Reclaiming America’s Religious—and Christian—Culture

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Often today, we hear of Christians and other religious people engaged in struggles in the U.S. just to be able to project expressions of their faith into the public domain. Thus, for years now we have witnessed secularists of various stripes—those with a particular animosity toward anything religious—conduct a veritable assault on Christmas. The reports from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights provide a yearly documentary history of this. Unbelievers seem unsatisfied to be hopeless and joyless on their own, but insist on making as many others as possible share in their misery.

Aggressive secularists, spearheaded today by such groups as the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF)—the scuttlebutt is that the ACLU lets them handle the cases even they find too hot to handle—use a combination of legal threats and action to drive from the public domain any vestige, even slightly symbolic, of religion. Their aim, of course, is to forge not just a secular state but as much as possible a secular culture surrounding it, as well. If local governments—increasingly the battleground for these matters—do not just cave into their threats to avoid the high costs of constitutional litigation, they try to accommodate by allowing all religious—and irreligious—perspectives to be presented. So, when a Christian group wants to put up a religious symbol on public property, atheists are allowed to put up a billboard criticizing religion or extolling “reason” (it’s interesting that those claiming to extol reason never mention that human reason unaided by Revelation proves, with certitude, the existence of God). In a case now going before the Supreme Court, Town of Greece v. Galloway, the town council had an “inclusive” policy of who could lead prayers at the start of their meetings, so that even Wiccans and atheists—praying, I guess, to some great nothingness—took part. Still, that was not enough for some secularists, who sued.

The momentum to push religion out of the public arena began, of course, with the line of Supreme Court establishment clause decisions beginning almost seventy years ago. As Donald L. Drakeman and others have written, the Court’s “new direction” then was partly driven by suspicion of the Catholic Church. The Court also opened itself to the views of secular post-World War II liberal intellectuals, whose separationist reinterpretation of the establishment clause had its roots in the 1870s. The Court’s separationist jurisprudence has forced government to be neutral not just among different religious beliefs, but between belief and unbelief (that’s why Wiccans and atheists get “equal access” with Christians to leading prayers). The fact that the Court also in 1968 carved out a special exception for the establishment clause from the normal legal requirement of having to show that a legal harm was sustained before one can even get a case into court has opened the door to the legal pressure tactics of outfits such as the FFRF. Anyone whose feelings have somehow been hurt by the most innocuous public accommodation of religion can line up a willing advocacy group and begin a constitutional case.

The entire idea of neutrality between belief and unbelief is a falsehood. If government gives no avowed attention to religion, it is saying that it’s not important. If it lets Wiccans lead prayers just like Christians, it’s saying that witchcraft is on the same level as Christianity. This is an embracing of an official stance of utter religious indifferentism. To say that religion is irrelevant to the condition of a state or culture is adoption of an all but official religion of secularism. As the late, great Catholic constitutional lawyer William Bentley Ball once caustically said about this, “A secularist establishment, anyone?”

This perspective cannot be farther from that of America’s Founding Fathers, as a small sampling of their statements makes apparent. In his famous Farewell Address, George Washington said that “[o]f all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” He referred to God as the “Great Author of every public and private good.” John Adams wrote that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 Benjamin Franklin—a supposed deist—said that, “God governs in the affairs of men…without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.” Another seeming deist, Thomas Jefferson, said, “’No nation has ever yet existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be.” James Madison (the “Father of the Constitution”) affirmed, “Religion is the basis and Foundation of Government.”

Nor was the religious heritage of America some vague, indefinite notion, or anything anyone wanted to turn it into. It was Christian. Tocqueville observed, “Christianity has kept a strong hold over the minds of Americans,” which in spite of a “multitude of sects” meant “the same morality.” As my good friend, the late historian Donald J. D’Elia, wrote, “[t]he social way of life” in eighteenth century America was “largely based on the Christian faith.” The great twentieth-century scholar Russell Kirk said, the “American faith” was “a biblical Christianity, securely rooted in popular conviction.” In short, while America never had a Christian state—and was never anything like a theocracy—it was clearly a Christian culture, with distinctly Christian morality and mores, and had a notion of government inspired by a Christian understanding of man.

Reclaiming America’s religious and Christian culture is no quick or easy task. We, of course, do not know if in the final analysis it is possible. It has taken almost a century and a half to get from the first serious push for separationism until the current effort to rinse American public life clean of religion. What we do know is that it is not impossible. This is a time for political, legal, and cultural counterattack—which has to take place on many fronts. Aggressive legal efforts—not just to lead the defense of religious liberty at a time when it is coming under unprecedented attack, but also to oppose and try to reverse the continued twisting of the establishment clause—are essential. In this sense, organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom, are “spot-on.” There is a need to aggressively counter the secularists’ every legal move. The overall constitutional objective, however, must be to bury the Court’s separationist jurisprudence, which has long been on life-support (with obvious contradictions and a bevy of judicial zigs and zags to try to keep it intact). The target should be, substantively, the reversal of the neutrality-between-belief-and-unbelief doctrine and, procedurally, the rule allowing mere taxpayer suits. There is no question about protecting the citizen rights of unbelievers, Wiccans, or anyone with offbeat religious beliefs, but they have no right—under the American constitutional tradition or certainly in the natural law tradition behind it—to expect their beliefs to be given the same official respect as Christianity or other traditional religions.

The political counterattack has begun in some local communities, with officials and citizens standing up to the veiled threats of the FFRF and refusing to remove religious symbols. Such resolve must expand. More and persistent vocal opposition in newspaper letter columns and online forums, citizen presence at public meetings, and legal public demonstrations against further attempts at secularizing our communities are needed.

The opportunities for cultural counterattack are almost innumerable: making a point to say “God bless you” and “Merry Christmas” at the store check-out counter, putting religious symbols in a very visible place on one’s lawn, commending or urging local businesses to display religious symbols or sayings, church and religious organizations playing an increasingly visible role in community activities with a strong emphasis on their distinct character as they do it, organizing talks and study groups on the religious tradition of early America and the Founders’ thinking on religion, and so on and on.

Does anyone believe that Islamic countries are going to surrender their Islamic cultural character? So, why don’t we have a right to reclaim the Christian character of ours?

Editor’s note: The flag image above was obtained from Shutterstock.

Stephen M. Krason

By

Stephen M. Krason's "Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic" column appears monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) in Crisis Magazine. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville and co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. His is the author of several books including The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and most recently an edited volume entitled, Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013).

  • Passionate Mom

    I would also like to add education of our children as another way to help preserve the Christian culture. We are homeschoolers and not only teach with classical methods, but also with a great emphasis on the history and value of Christendom.

  • Ford Oxaal

    Informative and useful article. Maybe all Christian homeowners should put a crucifix over their front doors, and a big lawn crucifix (or just a plain cross for Protestants) in their yard. The FFRF would come knocking, and the battle could be joined in solidarity. Hmm, how to get it going…or maybe there already is a movement afoot…

    • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com PolishBear

      The Freedom from Religion Foundation doesn’t care at all whether Christian homeowners install crosses or crucifixes over their front doors or on their front lawns. It’s their own private property. Who cares?

      The neighborhood association might have something to say about it, though.

      • Ford Oxaal

        Because there would be so many of them, the public airspace would be violated. It would be offensive to people using the public roads. The ACLU, in the Mojave Desert case, where the land the cross is on was given over to a private group to avoid having to take it down, is still litigating that case saying the private property is not big enough, and that it is just a work around to satisfy the First Amendment. These are the battles decent, Christian descendents of the founders of this country have to fight, in honoring the fallen in battle, in addition to raising Christian families with a Christian worldview in a society now hostile to this worldview at every step. You cannot raise a Christian family in this country anymore unless you homeschool and pick your battles. As the author of this article says, once Christianity falls, the Constitution is meaningless deconstructed nonsense. There go any rights you thought you had — which have now been perverted into license.

        • supineny

          this is a joke. i live in new york, that hotbed of liberalism, and one sees religious iconography all over the place and no one takes issue when its private or church property. i live in a neighborhood where madonnas and pietas adorn every other garden or window sill. the local churches explode with public displays including reenactments of the crucifixion in the street come good friday. there’s no public outcry nor is the aclu involved. americans mostly get along, we live and let live. this idea that christianity is being suppressed is preposterous. its the dominant religion.

          • Ford Oxaal

            The ACLU picks its battles carefully. Their strategy is to use the courts to achieve their goal. They certainly don’t think of themselves as a joke, and neither do their victims.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com PolishBear

    “If government gives no avowed attention to religion, it is saying that it’s not important. If it lets Wiccans lead prayers just like Christians, it’s saying that witchcraft is on the same level as Christianity.”

    Well, sorry if it upsets your delicate stomach, but that is EXACTLY what the “Establishment Clause” is designed to do: Ensure that no one religious belief takes legal precedence over all others. It doesn’t matter that the majority of Americans are Christian, or that most of the Founding Fathers were nominally Christian. Christianity is NOT the official faith of this country, and for all legal purposes witchcraft IS on the same level as Christianity.

    Most Americans are Christian. Virtually ALL religious programming on TV and radio is Christian. And the only religious holiday that causes the private and public sectors to grind to a halt is a CHRISTIAN holiday. Mr. Krason’s delusions of persecution are pathetic.

    • J G

      Polish, because so many of us are still Christian the persecutors cannot achieve their goals all at once. It takes time. Consider how tough it was for the communists to try and destroy Catholicism in Poland. It doesn’t mean they didn’t try. Already they have taken actions against Christianity that were unthinkable just two decades ago.

      • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com PolishBear

        JG, your problem is that you consider it to be “persecution” when the only thing that’s happening is that our government is no longer giving “most favored” status to Christianity.

        There was a time when public school students opened the day with The Lord’s Prayer, and WOE unto those non-Christian parents who dared object. When the Supreme Court ruled that such prayer was unconstitutional, Christians screamed about persecution.

        There was a time when public meetings were often opened with a Christian prayer, invoking the name of Jesus, as though these public agencies served only Christians. When non-Christians objected, Christians said they were being persecuted.

        Treating ALL religious faith equally under the law is NOT “persecution.”

        • Ford Oxaal

          The federal government cannot establish a federal religion. But the war on religion at the local level is arguably not constitutional. It is rational for society, in the interest of the survival and well-being of its members, to hold to a belief in an afterlife, to strive to attain it, and to foster virtuous behavior. If the current First Amendment jurisprudence goes too far toward banning Christianity from the public square, and many say it already has, then the federal government arguably no longer serves the well-being of society. Nor should all religions be on an equal footing with respect to the federal government. The state interest in religion is the fostering of virtuous behavior.

  • publiusnj

    Given the relentless war on religion and traditional culture, the future of Amerrica is a future where we will have no past and that means we will have no culture except that which is dictated for two to four years by whatever is the prevailing political entity. If we get rid of the marital structure as we increasingly are (40% illegitimacy rates now and climbing) and the state insists on disregarding any church by deeming all of them and none equally relevant (and–truth to tell–all actually irrelevant), we have no way to transmit culture anymore except through the public school structure and the media that survives. The media and public schools in turn have no imperative to pass on any culture except that from which their masters can profit on the sale.
    How many “families” (i.e., agglomerations of lovers and their children by whomever) today have several different last names in the mix? Ever listen to an arrest report on an adolescent (Jones, say) where the mother (Smith), step-father (Rivers) and sister (MacGillicuddy) of the arrestee (the aforementioned Mister Jones) are all interviewed but all have different last names? How can a unified culture be passed down in such a “family”? Which family culture on which issues? What does one even call that “family”? One cannot use a particular last name to describe the agglomeration–not even the four people who live in the same house, much less their other half-siblings in the familal diaspora or the individuals various “cousins” (who may be cousins of some of the four but not necessarily of all the children). We still anachronistically assign the name of the putative father to the child once born (the patronymic system), but if the rest of the children in the “family” are not going to be sired by the same male (or dammed by the same female), the male sire’s name is no more rele vant to the family’s identity than the mother’s. End result, no one has any loyalty to any intermediary institutions between the individual and the state, not even to their flesh and blood (whatever their name may be). We are living on borrowed time.

  • Prof_Override

    The problem not spoken here is that the secular reactions aren’t being driven by Catholics or other mainline protestant denominations, but by the bare knuckle, evangelical theocrats. Catholics are just a bit player here. Just as we expect moderate muslims to rein in radical muslims, the secularists (people we’re trying to reach out to!) have the right to expect us to rein in the theocratic thugs and bigots of the hard right. We are being painted as being in that same mold whether we like it or not.

    • publiusnj

      This is the tactic of our leftist government (and other dictators from time immemorial): “divide and conquer.” The evangelicals are not the problem (although I agree they often aren’t too deft in their arguments). A relentless and hostile leftist movement seeks to destroy all independent intermediating structures between the state and the individual because the mass of people can be controlled by goupthink, propaganda and the like. Intermediating institutions just get in the way.

  • Keith Parkinson

    Even though every other day, Crisis Magazine dutifully publishes one of these vague, near-hysterical screeds bemoaning the “secular” “persecution” of Christians, I remain optimistic. This is because I, like most people I know, rejected the destructive false gods of my parents, and latched onto the two things every human being can be sure of, no matter what they were raised with: reason and humankind. It took me a few years, but, valuing both these things highly, I eventually concluded that they both reached their greatest potential only in orthodox Christianity.

    What better way to get rid of the false gods that nearly broke the earth in two several times during the 20th century, and ruined countless souls, than to level the public playing field of gods altogether? After all that, we’ll see which one remains standing. The “secularists” think it will be rational humanism. But we happen to know they’re wrong, don’t we?

    The secular regime says, “just because you believe something, does not give you the right to make other people conform to it.” I will agree with you that this is not consonant with the terms of our founding. But the conditions in America are different than they were then, and these conditions all follow from the terms and manner of our founding. There are many different belief systems (more than then) making up one public (then there were many), and, as the Constitution does say, it’s not like Congress can just pick one and settle the matter. So which do we really want – to have these countless personal and group belief systems making civil society a fragile war zone, or to aspire to a level playing field of natural reason that anybody, by virtue of being human, will recognize as valid? Who knows, maybe, if the voice of dozens of dogmas is quieted, and people just start over, at ground-level, with natural reason, maybe everyone’ll reach the same conclusion I did. It is, after all, the right answer, which all men are pre-programmed for.

    My point is, this isn’t a war, and if it is, our enemies aren’t men. The war imagery and portrayals of “persecution” suggest a totally different situation and plan of action than is actually needful.

  • Bob dobb

    Did you know European Atheist are attempting to open a church, and it doesn’t stop there the low life’s are actually opening it right next to a real church. Look at this photo of it http://tinyurl.com/bhw487s. If that isn’t proof of how vile these people are I don’t know what is.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CL5BCZLGVXQXWVXVWDXKLGR2SM Robert

    Once atheism takes over there will be a new lack of respect for human life. Atheists believe that life is meaningless and that there is no afterlife. This means that they will stop valuing human life and stop wanting to save it. This will go along with the new no altruism philosophy which is taking over.

    • supineny

      one thing atheists have is life here on earth without the delision that is but a holding pen for the afterlife. they have plenty of reasons to care what goes on here – theyre willing to admit its all we’ve got. one could be just as glib and say christians dont care about human life because they imagine afterlife is more important.

      • Bono95

        There are 2 basic groups of Christians out there, Catholics and Protestants. There are many Protestants (Lutherans for example) who prove your point about earthly/afterlife by claiming that good works are as nothing and that people are saved by faith alone no matter how they behave on earth. But the Catholic Church teaches that people are saved through BOTH faith AND good works. In other words, the afterlife IS more important than this life, but how we live this life determines what kind of afterlife we’ll enter, so it is indeed not something to take lightly. Catholics are called to be “in the world” (i.e. spreading the Gospel, serving God, and working for the good of others), but they are NOT to be “of the world” (i.e. Catholics must not despair when everything looks hopeless, become too attached to worldly possessions, or fall into faithlessness and debauchery just because a lot of other people are doing it). It is OK to enjoy in moderation the legitimate pleasures of this life and more than OK, in fact, required by the Catholic faith, to work for justice and to try to improve this undeniably cruel and twisted world.

    • Ford Oxaal

      Atheism is an irrational position to hold with conviction. Unless reason is completely cast to the winds, I don’t see atheism getting too far.

  • supineny

    “(it’s interesting that those claiming to extol reason never mention that
    human reason unaided by Revelation proves, with certitude, the
    existence of God”

    Which god –Baal? Yahweh? Bacchus? Jupiter? Isis? Vishnu? The Holy Trinity? you present this as being a certainty, but it seems like much disputed territory — if humanity can’t even agree on who god is, or what his/her/its qualities are, how can you prove it exists? And even if you could prove that some form of supreme supernatural entity existed, how could you know it was a ‘god’?

    Very curious assertion.

    • Bono95

      When “God” is spelled with a capital “g”, it refers to the God of Christianity, who is the one true God manifest in 3 Persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) in the Blessed Trinity, and who is sometimes called “Yahweh” in the ancient Hebrew language. The other deities you bring up are usually referred to either only by their names or some title like “god” (note the lowercase “g”) or “goddess of the whatever”. And real unaided reason will point a person toward the one true God and ONLY the one true God, as can be seen from the example of the Greek Philosopher Aristotle. Those other deities, if contemplated seriously for a long enough time, all prove illogical in one way or another, and that’s why Aristotle found himself unsatisfied with Zeus, Athena, Hermes, etc. They all turn out to be strange creature gods made in Man’s image.

      • supineny

        that’s my point, that philosophizing might lead towards very abstract ideas of a ‘God’, but not towards anything that resembles the Gods worshipped in any of the religions. They’re too particular and you would never find them by reason alone. Otherwise, Aristotle would have written more about the Holy Trinity.

        the Greco-Roman gods, their stories closely resemble folk tales at times, more entertaining and astonishing than plausible or high minded. And yet it seems that some of them were sincerely worshipped, there were priests, prayers, holy feast days, temples and altars. Laugh at the absurdity of Roman gods, but it seems that religious practice and mythologies has continuity even as it has rupture.

        Certainly a lot of Yahweh’s carryings on in Genesis are fairly folkloric in tone. Noah’s ark seems to have floated in, slightly used, from earlier Babylonian lore. But if you want to make a sharper distinction you could quite reasonably say that Jesus, as depicted in the gospels, seems like he was a real man, not a mythical figure. He walks and talks in a recognizable world, he’s got a distinctive voice. And yet even he is crowned and entwined with miracles and mythic stories that are just as fantastical as anything in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The virgin birth. The star of Bethlehem. The miracle at Cana. The ascension to heaven. To the Christian, these things seem to be self-evidently true, but they’re very much the stuff of gods. There are the various parallels with Bacchus and Orpheus. But you’ve doubtless heard and refuted it all.

        But the point maybe you’d meet me at is: it’s not really logic that gets us to anyone’s particular God or gods. Traditions, texts, yes. Logic? Not so much. Many who were already familiar with the Judeo-Christian God were able to rationalize your way back to him. but find him by ‘pure reason’? Never.

        • Bono95

          You CAN come to the conclusion of God or a Supreme Being of some with reason alone, but I forgot to mention earlier that that is ALL you can really know about God through reason alone. Anything else must come through Divine Revelation, such as that found in the Bible, Sacred Tradition, or more rarely, God speaking directly to oneself. And you are right that many people did sincerely worship the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc. gods we laugh at today, but they didn’t do it because they were stupid or ignorant necessarily. In fact, this sincere yet misguided worship can be seen as further proof of the existence of God. Virtually all civilizations until recent times had some form of religion or other, and even atheism/agnosticism couldn’t exist without a God to deny or ignore. Someone once pointed out that man is religious animal by nature. If you take away God, he’ll worship anything or anyone, Isis, Shiva, Amaterasu, Money, Power, Fame, etc. A lot of the miracles in the Bible do sound a lot like the wild stories about the many mythological gods, but unlike any written records we have of non-christian myths, the texts we have of the strange and miraculous stories in the Gospels that you mentioned pass all the criteria for valid historical documents, which are these: #1 the Gospels are eyewitness accounts written by 2 of Jesus’s original 12 Apostles plus 2 close associates of the Apostles, #2 the Gospels were all written within living memory of the events. Jesus’s public teaching took place from 30-33 AD and the Gospels were all written between 40 and 70 AD, #3 the Gospels have independent corroboration, that is, many of the the things recorded in them are confirmed by other independent sources, such as the works of the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus who wrote his texts at about the same time #4 no documents from the same time period contain any contradictions to anything written in the Gospels, #5 the authors had nothing to gain by writing and spreading lies. All the Gospel writers except one were martyred for preaching the things they wrote down, and if these things were untrue, it would seem logical that at least one of the writers would have recanted his statements #6 We do not possess any of the original Gospel documents, but the oldest surviving copy, which dates back to 200 AD, contains exactly the same text as all later copies. The oldest copies of Greek and Roman histories and myths only date back to the Middle Ages and their contents (especially those of myths) can vary considerably #7 the Gospels undeniably do record a lot of miracles, but the miracles are described matter-of-factly and as logically as is possible for miracles to be described. For example, when Jesus turned the water into wine, He didn’t do it in a blinding flash of blue lightning and pink pixie dust, or cause purple clouds to descend through the roof and rain drops of wine into everybody’s cup. Instead, He called for the waiters to fill 6 big jars used for washing the guests’ feet with water to the brim, then told them to take a cup filled with water from one of the jars to the head waiter. No one realized that the water was now wine until the head waiter tasted it and declared it the best he’d ever tasted. Furthermore, the Apostles are portrayed with all their human failings; pride, anger, lack of faith, etc. Usually the heroes of myths are portrayed as super-awesome larger-than-life characters. On a final note, many of the Apostles’ first converts were Greek, perhaps because the way to reason accompanied by faith and revelation had been paved by Aristotle’s lone reasoning.

    • Ford Oxaal

      Existence, all that exists, must be whole (by definition, it includes all that exists), and therefore unchanging, and uncaused (else it would be the effect of some cause, and not whole). You are now a few short steps from a proof for “God”.

  • http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/ steve finnell

    THE TRADITION DILEMMA

    Contemporary believers in Jesus Christ are sometimes caught in the bog of man-made tradition, just as were the scribes and the Pharisees.

    Matthew 15:1-9 Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus…9 ‘ But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’.”

    Jesus said the scribes and Pharisees were transgressing the commandments God for the sake of their own traditions. Do believers do that today?

    SOME TRADITIONS OF MEN

    1.Some men say that Jesus is just one of many ways to salvation.
    The dilemma being that Jesus does not concur with this teaching of men.

    Acts 4:10-12 ….by the name of Jesus Christ…12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

    2. Some say that men are saved by believing in Jesus, alone.
    The problem is Jesus disagrees with this doctrine of men.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved……

    MORE TRADITIONS OF MEN

    1. Men are saved by grace alone
    2. God selected a few men to be saved and all others will burn in hell.
    3. Water baptism is not essential for the forgiveness of sins.
    4. Believing in God is a work and it is not essential for salvation.
    5. God forces a preselected few to have faith so that they may be saved.
    6. Repentance is not essential for salvation. (Repentance means to make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God.)
    7. Water baptism is a work of the Law, or a good work, or some work not known and is therefore not essential in order to have sins forgiven.
    8. Men are saved the minute they believe in Jesus.
    9. Once men are saved they can never be lost.
    10. Men can pray to or through the Virgin Mary and other dead saints in order to have their requests granted by God the Father.
    11. God will save all mankind.
    12. Men are saved by faith only.
    13. The Bible is not the only place men can find God’s commands for mankind.
    14. Extra-Biblical sources such as catechisms, creed books, new so-called revelations from God, writings by the early church fathers, Bible commentaries, and other books written by men are infallible sources for God’s truth.
    15. Infants can be baptized before they believe in Jesus.
    16. Men share the first man, Adam’s, sin and are therefore guilty of original sin.
    17. Men teach that priests have the authority to forgive sins.
    18. Men do not believe that only God can forgive the sins that are committed against Him.
    19. Some teach, and believe that Christians can continue in their sinful lifestyle and still enter the kingdom of God.
    20. Some teach that a loving God will not send those who reject Jesus as the Christ, into a lake of fire.

    Mark 7:7-8 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ 8 NEGLECTING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, YOU HOLD TO THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.”

    Teaching for doctrine the traditions of men can present a dilemma, a problem, a predicament, a quandary, a difficult situation, a perilous quagmire.

    THERE IS AN ESCAPE FROM THE DOCTRINES OF MEN. IT IS REPENTANCE. True repentance only occurs when pride is replaced, with trusting Jesus for the truth. BELIEVING THAT THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ALONE IS GOD’S WORD.

    ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS FOR MEN TO SAY, IS, I WAS WRONG!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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