IS IT OK FOR A CATHOLIC TO JOIN GROUPS SPOUSING DEISM?

IS IT OK FOR A CATHOLIC TO JOIN GROUPS SPOUSING DEISM?

By Bro. Ramon Gitamondoc

 

The Lord Jesus reigns eternally over the Universe
Anybody heard of the Odd Fellows? My Deist cousin is inviting me to join them. I know the Church forbids membership to Freemasonry but I’m not sure if the Odd Fellows fall into that category.
  • As a Catholic we are not allowed to join organizations and associations whose principles and tenets are contrary to the Catholic religion. Deism is condemned by the Church as a heresy. It is false notion that God created the world and after this he left it to run by itself therefore denying divine providence and God’s plan of Salvation. Avoid joining associations which practice religious indifferentism which is that all religions are equally valid.

A Case Against The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Founded By Felix Manalo) Part II Divinity of Christ

A Case Against The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Founded By Felix Manalo) Part II Divinity of Christ

By: Bro. Isahel N. Alfonso

 

 

 

One of the distinctive teachings of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is their belief that Jesus Christ is just a man and not God. While they boast Felix Manalo as an angel sent by God, they ridiculed Jesus Christ by teaching and believing that He is only a man. They inherited their teaching that Jesus Christ is just a man from an ancient heretic named Arius. Arius was the one who vigorously defended the heretical teaching that Jesus Christ is just a man and not God. This brings us to another point where is the Iglesia ni Cristo during this great council (as founded by Felix Manalo) to defend their heretical doctrine that Christ is just a man? If they are the true Church  as what they claim then they should be the first one to raise a defense on this theological matter, yet, they are not able to do so because the Iglesia ni Cristo did not exists yet during those time.

 

 

The INC And The Divinity Of Christ

A close analysis on the contentions of the INC ministers on the nature of Christ will give us an insight that their arguments are not really arguments at all. If we are going to observe an INC minister preaching or debating about the nature of Christ notice that all the biblical passages that he will quote are the ones that will prove that Christ has a human nature thus they would emphasize on the qualities or elements that tells us that Christ is a man. Upon hearing statements from an INC minister that Christ is just a man we do not have to hassle and refute each and every scripture passage that they quote in proving that Christ is a man because the Catholic Church teaches that Christ has two natures, Human and Divine nature. The Catechism is very clear on this matter;

The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. During the first centuries, the Church had to defend and clarify this truth of faith against heresies that falsified it. CCC 464


For an INC minister to prove that Christ is a man in front of a Catholic apologist is irrelevant in a debate concerning the nature of Christ for we Catholics do not deny the fact that Christ is a man. However what we do believe is that Christ is true God and true man. For the INC arguments to prosper they should be debating people who do not believe that Christ is a man, but in front of a person who believes that Christ is true God and true man their efforts in proving their cause is futile.

In our exposition we no longer have to prove that Jesus Christ has a human nature since this is part of the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church about Christ. Our foremost concern is establishing the divinity of Christ using the Scriptures. There are numerous passages in the Bible that tells us that Christ is God but the INC ministers preferred to give a twisted and at times hilarious interpretations just to do away passages that clearly points to Christ’s divinity.

Let us start with the Gospel of John in proving the divinity of Christ, for John’s Gospel is highly theological and gives emphasis on Christ divinity. In the opening chapter of John’s Gospel we are told about the “Word” or logos in Greek.

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God. John 1:1

The Word that St. John is talking about in this passage is none other than but Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament Scholar Antonio Garcia-Moreno he said;

The Logos is neither a philosophical abstraction nor a divine being merely clothed with a human appearance, as the Docatae taught. For the Evangelist the Logos is the personal and pre-existent Christ who, in a specific moment in history, had taken unto himself a human nature.Antonio Garcia-Moreno, Jesus of Nazareth The King of the Jews: A study on Johannine Christology, p.62, 2010

In a debate between a Catholic apologist and a district minister of INC Rizalito Ocampo, the minister was asked “if Christ is not the Word in John 1:1, then who is it?” The only response that can be heard from the district minister was “in John 1:1 you cannot read Jesus Christ”. Such is not even an answer but an escape goat to avoid answering the the unanswerable question hurled to him. But how are we to know that the Word in John 1:1 is truly Jesus Christ?

John 1:1 is a very short passage yet it is very much sufficient to prove the divinity of Christ. Upon close reading of the passage it tells us of three important elements of the Word which is also applicable and belongs to Jesus Christ.

 

 

In the beginning was the Word


This passage points not to the time wherein the world was created but on the time before the world was created, this tells us about the preexistence of the Word. Jesus Christ on the other hand manifest his existence before the world was created in John 17:5 Jesus Christ said,

Now Father give me in your presence the same glory I had with you before the world begun. John 17:5

Jesus Christ is speaking here in the past tense which means that he was already with God before the world was created. This is a very clear and explicit words from Christ that he himself confess that he was with the Father before the world begun. So who are we to believe? The INC ministers or our Lord Jesus Christ himself? St. Paul in his epistles also affirms this truth, in his epistle to the Colossians he speaks about Christ preexistence.

He is the image of the unseen God, and for all creation he is the first-born, for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones, rulers, authorities, powers all was made through him and for him. He is before all and all things hold together in him. Col.1:15-17

St. Paul is telling us that it was through Christ that everything was created and this would only be possible if Christ has a preexistence. But on the same passage Christ’s preexistence is affirmed with the words “He is before all”. 

 


And the Word was with God


This statement tells us of the distinction between the Father and the Son, some pseudo Christians believe that the Father and the Son are one and the same, this is a serious error concerning the relationship of the Father and of the Son. Since Christ has a preexistence as proved by the passages we quoted above this brings us to a logical conclusion that Christ is distinct from the Father. This distinction was already been prefigured in the Old Testament when God showed himself to Abraham under the appearance of three men.

Yahweh appeared to Abraham near the oak of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent, in the heat of the day, when he looked up and saw three men standing nearby. Genesis 18:1-2


In this passage we are told that Yahweh appeared to Abraham under the appearance of three men. But why three men? Because it is a revelation that there is one God in three distinct persons. In like manner Christ was with God in the beginning because they are distinct yet shares that nature of God. In the Gospel of Matthew such a distinction is also mentioned by the Gospel writer in Mt.28:18-19, Jesus Christ said,

Go therefore, and make disciples from all nations, Baptize then in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Mt.28:19


Notice that the Gospel writer wrote “in the name” not “in the names” which is plural, because the Gospel writer is referring only to one God in three distinct persons which is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

 

And the Word was God


St. John when writing his Gospel carefully wrote “Word was God” and not “Word was a god” which would imply that Jesus Christ or the Word is a God lower than the Father as what the Jehova’s witnesses believed. He did not also write “Word was the God” because it would mean that the Father and the Son are one and the same. What St. John wrote was crystal clear “And the Word was God” referring to the nature of the Word which is divine. In St. Paul’s epistle to the Colossians he is telling them that Christ possess a divine nature, hence Christ is truly GOd.

For in him dwells the fullness of God in bodily form. Col.2:9


Such a fact is irrefutable but the INC ministers will surely find a way to beat around the bush and raise hilarious and illogical explanations regarding this passage. In Hebrews chapter 1 verse 8 it is no longer the apostles who professed Christ divinity but it was already the Father who is telling us that Christ is God. Who then shall we believe the INC ministers who are famous for deceiving people of God?

But of the Son we read this: Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a rule of justice is your rule. Hebrews 1:8


Beyond any reason of a doubt it is quite clear from the passages of the Holy Scripture that Jesus Christ is God. Any person who deliberately refuses to believe such truth will have nothing in the end of times but the fires of Hell.

Existence of God

Existence of God

By Bro. Cleb Calimutan

 

 

Definition of the term, God is called el or elohim in Hebrew. El is originally a specific name; and el is a member of a divine species as a man is member of the human species. . The name reflects an original conception in which El was the truly supreme God. The noun is plural in form and plural in sense; but is also used of a single divine being1.

 

Dogmatic Declaration: God, our Creator and Lord, can be know with certainty, by the light of reason from created things2.

 

 

Scriptural Support of the Dogma

 

Wis.13:1-9 “For the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the creator of them may be

seen”

Rom.1:20 “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,being

understood by the things that are made. His eternal power and His divinity also: so                      that they are inexcusable.”

 

Argument from the Principle of Existence: To deny existence is absurd, for how can one deny existence if he does not exist. Now among those things that exist, at least some of them are contingent which means they exist now but they do not exist for some time before. In the principle of Non-contradiction, if one exists it can not be that one does not exist at the same time. Hence if a thing exists contingently it can no be it is not contingent at the same respect. Further, to argue that all things exist in contingency is erroneous, for before anything else there is state of nothingness, a state of void from any for of existence. Following the principle of non-contradiction, nothingness can not be not nothingness at the same time; therefore nothingness is not existence at the same time. Wherefore if there was a state of void then nothing would exist which is contradictory to fact. Hence to argue that all things exist in contingency is erroneous for it will deny the fact of existence. The only valid argument is to say that at one should exist not in contingent, for one is only necessary to cause the existence of other beings. Therefore there must be one being whose existence is necessary, and we call Him God. Moreover, that one whose existence is necessary must be an intelligent being, for it can not be that the cause is inferior than the effect, and in fact there are intelligent beings therefore the Necessary Being is at an intelligent one superior than anyone else and we vow for He is our God.

 

The five ways of St. Thomas Aquinas

I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. Motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion by itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But “more” and “less” are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it is directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.3

 

 

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1.Dictionary of the Bible by John L. Mckenzie. S.J

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2. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott 4th Ed. P24

3. Summa Theologica > First Part > Question 2