Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fair Dinkum ??!

The Vatican says as usual they are fair dinkum here and for a news item covering the document look here. They have been in the news lately. IMHO, the theme of the document is Apostolic Succession(AS), if one notices how that point always turns up! As far as I can remember as an RC kid, it was hammered in my brain that what makes the Sacraments valid is the AS. The one performing the sacrament must have been ordained in the line of AS. It does not matter if you believe in the Real Presence of the Lord in the Supper, if your minister is not in line with the AS, that Supper is not valid. Besides your pastor is bogus too if he does not have AS. So if you as a minister want to really have valid sacraments you must get AS, i.e. come to the umbrella of Rome. That is the bottom line. If one elevates the Office of Holy Ministry (Pastoral Office) to the level that you attach validity to the Sacraments to your office, you lose out on RCC, they claim the right pedigree of AS, and no else has it, you certainly don't have it. Just my humble advice, if you really want confirmation of what you are doing, get your AS.

Also then over here, on the matter of indulgences still around, we say Fair Dinkum??! No, not really, honestly I am not saying that. We Prots who come from Latinized countries got experience, we are not that naive. We knew that it has always been there to this day. The ones who are probably saying "fair dinkum?!" in amazement are the ones who signed the JDDJ. Poor people, they seem to be in bewilderment. Seems like the signers are feeling the offense of this. At any rate, the RCC has clearance of this. The RCC can turn around and say that they never signed anything containing indulgences in the JDDJ anyway. They can turn around and say," but why cry and complain, you won't be using them, right"?

Pardon my usual sarcasm, I hope they are learning some lessons now.


Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Bro. Lito,

This is what I posted over at RefCath under the Rev. Michael Horton's (good Reformed theologian and churchman) rubric ...

"Mr. Hoss and Mr. Sandlin,

Obeying the (command of the) Gospel is different from obeying the demands of the Law. Again, faith stand alone is the instrumental cause of justification. The penitence shown in outward form does not obtain justification Rather it is proof of justification. To assert otherwise is to confuse faith/belief/trust with works. Such a confusion is a grievous misconception. Belief as a gift of the Holy Spirit is a mental assent to the truth in Holy Scripture. Good works follows faith as effect follows cause.

Obedience to the Gospel is different from obedience to the Law. Why? Because the Gospel is Good News (evangelion) that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for sinner. “Repent (metanoia - be converted: a change of mind!) and believe on Him and you shall be saved”. The Gospel then is the power of God unto salvation. To assert otherwise is to distort the meaning of Gospel (Good News) and ‘conflate’ it with the Law (Ten Commandments). The definition of faith gets distorted.

Faith (the mind as physchological medium) is a (spiritual gift) quality, not a quantity which one can measure in degrees. To do so is to introduce an *emotional* element which brings you back to revivalism and Arminianism. Just as justification does not admit of degrees, you’re either justified or not since it is extra nos (i.e. alien righteousness of the Divine PERSON). So, our perseverence is NOT necessary to our JUSTIFICATION, but sanctification (which is IN us).

Faith looks outward to the Word and Sacraments, crucifix, cross, sign of the cross, minister, sacramentals, etc. not inwardly whether one has obeyed enough. This is not catholicism. This is confusion."

If I may add to what I've written, faith is the explicit mental acknowledgement of one's total unworthiness and incapacity before God. Faith is but the complete abandoning of oneself to the mercies of God. Everything about faith is mental, psychological; the will is involved in relation to thinking not works, or emotional perseverance ... And yes, faith is passive ... if faith is abandoning oneself to the mercies of God, then it is passive. So, modern-day Reformed folks are neither Reformed nor Catholic since in the latter case, they do not stress the transformative nature of the Sacraments enough.

In the end, they end up denying their very own heritage. True Catholicism and Catholicty contrary to the RefCath folks is not working towards unity. But rather it is rediscovering what it means, and working towards PRESERVING the catholicity of the Church.

L P Cruz said...

Dear Bro. Jason,

What you put there in RefCat is well put. Theology is the art of making distinctions isn't it? What they are doing is confounding rather than distinguishing. Their insistence that faith and obedience are the same is to cause confusion. They really make the Gospel as Law, not something to believe but something to do.

When faith is turned to obedience, then there is no escape I think, but to look inside and tap yourself in the shoulder and say - there I have obeyed your Gospel - there I am in. This also makes the disciple uncertain of God's graciousness for once again it makes him do something.

What they are doing is to explain the questions away. For example - would one not ask if he has sufficiently obeyed, exercise belief in the Gospel? They avoid this question and simply waves the hand saying it is irrelevant.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. That hope is founded on the declared promises of God. It sees it done even though it has not seen it nor experienced with the senses.

I am curious at your critique, a year ago I encountered and Anglican too (also from KL) he also believed that the modern Reformed are not Reformed either, and neither are they 'catholic' (not even small c).

What is happening RefCat is like Protestant pluralism. I know they are struggling to find a basis ad are sincere, but unless they go full swing on the Sacraments as the early church did, unless they abandon their pre-commitment to deny that the sacraments confers what they convey, it won't happen.

Thanks for your comments,

Bro. Lito

Matthew said...

Wow... Who are you and why aren't you on my blogroll? :)

L P Cruz said...

Thank you Bro. Matthew,

It will be an honor to be placed in your blog roll.

I am like you if you might say, a refugee from revivalism, who has found new joy in what I first believed. I finding new joy in the fact that the reason Jesus was hanging on the Cross was because of me, a sinner.