Friday, July 20, 2007

Benedict Is Electric
...a special "thanks" to the Pope

Here is a gem by our blogging friends at FIDE-O. These guys are usually spot on and I for one greatly appreciate their tenacity for the truth of the gospel and their preservation for the authority of the Word of God. Scott Hill really articulates well the Pontiff's latest claims with this brief, but helpful article. Addressing Romanism is not foreign from this blog. I have said here before: Rome is a false church, preaching a false gospel, led by a false pastor.

Since Bend it like Beckwith has defected to Romanism, it has now become "fashionable" once again for some to think that Protestants and Romanists are all one big happy family under the banner of "Christianity." Scott Hill says, "not so fast" - and I fully agree.

Biblcially insecure evangelical leaders that want to make politics and social concerns their common ground with Rome, seemingly have no seared conscience obection in playing footsy with the Pontiff on moral and environmental issues (the Vatican has officially gone green); need to start thinking more with their Bibles and less with their agendas. Theology matters beloved.

Enjoy the following by Scott Hill. I highly recommend it. IMHO, it is a must read.

Still Pounding on Wittenberg's Door...
Sola Fide,
Romans 3:21-26

by Scott Hill
It is not very often that I get an opportunity to thank the Pope for something he said, some things he has said in the last several weeks have gotten me really excited.

With prominent evangelicals leaving Christianity and becoming Catholic, and Rick Warren still promoting "Purpose Driven"(R) Catholics and Mormons I was beginning to think this ecumenicalism thing was really running amuck. My special thanks to the Pope is for proclaiming the Catholic church the only true church. So to Pope Benedict I say a hearty thank you very much. Let's face it Rick Warren says the Reformation was a bad idea, a lot in the emergent crowd are bending over backwards to embrace Catholics, Evangelical and Catholics Together is gaining momentum.

All these people want to embrace the Roman Catholic church, but the Catholic Church doesn't want to embrace them. I know this is a pipe dream, but now maybe some of this will swing this crazy ecumenical pendulum back a few notches. If nothing else it should help certain people see just how far apart evangelicals and Roman Catholics are theologically. The Pope understands we are not the same. He even understands we can't be a part of the same church. He, unlike others, actually drew some lines in the sand and I for one appreciate it. While I think the Pope is 100% wrong and will face fiery judgment I at lease appreciate him taking a stand.

Now maybe we can quit trying to get along with Catholics and start winning them to Christ.


Douglas said...

"Rick Warren still promoting "Purpose Driven"(R) Catholics and Mormons"

Steve, apparently that is not true about Rick Warren promoting Mormons, in that USA Today article.

The person that wrote the article for USA Today put her own spin on things and said that was what Rick Warren does/said, but he never said he works with Mormons, not according to Richard Abanes that is. It seems Warren left it up to Abanes to correct that, which Abanes did in his book, see comment 21 in here:

"Rick Warren Does it Again"

“According to Brian Davis, Manager of Customer Care, Purpose Driven, no Mormons have ever been through any purpose driven pastor training or conferences or classes-according to all records. More importantly, Warren has never said that his programs “welcome” Mormons. His comments relate only to “denominations”. The reference to “Mormons” (and “Jews”) was actually the interpretation made by the USA Today of what Warren meant by “denominations”. (And the was not in quotations as from a direct quote).

“I learned this through several emails exchanged with Cathy Lynn Grossman on April 8, 2005 and a telephone conversation with her on April 27, 2005. The USA Today writer told me that she, quite innocently, penned her story for a secular media outlet using Webster’s definitions of “denomination”-that is to say, a “religious group”. It was she who who chose the denominations (or “religious groups”) to list, believing they sounded best in the article. Warren himself did not say, and indeed, he is not quoted as saying, that he views Mormons, Jews, or both as simply other “denominations”. - Rick Warren and The Purpose That Drives Him by Richard Arbanes. Page 90.

Rick Warren’s direct quote about Mormonism and other cults:

“[The Apostle]Paul says that they were zealous but “their zeal is not based on knowledge.” That describes a lot of cults and religions today. A lot of Jehovah’s Witness are zealous without knowledge, and Mormons, [and] Moonies. Paul says they are zealous but they don’t really know the truth”.
- Rick Warren “The Truth Is For Everybody”
part 26, n.d.; Rick Warren, “Discovering Life Mission”, CLASS 401

Again, be critical where it is “warrented”. But I ask you also be truthful where it is deserved. Thanks.

Rick Warren has not informed people, on his website, of the supposed errors that are in the article, even though the article is still promoted on his website after all this time:

Behind The Scenes (Scroll down to the bottom of the page)

USA Today featured The Purpose-Driven Life and Rick Warren as its cover story in the "Life" section July 21. The article introduced Rick as "the most influential evangelist you’ve never heard of.” Please pray that the article will introduce The Purpose-Driven Life to a whole new secular audience.

- Staff

Joel said...

I'm sorry, Steve, but Scott has it exactly wrong. I suspect he's been reading the news accounts rather than the actual document.

Benedict (or rather, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) specifically acknowledged Protestants as a part of the universal (catholic) Church:
It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.

It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.

The whole purpose of the document was to state clearly what is meant by the word "Church." We do believe that the Church that Christ founded is the same as the Catholic Church today. ("Roman Catholic" is a misnomer; there are 24 other rites in the same communion that are not Roman.)

The reason that the Eastern Orthodox Churches are called "churches" is that they maintain unbroken succession of authority from the apostles. They're out of communion with the Patriarch of Rome, and we believe that the main stem of the Church, as it were, is that which is in communion with Rome. (If we didn't believe that, we'd be Orthodox instead.)

Protestants reject apostolic succession, which is whjy the document terms them "ecclesial communities" rather than "churches." While you are part of the universal Church simply because you are Christians, you are also separated from the unbroken line of succession.

I know nobody else here believes in apostolic succession, and I'm not trying to convince anyone of it. But what Scott saw and what the CDF actually said are two nearly opposite things.

gigantor1231 said...


I think I speak for most of those who hold to the unadulterated word of God, those that are saved in Christ by grace apart from works, in saying that we do not feel bad being seperate from the Catholic church or the pope. As a matter of fact it is ok if they disassociate themselves from us all together. We are unwilling to kiss the ring of the pope and we do not believe that Peter was the first pope any more than any other man is the head of Christ's worldly church, other than Christ himself.
We openly sucede and seperate from the catholic church because it is entirely a work of man and a reflection of the compromise that Rome held out to the christians of that day as a means to avoid state and the roman church's persecution, such as being crucified and used as torches to light nero's gardens. There are certain popes that even exercised their own wicked forms of persecution and torture on those who would not recant and join the RCC. See Foxe's Book of Martyrs for some of the more glorious moments of the papacy!
So let them pen their writs and dictate their conclusions statutes and edicts. The papacy is above no man, there is only one lord to whom all should bow and that is Jesus Christ. I have to say though, I thought pope on a rope was a great idea!

Christina Martin said...

See Foxe's Book of Martyrs for some of the more glorious moments of the papacy!

Foxe's Book of Martyrs recounts executions of Protestants by Mary Tudor for heresy, which was a state crime equivalent to treason. It has nothing to do with the pope. In fact, the pope's legate intervened on behalf of several condemned heretics and saved them from the stake. (The Chair of Peter changed occupants twice during Mary's five-year reign, so it seems the Vatican had other problems to deal with.)

Unfortunately, a much greater number of Catholics had no such protection from Elizabeth. If Mary hath martyred her thousands, Elizabeth hath martyred her ten thousands.

It's true that a different pope several centuries earlier had encouraged the execution of a different set of heretics, the Albigensians. It's a safe bet that they wouldn't have fared any better in 16th century Geneva, though.

As for being happy to be separate from Rome, I kind of figured you were. I wasn't trying to convince you otherwise. I just wanted to clear up what the CDF's document said, because the news reports got it wrong.