Common Sense
is Not so Common Anymore!

GOD has given each one of us the power to reason things out by using plain, simple common sense.
What has happened to this gift from GOD in our present day society?
It seems at times that it has gone the way of the Dinosaur and the Dodo bird.
There are now over 33,800* non-Catholic Christian ecclesial communities** in the world today. Twenty years ago there were about 21,000*.
"Has Christ been divided up?"
1Corinthians 1:10

*World Christian Encyclopedia, April 2001. This is a Protestant publication.
**There is only one Christian Church in the world, since Jesus Christ founded only one. See Matthew 16:18 and you will find that He did say that He founded His Church, and not churches. There cannot be 33,800 different churches, since Christ is one,
so they are rightfully called "ecclesial communities".

This is sheer insanity. Anyone with common sense and basic arithmetic or a calculator, and with a few simple operations, can readily see that if allowed to go unchecked as it has been, that there will not be too many years hence, before each non-Catholic Christian will be his or her own ecclesial community. Their numbers have increased 65% in only 20 years. What will the next 20 years bring?

Here are a few very simple, but very important, thoughts for you to ponder, all of which require common sense:

There is the question of truth, which is the foundation of the Church which Jesus Christ founded:

1. Truth is ONE and it is a person, the person of Jesus Christ. There can be only ONE truth.
He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." John 14:6
If that is the case, then all of those tens of thousands of ecclesial communities should be teaching the same things and thus there would be only one church. How then, can anyone explain the tens of thousands of splits in the one truth of the one Body of Christ which exist today?

2. There is only one GOD, one Father, one Savior, one Holy Spirit, one Body of Christ, one Baptism, and one Faith. See Ephesians 4:1-6
"One faith" means that everyone is of one mind and thought, as Holy Scripture teaches us. In other words, one Church.
See Romans 15:5-6.

3. What is the "Pillar and the Foundation of truth"? See 1Timothy 3:15 for the answer.

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

There is the question of authority which is of absolute importance.
"The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes."
Mark 1:22
There can be no authority in the Church whatsoever unless it be given to it by GOD:

1. Please show me the verse in the Bible which gives the authority for any person to found his or her own church other than the ONE which Jesus Christ founded?
Can I, or anyone else simply hold up a Bible and declare, "This is my authority"?
If you believe this, then please show me the verse which sanctions it?

2. Please explain the meaning of Psalms 127:1?
"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain."
Ask yourself these questions.
What house? It is the house of GOD. How many houses did GOD build? The answer is clearly shown in Matthew 16:18 as explained earlier.
What city? It is the New Jerusalem, which is the Church that Jesus Christ founded.

3. Since there are so many non-Catholic ecclesial communities in the world, when a doctrinal dispute arises between them, which one, if any, has the authority to adjudicate said dispute?
If no one has the authority, then how do the disputes ever become settled?
Are they settled merely by creating yet more splits in the Body of Christ?
Yet another split settles nothing. It simply prolongs the dispute and allows for error.

4. What or who is the final authority? Is it the Bible?
Well what does the Bible say?
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:15-18
Scripture clearly teaches that the highest authority is the Church which Jesus Christ founded.
Notice that in verse 18 He gave only His Church that authority.
How can these verses be ignored by any person who has common sense?

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

Then there is the question of obedience:

1. "Obey your superiors and be subject to them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of your souls; so that they may do this with joy, and not with grief, for that would not be expedient for you." Hebrews 13:17
So many non-Catholics claim to follow the teaching of Holy Scripture. I would ask if the founders of the Reformation, Luther, Calvin, Munser, and the others, obeyed this verse? If they were not obedient, how then could their followers be obedient?

2. There are many verses which warn against forsaking GOD given authority regarding His Assembly (O.T.) or Church (N.T.) which He bestowed upon prophets such as Moses (Exodus 3-40), and on the Apostles (John 20:21-23), and to their successors (Hebrews 13:7-8,17).
Read of the rebellion of Korah against the GOD given authority of Moses in Numbers 16, and pay special attention to what happened to Korah, and to his followers in Numbers 16:31-35.

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

There is the question of the Holy Spirit:

"How many times have you heard non-Catholics say, "The Holy Spirit told me"?
They all seem to be saying it, and yet, how can this be? The Holy Spirit is GOD, and GOD is truth, and neither GOD nor truth ever change. There are major differences between denominations, not just minor ones as some would like us to believe. All of the following denominations teach from the same Bible. How then, can the Holy Spirit tell one denomination one thing and then tell another just the opposite?
For example:
Seventh Day Adventists insist that scripture says we must worship on Saturday. Lutherans with an equal insistence, teach that scripture says we must worship on Sunday.
Wouldn't the Holy Spirit have to be teaching each an opposing viewpoint here? How could He?
Methodists say that scripture says it is alright to ordain women. Baptists say it is not Biblical.
Presbyterians teach "predestination" and they baptize infants. Baptists reject both.
Lutherans say that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. Baptists say it is only a symbol.
Which one(s) of these, if any, are receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit for these important doctrinal differences? Again I repeat, is the Holy Spirit teaching each an opposing viewpoint?
Is GOD the author of confusion? Isn't it the opinions of men who are causing the confusion?
They all cannot be right can they? What does your common sense tell you?

Doesn't anyone realize that it could be any one of three spirits which is actually doing the speaking?
They are:
1. The Holy Spirit.
2. The human spirit within each one of us.
3. An evil, or a demonic spirit.

Because of the myriads of doctrinal conflicts in the tens of thousands of present day splits in the Body of Christ, isn't it obvious that we can eliminate choice #1 for all save one, the one and only Church which Jesus Christ founded, and thus would have to have the fullness of truth?

"A Christian man is Catholic while he lives in the body; cut off, he is made a heretic; the Spirit does not follow an amputated member." Saint Augustine of Hippo 354-430

Holy Scripture warns us to test all spirits. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of GOD; 'because many false prophets' have gone forth into the world."
1John 4:1
Just how many, are the "many false prophets"?
That question is easy, for all save one, teach a "variance" of the truth, or not the full truth.
This can be the only a logical conclusion, since if any taught all truth they would be united with the only Church which Jesus Christ founded.

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

There is the question of proper Biblical Interpretation:

I am sure that most people are aware that the New Testament was written in the Greek language, except for maybe Matthew, for which many scholars agree that it was originally written in Aramaic and very soon after was translated into Greek.
Every time one language is translated into another, something is either gained or lost. That is why, for proper Bible interpretation, it is best to go back to the original language in which it was written in order to grasp the full meaning.
For Example:
"(31) Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, (32) but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." Luke 22:31-32
In English, the word "you" can be either singular or plural. However in the Greek there is a different word for the plural "you", and it is "humas", the singular "you" is "sou". The meaning of these verses then becomes clear as in verse 31 Jesus spoke to all of the Apostles, whereas in verse 32, He addressed Peter alone.
English translations become problematic when we consider another example, the words "brethren" or "brothers". Non-Catholics will consistently take the word "brothers" as meaning a blood brother or a sibling. They do this all the time to try and "prove" that Jesus Christ had siblings, "other children of the Blessed Virgin Mary. One of the examples they use is Galatians 1:19, "But I saw none of the other Apostles, except James the brother of the Lord." By going to the Greek text, the word used for brother is "adelphos", and its meaning from a Greek dictionary is:

Adelphos (ad-el-fos)

1. A brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother.
2. Having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman.
3. Any fellow or man.
4. A fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection.
5. An associate in employment or office.
6. Brethren or brothers:
  6a. brothers by blood
  6b. all men
  6c. Apostles
  6d. Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place

As you can see, this dictionary shows 6 classes of meanings for the Greek word adelphos, and one of those classes has multiple meanings.
How do we determine which meaning is the true meaning?
We must put the verse in context, as with all verses in Scripture, to get the true meaning.
In this case, the most obvious meaning of the word in Galatians 1:19 is 6c. How do we know that? One way is that the verse infers that James is an Apostle, and the true parents of both Apostles named James, are shown in Holy Scripture. Some of the other options could be chosen also, but certainly not 1 or 6a because of the context. Detractors of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ignoring the context, will consistently choose the first meaning only, and will ignore the rest. In some verses, the meaning is blood brothers, but in other verses it means something else. You can readily see that by putting the verse in context it works in two ways. It gives you the true meaning, while at the same time eliminating the spurious meanings.
The meaning always depends upon the context in which the words are used.
By ignoring the context they fall into the trap of 2Timothy 3:7,
"Ever learning yet never attaining knowledge of the truth".

Now if you gave all of the present 33,800+ ecclesial communities the same Bible and asked each for their interpretation of it, you would get 33,800+ different interpretations, all based solely upon private opinions. That is because, for them, it is "every man for himself in Bible interpretation".
However, individual interpretation of Holy Scripture is forbidden by Scripture itself.
Read Acts 8:26-40, 2Peter 1:20-21,3:16.
Aren't these verses ignored by those who are guilty of private interpretation of Holy Scripture?

Everyone is entitled to his or her own personal opinion. However, a person's personal opinion has no bearing whatsoever on doctrinal truth.
"They came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion. You do not regard a person's status but teach the way of GOD in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?" The sentence in blue is what the Church which Jesus Christ founded does.

Has anyone noticed the similarities of individual interpretation of the Bible, and a lack of one central authority, to the events of September 11, 2001? Islam is very similar to the Protestant mindset, as they also have no single authority and their interpretation of the Koran is based upon opinions from various disconnected sects.
"A body with two heads is a monster", said St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century).

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

After proper interpretation of Holy Scripture, there is the question of not reading into it something of which is simply not there, or of ignoring or not abiding by all of what the Word of GOD has to say.
For example:
Reading in what is simply not there:
1. The Bible does not say that it is the final authority, yet many say that it is.
2. It does not say that Mary had other children, yet many say that she did.
3. It does not say that the Holy Eucharist is a symbol, yet many say that it is.
4. It does not say that it has everything in it and to ignore other documents, yet some say that it does.

Ignoring what is there:
5. It does say that we are to call the Mother of GOD "Blessed", yet most non-Catholics do not.
6. It does say that it is the Church which is the Pillar and Foundation of truth, yet this verse is ignored by most ecclesial communities. 1Timothy 3:15
7. It does say that there is a third place to which we could go, yet almost all except Catholics deny it.

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

There is the question of "feelings", and "emotions":

Here are some real bonafide reasons why people have chosen one assembly over another:

"The preacher built a fire in me and I was emotionally charged."
I would say that satan in all his cleverness could build such a fire also. Don't forget that he would give us 99 truths if he could get us to swallow just one lie.

"This one has a better choir, and that lifts me."
It is truth we should be seeking for uplifting, and not a better sounding choir.

"This one has a child care department so we have fewer distractions."
These people completely ignore such verses as Matthew 19:14, "...but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven"."

"I simply felt good."
This is a major problem with our society today. "What feels good for me is all that is important."
"You shall not do as we are now doing; here, everyone does what seems right for himself."
Deuteronomy 12:8

If people had proper understanding of Holy Scripture they would soon realize that worship of GOD is not based on feelings or emotions, but on faith and sacrifice.

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

Then there is the all important question of which Church did Jesus Christ found:

1. This question is so simple to answer, yet hardly a single non-Catholic Christian can, or is willing to answer it in truth.
Every Christian denomination on earth was founded by a person with a name. Simply trace the origins of your denomination back through its history and you will find that all non-Catholic ecclesial communities are only traceable back a few years for most, and a few hundred years for some. You will also find that it was founded by a mere human person.
This takes us back to the question of authority which was discussed earlier.
Did any of these human persons have GOD given authority to found your ecclesial community?
If you think so, then I ask for a second time to please show me the verse in Holy Scripture?

2. There is only one Christian Church on earth that is traceable back for almost 2000 years to its founder Jesus Christ. This can be done by many different routes and by using many genuine historical documents. Since GOD does not ever change, then the Church which He founded is still with us today for we have His promises of protection and perpetualty...

His promise of protection:
"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

His promises of perpetualty.
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you shall know him, because he will dwell with you, and be in you."
John 14:16-17
"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:18
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all* nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all* that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all* days, even unto the consummation of the world."
Matthew 28:19-20

*All nations, all truth for all days, have overtones of universality don't they? It is a portent of the "Universal Church" founded by Jesus Christ.
Here is another "portent" of the Universal Church:
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem (local) and in all Judea and Samaria (spreading out) and to the end of the earth (covering the whole world)."
Acts 1:8

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

Then there is the question of those who say that the Church which Jesus Christ founded, apostatized soon after the last Apostle died:

1. First of all, those people do not have one shred of authentic historical documentation to show anyone for this false charge. Ask them for evidence and you will find that they are unable to produce any genuine historical records.
This charge is merely a smoke screen in order to try and legitimize their own ecclesial community.
However, there are literally thousands of genuine historical documents, written by scores of authors, and dating in every century from the first on down to ours which testify to the unbroken continuity of the Church which Jesus Christ founded. The notion that His Church apostatized, would certainly be a monumental event, and would surely be recorded in mountains of historical records, yet not one can be found anywhere in any century before the reformation. With no proof, how can anyone believe those who propagate this deliberate untruth?
What credibility is there for those who make this preposterous false charge?

2. Secondly, and much more seriously, they have just called Jesus Christ a liar for His promises of protection and perpetualty, which He made in the preceding session.
"He who does not believe the Son, makes Him a liar; because he does not believe the witness that GOD has borne concerning His Son."
1John 5:10
If you study the last line in Matthew 28:20, it says that Jesus Christ will be with the Church He founded, every day in every century, until the end of time, and with no gaps, not even one single day. Many would try to have us believe that there was an almost 1500 year gap from the time that the last Apostle died until Martin Luther came along and started the Protestant reformation.
Now, with no evidence whatsoever, and with those making this false charge deliberately ignoring the verses in the preceding session, and therefore being found guilty of calling Jesus Christ a liar, where is their credibility?
"But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lambís book of life."
Revelation 21:27
Oops! For those who make false charges against the Church which Jesus Christ founded, they had better remember that verse, and not add it to their list of verses to ignore.
Here are a few more verses which fit our theme here very nicely.
"For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God."
1Corinthians 15:9
"For you have heard of my former life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it;"
Galatians 1:13
"I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief."
1Timothy 1:13

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

A Summation of what we have discussed here:

1. Truth is one. There can be only one truth. Truth is the person of Jesus Christ.
2. There is only one Church which Jesus Christ founded. Matthew 16:18.
3. There can be only one authority for that one Church. Luke 10:16, John 20:21-23.
4. Those who labor building a house not built by GOD, do labor in vain. Psalms 127:1
5. The Holy Spirit is GOD, and GOD never changes, so He cannot be teaching opposing viewpoints.

6. GOD is not the author of confusion, man is. 1Corinthians 14:33
7. There must be proper interpretation of Holy Scripture in order to arrive at the full truth.
8. We must not read into what is simply not there in Holy Scripture.
9. We must not ignore what is contrary to our beliefs, in Holy Scripture.
10. A person's private opinion has no bearing whatsoever upon doctrinal truth.
11. God would not have given us an inerrant book without first giving us an infallible interpreter for it.
12. Our salvation depends upon expressing the truth and not falsehood.
13. If the Person who is Truth said it, we have the obligation to believe and practice it.
14. Those who refuse to believe, or who ignore what Jesus Christ taught, have called Him a liar.

All it takes to find the truth is a little common sense, but then, where is common sense today?

"He who will not reason is a bigot.
He who cannot reason is a fool.
He who dares not reason is a slave."
William Drummond


Written by Bob Stanley, December 24, 2001
Updated June 17, 2004

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