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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Personal Responsibility versus Divine Grace

Within the argument over who is Sovereign in this universe, either the King or the sinner, inevitably the question of divine decree versus personal responsibility comes to the forefront.

The Responsibility of Man

The sinner is, of course, totally responsible for their actions and is utterly commanded to obey God. These responsibilities include loving him with the fullness of the soul (Deuteronomy 6:5), a full repentance from sin to righteousness (Acts 17:30), a full trust in Christ for salvation (Ephesians 2:8), and attributing to Christ all of the glory for salvation (Ephesians 2:9). These are the four main responsibilities which the sinner has towards Heaven; there are several hundred more.

And these are only matters of commission, of positive command, the sinner is responsible for rejecting evil (Romans 3:8), for keeping his heart pure (Psalm 24:3-4), for avoiding unrighteousness (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), for living an exemplary life (Matthew 5:3-11), for outperforming his pastors in religious knowledge and action (Matthew 5:20), for judging a person only on action and not on superficialities (Matthew 5:21-22), for committing to one person for the full intimacy of the marriage covenant (Matthew 5:27-28), for being utterly truthful (Matthew 5:33), for being totally faithful (Matthew 5:37), for being charitable beyond measure (Matthew 5:44), and above all, the sinner has the responsibility of attaining and maintaining perfection (Matthew 5:48).

If these were not enough responsibility, the prophet James introduces the idea of a sin of omission: he writes that whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17), and that a single sin utterly condemns a person (James 2:10-12). If you have not committed adultery but have committed murder, your condemnation is just. If you have not murdered but have lied, you have stored up an infinite amount of wrath to be poured out on you on the day of wrath. If you have not lied but have failed to help a person in need, you might as well have made it a practice to break every commandment completely and repeatedly.

There is certainly no lack of responsibility for the sinner to be saved should he break any of these laws, for if we judge ourself rightly, we won't be judged (1 Corinthians 11:31). In order to be saved the sinner has the responsibility of being born again (John 3:3-7), he has the responsibility to take up his cross (to forsake his life and give it for God) and follow Christ (Matthew 10:38), he has the responsibility to sell everything he has and give it to the poor (Luke 18:22), he must confess every last one of his sins perfectly, not missing a single one (1 John 1:9), he must repent and be immersed in Christ (Acts 2:38), he must repent and believe (Mark 1:15), and he must confess his full allegiance to Christ’s saving work (Romans 10:9,13). If he does this, God will reward his diligence and welcome him into Heaven.

These are a few of the responsibilities the sinner has. If you are not convicted of your utter incapability to accomplish even a single one of your responsibilities, then I ask you to pause here and reread this first section, including the proof-texts, for Jesus tells us that it would be easier to get a one-thousand-pound seven-foot tall dromedary through a one-millimeter hole than to get you through the gates of Heaven (Mark 10:25). But, if you want to be worthy of Christ, all you have to do is perform each of these perfectly (Matthew 10:38).

The Grace of God

If it sounds impossible for the responsibility of man to lead to anything short of condemnation, then you are getting the point. Christ’s immanent followers asked him, “Who then can be saved!?” and he responded, “what is impossible with men is possible with God.” (Mark 10:26-27)

The exceeding impossibility of man’s responsibility is meant for two major purposes, first to humiliate man, and second to exalt the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who kept every ordinance perfectly. When baptized he was fulfilling all righteousness (Matthew 3:13-15), so that those who have never been baptized (including those wetted as infants) will not be turned away from Heaven’s gates for failing to be perfect. He asked from the cross, “What I did not steal, must I now restore?” (Psalm 69:5) He will never forsake himself, indeed he cannot (2 Timothy 2:13). He maintained for his entire life a pure heart and clean hands, never lifting up his soul to idols nor swearing deceitfully (Psalm 24:3-4). The responsibility of full obedience to God was demonstrated in his obedience even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11).

Mankind has a full responsibility to repent towards Heaven, and also an utter inability to do so. In the grace of Christ though, we are not without hope, for he grants to us repentance leading to the knowledge of God (2 Timothy 2:25, et al)! We have a call to faith in the Risen Son, but we are faithless and twisted generation; but our faithful God and Saviour has given to us a saving measure of faith (2 Peter 1:1, Ephesians 2:8-9).

Mankind has a full responsibility to respond towards Heaven, but as a slave to sin, dead spiritually and incapable of goodness, this responsibility is shirked and becomes yet another sin which will seal his condemnation. But thanks be to God who made him who knew no sin to be sin for our sake, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Those who are saved are not saved by the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but by the will of God (John 1:13).

Conclusion

It is the sin of mankind to want to attribute his greatness to his own works. The Bible speaks over and over again of God doing everything good in men (Zechariah 4:6, John 3:27, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 8:28), of him being the absolute proprietor of everything that happens (Isaiah 45:5-7, Zechariah 5:4). Mankind is totally responsible for his own actions, being condemned under sin. Mankind is given opportunity to earn his salvation, but he is incapable of avoiding sin and performing righteousness. In both cases his personal responsibility has not provided for his salvation, but has multiplied his condemnation.

But thanks be to God who gives the victory through Jesus Christ. It is only by God’s grace that anyone is saved, that any saint reaches repentance, and that any people receives mercy (Mark 13:20, 1 Peter 2:10, 2 Peter 3:9). God said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." (Exodus 33:19) So then it depends not on human will or exertion, rather it is in spite of human will and exertion, and it depends wholly on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:16).

What then shall we say, that we ought to sin all the more so that God’s goodness shines forth contrasted against our darkness? Heaven forbid, we have the total responsibility to seek the Lord while he may be found (John 6:44), we must repent, we must believe, we must cease from sin. But, in our complete inability to do this the Spirit will give us contrition for our sin, convict us of impending judgment, and convince us of Christ’s righteousness, so that we see we are saved by grace, not of ourselves, that we receive grace through faith given from above, not of ourselves, that it is a gift of God, not of ourselves, so that we will not boast, but attribute all of the honor and glory to the Risen and Righteous and Responsible Jesus Christ.

Human responsibility has led many a soul to Hell, but never a soul to Heaven. It is only by the grace of God that we may be saved.

42 comments:

Michael Gormley said...

I was saved, I am saved and I am being saved. Yes, but only GOD knows who they are.

Canyon Shearer said...

If you are a Roman Catholic, then you are not saved, you are not being saved, and you will not be saved.

And John says 32 times in his first epistle that I can know by fruit when a person is genuinely a saint.

Michael Gormley said...

The Catholic Church Stands Alone!

Canyon Shearer said...

Just like the Mormon, JW, Orthodox, and Islamic cults...

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Canyon,

DO YOU PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR SALVATION?

Abide in Me, and I in You...


Jesus said:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you."
(John 15:1-7)

Wow! In those seven verses, the word ABIDE is mentioned seven times. The context of those verses provides us with a lot of light as to what is required of us by GOD for our eternal salvation.

Jesus said:
"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14)

So we must not only ABIDE in Him but we must also strive to enter by the narrow gate. If we do not ABIDE in Him, then it is obvious that we are not on the path to the narrow gate of salvation, but on the path to the wide gate and to eternal destruction.

So Jesus said that if we do not ABIDE in Him (the Vine) then we will be taken away from the Vine by the Father, and will be cast off only to wither, to be gathered, and then to be thrown into the fire and burned.

Now that I have your attention, shouldn't we now find the meaning of the word ABIDE?

The theological meaning of ABIDE is to dwell within. Jesus would come and dwell in us and we likewise in Him. So as long as we do what Jesus requests of us then we are on the path to the narrow gate to salvation.

So to assure that we are on right path, Jesus has commanded that we must ABIDE in Him.

What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him?

Can we do it:

1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

2. By the grace of GOD only? Sola Gracias?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

3. By faith in GOD alone? Sola Fides?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it?

Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56 HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

Canyon Shearer said...

See post.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Canyon,

Private interpretation of Scriptures can be exceedingly harmful to self and others. This has divided Christianity into hundreds if not tens of thousands of segments.

Too many individuals claim their position is right and are unwilling to freely discuss the position taken or to be submissive to moral authorities.

Holding to a personal position, or one of heretical source, places one's eternal soul in jeopardy. Such people often become instruments that lead others to perdition.

Canyon Shearer said...

Excellent point, the RCC is the foremost in following the unbiblical interpretation of heretics and has condemned multitudes to Hell.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Mr Shearer,

When discussing Apologetics with non-Catholics, you must do it right from Holy Scripture.

When Protestantism was first formed in the 16th century, the reformers lost all Authority which they enjoyed in the Catholic Church.

They therefore turned to the Bible as their 'sole rule of authority'. This is called 'Sola Scriptura', or 'Bible Alone'.

They also could not claim Apostolic Tradition anymore since they could not show Apostolic Succession.

They put Apostolic Tradition in the same category as man made tradition and in so doing condemned all tradition.

Holy Scripture specifically says to keep the traditions with which you have been taught, which are the Apostolic traditions, and to reject man made traditions.

Interestingly, the false doctrine of 'Sola Scriptura', is a man made tradition with its origin at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

Using the reformers very own rules, 'Sola Scriptura' should then be condemned by themselves.

Canyon Shearer said...

I absolutely love it when Romanists disagree with Peter in 2 Peter 1:19-21. Ironeeeeeee.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Canyon,
26 But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. (John 10: 26 - 28)

Canyon Shearer said...

Either reject your cult or quit using the Bible; you can't have both.

Lloyd said...

Interesting post and comments. God bless, Lloyd

Della Mae said...

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

10For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

Much to say on these things but to eat of the flesh of God is to partake in His Word and to drink the blood is also to partake in the Word of God, for the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness..also about following the tradition of men the word says this

Mark 7 says
11But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

12And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Anyway just happened on your blog probubly won't happen again. The King James Version would teach you alot indeed, the others are simply making the Word of none effect. It has power to change you. But like you said you must be predestined.

Della Mae said...

Can we do it:

1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

Totally agree with this!!~

Della Mae said...

You said this, " we must repent, we must believe, we must cease from sin. But, in our complete inability to do this the Spirit will give us contrition for our sin"

Do you really believe we have no ability to repent? Don't forget, The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. In your conclusion you are close in the scriptures you have put together... I do not like the things you say with words (God doing everything good in men ) this is false according to scripture it says, call no man Good on this earth, only God is good. The scriptures are good that you refer to but this summary,... Human responsibility has led many a soul to Hell, but never a soul to Heaven.. the words you choose are very important and need to be always for edification, your words do not edify, I must decrease so that God can increase. Humility, grace, spirit of meekness.

Canyon Shearer said...

Here is where an accurate version of the Bible would help you in your reading. The goodness of God is meant to lead to repentance, yet because the human heart is so darkened and the conscience so seared to God, it is impossible for a person to repent, which is why it must be granted.

Read my blog post at http://netwetters.blogspot.com/2010/08/august-15th-being-good-person.html

and get a better Bible.

Della Mae said...

What is it that would make you state that the King James Bible is inaccurate I wonder? Remember the Bible is a Living Word and not a History book. Hence, you are ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the Truth.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Della,
Some Protestants will tell you that the only acceptable version of the Bible is the King James.

This position is known as King James-onlyism. Its advocates often make jokes such as, "If the King James Version was good enough for the apostle Paul, it is good enough for me," or, "My King James Version corrects your Greek text."

They commonly claim that the King James is based on the only perfect set of manuscripts we have (a false claim; there is no perfect set of manuscripts; and the ones used for the KJV were compiled by a Catholic, Erasmus), that it is the only translation that avoids modern, liberal renderings, and that its translators were extremely saintly and scholarly men.

Since the King James is also known as "the Authorized Version" (AV), its advocates sometimes argue that it is the only version to ever have been "authorized."

To this one may point out that it was only authorized in the Anglican church, which now uses other translations.

For a still-in print critique of King James-onlyism, see D. A. Carson, The King James Version Debate, A Plea for Realism (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979).

As amusing as King James-onlyism may sound, some people take it very seriously. There is even a Catholic equivalent, which we might call "Douay-Rheims-onlyism."

The Douay-Rheims version, which predates the King James by a few years, (the complete KJV was published in 1611, but the complete Douay-Rheims in 1609) was the standard Bible for English-speaking Catholics until the twentieth century.

What many advocates of both King James-onlyism and Douay-Rheims-onlyism do not know is that neither Bible is the original issued in the 1600s.

Over the last three centuries, numerous minor changes (for example, of spelling and grammar) have been made in the King James, with the result that most versions of the KJV currently on the market are significantly different from the original.

This has led one publisher to recently re-issue the 1611 King James Version Bible.

Della Mae said...

Perhaps you should read about William Tyndale. The foundation of the Original King James Bible was the Tyndale Bible. I found your argument extremely weak concerning the King James. Using names like Erasmus and contrasting the people who read it with Catholics, Ha funny, like you would just lump the two together. 1979! Really? Like that will back up your argument for me to "get a better bible." I am very well aware of the old English translation and the spelling changes and grammar. Tyndale used both the Greek and Hebrew text when he translated the New Testament and his knowledge of language was superior. He also burned for it.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Della Mae,

The Bible didn't just drop out of the sky, spiral bound, with an NIV sticker on it. The Catholic Church chose which books to include in the Bible in the Synod's of Hippo (393 AD) and confirmed it at Carthage (397 AD).

A timeline of how the Bible came to us is here.

Here are the words of Professor Peter Flint, the non-Catholic scholar who translated the only English version of the Dead Sea Scrolls which won first prize from the Washington Biblical Archeology association:

"Without the Catholic Church you have no Bible, just a bunch of books and letters. With the Church you have the Bible!"

Canyon Shearer said...

With the Catholic Church, you have a Bible in a dead language which no-one can read and all perish for lack of knowledge.

Funny, the KJV, which is no longer in English, is the same as the Catholic Church...aka the Synagogue of Satan.

Della Mae said...

Babylon is the Synagogue of Satan.

It is strange that you prize this quote, "Without the Catholic Church you have no Bible, just a bunch of books and letters. With the Church you have the Bible!" and in the next breath you call the church...aka the Synagogue of Satan.

Let's get this straight.

The Catholic Church was in possession of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the books of the Bible and many books that were not included in the bible, aka...the Apocrypha.

The Catholic Church never wanted to have any comman man to have the Bible and wanted to.. lets say, keep the "indulgences" coming.

God overcame man and the Church, and by his power gave access to his Holy Word and made it possible for translation.

Now, because they held it, it happened it came out of the Church and into the hands of the people.

Let's not snare at a Nat and swallow a Camel. It obviously holds God's light and has the ability to change the inward man who by nature is corrupt.

Remember, "the first man adam was made a living soul." "the second man Adam was a quickening spirit." Also "the second man Adam was the Lord from Heaven"

You must go to the Cross, where death is swallowed up in Victory. The soul that sins It must Die. This my friend is a spiritual Death. The law of Sin and Death brings you to this death when you are called. If you hear the preaching of Paul, you must be called to repentance and if you cry out to God, through His Power mortify the deeds of the flesh, you can be made a New Creature.

Christ is a Son for every Man.

God Bless!

Della Mae said...

Whew! Thank Goodness, I have realized my error. I at first believed that both posts came from the same person! Of course NOT!

Della Mae said...

Canyon,

In regards to this,

"Funny, the KJV, which is no longer in English, is the same as the Catholic Church...aka the Synagogue of Satan."

what your are saying is, "Funny the KJV, is the same as the Catholic Church...aka the Synagogue of Satan."

Really?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom."

Canyon Shearer said...

The KJV, a hugely useful Bible for people whose language it was in, is just like the Latin Vulgate, no longer in the vernacular and thus should only appear in museums and for reference purposes. The Catholic Church forced for a millenia people to go to Hell for holding to an old worn out translation, such is the KJV people, and thusly are the same as the Synagogue of Satan.

Read my post on the stupidity of holding to the KJV only at http://trustobey.blogspot.com/2010/05/living-and-active.html

The great danger of tradition is beautifully illustrated between Della and Michael. Michael thinks tradition is sacred, where-as Della doesn't realize how much tradition she is following. Tradition is useful in as much as it lines up with the Bible, but when it errs, then we reject tradition and follow the scriptures. It is a narrow path, and the ditches on either side are deep and deadly, as evidenced by our Latin Vulgate and KJV following examples. I highly recommend James White's "King James Only Controversy" to straighten out wrong beliefs in both camps.

Della Mae said...

This is the Simplicity of Christ and I would hope it to be, "traditional"

You must go to the Cross, where death is swallowed up in Victory. The soul that sins It must Die. This my friend is a spiritual Death. The law of Sin and Death brings you to this death when you are called. If you hear the preaching of Paul, you must be called to repentance and if you cry out to God, through His Power mortify the deeds of the flesh, you can be made a New Creature.

Christ is a Son for every Man.

Canyon Shearer said...

Yours is certainly tradition and thus makes it extrabiblical. You are not saved by your free-will heresy, but by the grace of Christ, who is God and Saviour for only his church. For his enemies, such as the RCC and KJVO, he is God and executioner.

Michael Gormley said...

Why do Baptist Pastors Protestants hate Catholics so much and spread lies? are they driven by Devil? ?

ANSWER:

Jesus Himself gave us the reason for the bigotry and hatred towards us:

John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

If our Catholic Faith posed no threat to Satan and his followers, we wouldn't constantly be under attack. So we just chalk up all the bigotry and lies as another proof that Catholicism *is* Christ's true Church on earth.

Canyon Shearer said...

Why do Christians hate Catholics? Because they're Pharisees and Jesus hates them (Matthew 23). Because they're works righteous sons of perdition and Paul hates them (Galatians 1-6). Because they hate God and we hate those who hate God (Psalm 139).

Catholics are Catholic in name only, the true Katholik church despises their pagan religion.

Michael Gormley said...

The Usual Suspects
Answering Anti-Catholic Fundamentalists


Fundamentalists see us kneel before statues of Mary and the saints and conclude we are worshiping either the statues as such or at least the saints represented by the statues.

The fact that a Catholic kneels before a statue to pray does not mean he is praying to the statue.

A Fundamentalist may kneel with a Bible in his hand, but no one thinks he is praying to a book.

Statues and other "graven images" are used to recall to the mind the person or thing depicted. Just as it is easier to remember one's family by looking at a photograph, so it is easier to remember the lives of the saints (and thus be edified by them) by looking at representations of the saints.

"But you pray to saints, even if you don't pray to their statues", say Fundamentalists. "That means you do worship them. At the least your prayers to saints violate 1 Timothy 2:5, which says, 'There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.'"

Prayers to saints, asking them to intercede with God for us, do not violate 1 Timothy 2:5. If they did, then every Christian would stand guilty of violating that verse because every Christian prays for other people.

After all, what is a mediator? Merely a go-between. When we pray for others, we act as go-betweens, passing their concerns to God. Fundamentalists regularly ask one another for prayers.

They are right to do this because our Lord commanded that we pray for one another. No Fundamentalist will say to another, "No, I won't pray for you. Pray to God straight!" Instead, he'll say, "I'll gladly pray for you, and please pray for me."

In so praying he becomes a mediator. This does not violate 1 Timothy 2:5, which is really telling us that our prayers for one another are effectual precisely because Christ is the one mediator. Without his mediation, our prayers would be worthless.

MORE > > >

Canyon Shearer said...

Catholics are pagans and have neither part nor lot in the kingdom of Christ. The RCC blends seamlessly into every antichristian religion, from Hinduism (read about Mother Teresa and how Calcutta thought she WAS a Hindu) to Santeria, Catholicism is the true church of Satan.

"In the long war on the truth, the most formidable, relentless and deceptive enemy has been Roman Catholicism. It is an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false Christianity, it is affront for the kingdom of Satan. The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always understood this." - John MacArthur

Della Mae said...

Canyon? Really, your a HATER? The NIV says this, " If this anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." How about the New Living Translation, "If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless." Here it is in Gods Word translation, "If a person thinks that he is religious but can't control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person's religion is worthless." And for me, "any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion [is] vain." A few scriptures that my God has placed in my heart and the Hope of all mankind.

"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;"

"Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you."

"For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."

"The end of the commandment is LOVE out of a PURE HEART"

I am sorry you feel this, Heretical, may you go to the mirror (the word) and look into your heart, may God change you and make you a new creature and may someday he say to you, "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."

Michael Gormley said...

Canyon Shearer said...
The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always understood this." - John MacArthur

What is John MacArthur's fundamental problem
with the Catholic Church (or Catholicism)?


Mr. MacArthur has tried to position himself as the international gatekeeper of orthodoxy and "proper hermeneutics" which is the analysis of Scripture.

He says "only through hard study of the Bible can we come up with the proper interpretations."

Then in the same sermon, he turns on himself and says it's clear and simple (rather than requiring hard study):

"When we're interpreting the Bible, we are not hunting for some extrapolated mystical experience. Scripture was not written to puzzle people or to confuse them, it was written to make things clear to them... when you don't take the time to discern the literal meaning... you are making scripture your slave by molding it into what you want it to say" (www.gty.org/Blog/B100202)

When confronted with simple texts defending Catholic Doctrine found in the Bible such as "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man you shall have no life within you" (John 6:53) he suddenly gets mystical and extrapolates that its all symbolic. (More on the Eucharist here)

He says "I do have a mandate from God to compare what others teach to the gospel of the Bible." In this "mission" he has arrived at a radically different interpretation of Scripture (i.e., John 6:56, Luke 2:38, Matthew 16:18) from the overwhelming collective deposit of faith which includes 2000 years of the greatest and most faithful Christian intellects of antiquity.

He considers himself such an intellectual giant, that he can somehow come to better conclusions than everybody else with their Bibles, including Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Apostles, Martyrs, ancient Church Fathers, saints and scholars.

He ridicules other Evangelicals who say their understanding of Scripture came from their "prayerful" reading, saying they should use their heads, not their hearts.

Yet while he is stuck in his head like this, he says Catholics are all about works and not faith, which of course is also false.

What Mr. MacArthur ignores is the witness of the early great Christians like Ignatius, who are very clear about the Catholic Church, the Eucharist, the structure of Authority and many other aspects of the Church that he has rejected.

Ignatius of Antioch was a student of the Apostle John. With all due respect to Mr. MacArthur, I think Ignatius is a little more on the ball than him.

"See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery [priest] as ye would the apostles.

Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.

Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it.

Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it.

Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."
Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrneans, 8:2 (c. A.D. 110)

Canyon Shearer said...

Della,

What you've posted is the lunacy that comes from KJVO'ers, for the Bible clearly says that true love is hatred of evil (Romans 12:9). Jesus Christ himself, whom it is clear you dislike very much, is lauded on his throne for HATING evil and evildoers (Hebrews 1:8-9).

You need to repent of your traditions and flee to the Christ whom was hated in your place, who will reconcile you to the King.

Canyon Shearer said...

Michael, your understanding of the Catholic church of history is so flawed as to damn your soul.

Most Catholics, prior to the sixth century, will go to Heaven. Almost no Catholics after that will be turned away at the gate for their heresy.

I hate every part of your religion, because it is utterly anathema to the Bible. Peter hates your religion, every bishop (whom hate the title of Pope) until Leo hates your religion.

And most of all, Jesus Christ himself hates your religion. It is dead with the reputation of being alive, but is truly the church of Satan on earth.

Della Mae said...

I find it humorous that your telling me to repent and yet you say there is no place of repentance. It is very strange indeed, you talk like Christ is different than God, I love God, but dislike Christ? "I and my father are ONE!"

You are to HATE the evil of your own heart!! Hate yourself and your words and your thoughts, Hate the iniquity of your hands, your WORKS. "The mark of the devil lies in their foreheads, (your mind, your thoughts,) and your hands", (your works, your deeds!) Hate THAT!
You run around professing like you believe that you have no free will, and yet what about the Catholics, do they have free will to believe anything other than what they do, "Let's everyone hate them because they lie in darkness." You are absurd. They and anyone else for that matter can not come to God unless HE permit it. They have no free will, you don't have free will and I don't have free will. God confirms my words daily, do you have a confirmation of anything you believe? You have no fruit except that worthy of repentance. Add to your faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, charity, brotherly kindness. "depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never Knew you."

You are a WOLF in sheep's clothing. You have taken his name and made a MERCHANDISE of HIM!

Christ Conquers, Christ Reigns, Christ Rules.

Canyon Shearer said...

Della,

Again, your tradition condemns you. Catholics and all have a will which is enslaved to sin, utterly incapable of choosing good or God.

And the god you serve is not the God of the Bible, rather you are a liar following the father of lies, for he has been a liar since the beginning. You hate the Living God because you hate his Christ because you hate his word, as evidenced by you seeking to hide it in an unknown and archaic tongue.

For the sake of your soul, read this collection of scripture and take it to heart: http://trustobey.blogspot.com/2008/11/hate-well.html

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Canyon Shearer,

Here are the basic differences between Baptists and Catholics. Baptists believe only people who have reached the age of reason can be baptized. There is no scriptural proof for this.

Catholics believe anybody can be and should be baptized at any age, especially babies. Peter says "Baptism is for you and your children". He also says "Let baptism be the new circumcision".

Babies were circumcised at 8 days old. Baptists believe baptism is only valid when the believer is fully immersed in water. No scriptural proof for that either.

Catholics believe immersion is not the only way. The apostles went into homes and baptized families.

They didn't drag a bathtub around with them. Jesus said "Baptize everyone in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." He didn't say baptize only the adults in a large body of water.

Baptists believe the Eucharist is only symbolic and offer it very seldom at their services. And they use crackers and grape juice.

Scripture condemns this practice. Catholics believe the Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ.

Jesus said "This is my body and blood". He didn't say "This is a symbol of my body and blood." He also said "DO THIS in remembrance of me" a direct order.

He didn't say "If and when you remember me have a symbol of my body and blood." The Eucharist is offered at every Mass, Paul says "You will do this often and proclaim the lords death till he comes. For is this bread not the body of Christ? And is this wine not his blood?" Jesus says "If you do not eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you have no life in you."

He was not speaking symbolically. When Jesus did speak symbolically he would start off with "There once was..." or "The kingdom of Heaven is like ..." Jesus says it's real.

Paul says it's real. The Bible says it's real. Baptists must know more than Jesus, Paul, and Bible to claim it is not real.

Baptists believe in Bible only and Faith only as the only means of salvation. The Bible itself disproves both of these doctrines.

There are references that we will be judged by what we have done and what we have failed to do.

That kills the faith-only theory, and Jesus says "You search the scriptures because in them you think you have life."

That debunks the Bible-only belief. So who really follows the Bible? It certainly isn't the Baptists.

Michael Gormley said...

A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church

My mother had a problem with the Catholic Church, but if you asked her why, she really couldn’t tell you. She would give the same rote answers that many Protestants had been giving for centuries. “They worship the Pope, Mary, and the Saints.”

“They think a person can forgive their sins rather than God.” She couldn’t explain why she believed these things, or in the case of the last statement, she couldn’t explain why a person couldn’t say that your sins are forgiven.

When I finally asked her why she thought a person could not forgive sins after the Bible said that Christ gave that power to the Apostles, she said she’d just rather confess directly to God.

I believe that the real reason that she did not like Catholicism was because her father did not like it.

Continue > > >

Canyon Shearer said...

Michael,

The main difference between Protestantism and Catholicism is that Protestants go to Heaven and honor Christ.

The God-condemned RCC crucifies afresh Christ everytime they paganly deface the eucharist, and this is utterly a sign of antichristian behavior. The reason that Baptists hate Catholicism is because we understand it far too well; we see that you are an afront for the kingdom of Satan, murdering souls, hiding the Word of God, hating the Christ, vicariously stealing his glory, and utterly blaspheming every part of the true church.

You make yourself a false prophet by saying Peter said things he NEVER said and would have condemned you to your face for saying. Read Jeremiah 28-29, you are a false witness, read Proverbs 6:16-19, you are in the wrath of God, you are hated by him totally for your false prophecy. You will not enter Heaven and you stand in the way of those who would enter. Jesus Christ hates you and he hates your pagan assembly.

Unless you repent I will rejoice on Judgment Day when your blood flows. See Psalm 58.

Canyon Shearer said...

Roman Catholics aren't Christians.

Don't be so open-minded your brains fall out. One of your own theologians said, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”

Jesus hates a lot of people.