Monday, September 17, 2007

Catholics on JWs

Catholic Answer's This Rock had an article on Jehovah's Witnesses. I am sure I am not the only one who will find some of the commentary ironic:

Jehovah’s Witnesses are sincere people genuinely striving to do God’s will in their lives. Like us, they go about their daily routines, struggle with life’s concerns, and engage in spiritual activities. Like us, they trust their religious leaders for spiritual guidance, doctrinal instruction, and help in interpreting the Bible....

...Since its inception, the WTS has claimed to be the only organization that speaks on behalf of God (whom they call "Jehovah"). It has called itself God’s "divinely appointed and organized channel of communication" (WT, May 15, 1955, 314), and even "the ark of salvation" (WT, Jun. 1, 1950, 176)...

...Truth-seeking Christians are obliged to ask if the Watch Tower Society is a reliable spiritual guide. Does it really speak on God’s behalf? Are its official teachings objectively true?...

...The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a doctrine known as the "increase of light." It is based on Proverbs 4:18, which in their New World Translation of the Bible reads, "But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." Witnesses understand this passage to mean that God reveals to them a progressively greater understanding of the Bible, known as "light." Over the course of time, then, the WTS is becoming more accurate in its interpretation of the Bible and in its prophecies, as the "light" shines more brightly.

While Catholics agree with the idea of doctrinal development, that is not the process actually taking place within the WTS. When a teaching or belief genuinely develops, its essence remains intact as expanded layers of understanding are added to it. In fact, the first president of the WTS, Charles Taze Russell, said: "A new light of truth can never contradict a former truth. ‘New light’ never extinguishes older ‘light,’ but adds to it" (WT, Feb. 1881, 3)...

...The article went on to ask, "What confidence can one put in the sincerity or judgment of such persons?" This is a point to ponder seriously when assessing the reliability of the Watch Tower Society as a spiritual guide...

-Carrie

25 comments:

howard said...

Apparently Sola Ecclesia isn't all its cracked up to be? If they could only hear themselves.

Rhology said...

The graphic is classic!

David Waltz said...

Calvinists on Mormons...

I find Carrie’s assessment an all too frequent phenomenon among “apologists”, for the irony lies not in a Catholic Christian’s critique of a sect which seeks to usurp the authority that our Lord and His apostles gave to His visible Church; but rather, the real irony lies in the employment of a double standard. For instance, Calvinists are quick to hold Mormons in derision for asking those outside of their faith to seek confirmation from the Holy Spirit about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, while maintaining as a truism that it is ultimately only by the work of the Holy Spirit that one can come to know the truthfulness/divinity of the Bible.

But I would argue that such a view avoids the charge of irony (or double standard) by acknowledging that a truism can, and usually does, have counterfeits.

With this in mind, Carrie’s charge of irony quickly vanishes; that is, unless of course, she is willing to concede the same charge to her own paradigm.


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

But SS-ists don't claim a PERSONAL revelation of a book as Scr as a very useful means of finding out whether a book is canonical or not. LDS do.
Why did you create a strawman, David, if you really meant the grace and peace you ended with?
And why don't you address the problem related in Carrie's comments? If the infallible interper model is correct, I can only make a fallible decision as to which one to choose. Unless I ASSUME one in advance, which doesn't really answer the question. You are assuming in advance (fallibly) that the RCC is the church founded by Jesus Christ, but the Watchtower infall interper will tell you that you're making a fallible choice; THEY are the infall interper. What's a guy to do?

David Waltz said...

Birds of a feather…

In my last post I forgot to mention that James Swan, just yesterday (http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=2270 ), also invoked the Catholic/JW(Russellism) twist. (See my remarks at: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2007/09/james-swan-systematic-theology-and.html .)

Am I the only one who finds it just a bit interesting that we have two posts separated by but one day wherein we find this Catholic/JW motif?


Grace and peace,

David

James Swan said...

The graphic is classic!

Indeed!

Anonymous said...

From Dude:

Protestant attempts in trying to connect JW authority with Catholic authrotiy in usurping the Bible if fruitless when truly examined with all senses.

Keeping in mind JW's and Mormon's are break-off's from mainline, adventist Protestantism. Their leaders became too charismatic (something very common within Protestantism) and then crossed over the edge with their charism and revelation.

When you try to draw parallels between Catholicism and these groups, you do not realize the same things can be done, but with even more accuracy to Protestantism with regard to these exact same groups.

E.G. The mormon teaches the great apostacy right after the apostles, and that true Christianity did not arrive until their group leader's particular interpretation of scriptures and his private revelation some 1,800 years after Jesus told his Church that the gates of hell would not prevail.

This is the core of Mormonism, which sounds an awful lot like Protestantism (which it is a skewed version of it), does it not???

There are many other parallels, like appealing to the Holy Spirit for the burning in the bosom to know what you have read as correct for their 'knowable' interpretation of scriptures.

I could go on, but you see my point.

They came from Protestantism, just as the May-heresy group in Canada just mentioned, came from Catholicism.

Is the Mary-heresy group quasi-Catholic: Yes.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons quasi-Protestant: Yes.

I suggest you read those scriptures about the plank in your eye, and spend a little more time considering it.

Anonymous said...

From Dude:

P.S.

I forgot the short part of the appeal to all senses: The logical examination of history. Where were the JW's for 1,800 years. Where were the Mormon's? (Or Protestants for that matter)

This would one of the primary appeals to how to discern what is true or false. Then an examination of the scriptures and how it points to a church, then an examination of the Church Fathers.

You attempt at connecting is preaching to the choir, who is usually, systematically out of key.

Thos said...

Carrie,

I do not see the irony. The Catholic idea of doctrinal development as I understand it from Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (I'm not Catholic) seems very different from the LDS view. Ott expresses the Catholic teaching as being that the Truth the Church received from General Revelation is immutable, and was concluded after Christ and the Apostles. The JW/WTS view differs. Later dogmatic proclamations by the Catholic Church, then, were not based on new revelation, but on development of that original deposit of Truth.

Rhology,

I think your view of circular reasoning by the Catholics (a person fallible determines to abide by an allegedly infallible church's teaching) would be helped if you consider the notion of accountability/culpability for those in a teaching office. If, ex arguendo, the Baptists hold the "true" faith and my infant baptism was invalid or offensive, hopefully God will show mercy to me for staying Reformed because I am submitted to my church's elders. But if the anabaptists were wrong in Calvin's time, Scripture gives a sharp warning to them - better to have a millstone tied around your neck, as it were. In that light, the fallible personal discernment of which church to follow carries a far lesser culpability than a denominations discernment to, say, approve of the birth control pill, or move to promote the legalization of abortion (as the Southern Baptist Convention did in the early 70's). The fallibility of the one is on a different plain consequentially than the fallibility of the other.

Peace in Christ,
Thos.

Carrie said...

I could go on, but you see my point.

No, I don't.

All I see, along with your other comments on this blog, is that you you are quite ignorant of Protestantism.

Rhology said...

Hi Thos,

the notion of accountability/culpability for those in a teaching office.

I see what you might be getting at, but it's cut off at the pass by several problems.
1) The modern RCC is molasses-slow in exercising such accountability/culpability for those in a teaching office. Hans Kung? Modernists? Pomos? Libs? Charismatics? Creationists? ExtraEcclesiaNullamSalus-ers? What's happening to them? Not much. My church would've given them the left boot of fellowship LONG ago (well, not the charismatics). And we're not infallible.
2) The very notion of an infall interper proscribes the possibility. If the Magisterium screws up, there's no way to go back b/c they're infallible.
3) The limits of the Magisterium are vague.
4) The definitions of infallible/fallible teaching are yet vaguer.

If, ex arguendo, the Baptists hold the "true" faith and my infant baptism was invalid or offensive, hopefully God will show mercy to me for staying Reformed because I am submitted to my church's elders.

Do you mean your infbaptism as a Presby? In that case, what does that have to do with the Gospel? The Gospel is that which condemns if rejected.

But if the anabaptists were wrong in Calvin's time, Scripture gives a sharp warning to them

Not all warnings carry the anathema of God. Some are towards loss of heavenly reward, towards the burning up of their works before God, towards loss of spiritual power on earth, and even sometimes to an untimely physical death. And of course, the possibility of proving yourself a false convert.

approve of the birth control pill, etc

God knows the heart, but if one is foolish and doesn't study the issue to know that the pill is abortifacient, then he incurs the things mentioned above. If he DOES know and supports baby murder anyway, he is in danger of those things and the final thing mentioned. But these are still not on par with an embracing of a false church with a false gospel so as to get infallible fuzzies, biblically speaking.

Hope that helps.

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

Dude,

Your comments, like the graphic, are classic.

then crossed over the edge with their charism and revelation.

1) You mean "charismA", right? There is a diff.
2) And of course, those were false claims of revelation. I do hope you're not trying to lay that at the feet of Sola Scriptura.

the same things can be done, but with even more accuracy to Protestantism with regard to these exact same groups.

The point being made here is the presence of the infall interper in all 3 systems. Not applicable to Prot-ism.

This is the core of Mormonism, which sounds an awful lot like Protestantism (which it is a skewed version of it), does it not???

No, just your skewed understanding of SS-ism.

There are many other parallels, like appealing to the Holy Spirit for the burning in the bosom to know what you have read as correct for their 'knowable' interpretation of scriptures.

Once again you make an irrelevant parallel. This is not SS-ism.
You might as well be saying: You know, LDS are polytheistic. Prots are polytheistic. See what I mean?
You have to actually engage SS-ist positions to be taken seriously./

Is the Mary-heresy group quasi-Catholic: Yes.

How do you know? Would you have known that 1 year before their official excomm? Why or why not?
Those are the questions no one ever wants to answer.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons quasi-Protestant: Yes.

Um, no, they're cults. LDS is quasi-pagan, that's fair to say.
JW-ism, they're Arian. Prots didn't split from the Arian church, historically.

You're just grabbing random elements and splicing them together.

Plank in the eye? Maybe. What does the Scr say about arrogance and false doctrine? Oh wait, you can't know that b/c the RCC hasn't infallibly defined those texts. Should've remembered.

Peace,
Rhology

Thos said...

Rhology,

I suppose my thoughts are still under-developed here, and am thankful for your reply. I can’t shake the sense though that the Scriptures and the order of nature clearly place us under Authorities, and those Authorities are the ones judged harshly for sin and error. We are told to obey those appointed over us. We are told that the state bears the sword for the Lord. We see from nature that we are born into our parents’ household, and told to honor and obey them. The weight of spoiling a child is not on the child’s head but the parents’. Likewise, I believe that the weight of leading Christ’s sheep astray is on the false shepherd and not on the sheep themselves.

You said that the RCC is too slow in addressing (inter alia) Liberals, and that your church would have given them the boot long ago. Is it so evident that Liberals need expulsion (excommunication) over instruction? At any rate, how does the slowness of the RCC affect my opinion that those in authority bear the culpability for failure? If the RCC is right in its claims of authority, then the slowness for not addressing Liberalism is on its own head (the Magisterium).

Why would you not boot the Charismatics, who believe that their mouths can become the Paraclete, and that revelation is continuing?

Regarding infallible screw-ups and culpability, I do not believe the Catholics claim that their daily practices are infallible (e.g., their decision to not give the “left boot of fellowship” to “Libs” today). Therefore, they can be culpable for such screw-ups without having to recant on an allegedly infallible view. Likewise, it would be on their heads where they turned their backs on the child-sex-abuse situation of the 60’s and 70’s.

I agree that the limits of the Magisterium tend to vague. If you think the definitions of certain teachings as infallible are vague, I recommend Ott’s Introduction in “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma”. If anything, I would criticize the Catholics for being overly formal (hence, legalistic) in their approach to dogma, and not for being vague.

I did mean my infant baptism as a “presby” (actually, Christian Reformed Church). You do not see what this has to do with the Gospel? In baptism, I was buried with Christ and have been made new in his resurrection by faith. The word means “good news”, which is the Messiah’s coming, death, and conquering of death. I am not familiar with your understanding that “gospel” is what condemns – that strikes me as other than a Reformed view. From a gospel that condemns, it would seem to follow that the act of rejection causes damnation, rather than damnation coming from being born in a state of sin and not being elected to salvation. But at any rate, my point is that baptism is important to God, and if we are doing it wrongly, He is, no doubt, upset. I believe that if He needs to place blame on someone’s head for doing it wrong, it will be on the heads of those who teach the wrong practice and not on those who submit to the wrong practice (at least, not to the same extent).

I believe that those in a teaching office of the church have more of a burden in teaching about abortifacients than you state. The Pastor marries the couple, he does their counseling, he prays for them at their wedding, he pronounces them man and wife. To not instruct them that if they use the commonly-used pill they could cause abortions is to neglect the duties of the office. He will be culpable.

I hope that this clarifies some of my views. Peace to you,

Thos.

Rhology said...

Hi Thos,

I can’t shake the sense though that the Scriptures and the order of nature clearly place us under Authorities

1) A personal, fallible sense, though.
2) And nobody here would deny that the Scr teaches we are under earthly authority. We just deny that those authorities are not to be in submission to the Scr.

those Authorities are the ones judged harshly for sin and error.

Absolutely. "... as those who will give an account" Heb 13:17.
And the RCC, which teaches such damnable error, will be judged yet more harshly. I thank God I'm not one of 'em.

I believe that the weight of leading Christ’s sheep astray is on the false shepherd and not on the sheep themselves.

We cannot believe that the individual bears NO responsibility whatsoever. There are far too many commands to the indiv to examine himself in the Scr for that to hold.

Is it so evident that Liberals need expulsion (excommunication) over instruction?

Only if you value and want to be able to consistently claim a superior unity to that which exists among SS-ists.
Otherwise, I don't care - do what you want.

how does the slowness of the RCC affect my opinion that those in authority bear the culpability for failure?

Oh, don't misunderstand me. I wish you'd allow the full weight of those implications to bear on your soul so that you'd come to your senses, repent, and leave the RCC.

Why would you not boot the Charismatics, who believe that their mouths can become the Paraclete, and that revelation is continuing?

1) The charismatics I know and was referring to would never claim their mouths can become the Paraclete. They'd say to test all things by Scr. They're inconsistent with their implications, but this is hardly an issue to divide over like that.
2) Begs the question, of course, why the RCC doesn't ask and answer the same question itself.

I do not believe the Catholics claim that their daily practices are infallible

I have very carefully restricted myself to dealing with the "infallible" Magisterium, not "Catholics".

I recommend Ott’s Introduction in “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma”.

Which is not infallible. That doesn't help me one bit, does it?

I am not familiar with your understanding that “gospel” is what condemns

I refer to the Gospel of salvation of the guilty sinner by grace alone thru faith alone. Any 'gospel' that deviates from it draws upon its teacher the anathema of God in Galatians 1:8-10.

if we are doing it wrongly, He is, no doubt, upset.

Yes, but that does not mean He rejects His children for it. This flex is built into the way He set up His revelation.
Some things are, biblically, sufficiently bad to merit the appellation of "not Christian" (ie, the RCC Gospel) and others are not (ie, charismatic gifts).

To not instruct them that if they use the commonly-used pill they could cause abortions is to neglect the duties of the office. He will be culpable.

1) Yes, I agree.
2) But that doesn't mean the pastor will be cut off from salvation.
3) Also, I just don't see what's the relevance to what I've been saying about the false gospel of the RCC and its 'infallible teaching authority'.

Peace,
Rhology

GeneMBridges said...

Just a note, Thos, "Baptists" and "Anabaptists" are not convertible groups holding to convertible doctrines.

"Anabaptists" today would be groups like the Amish and the Mennonites. These come from Continental Anabaptistery.

"Baptists" would be those who sprouted not from Continental Anabaptistery but from from English Puritanism.

There is one theory of origins of Baptists being taught @ SWBTS that is seeking to link modern Baptists to Continental Anabaptists. It is rather plainly driven by those who wish to distance themselves from Calvinism in particular, pioneered by William Estep, namely Paige Patterson and Emir Caner, along with his brother Ergun.

At most, then, the "4 Point Arminian" variety of independent Baptists that are common in American fundamentalism would be theologically related, in some respects to Anabaptists, but only assuming that Caner and Estep's theory is correct. Particular Baptists, who were the genealogical parents of Southern Baptists as a whole, are not traceable to Continental Anabaptists, except by one or two articles in the First London Confession that do not appear in the Second.

Anonymous said...

From Dude

Carrie:

I don't know that I am ignorant of Protestantism. But perhaps you should consider this: Perhaps you display that you are ignorant of Catholicism. Hence my debating on your blog with the endless posts on Catholicism. I think I've seen about 1 in 3 weeks that have nothing to do with Cathlolic polemics.

Rhology:

To point 1 and 2: Yes, typing fast and on the way to work.

You took issue with:
This is the core of Mormonism, which sounds an awful lot like Protestantism (which it is a skewed version of it), does it not???

"No, just your skewed understanding of SS-ism."

I say, sorry, but saying that does not rebut what I said. So far as I can see, my statement is correct.

You take issue with:
Is the Mary-heresy group quasi-Catholic: Yes.

And state:

"How do you know? Would you have known that 1 year before their official excomm? Why or why not?
Those are the questions no one ever wants to answer."

If you are honestly trying to push this infallibility thing too to this point, it is fruitless in dialoguing with you.

I'll simply state: If the Catholic Church has not made a dogmatic ruling on WICCA, and I saw people practicing WICCA, would I be able to call it heresy? You seem to attempt to state that if the Church has not made a dogmatic ruling on this that I cannot formulate an opinion???

Come off it. You are arguing something that is not a problem for Catholics, and does not hold up to our logic. It is not the same as arguing that s.s. does not hold up to logic.

Post after post, you keep trying with the 'how can you know it is infallible' thing. For 1,500 years it was not a problem. Now after only 500 years of Protty-ism and even after the 1st 50 years, look how clear your system has been for non-Catholic Christians.

I'll give you a hint. We consider it to be so, usually until it is challenged by heresy. Up until that point, it is not necessary to dogmatically define something. After enough heresy, they then define it.

You say: "You might as well be saying: You know, LDS are polytheistic. Prots are polytheistic. See what I mean?
You have to actually engage SS-ist positions to be taken seriously."

I say, sorry, it is not as loose as saying LDS are polytheists, so are Protty's...see!

I was making a much more valid point. Please re-read.

I said: Are Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons quasi-Protestant: Yes.

You: Um, no, they're cults. LDS is quasi-pagan, that's fair to say.
JW-ism, they're Arian. Prots didn't split from the Arian church, historically.

I say: Um yes. Their lineage shows this. So does much of their doctrine. hey did splinter off of Protestantism, and kept many distinctly Protestant beliefs. My statement stands. Just because they are not JW's are not trinitarian does not mean they still cannot be connected to Protestantism. Albeit quasi, but from your end no less.

You say: What does the Scr say about arrogance and false doctrine?

I say: I am aware of it. However, look at your comments and see if they are any better than mine. Your tone is always negative, and never Christ-like.

Much like DTK (but not quite as bad) you, like the picture on this post, are the pot calling the kettle black.

Thos said...

Gene,

Thank you that was informative. I used the anabaptists by way of example. They are one of the three major branches of the Reformation (Lutheran, Reformed, and Anabaptist). The "ana" was dropped long ago, but Baptists on the "continent" and in England descend from anabaptism. My example stands. Anabaptistic denominations (writ large) do not baptize infants - no other point was meant.

Rhology,

I am not a Catholic.

"We just deny that those authorities are not to be in submission to the Scr"

Our views on submission and authority are not in unity, and this is a shame. I hope we can be of one mind some day. If you are submitted to a church authority only so long as it conforms to the scriptures as you interpret them, then you are only submitted to your own interpretation. To take one thread-bare example, the Bible says (explicitly) that we are not saved by faith alone (Jas 2:24), yet you believe that we are. It is your interpretation. Your view that all rules must come from and be submitted to the Scriptures is an extra-biblical teaching.

Charismaticism has at its origin the practice of speaking in tongues and receiving new revelation from the Holy Spirit. It has a large splinter group that teaches against the trinity (oneness pentecostals). These are views gravely different from mine.

You seem to believe that the only doctrinal disputes worth concern are those that affect our ultimate salvation, as you have formulated soteriology. I raised the Pill/Abortifacient issue in part to highlight that there are other important issues that must have some spiritual consequence apart from 'in heaven/in hell'. Our life will be measured at its end. If we have built in hay, stone, silver or gold, that will be made known... People who teach that the Pill is okay or even important to use are teaching Christians to (unwittingly) practice abortifacient medicine. Focus on the Family, for instance (Dr. Dobson specifically) after 'careful study' decided the pill was right and good for Christians to use! Is this an irrelevant happenstance so long as we're all still going to heaven? Is there no weight on him who has assumed for himself teaching authority?

Peace in Christ,
Thos.

Rhology said...

Dude,

If you are honestly trying to push this infallibility thing too to this point, it is fruitless in dialoguing with you.

Then you join the rest of the RCs around here in not answering the question. You're acting like this is a problem of my own making. It's not - there's no structure for such absurdity in the SS POV.

If the Catholic Church has not made a dogmatic ruling on WICCA, and I saw people practicing WICCA, would I be able to call it heresy?

Not an infallible one, but you RCs (I mean, all you who talk like RCs) keep saying that I need a non-private, infall interp to know most anythg. Just start acting more consistently and we'll get along better.
Getting down to brass tacks - Eph 2:8-9 says we are saved by faith, NOT by works. RCC says we are saved also by works. Though the psg says NOT by works, you'll claim the RCC can define infallibly where I can only state 'fallibly' what the psg means, even though it says NOT by works. Help me out here - what am I missing?

For 1,500 years it was not a problem.

For longer than that, almost nobody thought the Magisterium was infall, so I agree.

hey did splinter off of Protestantism

Prots have no Arian influence, sorry. Ideologically this is apples and kumquats.

kept many distinctly Protestant beliefs.

Why would that matter that they share some beliefs with us? Mormons share a lot of RC beliefs.

Your tone is always negative, and never Christ-like.

that was pretty negative, and it sounds like you're rebuking me for misbehaving. Much like Christ...

I am not a Catholic.

Yes, I just found that out. Sorry. But you talk like one - maybe you should rethink your wording.

If you are submitted to a church authority only so long as it conforms to the scriptures as you interpret them

There you go again - you sound like a RC.
So according to your logic, I should submit to the ch authorities even though they violate Scr. No thanks.
Also, the Scr is not sufficiently clear to make its point. And it is not self-interping. God is a fool for ordaining the Scr as our final authority.

To take one thread-bare example, the Bible says (explicitly) that we are not saved by faith alone (Jas 2:24)

1) In a psg that doesn't even deal with the question of salvation.
2) In a psg that deals with the DISPLAY of a JUSTIFICATION of true faith.
3) When there are other psgs that tell us, in the context of a discussion on salvation, that we are saved by faith, NOT by works (Eph 2:8-10), that we are reckoned righteous APART FROM WORKS (Rom 4:6-8).
4) Given all your talk about submission to authorities, does your pastor know you're talking like this? If you were in my church, I'd ask you to repent and begin the process of ch discipline - you are no brother of mine if you truly believe this.

Your view that all rules must come from and be submitted to the Scriptures is an extra-biblical teaching.

Mark 7:1-13
Matthew 15:1-8
2 Tim 3:15-17
Acts 20:32

You seem to believe that the only doctrinal disputes worth concern are those that affect our ultimate salvation

No, those are what have been coming up recently. The whole truth is worth fighting over, but the method and urgency of the fight depend on WHOM we're fighting.

I raised the Pill/Abortifacient issue in part to highlight that there are other important issues that must have some spiritual consequence apart from 'in heaven/in hell'.

And I agreed with you.
My wife and I, once we discovered this truth, have shared the info with other couples and gotten off the Pill ourselves.
But this is hardly as important as the question of the nature of the Gospel. Priorities, man!

Peace,
Rhology

Thos said...

"So according to your logic, I should submit to the ch authorities even though they violate Scr. No thanks. Also, the Scr is not sufficiently clear to make its point. And it is not self-interping. God is a fool for ordaining the Scr as our final authority."

Calvin taught clearly that we are to remain submitted to our church as long as 1) it attended to the sacraments, and 2) it preached the gospel. In particular disputes about that Gospel, we had no right (in his view) to usurp authority. He realized there would be endless fracture if this were so. Your view is not in conformity with reformational principles. Where did God ordain the texts of the Bible as our final authority? I believe that he made Christ, the Word made Flesh, our final authority.

Re: James 2:24, you said, "1) In a psg that doesn't even deal with the question of salvation."

James 2:24 (NKJV) "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only".

Justification is "Salvation" in the classic reformed sense, so the passage does deal with salvation, and I agree that James is getting at a right manifestation of faith, contra a view of mere intellectual assent (as the demons have). The Catholic teaching would agree also. We are not saved by works, I agree, as would the Catholic teaching.

"4) Given all your talk about submission to authorities, does your pastor know you're talking like this? If you were in my church, I'd ask you to repent and begin the process of ch discipline - you are no brother of mine if you truly believe this."

Are you a pastor? My pastor does know, as did my previous pastor when I lived in a different state. Thank you for your concern; I've shared it.

Mark 7 and Matthew 15 do not display that all rules must come from Scripture. These discuss those who are far from God and those who follow the traditions of men (bad tradition). 2 Tim tells us the Sciptures (and this a reference to the O.T.) are able to make us wise for salvation. I agree. It says they are profitable to make us complete and equipped for every good work, and I also agree - the Scriptures are a full and sufficient source of truth. It does not follow that all rules and practices of the faith must come explcitly from scripture. Your Acts reference says that Scripture is able to build us up - same point, I agree but it does not follow that it builds us up at the exclusion of all else.

Re: Priorities and the Pill, I find it hard to prioritize anything over the life of another human.

I've overstayed my welcome and will try to graciously draw down our conversation, Lord willing. Thank you for your time, patience and concern, and may Christ Jesus go with you in your ministry.

Peace in Christ,
Thos.

Rhology said...

Hi,

Calvin taught clearly that we are to remain submitted to our church as long as 1) it attended to the sacraments, and 2) it preached the gospel.

#2 - QED.

Where did God ordain the texts of the Bible as our final authority?

You are RC in heart, my friend.
2 Tim 3:16
Mark 7:1-13
Matthew 15:1-8
Acts 20:32

I agree that James is getting at a right manifestation of faith, contra a view of mere intellectual assent (as the demons have).

Correct, b/c salvation is by FAITH ALONE.

The Catholic teaching would agree also. We are not saved by works, I agree, as would the Catholic teaching.

Nonsense. Just ask any RC if YOU (not anyone else - YOU) can be saved without being baptised and taking the Sacraments.
Why is it that the non-ecumenist, the big meanie, is the only one of us correctly representing RC theology?


My pastor does know, as did my previous pastor when I lived in a different state. Thank you for your concern; I've shared it.

That's a crying shame.

Mark 7 and Matthew 15 do not display that all rules must come from Scripture.

Which is never what I claimed. Try to keep track of the argument.
SS claims that Scr is the final, infallible rule of faith. Jesus told us to test all trads by Scr here.

2 Tim tells us the Sciptures (and this a reference to the O.T.) are able to make us wise for salvation.

AND ALSO that Scr prepares the man of God for teaching, rebuking, **DOCTRINE**, etc, so that we can be sufficient.

It does not follow that all rules and practices of the faith must come explcitly from scripture.

You apparently can represent neither SS nor RC theology correctly.

I find it hard to prioritise...

Then you'll have a very hard time understanding the kinds of things which draw the anathema of God, biblically speaking, and those that don't. If, OTOH, you were to ASK for correction on that, one of us would be more than happy to help. Your barging in with your misrepresentations and scoldings, as well as poor understanding of biblical theology, is hard to keep up with.


Thank you for your time, patience and concern, and may Christ Jesus go with you in your ministry.

And may He have mercy on you for your blasphemous opinions.

Peace,
Rhology

Thos said...

Rhology,

I'm trying to wind down, so will only hit a few points.

Calvin and Luther had the very debate about whether all must be from scripture, or just all in confromity to scripture. I merely meant to say that the former does not follow from the verses you shared.

As a Calvinist, I do not believe in works saving, and I do not believe that coming to faith saves you because it was your good work (Arminian - opposed to Predestination). I believe that true faithis what saves.

I have had the conversation you suggest with Catholics, and have read much about it. I can certainly be "saved" in their view without being baptized and receiving the sacraments. The criticism to level is not this one, but their odd universalistic tendencies, which seem to conflict with previous "dogmatic" counciliar statements. Their formal teaching is that one who fully recognizes the "truth" of the Catholic Church but still refuses to submit to it will be damned.

Your statements like "try to keep track of the argument" and "your blasphemous opinions" induce me to emotional reactions. This is why I should probably discontinue posting here. I have barged in? I have scolded? I apologize for any scoldings I have given. It was not my place.

Peace to you,
Thos.

Rhology said...

Thos,

whether all must be from scripture, or just all in confromity to scripture.

OK, we would hold to the latter (and by "we" I mean the Beggars All bloggers. I'm having alot of trouble getting a fix on your position, to be honest). Fair enough.

I do not believe in works saving

Do you also believe that he who believes his work is partially responsible for saving him is damned? This is a crucial point. I honestly have trouble liking it, but it's in the Scr and that compels me.

Peace,
Rhology

Thos said...

Rhology,

Very fair question, and I agree it's our crucial point. Consider the Arminians here. Though they claim a belief in "grace alone", they believe that God's ELECTION is conditioned on faith, and that we have the freedom to resist God's grace that draws us to faith. I see this requirement to 1) accept and 2) remain in faith as a "work" that merits salvation, and I believe this to be a very grave alteration of our Gospel.

But am I compelled by the passages you gave me that True Ariminians are hell-bound? Not presently, but I will seriously consider your thoughts and these verses more. I also need to consider how (if) the Catholic position really differs from the Arminian one. I do believe that he who first taught this claim to the faithful (J. Arminius) is more culpable than those who pat themselves on the back for being good enough to accept the grace offered out to them.

And I would happily be corrected if there are any Nazarenes, Methodists or other Arminians reading.

Peace,
Thos

Rhology said...

Most Arminians (just not the most radical) don't believe in faith+works for justification, so I'm not sure that's relevant. But the question is whether someone who believes in faith+works = justification can legitimately be called a brother in Christ, given the condemnation of that exact view in Gal 1:8-10.

Thos said...

Rhology,

Perhaps "most" Arminians don't believe in Arminianism, and perhaps "most" Catholics believe more in the need for works than their church teaches. I thought we were discussing formal teaching here though, since you've made clear that you're not condemning all Catholics, only True Catholics. So my statement only would have been directed at True Arminians - would you condemn them as well?

Gal 1:8-10 condemns teachers, not followers, of an other Gospel.

You said, "the question is whether someone who believes in faith+works = justifiction can legitimately be called a brother in Christ..." James was not only a brother in Christ, but given the ability to write out the breathing of the Holy Spirit. He said, (James 2:24) "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (KJV)"

If I were to reduce this to a formula, it would look like this: Justification = works+faith. But then I wouldn't do that because the doctrinally-developed words of "justification", "works", "faith", and "sanctification" have become highly nuanced. But I do believe James 2:24 as written. In our earlier discussion, we talked about faith (vice justification). To admit that salvation is synonmous with justification means you need to do something with James 2:24 to not take it as it is written (like I assume you take Genesis 1 as it is written).

Peace,
Thos.