Tuesday, April 28, 2009

24 and argument for the Sabbath rest

UPDATE: Issues Etc has a topic for this here.
It seems I am belaboring my 24 point of view but I woke up this morning with this Scripture running around my head.


Exodus 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


The crucial verse for me is v.11.

This is an argument why the Sabbath is to be kept by the Jews. The "for" (though I have not checked this in the Hebrew version) is an argument why the Sabbath is to be kept, because God created the whole world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. So, it says, do no work on the 7th day. God is giving the rational for the Sabbath.

Now if "days" here stood for "epoch", why be stoned for working on the 7th day? You can argue, well that "day" there is not the normal usage of"day", it means a long period of time, it could mean have a rest every 1000 years, so God, why have me stoned for working on the farm?

Exodus 20:8-11 clarifies Genesis 1-3. Scripture interprets Scripture, and this passage interprets Genesis 1-3 for me.


Anyway, I have no care if physics or geology could not validate my faith. It does not bother me at all, like I said, I already believe in things that cannot be validated by chemistry etc., like the Lord's Supper so...if I am peculiar, I have no care. I am more concerned to be consistent with Scripture than being consistent with my senses.

I suggest this debunks the modern understaning of Genesis 1-3. You cannot convince me that Moses and his contemporaries interpreted "days" as "epochs".

It is important to believe Moses because Jesus said something about this.

81 comments:

Xan said...

Then what is the rationale for Sabbatical Years?

"For six years you may plant your fields, prune your vineyards, and harvest your crops, but the seventh year is a sabbath of sabbaths for the land." (Leviticus 25)

What about Jubilee years, the Sabbath of Sabbath Years, celebrated every 7th Sabbath year?

It appears that Scripture interpreting Scripture here would lead one to the conclusion that the length of the "days" of Creation is not emphasized. The pattern applies on many different scales.

L P said...

XAN,

A year is compose of days. Exo 20 is the basis of that jubilee year.

I do not deny that the sabbath pertains to faith in Christ, as our rest as Letters to the Hebrews teaches.

However, we are into exegesis here, what did it mean then?

The argument for Jubillee year is based on the 6 days.

LPC

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Amen, Kuya. It's that clear.

Then some folks would ask, but how do you *reconcile* that with science?

The presupposition being that science is *truth*. Kuya, you and I know that the basis for science is flawed. The premise is faulty, and so, the inference is also faulty. Senses can never yield universal conclusions. That is if one is consistent. Probability is never going to arrive at the truth. Fact is, probability presupposes there is truth in the first place! Else, it is senseless to even talk about probability.

There is no *need* to reconcile science with the Bible. Science has its limits -- it cannot account for the origins of life. Its explanatory power is limited. Science is only useful in relation to the present time and space.

To get back into the past and go into the future, one has to rely on the Bible. In that sense that the Bible is history, history is a better guide to the past than science ...

L P said...

A.S.

The verse I gave is the premise for observing the Sabbath, in fact this is part of the 10 commandments.

You have to do selective reading to deny that days mean no other than what it is for the contemporaries of Moses.

To me this is a powerful verse.

The logic is simple, why be stoned for violating the 7th day if day is not literal day? It does not make sense.

God was not giving the Jews any options on what he meant here.

LPC

L P said...

Oh btw, here is what Jesus said:

John 5:47
47But(BX) if you do not believe his writings[Moses'], how will you believe my words?"

So Moses meant something else? And one still wants to believe in Jesus?

LPC

Drew Lomax said...

Wasn't it the serpent who said, "did God say...."

We musn't question the word, we should do as Luther says:

"Over against all that reason suggests or would measure and fathom, yes, all that our senses feel and perceive, we must learn to cling to the Word and simply judge according to it."

Drew

William Weedon said...

Lito,

Thank you. I'd not thought of that particular line of argument before, but I find it to be rather convincing indeed. Hope your Easter joys are overflowing!

Augustinian Successor said...

"Over against all that reason suggests or would measure and fathom, yes, all that our senses feel and perceive, we must learn to cling to the Word and simply judge according to it."

Amen!

L P said...

Drew,

I am not sure if Luther said something like this - crude but brings the point - if Jesus should say that I should eat dung, I will gladly do it because Jesus knows it will be salutary and good for me.

Coarse, but the Word is over and above what my senses tells me.

LPC

L P said...

Pr. Will,

Even Jesus' resurrection was not for himself, but for you and for me.

He rose so he can be our living high priest in front of God.

I never cease to be amazed.

I am glad the verse helped.

LPC

L P said...

A.S.

I do think we are on solid ground.

24 has a coincidental side effect, the Scripture can be trusted, it can be understood.

Bultmann the heretic also believed in Jesus' resurrection - but spiritually.

He believed in the mythical nature of the Scripture story.

I believe this is what may happen when the mind is used over the Scripture.

LPC

Xan said...

Okay... If we're all for humbly believing Scripture as a strictly scientific text, then why don't we end up thinking that the sun orbits the Earth, that the earth "is established and shall never be moved", that the Earth is set on "foundations" and "pillars", on top of "bases" and "cornerstones", that the Earth is flat such that if you go high enough you can see everything, that it is a circle, that it has "ends", "corners", "skirts", and "edges", that there is water under the Earth, and that the sky is solid and can be walked upon, with windows that open when it rains.

These ideas are backed up by far more Scripture than 144-hour Creation.

Maybe y'all do believe these things, in which case I apologize.

As Augustine said:
"I have worked out and presented the statements of the book of Genesis in a variety of ways according to my ability; and, in interpreting words that have been written obscurely for the purpose of stimulating our thought, I have not rashly taken my stand on one side against a rival interpretation which might possibly be better. I have thought that each one, in keeping with his powers of understanding, should choose the interpretation that he can grasp. Where he cannot understand Holy Scripture, let him glorify and fear for himself."

Augustinian Successor said...

Xan,

Where does it say in the Bible that the earth is flat? Or that the Sun revolves around the earth? And the other things which you mentioned? Anyhow, the Sun is not 'static.' It moves, it orbits around ...

This is why Newtonian physics is wrong, though useful. Inertia is a scientific fallacy, on its own account. *Everything* is motion = nothing is in motion = *What* is motion???

Science never had a satisfactorily answer ... to the basic of all the basic scientific questions.

Xan said...

Flat-Earth is all over Scripture. Clearly it's what the authors believed, and what the Roman Church believed at the time of the Reformation. Also clearly it's not factual, and is not a required article of faith. Since Jesus didn't make any correction or clarification, the conclusion is that the presentation of scientific fact is not the purpose of the Bible.

Job 28:24, Daniel 4:10-11, Isaiah 40:22, and Matthew 4:8 illustrate a high vantage point giving one line-of-sight to the entire world. Flat.

There are countless (dozens?) of references to the "ends of the Earth". Since I have to interpret the text on its own terms, and there's nothing that indicates figurative language in the text itself, we must take it on face value.

You're right about the Earth not orbiting the sun; in fact, the Earth and the sun both orbit the center of mass of the Earth-sun system. However that center happens to be within the boundary of the sun, so... The Earth orbits the sun.

L P said...

Xan,

It also boils down to the proper use of language. I do not deny there are things figurative in Scripture, there is genre that needs to be respected. But Genesis 1-3 is an account traditionally given to Moses and it speaks of genealogies of the heavens and the earth, therefore it is historical or at least a journalistic account, it is narrative.

Scripture I concede uses a manner of speaking, it is both human and divine, like the Lord - God and Man. If Genesis is to be understood non-literally, where do you stop, was there a fruit, was there a tree of knowledge of good and evil, was there sin, or was it just a projection of our nature of being crooked. Is what in Genesis, just is?

But what does it mean, as AS said?


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"Flat-Earth is all over Scripture. Clearly it's what the authors believed, and what the Roman Church believed at the time of the Reformation. Also clearly it's not factual, and is not a required article of faith."

This is bare assertion. Try comparing the language there with the language of the myths. And no, it's not an article of faith. But it shows the silliness of the Church of Rome, not the Reformation.


"Job 28:24, Daniel 4:10-11, Isaiah40:22, and Matthew 4:8 illustrate a high vantage point giving one line-of-sight to the entire world. Flat."

Isn't that how *you* and *I* SEE things?

What does that tell you? You say flat. I say, senses are deceiving. Ergo, science is always changing. Truth is unchanging.

Augustinian Successor said...

"You're right about the Earth not orbiting the sun; in fact, the Earth and the sun both orbit the center of mass of the Earth-sun system. However that center happens to be within the boundary of the sun, so... The Earth orbits the sun."

Read my statement again: The Sun is a star. A star by definition moves around. Therefore, the Sun itself is in 'motion.' So, motion is relative, not absolute. That is, motion is measured in terms of what? time and space ... time and space is measured in terms of ... motion! Hence, Newtonian physics is false. This means science changes. If that is the case, you CANNOT rely on science.

You can rely on the Bible though. It works all the time.

Lucian said...

You cannot convince me that Moses and his contemporaries interpreted "days" as "epochs"You cannot convince me that Moses and his contemporaries interpreted it as Christ resting in the tomb on the Sabbath day either. :-)

I wrote something a few years back on the number 7; if You want to, I'll sent it to You on Your e-mail.

L P said...

but why should I convince you about that, I have no assertion that "Moses and his contemporaries interpreted it as Christ resting in the tomb on the Sabbath day either."

So, irrelevant, isn't it?

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Rome changes, she is NOT ever the same. Where she should have reformed, she remained adamant in her apostasy. Instead of repudiating the Tridentine definition of justification, Rome prefers to reform the liturgy. Net result: Further loss of catholicity. So, why want to "reunite" with the most un-catholic church in the whole wide world? It shows that those with that intention are themselves un-catholic, to boot!!!

Augustinian Successor said...

Benedict the 16 is the Antichrist, and successor of the See of the Antichrist. Lutherans who refuse to see Benedict the 16 in light of justification by faith alone are neither Lutheran nor catholic.

It's what Luther calls "playing church."

L P said...

A.S.

It does appear that way, Lutherans do not call the pope the anti-Christ, remember the question? Who is your daddy?

In fact the subject of the RC reforming or has reformed was brought up in our bible study. The member even said that the RC has taken off the excommunication on Luther.

The member making the statement has never been an RC. I said - do you know what that means? That means they took Luther out of hell and brought him to purgatory. Ex-communication by the Pope means you go to hell if you do not change your mind. I added - be that as it may, Luther's conclusion was that Rome was un-reformable. Hmm, you think Luther was wrong?

So we went to the subject of Hans Kung and how his writings as an RC seems to be at par with being reformed.

I said, it does not matter, Kung is not the magisterium, his opinion does not count. No one speaks for Rome except the Magisterium, so no scholar, apologist or what not, no matter how noble their statements are - they are hot air. Only the Magisterium speaks for Rome.

Here is my proposal - when B16 or whoever anti-Christ comes along, signs the BoC, we can concede, the Big Daddy has stopped being the Anti-Christ.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

Precisely, Rome has NOT changed! Lifting the excommunication on Luther without at the same time repudiating Trent! Rome alone has the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven!

Kuya, Benedict the 16 will never acknowledge justification by faith alone. To do so would be demise of the Church of Rome. But the Church of Rome is indefectible, she embodies Apostolic Succession, etc. etc. So, she is "fated" (predestined) to continue in her heresy and apostasy.

Nothing is new under the sun ...

Augustinian Successor said...

What some folks who insist on self-delusion is that Rome sees justification by faith alone as the opposite of 'catholic.' For Rome to embrace justification by faith alone is cease being catholic. Rome is THE catholic church. So, Rome will NEVER embrace justification by faith alone.

Past Elder said...

This whole thing borders on the hysterical, if not crosses it.

What possible sense is there to on the one hand deride scientific criteria and then defend Genesis as if it scientific criteria?

Excommunication does not mean a person will go to hell. It ex-communicates, in this life, and does not create the excommunication but formally recognises an already existing state; the person is still considered Christian. The RCC states conditions under which a person will go to hell if they die in that condition, however, it has no mechanism for determining if or when this has happened.

"Day" as a 24-hour temporal unit is an entirely human experience consequent upon our planet's particular orbit around its particular sun. Certainly we may order our activity along the lines of God's with a rest on one of our days, and certainly God may express both his and our activity and rest in the terms of our experience.

To make that as if it were a scientific statement beyond what science can make about God and his activity per se is not fidelity to Genesis but anthropomorphism in the extreme.

L P said...

PE

Re:excommunication, thanks for the fine technical detail but the masses are not taught that way, you might just do an experiment and ask Maria down the street as to what she thinks of excommunication.

RCs are like Lutherans, they just swallow whatever their minister tells them.

As to scientific statement, your argument misses my argument by light years.

I never argue from science. My argument is from common sense.

I doubt if God is trying to be obtuse in Ex 20:11. If he is using that to explain why the Sabbath is to be observed, which is modeled in my world and which he himself created, then he uses my semantics.

He may at times not use mine and educate me of new objects and new semantics but if he and I do not share an some common ontology, he knows we won't even begin to communicate.

Why do you think Jesus became a Man?


What duh?

LPC

Xan said...

It seems to me that the arguments for 144-hour Creation undermine the faith. They assume that the human mind and human reasoning are fundamentally flawed and useless. The earth is obviously ancient, but we can't trust ourselves to see "obvious".

That being the case, why should we believe the books that really are straight-up, historical, eyewitness accounts? Like, say, the Gospels? Why should I trust Matthew's ability to see what was going on? Why should I believe that the text has been preserved through the centuries? If neither I nor anybody else is qualified to look at something and make conclusions, then we're left with nothing.

The historic Christian faith has never had a consensus on exactly what Genesis means. Luther may have been the first to be dogmatic about it, and he thought the earth was flat and that the sun orbited it, so why should I listen to him on this subject?

I spent nine months attending services and classes at an LCMS church. I really liked the pastor, the people, and the doctrine. Got a great dose of Law and Gospel every single Sunday. But I was ultimately not invited to join because I could not in good conscience, as much as I tried, confess 144-hour Creation.

Basically the message is that if the universe wasn't created in 144 hours, then Christianity is false. Well, it wasn't created in 144 hours. I still believe Christianity is true. What I hear you folks telling me is that it isn't.

Past Elder said...

I'm not at all saying you are arguing from science. Nor that God was trying to be obtuse. Quite the opposite on both counts.

Of course God speaks to us in terms within our frame of reference. So keep the Sabbath rest. The problem is in thinking those same terms define his frame of reference, as in thinking Genesis must be speaking of Creation within 144 hours or the whole thing falls apart.

L P said...

XAN,

You would have been allowed to become a member in our church. My pastor does not believe like I do and we are still related together.

He and I disagree on this, although I must say I am in good company on this one.

If a believer wants to plead ignorance on some issues, make no commitments on a non article of faith that should be allowed.

This is what you should hear me saying: eventually the belief in non-24 hour period affects one's confidence that the Bible speaks plainly. In other words, it affects your belief that his Scripture can be understood in plain terms.

I will explain why in the next post.

LPC

L P said...

PE,

Let me explain in the next post, it can make the foundation of the Gospel wobbly. May not fall but may make it fractured unders stress ;-)


LPC

Xan said...

Lito,

I do hear you saying that, and I certainly appreciate where you're coming from. That's basically what I'm struggling with at the moment: the pastor said that path will lead me to a "spiritual-only" Resurrection. Which I don't think necessarily follows. I need to go try some other churches, I suppose, but haven't gotten around to it in the year or so that's passed.

Anyway, you have a great blog, thanks for keeping it up. I don't seem to pop in and say "Amen" to the good stuff nearly as much as I show up to snark at what I disagree with, but that's human nature, no?

L P said...

Xan,

I am sad that the pastor has made it an article of faith. We are never in the right spot spiritually, we are growing and we are struggling.

I most certainly disagree with him not allowing you to be a member. Email me in private perhaps I can speak to him(?).

This sort of thing is done in mutual conversation.

Please find another and tell the pastor that it is an open question to you at this stage.

Sleepery slop(sic) does not always become reality. However for some people it does go that way.

Bultman for example as I said, considered the Bible mythical (in a good sense) and did wind up believing the resurrection of Jesus was not literal.

PE says I am being anthrophomorphic, I'd say there is a danger on the otherside to be gnostic.

Lutheranism already takes quite a number of things literally it is Christian and not gnostic.

God bless you in your walk and your input is most appreciated.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

PE, As *always, speak for for yourself. Your hysteria and *hysterics* - now that's a neologism for you! ;-) - no more abrogate the fact that Rome hasn't changed than Rome will change.

Augustinian Successor said...

PE,

Listen carefully ... The Bible is NOT science. I know your eyes is still rolling from the shock that science is false. Le this sink into your head. The Bible is NOT science. Do not, therefore, equate the two.

Vatican 1 simply represents the culmination of Rome's apostasy. Trent represents Rome's apostasy. Vatican 1 represents Rome's apostasy.

Augustinian Successor said...

"Of course God speaks to us in terms within our frame of reference. So keep the Sabbath rest. The problem is in thinking those same terms define his frame of reference, as in thinking Genesis must be speaking of Creation within 144 hours or the whole thing falls apart."

Here's where you have got it up-side down.

Listen here ... the *historicity* of Genesis as the foundation of the Word of God depends on a literal reading. THAT defines Creation. All this is to say, we do not try to peek into God's mind ..., and say this would have been God's frame of reference or what not. We don't have to ...

Listen to what Jesus says. Listen to what Paul says. Listen to what the New Testament says. When determining the historicity and 'scientificity' of Genesis, we do not think in a linear fashion. Somehow, speculation tends to get into the way.

That applies to theology as well. This is why the Roman Church is off tangent.

Like Luther we start with Creation and then go to the Incarnation and back to Creation. All else, the spectre of speculation is always lurking behind.

Augustinian Successor said...

'It seems to me that the arguments for 144-hour Creation undermine the faith. They assume that the human mind and human reasoning are fundamentally flawed and useless. The earth is obviously ancient, but we can't trust ourselves to see "obvious".'

Yes, the mind is not neutral. It's an enmity against God. The mind is naturally against the revelation of God - His judgment, His grace. It is so because 'free-will' is a non-entity.

This is why the Bible is clear. And our minds are not.

Augustinian Successor said...

"The historic Christian faith has never had a consensus on exactly what Genesis means. Luther may have been the first to be dogmatic about it, and he thought the earth was flat and that the sun orbited it, so why should I listen to him on this subject?"

Did Luther say the world was flat? NEVER have I read or heard something like this before. Never ...

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Xan,

Denial of a literal reading of Genesis undermines the historicity of the rest of the Bible. Genealogy is very important, it's integral to the Gospel. For the Gospel is about history, and Jesus was a historical figure. It's therefore not surprising that the LCMS pastor said you'll end up with a spiritual resurrection only. The whole Bible is about history. Revelation is not a-historical. Divine history is not a-revelational.

Augustinian Successor said...

Having said this ...

Xan:

By virtue of my Baptism, I pronounce unto you the forgiveness of all your sins for the sake of Jesus Who died on the Cross for you, that you may be justified by faith alone apart from the deeds of the Law.

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit+. Amen.

L P said...

Listen here ... the *historicity* of Genesis as the foundation of the Word of God depends on a literal reading. THAT defines Creation. All this is to say, we do not try to peek into God's mind ..., and say this would have been God's frame of reference or what not. We don't have to ...
Amen!

This is so true...and thanks for bring that out.

It is not us going to God's mind, it is those who doubt the literal reading, they are the ones who have to do the explaining.

Why is it some have to apologize for God not conforming to scientific sensibilities?

LPC

Past Elder said...

Pig's bum. To try to force God's understanding of His act of creation into terms presented to us in our frame of reference is precisely to try to peek into God's mind. Ironically, it also minimises the fact of God as Creator and the Fall by the very effort to uphold it in this anthropomorphic way.

L P said...

You got it wrong side up.

It is God who is coming down to my level and what he says is in my own semantics. He is the one being anthromorphic. I do not mind that at all, after all Jesus became flesh.


Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
On the one hand it does not bring nobility to say you are ignorant and it is arrogant for me to claim I understand. I do not think the position of ignorance of what Genesis 1-3 says merits any honor and is a show of humility. Gnosticism merits no praise, in fact it should be rebuked.

If God did not accomodate to us, we are lost and we are still in our sins.

His accomodation is in fact salvation and nothing else.

What you are saying is that even though God used my language and my own semantics, he is actually not respecting that. He considers me too stupid to ever understand him (even if he is already making himself known to me by becoming Man in the person of Jesus).

So God fails to make me understand?


Heb 11:3
3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
What is so hard in believing he did it in 6 days?


LPC
LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"Pig's bum. To try to force God's understanding of His act of creation into terms presented to us in our frame of reference is precisely to try to peek into God's mind. Ironically, it also minimises the fact of God as Creator and the Fall by the very effort to uphold it in this anthropomorphic way."

Like Kuya Lito has said, it's clear it's the other way round. You can't beat that, can you? ;-)

Augustinian Successor said...

Kuya,

Touche to everything you've just said!

L P said...

A.S.

PE is saying that God actually failed to make me understand, but God is tolerating my dumb ass approach to 24-day position. I am stupid so God is allowing me to go on in my belief of a 24-hour X 6 creation, yet poor Lord, he did not really mean to say what I thought he meant to say (even if he used my syntax and semantics).

I do not know what is so hard to believe about this.


Perhaps the parable...
John 9:39
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
LPC

Past Elder said...

God did not fail to make you understand, nor am I saying that.

God reveals to us THAT, not HOW: that he is the Creator, that he did not create Creation as it is now, that as it is now is the result of our sin not his desire or action, that we have no way our of the situation we have created, that he provided the way for us in the Death and Resurrection of Christ.

To make this stand or fall on a six "day" creation is nuts!

L P said...

PE.

Fair enough you do not see the connection. That is fine and good,... for you.

However, some do see the connection and often those who do, wind down not bothering about the Bible, i.e., "don't know, just explain it to me and I will believe it",

or go down the path of unbelief, since it is an absurd book anyway, it does not mean what it says etc.

All of us, have internal inconsistencies buzzing around our heads, we have contradictory ideas roaming around between those walls. At the end of the day, to which does one be consistent with? Either to your senses and rationality of what the Bible says plainly. It is wise to take the latter approach.

Then now, I come to your logic.

If you concede that God did not fail to communicate to me, then what are we fiddling about, he created the world in 6 X 24 hour days! :-)


The distinction of THAT or HOW is irrelevant now.

LPC

Past Elder said...

That is exactly what we are fiddling about, that Creation was done in 6 24 hour time periods.

Rather than that having to be so in order for anything else to be believed, I think it is precisely insisting that that must be so for anything else to be believed, taking a that for a how, that will lead to the conclusion that either the Bible is not worth bothering with or unbelief.

L P said...

PE,

If that is what the Bible means, then that is what the Bible means, it should be end of story there.

You are saying that to explain creation as 24 X 6 incident, lead people to unbelief?

But here is the question, fine, so you succeed in telling a person this is not a 24 X 6 incident,(though for centuries, the Jews believe this), so you say - this is what happened, not how it happened, correct?

Me: artificial! Your distinction of THAT vs HOW is trying to save God from embarassment.

God does not need any defending. He can take of that better than anyone else.

This belief in non 24 X 6 day period is fairly recent, it is not an old belief, in the last 150 years.

I can point to examples of folk who I would say not as studious Bible readers and are non 24 hour believers as well.

I would even be bold to say - non 24 hour belief is tied to non Bible believing.

Just do an experiement, sample college kids.

LPC
LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"Excommunication does not mean a person will go to hell. It ex-communicates, in this life, and does not create the excommunication but formally recognises an already existing state; the person is still considered Christian. The RCC states conditions under which a person will go to hell if they die in that condition, however, it has no mechanism for determining if or when this has happened."

Excommunication in the ROMAN Church means the one to whom the "sentence" is pronounced is to be DEPRIVED of grace. To be deprived of grace is to be CONSIGNED to hell. The whole SACRAMENTAL system of the ROMAN Church stands or falls with that understanding (of *grace*).

Past Elder said...

That is an utterly incorrect statement of what excommunication means in the RCC.

L P said...

In which case, we need to ask - which RCC are you referring to?

You asserted that the RCC is in motion, so which one and at one point in the time line?

LPC

Past Elder said...

AS's statement re excommunication in the RCC is incorrect re any point in time.

Popular misconceptions about science are not corrected by popular misconceptions about religion.

Augustinian Successor said...

Judas Elder remains adamant in his false view of science. Hence, he remains adamant in his false view of Roman excommunication.

Listen: Excommunication means exclusion from the Roman Church where the fulness of grace subsists. To be excluded from the Roman Church therefore is to be excluded from grace. To be excluded from grace is to be consigned to hell.

Excommunication is used as a last resort. It's only used in extreme cases. It is therefore used only in cases of mortal sin.

What is mortal sin? Lesson 101: Sins which kills the grace of God.

There you go.

Past Elder said...

Resistant as your personal fantasies are to factual information, nonetheless:

The second paragraph is nothing but inferences drawn from wildly incorrect information.

Excommunication does not reverse the grace of Baptism, which cannot be reversed. Excommunicants are considered Christian and Catholic and the obligation to attend Mass remains; they are not excluded from the Church, even under the old designations of vitandus and toleratus. Extreme cases where a formal excommunication, ferendae sententiae, is pronounced, the criteria is not mortal sin but the prominence of the person thus the likelihood of scandal.

The only factual element in this fantasy is rarity as a last resort, but as a final effort, all others having failed, to shock the Catholic into seeking the grace of confession, not as a recognition of mortal sin.

Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Augustinian Successor said...

Judas Elder,

Listen: The Roman Church may call excommunication a "medicinal penalty" but remember, it's a PENALTY nonetheless.

Now read the following:

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema (ACCURSED).

CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema (ACCURSED).

CANON XII.-If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema (ACCURSED).

Who did the Roman had in mind when they pronounced the anathema (CURSE)? Hint: The excommunication bull of "Decet Romanum pontificem" (1521) was still in place.

Now, one is a Christian, and one can still go to hell because the mark of Baptism is according to the Roman Church INDELIBLE.

Now read this:

That, by every mortal sin, grace is lost, but not faith:

In opposition also to the subtle wits of certain men, who, by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent, it is to be maintained, that the received grace of Justification is lost, not only by infidelity whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin whatever, though faith be not lost; thus defending the doctrine of the divine law, which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelieving, but the FAITHFUL also (who are) fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liers with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners, and all others who commit deadly sins; from which, with the help of divine grace, they can refrain, and on account of which they are separated from the grace of Christ.

The Roman Church insist that the FAITHFUL can commit final and impenitent apostasy or mortal sin.

Has Rome changed? Its PASTORAL attitude may have changed with the aggiornamento of Vatican II.

But the underlying theological basis is still there. You just need to refer to Trent.

There you go (again).

Past Elder said...

Sorry pal, anathema and excommunication are not the same thing.

Of course a baptised christian can die in final impenitence and go to hell. That was never the point. The point being, excommunication neither pronounces such nor brings it about.

Do you ever read anything apart from whether it confirms what you think you already know?

Augustinian Successor said...

Lastly but not least, Rome appeals to Scripture for its approach to excommunication. Let us turn to Scripture and see what does Scripture says:

Only one passage will do ...

Matthew 16:19

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."


Now compare this with Vatican 1 ...

Chapter 1 On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter

We teach and declare that,
according to the gospel evidence,
a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole church of God
was immediately and directly
promised to the blessed apostle Peter and
conferred on him by Christ the lord.
[PROMISED]
It was to Simon alone,
to whom he had already said
You shall be called Cephas [42] ,
that the Lord,
after his confession, You are the Christ, the son of the living God,
spoke these words:
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the underworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [43]

Augustinian Successor said...

Judas Elder,

Listen and understand this ...

Excommunication deprives one of grace; anathema is to consign one to hell. Both amount to the same thing.

There you go (third time already).

Rome hasn't changed a whit. Get this, and you're on the right track.

Augustinian Successor said...

Remember, Trent condemned the teachings of the Reformers. Until today, the pronouncement of anathema has yet to be rescinded. Ultimately, THIS is what matters. For the essential rationale of excommunication is not legal but spiritual. Rome may have refined the legal aspect. But you can never escape from the spiritual or sacramental part.

All this is to say you're WRONG in your understanding and estimation of Rome.

Past Elder said...

Excommunication does not deprive one of grace, nor is anathema a final consignment to hell. Nor do they amount to the same thing. Rome teaches enough error without citing error they do not teach.

Even the formula of anathema itself mentions the hope of repentance and averting final damnation.

Augustinian Successor said...

Excommunication deprives one of grace, so that the excommunicated can brought to his senses, is it not? That's the idea.

Expressing hope that eternal damnation may be averted counts for nothing. What counts is that ANATHEMA proclaimed by Trent is repudiated. As it is, the CONDEMNATIONS have yet to be lifted. Revoking Luther's excommunication means nothing when the anathema against HIM and his TEACHINGS remain in place. Those who teach justification per solam fidem are under anathema. Person and doctrine are inseparable. There's no evading that.

The only other way is to distort Luther's teachings ni such a way that he never actually taught justification as expressed in the sola fide formula.

Augustinian Successor said...

Here's what the New Advent says about "anathema"

"Anathema remains a major excommunication which is to be promulgated with great solemnity. A formula for this ceremony was drawn up by Pope Zachary (741-52) in the chapter Debent duodecim sacerdotes, Cause xi, quest. iii. The Roman Pontifical reproduces it in the chapter Ordo excommunicandi et absolvendi, distinguishing three sorts of excommunication: minor excommunication, formerly incurred by a person holding communication with anyone under the ban of excommunication; major excommunication, pronounced by the Pope in reading a sentence; and anathema, or the penalty incurred by crimes of the gravest order, and solemnly promulgated by the Pope. In passing this sentence, the pontiff is vested in amice, stole, and a violet cope, wearing his mitre, and assisted by twelve priests clad in their surplices and holding lighted candles. He takes his seat in front of the altar or in some other suitable place, amid pronounces the formula of anathema which ends with these words: "Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N-- himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment." Whereupon all the assistants respond: "Fiat, fiat, fiat." The pontiff and the twelve priests then cast to the ground the lighted candles they have been carrying, and notice is sent in writing to the priests and neighbouring bishops of the name of the one who has been excommunicated and the cause of his excommunication, in order that they may have no communication with him. Although he is delivered to Satan and his angels, he can still, and is even bound to repent. The Pontifical gives the form for absolving him and reconciling him with the Church. The promulgation of the anathema with such solemnity is well calculated to strike terror to the criminal and bring him to a state of repentance, especially if the Church adds to it the ceremony of the Maranatha."

Thhis ceremony may no longer be in vogue in the Roman Ritual. But the underlying theological basis is still there alright. Last time I checked, the ECUMENICAL COUNCIL of Trent (de jure) is still in force.

Augustinian Successor said...

Hence, the distinction between "anathema" and "excommunication" is purely FORMAL. It seems that, well, as always, since Vatican 2 at least, Rome wants to have its cake and eat it too.

Past Elder said...

Sorry pal, anathema and excommunication are not the same thing. This time, maybe read what you just quoted, and not simply to find in it what you already think is there.

Let's try it again. All anathemae are excommunications. Not all excommunications are anathemae. To equate the two is simply incorrect.

The case of Luther is not the point of the discussion, nor is the point of discussion clarified by the case of Luther.

Of course excommunications of any kind are formal, as are the differences in kinds of excommunication. They formalise recognition an existing condition, not begin it, and not bringing about inevitable eternal consequences.

Augustinian Successor said...

Read my statement again. This time, carefully.

There is no MATERIAL distinction between anathema and excommunication. I have PROVEN to you with the quotes above. The distinction is purely FORMAL (read: LEGAL).

The "sacramental" effect is the SAME. Luther's justification by faith alone remains under the anathema of Trent. That means LUTHER remains under the anathema of TRENT, which is part of the ECUMENICAL councils of the Roman Church.

We should start calling you, Mr. DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE, Mr. Judas Elder Sir.

Defending the indefensible is of course quite an amusing spectacle.

Augustinian Successor said...

Can someone who dies OUTSIDE the Roman Church in an impenitent state still go to heaven?

What is the point of depriving someone of the fulness of grace if that's the case?

What is the point of that method of encouraging repentance in the first place?

I'll tell what the Roman Church thinks:

Heretics like Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer are accursed of God. But we cannot say this simply and directly today. After all, we wouldn't want to offend the sensitivities of our "separated brethren." We were right at Trent and we also not interested about the destiny of the Reformers. In other words, we want to have our cake and eat it too.

Aggiornamento, anyone?

Past Elder said...

Your arguments above prove nothing but your inability to read a text.

As with evolution in the other thread, there is no defence of anything here, rather to point out what the terms involved mean, since they are used here in near total ignorance of that.

Augustinian Successor said...

Your argument demonstrates without a a doubt your inability to either understand the text and argument/ interpretation or blatant refusal to acknowledge the truth of the matter. The latter is what Scripture calls, "hardening of the heart." No light matter. Perhaps, it's a case of both wilful ignorance and conscious rejection of the reality.

Then you are no different from the Pharisee who in utter astonishment and exasperation express surprise that Jesus should call them blind.

Augustinian Successor said...

Your argument demonstrates without a a doubt your inability to either understand the text and argument/ interpretation or blatant refusal to acknowledge the truth of the matter. The latter is what Scripture calls, "hardening of the heart." No light matter. Perhaps, it's a case of both wilful ignorance and conscious rejection of the reality.

Then you are no different from the Pharisee who in utter astonishment and exasperation express surprise that Jesus should call them blind.

Augustinian Successor said...

The truth IS the TRUTH. There is no running away from that. Your understanding of the Roman Church, your upbringing notwithstanding, belies your near total ignorance of the Church of your birth and Baptism. It's not even a schizophrenic attitude but a confused state of mind that cannot separate FACTS from FICTION. To persist in self-DELUSION as you do is to undercut your claim to be CONFESSIONAL Lutheran in the first place, and your genuine attachment of justification by faith alone and the Book of Concord. of course this part does not apply only to you; it applies EQUALLY to others who also proceeds from same mind-set as you do.

Augustinian Successor said...

Despite repeated admonishment on this blog, you have deliberately chosen to remain in your errors. Now, I have got a new nickname for you: Mr. Wrong-Wrong-Wrong.

Truth stands out clearly from error.

Augustinian Successor said...

The Bull 'Decet Romanum': the Condemnation and Excommunication of Martin Lu-ther, the Heretic, and his Followers, January 1521.

The Bull "Decet Romanum"

Preamble
Through the power given him from God, the Roman Pontiff has been appointed to administer spiritual and temporal punishments as each case severally deserves. The purpose of this is the repression of the wicked designs of misguided men, who have been so captivated by the debased impulse of their evil purposes as to forget the fear of the Lord, to set aside with contempt canonical decrees and apostolic commandments, and to dare to formulate new and false dogmas and to introduce the evil of schism into the Church of God—or to support, help and adhere to such schismatics, who make it their business to cleave asunder the seamless robe of our Redeemer and the unity of the orthodox faith. Hence it befits the Pontiff, lest the vessel of Peter appear to sail without pilot or oarsman, to take severe measures against such men and their followers, and by multiplying punitive measures and by other suitable remedies to see to it that these same overbearing men, devoted as they are to purposes of evil, along with their adherents, should not deceive the mul-titude of the simple by their lies and their deceitful devices, nor drag them along to share their own error and ruination, contaminating them with what amounts to a contagious disease. It also befits the Pontiff, having condemned the schismatics, to ensure their still greater confounding by publicly showing and openly declaring to all faithful Christians how formidable are the censures and punishments to which such guilt can lead; to the end that by such public declaration they themselves may return, in confusion and remorse, to their true selves, making an unqualified with-drawal from the prohibited conversation, fellowship and (above all) obedience to such accursed excommunicates; by this means they may escape divine vengeance and any degree of participation in their damnation.

I [Here the Pope recounts his previous Bull Exsurge Domine and continues]

II We have been informed that after this previous missive had been exhibited in public and the interval or intervals it prescribed had elapsed [60 days]—and we hereby give solemn notice to all faithful Christians that these intervals have and are elapsed—many of those who had followed the errors of Martin took cognisance of our missive and its warnings and injunctions; the spirit of a saner counsel brought them back to themselves, they confessed their errors and abjured the heresy at our instance, and by returning to the true Catholic faith obtained the blessing of absolu-tion with which the self-same messengers had been empowered; and in several states and localities of the said Germany the books and writings of the said Martin were publicly burned, as we had enjoined.
Nevertheless Martin himself—and it gives us grievous sorrow and perplexity to say this—the slave of a depraved mind, has scorned to revoke his errors within the prescribed interval and to send us word of such revocation, or to come to us him-self; nay, like a stone of stumbling, he has feared not to write and preach worse things than before against us and this Holy See and the Catholic faith, and to lead others on to do the same.
He has now been declared a heretic; and so also others, whatever their authority and rank, who have cared nought of their own salvation but publicly and in all men's eyes become followers of Martin's pernicious and heretical sect, and given him openly and publicly their help, counsel and favour, encouraging him in their midst in his disobedience and obstinacy, or hindering the publication of our said missive: such men have incurred the punishments set out in that missive, and are to be treated rightfully as heretics and avoided by all faithful Christians, as the Apostle says (Titus iii. 10-11).

III. Our purpose is that such men should rightfully be ranked with Martin and other accursed heretics and excommunicates, and that even as they have ranged themselves with the obstinacy in sinning of the said Martin, they shall likewise share his punishments and his name, by bearing with them everywhere the title "Lu-theran" and the punishments it incurs.
Our previous instructions were so clear and so effectively publicised and we shall adhere so strictly to our present decrees and declarations, that they will lack no proof, warning or citation.
Our decrees which follow are passed against Martin and others who follow him in the obstinacy of his depraved and damnable purpose, as also against those who defend and protect him with a military bodyguard, and do not fear to support him with their own resources or in any other way, and have and do presume to offer and afford help, counsel and favour toward him. All their names, surnames and rank—however lofty and dazzling their dignity may be—we wish to be taken as included in these decrees with the same effect as if they were individually listed and could be so listed in their publication, which must be furthered with an energy to match their contents.
On all these we decree the sentences of excommunication, of anathema, of our perpetual condemnation and interdict; of privation of dignities, honours and prop-erty on them and their descendants, and of declared unfitness for such possessions; of the confiscation of their goods and of the crime of treason; and these and the other sentences, censures and punishments which are inflicted by canon law on heretics and are set out in our aforesaid missive, we decree to have fallen on all these men to their damnation.

IV We add to our present declaration, by our Apostolic authority, that states, ter-ritories, camps, towns and places in which these men have temporarily lived or chanced to visit, along with their possessions—cities which house cathedrals and metropolitans, monasteries and other religious and sacred places, privileged or un-privileged—one and all are placed under our ecclesiastical interdict, while this in-terdict lasts, no pretext of Apostolic Indulgence (except in cases the law allows, and even there, as it were, with the doors shut and those under excommunication and in-terdict excluded) shall avail to allow the celebration of mass and the other divine offices. We prescribe and enjoin that the men in question are everywhere to be de-nounced publicly as excommunicated, accursed, condemned, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them. They are to be strictly shunned by all faithful Christians.

V We would make known to all the small store that Martin, his followers and the other rebels have set on God and his Church by their obstinate and shameless temerity. We would protect the herd from one infectious animal, lest its infection spread to the healthy ones. Hence we lay the following injunction on each and every patriarch, archbishop, bishop, on the prelates of patriarchal, metropolitan, cathedral and collegiate churches, and on the religious of every Order—even the mendi-cants—privileged or unprivileged, wherever they may be stationed: that in the strength of their vow of obedience and on pain of the sentence of excommunication, they shall, if so required in the execution of these presents, publicly announce and cause to be announced by others in their churches, that this same Martin and the rest are excommunicate, accursed, condemned, heretics, hardened, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them, and so listed in the enforcement of these presents. Three days will be given: we pronounce canonical warning and al-low one day's notice on the first, another on the second, but on the third peremptory and final execution of our order. This shall take place on a Sunday or some other festival, when a large congregation assembles for worship. The banner of the cross shall be raised, the bells rung, the candles lit and after a time extinguished, cast on the ground and trampled under foot, and the stones shall be cast forth three times, and the other ceremonies observed which are usual in such cases. The faithful Christians, one and all, shall be enjoined strictly to shun these men.
We would occasion still greater confounding on the said Martin and the other heretics we have mentioned, and on their adherents, followers and partisans: hence, on the strength of their vow of obedience we enjoin each and every patriarch, archbishop and all other prelates, that even as they were appointed on the authority of Jerome to allay schisms, so now in the present crisis, as their office obliges them, they shall make themselves a wall of defence for their Christian people. They shall not keep silence like dumb dogs that cannot bark, but incessantly cry and lift up their voice, preaching and causing to be preached the word of God and the truth of the Catholic faith against the damnable articles and heretics aforesaid.

VI To each and every rector of the parish churches, to the rectors of all the Or-ders, even the mendicants, privileged or unprivileged, we enjoin in the same terms, on the strength of their vow of obedience, that appointed by the Lord as they are to be like clouds, they shall sprinkle spiritual showers on the people of God, and have no fear in giving the widest publicity to the condemnation of the aforesaid articles, as their office obliges them. It is written that perfect love casteth out fear. Let each and every one of you take up the burden of such a meritorious duty with complete devotion; show yourselves so punctilious in its execution, so zealous and eager in word and deed, that from your labours, by the favour of divine grace, the hoped-for harvest will come in, and that through your devotion you will not only earn that crown of glory which is the due recompense of all who promote religious causes, but also attain from us and the said Holy See the unbounded commendation that your proved diligence will deserve.

VII However, since it would be difficult to deliver the present missive, with its declarations and announcements, to Martin and the other declared excommunicates in person, because of the strength of their faction, our wish is that the public nailing of this missive on the doors of two cathedrals—either both metropolitan, or one ca-thedral and one metropolitan of the churches in the said Germany—by a messenger of ours in those places, shall have such binding force that Martin and the others we have declared shall be shown to be condemned at every point as decisively as if the missive had been personally made known and presented to them.

VIII It would also be difficult to transmit this missive to every single place where its publication might be necessary. Hence our wish and authoritative decree is that copies of it, sealed by some ecclesiastical prelate or by one of our aforesaid mes-sengers, and countersigned by the hand of some public notary, should everywhere bear the same authority as the production and exhibition of the original itself.

IX No obstacle is afforded to our wishes by the Apostolic constitutions and or-ders, or by anything in our aforesaid earlier missive which we do not wish to stand in the way, or by any other pronouncements to the contrary.

X No one whatsoever may infringe this our written decision, declaration, pre-cept, injunction, assignation, will, decree; or rashly contravene it. Should anyone dare to attempt such a thing, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Written at St. Peter's, Rome, on the 3rd January 1521,
during the eighth year of our pontificate.

Augustinian Successor said...

The WRATH of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul???

THIS is the Church PE claims Vatican 2 has departed from!

Augustinian Successor said...

Now here's the REAL story behind Luther's supposed "rehabilitation."


"Since the Church's jurisdiction naturally only extends to the living, the excommunication of a person ends with his death. Consequently, and questions dealing with the lifting of Luther's excommunication become moot: Luther's excommunication terminated with with death because judgment after death is reserved to God alone. Luther's excommunication does not have to be lifted; it has long since ceased to exist." (The then Cardinal Ratzinger)

Source: http://communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/ratzinger11-3.pdf

As I have said, Vatican 2 is really Vatican 1 in a different guise. Same institution but different TALK. Very pastoral isn't it? Calculated to sooth the tender sensibilities of the "separated brethren." And the ecumenists are supposed to swallow the whole tosh hook, line and sinker.

Augustinian Successor said...

Decet Romanum: Sentences Luther and his followers to damnation.

Cardinal Ratzinger/ Pope Benedict XVI: Oh, we leave the judgment to God alone.

I'm sorry but I can't help being sceptical and cynical over this.

Aggiornamento, anyone?

Past Elder said...

Well AS, apparently we can add Interdict to Anathema on the list of things you do not understand re Excommunication, and the lot to the ever lengthening list of things you do not understand.

Augustinian Successor said...

Well, PE, just because you were born a Romanist does not necessarily mean that you know your ex-Church very well.

Excommunication is case in point. Heck, you don't even understand what Vatican 2 was all about, much less Trent and Vatican 1.

So ...

Aggionarmento, anyone?

Past Elder said...

Since your confusion among Interdict, Anathema, and Excommunication seems impervious to factual information, it seems pointless to discuss terms that are not even understood for what they are.

Augustinian Successor said...

PE,

You have not even begun to show different these terms are. It is clear that the difference between anathema and excommunication is purely formal, i.e. legal.

Excommunication can therefore be viewed as the 'culmination' of the process of dis-communion.

For you to insist on a REAL difference, is to render the MEANINGS of the two terms USELESS, i.e. inoperative.

Put it this way, a person who is under anathema must be excommunicated if repentance is not forthcoming. It's simple as that.

Past Elder said...

No. Excommunication is not the culmination of dis-communion. All anathemas involve excommunication. Not all excommunications involve anathema. They are not equivalent terms.