Monthly Archives: October 2009

Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther…. [Reformation Day]

Standard


…….on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences
by Dr. Martin Luther (1517)

 from here:

Published in:
Works of Martin Luther:
Adolph Spaeth, L.D. Reed, Henry Eyster Jacobs, et Al., Trans. & Eds.
(Philadelphia: A. J. Holman Company, 1915), Vol.1, pp. 29-38

_______________

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.2. This word cannot be understood to mean sacramental penance, i.e., confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests.

    3. Yet it means not inward repentance only; nay, there is no inward repentance which does not outwardly work divers mortifications of the flesh.

    4. The penalty [of sin], therefore, continues so long as hatred of self continues; for this is the true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

    5. The pope does not intend to remit, and cannot remit any penalties other than those which he has imposed either by his own authority or by that of the Canons.

    6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring that it has been remitted by God and by assenting to God’s remission; though, to be sure, he may grant remission in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in such cases were despised, the guilt would remain entirely unforgiven.

    7. God remits guilt to no one whom He does not, at the same time, humble in all things and bring into subjection to His vicar, the priest.

    8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to them, nothing should be imposed on the dying.

    9. Therefore the Holy Spirit in the pope is kind to us, because in his decrees he always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.

    10. Ignorant and wicked are the doings of those priests who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penances for purgatory.

    11. This changing of the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory is quite evidently one of the tares that were sown while the bishops slept.

    12. In former times the canonical penalties were imposed not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.

    13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties; they are already dead to canonical rules, and have a right to be released from them.

    14. The imperfect health [of soul], that is to say, the imperfect love, of the dying brings with it, of necessity, great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater is the fear.

    15. This fear and horror is sufficient of itself alone (to say nothing of other things) to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.

    16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ as do despair, almost-despair, and the assurance of safety.

    17. With souls in purgatory it seems necessary that horror should grow less and love increase.

    18. It seems unproved, either by reason or Scripture, that they are outside the state of merit, that is to say, of increasing love.

    19. Again, it seems unproved that they, or at least that all of them, are certain or assured of their own blessedness, though we may be quite certain of it.

    20. Therefore by “full remission of all penalties” the pope means not actually “of all,” but only of those imposed by himself.

    21. Therefore those preachers of indulgences are in error, who say that by the pope’s indulgences a man is freed from every penalty, and saved;

    22. Whereas he remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to the canons, they would have had to pay in this life.

    23. If it is at all possible to grant to any one the remission of all penalties whatsoever, it is certain that this remission can be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to the very fewest.

    24. It must needs be, therefore, that the greater part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and highsounding promise of release from penalty.

    25. The power which the pope has, in a general way, over purgatory, is just like the power which any bishop or curate has, in a special way, within his own diocese or parish.

    26. The pope does well when he grants remission to souls [in purgatory], not by the power of the keys (which he does not possess), but by way of intercession.

    27. They preach man who say that so soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out [of purgatory].

    28. It is certain that when the penny jingles into the money-box, gain and avarice can be increased, but the result of the intercession of the Church is in the power of God alone.

    29. Who knows whether all the souls in purgatory wish to be bought out of it, as in the legend of Sts. Severinus and Paschal.

    30. No one is sure that his own contrition is sincere; much less that he has attained full remission.

    31. Rare as is the man that is truly penitent, so rare is also the man who truly buys indulgences, i.e., such men are most rare.

    32. They will be condemned eternally, together with their teachers, who believe themselves sure of their salvation because they have letters of pardon.

    33. Men must be on their guard against those who say that the pope’s pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to Him;

    34. For these “graces of pardon” concern only the penalties of sacramental satisfaction, and these are appointed by man.

    35. They preach no Christian doctrine who teach that contrition is not necessary in those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessionalia.

    36. Every truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without letters of pardon.

    37. Every true Christian, whether living or dead, has part in all the blessings of Christ and the Church; and this is granted him by God, even without letters of pardon.

    38. Nevertheless, the remission and participation [in the blessings of the Church] which are granted by the pope are in no way to be despised, for they are, as I have said, the declaration of divine remission.

    39. It is most difficult, even for the very keenest theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the abundance of pardons and [the need of] true contrition.

    40. True contrition seeks and loves penalties, but liberal pardons only relax penalties and cause them to be hated, or at least, furnish an occasion [for hating them].

    41. Apostolic pardons are to be preached with caution, lest the people may falsely think them preferable to other good works of love.

    42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend the buying of pardons to be compared in any way to works of mercy.

    43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better work than buying pardons;

    44. Because love grows by works of love, and man becomes better; but by pardons man does not grow better, only more free from penalty.

    45. 45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a man in need, and passes him by, and gives [his money] for pardons, purchases not the indulgences of the pope, but the indignation of God.

    46. Christians are to be taught that unless they have more than they need, they are bound to keep back what is necessary for their own families, and by no means to squander it on pardons.

    47. Christians are to be taught that the buying of pardons is a matter of free will, and not of commandment.

    48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting pardons, needs, and therefore desires, their devout prayer for him more than the money they bring.

    49. Christians are to be taught that the pope’s pardons are useful, if they do not put their trust in them; but altogether harmful, if through them they lose their fear of God.

    50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the pardon-preachers, he would rather that St. Peter’s church should go to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin, flesh and bones of his sheep.

    51. Christians are to be taught that it would be the pope’s wish, as it is his duty, to give of his own money to very many of those from whom certain hawkers of pardons cajole money, even though the church of St. Peter might have to be sold.

    52. The assurance of salvation by letters of pardon is vain, even though the commissary, nay, even though the pope himself, were to stake his soul upon it.

    53. They are enemies of Christ and of the pope, who bid the Word of God be altogether silent in some Churches, in order that pardons may be preached in others.

    54. Injury is done the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or a longer time is spent on pardons than on this Word.

    55. It must be the intention of the pope that if pardons, which are a very small thing, are celebrated with one bell, with single processions and ceremonies, then the Gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.

    56. The “treasures of the Church,” out of which the pope. grants indulgences, are not sufficiently named or known among the people of Christ.

    57. That they are not temporal treasures is certainly evident, for many of the vendors do not pour out such treasures so easily, but only gather them.

    58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the Saints, for even without the pope, these always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outward man.

    59. St. Lawrence said that the treasures of the Church were the Church’s poor, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.

    60. Without rashness we say that the keys of the Church, given by Christ’s merit, are that treasure;

    61. For it is clear that for the remission of penalties and of reserved cases, the power of the pope is of itself sufficient.

    62. The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God.

    63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last.

    64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.

    65. Therefore the treasures of the Gospel are nets with which they formerly were wont to fish for men of riches.

    66. The treasures of the indulgences are nets with which they now fish for the riches of men.

    67. The indulgences which the preachers cry as the “greatest graces” are known to be truly such, in so far as they promote gain.

    68. Yet they are in truth the very smallest graces compared with the grace of God and the piety of the Cross.

    69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of apostolic pardons, with all reverence.

    70. But still more are they bound to strain all their eyes and attend with all their ears, lest these men preach their own dreams instead of the commission of the pope.

    71. He who speaks against the truth of apostolic pardons, let him be anathema and accursed!

    72. But he who guards against the lust and license of the pardon-preachers, let him be blessed!

    73. The pope justly thunders against those who, by any art, contrive the injury of the traffic in pardons.

    74. But much more does he intend to thunder against those who use the pretext of pardons to contrive the injury of holy love and truth.

    75. To think the papal pardons so great that they could absolve a man even if he had committed an impossible sin and violated the Mother of God — this is madness.

    76. We say, on the contrary, that the papal pardons are not able to remove the very least of venial sins, so far as its guilt is concerned.

    77. It is said that even St. Peter, if he were now Pope, could not bestow greater graces; this is blasphemy against St. Peter and against the pope.

    78. We say, on the contrary, that even the present pope, and any pope at all, has greater graces at his disposal; to wit, the Gospel, powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written in I. Corinthians xii.

    79. To say that the cross, emblazoned with the papal arms, which is set up [by the preachers of indulgences], is of equal worth with the Cross of Christ, is blasphemy.

    80. The bishops, curates and theologians who allow such talk to be spread among the people, will have an account to render.

    81. This unbridled preaching of pardons makes it no easy matter, even for learned men, to rescue the reverence due to the pope from slander, or even from the shrewd questionings of the laity.

    82. To wit: — “Why does not the pope empty purgatory, for the sake of holy love and of the dire need of the souls that are there, if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a Church? The former reasons would be most just; the latter is most trivial.”

    83. Again: — “Why are mortuary and anniversary masses for the dead continued, and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded on their behalf, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?”

    84. Again: — “What is this new piety of God and the pope, that for money they allow a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God, and do not rather, because of that pious and beloved soul’s own need, free it for pure love’s sake?”

    85. Again: — “Why are the penitential canons long since in actual fact and through disuse abrogated and dead, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences, as though they were still alive and in force?”

    86. Again: — “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is to-day greater than the riches of the richest, build just this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of poor believers?”

    87. Again: — “What is it that the pope remits, and what participation does he grant to those who, by perfect contrition, have a right to full remission and participation?”

    88. Again: — “What greater blessing could come to the Church than if the pope were to do a hundred times a day what he now does once, and bestow on every believer these remissions and participations?”

    89. “Since the pope, by his pardons, seeks the salvation of souls rather than money, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons granted heretofore, since these have equal efficacy?”

    90. To repress these arguments and scruples of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the Church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christians unhappy.

    91. If, therefore, pardons were preached according to the spirit and mind of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved; nay, they would not exist.

    92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace!

    93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Cross, cross,” and there is no cross!

    94. Christians are to be exhorted that they be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hell;

    95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven rather through many tribulations, than through the assurance of peace.

Overcome Evil with Good

Standard

 

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

Peacemaking does not always go as easily as we would like it to. Although some people will readily make peace, others will be stubborn and defensive and resist our efforts to be reconciled. Sometimes they will become even more antagonistic and find new ways to frustrate or mistreat us.

Our natural reaction is to strike back at such people, or at least to stop doing anything good to them. However, Jesus calls us to take a remarkably different course of action:

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. … Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-28, 35-36).

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 247.

Food for Thought

Think about someone who could be described by one of the following:

  • Your enemy
  • Someone who hates you
  • Someone who curses you
  • Someone who mistreats you

Maybe someone pops right to mind. Or maybe it’s a little hard to identify one (though “someone who mistreats you” is quite a one-size-fits-all descriptor of a person who make your life difficult). But in each case, Jesus has called us to this “remarkably different course of action.”

He calls us to love, do good, bless, and pray. But in our own strength, this command is impossible to obey. Pray that God would give you a special measure of grace today to overcome evil with good, even when it seems the most difficult thing in the world to actually do.

~~~

Is there anyone is your life described as the above?

Fortunately I don’t know of anyone right off-hand. There is people who make my life difficult, but I love them and they are usually the ones living closest to me. 😉

Something to ponder….. The Home Engineer

 

Musings on …. SB 5688 and R 71

Standard

 

So I was clicking around on the interwebs and was researching R71 and discovered it was a re-vote of sorts to

something already voted on and approved.

I am not saying whether Im voting for or against it, I just was looking at some info. about our laws.

I really don’t ever vote in elections. i know; bad christian, bad american. But i just don’t feel like i should

vote on some thing i know nothing about, and my brain just can’t or won’t focus in on government language and my

desires are really not of this world. If God puts them into office, I will obey them and if I don’t vote on them,

my reasoning is i don’t/can’t talk bad about them.

I don’t think i project unhealthy or crazy ideas about government or believe that one man is really running the whole show and he is the anti-christ. Don’t want to promote that either.

so if you live in washington and are voting on this R71 or anything else; know how you vote. How who you vote for and why you vote.

that is all.

 

What voters will see on their ballots

Here is what the R 71 ballot will say:

REFERENDUM 71 Ballot Title Statement of Subject:

The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be:

Approved ___ Rejected __

~~

Referendum 71 is a ballot referendum that asks Washington state voters to re-confirm the expansion of domestic partnership rights and obligations in Washington’s originally limited domestic partnership legislation. The expansion (SB 5688) was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire on May 18, 2009.

~~

from washington state law:

RCW 26.04.010

Marriage contract — Void marriages.

 

(1) Marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female who have each attained the age of eighteen years, and who are otherwise capable.

     (2) Every marriage entered into in which either the husband or the wife has not attained the age of seventeen years is void except where this section has been waived by a superior court judge of the county in which one of the parties resides on a showing of necessity.

~~

RCW 26.04.020

Prohibited marriages.

 

(1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited:

     (a) When either party thereto has a wife or husband living at the time of such marriage;

     (b) When the husband and wife are nearer of kin to each other than second cousins, whether of the whole or half blood computing by the rules of the civil law; or

     (c) When the parties are persons other than a male and a female.

     (2) It is unlawful for any man to marry his father’s sister, mother’s sister, daughter, sister, son’s daughter, daughter’s daughter, brother’s daughter or sister’s daughter; it is unlawful for any woman to marry her father’s brother, mother’s brother, son, brother, son’s son, daughter’s son, brother’s son or sister’s son.

     (3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a), (1)(c), or (2) of this section.

~~

Senate Bill 5688 here

~~~~

 some other websites:

http://protectmarriagewa.com/

http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/wa/2009/WASB5688/default.asp

http://www.washingtonvotes.org/2009-SB-5688

 

The Peacemaker’s Harvest

Standard

 

When someone has wronged you, it is also helpful to remember that God is sovereign and loving. Therefore, when you are having a hard time forgiving that person, take time to note how God may be using the offense for good.

 Is this an unusual opportunity to glorify God? How can you serve others and help them grow in their faith? What sins and weaknesses of yours are being exposed for the sake of your growth?

What character qualities are you being challenged to exercise? When you perceive that the person who has wronged you is being used as an instrument in God’s hand to help you mature, serve others, and glorify him, it may be easier for you to move ahead with forgiveness. 

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 216.

Food for Thought

Conflict, along with trials, suffering, loss, and other hardships, can be what God uses to bring the most good in our own lives or in the lives of those around us. It’s often the most painful events of life that bring the biggest harvest.

Harvest is a prominent topic at this time of year. Here in Montana, the sugar beet and wheat harvest is taking place, and by all reports, this year will bring a good harvest. The hard work of tilling, planting, and watering through the year is finally coming to a fruitful end.

In the same way, God brings us through the times of conflict, trial, or suffering that can bring a great harvest. Yes, it’s work; often it involves hours (or months) of tears, heartache, and discipline, but the ultimate reward is one of becoming more like Christ.

 In these situations, God gives us opportunities to glorify him, to serve others, to be a part of what he is doing, and even to receive personal reward. Yet in our stubbornness, our refusal to forgive, or our demand to be right or vindicated, we fail to seize those opportunities. We miss the very harvest for which we’ve toiled.

The sowing, the tending, and the harvest all depend on each other–one could not happen without the other. But we are promised that “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).

 May your harvest be a great one as you sow peace in the midst of the conflicts you face.

Hmm, I love these little preacemaker devotions. You can sign up to get them in your inbox.

Click here

In Christ, Kristina

Musings on….. When the Darkness Will Not Lift

Standard

Doing What We Can While We Wait for God ~ and Joy

by John Piper

 

I am loving the fact I’m getting to read more, but my butt doesn’t. Gaining 10 pounds in a year is pretty much a bummer. Gotta get back into an exercise routine.

Ok then, on to the review:

from back of book:

“It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.”
John Piper

Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes. In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness.

Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.”

All I can say is…WOW. WOW. good book. Intense. Full of Truth and  Light for the depressed person.

There is a poem in the book called Bitter-sweet:

Ah, my dear angry Lord,

Since thou dost love, yet strike;

Cast down, yet help afford;

Sure I will do the like.

I will complain, yet praise;

I will bewail, approve;

And all my sour-sweet days

I will lament and love.

George Herbert

~~

some chapter titles include:

Confusing justification and sanctification will kill joy,

start with despair in yourself,

the physical side of spiritual depression,

how long, o Lord, how long?,

when a child of God is persuaded that he is not,

what matters is your duty, not your joy?,

Will you be a hypocrite of you obey without joy?

Does unconfessed sin clog our joy?

confessing to God and to man is sweet freedom, the devil cannot abide with the light of cherished truth.

I mean, come on, just looking at the titles makes you want to read it, right?

This book began as the final chapter of a larger book by Piper entitled When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. Which is available on PDF at Pipers Desiring God website.

Which now that i click around ont he Desiring God site i see that this book on PDF  and so is another one i bought at the Ligonier conference;

  Sex and the Supremacy of Christ

Ok, I’m done, go and read….

~The Home Engineer

Weird Dreams Really Get Me Down

Standard

Thought I would try the new WordPress PicApp and tell you about my guinea pig experience.

So there is this research clinic near me that does clinical trials. I was clicking around Facebook and was telling them I couldn’t sleep. Was looking for a way to sleep. I’m exhausted all the time. Due mostly to my depression.

[Which in turn is mostly due to recent circumstances beyond my control]

I assumed an insomnia trial was what I would qualify for. They say I was more qualified for the depression study.

Docs believe if an antidepressant is taken and not working, then an antipsychotic should be added to help with the depression symptoms.

Abilify is one of those drugs.

I’m on Lexapro right now and it’s not working, yes, people who do not believe in antidepressants, I am also in therapy and bible studies and in the Word of God daily.

But my sleep sucks. When i can get my tiny mind to stop racing, I have the weirdest dreams, they are always of me struggling. Struggling to have control on something or someone. Always actions packed, sometimes scary and always weird, weird, weird.

So anyways, I thought, what the heck? I will get an antidepressant and the study is for the antipsychotic.

I will be a bit loopy for awhile while new meds rage thru my system. And I could just get a placebo for the antipsychotic.

The antidepressant I’m taking is Pristiq

So, to finish the longer than needed story. Please pray for me while the study is going one. For a clear head, no adverse side-effects and hopefully in the long run, helping someone else out.

Glory to God in the Highest!