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Deliverance from False Thinking (My Pondering on Luther)

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by ChristIsSovereign, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    I was feeling incomplete without a sense of belonging and church liturgy ever since I came back to Christ after abandoning him for the lusts of my heart. When I came back, I had to address all the issues I had before I left, like my desire for liturgy and the belief in the Real Presence, for example.

    In my quest for the proper church, I nearly took it too far. I started looking into Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism as their format of service was suitably high. I started buying into 'intercession of the Saints' and similar doctrines, but that is as much as I could 'swallow' at the time. I believe it was floating in my throat waiting to be expelled, though.

    In my wild goose chase for everything that is regal and formal, I would share everything with my Mom and she would always tell me to look into the Scripture. I did, and the only thing I found that agreed with the EO and the RCC was the Real Presence in the Eucharist, a view I find to be a literal interpretation of Scripture, although if He reveals it to be metaphorical when I'm in Heaven, I will accept that, for that is His interpretation if it is so.

    Within mere hours of Mom telling me to look into the Scripture, all the errors of the Catholic Church came to light, starting with the Holy Spirit pulling me away from anything having to do with Marian devotion. I felt ridiculously (like, severely) opposed to that doctrine. I asked a few Catholics about the matter and they said it took them awhile, but it was not what I felt. I felt revulsion. I pulled away within minutes and tossed everything I believed in, including the 'intercession of the Saints belief,' and even repented of my malpractice, since I did ask for God to tell the saints to pray. For that, I am deeply sorry, to all true Christians, and most of all, to the LORD who is a Jealous GOD.

    I removed my favorited tab, which was a Papal 'apostolic' exhortation. I prayed and asked God to truly take me home. You want to know where home was? Where I started in the first place, before I went on my wild goose chase. I went in a circle and am back to the drawing board. And when I thought about it, I deeply resonated with Martin Luther.

    He was a hero of the faith. God, through Luther, planted the seed of Biblical Christianity all over again. God's work through Luther has ended up in Christians believing on Scripture alone versus having the Pope decide everything, which is completely nonsense from a Biblical standpoint. Only Jesus Christ is our 'Supreme Pontiff.' He is the head of the Church.

    Starting with his 95 Theses, he protested the Catholic Church's heresy. He challenged the authority itself. He saw the truth in light of Scripture and the verdict was that the RCC was clearly in the wrong in this matter.

    He went on to defy, through Scripture, the entire institution of man. What he did not defy? Christ alone. Christ is the crux of the Faith.

    It was not Mary. (I find Mary 'devotion' to be nauseating.) It was not the Saints. (Although we should look to them as examples of the Christian walk and honor them as such.) It was not tradition alone. It was not indulgences. It was not works. It is Jesus Christ. It is faith.

    Being without Biblical basis is very scary. It feels like having pizza and having even clearly fatal substances available as topping. In the case, the Pizza Bible would clearly tell us what is supposed to go on the pizza and what is not. Get that?

    I owe it to my mother for telling me to check the Scriptures, for God delivered me through them, indeed. And through discernment in the Scriptures, I find Lutheranism to be what I ought to believe, in regards to doctrines. Through Christ, I have found truth.
    • I honor Mary and the Saints for the example that they have shown to us through the Scripture and through the lives they lived out, but I do not venerate them, nor do I ask them to pray for me, for I ought to pray only to God through Jesus Christ.
    • The Bible is the final authority to any matters of doctrine. To interpret the Bible through 'Holy Tradition' is shaky at best and completely false at worst. We are to interpret everything through the Scriptures to see if they are true.
    • Salvation is by faith alone, in which such faith creates the will in us to do good works for the sake of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Faith without works is dead, but works alone do not amount to saving faith.
    • Just as Christ came to serve us, we are to serve Him with the best of ourselves, as worship towards Him and as thanks for His grace bestowed upon us freely.
    • I reject Calvinism, for it is poisoned with the deadly error of Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that we were saved by nature, and if you look at Calvinism, the differences are watershed at best and nonexistent at worst. Calvinism is logical to a fault.
    • While Lutheranism is free (at least mostly, nothing is perfect) from such influences. No double predestination, no limited atonement (in the Calvinist definition), and a higher dependence on what the Bible says over the logical consistency of systematic theology. (Which nearly always fails.)
    • Christ's Church is not a denomination, but a spiritual union of all believers in Him. Therefore schism is impossible, for Christ's Church is absolute through all denominations and sects.
    • The Catholics accuse Protestants with having split up into many, many denominations, which is true, but the Body of Christ has not, which they do not understand.
    • I reject that any form of mysticism should be in His Church. Mysticism is subjective experience while Jesus Christ is objective. He is the only final Truth. And such final Truth has offered us His Holy Scriptures, so that we may nurse on the Word and become more like Him.
    • As Lutherans believe, I believe that Christ is indeed present in the Eucharist. We are to commune of Him in Church to feed on His goodness.
    That is what I have come to believe and Lord willing, I will keep believing the Truth, for the Truth sets us free.

    Feel free to comment and converse with me. I would appreciate friendly talk. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  2. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    One thing that I never mentioned in any of our various exchanges is the low view I have of many Protestants' low view of the liturgy.

    Everybody has a liturgy. The Catholic Church (and others, to be fair) are simply willing to put their liturgy in writing. Many evangelicals also have a liturgy of sorts of their own which they won't codify in writing. That doesn't change the reality of their liturgy; it simply means they're not being honest with themselves or with others.

    Sacred scripture literally says the opposite.

    While I broadly agree with this, I will at least give TULIP credit for being an internally logical system. T logically leads to U which logically leads to L and so forth.

    I don't believe in that, you understand, but I can at least respect it for being a coherent system.

    The schismatics would debate you on this point.

    We reject the premise that the Body of Christ is some invisible union of believers united by nothing, sharing nothing and believing, ultimately, in nothing... as that is really the only possible way to claim that these groups who share no single point of doctrine in common with everyone else can somehow be said to have any sort of union with one another, visible or invisible.

    ???

    The Church is mystical in her founding. Sin is frequently mystical in its effects. Baptism is mystical in its power. Heck, simply hearing the gospel proclaimed has mystical power over the called. Rejecting mysticism is therefore a kind of novel approach to the faith.

    I've even seen Orthodox Christians claim that the Orthodox Church is itself a mystery with an institution attached. Perhaps they were being a bit tongue in cheek with that but the point stands.

    Here you express some type of affirmation of belief in "sola scriptura". As Protestant doctrines go, this is one which I find incomprehensible on review. It sounds good on paper, admittedly. Wishing to stick as closely as possible to God's word is surely only a good thing and avoiding sacred tradition promulgated by fallible men seems wise.

    However, the scriptures were written by fallible men inspired by the Holy Spirit. The scriptural canon was codified into a single volume by fallible men led by the Holy Spirit.

    On these points, even most Protestants will agree.

    However, the Protestant view appears to be that the Spirit can inspire men to write and He can guide them in making decisions vis a vis the biblical canon but He cannot (or will not) guide the modern Church and protect her from teaching error because reasons.

    As with so many things, there are certain doctrines which Catholics believe and which Protestants also believe but to a lesser degree.
     
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  3. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    "We reject the premise that the Body of Christ is some invisible union of believers united by nothing, sharing nothing and believing, ultimately, in nothing... as that is really the only possible way to claim that these groups who share no single point of doctrine in common with everyone else can somehow be said to have any sort of union with one another, visible or invisible."

    Preposterous. While there isn't a book's worth of agreement from Protestant to Protestant, there is definitely objective standards we all hold to.
    • Jesus Christ is God.
    • The Holy Spirit is God.
    • The Father is God.
    • All 3 comprise the Trinity.
    • We are saved through faith alone, not only of works, lest we should boast.
    • The Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
    • The Holy Spirit leads us into truth.
    While we might have differences over less important issues, we ought to agree on all the points above, or we end up falling into unbiblical error.
     
  4. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    Not so.

    It is quite easy to find mainline Protestants (ie, Episcopalians and even some Presbyterians) who would dispute that.

    Assuming Anglicans fit your definition of Protestant, many of them would not add the word "alone" to "saved by faith". They are otherwise generally orthodox in their beliefs. I'm sure there are others as well.

    While Catholics would agree with you on that, many in the Episcopalian community would beg to differ. I've been to non-denominational ecclesial communities where the scriptures are regarded as "useful tools" but still riddled with inaccuracies, errors, bad ideas, etc.

    That view is echoed by the Catholic Church. It is not unique to Protestantism... nor, I don't think, unanimous among Protestants, oddly enough.

    Welcome to Protestant Christianity in the modern day.
     
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  5. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    Protestant Christianity in the modern day is in a state of disrepair thanks to criticism, modernism, etc.
     
  6. Innerfire89

    Innerfire89 Member

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    Gnostics believe salvation comes through being enlightened by what they believe are the truths of Lucifer that they come to salvation. If the do read the Christian Bible they use a principle call reversed hermeneutics, they flip everything backwards.


    Calvinist believe salvation is though faith in Christ.

    To compare Calvinism to Gnosticism is just baseless insults, unbecoming of a mature adult in Christ.
     
  7. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for painting Calvinists with such a wide brush. I have yet to fully separate myself from my resentment for the Calvinists. (Hyper) Calvinism is what led me into 8 months of agnosticism because I felt no need to please God since I thought everything was predetermined anyways.

    I tend to agree with Lutheranism these days after having Christ bring me back from the grave, so to say.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  8. Innerfire89

    Innerfire89 Member

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    Similar principles don't make Calvinism and Gnosticism the same thing or mean that Calvinism is an offshoot of Gnosticism.

    If you're referring to hyper Calvinism, than I absolutely agree.
     
  9. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    Hyper-Calvinism is essentially Calvinist Gnosticism. Calvinism in itself isn't really Gnosticism, even if it might be tainted here and there. Our beliefs aren't perfect, though.

    Assuming one has all the truth means he is in error; I do not assume to be right in everything I say, because only God is ultimately right.
     
  10. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    Also, Calvinist Gnosticism would be when Calvinists assert that believing Calvinism is required for salvation, am I right?
     
  11. Innerfire89

    Innerfire89 Member

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    Yeah, something like that.
    It would be adding to the Gospel to say that one must believe Calvinist doctrine to be saved.
     
  12. ChristIsSovereign

    ChristIsSovereign Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. I'm like a 2.5 point Calvinist by the examination of the Tulip.

    Total depravity, semi-unconditional election, unlimited atonement, semi-irresistible grace, and falling away only possible by apostasy.
     
  13. JRichard68

    JRichard68 There is too much butter on those trays

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    Semi-irresistible grace?
     
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