Just thought I would post this excerpt from Dr. Piper’s message on “Life” preached in Jan of 2009. This health care bill is bigger than just handouts and medical coverage. This is an issue of life and death “if” abortion language is in the bill. Let us pray for our leaders to have the discernment to know how to do what is right in regard to the life of the unborn.
As the LU, Dr. Caner saga continues to unfold, the amount of heat placed in the direction of Alpha Omega’s founder, Jim White, is amazing. Dr. White writes a simple outline of the current issues at hand concerning Dr. Caner. Find it here. Dr. Caner has given a very humble and precise answer to these claims. Find it here.
Through it all, we should be praying that men of God will come to a place of integrity and that when this issue is “exposed”, that forgiveness and repentance will remain foundational as the gospel expects. However, if this shedding of light exposes something and repentance is not the outcome, one must consider the words of John in his first epistle about brotherly love. A true lover of his brother does not allow sin to run unchecked, especially when the ministry influence of these men are so wide.
May God be glorified in the truth of this matter and may the people of God truly be humble, forgiving and honest. I pray that in the future, these two men, of whom I respect for different reasons, will be able to take their debate to the level of scholarship afforded in their roles. I still would love to hear a scholarly debate over the issues of the doctrines of grace and standard evangelical theology.
Staying stupid… soli deo gloria – James Tippins
The SBC National Convention hailed many facts and figures regarding the declination of churches, baptisms and other “measurable” fruit. Dr. Ronny Floyd spoke as the leader of a task force that is charged with giving evaluation on the problems plaguing the convention’s churches. While I don’t agree that repentance and vision will result in true conversion, I do agree with his words and am going to use this very statement as an opening for this Sunday as I am continuing to call out many idols every day.
“With rhetoric we bemoan our dismal baptism numbers, our declining and plateaued churches, and our economic selfishness. The casting of criticism has resulted in a caustic cynicism that just adds to our rhetoric and writings. We attempt to treat symptoms rather than the root issues of sin and carnality. The rhetoric needs to cease and the repentance personally and corporately must begin,” the Arkansas pastor said. “We need to repent of our sins and return to God.”
The Christian Post gave a good “overview” article on the issue, so mosey over there and give it a read. While all of us want to see baptisms and salvation, we need to trust in God and get the church back on track for His glory and not on track so that we will get things moving again.
Christ is the highest treasure of the true believer. This is result of the New Birth that comes through the Holy Spirit. The fruit of regeneration is belief, faith and ultimately worship, not rote evangelism efforts. Through the teaching of God’s Word, people are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone! Nuff Said… just check out the article.
After years of seeing the actuality of false information flying around the blogosphere and the ignorant and damning attacks on brothers in Christ in reference to Dr. Jim White VS. Dr. Ergun Caner, it’s time that the “rules of engagement” be called on to be followed by their creators at www.sbctoday.com
“Comments that question the character or motivations of any individual are likely to be deleted. Commenters who persist in attacking others rather than dealing with issues risk being banned from commenting.”
“We ask that you link to evidence of claims you make. We will not allow this forum to be used to spread gossip. If you make a specific claim that cannot be validated, your comment is likely to be removed.”
Interesting, and I’ll keep this short, that questioning the character and/or motives of an individual are not allowed in the comments, however, the authors, such as Tim Rogers, are allowed to use language that aligns brothers in Christ with “Jim Jones” references and “muslim” radical ideals who attack and “dare” to question things that are not sinful to ask.
I won’t get into the details of this issue but you are free to read them yourself and see what might come of such things. Bottom line for me, stand behind your own rules and principles and be people of character who humbly give account for their actions. FBC persons call for direct factual evidence to stand behind issues, but then they call men like James White “unbelievers” and “liars”.
“Please note that any believer that calls into question the truth of the Drs. Caner background and degrees use the research of Muslims (those who have a reason for perverting the truth) for their documentation.”
What? How about the personal dialog and first hand expression of actual talking, not hear-say… sirs, this has to stop and I am going to make sure this message is sent to the people who need to make it stop, the pastors of the churches who support the sickness of the SBC.
Quit standing behind the facade of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is NOT THE CHURCH, and become men of God who give a reason for their hope instead of the clout for their pride’s sake.
See how this sounds? Doesn’t feel good in the face of truth does it? It’s time that each man becomes a man and does what is right. Going on 36 hours without sleep, so my brain is washed away and I will revisit this very article in the morning after some prayer and sleep. I might have to realign and organize my words, but I can say truthfully, that this has gone too far on the part of the SBC hiding their prize fighters who really have never stepped into the ring.
Soli Deo Gloria!
This is a video response by Dr. White of Alpha Omega Ministries to an interview with Dr. Caner. As a Liberty Affiliate for five years and with many students who attend there, I think that this information needs to be out in the open. When we speak, we need to speak with the authority of Scripture, not experience, ideals and arrogance.
“I like very informal ones. Formal debates have been taken over a lot by myopic Reformed guys, uh, they try to turn it into these little, uh, show ponies, it’s like the Jerry Springer Show, basically, and there’s really not any real discussion going on, there’s rolling of eyes, its huffing and passive/aggressive garbage.” -Ergun Caner, 20:40 of The Pastor’s Perspective program, January 22, 2010.
(Then at a later point) “Any doctrine that diminishes the omnibenevolence of God, the fact that He loves the Muslim, and died for the Muslim to be saved, and has a desire for…any doctrine that diminishes that is not from God, it’s from the devil.”
Even though the book has been out and “outed” for some time I continue to find myself protecting the sheep under my stewardship and care against the writings found in “The Shack”.
I considered just doing a complete critique of the book against the essential doctrines of the faith and after starting I was into over twelve pages just in the introduction! 🙂
So, here is a link to Tim Challies pdf that is pretty concise and much better than I could do. Please go, read, click, forward and enjoy the truth.
Above all things, read the Word of God and stop looking for answers in the minds and creativity of humans. If you have thoughts, questions or concerns, feel free to leave them and I’ll respond accordingly.
This is the rough transcript for the sermon dated Sunday, December 20th, 2009:
The CROSS of Christ – Why Jesus Really Came?
Seeing Christmas through Christ is something that we have TRIED to do over the last two weeks. To some degree I must say that pulling topics out of scripture is dangerous and it is weak and it is a chance for man to do something deadly, create a pretext as ultimate authority.
Looking at LUKE we have seen the Worship and Glory of God in Christ as the LIVING GOD MAN who came to live with us from eternity to be the propitiation for the sins of the church.
MUCH can be said, taught and dived into over this topic which is why it is so dangerous at times, that we could leave out such glorious truths about Christ. But in the essence of our focus, our goal today is to look at Christmas from the lens of Christ once again as the REASON HE was born into this world…
LET US READ John 1:14-18 together: Please stand.
John 1:14-18 (ESV)14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 ( John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”)
16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
As we think on this text, we might ask ourselves, “Why does this have to be a Christmas message?” To answer: “Because the REASON CHRIST CAME TO EARTH was to be GOD in the flesh so HE could DIE ON THE CROSS”
The Cross of Christ is the essence and apex of history. Let’s look at this text in “light” of the “topic” at hand.
BACK UP A BIT:
John 1:10-11 (ESV)
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
NOW MOVE THE BOTTOM OF 18 – “NO one has ever seen God”
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Can you feel the tension here? God is NOT SEEABLE… He cannot be seen. EVEN CHRIST was not SEEN – The light of God in Christ was still not seen. So the question is now, what did Jesus come to do?
Jesus came to give light: that LIGHT is LIFE and that LIFE is ETERNAL: Listen to this in verse 4
John 1:4 (ESV)
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
NOW listen to Jesus prayer in John 17:
John 16:33 (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 17:1-3 (ESV)
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
SO – the trouble is this: How can you know someone you cannot see and is NOT seeable?
The answer is SCRIPTURE or the WORD – See Verse 17
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Several things that show us GOD:
1. HIS LAW: The law was given through moses – however, the law cannot give us SIGHT to see God – the law just points the way in TRUTH and is gracious… but it is NOT GOD but an pointing to the fulfillment of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God who is CHRIST! This is also the WORD of GOD – given to moses… His word proclaims His glory to us… It tells of Him.
- Moses is shown to SHADOW Christ in several ways in John’s Gospel –
- The serpent on the pole in chapter 3 – MOSES shows the grace of God who tells the truth that if “anyone looks, they will not die.”
- Jesus says, “So must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever looks and believes in Him will not die…” para
- Jesus says in chapter 5 that “If you believe Moses you will believe me and if you don’t believe Moses, you cannot believe me.” Moses writing, God’s WORD points to CHRIST, the fulfillment of TRUTH and GRACE so that we might SEE the LIGHT that gives LIFE and KNOW GOD so that we might have ETERNAL LIFE.
- Jesus also says that MOSES didn’t give the Jews bread in the dessert, but God did…
- Jesus is the BREAD OF LIFE…
2. MOSES – saw God, spoke to God, saw the BACK of God when he wanted to see His glory!!
3. His EVANGELIST – Verse 15 – Continuation of John the Baptist’s testimony – John even came a brief moment in life and ministry before Jesus to PROCLAIM HIM as the LAMB of God!
4. GRACE and TRUTH came through CHRIST ALONE – This is GOD in the flesh who is GRACE which is the only way to SEE GOD and TRUTH in that the law, although true, was not the REAL – Christ IS THE REAL – the LAW pointed to CHRIST! – See that the law was a small picture of Jesus – this is the essence of how one can SEE GOD. The fulness of GOD in the flesh – JESUS!
- THIS IS HOW we see God, Jesus is how we know God, Jesus is GOD’S IMAGE: Perfect SEEING of His glory. LOOK
- MOSES brought the picture of God’s glory to the people, Moses mediated for the people but Moses could not SHOW the glory of God to the people ultimately because ALL Moses had was the back end view of things!
SO – who is Jesus that He can show us God? Well, look and see:
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
GOD’S WORD shows us JESUS because God’s WORD IS JESUS and God became MAN.
John 1:1-3 (ESV)1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
WORD was in the beginning, before time and the word was with and the word was GOD.
JESUS is the WORD the WORD is God and JESUS was man – FLESH (INCARNATION) / DWELT (TABERNACLED – LIVED, Camped)
Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
JESUS came, God came and lived with us and lives with us still and will live with the church forever! JESUS knows us, He is man, He is God and He sits to BE the mediator between God and US forever. He did not pack up and go home, He came to KNOW man forever and be intimate with mankind.
OH LET US SEE HIM!
Hebrews 2:14-18 (ESV)
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
LET US SEE JESUS AND LET US KNOW GOD
14b, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
WE have seen GOD’S GLORY – as of the only SON from the FATHER
God is not just something to be studied, He is someone to behold!
2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV)
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”
18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
1 John 1:1-4 (ESV)1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
GRACE AND TRUTH
God is GRACIOUS, He gives LIFE to the DEAD and SIGHT to the BLIND – In a sense of spiritual sight and life that only He can give. And gives this through HIS SON – Jesus who is ALIVE, real, the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE
God is TRUE – to His promises, His existence, His nature, His glory – now much more than what we cannot see can be seen in the fulness of GRACE – The FULLNESS OF CHRIST! FULLNESS – “Without Measure in chapter 3 – God gives the SON ALL THINGS, Spirit, Love, Power, Dominion… Jesus lacks nothing of Who God Is as He is GOD FULLY – We can know GOD as completely as He is through CHRIST the LIVING WORD!
We cannot take ALL OF THIS IN ONE SITTING… it’s much more than I can handle.
16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
FULNESS OF GOD – The completeness of GOD we can see GRACE UPON GRACE. We can SEE HIS GRACE in Christ and we can RECEIVE His grace through Christ!
How? Through the sacrifice of His Son there is JUSTICE on Sin – He is our mediator, through His flesh and blood, He has brought man to God.
John 1:11-13 (ESV)
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Grace comes and continues to come – Grace is the essence of SEEING GOD.
Which are you? DID NOT receive Him or DID – If you did, you SEE HIM, that’s the issue here… You see Him and if you see Him you know Him and if you believe, You have been made a child! Given sight to see, believe, love, adore, cherish, treasure and KNOW the God of all the universe as Christ the MAN!
Just to give a small background-in March of 07 I was heavy, out of shape and depressed, seriously. For two years I ate like a champion, worked out and became an athlete. Of all my loves “before”, pie, cake and anything laden with sugar baked fruit had a dreadful future: eaten. Until about a month or so ago, I had not even eaten any pie in almost two years but when I had, it was minimal and scarce. So on Thanksgiving day this year I decided to indulge in some good old apple pie. The first bite was phenomenal, just more than I could stand. Bite after bite did not feed my desire but rather grew my desire. In the end, I had eaten all but one piece of the pie; life was good.
That may seem strange that I would dialog about a pie eating binge, however, I have discovered that my desire for pie is a great metaphor for spiritual desire. For the average person, eating a pie would seem odd. As for the “average” Christian, staying in the bible seems to be odd. Why is it so far removed from our lives as believers that we don’t even desire to eat what is truly food. I mean, when we crave food, we eat it and we drive to get it and we’ll pay good money for it to taste good and fill our stomachs. How absurd that we fill our flesh but do not desire to fill our souls.
When someone is given the ability to see God for who He really is through His word, that person is given a taste of fascinating glory and magnificent righteousness that is breath taking. It’s like me and that pie, I had to eat it, there was no other choice because as long as the pie sat on the counter I would be distracted, thinking, looking, tasting and wondering if someone else was going to get to it first. When we are given life out of death in Christ alone, we should desire Him that way. The good news? Jesus is enough for all the church to feast and he is never going to be exhausted.
So, the end of my rant is here. Do you desire the word of God? Do you desire His magnificence, His all encompassing worth and His righteousness? Does the very thought of getting into the scriptures get your heart beating and your mind craving more time to worship and adore Him? If not, then it may mean one of two things: first, it might mean that you are blind spiritually and you do not see the value of God and His glory. Second, it could mean that you are just so cold in your relationship with Him that you have forgotten Him like the church of Ephesus in Rev 2 and that you need to see a glimpse of His glory once more so that you will remember from the heights from which you have fallen.
Jesus is the most precious and valuable person in the universe and those who know Him and hear his voice get overly amazed at the thought of Him speaking. He speaks through the pages of scripture where He has preserved His manifestation to us until the time He returns. Get into the word and get away from the world. There are some who claim Christ who no more want to read the word or sit and hear someone preach that have a tooth pulled yet that same person will break his neck and take off work to fish, hunt, play games, or get away for the weekend.
Desire and cravings are either for the world or for the Christ – there is no middle ground.
Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.
In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
2. This word cannot be understood to mean sacramental penance, i.e., confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests.
3. Yet it means not inward repentance only; nay, there is no inward repentance which does not outwardly work divers mortifications of the flesh.
4. The penalty [of sin], therefore, continues so long as hatred of self continues; for this is the true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5. The pope does not intend to remit, and cannot remit any penalties other than those which he has imposed either by his own authority or by that of the Canons.
6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring that it has been remitted by God and by assenting to God’s remission; though, to be sure, he may grant remission in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in such cases were despised, the guilt would remain entirely unforgiven.
7. God remits guilt to no one whom He does not, at the same time, humble in all things and bring into subjection to His vicar, the priest.
8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to them, nothing should be imposed on the dying.
9. Therefore the Holy Spirit in the pope is kind to us, because in his decrees he always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
10. Ignorant and wicked are the doings of those priests who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penances for purgatory.
11. This changing of the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory is quite evidently one of the tares that were sown while the bishops slept.
12. In former times the canonical penalties were imposed not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties; they are already dead to canonical rules, and have a right to be released from them.
14. The imperfect health [of soul], that is to say, the imperfect love, of the dying brings with it, of necessity, great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater is the fear.
15. This fear and horror is sufficient of itself alone (to say nothing of other things) to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ as do despair, almost-despair, and the assurance of safety.
17. With souls in purgatory it seems necessary that horror should grow less and love increase.
18. It seems unproved, either by reason or Scripture, that they are outside the state of merit, that is to say, of increasing love.
19. Again, it seems unproved that they, or at least that all of them, are certain or assured of their own blessedness, though we may be quite certain of it.
20. Therefore by “full remission of all penalties” the pope means not actually “of all,” but only of those imposed by himself.
21. Therefore those preachers of indulgences are in error, who say that by the pope’s indulgences a man is freed from every penalty, and saved;
22. Whereas he remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to the canons, they would have had to pay in this life.
23. If it is at all possible to grant to any one the remission of all penalties whatsoever, it is certain that this remission can be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to the very fewest.
24. It must needs be, therefore, that the greater part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and highsounding promise of release from penalty.
25. The power which the pope has, in a general way, over purgatory, is just like the power which any bishop or curate has, in a special way, within his own diocese or parish.
26. The pope does well when he grants remission to souls [in purgatory], not by the power of the keys (which he does not possess), but by way of intercession.
27. They preach man who say that so soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out [of purgatory].
28. It is certain that when the penny jingles into the money-box, gain and avarice can be increased, but the result of the intercession of the Church is in the power of God alone.
29. Who knows whether all the souls in purgatory wish to be bought out of it, as in the legend of Sts. Severinus and Paschal.
30. No one is sure that his own contrition is sincere; much less that he has attained full remission.
31. Rare as is the man that is truly penitent, so rare is also the man who truly buys indulgences, i.e., such men are most rare.
32. They will be condemned eternally, together with their teachers, who believe themselves sure of their salvation because they have letters of pardon.
33. Men must be on their guard against those who say that the pope’s pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to Him;
34. For these “graces of pardon” concern only the penalties of sacramental satisfaction, and these are appointed by man.
35. They preach no Christian doctrine who teach that contrition is not necessary in those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessionalia.
36. Every truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without letters of pardon.
37. Every true Christian, whether living or dead, has part in all the blessings of Christ and the Church; and this is granted him by God, even without letters of pardon.
38. Nevertheless, the remission and participation [in the blessings of the Church] which are granted by the pope are in no way to be despised, for they are, as I have said, the declaration of divine remission.
39. It is most difficult, even for the very keenest theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the abundance of pardons and [the need of] true contrition.
40. True contrition seeks and loves penalties, but liberal pardons only relax penalties and cause them to be hated, or at least, furnish an occasion [for hating them].
41. Apostolic pardons are to be preached with caution, lest the people may falsely think them preferable to other good works of love.
42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend the buying of pardons to be compared in any way to works of mercy.
43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better work than buying pardons;
44. Because love grows by works of love, and man becomes better; but by pardons man does not grow better, only more free from penalty.
45. 45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a man in need, and passes him by, and gives [his money] for pardons, purchases not the indulgences of the pope, but the indignation of God.
46. Christians are to be taught that unless they have more than they need, they are bound to keep back what is necessary for their own families, and by no means to squander it on pardons.
47. Christians are to be taught that the buying of pardons is a matter of free will, and not of commandment.
48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting pardons, needs, and therefore desires, their devout prayer for him more than the money they bring.
49. Christians are to be taught that the pope’s pardons are useful, if they do not put their trust in them; but altogether harmful, if through them they lose their fear of God.
50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the pardon-preachers, he would rather that St. Peter’s church should go to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin, flesh and bones of his sheep.
51. Christians are to be taught that it would be the pope’s wish, as it is his duty, to give of his own money to very many of those from whom certain hawkers of pardons cajole money, even though the church of St. Peter might have to be sold.
52. The assurance of salvation by letters of pardon is vain, even though the commissary, nay, even though the pope himself, were to stake his soul upon it.
53. They are enemies of Christ and of the pope, who bid the Word of God be altogether silent in some Churches, in order that pardons may be preached in others.
54. Injury is done the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or a longer time is spent on pardons than on this Word.
55. It must be the intention of the pope that if pardons, which are a very small thing, are celebrated with one bell, with single processions and ceremonies, then the Gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
56. The “treasures of the Church,” out of which the pope. grants indulgences, are not sufficiently named or known among the people of Christ.
57. That they are not temporal treasures is certainly evident, for many of the vendors do not pour out such treasures so easily, but only gather them.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the Saints, for even without the pope, these always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outward man.
59. St. Lawrence said that the treasures of the Church were the Church’s poor, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
60. Without rashness we say that the keys of the Church, given by Christ’s merit, are that treasure;
61. For it is clear that for the remission of penalties and of reserved cases, the power of the pope is of itself sufficient.
62. The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God.
63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last.
64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.
65. Therefore the treasures of the Gospel are nets with which they formerly were wont to fish for men of riches.
66. The treasures of the indulgences are nets with which they now fish for the riches of men.
67. The indulgences which the preachers cry as the “greatest graces” are known to be truly such, in so far as they promote gain.
68. Yet they are in truth the very smallest graces compared with the grace of God and the piety of the Cross.
69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of apostolic pardons, with all reverence.
70. But still more are they bound to strain all their eyes and attend with all their ears, lest these men preach their own dreams instead of the commission of the pope.
71. He who speaks against the truth of apostolic pardons, let him be anathema and accursed!
72. But he who guards against the lust and license of the pardon-preachers, let him be blessed!
73. The pope justly thunders against those who, by any art, contrive the injury of the traffic in pardons.
74. But much more does he intend to thunder against those who use the pretext of pardons to contrive the injury of holy love and truth.
75. To think the papal pardons so great that they could absolve a man even if he had committed an impossible sin and violated the Mother of God — this is madness.
76. We say, on the contrary, that the papal pardons are not able to remove the very least of venial sins, so far as its guilt is concerned.
77. It is said that even St. Peter, if he were now Pope, could not bestow greater graces; this is blasphemy against St. Peter and against the pope.
78. We say, on the contrary, that even the present pope, and any pope at all, has greater graces at his disposal; to wit, the Gospel, powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written in I. Corinthians xii.
79. To say that the cross, emblazoned with the papal arms, which is set up [by the preachers of indulgences], is of equal worth with the Cross of Christ, is blasphemy.
80. The bishops, curates and theologians who allow such talk to be spread among the people, will have an account to render.
81. This unbridled preaching of pardons makes it no easy matter, even for learned men, to rescue the reverence due to the pope from slander, or even from the shrewd questionings of the laity.
82. To wit: — “Why does not the pope empty purgatory, for the sake of holy love and of the dire need of the souls that are there, if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a Church? The former reasons would be most just; the latter is most trivial.”
83. Again: — “Why are mortuary and anniversary masses for the dead continued, and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded on their behalf, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?”
84. Again: — “What is this new piety of God and the pope, that for money they allow a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God, and do not rather, because of that pious and beloved soul’s own need, free it for pure love’s sake?”
85. Again: — “Why are the penitential canons long since in actual fact and through disuse abrogated and dead, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences, as though they were still alive and in force?”
86. Again: — “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is to-day greater than the riches of the richest, build just this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of poor believers?”
87. Again: — “What is it that the pope remits, and what participation does he grant to those who, by perfect contrition, have a right to full remission and participation?”
88. Again: — “What greater blessing could come to the Church than if the pope were to do a hundred times a day what he now does once, and bestow on every believer these remissions and participations?”
89. “Since the pope, by his pardons, seeks the salvation of souls rather than money, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons granted heretofore, since these have equal efficacy?”
90. To repress these arguments and scruples of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the Church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christians unhappy.
91. If, therefore, pardons were preached according to the spirit and mind of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved; nay, they would not exist.
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace!
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Cross, cross,” and there is no cross!
94. Christians are to be exhorted that they be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hell;
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven rather through many tribulations, than through the assurance of peace.