Classic Fundamentalist Tradition – Claiming to NOT be Tradition :-) You Analyze It

by Steve Ray on September 2, 2012

Several years ago I posted a blog refuting a sermon on “Once Saved, Always Saved” by Pastor Charles Stanley. This view of salvation is also frequently called Eternal Security.

Today a man named John posted a response (copied below in brown text). He purports to have not tradition – simply the Bible alone. It is so fraught with errors that it borders on humorous if it were not so blind and sad. 

You can read it below. I reproduce it here as he sent it with all the misspellings and errors intact. I will make no comments on his typical Fundamentalist Protestant tradition. You can analyze it for yourself and make note of the skewed view of Christianity, the Bible and the Church.

There is much of what he says that is true (mainly in his second paragraph) but the context of his statement is a “me and Jesus” approach to the faith and an “interpret the Bible for yourself” mentality that has led to so many errors, sects, cults and confusion. What actually happens is a guy like John actually makes himself a pope since he is the final word.

I wrote to John and thanked him for his Comment and told him reading things like this makes me so glad I discovered the Catholic Church, having once parroted the same kind of thing in my former life. Enjoy! 

JOHN WRITES: All we have and were given by god through the apostiles were the 66 books of the bible. The catholics added their pound of baloney including the pope, mary, pergatory, holy water, mass, etc. The protestants reformed what they felt necessary based on the bible, and came up with many different loafs of their baloney. I believe you are correct in criticizing the flawed use of the sinners prayer.

The truth exists in the bible. Jesus died for the elect. His sacrifice washed away and washes away our sin. Jesus is our ( the truly saved) mercy seat. God’s righteousness is imputed to us. His holy spirit guides us and sanctifies us. His blood covers our sin. The only clue we have of our redemption is our changed heart, that seeks to honor his stated will and glorifies his name. Work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Until called home to heaven, wrestle with our old man and repent when we fall short.

Since Baptism by “water and Spirit” came up in the comments below, HERE is a link to the topic of Baptism.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

jason coelho September 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

How do we know for sure, that only the Roman Catholic Church claims to have the “truth”? Is baptism the only “truth” requirement for the Christian initiation into the kingdom of God, and eternal life?

STEVE RAY HERE: Jason, we never claim the Catholic Church claims to be the only one with the truth; what we claim is that the Catholic Church has the fullness of the faith. We can trace our heritage and organic continuity back to the first century. Check out my book “Upon this Rock: Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church.”

Also, baptism is the sacrament of faith. Peter says in 1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism now saves you” and Jesus said, “Unless a man is born of water and spirit he will not see the kingdom of God.” This is referring to baptism, since just before this Jesus stepped into the WATER and the SPIRIT came down on him.

Jim September 2, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Hello Steven.

I will say that as a catholic, I am of the belief that there is only ONE church. The church is Christ’s bride. He is the bridegroom. How many wives do you think Christ will take? When the keys were handed to Peter, He (Christ) didn’t use the plural when referring to the Church. There is ONE church. Divinely guided. All others have some percentage of the Truth. Which therefore means that there is some percentage of lies, and false teaching. Courtesy of the devil. Read Jude 1:3-4. Jude writes to those with a “common salvation” and warns of those who are perverting the graces of God. What are the graces of God? The sacraments. We have denominations not removing original sin with infant baptism. Denominations that don’t believe in confession. That don’t believe in the True presence in the Eucharist. That think it’s ok for homosexuals to marry. That think it’s ok for women to become priests and bishops. You name it. There’s someone calling themselves a Christian that is perverting God’s graces. We need to lovingly show them the TRUTH, and where they are missing the boat. Thank you for your work.

MPQ September 3, 2012 at 6:51 AM

Jim, you are right, there is only “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic” Church. The books of the bible weren’t dropped on the doorstep of the new not catholic church(s), for them to lead themselves into eternity. The Catholic Bishops full of baloney dictated which ones later new churches would agree to pick and choose from, for their bibles.

I’ll take holy water, Mary, the Mass etc any day over the other churches take on abortion and same sex marriage.

jason coelho September 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Steve, many thanks for your response.
When you say that Jesus stepped into water .. i presume you are referring to John’s Baptism in the Gospel of John. In other words you say that the Catholic Church’s places its foundational teaching on baptism as described in the Gospel of John. However this will only constitute quater-of-the truth or faith, since the baptism preached by John was a Baptism of Repentance. The period covering the Gospel’s was a transitional period since Jesus was not yet crucified/glorified and the Holy Ghost was promised only after his ascension into heaven. We can know this truth because all those people baptized during the Gospel period had to be re-baptized with a complete Christian baptism. I do see that a Church that stresses its teachings such as baptism truths found in the Gospels will no doubt be preaching a biblical truth, but it will be a truth misplaced or error, because not everything was fully settled during the Gospel period.

STEVE RAY HERE: Jason, you didn’t read my post. John 3:5 is not the only verse I provided. I also provided 1 Peter 3:21 and could list a lot of others, like Peter’s message on Pentecost and Ananias’ words to Paul. Jesus is the bridge between Old and New and is demonstrating what the New will look like – a covenant relationship begun with baptism. When Nicodemus asked how he had to be born again, Jesus said by “water and Spirit.” This is not rocket science, my friend. Only those with the recently invented Fundamentalist tradition would say otherwise. Check the early Church. ALL Christians taught that Baptism was necessary and the means to new birth.

Paul Tobin September 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Baptism … I had an interesting “discussion” with a fellow whom I presumed to be a “fundamental” believer, I objected to his notion of “re-baptizing persons as necessary if they were baptized as an infant. He reasoned that they could not assent because they did not hear the Word of God spoken to them. Hmmm, I emphasized that Jesus was an infant when he was circumcised and “evangelized” (taught the Jewish traditions and laws by his parents) as he grew up. Baptism with” water and the Spirit” replaced the bloody sign. All those baptized, as recorded in the Scriptures, were adults. The children were baptized as parents realized that they wanted the “NEW” life of grace for the children and the promise of everlasting happiness (that is not specifically written in Scripture because it was not essential to ones Faith in Jesus). He called me a smooth talking Pharisee, and some other things. I wrote back and asked him to show me in the “Bible” where Jesus described how baptism was to be done, not just the words to be said. He did not respond. I am finding there is much a “fundamentalist” does not know about the Book, the Church Jesus founded, nor what happened between their discovery of Jesus’ Word of eternal life, and the Resurrection. There is an awful lot of silent history in a “fundamentalists” playbook. I think he even told me that none of that history stuff mattered anymore.
PTL
Paul

STEVE RAY HERE: Paul, you nailed it! Perfectly correct.

Erick Ybarra September 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yeah it is absolutley certain that we receive the gifts of salvation through the sacrament of baptism. However one thing I’m hoping for the roman catholic church to see is therir weak understanding of Paul in his letters. I believe that Trent had it right on baptism, but wrong on justification.

Justification in Paul does happen in our baptism by water in the name of Jesus Christ. It is a past completed act most of his references anyway. It is basically the forgiveness of sin and the setting of sinners in a right relationship to him as father and judge.the gift of justification is based off the sacrifice of Jesus. In our baptism we are ingrafted into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection whereby our persons die and we are renewed. Justification ( forgiveness) is an effect of thus renewal, but it is not the renewal itself.

Darrell September 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Hi Steve,
I went down to San Antonio for the weekend, and as I meandered through the streets near the riverwalk section of town, I was approached by a gentleman passing out gospel tracts. When he asked whether or not I was saved, I quickly thought, “What would Steve say?” So, I said, “Yes, absolutely–I am saved the bible way!” Well, that let to an hour-long conversation, with me doing my best to defend the faith. It so happens that the gentleman is a fallen-away Catholic who has started his own small church. I gave rock-solid (no pun intended) arguments for each point he made, and gave him several things to consider for which he had no clear answers. It was the first time since my conversion a year ago that I have practiced apologetics in such a manner. I am so thankful for all of the work (books, videos, radio) you and other notable converts have done to help me get to this point. Keep up the good work!
Best Regards.

Poor Knight of Christ September 16, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Hey Erick,

I fail to see how the Catholic possition on Paul is weak.

What you stated it, pretty much, Catholic Theology and that’s where you got it from.

After studying my way back to the Catholic church (bringing with me my, now, re-reformed wife) the Catholic Church has a better understanding of the WHOLE Bible than any of the denominations

De Maria December 9, 2012 at 6:28 AM

Hi Erick,

you said:
Erick Ybarra September 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Yeah it is absolutley certain that we receive the gifts of salvation through the sacrament of baptism. However one thing I’m hoping for the roman catholic church to see is therir weak understanding of Paul in his letters. I believe that Trent had it right on baptism, but wrong on justification.

Justification in Paul does happen in our baptism by water in the name of Jesus Christ. It is a past completed act most of his references anyway. It is basically the forgiveness of sin and the setting of sinners in a right relationship to him as father and judge.the gift of justification is based off the sacrifice of Jesus. In our baptism we are ingrafted into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection whereby our persons die and we are renewed. Justification ( forgiveness) is an effect of thus renewal, but it is not the renewal itself.

Yes. Justification is the renewal itself. Justification is the washing of sins from our souls. Therefore our “souls” are renewed. The old man dies and the new man is born, “spiritually”. We do not go back into the womb and we are not born again physically. We are born again of the Spirit.

Therefore, justification is the renewal itself.

Sincerely,

De Maria

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