Anglican Bishop Tony Palmer: “The protest is over."
- yes .....and pigs might fly!!!
The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (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, as a result of extensive ecumenical dialogue. The JDDJ states that the churches now share "a common understanding of our justification by God's grace through faith in Christ.” http://en.wikipedia.org/
I always thought that Christianity was about truth and honesty, but apparently the Anglicans, Rome and Kenneth Copeland disagree with that definition!!!
Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7/16,20)
The claim made by Anglican Bishop Tony Palmer is that the JDDJ essentially resolves the conflict over the nature of justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation. Palmer forgot to mention to his audience that the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) does not speak officially for world Lutheranism and it has no doctrinal authority. 35 members of the 124 strong membership of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) voted against the JDDJ. These included members of International Lutheran Council and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference who refused to recognise or adopt it any any way. The JDDJ has been variously described as a “betrayal of the gospel”, “a fraud”, “defective” and “a sell out by revisionist Lutherans to Rome” due to its ambiguity.
Palmer went to great lengths to state: “By grace alone in faith in Christ's saving works 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.” He reiterated: “We are saved by grace through faith to good works.” Palmer's statement is indistinguishable from the truth itself on face value...... that is until we look more closely!
The problem encountered by the JDDJ is that both Protestants and Roman Catholics can use the same words i.e. grace, justification, faith etc. but they each give these words entirely different meanings and interpretations.
Protestant definition of justification by faith:
The Protestant doctrine of sola fide “faith alone” is the biblical doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus). Sola Scriptura "scripture alone" is the Protestant doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Justification is a single one time only gift from God because Jesus Christ was legally "made sin" while on the cross. God grants sinners a judicial pardon (justification) by His grace and declares them righteous so that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to all who exercise faith. Unmerited favour means that justification does not depend in any way upon the sinner or even faith itself, but upon Jesus Christ and His righteousness alone. Works are the result or fruit of salvation, but never the means to it. Sanctification is separated from justification.
…..even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2/5-9)
Roman Catholic definition of justification by faith:
According to the Roman Catholic view, justification is a process. Christ’s righteousness is imparted to the believer by “grace through faith,” but this in itself is not sufficient to justify the believer. In addition meritorious works are essential for justification. Initial justification occurs at baptism and permanent justification is accomplished after a lifetime of striving to do God's will. The seven sacraments - baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony infuse God's grace into the human soul and make it conformed to the image of Christ. The Second Vatican Council stated that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Roman Catholics blend justification and sanctification together into an ongoing process.
By their own definition, Rome replaces Christ. This precisely describes the antichrist since antichrist means in place of Christ as well as against Christ:
Rome teaches that the church “bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation.”
“According to Catholic understanding, good works, made possible by grace and the working of the Holy Spirit, contribute to growth in grace, so that the righteousness that comes from God is preserved and communion with Christ is deepened.” (JDDJ par. 38)
Roman Catholic Catechism, par. 2025: “Merit is to be ascribed, in the first place, to the grace of God, and secondarily to man’s collaboration. Man’s merit is due to God”.
"The Protest is Over" - Then Why Is Trent Still Authoritative?
…..the document (JDDJ) is clear that it is not negating or contradicting any statements from Trent, rather it is arguing for the non-applicability of its canons to concrete Christian bodies in the modern world. The document was approved by the Vatican under the auspices of the PCPCU and is therefore a magisterial document, though since it is not an ex cathedra statement, it may be possible for Catholics to hold that it is open to reform or correction. http://en.wikipedia.org/
If the protest is over, then we might reasonably ask why the denunciation of justification by faith alone ratified by Council of Trent in the sixteenth century remains authoritative binding dogma by the Roman Catholic Church?
Cardinal Cassidy, the man responsible for a large part of Rome's involvement with the JDDJ was asked whether there was anything in the official common statement contrary to the Council of Trent. He responded: "Absolutely not, otherwise how could we do it? We cannot do something contrary to an ecumenical council. There’s nothing there that the Council of Trent condemns” (Ecumenical News International, 11/1/99).
CANON 9: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."
From the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations’ Document: The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in Confessional Lutheran Perspective: An Evaluation of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic “Joint Declaration” by the Departments of Systematic Theology of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, and Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis
“JDDJ does not settle the major disagreement between Lutheran theology and Roman Catholic theology on justification. Lutherans teach that justification is essentially a declaration of ‘not guilty’ and ‘righteous’ pronounced by God on a sinner because of Christ and His work. Roman Catholics teach that justification involves an internal process in which a believer is transformed and ‘made’ more righteous. The non-settlement of this issue forms the chief defect of JDDJ” (pg. 8).
“Although JDDJ uses the biblical phraseology ‘through faith’ or ‘by faith’ at critical points it speaks of justification ‘in faith.’ This new wording is ambiguous and allows for the Roman Catholic idea of infused grace. It does not clearly state that faith’s role in justification is exclusively to receive Christ’s benefits given to sinners by God in His grace. Therefore, it fails to make clear that the cause of justification is God’s saving work in Christ, not ourselves or anything in us” (pg. 8).
“If grace now means infused grace, a spiritual power poured into the soul by which we love God and merit salvation, then such infused grace and works in justification are related as ‘both/and.’ Neither the Joint Declaration nor the background dialogue have come to terms with these contradictory meanings of ‘grace.’ This would have unravelled the illusory ‘consensus’ on justification” (pg. 19).
“By failing to state clearly the instrumental nature of justifying faith, we fail to identify clearly the cause of our justification as found entirely in God’s saving action in Christ. The cause of our faith is outside of us, not “in faith,” not in us. When we speak this way, we rob Christ of all the glory in the justification of sinners and we deprive sinners of the maximum comfort which can only be gotten when Christ is the sole cause of salvation. The document’s treatment of the assurance of salvation is also, at best, ambiguous. It is a good example of how the primary purpose of the ‘Joint Declaration’ is to maximize agreement and minimize the disagreements” (pg. 44).
Palmer: “For the first thousand years, there was one church, it was called the catholic church. The word 'catholic' means universal, it doesn't mean Roman." Actually the Roman Catholic Church was formed in the fourth century when Augustine and Constantine usurped the apostolic teachings." Palmer was speaking as a representative of the Roman Catholic Church not the universal catholic church which has nothing to do with Roman Catholicism.
Palmer: “It's the glory that glues us together not the doctrines.” Without truth there is no glory!!!
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1/14)
God's word the Bible is TRUTH (John 17/17; James 1/18; Psalm 119/43). Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14/6)
Palmer: “God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs”.
The Bible: Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching (doctrine). Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4/16 see also Titus 1/9; 2/1; 2 Timothy 4/3; 1 Timothy 1/3,10; 6/3; Ephesians 4/14; 2 John 11/9; Romans 16/17)
Palmer: “Division destroys our credibility.” Credibility depends on TRUTH and INTEGRITY. The exposure of lies and guile destroys credibility.
Palmer: “It's division that's diabolic." The Bible says that there must be divisions to distinguish those who are approved. (1 Corinthians 11/19)
The Biblical doctrine of separation: Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you..... (2 Corinthians 6/17)
The thing that is "diabolic" are the devious lies of the enemy and the introduction of deceptive doctrines of demons in Jesus' name. Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings (doctrines) of demons.... (1 Timothy 4/1)
The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. (Proverbs 13/5)
Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbours deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception,his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. (Proverbs 26/24-26)
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (guile). (Psalm 32/2)
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; (Revelation 18/4)