Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pastor's School Report-Catholicism update


This week I am at Beeson Divinity School's Pastors School at Samford University in Birmingham, AL.

My family and I have been coming to it for the past 9 years. It has been a source of mental rest for me and at times spiritual encouragement. Over the past 3-5 years I have noticed a strong tendency toward the ecumenical movement. It has bothered me because when this movement is pushed something else ALWAYS follows...compromise. For all groups to get along you have to bring in all sorts of things and teachings and throw out other things to make room for the ecumenical party favors.

When I arrived here Monday I noticed that the Dean of Beeson, Timothy George (who is Mr. Ecumenical in theology circles), was teaching a class with Franciscan Brother-Father-Friar Francis Russo from Washington DC. The name of the class was "Saint Francis of Assisi-A Saint for all of us." I thought to myself "I've got to go and hear this."

I have never thought that an ascetic lifestyle equated salvation but I guess to some it does.

Anyway, my son and I attended and it was ridiculous. Timothy George's explanation of Francis of Assisi's salvation was "he looked around and was burdened for the homeless derelicts on the street and decided to become one himself."
Francis Russo stood up in his Franciscan garb and told us how he had taken the vows of:
1. Poverty
2. Chastity
3. Obedience
I was wondering if he wanted us to clap or something. I never heard about his conversion though. Interesting

He then stood near a framed painted picture of Jesus on a cross and told us about how Francis of Assisi loved the gospel. Over and over I heard that phrase with not one crumb of an example of such.

Then the Q&A came. Amazingly, I restrained myself. Finally, one fellow in the front row said how he was worried that the "dialogue" between Catholics and Baptists is starting to fade because of Joseph Ratzinger's (the pope) comments last month and how worried he is that some Baptists are withdrawing fellowship from the "dialogue." I wanted to throw some cheese up there to him and play "Time to say goodbye" on my air violin.

Russo along with George said that what Ratzinger (the pope) said was nothing new and they had always felt that way. I wanted shout "AMEN, AMEN and AMEN." The problem came when no one had a problem with that answer.

I will post later with more of the sordid details from this class.

39 comments:

JSU said...

I would love to ask that friar if he thought Protestants are going to heaven (since we get along so well). I wonder if Russo would say that Wycliffe, Tyndale, Hus, Zwingli, Knox, Luther, Calvin, and etc. are in heaven. I wonder if the Pope thinks they are. If we are all on the same doctrinal page, why were some of reformers above murdered as heretics and cursed to Satan by Catholics???

approvedworkman said...

You should have tossed him a wheel of Limburger, to go with his "whine"

Ken Silva said...

DT,

As a former Roman Catholic I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The only dialogue Rome will have with these ecumenical "Protestant" fools is:

"So when are you going to bow before, and acknowledge, the complete authority of our Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, universal head of the Body of Christ and return home to the one true Church upon the face of the earth."

Anonymous said...

DT,
Just curious why you didn't raise your concerns about ecumenism at the Q&A in the class that you attended. That would have been a better forum than go back to your room, log into internet and add another blog with your hidden identity. Are you afraid of anything or anybody? What is your real name and which church are you the pastor of?

dk

approvedworkman said...

"Are you afraid of anything or anybody?"

This coming from an anonymous comment signed by "dk"

Anonymous said...

I didn't think my identity was of much relevance here. Whether I am a SBC member or a Roman Catholic or Osama Bin Laden shouldn't matter, as you pastors are the ones who are making "bold" statements and hiding behind pseudo names. Again, I was just curious why DT didn't discuss his 'concerns' where he should have.

dk

approvedworkman said...

I am not hiding anything. Just about everybody in blogdom knows who I am. I was merely pointing out an interesting dichotomy.

Dead Theologians said...

dk,

A couple of issues are on the table.

1. Where I pastor and my name are out there for folks who really want to know.
2. Since this is my blog I can sign in as humpty dumpty if I want.
3. I chose not to speak up in class because the Lord told me to be quiet and listen. Oddly enough, someone with my basic concern spoke up.
4. Why are you anonymous?
5. You said "Are you afraid of anything or anybody?"
This is such a brilliantly mature question I will not answer it.

I hope this meets your approval.

Have a wonderfully anonymous day.
DT

MM said...

Dead,

I can't believe that you are a pastor! That's so funny.

Dead Theologians said...

MM,

What is funny? That a pastor can be funny or that he will not answer ignorant questions?

DT

MM said...

Dead,

No, "funny" is not quite the term I would use for your blogging persona. - But from reading your posts, I thought I had you pegged at around age 12-15.

JSU said...

MM,

You're a real gas.

Dead Theologians said...

MM,

Thanks for the compliment. I am 11.

DT

JSU said...

ROTFLOL!!!

MM said...

Well, I do my best.

Do you have a mullet?

Dead Theologians said...

MM,

Dead Theologians don't have any hair.

DT

MM said...

http://www.svcmc.org/1050.cfm

JSU said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JSU said...

MM,

I don't know if I can trust a Catholic physician to cure my hairy tongue. Do you have any other references?

MM said...

JSU

... sorry. Sounds hormonal.

caspar said...

I offer for everyone's consideration the known fact that Catholic religious orders in the West and most particularly America have gone down hill in recent years.

Secondary to that, DT, you must distinguish between the people who believe pretty much nothing the Church teaches and still remain within the institutional structure, and the actual teachings and history of the Church. This is a strange thing, I know, but it is a true phenomena of modern Catholicism.

This friar sounds like he did not do nearly the sort of job i would have hoped from. I suspect he may be one of the floating social activists with more concern for this world than the next. Again, we have a lot of those these days in the American Church--please don't assume they're representative.

God bless.

approvedworkman said...

"Secondary to that, DT, you must distinguish between the people who believe pretty much nothing the Church teaches and still remain within the institutional structure, and the actual teachings and history of the Church. This is a strange thing, I know, but it is a true phenomena of modern Catholicism."

caspar
Which camp are you in? :-)
You defined the issue completely. However I do not believe that this is a recent/modern problem.
The myth of the unity of the rcc,ex cathedra dogma, magesterial decree, and the scripture plus traditions formulas are exposed for the what they are.
Sola Scriptura!

Ken Silva said...

DT,

I'm glad to see as a fellow pastor you not sinking to the level of pigs.

As far as this myth: "you must distinguish between the people who believe pretty much nothing the Church teaches and still remain within the institutional structure, and the actual teachings and history of the Church. This is a strange thing, I know, but it is a true phenomena of modern Catholic."

1) The "Church" is the Body of Christ and not the Roman Catholic Church which comes much later. 2) Anyone who claims to be born again is under obligation to leave that corrupt and apostate front for Satan.

And 3) Despite the claim of "modern" Catholics etc., those who stay with the RCC but say they "don't agree" with the Pope - or whatever whining they attach afterward - are anathema according to the Roman Catholic Church itself.

There is only obey the Pope and the magesterium or anathema. There's no nice little spot of compromise. One might recall the "Reformers" already tried to reform this spiritual whore from within. Won't work. God has condemned it already. Pope Benedict Arnold, an proponent of the old-line conservative Roman Catholic dogma, sealed their fate.

Anonymous said...

Thanks DT and approved for letting me know that if I really wanted to know, there is some way of finding out your identity.

"Sola scriptura"
Did not most of the books in Bible exist as tradition before they were put into written form by people inspired by the Holy Spirit?

For example, Genesis would have existed as tradition handed down over generations before being put into written form by probably Moses, being inspired by the Holy Spirit. Then the gospels were not first 'written down' and then preached. Again, when the churches in Rome, Corinth etc, when they received the letters from Paul, would have treated those letters as letters from the Apostle, like DT and 'approved' writing spiritual letters. If I understand correctly, some time later when various doctrines proliferated, the then church fathers decided it was time to put and end to all the false doctrines (probably inspired by the Holy Spirit) and then came up with the list of books as scriptures. Now how do you separate tradition from scriptures? The best you could say is anything that contradicts the teachings of the apostles is wrong. There is nothing like 'sola scriptura' versus tradition.

dk

PS: People close to me know who dk is :)

approvedworkman said...

dk
The development of the canon of scripture took place over the first three centuries of the history of the church.
They didn't just meet one day and then all of a sudden put the bible together.
Regardless of which council finalized the canon, the fact remains the books contained therein were written by men long before the rcc was a thought. Therefore the "holy roman catholic church" did not write the Bible as the papists contend.
As for oral vs written, one would assume that if the scriptures are truly the Word of God that come by the Holy Spirit,there would be no contradiction between the two. Jesus said Moses "wrote" about me, and He answered Satan with "it is written" So whatever was written had to have been word for word what was spoken, or the Lord has a problem.
Now as to the traditions of the Apostles,they are found in the Scriptures, in the gospels, the letters, book of Acts etc. Therefore the traditions of the church would not contradict the traditions of the apostles, i.e. the Scriptures.
Any later traditions and practices must therefore be weighed against Scripture, not placed in addition to.
This is where Rome falls off into the deep end. There is no biblical justification for a papacy, an apostolic succession, pseudo royalty, a ruling magesterium,veneration of the virgin,veneration of the saints, the eucharist, the mass, indulgences, relics, etc.
So I say to hell with the traditions of Rome, as they are not the traditions of the apostles, and/or the one true church.
They basically keep adding onto the garbage pile that started in the 5th century.
May I suggest
"The Shape of Sola Scriptura" by Keith Mathison, published by Canon Press.It is a wonderful documentation of Scripture and the various traditions that developed.
I also recommend Norbert Brox's fine work, The Complete History of the Early Church

Anonymous said...

Approved,

So are you saying, tradition is not an issue as long as it is recorded in the scriptures? What if all traditions were not written down, or scriptures that contained these traditions were lost between the first and third centuries? As we know, it was not smooth sailing for the early church. Many writing would have gone missing. We wouldn't know about christians making a wow (like Paul shaved his head), if we didn't have that epistle where Paul mentions about this. If that was the case (we lost the epistle) and someone in the present day made a wow to God, definitely you would cry foul and condemn them to the "deep", wouldn't you? (not knowing that Paul did the same, and you were condemning Paul as well)

dk

JSU said...

DK,

Please reread what Approved said about tradition and Scripture:

"Any later traditions and practices must therefore be weighed against Scripture, not placed in addition to."

Scriptural traditions are fine, but later ones must hold water when being judged by the Word of God. If they don't align, toss them out.

As for any lost letters, they're gone! We can't live and debate thinking, "What if Paul had another tradition that we don't know about? What if Paul had a bald head with a gotee?" That logic is really not worthing writing about. If someone wants to start a tradition or take a vow (not wow), it needs to be in agreement with Scripture.

As for DT, does it matter who he is? None of us care who you are, so why should you care about DT?

approvedworkman said...

dk
jsu is right. I said anything we do must be weighed against scripture as final authority.
As for books that could be lost, I agree, so what?
The scriptures are authoritative for what they say,as well as for what they do not say. The Bible exists just as God meant it to.
The rcc has wrongly assumed from the start that since it was a church council that ratified the canon that the church holds authority over the Bible.
What should be recognized is that a sovereign God who has complete foreknowledge, "allowed" the council to ratify the canon. Rome has always acted as if God has no prescient knowledge, and He left everything in the hands of men. Not so;in fact never so.
What must be recognized is that all history,events, our choices and their outcomes, were and are foreknown by God. So, whatever has been "allowed" falls into His divne perfect will and plan.

Romans 8:
27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Acts 4:
27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

John 10:
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."

(so much for the traditionalist catholic view that the "jews" killed Jesus.)

Nothing is under the authority of the church, except what goes on amongst the believers.
Rome needs to get a clue. The future is not an unknown commodity and Jesus never granted any of the authority that the papists claim, especially infallibility as "vicar of Christ.
So if God allows rome to continue, I would prayerfully discern His will.

Rev 17:15-18

Dead Theologians said...

Everyone,

Approved said it right...
"The rcc has wrongly assumed from the start that since it was a church council that ratified the canon that the church holds authority over the Bible."

MM,
You say that Sola Scriptura cannot be right because we are falliable and that opens up the possibility of falliably translating the Bible to our liking. (My paraphrase)

How can you so quickly assume that the you and the RCC are so dead right and the rest of us poor, miserable misguided souls are wrong?

DT

Dead Theologians said...

dk,

You childishly said...
"add another blog with your hidden identity. Are you afraid of anything or anybody? What is your real name and which church are you the pastor of?"

What does dk stand for? What does Approved stand for? What does MM stand for? What does jsu stand for? It is all such a mystery.

It is people like yourself that help me understand nicknames or "hidden identities" as you call them. When someone such as yourself, who also posts under "anonymous", starts throwing darts it is good to keep all of us on subject rather than take personal jabs at others.

So, do you embrace the RCC, the great whore of Revelation?

DT

Steven Fuentes said...

Wouldn't it be something if all of the "unknown" mysterious bloggers actually all fellowship at the same mega church, attend the same cell groups, and have dined in one another's homes. :-)

It is possible you know, although not probable!

What do you guys think about born-again catholics who choose to stay in rc in order to bring the gospel to the people and family there? Do they sin by staying?

Enjoying the conversation,

Anonymous

(oops - forgot I signed in with my blogger ID)

Anonymous said...

Stephen,
It was nice to see a comment from someone amoung the non-catholics in a non-condemning fashion.

JSU, DT, approved,
How do you know all that you say against the Catholic church were later additions? Atleast from the third century, there have been records of people asking the prayers of Mary and other saints who passed away from this world. Just like believers ask each others to pray for some specific needs. How do you know it didn't exist from 1st century? The scriptural basis of this belief is that when people of God die in this world, they are still alive in the spirit. We know from the scriptures that Elijah and Moses appeared to Jesus and some of the desciples. In the same way, is it against the scriptures that Mary the mother of Jesus appeared to a Pope?

From one of your previous posts about youth ministry in your church, one of the comments said that discussions also included which brother was having sex with which sister. Is that the place that you are inviting Catholics to?

Why is there no consensus amoung the various protestants in relation to various doctrines? (Especially when you all follow "Sola Scriptura") Like praying in toungues? One group must be wrong and the other right. So who is lead by the Holy Spirit? If you are saying that these are less important issues, how can you speak for the Holy Spirit? So as one group is not following the Holy Spirit, should not one group leave the whore (in your own words) and join the other group?

Are you also saying the Church of God didn't exist from 4th century till 16th century when Martin Luther started the reformation? In my opinion, Martin Luther got all the support for political reasons, not really spiritual. Germans had started the move to break away from Rome some time before that.

What is your opinion about the protestant churches like Church of England, who also have priests and other common teachings with Catholics? Are they cults? Should they come out, and become Baptists?

DT,
Sorry for the 'jab'. I didn't mean to, but wrote that in the spur of the moment, as you didn't appear to be that vocal against the Catholics when you had the chance compared to what you write in your blogs. So lets be on the subject.


dk

Dead Theologians said...

dk,

You said "Atleast from the third century, there have been records of people asking the prayers of Mary and other saints who passed away from this world. Just like believers ask each others to pray for some specific needs. How do you know it didn't exist from 1st century?"

What if it was going on while Jesus was on the cross? Does this justify it?

You said "From one of your previous posts about youth ministry in your church, one of the comments said that discussions also included which brother was having sex with which sister. Is that the place that you are inviting Catholics to?"

We can't help what unsaved young people are discussing in their worldly youth groups.

We are not discussing the Church of England or other churches. We are discussing the RCC and its posing as the true church.

DT

approvedworkman said...

Deut 18:
10There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,

In 1 Samuel 28:7-25 we have Saul consulting a medium to consult with the deceased Samuel.

Where in the Bible do we find prayers to the dead being endorsed and/or encouraged.
DT is right who cares if this was going on in Jesus' lifetime or before. Obviously there are, and were religions which dosuch things.
This is why the Scripture stands in auhtority over the church.

The Mary that Rome proclaims is not the Mary of scripture. This false teaching is what spawns these spurious stories of visions and visitations.

You said;
"We know from the scriptures that Elijah and Moses appeared to Jesus and some of the disciples."

Thanks for making my case.

You also asked;
"Are you also saying the Church of God didn't exist from 4th century till 16th century when Martin Luther started the reformation?"

I never said that the one true church did not exist during this time. However it is not Rome.
The church has always existed on the earth, and it is possible that some of those who were catholic are part of it. Membership in a church/denomination does not mean you are one of the saints. This is another gross error perpetrated by Rome.
Which leads me to this;
I don't worry about the Anglican church or any other group.(I do disagree with a much of their religiosity however.)

The church bears the name of Jesus only. Denominations submit to the Word of God. I am not criticizing anyone's denominational affiliation,btw.

As for the tongues debate, I refer you to 1 Cor 12: 27-31 and all of 1 Cor 14.

Sola Scriptura :-)

Anonymous said...

DT and approved,
Your comments make much more sense now. If you stick to making comments in like manner (instead of calling names like "whore" etc), you will get more listeners.
For me, I believe no two people have identical beliefs as far as doctrine is concerned. In fact that is the beauty of God's creation, no two people are the same. The work of the Holy Spirit depends on what type of vessel we are. We should diligently seek the will of God, which is of utmost importance. Let us not make the same mistake as the pharisees of Jesus' time who were absolutely sure that God cannot have a Son.
I didn't really understand what your case was about Moses and Elijah. Are you saying they were not the real Moses and Elijah? Or they shouldn't have appeared to Jesus and desciples? What about Gabriel appearing to Mary? Should Mary have told Gabriel, "Sorry, as per the scriptures, you are not supposed to talk to me. Please contact the pharisees and saducces who knows all the scriptures by heart"? Imagine what the pharisees would have done. They would have rebuked Gabriel and then councelled Mary.
For us what we can do is to have the simple faith of Mary and believe that God has many different ways of working. Let us not restrict Him to the scriptures. What is written down does not comprise the entirety of the Almighty.

dk

Dead Theologians said...

dk,

You said "Let us not restrict Him to the scriptures."

This is an extremely unscriptural approach. When you live and teach by this maxim you open up Pandora's box for a plethora of wicked evil teaching. Something has to be your plumb line. To us, it is the Word of God.

You said "What is written down does not comprise the entirety of the Almighty."

We never said it did. But what we know about God and what He wants us to know about Him is in the Word of God and nothing more.

DT

Anonymous said...

DT,
YOu didn't comment about Moses and Elijah appearing to Jesus. I don't think there is any scriptural precedence to that.
I don't think we should worry much about wicked evil teachings in the world. We can't stop that even if we only depend on scriptures. Remember satan quoted scriptures. I think he uses the scriptures to a great extent to turn away a lot of people from doing the will of God.

dk

approvedworkman said...

Anon,

"Your comments make much more sense now. If you stick to making comments in like manner (instead of calling names like "whore" etc), you will get more listeners."

No offense but this is one of the very few times that a supporter of the rcc actually attempted to stick to Scripture, which is all I ever asked.

I took your comment about Moses and Elijah as proof of my point, as you said we know they appeared with Jesus "from the Scripture". That is my point, we know it from the Scriptures. There is nothing extra-biblical about it. The apostles witnessed it.
This passage says it all;

2 Peter 1:
16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Peter speaks of the transfiguration, and then adds that the sure word of prophecy did not originate with men. He is not talking about exegeting Scripture, he is talking about the origins of the scripture that the Bible writers put on papyrus.
The Holy Spirit is the interpreter between the Bible writers and God. God spoke, and the Spirit revealed it to the writers.
Now as for the visions of Mary, Gabriel etc; Gabriel delivered a message from God to Mary re: the prophecied virgin birth of the Messiah. Isaiah 7:14;Isaiah 9:6-7
Mary happened to be the one God selected, due to His divine favor, and not her meriting the honor. "Hail full of grace" does not denote sinlessness. It denotes God's selection.
Gabriel bringing the prophetic fulfillment of the Scriptures is biblically based.
Gabriel says this to Zachariah, just prior to speaking to Mary;

Luke 1:
19And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Mary appearing to a pope and telling him to pray the rosary for special indulgence, is another kettle of fish altogether. The doctrines and dogma of Mary are not found in scripture. The rosary is not found in Scripture, and purgatory, along with the idea of induilgences are not found in Scripture, or even implied. Also, the papacy is not found in scripture. All visions, dreams, and prophecies given after the canon was closed, are subject to the Scriptures.
Please don't use "the trinity is not found or implied in scripture, either" argument, as that is a false assertion.
Matthew 3:16-17;Matthew 28:19;Genesis 1:26;Genesis 3:22 among others.
Why would God send Mary to give a message with no Biblical basis whatsoever?
As for the "pharisee" argument,the emerging church types use the same reasoning, i.e. anyone who holds to the Word alone is a pharisee. Matthew 23 shows that the pharisees did not hold to the Word at all. John 5:37-47
They were the ones who twisted the Word, added to the Word, and/or ignored the word, as Jesus ripped their talmudic commentary to shreds.

JSU said...

I am never cease to be amazed at what I read on this blog:

"Let us not restrict Him to the scriptures."

DK, I'm almost ruined my keyboard with water when I read that. Please, elaborate this heresy!

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