Monday, February 16, 2009

Gordon Brown to meet the Pope

Hail Gordon, devoid of grace.
The Lord is not with thee.
Cursed art thou amongst men,
and cursed is the fruit of thy labours, the recession.
Unholy Gordon, author of incompetence,
intervene no more for the electorate,
from now until the hour of your political death.

It is reported that the Holy See has granted an audience to the Unholy See Nothing. Doubtless His Holiness would like to know more of how this heretical Son-of-the-Manse plans to save the world, for that task really falls under the aegis of His Holiness.

These will be the first talks Mr Brown will have had with the Pope since becoming Prime Minister, and are a sure sign that he has arrived (Mr Brown, that is, not the Pope). While there may be a few orisons for the intercession of St Prudence to liberate the Prime Minister from his economic excesses and political purgatory, there are no indications that he intends to leave office imminently and convert.

During their discussion, Cranmer sincerely hopes the Pope will raise the UK's increasing intolerance of the Christian faith and rising incidences of the persecution of believers.

*For those of His Grace's readers and communicants who might be more inclined towards the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, courtesy of Bella Gerens, he is delighted to reproduce the Latin version of his 'Hail Gordon':

Ave, Gordon, gratia carens,
Dominus non tecum.
Vituperatus tu in hominibus
et vituperatus fructus laborum tuorum, recessio.
Nefas Gordon, pater incompetentiae,
interveni usque non adeo pro nobis civibus
nunc et in hora mortis perduellionis.


Blogger Catholic Observer said...

Surprisingly Gordon has missed every single vote on gay rights in the Commons, bar the SORs. He also abstained from voting on the proposed law to require faith schools to take 25% of their pupils from other backgrounds. Unfortunately however he opposes equal rights for the unborn. I hope the Pope gives an earful about that.

16 February 2009 at 16:27  
Anonymous The Usual Suspect said...

Gordon Brown to meet the Pope !

Is this a plot to undermine the Catholic Church ?

16 February 2009 at 16:47  
Anonymous dormouse said...

I thought at first TB might have sent him ... so that Gordissimo might avail himself of Confession and Absolution - but then I realized he'd probably have to convert for that to work!

Then I thought he might be checking on that nasty bit of parchment he sent to Rome a few months ago.... though there's only one good thing he could do with that; and he never would!

So really - I don't know. Though it would be more in character if he's making arrangements to give the Church of England to el papa??? Let's see, if they slap about 450 years worth of interest on it -. Yup. That could surely take care of our remaining gold reserves...!!!

Whatever it's really about - I say, we play with peril if we subsidize his trip to the land of Macchiavelli.

16 February 2009 at 17:57  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Catholics for Gordon. "Yes we can"

Same amount of change: NONE

16 February 2009 at 18:02  
Blogger Jabba the Cat said...

As Guido points out today the Pope is doomed, as is anyone who upon meeting Brown is guaranteed to fall victim to the "Curse Of The One Eyed Son Of The Manse".

16 February 2009 at 18:08  
Anonymous Cockney Rebel said...

I am rather worried that once again Gordon Brown is following T.B's footsteps, are they joined at the hip? Perhaps Gord will join the Church of Rome with Tone. Or maybe Blair will run for Pope & president of E.U thus joining Church & State of E.U in a dance of death, with Gord as the false prophet. Whatever, the R.C church, the Pope, the Vatican all are DOOMED as soon as the one eyed prince of darkness touches them, farewell, none have survived his cold embrace, it's abit like the last scene of 'The Exorcist'.

16 February 2009 at 18:58  
Blogger Hugh Oxford said...

It'll be a long confession.

16 February 2009 at 19:06  
Anonymous not a machine said...

perhaps he is seeking advice on how to deal with corrupt bankers ?

your grace puts forward a very relevent question indeed your blogg enlightens us all how wrong way round it has all been , to the detriment of of the christian faith and our country.

will he indeed raise the question ??

16 February 2009 at 19:28  
Anonymous Sabina said...

If THAT visit doesn't bring down the lightning, nothing will!

16 February 2009 at 19:41  
Anonymous len said...

I find your confidence in the pope somewhat misplaced Your Grace,
Spurgeon said"Christ did not redeem His church with His blood so the pope could come in and steal away the glory.He never came from heaven to earth.
He never poured out his very heart that he might purchase his people.
That a poor sinner, a mere man should be set on high to be admired by all the nations, and call himself Gods representive on earth.
Christ has always been head of HIS church."

16 February 2009 at 20:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Panorama was nice this evening wasn't it. Does anyone want to but a house?

16 February 2009 at 22:01  
Anonymous dearieme said...

His Holiness to meet Pope. Jockrautfest.
Anti-Christ to meet Anti-Tone.

At least Paparatzi has never bounced a cheque on me.

16 February 2009 at 22:42  
Blogger Theresa said...

Gordon Brown in confession;

'Bless me father, for I have nothing to say at this particular point in time until global trends become clear..'

16 February 2009 at 22:58  
Blogger Theresa said...


Don't want to start throwing stones, but there was a wee issue about a rock that Christ was building his church on. And we don't believe the Pope is the head of the Church. We believe that Christ is the head of the Church and that the Pope is his vicar, ie Christ delegated his authority to his apostles and in a special way to Peter. If he wanted to do everything by himself, then he could have just come down to earth a fully grown man and not bothered with Mary or picking apostles. He chose to delegate, so that is what we follow.

16 February 2009 at 23:06  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2009 at 00:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be a shock to many masons, but The Pope in Rome is the spiritual head of the high masonic orders. The Scottish and York Rite which to my knowledge encompasses the Knights of Malta among very many others.

Again to my knowledge, so I stand to be corrected, Tony Blair is a Knight of Malta and Gordon Brown is a 33degree, or well above by now, member of the ancient and accepted Scottish rite of freemasonry.

Therefore Gordon Brown is basically meeting up with the REAL boss, as did Tony Blair, to report on a very important appointed mission he has almost fully completed.

17 February 2009 at 00:58  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

God can institute even the most wretched sinners in positions of power, and their subjects are still expected to obey. King David, a murderer and adulteror, would be an example.

The Jews also gave great honour to their high priest, likewise a sinner. An account is given in Acts where St Paul cursed Ananias in ignorance of his position but retracted it after he found out that he was the high priest.

Furthermore His Grace has previously claimed the Queen as one of Christ's vicars. Our claims in the papacy are no more extraordinary.

17 February 2009 at 00:59  
Anonymous Gnostic said...

Hopefully Our Jacqui will fail to recognise Brown when he returns and do a Wilders on him.

One lives in hope...

17 February 2009 at 06:53  
Anonymous bella gerens said...

Your 'Hail, Gordon' delighted me so much yesterday that I put it into Latin, if you're interested.

17 February 2009 at 14:15  
Anonymous Hereward said...

'Ave Gordon' made me smile. I will cheer the roof off when it's 'Ave atque vale'.

17 February 2009 at 15:53  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Bella Gerens,

Your translation delighted His Grace so much that he has included it in his post.

Bless you.

17 February 2009 at 16:13  
Anonymous len said...

I will confer if you can show the word pope in the bible.
Peter was also called satan by Jesus Christ( I notice catholics don`t claim that one!)
Peter was an apostle to the Jews.
Paul was an apostle to the gentiles.
Peter was an apostle to the circumcised ( how do you explain that one!)
Catholicism is a works based religion set up by a man (constantine )to prop up his crumbling empire who decided to amalgamate ALL the religions to keep everyone happy ,and came up with the universal religion, a mixture of christianity and pagan religions.
I know catholics firmly entrenched in `their` religion do not accept this ,but its a fact.
Look at the symbols, the sun, the mother and child, idols, these have their roots in paganism.
If you add works to Grace ( for salvation) it is no longer Grace but reward.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a simple childlike faith in Jesus but the catholic church has corrupted that.

17 February 2009 at 18:13  
Blogger ZZMike said...

Our own devout Christian lady, Nancy Pelosi, is also granted an audience with the Pope.

Perhaps she can be talked out of her staunch pro-abortion beliefs.


"Peter was also called satan by Jesus Christ (I notice catholics don`t claim that one!)"

Still, Christ kept Peter in the Inner Circle. If Jesus really thought that Peter was Satan, or even in league with him, Peter would have been "out the door", not one of the two main people of Acts.

Nor would He have later said to Peter, "... “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” That exchange happened three times.

I assume you know what the word "rock" is in Greek.

"Catholicism is a works based religion set up by a man (constantine )..."

That shows a dim understanding of church history. It was Christianity that Constantine established - and not even established. All he did was allow it to go unpersecuted (see the Edict of Milan, 313 AD). It had nothing to do with a "crumbling empire".

The term "Catholic" in connection with the church didn't show up until 60 or so years after Constantine's victory at the Milvian Bridge.

17 February 2009 at 18:44  
Anonymous len said...

ZZ mike
You show a total lack of spiritual understanding!
God says because you do not love the truth he will send a strong delusion.
YOU are deluded!.
Jesus is known throughout scripture as the Rock (petros.)
You sir are on shifting sand!

17 February 2009 at 19:46  
Anonymous len said...

ZZ mike
Why if constantine was converted to christianity did he continue to mint coins with the sun god apollo on them?
Surely a christian God would have been better?

17 February 2009 at 19:49  
Anonymous len said...

ZZ mike ,
Do you understand the term

17 February 2009 at 19:58  
OpenID curly15 said...

We've seen Popemobiles but do they have a dedicated ambulance?

17 February 2009 at 20:39  
Blogger Theresa said...

Hi Len,

Nice to argue with you again.

I don't really understand your first point about Peter being apostle to the Gentiles and the circumcised, except that I agree that indeed he was. I think I'm missing something. Maybe you can explain.

'I will confer if you can show the word 'pope' in the Bible.'

The word 'Trinity' isn't in the bible yet most Christians believe in the Trinity. There is such a thing as exegesis.

With regard to Constantine, ZZ Mike has explained that Constantine tolerated Christianity. This was because Christianity had become very popular amongst the Roman army. Constantine himself worshipped the sun until he was on his deathbed, which is when he actually converted to Christianity. That is why coins were still minted with the sun god symbol on them.

You say that Catholicism is an amalagam of Christianity and pagan religions and point to symbols that were also used in pagan religions as proof of this. This is a rather dangerous road to go down. Judaism shares a lot in common with Eygptian symbolism; perhaps the most obvious example of this is the Ark and its being carried in procession. This is very similar to the Eygyptian tradition of carrying statues of their gods from Karek to Luxor and back again; they carried them in a kind of boat shaped receptacle rather like those that were used on the Nile. Yet by no stretch of the imagination could you say that Judaism was an version of Eygptian religion; a monotheistic,redemptive animal sacrificing religion has very little in common with a polytheistic,animal worshipping, non redemptive one. They shared a common culture and thus used the same symbols available to them, but that is where all similarity ends. Christianity did the same thing in Constantines time and quite consciously arranged its major festivals to coincide with the major pagan ones, so that those who wished to be Christians had to choose one or the other; they could not do both. I think Augustine was responsible for this policy.

Re grace and works, I owe you a post on this, which I will do tonight.

17 February 2009 at 23:20  
Anonymous len said...

I look forward to hearing how catholicism justifies the many unbiblical works they have added to the simple salvation by faith alone.
Romans 3: 28, Galations 3:24, Ephesians2 :8-9,
I guess you will quote James but this is a chicken and egg situation!

18 February 2009 at 08:26  
Anonymous Preacher said...

I have to agree with Len here, I'm afraid that confession to priests, idolatry & transubstantiation are all no goes in my book, & I've spoken to many damaged people who were hurt very deeply by the fear engendered by the R.C church.

18 February 2009 at 11:18  
Anonymous len said...

Catholic priests are the modern pharisees binding burdens on mens backs.

18 February 2009 at 13:28  
Anonymous the recusant said...


Both passages from Romans 3:28 and Galatians 3:24 by Paul are in specific reference to Mosaic Law, which is why he spent so much time hammering home the fact that it is not necessary to be circumcised to be saved - circumcision being one of the key rituals of the Mosaic Law. What Paul is saying is absolutely true: We are justified by faith apart from works of the Mosaic Law.

This would be more obvious to English-speaking readers if translators used the Hebrew word for law, Torah, which is also the name of the first five books of the Bible; they contain the Law of Moses. Paul said, "We hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Torah" (Rom. 3:28). We can prove this by looking at the very next verse: "Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also" (Rom. 3:29).

If Paul did not mean "works of the Torah," then this question and its answer would be meaningless. By the phrase "works of the Law" Paul refers to something Jews have but Gentiles don't: work of the Mosaic Law. He makes this point in the next verse: "Since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised [Jews] on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised [Gentiles] through their faith" (Rom. 3:30). So the "works of the Law" Paul talks about in verse 28 are those works which characterize Jews, not Gentiles, the chief work being circumcision (cf. 3:29-30).

This means that the Jewish laws of circumcision, ritual purity, kosher dietary prescriptions, and the Jewish festal calendar are, now that we are under the New Covenant in Christ, entirely irrelevant to our salvation. Keeping the ceremonial Law of Moses is not necessary for Christians. What is important is keeping "the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2) which is summarized as "faith working through love" (also translated as "faith made effective through love" [Gal. 5:6]).

Paul confirms this in his first letter to Corinthians, Chapter 13

13:2 And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
13:3 And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
13:13 And now there remain faith, hope, and love, these three: but the greatest of these is love. (Orig Charity=Love)

Len Catholics do not deny that faith is essential and central to the salvation of the Christian (we wrote the book); we acknowledge that works alone are not enough, but neither is Faith, (The term emerged as a consequence of Luther's translation of Rom. 3:28 in which he added the word "alone" to the phrase "man is justified by faith [alone]). We can know this because if faith is all that is needed, what did Christ mean when he said - Matthew Chapter 25-33:46

“For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in:
Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.”

If faith is enough, Christ would not need us to feed, slake, clothe and visit others, all we would need to do is say “I Believe” and turn up for church once a week. This was exactly the approach taken by successive parliaments since Tudor times, look at the unprecedented Henrican Poor Laws of 1536, expanded under Elizabethan Poor Laws of 1601,1552, 1563, 1572, 1576 and 1597. Before the Reformation, it was considered to be a religious duty for all Christians to undertake the seven corporal works of mercy. After the Reformation and the destruction of the religious infrastructure that provided for the poor and the establishment of the Church of England, many of the old values and moral expectations disappeared so it became necessary for the first time in English history to regulate the relief of poverty by law. This was and still is the practical consequences of Sola Fida in England.

There and all done without James.

18 February 2009 at 17:19  
Anonymous len said...

The recusant,
There are many things in the catholic church which are unscriptural,
Confession to a priest( a mediator between God and man)
Prayers to dead saints.
Veneration of( or praying to)statues and images.
Offering of masses, prayers and rosaries to those who suffer in purgatory,
Papal authority above and over scripture.
This list is not exhaustive there are too many catholic practices to list here which are part of catholic tradition which are not in the bible!.

18 February 2009 at 20:01  
Blogger Theresa said...

Hi len,

here's a post on grace and works as I promised;

18 February 2009 at 22:14  
Anonymous the recusant said...


I get from your answer that you are not convinced; I will deal with each of the additional objections you raise if you wish but first I want to ensure you understand what Catholics actually believe on your first complaint, not what you think we believe before I move on. Let me try to explain again Faith and Faith and works, I will have to refer to James (just a bit) but as the verses are all from St. Paul I shall concentrate on his method and reason.

Saint Paul does speak often about faith that justifies and saves us. But, Saint Paul never added the word “alone.” The only verse in the whole Bible that contains these words, faith and alone, in close proximity is James 2: 17: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” Because of Saint James’ teaching in his Epistle, Martin Luther wanted to have the whole Epistle cut out of the Bible. He called it “an Epistle of straw, compared to” most of the New Testament.

Saint Paul never exactly said that by faith we are saved. Rather, he took it along a specific route that begins with grace. In Ephesians 2, he wrote: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” In the very next verse he adds, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” So, if Saint James was full of straw for teaching that “faith without works is dead, being alone,” then Saint Paul was full of the exact same straw, because he taught the exact same thing.

Now Paul builds a lot of this teaching on the promise and the faith of Abraham, basing it on these words from Genesis. “And He [God, that is] brought him [Abram] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” The Hebrew word for believed is the word “amen.” Amen (אמן) is a form of emet. Emet (אמת) means “truth” and so “amen” means true. Jesus, when He said “verily, verily” actually said, “Amen, amen, (ἀμήν ἀμήν) I say unto you.” When you say “amen” you are stating that you believe the words spoken to be true. When Abram (as his name was at that stage) believed God, what he believed, very specifically, was that God’s word is true. That is how Abram amened God, and so was accounted righteous. From this Paul teaches two things. First, believing in God’s revealed truth is essential to our being accounted as righteous, namely, that by God’s mercy our sins are not taken into account. He also taught that Abram, as yet uncircumcised, became the father not only of the Jewish people, but of all people who have faith, that is all who believe God’s word to be true, even Gentiles. All of this shows the absolute necessity of faith. The writer to the Hebrews teaches us that this faith in God’s promise was manifest when Abraham was ready to offer Isaac on the mountain. James, however, and this is important uses the same story to teach the importance of works. Again, this should not surprise us, because the issue never was faith versus works.

In the Western world, ever since the Reformation, the whole treatment of this subject has been misunderstood, recast as a difference between people within Christianity. But, this is not right. Paul was not teaching that God’s grace saves us through just any faith, rather through faith in something very specific. The faith that God’s word is true, the promise we must say our own “amen” to, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is now revealed through the Word made flesh as proclaimed by his Apostles. Any effort to be saved by works meant, as used by Paul in his Epistles, the effort to be saved by the works, specifically, of the [Mosaic] Law (read that last sentence again).

So, the issue at the time Saint Paul was writing was never some quality called faith versus good works. These terms are used, rather, to speak of the difference between religion when it is without a specific faith in Jesus Christ, and a belief that God’s word is true as revealed in Jesus Christ. It is the difference between trying to be saved by the Law of Commandments, through efforts of self-deception that you are somehow a good person, and the faith that embraces the entire new life of a Christian.

Here we must recall the words of James: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” That is, this faith will grow in us by the work of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, and it will abide with hope and charity as we press on into the sacramental life by the grace of God, pursuing the goal and end of our belief, knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3).

So you can now see the relationship of Works to Faith, the former is the fruit of the latter by the Grace of God, now if the tree of faith is dead it will bear no fruit but to deny this relationship is to deny the works of the Holy Ghost and ultimately, as Paul ably demonstrates the Amen of Jesus Christ.

Now Len this is the Roman Catholic understanding of Romans 3:28, Galations 3:24 and Ephesians 2 :8-9 (any errors are mine not the RCCs). In light of my explanation do you still maintain the the RCC is unbiblical specifically Romans 3: 28, Galations 3:24 and Ephesians 2 :8-9.

I would just add a few words by American Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen:

"There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church."

19 February 2009 at 01:58  
Anonymous len said...

Theresa and the recusant,
I thank you for posts but I remain unconvinced.
The way I see it you come to God in repentance, you ( by the grace of God ) are born again, your old dead spirit is removed and a new spirit replaces it .
This new spirit is one spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ.
This new spirit can no more sin than the lord Jesus can.
The problem?
Everything in the soul that is not under the authority of the new spirit, we can and still do sin , but that is not our nature.
An unsaved person sins and that is his nature, he cannot control or do anything about it.
It is by surrendering to the Holy Spirit that the christian overcomes sin.

20 February 2009 at 22:46  
Blogger Theresa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

21 February 2009 at 01:15  
Anonymous len said...

What do I do when I sin?

Return to the cross!
Acknowledge that my death has already taken place.When Jesus died, I died.
The Holy Spirit prompts me when I sin.
The cross is Gods answer to all of humanities sin!

21 February 2009 at 13:50  
Anonymous the recusant said...


Specifically regarding the Roman Catholic understanding of Romans 3:28, Galations 3:24 and Ephesians 2:8-9, what exactly do you still object too in the RCCs understanding of these verses, please be specific.

You said that the RCC was unbiblical in their interpretation, that is fine but it is reasonable then to ask for evidence of this assertion so it can either be answered or admitted. I think we should get to the bottom of this and would very much like to know in what way the RCC takes the verses and puts its own unbiblical interpretation on them as you say.

Do you for example disagree with what I have posted above, is it not a. biblical, b. soteriological, c. accordingly Christological

If it does and can be shown to be deliberately misleading the faithful then I will leave the RCC because it is evidently a liar and if my salvation depends on it I want to know.

500 years ago the RCC said this:

The Council of Trent - The Sixth Session 1547

CANON I.-If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.

CANON II.-If any one saith, that the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is given only for this, that man may be able more easily to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without grace, he were able to do both, though hardly indeed and with difficulty; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one saith, that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of Justification may be bestowed upon him; let him be anathema.

Len, this is exactly what you are saying, without the help of the Holy Ghost we cannot be saved. You hold this in common with the RCC.

21 February 2009 at 15:45  
Anonymous len said...

The recusant,
If anyone saith the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation...and that without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain from God, through faith alone, the grace of justification... let him be anathema.
( The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Canon 1v)
( This is just the tip of the iceberg)
If anyone saith that by faith alone the impious is justified in such wise as to mean that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtaining the grace of justification....Let him be anathema.
( The Canon and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Canon 1v)

21 February 2009 at 16:44  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Len, come on, the first cannon you highlight; ‘the sacraments of the New Law’ are the sacraments’ of Christ Himself – Christ being the New Law, the New Covenant. The Lord himself affirms that Baptism (a sacrament) is necessary for salvation.

John 3:5 - Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

The second cannon has direct bearing on what we are discussing. But look this is a red herring; I used the cannons to show that your position on seeking the guidance and forgiveness of God in the person of the Holy Ghost is the same as the RCCs and always was. Let’s not get bogged down in this diversion.

Now, Len back to on the Roman Catholic understanding of Romans 3:28, Galations 3:24 and Ephesians 2:8-9, do you agree that there is in fact no difference in your understanding and the RCCs of these passages, or do you hold to the position you expressed earlier that we are still unbiblical their interpretation. It doesn’t matter if you say it is still unbiblical if you can demonstrate why, likewise there is no shame in saying I got it wrong, I know I have on quite a few occasions in my understanding of the Anglican Church and will hold my hand up to it (they are not as fully reformed protestant as I thought).

So either we still interpret these passages incorrectly and you list the reasons why or else we understand them correctly, but in your opinion we still have a long way to go in other areas, and I’ll move on to whatever you like, but lets have your opinion.

22 February 2009 at 15:30  
Anonymous len said...

The way I understand it water baptism ( full immersion as an adult) is an outward sign to the world of the spiritual rebirth that has already taken place!
I suppose the bottom line is if you, the recusant, walked away from catholicism, had no more contact with the roman church, would you still be saved? , and assured of your salvation?.
Your reply will answer my original question.

22 February 2009 at 17:51  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Len you have moved the goal posts again but never mind I will answer, it’s a bit long but when I am finished I hope this time you will address directly my previous question.

I’ll take your points one at a time if I may:

#1 The way I understand it water baptism (full immersion as an adult) is an outward sign to the world of the spiritual rebirth that has already taken place!

From your description then water baptism is just a sign of something that has already happened. Bur does the Bible bear that out? Either one receives a spiritual Baptism first, followed by a Baptism of water which is symbolic of what has happed or as the RCC understands it Spiritual and Water Baptism are one and the same thing when we are born again, but what does the Bible say on the subject.

Christ speaks in John 3:5 as being "born of water and the Spirit." In Greek, this phrase is, literally, "born of water and Spirit," indicating one birth of water-and-Spirit, rather than "born of water and of the Spirit," as though it meant two different births—one birth of water and one birth of the Spirit.

In the water-and-Spirit rebirth that takes place at baptism, the repentant sinner is transformed from a state of sin to the state of grace. Peter mentioned this transformation from sin to grace when he exhorted people to "be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

The context of Jesus’ statements in John 3 makes it clear that he was referring to water baptism. Shortly before Jesus teaches Nicodemus about the necessity and regenerating effect of baptism, he himself was baptised by John the Baptist, and the circumstances are striking: Jesus goes down into the water, and as he is baptised, the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of God the Father speaks from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son" (cf. Matt. 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22; John 1:30–34). This scene gives us a graphic depiction of what happens at baptism: We are baptised with water, symbolizing our dying with Christ (Rom. 6:3) and our rising with Christ to the newness of life (Rom. 6:4–5); we receive the gift of sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27); and we are adopted as God’s sons (Rom. 8:15–17). Christ himself therefore evidences the fact that baptism is by water-and-Spirit together and at the same time and not two separate events the latter water immersion only a symbolic event.

After our Lord’s teaching that it is necessary for salvation to be born from above by water and the Spirit (John 3:1–21), "Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptised" (John 3:22).

In Acts 2:38, Peter tells us, "Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." When Paul was converted, he was told, "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptised, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16).

Peter also said, "God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:20–21). Peter says that, as in the time of the flood, when eight people were "saved through water," so for Christians, "baptism . . . now saves you." It does not do so by the water’s physical action, but through the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, through baptism’s spiritual effects and the appeal we make to God to have our consciences cleansed.

These verses showing the supernatural grace God bestows through baptism set the context for understanding the New Testament’s statements about receiving new life in the sacrament.

Martin Luther wrote in his Short Catechism that baptism "works the forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and grants eternal life to all who believe." His recognition that the Bible teaches baptismal regeneration has been preserved by Lutherans and a few other Protestant denominations. Even some Baptists recognize that the biblical evidence demands the historic Christian teaching of baptismal regeneration.

The only way to avoid what the Bible says on baptism is to ignore these verses or by arguing that it is not actually water baptism that is being spoken of. The problem is that water is explicitly mentioned or implied in each of these verses.

In Acts 2:38, people are exhorted to take an action: "Be baptised . . . in the name of Jesus Christ," which does not refer to an internal baptism that is administered to people by themselves, but the external baptism administered to them by others.

We are told that at Paul’s conversion, "he rose and was baptised, and took food and was strengthened. For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus" (Acts 9:18–19). This was a water baptism. In Romans 6 and Colossians 2, Paul reminds his readers of their water baptisms, and he neither says nor implies anything about some sort of "invisible spiritual baptism."

"Are Catholics born again?" the answer is yes! Since all Catholics have been baptised, all Catholics have been born again because they have followed what the Bible teaches on Baptism. A more pressing question perhaps is "Are you born again—the way the Bible understands that concept?" If you have not been properly water baptised, you have not been born again "the Bible way," regardless of what you may think.

#2a I suppose the bottom line is if you, the recusant, walked away from catholicism, had no more contact with the roman church, would you still be saved?

You are of course referring to the doctrine of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (“outside the Church there is no salvation”). This is an old chestnut but comes down to what we mean by the word ‘Church’? It is best understood, naturally, by looking at scripture: Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.–Matt. 18:20. So we can see that Church includes all faith professing Christians but is best most perfect expression is in the deposit of the faith passed down by the Apostles and the line of succession.
The Church's understanding of the significance of the phrase :"Outside the Church there is no salvation" is expressed in its Catechism of the Catholic Church, 846-848, 851 as follows:
"Outside the Church there is no salvation" - How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
"Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council [Vat2] teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 14).
This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and His Church:
"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16).

By which God desires to effect their salvation through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. "And this is life everlasting that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent." (John 17.3), "And there is not salvation in any other. For neither is there any other name under heaven given to men, wherein we must be saved." (Acts 4.12)
The Catechism explicitly affirms this interpretation in paragraph 161 by insisting upon the necessity of actual faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One Who sent Him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:36; 6:40; et al). "Since 'without faith it is impossible to please [God]' and to attain to the fellowship of His sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life `but he who endures to the end,'" (Vatican I, Dei Fillius 3; cf. Matthew 10:22; 24:13 and Hebrews 11:6; Council of Trent Decree on Justification, 8)
The Popes quoted above as stating that outside of the Church there is no salvation did not see this statement as contradicting their other statements that salvation is possible for those who, while not knowing the Church as necessary for salvation and thus not explicitly entering the Church, nevertheless accept whatever grace Christ gives them and thus receive what the Council of Trent called Baptism of Desire.
It holds that, among those who "do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter… those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church" and that "(t)hose who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 838-839).
The Second Vatican Council further explained the status of non-Catholic Christians ("separated brethren") as follows (Unitatis Redintegratio, 3):
But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ. The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation. It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those to whom He has given new birth into one body, and whom He has quickened to newness of life - that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one body of Christ into which all those must be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God…
So now you can see that if I were to leave the Roman Catholic Church and lets say join another Christian denomination I would not necessarily be dammed for eternity but If I were to reject the Catholic Church in totality i.e. Christianity and therefore faith in Jesus Christ I would be rejecting that salvation. So yes I can loose my salvation if I choose.

SO why the Roman Catholic Church, well I believe it is far and away the surest means of salvation, why because she has the means to help us more than any other expression of faith. In Mystici Corporis Pius XII, while expressing the possibility of salvation for those who do not belong to the “visible bond” of the Church, wrote that they should nonetheless strive to remove themselves from “that state in which they cannot be sure of their own eternal salvation” so that they might no longer “lack so many and so great heavenly gifts and helps which can be enjoyed only in the Catholic Church.”

These gifts are generally those gifts which the reformed churches have such difficulty with.

#2b and assured of your salvation?.

Regarding the issue of whether Christians have an "absolute" assurance of salvation, regardless of their actions, consider this warning Paul gave: "See then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22; see also Heb. 10:26–29, 2 Pet. 2:20–21).

Am I saved? As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).

Can I loose that salvation, most assuredly as scripture confirms

1. ‘‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned’’ (John 15:6).

2. ‘‘ have fallen from grace’’ (Gal 5:4)

3. ‘‘You...has He reconciled...if you continue in the faith’’ (Col 1:21-23)

4. ‘‘For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened...If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance’’ (Heb 6:6)

5. ‘‘For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins’’ (Heb 10:26)

6. ‘‘For if after they have escaped...they are again entangled...the latter end is worse with them than the beginning’’ (2 Peter 2:20-22)

7. "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:20)

8. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9)

9. "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19)

10. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21)

11. "There is a sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death." (1 John 5:16-17)

Now I ask again what I have asked before on the Roman Catholic understanding of Romans 3:28, Galations 3:24 and Ephesians 2:8-9, do you still calim them tio be unbiblical or not and if so in what way?

23 February 2009 at 14:52  
Anonymous len said...

Romans 3:28
Wesleys notes,
3:28, We conclude then that a man is justified by faith- and even by this, not as it is a work,but as it receives Christ,and consequently, has something essentially different from all our works whatsoever.
Works are works whether it is following mosaic law, or catholic doctrines,islam, hinduism or whatsoever .
If it is works it is no longer Grace.
If it is Grace it is no longer works ( of any sort whatsoever)
Christ has done everything necessary for salvation why should we add to that?.
Christ said" It is finished"
Christ didn`t come to bring a new law, a new set of doctrines,he gave Himself.
Salvation is a gift, if you pay for a gift it is no longer a gift!

23 February 2009 at 18:28  
Anonymous the recusant said...


Once again you have avoided answering my question; I am quite sure that if you had an answer that did not prejudice your case you would have used it. Instead the thrust of all your replies is to change the subject, which in good faith I have tried to accommodate. I have said I will address any issue you like once you had given your answer but It is quite obvious now you cannot or will not give a straight answer, which is a shame because I would have enjoyed debating.

Len I have covered faith and works above with biblical references, you have to understand the distinction between the Law of Moses and faith, and faith and works of Charity (Love), as I said earlier it would have been easier if the word Torah had been used instead of works, please read it again.

I find it ironic that your complaint against the Catholic Church was that it was not Biblical and to bear out this point you raise the opinions of John Wesley, a man born 1700 years after Christ and site his interpretation of scripture as definitive. What I ask myself, makes his opinions any more valid than mine, yours, Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russells’, as entitled as he is (or was) to his opinion by what authority other than his own is it any more valid than anyone else’s.

One of the complaints of the original Thomas Cranmer and his pals against the RCC was that the Bible could not be read in any other language but Latin (factually not true by the way, but never mind) and relying only on priests prevented any man from reading scripture and understanding it for themselves. And yet here we are, 500 years later still looking to other men to interpret scripture for us, surely the truth is plain to every man without the need for someone else’s explanation, even Wesley if we are to believe the aims of the reformation.

The RCC has 2000 years of unbroken tradition, authority and lineage, it received the faith, recorded scripture, maintained it and spread it all over the world but that is cast aside in favour of the wisdom of one man and his opinions 17 centuries later. Do you know Len there are currently over 30,000 different protestant denominations of one sort or another in the world all reading scripture and understanding it for them selves? Which one Len has the authority to say who is correct, that is 30,000 interpretations of scripture, 30,000 little Popes. Yet Jesus prayed to the heavenly Father, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word. that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:20-21)

Len I don’t think you are able or willing to back up your claim that the Roman Catholic understanding of Romans 3:28, Galations 3:24 and Ephesians 2:8-9, are unbiblical so I will end this now with this enjoiner:

“That they all may be one” – It’s in the Bible.

24 February 2009 at 12:48  
Anonymous len said...

the recusant,
I stick to my original point that catholicism and its doctrines are unbiblical.
I don`t think you have deliberately tried to mislead me or misinterprate me , but that is what seems to be happening.
Whatever you say catholicism is works based.
I can tell you I was baptised, I was confirmed and I can tell you at that stage I was certainly Not born again!
This didn`t happen until later.
I don`t doubt some catholics are born again but in spite of , not because of catholic doctrine.Catholic doctrine seems to be layer after layer of different commands and instructions,almost too difficult for a humble layman to understand.
A good job the thief on the cross didn`t need all that rigmarole to get saved , just a few words from Jesus!.
I don`t think we will ever agree, so thanks for your comments.

24 February 2009 at 18:47  

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