Gal 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel…
So, the Pontificator has crossed the Tiber. In this post he explains his reasons why.
Frankly, this is a tragic day. Why? Because he has leapt from one heresy into the arms of another. Now, I have every sympathy with those that find themselves unable to stay in ECUSA (the Episcopal Church of the USA) – but to go to Rome? Why are we Anglicans in the first place? The Church of England was formed as a bastion of protestantism. A brief walk through the 39 Articles demonstrates that. So, for example, let’s go to the following:
XI. Of the Justification of Man.
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
XII. Of Good Works.
Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.
XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.
Voluntary Works besides, over and above, God’s Commandments, which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety: for by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake, than of bounden duty is required: whereas Christ saith plainly When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants.
If you have any knowledge at all of Roman Catholic doctrine then you’ll realise how far apart the doctrine of justification that is stated in the 39 Articles is from what Rome teaches. And yet the Pontificator says, “ It is my intention to renounce my orders as an Episcopal priest and to enter, for the sake of my salvation, into full communion with the Catholic Church. I freely affirm the Catholic Church to be the one true fold of Jesus Christ.”
It’s tragic. “For the sake of my salvation”. If you’re worried about salvation then the last place that you go to is the Roman Catholic Church who teach confidence in something other than Christ’s work alone. Just so we’re clear on this let’s go to the Roman Catholic Cathechism, in particular the section on grace and justification.
“ 2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions. ”
That’s horrendous. “We can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification…”
In Roman Catholic theology sanctification is justification. One is “re-justified” (to warp protestant terminology) by being sanctified. The notion of what the Reformers called an “alien righteousness” (i.e. that we are considered to be righteous/justified even though we are not – and that purely on the merits of Christ which we appropriate by faith) is anathema to the Roman Catholic Church.
The Pontificator has said goodbye to all that.
Now, I know that this will offend some of you and I write this with you in mind. But it must be said. The Roman Catholic Church teaches dogmatically that simple faith/trust in Jesus is just not enough to save and that we must contribute to our own salvation.
A false gospel is a false gospel whether it is the inclusivity of ECUSA or the works religion of Roman Catholicism.
Ultimately, then, this is a plea to you all. Look again at Christ. Is He sufficient? Or do you think that there is something that Christ cannot do that you must do? If you think the former then rejoice in Him. If you think the latter then you are in real danger because we cannot trust ourselves.
Galatians 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.