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THE CROSSROADS AT 23rd STREET

"...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1)
Errors can be corrected and trends reversed if only OUR faith and determination does not fail us in our earnest quest for the truth.

Enchanting Lustful Lies ... The Skill of Deceit

Faith & Forgiveness

The history of the Catholic Church is chocked full of examples of good and bad, heroic deeds and unfortunately numerous ignoble crimes. Those who have studied the history of the Catholic Church and still believe that “truth” can never be compromised and remain “truth” would be well advised / encouraged to come to grips with reality and familiarize themselves of the age old tactic used by those who thirst for power called “the skill of deceit”.

In his book “On the PriesthoodSt John Chrysostom (349–407) wrote to a close friend named Basil concerning his use of deceit on an issue by stating:

… a well-timed deception, undertaken with an upright intention, has such advantages, that many persons have often had to undergo punishment for abstaining from fraud.”

Though that statement may come as a shock to purists, St John Chrysostom, who became the Archbishop of Constantinople in 397, goes on to defend his position stating:

“… it is right to use deceit, not only in war, nor only with enemies, but in peace and with our best friends.”

“To discover how useful deceit is, not only to the deceivers but to the deceived, go to any doctor and inquire how they cure their patients of diseases. You will hear them say that they do not rely on their skill alone, but sometimes they resort to deceit, and with tincture of its help they restore the sick man to health. When the plans of doctors are hindered by the whims of their patients and the obstinacy of the complaint itself, then it is necessary to put on the mask of deception, in order to conceal the truth about what is happening – as they do on the stage.”

“With your permission, I will relate to you one of the many tricks which, I have heard, doctors devise. Once a fever fell suddenly upon a patient very violently, and his temperature kept rising. The sick man refused the medicine which would have allayed the fever, but longed and insisted, with requests to everyone who visited him, that he should be given a long drink of neat wine and he be allowed to take his fill of the deadly thing he wanted. It would not only have inflamed the fever but have thrown the poor man into a hemiplegia, if anyone would have granted him this favor. In this case, where professional skill was baffled and at the end of its resources and quite useless, deception stepped in and showed the extent of its power, as you will now hear.”

“The doctor took an earthenware vessel fresh from the kiln and steeped it in wine. Then he took it out empty and filled it with water. Next he gave orders for the room where the patient was lying to be darkened with thick curtains; for fear that the daylight might show up the trick. He then gave the vessel to the patient to drink from, pretending it was full of the neat wine. The patient was deceived, even before he took it into his hand, by the aroma that reached him. He did not stop to examine closely what was offered to him. Convinced by the aroma, deceived by the darkness, and impelled by his craving, he snatched the vessel impatiently. And when he had drunk his fill, he immediately shook off the fever and escaped his immediate danger.”

“Do you see the advantages of deception? If you were to collect all the tricks of doctors, the list would stretch interminably. And you will find that it is not only those who heal the body who constantly use this remedy, but those who treat the diseases of the soul, too. By this means St Paul won over all those thousands of Jews (Acts 21:20). With this intention he circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3), even though he wrote to the Galatians Christ would not profit those who were circumcised (Gal 5:2). On this account he became subject to the Law (1 Cor 9:20) – he who reckoned the righteousness of the Law but loss after finding faith in Christ (Phil 3:7).”

“Great is the power of deceit; only it must not be applied with treacherous intention. Or rather, it is not right to call such action deceit, but good management and tact and skill enough to find ways through an impasse, and to correct the faults of the spirit. …”

Checking from time to time on various internet search engines, using the criteria “number of Christian denominations”, one will quickly discover that there are approximately 34,000 different Christian denominations in the world since AD 30. To state that this fact is “Absolutely Incredible” is an alarming understatement. I would like to encourage you to take a moment and go to Wikipedia and see for yourself the incredible “partial” list. By doing so you should be able to derive at the logical conclusion that, like it or not, the “skill of deceit” has been fraudulently used repeatedly over time by disingenuous persons to formulate a myriad number of “Enchanting Lustful Lies” (schemes) to lure away the flock from the Shepherd. Logic also dictates that if you have held on to the belief, through “faith”, that Jesus is indeed the Christ then the Church He established at Pentecost, through his Apostles, is the ONLY Church one should and must subscribe to. Christ established His Church for our salvation and did NOT create an amusement park filled with 34,000 different rides to satisfy our individual whims.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them." - (Mat 7:15-20).

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." - (2 Cor 11:13-15)

"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions." - (2 Tim 4:3)

"... wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church"

In the New Testament, Pentecost was the advent of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:1–31). This day has been described as being the day the “Church” was born.

Saint Ignatius of Antioch (c.35 or 50 – 98 to c.108), in his “Epistle to the Smyrnaeans”, refers to this Church as being “Catholic”.

Chapter 8. Let nothing be done without the bishop

"See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid."

Note: The word “Catholic” was taken from the Greek word indicating both universality and fullness.

This “Catholic” Church referred to by Saint Ignatius during that time was NOT the institutionalized Church established by Constantine the Great (272 – 337) sometime around the year 313.

In the book “Vicars of Christ – The dark side of the Papacy” written by Peter de Rosa in 1988 he states:

“The cost of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity was the loss of innocence? Catholicism flourished to the detriment of Christianity and of Jesus who wanted no part in the world of power and politics, who preferred to be crucified then to impose his views on anyone.”

Jesus was born in a stable. In his ministry he had no place to lay his head. Jesus renounced possessions. He constantly taught: “Go, sell all that though hast and give it to the poor, then come and follow me” (Mat 19:21). He preached doom to the rich and powerful. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”, he said, “where neither rust nor moth can spoil it” (Mat 6:19-21). He taught us by example the things we must do and in the end gave his life for our salvation after being scourged, humiliated and crucified naked to a wooden cross.

And what of the Apostle Peter? Peter never had a baptismal certificate to prove he was baptized. Peter was NOT a celibate. Jesus chose him knowing full well he was married. Peter was penniless. His actions during Christ’s ministry and after proved without a doubt that he was NOT infallible, that he was not perfect. Yet, Peter was chosen, none-the-less, by Christ to be an Apostle. Yet, contrary to accepted tradition, there is actually nothing in the Bible that gives undeniable support to the idea that Christ chose him to be the Head of his Church (i.e. the first "Pope"). That idea is but another "enchanting lustful lie". It was Peter's "faith" and "conviction" that Jesus was indeed the Christ (the Messiah), the living Son of God that was the "rock" upon which Christ built his Church.

"Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah - (Mat 16:13-20)

(13) When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
(14) They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
(15) “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
(16) Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
(17) Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
(18) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.
(19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(20) Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

It can and has been be argued, to the point of causing a number of schismatic breaks from Catholicism, that the "you" referred to Matthew 16:19 was in reference to ALL the Apostles. All the Apostlres were handed the keys and the authority to carry on the ministry. They obediently “picked up their cross” and followed, the best they could, the instructions given to them by Jesus to “feed my sheep” / “tend my sheep” (John 21:15-19). The Apostles did this with a full knowledge that by doing so they would most likely, one day, be called on to pay for that devotion with their life.

Pope Sylvester’s fatal "governing alliance" (i.e. Caesar and Pope) in the 4th century with Constantine radically changed the course of Catholicism which, from then on, flowed directly into the rivers of absolutism. The Church of Christ became, for lack of a better word, a "pornocracy"; but it was still and is still “the Church”.

Lord John Dalberg-Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, in 1887 wrote “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

There is no denying that the “Catholic” Church today is composed of and conceals vast wealth. The Church is equally a formidable political, financial and religious power. Yet, any suggestion that the Church should denounce its empirical institutional title and revert back to the Church it was before Constantine (by selling off all it has and to give it to the poor) is met with derision as absurd, impractical and foolish. But that is not surprising. The rich young man Jesus spoke to in the gospel (Mat 19:19-23) reacted in a similar way.

Who, claiming themselves to be Christian, can deny that Jesus Christ led by example? And who can forget the biblical story when Jesus used remedial physical force to drive the money changers from the temple? The Catholic Church consists of more than 1.2 billion people. With that many voices righteously exclaiming “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of iniquity” (Matthew 21:12-17) … who is there that will say they could not hear the call for change. The Pope and the Curia are entitled to be given the opportunity to admit to, repent of and correct the Church’s historical errors, its crimes, and its blatant heresies strewn over nearly 2 millennia. Where is the injustice in exposing their crimes and calling them to repentance?

It is indeed true that "outside the church there is no salvation" but since the 4th century the Church Christ established (i.e. the TRUE Catholic Church) has been abandoned and left by the wayside. Today’s Church traditionalists and sedevacantists naively blame the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) of 1962-1965 for the problems within the Church saying it all stems from a conspiracy started by Pope, or should I say Antipope, John XXIII; which only goes to prove true what is written:

“Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Mat 13:13)

The Vatican State and its perverse hybrid version of the “Catholic” Church is without a doubt NOT the Catholic Church Christ had hoped to see evolve over time out of his ministry. But, like it or not, it is a TRUE offspring of Christ’s Church even though it is an unruly and rebellious child. The same can be said of Eastern Orthodoxy. The Schism of 1054 between Rome and the Eastern Churches split the already wounded Church into two opposing unrepenting forces and are responsibile for paving the way for the birth of Protestantism in 1517.

Beware of False Prophets and Theological Carpetbaggers

In this age of cyber proselytizing there are a vast number of "false prophets" and "theological carpetbaggers" preying on those pre-Vatican II Catholics who have become disgruntled with the radical changes that Vatican II forced fed the “flock”. The “Holy See” (the Vatican City State) claimed those council changes came from divine guidance / from the Holy Spirit. As the Roman Catholic Church claims the “Pope” is infallible (First Vatican Council in 1870) “the faithful” were expected to swallow that bitter pill.

Taking a pragmatic look at the tragic events of the Vatican II Council it becomes strikingly evident that Vatican II’s new morality is nothing more than the old immorality. Those “who have eyes to see” have seen the Roman Catholic Church for what it has digressed into becoming; a Church of Man and Not of Christ. The “failings” of Vatican II (i.e. changing the traditional liturgical rites, etc) has caused yet another schism to form within the Church … the Traditional Catholic movement. Though the "rebellion", for lack of a more fitting term, is justified it is unfortunately being merclessly exploited for profit by a number of unsavory characters as there is no centralized "revolutionary Curia" to guide its followers. The movement, in general, lacks valid and viable "Pastoral Care".

This schism has given rise to the creation of a multitude of "domestic-non-profit corporations" claiming to be the last "remnant" of the Catholic Church who, for the most part, are NOT "praying" for but "preying" on the "flock" that has been left without a shepherd. Traditional (home alone) Catholics run great risks of being deceived and must beware of cyber "wolves in sheep's clothing" that are out to fleece them on the web.

It should be but obviously isn't that obvious to see that becoming outraged, disenchanted and defecting from and/or fleeing the Church is not the answer for resolving the Church's fundamental problems. We cannot change the Church, correcting its flaws and healing its wounds, if we abandon it. It is our collective penitence to endure the suffering and the shame associated with the legacy of “deceit” our “Church Fathers” willfully heaped upon us as we’ve stood idily by and let it happen. A long and sultry list of crimes and scandals have been repeatedly “white washed” by the Church Fathers in an vain attempt to deceive us further and to hold on to ill-gotten gain. Though it may be derided by some to be heresy / blasphemy to insist that the “Vicar of Christ” return to us the Church Christ entrusted to his Apostles for our care and salvation; we must find the courage to “defend the faith” and ask anyway despite any plausible retaliation that may befall us as a result of that action.

The purpose of this website is to warn and encourage "Traditional Catholics" to stay away from "new age" snake-oil salesmen who claim to be ordained, who wear the clothes of priests or monks but are dubiously out to sell you "partial" truths and to separate you from your money as well as from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Don't abandon the Universal Church, the Catholic Church that Saint Ignatius of Antioch defined ... fight for it!

John 18:36

(36) Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world; if it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

I have thought of the meaning of the above scripture many times and believe that I have understood that we must “fight the good fight” if we are to ever usher in the “reign of our Lord”. We must not shirk our duties / our responsibilities as “servants of Christ”. God’s kingdom is still not of “this realm” because the “flock” will NOT "disobey" the “bad shepherd” and as a result are being spiritually devoured by heretical / schismatic “wolves”. The Church and the Schismatics can and must be held accountable for their heresy and vainglory.

Christ didn't abandon / flee the temple; he physically chased the evil doers out. Rightous indignation is a virtue not a sin.

Mark 11:15-17

(15) And they came to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
(16) And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
(17) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The Catholic Church is our Church, our refuge, our place of worship, our sanctuary given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was never intended to become the "business" it has become. 34,000+ Christian denominations? Hundreds if not thousands of theological cyber carpetbaggers?

Luke 17:1-17

(1) Jesus said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come!
(2) It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
(3) Watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.…

Faith is Liberty Espoused

Studying the Holy Bible, the teachings of the Church, the lives of the Saints, etc. are good for the soul and for strengthening ones faith. Yet, I would like to encourage you to be courageous and couple those religious readings with the writings of reputable historians and theologians in order to avoid the pitfalls associated with the oftentimes “subjective” reasoning of Church apologists who have mastered the “skill of deceit”.

Use the power of your faith, obtained through study, fasting and prayer to free yourself from those who have a proven vested material interest in your believing their “enchanting lustful lies”. Cast away your doubts and uncertainty believing in the promise of Christ:

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mat 7:7).

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