Reply to Chris Pinto on Tares Amongst the Wheat

By Cris Putnam
TaresIn reply to Chris Pinto: http://www.noiseofthunder.com/articles/2013/9/12/the-cris-putnam-review.html

I would like to thank Chris Pinto for his civility in engaging my questions and concerns. My difficulty with the alleged conspiracy is the lack of a discernible pay off for the conspirator. Pinto clarified that the purpose of the conspiracy was simply to undermine Sola Scriptura, the reformation doctrine that “scripture alone” as the standard for Christian faith and practice by way of calling biblical inerrancy into question and, as a result, to promote the ecumenical movement toward a one world religion. First he clarified that the film is centered on German scholar, Constantine von Tischendorf and his discovery of Codex Sinaiticus and then he connects this to Rome’s agenda to undermine inerrancy. Pinto writes:

Second, the purpose of Rome (as we understand it) was not to promote Catholic theology, but rather to destabilize the foundation of the Biblical record by shattering the concept of Biblical inerrancy.  Her reason for doing this was to open the door to ecumenical compromise and the promotion of a one world religious movement.  This is why the film ends showing the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.  This was the beginning of the modern day ecumenical movement, the promotion of the idea that there are many paths to finding God, and that Christianity should be seen as just one religion among many.

I do not understand how a manuscript copy can possibly shatter the concept of biblical inerrancy. Accordingly, I am concerned that Pinto’s definition of inerrancy is too fragile. Protestant theologians widely agree that inerrancy applies exclusively to the original autographs by the first century writers like Paul and John. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was formulated in October 1978 by more than two hundred evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI), held in Chicago. Article X states:

     We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.
We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.[1]

Thus, a later copy like Codex Sinaiticus could not really affect the doctrine of inerrancy as it reflects mistakes by later copyists rather than the original inspired authors. In the nineteenth century when Tares claims this conspiracy was being perpetrated there is evidence to the contrary.

In his encyclical Providentissimus Deus (On the Study of Holy Scripture), Pope Leo XIII emphasized that the Bible in all its parts was inspired:

Because the Holy Ghost employed men as His instruments, we cannot therefore say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author. For, by supernatural power, He so moved and impelled them to write-He was so present to them-that the things which He ordered, and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth. [2]

Why would the Pope write this if there was a long term plan to undermine the Bible?  This encyclical, dated November 18, 1893, was written to specifically refute what Pinto claims Rome was promoting.  Seeing the threat of Darwinism, Pope Leo XIII wrote that true science cannot contradict scripture when it is properly explained and that what seems to be proved by science can turn out to be wrong. The idea that Rome had an organized agenda to discredit the Bible and promote Darwinism at this point in history is not supported by the evidence albeit that developed later in twentieth century as documented in Exo-Vaticana.  Of course Rome has now fully embraced the Darwinian ideas that Leo XIII was standing against, an inconsistency that counts against the notion of an infallible papacy and teaching magisterium.

On the Text-type Argument

It seems inconsistent for him to quote scholars like Bruce Metzger to dispute the text type argument because textual scholars agree that Codex Sinaiticus is authentic. The only experts in Tares are KJVonlyists. So if he is willing to use the authority of Metzger to dispute the existence of text types, why not accept it for Sinaiticus? Metzger wrote that Sinaitics is an ancient, handwritten unical copy of the Greek Bible.[2a] Furthermore, Metzger expressed technical arguments over text types, which he thought to be an oversimplification, it doesn’t dismiss my previous point. Sinaiticus matches so many known ancient sources it renders the forgery claim implausible. Even so, it is widely accepted in general terms that there are three basic manuscript families. I am concerned that neither of us is qualified to accurately discuss the issues involved in textual criticism. Here is in excerpt from Dr. David Allen Black and Thomas D. Lea’s seminary level textbook The New Testament: it’s background and Message:

The Practice of Textual Criticism

Textual scholars have developed rules for carrying out their studies to arrive at the best reading. Of course, these principles cannot be applied unthinkingly, nor do all apply in each instance of textual variation. These principles are based either upon the external evidence or the internal evidence.

External evidence seeks to determine which reading is supported by the most reliable witnesses (i.e., the Greek manuscripts, versions, and Church Fathers). These witnesses have been divided into three basic families or “texttypes”: the Alexandrian, the Western, and the Byzantine. Most modern scholars believe the Alexandrian text most closely approximates the original text of the New Testament. Other scholars prefer the Byzantine text.

The basic principles of external evidence include the following: (1) prefer the reading attested by the oldest manuscripts; (2) prefer the reading that is the most widespread geographically; and (3) prefer the reading supported by the most number of texttypes.

The basic principle of internal evidence is that the reading from which the other readings could most easily have arisen is probably original. This principle has several corollaries: (1) prefer the shorter reading; (2) prefer the more difficult reading; (3) prefer the reading that best fits the author’s style and diction; and (4) prefer the reading that best fits the context.

As we have said, the application of these principles is not a merely mechanical process. Skill and judgment are demanded in assessing the evidence and in determining the most probable reading.

We can be grateful that the materials for the practice of New Testament textual criticism are quite numerous. By contrast, the materials for determining the text of the writings of Plato or the Roman poet Virgil are few in number and are separated from the originals by as much as fourteen hundred years. New Testament textual criticism has assisted us by providing access to substantially the same text which the first-century writers produced.[3]

The goal of text criticism is to get back to the original autographs and because archeologists have discovered thousands more ancient sources since the reformation period, today’s scholars are in a much better position to make these determinations than a Roman Catholic monk like Erasmus working with only six late copies and the Latin Vulgate. I want to put the best defense forward in arguing for the veracity of scripture and modern conservative scholarship is our strongest ally. Pinto’s movie calls it all into question.

Playing Into the Hands of Bible Skeptics

As someone with training in apologetics, I have familiarized myself with the basics in order to address the claims popularized by Dr. Bart Ehrman, author of books like: Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them); Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why; Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. As one can readily see from the titles, Ehrman has made a career out of attacking the veracity of scripture.  Scholars like David Allen Black and Daniel Wallace are evangelical champions of Biblical inerrancy and are uniquely qualified to address the likes of Ehrman.  I highly recommend the following video:



Unfortunately, it seems that often skeptics have a better grasp on text-critical issues than the average believer. Often Ehrman’s arguments are used to destroy the uninformed believer’s faith.  I am concerned that Pinto’s film Tares Amongst the Wheat plays right into the hands of these skeptics by promoting widely discredited scholarship from Textus Receptus advocates. Without going into specifics here, a modicum of open-minded research should dispel the notion that Textus Receptus is superior.[4] Textus Receptus was compiled by Erasmus, a Roman Catholic scholar, using only six very late manuscripts and even back translation from the Latin Vulgate when he was missing a Greek source.[5] Doesn’t it seem inconsistent that Protestant scholars like Daniel Wallace and James White are disputed in order to exalt the work of the Catholic monk Erasmus?

Putnam asked: Where’s the payoff for Rome?

The answer to his question is the ecumenical movement.  The answer could be seen in the ecumenical activities of Billy Graham in the 20th century, joining with Catholic priests and nuns in his crusades, or in the 1994 document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.  With this, it could also be seen in Assisi, Italy in 1986 when Pope John Paul II met with religious leaders from all over the world, with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, American Indian Shamans, etc.  As he joined hands with them in prayer he told them, “We are all praying to the same God.”  An inerrant Bible that is taken too literally would be destructive of unity between the various “Christian” groups, and the differing religions of the world.  Destroying the concept of Biblical inerrancy opens the door to compromise and apostasy through ecumenism

Pinto argues that modern biblical scholarship undermined inerrancy and this led to the ecumenical movement. However, he failed to show any evidence for this connection. It seems to me that the rise of Darwinian evolution did the damage rather than biblical scholarship. It also seems like the Roman Catholic Church is in decline. If they are really going to lead a global religion then a non-linear event of transcendent proportion will need to occur (this is the reasoning behind Exo-Vaticana). Although I do not agree with Evangelicals and Catholics Together (along with John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul who I quoted in Petrus Romanus ), correlation does not equate to causation. Even so, most of those who did sign it like Billy Graham and Charles Colson also affirm biblical inerrancy. So the argument is a non sequitur—it just doesn’t follow. My original criticism stands, Tares Amongst the Wheat is a conspiracy theory without an actual conspiracy and, unfortunately, I am more concerned that it undermines conservative evangelical biblical scholarship which is our best line of defense in an increasingly anti-Christian culture.

 


[1] The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/chicago.htm (accessed September 18, 2013).

[2]  Pope Leo XIII “On the Study of Holy Scripture”,  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_18111893_providentissimus-deus_en.html (accessed September 18, 2013).

[2a]  Bruce Metzger & Bart D. Ehrman  The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, (New York – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)  62.

[3]Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black, The New Testament: Its Background and Message, 2nd ed. (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 77–78.

[4] Douglas S. Chinn and  Robert C. Newman, “Demystifying the Controversy Over the Textus Receptus and The King James Version of the Bible” KJVOnly.org, http://www.kjvonly.org/other/demystify.htm (accessed September 18, 2013).

[5] Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, pp. 99–100; Kurt Aland – Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament. An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism,Translated by Erroll F. Rhodes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989, 4.

Ψευδοπροφήτης (False Prophet) Francis Encourages Atheists Again

By Cris Putnam
pope-francisPaul warned Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” (2 Ti 4:3). Of course such misleading teaching has been occurring ever since Paul’s day but the Universalist rhetoric from Rome is becoming astounding. Pope Frank is doing back flips for the approval of the world albeit this says more about Frank than then world (Jn 15:19).

That’s right, Pope Frank is at it again… telling atheists they get a free pass to heaven without accepting the Gospel that is.  Of course, this is not the first time as he said it back in May (here and here) but the Vatican was quick to post a reply that,  “no atheists surely do go to hell” here. Appaently the so-called infallible vicar begs to differ and has written a letter to the editor of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica indicating his opinion that atheists who obey their conscience merit God’s favor and apparently are so justified to salvation.

A good Bible dictionary defines sin as “the failure or refusal of human beings to live the life intended for them by God their creator.”[1] However, Pope Frank does not understand the basic concept of sin and allows that atheists who obey their conscience (no matter how seared) are justified by their good works. Pope Frank writes:

First of all, you ask me if the God of Christians forgives one who doesn’t believe and doesn’t seek the faith. Premise that – and it’s the fundamental thing – the mercy of God has no limits if one turns to him with a sincere and contrite heart; the question for one who doesn’t believe in God lies in obeying one’s conscience. Sin, also for those who don’t have faith, exists when one goes against one’s conscience. To listen to and to obey it means, in fact, to decide in face of what is perceived as good or evil. And on this decision pivots the goodness or malice of our action.[2]

Apparently the ψευδοπροφήτης wants us to believe the issue for those who do not believe in God is to merely obey their conscience. Not so… God demands they repent of their unbelief. While God certainly wants us to behave in morally virtuous ways, good actions are not what merits God’s ultimate approval. In justification, God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer, which cancels God’s judgment on the believer. A truly biblical Christian theology leads to the conclusion expressed by Baptist theologian Dr. Millard Erickson:

Justification is a forensic act imputing the righteousness of Christ to the believer; it is not an actual infusing of holiness into the individual. It is a matter of declaring the person righteous, as a judge does in acquitting the accused. It is not a matter of making the person righteous or altering his or her actual spiritual condition.[3]

So it follows that no one earns their salvation. Justification is by faith alone (Rom3:28). An idea that is expounded on and clarified in Ephesians:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.(Eph 2:4–9)

While Frank is correct that disobeying one’s conscience constitutes sin (1 Cor 8:28-29), he misses the mark by a wide margin. Scripture is clear that “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Rom 14:23). Unbelief is sin. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6). Jesus taught that the mile-wide road advocated by Pope Frank amounts to a false Gospel:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt 7:13–14).

The terms “few” and “narrow” seem to escape the pontiff. He is indeed a false prophet of the worst sort. He is pied piper to perdition encouraging the atheist in his rebellious suppression of the truth  (Rom 1:18). This is exactly the sort of false teaching we expect from the one with “horns like a lamb, who speaks like a dragon.” (Re 13:11)



[1] Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 951.

[2] “Pope Francis’ Letter to the Founder of “La Repubblica” Italian Newspaper” Vatican City, September 11, 2013 accessed September 12, 2013,  http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-letter-to-the-founder-of-la-repubblica-italian-newspaper?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zenit%2Fenglish+%28ZENIT+English%29

[3]Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology., 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1998), 969.

The Problem With the Roman Catholic Mass


By Cris Putnam
I find the Eucharist as it is postured by the Roman Catholic Church to be extremely problematic theologically and this post will explain my reasoning. I suspect few Catholic lay people are aware of what the priest believes he is doing during the ritual. John O’Brien’s popular Catholic apologetics work, The Faith of Millions: The Credentials of the Catholic Religion, is considered a classic defense and accurate explanation of Roman Catholic faith and practice. What follows is a thorough explanation of the priest’s role in the EuchaFaith of Millionsrist:

The supreme power of the priestly office is the power of consecrating. “No act is greater,” says St. Thomas, “than the consecration of the body of Christ.”[1] In this essential phase of the sacred ministry, the power of the priest is not surpassed by that of the bishop, the archbishop, the cardinal or the pope. Indeed it is equal to that of Jesus Christ. For in this role the priest speaks with the voice and the authority of God Himself.

When the priest pronounces his tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from his throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.

Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priests command.[2]

The quote above is outrageously blasphemous on a number of levels.  First, it seems sorcerous. An academic definition of magic is the “Attempt to influence or control people or events through supernatural forces. These forces are called upon by means of ceremonies, the recitation of spells, charms, incantations, and other forms of ritual,”[3] So it seems fair to examine the description and ask: “In the Mass, is the priest said to influence events, people, and things with ceremonies and the recitation of incantations to control supernatural forces?” Is this not something like ritual magic? Indeed, the priest is said to be even more powerful than angels and to have the authority of God, Himself! Not only does he control people or events, he allegedly controls Christ. The priest ostensibly reaches up into the heavens, knocks Him off His throne, and offers Him up on the  “altar as the eternal Victim.” I contend the priest has no such power and this reflects hubris of the highest order.

The sheer unmitigated gall it takes to even imagine ordering the sovereign Lord down from heaven in head-bowed obedience is beyond comprehension. Think about this passage before defending the Roman theology:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Col 1:15–18)

Do you really believe the sinful human priest orders the Creator of the Universe off his throne? A better question is whether another sacrifice for sins is necessary. What does the scripture say? Speaking of Christ, the Bible says, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Heb 7:26–27; underline added). The comparison in Hebrews is with the Old Testament priesthood who offered up animals for sin. The Bible could not be much clearer than “needeth not daily” and “for this he did once.” Once is the operative term which the Holy Spirit inspired repeatedly throughout Hebrews.

Rome’s theology is a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree inversion of what Hebrews unequivocally teaches, because the Eucharist is a sacrifice that is repeated day after day all over the world. Please consider another passage from Hebrews 9 (and just in case one might think there is a Protestant bias in the Authorized Version, this time I will quote from Rome’s sanctioned NAB translation):

For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him. (Hebrews 9:24–28, NAB)[4]

Oh, how we do eagerly await him! The passage speaks for itself and I only cited the NAB version to show that they are without excuse. It really could not be any clearer that the Roman mass is a disgraceful sacrilege. It really seems that God anticipated the apostasy of the Eucharist because yet again in Hebrews we read, “But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated” (Heb 10:12–14). If you accept the authority of the Bible, there really is no possible way to reconcile the Roman sacrificial system.

 

 


[1] St. Thomas, Summa Theol., lib. III , q. 40, a4, 5.

[2] John A. O’Brien, The Faith of Millions: The Credentials of the Catholic Religion, New and rev. ed. (Huntington, Ind.: Our Sunday Visitor, 1974), 255–256.

[3] Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Tyndale reference library, 844.

[4] Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees, Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops and United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board, The New American Bible : Translated from the Original Languages With Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources and the Revised New Testament, Heb 9:24–28 (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1996, c1986).

Exo-Vaticana and the Millennial Deception (part 1)


By Cris D. Putnam
Exo-VaticanaWhen Peter wrote “in the last days scoffers would come” (2 Pt 3:3), he would never have imagined the church would have entered what historians now call the “space age.” On one hand, the prodigious progress of science has afforded great luxury and benefit, but on the other hand, it promotes arrogance and imagined self-sufficiency. Theologian Merill Unger described the modern church as, “boastedly wise and scientific but utterly blind to God’s truth.”[1] Amongst the nominal church, the demonic realm has been demythologized and forgotten. Yet, the Bible predicts an unparalleled demonic deception prior to Christ’s return. Because we live in an increasingly post-Christian society that has elevated scientists as the ultimate arbiters of truth, it seems likely that such an unprecedented deception will be clothed in the credibility of science. The Copernican revolution’s toll on the Renaissance church’s authority has led to what is known as the Copernican principle, the idea that the earth is a mediocre planet amongst many and that humanity is an evolved primate of no special significance. These widely accepted anti-biblical presuppositions contribute to the wide spread belief in intelligent extraterrestrial life.

In recent years, the science of astrobiology, the study of alleged extraterrestrial life, has gained long sought respectability. Of course, the media has pumped out a myriad of science fiction films and documentaries promoting belief in benevolent ETs. More concerning, beginning with Eric Von Danniken’s Chariots of the Gods (1968), is the idea that the biblical authors mistook advanced aliens as divine beings, an idea which has gained cultural traction. Even the Vatican, who hosted an astrobiology conference in 2009, has issued controversial statements through its Jesuit astronomers concerning the baptism of extraterrestrials.[2] Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a high-ranking Vatican demonologist, has stated publically that modern extraterrestrial encounters “are not demonic, they are not due to psychological impairment, and they are not a case of entity attachment, but these encounters deserve to be studied carefully.”[3] Accordingly, a broad foundation is in place for public acceptance of extraterrestrial beings. While neglected by most skeptical scientists, the UFO phenomenon, particularly the abduction and contactee reports, have led credible experts to conclude that deceptive entities are posing as space aliens. Since the time of Israel’s reformation, there has been a near exponential increase in such phenomena. This has led an increasing number of theologians to the hypothesis that these entities play a pivotal role in the end time deception predicted in scripture. To some this might seem like an assertion on the fringe of evangelicalism but that is not the case. A Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council, Timothy J Dailey PhD has written:

“One thing is apparent: We are witnessing a masterful satanic subterfuge that appears to involve the appearance of ‘angels’ and ‘aliens.’ Many are asking whether the coming of Antichrist can be far removed. From the Bible we learn that such an evil day surely lies ahead. The question for our consideration, then, is this: Are we in the throes of that final otherworldly deception now?”[4]

Dailey connects the end time rise in demonic activity to the UFO phenomenon and so-called extraterrestrial contactees and abduction victims. Due to the well documented increase in sightings, wide spread belief in aliens by the public and the scientific creation myth known as directed panspermia, his thesis is compelling. Belief in spiritually superior extraterrestrial beings uniquely provides a credible epistemological basis for the secular world to accept and offer worship to an individual who claims deity.
Coming soon…

See: http://www.exovaticana.com/



[1] Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology: a Study of Spiritual Forces at Work Today (Wheaton, IL:Scripture Press Publications, 1952), 203.

[2] Alok Jha, “Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him” The Guardian, September 17, 2010 http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/17/pope-astronomer-baptise-aliens (accessed 12/07/2012).

[3] Richard Boylan “Vatican Official Declares Extraterrestrial Contact Is Real” UFO Digest http://www.ufodigest.com/balducci.html (accessed 12/09/2012).

[4] Timothy J. Dailey, The Millennial Deception: Angels, Aliens, and the Antichrist (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Chosen Books Pub Co, 1995), 11.

 

Pope Benedict XVI’s End Time Eisegesis

By Cris Putnam
Pope Benedict XVI preached on the Olivet discourse on Sunday 11/18/2012 in St. Peter’s Square. I guess its not too surprising that he twisted the text to mean something completely alien to its context but conforming to the works oriented righteousness of Romanism. Let’s keep in mind, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”(Ga 1:8) as we examine his explanation:

Jesus speaks of a future that is beyond our categories, and because of this Jesus uses images and words taken from the Old Testament, but, importantly, he inserts a new center, namely, himself, the mystery of his person and his death and resurrection. Today’s passage too opens with some cosmic images of an apocalyptic nature: “The sun will be darkened, the moon will no longer give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers in the skies will be shaken” (Mark 13:24-25); but this element is relativized by what follows: “Then the Son of Man will come upon the clouds in the sky with great power and glory” (13:26). The “Son of Man” is Jesus himself, who links the present with the future; the ancient words of the prophets have finally found a center in the person of the Messiah of Nazareth: he is the central event that, in the midst of the troubles of the world, remains the firm and stable point.

Another passage from today’s Gospel confirms. Jesus says: “The sky and the earth will pass away but my words will not pass away” (13:31). In fact, we know that in the Bible the word of God is at the origin of creation: all creatures, starting with the cosmic elements – sun, moon, sky – obey God’s Word, they exist insofar as they are “called” by it. This creative power of the divine Word (“Parola”) is concentrated in Jesus Christ, the Word (“Verbo”) made flesh, and also passes through his human words, which are the true “sky” that orients the thought and path of man on earth. For this reason Jesus does not describe the end of the world and when he uses apocalyptic images he does not conduct himself like a “visionary.” On the contrary, he wants to take away the curiosity of his disciples in every age about dates and predictions and wishes instead to give them a key to a deep, essential reading, and above all to indicate the right path to take, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life. Everything passes – the Lord tells us – but God’s Word does not change, and before this Word each of us is responsible for his conduct. It is on this basis that we will be judged.

Pope Benedict XVI “On the Coming of the Son of Man” http://www.zenit.org/article-35982?l=english

It is because this sort of nonsense that the term eisegesis was coined. It means reading meaning into a text rather than reading a meaning from a text.  Its really so bad its hard to know where to start but I bolded two major errors. First, when Jesus said the he would come on the clouds with great glory he was referencing the son of Man passage in Daniel’s vision (Dan 7:13). He indeed identified himself as divine. Yet, Pope Benedict seems to deny that Jesus is speaking of cosmic judgement at His return. Yet that is exactly what he is speaking of, in fact, he was answering a question about the signs of his coming and (in direct contradcition to the infallible pope) the end of the world.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?(Mt 24:3, KJV)

Doesn’t it seem odd that Jesus is addressing the very thing the pope says he is not? And finally, the pontiff just abandons the text entirely and spins it toward Romanist heresy with this canard, ” before this Word each of us is responsible for his conduct. It is on this basis that we will be judged” Anyone who is judged on his conduct will be cast into eternal hell, even our most righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isa 64:6). It is only those who have accepted that authentic Gospel who will have the righteousness of Christ imputed to them. A few passages come to mind:

“And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,” (Ro 4:5)

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.(2 Co 5:21)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”,(Eph 2:8)

In justification God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer, which cancels God’s judgment on the believer. It’s not based on conduct rather faith in Christ. “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (Ro 3:28)

Be warned, the pope is preaching a false Gospel that leads to damnation.