I Don’t Want To Be A Jerk But…

With the Pope visiting the U.S. it seems like a good time to remind everyone that Catholics Aren’t Christians. I mean, I don’t want to be a jerk but it’s true. Roman Catholicism is fundamentally different that Protestant Christianity. I’ll ignore for a minute the fact that the Pope is the most liberal Pope in hundreds of years (maybe since Leo X, maybe even since Alexander VI.) the differences I am referring to aren’t those between liberals & conservatives, but those between Catholics and Protestants. I went over these differences in my post on Catholicism  including all the “Yes, Buts…” that I could go on about again here…but for the sake of brevity I won’t rehash those. I will add though the esteemed R. Albert Mohler’s recent comments on CNN regarding the pope.12015236_1033953053291567_3706536728156936428_o

I will have a lot of Christians tell me that I shouldn’t malign the Pope and that we’re essentially “on the same side” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is Biblical Christians pray to and trust in Christ Alone for their salvation, while the Catholic trusts in Christ only as far as their good works aren’t enough, the Catholic trust that Christ can “fill in the gaps” that their efforts can’t accomplish. Friends, that kind of trust is not trust in God’s grace…it’s something else altogether, something that is the opposite of and opposed to Biblical Christianity.

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In other news…it also could be the end of the world or something…I am not sure…but I have touched on this subject before as well the post when I reviewed a friend’s book. So if you’re still here and reading this go there and read those posts as well.

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On a Personal Note:

I’ve struggled a lot with blogging and the whole ideal behind it…like it’s the one writing who is, for lack of a better term, pontificating on how the reader should be living their life…and like they should be listening to them, like they have all the answers. It’s been kind of tough to work past…I mean…I don’t have all the answers at all. I struggle pretty badly with making my walk match my talk (or writings as it were) but the truth of it is…I have been believing a lie that said I had to be some kind of “ideal” Christian to be worthy of writing and being read. Ideal Christians are a myth…It is only Christ that makes any of us worthy. I am not worthy in myself of being read, I fail daily…not only that but I am a punctuation abuser, I have bad grammar skills and I misspell stuff…a lot, but beyond that I was believing the half-truths that said I didn’t have anything to say and that other people can say it better, maybe other people can say it better and maybe I don’t have anything worth saying that hasn’t been said a hundred times already…but I enjoy blogging. I enjoy the writing process and even the frustration that comes with knowing only like ten people have read my most recent blog post and one of those is my mom. (Hi mom) I understand better than I have before that I am a tool in the Redeemers Hands, and blogging is one of the ways I can communicate His love for a world that needs to hear it. I am one voice among many, voices that are trying to be drowned out by a world that wants to go to hell and I can’t stand by in silence anymore. Grant it writing and reading are both relatively silent processes, unless you are one of those people that read everything out loud. As the old saying goes: The pen (or keyboard in this case) is mightier than the sword. So I will press on with my writing and maybe you will read it…and maybe share it or comment on it. I am not going to comment on the how of writing and what I will or will not be covering in this blog as I press on…it will be what it is…hopefully, it will all be glorifying to God and edifying to you.

Also, in case you hadn’t noticed…the Dead Pastor’s Society Blog has been resurrected from it’s long state of dormancy so bookmark it, subscribe so you don’t miss a post, keep reading and I’ll keep writing!

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3 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Be A Jerk But…

  1. “The truth is Biblical Christians pray to and trust in Christ Alone for their salvation, while the Catholic trusts in Christ only as far as their good works aren’t enough, the Catholic trust that Christ can “fill in the gaps” that their efforts can’t accomplish.”

    This isn’t in fact what Catholics believe. As a Catholic, I believe my salvation comes wholly from Christ alone, by His grace alone. There is no “filling in the gaps” or relying on my own works or any other such nonsense. And my understanding is not an anomaly: this is the doctrine plainly laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (see the section on grace and justification) and held by every Catholic brother and sister I know.

    • How is my favorite Catholic Apologist…long time, no see…

      And how does one receive that grace according to the Catholic Church? I do not cooperate with God on anything…I am in outright rebellion to him…I am not infused with the Holy Spirit it is imputed to me. There are no “sacramental graces” those are a myth of the Catholic Church….I believe that grace is imputed to me by faith alone and there is nothing I must do to be saved…including baptism.

      And to believe that the Pope is the “Vicar of Christ” as if Christ need a Vicar on earth when he has given believers the gift of the Holy Spirit. I mean just listen to the current pope…some of the stuff he says is bat crap crazy.

      I could go on here…but I won’t…I think you have made your point as I have made mine. And we could go back and forth but what would that accomplish? I’m not going to change your mind and you’re not going to change mine so let’s agree to disagree and be done with it.

      • Hi, John. Thanks for the kind words. I’m doing well, and hope you are as well. It’s good to see you back also.

        Actually, no, I don’t think you’ve made a valid point. I also see little value in going back and forth, and perhaps there is little chance of my changing your mind, but I do believe you have a serious (and I hope not willful) misunderstanding of what Catholics actally believe and teach. So forgive me if I do try. I was a committed Protestant for more than thirty years of my life. I do not believe I left the Gospel of Christ behind when I became Catholic, or rejected anything I believed that was essential. I know there is a tendency as a Protestant to let issues become entrenched in the historical and ideological divide, to reject and oppose Catholicism simply because Luther and Calvin rejected and opposed Catholicism, and base your opposition more on repeated rhetoric than on what’s actually being said and taught. I hope you will judge my faith based on what I say and not what you have heard, and my Church based on facts and not rumors.

        How does one receive the grace of God? Why, by faith in Jesus, first and foremost (Romans 3:22). As for cooperating with God: yes, God allows us to cooperate with His grace once He has regenerated and saved us, but such is not necessary either to receive His grace or to be saved. Do you really believe that even now, as a regenerate, saved man, a “tool in the Reedemer’s hands” who communicates His love and gospel, you are in “outright rebellion to Him”? The very fact that you are able, by His grace, to communicate His love and gospel contradicts this. Is being “a tool in the Redeemer’s hands” not cooperating with Him? — allowing Him to work through you?

        Regarding imputation: I’ve heard talk of righteousness or grace being imputed, but the Holy Spirit? I’m not sure what you mean by that. Doesn’t Jesus say that the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, is sent to us and comes to us (John 16:7, 14:18), that through the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father come to live with us (14:23)? Usually, as I understand it, imputation refers to the idea of something external (e.g. Christ’s righteousness) being accounted to the believer but not becoming internal to him. Do you really mean to say that the Holy Spirit does not become internal to you?

        I think discussions about imputaton and infusion of grace very easily get lost in theological weeds. By that I mean that nuances of terminology and theology tend to confuse issues and obscure what it is we’re actually talking about. The crux of imputation, as I understand it and as you seem to be arguing, is that Christ’s righteousness and God’s grace is credited to us without actually becoming internal to us or objectively changing us — as you say, even though you are saved, you are still objectively a sinner in rebellion to God. The Catholic understanding, on the other hand, is that the God’s grace is poured into us and does transform us. The point seems academic to me, needless quibbling over the mechanics of justification rather than its nature: all Christians agree that justification is wholly and entirely by God’s freely-given grace and that Christians are ultimately transformed in His image (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Catholic understanding does not at all reject the idea of imputation, and most Protestants do accept that God’s grace does actually transform us, through the process of sanctification. And the bottom line, for me: if you make extra nos imputation a sine qua non of Christianity, such that you term anyone who rejects such a doctrine not a Christian at all, then you effectively declare that there were no Christians before the sixteenth century.

        As for there being nothing you must do in order to be saved — I’m sure you would at least concede that you must believe? It is God’s grace alone that saves us, not anything we do — and there have been plenty of people, we believe, who have been saved without ever having been baptized or received any sacraments. Nonetheless, baptism especially is an act which Scripture and Jesus Himself repeatedly commend to us as an essential step in one’s regeneration and salvation, one necessary under normal circumstances (e.g. “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” John 3:5). In what way is it necessary? You, like many Protestants, seem to be understanding it as requirement, a work that a person must do in order to earn salvation. But Scripture, and the Catholic Church, understand it not as a human work at all, but as a work of God by which God buries us with Christ and raises us to new life (Romans 6:4-6). So baptism is not a requirement, but a means: in order to be clean, God wants to give us a bath.

        Again, like many Protestants, you seem to be misunderstanding the term “Vicar of Christ” as a title of the pope. No one is claiming that the pope is a stand-in or substitute or earthly representation of Christ: the pope is absolutely just a man, a sinful and fallible man just like you or me. Especially American Protestants tend to misunderstand that term vicar: a vicar is not equal with or a substitute for the one who sent him, but a servant. In Britain, for example, a vicar is the local clergyman whom the bishop sends to do his work in local parishes. Likewise, calling the pope the “Vicar of Christ” is only to say that he is a minister in service to Christ, a pastor whom the Lord appointed over His flock to do His work. Paul called himself and his associates ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) — and all pastors who do His work likewise represent Christ to the flock He has placed in their charge.

        To sum up: I don’t think your understanding of what Catholics believe is accurate. You seem to exclude Catholics from being Christians as a starting position, when is problematic on several levels: If Catholics are not Christians, at what point in Christian history did they cease to be? Would you concede that the gates of hades did in fact prevail against Christ’s Church? Would you reject all the great Christians of history as non-Christians — Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, Chrysostom, Francis — simply because they held Catholic doctrines? If so — how can you justify this, given that most Protestant formulations of doctrine take Augustine as a point of departure? If not, then on what basis can you say that Catholics are not Christians? If you make essentially Protestant doctrines sine qua non to the gospel, do you really believe that there were no Christians prior to the Reformation? I sincerely believe what you are marking as essential amount merely to doctrinal disagreements, and that both Catholics and Protestants have truly received and believe the same gospel of God’s grace.

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