This post was written in reaction to this…
I am a child of the Reformation. I gladly posit this statement with open arms. I am glad to stand with great men of the Faith: C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, C.S. Lewis, Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, R.C. Sproul, James White, John Piper, and others. Tomorrow(Oct 31 2016) marks the 499th anniversary of the day Martin Luther had his 95 thesis against indulgences tethered to the doorway of the castle church door in Wittenberg, so becoming the inaugural beginning of what we call today as the Protestant Reformation. Few understand what that precise moment in time has meant for us today. It has spread into politics, economics, morals, familial importance, marriage, and most importantly the Christian Church. Not many confessing Christians are so out of conviction, and likewise not many Catholics are either. It is tradition, all be it familial or cultural, that perpetuates this continuation of religious practice. I am one of conviction, but only until most recently. It is my firm and demonstrable belief that if one holds to the teachings of the Roman Catholic church(from here on RCc), and believes in all her dogmatic statements(those you must belief to be considered saved), there is no faithfully Biblical way to be part of the true body/bride of Christ the Scriptures call the Church. And it is for this reason the Reformation(specifically the Protestant Reformation) is not over. There are always reformations in the Church to be had, “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:8–13 (NET Bible italics mine) Paul here speaks of unity within the Church. Since it is full of sinners still, her knowledge of divine things and ultimate realities is seen “indistinctly, as in a mirror…”, but “when the perfect comes[Jesus Christ], the partial will come to an end.” So the reformation(broadly speaking) will come to an end. But until then, and as long as the RCc holds to its’ blasphemous and unscriptural dogmas, the Protestant Reformation will never end and it is to this reason we, as Protestant Christians must preach the Gospel to the other side and amidst the Tiber River.
One must only do a skim read of John Calvin’s Institutes to see his glaring issues with the RCc.
The Lord has given us a table at which to feast, not an altar on which a victim is to be offered; He has not consecrated priests to make sacrifice, but servants to distribute the sacred feast. IV.xviii.12
But besides impairing, and almost annihilating, faith by their obscure definition, they have invented the fiction of implicit faith, with which the name decking the grossest ignorance, they delude the wretched populace to their great destruction. Nay, to state the fact more truly and plainly, this fiction not only buries true faith, but entirely destroys it. Is it faith to understand nothing, and merely submit your convictions implicitly to the Church? Faith consists not in ignorance, but in knowledge—knowledge not of God merely, but of the divine will. III.ii.2
And Further on…
I indeed deny not, (so enveloped are we in ignorance,) that to us very many things now are and will continue to be completely involved until we lay aside this weight of flesh, and approach nearer to the presence of God. In such cases the fittest course is to suspend our judgment, and resolve to maintain unity with the Church. But under this pretext, to honor ignorance tempered with humility with the name of faith, is most absurd. Faith consists in the knowledge of God and Christ, (John 17: 3,) not in reverence for the Church. And we see what a labyrinth they have formed out of this implicit faith – every thing, sometimes even the most monstrous errors, being received by the ignorant as oracles without any discrimination, provided they are prescribed to them under the name of the Church. This inconsiderate facility, though the surest precipice to destruction, is, however, excused on the ground that it believes nothing definitely, but only with the appended condition, if such is the faith of the Church. Thus they pretend to find truth in error, light in darkness, true knowledge in ignorance. Not to dwell longer in refuting these views, we simply advise the reader to compare them with ours. The clearness of truth will itself furnish a sufficient refutation. For the question they raise is not, whether there may be an implicit faith with many remains of ignorance, but they maintain, that persons living and even indulging in a stupid ignorance duly believe, provided, in regard to things unknown, they assent to the authority and judgment of the Church: as if Scripture did not uniformly teach, that with faith understanding is conjoined. III.ii.3
This is but a sampling and harsh indictment. For the reasons Calvin utters these statements still holds true today. The RCc is still offering the eucharist as a perpetual sacrifice on an altar and partaking of it. For that is what the Mass is. Not just a presentation of His sacrifice(for surely that is what they claim), but more specifically, after the words of consecration are uttered the bread and wine are literally in form and substance transformed into the very real presence of Christ Himself. As if to call Him out of heaven and crucify Him again(Does Paul’s words in Romans ring any bells?). The author of Hebrews would have none of this…
For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have no further consciousness of sin? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. So when he came into the world, he said, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. “Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in.
“Then I said, ‘Here I am: I have come—it is written of me in the scroll of the book—to do your will, O God.’” When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you did not desire nor did you take delight in them” (which are offered according to the law), then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first to establish the second. By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again—sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet. For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. Heb 10:1–15 (NET Bible italics mine)
How, as a member of the RCc ,can you read that(if you ever indeed have) and continue in that communion, is for you to reflect on and pray to the Lord about. That “sacrifice” they imbibe is accomplishing nothing but perhaps further damning their soul to eternity. Please depart from her iniquity and come to Christ’s sacrifice for it is sure, and true, and finished.
In today’s Reformation Sunday sermon our pastor did a broad look at why we are protestant. He made a couple great quotes from Luther that I would like to use to put forth my second point of why the Reformation isn’t over…
The negotiation about doctrinal agreement displeases me altogether, for this is utterly impossible unless the pope has his papacy abolished. Therefore avoid and flee those who seek the middle of the road. Think of me after I am dead and such middle-of-the-road men arise, for nothing good will come of it. There can be no compromise. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)
My dear pope, I will kiss your feet and acknowledge you as supreme bishop if you will worship my Christ and grant that through His death and resurrection, not through keeping your traditions, we have forgiveness of sins and life eternal. If you will yield on this point, I shall not take away your crown and power; if not, I shall constantly cry out that you are the Antichrist, and I shall testify that your whole cult and religion are only a denial of God, but also the height of blasphemy against God and idolatry. (What Luther Says, II: 1069)
This is a very strong point to be made. It is one thing to disagree, but to label one an antichrist is such a strong accusation one must consider it a loaded claim. This being since 1 John calls one who denies the Father and the Son, antichrist i.e. against Christ. While the RCc calls her priests Alter christus(another Christ) is surely blasphemy in and of itself, it is with the Pope of Rome, the Pontifex Maximus that the consideration turns, for this is concerning the three dogmas that Rome must abolish first, in order for the Reformation to even begin to be reversed.
The powers bestowed on the Apostles have descended to the Bishops.
Christ appointed the Apostle Peter to be the first of all the Apostles and to be the visible Head of the whole Catholic Church, by appointing him immediately and personally to the primacy of jurisdiction.
According to Christ’s ordinance, Peter is to have successors in his Primacy over the whole Catholic Church and for all time.
The successors of Peter in the Primacy are the Bishops of Rome.
The Pope possesses full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Catholic Church, not merely in matters of faith and morals, but also in Church discipline and in the government of the Church.
The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra. source
These are things one must believe in order to be saved, this is what it means to be a dogma of the RCc. These are the issues the first and second generation reformers had. Though not all of these were defined this succinctly then, they have been since. For this reason and others the Reformation has not only continued, it has gotten more serious. It has weekend on both sides of the Tiber, for various reasons. Few on either side understand these distinctions and therefore, are in utter denial or suffer from cognitive dissonance. One must only read the letter to the Galatians in its entirety to understand the gravity of this previous and the last dogma I am referencing, the veneration of Mary, or more properly spoken of as the Marian Dogmas. To shorten the amount of words I am typing(1959 as of this moment) I am redirecting you the reader to a rather insightful debate between James White and Gerry Matatics from 1996. Here is said debate. Now in that I have taken a substantial amount of your day, I am going to go carve some pumpkins with my mom. Semper Reformanda, and have a blessed day.