Skip to comments.An OPC Pastor Enters the Catholic Church
Posted on 06/21/2014 1:28:22 AM PDT by Al Hitan
Let me begin this conclusion by ending at the beginning: My wife Cindy and I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church because we came to see that this Church is the Church established by Jesus Christ. We came to this realization in large measure by spending time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, reading other positive presentations of Catholic teaching, and speaking with flesh and blood Catholics in all walks of life and vocations. The many misconceptions we had about what Catholics believed were cleared away as we dug deeply into the teaching resources of the Catholic Church and talked with actual Catholics. We began to recognize that all the Church taught and claimed was verified and confirmed in the Bible, by history, and in the lives of the saints. Over time we came to understand that the Catholic Church represents the fullness of what Christ wanted to reveal to his people; that it possesses all the gifts that our Lord wanted us to have; and that the Church in its liturgy, its apostolic teaching, the Eucharist, the sacraments, and its saints, serves as the definitive place where Gods grace is on full offer. The reason being it is the Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time. Yes, unquestionably a profound claim. But it is the one made by the Catholic Church in all ages, and it is the claim we have come to accept.
This is your invitation to test and see. I assure you that there is no lack of evidences for her divine origin. Such are openly verifiable and abundant. One need only the willingness to discern them. Whatever my personal story may be, the proof of the Catholic Churchs divine origin resides in the realm of history. The evidences are public, out there for you to examine. You are not at the mercy of my personal judgments concerning this claim about the Catholic Church. Instead you are free to investigate the facts of the Churchs perduring existence, her miraculous life, her divine teachings, the abiding fruit of her mission in the world from the time of Christ even down to our present day. The clues are all there; they await you. You need only begin to pursue them.
From what I could tell, this hasn’t been posted previously. It’s an interesting conversion story that I thought other Catholics might enjoy reading.
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Fascinating, thank you.
I only take one exception: “No man can forgive sins, right?”
Yes, we can, if the sins are done to us or ours. Indeed, we are obliged to. Forgive us our trespass, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Sort of an important line, and often overlooked.
The act of human forgiveness of sins is not for the benefit of the sinner, though that may happen. It is like a funeral - the corpse doesn’t care, but it helps the mourners deal with the death.
If you want a religion, Catholic is nice...Jesus is calling people to a RELATIONSHIP...He gave us His life and His WORD...man gives religion.
Not really surprising..
The OPC observes and worships the pope’s calendar, the pope’s sabbath day and the pope’s holy days...(albeit they do have a little issue with december 25 unlike most other denominations)
Most protestant daughters are built on that same foundation with those same observances and worship premises they get from mother...
Yeah. That Mother Theresa. She didn’t have a relationship with Jesus, did she?
“We came to this realization in large measure by spending time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “
Right there is the problem. The Word of God is what he should be reading.
This statement rather betrays him. In all actuality, a firm reading of Augustine, for example, only shows one thing: that the greatest expression of Augustinian theology is Reformation theology, not the Catholic. Even on things like transubstantiation and predestination, Augustine falls on the Reformation side. Calvin's understanding of the sacraments was, itself, entirely Augustinian. He did not invent it. He was taught it from Augustine, perhaps improving in some points, but largely the spirit is that of Augustine's, and Augustine's from the Apostles. Those Catholics on this forum familiar with my posts on the matter are well aware of what Augustine has to say on these matters, and I doubt there are very many left who would oppose me on it.
The Reformers also did not flee from the writings of the Church Fathers. They did not even claim to be anything other than Catholic. From the essay "Catholic Calvinism":
"In 1536, a 27 year old exile from France addressed Roman Catholic King Francis regarding a new religious movement that Francis opposed. This exile takes pains to deny that the teaching of the movement is, in fact "new" and "of recent birth." To the contrary, says the humanist scholar, the gospel preached in this movement is as "ancient" as Paul's gospel. Winchester Moreover, "if the contest were to be decided by patristic authority, the tide of victory would turn to our side."1 For the young Jean Calvin, the reform of the church entailed a rediscovery of the scriptures--and a rediscovery of the scriptural theology of the patristic writings from the church's first five centuries.
Thus, it is not surprising that as Calvin's ministry and thought developed, he went to great lengths to deepen his knowledge of patristic theology and spread this knowledge to others. In a move that would please today's Anglo-Catholics, Calvin promoted the radical idea that John Chrysostom's sermons should be made available in the vernacular French. Not only scholars should read the church fathers, but ordinary Christians--just as Christians should also be reading the Bible. Of course, Calvin did not agree with everything he read in patristic works--indeed, this would have been impossible, given the diversity of thought in the patristic period. But the Reformation was a restoration of the scriptural theology of the early centuries of the church--and until the end of his life, publishing The True Partaking of the Flesh and Blood of Christ--Calvin continued to draw deeper and deeper upon the "ancient fathers" of the first five centuries, who were "of a better age of the church."2"
Now this guy writes like he is utterly unfamiliar with these facts, and with the writings of Augustine. And even sounds as if he himself was not familiar with these writings before hand, despite the very real emphasis and study of the church fathers promoted by the Reformers. If he did, how does one square the fact that the Church Fathers directly disagreed with doctrines the Roman church declares infallible and from the mouth of the Apostles directly? The claim of Romanism is that it's teachings are historical. So, why then are they not historical?
By the way, one last comment. I was hoping he’d actually say something specific about those “reformation doctrines” that he thinks are not that important. Like all Catholics, however, he entirely bypasses the issue and focuses on: Church authority.
Now what boots church authority if your soul is damned? What authority does a church have, if all its doctrine is authority and lacks a real doctrine on salvation aside from “submit to the Pope”?
After falsely asserting that the Church Fathers all shared the same doctrines on the Eucharist, ignored the Solas as somehow unimportant (does this fool know nothing about Augustine’s great battle with Pelagius? Where do you think we get Sola Gracia and Sola Fide? Since when do we only care about the Eucharist and Church authority?), and other such things, I thought that maybe he would explain his earlier assertion that the Catholics all accept our “Solas” but in a “properly understood” way. Any real Presbyterian ought to know that the question of church authority is insignificant to these questions. If he can show that we indeed misunderstood the Papists all along, and that, really, they really do think that we are saved by Grace and not by our merits, this would be ground breaking. It would heal the rift! But he does not, and instead goes straight from his assertions on the Church Fathers and flees to lame nonsense on “authority,” as if the earthly structures of the church obsess us as much as it does him!
But he does not, and instead goes straight from his assertions on the Church Fathers and flees to lame nonsense on authority, as if the earthly structures of the church obsess us as much as it does him!
...ah, once again set straight by our Protestant friends...whatever would we ‘papists’ do without your constant correcting...?
Delusional. Did Calvin teach the will was free? Augustine insisted on it.
Because this is a conversion piece you have the advantage of knowing that we didnt always accept this profound claim about the divine origin of the Catholic Church. And therein lies the curiosity of our story. I was a Presbyterian minister and pastor in a conservative denomination. My theology was solidly Reformed, having been educated at a reputable Reformed institution known both for its orthodoxy and pastoral emphasis. As a pastor I was committed in my ministry to classical Reformed belief and practice. Even now I remain grateful for the Reformed faith, as youll see. So the question naturally is, what happened? What instigated our study of Catholicism? What moved us to have a change of heart about the Catholic faith?
Our decision to leave Presbyterianism for the Catholic Church surprised many. We can sympathize given that in the past wed have been incredulous if told wed be Catholic one day. And yet looking back now from our vantage point we can trace the trajectory that led us to full communion with the Catholic Church, and its a trajectory that progressed naturally and imperceptibly over time - a growing appreciation for the necessity and role of the visible Church; a deepening understanding of the sacramental nature of the Christian faith; the apostolic quality intrinsic to Church authority; the unique function of the Minister of the Gospel in the liturgy and life of the Church; the inescapable dynamic of tradition within the Christian Faith; and an increasing awareness of the implications of the adjectives one and catholic as used by the Nicene Creed to identify the Church of Jesus Christ. Each of these areas of faith track back from where we are now as Catholics to where we were when Reformed. They prepared the way for us to give serious consideration to the Catholic faith when the time came.
Welcome home, ping!
He also gave us His Church. You know, that thing that is the pillar and ground of the truth.
They came to our church in Rockford a time or two. Wonderful people, they have sacrificed much.
Contra epistulam Manichaei quam uocant fundamenti liber unus 5.6
Augustine uses the term "free will" in two different ways. In the sense of the unbeliever, it is free only to sin. In the sense of the believer, it is now free to do good. This is his response to the Christian monks who wrongly interpreted his teachings as encouraging inaction on the part of the Christian. Augustine says that we "we walk, we do, we obey" with our will, but this itself is only the evidence of God's grace making us to walk, to do, and to obey. It is God who makes us good, not we ourselves:
Can you say, We will first walk in His righteousness, and will observe His judgments, and will act in a worthy way, so that He will give His grace to us? But what good would you evil people do? And how would you do those good things, unless you were yourselves good? But Who causes people to be good? Only He Who said, And I will visit them to make them good, and, I will put my Spirit within you, and will cause you to walk in my righteousness, and to observe my judgments, and do them (Ezek.36:27). Are you asleep? Cant you hear Him saying, I will cause you to walk, I will make you to observe, lastly, I will make you to do? Really, are you still puffing yourselves up? We walk, true enough, and we observe, and we do; but it is God Who He makes us to walk, to observe, to do. This is the grace of God making us good; this is His mercy going before us. Augustine - Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, 4:15
All our good merits are only wrought in us by grace, and -when God crowns our merits, he crowns nothing but his own gifts. (Augustine, Letter 194)
Have just men, then, no merits? Certainly they have, because they are righteous. But they were not made righteous by merits. For they are made righteous when they are justified, but as the apostle says, they are justified freely by his grace. (Ibid)
The difference between the man who falls away, by the way, and the man who remains in the faith, is entirely God's grace. In the one, He chooses to give the gift of preserverence, in the other, He does not.
I assert, therefore, that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ even to the end is the gift of God; and I call that the end by which is finished that life wherein alone there is peril of falling. (Augustine, On the Perseverance of the Saints)
But of such as these [the Elect] none perishes, because of all that the Father has given Him, He will lose none. John 6:39 Whoever, therefore, is of these does not perish at all; nor was any who perishes ever of these. For which reason it is said, They went out from among us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us. John 2:19. (Augustine, Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints)
Augustine did teach Baptismal regeneration, but his solution with the problem of apostates was this: That the elect receive the gift of preserverence, while the apostates, like Judas, must inevitably fall away, since they were never of the elect. It is only grace which causes man to differ, and not their merits.
For who makes thee to differ, and what has thou that thou hast not received? (1 Cor. iv. 7). Our merits therefore do not cause us to differ, but grace. For if it be merit, it is a debt; and if it be a debt, it is not gratuitous; and if it be not gratuitous, it is not grace. (Augustine, Sermon 293)
Furthermore, Augustine teaches that God can change the will of man at any time, and if He does it not, it is in justice, and if He does it, it is in mercy. All of this is exactly our teaching:
And, moreover, who will be so foolish and blasphemous as to say that God cannot change the evil wills of men, whichever, whenever, and wheresoever He chooses, and direct them to what is good? But when He does this He does it of mercy; when He does it not, it is of justice that He does it not for He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. And when the apostle said this, he was illustrating the grace of God, in connection with which he had just spoken of the twins in the womb of Rebecca, who being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. And in reference to this matter he quotes another prophetic testimony: Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. But perceiving how what he had said might affect those who could not penetrate by their understanding the depth of this grace: What shall we say then? he says: Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For it seems unjust that, in the absence of any merit or demerit, from good or evil works, God should love the one and hate the other. Now, if the apostle had wished us to understand that there were future good works of the one, and evil works of the other, which of course God foreknew, he would never have said, not of works, but, of future works, and in that way would have solved the difficulty, or rather there would then have been no difficulty to solve. As it is, however, after answering, God forbid; that is, God forbid that there should be unrighteousness with God; he goes on to prove that there is no unrighteousness in Gods doing this, and says: For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Chapter 98. Predestination to Eternal Life is Wholly of Gods Free Grace.)
But that world which God is in Christ reconciling unto Himself, which is saved by Christ, and has all its sins freely pardoned by Christ, has been chosen out of the world that is hostile, condemned, and defiled. For out of that mass, which has all perished in Adam, are formed the vessels of mercy, whereof that world of reconciliation is composed, that is hated by the world which belongeth to the vessels of wrath that are formed out of the same mass and fitted to destruction. Finally, after saying, If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, He immediately added, But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. And so these men were themselves also of that world, and, that they might no longer be of it, were chosen out of it, through no merit of their own, for no good works of theirs had preceded; and not by nature, which through free-will had become totally corrupted at its source: but gratuitously, that is, of actual grace. For He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose: for there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace, he adds, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 15:17-19)
For one final blow, note Augustine's interpretation of I Tim. 2:4: Who Will Have All Men to Be Saved. This passage, and others like it, are usually applied by the Papists to prove that grace is universally given, and that what makes men to differ is their rejection and disobedience.
Or, it is said, Who will have all men to be saved; not that there is no man whose salvation He does not will (for how, then, explain the fact that He was unwilling to work miracles in the presence of some who, He said, would have repented if He had worked them?), but that we are to understand by all men, the human race in all its varieties of rank and circumstances,kings, subjects; noble, plebeian, high, low, learned, and unlearned; the sound in body, the feeble, the clever, the dull, the foolish, the rich, the poor, and those of middling circumstances; males, females, infants, boys, youths; young, middle-aged, and old men; of every tongue, of every fashion, of all arts, of all professions, with all the innumerable differences of will and conscience, and whatever else there is that makes a distinction among men. For which of all these classes is there out of which God does not will that men should be saved in all nations through His only-begotten Son, our Lord, and therefore does save them; for the Omnipotent cannot will in vain, whatsoever He may will? Now the apostle had enjoined that prayers should be made for all men, and had especially added, For kings, and for all that are in authority, who might be supposed, in the pride and pomp of worldly station, to shrink from the humility of the Christian faith. Then saying, For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, that is, that prayers should be made for such as these, he immediately adds, as if to remove any ground of despair, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth [I Tim. 2:1-4]. God, then, in His great condescension has judged it good to grant to the prayers of the humble the salvation of the exalted; and assuredly we have many examples of this. Our Lord, too, makes use of the same mode of speech in the Gospel, when He says to the Pharisees: Ye tithe mint, and rue, and every herb [Luke 11:42]. For the Pharisees did not tithe what belonged to others, nor all the herbs of all the inhabitants of other lands. As, then, in this place we must understand by every herb, every kind of herbs, so in the former passage we may understand by all men, every sort of men. And we may interpret it in any other way we please, so long as we are not compelled to believe that the omnipotent God has willed anything to be done which was not done: for setting aside all ambiguities, if He hath done all that He pleased in heaven and in earth [Ps. 115:3]. as the psalmist sings of Him, He certainly did not will to do anything that He hath not done. (Augustine, Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Ch. 103. Interpretation of the Expression in I Tim. 2:4: Who Will Have All Men to Be Saved.)
"Now, in regard to the canonical Scriptures, he must follow the judgment of the greater number of catholic churches; and among these, of course, a high place must be given to such as have been thought worthy to be the seat of an apostle and to receive epistles. Accordingly, among the canonical Scriptures he will judge according to the following standard: to prefer those that are received by all the catholic churches to those which some do not receive. Among those, again, which are not received by all, he will prefer such as have the sanction of the greater number and those of greater authority, to such as are held by the smaller number and those of less authority. If, however, he shall find that some books are held by the greater number of churches, and others by the churches of greater authority (though this is not a very likely thing to happen), I think that in such a case the authority on the two sides is to be looked upon as equal. (Augustine, NPNF1: Vol. II, On Christian Doctrine, Book II, Chapter 8. See also John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 1, Vol. 11, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., De Doctrina Christiana, Book II, Chapter 8 (New York: New City Press, 1996), p. 134.)
Our decision to leave Presbyterianism for the Catholic Church surprised many.
I’ll bet their decision no longer surprises so many after what the Presbyterian church just decided about homosexual “marriage.”
Have you ever read the Catechism?
Most protestant daughters are built on that same foundation with those same observances and worship premises they get from mother...
Sunday- Day of worship for the Sun, Monday- the moon, Tuesday- after the Norse one handed god Twi, Wednesday- Claque of the Latin for Mercury, Thursday-literally Thor's day, Friday- Named after the old English goddess Frigg, Saturday- after the Roman god Saturn.
January- Roman god Janus, April- Roman goddess, Aphrilis- Greek goddess Aphrodite, June- Roman goddess Juno, July Julius Ceaser, August- his nephew Augustus, etc....
Which calendar do you use and how does it look.
IIRC the Bible is referenced on almost every page of the CC, I think there were 12-15 that it wasn't quoted directly from.
You are saying that Calvinism wouldn’t have any problem with this, from his letter to Valentinus?
“1. Two young men, Cresconius and Felix, have found their way to us, and, introducing themselves as belonging to your brotherhood, have told us that your monastery was disturbed with no small commotion, because certain among you preach grace in such a manner as to deny that the will of man is free; and maintain—a more serious matter—that in the day of judgment God will not render to every man according to his works. At the same time, they have pointed out to us, that many of you do not entertain this opinion, but allow that free will is assisted by the grace of God, so as that we may think and do aright; so that, when the Lord shall come to render unto every man according to his works, He shall find those works of ours good which God has prepared in order that we may walk in them. They who think this think rightly. “
But more broadly, Augustine was a bishop. He founded a religious order. He followed the Christian calendar and the commemoration of the martyrs. This sounds like a Puritan to you?
When you are baptized, you are baptized into the Body of Christ, the Church.
It is important to worship with others members of the church - not as an isolated member cut off from the rest of the body.
And it is scriptural:
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Just like our bodies need food to function, grow, etc. our souls need food also - spiritual food. For Catholics the Mass and especially the Eucharist provide this spiritual nourishment that we need. You can worship God anywhere and he wants us to. Our lives should be a prayer to God - everything we do should be done to glorify God, but once again going to church gives us the nourishment and the direction we need to accomplish this. As a kid I didn’t understand this and did not appreciate going to church. As I have grown spiritually I cannot imagine not going to church - it is a part of me.
It was of this epistle that I was talking about in the first place in the different uses of the term "Free will." Here is another quote from the letter, note the bold:
"As for all others who, in the use of their free will, have added to original sin, sins of their own commission, but who have not been delivered by God's grace from the power of darkness and removed into the kingdom of Christ, they will receive judgment according to the deserts not of their original sin only, but also of the acts of their own will. The good, indeed, shall receive their reward according to the merits of their own good-will, but then they received this very good-will through the grace of God; and thus is accomplished that sentence of Scripture, "Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile: but glory, honour, and peace to every man that works good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile."'(Augustine, Letter 215)
But more broadly, Augustine was a bishop. He founded a religious order. He followed the Christian calendar and the commemoration of the martyrs. This sounds like a Puritan to you?
This is a silly statement since, as another poster noted, the OPC, and the Reformed in general, follow the Christian calender, worship on Sundays, and believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist exactly in the way Augustine did, which is very anti-Catholic. A Church might have all these things, but if it does not have sound doctrine, all it has is empty practice, all form of God but no power.
“Ill bet their decision no longer surprises so many after what the Presbyterian church just decided about homosexual ‘marriage.’
Please do not lump all “Presbyterians” together. The OPC has had nothing to do with the PCUSA ever, as far as I know. The same goes for the PCA. Decades ago many, many local Presbyterian churches saw what was happening in the PCUSA and split with them. The PCA was one result. As far as I know, neither the OPC nor the PCA have come anywhere near the issue of homosexual “marriage.”
The other poster is correct. The PCUSA are mostly a pack of universalists. They do not accept historical Reformed teachings. They are just a little bit more liberal than your Pope.
Well heavens, EVERYONE believes it all comes from grace, except Pelagians. As long as the free will is not denied.
As for the rest, there are no bishops in the OPC. No cult of the martyrs in the OPC. No monks in the OPC that I’m aware of. If Augustine had such a Reformed theology, I wonder why he retained all of this.
And as far as Augustine’s Reformed understanding of the Real Presence, please expound on that notion...this I want to hear!
Which agrees precisely with Catholic teaching, as expressed infallibly a few years later at 2nd Orange. In fact, most of the citations you've posted are perfectly aligned with Catholic teaching. I'm looking for one where Augustine says that the unjustified man is free only to sin; you might have a case there for a disagreement. (We don't think Augustine is infallible any more than you do.).
In re Communion, at one point Augustine said that it was a sin not to adore the consecrated Host. Sounds like idolatry in the Calvinist view, but perfectly logical in the Catholic view.
One of my oldest friends is a Presbyterian (in Texas) and has NO problems with Catholics. Her son became one and she is fine with that...as long, as she says, he has found peace.
THAT shows her true Christianity.
They are just a little bit more liberal than your Pope.
Your comment would have been sufficient without the addition of the above.
If it "all comes from grace," then it was God who effected everything. Either it is "all," or it is part. This is clearly what Augustine and the scripture teach, not that part of it is grace, and part of it is human will assenting to it, but that it is all of grace, and the will is remade by that grace "whenever" He so desires, as in the quotes I already provided (which you seem to have not bothered to read). The difference between your view and Augustine's is, for Augustine, grace was sufficient for both conversion and ultimate salvation, while for you, it is not, but the will must have its due. Thus your view is more in tune with Semi-Pelagianism, or with the modern day Arminian, which Augustine also condemned:
"We know that God's grace is not given to all men. To those to whom it is given it is given neither according to the merits of works, nor according to the merits of the will, but by free grace. To those to whom it is not given we know that it is because of God's righteous judgment that it is not given." Augustine - On Rebuke and Grace
And further, should any one be inclined to boast, not indeed of his works, but of the freedom of his will, as if the first merit belonged to him, this very liberty of good action being given to him as a reward he had earned, let him listen to this same preacher of grace, when he says: For it is God which works in you, both to will and to do of His own good pleasure; (Php 2:13) and in another place: So, then, it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. (Rom 9:16) Now as, undoubtedly, if a man is of the age to use his reason, he cannot believe, hope, love, unless he will to do so, nor obtain the prize of the high calling of God unless he voluntarily run for it; in what sense is it not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy, except that, as it is written, the preparation of the heart is from the Lord? Otherwise, if it is said, It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy, because it is of both, that is, both of the will of man and of the mercy of God, so that we are to understand the saying, It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy, as if it meant the will of man alone is not sufficient, if the mercy of God go not with itthen it will follow that the mercy of God alone is not sufficient, if the will of man go not with it; and therefore, if we may rightly say, it is not of man that wills, but of God that shows mercy, because the will of man by itself is not enough, why may we not also rightly put it in the converse way: It is not of God that shows mercy, but of man that wills, because the mercy of God by itself does not suffice? Surely, if no Christian will dare to say this, It is not of God that shows mercy, but of man that wills, lest he should openly contradict the apostle, it follows that the true interpretation of the saying, It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy, is that the whole work belongs to God, who both makes the will of man righteous, and thus prepares it for assistance, and assists it when it is prepared.(Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Ch. 32)
I'm looking for one where Augustine says that the unjustified man is free only to sin; you might have a case there for a disagreement. (We don't think Augustine is infallible any more than you do.).
"But this part of the human race to which God has promised pardon and a share in His eternal kingdom, can they be restored through the merit of their own works? God forbid. For what good work can a lost man perform, except so far as he has been delivered from perdition? Can they do anything by the free determination of their own will? Again I say, God forbid. For it was by the evil use of his free-will that man destroyed both it and himself. For, as a man who kills himself must, of course, be alive when he kills himself, but after he has killed himself ceases to live, and cannot restore himself to life; so, when man by his own free-will sinned, then sin being victorious over him, the freedom of his will was lost. For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. This is the judgment of the Apostle Peter. And as it is certainly true, what kind of liberty, I ask, can the bond-slave possess, except when it pleases him to sin? For he is freely in bondage who does with pleasure the will of his master. Accordingly, he who is the servant of sin is free to sin. And hence he will not be free to do right, until, being freed from sin, he shall begin to be the servant of righteousness. And this is true liberty, for he has pleasure in the righteous deed; and it is at the same time a holy bondage, for he is obedient to the will of God. But whence comes this liberty to do right to the man who is in bondage and sold under sin, except he be redeemed by Him who has said, If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed? And before this redemption is wrought in a man, when he is not yet free to do what is right, how can he talk of the freedom of his will and his good works, except he be inflated by that foolish pride of boasting which the apostle restrains when he says, By grace are you saved, through faith." (Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Chapter 30. Men are Not Saved by Good Works, Nor by the Free Determination of Their Own Will, But by the Grace of God Through Faith.
But it would not have amused me if I had left it out, nor would it have been a proper reply to the spirit of your post.
Gee....could you please define the *spirit* of my post?
Whoops, I forgot to note that the first Italics is Claud, and the second italics is Campion. I responded to both of you in the same post.
I apologize, after re-reading your post, it turns out I read it wrongly. I thought you were generalizing all Presbyterians as liberal.
I change my previous post to the following “But it would not have amused me had I left it out.” The part about the “spirit” of the post is justly removed, but the amusement must stay.
“The OPC observes and worships the popes calendar,”
1) Please show evidence that anyone in the OPC worships any calendar.
2) What calendar do you use?
Verga: The reference is to the liturgical calendar for reading of scriptures, Holy days of the church which are celebrated by both Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians.
It is NOT a reference to the names of individual days and months that are used in today’s English language and all the sources it received those names from, particularly from ancient Rome.
Actually, I would not generalize that way as I have had several good Presbyterians as friends...and THEY would never support homosexual “marriage” as being acceptable for Christians. I also had a good Methodist friend who was a prayer partner of mine. Her father was a Methodist minister and had given his life taking the Gospel to the Chinese. She was horrified at the changes that had taken place in her own church and confided that she admired my Church for standing firm on its teachings.
May God bless us all as we work against the forces of evil that despise the Truth and increasingly attack Christianity these days.
Ill bet their decision no longer surprises so many after what the Presbyterian church just decided about homosexual marriage.
Thank you. That has already been pointed out. I SHOULD have remembered in the very first place. I suppose that I am too accustomed to having one Church, with one central authority and remaining the same in its teaching for so many years.
Serious Question: Now that Rev. Stewart has converted from the OPC to Catholicism, what will he do regarding his “call to the ministry?” Obviously Catholic rules do not permit Protestant ministers, except for some cases for Anglicans, to be ordained as priests, thus that is out for him. Again, his conversion does not mean that the Catholic Church is obligated to give him a job.
If his faith that lead him to the ministry and his life’s work, how does he continue that within the confines of the Catholic Church? Or does he go out and find a new vocation?
I know that you do not know exact answers to these questions and they are perhaps more rhetorical than seeking actual answers. But they occurred to me. I guess he could join Marcus Grodi and “The Journey Home” tv team.
He's in a program to be ordained a deacon. Maybe after that he'll consider the priesthood. There are a number of former protestant ministers who have been ordained in the Catholic Church.
The OPC has had nothing to do with the PCUSA ever, as far as I know.
Split in the '30s.
2) What calendar do you use?
If I were to hazard a guess, probably one that advocates that Christians observe the Mosaic old covenant feast cycle.
And the churches he’s talking about are Catholic churches. He certainly was ordained to the priesthood and a bishop in your church.
Thanks for that information. I’ve been associated with the PCA and have known that the OPC is doctrinally very close, but has generally been somewhat more conservative in style and culture. I could not imagine an OPC church coming anywhere near homosexual “marriag.”
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