Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1 More Example of How Rolheiser Twists Things

In recently going through a couple of past issues of the DBQ Archdiocesan rag that pushes more heresy & heterodoxy that truth, I mentioned 1 of my encounters with Ron Rolheiser. (Traditional or Doctrine of the Faith) But that wasn't the only 1, an earlier copy of the (False) Witness had an article he wrote on athiesm. (Atheism and Belief) & while I won't go into everything that is wrong with it, 1 thing in it is a prime example of how he uses half truths & twists Scripture to promote his agenda rather than the truth.
He wrote "When the prophet, Isaiah, glimpsed God in a vision, all he could do was stammer the words: Holy, holy, holy! Holy is the Lord God of hosts! But we misunderstand his meaning because we take "holy" in its moral sense, that is, as virtue. Isaiah however meant the word in its metaphysical sense, namely, as referring to God's transcendence, God's otherness, God's difference from us, God's ineffability."
It is clear he is hoping his readers are only vaguely familiar with Isaiah & what Chapter 6, the event he is referencing, actually says happenned.
Let's actually look at what really happenned. 1st here is what it says about the vision: "In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne; his train filled the sanctuary." (verse 1) Now let's go on to see what he saw & heard happen next. "Above him stood seraphs, each one with six wings: two to cover its face, two to cover its feet and two for flying; and they were shouting these words to each other: Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh Sabaoth. His glory fills the whole earth." (verses 2-3, emphasis mine) Wait a minute, didn't Rolheiser put these words in Isaiah's mouth? & didn't he say Isaiah could barely get them out? That he stammered in trying to do so?
Seraphs (seraphim) are the highest rank of angels according to Scripture. They are the ones who guard God's throne & are described as being ablaze. (Seraphim literally means "burning ones".) Clearly, it wasn't Isaiah that was saying what Rolheiser said he did. & not only that, shouting those words as the seraphs did is a far cry from them being stuttered as Rolheiser claims.
I am sure by now that those of you reading this can see where I am heading. What really happenned & why is Rolheiser twisting things to hide it?
Let's start with verse 5. "Then I (Isaiah) said: 'Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh Sabaoth.'" 1st of all, you will notice that Isaiah did NOT stammer. 2ndly, you will notice that Isaiah's reaction was to realize his sinfulness & unworthness to be in th presence of God. In other words, it is about God being holy in a moral sense.
& in case you may doubt that, the next 2 verses make it clear that this is about sin & falling short of God's glory. "Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding in its hand a live coal which it had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. With this it touched my mouth and said: 'Look, this has touched your lips, your guilt has been removed and your sin forgiven.'" (emphasis mine) Yes, the metaphysical sense Rolheiser talks about is true, God is transcendent, Ineffible etc. (BTW someone better inform Bishop Trautman that ineffible is still in use since he had a fit about that word being used in the new translation of the Novus Ordo.) However, it is clear that Isaiah saw God's holiness in contrast to his own sinfulness as well as that of God's people.
There we have it. Rolheiser doesn't want us to admit we are sinful & in need of repentance. & he does so for a purpose, to justify the type of God he talks about earlier in the article that is the type of God Rolheiser wants us to believe in. "If, however, by "God" we mean the mystery, announced in Christ, breathing all things out of nothing into peace, then all things have to do with God in every move and fragment of their being, whether they notice this and suppose it to be so or not." In short, a pantheistic divinity is what he is pushing.
& the wrong type of God? He says we are wrong in "believing that there exists 'a person without a body" who is 'eternal, free, able to do anything, knows everything' and is 'the proper object of human worship and obedience, the creator and sustainer of the universe.'" While to be accurate God is actually 3 persons in one, you can see that what he is saying is that the Judeo-Christian view of God is wrong. In fact he ends the article by saying that this view is "creating God in our own image and likeness."
Sorry Ronnie, but we are made in God's image & likeness. He is the creator & sustainer of the universe, we are to worship Him, etc. & to believe otherwise is to deny the Catholic faith. God is a mystery, yes. But not the gnostic mystery you would have him be.
Like I said yesterday, Rolheiser's garbage makes my blood pressure rise. But I also am very unhappy at how he is so big in the DBQ Archdiocese. Sadly, the ones pushing him are the ones who should know better. In fact their hearts have become a lot like what Isaiah was told by God to prophecy in the Rolheiser misquoted 6th chapter: "Go, and say to this people, "Listen and listen, but never understand! Look and look, but never perceive!"
Make this people's heart coarse, make their ears dull, shut their eyes tight, or they
will use their eyes to see, use their ears to hear, use their heart to understand, and change their ways and be healed.'
I then said, 'Until when, Lord?' He replied, 'Until towns are in ruins and deserted, houses untenanted and a great desolation reigns in the land,
and Yahweh has driven the people away and the country is totally abandoned
." (verses 9-12)
But there is hope. God goes on to speak of a faithful remnant. & for those of us who accept the true image of God, not the New Age version Rolheiser et al are promoting, & live out our faith as God asks us to through the teaching of the Catholic Church, then we have the assurance that we will one day be spending eternity with that all Holy God worshipping Him along with the Seraphim & the rest of the angels & saints.
(Added @ 8:18 pm) Came across this earlier today from the recently released apostolic exhortation of Papa Benedetto, Verbum Domini. (paragraph 50) "The Lord speaks his word so that it may be received by those who were created “through” that same word. “He came among his own” (Jn 1:11): his word is not something fundamentally alien to us, and creation was willed in a relationship of familiarity with God’s own life. Yet the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel also places us before the rejection of God’s word by “his own”, who “received him not” (Jn 1:11). Not to receive him means not to listen to his voice, not to be conformed to the Logos. On the other hand, whenever men and women, albeit frail and sinful, are sincerely open to an encounter with Christ, a radical transformation begins to take place: “but to all who received him, he gave power to become children of God” (Jn 1:12). To receive the Word means to let oneself be shaped by him, and thus to be conformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to Christ, the “only Son from the Father” (Jn 1:14). It is the beginning of a new creation; a new creature is born, a new people comes to birth. Those who believe, that is to say, those who live the obedience of faith, are “born of God” (Jn 1:13) and made sharers in the divine life: sons in the Son (cf. Gal 4:5-6; Rom 8:14-17). As Saint Augustine puts it nicely in commenting on this passage from John’s Gospel: “you were created through the word, but now through the word you must be recreated”.[174] Here we can glimpse the face of the Church as a reality defined by acceptance of the Word of God who, by taking flesh, came to pitch his tent among us (cf. Jn 1:14). This dwelling-place of God among men, this shekinah (cf. Ex 26:1), prefigured in the Old Testament, is now fulfilled in God’s definitive presence among us in Christ." (emphasis mine)
The whole passage is rich, filled with plenty to meditate on about the relationship between man & God. What 1st stuck me was the call to "live the obedience of faith" since I had made the comment about our living out our faith. While I didn't use the term obedience, that is what I was talking about.
But what also got me was the difference in what Rolheiser claims is the God announced by Christ & the real God manifest in the Logos (Christ). Rolheiser's god has us already perfect & in no need of repentance or change. Yet, as Papa Benedetto clearly teaches here we are in need of being "recreated" to be truly conformed to what God wants us to be. The mystery that Jesus actually proclaimed is not the gnostic mystery god of Rolheiser. The mystery that Jesus proclaimed was that the Word (Logos) became flesh & dwelt among us to teach us & transform us. It is only through this recreation that we can truly know peace. It is only through the Logos that we truly share in God's divinity.
This is a very short summary of only a part of the contents in the paragraph. & I honestly feel I have done a very poor job of trying to get across what little I did. But I hope it is clear enough to make the point I am trying. Roleheiser's idea of god falls far short of the real God as revealed through His word.
I have yet to make my way through the entire document. But from scanning it the rest is just as fully loaded with gems as this paragraph.
But I do have to hilite 1 other thing. Many years ago I read that the introduction to John's Gospel in chapter 1 was written to counter the early gnostic teachings that are the root of today's New Age teachings like those of Rolheiser. So, I am willing to bet that it was no accident this whole exhortation makes constant reference to that same introduction. Papa Benedetto's love & knowledge of Scripture & the leading of the Holy Spirit as Papa Benedetto operated in the Petrine charism is definitely why John1 is used so much in this document.


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