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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Questions from a Godson: Who Crucified Jesus Anyway? Is the Pope Really As Pure as He said?

by Susan Fox
My 16-year-old Catholic godson sent me some questions recently. He is reading the whole Bible cover to cover. Here is our dialogue.

Who crucified Jesus?
The Art of Nellie Edwards
Godson Ben: All right, well bear with me on this, I’m going to touch on a bit of history. I tend to ask very long and complicated questions, so apologies in advance.

The Romans originated from Italy, they took Britain from the Briton Celtic people around 60-78 AD. While the Romans took over and the Britons ended up accepting their new overlords, the other Celtic tribes kept struggling, refusing to give up so easily. The Romans/Brits were the ones to kill Jesus. In the end the Briton and Roman people mingled, so the modern day British people are mutts of the two, perhaps thrown in with a splash of other ethnic groups (Been a long time, after all.) (Ben understands breeding. He raises dogs)

The Roman/Brit people continued to then fight the Insular Celts, enslaving them and selling them in the era of slaves for the U.S. to build their railroad. To this day, the majority of the Brits aren't very religious, and even most Italians live their lives without caring about religion and morals. It's only an old stereotype that Italians care about such things. And the Vatican City is located in Italy, what was Rome. How is it not hypocritical, when the people at the Vatican who claim to be so spiritually strong, devout believers are the same people who killed God in the flesh all those years ago?

Susan Fox: Dear Ben, My apologies. I also tend to give long and rambling answers, but I do reach a conclusion.

It was the Roman/Jews (Roman authority and the Jewish leaders) who killed Jesus, not the Roman/Brits. You could travel in any known country of the world that existed at that time and still be in the Roman Empire. So when Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt in the Bible, it was like running from Colorado to Washington State. They were still in the Roman Empire. So was the British Isles.

Many, including Catholic bishops, are ignorant of this fact as they associate Mary, Joseph and Jesus with  “illegal aliens” and “refugees” when they crossed into Egypt. But they were not illegal. They fled from one state to another: they were still in the same old Roman Empire. This is important to know if someone should tell you that Mary, Joseph and Jesus were illegal aliens and we should let illegal aliens into this country for that reason.  Mary, Joseph and Jesus scrupulously obeyed the law. They did not break it. Remember that when you go into law enforcement.

Who killed Jesus? Jesus was a Jew. There was a Jewish authority there called the Sanhedrin. They were the Jewish cops, but in a religious sense. They were unhappy with Jesus because He claimed to be God. He didn’t say, “I am God.” He was subtler than that, but within the context of Jewish history the old Sanhedrin got the message:

"Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)
God introduced Himself to Moses in the Old Testament, as “I AM WHO AM.” God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'” So the Jews immediately recognized that Christ was saying he was God when He said, “I am!” Plus how could a mere human have existed before his ancestor?

Jesus also forgave sins. Only God can forgive sins, so this outraged the Jews, who didn’t realize it was the proper action for Jesus to take since He was True God and True Man. See Twilight’s Confession for the story of how this divine power was handed down to our Catholic priests by Jesus Himself!

Jesus was killed for blasphemy by the Jewish authority because he made Himself to be God. The Romans got involved because the Jews didn’t have the authority to inflict capital punishment. So they tricked the Roman authority into doing it for them.

The first Christians, however, were also Jews, and we Catholics are grateful for their faith, which they handed down to us.

Got that? Jews are our older brothers in faith, and we need to respect them. Jesus was a Jew. Mary was a Jew, and the first Christians were Jews. We do not blame the Jewish people for Christ’s death. That’s Hitler’s thinking, although he had no love for Christ at all. If Hitler loved Christ, he would not have persecuted Christ’s own relatives – the Jews.
Some Roman Centurions were also
among the first Christian converts

Whew, the British are completely blameless for the murder of Christ even if they have some Roman blood in their veins. Frankly, who doesn’t have Roman blood at this point? Those Romans spread their blood all over the civilized world.

That is the historical context of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But spiritually, we have to remember that Jesus Christ volunteered for the job of dying for all men’s sins. He allowed the crucifixion to take place.  Remember what he told Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor:

So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?" Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." (John 19:10-11) He referred to the Sanhedrin.

Perhaps this understanding is for later in your life. But I had a good friend who was in the Sacrament of Confession, and she understood that her sins, her own trespasses had crucified Jesus Christ. Father asked her this question, “Whose sins did you think crucified Jesus?”

“Why, Father, I thought it was somebody else’s sins that crucified Jesus Christ!” she exclaimed. So who crucified Jesus? Anyone who commits a sin.

Maybe you have encountered this Exodus story in the Old Testament. The People of Israel were complaining against God about the food He was giving them (manna). So God sent fiery serpents among the people. Many died. But Moses interceded for his people and God told him to make an image of the snake that bit them and when they looked at the image, they would be cured. 

"Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived." (Num.21:6-9) 

It sounds almost idolatrous, doesn’t it? But everything in the Old Testament has to be understood in the context of the the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is one Author of Scripture over thousands of years, and that is the Holy Spirit. He shaped events and inspired men to write about them. That bronze image that God gave them took the poisonous bite from their bodies.

 But then God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and when He was raised up on the cross He took the poison of sin from their hearts! When Jesus Christ was lifted up on the cross, they also looked at Him Whom they had pierced (with real nails), and the poison of their sin was taken from them.  They – in short -- experienced regret and sorrow for their actions.  The Epistles near the end of the Bible will explain this better than I, but think of it as potty training a cat. The cat piddles somewhere in the house, and you take the cat and rub its nose in it. The cat deeply regrets that experience and starts going outside or using the cat box.

When mankind looks at the broken Body of Christ on the Cross, and they see what the Innocent and Merciful God suffered to save them from their sins, they kinda lose the taste for sin. Hey, it isn’t so fun any more.

Godson Ben: I understand it may not be entirely fair to think ill of people based on the sins of their fathers, but I don't like people who are all heathens, seem to act cocky among other things, and even the Pope himself is fine with gays. What do you think of all of this? For clarification, I essentially want to know if, in your opinion, I am wrong? If they haven't changed as a people, when you look at the Brits they still want to conquer Ireland, and if it was socially acceptable in the eyes of the U.S. they would likely re-enslave them.

Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5) This invites me to pass judgment, be skeptical and speak freely, so long as I am not hypocritical.

And honestly I question whether or not the Pope is truly as pure as it is said, if he isn't willing to quite simply say what is unnatural and wrong to be gay (when the Bible clearly states such, Leviticus 20:13) 

Susan Fox: Dear Ben, I think Brits today are interested in beer ... and maybe Islam. I have a good friend in the United Kingdom and he tweets me pictures of his beer. He drinks fascinating kinds of beer. I tweet him pictures of my grocery cart and its price. So it would seem I am interested in the cost of my groceries, which keeps going up!

My shopping cart: $365
 Islam is interesting to them because they have many Muslims in their country, and some have killed innocent British civilians. Recently, a few Muslims killed some French magazine cartoonists, and the Brits followed this event on the telly in the British pub. They are justifiably worried about their families. And we should pray for them.

So in reality Brits are more concerned now about Muslims than they are about the Irish. But I promise I will ask my British friend about the Irish next time we speak on Twitter.

Pope Francis
I’m glad you are asking questions about Pope Francis. I have read almost every recent article about Pope Francis. I have a friend who sends them to me regularly, so I am the right person to ask about Pope Francis! LOL.

The articles fall into three categories: 
  1. Factual accounts of the pope’s true feelings and opinions,
  2. Liberal fantasies of the pope’s feelings and 
  3. Angry/doubtful conservative Catholic opinions of the pope’s falsely reported opinions.

Don’t fall into the third category. You see the liberal press has a totally false image of Pope Francis. They think he is going to change the Catholic Church’s doctrine on homosexuality. That is fantasy.

On same-sex “marriage,” the pope said that it is an “anti-value and an anthropological regression.” It is a weakening of the institution of marriage, an institution that has existed for thousands of years and is “forged according to nature and anthropology.” He means that marriage between one man and one woman is the way that God designed the human race. To enter into a same sex relationship is to go backwards, to regress, to devolve.

Pope St. John Paul II
Pope Saint John Paul II wrote a fascinating book called “Theology of the Body.” And it says that “man” is not just male. No, according to Genesis, which you probably have already read, God made “man” male and female. That means that “man” is not present in his completeness unless there is both man and woman. Your godfather, Larry Fox, explains it this way: “Homosexuality is an attack on the Holy Trinity, on the very nature of God Himself.” God is a Community of Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God generates Himself within Himself as He is eternal.

Men and women are finite. So “man” has within his body the power to generate man because we are made in the image and likeness of God. But only male and female “man” together can generate “man.” Two males or two females are structurally incompatible and cannot generate another man. Therefore homosexuality is anti-trinitarian, against the very nature of God, who is fruitful.

Larry added that when men and women can’t have children, they experience a sense of loss because they want to live in the image of God, Who is fruitful within Himself. But they cannot generate man physically within their bodies. This makes them sad.

Also remember that intimacy is not something to be taken casually since it so closely mimics the life of God Himself. The only place for sex is in marriage, and in that context, it is a very holy act.

That some people regard the pope as favoring homosexuality is total fantasy. They are not living in reality. I have read the LGBT press, and they actually cried out to the pope to go to Uganda, where they passed an anti-homosexuality act, and chastise those Catholic bishops who did not support homosexual activity.

However, the reason this false image of Pope Francis has arisen is because in 2013 when he was returning from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, he told reporters: “"If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person? These persons must never be marginalized and they must be integrated into society."

This is practical implementation of that Bible quote you gave me. “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.”

The pope is very concerned about all the children of Adam and Eve. He is not just the spiritual father of the Catholics. No, he is spiritual father to everyone. He realizes that for real change to take place in a man’s heart, he must receive love and respect for himself as a person, not as an activity. Hence, I personally don’t use the word “gay” to describe anyone because it denotes an activity not a person.

We don’t love homosexual actions, nor do we love the identity they have chosen, but we love them. Do you understand? Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Remember I told you the way to change your mother’s behavior is to see the good things she does and be grateful.

People who self identify as homosexuals need love. They need us to look for and find the good that God has done in them. The secular world doesn’t understand that one can love a person struggling to overcome a bad habit, and still condemn his actions. So they report the Pope’s acceptance of a person, and twist that information into acceptance of his sin.

Now if you visited Pope Francis, wouldn’t you expect him to love you? Would you expect him to tell you how much he appreciates your faults? Not at all. He’d tell you to change those!

Godson Ben: When I say I dislike certain ethnic groups, what I mean is I will not, for example, hang around them. That does not mean I would turn a blind eye if one of them were to be, for example, mugged in an alley, for then I would be doing equal wrong. Stereotypes exist with some merit, and while they can't all be bad, how could I honestly like them as a people when they still demonstrate their ill-will, when people openly say my beliefs are invalid, when a majority of people encourage abominable acts, and so forth?

Susan Fox: Dear Ben, Hmm, are these Brits and Italians you don’t like? It is necessary to avoid some neighborhoods dominated by one ethnic group. The neighborhood my husband grew up in in Baltimore is now strictly off limits because of crime. My sister-in-law drove me to the edge of the street where his family home was located and refused to go any farther because she was afraid. That is prudent fear.

My husband’s father used to leave him in certain dangerous neighborhoods while he went to do work, and yup Larry got beat up.  That was imprudence.

But when you speak of the immorality of modern Brits and Italians, it is not true they were never religious. Before King Henry VIII, the British were devoutly Catholic people. The Norwegians and Swedes were too. But it was kings and money. The kings ripped the faith from the people to get the Church’s money. And God allowed it because He Himself actually prefers to clothe His Bride, the Church, in joy, not riches. There were many great Catholic martyrs in those countries.

I visited a formerly Catholic Cathedral in England, and on the walls they had written (during the Protestant Reformation), “The Eucharist is NOT the Body of Christ. It is a symbol.” They ripped the Catholic faith from the people and now England watches the television and worries about their Muslim neighbors. Don’t doubt it’s happening here too. Detroit has a large Muslim population. And Muslim men are taught not to respect Christian and secular women. They form rape gangs even in Seattle. 

Thanks to large immigrant population,
Sweden has the second highest rape rate
 in the world.
Sweden has the highest annual asylum and immigration rate in all of Europe. It used to be a very family friendly country. As a young woman, I traveled safely by myself through Sweden in 1973-74, but now apparently one in four Swedish women face at least one rape from a Muslim immigrant.  Sweden has the second highest number of rapes in the world after South Africa at 53 per 100,000 women. It was a pretty country, but I never want to return.

Many Italians have lost the faith. They are not having children. If they don’t convert their hearts, their race may die out.  But Italians did once have a devout Catholic faith and they had nothing to do with the crucifixion of Christ. The Catholic Church is headquartered in Rome because Jesus decided it.

Jesus said, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hell will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

Interior St. Peter's Basilica Vatican City
Jesus meant He would place His own authority on Peter’s shoulders and those of his successors, the popes. But I find it amusing that Jesus literally built His Church’s headquarters on St. Peter’s physical body. St. Peter was martyred in Rome and buried there. "Holy men ... took down his body secretly and put it under the terebinth tree near the Naumachia, in the place which is called the Vatican," according to a 5th century source.

St. Peter's Basilica
In 1939, the first pope’s bones were discovered under St. Peter’s Basilica inside the Vatican City where the pope says Mass. Fragments found in the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica (in the Vatican) were “identified in a way that we can consider convincing,” said Pope Paul VI in 1968. They were found in a funeral monument with an engraving that said, “Peter is here.”

Where St. Peter's bones are located is a heavenly “X” marks the spot where the True Church is headquartered!  What a blessing!



1 comment:

  1. Susan, May also want to point out, that while the Celtics were later the Germanic people were enslaved by the romans during the same period. The Arian Heresay in part developed from this, and many individuals who have led anti semtic and anti Catholic movements and their offspring have in efforts to try and produce a PURE breed in fact place themselves in the place of God. from that time you in fact have someone whom according to the Catholic Source Book would be of AntiChrist, "I.E. Nero Ceasar, Knox, Luther, Napolean, and the most recent Hitler. I do not doubht someone will add up in some cryptic way to try and prove Obama the AntiChrist. the very Nature of Government to some degree is of Pagan Origin as the ones who followed Joshua eventually wanted a King Like the Pagans, and chose Saul....something I to find funny, Any one of the multi denominations like to yell at the Catholic Church being Pagan, yet the Ancestory in the Old Testament included that. so no matter how you slice it, part of what individuals know as Pagan or think to be Pagan, is of God's Design in the first place. This is part of the spiral Philosophy refered to you as.....have to sometimes circle back in order to get the stray lost sheep and let the others go forward.