Skip to comments.In unusual video, pope speaks of his longing for Christian unity (with Evangelicals)
Posted on 02/20/2014 11:57:12 AM PST by NYer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an unusual video message, recorded on an iPhone by a Pentecostal pastor Pope Francis knew in Argentina, the pope says all Christians share blame for their divisions, speaks of his "longing" for their unity and insists that God will bring the miracle of Christian unity to completion.
"Pray to the Lord that he will unite us all," the pope tells a group of Pentecostals meeting in the United States. "Let's move forward, we are brothers; let us give each other that spiritual embrace and allow the Lord to complete the work he has begun. Because this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun."
Screen grab of Pope Francis interview shown to a group of Pentecostals in the United States. (CNS photo)
I don’t disagree with anything he said.
For the night is coming when no man can work.
Translation: Let's follow emotions rather than having a honest debate on objective truth in God's Word.
So, is the Pope proposing to initiate communion or full communion with a church that ordains women as deacons and priests?
Christian unity is also important so as to repel their common enemy — Islam.
The infamous Rodney King solution to every problem: “Can’t we all just get along?” And the answer is always,”No, unless you give in to me.”
As an Evangelical, I am honestly confused about why the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification has not resulted in more unity. It seems that the 14 year old news that we agree on the basics of the gospel has not filtered down to the masses.
My active practicing Catholic relatives do not seem to believe that salvation is “by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.” And unfortunately, many of my Evangelical friends do not believe Catholics can be Christians, because they think Catholicism teaches a works based salvation.
I’d be interested in knowing what the Catholic FReepers think. I came to Christ primarily because my Catholic mother-in-law prayed for me to accept Christ as my Savior for over 10 years. I am convinced she is in heaven today because of her faith. She wept with joy the day my husband and I told her we had accepted Christ and had become active in and Evangelical church.
As a Presbyterian I can agree with him. The world is against the Christian faith and we must stand together for our belief in Christ although each faith may do things differently. Christ said, ‘love one another’.
I seem to remember this was agreed upon at the meeting, but higher headquarters in Rome said no dice.
Plus the RC on FR seem to disagree with this statement.
We want unity too, but that doesn't mean I am unifying with a group that denies that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone.
Remember the ultimate goal of ecumenism: Pope
Ecumenism is Not Compromise, Pope Says
Pope says uniting Christianity requires conversion
No Salvation Outside the Church
The Necessity of Being Catholic (Ecumenical Caucus)
Can Non-Catholics Be Saved?
The Great Heresies [Open]
Why Can't Protestants Take Communion in a Catholic Church
(Audio) My Advice to Catholic Parents: Don't Let Your Kids Date Non-Catholics
Late one night, the Pope awoke to a vision from God —
God: “I am sorely displeased that my children have not heeded my voice and are violently divided from each other, rather than united in truth and love. The Good News is that I am creating a new dispensation in which all men shall be united as members of one faith.”
Pope: “Oh! Praise! Lord, that IS good news!”
God: “The Bad News is, I’m calling you from Salt Lake City.”
If it was nixed, I presume it was for a different reason, as the Church has affirmed salvation by grace alone since the second synod of Orange.
Not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Here, in Latin America and elsewhere, the evangelical and Pentecostal movements are too big, with too many former members in their flock, for the Church to ignore.
With the upcoming Easter this year being shared by all the Christian Churches, this could be a true blessing in itself.
Correction: debate begins with God's Word.
.....And much more so, the enemy.
There are certainly areas where we can work together. But that pope might have looked like a foot washing Baptist for a little bit, but he just called us to go to confession. That Pope’s Catholic!
God’s Word is not debatable. You may debate the hermeneutics involved, because that is how doctrine is flushed out.
No baptism...No Eucharist...No sacraments...Grace by faith without works...
I don't think the Catholics agreed to this...
Someone please pass the Vatican II false ecumenism barf bag.
I love my Catholic friends, but how can we get past the Council of Trent?
AFAIK, that body of Catholic authorities declared all Protestants heretics and that declaration never been rescinded.
Not gonna pick a fight, and we MUST hold hands together against the fascists, but neither can we ignore the gaps in our theological divide. :)
No, that's where it ends. If the results of the debate are in conflict with God's Word, either do it over or submit.
Sorry Franky, you can keep your touchy-feely religion to yourself, and I’ll stick with the scripture.
-— Id be interested in knowing what the Catholic FReepers think -—
I appreciate the offer and spirit.
Yes, the Joint Declaration should be widely hailed and known.
Sadly, many Catholics are ignorant of their faith, as are many Protestants. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the standard reference for Catholic doctrine. For the academically inclined, I highly recommend Ludwig Ott’s, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. It explains the levels of Church teaching.
While I’ve met ignorant Catholics and Protestants, I’ve met great, apparent saints, too, including a Baptist minister who was a foster parent to 20 children.
Regarding Christian unity, we should all pray for it, as Christ commanded.
Regarding the truths of faith and ecumenism, we must not gloss over our differences. This is false ecumenism. OTOH, we should recognize our commonly held beliefs, and work forward from that basis.
Even if the rotten fruits of this "longing" are a diminution of the Mother of God and of the Papacy? De-emphasizing Catholic teachings in order to gain the approval of non-Catholics who find Church teachings repugnant smacks of a bait and switch strategy toward ecumenism (unless the ultimate objective actually is to incrementally alter Church teachings in order to promote convergence toward a more generally acceptable pan-Christian creed).
Meanwhile, the scandalous disunity among the shepherds (under the guise of collegiality) is relentlessly ignored.
“It is better to be divided by truth than united in error.”
—Dr. Adrian Rogers
Unless and until Rome accepts the biblical gospel, separation from Rome is the only choice for believers. Indeed, it’s demanded by Scripture.
The Reformer’s Separation from Rome
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
**”Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over,” Palmer told his audience. “Is yours?”
**Great line for some posters on FR!
It isn't, for anyone that understands the objection. Palmer obviously doesn't. The reason the JDDJ isn't being touted, is that it didn't solve or reconcile anything. Catholics and Lib lutherans met, came up with a document, THEN had a Catholic and Protestant theologian write an exegesis of scripture to support it. Catholics and the LLs declared victory and left to laud the 'agreement'.
Thank you for posting this fantastically excellent report. It is something I’ve had a longing for since I was in my teens.
I had not heard about: “the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The agreement recognized that “by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.””
And what I have favored here that we need to unite in our following Jesus, our Savior.
Two words: Mortalium Animos.
There is more Bible in the Catholic Church at any one Mass (daily or Sunday) than at most Protestant churches at their Sunday service. And it’s all about Jesus.
I am a former Protestant. I often wonder how many of the anti-Catholics here have actually ever been to a Mass or read the Catechism.
Which has nothing to do with my post.
The Roman Jesus is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Jesus Christ of the Bible saves and He saves completely. He made one substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of His people and finished His work on the cross. We can’t add our filthy sinful works to His perfect work and expect salvation, for then grace would not be grace, it would be a wage. And we know the wages of sin is death!
To be accepted before the thrice holy God we must be perfect. Our only hope is to stand in the court of heaven clad in Christ’s spotless robes of righteousness. I know my sin debt was imputed to Him while His perfect righteousness was imputed to my account. Even though I have no righteousness of my own to offer, I know I am counted as righteous as He is. What an amazing truth! What grace!
I suggest the following links to my Protestant brethren. It’s vital to remember why the Reformation was biblical and necessary. We are still reaping the benefits of what those godly men did. Don’t fall for Rome’s Vatican II repackaging. Her doctrine is more aberrant than it was in the days of Luther, Knox, Calvin, and Zwingli.
I suggest the following links to Catholics as well. At a minimum it would be worthwhile to understand why we see the mass as unbiblical blasphemy.
Repudiating the Blasphemous Idolatry of the Roman Mass
Why Christians should not attend the Roman Catholic mass
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)
Furthermore, despite all the hoo-ha about how the liberal Vatican II recognized the validity of the Jewish covenant with G-d, Catholic apologeticists still make a punching bag out of Fundamentalist devotion to the significance of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land. I'm afraid all the liberal philo-Judaism is largely window dressing.
So long as these three things stand in the way, he's never going to have "unity" with people whose beliefs his church condemns.
Thanks for the ping. The various branches of Christianity can and should respect each other and work together, but without trying to unify their doctrines, dogmas or organizations.
Because the carefully worded statement:
"by grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works,"
lacks precision, and nether it nor any not signifies full agreement on this critical issue, and is seen as a compromise by adherents on both sides, and testifies that Lutheranism needs to come further out of Rome.
JDDJ is a document created and agreed to by the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, and interprets Trent, but as it is not an ex cathedra statement, Catholics can meekly dissent and hold that it is open to reform or correction.
What Rome means "by grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit," is that of a salvation system which begins (usually) thru the act (ex opere operato: "by the work worked") of sprinkling of water on a morally incognizant innocent infant, rendering him/her cleansed from original sin and born again, and has an "indelible mark" placed on his soul (which even unbaptized Christian martyrs do not get). And thus which baptism even an unbeliever could perform in an emergency with this effect.
And which act makes the soul accepted in Christ and good enough for Heaven at that point, but as they sin afterwards this process (usually) ends with the soul becoming good enough to enter Heaven thru an indeterminate time suffering in purgatory commencing at death.
And which further "processing" they may avoid by fully cooperating grace, and which Rome dispenses thru her Treasury of Merit®, or escape earlier from thru "Indulgences."
Thus salvation "by grace thru faith" effectually means that by the grace of God dispensed thru the church one "is formally justified and made holy by his own personal justice and holiness." (Catholic Encyclopedia> Sanctifying Grace) And "Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification and for the attainment of eternal life," (Catechism of the Catholic church, Part 3, Life in Christ, Merit, 2010) And thus they are "accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God,... truly merited eternal life." ( Trent, Chapter XVI; The Sixth Session Decree on justification, 1547)
In contrast, what we see in Scripture is that souls have their hearts "purified by faith," (Acts 10:43; 15:9) that of the kind of a faith which confesses the Lord Jesus, which is normally and formally first in baptism, and which signifies repentant faith by the Holy Spirit, and whom they receive in conversion. (Acts 2:38; 10:44-47; 15:7-9) For as God justifies the unGodly by faith, counting that for righteousness, (Rm. 4:1-7) with works then justifying him as one who has true faith, versus a faith which does not effect the obedience of faith. (Heb. 6:9; Ja. 2:18)
The believer at that point is " washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, " (1 Corinthians 6:11) "accepted in the Beloved," seated together in heavenly places, (Eph. 1:6: 2:6) as a new creature in Christ. (2Cor. 5:17)
And therefore the believer is appealed to be and live out in practical terms what he is positionally. (Col. 3:1ff) But as he was not justified before God "by works of righteousness that we have done," (Titus 3:5) or his own holiness, thus true believers go to be with the Lord upon death, (Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; 1Cor. 15:52; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Th 4:17; 1Jn. 3:2) or the Lord's return, (1Thes. 4:17) "and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
The place of merit does come in as per the sense of God covenantally recompensing faith (Heb. 10:35) in recognition of what it effected, (Matthew 25:34-35) by which they are accounted to be have true enduring faith, (Luke 21:36) and as fitting to be rewarded, (Revelation 3:4; 21:7) even though in reality they are worthy of eternal damnation, while eternal life is an unmerited gift. (Rm. 6:23)
"Brothers and sisters, Luther's protest is over," Palmer told his audience. "Is yours?"
Thus as even a Lutheran states,
Is this true? Was the schism of the 16th Century one big misunderstanding? Do the Roman Catholics really teach essentially the same thing as the Lutherans on how a sinner is justified by God? Is it true that The condemnations in the Lutheran Confessions do not apply to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church presented in this Declaration? No, it is not true.
What, then, is the JDDJ for? It is not for teaching the faith. The Vaticans involvement in the production of this document has been through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, not through the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Lutheran World Federation which claims to speak for Lutherans worldwide clearly is not in agreement with itself on the doctrine of justification, nor has it been since its meeting in Helsinki, Finland in 1963. Put into plain English, the JDDJ is a church political document. It isnt intended for use in catechesis, worship, or any other churchly activity. It is rather intended to make Lutherans and Catholics feel good about the fact that their children arent insulting the pope and Martin Luther in the neighborhood ally.
A more detailed critique follows. http://www.christforus.org/Papers/Content/JDDJ.html
Unity — it will happen.
You bet, in heaven.
How can so many people be lost at the same time?
Until it's corrected in the Catechism and taught directly to the people, it's not "official". The doctrine of justification certainly was one of the biggies WRT the differences but it wasn't the only one by far. I don't think that Rome will consider all Christians "unified" until the Pope of Rome is recognized by everyone as their spiritual leader and head. He is right in one respect, though, we ARE all one in Christ spiritually and will be physically in heaven as there will only be the redeemed with the Lord in that place of eternity.
I wonder if Luther would agree that the protest is over? Something tells me not much has changed since he was excommunicated and placed on a Vatican hit list.
I am former Catholic and my observation is quite different. Scripture is not just read as a reading, but preached and taught out of in non- Catholic churches, as opposed to Catholicism. Far more so than any Catholic mass.
Simply reading a few verses does not feed the soul. where is the meditation and reflection on it? Where does the practical application of that brief reading come into play?
Additionally, I would ask, how many Catholic anti- protestants read their Bible on a daily basis.
If on earth, only in the end times one world church set up by the anti- christ.
If your church heads for unity like that, RUN!!
We have wondered the same thing....