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Posts Tagged ‘John Robbins’

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano

And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you.’”

  • Matthew 24:4

Several times in Scripture, believers are commanded not to be deceived.  The quote at the top of this post is just one of them. 

Unfortunately, many Christians, or at least those who claim to be Christians, are often deceived by the wiles of the devil.  One of the greatest deceptions of our time is the increasing acceptance of the Roman Catholic Church-State (RCCS) as a Christian church and her laymen, priests, nuns, monks, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and popes as genuine Christians.  This deception has its origin in the Antichrist RCCS and has been eagerly promoted by many leading Evangelicals since the end of WWII, with men such as Billy Graham and Charles Colson leading many astray.

The pro-life movement has been one of Rome’s most effective tools for deceiving Protestants and has led many astray.  “After all,” so the thinking goes, “if the local archdiocese wants to organize a march against abortion or protest in front of an abortion clinic, why shouldn’t Protestants join their brothers and sisters in Christ in the protest?  We’re stronger united than separated.”

But those who think this way go wrong right from the beginning, showing themselves to be deceived about the Church of Rome and its doctrines.  The RCCS is not a Christian church, neither are Roman Catholics Christians.  This is not something spoken out of spite, be a necessary conclusion drawn from the teachings of Rome herself.  The gospel of justification by faith (belief) alone is essential to the Christian faith; Rome denies the gospel of justification by faith (belief) alone; therefore, Rome is not a Christian church.  And what does the Bible teach Christians about ecumenical work with unbelievers?  “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).

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I’m really glad I’m not one of those people,” I thought to myself. The year was, I think, 1978 and I was 12 years old and in the 6th grade.

So what was it I was glad I wasn’t? Just who were those people?

Calvinists. Yes, the dreaded Calvinists

You see, I was reading my history textbook. You know, the kind of big, thick general history textbooks we used to have. The ones that started out talking about the Sumerians and ended somewhere around WWII.

This particular textbook had managed to find room for a paragraph or two on the Protestant Reformation. Part of me is tempted to blast the textbook writers for devoting one or two lousy paragraphs to the greatest Christian movement since the days of the apostles. But when I think about it, I shouldn’t be too harsh on them. After all, at least they mentioned the Reformation. I’m not sure if textbooks today would do even that. Further, the textbook writers managed to get at least one important detail right: the importance the Calvinists laid on of the doctrine of election.

It was the doctrine of election that offended me. It struck me as insufferable arrogant. To me, it sounded as if the Calvinists thought they were God’s chosen people because they were innately better than everyone else. Of course, that’s not what Calvinists taught then or teach now. But that was my assumption. Calvinists believed then and believe now that no one is worthy of God’s grace. That’s why it’s called grace! If sinners were in some way worthy of God’s grace, then grace would no longer be grace.

But I didn’t understand that then and wouldn’t until many years later.

I was a church kid growing up. Looking back on it, I believed many true things about God, but I didn’t know the Gospel of Justification by Faith (Belief) Alone.

One of the points I was confused on, and it’s a very common point of confusion in American evangelicalism, is the relationship between regeneration and faith.

In my 12-year-old self’s understanding, I thought that I first had to believe before I could be regenerated.

I’ll come back to this thought later, but for now, let’s leave it at that.

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Martin Luther as Hercules Germanicus by Hans Holbein, 1523. “In the picture, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Duns Scotus and Nicholas of Lyra already lay bludgeoned to death at his feet and the German inquisitor, Jacob van Hoogstraaten was about to receive his fatal stroke. Suspended from a ring in Luther’s nose was the figure of Pope Leo X,” The Reformation Room.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:17

“Then the children of Israel…forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies” (Judges 2:11,13-14).

It’s often been noted that Israel under the judges went through a number of cycles of faith in the Word of God prosperity, followed by unbelief, leading to bondage to foreign powers, followed by repentance, and finally deliverance from oppression.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this cycle is the close connection between belief and liberty, on one hand, and unbelief and oppression on the other.  The passage just quoted from Judges is a good illustration of this principle. 

Put another way, spiritual liberty, faith in the Lord, leads to political and economic liberty.  Rejecting the Word of God produces slavery both political and economic. 

Put still another way, spiritual liberty leads to political and economic liberty, spiritual bondage to political and economic bondage. 

Not only did this pattern hold true in ancient Israel, it also holds true today.  It was the widespread preaching of and belief in the Gospel of Justification by Faith Alone that spiritually freed the people of the nations to which the Reformation came from the bondage of sin and guilt.  And those same nations were the very ones to become the freest states on earth politically as well as the most prosperous.  

In his booklet Christ & Civilization, John Robbins noted this patter, writing,

Martin Luther’s courageous rejection of – in the name of written revelation, logic, and freedom – of this faith-works religion laid the necessary theological foundation for the emergence of a free, humane, and civilized society from the ancient and medieval paganism of Christendom. The result was religious freedom and her daughters: political, civil, and economic freedom (38).

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  First spiritually, then in other ways politically and economically. 

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Trinity Foundation YouTube Channel: Reformation Day Livestream “The Sands of Rome” with guest speaker Timothy F. Kauffman

Here I Stand by Roland Bainton

Christ & Civilization by Rohn W. Robbins

Biden says Pope Francis called him a good Catholic and said he should keep receiving Communion,” by Chico Harlan, Seung Min Kim, and Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, 10/29/2021

Joe Biden’s Vatican Meeting With Pope Francis Runs Into Overtime,” by Josh Boak, Zeke Miller and Nicole Winfield

Unusual secrecy attends first meeting with Pope Francis as president,” by Jack Jenkins, Claire Giangrave, Religion News Service, 10/28/2021

Biden Eases Fray with France and Savors Meeting With Pope as Europe Trip Begins,” by Katie Rogers and Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 10/30/2021

Pope Francis meets with US President Joseph Biden,” Vatican News, 10/29/2021

Biden says Pope Francis OK’d him receiving communion, calling him a ‘good Catholic’ amid abortion debate,” by Michael Collins and Maureen Groppe, USA Today, 10/30/2021

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The Trinity Foundation homepage, click to “Newsletter Subscribe/Unsubscribe” in lower left corner of the homepage to join the email list.

Forgotten Principles of the Reformation,” by John W. Robbins, The Trinity Review, October 2004

Pope Demands Silicon Valley “In the Name of God” Censor “Hate Speech,” “Conspiracy Theories”,” by Paul Joseph Watson, Summit News

Joe Biden Plans Vatican Meeting with Pope Francis On October 29,” by Charlie Spierling, Breitbart

Opinion: Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes,” by Micheline Maynard, The Washington Post

Breaking: Migrant Caravan in Mexico encounters Mexico’s @INAMI_forces,” by Griff Jenkins, Fox News

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