The posting of my sermon from yesterday (mp3) has generated an incredible response, both positively and negatively. Combined with the blog entries over the past few days, our incoming e-mail has been hot and heavy. But so also have been the Roman Catholic web boards. While Steve Ray shut his down, the Catholic Answers forums and those at Envoy Magazine remain open. It is indeed a fascinating contrast to compare what I have written and said over the past few days (and will discuss tomorrow on the DL, inviting all of these Roman Catholics who are so very…vocal…on web boards to call and explain their accusations directly to me) with the responses I have garnered. While I have focused upon the gospel, my detractors have focused upon…me, of course. While hardly one of them has ever met me, and are doing nothing but repeating unfounded rumors, they are certain that their ad-hominem just must be true. How else can you explain someone who has been so consistent over the years? While John Paul II’s consistency in his beliefs indicates he was great, my consistency indicates I am arrogant. While John Paul’s focus upon Mary means he is spiritual, my focus upon the gospel means I’m hard-hearted. Well, you just can’t win for trying, I guess.
Here’s an example from the Catholic Answers forums from a “Catholic Dude”:
I dont understand your deep rooted hatred for the pope in such hours of pain and suffering? There will come a time when your on your death bed, is the pope going to laugh at you, and trash you like you do? When your wife or kids is suffering are Catholic papers going to smile, the way you do at such suffering?
The pope speaks to the world, and has done what he could to promote peace. The Catholic Church is the ONLY church screaming about abortion, and the Pope made that very clear it is one of the gravest evils of our time. Do you guys care? NO! Go and clap your hands while the True Church is feeding the hungry, giving housing, schools, running orphanages, disaster reliefe, etc. YOU HAVE DONE ZERO TO PROMOTE THE GOSPEL. GREED IS ALL YOU KNOW. All you do is run a company to make money for yourself, all in the name of Jesus. Your nothing but a buisiness man selling your version of Chirstianity, you have no history, no respect. In the end you have no future.
Who stood up for Terri? THE CATHOLICS, to you Prots she was a nothing, you prots didnt care. You Prots are destroying Christianity, every day more and more divisions, look at you how old is your made up self appointed excuse for a church. Read this to your congregation to show how evil us Catholics are, I dare you, read the whole thing in front of them. Highlight the part about spreading the Gospel to the poor, and you spreading the wealth to your pocketbook.
In the end who are you…your a nobody, no voice, you will be forgotten. Catholics are the ONLY group who respect life and stand up for it.
Is it worth even trying to reason with someone like this? Probably not. But it is educational to consider the mindset of such a person. I speak of the gospel and objective beliefs. What does he “hear”? He hears hatred (see the deep influence of postmodernism?). But, he doesn’t see that in fact he is the one expressing hatred (i.e., about my “death bed”). He thinks I am “smiling” at the Pope’s death…but any semi-fair minded person who has read this blog knows there is no reason to do so. So where does this kind of outlandish thinking come from? This person’s touch with reality itself seems very tenuous, and perhaps the emotions associated with the Pope’s death have pushed him even farther away from reality? He says only Rome protests abortion, and only Rome feeds the poor, and only Rome was concerned about Schiavo, etc. Again, rational folks can see how far from the truth this person is. Of course, he then throws in the obligatory accusations of money-making (I’m sure he is unaware that the massive edifice we all watched on television, St. Peter’s basilica, was bought and paid for with the money of poor peasants in many nations buying indulgences to release their loved ones from the mythical sufferings of purgatory—he who defends a church that has been paying millions out in damages for paedophile priests should be just a tad slower to make accusations against a ministry that has a long track record of faithfulness in making a penny scream before it parts our fingers). “Catholic Dude” may be passionate, but his connection to truth, reality, or any form of logic, is nonexistent. Very sad indeed.
Moving on from the Catholic Answers forums (there was a tremendous amount of personal ad-hominem after this note, of course—anything said about me, no matter how outlandish or false, is simply accepted as true—only one person, Mr. Prejean, attempted to say I am simply ignorant, but not purposefully seeking to be mean) we find some of these gems over on the Envoy site:
James White’s website is making me physically ill. Is that how the elect write?
I agree with you. As bad and polemical he’s always been,
I am almost embarrassed for him as I read it.
Reading lines such as
“The Pope’s salvation will be guaranteed not because his faith is fixed solely upon the finished work of Christ (which, in light of the devotion to Mary, belief in the Mass, purgatory, etc., it clearly is not), but because of his suffering, his “goodness,” a goodness not determined by reference to God’s holiness, of course, but by reference to other men.
I wonder…how many evangelical leaders will honor God rather than men and say what needs to be said? “Unless the Pope believed the gospel, he, like any other person on the planet, died under the wrath of God, outside of the only way of salvation God has provided in Jesus Christ!”
make me sick also,and a little angry,but all I can think of
at this moment is How moronic can someone be?
Like John Paul II doesn’t “believe the Gospel”?
I actually will stop here, because I’m actually at a loss for words.
I guess we have not been communicating real clearly, despite how often we have repeated ourselves. Is there something “new” in what I have said of late? Of course not. You’d think after three dozen debates and half a dozen relevant books the point would be rather well known: I don’t believe Rome’s gospel saves. That is why we do what we do. So what is new in anything I’ve said? No, I have no evidence John Paul II believed the gospel, because I have all the evidence in the world that he believed in everything Rome teaches that is contrary thereto. Did he believe in the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice? Did he dedicate himself to Mary and refer to her as co-redemptrix and co-mediatrix and advocate for the people of God? Did he believe in purgatory and satispassio and the entire complex of Roman Catholic beliefs regarding justification and faith and mortal sins, etc.? Any semi-rational person will say, “Yes, of course!” So, since in the very first book I wrote I laid out my case as to why all of these things utterly violate the biblical teaching of the gospel, what is new? Or, is the reality of the situation plain here: these people have no idea what I believe, what I have said, or what I have written. They have been more than happy to go on second and third-hand rumors, and hence haven’t the foggiest what I have been saying all along. So, when faced with it for the first time, they are in shock. I would suggest they not read the Reformers, or even Spurgeon. Note these words from 1858:
You know it is quite as easy for a man to trust in ceremonials, when the are severely simple, as for a man to rely upon them with they are gorgeous and superb. A man may as much trust in the simple ordinance of immersion and the breaking of bread, as another may trust in the high mass and in the prayers of priests. We man have Rome in Dissent, and Rome in the Church of England, and Rome anywhere; for wherever there is a trust in ceremonies, there is the essence of Popery, there is anti-Christ and the man of sin. Oh! take heed of this any of you who have been relying upon your ceremonies. This is just the truth, that the more zeal for ceremonies, generally the less power of vital godliness within. But now, how is it that the man who would not eat anything but salt-fish on Good Friday, cheats his neighbour on Saturday?
But I continue with some of the “best of the best” from the Envoy Magazine web forum:
I think White is in desperate need of psychotherapy to first deal with his serious authority issues. Some people make a career out of committing crimes against society, others make a career out committing crimes agaisnt others beliefs. There is a commonality.
James White is a P***-ant in comparision to John Paul. I am sick of hearing his name.
I expected this kind of nonsense from White. It doesn’t really surprise me anymore the depths he is willing to go to. Your anger is understandable and I share it, but pray for the man. James White is a troubled man, one who preys upon the faithful and an enemy to the Gospel, but he is a human being. As difficult as it is to remember at a time like this, we must remember we are Christians and are called to bear such nonsense as from White as we follow Christ. He sometimes presents some challenging material to respond to, but the man is usually not worth wasting time over.
And then Dr. Art Sippo chimed in:
In fairness to Patrick, he has not tried to mock or insult JPII in this time of his illness. The same cannot be said for some of his co-religionists. White and Svendsen are making fun of one of the greatest men in Christendom. They have no honor and prove again and again that they are not disciples of Jesus. The more they speak, the more I know that the religion they espouse is false and un-Christian.
Truth has never been Art’s strongest area, of course, but if you all could find where I have “made fun” of John Paul II, please let me know where it is. Well, you get the idea of the kind of rhetoric flying about: all emotional, all anger, absolutely zero substance, zero concern for truth, zero concern for the gospel. None.
Just one more citation that actually is worthy of response, from “IrishJohan” on the Envoy board:
The complete lack of respect for anything the man did in his life and pontificate. The utter contempt he displays for Catholics in mourning by continuing ‘business as usual’. Much of what he has said thus far could have been said in perhaps a better manner to make his point at least AFTER the funeral. What he has done is the equivalent of entering the hospital room of someone who has just died and disparage the deceased to his bereaving family. His taunting of grieving Catholics from Steve Ray’s message board is despicable, when the more Christian thing to do would be to give them time to mourn and leave them in peace. It shows a complete lack of Christian charity and love. It also reveals quite clearly the lack of character he has. As I said, saying just what you did is no surrender of his beliefs but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Silence is the best option when you cannot even go that far.
Now, it is obvious that I could spend great effort talking about the Pope’s political or cultural activities, or how nice a man he was, or how well traveled he was, etc. (things I noted in the very first blog entries when the story broke), but it would make not a wit’s worth of difference. What this man, and his compatriots, and sadly, many alleged Protestants, just don’t seem to “get” is the great disrespect being shown to Christ and His Word and His Gospel not only by Roman Catholics (who do so daily by embracing falsehood) but by the media and non-Catholics who, by their completely ignoring the issue of the gospel the man preached and passing him instantly into the realms of glory based upon who he was rather than upon the gospel of Christ! What these Roman Catholics are in essence demanding is that we be silent about the gospel. That we subjugate the gospel of Christ to their emotions, to their feelings, at the time of the death of a man who bore titles due to God alone and who promulgated a gospel that is sending thousands to a Christless eternity every single day. Who mourns for those people? Who mourns for the broken lives that result from the endless treadmill of works and merit that is Rome’s theology in the vast majority of the world?
Tomorrow morning, 11am PDT, we will air our twice-weekly webcast, The Dividing Line. The toll-free number is 877-753-3341. I’ve already invited “Doug” to call and back up his allegations. Maybe “Catholic Dude” would like to try to substantiate his assertions as well? And all the others consoling themselves by ignoring the real issues and acting as if it is the duty of those who love the truth to stop loving it while the world gushes over the death of a Pontiff and gives free air time to anyone who will promote Rome…you all feel free to pick up that phone and give me a call. I’d love to reason with you. 🙂