Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that ecumenical talks with Lutherans had run into new challenges and called for greater efforts at dialogue in the years before the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
Benedict, who has made uniting all Christians a priority of his pontificate, made the comments to Bishop Mark Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation, during a Vatican audience.
The federation has 140 member churches in 78 countries.
Hanson, in remarks released by his organization, thanked the pope for making Christian unity a priority, and said Lutherans agreed they had a shared responsibility to ensure that the Gospel "may truly fill the life and mission of our churches."
"What is proposed in JD as the "doctrine of justification" is deficient in two essential ways. It neither upholds the perfect standard of Godâs Holiness nor does it demonstrate the perfect righteousness of Christ in life and death. In the words of the Apostle Paul, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3) The Bible emphasizes and declares the righteousness of God, "the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith" (Romans 1: 17). This is not proclaimed nor taught in the Official Common Statement on JD. Destitute and sinful human beings need the perfect righteousness of Christ. This is what the Scripture clearly says is now manifest, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested." (Romans 3:21)
from Richard Bennett, former RC priest, examining the 1999 Joint Declaration between Rome and the Lutheran church.
""Being made righteous" here is just a rewording of the old lie of the Council of Trent in which it was officially declared, "JustificationâŠwhich is not merely remission of sins, but also of the sanctification and renewal of the interior manâŠwhereby an unjust man becomes a just man." In this final word of the JD Official Common Statement is the age old Roman Catholic mixing of sanctification with the act of justification, returning to the age old fabrication that righteousness is supposedly within the soul, rather than to the biblical truth that by Holy God the believer is credited with the everlasting righteousness that is in Christ Jesus. "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength...."
In the justifying act of God, He imputes Christ's perfect righteousness to the individual. It is a legal and one time, finished, irrevocable act which cannot be misconstrued to be a process or ongoing occurrence, such as the term "being made righteous" will allow. The simple truth of Scripture is stated Rom 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." Godâs demonstration of His own righteousness is the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in His perfect life and sacrificial death. The great news is that this absolute righteousness is by imputation "unto all and upon all them that believe." Being "called children of God" and "a new creation" is the fruit. It is what follows on this act. "Being made righteous" here is just a rewording of the old lie of the Council of Trent in which it was officially declared, "JustificationâŠwhich is not merely remission of sins, but also of the sanctification and renewal of the interior manâŠwhereby an unjust man becomes a just man." " Con'd
You may wish to examine an article written by a former RC priest examining the Joint Declaration signed in 1999 between Rome and the Lutheran church.
In part it states, "In JD (Joint Declaration between Rome and Lutheran church), imputed righteousness is cleverly sidestepped for the old lie of establishing oneâs own righteousness. The central point that separated the Reformation from Rome was the Biblical doctrine of extrinsic justification. A person is accepted by the All Holy God only "in the beloved" "to the praise of the glory of his grace." The doctrine of imputed righteousness struck at the very heart of the Roman Catholic insistence on one being made inherently just, i.e., just within oneself. In JD, the doctrine of extrinsic or imputed righteousness has been wiped out in favor of the RCC doctrine of inherent righteousness. Clearly, JD is an attempt to do away with the biblical Gospel."
Wayne, I don't believe there are any new "traditions" in the RCC. Traditions and belief about them develop, but they are all based on things that have been discussed and considered since the earliest times.
Popes and councils are not permitted to invent new doctrines out of nothing; they must always base their decisions upon tradition.
And regarding Latin, there are arguments for and against it. Two of the "for" points that I can think of are: (a) A special language (even King James English) reserved for worship indicates that worship is something special and exalted. (b) It stops the minister imposing his own personality on the service (as though he is an MC at a performance in a club).
I never said Latin was a heresy. I said it was on a list of heresies and inventions. It is an invention when it began to be used where nobody understood it.
Even if it was the language in use in those early centuries in a certain area around Rome, what justified it's use later in other areas, like North America, where nobody understood it? Does it help give a mystical impression that the priest has the special powers he claims to have? Seems to cater to superstitous minds who know nothing about what the Bible teaches and are kept in the dark.
Why was it used in North America in the services up until a few decades ago and apparently is still used in some places? A human invention to mystify the people maybe?
What about tradition being declared of equal authority with the Bible by the Council of Trent in 1545 A.D.?
If all these heresies and inventions have been invented by men in the last 1700 years and called tradition, how can you believe them if they are not sanctioned by the Bible? It has nothing to do with apostolic or biblical christianity.
You would do well to get a copy of Loraine Boettner's book. ISBN no. 0-87552-130-4.
Wayne, Lorraine Boettner is famous for his views about Catholicism. Catholic apologists often refer to him, pointing out his mistakes.
I just noticed an interesting point on your list: Latin language. I never thought of Latin as a "heresy", it's just a language. And in Western Europe at the time it was the only one available (that is, the only one in which people wrote anything).
In places outside W Europe, the Catholic Church used other languages, and the popes didn't mind at all.
Lance, you said "in the RCC's view, its teachings alone have always been totally in line with the Bible". If their teachings have always been totally in line with the Bible, why were many of their teachings adopted over a period of 1700 years?
Loraine Boettner wrote the book "Roman Catholicism" where he described some of the RC heresies and inventions adopted in the last 1700 years. He lists forty five, but I will not bore you with a long list. Here are a few:
(1) 431 A.D. Beginning of the exaltation of Mary, the term "Mother of God" first applied to her by the Council of Ephesus. (2) 593 A.D. The doctrine of Purgatory, established by Gregory I (3) 600 A.D. Latin language, used in prayer and worship, imposed by Gregory I. (4) 600 A.D.(approx) Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and angels. (5) 607 A.D. Title of pope, or universal bishop, given to Boniface III by emperor Phocas. (6) 1079 A.D. Celibacy of the priesthood, decreed by pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand). (7) 1215 A.D. Transubstantiation, proclaimed by pope Innocent III. (8) 1215 A.D. Auricular Confession of sins to a priest instead of to God, instituted by pope Innocent III, in Lateran Council. These features of RCC were unknown to Apostolic christianity. See Mark 7:7
RCC view..."it's teachings..." "..others...their habit of private interpretation....do not even agree...."
What unites the True Believers is the Holy Spirit, not sinful human perceptions. Where you have gone wrong Lance, is in that very RCC view/it's teachings you follow. Heresy are "it's teachings" :- Such as the idol worship you call "Dulia" - the worship of dead sinners and their figurines. Such as infallible human papacy and the likes.
These I can tell you in all truth and honesty; - are NOT valid - NOT Biblical - NOT Truth.
Prots are united alright, until they talk about what they really believe. Thats right Peter, the Pope has always united Protestants in rebellion against the Christ's vicar on earth, all 33,000 denominations of them. Do I hear 34,000?
But MSC, in the RCC's view, its teachings alone have always been totally in line with the Bible (never mind just the last 500 years).
It is all the others who are out of line through their habit of private interpretation of scripture -- which means, for one thing, that they do not even agree with one another. They are anything but united.
Gentlemen, you have done an excellent job of responding to this article, all the Pope has to do is reject the Council of Trent, reject infallibility, and of course, A Christian believes that it is: Individual private (not before a priest) repentance, one cannot be born a Christian. Glory to God alone all our acts are done in relationship to God there are no secular acts. It is Christ alone, no belief in works or membership in a particular human organization. Grace alone, Christ's grace is completely sufficient for our salvation -- again no church can dole it out. Faith alone, again, we cannot add to what God has given us, or Christ's sacrifice is meaningless. Scripture alone, you should see enough examples of organizations Christians would consider cults, because they have extra biblical authority.
Neil you put it very succintly. http://www.ihcc.org/images/booklets/pdf/L117.pdf
FOR ALL THE SUGAR/HONEY COATED HERETICAL SATANIC-VATICANIST VOMIT THAT THE SATANIC-VATICAN HAS TO OFFER PRESENT AND FORMER ROMAN "CATHOLIC" CULTISTS -- I WOULD PREFER BECOMING AN ORTHODOX HASIDIC MESSIANIC JEW RATHER THAN APOSTACIZE AND BECOME A TWO-FOLD CHILD OF HELL-FIRE BY "BACKSLIDING" INTO THE SATANIC ROMAN "CATHOLIC" CULT OF POPISH "JESUITIC" VATICANISM! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Wayne, A lot depends on the origins of particular Lutheran denominations. Salvation is by repentance and faith that sins are forgiven in the name and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, as commanded by Jesus and preached by the Apostles: "That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name..." "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." "Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
Well, he ain't getting any response from the Lutheran writing this post. The Roman Church has had about 500 years since Luther and the other Reformers to get herself in line with the Bible. About the only Lutherans the Pope is able to communicate with very much are the liberals---like the ELCA, LWF, etc. of which I am not a part.