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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Re: Arminianism: A form of the Pelagian heresy.

Doctrine is what makes a Christian, not behavior.  Behavior is ethics and morality.  All religions have morality but only Christianity has the "faith once delivered to the saints."  Jude 1:1-4.  

Again you want to combine faith and works.  It is either faith or works.  It cannot be both.  

Justification is the ground of our salvation.  Sanctification is an imperfect evidence to other men that we are Christians.  The first is absolutely necessary to salvation, sanctification follows naturally AFTER justification.  Before justification good works count for nothing.  After justification they please God but can never be the basis for our salvation since they are imperfect.  

See Articles 9-18 in the 39 Articles.

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.

Anglo-Catholics do not accept this doctrine.  Instead they wish to believe that their good works contribute to their standing before God.

Article XV

Of Christ alone without Sin


Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which He was clearly void, both in His flesh and in His spirit. He came to be the lamb without spot, Who by sacrifice of Himself once made, should take away the sins of the world: and sin, as S. John saith, was not in Him. But all we the rest, although baptized and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things: and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 ESV)

Also, the 1662 confession of sin and the prayer of humble access back this up:

DEARLY beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us, in sundry places, to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloak them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought, at all times, humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me;

A general Confession to be said of the whole Congregation after the Minister, all kneeling.

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Absolution, or Remission of sins, to be pronounced by the Priest alone, standing; the people still kneeling.

ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins : He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Morning Prayer

Notice the morning and evening prayers are said DAILY.  If you do not sin daily, then why does the prayer book have the confession of sin done daily instead of occasionally?  Also, repentance is a gift granted to us, not something we work up by our own efforts.  We pray for God's particular grace to be given to enable us to choose the right path.

And the prayer of humble access:

Then shall the Priest, kneeling down at the Lord's Table, say in the name of all them that shall receive the Communion this Prayer following.

WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

Again, salvation is by mercy alone and not by our own worth, merits, earnings, working or anything else.  God owes us absolutely nothing no matter how "holy" we "think" we are.  So, I have to disagree with you again, Bruce.  Works do not prove a thing other than that you owe God more than you ever repay and even AFTER conversion your works fall short of the mark.  This is why salvation is ALL of grace from beginning to end.  Perhaps you should revisit that famous Anglican hymn written by John Newton?  Amazing Grace!

Article XIV


Of Works of Supererogation


Voluntary works besides, over and above, God's commandments which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for His sake than of bounden duty is required: Whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We be unprofitable servants.

"Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? 8 Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'" (Luke 17:7-10 ESV)

If you were merely arguing that sanctification is the necessary proof of genuine faith that has already justified us by faith and faith alone, I could agree with you, Bruce.  But we both know that is NOT what you are arguing here.  What you are really saying is that Anglo-Catholics, Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox are saved because they do good works. But the English Reformers said that Scripture teaches that they cannot be saved unless they repent of self-righteousness, self-effort, and depending on their own works to justify them before God.  Such sinful and false confidence is as antinomian as the worst sinner simply because they reject the righteousness of Christ imputed to the believer as the ONLY basis for our justification now and in the judgment.

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
(Romans 10:1-4 ESV)

The moral law serves a guide to Christians in how they are to live.  It is not the basis for their justification or salvation and never will be.  I fail to see what you think is "cheap" about grace?  Jesus Christ shed His precious blood to redeem us from our sins and to pay the eternal penalty of our sins.  The grace of God cost Him the life of His Son who bore the curse of the law for us in our place.  

knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV)

Salvation is not about "transformation".  That is to confuse sanctification with justification.  Salvation is the fact that God by His sheer mercy saves those who outright deserve hell.  (Romans 9:14-18).  All deserve hell, not just a few.  (Romans 3:10-12, 23).

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:22 PM
Subject: Re: Arminianism: A form of the Pelagian heresy.

Nice video.  True as far it goes. 
But a bit biased-- not entirely balanced scripturally or theologically.
Extreme Arminianism is indeed heretical when it denies the sovereignty and grace of God, denies predestination, or when it endorses the Pelagian heresy or salvation by works. Romans 8 and 9 are clear. 

But balance is required is you truly believe in sola scriptura.

There is a continuum of belief, where walking the middle of road with Jesus Christ includes beliefs in the ultimate sovereignty of God, the impossibility of humans overcoming their own sin and its consequences without God's grace and spiritual power.  But scriptural truth also endorses human accountability due to (howsoever limited and not entirely free) human choice and behavior.  "Choose this day…"   Scripture is clear that when it comes to this issue, it is not "either…or"  but it is "both…and".  

Just because grace must come first, and then faith, it does not eliminate the importance of love and obedience which must follow from all true faith.  Jesus, in the Gospel of John, and Paul in 1 Cor 13 are clear about this point (not to mention James).

[ heresies of Pelagianism & works justification  / /…mild Arminianism  /  the orthodox + middle /  mild Calvinism ...   / /    heresies of  cheap grace & Gnosticism]

So while I agree that Arminianism can easily cross that heresy line into denial of original sin and/or being proud of your own works,  so also there is the opposite extreme that crosses the line into other forms of heresy:  cheap grace, passivity, Gnosticism (intellectualism, worshipping the abstract concept of faith rather than the heart-reality), and a hard loveless judgmentalism that is repugnant to God.  You cannot only be proud of your works, you can also be proud of your faith—which is perhaps more spiritually dangerous.  You cannot only judge other people due to their behavior, you can also judge them due to their stated beliefs.   Like it or not, such judgmental attitudes are  not helpful.   But if one were to judge accurately, one would examine what people do more than what they say.  Which proves one's faith the most, what one says that he believes (which could be a lie or a self-deception)   or how he lives his life?   The latter is hard to fake.

True, I do not need to prove my faith; if it is real, God knows it because He put it there and sustains it.   But we are to live as a testimony to our faith, and if I am a hypocrite whose behavior is the opposite of what I say I believe, then my witness is destroyed (and perhaps my faith is not real after all).   Jesus said that we would know the tree by its fruit.  Listen to the words, yes, but also look to see if I am following through by my loving obedience to God and my love toward neighbor.  

What is the connection between faith and faithfulness?   It is God, through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that transforms us;  He changes our hearts, our minds, and eventually, our behavior as well.

- Bruce Atkinson

On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 8:04 AM, 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.


Charlie J. Ray said...

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 And he said to her, "For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter." (Mark 7:26-29 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (Luke 16:20-22 KJV)

Jon Sellers said...

"In his lapsed and sinful state, man is not capable, of and by himself, either to think, to will, or to do that which is really good; but it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem... See More, consider, will, and perform whatever is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing, and doing that which is good, but yet not without the continued aids of Divine grace." -- Jacobus Arminius "A Declaration of the Sentiments of Arminius" Works 1:659-60

Does that sound Pelagian to you?

Charlie J. Ray said...


Quoting selectively from Arminius does not remove the fact that the Arminian position is that God "regenerates" someone AFTER they have accepted Christ. Arminianism contends that Christ died for every single individual and that every single individual receives "prevenient grace" that cancels the power of sin enough to make the will free again to choose or reject Christ. Regeneration, in the Arminian view, takes place AFTER one chooses Christ.

However, that is not the analogy Christ gave of the new birth. It is the same as one's natural birth. We have no power to regenerate ourselves by believing. In fact, even our believing and repentance is a gift. (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5-7; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 11:18).

Our salvation in fact begins with election. Election is unconditional and takes place before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-11).

I say that Arminianism is pelagian because of the doctrine of general atonement and the doctrine of prevenient grace. Arminianism has more in common with Rome than with the Protestant Reformation.


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