Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When wolves get into church leadership, it's time to fight hard for the faith, to exert intense effort

Yes, I dabble in the Koine arts (it is a very weak and ongoing effort); but I get Bill Mounce's emails, "Mondays with Mounce," and I found this advice:
Jude writes to his church that they are to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” He wanted to write to them about their common salvation, but because evil people had snuck into the church, he was forced to write a different kind of letter.

The description of these people is scathing. They were “shepherds feeding themselves” (v 12) instead of the flock, a clear allusion to the fact that they were in leadership (cf. the Pastorals). They were worldly people, causing divisions, and were “devoid of the Spirit” (v 19).

Can you imagine? Non-Christians in leadership positions in the church seeking the things of the world (perhaps like power and prestige)? I can, and so can many pastors with whom I have spoken over the last several years.

Specifically, they were teaching that sanctification did not matter, perverting “the grace of our God into sensuality,” and were in some way deficient in their Christology, denying “our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (ESV, v 4). In other words, they were denying some of the core doctrines of the faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (v 3).

Just as Timothy had learned in Ephesus, so also Jude’s church learned that Paul’s prophesy that “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29) is in a real sense paradigmatic of what can happen in any church. I find myself welcoming opposition from outside the church, because the spiritual warfare that exists inside all chuches is much more insidious and much more difficult to fight.

So what are we to do? Part of the answer is found in the word “contend” (v 3). You can see the NASB and NET struggling a bit with the relatively weak “contend” (ESV, NIV, RSV) when they write “contend earnestly” (“earnestly contend,“ KJV). NLT has “defend.” TEV has “fight.” NJB has “fight hard,“ which actually is the right translation.

Buried behind the English is the strong επαγωνιζομαι, which BDAG defines as “to exert intense effort on behalf of something, contend.” But “contend” can be so weak as in “to assert something.” Louw and Nida are closer when they give us, “to exert intense effort.”

Jude is telling the church that it is time to take the kids’ gloves off and duke it out. This is not the time for caution and reserve. It is war. Whenever I read Jude I think of John Piper’s admonitions to accept a war-time life style. It is war, and the battle is both within and without the church. For Jude and many churches, the fieriest battle lie within.
It is very telling that, while we are told to fight the fiercest battles against the wolves, there are those today who not only defend the lineage of the wolves, but who want us to seek unity around that lineage.

Where are the "inconsistency detectors" on this one?


John Bugay said...

This exegesis of Jude came in the email yesterday, but it seemed so appropriate to the information I had planned, that I thought I'd put it up right away.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I've read quite a few posts and comments around the Christian blogosphere that one of the largest scandals in Christendom is disunity and division.

While I understand the sentiment behind these posts and comments, as far as I can discern, *there has to be* disunity and division when contending against wolves in shepherd's clothing.

Especially against the LibProts and the Emergers.

Viisaus said...

I myself have interpreted the famous passage about "the abomination of desolution" in Matthew 24:15-16 (which is specifically noted to be "marked well") that "fleeing to the hills" symbolizes leaving the apostate church-system, the defiled temple, and heading for dangerous wilderness in spite of great costs.

It is a principle always applicable, to Christian Jews in 60s Judaea, to Reformers in 16th century Europe and to us living today.

Paul said...


What a timely post...I can't begin to tell you!


"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three." Luke 12:52-53

I know the sentiment for "unity" is widespread, I just wonder if it is really Christian?


dtking said...

A word about unity - For the non-Protestant, especially the Romanist, unity really means uniformity, i.e., that everyone must think and believe precisely the same way about all matters of faith, which is why the Roman communion has dogmatized virtually everything from A to Z, making such dogmas as the bodily assumption of Mary as necessary as the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, they still fall far short of their paradigm for perfection, because they've simply moved the interpretive process back a step, because all words, even those of their magisterium, must be interpreted, and Romanists interpret them differently from one another.

We the Reformed, recognize unity in diversity, namely that we can and are unified in spite of the real differences we share due to sin and life in a fallen and imperfect world. Real unity is demonstrated by those who differ and yet for the sake of Christ remain in communion with one another, recognizing the weaknesses of our fallen natures and that perfect understanding is reserved for the church triumphant (the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb 12:23). Unity in diversity is representative of true catholicity, not to be confused with the uniformity of Romanism.

Think of unity even on the level of marriage . . . husbands and wives often disagree, yet those committed to the fidelity of their marital union find ways to remain united in spite of the real differences with which they continue to live. That's called maturity and a commitment to the higher call of genuine unity, not some elusive target for uniformity which its proponents fondly imagine to be unity.

steelikat said...

Christian disunity is a tragedy and a scandal.

I think it comes from:
A: what dtking said, over-dogmatizing and intolerance--majoring in the minors.
B: pride and stubborness.

As for the wolves I don't think they have a lineage, other than being sons of Adam. I think they have and will continue to pop up randomly as long as sinners are made church leaders and pastors (until Christ returns). Power corrupts.

louis said...

dtking, thanks for that post, it was very well said.

steelikat, they are sons of Cain, the seed of the serpent.

John Bugay said...

David, one of the things I have noticed in my reading of Ratzinger is that he is functionally a pantheist. This is the unity that he desires. That is, we all get "fused" into God -- I believe that is the term he used in Called to Communion.

Steelikat, the lineage I am talking about is the very "succession" on which they base their claim to divine institution. That is why it is important to be clear that there was no "there" there -- there was no functional leader of Rome during that first 100 years. It was a network of churches, and the presbyters fought among one another as to who was greatest (Hermas).

The "lineage" or "succession" begins with the boastful claims of boastful men; such a thing cannot be of God.

Viisaus said...

Have you noticed that the old-school RC view of marriage, that it cannot be legitimately broken, even in the case of adultery (a legalistic position "more righteous" than that of Christ Himself) corresponds to the RCC viewpoint that one cannot legitimately abandon the "Holy Mother Church" (and join another ekklesia), no matter how outrageous its spiritual adultery might be?

John Bugay said...

Viisaus, you are right, and I think it is because they see themselves as what is "divinely instituted." As a result they will throw every ounce of human and satanic strength into defending that concept. (I say Satanic not out of any spooky or eschatalogical fear, but out of the Jesuitical vow to see white on the Church's word, when a thing is really black.)

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Steelikat: "Christian disunity is a tragedy and a scandal."

Compare and contrast with

Constantine: "Luke 12:52-53

I know the sentiment for "unity" is widespread, I just wonder if it is really Christian?"

Paraphrasing a quote from a well-known pastor (either Spurgeon or John MacArthur): "Why is it that the cries for 'Unity! Unity!' always come from the heretics?"

steelikat said...


What do you mean by "they?" Do you mean the wolves in the Church, the godless men that Jude referred to, who had crept into the NT church (and have been creeping in ever since)?

Because if that's what you mean these people make all sorts of claims. The only thing they have in common is that they are leaders in the church and they are godless.

Or do you mean that Jude was specifically referring to popes (I only ask because I notice you mentioned Ratzinger). Because if you are saying that you are saying that there were already popes in the NT church. Can you prove that?


The children of Cain are children of Adam also, and the children of Seth are equally prone to wickedness.

John Bugay said...

Steelikat, I am not saying that Jude is referring to popes. But Jude is giving us the way to deal with "wolves" within the church. And it's a Reformational given that the popes are wolves. Luther and Calvin did not hesitate to make that connection.

There were no "popes" in the New Testament church. I don't think there's too much to have to prove.

Anonymous said...

Coming at this matter of earnestly contending for the Faith, I would approach it this way and I would say the Holy Spirit has laid forth in the Scriptures a spiritual sense and position that we need to take against the spiritual forces of this world. Our warfare is against spirit beings, fallen angels, dark forces of wickedness who are manifesting directly against our spirit, soul and body, sometimes violently opposing and oppressing us. And as has been noted, even indirectly, through foolish and weak human agents attacks come upon us.

Consider some verses?

First, this interesting verse from the Old Testament:

Exo 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, "Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt."

It is interesting to note with that verse that God was quite aware of the weakness of emotion of His people when it came for them to realize they were going to have to rise up in His Faith, not theirs and go to war and drive out and destroy the seven nations who were greater and more powerful than they, who were occupying the Promised Land given to Abraham.

He took care to bring the people carefully to realize this. Though He promised them the land that flowed with milk and honey, giving it to them by a promise, their inheritance, they were going to have to rise up and fight for it according to God's plan!

Now, this is a hard lesson for some to learn even in these days; that today, even though the created heavens and earth are ours by inheritance through Christ Jesus, [He inherited a new name], we are going to have to rise up in the might and strength of Christ Himself and fight to bring into subjection to Christ the spiritual forces of wickedness and evil.

Consider these verses:

Deu 32:39 "'See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Deu 32:40 For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever,
Deu 32:41 if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me.
Deu 32:42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh-- with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.'
Deu 32:43 "Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people's land."

1Ch 16:14 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
1Ch 16:15 Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
1Ch 16:16 the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,
1Ch 16:17 which he confirmed as a statute to Jacob, as an everlasting covenant to Israel,
1Ch 16:18 saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance."

1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

Here we get a sense of the war that is still in front of us seeing all these things have yet to come to pass and be fulfilled.


steelikat said...


It doesn't always come from the heretics. Heresy and sorrow at disunity are not directly related.

For example, I'm not a heretic, and I am sorry about disunity.

John Bugay said...

Steelikat, we are all sorry about disunity, but we refuse to have unity with the papacy, which is clearly not a divine institution. Unity around a lie is a very bad thing.

steelikat said...


Oh, sure. I guess I missed that part. It looked to me like you were talking about how we can deal with wicked leaders in our midst.

If you're giving advice to RCs I'm afraid it will fall on deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

Now, a few more Scriptures from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament too, that give us insight into our future warfare.

Consider these verses too:

Psa 2:1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3 "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us."
Psa 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Psa 2:5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
Psa 2:6 "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."
Psa 2:7 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
Psa 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
Psa 2:10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Psa 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psa 46:6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psa 46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
Psa 46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
Psa 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
Psa 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psa 72:1 Of Solomon. Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son!
Psa 72:2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!
Psa 72:3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
Psa 72:4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!
Psa 72:5 May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!

They speak for them self, these verses, about the spiritual warfare that is at hand.


John Bugay said...

It looked to me like you were talking about how we can deal with wicked leaders in our midst.

Yes. Popes ("the papacy") is a wicked institution that not only is "in our midst," but it goes further than that and claims to be the only focal point for unity for the church on earth.

If you're giving advice to RCs I'm afraid it will fall on deaf ears.

As I mentioned in the other thread, my hope is not to persuade RCs (although I would take issue with your "deaf ears" comment -- I was a fairly devout and knowledgeable RC, but there is such a thing as the leading of the Holy Spirit), but to articulate these things in terms as clear as possible for Protestants.

steelikat said...

Well, Jude wasn't talking about wicked institutions, he was talking about godless pastors. Read it again.

"Wicked institution" needs definition. Only persons can be wicked in the usual sense of the term.

Anonymous said...

God has said to us this about the spiritual warfare taught in the Scriptures of Old Testament writings this way in the New Testament writings:

Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Rom 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Rom 15:6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, I would touch on the Eternal Purpose that the Church militant is to focus on in general and in specific localities in every nation. Paul the Apostle writes this about that, here:

Eph 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

Now, as Constantine made reference already to Jesus' words about war, which we ought to take heed to as well, I would point also to these War Words of Christ, here:

Joh 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
Joh 12:21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Joh 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Joh 12:27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."

Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Now, in conclusion I want to look at something Peter wrote about in one of his epistles.


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

What you seem to be suggesting is a kind of call to unity. We can try to join with our RC brothers in Christ to contend with them against wicked pastors in the RC church (I can name one right this moment). But that's a pretty tall order. How do you do it? It seems to me that to even try would just cause the people we are trying to join with to become defensive and hard-hearted against us. It would seem like an attack on them.

Furthermore, are we going to reciprocate? When the RC in the church across the street wants to help you contend against the godless pastor leading your own congregation, are you going to welcome his active assistance or are you going to say "thank you but I think the best thing you can do is pray for us, this is an internal affair that we are going to have to take care of ourselves."

Anonymous said...

When one takes time to ponder what is being unfolded with these war Scriptures, one gets a sense that we might want to understand what Peter wrote about here:

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,

2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

Peter kind of focuses us on something you don't hear much about these day, doesn't he?

What does it mean to hasten the coming of the day of God?

I would end my thoughts on contending earnestly for the Faith with two more ideas, one from Psalms and the other from the Book of Romans.

From Psalms we read this:

Psa 143:1 A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Psa 143:2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
Psa 143:3 For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Psa 143:4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.
Psa 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.
Psa 143:6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
Psa 143:7 Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Psa 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psa 143:9 Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge!
Psa 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Psa 143:11 For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
Psa 143:12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

And this, that Paul had written through Tertius, as it should be then that God's True Church should do holding to the Faithful promise to us from the God of Peace:::>

Rom 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
Rom 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Rom 16:19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.

Rom 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Now, I ask, are we not suppose to rise up and contend earnestly for the Faith?

Yes we are and it through prayer that all Christians, in every nation are to come into obedience to the Faith!

Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

John Bugay said...

Steelikat -- it seems as if you are confusing individual pastors (who come and go and who may or may not have the personal qualities that Jude speaks against here), with what the office of the papacy is supposed to be, considered itself to be and therefore what each and every pope therefore represents.

It's one thing to say Reformed and Lutherans and Baptists and Anglicans have differences, and it's another thing to say that Roman CatholicISM is not fundamentally the same thing.

Among the Protestant denominations I've listed (among others), we are all descendants of the Reformation, and therefore we all operate at a similar plane. My baptist friend may try to convince me why credobaptism is better than paedobaptism, but we both understand that Christ saves us without any input from ourselves.

On the other hand, the papacy claims that "the pope" is THE supreme pastor of you and of every person who claims to be a Christian, whether you want this or not. On top of that, the papacy as a concept is fundamentally at odds with Christ, putting itself in the place of Christ on earth. This in itself is a wickedness. And further, it says that Christ himself perpetrated this.

This is on top of Rome's having anathematized the Gospel at Trent.

Roman Catholicism has officially cut itself off from true Christianity. This is not to say that there are no Roman Catholics who are Christians. But officially, the religion has gone off the rails.

If you are not convinced that there is a fundamental difference between Roman Catholicism and every other orthodox Christianity, the I'd recommend that you go spend some time visiting with the folks from Called to Communion. I'm sure you will perceive the difference.

steelikat said...

The Pope isn't my shepherd, so I don't know what I can do to contend against him as Jude discusses. You are the one who brought up Jude in relation to the Pope, so you apparently think that he is a wicked shepherd in your church.

I'm not saying you are wrong, but don't you see the contradiction and the irony here? You brought up the pope in a way that implies he is a wolf in your church that you are practically capable of contesting against, and when try to figure out how you think you are going to do that you respond to me as if I'm the one who doesn't understand that roman Catholicism is fundamentally different than any other orthodox Christianity.

steelikat said...

I shouldn't be so nit picky. what you said is fine.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Unity around a lie is a very bad thing."

I wholeheartedly agree, John.

Viisaus said...

I believe what we need is a combination of truly Protestant and truly Catholic feeling, in the proper sense of both of these words.

We need to be ever ready to energetically PROTEST against the evils of this world, avoiding adulterous friendship with the world (James 4:4) and its easygoing ecumenical ways. Courage to protest even against highly influential notions like the Darwinian evolution, and also protesting against the moral and doctrinal corruption of our church leadership - against both to those who add to and take away from Biblical articles of faith.

We also need a truly CATHOLIC, universal sense of solidarity with all true Bible-faithful Christians around the world - to whichever church or congregation of faithful they might belong to, excepting only those who stubbornly cling to and defend obviously rotten outfits (like the RCC). This will prevent us from becoming a small vindictive Pharisee-separatist sect.

John Bugay said...

Thanks Viisaus.

Anonymous said...


you wrote John B.: The Pope isn't my shepherd, so I don't know what I can do to contend against him as Jude discusses.

Who are you? Are you a Christian in the True Christian sense of the definition?

I am assuming from that citation above you made, you clearly are not a Roman Catholic?

Are you E.O.?

Are you Anglican?

Are you Pentecostal?

Are you of the Brethren?

Who are you?

I suppose from which cloth you are cut, you are at least dyed in the wool and blood purchased?

John Bugay said...

Hi Natamllc, I wanted to let you know that Steelikat has mentioned that he is Lutheran and that his name is Steve. If he has volunteered more information than that I haven't seen it.

steelikat said...

I am by the grace of God a Christian. Do you really need to know more than that? If we meet in real life and become acquainted we will learn things about each other naturally, but a BBS is not real life. It's a two dimensional simulation. Please be careful and reserved, for your own good and for your own safety. That's what I'm doing.

Viisaus said...

"David, one of the things I have noticed in my reading of Ratzinger is that he is functionally a pantheist. This is the unity that he desires. That is, we all get "fused" into God -- I believe that is the term he used in Called to Communion."

It seems that these Sedevacantists agree - rejecters of Vatican II can often provide best evidence for modern RC apostasy:


(citing Ratzinger's words last year):

Benedict XVI praises the cosmic liturgy of Teilhard de Chardin

"The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host."

Viisaus said...

A sharp-eyed critic like Isaac Taylor foresaw the coming of Vatican II spirit already back in 1849. He was able to predict how the RCC would eventually respond to the modernist challenge: by pantheistic pandering.

Taylor noticed how the Newmanian doctrine of development had an inherently "evolutionist" flavor, and could even foresee the rise of pantheist Jesuits like Teilhard de Chardin:


"Loyola & Jesuitism in Its Rudiments"

pp. 372-374

"It would be by no means difficult to sketch the outlines of a New Faith, well adapted to the prevailing notions and habits of Continental communities. Such a faith would retain everything belonging to Romanism that is sensuous and imaginative; — everything of costume and of ceremonial that does not offend good taste, or draw upon itseif sarcasm: it would retain, moreover, a shadowy, though not a dogmatic, orthodoxy: it might perhaps permit a Nicene profession to be "sung," but would never allow it to be "said."

The lately-divulged doctrine of "Development" would seem as if it had been now announced as the requisite preliminary to such a relinquishment of ancient practices and principles as we are supposing to be probable. It is manifest that if "the Church" be endowed with a creative or re-creative vital energy, enabling and authorizing it, from age to age, to evolve what is new in belief or in worship, or to bring to light what had previously slumbered in darkness; if, for example, the Church of the ninth Century ought to be thought of as an authentic product of the church of the third, although marked by new features — then this same vital force — this power of adaptation, may, as ages roll on, and as human reason ripens, show its energies in the mode of absorption or retrenchment. During the ninth Century the Church put forth a verdant top, darkening all the skies; but in the nineteenth century the tree may call in its sap from its luxuriant head, while it strikes its roots far in to a new soil.

If, in this age of reason, certain dogmas or modes of worship may seem to have fulfilled their intention, and to have become encumbrances, rather than aids, why may not the inherent "Development" power rescind, withdraw, remove, such adjuncts? It is not easy to see what difficulty, either logical or theoretic, stands in the way to prevent the Church's faculty of development from now shifting its position, and acting as a faculty of abrogation. Once it put its right hand forth to bring from its treasury things new: henceforward it will be pulling its left hand from its bosom, to withdraw these worn and faded articles from their places. In a rude age the Church — always wise in her day — became flagrantly polytheistic: in a philosophic, or rather a scientific age, the same Church, equally wise, will become pantheistic.

This is the very result that might seem highly probable, as consequent upon a well-calculated endeavor to reinstate spiritual power throughout Europe, by means of an alliance between that scientific pantheism which, at this time, is the prevalent belief of the continental nations, and the Church, professing its faculty of adaptation to the changing aspects of the world. Let the Church absorb or abrogate what, although held to be true and good, as related to an age long gone by, is now felt to be redundant, and which will not amalgamate with the present scientific temper of mankind. Nothing would be needed beyond that which such a faculty of adaptation might supply, for compiling a creed, and for instituting a worship, well adapted to the taste and propensities of the European Continental nations.

If an enterprise of this sort were seriously thought of, the Jesuit body might consider itself to be peculiarly qualified for attempting the task."

Viisaus said...

One really does not even need to dig very deep to see the brazen pantheistic-evolutionist attitudes of the modern Vatican:


"Though offered only in passing, and doubtless subject to overinterpretation, Benedict's line nevertheless triggered headlines in the Italian press about a possible "rehabilitation" of Teilhard, sometimes referred to as the "Catholic Darwin." That reading seemed especially tempting since, as a consummate theologian, Benedict is aware of the controversy that swirls around Teilhard, and would thus grasp the likely impact of a positive papal reference.

At the very least, the line seemed to offer a blessing for exploration of the late Jesuit's ideas. That impression appeared to be confirmed by the Vatican spokesperson, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, who said afterward, "By now, no one would dream of saying that [Teilhard] is a heterodox author who shouldn't be studied.""

Tim Enloe said...

Watch out! Private judgments are around the corner as the RC apologists fall over their own swords trying to exonerate the pope from charges of leaning toward "evolution" and "pantheism." Should be fun to watch, though don't expect them to learn anything from the self-immolating exercise.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Natamllc, I wanted to let you know that Steelikat has mentioned that he is Lutheran and that his name is Steve.

There are not insignificant differences among Lutherans. For example, between the ELCA and LCMS.

John Bugay said...

Hi Truth, I am aware that there are differences, but I am not able to be specific. I know that LCMS is much more conservative. In the same way that I would not be Anglican, I also would not be Lutheran. But I know and love some LCMS folks.