Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rome has always set itself and its own aggrandization above the cause of Christ

I’m following on from my last installment on the history of the early [i.e., late fourth century] papacy.

Remember this citation as evidence that the early papacy [and for the papacy, note that “early” here is in the sixth century] had some sort of “divine institution.”
Testimony from the Early Fathers:
In 517 the Eastern bishops assented to and signed the formula of Pope Hormisdas, which states in part: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church” [Matt. 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See [i.e. Rome] the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.’ (qtd in This Rock, October 1998).
In the comments from that last thread, the discussion turned to Pope Damasus (366-384 AD). At question was my appellation “the murderer Pope Damasus,” but as I said there, I’ll stand by that appellation. J.N.D. Kelly (“Oxford Dictionary of the Popes”) notes that Damasus hired the mob [and note both the nomenclature and the location], which “savagely attacked the Ursinians”, [followers of Ursinus, a rival of Damasus’s] and killing 137 people in the process.

“Pope St. Damasus,” of course, is officially a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. He personifies the legacy, which we see today, that any amount of lying or criminal activity can be excused if it is done in the name of Mother Rome.
Since the mid third century there had been a growing assimilation of Christian and secular culture. It is already in evidence long before Constantine with the art of the Christian burial sites round the city, the catacombs. With the imperial adoption of Christianity, this process accelerated. In Damasus’ Rome, wealthy Christians gave each other gifts in which Christian symbols went alongside images of Venus, nereids and sea-monsters, and representations of pagan-style wedding-processions.

This Romanisation of the Church was not all a matter of worldiness, however. The bishops of the imperial capital had to confront the Roman character of their city and their see. They set about finding a religious dimension to that Romanitias which would have profound implications for the nature of the papacy. Pope Damasus in particular took this task to heart. He set himself to interpret Rome’s past in the light not of paganism, but of Christianity. He would Latinise the Church, and Christianise Latin. He appointed as his secretary the greatest Latin scholar of the day, the Dalmatian presbyter Jerome, and commissioned him to turn the crude dog-Latin of the Bible versions [currently] used in the church into something more urbane and polished. Jerome’s work was never completed, but the Vulgate Bible, as it came to be called, rendered the scriptures of ancient Israel and the early Church into an idiom which Romans could recognize as their own. The covenant legislation of the ancient tribes was now cast in the language of the Roman law-courts [emphasis added], and Jerome’s version of the promises to Peter used familiar Roman legal words for binding and loosing -- ligare and solver -- which underlined the legal character of the Pope’s unique claims. (Eamon Duffy, “Saints and Sinners, A History of the Popes, New Haven and London, Yale Nota Bene, Yale University Press ©1997 and 2001, pgs 38-39)
It should be noted that this “Latinization” was one of the things that the Reformation worked to undo. It was the focus of the motto, ”ad fontes” [“To the sources.”] As Alister McGrath has noted in his “Introduction to Christian Theology,” “the Vulgate translation of several major New Testament texts could not be justified.” Nevertheless, he said, “a number of medieval church practices and beliefs were based upon these texts.” So in addition to some of the forgeries and works of fiction upon which the papacy aggrandized itself, Roman doctrines themselves were founded upon or expanded with translation errors. These included:
Ephesians 5:31-32: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. The Vulgate translation inserted the word “sacramentum” here, where the Greek word is mysterion. Erasmus pointed out that this Greek word simply meant “mystery.” The Ephesians passage had no reference whatsoever to marriage being a “sacrament.” Nevertheless, medieval theologians justified the inclusion of marriage on the list of sacraments, in good part, because of this mistranslation.

Matthew 4:17: From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” The Vulgate mistranslated the word “repent” as “do penance.” As McGrath noted, “this translation suggested that the coming of the kingdom of heaven had a direct connection with the sacrament of penance. Erasmus, following Valla, pointed out” the correct translation. “In other words, where the Vulgate seemed to refer to an outward practice (the sacrament of penance), Erasmus insisted that the reference was to an inward attitude, that of “being repentant.”

Luke 1:28: The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” The Vulgate translated the Greek for “highly favored” as “full of grace,” implying that Mary was somehow a reservoir of grace to be dispensed. Erasmus pointed this out as well. “Mary was one who had found God’s favor,” as McGrath notes. Not that she was one who could bestow grace upon others.
Six centuries later, after the east/west split, at which time anyone who was likely to protest was out of the picture, Pope Gregory VII asserted, “That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.” But it erred in the mistranslation of those very Scriptures. It sullied “the catholic religion” with its own efforts to glorify Rome.

Roman Catholics ask us all the time, “when did the Roman church fall?” It was not necessarily a “fall,” but more like an erosion. Constant erosion, at greater and lesser rates of erosion. But it was an erosion of the Gospel message, at the expense of the constant aggrandization of the bishops of Rome, and the constant aggrandization of Rome itself.

116 comments:

Viisaus said...

"Roman Catholics ask us all the time, “when did the Roman church fall?” It was not necessarily a “fall,” but more like an erosion. Constant erosion, at greater and lesser rates of erosion."

Although like with eroding teeth, there are some clearly identifiable episodes in the decay, like when parts of tooth suddenly collapse...

One major "paradigm shift" was indeed during the 11th century "Hildebrandine revolution". Before those times, papacy was increased its power mainly by the favors bestowed upon it by Byzantine or Frankish emperors.

But from Gregory VII onwards the popes got bolder and more ambitious, and decided to "strike out on their own", turning against their former imperial masters and benefactors.

Like the 16th-century Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" pointed out:

http://www.exclassics.com/foxe/foxe35.htm

"For before Hildebrand came to Rome, working there his feats, setting up and displacing what bishops he listed, corrupting them with pernicious counsel, and setting them against emperors; under pretence of chastity destroying matrimony, and under the title of liberty breaking peace and resisting authority; before this I say the Church of Rome was in some order, and bishops quietly governed under Christian emperors, and also were defended by the same; as Marcellus, Meltiades, and Silvester were subdued, and under obedience to Constantine, An. 340; Siricius to Theodosius, An. 388; Gregorius to Mauricius, An. 600; Hilarius to Justinian, An. 528; Adriauus and Leo to Carolus Magnus, An. 801; Paschalis and Valentius to Ludovicus Pius, An. 830; Sergius II. to Lotharius, An. 840; Benedictus the Third, and Johannes the Ninth, unto Ludovicus, son of Lotharius, An. 856.

But against this obedience and subjection Hildebrand first began to spurn, and by his example taught all other bishops to do the like."


It is no co-incidence that just around these times (1054 AD), Roman and Greek churches officially separated - the Western church was now taking its very own course.

John Bugay said...

We should note that Hildebrand was Gregory VII.

steelikat said...

"The Vulgate translation inserted the word 'sacramentum' here, where the Greek word is 'mysterion'. Erasmus pointed out that this Greek word simply meant 'mystery,. The Ephesians passage had no reference whatsoever to marriage being a 'sacrament'. Nevertheless, medieval theologians justified the inclusion of marriage on the list of sacraments, in good part, because of this mistranslation.

Are you saying that the Greek word "mysterion" is not synonymous with the Latin word "sacramentum?" I think that would be news to a lot of people. I am wondering if, not being a member of a sacramental church, you don't really know what the word "sacrament" means. It is synonymous with the word "mystery" and the two words are often used interchangeably. Of course as with any pair of synonyms, although the range of meanings mostly overlap they don't precisely overlap, but they come close. Generally (in western European languages) we are more likely to use "sacrament" when we are referring to religious things (like baptism, communion, and absolution) and "mystery" when we are referring to secular things (like murder mystery novels); but we often call baptism and holy communion "mysteries" and we can use the word "sacramental" to describe secular things like ghost stories or romance novels.

steelikat said...

Are sympathetic people compassionate? Of course they always are and this is not an amazing coincidence or a conspiracy it is due to the fact that "sympathy" and "compassion" are more or less synonymous, one deriving from the Greek language and the other deriving from the Latin language. Of course they are not precisely synonymous and they have different connotations at times but they are still synonyms. The same is true of the pair of words "mysterion" and "sacramentum."

You may argue that in your dialect of English and/or in your subculture and experience the words "mystery" and "sacrament" don't seem like synonyms at all but it would be erroneous to apply these experiences of yours to the Latin word "sacramentum" and the Greek word "mysterion." Those words are synonyms and the Latin word "sacramentum" was a good translation of the Greek word "mysterion," indeed the only possible translation in that context and at that time.

In modern Latin we could use the word "mysterium" (a latinized version of the Greek word) but even in modern times that would not be necessary or helpful. Remember regardless whether you perceive the English words mystery and sacrament to be synonymous we arent talking about English we are talking about translating Greek to Latin.

steelikat said...

"The Vulgate mistranslated the word “repent” as “do penance.” As McGrath noted, “this translation suggested that the coming of the kingdom of heaven had a direct connection with the sacrament of penance."

McGrath is making the same error here as he made with "mysterion" and "sacramentum." He is noticing that in his dialect of English and in the context of his religious beliefs and his understanding of traditional Churches, the phrase "do penance" is not synonymous and not even connected to the word "repent." Again that's irrelevant to the question of whether the vulgate is a good translation. English had not even been invented yet at the time of Jerome's translation. Of course people of Jerome's time thought of the sacrament of penance as being connected to repentance, but that was not a result of Jerome's translation it is a result of the fact that the sacrament was something they sought when they repented of their sins and needed to confess and to have Christ's absolution and forgiveness proclaimed to them. Protestants still do that today (Lutherans do anyway if you don't that's too bad for you) and so do Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, though I understand they are often given a distorted understanding of the sacrament (that's too bad for them).

steelikat said...

"highly favored" vs "full of grace"

So as not to seem too negative I'll admit that Greek scholars and translators seem to agree with McGrath on this point. Jerome apparently read something into a Greek grammatical form because of his prior assumptions. Of course his translation wasnt the cause of those prior assumptions, however, it was the result of them.

Jennie said...

Hi John,
I wanted to let you and others know about a fairly new website, with blog, that my old junior high Bible/science teacher, Bob Burridge, has started. He's no longer a school teacher; for years he's been a pastor of a Presbyterian church in Florida. I respect him very much and still remember much of what he taught all those years ago. I've just been reading his latest blog posts with great enjoyment, and thought you might like to take a look too.
It's called the Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies: http://www.genevaninstitute.org/

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Zombies have eroding teeth... and their bites can still hurt and still kill.

At least in the movies they do!

;-)

steelikat said...

I wonder what you mean by the "Roman Church" in this post? At first it seemed like you meant the local church of late classical and early medieval Rome and it's pastors, the so-called "popes." Later on it appeared that you may have meant the RC church, the denomination that anathematized the Reformers and separated itself from the reformed church.

Do you agree with me that these are two different things and identifying them would be to fall into the error of anachronism and something like the fallacy of composition?

TheDen said...

John,

I find myself reading your posts not for the information but rather for the amusement. Reading this blog does not make me want to leave the Church but rather to cleave to her ever the more strongly.

Your goal is not to steer people to the Truth. Your goal is to claim that the Church is wrong. Your mission is not to evangelize and lead people to Christ but rather to tear apart and rent asunder. This is shameful.

As you have pointed out, the Roman Church has not fallen. It has not eroded (albeit some people in it have been and may still be corrupt). The beauty of the Church is that it protects the message of Jesus Christ as it was given to her by Christ Himself. Not a reinvention of Christ by using His Scripture but the actual message that Christ gave.

Beckwith didn't come to the Church because he's looking for an infallible interpreter. Beckwith came to the Church because he saw the beauty of the Truth inside it. Something to which you, James White, and all the others on this blog have been blinded.

To respond to your points:

Marriage: Marriage is not a sacrament because of Ephesians 5. Marriage precedes Christ and He elevates it to a sacrament (per Mark 10:9). There are numerous passages that point to the importance of marriage in God's plan. To believe that marriage is a sacrament only because of the word sacramentum in Ephesians 5 is ignorance of Scripture and Christ's teachings.

Penance: The Vulgate does not say "Do Penance" it says, "Poenitentiam" which means "Repent" which also means "do penance." It is not referring to the Sacrament of Penance and it is not a mistranslation.


Full of Grace: "Full of Grace" is a perfectly acceptable translation for Kecharitomene. It is also more accurate than "Highly Favored One"--which is also a perfectly acceptable translation. "Kecharitomene" does not imply that she was a reservoir of grace to be dispensed. It implies that God has completely endowed and is endowing her with His grace. "Highly Favored One" doesn't capture that as well.

The Roman Church has not fallen. The Roman Church maintains the message of Christ. Christ came here with a message from His Father--and it's not open for interpretation. It's one message. You either get it right or you get it wrong.

Beggars All does not focus on the message which makes this blog a complete waste of time.

John Lollard said...

TheDen,

You just did everything that annoys me about Roman Catholics. You assume that you're right about Rome and so anyone presenting facts against your conclusion isn't presenting an argument but rather is trying to deceive people. You argue for the position you give to Rome based on the position that you give to Rome. You argue that Rome is the One True Church® based on the fact that you've accepted Rome as the One True Church®.

Not only are you merely asserting your beliefs, you are going the further step to assuming everyone shares your beliefs about Rome being the One True Church® and is just being contrary for teh Evulz.

Do we really seem that sinister?

Is this a hard thing for RCs to grasp, that a question-begging post scolding us for denying the things you believe doesn't do much to inflict guilt if we deny the things you believe?

Why is it not a permissible option that John and James and the other authors here are presenting arguments and evidences against Catholicism because they themselves find those arguments and evidences compelling and believe what is suggested by them?

And therefore maybe you should respond to them with your own arguments and evidences, and not reciting the Shorter Catechism?

Ben M and Scott Windsor, God bless them, they're at least responding with interesting stuff.

Sorry if I exploded, it just bugs me.

Love in Christ,
John Lollard

TheDen said...

John (Lollard),

I don't have problems with Protestants and Protestant theology isn't all that bad albeit I may disagree with it. I actually find interesting points in different blogs. Regardless of my beliefs and what is the Truth, this blog isn't pursuing it. Our role as Christians (Catholics/Protestants) is to evangelize the world that Christ is risen. I don't see that here. I'm not asserting my beliefs, you can choose to believe what you want.

Are you sinister? No I don't believe that. I've perused your blog and it's different than what I read here. This blog is a direct assault against Catholicism.

Why ask questions? Is it a genuine search for Christ or is it centered on something else? Is Catholicism that sinister? Is there really a problem with accepting the Pope's authority? What's the difference between accepting his authority vs. James White's or John Calvin?

Why do Catholics leave the Church? Is it truly because they have issues with Papal authority or is it because they don't like certain teachings about pre-marital sex, birth control or abortion?

What I find is that a lot of former Catholics have an ax to grind because they have their own personal issues and the problem isn't that they find evidence that the early Church Fathers didn't support Catholic doctrine (flimsy by the way). The problem is that they cannot live to the Catholic standard of living.

I see that in John Bugay's writings.

John Bugay said...

"TheDen": Why do Catholics leave the Church? Is it truly because they have issues with Papal authority or is it because they don't like certain teachings about pre-marital sex, birth control or abortion?

What I find is that a lot of former Catholics have an ax to grind because they have their own personal issues and the problem isn't that they find evidence that the early Church Fathers didn't support Catholic doctrine (flimsy by the way). The problem is that they cannot live to the Catholic standard of living.

I see that in John Bugay's writings.


You are totally wrong about this. Have a good evening.

Andrew said...

TheDen, you asked, in regard to accepting the pope's authority:

"What's the difference between accepting his authority vs. James White's or John Calvin?"

James White and John Calvin have no authority. The word has authority and men who are called to preach, do. No one is suggesting that either one of these men is (was) infallible. Nor are we suggesting that anyone owes them any special kind of obedience or assent, especially in the face of mountains of scriptural and historical evidence which contradicts them. I am afraid you have made a faulty comparison.

TheDen said...

Andrew, I stand corrected if you don't see them as your authority.

What I mean is that all Christians follow leaders. Be it their local preachers, John Calvin, Martin Luther, or the Pope.

If they don't like what they're hearing (or find evidence that leads them elsewhere), they leave. It's been like this since the time of Christ.

A Protestant may not think Luther is their authority but then, why does a Protestant adhere to Sola Scriptura? What authority do they go by? It has to be Luther. So, Luther is your authority as you accept Sola Scriptura even though there really is no history of Sola Scriptura before Luther.

Christ came here with a message which coincidentally is in this post. "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at Hand." That's what we need to do. That's what He's trying to tell us. Everything else is immaterial. It really doesn't matter if you're Protestant or Catholic. If you don't get that, you're not getting it.

Reformed Veritas said...

Christ came here with a message which coincidentally is in this post. "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at Hand."

But that's not what the Roman church is preaching and never has. It didn't when I was a member and it hasn't changed.
If it did, all it meant by it was moralism. "Be good and you will go to heaven."

No. You are a sinner and if Christ's righteousness is not imputed unto you and received by faith alone, you are not saved. There's nothing that can be added to Christ's perfect work on the cross, never mind supposedly re-sacrificing him in the mass.

Sorry to have to repeat the obvious, but that's the way it goes sometimes. (After all, this is the ignornet isn't it?) Rome and protestantism don't preach the same gospel and we know that because Rome infallibly declared at Trent that a curse rested upon the gospel of justification by faith alone.

Thank you.

TheDen said...

Reformed Veritas,

"But that's not what the Roman church is preaching and never has. It didn't when I was a member and it hasn't changed."

Actually, the Church does teach this (CCC 541-542). It does NOT teach to "Be good and you will go to heaven" albeit I don't doubt you may have heard that when you were a kid from some mom or maybe some nun as catechesis in the US has been exceptionally poor the last thirty years but that is not official Catholic teaching.

"No. You are a sinner and if Christ's righteousness is not imputed unto you and received by faith alone, you are not saved. There's nothing that can be added to Christ's perfect work on the cross, never mind supposedly re-sacrificing him in the mass. "

Obviously we disagree on this but okay--actually, I don't even know what that means. All this shows is again an improper catechesis when you were younger (or maybe you weren't paying attention?)

For clarification, Catholics are not resacrificing Jesus in the mass. In the Mass, Christ's one sacrifice is made present (per Hebrews 13:15/1 Peter 2:5). We are brought back to His one sacrifice at Calvary. We are "proclaiming the death of the Lord until He comes" (1 Corinthians 11: 26)

"Sorry to have to repeat the obvious, but that's the way it goes sometimes. (After all, this is the ignornet isn't it?) Rome and protestantism don't preach the same gospel and we know that because Rome infallibly declared at Trent that a curse rested upon the gospel of justification by faith alone."

You're correct. Protestant thought and teaching is incomplete and we don't teach the same gospel. Faith alone isn't taught in Scripture. James specifically tells us that it's not right. Jesus doesn't tell us that it's faith alone.

The Church rightly teaches that salvation can only be found through God's grace. It's in His grace that we are saved.

Christ's righteousness is not imputed into us it's infused into us. We become one with Christ (through Baptism per Scripture). That's what saves us. We are His Body and He is the head. He sanctifies us through grace. It's not being good and it's not faith. It's becoming one with Christ that we are saved.

We cannot do it alone.

Viisaus said...

"Christ's righteousness is not imputed into us it's infused into us. We become one with Christ (through Baptism per Scripture)."

Taking this notion literally to its logical conclusion, this RC/EO false gospel would lead to pantheism - melting into one with divinity. Or evolving into divinity.

Perhaps not co-incidentally, RC/EO mysticism and asceticism also bear heavy resemblance to Oriental pantheistic religions. Not perhaps due to actual borrowings as by the disturbing similarity of ideologies.

So thanks for pointing out one of the extra benefits of imputation-theology - it decently keeps God and man apart and avoids un-Biblical pantheism which seduces the unwise.

TheDen said...

Viisaus,

"So thanks for pointing out one of the extra benefits of imputation-theology - it decently keeps God and man apart and avoids un-Biblical pantheism which seduces the unwise."

You're welcome! The only problem is that the entire New Testament points us to the logical conclusion.

Is it pantheism when Paul tells us that we are "Baptized into one body"? (1 Corinthians 12:13). Is it pantheism to the Galatians when Paul tells them, "It's no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me" in Gal 2:20?

Perhaps Christ was espousing a new form of Pantheism when He explains to us that "whoever eats my flesh or drinks my blood remains in me and I in him" (John 6:56)?

Perhaps Jesus didn't know He was being unbiblical when He explains (throughout the entire 15th chapter of John) that we are vines and He is the branch and to "Remain in me, as I remain in you"?

What do you think He meant?

steelikat said...

Viisaus,

"Taking this notion literally to its logical conclusion, this RC/EO false gospel would lead to pantheism - melting into one with divinity. Or evolving into divinity."

Tell that to Jesus's beloved disciple (John 17). Seriously, somebody refers to the scriptural doctrine of glorification and union with Christ, a doctrine that all orthodox Protestants agree on, and you accuse him of being a Mormon or something! How can you expect adult Christians to take you seriously? TheDen has not indicated that he is Eastern Orthodox.

John Bugay said...

Steelikat, I hope to respond to some of your issues here. I do think you are missing something very important. Just to start with one of your comments:

Are you saying that the Greek word "mysterion" is not synonymous with the Latin word "sacramentum?" I think that would be news to a lot of people. I am wondering if, not being a member of a sacramental church, you don't really know what the word "sacrament" means. It is synonymous with the word "mystery" and the two words are often used interchangeably.

They may be used synonymously in some of the circles that you hang out in, but in seeking (as I've said before here) to understand "what they knew, and when they knew it," there are some not so subtle differences in what these words have meant over time.

Robert Reymond, who teaches at a Reformed seminary, and author of a very fine Systematic Theology, says this:

The word "sacrament," for which I have no particular fondness, comes from the Latin sacramentum, meaning "sacred thing. It became a term in the medieval church designating baptism and the Lord's supper (as well as Rome's five false "sacraments") as a result of the Vulgate translation of mysterion, "secret thing," by "sacramentum" [in a number of places], even though mysterion is never used of either baptism or the Lord's Supper in the Greek New Testament.

To "TheDen," I would say emphatically that we are the people of the book, that you are the people who view the book as putty in your hands. We take the the command seriously "do not go beyond what is written" (1 Cor 4:6) -- in fact Paul specifically noted that this is one of the things he had hoped the Corinthians would have learned from him.

steelikat said...

John,

I'm sure you realize the question of how close the English words "mystery" and "sacrament" are in meaning has no bearing on whether or not "sacramentum" was a good choice for Jerome to use to translate "mysterion."

I think it was the only possible choice. In modern, 21st century Latin we could use "mysterium," but that option was not realistically available to Jerome, as he was trying to create a Latin translation, not a transliteration where every Greek word was spelled in the Latin alphabet with the greek ending changed to a Latin ending. The latter would only be comprehensible to someone who knew Greek anyway and wouldn't need a translation.

Rhology said...

TheDen said:
What I mean is that all Christians follow leaders. Be it their local preachers, John Calvin, Martin Luther, or the Pope.

I really must object to this. The way that Christians think about Luther and Calvin is not even close to the way that RCs regard the Pope.


A Protestant may not think Luther is their authority but then, why does a Protestant adhere to Sola Scriptura?

B/c the Bible teaches it. Luther revived interest in it in many, but I'm sorry, you're flatly wrong to say that he is anything close to the authority that the Bible is.

steelikat said...

"It became a term in the medieval church designating baptism and the Lord's supper"

This is a nonsensical argument. What if Jerome had somehow known that the English language would develop several hundred years in the future and in that language the words "mystery" and "sacrament" would diverge in meaning, thereby confusing people, so to avoid that calamity instead of using the ordinary Latin word "sacramentum" he invented a new word, "blablatium" to translate the Greek word "mysterion?" If he had done that his invented word "blablatium" would have come to be used by medieval theologians to designate baptism and the lord's supper and the alternate reality you and the alternate reality robert Reymond would now be arguing that mystery does not mean blablatium and just because Paul used the word "mysterion" does not mean that marriage is a blablatium.

You and Robert Reymond seem to be confusing two different questions:

1. In the language of the Vulgate, what is the synonym for the greek word "mysterion?" I'm still waiting for your answer to that question, btw.

2. How many Sacraments are there? Unlike Calvinists and Romanists, in my tradition we do not dogmatize questions like that and use them to excommunicate our brothers in Christ, btw.

zipper778 said...

The Den said:

A Protestant may not think Luther is their authority but then, why does a Protestant adhere to Sola Scriptura? What authority do they go by? It has to be Luther. So, Luther is your authority as you accept Sola Scriptura even though there really is no history of Sola Scriptura before Luther.

I think in order for you to expect Protestants to be fair with RC doctrines it would be wise for you to do the same with Protestant doctrines. Saying something like what I've highlighted does nothing to promote Christian unity, it only divides it in a similar manner that you suggest Protestants do. I suggest that you look at the posts here that are about "Sola Scriptura" because many of the statements that you've made about it have already been answered on this blog.

Also, I do agree that many people leave the RCC because of moral reasons dealing with it's positions on homosexuality, abortion, or birth control, but on this blog you are going to be dealing with people who have left the RCC because of the lack of support for it's core doctrines.

The RCC is an all or nothing religion, and because of that I will never be able to join it. But in the interest of searching for unity, it would be wise for The Den to take your own advice and oppose the doctrines rather then people who have given Christianity a bad name.

God Bless

The 27th Comrade said...

Just to quip a little, here, TheDen.

Catholics do teach be-good-and-you-will-go-to-heaven. Paragraph 2010 of your Catechism does teach this. (Indeed, that whole section entitled “Merit” teaches this.) But what does Paul say? “If by Grace, then not by works; otherwise Grace is no more Grace.”
As a simple test, to sift the X from the Y, do you believe that one is justified by Grace apart from works of the Law? You against Paul.

You say that Jesus never taught sola fide. Write out John 3:16 for me (the message that God has chosen as His summa theologiæ, and translated it into every tongue under heaven, from Inuit and French Braille to Nordic Runes and Australian Sign Language). Or, for that matter, do read John 3 again (which, tellingly, is answering the question of how one may be saved), and count the number of times He says “believe”. Count also how many times He says “do good works”. Be careful to note what the Lord says about works in that chapter; keep in mind that He was addressing a man who could run circles around Pope Benedict XVI in obeying the Law of God. And, most-importantly, note carefully what the last verse of that chapter says.

Meanwhile, you cite James. Very well: faith apart from works is dead; but we know that those who believe in Him have passed from judgement to life. Is it hard to see that this faith of theirs is living? For how could it save, if it wasn’t? For how could we be bickering on blogs over a dead faith? Modus tollens, my friend. Let God be true and every man a liar. You limit the works-of-the-faithful to what James wrote; I—after Hebrews 4—include first of all a confidence before God, and rest in Him. This, you will admit, those Protestants have more than you Catholics—they certainly do not self-flagellate while saying “Amplius, Dei, amplius.”

To close: I am not a Protestant, because I have no relationship—neither historical nor current—with the Roman Catholic Church, and I need not protest anything. Indeed, I do not call myself a Christian, because these days that does not refer to what one believes, but what one does. However, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I am justified by God’s Grace—a free gift (as in, double-emphasis “not-worked-for un-earned thing”)—which is received by faith. This justification is received, is full, and is potent apart from the works of the Law.
Slogans be damned. Sola-whatever; eh, who cares? I do not regard Calvin or Luther highly at all; I have never read their stuff, even, and I can safely say that if at any point Luther or Calvin disagree with what I believe, they are wrong. Say that about the Pope, and I will know that you are right: I treat them as you treat the Pope.

Viisaus said...

"Tell that to Jesus's beloved disciple (John 17). Seriously, somebody refers to the scriptural doctrine of glorification and union with Christ, a doctrine that all orthodox Protestants agree on, and you accuse him of being a Mormon or something! How can you expect adult Christians to take you seriously? TheDen has not indicated that he is Eastern Orthodox."

steelikat, it's not even very controversial to point out that via highly influential heretical-flavored authors like Origen and Pseudo-Dionysius, RC/EO theologians have indirectly been exposed to strong Neoplatonic influences - and Neoplatonism is deeply pantheistic.

Lots of information on this subject here - a sample:

http://reformedorthodoxy.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/reformation-within-e-orthodoxy9.pdf

p. 34

"A more pressing danger is implicit in the systematic theology of Maximus himself: the loss of individual personhood through union with God. We have seen how the final goal of salvation, for Maximus, is the transformation of the soul into a receptacle of God involving, as Thunberg summarized, the substitution of the human ego with the divine presence.
...

A younger contemporary of Maximus, Anastasius of Sinai, recognized the implications of this conclusion, and regarded it as ultimately fatal to the authentic Christian view of God and humanity as mutual co-operators – a view that Maximus himself seems to espouse in so many parts of his voluminous writings, but clearly contradicts at the highest speculative levels of his thought.
...

However, apart from Anastasius’ clarification, the theoretical problem of the loss of personhood in salvation was never adequately addressed by Christian theologians of the Byzantine era… Maximus displays marked affinities with Neoplatonic thinkers, notably Plotinus and Iamblichus. He agrees with the latter in the matter of the soul’s gradual working toward salvation, and with the former in his view that the redeemed soul merges with the godhead and ceases all motion, no longer existing as a distinct person…"


Moreover, from the visions of the Book of Revelation we can see that saved people are going to be individuals still in the Kingdom of Heaven - they have not LITERALLY been absorbed into Christ or God.

John Bugay said...

Steelikat, there is a Latin word, mysterium which means kind of what you would think it means. Do you think Jerome may have had that word available for use in the 4th century? Or is that a recent addition to the Latin language?

John Bugay said...

I have never heard anyone describe a ghost story as "sacramental".

TheDen said...

Zipper778,

I don’t mean to offend you by what I write. Regarding Christian unity, is that really what this blog is about? Do you really believe that the authors of this blog are interested in Christian unity? Is having Luther as an authority offensive? Why? How many books are there in the Bible? Why do you reject the Deuterocanonicals (Apocrypha)? Would this be an issue if Luther hadn’t brought it up? Is he really not the Protestant authority for Scripture?



27th Comrade,

Regarding Paragraph 2010, I don’t know if you’re grasping what it says. It specifically says, “the initiative belongs to God…”, “Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can then merit…” What the CCC is telling us is that all of the merit we have belongs to God which it explains in paragraph 2007 (“there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man”), paragraph 2008 (“the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God”), paragraph 2009 (“The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness”), paragraph 2010 (previously mentioned) and 2011, (“The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God”).

With which part of that would Paul disagree?

In response to your question, I agree with the Catechism paragraphs 2006 through 2011. Please point out to me where it is in error and what Paul would disagree with.


Regarding John 3, it doesn’t say Faith alone. Specifically, it says in John 3:5 that “one cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the spirit.” Jesus is explaining Baptism to Nicodemus. It’s Baptism that saves you (1 Peter 3:21).

Regarding the last verse of John 3, here’s how I interpret it:

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”

What does it mean to believe? Is it Faith? Yes. But faith doesn’t fully fit. For if disobedience brings wrath, then it’s not “faith” that brings eternal life, it’s obedience. More importantly, it’s the “Obedience of Faith” (Romans 1:5) that brings eternal life which fit’s John’s entire Gospel beautifully. So, it’s not Faith alone but rather Faith through obedience which ties together with Romans which would result in good works which fits into James epistles.

“ I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I am justified by God’s Grace—a free gift (as in, double-emphasis “not-worked-for un-earned thing”)—which is received by faith. This justification is received, is full, and is potent apart from the works of the Law.”

I am in full agreement with this albeit we may interpret it slightly differently.

Peace.

John Bugay said...

TheDen: This blog has never been about "Christian unity" -- it is about "the truth" generally and "The Truth" more specifically.

If you were to spend some time in the archives, you would discover that the vast majority of articles here are by James Swan, correcting the very many "untruths" that Roman Catholics have perpetrated about Martin Luther over the centuries. Some of these actually seem to be coming right off of your keyboard into the comments here. Some things don't change.

What it would seem like to me is that, if Roman Catholicism actually were what it says it is, that Roman Catholics would not have to have spread all the lies about Luther that they did.

I'm convinced, however, that the Roman Catholic Church is NOT what it says it is (see here for a little spoof entitled, "The Roman Church thinks highly of itself". I'm sure you'll recognize some of the thoughts presented there).


You said “ I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I am justified by God’s Grace—a free gift (as in, double-emphasis “not-worked-for un-earned thing”)—which is received by faith. This justification is received, is full, and is potent apart from the works of the Law.”

I am in full agreement with this albeit we may interpret it slightly differently.


The Roman Catholic notion of grace as a "not-worked-for-unearned-thing" stops at baptism. After baptism, you are "working" -- working to not to miss Mass on Sunday (otherwise it's a mortal sin), you are working to get confession once per year, you are working to get to communion. These are the "works" that you are required to perform. There is no requirement to "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. These are recommended, yes, but not to do them is not necessarily to drop out of that "state of grace." But you must work to maintain that state of grace; that is why it is said that Rome is a religion of "works".

John Bugay said...

TheDen: This blog has never been about "Christian unity" -- it is about "the truth" generally and "The Truth" more specifically.

If you were to spend some time in the archives, you would discover that the vast majority of articles here are by James Swan, correcting the very many "untruths" that Roman Catholics have perpetrated about Martin Luther over the centuries. Some of these actually seem to be coming right off of your keyboard into the comments here. Some things don't change.

What it would seem like to me is that, if Roman Catholicism actually were what it says it is, that Roman Catholics would not have to have spread all the lies about Luther that they did.

I'm convinced, however, that the Roman Catholic Church is NOT what it says it is (see here for a little spoof entitled, "The Roman Church thinks highly of itself". I'm sure you'll recognize some of the thoughts presented there).


You said “ I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I am justified by God’s Grace—a free gift (as in, double-emphasis “not-worked-for un-earned thing”)—which is received by faith. This justification is received, is full, and is potent apart from the works of the Law.”

I am in full agreement with this albeit we may interpret it slightly differently.


The Roman Catholic notion of grace as a "not-worked-for-unearned-thing" stops at baptism. After baptism, you are "working" -- working to not to miss Mass on Sunday (otherwise it's a mortal sin), you are working to get confession once per year, you are working to get to communion. These are the "works" that you are required to perform. There is no requirement to "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. These are recommended, yes, but not to do them is not necessarily to drop out of that "state of grace." But you must work to maintain that state of grace; that is why it is said that Rome is a religion of "works".

John Bugay said...

Steelikat, here is the etymology of the word "sacrament" from Louis Berkhof:

The word "sacrament" is not found in Scripture. It is derived from the Latin sacramentum, which originally denoted a sum of money deposited by two parties in litigation. After the decision of the court the winner's money was returned, while that of the loser was foreited. This seems to have been called a sacramentum, because it was intended to be a sort of propitiatory offering to the gods.

The transition to the Christian use of the term is probably to be sought (a) in the military use of the term, in which it denoted the oath by which a soldier solemnly pledged obedience to his commander, since the oath by which a soldier solemnly pledged obedience to his commander, since in baptism the Christian pledges obedience to his Lord; and (b) in the specifically religious sense which it qacquired when the Vulgate imployed it as a rendering of the Greek
musterion. It is possible that this Greek term was applied to the sacraments, because they have a faint resemblance to some of the mysteries of the Greek religions. In the early Church the word "sacrament" was first used to denote all kinds of doctrines and ordinances. For this very reason some objected to the name, and preferred to speak of "signs," "seals," or "mysteries."

Even during and immediately after the Reformation many disliked the name "sacrament." Melanchton used "signi," and both Luther and Calvin deeme it necessary to call attention to the fact that the word "sacrament" is not employed in its original sense in theology. (Pg 617)


So Reymond is in good company, in disliking that word. Berkhof continues by noting that "the fact that whe word is not found in Scripture and is not used in its original sense when it is applied to the ordinances instituted by Jesus, need not deter us, for usage often determines the meaning of a word."

And we do see this in other instances. But I'm convinced we need to seek clarity -- there is a very good reason why the second person of the Trinity is "the Word".

Many Baptists and other Protestants simply use the word "ordinances" instead of "sacraments," and I do believe this saves a lot of confusion.

steelikat said...

"steelikat, it's not even very controversial to point out that via highly influential heretical-flavored authors like Origen and Pseudo-Dionysius, RC/EO theologians have indirectly been exposed to strong Neoplatonic influences - and Neoplatonism is deeply pantheistic. "

What you've just said precisely as you've said it is controversial, though I think one could formulate a non-controversial pair of assertions that sound vaguely similar to what you've said. The point is you've accused TheDen of something without warrant, and your accusation if valid applies to Jesus, John the evangelist, and the authors of the epistles.

John Bugay said...

The point is you've accused TheDen of something without warrant, and your accusation if valid applies to Jesus, John the evangelist, and the authors of the epistles.

Steelikat, when you make a statement like this, you should be prepared to show where Jesus was "strongly influenced by neoplatonic influences."

This statement by you is just so far off into left field that it's ridiculous.

steelikat said...

"Steelikat, there is a Latin word, mysterium which means kind of what you would think it means."

Well, sure there is NOW and it is still a synonym of "sacramentum." It was created by spelling a Greek word in the Latin alphabet and changing the "-on" to a "-um."

"Do you think Jerome may have had that word available for use in the 4th century?"

No, that is to say not as an ordinary word in the language he was translating the bible into. He was capable of borrowing the word directly from Greek and spelling it in the Latin alphabet and perhaps he would not have been the first person to do so but he was not writing the bible for an audience that knew Greek. He was translating the Greek into the vulgate and doing that involved replacing greek words with their Latin equivalents.

"Or is that a recent addition to the Latin language?"

Of course. It Gradually became a common Latin word because of Christian theology. Surely part of the reason that happened is because the words varied to some degree in their range of meaning, but it would be anachronistic to fault Jerome for not using a better synonym. At the time "sacramentum" was the Latin equivalent of the Greek word and even today (while Latin is not quite dead it moves pretty slow) the two words are synonyms and much more closely synonymous than you seem to think they are. Look up "mysterium" and "sacramentum" in a good comprehensive Latin dictionary (don't bother looking in a dictionary of classical Latin because you won't find "mysterium" there).

As for Berkhofs quote, the very first sentence is absurd and makes the rest of what he has to say not worth reading. Dont you understand that "sacrament" is an English word and that the bible was not written in English? I bet you can guess how I'll respond if you say "Berkhof did not mean the English word 'sacrament' he meant the Latin word 'sacramentum.'"

Of course the word "sacrament" is not in the bible. The bible was written in Greek not English. The word sacrament is not in the English bible either, because translators, probably correctly, think that "mystery" is the best way to translate the Greek word. If Jerome ever comes back to earth to translate the bible into English and he uses the word "sacrament" I'll probably agree with you that he made a poor choice. Again, we are not talking about English translations, or modern Latin translations, or ancient learned Latin translations, we are talking about the vulgate and whether Jerome made a good choice for his audience at the time.

TheDen said...

John,

Catholicism is not a religion of “works.”

John 3:36 really summarizes it pretty well. Through our belief in Him, we have eternal life. If we disobey, the wrath of God remains upon us. So, we are saved through the grace received in the sacraments; however, through active disobedience, we “will not see life.”

Jesus clearly tells us if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). Why would I not go to Mass? Why would I be disobedient? Scripture is pretty clear.

So, I don’t go to Mass, go to confession, go to communion for salvation. I go out of obedience.

I go because I love God.

John Bugay said...

TheDen: you gotta "do" stuff, which, if you don't "do" it, you lose salvation.

You've got work to do. In this sense, it is salvation by works.

The 27th Comrade said...

TheDen,

Do you think that I did not see the paragraphs leading to 2010? I did not mention them, because the twist from all this God-centric stuff happens in 2010. Of course, that section contradicts itself, by saying that man does not merit, and then saying that man merits. It is all in there, in that section, for you to see. More contradictions in one section than Escher could fit on a canvas. Even paragraph 2010 contradicts itself. Is this what the interpretation is supposed to be? Give me Romans 4 any day. “A scotch. Straight. No junk in it.”

Paul would disagree with paragraph 2010 (and others like 2011, 2016, but then, Paul would disagree with the whole section, and the whole Catechism, anyway).

“Please point out to me where it is in error and what Paul would disagree with.”
Are you serious? I already said paragraph 2010. I already juxtaposed it against Paul. Man does not merit the graces that render eternal life. If you want to fight, go do it with Paul’s own texts (“God’s free gift is eternal life”). Yet you are certainly going to see how paragraph 2010 and Paul are in agreement, and try to show it, aren’t you? You are going to force-fit Paul into your eisegesis, duly citing James’ epistle for support, as I have seen done six thousand times before. I do not debate against Catholicism for this very reason; after all, I am not out there bickering with voodooists and Rastafarians and animists. Roman Catholics are not so special, just because Jesus features somewhere in their priestly-royal epic. I am not screaming at the Ahmadiyyah muslims, either.

(For the record, I agree with Roman Catholics on many moral issues, from contraception, abortion, extra-marital sex, homosexuality, et cetera. I just hate that evil soteriology that seeks to bind people yet again to the heavy yoke of the Law.)

It is Catholics who are so scared of faith, that they say stuff as shockingly unwise as “What does it mean to believe? Is it Faith? Yes. But faith doesn’t fully fit.” Can you believe that? (Pun intended.)

By the way, faith is obedience. It is the point of the last verse of John 3 (but, again, you missed it).
If you believe in Christ, you have obeyed. “God did this so as [first] to be just, and [second] to be the one who justifies those who believe.” If obedience is required, faith is that obedience, for it is faith that is required. “Do we nullify the law by this faith? No; rather, we uphold the Law.” “Christ is the point—the τηλος—of the Law, that there may be justification for those who believe.” Your merit is not the end of the Law; Christ is the end of the Law.

But of course you are going to defend it all as perfectly in sync with Paul, and so on and so forth. Shall we keep talking about this, as though there is no better to do? This is why (although I excuse John Bugay, given his personal history with Catholicism) I almost hate the Reformed bunch for the fanatical attention they pay Roman Catholicism, instead of being “we who with unveiled faces behold the glory of God [and] are being transformed into a likeness of God”. You become what you focus on. Look at Jesus; Popes be damned. (Yes.)

John Bugay said...

TheDen: Here is Trent:

807 Those who by sin have fallen away from the received grace of justification, will again be able to be justified [can. 29] when, roused by God through the sacrament of penance, they by the merit of Christ shall have attended to the recovery of the grace lost.

This is something you gotta do.

For this manner of justification is the reparation of one fallen, which the holy Fathers * have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of lost grace.

The reason it was a "second plank" was because it was one second chance in the earliest church. Think of the metaphor used, and how it breaks down in Trent's understanding of it. A plank floating in the water after your ship sinks.

But Rome has put you (and all RCs) on the treadmill. The ship sinks, you have to go get your "second plank." The ship sinks again, go again and get another "second plank." All your life.

Hence it must be taught that the repentance of a Christian after his fall is very different from that at his baptism, and that it includes not only a cessation from sins, and a detestation of them, or "a contrite and humble heart" [Ps. 50:19], but also the sacramental confession of the same, at least in desire and to be made in its season, and sacerdotal absolution, as well as satisfaction by fasting, almsgiving, prayers, and other devout exercises of the spiritual life, not indeed for the eternal punishment, which is remitted together with the guilt either by the sacrament or the desire of the sacrament, but for the temporal punishment [can. 30], which (as the Sacred Writings teach) is not always wholly remitted,...

You want to say, as you have said above, "I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I am justified by God’s Grace—a free gift (as in, double-emphasis “not-worked-for un-earned thing”)—which is received by faith. This justification is received, is full, and is potent apart from the works of the Law.”

But that "free gift" lasts precisely up to the moment of Baptism. After that (and in the case of infant baptism), you are on the treadmill the rest of your life.

Meanwhile, Christ's "satisfaction" is not quite enough to overcome your own need for "temporal" satisfaction.

John Bugay said...

This is for Steelikat, too: From Trent:

as is done in baptism, to those who ungrateful to the grace of God which they have received, "have grieved the Holy Spirit" [cf. Eph. 4:30], and have not feared to "violate the temple of God" [1 Cor. 3:17]. Of this repentance it is written: "Be mindful, whence thou art fallen, do penance, and do the first works" [Rev. 2:5], and again: "The sorrow which is according to God, worketh penance steadfast unto salvation" [2 Cor. 7:10], and again: "Do penance" [Matt. 3:2; 4:17], and, "Bring forth fruits worthy of penance" [Matt. 3:8].

This thread was not ultimately about the translation of words, but of the way that original, biblical understandings of things became twisted from their original meanings.

"Penance" (by Jerome) has gotten spread throughout the Scriptures, in place of "repentance."

And in the intital posting, the notion that marriage is a "sacrament" in the sense that Paul used the word mystery. Think of the difference in meaning there.

All through this thread I've cited top scholars, and you've rejected them out of hand, as if you somehow know better. How much of this citation of Trent do you then agree with? And if not, where do you draw the line?

zipper778 said...

The Den said:

I don’t mean to offend you by what I write. Regarding Christian unity, is that really what this blog is about? Do you really believe that the authors of this blog are interested in Christian unity? Is having Luther as an authority offensive? Why? How many books are there in the Bible? Why do you reject the Deuterocanonicals (Apocrypha)? Would this be an issue if Luther hadn’t brought it up? Is he really not the Protestant authority for Scripture?

You aren't offending me at all. I'm just trying to help you by showing how you're being ignorant and you really are being ignorant. Otherwise you wouldn't assume that Luther was the first one who disagreed with the Apocrypha (did you forget Jerome and Cardinal Cajetan for example?), and you also wouldn't assume that the canon of the Scriptures in the RCC were already closed (this didn't happen until the Council of Trent, many years after Luther wrote about it).

Like I said, take some time and look through the many articles in this blog and then make an argument. Otherwise, you're wasting your time with hollow apologetics.

Andrew said...

TheDen,
Sola Scriptura before Luther? Can your church show itself (everything it teaches about itself, Mary, salvation etc...) while using only the scripture? If not, Augustine would reject it.

"Let them show their church if they can, not by the speeches and mumblings of the Africans, not by the councils of their bishops, not by the writings of any of their champions, not by fraudulent signs and wonders, because we have been prepared and made cautious also against these things by the Word of the Lord; but [let them show their church] by a command of the Law, by the predictions of the prophets, by songs from the Psalms, by the words of the Shepherd Himself, by the preaching and labors of the evangelists; that is, by all the canonical authorities of the sacred books."

steelikat said...

John,

"'Penance' (by Jerome) has gotten spread throughout the Scriptures, in place of 'penance.'"

That's incorrect. The fault is in the people who translated the Douay Rheims and how they translated the Latin into english. There was nothing wrong with the vulgate in that regard. and part of the problem may be that they did base their translation on the Latin (at least in part) instead of basing it on good Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. That made it a sort of indirect translation, at least to some extent. Try having someone translate an English text into german and have a different person translate the translation back into English. More errors creep in. If you do it repeatedly you will get hilarious results.

Are you asking TheDen if he agrees with Trent or me? If it's the latter you should know better. The purpose of Trent was to anathemetize you. Do you really want to use it as your authority? As for me: No thanks!

As for the sacrament/mystery thing, I'll ask you a rhetorical question that might make it clearer for you: What is the Greek word for "sacrament," what word must you use if you want to translate "sacrament" into Greek?

If you don't know ask someone who is Greek orthodox. He will tell you, I suspect, that the only word you can use is "mysterion," that that is the precise greek word that is used where we woul use "sacrament." If that's true that proves that even though the range of meanings of "mysterion" is wider than that of the English word "sacrament," "sacrament" is ONE of the meanings of "mysterion." Does that mean we ought to use "sacrament" in English translations of the Ephesiians passage? No, probably not--and guess what--we DON'T use "sacrament" in english translations of that passage! If the douay Rheims does that's a good reason to be suspicious of the douay Rheims but again you are being anachronistic and silly to blame jerome for that. Jerome intended to translate the bible into the language of ordinary people of his time. He did not intend that anyone should use his translation as the basis for an indirect translation to another language a thousand years in the future, and do so in a way that supports a particular theological point of view against a different point of view.

steelikat said...

John,

Steelikat, when you make a statement like this, you should be prepared to show where Jesus was "strongly influenced by neoplatonic influences."

I must assume you are joking but if you really are serious I encourage you to pay better attention. You are intelligent enough to know very well that I do not believe any such thing. I was replying to Viisaus's unwarranted and irrational statements about TheDen, and subjecting those statements of Viisaus to rational criticism. It makes no rational sense to accuse a person who echoes Jesus's sentiments in, for example Matthew 5:48, of being a neoplatonist unless you are also accusing Christ of being a Neoplatonist.

As far as we know from what he's said to us in this forum, TheDen was doing nothing more than echoing what John and Peter and the other NT authors have said in scripture. Unless I missed something, TheDen has given us no reason to think that he is Eastern Orthodox or that he is a Teilhardianism or what have you. Again maybe I missed something but what Viisaus was basing his "neoplatonist" accusations on were the ordinary kind of Christian language that Lutherans and Methodists and even I'll bet Calvinist theologians use when talking about the sanctification and ultimate glorification of the Christian believer.

TheDen said...

27th Comrade,

2010 says, “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others...” We are not the cause of the merit. It’s when we are moved by the Holy Spirit that we merit for ourselves. It’s not us, it’s God. Paul would not have a problem with this. It’s not a contradiction.

“By the way, faith is obedience. It is the point of the last verse of John 3 “ Your beliefs are a lot more in line with Catholic teaching than you know. I didn’t miss the point of the last verse of John 3. I thought you did.

Honestly, sarcasm aside, we’re a lot more aligned in our thinking than you realize.

Peace.

TheDen said...

John,

Regarding 807. The grace we receive from the sacrament is still a free gift from God. (Note: “When roused by God...by the Merit of Christ”) i.e. God stirs our hearts and we respond to it. The grace is recovered “by the Merit of Christ” meaning it’s Christ that bestows grace on us.

“But Rome has put you (and all RCs) on the treadmill. The ship sinks, you have to go get your "second plank." The ship sinks again, go again and get another "second plank." All your life.”

This second plank is life sustaining. This second plank is grace that is given by God. It’s not a treadmill. It’s forgiveness by God. It’s reconciliation into the Body of Christ. It’s saving me from drowning and I am happy to be offered the chance. The problem is that not enough Catholics take advantage of it. They wallow in sin and don’t even realize it. I’m thankful for the opportunity and quite honestly should take advantage of it more often than I do.

TheDen said...

Zipper778,

I didn’t say that Luther was the first to disagree. I’m saying that this wouldn’t be an issue if Luther hadn’t brought it up. Is it really that important what Jerome said or thought because ultimately, he did include the Deuterocanonicals in the Vulgate.

Regardless, I will admit that I am ignorant on most things Protestant and am willing to concede that I may be wasting my time on this.

TheDen said...

Andrew,

While I don’t doubt that Augustine wrote this, I cannot find the original text online and thus cannot respond to it. Can you please point me in the right direction?

Thanks.

Andrew said...

TheDen,

I don't remember when or where I first saw that, but you can see it here:

http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/lutherantheology.solascriptura.html

zipper778 said...

TheDen said:

I didn’t say that Luther was the first to disagree. I’m saying that this wouldn’t be an issue if Luther hadn’t brought it up. Is it really that important what Jerome said or thought because ultimately, he did include the Deuterocanonicals in the Vulgate.

Actually, I think I understand what you're saying here and I do believe that you're question is honest and important. I think people point to Luther many times as the guy that brings things up, but if you look at the environment that he lived in you would see that he brought up subjects that were being questioned by everyday people. Plus, it doesn't matter who makes the arguments for something, what matters is the argument itself. I could care less what Luther believed, unless he has proof of what he believes. If he can do that, or anyone else for that matter then I will listen. That's pretty much why I personally don't believe that the RCC is the one and only church because it's only solid proof is that it says so (paraphrased of course). Just give proof to the argument and I will believe it. In ways I'm like a doubting Thomas.

Regardless, I will admit that I am ignorant on most things Protestant and am willing to concede that I may be wasting my time on this.

That's fair. In response I admit that I don't completely understand the RCC and I will get things wrong. I don't like it but that's life :)

Viisaus said...

"You want to say, as you have said above, "I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I am justified by God’s Grace—a free gift (as in, double-emphasis “not-worked-for un-earned thing”)—which is received by faith. This justification is received, is full, and is potent apart from the works of the Law.”

But that "free gift" lasts precisely up to the moment of Baptism. After that (and in the case of infant baptism), you are on the treadmill the rest of your life."

Well put, J.B. Again I sense this Mephistophelian sense of deception that seems to be a trademark of false doctrines - taking back with one hand what one gives with another.

Like Fulton Sheen put it, "The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away."

John Bugay said...

Like Fulton Sheen put it, "The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away."

Hey Viisaus, I'm sure that Sheen didn't intend that to be used in precisely the way you're using it. On the other hand, our RC visitors ought not to have any problem at all with words being taken out of their context.

In case I haven't said this before, thank you for your friendship and your contributions here; and may the Lord continue to bless you and yours throughout the new year.

The 27th Comrade said...

TheDen,

When I say that faith is obedience, I mean that the having of faith is the obeying. I quoted two Paulines (got it? —Paul lines?): “Christ is the point of the Law, that there may be justification for all who believe.” and also “Do we nullify the Law by this faith? No; rather, we uphold it!” So, do you want to keep the whole law? Do you want to obey? Have faith.
I did not mean it as you do, that to obey is to have faith. No; I meant faith-is-the-obedience, not faith-then-therefore-the-obedience.

I do not know why you do not quote all of paragraph 2010 in full. Here it is:

“Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.”

How can you hold that to be true, and also hold that (as Paul said) “God’s free gift is eternal life”? The reason I want the whole paragraph quoted is because it has in it a contradiction, so that one part of it does not show the full extent of the implications; the Catechism carries this as a willful sneakiness, to sneak works in without being so bold about it as to make every Sunday a re-enactment of the Diet of Worms. Sneakiness is the only explanation for that structuring. And, in the end, it settles on the need of meriting for ourselves eternal life; Jesus has been made other than “The lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the World.” You say Paul would have no problem with that? Then Paul would be wrong. Let God be true and every man a liar. Thankfully, Paul does in fact have a problem with it. “But to him who does nothing meritorious, but trusts God who justifies the evil ones, his faith is counted as righteousness.” Or, as God said, “Stand still and know that I am the Lord.” He certainly did not kid about when He said He is “mighty to save”; every day, I am shocked anew by the breadth of that cry: “It is finished.” And you say we merit for ourselves eternal life? Allow me to dissent. This distinction between grace and “initial grace”—“the beginning of conversion”—how is it seen in practice? The first six minutes? Six years? Six decades?

You cannot be both hot and cold; pick one thing to be. That paragraph says we have to merit for ourselves the graces needed for the attainment of eternal life. God says “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and that not of yourselves, but of God—that none may boast.” I have my preferences. Let God be true, and every man a liar. Honestly, I reconciled myself to the fact that I will just give an answer for the hope that is in me, and leave it at that.

The 27th Comrade said...

Oops, correction:

I did not mean it as you do, that to obey is to have faith. No; I meant faith-is-the-obedience, not obedience-is-the-having-faith.
Of course faith-then-therefore-the-obedience is correct, since to have faith is to obey. Or, as Paul said, “Shall we continue in sin? Hell no! For how can we who are dead to sin be still living in it?” How can we who have obeyed be also still be disobedient? Do you not know that you are under the Law only when you are alive? You are dead! :o)

John Bugay said...

27th Comrade: I am grateful for your faith and for your participation here. I believe you said that you are not Reformed; I am grateful for your faith in Christ and your willingness to share it here.

And especially to share what you know with Roman Catholics. That "sneakiness" that you have been pointing out in CCC 2010 is evident throughout Roman Catholicism. It is subtle, it is pernicious, and it is frequently hard to find because the RCs have had centuries to cultivate such statements.

Thank you for your comments here; I pray that God will continue to bless you and yours throughout the new year.

TheDen said...

27th Comrade:

It's been a busy day and will be busy as well tomorrow. I will be able to respond to you after the Holiday.

May the Holy Spirit dwell on you, John B., and all at Beggars All on this, the Feast of the Nativity. Merry Christmas to all.

Venite Adoremus, Dominum.

Peace,

Dennis

zipper778 said...

Merry Christmas Dennis and everyone else here! Have a safe and blessed holiday!

TheDen said...

The 27th Comrade,

The Church isn’t trying to be sneaky. Paragraph 2010 is explaining what Paul says in Romans 2:6-7. (He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life). That’s how the Church can hold it to be true. Paul said it. Paul’s statement is a contradiction of your belief. Paul wouldn’t have a problem with the Church’s teaching. How can Paul say God rewards us for our works with eternal life? Doesn’t that contradict if salvation is a free gift?

The Church explains it. We are moved by God’s grace to perform good works. The good works will be rewarded in heaven (per Romans 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 3:14). In Christ, we can merit for ourselves (through Christ) the graces needed for our sanctification and for the attainment of eternal life. According to Paul, We are the labourers for God. We are His fellow workers and we receive wages for our labor but all is credited to God (1 Corinthians 3: 7-9).

As I explained earlier, we are united to Christ through Baptism. We are one with Christ and it’s in Christ that we are saved. In Christ, the works that we do are credited to Christ but yet it’s our works and we are rewarded for them per Romans 2:7.



“This distinction between grace and “initial grace”—“the beginning of conversion”—how is it seen in practice? “

Augustine separates grace between initial grace and persevering grace. The initial grace is the start of one’s faith.

As explained, we are united to Christ. Specifically, we are in Christ’s Body (the Church). That’s how we are saved. We enter Christ’s body through Baptism “into His death” so that we are resurrected with Him. (Romans 6: 3-5) Through Baptism, we are “circumcised.” Not a circumcision of flesh, but rather our sins were circumcised and nailed to the cross. (Colossians 2:11-14).

This “Body of Christ” that we are united to and--per Romans 6:5--will be resurrected with is the Church. The Church is sanctified and made pure by Christ’s sacrifice (Ephesians 5: 25-27).

“In Christ,” we must remain obedient to Christ in all things. We must become not slaves of sin, but rather slaves of obedience (Romans 6: 15-17).

So, to answer your question, “initial grace” is the grace that moves us to Baptism. It’s the grace that urges us to come to Christ. It could be one minute, it could take 50 years. God has offered sufficient grace to save the entire world. His desire is for all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) It is for the individual man to respond to that grace.

Persevering grace is the grace we receive while in the “Body of Christ.” God is continually giving us the grace to remain obedient to Him. We respond to that grace (through our “works”). Our response is the “labor” that Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 3: 7-9. We are God’s workers who will receive wages according to our labor. At the end, God will test us and reward us for this “work” (1 Corintihans 3: 14).

If we fail to respond to God’s persevering grace, we are disobedient. Per Romans 6: 17, we should be “obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which we were committed. If disobedient, per John 3:36, we will receive wrath for our disobedience. The disobedience leads us to be “slaves of sin” and per Catholic teaching we must be reconciled to the Body through the Sacrament of Penance. (This may also be initial grace although I’m not sure).

This is the Catholic understanding of salvation. Salvation cannot happen outside the Body of Christ and thus “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”. Why? Because that’s how it has been handed down to us by Christ through the Apostles. This doesn’t mean that Protestants are not saved. (It’s not our job to figure out who is and is not saved). It means that if a person (Protestant, Catholic, or otherwise) is saved, it’s through His Body which is the Church.

To me, this makes sense. This is why I’m Catholic.

The 27th Comrade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The 27th Comrade said...

I realise, also, that people from the modern Western World have trouble with this simul iustus et peccatore, because they have sold out completely to reject whatever does not fall neatly into the Aristotelian logic they confess as a creed (hence all things from atheism to Thomism and even Calvinism), and also because it is absurd for one to be justified but a sinner nonetheless. And, after Roman Catholics have made theology a branch of (Thomist) philosophy, with attendant nods towards the polytheistic pagans and their logic, such things are to be fought rather than embraced by faith. 1 Corinthians 1 gets a whole new prophetic edge to it when you realise that (as Jesus said) only if you make yourself like a child will you see the Kingdom. So, for the Catholics, the need for works to be made right with God cannot be reconciled with the free Grace, because that paradox resists philosophical elegance. The guy dangling on a pole is not central enough to the explanation for anyone in the Roman Catholic ranks to say, after Paul, that God did [the Sacrifice] so as to be [the two otherwise-contradictory things of] just, and the one who justifies those who [have no works required to avert God's condemnation, but merely] have faith in Jesus.

It is precisely because God is going to pay each accordingly, that each will drink according to his supply, so to speak, that it makes sense for you to get living water, from which you drink and never thirst again, rather than the water you draw yourself from wells dug by mere humans; for if you draw your own water, you will thirst and come short on that Day. John 4, of course.

You say that Augustine makes the distinction between stages of Grace. Well, Augustine be damned.
The explanation that Roman Catholic Church gives for how we attain to eternal life is wrong, because it contests irredeemably with Jesus' own word, so the Roman Catholic Church be damned.
Now you know what I meant when I said those two things. Let God be true and every man a liar, and also I do not think debating these things is in any way useful, in light of how many do not yet know the truth. Does anyone here respect 1 Timothy 1? Command them not to waste time debating genealogies and pedigree, instead of doing the work of God, which is by faith.
Faith, faith, faith. This is not up for debate.

Romans 6:3-5 talks of the impossibility of being alive to sin, after being dead to it. Death is once and for all. That chapter 6 finds its completion in chapter 8. Have you considered chapter 7 to be the heart of the matter? It is not that in Christ we must remain obedient, even though we may be. It is rather than in Christ we are obedient in all things. I explained it above; how can we who are dead to disobedience be living in it any longer? Or does the Roman Catholic Church distinguish between sin and disobedience? (In which it would be wrong, of course.)

Disobedience does not lead us to be slaves to sin; it is while we are disobedient that we are slaves to sin. When believe, we have obeyed, and we are no longer slaves to sin. I understand that pre-conceived notions of a Catholic may make it hard to see Romans 6 as it should be (that is, what comes after Romans 4 and 5), which is why I prefer that you read that book with no chapter markers. You will be glad. Heck, you may even find the truth and stand there, capable of doing no more.

The 27th Comrade said...

[These comments came before the above, but were not shown, for some reason. Apologies if it is re-posted. I notice also that the comment I am replying has not shown up here, but I got it via a notification.]

John Bugay,
Yes, I am not a Reformed. I am not a Protestant, even. I am not very sure why I continue to be without communion, but I think that it is some kind of Romans 14 reason (but from the viewpoint of the weak one). For now, I am just a pseudonymous grace fanatic on the Internet.

TheDen,
What makes you think that Grace is a way for sin to not lead to death? It is like saying that free rides to work mean that nobody has paid for the fuel. The wages of driving is paying for fuel; the wages of sin is death. Your skipping the effect, while fulfilling the cause does not imply that the cause-effect relation is dead. I understand if you are eager to be the one to pay for the fuel of the ride that gets you to Heaven; just do not pretend that free rides do not exist. If you are eager to pay for the flight, go ahead (and you areot wealthy enough to fuel this flight); just do not pretend that free flights are irreconcilable with the cost of flying. The wages of sin is death; in my case, Jesus' death. As Paul said, He made Him who knew no Sin to be Sin, that The 27th Comrade might be the righteousness of God. Is that not in your Bible? Shall we go on like this, debating things that were settled 2000 years ago, as though there is no better to do? This is what I hate about the Protestant crowd; spending time on the obstinate, when whole swathes of Adam's seed have not yet known the liberty of the Good News.

The 27th Comrade said...

God does indeed reward us for what we do. No sin goes unpunished. Your problem is that you are eager to be the one in whom the reward is carried. You will regret it strongly, since that same chapter, Romans 2, insists that your reward will be damnation. Paul did not stop at Romans 2; indeed his point reaches its climax in Romans 3, which alone is enough to contain the message of the gospel. (Read Romans, as it was written, without chapter markings and tell me what you see.) Romans 2 says all that so that every mouth be held shut before God, and everyone be condemned. How can you choose the ministry that brings condemnation, rather than the one that brings life? Your choice, of course, but hey, don't say you did not know. Follow the encyclical, or follow the Gospel. Your choice.
As God said (Deuteronomy 30:19-20), I put before you life and death; choose life ... the Lord is your life. Or, Galatians 3:10-11: Whoever is under the Law is under a curse, for clearly nobody who relies on the Law is justified before God.
When the gospel points you to works, to do them and live, it is showing you what you are failing and will fail to achieve, and therefore be held in guilty silence before the Judge. But (Romans 7) thank God, who saves us by Jesus Christ! For what the Law could not achieve in the flesh, God did in Christ.

No sin will go unpunished. This is why Jesus' sacrifice is something God did so as to be just! The rewards of sin is death. Have you partaken of the Sacrifice?

[TheDen, if you split your comment up into pieces, you could post it past Blogger's really broken and buggy commenting system. It is not even worth the name. And I do not have Grace for comment systems, so I condemn it to the fire, as is fitting its immense but nevertheless unsatisfying works.]

The 27th Comrade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The 27th Comrade said...

TheDen,
I see that your comment was not let through. Blogger has a very insufficient comment system, grabbing and hiding comments almost at random, and I do not have grace for comment systems. I would therefore condemn it to the fire, because even though it has worked hard and for long, it is not perfect. Depart from me! :o) The WordPress system could give its place to this Blogger system, but it has not. No pardon.
No sin will go unpunished. This is why Jesus' sacrifice is something God did so as to be just! The rewards of sin is death. Have you partaken of the Sacrifice?

TheDen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheDen said...

The 27th Comrade,

The Church isn’t trying to be sneaky. Paragraph 2010 is explaining what Paul says in Romans 2:6-7. (He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life). That’s how the Church can hold it to be true. Paul said it. Paul’s statement is a contradiction of your belief. Paul wouldn’t have a problem with the Church’s teaching. How can Paul say God rewards us for our works with eternal life? Doesn’t that contradict if salvation is a free gift?

The Church explains it. We are moved by God’s grace to perform good works. The good works will be rewarded in heaven (per Romans 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 3:14). In Christ, we can merit for ourselves (through Christ) the graces needed for our sanctification and for the attainment of eternal life. According to Paul, We are the labourers for God. We are His fellow workers and we receive wages for our labor but all is credited to God (1 Corinthians 3: 7-9).

As I explained earlier, we are united to Christ through Baptism. We are one with Christ and it’s in Christ that we are saved. In Christ, the works that we do are credited to Christ but yet it’s our works and we are rewarded for them per Romans 2:7.

TheDen said...

“This distinction between grace and “initial grace”—“the beginning of conversion”—how is it seen in practice? “

Augustine separates grace between initial grace and persevering grace. The initial grace is the start of one’s faith.

As explained, we are united to Christ. Specifically, we are in Christ’s Body (the Church). That’s how we are saved. We enter Christ’s body through Baptism “into His death” so that we are resurrected with Him. (Romans 6: 3-5) Through Baptism, we are “circumcised.” Not a circumcision of flesh, but rather our sins were circumcised and nailed to the cross. (Colossians 2:11-14).

This “Body of Christ” that we are united to and--per Romans 6:5--will be resurrected with is the Church. The Church is sanctified and made pure by Christ’s sacrifice (Ephesians 5: 25-27).

“In Christ,” we must remain obedient to Christ in all things. We must become not slaves of sin, but rather slaves of obedience (Romans 6: 15-17).

So, to answer your question, “initial grace” is the grace that moves us to Baptism. It’s the grace that urges us to come to Christ. It could be one minute, it could take 50 years. God has offered sufficient grace to save the entire world. His desire is for all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) It is for the individual man to respond to that grace.

Persevering grace is the grace we receive while in the “Body of Christ.” God is continually giving us the grace to remain obedient to Him. We respond to that grace (through our “works”). Our response is the “labor” that Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 3: 7-9. We are God’s workers who will receive wages according to our labor. At the end, God will test us and reward us for this “work” (1 Corintihans 3: 14).

If we fail to respond to God’s persevering grace, we are disobedient. Per Romans 6: 17, we should be “obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which we were committed. If disobedient, per John 3:36, we will receive wrath for our disobedience. The disobedience leads us to be “slaves of sin” and per Catholic teaching we must be reconciled to the Body through the Sacrament of Penance. (This may also be initial grace although I’m not sure).

This is the Catholic understanding of salvation. Salvation cannot happen outside the Body of Christ and thus “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”. Why? Because that’s how it has been handed down to us by Christ through the Apostles. This doesn’t mean that Protestants are not saved. (It’s not our job to figure out who is and is not saved). It means that if a person (Protestant, Catholic, or otherwise) is saved, it’s through His Body which is the Church.

To me, this makes sense. This is why I’m Catholic.

Viisaus said...

"We should note that Hildebrand was Gregory VII."

Apropos, I just found this interesting LutheranWiki page on Luther's apocalyptic ideas:

http://lutheranwiki.org/The_Apocalyptic_Luther#The_Millennium_in_Revelation_20_and_the_Papacy

"As to the years past 1000 A.D., it is noteworthy that Luther had the names of most popes printed upside down. This practice begins with Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) who forced King (later Emperor) Henry IV (1056/84-1105) by means of excommunication to back down in the controversy concerning the investiture of bishops in the German Empire. It is with Gregory VII, then, that Luther sees the popes put the “third woe” afflicting the church and mentioned above into practice, not just by spiritual power, but also by wielding the secular sword.[64] This negative view of Gregory, that was probably shared by many in the German church before Luther, is underlined by the fact that Luther renders Gregory’s name at birth, Hildebrand, in a telling way as “Hellebrand,” that is, “hell fire” and that he calls him “the mask of the devil” (larva Diaboli).[65]"

Another interesting tidbit:

"Here, by means of the “good” and “evil” angels mentioned in Rev. 7 and Rev. 8, Luther distinguishes between faithful teachers, specifically “the holy fathers” – he mentions Spiridion of Cyrus, Athanasius, Hilary, and the Council of Nicea[52] – and the four arch-heretics: First, Tatian and the Encratites and all works righteous teachers, as works righteousness is the first and foremost deviation from the pure gospel of grace. Second, Marcion and the Montanists, but also the enthusiasts of Luther’s day, as those who extol their own spirituality above God’s biblical word. Third, Origen as head of those who corrupt scripture with their own reason and philosophy. And fourth, Novatus, the Cathars, and Donatists who denied repentance. In the (Catholic) clergy of his time, Luther saw a combination of all four chief heresies.[53]"

TheDen said...

The 27th Comrade,

Thank you for showing me how to post comments. I had thought my comment took but then it did not.

I can respond to your comments on grace and Romans but it would take a lot of time and frankly, it is seriously off topic from John Bugay's original post.

If you're interested in discussing further, perhaps it would be better to discuss off line in e-mail or a different format.

If you're not interested, that's fine with me too.

Even though we are not in agreement, from what I can see, you genuinely appear to be searching for Christ and have a lot of zeal for this.

Please keep following Christ and bring others to Him.

John Bugay said...

"TheDen": Feel free to discuss things here with The 27th Comrade. I've got a lot to say in response to you, and I hope to say it soon; just haven't had time with work and holidays and all.

As for lost posts, I've been at least skimming everything that's written (the "subscribe" component when you leave a comment); in case you've lost some comments to the spam filter, I'm forwarding your latest comment on to James Swan. He checks this on a regular basis and should be able to free them up.

James Swan said...

I check the spam filter everyday. This morning, 12/27, there were no comments trapped in it.

James Swan said...

TheDen, if you split your comment up into pieces, you could post it past Blogger's really broken and buggy commenting system. It is not even worth the name. And I do not have Grace for comment systems, so I condemn it to the fire, as is fitting its immense but nevertheless unsatisfying works

Well, they did stop the Asian Porn spam, and if you had a blog during that time, you knew how awful it was.

TheDen said...

John/James,

Thank you. I was able to eventually get it through and will respond. Headin' off to Chicago right now with my family for a few days so will be otherwise occupied.

Dennis

TheDen said...

The 27th Comrade,

Before I begin my response, I need to better explain the Catholic mentality. I think that your understanding is different than mine which leads to our disagreements.

“The wages of sin is death; in my case, Jesus' death. As Paul said, He made Him who knew no Sin to be Sin”

Alright, this is how I understand it. In Genesis 2, God gave Adam access to the “Tree of Life” and a commandment: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad.” In Genesis 3, Adam disobeys God (the “Original Sin”) which banishes Adam and the entire mankind from the “Tree of Life” (Genesis 3:22). This Original Sin has left the entire mankind separated from God from birth. (Romans 5:12). The penalty of the Original Sin is separation from the Tree of life which results in death. With Jesus, the Tree of Life has been restored. (Revelation 22:2-18). Per Romans 5, Adam’s disobedience brings death, Jesus’ obedience brings grace and salvation. The grace flows from His cross. His Cross becomes the new Tree of Life and His Body becomes the fruit which we eat to gain eternal life.

Eternal life isn’t just from “eating His Body.” But rather it’s by uniting ourselves to Him. God gives us an opportunity. He gives us a “gift” of grace. We respond to His grace by becoming one with God. Through initial grace, we are united to Him in Baptism. So, again, we are saved in Baptism. We are baptized into His death. What this means is that in our Baptism, we descend into His tomb and die to sin. (Romans 6:4) As I mentioned before, our sinful skin has been circumcised and nailed to the cross. In Baptism, our sins are nailed with Christ and we are “reborn with water and spirit” (per John 3:5). John the Baptist describes us as grains where Christ removes our worthless “chaff” leaving only the wholesome wheat which will be gathered into His barn while our worthless sinful “chaff” will be burned with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:12).

So, Christ becomes sin. Our sins become His sins because in Baptism, we are washed clean. We are purified and sanctified by Christ and our sins are nailed to Him and He pays the price for our sins. This is what Scripture is saying.

TheDen said...

In our Baptism, we become children of God. Per Romans 8, we are Children of God through adoption. We are all “baptized into one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Through His grace, we unite to Him even further through the reception of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist and if through our own disobedience we have fallen from His grace, we seek forgiveness and reconciliation into His Body through the sacrament of penance. (Where our sins are again nailed to His cross.)


So, now that we are adopted sons and daughters of Christ, now that we are “in Christ”, we must remain obedient to Christ in ALL THINGS. We become slaves. Slaves of obedience (Romans 6: 16) Slaves of Righteousness (Romans 6: 18), Slaves of God (Romans 6:22). It’s in our obedience that we continue to remain saved. As I seek the will of Christ daily, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives inside of me.

It’s in my disobedience that Christ may cut me off from His vine and I wither and die.

John Bugay said...

"TheDen" said: ...the Catholic mentality...Per Romans 5, Adam’s disobedience brings death, Jesus’ obedience brings grace and salvation. The grace flows from His cross. His Cross becomes the new Tree of Life and His Body becomes the fruit which we eat to gain eternal life....Eternal life isn’t just from “eating His Body.” But rather it’s by uniting ourselves to Him. God gives us an opportunity. He gives us a “gift” of grace.

I'm glad you are here for just this reason. No one denies that Rome has some correct doctrines underlying the mutations.

God does not just "give us an opportunity". He accomplishes that which He intends to do, and that is, to "... predestine ... and those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

This work of God's is all in the past tense. "It is finished." Before you go any further, you've got to start here, with God and his work. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand."

Now, if you want to go and start quibbling with words, and say, "ah, but we only have access, you should get yourself a good Romans commentary and look up what that word actually means. Understand the whole argument Paul is making in Romans, and don't just take a faulty understanding of a translation that you don't know what it really means.

(I've got a series of posts scheduled, entitled, "Words Mean Things," and I hope you'll stick around for that).

The very word for access is part of a sentence where the hope is "of God's glory; Schreiner's commentary says, "Those who scorned God's glory (Romans 1:21-23) and who have fallen short of it (3:23) are now promised a future to share in it. The gnetive Theou, of God, is a genitive of origin, indicating that the glory believers will experience a gift of God's grace. The parallels in Romans 8 (some of which I've quoted above) demonstrate that this glory is an eschagological reality, not a present possession. The already-not yet character of Paul's eschatology emerges in this paragraph. Believers arerighteous in God's sight, enjoy the eschatological covenant of peace, and stand in the end-time gift of grace ... Believers are now certain that the glory Adam lost will be restored to them. Indeed, believers are certain now that the glory Adam lost will be restored to them. ... [and] boasting in the Lord is the truest form of worship (1 Cor 1:31, 2 Cor 10:17; Gal 6:14, Phil 3:3).

This is an example of allowing "Scripture to interpret Scripture." Not superimposing "The Church's" understanding upon it. Of course, Rome has anathematized those who boast in this kind of certainty.

John Bugay said...

Why does Rome anathematize those who cling to God's Word in this way? It does so because it aggrandizes itself, and obscures the real Glory of God.

You have no real idea what Paul is talking about in Romans. God's gift is irrevocable.


Eternal life ... rather it’s by uniting ourselves to Him. God gives us an opportunity. He gives us a “gift” of grace. We respond to His grace by becoming one with God.

This is not our response; it is wholly God's action.

Through initial grace, we are united to Him in Baptism. So, again, we are saved in Baptism. We are baptized into His death. What this means is that in our Baptism, we descend into His tomb and die to sin. (Romans 6:4) As I mentioned before, our sinful skin has been circumcised and nailed to the cross. In Baptism, our sins are nailed with Christ and we are “reborn with water and spirit” (per John 3:5). John the Baptist describes us as grains where Christ removes our worthless “chaff” leaving only the wholesome wheat which will be gathered into His barn while our worthless sinful “chaff” will be burned with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:12).

You have thrown together here concepts that have no business being together. The "chaff" that gets burned is not "chaff" that is a part of us. The "chaff" represents those individuals who do not repent (and I have a posting scheduled to appear on Tuesday that discusses this.)

Leaving John the Baptist aside, your concept of what "rebirth" is and what baptism actually does is incredibly lacking. Rebirth is exactly that -- a birth to a new life. It is a God-given life; it is the life of Christ.

This is a persistent life. God is not unable to maintain this life, despite all of our sins.

But Rome has taken an ancient question -- "how do we re-admit traditors back into the visible fellowship?" -- and turned it into a treadmill; Get to Mass, Get to Mass, miss Mass, mortal Sin, loss of grace, if I die I go to hell, gotta get to confession, get absolution, ahh, grace and new life again, on the treadmill again, get to mass, get to mass, cuss at a driver on the turnpike, OH NO LOST GRACE, gotta get to confession, get absolution, treadmill, treadmill, treadmill.

And all the while, Mother Rome is smiling at you. "That's a good boy, do what you're supposed to do, get your grace, and

Mother Rome is the original "drug dealer." Claiming to dribble out, with a firm, firm hand on the spigot, what God gives freely. This "Catholic mentality" is precisely what the Reformation challenged, many at the cost of their own lives. This "Catholic mentality" is precisely the enemy of God's elect.

Viisaus said...

"But Rome has taken an ancient question -- "how do we re-admit traditors back into the visible fellowship?" -- and turned it into a treadmill; Get to Mass, Get to Mass, miss Mass, mortal Sin, loss of grace, if I die I go to hell, gotta get to confession, get absolution, ahh, grace and new life again, on the treadmill again, get to mass, get to mass, cuss at a driver on the turnpike, OH NO LOST GRACE, gotta get to confession, get absolution, treadmill, treadmill, treadmill."

Those us who have not grown up as RCs cannot probably imagine what this sort of spiritual life is really like. I guess that's why some many can start entertaining romantic illusions about the RCC system that "cradle Catholics" would not fall for.

John Lollard said...

John Bugay,

Thank you very much for that flow chart! Did you make that, or was it made by an RC organization?

John Bugay said...

Hi John Lollard -- that is taken from this post -- I re-drew it off a powerpoint slide that one of my elders had drawn, which he had taken from James McCarthy's "The Gospel According to Rome," Eugene Oregon: Harvest House Publishing (c)1995.

I believe it very adequately describes the Roman Catholic "plan of salvation".

John Bugay said...

Hi Viisaus: Those us who have not grown up as RCs cannot probably imagine what this sort of spiritual life is really like. I guess that's why some many can start entertaining romantic illusions about the RCC system that "cradle Catholics" would not fall for.

If you take your religion seriously, as a cradle Catholic, there is a fairly constant hope that you can be "good enough to get to heaven."

I'm sure you've seen the couple of posts I've put up from Arturo Vasquez. He's a life-long Roman Catholic, and he is more critical of the "convert syndrome" than any of us here.

TheDen said...

John Bugay,

“This work of God's is all in the past tense. "It is finished." Before you go any further, you've got to start here, with God and his work. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand."”

This is not fully correct. We are justified through our participation in the life of Christ. Romans 8:17 says that we are “joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him.” In Colossians 1:24, Paul says that he is filling up “what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ...” What could be lacking in Christ’s afflictions if “It is finished”? We are lacking in Christ’s afflictions. We participate in Christ’s life. Christ’s work is finished and yet we still respond to the grace.

“boasting in the Lord is the truest form of worship (1 Cor 1:31, 2 Cor 10:17; Gal 6:14, Phil 3:3).”

No, again this is not correct. What Paul is telling us is that we should not boast of our own accomplishments but rather we should boast in the Lord. We should “proclaim the Death of the Lord Jesus until He comes again.” We should not boast of anything we do. “True Worship” is in obedience to Christ per John. (“If you love me, you will keep my commandments...”).

“your concept of what "rebirth" is and what baptism actually does is incredibly lacking. Rebirth is exactly that -- a birth to a new life. It is a God-given life; it is the life of Christ.”


I’ve pointed out my concept to you in Scripture.



“But Rome has taken an ancient question -- "how do we re-admit traditors back into the visible fellowship?" -- and turned it into a treadmill; Get to Mass, Get to Mass, miss Mass, mortal Sin, loss of grace, if I die I go to hell, gotta get to confession, get absolution, ahh, grace and new life again, on the treadmill again, get to mass, get to mass, cuss at a driver on the turnpike, OH NO LOST GRACE, gotta get to confession, get absolution, treadmill, treadmill, treadmill.”

This is not how a Catholic sees things. A Catholic does these things out of love for God and not for fear of eternal damnation or loss of grace. It’s not a treadmill but rather it’s infinite grace. What you’re saying would be like me saying, “I don’t cheat on my wife for fear of her divorcing me.” No. I stay faithful to my wife not out of fear of her leaving me but rather out of love for her. To say that we do things out of fear of lost grace or lost salvation is an immature viewpoint and not an accurate presentation.

What you’re describing would be akin to saying a child should listen to his parents for fear he will lose his inheritance. No, that’s not correct (and terribly offensive). A child should listen to his parents because his parents know what’s best for the child. Because his parents love him and above all, because the child loves his parents.

John Lollard said...

"What you’re describing would be akin to saying a child should listen to his parents for fear he will lose his inheritance. No, that’s not correct (and terribly offensive)."

It is terribly offensive, and more offensive still the notion that our Heavenly Father, having promised us an eternal inheritance with Christ, would revoke it if we miss going to mass one week.

TheDen said...

John Lollard,

First off, it’s not for us to ponder who does and does not go to heaven. If a person were to miss mass, it’s not for me to know what the state of their soul is.

Let’s say a person does miss mass one week. Why? Are they sick? Are they lazy? The problem does not lie in them missing mass. The problem lies in the disposition of the heart. If a person is sick, that’s one thing. If a person is not properly catechized, that’s another thing. If a person is actively defiant and will not go to Church out of rebellion. That’s something COMPLETELY different (and Yes, that does happen.)

Paragraph 27 of the Catechism explains that man has a desire for God that is written into our hearts. Paragraph 29 goes on to say that this intimate and vital bond of man to God can be “forgotten, overlooked, or even explicitly rejected by man.” which causes man to “hide from God out of fear and flee His call.”

So, it’s not the missing of Mass that’s the real problem. It’s the reason behind missing the Mass that needs to be examined. We have one relationship in our life. Our relationship with God. All other relationships are reflected in that one relationship. If we don’t have that relationship right, then all of our other relationships are flawed.

Rhology said...

reconciliation into His Body through the sacrament of penance. (Where our sins are again nailed to His cross

So your sins can be nailed to the cross, then taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down, then re-nailed, then again taken down...

TheDen said...

Rhology,

No that's not correct. When we are Baptized, we are sealed with Christ. Our sins are there to stay. They don't come down. If we "deny Christ" and sin against Him, then we must be repentant and come back to Him like the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. We must be repentant and declare our love for Him as Peter did in John 21:15-19.

At that point, we are reconciled back to His body and our (new) sins nailed to His cross.

John Lollard said...

"First off, it’s not for us to ponder who does and does not go to heaven. If a person were to miss mass, it’s not for me to know what the state of their soul is."

But it is for the Magisterium. Skipping mass is a mortal sin, if done so purposefully and knowingly. Mortal sin is so called because it "kills" your connection to God, leaving one once again dead in sin and destined for Hell.

If you disagree, then you disagree with Roman doctrine.

TheDen said...

John Lollard,

"Mortal sin is so called because it "kills" your connection to God, leaving one once again dead in sin and destined for Hell."

No, that's not 100% correct. Mortal sin results in the loss of charity and does turn a man away from God. (Paragraph 1855). In a Mortal Sin, man ultimately chooses himself over God. It's a knowing act of selfishness that kills charity in the heart. It's choosing love of self over love of God which ultimately mimics the Original Sin.

The Magisterium, however, does NOT condemn. Paragraph 1861 explicitly says, "although we can judge that an act in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God."

John Lollard said...

"although we can judge that an act in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God."

I'm sure they do. They simultaneously claim that committing mortal sin knowingly, intentionally, etc., cuts one off from God. Who cares whether they have ever judged a single person to be guilty of mortal sin and in peril of hell (which they have, all throughout history until recently when people stopped taking them seriously)? The act itself - skipping church with the intention of skipping church knowing it to be forbidden - is officially defined as such a heinous act of evil that it cuts us off entirely from the Father until such a time as we do penance.

Read #1874

Dennis, either you misunderstand the Magisterium's intention in the quote you just supplied, or they have drastically modernized their theology, or they have the same theology and are watering down the implications of it. Finding Roman Catholic sources that state exactly as much as I have in contrast to what you imply wasn't very difficult at all. In addition to the Catechism reference I gave, try

http://www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html
http://www.catholic.com/library/Mortal_Sin.asp
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm
http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=164

And I could find more, and I could find more explicit things if I was one quarter the historian as some of the brethren here. If you disagree with this idea, that missing Sunday mass knowingly, with the ability to attend and the intention of skipping, places one outside of charity and grace and into damnation, then good! So do I! But you also disagree with your church leaders.

I forget the latest numbers, but it was around 80% of Roman Catholics in America who go to confession maybe once a year? And how many of the above do you think might purposely skip mass one day?

Think about that.

Love in Christ,
John Lollard

TheDen said...

John Lollard,

What the Church is saying is that it does not know whom God saves nor whom He condemns. They leave that ultimately to the power of God. I don’t think that’s changed over the years. Also, it does not say that it brings damnation. Paragraph 1874 says, “Unrepented, it brings eternal death.” For our sins, we need to repent. Ultimately, we need to come back to God. The importance is our relationship. If I were to “sin” against my wife, I ultimately would need to seek her forgiveness to correct the relationship. Why would it be different with God?

I have read the pages and am in full agreement with them. Mortal Sin severs the relationship with God. Mortal sin “necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart.” We must come back to God to be forgiven. The Catholic understanding is to not focus on who is or who is not going to Heaven or Hell. The only person I should be concerned with is me. What is the state of my soul? This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t help lead others to Christ. If I see a person drowning, I reach out to save them. If a person is in a serious state of sin, I encourage them and lead them to Christ in the hope that they may be saved.

I am aware of the statistics and would be surprised if 80% go to confession once a year. Heck, I’d be surprised if 80% go to Mass every Sunday. Does that mean they’re all culpable of mortal sin? Not necessarily. Paragraph 1860 talks about “unintentional ignorance” which can diminish the imputability of a grave offence. It goes on to say that “sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the greatest.” Meaning if a person intentionally is not going to Mass out of a hatred for God then that person needs to repent and come back.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

(Somewhat related to recent comments and statistics about RCC parishioners/members.)

Masturbation is a mortal sin according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to statistical reports, many Catholics masturbate, including Catholic clergy.

If these Catholics don't confess their latest mortal sin of masturbation before they die, i.e., they die in a state of unconfessed mortal sin, what does the Roman Catholic Church teach about what happens to their soul?

TheDen said...

Truth,


Wow! Didn't see that one coming! Haha...well, what does the Church teach?

Paragraph 2352 tells us that it's a "disordered action" and that it's "contrary to its purpose."

Moreover, it says, "To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability. "

What this means is that it's not necessarily a mortal sin. There are psychological, habitual, maturity issues that are in play.

It's not saying that it's not but rather that other factors need to be considered.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

TheDen,

What is the Church's teaching to my question above:

"they die in a state of unconfessed mortal sin, what does the Roman Catholic Church teach about what happens to their soul?"

TheDen said...

"they die in a state of unconfessed mortal sin, what does the Roman Catholic Church teach about what happens to their soul?"

The Church’s teaching is in accordance with Scripture.

In mortal sin, a person separates themselves from God. They have departed the Body of Christ and--like the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 must return back to the Father repentant. If not, they shall die in a very far country. In Christ, we abide in Him, and He abides in us. If we do not abide in Him, that person is “cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. “ (John 15: 5-6)

John Lollard said...

"What the Church is saying is that it does not know whom God saves nor whom He condemns."

Great. Both masturbation and missing church (when done knowingly, intentionally, etc. etc.) are defined as a mortal sin, a mortal sin is defined as a sin that must be repented of or else you enter into eternal death.

Sometimes I get the feeling that you just don't want to think about these sorts of things.

Let's try this. If your earthly dad was having a get together, and you didn't show up without any excuse besides you didn't want to, is your dad write you out of his will until you ask one of your siblings for him to forgive you? You said earlier that that is offensive.

You also claim to follow an authority that tells you, if you don't go to church on sunday, your lose your eternal inheritance with your Heavenly Father.

Mortal sin kills charity and cuts one off from God until they enter into the sacrament of reconciliation. A Roman Catholic with the habit of skipping church every now and then but who goes to confession right afterward goes from saved to not saved to saved to not saved, etc. They were in such a state as to enter heaven, but then they skipped church, now they're destined to eternal death, but then they go to a priest, and now they're in such a state as to enter heaven again.

"Does that mean they’re all culpable of mortal sin? Not necessarily."

Great! I'm glad you think that way, I really am, but the people who wrote the catechism and the people who have been teaching Roman Catholic theology for hundreds of years disagree with you. Skipping church is a mortal sin, a mortal sin is a sin that kills charity and endangers one to eternal death, as per them.

You, like every other Roman Catholic that I know, want to shy around it and pretend like none of these bizarre things in your theological history are really what they say they mean, but without saying that they're wrong. You essentially want to be an evangelical, think like an evangelical, read the bible like an evangelical, make up your own mind about what Scripture means like an evangelical, but you have an identity with the word "Catholic" that you've had all of your life.

Here again are Roman Catholic resources arguing that skipping mass is a mortal sin when done intentionally and with the ability to attend:

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0111.html
http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-articles/Why-Going-to-Mass-is-Not-Optional/article/132
http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0007fea2.asp
http://www.cuf.org/FileDownloads/missingmassmortalsin.pdf

Do you disagree with these people? Great! You should, because these people disagree with Colossians 2. If you disagree with them, then glory to God! But the position these people are presenting is Roman Catholic theology as it has existed since before the Reformation.

So if you don't think they're all culpable of mortal sin, do they miss mass knowingly, willfully, with the ability to attend, intending to not go to mass that day and knowing that it is an obligation? Then they commit mortal sin. Notice how these pages don't say anything about hatred for God but use examples like missing mass to go shopping.

Love in Christ,
John Lollard

John Bugay said...

Truth, that is an excellent question designed to probe the very limits of Catholic teaching. And I do appreciate the spirit with which it was asked. However, we are a family- rated blog and I think it would be best if you could re-work that question a bit.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi John,

Is there a family-rated synonym for masturbation? I'll be happy to use that synonym instead.

John Bugay said...

Truth, I am thinking of the mental imagery that would be prompted by this. We already have the image of Scott Windsor combing thru forged documents for morsels of truth by which one might be edified. I do understand the need to be precise. Especially on a question like this. And "TheDen" has already shown himself to be not fully in compliance with Roman Catholic understandings of things. I don't object to the word so much as to putting "TheDen" so squarely in the spotlight.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"What this means is that it's [masturbation's] not necessarily a mortal sin. There are psychological, habitual, maturity issues that are in play.

It's not saying that it's not but rather that other factors need to be considered."


It's not unreasonable to conclude that many Catholics masturbate. That many Catholics have masturbated in the past and that many of these same Catholics will also masturbate in the future.

Given the qualifications that were cited above, when Catholics masturbate do they know when they are committing masturbatory mortal sin and when they are not?

How do they know?

TheDen said...

John Lollard,

I read these and don’t disagree with any of them. They are all saying exactly what I’m saying. Note what CUF said:

At this point we must make a very important distinction. When we say that “missing Mass is a
mortal sin,” we are speaking imprecisely. What we are actually saying is that missing Mass is seriously wrong—that is, “grave matter.” As the Catechism affirms, “we can judge that an act in itself is a grave offense,” but “we must entrust judgment of persons [i.e., whether a specific act is a mortal sin] to the justice and mercy of God” (no. 1861).

What’s important is not the missing of mass but rather their disposition. Why are they missing mass? We are called to conform ourselves to Christ. To place God in the center of our lives. Can we do this if we choose to go shopping instead of Church? Are there Catholics who do this? Yes. Is this a problem? Yes. Why do they do this? I believe it’s because Catholics are doing a poor job of catechesis because yes, this is what we are called to do.

These people do not disagree with Colossians 2. In Colossians 2, we are called to follow Christ. We are called to have faith and walk in Him. The New Testament instructs us to gather in His name and break bread together. We are called to do this per Christ’s commandment.

TheDen said...

John Lollard,

What’s offensive is to think a child does something out of fear of losing his inheritance. If my kid--when I’m older--visited me weekly because she was waiting for her inheritance, then that’s offensive.

“Let's try this. If your earthly dad was having a get together, and you didn't show up without any excuse besides you didn't want to, is your dad write you out of his will until you ask one of your siblings for him to forgive you? “


If I didn’t show up for a get together then, YES, I owe my parents an explanation. It’s not that my dad would write me out of his will, it’s that I’m not showing him love. So, a phone call with an apology or something would be expected. Why? Not for fear of losing my inheritance but because I love my dad.

TheDen said...

Truth,

It’s sounds like you’re genuinely curious. I would imagine the ratio for Catholics who play with themselves is similar to non-Catholics. In any event, it’s an act of self-love that’s gratuitous for no other reason than self gratification. It’s disordered for the focus is not on doing Christ’s will but rather the focus is turned inwardly on the self and that person’s will.

Even if it’s not mortal sin (ie habitual/psychological, etc.), with each habitual act, the individual focuses more and more on the self and further away from God until there is a shame where the individual should seek reconciliation.

What kills the charity is not necessarily the mortal sin. It’s the pride. It’s a placement of yourself ahead of God. We are called to seek God’s will. To seek conformance to Christ. When we place ourselves ahead of Christ, it’s mortal sin.


John Bugay,

“"TheDen" has already shown himself to be not fully in compliance with Roman Catholic understandings of things. “

Nothing I’ve written is in conflict with Catholic teaching.


“putting "TheDen" so squarely in the spotlight”

I don’t think anyone wants that image!

On a side note, tomorrow, I start back to work and will not have the time I’ve had the last couple of weeks to focus on comments. It’s been fun and after tonight, I’ll try to comment when I can.

steelikat said...

"If these Catholics don't confess their latest mortal sin...before they die, i.e., they die in a state of unconfessed mortal sin, what does the Roman Catholic Church teach about what happens to their soul?"

The RC Baltimore catechism says if they are sincerely sorry and intend to confess at the next reasonable opportunity, they will be absolved before they die even if they dont make it to confession.

That's a little less bleak than what anti roman apologists (and many "cradle" roman catholics) imply but it's still problematic because it takes it makes people worry about whether they are acting correctly (whether they have the "right kind" of contrition) rather than trusting in Christ.

aztexan said...

The Den said: >>In any event, it’s [onanism is] an act of self-love that’s gratuitous for no other reason than self gratification. It’s disordered for the focus is not on doing Christ’s will but rather the focus is turned inwardly on the self and that person’s will.<<

I exercise. I occasionally treat myself to a movie or a bowl of ice cream. When I get an itch, I tend to scratch it. I often chew gum. Sometimes I drink alcoholic beverages.

Yes, what a scandalously disordered, self-gratifying Prot I am! If the papists are right (*snicker*) I'll burn in Hell for such horrors - such abominable acts of self-love - as these!

Rhology said...

Well, what TU...aD is getting at is that TheDen is obviously setting himself up as a private fallible interpreter of the RCC's teaching. The question's implications make him uncomfortable so he hems and haws.

aztexan said...

Alan, where have you been? You haven't blogged in quite a while, bud.

Rhology said...

I'm in great need of inspiration... slllooooooggggggggg

John Bugay said...

"Contraception" seems to get you fired up :-)

Rhology said...

More like "RCs who get all fired up about contraception get me fired up b/c of the idiotic things they get fired up about".

aztexan said...

Oh, pish-tosh, Rho. Just blog any old gibberish - excerpt your local phone book, for instance. Then we can have Steelikat translate it into Latin, and from there the RCC can extrapolate an Everest-sized mountain of brand-new "ancient" dogmas that have always and eternally been affirmed by Mother Church, but you just didn't know it.

For instance, you don't know - yet! - that blogging on Wednesdays is a mortal sin, unless the blogger is wearing Virgin Mary undies with matching socks and using no light but that provided by his computer screen and St. Gooberius votive candles and using only the thumb and pinky of the left hand (unless he faps with that hand).

John Bugay said...

the idiotic things they get fired up about ...

Believe me, I understand about that!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Well, what TU...aD is getting at is that TheDen is obviously setting himself up as a private fallible interpreter of the RCC's teaching. The question's implications make him uncomfortable so he hems and haws."

Quite right.

Now that Rhology has short-circuited the "Aha!" moment for TheDen, I hope TheDen realizes the untenable inconsistency of RCC doctrine and its polemics.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Here's something about private fallible interpreters of the RCC's teaching with regards to Bishop Olmstead and the Phoenix hospital abortion case that's quite interesting:

Catholic Hospitals vs. the Bishops

Excerpts:

"In explaining his decision, Rev. Thomas Olmsted, bishop of the Phoenix Diocese, was the first to explicitly point to the role played by Catholic theologians in providing theological cover for "a litany of practices in direct conflict with Catholic teachings.""

(Are these Catholic theologians applying private fallible judgment about Catholic Church teachings?)

and

"Many theologians, like Prof. Nicholas Healy of St. John's University in New York, write that theologians comprise "an alternative magisterium" to the teaching authority of the bishops."

An alternative magisterium.

An alternative magisterium?

An alternative magisterium!

How about a private magisterium of one? How about Catholics who are their own popes? Who woulda thunk it?

John Bugay said...

Truth, evidently your comment linking the article "The Catholic Hospitals and the Bishops" has gotten itself into the spam filter.

PeaceByJesus said...

Indeed J. N. D. Kelly states that it was Damasus who hired a gang of thugs that stormed the Julian Basilica, carrying out a three day massacre of the Ursinians. - Kelly, J. N. D. (1989). The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 32,34