Defeating Satan at Harvard

Photot: Fábio Santoro via JMJ Rio 2013-Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

How do you defeat Satan?

That was the question the University of Harvard had to answer on Monday night when the Harvard Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club planned a Satanic “Black Mass” at the university.

The Harvard community, led by Harvard president Drew Faust, was outraged by the Black Mass. Faust addressed the situation by stating, “The ‘black mass’ had its historical origins as a means of denigrating the Catholic Church; it mocks a deeply sacred event in Catholicism, and is highly offensive to many in the church and beyond.” Although Faust was offended by the planned event, she defended the right of the Cultural Studies Club to proceed with the black mass. “Nevertheless, consistent with the University’s commitment to free expression, including expression that may deeply offend us, the decision to proceed is and will remain theirs.”

The Archdiocese of Boston also responded with outraged offense. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley claimed, “Why people would want to do something that is so offensive to so many people in the community, whether they’re Catholic or not, it’s very repugnant.”

As a Christian, I understand the outrage. After all, the satanic black mass mocks the Eucharist, one of the most holy events in Christianity. But, before we fester in our animosity toward the Satanists, I want to encourage us to take a step back and analyze this event from the angle of mimetic theory.

Mimetic Theory and the Satan

René Girard has been invaluable in helping us understand Satan by exploring the many titles attributed to Satan. In his book I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Girard states, “These titles and functions include the ‘tempter,’ the ‘accuser,’ the ‘prince of this world,’ the ‘prince of darkness,’ the ‘murderer from the beginning,’ and all of them together explain why Satan is the concealed producer, director of the Passion.”

The reason Satan is so dangerous is not because Satan is a mythical figure with horns and a pitch-fork. Satan is so dangerous because Satan represents an anthropological reality. Satan has no independent existence outside of humanity. Humans provide oxygen for Satan’s survival whenever we accuse others and exclude them from our community. Following Girard’s use of Satan’s titles, Satan is the anthropological principle that “tempts” us to unite in “accusation” against a scapegoat, or a common enemy. Satan is the “prince of this world” and the “prince of darkness” because the world runs on accusations. Whenever we experience accusations against us, we respond with accusations of our own. This leads us down a dark path of mimicking verbal and physical violence against one another

Girard’s exploration of the satanic principle leads to a difficult conclusion that no one wants to hear, but we need to hear it: whenever we point fingers against another, even when we point our fingers against Satan, we are caught up in the satanic mechanism.

Again, as a Christian, I completely understand the outrage against the satanic black mass at Harvard, but ultimately our outrage traps us into an imitation of Satan, and so we give oxygen and bring to life to the satanic mechanism. We provide Satan with oxygen as we participate in “Satan casting out Satan.” The Harvard community, the Catholic diocese of Boston, and many others were caught up in mimetic outrage at the Cultural Studies Club and succeeded in having the event relocated to another venue. If Satan is the principle that unites us against a common enemy and excludes them from our midst, then we need to consider the possibility that any act of excluding the satanic black mass is itself satanic.

Mimetic Theory and the Eucharist

Is there an alternative response, one that resists the temptation to accusation and exclusion? Yes. And ironically the answer is found in the very thing the black mass ridicules.

The black mass mocks the Eucharist, the Great Thanksgiving of Christianity. What is so “great” about the Eucharist?

The Gospel of Luke tells us that during Jesus’ last supper with his disciples he “took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’”

Now, what’s really interesting about the last supper is that Jesus knew he would be betrayed. And it wasn’t just Judas who betrayed him. Satan didn’t just enter Judas’s heart; he entered the hearts of all the disciples who abandoned and denied Jesus during his time of need. They were all caught up in the satanic mechanism.

But thankfully the satanic mechanism of accusation, expulsion, and murder doesn’t have the last word. Jesus has the last word. The Eucharist is the Great Thanksgiving because the last words of Jesus are words of forgiveness. As James Alison states, Jesus is the Forgiving Victim who doesn’t respond to satanic accusation and violence with more satanic accusations and violence. Rather, Jesus responds with love that embraces even his enemies and universal forgiveness. Jesus prayed for his persecutors from the cross,

Father, forgive them, for they know know not what they do.

The Only Way to Defeat Satan

Satanists make an easy scapegoat for Christians. Who could be an easier target for Christian outrage than those who glorify Satan? But when we unite in mimetic outrage and accusations against Satanists we reveal that we are prone to getting caught up in the satanic mechanism of exclusion.

The only alternative to the satanic principle of accusation is Christ’s principle of love and forgiveness. Christian tradition claims that Satan was defeated by the forgiveness of Christ on the cross. Christ gave his body and his blood for the very people who betrayed him; the very people who were caught up in satanic accusations against him.

In other words, Christ gave his body and his blood for all humanity, including Satanists. Whenever we unite in accusation against another, but especially when we do so in the name of Christ, we mock the cross and the Eucharist. We become Satan casting out Satan, only to reinforce the satanic principle of exclusion.

Harvard stopped the black mass from happening on campus, but it was a short term win. In the long term, excluding Satanists only reinforces the Satanic principle of exclusion. If we want to win in the long term, the only way to defeat Satan is to deprive him of the oxygen that gives him life. And the only way to deprive him of oxygen is to love and forgive him.

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  • Greg Lively

    Wow. I was expecting something very different when I clicked on the title of this post on the Patheos homepage. I applaud you, sir, and sincerely wish more Christians were like you.

    • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

      Thank you, Greg. Your comment means so much to me.

      Grace and peace,
      Adam

  • Yonah

    No.

    You have not thought deeply enough about the origin of satan. If you go to the Hebrew bedrock, the adversarial nature of satan is that part of humanity which is adversarial in a certain way: It uses a lie in the attempt to win the adversarial contest. Whether in accusation or prosecution, that adversarial agenda seeks to win through an utter lie…and the purpose of the lie is to secure power over the other at any and all cost.

    The president of Harvard, from the get-go, should have just said “No”.

    By the sacrament of Baptism, so should you.

    • Donalbain

      Because FUCK FREEDOM, right?

      • Yonah

        In this case, yes.

        • Donalbain

          Thanks for admitting that you a theocratic fuckstain.

          • Yonah

            You are also not permitted to eat pork chops in my house.

            I am the stain.

    • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

      Hi Yonah. I appreciate your comment and agree with much of it. In my baptism I renounce the powers of evil and Satan, but the very tricky thing is to renounce that power without being seduced by it. To become adversarial to the adversary makes us all of us look adversarial. In our Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray that we be delivered from evil. That deliverance takes the form of forgiveness in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. On the cross, Jesus actually defeats Satan not by explicitly saying “No” but by explicitly speaking words of forgiveness. His explicit forgiveness is an implicit “no” to Satan’s game of accusation. He stopped the accusations with forgiveness. Now, what might forgiveness look like for Harvard in this case? What might it look like for any of us when we are confronted with satanic evil? I think that’s the creative work we need to do in community as we are guided by the Spirit.

      Grace and peace,
      Adam

      • Yonah

        Saying “No” in a clear explicit voice is not a reciprocal of satanism.

        The NT text records Jesus saying “No” to satan over just the issue you allude to…not getting sucked in.

        • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

          Jesus defeated the powers and principalities of the world (Satan) on the cross through forgiveness. In the resurrection Jesus offers forgiveness and peace to those who were caught up in the satanic mechanism and betrayed him. Can you imagine if Jesus came back in the resurrection in the spirit of “no” to his disciples? When in fact Jesus said “yes” to them. So, sure, there are times when we may need to say “no,” but no is dangerous. We can get caught up in no and get distracted from God’s yes to life, which looks like forgiveness, nonviolence, peace, and reconciliation.

          • Yonah

            It sounds like you are trying to head for some kind of law-gospel debate and/or defend some kind of position on universalism. That would seem to me to be going off on a tangent away from the primary contest in the Abrahamic tradition of life v. death. The ultimate and primary No of the baptismal commitment is to Death with a capital D…which is not mere death, but Death mongering…the orgy of suffering that evil wishes to impose. Now, in the law-gospel debate that seems to be implicit in your remarks, there is also the right position of No. As an ex-Lutheran, I retain their admonition that you don’t get the gospel without the law. On the other hand, I depart from them in their claim that the gospel is divided from the law. I say the law is the gospel and the gospel is the law. The Lutherans also have interesting things to say about the different uses of law. There is merit in that. The No that Jesus would indeed say to his disciples (and did) is not that of the primary No of the baptismal covenant. So, Jesus can say “Get behind me satan” like the school teacher he was to those who are being taught. This is not the same No that he issued to the Devil who came to him in the wilderness.

            As a matter of practicality, I would point out to you what parents need say to their children: “Don’t put your hand on the stove, and don’t get into a car of a stranger offering you candy.”

          • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

            Of course. But as a young parent I can tell you that the “no” only tempts children to do it even more. So, better is to provide an empathic response and an alternative that looks more like yes than no.

            I don’t need to tell you that the law is summed up by the commandments to love God and love neighbor, including our enemies. Sometimes we can use the law as justification to not love our neighbor, as in Saul’s use of the law to persecute the early followers of Christ. He then had his conversion experience where he saw that the law can be used to divide “us” against “them.” He discovered that the law should lead us to love as Christ loved. That means showing the world the alternative to violence, which is the forgiveness and love of Christ. Paul lived and died to show the message that the law should lead to love, not persecution.

          • Yonah

            No, Paul did not use the law to persecute people. Paul did that as an agent of a corrupt religious leadership which was no longer properly Jewish and agents of the Roman state. Paul was a Blackwater agent of his day. To assert that anyone could use Torah to persecute as Paul persecuted is to malign Torah and Judaism.

            It seems to me you are getting tied up in semantics that ignore the actual biblical witness whether in regard to the Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament.

            Perhaps it would help if you thought of the primary word No as an existential decision regarding ones action in the world. That No is primary in Teshuvah, for not only does it inform from what one is to return from, it is the primary Question when the human being again arrives at the same decision point on what to do…will he/she do as last time or confirm the repentance? This is existential no-ism on an everyday level. With regard to the topic of this blog, the primay No has to do with a personal decision of identity and direction…of who one is and shall be in regard to God’s will over against that set against God’s will (Kingdom).

          • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

            Anyone can use principles of any religion to justify violence. Saul did it and so does anyone who uses violence in the name of God. The Christian witness throughout the centuries has said that Jesus defeated Satan on the cross through forgiveness. We are called to follow. But you may have the last word. Thank you for the conversation.

  • raylampert

    “Christ gave his blood and body for all humanity” you say. Can anybody explain to me what that means? Gave it to whom and for what purpose? I thought Christians believed that Christ was resurrected after dying. If he was, then he didn’t give anything up. What in the word are you talking about?

    • Allah El-Ibn

      He died for all of us. The reason he died was to put on him all your sins and die with them, sort of like if you were to die with your sinful nature. The only difference was that God put all our sin on him and that he resurrected him on the third day. We aren’t saved because of the great sacrifice that Iisaa made (although he did make a sacrifice) but we are saved because of the act that Iisaa preformed; taking all the sin of mankind and dying with it.

      • raylampert

        I don’t understand what you’re talking about. Who is “Iisaa”? I thought a “sin” was an act. How can “sin” be taken from one person and put on another?

        • IAEI

          Ray,
          When God created man, we (Adam and Eve) enjoyed a perfect relationship with Him. Face to face, in daily dialogue, in a paradise. We were given free will to follow God and His commandments or not. We chose not to follow God’s commands but to fall for a lie from Satan that we could be like God by disobeying. We really screwed up. Now, here’s the problem. God will not have anything in His presense that is tainted by sin. That’s me, you, everyone who descended from the first humans. Sin seems to be in our DNA. There exists a wide gulf between us in our fallen state and God. How can this be bridged? How can the relationship be restored? Now, here’s the solution. It would take a man who lived his life without sin, a perfect sacrificial lamb, so to speak, to die in our place and take the punishment of death that we deserved onto himself. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did exactly that and he did it willingly because, for a reason that I can not fathom, he loves us enough to die in our place. What we must do is accept the free gift of salvation that Christ offers. We don’t have to clean ourselves up before God will accept us.

          • raylampert

            So your God is a cross between a petulant child and a bloodthirsty tyrant who demands unquestioning obedience or else he threatens us with death? And Jesus saves us from God? Why would you worship a monster like that?

          • IAEI

            God knows that he will never get unquestioning obedience from us. We are in a state of rebellion against Him. He offers us life through Christ so the relationship we once had can be eventually restored.

          • raylampert

            So God wants unquestioning obedience, but we humans commit the crime of thinking for ourselves? What sort of relationship did we have that needs to be restored? And why would anybody want a relationship with somebody who demands that? Sounds like an abusive spouse or parent.

          • IAEI

            Goodbye, Ray, and good luck finding whatever it is you are looking for.

          • Lindsey

            Hi Ray! I’m a friend and colleague of Adam Ericksen’s and thought I might try answering your questions. There are many perspectives on the crucifixion and I am sure that the author’s perspective and mine differ from the answers to your questions that you have read here. First, to your question “Who is Iissa?” That’s the Arabic name for Jesus, which itself is the Greek name for Yeshua. Guessing by Allah El-Ibn’s name, which translates to “God the Son” in Arabic, I’d say he’s Arab Christian and is using the translation of Jesus’s name used by both Muslims and Christians in the Arab region.

            Now to your first question: “Christ gave his blood and body for all humanity” you say. Can anybody explain to me what that means? Gave it to whom and for what purpose?”

            Great question! Just about all Christians agree that Jesus gave his body and blood for humanity but the “for what purpose” has very different answers. Adam and I both reject the idea that God demanded any of the violence committed against Jesus. We are Christians influenced by Rene Girard, a contemporary scholar who has made significant contributions to literary criticism, anthropology and theology. Girard posits that human civilization is structured on ritual violence, or the periodic purging of a scapegoat so that violence of all against one replaces violence of all against all. You can read more about him under the FAQs section of The Raven Foundation here: http://www.ravenfoundation.org/faqs/. So, imagine a God who is Love, who is completely nonviolent, looking upon the cycle of vengeance that humanity is constantly caught up in. Every victim of violence killed in the name of God is beloved by God. To prove it, God becomes incarnate, becomes fully human, and occupies the space of the victim. Why? Precisely to show us this violence in which we are caught up, because we have a way of justifying our violence to absolve ourselves of guilt. We do it still today in war; abusers do it; people have defense mechanisms to defend themselves against the horrors they commit. Jesus suffered the death penalty, and those who administered it thought they were being righteous, but Jesus shows it for what it is: murder. But instead of seeking retribution, Jesus pronounces forgiveness! He puts his body on the cycle of violence in order to clog up the gears and shut down the machinery. Only forgiveness can stop violence, and that is precisely what Jesus gives freely. Jesus’ suffering is real. He suffers just as every human victim of violence suffers, and shows that God is with the suffering. He really did give up his body and blood. In the Eucharist, he offers his body which is broken quite literally in the crucifixion. He also says that blood that he sheds is poured out for the forgiveness of sins… meaning, “you will spill my blood and I will forgive you.” The resurrection is the vindication not only of Jesus, but through Jesus, the vindication of everyone killed or harmed in the name of any god ever. God is revealing Godself as Love for everyone, including those who killed him. All of humanity that participates in civilization built on victims killed Christ because Christ was (and continues to be) in every human victim. (I understand your point about how the resurrection means that Jesus didn’t give anything up, but by that logic a victim who is later healed never suffered. Jesus suffered as do other victims, to show that God suffers every time we hurt each other.)

            Jesus in God saves us from the worst in ourselves and saves us from believing in the world’s logic of violence. God does not demand obedience upon threat of death, but death is the human result of a path built on violence rather than mercy. The obedience God demands is basically, stop killing each other, stop building your identities upon victims. God sees us caught up in a mechanism of death… not just limited lifespans, but violence that kills. God shows us a way of forgiveness and love that may cost us our lives to follow, but shows us that true life is found in this path that rejects the mechanism of death. Following Jesus means following this way of nonviolent love and forgiveness, which ultimately is the only way to stop the violent principle that structures the world — Satan — who is not a “who,” not a person but the spirit of violence in which humanity has been caught from the beginning of civilization. Some theologians refuse to personify him even as a metaphor and write “the satan,” meaning “the structuring principal of violence” instead. There is scriptural evidence to identify the satan as the accuser, the principal of accusation by which people set themselves over and against a victim. And Jesus is fluid with this term… he uses it for his buddy Peter at one point because at that point Peter rejects the idea that the Messiah should suffer rather than inflict violence.

            I believe in a God who will ultimately redeem all people, forgiving all just as Jesus asked on the cross when he said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Indeed they didn’t, and we don’t, when we justify our violence against anyone.

            There is so much more to say, but I’ll leave it at this for now. Thank you for your excellent questions, Ray, and remember, there are many ways to interpret the Christian faith, and I do not have all the answers and am not always right, but I am absolutely convinced by scripture, tradition, prayer and reason that Jesus came to redefine God so that we would not put our faith in sacrifice but in mercy.

          • raylampert

            Interesting idea, even though it completely contradicts the character of the god of the bible as well as two thousand years of Christian doctrine. How many times in the bible does god command or cause suffering and death? If you’re not going to take the bible as an authority (I sure don’t), then why claim to follow the god of that bible? Go ahead and rightfully deny that the bible is true, but call yourself something more accurate than “Christian”.

          • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

            Ray, that’s exactly
            the point! “Go ahead and rightfully deny that the bible is true, but call
            yourself something more accurate than ‘Christian.’” Personally, I love
            that statement, but I would nuance it a bit. It might be more appropriate for people
            who take the bible to be the Word of God to call themselves Biblians, not
            Christians. After all, John 1 says that the Word became flesh. Jesus is the
            Word of God. On the other hand, the bible does tell us truth. All the violence in the bible is there because the truth is that humans are violent. The authors of the bible didn’t deny their violence, nor the fact that they projected their violence upon God. The fact that many of the biblical authors believed God justified their violence is part of the truth of being human that the bible claims. BUT what makes the bible so important is that it also critiques that claim. Take Hosea who says that God desires mercy, not violent sacrifice; the Joseph story where forgiveness and reconciliation win the day; Second Isaiah’s emphasis on nonviolence. So, with those contradictions/arguments about God in the bible, how do we decide who God actually is? Well, our Jewish friends have mishnah/midrash that continues the exegetical debate. Christians have debated the question throughout our tradition, but ultimately we have Jesus, who took up the mercy not sacrifice strand and reveals in his life, death, and resurrection that God forgives all (Father forgive them) and offers nonviolent peace to everyone, even those who betrayed him – the first words of the resurrected Jesus are words of peace.

          • raylampert

            So do you believe the authors of the Old Testament were mistaken when they record how God tells them to wipe out whole cities? Or that the authors of the New Testament were mistaken when they talk about how women should be subservient and slaves should obey their masters?
            After all, you don’t need a miracle-working son of a deity to command you to show mercy and charity. You only need human empathy for those things. It sounds to me like you’re just projecting your own morality on the Bible and accepting or rejecting it as you see fit according to your conscience and reason. Fine by me; there are parts I like and parts I don’t like. But I don’t do good to others because I’m commanded to; I do good because I care about people and want to help them. I am against violence because I believe it’s wrong to cause unnecessary suffering.

          • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

            That’s a good thing Ray. Keep doing good.

            To your question, Jesus’ disciples asked him if they should call down fire on the cities that didn’t receive them or their message. That’s clearly in line with a tradition of God within the OT. But Jesus said no – to shake the dust of their feet and move on. He took it a step further by telling them to love their enemies so that they become children of God. Western culture of doing good to all others, even to our enemies, owes itself to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Maybe we did need a son of a deity to tell us to love everyone. Where else do we find an all embracing love like that before Jesus took it up from within the strand of Judaism that says God desires mercy not sacrifice? After all, we’re still struggling to love our enemies in the way Jesus loved his.

            Ultimately, Ray, I don’t really care about convincing you. All I care is that you keep doing good and show the world an alternative to violence. The world needs more people like you.

            Peace,
            Adam

  • SecularPatriot

    Satan is so dangerous because Satan represents an anthropological reality. Satan has no independent existence outside of humanity.

    The concept of “reality” is being inappropriately applied. The floor under me is objectively real. It doesn’t depend on my thoughts or even my very existence. It would be here if I ceased to exist. That’s what reality is.

    Things that cease to exist when you stop thinking about them, as you imply Satan is, those are called “thoughts.”

    • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

      Thanks for the comment. I see where you are coming from and respect it, but I would quibble a bit. Satan is the principle of accusation. It is a reality that is purely human. We are the ones who make accusations, and we observe the very real consequences of our accusations against one another every day. It is an objective reality that we can observe. It is also an objective reality that we can stop by moving away from accusations and toward forgiveness.

      Thanks again,
      Adam

      • Dave Hopper

        I am confused by the back and forth use of both “Satan” and “Satanists.” It seems to me that you are saying…(1) Satan exists only as a concept of evil, and is not real, and (2) That God’s redemption plan for humanity that was carried out by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross included Satan.
        So, for clarification:
        1. Is Satan real? Does Satan exist independently outside of human ity?
        2. Was Jesus real? Do you believe in Jesus as fully divine, fully man, part of the trinity, existing with God before creation?

        • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

          Does Satan exist? No. I agree with the Genesis 1 that says God created everything and that it was good. Christian tradition claims that evil is not part of creation. Satan, as pure evil, cannot “exist” because evil doesn’t “exist.” The best thing we can compare evil to is a parasite, or even a lack of goodness. Satan/evil don’t have independent existence. They are like a human parasite.

          Was Jesus real? Of course! Jesus is real! Jesus is the fully human and fully divine One, Son of God and Son of Man, the second member of the Trinity, existing with God before creation, through whom all things were made and to whom all things belong.

          • Dave Hopper

            I am glad to see that you believe fully in Christ.

            What of the creation account of Genesis 2? Did God not create the tree of knowledge of good and evil? And who is the adversarial Son of God in Job?

          • Dave Hopper

            Hmmm…

  • sweetie23

    While I understand the outrage against a black mass (satanists are vile, serving the one being that hates them so much), Catholicism is false itself. Catholics bow to idols made of wood and gold, have rituals, and they pray to dead people that can’t hear them when Jesus Himself is the only one that can reach God for us. That all can be proven in Scripture and the very 10 commandments Catholics say they follow.

    The eucharist is a false ritual. No where in the Bible does it say to perform this ritual. This is something that was created by man, modeling it after the Last Supper. It is not holy, and does not represent Jesus in any way other than what they (the Catholic Church) want you to believe.

    I used to be Catholic. I did my fair share of “stand, sit, kneel” and “put money in the basket or everyone glares at you like you’ve just sinned horribly.” Their masses are an hour long full of no real content other than whatever the priest feels like talking about, and they give you a book full of cherry-picked Bible verses with no context. That’s not real study, it’s a farce to make you believe whatever they tell you.

    Of course they need a ritual like the eucharist to keep you coming back, to make you believe you need to receive it weekly to be forgiven. Scripture says otherwise, that you need to pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ – you need no priest to “intercede” for you and forgive you, since all your sins are only between you and God. A mere mortal man can’t erase anything.

    The Catholic church wants only one thing from you – your money. They want you to believe that you NEED to go to their churches weekly, but it doesn’t matter what you do the rest of the week since you’re automatically forgiven if you just go to church and tithe your money to the Lord, like you can buy your way into Heaven.

    Think about it – have you ever seen a poor priest of the Catholic church? All I have ever seen is their nice cars and houses, not to mention their stately, decked out churches. Where do you think all that comes from, some money tree they have growing in the backyard? Why do they need all that decor anyway, since God is with us always and isn’t confined to any buildings that mankind could come up with? He sees us at our worst as well as our best, and dressing up on a Sunday isn’t going to make any difference to Him – you’re still a sinner whether you sit in the pretty building or not. So why have them? I think you can guess the answer.

    They want you to believe that all their statues of dead people can save you, that praying to anyone but God Himself in Jesus’s name is a good thing. Read Exodus 20:4 – the very commandment that tells you God is a jealous God, pray to none other but Him.

    A priest isn’t going to be sitting there telling God anything when you are called to account for your sins – you will be alone, just like everyone else will be. The eucharist is a man-made ritual that they pretend can help save you – it can’t. The only way anyone can be saved is through the gift of Grace. No amount of sitting,standing, or kneeling will help you. No amount of money will save you. It is simple Grace, given freely by God to us. We must ask for forgiveness, repent of our sinful ways, accept the gift of Grace and be reborn.

    I pray anyone reading this, please find a real teacher of the Bible and study it for yourself – learn the truth. Don’t fall for the lies of the Catholic church!


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