C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mr. Pope Says We Have No “Means of Salvation”

It looks like the new pope has tried to limit salvation again by limiting the true Church of God to only the earthly religion of Catholicism. I say, very well they may indulge themselves in believing they have “the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles” for I would rather trace my salvation to Christ rather than man any day.

To say those that trust in Christ outside of the Roman Catholic Church do not have the "means of salvation" is only opinion and/or tradition based nowhere in Scripture Mr. Pope. Scripture does not say, “The Catholic Church is the only way, truth, and life”, or that "The Pope is the only way, truth, and life", but that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”.

I do find it interesting that one says, “"I don't know what motivated it at this time," she said. "But it's important always to point out that there's the official position and there's the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglican and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics."”

What do they mean by “official position”, if they can easily ignore it?

What is the unofficial position? Is that like saying, “I know none of you Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutherans are saved, but would you still like to get together to fellowship and worship? We’ll still let you preach and pray sometimes, even though the church (and the Pope) doesn’t believe you even have the means to be saved.”

I believe the truth of this statement comes down to one point, which is mentioned in the article: “it said they lack something because they do not recognize the primacy of the pope”.

Sorry Mr. Pope, I have a High Priest in Jesus Christ, I don’t need a Pope for salvation.

The “Means of Salvation” are not in an earthly church, but in the man Christ Jesus which was a Jew, not Roman Catholic.

14 comments:

BEAST said...

Without Mr Pope's Vatican, your protestant-inspired baptist movement could very well not be born.

At least show some gratitude to that old institution of despotism and tyrannism. Your church owns a lot to this "Father of all religious vices".

Timothy said...

Umm... the doctrine of "no salvation outside the Church is an ancient Christian doctrine founded on John 15 and the parable of the vine and branches." This Christian doctrine goes back to the start of the second century, just after John's death.

http://christian-apologetics-society.blogspot.com/2007/07/outside-church-there-is-no-salvation.html

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Ah, “no salvation outside the Church” indeed, but it is an addition to say this means only the Roman Catholic Church of Catholicism. I noticed at your blog you quote many men of write, but no Scripture. Why is that?

The Church is ALL who are saved by grace through faith in Christ. To claim the Roman Catholic Church has the only means to salvation causes a problem for all the saints before its beginning – years after the apostle Peter apparently forgot to have everyone set him up as Pope.

I don’t find the earthly Roman Catholic Church in John 15, but I do find Jesus Christ, which is the way, truth, and life there. Could you be a little more specific as to where in this chapter the doctrine that only the Roman Catholic Church has the means to salvation because they have a Pope?

MB said...

Give it up. Admit it. You lot can't even come to the slightest agreement on your god or your so called religion. Fact is, they are the original church, they are way older than your church, and they started it. You splintered off, or they threw you out. Now they don't want you back after all your squabbling. Sit outside in the cold. They indeed have the best claim to being the "true church of jeebuz(tm)", and indeed their vatican is the original mithra-replacement. Complete with relics showing the same jesus/mithra stories and how you fools got your traditions. And what do you have? Some 50 foot concrete statue of jesus with a fountain coming out of his ass in Ohio.

Bet you don't allow this post.

Timothy said...

>"I noticed at your blog you quote many men of write, but no Scripture. Why is that?"

I quote scripture when appropriate. In this instance, I did quote John 15 as that was the underlying scripture used by the early Church.

Also in this instance, the question revolves around as to whether the doctrine of "no salvation outside the Church" was held by the early believers. The surviving historical documents of the 2nd and 3rd centuries show that "no salvation outside the Church" was an established Christian doctrine from shortly after the last book of our Bible was written.

Finally, this seems a case of rules for thee, but not for me. I note a lack of scripture citations in your original diatribe as well.

>"To claim the Roman Catholic Church has the only means to salvation causes a problem for all the saints before its beginning"

First, "no salvation outside the Church" is not exclusive to the Catholic Church at Rome, but includes the other 22 Catholic Churches of the East and all the Orthodox churches as well.

Second, when one understands the Catholic Church as the mystical Body of Christ there is no "problem for all the saints before its beginning". The salvation of Abraham and all the saints before Christ establishes His visible Church is still accomplished, like ours, by grace through Christ and His Church. No conflict. Conflict only occurs when one restricts the power of God (Matthew 22:29) with temporal constraints.

BTW, you are a member of the Catholic Church by virtue of your baptism.

>"I don’t find the earthly Roman Catholic Church in John 15"

Of course not, its found in Acts 9:31 in the early Koine Greek scriptures. Note the 4th, 5th and 6th words are "ekklesia kath olos" or catholic church.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%209:31&version=69

"Could you be a little more specific as to where in this chapter the doctrine that only the Roman Catholic Church has the means to salvation because they have a Pope?"

As you've stated a false doctrine that is quite impossible.

Again, the doctrine includes not only the Church at Rome but the entire Catholic Church. Also, the doctrine has nothing to due with the presence of the Pope.

God bless...

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

MB,

I have no problem allowing the post, for it is merely your opinion. I do appreciate that it is free of some of the harsher unnecessary words and writings that some choose to include. You are incorrect with your assertions, but it is your opinion none the less. It really doesn’t add much to the conversation when you just rant like this, but if it makes you feel better let it flow and it allows people to see your character when speaking to others.

-----

Timothy (good name),

You do realize that Catholic Church original meant Universal Church, including all believers and did not really mean the Roman Catholic Church, right? Maybe I need you to indentify exactly how you define Catholic Church and/or exactly what you mean by the Church.

If you will notice in the article, it says, “Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.” Clearly this says that Orthodox churches are defective – Why – “they lack something because they do not recognize the primacy of the pope”. Also toward other Christian denominations (i.e. Baptist, which I am), it says “they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of salvation."”

With this I am somewhat confused when you write, “the doctrine includes not only the Church at Rome but the entire Catholic Church. Also, the doctrine has nothing to due with the presence of the Pope.” and “BTW, you are a member of the Catholic Church by virtue of your baptism.” How so? Apparently the Pope has said Orthodox are wounded and the rest don’t have it, and actually baptism of the Holy Spirit (and I don’t mean tongues), not water, is how I am put into the Body of Christ (i.e. the Church) by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. [1 Corinthians 12:13, For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.]

I did quote a scripture in my post, with link, I merely did not note the reference. As for as early believers, I do not believe they spoke of the Roman Catholic Church as the Pope here is clearly using as the only ones that have the “means of salvation”. How is that so when it is Christ who has the means to salvation, and the Church which receives the salvation?

Honestly how are you defining the Church and/or Catholic Church whereby what you are saying appears different than what the Pope is saying?

I appreciate the dialogue and not just ranting as some non-believers feel the need to bless me with. :)

Ian said...

Can someone point me to the exact quote by Benedict on this subject?

John Paul made a like comment, but later clerified that he used the 'catholic' term as a small "c", not implying the Roman Catholic Church, but rather the 'universal body of believers'. Is this possibly Benedicts take? I would like a reference to his exact quote.
Thanks

megan said...

I know this is long, but I hope you find it worthwhile :)



Pope’s Words Distorted Renewing Anti-Catholic Sentiment
By MEGAN M. KITTELL
Independent News Commentator July 20, 2007

A response to:
Pope: Other Christians Not True Churches
By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press 7/10/2007

A Vatican document titled “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church”, which was ratified by the Pope last month, has raised much controversy in recent weeks. The document was a response to some theological questions recently raised within the Catholic community.

The majority of the questions and answers pertain to the differences between the Catholic Church and Protestant Churches, and were designed to further explain to Catholics the Church’s official position on these issues.

Responding to a question of why the Catholic Church refers to Protestant Churches as “Churches”, the document reads:

“The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. “Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds”, they merit the title of “particular or local Churches”, and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches…On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realized in history.“


In Associated Press Writer Nicole Winfield’s report on July 10th, she states that the Pope said “other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.”



On the question of Protestant Christianity subsisting in the Catholic Church, the document states:

“Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”, that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted…It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.”



Answering as to why the Catholic Church uses the expression “subsists in”, the document continues:

“It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church…In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

The “defects”, or flaws, the Catholic Church finds in Protestant Churches consist of their teachings approving of divorce and contraception, among other differences. These differences are how there came to be so many different Protestant Churches who “protested” and broke off from the Catholic Church throughout history. To make these statements more clear to Protestants, a brief history lesson in Catholicism:
In the bible, Jesus left the responsibility of his newly founded Church to St. Peter the Apostle. St. Peter left it to another, and so on, and this became the role of the Pope in the original Church. Over the centuries some sects have disagreed with the Pope’s interpretation of Christ’s teachings, and have separated off, forming other denominations of Christianity. For example, in the 1500’s Martin Luther believed there should be divorce, and also had other disagreements with the Church, and so was born the Lutheran Church.

Nicole Winfield’s (biased, in my opinion) article reported that, to the contrary, the document states “it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of salvation.”"

Her paraphrasing here, and elsewhere in her article have lead to vast confusion within the masses, and a public outcry from Catholics and Protestants alike. Don’t just take my word for it, see it for yourself. I direct you to the Vatican website to read the actual document with “no spin”, just the text. The web address is: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

It’s a shame such disunity within the Christian community has arisen from misinterpretation. Let this be a lesson to us all, to remember to think individually, and always seek the truth, for “the truth shall set you free”!

I may be contacted at www.myspace.com/megank1

Ian said...

Megan

Awesome job of reporting and clerifying.
I find the Popes answers to be in line with brotherly affection for the entire "catholic church", including the protestant denominations that still hold to orthodoxy. I don't necessarily buy into all his reasoning, but he seems to be a bright and insightful man.
Certainly, the original post in this section was incorrect and a distortion of facts not in evidence.
Thanks again Megan.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Pretty interesting Megan.
Let it be noted Ian, that I took my information from the article written at CBS entitled: Pope: Only One "True" Church.

Megan, I do find some of what you say a little odd, but I will read the article from Vatican now before I completely respond. Before I do, though, I would like to comment on one of your points.

As a Baptist, we do not believe in the apostolic succession, the priesthood as Catholicism does (but as Scripture declares we are all priest), or the Eucharist as the embodiment of Christ (although we take part in the Lord’s Supper). Neither do we believe in sacraments, whereby they are necessary for salvation or the keeping of such, but only two ordnances, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper, whereby neither add or take away from the salvation given us by grace through faith in Christ.

Catholicism does not agree with us, nor us with Catholicism, so are you sure they accept our salvation as being part of the Church of God?

Okay, the Vatican article,

By us not accepting “subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.”, does that not make us heretics? For we believe that Christ is head of the Church, without a Pope, or an apostle which did not even know he was such. The same authority given to Peter was given to all the apostles as well and no Scripture contains any evidence of apostolic succession as authority over the Church of God.

So I find the statement “Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation” odd in that what Catholicism and Baptist teach concerning salvation are not entirely the same. They cannot both be correct.

And it clearly says that “Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century”… “cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense”, simply because we do not accept the Pope nor the unbiblical ideas and teachings of a Eucharist.

Does this still allow us Baptist to be consider IN the Church of God, when Catholicism says we cannot be called Churches in the proper sense?

Anonymous said...

Writer of Splinter:

I recall reading some info from Pope John Paul, and now this article. Both of which caused the protestant world to raise its hackles.

The interesting thing is that in both instances, the Catholic church in Rome clerified that it believes protestants are in the "chruch" in the larger sense, although it believes "full truth" is not revealed outside of the Roman Catholic Church. That is no different than any denominations belief that it holds "full Truth" in its doctrines.

The key, as Paul teaches us, is to not let these doctrinal differencs divide us. If the core orthodoxy of the Trinity, and Christs saving work on the Cross on our behalf that makes us brothers in the "church" of Christ.

To major in the minors is divisive and plays into the hands of the evil one.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Actually, whereby the gospel of salvation is concerned, if there be necessity of works by man to bring it forth or to keep it, that is in direct violation of Scripture. This seperation of the Truth, whereby Paul teaches, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast", seperates a belief of salvation WITH works verses salvation WITHOUT works. As long as the Catholic Church declares works (by whatever name) as a means to ensure and/or keep salvation, we cannot find complete unity in the faith, for our gospels are not the same.

Though we share many beliefs, and I would not be so proud as to claim all Catholics heretics and lost, clearly the distinction is too great to reconcile the two (Catholic and Baptist) into a partnership whereby we disagree in such an important part of Christianity.

And this be but one point, for if you are Catholic, you know there be many things different among us.

Anonymous said...

splinter writer:

There are MANY denominations that have undertones of works righteousness instead of Christs righteousness. This, as Paul tells us "perverts" or in the Greek, 'reverses' the Gospel...but its affect is to stunt the believers understanding of the Grace of our Lord, hence, fellowship with Him. However, it DOES NOT remove them from the fold of sheep shepherded by our Lord.
For you to single out Catholics for this inaccurate view, smacks of prejudice against them in particular, since MANY denominations have their own unique ways of "work's righteousness".
I would ask you to prayerfully consider this, and review the many denominational 'reversals' and not single out any one group, as this really does sound judgemental, and biased against the Catholics.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Don't get me wrong [anonymous],

I am fully aware, and agree "There are MANY denominations that have undertones of works righteousness instead of Christs righteousness"

I realize that people can hold to a works based salvation, though may truly have accepted Christ by faith unto salvation at some point in their own lives, but what they preach and witness to is a lie and can cause others to miss salvation by trusting in those very works.

It is not I who are singling out Catholics, but the Catholics (i.e. Pope) which has chosen to single themselves out, claiming us, Baptists (and others), that do not give honor to the Pope or abid by their false doctrines of sacraments (including the Eurcharist), which claim we cannot even be called a "Church". History clearly shows they believe we are all heretics.

So, by this post, I am not singling out Catholics, as you suppose, but merely pointing out, what I believe, their claims to be ungrounded outside of Scripture.

This is not based on Catholic vs. Baptist, but Truth of Scripture vs. Man's ideas.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.