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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Re: Calvinists Against the Manhattan Declaration

The following is an e-mail response from an Anglo-Catholic papist who  belongs to the Anglican Church-North America.   I have labeled his remarks and my responses.
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 7:02 PM
Subject: Re: Calvinists Against the Manhattan Declaration

<Bruce>You say: "Stop following the traditions of men" and I agree.  Catholicism is certainly a tradition of men.  Now, even Calvinism is a tradition of men.  Even the reformed view in general has become a tradition.  Do you deny it?  
 
<Charlie's answer> Bruce, you betray your ignorance of basic Evangelical and Protestant doctrine.  Everyone knows that the difference between Roman Catholic "tradition" and Protestant "tradition" is so great as to be as far apart as one end of the universe from the other.  The Protestant Reformers were "magisterial" reformers.  They sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church until they were forced to leave on pain of death.  So the difference between the RCC view and the Protestant view is that Rome considers "Holy Tradition" to be revelation from God on equal status with Holy Scripture.  The Reformers, Lutheran and Calvinist alike, say that tradition is to be submitted to Holy Scripture.  In other words, both the church and "tradition" are to be tested by Scripture and the church has no authority to ordain anything that is "repugnant" to Scripture.   The Thirty-nine Articles say:
 

Article XX

Of the Authority of the Church

The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God's word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.
 
<Bruce>I don't find the same sola fide emphasis in the writings of the Early Fathers.  And only a small minority of Pauline scripture talks about it. 
 
And yet I do believe that we are saved by grace though faith and not by works, really I do -- but not in the radical, cultist way that you do.   In NT scripture, behavior (following from faith) is regarded as important too; its just that behavior/works of the law are not what saves/justifies.  I have no argument with these basics of Christianity.
 
<Charlie's reply>I find it interesting that you claim to believe the Bible but yet you deny that the Bible is the final and only authority.  Instead you follow the church and trust men who claim to have equal authority with Scripture.  It is truly amazing that you claim to be "Anglican" yet deny the 39 Articles, which is the confession of faith of the English Reformation!
 
Bruce, no, you do not believe that justification is by grace alone through faith alone.  You have already said that Roman Catholics are Christians.  The Council of Trent in the 16th century officially condemns the doctrine of justification by faith alone and that has never been reversed.  Read the canons of the Council of Trent sometime.  If you do not believe that works justify, then you ought to be trying to convert every Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox person you know.  They are as lost as any Muslim. 
 
Secondly, you obviously do not understand the difference between justification and sanctification.  Rome confuses the two and says that justification is not a legal declaration but is in fact infused in the heart and is the same thing as sanctification.  But the Bible and the 39 Articles and all the Reformed Confessions say that justification is one thing and sanctification is another.  Justification is objective and outside of us on the cross.   Sanctification is infused in the heart and is always imperfect.  Sanctification can therefore never be the ground or basis for salvation.  Sanctification is the evidence we give to other men that we have a "true and lively faith."  It is nothing more than this and adds absolutely nothing to our salvation.  The 39 Articles say the same:
 

Article XI

Of the Justification of Man

We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
 

Article XII

Of Good Works

Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God's judgement, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.
 
I stand with the Protestant Reformers and the Reformed confessions.  If you wish to label the Protestant Reformation as a "cult" then you simply reveal yourself to be the papist that you are.
 
 
<Bruce>Charlie, you promote Calvinism like it was the Law.   You are quick to judge and disrespect people  who disagree with your views.  Now you are accusing me of being a false prophet!  What did I write that would cause you to say that?  I never claimed to be a prophet, anyway.  But as for your accusation, I'm in good company;  they did that to Jesus, too.
 
<Charlie>You have it backwards, Bruce.  You're the Pharisee.  You're the one promoting good works and traditions of men.  I stand on Scripture alone and it is Holy Scripture that will judge you in the last day, not me or any of the Reformers.  You're confused.  You seem to think I follow the reformers.  Far from it!  I follow the Bible and radically so.   The "law" has only one purpose that matters.  That purpose is to expose you and everyone else as the low down rotten sinners they actually are.  You and I both deserve hell whether you will admit it or not. 
 

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:19-25 ESV)

 

ESV John 12:48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 

 
 
 
<Bruce>Which one of us is being legalistic and judgmental?  For you, verbal acquiesence to the reformed sola fide point of view is a "work" that you require for acceptance into your exclusive 'true faith' club.   Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.  Verbal behavior ("saying" you have faith) is a work like any other.  It won't get you saved, only heart-based faith following Spirit-inspired conviction will accomplish that, only trust in Jesus Christ.  And only God really knows who has true faith and who is just spouting the right formulaic words. 
 
 
<Charlie's response>  Bruce, you really do not understand the Bible at all, do you?  I am not saying that behavior saves.  That is your position.  My position is that "right belief" saves.  In other words, doctrine matters more than your moral behavior!  Who cares if you're opposed to abortion and homosexuality!  So are the Mormons, the Muslims, and the Buddhists!  But Jesus said,
 

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

The Bible over and over again says that doctrine matters and the Bible teaches justification is imputed, not infused.  Justification is a legal declaration of not guilty.  The fact that you do not understand the distinction between the two only proves my point.  This has absolutely nothing to  with Calvinism and everything to do with the Gospel and the Holy Scriptures, which you do not know or understand.

But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29 ESV)

My answer to you, Bruce, is that you are judging the Gospel as evil and as a "cult".  You think you're good and righteous and refuse to admit that your works are nothing but dirty rags in God's sight.  (Isaiah 64:6)  You're judgmental and you think "Calvinism" is evil and a "cult."  But really I am only speaking what the Bible says.  I follow Paul and Jesus and the prophets.  They were "Calvinists" in your view because they are the ones who teach the sovereignty of God and salvation by grace alone apart from works.  Jesus is the end of the law to everyone who believes.  (Romans 10:3-4).

<Bruce>How do we know who has the real thing or not?
 
<Charlie>Well, Bruce, I am glad you asked.  We know by what you say and what you write.  The Bible clearly says that what is in your mind/heart is what proceeds out of your mouth.  (Matthew 12:34-37).  You reveal what you believe by what you say.  From what I can understand from your comments you are totally ignorant of biblical doctrine, the 39 Articles, and the Protestant Reformation.  Good works follow true faith but they do not save and never will.  They are merely the window dressing, the fruit of someone who has true faith.  When we have done all there is still more to do because God never lowers his standards.  (Luke 17:7-10). You will always fall short of the mark.  This is why every believer is a saint.  We're sanctified by the blood of Jesus through faith and not by doing above and beyond the call of duty.  You're a miserable sinner, Bruce.  Until you recognize this you will never come to saving faith.  Even AFTER conversion we remain miserable sinners who sin in thought, word and deed--no matter how holy we "think" we are.  (Romans 3:23).
 
 
 
<Bruce> Actually, where  you are concerned, it is none of my business.   I'm happy to leave that to the Lord.  [ I believe in the Word of God and know that that God knows my heart;  I have peace with God. ]  But if pressed, I would remind us that Jesus told His disciples that we would know the tree by its fruit.   And then I would point to Galatians 5:22 and 1st Corinthians 13 to explain the fruit.   Scripture doesn't lie anywhere, but let's not elevate Paul's statements about faith above those of Christ and above those made by Paul about love being greater than faith.  But of course, your course is set, you will continue to denigrate James and 1 Corinthians 13.   Enjoy your Cult of Calvin!
 
<Charlie>Wow, Bruce!  You're right up there with God.  You love "perfectly"?  It really is funny that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13 to people who thought they were holier than everyone else.  Paul says that we have not arrived.  You are not saved by your love.  You're saved and so you are then obligated to love as a result of your being forgiven.  But this distinction escapes you as well.  Do you not know the parables?  (See Matthew 18:23-35).    The last I checked Paul spoke under authority from Jesus.  Trying to pit Jesus against Paul is just silly.  All Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16).
 
Unfortunately, Bruce, I belong to the cult of "Christ."  You, on the other hand, are a part of the cult we know as the "papists".  Why not go the whole way and emasculate yourself?  (Galatians 5:11-12).   Better yet, join up with Rome.  You would fit right in.   I, on the other hand, would gladly be burned at the stake by you and your fellow papists.  I actually care about "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:4) while you, on the other hand, care about pleasing men and being part of the worldly denominations.  Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer all died for the "cult" you so despise.  But that fact you would not understand either.
 

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8 ESV)

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV)

May God grant you the grace to turn from your wicked and false doctrines of works and turn to the Gospel of grace,

Charlie

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16 ESV)


 
On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 3:01 PM, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@hotmail.com> wrote:
Well, at last you admit that you either don't understand the Gospel or else you don't believe it.  Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox preach justification by works.  The Gospel stands or falls with the doctrine of justification by faith ONLY.  Sola fide.   Luther said that.  The Protestant Reformation is a call to return to the Scriptures and stop following the traditions of men.  Jesus condemned the Pharisees for preaching "traditions" rather than Scripture.  I stand with Jesus and against false prophets like you.
 
Charlie

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 7:24 AM
Subject: Re: Calvinists Against the Manhattan Declaration

How horrible of them to combine Catholics, Orthodox, and Evangelicals all under the umbrella category of "Christians"!    They should be ashamed!   Don't they know that only Calvinists can be true Christians?

 
On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 10:39 PM, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@hotmail.com> wrote:
 
 
 
 
  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 


1 comment:

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that faith is itself a gift of God, not a work. Otherwise we could boast about our faith.

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