Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Don't listen to the Devil", says Madrid!

I was listening to the following advice from Patrick Madrid to a lady who called into Catholic answers regarding Mortal Sin........Interesting.

I like what James Swan had to say about this over at AOMIN.

Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid answered a caller concerned about her mortal sin. After explaining how the Catholic Church instructs such a person to go through confession, absolution, and penance, Madrid says to pray the Rosary because it is the "strongest weapon outside the sacraments that we have to combat mortal sin."

The Rosary is not just a repetitious prayer in the Catholic veneration of Mary, but the strongest weapon to keep one from mortal sin.

In his book, Where Is That In The Bible?, Madrid mentions the repetitious Rosary helps Catholics "meditate on key episodes of the Gospel narrative, as well as mysteries of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (p. 136). This prayer asks "Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, to intercede on our behalf and use her prayers as a weapon of grace against the evil one, the Red Dragon spoken of in Revelation 12... when we pray the Rosary, we go well-armed into battle against the adversary, who is 'prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour'" (p.137).

True, all Christians are engaged in a real battle against the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Yet God has not left us to fend against the ravages of sin on our own. But before we consider Madrid's "strongest weapon," why not look into the Scriptures?

Over the years I've heard many sermons on "putting on the full armor of God" as expounded by Paul in Ephesians 6. Paul exhorts us to "put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." He mentions the "belt of truth," "the breastplate of righteousness," "the shield of faith," and "the helmet of salvation." He says to pray in the Spirit on all occasions.

In Ephesians Paul doesn't tell Christians to meditate on the "mysteries of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary." Rather, he asks the Ephesians to pray for him as he proclaims the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 6:19). In fact, the entire epistle to the Ephesians is soaked in devotion to Christ. Christians are instructed to be "imitators of God," while Mary, Madrid's strongest weapon, is conspicuously absent.

Paul doesn't mention the Rosary as a means of fighting sin and standing strong in the faith. One would think if the Rosary is the "strongest weapon outside the sacraments that we have to combat mortal sin" he would've mentioned it. Perhaps Paul mentioned it elsewhere to the Ephesians, but didn't write it down? Perhaps this is an unwritten Tradition? Perhaps it's been defined as such by an infallible authority? Perhaps Madrid is engaging in private judgment as to his positive disposition towards the Rosary? The answers to these questions probably won't be forthcoming any time soon.



Derek Ashton said...

Sadly, the Roman Catholic church has treated the Scriptures like an old rag doll that used to be interesting but now is left on a cluttered shelf next to the patchwork quilt of orthodox doctrines they used to snuggle up with - too long ago now to remember.

What's this about not being listed on the popular sites? I like being listed on the popular sites, this is not a test of truth or reliability, either way. Were you being tongue in cheek? Do you really have a problem with the popular sites?

Just curious.

Grace & peace,
Derek Ashton

Tartanarmy said...

Thanks for posting Derek.
Regarding my little comment about "popular sites" I am being a little tongue in cheek, but I also am aware that many popular Christian sites do not delve into areas that are often termed controversial these days.

Take the subject matter of this thread you are commenting upon, Roman Catholicism. Not many evangelical sites oppose Rome for example, and yet this is a huge area for evangelism and apologetics.

Most do not even touch the subject at all with any negative comments.

I also think it a general observation, that truth is harder to find among the masses, as a general principal, and I know there are exceptions.

What popular sites are you listed on?

I know I am linked on a few popular sites, so my comment has exceptions!


Derek Ashton said...


You're so right about about truth not being "among the masses" as a general rule (and I think it essential to add that caveat, as you have wisely done - I have a dear friend who beleives this rule so strongly that he has rejected orthodoxy and won't even make definitive statements for or against the Trinity, the two natures of Christ and the inerrancy of Scripture - yikes a roo!). I suppose I should have asked what you meant by "popular sites," since there could be quite a few different interpretations of the phrase. I'm listed on a few fairly popular Reformed sites, such as:
Truth Matters (

And of course the ever popular...

Pyromaniacs (

I've also been mentioned on Reformed Evangelist dot com, since I know a couple of the authors and they continue to put up with knowing me.

I'm also linked on a growing list of lesser known sites, such as
and a few others

Among the masses of humanity, and even among most who call themselves Christians, all of these sites probably aren't all that popular. But among the unusual people who enjoy chatting about theology, they're super duper exciting!

We should not be afraid, in ANY forum, to declare Biblical truth and confront error. I agree with you that too many evangelicals are buddied up with the Roman Catholic Church and unwilling to address the errors. That said, I have a peculiar appreciation for certain aspects of Catholic devotional literature that they seem to have inherited and we Evangelicals pretty much ignore. Confused as he is, Thomas Merton has said some really good things. And guys like Henri Nouwen have a lot to offer, it's just a matter of picking out the bones. I refuse to believe that all Roman Catholics are lost, in spite of the theology their church embraces. Admittedly, this is a tough topic to navigate.

Great to make your acquaintance, Mark. I need to spend a little more time poking around your blog, it's quite interesting. I like the name a lot, "The crumbs that fall."


Tartanarmy said...

Thanks Derek.

The two men you reference were certainly interesting Roman Catholics, and I am sure said good things, but I am pretty convinced that the vast majority of Roman Catholics are lost souls.

I am ex-RC myself, and most of my extended family are in it's clutches.

If you read my blog articles you shall certainly come across my run ins and differences with Tony Byrne and David Ponter, men you seem to admire. Each to his own I guess!

Nice to make your acquaintance too brother....

Trying not to fear man but fear God and proclaim and defend His blessed truth!


Derek Ashton said...


I don't know Ponter at all, but I've found some common ground with Tony Byrne. You seem to like James White, whom I greatly respect as a scholar, even if I disagree strongly on a point or two (I generally argue against high Calvinism and a strictly limited atonement, which he seems to embrace). I'd agree with you that most Roman Catholics are probably lost. In fact, most Evangelicals are probably just as lost. But Jesus saves - Praise God for saving you from the errors of the RCC!


Tartanarmy said...

Thanks for the reply. Sorry about mentioning Ponter, it's just that Byrne follows him in his Theology. Kind of like his bulldog, just like Darwin had his bulldog in Huxley.

You are right about most evangelicals though, and to tell you the truth, most of em are way closer to Rome than anything Protestant.

I am a High Calvinist I suppose and a strictly Limited atonement kind of guy and unashamedly so!

I am on the same page as Dr White on these matters brother.

Thanks again for the comments. Feel free to interact with anything you find interesting, even to critique if it takes your fancy.


Anonymous said...

Wow, are you one angry, uninformed, misinformed, self-righteous, self-deceiving, prideful human. So sad how people like you spread false witness so vehemently and with such vitriol. You give Gandhi's "I like your Christ, but not you christians" such validity.

Derek Ashton said...

Speaking of vitriol . . .

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Thanks for the above comments Anonymous, which is a strange name for a poster but to tell you the truth, there are a lot of posters on the net called Anonymous, and for some strange reason they mostly tend to hide behind their name and lob insult with no conscience whatsover.

Also, forget about quoting Ghandi, how about Scripture. Your comments above seem to give Mat 5:11-13 validity.
Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word against you, lying, on account of Me. Rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward is great in Heaven; for in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, with what shall it be salted? For it has strength for nothing any more but to be thrown out and to be trampled under by men.

Mat 5:11-13

Derek Ashton said...

Mark, don't post this, but I LOVED your response!

Moderate and High Calvinists can stand united against ridiculous nonsense like that. Now, if you want to talk about the extent of the atonement . . . oh, never mind!