Rome’s Sham “Year of Faith” Betrays Christ’s Gospel

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  • Rome’s Sham “Year of Faith” Betrays Christ’s Gospel

Richard Bennett and Timothy Kauffman

Editor’s Note: With the resignation of Benedict XVI effective February 28, 2013, Rome will no doubt continue its program of bringing back “Separated Brethren” to the fold of the Roman Catholic Church-State, no matter who the next Pope is. The call of the Bible is clear to all Bible believers: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:17); and “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

On August 26, 2009, as is traditional in a Jubilee Year, Pope Benedict XVI granted “a special plenary indulgence to those who pray before the remains of St. Celestine V during the year dedicated to him.”[1] Celestine bears the distinction of being not only “the Pope who inspired the first Jubilee in history”[2] but also the pope who inspired Boniface VIII to rule “that the Roman Pontiff may freely resign,”[3] thus paving the way for Benedict’s recent announcement. His sudden resignation has led to a great deal of speculation about the possible motives for such a swift change, but the speculation has merely distracted attention from Benedict’s final commemorative “Year of Faith.” The so-called “Year of Faith” focuses not on justification by faith alone, but on justification by works. It is full of deception and contradiction, none of which is any less sordid than the stream of palace intrigue that seems to flow endlessly from within the decaying walls of Vatican City.

At a Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2012 Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the Year of Faith that he had announced in his Apostolic Letter called, Motu Proprio Data (2011). The Year of Faith commencement date of October 11, 2012, was chosen because it is both the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church.[4]

In Motu Proprio Data, Pope Benedict affirmed John Paul II’s conviction that Vatican II remained “the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century,” and is “a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.”

The teachings of Vatican II on ecumenism are indeed “a sure compass” by which to read the Papacy’s current actions – for the “new” outreach of the Roman Catholic Church-State, as outlined there, is nothing short of a grand design to ensnare the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At its center, the goal is to lure unsuspecting believers away from Biblical Christianity, to remove any and all “obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion,” and bring them all under the yoke of Roman Catholicism.[5]

To analyze the inaugurated Year of Faith, there is no better statement than that offered by C. H. Spurgeon when he wrote, “Essence of lies, and quintessence of blasphemy, as the religion of Rome is, it nevertheless fascinates a certain order of Protestants….”[6] As we shall see, “fascinating a certain order of Protestants” is precisely what this Year of Faith is intended to do.

The 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council

One of Papal Rome’s intentions in the Year of Faith is to commemorate the Second Vatican Council. The reason for this is that Vatican II’s ecumenical overtures have been so successful. Formally, the Council moved from a position of separation from other religions to a new two-pronged strategy of acceptance to win the world back to Rome. First, the pagan religions of the world such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism were formally designated as acceptable to the Papacy.[7] Second, the Council addressed Evangelicals in particular. “Separated breth-ren” was the new term the Council coined for those who before were always considered heretics. In the Council’s Ecumenical document No. 42, the methods of ecumen-ism were carefully prescribed, the most important of which was to use “dialog” to make incremental advances into Evangelical and Bible-believing churches.

The purpose of dialog, clearly stated by the Roman Catholic Church-State, is to “transform modes of thought” and “little by little” gather all professing Christians together “in a common celebration of the Eucharist” under the Pope. Thus Papal Rome officially states, “…[ecumenical dialog] serves to transform modes of thought and behavior and the daily life of those [non-Catholic] Communities. In this way, it aims at preparing the way for their unity of faith in the bosom of a Church one and visible: thus ‘little by little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesial communion are overcome, all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into that unity of the one and only Church which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, dwells in the [Roman] Catholic Church as something she can never lose….’”[8]

One thing made clear at the October 2012 Synod of Bishops is that this program of ecumenical dialog, now fifty years in the works, has proved to be tremendously successful. This can be seen in a change in the use of language by the Roman Catholic Church in the docu-ments that are intended for consumption by non-Catholics, particularly Evangelicals. Although much more Scripture is used and serious attempts are made to imitate Evangelical patterns of thought and speech, the intent is simply to provide cover for the traditional, un-Biblical, anti-Christian and uncompromised Roman Catholic doctrine.

Behind the curtain of this new showpiece from Rome is merely a reiteration of the same old dogmas that have been ruthlessly imposed upon Roman Catholic people for centuries. Fifty years of “ecumenical dialog” makes visible a tremendous Roman Catholic infrastructure devoted to the success of their Trojan horse – which some leading Evangelicals in particular have been so willing to haul into their churches.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The main reason for commemorating the 20th anni-versary of the 1992 Catechism during the Year of Faith is to highlight the fact that it also “includes the ecumenical dimension as part of the basic teaching for all the faithful of the Church.”[9]

Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger), under the authority of then Pope John Paul II, was responsible for the publication of the 1992 Catechism. This was the first universal Catholic catechism in nearly 500 years. Even in that ecumenically focused Catechism, Benedict affirmed that the Pope has universal power over the Church, and is the pastor of all: “…the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”[10]

Setting the Snare

It is clear then, that the Year of Faith is nothing else than an effort to continue the marketing, legitimization, and repackaging of Roman dogmas that was started at Vatican II. This is explicitly stated in Instrumentum Laboris, the document from this Synod describing “The New Evangelization” techniques: “The Church feels the responsibility to devise new tools and new expressions to ensure that the word of faith, which has begotten the true life of God in us, be heard more and be better understood, even in the new deserts of this world.”[11] In other words, they have devised “new tools” and “new expressions” to convey the same old errors. Yet we note that the Year of Faith is attended with all the typical trappings of Roman bondage: Papal indulgences to reduce the Purgatorial pains of the dead, Mariolatry, and the abomination and idolatry of the claimed Roman Catholic Eucharistic sacrifice. Pope Benedict has declared a Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Faith stating, “During the Year of Faith…Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all….”[12]

The Papal indulgence is purportedly granted to all who attend lessons or meditate on the declarations of Vatican II or the Catechism, and those who embark on pilgrimages to sacred sites, including “minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” or make a “pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism.”[13] Additionally, at the Mass for the claimed canonization of new saints at the Synod, Pope Benedict invited participants “to turn to the ‘Virgin Mary, the One who is Queen of all Saints,’… then turned his thoughts to Lourdes and the Grotto of the Apparitions of Our Lady…[and] entrusted to the Virgin ‘the missionaries — men and women, priests, religious and lay people — who sow the good seed of the Gospel in every part of the world.’”[14]

Further, October 13th in the Year of Faith “will focus on the presence of Mary in the Church,” and June 2nd will be set aside for a day of global Eucharistic Adoration, the idolatrous practice of worshipping the bread of the Roman mass: “On 2 June, [the feast of] Corpus Christi, the Blessed Sacrament will be adored at the same time all over the world.”[15] Clearly, the impetus for Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, as well as the superstitious medieval Mariolatry and the idolatrous practice of Eucharistic adoration yet persists in Rome today, and the Year of Faith is simply intended to make it more palatable to Bible Christians.

Contemporary Instances of Ecumenical Snares

The practices celebrated by Rome in the Year of Faith—idolatry, pilgrimages, indulgences, visions of and devotion to Mary—are perversions of the Gospel of Christ. The Apostle Paul declared, “there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:7-9). Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. If the Gospel is presented as through faith plus something else, both the man who preaches it and the man who believes it are accursed. Yet the Roman Catholic Church does that very thing, and has set aside the Year of Faith for that very purpose. Thus the Year of Faith’s agenda is a different gospel – one that simply deceives sinners, leaving them still spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins all the while pressing upon them the burden of pilgrimages and bowing to dead idols, and offering them the false hope of Papal Indulgences, Roman sacraments, and the intercession of Mary. All this accomplishes is to reinforce the hopeless belief that man by his efforts can participate in, and therefore derive credit for, a salvation which he receives from the Church rather than from Christ. Rather, because salvation is received through Christ alone, by faith alone, on account of Christ alone, full credit is to be given to God alone, who by His grace alone saves the sinner, bringing him from being spiritually dead in trespasses and sins to being spiritually alive in Christ, thereby giving a manifestation of His power, love, and mercy, “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Ephesians 1:6).

Examples of the Roman Catholic “New Expression” of the Gospel

In section 18 of Instrumentum Laboris to inaugurate the Year of Faith, they Synod states, “The Christian faith is not simply teachings, wise sayings, a code of morality or a tradition. The Christian faith is a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ. Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions which lead to this encounter between the person and Jesus Christ. The goal of all evangelization is to create the possibility for this encounter, which is, at one and the same time, intimate, personal, public and communal.”

As Monsignor Paul McPartlan of American Catholic University acknowledges, this subtle shift in language allows for the use of the Eucharist as an ecumenical tool: “…ecumenical agreement on the Eucharist is being found by acknowledging that the Eucharist is not just my personal encounter with Christ in a re-enactment of the Last Supper, it is also a celebration of the Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in a foretaste of the future heavenly banquet. Now, these complementary emphases are very prominent in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and we can therefore immediately note the ecumenical value of this new resource.”[16]

Notice immediately that in this polished ecumenical language Rome claims that this “personal encounter with Christ” takes place through the Eucharist, as the Catechism teaches, “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.”[17]

Recasting the Eucharist as “a personal encounter with Christ” is a way of cloaking the fundamental error of the Roman Catholic dogma of salvation. That is to say that Papal Rome has interposed itself between the Savior and the sinner, arguing that saving grace comes through the sacraments, and making a relationship with the Church the cause of, rather than the result of, salvation. The Catechism teaches this explicitly: “Forming ‘as it were, one mystical person’ with Christ the head, the Church acts in the sacraments…[which] are necessary for salvation.”[18]“Without the liturgy and the sacraments, the profession of faithwould lack efficacy, because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness.”[19] Thus, the Roman Church attempts to rob God the Holy Spirit of His distinctive work as the Sanctifier by attributing His work to Rome’s sacramental rituals. And the Catechism, which is to be celebrated throughout the Year of Faith,is full of such blasphemies against God.

But this concept of a “personal encounter” is also a classic buzzword of mysticism and Neo-orthodoxy—the same tool used by the Emergent Church movement to focus on experience rather than objective Biblical truth, and is an attempt to transmit faith by a direct experience that bypasses the mind. But the Scripture teaches that one becomes a Christian by believing the Word of God: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). By avoiding the Scriptural means of believing an objective truth, and instead substituting a subjective “personal encounter with Christ,” the Church of Rome circumvents the essential issue of an individual being convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit in order to realize his need for a Savior. This circumvention leads a lost soul into a relationship with a false church and with the false “Jesus” of the Eucharist. Medieval Counter-Reformation Catholic mystics such as Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross believed the same subjective encounter with Jesus Christ. Thus the Year of Faith, dressing up Roman superstitions in ecumenical terms, still only offers to the world Counter-Reformation mysticism, a distortion and perversion of true doctrine that leads to false Christianity and requires a deceitful ecumenism. Paul’s warning to us is as timely as ever: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians5:1).

An Evil Effect Becomes Evident

That Rome’s ecumenism has indeed “fascinated a certain order of Protestants” is evidenced by the fact that the Baptist World Alliance sent a representative to the Synod. Thus the Associated Baptist Press news on October 3, 2012 announced the following,

“Baptist Present at [Roman] Catholic Synod:” Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, will represent the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) at the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops Oct. 7-28 in Rome. Timothy George, dean and professor of divinity, history and doctrine at Beeson Divinity School on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., will represent the Baptist World Alliance at the conference themed “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith….” “The BWA is pleased that eminent Baptist theologian, Dr. Timothy George, has agreed to represent the worldwide Baptist family at the synod….”[20]

Back on February 20, 2007, Dr. George addressed his denomination, admonishing them that “The question is not: Is Jesus a Baptist? but rather: Are Baptists Christian?”[21] When speaking at the Synod in Rome, however, he did not dare ask, “Are Roman Catholics Christian?” Rather he presupposed that indeed they are, addressing the Pope as “Holy Father,” a name Jesus reserved for His Father, then called the bishops, priests, and laity as “brothers and sisters in the Lord.” Thus Dr. George swallowed whole Rome’s New Evangelization lie as he went on to state:

Dear Holy Father, Venerable Fathers of the Synod, brothers and sisters in the Lord…. The first paragraph of the Instrumentum Laboris reminds us that the Christian faith is “not simply teachings, wise sayings, a code of morality or a tradition.” Rather, it is “a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ, the Good News and great gift of God to humanity.”[22]

His acceptance of Roman Catholic bishops, priests, and nuns as brothers and sisters in Christ can mean only one of two things: either Timothy George thinks the Pope and his followers do not believe their own teachings, or he thinks salvation can be by faith plus works. The latter, we hasten to add, would constitute a material denial of the Gospel of Christ. Well might we ask Dr. George the Scriptural question: “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh”? (James 3:12).

Those assembled at the Synod emphatically affirm the decrees of the Council of Trent, which held that the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone is a lie. The Council taught, and Pope Benedict still holds:

If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favor of God; let him be anathema.[23]

Apparently, Dr. George believes that one can formally deny the Gospel of Christ and still be a “brother in Christ.” The next time Dr. George attends a Roman Synod, perhaps he should ask, “Are Catholics Christians?,” and whether one can condemn Jesus’ Gospel and all who believe it, and still have a “true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ.” Jesus may not have been a Baptist, but He certainly is no muddle-headed ecumenist either: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

The Year of Faith’s New Evangelization Moves into New Media

Encouraged by the advances seen from fifty years of ecumenical dialog, and no doubt strengthened by Dr. George’s compromise, the Year of Faith website informs us that now we can expect to see a “tsunami of new media evangelizers.”[24] These “New Evangelizers” responded quickly with a web page that aggregates six Roman Catholic ministries under a logo that lauds their worship of the Eucharist and total consecration to Mary. This is the same old darkness masquerading as light in the new media. As is further explains, “Greg Willits and his wife Jennifer, [Roman]Catholic parents of five children, have been responsible for the distribution of over 2.5 million hand-made rosaries all over the world through their non-profit ‘Rosary Army.’”[25]

The Rosary is not new in fact; its disturbing origin goes back to those dark Middle Ages. The Rosary concludes with the prayer, “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness and our hope!” referring to Mary as “our most gracious advocate.” The origins of this sacrilegious incantation stretch back to the ancient sacrilege of placing one’s life and hope in “the queen of heaven” (Jeremiah7:18).The New Evangelizers web page continues,

Greg Willits recently built a stylish, user-friend-ly new website that keeps it all organized under one virtual roof, and adds several new, exciting elements. “New Evangelizers” invites readers to “Know Your Faith, Live Your Faith, Share Your Faith” and offers “Tools and Resources for the New Evangelization…. It was always our intention that our site would be The Resource for finding out what’s happening with New Evangelization…. I’m actually looking for someone to do this—to cull through everything being published and printed about New Evangelization, and let people know what is being said at the Vatican and throughout the [Roman] Catholic world.”[26]

Christians are not called to spread “what is being said at the Vatican,” or to send out millions of Rosaries to teach people to call upon Mary. Rather, true believers are to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”(Hebrews12:2). The true Jesus is found in the Scrip-tures, not in Rome’s sacraments. Rather than evangelization with “what is being said at the Vatican,” Scripture proclaims, “the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” each one “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:16 and 3:24).Thus, that which is called the “tsunami of new media evangelizers”is, in fact, just the ancient and persistent Roman denial of Biblical Christian faith.

Conclusion

The Year of Faith is claiming to focus on faith but instead is drawing people ever deeper into Rome’s labyrinth of works-based salvation. Focused as it is on faith, we are disturbed, but not surprised, to find that Rome’s ecumenical efforts are bearing the fruits for which Rome had hoped: to transform modes of thought and behavior among Protestants. Therefore, Spurgeon’s warning is as timely today as it was 139 years ago. After bemoaning the fact that some Protestants were being led astray by Rome’s devices, he added that we must never seek peace with Rome, because Rome surely has objectives other than those which meet the eye:

Dignitaries of the papal confederacy are just now very prominent in benevolent movements, and we may be sure that they have ends to serve other than those which strike the public eye. A priest lives only for his church; he may profess to have other objects, but this is a mere blind. Our ancient enemies have small belief in our common sense if they imagine that we shall ever be able to trust them, after having so often beheld the depths of Jesuitical cunning and duplicity. The sooner we let certain Archbishops and Cardinals know that we are aware of their designs, and will in nothing co-operate with them, the better for us and our country. Of course, we shall be howled at as bigots, but we can afford to smile at that cry, when it comes from the church which invented the Inquisition. “No peace with Rome” is the motto of reason as well as of religion.[27]

Spurgeon could well have written that in October 2012 as January 1873. He certainly would have had a different message for the Synod than Dr. George did. The pernicious papal Year of Faith is not only unfaithful to the Lord and His Gospel, but it also intends to seduce Christians into being unfaithful to Jesus Christ. Christians can fall prey to Rome’s seductive power simply because they do not recognize what is happening. The power greater than the Pope and the Papacy is the power of the written Word of Jesus Christ!

Once Evangelicals go down the ecumenical path into Rome and its rituals, it is difficult to resist her deceptions, except by the Word of God. The Year of Faith proposes a mystical Eucharist instead of a communion table. Traditions are taught in place of Scriptural doctrine. Sacraments are upheld instead of saving grace. This is not a church based on God’s revelation, but rather an institution based on the rule of the Pope. Therefore, we voice the Lord’s own exhortation, “Hearken unto me now therefore, o ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:24-27).

Evangelicals must not succumb to this latest innovation from Rome. Only in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God is found truth and eternal life! Believe on Him and Him alone “and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

May our exalted Lord Jesus Christ through His Gospel of grace expose the craftiness of the pernicious papal Year of Faith and bring it to naught. We rejoice over the Lord God’s everlasting love, eternal redemption, and the everlasting life that is found in His Gospel of grace. Such grace and love engages our hearts in an ever deepening gratitude so that we proclaim with our whole heart, “for of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans11:36).“Blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 72:19).

New Lectures Now Available

The lectures from The Trinity Foundation’s Con-ference on The Bible Alone and Its Opponents are now available on our website for download as Col-lection 16 – The Bible Alone and Its Opponents. Lectures include: “The Bible Alone and Its Oppo-nents: An Introduction” by Tom Juodaitis; “Absolute Biblical Truth Opposed by Roman Cathol-icism” by Richard Bennett; “Ignore the Bible and Just Believe” by Tim Kauffman; “The Emergent Church Attacks Absolute Biblical Truth” by Richard Bennett; “The Bible Alone in the Home” by Mark Evans; and “God’s Editors: Modern Protestant Hermeutical Attacks on the Bible Alone” by Tim Kauffman.

New Book Now Available

What Is the Christian Life? by Gordon H. Clark, trade paperback, $12.95 is now available from The Trinity Foundation. The new Foreword follows:

It has been twenty years since the first editions of Sanctification and Today’s Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine? – both written by Gordon H. Clark – were first published by The Trinity Foundation. Since that time the attacks on Systematic Theology continue unabated, not just from Romanists and Charismatics (Papists and Enthusiasts in Luther’s day), but also from those who claim the Protestant Reformation as their “tradition.” The irrationalism in the church of the twentieth century continues apace in the twenty-first. In the Evangelical and even in the Reformed camp all the solas (sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, and soli Deo Gloria) are under attack, as are most of the loci of Systematic Theology. This is especially true in many, if not most, seminaries today. Many of the leading “teachers” in the neo-Calvinist movement pay lip-service to the teachings of the Reformers and historic Reformed Systematic Theology, but then deconstruct those very teachings. Then there is the popular movement of The Purpose Driven Life and Church of Rick Warren, which adopts the pragmatism of the corporate world and the entertainment paradigm of Hollywood, and asks the unbelieving, unregenerate what they want in “church” and delivers it to them. A newer development in the last few years is the Emergent Church, which seeks to throw off the rational thinking of Systematic Theology for mystical nonsense and return the church to Pre-Reformation darkness.

What is needed in these days of increasing ignorance – much of it, willful – and increasing darkness in much of what is called the “church” today is the light of the one true Gospel of Grace alone by Faith alone in Christ alone and its clear, non-contradictory presentation taught in Systematic Theology. A return to “What saith the Scripture?” is most need-ful in this present hour. It is because of this need that The Trinity Foundation is pleased to publish What Is the Christian Life? which combines the second editions of Sanctification and Today’s Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine? into one volume.

The doctrine of sanctification continues to be under attack both by those who believe and teach that we are “to let go and let God,” and by those who believe and teach that we are sanctified by our works. Today, however, there is a new subtle attack on the doctrine of sanctification by the “Grace Movement,” and their call for “Gospel Sanctification,” by which they mean that all we need to do to be sancti-fied is to hear and focus on the Gospel; for the law, according to these unbelieving men, “only leads to legalism.” Instead of being sanctified by the whole truth of God’s Word (both Law and Gospel) the “Grace Boys” truncate God’s Word ignoring the third use of the law as a guide to how we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as our self. Sanctification is just as much the work of God as is justification. Sanctification is accomplished through the means of the whole counsel of the Word of God. The church has become a desert of truth patrolled by wolves instead of green pastures tended by true under-shepherds. Here is what the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches on the role of God’s law in the Christian life:

Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet it is of great use to them…in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful conditions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their cor-ruptions, in that it forbids sin: and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof: although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace. (19:1)

Evangelism is just as much under attack today, for the Gospel itself is under attack. If the church is unclear about or does not know the Gospel, what sort of message is being proclaimed? Today in the Reformed churches such heresies as the Federal Vision, the New Perspective on Paul, Shepherdism, and others are accepted as faithful interpretations of Scripture and those who hold to these heresies are considered “brothers.” Then you also have the rise of clericalism verging on sacerdotalism in these “Reformed” churches where interpretation of the Scriptures and evangelism is carried on solely by the minister, and only in the “church” building. The emotional manipulation popularized by Charles G. Finney in the “Second Great Awakening” continues with pleas from the evangelist to “give Jesus your heart” (the same heart, which according to Jeremiah 17:9, “is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked”). Very little exposition of the Scripture is given as to what the Gospel is, or of why it is needed (the first use of the Law). Again we need to go to the Bible to understand the content of the “Good News,” and how it is to be promulgated. To echo Dr. Robbins’ last statement in his foreword to the first edition of Sanctification, “it is our hope that this book will eliminate some of the confusion surrounding the doctrine of sanctification [and the content and the method of the Evangel – the Good News] in the church today,” and that it will also be a reproof to those who teach error and heresy in the name of Christ. Our Lord’s words are ever true and much needed today: “Sanctify them by thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17, emphasis added). – Thomas Juodaitis

Contents:

Foreword

Sanctification

Foreword to the First Edition

Introduction

1. Conversion and Repentance

2. Aberrant Theories

Pelagius

Council of Trent

John Wesley

3. Bishop Ryle and Assurance

4. Perseverance

5. The Sacraments

Baptism

The Lord’s Supper

6. The Christian Life

7. Conclusion

Appendix A: Sanctification

Appendix B: The Christian and the Law

Today’s Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine?

Foreword to the First Edition

1. Introduction

2. Emotions in the Bible

3. What is Emotion?

4. Emotion and Theology

5. What is Evangelism?

6. Faith

7. Assurance

8. Paradigms of Evangelism

Scripture Index

Index

The Crisis of Our Time

Intellectual Ammunition


[1] “Indulgence Granted During Celestine V Year,” http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/indulgence-granted-during-celestine-v-year.

[2] “Commemoration Of Jubilee’s Origin: Initiative of Pope Celestine V,” Daily Catholic, August 30, 1999, Section 2, vol 10, no. 163.

[3] Liber sextus decretalium, I.vii.1.

[4]www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20111011_porta-fidei_en.html.

[5]Vatican Council II Document No. 32, “Decree on Ecumenism,” 1964, Para. 4.

[6]Spurgeon, C.H., “The Religion of Rome,” from the January 1873 Sword and Trowel.

[7] Vatican Council II Document Nostra Aetate, Vol. I.

[8] Vatican Council II Document No. 42, Sect. II “The Nature and Aim of Ecumenical Dialogue.”

[9] Pontificium Consilium Ad Christianorum Unitatem Fovendam, “Directory For The Application Of Principles And Norms On Ecumenism,” paragraph 2.

[10]Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), Para. 882. Hereafter referred to as Catechism.

[11] XIII Ordinary General Assembly, “The New Evangelization For The Transmission Of The Christian Faith,” Instrumentum Laboris, Vatican City, 2012.

[12] Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Faith, http://www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en/news/indulgentia.html

[13] Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Faith.

[14] How to Be Evangelizers, http://www.annusfidei.va/content/ novaevangelizatio/en/news/23-10-2012.html, 10/23/2012.

[15] Year of Faith Presentation, http://www.annusfidei.va/ content/novaevangelizatio/en/news/21-06-2012.html, 6/21/2012.

[16] McPartlan, Paul, The Spirit, the Catechism and Primacy, London Ecclesiology Forum, 1995. Emphasis in original.

[17] Catechism, 1119 & 1380.

[18]Catechism, 1129.

[19]Catechism, 97, emphasis added.

[20] www.abpnews.com/ministry/people/item/7857-baptist-present -at-catholic-synod 10/17/2012

[21] Timothy George, Plenary address at the conference on “Baptist Identity: Convention, Cooperation, and Controversy,” Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, February 20, 2007 (http://beesondivinity.com/isjesusabaptist).

[22] Remarks by the Rev. Dr. Timothy George, Fraternal Delegate, Baptist World Alliance to the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” Vatican City, October 16, 2012, (http://www.beesondivinity.com/fromthedean).

[23] Council of Trent, 6th Session, “Decree on Justification,” Canon XI.

[24] http://catholic-year-of-faith.com/?p=597, “Evangelisers,” European spelling, has been changed to evangelizers.

[25] http://catholic-year-of-faith.com/?p=597.

[26] http://catholic-year-of-faith.com/?p=597. 8/25/2012.

[27]Spurgeon, C.H., “The Religion of Rome,” from the January, 1873 Sword and Trowel.