Wednesday, July 3, 2019


In a July 3, 1776 letter to his wife Abigail, founding father John Adams wrote about how Independence Day should be celebrated. Adams explained;
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
When Is USA Independence Day 2019 Images Quotes Pictures
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
July 4 is a purely American holiday that speaks to our faith as a nation. As Thanksgiving Day is about returning thanks for God's providence in sustaining the early colonists through a hard and desolate period, Independence Day is about the faith that compelled us to declare our independence from a tyrannical power. It is interesting that the United States celebrates the day we declared our independence instead of the day we obtained it. It is doubtful that one in a hundred Americans can tell you the date the Brits surrendered or when England recognized us as a free and independent nation, but most Americans are at least vaguely aware that we declared ourselves independent on July 4, 1776. We considered ourselves free when we declared it; we did not need the recognition of our captors to make it so.
Now, more than 240 years later, we again stand at a crossroads. We have largely forsaken the founding principles that made America great. We have forgotten the paths we should have remembered. And we are paying for it. Far too many Americans are ignorant of the Constitution that was written to secure our God-given liberty, so we have a government that is running out of bounds while most people have no idea what is wrong or what is to be done to fix it. Worse still, we are divided not on the grounds of principled disagreement, but by party affiliation.
And both major political parties are complicit in the ignorance that plagues America as well as in the erosion of liberty that results from that ignorance. America has never been more divided than now. The United States of America is a republic that calls itself a democracy and behaves like an empire. Nothing could be further from the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
A good example is the string of unconstitutional wars we are fighting on several fronts right now. When our Founding Fathers debated the power to make war during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, they applied the principle of separation of powers. The common phrase for going to war at that time was "Make War.” Kings — as sovereigns — "made war" without answering to anyone. No one, the Founders argued, should unilaterally be able to take a nation into war. They recognized that men are fallen, sinful creatures who don't do well with unlimited power. Carry that forward to its natural conclusion and no one body should have that power either. So, they separated the power between Congress (the power to declare war) and the president (commander-in-chief). And that is the way we did it for 154 years. Congress argued and debated and declared war and then answered to the people in the next election. The president acted as commander-in-chief and executed the war and then answered to the people in the next election. But not since 1941 has it been done that way. Now the president can "make war" citing UN Security Council Resolutions or claiming that is in America’s national interests and Congress sits back and does nothing. When Republican presidents do it, Democrats in Congress occasionally make some noise about it and vice-versa, but that's all.
Another example is the out-of-control federal budget. Both Democrats and Republicans expand the budget as a way of paying for the expansion of federal power over issues and programs that are not listed as federal powers in the Constitution. It has been estimated that if the federal government were restricted to only those specifically enumerated powers (found mostly in Article I, Section 8), we would have a government five to 10 percent the size it is right now — with a budget five to 10 percent the size it is right now. The War for Independence was fought over less taxes than the average American pays today.
Undeclared wars and undeclared bankruptcy through out-of-control borrowing and spending are both threats to the liberty of Americans, but they are far from the only threats. The redefining of marriage, the growing welfare state, socialized medicine, and a plethora of other ways the federal powers-that-be have overstepped their constitutional boundaries (which neither time nor space allows this article to cover sufficiently) serve as an indictment of the current state of affairs.
They get away with it because most of the people think this is a Left vs Right/Republican vs Democrat issue. It isn't. But because most think it is, a myriad of false and dangerous “solutions” are proposed to rein in the out-of-control federal government. Most of those “solutions” are at least as bad as the problem. Two good examples are a modern-day constitutional convention and abolishing the electoral college for a popular vote. The first would allow the very people who have built their careers ignoring the Constitution the opportunity to revise it or replace it with something much more to their liking, and the second would shift the balance of power to the large states and cities, causing an even greater erosion of liberty as the federal government would expand even more.
No, this is not a battle between political parties; they are two sides of the same coin. It's a battle between those who, like the Founding Fathers, want limited government and those who, because they love power, want unlimited government. The answer is to recommit ourselves to the principles of the founding of our republic. Read through both the Declaration and the Constitution this Independence Day. Start to see the political world around you through the clear lenses of those principles instead of red and blue lenses that have led us to blindly follow avaricious men and women who care more for their position than for the good of this republic. Consider joining yourself to other patriotic men and women to work together in concerted effort to restore the republic by effective activism. This magazine’s parent organization — The John Birch Society — has been working since 1958 to do just that by helping to bring about “less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world.” This Independence Day would be a great time to find out what you can do to help in that fight.
Have a happy Independence Day, and may we all endeavor to deserve independence.
(Oh, just in case you were wondering, Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781 and England agreed to the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.)

Cultural Revolution: Charlottesville Replaces Jefferson’s Birthday With a Slaves Day


Self Evident Truth – What Does it Mean?

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just rights from the consent of the governed.”
 What did Jefferson mean when he wrote “All men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence?
 Origin of Thomas Jefferson’s use of the phrase – Wikipedia
 Thomas Jefferson, through his friendship with Lafayette, was heavily influenced by French philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment, such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu. In their often censored writings, those philosophers advocated that men were born free and equal. This later led to the French Revolution of 1789 and the concept of Human Rights (Droits de l’Homme in French). At the age of 33, Jefferson may have also borrowed the expression from an Italian friend, born in Prato, and neighbor, Philip Mazzei,[6] as noted by Joint Resolution 175 of the 103rd Congress as well as by John F. Kennedy in A Nation of Immigrants.[8][9]
In 1776 the Second Continental Congress asked Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John AdamsRobert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to write the Declaration of Independence. This Committee of Five voted to have Thomas Jefferson write the document. After Jefferson finished he gave the document to Franklin to proof. Franklin suggested minor changes, one of which stands out far more than the others: “We hold these truths to be sacred and un-deniable…” became “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”
The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence starts as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.– That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”[10]
The Virginia Declaration of Rights, chiefly authored by George Mason and approved by the Virginia Convention on June 12, 1776, contains the wording: “all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights of which . . . they cannot deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”[11]George Mason was an elder-planter who had originally stated John Locke‘s theory of natural rights: “All men are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent natural rights of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”[12] Mason’s draft was accepted by a small committee and then rejected by the Virginia Convention. Thomas Jefferson, a competent Virginia lawyer, saw this as a problem in legal writing and chose words that were more acceptable to the Second Continental Congress.
The Massachusetts Constitution, chiefly authored by John Adams in 1780, contains in its Declaration of Rights the wording: “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”[13]
The plaintiffs in the cases of Brom and Bett v. John Ashley and Commonwealth v. Nathaniel Jennison argued that this provision abolished slavery in Massachusetts.[14] The latter case resulted in a “sweeping declaration . . . that the institution of slavery was incompatible with the principles of liberty and legal equality articulated in the new Massachusetts Constitution”.[15]
The phrase has since been considered a hallmark statement in democratic constitutions and similar human rights instruments, many of which have adopted the phrase or variants thereof.[17]

Slavery and the phrase[edit]

The contradiction between the claim that “all men are created equal” and the existence of American slavery attracted comment when the Declaration of Independence was first published. Before final approval, Congress, having made a few alterations to some of the wording, also deleted nearly a fourth of the draft, including a passage criticizing the slave trade. At that time many members of Congress, including Jefferson, owned slaves, which clearly factored into their decision to delete the controversial “anti-slavery” passage. Jefferson, an abolitionist at heart, believed adding such a passage would dissolve the independence movement. Jefferson, decades before the Declaration of Independence, argued in court for the abolition of a slave. The court dismissed the case outright. In writing the declaration, Jefferson believed the phrase “all men are created equal” to be self-evident, and would ultimately resolve slavery.[18] In 1776, abolitionist Thomas Day wrote: “If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.”[18]
(Publisher’s comments: Wikepedia totally ignores the well documented fact, that Jefferson 
also gave credit to his ideas of government, to his observation of a small Baptist church 
near his home in Virginia, as the purest form of Democracy in the world at that time.
(Wiliam Cathcart)


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
If lefties really cared about the kids they can't stop weeping over, they would stop encouraging the trafficking and trade in children.
Instead, they boost the trade and then pretend to be outraged.
Here's what any decent person would truly be outraged by.
Some migrants in Tijuana are trying to purchase children from vulnerable single mothers in local shelters so they can more easily cross into the United States, according to shelter directors, migrants and Tijuana law enforcement authorities.
Migrants in Tijuana shelters said they are alarmed after reports of single mothers being approached by groups of men who have offered to buy children to improve their chances of safely crossing into the United States.
A decades-old legal document, known as the Flores agreement, says migrant children should only be held briefly in U.S. border custody, which often means they are released, along with the parent or guardian with whom they crossed while they wait for their asylum cases to make their way through clogged immigration courts.
And releasing unaccompanied minors with their guardians incentivizes trafficking children.
U.S. border authorities have been warning since June 2018 about people fraudulently using children who aren’t theirs to pose as family units and gain entry into the United States, a claim that critics said was overblown.
But now, authorities in Tijuana are warning migrant mothers to keep their children close by and supervised, after reports of men offering to purchase migrant children in order to cross.
Right-wing conspiracy theory, as the media likes to call it, is reality.
Portillo said the groups of men have been approaching the Iglesia Embajadores de Jesus shelter in Tijuana and offering about 7,000 pesos, or $350, to purchase a child to cross into the United States.
She said she fears the requests and the offers of money will turn into demands or kidnappings. Portillo said she never lets her two boys, aged 10 and 8, out of her sight.
“They want to rob our kids so they can cross into the United States,” she said angrily.
Pastor Gustavo Banda, a Tijuana shelter director, said families at the shelter are terrified and feel forced to keep all their children locked inside at all times.
A 15-year-old from Haiti said she was afraid to give her name because she witnessed the men approaching the shelter asking for children to buy.
“It’s horrific,” she said. “I could not even imagine the horror before I came here. I just wonder what happens to the kids once they make it across. It’s not like their mom or dad who will care for them no matter what.”
Ask Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, currently weeping over a Burger King parking lot.



The Antifa fascists operating for years in Europe 

are now in America

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Antifa is much in the news these days with their brutal beating of journalist Andy Ngo in Portland. Many Americans assume that Antifa is a new group, but in reality, it is only new, or relatively new, in the United States. Back in 2011, I spoke at an outdoor rally in Stuttgart, Germany, and Antifa was out in force. Hundreds of police were there also, and if they had not been, I would not be writing this today: before I spoke, I was standing in front of the massive police phalanx with some members of the German group that had invited me; among them was a young man who I took to be one of their number until I shook his hand and smiled and he responded, “If it weren’t for all these police here, I would have knifed you by now.” As the other speakers and I spoke, Antifa members threw rocks, bottles, and manure at us, while screaming things such as “Nazis raus.” This was ironic, as they were behaving much more like Nazis than those they were screaming at. So I decided to address them. In the midst of this barrage, I stood at the front of the stage and addressed the Leftists, while they blew their vuvuzelas and booed to try to drown me out, and kept on throwing things.
This is a transcript of what I said:
I came from the United States of America to stand for freedom, with all free people, against the forces of oppression and darkness which you are representing.
I came here in order to stand with the people who are fighting for the freedoms that make it possible for you to do what you are doing today.
Not the violence and hatred, but to stand and dissent, but you can’t stand to have any kind of rational discussion, you can’t stand having dissent, you have to try to throw bottles, and drown us out, because you are cowards, because you know that you stand for nothing except for oppression and darkness and hatred, and that is why you are there.
And that is why I am here.
You are fronting for the most radically intolerant and hateful ideology on the planet. Everywhere in the world, everywhere in the world, where there are Muslims and non-Muslims, there is conflict because the Muslims attack the non-Muslims. The Qur’an teaches to make war against the unbelievers, and to subjugate them.
And you are already subjugated! You are already their useful idiots. You are already their tools. You are out here in their service.
And you think you’re fighting for freedom. You are fighting for your own slavery!
You are fighting for your own enslavement.
And it will come. It will come to you.
You are fighting for an ideology that denies the freedom of speech, and one day you will wish you had the freedom of speech, and one day, you will wish you had the freedom of speech that you are trying to fight against today.
You are fronting for an ideology that denies the freedom of conscience and will kill you if you disagree, which is exactly what you want to do already.
You are fighting on behalf of an ideology that denies equality of rights for women, and all the women among you will one day be enslaved, if you get what you want.
You are fighting for the destruction of all the freedoms that you enjoy.
You are fighting for the utter defeat of your own selves, and your own life.
You are slaves seeking slavery. You are the oppressed loving your oppression, and thinking that you are standing for freedom.
You are the most foolish, you are the most evil, foolish, people on Earth.
We are standing for the human rights of all people. Of the oppressed Christians in Indonesia, in Pakistan, in Egypt, in the Sudan that you just heard about.
We are standing for the oppressed people who are targeted by Islamic jihad everywhere around the world. In Israel. Everywhere around the world.
And so, in closing, I have to say: Shame on you!


The Bohemian Club, an elite invitation-only social club founded in San Francisco in 1872 by a group of male artists, writers, actors, lawyers, and journalists, all of means and interested in arts and culture. Since its founding, the club has expanded to include politicians and affluent businessmen. The club is known especially for its annual summer retreat at what is known as Bohemian Grove in the redwood forest of California’s Sonoma county, an event that continued into the 21st century. Notable members over the years have included Henry KissingerWalter CronkiteRichard NixonRonald ReaganCharles SchwabAmbrose BierceBret HarteMark Twain, and Jack London.
In this episode, host Alex Newman exposes a club of exclusively wealthy, influential men who come together annually in the woods of Northern California. There, they take part in very dark acts and rituals, all while keeping it tight lipped.
Bohemian Grove Mystery
It's nestled among the Redwoods in the woods of California. 2,700 acres of pristine land broken down into dozens of camps. And for two weeks every July since the 1880s, they have been filled with some of the most wealthy and powerful men in the world. RT's Kristine Frazao takes a closer look at Bohemian Grove 2011.


LGBT Group Says Pride March Is Not Extreme Enough

Pride parades to become increasingly degenerate

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Most sane people believe that pride marches go too far, yet this LGBT group says they don’t go far enough.
Infowars’ Jake Lloyd breaks down the far left spiral of the LGBT community.


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Oreo cookies announced the release of special edition treats which celebrate the LGBT agenda and ‘trans pronouns.’
“We’re proud to celebrate inclusivity for all gender identities and expressions. In partnership with NCTE, we’re giving away special edition Pronoun Packs and encouraging everybody to share their pronouns with Pride today and every day,” Oreo wrote on its social media accounts.
The National Center For Transgender Equality (NCTE), “advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people,” according to its website.
“Pronoun Packs” were given away at the New York City Pride Parade on Sunday, along with Oreo cookie pins reading, “Ask Me My Pronouns.”
“Three different packs—’she/her,’ ‘he/him,’ and ‘they/them’—had pronouns written on the cookies themselves, with blue, pink and purple packaging reminiscent of the transgender flag,” Newsweek reports.
The limited run cookies will apparently not be available for sale.
“It appears it wants to get all the cred from LGBT politics without alerting the majority of their customers, who probably won’t see their Facebook post and/or this offensive product in any store to tip them off. In other words, this is a big, blaring anti-virtue signal,” notes Joy Pullman of The Federalist.
Introduced in 1912, Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the United States and is now owned by multinational food and beverage company Mondelez International.


Ikea To Fly Rainbow Flags At All Stores For LGBT Pride Month

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
IKEA is facing the displeasure of both the government and workers across Poland after the Sweden-based home goods retailer fired an employee over a social-media post expressing opposition to homosexuality in the predominantly Catholic nation.
The employee, identified in the media as Tomasz K, has filed a lawsuit against IKEA for dismissing him from his job at the company’s store in Krakow. According to the lawsuit, the conflict began after IKEA had encouraged employees to participate in the homosexual activist-organized International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia on May 16 and “to stand up for the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender plus people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”
In response, Tomasz expressed his opposition to the event in a social-media post, writing that the “acceptance and promotion of homosexuality and other deviations is a source of scandal.” In the post he cited a pair of Bible verses — Matthew 18:6, in which Jesus says that whoever causes the spiritual stumbling of others, “it would be better for him to tie a millstone around his neck and plunge him in the depths of the sea,” and Leviticus 20:13, which warns: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
IKEA responded by demanding that Tomasz delete the post, and when he refused, it promptly fired him for “using quotes from the Old Testament about death and blood in the context of what fate should meet homosexual people,” and for “expressing his opinion in a way that could affect the rights and dignity of LGBT+ people.”
In an interview with a Polish television network, Tomasz said that he was “shaken up” by IKEA's actions against him for standing up for his Christian values. “I’ve been hired to sell furniture, but I’m a Catholic and these aren’t my values,” he said.
Following the termination of Tomasz, at least one fellow IKEA employee quit, saying that if IKEA “promotes equality and diversity towards people, why was this situation where the Catholic expresses his opinion and is thrown out of work for it?”
In a prepared statement, a spokesperson for Ingka Group, the holding company which owns IKEA, insisted that “at Ingka Group we believe everyone has the right to be treated fairly and be given equal opportunities whatever their gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, nationality, religion and/or any other dimension of their identity. Inclusion at Ingka Group means respecting our individual differences and creating a safe environment for all. Everyone’s views and opinions are welcome with the common goal to build a great place to work.”
The spokesperson went on to say, however, that “using your religion background as a reason for excluding others is considered discrimination.”
IKEA was unprepared for the backlash across Poland to its politically correct posturing on behalf of LGBTQ activism. Bloomberg News reported that the incident comes “after Poland’s most powerful politician, governing-party boss Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said in the run-up to last month’s European elections that the advancement of gay rights is a ‘grave danger’ for Poland’s families and the future of the European Union.”
According to Bloomberg, the Polish government has ordered the Justice Ministry to investigate IKEA over the incident, “and if confirmed by the investigation, the episode shows how foreign companies in Poland ‘discriminate’ against those who don’t share their values, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro told public television TVP Info. ‘This is unacceptable,’ Ziobro said [June 28]. ‘It’s absolutely scandalous.’”
Patryk Jaki, a ruling-party legislator and former deputy under Justice Minister Ziobro, has called for a boycott of IKEA if the investigation finds that the retailer discriminated against Catholic Christians.
Additionally, IKEA may face pushback from workers across Poland. As reported by the Catholic Christian news site, Poland’s workers union Solidarność “has offered to support Tomasz K., even though he is not a member. ‘We are publicizing this matter, we are watching, monitoring. If we can be useful, we will take action,’ spokesman Marek Lewandowski said.”
Bloomberg noted that IKEA opened its first Polish store in 1991, and “has more than a dozen factories in the country and nearly the same amount of retail outlets. Polish plants make about 4,000 products sold in Ikea stores globally.”


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
The California State Assembly voted 9-2 to send to the state senate a resolution calling on “religious leaders to counsel on LGBTQ matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy.”
While no one would argue with the aim of being more loving and more compassionate in our counsel of our fellow man, the people’s representatives do not possess any authority in the arena of religious practice.
Article I, Section 4 of the California Constitution reads, in relevant part: “Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. The Legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Regardless of those restrictions, lawmakers in the California Assembly have chosen to ignore their state’s constitution and to introduce a measure that, should it ever become binding law, would drastically shrink the scope of religious liberty in the Golden State.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 99 authored by Assemblyman Evan Low seems to sidestep the state constitution’s guarantee of “free exercise and enjoyment of religion.” 
Perhaps legislators in California would rather lose religious liberty than lose the votes of the so-called LGBTQ community.
Facts and fidelity to constitutional oaths (don’t forget that state legislators are required by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution to support that document) are so far from the fantasy world inhabited by these lawmakers, that the text of ACR 99 all but places blame on religious groups for suicide rates among those people identified as LGBTQ. The resolution declares: “The stigma associated with being LGBTQ often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBTQ and questioning individuals.”
That’s right. Representatives in California point to the pulpit and the pastors that preach from them as the causes of depression and suicide among those tortured souls who feel compelled — for one reason or another — to fight against the genetic verities of their gender.
In the next paragraph of the resolution, the madness marches on: “In a pluralistic society, people differing along spectrums of political and religious perspectives share a common responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all children and vulnerable communities.”
Here’s a question: Wouldn’t a pluralistic society by definition disagree on what their respective responsibilities would be toward “vulnerable communities?” In fact, wouldn’t the many members of such a society likely disagree as to what would qualify as “vulnerable?”
The answer to anyone committed to reason would be “Yes.” But to those who believe themselves on the cusp of controlling churches and outlawing disagreement with the decadent, there is no commitment to reason, there is only a rush to regulate religion — religion that doesn’t meet their multicultural muster — out of existence, a least on the Left Coast.
The faithful, thankfully, are not sitting idly by while their most basic liberties are under barrage by the irreligious and irrational members of the state assembly.
"Everyone deserves respect in this discussion and dialogue about what kind of counseling should be allowed in California. But to join in a document … that really slanders the church and slanders good counselors and good patients. It's unexplainable and it's really inexcusable,” said Roger Gannam, vice president of legal affairs for Liberty Counsel, as reported by CBN News.
"We have a track record," said Gannam. "We have actual patients and clients who have benefitted from therapy to help them with their unwanted attractions. We've helped them change their lives. We've helped them to live heterosexual lifestyles with strong and healthy marriages and so it's really a slander against them to say that this practice is somehow unethical and harmful.”
As to the harm or help brought about by so-called conversion therapy, that is a matter for those more educated in those matters than I. 
What I can say with certainty, however, is that conversion therapy involving minors has been illegal in California since 2012! 
With that fact in mind, it doesn’t take Sherlockian insight to see what is the real reason for this latest attack on Christianity. It’s just that: an attack on Christianity.
As Nicole Russell writes in the Washington Examiner, “Since conversion therapy is already banned, it’s clear this resolution is meant to pave the way for penalizing religious communities in California, for standing up for what they believe in, a direct violation of their First Amendment rights.”
Russell’s recognition of the state assembly’s obvious animosity toward the church and those who believe in that institution’s ability to assist them in living better lives is echoed by more than two dozen counsellors, Christian leaders, and laymen who report being brought happiness through adherence to the tenets taught at church. The group wrote a letter condemning the resolution, which they insist denies Californians of their constitutionally protected freedom of conscience. The parties who penned the letter wrote:
Religious freedom is an inalienable right recognized within the context of America’s religious heritage; it rests upon the insight that human beings of every kind are endowed with equal worth because each and every one of us bears the glorious image of Nature’s God. Every person in California, therefore, is entitled to the freedom to develop their own sense of identity whether traditionally unto God or not. Religious leaders have the Constitutionally protected right to teach religious doctrine in accordance with their faith, and politicians have no right to tell clergy what is moral, dictate the content of their sermons, or instruct them in religious counseling. 
Were the 64 assemblymen currently signed on as cosponsors of ACR 99 genuinely interested in protecting a pluralistic society, wouldn’t they logically avoid any effort — even nonbinding ones — to squelch opposing viewpoints? Logically, yes, but as the text of this resolution makes crystal clear, the authors and sponsors of this measure aren’t given to behaving logically.
It should be restated that in its current form, the resolution has no legal teeth. Should the state senate follow the example of their colleagues in the state assembly and approve ACR 99, the measure could, after completion of certain parliamentary procedures, metastasize into a bill that could become law and change forever the fate of the faithful in California. 
While this is unlikely to happen, it will be much less likely if men and women of faith in California communicate their opposition to this resolution and any additional — more legally binding — attempts to mandate the message preached, professed, and practiced by believers.
I’ll give the last word, as I always try to do, to one of our Founding Fathers. In this case, it’s counsel Thomas Jefferson included in his Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom written in 1779: “That to suffer the civil Magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty; because he being of course Judge of that tendency will make his own opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with, or differ from his own.”


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:

Updated July 3, 2019 (first published June 4, 2008)

David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061 866-295-4143,
Many people have walked into the Roman Catholic Church through the broad door of the “church fathers,” and this is a loud warning today when there is a widespread attraction to the “church fathers” within evangelicalism.  The Catholic apologetic ministries use the “church fathers” to prove that Rome’s doctrines go back to the earliest centuries. In the book Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, David Currie continually uses the church fathers to support his position. He says, “The other group of authors whom Evangelicals should read ... is the early Fathers of the Church” (p. 4). The contemplative prayer movement is built on this same weak foundation. The late Robert Webber, a Wheaton College professor who was one of the chief proponents of this back to the “church fathers” movement, said:  “The early Fathers can bring us back to what is common and help us get behind our various traditions ... Here is where our unity lies. ... evangelicals need to go beyond talk about the unity of the church to experience it through an attitude of acceptance of the whole church and an entrance into dialogue with the Orthodox, Catholic, and other Protestant bodies” (Ancient-Future Faith, 1999, p. 89). The fact is that the “early Fathers” were mostly heretics!  This term refers to various church leaders of the first few centuries after the apostles whose writings have been preserved.  The only genuine “church fathers” are the apostles and prophets their writings that were given by divine inspiration and recorded in the Holy Scripture. They gave us the “faith ONCE delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The faith they delivered is able to make us “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We don’t need anything beyond the Bible. The teaching of the “church fathers” does not contain one jot or tittle of divine revelation.  The term “church fathers” is a misnomer that was derived from the Catholic Church’s false doctrine of hierarchical church polity. These men were not “fathers” of the church in any scriptural sense and did not have any divine authority. They were merely church leaders from various places who have left a record of their faith in writing. But the Roman Catholic Church exalted men to authority beyond the bounds designated by Scripture, making them “fathers” over the churches located within entire regions and over the churches of the whole world. The “church fathers” are grouped into four divisions: Apostolic Fathers (second century), Ante-Nicene Fathers (second and third centuries), Nicene Fathers (fourth century), and Post-Nicene Fathers (fifth century). Nicene refers to the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 that dealt with the issue of Arianism and affirmed the doctrine of Christ’s deity. Thus, the Ante-Nicene Fathers are so named because they lived in the century before this council, and the Post-Nicene, because they lived in the century following the council. All of the “church fathers” were infected with some false doctrine, and most of them were seriously infected. Even the so-called Apostolic Fathers of the second century were teaching the false gospel that baptism, celibacy, and martyrdom provided forgiveness of sin (Howard Vos, Exploring Church History, p. 12). And of the later “fathers”--Clement, Origen, Cyril, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Theodore, and John Chrysostom--the same historian admits: “In their lives and teachings we find the seed plot of almost all that arose later. In germ form appear the dogmas of purgatory, transubstantiation, priestly mediation, baptismal regeneration, and the whole sacramental system” (Vos, p. 25).  In fact, one of the Post-Nicene “fathers” is Leo, the first Roman Catholic “pope”!  Therefore, the “church fathers” are actually the fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. They are the men who laid the foundation of apostasy that produced Romanism and Greek Orthodoxy. The New Testament Scriptures warns frequently that there would be an apostasy, a turning from the faith among professing Christians. The apostles and prophets warned said this apostasy had already begun in their day and warned that it would increase as the time of Christ’s return draws nearer. Paul testified of this in many places, giving us a glimpse into the vicious assault that was already plaguing the work of God. Consider his last message to the pastors at Ephesus (Acts 20:29-30). Paul warned them that false teachers would come from without and would also arise from within their own ranks. Consider his second epistle to Corinth (2 Cor. 11:1-4, 12-15). The false teachers who were active at Corinth were corrupting three of the cardinal doctrines of the New Testament faith, the doctrine of Christ, Salvation, and the Holy Spirit; and the churches were in danger of being overthrown by these errors. Consider Paul’s warnings to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1-6 and 2 Timothy 3:1-13 and 4:3-4.  Peter devoted the entire second chapter of his second epistle to this theme. He warned in verse one that there would be false teachers who hold “damnable heresies,” referring to heresies that damn the soul to eternal hell. If someone denies, for example, the Virgin Birth, Deity, Humanity, Sinlessness, Eternality, Atonement, or Resurrection of Jesus Christ he cannot be saved. Heresies pertaining to such matters are damnable heresies. The corruption of the “doctrine of Christ” results in a “false christ.” John gave similar warnings in his epistles (1 John 2:1819224:1-3; 2 John 7-11).  In addressing the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, the Lord Jesus Christ warned that many of the apostolic churches were already weak and were under severe stress from heretical attacks (Rev. 2:614-15, 20-24; 3:215-17).  Thus the New Testament faith was being attacked on every hand in the days of the apostles by Gnosticism, Judaism, Nicolaitanism, and other heresies.  And the apostles and prophets warned that this apostasy would increase.  Paul said, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). This describes the course of the church age in terms of the spread of heresy! Therefore it is not surprising to find doctrinal error rampant among the churches even in the early centuries. Further, we only have a very partial record of the early centuries and the surviving writings have been heavily filtered by Rome. The Roman Catholic Church was in power for a full millennium and its Inquisition reached to the farthest corners of Europe and beyond. Rome did everything in its power to destroy the writings of those who differed with her. Consider the Waldenses. These were Bible-believing Christians who lived in northern Italy and southern France and elsewhere during the Dark Ages and were viciously persecuted by Rome for centuries. Though we know that the Waldenses have a history that begins in the 11th century if not before, their historical record was almost completely destroyed by Rome. Only a handful of Waldensian writings were preserved from all of those centuries.  It is not surprising, therefore, that the extant writings from the early centuries are ones that are sympathetic to Rome’s doctrines. This does not prove that most of the churches then held to Roman Catholic doctrine. It proves only that those writings sympathetic to Rome were allowed to survive. We know that there were many churches in existence in those early centuries that did not agree with Roman doctrine, because they were persecuted by the Romanists and are mentioned in the writings of the “church fathers.”  A LOOK AT SOME OF THE CHURCH FATHERS IGNATIUS (c. 50-110) Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch in the early second century. He was arrested in about A.D. 110 and sent to Rome for trial and martyrdom.  He taught that churches should have elders and a ruling bishop; in other words, he was exalting one bishop over another, whereas in scripture the terms “bishop” and “elder” refer to the same humble office in the assembly (Titus 1:5-7). He taught that all churches are a part of one universal church.  He claimed that a church does not have authority to baptize or conduct the Lord’s Supper unless it has a bishop.  These relatively innocent errors helped prepare the way for more error in the next century. JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 100 – c. 165) When Justin embraced Christianity, he held on to some of his pagan philosophy. He interpreted the Scriptures allegorically and mystically. For example, the 1,000 years mentioned in Revelation 20 is not a literal 1,000 years but stands for something else. It is in Justin Martyr’s writings that we first find the heresy of Replacement Theology. in Dialogue with Trypho, he applied the term “Israel” to the church (Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, 2007 edition, p. 128). Justin Martyr helped develop the idea of a “middle state” after death that was neither heaven nor hell. Eventually this doctrine became Rome’s purgatory.  IRENAEUS (c. 125-202) Irenaeus was a pastor in Lyons, France, who wrote a polemic titled Against Heresies in about A.D. 185.  He supported the authority of the bishop as a ruler over many churches.  He defended church tradition beyond what the Scripture allows. For this reason he is claimed by the Roman Catholic Church as one of their own.  He taught the Catholic heresy of “real presence,” saying, “The Eucharist becomes the body of Christ.” CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (c. 150 – c. 230) From 190 to 202, Clement headed the heretical school of Alexandria, Egypt, founded by Pantaenus, which intermingled the Greek philosophy of Plato with Christianity.  Clement helped develop the false doctrine of purgatory and believed that most men would eventually be saved.  He denied the unique Deity of Jesus and His atonement, saying, “The Logos of God became man so that you may learn from man how man may become God” (cited from Bernard McGinn, The Presence of God, Vol. 1 - “The Foundations of Mysticism,” p. 107). Jesus was, therefore, merely the supreme model toward the path of divinity. TERTULLIAN (c. 155 – c. 255) Tertullian lived in Carthage in North Africa (located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in modern Tunisia, between Libya and Algeria). Though he fought against Gnosticism, he also exalted the authority of the church beyond that allowed by Scripture. He taught that the church’s authority comes through apostolic succession.  He believed that the bread of the Lord’s Supper was Christ and worried about dropping crumbs of it on the ground.  He adopted Montanism, believing that Montanus spoke prophecies by inspiration of God.  He taught that widows who remarried committed fornication. Thus he exalted the condition of virginity in an unscriptural way, and this heresy was adopted by the Roman Catholic in its monastic system of unmarried monks and nuns and in its doctrine that priests cannot marry. The New Testament encourages younger widows to remarry (1 Tim. 5:14).  He taught that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.  He classified sins into three categories and believed in confession of sins to a bishop.  He said that the human soul was seen in a vision as “tender, light, and of the colour of air.” He claimed that all human souls were in Adam and are transmitted to us with the taint of original sin upon them.  He taught that there was a time when the Son of God did not exist and when God was not a Father.  He taught that Mary was the second Eve who by her obedience remedied the disobedience of the first Eve. This was a stepping stone toward the Roman Catholic Church’s many heresies about Mary. CYPRIAN (? – 258) Cyprian was the “bishop of Carthage” in Africa.  He was tyrannical and wealthy and he wrote against the Novatian churches for their efforts to maintain a pure church membership. He didn’t care if church members gave evidence of the new birth as long as they conformed to external rituals. Cyprian defended the unscriptural doctrine that certain bishops had authority over many churches and that all pastors must submit to them. He supported the heresy of infant baptism.  No wonder Cyprian was made one of the “saints” of the Catholic Church.  ORIGEN (185-254)  Though he endured persecution and torture for the cause of Christ under the Roman emperor Decius in 250, and though he defended Christianity against certain heretics, he rejected the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) and taught many gross heresies. Origen founded in a school in Caesarea from which he expounded his errors far and wide through his students and his writings.  Origen’s character is described by the Lutheran historian Mosheim as “a compound of contraries, wise and unwise, acute and stupid, judicious and injudicious; the enemy of superstition, and its patron; a strenuous defender of Christianity, and its corrupter; energetic and irresolute; one to whom the Bible owes much, and from whom it has suffered much.”  While we do not agree with Mosheim that the Bible owes Origen much, there is no doubt that it suffered much at his hands. We agree with Joseph Milner who said that “no one had injured the church more than Origen” (History of the Church of Christ, cited from R.C. Shimeal, The Second Coming of Christ, 1873, p. 15). Origen “disbelieved the full inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures, holding that the inspired men apprehended and stated many things obscurely” (Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney, I, p. 383). He rejected the literal history of the early chapters in Genesis and of Satan taking the Lord Jesus up to a high mountain and offering him the kingdoms of the world (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. III, p. 614). Durant quotes Origen: “Who is so foolish as to believe that God, like a husbandman, planted a garden in Eden, and placed in it a tree of life ... so that one who tasted of the fruit obtained life?” Origen denied the literal creation described in Genesis 1-2 and the literal fall of Genesis 3.  He denied the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Origen’s “opinions on the Trinity veered between Sabellianism and Arianism. He expressly denied the consubstantial unity of the Persons and the proper incarnation of the Godhead” (Dabney, I, p. 384). He believed the Holy Spirit was the first creature made by the Father through the Son.  He taught that Jesus is a created being and not the eternal Son of God. “He held an aberrant view on the nature of Christ, which gave rise to the later Arian heresy” (“Origen,” Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics). That Origen believed Jesus Christ had an origin is evident from this statement: “Secondly, that Jesus Christ Himself, who came, was born of the Father before all creatures; and after He had ministered to the Father in the creation of all things,--for through Him were all things made” (Origen, quoted by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers). He taught that man can become divine as Jesus is divine. “For Christians see that with Jesus human and divine nature begin to be woven together, so that by fellowship with divinity human nature might become divine, not only in Jesus, but also in all those who believe and go on to undertake the life which Jesus taught...” (Against Celsus, 3:28). This statement is grossly heretical on three counts: It teaches that Jesus’ Deity is not unique but is a model for all men, that salvation is achieved by following Jesus’ teaching, and that man can become divine like Jesus. Origen taught baptismal regeneration and salvation by works. “After these points, it is taught also that the soul, having a substance and life proper to itself, shall, after its departure from this world, be rewarded according to its merits. It is destined to obtain either an inheritance of eternal life and blessedness, if its deeds shall have procured this for it, or to be delivered up to eternal fire and punishment, if the guilt of its crimes shall have brought it down to this” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens,The Faith of the Early Fathers). “[He] evidently had no clear conception of the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith” (Louis Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines, p. 65). This is an important fact, because it means that the gospel Origen taught was a false gospel, and he therefore was under God’s curse (Galatians 1:6-8).  He believed in a form of purgatory and universalism (all men will be saved), believing that even Satan would be saved. “Now let us see what is meant by the threatening with eternal fire. ... It seems to be indicated by these words that every sinner kindles for himself the flame of his own fire and is not plunged into some fire which was kindled beforehand by someone else or which already existed before him. ... And when this dissolution and tearing asunder of the soul shall have been accomplished by means of the application of fire, no doubt it will afterwards be solidified into a firmer structure and into a restoration of itself” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers). He denied the literal fire of hell.  He believed that men’s souls are preexistent and that stars and planets possibly have souls. “In regard to the sun, however, and the moon and the stars, as to whether they are living beings or are without life, there is not clear tradition” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers). He denied the bodily resurrection, claiming that the resurrection body is spherical, non-material, and does not have members. “He denied the tangible, physical nature of the resurrection body in clear contrast to the teaching of Scripture” (Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, “Origen”). He was condemned by the Council of Constantinople on this count. Origen rejected the testimony of the apostle Paul in Colossians 2:16-23 and lived as an ascetic. He even castrated himself in his foolish zeal for the alleged superior holiness of “celibacy” over marriage. Origen was also one of the chief fathers of the allegorical method of Bible interpretation, which turns the Bible into a nose of wax to be twisted as the reader sees fit. He claimed that “the Scriptures have little use to those who understand them literally.” He described the literal meaning of Scripture as “bread” and encouraged the student to go beyond this to the “wine” of allegoricalism, whereby one can become intoxicated and transported to heavenly realms. Origen’s commentaries contained a wealth of fanciful interpretations, abounding in “heretical revisals of Scripture” (Frederick Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, p. 367). As for Origen’s character, he was “evidently dishonest and tricky, and his judgment most erratic. … As a controversialist, he was wholly unscrupulous (Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney, I, p. 383).  EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA (270-340) Eusebius collected the writings of Origen and promoted his false teachings.  Constantine the Great, who had joined together church and state in the Roman Empire and had thereby laid the foundation for the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, hired Eusebius to produce some Greek New Testaments. Many textual authorities have identified Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the manuscripts so revered by modern textual critics, as two of the copies of the Greek New Testament made by Eusebius. Frederick Nolan and other authorities have charged Eusebius with making many changes in the text of Scripture.  Many of the noted omissions in the modern versions can be traced to this period, including Mark 16:9-20 and John 8:1-11. After intensive investigation, Frederick Nolan concluded that Eusebius “suppressed those passages in his edition” (Nolan, p. 240). These manuscripts also contained the spurious apocryphal writings, Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas. Origen considered these two fanciful books as Scripture (Goodspeed, The Formation of the New Testament, p. 103).  JEROME (Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus) (340-420)  Jerome was called upon by Damasus, the Bishop of Rome, to produce a standard Latin Bible. This was completed between A.D. 383 and 405 and became the Bible adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. It is commonly called the Latin vulgate (meaning common). Modern textual critic Bruce Metzger says that the Greek manuscripts used by Jerome “apparently belonged to the Alexandrian type of text” (Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, p. 76). This means they were in the same family as those underlying the modern versions. Kenyon and Robinson also affirm this (Kenyon, The Text of the Greek Bible, p. 88; Robinson, Ancient Versions of the English Bible, p. 113). This means that the Jerome Latin vulgate adopted by Rome represents the same type of text as the critical Greek text underlying the modern versions. These commonly remove “God” from 1 Timothy 3:16and contain many other corruptions. Jerome was deeply infected with false teaching: Jerome was deeply committed to the heresy of asceticism, believing the state of virginity to be spiritually superior to that of marriage and demanding that church leaders be unmarried. “... no single individual did so much to make monasticism popular in the higher ranks of society” (James Heron, The Evolution of Latin Christianity, 1919, p. 58). He lived a hermetic life in disobedience to the Bible’s command to go forth and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15). Jerome believed in the veneration of “holy relics” and the bones of dead Christians (Heron, pp. 276, 77).  Jerome “took a leading and influential part in ‘opening the floodgates’ for the invocation of saints,” teaching “that the saints in heaven hear the prayers of men on earth, intercede on their behalf and send them help from above (Heron, pp. 287, 88). Jerome taught that Mary is the counterpart of Eve, as Christ was the counterpart of Adam, and that through her obedience Mary became instrumental in helping to redeem the human race (Heron, p. 294). He taught that Mary is a perpetual virgin.  Jerome believed in the blessing of “holy water,” which became a major practice in the Roman Catholic Church (Heron, p. 306).  Jerome justified the death penalty for “heretics” (Heron, p. 323).  As for his spirit and character, Jerome is described, even by an unwise historian who had high respect for him, with these words: “such irritability and bitterness of temper, such vehemence of uncontrolled passion, such an intolerant and persecuting spirit, and such inconstancy of conduct” (Philip Schaff,History of the Christian Church, III, p. 206). Jerome had a particularly hateful attitude toward those that followed the simple New Testament faith and refused to accept the heresies that he and his fellows were preaching. His writings against these men were characterized by the most hateful, vicious sort of language. Vigilantius, Jovinian, and Helvidius were some of the men upon whom Jerome railed. These men rejected the false traditions that were being added by the early leaders of the Roman Church, including infant baptism, enforced celibacy, worship of martyrs and relics, and the sinlessness and perpetual virginity of Mary. Jerome heaped abuse upon these men, calling them dogs, maniacs, monsters, asses, stupid fools, two-legged asses, gluttons, servants of the devil, madmen, “useless vessels which should be shivered by the iron rod of apostolic authority.” He said Helvidius had a “fetid mouth, fraught with a putrid stench, against the relics and ashes of the martyrs.” Baptist historian Thomas Armitage observed, “The pen of Jerome was rendered very offensive by his grinding tyranny and crabbed temper. No matter how wrong he was, he could not brook contradiction” (A History of the Baptists, I, p. 207). It is obvious that Jerome had imbibed many of the false teachings and attitudes that eventually became the entrenched dogmas and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.  AMBROSE (339-397) Ambrose was bishop of Milan, in Italy, from 374-397. Because of his commitment to many early doctrinal heresies, his writings have been appealed to by popes and Catholic councils. Ambrose had a strong influence upon Augustine. The Catholic Church made him a saint and a doctor of the church. Ambrose used the allegorical-mystical method of Bible interpretation, having been influenced by Origen and Philo.  He taught that Christians should be devoted to Mary, encouraged monasticism, and believed in prayers to the saints.  He believed the church has the power to forgive sins.  He believed the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice of Christ.  He taught that virginity is holier than marriage and whenever possible he encouraged young women not to marry. His teaching in this helped pave the way for the Catholic monastic system.  He offered prayers for the dead.  AUGUSTINE (354-430) Augustine was polluted with many false doctrines and helped lay the foundation for the formation of the Roman Catholic Church. For this reason Rome has honored Augustine as one of the “doctors of the church.” He was a persecutor and one of the fathers of Rome’s Inquisition. He instigated persecutions against the Bible-believing Donatists who were striving to maintain biblical churches and require that church members give evidence of repentance and regeneration.  Augustine was one of the fathers of a-millennialism, allegorizing Bible prophecy and teaching that the Catholic Church is the new Israel and the kingdom of God.  He taught that the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are means of salvation.  The ‘council’ of Mela, in Numidia, A.D. 416, composed of merely fifteen persons and presided over by Augustine, decreed: “Also, it is the pleasure of the bishops in order that whoever denies that infants newly born of their mothers, are to be baptized or says that baptism is administered for the remission of their own sins, but not on account of original sin, delivered from Adam, and to be expiated by the laver of regeneration, BE ACCURSED” (Wall, The History of Infant Baptism, I, 265). Augustine thus taught that infants should be baptized and that the baptism took away their sin. He called all who rejected infant baptism “infidels” and “cursed.” He taught that Mary did not commit sin and promoted her “veneration.” He believed that Mary played a vital role in salvation (Augustine, Sermon 289, cited in Durant, The Story of Civilization, IV, p. 69).  He promoted the myth of purgatory.  He accepted the doctrine of “celibacy” for “priests,” supporting the decree of “Pope” Siricius of 387 which required that any priest that married or refused to separate from his wife should be disciplined.  He exalted the authority of the church over that of the Bible, declaring, “I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic Church” (quoted by John Paul II,Augustineum Hyponensem, Apostolic Letter, Aug. 28, 1986, He believed that the true interpretation of Scripture is derived from the declaration of church councils (Augustin, De Vera Religione, xxiv, p. 45). He interpreted the early chapters of Genesis figuratively (Dave Hunt, “Calvin and Augustine: Two Jonahs Who Sink the Ship,” Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views by Dave Hunt and James White, 2004, p. 230). He taught the heresy of sovereign election, in that God has pre-ordained some for salvation and others for damnation and that the grace of God is irresistible for the true elect. By his own admission, John Calvin in the 16th century derived his TULIP theology on the “sovereignty of God” from Augustine. Calvin said: “If I were inclined to compile a whole volume from Augustine, I could easily show my readers, that I need no words but his” (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, chap. 22). He taught the heresy of apostolic succession from Peter (Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, p. 230). JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (347-407) Chrysostom was a leader in Antioch, in the Greek part of the Catholic church of that day, and became “patriarch” of Constantinople in 398.  He believed in the “real presence” of the mass, that the bread literally becomes Jesus Christ.  He taught that church tradition can be equal in authority to the Scriptures.  CYRIL (376-444) Cyril was the “patriarch” of Alexandria and supported many of the errors that led to the formation of the Catholic Church.  He promoted the veneration of Mary and called her the Theotokos, or bearer of God.  In 412, Cyril instigated persecution against the Donatist Christians. A WARNING OF THE POWER OF THE CHURCH FATHERS TO LEAD TO ROME Having seen some of the heresies that leavened the “church fathers,” it is not surprising that a non-critical study of their writings can lead to Rome. That is where they were all headed! And for the most part we have only looked at the more doctrinally sound “church fathers”!  In the late nineteenth century JOHN HENRY NEWMAN (1801-90) walked into the Roman Catholic Church through the door of the church fathers. Newman, an Anglican priest and one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, is one of the most famous of the Protestant converts to Rome. He said that two of the factors in his conversion were his fascination with the church fathers and his study of the lives of the “English saints,” referring to Catholic mystics such as Joan of Norwich. He converted to Rome in 1845 and was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879.  In more recent days many are following Newman’s lead.  SCOTT AND KIMBERLY HAHN, Presbyterians who joined the Roman Catholic Church, were influenced by the church fathers. In their influential autobiography, Rome Sweet Rome, Kimberly recalls how that Scott studied the “church fathers” when he was still a Presbyterian minister. “Scott gained many insights from the early Church Fathers, some of which he shared in his sermons. This was rather unexpected for both of us, because we had hardly ever read the early Church Fathers when we were in seminary. In fact, in our senior year we had complained loudly to friends about possible creeping Romanism when a course was offered by an Anglican priest on the early Church Fathers. Yet here was Scott quoting them in sermons! One night Scott came out of his study and said, ‘Kimberly, I have to be honest. I don’t know how long we are going to be Presbyterians. We may become Episcopalians’” (Rome Sweet Rome, p. 56). In fact, they became Roman Catholics, and the influence of the “church fathers” on that decision is obvious. In 1985 THOMAS HOWARD became another famous Protestant convert to Rome. In his 1984 bookEvangelical Is Not Enough Howard had called upon evangelicals to study the church fathers. Howard was a professor at Gordon College for 15 years and is from a family of prominent evangelicals. His father, Philip, was editor of the Sunday School Times; his brother David Howard was head of the World Evangelical Fellowship; and his sister Elizabeth married the famous missionary Jim Elliot, who was martyred by the Auca Indians in Ecuador.  The church fathers were also instrumental in the conversion of PETER KREEFT to Rome from the Dutch Reformed denomination. Kreeft, a very influential Catholic apologist, studied the church fathers as a student at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He writes: “My adventurous half rejoiced when I discovered in the early Church such Catholic elements as the centrality of the Eucharist, the Real Presence, prayers to saints, devotion to Mary, an insistence on visible unity, and apostolic succession. Furthermore, THE CHURCH FATHERS JUST ‘SMELLED’ MORE CATHOLIC THAN PROTESTANT, especially St. Augustine, my personal favorite and a hero to most Protestants too. It seemed very obvious that if Augustine or Jerome or Ignatius of Antioch or Anthony of the Desert, or Justin Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, or Athanasius were alive today they would be Catholics, not Protestants” (“Hauled Aboard the Ark,”  Kreeft is absolutely right. Many of the “church fathers” do smell more Catholic than Protestant!  The books Surprised by Truth edited by Patrick Madrid and The Road to Rome edited by Dwight Longenecker and Journeys Home edited by Marcus Grodi contain many examples of this phenomenon. One of the testimonies is by SHARON MANN, who says,  “I started reading the early Church Fathers and realized that whatever they believed, they surely were not Protestant. Catholic themes peppered the landscape of Church history. I couldn’t deny it...” (Journeys Home, 1997, p. 88). This is true, of course. Catholic themes do pepper the landscape of the “church fathers.” What she should have understood is that they were not doctrinally sound and they have absolutely no authority. Whatever they were, they are not our examples and guides. Mann should have compared them to the infallible truth in the Bible and rejected them as heretics.  Instead, she allowed the “church fathers” to stir up her curiosity about Roman Catholicism and she ended up at a Mass. There she had a powerful emotional experience when the crowd knelt to idolatrously “adore” the blessed host as it passed by in its “monstrance.” She began weeping and her throat tightened and she couldn’t swallow. She said: “If the Lord was truly passing by, then I wanted to adore and worship Him, but if He wasn’t, I was afraid to be idolatrous. That weekend left a very powerful imprint on my heart, and I found myself running out of good arguments to stay Protestant. My heart was longing to be Catholic and be restored to the unity with all Christendom” (Journeys Home, p. 89). When she speaks of the Lord passing by, she is referring to the Catholic doctrine that the wafer or host of the Mass becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus when it is blessed by the priest and thereafter it is worshipped as Jesus Himself. Following the Mass the host is placed in a box called the tabernacle and Catholics pray to it. The host is the Catholic Jesus.  Roger Oakland describes an experience he had in Rome at the feast of Corpus Christi when Pope Benedict XVI worshipped at the Major Mary basilica: “Finally, after almost three hours of standing and waiting, the pope and his entourage arrived. The pope was carrying the Eucharistic Jesus in a monstrance. Earlier that day during a mass at St. Peter’s, this Eucharistic Jesus had been created from a wafer that had been consecrated. Later in the say, the same Jesus was transported to St. John’s for another ceremony. Finally, for a finale, the pope transportedJesus to the Major Church of Mary. The pope took the monstrance, ascended the stairs of the church, and held Jesus up for the masses to see. Then this Jesus was placed on an altar temporarily erected at the top of the steps. A cardinal then opened the glass window of the monstrance, removed the consecrated wafer (Jesus), and hustled him inside the church where he placed Jesus in a tabernacle. This experience gave me a sobering reminder of this terrible apostasy” (Faith Undone, p. 126). Mother Teresa exemplified this. She stated plainly that her Christ was the wafer of the Mass. Consider the following quotes from her speech to the Worldwide Retreat for Priests, October 1984, in Vatican City: “I remember the time a few years back, when the president of Yeman asked us to send some of our sisters to his country. I told him that this was difficult because for so many years no chapel was allowed in Yemen for saying a public mass, and no one was allowed to function there publicly as a priest. I explained that I wanted to give them sisters, but the trouble was that, without a priest, without Jesus going with them, our sisters couldn’t go anywhere. It seems that the president of Yemen had some kind of a consultation, and the answer that came back to us was, ‘Yes, you can send a priest with the sisters!’ I was so struck with the thought that ONLY WHEN THE PRIEST IS THERE CAN WE HAVE OUR ALTAR AND OUR TABERNACLE AND OUR JESUS. ONLY THE PRIEST CAN PUT JESUS THERE FOR US” (Mother Teresa, cited in Be Holy: God’s First Call to Priests Today, edited by Tom Forrest, C.Ss.R., 1987, p. 109). “One day she [a girl working in Calcutta] came, putting her arms around me, and saying, ‘I have found Jesus.’ ... ‘And just what were you doing when you found him?’ I asked. She answered that after 15 years she had finally gone to confession, and received Holy Communion from the hands of a priest. Her face was changed, and she was smiling. She was a different person because THAT PRIEST HAD GIVEN HER JESUS” (Mother Teresa, Be Holy, p. 74). It is a great spiritual blindness to think that the Lord Jesus Christ can be worshipped legitimately in the form of a piece of bread! A more recent convert to Rome is FRANCIS BECKWITH, former president of the Evangelical Theological Society. In May 2007 he tendered his resignation from this organization after converting to Rome. His journey to Rome was sparked by reading the church fathers. He said, “In January, at the suggestion of a dear friend, I began reading the Early Church Fathers as well as some of the more sophisticated works on justification by Catholic authors. I became convinced that the Early Church is more Catholic than Protestant...” (“Evangelical Theological Society President Converts,” The Berean Call, May 7, 2007). Again, he is correct in observing that the church fathers were very Catholic-like, but that proves nothing. The truth is not found in the church fathers but in the Bible itself.  This is a loud warning to those who have an ear to hear the truth. We don’t need to study the “church fathers.” We need to make certain that we are born again and have the indwelling Spirit as our Teacher (1 John 2:27), then we need to study the Bible diligently and walk closely with Christ and become so thoroughly grounded in the truth that we will not be led astray by the wiles of the devil and by all of the fierce winds of error that are blowing in our day. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).