for telling me about the MYTH as I immediately asked, “WHAT does THAT have to do with Catholicism?!?!?
    He again put his head down for an extended pause, before looking up hesitantly and saying, “When the Ancient Roman Empire Conquered the surrounding PAGAN Nations, since They were all illiterate, WE couldn’t very well give them BIBLEs to read! SO WE just gave All their PAGAN IDOLs And TRADiTiONs ‘CHRiSTiAN’ names.” Then it looked like he gulped, before saying, “Thereby WE made Whole Nations ‘CHRiSTiAN’ overnight.”
    When I asked him about the “INQUiSiTiON” he emphatically Feigned Remorse, as he said SO APOLOGETiCALLY — “THAT WAS TERRiBLE!!! WHAT THEY DiD TO THOSE 8 To 10 PEOPLE!!!”
    So I quickly responded, “I Have Read Figures As HIGH As
    OVER 100 MiLLiON TORTURED And KILLED!!!”
    Then he SHOT BACK, “I’m SURE it Was CLOSER To MY Figure!”
    So I asked him point blank, “HOW can you say, ‘8 to 10’ — but then ADMIT to ‘Something Under 50 MiLLiON.’?!?!?
    Then, just as happened Every time I caught him in a LIE, I had to ask him to repeat himself 2 times, since he spoke SO Quietly!
    So the third time he spoke, I heard him say, “I was using a mental reservation.” Which he eventually ADMITTED meant, “CONCEALiNG the TRUTH from someone who has NO Right To Know.”
    When I asked him “WHY” priests are FORBiDDEN To MARRY, since the BiBLE says FORBiDDiNG To MARRY is a Doctrine of DEMONs (I Timothy 4:6, I Believe) and PETER had a “MOTHER – in- LAW” — he finally said, “The sin of Fornication is a Lesser sin than the SIN of PRiESTly MARRiAGE! We Just Need To CONFESS the Sin of FORNICATION, And WE ARE FORGIVEN. Thereby WE ARE PROTECTED From The MUCH GREATER SIN Of PRIESTLY MARRIAGE!”

  26. Wow, Phineas, we need to get you into the CIA – those terrorists would crumble beneath your powerful interrogation techniques.

    Seriously, just because you claim some anonymous young priest “confessed” all these things doesn’t mean anything to me. The Church has never kept it a secret that it “baptized” certain pagan practices when it moved into a new civilization – as long as the practice wasn’t totally antiChristian. It still does this today – hence the “Anglican use liturgy”! 😀

  27. Some commentators might strongly oppose the request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit for the fact that the prophecy in John 16:7 pertaining to the receipt of the Holy Spirit should have been fulfilled in Acts 2 by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost. They treat John 4:10, John 6:32-34 and Luke 11:13 to be applicable only before the day of Pentecost and all the events as mentioned in the book of Acts to be in transitional period and these give them the conclusion that the request of the Holy Spirit should be nullified currently. Discuss.

    The comment that, John 16:7 is applicable to Acts 2 in which the disciples received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the current practice of requesting of the Holy Spirit should be in vain, has been found to be unjustifiable in the Gospel for the following reasons:

    a) John 16:7 mentions that the Holy Spirit had to be descended upon the disciples when Jesus was glorified and it should have been fulfilled in Acts 2. However, neither John 16:7 nor any verses from the Bible does mention that the practice of requesting of the Holy Spirit should be abandoned after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Acts 2. By asserting that the requesting of the Holy Spirit should be nullified after the day of Pentecost, is simply the act of making presumption in which it is not stated in the Bible. Or in other words, they simply add words of presumption that is not even stated in the Bible. We have been warned in the Bible not to abuse the Scripture by adding or subtracting words. Unless a verse or sentence has been stated clearly elsewhere in the Bible that requesting of the Holy Spirit has to be ceased or to be nullified after the day of Pentecost, it should then be rational to conclude that requesting of the Holy Spirit is redundant and not be to exercised in the future.

    b)Some commentators might suggest that the phrase, they were come down prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Acts 8:15 to be the exceptional case with their presumption that this event should fall during transitional period. However, neither Acts 8 nor any verses from the Bible that mentions that Acts 8 should be meant for transitional period and that should be the ultimate reason for the request of the Holy Spirit. By asserting that the event as mentioned in Acts 8 to be the transitional period has caused one to add words of presumption that is not even mentioned in the Scripture. What if the event as mentioned in Acts 8:15 in reality should not be meant for transitional period, the phrase, they were come down prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, in Acts 8:15 would give the impression that God demands the practice of the praying of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Acts 2. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 8 that it is meant for transitional period to excuse people in the future to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit other than the presumptuous thought from some commentators, the intention to do away the requesting of the Holy Spirit with excuses to be give, would ultimately cause many people to be in the doom with their presumption that they have received the Holy Spirit and yet in reality, they might not have.

    c) Some commentators might have suggested that the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 is meant to be either the spoken words raised during the transitional period or for other excuse reason (such as, this is meant to be for exceptional case due to they had received or known merely John’s baptism) to discourage people from requesting the receipt of the Holy Spirit. However, neither Acts 19 nor any verses in the Bible does mention that Acts 19 should be meant for transitional period. The commentators simply add words of assumption to discourage people from requesting of the Holy Spirit. What if Acts 19 should not be considered as transitional period or it was not due to other reason (such as they had merely received John’s baptism) in realtiy, those people, that have this presumptuous thought, have undoubtedly added words of presumption in which they are not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. What if praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit has to be considered as part of the plan for God’s salvation, the intention to avoid and mislead many not to pray to receive the Holy Spirit, would cause many to be in the doom for not to be born again.

    d)Neither John 4:10 nor John 6:32-34 nor Luke 11:13 mentions that the practice of the requesting of the Holy Spirit should be ceased on the day of Pentecost, it is irrational to add words of presumption in the Bible in which it is not even stated. John 16:7 emphasizes on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when Jesus was glorified and nothing is mentioned vividly in the Bible about the cessation of the request of the Holy Spirit after the Pentecost. The commentators simply derive conclusion through guessing work that the practice of the requesting of the Holy Spirit should have been ceased after the Pentecost or the so-called, transitional period, that is defined by them, but not mentioned in the Bible.

    Any mis-interpretation on the part of the way to salvation would simply lead people to presume that they are saved and have received the Holy Spirit without the realisation of the possible absence of the Holy Spirit within their bodies.

  28. Before we all get drowned in biblical quotations, remember it was those angry men with an axe to grind (so called reformationists) who decided that the original bible of St. Jerome/St. Augustine was being misinterpreted (they didn’t have a problem with it for 1200 years). Henry viii used his Cambridge academic William Cranmer to come up with a suitable intrerpretation which would suit his purpose in divorcing his wife and having his way with a house intern, This sordid business eventually leading to the establishment of the “New” church aka Church of England/Anglican after some further inputs from Mr Luther and Calvin and not a little violent persuasion in eliminating the Catholic church together with its most holy sacraments, notably the Holy Mass and the sacrament of the Eucharist , appointing its own non apostolic clergy. All this establishing it as a null and void institution ( I hasten to use the title Church)
    Like any new product that is introduced to the market, the first move is to demerit the previous product pointing out its deficiencies and promoting the new product as the complete answer……..

  29. Some commentators might use the following verses to oppose the use of sinner’s prayer with the excuse that the Holy Spirit should be with them simply by mentioning that they do confess that Jesus is the Son of God and their recognition about the resurrection of Jesus:

    1 John 4:15, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

    Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

    Discuss.

    At a glance, the phrase, Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, in 1 John 4:15 seems to imply that all those people, that confess Jesus as the Son of God, must have received the Holy Spirit. However, the following are the two distinctive cases from the Bible that have brought us to the attention that not all the people, that proclaim Jesus is the Son of God, have received the Holy Spirit:

    a) Instances below that give us the implication that people could proclaim Jesus to be the Son of God even prior to the resurrection of Jesus:

    i) Matthew 14:33, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

    ii) Matthew 27:54, “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

    iii) Mark 15:39, “And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”

    iv) John 1:49, “Nathamael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the king of Israel.”

    v) John 11:27, “She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

    The following are the extracts that prove that those people, that are mentioned in Matthew 14:33, 27:54; John 1:49, 11:27, and Mark 15:39, did not receive the Holy Spirit prior to the resurrection of Jesus:

    i) John 7:39, “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]: because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

    ii) John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

    Despite Matthew 14:33, 27:54; Mark 15:39; John 1:49 and John 11:27 were the events occurred prior to the day that Jesus was glorified and these people should not have received the Holy Spirit as mentioned in John 7:39 and 16:7, yet they could proclaim Jesus as the Son of God at the absence of the Holy Spirit. This gives the ultimate conclusion that those people, that could proclaim Jesus to be the Son of God in this modern society, do not give any strong proof that they have God to be dwelt within their bodies.

    b) Instances from the Scripture to prove that even demons could comment that Jesus is the Son of God and yet God do not dwell within their bodies. The following are the extracts:

    i) Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”

    ii) Mark 3:11, “And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.”

    iii) Luke 4:41, “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuke them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.”

    iv) Luke 8:28, “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, what have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most High? I beseech thee, torment me not.”

    From the above explanations and the extracts, these could easily arrive at the conclusion that it is irrational to determine whether a person has received the Holy Spirit by simply hearing him/her in proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God.

    As it is irrational to determine whether a person has received the Holy Spirit simply by hearing him/her in proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God, does it imply that 1 John 4:15 is contradictory to Matthew 14:33, 27:54; John 1:49, 11:27, and Mark 15:39? No, it is irrational to jump into this conclusion what if the word, confess, in 1 John 4:15 should be interpreted with broader definition that it should be accompanied with action instead of restricting it to merely mouth-to-mouth confession. When the word, confess, in 1 John 4:15 has been interpreted with broader definition to include our sincere action towards God in treating and letting Jeus to be truly the Son of God to reign in our lives, we then would discover 1 John 4:15 does not contradict itself with other verses in the Bible. Or in other words, the person that confess that Jesus is the Son of God need to have high respect of Jesus and to allow Him to come into his/her life so as to take control of him/her.

    James 2:19 provides the truth that the devils even believe in God and yet they tremble as a result of their faith without action. A person might proclaim that he/she believes in Jesus to be the Son of God and his/her Lord and yet God is interested whether his faith is accompanied with action through his/her willingness to accept Him to be his/her Personal Saviour and Lord. The following are the extracts from James 2:19-24 and these are self-explanatory:

    James 2:19-24, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only

  30. Some commentators might strongly condemn sinner’s prayer by mentioning that this is not found anywhere in the Bible. Discuss.

    Let’s look into all the factors that should contribute towards sinner’s prayer prior to looking into the matter above:

    a) Repentance: Repentance is significant for non-Christians for their conversions. The intention to do away repentance among non-Christians would not cause those that persist in sinning without repentant heart, to be born again due to God regard not their prayer. The following are the extracts:

    Psalms 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

    Isaiah 1:15, “And ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”

    Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

    Nevertheless, non-Christians have to repent from sinning, such as, abandoning in worshipping idols, and etc. prior to their commencement of Sinner’s prayer or else their prayer would simply be in vain.

    b) Confession of Sins: The introduction of confession of sins in sinner’s prayer among non-Christians would certainly direct their mind to the right path in acknowledging and confessing their sins before God for the claim of the promise of sin’s cleansing as spelt out below:

    1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    The same is mentioned in Proverb 28:13, “(that) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

    Bearing in mind that iniquities are the barriers that cause non-Christians not to reach out to God since God regard not iniquities. The following are the extracts for detailed examination and analyses:

    Psalms 5:4-5, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee…thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

    Psalms 7:11, “…God is angry with the wicked every day.”

    Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

    Proverbs 15:26, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord…”

    Proverbs 15:29, “The Lord is far from the wicked…”

    Would this imply that the verses above contradict the phrase, For God so loved the world, in John 3:16? No, the verses above do not contradict the phrase, For God so loved the world, in John 3:16 provided that the word, world, in John 3:16 has to exclude evil deeds, disobedience to God and all kinds of iniquities. Without excluding iniquities from the definition of the word, world, the interpretation would turn up to be unjustifiable that God love people to commit iniquities, such as, stirring up violence, havoc and etc. in the society.

    The confession of sins in sinner’s prayer enables non-Christian to express their iniquities towards God to ease the sins’ cleansing especially sins have caused them to be separated from God as mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-2 and that is why there is a need for them to confess their sins before God for sins’ cleansing for the claim of the promise as mentioned in 1 John 1:9, “(that) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Romans 4:7, “[saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

    What if non-Christians insist their perfection without sins, would their sins be forgiven? 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” As the phrase, the truth is not in us, is mentioned in 1 John 1:8 with the phrase, If we say that we have no sin, it implies that God’s truth is not with non-Christians if they insist their perfection without sins. As God’s truth is not with them if they insist they are without sins, there should not be any possibility that God would be with them or their sins could be forgiven. The same is mentioned in 1 John 1:10, “(that) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

    The reason for all non-Christians need to express their sins towards God by confession through sinner’s prayer, has been spelt out as follows:

    Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

    Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

    Romans 5:18-19, “Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation;…For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,…”

    c) Faith has to be exercised throughout sinner’s prayer. This is due to non-Christians would not expect to receive any from sinner’s prayer if they do not exercise faith throughout/after sinner’s prayer, such as, they do not believe their sins have been forgiven; they do not believe that the Holy Spirit has come into their bodies, and etc.; after sinner’s prayer. The following are the extracts:

    James 1:6-8, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

    d) Sinner’s prayer should also include forgiveness of sins of others. This is due to God demand non-Christians to forgive others prior to granting the forgiveness of their sins. The following are the supporting verses:

    Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses; neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

    Mark 11:25-26, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

    The Lord allow confession of sins to be included in prayer. The following are the extracts for proves:

    Matthew 6:12, “(mentions that) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

    Luke 11:4, “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”

    Nevertheless, there is a preference to include the request of the forgiveness of sins for others during sinner’s prayer.

    e) Request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit:

    John 4:10, “ Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

    John 6:32-34, “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.”

    Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

    Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”

    John 4:10, 6:32-34 and Luke 11:13 above are the spoken words from Jesus that direct non-Christians for the request of the Holy Spirit. Many commentators say that the request of the Holy Spirit should have ceased on the day of Pentecost. However, none of the verses in the Bible do mention the request of the Holy Spirit should have ceased after the Pentecost in Acts 2. What if the praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit should not cease in reality and that the event in the book of Acts 19 was not the transitional period, those people that refuse to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit will be in the doom and the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 would turn up to be the warning among non-Christians for their earnest request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    The following are the extracts that none of us should add or remove any words from the Scripture:

    Proverbs 30:6, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

    Ecclesiastes 3:14, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”

    Isaiah 34:16, “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: For my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.”

    Isaiah 40:8, “…the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

    e) To include acknowledging Jesus’ resurrection in sinner’s prayer: This is by virtue of Jesus’ resurrection is part of the plan for salvation. The following is the extract:

    Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

    After reading the above factors that have direct impact upon salvation. Now, let’s meditate Acts 2:16 as well as 8:15 cautiously below for the reply that some commentators have brought out to do away sinner’s prayer with the excuse that it is not mentioned in the Bible:

    Acts 2:16, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” The word, and, in Acts 2:16 has separated the word, baptized, and the phrase, wash away thy sins, it implies the two distinctive roles for baptism and the washing away of sins. The phrase, washing away thy sins, in Acts 2:16 implies sins cleansing to be exercised prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The only event in the book of Acts that has mentioned about the sin’s cleansing is from Acts 2:16 and it is not found elsewhere. However, nothing is mentioned anywhere in the Book of Acts other than Acts 2:16 pertaining to sin’s cleansing, does not imply the disciples did not perform the same in other chapters. What if the practice of sin’s cleansing was exercised in other events and yet it is not mentioned in the book of Acts, the intention to do away confession of sins in this modern society would result in sins remaining among non-Christians. As sins remain among them, would you think God would answer their prayer to be born again? Meditate Isaiah 59:1-2 for the consideration.

    Acts 8:15, “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit:” The phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, in Acts 8:15 implies that the disciples did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit for non-Christians. The only event in the book of Acts that has mentioned about the praying of the receipt of the Holy Spirit could be found in Acts 8:15. What if the practice of praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit was exercised in other events in the book of Acts and yet it is not mentioned at all, the intention to do away the practice in praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit in this modern society would result that many would fall as a result of the absence of the Holy Spirit. These people would simply live in the world of presumption that they have been saved and have received the Holy Spirit and ignorantly to be waiting for condemnation.

    Meditate Matthew 7:21 and 23 carefully below prior to abandoning the practice of sinner’s prayer:

    Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

    Matthew 7:23, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    Those people that proclaim Jesus is Lord as mentioned in Matthew 7:21 might have great faith for their salvation and yet Matthew 7:23 gives us the warning of their rejection and these give us the hint, that not all that proclaim Jesus is LORD, are Christians.

    Did God put all the messages inside one sentence so as to conclude everything?

    Isaiah 28:9-11, “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts. For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” As the phrase, here a little and there a little, is mentioned in Isaiah 28:9-10, it implies that God might not express all his message by a single sentence. What he did in the Bible was simply a message stated here a little and there a little and we have to gather all these messages from different parts of the Bible to form a full message of God.

    As God use different verses here and there to form a full message of God, there should not be any reason for one to use a single verse, such as, 1 John 4:15 or John 3:16 to conclude the message of God without gathering all the information from the rest of the Bible.

    The emphasis that non-Christians have to be born again is based merely upon the following extracts:

    John 3:5-7, “Jesus answered, Vereily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

    Romans 8:9, “(has spelt out clearly that)…if any man have not the Spirit of God, he is none of his…”

  31. let’s examine the book of Acts cautiously below for the reply that some commentators have brought out to do away sinner’s prayer with the excuse that it is not mentioned in the Bible:

    1) Acts 6:6-7, “Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

    As the phrase, the disciples multiplied…greatly, is mentioned in Acts 6:7, it implies the great number of non-Christians were converted to Christianity. Nothing is mentioned in Acts 6:6-7 or elsewhere that these people did repent from sinning prior to their conversion. One must not be quick in jumping into the conclusion by using this event to support that non-Christians need not to repent in order to be born again or else he/she is simply adding words of assumption in which it is not stated in Acts 6;6-7. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 6:6-7 that they did repent from sin, there are two possibilities with regard to their conversion. First assumption is that they might have repented from sinning and yet it was not mentioned in Acts 6:6-7. Another alternative possibility is that they did not repent from sinning, such as, continuing in worshipping idols; creating havoc in the society; and etc. As repentance has to be sought prior to the conversion to Christianity, they must have repented from sin prior to receiving the Holy Spirit. Thus, the absence of the word, repentance, in Acts 6:6-7 does not imply that they did not repent from sins prior to receiving the Holy Spirit.

    The same is for the request of Jesus to come into their lives. Neither Acts 6:6-7 have mentioned that these people did receive the Holy Spirit nor these verses have mentioned clearly that they did or did not request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of the words whether they did or did not request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit does not imply that they did not request Jesus to come into their lives. The insisting that they did not ask Jesus to come into their lives even though it is not mentioned at all, has indeed added words of assumption in which it is not even stated in Acts 6:6-7. What if these people did ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet it is not stated in Acts 6:6-7, the discouraging among non-Christians to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit would simply cause them not to be born again.

    The same is for other factors, such as, confession of sins; acknowledge Jesus to die on the cross, are not even spelt out in the event of Acts 6:6-7. The absence of these factors does not imply that they did not do it.

    In conclusion for Acts 6:6-7, despite the phrase, sinner’s prayer, is not mentioned in the book of Acts and yet the elements of the sinner’s prayer can be found here and there in the Bible. Even in the book of Acts, certain part of the event does mention part of it. However, the absence of the elements that should exercise prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit in Acts 6:6-7, does not imply that they did not exercise it.

    2) Acts 8:34-38, “And the eunuch answered Philips, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other men? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; What doeth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot the stand still: and they went down into water, both Philip and the eunuch: and be baptized him.”

    Meditate the verses above and you would discover nothing is mentioned in the paragraph above that the eunuch had repented from sin prior to his baptism. As nothing is mentioned that he did repent from sin, this event should not be used to conclude that non-Christians could sin continually without repentant heart in order to be saved.

    Nothing is mentioned that the eunuch did receive the Holy Spirit except the word, baptism, does not imply that it is not significant to receive the Holy Spirit. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 9:38 that he did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, be baptized, the eunuch most likely should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38 in which the phrase, be baptized, is mentioned. Thus, despite he confessed Jesus is the Son of God in Acts 8:37, yet he only received the Holy Spirit after his baptism in Acts 8:37. It is obvious that there is a gap (between the time that he confessed Jesus to be the Son of God in Acts 8:37 and the time that he received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38) in which the Holy Spirit is not with him. It gives us the implication that confession that Jesus is the Son of God might not be accompanied with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    The above explanation proves that the absence of the elements of sinner’s prayer in the book of Acts, does not imply the people in the past did not exercise them. What if they did repent from sins; confessed sins before God for the forgiveness of sins; acknowledged Jesus has been resurrected; and praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet they are not mentioned clearly in the book of Acts, or what if these should be the plan of God for salvation, the intention to do away sinner’s prayer could cause many to fall and not to be born again.

    3) Acts 10:44-48, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed him to tarry certain days.”

    The phrase, they of the circumcision which believed, in Acts 10:45 undoubtedly refers to the Jews since they were circumcised. The phrase, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word, in Acts 10:44 refers to the Gentiles that received the Holy Spirit and yet the word, heard, is mentioned instead of the word, believed. Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:44 that they believed in Jesus except that they heard the word. The absence of the word, believed, in Acts 10:44 does not imply that the Gentiles did not believe in Jesus prior to the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

    Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:44-48 that the Gentiles did repent from sin, does not imply that Gentiles could continue in sinning without repentant heart prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The phrase, as the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost, is mentioned in Acts 10:45 prior to the phrase, And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord, it implies that the receipt of the Holy Spirit could be before the baptism was performed.

    The following are the extracts from other events in the book of Acts in which the word, repentance, is not mentioned and yet those non-Christians should have repented from sin:

    Acts 8:12-17, “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself beloved also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and…who, they received the Holy Spirit…Then laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”

    Acts 11:14-15, “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.”

    Acts 11:24, “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

    Acts 16:31-33, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and his, straightway.” Again nothing is mentioned that these people did repent from sin and not even mentioning they did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, be baptized.

    Some might argue that Acts 2:38 did mention the word, repent, to support that the Book of Acts encourages repentance. My query is why the word, repent, is not mentioned repeatedly in most of the events of the Book of Acts except Acts 2:38. As it is only mentioned in Acts 2:38 instead of in other events of the Book of Acts, it implies that the absence of the word, repent, in other parts of the Book of Acts, does not imply that non-Christians did not exercise it. The same is for the request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of the phrase, to ask Jesus into our heart, in the book of Acts, does not imply that they did not exercise it.

    From the above extracts and explanations, it could easily arrive at the conclusion that it is not justifiable to conclude that repentance is not necessary for the conversion of non-Christians just simply due to the absence of it in the book of Acts. The same is that it is irrational to oppose people to ask Jesus to come into their heart just because it is not stated in the Book of Acts. Similarly, no conclusion should be drawn out that confession of sins for non-Christians to God should be done away just simply with the excuse that it is not stated in the book of Acts.

    Some commentators might suggest that believing leads to immediate forgiveness of sins and the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Discuss.

    My personal conviction is that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit and sins’ cleansing. Non-Christians that believe in Jesus have to be humble themselves before God to confess their sins before God to seek His forgiveness and the request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    For instance, if the doctrine, believing leads of immediate forgiveness of sins, is true, 1 John 1:9 would turn up to be in error for the following reasons:

    a) Non-Christians needs not to confess their sins before God since God do not forgive their sins and their sins could not be forgiven unless they believe in Jesus instead of through confession of sins to God provided that the doctrine, believing leads to sins’ cleansing, is true.

    b) Christians do not need to confess sins before God due to their believes have granted them the forgiveness of sins and there is no need for them to confess their sins to God provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, is true.

    The above shows that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, has contradicted the fundamental truth in 1 John 1:9. As 1 John 1:9 contains any error, the doctrine, that believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, should be rejected and that there is a need to confess sins before God for sins’ cleansing. Thus, there is a need for non-Christians to confess their sins before God to seek His forgiveness and that is why sinner’s prayer must not be done away.

    For instance, if the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 would turn up to be in error for the following reasons:

    a) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the disciples should not ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit before the Pentecost since the Holy Spirit would not descend upon them prior to the day that Jesus was glorified as mentioned in John 16:7. As the Holy Spirit would not descend upon the disciples prior to the Pentecost, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 should not be asked. This is by virtue of the Holy Spirit would descend automatically upon the disciples upon the day of Pentecost and that there is no need for them to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit provided believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    b) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2, should not be asked even after the day of Pentecost. This is by virtue of the Holy Spirit would descend automatically upon the disciples after their believing in Jesus provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

    c) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2 should not be asked among non-Christians. This is by virtue of non-Christians in this modern society need not to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since God come to them at the time of their belief provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

    d) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2, should not be asked among Christians. This is by virtue of Christians in this modern society should not ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since their believing in Jesus has led to the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

    As the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, has led to the contradiction of the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2, it implies that this doctrine should be rejected and that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, should not be established.

    Some commentators might oppose sinner’s prayer with the excuse that the Scripture does not demand people to ask Jesus into their heart. Discuss.

    The most obvious verses to show that the Bible does contain verses pertaining to asking Jesus into our heart:

    Acts 8:15, “they were come down prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit…” The phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, in Acts 8:15 implies that the people did ask Jesus into their heart.

    Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” The phrase, [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, in Luke 11:13 implies Jesus even mentioned the asking of the Holy Spirit into our heart.

    The less obvious verses that give the hint in the Bible pertaining to asking Jesus into our heart:

    John 4:10, “ Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” The phrase, living water, in John 4:15 should refer undoubtedly to eternal life. As the phrase, If thou knewest the gift of God…thou wouldest have asked of him, is mentioned in Acts 4:10 with the phrase, living water, it implies the asking of Jesus to receive the gift of God, that is the Holy Spirit, that leads to living water and that is eternal life. The word, asked, is mentioned in this verse.

    John 6:32-34, “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” The phrase, the true bread, in John 6:32 should refer to Jesus. As the phrase, Then said they unto him…give us this bread, is mentioned in Acts 6:34 with the phrase, true bread, in John 6:32, it implies that the disciples did ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:2, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” The phrase, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 implies the possibility of the absence of the Holy Spirit among the people that believe in Jesus. Or else, there should not be any reason for Acts 19:2 to raise a query that, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Instead, the verse should mention that the Holy Ghost is in you since ye believed. As the phrase, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, is mentioned in Acts 19:2, non-Christians have to express to God for their desire to allow Jesus to come into their heart to be their Lord and Personal Saviour.

  32. Some commentators might argue that Peter had not seen the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles as He had on the Jews and that Jewish Christians never would have accepted the gentile Christians and these led them to pray for the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Acts 8:15. Discuss.

    Let’s meditate Acts 8:5-17 carefully prior to tackling the query above:

    Acts 8:5-6, “…PHILIP WENT DOWN TO THE CITY OF SAMARIA, AND PREACHED CHRIST UNTO THEM…” Acts 8:8-10, “…But there was a certain man, called Simon,… bewitched the people of Samaria,…saying, This man is the great power of God.”

    Did the Samaria believe in Jesus after Acts 8:5, “…Philip (had)…preached Christ unto them…”? Yes, they did believe since Acts 8:12, “(mentions that)…THEY BELIEVED…concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of JESUS CHRIST…”

    After Acts 8:12, “(Samaria had)…believed…(in) Jesus Christ”, did they follow up with water baptism? Yes, they did since in the latter part of Acts 8:12, “(it is mentioned that)…THEY WERE BAPTIZED, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.”

    Not only Samaria had been baptized, Acts 8:13, “…Simon himself believed also: and…(had been) baptized…”

    What did the apostles do after knowing Samaria had Acts 8:12, “…believed (in)…Jesus Christ…(and) were baptized (with water baptism)…”? Acts 8:14-17, “…when the apostles which were at Jerusalem HEARD that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when THEY were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.”

    Did Samaria receive the Holy Spirit immediately after Acts 8:12, “…they (had) believed (in)…Jesus Christ…”? No, they did not receive the Holy Spirit at the time of their belief since Acts 8:14-17, “(mention that)…the apostles…heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they…c(a)me down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.” Obviously there is a gap (between Acts 8:12 in which they had believed in Jesus and yet Acts 8:17 that they received the Holy Ghost) in which the Holy Spirit was not inside their bodies at the time of their belief. As Acts 8:14-17, “…the apostles… (came) down, (and) prayed for (Samaria) that they might receive the Holy Ghost” after Acts 8:12, “… they (had) believed… (in) Jesus Christ…”, it implies that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    Did Samaria receive the Holy Spirit immediately after Acts 8:12, “…they…were baptized (with water baptism)…”? No, they did not receive the Holy Spirit immediately since Acts 8:14-17, “(mention that)…THEY…come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he WAS FALLEN UPON NONE OF THEM: ONLY THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.) …”

    For instance, if the doctrine, that believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the people of Samaria should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:12. For instance, if the doctrine, that water baptism could direct immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the people of Samaria should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:12. As the people of Samaria did not receive the Holy Spirit until Acts 8:17, “…Peter and John…prayed for them…”, it implies the possible absence of the Holy Spirit at the time of belief.

    Now, let’s tackle the question above that some commentators support that Samaria should be treated as gentile Christians and these led them to pray for the Holy Spirit:

    Who were these Samaria? The following are the extracts from Strong Concordance and it could be located at: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4540&t=KJV

    Samaria = “guardianship”
    1)A TERRITORY IN PALESTINE, which had Samaria as its capital

    The phrase, a territory in Palestine, is mentioned in this definition and yet in the ancient map of Israel, Palestine was located at the border of Israel and yet Samaria was classified as part of Israel.

    As Samaria was part of Israel (1 Kings 16:29, 21:18, 22:51, 2 Kings 3:1, 3:6, 10:36, 13:1, 13:10 and 15:8) instead of to be considered as gentiles, it is erroneous to interpret Acts 8:5-17 to be the event that Peter had not seen the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles and that Jewish Christians did not accept them and these caused them to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    Nevertheless, the event in Acts 8:5-17 does provide the proof that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit and that is why sinner’s prayer should be stressed.

    Instance that Saul could proclaim that Jesus to be the Lord prior to receiving the Holy Spirit.

    Let’s meditate Acts 9:1-18 with detailed analyses as follows:

    Acts 9:1, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,” Acts 9:4, “And HE FELL TO THE EARTH, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

    After falling down, did Saul question the Lord who was He? Yes he did question the Lord since Acts 9:5, “(mentions that)…he said, WHO ARE THOU, LORD? …”

    What was the reply to Saul after questioning who was He? The Lord admitted that He was Jesus since Acts 9:5, “(mentions that)…the Lord said, I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest…”

    Did Saul call Jesus to be the Lord after realizing that the One that he spoke to was none other than Jesus Himself as mentioned in Acts 9:5? Acts 9:6, “And he trembling and astonished said, LORD, WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME TO DO? …”

    If you would refer to the definition of the word, Lord, in Acts 9:6 from Strong Concordance, you would have discovered that its original meaning is identical to the word, Lord, in Romans 10:9 that is defined as allowing Jesus to take control of Saul’s life to be his Master. Or in other words, when Saul mentioned the word, Lord, in Acts 9:6, it implies his desire to have Jesus to take control of him to be his Master.

    Could Saul have sight problem after opening his eyes? Acts 9:8, “And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.”

    Did Saul receive the Holy Spirit when he called Jesus to be the Lord in Acts 9:6 after realizing that Jesus is Lord in Acts 9:5? No, he did not receive the Holy Spirit when he called Jesus to be the Lord in Acts 9:5 since Acts 9:17, “(mentions that)…Ananias…said, BROTHER SAUL, …that THOU MIGHTEST RECEIVE THY SIGHT, AND BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST” and Acts 9:18, “…immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” Thus, despite Saul proclaim Jesus to be the Lord in Acts 9:6 after realizing that the One that he spoke to was none other than Jesus in Acts 9:5, yet he only received the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:18 since the phrase, there fell from his eyes as it had been scales…and was baptized, is mentioned then.

    Nevertheless, there is an obvious gap (between Acts 9:6 in which he called Jesus to be the Lord and Acts 9:18 that the Holy Spirit came upon him) in which he believed in Jesus and yet the Holy Spirit was not with him, it implies that a person that calls Jesus to be his Lord might not necessarily have received the Holy Spirit.

    What was the reason that the Holy Spirit was not with Saul even though he did proclaim Jesus to be his Lord in Acts 9:6 and that led him to be baptized with the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:18?

    Let’s meditate James 2:17-19 for clarification:

    James 2:17-19, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

    As the phrase, faith…hath not works is dead, is mentioned in James 2:17, it implies that our confession to Jesus to be our Lord has to be accompanied with action or else our faith is in vain. As the word, Lord, in Romans 10:9, 10:13 and 1 Corinth 12:3 has been defined in the Strong Concordance as allowing Jesus to come and control the lives of non-Christians to be their Master, they have to follow with action to request the Holy Spirit to come into their lives and that is why there is a need for the request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. We are told from the Scripture not to be the hearers of God’s words but be the doers.

    James 2:19 mentions that even the devils believe and yet tremble. The reason is simply that the devils believe and yet they do not follow with action to receive Him as their Master.

    The same is mentioned in Matthew 7:21, “(that) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH the will of my father which is in heaven.” Non-Christians are urged to be the doers of the Scripture instead of hearers. When the Scripture demands non-Christians to call Jesus as the Lord, it demands them to allow Jesus to come into their lives to take control of them.

    Despite Saul proclaimed Jesus to be his Lord in Acts 9:6, his action to receive Jesus Christ was in Acts 9:17-18 and that caused him to be converted then.

    The less obvious event that proves that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit is taken from Acts 8:27-39 about the conversion of the eunuch. The following is the analysis:

    Acts 8:27-28, “…a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch…had come tg Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet”

    What did Philip do when he met the eunuch? Acts 8:35, “…Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”

    When did Philip believe in Jesus as mentioned in Acts 8? Let’s Meditate Acts 8:36-37 below prior to tackling this question:

    Acts 8:36, “… THE EUNUCH SAID, See, here is water; WHAT DOTH HINDER ME TO BE BAPTIZED?” Acts 8:37, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.”

    Some might support that the eunuch believed in Jesus in Acts 8:37 since Acts 8:37, “(mentions that he).. answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” However, some might argue that it should be in Acts 8:36, “(since)…the eunuch said, …what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Their support to be in Acts 8:36 would be due to there should not be any justifiable reason for him to ask to be baptized if he did not believe in Jesus. In any of the above analyses, the eunuch should have started to believe in Jesus either in Acts 8:36 or in 8:37.

    Did Acts 8 mention that he did receive the Holy Spirit after believing? No, it did not mention that, except the phrase, be baptized him, is mentioned in Acts 8:38. The following is the extract:

    Acts 8:38, “And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

    As nothing is mentioned whether the eunuch did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, he baptized him, in Acts 8:38, it might come to the conclusion that he only received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38.

    For instance, if he only received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38, there is a gap of time in which the Holy Spirit should not be with him in the early part of Acts 8:38, “(that mentions that)…he commanded the chariot to stand still…” and he had not received the Holy Spirit until after the latter part of Acts 8:38 despite he had believed in Jesus in either Acts 8:36 or 8:37.

  33. Some commentators might use Luke 23:43 to support that one of the thieves did not request Jesus to accept him in paradise to support that this verse does not demand non-Christian to ask for the Holy Spirit. Discuss.

    Prior to tackling this question, let’s meditate Matthew 27:44:

    Matthew 27:44, “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.”

    As the phrase, cast the same in his teeth, is mentioned in Matthew 27:44, it implies that both the thieves did sin against the Lord.

    Did one of the thieves repent from sin? Let’s meditate Luke 23:42-43 carefully below:

    Luke 23:42-43, “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

    Nothing is mentioned in Luke 23:42-43 that the thief did repent from sin and it should be there or else it would not be possible for him to inform Luke 23:42, “…Jesus (that), Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom…”

    If you would refer the word, Lord, in Luke 23:42, you would have discovered that the definition of the word, Lord, in Luke 23:42 coincides the word, Lord, in Romans 10:9 that the thief directly approached Jesus and demanded Him to take control of his life to be his Master. As the phrase, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom, is mentioned in Luke 23:42, it implies that the thief did request Jesus to accept or in other words, to receive him in paradise. Or in other words, this thief did sincerely ask Jesus to come and take control of his life to be his Master and that caused Him to mention that he Luke 23:43, “…shalt be with (Him) in paradise.”

  34. I have searched desperately for where I belong ever since the Anglican/Episcopal Church broke when I was a teenager. I have gone through many personal trials, and I have not found sufficient guidance in the Anglican/Episcopal Church, as much as I love it. I live in a city where we have a cathedral, one of the 5 in the U.S. They reached out to me at first, but I have no family, and I have a history that blocked them from wanting to once I revealed some of it to one of the women priests. I am also a woman, by the way. I am not saying that my church is horrible, or perferct, or any other adjective, but I am thanking you, with all my heart, for your input, anecdotes, and research.

  35. I am in my early seventies – born, baptised into and bred Church of England, at the High Church “end”. I have been married to a Catholic for over 45 years. During that time i have worshipped with my wife at Mass each Sunday but, when necessary, taking Holy Communion at a nearby Anglican Church.

    I was recently received into Full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church more from convenience than anything else as, in my opinion, there is little or no difference with the beliefs of the two denominations.

    Furthermore, I find that the Eucharistic Service in the Anglican Church is far more intimate and meaningful than the Catholic version.

    1. What!? “I was recently received into Full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church more from convenience than anything else as, in my opinion, there is little or no difference with the beliefs of the two denominations.”
      That’s disturbing. There are huge differences in theology between the two. Go ask a Catholic priest, why don’t you? The Eucharist, the Papacy, Ordination, etc.
      You also shouldn’t be received into the Catholic Church just for “convenience.” We need REAL Catholics, on fire for the faith and full of zeal, not fake or lukewarm.

      1. Ed, I agree with you, from experience the differences between TEC (and CoE) and RCC are major, even with the liberalism (radicalism these days?) of the former taken out of consideration.

        Unfortunately that’s a sentiment I’ve heard most of my life, and I agree that the RCC doesn’t need any more “box checkers” from TEC, CoE or anywhere else. I think that stems from the fact that both churches are liturgical in worship and that liturgy has common roots, both traditionally and the interplay between NOM and BCP 1979.

        That brings up another subject. I got into a protracted debate with an advocate of Reformed theology, and I pointed out that the CoE was not a properly Calvinistic church because, Reformed roots of the 39 Articles notwithstanding, the retention of the episcopacy and the liturgy give a decidedly “Catholic” impression. He vigourously disagreed with me, but a) the sentiment under discussion shows this is so with many people vis a vis the RCC and b) Calvin himself believed that the presbytery was a core element of Reformed church polity. It’s also noteworthy that neither Calvin’s church in Geneva nor its progeny in Scotland retained liturgical worship, in part IMHO to differentiate themselves from the RCC.

      2. Real Catholics on fire for the faith for what purpose? So they can sit and nod in acceptance of everything they are told like drones? Anything else will get you ostracized in your parish. This guy that came for convenience is exactly what the RCC really wants.

  36. The Anglican Catholic Church was established internationally in 1977 to provide an answer for traditional ‘high church’ or ‘Anglo Catholic’ Anglicans who face the difficult decision to leave the Church of England or another member Church of the Anglican Communion.
    The Diocese of the United Kingdom was formed in 1992 by Anglicans who sadly felt that the modern changes in the Church of England had left them ‘high and dry’ and although we are small we are slowly growing.
    Full details are available on our website http://www.anglicancatholic.org.uk including information about our history, development, beliefs and vision for the continuation of traditional Anglicanism.

  37. I am a Roman Catholic who goes to an Episcopal church and sometimes plays with the idea of converting. (I am too liberal to be a good Catholic, I think, and you remark of wishing to “limit” one’s relationship with God hit home, too, although maybe not exactly in the very same meaning as you might have intended ;-)) Anyway, this is a great article, thank you for all the food for thought.

  38. I myself was born and raised in the Catholic faith, and although my experience was not necessarily a negative one, the one thing for sure that the Roman Catholic Church did not allow was any room for theological inclinations outside the norm.

    With a Communion that reflects Unity in Diversity, and can house both Bishop Spong and Desmond Tutu, I am currently considering reception into the Anglican Church of Canada.

    Now, with the myriad parishes that exist here, trying to find one that I fit in with it the most difficult!

  39. UNITY IS WHAT IS MISSING–ONE DOES NOT “BREAK” FROM CHRISTIAN BROTHERS…

    ANGLICAN IS A “CHURCH” FOUNDED ON A KING DISSING HIS CHURCH TO GET HIS OWN WAY AND SETTING UP “HIS OWN”–I THINK NOT.

    BODY AND BLOOD ARE LITERAL FOOD–THOUGH WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT HUMANS–AND WHAT JESUS MEANT IN HIS STATEMENT THAT TURNED PEOPLE OFF; HOWEVER, WHEN TIME CAME–TO THEIR RELIEF–HE INSTEAD INDICATED BREAD AND WINE AS HIS BODY AND BLOOD; NOT CANNIBALISM; THIS IS A METAPHOR, BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO GO INTO ARGUMENT–ONE NEED ONLY ACCEPT “THIS IS MY BODY” AND “THIS IS MY BLOOD” AND GO NO FURTHER! ANYTHING BEYOND THE SCRIPTURE LEADS TO SCHISM–I BERATE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH FOR GOING BEYOND THE SCRIPTURE AND LEADING TO SCHISM; NO ONE IS PERFECT–HOWEVER

    Jonathan CHM, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”…

    <3+

  40. I’m Anglican and I’m not changing for the world. The catholic church has far too many unnecessary rules that Jesus never mentioned (ordination of women, birth control etc) and when people say the Anglican communion is too disorganized and unsure of it’s doctrines there’s nothing wrong with that as it’s just people reaching through to God in their own individual ways and what’s wrong with diversity?

    1. This is an old post, true, but couldn’t help but comment. I am about to convert to Anglican Catholic. Best of both worlds in my view (not going into deep reasons here). However, YourMum, there’s not much substance to your argument. The Church is always depicted as the bride and the priest as its groom so to speak. I’m not very good at expressing this truth but I’m sure someone can explain it better. Marriage is the analog used to describe God and his Church. Therefore a priest cannot be a woman if the Church is already the bride. Birth control is not mentioned, you’re right, but as a practical matter at the very least, society is built upon the basic unit, the family, and its thrival is paramount to the continuation and hopefully the advancement of society. Not to mention the culture of death which has come about by not only preventing having children but to murder them if one comes along, pretending that just because a baby is not out of the womb yet, it is not actually a baby. As far as the Anglican communion being disorganized and unsure of its doctrines — that much seems to be certain, however in my own case I have looked at the big picture of the growing Continuing Anglican movement and it seems to be a burgeoning attitude and hopefully one that strives toward and achieves catholic unity rather than shattering it (to put it simply). “What’s wrong with diversity” is a silly question, not worth commenting on because clearly you hadn’t thought about it at all yourself before asking it.

      Nevertheless, I’m here because I am somewhat shocked and frightened by the numerous shards of Anglicanism and by reading various thoughtful blogs like this one, I hope to sort this out before All Saints Day, the day of my confirmation. I am sure I will cause a lot of consternation if I get cold feet and stay Roman Catholic. Pray for me.

  41. Thanks for an interesting article. Any comments for us who are thinking about going across the Thames? Your advice to “think” is certainly apropos, but please share anything else you can imagine as important. Bless you! Visit my theological blog sometime (www.LessRomanMoreCatholic.com).

    1. It was my intention to cover both ways by the “side by side” comparison of the two. Biggest trap to avoid in entering the Anglican/Episcopal world is to end up in a part of it which in reality denies the essentials of Christianity.

  42. If you ever read Garry Wills’ “Papal Sin” (Wills himself is Catholic) you begin to see an elaborately woven fabric of arguments that “justify” the stances made by the Roman Catholic Church. Ih short, Wills exposes how the original infrastructures of the Catholic Church morphed and transformed over the ages, so that origianl dogmas–and the understanding of their meaning thereof–changed to the point where the interpretations of dogma today DO NOT match the interpretations of dogma expressed in the Church centuries ago. Eastern Orthodoxy deliberately avoided “engineering” theology the way the Catholic Church did for precisely this reason. Scholasticism, as an approach to theology, necessarily involves the formation of intellectual constructs to “explain away” what simply should just be accepted upon faith.

    As a Catholic of 12 years myself, I see incredible intellectual dishonesty in Roman Catholicism. One need only read the chapter in Wills’ book “Papal Sin” concerning the governance of the Chruch at Rome in its earliset times, to realize that SS Linus, Anacletus, and Clement were more like leading figures amongst a group of elders that governed the Church at Rome, rather than standing solitary bishops.

  43. I’m a catholic and this church feels so empty that I cannot recommend anyone to convert into the RCC. I am one of those “too enthusiastic” types, reading the Bible, volunteering at church, reading the catechism, etc… As noted in the article, this is an authoritarian church, there is not really a dialogue. If you know your Bible, and initiate a conversation with a priest, you will soon find they will not “encourage” you with a discussion on any topic where the validity of an RCC position is being discussed. The priest doesn’t have to defend anything, you can take it or leave it. That is the RCC.
    Converting is also quite a long and boring process. And you will have to sit through a ton of presentations, and will be expected to shut up and nod in acceptance of whatever you are told. Not kidding, ask a question, and they get uncomfortable quickly. The RCC is not a place where questions are asked.
    The Bible mentions so many spiritual things like; casting out demons, healings, visions, dreams, voices from Heaven, etc… The RCC has an intellectual acknowledgement of these things, bur if anyone actually talks about these things happening today in the laity, they look at you like you are crazy. So it is an intellectual christianity, not a christianity of the heart.
    The RCC has had a long obsession with latin. For a long time mass was held in latin, which is not the vernacular of anyone. So they chose for a long time to teach the word of eternal life in a dead language that hardly anyone can understand. Jesus and the apostles after the holy spirit descended on them spoke in languages that people could understand. The RCC chose latin that no one could understand for whatever bizarre reason that pleases them.
    Quite frankly, finding Jesus in the RCC, while not impossible, is super hard. Just find yourself a better church and enjoy the good news of the gospel.

  44. I’m an Irish Catholic and philosooher and I love the cultural and intellectual tradition of the Roman Catholic Church Esp ignatian spirituality but worship in a high Anglican Church- love the liturgy and aesthetics and agree with much Anglican theology but miss the soirituality of the various Catholic orders in Anglicanism and the monastic tradition..

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.