The Pope’s Resignation: The Rest of the Story

popePope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign his office on February 28.  And while this news is shocking enough since no Pope has resigned his office in over 600 years, the story does not end there.  Listen to what the Pope told us in an exclusive interview.

“The Vatican is trying to break all the news slowly.  This is going to be messy.  It is true that I am resigning from being the Pope.  But there is more.  On February 27 as my last act, I will dissolve the office of the papacy altogether.” 

When asked why he would do such a thing he said a little sheepishly, “Well for Christmas, I got a Kindle Fire, just like everybody else.  When I downloaded the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it suggested another book called Luther’s Small Catechism.  Being the thrifty guy that I am, I looked for the best deal.  I saw that it was included in a larger book called the Book of Concord.  In just seconds thanks to Whispernet, I was reading it on my Kindle.   It was great stuff.  Eventually I got to a part called the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.  Needless to say, it piqued my attention.”

“Then I read these words, ‘But it is manifest that the Roman pontiffs and their adherents defend godless doctrines and godless forms of worship, and it is plain that the marks of the Antichrist coincide with those of the pope’s kingdom and his followers.’  It made a lot of sense.  So I am out.  And the office will be dissolved.  I don’t want to be the Antichrist any longer.  Who would?”

The Pope also mentioned some other changes would be coming.  When he told a fellow priest about his revelation, he found out the leader of the movement behind this Book of Concord had been excommunicated, he exclaimed, “Well that is embarrassing.  Let’s undo that.  And make him a Saint pronto.” 

He also mentioned that he has found other things in this Book of Concord that might require some further statements and changes.  “The fourth article of the document called the Augsburg Confession sure seems on point.  I will get back to you on that.” 

We will keep you updated on any further details.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 9:56 am and is filed under Humor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Responses to “The Pope’s Resignation: The Rest of the Story”

  1. Susan James Says:

    Wonderful! LOL

  2. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    If you’re trying to be funny, you have failed…miserably. Leave the man alone. He’s not your pope; you’re not a Roman Catholic, but he is…to the core. Leave him alone.

  3. Gary Says:

    We as Confessional Lutherans should seek to encourage/coax our RCC brothers and sisters toward the truths in the Book of Concord, not ridicule them and hit them over the head with it.

    The Protestant-Catholic wars of the 1600′s are over.

  4. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Gary and Chris,
    Humor is subjective.
    Phil

  5. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    You must have a really low bar by which to judge humor, then.

    Gary,

    I’m sure there are many truths in the Book of Concord that RCCs will share with you, even we Greek Orthodox. However, there are many satanic lies in there as well. RCCs are best to avoid those.

  6. Gary Says:

    Chris: Could you elaborate on these “satanic lies” in the Book of Concord?

    The Book of Concord is not “inspired scripture”. It is the Lutheran Statement of Faith, just as the Council of Trent declaration is the RCC Statement of Faith.

  7. Chris Says:

    Gary,

    I’m very well aware of what the Book of Concord is. However, it is, in many ways, antithetical to the faith deposited once and for all to the saints. If I had time, I would give you a long laundry list of lies and falsehoods contained therein which pollute and minimize the faith that has been present since the beginning.

  8. Gary Says:

    Give us the three biggest “satanic lies”.

  9. Chris Says:

    Lies are lies, but if you want the three biggest, go back to the Lutheran motto:

    Sola fide, sola gratia, sola Scriptura.

    More later.

  10. Erin Says:

    Aww, I was all excited. . .what a new era it would have been to not have been so focused on mortals rather than simply God. :/

  11. Gary Says:

    All three of those points are stated clearly in Holy Scripture. Where do you have a problem?

  12. Chris Says:

    Gary,

    Regrettably, I do not have the time to take you to task over this though it would be quite easy for me to do so. So I’ll give you the two minute version. ANything longer, you will have to be patient for me, because I’m a busy man.

    Also, you must understand (and I don’t think most Lutherans are capable of understanding this) is that the Orthodox approach such questions in fundamentally different ways.

    1) Sola Scritpura. Never even mentioned in the Scriptures. Saying that the Scriptures are the sole source of doctrine and revelation (which they’re not; they are the witness to the revelation in the manifestation of the 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ) is to put the proverbial cart before the horse. The Scriptures were written by the church and in not one place, even the most generous liberal reading, no one can find that only the Scriptures are to be obeyed. St. Augustine, every Lutheran’s favorite church father says that even the canon of Scripture would be entirely questioned save for the authority of the Church. It is the Church which is the guard and bulwark of Truth, not the Scriptures. They are a witness to the Truth which is again, Jesus Christ.

    Those places in the NT where the Scriptures are mentioned are referring exclusively to the OT. Not one of the Church Fathers says “Sola Scriptura” and those who do (though not in those words), like St. Isaac the Syrian, do not refer only to what Protestants call “The Bible” but to the collective whole of texts and traditions that exist even in the councils, hymns and prayers of the Church. Lex orandi, lex credendi. It’s not Lex Scripturae, Lex credendi, is it? Also, even if you find a church father that would seem to argue as Scripture as the “only” source (which you will not find), then how do you reconcile that thought with the fact that they defended doctrines and dogmas which Lutherans find so repugnant, such as the ever-virginity of Mary, her recognition as Theotokos, God as Trinity, the invocation of the saints, the authority of bishops, etc.? Also, how would you reconcile the dual procession of the spirit (i.e. filioque) even though the GOspel according to St. John says pretty plainly and literally that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? You can’t have it both ways. Sola Scriptura is also a historical anachronism because it assumes that the people in the apostolic age were a text society, which they clearly weren’t. They were an oral society. Our age is a text society. To impose our cultural standards of text and authority upon an age which had such a differing concept even of authorship is hubristic, ill-advised and flat out wrong. Besides if Sola Scriptura were the lone guide, how is it that every Protestant confession has its own doctrine and there are so many differences?

    2) Sola fide. If Sola Scriptura were a the lone guide to dogma, then how is that the only time faith alone is used in the BIble, is done so negatively? I refer, of course, to the Epistle of St. James. Yes, I know what Luther called the book. But you cannot say “Scripture alone, Scripture alone” and then cast out a book where that contradicts what you believe? That’s not sola Scriptura. That’s redaction. Faith alone is nowhere found in Scripture save for the negative in St. James’ Epistle. Martin Luther inserted the German “allein” in ROmans Chapter 8, because he felt it was implied. Again, there is another contradiction with SOla Scriptura. If the text is plain, why the need to add or subtract text? You cannot have it both ways. Besides, in ROmans, ST. Paul is talking about works of the LAW; he is not scrutinizing works in general. He’s talking about blind obedience to legalisms which were to keep the Jewish people free from contamination represented by the Gentiles. Now that Christ has come, the Jewish ceremonial law is no longer needed since the new covenant is written no longer on tablets of stone but on the hearts of men (see HEbrews and St. Augustine’s commentary). Good works and faith are two sides of the same coin. YOu cannot strike the transverse without the obverse side. If the Lutherans would modify sola fide to say sola fide sine Legis operibus, then maybe I might concede the point. However, Lutherans have a horrible track record of impugning good works. The problem with sola fide is that its application makes the Christian entirely passive. And Christ did not come into this world, to die and Rise again only for his Creation to be helpless bystanders in the plan of salvation. It’s an insult to God and His creation (which I will develop in the next point).

    3) Sola gratia. The problem here is that we are on two different plains of anthropology which has to be discussed first before going into the divine. Lutherans believe in the total depravity of man (snow covered dung). This stems from an exclusive Augustinian reading of the Fall in Genesis. The problem is that Augustine fails to distinguish image and likeness (I will concede that ST. Athanasius and St. Gregory of Nyssa do not distinguish between the two either, but the ORthodox Church follows the lead of St. Maximos the Confessor). Image is the reality; likeness is the goal. This is crucial fo when Augustine declares that Adam and Eve were in the garden, they had perfection. Not so. If you read Irenaios and other fathers you will note that Adam and Eve were in a state of spiritual infancy. Such is why they were given the command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; they were simply not ready for that yet. They had to grow first. OK, now that that is done, let’s move to grace.

    The problem with sola gratia is that it assumes that everything was destroyed in the Fall and that a taint or stain of guilt was passed on from generation to generation through sexual procreation (again, which follows Augustine who had his own demons to wrestle with when it came to the carnal passions which definitely influenced his outlook and not for the better). God knew His creation to be good; He says so Himself. That begs the question, if His creation is good, how can the goodness be totally destroyed even by one sin? It cannot. The goodness is still there though it is hidden and opaque. It has to be brought out. If everything was destroyed then why would God waste His time coming down in the flesh in the first place, if nothing in the flesh was good anymore? Given the nearly obsessed legalism of Western Christianity, particularly Lutheranism and Catholicism under the influence of Anselm, this would be an affront to the justice of God. Something must have been retained.

    WE also have radically different understandings of what grace is. THe Western Church assumes, erroneously, that grace is created. We see it as a natural energy or manifestation of the Godhead. Because God exists, grace exists from Him, naturally. In other words, God is what he has (Deus est qui habet to quote Augustine).

    To return to the anthropology side, because humanity’s image was not destroyed, but hidden and obfuscated, the grace must work synergeistically with the image retained in each of us. For grace to be an irresistible force acting upon an immovable object (the destroyed image) makes no sense and it makes God out to be ignorant of His own creation and, as I have stated above, will really confound the principles of justice which Lutherans found their entire soteriology upon. Do we need God’s grace? absolutely! But to say that grace alone (and again, we have diverging definitions of grace) without any contribution, meager as it may be, makes us only into automatons. And automatons cannot love. And love must be borne out of freedom which automatons also lack.

    In short, there’s my two minute stance. I’d provide more sources and more quotes, but I’m going from memory even with a bad headache. My advice: Don’t even try to refute me. When I’m in total control of my faculties, I’m unstoppable.

  13. Chris Says:

    Gary,

    Regrettably, I do not have the time to take you to task over this though it would be quite easy for me to do so. So I’ll give you the two minute version. ANything longer, you will have to be patient for me, because I’m a busy man.

    Also, you must understand (and I don’t think most Lutherans are capable of understanding this) is that the Orthodox approach such questions in fundamentally different ways.

    1) Sola Scritpura. Never even mentioned in the Scriptures. Saying that the Scriptures are the sole source of doctrine and revelation (which they’re not; they are the witness to the revelation in the manifestation of the 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ) is to put the proverbial cart before the horse. The Scriptures were written by the church and in not one place, even the most generous liberal reading, no one can find that only the Scriptures are to be obeyed. St. Augustine, every Lutheran’s favorite church father says that even the canon of Scripture would be entirely questioned save for the authority of the Church. It is the Church which is the guard and bulwark of Truth, not the Scriptures. They are a witness to the Truth which is again, Jesus Christ.

    Those places in the NT where the Scriptures are mentioned are referring exclusively to the OT. Not one of the Church Fathers says “Sola Scriptura” and those who do (though not in those words), like St. Isaac the Syrian, do not refer only to what Protestants call “The Bible” but to the collective whole of texts and traditions that exist even in the councils, hymns and prayers of the Church. Lex orandi, lex credendi. It’s not Lex Scripturae, Lex credendi, is it? Also, even if you find a church father that would seem to argue as Scripture as the “only” source (which you will not find), then how do you reconcile that thought with the fact that they defended doctrines and dogmas which Lutherans find so repugnant, such as the ever-virginity of Mary, her recognition as Theotokos, God as Trinity, the invocation of the saints, the authority of bishops, etc.? Also, how would you reconcile the dual procession of the spirit (i.e. filioque) even though the GOspel according to St. John says pretty plainly and literally that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? You can’t have it both ways. Sola Scriptura is also a historical anachronism because it assumes that the people in the apostolic age were a text society, which they clearly weren’t. They were an oral society. Our age is a text society. To impose our cultural standards of text and authority upon an age which had such a differing concept even of authorship is hubristic, ill-advised and flat out wrong. Besides if Sola Scriptura were the lone guide, how is it that every Protestant confession has its own doctrine and there are so many differences?

    2) Sola fide. If Sola Scriptura were a the lone guide to dogma, then how is that the only time faith alone is used in the BIble, is done so negatively? I refer, of course, to the Epistle of St. James. Yes, I know what Luther called the book. But you cannot say “Scripture alone, Scripture alone” and then cast out a book where that contradicts what you believe? That’s not sola Scriptura. That’s redaction. Faith alone is nowhere found in Scripture save for the negative in St. James’ Epistle. Martin Luther inserted the German “allein” in ROmans Chapter 8, because he felt it was implied. Again, there is another contradiction with SOla Scriptura. If the text is plain, why the need to add or subtract text? You cannot have it both ways. Besides, in ROmans, ST. Paul is talking about works of the LAW; he is not scrutinizing works in general. He’s talking about blind obedience to legalisms which were to keep the Jewish people free from contamination represented by the Gentiles. Now that Christ has come, the Jewish ceremonial law is no longer needed since the new covenant is written no longer on tablets of stone but on the hearts of men (see HEbrews and St. Augustine’s commentary). Good works and faith are two sides of the same coin. YOu cannot strike the transverse without the obverse side. If the Lutherans would modify sola fide to say sola fide sine Legis operibus, then maybe I might concede the point. However, Lutherans have a horrible track record of impugning good works. The problem with sola fide is that its application makes the Christian entirely passive. And Christ did not come into this world, to die and Rise again only for his Creation to be helpless bystanders in the plan of salvation. It’s an insult to God and His creation (which I will develop in the next point).

    3) Sola gratia. The problem here is that we are on two different plains of anthropology which has to be discussed first before going into the divine. Lutherans believe in the total depravity of man (snow covered dung). This stems from an exclusive Augustinian reading of the Fall in Genesis. The problem is that Augustine fails to distinguish image and likeness (I will concede that ST. Athanasius and St. Gregory of Nyssa do not distinguish between the two either, but the ORthodox Church follows the lead of St. Maximos the Confessor). Image is the reality; likeness is the goal. This is crucial fo when Augustine declares that Adam and Eve were in the garden, they had perfection. Not so. If you read Irenaios and other fathers you will note that Adam and Eve were in a state of spiritual infancy. Such is why they were given the command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; they were simply not ready for that yet. They had to grow first. OK, now that that is done, let’s move to grace.

    The problem with sola gratia is that it assumes that everything was destroyed in the Fall and that a taint or stain of guilt was passed on from generation to generation through sexual procreation (again, which follows Augustine who had his own demons to wrestle with when it came to the carnal passions which definitely influenced his outlook and not for the better). God knew His creation to be good; He says so Himself. That begs the question, if His creation is good, how can the goodness be totally destroyed even by one sin? It cannot. The goodness is still there though it is hidden and opaque. It has to be brought out. If everything was destroyed then why would God waste His time coming down in the flesh in the first place, if nothing in the flesh was good anymore? Given the nearly obsessed legalism of Western Christianity, particularly Lutheranism and Catholicism under the influence of Anselm, this would be an affront to the justice of God. Something must have been retained.

    WE also have radically different understandings of what grace is. THe Western Church assumes, erroneously, that grace is created. We see it as a natural energy or manifestation of the Godhead. Because God exists, grace exists from Him, naturally. In other words, God is what he has (Deus est qui habet to quote Augustine).

    To return to the anthropology side, because humanity’s image was not destroyed, but hidden and obfuscated, the grace must work synergeistically with the image retained in each of us. For grace to be an irresistible force acting upon an immovable object (the destroyed image) makes no sense and it makes God out to be ignorant of His own creation and, as I have stated above, will really confound the principles of justice which Lutherans found their entire soteriology upon. Do we need God’s grace? absolutely! But to say that grace alone (and again, we have diverging definitions of grace) without any contribution, meager as it may be, makes us only into automatons. And automatons cannot love. And love must be borne out of freedom which automatons also lack.

    In short, there’s my two minute stance. I’d provide more sources and more quotes, but I’m going from memory even with a bad headache. My advice: Don’t even try to refute me.

  14. Josh Says:

    “My advice: Don’t even try to refute me.”

    lol. St. John the Evangelist says to “test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” :-)

    1) Sola Scriptura

    Protestants make the same literal mistake you are making. Sola Scriptura means that Scripture must be the fountain of all things pertaining to the pure doctrine of Jesus. If Lutherans believed in the Sola as you articulate why would we hold up the Book of Concord as our founding confessional documents? Why would we have Concordia Publishing House?

    Ludicrous. We are happy to quote fathers of the Church and theologians throughout history to the present when what they say matches up to Scripture (first) and the Confessions (second); we do not hold the Confessions on equal footing as Scripture but we do hold them as the right exposition of Scripture. To hold the writings of any man on the same level as God’s Word outside of the Apostles, who personally received a special measure of the Spirit from Jesus for the work they were about to undertake (John 20, Acts 9), is to grant to man that which it has not received since these thirteen unique men in history. Which understandably is quite the problem for our Roman Catholic friends.

    2) Sola fide

    Luther condemned the Epistle of James for the exact reasons you articulated here, NOT because he thought the book was garbage. He knew that taken out of context it would be devastating to Christians. St. James was written to rightly combat antinomianism. You will notice that it was written about a year before Paul wrote his first letter (to the Galatians). Paul’s writings on “grace through faith” therefore place the letter of James into the proper context not the other way around. James and Paul complement each other, not contradict.

    Sola fide moves works from a necessity of salvation to the fruit of they are properly supposed to be. Any other teaching basically puts Christianity back into a neo-Judaism where Jesus replaces Moses as the Law-giver of terror, which directly contradicts John 3:17-18.

    You see, this is where Lutherans apply that word that our RC friends find so ugly: “justification”. It is not our word, but St. Paul’s, and used quite prominently by him throughout Romans and Galatians connected to grace through faith in Jesus. But “justification” appears to have conveniently been dropped from the Roman Catholic lexicon.

    If Lutherans are wrong about justification, what are we to do with John 5:22-25 and John 6:28-29 anyway? Or the full context of Romans 3:21-5:21? Or the succinct Ephesians 2:8-10?

    Or when Jesus said, “It is finished.”

    Chris says, “The problem with sola fide is that its application makes the Christian entirely passive. And Christ did not come into this world, to die and Rise again only for his Creation to be helpless bystanders in the plan of salvation.”

    Luther says, “[Christians] are beggars, this is true.” The Law still exists and there is plenty to do for our neighbor, indeed created for us to do as Paul says in Ephesians 2:10. But these are not saving works they are joyful works in thanksgiving to God for His accomplishing all things for us through Jesus…they are loving works solely for our neighbor’s benefit otherwise they become mere means to an end (a/k/a part of the the false/selfish “theology of glory”).

    There is plenty for Christians to do, and fail to do as is often the case. Even the good works we do are not ours but God’s, for we could not do them if we were not first called to faith through His grace (in Baptism) for Jesus’ sake! Bystanders? Automatons? Rubbish.

    3) Sola gratia

    Your whole argument falls apart on three accounts:

    a) Everything written above (at minimum; there are plenty of other places in the OT and NT not cited);

    b) you are attempting to apply fallen human rationalism to a purely divine equation — your worldview is focused on understanding God by way of the Father-Creator instead of going by way of the Son-Justifier (John 14:6-7) OR Solo Christo (the fourth oft-uncited/taken for granted Sola);

    c) you said, “because humanity’s image was not destroyed, but hidden and obfuscated, the grace must work synergeistically with the image retained in each of us.” That is Pelagianism, which was condemned by several early ecumenical gatherings including both Councils at Orange (which dealt with this heresy specifically), Trent (irony of ironies), and the likes of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

    When our Old Adams would have us reject grace to look to the false glory of our own salvation we need to set before his eyes this rebuke of Jesus to the Pharisees (from John 5, NKJV):

    31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

    41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

    The Law killed the only-begotten Son of God not realizing that in doing so it lost all power to eternally condemn you and all who believe on Jesus’ Name and are connected to the Lamb that was slain through Baptism (Romans 6). And if the Law has no power to condemn us to hell, then no pope — indeed no man or devil — has that power either. “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”

    We are free in Christ, God’s “perfect love”, my friend. We confess our sins daily and receive the assurance of forgiveness and salvation by His promises in His Word, in His Baptism, in His Eucharist: Jesus has done it all for us, because God so loved…

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