Archive for November, 2014

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:54

Occasionally, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss this passage with other Evangelicals. During our conversation I have mentioned that Rome uses this passage as a proof text for its doctrine of Transubstantiation. Transubstantiation, Rome asserts, occurs when the priest consecrates the bread and wine during the Mass. At that time, the bread and wine are changed into the actual body and blood of Christ. Rome teachers that, when its adherents partake of communion, they are eating and drinking the actual body and blood of Christ. I’ve said these things supposing that Rome’s teaching on transubstantiation is at least somewhat understood by Evangelicals. As it turns out, I was wrong.

But not only was I surprised to find that, at least in some cases, Protestants did not realize just how radically the Romanist position on the Lord’s Supper differs from what the Bible teaches, I also found a fairly deep-seated unwillingness on the part of Evangelicals to believe what Rome, by its own admission, has taught for centuries.

For a non-Catholic, grappling with Roman Catholic doctrine can be more than a little frustrating. Part of this is Rome’s historic practice. The Church is fond of making thunderous dogmatic statements. But when asked to back them up, the questioner is often met with double-talk and obfuscation. For example, Rome has declared in no uncertain terms that the pope is infallible when speaking ex-cathedra. But ask Rome for its list of infallible papal statements, and you’ll get the runaround. But this is not so in the case of transubstantiation. Rome has made quite clear what she believes on this subject, and there really should be no question about it in the minds of Evangelicals. Consider the following statements from Rome,

If anyone shall deny, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are verily, really, and substantially contained the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but shall say that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

– Council of Trent, Session 13, Cannon I.

If anyone shall say, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the wine into which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

– Council of Trent, Session 13, Cannon II


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Tools of the Inquisition

Futility. For many, the sight of poor Charlie Brown’s failure to kick the football is the very image of it. Ever trusting, he was always Lucy’s tool .

Ecumenical Evangelicals are a lot like Charlie Brown. They just never get it. The Vatican announces its latest ecumenical conference on this or that hot button issue and, zip, like moths to a flame, or Charlie Brown to Lucy’s siren song, the ecumenical tools come a running.

The latest Vatican con job is a confab called An International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman. And the ecumenical tools of the hour are Southern Baptists Russell Moore and Rick Warren. The conference, to be held in the Vatican Nov. 17-19, is described by its organizers thus,

The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium is a gathering of leaders and scholars from many religions across the globe, to examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society.

Witnesses will draw from the wisdom of their religious tradition and cultural experience as they attest to the power and vitality of the complementary union of man and woman. It is hoped that the colloquium be a catalyst for creative language and projects, as well as for global solidarity, in the work of strengthening the nuptial relationship, both for the good of the spouses themselves and for the good of all who depend upon them.

The Colloquium is sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. (emphasis added)

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It sounds innocent enough. But like so much the emanates from the Vatican, a little digging reveals things are not what they seem at first. As it turns out, The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is a new name for an old organization within the vast bureaucracy of the Roman Catholic State-Church. Prior to 1985, this same body was known as The Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. This was itself a new name for an organization that from 1904 until 1965 was called the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.

What, you may ask, was the name of this august body prior to 1904? From its founding by Pope Paul III in 1542 until 1904, it was known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition. Yes, you read that right. Evangelicals are going to a conference, the host of which is none other than the Inquisition.

Ignoring the command of the voice from heaven in Revelation 18 which enjoined, “Come out of her [the Roman Catholic Church State], my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues,” Russell Moore believes he can too join in ecumenical alliance with Antichrist and not suffer loss. In this, he evidences a serious lack of discernment.

The decision by Moore and Warren to attend this Vatican conference represents an enormous betrayal of Christ and his Gospel. Not that this is anything new for high profile Evangelical leaders. But to allow themselves to be used as a tool of the Inquisition shows a truly remarkable lack of discernment on the part of these men. By comparison, Charlie Brown looks like a genius.

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