What’s In Your Hymnal?

I am generally sheepish about singing Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts since both hymn writers knocked the Psalter off its congregational song pedestal and the former, Wesley, is a — well — Wesleyan. But on Sunday, when we sang, “Arise, My Soul, Arise,” the cold heart in this vinegary Calvinist warmed:

Arise, my soul, arise,
shake off your guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice,
in my behalf appears;
Before the throne my Surety stands,
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

Chorus: Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise.
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise.
Shake off your guilty fears and rise

He ever lives above,
for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood, to plead;
His blood atoned for every race,
His blood atoned for every race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears;
received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers;
they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

My God is reconciled;
His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child;
I can no longer fear
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

After attending a marriage service at a Roman Catholic parish this winter, I was surprised to learn that Christians in fellowship with the Bishop of Rome have Wesley and Watts available to them. But I can’t imagine any Roman Catholic who thinks he or she will wind up in purgatory singing “Arise, My Soul, Arise.” I know for some of the readers here, the sense of guilt and fear of condemnation that gripped Luther is not the sort of angst that full confidence in the magisterium, or papal supremacy, or 2,000 years of uncontested (really?) history yields. At the same time, sentiments like Wesley’s were the target for Trent’s condemnations of Protestant teaching on assurance.

So for those Christians who put so much confidence in the papacy, what kind of hymns would they sing? How about the Pontifical Anthem?

O happy Rome – O happy noble Rome
O happy Rome – O happy Rome, noble Rome
You are the seat of Peter, who shed his blood in Rome,
Peter, to whom the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given.
Pontiff, You are the successor of Peter;
Pontiff, You are the teacher, you confirm your brethren;
Pontiff, You who are the Servant of the servants of God,
and fisher of men, are the shepherd of the flock,
linking heaven and earth.
Pontiff, You are the vicar of Christ on earth,
a rock amidst the waves, You are a beacon in the darkness;
You are the defender of peace, You are the guardian of unity,
watchful defender of liberty; in You is the authority.

Pontiff, you are the unshakable rock, and on this rock
was built the Church of God.
Pontiff, You are the vicar of Christ on earth,
a rock amidst the waves, You are a beacon in the darkness;
You are the defender of peace, You are the guardian of unity,
watchful defender of liberty; in You is the authority.
O happy Rome – O noble Rome.

Or, how about “Long Live the Pope His Praises Sound“:

1. Long live the Pope! His praises sound
Again and yet again:
His rule is over space and time;
His throne the hearts of men:
All hail! the Shepherd King of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing,
And heav’n the strain prolong.
Let all the earth his glory sing,
And heav’n the strain prolong.

2. Beleaguered by the foes of earth,
Beset by hosts of hell,
He guards the loyal flock of Christ,
A watchful sentinel:
And yet, amid the din and strife,
The clash of mace and sword,
He bears alone the shepherd staff,
This champion of the Lord.
He bears alone the shepherd staff,
This champion of the Lord.

3. His signet is the Fisherman’s;
No sceptre does he bear;
In meek and lowly majesty
He rules from Peter’s Chair:
And yet from every tribe and tongue,
From every clime and zone,
Three hundred million voices sing,
The glory of his throne.
Three hundred million voices sing,
The glory of his throne.

4. Then raise the chant, with heart and voice,
In church and school and home:
“Long live the Shepherd of the Flock!
Long live the Pope of Rome!”
Almighty Father, bless his work,
Protect him in his ways,
Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
And grant him “length of days.”
Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
And grant him “length of days.”

I’ll stick with the Wesleyan.

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116 thoughts on “What’s In Your Hymnal?

  1. Stick those last two in the Museum of Idolatry. Standing by for Sister Ali to commend your shocking admission of being strangely warmed. Looking forward to the OPC-URC psalter-hymnal.

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  2. cw l’unificateur says: Standing by for Sister Ali to commend your shocking admission of being strangely warmed.

    thank you cw cause I would have missed it: D.G. Harts says: the cold heart in this vinegary Calvinist warmed

    Wow. Incredible. Is he just joshing us, cw?

    …..while it’s still warm then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBwlj3OmyiI

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  3. TMI TESTIMONY TIME: I tend to tear up on trinitarian passages like:

    The whole triumphant host
    Give thanks to God on high;
    Hail Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    They ever cry:
    Hail Abraham’s God and mine!
    I join the heavenly lays
    All might and majesty are thine,
    And endless praise.

    Or when the angels are depicted as praising:

    At His feet the six-winged seraph,
    Cherubim with sleepless eye,
    Veil their faces to the presence,
    As with ceaseless voice they cry:
    Alleluia, Alleluia
    Alleluia, Lord Most High!

    Also on Welsh tunes. Who needs a hug?

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  4. Robert, and a source of exasperation when we don’t get how praying to saints isn’t really an act of worship toward them. The small mind boggles.

    But in reading these, can i get a “sheesh”?

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  5. This from the hymnal in the pews at the Ashville, NC Basilica (of St. Lawrence). For those who visit this is hymn #492. Looks to be written by Bernard of Morlaix in 1140. Regretably I did not take a photo of the front of the hymnal but it looked like the standard Roman Catholic hymnal.

    Title: Daily, Daily Sing to Mary

    Daily, daily sing to Mary:
    Sing, my soul, her praises due
    All her glorious actions cherish,
    With the heart’s devotion true
    Lost in wond’ring contemplation,
    Be her majesty confessed!
    Call her Mother, call her Virgin,
    Happy Mother, Virgin blest!

    She is mighty to deliver;
    Call her, trust her lovingly.
    When the tempest rages ’round you,
    She will calm the troubled sea.
    Gifts of heaven she has given,
    Noble Lady, to our race;
    She, the Queen, who clothes her subjects
    With the light of God’s own grace

    All my senses, heart, affections
    Strive to sound her glory forth.
    Spread abroad the sweet memorials
    Of the Virgin’s priceless worth.
    Where the voice of music thrilling
    Where the tongues of eloquence
    That can utter hymns befitting
    All her matchless excellence?

    All our joys do flow from Mary:
    All then join her praise to sing.
    Trembling, sing the Virgin Mother,
    Mother of our Lord and King.
    While we sing her awesome glory,
    Far above our fancy’s reach,
    Let our hearts be quick to offer
    Love the heart alone can teach.

    I feel like I am playing with Pagan idolatry just typing these lyrics. Praying to Baal seems like child’s play compared to the specific blasphemes spewed in this “hymn”.

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  6. Rome, just like Eeevangelicalism, says “it’s not worship unless you feeeeel it.” Of course praying to Mary isn’t worship, cause it’s usually a recited, and therefore insincere, prayer. Of course singing about the Pope isn’t worship, cause you don’t raise your hands during the 2nd chorus after the bridge.

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  7. “usually a recited, and therefore insincere, prayer.”

    So when you recite the Lord’s Prayer or routinely sing the same songs in a hymnal, that’s insincere?

    “Of course singing about the Pope isn’t worship, cause you don’t raise your hands during the 2nd chorus after the bridge.”

    It isn’t worship because those singing aren’t attributing divinity or God’s power to him, just the opposite:
    Almighty Father, bless his work,
    Protect him in his ways,
    Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
    And grant him “length of days.”
    Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
    And grant him “length of days.”

    The British singing God Save the Queen aren’t worshipping her.

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  8. Darryl,

    What answer are you looking for? RCs don’t worship the pope. I think Francis might agree.

    I have another question – “but if the mind is not a factory of idols, ‘s’all innocent.”

    Is the OPC liturgy/order of worship and RPW strange fire and a product of the idol factory?

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  9. “Is the OPC liturgy/order of worship and RPW strange fire and a product of the idol factory?”
    No, it comes from God’s Word.

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  10. Speaking of the Pope, he had a few interesting things to say in an interview:

    First the great commission and jihad are quite similar:

    Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

    Perhaps something was lost in translation? Then there is his idea of what ideal Christian/Muslim coexistence looks like. For those in Europe worried about the influx of Muslims:

    Lebanon also shows that [co-existence between Christians and Muslims] is possible.

    Great, so France is going to look like Lebanon. I can hardly wait. Proof that his purported infallibility does not extend to international (or inter religious) relations. But then maybe it does on matter of political science:

    States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of History. I believe that a version of laicity accompanied by a solid law guaranteeing religious freedom offers a framework for going forward.

    Maybe he isn’t wrong about *everything* after all!

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  11. but back to the post point – idolatry – had to go look it up ;so many Mary hymns – Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest ;Mother Dear, O Pray for Me; On This Day, O Beautiful Mother;’Tis The Month Of Our Mother ;Bring Flowers of the Rarest;Immaculate Mary;Holy Mary, Mother Mild ; O Queen of the Holy Rosary;Daily, Daily, Sing to Mary; I’ll Sing A Hymn To Mary;Dear Guardian of Mary

    here’s a few things learned from them :
    -Mary is the Help of all ;her hand protects, guides ,guards ;she is on her throne; she is the Queen of angels
    -When our lips,our spirits glow with love and with praise for her, Oh! what peace to her children; trust in her guidance Will lead to a glorious goal
    -How dark life’s journey would be without Mary; our hearts are on fire when her title fills all our desire!
    -she is the Joy of angels, Queen of love, Queen of Heaven; the ocean star; -she is our advocate; she is mighty to deliver, she gives gifts to men
    -she is the ark of God’s own promise, the gate of Heav’n

    and from the ‘pontifical’ anthem -the pope is the unshakable rock, beacon in the darkness; in him, all the authority

    sheesh to ∞ ; my ears hurt a lot ; think I’ll go listen to CHRIST ALONE ……
    In CHRIST alone my hope is found, HE is my light, my strength, my song

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  12. Ali,

    What about this?

    She is mighty to deliver;
    Call her, trust her lovingly.
    When the tempest rages ’round you,
    She will calm the troubled sea.

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  13. Yes B, same song, too, : she ‘gives gifts to men’

    Sound familiar? (as are all those attributions in these songs, sourced in His word, but them speaking of GOD)

    Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,“WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

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  14. Not the labor of my hands
    Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
    Could my zeal no respite know,
    Could my tears forever flow,
    All for sin could not atone;
    Thou must save, and Thou alone.
    Nothing in my hand I bring,
    Simply to the cross I cling;

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  15. CW wrote: “Looking forward to the OPC-URC psalter-hymnal.”

    We are already singing selections from the Psalter on Sunday nights at our church. Go the following link for more information.

    http://psalterhymnal.org/

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  16. Given that no Roman Catholic (per Ott) can know whether he has done enough to attain justification, there’s no shaking off guilty fears.

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  17. Darryl,

    Or another option is they’re not flagrantly embracing convictions RC bishops condemned and you don’t have as firm a grasp of RC devotion and spirituality as you suppose. Did Wesley not know what he was writing in that hymn since he and his tradition’s churches taught loss of salvation?

    Robert,

    Ott is speaking of knowing with the certainty of faith absent special revelation – one’s personal salvation is not part of public revelation – that does not exclude a “high moral certainty” as he states in that same sentence. Are you absolutely certain and sure you are not self-deceived in considering yourself elect and regenerate? Given that the reprobate (per Calvin) can have experiences subjectively indistinguishable in their mind from the elect due to God’s evanescent grace and the inferior operations of the Holy Spirit coupled with his warning of the heart being an idol factory, some caution would seem to be in order.

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  18. “Given that no Roman Catholic (per Ott) can know whether he has done enough to attain justification, there’s no shaking off guilty fears.”

    This isn’t true, the church teaches how salvation is applied and of course faith is necessary. Faith is a supernatural gift, but one can spurn it. I did this for awhile, so I know. Usually it’s charity(agape) that is lost because of mortal sin. It’s akin to breaking marital union.
    In addition to faith though, there are sacraments given to us by Jesus, where additional grace is received. The highest is the Eucharistic feast where Jesus himself is received. In Corinth people died when they received Him unworthily( with mortal sin and not discerning His body and blood).

    So there are real dangers to our final salvation. Remember the warnings about wide roads that lead to destruction? What about warnings about the devil who prouls about seeking to devour? If you have faith but not charity, then Satan has taken you down, at least until you recognize your error( not loving God and giving him his due. The things creatures are supose to do and which the love of God makes possible) and repent and “go and sin no more”. Persevering, as it were.

    You may not like this but it’s the truth.
    All protestant denominations came from the one church, right? You have so much agreement with her. Your liturgies are modeled on hers and most of mailine Protestantism uses The Roman Catholic Church’s daily readings.( Hope you had a wonderful Pentecost celebration!)
    But, let me ask you this, “Was Luther successful? Did he reform The Church?”
    You may sung Weslyan hymns( so do we) but the three forms of unity don’t include his Arminian doctrines.

    Don’t shoot the messenger. I care about you guys! So don’t be mean. Like you, I am just telling you what my faith teaches. I am happy where I am. Like MWF says, “If your happy were you are, then good for you!”

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  19. James,

    Ott is speaking of knowing with the certainty of faith absent special revelation – one’s personal salvation is not part of public revelation – that does not exclude a “high moral certainty” as he states in that same sentence.

    So the best you can get is that you are pretty sure you are justified but you can’t know whether or not you are in moral sin?

    Are you absolutely certain and sure you are not self-deceived in considering yourself elect and regenerate?

    I have dependent certainty as is appropriate to creatures that Christ will not reject any who come to Him in faith, even those in mortal sin. I don’t know how absolute certainty is possible for any creature about anything. It would seem to require omniscience.

    Given that the reprobate (per Calvin) can have experiences subjectively indistinguishable in their mind from the elect due to God’s evanescent grace and the inferior operations of the Holy Spirit coupled with his warning of the heart being an idol factory, some caution would seem to be in order.

    I’d have to read what Calvin actually says on this again, but my basic response without doing so is that Calvin can be wrong. Reformed theology doesn’t say that Calvin never erred.

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  20. Darryl,

    I said you, not them. This is not difficult. Arise’s lyrics written by a Wesleyan do not entail a contradiction of RC theology, any more than their lyrics entail a contradiction of Reformed theology. A methodist church singing that doesn’t all of a sudden believe in Calvinist perseverance, just as your church singing it and feeling warm fuzzies doesn’t all of a sudden mean they all embrace possible loss of salvation now. The sentiments and words are such that all 3 traditions can sing it, just as is the case with other hymns. On the other hand, the 2 papal-themed ones you also included obviously do not share the same breadth and inclusiveness – you might get stares in your church if you started singing them for flagrantly embracing convictions your forebears condemned.

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  21. Susan,

    This isn’t true, the church teaches how salvation is applied and of course faith is necessary. Faith is a supernatural gift, but one can spurn it. I did this for awhile, so I know. Usually it’s charity(agape) that is lost because of mortal sin. It’s akin to breaking marital union.
    In addition to faith though, there are sacraments given to us by Jesus, where additional grace is received. The highest is the Eucharistic feast where Jesus himself is received. In Corinth people died when they received Him unworthily( with mortal sin and not discerning His body and blood).

    But how do you know you aren’t in mortal sin? And how do you know you won’t commit a mortal sin and die immediately before you can repent? That would seem to be quite a frightful thing.

    So there are real dangers to our final salvation. Remember the warnings about wide roads that lead to destruction? What about warnings about the devil who prouls about seeking to devour? If you have faith but not charity, then Satan has taken you down, at least until you recognize your error( not loving God and giving him his due. The things creatures are supose to do and which the love of God makes possible) and repent and “go and sin no more”. Persevering, as it were.

    Even in Roman Catholicism, there is no real danger to our final salvation if we are elect. The difference is whether one can be temporarily saved or not. So that aside, what are the purposes of those warnings if the elect really can’t fall out of God’s grace? Seems to me the only answer is that it is by means of those warnings that God preserves us. Sounds awfully Calvinistic.

    All protestant denominations came from the one church, right?

    They all came from the Western Church, if that’s what you mean.

    You have so much agreement with her.

    Sure.

    Your liturgies are modeled on hers and most of mailine Protestantism uses The Roman Catholic Church’s daily readings.( Hope you had a wonderful Pentecost celebration!)

    I’m not sure about this. It’s true to some extent I would say.

    But, let me ask you this, “Was Luther successful? Did he reform The Church?”

    Yes.

    You may sung Weslyan hymns( so do we) but the three forms of unity don’t include his Arminian doctrines.

    Christian piety expressed in things such as hymns is often better than stated systematic beliefs. All Christians are Calvinists when they pray.

    Don’t shoot the messenger. I care about you guys! So don’t be mean. Like you, I am just telling you what my faith teaches. I am happy where I am. Like MWF says, “If your happy were you are, then good for you!”

    But Susan, the problem is that “If you’re happy where you are, then good for you!” was not an option extended to Luther. And it wasn’t really extended to the rest of the world until after the loss of the papal states and V2. That’s the disconnect.

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  22. @dgh

    b, sd, “laicity?” Seriously? What would the papacy be from 1790 to 1950 without ranting about the French Revolution?

    Obviously what it is today because *nuthin’* has changed…HA!

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  23. James Young, how do you know if you’re reconciled to God when you do know you’ll at least spend a long time in purgatory?

    THINK.

    Oh, wait. It’s a post-Vatican 2 world and popes pray with Muslims and RC’s sing about the assurance of faith.

    Doh!

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  24. Robert, “But how do you know you aren’t in mortal sin? And how do you know you won’t commit a mortal sin and die immediately before you can repent? That would seem to be quite a frightful thing.”

    Exactly.

    Modern RC’s have none of the angst of old RC’sm and all the swagger of Charles Wesley.

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  25. “Robert, “But how do you know you aren’t in mortal sin? And how do you know you won’t commit a mortal sin and die immediately before you can repent? That would seem to be quite a frightful thing.””

    Mortal sin is a thing. It means something and so with that knowledge comes the necessity of informing oneself what it is and how to avoid it. You can’t just throw out a biblical concept ( and traditional one) just because you don’t like it. That’s intellectually dishonest and not helpful.
    So you pull yourself closer to the table of truth and find out what to do with this knowledge. I know that this very night my soul could be required of me, so I seek to avoid it. That mostly means getting myself to confession and the Lord’s table right after. I could due in mortal sin, but that’s my own free will rejecting the grace given me and ultimately it’s rejecting the Holy Spirit who gives is all ( all people)sufficient grace.

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  26. Darryl,

    Not everyone heaven-bound is purgatory-bound. Those in purgatory are already reconciled to God. Those not reconciled to God are in hell.

    “RC’s sing about the assurance of faith.”

    Why is your OPC getting all squishy co-opting Wesleyan hymns and singing the same hymn as them about assurance of faith? For shame.

    Robert,

    “But how do you know you aren’t in mortal sin? And how do you know you won’t commit a mortal sin and die immediately before you can repent?”

    One knows they are in mortal sin or not by an examination of conscience. One of the requirements of mortal sin is full knowledge in consenting. One in a state of grace does not know they won’t die outside of a state of grace – one can have a high confidence and trust they won’t, but they do not presume they can’t or won’t lest they fall – that’s why the grace of perseverance is prayed for in a spirit of humility.

    How do you know you aren’t self-deceived right now due to evanescent grace and your idol-factory heart deluding you? How do you know you won’t ultimately show yourself to be self-deceived by apostasizing and dying before you repent, thus showing you were never elect to begin with?

    Here was Calvin:
    “experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption… Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed, as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and steadfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate…. Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.”

    “Let no one think that those fall away who were of the predestined, called according to the purpose and truly sons of the promise. For those who appear to live piously may be called sons of God; but since they will eventually live impiously and die in that impiety, God does not call them sons in His foreknowledge. There are sons of God who do not yet appear so to us, but now do so to God; and there are those who, on account of some arrogated or temporal grace, are called so by us, but are not so to God.”

    “those are deleted from the book of life who, considered for a time to be children of God, afterwards depart to their own place … For even the reprobate take root in appearance, and yet they are not planted by the hand of God.”

    So your assurance and confidence might be illusory and only apparent. That would seem to be quite a frightful thing.

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  27. Mortal sin is a thing.

    No it isn’t.

    It means something and so with that knowledge comes the necessity of informing oneself what it is and how to avoid it.

    The fact that a string of words means “something” does not entail the necessity of informing oneself what those string of words mean.

    You can’t just throw out a biblical concept ( and traditional one) just because you don’t like it. That’s intellectually dishonest and not helpful.

    Agreed, but I thought we were talking about the invention of the concept of mortal sin?

    So you pull yourself closer to the table of truth and find out what to do with this knowledge. I know that this very night my soul could be required of me, so I seek to avoid it. That mostly means getting myself to confession and the Lord’s table right after.

    Why does seeking to avoid a certain class of sin mean going to confession and the Lord’s table?

    I could due in mortal sin, but that’s my own free will rejecting the grace given me and ultimately it’s rejecting the Holy Spirit who gives is all ( all people)sufficient grace.

    Hmmm… But Jesus said that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him and that all those who the Father has given him will come to him. The first sounds like grace is irresistible. The second sounds like perseverance. As John also notes, those that bail were never in in the first place. While the bible is clear that not all sins are equal (and the reformed confessions aver), that does not entail the arbitrary boundary between the purported venial and mortal sins.

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  28. Sdb,

    I’m sure that Luther, Calvin and other early Reformed, understood the distinction between mortal and genial sins.
    There certainly is a biblical basis for it, and it is still recognized in Catholicism, so there is that continuity. Hmmm, I wonder if Judaism had those categories?

    Anyways, it is possible that Catholics are understanding scripture and tradition rightly in regards to the topic, right?

    “The Bible makes a clear distinction between mortal and venial sin: “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and He will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly” (1 Jn 5:16-17).

    Mortal sin is called “mortal” because it “kills” the life of grace in a Christian. Saint James speaks of saving a brother from mortal sin (Jas 5:19-20) and St. Paul notes that there are sins which, if unrepented, will prevent a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.”

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  29. James Young, “Why is your OPC getting all squishy co-opting Wesleyan hymns and singing the same hymn as them about assurance of faith? For shame.”

    Because we agree about justification and that Rome teaches a false gospel. Meanwhile, Roman Catholics sing hymns by Protestants who think Rome teaches a false gospel.

    Oh, what an intellectual tradition.

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  30. Susan, is eating a piece of fruit a mortal sin?

    Do you know you’ve confessed all your mortal sins? Do you know you’ve confessed them sincerely? If not, how do you know if God will graciously make up for your failure to confess, or failure to confess sincerely?

    You bet on the horse that condemns justification as antinomian. But you act like being saved by Rome’s teaching is no biggy. Odd that people who used to fear antinomian are antinomian about it.

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  31. @Susan
    I know the purported difference, but I reject the rc arguments. I don’t think you want to appeal to 1st John for support for a variety of reasons, but it does seem strange that we should not pray for those in mortal sin doesn’t it? That would entail believers could know whether fellow congregants where committing mortal sins and thus whether they should pray for them. But that would entail that you could divine the culpability of individuals…yikes! Perhaps Jesus, his brother, and John have something else in mind other than a binary schema of bad sins and not so bad sins. Perhaps Jesus meant it when he said that all that the Father gave to him would come and none would be lost.

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  32. Susan, you link to this as definitive?

    Only Presbyterians, Baptists, and those who have been influenced by these two sects reject the reality of mortal sin.

    Right, because Presbyterians believe that all sins are mortal. What about the Garden of Eden don’t you understand? UNDERSTAND!

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  33. I’m sure the TFU folks will be delighted to learn they were influenced by presbys and baptists. What a crackpot…

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  34. From Susan’s link: “The idea that one could never lose salvation would have been unimaginable to them since it was evident from the Bible that baptism saves, that the baptized can deny Christ “

    Susan – this is ‘logical’: it is evident from the Bible that Jesus saves; when He does, one is sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption; and water baptism graciously given us picturing our death and resurrection to new, eternal life in Christ…
    – Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
    -But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your enefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:3-23

    Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 2 Cor 1:21
    God – Father , Son, Spirit – cannot lie (Tit 1:2)

    ‘course, back to the link statement above, it is logical, if man decides the act of water baptism is the thing that ‘saves’, man has to have an out with a ‘lose salvation potential’ doctrine

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  35. Hi Darryl,

    Do all protestant denominations believe that everyone who was first in a state of grace will stay in a state of grace until their end? No they don’t. So that means some believe there is sin so severe it leads not to glorification. What about the article I linked isn’t true?
    If a person is walking this journey believing they are a Christian because of imputed righteousness, but they commit grave sins just like people who don’t claim Christian affiliation, or just like the bad examples in other Christian affiliations( bad Catholics, for example) then what makes his ontological position before God, superior?
    A person who sins gravely is a contradiction to Christ.
    Christians have a greater responsibility not to get drunk, commit sodomy( homo or hetero), murder, slander, steal, fornicate etc.
    How is this kind of faith not unlike the belief of the demons who know yet tremble? Faith without the fruit of faith is dead faith. Its faith, but it needs charity to be living.That’s a person who needs conversion.

    All sin is sin against God, but some sins kill grace, grieving the Holy Spirit.
    Sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven because it means that one spurned the grace given until it was too late. That’s why it is unpardonable.
    God makes these distinctions, right? Oherwise Paul wrote his warning to people in churches for no reason. We can’t be like those Jews who thought they were “in” because they were decendents of Abraham and had the Torah. We have to be like the Jews who believed Jesus was Messiah and died to give us the fullness of grace and participation in the divine life.

    Warnings are blessings.We can then examine ourselves and then be open to the grace( that always comes) to turn back in penance.

    But the main point of the link I have was to show early church fathers using the distinction of mortal and venial.

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  36. And of course, Susan, my brothers here would expect me to say the immersion example of baptism very beautifully presents this picture of ‘death and resurrection’

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  37. Susan: Warnings are blessings.

    and purposeful and used by the Lord, as is His whole word by the Spirit, which is why routinely editing them (or anything) out, ought make one angry

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  38. Ali, the Israelites were sprinkled at the Red Sea, the Egyptians were immersed. Noah’s family was sprinkled on the ark, everyone else on earth was immersed. Think about it.

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  39. Hi Ali,

    How are you?

    It should go without saying that I affirm the scripture you gave.
    We have been given the Holy Spirit, but we can and do grieve the third person of the Holy Trinity. So when we sin gravely, we lose not only our consolation( the law is written on our heart and so that we can know when we have offended God), but also our participation in the love that exists between the persons of the Holy Trinity.
    Scripture is clear that this happens.

    As Romans 6 says, we were made like him in his death( our baptism) and so we should look to that event as our new birth and remember that this is how we also received the Holy Spirit as a seal, and therefore not sin gravely( or venially), walking in newness of life.

    But scripture also warns us.

    ◄ Hebrews 6 ►

    1Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3And this we will do, if God permits. 4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”

    I’m not a skilled exegist, but I will take a stab at interpreting vs 6.
    They person can’t be rebaptized( as we know from The Creed) so that’s why it’s impossible to renew them again to repentance.
    The “rain” “ground” and “vegetation” analogy in vs. 7 would illustrate that a baptized person who is united to Christ can still bring forth thorns and thistles.
    We know what happens to those in the end.
    Let is press on then, working our our salvation 28th feat and trembling; making our calling and election sure.

    I’m done for today.

    Have a wonderful Thursday!

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  40. Susan says “Let is press on then, working our our salvation 28th feat and trembling; making our calling and election sure.”

    I’m done for today. Have a wonderful Thursday!

    You too Susan.
    And don’t forget to finish/not edit/not truncate that Philippians thought, and keeping think on it….
    for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Phil 2:13

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Warnings are blessings. Law is grace. The gospel is a command. Faith is a work. Sunshine is grace. People resist sunshine. Sunshine helps you believe the command but it doesn’t get the job done unless you do your part with the sunshine you are given (whether it’s from God, Mary, Grandma, Eucharist, Baptism, the shroud of Turin, the Jim Caviezel toast, following the right twitter accounts, or just some of that good ol’ goodness left over from the before the fall).

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  42. Susan, one sin required grace. After the fall, the only way out of sin and misery is by God’s grace.

    The problem with Rome is that you don’t take the fall seriously. Pelagian, semi-Pelagian, doesn’t really matter. You want incentives for people to be good. That’s what all aspirants to Christian society want. To say that goodness only comes from grace is to end a Christian society endeavor.

    Can you say Augustinian? Sure you can’t.

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  43. Cdubs can change his Most Interesting Presby in the world tagline now. It will be a tight race though between “stay trans” and “stay woke”

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  44. Susan,

    As Romans 6 says, we were made like him in his death( our baptism) and so we should look to that event as our new birth and remember that this is how we also received the Holy Spirit as a seal, and therefore not sin gravely( or venially), walking in newness of life.

    That assumes baptism works automatically, which even Rome denies in some cases.

    They person can’t be rebaptized( as we know from The Creed) so that’s why it’s impossible to renew them again to repentance.

    A Creed written three hundred years later is how we know the author to Hebrews believes we can’t be rebaptized??????? Better to point to Ephesians.

    The “rain” “ground” and “vegetation” analogy in vs. 7 would illustrate that a baptized person who is united to Christ can still bring forth thorns and thistles.

    Or it could illustrate that the ground is determinative and that rain can’t change the nature of the ground automatically (there goes ex opere operato). Or the analogy could have absolutely nothing to do with baptism.

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  45. Robert,

    “A Creed written three hundred years later is how we know the author to Hebrews believes we can’t be rebaptized???????”

    You know fully well that no one believes that the creed is informing Hebrews.

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  46. Robert,

    “That assumes baptism works automatically, which even Rome denies in some cases.”

    Some Catholics deny it, or there are some cases where it is efficacious and some where it isn’t?

    It’s for something and not for nothing, right?

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  47. Robert,

    “Or it could illustrate that the ground is determinative and that rain can’t change the nature of the ground automatically (there goes ex opere operato).”

    The analogy comes immediately after this:

    4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come

    Sounds to me that the rain was received and did affect the ground( “enlightened”, “partners”).
    No matter though, for the purpose of our discussion whether it’s talking about baptism, because it is speaking about the case in which people, who were living in the light of grace, threw it away and cannot be brought again to repentance.

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  48. Darryl,

    “You want incentives for people to be good. ”

    Love of God is a sensible incentive and fear of hell is also not ridiculous considering it exists.
    There are clearly warnings in scripture, but we like to think they don’t apply to us but rather the other guy. Why do you think that Jesus and the apostles gave us warnings?

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  49. Susan, but gratitude is biblical and therefore superior. Among other things, tt does wonders for squashing self-righteousness. How does your system compete on that score?

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  50. Susan, asked just like Charles Finney. If Jesus warned, then we must be able to do what he warns against.

    But then why did Jesus also give us Scripture that says we are lost in sin, dead to God, incapable of pleasing God apart from grace.

    You do a good impersonation of Pelagius.

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  51. Darryl,

    “Because we agree [with Wesleyans] about justification”

    The OPC agrees justification can be lost? But “assurance” in the OPC precludes that. And yet you get warm fuzzies singing a Wesleyan hymn about assurance of faith.
    Alternatively, you can just acknowledge all 3 traditions can sing that same hymn because the wording is such that all 3 can view it as orthodox and spiritually edifying.

    Zrim,

    “How does your system compete on that score?”

    Hmm. https://catholicevidence.com/2016/01/07/the-saints-on-humility/

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  52. Zrim,

    The very office of pope being incompatible with humility is not self-evident to me (nor to the saints quoted who apparently didn’t see the disconnect between the two in the church they adhered to). If you’d like to also argue the office of prophet and apostle were incompatible with humility or fostered self-righteousness (given they made even grander claims than any pope), I might see where you were coming from. But you won’t, so I don’t.

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  53. CVD,

    Maybe if the pope would leave Vatican City, donate all the art to the Italian people, and move to a country parish as the seat of his bishopric it would be easier to see how the very office of pope is compatible with humility. Faux humility like Francis likes to showboat isn’t convincing, and the history of the papacy at least after Gregory the Great isn’t either.

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  54. Susan,

    If the pope is so essential, why link to an article that criticizes him for failing at his job?

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  55. James Young, development of doctrine. Works for you.

    Actually, my point stands:

    Article IX — Of the Justification of Man
    We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.

    Article X — Of Good Works
    Although good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit.

    Article XI — Of Works of Supererogation
    Voluntary works—besides, over and above God’s commandments—which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ saith plainly: When you have done all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.

    You simply try to make Protestants look bad so that you can deny what Roman Catholicism has become.

    Looks like more time in purgatory for you.

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  56. Robert,

    The office of the Pope is essential, because a that’s the kind of order that Jesus established. The home( domestic church) is like it. The church certainly isn’t a democracy.

    But Christian Browne is wrong to criticize where a criticism isn’t warranted. There was no need to employ the example that he did, because Pope Francis wasn’t ambiguous at all about what the gospel includes( Read it, it’s beautiful). Pope Francis’s point is that the Gospel message is a continual call to conversion. That’s “good news” to me.

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  57. Susan: …because [Heb 6] is speaking about the case in which people, who were living in the light of grace, threw it away and cannot be brought again to repentance.

    So if this passage truly were talking about people who are genuinely justified, then lost that justification, then we would have to conclude that such people cannot be brought again to repentance.

    No sacrament of penance. No return from a mortal sin. Once damned, always damned.

    I think we both agree that such an interpretation is impossible; hence, it is impossible that Heb 6 is talking about loss of genuine justification.

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  58. Zrim,

    Did prophets and the apostles make grander claims than the popes do? I guess Christ also wasn’t very humble.

    Robert,

    “Faux humility like Francis likes to showboat isn’t convincing, and the history of the papacy at least after Gregory the Great isn’t either.”

    According to Zrim, the office inherently fosters pride and self-righteousness. So every pope from history exhibits faux humility, not just Francis or Gregory.

    “donate all the art to the Italian people”

    Seriously? We’re grabbing college liberal “liquidate the Vatican and make st peters a soup kitchen!” arguments? Come on now. The art is open for and to all the world to enjoy.

    Darryl,

    “my point stands”

    You left out this from the same site – http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/do-united-methodists-believe-once-saved-always-saved
    So, bad form on co-opting a Wesleyan hymn about assurance of faith. Alternatively, you can just acknowledge all 3 traditions can sing that same hymn because the wording is such that all 3 can view it as orthodox and spiritually edifying.

    “You simply try to make Protestants look bad ”

    No, I just try to make bad arguments look bad. This is rich from the daily poster of “look at stupid RCism!” articles. You don’t have to spend half of your time trying to make RCs look bad ya know. Or neo-cals and anti-2kers. Or evangelicals. Or Keller and Jones and pastor-of-the-week-in-your-craw. Or culture warriors. Hmm, I sense a pattern.

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  59. cw l’unificateur says:Ali, you make inferences but the Greek does not necessarily support immersion.

    Entry for Strong’s #907 – βαπτίζω
    1. to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
    2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe
    3. to overwhelm

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  60. I’d disagree there. Methodists don’t believe in Once Saved Always Saved, but they do believed in Saved, Fully, Right Now. Hence the joyful hymns of assurance. Hence the mutual admiration of Wesley and Whitfield. Hence the “Are You Born Again?” Qs.
    Roman Catholics sound like they believe in Redeemed Like All Humanity, Given My Baptismal Injection of Grace Which Is Mine To Lose, and Working on My Salvation So Will Probably Be in Heaven Like All Good Pagans Regardless. If I can roguish synthesize pre- and post-conciliar theologies. Here is Avery Dulles:
    “Who, then, can be saved? Catholics can be saved if they believe the Word of God as taught by the Church and if they obey the commandments. Other Christians can be saved if they submit their lives to Christ and join the community where they think he wills to be found. Jews can be saved if they look forward in hope to the Messiah and try to ascertain whether God’s promise has been fulfilled. Adherents of other religions can be saved if, with the help of grace, they sincerely seek God and strive to do his will. Even atheists can be saved if they worship God under some other name and place their lives at the service of truth and justice. God’s saving grace, channeled through Christ the one Mediator, leaves no one unassisted. But that same grace brings obligations to all who receive it. They must not receive the grace of God in vain. Much will be demanded of those to whom much is given.”

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  61. “Methodists don’t believe in Once Saved Always Saved, but they do believed in Saved, Fully, Right Now. Hence the joyful hymns of assurance. ”

    Um, well, yeah. A Catholic in a state of grace is “saved, fully, right now”. So thanks for proving the point. From your lips to Darryl’s ears.

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  62. ” Hmm, I sense a pattern.”
    Yep. The fall ruined everything and it all sucks…especially the anti-2krs. Of course the pope favors laicity, so he doesn’t suck as much as he could. But then holding out Lebanon out as a model Christian/Muslim relations may suggest he sucks after all. Jesuits…. Fortunately it will all burn and we’ll get a new heaven and earth sans sin.

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  63. James Young, so you mean when I find stuff at National Catholic Reporter that’s not in the RC Catechism or from one of the popes then it’s still Roman Catholic? Or you mean that popes praying with Hindus and Muslims is like authentic Roman Catholicism?

    And you talk of bad form. Psshaw.

    I know, if you can’t defend the church, put Protestants down (and spend even more decades in purgatory).

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  64. Jeff,

    Well, I was wrong. So much for trying to interpret alone! Ha!

    This is Chrysostom.
    Hebrews 6:7-8

    For the Earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God. But if it bear thorns and briars it is rejected, and near unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.

    1. Let us hear the oracles of God with fear, with fear and much trembling. For (it is said) Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling. Psalm 2:11 But if even our joy and our exultation ought to be with trembling, of what punishment are we not worthy, if we listen not with terror to what is said, when the things spoken, as now, are themselves fearful?

    For having said that it is impossible for those who have fallen away
    to be baptized a second time, and to receive remission through te laver, and having pointed out the awfulness of the case, he goes on: for the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God. But if it bear thorns and thistles, it is rejected, and near unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

    Let us then fear, beloved! This threat is not Paul’s, these words are not of man: they are of the Holy Ghost, of Christ that speaks in him. Is there then any one that is clear from these thorns? And even if we were clear, not even so ought we to be confident, but to fear and tremble lest at any time thorns should spring up in us. But when we are thorns and thistles through and through, whence (tell me) are we confident? And are becoming supine? What is it which makes us inert? If he that thinks he stands ought to fear lest he fall; for (he says) Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall 1 Corinthians 10:12; he that falls, how anxious ought he to be that he may rise up again! If Paul fears, lest that by any means, when he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway 1 Corinthians 9:27; and he who had been so approved is afraid lest he should become disapproved: what pardon shall we have who are already disapproved, if we have no fear, but fulfill our Christianity as a custom, and for form’s sake. Let us then fear, beloved: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. Romans 1:18 Let us fear, for it is revealed not against impiety only, but against all unrighteousness. What is against all unrighteousness? [Against all] both small and great.

    2. In this passage he intimates the lovingkindness of God towards man: and the teaching [of the Gospel] he calls rain: and what he said above, when for the time ye ought to be teachers Hebrews 5:12, this he says here also. Indeed in many places the Scripture calls the teaching rain. For (it says) I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it Isaiah 5:6, speaking of the vineyard. The same which in another place it calls a famine of bread, and a thirst of water. Amos 8:11 And again, The river of God is full of waters. Psalm 65:9

    For land, he says, which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it. Here he shows that they received and drank in the word, yea and often enjoyed this, and yet even so they were not profited. For if (he means) you had not been tilled, if you had enjoyed no rains, the evil would not have been so great. For (it is said) If I had not come and spoken unto them they had not had sin. John 15:22 But if you have often drunk and received [nourishment], wherefore have you brought forth other things instead of fruits? For (it is said) I waited that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth thorns. Isaiah 5:2

    You see that everywhere the Scripture calls sins thorns. For David also says, I was turned into mourning when a thorn was fixed in me. Psalm 32:4, so Septuagint For it does not simply come on us, but is fixed in; and even if but a little of it remain in, even if we take it not out entirely, that little of itself in like manner causes pain, as in the case of a thorn. And why do I say, ‘that little of itself’? Even after it has been taken out, it leaves therein for a long time the pain of the wound. And much care and treatment is necessary, that we may be perfectly freed from it. For it is not enough merely to take away the sin, it is necessary also to heal the wounded place.

    But I fear however lest the things said apply to us more than to others. For, he says, the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it. We are ever drinking, ever hearing, but when the sun is risen Matthew 13:6 we straightway lose our moisture, and therefore bring forth thorns. What then are the thorns? Let us hear Christ saying, that the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22

    3. For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, he says, and brings forth meet herbs. Because nothing is so meet as purity of life, nothing so suitable as the best life, nothing so meet as virtue.

    And brings forth (says he) herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God. Here he says that God is the cause of all things, giving the heathen a blow, who ascribed the production of fruits to the power of the earth. For (he says) it is not the hands of the husbandman which stir up the earth to bear fruits, but the command from God. Therefore he says, receives blessing from God.

    And see how in speaking of the thorns, he said not, bringing forth thorns, nor did he use this word expressive of what is useful; but what? Bearing [literally putting out] thorns, as if one should say, forcing out, throwing out.

    Rejected (he says) and near unto cursing. Oh! How great consolation in this word! For he said near unto cursing, not a curse. Now he that has not yet fallen into a curse, but has come to be near [thereto], may also come to be far off [therefrom].

    And not by this only did he encourage them, but also by what follows. For he did not say rejected and near unto cursing, which shall be burned, but what? Whose end is to be burned, if he continue [such] (he means) unto the end. So that, if we cut out and burn the thorns, we shall be able to enjoy those good things innumerable and to become approved, and to partake of blessing.

    And with good reason did he call sin a thistle, saying that which bears thorns and thistles; for on whatever side you lay hold on it, it wounds and stings, and it is unpleasant even to look at.

    4. Having therefore sufficiently rebuked them, and alarmed and wounded them, he in turn heals them, so as not to cast them down too much, and make them supine. For he that strikes one that is dull, makes him more dull. So then he neither flatters them throughout, lest he should make them supine, nor does he wound them throughout, but having inserted a little to wound them, he applies much to heal in what follows.

    For what does he say? We speak not these things, as having condemned you, nor as thinking you to be full of thorns, but fearing lest this should come to pass. For it is better to terrify you by words, that you may not suffer by the realities. And this is specially of Paul’s wisdom.

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  65. Jeff,

    Wait. Stop the presses! I missed it because I’m reading from such a small screen.
    “For having said that it is impossible for those who have fallen away
    to be baptized a second time, and to receive remission through te laver, and having pointed out the awfulness of the case, he goes on: for the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God. But if it bear thorns and thistles, it is rejected, and near unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

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  66. cw l’unificateur says: Ali, Strong’s — wow, you brought out the heavy scholarship. Well done.

    anyway, and nonetheless, brother, cw, not to detract (too much) from our unity of ‘one baptism’ –
    the same testimony of our great salvation by the mercy, grace, power, will of our God- Father, Son, Spirit-
    for this unity was the Lord’s great desire and prayer (John 17:21) and He always gets what He prays for, in the will of the Father, by the Spirit.

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  67. Susan: If Paul fears, lest that by any means, when he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway 1 Corinthians 9:27

    not castaway, Susan, disqualified – watching his doctrine and life – good warning
    but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Cor 9:27

    And re your: Matthew 13 reference: – good soil WILL produce good fruit, just as every good tree WILL bear good fruit. Incredible gift and promise. Who are we.

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  68. Jeff,

    Good catch on Hebrews 6. The ironic thing is that any tradition that believes you can lose salvation must, if they point to that text as proof, believe that it can’t be received again.

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  69. Did prophets and the apostles make grander claims than the popes do? I guess Christ also wasn’t very humble.

    CvD, but if popes are apostles then why smaller claims than the rest of their alleged class? As I’ve wondered before, if so inspired and infallible where are books like Revelation 2 or Francis 1 & 2?

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  70. Zrim,

    So popes make smaller claims than prophets, apostles, and Christ. But the office of the pope and its claims inherently precludes humility and necessitates and engenders self-righteousness. So prophets, apostles, and Christ weren’t humble yes?

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  71. Clete,

    Maybe you can show us where Christ, the Apostles, or the Prophets built palaces for themselves and other such things. I mean, what do you want us to say, That it is possible in some possible reality for the papal office not to lead to arrogance? And who gets to correct the pope for his arrogance when he can just whip out the “I’m infallible, you shut up” card. Oh wait, the pope would NEVER do that because the pope said he can’t. What?

    At least Peter had someone of equal rank to correct him.

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  72. Robert,

    “I mean, what do you want us to say, That it is possible in some possible reality for the papal office not to lead to arrogance?”

    “this reality” would do just fine. Zrim won’t even say that. “CvD, but when humility would entail refusing the very office of pope, the pontificating on humility rings hollow.” So every pope in history has engaged in faux humility, even those who didn’t have palaces built – the papal claims are not “popes must build palaces” so the reasoning behind the charges of faux humility inherently tied to the office lie elsewhere.

    “And who gets to correct the pope for his arrogance”

    So Christ, the apostles, and prophets were arrogant when giving binding infallible teaching.

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  73. Clete,

    So Christ, the apostles, and prophets were arrogant when giving binding infallible teaching.

    At this point I’m not even talking about the idea of papal infallibility. The idea that the pope should have a palace and armies of his own is enough to point out the arrogance of the office. In theory, papal infallibility could be true if there were actual evidence for it and it be compatible with humility. But since there is no grounding for it in Scripture or in divine inspiration, which is denied, it’s really not an issue worth considering. Even most RCs don’t buy it anymore.

    Though, I bet those popes thought they were infallible when they were running roughshod over Western Europe. How would one living in that day ever know that the pope wasn’t infallible at those points, especially since no doctrine of infallibility had yet been worked out? But cross the pope and off with your head. Sounds like he was pretty convinced he was darn-near infallible.

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  74. Robert,

    “At this point I’m not even talking about the idea of papal infallibility”

    So papal infallibility is not the claim which entails the office lacks humility.

    “The idea that the pope should have a palace and armies of his own is enough to point out the arrogance of the office.”

    And since not all popes in history have had palaces and armies of their own, that must mean palaces and armies are not part of the claim or issue that entails the office inherently lacks humility.

    “In theory, papal infallibility could be true if there were actual evidence for it and it be compatible with humility.”

    Great. So your previous point about “who gets to correct the pope for his arrogance” was not germane to the question of self-righteousness and faux humility inherently tied to the office as Zrim asserts.

    If Zrim and you want to say popes can be arrogant and self-righteous and that some have been in the past, there’s no dispute. Zrim is saying more than that though.

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  75. So popes make smaller claims than prophets, apostles, and Christ. But the office of the pope and its claims inherently precludes humility and necessitates and engenders self-righteousness. So prophets, apostles, and Christ weren’t humble yes?

    CvD, no. Popes make claims of being the vicar of Christ on earth and to speak infallibly (not humble). Yet they don’t produce evidence of infallibility, such as a canonical book or performing miracles (inconsistent). Jesus and the apostles did, which doesn’t make them arrogant but both divinely appointed and consistent in their claims.

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  76. So papal infallibility is not the claim which entails the office lacks humility.

    Maybe, maybe not… but there is this…

    Through the centuries, the Fisherman’s Ring came to be known for its feudal symbolism. Borrowing from the traditions developed by medieval monarchs, followers showed respect to the reigning Pope, who was considered “the emperor of the world”, by kneeling at his feet and kissing the Fisherman’s Ring.

    Humility indeed – emperor of the world? All that being said, it is pretty hard to fault the current pope on this front. I mean, he adopted the name Francis after all!

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  77. CVD,

    And since not all popes in history have had palaces and armies of their own, that must mean palaces and armies are not part of the claim or issue that entails the office inherently lacks humility.

    Did the popes who had palaces and armies think that they were infallibly correct to possess such palaces and armies? Yes. Did the people living under them have any reason to think they were not being infallible when they made claims like “emperor of the world.” No. Do we today? I guess, although the pope still has a palace and still has an army. Not much for conquering though.

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  78. Zrim,

    Yet they don’t produce evidence of infallibility, such as a canonical book or performing miracles (inconsistent).

    Be fair. There is that story of that person who one time prayed to JP2 (and many others of course), and something that looked sorta like an unexplained healing took place. And then Francis held that relic, I think in Mexico, and the hardened blood partially sorta liquified. Don’t you remember when Jesus and the Apostles did miracles like that?

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  79. Robert, must be the same way “shamma-lamma-hamma!” really means something to someone somewhere. I must not be spiritual enough.

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  80. Zrim,

    “Popes make claims of being the vicar of Christ on earth and to speak infallibly (not humble).”

    So Christ, apostles, and prophets were not humble when speaking infallibly. Prophets and apostles made claims to inspiration and new revelation. Christ made even grander claims. Popes make smaller claims. Yet the office is inherently arrogant.

    “Yet they don’t produce evidence of infallibility”

    How would you distinguish the evidence you seek for infallibility from evidence you would seek for ongoing revelation?
    Okay, so if the papal claims are true, popes and the office are not inherently arrogant. If the papal claims are false, they are. So your statement that “when humility would entail refusing the very office of pope, the pontificating on humility rings hollow” presupposes the office of the pope is a false one. Humility reflects the right estimate of ourselves as God sees us – so if the papal office and claims are true, the quotations provided concerning humility in RC spirituality are perfectly compatible with it, rather than ringing hollow.

    sdb,

    So the office does not entail being honored as “emperor of the world”. So the self righteousness and faux humility inherent to the office must lie elsewhere outside of that, papal armies and palaces, and claims to infallibility.

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  81. @cvd Take it up with the popes who disagreed. The assumption of temporal power is not humble. When pastors speak beyond what scripture prescribes (whether diatribes about r-rated movies or letters about climate change), they are not acting humbly. Insofar as an office provides a pastor the authority to speak on matters that extend beyond scripture and bind the consciences of his flick, the office is antithetical to humility.

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  82. James Young, “So Christ, apostles, and prophets were not humble when speaking infallibly.”

    Wait. I thought we only knew Christ and the apostles spoke infallibly because the church said so infallibly. Now the Bible is infallible apart from the church? Welcome to Protestantism.

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  83. CvD, right, because popes aren’t divinely inspired prophets and apostles. They’re just men appointed by other men. So what gives with all the vicar of Christ for whom it is impossible to be wrong jazz? Arrogance, that’s what.

    But you’re right, if the papal claims are true then everything else follows. But they aren’t so they don’t. And can one imagine Peter or Paul receiving the adoring fans the way Francis did when coming to America? Holy heavens. But when you sing hymns to the pope, is it any wonder? Humility indeed.

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