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Monday, January 19, 2015

Why I Hate Roman Catholicism

Let me count the ways... No, this post is by no means exhaustive. There are many reasons why I hate the man-made system of the popes.

A  common argument for Roman Catholicism is that Rome has no disagreements within her official teachings whereas Protestant denominations often disagree. That sentiment presupposes that disagreements create confusion for those who by grace seek the truth contained in Scripture. ("Which denomination should we trust for our source of truth? All seem equally sincere.") Such thinking leads to an additional premise, that truth can be more readily acquired by looking to a source that claims to pronounce with utmost clarity and infallibility Christian doctrine - yet while denying the lucidity of the original source from which this ecclesiastical magisterium supposedly derives its doctrine and authority(!). The implication is that God in his word is not as clear as those who would speak on his behalf (but that Scripture is somehow clear enough to derive the Roman See). But what if those who claim infallibility are deluded, if not liars? What if Rome not only interprets Scripture wrongly on essential matters of faith and morals but also goes beyond Scripture in order that she might gain authority over conscience that is not divinely appointed?

The material point is that the self-attesting authority of God’s word in conjunction with the Holy Spirit must wait final adjudication from the popes for a Roman Catholic to have full warrant for any belief on faith and practice. A Roman Catholic must reserve judgment on the absolute truth of any passage  of Scripture, no matter how plain, because the Roman magisterium may overrule what one thinks a passage means. Naturally, Rome’s authority undermines the Roman Catholic’s confidence that he has heard from God in Scripture. Rome, like Satan, says “Has God said?” There is something rather insidious (and cultish) about casting doubt upon what God has said in his word yet not upon what God has allegedly said through his supposed infallible mouthpiece. (That Rome now permits, even encourages, Bible study does not undermine the point in view.)
At the end of the day the Roman Catholic believes he may interpret and apply “tradition” yet he may not do the same with Scripture with the same degree of confidence. But why not? Why can’t Scripture interpret Scripture to the same degree that tradition can interpret Scripture?  If tradition may alter the Roman Catholic’s view of  Scripture, then why can’t Scripture alter the Roman Catholic’s understanding of tradition?! If there is an apparent discrepancy, why does God’s supposed tradition trump Scripture? Wasn’t Israel blistered by the prophets of God and Christ himself for raising tradition above Scripture? Let's make no mistake about it - Rome does not regard Scripture as she does her tradition for the former must conform to the latter and not the reverse.
So, what’s one to do?
Given all the theological nuances and outright disagreement among Protestants what is one to do? Isn’t Rome more attractive because of its internal consistency?  Aside from the inconsistencies that riddle her, to find solace in a communion that demands such loyalty is neither wise nor available to one who seeks only God’s approval. It’s also a sure sign of manipulation and doctrinal infidelity to demand such mindless submission for it is without precedence in redemptive history and contrary to the warnings given in Scripture.

Given this unlawful, allegedly authoritative, mediation of the Roman magisterium one can never have full assurance of faith while remaining true to the implications of his communion. Yet God who is love would have us set free from such tyranny, to worship him by grace in peace. 

Theology aside, Jesus told us we can know false shepherds by their fruit. Don't the thousands of perverted acts along with Rome's attempt to cover them up accuse her justly?
Conclusion:
Peter was blessed because flesh and blood had not revealed Christ to him but rather the Father in Heaven did. Imagine though if Peter's loyalty was to the magisterium of his day? With that in mind, it's easy to see that the splits within Protestant communions only present problems to those who look to man, not God, for truth. Most Roman Catholics I know have never heard from God in this way but have merely heard some things about him, which is why they would sooner trust a communion that claims truth rather than the Christ who is the truth. By and large, Roman Catholics have no relationship with God through Christ. They know nothing of the forgiveness of sins, adoption as sons, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the hope of glory. Indeed, Roman Catholicism forbids such presumption and in doing so would deny access to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. It might just go without asking...What fellowship can be found within Rome?
Jesus was clear when he said: his sheep hear his voice; they follow him; he gives them eternal life; and nobody will pluck them from his or his Father's hand. That is why I also know that when Rome denies doctrines like perseverance of the saints that it is not Christ who is in error but Rome. That is just one reason why I hate Roman Catholicism. It’s not that she’s often wrong; rather her claim of infallibility while she errs is repugnant.

So, it’s rather easy to hate Roman Catholicism with a holy hatred once one knows the Christ of Scripture savingly and realizes how Rome has blinded so many who need the forgiveness of sins in Christ.

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron,
Thanks for your blog. I didnt see any link describing how I can send you a private message, since I am not commenting on your actual RC post.

I would have to say that your blogs and your very in-depth philosophical insights are laser focused and spot-on.

I wouldnt say that I agree with all of your theological positions (a lot, but not all), but I find all of your posts very insightful...

I used to be a "Klinean/R2K-er"..But thinking about it more and seeing R2K cannot adequately address the corruption going on in our govt (among other things) has convinced me that theonomy is the more sufficient answer.

However, I have a little bit different take on the law in that I prefer to look at the law as moral and typological, and the moral encases the "civil" (or "general equity of the civil")..
Obviously, the typological has been done away with..

So, I would say that it can be closely associated with modified lutheran view (D. Moo) without the extreme R2K leanings/applications that Lee Irons associates it with.

(I guess I am somewhere between a "soft" theonomist and a "hard" theonomist.. Slightly learning more towards "hard" though)..

So, this is a little background for context.

A couple of comments and questions:

1) I have always felt that Reformed Christians need to have better training in the discipline of philosophy, which you clearly have.
-Would you mind telling me about your background and how you came to have the skillzzz that you do?
-Why do you suppose that there are "famous" arminian philosopher Christians like JP Moreland, but you havent seen any "famous" reformed philosophers?

The big names within the reformed world (R2K or not) seem to be theologians, not philosophers.

2) You have many significant things to say about WSC... One of my future plans is to attend seminary.
Previously, I was thinking that WSC would be an option.. Because of your blog, I am now a little more cautious. But it is still an option because my wife's family is in CA.. (you know how that goes re. the wife.)
-Can you describe your observations on the differences between WSC and WTS? (WTS was another option I was thinking about. R2K seems to only be assoc. with WSC, not WTS?????)...
-Any other seminary that you would recommend?

3) Have you visited Matthew Tuninga's blog?
http://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/
In one post, cant remember where, you do mention how the R2K doctrine is mainly supported by not by rigorous exegetical and philosophical means, but by historical etc...
I feel that that Matt emphasizes this too much, and doesnt make a clear case for the R2K position in the way that you do with the theonomic position..

Keep up the blog!!!!!

Chris Lee
christopher_lee220@yahoo.com

Reformed Apologist said...

Will write you later tonight DV

John W said...

Ron,

Your arguments over at Greenbaggins are flying over the heads of the Roman Catholics. They need to begin praying to Saint Jude - the patron saint of lost causes! Keep it up!

Reformed Apologist said...

Chris,

Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing a bit about your background for context. I always enjoy hearing such things.

To some of your questions - since I was young I always seem to have somewhat of a knack for distinguishing the point from that which was not the point. My father was a gifted man and a very clear thinker... I, also, tend to think things through to the nth degree. So, it’s not I that I’m skilled or trained. I’m simply somewhat tenacious I suppose and follow those instincts when something doesn't seem quite Kosher.

Why do you suppose that there are "famous" arminian philosopher Christians like JP Moreland, but you havent seen any "famous" reformed philosophers?

This is a problem. It’s not that there aren’t as good Reformed philosophers out there as there are non-Reformed ones. In fact, I might argue that all Reformed philosophers who can at least give a defense of their metaphysic as it pertains to the will are superior to all non-Reformed philosophers. As you can see, if a Christian philosopher is not a Calvinist I have little use for his philosophy. He has a sin problem that permeates much of what I would care to hear or read about. I know that doesn't sound very intellectual, but I'm not too concerned that I don't jump on the Plantinga bandwagon.

The big names within the reformed world (R2K or not) seem to be theologians, not philosophers.

Indeed, and the few philosophers there are don’t seem to be of the analytic sort. What we need are more saints though. The older I get the more I'm impressed with someone's godliness than his mind.

Can you describe your observations on the differences between WSC and WTS? (WTS was another option I was thinking about. R2K seems to only be assoc. with WSC, not WTS?????)...

WTS hands down. For one thing we can visit as I live within an hour from there. Seriously, though the offer was sincere, WTS would be great place to learn Reformed thought; especially since they’ve seem to straighten out some things. Union with Christ takes center stage there, unlike at Escondido. WTS is no friend to theonomy, but they are much more acquainted with a Reformed theory of knowledge than any other seminary. (Also, Escondido loathes theonomy, which is not the case with WTS.) Theonomy is simply an outworking of Presuppositionalism, as is WTS's take on counseling,which is nouthetic.

Any other seminary that you would recommend?

MARS... and Alan Strange seems to be a fine man.

3) Have you visited Matthew Tuninga's blog?
http://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/
In one post, cant remember where, you do mention how the R2K doctrine is mainly supported by not by rigorous exegetical and philosophical means, but by historical etc...
I feel that that Matt emphasizes this too much, and doesnt make a clear case for the R2K position in the way that you do with the theonomic position..


Haven’t seen his blog but I’ll try to check it out. Let's keep in touch!


Reformed Apologist said...

John

It's a curious thing at times.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments...
I will definitely keep in touch!!

I will generate more questions and/or comments in the future!!

Chris Lee

Anonymous said...

Are there any Christians in the Catholic church?

Arminian Christians?

Reformed Apologist said...

Of course the Bible affirms there can be Arminian Christians by the very fact that Scripture corrects believers who do not yet affirm Calvinstic thought. Regarding Romanism, although Rome denies the gospel a true believer can be a member of the Roman communion. Though it is disobedient to remain in Rome.