Wednesday, December 01, 2010

bossmanham, Pope Benedict, condoms, and me - 2

Good stuff on the previous post's comment thread.

Joel said:
since the Catholics did kinda sorta take a lot of it back in Vatican II, don't you think that amounts to a de facto retraction, at least of some of it?

The inconsistencies and complete lack of clarity with respect to this issue make such questions an exercise in wishing upon a star, I should think.  Which side do you want to prefer they meant?  They certainly can't tell you; the RCC has felled thousands of trees in its self-"clarification"; if they could, they'd'a done it by now.
So, what are we, Reformedigelicals, to do?  I guess it comes down to what you want to do.  I think it's far more useful to nail people to Trent and hold them there, b/c ISTM this allows the difference inherent in the true Gospel to shine forth that much more brilliantly.  Much like the Law kills in its condemnation, and it is in finding our condemnation to a messy and awful eternity lifted by the messy and awful sacrifice of Christ that we understand how exalted and wonderful the free gift of grace truly is. 
There's also the smaller issue that people need to come out of RCC, whether you think RCC teaches saving doctrine or not.  Being right before God is not the end; it is the beginning.  And most ppl are far more familiar with Vat2 and the modern squishy liberal RCC than they are with the heretic-burning Trent RCC.  I seek to remind them that the modern RCC has not taken back Trent, and remind them that they need to come out of such a screwed up church in favor of one that is far less doctrinally screwed up.  Even if you're saved, it does you no good, and in fact does you a lot of bad, to be bowing down to Mary all the time.


bossmanham,

Let's go further into Trent, though:

  CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.

  CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.

(In other words, if you say you're justified ONLY by the sacrifice of Christ, anathema to you.)


  CANON XVII.-If any one saith, that the grace of Justification is only attained to by those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.

(Anathematises Calvinists.  And Augustinians.)



Oh, and "anathema" to RCC generally means "cut off from the Church".  It's a roundabout way of damning you, but a few observations on that:
1) It's sort of a cowardly way of affirming Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus w/o affirming it. 
2) It allows a man the time to come back to the Church.
3) It's a different meaning than what the Bible means when it uses the term.  Which is a problem.
4) It's supposed to be a bad deal for the anathematised man b/c he is thus cut off from the reception of the Sacraments (confession, Eucharist, etc), which are the main ways thru which grace is infused into the soul.  The hidden message is:  "Good luck getting to Heaven without the Sacraments.  If you know what's good for you, you'll come back to The Church®".

7 comments:

Andrew said...

"Good luck getting to Heaven without the Sacraments..."

Or, if you are a male prostitute, at least some first steps toward moralization.

zilch said...

As I intimated in the previous thread, it's all about deciding who's going to Hell, isn't it? Catholics do it, Muslims do it, even Calvinists do it. Whatever floats your boat...

cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

Joel said...

I think we might agree. I mean, if the point is to understand what Joe Catholic actually believes, instead of just trying to win the argument by showing up his inconsistencies, then I think you ought to grant that some self-identified Catholics may hold to one, or the other, or some confused amalgamation of both. Theoretically their system should not allow for that. But... it does. Theoretically my car's catalytic converter should, um, convert... catalytically? But here I am walking anyways.

I fully agree that people shouldn't go to Catholic churches, but I feel the same way about Protestant churches with pastors who can't exegete. So, for instance, I generally don't have a lot of time for mainstreamers like (say) the United Methodists. But my grandmother went to a Methodist church all her life, not a very good one, and it is obvious to me that she believed in the truth. Hers was a simple faith, she wouldn't recognize a systematic theology if you slapped her upside the head with it, but she believed nonetheless.

If we had lived in the same state and I had been somewhat older when she started losing her marbles, I probably would have encouraged her to find a church with better doctrine. But I didn't, and she didn't; and my point is that God is gracious and uses even really pathetic and dinged-up messengers to spread his truth. (e.g., cf. Philipians 1) Which is why, despite what I agree are really basic problems at the fundamentals of their theology, you won't see me issuing a blanket anathema of Catholics - at least not one that I'm prepared to apply to individuals I've never met. Catholics use the Bible, however poorly, God's word does not return to him void; and their characteristic error, damning as it may well be, is one of emphasis. Especially given the breakdown of their doctrinal hierarchy, it just doesn't seem to me the kind of slam dunk it needs to be for that kind of assurance. Doctrinally I'm with you, and should I run into a real live Tridentine Catholic, I will be more than happy to send him on his way with curses ringing in his ears.

bmh,

(From last post) in re: Tertullian, I was just reminding you that he was also a rather famous heretic. I've never been overfond of the argument from "someone old said this", because it seems to me that they don't get much older than Caiaphas, and I don't take his authority for anything.

For Trent, I was thinking about canon nine: -"If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."

That's Pelagian. Now perhaps they qualify that somewhere else, but here in the anathema, where the flaming splinter hits the faggots at the foot of the execution stake, right here they quote Paul (Ephesians 2:8-9) and cast him out. That's a problem.

Rhology said...

I feel the same way about Protestant churches with pastors who can't exegete

But wouldn't you much rather send someone, if these were the only two choices, to Journey Church than to the local mosque?
Thank God those usually aren't the only 2, but the question is pertinent.



But I didn't, and she didn't; and my point is that God is gracious and uses even really pathetic and dinged-up messengers to spread his truth.

Very true. Even uses me sometimes, by His grace.
Unfortunately, my contention is that, where it counts, RCC doesn't get enough of the truth in its message.


Catholics use the Bible, however poorly, God's word does not return to him void

Well, they SOMETIMES use the Bible, but not often, and misuse of the Bible (their general modus operandi) is not a good thing. I'm sure you'd agree with that last.
Also, I know you'll agree that sometimes God's Word doesn't return to Him void precisely b/c it has sown condemnation in the hearers.


I will be more than happy to send him on his way with curses ringing in his ears.

Hahahaha. Well, those seem to be rare enough, except on the Internet. I've only met one real live Catholic Answers Catholic, and that was very recent, and I'm not sure he's even all that much into it b/c his marriage is on the brink.

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

What you're saying generally makes sense. Except, don't you think that comparing Roman Catholicism with Islam is a bit rich?

Part of my dilemma is that I spend a lot of time reading older theology, mostly from the high middle ages and early Renaissance, and this seems to me both extremely orthodox and astonishly pious. (The theology, not the fact that I read it.) I admit that things went badly in the Renaissance, and onward, which the one difficulty of ecclesiastical principalities that Machiavelli failed to pick up on. But it's very difficult for me to throw out the baby with the bathwater as you seem to do so casually.

Of course I do agree that the proportion of believing Catholics is probably quite low.

Rhology said...

Joel,

(The theology, not the fact that I read it.)

LOL.
Well, I don't know what to tell you on that count. It strikes me as respectably prudent that even men such as James White, whom many call overly strident on this question, reminds us that individual RCs can conceivably have a saving relationship with the Savior, but of course that in spite of RC dogma. IOW, these are bad Catholics, cafeteria Catholics. Blessed inconsistency and all that.

I know we both throw out the bathwater, but how much baby there is in there is, I suppose, the topic of debate here. ISTM you began by defending RCC in terms of its not being totally apostate. I agree, not totally, but enough that it is not a Christian church. I consider it its own religion.
Anyway, at this point with the baby/bathwater comment, you seem to be implying some sort of historical continuity we'd be better off preserving?
Which is an interesting discussion - the Reformers seemed to exhibit a tension, that of ad fontes! on the one side and that of "we're reforming, with no desire to completely break away unless you break away from us" on the other.
Would you say that's fair?