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.


Michael Gormley said...


To be saved, you must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).

However, that's not all. Sacred Scripture clearly shows other things you must also do to be saved:

You must endure to the end. Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:13, Mark 13:13.

You must accept the Cross (suffering). Matthew 10:38, Matthew 16:24-25, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Luke 14:27.

You must be baptized with water. Mark 16:16, Titus 3:5, I Peter 3:20-21.

You must be a member in God's true church. Acts 2:47.

You must confess your sins. James 5:16, I John 1:9.

You must keep the Commandments of God. Matthew 5:19-20, Matthew 7:21.

You must heed the words of St. Peter, the first Pope. Acts 11:13-14, Acts 15:7.

You must eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus Christ. John 6:51-58, I Corinthians 10:16, I Corinthians 11:23-29.

Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to His call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. CCC 1996, John 1:12-18, John 17:3, Romans 8:14-17, 2 Peter 1:3-4.

The only Church that meets all the requirements of Salvation is the Holy Catholic Church.

Michael Gormley said...

Some Protestants have the notion that Catholics do not “believe” in the Bible, so they bring up Second Timothy 3:15-16 to support their belief of Sola Scriptura:"... from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

Certainly Catholics believe in the Bible (Catholics put together the Bible!) but this verse does not really support the belief of Sola Scriptura; it does not say that scripture alone is an adequate guide to the faith For that matter, the whole Bible does not say that we should believe in the Bible alone, nor does it say which books are inspired by God. This is only one hole in the belief of Sola Scriptura; there are many more.

Michael Gormley said...

Is Half of The Story Sufficient For Salvation?

How many sides are there to a story? If you say two, then you are wrong. If you had one side and I had one side that would make two sides. However, there is a third side, the side of truth.

Rule # 1... One half of truth does not a truth make. Neither does one half of a story make the full story.

No intelligent person can hear one side of a story and decide which side has the truth.

Both sides have to be heard, then analysed, and then a decision has to be made as to which side (if either) has a valid story, and after that, the right side(s), or truth side, can be determined.

This thinking holds true for discerning what Holy Scripture tells us.

Throughout the Bible there are double standards, yet the fundamentalist thinking shows only one standard, or one side of the story, or only one half of the truth.

Their thinking is in violation of rule # 1. With only one half of truth, you do not have truth. Anything less than the whole truth is error.

In the following examples, side 'A' is the first side, side 'B' is the second, and side 'C' is the right, or truth side.

Example # 2... Sola Fides... Saved by faith alone. The fundamentalist believes he is assured of salvation. All he has to do is to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and savior and salvation is automatic and irrevocable no matter what he does for the rest of his life.

Oh Yeah? What happened to the ten commandments?

A. Many verses in Scripture attest to salvation by faith alone. Joel 2:32, "...that every one that shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Acts 2:21 says the same almost word for word, and likewise for Rom 10:13. "...I live in the faith of the Son of GOD...", is from Gal 2:20. Again, these are beautiful words that should be heeded by all.

B. However, elsewhere in Scripture there is quite a different side of the story. Start with Mt 7:21, "Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven shall enter the kingdom of Heaven."

It is very clear that you have to do the will of the Father to gain salvation. I like 1Cor 10:12, "...let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

That one says you cannot be guaranteed of salvation. Then James 2:14-26 says over and over, "...Faith too without works is dead...Faith without works is Faith also without works is dead." Again, words to be heeded by all.

C. So what is the answer to this dilemma? Is this one of those Bible 'conflicts' you keep hearing about? No, not at all. The answer is very simple.

There are two types of salvation, 'objective salvation', and 'subjective salvation'.

The verses in 'A' are examples of objective salvation. Jesus Christ did atone for all of our sins, past, present and future.

He did His part and did it well, but He left the burden upon each one of us to complete the second side of the story by atoning for our own sins, by doing the will of the Father.

We have to keep the commandments. We have to practice 'subjective salvation'. There is no salvation by accepting only part of Scripture as shown in 'A', and by rejecting, or trying to explain away the verses in 'B'.

Yet this is what some non-Catholics are doing. Again, we have to combine 'A', and 'B', to have the full truth.


Michael Gormley said...


Once we become members of Christ’s family, he does not let us go hungry, but feeds us with his own body and blood through the Eucharist.

In the Old Testament, as they prepared for their journey in the wilderness, God commanded his people to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts, so the Angel of Death would pass by their homes. Then they ate the lamb to seal their covenant with God.

This lamb prefigured Jesus. He is the real "Lamb of God," who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

Through Jesus we enter into a New Covenant with God (Luke 22:20), who protects us from eternal death. God’s Old Testament people ate the Passover lamb.

Now we must eat the Lamb that is the Eucharist. Jesus said, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life within you" (John 6:53).

At the Last Supper he took bread and wine and said, "Take and eat. This is my body . . . This is my blood which will be shed for you" (Mark 14:22–24).

In this way Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrificial meal Catholics consume at each Mass.

The Catholic Church teaches that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross occurred "once for all"; it cannot be repeated (Hebrews 9:28).

Christ does not "die again" during Mass, but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar.

That’s why the Mass is not "another" sacrifice, but a participation in the same, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Paul reminds us that the bread and the wine really become, by a miracle of God’s grace, the actual body and blood of Jesus: "Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Corinthians 11:27–29).

After the consecration of the bread and wine, no bread or wine remains on the altar. Only Jesus himself, under the appearance of bread and wine, remains.

Howard Fisher said...

Howdy Michael,

I'll just attempt to take on a couple of point since there is too much for this format.

1) "The fundamentalist believes he is assured of salvation. All he has to do is to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and savior and salvation is automatic and irrevocable no matter what he does for the rest of his life."

Sir, I am not a Fundamentalist. So much of your critique about the Law is thrown in the wrong direction. I am a Reformed BAptist that adheres to the 1689 London Baptist Confession.

2) Your raising the issue of John 15 and the Vine is a great example of the error that so many make. You seem to be unaware that there are "indicative/descriptive" passages verses "imperative/command" passages. If you could grasp that simple hermeneutical principle, you would avoid many of the errors you have masde.

You also confuse very badly the Law/Gospel dichotomy throughout Scripture.

3) When I raised the issue of Faith Alone, you need to understand the Covenant Theology of the Reformers. This is where Roman Catholics in my mind become etremely offensive. For on the one hand you say that we are saved by grace, but then you redefine grace as something which God offers to help us copperate with Him. This is Synergism as oppsed to Monergism.

In the Reformed faith, we actually believe that Jesus' life is our perfect representative before God. He has fulfilled the Law perfectly and His obedience is now our obedience by faith. Therefore, my positive righteousness is perfect because it is my Lord's Righteousness given to me.

Jesus is also my perfect substitute in bearing the wrath of God in my place. Therefore there is no longer a judgment for those who have crossed over from death to life.

Rome opposes such an understanding. You say that Jesus was offered once on Hebrews 9:28, yet you miss the meaning of the text due to your overriding Tradition that blinds you.

Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Heb 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
Heb 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"
Heb 10:17 then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."
Heb 10:18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Are you perfected forever Michael?

4) As for your understanding of John 6, that is a great example of reading your tradition into the text. First, Rome offers no such infallible interpretation of this text. This is your private interpretation.

Second, the eating and drinking parallel coming and believing on Jesus. But that is only seen through exegesis, not your eisegetical interpretation.

Also, Jesus is very clear in this text. It is about Jesus explaining the unbelief of the Jews. That His will is to do the will of the Father which is to save a people perfectly and without fail.

Your entire system hinges upon the free-will of man. Jesus specifically denies your fundamental assumptions.

The Eucharist as believed by you is not something that came from the beginning. It grew over time.

Howard Fisher said...

5) As for your understanding of Sola Scriptura, you can't even begin to justify your epistemology on the subject. You must start with Rome and use some kind of "spiral" argument. But whatever the case is, you start with Rome. I start with God's infallible Word.

For example, you state, "nor does it say which books are inspired by God. This is only one hole in the belief of Sola Scriptura"

The problem with this is that when God speaks, there is no higher authority. God does not have to say, "I am saying something, and by the way, what I am saying is Scripture." That's not how it works, and you know it. It wouldn't help the argument anyway.

Besides, your other sources do not help you. You are not able to tell me which traditions are God's traditions, nor do you have an infallible interpretation of them. In fact, you will not even be able to define what tradition is nor offer an infallible list of them.

Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument.