Sabrina Bus's "Hail Mary" is a book written for children about prayers to Mary. It is intended to train children in this Mariolatry and intentionally targets them for this deception. This is intended to instruct the youth of the Roman Catholic Church in praying to Mary, a practice that should not be given the first ounce of credence.
Its very title lends worship to Mary, which I believe is the modern incarnation of the Collyridian heresy that Epiphanius wrote about. The book doesn't start out too differently, saying, "Hail Mary, full of grace," just as the Catholic prayer starts out. In fact, the entire book is simply a prayer to Mary. A few pages in, it refers to her as "Holy Mary" and it wraps things up with a sentence saying, "We want to make a special place for you in our lives to bring us closer to Jesus."
Simply put, this is a book directed at children in order to draw them in to the Mary worship of Roman Catholicism. It treats Mary as a near-equal to God. It should also be noted that the entire book is just one prayer to Mary illustrated and marketed towards children. To pray to her would be to worship her, as well as imply that she has the ability to mediate and intercede for us (1 Timothy 2:5 contradicts this). It also wonders into the realm of Necromancy and talking to the dead, which is explicitly forbidden in verses like Leviticus 19:31, Isaiah 8:19, and Leviticus 20:6. Such practices put one outside of the Christian faith. Unless one repents and puts their faith in the true Christ, they will not be saved.
For a presentation of the true Gospel, click here.
This book, entitled God and The Shack, is a group of interviews done by Grace Communion International's J. Michael Feazell. The people interviewed were William Paul Young, author of The Shack, and C. Baxter Kruger, president of Perichoresis, Inc. The best way to sum up the theologies of these three men is to simply say they have no understanding of the Gospel.
They outright deny the Gospel by attacking Penal Substitutionary Atonement. This tendency, which I call "Lewisism", is an outright assault on the Gospel message. Kruger said about the cross, "It's not the Father's wrath being poured out on Jesus - it's our wrath." Contrarily, Isaiah 53:10 (ESV) says, "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." Kruger later refers to a blood sacrifice as, "just Paganism." Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) tells us, "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." If Kruger's gospel is one that has no shedding of blood, then his false gospel has no forgiveness of sins. Both Faezell and Young appear to affirm this false gospel. Young points away from the Cross and says the Gospel is that we are all embraced by God. That is not the Gospel. The Gospel is that Jesus died in our place as the atonement for our sins.
This Lewisism is not the only distortion of the Gospel. Throughout the book, there are hints of Universalism. Young says, "Most believers from the Middle East will still tell you they are Muslim, but they're Christian." An unrepentant Muslim is not a Christian or a believer. Unless one rejects their Idolatry and forsakes their false god, there is no reason to believe they are saved. Faezell says, "But in The Shack, we are talking about a God who is presented in the Gospels who has already forgiven everyone in Christ." When Kruger is speaking about the thieves on the Cross, Faezell remarks that Jesus would, "Meet both of them in a few minutes." Either he did not understand that one thief was unrepentant or he embraces a Universalist view of the atonement (Given other portions of the book, I'm inclined to say it is the latter). This Universalist view eventually leads them to dismiss the idea of eternal punishment in Hell entirely.
Their false gospel meets their view of the nature of God in two other heresies. One is a bit of a Sine Ira (Latin: Without wrath) view. Throughout the interviews, they consistently deny that God has a wrath towards people, saying that He only hates sin. This is likely stemming from their Universalism (or maybe their Universalism stems from their wrathless view). The other heresy is the Ancient heresy of Patripassianism. Young claims, "One of the dominant metaphors or images that I used [In The Shack], is that there are nail scars on Papa’s wrists – God the Father. I’ve been given some push back about that. But that’s scriptural, and everything that is embedded in the story – and I didn’t do this just by myself – I had help from some very smart theologically trained people to make sure that the realities that are inside this parable, this story, are validated by Scripture." This is utterly untrue and blatantly heretical. God the Father did not suffer or die on the Cross with Christ. This has been condemned ever since it was first espoused by Sabellius in the 200s, and for good reason.
Patripassianism is not the only heresy of Sabellius that is propagated in this book. Though they often say the word "Trinity", it appears that at least Young does not understand that doctrine. Young's view of God more closely fits Sabellius's heresy known as Modalism, with denies the individual personhood of each member of the Trinity. Instead, in that view, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one person and one being that appears in different forms at different times, the same way one man can be a husband, father, and brother. Young says, "The basis of Jesus saying that, is that you don't know the Father, but if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. You've seen me playing with kids; you've seen the Father. You've seen me with the woman at the well, or the woman caught in adultery." He did paraphrase the John 14:9, but he greatly misapplied it. The very next verse shows the true meaning of that verse. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works." John 14:10 (ESV). Kruger, instead of correcting Young, affirmed and added to his statement, "Or seen me, outstretched arms, being crucified and beaten by the human race. You're looking at the Father." This Modalist view of the Godhead is not Biblical, and it is not Christian.
This book not only validates much of the criticism of The Shack, but further solidifies that we should not read the book or watch the movie. The god worshipped by Young, Kruger, and Faezell is not the God of the Bible. Rather, it is a god crafted and graven in their own image. It is a god that is ultimately powerless to save. Furthermore, this false gospel they have is powerless to save. A gospel without the Penal Substitutionary Atonement is a false gospel. Though propitiation is attacked in the book, there is no salvation without the shedding of blood.
For a presentation of the true Gospel, please click here.
*Note: This book review was written elsewhere by the same author and republished here. It was not written on the date that this webpage was published
Glenn Worthington's book "God Inspired Dreams and Visions" is nothing short of a Montanist documenting his supposed prophecies. The Book makes a very flimsy argument for Montanism based off of experience and out of context Scripture at the beginning, and after that it simply him listing off prophecies he has told. Some of the alleged prophecies are a bit excessive and strange. At one point he claims, "Another time our entire congregation was worshipping intensely and some people were even dancing before the Lord. I felt in my spirit that I could turn and look up the aisle and see Jesus come riding in on a donkey. I could see in my mind the children dancing and praising Him as they laid palm branches down for His donkey to walk upon." If I were to quote every claim of Montanism he makes, I would essentially quote the entire book. The problem with this is that, if one is to believe prophecies exist in modern times, they must believe that Scripture is either incomplete or insufficient. Essentially, one cannot believe in modern prophecies while consistently maintaining a correct view of Scripture.
What's more troubling is that some of these prophecies contain false doctrine. One teaches that you can lose your salvation by willingly walking away from God, "The only way you can be ensnared again is if you willingly walk back in, shut the prison cell door, and put the fetters back on your own wrists." I may have been inclined to be a little more charitable with that error if he had not claimed God was the one who said that.
Another, even more concerning prophecy he supposedly got said, "I have a plan of blessing for your life. It is a plan of blessing and not of cursing. Cooperate with My plan of good things for you. Work with Me on this." He continued, "Follow in My path and plan for you. There you will have overflowing abundance of good things in your life." This is clearly the false gospel called the Prosperity Gospel, and he is attributing it to God.
At the end of the book, he attempts to say that if the prophecy doesn't align with the Bible, it isn't a true prophecy, which I would certainly agree with. That only truly serves to show that by his own standard he is a false prophet. He then attempts to teach people how to prophesy, which was something no Apostle or Prophet had to be taught in all of Scripture.
Ultimately, the whole book is just another incarnation of the Montanist heresy. God no longer speaks through prophecies and visions, but through His word alone. If God did speak through modern prophecy, He would not tell people falsehoods about secondary doctrines, and He certainly would not promote a false gospel such as the Prosperity Gospel.
For a presentation of the true Gospel, please go here.
*Note: This book review was written elsewhere by the same author and republished here. It was not written on the date that this webpage was published
Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code was the second and most famous in Brown's series about conspiracy theorist and symbologist Robert Langdon. This book has sold millions of copies and saw an equally successful movie made about it. Like The Shack, Paradise Lost, and even good books like Pilgrim's Progress, this book is from a genre like Didactic Fiction. Didactic Fiction is a fictional story that is intended to teach a message. The message in this book is clearly anti-Christian, and it butchers both history and theology in order to make this message. Interestingly, most of this book is either buildup or based upon the foundation of a few things laid out in just a few chapters.
The first thing that we should examine is the basis for the worldview. Multiple times in the book, particularly early on, the characters express admiration for Pagans, Kabballah, Gnosticism, and other forms of false religion. On pages 267-268, an Astrological look at the stars is cited as a source. The Bible says about Astrology, "You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you. Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before!" (Isaiah 47:13-14, ESV). Astrology cannot, in any way, be reconciled with Christianity or worship of the true God. Furthermore, to support his claim that Jesus actually was married to Mary Magdalene, Brown brings up the Gospel of Philip on page 246. The Gospel of Philip was a deuterocanonical book (That's a fancy word meaning it was said to be from God but wasn't actually in the Bible, kind of like the Apocrypha or Sarah Young's Jesus Calling) that was written some time in the 200s or 300s. Though it shares a name with the Apostle Philip, it was neither written by him nor his namesake, the Deacon Philip, both of whom were dead by the time it was written. It is what is known as a Gnostic Gospel, a group of deuterocanonical books that were written by some of the first heretics that plagued Christianity. Particularly, this book was most likely written by a student of Valentinus, who quite likely denied the divinity of Jesus. Using books such as the Gospel of Philip as if they are authoritative is to add to Scripture.
Brown's sources in this book seem to confirm the saying that, "Man will believe anything as long as it's not in the Bible." Not only does Brown seem to go to so many extra-biblical sources, but he rejects Scripture itself. Brown promotes the ludicrous idea that Constantine created the Bible at the Council of Nicea. On page 231, he claims, "The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God." He added, "The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great." He claims that the Bible was put together in AD 325 at the Council of Nicea, despite the fact that the canons of Nicea never even mention which books are considered valid. While on page 231, Brown mentions that more than 80 gospels were considered for the final version of the New Testament at Nicea, Irenaeus of Lyons (Who died in AD 202, 123 years before Nicea) mentioned there only being four Gospels in his book, Against Heresies. Not only does this mean there were far less than 80 Gospels, but it also indicates that there was a completed canon that the Church generally agreed upon. Furthermore, his disregard for Scripture is a deeper symptom of other beliefs.
By throwing out Scripture, not only has Brown embraced the heresy of Liberalism, but he has opened the door for many more heresies. While the odd teaching that Jesus was a married man with a daughter is frequently cited in this book, even then it appears to be a means to an end for Brown's real goal: Promoting Arian heresy and denying the divinity of Jesus. On page 233, Brown writes, "Until [Nicea], Jesus was vied by His followers as a mortal prophet... a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal." Ignatius of Antioch died in AD 108 (217 years before the Council of Nicea), and he wrote in his letter to the Church in Ephesus, "For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan." Similarly, Polycarp, who died in AD 155 (170 years before the Council of Nicea), referred to Jesus as, "our Lord and God Jesus Christ." Obviously, the Church believed in the Divinity of Jesus pre-Nicea.
Brown appears to hate the divinity of Christ so much that he will toss to the wind any accurate reading of history as well as the infallible Word of God. By embracing the Liberal heresy, Brown is throwing out the only means by which we know the Gospel. Romans 10:17 (ESV) says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." By rejecting the Bible, Dan Brown is rejecting the Christian Faith, as the two are so intimately connected and inseparable. Furthermore, by denying the Divinity of Jesus, it is clear that Dan Brown worships a different god. 1 John 2:23 (ESV), says, "No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also." We know that rejecting one member of the Godhead is to reject them all and to embrace an idol. All idols are powerless to save, and if Jesus was just a mortal man then His death was insufficient and powerless to save. What Dan Brown does in rejecting Jesus's divinity is create an idol and chase a false gospel, which is powerless to save and is no gospel at all.
For a presentation of the true Gospel, please click here.
*Note: This book review was written elsewhere by the same author and republished here. It was not written on the date that this webpage was published.
This book is not a book of specific prayers by a specific author, but rather a compilation of prayers put together by what seems to be a secular source. It shouldn't come as a shock that this group compiled a few prayers from the largest cult in the world, as heresy sells. The larger the cult, the better the sales. While there is some stuff that would be, if prayed to the real Jesus, otherwise good, a little poison kills a whole lake. Just a small amount of heresy will lead to a false god and a false gospel. It doesn't help that this book is full of icons of God the Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Mary, Angels, Dead Saints, etc., which are all violations of the Second Commandment, which forbids the worship of images.
The first chapter is about the basic, common prayers. It contains The Apostle's Creed, which is a plus. However, that is one of the only upsides of the book. Another prayer in this section is "Prayer To Your Guardian Angel" which is, as you would expect, a prayer to one's guardian angel. Other than the fact that there is no Biblical evidence suggesting that each believer has his or her own angel, it is entirely unbiblical to suggest that we should worship or pray to angels. Quite to the contrary, every angel that received worship refused the worship. Not only is there a prayer to one's guardian angel, but there is also a prayer that is supposed to be prayed to Michael the Archangel. There is also the infamous "Hail Mary" provided within this book. While supposedly such clear Mariolatry is based off of the tradition of the Church Historic, this supposed prayer more closely resembles something that would've been written by the ancient Collyridian sect.
The next chapter is prayers to Jesus. While it is slightly better in the sense that the prayers are strictly prayed to Jesus, the content of these prayers seems to indicate a different Jesus. The chapter opens up with "An Act of Contrition", which is indicative of Works Righteousness. It states, "I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life." The true response to genuine contrition is repentance and faith, not doing works in order to receive salvation. The next prayer teaches Transubstantiation, which is the belief that during communion the bread literally becomes Jesus's flesh and the wine literally becomes His blood, stating, "I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament." During another prayer, "The Holy Face", they dive back into Mariolatry by calling Mary "Our Lady". Another prayer is prayed towards the "Divine Child Jesus", as if Jesus were still a young child. One particularly bad prayer, "Prayer While Visiting The Most Blessed Sacrament", yet again praises Mary by calling her "holy" and "blessed", and says, "I believe that you are present in the Sacrament of the Altar." (Which further promotes transubstantiation). It also speaks of the Roman Catholic myth of Purgatory, in which souls work off their salvation.
After that, we get a section full of prayers to Mary. It comes as no surprise that such Mary Worship as has been already seen will be found in this chapter. The first prayer, "Children's Prayer to Mary", asks Mary to "Bring all the little children to Jesus our King." This effectively places Mary in the role of the Holy Spirit. The next prayer, "Consecration to Mary", calls Mary "Queen of Heaven" and speaks of her "Immaculate Heart". As noble a woman as Mary may have been, there is no question that she was a sinner and therefore not immaculate. "St. Don Bosco's Prayer to Mary" asks Mary to "Grant... your perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations." It continues to ask her to, "Help the weak, cure the sick, [and] convert sinners." It refers to her as an intercessor and says we will, "eternally thank [Mary] in heaven." This version of Mary that is portrayed, in my opinion, is no virtually indistinguishable from God. If she has the power to do all of that, and will receive worship in heaven, then she has been made into an idol. An entire prayer is dedicated tot he Immaculate Conception of Mary, which states that Mary was born sinless. Another one, "A Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe", asks her to be an intercessor for the Catholic Church and the Pope.
In the next chapter, they describe prayers to or by Saints. A lot of this contains a saint worship given to Joseph, Paul of Tarsus, Augustine of Hippo, Cecilia of Rome, Francis of Assisi, Mary Magdalene, . The second prayer, "Devotion to St. Joseph", further confuses the line between saint and God. In fact, it even says, "Supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven." Joseph is not the means by which we are saved. It is by the aid of Christ alone that we do those things. A strange part of "Prayer for the Year of St. Paul" says, "Help us to become apostles", which indicates a confused view of what an apostle is. "Prayer to Saint Mary Magdalene" asks Mary Magdelene to intercede for us, while "Thanksgiving After Mass Prayer", written by Ignatius of Loyola, says, "You have fed me with the Previous Body & Blood of Your Son."
The final chapter is simply entitled "Other Prayers". Here, it dedicates a page to describe the Roman Catholic practice of the Rosary, teaching that the so-called "Blessed Mother" (Mary) even used the Rosary itself. The Rosary contains prayers to both Mary and the Saints, and is therefore an idolatrous practice that should be rejected. "Prayer for the intercession of Pope John Paul II" presumes that Pope John Paul II can intercede, and said that holiness is "the path to reach eternal communion with [God]." In truth, Jesus is the only path by which we may get to Heaven. Another prayer to Michael the Archangel is found in this section as well.
Overall, this book is full of praise to those who praise is not to be given to. With a belief system as corrupt as the Roman Catholic belief system, pointing out all of the error within this book would take a review almost as long as the book. Despite the similarities to Biblical Christianity, the false religion of Roman Catholicism has a false Jesus, a false god, and a false gospel.
Click here for a presentation of the true Gospel.
Brandon C. Hines
Brandon is a young writer, theologian, and polemicist. He adheres to the 1689 London Baptist Confession and believes in Calvinism, Covenant Theology, Credobaptism, Presuppositional Apologetics, and the Essentials of the Christian Faith.
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