Evangelism at the March for Life

My family and I won’t be attending today’s March for Life in D.C. for a variety of reasons, some of which I explained in a post last year.  That being said, I do sincerely pray for a successful event insofar as they make a louder-than-usual statement about the issue of abortion.  Indeed, I read in the news this morning that there is expected to be a huge turnout this year.  Pray that the elected officials in D.C. will take notice and consider the pro-life message.  What I call “Pro-Life, Inc.” may indeed be part of the problem, but there’s no doubt that the folks showing up in the cold today have good intentions and sincerely want abortion to end.

There will also be Christians there today who are using this as an opportunity for evangelism.  They will be witnessing to Roman Catholics and others who are caught up in a false gospel.  Pray for their efforts and for the conversion of souls, that the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ would be boldly proclaimed and planted there today.  As I articulated in my last post, the holocaust of abortion will never end in America unless the Gospel becomes the central focus of our anti-abortion efforts.  The Abolish Human Abortion organization understands this and I encourage you to support them.  They’re a relatively new organization and they have an affiliate in Virginia too.

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11 Responses to Evangelism at the March for Life

  1. Considerer says:

    May I ask why you feel the Roman Catholics are caught up in a false gospel?

  2. Daniel says:

    I’m confused. I’m Catholic (but I’m a student at Liberty so it’s fair to say I’m open minded, at least IMO), and this post really confuses me.

    Not speaking of what causes which for a moment, I generally thought that all of the truly saved Christians did good works.

    As an “If-Then” statement, we would say:

    If you are a saved Christian, you will do good works.

    But if that’s true, then the contrapositive is true: If you are not doing good works, you are not a saved Christian.

    You can’t deny the contrapostive and affirm the original statement (at least as I vaguely recall my Logic class at a different university years ago).

    Do you deny that if you are a saved Christian that you’ll do good works?

    That sounds like once you believe in Jesus you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to feed the hungry. You don’t have to clothe the naked or visit the prisoner or anything.

    Surely that can’t be right! Matt 25:31-46!

    So if it’s not the first case that one needs faith and works (that Eph 2:8-9 is the other side of the coin of Jam 2:24), and it’s not the case that the saved don’t have to do anything, then what *is* the gospel of our soteriology?

    • I’m at a loss as to why my post is confusing. Nowhere did I ever deny that truly regenerate Christians do good works. What I deny is the notion that good works contribute, in any way, to one’s justification. It is a gross slander to accuse me of articulating a Christianity void of good works. I have gone out of my way to faithfully and accurately represent the Roman Catholic position on justification, so I would greatly appreciate the same in return.

      You cited Eph. 2:8-9 but failed to cite v. 10. We are not saved by works, but rather we are saved unto works. Put another way, we work *from* our salvation rather than *to* it. In point of fact, I stated in this very post that it is only the preaching of the sola fide Gospel we find in Scripture that will lead to the demise of abortion in America. That is the normative means of grace by which people are saved and hence their individual behavior changes as a result.

      • Daniel says:

        I wasn’t trying to slander you of anything, and I only told you what I heard you say and ask for clarification of what you actually said and what you actually meant. That’s not slander, that’s an attempt at dialogue. I’m sorry that you took it as a jab at your theology, when it was more of a question about your theology.

        “Nowhere did I ever deny that truly regenerate Christians do good works.”

        That is exactly where you are confusing me. Because saying that is the logical equivalent of saying, “If I don’t do good works, then I’m not a truly regenerate Christian.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraposition

        So please clarify for me, true or false: If I don’t do good works, then I’m not a truly regenerate Christian?

        Also, I’m confused not so much with your statement “What I deny is the notion that good works contribute, in any way, to one’s justification,” as I’m confused how you reconcile that with Sola Scriptura.

        Scripture says: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

        Perhaps I don’t understand how Sola Scriptura works, but whatever it is, I didn’t think it meant that you could make a verse that says we are justified by works and not faith alone, mean that we are justified by faith alone and that works never contribute at all to one’s justification.

        Could you elaborate on the mechanics of Sola Scriptura that lead you to your conclusions?

      • Putting words in my mouth is not indicative of wanting to foster a dialogue. Nowhere in this entire entry did I get into the specifics of the differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics over the Gospel, yet here you are firing off at the hip and accusing me of believing something I don’t (especially when there is much evidence to the contrary). Excuse me if I assume that you’re just here to pick a fight rather than have a mature discussion. That’s what it looks like to me.

        It wasn’t a jab at my theology because you never got near my theology. That’s the whole point. Had you taken the time to educate yourself about what I believe, then this conversation would have gotten off to a much better start. On the side of my blog, there’s a link to the 1689 London Baptist Confession in which there is a whole chapter on the subject of good works. I suggest you start there.

        In response to your questions, let me reiterate what I said clearly before: we are not saved by works but instead saved unto works. It is part of God’s decree that His elect will conduct themselves in good works which are the fruits of–rather than the cause of–justification. You brought up Sola Scriptura as if to say that Scripture somehow doesn’t teach this. It is taught in Eph. 2:8-10, among other places. We are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone. That is the Gospel.

        Yes, it is absolutely true that those who exhibit no fruits of the Spirit are not regenerate. Of course we can’t read people’s hearts and we don’t know who the elect are. Yet we are able to judge by the fruits someone produces (or doesn’t produce) in his life to warrant further examination of his testimony. That’s the basis for church discipline and/or excommunication. What on earth this has to do with some notion of works-righteousness is beyond me. You are confusing the topic at hand.

        You quote James 2:24, ripping that completely out of context (as almost all Roman Catholics do). To whom is James writing? What is the subject of his epistle? Answer those questions before citing that as some sort of argument in favor of faith plus works. If you’re really interested in engaging that text, then I highly recommend that you read James White’s book The God Who Justifies where he has an entire chapter on that. To sum it up, James is making the point that good works are the manifestation of a saving faith in contrast to an empty profession of faith or a mere intellectual assent.

        Again, I have made all of this abundantly clear. None of this is confusing to those who have ears to hear. Sadly, it seems that you’re not here to have a dialogue at all but to simply troll my blog. I hope I’m wrong.

  3. Daniel says:

    Wow. Well, I’m very sorry to get off on such a bad footing.

    The 1689 London Baptist Confession was very helpful in the clarity that it provided. For example, “Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.”

    It’s very similar to what I believe:

    “For this reason Luther’s phrase: “faith alone” is true, if it is not opposed to faith in charity, in love. Faith is looking at Christ, entrusting oneself to Christ, being united to Christ, conformed to Christ, to his life. And the form, the life of Christ, is love; hence to believe is to conform to Christ and to enter into his love. So it is that in the Letter to the Galatians in which he primarily developed his teaching on justification St Paul speaks of faith that works through love (cf. Gal 5: 14).

    So contrary to being a troll, we’ve struck a chord of Christian unity:

    We on the one hand can affirm we are justified by faith, and on the other hand affirm as true that those who exhibit no fruits of the Spirit in God’s eyes are not regenerate in God’s eyes.

    Trent says, “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.”

    That statement is something I think we both could affirm. The perpetually impious aren’t justified at all, as evidenced by not exhibiting fruits of the Spirit that speak of their regeneration. As for the second phrase, whether our will chooses God because of a monergistic work of the Spirit or a synergistic work of the Spirit, in either case we both know and can both agree that no one is justified whose will rejects Christ’s justifying gift at Calvary.

    “To whom is James writing? What is the subject of his epistle? Answer those questions before citing that as some sort of argument in favor of faith plus works.”

    I always took it to be that James was writing to the whole Church, and specifically to console those frustrated by trials and temptations, to correct those who weren’t living their faith, to stop favoring the wealthy, to admonish those who believed that they were justified by faith alone, meaning believing only or intellectual assent only, without actually doing anything, etc.

    I’m very familiar with James White (though not that particular book), as I said I used to be a 7 point Calvinist and he’s at least a 5 point and might believe in double predestination, though I think he hasn’t plainly said on his blog (I never read his books), not because they aren’t good but simply on the grounds they aren’t free.

    • Daniel, you’re seriously delusional if you really believe that there is no difference between confessional Protestantism’s view of justification and that which is articulated by Trent. You have constructed a “unity” here which is firmly planted in mid-air. There is no unity whatsoever between two different groups of people who are preaching two different gospels. Not possible.

      Given what I’ve seen of your interactions with others on Facebook, I must conclude that your sole purpose in coming here to my blog is to argue, debate, and in general cause trouble. Additional evidence is the fact that you refuse to read the aforementioned sources I’ve recommended. Read James White’s book. Read the book just published by R.C. Sproul on this issue. Both of those men are elders in Christ’s church. Expensive? I got Sproul’s book for $5, brand new, when Ligonier had a promotional special. It’s just an excuse. You just want to argue on the Internet.

      Notice how long it took me to respond this time. It’s been awhile since I’ve even touched this entire blog. I have a life. I have three children to raise and support. I have my duties as a deacon. I certainly don’t have time to engage in endless debates online, especially with people who refuse to hear the truth. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for the state of your soul.

  4. Daniel says:

    Well, I guess this will be my last post–I’ll lurk from now on, unless you don’t want me even doing that.

    A few parting points: There has been great progress made in the Protestant/Catholic understanding on justification.

    For example, the Lutheran Solid Declaration at the Formula of Concord that they use for the Catechism in the Book of Concord says: “Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered us in the promise of the Gospel.

    That obviously can be construed as a damnable heresy at first glance.

    But, recently there has been must progress on this issue. See for example, the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification between the Lutheran and Catholic churches. http://www.lutheranworld.org/Special_Events/LWF-Special_Events-Justification.html

    There is much room for common ground I suspect for many of our doctrines. But we will never get anywhere with trying to understand each other without dialogue.

    As far as the insinuation that I’m trolling based on (to my knowledge only one) a Facebook discussion whereby you asserted that the federal and state governments weren’t racist at the time preceding the Civil War, and I replied citing laws in force at the time preventing interracial marriage, education, etc. I was posting on that Facebook thread long before you appeared. And what I was posting before you arrived on that thread was in basic agreement with the original status done by Marcus Pittman–that’s not typical troll behavior.

    As far as White and Sproul, I’ve read enough of both (at Alpha Omega Ministries, and I read Almighty Over All respectively) to know that I’m not going to spend money on their books. I’ll read them if they fall into my lap, but I’m not going to spend money on them.

    I appreciate that you are willing to take the time and energy to pray for my soul, and I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Posts like this last one above in which you distort the truth and twist the facts are exactly why you are no longer welcome on this blog.

      It was not only one discussion on Marcus’ Facebook page in which I’ve seen you interact like this. You have an inherent tendency to be argumentative and a general troublemaker. Just because I haven’t engaged you in the other threads doesn’t mean that I didn’t see them. The attitude you routinely display is indicative of the works of the flesh Paul speaks of in Galatians 5:20, namely promoting “contentions…dissensions, heresies” and the like.

      At the very least it’s a sign of immaturity, the constant desire to argue over something at the drop of a hat. In my younger days as an undergrad, I used to love to debate for debating sake just like that. Then I repented. Then I grew up. I urge you to do likewise and stop wasting your time and the time of others.

      Proverbs 6:19 says that God hates the sowing of discord. That same verse (along with the earlier v. 17) says that God hates lying too. Your statement about what I said on Marcus’ status is a bold-faced lie. I suppose it’s possible that you were mistaking my comments with those of another individual, but nevertheless you are responsible for what you’ve written here in the comments section of this post. And I’m calling you out on it.

      For the record, I never said that the individuals in the Federal and State governments weren’t racist at that time. I have acknowledged repeatedly over the years that white supremacist attitudes were the norm, both North and South, during the 19th century. Those attitudes translated into public policy. I never denied that. My point in the discussion was to argue against both the validity and the necessity of the 14th Amendment as it overturned the very nature of the general government up to that point.

      But I digress. The fact that you’re willing to slander me over something as trivial as a Facebook discussion on constitutional law is very telling indeed. It tells me that you’re no longer worthy of my time. You talk about common ground, yet I cannot help but wonder how on earth such a thing can exist when you promote falsehoods and dissensions. Can’t happen. Dialogue requires honesty and mutual respect.

      Finally, what you’re written above regarding Lutherans and Roman Catholics doesn’t negate anything I’ve said previously. You say that much progress has been made. Really? I suppose when the new pope comes out and declares that even atheists can gain salvation through their own merits, you can pretty much declare a “joint statement” on just about anything. Given Rome’s schizophrenic stances on the nature of salvation (past and present), I stand by my previous statements.

      The fact that you’re not willing to read White, Sproul, et al tells me that you definitely aren’t interested in a dialogue. Not in the least. As it has been demonstrated above, you’re a liar and a troublemaker. You need to repent. And if you have decided to embrace Roman Catholicism, then you’re an apostate. It is for these reasons that I pray for your soul. But for the grace of God, there I would be as well. I pray He removes the scales from your eyes.

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