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AND THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST!
Such a derrière, such a shift, such degradation is raised as a genuine shunt available in this world, as the most paramount, the most lauded, those most praised among men, become those most reduced, degraded. This proceeds apace as the realities come of age, and cultural acclaim becomes utter rejection. Such is the testimony of truth, of Christ who IS the truth (John 14:6,, Matthew 19:30, 20:16). There is a natural trend in this fallen world for such an abasement, a transition, at a maximal level, and even from it, to the LAST.
"Many that are first shall be last, and the last first," declared the Lord's Christ.
Especially is this so at the level of those who presume to KNOW the truth and present it in spiritual and pseudo-biblical fashions, and yet show no tendency overall, or in the basics that are crucial, to conserve what is written. It can then become like someone who slaps the cheek of his Colonel, and then through some guard, seeks to tattoo it or defile it. This is indeed the sort of thing practised by the haters of Christ, upon Him.
Thus in Dr Sarfati's remarkable assemblage of data and organisation in technical aspects on the whole, there is nevertheless a reference to one who inhabits this category, namely Thomas Aquinas. This is found in p. 288 of Dr Sarfati's 'magnum opus', The Genesis Account. Here there occurs a reference to Thomas Aquinas as "the leading apologist and theologian of the middle ages." If he were so, this medieval scholar would not be leading as directed by and to the Leader and the Commander, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 55:4), but elsewhere. The one cited is instead a scholar who became the advanced proponent of deadly persecution to those whom Rome called 'heretics', even for their dextermination by the State. His 13th century words come with a language of brotherhood not easily recognised, such as directed against the Waldensians, a body as dealt with in just such a manner notoriously and repeatedly. This is exposed well in Loraine Boettner's famous work, Roman Catholicism, pp. 97, 425, 427 where Romanism's assault on this body is noted, just as repeated later as with "bitter persecution" they were assaulted in terms of Unam Sanctam and the 'two swords', especially following 1302. Even by the Summa's date however, 1265-1272, that persecution of Waldlensians had been long underway, even in terms of war on them in the cold mountain climate.
The idea of a temporal sword to serve the papal-style hatred of the Waldensians and their biblical liberties against the Romanist pomp of self-exaltation is so far from even Primary School theology (Peter as example told to put up his sword even when the most precious Jesus Christ is about to be arrested and summoned to excruciating and contemptuous death - Matthew 26:52-56), that the retardation of the 'progressive' pope to the most lagging failure is assured. Even through the Third Lateran Council of 1179, the intolerant usurpation of the exterminative sword so categorically taken from the church as such, spelt the outthrust of the forbidden (cf. John 18:36). This deadly violence principle is thoroughly of this world. The Christ's thrust was not, for His saving work had a different purpose which forbad such means. Thus this Romanist principle was wrong, forbidden, misconceived, lethal, anti-testimonial and gift to this world, with a profundity of arrogant presumption and utterly contrary relationship, to the work of the church, of a distancing kind. In fact, it was as close to the ethics and approach to Christ as is the work of more recent terrorists, to the work of free democracies; in fact, it was further off, for these themselves are attacking God in large number, some with neo-morals that are abominated statedly by God, and sufficient to remove from the kingdom of heaven (II Cor. 4-5). At that, this is no excuse!
But if this is horrendous, not merely low in grading, biblically, but antipathetic to Christ, it is even saliently contrary to Him, equipped with exuberant energy as might seem rather to become an enemy. Now that is the relevant date, and the relevant finding from the Bible on such things.
Yet this is not all.
In addition to this, the accolade cited at the first above, on Thomas, leaves out the condemnation by much that is sound in Protestantism, much that is corrective, bringing the light of the Bible to more errors, even some that if followed, can readily rob the soul of its faith in Him who is its heritage, FOR that heritage. If it is not idolatry, even at Thomas' date, and in his approach to the mass, to insist that although the bodily form of Christ is not present, yet He is really present; in the mass, it is but air. While the mass is accounted not mere repetition of the original in this, in every facet, yet Christ is deemed fully there not only in spirit but in a continuation of the actuality of Calvary; and people have died for the difference. In fact, either Christ is present in form, format and historical reality, so that the idea, horrendous though it be, since He is alive for evermore, is that His dying continues in some manner, the event not merely remembered but open for actual participation by those so driven; or He is not. If, as in fact claimed in the mass, there being no allowance either for the shedding of blood or for suffering for Him now, in this approach to sacrifice, the thing a bloodless sacrifice, then as Hebrews advises for any such category, neither is there any remission gained from it, but nullity of it. Accordingly, this repetitive mass phenomenon, deemed a sacrifice offered, lacking what is not merely deemed episodic with Calvary, but crucial to its achievement, there is no remission through it. The statement is clear. The cases are not only separate, but cannot coalesce.
There having been shedding of blood in an historical event, that event provides what it secures; but if the reality of the mass itself does not include such elements, then it can add nothing to the pardon, and is an appalling imitation, a gimmickry that adds to Christ's characterisation of its purpose. In that this is so treating what is not God, not redemptive sacrifice, not the effectual body of Christ, in sacrificial effectuality conditioned to what is lacking here, then it is a form of idolatry, the explicit latria merely adding to this. (Cf. SMR pp. 1086 -1088B). An authorised memorial is sanctioned; a re-enactment, is not. It is even forbidden. What does not involve death is ineffectual; what does is illicit. A memorial does not give participatory rights; that is presumption. Whatever such rites, they are wrongs to what is neither re-activatable nor capturable, made by another nor manipulable by any.
This actual redemptive sacrifice is something that no man ever took from Christ, or ever could or ever will take (John 10:18). Lay down His life, and it is His to do it; no man is permitted to do it. Do not lay down His life and there is no sacrifice, no blood and therefore no redemption. These things are mutually exclusive. If you want pardon: you go neither to heaven (John 6:62-63), where He is and you are not as He pointed out, and Peter emphasised (Acts 3), a thing not in the power of travel by effort at this time; or you bring Him to earth, for He is in heaven received UNTIL the restoration of all things.
Travel arrangements for His bodily reality, as distinct from the movement of His Spirit, are not given to man to require of Him, secure for Him or donate; for of Him it is written, it is He "whom heaven must receive until" the restoration of all things. To seek to secure anything different is simple rebellion, frustration and presumption. It is rebellion in that it is not only diverse from is authorised, but contradictory to it. It is frustration in that as rebellion it CANNOT secure the paraded and meretricious benefits of pretence. It is presumption in this, that it seeks a benefit from a lust and a mandate from a mutation.
If the mass specified WERE achieved, it would in any case be futile for pardon. To relate to the effectual sacrifice, you take what is offered by the faith required, to the Person specified, for the deed done; for His words as He said on this topic, are spirit and they are life (John 6:61-63), while He Himself had another site till the UNTIL stated (Acts 3:19ff.).
You cannot gate-crash a memorial party in order to make it a pardon release.
Each has its time and place, mode and basis, and they are by no means the same,
nor are their specifications.
Re-writing theology does not adorn it.
person wants to receive the finished sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 9:12)
It is adding to the word of God what is regressive from its achievements and requirements. You need to remember Proverbs 30:6, as well as specific prohibitions.
It is one thing to wrestle with God; it is quite another to seek to wrest something from His word, far worse, Himself, available by saving faith and not by the febrile fancies of rebellious mis-assertion. Mass is a massif of misapproach to mercy.
In view of these things, there is a first to last movement, therefore, once again from the outstanding medieval theologian, through categorically contrasting unbiblical doctrine, his work relegated by the word of God in principle to what is at the murderous, mutant rear of the pack. Nor is that all.
But what of Thomas 'mental reservations'. The idea is this: You consent verbally, if need be, to what you reject.
If in the interests of 'mother' church, what you say is not what you mean, then it is quasi-morally acceptable; except that Thomas leaves out, the 'quasi-'. The mental reservation may in this approach, qualify your statement to nullity! (cf. Boettner, op. cit. p., 388). It is precisely this which brings Romanism ethically and morally into disrepute, because this basic evil is not only a happening, but a principle, and not merely a passing one, but one built on placing (explicitly) church above truth, which means above Christ (Hebrews 1). This means that to Him is NOT given the pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18), which means that this teaching fails once more in the very heartland of Christian theology, making what is not Christ but antipathetic to Him, a new, supreme ruler; and hence entertains effectually an idol, misnamed, misplaced and misused.
There is much more to be said; for even if Thomas did not appear obsessed with differentiating things not genuinely differentiable, or in the required direction, yet this is not the finale of worth. You must be adequate and accurate in such matters, not evasive or confused; and you do not have to miscall everything, only a few vitals, to qualify for the transition from first to last. A quibble is not a quotient as you "rightly divide" the word of God. Neither mere conjecture nor denial nor evasion suffices. Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, Christ asks, and not do the things that I say (Luke 6:46). What is written is the criterion.
It is unfortunate that theologians and others, often have remarkable errors, which many can readily see, when the Bible is their ostensible but misused basis. While this may discourage idolatry of theologians, and that woeful disobedience to the command of Christ which FORBIDS calling your allegiance after ANY man's name, such as Calvin or Thomas, for the ONLY one is that of the Lord and His Christ, of the Trinity which is neither by nature a man or a sinner, and there are less helpful parts to the practice or proposition. It readily leads to its obliterative or annulling points; it limits and lassos perilously readily, even those who even as they err, are rejoicing in their error!
Whether or not this additional error be committed however, it is necessary to correct errors - or else who cares ? lest they swallow people up, the more so when the thing exposed has so often been exposed before that it bids fair to grab people's allegiance, though it be not first, but last, by some form of convenient habit, or submissive indifference. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Loraine Boettner (op.cit.) has a close similarity to Jonathan Sarfati's reference to Aquinas, in form; but in meaning, it diverges by an enormity. Thus on p. 283, he has of Aquinas, this, that he "is generally acknowledged as an outstanding medieval theologian of the Roman Church." The addition of the last and here italicised phrase limits the arena, the arena, site, where he is said to be outstanding to one of which Boettner provides as such, the most profound exposure for multiplied errors. To be a leader to that cardinally misled category of theological torment is assuredly a distinction; but it is not one to be desired or followed.