Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rome Condemns the Gospel

I heard Dr. White read this on the Dividing Line today, and though I should not be shocked, it never ceases to amaze me when Evangelicals want to consider Rome another Christian denomination. In this document, Unigenitus, Dogmatic Constitution issued by Pope Clement XI on Sept. 8, 1713, it is stated most clearly that certain beliefs are:
Declared and condemned as false, captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting not only to the Church but also the secular powers seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and, besides, favoring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous, close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical, clearly renewing many heresies respectively and most especially those which are contained in the infamous propositions of Jansen, and indeed accepted in that sense in which these have been condemned.
Now what would be an example of a belief that is evil-sounding? Try one of my favorites.
30. All whom God wishes to save through Christ are infallibly saved.
And this one just floors me.
12. When God wishes to save a soul, at whatever time and at what ever place, the undoubted effect follows the Will of God.
Can this really be doubted? Apparently Rome does. And the reading of the Bible?
80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.
Now I have several Roman Catholic friends and aquaintances. For most of them, they would deny that Scripture is not meant to be read for all and by all. Yet this is modern ignorant American RCs pretending that the past didn't happen. Just talk to some of the older guys. The past wasn't so long ago.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dembski Verses Hitchens

Thanks to my pastor for pointing out to me that William Dembski has recently debated the infamous atheist, Christopher Hitchens. Now to be fair, I have not listened to the debate yet, so this is just an initial comment based upon this article from BPNews found here. Yet once again, I think the Christian apologist who attempts to be consistent with atheists in sound argumentation may find this debate frustrating. As the article quotes William Dembski,
While Intelligent Design does not attempt to prove the existence of the Christian God in particular, it is "friendly toward theism" and toward belief in the loving God whom Christians worship.
This approach is doomed to failure. At this point, I will simply point the reader to an excellent series of articles by Jamin Hubner (here and here and here) and a recent debate by James White verses Silverman (here). I think you will find this debate to be the most straightforward debate you have ever heard a Christian do.

Perhaps the book/movie, Collision, between Hitchens and Douglas Wilson may come close.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Islam Violates Free Speech in Kansas

What was happening in Dearborn Michigan is no longer just a unique incident. Now we have a Pastor in Wichita, KS who has been arrested for witnessing to Muslims. So wherever Islam goes in the U.S., you may be certain you will lose your free speech rights. Islam and liberty simply cannot co-exist. Read here for story.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Calvinistic Churches Growing?

Baptist Press News has as its Headline article today that the Calvinistic resurgence may not actual be real. It cites from the Barna Study found here.

What is interesting is that the supposed Young, Restless an dReformed may not be quite as young.
The Barna study explored some characteristics of the pastors aligned with the "Calvinist or Reformed" label as compared to the profile of pastors who identified themselves as "Wesleyan or Arminian." In terms of the age of pastors, among the youngest generation of pastors (ages 27 to 45), 29% described themselves as Reformed, while 34% identified as Wesleyan. Pastors associated with the Boomer generation (ages 46 to 64) were evenly split between the two theological camps: 34% Reformed, 33% Arminian. Pastors who were 65 or older were the least likely to use either term: 26% and 27%, respectively.
So if there is not a Calvinistic resurgence, where is all the hype coming from? Perhaps among the Laymen of churches? It would be interesting to see those who consider themselves theologically active in their churches as to what the general direction is.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Handel's Messiah At Macy's

Hidden among us is the Kingdom of Christ. It has invaded this Earth in a form that to the naked eye is completely missed by natural man. Yet, according to the Bible, one day the Sons of Glory shall be revealed. Here is a foretaste of that event.

Now I realize that this kind of thing has been done before apart from anything religious, and the 600 singers performing this may not even be Christian. Yet I think even that is a good Bible illustration. Separating the real thing from illusions. Handel's Messiah is simply a gift among men pointing men to Christ.

What impresses me about this video is how several shoppers just seem to go about their business, ignoring the great even that is beginning among them. However, by the end, no one is able to resist and all succumb to its majesty.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Imputation and Covenant Theology

Just a few moments ago, I read this section of Walter Chantry's booklet, Imputation of Righteouness & Covenant Theology (which may be read in full here). It explains the nature of the covenants and how God works our "collective bargaining". Now to be fair, Roman Catholics do believe in a doctrine called Original Sin. However, I think they miss the depth of the problem that Adam and his posterity have been plunged into, which is why they vehemently deny Sola Fide. Here is the relevant section:
V. The Histories of Adam & Jesus

In God’s world there is representation or collective bargaining. When the Holy One made the human race, He appointed Adam as our head. The Lord assigned Adam a test that was more than personal. It was a test for Adam and for all whom he represented. Adam was in collective bargaining for himself and for all who would be born of him by natural generation. The consequences of that test would have the most wide-ranging effect and profound impact upon everyone of his posterity, everyone who was in Adam, everyone whom he represented. It was God who set up the mechanism of representation and who appointed the representative. Adam took the test for us all.

In Romans 5:12 the Scriptures speak of this governmental arrangement: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men because all sinned.” This is an astounding statement that one man has brought sin and death upon us all. That is not the common thought people have as to how God is going to deal with us.

When it says in verse 12, “and in this way death came to all men because all sinned,” it is not saying that all sinned because all did the same thing that Adam did. The proof that the verse is not saying that is found in verse 14, where we read, “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam.” Some never sinned personally as Adam did, but they were in him, represented by him. He acted for them and they die as the consequence of Adam’s first foul deed. Because of one man’s one sinful deed, all are sinners. All are constituted sinners, all are condemned and all are destined to die. Verse 18: “the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men.” Verse 19, “through the disobedience of the one man the many were constituted sinners.” The entire passage is repetitious for emphasis that one act of the one man made many sinners and brought to the many condemnation and death.

What the passage is teaching is that the most horrible realities of our human existence are all the consequences of the one act of one man, our representative, Adam. “In sin your mother conceived you,” (Psalm 51:5) and “from the womb you have been wayward speaking lies,” (Psalm 58:3). Your sinful constitution is the direct result of the one act of the one man in his failure of the representative test. From the first instant of your existence, you have been condemned by God because of the one act of the one man. From the time of your conception, death began to stalk you with the assurance that you were his as a consequence of the one act of the one man.

To be very blunt, God holds you responsible for another man’s act. The Lord is not arbitrary about his. It does not mean that, when you stand before God and the books are opened, you will be credited with the sin of some unknown, distant relative. This mechanism of being credited with another man’s act is only employed in the case of divinely appointed representatives. Adam was such a person.

There is only one other individual who has served in a similar capacity as representative for vast numbers of the human race in God’s scheme of government. Only one other was appointed by God for collective bargaining with heaven on behalf of members of the human race. That other person is Jesus Christ. To show that He is the only man beside Adam to serve as a federal representative, Jesus is called the second Adam, (I Corinthians 15:45).

Romans 5:18, 19 clearly draws the parallel function of Christ and Adam. “Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be constituted righteous.” Because of the one righteous act of the one man, Jesus Christ, multitudes will be justified before God (declared to have the righteousness of God).

All who were in Adam were constituted sinners, were condemned, and were sentenced to die. All who were in Christ will be constituted righteous, will be justified, and will have eternal life. How can God credit the account of a sinner, like Abraham or like me, with the righteousness of God (Romans 4)? The answer: on the basis of God’s great representative principle, of His governing the human race in a federal manner, of His administering humanity under a covenantal arrangement (Romans 5).

This is a great fact of our world. God governs the human race on a collective basis, under heads whom He appoints. Actions and decisions of the two federal heads are imputed or credited to those whom they represent. In other words, we bear the responsibility for what these representatives have done. In one case, the act of one man led to condemnation and death for a vast multitude. In the other case, the one act of one man led to justification and life for a vast multitude. Our lives are profoundly determined in time and in eternity by representatives. The histories of Adam and Jesus are not merely interesting curiosities of the past. They determine one’s destiny. These two acted for us as representatives.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Despising False Myths about Rome

Tiber Jumper posted on his blog an educational tool for those of us "who despise catholicism". Now I must confess, I don't sit around here and think of how many ways I despise Roman Catholicism. Yet I suppose I do despise it because it has perverted the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But just to be clear, I also despise the Mormon Church for its perversion of the Bible's teaching of the One True and Living God. I despise the Watchtower on almost every front. I despise Islam as well. But again, I really don't sit around here and think of how to despise other people's beliefs. So "despising" just seems to be a term that is used because everybody else is against me. Rome verses the world.

Now here is a list of myths that he offers.
Because Catholics reject the tradition of "sola fide" ("faith alone"), they think they can work their way into Heaven and believe they are saved by works . WRONG
Catholics think the pope does not sin . WRONG
Catholics re-crucify Christ at their Masses (or at least think they do) WRONG
Catholics think Mary is part of the Godhead and is to be worshipped WRONG
Catholics worship statues WRONG (for the 150th time on this blog) WRONG
Catholics think they can't pray to God directly but have to go through saints WRONG
Catholics conjure the dead WRONG
Catholics believe people can be saved after they die WRONG
The Catholic Church teaches that one who isn't formally a Catholic is damned to Hell WRONG
The Crusades are an example of Catholic aggression WRONG
The Inquisition(s) killed hundreds of thousands of people and targeted Jews WRONG
Pope Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope" and didn't do a thing to help Jews during WWII WRONG
The Catholic Church wasn't around until the time of Constantine, a pagan who controlled the Church. WRONG
The Catholic Church did more than baptize pagan calendar days for the good of Christ, it is pagan in its very roots. WRONG
So lets deal with a few that I think are relevent by asking Tiber some questions.
Because Catholics reject the tradition of "sola fide" ("faith alone"), they think they can work their way into Heaven and believe they are saved by works . WRONG
If you are not saved by faith alone, then how can your personal works not be a part of how you are saved (no matter how you nuance them with grace, they would merit the merits of Christ from the Treasuery of merits...correct?)? If not, how may grace be grace if we have to add human merit in any way? to put it another way, if I just have to add one work to my faith, say circucmcision, how is that not being saved by my works, no matter how much they are done in faith?

Do you see Christ as your Covenantal Representative in your place, or do you see his life, death, burial and resurrection as something that makes you savable, but not perfected?
Catholics re-crucify Christ at their Masses (or at least think they do) WRONG
Perhaps many people misunderstand the nuances offered by Rome, but Rome does teach that Christ's sacrifice is "represented" literally every time the Mass is offered. What is offensive is that the Mass never actually takes away anyone's sin or propitiates sin. A man could take the Mass everyday for his entire life, and yet die apart from Christ upon committing a mortal sin on his last day.

The Mass also denies the doctrine of Original Sin properly defined by the Covenants of the Bible. It also denies Christ's perfect sacrifice to establish a perfect New Covenant in which sinners are perfected forever through faith alone in the Covenant Head/Representative. The Mass is one of the means by which the church controls the grace of God piece-ealing it out till you have achieved final justification. So I would love to ask, Do you have perfect peace with God, with assurance that you possess eternal life now and forever?
Catholics think Mary is part of the Godhead and is to be worshipped WRONG
Apart from Muslims, I am not certain if there are any Protestants that think this. The criticism of Reformed Protestants is that with all of the attempts at saying praying to Mary is not worship, by differentiating between veneration and adoration, as being unanswered Biblically. Is this distinction Biblical? If Moses caught you with candles and incense while you were praying to Mary, would he really accept your distinction?
The Catholic Church teaches that one who isn't formally a Catholic is damned to Hell WRONG
If you were living during the Council of Florence, would you really believe this, or would you have to wait till the modern church to explain what that council meant when it condemned everyone outside of Rome's church?

So back to Mary, Tiber, do you pray this prayer?
O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners, and for this reason, has He made thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, that thou mayest help us in our misery. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to thee; come, then, to my help, dearest Mother, for I recommend myself to thee. In thy hands, I place my eternal salvation and to thee do I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me; for, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; not even from Jesus, my Judge Himself, because, by one prayer from thee, He will be appeased. But one thing I fear; that, in the hour of temptation, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me then the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.