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Monday, October 21, 2013

Only God Can Save and Condemn

Written by Mike Gendron on .

The eternal destinies of Catholics and former Catholics are said to be controlled by the threat of Rome's 100 anathemas. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, when "an anathema is attached to doctrinal teaching of a general council, it is a certain sign of an infallible definition" and Catholics "are bound to believe them in order to maintain the bond of faith."
An example of an anathema imposed on Catholics that many are rejecting today is one concerning indulgences. According to Vatican Council II, the Roman Catholic Church "condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them" (Vol. 1, p. 71). An indulgence defined by Rome is "a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian...gains under certain defined conditions" (Vol. 1, p. 75). They can be applied to the dead by way of prayer, the Rosary or the sacrifice of the Mass. Most Catholics who reject this ungodly dogma on indulgences ignore the fact that they stand condemned by their church. This has always puzzled me. Why would Catholics trust their church's teachings on salvation, while at the same time, dismiss or ignore their church's teachings on condemnation?
Whenever the pontiff pronounces an anathema, he uses a formula which ends with these words: "We deprive [him/her] of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment." Anathemas are said to condemn former Catholics to the torments of everlasting hell unless they do penance and return home to Rome. They also condemn current Catholics who do not believe every dogma of their church.
Former Catholics who are now born-again Christians need not to worry! If God is for us, who is against us? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? Who is the one who condemns? (Rom. 8:31-34). Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [or the Roman Catholic Church]? (Rom. 8:35).
We must use this information to educate others. We must contend earnestly for the faith by informing our pastors and evangelical leaders to resist the growing pressure to sign unity accords with the Roman Catholic Church. We must also proclaim the truth to Catholics and explain to them that only God has the power to save and condemn. He gave us only two anathemas in His Word. Paul wrote: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema" (1 Cor. 16:22). Paul also wrote, "If we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be anathema!" (Gal. 1:8). May we all look to Scripture as our most trustworthy source for knowing the truth on these critical issues!
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