Welcome to the November 9, 2005 Newsletter
It has been a busy past couple of weeks. I've been writing some articles on Roman Catholicism, researching radio costs, have put on hold the book "The Garden" (due mostly to "writer's block"), and trying to catch up with 12 tons of e-mails -- and that's after I turned off my "email CARM" link! That is why I am a little late on this newsletter.
Happy Birthday CARM
On Oct. 25th, CARM turned 10 years old. Woohoo! Here is a graph of the weekly hits since January of 1996.
As you can see, the weekly hits keep progressing. Last week CARM had over 30,000 visitors to the home page. It goes up and down, but overall, it continues to increase. Praise God! The internet is such an efficient way to teach.
Lately I have been involved in some dialogues with Roman Catholics on various doctrines. I recently released a paper dealing with the Mass. The Roman Catholics tell me that it is not a re-sacrifice of Christ but in my research, I became perplexed by that assertion when I discovered the following. The Mass is called a divine sacrifice (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1068) that is done over and over again. We are told that "the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice"; (CCC 1367); that it is an unbloody offering that is propitiatory [removes the wrath of God], (CCC 1367); that it can make reparation of sins, (CCC 1414); and is to be considered a true and proper sacrifice (The Catholic Encyclopedia, topic of 'Sacrifice of the Mass').
Therefore, I must conclude that the Mass is indeed a re-sacrifice of Jesus each and every time it is done and is in violation of Heb. 7:27 which says, "who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself." Of course, they tell me that it is not a sacrifice but a re-presentation. In my opinion, this is doubletalk. How can it not be a re-sacrifice when it is said to be a sacrifice!? Anyway, if you are interested in reading the paper go to http://www.carm.org/catholic/mass.htm.
The spiritual battle
As I write this newsletter it occurs to me how frequently I mention spiritual battle. I do not want to sound like a broken record but the simple truth is that the past few months have been very stressful and I know that I have been under a strong spiritual attack. Please understand that I'm not trying to sound melodramatic but things have been difficult lately. CARM is a magnet for those who oppose biblical truth and many of them are praying to their false gods (which are ultimately demons - 1 Cor. 10:20) in an effort to stop what I do. Through God's grace, however, my wife and I have kept our eyes on the Lord and endured various difficulties and strains on our marriage. But please remember us in prayer. What I do affects my family, our finances, and even our health. Please remember to pray for us, this ministry, and for my emotional and spiritual strength. It's been very difficult lately but it is worth it to do the research, read the cult material, analyze it, pray against it, and write about it so all you have to do is click a link on CARM to get the info.
In the midst of all the trials, tribulations, and pressures an opportunity has arisen for me to get on Christian radio here in the Boise, Idaho area. It is still in the works but it's looking good. In fact, just today a friend of mine committed a certain amount for two months for the radio show. Therefore, we have enough for me to do a five day a week show, 1/2 hour a day, for about two months. Hopefully enough sponsors will jump in and support the show so that it will maintain its own. The show would be streamed on the Internet at www.myfamilyradio.com. That way, anyone could hear it on the Internet call-in to have questions answered. I know I have a great deal more to learn to be able to answer a lot of questions, but I'm anxious and eager to follow through with this and to try and help the body of Christ.
But some might ask why I would want to do this with everything that is going on. The fact is that doing something like this actually removes the pressure because I enjoy doing radio, enjoy answering questions, and very much enjoy teaching. It would be something to look forward to and a great outlet for the gospel defense. So, here is yet another thing to pray about. I will let you know more details later.
Nevertheless, The costs are $40 per 1/2 hour program if aired once per week and $30 per 1/2 hour program if aired five times per week. For the show to be most effective, it works best to be an hour long because it takes about a half-hour for listeners to feel engaged enough and confident enough to call in and ask questions. If you are interested in supporting a CARM radio show that you could hear via the internet, you can donate in two ways. First, there is Paypal, click the button below and donate any amount. It is designated for Radio only.
Second, you can donate via CARM at PO BOX 995, Meridian, ID 83680
CARM is being hit with a large tax bill due to me not knowing a certain requirement that I needed to have taken care of in last year's board meeting. A simple and minor oversight on my part will result in CARM having to pay more than $3000 in taxes. Therefore, I may need to get another job and/or work my part-time job into a full-time position. This really isn't a big deal because I know the Lord will provide what we need and I'll just crank on the effort to get it taken care of. But, it means I will have less time for CARM for a while so please lift this up in prayer as well. Thanks.
Meeting at a church of Christ College
Today I had a meeting with the professor and a student at a Church of Christ College here in Boise. The subject was whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation. We spoke for about an hour and 20 minutes and it was very interesting to say the least. Space doesn't permit me to repeat everything that was said but it is apparent to me that a great deal of teaching needs to be done in the Churches of Christ in order for the error that baptism is something you need to do in order to be saved, to be rejected as a false teaching. The Bible tells us that we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1), not by faith and "obedience" to Christ's commands. Baptism is something we need to do but it is not the thing that saves us and it is not part of the "process of salvation" as I was told today.
To be fair, they did not claim that baptism saved but they did maintain the position that baptism is part of the "salvation process". In other words, there were things that they needed to do and keep doing in order to be saved and stay saved. Needless to say, I worked very hard to try and break through this barrier of false teaching that they were holding to. I was succinct and direct. To my pleasant surprise, the professor and the student both wanted to meet again. We will see what happens and I'll let you know.
Weekly Teaching Time
Every Thursday evening I host a live discussion room on platlak.com. Paltalk is a free voice chat system that is quite good. Paltalk is full of Christians as well as non-Christians and the battles over truth are frequent. It is however, a good place to learn how to defend your faith. Anyway, if anyone is interested in you would like to check it out and join us for our weekly discussion, then go to paltalk, download the program, and join us on Thursday evenings.
Need a staff: someone to raise support and move to Boise, ID.
I'm still hoping that by God's grace he will provide one or more individuals who would be willing to relocate to the Boise area, be discipled in apologetics, and work with me in developing CARM to a much broader audience as well is developing more content. I'm looking for someone who is educated and/or has a passion for apologetics, who can write, and wants to work with CARM. I firmly believe in increasing the ability of others to do the work of this Ministry. I'm not in it for my glory. I'm in it to equip the body of Christ and bring glory to God. This world is not a playground. It is a battleground. We are to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium. So, I'm aiming to do the best I can with what God has given me.... and I need help to do it.
Please consider supporting CARM. CARM depends upon your giving in order to continue. I am not quite full-time with CARM yet. I have a part-time 20 hours a week job and I write and research for CARM an additional 50 hours a week. So, I work 70 hours each week and have been doing this for years. It is tiring. I desperately want to do CARM full-time for two reasons: first, to be able to spend more time with my family. Second, to facilitate acquiring a staff in order to produce more material.
I have the passion, the experience (25 years in apologetics), and the education (Masters of Divinity). But, I cannot do it all on my own. Please consider supporting CARM with $5 a month. It is easy to do and it does help a great deal. If interested, please sign up here.