Friday, June 3, 2011

I am going to Poland.

On June 27th. It's so close, I can't believe it.
You've probably heard me talk about it in passing, but it's time for a full fledged post.


It is a two week mission trip with other members of our church and other CREC churches in late June-early July. We're traveling as a choir of sorts...singing on the street and in a more formal concert stetting in the evening.

Poland is 90% Roman Catholic. It's not the sort of Roman Catholic you probably are thinking of. There really are indulgences posted on churches. Poland needs the Gospel. We'll be working along side pastors and churches our church has been involved with before.

We need lots of prayer and encouragement. Please help us by praying that God would open doors and give us the right words to speak.

You can learn more about the trip at Reformation for Poland and Evangelos. We'd greatly appreciate it if you can help tell others about our mission by word of mouth or by posting links on your blog/facebook. We want a lot of people praying and we want to alert others to the need in Poland.

There is so much to think about and accomplish.

-My book is oppressively looking over my shoulder, daring me to open the file and bash it into submission with the million and one edits it requires. That's my biggest deadline horror.
Besides the fact that it needs lots and lots of help internally, I still don't have a title or cover design.

-Many select sheep need to be managed and ready to sell. Lambs are ready to be separated etc...

-My room is still in the middle of reorganization.

-I need to get past the fact that the new episodes of  Sherlock aren't coming out until fall. Cwy.

-I need to work and make some money. :-/

-Practice our music and work on our Bible. I just need to learn a lot in general. I so do not feel ready for this!

Blogging may be touch and go for awhile, while I focus on other duties. If you're interested in what's going on for our trip, please visit Reformation for Poland (which I will hopefully be updating regularly) and Evangelos (which should have some epic pictures and videos).

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian


Robert said...

Indulgences are NOT bad things. They are an expression of the infinite mercy of God, and derive from the power to forgive sins given by Christ to the Apostles immediately after His resurrection. ABUSE of indulgences IS a crime, a sin, a sacrilege. The Council of Trent corrected the abuses of a few preachers.

In Catholic theology, an indulgence is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the Catholic Church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution. The belief is that indulgences draw on the Treasury of Merit accumulated by Christ's superabundantly meritorious sacrifice on the cross and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers.

Indulgences replaced the severe penances of the early Church. More exactly, they replaced the shortening of those penances that was allowed at the intercession of those imprisoned and those awaiting martyrdom for the faith. (wikipedia)

In other words, those awaiting martyrdom for the faith, were able to make intercessory prayer for sinners who had been assigned severe penances for serious sins like adultery and murder, thereby leading to the reduction of those penances. Today, the church intercedes for sinners and, by the merits of Christ, is able to reduce the penance due to sins that have been confessed and forgiven.

There is NO buying, selling or trading going on.

Think of it like this: Johnny breaks a window. Johnny tells his father he is sorry for breaking the window. Father tells Johnny that he still must pay for the window that he has broken. It is HIS responsibility. Mother, who sees that Johnny IS sorry, but has very little personal income, pleads (intercedes) with her husband to give Johnny a break. Father listens to his wife, whose feelings he respects, accepts Johnny's sorrow for breaking the window, and allows Johnny to pay only PART of the expense of the broken window. The balance he remits.

In Justice, Johnny should pay the whole cost of the window, but in mercy, (indulgence) Father remits part of the responsibility due for Johnny's actions.

There are two elements here, 1. forgiveness, and 2. remission of the penalty or punishment. Both derive from mercy, but the remission derives from Father's love and respect for his wife, who interceded for Johnny.

Miss Pickwickian said...

I do not believe in the treasury of merit. We can not do any good works apart from Christ and we certainly could never add to His. We could never accomplish even a partial penance for our sins.

Either way, I think both of us would agree that spreading the Gospel *anywhere* is a worthy goal. I am confident that Christ has called me and our team to minister in Poland.

I will respond to your email when I get a chance.

Thanks for your comment and concern.

Miss Pickwickian

Robert said...

Thank you, Miss Pickwickian for your comment. I look forward to your email.

Even if you eliminate our "contribution" to the Treasury of Merit, Christ's merits deriving from His life, sufferings, death and resurrection are infinite, and it is this infinite merit that obtains the forgiveness of sins by Baptism, and through confession, which power was conferred by Christ on the Apostles and their successors, "whose sins you shall forgive, etc"

And which Saint Paul exercises in the case of the incestuous man of Corinth: (2 Corinthians 2:5-10) The sinner had been excluded by St. Paul's order from the company of the faithful, but had truly repented. Hence the Apostle judges that to such a one "this rebuke is sufficient that is given by many" and adds: "To whom you have pardoned any thing, I also. For what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ."

St. Paul had bound the guilty one under penalty of excommunication; he now releases the penitent from this punishment by an exercise of his authority — "in the person of Christ." Here we have all the essentials of an indulgence.

I agree with you that we can do no good works apart from the works of Christ, but it is by means of the works and merits of Christ that our own works acquire any value. Indeed, we could do no penance on our own for the least of our sins, except through the merits of Christ's sufferings. Whatever we try to do apart from Christ is useless, and whatever we do without a motive of love (charity) for God is useless, as Saint Paul says: 1 Cor. 13:1-13 "If I ... have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

I will say no more. I rejoice for your trip, and for the love which motivates it, and I pray that your faith and love, as well as that of the other missionaries, and of those whom you meet in Poland, will be strengthened and give glory to God.

~Miss Raquel said...

You're going to Poland, and I am going to cry the whole time you're gone!!!! :( ::sniff::

but have fun :)

Love you!!

Ashley said...

This girl ( has made all of my book covers, as well as her own. You might want to contact her. ☻

To Robert: Here is what you said "In Catholic theology, an indulgence is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven" and here is what I say. If God forgives you...why would he still punish you? Forgiving is forgetting. So...what if the US goverment said, "We acquit you of ---, but we are still going to send you to jail". If you are forgiven, you are forgiven, not punished.

You also said: "Today, the church intercedes for sinners" What, may I ask, is the Church's status to do so? Are they being lifted up to status as a form of god? We are all sinners. EVEN THE POPE AND BISHOPS. Man cannot lead man, and if they try, it ends in disaster. Last I checked, the pope is a human.

What translation is that verse {2 Corinthians 2:5-10}? Did you know that the NKJV and KJV have a lot of Catholic influence? It wasn't allowed to be published without the church's approval, so of course it is scented of Catholic.

I don't believe in the whole thing of Mary pleading at Jesus' right hand or anything like that. If you are saved and act as a christian, hooray! You go to heaven. If you don't...sorry pal, no between heaven and hell for you. Mary isn't pleading for you on Jesus' right hand. SHOW me the verse in the Bible that says that. Preferably not the NKJV or KJV, but SHOW me.

And, no, I'm not Anabaptist..☻ I think ALL strands of Christianity have something wrong with them. I'm not a Church of Christ, or a Holiness, or a Methodist, or a Baptist. I'm a CHRISTIAN. I believe what the Bible says, not what some Pope/preacher/minister/deacon/Bishop says.

Sorry if I got too hot, Miss Pickwickian. I'll will thoroughly understand if you don't publish this.

Robert said...

To Ashley:

Acquittal is not the same as forgiving. Justice, especially the justice of God, demands reparation for the harm done, as in the case of a broken window. I can forgive my son for breaking the window, but still expect him to pay for the damage. But my mercy, especially in listening to the plea of my wife, may lead me to reduce the amount he must pay, and to pay the balance myself.

Where does the church get the right to forgive sins, or remit punishments, despite the leaders being sinners themselves? From Christ Himself, who first thing upon his resurrection: "He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. John 20:21ff

Also to Peter, the first Pope: Matt 16:18ff "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [20] Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ."

I used the Douay Rheims translation, the Church had nothing to do with the KJV, which is a Protestant, Anglican translation, which came after the DR version.

As to where Mary pleads for Christians, figuratively it can be found in John, the wedding at Cana. John 2:1ff "And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. [2] And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. [3] And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. [4] And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. [5] His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye."

Mary interceded on behalf of the young couple, and Jesus, despite his veiled warning that her request would bring about his ministry and death, as it would reveal him to the public, responded to her request with his first public miracle. "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him."

You really would be well served to read from the early Fathers of the Church to see what they had to say about Mary and indulgences and the ministry of forgiveness. You will find that it is remarkably similar to what the Church still teaches today. I can recommend Augustine, Ambrose, Ignatius of Antioch, Chrysostom and others, all to be found free at All were teachers in the Church, the men who took part in the early councils of the Church, of the first 5-7 centuries of the Church.

I would ask you: where did the Apostles in Acts 15 get the authority to hold a council and set aside the obligation for circumcision, and to require abstinence from blood? (Notice how the apostles claim the Holy Spirit agrees with the decision in their letter to the Gentiles, "For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things...") Where did they get the authority to replace Judas in Acts 1, or to judge Ananias and Saphira for withholding donations in Acts 5, or to choose 7 men for ministry in Acts 7? The apostles chose these 7 men, and imposed hands on them, just as the Church still does today to ordain deacons and priests for ministry in the Church.

They got this authority from Jesus Christ Himself, in the quotes I cited above.

But at this point, I have no desire for this discussion to further hijack Miss Pickwickian's good news about her trip. If you wish to discuss this further with me, you may email me at my.croft at isp dot com

God bless you.

Hayden said...

I'll really be praying for you on this trip, as well as checking out the Reformation For Poland website. I'm a fourth Polish myself, and I have family that is Roman Catholic influenced, so thank you for posting on this!!!

God Bless. :)

Caniad said...

My prayers go with you on this trip. (And entirely as a side note, I'm with Robert on this one.)

Jemimah C. said...

I'm praying that your Poland trip will be both a blessed and fruitful one. It's high time for the whole word to hear the Gospel of Christ. Have a safe trip!

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

"We can not do any good works apart from Christ and we certainly could never add to His. We could never accomplish even a partial penance for our sins."


Very exciting to be involved in do goodery as well as get to visit the country. As someone of Polish heritage I say, hurray!

Edith F. said...

I'll keep your trip in my prayers!


Miss Pickwickian said...

Thank you all so much!