Saturday, August 3, 2013


Tony Miano has published his testimony here,, reprinted in full, unedited below:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spiritual Heroin and Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit: A Personal Testimony

This is going to be a difficult article to write. I have never before publicly shared this story. It will be misunderstood by some and misused by others. So, it is important that I begin by making some clarifying statements.
1. I have many friends, good friends, who hold to the continuation of the extraordinary spiritual gifts seen in the Word of God during the Apostolic Age of the Church. While I hold to a Cessationist theological construct, I do not determine friendships based on a person's agreement or disagreement with me on this issue. I used to determine friendships this way, many years ago, but God has allowed me to grow up and mature since then.

2. I do not question the genuineness of someone's faith in Jesus Christ because they hold a Non-Cessationist position regarding the continuation and application of spiritual gifts.

3. I will be critical in this article about what I believe are unbiblical behaviors I've seen with my own eyes. This does not mean I am mocking genuine Christians who believe all of the spiritual gifts are extant and functioning in the Church, today.

4. I hope this article/testimony will serve as an encouragement to all Christian, cessationists and non-cessationists. I hope this article/testimony will encourage my Christian brethren to turn to the Word of God and allow His Truth to be the final arbiter of whether or not what I experienced was of the Holy Spirit or another spirit, entirely.

5. I've wanted to write this article for years, but the time has not seemed right until now. Monitoring the back-and-forth between Pastor John MacArthur and Dr. Michael Brown, as well as some of the talk about the upcoming Strange Fire conference (which I am attending), serve as part of the motivation for this article/testimony.
"What's A Charismatic?"

I came to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, during the Fall of 1988. Mahria came to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ a month after the Lord saved me. The man who shared the gospel with me and took me under his wing was a sergeant with whom I worked in the County Jail. Sadly, in a year's time he would prove to be a false convert. He was an elder in a church. He had to explain to me what an elder was. He also said the church was a "charismatic church." I had no idea what that meant, either. My family and I began attending the church.

Mahria and I had both grown up in formal, liturgical churches. As a boy, I had been bored to death by the formality and darkness of Roman Catholic services in Latin. Mahria happily grew up in a typical Methodist Church.

Our first Sunday in church, after coming to faith in Christ, was a culture shock for both of us. The church met in a junior high school auditorium. We thought that must be what the elder meant by "charismatic." We sat in folding, metal chairs instead of pews. We thought that must be "charismatic." The worship team used guitars, drums, and a bass. There was no organ to be found. That was definitely "charismatic." And the people clapped and raised their hands as they sung contemporary songs. That surely was "charismatic."

Over time, the elder and our new friends at church, people we were growing to love as family, explained to us what "charismatic" meant. We were pointed to passages of Scriptures that talked about speaking in tongues, prophecy, words of knowledge, and healing. We were told the Holy Spirit continues to work through God's people in extraordinary ways by giving them spiritual gifts to serve the church and to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was all a bit overwhelming. Mahria and I were new believers, reading the Bible for the first time, praying together for the first time, living as Christians for the first time.

We had no reason to doubt what we were being taught at church. Our pastor was a godly, faithful, loving, and kind man. He loved his wife and children very much. That was obvious to us. He loved the people in the church. That was obvious, too. In the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, when I was working 12 hours every day with no days off and our home was in an uninhabitable condition, the pastor gave us a place to sleep in his home. This allowed me to work every day as a deputy sheriff knowing that my family was safe.

The pastor exposed us to verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible before we had any idea what expository teaching was. To this day, Mahria cherishes her notebooks filled with what she learned under our first pastor's teaching. He helped us to understand the Bible for the first time in our lives. And God used his Bible teaching to build in us a love and desire for God's Word.

"What's That Noise?"

Not long after we became members of the church, I was allowed to serve as one of the worship leaders. Ours was a small church (less than 200 people). So anyone with so much as a modicum of musical ability was encouraged to participate as part of the worship team. I could sing and hack away at a guitar, which gave me an opportunity to serve the church. I would serve as a worship leader in the church for eight years.

One Sunday morning, a morning when someone else was leading the congregation in singing, I was sitting with Mahria and our girls. By now, we had moved out of the junior high school auditorium and moved into our own rented space in a strip mall. As I tried to focus my attention on the Lord and sing praises to His name, I heard muffled laughter coming from different parts of the church. At first, I dismissed it as a lapse in judgment by those who were giggling, or maybe the immature carrying on of children in the congregation. Those things happen. But as worship continued, the laughter grew louder. It was no longer a simple lapse in judgment. It was rude. It was distracting. It was irreverent. To this day, I remember squeezing Mahria's hand and looking at her with an expression of frustration and concern. I could tell she shared my feelings.

By the time worship was over, I felt like I had been transported from a church into a chaotic comedy club.

The pastor stepped behind his pulpit and told the congregation there would be no sermon this morning. As soon as the pastor said he wasn't going to preach, my uneasiness with the morning service grew exponentially. Instead, he was going to turn his pulpit over to members of the congregation who spent the better part of the weekend at a conference at a church called "Anaheim Vineyard," pastored by a man, now deceased, named John Wimber. Before that day, I had never heard of either the church or the church's pastor.

One-by-one and couple-by-couple, elders and their wives and other leaders in the church stepped up to the pulpit to share what they experienced at the conference. I was shocked, sickened, and frightened by what I heard. They testified of what they called extraordinary moves of the Holy Spirit, but what they described sounded like a spirit of another kind to me. They described uncontrollable laughter, the feeling of physical drunkenness, people barking like dogs and quacking like ducks. Yes, quacking like ducks. One man described being thrown up against the wall by an unseen entity and being pinned to the wall. And as people shared their "testimonies," others in the congregation laughed. But they weren't laughing at what was being said. They were just laughing, as if they weren't really there--as if they were somewhere else entirely.

There were others in the congregation like me and Mahria--people who sat with their mouths agape, in a state of shock and unbelief. Part of the congregation was euphoric. Part of the congregation was appalled. A spirit had entered the church--a spirit of confusion, a spirit that separated the self-anointed spiritual "haves" from the "have nots," a spirit of disunity. It was not the Holy Spirit.

At the time of this Sunday morning debacle, I was leading and teaching one of the church's mid-week small groups. The people in my group shared my concerns and wanted to know what I planned to do about it. I tried talking to some of the people who "experienced" the conference. I was quickly and summarily dismissed as closed-minded. I was told that I had no right to judge whether or not what they had experienced was of God because I had not experienced it myself. I hadn't "been there."

I knew I had to do something. I had to say something. But what?

The Day I Was Escorted Out of Church

After conferring with a few of the men in my small group, I told the group I was going to stand up during a Sunday morning service and read Ezekiel 13. During our Sunday morning services there was a time when the pastor welcomed members of the congregation to share praises and prayer requests with the rest of the congregation. My plan was to wait for that time during the service. I would raise my hand and when called upon I would stand and read Ezekiel 13. My plan was to present no commentary of any kind. I would simply read the Word of God and see what kind of reaction I received. I completely underestimated the spirit at work in my church.

Sunday morning came. The pastor asked if anyone had a prayer or praise they would like to share. I raised my hand. The pastor called on me. I said that I would like to read a passage of Scripture. The pastor smiled and told me to read. And so I read Ezekiel 13.
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord. 6They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. 7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?”

8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord God. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, 16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God.

17 “And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

20 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. 21 Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the Lord.”
A low pitched murmuring and mumbling began the moment I started reading the passage. The more I read, the louder the noise became. Soon I could hear women weeping, which soon turned to wailing. Several men stood up, including the leading elder. There was fire in their eyes. They shouted and pointed their fingers at me. The leading elder bore his teeth at me as he rebuked me for reading Ezekiel 13. Moments later these same men, along with the pastor, escorted me from the worship area and into an adjacent classroom. I was admonished and rebuked for what I had done. I was told that I mishandled and misinterpreted the Scriptures. Keep in mind, I gave no interpretation. I simply read the text.

The following Sunday, the pastor publicly rebuked me from the pulpit. I sat there and took it. I was embarrassed, hurt, and confused. Could I trust anyone in the church, anymore?

A Big Mistake

After that Sunday morning verbal flogging, Mahria and I discussed leaving the church. I decided we should stay, but for the wrong reasons. I was going to try to effect change in the church, bring the church back to the Scriptures, and drive this false spirit from the church and the heart of her people. This was a big mistake.

A testimony to what kind of spiritual disarray the church was in at the time was that shortly after my upbraiding by the pastor during the church service, the pastor and the elders--the same men who had once escorted me out of the church for reading Ezekiel 13--asked me to serve as an elder in the church. Of course, I believed I was up to the task. I believed I was spiritually mature enough to serve as an elder. I also believed I would be in the perfect position to effect positive change in the church. I was wrong. I was as wrong as I had ever been about anything in my life.

Now, with the authority of an elder in the church, I became the church's spiritual watchdog. Elder meetings were contentious. I alone held the dissenting view regarding the "moves of the spirit" that were taking place in the church. I was quickly becoming a factious man in the church.

I often, to this day, wonder why the pastor and the elders asked me to serve as an elder. I can't help but think it was, in their mind, the best way to keep me in check, to keep an eye on me, and to woo me to their position regarding the alleged "move of the spirit" making its way through our church.

Spiritual Heroin

It seemed like this was all the church was talking about: the Toronto Airport Vineyard, the Anaheim Vineyard, the Kansas City Prophets, the Brownsville Revival, the Pensacola Outpouring, the Mott Auditorium meetings. Ours was the only small group in the church that was not directly affected by these things. Yet, it was often the topic of our conversations for the simple fact that everyone else in the church was talking about it, raving about it, gushing over it.

I remember Mahria and I meeting at a local park with a couple who were two of our closest friends. They, like so many others in the church, had been caught up in the spiritual confusion that had placed a strangle-hold on our church. I tried to reason with them from the Scriptures. I pleaded with them as their friend. The response was short and sharp. "You have no right to question what we're doing or what's happening because you haven't experienced it yourself!"

I sat, listened, and watched as my friends (especially the wife) broke down in tears and trembling as she described how important this "spiritual revival" was to her. I listened as she sincerely and emotionally shared with me how good it made her feel to travel to Anaheim and Pasadena so she could be "filled with the Holy Spirit." She described going once a week, then increasing to twice a week, then increasing to multiple trips each week to these centers of spirituality.

Over time, I noticed changes in her (and others) personality. She would go and "get filled" and return home on a spiritual high. Over the next few days or so she would talk about reading the Bible, deep times of prayer, an overall sense of closeness to the Lord, and happiness. Then she would crash. Her mood would change. What seemed like spiritual depression would set in. And she would begin to talk about needing to get "refilled." So off to Anaheim or Pasadena she would go to get her next spiritual fix.

Her next spiritual fix.

As I watched my friend's (and others) spiritual condition erode, I couldn't help but see the similarities between her and the heroin addicts I took off the streets. The alleged "filling of the Holy Spirit" was like a dirty needle being driven into the vein of her arm. It made her feel good for a moment, but the crash after the high left her wanting more, needing more. What started as a search for a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, turned into an unbiblical habit. It was heartbreaking to watch.

By God's amazing grace, some of my friends who seemed hopelessly captivated by these false spiritual movements matured enough to see the frivolity, depravity, and blasphemy of them and got out. Sadly, others are still there, still addicted to the heroin-like spirit of the age, stunted in their spiritual growth, having no more love for and understanding of the Word and its truth than they did some-fifteen years ago, still hopping from one movement to "the next great thing," always in search of that increasingly elusive spiritual high. Again, my heart breaks for them.

"You Have to Experience It for Yourself"

Eventually I tired of the objection "You can't speak against what's happening because you haven't experienced it for yourself." So, one night my friend Steve and I made the drive down to Pasadena. There, on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Missions, we entered Mott Auditorium (now, sadly, the home of the Pasadena International House of Prayer).

With hesitancy and some trepidation, we found seats in the auditorium. "Manifestations" began soon after the highly repetitive worship choruses started. People of all ages (and I mean all ages) began to work themselves into a trance-like state. They rocked back and forth and side-to-side. Several people began to literally convulse under the influence of whatever spirit was in that place.

After the crowd was worked up into an apparent altered state of consciousness, a man took the stage and began to "preach." He never mentioned the Bible. He never mentioned Jesus. There was certainly no presentation of the gospel. He talked only about the manifestations of the spirit and he prophesied. Then another "prophet" took the stage and prophesied over the speaker and told him that God had given him the "eyes and the vision of Robert E. Lee." I looked at my friend Steve and asked, tongue-in-cheek, "He does realize Robert E. Lee lost the war, doesn't he?"

After the men on the stage were done prophesying, the leader made a call for all "counselors and catchers" to come to the stage because it was time for "floor time." Steve and I watched as children, teens, adults, and apparent homeless people made their way to the stage. The speaker than told the crowd if anyone wanted to be filled with the spirit and receive an anointing, then they should come forward. And come forward they did.

As expect, as I had seen Benny Hinn and others do many times, people were "slain in the spirit." The counselor standing in front of a person would push them on the forehead and then the person would fall into the catchers arms, who would then help the person make their way to the floor. Once on the floor, the people would writhe and convulse. Some would laugh uncontrollably. Others growled like dogs and demons. Some quacked like ducks. Others laid motionless, as if dead. This went on for a while.

Once things started to quiet down, the leader announced the service was over. Steve and I watched and listened as a group of high school-aged Asian kids gathered in a circle. I will never forget the pretty, young girl who, while talking about a homework assignment, periodically buckled over as if she were about to vomit and then would speak in a very low, gutteral, demonic-sounding voice.

Steve and I left the auditorium shaken and more convinced then ever, now that we had "experienced it for ourselves," that what our friends were under the influence of was not the Holy Spirit. They were under the influences of demonic spirits masquerading as angels of light.

We shared our "experiences" with our friends who were under self-induced captivity to these false spirits. Sadly, and expectantly at the time, our friends were not moved by our testimony. They simply blew us off as legalists who were blind to what God was doing. Such is the attitude of the heroin addict. They are always last (if ever) to see the problem of their own addiction.

My family and I would soon leave the church. While leaving the church was most certainly the right decision, the way I left the church was sinful. I wrote a long letter to the pastor and, late at night, when I knew no one would be at the church, I left the letter and my key to the church on the pastor's desk. It was a cowardly and hurtful way to leave the church--a congregation who was family to me. By God's grace, the pastor and I reconciled several years ago. While we don't see each other or communicate much these days, I love him as a friend and a brother in Christ. I do not, for a moment, question his love for the Lord or his salvation.

Things Have Gotten Worse

As the addiction progresses, heroin addicts need not only more heroin, but a higher grade of heroin to maintain the high and minimize the drug's crushing after-effects. Sadly, the same is true of those who follow these false spiritual movements. Spiritual addicts were once content with periodic doses of Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Paul and Jan Crouch, Ken and Gloria Copeland, Mike Bickle, and Rodney Howard-Brown. But instead of getting well, instead of entering into spiritual recovery, instead of breaking bad spiritual habits, these spiritual addicts have moved on to stronger more harmful spiritual drugs--people like Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, Todd Bentley, International House of Prayer, Jesus Culture, the New Apostolic Reformation (just 2,000 year old heretics and Gnostics dressed in nicer clothes), and others.

The only thing, the only One who can bring spiritual addicts out of bondage is the true Holy Spirit--the Third Person of the Godhead. Only the Holy Spirit can take a heart and mind that craves what is false and change it to love what is true. Only the Holy Spirit can so regenerate the heart of the spiritual addict, enabling them to come to genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. While I don't question the salvation of my Christ-loving, Bible-believing, gospel-sharing, discerning Charismatic friends, I most certainly do question the salvation of spiritual addicts who seek the gift with no concern of who the giver might be. I do question the salvation of those who ignore what the Bible says about discerning every spirit and, instead, simply swallow whatever the latest spiritual snake oil salesman is selling. I do question the salvation of those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit by attributing to the Holy Spirit that which should rightly be attributed to Satan (i.e. the magical appearance of gold dust and gold teethfire tunnelshealing evangelismtreasure huntingtrips to heavenswine anointing (I can't make this stuff up), toking the Holy Ghost, and other outrageous, man-centered, Holy-Spirit degrading, demonic, blasphemous activities).

My hope for those addicted to false spiritual movements is not their eternal demise. On the contrary: my hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will bring them to their senses and extend to them the most precious gifts--repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And may the Lord bless His Church and the world with yet another Great Awakening, true revival that brings true glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Manny Silva reports:
Icons, Images, Nuns, and Confessionals

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Eph. 2:8-9

A Facebook group called Sacramental Nazarenes has proven to be an in-your-face declaration that Roman Catholic thought is here among many Nazarenes, including those in leadership.  This group is shamelessly promoting Roman Catholic thought, ritualism, and contemplative practices.  Yet, when we shine the light on them, some of them protest the fact that we are exposing them!
Now there is the increasing use of Roman Catholic imagery and icons.  For instance, a District Superintendent, Carla Sunberg, who is a member of Sacramental Nazarenes displayed on her Facebook page a gift of an icon depicting a “saint” from the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Macrina. 

Who was Macrina?

A little research about this “saint” tells us that she was the daughter of Basil The Elder, and a sibling of Saint Gregory of Nyssa.  She was engaged to be married, but after her fiancĂ©e died, she dedicated herself to her religion, becoming a nun.  Her younger brother Peter helped her turn her family estate into a monastery and convent.  Not surprisingly, Macrina was a monastic, and also was known for adhering to an ascetic ideal.  Asceticism is a lifestyle that is characterized by abstinence “from various worldly pleasures; it is “is the practice of strict self-denial as a means of attaining a higher spiritual plane.” (1)  She slept on boards and kept no possessions.  Many claimed that she had the power to heal others.
In Luke 9:23, it says: “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  But asceticism takes this command to great extremes, including the inflicting of bodily harm on oneself, eating very little food, living in isolation, and other extremes.   Nowhere in Scripture are we told to purposely seek out physical discomfort or pain.  Yet, most of these saints participated in this unbiblical practice, to one extreme or another.
Regarding some of her beliefs, in his book The Ancient History of Universalism, Universalist Hosea Ballou claimed that Macrina was a universalist also, based on her writings, and that she believed that the wicked in purgatory would all eventually confess Christ.  Purgatory of course is one of the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and several other sister religions.  J.W. Hanson also cited her as a universalist in his book Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church.

So in responding to a friend’s questioning why she posted this picture (“Why? Are we Catholic now?”), Carla responded with this answer:

“Robert, I'm sorry you misunderstood this gift from my husband. I did my doctoral dissertation on holy women of the 4th century. The original holiness women. They were amazing and their lives even influenced John Wesley. The most famous of the women was Macrina. There are no pictures of her -- only icons. There is no icon worship here -- simply a gift from my husband representing six years of research that led me to understanding holiness in a very powerful way. This is much like having a picture of Phoebe Palmer. Therefore I am and always will be a Nazarene -- but I also happen to be a professor of Church History, especially focusing on the early years of the church. May you too know the transformational power of the Holy Spirit who took a young teenage girl, Macrina and turned her into a woman who ministered to and helped to touch the lives of thousands of people in the region of Pontus and Cappadocia where she lived.”
Is holiness to be truly understood by the study of people who practiced asceticism and monasticism?  Does the Holy Spirit really motivate someone to “touch many lives” by leading them into practices that have no basis in Scripture?  Did Carla Sunberg miss answering this question in her six years of research?  John 16:13 says that However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.”  Since practicing monasticism, asceticism, and universalist thought is not of God, then we can only conclude that Macrina was not transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, but was changed by another “spirit.”  How could Carla Sunberg have missed this?
The continuing and growing trend of Nazarenes, including leaders and pastors, to embrace, and quote, and admire “saints’ of the Roman Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church, and them claim they were great influences on John Wesley, is very troubling.  I am not trying to beat up on Carla Sunberg, because she is not alone in this “new phenomenon.” 
But she is a leader in the church, and was a serious candidate for General Superintendent this year.  
As I have said before, the national leaders (General Superintendents) have let this go on without comment, giving their tacit approval for pastors and other leaders to promote “saints” who taught ungodly and works-based practices.
How far will it go?  Well, here, you see a Nazarene pastor at a confessional booth at St. Peter's Church in Rome.
 Inline image 2
In his comments, this pastor said he wanted to remind his friend that he did not forget his roots.  Really?  This may well be his real roots, but apparently he has forgotten what the Reformation was about.  Perhaps he never heard of the pope’s “shock troops”, known as the Jesuits and led by St. Ignatius, who vigorously and enthusiastically persecuted and killed many Christians.  Yes, those roots; people who tried to deny ordinary Christians access to the Bible.  Apparently the seminaries are failing to teach history to our future pastors, and here is the result.
Am I missing something here?  Am I protesting too much?  Can the leadership at least put it in writing and officially declare what is already happening in the Church of the Nazarene?  At least hypocrisy can be set aside, and they can be forthright with the people.

Manny Silva
Stand For Truth Ministries
"The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever." Psalm 119:160


Body of Padre Pio Exhibited for Veneration

The body of Padre Pio will be permanently exhibited in a glass reliquary for all the faithful to venerate the remains of the saint. This decision was made after many phone calls, emails, letters, and the continuous requests of the pilgrims who come to San Giovanni Rotonodo, in which they express the desire to be able to pray once again before the relics of the revered Capuchin. The friars and the Archbishop have seen fit to carry out this initiative precisely in this Year of Faith, certain that it will provide spiritual benefits and awaken faith in the hearts of the many pilgrims.
Mike's Comment: As a young altar boy living in Naples, Italy, I served at a Mass officiated by my uncle, a Catholic priest along side Padre Pio. Later, when our sovereign Lord delivered me out of this false religion, I read Padre Pio's biography. He said souls from Purgatory would stop by his window on their way to heaven to thank him for suffering on their behalf.  



Published on Apr 4, 2013 on YouTube:
Marie D'Andrea, founder of the San Padre Pio shrine, speaks of South Jersey's healings and how she managed to bring Padre Pio to Buena, N.J:

Father Pio's Feast Day Celebrated with Procession through Rome:

Italy, San Giovanni Rotondo Sanctuary & Tomb of Padre Pio:

Photo Gallery:



Controversial Words of Pope Francis:

Quotes from Gendron as reported by Christian News:
Mike Gendron of Proclaming the Gospel Ministries, a former Roman Catholic, told Christian News Network that Francis’ words are at odds with both Scripture and the statements of the previous pope, Benedict XVI–and that popes are to be infallible according to Roman Catholic doctrine.
“There are two issues here: One is that the word of God has already judged homosexuality, but secondly, you’ve got a papal infallibility [conflict],” he explained. “You’ve got two popes now disagreeing on what is definitely an issue of faith and morals. One pope says that homosexual men should be barred [from the priesthood], and now the new pope says that he is not to judge gays as long as they’re seeking God. So, it’s a contradiction and infallibility is at stake here.”
Gendron said that by failing to outline what the Scriptures state about homosexuality, Francis is causing eternal harm to the souls of men.
“The pope is doing homosexual men a disservice by in essence giving them a license to continue in their sin,” he explained. “The only way to seek the Lord if you’re gay is to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And it is not just homosexuals; anyone who is sexually immoral is living contrary to sound Biblical teaching.”
“Those people who do not repent and trust Jesus to not only save them from the punishment of sin, but also from the power of sin–the power of homosexuality–[will perish],” Gendron continued. “The pope should be calling these people to repentance. That’s their only hope.”


Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations
with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies
in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders


In continuity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and, in particular, with the DecreeOptatam Totius[1] on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published various Documents with the aim of promoting a suitable, integral formation of future priests, by offering guidelines and precise norms regarding its diverse aspects.[2] In the meantime, the 1990 Synod of Bishops also reflected on the formation of priests in the circumstances of the present day, with the intention of bringing to completion the doctrine of the Council on this theme and making it more explicit and effective in today's world. Following this Synod, Pope John Paul II published the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis.[3]

In light of this abundant teaching, the present Instruction does not intend to dwell on all questions in the area of affectivity and sexuality that require an attentive discernment during the entire period of formation. Rather, it contains norms concerning a specific question, made more urgent by the current situation, and that is:  whether to admit to the seminary and to holy orders candidates who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

1. Affective Maturity and Spiritual Fatherhood 
According to the constant Tradition of the Church, only a baptized person of the male sex[4]validly receives sacred Ordination. By means of the Sacrament of Orders, the Holy Spirit configures the candidate to Jesus Christ in a new and specific way:  the priest, in fact, sacramentally represents Christ, the head, shepherd and spouse of the Church[5]. Because of this configuration to Christ, the entire life of the sacred minister must be animated by the gift of his whole person to the Church and by an authentic pastoral charity[6].

The candidate to the ordained ministry, therefore, must reach affective maturity. Such maturity will allow him to relate correctly to both men and women, developing in him a true sense of spiritual fatherhood towards the Church community that will be entrusted to him[7].

2. Homosexuality and the Ordained Ministry 
From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.

Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter[8].

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture"[10].

Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

3. Discernment by the Church Concerning the Suitability of Candidates 
There are two inseparable elements in every priestly vocation:  the free gift of God and the responsible freedom of the man. A vocation is a gift of divine grace, received through the Church, in the Church and for the service of the Church. In responding to the call of God, the man offers himself freely to him in love[11]. The desire alone to become a priest is not sufficient, and there does not exist a right to receive sacred ordination. It belongs to the Church - in her responsibility to define the necessary requirements for receiving the sacraments instituted by Christ - to discern the suitability of him who desires to enter the seminary[12], to accompany him during his years of formation, and to call him to holy orders if he is judged to possess the necessary qualities[13].

The formation of the future priest must distinctly articulate, in an essentially complementary manner, the four dimensions of formation:  human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral[14]. In this context, it is necessary to highlight the particular importance of human formation as the necessary foundation of all formation[15]. In order to admit a candidate to ordination to the diaconate, the Church must verify, among other things, that the candidate has reached affective maturity[16].

The call to orders is the personal responsibility of the Bishop[17] or the major superior. Bearing in mind the opinion of those to whom he has entrusted the responsibility of formation, the Bishop or major superior, before admitting the candidate to ordination, must arrive at a morally certain judgment on his qualities. In the case of a serious doubt in this regard, he must not admit him to ordination[18].

The discernment of a vocation and of the maturity of the candidate is also a serious duty of the rector and of the other persons entrusted with the work of formation in the seminary. Before every ordination, the rector must express his own judgment on whether the qualities required by the Church are present in the candidate[19].

In the discernment concerning the suitability for ordination, the spiritual director has an important task. Although he is bound to secrecy, he represents the Church in the internal forum. In his discussions with the candidate, the spiritual director must especially point out the demands of the Church concerning priestly chastity and the affective maturity that is characteristic of the priest, as well as help him to discern whether he has the necessary qualities[20]. The spiritual director has the obligation to evaluate all the qualities of the candidate's personality and to make sure that he does not present disturbances of a sexual nature, which are incompatible with the priesthood. If a candidate practises homosexuality or presents deep-seated homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director as well as his confessor have the duty to dissuade him in conscience from proceeding towards ordination.

It goes without saying that the candidate himself has the primary responsibility for his own formation[21]. He must offer himself trustingly to the discernment of the Church, of the Bishop who calls him to orders, of the rector of the seminary, of his spiritual director and of the other seminary educators to whom the Bishop or major superior has entrusted the task of forming future priests. It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality in order to proceed, despite everything, towards ordination. Such a deceitful attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and openness that must characterize the personality of him who believes he is called to serve Christ and his Church in the ministerial priesthood.


This Congregation reaffirms the need for Bishops, major superiors and all relevant authorities to carry out an attentive discernment concerning the suitability of candidates for holy orders, from the time of admission to the seminary until ordination. This discernment must be done in light of a conception of the ministerial priesthood that is in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
Let Bishops, episcopal conferences and major superiors look to see that the constant norms of this Instruction be faithfully observed for the good of the candidates themselves, and to guarantee that the Church always has suitable priests who are true shepherds according to the Heart of Christ.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, on 31 August 2005, approved this present Instruction and ordered its publication.

Rome, 4 November 2005, Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, Patron of Seminaries
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski Prefect
 J. Michael Miller, C.S.B.
Tit. Archbp. of Vertara

The Counterfeit Mary of Catholicism:

Catholic Salvation vs Biblical Gospel:

Pope Francis is turning out to be one of the most controversial popes in modern history since his election to the papacy on March 13
. During the four months he has been on the papal throne, he has made numerous statements that not only suppress the truth of God's Word, but also oppose the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The day he was elected pope he said he would pray to Mary for the protection of Rome. Later he appeared to contradict himself by saying, "He who doesn't pray to the Lord, prays to the devil." Is the pope saying that Catholics who pray to Mary and the saints are praying to the devil? In May, the pope said everyone, even atheists, are redeemed with the Blood of Christ. The pope followed this heresy with another placating statement, saying, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Possibly his most controversial decision was to make the reporting of sex crimes against children illegal. 

The Vatican also jumped on the heretical bandwagon last month by offering indulgences, to reduce time in purgatory, to those who follow Pope Francis on Twitter during World Youth Day. As foolish as this sounds to intelligent people, we must wonder if Catholics will ever wake up and realize their religion teaches a false and fatal gospel that leads them on the broad road to destruction? How many more blatantly false teachings must come out of the Vatican before Catholics realize they have been deceived about life's most critical issue, the salvation of their soul?
Catholics, who believe a purifying fire will purge away their sins, are deluded victims of a fatal fabrication. The diabolical invention of a place for the purification of sins called Purgatory is not only a flagrant denial of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ, but also a blasphemous rejection of His precious blood as the only purification for sin (1 John 1:7).

The concept of Purgatory became a Catholic doctrine around 600 A.D. due to the fanaticism of Pope Gregory the Great. He developed the doctrine through visions of a purifying fire. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Gregory said Catholics "will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames," and "the pain is more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life." Centuries later, at the Council of Florence in 1431, Purgatory was pronounced an infallible dogma.

Over the centuries, billions of dollars have been paid to Roman Catholic priests to obtain relief from sufferings in Purgatory's fire. The Catholic clergy has taught that purchasing indulgences, novenas and Mass cards can shorten the period of suffering in Purgatory. When a Catholic dies, money is extracted from mourning loved ones to shorten the deceased's punishment in Purgatory. We have heard of Catholics who have willed their entire estates to their religion so that perpetual masses could be offered for them after they die. It is no wonder that the Catholic religion has become the richest institution in the world. The buying and selling of God's forgiveness has been a very lucrative business for the Vatican.

Another motivation for Rome to fabricate the heretical doctrine of Purgatory is its powerful effect on controlling people. Ultimately, the enslavement and subjugation of people is the goal of every false religion, and Purgatory does exactly that. The concept of a terrifying prison with a purging fire, governed by religious leaders, is a most brilliant invention. It holds people captive, not only in this life but also in the next life. Catholic clergy will not say how many years people have to suffer for their sins or how many Masses must be purchased before they can be released from the flames. This dreadful fear and uncertainty is the most ruthless form of religious bondage and deception! Only the truth of God's Word will set Catholics free from the bondage of deception. May all Christians lovingly confront them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Click here to see our latest broadcast on the pope's statements.

Pope in Brazil for World Youth Day:
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