Satan’s Hoof Prints in the New Age

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The main goal of the New Age movement is to usher the world into “the Age of Aquarius” – the age in which all of mankind will be united in thought, philosophy, religion, plan and attain the height of spiritual evolution under the umbrella of “the One” (or Sanat Kumara) from the spirit world.

Those involved in alternative spirituality look forward and work toward the fulfillment of this agenda.

Dr. Jean Houston, a New Age scholar (who taught Hillary Clinton guided imagery) said in an interview:

“I predict that in our lifetime, we will see the rise of a New World Religion … I believe a new spiritual system will emerge.” [1]

Robert Muller, an international civil servant of the United Nations (a Catholic, who received a golden crucifix from John Paul II) said:

“[H]ow can one speak of a global spirituality in a world of so many religions and atheists…[and some] religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism which have no God? However, there is a common denominator when humans see themselves as part of a very mysterious and beautiful universe. From that awe emerges a spiritual approach to life. Everything becomes sacred … regarding the mysterious force which rules the universe.” [2]

This is the common vision of all New Age groups like the Silva Mind control, the Grail Message movement, the Aetherius Society, Tassawuf, One Spirit movement, Findhorn Community and many others.

This blueprint was charted over 70 years ago by a New Age guru, Alice Bailey, who wrote under the “inspiration” of her spirit guide (Djwhal Khul). She indicated that a destructive force was to be released on earth in the 20th century to usher in the New Age:

“The decision to release the Shamballa force during this century into direct contact with the human kingdom is one of the final and most compelling acts of preparation for the New Age. The Shamballa force is destructive and ejective… [It] will bring about that tremendous crisis, the initiation of the race into the mysteries of the ages. [3]

There were some key events in the 20th century that played out this destructive force:

1. The drug movement

In the 1960s and 70s in the West, hard drugs became very popular in use.

What many users didn’t realise was that “natural” psychedelic drugs like harshish, heroin, marijuana, LSD etc. had been used as tools by pagan shamans long ago to contact the spirit realm.

Aleister Crowley (who called himself “the Great Beast”) was the first Western satanist to publicly introduce the use of hallucinogenic drugs as tools to expand the consciousness into spiritual horizons.

These psychedelic drugs are used by occultists to “blow open” the third eye. The third eye (Ajna Chakra) is an occult “gland” which allegedly exists between and slightly above the eyebrows.

Most witches and occultists (especially the lower levels) aim at opening this third eye through different means in order to see into the spirit realm.

The physical effects of the heavy drug use in the West was immediately apparent, but the spiritual aftermath was covert.

A huge population of the drug abusers became demonically defiled (and spiritually initiated) and began to experience “trips” and out-of-the-body-experiences, which led them to embrace New Age philosophies.

2. The Ecumenical movement

The bringing together of world religions under the toga of praying to the “common God” or for “world peace” started in the 20th century, with the Catholic “church” functioning as the dark bridge between the church and the New Age agenda. This was part of the plan guru Bailey predicted:

The Workers in the Field of Religion … [are] to formulate the universal platform of the new world religion. It is a work of loving synthesis and it will emphasize the unity and the fellowship of the spirit … The platform of the new world will be built by the many groups working under the inspiration of The Christ” [4]

The “Christ” and “spirit” being referred to are the false Christ and false spirits controlling the New Age religion and behind the ecumenical movement.

Through ecumenism, many Catholics – both clergy and laity – have embraced New Age and Eastern religions.

A number of books and periodicals sympathetic to the New spirituality have been published by Catholic press e.g A Taste of Water: Christianity through Taoist-Buddhist Eyes, Love Meets Wisdom, The Seven Storey Mountain etc. without a word of condemnation or correction from the Vatican. During a certain ecumenical gathering:

Priests in Roman collars talked with saffron-robed Buddhist monks, and Rastafarians engaged in animated discussions with turbaned Sikhs … On one night, followers of the neo-pagan Wicca religion performed a full moon ritual…” [5]

3. Spirit guides and “Ascended Masters”

These are spirit beings or spirit teachers who allegedly give wisdom and spiritual power to people who seek them out through occult techniques (such as Yoga). Here is an example from A Journey Between Your Feet:

“Close your eyes and breathe deeply to relax … Picture in your mind a place…ask to meet a guide. An animal, person or being will accompany you and give you whatever power you might need … Watch … this new companion … Listen to what it says. Go wherever [it] wants to lead you.” [6]

The fastest way people pick up a spirit guide is through visualization. This adds a dangerous twist to it, because a spirit guide can appear (or be conceived) in way a that suits a person’s religious persuasion.

A Catholic can call it the “Virgin Mary” or “St. Joseph”. A Buddhist can name his “Buddha” and a Christian can name his a “guardian angel,” but they are demons nonetheless. Ex-New Ager, Johanna Michelson had such spirit guide whom she named Jesus:

“By this time [in the cult] Jesus had been to me my guru, my great guide, my avatar… When I wanted a spirit guide, I chose Jesus. Then we went into our psychic laboratories and mind control rooms (a place we created in our minds where we could go to develop our powers and send “transmissions”) and brought open a special door and there he was! Jesus in all his glory with light shinning round about him … This “Jesus” was definitely real but it was something that was absolutely demonic because I [later] found out when I tested it by the Word of God that the beautiful, ecstatic Jesus that I created for myself was the wrong one.” [7]

This is the main trap New Agers fall into. They have no objective standard for evaluating their spiritual experiences. If it feels and appears good and resonates with their impressions, they accept it as valid and become deaf to any Biblical criticism.

These demon spirit guides deceive people by ultimately pointing to the coming Antichrist as the world saviour. Interestingly, New Age author, Barbara Hubbard stated that when the “new age” comes, those who will reject the system (Christians) will be eliminated:

“When the word of this hope has reached the nations, the end of this phase of evolution shall come. All will know their choice. All will be ready to choose … All who choose not to evolve will die off; their souls will begin with a different planetary system…” [8]

Christian scholar, Robert Yarbrough, observed that:

“New Age views have gained popularity in the fields of medicine (holistic health), politics (globalism), education (values clarification), religion (meditation), ecology (Green movement), science (Capra’s Tao of Physics), music (Yanni), psychology (“fourth force” psychology), and business (transformation technologies)” [9]

These teachings are infiltrating the church. Sarah Young recently wrote a “Christian” bestseller, Jesus Calling, which is highly esteemed by many, but when you strip it of the appraisals it’s laced with New Age teachings.

I once read Roy Lawrence’s How To Pray when Life Hurts. Its first few chapters seemed Biblical, but starting from chapter 6, the book devolves into occult mysticism – teaching readers how to meditate and visualize “the ring of peace,” travel into it or use it to shield others.

Interestingly, this book was published by the Scripture Union. This is why we must not let down our discernment in evaluating what we read.

Napoleon Hill’s books are somewhat very popular among Nigerian Christians, but the author freely admitted the source of his teachings:

“Now and again, I have had evidence that unseen friends hover around me, unknowable to the ordinary sense. In my studies, I discovered there is a group of strange beings who maintain a school of wisdom. The school has masters who can disembody themselves and travel instantly to any place they choose to give knowledge by voice.” [I0]

These “unseen friends” and “strange beings” are demons and their “school of wisdom” is located in the demonic realm

This explains why New Agers in different fields and different religions all teach a common theme about cosmic consciousness, personal evolution, emergence of new species (homo noeticus) and one world government. They are deriving them from the same school of darkness.

Napoleon Hill also said:

“Now I knew that one of these masters had come across thousands of miles through the night into my study. I shall not set down every word he said, much of what he said already has been presented to you in the chapters of this book… [He said:] ‘You have earned the right to reveal a supreme secret to others… You have been under the great guidance of the great school, now you must give the world a blueprint. [11]

And what were the “supreme secrets” in Hill’s books? The idea that humans have potential of infinite wisdom and power within them which they must tap into and that the human mind is so powerful that it can achieve whatever it conceives (“positive mental attitude”).

These boil down to self-deification – the old lie of the Serpent in Eden.

Let me point out two other main New Age philosophies being spread through books, movies, music and religious organizations.

(a) “Embracing your dark side”

New Age author, Rainer Wilkie, said that we must love and accept the “dragons” within us and go deeper into darkness to discover the root of our existence. This is an integral occult philosophy.

The “dragon” or dark side represents all the secret evil and perverse fantasies that the polite society will not tolerate.

Embracing it means loving and expressing your most repulsive, evil and violent inner thoughts and hidden habits and breaking all your personal moral boundaries.

This is based on a myth of witchcraft which says that the Great Goddess descended into the underworld and mated with the Lord of the Underworld and by this learnt the secret of rebirth. All occultists are thereby encouraged to emulate this.

Ex-Witch high priest, William Schnoebelen, said this was the condition of receiving occult power:

“I had to absorb my Shadow, my personal darkness, the darkest part of my nature which I never exposed to anyone, I had to ‘love it and become one with it’ even as the Great Mother had to love and mate with the Dark Lord.” [12]

In Lady Gaga’s hit “Marry the Night,” I observed her lyrics reflect this idea:

I’m gonna marry the dark
Gonna make love to this dark
I’m a soldier to my own emptiness
I’m a winner.
I’m gonna marry the night
Gonna marry the night
I’m gonna marry the night
I’m not gonna cry anymore
(Then she chants the word “the night” 17 times).

New Age Catholic priest, Matthew Fox, wrote:

God is ‘super essential darkness’ and to make contact with the darkness is to make contact with the deepest side of the Godhead.” [13]

Of course, this is not the God of the Bible.

When more people “embrace their dark sides” and “marry their nights”, we will see more murder, anarchy, violence and destruction in the world. It is a door to demonic control.

Light and darkness have no union. We confront darkness and overcome it with the Light of Christ but do not embrace it to find God (Jn. 8:12).

(b) “Look within yourself”

This New Age philosophy says that you are a God, so you have to look inside yourself, to that “God within” to tap power, wisdom and enlightenment.

New Ager, John Randolph Price says that: “The Spirit of God where you are – in and around and through you – is your Spirit.

They teach people to use “the force” inside them to get whatever they desire; that all you need is a “self realization” that you are a God and when you realize that you don’t need God because you are already a God, you can achieve whatever you want to desire.

In Satanism, self is god. In Satan’s kingdom, self must be exalted to the peak, but in God’s kingdom, self must die for Christ to reign.

Christians look up “to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” and are to be “rooted and built up in Him” (Heb. 12:2, Col. 2:7). God says “Look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth” (Is. 45:22). We do not look within to an omnious god-self, but to God who made us.

We are not gods either here or in eternity. The New Age religion is full of Satan’s philosophies. We are to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3) and walk in discernment.

Notes

  1. The Tarrytown Letter, June/July 1983, p. 5
  2. New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality, 1982, p. 134.
  3. Alice A. Bailey, The Externalizing of the Hierarchy, Part 1, 171.
  4. Alice A. Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, 1:38.
  5. Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1993, p. A1.
  6. Quoted in Berit Kyjos’ Brave New Schools, 1995, p. 89.
  7. Transcript of the Seduction of Christianity Seminar with Dave Hunt and Johanna Michelson, 1985, Program 6.
  8. Barbara Hubbard, Happy Birthday Planet Earth, Ocean Tree Books, 1986, p. 17.
  9. The Portable Seminary, edited by David Horton, Bethany House, 2006, p. 407.
  10. Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind, pp. 158-160.
  11. Ibid.
  12. William Schnoebelen, Wicca: Satan’s Little White Lie, Chick Pub., 1990, p. 30.
  13. Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, 1983, p. 137, 162.

The Cost of Leaving Islam

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Most converts to Islam announce their defections from the rooftops, but ex-Muslims, especially in Islam-dominated areas, can’t enjoy such a luxury. Leaving Islam attracts serious consequences ranging from alienation to imprisonment to death under Sharia law.

Perhaps this is why some Muslims are clamouring for Sharia law in several countries. It’s an effort to halt the daily exodus of people out of Islam.

Liberal Muslims try to drown this intolerable streak with slippery narratives like, “There is no compulsion in Islam,” but this line of defense can be easily disproved.

The Arabic word for apostate is murtad. A turning away from Islam into unbelief is termed ridda while an apostasy into another religion (such as Christianity) is kufr.

Here is what the Quran says about apostates:

“If they repent it will be better for them; and if they turn away, Allah will afflict them with a painful doom in the world and the Hereafter, and they have no protecting friend nor helper in the earth” (Sura 9:74).

“Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder. You are not a watcher over them. But whosoever turns back and disbelieves, Allah will chastise him with the greatest chastisement” (Sura 88:21-24).

“How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Apostle was true and clear arguments [or signs] had come to them… their reward is that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men all together” (Sura 3:86-87).

These scare-mongering Quranic verses are psychological blows, but they raise a point: Muhammad made up his Allah as a fearsome monster. He used his god as a convenient scarecrow to hold his followers under the claws of Islam through fear.

Muhammad’s life was marked by curses and threats. He too knew he and his Allah had no power to make these statements happen. This was why he had to resort to killing his enemies by himself.

Islamic scholar, Abu’ala Maududi declares:

“To everyone acquainted with Islamic law it is no secret that according to Islam the punishment for a Muslim who turns to kufr (infidelity, blasphemy) is execution.”

My point exactly. You see, it’s not really Allah who is doing the “afflicting” or “chastisement” of apostates, it is his loyal worshipers doing his job for him. Or let’s say, Allah is using their hands to punish the apostates.

Other passages say:

“They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them” (Sura 4:89).

Islamic scholar, Abdallah Baidawi explains this:

“Whosoever turns back from his belief (irtada), openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel” (Mufradat-Ghand’ul Quran, p. 191).

Some Muslims claim that the Arabic word rendered “helpers” here is “auliyah” which also means “leaders” so the verse intends to say Muslims should not accept a corrupt leader.

Even if we accept such a twisted explanation of an otherwise clear text, the question remains: why should such a leader be killed at all? If Islam is the truth or it has a superior logic, there would be no need to kill those who oppose or leave it.

Sura 2:217 says “…But whosoever among you shall turn back from his religion, and die an infidel, their works shall be in vain in this world, and the next; they shall be companions of [hell] fire, they shall remain therein forever…”

A Quranic commentary explains this:

“In short, the fate of an apostate is worse than that of an original disbeliever. This is why Jizyah [penalty tax] can be accepted from an original disbeliever while a male apostate who does not return to Islam is killed. If the apostate is a woman, she is imprisoned for life” (Mufti Shafi Usman, Maanful Quran, 1:536).

Another passage says:

“But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate, they are your brethren in Faith … And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief- surely their oaths are nothing – so that they may desist.” (Sura 9:11)

Note: the Arabic word they rendered as “fight” is “quatelo” which means “kill.”

The passage was directed to the pagans and “people of the Book” and it was the last Sura Muhammad recited. Muslims were only to stop slaying them when they embraced Islam or paid jizya. Maududi explains:

“Here the ‘covenant breaking’ in no way can be considered to mean ‘breaking of political covenants.’ Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be ‘confessing Islam, and then renouncing it’… war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy” (Quranic Commentary, pp. 12-23).

The Quran does not explicitly state that apostates must be killed. One of the reasons was adduced by the Encyclopedia of Quran (ed. Jane McAuliffe, 119):

“At the early stages, the Prophet did not have the effective power to deal with the apostates and thus the Quran adopted a considerably lenient attitude. With the growing strength of the new religion that attitude changed into a confident and less compromising one.”

Another reason is that the Quran doesn’t address all the fundamental tenets of Islam. It fails to cover all the areas of Islamic beliefs.

For example, nowhere does the Quran explain the rites of Islamic prayer or pilgrimage. Muslims have to turn to the hadiths and the records of the first generations of Muslims to properly practice Islam. This militates against the claim that the Quran is a complete book.

In a hadith, Muhammad is quoted as saying:

“The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am his Apostle cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims” (Bukhari 9:83:17).

Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated:

“A man who was a Jew embraced Islam and then retreated from Islam. When Mu’adh came, he said: I will not come down from my mount until he is killed. He was killed” (Abu Dawud 38:4341).

After Ali burnt some apostates to death, Ibn Abbas said:

“I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9:84:57).

What is quite striking is the how these narrations were recorded without any apology or remorse. It indicates the extent to which Islam destroys human compassion and reason.

In another place, Muhammad predicted that in the latter times, there would be some young Muslims with no faith who would leave Islam like an arrow leaves a quiver. This was his remedy:

“So wherever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection” (Bukhari 9:84:64).

There you have it. Kill an ex-Muslim and get a reward in the hereafter! Tell me, how does Islam differ from destructive cults which call for the death of ex-members with a promise of a reward?

Jesus Christ said: “IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

The “if” there implies the freedom to accept or reject His way. In John 6:66 “many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” He said to the others “You do not want to leave too, do you?” They replied “to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (vv. 67-69).

When you have the words of life and truth, you will not need to force people to listen to you.

Muhammad was the direct opposite of Christ. He neither had the word of truth nor life and the people knew he was a wicked man. The only thing he could use to bind people to his cult was the death penalty.

According to Tabari’s biography, after Muhammad’s death, many of the Arabs reverted from Islam and Abu Bakr ordered their deaths. It was recorded:

“But there was an old man among them, a Christian called al-Rumalus b. Mansur who said ‘By God the only error I have made since attaining reason was abandoning my religion, the religion of truth, for yours, the religion of wickedness. No by God, I will not leave my religion and I will not accept yours so long as I live.’ Ma’qi brought him forward and cut off his head” (Vol. 17:191).

So even back then – before the Islamic atrocities we read today – Christians were convinced Islam was a religion of wickedness and they chose to die rather than follow such a doomed vessel.

Islamic law stipulates that:

“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasies from Islam, he deserved to be killed … There is no indemnity [expiation] for killing an apostate” (Ahmad al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Law, p. 595).

Why the emphasis on killing the apostate? Another islamic scholar answers:

“Those Muslims who are weak in faith and others who are against Islam may think that the apostate has only left Islam because of what he has found out about its real nature.. So they learn from him all the doubt, lies and fabrications which are aimed at extinguishing the light of Islam and putting people off from it. In this case, executing the apostate is obligatory, in order to protect [Islam]…” (Islam Questions and Answers, Fatwa no. 12406)

In other words, Islam is so volatile that it can be easily extinguished by former Muslims. Therefore, killing apostates is meant to “protect” Muslims from learning the ugly truths about Islam.

This is a tacit admission that Islam cannot stand up to insightful inquiries and criticism.

Islam is just like Nazism, Communism or any other fascist movement that squelches opposition to its agenda.

This proves that Islam can never be from God, because one of the gifts God has given mankind is the gift of freedom. Every system that tries to remove this freedom of choice and conscience is a yoke of bondage.

The Question of  Kismet and Qadr

The whole idea of killing apostates actually does violence to the Islamic belief in fate (kismet) and predestination (qadr).

The Quran says:

“Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying,- He make their breast close and constricted … thus Allah lay abomination on those who refuse to believe” (Sura 6:125).

How can Allah lay abomination on non-believers if he made them non-believers? If Allah has predestined those who stay in or leave Islam, then, by ordering the death of ex-Muslims he is undoing his own work!

Is that reasonable? What would you think of a king who orders his servant out of the palace and then calls for his execution for leaving the palace? Wouldn’t you think he is a lunatic?

The Lord Jesus reveals to us the God who cares much about His creation. He illustrated Him as a shepherd who left 99 sheep to seek a sheep that went astray and rejoiced when it was found; a woman who seeks a lost silver piece out of 10 and rejoiced when it was found and a father who embraced his estranged son who returned to him.

He said there is likewise joy among the angels in heaven over one sinner that repents than the others who are still in the faith (Luke 15:2-32). What a far cry from the god of Islam!

When Peter denied Jesus and became a “murtad,” what did Jesus do? He extended the hand of forgiveness and reconciliation to him (John 21:17).

No death penalty, no imprisonment or threats of curses from angry angels. This is the glory of Biblical Christianity. Love, truth and freedom all walk together. The absence of these qualities in Islam marks it out as a diabolic cult that controls and deceives mankind.

A fatwa issued by the Mufti of Lebanon says that a Muslim who chooses to leave Islam “should be imprisoned for three days” to think about his decision and if he persists in his decision “then he or she must be put to death.”

This nefarious ideology blows the “Islam is a religion of peace” rhetoric into ashes. This is why when many Muslims are convinced of the truth of the Christian Faith, they still fear the implications of conversion.

But a truth-seeking Muslim must not be deterred by fear. Jesus has said anyone who must follow Him must be willing to lay down all that he has (Matt. 10:37).

Satan and his demons try to stop people from accepting the eternal life that Jesus offers with oppositions, imprisonments, tortures and fear of death. They do these to keep them in false and destructive religions such as Islam, which lead to eternal death.

A Scrutiny of Auricular Confession

Auricular Confession
Catholics are taught to confess their serious sins at least once every year

When Pope Francis granted priests the power to absolve the sin of abortion in September 2015, it triggered a debate on social media.

Protestants pointed at the ridiculous idea of men having the power to forgive people’s sins, while Catholics responded by citing Bible verses from their echo chambers.

The Council of Trent declares that this confession to priest (sacrament of penance) is “necessary unto salvation” and places a curse on those who say otherwise.

In Catholic theology, there are two types of sin – the mortal and venial. A mortal sin is a serious offence against God’s law which kills the grace in the soul and leads to hell.

A venial sin is a less serious sin against God’s law which partially kills grace but can be removed by penance.

However, a sin is mortal when the thought, desire, word, action or omission is seriously wrong, the sinner knows it’s seriously wrong and he/she sinner fully consented to it.

A sin is venial “when the evil done is not seriously wrong; second, when the evil done is seriously wrong but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong or does not give full consent to it” (The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, 32, 33).

When the penitent enters the confessional – a dark booth with a kneeling place and a window – he is to reflect on his sins until the priest (the confessor) slides open the window to listen to him. He must separate out the mortal from the venial sins. To hold back a mortal sin from the priest will send him to hell.

Three things are thus required: the penitent must show contrition for his sins, confess them and do the works of expiation (penance) that the priest levies on him.

But the Bible doesn’t distinguish between “mortal” and “venial” sins, rather it declares that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Sins are transgressions of God’s law and they are all mortal.

The Bible is replete with examples of people who did not see their sin as “seriously wrong” yet were severely judged by God (Lev. 10:1-2, Num. 12:1-10, 2 Sam. 6:20-23, Acts 5:3-5). In God’s standard, there is no “venial sin.”

Granted, as time changes, what qualifies as mortal sin too changes. Many years ago, eating meat on Friday was a mortal sin, now it’s no more.

Abortion used to a serious sin which qualified a Catholic for excommunication but now, the Pope, with a stroke of his sacerdotal pen, has removed the pain of eternal punishment attached to it.

Nothing more showcases the man-centered system of Catholicism than the fact that priests can even encourage some sins (!):

“If I [a priest] know that someone has made up his mind to commit sin and there is no other way of preventing him, I may lawfully induce him to be satisfied with some less offence of God than he was bent on committing. And so, if a man was determined to commit adultery, I do nothing morally wrong, but rather the contrary, by persuading him to commit fornication instead” (Manual of Moral Theology I:201-202).

When you insist on committing a sin, he bargains with you to commit what he decides is the “lesser sin”. So in most cases, these men “strengthen the hands of evildoers so that no one turns from his wickedness” (Jer. 23:14).

Even with the razzle-dazzle, Catholics don’t confess the sins of idolatry and necromancy because Catholicism endorses them.

Jesus’ denounced such religious leaders who do not enter God’s kingdom and still prevent others from trying to enter (Matt. 23:13).

The Canon law (#989) states that all Catholics above the age of discretion must confess their serious sins at least once a year.

All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret” (Catechism, 1456).

Now, this is a tool used by most cults: to break down the self-respect of their members by persuading them to share their most innermost secrets. Priests are mandated to resort to different tactics to draw out confessions of secret sins from the penitent:

It is necessary that the confessor should know everything on which he has to exercise his judgement. Let him then, with wisdom and subtlety, interrogate the sinners on the sins which they may ignore, or conceal through shame” (St. John of Capistrano, The Mirror of the Clergy, 351).

In a case where a lady goes to confess a sexual sin, she must fully recount the act to the priest (who is supposed to be celibate).

He probes her mind with questions to hear all the details. It’s a two-way thing. Through these questions, the lady’s mind is polluted with sexual ideas she might not have imagined before, while the priest’s mind becomes a reservoir for filthy images. Unless he is dead below the belt, he’s titillated by the sexually graphic details he hears.

I wonder how a lady will bring herself to share sexual details she can’t share with her friends with a priest. And even if she does, one imagines the intense shame it brings.

After confession and absolution, the priest gives the penitent “work of satisfaction” for his sins. This could be to recite “Hail Mary” or “Our Father” a given number of times, or to visit the “blessed sacrament”.

The absolution granted doesn’t take effect until when the penance is done. Interestingly, priests trapped in mortal sins can still remove the sins of the laity:

The Church asks that a priest who absolves a penitent be in the state of grace. This does not mean however that a priest in the state of mortal sin would not possess the power to forgive sins or that when exercised it would not be effective for the penitent” (Bishop Fulton Sheen, Peace of Soul, 1949, 136).

“St” Thomas Aquinas put it more bluntly that “a priest might happen to share in a sin committed by his subject, e.g by [carnal] knowledge of a woman who is his subject … If however, he were to absolve her, it would be valid” (Summa Theologica, 3:4:274-76).

In other words, a confessor may be a rabid fornicator, pedophile, homosexual or indulges in porn, yet he still has ‘the power’ to absolve Catholics of these very sins (sometimes, after his own perverse fantasies have been fuelled by their confessions!)

Little wonder there have been cases of boys sodomised by priests in the confession booth. They went to him to be cleansed from their sins, but ended up more defiled because what the priest himself needs is just a “spark” for his perverted lust to explode.

Auricular confession is mainly based on the belief that “all the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church have the power to forgive sins” – a power they claim was given to them by Jesus (Outlines of the Catholic Faith, 1979, 34). By way of reply:

1. It is God – not man – who blots out sins. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25). He is the One forgives all our iniquities.

It’s irrational to suggest God would stop the power to forgive sin in Himself and restrict it only to a select group of people. If He did that, it would diminish His omnipotence.

2. Some Catholics appeal to the Old Testament, but even Trent affirms that the sacrament of penance is not in the OT.

The OT priests only made atonement on behalf of sins, they neither listened to confessions nor granted absolution.

Ezra the priest said “Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure…” (Ezra 10:11).

David said: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’ And you forgave the guilt.” (Psalm 32:5).

Even the Jews listening to Jesus quizzed “who can forgive sins but God?” (Mark 2:7).

3. When the Bible speaks of “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18), it’s based on what God has done through Christ on the cross.

A believer is reconciled with God by faith in Christ’s sacrifice not by following the penance prescribed by a religion. Sin, which caused enmity, was dealt with at the cross and the veil of the temple was torn, so there is no need to go through priests to relate with God.

To gain a right standing before God, one must receive the righteousness of Christ by faith in His perfect sacrifice.

“However, when someone, without working, puts faith in the one who justifies the godless, it is this faith that is reckoned as uprightness” (Romans 4:5).

4. Catholics usually lean on some Bible verses for support:

I. John 20:23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (New American Bible)

Jesus gave all the apostles and disciples power and authority to act in His name. But this was a declaratory power (Mt. 16:18, 18:18). He sent them as the Father sent Him to “to bring the good news to the afflicted” (Lk. 4:18).

They were commanded to proclaim the gospel by which all who believe will receive forgiveness of sin (Matt. 28:18, Mk. 16:15, Lk. 24:44). Jesus was the one saving men from their sins; the apostles were only His emissaries. They were not “little gods” given power to forgive and retain men’s sins.

According to a commentator:

In this Gospel’s discourse sin is primarily failing to acknowledge the revelation of God in Jesus (cf. 8:24; 9:39-41; 15:22-24). Jesus’ words and works have been depicted as bringing about a judgement which the recipients make on themselves, as they either respond in belief or expose their sinful state of unbelief” (Andrew Lincoln, The Gospel According to St. John, Hendrickson: New York, 2005, 499).

Acts 2:38 “‘You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (New Jerusalem Bible).

Acts 10:43 “It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name”

Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light, from the dominion of Satan to God, and receive, through faith in me, forgiveness of their sins and a share in the inheritance of the sanctified”

The forgiveness of sins is received by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If the apostles had understood the words of Jesus in John 20:23 to mean listening to confessions and granting absolution as Catholicism practices, there would have been several places in the NT where they did such, but there are none.

Catholics desperately latch on to this verse and refuse to consider its proper context.

II. James 5:16 “So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured...(NAB)

If Catholics must use this verse then as people confess to the priests, the priests must also confess to the people, since the term “one another” is used there. Obviously, the priest-laity distinction is refuted here as with the rest of the NT.

When Simon’s sin was pointed out to him, Peter told him: “Repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that this scheme of yours may be forgiven” (Acts 8:22).

He didn’t take him into a booth to hear his sins and grant absolution, rather he directed him to God who forgives sins.

The Greek word for fault (paraptoma) is different from that of sin (hamartia), though Christians do confess their sins to other believers and get prayed for. But it’s not “necessary for salvation” as Catholicism teaches.

And to say that God will not forgive a person unless he confesses to a priest and does work of expiation is totally false.

III. 2 Cor. 2:10 “But if you forgive anybody, then I too forgive that person; and whatever I have forgiven, if there is anything I have forgiven, I have done it for your sake in Christ’s presence

The import of this chapter is about forgiveness between brethren and how this is to be handled has been addressed by Scripture (Mt. 5:23-24, 18:15). Nothing here supports confession to priests.

4. As Christians, when we sin, the Bible says we have “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the upright.” (1Jn. 2:1).

We are to confess our sins directly to Christ because He is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jn. 1:9).

Why go to a man – pretending to be Christ – when you can go directly to Christ to cleanse you? A Catholic will keep entering the booth as a sinner and leaving it the same because only “the blood of the lamb” can take away his/her sins (Jn. 1:29).

5. The word “penance” doesn’t occur even once in the Bible. What the Bible teaches is repentance and it’s folly for anyone to equate confession with repentance.

A person can confess a sin many times and still not repent from it. When Judas sinned, he confessed his sin to the priests and hanged himself (Mt. 27:4-5). His confession didn’t remove his guilt.

The idea of “doing works of satisfaction” is a denial of the sufficiency of Christ’s work and a rejection of Biblical justification.

Since Jesus is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins, there is no amount of “work” prescribed by man that can cleanse us from sin or guilt. Forgiveness of sins is a gift from God, all we have to do is receive it by faith.

The historical development of auricular confession has been examined here.