I depend a lot on folks out there to send me url’s and notes about who is saying what, and maybe the fact that it was not till today that anyone mentioned the “Internet Monk’s” comments says something, I don’t know. I guess the Internet Monk is a former Baptist, former Calvinist, now in that wonderful world similar to the rC’s where you can glibly say that you have “differences and disagreements” with Rome but you must never, never allow those mere, trifling disagreements to become definitional of the faith. Everyone has differences, but nobody finds those differences to be of such a nature as to allow anyone to speak of such a thing as a “false gospel.” The shrinking of the definition of “the gospel” down to “a very basic Trinitarian confession—but, you don’t really have to understand it, just as long as you don’t confess something non-Trinitarian—that includes something about faith, without getting real specific, is more than enough” continues on in some circles, it seems. Evidently, believing Rome’s gospel is false—beyond anything the Judaizers ever dreamed of, is a mortal sin for those involved in the “we still say we believe in the doctrines of grace we just don’t want to accept what they mean” movement. Here are some of the more…interesting comments I ran across.
Be a real evangelical.
James White is laying down the line in the sand for evangelicals who will comment on the impending/recent death of the Pope (depending on who you are reading right now.) This is an example. Apparently, any evangelical who doesn’t point out all the relevant errors of the Roman Catholic Church at the time of the death of the pope is a weenie.
I’m gonna be a weenie.
When Billy Graham goes, send me a list of the Catholic web sites that announce his apostasy from the true church.
Then a truly insightful fellow named Greg offered these two thoughts:
Cripes. We’ve been debating the flaws in Catholic theology and practice for almost 500 years now. (And the evangelical church isn’t without spot.) Someone needs to tell Mr. White to give it a rest for at least one day.
Not that it matters, but did you notice from his photo (http://aomin.org/James.html) that Mr. White looks a bit like Anton Levay, founder of the Church of Satan?
Well, Greg’s rapier wit has surely exposed me as the spawn of Levay! 🙂 Returning to Mr. Monk:
IOW, I accept my RCC friends as my fellow Christians and I really don’t give a rat’s rectum whether anyone else does or not. James White doesn’t. John Macarthur doesn’t. I assume lots of Calvinists don’t, and I don’t care. Lots of Reformed folks do accept the RCC as part of the church of Jesus Christ. I will not reject these brothers and sisters over the way they view Mary, their parsing of justification, things said in Church history, things done to my ancestors, superstitions practiced in Mexico, adoration of saints, veneration of the host or a hundred other things they have wrong. Evangelicals have NO GROUND to stand on in acting like we have our act together and they don’t.
Ever noticed how the “inclusive, tolerant” folks can be as nasty as they wish, and that is OK, but if someone like myself dares to say something like “only the true gospel saves” I’m a mean, hate-filled Fundamentalist? Odd, isn’t it? Well, anyway, since I have consistently decried the outrageous stuff outside of Catholicism, do I get to say Rome’s false gospel will not save? Or has it been proven somewhere that I missed that we cannot know the gospel with sufficient clarity any longer to even say such a thing? Later he says, “The RCC has held on to everything that is good, but added too much that isn’t essential or good for me to be an RCC.” Has Rome held onto the gospel? A finished work of Christ? The singular glory of the Trinity in the salvation of the elect? I guess those things aren’t “good”? Am I the only one that finds such thinking utterly muddled?
In another post we find, “I wonder if anyone will blog the unliklihood that Roman Catholic Terri Shiavo made it to the Protestant Evangelical afterlife? Baptist Press certainly isn’t. Why doesn’t James White point out the absurdity of last rites administered to Shiavo?” Well, that one is pretty easy. First, last rites are “utterly absurd” from a biblical perspective, no matter who they are administered to, if by that you refer to some magical process of transfering grace to the recipient. And they did nothing for Terry Schiavo, either, just like they did nothing for John Paul II, or anyone else they have ever been given to. There is no biblical basis for such a practice, and if Mrs. Schiavo went into her state years ago outside of Christ, no reasonable person would have any grounds for assuming that changed over the next fifteen years (another reason not to play games with God’s patience and grace). So unless suffering brain damage from a heart attack has become propitiatory so that it brings about the forgiveness of sins, all the rites and activities of others will not change that, either. But as to why I did not focus upon that in comparison with John Paul II, that’s way easy to answer: we know exactly what John Paul II believed about the gospel. He was the leader of a massive religious organization and as such he not only influenced millions he put his beliefs in print, repeatedly, and consistently, over the duration of his pontificate. Therefore, we can read exactly what he believed. We cannot do any such thing with Mrs. Schiavo, nor would we want to do so. No comparison.
But what I’d like to ask Mr. Spencer (that’s the Internet Monk’s name) is this: just what did the Judaizers in Galatia do to the gospel that earned them the anathema that Rome has not done? If I could ask for a response from Paul, not from Thomas Merton or NT Wright or someone else, I’d appreciate it.