Saturday, August 16, 2008

More About Jim

Someone objected because they believed that I was saying that Jim is going to Hell because he attends a Catholic Church. That is not the case.

After I took him through the Good Person Test, and he admitted to being a lying, thieving murderer by God's Standard, I asked him what he planned to do about Judgment Day. He said that, after Christ had risen from the dead, He (Jesus) gave Peter the authority to forgive whosoever sins he would. I now believe that Jim was referencing John 20:23, which is simply misunderstood (or mistranslated; whether deliberately or not, I cannot say.) He said that this verse meant that Holy Confession removed his sins.

This is simply not so.

First off, Jesus addressed all of the Apostles in this verse, not just Peter.

Secondly, in Matthew 16:18-20, Jesus is reported by most English translations to have said a similar thing to Peter specifically, not all of the disciples, as is explicitly the case in John 20:23, but most people don't know that the Greek words are translated with the wrong verb tense.

There are many more verb tenses in Greek than in English, which removes the need for some words in our language; phrases such as, "shall have been" are reduced to one word. If the translator doesn't know that, then he will have trouble. If the translator has an agenda, he can hide this from his readers.

The words in Matthew 16:19, where it is translated that Jesus said, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven," both the NIV and the ESV note that the verbs translated "will be bound" and "will be loosed" could mean "shall have been bound" and "shall have been loosed," a meaning which is hidden in almost all other translations I have read (I haven't read all that many, so...).

What Jesus is promising to Peter, then, is not authority over people's souls, but divinely imparted knowledge about the condition of their souls. Peter used this gift when speaking to Simon the Sorcerer about his desire to buy the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:9-24). Papal authority and priestly absolution are two very Catholic teachings that are not to be found in Scripture.

And Jim's hope--his faith--was in these two unbiblical teachings, not in Jesus Christ Himself. This is why I said that he was not saved.

And I have had many, many Catholics say to me, "Well, the good part about being Catholic is, all you have to do is go to Confession, and you're good!"

That is just not true. Jesus said, "I tell you, that unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5). Jesus didn't mean, "Go do penance," because the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican --a mere five chapters later (Luke 18:9-14)-- nothing was said about the publican's good works, or works of remediation, or penitent acts: it was only noted that he begged God for mercy as a sinner who was in serious trouble with God. His attitude toward sin was no longer cavalier, but remorseful to the point that he wanted to change. The Pharisee wasn't condemned for being a Pharisee, but for trusting in his own righteousness, which the Hebrew Scriptures testified were worth no more than "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

So, if Catholics--or anyone else, for that matter--are trusting in their good works, acts of penance, or institutions of the Church, in order to be forgiven of their sins, they are believing in a lie.


Jim is one of those people. And that is why I asked you to pray for him.

1 comment:

choco said...

I like your words "Jesus said". If everybody--Roman Catholic or other--would do that, they would have a better understanding of the truth.