Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Gospel according to Fred

One of our chapter members has been engaged in an email discussion with a Baptist whom I will call “Fred,” who has written extensively and with presumed authority, establishing rules by which the Holy Scriptures are to be understood. This is just a look at a corner of

The Gospel according to Fred:

I do depend with my heart upon that great Teacher that Jesus promised would lead the dedicated, studious, and committed child of God into "all truth," (John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-16)!

Looking at this statement using Fred's rule; “consider every passage under these guidelines: Who is talking, who is being taught”

14:16. And I will ask the Father: and he shall give you

another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever:

14:17. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,

because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him. But you shall

know him; because he shall abide with you and shall be in


In Fred’s first citation, Jesus is speaking, the Apostles are being spoken to. Here is a record of a promise made to them (the Apostles) forever, which in the Church for almost 2000 years has been continuously interpreted to mean “the Apostles and their successors.” Fred has chosen to interpret it to mean the promise is made to the “dedicated, studious, and committed child of God” This is an interpretation completely without support in the text. In fact, the condition applied is not being studious or dedicated or committed, but “keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).

15:26. But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you

from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from

the Father, he shall give testimony of me.

Jesus is speaking, the Apostles are present, and to them He makes a promise. In order to apply this to ourselves, we have to insert an interpretation into these words. No where is there a clear statement that the “dedicated, studious, and committed child of God” will be led “into all truth” Fred has made an leap from the Apostles to himself, and then from “testimony of me” to “all truth”

Fred’s last leap is even more extensive (Jn 16:7-16).

16:12. I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot

bear them now.

16:13. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will

teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself: but

what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak. And the

things that are to come, he shall shew you.

Jesus is clearly speaking to the Apostles. Fred believes he personally is being taught that he is in possession of the Holy Spirit’s personal guidance into all truth (John 16:13) rather than there are many things which he, Fred, cannot bear (John 16:12). We can test this, as John has elsewhere instructed us to (1 Jn 4:1) when spirits are claimed.

Now, if Fred is lead by the Holy Spirit to “all truth,” then because Truth is Truth, and Truth is One, there will be agreement in Truth between Fred and every other Christian (actually and in fact) led by the Holy Spirit to “all truth.” If there is disagreement between those who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit to Truth, then one or both are in error, having not yet arrived at truth. Since I can easily find a Christian making the same claims as Fred, and yet disagreeing with him, how am I to tell the difference? Who really has the truth, and who is in error?

The bible bears testimony of the place to find the answer, although Fred rejects it because Fred does not really believe the bible, Fred believes what he thinks the bible means.

1 Tim 3:15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou

oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is

the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the



  1. Hi, Mark,

    There is no much to see on your blog! I looked at all the pics and the topics you cover. Is that your wife to the right of your top blog, at prayer? Is that your home chapel? Is Sophia your grandchild?

    I can't comment on Fred. Fred is legion, and a source of mischief in the world. But I'd sure rather be pulled over by him for some traffic violation, or have him driving the airplane, or delivering the mail. I can suffer the Freds much easier than the straight-up pagans. (I wish the Catholic media weren't so in love with the converts, by the way. I'd like to hear some born-Catholics in there.

    If yu come back to my blog, you might enjoy my Wall Street and Holy Mass, speaking of liturgy, which you do on your blog. Or you might get mad at me. I don't know.

    Happy Easter to you and yours.

    I left a link you might like, commenting on your comment, at the white lily blog.

  2. Hi back.

    If you're following JustThirdWay, you might want to know that Norm Kurtland, who is not Catholic, is not for rolling back Roe v. Wade. To me, this disqualifies the group as reliable. I have private correspondence from Mr. Kurtland discussing the question.

    Micheal is Catholic. He has posts on CESJ (and he calls it 'ours,' I notice, on the JTW blog, but CESJ does not agree to that identification, it seems. They used to have a nasty diatribe against the traditional mass by the former editor, but at my protest, they removed it, and said they didn't agree with the sentiment, themselves celebrated the traditional liturgy, and only left the post up there because it belonged to the now deceased editor. Now they have a new editor. Actually I haven't checked to see if they actually took it down. I frothed a bit about it in Holy Mass and the Stock Market on my blog. Because Michael gets much exercised about the bishops ignoring Catholic social teaching--when they also ignore, I pointed out to him, all tradition, most of them, and certainly their official organ, while he was posting on a site that trashed tradition with great vigor--the post they say they have removed. To to me, all this rather calls into question the actual designation 'Catholic' to JustThirdWay and their arm, the American Revolutionary Party (if you don't know that site, there's a link in the article I mention on my own blog).

    I am not prepared to jettison one jot or tittle of Catholic tradition. Not one.

    Hey, I'd like to read what you're reading and discuss it! Please? I'm scared to read all those complicated sources alone, I need somebody to see if they read the same thing I do, interpret it I mean. Have you tried Capital Homesteading? I own it but my understanding breaks down about ten pages in.

    But somebody has to understand these things! We need a Catholic alternative, economically and morally. Very many of those calling themselves distributist don't seem to try to apply any kind of principles to modern ownership forms (although Pius XI seemed to be saying it was possible). There was a conference last weekend, if I look up the link I'll lose this comment box, in New York between Nowak (spelling? the guy who identies Catholicism with free market) and Stork (spelling? a distributist, has a site). I couldn't go but asked for tapes, waiting for word. There are lots of links I could prepare ahead of time and send you.

    Look, go to WLblog and let me know if it's okay with you to use your email and if you want me to read whatever you're presently reading. Or if you get a copy of my email with this comment, I give you permission to use it. And before we read something togther, read Holy Mass and Wall Street or Wall Street and Holy Mass, I think it's page two ['previous,' at bottom] of my site, to see if you agree with the conclusions I draw from Quadragesimo Anno, Pius XI's, cause that would be a bit of a deal breaker for me.

    But in any and whatever case, dude, keep reading! Keep trying! We need an alternative so badly!

  3. No, CESJ is Michael's and Norm's, I was thinking of Social Justice Review where MIchael had a post along with an anti-TLM post. Sorry!