The Great Heresies

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jacob Dahlen, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    From Christianity’s beginnings, the Church has been attacked by those introducing false teachings, or heresies.

    The Bible warned us this would happen. Paul told his young protégé, Timothy, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (2 Tim. 4:3–4).


    The Circumcisers (1st Century)


    The Circumcision heresy may be summed up in the words of Acts 15:1: "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’"

    Many of the early Christians were Jews, who brought to the Christian faith many of their former practices. They recognized in Jesus the Messiah predicted by the prophets and the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Because circumcision had been required in the Old Testament for membership in God’s covenant, many thought it would also be required for membership in the New Covenant that Christ had come to inaugurate. They believed one must be circumcised and keep the Mosaic law to come to Christ. In other words, one had to become a Jew to become a Christian.

    But God made it clear to Peter in Acts 10 that Gentiles are acceptable to God and may be baptized and become Christians without circumcision. The same teaching was vigorously defended by Paul in his epistles to the Romans and the Galatians—to areas where the Circumcision heresy had spread.



    Gnosticism (1st and 2nd Centuries)


    "Matter is evil!" was the cry of the Gnostics. This idea was borrowed from certain Greek philosophers. It stood against Catholic teaching, not only because it contradicts Genesis 1:31 ("And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good") and other scriptures, but because it denies the Incarnation. If matter is evil, then Jesus Christ could not be true God and true man, for Christ is in no way evil. Thus many Gnostics denied the Incarnation, claiming that Christ only appeared to be a man, but that his humanity was an illusion. Some Gnostics, recognizing that the Old Testament taught that God created matter, claimed that the God of the Jews was an evil deity who was distinct from the New Testament God of Jesus Christ. They also proposed belief in many divine beings, known as "aeons," who mediated between man and the ultimate, unreachable God. The lowest of these aeons, the one who had contact with men, was supposed to be Jesus Christ.



    Montanism (Late 2nd Century)


    Montanus began his career innocently enough through preaching a return to penance and fervor. His movement also emphasized the continuance of miraculous gifts, such as speaking in tongues and prophecy. However, he also claimed that his teachings were above those of the Church, and soon he began to teach Christ’s imminent return in his home town in Phrygia. There were also statements that Montanus himself either was, or at least specially spoke for, the Paraclete that Jesus had promised would come (in reality, the Holy Spirit).



    Sabellianism (Early 3rd Century)


    The Sabellianists taught that Jesus Christ and God the Father were not distinct persons, but two aspects or offices of one person. According to them, the three persons of the Trinity exist only in God’s relation to man, not in objective reality.



    Arianism (4th Century)


    Arius taught that Christ was a creature made by God. By disguising his heresy using orthodox or near-orthodox terminology, he was able to sow great confusion in the Church. He was able to muster the support of many bishops, while others excommunicated him.

    Arianism was solemnly condemned in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea, which defined the divinity of Christ, and in 381 at the First Council of Constantinople, which defined the divinity of the Holy Spirit. These two councils gave us the Nicene creed, which Catholics recite at Mass every Sunday.



    Pelagianism (5th Century)


    Pelagius denied that we inherit original sin from Adam’s sin in the Garden and claimed that we become sinful only through the bad example of the sinful community into which we are born. Conversely, he denied that we inherit righteousness as a result of Christ’s death on the cross and said that we become personally righteous by instruction and imitation in the Christian community, following the example of Christ. Pelagius stated that man is born morally neutral and can achieve heaven under his own powers. According to him, God’s grace is not truly necessary, but merely makes easier an otherwise difficult task.



    Semi-Pelagianism (5th Century)


    After Augustine refuted the teachings of Pelagius, some tried a modified version of his system. This, too, ended in heresy by claiming that humans can reach out to God under their own power, without God’s grace; that once a person has entered a state of grace, one can retain it through one’s efforts, without further grace from God; and that natural human effort alone can give one some claim to receiving grace, though not strictly merit it.



    Nestorianism (5th Century)


    This heresy about the person of Christ was initiated by Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, who denied Mary the title of Theotokos (Greek: "God-bearer" or, less literally, "Mother of God"). Nestorius claimed that she only bore Christ’s human nature in her womb, and proposed the alternative title Christotokos ("Christ-bearer" or "Mother of Christ").

    Orthodox Catholic theologians recognized that Nestorius’s theory would fracture Christ into two separate persons (one human and one divine, joined in a sort of loose unity), only one of whom was in her womb. The Church reacted in 431 with the Council of Ephesus, defining that Mary can be properly referred to as the Mother of God, not in the sense that she is older than God or the source of God, but in the sense that the person she carried in her womb was, in fact, God incarnate ("in the flesh").

    There is some doubt whether Nestorius himself held the heresy his statements imply, and in this century, the Assyrian Church of the East, historically regarded as a Nestorian church, has signed a fully orthodox joint declaration on Christology with the Catholic Church and rejects Nestorianism. It is now in the process of coming into full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church.



    Monophysitism (5th Century)


    Monophysitism originated as a reaction to Nestorianism. The Monophysites (led by a man named Eutyches) were horrified by Nestorius’s implication that Christ was two people with two different natures (human and divine). They went to the other extreme, claiming that Christ was one person with only one nature (a fusion of human and divine elements). They are thus known as Monophysites because of their claim that Christ had only one nature (Greek: mono = one; physis = nature).

    Orthodox Catholic theologians recognized that Monophysitism was as bad as Nestorianism because it denied Christ’s full humanity and full divinity. If Christ did not have a fully human nature, then he would not be fully human, and if he did not have a fully divine nature then he was not fully divine.



    Iconoclasm (7th and 8th Centuries)


    This heresy arose when a group of people known as iconoclasts (literally, "icon smashers") appeared, who claimed that it was sinful to make pictures and statues of Christ and the saints, despite the fact that in the Bible, God had commanded the making of religious statues (Ex. 25:18–20; 1 Chr. 28:18–19), including symbolic representations of Christ (cf. Num. 21:8–9 with John 3:14).



    Catharism (11th Century)


    Catharism was a complicated mix of non-Christian religions reworked with Christian terminology. The Cathars had many different sects; they had in common a teaching that the world was created by an evil deity (so matter was evil) and we must worship the good deity instead.

    The Albigensians formed one of the largest Cathar sects. They taught that the spirit was created by God, and was good, while the body was created by an evil god, and the spirit must be freed from the body. Having children was one of the greatest evils, since it entailed imprisoning another "spirit" in flesh. Logically, marriage was forbidden, though fornication was permitted. Tremendous fasts and severe mortifications of all kinds were practiced, and their leaders went about in voluntary poverty.



    Protestantism (16th Century)


    Protestant groups display a wide variety of different doctrines. However, virtually all claim to believe in the teachings of sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone"—the idea that we must use only the Bible when forming our theology) and sola fide ("by faith alone"— the idea that we are justified by faith only).

    The great diversity of Protestant doctrines stems from the doctrine of private judgment, which denies the infallible authority of the Church and claims that each individual is to interpret Scripture for himself. This idea is rejected in 2 Peter 1:20, where we are told the first rule of Bible interpretation: "First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation." A significant feature of this heresy is the attempt to pit the Church "against" the Bible, denying that the magisterium has any infallible authority to teach and interpret Scripture.

    The doctrine of private judgment has resulted in an enormous number of different denominations. According to The Christian Sourcebook, there are approximately 20-30,000 denominations, with 270 new ones being formed each year. Virtually all of these are Protestant.



    Jansenism (17th Century)


    Jansenius, bishop of Ypres, France, initiated this heresy with a paper he wrote on Augustine, which redefined the doctrine of grace. Among other doctrines, his followers denied that Christ died for all men, but claimed that he died only for those who will be finally saved (the elect). This and other Jansenist errors were officially condemned by Pope Innocent X in 1653.

    Heresies have been with us from the Church’s beginning. They even have been started by Church leaders, who were then corrected by councils and popes. Fortunately, we have Christ’s promise that heresies will never prevail against the Church, for he told Peter, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). The Church is truly, in Paul’s words, "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
     
  2. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Jacob,

    You missed a five point heresy--Calvinism.
     
  3. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    Calvinism and Arminianism

    When one observes Calvinism and Arminianism, we can see that on many subjects they are perpetually in conflict. Perhaps we may as well here as anywhere make a careful comparison between them.

    Theistic fatalism would be but another name for Calvinism. "Predestination" says Calvin, " we call the eternal decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself what He would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny; but eternal life is ordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say is predestined either to life of death....."In conformity, therefore, to the clear doctrine of Scripture (?), we assert that, by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once for all determined both whom He would admit to salvation and whom He would condemn to destruction" (Institutes, Book 3, chapter 21).

    Predestination, in other words, consists in the predetermination of the Divine will, which determining alike the volitions of the human will and the succession of physical events, which reduces both the human will and physical events to a form of "unfreedom." But those who hold predestination, very uniformly hold also to volitional necessity, or the subjection of the will in its action to the strongest motive force. And as the divine will is held subject to the same law, so necessity, as master of God, and, and the universe, becomes a universal and absolute fate. The doctrine, installed by Augustine, and developed more sternly by John Calvin, in Christian Theology, is called of them Augustinianism or Calvinism.

    In opposition to this system of necessity or fatalism, is Arminianism. It is the theology that tends to freedom, and is resolutely opposed to absolutism. Cicero said: "Those who maintain and eternal series of causes despoil the mind of free-will and bind it in the necessity of fate. " Arminians maintain that, in order to have true responsibility, guilt, penalty, and especially an eternal penalty, there must be in the agent a free will; and in the true, responsibly free-will, there must be the power, even in the same circumstances, and under the same motives, of choosing either way. No man can be justly, eternally damned, according to Arminianism, for a choice which he cannot help. If by fixed Divine decree, or volitional necessity to the particular act, he cannot be responsible or justly punished. Eternal suffering, for which there is no compensation, inflicted a judicial penalty on the basis of justice, can be justly inflicted, only for avoidable sin. If a divine decree or volitional necessity determines every act, then it is irresponsible and unjust to inflict a judicial penalty.

    Arminianism also holds that none but the person who commits a sin can be guilty of that sin. One person cannot be responsible for another person’s sin. A tempter may be guilty of tempting another to sin, but then, one is guilty of the sin, and the other is guilty solely of the sin of temptation. There can be no vicarious guilt; (one being guilty for another), and, as punishment, taken strictly, can be only be inflicted for guilt upon the guilty, therefore, there cannot be any such thing as a literal vicarious punishment. If innocent Damon dies in place of Pythias, who is guilty of murder, Damon is not guilty because he has taken the place of Pythias in dying, and his death cannot be rightfully said to be punishment, but merely a voluntary suffering which is substituted for another mans punishment. One must be guilty in order for them to be punished. The one who commits the sin is solely the sinner, the only one that is guilty, and the only one that can be punished..

    1. Foreordination. The old Calvinistic Confession states as follows: "God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass." As Dr. Hodge put it: "The occurrence of all events is determined with unalterable certainty. Foreknowledge foreknows them as certain. Foreordination determines them, secures their certainty. Providence effects it. God effectually controls the acts of free agents. They are fixed from all eternity!" (Vol. II, p. 300).

    Now certain things are involved in such statements: (1) The decrees of God are eternal. (2) They are immutable. (3) They are unconditional. (4) They are absolute. (5) They are without contingency. (6) They are certainly efficacious. That is to say, God from all eternity, predetermines not only all physical agents, but also all the volitions of responsible agents. To this, Arminianism objects that the predetermination of the agents volitions, destroys the freedom of His will; that it makes God the responsible determiner and willer, and author of all the sin in the universe; and it enables every sinner to say that his sin is in perfect accord with the divine will, and therefore, so far as he himself is concerned, is right. The Calvinistic system makes God first decree the sin, then create the sinner to commit it, then cause the sinner to commit it, then damn him because he committed it. It logically makes sinners only helpless instruments in God’s hands, and God the only real sinner in the universe! The Arminian theory is this: God does from all eternity, predetermine the laws of nature, and the succession of physical and necessary events; but as to free moral agents, God, knowing all possible future events, does choose that plan of His own conduct, which, in view of what each man will ultimately do in his freedom, will bring out the best results. His system is a system of His own actions, and God’s predeterminations of Hid own acts are so far contingent, as they are based on His pre-recognition of what the agent will freely do; yet, as His omniscience knows the future with perfect accuracy, so He will never be deceived nor frustrated in His plans and providences. Arminians deny, as against the Calvinists, that foreknowledge has any influence upon the future of the act, as predetermination has. Predetermination fixes the act. Foreknowledge is fixed by the act. In foreordination, God determines the act as He pleases; in foreknowledge, the agent fixes the prescience as he pleases. In the case of Calvinism, God alone is responsible for the creature’s acts; in Arminianism, man is free to act and thus is responsible for his own actions.

    John Calvin wrote: "For since God foresees future events only in consequence of His decree that they shall happen, it is useless to contend bout foreknowledge, while it is evident that all things come to pass rather by ordination and decree.....It is a horrible decree, I confess; but no one can deny that God foreknew the future fate of man before he was created; and that He did foreknow it because it was appointed by His own decree." This lurid quotation involves three fundamental errors of Calvinism, and they are all false. (10 That God by decree causes everything, and so, is responsible for everything. (2) That God cannot know anything unless He causes it! This is a baseless assumption. (3) That God unchangeably decreed a universe necessarily so full of wickedness, and involving the unavoidable, eternal, helpless, hopeless doom of so many people that the very thought of it should fill any right-thinking soul with horror! This whole idea is accusing God of great wickedness. He never made any such "horrible decree." How so many great and good men have failed to perceive the vast unreasonableness and the monstrosity of such a theory, we cannot understand.

    2. Divine Sovereignty. Calvinism affirms that if a man is free, God is not sovereign. Just so far as man is free to will either way, God’s power is limited. Arminians reply that if a man is not free, God is not sovereign but sinks to a mere mechanist. If mans will is as fixed as the physical machinery of the universe, then all is machinery, and not a government, and God is only a machinist and not a moral ruler. The higher man’s freedom of the will is exhaled above mechanism, so much higher is God exalted as a sovereign. Here, according to Arminianism, Calvinism degrades and destroys God’s sovereignty, and Arminianism exalts it. The freedom of man no more limits God’s power than the laws of nature which He has established.; that is both cases there is a self-limitation by God, of the exercise of His power. Arminianism holds to the absoluteness of God’s omnipotence just as truly as Calvinism, and to the grandeur of His sovereignty even more exaltedly.

    The Calvinists urge against the Arminian system, that it represents that the will of God that all men should be saved; and, insomuch as all are not saved, the will of God is defeated., and this is irreconcilable with the divine sovereignty. Ralston replies to this as follows: "The primary will of God is that all men should be saved. This He has most solemnly declared, and the benevolence of His holy nature requires it. But He does not thus will absolutely and unconditionally. He only wills it according to certain conditions, and in consistency with the plan of His own devising. He wills their salvation, not as stocks or stones, but as moral agents. He wills their salvation through the use of the prescribed means; but if, in the abuse of their agency, they reject the Gospel, His ultimate will is that they perish for their sins. This is essential to His moral government over His creatures.

    Thus we can clearly see how the Almighty can, according to the system of Arminianism, primarily will the salvation of all men, and through the atonement of Christ render it obtainable, and yet not maintain His absolute sovereignty over the moral universe. But it is not the sovereignty of an arbitrary tyrant, nor yet such a sovereignty, as that by which He rules the physical universe, according to the principles of absolute and fatal necessity. It is the sovereignty of a righteous and benevolent Governor of moral and intelligent agents, according to holy and gracious principles. A sovereignty variant from this would be repugnant to Scripture, and derogatory to the divine character." ( Elements of Divinity, pp. 321, 322. )

    3. Imputation of Adam’s sin. Calvinism holds that Adam’s posterity is truly guilty of Adam’s sin, so as to be justly and eternally punishable therefore, without a remedy. Since this makes all mankind personally guilty of this sin, God might have had the whole race born into existence under a curse without ever giving a means of deliverance, and had justly consigned every created being to an eternal punishment. Arminians would say that this dogma violates the fundamental principles of eternal justice. They deny that guilt and literal punishment can, in the nature of things, be transferred from one person to another. (Editor’s Note: Sin is personal, and thereby cannot be transferred from one individual to another. I cannot transfer my sin to you and make you guilty of that sin. You can no more transfer honesty to a liar than you can transfer adultery to an infant. For an individual to be tortured for a crime that they did not commit is an injustice, and cannot be properly called "punishment." In order for someone to be punished, there must be guilt, or otherwise, the pain suffered must be heroism on he part of the sufferer to save another from their consequences, or if it is involuntary, it is an injustice, and martyrdom at best.)

    Their theory is, that upon Adam’s sin, a Savior was immediately placed as the Mediator for the race as a previous condition to the allowance of the propagation of the human race by Adam, and a plan was put in place that there would be a provision for their inherited disadvantages. Had not a Redeemer been thus provided, mankind, after Adam, not being held guilty of his sin, but by the law of natural descent, just as all posterity inherits the species– qualities of mental, physical, and moral traits of their progenitor. Before his fall, the presence of the Holy Spirit, with Adam in fullness, supernaturally empowered him to holiness, – the tree of life imparted to him a supernatural immortality. Separated from all of these, he sank into a mere nature, subject to appetite and Satan. The race in Adam, without redemption, is totally incapable of salvation; yet under Christ it is placed under a new redemptive probation, is empowered by the quickening of the Spirit, given to all, and through Christ, by the exercise of free-agency, may obtain eternal life.

    (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hills in his work, The Establishing Grace, makes the apt point that the depravity we are born with " is not our blame, it is our misfortune." No man will end up in an eternal hell for a nature that he was born with. For this he is not responsible, and because of that, he cannot be held guilty for the sin, nor the depravity that was the result of the personal sin of the father of our race. Given time, we have all personally followed Adam in his sin and have brought condemnation upon ourselves through our own personal rebellion against our Creator. For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God."

    4. Reprobation. Calvinism affirms that, of the whole mass of mankind thus involved in guilt and punishment for sin they never actually committed. God in His redemptive purpose, has chosen to "pass by" a large share of mankind, without any intention to recover them. This has all been done from "the good pleasure of His will," and for a display of "His glorious justice." The other portion of mankind God does, "from mere good pleasure" without ant superior preferability in them, elected, or chose to confer upon regeneration upon them, and eternal life, "all to the praise of His glorious grace."

    This horrible charge against God they state as follows: "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death. These angels and men thus predestined and fore-ordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

    Those of mankind that are predestined unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith and good works, or perseverance in either of them or ant other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto, and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

    The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, thereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

    Arminians pronounce such a proceeding to be arbitrary, and fail to see in it either "glorious justice" or "glorious grace." The reprobation seems to them to be injustice, and the "grace" with such an accompaniment, unworthy of the acceptance of free-agents. And to say that the blessed Savior, who wept over sinners and died praying for them, created an infinite number of men and angels, on purpose to damn them, and was "pleased" to do it, just to display His irresistible "power" to the universe, is an inexcusable, wanton, blasphemous slander against the loving Christ!

    "Election and reprobation, as Arminians hold them, are conditioned on the conduct and voluntary character of the subjects. All submitting to God and righteousness, by repentance of sin and true, self-consecrating faith, do meet the conditions of that election. All who persist in sin present the qualities on which reprobation depends. And as this preference for the obedient and holy, and rejection of the disobedient and unholy, lies in the very nature of God, so this election and reprobation, are from before the foundation of the world."

    The notion of an eternal election is contrary to reason and Scripture. There is nothing eternal but God. Election is an act of God done in time. The "calling" goes before the "election," and men are elected or chosen through the "belief of the truth," the "sanctification of the Spirit," and the "sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:2). We may easily believe that "before the world was," God decided to choose men out of the world and sanctify them in time, on proper conditions. To affirm that in purpose men were elected from eternity "without foresight of faith or good works" is to say, that from all eternity God purposed to constitute His church of persons to whose faith and obedience He had no respect. He eternally purposed to make Peter, James and John members of His church, without respect to their faith or obedience, or anything else in them. His church is, therefore, constituted on the sole principle of this arbitrary purpose, not on the basis of faith and obedience. How contrary to Scripture such a notion is! Peter, James and John did not become disciples of Christ in unbelief and disobedience. They were chosen, not as men but as believing men. Men are chosen out of the world, and into the church with respect to their faith. If actual election in time has respect to faith, God’s eternal purpose in regard to election must have had respect to this faith also, "We are elect according to the fore-knowledge of God." (1 Peter 1:2).

    Then God foreknew something as a reason why He "elected.." God "chose the Thessalonians from the beginning unto salvation in or through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2 Thess. 2:13). Sanctification and faith were the means of the election. In other words, there was a choice of obedient believers into the family of God. (see Wakefield’s Theology, pp. 394-397).

    John Wesley, in a letter to Whitefield, paid his respects to unconditional election and reprobation as follows: "Though you use softer words than others, you mean the same thing. God’s decree concerning the election of grace amounts to what others call his decree of reprobation. Call by what ever name you please, election, preterition, predestination, or reprobation, it comes in the end to the same thing. The sense of all is plainly this: By virtue of an eternal, unchangeable, irresistible decree of God, one part of mankind are infallibly saved, and the rest infallibly damned, it being impossible that any of the former should be damned, or any of the later saved.

    1. It renders all preaching vain and needless to both classes.

    2. It tends to destroy holiness by removing motives of hope and fear.

    3. It tends to destroy zeal for good works, for they avail nothing.

    4. It makes Christian revelation unnecessary.

    5. It make Christian revelation contradict itself.

    6. It is full of blasphemy; for it represents our blessed Lord as a hypocrite and a dissemble, pretending a love which he had not. It also represents the blessed god as more false, more cruel, and more unjust than the devil; for, in point of fact, it says that God, has condemned millions of souls to everlasting fire for continuing in sin, which, for the lack of grace, that He purposely withholds, they are unable to avoid. This is the blasphemy contained in the horrible decree of election. The devil only tempts, but God forces men to sin. You make Him more false, and more wicked than the devil."

    Fairchild well says: " The Gospel invitations are such that we feel warranted in offering salvation to every man; nor is there any suggestion of any obstacle in the decree and purpose of God, or in His election. We know, from the terms of the Gospel, that every sinner determines for himself, whether or not he will be saved, and thus determines his own election. The doctrine of sovereign, absolute, unconditional election has grown out of a false application of passages which set forth the salvation of the sinner as springing from the divine purpose. Passages which represent that salvation as turning on his own acceptance or nonacceptance of the Gospel are equally explicit and authoritative; and the two classes of passages must be combined to give us a symmetrical and truthful doctrine of election." (Theology, pp. 296, 297).

    5. Philosophical and Volitional Necessity. Calvinism maintains the doctrine that all volitions are determined and fixed by the force of the strongest motive, just as the strokes of a clock-hammer are fixed and determined by the strongest force. The will can no more choose otherwise in a given case, than the clock-hammer can strike otherwise. Calvinism often speaks, indeed, of "free agents" "free will" "self determining power," and "will’s choosing by its own power," – the language of freedom. But bring their theory to analysis, and it will always be found, that it is the freedom of a falling body, or of a water running down hill, or of a clock-hammer to strike as it does, and as it must, and not otherwise.

    Arminianism answers, that if the agent has no power to will otherwise than motive force determines, any more than a clock can strike otherwise, then there is no justice in requiring a different volition any more than a different clock strike. It would be requiring an impossibility, and to punish an agent for not performing an impossibility is an injustice, and to punish him eternally is an infinite injustice.

    Our father used to tell us of an intemperate neighbor of his, in his boyhood, who, when drunk, would order his clock to stop ticking, and because it did not obey, would take a club and smash it. Calvinists would have us believe that the infinite God acts as unreasonably as that drunken fool. They tell us that we are all paralyzed with moral inability. God commands us all to believe on Christ and be saved. By irresistible grace He creates the ability to do it in the elect; but He purposely withholds it from the non-elect, and determines secretly that they never shall have the ability to believe and be saved; then He damns them because they do not do the impossible!!! Stripped of all useless verbiage, and set forth in its naked enormity, it is a beautiful (?) theology!! Arminians hold that the Calvinistic theory, by destroying freedom, destroys all just punishment, and all divine government.

    6. Infant Damnation. Holding on to the doctrine that the human race is truly guilty and judicially condemnable to endless torment for Adam’s sin, Calvinism necessarily maintains, that it is just for God to condemn all infants to eternal punishment, even those who have never performed any moral act of their own. This was held by Augustine, and wherever Calvinism has spread, this has been part of the doctrine more or less explicitly taught. Earlier Calvinists maintained that there is actual reprobation– that is, a real sending to hell, as well as a particular election of the elect infants.

    Arminianism, denying that the race is judicially guilty or justly damnable for Adam’s sin, affirms the salvation of all infants. As Dr. Whedon puts it, "The individual man, as born, does irresponsibly possess within his constitution that nature which will, amid the temptations of life, commence to sin when it obtains its full grown strength. He is not, like the unborn Christ, "that holy thing." There is therefore a repugnance which God and all holy beings have toward those which have a contrary nature and an irresponsible unfitness for heaven and holy association. If born immortal, with such a nature unchangeable, he must forever be unholy, and forever naturally unhappy, under the divine repugnance.

    Under such conditions divine justice would not permit the race after the fall, to be born. But at once the future incarnate Redeemer, interposes, restores the divine complacency, and places race upon a new probation. Man, therefore, born in a state of "initial salvation," as Fletcher of Madely called it, and the means of final salvation are amply placed within reach of his free choice."

    7. Pagan Damnation. On its own principle that power to perform is not necessarily an obligation to perform, Calvinism easily maintains that Pagans, who never heard of Christ, are rightly damned for want of faith in Christ. They may be damned for original sin, and for their own sin, and for unbelief in Christ, without ever having heard of him!!

    (Editor’s Note: Richard S. Taylor, in his monumental book, The Right Conception of Sin, notes that those that follow the theological consistency of the Calvinistic system to its end could easily sit back and rest in the knowledge that these heathen are either elect, or non-elect. He gives an example: "Far more logical was Calvinism’s answer to Carey when that fervent youth dared to challenge his ministerial brethren with their responsibility for the salvation of the heathen. "Young man, sit down, sit down! Cried the leader. "You’re an enthusiast [fanatic]. When God pleases to convert the heathen, He’ll do it without consulting you and me." That is undisguised Calvinism. Though it does not present the modern attitude of Calvinism toward evangelism and missions, it is more thoroughly consistent with the basic doctrines of their system." page 17.)

    "Arminianism, on the contrary, maintains that there are doubtless many Pagan lands saved by the unknown Redeemer. "They not having a law are law to themselves." Nay, they may have the Spirit of faith so that, were Christ truly presented, He would be truly accepted. (As in Cornelius in Acts 10.) They may have faith in that which Christ is the embodiment. Like the ancient worthies enumerated in Hebrews 11. There may not be as great of a difference in the chances of salvation in these foreign lands as Calvinism assumes. Where little is given, much is not required. Arminianism holds that no one of the race is damned who does not have a full chance for salvation. Missions are none the less important, in order to hasten the day when the mass of men shall be converted. (Editor’s Note: While Dr. hill seems to be riding on the idea of a post-millennial optimism, it is important to remark that all who are ever saved are saved by the blood of Christ, whether as an Old Testament Saint trusting in a future Messiah, or a modern heathen trusting in an unknown Redeemer. To know he measure of trust and faith can be only known by God, it is essential that missions are supported to point to the one sure way of salvation and to give the heathen who is trusting in God a sure directive of the necessity of trusting in Him.) If that millennial age shall come and be of long duration, Arminianism hopes that the great majority of the entire race of all ages may finally be saved." (Whedon).

    8. Doctrines of Grace. Calvinism maintains that the death of Christ is an expiation for man’s sins; first, the guilt of Adam’s sin, so that it is possible for God to forgive and save; and, second, for actual sin, that thereby the influence of the Spirit restores the lapsed moral powers, regenerates and saves the man. But these saving benefits are reserved for "the elect only."!

    Arminianism, claiming a far richer doctrine of grace, extends it to the very foundations of the existence of Adam’s posterity. Grace underlies our very nature and life. We are born and live because Christ became incarnate and died for us. All the institutes of salvation,– the chance of probation, the Spirit, the Word, the pardon, the regeneration, the resurrection, and the life eternal are through Him. And Arminianism, against Calvinism, proclaims that these are for all, Christ died for all alike; for no one more than for any other man; and sufficient grace and opportunity for salvation is given to every man.

    Calvinism also maintains the irresistibility of grace ; or, more strongly still, that grace is absolute, like the act of creation, which is called irresistible with a sort of impropriety, from the fact that resistance in that connection is truly unthinkable.

    Against this, Arminians reply that the human will, aided by prevenient grace; is free, even in accepting pardoning grace; that though this acceptance is no more meritorious than a beggar’s acceptance of an offered fortune, yet it is accepted freely, and with the full power of rejection, and is none the less grace for that. (Editor’s Note: Grace in general is defined as "unmerited favor," and rightly so. The difference between the Calvinist idea and the Arminian idea of grace is substantial. To the Calvinist, when grace is conferred upon the individual, it is a converting grace. This puts conversion before belief. The difference between the opposing theologies therefore is, the Calvinists believe in an irresistible "forced" grace, and the Arminian believes in a "free" grace." The offer of grace is irresistible in the sense that when converting grace is offered, we at that moment are empowered to believe and to accept the grace. The moment of belief however, is not a "saving faith" until it is obeyed and surrendered to.)

    9. Justifying and Saving Faith. Faith according to Calvinism, is an acceptance of Christ, wrought absolutely, a an creation in the man, whereby it is impossible for him not to believe savingly as it would be for a world to be created, or an infant not to be born. And so this faith is resistlessly fastened in the man, so it is resistlessly kept there, and the man by necessity perseveres to the end.

    Now if this were true, all the commandments of God to believe are perfectly superfluous, and quite as needless. The irresistible grace would create the faith in the elect, as well without a command as with it; and the non-elect could not believe anyway, try as much as they please. (Editor’s Note: Wesley summed up his opinion at the end of his translation of Zanchius’ work on predestination saying: "The sum of all this: one in twenty (suppose) of mankind are elected, nineteen in twenty are reprobated. The elect shall be saved, do what they will; the reprobate shall be damned, do what they can." And then he ends the summary with a statement that reflected the Calvinists of his day, as many are today, "Believe this or be damned." This is an odd inconsistency in many who believe this Calvinistic theory, they speak and act as if assent to their doctrine is somehow essential to salvation, while doctrinally, they cannot even know for sure if it is they themselves that are being deceived of God for His own pleasure, making them believe that they are one of the elect when they are not! According to their own theory, belief and morality can have nothing to do with the election of God, so it is a denial of their own "truth" if they insist upon doctrinal assent).

    To this absurd notion, the Arminians reply, that faith, as a power to believe, is indeed the gift of God; but faith as an exercise is the free, avoidable, yet really performed act of the intellect, heart and will, by which the man surrenders himself to Christ and all holiness for time and eternity. In consequence of this act, and not for its meritorious value, or in any way compensating for earning salvation, it is accepted for righteousness, and the man himself accepted, pardoned and saved.

    And as this faith is free and rejectable in its beginning so through life it continues. The Christian is as obliged, through the grace of God assisting, to freely retain it, as at first to freely exercise it. It is of the very essence of his probationary freedom, that he is able to renounce his faith and apostatize, as he was able to refuse to believe at first.

    10. The Extent of the Atonement and Offers of Salvation. Earlier Calvinism maintained that Christ died for the elect alone. It was more consistent and logical than later Calvinism which affirms that He died for one and al, and so offers salvation to one and all on the condition of faith.

    But Arminianism asks: With what consistency can the atonement be said to be made for all men, when by the eternal decree of God, it is foreordained that a large part of mankind shall be excluded from its benefits? How can it be for all when none can accept it but by efficacious grace, and that grace is arbitrarily withheld from a large part of mankind? How can it be for all when God has so fastened the will of a large part of mankind, by counter motive force, that they are unable to accept it?

    The same arguments show the impossibility of a sincere offer of salvation to all, either by God or the Calvinistic pulpit! How can salvation be rationally offered to those whom God, by an eternal decree, has excluded from salvation? What right has a preacher to exhort the very men to repent whom God determines, by volitional necessity, not to repent? What right have we to exhort men to do otherwise than God has willed, decreed and foreordained what they shall do? If God has decreed a thing, is not that thing right? What an awful sinner the preacher is who stands up to oppose and defeat God’s decree! If a man is damned for fulfilling God’s decrees, shouldn’t that imaginary God be damned for making such a decree? If a man does what God decrees, shouldn’t he be approved by God and saved? And, since all men do as God decrees, wills and determines that they shall do, for "God unchangeably foreordains whatsoever comes to pass, " shouldn’t all men then be saved? The true theory therefore should be Universalism.

    How can grace be offered to the man whom God decreed never to have grace? How can faith be preached to those whom god has made faith impossible? How can conditions be proposed to those from whom God withholds the power of performing the conditions? The offers of salvation might as well be made to tombstones, or hitching-posts, or the beasts of the field! Hence the Arminian affirms that in all public offers of a free or conditional salvation to all, the Calvinistic preacher contradicts his own creed.

    11. Basis of Morality. Calvinism claims that the very severity of its system, its deep view of human guilt, and necessary damnability by birth and nature, its entire subjection to divine absolutism, irrespective of human ideas of justice, tends to produce a profound piety!

    Arminianism responds, this is basing Christian morality on fundamental immorality. For God to will and predetermine the sin, and then damn the sinner for it,– for Him to impute sin to the innocent, and to eternally damn the innocent as guilty– are procedures that appear fundamentally unrighteous, so far as the deepest intuitions of our nature can decide. Thus, first to make God in the facts intrinsically and absolutely bad, and then require us to ascribe holiness and goodness to His character and conduct, perverts the moral sense. It is to make God in our theology, what we are in duty bound to hate, and then require us to love and adore Him. Such adoration, secured by the abdication, not only of the reason, but of the moral sense, and the prostration of the soul to pure naked absolutism, naturally results in the somber piety of fear; just as children are frightened into artificial goodness and obedience, by images of terror.

    Arminianism, on the other hand, holds up to the admiring gaze of man, a God of infinite love, impartial in the offer of His blood-bought mercies, and just to all His children. In order to arrive at a true and rational piety, it exalts the ideal of rectitude in the divine character and conduct, not by mere ascriptions contradicted by facts, but both in the facts and the ascriptions. A harmony of facts in God’s conduct and our intuitive reason has produced a love to the Divine, that is based upon a rational sentiment, which produces a cheerful, hopeful, and merciful piety, and a glad obedience to God that becomes realized.
     
  4. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    Roman Catholicism

    WE ARE desirous in this article of proving from Rome's own statements that her system of teaching is both unscriptural and false. Let her own mouth condemn her, "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matt. 12: 37).

    Idolatry
    Our first charge is that she is an IDOLATROUS CHURCH. But it may be asked, Does Rome really teach the worship of idols? Archdeacon Sinclair, writing on Image Worship, said:-

    The twenty-fifth session of the Council of Trent decrees that the images of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and of the other saints, are especially to be had and retained in the churches, and that honor and veneration are to be paid to them.

    From the Protestant Alliance Magazine, July, 1922, we cull the following:-

    The Creed of Pope Pius IV teaches thus:-
    "I most firmly assert that the image of the Christ, of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, and also of the other saints ought to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them."

    The Catechism of the Council of Trent says:-
    "It is lawful to have images in the church, and to give honor and worship unto them,"
    "Images of the saints are put in churches as well, that they may be worshipped."

    Rome and the Bible
    Our next charge is that Rome is HOSTILE to the BIBLE, and both prohibits, and when unable to do that, discourages the reading of the Scriptures among her adherents.

    Pope Pius VII, in 1816, denounced Bible Societies as "a crafty device by which the very foundations of religion are undermined, a pestilence which must be remedied and abolished." The authorized Catholic Dictionary records, with apparent satisfaction, that Leo XII, Pius VIII, and Pius IX have likewise, in their turn, warned Catholics against the Protestant Bible Societies. Leo XIII, in 1897, prohibited "all versions in any vernacular language made by non-Catholics, and specially those published by the Bible Societies." In the same document, he altogether prohibited "vernacular versions even by Catholics, unless approved by the Holy See or published under the vigilant care of the bishops, with annotations." Rome knows that an open Bible, without Notes, spells her ruin. For no Scripture teaches anything about Purgatory, the worship of Mary or the saints, or upholds the Confessional, the Mass and the priesthood. (Quoted in The Indian Christian, November, 1922).

    (Rev.) Dr. Cahill declared that "he would rather the Catholic should read the worst books of immorality than the Protestant Bible-that forgery of God's Word, that slander of Christ." - (Roman Catholic Tablet, December 17, 1853, p. 804).

    "Do you allow your flock to read the Bible at all?" said a writer in the Contemporary Review to a friend of his, a parish priest. "No, sir, I do not; you forget that I am a physician, not a poisoner of souls."-April, 1894, p. 576.

    Rome's greatest enemy is God's Word. Rome's hostility to the free circulation of the Bible is a matter of history. Even to this day in Roman Catholic countries, the Bible is almost unknown, and the public burning of Bibles (sent out by the Bible Societies) in South America is an object lesson how she still seeks to binder the circulation of God's own Book whenever she has the power. Bibles were burnt in Rome as recently as 1923, in the public street.

    Rome’s Blasphemous Claims
    Further, the Church of Rome makes BLASPHEMOUS CLAIMS for her priests and particularly for the Popes of Rome. Pope Pius X uttered the following words:-

    The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but He is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ that speaks. Does the Pope accord a favor or pronounce an anathema? It is Jesus Christ who pronounces the anathema Or accords the favor. (Protestant Alliance Magazine, March, 1922).

    Further, from the same Magazine of February, 1922, We read:-

    OUR LORD GOD THE POPE.-These words appeared in the Roman Canon Law: "To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical.-I?i the Gloss "Extravagantes" o.f Pope John XXII Cum inter, Tit. XIV, Cap. IV. Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium, Paris, 1685.

    LORD GOD THE POPE.-Father A. Pereira says: "It is quite certain that Popes have never approved or rejected this title 'Lord God the Pope,' for the passage in the gloss referred to appears in the edition of the Canon Law published in Rome in 1580 by Gregory XIII."

    THE POPE AND GOD THE SAME.-Writers on the Canon Law say, "The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in heaven and earth."- Barclay Cap. XXVII, p. 218. Cities Petrus Bertrandus, Pius V. - Cardinal Cusa supports his statement.

    THE POPE, BEING GOD, CANNOT BE JUDGED.-Pope Nicholas I declared that "the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who, being God, cannot be judged by man." - Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can. 7, Satis evidentur, Decret Gratian Primer Para.

    The horrible blasphemy of all this may well shock the reader. Much more evidence of the kind is easily produced to show that Popes, priests and people of this apostate church actually dare to claim these preposterous pretensions.

    Her Intermediaries
    Not only, as seen above, does this apostate church claim for a mere man an equality with God, but, despite the clear word of Scripture: "THERE IS ONE GOD, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2: 5), she claims for a MERE WOMAN this POSITION which belongs to Christ alone.

    In "Glories of Mary" by Liguori, whose writings at the time of his canonization were declared to be absolutely free from error, he teaches that Mary is not only to be appealed to as Advocate and Mediator, but actually teaches that she is more merciful than our blessed Lord Himself. He writes:-

    He who is under the protection of Mary will be saved; he who is not will be lost . . . O immaculate Virgin, we are under thy protection, and therefore we have recourse, to thee alone, and we beseech thee to prevent thy beloved Son, who is irritated by our sins, from abandoning us to the power of the devil. - . . Thou (Mary) art my only hope. . . . Lady in heaven, we have but one advocate, and that is thyself, and thou alone art truly loving and solicitous for our salvation ... My Queen and my Advocate with thy Son, whom I dare not approach (From Judge Fairly, p. 5).

    With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother. Pope's Encyclical dated 1891, as published in the Tablet, October 10, 1891. (Quoted in The Claims of Rome, p. 61).

    We cull the following from an excellent article in the Evangelical Quarterly, by Dr. W. Graham Scroggie, which is very much to the point:-

    There is no truth more dear to Protestants than that of the direct access of the soul to God. Yet such a privilege Romanism both forbids and denies. Rome does not forbid access to God, but denies that it can be direct, and so introduces a host of intermediaries, chief among whom are the Virgin Mary, the departed Saints, the Officials of the Roman Church: Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests; not to speak of the Mass, Images, and Pictures.

    Such teaching and practice are a plain denial of the revealed will of God for men; but it is much worse, for no one can invoke the Virgin or the Saints without investing them with Divine attributes and them in the place of God Himself and His Son Jesus Christ.

    That Romanists do this they do not deny ...

    Never for a moment must we allow either the Blessed Virgin, or Departed Saints, or Popes, or Cardinals, or Bishops, or Priests, or Masses, or Images, or Pictures, or Cardinals, or Traditions, or Indulgences, or Sacraments, or Confessionals, Monasteries, or Nunneries, or Pilgrimages, or Purgatory to stand between our souls and God. The prodigal can come straight to the Father, and the sinner to the Saviour. It is because we believe this, experience this, and preach this, that we are Protestants.

    We will now glance briefly at three of Rome's most characteristic teachings, all of which are in direct conflict with the revealed will of God in the Scriptures. No wonder Rome burns Bibles!

    The Mass
    In the most uncompromising language the Roman Catholic Church deliberately teaches, despite the statement of Scripture to the contrary, that in the sacrifice of the MASS the priest makes a PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE. The Scripture says:-

    "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many" (Heb. 9: 28) ; "But this Man after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10: 12) ; "For by one offering He hath perfected for ever those that are sanctified" (v. 14)--see also Hebrews 7: 26, 27.

    The tremendous significance of these passages is, if possible, strengthened when we remember that the Epistle to the Hebrews is the one and only book in Scripture that unfolds the glorious work of Christ, as our Great High Priest, in the heavenlies.

    Now let us see what Rome teaches:-

    The Council of Trent at its twenty-second session in A.D. 1562 had the Mass for its subject of consideration, and passed a decree containing nine explanatory chapters, and nine canons.

    Pope Pius IV confirmed the decree of the Council of Trent at the conclusion of their sessions, and in these words he summed up the doctrine of the Mass:-

    "I profess that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper and propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead"!

    This same Pope was the author of The Tridentine Canons, which contain the following:

    "If any man shall say that in the Mass there is not offered to God a true and proper sacrifice, let him be accursed." (From The Advent Witness).

    Surely such language brings its own curse on the head of him who dares to utter it. For Paul the Apostle, who was made a minister "to fulfil the Word of God" (Col. 1: 25)) wrote to the Galatians: "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1: 9).

    The Confessional

    "It is a significant fact that the confessional in the present form was not instituted and forced upon the people -until after the vow of perpetual celibacy was forced upon the clergy. It was in A.D. 1215, during the darkest ages of the Church, at the 4th Council of Lateran that Pope Innocent III made auricular confession an article of faith in the Church s fact is conclusive proof not only of the worthlessness of the institution, but of its evils and dangers" [Truths You Should Know, Jovinian, p. 41].

    And yet the result of not using the confessional is taught be eternal punishment!

    In Catholic Dogma, by Father Müller, C.S.S.R., the following catechism is found on p.67:-

    Q. Are Protestants willing to confess their sins to a Catholic bishop or priest, who alone has power from Christ to forgive sins?
    A. No, for they generally have an aversion to confession, their sins will not be forgiven them throughout all eternity.

    Q. What follows from this?
    A. That they die in their sins and are damned.

    The dangers of the Confessional to the priest are widely by Catholic dignitaries themselves. Liguori says: -

    Oh, how many confessors have lost their own souls and those of their penitents on account of some negligence in hearing confession of women! ... Oh, how many priests who before were innocent of similar transactions which began in the spirit (what spirit?-Ed.) have lost God and their own souls" [Tom. ix p. 145 n. 93, Cap. x and p. 104, Mechlin Edition. 1845.

    Who is to blame? Why, obviously the system that compels celebate priests to hear confessions from women, young and old. Give ear to what an ex-priest has to say of how a priest is prepared for the confessional:-

    The most shameless libertines could not read without blushing the filth which is contained in the books of moral theology; and it is upon these books that the education of the young clergy in the seminaries is founded . . . after four years devoted to the study of all possible and imaginary indecencies, in the flower of youth, they find themselves all alone with a beautiful girl, with a young bride who lays open her heart and entrusts such youths with all her weaknesses? Unhappy victims of the Confessional! It is for you to answer. [Confession:a Doctrinal and Historical Essay, pp. 111,112.]

    And what shall be said for their methods, learned from their textbooks? Here is a sample:-

    The prudent Confessor will endeavor, as much as possible, to induce his (the penitent's) confidence by kind words, and then proceed from general to particular questions-from less shameful to more shameful things: not beginning from external acts, but from thoughts, such as, Has not the penitent been troubled, inadvertently as it were, with improper cogitations? Of what kind was the thought indulged? Did he experience any unlawful sensations? [Bailly in The Confessional Exposed, by G. E. A. Watling]. And so on . . .

    Good Confessors, says Liguori, begin to investigate the cause and seriousness of the disease by interrogating concerning the habit of sinning-the occasion-the time-the place-the persons with whom-the combination of circumstances (Prax. Conf. 6).

    Is it surprising that confessional boxes have been called "spider parlors full of senseless flies," "priestly spider dens," "sinks of iniquity"?

    Purgatory
    We again make use of Dr. Scroggie's article:-

    The Doctrine of Purgatory, for which there is in Scripture not the slightest warrant, is one of the most abhorrent doctrines of the Roman Church.

    The priest, summoned to the bed of a dying man, administers to him extreme unction, and solemnly pronounces full and final absolution; and yet, after the man is dead, money is cruelly extracted from his mourning relatives and friends to pay for masses to be said in order to shorten the period of his torment in Purgatory.

    Anything more utterly absurd and wicked could not be imagined. How different is the Protestant teaching, that at death the spirit of the believer, relying entirely on the merits of Christ, goes immediately into the Divine Presence, and is for ever with the Lord.

    Paul declares that to depart is, to be with Christ, which is far better: A Voice from Heaven says, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord;" and the Master Himself says to the faithful servant, "Well done, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

    Perversion to Rome
    We will now give the oath which all converts to the Roman Catholic Church have to take:-

    I (name), having before my eyes the Holy Gospels, which I touch with my hand, and knowing that no one can be saved without that faith which the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church holds, believes and teaches: against which I grieve that I have greatly erred, inasmuch as I have held and believed doctrines opposed to her teaching;

    I now, by the help of God's grace, profess that I believe the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church, to be the only true Church established on earth by Jesus Christ, to which I submit myself with my whole heart. I firmly believe all the articles which she proposes to my belief, and I reject and condemn all that she rejects and condemns, and I am ready to observe all that she commands me.

    What slave-mentality!

    Cardinal Wiseman writes thus of converts to Protestantism:-

    The history of every case is simply this: that the individual by some chance or other, probably through the influence of some pious person, became possessed of the Word of God, the Bible; that he perused this Book; that he could not find in it Transubstantiation, or Auricular Confession; that he could not discover in it one word on Purgatory or on worshipping images. He perhaps goes to the priest, and tells him that he cannot find these doctrines in the Bible. His priest argues with him, and endeavors to convince him that he should shut up the Book that is leading him astray. . . . But he perseveres; he abandons the communion of the Church of Rome-that is, as it is commonly expressed, the errors of the Church-and becomes Protestant. (See Isaacson's "Road from Rome," page 248).

    Space forbids us to, say anything of the debasing and immoral practices of Praying for the Dead, of Rome's cruel treatment of "Heretics," of her belief that unbaptized infants go straight to Hell, of the immoral and blasphemous sale of Indulgences, etc., etc., all of which form part of her propaganda, and are utterly contrary to the express teaching of Holy Writ.

    Yet there are some "Protestants" who are seeking Union with Rome!

    Dr. Scroggie has well said: "Rome, too, wants a re-united Christendom, but only by the capitulation of all the Churches to herself. The fox has no objection to the geese, provided they are all inside her. But a re-united Christendom on these terms would be the greatest blunder and crime in the history of religion."
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I like it, I like it.
     
  6. Helen

    Helen
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    Jacob, unless you wrote those essays yourself (in which case you should say so to avoid confusion), what you have done is illegal. You need to reference what you have quoted and when it is a long quote like the above or series of quotes then you need the original author's permission to quote his material so extensively. You will read about this on the BB rules which you said you agreed to when you registered.

    (I used to be a moderator here when I still had the time and I apologize for sounding 'authoritarian', but I don't want BB to get in trouble)
     
  7. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    The author's of those essays, the Catholic Church being one of them, strongly encourages people to copy them…. Besides, I doubt you would of complained if their was nothing negative in it about your church.
     
  8. rsr

    rsr
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    The information was taken from a compilation by William C. Irvine, "Heresies Exposed," Loizeaux Brothers, Bible Truth Depot, New York, 1917.

    Whether or not the material is under copyright, sources should be attributed. And incredibly long posts are a disservice both to the writer and reader.
     
  9. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    Also, the church of Saint Nicholas is raising my eyebrow......

    But I still like the content of his posts.
     
  10. rsr

    rsr
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    Jakob:

    Are you really a Raskolnik?
     
  11. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    @RSR Da....
     
  12. DHK

    DHK
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    This is pure Catholic propaganda, obviously written by the Catholic Church and offensive to any Protestant.
    DHK
     
  13. rsr

    rsr
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    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    It's from the Catholic Answers Web site, complete with imprimatur.

    The Calvinism material is from A.M. Hills, a (Surprise.) Holiness preacher.
     
  14. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    I think it must be very cold in Alaska.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Monergist

    Monergist
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    Ray,

    There's a new book out that agrees with your assessments. Get a copy &gt;&gt;&gt;HERE&lt;&lt;&lt;
     
  16. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Jacob, I'm confused! Clearly as a raskolnik Orthodox, you would regard both the Catholics and the Protestants (and I would guess the modern Orthodoxen) as being in error, so why are you quoting from their works? Surely you don't subscribe to what you've posted?
     
  17. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    Your right…I don’t….
    Do not judge others. Then you will not be judged. You will be judged in the same way you judged others. You will be measured in the way you measure others. You look at the bit of sawdust in your friend’s eye. But you pay no attention to the piece of wood in your one eye. How can you say to your friend, “Let me take the bit of sawdust out of your eye”? How can you say this while there is a piece of wood in your own eye? You pretender! First take the piece of wood out of your own eye. Then you will be able to see clearly to take the bit of sawdust out of your friend’s eye. Do not give holy thing to dogs. Do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they might turn around and tear you to pieces.
    Matthew 7:1-6
     
  18. Melanie

    Melanie
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    sorry....I have never heard this term......definition someone please.... [​IMG]
     
  19. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen
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    Ras•kol•nik

    Pronunciation: (ru-skôl'nik), [key]
    —n.,
    —pl. -niks, -ni•kiPronunciation: (-ni-kē"). [key]
    a member of any of several sects founded by dissenters from the Russian Orthodox Church who opposed the liturgical reforms of Nikon in the 17th century. Also called Old Believer, Old Ritualist.
     
  20. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    :eek: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ed
     

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