We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Calling Sin, "Sin"

Are we willing to call sin “sin” not because it is big or little, but because God’s law forbids it?  We cannot categorize sin if we are able to live a life of holiness.  God will not let us get away with that kind of attitude.

Jerry Bridges, “The Pursuit of Holiness,” p.19

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Devote Yourself to Perfection

If you would now devote yourself to perfection, perhaps you must part with some friends, you must displease some relations, you must alter your life.  Nay, perhaps you must do more than this — you must expose yourself to the hatred of friends, to the jest and ridicule of clever mockers, and to the scorn and derision of worldly men.  But had you not better do and suffer all this than to die less perfect, less prepared for mansions of eternal glory?  Indeed, suffering all this is suffering nothing.  For why should it signify anything to you what fools and madmen think of you?  And surely it can be no wrong or rash judgment to think those both fools and mad who condemn what God approves, and like that which God condemns.  But if you think this too much to be done to obtain eternal glory, think, on the other hand, what can be gained instead of it.

William Law, “A Practical Treatise Upon Christian Perfection,” as cited in “A Burning and A Shining Light,” edited by David Lyle Jeffrey, p. 135

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.  2 Corinthians 7:1

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

It's that time again, ladies and gentlemen, so let's just jump right in there!

Interesting interview with the son of the hate-filled heretic cult leader Fred Phelps.  Phelps and his bunch have no clue about the Gospel; we can hope they change for the better now that Phelps is dead.

Andy Stanley is getting worse.

Jesse Duplantis, one of the big Word of Faith heretics, says that if “healing” [WOF style] isn’t for today, then nothing in the Bible is.  And this claim gets lots of acclaim from his lemming followers.

Answers In Genesis has an excellent article with huge concerns about the “Noah” movie.

Heaven is For Real is getting a lot of attention by apologetics ministries as well as by just people with good discernment.  The book is unbiblical nonsense, which means — guess what? — the movie will be just as bad.  In my last RA&H post I linked to a commentary by David Platt about the movie.  Well, there are three good reviews I’ve read this week which I want to share with you.  The first one is surprising because it comes from a secular source - CNN!  Next up is Randy Alcorn

Another book about visiting heaven is highlighted by Tim Challies in his series of examining bestsellers: 90 Minutes in Heaven.  I recommend that after you read this abridged review, take some time to look at his full review — to which he links in this review.  It is a very, very unbiblical book.

I just learned that a Christian dating site is using a system created by a Mormon!  Of course that isn’t the real issue — the real issue is that the root philosophy behind that Mormon’s idea is itself is not something Christian dating groups should be using.

Methodists.  More and more assemblies —with their wolf leaders — are embracing homosexuality.  This time the Boy Scouts of America has revoked a Methodist church charter for their support of a homosexual scoutmaster.

Patriarchy is not the ProblemVision Forum is.

John Hagee’s teachings about “blood moons” has gotten a lot of exposure recently.  Tim Challies reviews Hagee’s book.

Tim Challies also continues his series about false teachers by addressing Benny Hinn.

Bill Gothard has also been in the news in apologetics circles.  He has issued a statement supposedly repenting of his sins over the past few decades — sins that have been coming to light this past year as more women come out with their testimonies.  The question is, can we trust Gothard’s honesty at this point?

A new book claiming biblical support for same-sex relationships receives an excellent critique from Albert Mohler.

Rachel Held Evans is a wolf to fear.

Timothy Keller has caused flags to be raised with his new book, “Center Church.”  It seems he is one of those who belief in the false idea of “contextualization.”  Not only does the Cripplegate address the errors of Keller’s philosophy, but No Compromise Radio also questions the mindset.

An excellent resource is available for those reaching out to Mormons; A Timeline of Joseph Smith’s First Vision.  Some good information demonstrating the many versions which contradict each other.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Convicting Spirit

Thou Blessed Spirit, Author of All grace and comfort,
Come work repentance in my soul;
Represent sin to me in is odious colours that I may hate it;
Melt my heart by the majesty and mercy of God;
Show me my ruined self and the help there is in him;
Teach me to behold my Creator,
his ability to save,
his arms outstretched, his heart big for me.

My I confide in his power and love, 
commit my soul to him without reserve,
bear his image, observe his laws, 
pursue his service, 
and be through time and eternity
a monument to the efficacy of his grace,
a trophy to his victory.

Make me willing to be saved in his way,
perceiving nothing in myself, but all in Jesus:
Help me not only to receive him but
to walk in him,
depend upon him,
be conformed to him,
follow him,
imperfect, but still pressing forward,
not complaining of labour, but valuing rest,
not murmuring under trials, but thankful
for my state.

Give me that faith which is the means of salvation, 
and the principle and medium of all godliness;
May I be saved by grace through faith,
live by faith,
do the work of faith.

Perceiving nothing in myself, may I find in Christ
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification,

From The Valley of Vision, Puritan Prayers and Devotions, p.66, 67

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Do You Put In Your Mind?

Do we willingly spend our hard-earned money on Hollywood films that instill in us the opposite of what the Bible commands?  Do we welcome into our homes the flaunting of sin that glorifies the flesh and curses the Name of Jesus while on Sundays we glorify Him at church? (Matthew 22:37).  Is it possible to obey God with the whole mind while feeding on godlessness?  The answer is no; yet we do let strangers “creep” into our homes and minds. …

Sinful entertainment deposits rubbish in the mind, giving Satan a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:27, KJV).  Once there, he thrashes around even as we sleep.  Whatever has entered the theatre of the mind crosses the welcome mat as a thief an begins its lethal work of breaking down defenses.  The moral compass that once guided our nation’s people has been ridiculed and rejected, making sin the national sport and pastime.

Franklin Graham, "Hollywood: Entertaining Ourselves To Death?" Decision magazine, April 2014, p.4-5

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Social Justice" Leads to Hell

I have no problem if a church wants to use something like a food pantry or a clothes closet as a platform for sharing the Gospel.  That’s wonderful.  I’m not criticizing that.  But if we simply go out and dig wells, educate people, and treat pandemic diseases (as Rick Warren espouses) without presenting the Gospel, we’re wrong.  I truly wonder how Rick Warren can be standing for, proclaiming, and defending the Gospel when he is involved in ecumenical activities with Catholics, Muslims, and other such groups — just for the sake of social justice.  Such spiritual enterprises are a clear violation of 2 John 9-11, Romans 16:17, 2 Corinthians 6:14, and many other passages. …

When we go out and give money away to people, without tying the Gospel to our actions, it is nothing but a waste of money.  Even if the money buys poor people nicer clothes, what good will that do them when they stand before the Lord?  If the money gives them an education, or ends their illiteracy, how will that help them on Judgment Day, if you have not given them the Gospel?

Brannon Howse, Twisted Scripture, Twisted Theology, p.112, 119

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

There is never, NEVER a break from this stuff, and I can report on only so much without consuming all my time.  It’s a lot of work being a sheepdog!

I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the claims for the manuscript which has been discovered, and for which claims are made about it saying Jesus had a wife; it doesn’t take a whole lot of discernment to know it is fraudulent - whether 1500 years old or recently forged.

The Methodist Church is getting to the point where it won’t be long before they will be like the PCUSA, ELCA and Episcopal denominations - full blown apostasy!  A UMC church partnered with an Episcopal church to host Jesus Seminar members to give talks about Jesus.  Of course the Jesus of the Seminar is NOT the Jesus of the Bible.  What are good UMC assemblies doing remaining with this denomination?!?

Heaven Is For Real is coming out as a movie; from the book full of unbiblical nonsense, and which is a big hit among Christians.  It is frustrating to me that discernment in the church is so severely lacking, and that pastors don’t decry these “travel to heaven” books from the pulpit!  David Platt has a strong message about such foolishness.

Speaking of books full of false teaching, how about Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now”?

Sola Sisters posted a bunch of links to articles dealing with the KJV Only false teachings.

Hip and Thigh has posted a list of links to articles about cessationism, continuationism, and spiritual gifts.

H&T also posted a review of Appendix 1 of Michael Brown’s “Authentic Fire.”

Here’s a cult I hadn’t heard of.

Oh yes, more Roman Catholic foolishness as people flock to see a “miracle tear” from a statue of “Mary.”  The Idolatry and gullibility among Romanists is simply amazing. 

A new booklet is available from Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry which exposes the false teachings of Jim Wallis.  The information from the booklet is posted as an article.  Hint - Wallis is not now, nor ever has been, a Christian.

Mormon women, instead of seeking the truth outside of the cult of Mormondom, want to be ordained as Mormon priests!  Sigh.

Last week I linked to an article by Matt Walsh which demonstrated that Jesus was not all about “just getting along.”  Mormon Coffee read that article also, and has directed it against Mormons with these questions:
Does it offend you, Mormon friends, to be shown that you are following a false prophet? Does it upset you when we demonstrate that your church is not the kingdom of God on earth as it claims? Does it hurt your feelings when we point out that the Bible says all your so-called works of righteousness are but filthy rags before our holy God? Or when we warn you that the Christ of Mormonism is a “different Jesus”? Or when we proclaim that your only eternal hope is to trust in the true Christ, and to trust in Him alone? So be it. It may not sound especially nice, but we implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God.

They have links in that paragraph directing the reader to various articles backing up their statements.

Well, that’s it for this episode of “RA&H”!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

Now, God used faith substance to make everything that He made ... in every one of those words they were filled with faith substance, because words are nothing but containers ... Every time God speaks, He can’t help but to speak words that are filled with faith ... God’s guts are called faith stuff ... Everything in Him is faith ... What’s in His heart is faith ... If you were to cut God open you’d see nothing but faith.  Every time He opens His mouth now, He automatically fills those words with His faith material.

Creflo Dollar, “The Just Shall Live by Faith,” Changing Your World, TBN 9/20/98.  Cited by Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 21st Century, p.374.

Where does one begin with this!?!?

What is “faith substance”?  Well, it’s an abuse of Hebrews 11:1 of the KJV (one of the easiest versions versions to abuse) which says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

From this, the Word of Faith heretics claim, “See, faith is a substance!”  Of course this is nonsense because faith, like love, is not something you can touch.  The Greek word KJV translated as “substance” is hypostasis, which means “assurance,” “confidence,” or “being sure,” etc.

More modern translations say:
faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”  NAS/ESV
faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  NIV
faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.”  HCSB
faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.” NET

Once it is proven that faith is not a “substance,” the rest of Creflo Dollar’s (and all other WOF heretics’) claims immediately collapse in on themselves.

The nonsensical idea that “words are containers” has been developed to promote the whole faith substance theology.  Logic dictates that words cannot “contain” anything.

Claiming God has “guts,” and that one could even consider cutting God open, all stems from other WOF heresies which claim that God is a physical being, much like the god of Mormonism.

Creflo Dollar is a first-class heretic, and has proven over and over again that he is not even a Christian.  He is another tool of Satan to mislead non-discerning people astray.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Apostasy in the United Methodist Church

A reader of my blog sent me the following in an e-mail.  I received permission to post it (name withheld by request).  

I attend a United Methodist Church in the West Ohio Conference, and the student pastor of my church attends United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.   The Gospel reading for last Sunday was on John 11 (Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead), and so the sermon was based on this.   In the sermon, he mentioned Heidi Baker and that she had increasing connections with his seminary.   This disturbed me, so I decided to look it up.

Sure enough, Heidi Baker is associated with the seminary.  (United is one of two United Methodist seminaries in Ohio, so this isn't some odd seminary.  This is a seminary within a mainline denomination).   She gave the commencement address there in December of 2013.  Her own husband was receiving a doctorate of ministry there.  And he wasn't the only one within the NAR movement.   Randy Clark was also receiving a doctorate of ministry, as were lesser known people in their movement.

Upon further research, I learned that Randy Clark has had a huge impact on the seminary.   Along with Heidi, he's spoken at conferences that were sponsored by the seminary.  He has held conferences in which there is a time of "ministry and impartation."  :(    This is the guy who, when he went to the Toronto Airport Church, he "imparted" the Toronto Blessing to that church..... :(

It really disturbs me that these folks are worming their way into mainline denominations now, getting advanced degrees, and influencing fellow students and professors....people who will be in the pulpits of many mainline denominations (not just United Methodist).  I really feel like people need to be warned about these folks.

Here are some of the links that I found that back up what I'm saying:
United Theological Seminary to Hold Advent Commencement
United Theological Seminary
Notes from the Pastor's Office | Tag Archive | united theological seminary
Randy Clark
GlobalAwakening.com - Dr. Randy Clark
Rolland Baker | Alabaster Group
Christian Healing Certification Program
United Theological Seminary to Host Randy Clark for 2nd Holy Spirit Seminar
Randy Clark Scholars: Presenting the Gospel as Jesus Intended - In Love, Authority and Signs and Wonders
GlobalAwakening.com - Dr. Randy Clark and Dr. Tom Jones Graduate from United Theological Seminary

Those who are in UMC assemblies and want to remain true to the faith should leave the UMC and be independent or form another denomination.  The UMC is on a downward spiral towards total apostasy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

When Entertainment Trumps Discernment

"In many circles, congregations routinely applaud the special music (little of which is very special), and sometimes even the sermon.  Thus we set up an atmosphere of interaction between performer and spectators, between entertainer and appreciative audience.  This goes far beyond godly encouragement to those who serve well, and approaches the protocol of the theater. … We are developing new and powerful traditions that to some extent muzzle the gift of discernment, and expose us to essentially pagan ways of looking at corporate worship.  A little thoughtful, self-critical reflection turns up countless numbers of such developments.  Their total impact on the church, on truth, on pure devotion to Christ, on the quality of Christian leadership, cannot yet be fully estimated; but their essentially pagan character and deleterious contribution to self-interest as opposed to God’s interest can scarcely be doubted."

D.A. Carson, A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13, p.103

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Random Apostasies and Heresies

Too many Christians listen to Glenn Beck and consider him a brother in Christ.  Well, he isn’t.  He is a Mormon, but on top of that he is a new-ager.  As with most Mormons, he wants to sound like a real Christian and gets involved in things only non-discerning Christians get involved in.  His latest attention-getting claim [link gone by 12/21/16] is about a book he is reading - Mark Batterson’s “The Circle Maker.  Well, go figure.  That book is nothing but unbiblical nonsense and Beck wants to pretend to be a Christian by letting us all know he’s reading it.  Now, don’t get me wrong; Beck is a good conservative and normally has a conservative worldview, as well as a Constitutional understanding of the U.S. government.  Don’t confuse his half-way decent politics for Christianity.  He is still a lost soul.

The reviews of the last two chapters of Michael Brown’s Authentic Fire have been posted here and here.  Brown loses.

As if Rob Bell hasn’t demonstrated his heresy enough, now he’s joined false teacher Oprah Winfrey for a tour.

Ron Livesay has a good review of the “Son of God” movie.  Too bad this wasn’t available to include in my post about that movie.

Rachel Held Evans says she is leaving evangelicalism.  Funny, from my reading of all her teachings, I’d say she never was a part of evangelicalism, let alone a Christian.

Denny Burk has an interesting series going about false teachers.  He tells us how to identify them, and how to deal with them.

Another false teacher in Tim Challies’ series is Marcus Borg.

Speaking of Challies, he has some good things to say to those who focus on numbers of people in their church.

Larry Crabb is one of those so-called “Christian psychologists” who syncretizes the Bible with secular psychobabble, so he’s already been someone who's teachings Christians should avoid.  Now he’s joining forces with false teacher Richard Foster.

So much of the secular world - as well as way too many people who claim to follow Christ - paint Jesus as some nice, tolerant, “girly-man” who would never speak harshly or get angry, etc.  I read two articles this week which soundly refute such nonsense.  "Step over" to read what Stan has to say.

There is no end to the type of entertainment goatherds will use in their attempt to “evangelize.”  I wonder how we’ve been able to successfully evangelize over the centuries without all this nonsense?  Notice how the goatherd abuses Scripture as he sends a kid into a fight.

Cindy Jacobs is one of the those in the “worst false teachers” list.  If you believe her claim of having an unending pot of spaghetti or oil, and non-wearing tires and shoes, then I have a huge bridge to sell you.  But wait — she has some prophecies for 2014 which you’d better pay attention to; that is, if you want to copy them down from this video so as to prove she’s a false prophet.  She also has many unsubstantiated and anecdotal claims about previous prophecies!

When it comes to twisting Scriptures, those who promote homosexuality often hold the prize for making the Bible say what no one else has found in it.

Lastly, I spent the past week reading the book, “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins,” by Grant H. Palmer.  Palmer is a die-hard Mormon, yet he proved that the Book of Mormon is fraudulent, as well as all the claims behind it.  He proved Joseph Smith was not a prophet, that the BOM witnesses never really saw it, that the first vision never happened, etc.  And yet he always gave these things a pass because of the culture of the time.  The saddest thing — and the perfect example of cult-think — is that it doesn’t matter because Joseph Smith taught that the main focus was Jesus Christ and how we are to follow him.  He ends the book with this: “As Latter-day Saints, our religious faith should be based and evaluated by how our spiritual and moral lives are centered in Jesus Christ, rather than in Joseph Smith’s largely rewritten, materialistic, idealized, and controversial accounts of the church’s founding.  I hope that this study contributes in some way to that end.”  What Palmer doesn’t seem to understand is that the false Jesus of Mormonism has little in common with the Jesus of the Bible, and a false savior can bring no salvation no matter how much you honor him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Is God A Man?!?

Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west.  Consequently, it must be a planet. ...
“Now God is not some creature that stands twenty-eight feet tall, and He’s got hands, you know, as big as basketballs.  That’s not the kind of creature He is... He’s very much like you and me.  Can you conceive that?  Not hardly in the mind, but your heart can.  your heart can.  A Being, a Being that stands somewhere around six-two to six-three, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand]span nine inches across.” 

Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body audiotape.  Cited by Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 21st Century, p.374.

Kenneth Copeland, and the many other Word of Faith heretics who teach the same thing, are closer to the teachings of Mormonism than they are to Christianity.

Numbers 23:19 —  God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

1 Samuel 15:29 —  And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.

Isaiah 31:3 —  But the Egyptians are men and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. 
This passage says God is not a man, but is a spirit.

Hosea 11:9 — For I am God, and not man

Luke 24: 39  — See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.
Jesus was pointing out that a spirit does not have flesh and bones like a man.

John 4:24 — God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Jesus was pointing out that God is spirit.

So, God says that he is not man but spirit, Jesus says that God is spirit, and Jesus says that a spirit does not have flesh and bones like a man.  Therefore, the answer to the subject question is, “NO! God is not a man!”

Regardless of what false teachers like those in the Word of Faith or the LDS tell you, God is not an exalted man, nor does he live on another planet.  That sort of God is made in man’s image.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is Contraception Unbiblical? (i.e. Sinful?)

What does the Bible say about sexual relations inside of marriage?

*Genesis 2:24 says the husband and wife are to become one flesh, which Jesus reiterated in the Gospels. 

*Hebrews 13:4a says, “Marriage is honorable among all…” 

*1 Corinthians 7 tells us that the wife’s body belongs to the husband and his body belongs to her, and that they are not to deprive each other of sexual relations. 

*The Song of Solomon exalts sexual relations within the marital relationship, as the couple describe the pleasure they share in each other.

So we see that while Scripture condemns sexual relations outside of marriage as immoral, sexual relations within marriage are right and proper and intended to make the husband and wife “one flesh.”

Notice that there are two functions of sexual intercourse: the unitive function (including companionship) and the procreative function.  

The unitive function is stated immediately when in Genesis 2:18, 23-24 it tells us the reason for the unity (not good for man to be alone), and that they do indeed become one flesh in that unity.  This is prior to the procreative function - before “be fruitful and multiply.”  I believe the unitive function of sexual intercourse is even more important than the procreative function, in that it seals the the couple together -  the “cleave unto his wife” (KJV) has the meaning of becoming “glued” together; cemented as one.  (After all, not all couples can procreate!)  Pleasure is derived from this unitive function, and the pleasure in each other is part of what draws the couple closer in their unity.  (Think about it — God could have made sex only for procreation with no pleasurable feelings involved.)

William S. Banowsky put it this way:   “The significance of manhood and womanhood resides, not in what each is unto itself, but in what each can become along with the other.  As radically different as they are, yet perfectly complementary, man and woman hunger innately to immerse their separate, prior selves into one complete self.” (It’s A Playboy World, p.78)

Now that we know what the Bible says about marriage (that it is honorable) and sexual relations within marriage, let’s take a look at what the Roman Catholic Church has taught, and which has bled over into many of the Protestant teachings over the centuries.  We will begin with a bit of a history lesson:

St. Augustine by the end of the fourth century, had developed the doctrine of original sin in such a manner as virtually to equate it with sexual pleasure.  Soon the conviction was firmly entrenched that, inside or outside of marriage, an act of intercourse propelled by desire and consummated for pleasure is always wrong.  Perpetual virginity thus came to be considered the highest good and absolute celibacy was required by all who would take churchly vows.  Marriage was permitted  as a concession to the weak but, even within marriage, intercourse was looked upon as a necessary evil legitimate only for the propagation of the race.  Augustine regarded marriage as a kind of confessional arrangement, a sacrificial means of forgiveness for the sin involved in the pleasure of coitus; and Aquinas, arguing that wedlock with intercourse is really more holy, quoted with approval the saying of philosopher Xystus: ‘He who loves his own wife too ardently is an adulterer.’’ (William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.74)

So, now you should understand why the Catholic Church forbids priests from marrying, and why they are so much against birth control — AND why Mary must be a perpetual virgin (otherwise she is “soiled” by sexual intercourse).  But let’s look at current Catholic teaching; unless otherwise noted, I will be citing the “Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI on Christian Marriage.”  This document leans heavily on the teachings of Augustine, and cites him frequently.  For ease of reference, I will cite paragraph numbers from the on-line edition.

In discussing marriage in general, I found a curious statement:  “To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words ‘Increase and multiply,’ is beyond the power of any human law.”  (para.8) 
So if they really believe that, then why do they take said right away from priests and nuns?!?  Isn’t this hypocrisy?

Now to see what they say about birth control.

And now, Venerable Brethren, we shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in matrimony when both parties consent) but by frustrating the marriage act.” (para.53)
Notice how they have determined that “continence” is “virtuous” but using some method of contraception is “frustrating the marriage act.”  They have determined, without biblical support, that sexual intercourse MUST provide the ability to conceive.

Some justify this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden. Others say that they cannot on the one hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties whether on the part of the mother or on the part of family circumstances.” (para.53)
With great hubris, Rome has called contraception “criminal abuse,” and then provides only two possible reasons people would not want children from every sexual encounter.

But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.” (para.54)
Contraception is now declared “against nature” regardless of what reason one may have for not wanting a child from every sexual encounter.  They declare it a “sin against nature,” “shameful,” and “intrinsically vicious.”  All these emotional claims have no basis in Scripture, but derive from the perverse mind of Augustine and his ilk.  And notice the claim that sexual relations are “primarily by nature for the begetting of children,” (my emphasis) contrary to the plain teachings of Genesis 2:18, 23-24.

Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, "Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it.” (para.55)
So, if one is using contraception while engaged in marital intercourse, Augustine decided that it is “unlawful and wicked” based on his bizarre misrepresentation of the episode with Onan, in Genesis 38:9-10.  Let’s look at the actual passage to see what it REALLY says:
But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.  What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so he put him to death also.
Notice that Onan had sexual relations on many occasions, and any time would have been killed if the reason for death was contraception.  God gave Onan time.  The incident with Onan was about a specific case and not as a general rule.  Onan did not want to impregnate his wife because the resulting child would not be considered his, so he ignored what God wanted and for that rebellion he was punished.

any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”(para.56)
This is, of course, total nonsense, and all based on the idea the sexual intercourse, in and of itself, is intrinsically evil.

As regards the evil use of matrimony, to pass over the arguments which are shameful, not infrequently others that are false and exaggerated are put forward.  Holy Mother Church very well understands and clearly appreciates all that is said regarding the health of the mother and the danger to her life. And who would not grieve to think of these things? Who is not filled with the greatest admiration when he sees a mother risking her life with heroic fortitude, that she may preserve the life of the offspring which she has conceived? God alone, all bountiful and all merciful as He is, can reward her for the fulfillment of the office allotted to her by nature, and will assuredly repay her in a measure full to overflowing.” (para.58)
Notice how this paragraph begins with calling contraception evil!  And although they will grieve if a woman dies because it was well-known that having a child would kill her, well that’s just too bad.

“Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin.”  (para. 59)
Notice there is no unequivocal judgment of sin for the one suggesting the use of contraception.  Of course we don’t find than sin in the Bible, but that doesn’t make any difference to Rome.

Now let’s take a look at some teachings in Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae.”  Again, we will use the online edition for easy reference:

If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.”  (para.16)
Guess how often the rhythm method has produced children!  And of course, the idea of scheduling sexual relations is just plain absurd.  Can you imagine newlyweds — who are desiring to wait a few months or even a year to start their family —  going to celebrate their honeymoon only to discover that their wedding day fell during the wrong time and they will have to wait a while before they can consummate the marriage?!?!

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”  (para.17)
So, here’s the real reason.  With the availability of birth control, Rome can’t trust a man to remain faithful to his wife, or to not degenerate to just using his wife’s body for his own sexual release.  Perhaps they should have been more concerned about all the promiscuous popes!

I think William S. Banowsky has a good summation:
“[U]ntil it forthrightly affirms the legitimate place of sexual pleasure as a unitive embrace, without regard to procreation, the [Roman Catholic] church will continue to encourage the ancient idea that there is something inherently evil about the sex act itself.  And mere endorsement of the rhythm method is no such affirmation.  The most debilitating thing about the rhythm method is not that it imposes an abnormal limitation upon the expression of marital love, but that it undergirds the false idea that sex is a biological appetite that can be scheduled — like eating or sleeping.  If we hold to the principle that the only purpose of intercourse is procreation and carry this principle to its logical consequence, we cannot avoid the grotesque conclusion that all intercourse after menopause is illicit.

“Serious anthropological confusion lies at the root of all this antisexualism.  Whenever there is a confusion about the nature of man there will always be confusion about much else.  Religious antisexualism emerges from a sadly limited definition of man, a view that divorces sexuality from his total being.  Such a view segregates sex and translates it into a limited set of actions that may be regulated by law, or discarded with impunity.”  (It’s A Playboy World, p.76)

Oh, and by the way — Marriage is NOT a “sacrament.”  Rome says sacraments are “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.” (Catechism, para 1131)  There is no biblical authority to declare it as such.

(Note: With regards to my use of the terms “contraception” and “contraceptive,” this does not include those methods which cause the abortion of that which is already conceived.  It may include sterilization in some circumstances.)

Addendum, 4/7/14:  Today I was reading the book, “Judaism For the Non-Jew,” by Rabbi Barry A. Marks, and came across this interesting paragraph:

Sexual relations between husband and wife are affirmed not only for the sake of procreation but as a means of expressing love.  There is a rabbinic statement to the effect that the individual will have to render account in the next world for those pleasures he could have legitimately enjoyed and which he denied himself.

Notice that when compared to Romanism, Judaism says that sexual pleasure is a vital part of marital love!  No hint of it being evil, etc.  Notice also that Marks says it is “not only” for procreation, whereas with Rome procreation is seen to be of the utmost importance over and above any “evil” of desiring sexual pleasure.

I think Judaism, in this case, agrees with the Bible more than does Rome!