Let’s pretend the doctrine is untouchable. Then let’s do as we please and call it “pastoral”.

Communion For Adulterers: Is The Outcome Already Decided?

Writer details how Arnold and Maria (to their dismay) were permitted “all the desires of their hearts”.

Maria and Arnie both betrayed Christ and the Church as cafeteria Catholics by picking and choosing the doctrines they would follow and those they would reject. Arnie just took the betrayal a step farther by being a cafeteria husband who played fast and loose with the vows he made to Maria on their wedding day. But if you don’t respect your obligations to Christ and His Church, why would you respect your obligations to another person?

Link

This Week’s Ask Alice: Suicide. Dreams, Visions. What To Do About An Adulterous Relative.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Walt Asks: I’ve heard in so many ways that, “God never gives us more (burdens)than we can handle” That he is always with us and He gives us grace to continue. Well then, what about those who commit suicide?

Alice Answers: God gifts everyone with grace. God doesn’t give anyone more burdens than he/she can handle. “My grace is enough for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Suicide is a heart wrenching tragedy that claims as its victims both the deceased, and the survivors who love them. Suicide is a self-centered act, and suicidal wounds are self-inflicted. The person who commits suicide has not been abandoned by God, but has refused to accept and cooperate with God’s grace.

In many cases people who commit suicide are suffering from mental illness. Sometimes they are victims of extreme physical or mental abuse. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit, He saves.”(Psalm 34:19)

People who commit suicide do not rely on the Lord to heal their pain, but choose instead, to end their own life.

For all of these reasons and more, we must be careful to avoid harshly judging a person who commits suicide, since only God is in a position to know the whole, complete story. A true God of love, he extends his infinite grace and mercy to every soul, even at the very moment of death.

We have Jesus Christ’s blessed and personal assurance that his Divine Mercy is available to anyone who repents and asks God’s forgiveness, so there is always hope.

****

Moniq asks: For a couple of months I have been experiencing things related to my Christian faith, in dreams and prayers. Please help if you know the meaning of what I experienced: 1. While I was praying a week ago, I had a vision of a rose. One single, big rose, in the darkness. 2. I saw a bright golden cross, sitting on a white book shelf, in my dream last night. It looks like it’s an old, precious cross — glowing. I thought I was in a room. Bright. All in white. Thank you, and God be with you!

Alice Answers: Your spiritual experiences show your close relationship with God, since you are attentive to His signs in your life.

These are my first impressions of your vision and dream:

While praying, you saw an image of a big rose, in the darkness. The rose is a symbol through which God expresses His love for you. The rose is a sign of God’s consolation and comfort in your present circumstance, and the assurance that He has heard your prayer.

In your dream, a bright, golden cross, sitting on a white bookshelf represent God’s word in the Bible. “I am the way, and the truth and the life.”(John 14:6) Virtually all of the answers you seek are contained in Scripture.

The cross is old and glowing, as God’s words are timeless and enduring. Also, the cross means that Jesus wants to draw you closer to Himself. “Anyone who loves me will be true to my word…” (John 14:21)

The white room, Heaven, is attained by faithfully living the Gospel, thus fully embracing your very own “precious” cross. St. John of the Cross so loved his cross that he carried it with him always, enduring his personal sufferings in Jesus’ holy name, without complaint.

Moniq, how much it pleases God to speak to a heart that hears His voice!

****

Joseph Asks: I have a relative who is living an adulterous life, which I know is very sinful. I’ve tried to get him some counseling, but that did not work out. Now I don’t know what to do. Because of this, I’m not even comfortable socializing with him anymore. What is your advice?

Alice replies: Please don’t abandon your relative. He has stumbled and he needs you to guide him on the path back to God. “We who are strong in faith should be patient with the scruples of those who are weak.” (Romans 15:1)

If his other friends are comfortable with his adulterous situation, you might be the only one who can still touch his heart.

If you have not already done so, speak the truth to your relative about his adulterous affair. Encourage him to change his ways, and get to Confession.

You cannot force him to do this, but you can certainly lead by example. Offer to go to Confession with him. If he resists (as he probably will) don’t argue or push. Instead, continue to gently (and diplomatically) coax and cajole.

Your good work, along with God and his abundant grace, typically need a bit of time in order to obtain the desired results, with such wayward souls.

“Christ has no body but yours,

No hands no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks with

Compassion on this world.” (St. Teresa of Avila)

You certainly don’t have to party with your relative and his mistress, but it’s OK to meet with him for coffee, or talk with him on the phone. Don’t shun him. Continue to acknowledge him at family gatherings. And most importantly … continue to pray for him … without ceasing.

Southern Baptists issue document on holy matrimony and divorce that comes very close to being Catholic.

On The Scandal Of Southern Baptist Divorce
June 2010

WHEREAS, The Bible reveals that marriage is a gospel mystery, pointing to Christ’s union with His church (Ephesians 5:22-32); and

WHEREAS, The Bible teaches that marriage was established by God “in the beginning” to be a permanent one-flesh union (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:1-9); and

WHEREAS, Our Lord Jesus commands us that what “God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9); and

WHEREAS, The biblical story shows us that one of the lamentable aspects of sin is the destruction of marriages and families, a destruction seen from the Fall until this present darkness; and

WHEREAS, The rampant divorce rate in our culture has come with great social and economic cost, with women and children suffering disproportionately in ways that are incalculable; and

WHEREAS, We have affirmed in our confession of faith our belief in the sanctity and permanence of marriage; and

WHEREAS, Some studies have indicated that conservative Protestants in the United States of America are divorcing at the same rate, if not at higher rates, than the general population; and

WHEREAS, Some studies also indicate that areas where Southern Baptist churches predominate in number often have higher divorce rates than areas we would define as “unchurched” and in need of evangelical witness; and

WHEREAS, Even the most expansive view of the biblical exceptions allowing for divorce and remarriage would rule out many, if not most, of the divorces in our churches; and

WHEREAS, The acceleration in rates of divorce in Southern Baptist churches has not come through a shift in theological conviction about scriptural teaching on divorce but rather through cultural accommodation; and

WHEREAS, We have been prophetic in confronting assaults in the outside culture on God’s design for marriage while rarely speaking with the same alarm and force to a scandal that has become all too commonplace in our own churches; and

WHEREAS, We do not serve those who are hurting from divorce by speaking to them only in therapeutic terms rather than in terms of both repentance and forgiveness; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, acknowledge the complicity of many among us for too often failing to show the world the meaning of the gospel through marital fidelity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our conviction that a denomination defined theologically by our belief in the authority and inerrancy of Holy Scripture ought to proclaim the whole counsel of God, especially when the Bible confronts our own patterns of sin; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our further conviction that a denomination defined missiologically ought to recognize how damaging Southern Baptist accommodation to the divorce culture is to our global witness for Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our further conviction that a denomination seeking God’s blessing in revival and reformation ought to address the spiritual wreckage left in our Southern Baptist churches by our own divorce rates and our silence about the same; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to proclaim the Word of God on the permanence of marriage, and to provide ongoing marriage enrichment opportunities, in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s abhorrence of divorce; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to unite in marriage only those who are biblically qualified to be married to one another and who demonstrate an understanding of the meaning of lifelong love and fidelity; and be it further

Editor’s note: (This is indirect language that would seem to prohibit homosexual unions, and other, similar types of abominations.)

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches in our wedding services to maintain the gravity of the vows being undertaken, not simply as a token of a couple’s romance but as a covenant before God, until death do them part; and be it further

Editor’s note: (Baptists do not accept holy matrimony as a sacrament. They see it only as a covenant. As a result, the Baptist view of matrimony is fundamentally weakened by a lack of sanctifying grace, and by primary reliance on human means to preserve the “mystery” of the marital union.

Good Catholics know that holy matrimony is one of the seven sacraments, instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace … and that grace is often sorely needed in most marriages … especially when things get tough!)

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to minister to couples and families in crisis through counseling, mentorship, and, where necessary, through biblical church discipline; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to proclaim God’s mercy and grace to all people—including those who have been divorced without biblical grounds—due to the truth that the blood of Jesus can atone for any sin and can cleanse any conscience; and be it further

Editor’s note: (Baptists appear to believe that the sin of adultery can somehow be totally forgiven, even as it continues over time, simply by a one-time invocation of the “blood of Jesus”.

Catholics understand that a valid marriage may never be annulled or denied for any reason, and that remarriage after a divorce … absent a valid annulment … leaves the remarried couple in a continuing state of permanent adultery, which is a grave sin … a situation which cannot be properly remedied without fully addressing the underlying behavior.

In all cases, the application of “the blood of Jesus” requires the sinner to be truly sorry for the sin, to repent, to “go and sin no more” …  just as Jesus said to the adulterous woman.

On this point in particular, The Catholic position is certainly more severe, yet much more Biblically accurate and correct, than the exceptionally weak, watered-down, liberal and modernist, Baptist position, stated above.)

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to have special compassion for and energetic ministry to those who have been left in the wake of family brokenness; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists in troubled or faltering marriages to seek godly assistance and, where possible, reconciliation; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray that the true peace of our Lord Jesus Christ will reign in us such that the next generation will see the gospel not only in the counter-cultural nature of our verbal witness but also in the counter-cultural love and fidelity of our marriages.

Link

About Catholic Marriage Annulments

Sexual sins, craved by the lusts of the eyes and flesh, lead to death and hell.

Samson and Delilah

Keith’s weekly Bible study reminds us that God’s precepts and people’s weaknesses never really change. Here’s some hard-fitting, heavy duty scripture and reflection about sins of the flesh, based on Proverbs, Chapter 5.

You can die more than once; you can go to hell more than once. A whorish woman is a certain way to experience both in this life (2:18-19; 7:27; 9:18). Sexual sins, craved by the lusts of the eyes and flesh, lead to death and hell. The lifestyle of adultery and fornication will destroy your soul, life, and body, and take you to hell here and hereafter. Solomon used this chapter to warn his son, and all men, against fornication (5:1). He offered wisdom, understanding, discretion, and knowledge (5:1-2). He sought to save men from the fascinating temptation and horrible dangers of the strange woman (5:3). He described the painful consequences (5:4-14), the safety in a good marriage (5:15-20), the omniscience of God (5:21), and the judgment for such sins (5:22-23). Solomon had more experience with women than any hundred men. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and these were high class (I Kgs 11:3). God gave him exceeding great wisdom and understanding to analyze their danger (I Kgs 4:29). He also knew of his father’s adultery with his mother (II Sam 11:1 – 12:25), his brother Amnon’s incest with his sister (II Sam 13:1-39); his brother Absalom’s folly with his father’s concubines (II Sam 16:21-22); and his brother Adonijah’s obsession with Abishag (II Kgs 2:12-25).

He saw death and hell – a miserable life of pain and trouble – caused by adultery many times. All men die physically, but they can also die to joy and success in this life. Wicked men go to hell after death, but there is another hell in this life – a torturous existence of guilt, misery, defeat, and pain. Scripture commonly uses death and hell in this figurative way (23:14; Ps 18:5; 86:13; 116:3; Jonah 2:2; Luke 15:24; I Tim 5:6; Jas 5:20).

The “other woman” has ripped many homes apart. Children were confused; long-term marriages were violated; soul pain was multiplied. Men have lost their jobs, their focus, their health, their wealth, their wives, their children, their reputations, their confidence, their peace, and their souls by this heinous sin. Its results are truly described as death and hell. Ask any sober man who has come back from its death (5:14; Ps 51:8).

Marc Antony lost Rome, and his life, through love for the seductive Cleopatra. These words – death and hell – perfectly describe Lot, destitute in a cave after impregnating his daughters (Gen 19:30-38), and Samson, blindly grinding for the Philistines (Judges 16:21). Solomon himself knew such women to be more bitter than death (Eccl 7:26).

Yet it is no less true that wicked women take men down to literal death, eternal death, and the lake of fire. How many adulterers have been killed by the jealous spouse of their paramour (6:34-35)? How many whoremongers have died from venereal disease (7:23)? How many have become trapped in sexual addiction (5:22-23; 6:32; Hos 4:11)?

All whoremongers, unless the Lord Jesus Christ makes an exception by grace, as in the case of David, will be in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8; I Cor 6:9-11). Her beautiful feet and mincing steps are not as attractive now, are they, young man? That sexy walk leads to death and hell! Her path of sweet seduction and loving liaisons goes down, down, down!

No wonder the Lord Jesus taught the plucking out of right eyes and cutting off of right hands, rather than following the steps of this cruel fiend to hell (Matt 5:27-30). Paul said, “Flee youthful lusts” (II Tim 2:22). Get far away from her, now (5:8)! She hides the precipice over hell behind her skirts! Step back! Run away! Never go near her again!

Solomon’s own son did not heed this lifesaving advice and warning against strange women. But why should he have? His father’s example was unlimited love of many women. Rehoboam, following dad, foolishly lost ten of Israel’s twelve tribes and desired many wives. He had 18 wives and 60 concubines (II Chron 11:21-23).

Fathers! Teach your sons plainly, practically, and pointedly the dangers of whorish women and fornication. This is no small temptation, especially in our ungodly generation with every former limitation being taken out of the way for greedy lasciviousness. Keep your sons far from her! Teach them to avoid her at all costs! There will be death and hell to pay! Her love is a lie! And her reward is bitter and sharp pain (5:4; 6:28,33; 23:27).

Don’t look at her enticements; look at her path; it leads straight to death and hell(II Thess 2:9-15)!

Written and submitted by Keith F.