Heresy, Cults

You Know You Are a Heretic when…

by Steve Ray on September 24, 2015

You decide you know more, you have a new previously unknown truth…

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From my friend David Palm who runs the website www.GeocentrismDebunked.com. It almost seems crazy to post blogs debating whether the sun rotates around the earth, or that the earth is the center of the universe with everything revolving around IT. But there are actually people out there with aluminum foil caps with antennas :-)  who still believe this.

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The last update of Geocentrism Debunked focused on the false scientific claims of the new geocentrists, specifically their extravagant claims about the cosmic microwave background (CMB).  This update will focus more on the theology, specifically from a Catholic vantage (but those from a non-Catholic background, please read on to the end.)

 A traditional Catholic supporter of the new geocentrists recently insisted in an on-line discussion that the whole matter is a “tempest in a teapot”. To him “[Robert Sungenis] is clearly no threat to the integrity of faith and morals”. He asks, “Is the geocentrist theory a threat to faith and morals? No on all counts” and insists that “At any rate, these people aren’t bothering anybody.”

 These claims prompted me to finish an article that I’ve had in the works for a long time. Geocentrism as a scientific view is a massive exercise in special pleading gummed together with conspiracy theories. But taken by itself, it’s not theologically erroneous. The problem is that that geocentrist hold it first and foremost as a matter of faith. And for the Catholic geocentrists, this runs them right onto the rocks of an actual heresy that has been formally defined by the Catholic Church.

 This is documented in the new article “Geocentrism: Tempest in a Teapot or Theological Shipwreck?

 Presented in three parts, this piece answers directly the brush-off that the new geocentrism “is clearly no threat to the integrity of faith and morals” and that the new geocentrists, “aren’t bothering anybody”.  Ironically, in their zeal to uphold what they think is the “True Faith”, the Catholic geocentrists end up falling into a serious theological error that has been formally condemned by the Catholic Church.

 We also have three other articles that support that thesis and highlight the defective scholarship of the new geocentrists:

 “Geocentrism and the First Vatican Council”, which highlights still further the serious theological challenges faced by the new geocentrists. It’s not just the 1820-22 decrees that they have to face, declaring that there are “no obstacles” or “any difficulties” for Catholics to hold to non-geocentric views, but many other official acts since then.

 “Sungenis and Pius VII: Turning the Evidence on Its Head”, in which Robert Sungenis gets the import of an entry in the Acta of the Holy Office exactly backwards, and…..

 “It’s All in the Translation”, in which Sungenis mistranslates a French word and distorts a scholar’s meaning.

 Now, for those who come at this issue more from the vantage of what sacred Scripture has to say on the matter, please consider these articles:

 “Sungenis Looses What He Has Bound on Joshua 10”, in which Sungenis himself admits that there are “inumerable” ways in which God could have accomplished the miracle recorded in Joshua 10 and,

 “Geocentrism and the Pitfalls of Over-literal Interpretation”, highlighting the sometimes humerous results when one applies a wooden literalism, even to the poetic parts of sacred Scripture.

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Jimmy Akin writes:

It’s getting near Christmas, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for another book to be released telling us the sensationalistic “truth” about Christianity.

This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited “Jesus family tomb” claims of a few years ago—in which Jacobovici similarly claimed that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

So what do he and sensationalist co-author Barrie Wilson have in store for us this time?

Zecharias Who?

The key text used in their new book is preserved in a set of writings attributed to Zecharias Rhetor (i.e., Zecharias the Rhetoritician), also known as Zecharias Scholasticus (i.e., Zecharistias the Scholar), also known as Zecharias of Mytilene.

He was a native of Gaza who lived in the late A.D. 400s and early 500s and who became the bishop of Mytilene.

He wrote a number of works in Greek, including a work on Church history that was later translated into Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic), with various editorial changes.

It is this Syriac text, brought to the British Museum in 1847, that Jacobovici and Wilson are using in their new book.

Simcha Jacobovici

What They’re Claiming

Among other things, Jacobovici and Wilson claim that they have discovered a lost gospel that is written in code and, when properly decoded, states that Jesus was married, likely to Mary Magdalene, and that they had two sons.

None of this is true.

 Not Lost.

First, the text in question is not “lost.” It is not some newly discovered work that scholars were previously unaware of.

The particular manuscript that Jacobovici and Wilson rely on was brought to the British Museum for more than a century and a half ago, and the same text has been known through other sources for centuries.

The scholarly community has been well aware of it, and translations of it in English and other languages are common.

To give you an idea of how not-lost this work is, it’s been in print for centuries,I have it in my own library, and here’s a version you can read online from a book printed in 1918.

Not a Gospel.

The work is also not a Gospel. Although some scholars use the term “Gospel” in surprising and misleading ways, a Gospel (in the literary sense) is a book about the life and/or teachings of Jesus.

That is not what this text is. This text is not about Jesus. The story it tells is not even set in the first century, when Jesus lived.

It’s set more than a thousand years before the time of Christ.

To read the whole article, click HERE.

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Heretic for Desiring Women’s Ordination?

October 31, 2014

Since, you asked, Walter, no, you are not a heretic, but… by Dr. Edward Peters Walter Sandell. … “I wonder if I’m a heretic for believing in, and supporting, the ordination of women. I would be a hypocrite if I kept silent about this issue …” I don’t know (and it doesn’t matter) who “Walter […]

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Mormons Changing Their Museum to Better Suggest They are “Christian”

September 25, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – “The Mormon Church History museum is closing for one year for a total renovation of the 30-year-old building. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says the Salt Lake City museum will close on Oct. 6, following the biannual general conference. It is scheduled to reopen in the fall […]

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