Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Morning Thoughts Podcast

Catholic-Protestant Debates

My advice for Catholic apologists:

Sola Fide

Why Sola Fide is a self-refuting belief: 

What did God mean?

Our debates about scripture isn't really about what is written in scripture....

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hollywood and Child Sex Trafficking...

The knowledge of evil....

Everyone should be aware that Hollywood is full of predators who sexually use and abuse children... Do NOT watch this. Please just believe me... but if you want nightmares for weeks, watch this and weep and pray for all victims...Documentary at vimeo. I would NOT allow anyone who is not a very mature person and over 35 years old watch this. Some things should simply not be in most people's brains. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I have heard my entire life Adventists make
the claim that Catholics changed the day of worship. Then I did some research and had that "ahah!" moment. This error in SDA teaching really could be cleared up without too much effort.

The crux of the Adventists' misunderstanding of Catholicism is their view that the Catholics have one day a week they worship as if it is the sabbath.


To better understand this mix up, let's read a few passages in scripture. The first is Genesis 2: 2, 3 NIV.  

"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."

Please notice that the seventh day was holy because God RESTED on it. There is nothing anywhere that talks about worship; the focus is on rest. (The word "sabbath" in Hebrew means ceasing and has no connection to a specific day in its meaning. Here God made the seventh day holy by "sabbathing" on it.)

Now let's go to the second time this seventh-day rest is mentioned in scripture. This is before the Ten Commandments were given to Israel at Mt. Sinai and God is giving instructions to Israel about the manna from heaven. It is Exodus 16: 23-30:

Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.”….Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.”  
It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”

The people rested on the seventh day.

Notice that there is no association with a worship on Sabbath—only a rest. Let us go to the very Ten Commandments in order to further this idea of the Sabbath being a rest: 

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20: 8-11

The commandment of God is about resting on Sabbath. God did not include in this commandment anything about worshipping on Sabbath. The actual difference between Adventists and many other Christians is that they don't rest on the seventh day. Resting on the seventh day is absolutely something Christians should discuss. That is a legitimate difference in how we view scripture. All agree that we disagree on a seventh day rest

There is no official Catholic Church dogma on whether Christians may rest or not rest on the seventh day. Catholics, in general, do not rest on the seventh-day, however….some do rest on the seventh day. There are monasteries 
that rest on the Sabbath day. Some Catholic universities have groups that rest on the seventh day Sabbath. The Catholic Church supports Christians resting or not resting on the Sabbath day.  Catholics are allowed to follow their conscience about resting on the seventh day. Therefore our differences are not quite as severe as many Adventists believe.

Now this is where it can get really confusing for Adventists because they think of a rest day as the same as a day of worship. They see Jews attending the synagogue on Sabbath and they see Protestants go to church on Sunday. Hmmm... Adventist think this transition from the ancient Hebrew worship on the seventh-day to the Protestant worship on the first day was the Catholic Church's doing. However, if we look at history, we can see the misunderstanding in this idea.  

There is no such thing as a day of worship.

If you will do the scriptural research, you will see that there was never anything like a weekly "day of worship" for the Hebrews. (Footnote #1) This, I know, can get complicated. But just remember: Israel had no required weekly day of corporate worship once in the Promised Land. They had a required weekly day of rest

When the Temple in Jerusalem was built, there were only three times a year that Israel was required to meet together for corporate worship and that was: 

1) Pesach—Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover,  
2) Shavot—Feast of Harvest/Pentecost   
3) Sukkot—Feast of Tabernacles.

Now, even if there were only three times a year Israel would join together for corporate worship at the Temple, they did have a weekly rest wherever they lived. But there was no concept of a weekly worship as Adventists believe because in Jerusalem, at the temple, worship was going on every single day. The sacrifices in the temple was how Israel worshipped God. There is even some suggestion from biblical and archeological and Jewish history that worship was going on not just daily but twenty-four hours a day! Worship to God never ceased in the holy temple. Worship was daily, but the sabbath rest was weekly.

That is the crux of the misunderstanding for Adventists. They think day of rest = day of worship. This is wrong. And the Christian church has always mimicked the Jews in this and has had daily worship. Please research this. (2) Look up mass or Divine Liturgy in Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches. In fact, I think all churches that directly go back to the churches the Apostles established worship daily. For two thousand years, Christians all over the world worship daily. There is no concept of a "day of worship" for ancient churches. 

Protestants denominations are relatively new and because they were developed in a capitalistic system that didn't allow for time off for daily worship, Protestants often have had to legally fight to even be able to have one day off for worship. And since Christ was raised from the dead on Sunday, that would naturally be the day off they pushed for to have off for corporate worship. (3)

It was the Protestants, specifically the Calvinists of France and Scotland, who introduced to America that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath taking the place of the seventh day both in rest and in corporate worship. (See footnote 4. I also included Luther's belief on why Christians should worship on Sunday.) 

The direct substitute of the seventh day of rest to the first day of rest was a Protestant doctrine. And this was more direct because the Calvinists had only one day of worship.

Catholics have no dogma or formal statement about the Lord's Day replacing the seventh-day Sabbath rest. Catholics are allowed to believe what they wish about keeping a

sabbath rest. Some popes, cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen have seen Sunday as a sabbath rest. Adventists often quote from the pro-Sunday sabbatarian Catholics assuming this is what the Catholic Church teaches. 

There also have been more popes, cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen that believe there is no weekly sabbath connection between the Lord's Day and the seventh-day Sabbath of the Jews. There is no Catholic dogma against resting on any day of the week as a sabbath and there is no Catholic dogma  that states Sunday is a sabbath. However, again, this deals exclusively with a day of rest, not a day of worship. 

For Catholics--no matter what they think about resting on Sunday--do not view it as "the day of worship." Christians see the difference between a sabbath rest and a day of worship.


Sabbath rest:
1) Catholics do not teach that a sabbath rest is required on the seventh-day. Catholics are allowed to keep a sabbath on the seventh day if they wish. Because there was a slow historical drift of some Catholics resting on Sabbath to very few resting on Sabbath, the Adventists assume there was some type of actual doctrine, document or proclamation coming from the Vatican that forbid Catholics from resting on Sabbath. Not true. 

Day of Worship: 
2) Catholics do not have a day of worship; they worship daily. In America, about a third of all Catholics go to mass (divine worship services) on the seventh-day. The first day/Sunday/the Lord's Day is not and has not ever been a "day of worship" for the Catholics.

How does this affect Adventist doctrine? 

Adventists believe God requires that all men observe the seventh day Sabbath based on the Ten Commandments. Catholics do not teach that a rest is required on the seventh day. So Catholic belief doesn't affect Adventists except that Adventists might try and convince a Catholic to rest on Sabbath. And the Catholic church would be okay with that because many Catholics do rest on the seventh-day.

Adventists believe God requires all men to worship on the seventh day. Catholics worship on the seventh day. The difference is that Adventists only have corporate worship once a week, Catholics have it daily. 

The entirety of Adventists concern is based on the idea that the Catholic Church has a "day of worship" on Sunday and that they somehow hate the seventh day and will keep people from attending worship services on Sabbath.

I challenge Adventists to go to their local Catholic parish on the seventh day of the week and discover that, in most cases, there will be Catholics worshipping there on Sabbath. There have been Christians attending church on the seventh day of the week forever. Catholics will not change that. They have no reason to because they don't have a "day of worship."


1) Catholics worship daily. If Adventists believe we should only have one day a week of worship, that is something we could discuss. Worshipping one day versus worshipping daily. 

2) Having a mandatory sabbath rest on the seventh-day is another legitimate disagreement we have about Christ's commandments for Christians. 

Please Adventists, for Christ's sake, imagine that it is possible you are wrong and the Catholics didn't change the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday. That would mean that no one is ever going to stop you from attending church on Sabbath (that would go against Catholic dogma of daily worship!) And after all, your greatest concern? Isn't that what the doctrine of Adventism is most afraid of--a law keeping you from worshipping on the seventh day?

If the Catholics do not have a day of worship, that means you are not going to be hunted down and martyred in the last days because of a day of worship! That means you could put down your theological sword of suspicion. You could then simply love your fellow Christians! How glorious would that be? You could keep the Sabbath as lovingly as you want without threat of it ever being taken away from you! There would be no fear of deception from your brothers and sisters in Christ. I can give you that marvelous reality if you want it. For it is the truth. And that should make angels sing in your heart! 

  1. The law for religious celebrations, written about in Torah, (Leviticus 23) gives His people the days that are sabbaths (rest days) and they do not all fall on the seventh day. In fact, at this time, the sabbath are associated with the phases of the moons and not an independent weekly cycle set up by the Romans centuries later. These sabbath festivals or "appointed times" are set up by God's calendar, not some later pagan timetables. (See Genesis 1: 14; "mow'ed" or seasons are observed by looking at the heavens.)

2.Please click on these random Catholic Church websites for daily mass schedules: they have at least one mass (Divine Worship Service) once a day. A tiny church in Loma Linda, CA right next to our Adventists brethren has daily mass!  Check it out! While some very small churches may not have daily mass because they don't have enough priests to do it daily, almost all of them combine with other local parishes to provide daily mass as long as parishioners can drive a little ways. 

  1. What we traditionally keep as the weekend is based on early Christians in the East resting on the seventh day and observing Sunday as the celebration of the Resurrection. There was no mix up then about the Sabbath being on Sunday. The seventh-day of the week in most languages is "Sabbath" and the first day of the week in those same languages is "The Lord's Day."

4. Westminster Confession, 
Chapter XXI: Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day
VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.
VIII. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

Luther's  Small Catechism:
The Third Commandment—Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.
Luther's Large Catechism: (see Luther's full explanation about the Sabbath commandment at this link.)
V.  Part First. The Third Commandment—Thou shalt sanctify the holy day. [Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.]
…This commandment, therefore, according to its gross sense, does not concern us Christians; for it is altogether an external matter, like other ordinances of the Old Testament, which were attached to particular customs, persons, times, and places, and now have been made free through Christ.
But to grasp a Christian meaning for the simple as to what God requires in this commandment, note that we keep holy days not for the sake of intelligent and learned Christians (for they have no need of it [holy days]), but first of all for bodily causes and necessities, which nature teaches and requires; for the common people, man-servants and maid-servants, who have been attending to their work and trade the whole week, that for a day they may retire in order to rest and be refreshed.
Secondly, and most especially, that on such day of rest (since we can get no other opportunity) freedom and time be taken to attend divine service, so that we come together to hear and treat of God's and then to praise God, to sing and pray.
However, this, I say, is not so restricted to any time, as with the Jews, that it must be just on this or that day; for in itself no one day is better than another; but this should indeed be done daily; however, since the masses cannot give such attendance, there must be at least one day in the week set apart. But since from of old Sunday [the Lord's Day] has been appointed for this purpose, we also should continue the same, in order that everything be done in harmonious order, and no one create disorder by unnecessary innovation.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Halloween, October 31, 1517-2017
500th Anniversary of the Reformation

When we were in Wittenberg and Worms a few years ago doing research for our novel trilogy, we saw that many areas were already preparing for 
the onslaught of Protestants making a pilgrimage to the Reformation hotspots today. The Protestant world was readying for that celebratory moment when they could shout that for half a millennium they were "free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty they are free at last" from the horrors of the wicked and corrupt Catholic Church. I don't write that with any malice or bitterness or even sarcasm. That is how many Protestants feel. I know. I have marched in the Reformation Day parades this day when I was a Protestant. 

Whether it be from theology and doctrine or from politics disagreements or from the leaders they feel do not have God's authority—Protestants do not like the Catholic Church and are glad there are churches they can attend that more fit their own beliefs.

But for most of Christianity today, for Protestants still remain a minority within Christianity, this is a great day of mourning. We see the Reformation as more of a great divorce that ripped the Body of Christ into little divisions of distrust and left the disaster of relativism in its wake. It is a day that we should be throwing ashes upon ourselves and sitting in sackcloth. Our family is broken. God's kingdom remains divided against itself against the pleading command of God to stay unified: 

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.. Rom. 12: 4-5 
 …With all wisdom and understanding, he mde known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. Ephesians 1: 8-10
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Eph. 3: 6
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Eph. 4: 1-6
Why is unity SO important?
Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Eph. 4: 11-14 
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4: 31-32
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— Eph. 5: 29

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. Colossians 3: 13-15

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. I Cor. 1: 10
Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. I Cor. 10:17 
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. …As it is, there are many parts, but one body. I Cor. 12:12, 20
so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. I Cor. 12: 25-27

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17: 20-23
Let us not, this Reformation day, celebrate the divisions in the Body of Christ. Let us instead grieve and pray for ways of healing those divisions. And it is possible if we act in faith. For God said to unify, an we must do it even if we don't want to.

First step is to put down our swords of defensiveness. Our enemy is not those who take the name of Christ. The Bible clearly identifies the enemy of Christ as those dark powers and principalities of the unseen… the devil and his fallen angels. For Christians who may disagree with us theologically or are simply bad people, we should not see as our enemies, but see them through the eyes of Christ. They are who He died to save. It's okay to love people who are wrong. It's okay to love people who are evil. God is big enough to handle the bad Christians. Pray for them. Do not hate them.

Secondly, listen with your hearts to other Christians who disagree with you. You may find that most often, you actually agree, but just have different ways you express something. Listening is an art that we have lost today. Listen without judgment.

Thirdly, do not fear. For pride and fear are the biggest hurdles we must overcome in order to follow Christ's command to unify. And I am not saying we are going to become one big happy denomination. That is not what I am saying at all. What I am saying is the first step towards unity is to love each other and believe that no matter what it may appear, God is in control and He will bring us all into truth. He said that bringing us into all truth was the job of the Holy Spirit. We can trust the Holy Spirit. What we need to do is act in faith that God will protect His people.

Five hundred years of disobedience, divisions and heart-rendering disunity. We can change this. Begin on our knees in asking God for forgiveness for His Body being torn apart. Let's begin the healing today. 

Friday, October 20, 2017


Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.... Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:1-8 (parts) NASB

While I believe that every Christian who has been baptized into the New Covenant of Christ is saved by God's grace, to believers, Jesus had words of warning. Act in accordance to the covenant, for your judgement will be according to the mercy you give others.

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matt. 7: 17-19

Here again, those who have entered the covenant with God through faith are expected to bear fruit. This is not a suggestion, but a commandment. How we bear fruit is through His grace, but if it was automatic, there would be no need for a warning attached--a pretty scary warning at that! This is not supposed to scare the Christian, but to keep them awake. Christ is saying something like: You have an enemy--the Devil--who is trying to put Christians to sleep, to keep them occupied with other earthly matters. Have the courage to stay awake and stay actively attached to the Father! 

I think of the story of the good Samaritan. When a situation is presented to you, put at your feet, do not walk by those in need--for you are your brother's keeper. Do. Don't just feel sympathy. Don't just wear a ribbon that says, "Be a good samaritan." Do. Act. Give. Sacrifice. Pray. 

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matt. 7: 21-23
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matt. 24-26

Jesus used action words. He spoke of obedience, not faith alone. When I read the words of Christ, I cannot fathom anyone understanding it as did the Reformers who taught that all that was required of Christians was faith. That is not found anywhere on the lips of Christ. The gospel is about believing that He is the Messiah and following Him. 

Jesus did not teach a works-righteousness, but He did teach a righteousness by His grace flowing to the believer enabling the believer to will and then act, sometimes courageously, sometimes sacrificially for others. 

While we may all be saved by our faith, we have a duty to be Christ to the world so that others will see our love and be drawn to the Cross. Christians are His arms, His feet, His heart to the world. 

For our salvation and our faith are not for us alone. Our salvation and our faith, given with overflowing, superabundant grace are meant to save others. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 7. Act. Act in mercy. Act in love. And it is through His grace, His power, His strength freely given that we can act. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why Do Some Catholics Refer to Sunday as the "Sabbath"?

For my beloved Adventist brothers and sisters who have become confused, due to no fault on their part, by the Catholic rhetoric about Sunday being a Sabbath. 

You see it is confusing. Even to Catholics.

Few Christians today have questions surrounding the Ten Commandments and Sabbath-keeping so to them it is an argument as relevant to their lives as who wrote the book of Hebrews. (Some say St. Paul, others argue Apollo or someone else.) Most Protestants believe that when we are saved by God's grace, we simply don't have to worry about Sabbath--that is old covenant. Or they believe Sunday is the Christian Sabbath.  

When Catholics fall into the cultural habit of calling Sunday the Sabbath, it is not on any bishop's "to do" list to correct him, because Catholics see the church as doing battle with Satan for souls. When you are fighting abortion, divorce, contraception... the list goes on and on and on... the Sabbath/Sunday issue is buried.

Therefore, it will be up to me, a former SDA to give a very brief and incomplete history of how this Sunday "sabbath" issue grew up in America and why Seventh-day Adventists can find a whole slew of writings they quote in their literature that back up Catholics calling Sunday, "the Sabbath."

First, through the centuries, scholars have seen the similarities in holy days. There are similarities in the high holy days that occur once a year in Lev. 23 (Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, Day of Atonement) and the weekly sabbath. In fact, the Passover is called a "sabbath" just as the 7th day was called a Sabbath, though they were not commemorating the same event. The Passover was a holy day just as the seventh-day was a holy day, but they were very different in that one pointed to Israel leaving for the Promised Land and the other pointed to Creation. We have holy days/holidays in America and are free to call Christmas a holiday and somehow that is not confused with Easter. It's similar to the way Catholic theology treats the Lord's Day and Sabbath. 

Okay... so, understanding this, I jump to 19th century United States to begin the explanation.

America had been very anti-catholic. Many early colonies did not allow Catholics to live there. Later, the KKK's targets were both blacks and Catholics. The Catholic Church was attempting to survive by proving to Protestants we were not the great evil thing it was being portrayed as. Public and private debates erupted.

There seemed to be one point upon which the Protestants could not answer the Catholics. Catholics asked them why Protestants went to church on Sunday when there was nothing explicit in scripture that commands Christians to worship on Sunday. It was their "gotcha" moment in all exchanges. 

The Sunday debate was never supposed to be a debate about the Sabbath. However, since the Calvinists in the U.S. considered Sunday a Sabbath, the Catholics just adopted the Protestant wording. This was okay with the Catholic Church because it had long seen similarities in the Lord's Day and the seventh-day of the commandments. So the Catholics felt free to use those similarities for what they believed was the greater point.

Catholics were attempting to show that the Protestants had  unknowingly accepted the authority of the Catholic Church by going to church on Sunday. To this day, the same argument is used by Catholics to Protestants who deny that the Catholic Church has authority.
 Why do you go to church on Sunday? 

Protestants' response?...... cricket sounds......

Adventist of course would misunderstand the Catholics poorly worded response of: "the Catholic Church had the right to change the Sabbath to Sunday." 

And the world is shown by Adventists a plethora of 19th century priests and scholars who used the word "Sabbath" for Sunday, showing the Protestants they actually were following the Catholic lead on Sunday worship services... not the Bible.

In fact, the Catholic Church did not change Sabbath to Sunday. Sunday is the Lord's Day. It is the first day and the allegorical eighth day---Sunday is not the seventh day--so it not the day of the fourth/third commandment. (Protestants separate the first commandment and make it two, so the numbering is different.)

If one goes to Rome, one will hear anyone speaking Italian or Latin refer to the first day of the week as "The Lord's Day" and the seventh day of the week as "The Sabbath." There is not a transference. Sunday is not the Sabbath to Catholics anywhere on earth.

Sunday gets its holiness from being the great day the Son of God gave His life to save the world. Sunday doesn't need to borrow its holiness from Sabbath. Indeed, Sabbath derives its holiness because it foreshadowed the holiest day of all time.... the day heaven and earth met in a cosmic battle for our souls. And there was never a doubt as to who would win. Jesus won. And each Sunday we are celebrating that.

The Sabbath was just like John the Baptist when he said something similar to, "I must grow lesser that Jesus may grow greater."

It is time Catholics clear this up. American Catholics have used the Sabbath/Sunday as a survival issue so that the could end the attacks on Catholics. They just have never taken the time to explain the theological nuances of the Lord's Day. And that has caused untold misunderstandings with Adventists.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Since this is the last day of earth.... (smile).

It's September 23 and evidently Planet X is cloaked. And I am going to sit and think and write about nonsense until the earth is obliterated--probably later this afternoon.

Life Analogy:

There are cruise ships who remain in the Bahamas. There are cruise ships that become tired of their boring lives and go storm chasing. There are ships who must travel the Gulf of Aden (the most dangerous place for ships on the earth for piracy) and those ships who end up in the Gulf of Aden because they made bad choices. 

Most people look at my life and think I am a ship who desires the drama of the Gulf of Aden or have made choices to end up there. Nope. Sometimes we are in a place because it is where God placed us. Believe it or not, most of my life I have had to keep my mouth shut because if I were to tell people too much of my life they would think I was lying or at least highly exaggerating. 

Nope. By no means am I saying my life has been particularly tragic. Not at all. My life has been... busy--eventful. I take my very unusual life and make gallons of lemonade in the form of amusing stories. If my life can make people laugh, then let's laugh! 

Take for instance, my memories of a certain year of my life as a preteen (or maybe it was a couple years, not sure). 

We lived, for a few years, in Dallas on the busy street of Royal lane. I was sitting one Sunday morning probably reading, when there was a dreadful noise. Some drunk man had, at high speed, crashed through our thick wood fence in the front of our home, continued across our lawn and hit a tree. He was seriously hurt. Ambulances, etc. 

Once, my father took out some trash and for some reason set fire to a bunch dried tree limbs in a pile by our house and it blazed. It became dangerous and almost set out home on fire. 911 had to be called. Fire trucks, etc. 

Another Sunday morning, my brother opened the front door to a large police deputy. My father was arrested for not paying a number of parking tickets. "Bye, bye, daddy!" (He was back fairly quickly.) 

One morning my horse jumped the front fence straight into morning rush hour traffic and freaked out causing a huge back up of cars. We were on the morning news. 

That same horse learned how to open our back door and several times was lounging inside our living room or kitchen when we returned from church or a vacation. 

We had an infestation of huge, huge rats. They looked like opossums. We children were scared and I think I tried to sleep on the kitchen countertop to avoid them at night. My father found the opening where they were getting in, under a water fountain (yes, in our kitchen we had a water fountain like in school) and when he tried to stop up the hole, he hit the water main and our house flooded. Like really badly. 

A tornado went directly over our house doing damage to a few houses, but not ours. I had to "save" my four younger brothers and sisters because my parents were not at home by overturning heavy chairs for them to get under and placing them in tubs with mattresses on top. But that wasn't a big deal compared to the rest because we were used to tornadoes in Texas. 

One night the ducks on the little pond we had in our backyard (yep, in the middle of the city of Dallas!) started quacking. Then helicopters began hovering over our backyard shining lights. Sirens, etc. It seemed some guy who broke out of jail was attempting to take refuge in our wooded backyard.

That's the stuff I can remember offhand--well, the stuff I can put online. I thought this was normal. In fact, compared to many years of my life that one was downright calm. But I pretty much thought that everyone's life was like that. I didn't go over to other people's homes very often because everyone wanted to come over to mine! Either we had a pool or we could go to the pool at our country club. We had a billiard table and ping pong table and six children (and all the neighbor kids and those who came from school for visits) and a big house and maids and lots and lots of pizza and soda and we had fun! All the time. It was a house full of party from sun up to sundown most days. Our home was loud. Loud with laughter, loud with fighting and losing children's shoes and being late for school and church and pretty much late to everything. 

When I was a kid, I was expected to give an excuse to the teacher for our tardiness each day. And I would sit in the backseat of our station wagon and try and figure out what to say. I had no idea! I was a kid. I just knew that when dad said to go to the car, I would and I would sit there and wait. And then we were late. Since I didn't know why, I had to guess. Thinking up new excuses each day was hard! But I tried to be creative... and honest at the same time. 

In fact, occasionally the principle would call all of us siblings together into his office and ask us WHY we could never get to school on time. He gave us all kinds of pointers of what we could do to help our parents so we didn't have to have tardy marks for as many days as there was school. Suggestions didn't help. Neither did threats. 

I remember the moment I walked into my homeroom class in probably third of fourth grade, just slightly late, and the teacher was reading a book about Christ and then the children sang a wonderful hymn or something like that. I thought that was so sweet! I asked the teacher what the occasion was--was this some holiday or was she just in the mood to have a little church service. With annoyance, the teacher looked at my fascinated joyful expression and told me, "We do this every morning! This is church school, we have morning worship.... everyday." 

I loved every single moment of living in our home because I felt loved. And I loved my darling little brothers and sisters and idolized my handsome, brilliant, athletic older brother. And when love is in the home, when joy is in the home, it simply doesn't matter if your life's ship keeps wandering into the Gulf of Aden. And my life seems to have sunk a heavy anchor there! 

There were lots of really horrible things that happened too--stuff you can't joke about--too much. 

(This is a tellable tale because it is so mild.) My father and mother sometimes had some hum-dingers for fights. Walls had holes in them the next morning. I used to conduct my own symphony in my mind at night when I could hear them fight from my bed--to drown out the noise, I wrote all kinds of beautiful symphonies--with especially wonderful violin solos and inspirational string sections swelling in wonderful, tender and Rachmaninoff romanticism. 

But sad was not the overarching memories. Mostly it was incredible joy. When small, I didn't really want to get married (mother told me I could not marry Jesus, my daddy nor my brother. Every other boy was icky). So I grabbed my many dolls set them on the bed together and explained to them how their daddy died a great war hero then began singing a soulful rendition of "Billy don't be a hero." Then, when the dying father part was explained, we would get to the actual living part where I would teach my children all they should know. I told my dolls we were too poor, since daddy died, to get them school desks. That was why they were on the bed.

I quickly changed my mind when my mother told me she had always wanted to marry a pastor. Well now, that sounded wonderful. I would marry a pastor. Then after reading "Little House on the Prairie" it was absolutely decided in my mind that I would marry a pastor who was a farmer and weekdays would ride on his tractor so I could gaze upon him at a distance in the large fields of our extensive farm as I baked bread in my kitchen and all our girl children would be in blue bonnets churning butter. 

But I was going to also be an actress and make lots of money and give it all away to the poor children in China. (Evidently my pastor-farmer husband did well, because we always had a massive home with maids in this same fantasy of my future life. Farmer Osteen-like.) And I would always manage to include, in these fantasies, family trips to the Austrian alps where our family would all sing in glorious harmony as we were escaping into the mountains away from the Catholics who were going to behead us for keeping Sabbath. 

Sabbath School, now that brings back memories. Once (again as a preteen) my mother braided my very, very long, stringy hair into a braid and looped it around my head. I was so embarrassed that to cover it, I put on a yellow beanie cap with a white propeller sticking out of the top. Very helpful in making me less conspicuous among my Junior Sabbath School class friends. Which may explain why today I still seem to do just the wrong thing to draw less attention to myself. 

I hated Sabbath School after I turned around twelve and having absolutely loved it until them. Kids were trying to be cool and they were disrespectful. So I asked the kindergarten teacher if I could help with the little children. She said yes. So each week I looked forward to standing at the door and greeting the children and pinning their little felt name tags on them. Then, with really poor judgement, but to my delight, the teacher would spontaneously set me in front of the kids and ask me to tell a story. I would make it up on the stop and with a moral so it would be appropriate for Sabbath School. I don't remember any of them, but I can imagine they would have been filled with tragedy and death and then the moral would be something like... and that's why you obey your parents when they tell you to make your bed in the morning. 

The teacher eventually promoted me to being in charge of my own sand table (a table with a sand box in the middle so that you could tell a Bible story with little figurines.) About six or seven children were at my table and I took this very seriously. I would study the children's sabbath school lesson and prepare each Friday night. I looked forward to Sabbath, being with all the children and getting to tell them sweet Bible stories. A lady went to the church board and complained about me saying I needed to go back to my own age group. So, I was kicked out. There were probably many reasons I should not have been in charge of a group of young children when I was still one myself, teaching all kinds of heresy among them, but believing I needed to be sent back to the den of teenage lions was not one of them. 

I avoided Sabbath School for years. I remember standing outside the door and dreaded walking in. I would stall with all kinds of methods. Then my dad started teaching my Sabbath School and it turned into a love affair. My dad was so happy and his enthusiastic love for the Lord (and the kids) lit up the room. I was so proud of him. Soon it was standing room only. My dad did more than just teach, he bought a bunch of backpacks and would take the kids on weekend hiking trips to Turner Falls, Oklahoma. 

After a couple years, he too was weighed and found wanting by the church board and he was asked to leave. He was way, way too righteousness by faith. They wanted their kids to hear more from Ellen White and how they would one day have to be martyred for the Sabbath by demonic Catholics and apostate Protestants who worshipped on the wrong day--Sunday. Then, I began helping my mother in the cry room with the babies so I could avoid Sabbath School. I loved helping with the other babies--my mother was busy taking care of my baby sister. Because of my own experience with babies, young mothers often found my advice shockingly helpful. 

When I was thirteen, I opened up a summer daycare for mothers at a local church so that they could attend women's meetings there. They even had an exercise program. There were only a few children, but I was a natural. Once when a mother came to get her child, I told her that the baby had been fussy because she was teething. The mother looked at me strangely, "How do you know she is teething?" I shrugged. A week later she informed me that I had been prophetic because a tooth had broken through the baby's gums a couple days after. That seemed pretty obvious to me. But it was nice to be thought of as some baby guru at my age. 

Then there was my inability to ever learn an instrument. My mother gave me violin, flute, recorder, lessons, eight years of piano lessons. I can't play anything. I was also enrolled in summer lessons for math, ice skating, ballet, sewing.... I still can't find a needle in a multiplication stack. I am not so sure it is my inability to finish something, but my parents inability to get me to class on time. However, I was so thankful that the fashion show for the sewing lessons took place on a Sabbath and I couldn't attend. I would have rather put a beanie with a propeller on than walk down a runway in that think I sewed. 

Then, my mother decided I should drive so I could help her in her new real estate business.  The driving class I was enrolled in was 75% pagan young men who scared me. You know... non-Adventists, young hoodlums who did unthinkable things with their.... non-sabbatarian ways. My knees knocked each time I had to go to class. The teacher spent most classes showing us gory films of car wrecks. I was working for my grandfather at the time and wore strictly business clothes and my parents would drop me off immediately after work. This particular class I was wearing the newest style of a wrap around skirt neatly tied at the hip. The teacher asked us to bring up our tests and lay them on his desk. As I was walking to the front, a young man grabbed the end of my skirt tie and soon I was standing at the front of the room without a skirt. I grabbed the skirt off the floor and retied it. In those days we had no cellphones and at the moment I had no change to call my dad on a pay phone, so I fled out of the room, out of the building and hid around the corner until my dad showed up. Which of course was an hour after all the other kids had left. 

My parents actually told me I had to return to this class to which of course I sobbed miserably. My grandmother sat me down and said, "You did nothing wrong. Walk right back into that class with your head held high acting as if you did it on purpose!" So after skipping about three classes I finally had the guts to go back and sure enough, we were very late. Upon arriving, I peeked into the classroom to see that it was well underway and packed except for a seat IN FRONT! What evil could I have possibly done in my life to have deserved this moment. I held my head up high and walked into the room and took a breath before I began making that very long walk down the aisle to the open seat. 

All the young men looked back. As I walked they broke into a strip tease chorus, "dada dah---dad duh da dah...." I felt faint. After class the teacher called me up to talk and my entrance must have been performed to meet my grandmother's expectation because he asked me if I had lost my skirt on purpose. I did not return. And did not get my driver's license. And my father chastised me for wasting all that money. I finally got my driver's license when I was seventeen, my senior year at Valley Grande Academy boarding school, wearing pants. 

No planet X yet.

Our family sang together, at church and sometimes as parties. Eventually I sang solos. For my eight grade graduation (at a tiny ten-grade elementary church school in Dallas) I wept as I soulfully sang Barbara Streisand's "Memories." Adults asked me what on earth I could have caused me to be so melancholy about an eight grade graduation. Liz Duncan and Jana Workman were going off to school. How could not the entire world weep at such a terrible break in the force of nature?

I sang a solo for a Friday night Vespers in a Richardson, Texas SDA church, "There's just something about that name." It end's on a low note, but I was going to hit the note an octave higher. Everything went fine until that last note. Not a sound came out. I stood on stage with my mouth poised open for a dramatic ending and someone shut the sound off. Not even a squeak came out. I ran out to my friend's van and cried. That night I learned a very good lesson for people who perform in public. It served to help any later stage-fright: No one cares. I was expecting cruel and relentless mocking from my friends at school and no one even remembered it. Whew. Life went on... and I was not the center of the universe.

Many more glitches happened in my public performances that were a lot worse. But I learned that if you laughed at yourself, you gave your audience permission to laugh with you and they bond with you because of it. All except when you are at your universities' vocal jury for your graduation requirements and you forget your words and start inserting the words to Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" poem. I thought it was hysterical and as I walked off stage, my vocal coach had to stand up in front of the vocal critics and explain that I had three children (one sick child) and couldn't adequately prepare. They didn't flunk me.

I sang at a little Italian Inn in Fort Worth and one day I will have to tell that story. But it's sad. Why would we want sad on the day a planet is going to plunge into earth and exterminate life in the universe? Although it looks pretty beautiful and sunny out. Huh, hmmm.....Shouldn't life be a divine comedia? I don't know... maybe armageddon by extinction-level impact is pretty funny when you think about it. Maybe your ship being stuck in the Gulf of Aden isn't such a bad thing.

Who really wants life to be easy, anyway? I suppose if we all had easy lives then nothing would ever be funny. Isn't an anvil falling on one's head funnier than someone sitting without anything ever falling on their head? Anvils teach us a lot. We should thank God for anvils.

I have so many stories of my childhood: falling baby owls, fireflies, living next to celebrities in Jewish neighborhoods, long walks in bad neighborhoods with my siblings on a trek to get home at night when our parents forgot to pick us up as school. Hiding in bushes outside in Dallas Fair Park in the middle of the night when my parents forgot to pick us up after the Dealy Awards, getting to wave at President Reagan as he passed by in a limo and he waved back at us. (We were the only ones around--so it was for us)....

Practicing to be an actress so talented that Betty Davis would ask for my tips. Not that I wanted money or fame. That was not it for me. Acting was my way of getting to be someone heroic for a little while. I wanted to play Joan of Arc, Madame Curie--heroines who took tragedy and turned it into triumph. I wanted to change hearts. Inspire others to live for greatness. I memorized Shakespeare and learned all the Rogers and Hammerstein's lyrics. I was prepared.

I figured my life would be of little significance so being able to play these heroines and make their lives sing for my audience was my contribution to humanity. I grew up in the days of great musicals. When I turned eighteen, Broadway and Hollywood were no longer doing the great films and plays. It had turned to pure filth. I don't care how "redemptive" the story might have been, I know I didn't want to play the smutty character in order to all of a sudden have a redemptive ending. Entertainment doesn't need to drag you through the filth in order to show you how bad the world is. I think we all know it pretty well. We need hope and inspiration. American entertainment forgot that.

One thing I have learned well from all my drifting along in the Gulf of Aden, is that when the storms settle, when the pirates find a better ship to attack, enjoy the peace. Look out upon the great mysterious seas and imbibe the wonder of it all. I know this Planet X thing is ridiculous, but it gave me the excuse--along with some weird dizziness, to stop this morning and write down some wanderings of my memories. Happy and sad. And life has been full. At times I feel I have lived several lifetimes.

You guys have a wonderful day!