Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Christ alone or Christ plus other things?




Dr. White continues to do a great job of analyzing the problems with the ecumenism communicated by Timothy George with Frank Beckwith.

http://www.aomin.org/podcasts/20090922.mp3

The moderator asked a great question of Frank Beckwith:

“During your 30 years as an Evangelical Protestant, you failed to observe the sacrament of reconciliation, and thus found yourself in a state of mortal sin; If you had died during that time, do you suppose you would have been accepted by God?”

Dr. White points out: “It is a mortal sin to not attend mass over a certain period of time; it is a mortal sin to not go to confession over a certain period of time.”

Beckwith’s first response: “I had never thought about that.”

The questions were provided before hand, and he wanted to get this right; so he typed out his answer.

Basically, he said, “yes, God would have accepted me, because I was ignorant.”

Beckwith’s answer was a contradiction to Roman Catholic tradition and dogmas. Canon 21 of the Fourth Lateran Council ( 1215 AD) says that every RC must go to mass at least once a year (at Easter) and partake of the Eucharist and confess all their sins to the priest.

CANON 21
SUMMARY Everyone who has attained the age of reason is bound to confess his sins at least once a year to his own parish pastor with his permission to another, and to receive the Eucharist at least at Easter. A priest who reveals a sin confided to him in confession is to be deposed and relegated to a monastery for the remainder of his life.
Text. All the faithful of both sexes shall after they have reached the age of discretion faithfully confess all their sins at least once a year to their own (parish) priest and perform to the best of their ability the penance imposed, receiving reverently at least at Easter the sacrament of the Eucharist, unless perchance at the advice of their own priest they may for a good reason abstain for a time from its reception; otherwise they shall be cut off from the Church (excommunicated) during life and deprived of Christian burial in death. Wherefore, let this salutary decree be published frequently in the churches, that no one may find in the plea of ignorance a shadow of excuse. But if anyone for a good reason should wish to confess his sins to another priest, let him first seek and obtain permission from his own (parish) priest, since otherwise he (the other priest) cannot loose or bind him.
(My own emphasis)

Canon 21 says that ignorance is no excuse and yet Mr. Beckwith claimed ignorance would get him to heaven!

Earlier, the Moderator said:
“We agree that authentic faith will necessarily issue forth in obedience –“

and then he mentions
“the ground upon which one stands” - [Before a just and holy God]

Is it “Christ alone” or “Christ plus other things” – Dr. White asked the question, “Christ plus other things” - “Isn’t that what the message of Galatians is all about?”

Will you stand before the Sovereign, holy God of creation, clothed in the righteousness of Christ alone? Or are you trusting in the added merit of other saints, Mary, and/or your own good works, added to faith?

"and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." Philippians 3:9

"But as to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," Romans 4:5

". . . If any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:9

68 comments:

Principium Unitatis said...

Ken,

Dr. White points out: “It is a mortal sin to not attend mass over a certain period of time; it is a mortal sin to not go to confession over a certain period of time.”

If White really said those words (I haven't looked it up to see if he said them), then he has confused grave sin with mortal sin. It is hard to believe that after all these years fighting Catholicism, he still doesn't know the difference between mortal and grave sin.

Basically, he said, “yes, God would have accepted me, because I was ignorant.”

That's not what he said. Nor is it the meaning of what he said.

Beckwith’s answer was a contradiction to Roman Catholic tradition and dogmas. Canon 21 of the Fourth Lateran Council ( 1215 AD) says that every RC must go to mass at least once a year (at Easter) and partake of the Eucharist and confess all their sins to the priest.

Beckwith's answer is not a contradiction to Catholic tradition and dogmas. The canons you cite are specifying *discipline*, not dogma. The current code of canon law is from 1983, not AD 1215 or Trent. And the tradition has long recognized what is called invincible ignorance.

Canon 21 says that ignorance is no excuse

Actually, no it doesn't. It says that the decree should be published frequently in the churches, so that no one be ignorant of it. What it says actually shows that ignorance of a decree does excuse the requirement contained in that decree, if that requirement is not already known from another source.

and yet Mr. Beckwith claimed ignorance would get him to heaven!

No, that's not what he claimed or what he believes. He believes we are saved by grace. Invincible ignorance of a requirement is not an act of hatred toward God, or a rejection of His grace. Hence it does not expel grace and agape from the soul. He is not saying that ignorance gets anyone into heaven.

Please try at least to understand the Catholic position, before criticizing it, so that you don't construct a straw man. This is the principle of charity.

In the peace of Christ,

- Bryan

Turretinfan said...

Ken - good to see a post from you!

Francis J. Beckwith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francis J. Beckwith said...

Oops. Here's the right link:

http://romereturn.blogspot.com/2009/09/blog-semper-reformanda.html

Kepha said...

In light of the fact that Rome has changed ("developed") her soteriology so as to allow for goat worshippers and Protestants to be saved, Dr. Beckwith was right to say that he was invincibly ignorant and, therefore, like the goat worshipper, would not have been held accountable for not confessing his mortal sins to a Roman priest.

Ryan said...

Romans 10:3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.

Ignorance is cited by Paul as a reason the Israelites didn't submit to God's righteousness, and he still regarded them as unsaved (10:1). The idea that an unbeliever can scorn God's glory with impunity is ludicrous.

Steve said...

"But as to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," Romans 4:5

Amen!

"All our righteous deeds are as filty rags."

That's another one that is not a favorite of the Christ +'s

James Swan said...

Dr. Beckwith was right to say that he was invincibly ignorant and, therefore, like the goat worshipper, would not have been held accountable for not confessing his mortal sins to a Roman priest.

Kepha, Did the Roman Church in 1215 have a concept of "invincible ignorance"?

James Swan said...

And the tradition has long recognized what is called invincible ignorance

OK, I'll bite. Exactly when did this "tradition" emerge?

Kepha said...

James,

Nope. Heck, even just 200 years ago Dr. Beckwith would've been condemned to Hell for not being in communion with the Pope's church. But that is the beauty of Rome, namely, she changes ("develops") with the times.

The Roman church is like a bulley who at one time could authoritatively proclaim to everyone, "My way or the highway." Now that everyone has decided that Rome isn't that important after all, she has changed her attitude and says, "Hey, guys, c'mon, you know I always, implicitly, believed that you could all go to Heaven!"

Carrie said...

It is hard to believe that after all these years fighting Catholicism, he still doesn't know the difference between mortal and grave sin.

Where is the distinction between “mortal sin” and “grave sin” found? In my reading they appear to be interchangeable.

Here is one site that defines mortal sin:

“…The terms mortal, deadly, grave, and serious applied to sin are synonyms, each with a slightly different implication. Mortal and deadly focus on the effects in the sinner, namely deprivation of the state of friendship with God; grave and serious refer to the importance of the matter in which a person offends God. But the Church never distinguishes among these terms as though they represented different kinds of sins. There is only on e recognized correlative to mortal sin, and that is venial sin, which offends against God but does not cause the loss of one's state of grace.”

Also, the catechism says the following:

CCC 1446 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace."

Grave sin = loss of baptismal grace & a need to recover the grace of justification.

CCC 1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

Mortal sin = loss of sanctifying grace and eternal death of hell.

CCC 1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification:…”

Sanctifying grace = the grace of justification = that grace given at baptism

Sounds like a distinction without a difference. It appears that both unconfessed mortal sins and grave sins (if there were a difference) would both land you in hell. I think that was the point.

Matthew Bellisario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bkaycee said...

Can those condemed to hell by the church before "invincible ignorance" appeal to GOD on the technicality that the church(Pope/Magesterium) was invincibly ignorant of "invincible ignorance"?

Matthew Bellisario said...

First of all invincible ignorance does not guarantee a person a free trip to heaven. It is only a possibility. They are left to the mercy of God, just as unbaptized infants are. Where does the Church say that all invincibly ignorant people go to heaven? The CCC says they "can" be saved, not that they will all be saved.

Rhology said...

Invincible ignorance is a cop-out of (un)biblical proportions. No wonder Rome has such a problem with liberalism.

Matthew Bellisario said...

The general rule to follow is that God always gives His saving grace so that people are usually saved through the ordinary visible means of His Church. Some may be saved not because they were invincibly ignorant, but because He chose to save them by His grace despite their physical, geographical or intellectual hurdles that a person may be hindered by.

It is my personal opinion that most people don't fall into this category. Generally those who do not visibly come into the Catholic faith are most probably lost souls. All of us are left to the mercy of God's grace. He gave us the Church to preach His gospel and it is by this divine institution that all people are saved, although some, like the invincibly ignorant, may never physically enter into the Catholic Church formally.

It is a fact that Dr Beckwith did not die outside the Church. Even in this case the issue of invincible ignorance is not at play in regards to his salvation. God gave Dr Beckwith the normative means of salvation by giving him the grace to convert to Catholicism. These "what if" scenarios do not really work when we speak of God's grace and His predilection. If anything this serves as a warning to those who willfully reject the Catholic faith.

Ryan said...

"The CCC says they "can" be saved, not that they will all be saved."

Which is equally moronic. Paul laments for those without a preacher in Romans 10, not [only] because they won't better know God, but also because such people cannot possibly be saved.

Ken said...

I am very glad and thankful that Dr. Beckwith came here and gave a link to his longer answer, so everyone can read it. I did not have time to type all of that out.

Be sure to also listen to Dr. White's fuller analysis of it.

The point about "anthropo-centric"
is coming straight from the RCC's vantage point and all the requirements that one has to make by penance and confession and mass, etc. Dr. White answered that point very well.

It is true that I did not take the time to type all that out; but at the end, he did say,

"So, to answer your question, yes, I think I would have been accepted by God if I had died prior to returing to the Catholic Church. The good thing, though, is that I have lived to tell about it."

For Bryan Cross, that is why I wrote, "Basically"

I think Bryan is right on one point, that is, this is not technically "dogma"; [as I understand what you mean]; for example it is not a "dogma" like the 1854 Immaculate Conception, or 1870 Papal Infallibility dogma or the 1950 Bodily Assumption of Mary dogma.

But then there is the other problem of the RCC teaching of submission to the regular Magisterium vs. submission to dogmatic decrees. The non-dogmatic decrees and canons and rules and beliefs are still required and binding on all RCs to submit to them all according to the "regular function of the Magisterium", which means submission to everything, not just those late dogmas. ( I hope I get that terminology right.)

It is a discipline. Is not a discipline that is passed down for centuries, a tradition? Isn't that what the Traditionalists/Society of Pope Pius XII/Latin Mass/pre-Vatican 2/and Sedevacantists would argue?

Ok, so what does the 1983 code of canon law discipline say about someone who fails to go to mass at least once a year and fails to perform the sacrament of reconciliation with the RCC?

Dr. White mentions this idea of the RC changing things since Vatican 2:

“Once you admit that it has changed, then all of Rome’s authority claims evaporate.”

“If the truth of the gospel changes over periods of time, then what is the essence of Roman authority claims? What good is it? Questions that need to be asked.”

The point is still that RCC cannot define what the gospel is clearly from all these qualifications and changes.

Scripture alone is much clearer as to what the gospel is.

By the time people can read all the books of canon law and decrees of Trent and the catechism and the changes and Vatican 2, he might die and go to hell before he can digest all of that stuff and understand it.

Dr. White did an excellent job of showing the difference and essence of what we are trying to communicate in his closing statement in his debate with Mitch Pacwa on Sola Scriptura:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Sl5uGQSIk&feature=PlayList&p=A344ABA14541A479&index=9

And Carrie made an excellent point that the distinction between grave sin and mortal sin is a distinction without a difference.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Ryan, who said they will be saved without knowing God? This is not the definition of invincible ignorance. Learn the Catholic faith before you make such rash comments.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Scripture alone is much clearer as to what the gospel is."

Really? Scripture separated from the Church has never had unifying effect. Luther and Calvin were in total disagreement over central core doctrines. The same with Luther and Zwingly, and the same now with others who are all claiming to follow Scripture Alone. There is not one Protestant I have ever met who actually practices Sola Scriptura.

Jugulum said...

Ken,

"Canon 21 says that ignorance is no excuse and yet Mr. Beckwith claimed ignorance would get him to heaven!"

Doesn't Canon 21 actually say (or suggest) the opposite?

It says that the requirement to attend mass should be posted, so that no one could find a shadow of excuse in ignorance. In other words, "Let's make sure that no one is ignorant of the requirement!"

It seems like it's trying to prevent anyone from being able to appeal to something like invincible ignorance--it's not saying that invincible ignorance wouldn't be an excuse.

(Note: It also doesn't affirm that invincible ignorance actually is a valid excuse.)


Of course, by this standard, Dr. Beckwith was not ignorant of the requirement. Presumably, he knew that the Catholic Church requires mass & confession. If he wants to claim invincible ignorance, he would have to claim that he was invincibly ignorant about Roman Catholicism being the True, Authoritative Church.

Jugulum said...

Whoops, I see that Bryan Cross already made that point, in his comment. I apologize for not reading the existing comments closely enough.

I'll leave my comment as-is instead of deleting it, because:
1.) It hasn't been responded to, yet. (And it does seem to be an error on both Ken and Dr. White's part.)
2.) My last paragraph points out what Dr. Beckwith needs to argue, if he wants to be able to claim invincible ignorance.

To expand on that: Dr. Beckwith has to claim that his youthful departure from communion with Rome (or his continued schism in adulthood) was completely non-culpable. That he was unable to realize his error, "notwithstanding the employment of moral diligence".

That sounds like a pretty tall order.

Ken said...

Luther and Calvin were in total disagreement over central core doctrines.

Disagreeing over the Lord's Supper, Christ's presence in the Lord's supper or Eucharist is not a central or core doctrine, especially when they agreed with each other that the sacrifice of the mass in RCC teaching was wrong and that transubstantiation was wrong. They both agreed that bowing before the consecrated host was idolatry; or at least gives the appearance of idolatry.

Their disagreement over "spiritual real presence by faith" (Calvin) vs. "consubstantiation" (Luther) is not a major disagreement, as compared to the gospel and how one is saved. They both agreed with each other over justification by faith alone and most everything else.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Disagreeing over the Lord's Supper, Christ's presence in the Lord's supper or Eucharist is not a central or core doctrine"

Really? Says who, you? So much for Sola Scriptura. No place in Scripture does it say that it is not a core doctrine.

Ken said...

Bryan (and Jugulum, in meaning) wrote: [in reference to Canon 21 of the Fourth Lateran Council] (supposedly an infallible council, right? Was not Transubstantiation decreed dogmatic and infallible here?)

Bryan wrote:
"What it says actually shows that ignorance of a decree does excuse the requirement contained in that decree, if that requirement is not already known from another source."

Ok, but surely he (Frank Beckwith, as a teenager and/or college student) knew, as a general rule, that RCs are required to at least go to mass and confession once a year at Easter? Isn't that why church and mass attendance is so much larger than other times? Isn't that a long standing discipline and understanding that most RCs would be knowlegable about? Even a teenager and/or young College student? ( As Dr. Beckwith was ?)

I think most RCs know that they should go to mass and confession once a year (at least). So, if not, tell us what the new/ Post Vatican 2/ 1983 discipline is.

The point is still that these changes from supposedly the "infallible church" muddle and confuse the gospel for centuries on essential issues such as salvation from sin and hell. The infallibility and authority claims of Rome "evaporate", as Dr. White said on his recent Dividing Line show.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex said...

Ken mentioned: "Society of Pope Pius XII"

Me: Who are they? This is just another example of getting simple facts wrong. I point this out because I doubt that anyone will argue that this is wrong, never mind the erroneous description regarding Catholic teaching.

Ken: “Disagreeing over the Lord's Supper, Christ's presence in the Lord's supper or Eucharist is not a central or core doctrine…”

Me: Ken, do you have a list of central or core doctrines that you could point to in the Bible? For example, does Scripture say somewhere, “Here are the central and core doctrines_.” How am I to know what those central and core doctrines are outside of you telling me, and don’t they then just become central and core doctrines in your mind that you impose on me?

Ryan said...

MB wrote: "...who said they will be saved without knowing God?"

Nobody. Can you read?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Ryan you obviously don't know what your talking about. Invincible ignorance does not mean that the person does not know God. What, are you inventing your own definitions now?

Also where did the society of Pope Pius XII come from Ken? Did you invent that society?

Finally I quote from this opening post the following, "Dr. White points out: “It is a mortal sin to not attend mass over a certain period of time; it is a mortal sin to not go to confession over a certain period of time.”

My response,
No, it is a mortal sin not got to Mass every Sunday. Not a certain period of time. I have to wonder how much Dr White really knows by saying this.

Turretinfan said...

"Really? Says who, you? So much for Sola Scriptura. No place in Scripture does it say that it is not a core doctrine."

That's not how Sola Scriptura works, Bellisario. Are you really confused about that, or are you just hassling the other commenter?

Ken said...

Matthew Bellisario wrote:
No, it is a mortal sin not got to Mass every Sunday.

Thank you! You proved our point here!

Principium Unitatis said...

Ryan,

Some ignorance is culpable, and some is not. The ignorance referred to in Romans 10 is culpable ignorance. St. Paul speaks of this type of ignorance in Eph 4:18, when he speaks of those who are "excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart." It is not ignorance per se that excludes them, but ignorance due to hardness of heart (i.e. willful ignorance on account of culpable negligence or culpable refusal to pursue the truth). But Scripture also refers to an ignorance that is not culpable, as when St. Paul says, "Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief." (1 Tim 1:13) St. Peter implies that ignorance of Christ's identity reduces the people's culpability, in Acts 3 where he says, "I know that you acted in ignorance". St. Paul implies this as well in Acts 17 when he refers to the what the Athenians worship in ignorance, and then says, "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent." This overlooking and ignorance are not accidentally related; the implication is that ignorance lessened culpability, but that now, by the revelation of Christ, those who hear the gospel are culpable if they reject Christ. It is not as though ignorance gets anyone to heaven. In Romans 2 St. Paul speaks of those who, though ignorant of the OT revelation, yet may be saved, because they have been regenerated by the Spirit and seek to lovingly obey God as best as they know, according to their conscience.

James, you can find this brought out in the Fathers' commentaries on these passages.

Carrie, grave sin is the matter, not the form. It is the sin considered according to its objective type. It is grave because because of the gravity of the offense against God. Mortal sin is grave sin (i.e. grave matter) with two additional conditions: full knowledge and complete consent. (See CCC 1859)

Also, the Church has never "condemned someone to hell." It does not have the authority to do so. It can hand someone over to Satan (through excommunication), but that is a medicinal act of discipline, aimed at restoration, not a condemnation. (1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20) The Church can never take the place of Christ upon the Judgment Seat on the Day of Judgment.

(cont. below)

Principium Unitatis said...

Ken,

The non-dogmatic decrees and canons and rules and beliefs are still required and binding on all RCs to submit to them all according to the "regular function of the Magisterium", which means submission to everything, not just those late dogmas.

No, the only *disciplines* Catholics are under are those in present canon law.

Is not a discipline that is passed down for centuries, a tradition?

True. But we distinguish between Apostolic Tradition, and ecclesial tradition. The Catechism explains:

"Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium." (CCC 83)

If White said:

“Once you admit that it has changed, then all of Rome’s authority claims evaporate.”

That conclusion does not necessarily follow. If the 'it' refers to the rejection of dogma, then it would follow. But if it refers to a deepening understanding and unpacking of a dogma, then it wouldn't follow. Likewise, if it is referring to discipline, then it doesn't follow.

Jugulum,

If he wants to claim invincible ignorance, he would have to claim that he was invincibly ignorant about Roman Catholicism being the True, Authoritative Church.

True, he might not have been invincibly ignorant. But invincible ignorance is not a necessary condition for not being in mortal sin. Culpable ignorance, depending on the degree of culpability, can make a sin not to be a mortal sin.

In the peace of Christ,

- Bryan

Ryan said...

"Ryan you obviously don't know what your talking about. Invincible ignorance does not mean that the person does not know God."

That's not what I said. What I said was:

//Paul laments for those without a preacher in Romans 10, not [only] because they won't better know God, but also because such people cannot possibly be saved.//

Ken said...

Also where did the society of Pope Pius XII come from Ken? Did you invent that society?

Which one is it? OK - how can keep all this dis-unity in Rome straight?

Society of Pope Pius X
http://www.sspx.org/

-- I have seen somewhere where some say it is Pius XII.

Doesn't matter - there are several of them, each one disagreeing with each other over minor things.

So much for the unity of the Roman Catholic Church; that is the point.

Ken said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_St._Pius_V

There is a Society of Pope Pius V also.

An excerpt:

"The Nine" (as the four expelled priests plus five who voluntarily left were called in SSPX circles) balked at Lefebvre's imposition of the 1962 missal which they believed already included significant departures from the liturgical traditions of the Church (for example, adding the name of St. Joseph to the Canon of the Mass).[3] A more basic reason (although "...[t]he 'pope question' was not raised at the time, and was not at issue")[4] was the belief amongst the Nine that the men who had reigned as pope since the death of Pope Pius XII (d. 1958) had not been legitimate popes (Canon 1325, no. 2, 1917). They held that these holders of the papal office had officially taught and/or accepted heretical doctrines and, therefore, based upon Canon Law (Canon 188, no. 4, 1917), lost or never occupied the See of Rome. This understanding was also based, in part, upon the general decline and upheaval in the Roman Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), especially with regard to the liturgy. They, like the Society of St. Pius X, believed that there had been novel interpretations of the traditional teachings of the Church on issues like, for example, religious liberty. None of this, they believed, could have come to pass under the supervision of popes who had not lost their authority. One of the Nine, Father Daniel Dolan, admitted that, even while he was a member of the SSPX, he never included the pope's name in the Canon of the Mass, because he had already concluded that the See of Peter was vacant.[5]

to those considering converting to Rome - don't be fooled by the "unity of Rome" claim.

Ken said...

No, the only *disciplines* Catholics are under are those in present canon law.


Bryan,
Thanks for these answers and interaction!

So, what about the current disciplines, what are they specifically, in relation to going to church/mass/eucharist/penance/reconciliation/confession to his/her parish priest?

Matthew Bellisario says it is a mortal sin to not to mass every Sunday; so that is even more harsh than the Fourth Lateran Council Canon 21.

This proves our point. The sacramental bondage (and complicated nature of it)of the RCC is a clear violation of the epistle of Galatians and Romans.

Jugulum said...

Bryan,

"Culpable ignorance, depending on the degree of culpability, can make a sin not to be a mortal sin."

Could you cite your basis for that?

Ken said...

"But if it refers to a deepening understanding and unpacking of a dogma, then it wouldn't follow."

That honestly, just seems like a tricky way to get out of the problems of the contradictions/changes of the authoritative claims of Rome; because if they ever admitted a mistake, then the whole thing crumbles. I sincerely don't see how anyone can stay RC under the incredible weight of that problem.

Principium Unitatis said...

Ken,

It is currently a precept of the Church that one is to attend mass on Sunday (or the Saturday vigil). This has its basis in God's command to honor the Lord's Day, and keep it holy. Corporate worship of the Lord is central to the life of the believer and to the life of the Church. To shun or reject it, is a grave matter. Hence, if one possesses the means and physical capacity to attend, and purposely chooses not to do so, with full knowledge of the Church's precept, and with complete consent, then it is a mortal sin.

The sacramental bondage (and complicated nature of it)of the RCC is a clear violation of the epistle of Galatians and Romans.

The Church has the authority and right to promulgate precepts pertaining to the conduct of the faithful. We see this in Acts 15 where the council decided that all Christians should abstain from food offered to idols and from the meat of animals killed by strangulation. The requirement to attend Sunday mass is of far greater importance than those. Just as those decisions were not a violation of anything in Romans or Galatians, neither is the Church's requirement to attend Sunday mass.

In the peace of Christ,

- Bryan

Principium Unitatis said...

Jugulum,

"Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense." (CCC 1860)

"Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors." (CCC 1735)

In the peace of Christ,

- Bryan

Alex said...

Ken, how can you argue against “Rome” when you don’t even know what “Rome” teaches as evident in your comments? That is the point. The argument that “Rome” isn’t unified because people descent from the Magisterium’s teachings is hardly a reasonable argument. I would hope that reasonable people would have retired this nonsense by now. It only makes since to those who distort Catholic teaching regarding unity to begin with.

In stating that we have unity, this pertains to our doctrines, and not what any person does with them. Otherwise, we would have as many doctrines as there are people to consider them, which would incidentally place you as a Protestant in a much worse condition seeing how Protestants have various doctrines from which each person derives a different understanding depending upon their state in life. The Catholic Church has unity within her doctrines as they pertain to the deposit of faith. We have one Church, seen through one set of doctrines, corresponding in the profession of one faith. It is obvious that my mentally handicapped brother understands the faith different from me, but our unity resides in what faith we profess.

Protestants have various doctrines which are different from one another, leading to different professions of faith. In the beginning they took this a bit more seriously, calling each other heretics. Now they create some minimalist theological fantasy of “central and core doctrines,” which no one can show me in the Bible where it defines this list of “central and core doctrines,” nor can they even come to an agreement on how to define the variety of contradicting doctrines, much less agree in how they should understand them.

bkaycee said...

Bingo Ken,

Clearly, bondage to the arbitrary commandments of men, a perversion of the saving Gospel into a works treadmill that can never save.

Fish fridays, Obligatory Sunday Mass/holiday attendants on pains of moral sin, saint worship, ... etc

Col 2:16
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--
17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
18Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
...
20If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,
21"Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"
22(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)--in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

Alex said...

Principium Unitatis is actually giving a somewhat limited definition of ignorance and its parts. Below is a somewhat fuller definition from my old textbook concerning Thomistic ethics when I was in the seminary. It would also be worthwhile to study what St. Aquinas had to say in the Summa.


Invincible: someone is ignorant of the fact at this time and has no way of overcoming the ignorance

II) Vincible: someone is ignorant of the fact at this time but can overcome the ignorance and learn what needs to be learned. Vincible ignorance is either:

a. Inculpable: A person is ignorant but through no fault of the person. The person did not have an opportunity in the past to learn what needs to be known now and does not have the opportunity at this time to acquire the knowledge.

b. Culpable: A person is ignorant now and is ignorant now by reason of his choice either made earlier or at this time. Culpable ignorance is either simple or crass or affected

i. It is simple culpable ignorance if it comes about as a result of a minor negligence.
ii. It is crass culpable ignorance if it comes about as the result of a serious negligence.
iii. Affected ignorance means that the person expresses that he/she wants to be ignorant and works at being ignorant.

Ignorance by reason of the act of the will is:

Antecedent if it proceeds every aspect of the act of the will and is the cause of that which is done if what is done would not have been done if the ignorance had not been present. For example, a person who kills another person by mistake when the hunter thought he was killing an animal.

Concomitant if the ignorance proceeds the act of the will but is not the cause of the action. For example, if a person accidentally kills a person he wanted to kill anyway.

Consequent if the ignorance follows some action of the will; that is if the ignorance was chosen. For example, if a person a accidentally kills his enemy and kills him without first having investigated to see that what he was shooting was not a human being when he could have found out before he did the shooting. In other words, a hunter sees something moving in the distance. The hunter does not know if the object is human or non-human. The hunter has a pair of binoculars and could look before he shoots. But the hunter is afraid the object will get away in the time it would take to look through the binoculars. So the hunter shoots first and then finds out that he has killed his enemy. This is vincible ignorance.

Principles:


I) Antecedent ignorance takes away the voluntary and produces a simple involuntary. This is because such ignorance is in no way willed by the person and if the person did not have this ignorance, he/she would have done something other than what was done.

II) Concomitant ignorance

a. Does not allow a voluntary because a person who does not know cannot make a reasonable choice

b. Does not allow an involuntary because what is done is not only not contrary to the natural inclination of the will, but might be something which would be done even if the person were not ignorant

c. Produces a non-voluntary because a non-voluntary is that which does not proceed from the will, but is nevertheless something which is consonant or agreeable with the will




III) Consequent ignorance causes a simple voluntary and a relative involuntary. It diminishes the voluntary because perfect knowledge is lacking. It is a voluntary in cause and it is therefore less of a voluntary than that which is chosen for itself, unless the ignorance is affected in which case it augments the voluntary because of the greater desire of the will for the thing desired.

We can then go on to describe the particular act of the will, i.e. an elicited act, commanded act, a perfect act (including the twelve partial acts), etc.

David Waltz said...

Hello Dr. Cross,

You posted:

>> If White really said those words (I haven't looked it up to see if he said them), then he has confused grave sin with mortal sin. It is hard to believe that after all these years fighting Catholicism, he still doesn't know the difference between mortal and grave sin.>>

Your comments brings to mind three of my earliest posts at Articuli Fidei.

One dealt with a portion from James’ (White) August, 2007 attacks directed at Dr. Beckwith; another concerning his confusion between efficacious grace and sufficient grace; and the follow up thread.

Ahhhh, the memories…

Constantine said...

This is really fun.

Matthew Bellisario issues a “general rule” which “usually” works. He thinks not going to mass on ANY Sunday is a mortal sin. P.U. sees it somewhat differently and states only that it is a “grave matter”. P.U. gives us the Catechism’s definition of “ignorance” only to be upbraided by Alex for being too narrow in his defintion!

The only common thread is that Rome apparently teaches its adherents that they are free to decided for themselves what is, and isn’t the one true faith.

And that harmonizes beautifully with all of the “I think’s” in Dr. Beckwith’s Wheaton talk.

Peace.

Matthew Bellisario said...

It seems that you can't read things in their proper context Constantine. There is no point of disagreement among any of us. Once again context means nothing to you. It is the same as you taking an Augustine quote out of context like you did awhile back on my blog.

Context, context, context. It means nothing to any of you Protestant apologists. But if it makes you feel better to reject the Church over what you perceive to be inconsistencies, then that is your problem; on judgment day everyone will see if you can pass them off before the throne of Christ as reasonable excuses to reject His Church.

bkaycee said...

Thanks MB. Another example of Salvation by church VS. Salvation by Faith in Christ.

Alex said...

“Upbraided”…Constantine…really?? Isn’t this a tad immature? I was just pointing out that there are further distinctions which could be made when discussing how ignorance can be applied. There are even more distinctions beyond my old class notes which I’m sure Bryan could expound upon.

Alex said...

Still waiting for an answer on this:

Me: Ken, do you have a list of central or core doctrines that you could point to in the Bible? For example, does Scripture say somewhere, “Here are the central and core doctrines_.” How am I to know what those central and core doctrines are outside of you telling me, and don’t they then just become central and core doctrines in your mind that you impose on me?

bkaycee said...

MB's rant, sort of.

"Context, context, context. It means nothing to any of you CATHOLIC apologists. But if it makes you feel better to reject the SCRIPTURES over what you perceive to be inconsistencies(denominations), then that is your problem; on judgment day everyone will see if you can pass them off before the throne of Christ as reasonable excuses to reject His WORD."

Constantine said...

Ah, Matthew,

How nice to hear from you again.

The fact that you could not differentiate between Augustine’s doctrine on contraception and Pius XII’s later reversal of it may prevent me from genuflecting toward your scholarship. And I find it odd that, in that earlier exchange, you were so unwilling to consider you misuse of the quote from Clement of Alexandria. And you accuse me of misusing context? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

But back to Beckwith (sounds like “Bend it like Beckham”, kinda). Do you believe Beckwith was in mortal danger of losing his soul while he was a Protestant?

Ken said...

Bryan Cross wrote:

"Corporate worship of the Lord is central to the life of the believer and to the life of the Church. To shun or reject it, is a grave matter. Hence, if one possesses the means and physical capacity to attend, and purposely chooses not to do so, with full knowledge of the Church's precept, and with complete consent, then it is a mortal sin."

Seems that Dr. Beckwith should have known this when he was a teenager/college student. He said he was doing the rosary now and stuff that he remembers doing before as a young Roman Catholic. If the RC church or churches he went to as a child and teenager preached, and/ or wrote in the publications about this discipline or rule that to not to go to mass/church/confession is a mortal sin; it seems that he is culpable and accountable.

Nothing personal here against the man; he has a very like-able personality and demeanor in the dialogue as I was watching it; I am talking about the principles.

But I do remember Greg Koukle asking him some point blank questions about these issues of faith, salvation, grace, etc. and he did not seem comfortable talking about the specifics of what actually divides historic Protestantism with RC.

You have, essentially, proven our point, along with Matthew Bellisario's point that it is a mortal sin to not go to church every Sunday; not just once a year at Easter.

We sometimes don't know the finer distinctions in RC traditions and canon law; (and Carrie showed there is little distinction between grave and mortal sin) but we are essentially and basically right that the sacramental system is an adding of works and rituals and disciplines to the Biblical teachings of "grace alone" (although you claim otherwise); and to "justification by faith alone in Christ alone"; which is a violation of the epistles to the Galatians and Romans.

In RC teaching, you pray to Mary and saints and get extra merit from them and the treasury of merit, etc. This is an addition to grace alone and faith alone; thus corrupting the message of the gospel.

A regenerate person goes to church because he/she wants to; having been changed by God's grace in changing the heart. (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3-8; 2 Cor. 5:17; Romans 6:1-7) and a regenerate person confesses his/her sins because they are changed and hate their sin when they do it ( I John 1:5-10). ". . . . I will cause you to walk in my statutes" (Ezekiel 36:26)

In RC theology, one can loose his/her justifying grace and must do penance/confession/reconciliation/rosary/calling on Mary for mercy and as another mediator ( another clear violation of Scripture, namely I Timothy 2:5) in order to gain back the grace they lost.

Constantine said...

Alex,

I tried to use the mature meaning. Sorry if you took it differently.

“Upbraid – to find fault with; to reproach.” “Principium Unitatis is actually giving a somewhat limited definition of ignorance and its parts.” I think you were finding fault, no?

So, definitions and emotional indictments aside, you didn’t take issue with the main point of my post. That is, Catholics seem to have free rein to describe, expand, critique, and redefine definitions as they see fit. Even to take exception with the official teaching document of the church, its Catechism.

Peace.

Alex said...

Ken you are either purposefully obfuscating or you simply still do not get it. You repeat the claim that there is little distinction between grave matter and mortal sin. Are you not aware that the distinction resides in that for a sin to be mortal two other conditions besides grave matter are required? Are you disputing the actual definition of mortal sin, and giving your own definition instead? How about you do this, give us your conceptual definition as you view Catholic theology, and define for us grave matter and mortal sin.

Before we move on to looking at the other issues of the rosary, Mary, saints, etc., which you have amateurishly combined in an incoherent way, let’s proceed with your claim of how a regenerate person has a changed heart and thereby acts virtuously. Please explain to me how in your view justification occurs and causes sanctification. Does this happen spontaneously? Is the person more or less rapidly changed and sanctified? What is the cause (instrumental, formal, etc.) of the person’s sanctification? Is the person ever completely sanctified in this life, and how? The next life, and how? Does the justified person commit sins that of their nature are grave matter, done with full knowledge and full consent? Is there a distinction as it regards the acting person between sin X, killing one’s father in cold blood, and sin Y, disrespectfully and without cause slapping one’s father in the face?

Ken said...

Bryan wrote:

We see this in Acts 15 where the council decided that all Christians should abstain from food offered to idols and from the meat of animals killed by strangulation. The requirement to attend Sunday mass is of far greater importance than those. Just as those decisions were not a violation of anything in Romans or Galatians, neither is the Church's requirement to attend Sunday mass.

The context of Acts 15 was a group of Jewish Christians seeking to get the Gentile Christians to be circumcised and observe the law of Moses. (Acts 15:1-5) Both Peter and James spoke against adding good works and rituals to grace alone and faith alone. (15:8-11; 19)

They wrote the letter to the Gentile churches of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia ( 15:23) The four requirements were not requirements in order to gain salvation, but they were in order to not offend the Jewish Christians (the 3 food laws) and the requirement to abstain from sexual immorality is a result of justifying grace, ( I Corinthians 6:9-11) not a condition in order to get grace/justification/salvation. The text says, “you will do well” if you abstain from these things. (15:29) Meaning, they would grow in their faith and also be a good witness and testimony to the Jewish believers and promote unity in the faith and churches. The food laws among the Gentiles, Jesus fulfilled ( Mark 7:19; also chapters Acts 10-11); so the requirement was not in order to keep salvation or gain back salvation; but to promote unity among the Jewish and Gentile Christians. Furthermore, Paul says in I Corinthians 8 (and in principle also in Romans 14) that eating food offered to idols is not a sin; only don’t eat it if you know it has been offered to an idol and it will make the “weaker” brethren stumble.

We know the council in Acts 15 was lead by the Holy Spirit, because the infallible Scriptures tell us (15:28); but we don’t know your RCC is lead by the Holy Spirit, because it is not taught in Scripture that subsequent councils in history after Scripture is complete are infallible in the same way that Scripture is.

Alex said...

Constantine,

So in your mind if someone further expounds upon something, not because they find it as being wrong per se, but that they are developing it a bit further, they must be taking exception to it, finding fault with it, etc.? Is this really the way you want to critique Catholicism and Catholics? Answer me this, if I come back and give a more in depth definition of ignorance, would I be upbraiding my original definition in the manner you are accusing me of now? So if anyone comes back and further develops a thought or definition they are upbraiding their prior thought or definition?

Ken said...

Yes, Alex, I understand the 2 other conditions for mortal sin; complete knowledge and full consent.

They are very subjective; like the annulments that Ted Kennedy and other RCs get after being married in a RC church and have several children and 10-15- 20+ years later.

Anyone can use those requirements as loopholes to explain past actions. Seems just too subjective to be able to get a handle on.

During the centuries after Canon 21 of the Fourth Lateran Council, could not people claim that they had no "complete knowledge" ( "I never saw that or heard that before!); even if it was published on the front bulletin board, they could still say, "I never saw that!".

Furthermore, both Bryan and M.B. confirmed that not going to church and mass is a mortal sin.

Any RC teenager can claim "they didn't know"; and yet the rules were there.

Ken said...

Please explain to me how in your view justification occurs and causes sanctification.

I would answer in depth, if I had the time. I would say, basically, that true faith issues in growth and change, and new desires, and God uses the principles in Scripture to teach us to grow in Christ and sanctification. Read Romans 1-8 and see how justification issues into sanctification; also Ephesians 1-3 (election/redemption/justification)and then sanctification/growth in chapters 4-6. Galatians 1-5:12 is about justification and then 5:13 ff is about change/sanctification. And God uses godly and qualified teachers in sound Biblical churches to do teach and guide. (Ephesians 4:11-12; I Timothy 3; Acts 20:17-28; Titus 1; I Peter 5:1-5.) Sorry, I am out of time; I tried and I am not trying to avoid.

Matthew Bellisario said...

This is a perfect example of Protestant legalism, where the love one has for God, by His grace, has no place. Everything in Protestant theology is man made legalism, and it completely misses the love God has for man. Ken sees these a "loopholes", as if someone is going to get over on God? As if the Church has created get out of jail free cards? This really proves the damage Protestantism has had on modern reasoning. Look at how Ken phrases this,

"es, Alex, I understand the 2 other conditions for mortal sin; complete knowledge and full consent.

They are very subjective; like the annulments that Ted Kennedy and other RCs get after being married in a RC church and have several children and 10-15- 20+ years later.

Anyone can use those requirements as loopholes to explain past actions. Seems just too subjective to be able to get a handle on.

During the centuries after Canon 21 of the Fourth Lateran Council, could not people claim that they had no "complete knowledge" ( "I never saw that or heard that before!); even if it was published on the front bulletin board, they could still say, "I never saw that!".

Furthermore, both Bryan and M.B. confirmed that not going to church and mass is a mortal sin.

Any RC teenager can claim "they didn't know"; and yet the rules were there."

My response,
These are not subjective. Ken would have us all think that we follow God's commandments only because they are His rules and only because He commanded them. While these are certainly true, they do not fulfill the loving Sacrifice of Christ, where we now are free to obey God's laws out of love for God. This of course comes through Our Lord's grace and not our freewill alone. For Ken, the Bible is a rule book and nothing else. The love of God is completely lost in the theology that he has demonstrated here.

Ben M said...
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Ben M said...
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Ryan said...

"The idea of merit presupposes, as a matter of fact (by the nature of things and according to the teaching constantly proposed by the great doctor), responsibility of the agent, freedom of choice, and dominion over one’s actions."

Determinism is not incompatible responsibility, freedom of choice (which, for Augustine, is synonymous with "volition"), nor dominion over one's actions (volition). Augustine was a determinist, as is evidenced in chapters 41-43 of On Grace and Free Will:

http://unapologetica.blogspot.com/2009/09/augustine-on-efficacious-grace-part-2.html

Alex said...

Okay Ryan, since Ken decided not to answer these questions, how about you give it a shot.

Please explain to me how in your view justification occurs and causes sanctification. Does this happen spontaneously? Is the person more or less rapidly changed and sanctified? What is the cause (instrumental, formal, etc.) of the person’s sanctification? Is the person ever completely sanctified in this life, and how? The next life, and how? Does the justified person commit sins that of their nature are grave matter, done with full knowledge and full consent? Is there a distinction as it regards the acting person between sin X, killing one’s father in cold blood, and sin Y, disrespectfully and without cause slapping one’s father in the face?

Ryan said...

I'll do my best, Alex:

"Please explain to me how in your view justification occurs and causes sanctification."

It's entailed in Romans 8:3-4. The Father condemned our sin in Christ so that the burden of the law would be lifted from us so we can live according to the law of grace.

"Does this happen spontaneously?"

No. Regeneration is the beginning of sanctification in that the infusion of the Holy Spirit denotes the actualization of God's eternal purpose to set an elect individual apart from the world. Regeneration causes faith, which causes justification, which causes progressive sanctification. We have been sanctified (set apart and infused with grace) and because of that we are being sanctified (becoming more Christ-like).

"Is the person more or less rapidly changed and sanctified?"

It depends on God's will.

"What is the cause (instrumental, formal, etc.) of the person’s sanctification?"

I'm not very familiar with Aristotelean concepts, but I would suppose we are the material cause, God's word and His Spirit is the instrumental cause, and God's will is the formal cause.

"Is the person ever completely sanctified in this life, and how? The next life, and how?"

To be honest, this is an issue with which I am not familiar. I believe sanctification is complete when our old nature has been purified from us, but at what point that occurs I admit ignorance.

"Does the justified person commit sins that of their nature are grave matter, done with full knowledge and full consent?"

Grave matter? Could you expound? A justified individual can sin willfully, yes.

"Is there a distinction as it regards the acting person between sin X, killing one’s father in cold blood, and sin Y, disrespectfully and without cause slapping one’s father in the face?"

Well, both break the command to honor one's father. I think that premeditated murder would be a far more likely instance of what Paul called the "grieving of the Holy Spirit," but this is another topic I have not studied.

Alex said...

Ryan: I'll do my best, Alex:

"Please explain to me how in your view justification occurs and causes sanctification."

Ryan: It's entailed in Romans 8:3-4. The Father condemned our sin in Christ so that the burden of the law would be lifted from us so we can live according to the law of grace.

Me: Please elaborate on how this is accomplished for the individual in your opinion.

"Does this happen spontaneously?"

Ryan: No. Regeneration is the beginning of sanctification in that the infusion of the Holy Spirit denotes the actualization of God's eternal purpose to set an elect individual apart from the world. Regeneration causes faith, which causes justification, which causes progressive sanctification. We have been sanctified (set apart and infused with grace) and because of that we are being sanctified (becoming more Christ-like).

Me: You talk about the infusion of the Holy Spirit, but what does that mean in your opinion. How does the Holy Spirit’s infusion correspond with Christ’s imputation? When do they occur, and is the infusion of grace necessary? In other words, is it necessary that the person be completely sanctified prior to entering Heaven? Also, do you find it significant that other Protestants do not agree as to which occurs first, faith or regeneration?

"Is the person more or less rapidly changed and sanctified?"

Ryan: It depends on God's will.

Me: Does it depend just upon God’s will alone, or does the individual’s disposition have an effect? In other words, does man have in any sense a receptive cooperation with God’s grace?

"What is the cause (instrumental, formal, etc.) of the person’s sanctification?"

Ryan: I'm not very familiar with Aristotelean concepts, but I would suppose we are the material cause, God's word and His Spirit is the instrumental cause, and God's will is the formal cause.

"Is the person ever completely sanctified in this life, and how? The next life, and how?"

Ryan: To be honest, this is an issue with which I am not familiar. I believe sanctification is complete when our old nature has been purified from us, but at what point that occurs I admit ignorance.

Me: Will it happen necessarily prior to our death? Will it happen after or death? Is it necessary to be completely sanctified to enter Heaven?

"Does the justified person commit sins that of their nature are grave matter, done with full knowledge and full consent?"

Ryan: Grave matter? Could you expound? A justified individual can sin willfully, yes.

Me: I did below.

"Is there a distinction as it regards the acting person between sin X, killing one’s father in cold blood, and sin Y, disrespectfully and without cause slapping one’s father in the face?"

Ryan: Well, both break the command to honor one's father. I think that premeditated murder would be a far more likely instance of what Paul called the "grieving of the Holy Spirit," but this is another topic I have not studied.

Me: Do you see any distinction between the gravity or seriousness of one type of sin over that of another?

Ryan said...

I don't really have the inclination to answer more of your questions, Alex, so I will simply reference you to a recent post I made concerning justification:

http://unapologetica.blogspot.com/2009/09/justification-brief-outline.html

If that doesn't answer your questions, oh well.

EBW said...

Mr. Beckwith is really stuck here. He presumes on God's acceptance while in a "state of mortal sin" and ignorance of the truth. Not only that, but he seems to see ignorance as a safeguard.

In fairness, however, he doesn't mention his on disposition during that time. One is not born into mortal sin, only original sin. I get the impression that he sees himself as being "accepting" and not "refusing" of the sacrement. His present conversion confirms this.
Catechism of Pius X:
29 Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved ?
A. If he is outside... if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism...sincerely seeks the truth and does God's will as best he can...a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church...on the way to salvation.