Rome never satisfies. It can’t. All the pomp and circumstance, all the liturgical fanfare, can never truly answer to the true needs of man. Since Rome has abandoned the gospel of grace and replaced it with a synergistic man-centered sacramentalism, she will never be able to offer to men anything but distractions, never true answers, to his real need.
I feel for those who, in their wandering through the various man-made religions, find themselves trudging over the Tiber. I know so many who have found their way out of Rome, some because they have been enlightened by the Spirit and brought to the truth, and some because they simply tire of the relentless process of sacramental forgiveness. But I will be perfectly honest: if you knowingly, purposefully submit yourself to Romanism, fully warned of its consequences and nature, well, once you find out that repetitive sacrifices and smells and bells eventually lose their novelty and thrill, you have no one to blame but yourself. And when you made that decision as a part of an act of denying the gospel of grace, abandoning the sufficiency of Scripture, the sufficiency of the singular atoning work of Christ, etc., I truly cannot find any sympathy in my heart for you when you begin to reap what you were warned, clearly, you would sow.
When it comes to Jason Stellman, I know one thing: I warned him, clearly, passionately, without question.
While I am ministering in South Africa, I today finally got full net access, and was able to take the time to read a link that was sent to me. It is an article Stellman posted a few weeks ago. As I read it, I simply had to shake my head. How shocking that a man trained as a Presbyterian pastor has found the Roman way difficult! And yet, he doggedly holds to Rome’s truthfulness. One might well consider the phrase “given over” when considering Stellman’s attitude.
Here are some of Stellman’s statements:
On September 23rd, 2012 (two years ago today), I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Humanly speaking, it was one of the worst decisions I have ever made.
Not just humanly speaking, I assure you. What is truly disturbing about this article, of course, is that Stellman may be bemoaning his financial state, but he is yet to realize his spiritual poverty, which is far, far more important.
The last two years have brought me almost nothing but loss. Most of my fellow alumni and former professors at Westminster Seminary no longer speak to me,
Excuse me, but aside from seeking to bring you to repentance, why should they? And given your utter collapse into Roman solipsism, so that you can read Indulgentiarum Doctrina, one of the most offensive, sub-Christian “apostolic documents” ever produced, and respond with, “Well, if there is a Papacy, then it follows…”, why should anyone invest the effort?
I am denied entrance into the church I planted (where my family still attends on Sundays) — I wasn’t even allowed to attend the Christmas Eve service last year and just sit and sing the hymns. To most of my old Calvinistic friends I am simply a traitor to the gospel.
Of course—how else could it be? Apostasy has consequences. You abandon your vows, deny the gospel of grace, embrace the Papal system and promote it by your speeches and writings, and think you will be welcome in the church you almost single-handedly crippled? Your very presence would be divisive, troubling, and distracting even if you didn’t say a word. But can’t you see that your presence, given your positive profession of Rome’s teachings, would be a breach of the fellowship of the church?
Your final sentence truly explains it all: you are a traitor to the gospel, Jason. I warned you of that in my office. I made it clear, remember? We actually believe that to be true. Apostasy has consequences. You are surprised that we find you someone who needs to repent and abandon your error? That the church you had been entrusted with leading would rather not have a shepherd-turned-wolf wandering amongst the sheep? Is that really all that difficult to understand?
With exceptions that I could count on one hand, I have attended my last 150 or so masses alone.
150 masses—and you are not perfected, right? 150 sacrifices of Christ. What a travesty. And may I say, you did attend alone. Jesus does not attend the profanation of His finished work.
To be honest, I don’t really know why I am posting this. I know for a fact that much of the information I am divulging will be received with glee from many in the Calvinistic world. But I’m in a reflective mood, sue me.
Glee? If “We told you so” equals glee, I suppose so.
Much of the article included a discussion of how impoverished Stellman is. Most of the comments (not all—one from a member of Exile Church was particularly insightful) were from fellow converts encouraging him, as if this “suffering” was a spiritual act that would bring him rewards (a common Roman concept). I will confess, I find the “woe is me my car is worthless” complaints significantly less than compelling. As long as Stellman is focused upon his income rather than his spiritual poverty, he will continue to wander about aimlessly.
Catholicism is true, even though I don’t like it. Catholicism is true, even if embracing it has been an unmitigated disaster.
Romanism is not true, and embracing it has indeed been an unmitigated disaster: not for Stellman’s bank account, but for his spiritual life.