Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Apostasy’

Response to comment on Immersion

I placed a quote up by John A. Broadus entitled “Immersion is scriptural and essential to baptism.”

I received the response below and decided to comment on it with a blog post.

 

“It is an error. Ignoring around 1800 years of experience is not wise. Come home to the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit cannot be responsible for such Chaos. Reformation has brought about many changes and there is not even one branch. Strictly based on the Scripture we have to love tradition and embrace it. (2Thessalionians 2:15; 1Cor 11:2) Please see that it is questioning God. He knew when He had to come and what He has to do for His Church to happen. Others did not.”

 

(I did not approve this comment due to the fact that I am not allowing someone else to comment and therefore leave a link to their blog, on my blog, when I can’t read the language on the commenter’s blog. If I can’t read the blog, then I have no idea what my blog is being linked to).

 

 

First let me start off by stating that this comment nowhere directly disproves my quote from John A. Broadus. Just stating that a quote is in error doesn’t necessarily prove that it is.

Secondly, I want to say that the Roman Catholic Church is not our home. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by Faith plus, Christ’s merit, plus our Own merit. Since we are fallen creatures and all our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight and since a natural man cannot please God because what he does is not done in faith, then there is no way that one can have any merit in God’s sight without an imputed righteousness. This imputed righteousness is not our own, but was merited for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. God takes the initiative in salvation and works alone to effectually apply Christ’s merit to those of whom he has chosen from the foundation of the world. Grace is given to these individuals, not to aide them in coming to Christ, but to effectually regenerate them, so that they come to Christ, because of the work of regeneration wrought in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Roman Catholic Church’s system of an inherent righteousness is an apostate system. It is a system derived from man and will lead men to Hell.

Thirdly, we recognize that there are certain things handed down from tradition and there are also certain things within the RCC that are held as traditional. Nevertheless, tradition is not our guide. There are two means of revelation given to us by God that we might learn about him and learn what pleases him. These are general revelation and special revelation. No doctrines are to be built upon general revelation, nor tradition, but we derive our doctrines from special revelation or from scripture alone. In other words, general revelation and tradition can never usurp what God has commanded or revealed through and in his Holy Word. Since there are certain things held traditionally within the RCC that are not commanded or revealed in scripture, then we conclude that the RCC has erred and has placed man made precepts in place as commands of God. Again I will state that the RCC is an apostate system and will lead men to Hell.

Finally, the comment above is just some isolated sentences that are placed together within a paragraph, that give no coherent thought or theme to the comment in question. The above comment jumps from stating that my John A. Broadus quote was error, to giving me a warning that ignoring church history is not wise, to stating that the Holy Spirit is not involved in chaos, to the Reformation bringing about change, to etc, etc…. This kind of incoherence cannot be properly answered because there is no unity, theme, or thought pattern within this comment. The best anyone could do is answer each sentence of the paragraph and show what we as Protestants believe the RCC to be. 

John Piper retracts the term ‘Heresy’ in his stance on Roman Catholicism

March 19, 2013 11 comments

Well it seems that Piper can’t be consistent and stand upon what the Reformed faith teaches. When I first heard of Piper he was on the radio. It wasn’t long thereafter that he switched strictly Internet for his broadcast each week. When I first heard of him, he was preaching through Romans. His sermons were some of the best that I have ever heard.

Since then I have lost confidence in Piper. He has embraced some odd teachings, including the charismatic doctrines. On top of this he has held conferences with some of the odd balls and down right erroneous teachers who profess the Christian faith in modern Christianity. Now he makes a statement, a few years ago, that Roman Catholicism is heretical; yet when the Roman Catholic Church elects a new Pope, Piper shrinks from his original position. Go figure.

I want to state that I stand with the Reformers. The Reformers declared that the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate Church. I see no reason to not affirm the same view today. Have they retracted their doctrines of:

 

Faith + Works

Grace + Merit

Christ + Myself?

 

If not, then they are still an apostate church.

Here is a portion of the article as reported by Christianpost:

“As Pope Francis began his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, Desiring God founder, John Piper, attempted to clarify a controversial statement he made in 2009 about heresy in Roman Catholic theology.

During the reign of Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Piper was asked on video if he had two minutes to question the Pope on an issue, what would he ask, and he chose the subject of justification.

“I think Rome and Protestantism are not yet ready – I don’t think the Reformation is over. I don’t think that enough change has happened in Roman understanding of justification, and a bunch of other things,” he said in the video.

He then proceeded to detail the question he would ask the Pope. “‘Do you teach that we should rely entirely on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith alone as the ground of God being 100 percent for us, after which necessary sanctification comes? Do you teach that?'” he said in the clip.

“And if he said, ‘No, we don’t,’ then I’d say, ‘I think that right at the core of Roman Catholic theology is a heresy,’ or something like that,” he added.

In a new post on Thursday, however, Piper conceded that ‘heresy’ is a strong word and attempted a more nuanced explanation of what he meant by his comments.”

 

Read the entire article here.

Those who fall away never professed true faith

January 2, 2013 1 comment

Uniting with the Church however, important as this act may be, is any easy matter. It is but the beginning of the Christian life. Next comes the period of trial. Will all who join the Churches, bear the test to which sooner or later, they will most surely be subjected. Remember also that the period which is to try the strength of their faith, patience, obedience, and fidelity, extends through their whole life upon earth. With these facts before you, survey the scene which I will now sketch, as it passes. For one, the seductions of sense, ere long, prove too mighty; he yields; lives after the flesh, and dies. Another, carried away by the fascinations of the world,―wealth, ambition, honor, pleasure―is found sowing to the flesh; he reaps corruption. Then the righteous man―he who had been eminent for zeal, and good works, foremost in the sacred ranks, is overthrown, turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and miserably perish! A succession of similar events continues. Their profession when tested, prove unequal to the trial! They have fallen; and are probably lost forever. Behold the picture. Is it imaginary? Alas! far from it. Do these facts, however, prove that the persons in question have “lost their faith, and regeneration?” Surely not. The facts all concur to demonstrate that they never possessed these high endowments. True they professed religion. But the indubitable evidence of a man’s faith and regeneration” is, not alone that he has been excited, and experienced fears and sorrows, and confidence and raptures; nor that he does many righteous acts, and is lauded as eminently devoted; but it is that he sustains the tests to which he is subjected in the christian profession. The “refiners fire” consumes the dross only; the pure gold all remains, and is by the process, rendered but the finer, and the brighter. Can it be proved that these men who have fallen, although they previously maintained the character of great piety, were ever rally regenerated? Never. Such proof is impossible, as long as men can appear to be what they are not. Then their fall is very far from showing that the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints is not true.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

The difference between backsliding and apostasy

November 21, 2012 4 comments

It is, secondly, necessary that you discriminate carefully, between backsliding, and apostasy. The former is the act of turning back from God; the latter is the forsaking, or the renouncing of the religion of Christ. Backsliding consists either in the relinquishment of evangelical doctrine; or in the loss of spirituality of mind; or in the gradual departure from correct morals. All these evils are embraced in apostasy. The backslider commits transgressions, but returns to his allegiance, and obtains forgiveness, and acceptance. The apostate continues; dies in his sins; and “so eternally perishes.” We teach that none of the true children of God―he believing, the pardoned, the regenerated, the sanctified―become apostate, but to backsliding, of every character and degree, all, it is but too evident, even the best, and most devoted, are constantly, and painfully liable.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

The Perseverance of the Saints

November 14, 2012 2 comments

The Privileges of Believers In Christ Include Their Perseverance In Grace Unto the Attainment of Final, and Complete Salvation

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

To persevere in grace unto the attainment of final, and complete salvation, is another, and the last in the catalogue which I shall at present particularly consider, of the inestimable privileges growing out of the union of believers with Christ. I need not tell you that a result so glorious will not be achieved without a struggle. The utmost energies of minds renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, will be imperatively demanded. Battles are to be fought; victories are to be won; labors are to be endured; before the end is gained.

 . . . Not for thee Spreads the world her downy pillow; On the rock thy couch must me, While around thee chafes the billow.”

 But in every struggle, every conflict, Jehovah is your guide and support, and has promised that you shall be “more than conquerors,” through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many excellent christians however, in opposition to the doctrine maintained by us, hold, to use the language of one of their most distinguished divines, that―”A believer may totally lose his faith, and regeneration, and may continue in apostasy, and so eternally perish.”1

Either this proposition is not defensible, or that which asserts the final perseverance of the saints―in other words, the continuance of all believers “in a state of grace to a state of glory”―must be abandoned. Both cannot be true. To which shall we adhere? It is our interest, and our duty, to know the truth, on this, and all other topics; and thanks to our God, the means are accessible and at hand by which the whole inquiry may be fully and satisfactorily determined.

Before entering upon the argument however, whether in refutation of the opinion stated, or in defence of our own conclusion, it is necessary, if you would clearly comprehend the question to be examined, that several preliminary observations should be submitted.

In the first place, we predicate final perseverance in grace of those only who are “born again”―the saints of Christ Jesus―and not of mere professors of religion. Let this fact be kept constantly in memory. Professors of religion, members of the Churches, are not all, as a matter of course, the children of God, and followers of the Redeemer. Many, in every age, have assumed the outward forms of godliness, in whose hearts true piety had no dwelling place. In the estimation of enlightened christians of every class, such are expected to “fall away.” Their relations to the Church are not congenial; their spiritual duties are burdensome; they soon become weary; and in going back to the world, they return to a course of life which their hearts always preferred. Their apostasy is a natural consequence, and always to be anticipated.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

Christ is the head of the Church—there is no other

October 26, 2012 2 comments

If Christ is the head of the church in the sense of sovereign or ruler, then it is impious to call anybody else the head of the church. Some claim to be the head of the church in the sense of vicegerent, or vicar. For example, the Pope claims to be the head of the church in that he is Christ’s vicar. The only vicar that Christ has is the Holy Spirit. When Jesus went up to heaven he did send a vicegerent to take his place; another Paraclete to abide with and to guide the church. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit for a mere man to claim to be the head of the church.

Spurgeon in his many volumes of sermons has one polemical volume. One of the sermons in that polemical volume is the most excoriating denunciation of the claim that the sovereign of England is head of the church that I have ever seen. He read a proclamation: “I, Victoria Regina, by the grace of God head of the church.” Then immediately following that he quoted Paul’s words: “I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority.” Everybody should read, particularly, that eighth volume of Spurgeon’s sermons. The greater part of Christendom today is under bondage to the thought that the Pope of Rome is the head of the church. They mean by that that he stands in the place of God, and that whatever he speaks, ex cathedra, is infallibly true, and that his authority is ultimate.

In 1870 the capstone was put on the papacy by the Vatican Council, in servile obedience to the Pope, proclaiming his infallibility as head of the church. The head of the church also carries with it the idea of authority, which is called the key of power. Christ is the head of the church. There is no other. We see on earth a body, but the head is above the clouds; we cannot see it. The head of the church is in heaven, the body here on the earth. It is a vital and fundamental article of the Christian faith that we should accept no head of the church of Jesus Christ except the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

B. H. Carroll Commenting on Ephesians 1:22-2:10

God’s Spirit preserves his people from fully falling away

The chief end for which God sends the Spirit to indwell His people is to deliver them from apostasy: to preserve them not only from the everlasting burnings, but from those things which would expose them thereto. Unless that be clearly stated, we justly lay ourselves open to the charge that this is a dangerous doctrine—making light of sin and encouraging careless living. It is not true that, if a man has once truly believed in Christ, no matter what enormities he may commit afterwards, nor what course of evil he follow, he cannot fail to reach Heaven. Not so is the teaching of Holy Writ. The Spirit does not preserve in a way of licentiousness, but only in the way of holiness. Nowhere has God promised His favour to dogs who go back to their vomit, nor to swine which return to their wallowing in the mire. The believer may indeed experience a fearful fall, yet he will not lie down content in his filth, any more than David did: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand” (Psa. 37:24).

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures March, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

All of Grace—The Fear of Final Falling

Chapter Sixteen

The Fear of Final Falling

A DARK FEAR haunts the minds of many who are coming to Christ; they are afraid that they shall not persevere to the end. I have heard the seeker say: “If I were to cast my soul upon Jesus, yet peradventure I should after all draw back into perdition. I have had good feelings before now, and they have died away. My goodness has been as the morning cloud, and as the early dew. It has come on a sudden, lasted for a season, promised much, and then vanished away.”

I believe that this fear is often the father of the fact; and that some who have been afraid to trust Christ for all time, and for all eternity, have failed because they had a temporary faith, which never went far enough to save them. They set out trusting to Jesus in a measure, but looking to themselves for continuance and perseverance in the heavenward way; and so they set out faultily, and, as a natural consequence, turned back before long. If we trust to ourselves for our holding on we shall not hold on. Even though we rest in Jesus for a part of our salvation, we shall fail if we trust to self for anything. No chain is stronger than its weakest link: if Jesus be our hope for everything, except one thing, we shall utterly fail, because in that one point we shall come to nought. I have no doubt whatever that a mistake about the perseverance of the saints has prevented the perseverance of many who did run well. What did hinder them that they should not continue to run? They trusted to themselves for that running, and so they stopped short. Beware of mixing even a little of self with the mortar with which you build, or you will make it untempered mortar, and the stones will not hold together. If you look to Christ for your beginnings, beware of looking to yourself for your endings. He is Alpha. See to it that you make Him Omega also. If you begin in the Spirit you must not hope to be made perfect by the flesh. Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began, and let the Lord be all in all to you. Oh, that God, the Holy Spirit, may give us a very clear idea of where the strength must come from by which we shall be preserved until the day of our Lord’s appearing!

Here is what Paul once said upon this subject when he was writing to the Corinthians:

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 1:8, 9).

 

This language silently admits a great need, by telling us how it is provided for. Wherever the Lord makes a provision, we are quite sure that there was a need for it, since no superfluities encumber the covenant of grace. Golden shields hung in Solomon’s courts which were never used, but there are none such in the armory of God. What God has provided we shall surely need. Between this hour and the consummation of all things every promise of God and every provision of the covenant of grace will be brought into requisition. The urgent need of the believing soul is confirmation, continuance, final perseverance, preservation to the end. This is the great necessity of the most advanced believers, for Paul was writing to saints at Corinth, who were men of a high order, of whom he could say, “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.” Such men are the very persons who most assuredly feel that they have daily need of new grace if they are to hold on, and hold out, and come off conquerors at the last. If you were not saints you would have no grace, and you would feel no need of more grace; but because you are men of God, therefore you feel the daily demands of the spiritual life. The marble statue requires no food; but the living man hungers and thirsts, and he rejoices that his bread and his water are made sure to him, for else he would certainly faint by the way. The believer’s personal wants make it inevitable that he should daily draw from the great source of all supplies; for what could he do if he could not resort to his God?

This is true of the most gifted of the saints — of those men at Corinth who were enriched with all utterance and with all knowledge. They needed to be confirmed to the end, or else their gifts and attainments would prove their ruin. If we had the tongues of men and of angels, if we did not receive fresh grace, where should we be? If we had all experience till we were fathers in the church — if we had been taught of God so as to understand all mysteries — yet we could not live a single day without the divine life flowing into us from our Covenant Head. How could we hope to hold on for a single hour, to say nothing of a lifetime, unless the Lord should hold us on? He who began the good work in us must perform it unto the day of Christ, or it will prove a painful failure.

This great necessity arises very much from our own selves. In some there is a painful fear that they shall not persevere in grace because they know their own fickleness. Certain persons are constitutionally unstable. Some men are by nature conservative, not to say obstinate; but others are as naturally variable and volatile. Like butterflies they flit from flower to flower, till they visit all the beauties of the garden, and settle upon none of them. They are never long enough in one place to do any good; not even in their business nor in their intellectual pursuits. Such persons may well be afraid that ten, twenty, thirty, forty, perhaps fifty years of continuous religious watchfulness will be a great deal too much for them. We see men joining first one church and then another, till they box the compass. They are everything by turns and nothing long. Such have double need to pray that they may be divinely confirmed, and may be made not only steadfast but unmoveable, or otherwise they will not be found “always abounding in the work of the Lord.”

All of us, even if we have no constitutional temptation to fickleness, must feel our own weakness if we are really quickened of God. Dear reader, do you not find enough in any one single day to make you stumble? You that desire to walk in perfect holiness, as I trust you do; you that have set before you a high standard of what a Christian should be — do you not find that before the breakfast things are cleared away from the table, you have displayed enough folly to make you ashamed of yourselves? If we were to shut ourselves up in the lone cell of a hermit, temptation would follow us; for as long as we cannot escape from ourselves we cannot escape from incitements to sin. There is that within our hearts which should make us watchful and humble before God. If he does not confirm us, we are so weak that we shall stumble and fall; not overturned by an enemy, but by our own carelessness. Lord, be thou our strength. We are weakness itself.

Besides that, there is the weariness which comes of a long life. When we begin our Christian profession we mount up with wings as eagles, further on we run without weariness; but in our best and truest days we walk without fainting. Our pace seems slower, but it is more serviceable and better sustained. I pray God that the energy of our youth may continue with us so far as it is the energy of the Spirit and not the mere fermentation of proud flesh. He that has long been on the road to Heaven finds that there was good reason why it was promised that his shoes should be iron and brass, for the road is rough. He has discovered that there are Hills of Difficulty and Valleys of Humiliation; that there is a Vale of Deathshade, and, worse still, a Vanity Fair — and all these are to be traversed. If there beDelectableMountains (and, thank God, there are,) there are also Castles of Despair, the inside of which pilgrims have too often seen. Considering all things, those who hold out to the end in the way of holiness will be “men wondered at.”

“O world of wonders, I can say no less.” The days of a Christian’s life are like so many Koh-i-noors of mercy threaded upon the golden string of divine faithfulness. In Heaven we shall tell to angels, and principalities, and powers, the unsearchable riches of Christ which were spent upon us, and enjoyed by us while we were here below. We have been kept alive on the brink of death. Our spiritual life has been a flame burning on in the midst of the sea, a stone that has remained suspended in the air. It will amaze the universe to see us enter the pearly gate, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ought to be full of grateful wonder if kept for an hour; and I trust we are.

If this were all, there would be enough cause for anxiety; but there is far more. We have to think of what a place we live in. The world is a howling wilderness to many of God’s people. Some of us are greatly indulged in the providence of God, but others have a stern fight of it. We begin our day with prayer, and we hear the voice of holy song full often in our houses; but many good people have scarcely risen from their knees in the morning before they are saluted with blasphemy. They go out to work, and all day long they are vexed with filthy conversation like righteous Lot in Sodom. Can you even walk the open streets without your ears being afflicted with foul language? The world is no friend to grace. The best we can do with this world is to get through it as quickly as we can, for we dwell in an enemy’s country. A robber lurks in every bush. Everywhere we need to travel with a “drawn sword” in our hand, or at least with that weapon which is called all-prayer ever at our side; for we have to contend for every inch of our way. Make no mistake about this, or you will be rudely shaken out of your fond delusion. O God, help us, and confirm us to the end, or where shall we be?

True religion is supernatural at its beginning, supernatural in its continuance, and supernatural in its close. It is the work of God from first to last. There is great need that the hand of the Lord should be stretched out still: that need my reader is feeling now, and I am glad that he should feel it; for now he will look for his own preservation to the Lord who alone is able to keep us from failing, and glorify us with His Son.

Charles H. Spurgeon—All of Grace

Follow along as we read this short but marvelous book. Download your copy here. Next chapter will go out Wednesday June 27 at 8:00 AM. Central Standard Time.

Seducers have a Sleight to Deceive

Seducers are the devil’s factors; they are of all others the greatest felons that would rob you of the truth. Seducers have silver tongues, that can put off bad wares; they have a sleight to deceive. Eph 4:14. The Greek word there is taken from those that can throw dice, and cast them for the best advantage. So seducers are impostors, they can throw a dice; they can so dissemble and sophisticate the truth, that they can deceive others.

Thomas Watson A Body of Divinity (A Preliminary Discourse to Catechizing)

Concerning Seducers

Seducers deceive by wisdom of words………They seem to be men of zeal and sanctity, and to be divinely inspired, and pretend to new revelation.

Thomas Watson A Body of Divinity (A Preliminary Discourse to Catechizing)