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A collection of podcasts for people just like you, who are on the journey towards finding truth and fulfillment.

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    • Religion & Spirituality
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A collection of podcasts for people just like you, who are on the journey towards finding truth and fulfillment.

    The Biblical Teachings About Mary

    The Biblical Teachings About Mary

    The Biblical Teachings About Mary



     



    Brother Felmar Serreno: There’s no arguing that Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus, was a special woman. The Bible records her being called “blessed among women.” But does the Bible also call Mary ‘sinless,’ a ‘mediatrix’ or ‘the mother of God?’ Hello listener, and welcome back to this podcast version of God’s Message magazine. Our topic today is, “The Biblical Teachings About Mary.”



     



    Mary, the mother of Jesus, holds a special place in the hearts of most Catholics. Over the course of the Catholic Church’s history, she has gotten increasing attention. Mary’s role in the faith of her devotees is evident. For them, prayers to her are said especially before statues that are supposed representations of Mary, which are common in their cathedrals and chapels, and even in their homes. The teachings of the Marian devotion, long been preached and practiced by Catholics, is considered by them as “authentic doctrinal teaching.”



     



    But are they biblical? What does Catholic tradition teach about the Mary whom they worship? Are those beliefs in accordance with the teachings of the Bible about Mary, the mother of Jesus? 



     



    Before we continue, we reiterate that in conducting these discussions, it’s never the intention of the Church Of Christ to hurt anyone’s feelings or to attack anybody. Rather, these studies are motivated by our interest for the truth. And in the interest of truth, on this episode we will be comparing teachings from several Catholic books to what is written in the Bible. Here on the podcast, I’ll be mentioning the title and author of each Catholic book. For further details on each book’s publication date, imprimatur, nihil obstat and other details, we have provided that information at the end of the transcript of this episode on our website incmedia.org.



     



    Sinless, mediatrix, co-redeemer?



     



    Brother Felmar: Catholic authorities teach that Mary did not sin in her lifetime. Here’s a quote from “Glories and Virtues of Mary,” a book by a priest named James Alberione:



     



    “The Virgin Mary was immune from every sin. It is a dogma of faith that she was free from original sin. During her life she never fell into either mortal or venial sin. As for actual sin, the Council of Trent says that without special privileges, no one can avoid all venial sins during a lifetime; notwithstanding this, the [Catholic] Church maintains that the Blessed Virgin was exempt from any such sins.”2



     



    This teaching contradicts what the Bible says that all people committed sin (Romans 3:23, 5:12) and that the only One Who did not is our Lord Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:21-22). There is no biblical basis to the Catholic dogma that Mary was free and immune from sin. 



     



    This is also the case with Catholic authorities’ calling Mary the “mediatrix”. From this book entitled “What The Church Teaches” which was written by J.D. Conway, a Monsignor in the Catholic Church, he wrote: “We do call Mary the Mediatrix of all Graces. It is a title which stresses the intimacy of her association with her Son in that work which she brought Him into the world to accomplish: the redemption and sanctification of our souls. Some Pope someday may declare it a doctrine of the church that Mary is mediatrix, in this sense.”3



     



    While this may be the teaching in the Catholic Church, however, nowhere in the Bible is Mary given such a title or responsibility. Catholics also believe that devotion to Mary is necessary for salvation. Here’s another quote from “Glories and Virtues of Mary”: “The intercession of saints is most helpful; devotion to t...

    • 16 min
    Enjoying God’s Gifts

    Enjoying God’s Gifts

    Enjoying God’s Gifts

     

    Brother Bob Pellien: Even though stress and disappointments are part of life, there are several ways to find peace and happiness. The Bible tells us all the things that God created just for us to be happy. You’re listening to the podcast version of God’s Message Magazine. Today’s topic is “Enjoying God’s Gifts”.

     

    Brother Bob Pellien: Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is a slow death to be gloomy all the time (Proverbs 17:22 Good News Bible).

     

    This biblical passage must serve as a reminder for the problematic and the burdened soul. It surely will not help if we bury ourselves in sorrow. In fact, doing so will only make things worse as it can harm our health and shorten our life.

     

    Scientific studies prove that “stress can indeed cause heart disease, certain ulcers” (Stress and Health Magazine, p. 152-155) “and cerebral stroke”, all of which can eventually lead to death. 

     

    So, instead of having a pessimistic view of life because of so many problems, let us cheer up and be happy. It would be helpful to recount the wonderful deeds intended for all of us by the Almighty One Who gave us this life. 

     

    God’s gifts to mankind

     

    Brother Bob: From the very beginning, God had manifested His desire to bring joy and happiness to the human beings He created. The Bible enumerates the things God created for the enjoyment of all mankind: 

     

    #1 Food. God created earth as man’s home and filled it with all of natures’ bounty. He designed our environment in such a way that we can find food to satisfy our hunger and thus be happy.

     

    #2 Work. God’s desire for man’s happiness did not end when He sent the first human couple out of paradise. He commanded man to work for his needs, thus giving him the opportunity to savor the joy of harnessing the fruits of his labor.

     

    Your work will provide for your needs; you will be happy and prosperous.

    [Psalm 128:2 Good News Bible]

     

    Brother Bob: #3 Friendship. Another way by which man can afford happiness is through the company of friends whom he can rely on to listen to him and give sound advice when needed. The Bible acknowledges that the pleasure we gain from such friendship is also in accordance with God’s plan:

     

    Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.

    [Proverbs 27:9 New International Version]

     

    Brother Bob: #4 Knowledge. God made us different from the rest of the living creatures in that we possess the ability to think rationally. When this uniqueness is served through the pursuit of knowledge, pleasure can be attained:

     

    You will become wise, and your knowledge will give you pleasure.

    [Proverbs 2:10 Good News Bible]

     

    Brother Bob: #5 Marriage. Still for happiness of the human being whom God created, He established the sacred institution called marriage:

     

    So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the girl you married.

    [Proverbs 5:18 Good News Bible]

     

    Brother Bob: God willed that a man and a woman find pleasure in each other’s company through marriage. Together they can build their own family and have children to stand by them as they grow old. So, more than just sexual satisfaction, marriage offers emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual assurance of having a family and a caring partner for life. 

     

    From these wonderful graces of God, we should understand that He truly longs for our happ...

    • 15 min
    More Important Than Wealth And Wisdom

    More Important Than Wealth And Wisdom

    More Important Than Wealth and Wisdom Brother Bob Pellien: Money and intelligence can take you far, but even that has limitations. If you want to unlock amazing opportunities, the Bible tells us to look to God. You’re listening to the podcast version of God’s Message Magazine, and today’s topic is: More Important Than Wealth and Wisdom. [Music ends] Brother Bob: It is true that the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter are essential to man’s survival in this world. As such, a person must devote a good amount of his time trying to earn enough money to provide these things for himself and for his family, if he has any. What is unfortunate, however, many people have come to depend only on themselves or on their loved ones for their life’s essentials. This dependence has oftentimes led to disappointments. Who, then, can man depend and count on to always be there for him to provide his every need? Who must man seek for his life and survival? The prophet Jeremiah wrote:  The Lord says, wise men should not boast of their wisdom, nor strong men of their strength, nor rich men of their wealth. If anyone wants to boast, he should boast that he knows and understands me, because my love is constant, and I do what is just and right. These are the things that please me. I, the LORD, have spoken.[Jeremiah 9:23-24 Today’s English Version] Brother Bob: Man should primarily depend on the Lord God, rather than on his own wisdom, wealth or abilities, which are all impermanent and limited. As God himself pointed out, only His love is constant, and only He can do what is right for us, which includes giving us the solutions to whatever problems we have. What further proves that man's own efforts are not enough to solve all these problems? The wise King Solomon pointed this out,  You work for something with all your wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and then you have to leave it all to someone who hasn't had to work for it. It is useless, and it isn't right! You work and worry your way through life, and what do you have to show for it? As long as you live, everything you do brings nothing but worry and heartache. Even at night your mind can't rest. It is all useless. [Ecclesiastes 2:21-23 Good News Translation]Brother Bob: Many people in this world have experienced this to be true. Many wealthy individuals, for instance, have invested a great deal of their time in acquiring education and training in order to become affluent and successful only to die and leave their riches behind to heirs, who may have had little or nothing at all to do with what they had achieved.  Moreover, a good number of rich people live very stressful lives and experience financial worries which in turn have caused not a few restless nights. Furthermore, man's knowledge has failed to discover solutions to the biggest problems facing society. For instance, in spite of the tremendous increase of man's understanding in various fields, the problems of widespread poverty, unemployment, and a general lack of peace still prevail in many places in the world. Man's wisdom has not even found a cure for the common cold, much less a way to prevent a person from eventually succumbing to death.  Why is this life filled with so many uncertainties in the first place? Why has this world become such an imperfect one, and beset with troubles and confusions? God Himself proclaimed: Listen, earth! As punishment for all their schemes I am bringing ruin on these people, because they have rejected my teaching and have not obeyed my words.[Jeremiah 6:19 Good News Translation] Brother Bob: People have only themselves to blame for the misfortunes that have befallen this world....

    • 11 min
    Numbers Don’t Make A Religion True

    Numbers Don’t Make A Religion True

    Numbers Don’t Make A Religion True Brother Felmar Serreno: A common appeal in advertising and politics, the fallacy called argumentum ad populum (argument to the people) argues that something must be true and acceptable because many or most people believe or like it. But does a religion’s being composed of the majority translate to its being true and of God? If many believe so, is it necessarily so? You’re listening to the podcast version of God’s Message magazine, where our topic today is “Numbers Don’t Make A Religion True.” Even in choosing a religion, this “appeal to popularity” seems to deceptively work as many feel guilty if they go against the majority, but feel confident and secured by joining forces with large numbers of other so-called “believers.” This is precisely the reason some refuse to join the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) knowing that it is not the religion of the majority. “If indeed there is only one true religion,” they say, “it could not be the Iglesia Ni Cristo because its members are comparatively few.” Fallacious indeed Brother Felmar Serreno: The truth of a belief does not depend on the preponderance in number of people who hold it. No rule of thought grants infallibility to the majority. In fact, numerous people have been wrong about many things: that our planet is flat and motionless, that the Earth is the center of the universe, and that the Sun and other planets revolve around it, to name a few.  Even in Ethics, the fact that the majority of people support a certain act, say divorce, does not prove that it is morally right. Correct reasoning clearly states that a belief’s widespread acceptance is not counted as its binding justification.  Biblical proofs Brother Felmar Serreno: The Bible disproves the assumption that the religion where a great number of people belong is necessarily of God. The Holy Book recorded that during the time of Noah, the whole of mankind, except just for eight persons, was annihilated by the great deluge (II Peter 2:5). Noah’s ark, which was purposely designed by God for man’s salvation, was ignored nonetheless by the huge majority of Noah’s time. Relatedly, Sodom and Gomorrah were leveled to the ground by fire and brimstone and only Lot and his two daughters were saved (Genesis 19:16, 29; II Peter 2:6-7).  Also refuting the belief that predominance in terms of membership makes a particular religion true is the universality of Satan’s deception (Revelation 12:9). Those who will be condemned to eternal punishment, according to the Bible, are “as numerous as the sands of the sea” (Revelation 20:8 New Revised Standard Version).  The determinant Brother Felmar Serreno: The true Church—God’s chosen people in the Christian era—does not need to be composed of the majority for it to be saved on the last day. Of ancient Israel, which was the first nation of God, the Bible says:  The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples. [Deuteronomy 7:7 New King James Version] Brother Felmar Serreno: There were millions of people who lived during biblical times, but only a few were chosen or elected according to God’s will. The right to serve God and to attain salvation, therefore, is not determined by the size of a religious organization, but by election or the setting apart by our Lord God (Psalm 4:3). About those elected by God in the Christian era, the Bible pronounces: But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by ...

    • 6 min
    Children Deserve Parental Love

    Children Deserve Parental Love

    Children Deserve Parental Love and Concern [Music starts] Brother Bob Pellien: With broken families on the rise, families today need to work harder to stay together. We’ll find out what the Bible’s advice is. You’re listening to the podcast version of God’s Message magazine, and today’s topic is “Children Deserve Parental Love and Concern.”  [Music ends]  Brother Bob Pellien: Poverty greatly contributes to the sorry lot of millions of youth and children in many parts of the world, but the utter lack of parental support and concern for children only worsens their condition. Even in their impoverished lot, poor parents who really care for their young can still offer their children a bright future. Of course, with lots of sacrifices on their part.  But a rich one who simply doesn’t care would do nothing good for his children. The failure of parents to provide sufficient food, shelter, and clothing to their offsprings clearly violates God’s command. Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy says: If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. [I Timothy 5:8 Revised Standard Version] Brother Bob Pellien: More blatant transgressions, however, are committed when parents abuse and enslave their children by forcing them to work at a very young age instead of sending them to school for their education. This directly contravenes an exhortation of Apostle Paul to Christian parents. He wrote to the Corinthians: For children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. [II Corinthians 12:14 Amplified Bible] Brother Bob Pellien: Parents should work for their children’s welfare and future, and not vice versa. They should provide a conducive place where their children can grow and develop their talents and potentials at a time when the world is becoming a dangerous place for children. This situation has been brought about by environmental despoliation, drugs, violent crimes, and armed conflicts. Consequently, this planet has become a difficult place to live in.  A case in point that shows how this earth has become a difficult place for children, is the much publicized fratricidal conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina that showed  how children are the worst victims in a bloody war. Thousands of them have been killed, maimed, or wounded in that ethnic struggle. For the survivors, the psychological trauma of their shell shocked lives would be more difficult to erase. The children of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, & Trebišnjica will forever be traumatized by that brutal conflict.  Their struggle, however, cannot be isolated from the terrible experiences of the starved and brutalized children of Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi, or those even in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia of the former Soviet Union, all of which are encountering violent political upheavals. Media reports have also publicized the hideous massacres of street children by police-connected death squads in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Indeed, they are all kindred in experience.  In the more developed societies such as the United States and Western Europe, crime, violence, and drug abuse are the main dangers to the children and youth. More than 3 million crimes a year are committed in or near 85,000 U.S. public schools. What’s even more terrifying is the fact that the nature of these crimes has grown more violent in recent years, and both the perpetrators and victims are getting younger and younger (US News World Report, November 8, 1993). It is very obvious from these collected facts and figures that the children and youth around the world are in dire straits. In the third world, many of them are starved, malnourished, abused, exploited and victimized by war. Their poverty-bound parents are oftentimes helpless in doing anything for their welfare. In some cases,

    • 16 min
    Teamwork And Its Worth

    Teamwork And Its Worth

    Teamwork And Its Worth 

    Brother Felmar Serreno: While there is no “I” in team, some say there is an “m-e.” On the other hand, many believe there is strength in numbers. But, are numbers enough? Join us today in this episode of the podcast version of God’s Message magazine, as we take a look at “Teamwork and Its Worth.”



    Teamwork is essential in organizations, big and small—from business corporations and government institutions to society’s basic unit, the family, and at its core, marriage. Its coinage and use in the study of labor and management is placed in the early years of the 20th century, thus, teamwork is actually a fairly new term. Nevertheless, the concept of teamwork has been in existence and practice long before, as can be gleaned in historical and even biblical accounts. 



    Many experts and thought leaders have formulated their principles and ideas about teamwork in various settings. Emphasis has been laid on the value of team building in companies and agencies in both the private and public sectors. Instilling “team spirit” in the workforce is an ideal that leaders of organizations put into practice. 



    The Bible, proven useful for the instruction and motivation of people to reach their fullest potential, contains teachings about unity and brotherhood, which may also provide a framework for effective teamwork as applied in various settings. 



    No ‘I’ in teamwork 



    Brother Felmar: A basic rule in teamworking is to acknowledge that while one person working alone may produce the desired outcome, two and more people working together as one can certainly yield greater results. The Bible likewise teaches:



    Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. … Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.



    [Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 New International Version 2011] 



    Brother Felmar: Indeed, an endeavor becomes easier and promises better returns when a team of two or more are working together harmoniously and synergistically rather than just one individual working solo. Amid things like challenges and threats, having a well-functioning team behind you helps ensure success, for in case one falls, the others can help him up. A team can be likened to a cord—the more strands it has, the more it cannot be quickly broken. 



    Together, Everyone Achieves More 



    Brother Felmar: There is strength in numbers only when everyone works together, not against one another. In searching for the best model of teamwork and unity, one need not look far as there is much to learn from the human body itself. A single body is made up of many different parts, each having its own function or purpose—feet for walking, hands for working, eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, etc. (I Corinthians 12:12, 15-17 Good News Bible). 



    Every part matters to the welfare of the whole body, for it is when “each part of the body is joined to the others by the ligaments and as each part functions properly / works as it should, a person’s body grows stronger” (Ephesians 4:16 Translation for Translators). 



    Likewise, for a team of people to achieve good results, the team members should fulfill their respective tasks, each of them working effectively as he or she should. One’s function may seem small compared to another’s but when put together, contributes to a great output. 



    One for all, all for one



    Brother Felmar: A key aspect of successful teamwork is cooperation. But there can be no cooperation in a team if its ...

    • 10 min

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I felt so much comfort listening to the voice of Brother Bob in these podcasts, but even more so in the humbling content it provides! I miss worshipping in a chapel and it’s easy to lose track of what’s important being cooped up at home all the time. Here, I’m able to have that familiar sense of closeness to God as I go about my day, anywhere I go.

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