What Does it Mean to Say That Jesus “Became Sin”?

Sandro Botticelli, Holy Trinity with Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist and Tobias and the Angel (1493)
Sandro Botticelli, Holy Trinity with Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist and Tobias and the Angel (1493)

St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 has an odd expression, in which he says that God the Father made Christ, who knew no sin, “to be sin.” What on earth does that mean? Here’s the context (2 Cor. 5:17-21):

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

I. What Christ Becoming Sin Means

If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this: “sin” is the term that the Jews used for sin offerings. The Hebrew word חַטָּאָת (chatta’ath) means both “sin” and “sin offering.” In the KJV, it’s translated as “sin” 182 times, and as “sin offering” 116 times. Just in case you’re not inclined to click that link to Strong’s Concordance, here’s the most important part:

So another way of making St. Paul’s point is to say that Christ, who is sinless, was made our sin offering.

So Paul’s not calling Christ evil. That’s crucial. Sin is evil, and so calling Christ “sin” (in the way we use the word) would be calling Him evil, an obvious heresy (particularly since Paul just said that Christ is sinless). Calling Him our sin offering, on the other hand, is completely orthodox. Christ died for our sins: that’s the foundation of Christian theology.

The Church Fathers knew this, by the way. The 4th-century Ambrosiaster points out that “in view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made ‘sin,’ because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a ‘sin.’And since Latin, like Hebrew, uses the same word for a sin and a sin offering, they weren’t prone to misunderstand the verse in the same way we English-speakers are.

The second most important point to remember: Not only was the sin offering not rejected by God, it was one of extremely few things permitted in the Holy of Holies. Moses scolds Eleazar and Ithamar in Leviticus 10:17-18 for not eating the sin offering in the innermost part of the sanctuary, on account of its holiness:

“Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since it is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LordBehold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly ought to have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.” 

Even the high priest Aaron was only allowed to come before the Ark of the Covenant once a year (Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement) with a sin offering (Lev. 16:2-3, 34). Centuries later, Ezekiel would see a prophetic vision of the coming Temple, in which the sin offering retains its place of holiness (Ez. 42:13-14):

Then he said to me, “The north chambers and the south chambers opposite the yard are the holy chambers, where the priests who approach the Lord shall eat the most holy offerings; there they shall put the most holy offerings—the cereal offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, for the place is holy. When the priests enter the holy place, they shall not go out of it into the outer court without laying there the garments in which they minister, for these are holy; they shall put on other garments before they go near to that which is for the people.”

So Jesus is being equated to the sacred sin offering, the holiest sacrifice that the Jews offered. And this sacrificial offering was pleasing to God, so much so that He permitted into the innermost sanctum, before the Holy of Holies.

II. What Christ Becoming Sin Doesn’t Mean

So the last two points were pretty straightforward, but require understanding the odd way that Jews would use “sin” to mean both sin itself, and the payment for it. The closest English analogies that I can think of are to terms like “check” and “bill,” which each mean both a debt and a payment for a debt. When theologians don’t know this, they produce disastrous theologies. Let me give you a few examples:

Jeremy Myers of Redeeming God misunderstands the verse this way:

On the cross, Jesus is both the most beautiful thing the world has ever seen, and the most loathsome. Jesus is the most righteous and the most sinful. The cross of Jesus is full of love and horror.

Love, because of what Jesus did, but horror, because of what Jesus became: He became sin. This is the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:21. Jesus became sin for us. God made Him to be sin. Jesus was despised, rejected, and loathed (Isa 53:2-6). People looked upon Him with revulsion. Even God rejected Him (Matt 27:46).

Yikes! Obviously, such a statement misunderstands 2 Corinthians 5:21. It views Jesus as becoming the offense of sin, rather than the sin offering, and it view Jesus as rejected by God. when He is the Beloved Son (2 Peter 1:17) and also is God (John 1:1). So no, God didn’t reject Himself, nor did the Holy Trinity tear Itself apart.

Ron Rhodes of Christian Research Institute gives other examples of Protestants who interpret this verse heretically:

Based on this verse, for example, the Christadelphians argue that Jesus had to engage in self-redemption before seeking to redeem the rest of humanity: “He himself required a sin offering”; He “saved himself in order to save us.”

Word-Faith leaders take a different—though even more heretical—spin on the verse. Kenneth Copeland, for example, asserts that Jesus “had to give up His righteousness” and “accepted the sin nature of Satan.” Benny Hinn likewise declares that Jesus “did not take my sin; He became my sin….He became one with the nature of Satan.”

But when folks like Kenneth Copeland claim that 2 Corinthians 5:21 means that Jesus “had to give up His righteousness,” they’re standing in an older (still very wrong) Protestant tradition. Charles Spurgeon (1834-92), one of the most famous 19th century Protestant preachers and theologians, thought that the verse meant that:

God lays upon the spotless Savior, the sin of the guilty, so that He becomes, in the expressive language of the text, sin. Then He takes off from the innocent Savior His righteousness and puts that to the account of the once guilty sinners, so that the sinners become righteousness—righteousness of the highest and most divine source—the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Leave aside for a moment the fact that it’s impossible for Jesus Christ to lay aside (or have stripped from Him) His righteousness, being perfectly God and man. A Christ stripped of righteousness wouldn’t be capable of atoning for our sins. The whole point is that the sin offering is something wonderful and acceptable (even pleasing!) to God, not something God hates.

This also explains why Kendall Easley of The Gospel Coalition is wrong in claiming that “God treated Jesus as if he were sin itself.” But no, the whole point of the sin offering is that it was holy, extremely holy, and could therefore be in the presence of the Holy of Holies. That’s not how sin is treated. This is why Scripture repeatedly emphasizes that the sin offering has to be unblemished (Leviticus 4:3, 4:32, 9:2-3, Numbers 6:14, Ezekiel 43:22, etc.). The sin offering is externally pure as a sign of its holiness, and as a prefigurement of the perfect, sinless sin offering, Jesus Christ. So claiming that Jesus is treated as sin is 100% wrong.

Speaking of Kenneth Copeland, it’s worth reading the relevant portion of his sermon on the subject, just to see the danger of bad theology:

He Who knew no sin was made to be sin. He did the same thing that Adam did in the Garden of Eden! He made Himself obedient to death and put Himself into the hands of God’s enemy, Satan. Only He did it—He committed this act not by treason, but by choice. He did it in order to pay the price for Adam’s treason.

He put Himself and made Himself obedient unto death, and the same thing happened to Him that happened to Adam—spiritual death!

Now, listen. If it had been a physical death only, it wouldn’t have worked. And if He hadn’t died spiritually, that body never would have died.

He’s accusing Jesus of committing the sin of Adam, and dying a spiritual death, making Himself obedient to Satan. Without wanting to throw the word around lightly, that’s seriously heretical.

But here again, the heretical claim is actually rooted in an older Protestant tradition. Here we find the Reformer John Calvin likewise claiming that Jesus died spiritually, in order to feel the weight of (His own??) divine vengeance:

Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. We lately quoted from the Prophet, that the “chastisement of our peace was laid upon him” that he “was bruised for our iniquities” that he “bore our infirmities;” expressions which intimate, that, like a sponsor and surety for the guilty, and, as it were, subjected to condemnation, he undertook and paid all the penalties which must have been exacted from them, the only exception being, that the pains of death could not hold him. Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God.

Most of the Protestant theologians in question are simply ignorant, having inherited bad theology and having encountered an admittedly-baffling (and shocking) expression in 2 Corinthians 5:21. But Calvin is actually consciously breaking with tradition on this point. He writes in his commentary on the passage:

It is commonly remarked, that sin here denotes an expiatory sacrifice for sin, and in the same way the Latin’s term it, piaculum. Paul, too, has in this, and other passages, borrowed this phrase from the Hebrews, among whom ‘sm (asham) denotes an expiatory sacrifice, as well as an offense or crime. But the signification of this word, as well as the entire statement, will be better understood from a comparison of both parts of the antithesis. […] What, on the other hand, is denoted by sin? It is the guilt, on account of which we are arraigned at the bar of God. As, however, the curse of the individual was of old cast upon the victim, so Christ’s condemnation was our absolution, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5.)

In other words, he recognizes that the normal reading of “made sin” for those familiar with Hebrew idioms, is to be made a sin offering. But Calvin thinks he knows better, and that we should read it as Christ’s condemnation. So Calvin actually breaks with the common Christian view before the Reformation (the view of the Fathers, and the view of those familiar with Jewish idioms), and he imposes a new interpretation of the passage that requires Christ’s condemnation to Hell. And we find this heretical view springing up in Protestant theology ever since.

Conclusion

Jesus became our sin offering, which is what St. Paul meant by the phrase “becoming sin.” As a sin offering, He was, is, and always shall be (a) without blemish, (b) unspeakably holy, (c) beloved by His Father, (d) acceptable and pleasing within His sight, and (e) able to go within the Holy of Holies. The Church Fathers got this.

Unfortunately, many Protestants, from Calvin and Spurgeon to Copeland and The Gospel Coalition, have screwed this up and come to heretical conclusions, thinking that Jesus being made sin means He was stripped of His righteousness (the very thing that gives His Sacrifice value), became repugnant to the Father, or even that He took on a sinful nature and/or suffered spiritual death. Such views are incompatible with any remotely-orthodox understanding of the Holy Trinity, of Christ’s sinlessness, and of His unmingled divine and human natures.

 

134 Comments

  1. Thanks for clearing this up Joe. I attended a SBC service and the pastor said exactly what you described: that Christ’s Righteousness left him and came upon us, and our Sins left us and went onto him. Immediately hearing it, I wanted to stand up and scream, Blasphemy! But I didn’t know how to explain it, so I’m thankful that you have.

    1. TT: I attended a SBC service and the pastor said exactly what you described: that Christ’s Righteousness ***left him*** and came upon us, and our Sins left us and went onto him…Immediately hearing it, I wanted to stand up and scream, Blasphemy!

      BB: If you did in fact hear that the righteousness of Christ “LEFT HIM”, it was a poor choice of words! These are irresponsible comments not used with caution. YOU WILL NOT FIND A PROTESTANT DISSERTATION in our history that offers to proclaim Jesus became totally void of virtue and was left on the cross having the righteousness of a sack of potatoes. What you WILL generally find is that we are said to be “IN CHRIST” over 25 times, and so, according to 2 Cor 5:21, now that we are “IN HIM”, we might become “the righteousness of God”. IOW, being so “at one” with him, his life of perfect righteousness is imputed to us, just as our sins were imputed to him.
      And yes, our sins were indeed imputed to him. The confession of the people’s sins over the animal by placing hands on its head, was, in God’s eyes, a transfer of the worshipper’s sin and guilt to the animal, which would then take the punishment due to the worshipper. It would be treated as the sins it bore… deserved.
      When we read that, “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” we conclude he was being treated as the sins He bore, DESERVED. It is written of those who sin by breaking God’s laws that they, “will bear their iniquity” (Lev 5:1, 5:17, 7:18, 10:17, 16:22, 17:16, 19:8).. That is, “they will be held responsible” (!!!). Christ was being held responsible to satisfy divine justice in our room and stead. Again, if the iniquities of us all were laid on Him (Isa 53:6), and they were—and he bore our sins (and he did, per 1 Peter 2:24), then He was enduring the wrath of God WHICH OUR SINS DESERVE, so that we would not have to! This is penal substitution.

      1. Hello Barry,

        Thanks for clearing that up. Perhaps the pastor became over excited on the topic and was attempting to drive the idea home at the expense of misspeaking.

        So the idea of imputation, which I’m not exactly sure what it is, but isn’t it the same as saying that Christ was a sin offering? Not that he became sin, but that he became a sin offering for us…supported by Him being the passover lamb who takes away the sins of the world.

        1. TT: So the idea of imputation, which I’m not exactly sure what it is, but isn’t it the same as saying that Christ was a sin offering? Not that he became sin, but that he became a sin offering for us

          BB: No one denies that Christ was a sin-offering. The question is: how do you grasp the benefits of that? The only answer is that God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer by faith alone (Romans 4:6,11; 1 Cor 1:30, Phil 3:9). How were the sins of the people transferred to the animal sacrifices? They were imputed to it. It’s all a matter of what constitutes justice in God’s eyes. It is an unseen transfer. He imputed the sins of the people to the animal and judged that animal AS IF the animal were guilty, and IT suffered the consequences, not the people. When we read in Isaiah 53 that the “The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all”, that means, in this unseen exchange, God imputed our sins to Christ AS IF he were guilty of them all, taking the punishment of an eternal death, which should have been ours, in a finite period of time on the cross.
          But taking away all our sins is not enough. That only gives us a blank slate. We ALSO need a perfect righteousness to stand before the judgment throne since ours will always be imperfect (Phil 3:12) and is but filthy rags. Scripture says we need a righteousness “THAT IS NOT OUR OWN” to get to heaven (Phil 3:9), and the only way to get that is via the imputation of the R.O.C., which is given to us when we come to Christ by faith alone.
          Catholicism offers us a “subjective” righteousness wherein the R.O.C., rather than being imputed whole and entire, is infuuuuused, piecemeal, via the sacraments, into its members physical flesh. They look at the R.O.C. as some sort of metaphysical SUBSTANCE, which then gives the person a spiritual kick-in-the-pants to run around doing good deeds which then merit heaven. Thus, they trust in what the blessed Holy Spirit does IN us, rather than, or in addition to, what Christ has done FOR us, to be saved. But they will be sorely disappointed come Judgment Day.

          Here is a 5 minute summation

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IapqqQ45Q4w

          1. Hi Barry thank you for your response.

            You said: “The only answer is that God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer by faith alone (Romans 4:6,11; 1 Cor 1:30, Phil 3:9).”

            Phil 3:9: and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

            1 Cor 1:30: And because of him[a] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

            Romans 4:6: just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

            Romans 4:11: He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,

            Scripture doesn’t say “Faith Alone” Anywhere. I did a search online and the only time “Faith Alone” appears is in

            James 2:24: You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            So forgive if I’m not following your only answer of God’s imputation.

        2. So the idea of imputation, which I’m not exactly sure what it is, but isn’t it the same as saying that Christ was a sin offering?

          No. Barry’s got it. Whereas we (I’m assuming you’re Catholic?) believe that righteousness is truly imputed and infused into the soul, and needs to be lived out in order to enjoy the benefits of Justification, imputed righteousness teaches that we are regarded as righteous by faith in the promise of Christ alone. In that system, the regarding of the person as righteous is the basis of standing just before God, not the interior righteousness of the man in any sense.

          In contrast, we as Catholics believe that the interior working of the Holy Ghost is the basis of standing just before God, working out our salvation in fear and trembling (i.e. being in a state of Sanctifying Grace).

          Calvinist protestants do not have this concept of “being in a state of grace”, you’re either saved and guaranteed heaven by faith alone and the predestination of God, or you’re not, regardless of your interior state. Practical holiness comes only as a result of justification, and is in no way even the cause of it’s increase (since it’s already considered to be complete and perfect), and this growth in practical holiness is put in a separate category called “Sanctification”.

          In contrast, we make no distinction between Justification and Sanctification. Two sides of the same coin.

          The idea of imputation-only righteousness is not the same thing as saying that Christ is a sin offering, as the imputed righteousness idea speaks to the means by which Christ’s merits are applied to the believer, not Christ’s death itself (although imputed righteousness makes little sense apart from it’s commonly accompanying theory of the atonement: penal substitution).

      2. BB,
        “These are irresponsible comments not used with caution” = given that you (BB) have no authority whatsoever on what another Protestant believes, you have no basis whatsoever on which you can judge the validity of his comments.
        “YOU WILL NOT FIND” followed by “What you WILL generally find” is incorrect. You start with an absolute statement and then you follow it with a less strict one, allowing for dissention. Furthermore, given the countless (in quality, if not in quantity) Protestant and Evangelical denominations, you can’t make such blanket statements without providing any source for common ground and agreements on any kind of doctrinal teaching, which is impossible given the anarchistic nature of the Reformist theology. Similarly, you can’t use the “we” pronoun, unless you refer to just your local church, and even in this case you could run into dissention and disagreement.

  2. It seems to me that anyone who believes in the Protestant version needs to explain exactly WHEN this damnation of Christ happened, because it sure didn’t happen while He was still communicating from the cross. There is too much love there to be consistent with such evil, and as Jesus said ‘evil cant cast out evil’.
    On the contrary, we see nothing but examples of supreme love, patience and virtue. And there are other martyrdoms, and torture, that are somewhat similar, and which are held as supreme acts of courage and devotion to God, found in sacred scripture, such as the stories of the seven sons in the Book of Maccabees, and also, Daniel in the midst of the ‘fiery furnace’. And the Book of Wisdom also teaches a different story, if we accept it’s typology:

    “…’We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father. Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be. For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies. Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be respect had unto him by his words.’ These things they thought, and were deceived: for their own malice blinded them. And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honour of holy souls. For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world: And they follow him that are of his side.” (Wisdom 2:16)

    And, these scriptures are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, so-to-say.

  3. Question: is there any other evidence/commentaries from Early Church fathers interpreting it in this way? or Did this “heretical” or “incorrect” interpretation come about only after the Reformation?

  4. Phenomenal article Joe! This is THE reason why protestantism is Arian in it’s Christology when you start to scratch at it. The only difference is that when 4th century Arians said “there was a time when he was not” they were referring to a beginning in time whereas protestant Arianism has that referring to Calvary. Actually, 4th century still Arians tried to use Christ’s cry from the cross (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) as proof for their error. Contemporary protestent Arians do likewise. They still say “there was a time when he was not” whether or not they realize it.

    1. M: 4th century Arians said “there was a time when he was not”

      BB: Not …”what”, specifically?

      M: Contemporary protestent Arians do likewise. They still say “there was a time when he was not” whether or not they realize it.

      BB: And whether you realize it or NOT, you are speaking daffy, not identifying WHAT it is that Protestants think, “whether we realize it or not.”
      May I suggest attending a course in Evelyn Wood’s Reading Dynamics?

    1. it would appear that context and taking all of scripture into account makes it crystal clear already. But if you just read this one chapter and have no bearing on the historical context, then I can see how it would be confusing.

  5. Even if Jesus cried “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”, still, from the same cross, He said to the ‘good thief’: “Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” Now paradise, it might be noted, is not a place for someone dominated by satan, according to the teaching: “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (paradise/ Heaven). So, at least we have a time frame wherein we can determine the time that Jesus suffered for our salvation: That is until the end of that very day, wherein Jesus would be in Paradise with the ‘good Thief’.

    In the same passage (Luke 23:43), it also says:

    “And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.”

    So, we have an indication by the usage of the term ‘darkness’, that it would be 3 hours, until the 9th hour, wherein the most severe suffering would occur. Yet, during these three hours, we also note the most tender charity that was revealed in His words to those below, and about Him. We see Him asking His Father to forgive the soldiers who tortured, crucified and tempted Him with drugged wine. We see Him providing for the physical necessities of His blessed Mother, by giving her to the care of John, the beloved disciple. And, not only was this a tender act of charity and concern for His mother, but a most precious gift and honor for St. John also, and the entire Church, also, by extension. We see, moreover, His pius love of God His Father demonstrated, when He says: “Into your hands I command my Spirit”, which are not only trusting and pious words, but an important lesson also for all His followers in the future to imitate. Herein, His disciples also might find a suitable faith and attitude when their own ‘hour’ comes, such as happened with St. Peter, who followed His Lord’s way, when he was crucified upside down by the Romans few decades later. And, how many other Christians also similarly suffered for Christ throughout the centuries, and who could be consoled with the example and words given to them by Jesus Christ their Shepherd and Lord?

    So, during these three hours of darkness on the cross, we indeed see terrible and grievous suffering…. BUT nothing like the anguish,horror,guilt and sin…. entering and dominating the body and soul of Christ… as many Protestants imply happened to Him on the cross. Rather, heroic suffering, sacrifice, charity, patience…and actually all virtues…were demonstrated that day on Mt. Calvary, even until His lips uttered the words; “It is finished”.

    This is what the Gospels, themselves, reveal to us regarding Christ’s suffering and sacrifice on Calvary. Where do these same accounts imply that Satan ever dominated Him? And, if anything even suggested this,in the Gospels, wouldn’t it be strange that the Romans about Him would be so impressed with this sacred death…and those same soldiers who were professional executioners, who were experienced in torturing criminals and rebels. On the contrary, these same Gospels relate:

    1. “Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God.” [Matthew 27:54]

    2. “And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the son of God.” [Mark 15:39]

  6. Very good article here, Joe. This is one of the more significant differences that I’ve wrestled with as a convert, and your article enriches my understanding quite a bit. I especially appreciate the linguistic insights.

    I’m very curious what your thoughts are on the relation with this understanding of the atonement (which seems to be the classic Satisfaction theory) and the other traditional understandings of the atonement:
    1. Ransom theory
    2. Christus victor theory
    3. Recapitulation theory (which I regard as an early version of satisfaction theory, before it became more developed by St. Anselm)
    4. Moral exemplar theory

  7. “Benny Hinn likewise declares that Jesus “did not take my sin; He became my sin….He became one with the nature of Satan.”

    Again, if this indeed happened, I would like to know how long this state actually lasted, according to the Protestants who claim it?

    To become “one with Satan” in bibilical typology, is to become ‘one with the ancient serpent’ the head of which Jesus, Mary and the Church came to ‘crush with their heals’…ie..” “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

    So, Jesus, according to the Protestants, must have for a short time of about 3 hours (before he went to Paradise with the good thief) become one with the enemy that tempted Him in the desert and which He told to depart for Him. And this enemy, Satan, is also the same one who, only 12 to 15 hours before the crucifixion of Jesus, is told of Judas: “And after the morsel, Satan entered into him.” So, we know according to this story, that Satan was in possession of Judas while Jesus was on the Mt. of Olives, and Protestants such as Benny Hinn want to imply that Satan was also of ‘one spirit’ (in possession and union) with Jesus on the Holy Cross, just 15, or so, hours later. In this, Jesus and Judas were actually true comrades and true brothers, as they both became “one with the nature of Satan”; moreover, we might note they both died on the same day, with Judas committing suicide and Jesus succumbing to the torture of the cross.

    Why, I wonder, is Judas held in so low esteem by the early Church, wherein the apostles consider his memory to be notorious, and scandalous, and so quickly they elected Matthias to replace him after these events? Judas did nothing more than Jesus, in allowing ‘Satan to enter him’, and ‘become one nature with Satan’,so to say, according to the quote above?

    And, another consideration. We know that Jesus was the ‘lamb of God’ as it taught by St. John the Baptist. We know that he was ‘slaughtered like a lamb’ after the fashion and typology found in Genesis…. relating to Abraham and God’s call to sacrifice of his only son, Isaac. And then, also in the Passover stories of Exodus, wherein the Israelites sacrificed and ate the ‘unblemished lamb’, we note the same typology used to describe Jesus, meek and humble of heart, who died on the cross for mankind .We note also, that chronologically, Jesus died during ‘the Pasch’, and at about the same time that the lambs were slaughtered in Jerusalem.

    So, a question for Benny Hinn, and other like minded Protestants, is: When then does the typology of the ‘lamb’ change into a ‘serpent’? Jesus is shown throughout the Bible under the metaphor of a spotless ‘lamb of God’: He was a ‘lamb of God’ at the Last supper when He offered His body to be eaten, and He was a lamb on the cross, following the typology of Isaac. And, even in the Book of Revelation, He is shown as:

    “And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.” [Apocalypse (Revelation) 5:6]

    So, here we find that Jesus after His crucifixion and sacrifice…is still typologically portrayed as a ‘lamb of God’…and “STANDING as it were slain”. Where then, where does Satan, and the prostrated SERPENT typology fit into this chronology? I don’t read of any typological change from ‘lamb’ to ‘serpent’ anywhere, or at any time, in scared scripture. Why wasn’t it written down in metaphoric or allegorical form anywhere in the Bible if it were true that what Benny Hinn suggests…actually happened? That is, somewhere on the cross, before the end of that very day wherein Jesus said to the good Thief “Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.”[Luke 23:43]…Jesus must have ‘become one with the nature of Satan’. Yet, Jesus is at the very time He should be ‘one in nature with Satan… rewarding the good thief for His kindness, consideration and defense of Christ’s innocence; and basically telling the other thief, that Jesus is a truly ‘lamb of God’, and is indeed being tortured unjustly. So, one last time, where does Satan come into the picture? Or, does Satan inspire words of love and truth in a persons soul? A person such as this Good thief? And, later, when Jesus said “Behold you Mother”, and “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”… was that the spirit of Satan, who Jesus apparently was ‘one in nature with’, speaking in Him?

    This is a perfect example of how Protestants can take a single word written by St. Paul, i.e.. ‘sin’ (2 Cor. 5:17-21), and imply that whole chapters of Biblical text means something entirely different than what is actually written. And this is exactly why, I think, St. Peter wrote about St. Paul’s letters:

    “be diligent that you may be found before him unspotted and blameless in peace. And, account the LONGSUFFERING of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are CERTAIN THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.” (2 Peter 3:16)

    1. AWL: “Benny Hinn likewise declares that Jesus “did not take my sin; He became my sin….He became one with the nature of Satan.”
      Again, if this indeed happened, I would like to know how long this state actually lasted, according to the Protestants who claim it?

      BB: We will be happy to answer that question when you tell us on what basis the Pope declared Mary to be free from the INSTANT of her conception, when the word “kecharitomene” does not give any indication as to how long Mary was INNNNN that state!
      Silence? I thought so. Then your question will likewise go unanswered.

      AWL: This is a perfect example of how Protestants can take a single word written by St. Paul, i.e.. ‘sin’ (2 Cor. 5:17-21), and imply that whole chapters of Biblical text means something entirely different than what is actually written.

      BB: Oh my! I near gagged on that one. Let me see now…the Text can…EXPLICITLY… tell us that “ALL” have sinned, but the RCC may tell us something entirely different about Mary??? Or when we read that God… EXPLICITY… eliminates the Mosaic law as a means for justification (Acts 13:39), but the RCC may tell us that we have to keep the Mosaic law to be saved??? (CCC 16, 2068). Or when we are… EXPLICITLY told that Jesus gave himself up for us, no sooner and no later, than on Calvary’s tree (1 Peter 2:24) ….but the Council of Trent has the right to proclaim he gave himself up in sacrifice at the Last Supper BEFORE he went to Calvary??? Or where we are… EXPLICITLY told that we are not saved by good works (Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Rms 3:25-28; 4:5-6,11:6), but the RCC sneaks in through the back door and says that if they’re done with “God’s grace”, they have the power to bring us to heaven??? (CCC 1821).

      Examples could be multiplied of course, but I trust you get the point that your objection that Protestants do not go by what the Text “actually” says, is utterly hypocritical…to the MAXX, and unless you can admit it (which of course you won’t), then I should think you have no right whatsoever to even ask.

      1. Maybe you can do away with the juvenile expressions and exclamations that you use, and your convoluted ‘all over the map’ theological arguments might be more understandable. You seem to be carried away by your emotion…as is usually the case when you comment. Why not consider being a little respectful to the other Christians here? Both Irked and Craig Truglia gained a lot of respect here by abiding by simple Christian courtesy when they argued their points. You, on the other hand, seem to just confuse any discussion with wild rhetoric and a bombardment of accusations that have little if anything to do with the topic at hand.

        So, it’s really best to ignore your comments until you practice a little Christian courtesy. Such courtesy is a virtue…you know?

        1. AWL: Maybe you can do away with the juvenile expressions and exclamations that you use, and your convoluted ‘all over the map’ theological arguments might be more understandable.

          BB: Convoluted??? I don’t think I could have expressed myself any more clearly! In fact, if I had a third arm, I’d pat myself on the back.
          I accused you of being a hypocrite within the context of your own words. The truth is, you just can’t stand the fact that I have a thinking mind that can smell a rat when I see it. Moreover, I only used ONE exclamation point in the post, but did use a triple whammy of question marks because I meant to convey that your devotion to the word of God appears to be only lip service when you piously quote it in one place, but nullify it in another! As for “juvenile expressions”, your comment is dismissed without identifying what you think is juvenile.

          AWL: So, it’s really best to ignore your comments until you practice a little Christian courtesy. Such courtesy is a virtue…you know?

          BB: I practice Christian courtesy in all other areas of life, but when it comes to theological warfare, I put on the heat and for good reason. If my “heat” is the catalyst for you to do further research, or anyone else to think abut the opposite point of view, then I have succeeded. Do we ever see those engaged on the REAL battlefields, sending chocolate-covered cherries to their opponents? We do not. Why should it be any different here? You made TWO pious platitudes that demanded a retort to expose your inconsistency. This is exactly what Jesus did when they came and asked him a question, and he, knowing that they needed to learn a lesson and were themselves not being consistent, turns the tables and tells them, “OK, I’ll answer that, but first, let me ask YOU something. If you answer, then I will comply with your request”. Well you know how it all ended, they played dumb and left with their tail in between their legs.

          In like manner, you will not be getting an answer to your questions because you have refused to address mine.
          Such corrective tendencies are a virtue…ya know?

        2. Al…bravo.

          Hope all others follow your lead.

          Time is the one thing one can’t recover, and time wasted is that spent fishing for flounder. Especially those poor examples sorely afflicted by whirling disease.

        3. So, it’s really best to ignore your comments until you practice a little Christian courtesy.

          Count me in to the ignoring club! Here’s some scripture to encourage us to the virtue of fortitude:

          James 1:19-21

          “You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

          1. AF: Count me in to the ignoring club!

            BB: You wrote this at 6:48, but at 6:44, you responded to my post, not ignoring me at all. Tsk, tsk, … looks like it’s hard to believe Catholics even when they aren’t discussing doctrine.

          2. AF: James 1:19-21 [says to] receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

            BB: But the fact of the matter is, the RCC does not TEACH THAT. When all is said and done, their devotion to the word of God amounts to mere lip service, for you do not believe for a nanosecond that the “engrafted word” and is able to save based on the promise of God to do so by faith. OTHER, horrific addendums must be added to the “engrafted word”, which NULLIFIES the very claim the engrafted word is making for itself! This is the very fount and apex of what Jesus was warning against, when he spoke of traditions nullifying the word.
            Sadly, Catholics do not even recognize their own hypocrisy.

      2. All those quotes from the CCC!!! I hope everyone goes to the actual source. Just a reminder for those that are new here, BB has been known to make minor changes such as replacing “can” with “must” to completely change the meaning of the sentence from the CCC. He then takes that new meaning and uses it as a club against Catholics! To BB war for truth justifies using a few tools from the devils toolbox. Ronald Reagan used to say “trust but verify”. In BBs case I suggest “verify everything”.

          1. AK: I suggest not responding excepting when Barry (aka flounder) is caught in a lie.

            BB: Here we see the epitome of stupidity. Here the Catholic implicity acknowledges that Protestants do indeed have a very formidable case against the RCC, but suggests that the only time to respond to them is when they make a mistake. That way, people will become so engrossed with their mistake, that the biblical evidence which constantly refutes them, is obscured and forgotten about.

            As Paul said, “We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices”.
            Neither am I ignorant of yours.

        1. CK: All those quotes from the CCC!!! I hope everyone goes to the actual source.

          BB: I would quite agree. That’s why I include them.

          CK: Just a reminder for those that are new here, BB has been known to make minor changes such as replacing “can” with “must” to completely change the meaning of the sentence from the CCC.

          BB: As a result of you saying that, I would have to judge you as probably one of the most despicable people on this thread (including a few others who took delight in my ONE INNOCENT mistake, and you go about saying I did it on purpose and well as implying that it is routine!
          (Oh no, CK NEVER makes mistakes, does he?).
          Anyone with a thinking brain would agree that your behavior is absolutely pathetic, downright sinful and you are so full of baloney you should open up a delicatessen.

          As for that error in the catechism (CCC 2677); namely that we bring “ALL” our cares to Mary, that is a disgusting falsehood that is obviously a stench in God’s nostrils per Phil 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, & Heb 4:15-16.
          What a miserable life you must lead having to fight against God every step of the way!

          1. BB said –
            (Oh no, CK NEVER makes mistakes, does he?).
            Anyone with a thinking brain would agree that your behavior is absolutely pathetic, downright sinful and you are so full of baloney you should open up a delicatessen.

            Me- My issue is this… When I asked you to identify the site you copied and pasted from so others can avoid it you said you did not use a website. So my assumption is you type all those quotes yourself (I still doubt this) with no misspelled words but somehow manage to put in not a nonsensical word but one that completely changes the meaning of the sentence which happens to support your position.

            I can tell you with certainty I have misinterpreted many things and made mistakes but have never done what you did and if I had I would have been so embarrassed I would have immediately apologized, owned up and admit my evidence did support my conclusion.

          2. “that is obviously a stench in God’s nostrils per Phil 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, & Heb 4:15-16.
            What a miserable life you must lead having to fight against God every step of the way!”

            God doesn’t have nostrils (even metaphorically).

            “What a miserable life you must lead having to fight against God every step of the way!”

            I proudly fight against the Judaeo-Christian god, Yahweh, El, Elohim, El-Shadday, and all his minions, including the most despicable of his blind servants.

            Hail Lucifer, Baal, Odin, and Odum.

      3. BB,
        “We will be happy to answer that question when you tell us on what basis the Pope declared Mary to be free from the INSTANT of her conception” = first of all, only royalty or the Pope use the pronoun “we” when referring to themselves (plurale maiestatis). Please stick to more realistic “I”.
        Regarding Mary’s Immaculate Conception, even if not explicitly indicated in Sacred Scriptures (which is not the only pillar of Faith for Catholics, so your objection would be null on this simple fact), it could be logically deduced by simply considering the young age at which she was probably bethrown to Joseph, and Paul’s comment in Romans 9:11. Assuming that she, as an infant, did not commit any sin until she had reached the age of reason, and that the usual age for marriage under Jewish law was 13 for boys, 12 for girls, it follows that she could’ve been “Full of Grace” for her entire life (Note: this logical reasoning is a speculation only – I have no issues with the Immaculate Conception Dogma; see Proverbs 3:5-6).

    2. “Benny Hinn likewise declares that Jesus “did not take my sin; He became my sin….He became one with the nature of Satan.”

      Well, I guess he must be right, in that was Benny’s personal interpretation. And personal ‘terpretations are guided by the Holy Spirit. Except when they are not, according to the parster in the storefront down the street. I am so confused.

      Did Flounder just essentially admit that ‘kecharitomene’ is a unique term, applied only to Mary, after mouth-foaming several topics back, that it wasn’t?

      I remember an original series Star Trek, where Mr. Spock said of his time with humans, constant exposure does result in a certain degree of contamination…. 😉

      1. AF: Benny’s personal interpretation [was] guided by the Holy Spirit. Except when it is not… I am so confused.

        BB: It’s not confusing at all. You make a claim for help in understanding at 4:51, so I’ll try to get to that after my mac and cheese. But for now, even if your gripe were relevant (which it is not), I could say the same thing about the RCC. Would you kindly watch me? Thank you so much:

        ***The Pope is guided by the Holy Spirit when he proceeds to make an infallible dogma. Except when it is not infallible because certain RC pundits claim that only if what he says falls into a segment entitled a “CANON”, and then only if it is then followed by an “ANATHEMA”, is it infallible. What he says in an “INTRODUCTION” or in a later “CHAPTER”, is not infallible, and so the world is supposed to believe that Jesus gave infallibility to the RCC, but ONLY when it involves FAITH, and only if it involves MORALS, and ONLY if it is included in a CANON, and ONLY if it is followed by anathema, and ALL of this garbage we are expected to believe was meant by Jesus as a result of Matt 16:18???
        Boo-hoo, cry me a river, I’m so confuuuuused! ***

        4:51

        1. Well, Flounder, I’ll break radio silence on you since I did ask for clarification, and you are One Of Them’s Who Should Know – if only you think so.

          About what I expected. Who wrote this ravening polemic? Parster Jimmuh?

          “Certain RC Pundits?” There’s a shining example of reasoning and documentation that would pass muster in an Ozark bunker homeschool.

          I’ll wait breathlessly while you wolf down your gourmet breakfast, for a fathomable ‘splanation as to just why you have the **authority **(re: LLC’s post, above) to declare yourself ‘a mature Protestant’ while Jim and Tammy Faye, Benny Hinn, and Joel Osteen….aren’t. Should be momentarily amusing.

  8. I think the latter part of 2 Cor 5:21, that we become the righteousness of God IN HIM, pretty much disproves Forensic Justification. Believers partake in real righteousness, that rightfully belongs to them by union with Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in his writings on the Eucharist in Book IV of Against Heresies, takes it for granted that partaking in the Eucharist allows us to partake in His righteousness because He dwells within us.

    So, I am well aware that Calvin affirmed that our righteousness is by virtue of our union with Christ. But, we are not righteous as a mere legal fiction. It is a reality Christians experience. Hence, the argument should be over sacramental theologhy–was Irenaeus right in his speculations?

    God bless,
    Craig

    1. The legal mere fiction that you talk about is very much like the “white washed sepulchers” that Jesus compares the Pharisees to in the Gospel accounts. And it is amazing that Luther didn’t make the connection to Christ’s analogy when using the term “snow covered dung hill”. This Luther inspired concept explains well forensic justification, but leaves out its essential part…the inner soul wherein both Jesus and the Father desire to make their abode with us…according to Christ’s saying:

      ” If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.”

      To ‘make our abode’ indicates a personal interior state even as is a home (‘abode’). So, God, the Holy Trinity, enters the soul of such a person who loves and keeps the word (teachings)of Christ; and one such teaching of Christ that needs ‘keeping’ regards the Eucharist, as you point out with your reference to Book IV of St. Irenaeus ‘Against Heresies’. Ireneaus therein makes the point that in the Eucharist the body itself is sanctified, and not merely the soul. And this sanctification is indeed NOT a mere legal fiction, like a ‘whitewashed sepulcher’ or ‘snow covered dunghill’ as some Protestants like Luther would claim. Here is how Irenaeus describes such sanctification of the body through the Eucharist:

      “…how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”

      “Was Ireneaus right in his speculations?” If we adhere to the whole body of Christ’s teachings, that is, everything that He taught us… which of course include the Eucharist… then according to Christ’s teaching above, God will ‘make His abode with us’, in both our souls and bodies also.

      So, in my opinion, yes, Irenaeus was right in his speculations. It is proven by Christ’s teachings in the Gospel, above.

      1. AWL: If we adhere to the whole body of Christ’s teachings, that is, everything that He taught us… which of course include the Eucharist… then according to Christ’s teaching above, God will ‘make His abode with us’, in both our souls and bodies also.

        BB: The promise of the indwelling Christ via the Spirit was made OUTSIDE of any discussion of receiving the Eucharist. Yet the Pope teaches that, “Eucharistic Communion brings about in a sublime way, the mutual “abiding” of Christ and each of His followers, [saying] “Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me” (John 15:4; taken from Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2). On the contrary, Scripture is crystal clear that we do not abide in Christ by virtue of ingesting a solid or a liquid. It is just the opposite: “HEREBY WE KNOW THAT HE ABIDES IN US; BY THE SPIRIT WHICH HE HATH GIVEN US” (1 John 3:24). Consequently, the reason we don’t have to literally eat him is because he already dwells with us by the promise of the Holy Spirit, mentioned no less than 10x with the Eucharist nowhere in sight. So when we read, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10) we know that it is ***obedience***, not the Eucharist, that amounts to abiding in Christ. Compare chapter 15 with, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (6:56). Conclusion? The command to believe in Him, as ***symbolized*** by eating His flesh and drinking His blood, is equivalent to abiding in Him, which we just learned from chapter 15 is not a call to investing the Eucharist, but to obeying His words!

        AWL: Sanctification is indeed NOT a mere legal fiction, like a ‘whitewashed sepulcher’ or ‘snow covered dunghill’ as some Protestants like Luther would claim.

        BB: Correction: NO Protestant (not “some”) would classify their sanctification under the auspices of “forensic justification” (or that “legal fiction” as you term it)….because they consider what the Holy Spirit does ***in*** them (i.e., sanctification), to be entirely separate from what God declares ***about*** them as a result of their trusting in Christ. Trent, on the other hand, uses the terms justification and sanctification interchangeably… which is absolutely unwarranted because these are two different words! “Justification is not the mere remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renovation of the inward man…” (Session 6, ch. 7).

        AWL: “…how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption”

        BB: The RCC does not officially teach our flesh is nourished by the Eucharist because they unequivocally state that Jesus makes a fast EXIT when the wafer disintegrates (usually after about a minute) and thus does not even make its way beyond the stomach (CCC 1377).

    2. CT: Forensic Justification [is not true]

      BB: However, if you are trying to say that the RCC does not AT ALL believe in F.J., that would be false. If we define F.J. as a legal declaration by which God declares a person just, then both Catholics and Protestants believe this, apparently unbeknownst to you.
      Trent says that “…not only are we reputed just [i.e. DECLARED FORENSICALLY JUST] but we are truly called and ARE just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure.”
      Rome’s justification is indeed forensic in that it involves God’s declaration. A person is justified when God declares that person just. However, whole both C & P’s agree that a legal declaration is being made, it is not in the same way. For Rome, the declaration follows them being made inwardly righteous; for the Reformers, the declaration follows the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, which is received whole and entire, and not “piecemeal, according to his own measure”… as Trent supposes.

    3. Craig, one other point on ‘forensic justification’ and the body. Even as Jesus says that the disciples who ‘keep His word’ by (first) “loving Him”, and being obedient to everything He says…will result in God coming to make an ‘abode’ in the midst of that the same ‘saint’… the opposite is also true, and God can also depart from a soul. This is where I think the Protestants get it all wrong regarding forensic justification.

      Christ clearly warns of this in teachings of the Gospel, but particularly in his analogy of the ‘strong man’:

      “No man can enter into the house of a strong man and rob him of his goods, unless he first bind the strong man, and then shall he plunder his house.” (Mark 3:27)

      So, we can see that even as ‘Satan entered in to Judas’ at the Last Supper, this is still possible for every living Christian ‘strongman’ also, if he is foolish enough to let Satan “bind” him. And part of a strongman’s attributes, that make him strong, are the exercises that he does on a continual basis so was to maintain that strength. This is why the Church encourages multitudes of such exercises, such as the ‘liturgy of the hours’, frequent Holy Communion, acts of charity to others, mortifications, fasting, frequent praying of the ‘Lord’s Prayer, frequent dialog with other Christians, frequent study, continual spiritual vigilance, etc… All of these help the Christian to remain spiritually strong and ‘free’, so as NOT to have his spiritual possessions ‘despoiled’.

      And Jesus also gives us a clue as to what ‘binds’ a man, when He says:

      “Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the SERVANT/SLAVE/BONDSMAN of sin.” [John 8:34]

      And,

      “If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

      These teachings are warnings to all Christians to be vigilant against the incursion of sin into the soul. And this is probably the most important distinction between the Catholic understanding of justification and the Protestant understanding. For a Catholic, we listen to Christ and try to remain ‘strong men’ by doing the things he tells us to do, and particularly regarding the holy Eucharist and other sacraments, as St. Clement noted. But Protestants are less vigilant because of their belief in ‘once saved always saved’. In being so, they are less likely to keep up with the spiritual exercises necessary to repel the ‘thief the comes to steal’, even as Satan entered and despoiled Judas Iscariot. And this is why we need to continually pray to God Our Father: ” lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

      If the Protestant doctrine of Forensic Justification leads any soul to let up his guard against committing sin, then it is an evil doctrine, because it is encouraging a strong man to be less careful in his exercises that are specifically created to keep him ‘strong’. Without these, he is not a strong man but a weak man. And he is weak because he is, little by little, neglecting to obey the word of Christ, little by little becoming less of a disciple through spiritual negligence, until the point that he is despoiled of all that he has. And, again, Judas is a good example of this.

      So, the Catholic understanding of Forensic Justification includes all of the maintenance needed for a strong and healthy soul. And the Protestant understanding obviates such maintenance, as ‘once saved always saved’ gives the Christian the idea that sin isn’t as dangerous to the soul as it really is.

    4. Hey Craig! Nice insights.

      I’m what you think of the classic Satisfaction theory (anselmian/thomist) of the atonement at this stage in your journey? I remember the Orthodox often emphasizing the Christus victor theory and ransom theory (both of which I’m totally on board with by-the-way). Curious what your thoughts are on the different theories of the atonement and how they may interrelate?

      1. It’s something I am still reflecting upon. I think both elements of P-Sub and Satisfaction restate in their own terminology Scriptural teaching. After all, Christ is a ransom for man, He bore our sins in His body, He paid our penalty, etcetera.

        The preceding language is obviously transactional. I am not going to say a theory of the atonement, or justification, that is transactional is wrong. Those who expound such are merely using the language and concepts of the Scriptures and some fathers.

        That being said, the more I reflect, the more I see the “transaction” as a picture, but not the reality. The reality is us being joined and becoming more like Him. In light of this, was the crucifixion literally a payment for personal sins, or a “payment” against the debt of man’s nature, as Christ the God-Man conquering death satisfies that debt of nature and completely rectifies it by perfecting Human Nature.

        We see the preceding concept referred to in Mathetes, Chap 9:

        That the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors! Having therefore convinced us in the former time that our nature was unable to attain to life, and having now revealed the Saviour who is able to save even those things which it was [formerly] impossible to save…

        Christ did not pay a penalty as much as He corrected “our nature.” It is our nature that made us impossible to save. Even the Virgin Mary, Adam, and Eve (the latter two before their sin) still needed a Savior–not for their sin specifically, because being saved from sin is only half of salvation. The other half is being transformed into the image of God. God wants to increasingly transform us into Himself for eternity. For this to be possible, God must be made man. Hence, God must save even the sinless.

        But for the vast preponderance of us, who have sin, God needed to both become man and pay the debt of our nature–He needed to experience death as we do, but also conquer death. In this way, men that die may by union with Christ live and enjoy the benefits of an eternity of being transformed into Him.

        Honestly, the focus on debt is much simpler for a short conversation. And it is not inaccurate, so I have nothing against it. But, I have noticed that Orthodox do not like giving short answers to simple questions.’

        P.S. Being a catechumen, it is likely I am not stating things accurately or intelligently, for that I apologize.

        1. P.S. Being a catechumen, it is likely I am not stating things accurately or intelligently, for that I apologize.

          I appreciate your thoughts here, they’re quite good. It also agrees quite a bit with my understanding of the Satisfaction theory too. Sounds like you’re focusing on the Christus Victor angle (which is a great angle to come from).

          1. I think St Irenaeus has convinced me with the Recapitulation View. I think this is the best view. I still disagree with Irenaeus’ view of how old Jesus was, however, but that’s a debate for another day. 🙂

        2. I think many Christians don’t understand what ‘death’ and ‘life’ really mean when taught by Christ in the Gospel. Because they can’t wrap their minds around what is ‘eternity’, they view death from a worldly point of view, and don’t consider the eternal perspective. That is, they see that mice die every time they get into our food pantry, and mosquitos die every time we are bitten by them. So, they consider death as something normal and acceptable, maybe just like going to sleep at night. And this is also why so many people commit suicide, because they don’t have an eternal perspective as to what death really is.

          But, looking from an ‘eternal point of view’, the particular ‘state’ of a soul after death is eternally important. If the soul is fundamentally in contradiction, or opposed, to the Eternal God, whose nature is Eternal Truth, Wisdom and Love, this soul will have no more time to change it’s state after death, and will therefore experience this opposition to Truth, Wisdom and Love throughout all eternity, to whatever degree their opposition is.

          And, eternity being such an incomprehensibly long time, such punishment is incomprehensibly evil and terrible. Yet sinners will just laugh if off, here while they are alive, as a joke, and consider death as nothing more than the swatting a mosquito or taking a nap.

          On the contrary, I think we need to be filled with the Holy Trinity, in all reality, to be able to tolerate the length of time that eternity is. And, this is why I think by understanding and loving Christ, and conforming ourselves to His Sacred Person through grace, virtue, love, honor, truth and wisdom, we will be transformed into a holy state of existence whereby we are capable of enduring throughout all eternity in that peace and blessedness derived from that spiritual unity we have with the Word of God, Jesus Christ.

          In this, I think Jesus’ statement concerning Himself is true, when He says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’. He is all of these things, because He allows us to be united to His own eternal blessedness, in the unity of eternal love, such that we will be able to ‘tolerate our own (otherwise miserable)souls’ throughout all eternity.

  9. JH: So Jesus is being equated to the sacred sin offering, the holiest sacrifice that the Jews offered.

    BB: Thank you, Mr. Heschmeyer, for vindicating the Protestant position which is built on the strongest foundation of biblical truth and which you have just confirmed. In other words, WE ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO EAT THE PHYSICAL ANATOMY OF JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE THE SIN OFFERING WAS NEVER EATEN BY THE CONGREGATION!
    https://www.gotquestions.org/sin-offering.html

    JH: Copeland and Hinn say…

    BB: MATURE Protestants utterly reject these bad boys. In fact, I skipped right over where you quoted Copeland because he has proved to be nothing but a circus master and cannot be used to either prove or deny a blessed THING except his own foolishness.

    JH: Spurgeon says, “He takes off from the innocent Savior His righteousness and puts that to the account of the once guilty sinners, so that the sinners become righteousness”

    BB: Spurgeon’s terminology here may have been a bit ill-advised (just as one bombastic Catholic statement after another is ill-advised). But do you condemn them? NO.
    When we read everything else Mr. S says about the righteousness of Christ, it is clear he in no way thinks Christ was at any point “lacking righteousness”. I believe you are scraping the bottom of the barrel here to find fault. Surgeon’s voluminous writings leave an eloquent paper trail that cannot bear the weight of your criticism.

    JH: The Gospel Coalition is wrong in claiming that “God treated Jesus as if he were sin itself.” Claiming that Jesus is treated as sin is 100% wrong.

    BB: Better to say, God treated Jesus as the sins he bore “deserved”, not that he was “sin itself”. See my comment at 11:26.

  10. Short on time at the moment, but just a quick reply: I’d object pretty strongly to using Kenneth Copeland as an illustration of Protestant thought. Or as representative of Christian thought, or indeed of the thought of people who aren’t awful, manipulative prosperity-gospel con men.

    (And, I mean, the Christadelphians are unitarian non-Trinitarian annihilationists. Mainstream Protestantism they ain’t.)

    Critiquing Calvin is certainly legit, but I think some of these others distract from the argument.

    1. I’d object pretty strongly to using Kenneth Copeland as an illustration of Protestant thought. Or as representative of Christian thought, or indeed of the thought of people who aren’t awful, manipulative prosperity-gospel con men…

      …Critiquing Calvin is certainly legit, but I think some of these others distract from the argument.

      Agreed. I also was a bit disappointed that he didn’t go into a bit of a deeper covering of Spurgeon here (or omit it), as failing to go deeper into the calvinist double imputation teaching (and how it compares with Catholic teaching) meant that the tie with Calvin was a bit weak.

    2. Irked, I can’t agree with you more on the Benny Hinns and Joel Osteens of the world.

      But it does beg a question…which interestingly, LLC and I posed, differently expressed, in almost simultaneous posts a few minutes ago.

      1. Hi AK,

        I’m not really trying to follow the debates with Barry, and checking timestamps sounds… unpleasant; what was the question?

    3. Irked,
      “Mainstream Protestantism they ain’t” = mainstream is a fluid concept in Protestantism. What was mainstream 500 years ago is now considered un-Biblical (see Luther’s devotion to Mary). The same way, many Protestant and Evangelical denominations are now accepting what was considered sinful behavior by the “mainstream” Protestant community just few decades ago.

      1. Hi LLC,

        So, let’s say that’s true; I think you overstate your case, but for the sake of argument, let’s grant it.

        At no point in history, including today, has anything like Christadelphian theology been mainstream in Protestantism. If Joe’s point is just meant as a critique of the Christadelphians – well, fine! But let’s not frame their arguments as part of what “many Protestants” say.

        1. Irked,
          “At no point in history, including today, has anything like Christadelphian theology been mainstream in Protestantism” = my point is that “mainstream Protestantism” does not exist; never did, never will. Irked in 1500 would’ve considered devotion to Mary as “mainstream” in the Protestant world, while Irked in 2018 rejects it.

          1. I feel like we’re quibbling over definitions in a way that doesn’t actually matter. Clearly at any given point in history, there exist beliefs which are common to a large percentage of Protestants, and beliefs which are not. Say for the sake of argument that those beliefs change to the degree you’re claiming they do; it’s still true that at no point have the Christadelphians had that non-fringe portion of the populace.

            If you object to referring to “the set of beliefs common to a sizeable portion of Protestants at a given moment in history” as “mainstream Protestantism (for that point in history),” then cool, use whatever label you’d like better. I think it’s a comprehensible usage, and I’ll probably continue using it in the sense defined above.

          2. Irked,
            “Clearly at any given point in history, there exist beliefs which are common to a large percentage of Protestants, and beliefs which are not” = this is the same as saying that, just because at any given point in time a drop in a river occupies a specific X,Y set of coordinates, it can be considered stationary. The next instant the same drop will have moved, created a lake, or dried up completely.
            Conversely, saying that a drop, just because it’s close to a bank or the other, is not part of the “mainstream” river, is not intellectually honest, nor it is accurate.
            Furthermore, it is interesting how Protestants and Evangelicals are quick to marginalize disagreeing positions because they are not “mainstream”, while Catholics are held to a much more rigorous standard and must own any and all movements that use the “Catholic” label, regardless of their adhesion to the actual teachings of the RCC.

          3. LLC,

            this is the same as saying that, just because at any given point in time a drop in a river occupies a specific X,Y set of coordinates, it can be considered stationary.

            Respectfully, no, it’s not. That’s neither the traditional English definition of “mainstream,” nor the rather specific contextual definition I gave upthread, neither of which carry the idea of “unchanging.”

            To be a bit tongue-in-cheek, I feel like, between the two of us, I have something of an edge in defining what I am and am not saying!

            Furthermore, it is interesting how Protestants and Evangelicals are quick to marginalize disagreeing positions because they are not “mainstream”, while Catholics are held to a much more rigorous standard and must own any and all movements that use the “Catholic” label, regardless of their adhesion to the actual teachings of the RCC.

            If you can point to where I personally have held up groups like the Borgias, or the sedevacantists, or the International Fatima Rosary Crusade, as if they were representative of Catholicism – by all means do! But I don’t think I can fairly be criticized for the actions of “Protestants and Evangelicals” in the generic sense.

          4. Irked,
            “Respectfully, no, it’s not” = you are in error. In my original post I indicated that the concept of “mainstream” Protestantism is fluid, ergo in movement, to which you summarily agreed. You then proceeded to freeze time: “Clearly [debatable] at any given point in history, there exist beliefs which are common to a large [debatable] percentage of Protestants, and beliefs which are not”. Claiming that at any given moment in history Protestantism has a sizeable [again, debatable] portion of believes which constitute the “mainstream Protestantism (for that point in history)” makes the drop in the river analogy perfectly apt. As a side note, if your premise were true (“at any given point in history, there exist beliefs which are common to a large percentage of Protestants”) there wouldn’t be the need for so many diverse Denominations.
            “rather specific contextual definition I gave upthread, neither of which carry the idea of “unchanging.” = which, again, is my original argument. There is nothing “unchanging”, or, better said, “potentially unchangeable”, in Protestantism.
            “But I don’t think I can fairly be criticized for the actions of “Protestants and Evangelicals” in the generic sense” = Lastly, thank you for again making my point exactly.

          5. LLC,

            “Respectfully, no, it’s not” = you are in error.

            I don’t really know where to go from here; it seems like we’re arguing over what I did or did not mean by “mainstream,” and I’m pretty sure I should win that argument.

            As a side note, if your premise were true (“at any given point in history, there exist beliefs which are common to a large percentage of Protestants”) there wouldn’t be the need for so many diverse Denominations.

            That’s really not true. Many denominational differences are on things that are pretty far from core salvific truth; arguably the biggest sticking point between the American Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist Convention, for instance, is the way they allocate votes at their meetings. There is a lot more cross-denominational overlap on the essentials (and even the maybe-not-essential-but-probably-important-s) than this would suggest.

            The Christadelphians – of whom there are maybe fifty thousand, worldwide – happen to be an exception to that rule. They are a rarity in that regard.

            (I think it’s important to note here that, since Protestants view denominations as voluntary associations of churches, we often don’t see multiple denominations as a bad thing; if two different groups of churches would rather form separate associations because of a minor thing, then cool, more power to them. Crucially, we don’t generally view ourselves as being out of fellowship with other denominations – their members can take communion with us, etc.)

          6. Irked,
            “it seems like we’re arguing over what I did or did not mean by “mainstream,” and I’m pretty sure I should win that argument” = incorrect. We are arguing if “mainstream” Protestantism is a fluid concept or not, which, again, was my original point.
            “That’s really not true. Many denominational differences are on things that are pretty far from core salvific truth” = let’s assume for a moment that you are correct (although I do not agree with it; even the terms “salvific truth” have different meaning among many Congregation – just ask BB); still, if differences were marginal, then congregations should not easily split. Although I prefer not to cite anecdotal experience, I know of congregations that split after the main pastor retired or left or was let go, and the split left everybody bitterly divided. Either Protestant and Evangelicals are extremely thin-skinned, or these differences are more significant that you make them sound. Regardless, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand”. Imagine explaining to Jesus why the American Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist Convention, for instance, couldn’t agree on how to vote, thus wasting time and resources instead of focusing to their core mission.

          7. Hi LLC,

            We are arguing if “mainstream” Protestantism is a fluid concept or not

            That may be the source of my confusion, then; I’m not contesting that argument at present. Maybe we’re not actually disagreeing?

            let’s assume for a moment that you are correct (although I do not agree with it; even the terms “salvific truth” have different meaning among many Congregation – just ask BB); still, if differences were marginal, then congregations should not easily split.

            I don’t think “congregations dividing” and “denominations” can really be conflated in this way. It’s not impossible for a church split to produce a new denomination – but it’s neither necessary nor sufficient for that formation.

            Church splits – not plants, not deliberate divisions, but acrimonious splits – happen for a lot of reasons; many of those are more personal than they are doctrinal. That’s not an excuse – if anything, it’s a condemnation – but I do think it runs contrary to your argument.

            Either Protestant and Evangelicals are extremely thin-skinned, or these differences are more significant that you make them sound.

            Probably the former, yeah. “Some follow Paul, and some Apollos,” etc.

            Imagine explaining to Jesus why the American Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist Convention, for instance, couldn’t agree on how to vote, thus wasting time and resources instead of focusing to their core mission.

            What waste is there? One group of churches organized one way; another organized a different way; both honor the other as brothers in the Lord. Given that we believe organization above the church level at all is voluntary and not commanded by the Lord, why would I find this difficult to defend?

            Now, the uncharitable, awful things we say about our brothers in the faith, as part of splits? Sure, that’s a thing for which we’ll answer – but again, we’re mixing topics here.

          8. Irked,
            “Now, the uncharitable, awful things we say about our brothers in the faith, as part of splits? Sure, that’s a thing for which we’ll answer” = agreed. And I apologize for it. Sometimes is hard to resist arguing for its own sake.

  11. OK, help me out here….

    I keep reading, hearing, and getting lectured about Protestant doctrinal thought, one of the main tenets of which is the validity of ‘private interpretation’ of Scripture, as opposed to being bullied by the overweening opinions of Mother Church. Buttressed by Sola Scriptura and Fide, the Holy Spirit guides the ardent and devout Reformista in his or her perusal of Scripture, to understand the Word and thus intent of God in ones faith journey. Got that. So…

    How can the Protestant posters here be so darn critical of other Protestants (e.g., two of the above embedded examples Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn)? I read “object pretty strongly”….”bad boys,” etc. etc, undeniable criticism of these folks ‘Protestant thought.’ What the helicopter (hah) is wrong with *their* interpretations vice those of the critics? Isn’t their ostensible claim to have been “guided by the Holy Spirit” as valid as any of the posters’ “guidedness” here? Who can explain to me why they are wrong on what Irked in the past called ‘core salvific truths,’ and someone – anyone – else is right? Salvation might depend on who is right…right?

    I guess I am not surprised as one of the more amusing and entertaining Reform-minded posters here on several occasions consigned Martin Luther to hell, for being one would assume, insufficiently Reformed. I am guessing the irony escaped him.

    1. AK: OK, help me out here….How can the Protestant posters here be so darn critical of other Protestants (e.g., two of the above embedded examples Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn)?

      BB: EASY! God simply does not choose to reveal ALL truth to ALL people ALL at the same time, and sometimes, not even at ALL. Where in the world do you get the idea that ALL Christians will understand evvvvvverything perfectly this side of heaven? The fact that we are all given different gifts (1 Cor 12:4-6) presupposes that there will be different levels of knowledge, just as he overshadowed certain people with wisdom and skills (Ex 31:2-4; 35:31, 35:35, 1 Kings 7:14), while others will be left as barren as certain animals (Job 39:17).

      AK: What the helicopter (hah) is wrong with *their* interpretations [verse] those of the critics?

      BB: Their interpretations (such as “God is the size of a 6 foot man”) is simply…(watch it now!)….
      WRONG!
      And if our screaming out loud does not convince you they are 100% in error, then the Creator of the universe will convince you on Judgment Day, for it will only be on that day when all doctrinal disputations will be resolved. In the meantime, false doctrine can actually be a good thing because it may be the catalyst to get people to get up off their lazy butts and do further research so that the better of two arguments may be made manifest (1 Cor 11:19). Or even when we are hearing what sounds right, that we would be like the Berea’s who, “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17).

      God is always pressing us to go back to the WORD, and never once does he refer to “checking it out with the Roman magisterium”.

      AK: Isn’t their ostensible claim to have been “guided by the Holy Spirit” as valid as any of the posters’ “guidedness” here?

      BB: NO! Claims to be guided by the Holy Spirit come a dime a dozen, and only Judgment Day will reveal who REALLY was. Apparently, you don’t realize that Catholics have it even worse. The RCC claims the Council of Trent was infallible and Trent itself claimed to be guided by the Holy Spirit TWO TIMES in their intro to the decree on the Eucharist. But since this claim was in the “intro”, and not part of a “canon with an anathema”, Catholics cannot believe their claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit to be infallible! Thus, a council claims infallibility, but in actuality what they say cannot be held to be infallible. Yikes! What a mess!

      AF: Who can explain to me why they are wrong… and someone – anyone – else is right?

      BB: Well, I already did. But to go a step further….since the RCC argues vehemently against the legitimacy of their adversaries by pointing out their variations of belief, one would think that they would first want to ensure that their OWN system was not also excluded on those same grounds. Thus, you (comically) insinuate that all Catholics are in total agreement (!!!) and are somehow in a better position. Oh stop it. The ‘diversity of belief’ argument invented by Catholics to chastise Protestants for their disunity, is at once hypocritical and obnoxious. Everyone on earth knows there is not complete unity within Catholicism, so who, pray tell, are you trying to kid? (See TIME, 9/7/87, “JPII’s Feisty Flock; Catholics Going Their Own Way”). Should you retort that, “well, it’s all a matter of degree, in that the RCC is more legitimate on the basis that there is less disagreement within it than within other systems of belief; we will emphatically deny. Count on it: it is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either disagreements nullify a system, or they do not. Otherwise, the best one can argue is that his religious system more nearly conforms to a set standard of unity, but does not actually MEET that standard.

      AF: I guess I am not surprised as one of the more amusing and entertaining Reform-minded posters here on several occasions consigned Martin Luther to hell, for being one would assume, insufficiently Reformed. I am guessing the irony escaped him.

      BB: Nothing escaped me Mr. Smarty-Pants. I consigned Luther to hell by the unanimous power of my own sacred opinion (yet nevertheless, not without biblical precedent). Luther said that swallowing the Eucharist was necessary for salvation. That is utterly incompatible with being justified “APART” from works, which Scripture emphatically teaches and which Luther… ALLEGEDLY also believed. Perhaps God will overlook this error of his. I don’t know. All I do know is that I am obligated to go with the flow of Holy Writ…. and if Paul blew smoke out of his ears in the book of Galatians when the Judaizers sought to add even one requirement to the gospel, I must blow smoke in front of Luther’s requirement as well, which of course mimics the same deadly error of the RCC as well.

      P.S. I will not say any more on this off-topic.

      1. Ok, Flounder…”my own sacred opinion…?” “Our screaming out loud?”

        Anyone reading this, there’s so much self-evident that I see no need to elaborate.

        Back to radio silence…it’s satisfying when one’s apologetic opponent brings and mounts their own petard.

    2. AK, that’s an excellent point to bring up.

      When Jesus said “Upon this rock I will build my Church” he didn’t mean: ‘upon ‘these’ rocks I will build my churches”, as seems to be the Protestant model. Look at how much trouble the Early Church of the first 4 centuries went to to keep unity amongst its ever growing flock. Note the energy spent by so many early Fathers in writing letters, forming synods and councils and debating against heretics, so as to promote and defend that unity in the Church. Even the chosen name term ‘catholic’ (universal), used to describe and name the Church, reveals the attempt to keep the Church one unified body back then. And note how this term was used at such an early time in church history, and is found as far back as the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

      Then also note how the Church spread in an orderly and organized way from the very beginning, and with territories and cities defined for individual bishops to govern, such as we find described in the first 3 chapters of the Book of Revelations. And later, we see how some of these territories, or dioceses, evolved to become ‘archiepiscopates’, such as is detailed in the canons of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. Moreover, in reading the early History of the Church we find an ever growing body of canon laws being developed and all for the purpose of promoting ‘catholicity’, and unity of faith and practice in the early Church. And, it is incredible that they almost had schisms over such simple arguments as the date which Easter was celebrated world wide! So, it shows how important it was for the Early Church to be united throughout the world.

      But, I see no such interest for world wide unity amongst the Protestant denominations. Instead of following the biblical typology of the Church as a ‘flock of sheep’, the typology that they seem to be satisfied with is a typology that more appears, in practice, to be a ‘herd of cats’ …with each of the multitudes of denominations following their own theological way. Herein, it seems that the world wide body of Christian churches is built upon ‘many rocks’ instead of the one ‘rock’, the one Church, that Christ said He was to build upon St. Peter.

      1. Al, I’ll go a step further. I don’t think Luther or Calvin meant or foresaw the level of disunity we have today in the Reformed world. I think they would be appalled and old Martin would have gone apoplectic at the idea of New World upstarts going a multiplicity of rogue religions after the 1820’s “Second Great Awakening.” I am guessing he would have been hopelessly bewildered at indigestible theological stew pot brewed by the likes of Darby, Eddy, Russell, Smith….

        As well, if he could have seen the ultimate outcome of his actions, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Jim and Tammy Faye, and of course condemnations from the self-pronounced sacredness of our very own Flounder, Martin would have run screaming to Rome and asked forgiveness. Or at least, become a Franciscan.

        I have a lot of respect for the Irked’s, the EarlyChurchFan, etc., who post here honestly and in a learned manner. Flounder, Micah, and even Phil, who seems to have crawled out from under a Florida rock to reappear recently here….I have been away from the New York area for way too long because I forgot the best way to deal with a street psycho, whose whole purpose in life is to get someone, anyone to listen, is to walk briskly away and engage as little as possible…

        1. AK: I have a lot of respect for the Irked’s, the EarlyChurchFan, etc., who post here honestly and in a learned manner.

          BB: The only reason you say that is because they prefer to blow you kisses, while I come right out and call you hypocrites. You just don’t like the fact that I salt my writing with words that cast a black cloud over the glorious light you think you dwell in, but I would suggest that I’m more “salt of the earth” than people like you and AWL.
          Both of your responses to my 11:01 post (and my other ones in general) was pathetic beyond words. Evidently, your protocol is to
          1) sweep under the rug absolutely everything I say
          2) Throw in some name-calling for good measure
          3) Then proceed to change the subject and provide idiotic examples like Tammy Faye to “prove” your point…(all of which I could easily tear apart, but because I said I will not go off topic, I won’t).

          Thus, even if Catholicism were true, you and your buddies would have to be considered a total failure as RC apologists, because a true apologist interacts with and acknowledges the points being made, as well as checks out what is being said with Holy Writ (Prov 18:17, Acts 17:11). Even Mr. Heschmeyer does at least try to do THAT much. Your responses, on the other hand, are contemptible, now reaching new lows by calling me a “street psycho”.
          I’m responding to your worthless posts to remind any lurkers that they are indeed…worthless.

          1. BB,
            In the first paragraph of your post at 11:01 you flag the dissenting (with your personal interpretation, of course) Protestant scholars as someone who doesn’t fully understand the Word of God. In the second paragraph you consider their interpretation as “WRONG”. Given that you can’t make up your mind, “to save time, my policy is (usually) that when I detect that a writer does not accurately represent their own body of teachings, I stop reading”.

          2. LLC: In the first paragraph of your post at 11:01…

            BB: None of which you refuted, which is what I’ve come to expect. The next thing I expect is for some convoluted complaint based on lunatic reasoning, and not surprisingly, you did not disappoint.

            LLC: you flag…Protestant scholars as [those] who don’t fully understand the Word of God.

            BB: When Hinn and Copeland can provide a degree from a respected institution of learning AND have a fan club of peer-reviewed intelligencia who welcome then into their presence as one of their own, then and ONY then do you have the right to refer to them as scholars. But the only “intelligencia” that has welcomed Copeland into his inner circle, was actually POPE FRANCIS two years ago! He chose to invite K.C. to the Vatican for a cup of tea and tiddlywinks, OBVIOUSLY avoiding any one of a thousand erudite Protestants with a higher education because he knew very well THOSE type of people would not tolerate the Pope’s game plan for a nanosecond. Instead, Frank welcomes THEE WORST sort of Protestant example on the planet who has been known to kiss up to him, so he can plant another one of his ecumenical seeds for non-Catholics to unite under Roman dictatorship.

            LLC: In the second paragraph you consider their interpretation as “WRONG”.

            BB: Yeah, so what?

            LLC: Given that you can’t make up your mind…

            BB: Huh? Where am I not making up my mind? Excuse me, but A does not follow B here so your comment must be ignored.

          3. BB,
            “Excuse me, but A does not follow B” = correct; B follows A. Your rebuttals, instead, do not follow any logical or Biblical line of reasoning.
            “Frank welcomes THEE WORST sort of Protestant example” = as already posted elsewhere, it is interesting how Protestants and Evangelicals are quick to marginalize disagreeing positions because they are not “mainstream”, while Catholics are held to a much more rigorous standard and must own any and all movements that use the “Catholic” label, regardless of their adhesion to the actual teachings of the RCC.
            Finally, “When Hinn and Copeland can provide a degree from a respected institution of learning AND have a fan club of peer-reviewed intelligencia who welcome then into their presence as one of their own” is one of the worst example of Scotsman fallacy I’ve seen in a long time.

          4. LLC: Catholics are held to a much more rigorous standard and must own any and all movements that use the “Catholic” label, regardless of their adhesion to the actual teachings of the RCC.

            BB: Baloney. And salami. And pastrami.
            As argued previously, the RCC does not, for example, “own up to the Catholic label” of infallibility, for when the Council of Trent claims to guided by the Holy Spirit two times in their intro, when we then ask someone like you if that statement is infallible, you and your cohorts will reply, “No, because their claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit was not included in an actual canon followed by an anathema”.
            Hence, you most certainly DO NOT “own any and all movements that use the Catholic” label”, for while Trent would claim Holy Spirit inspiration, you DENY it and DISOWN IT, by making excuses that they did not follow a definition of infallibility that did not materialize until 500 years later!

            Naturally, you don’t like it when someone peels back the layer of your hypocritical onion and exposes its eye-watering contents, but it must be done because your logic is simply atrocious.

          5. BB,
            “As argued previously” = nowhere in this or other posts there is any indication of arguing from your side. Arguing presupposes an argument, which your posts lacks.
            “RCC does not, for example, “own up to the Catholic label” of infallibility” = non sequitur.
            “No, because their claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit was not included in an actual canon followed by an anathema” = correct, and if you do not understand this simple concept, I recommend praying to the Holy Ghost for wisdom (Ephesian 1:17).
            “you most certainly DO NOT “own any and all movements that use the Catholic” label” = again, non sequitur.
            Please let me know when your are going to post anything of any substance. I will be waiting.

        2. I quoted you at 11:08. The quotes spoke for themselves.

          Wonder how the rest of the planet’s Protestants feel about *you* consigning Martin Luther to Hell, your own self, by your own self-arrogated “unanimous power of my own sacred opinion,” in this 500th anniversary of the Reformation?

          Narcissist.

          Unmistakable…monomaniacal….irretrievable…narcissist. A perfect evangelical church-inventor. Where you and no one else can be God.

          You are a sad and pathetic waste of everyone’s time. Bye.

    3. Hi AK,

      I mean, the short answer is that “You have the right, as a Christian – as a priest and son of God Most High! – to try to understand Scripture” does not mean the same thing as “All interpretations are equal.”

      Fundamental to my view of Scripture is the idea that the Bible means something, that it is possible to discover what that meaning is, and that (from an omniscient point of view) the quality of an interpretation is dependent on how closely it matches to that meaning.

      We don’t have an omniscient view, of course, and I think there’s sometimes a temptation on the Catholic side to respond at this point, “So why should I trust your interpretation and not his?” But I don’t think there’s anything too bizarre in the idea that we have to analyze what’s been given to us and understand the meaning as best we can; that’s how we absorb literally every piece of knowledge in life, and the existence of people who get basic Christian theology wrong is no more an argument against the possibility of rightly understanding Scripture than the existence of flat-earthers is an argument against geology.

      So to your question:

      Isn’t their ostensible claim to have been “guided by the Holy Spirit” as valid as any of the posters’ “guidedness” here?

      In the abstract? Sure – right up until the point where we actually present an argument from the Scriptures.
      At that point, I think it’s fair to say, “I’m right, and he’s wrong, because the evidence is on my side and not his.” I don’t think there’s any shame in that; indeed, in an “in a mirror darkly” world, I don’t think either you or I have any other recourse.

      (In the age of Amoris Laetitia, perhaps we might be able to find some common ground on this idea? Catholicism may have more explicit theological statements than Protestantism, but nobody gets away from needing an interpretational step.)

      1. The issue with that is then Christianity reduces to relativism where we all just individually “do our best.” That’s human, not Divine.

        1. M: The issue with that is then Christianity reduces to relativism where we all just individually “do our best.” That’s human, not Divine.

          BB: However, you don’t seem to realize that the RCC TEACHES EXACTLY THAT; namely, “do your best, and hope for the best”, assuming that via a deadly combination of “right conduct, God’s law AND his grace”, one will gain heaven (CCC 16).
          WHERE IS CHRIST?! Answer? Thrown under the bus.
          Or, as JPII says,

          “A GOOD LIFE IS THE CONDITION OF SALVATION”
          (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 194).

          All of this is the very antithesis of what we discover when we plumb the depths of Jesus being our sin-offering, as the lead article sought to show. Yet…the sin-offering is constantly being suppressed, stifled and obscured by the RCC’s relentless demand to “live a good life” and by your good works, “increase” the righteousness [you] are given at justification (Trent, Session 5, canon 24). Increase your righteousness?!
          NO! THAT IS HUMAN THINKING, not divine.
          On the contrary, the righteousness of Christ is perfect AS IS, per Mark 9:3, where Christ’s own raiment is illustrative of what WE will be wearing. “It became exceedingly white as snow, so no fuller on earth can white them”. In God’s view, we are in desperate need of a change of clothing. That clothing is the righteousness of Christ which is described as something we wear, but which is actually something that is imputed to us (Rms 4:6;11, Phil 3:9, 1 Cor 1:30). “He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation. . .covered me with the robe of righteousness. . .take away the filthy garment from her. . .behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee [a complete and immediate pardon] and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment” (Isa 61:10, Zech 3:3, Rev 3:5). The Catholic Church attempts to “add bleach” to the wash in the form of good works increasing (or making “whiter”) our righteousness before God to the point that it renovates the sinner and now becomes acceptable at the bar of justice.
          THAT IS HUMAN THINKING, not divine!
          Trent says that when someone is justified, “the robe given to them through Jesus Christ must be preserved [by good works] pure and spotless so that we may bear it before the Judgment Seat” (Session 6, chap. 7).
          NO! THAT IS HUMAN THINKING, not divine. Unpacking good works before the Judgment Throne was the very thing that sent those Christians to hell in Matt 7!

          What a horrible thought to bear the unattainable burden of preserving a pure and spotless robe before the eyes of a thrice-holy God, agonizing all your life in a desperate attempt to keep it spot-free. No one on earth is capable of this, as Paul admits (Phil 3:12). The righteousness of Christ is perfect AS IS, since no fuller on earth can whiten it, and we are given this “gift of righteousness” WHOLE and ENTIRE, by faith alone (Rms 5:17), and not piecemeal via the sacraments!
          “In Him we have been made COMPLETE” and “have entered into His REST, ceasing from our own works” (Col 2:10; Heb 4:10). Indeed, our righteousness is Christ Himself…”the Lord our righteousness” (Jer 23:6).

        2. Hi Matthewp!

          So I disagree, obviously, on a couple of levels.

          First: this isn’t the first time I’ve heard Protestantism described as “relativism” on here, and it seems to me to be a pretty significant misuse of the term. Fundamental to the idea of relativism is that absolute truths do not exist. But I don’t believe that; as I said above, it’s a core claim of Protestantism that Scripture has meaning, and that it’s possible to discover what that meaning is. Absolute truth, then, both exists and is in principle accessible.

          Whatever you want to call that, it isn’t relativism.

          Second: so by no means do I mean to exclude in the above the essential work of the Spirit in making us able to understand truths spiritually discerned. When we get the Bible right, that’s the work of God within us, and not something we accomplish on our own; when we rightly discern good arguments from bad, that is itself an act of grace.

          But the process is still one of looking at the evidence, trying to sincerely understand it (in the Spirit’s light!), and holding to the position that seems best to fit with it. And that’s, again, true for both of us; nobody has a way of understanding the world that doesn’t require interpreting the evidence.

      2. The Church from the beginning exhibited definitive teaching authority and continues to do so. This is why there were Church synods and councils called, to find the most capable Christian bishops and theologians to resolve theological and disciplinary problems in the Church. And Jesus instructed them to do this, also, as a precept for all ages. For instance when He said:

        ” But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matt.18:15)

        Now, I might ask, where does Jesus say, here, that the church needs to consult the Bible regarding any of this judgement? And, does He not say that “the church” will have even miraculous powers of such judgement, wherein Heaven itself will bind what it decides here on earth, and even as long as the church exists, which Jesus said will be until the end of the world?

        It seems that Protestants want to limit the scope of “the church” regarding the power of teaching and judgement, and allocate that authority to the Bible(and any one individuals interpretation of it.)

        But, as we see, the word’s of Christ, spoken from His very mouth, contradict this ‘sola scriptura’ theory. Moreover, Christ’s teaching presupposes that there will be an actual, authentic, physical, church in existence to bring these sinners and transgressors to for judgement and even excommunication, if necessary. And, it would be assumed that this church, like the vine or great tree that Jesus referred to in His gospel teachings, would grow larger after time, as does any plant or tree grow…..as new members and new nations are brought into it. And still, even after centuries, this church would be the place where judgement would be enacted and where the sins of transgressors would be either ‘bound’ or ‘loosened’ , according to the teaching of Christ our Lord.

        In the Catholic Church this model still holds true. Any Catholic can take a transgressor to his local priest, and the priest can refer serious charges to the bishop. And if the sinner wants, he can appeal to Rome, or find a ‘canon lawyer’ to defend him. And indeed, this man might be excommunicated, or exonerated also, by the same competent sources, and processes, established by the church to handle such matters (just one example being that of ‘marriage annulments’, for instance). So, it can be seen that worldwide, this great church..the Catholic Church… still visibly fulfills the command of Christ, above, to bind and loose. Do Protestant denominations grant annulments, or make such judgements as the Catholic Churches do? Or, do they leave it up to the pagan judges of this world to decide? Or, maybe, just leave such judgement up to the ‘bible alone’…such as would be necessary with a televangelist such as Joel Osteen, and his ministry?

      3. Irked – good morning. Al and Matthew answered better than I could, esp Al and his explanation of how the Church comes to it’s dogmatic decisions through councils and conclaves, guided by the Holy Spirit per Matt 16:18.

        I have had some back-and-forth with Peter Aiello on this subject, regarding the finding of common ground. He seems to believe (and he can correct me if I’m wrong) having not been well-catechized in his youth, to have found the Truth through self-study of Scripture. And his statements on Mariology would lead one to believe that his discoveries differ widely from Church dogma. “….so I use this example of private interpretation to illustrate the difficulty of private interpreters finding common ground with institutional doctrine. You also know that private interpretation is going to be flavored with unpleasant personal experience, given Mr. Aiello’s poor opinion of Catholic catechesis. And it may have been deserved, for that period of history. But the personal flavoring does not necessarily lend credibility to ones Scriptural assessment. Someone molested by a priest might hate Catholicism despite other good done in other areas; someone abused by a pastor of a Bible church might reject all Scripture despite those brought to Christ in that situation without or in spite of damage done.

        So many factors affect agreement. Of course, I personally believe with Al the Catholic Church has found the way to assess dogmatic issues and rule on what is truth. I of course understand that there is an alternative viewpoint; and that many people (particularly Americans with their emphasis on individuality) prefer figure it out themselves, then congregate with the like-minded. In that case, it is fair to say “I’m right, you’re wrong” but then, the other guy is going to be back-at-ya. And nothing is resolved outside of the like-minded congregations who are convinced they are right, until someone in that congregation disagrees and breaks off to form his own group.

        For me, the recourse is to fall back on Matt 16:18 and the resultant Church built on the Rock. And I study Scripture through the lens thus provided. So far, after 4 years of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, I have not found anything in Catholic Scriptural teaching with which I disagree. It works for me; that our mileage can vary here in a civil manner is something I respect and appreciate immensely, especially contrasting the ones on this forum with whom that is not possible.

        1. Hi AK,

          Al and Matthew answered better than I could, esp Al and his explanation of how the Church comes to it’s dogmatic decisions through councils and conclaves, guided by the Holy Spirit per Matt 16:18.

          So here’s my fundamental issue with that as an answer: it doesn’t resolve the problem. The Catholic Church holds councils, issues statements…

          … and then you still have to interpret those statements and figure out what they actually mean, and whose interpretation of them is right.

          That was the reason I brought up Amoris Laetitia: the Catholic Church, as a body, does not agree as to what that document says. I could cite examples here, or appeal to the Dubia, but I figure you’re probably more in tune with that than I am; my impression is that a large portion of conservative Catholicism disagrees with the Pope as to what Catholic doctrine is on this point. That doesn’t mean that there’s no truth to be found here; it just means you have to weigh the evidence, look at the arguments, listen to the Spirit, and try to understand that truth as best you can.

          That’s not the only example of what I’m talking about, but I think it might be the clearest – does that make sense? I reject pretty strongly the idea that Catholic teaching is so plain that you guys don’t have to interpret it and have no risk of someone claiming a false meaning for it. Nothing is that clear – and so again, I think you and I are in the same epistemic category.

          It works for me; that our mileage can vary here in a civil manner is something I respect and appreciate immensely, especially contrasting the ones on this forum with whom that is not possible.

          Thanks. I also really appreciate the chance to talk civilly about these things; we are, at the end of the day, family.

          1. Irked: we are, at the end of the day, family.

            BB: Wrong. The RCC has gone on record as fulfilling the prophecy of Christ that a time was coming that, “they will kill you, thinking they do God service” (John 16:2). No other religious entity on planet earth claiming to be Christian, qualifies for fulfilling that prophecy, as they always ended their murderous rampages with, “This is all to the glory of God”. In light of the fact that Christ can ONLY be referring to Catholic malefactors here, he could not possibly have chosen the RCC to be his earthly commandos, and would react violently to your assertion that, “we are all family.
            Moreover, The Council of Trent would not agree with you either, for they categorized those who disagree with her, as “satanic, godless, contentious and evil”. Thus, if we are going to judge the RCC by the words that come out of her own mouth, your “familial” statement cannot stand the light of day.
            You are ignoring both Christ — as well as official RC proclamations, and have swept them under the rug, all in favor of a cheesy ecumenism to earn the respect of your spiritual enemies. But that is NOT how warfare works on the real battlefield, and neither is it how it should work on the theological battlefield.
            It’s one thing to be ignorant of the evidence I just showed you, in which case you are excused. But if you were aware of Trent’s bluster against their antagonists —as well as in other RC documents, your ecumenical attitude is disingenuous at best; completely dishonest at worst.

          2. Irked,
            “I reject pretty strongly the idea that Catholic teaching is so plain that you guys don’t have to interpret it and have no risk of someone claiming a false meaning for it” = I am not entering this discussion to dispute your point; I agree with it. I will point out that, after an issue is defined and the Pope has spoken, a Catholic cannot say, “I don’t agree with it; I will start my own church” and still keep the Catholic hat. In the Protestant and Evangelical universe, this happens (almost) every time there is difference of opinion/interpretation, and no one has the authority to dispute the dissenting interpretation.

          3. Irked,
            “we are, at the end of the day, family” = agreed; and, like in any respectable family, we must keep, love and protect even the crazy uncle who embarrasses everyone at the Thanksgiving dinner…

          4. Hi LLC,

            I will point out that, after an issue is defined and the Pope has spoken, a Catholic cannot say, “I don’t agree with it; I will start my own church” and still keep the Catholic hat. In the Protestant and Evangelical universe, this happens (almost) every time there is difference of opinion/interpretation, and no one has the authority to dispute the dissenting interpretation.

            I think that’s a bit apples and oranges of a comparison, though. The analogue to “pope” in Protestantism is Scripture – and a Protestant is no more free to say, “Well, Scripture may say X, but I choose to believe Y instead” than a Catholic is to respond in that way to the pope.

            Which is to say, in both cases, that there are plenty of people who do it, but only by abandoning what’s supposed to be core to their faith. Someone who abandons the Bible in favor of what they’d prefer to believe is exactly as much a “Protestant” as a pro-abortion person is a “Catholic.”

          5. Barry,

            Moreover, The Council of Trent would not agree with you

            Perhaps not. But I’m not obliged to anathematize a faith just because it would anathematize me. Anyone who claims Christ as Lord and believes that God raised him from the dead is my brother – and while I argue with my brothers, while I may think they are drastically in error, I am not at war with them.

          6. Irked,
            “The analogue to “pope” in Protestantism is Scripture” = I disagree. A more accurate expression would be, “The analogue to “Pope” in Protestantism is Personal Interpretation of Scripture”. A Protestant is free to say, ““Well, you interpret Scripture to mean X, but I choose to believe it means Y instead”.
            “my impression is that a large portion of conservative Catholicism disagrees with the Pope as to what Catholic doctrine is on this point” = incorrect; they have asked for clarification from the Pope, which is the proper process. They didn’t fly off the handle and start the RCC mark II, which is what would’ve happened in the Protestant and Evangelical universe.
            “Which is to say, in both cases, that there are plenty of people who do it, but only by abandoning what’s supposed to be core to their faith” = correct, but, again, they couldn’t call themselves Catholic anymore.

          7. LLC,

            I disagree. A more accurate expression would be, “The analogue to “Pope” in Protestantism is Personal Interpretation of Scripture”.

            At that point, we’re again comparing apples and oranges, because both sides have a “what I interpret this source to mean” step. If you want to say “personal interpretation of the pope” vs. “personal interpretation of Scripture,” cool, but both of us go through the step where we try to work out the meaning of what’s been said.

            Protestants do not get to just “choose” what Scripture means when it says something, any more than Catholics get to choose what the pope means when he says something. We may disagree as to what that meaning is – which, again, parallels! – but I don’t get to just make up the meanings I prefer.

            Again, there are exact, immediate parallels here. If you would deny that a Catholic can assert whatever meaning he wants for the teaching of the Magisterium, then let me say the same for the teaching of Scripture.

            “my impression is that a large portion of conservative Catholicism disagrees with the Pope as to what Catholic doctrine is on this point” = incorrect; they have asked for clarification from the Pope, which is the proper process.

            “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations,” from Francis’s response to the Bishops of Buenos Aires, September 2016. I don’t think there’s a lot of ambiguity left as to whether Francis personally disagrees with the conservative position; the questions, as I understand them, are (a) will he express his interpretation of what he wrote in a way that’s binding on the Catholic conscience?, and (b) what happens if he does?

            correct, but, again, they couldn’t call themselves Catholic anymore.

            Nor can their opposite numbers call themselves Protestant – not that it stops either group from doing so.

          8. Hi Irked.

            I think you have the right idea on the difference between the protestant rule of faith and the Catholic rule of faith..almost.

            Protestant: “The 66 books of Scripture”
            Catholic: “The 73 books of Scripture and Sacred Tradition, clarified by the Pope/Magisterium”

            This is why Catholics tend to be a bit more “dogmatic”, and “churchy” than protestants can be sometimes, and why it can be so difficult to talk through each other’s polemics — our rule of faith differs enough that it can be tough to bridge the gap. I think you put forth an excellent effort, thanks for contributing here!

            So if we are comparing apples to apples here, we simply have a wider pool of resources as well as a unique “clarifier” to define what is specifically Roman Catholic, vs a smaller, identical (except for translation issues) corpus defining various protestant doctrines. As such, we have much in common and much to be able to dialogue with and about (despite significant outstanding issues).

          9. Irked,
            “If you want to say “personal interpretation of the pope” vs. “personal interpretation of Scripture,” cool, but both of us go through the step where we try to work out the meaning of what’s been said” = incorrect. There is no “personal interpretation” of the Pope’s infallible teachings, nor of the Magisterium’s. In unclear situations, the Pope and the Magisterium can (and have, and will) explain themselves in better terms. Scriptures cannot.
            “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations,” from Francis’s response to the Bishops of Buenos Aires, September 2016” = this is not from Francis’ response to the Bishops of Buenos Aires, and “the document” does not refer to Amoris Laetitia. This is an endorsement of guidelines written by the Bishops of BA to help local priests understand Amoris Laetitia. Although as of now (but I could be mistaken) there isn’t yet an official response to the Dubia, I know that Church moves at her own pace, with extreme caution, therefore I have no rush to “come to my own conclusions”.
            “the questions, as I understand them, are (a) will he express his interpretation of what he wrote in a way that’s binding on the Catholic conscience?, and (b) what happens if he does?” = Infallible (therefore binding) statements are extremely rare, even in Papal official documents. John Paul II only made two of them; before him, only one case occurred, circa 1950. Amoris Laetitia, as an Apostolic Exhortation, carries substantial weight, but Pope Francis’ opinions – concerning the best type of pastoral care for those in “irregular” marriages – are not infallible nor are binding, no more than his personal opinions on climate changes can make him an expert in meteorology. Therefore, your hypothetical questions do not apply.
            “Nor can their opposite numbers call themselves Protestant” = except that “they” can claim, as you do, to be interpreting Scriptures correctly, and you have no authority whatsoever to deny their claim.

          10. Irked: Perhaps [The Council of Trent would not agree with me]. But I’m not obliged to anathematize a faith just because it would anathematize me.

            BB: You are certainly free not to condemn the RCC if you so desire, but you must be told that your ecumenical mindset is out of sync with reality. You are not probing “deeper”, but prefer to stay on the “surface”. For example, as previously pointed out, Trent claimed to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit when blowing the trumpet that all dissidents (including you!) are “satanic, godless, contentious and evil”. I will remind you that evil people do not go to heaven and according to their official dicta, you are on your way to hell.
            Your reaction? Borrow some angel dust from Tinkerbell and sprinkle it on their head like confetti.
            The point being, if the H.S. was speaking through Trent, it is therefore GOD ALMIGHTY which is telling you, sir, that hell awaits if you do not come into lock-step unity with Rome.
            That said, (and correct me if I’m wrong) but I assume you do not believe Trent’s claim. Neither do I. If that’s the case, I can promise you that no other reaction will do OTHER than to express yourself in an appropriately ANGRY manner. The Lord was FURIOUS anytime someone came along speaking in his name –when he didn’t send them at all! Consequently, I would imagine he would not be pleased with your laid back attitude.

            Irk: Anyone who claims Christ as Lord and believes that God raised him from the dead is my brother

            BB: This is ill-advised, because by saying so you completely remove the possibility of there being such a thing as “another jesus” per 2 Cor 11:4. Thus, your claim that “ANYONE who claims Christ is my brother” —and thinking that no further investigation is needed, is utterly unbiblical.

            Irk: and while I argue with my brothers, I may think they are drastically in error, I am not at war with them.

            BB: Having established that the “Anyone” claim to be faulty, I would further remind you that those whom you feel are “drastically in error” have usually crossed the line into apostasy, adhering to “another gospel”, once again per 2 Cor 11:4. Jesus congratulated those who investigated the claims of those who CLAIMED they were apostles, but were not, and has found them liars” (Rev 2:2). I believe Catholics have crossed the line… (long ago!), and find them to be liars to this very day. They don’t THINK they’re lying, but then again, the 5 foolish virgins thought they were saved also, but the door was shut in their face.

          11. Hi Alexander,

            So if we are comparing apples to apples here, we simply have a wider pool of resources as well as a unique “clarifier” to define what is specifically Roman Catholic, vs a smaller, identical (except for translation issues) corpus defining various protestant doctrines.

            Yes, I’d agree with that. The Catholic Church can sincerely claim to have a greater degree of clarity than Protestants can, because it has a larger body of text from which to draw. But this is a difference of degree, not kind, which is my basic point; no degree of clarity is sufficient to remove the need for interpretation.

            As such, we have much in common and much to be able to dialogue with and about (despite significant outstanding issues).

            ***

            Hi LLC,

            incorrect. There is no “personal interpretation” of the Pope’s infallible teachings, nor of the Magisterium’s. In unclear situations, the Pope and the Magisterium can (and have, and will) explain themselves in better terms.

            And those explanations themselves have to be interpreted and personally understood. Some things in life are more clear, and some are less, but literally everything in life has to be interpreted; there is no getting away from this.

            And, as per my earlier argument, it’s obviously not true that no interpretation is needed right at the moment.

            this is not from Francis’ response to the Bishops of Buenos Aires,

            Er. Yes, it is. Verbatim. I still don’t have any luck with links in these posts, but that’s pretty easy to confirm.

            and “the document” does not refer to Amoris Laetitia.

            Right, that’s exactly my point. Francis says that “the document” – the bishops’ interpretation of AL – is “very good,” and that there is no other interpretation of AL besides theirs. It’s not ambiguous what he thinks he meant when he wrote AL; when conservative Catholics disagree with the pope’s self-description of what he said, I’m disinclined to believe there’s no interpretation required.

            except that “they” can claim, as you do, to be interpreting Scriptures correctly, and you have no authority whatsoever to deny their claim.

            Tracing our conversation through the last few posts, “they” as I used it is people who say, “Well, Scripture may say X, but I choose to believe Y instead.” By definition, these people aren’t claiming to interpret Scripture.

          12. Margo,
            thank you for the update. I have been reading up on AL but not as closely as I used to. When I first read AL, it seemed that its main real novelty was the wider latitude guaranteed to the local clergy when dealing with delicate circumstances (one-on-one situations, not blanket statements); conversely, the Bishops, with the Dubia, are trying to provide clearer instructions to order to avoid conflicting interpretations, but I could be mistaken. As Fr. Basil says, “Perhaps, because of my ignorance and pride, I do not see, so far, the light in chapter eight of AL, but I await clarifications of the ambiguities from the papal magisterium that I have found in the same magisterium”.

          13. Irked,
            Regarding interpretation, we must agree to disagree. I believe that you push the “all is interpreted” concept too far, but, as someone wiser than me once said, “then cool, use whatever label you’d like better”. Interestingly enough, I’ve debated Protestants and Evangelicals who took a position diametrically opposed to yours, when it comes to Sacred Scriptures, i.e. that they do not need interpretation, being entirely self-explaining.
            “Well, Scripture may say X, but I choose to believe Y instead.” By definition, these people aren’t claiming to interpret Scripture” = except that “they” do not say, “I choose to believe Y instead”. They say, “in my interpretation, Scripture doesn’t say X; it says Y, therefore you, X believer, are in error”. And, again, no one in the Protestant and Evangelical universe has the authority to dismiss their interpretation as not valid.
            I think we have split enough hair today to drive a barber crazy. If you don’t mind, I would like to call it the day. You have the last word. Thank you for challenging me – hopefully my poor mastery of the English language didn’t make the exchange too abrasive.

          14. Yes, I’d agree with that. The Catholic Church can sincerely claim to have a greater degree of clarity than Protestants can, because it has a larger body of text from which to draw. But this is a difference of degree, not kind, which is my basic point; no degree of clarity is sufficient to remove the need for interpretation.

            Agreed, otherwise, we wouldn’t be much morally accountable for our opinions, because there would be no room at all for any opinions or misinterpretations. I would say that the degree of clarity sufficient to remove the need for interpretation at all would be the beatific vision. Only when the moral cause of misinterpretation is removed will there be possibility of absolute clarity, but then it will be because Faith has become Sight.

            (Alexander: sorry, left a piece of your post in there as if it was mine. Apologies!)

            I’m flattered that I’ve come to be quotable! 😉 Nah, I’m not too easily offended. I can be a little temperamental sometimes, but in the end I’m just another Catholic theology nerd. Not really here to win debates, just spread/absorb knowledge if possible. (and maybe even grow a little in virtue, or convince others to grow a little in virtue, not that that’s likely…but it would be nice!)

          15. LLC: Protestants and Evangelicals who took a position diametrically opposed to yours, when it comes to Sacred Scriptures, i.e. that they do not need interpretation, being entirely self-explaining.

            Yep, there’s a name for that position: it’s called “the Perspicuity of Scripture”. Only some protestants hold to it, and those that do hold it to varying degrees. I’m not sure if Irked would agree with that doctrine or not…it covers a large range of opinions on the matter. I’ll link to the wikipedia article for it, but it’s unfortunately, not a very good intro…but at least it’s something: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarity_of_scripture

          16. AF,
            “I’m not sure if Irked would agree with that doctrine or not” = which, in itself, is the core issue of Protestantism (see BB’s vicious attacks on his brother in the faith).
            Irked has made clear that Sola Scriptura, in the words of James White, means that “the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the “rule of faith” for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source”. If we could imagine a Protestant flowchart of some sort for the things that “one must believe”, I would contend that very close downstream from this definition of SS lays the concept of “Perspicuity of Scripture” as “rule of faith”: must one believe that Scriptures are self-explanatory or not? The answer to this question represents just one of the many forks in the road (insert Yogi Berra joke here) that has plagued Protestantism since its inception.

          17. Hi Margo!

            Here is info on AL and the bishops of Buenos Aeros. LLC is correct. The comment you quote refers to the Pope’s response to the document by the bishops of Buenos Aeros.

            Right, that’s what I originally said. I’m quoting from Francis’s letter to the bishops, regarding their commentary on AL; he says, of their commentary, that they interpret AL correctly, and indeed that there are no other interpretations possible.

            Margo and LLC: I don’t understand how we’re missing each other here. My perception of the chain of events is that I said, “Here’s what Francis said to the bishops,” and I was told, “No it isn’t, that’s what Francis said to the bishops,” and I replied, “Yes, that’s what Francis said to the bishops,” and was told, “No, LLC is right, that’s what Francis said to the bishops.”

            This must look different from your side, but I don’t know where we’re missing each other. Help?

            ***

            Hi LLC,

            Regarding interpretation, we must agree to disagree. I believe that you push the “all is interpreted” concept too far, but, as someone wiser than me once said, “then cool, use whatever label you’d like better”.

            Heh. Fair enough; this isn’t an area where I feel like I can compromise.

            except that “they” do not say, “I choose to believe Y instead”. They say, “in my interpretation, Scripture doesn’t say X; it says Y, therefore you, X believer, are in error”.

            Okay. Then that’s a totally different group of people to talk about, and my responses would be different.

            So let’s trace back the stack of our conversation. In my post of October 2 at 1:19, I said,

            [A] Protestant is no more free to say, “Well, Scripture may say X, but I choose to believe Y instead” than a Catholic is to respond in that way to the pope.

            At 2:13, you replied

            A Protestant is free to say, ““Well, you interpret Scripture to mean X, but I choose to believe it means Y instead”.

            I’ve been responding to that comment: saying that no, a Protestant is not free to “choose to believe” what they want, regardless of the content of Scripture. That’s not sola Scriptura; it’s sola This Guy.

            If you want to talk instead about people who say, insincerely, that they read Scripture to say something (where they really don’t) – well, those people are liars, by definition; who cares what they say? People can lie about any faith.

            If you want to talk about people who say, sincerely, that they read the Scripture to say something different from me – then that goes back to “Interpretation always exists,” and we have to evaluate the evidence, as per my original post.

            But I think it’s fundamentally inaccurate to conflate these three things – and in particular to conflate “Alice and Bob interpret this passage differently” with “Bob is free to choose to believe the passage means something totally different.” I can decide to ignore a verse; I can learn things that cause me to interpret it in a new way; I can’t just decide what I want it to mean – not and still sincerely claim to be trying to receive truth from it.

            Thank you for challenging me – hopefully my poor mastery of the English language didn’t make the exchange too abrasive.

            Sure, thanks for the conversation! I feel like we covered some good ground.

            ***

            Hi Alexander,

            I would say that the degree of clarity sufficient to remove the need for interpretation at all would be the beatific vision.

            Sure, I would have no problem with saying in principle that God could reveal some truth so purely as to bypass our interpretive faculties. Barring a specific miracle, we still have to contend with our fallen reason.

            Yep, there’s a name for that position: it’s called “the Perspicuity of Scripture”. Only some protestants hold to it, and those that do hold it to varying degrees. I’m not sure if Irked would agree with that doctrine or not…it covers a large range of opinions on the matter.

            Right, and I’m somewhere on that spectrum. I think Scripture is so clear that, in principle, there’s only one way to read it on the core salvific matters. I also think that we all have lots of factors (lack of education, cultural biases, our personal backgrounds, details lost in translation to English) that impede our ability to receive that one consistent reading. So while, in principle, all interpretation should end up in the same place, in practice we all interpret badly at times and don’t follow the leading. The flaw isn’t in the material, which is sufficient, but in the interpreter.

          18. Irked,
            “This must look different from your side, but I don’t know where we’re missing each other. Help?” = from my side (I can’t speak for Margo) I thought you meant that in Francis’ quote (“The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations”) the “document” referred to AL; it doesn’t, as you also pointed out, so we are squared here.
            “If you want to talk about people who say, sincerely, that they read the Scripture to say something different from me – then that goes back to “Interpretation always exists,” and we have to evaluate the evidence, as per my original post.” = this group of people has always been my target as well, in this exchange (perhaps I should’ve been clearer from the get go).
            I do not agree with your next step: “it’s fundamentally inaccurate to conflate these three things – and in particular to conflate “Alice and Bob interpret this passage differently” with “Bob is free to choose to believe the passage means something totally different”. I think you are missing a “than”, something like this: “Bob is free to choose to believe the passage means something totally different “than” what the passage actually says” (still assuming, for the sake of the argument, that both Alice and Bob are sincere). If this is your intention, I do not think it is intellectually correct. Your position is that “Interpretation always exists”. Given that in Protestant Churches there is no central single authority for interpreting scriptures and to layout fixed doctrines, the next logical step is that no interpretation can be deemed incorrect, because there is no neutral third party to act as referee. Alice’s interpretation is as valid as Bob’s (in their own eyes, of course). The “sola This Guy” concept you refer to is alive and well in the reformed theology under the name of the Priesthood of all Believers. This has been my point all along. If interpretation always exist, and everyone has the authority to interpret, it follows that (potentially) there are as many valid interpretations as there are interpreters. This cannot happen in the RCC: even assuming that interpretation always exists, not everyone has the authority to interpret. Therefore, as Pope Francis rightly said, “There are no other interpretations”.

          19. Hi LLC

            Thanks for clarifying the AL thing – sounds like we’re on the same page.

            I think you are missing a “than”, something like this: “Bob is free to choose to believe the passage means something totally different “than” what the passage actually says” (still assuming, for the sake of the argument, that both Alice and Bob are sincere).

            Given that in Protestant Churches there is no central single authority for interpreting scriptures and to layout fixed doctrines, the next logical step is that no interpretation can be deemed incorrect, because there is no neutral third party to act as referee… The “sola This Guy” concept you refer to is alive and well in the reformed theology under the name of the Priesthood of all Believers. This has been my point all along. If interpretation always exist, and everyone has the authority to interpret, it follows that (potentially) there are as many valid interpretations as there are interpreters.

            I think that’s a misuse of the idea of “validity,” and a pretty significant misunderstanding of the priesthood of all believers.

            Let me try for a metaphor. Evidence about how our world works exists. There is some actual ground truth: the way the world actually does, in fact, work. Everyone is entitled to try to understand how the world works; some are better equipped to do so (through training, gifts, available resources, etc.), but there’s no bar that says, “No, you aren’t allowed to try to understand the world for yourself.” Likewise, there’s no central authority to say, “Yes, these interpretations of the world are correct, and those are wrong.”

            The result is that there are many competing theories for how the world works. Some of these are well-grounded, evidence-based, and sensible; some of them are nuts. And some things about the world are more clear than others! “Gravity exists” is, uh, pretty clearly true. “A particular notion of string theory is correct” is perhaps more questionable (or if that’s a bad example, pick a better one; I’m not a physicist).

            The lack of an arbiter does not, however, make all interpretations of the world equally valid, nor does it mean that all conversations about the nature of the world must resolve down into, “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

            Theology is also a science: a discipline of understanding how the world works (albeit not an experimental science). And the lack of an arbiter does not make theology an “anything goes, all interpretations are equal” playground any more than it does for physics. It doesn’t make comparison of competing theories any more impossible than it does for chemistry – and it doesn’t make it any more unreasonable to say, “Well, that understanding of the Trinity is wrong,” than it’s unreasonable to say that the theory of spontaneous generation is probably not how biology generally works.

            That everything has to be interpreted does not render evidence meaningless, or truth nonexistent. And that was my point earlier, and why I’m distinguishing the cases so firmly above: a Christian may be sincerely wrong about what the Scriptures teach, but to the extent that he’s genuinely attempting to understand them, he’s constrained by what they say.

          20. Irked,
            “…but there’s no bar that says, “No, you aren’t allowed to try to understand the world for yourself” = this is a non sequitur. Nothing nor nobody, in the Catholic Church, impedes the study of Scriptures to anyone; if anything, it’s always encouraged and supported. This is not the topic of this post.
            “Likewise, there’s no central authority to say, “Yes, these interpretations of the world are correct, and those are wrong” = hopefully, you realize that this is not true. Scientific research is based on direct observation and experimentation, which constitute its “central authority”. Scientific interpretations can (actually, must) withstand repeatable and tangible proof; without it, an interpretation is just a theory (not necessary incorrect, just untested at the moment). If contradicted by a repeatable and tangible experiment, an interpretation is objectively and universally labeled as incorrect, and the scientific research moves on. “Gravity exists”, as you say, scientifically doesn’t mean anything, until the specific phenomenon is measured and explained (Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between all objects = the scientific method can be applied to every component of this sentence to explain the phenomenon). All interpretations are “potentially” accepted, until one of them is proven correct by a repeatable and tangible experiment and all the other ones, consequently, incorrect.
            On the other hand, in Theology, no practical experiment or direct observation are possible to discern between correct and incorrect interpretations of the same Principles that God has revealed in Scriptures, therefore another solution must be found. In the RCC, the authority to ultimately interpret Scriptures is given to the Church; therefore, only one interpretation is accepted as correct. In Protestant theology, the lack of a central authority makes accepting only one interpretation impossible. To present a simple example, some Denominations consider homosexuality a sin, while others accept and encourage it. They all use the same “scientific method” (priesthood of all believers”) on the same phenomenon (“Scriptures”), and yet they reach diametrically opposed conclusions.

          21. Hi LLC,

            It doesn’t seem to me that the things you’re asking for from scientific inquiry are consistent with those you’re demanding Protestantism offer.

            So, for instance, I mentioned the fact that everyone is permitted to try to do science: to try to study the world and form an interpretation of it for themselves. You said:

            this is a non sequitur. Nothing nor nobody, in the Catholic Church, impedes the study of Scriptures to anyone; if anything, it’s always encouraged and supported.

            But I don’t think that’s a fair parallel to what I said. There are clearly two things we can do, scientifically:
            (1) We can receive existing interpretations.
            (2) We can try to discover new, or more correct, understandings.

            I was speaking of the latter: while some are better equipped as scientists than others, there is no bar that prevents anyone from trying to make novel discoveries about the world. In Protestantism, the same is true of theology. In Catholicism, it’s not; by your own testimony, “even assuming that interpretation always exists, not everyone has the authority to interpret.” So whether or not anything “impedes the study of Scripture” – task (1) – you would have to say that not everyone is permitted to do (2).

            Now, the result of that freedom in science is that there are plenty of people who come up with wrong interpretations, that misrepresent the world; there exist flat earthers, alchemists, that weird Time Cube guy, etc. But what it does not do is make all interpretations equally valid, or make it improper for one person to say to another, “Your scientific interpretation is bad, because the evidence is against it” – and yet your argument has been that this is exactly what’s true of Protestantism. I think that’s inconsistent; theology, like other sciences, has better and worse interpretations (and better and worse interpreters), but it is not the case that interpretations are mere incomparable opinions.

            And again, here:

            “Likewise, there’s no central authority to say, “Yes, these interpretations of the world are correct, and those are wrong” = hopefully, you realize that this is not true. Scientific research is based on direct observation and experimentation, which constitute its “central authority”.

            Again, it seems to me that this is a shift in standards. Your critique of Protestantism was that it does not have anyone in the role of the Magisterium: anyone to say, infallibly, “Yes, this interpretation is correct, and all others are wrong,” with a clarity that, as I understand your argument, needs no interpretation. But scientific experiment cannot fill this role either; every experiment has to be interpreted, none of them are infallible, and plenty of them are cited in support of false theories. (I forego presenting specific examples just to avoid needless controversy, but, like, pick your favorite hot topic: whichever side you’re on, someone on the other side is using experimental information badly.)

            What experiment does is it provides evidence: it provides data to be interpreted, which, under reasonable interpretation, makes some theories look a lot better and some look a lot worse. And if that’s enough – if that’s all you need to say, “Yes, this field has a central authority” – the Protestantism, too, has a central authority: the Scriptures.

            I do not see how a critique of Protestantism is to be sustained on this point without similarly denigrating every single field of human inquiry.

        2. Hi AK,

          Can we trace a source of the ‘individuality’ of the American to some philosophical notions which opposed or excluded typical Catholic theology/philosophy (i.e.,Thomas Aquinas).

          http://taylormarshall.com/2008/01/nominalism-and-church-with-ockham.html

          “William of Ockham was a philosophical nominalist. William of Ockham sought to undermine papal authority through his dealings with the Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria.

          “Martin Luther was a philosophical nominalist. Martin Luther sought to undermine papal authority by appealing to the princes of Germany.

          “Thomas Hobbes was a philosophical nominalist. Thomas Hobbes sought to undermine papal authority by placing ecclesial authority in the arms of the state (see Book IV of Leviathan for details).

          “Here’s the question that I have been pondering. Is this a coincidence or does nominalist thinking lead its adherents to shake off the shackles of ecclesial authority? Is this a historical accident or is there a true connection?

          “My suspicion is that nominalism creates an epistemology of angst. It drives one to sacrifice balance for an extreme position.

          “Whether it be Ockham’s razor, Luther’s faith alone, or Hobbes’ absolute statism; each nominalist “solution” rejects communal consensus. If one rejects communal consensus, then one cannot truly believe in ecclesial authority, because the church is necessarily common.

          “In fact, if one is not a realist, then one cannot believe in true participation in any metaphysical sense. And if there is no participation there is no such thing as ‘being in communion’. It’s all fractured.

          http://taylormarshall.com/2008/01/nominalism-and-church-with-ockham.html

  12. Barry, above, said: “The righteousness of Christ is perfect AS IS, since no fuller on earth can whiten it, and we are given this “gift of righteousness” WHOLE and ENTIRE, by faith alone (Rms 5:17), and not piecemeal via the sacraments!

    What he fails to define is what ‘faith’ actually means. Jesus Himself clarifies what type of faith a person needs, and it is one that first begins with knowledge,then with love, and then with practice, then with obedience, which leads to discipleship…which leads to truth…which leads to freedom from sinful living.

    Here is how Jesus taught on the subject:

    “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. ”

    And,

    ” If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him: We are the seed of Abraham, and we have never been slaves to any man: how sayest thou: you shall be free? Jesus answered them: Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. Now the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the son abideth for ever.” (John 8:31)

    So, we see that faith is not so simple as some suspect. True faith means to do what Jesus says to do, and to “CONTINUE in my word”. And, what is ‘His word’? ‘His word’ signifies everything that He taught His apostles and other disciples, such as: The need for baptism, the following of the commandments, the receiving of Holy Communion, having one’s sins forgiven when needed, the need for laboring in ‘His field’ to spread the Gospel, the striving to be humble and ‘the least and servant of all, to be a person who prays always so as to not enter into temptation, to fast, to be merciful to others as God is merciful to us…etc…

    So, faith is a process and can both grow and diminish at various times in a persons life. And this is why we have parable such as the “Wise and foolish virgins’, and the ‘strongman who let’s not his house be broken into and robbed.” These things happen when faithful souls, such as the ‘virgins’ and ‘strongman’, let down their guard and start to accept sin and vice into their lives and soul’s. This is also why St. Paul said that some weak souls need to be nourished with ‘milk and honey’ as they cannot take, or digest, more substantially nourishing foods… because true faith takes time, even as if did for Christ’s apostles.

    So, Barry can wail all he wants on his notion of exterior justification on faith alone, yet it is LOVE of Christ that leads to true faith, and the accomplishment of all that Jesus and God desires of us. Jesus says it clearly for simple folks to understand: “He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words”.

    Barry, and many other Protestants also, seem to be so worried that Catholics try to follow the ten commandments, attend Mass and the Eucharist, go to confession when needed, follow our bishops and priests,…etc…yet it is Jesus who taught us to do all of these things, and is part of what He means by the term “he who keeps my word”. It does NOT mean just to hear ‘his word’. Rather, it means to fulfill it in our lives, to do everything He teaches us to do… even to the ‘picking up of our own crosses and following Him’. And moreover, we are to do this not out of servitude or slavery, but rather, our motivation our great LOVE for our Lord and Good Shepherd.

    The Protestant hermeneutic seems ignore this motivating force of a soul’s love and devotion for Christ. It seems that only what Jesus did for us, with His sacrifice, that really matters, and that we don’t really have an strict obligation to DO WHAT HE SAYS FOR US TO DO, to attain salvation.

    So, Catholics don’t fear works, as they are done out of Love for Christ, our Lord and Master. And, everything that Christ taught us in the Holy Gospels, we simply DO THOSE THINGS that He taught. He says to ‘be baptized’…we say “no problem”. He says ‘Eat my body and drink my blood”, we say, ‘yes Lord, we’ll do it, you are our teacher, and lead us to eternal life”. He says ‘forgive sins’ …and our priests say, ‘we will do it for you O Lord’. He says “feed my sheep”, and all Catholics should answer: “We’ll try as best we can out of love for You, because You Yourself are the ‘food of the sheep’.

    Just some observations on the differences in the understanding and conception of the term ‘FAITH’ between Protestants and Catholics, as found both on this blogsite, as well as other apologetic conversations in different venues.

    1. I love the reference to “fuller”…a bit of arcane historical knowledge.

      Catholics view Matt 25:31-46 as the clear “final exam” of salvation. Doesn’t say “believe on Me” …or ‘confess with your mouth” though all those things are referenced and stated elsewhere….it is an unambiguous statement of the ultimate requirement for ones faith in Christ, to be expressed through love and physical assistance given to alleviate the earthly suffering of brothers and sisters.

      In other words….faith **and** the inevitable works that come with the love of Christ. You cannot have one without the other, nor salvation without both.

      These words can’t be twisted by self-identified literal-Bible Christians into “metaphor” or otherwise “what Jesus really meant to say…” without putting a rank hypocrisy on display. But I am sure predictably, that will happen here…..and won’t get a response from me.

      1. For whatever it’s worth, I’d entirely agree that you can’t have one without the other. Faith, given opportunity, must inevitably produce works. “Faith” that assents without soul-deep submission is no true faith at all – even the demons have that.

        1. Works are not an option, they’re a requirement for salvation:

          “Every tree that BRINGETH NOT FORTH good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS you shall know them. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that DOTH THE WILL of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that wWORK INIQUITY. Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and DOTH THEM, shall be likened to a WISE MAN that built his house upon a rock, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock. And every one that heareth these my words, and DOTH THEM NOT, shall be like a FOOLISH MAN that built his house upon the sand, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.” [Matt. 7:19]

          1. Al,

            Works are not an option, they’re a requirement for salvation:

            The comma in that sentence is where we disagree. Works are not an option; they inevitably result from salvation. But they’re the fruit: the effect, not the cause. A tree that doesn’t produce fruit is dead, not because a lack of fruit caused it to be dead, but because an absence of fruit is the proof that it has been dead all along.

          2. Irked,
            “Works are not an option; they inevitably result from salvation. But they’re the fruit: the effect, not the cause” = in primis, no one, in the RCC, says that “works are the cause of salvation”. Secondly, if “works are not an option”, it follows that they are mandatory, correct? In other words, one must put salvation in motion (work), therefore they are a requirement.
            “A tree that doesn’t produce fruit is dead, not because a lack of fruit caused it to be dead, but because an absence of fruit is the proof that it has been dead all along” = Biblically (see Luke 13:9, for example) and botanically incorrect. There are many reasons why an otherwise healthy tree doesn’t produce fruits (including stress), the same way an otherwise self-proclaimed born-again Christian may say, “I’ve been saved, nothing else is required from me”.

          3. Hi LLC,

            Sorry for the slow reply – busy days here.

            in primis, no one, in the RCC, says that “works are the cause of salvation”.

            I did not, and would not, say that the RCC believes works are the, singular, cause of salvation. I would say, though, that the RCC believes they are a causal link of salvation, though: that works are part of the means by which salvific grace is applied. Am I mistaken in that?

            Secondly, if “works are not an option”, it follows that they are mandatory, correct? In other words, one must put salvation in motion (work), therefore they are a requirement.

            Again, “requirement” in its conversational English sense gets the logical order wrong. There’s a difference between things that must inevitably happen in order to X, and things that must inevitably happen because of X. In both cases, you’ll find the things wherever you find X – but the latter would not typically be described as a “requirement” for X.

            There are many reasons why an otherwise healthy tree doesn’t produce fruits (including stress)

            Sure. It’s a metaphor. But even biologically, fruit is not a cause of being a healthy tree; it’s a result of the pre-existent health.

    2. AWL: Barry, and many other Protestants seem to be so worried that Catholics try to follow the ten commandments

      BB: This statement proves you understand neither your opponent’s position, the word of God OR your own church.

      1) You do not understand our position because you imply that we have something against following the 10 commandments, which is pure lunacy and a gross misrepresentation. True Christians know that if we fail in even one point, says James, we are guilty of breaking it all; therefore, we trust in the righteousness of Christ, and certainly not in our own miserable “right conduct” as the catechism advises (CCC 16). TO HELL WITH TRUSTING IN YOUR RIGHT CONDUCT.

      2) You do not understand the word of God because as I have repeated at least 25 times while on this site (WITH NO RESPONSE because Scripture obviously leaves you speechless) is that God has ELIMINATED the law of Moses (which, HELLOOOO!) contains the 10 commandments, as the means for our justification. Acts 13:39, in addition to a hundred others, is still yet ANOTHER verse Catholics wish wasn’t there.

      3) The problem is that your fitly catechism says keeping the 10 are obligatory for salvation (CCC 2068) and yet not one nice Catholic on earth has ever kept them perfectly, so right out of their own mouth, the catechism unwittingly and condemns all Catholics to hell, as does the apostle James (2:10).

      AWL: Jesus who taught us to do all of these things,AWL: Barry, and many other Protestants seem to be so worried that Catholics try to follow the ten commandments

      BB: This statement proves you understand neither your opponent’s position, the word of God OR your own church.
      1) You do not understand our position because you imply that we have something against following the 10 commandments, which is pure lunacy and a gross misrepresentation. True Christians know that if we fail in even one point, we are guilty of breaking it all; therefore, we trust in the righteousness of Christ, and certainly not in our “right conduct” as the catechism advises (CCC 16). TO HELL WITH TRUSTING IN YOUR RIGHT CONDUCT (Isa 64:6).

      2) You do not understand the word of God because as I have repeated at least 25 times while on this site (WITH NO RESPONSE because Scripture obviously leaves you speechless) is that God has ELIMINATED the law of Moses (which, HELLOOOO!) contains the 10 commandments (!) as the means for our justification. Acts 13:39, in addition to a hundred others, is still yet ANOTHER verse Catholics wish wasn’t there.

      3) The problem is that your fitly catechism says keeping the 10 are obligatory for salvation (CCC 2068) and yet not one nice Catholic on earth has ever kept them perfectly, so right out of their own mouth, the catechism unwittingly condemns all Catholics to hell, as does the apostle James (2:10).

      AWL: Jesus taught us…to follow our priests

      BB: There is no such thing as a sacerdotal priesthood mentioned in the N.T. that Jesus said to follow, so you are a liar per Rev 2:2.

      AWL: Jesus say, ‘forgive sins’ …and our priests say, ‘we will do it for you O Lord’.

      BB: Repeat response above.

      AWL: The Protestant hermeneutic seems to ignore this motivating force of a soul’s love and devotion for Christ.

      BB: Absolutely NOTHING could be further from the truth, and you are found to be a liar for the third time.
      After first recognizing the unspeakable merits of our Sin-Offering, we then go about DOING what he says! One of the many fatal flaws of the RCC, is that they do not trust exclusively in the “obedience of the ONE” (Rms 5:19), but rather in their own ragamuffin righteousness (CCC 16). We trust in the “righteousness of ANOTHER” (Phil 3:9), and not in the “infusion” of righteousness via the sacraments that propel us to do good deeds which then merit heaven! (CCC 1821). The Catholic game-plan is an exquisite twisting of the gospel under the headship of Satan, sprinkled with just enough Tinkerbell angel dust to make it appear ever so pious, but which is in reality, nothing but a deadly fairy tale for adults.

      1. Barry said: “True Christians know that if we fail in even one point, says James, we are guilty of breaking it all; therefore, we trust in the righteousness of Christ, and certainly not in our own miserable “right conduct” “.

        But Jesus teaches, very clearly:

        “…amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:18)

        Jesus Christ is very explicit regarding the 10 commandments here. Those who love Jesus will keep His word (precepts), and this is one of them. Nothing more needs to be added. It’s easy to understand.

        And regarding St. James, maybe this saying of his will enlighten Barry:

        “if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.” (James 1:26)

        And this , also:

        “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.”

  13. Barry said: “we are given this “gift of righteousness” WHOLE and ENTIRE, by faith alone (Rms 5:17), and not piecemeal via the sacraments!”

    If this gift of righteousness is given whole and entire BY FAITH ALONE, then there is no absolute necessity at for a person to do penance.

    Yet, penance was one of Jesus’ primary teachings for the attainment of eternal life. . Read what Jesus, and also some apostles said about the necessity of Penance:

    “And he [Jesus] said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:46]

    “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
    [Matthew 4:17]

    “And going forth they preached that men should do penance:”
    [Mark 6:12]

    “No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.”
    [Luke 13:3]

    “Take heed to yourselves. If thy brother sin against thee, reprove him: and if he do penance, forgive him.” [Luke 17:3]

    “Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee.” [Acts Of Apostles 8:22]

    And, regarding the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation:

    “And God indeed having winked at the times of this ignorance, now declareth unto men, that all should everywhere do penance.” [Acts Of Apostles 17:30]

    “But to them first that are at Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and unto all the country of Judea, and to the Gentiles did I preach, that they should do penance, and turn to God, doing works worthy of penance.”
    [Acts Of Apostles 26:20]

    “Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.” [Apocalypse (Revelation) 2:5]

    “In like manner do penance: if not, I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” [Apocalypse (Revelation) 2:16]

    “And I gave her a time that she might do penance, and she will not repent of her fornication.”
    [Apocalypse (Revelation) 2:21]

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    Clearly, salvation is not as simple as Barry makes it. Jesus teaches that we must be vigilant, carry our crosses and follow Him, pray always that we enter not into temptation, confess and do penance when we sin, ‘eat His body and drink His blood’, forgive others if we would be forgiven by God, etc…

    And if someone considers penance an unnecessary ‘work’ done by Catholics they might want to take a second look at Revalation 2:16″

    “… In like manner DO PENANCE: if not, I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES, I will give the hidden manna, and will give him a white counter, and in the counter, a new name written, which no man knoweth, but he that receiveth it.”

    St. Paul also taught something similar when He wrote: ” Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one.: (1 Cor. 9:24)

    Don’t Protestants, like Barry, read or understand all of these scriptures, above? And if they do, how can they maintain that it is faith ALONE that salvation/justification is acquired? Why would St. Paul teach: “So RUN that you MAY OBTAIN”…if it was faith ALONE that was ALL that was necessary?

    Just curious how so many Protestants can ignore these particular scriptures and multitudes of other ones like them?

    1. AWL: If this gift of righteousness is given whole and entire BY FAITH ALONE, then there is no absolute necessity for a person to do penance.

      Yet, penance was one of Jesus’ primary teachings for the attainment of eternal life. . Read what Jesus, and also some apostles said about the necessity of Penance:

      “And he [Jesus] said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” [Luke 24:46]

      “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
      [Matthew 4:17]

      “And going forth they preached that men should do penance:”
      [Mark 6:12]

      “No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.”
      [Luke 13:3]

      “Take heed to yourselves. If thy brother sin against thee, reprove him: and if he do penance, forgive him.” [Luke 17:3]

      “Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee.” [Acts Of Apostles 8:22]

      BB: I can only liken you to a a drug dealer who has fallen victim to the opiate of a false gospel.
      GET IT STRAIGHT AND LEARN IT NOW….JESUS DID NOT advocate doing penance for eternal life!

      Ummmm… why don’t you tell us what translation you are using, huh?

      FYI, the Vulgate ***erroneously*** inserted “penance” into the text, which was carried over into the D/R version, but which I think has been corrected by now. This is a verifiable fact of history that you are obviously unaware of.

      The Latin Vulgate rendering of the original Hebrew and Greek text of the Old and New Testament makes it apparent that these were improper translations! In each case, the word translated “do penance” means “repent”. Repentance means recognizing sin as an offense to God and to resolutely determine to forsake it. Consequently, that is a completely different concept from trying to expiate the guilt and punishment for sin through a series of good works (!!!). Always and forever, the RCC will teach good works for salvation, to their eternal doom, along with every other religion on the face of the earth (except Christianity). No wonder the Lord said the way to heaven is narrow.
      God wants REPENTANCE, not penance.

      1. BB,
        “why don’t you tell us what translation you are using, huh?” = likewise, please cite the source for your own assumptions (“This is a verifiable fact of history that you are obviously unaware of”). Please forgive me if I don’t take your words at face value.

        1. LLC: “why don’t you tell us what translation you are using, huh?” = likewise, please cite the source for your own assumptions

          BB: Your pathetic attempt to get around from answering MY question by turning it back towards me is all the proof anyone needs to know that you have not done one drop of research on this subject. You’re probably afraid that if you do, it will be such a shock to your system, it may cause an epileptic seizure.
          Now prepare yourself for a seizure (with medication by your side as I cannot be responsible for your early demise).

          The word “penance” is a MISTRANSLATION, and consequently, the Holy Spirit DID NOT tell us to “do penance”. To think that from the time of the “Vulgarian error” to this very day, Catholics still fall for it, is astounding.

          LLC: Please forgive me if I don’t take your words at face value.

          BB: I never ask anyone to just believe me. Now go do some legwork for yourself instead of being “willfully ignorant” (2 Pet 3:5). But just be prepared to discover that all Bible scholars will tell you what you don’t want to hear.

          1. BB,
            “The word “penance” is a MISTRANSLATION, and consequently, the Holy Spirit DID NOT tell us to “do penance” = again, no source provided. Capital letters do not count as source.
            Since you decided not to, I will. The word penance comes from the Latin “Paenitere”, present active infinitive of “Paeniteō”, which means “I cause to repent”, “I regret, repent”; “I am sorry” (Wiktionary). In Latin, “Paenitere” carries not only the connotation of regret and sorrow for past actions (repent in English), but goes further, implying the performing of acts of reparation and mortification, the same way Zacchaeus, following his change of heart, did penance (“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold”) (Catholic Answers Forum).

      2. Jesus taught:

        ” Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida. For if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the mighty works that have been wrought in you, they would have done penance long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”

        This quote is sufficient for an understanding of Christ’s definition of “penance”. Those who have ‘ears to hear’, will note the Lord’s use of the expression “sack cloth and ashes”and understand it’s significance. The Protestant understanding, preached by Barry, seems to indicate that such ‘penance’ was, and is, not necessary. And a lighter version of ‘repenting’ is sufficient. The problem is, that those who are addicted to drugs, alchohol, pornography, money, anger, spiritual pride, etc…need more than mere ‘repentance’. They need to combat those vices with real mortifications…real acts of ‘penance’….unto the REMISSION of those very sins, such that the vice/sins’ power over the soul is thereby reduced and eventually extinguished. Mere faith is not enough, action and some suffering is also necessary, as ‘withdrawal’ from vicious habits results in the consequent suffering caused by the deprivation of those illicit pleasures and habits.

        This is why ‘sack cloth and ashes’ were the prescription of Christ for the Sodomites. It’s because this type of bold warfare is needed to conquer such vicious and enslaving vices such as the Sodomites practiced.

        But, I guess people need a little wisdom to figure these things out, and understand Christ when He teaches on such subjects?

        1. I forgot to include the second example that Jesus provided above in the same passage regarding Corozain and Bethsaida, 2 verses later, that referred to Sodom:

          “And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in SODOM had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day.”

          Jesus Christ Himself, regarding proves this false.

  14. Awlms –

    They often think “penance” is a work and therefore not necessary for salvation. RC Sproul’s series on Catholicism makes this colossal error. For example, if you steal $20 and part of your penance is to return the $20 then that’s a work. Protestantism is relativism and easy believism. You get to make up your own world all on your own with no need for a priest or Church to get in your way.

  15. Thanks for the article, I really enjoyed reading it because it did make sense and it clarified the apparent contradiction.

    Though I am aware of an Anglican interpretation that does use the “became sin” in a different way, with its English meaning. According to this Anglican theology, Jesus did become sin through becoming us. Our nature is corrupted and we are effectively sin; so, in order to save us, Christ had to become us and therefore had to become sin (us). This is also why the Father turn His face away when Jesus became sin. According to this, although we have still a sinful nature and we are corrupted, our identify is not sin itself anymore but we identify in Christ.

    The other point I wanted to raise: in your article, you highlighted that the Hebrew (and Latin) for “sin offering” is actually the word sin. Thought, weren’t all the books of the New Testament written in Greek? And if so, would the Greek for “sin offering” mean sin too?

    Thanks for your time.
    FM

  16. Catechesis by Pope John Paul II on Jesus Christ
    General Audience, Wednesday 19 October 1988

    6. At Gethsemane we see how painful this obedience was to be: “Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mk 14:36). In that moment Christ’s agony of soul was much more painful than that of the body (cf. Summa Theol., III, q. 46, a. 6). This was because of the interior conflict between the supreme motives of the passion in the divine plan, and the perception which Jesus, in the refined sensitivity of his soul, had of the abominable filth of sin. Sin seems to have been poured over him, who had become as it were “sin” (that is, the victim of sin) as St. Paul says (cf. 2 Cor 5:21), so that universal sin might be expiated in him. Thus Jesus arrived at death as at the supreme act of obedience: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46): the spirit, that is, the principle of his human life.

    Question: Is saying that sin was “poured over him” the same as saying that sin was “imputed” to Him?

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