Tuesday, February 26, 2008


37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.

38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.

39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.

40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them -- at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.

41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.

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

43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.

44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.

45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath.

46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.

47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.

48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I wonder if it matches his tractor?


If you are looking for some reproof, conviction, or good teaching go check out this post. I knew there was a good reason to get my wife to start writing again.

...it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment...

24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.

25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.

26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.

27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.

29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.

30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.

31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.

32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

33. Men must especially be on 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 the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.

35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.

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

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Where are They Now?

95 Theses Continued

11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept.

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

13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.

14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.

15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, 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 the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.

17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.

18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.

19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.

20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words “plenary remission of all penalties,” does not actually mean “all penalties,” but only those imposed by himself.

21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.

22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.

23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just in Case You Have Never Actually Read This

95 Theses

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent”, he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.

4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.

6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.

7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.

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

9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.

10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Wasn't there a movie about a Little League baseball player who got to play in the majors? Well, if life were baseball I'd be that kid. In church. My friends. Especially my wife. God has been so gracious to me over the course of my life, but very uniquely so since August 24th of 1992. That is when I saw the love of my life for the first time. She is more beautiful now, and I am more attracted to her today than yesterday. I think the main reason is because she seeks the Lord and the Holy Spirit is sanctifying her continuously. Man, there is nothing more attractive than that. Her wisdom is so biblical and clear. She has started posting at Ye. Check it out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Linners and Wosers

See the pure joy of a winner? She may have lost some teeth, but the blue ribbon was all she cared about at that moment. This is kid #2. Kid #1 won first place in a regional bible quizzing contest a couple of weeks ago. She was jumping up and down and screaming like the people on Wheel of Fortune. My kid #4 won the first place ribbon for decorating his Valentine box. I'm really glad because he put a lot of effort into that little box. My kid#1 lost the box decorating thing for her age group. I'm glad she did not win because she did not spend enough time planning how she would decorate hers. Kid #5 did not win either. Fine. Mom did hers for her.

Now we get to what irks me. Kid #3 and kid #2 both came home with a first place ribbon for the box thing too. They did not seem too happy about it. I found out why. They were in the same age group. Everyone in that group "won." The older kids had an actual winner. My #1 kid was happy for the kid that won and realized that he had done a better job than she had done. The young group had an actual winner. It was my #4. He learned what it was like to be THE winner. He liked it. Someone, however, in charge of the middle age group (kids #2 & #3) decided that everyone would be the winner. The kids knew. They did not care at all about that ribbon. They haven't even showed it to me. They don't care. They are not stupid. Someone well intentioned kind of ruined it for everyone. No big deal. I'll make sure they get the real taste of victory many times in there life. I'll also make sure they know the agony of defeat. Both are valuable. I said I am irked, but that is really too strong. Not really even irritated. Just one of those shake the head back and forth moments.

The real problem is that the church in America has conditioned itself to be the same way as the misguided group leader for the Valentines party. We too many times just let each other coast along and pat each other on the back as we jog the direction that we think the finish line may be. We may even see people running in slightly different directions than we are going. We may just smile and say "Keep running brother." Everyone is a winner in God's eyes, right? As long as you try hard and do the best you can...

A couple of things on this. First, we have distorted "encouragement." Second, Jesus is calling for winners who follow the rules.

Parakaleo is the Greek word used for encouragement in the NT. We like very much the part of its meaning that says we should comfort each other, strengthen each other, bear one another's burdens, or come along side one another. We shy away from the essence of the word that says to instruct one another, to exhort one another, to entreat one another, to admonish one another, to- dare I say- meddle in someone else's life. We value someone's pride more than we value doing things God's way. We are too comfortable in our relationships and are afraid that meddling would interfere with our social status. The goal of encouragement is not to make someone feel better about themselves, but to better enable them to please and glorify God.

Now back to the winners and losers. Read I Cor. 9:24-27. There is a goal and there are rules. Think of the two builders in Matthew 7. Both built fine houses. This parable is not like The Three Little Pigs. One of the men did not follow the rules. He built his house and disregarded the teachings of Jesus. We need to be careful that we don't watch someone we call 'brother' build a house without regard for Jesus' commands and "encourage" him to "keep on keeping on" or "just do your best."

Because of having winners and losers, my #1 is already planning her box for next year. Because of winners and losers, my #4 has a new motivation for doing well. Because of winners and winners, my #2 and #3 have already forgotten about it. We are training ourselves to forget about what lies ahead and strive for all the earthly things that so easily entangle us. We do not remember the hope we will REALLY experience pure joy if we get the "Well done my good and faithful servant."
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