Saturday, December 8, 2018

Roman Catholic Apologist De Maria's Peculiar Interpretation Of Romans 4

  • Discussion:
          -Quite simply, the purpose of this article is to rebut the claims made by Roman Catholic apologist De Maria on Romans 4. In summary, he believes that this text is a reference to the sacraments. As with the last article, we begin this critique with a quotation from the author:

          "Genesis 26:5 
          Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

          And this ties the Catholic back to Abraham. We also work because of our faith in God. "

          Our faith enables us to be pleasing to God. Our good works are rooted in our faith. Our good works are the product of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. So, the quoted excerpt has an element of truth to it. But there is nothing particularly Roman Catholic about this.

          "2 Corinthians 5:18
          And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

          No one can deny that David did many works. But here, in his confession, all he did was believe in God's mercy. That is what Catholics do when we attend the Sacraments."

          This harmonization of the "sacraments" is abruptly introduced. It is simply pulled out of thin air. Nowhere does Paul in Scripture justify or necessitate such an interpretation. The "ministry of reconciliation" is a reference to his own ministry of apostleship. He endured burdens, and those all had a purpose.

           "That pretty much repeats what I just said. We, like Abraham, believe and are imputed righteousness, in the Sacraments of Jesus Christ."

           "Imputation" is not dependent upon sacraments. The onus is on De Maria to validate his reasoning. There is also a "negative" aspect to this. Even granting that the author's premise is true, there is no evidence suggesting that a lack of sacraments would inhibit imputation.

           "So, even though they did everything by faith which they were supposed to do, they did not inherit the promise UNTIL Jesus died upon the Cross and established the Sacraments with His Blood."

           All the aforementioned comments apply here. The Roman Catholic Church maintains that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the seven sacraments. Where in the Bible does that occur? Various Catholic "proof-texts" can be analyzed by consulting context and up to date commentaries which employ proper hermeneutics. The concept of a sacrament has merely been "read into" those passages. The fallacy of anachronism is without a doubt committed in the process.

           "There was no ministry of reconciliation in the Old Testament. David's reconciliation was the exception and it was to show the blessedness to come. It was a foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation."

           False. The prophets time and time again call Israel to repentance. The Old Testament is replete with examples of God calling Israel back to Him.

           "Again, this explains why Catholics are children of Abraham. Because we believe and it is counted to us righteousness in the Sacraments."

           There is no mention of sacraments anywhere in the inspired writings of the Apostle Paul. All that we have encountered thus far from De Maria is mysticism, interwoven with irrational assertions. The problem is that God-ordained symbols have been overemphasized. It is foolish to claim that something is a symbol of itself. The forgiveness of God is not restricted to a set of rituals. The sacraments are a theological postulate that has yet to be corroborated by Scripture.

           There exists a certain irony in claiming that faithful adherents of Rome are the children of Abraham. Roman Catholicism shares a glaringly obvious parallel with the Judaizers, who claimed that believers needed to revert to observing the Law in addition to trusting in the sacrificial work of Christ for salvation. Paul combated their errors vigorously in his day as he wrote an epistle to the Church of Galatia. The Roman Catholic Church holds that sacraments are necessary for salvation. Both groups mix Law with grace. Such was categorically condemned by the Apostle Paul as a false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). There is no need for us to corrupt the simplicity that is found in Christ Jesus. We must place our trust in His work alone for salvation.

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