- Stephen D Blum Jr
The Late, Great Reformation . .
It is the year 1545 in Northern Italy. With the rumblings of The Reformation growing ever louder, valiant and sincere attempts were made by Martin Luther and others to reform Rome and her embarrassingly unbiblical traditions. But her efforts were mere window dressing. After all, her power depended on superstition and Biblical illiteracy. Would Rome repent? Not at all. At the Council of Trent the Papacy and the Jesuits doubled down. Smarter than increasing numbers of Protestants today, they knew that Protestantism was incompatible with Romanism, that they were saying different things and had different goals.
Here is today’s official teaching of the Roman catholic church on being made right with God:
“If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than *confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).
Did you know Rome teaches this? They are saying that if anyone says you can be right with God simply by having faith in his mercy (god forgives your sin because of what Jesus did on the cross), LET HIM BE DAMNED. Protestantism has been teaching this for 500 years, and the Bible for nearly 2000 years.
The thief on the cross had nothing to offer but a pitiful “remember me”, yet Jesus assured him that this very small “*confidence in divine mercy” was enough to put him in paradise with his Lord. When Jesus heals the 10 lepers in Luke chapter 17 only one returns to thank him, to whom Jesus replies “go thy way: thy *faith hath made thee whole”. When the woman with the issue of blood is healed in Mark chapter 5 Jesus replies (if He is any authority) “Daughter, thy *faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague”. Look at Romans 10:11, the heart of the Gospel:
Rom 10:11 “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed”.
Now look at the Greek word “believeth” in Strong’s Concordance at the lower left:
"Believeth" means to have faith in something, in this case, Jesus. Why was the thief on the cross saved? Because of his confidence (faith) in Jesus. And the leper in Luke 17? He had confidence in divine mercy. He trusted Jesus. The woman with the issue? Yep. She trusted Jesus. For the scripture says "whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed". We call "*confidence in divine mercy" faith.
The Bible clearly states that just as Adam's sin was imputed (reckoned to the account) of all humanity (see Romans 5:12-21), so was Christ's perfect obedience imputed (reckoned) to all who believe in Him (have confidence in divine mercy).
The Catholic Church is wrong and cannot repent because that would admit Papal error. In 1870 The Papacy claimed "papal infallibility", which seems a trifle self-serving.
We could care less what Rome thought, were she not making national and international law through her political influence and machinations. The Jesuits insist that Man can be righteous before God by his own free will, that imputed righteousness is a myth. If this is true, then is left of Christianity?
I appeal to those who know the scriptures. Catholic theology is not Christian theology. Much ado is made about the breach of the Reformation being healed and union between Protestantism and Rome being reestablished, more pointedly between Charismatics and Rome.
This union is not a good thing. And many evangelicals are not surprised at the parties involved. Do I think my Charismatic brothers could use a little emotional restraint? Well, yes, but my real fear is that their affinity for signs and wonders, their quick-on-the-draw impulse to call anyone “speaking in tongues”, spirit-filled, and their tendency to brand as “the letter that killeth” any correction coming from scripture will lead them toward the sworn enemy of Christ, away from the Word of God as it is written, away from the imputed righteousness of Christ toward those who go about to establish their “own righteousness” (Romans 10:3). Paul’s words and corrections are not “letter that killeth”. Paul’s words are scripture and life.
We say as Protestants that we believe in righteousness by faith alone. But what is the object of that faith? Everyone has faith in something, yet all are not saved are they? It is the object of our faith, it is what, or rather who we trust. It is not faith in faith that saves, but faith in the vicarious work of Christ on our behalf, His “perfecting forever” (Hebrews 10:14) those who trust Him, the sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11), faith in the imputation of His righteousness unto and upon “all that believe” (Romans 3:22).
In the face of some scary-looking issues in America and the world in general, Rome looks like a good friend to have in our corner. Be not deceived . . Rome is not the friend of Christianity. She is not our champion, our redeemer. She still carries the imperial lust-to-power of the Caesars, the chilling denial of The Fall, and the deceitful syncretism of the mystery religions, and is currently synthesizing a global religion which will be swept away by the Stone cut without hands.
The present this world is shouting "unity!". But the Word of the Living God who divided light from darkness is separation:
Rev 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”.