The Catholic Defender: Avoid The Sin Of Presumption
Have you ever had someone from a Protestant group come on to you challenging your Catholic Faith?
There are a great number of these groups that make this their whole ambition in life, to convert Catholics.
The greatest stumbling block to them are when they encounter informed Catholics who are able to explain our holy Catholic Faith.
One of the key references that one of these Protestants will challenge you with is 1 John 5:13.
John writes, “I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God”. Taken on face value, that might be a strong argument.
What they do not tell you is that St. John is simply giving you an indication to be able to take self inventory. If you are following all the “if’s” then you might have a good idea, but in truth, how many of us believe that we are perfect?
There are several of these “if”s that gives us a good indication if we are truly following the Faith.
A good one to consider is 1 John 1:6, “If we say, ‘We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.”
People take their own personal beliefs and place them as if God was the giver of that faith. Our faith becomes reduced to a sense of moral relativism where we become self deceived by our own standard and belief system.
Consider what Jesus teaches from the gospel, “But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold.”
Jesus speaks not only of hearing the word of God, but also understanding the word of God.
Isaiah 11:2 gives a prophecy about Jesus, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.”
The Holy Spirit helps us understand the truths of our Faith. However, Jesus warns that there would be people who will not make it to heaven thinking that they were doing the right things.
Jesus says (Matthew 7:21-24), “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.”
The sin of rebellion is a terrible sin.
Just as Dathan, Korah, and Abiram challenged Moses (Numbers 16:12-35), St. Paul warns against the sin of Jannes and Jambres who also opposed Moses (2 Timothy 3:8).
St. Paul is clear that people who oppose the Catholic Faith oppose the truth, these people are “people of depraved mind, unqualified in the faith.”
Samuel 15:23 states, “For rebellion is as the sin of divination (witchcraft) and presumption is the crime of idolatry.” Once Saved Always Saved is another false doctrine some believe that is in truth idolatry, the sin of “presumption”.
The question is not the efficacy of Jesus suffering or His work of redemption. It is our state in life living in the State of Grace. Once Saved Always Saved gives a false sense of security that lulls someone righteous in their own eyes. They take scripture and place their interpretation of scripture at the level of the imposition of the Holy Spirit.
It is very interesting that the sin of presumption is regarded as a crime of idolatry.
"On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them.
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
“Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold.”
Jesus warns against false prophets, Matthew 7:15 states, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them.” This is an example of those deceiving the Church from within. Just like Dathan opposed Moses, so too will these false prophets challenge the Papacy today. Is it OK to rebel against the teaching of the Church, on any doctrine? No they can’t. That is the sin of rebellion.
Jesus warns, “See that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah, and they will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)
There are a great number of these Fundamentalist groups who believe they have the truth of the Lord. They will attempt to deceive you into believing that the Eucharist is not the actual Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Jesus Christ. They seek to deceive you away from the true tabernacle of the Lord (Hebrews 13:10).
Missing Mass is a mortal sin against God, there are many who presume that they are not living in sin despite their rebellion from the Catholic Faith. In fact, they are committing the sin of idolatry by placing the doctrines of demons on the same level as the Altar of the Lord.
Matthew 24:11, Jesus is clear that “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many.” Today, beginning with Martin Luther (1517), the “Father of Protestantism”, there are over 40,000 Protestant (Non-Catholic) groups that continues to divide among themselves all having human founders. They have developed their own traditions and belief systems. Just like the sin of Dathan and Korah, they rebel against Christ through deception. Jesus established the Confessional for the purpose of the forgiveness of sin. False Prophets will attempt to deceive you from this grace.
St. Paul warns, (Acts 20:29-32)“I know that FALSE TEACHERS, like VICIOUS WOLVES, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the Flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and DISTORT THE TRUTH in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you. “And now I entrust you to God and the Message of his Grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.”
How do you know which “Gospel” is the correct one to follow as there are many voices out there competing for your attention?
St. Paul gives a great clue: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel, not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”
If you can only go back to a date later than when the Catholic Church was founded (33 A.D. by Jesus), those dates certainly reveal that those denominations founded upon men and developed by their followers are not the Church founded by Christ.
The sin of presumption is simply placing yourself under your common deception believing that your soul is clean before the Lord. You see yourself fulfilling all the‘if’s St. John gives to help us know we are living in the State of Grace.
Are you truly understanding the word of God? Are you truly following the word of God? We are destined by God to follow him, God gives us free will to follow Him. Let us not make of ourselves an idol where we are saved in our own mind, but that we are faithful servants and handmaids of the Lord doing His will.
To follow His will, we must walk in security of His Church, the Bark of Peter where Jesus voice is heard.