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CHRIST PANTOCRATOR

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THE ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEW


ON THE POSITION OF THE CHURCH
By Hubert Luns, June 29, 2016

This article was inspired by Dr. Gregg R. Allison’s article “Roman Catholic Theology and
Practice”, written in December 2014, which in turn was adapted from his book “Roman
Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment”, released the same year, with
the purpose to prove that from an Evangelical point of view the Roman Catholic theology
and practice are on the wrong track. Instead, he happened to prove the contrary.

There are two major themes on this playing field: the nature-grace interdependence,
and the Christ-Church interconnection.

• The first one departs from the idea that nature and grace are designed by God to
operate in reliance upon one another. Indeed, nature is to be a channel of grace, and
grace is to perfect our fallen human nature that was redeemed and continues to be re-
deemed for as long as it has not reached its ultimate perfection and remains liable to
sin, which latter is only shaken off in the after-life.
For instance, water (in the realm of nature) is capable of receiving and becoming a
vehicle of grace that can be used for the sacrament of baptism (any water can do; it
does not need to be consecrated), which confers to its recipient a certain nature (that of
Christ - Col. 2:12), who then becomes more receptive to grace and less to the curses of
the evil one. The same is true of the Sacrament of Holy Unction or Chrism* (in the
realm of nature) that through grace conveys a particular nature to someone being anoin-
ted – in such a way that his new nature makes him a person for the receiving and dis-
pensation of certain types of grace.
In the same way bread and wine (in the realm of nature) are capable of being trans-
substantiated: that is to say that they are reincarnated by the embodiment of Christ, thus
nourishing the faithful through grace if they consume this embodiment of Jesus Christ
(body and blood) and desire so to be nourished that way (an act of faith is necessary to
receive its beneficial effects). This sounds strange, but we should realize that he uni-
verse in its totallity is a reincarnation of Christ (Col. 1:15-17), but so was the body of
Christ when conceived in the Virgin Mary, and so is in comparable fashion the conse-
crated bread or Holy Host a reincarnation of Christ.
The theme of the nature-grace interdependence helps to understand why the sacra-
ments of the Holy Catholic Church are the most effective for our salvation. Grace is al-
ways communicated to the ‘flesh’ through concrete means of nature, and this even
holds for those beneficiaries who remain outside the Roman Catholic institute. At the
other end of the spectrum lies super-spiritualization that lurks through New Age prac-
tices, which therefore should be avoided.

• The second theme comprehends the Christ-Church interconnection. Grace meets


nature, and it is through nature that the church on earth – represented by its pope, bi-
shops and the other priests (they feed the flock and intercede with God) – allows that in
a special way the life-giving grace flows on (there is also a general way, because God’s
grace is like the water that invades each chink). This operation is nothing other than an
extension or fanning out of Jesus’ incarnation, though the Church has always remained
an imperfect replica of Jesus, if only because priests are humans too, except for the fact
that a true pope has always been free from error in matters of moral and doctrine,
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if officially proclaimed. Yet, although the outward appearance of the Church through
human frailty is imperfect, the spiritual core always remains perfect, which is compa-
rable to the outward appearance of Christ during his suffering on the Cross whilst his
divine core remained untouched. It is Christ who makes Himself infinitesimal small to
enter in each and everyone of the faithful, who together represent the Church as a
natural and spiritual reality in order to open the way for each one to enter in the infi-
nitesimal greatness of God.
There is of course also the church of the communion of saints, which includes
both the earthly realm and the departed souls in blissful perfection, but also those suf-
fering in Purgatory. We should not forget the saints on earth who are situated within
the Protestant denominations, but are separated from the Catholic Church; instead of
being nourished by the Holy Host they are nourished by the Word of God. All these
categories constitute the one Church; in the Reign of Peace they will have been fused
together into the one Triumphant Church.
Two thousand years ago, the incarnate God-man, Jesus Christ, mediated grace to
nature, His nature, as He came to save the sinful human beings. As a prolongation of
the incarnation of Christ, the Church mediates grace to nature, that of us. Indeed, in the
ideal condition the Church acts as another Christ-person, standing between the world
(the realm of nature) and God (the realm of grace).
The key principle of the Christ-Church interconnection helps to understand why
the Catholic Church is an institution wanted by God that came into being as ‘a’ means
for the dispensation of graces and to act as an intercessory partner. Both are meant for
the salvation and betterment of each individual as well as for the salvation of communi-
ties and thier political systems, until finally the whole world is being saved according
to the promise of the Millennium Age. This explains why the Roman Church is the se-
lect choice to guide the faithful on the path to perfection and final salvation.

Let us give a few examples of the practical results of the nature-grace interdependence
and the Christ-Church interconnection:

Doctrine of salvation and perfection


Catholic theology views the process by which God rescues fallen human beings as
being synergistic, that is, a cooperative venture between divine grace and human effort
(the realm of nature), to work in someone so that he can be a blessing to the world and
attain the best conditions for his eternal life. It considers the operation of salvation to be
an infusion of divine grace by which one’s very nature progressively improves towards
the ideal. This point dovetails with Catholic theology’s understanding of the goal of
salvation in terms of deification, that is the process by which human nature through
grace becomes ever more in the likeness of Christ. If this is interrupted through enga-
ging in venal or even mortal sin, it can be renewed through the Sacrament of Penance
by which the state of grace returns and grace is increasingly conveyed for the perfec-
tion of human nature. If this process remains too much on the surface, because in fact
the person has not earnestly devoted himself – that is, if grace has not been allowed to
elevate his human nature to true communion with God – a sojourn in Purgatory pro-
mises to finish the purification. However, even if the deceased has no need to go
through Purgatory, the elevation to higher grades of perfection is commendable. Actu-
ally, the elevation to ever higher grades of perfection in the hereafter, is a process that
can go on for very long, but that is not our topic.

Catholic Priesthood
Grace is concretely communicated to nature, and the highest tangible expression of
grace, after the Lord Himself, is the communion of priests within the Catholic Church
and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. This aspect is especially seen in the forgiveness of
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sins (Jonn 20:23) and the Holy Mass. Indeed, by the sacrament of Holy Orders, humans
(the realm of nature) are consecrated so as to be able to administer the sacraments (the
realm of grace). Because of the communion of priests within the Church(es), it is Christ
himself who through the Church(es) transsubstantiates, teaches, ordains, wards off de-
monic powers (very important), etc., though it must be said that God’s grace extends to
all people on earth, but not as powerful and comprehensive as within and by the Roman
Catholic Church. In its specific form the Church is the extension of the incarnation, and
so a priest acts in Persona Christi, the head, when he engages as a member of that body.

Doctrine of the most Holy Virgin Mary


The most Holy Virgin Mary, and the doctrines associated with her, illustrate the nature-
grace interdependence. Mary, as a fully human being, is in the realm of nature. How-
ever, due to her immaculate conception, her human nature was not fallen and, through
her cooperation with grace, it remained untouched throughout her life. Accordingly, in
Mary’s nature, grace found complete openness and full capacity for cooperation that fa-
cilitated the incarnation of the Son of God and gave her meritorious suffering at the
foot of the Cross. And because she never once sinned (attested to by her perpetual vir-
ginity), at the end of her days her body and soul were assumed (taken up) into heaven.
Additionally, the Church acknowledges her particular mediatorial role in the distribu-
tion of graces, reason why Maria received the title Mediatrix, derived from her Son, the
Mediator.

The one true Church


Because the Catholic Church represents through its priests and faithful a prolongation
of the incarnation of Jesus, it understands itself as the one true Church, meaning that
Protestant and Orthodox denominations are seen as gatherings, not as actual churches.
For the Catholic system, the universal church is equated with the visible Roman
Church. This understanding, however, disregards that the only true Church is Christ
Himself and that sheep outside the common flock, in whom Christ lives and who live
in Him, belong to the Church too. Remains that the institute on earth, known as the Ro-
man Catholic Church, is both a mother and a teacher. As the supreme mediator of grace
in the realm of nature, the institute is called to be a most useful expedient on our path to
become in the likeness of Christ. Woe to the world if she does not attend to her task!

A final remark is in order here. The Church is meant for the multitudes, for whom texts
like Hebrews 4:16 and 10:19 remain out of reach: “Let us come boldy to the throne of
grace (…) and enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.” Of course, as Romans 5:1
teaches, we are justified by faith, but the question arises whether our faith is firmly
footed, a question also dealt with by Saint Theresia of Lisieux when a fellow sister
asked her about Purgatory. She answered that if one believes in God’s mercy and
redemption, the Purgatory can be skipped. In final resort we get what we want. **

Hereafter we shall discuss the place of the congregation of faithful within the churches.
In general, the faithful are guided through a performance-oriented form of religion that
deals with outward appearances. The true companionship with God is only for a very
few. Man-inspired religions continue to produce a vast majority of ‘whited sepulchers’.
‘Religion’ teaches Christ in theory, but not one of daily fellowship with Him. Does this
mean that all people who practice an outward religion are lost? Of course not. Yet,
taken their poor perception of the economics of grace, their decision to belong to Jesus
will often be postponed to the threshold of death. Then, only then, the soul will decide
to whom she belongs more, for whom the balance tilts. With good reason the Apostle
Peter says that “righteous one (at the threshold of death) is scarcely saved”. (1 Petr.
4:18) This question will be dealt with in the annex, in fact a separate article, called:
“To separate the sheep from the goats”.
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* Chrism (from Greek chrisma: anointing)


The Chrism is made from oil of olives mixed with perfume. Chrism is blessed by
the bishop every year at the Chrism Mass, which usually takes place on Holy Thursday,
although it may be celebrated at some other convenient time during the Holy Week.
Chrism is used in the postbaptismal anointing, confirmation, priestly and episcopal
ordinations, and during the dedication of churches and altars. Long treated with great
reverence by the Church, Chrism was often reserved in a a special place in the church
sanctuary together with the oil of the sick and the oil of catechumens. The strengthe-
ning effect and fragrance of the oil reflect the presence of the Holy Spirit when one is
anointed with it. According to legend, it was Christ Himself who taught his disciples
how to prepare the Chrism.

** Discussions by Saint Therese on Purgatory


To one of her fellow-sisters in the convent, Maria Philomena, who believed in the
near impossibility of going to Heaven while skipping Purgatory, St Therese of Lisieux
commented, when still a novice: “You do not have enough trust. You have too much
fear before the good God. I can assure you that He is grieved over this. You should not
fear Purgatory because of the suffering there, but should instead ask that you not
deserve to go there in order to please God, who so reluctantly imposes this punish-
ment. As soon as you try to please Him in everything and have an unshakable trust
He purifies you every moment in his love and He lets no sin remain. And then you can
be sure that you will not have to go to Purgatory.”
In a discussion with another fellow sister, Marie Febronia, who was 67 years old
and the sub-prioress, she explained that God is for her is more a father than a judge:
“My sister if you look for the justice of God you will get it. The soul will receive from
God exactly what she desires.” The year had not passed when Marie Febronia together
with other sisters fell prey to the flu and died. Three months later Therese had a dream
which she related to her Mother Prioress: “O my mother, Sister Marie Febronia came
to me last night and asked that we should pray for her. She is in Purgatory because
surely she had trusted too little in the mercy of the good Lord. Through her imploring
behaviour and her profound looks it seemed she wanted to say: ‘You were right. I am
now delivered up to the full justice of God but it is my own fault. If I had listened to
you I would not be here now.’ ”
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TO SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS


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TO SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS

The happy church people, but inside they are whited sepulchers.

Hubert Luns, September 3, 2016

As concerns redemption it seems that God follows a two-way track as evidenced by


Mark 4:34: “He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was
alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.” John Gills commentary is as
follows: “The multitude being dismissed, He unfolded and explained all these parables
to his disciples, and led them into a large knowledge of Himself, and the mysteries of
the Kingdom of Heaven, whereby they were furnished for the work He had called them
to, and designed them for.” What does that mean? The Lord knew that the multitudes,
in their present condition, could never be one with Him, although He could have
wished differently. He knew that, in practice, He could never dwell in all of them as in
a true Temple of God. (2 Cor. 6:16)

The religious deadness in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as all the other churches,
is frightening. In general, the faithful are guided through a performance-oriented form
of religion that deals with outward appearances but leaves the essential condition of the
heart untouched. Sadly, the pharisees of old are still very much present. The breed is
not dead, but is alive and flourishing. Like a deadly virus it has infected virtually every
church denomination (among which also the Roman Catholic Church), although in
most Christian groups are also holy men, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
At its core we find a ‘system of religion’ that deals with externals and leaves untouched
the hearts that are in dire need of the life in Christ. The glad tidings of the early Church
have been digested; the nutritious elements have been extracted, and what remains is
feces, which cannot serve for the preservation of the body of Christ. The message of
Maria Divine Mercy of February 11th, 2015, given to her by Jesus, is clear: “If you
were to witness the dull grey and darkened souls of those with lukewarm hearts it
would cause you to weep. Sadly, the majority of souls are in darkness and were you to
see this you would die of shock, such is the state of the souls of humanity.”

And again Maria Divine Mercy says in her message of Jesus of October 12th, 2013:
«« How I weep with bitter sorrow for the souls of the arrogant, the ignorant and
those with hardened hearts. They are so stuffed with pride, that they will never see
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Me because they can’t. It is not possible for a person to see Me or to be filled with my
True Word, if they are stricken with the sin of pride. Those of you, on the other hand,
who know Me, but who accept Me on your own terms – you too distance yourselves
from Me. Why do you say you know Me and then twist what I told you about
following Me? How can you call yourself a Christian and be prepared to accept false
theology and lies, which you have twisted to suit your own lifestyles? Who are you if
you do not follow Me and accept the full Truth of my Teachings? You are a traitor.
You betray Me. When you betray Me once, you will be tempted to do it again and
again, until finally, you will no longer be a Christian in my eyes. »»

The Royal Priesthood of God, spoken of in 1 Peter 2, where the Holy Spirit is the real
power, the real teacher, the real deliverer, the real dispenser of truth, etc., is not to be
found in the normal way of doing of the institutional churches. The true companionship
with God is only for a very few, at least in our present world. Man-inspired religions
continue to produce a vast majority of ‘whited sepulchers’. God’s message from the
Book of Revelation, chapter 3, to the churches of Sardis and Laodicea, is aimed at all
systems of religion that produce fruits that qualify as external devotion without the
empowerment of the heart. It says: “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being
alive, but you are dead.” To the Laodicean church the judgement reads that they are
“wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” In both cases, the shepherds and their sheep
are asked to repent and seek God’s way of salvation and ‘his’ righteousness, not theirs.
‘Religion’ teaches Christ in theory, but not one of daily fellowship with Him. Shep-
herds may know the theory of the Spirited life but are most often incapable to apply it
to themselves, much less teach it to others. Jesus said that they are blind guides: “If a
blind man leads a blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mt. 15:14)

Allain de la Motte writes in his article “Jesus v/s Religion”, from 2005:
«« Let’s face it, ‘religion’ has become a multi-billion dollar system where
thousands of full-time workers earn a good living from it. As a result, it is more
important to produce happy and contented financial backers than to fulfill the less
popular need to faithfully and diligently teach the Truth of Scripture in its entirety.
Religion is thus neatly packaged and promoted to make the sheep feel an artificial
sense of security and wellbeing. In so doing, modern day pharisees make a farce of
the Message of the Cross.
Neat rules are established and passed down from generation to generation.
Boundaries are carefully laid out to give the ‘sheep’ an artificial sense of security
within the confines of religion. In many instances, programs are designed to
produce a positive change in behavior while they neglect the fact that the heart
of Man “is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it”
(Jer. 17:9), let alone produce (an in depth) positive change through self-will or
self-effort. As a result, sincere church-going members have a total misconception
of the mercy and grace of a loving God and the Christian life in general. Slowly
they become bound in legalism and (worn out) tradition, and as a result are
precluded from experiencing the wonderfully soothing presence of the indwelling
Holy Spirit and the peaceful joy which results from being one with the Father,
and Jesus Christ his Son.
Though many churches boast of huge memberships, wonderful programs, and
a clergy with doctorate degrees in theology, they are dead because the Holy Spirit
is not given the place owed to Him in their hearts and in their assembly. As a
result, God’s words spoken through the prophet Isaiah pronounce the same
judgement on them: “These people come near Me with their mouth and honor Me
with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up
only of rules taught by men.” (Is. 29:13) »»
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Does this mean that all people who practice an outward religion are lost? Of course not.
Yet, taken their lack of insight and poor perception of the economics of grace, their
decision to belong to Jesus will often be postponed to the threshold of life and death.
Then, only then, the soul will decide to whom she belongs more, for whom the balance
tilts, in favour of God or of Satan. An extremely dangerous game because the Hell is
overcrowded, not so Heaven and Purgatory (MDM Oct. 20th 2012). This gives the rai-
son d’être of Purgatory. However, in the Reign of Peace no such duplicity exists – and
Purgatory will have ceased to exist (MDM Oct. 7th 2011 and Oct. 12th 2013). Therefore,
it is at the approach of this reign, through harrowing circumstances, so that everything
seems to fall apart, that each individual will be forced to make a choice, whether to
repent, already now and here and not on the threshold of earthly life.

A religion of formalities is very attractive. To take one’s own responsibility and risk
the disapproval of others, to sacrifice one’s Isaac, so to say, to sacrifice the spiritual
lazyness, is not self-evident. It needs some shaking to force people to choose: to be for,
or against God. This is a prophetic insight from a Protestant lady: “A maturing process
of evil has been necessary for the introduction of censorship, and to protect the good
even to the very end. God’s intervention has led to the pouring out of the spirit of Jesus,
who will destroy the power of the beast.” This censorship is the same as spoken off in
Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus, at the great harvest, judges the nations and the indivi-
duals thereof. He then separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep will inherit the
kingdom or Reign of Peace, but the goats will be cast into Hell. To know who may
enter the new reign, judgement should be clearcut. The unmasking is essential, for no
uncleannes may exist in the Reign of Peace. Because of this separation at the end, or
new beginning, evil men wax worse at the approach of the Reign. (2 Tim. 3:13) The
middle segment will have disappeared altogether, which means that the traditional
churches will then have lost their function as gate-keeper to ward off the wolfes; their
traditional role of keeping the flock inside and put into a mold of decency will have
disappeared. Instead most of them are thrown into disarray and will have become a
wolf’s den, and that includes the Roman Catholic Church. Hard to swallow, but that is
what we are seeing now, and this has been foretold with the parable of the sheepfold.
(John 10:11-16)