Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sleeper Cells

A long time ago, I was interacting with the moderator of the list that I still "hang out with" (virtually speaking) and we were on the subject of Protestant to RCC conversions. We were talking about the conversion of Cardinal John. H. Newman at that time.

The moderator happened to be a history buff. He said that in the 1800s it was not uncommon for people to think that prominent Protestants who convert to RCC must have been a Vatican in-plant. Newman must have been suspected as one of them. He said the whole design was to make a massive public impression to sway the Protestant world to kiss the Pope's ring and return 'home'.

In terrorism parlance, I think this is akin to 'sleeper cells'.

I imagine it works like this; first they inject the agent into the denomination (for example - Lutheranism). The agent then works hard to rise in prominence as staunch defender of their tradition (for example defender of Confessional Lutheran orthodoxy), i.e. the guy is known to be Mr. Gnesio_Lutheran himself(in case of Baptist, a Spurgeon resurrected, in case of Presbyterian a B. B. Warfield from the dead). Then at the height of glory/ popularity, convert to Rome. All the rest sees this and disillusionment happens. Impressive and brilliant strategy, won't you say?

This boils down to crypto-something. I do not think there are remaining crypto-Calvinists in Concordia Land. The reason is there is no reason to be there. They are no longer persecuted and no need to appear Lutheran when in fact Calvinist. They just leave with no hoopla. But what about crypto-Popers? You bet they are there. 100%. They often hide under the label - Confessional. Why of course, why would they not covet the label that opens doctrinal doors, why covet the label Liberal, who would take notice? Who would care, if the guy ain't orthodox anyway, what is to lose? But no, boy the word 'confessional', that gets the attention. Fr. Neuhaus that well known Lutheran church man identified himself as 'confessional' and now he is a loyal priest of Rome. I think one day 'confessional Lutheran' will mean -- 'I am on my way to the Vatican or Constantinople'. Sometimes I think I should drop that adjective. I have been called far worst names before, some of them not exactly true anyway, why would I care what people call me, I am a nerd.

It seems when these 'in-plants' are awakened (activated) and they go, you will find evidence that they were never convinced of JBFA in the first place. I will bet that very likely they were, if not now, crypto-Universalists too. See for example Neuhaus' wikepedia article of how he expresses hope in universal salvation.

In Concordia Land, I notice, crypto-Poping and crypto-Universalism go hand in hand. Seems to me, you start doing crypto-Poping when JBFA is no longer your thing.

88 comments:

William Weedon said...

One thing I've never understood about that particular label is that it seems an oxymoron. The person who holds to the confession of the Sacred Scriptures which is witnessed in the Concordia is simply, well, Lutheran. The person who doesn't, isn't. To further modify "Lutheran" seems to concede that one can be Lutheran and be at variance with the Symbols. I don't think that is possible.

I don't think, however, that there are intentional plants and sleeper cells. There ARE people who follow the sad process described by Dr. Hein here:

http://weedon.blogspot.com/2007/02/interesting-piece-from-dr-steven-hein.html

I know, because I almost were one! And you're right about this: it consists in a marginalizing of justification by faith alone.

Doorman-Priest said...

What! Calvinists are no longer persecuted? Is that new policy? Bugger!

L P Cruz said...

D.P.

I stand corrected, oops, what do they say? My bad?

Come to think of it, yes they still are, at least in North America if the internet is indication.

We have no quarrel with them where I am at, we are happy for Christian witness to stand.

I get what you mean.

That comment is quite deep.

L P Cruz said...

DP.

I mean at least in North American Lutheranism, Calvinist is like having measles or leprosy.

LPC

Anonymous said...

The term "confessional" sets apart certain Lutherans who have upheld the confessions to the Holy scriptures. Not all who profess to be Lutheran have done so and those same people continue to call themselves "Lutheran". How do we distinguish between the two? With an adjective of course!

Sleeper cells? To be blunt, I would worry more about those Lutherans amongst us who forget what it means to be "confessional" and reject the liturgy, then proceed to reject the bible as God's infallible Word. They are far more destructive than "007-RC".

Anonymous said...

Ideally, Lutherans could just call themselves Christians - and not have to use the word "Lutheran". However, the word "Christian" can mean anything today.

Unfortunately, the word "Lutheran" has suffered the same fate as the word "Christian" - it can mean anything today (i.e. think of the ELCA.)

We should not have to use the word "Confessional", but it is necessary for clarification.

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,

You are right, they do not have to be an implant. They may be sincere but mis-guided to which all of us may fall into being sinners/saints that we are. I was being sensational in my post, so I need your absolution ;-)

Also, thanks for frankly sharing your experience.

In my experience with false teaching, the devil does not have to do a lot of attacking. All he has to do is to drop the 'payload' and let it incubate and mature, the seed of error will carry forward its own fruit.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Anonymous,

There are a couple of you but you know who you are.

There is another association with the word 'confessional'. If by that adjective, it also brings to mind Lutheran Fundamentalism/Fanaticism then I do not want to be known by that adjective.

I disagree with you. The real dangerous one is the one who thinks that the main identification of Lutheranism is its liturgy not its insistence on JBFA.

The Liturgy is not the mark of Lutheranism, for the Anglicans/RCs/EOs have them too. Anyway fair enough, we do not have the same Lutheranism then.

No, JBFA is.

Someone who thinks the Liturgy is more important than JBFA itself is the one who is dangerous.


LPC

William Weedon said...

Lito,

A fellow who really loved the liturgy - Pr. Wilhelm Loehe - put it in an unforgettable way:

"Yet let us enter our solemn protest against the opus operatum and the overestimation of externals. The Church remains what she is even without a Liturgy, she remains a queen even in beggar's rags. It is better to give up everything else and to hold only the pure doctrine than to go about in the pomp and glory of splendid services which are without light and life because the doctrine has become impure."

To which, I'm sure, you'd give a hearty "Amen!" He does go on:

"Yet it is not necessary to let the Church go in beggars' rags. Much better is it that her prayers, her hymns, her sacred order, the holy thoughts of her Liturgy, should be impressed upon the people innocently, and in sermon and catechetical instruction be used as living book for proof and instruction. The true faith finds voice not only in the sermon, but it is prayed through the prayers and sung in the hymns. So the liturgy becomes a new confirmation of the Church against her enemies;it is a holy weapon of offense and defense in the wars of the Lord." - Three Books on the Church, pp. 198, 199.

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,

I will also say amen to the second part.

To me it is like this, get the Gospel right and when you give the Liturgy, people will worshipping God the right way.

They worship God the rightway not because of the Liturgy but because of the Gospel has been apprehended.

I like the Liturgy now because it is the Gospel I am looking for it when I am there.

The Liturgy should be made to support the Gospel, but when the Liturgy is the one that is adored, then the support becomes the usurper of the Gospel.

I have been in RC both pre and post Vatican II but God did not use the Liturgy there to make me see the Gospel, oh yes. God used it, the Law aspect of it but God did not use it to show me the Gospel.

The Liturgy is a tool it is to be used properly and not in itself to be the one that is adored.

That is where I am coming from.

LPC

William Weedon said...

I knew I liked you. :)

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will.

I lost some friends when I went Wittenberg, you guys who comment here have been a blessing to me. Thouh we may not all the time have 100% agreement in all places, but we can remain brothers and friends in the things that are central.

To me this is being catholic in the right place!


LPC
Remember what I said too in your blog, you are dear to me too.

Past Elder said...

The Anglicans, RC, EO and others have a liturgy, but they do not have the Lutheran liturgy.

I cannot see any possibility of a loss of JBFA in the Lutheran liturgy. No, we didn't invent our liturgy out of thin air, we accepted the Western tradition in which the Reformation first happened, but as with the doctrine itself, we reformed it of elements foreign to it that had crept in hand in hand with false teaching.

Liturgy originally meant nothing religious at all. It was the name of a public service undertaken by a wealthy citizen for the benefit of the city-state in ancient Greece. It was appropriated as a name for what we more commonly call the Divine Service, because that is precisely what it is, God's service to us in Word and Sacrament.

It is impossible for a confessional Lutheran to love the Lutheran liturgy more than JBFA, because the Lutheran liturgy is as it is precisely because of JBFA.

One begins to look to the Tiber, the Bosphoros, or for that matter Lake Geneva, when one looks beyond the Lutheran liturgy and begins to take Lutheranism as paler form of either Catholicism/Orthodoxy with its liturgy or Protestantism with its relative lack of it, both worship forms that are what they are because they do not confess JBFA alone as we do but mixed with their respective forms of works-righteousness.

As to labels, would that we could simply call ourselves Christian and let it go at that, because my belief is that is what we are, Christians in the full sense taught by Scripture. But in the world in which we communicate, Christian, Lutheran, Catholic, Protestant etc have each come to mean so many things as to convey nothing beyond a range of possibilities that often themselves are contradictory. So I use confessional Lutheran, which to me is simply Christian in its truest sense, but to a world in which Christian means many things along with all the other terms it may serve to clarify things somewhat.

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

I cannot see any possibility of a loss of JBFA in the Lutheran liturgy.

According to the survey done in your area on Lutheranism, 80% are functioning RCs according to statistics read by Rod Rosenbladt. Yes it involved folk from all confessing Lutheran synods. Don't tell me these confessing synods are not doing the Lutheran Liturgy.

This is the lesson I learned from Mother Church--

It is not the Liturgy it is the Catechesis.

The Liturgy amplifies in action whatever was taught in the Catechesis.

Liturgy is neither here nor there when JBFA is at issue.

A Lutheran who thinks he is saved by works will use the Liturgy that way -- he thinks by the doing of it and the motion of it he is appeasing God. He thinks it is a meritorious work.

One begins to look to the Tiber, the Bosphoros, or for that matter Lake Geneva, when one looks beyond the Lutheran liturgy and begins to take Lutheranism as paler form of either Catholicism/Orthodoxy

This is equating the Liturgy to and by itself equal to JBFA. I think this is a category mistake, bro.

There are many things implied in the Liturgy and btw, what do you mean by Lutheran Liturgy? What is in there, I think we need to get our bases right first, our definitions.

As I observe, the Anglican/RC for example has confession and absolution, sermon and eucharist. So what is the difference with ours? The Liturgy in form are similar to the Lutheran, again in form, so what is the difference--- in form?

Bro Jason has both experience in Anglicanism and Lutheranism and I think he can compare.

Fighting for the Liturgy is not the same as fighting for JBFA, to equate the two is a blunder (I should think).

LPC

Past Elder said...

If one thinks he is saved by works, or that the liturgy is a meritorious work on our part, what is he doing in a Lutheran church?

I have no idea what your first paragraph means. Functioning RC? What is that? By what criteria? By whose evaluation?

Anglicanism can speak for itself. I resonate with those in the Anglican Communion who are struggling to maintain traditional Anglican belief and liturgy. Not that I share a common faith with them, but because we share common opponents with the same aims in our differing contexts.

As to Anglicanism itself, I find little to recommend a religion founded by a king so he could get a divorce impossible in his first religion. Is "DF" still on the currency of the realm? Remember where that came from? From the Pope, for a largely ghosted book that among other things would establish the invalidity of his later actions. Glad that, being English by descent I missed that whole thing.

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

Functioning RC means JBWA.

If one thinks he is saved by works, or that the liturgy is a meritorious work on our part, what is he doing in a Lutheran church?


OK good point! Would to the Lord that all children of Wittenberg understood the impact of that comment.

I find that catechisiz is a never ending thing and here I think the monk Dr Luther said something wise -- he mentioned that Catechisis is a lifelong program.

Being involved now in my local congregation, we are recognizing along with our Pastor of course, that what Luther said is true even today.

People come to church not with an empty bag, they come with all sorts of backgrounds and you do not know what they have been taught so catechisis is as Luther said a lifelong activity of the local church.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Absolutely it is. And I am not excluded from that. There is no disagreement on that from me.

Also, the idea that religion is about works and that somehow getting right with God depends on some works we do is the persistent illusion of Man versus God, an idea that our sinful nature constantly suggests to us, and which is is the inspiration for ritual in the mind of Man, an act that he must to please God, and which is incorporated in RC doctrine.

Luther himself noted this, and said its force is so great that it almost seems we ought to wipe the slate clean as far as worship goes and start over, so much has it corrupted our thinking. And yet goes on to explain why we ought not, and should not, and do not, do so. Which is why the AC speaks of zealously guarding and defending the mass, why it rejects the accusation that we reject or care little for liturgy. He knew that the mass is JBFA in action, that Law and Gospel is the whole point of the first part of the mass, where Scripture is read and preached, and where in its second part he offers us his testament, his pledge of salvation, the very thing by which we are saved, his literal body and blood, which Catholics affirm but have turned into a work and Protestants deny and turn into another kind of work.

Jeff Tan said...

Functioning RC means JBWA.

What? I missed the memo! Does that mean I'm (gasp) not a functioning RC?? >.<

L P Cruz said...

Remember Dr. Tan, I have always assumed you to be a not operational RC i.e. a functioning Prot.

I think you are starting to realize it, keep it up, you will learn to accept the truth one day (LOL).


LPC

William Weedon said...

Lito,

I was looking for this quote to share with you yesterday and couldn't find it. Today I ran across it. It's Krauth again, but he's speaking about Romanizing and yet he begins with the most amazing concession:

"Not everything we learn from Rome is Romish. Not only so, but, as earnest Evangelical Protestants, we may admit, that deep and vital as are the points where we differ from the Romanists, they are not so vital as those in which we agree with them, and that Evangelical Protestants are not so remote from the Romanists as they are from false and heretical Protestants." (Conservative Reformation, pp. 341,342)

I think Krauth's thoughts here explains a bit of what you observed in NA about Lutherans finding a closer kinship with Rome than with the Calvinist bodies; even while we rejoice together with both in the truth that either communion confesses, we see that the deeply held and vital truth about the Sacraments lands us closer to Rome's camp. Like I like to point out to folks - the Baptists got the song right: "There is power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb." But ask them where the blood of the Lamb is so that it can do it's wonder work? Rome at least knows and can direct people to that wonder working blood in reality. Now, if only more bishops allowed their dioceses to RECEIVE that blood!!! That's another story. :)

Xan said...

Lito,

I'm not sure about the crypto-Universalist accusation. I recommend reading the Neuhaus article that Wikipedia uses as a source. In it, he says: "The hope that all will be saved is precisely that, a hope. It is not a doctrine, never mind a dogma."

A Universalist believes that all people are saved. There's a big difference between that and the *hope* that God's grace is greater than we can possibly comprehend for the benefit of humanity.

I would agree that we have no business expecting or assuming that anyone outside Christ's church is saved. These people need to hear Law and Gospel. But putting limits on hope in God's grace seems presumptuous.

PS - What happened to Kurt Gödel?

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,

I agree with the quote.

My experience with Mother Church is that what the right hand gives, the left hand takes away.

At the risk of upsetting more people, I have a contention that when Calvinism is stretched and Romanism is stretched to extremes, the two will converge.

I say this because good old Calvin tried to fix what was not broken, he agreed already with Luther on most part but for example he softened on the idea of repentance away from the Lutheran view and adopted a similar position with Rome.

However, I have read some reports that Luther prior to the end of his life regretted, that is right he regretted! that he did not do more to excise his Reformation from Roman influence.

I am trying to confirm that contention but I am no historian so it will take some time.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

xan,

I am not sure how that "hope" is to function, I am not convince that it has no influence in the way we conduct our lives and approach towards others or the world.

My conjecture is that ideas have consequences.

crypto-something is hard to prove, in fact we may not be aware of it ourselves and we do need each other to be stirred in the truth. I am firm that I need you all as much as you need me to stir us all in the teaching of Scripture.

This is my thesis: When we think we are not Protestant in the original and old sense of the word, JBFA goes out the door.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,


Oops, I wanted to add, that there are Calvinists who are hovering close to us, I think the Mercersberg ones are.

Also the Federal Vision guys are trying to strengthen their sacraments but the sad thing is that they won't cross the line and stand where we are , they are a stretch away from the finish line.

The point is that they are realizing something.

LPC

Jim Pierce said...

Hi LPC,

I am a bit confused from your article and some of your remarks in this thread. Are you against the practice of the liturgy? And, are you against using the term "confessional"?

It seems to me that many have gotten it right in the above when they say that "confessional" describes what kind of Lutheran we are as opposed to many other Lutherans who have jettisoned the confessions and the practice of liturgy for the spirit of "gospel lite" so prevalent amongst evangelical Christians today.

I want to add, of course proper teaching and preaching of JBFA (and I would say Law and Gospel since it encompases JBFA)is of paramount importance, but surely a group of people who are getting solid Lutheran confessional teaching and the liturgy are also getting solid law/gospel (and by extension teaching of JBFA)?

BTW, nice place you have here! :-)

Past Elder said...

At the risk of further misunderstanding:

The "Lutheran" church is not about Martin Luther. It is about the faith confessed in the Book of Concord, most of which was not written by Luther. As deeply as we revere and admire him, the "Lutheran" church is not built on his writings, except those contained in the BOC. I would love to be and hope to be better read in his other writings, one of which, Babylonian Captivity, was crucial in knowing myself to be Lutheran, but I stand on the BOC and not them as correct expositions of Christian doctrine.

Most Protestants in my experience understand Luther in this way: a wonderful start, but due to his circumstances unable to sufficiently free himself of Roman trappings to really go the distance.

Pastor's quote from Krauth puts it exactly. It is the same idea as Luther's statement that he would rather drink Christ's blood with pope than wine with Zwingli. Or as I, who live in a world where not one in a hundred or maybe thousand would have the faintest idea who Zwingli is, like to put it, we need to understand the difference between catholic and Catholic, or for that matter between orthodox and Orthodox.

This is no mere word play but a serious matter (I'm really resisting the urge to dance Nietzsche style with the conclusion of the LC here!). Catholic retains much that is catholic, and Orthodox retains much that is orthodox, and we too retain what is catholic and orthodox, and in so doing are closer to the Catholic and Orthodox than to the Protestants who do not. "Lutheranism" has suffered much over the centuries including now from not understanding this, retreating from things that are catholic and/or orthodox because they remain part of Catholicism and/or Orthodoxy, and I submit that the hyperventilation about being first, last and always "Protestant" derives from this. We do not protest what is catholic or orthodox!

Past Elder said...

Most excellent Dr Tan, greetings from your unworthy reader Dr Maher!

(Wouldn't it have been fun to have encountered each other as C16 churchmen -- then again, probably not, as it wouldn't have been pleasantly blogging but probably with military guard!)

That's one of the central difficulties of Lutheran/Catholic dialogue. (Man, I almost sounded like der alte Schuetz there!) And in a post Joint Declaration world -- that most miserable document false to both Lutheran and Catholic understanding, enough to turn one into a Green when thinking of the trees lost to the paper on which to print it - even more difficult. RCs have a different view of the relationship of works and faith, of sanctification and justification, and do not see it at all as JBWA but JBFA, or just J, rightly understood. Which I understand, having been there myself.

And what DID happen to Goedel?

What happened to Lucian too -- didn't he pop in here somewhere?

L P Cruz said...

Hi Jim,

I appreciate very much your visit and your interaction.

I am not against the Liturgy as practiced by Lutherans. The Lutheran Liturgy with its removal of additions from Rome is practiced by both Liberal and Confessional Lutherans. Yes Liberals do it too. Even the Liberal Lutherans have the Eucharist and they even have them weekly.

I love our liturgy, I like it only because I have come to understand the free gift of God in Christ. I like it because as a whole it is a teaching tool to communicate the story of our redemption-- the Atonement.

The Liturgy supports the Atonement, it is suppose to point to it, but the Liturgy is not the same as JBFA nor is it the same as the Atonement. The Roman church sees the Liturgy as re-Atonement, meaning they are equal.

To equate the Liturgy with JBFA is a blunder and a category mistake. Why? Because the Liturgy has certain things implied.

People should take heed of H. Sasse's criticism of Piepkorn who was into the Liturgical Movement. (BTW Sasse was one of my synod's theologians).

The 'confessional' Lutherans I encounter in the internet exhibit passion for the Liturgy, rather than passion for JBFA. Most I observe are followers of Piepkorn.

I see them exhibiting a type of militant Fundamentalism and even Fanatical at that. If the word confessional gets a hint of this, then I would rather be called a Protestant who subscribes to the BoC. God knows who and what I am, if my fellow man have trouble determining that, that is ok, we should live with an audience of One anyway. What matters is what God thinks about me.

If you were in Evangelicalism, there is a coveted word that gains respectability and air of orthodoxy or respectable attention -- the coveted word is 'Reformed'. I see the same happening in Lutheranism - it is called 'Confessional'. This means that Lutherans are vulnerable when it comes to this label. Take my example of R. Neuhaus and Jaroslav Pelikan.

People who are getting solid confessional teaching will know not to make any part of the Liturgy into a "Law". Also they will truly be 'universal' or 'catholic' i.e they will allow variety/fluidity in their ranks in the sense that where it is adiaphora then it is adiaphora, and leave it at that. People who are into confessional teaching blabbers JBFA most of the time, they do not spend much time trying to ascertain whether or not for the last 500 years the church has worshipped right or not. They do not spend time wondering if they got their vestments right, or if they need to add bells or incense etc. They are not worried if the order of service is slightly altered.

The biggest and largest chapter in the BoC is about justification, it is not about the Church or the Liturgy.

If the internet blog is an indication, in the US, there are no more 'centrist' confessional Lutherans, they have swang right wing to the edge as over and stern reaction to Evangelicalism. They have become, as one person I read said - Liturgical Nazis.

Luther said - you can get lots of Christian thelogy right, but if you get the Gospel wrong, you are stuffed.

That is the point, many who are in the Liturgical Movement think they got JBFA in the bag and it can now be put aside, they think it is now time to move on from there.

As I see Lutheranism, its view of holiness is not directed towards God, it is directed towards neighbor.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

Are you psyching yourself up -"I am no Prot, I am no Prot, I am no Prot"?

We do not protest what is catholic or orthodox!

Fair enough.

But I do protest as to what is NOT catholic and NOT orthodox -- JBWA, this is not Christian.

I do not first protest that they [RCC/EO]got their liturgies screwed up or deviated from any order of worship.

I protest in the teaching that man is saved by his efforts even though such effort was borne out by the HS.

Christianity is the only religion that says you are saved by faith in Christ's work alone.

All the rest adopt self salvation.

I do protest at anyone who enjoins self-salvation.

In fact, Jesus was a Protestant if protesting against hypocritical Phariseism is an indication.

Jesus advocated JBFA in him alone.

He said...
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me".

If you are coming to God by any other means, the Protest is on you.

LPC

PS. I had to retire, Goedel. He was paranoid about germs, with the narowness of people's minds out there, they might do guilt by association on me.

Jim Pierce said...

LPC wrote: "To equate the Liturgy with JBFA is a blunder and a category mistake. Why? Because the Liturgy has certain things implied."

I agree for the most part, but then I have to wonder who is making such an argument? Who argues that the liturgy is the same as JBFA? I am not aware of such a group.

LPC wrote: "The 'confessional' Lutherans I encounter in the internet exhibit passion for the Liturgy, rather than passion for JBFA. "

How are you gauging their passion? I ask, because your statement is somewhat subjective. I would agree that you "feel" their passions are greater for liturgy than for JBFA, but I don't see how you can know that; which leads to my point.

I think you are being far too hard on those Lutherans who have strong feelings about the liturgy. Indeed, your writings in response to those you precieve to have abandoned JBFA for the liturgy comes across as being anti-liturgy, but it is clear that you are not against liturgy from your responses to my follow up questions.

Past Elder said...

Well here, they got their liturgies screwed up because they got screwed up on JBFA.

As a human phenomenon, ritual is ritual. Absolutely no-one I know who calls himself confessional believes that the central concern of Lutheranism is correct liturgy, or that correct liturgy guarantees correct anything else.

I blogged some time ago about watching the telecast on a local access channel on our cable TV provider of the service from the church in town that is the biggest and oldest classic one that calls itself Lutheran -- an ELCA congregation that conducts a liturgy right by the book and nearly indistinguishable from a post conciliar RC parish -- except for the female celebrant in the vestments.

Liturgy is doctrine in motion. Aberration happens when the motion becomes the focus rather than the doctrine. Which is not to say the motion doesn't matter. It is to say it has a connexion with doctrine that can be violated either way, by focussing on the motion so that doctrine slides, or focussing on the doctrine so that there is little to no motion.

This is lex orandi lex credendi, how you pray is how you believe. Which is why Lutherans cannot worship in the Roman liturgy as it is, nor minimalise or ignore it as the Protestants do. Some Lutherans imagine we can adopt "evangelical" services to Lutheran content, a fool's mission since evangelical services are as they are precisely because they deny some Lutheran content, mostly about the Sacrament. Likewise, some Lutherans imagine we can adopt the Vatican II novus ordo of the 1960s to Lutheran content, also a fool's mission because the novus ordo is as it is precisely because it denies some Lutheran content, again mostly about the Sacrament. The Lutheran Reformation sought neither, but to zealously guard and defend the mass against either extreme neither allowing the excesses that crept into it or rejections and devalutations of it.

Good order in the church does not mean Law. Christian Freedom, adiaphora, etc does not mean that everything that is allowable is a good idea. JBFA is never set aside for the confessional. If it is he ceases to be confessional, which is where you get your Tiber and Bosphoros swimmers, and one does not have to swim Lake Geneva to avoid this. The passion for liturgy is not moving on from JBFA but moving with JBFA, because it is in liturgy that God serves us in Word and Sacrament as a people.

L P Cruz said...

Jim,

I think people in the movements like SSP movements within Lutheranism have more passion for the Liturgy's catholicity than passion for JBFA. In fact words like 'reunion' with Rome and to that effect tells me that the Liturgy is being used as a tool of ecumenicity. I do not believe in the need for 'ministerium' or special societies in Lutheranism, that is just my opinion.

Study Neuhaus' conversion to RCC, he first identified himself as a confessional Lutheran.

Jim, no one who is a crypto-Papist in his right mind will downright admit it to you. This is like 007 telling Dr. No,-- here I am catch me, I am James Bond. That would be naive.


I think you are being far too hard on those Lutherans who have strong feelings about the liturgy.

That is possible, that is a subjective judgment both on your part as well as mine.

My purpose is to give another angle to possibilities. Those who do not remember the lessons of the past are destined to repeat it.



LPC

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

For the most part I agree with your last comment.

Absolutely no-one I know who calls himself confessional believes that the central concern of Lutheranism is correct liturgy, or that correct liturgy guarantees correct anything else.

Well, it is obvious and you know this too, that you do not know everyone.

I blogged some time ago about watching the telecast on a local access channel on our cable TV provider of the service from the church in town that is the biggest and oldest classic one that calls itself Lutheran -- an ELCA congregation that conducts a liturgy right by the book and nearly indistinguishable from a post conciliar RC parish -- except for the female celebrant in the vestments.

Of which I commend highly and endorse.

This is lex orandi lex credendi, how you pray is how you believe.

I am no church father but honestly, this is not from Scripture. In fact the truth is philosophically reverse, what you believe is what you will live. Belief implies life, not the other way around necessarily. Hypocrites have life, but their belief is wrong.

This is a blunder, note A -> B. If you have B, it does not mean you have A.

Example, All Humans die. Fido died, can you conclude that Fido was human? No in fact Fido was a dog.

In fact further, your illustration of the ELCA lady pastor proves my point, even she did the Liturgy!!!

The passion for liturgy is not moving on from JBFA but moving with JBFA, because it is in liturgy that God serves us in Word and Sacrament as a people.

When you use that word, what do you believe the liturgy is composed of?

Passion for the Liturgy is not necessarily the same as passion for JBFA.

I keep on insisting that the two passions are not the same. You keep on equating the two despite the injunction I said that Sasse's critiqued Piepkorn for this.

OK, fair enough you may disagree with Sasse.

I am biased and pro Aussie so I go with Sasse on this.

LPC

Jim Pierce said...

LPC wrote: "Jim, no one who is a crypto-Papist in his right mind will downright admit it to you. This is like 007 telling Dr. No,-- here I am catch me, I am James Bond. That would be naive."

Dr. No did taunt James Bond like that over and over! Both he and his cat! Well, until Bond dumped him down the smoke stack of a factory, wheel chair, cat, and all! :P

I don't want to belabor the point Lito, but doesn't this super secret spy ring for justification through works sort of resemble the same conspiracy theories we routinely find around JFK, Big Foot, UFOs, and the Illuminati?

Although, it does make for interesting blogging! ;)

I'll have to pick up the reading on Neuhaus sometime.

God's blessings on you!

:-)

Jim Pierce said...

Lito, I take back the "super spy ring" bit above because in my devotional readings today I read The parable of the weeds in Matthew. We won't necessarily know who the "weeds" are until judgment day.

But I am still right about Dr. No. LOL! :-) Well, I think his cat leaves him before his final hour, but I can't recall for sure.

Xan said...

You're talking about Ernst Blofeld. Dr. No was the villain (and title character) from the first Bond movie.

Jim Pierce said...

I was going to say something about all Spectre agents looking the same. lol! That is a good shot of Donald Pleasence! He always creeped me out... even when he played good guys like in the Great Escape. Good catch Xan!

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: I have always assumed you to be a not operational RC i.e. a functioning Prot. I think you are starting to realize it, keep it up, you will learn to accept the truth one day

I will go where, believe in, and do what, as Lord wills. In the meantime, I will pray as I investigate. But.. don't hold your breath. :-)

W. Weedon said: even while we rejoice together with both in the truth that either communion confesses, we see that the deeply held and vital truth about the Sacraments lands us closer to Rome's camp.

It certainly makes sense to reserve affirmations and condemnations for doctrines declared, rather than appellations. There are Protestants and there are Protestants. There are Catholics and there are Catholics.

Lito said: My experience with Mother Church is that what the right hand gives, the left hand takes away.

Not sure how this goes exactly, but I can imagine that it is no compliment. :-) But perhaps it is a case of what the Magisterium teaches, teachers on the ground (priests, bishops, RE teachers) dissent from (publicly). Either that or people on the ground ignore and/or disobey. In the case of liturgy, at least for Catholics from the 70s or so, they ignore and "innovate". :-S

Lito said: At the risk of upsetting more people, I have a contention that when Calvinism is stretched and Romanism is stretched to extremes, the two will converge.

Hmm.. not being too familiar with Calvinism, I can't comment. But from what I have heard from self-professed Calvinists, I can't see how. Catholic and TULIP? How?

what you believe is what you will live.

I think that is what lex orandi lex credendi means, with the way you pray being a prime evidence as to what you believe.

Pastor Elder said: fun to have encountered each other as C16 churchmen

Gee I dunno.. I generally abhor confrontation.

Lito said: I protest in the teaching that man is saved by his efforts even though such effort was borne out by the HS.

Well that is worth protesting. But Catholic doctrine does not teach this, even though many Catholics seem to live such a falsehood in their lives. In many instances, I think they are more about avoiding: worried about damning themselves with their sins of commission and omission.

BTW, how far of a hearing does "once saved, always saved" have in Lutheran circles?

L P Cruz said...

Jim/xan,

Blofeld or Dr. No as villains of 007 will do for now as illustrations. Specially note Dr. No who was a child of Methodist missionaries to China.

The mark and art of espionage is to anticipate.

We won't necessarily know who the "weeds" are until judgment day.
Yes, Jesus is just making us aware that they are out there.

Scripture says this in Acts 20
29I(BD) know that after my departure(BE) fierce wolves will come in among you,(BF) not sparing the flock; 30and(BG) from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31Therefore(BH) be alert, remembering that(BI) for three years I did not cease night or day(BJ) to admonish everyone(BK) with tears.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,


The Magisterium's way of speaking in both sides of its mouth is what I mean.

Maybe now it is fuzzy for you but at least when I was an RC, JBWA was very very clear to me.

Calvinism's stress on sanctification when stretched converges with Rome, also Calvin's trying to improve on the definition of faith when stretched will converge too.

OSAS is denied by Book of Concord and by Luther himself.

LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: Maybe now it is fuzzy for you but at least when I was an RC, JBWA was very very clear to me.

By works alone or by works? I think there's an underlying assumption in that good works are prescribed to those already baptized. So it isn't to save them from original sin (which we know to be effected in baptism), but as part and parcel to sanctification (of those already baptized), and as an antidote to sinful works (which will damn them). This is where definitions are important. Catholic and Lutheran definitions of justification are not equivalent.

I don't know how you were catechized, but to be honest, I don't think my catechism ever used "justification" in primary or high school. I don't think we were made to be concerned about whether we were sure about being saved at all. It was more a case of "obey the Lord who wants you to do good works" or "do not commit mortal sins of omission or commission, by which you will lose your state of grace and be damned if you do not repent." We just took it for granted that we were already children of God by baptism.

If anything, I guess I'd characterize my encounter with Catholic catechism in school as sanctified by (or through) works, and by all means do not be damned by unrepentant mortal sin.

Calvinism's stress on sanctification when stretched converges with Rome, also Calvin's trying to improve on the definition of faith when stretched will converge too.

Shows what I don't know about Calvinism.

OSAS is denied by Book of Concord and by Luther himself.

Good, so you'll be just as sad that it actually makes strong inroads into the Evangelical Protestants in the Philippines. My Evangelical wife came to a realization about this error just recently. I was surprised when she brought it up, that she realized that OSAS was wrong. I was also happy, of course, and I was already aware that this error of assurance, the sort one might call easy-believism, is strong back home. But.. who can blame them? It probably comes from the sort of preaching exported from American missionaries, perhaps strongly Baptist. On the other hand, OSAS seems to be quite strong too in American Evangelicals, even non-Baptists.

Right now I'm trying to convince an Evangelical friend of mine back home who refuses to baptize his children. They instead have a ceremony called "Dedication", which seems generally to be community prayer with no baptism. If I'm not mistaken, he also believes in OSAS. :-(

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

JBWA is Justification by Works Also.

We know that Mother Church does not deny faith, what it denies is salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Justification = faith + works as I understand the position of RCC. Correct me here if it has changed.

I was catechized with consciousness of heaven, hell and purgatory and the mass.

Good, so you'll be just as sad that it actually makes strong inroads into the Evangelical Protestants in the Philippines. My Evangelical wife came to a realization about this error just recently. I was surprised when she brought it up, that she realized that OSAS was wrong. I was also happy, of course, and I was already aware that this error of assurance, the sort one might call easy-believism, is strong back home. But.. who can blame them? It probably comes from the sort of preaching exported from American missionaries, perhaps strongly Baptist. On the other hand, OSAS seems to be quite strong too in American Evangelicals, even non-Baptists.


Absolutely Jeff, this blog is a small attempt to correct this Americanism of Protestantism.

Yes they are Baptistic and even Fundamental Baptistic too. I looked at the Filipino visitors of this blog and they are not even in the radar.

You see Jeff, American Evangelicalism/Pentecostalism has a strong hold on our people because they are poor. So anyone coming over with the teaching that God wants them rich and comfortable will be heard. Who wouldn't but this does not give Filipinos hope for eternity.

http://extranos.blogspot.com/2005/12/what-does-filipino-mean-by-being-saved.html

But unlike other Lutherans I do not believe I hate nor dispise Evangelicals as if they have nothing good or got all things wrong.

I am no Lutheran Fundamentalist. Me genuito.


I see them as like me, sinner prone to corrupt the truth. Besides, they are only parroting what they were taught falsely thinking that what they are receiving is authentic Biblical Christianity.

What they need is Reformation not Condemnation...

This my approach to RCs and Evangelicals alike (even fellow Lutherans).

I see this as another form of false or religious colonization i.e religious oppression. The Spaniards colonized us through Catholicism, the Americans doing it through Evangelicalism.

Eventually they both lead to religious imperialism.

LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: JBWA is Justification by Works Also.

Oops.. my mistake. Sorry! I thought it was by works alone.

what it denies is salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Justification = faith + works as I understand the position of RCC.

No, it hasn't changed, but again, the use of "justification" here is not necessarily clear. First of all, how is that different from being saved by faith alone but not by the faith that is alone? Not that I know exactly where this notion comes from, but I've seen it used around Protestants before, with claims that it comes from the Reformation.

On definitions of justification, we know that we become children of God in (infant/child) baptism, and that is by faith, since we're too young to do any works. If we're talking about a continuation of this salvation, as in the rest of our lives that should keep us safe from damnation, then works are involved, yes, in the sense I described earlier: a baptized person must obey God's commandments, expecting judgment to one day actually involve the Lord's pointed question: did you feed me when I was hungry, give me drink when I was thirsty, clothe me when I was naked, visit me in jail or when I was sick? In that sense, yes, it is faith and works together, which sounds suspiciously like "faith that is not alone". This wouldn't present problems from a Lutheran, non-OSAS perspective, would it?

What they need is Reformation not Condemnation...

Amen.. I can't despise Evangelicals.. my wife is one. :-P Seriously, one thing I can say is that they do have the zeal which I pray more Catholics adopt. We have too many cafeteria types..

The Spaniards colonized us through Catholicism, the Americans doing it through Evangelicalism.

Yes.. they do seem to go opposite extremes at their worst. I'm sure that many preachers, both Spanish Catholics and American Evangelicals, were wholesomely non-extreme, but there were probably many, too, who either went too heavy on health/wealth gospel, or too heavy on mortification.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

You deserve a good answer...
First of all, how is that different from being saved by faith alone but not by the faith that is alone

The trusting faith in Christ produces works which is always is the nature of that faith.

But God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the faith that produced the works and not onto the works itself. That is the difference.

Justification -- in here we follow the Hebrew idea of this, how is a man declared or accounted or treated righteous by God?

The teaching of Scripture as we understand it is this way...

The Atonement of Christ is offered by God to the sinner through the preaching of this Gift/Promise, the sinner believes in that Atonement or trusts on it solely as basis for acceptance by God, God imputes to this faith righteousness, i.e. God justifies the sinner through his faith in the Son.

This faith produces works, but God does not impute anything on these works, he reckons not the work produced but the source of it, which was faith in Christ's work as righteousness.

See Romans 4 for your study.


LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: The trusting faith in Christ produces works

No objections there, but would you qualify this as saying that one must be docile to the Holy Spirit in order to produce works, as against one whose will rejects the work of the Holy Spirit?

It just doesn't sound congruent with your creed (what I know of it) that "faith that is not alone", in referring to faith producing fruit, necessarily implies that we have no will to resist these fruits, i.e., we are automatons.

But God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the faith that produced the works and not onto the works itself.

In what way, then, are we co-workers of Christ? More importantly, in what way is the work of His co-workers worth anything? If good works, united with Christ's redemption, are to be efficacious in any way, how can they be anything but fueled by Christ's holiness? How can it be said that work is holy? How can any work be "good work"?

Justification -- in here we follow the Hebrew idea of this, how is a man declared or accounted or treated righteous by God?

Actually this is where I understand justification differently. I know there's a legalistic sense of justification as mere declaration, but I think we can get past that by pointing out that what God declares is never declared in vain. When he said "let there be light!", behold, there was light. When I was baptized, besides simply being declared a child of God, I actually became one, which does mean that the very life of Christ, his holiness, is given to me -- sanctifying grace. But since the declaration was upon me, my being, then it includes, not only my soul, not only my faith, but a holiness that extends to my very body, which is the only way that my body can be considered a temple of the Holy Spirit. Since my entire being -- body and soul -- partakes of Christ's righteousness, then my works become good works, and this humble being is a co-worker.

Of course, good as these works are, they do not expiate. The eternal punishment I deserver for my sins -- original or actual mortal -- can only be paid for eternally by one who is eternal, Jesus Christ. But apart from atonement/expiation, my good works are efficacious -- they can produce fruits, e.g., hearers might listen and pray when I preach; a brother or sister might realize their errors if I correct them. But again, these good works are not my works alone. The "good" in them comes only from Christ's holiness which I partake of by grace alone. The works, on the other hand, operate over my will and my body.

I think that the sense of urgency in spelling this out clearly comes from the real danger of pride, in terms of to whom the glory and gratitude are due. That is clear enough: they are due to God alone, for all holiness comes from him, faith comes from him, too, and even my body comes from him in both its creation and its rebirth in Christ at baptism.

But there's a danger in allowing the nuances of the theology to extremes. For example, the notion that men are automatons whose wills are crushed into submission. Or a horribly unreasonable disconnection between a man's actions and a man's will, a man's works and a man's faith, as if they were unrelated.

BTW I hope you are aware that I am not well-versed with Protestant theology. I simply trust you (Lito) when you say that I seem to believe as an Evangelical does, even if I remain a Catholic outwardly. I take that to mean that I don't scandalize you too much. :-P But I am Catholic, make no mistake, and as faithfully Catholic as I can be, at least in so far as is allowed by my continuing struggle with my sinful nature.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

No objections there, but would you qualify this as saying that one must be docile to the Holy Spirit in order to produce works, as against one whose will rejects the work of the Holy Spirit?


The person who in faith looks at the work of Christ is proded/motivated out of gratitude and is inspired by God's showing of mercy to him to be merciful to his neighbor i.e towards others.

Because the believer remains sinner/saint he does and often do fail to follow through the prompting of the HS. Hence, we are not to grieve him.

In what way, then, are we co-workers of Christ?

In this way that through faith in the goodness of God located for us in Christ we become the hands and feet of Christ towards our neighbor.

We do not cooperate with God to save us, God has provided Atonement to for us already. We trust in this atonement and are saved, i.e. Christ's righteousness is transfered to us, we are clothed by Christ's righteousness which is perfect. The deeds needed and required by God from us has been done already by Christ. Our neighbor now needs it. Our problem in the face of God has been fixed by the atoning death of Christ.

Freely you have received, Jesus said, freely you give.


Good works produced as a reaction to Christ's good works is the work of the HS through us. It is the fruit of faith. But we do not look (at least the Lutheran Prot should not) at the good works produced by the HS to merit us favors with God, when it is used that way, it is no longer good work because it is not produced from a pure heart.

This work which comes from faith is spontaneous. It is done because it is RIGHT and JUST to do and not because there is merit that can be used in front of God.

JEsus said, when we have done these we are to say "we are unprofitable servants, we only did what we were told to do".

More importantly, in what way is the work of His co-workers worth anything?

There is worth not to the doer but the receipient of the good work itself.

Like Jesus, this work comes not to be served but to serve and be a ransom for many.

Yep, Jeff, I am never offended by you. It will be hard nowadays for people to offend me, very likely it is me who is offensive.

I got banned by one Lutheran blogger, if you believe it!

Yes, Jeff, you are a RC by your self identification, but some times when you answer, you have a tint of Evangelicalism in you.

No worries, if you wish to be loyal to Mother Church, that is your conviction. Our choice is our destiny. I can accept that.


LPC

Past Elder said...

Here in the US, I think the same phenomenon you see in "evangelical" missionary activity in the Pacific also applies. Whether known as the Prosperity Gospel, Victorious Living, or whatever, it plays well to the poor here too, but also to those whose lives already contain prosperity and victory as the world understands it. Some here call it "suburban" Christianity -- based on giving divine ratification to the values of suburban living to both those who have it and those who wannabe.

There's something to me rather symbolic of this -- rings. You both know the classic thing about episcopal rings as a sign of both authority and corrupt affluence. It seems to me that most of the "evangelical" preachers I see also sport expensive rings. That to me symbolises the whole thing, which also participates in what Lito described as Catholicism and Calvinism/Reformed (the basis of non Lutheran Protestantism) stretch to the same thing -- the one simply substitutes another system of works as "proof" of justification for the sacramental system of the RC church.

I think Jeff's comment about the word justification or the concept never clearly coming up is dead on. One of my favourite passages from Luther is when he said what should be the most obvious thing about the church had become the most obscure. Which is to say, it isn't absent, it's in there someplace, but not in the place it should be. I like to put it this way: in the BOC, I found stated cleanly and clearly what the RCC had stammered and stuttered, and since Vatican II, gagged and puked, to say.

This was really clear to me also in the RC funerals of my parents. In the liturgy (haven't forgotten about that). Look at the difference in what is said after the confession of sin in the Mass and in the Divine Service. In the one, "may" almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to life everlasting. May? What may? That is what he HAS done! What should have been the most obvious thing is the most obscure, in there someplace but clouded over. Right when the penitent should hear that, it comes as a "may". In our Common Service, the minister says: Upon this your confession, I, by wirtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Which is why we have a passion for the liturgy. It's where you hear stuff like this in correct liturgy based on JBFA, and where you don't in deficient liturgy.

And it's also why, though I found Vatican II Catholicism to be non-Catholic years before I was Lutheran, I didn't understand until I encountered confessional Lutheransim, Lutheranism based on the Confessions of the BOC, that Catholicism pre Vatican II had also become non-catholic, and catholic and orthodox, as distinct from Catholic and Orthodox, is what it was all about.

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

Aint that the truth.

I keep on saying, we look the same and even sound the same, but our ears are trained differently. The words do not mean the same when heard by a Concordian in the Liturgy.

If your point is that we do not even sound the same with the RC Liturgy, then bro, you got no arguments from me.

I hope we can continue discussion with Jeff on this one.

In the BoC -- it is no longer "may", it is "yes" and "amen" as Paul said.

LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: through faith in the goodness of God located for us in Christ we become the hands and feet of Christ towards our neighbor.

Amen.

There is worth [in our being co-workers] not to the doer but the receipient of the good work itself.

Amen.

We do not cooperate with God to save us

Amen. But I think it is reasonable to say that we cooperate with God as he sanctifies us, e.g., in welcoming his discipline. At the same time -- and I don't know how to express this in terms of perseverance -- this obedience, while not saving us, keeps us saved. Does that make sense?

But we do not look .. at the good works produced by the HS to merit us favors with God, when it is used that way, it is no longer good work because it is not produced from a pure heart.

Amen, too. Remember Simon the magician and paying for "power"! Christ as a genie.. but that's sadly like the prosperity gospel.

Still, I can only lament the misunderstanding. I cannot judge because I can be just as tempted in the same way.

I got banned by one Lutheran blogger, if you believe it!

If I ever get banned by a Catholic blogger, I'll be sure to tell you about it. So far I've only ever been banned by a Calvinist who proudly calls himself a fundamentalist.

you have a tint of Evangelicalism in you

I take that as a compliment, and I'm thankful to God that he has brought me up this way. (And I do hope to infect other Catholics with what I love about Evangelicals/Protestants, particularly the zeal and love of Scriptures.)

Past Elder said: Which is to say, it isn't absent, it's in there someplace, but not in the place it should be.

That may indeed be true, but despite the frustrations that may come with it, I won't be giving up on the Catholic Church anytime soon. But I wouldn't think of it as a loyalty to boast about. The thing is, any frustrations I have experienced were mostly with Catholics, including clergy and teachers, not the Catholic faith itself. But it may be that it hasn't hit me in a serious way just yet. I pray that the Lord grant me the grace to go in the way he wants me to go, and in no other way.

RCC had stammered and stuttered, and since Vatican II, gagged and puked, to say

That does sound like Catholics (the stammering), and like Vatican Council II (the gagging), but I don't think it is universal (pardon the pun) across the Church. But as I have not quite studied the entire breadth and depth of Catholicism, I cannot describe how this may be. I can only tell of what I've seen in my life so far.

In the one, "may" almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to life everlasting. May?

It may (pardon the pun) be a form that harkens to Jewish prayer, as in "May the Lord bless you and keep you". But even epistles like Hebrews, Ephesians and other such use "may" in several ways, though not in speaking of initial justification, as in that of Baptism. On the other hand, as I interpret the epistles, there is to be no presumption about our end because we do not believe that once-saved-always-saved, which could make it reasonable to pray in hope, rather than certitude. We are certain of articles of faith, but in how those articles apply to us specifically, we have hope. It is a hope that we can hold on to with confidence, but it remains (to us) something that we must be careful of, lest we fall into presumption and pride. I guess there is a fine line.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

You are no longer sounding like an normal RC that I know. In fact you are again affirming my contention that you are re-interpreting your understanding of RCC evangelically.

Yet, no matter, this may lead to a full understanding so I do not frown on that.

this obedience, while not saving us, keeps us saved

I do not like that way of putting it because you will be affirming faith starts you off in the road to salvation but it is works that keep you in it.

No, it is not our works that keep us saved. It is the Gospel continually heard and used to believe/trust in it that God uses to keep us in the faith.
Of course sin corrupts our faith that is why we continually (from the Lutheran view) to hear Law/Gospel till we die.

I say no to this because if it is true that your obedience keeps you saved, then you are again saved by your fulfillment of the Law. But at any rate we are not that obedient anyway even after inception of faith.

May be some Calvinist may agree with you on that, but I won't because we are saved beginning to the end by faith alone in the finishe work of Christ alone.

LPC

William Weedon said...

Most odd idea about SSP - a society which is committed, absolutely committed to a quia subscription to the BOC - a book of Symbols which hammers home the chief article as no other book ever had before and has since. The SSP - I speak as a member - has ZERO interest in "going home to mama Rome" but every interest in "mama Rome" repenting from being a lady of the night and coming home to true catholicity and orthodoxy. And that repentance will happen precisely where the chief article is recognized again for that: not one truth among other truths, but THE truth which unites all truths into one, with Christ Jesus and His salvation at the heart, core and center. FWIW.

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: I do not like that way of putting it because you will be affirming faith starts you off in the road to salvation but it is works that keep you in it.

Only in a negative way, as in good works (as against sinful works) will keep us away from sin. And mortal sin, of course, spurns the grace of God, thus rejecting him.

No, it is not our works that keep us saved.

Well if we're talking about who keeps us saved, then it is God, since salvation, from start to finish, is by his grace alone. But in talking about what things will have an impact on our salvation, then our cooperation is one of those. Not as a cause, but as a requirement of God, i.e., he requires our obedience.

It is the Gospel continually heard and used to believe/trust in it that God uses to keep us in the faith.

So, yes, the who is God, since the Gospel is God calling us to him.

Of course sin corrupts our faith that is why we continually (from the Lutheran view) to hear Law/Gospel till we die.

Amen to that.

I suppose it has to do with how we see faith. Faith without (good) works is dead, says St. James, so works are in there someplace as the "flesh" of our faith. If we refuse to give our works over to the will of God in obedience, then we most certainly wreck our faith and imperil our salvation. This refusal to obey is the opposite of cooperation with grace. Therefore, cooperation with grace, which is by obedience in our whole being (body included), does impact our salvation. It is not the cause of it, but it is a requirement. More precisely, it is God's requirement. But as to who saves, or keeps us saved, it is always God.

It is a very daunting thing to think that God did not think to make us automatons who could never dare refuse him. It is, however, comforting, that he makes us his children, and he draws close in the Spirit and calls us constantly, so that we are in a constant state of repair as he sanctifies us. We truly have nothing to boast of, and we truly have no rational to refuse him. It is not only that he has created us once, but that he is in a constant state of recreating us in Christ. Amazing!

But at any rate we are not that obedient anyway even after inception of faith.

Yeah.. oh unhappy fallen nature.. but oh blessed grace!

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,

I accept the comment with respect.

You know, most friends that I have that gave me a lot of truth are those that I did not share 100% agreement with. This means that they love me in truth than my feelings.

I am not so sure of the role of movements like ministeriums (and with the aims listed in SSP as I read them) as to how it can do better than what synods and federations are already doing in discussing issues with Roman Magisterium.

I guess there will always be movements within synods, for after all the church that is reformed continues to reform.

However, in my mind, this reformation is always going back to the Gospel because our tendency is to move away from it all the time.

1 Cor 11: 19for(A) there must be factions among you in order(B) that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

My experience moving around Christians of all sorts is that many people think that they got JBFA already in the bag, but upon closer scrutiny I don't think they do. So I decided I should stay with only one movement - the JBFA movement.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

But in talking about what things will have an impact on our salvation, then our cooperation is one of those. Not as a cause, but as a requirement of God, i.e., he requires our obedience

There is the deceitfulness of sin, but again, our problem is not good works, our problem is faith in the promises of God.

We sin because we do not believe that God will take care of us though repeatedly told of his promises.

See how Abraham failed, you will see it had something to do with faith.

If we are both sinner and saint at the same time then our justification has nothing to do with our obedience.

Here Jeff, you will need to distinguish though not separate between justification from sanctification.

Your language is that way because (and I just suspect this) you are mixing justification with sanctification.

Try not to insert the subject of good works first and foremost in the discussion, first what does Scripture mean by being justified as stated say in Rom 3,4,5? I think that is the question that must first be answered.

What keeps us in the faith is the Word and Sacraments. Technically our works do not keep us in the faith. Why? Because they are a fruit of the faith.

So the tree has to be made good first before good fruits may come. The tree is good when there is faith and faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, nothing inserted. This faith does not come without means, this faith that trusts in Jesus' Work Alone as payment for sins is created by the HS as the Gospel is being preached. Because we do not know when and where the HS may ignite that faith we are to be faithful to share and teach the Gospel.


LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: What keeps us in the faith is the Word and Sacraments.

Interesting.. You mix in Sacraments there (and I would agree) and I understand that to imply not our works but only God's work entirely. Just thought I'd point that out so you know what I understand there.

Technically our works do not keep us in the faith. Why? Because they are a fruit of the faith.

That would be correct, but as you yourself point out, that is speaking technically, or providing nuance.

When speaking about our actions, the term "works" is semantically closer. Although Catholics will not object when it is said that works are, indeed, fruit of our faith.

I think speaking thus in nuances is crucial only because we fear that which St. Paul warns of, that when one thinks too much about one's good works, there is the temptation to boast of it. But there is no falsehood in referring to works here, in stating that good works are the implementation of faith, by our bodies -- IF one understands these works to be fruit of our faith, fruit of the Holy Spirit working in us. If we approach this in humility, then speaking of works should properly be speaking of God's masterpiece. Which is why we can rejoice in the good works of saints (past and present), as the epistles do, as St. John does in his Apocalypse. Their saintly work, being impersonal, since they are outside of us, will not lead us to pride in ourselves, understanding as we should that they are masterpiece of the Holy Spirit's sanctification. When we marvel at the artwork of the Master, he will not take offense, provided that we know that the Master is the artist, and provided that we do not idolize the artwork over the Master himself.

It would also do, in the non-self-conscious mode of many saints (like St. Therese of Liseux), to marvel about our works in the same way: not ours, but masterpieces of the Holy Spirit's sanctification in our redeemed bodies. But the fear of calling works "works" should not obscure the fact that they are, indeed works, as long as we know whereof they have become artwork: by the hands of the Master of the interior life, without whom these works are not good.

Does that make sense?

But it would not to do remove our cooperation in the equation, to marvel in God's graciousness in making us his children, not robots, but never as a reason to boast of ourselves.

As for Romans.. I shall read that up again.. I don't think I shall end up crying "faith alone" as a result, since I think the formula "faith alone, but not the faith that is alone" makes that unnecessary, as does the epistle of St. James when he talks about "not by faith alone". Knowing that faith and works are not be divorced is enough for me, I think.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

The issue of good works is how it is used by the one doing them towards God or ourselves.

Classic Prots (aka Lutherans), do not use (or should not) good works to comfort themselves, they use Jesus as their mediator in front of God. They use his work in front of God for themselves.

Unfortunately 80% of Lutherans surveyed in USA are functioning RCs, so please take my word with a grain of salt.

As for the Australian case, the truth is probably the same, I would not be surprized if more 50% believe that they are saved by their spirituality.

Lastly St James is speaking about a faith that is equal to the faith of demons, they belive too that God exists.

Believing that God exists will not save you neither believing he is generally good. If faith does not take hold of Jesus and His Cross, faith misses the boat, this is not the faith that Paul speaks about.

I believe this is also the faith that James criticizes.



LPC

Past Elder said...

If one wants to stay with the JBFA movement, so to speak, I think while there are many other ways to do it there is none better than joining the SSP.

I think pastor pointed out well what "coming home" is all about. And I've mentioned before I would join myself except I can't in all honesty commit about the Divine Office.

Here's a danger that besets Lutherans -- we are so clear on our works not justifying, and therefore so afraid that we'll think our works to be justifying since that is how the old Adam in us wants to think, that we freak right out about works at all.

I remember my dad, who was a physician, used to say don't believe the TV doctors, the fact is you can fix somebody up and send them home, and you know they're going back to marriages, families, jobs, and all the rest of life that's driving them nuts, and you wonder if you did them much of a favour.

Church can do the same thing -- for an hour they hear that their sins are paid for by the free grace of God, then they slug it out without a word from us about the next 167 hours until it's church again. And we wonder why they turn up at or tune in to Osteen, Warren, Rome, Constantinople, Reformed based churches or anyone else who seems to give a plan for living, help with works. What's worse, we had it the whole time in the three uses of the Law and the Lutheran liturgy right along with the Good News served to us in Word and Sacrament!

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

Huh? The greatest thing since sliced bread?

Believing the Gospel ain't enough , one must join the SSP too?

I see these equations with justification happening all around. The Gospel stands as its own category. It refuses to be equated with anything.

The truth is out there, you can only stand with it, that is all you can do now. You can not improve on it anymore.

then they slug it out without a word from us about the next 167 hours until it's church again. And we wonder why they turn up at or tune in to Osteen, Warren, Rome, Constantinople, Reformed based churches or anyone else who seems to give a plan for living, help with works.

That is why the Lutheran Church needs reformation too.

When JBFA sets in and gets settled, IMO, every wind of doctrine or slight of man gets harder to get in.

That is why no Church Father/Councils or Tradition of men could sway Luther.

You get confident and happy in Christ and Christ alone.

He is the only "thing" and only one greatest than slice bread.

That is my theory anyway.

LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Lito said: You can not improve on it anymore.

I don't think it's a question of improving on the Gospel. It can't be improved. But perhaps it's a question of living the Gospel. It's fair enough, I think, when people read Matthew 25:31-46 or many other parts of the Bible, where the question does arise: how do we live our faith? How do we live our lives? And it isn't unimportant. When you speak of works as fruits of the Spirit, fruits of our faith, it isnt' as if they were automatic, as if we were automatons. We're not. We're saints in the making, sure, but we have to flesh that out in our living.

Past Elder said...

Where did I say one must join the SSP, or that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, or that the Gospel ain't enough, or that justification is equal with SSP membership, or that the SSP improves on JBFA?

I said none of these things.

Augustinian Successor said...

The problem is that the fact of the matter is that JFBA doesn't get good publicity oft-times, even in supposed confessional Lutheran circles. One gets the impression that DOING, engaging in ecumenism so that Church may be one as if the Church wasn't ALREADY is more pleasing to Our Lord than gurading his doctrine. This is justification by works, not faith. Which is why SSP and others which call themselves confessional is neither confessional nor Lutheran, but accurately popesters.

NO, keeping the faith is what the Church is all about, not reunion. To say otherwise plain silly. Why do people insist on making fools of themselves??? It the Gospel, doctrine, dogma which creates the church. The church is creatura evangelii. So, if we do not guard the faith, what unity are we talking about???

In fact, church unity at the expense of truth is not good works at all, but damnable works. Which is why as good Lutherans, we shy away, nay we denounce and stay away from liturgical movement which would destroy Lutheran doctrine. You know what? Loehe and Sasse would have agreed. Yeah, you can't beat that.

Now, it's a terrible mistake to be a Newman. You don't want to play his game. I tell ya, we want to be fools for Christ's sake, the Gospel's sake, for Truth's sake, but we want to be nobody fool's for the devil's sake.

Augustinian Successor said...

"When you speak of works as fruits of the Spirit, fruits of our faith, it isnt' as if they were automatic, as if we were automatons"

No, Lutherans agree with you on that point. We are not automatons. But it is the Spirit which produces the fruits in us. We just DISPLAY the fruits for all to see. And good works is always coram Deo. Because we never say to Our Heavenly Father, Lord God Almighty, this is what I have done, and so on, but always Lord, have mercy on me for the sake of Jesus. Why? Because it is never enough, never GOOD enough. This means that the Lord is NOT going to say to us ... look here, you have tried hard enough, get in line over there ... No, He is going to say well done good and faithful servants. Who are these servants? Those who do the will of God? What is the will of God? That we may believe on the Gospel. And believing we may have eternal life. And what do believing (faithful) servants DO? They bear witness to the truth. They guard the doctrine of Christ. They do this because they love the truth.

In this way, God does not look at us as people who try to cooperate with grace, but as people who are already saints BOUND to do good works! Good tree produces good fruits; NOT good works make a good man. The former is Christocentric and biblical, the latter is ad modum Aristotle, i.e. PAGAN.

In other words, we are faithful BECAUSE we are justified in Him, not we are justified because we are faithful! This makes all the difference in the world, and in the world to come. This is the Gospel, the reason why God came into this world, to be made flesh.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

Ditto to what A.S. said.

I read Mt 25 again. Note the righteous do not know that they have done those works towards Jesus. The sheep are righteous already. Righteous ones produce righteous deeds.

In otherwords, they did it for righteous sake. This is like what Jesus said to John the Baptist, he subjected himself to John's baptism because it was right even though it was Jesus who ought to baptize John.

But this is my point, we have not bedded down what justification is and yet here we are scurrying right away to determine good works.

Justified people do good works without regard to rewards that might ensue from the said works. They are more worried if they have faith spoken by Scripture rather than if their works are good enough.

First make the tree good then it will produce good fruit.

LPC

Jeff Tan said...

Augustinian Successor said: It the Gospel, doctrine, dogma which creates the church.

But note what we say in our creed: we believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church (not faith). And what our Lord declared in Caesarea Phillipi was that he was building his Church, not his faith or religion. St. John also sees, in his Apocalypse, a vision of the marriage feast of the Lamb with the Church.

I think that, in an urgent need to reject the Catholic Church in communion with Rome, Protestants are unnecessarily weakening their ecclesiology. Salvation history seems to be very comfortable with considering salvation in terms of a people, a kingdom, a family, a body: the Church. And here I'm not talking about Church hierarchy. Just Church, the household of faith.

We just DISPLAY the fruits for all to see.

It goes beyond mere display, however. It isn't just an exhibit, because we are co-workers, and thus, the work is more significant than being exhibited.

Because it is never enough, never GOOD enough

I know what you mean, but it seems to belittle the body of Christ, for some reason. Remember that we speak of the Body as already redeemed in his blood and sanctified. Somehow, as Christ treats the Church as his very own body, it doesn't sound right to make so little of it. Not that it is to be made higher than the head (obviously not), but we do our Lord a disservice in denigrating his very body, whom he purchased at a great price, whom he continues to sanctify through the ages so that, in the end, this Bride will be without blemish.

Lito said: The sheep are righteous already. Righteous ones produce righteous deeds.

Actually, Amen to all you said before, too, but I wanted to point out that some Calvinists will balk at what you have said, because no one is righteous; we are only declared righteous. Of course my response to that is that what God declares, he does.

Frankly, I haven't seen anything oppositional to what I posted prior and your responses. Unless I'm missing something. In any case, my thanks for your patience.

Augustinian Successor said...

The Church is the creature of the Gospel. No Gospel, no Church. No Word of God, no Church. The Church is ekklesia, not the Roman Catholic Church. Ekklesia means called out ones.

The Gospel, the Word of God call out the people of God - the Church - into being, into existence, into subsistence.

Without the Word of God, there would not be Tradition to speak of in the first place. The Word of God proclaims and is proclaimed, and thus in the proclamation, creates the Church.

Tradition is first and foremost the continuation of the proclamation by the Church. This is the true meaning of Tradition qua ORAL Tradition, i.e. faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. So, the Word of God interprets us and in so interpreting us, creates us so that we in turn can bring and proclaim the Word to others.

So, two things are in order in the Protestant system:

1. The Church is the creation of the Word;

2. It is the Word that interprets the Church, not vice-versa. And by extension, Tradition rightly understood is the passing on of the same charism NOT of apostolic succession in terms of laying on of hands for sacerdotal ordination BUT of the charism of the proclamation of the Gospel, which proclamation is grounded and self-attested to by the self-same Word.

Augustinian Successor said...

"It goes beyond mere display, however. It isn't just an exhibit, because we are co-workers, and thus, the work is more significant than being exhibited."

We are not exactly co-workers, but SUB-workers with God. If we are co-workers, then we do not need the Sacraments, we do not need the institutional (or in your case hierarchical) church, we do not need the ministerial (or in your case, sacerdotal) priesthood ... in other words, we do not need instrumental means to mediate the activities of God to the Church. In other words, we do not cooperate with God, but God uses us. God is the cause, and we are the effect. We are never CO-cause with God. We work with God, yes, but as sub-workers, instruments of His choice and design.

Augustinian Successor said...

If I may add, the Word of God pre-exists the Church. The Logos was with God and the Logos was God. The Word which we now have were spoken to the patriarchs, prophets, etc. long before the New Testament or the Church Catholic came into existence.

And if the Church is to be Catholic, she cannot have an earthly head claiming to represent Christ in person. Only Christ is the Catholic Head of the Church, because He is the Catholic Saviour.

Question: Did any pope die or claim to die or claim the equivalent authority or power as Christ did, as Saviour??? No. The Church refers by design to Christ's salvific role, because of His death and resurrection, the Church comes into being through the Word and Sacraments.

Ergo, only Christ can be the Catholic Head and no one else, unless the Church be some kind earthly organisation. But no, she is of divine origin, therefore her head must logically be of divine origin.

Augustinian Successor said...

"I think one day 'confessional Lutheran' will mean -- 'I am on my way to the Vatican or Constantinople'."

I cannot agree more with you, Big Bro.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

I could not add any thing better than what A.S. said, he said it with much precision.

because no one is righteous; we are only declared righteous. Of course my response to that is that what God declares, he does.

The declaration or the reckoning of God must comes first, first God says let there be light and then the light comes.

This declaration happens when the sinner is brought to faith in the Saviour's work on behalf of the sinner. This declaration does not happen after one cooks the idea that he has attained righteousness as if God is being made to be impressed.

This is what justification means, God treats us as righteous on account of the faith that hangs on to the finished work of Christ.

The teaching of Scripture is that God will never treat anyone as righteous on account of their performing the Law.

The treating of righteous is a gift, it is a promise.

There is category mistake to equate the body of Christ to Christ himself. Even the marriage analogy bears the distinction of wife from husband, the two are not the same ontologically. This is the constant blunder I see always in Catholic/Orthodox manner of speaking, a reductionism that is fatal or wishful.

There is only one Messiah, and it is not the Church. The Church points to the Messiah.

The bill board sign that says "This is Melbourne" does not mean Melbourne is the bill board itself, rather the sign says this area around here is Melbourne.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

A.S.

Sometimes I think that way bro. The voices are no longer that clear and distinct.

It is falling over to the otherside of the horse (of Evangelicalism)

LPC

Past Elder said...

Hey Jeff, tell me if you agree with this. One thing I have heard many post-conciliar Catholics say is that had the Church done centuries ago what it did at Vatican II there would not have been a Reformation. IOW, what was done at Vatican II was long overdue, and the Reformation is one of several consequences of the Church having taken way too long to get to it then having gotten detoured with the "circle the wagons" (I'm sure there's enough US Westerns on Aussie TV and cinemas to allow the use of this Americanism!) mentality of Trent.

I expect you do agree with this, at least in some form or to some extent, and I think it is related to why you see nothing oppositional to what you have posted.

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Big Bro.,

It amazes me again and again that self-styled Lutheran ministers like those of the SSP are so enthralled by the theology of glory of Rome, which explains their ecumenical bent and proclivities ... which explains their supposed devotion to the 'Liturgy' over and above JFBA.

The theology of the cross is held in contempt by these lot, despite being preached, taught, written, etc. by the self-same geeks. Yes, they hold it in contempt, because the theology of glory says that the end justifies the means. The theology of the cross says that the opposite of the theology of glory. It is the very ANTITHESIS of the theology of glory.

But Our Lord is going to say to them, I NEVER KNEW YOU, DEPART FROM ME, YE WICKED-DOERS!

It is not in the DOING, 'sacrifices' that Our Lord desire but OBEDIENCE. Obedience is guarding His doctrine for in His words is life.

L P Cruz said...

A.S.

Bro, I just went and read a post of another 'confessing' one. The post dismayed me with so many mention of Father this and Father that... the guys is LC-MS.

Looks like the laity is now being conditioned to this title.

Conditioning is necessary as we know. It makes the transition less shocking and easier to swallow.

I spoke about this to couple of pastors here. All of them gave the same reaction - they gave me a cynical smile with a choke.

That kind of thing will probably get some resistance here primarily because the culture here sees the clergy as a symbol of oppression. Besides, we are too low down Protestant here.

LPC

William Weedon said...

My friends,

Slander is slander. And that's what you are committing against the fine men of the SSP. I suppose you think that when you sniff whatever you think is Romanism, you have the right to violate the 8th commandment - for that is exactly what you both are doing here. It grieves me. The word "father"? Goodness sakes! Talk about an adiaphoron! Any one who truly believed in JBFA wouldn't bat at an eye over something like that when they knew that they were dealing with men who were 100% committed to the confession of the Book of Concord. I ask you earnestly to repent of the slander.

Jeff Tan said...

Not that I want to stick my nose into Lutheran business, but I want to share an observation, not just concerning this thread but also from other things I've noticed:

In Protestant circles, there sometimes arises a historical and oft-times experiential animus towards anything that resembles Roman Catholicism. The occasion has lessened of late, but it still remain. It also gets fanned hotter with Protestants who become newly acquainted or perhaps re-acquainted with the history of the Reformation and the writings of Reformers.

I'm a Roman Catholic, so take what I have to say with a lot of prayer: this attitude I described above is unhealthy. Rather than focusing so much suspicion, contempt and hostility in one's position against Roman Catholicism, why not focus on a prayerful consideration of one's position towards faithful Christianity?

For example, referring to ministers as "Father" is not a Roman invention. It does go back to patriarchal traditions, e.g., Father Abraham, Eliakim as a father to the house of Judah. It's patriarchal, not Roman. Likewise, attention to liturgy. I do know that mega-church liturgy with contemporary "worship" strikes discordant with (from what I've read here and there) many Protestants, who find it focusing on the Christians rather than on Christ. The solemn liturgy that is in faithfully celebrated Mass (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, etc) is often noticed as being very Jewish, and that is because it does take as a pattern the ancient worship of the Jews in the temple, except that Christ is the everlasting Lamb and his sacrifice is the once but everlasting sacrifice. So again, it isn't that liturgical movements are necessarily becoming Roman, but that they are perhaps being moved closer to ancient Christian liturgy.

Okay, I've said my piece. I still owe a few answers to AS, PE and Lito, but I'm swamped with work and I need to mull things over. I just wanted to share that bit. Even without being an insider, I wince at the idea of bitter disagreements. We Catholics are no stranger to those, but we need to all step back from the heat once in a while and think things through.

Pax Christi.

Augustinian Successor said...

To say that the SSP is in violation of their ordination vows is NO slander. It is therefore the SSP who ought to be repenting! Repenting for seeking reunion with Rome without JFBA as the sine qua non. Repenting for betraying the Preus legacy of the LCMS. Repenting for misleading lay folks into thinking that there is more to the catholicity of confessional Lutheranism. Repenting for ignoring the warnings of Walther, even Loehe, Pieper, Sasse, Preus, etc. over preferring the Liturgy over JFBA and a host of other things.

Now, the time has come NOT for a catholic renewal of Lutheranism, but for the return of the theology of the cross to its proper place, life and witness in Lutheranism. The Church is to be interpreted in light of the Cross, not the Liturgy or some other distractions. The glory of the Church lies not in her resplendent liturgy or what not, but in her Proclamation of Word and Sacrament. Therein lies her power.

Augustinian Successor said...

Betraying the Preus legacy IS the very betrayal of the LCMS herself.

William Weedon said...

AS,

You seem to mistake a desire for Christian reunion with a capitulation of truth for error. I don't know how to say this any more plainly than this: the members of SSP subscribe to the Lutheran Symbols BECAUSE they agree with the Word of God. Consequently, we confess that the office of the papacy is the antichrist, which takes its seat in the Temple of God. We do not seek "reunion" with Rome via the route of capitulating to papal pretensions, but via the route of speaking to Rome about the need to repent of this. Where on earth you get your notions from is utterly beyond me. Yes, you are slandering the whole society. Again, I call you to repent of the slander. You are NOT putting the best construction on your brothers, but the very worst possible. And in doing so you do the work of the Accuser himself. Turn from it, my friend. It is death to your soul.

Augustinian Successor said...

No, seeking reunion with Rome as what the SSP does is death to your osul and theirs. You must, the SSP must confess that the papacy, the pope is the Antichrist in the SSP's declarations, official pronouncements, constitution, etc. No use telling me alone in here, you have to get out, out there and tell Rome straight in the face, you belong to the Antichrist, repent and return to the true Church, true Faith, true Doctrine, etc.

THAT's what the SSP and you should be doing. And then only I will retract, but as long you and the SSP remain in the status quo, I say to you and the SSP, REPENT AND STOP PLAYING THE GAME OF ETERNAL DESTRUCTION. God is not mocked by your actions, the end does not justify the means, God is not glorified in callous actions, but only ever through the Theology of the Cross.

Remember, Rome will never repent acording to the Word of God. She can only be destroyed. If you and the SSP insist in going through that path, I say to you and the SSP again, REPENT, AND RETURN TO THE OLD WAYS. DO NOT SAY, I WILL NOT RETURN AND WILL NOT HAVE THE OLD WAYS.

FOR BROAD IS THE ROAD TO DESTRUCTION, BUT NARROW IS THE PATH THAT LEADS TO ETERNAL FOR ONLY A FEW SHALL FIND IT ...

Augustinian Successor said...

I said it, and I'll say it again, trying to do a Newman is no light matter. God is not amused, God's people are not amused. Luther would not be amused.

The problem with the SSP is that it thinks it can seek reunion with Rome through dialogue. I have got news for you Weedon, you can't ... not now, not ever ...

Rome is the seat of Antichrist. What do you with the Antichrist? What does the Word of God say? It says we are to separate from the Antichrist. So separation is not bad thing, in fact is a most necessary thing! Now, do we then turn around and start pining for a forlorn wish, hope that there will be reunion. Heck no! We pray that for the hastening of Our Lord's return! Come, Lord Jesus yea come quickly and when He returns, He shall destroy the Harlot Church.

So, what reunion are we talking about? It is the constant, unwavering, iniviolate duty of the Church to call upon the Roman Church unto repentance at all times and in all places. This does not mean we are obsessed with Rome nor are we blind to whatever vestiges of the apostolic and catholic Faith in her midst. But we always behold the Church of Rome as the Church of Antichrist. As such we wish no reunion with her. If only reformation was possible, but it's not possible. Reformation at the diocesan level, perhaps, why not ... but then that diocese would cease to be Roman Catholic. The 'kernel' remains intact. That's the whole point.

To ignore this is either being purposely so or completely naive to the whole situation ... perhaps a bit of both, which is tragic situation for these clergymen in the LCMS. Pathetic lot, indeed.

Open your eyes and see that you have departed from the Preus Legacy which is the LCMS!

William Weedon said...

Dear AS,

Unless I am grossly mistaken, under the Preus legacy, the Missouri Synod dialoged with Rome. She did so in the spirit of the AC, and without the least desire to compromise on the faith. To dialog does not mean invariably to capitulate. It means to communicate.

But I must ask, are YOU a Lutheran? Do YOU subscribe the Book of Concord without reservation? If not, what business of yours is SSP or our Synod?

FWIW, Klem Preus and I had a marvelous time at our District Pastoral Conference, and I think we agreed on darned near everything we talked about. Go figure.

Augustinian Successor said...

Of course, the LCMS dialogued with Rome. But the LCMS NEVER advocated REUNION with Rome. That's the whole point. The late venerable Robert Preus repudiated Rome, and disavowed the ecumenical movement. That's the whole point.

The thing is this, we are not to be ecumenical ... glossing over differences, making reunion the top priority of the millennium ... we are to continue to dialogue with Rome, not in the spirit of ecumenism but mutual understanding as I have said it all along, so that for example, we do not misrepresent Rome. I said it here ...

If you read my blog, which is not much, you will find that I do not baulk at much of Roman distinctives, I do not misrepresent Roman dogma, in fact I am unabashed in my sympathies with some Roman distinctives! Yet for all my catholicity/ism, I explicitly and unreservedly denounce the Pope as the Antichrist! I make no bones, I have no qualms in rejecting the Pope as the very Antichrist, He is who so-called head of the so-called Catholic Church, which we all came out and still retain some semblance of continuity!

No, the SSP has got it all wrong. She must repent of her wicked ways. She must eject, expurgate, etc. any declaration, statement, proposition expressing, claiming, supporting or tending to support any notion of reunion whatsoever.

At the end of the day, the watchword of Lutherans is NO REUNION WITH ROME! This is what authentic western catholics adhering to the Lutheran Confessions confess.

Augustinian Successor said...

And Chris Jones is a moron!

William Weedon said...

I think this dialog is at an end. But do take to heart also the Lord's words about calling your brother a fool - something Christopher Jones (who has NO relationship to SSP) certainly is not. This is my last post.

Augustinian Successor said...

Weedon, Chris Jones called Adam Roe a moron for what? For speaking the truth about EO?! Talk about double standards ... and Bro. Adam is doing a fine job on conversions to Lutheranism with his blog and website, is it not? And yeah, Chris Jones makes lots of moronic statements from time to time.

Augustinian Successor said...

I just got back from Weedon's blog ... and I HEREBY UNRESERVEDLY, WITHOUT QUALIFICATION OR RESERVE RETRACT, WITHDRAW, AND REPENT OF MY UNDESERVED, WHOLLY INACCURATE AND BASELESS ALLEGATION AGAINST CHRIS JONE IN RELATION TO HIS ALLEGED INSULT TO ADAM ROE, AS WAS THOUGHT BY ME. MY UNFOUNDED ALLEGATION WAS CONSEQUENT UPON A MIS-READING OF THE RELEVANT CHRIS JONES' POST.

But that Chris Jones makes lots of moronic statements from time to time still stands, such as the EO believes in JFBA.

L P Cruz said...

Pr. Will,

I wrote before that there are a few things I disagree with.

re: The 'father' title business. I consider this to be an offensive practice. BTW I have not named these people into this by name, so I am wondering who specifically I have slandered.

This is offensive because Jesus in Mt 23:8 said this...
8(P) But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are(Q) all brothers.[c] 9(R) And call no man your father on earth, for(S) you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor,(T) the Christ. 11(U) The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12(V) Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

The pastor who allows himself this title without correction is causing people to come under this as Law, i.e. this is the Law coming down on people who are into this thing. "father" specifically in the context of teacher of the faith is what this is speaking of.

So this is not adiaphora. BTW, no one needs to repent of adiaphora if indeed it is adiaphora. But things specified in the Scripture is not adiaphora when Scripture is not silent. In this case it is not silent, it speaks.

Also Paul warned Christians about people who are "in the faith", not those who are outside, hence, he warned of ministers themselves.

Acts 20:
28(AV) Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all(AW) the flock, in which(AX) the Holy Spirit has made you(AY) overseers,(AZ) to care for(BA) the church of God,[c] which he(BB) obtained(BC) with his own blood.[d] 29I(BD) know that after my departure(BE) fierce wolves will come in among you,(BF) not sparing the flock; 30and(BG) from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31Therefore(BH) be alert, remembering that(BI) for three years I did not cease night or day(BJ) to admonish everyone(BK) with tears.



This is a lesson, because Paul (BTW he is not known as "Father Paul") is saying that ministers themselves are to watch over their own doctrine because they are a target of Satan for propagation of false beliefs.

James 3:1(A) Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

If there is anyone who needs to be careful and watchful, it should be the minister.

I do care about the LC-MS. I care because it was through them that I became Lutheran. Their programm Issues Etc prodded me to really look deep into my Calvinism and Protestantism.

LPC

Past Elder said...

When I was an RC kid in the pre council days, we were taught to address the Orthodox priest across the street as "Father" because he is a real priest, and also to address the Episcopal priests in town as "Father" even though they are not real priests but as a mark of respect for their office.

It is utterly embarrassing to see those who would style themselves defenders of the Lutheran faith absent the civility even taught in the Whore of Babylon.

As a former elder in the Lutheran church, I would counsel serious consideration of Pastor's admonitions.

This will be my last post too. This discussion reminds me of my mom telling of the kids who broke into their parish as a kid to find the guns they "knew" were hidden until the signal from the Pope to rise up, or the Lutheran girl I once dated telling of her grandmother warning her not to walk near a Catholic church or the priest would run out and steal her.

As to conversions to Lutheranism, this kind of discussion need not worry about inducing any.