White on “Roman” Catholicism (continued)…
Below I have captured White’s blog, which I will put into boxes and then offer my responses to what he says.
11/01/2009 – James White
In a comment left on James Swan’s blog (and then removed, I might add), Frank Beckwith noted:
As if the Council of Trent (we won’t revisit Dr. Beckwith’s comments on Trent in his interview with Greg Koukl) would have done what it did without the Reformation as its background! I’m sure there were plenty of folks in Rome who wanted to keep the money spigot on “full blast” with the sale of indulgences, but that troubling German monk really messed that up. I wonder if the “reformation” of indulgences would have happened without the Reformers?
Was there abuse going on regarding the “sale” of indulgences? Yes. Was this “reformed” by the Church? Yes. So, if this were the only issue Luther had, then why did he remain outside the Church after this “reform” within the Church? The obvious answer is there was far more to it than just a complaint about indulgences. The deeper matter was political and coupled with the fact that Luther was being “used” by the German princes in stirring the Peasants War in their effort to seize Church property and, by force, make Lutheranism the “Church of State” to exercise their will, fully, in Germany. Lutheranism then spread like Communism did in the 20th century.
|But again, we cannot be overly surprised at such a comment. Dr. Beckwith has returned to Rome, and we would not expect him to see the Reformation as a time when the light of the Gospel broke through the encrustations of Roman tradition.|
No, Dr. Beckwith and I would both see this time Protestants call the “Reformation” to be a time when a “different gospel” was invented and preached. It was a time when men (often princes) were dressed in sheeps clothing, but inwardly were ravenous wolves who were able to fool many, even the elect, into following these previously unheard of “gospels” of sola fide, sola scriptura, etc.
|But as we have pointed out many times, it does not seem that Dr. Beckwith ever viewed Rome’s gospel as non-saving and actually false.|
“Rome’s Gospel” is fundamentally found in John 3:16. If you believe and are baptized then you will not perish, but will have everlasting life in Christ Jesus. There’s more to believing and faith than mere lip-service or a praying of the “sinners prayer.” Believing is LIVING the life of FAITH. It is a faith with works which justifies – for faith alone is dead and cannot save.
|He (Dr. Beckwith) continued:
Well, there you go. The real problem is not that Rome herself does not use terms like “Roman church” all the time, as she self-evidently does. It is that Dr. Beckwith can read the hearts of others and decide that when they speak of the Roman Church they do so out of “condescension and derision.” It matters not if we explain that we believe it is necessary to be specific, as long as we do not grant to Rome her own claims to represent Christ, we are precluded from using the language she herself uses. I’m glad we have gotten that straight.
Well, one can see that the likely reason Dr. Beckwith pulled that comment was that he likely did not want to get into a discussion about “n**ger” – which, though it IS a valid comparison, can be an inflammatory one. I am not aware of fellow Catholics actually “using” the terms “Papist” and “Romanist” in some fraternal way – other than I have witnessed some friends use the terms in a satirical way or perhaps in such a manner as to embrace the insult. The fact remains that typically when non-Catholics use terms like “Romanist,” “Papist” or “Romish,” and even at times even just “Roman,” the context exposes their, shall we say… less than charitable usage. What we see White doing through all this is rationalizing his way (and the ways of others) so they don’t feel less-than-Christian in deliberately insulting Catholics.
On the same day, White also posted this to his blog:
|So I was directed to a blog article written by one of the first Roman Catholics I engaged, years and years ago (late 1980s), on the subject of Rome’s claims. For many years I tried to correct Mr. Windsor’s misapprehensions and confusion, to no avail (though, in retrospect, I learned a lot myself, which may have been God’s purpose in the extended correspondence and contact).|
For many years I tried to correct White’s misapprehensions and confusion, to no avail (though, in retrospect, I learned a lot myself, which was, IMHO, God’s purpose in leading me to contact him and challenge myself in my new found faith). I have been able to answer to every single challenge White put before me, and have answered those challenges – White cannot say the same for he has left several challenges and exposed errors unanswered.
He continues to miss the essence of my points. He writes,
I never said there was no communion with those bishops, of course. I said that it is not communion with those bishops that defines the teachings of the Roman church, as seen with such clarity above. You will not find any dogmatic teachings of Rome that speak of the bishop of Milwaukee in the terms seen above.
St. Ignatius, 3rd successor to St. Peter at Antioch says it best:
Who can add to that? It is the bishop who approves what the priests and deacons do, and let nothing touching the Church be apart from the bishop. Those are some pretty strong words supporting the Catholic Church and from, as I said, St. Peter’s 3rd successor at Antioch who was also a direct disciple under St. John the Apostle.
|Mr. Windsor goes on with a number of oft-refuted arguments in support of the papacy (anyone who has watched any of the debates we have done on the papacy over the past 15 years knows how to respond to each of these simple arguments).|
Well, first a correction – it’s been more than 20 years! I guess White can explain that “over the past 15 years” does not necessarily exclude the previous 5 years – only that he was focusing on the past 15 years, minor point – let’s move on. Secondly, if they were so simple, why not refute them quickly again? I posit that last response was a cop-out. Further, what has White to say about the quote from St. Ignatius? Who is White’s bishop? Where’s the “apostolic” succession – or has White merely followed impostors who were able to fool, even the elect?