I wrote this article because on March 10, 2015, the “Most Holy Family Monastery” Anti-Roman catholic sect tweeted to me a few insults about a video they produced. You can see the tweet here:
In this video, “Most Holy Family Monastery” targets a few members of different denominations (Non-Denominational, Baptist, Reformed, and other “protestants”) calling them:
liars, blind, false prophets, inconsistent, contradictory, Satan disguised as an angel of light, Satan’s instruments, demonic, Satan’s ministers and many more.
Watch the video here Documentary: Protestantism’s Big Justification Lie
They, not knowing anything about me or hearing my thoughts, further insulted me by saying, ‘You really don’t know what you are talking about… This shows you don’t know what you are talking about. The video carefully distinguished the two in the Protestant position… You obviously didn’t even watch the video carefully or you are in a total fog.’ So they attack me immediately without hearing what I have to say.
What is the video about?
In the video, they attempt to prove through various scriptures that protestant or reformed teaching on Justification by faith is a demonic lie that is damning souls from faith in God. They show many clips of John Piper, John MacArthur, James White, R.C. Sproul, Charles Stanley, and many other pastors from other denominations as their proof for the alleged deception. The video consists of a poorly constructed refutation on Justification by faith alone and the teaching that Baptism is required for salvation. They go extensively into an analogy of a split class room, stating a classroom is split between those who are Justified by God and those who are regenerated by God. The video also teaches that justification and regeneration are the same thing. This is nothing what Reformed Christians teach whatsoever. While there are many points in this video worth commenting on, I will only touch on the most obvious points due to the very long length of the video.
It is very important to note, that the author of this video conveniently omits passages and even cuts verses off early in order to hide key evidence that discredits their own theological view. Also, the author of the video consistently confuses Reformed and non reformed theology stating “Once saved always saved” theology when Reformed Christians believe in “the perseverance of the saints,” Two completely different teachings. The author of the video also confuses Arminian theology with Calvinist theology which are diametrically opposed to each other.
Christian conduct in the world
Before I even address the theological problems, I need to point out the obvious spiritual problems of the author of this video. It is important to note how Christ and the apostles instructed believers to act towards other people. We are not to hate our brother, neighbor, or enemy.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him
(1Jo 3:15 NAS)
“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell
(Mat 5:22 NAS)
We are not to hate our enemies or our neighbors. One of the most essential teachings of Christ and the Apostles is to love one another.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
(Mat 5:43-45 NAS)
And he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
(Luk 10:27-28 NAS)
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.
(Rom 13:8-10 NAS)
This is not selective to who you want it to apply to. It is a universal mandate for Christians to exercise towards ALL people. Now the author of the video may have excuses like the following.
If the author says, It’s OK to attack protestants because they are God’s enemies.
Christ clearly taught the opposite of hating your enemies.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
(Luk 6:35-36 NAS)
Christ taught to bless your enemies, pray for them and love them. This video is quite the opposite and sinning against Gods commandment to love.
If the author says, It’s OK to attack protestants because they are not my brother.
Everyone who loves God is a child of God.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments
(1Jo 5:1-2 NAS)
The Apostles taught that those who truly believe in Christ are our brother and are children of God.
If the author says, It’s OK to attack protestants because they are not my neighbor.
Jesus plainly teaches otherwise with the parable of the good Samaritan. Christ said,
But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied and said, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. “And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. “And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. “But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. “And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
(Luk 10:29-37 NAS)
So this begs the question, If the author of this video cannot keep the most basic of commandments as “love your neighbor as yourself,” how can they teach me anything about the weightier things of the Law? If you cannot be faithful in the little things, how can you be faithful it the greater things? (Luke 16:10, Matthew 25:23) Does the author of the video know that judgment starts with the house of God? (1Pe 4:17)
Dissensions, boasting, factions, and disputes are sinning against God
Paul clearly states, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Does the author of the video realize they are “to speak evil of no man?” (Tit 3:2 KJV) And that strife, disputes, and controversies over the Law are “unprofitable and useless (Tit 3:9 NIV)”? And that a person pursuing such divisions “is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned?” (Tit 3:11 NAS) Paul says,
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
(Tit 3:1-11 NAS)
The author quoted the following in part, somehow glosses over the part where the “Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ and not to “bite and devour one another, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, become boastful, or challenging one another.” Paul clearly explains this.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
(Gal 5:13-26 NAS)
The entire video is spawning enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, boastfulness, and challenging one another. The author seems to ignore half the required duties thinking only the easy duties are to be followed. You can’t pick and choose what commandments to follow, you must follow ALL of God’s commandments.
Keeping the whole law
The author of the video quotes Matthew as proof that we are to keep the whole law to be saved.
And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
(Mat 19:17 NAS)
The Rich man states that he has kept all the commandments. Somehow the author of the video overlooks verse 21 that states,
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
(Mat 19:21 NAS)
Has the “Most Holy Family Monastery” sold ALL of their possessions and given them to the poor? Clearly they have NOT. Did they not read Mat 19:21, or is it omitted because it conflicts with their theology? Or maybe their theology is broken, inconsistent, and contradictory? Clearly Jesus was teaching that keeping the entire Law is not possible and that the rich young ruler was coveting his riches. The author of the video picks what passage fragments that appear to support their view while ignoring the rest. I can’t help but think that the author of the video is either joking or extremely confused.
Confession with a priest in private
The author of the video also quotes 1 John to prove that confessing to a priest is required for salvation. 1 John states,
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1Jo 1:9 NAS)
Let us not forget verse 10 that says if you say you have no sin you are a liar.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
(1Jo 1:10 NAS)
We are in a constant state of sin. The Bible clearly does not teach to confess privately to a priest. We are to publicly confess our sins to each other. NOT privately to a priest.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
(Jam 5:16 NAS)
Clearly we are to admit our sins to the world and not privately to a priest where they can be swept away with no embarrassment or earthly punishment.
In other words, if you defrauded someone of money, don’t think confessing your sin to a priest will forgive you. You will need to repay the one defrauded person back and tell them you sinned and are sorry.
If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. “Truly I say to you, you shall not come out of there, until you have paid up the last cent
(Mat 5:23-26 NAS)
This is a serious problem with the Roman Catholic theology because many criminals will commit crimes, confess to a priest (Never being convicted of their crime) and go back out in the world and commit more crimes thinking they are saved because they confessed to a priest. How is this teaching people to keep God’s commandments? This is not what the Apostles taught what so ever.
Justification and Regeneration
The Reformed faith does not separate salvation into two classrooms as the author of the video suggests. Salvation is a process in the Reformed faith. We are saved, being saved, and will be saved. The entire salvation process requires a person to be Called, Justified, have Saving Faith, Repentance, Good Works, Sanctification, Perseverance and then at death Resurrection unto Eternal life. All of which are wrought by God and not by our personal effort. Justification and Regeneration are not the same word and do not have similar meanings at all. The author of the video needs to get a dictionary before making comments.
Justification is the action of showing something to be right or reasonable.
Regeneration is a spiritual renewal or revival.
The Reformed faith teaches that Justification and Regeneration are two necessary events that happen in a saved persons life. Whether we think it happens 5 minutes apart, at the same time, or a million years prior to our lives is irrelevant. There is no “Regenerometer” that detects the truthfulness of a persons regeneration. To divide over this is petty.
God produces our Faith and our works
When we say we are Justified by faith alone and not by works, we mean we cannot merit salvation through our works. Simply put, going to church and being a good person does not merit salvation; but, you are required to have faith.
We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit; and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment.
Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 16 Of Good Works Section 5
This is not the same teaching as “Once saved always saved.” The Reformed faith does NOT teach that people are saved without works. The Reformed faith teaches that works are a product or evidence of true faith and not the cause of salvation.
These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:
Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 16 Of Good Works Section 2
Therefore, if you have no works, you are not saved. The author of the video cites the following as proofs against Justification by faith alone; however, These passages do not teach that your works are generated from your own will.
for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. (Rom 2:13 NAS)
Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death (Joh 8:51 NAS)
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation (Heb 5:9 NAS)
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? (Jam 2:21 NAS)
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1Ti 4:16 NAS)
These passages do not refute justifiaction by faith alone what so ever. The Reformed faith teaches God works in us and not from our own inward righteousness.
Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of his good pleasure: yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 16 Of Good Works Section 3
The Bible plainly teaches that our works come from God working in us and not the other way around.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. ((Psa 37:23 NAS)
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. ((Pro 16:9 NAS)
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (Joh 6:29 NAS)
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. ((Rom 9:16 NAS)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. ((Phi 1:6 NAS)
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. ((Phi 2:13 NAS)
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; (Rom 8:26 NAS)
Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2Ti 2:7 NAS)
For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luk 12:12 NAS)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (Joh 14:26 NAS)
And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.(Mat 16:16-17 NAS)
Any holy thought or righteous deed came directly from Christ and not my own motivation. The author of the video claims the Bible condemns Faith without works, when in fact, the Bible states apparent conflicting views. According to the author of the video, if you hold conflicting or contradictory views then you are a false religion.
Paul states Abraham was NOT justified by works,
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,
(Rom 4:2-5 NAS)
But James says Abraham WAS justified by works,
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
(Jam 2:21-22 NAS)
Hebrews states Abraham abraham had faith, then obeyed.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1 NAS)
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Heb 11:8 NAS)
If the author of the video is correct that inconsistent or contradictory doctrine is false, then he just claimed Christianity is a false religion. It makes me wonder if the author of the video believes in the Trinity, seeing that we believe in One God in Three persons which is a contradictory, yet, true teaching. Or will the author of the video say the Trinity is false as well, God Forbid.
That fact is that both of the passages are correct, even though they apparently contradict. Paul is referring to true faith and James is referring to dead faith.
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. (Jam 2:17 NAS)
Does this mean confess to a priest, get baptized, follow the sacraments of the Roman catholic church? None of those topics are even found in James. No, James says,
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
(Jam 2:15-16 NAS)
This was never discussed in the video. Why not? Because the Roman catholic church is the poster child for storing wealth in Christianity. Instead we see blatant stockpiling of riches and wealth, investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, and real estate while neglecting the poorest people on earth. Does the “Most Holy Family Monastery” ever bypass a person without food or clothing?
Is every person in their neighborhood being taken care of by them?
Finally, the author of the video makes the case for Baptismal regeneration using the fallacies of omitting key evidence and appealing to tradition. You would think the following quote the author of the video uses is indisputable.
baptism now saves you…
(1Pe 3:21 NAS)
The author of the video completely left out most of the verse. Here is the full verse,
And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
(1Pe 3:21 NAS)
When a person intentionally deletes a major part of a verse, it is difficult to not come to the conclusion that they are intentionally misleading you. That verse clearly says the opposite of what the author of the video is claiming. The verse says that baptism is NOT the removal of dirt from the flesh, which is washing with water, but a good conscience through the resurrection from the dead.
The Bible further states that Christ Baptizes with the Holy Spirit, NOT Water.
“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. (Mar 1:8 NAS)
When Paul encountered a believer who was only Baptized by water, Johns baptism, Paul said the water baptism was of repentance and insufficient.
And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
(Act 19:1-6 NAS)
Clearly the Bible is teaching that water baptism (The baptism for repentance) is insufficient for salvation and that baptism of the Holy Spirit (The baptism from Christ through the resurrection) was required. Therefore, clearly the word “Baptism” is not always referring to water baptism.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5 NAS)
Also, The word water does not defacto mean baptism either.
That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (Eph 5:26 NAS)
The Word of God is Jesus Christ, NOT water baptism. To say otherwise is blasphemous against Christ in the worst way. Christ Himself, Through His Holy Spirit, Washes us with His Word.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. (Joh 14:6 NAS)
Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17 NAS)
“And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. (Joh 17:19 NAS)
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. (2Th 2:13 NAS)
And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. (1Jo 5:7 NAS)
We are washed with the Truth, by the Holy Spirit, through Christ, who is the Word of God. When Christ said,
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
(Joh 3:5 NAS)
He was saying you must be washed and regenerated by the Word of God (Christ) and the Holy Spirit. To reduce the Word of God to a physical water washing is horribly degrading to Christ.
Whether the Early church Fathers fully grasped this concept is irrelevant to the argument. There are many doctrines the early church did not fully grasp. The Doctrine of the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ was not fully articulated till the Church Doctors during the council of Nicaea. The perfection of ones theology does not make them saved, it’s having faith in Christ.
Conclusion to the Video
The author of the video “Documentary: Protestantism’s Big Justification Lie” is clearly confused. The Arminian view of “Once saved always saved” is confused with the Reformed Calvinist view of the “Perseverance of the saints.” The analogy of the “split classroom” is not taught by Reformed or Arminian Christians at all. Justification and regeneration are two completely different words used to explain two different aspects of the same salvation. The Reformed Faith does not teach that believers can have no works and be saved; but, that works are evidence of true faith. The author of the video intentionally omitted key parts of verses in order to mislead the audience into a false conclusion.
Most importantly, the author of the video ignores strict and vitally important teaching on Christian behavior such as, “Love your neighbor as your self,” “to speak evil of no man,” “love your enemies,” and “foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law.” The Bible clearly teaches, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Christians are “to speak evil of no man, (Tit 3:2 KJV)” Strife, disputes, and controversies over the Law are “are unprofitable and useless (Tit 3:9 NIV)” and anyone engaging in such divisions “is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.”
Unless the author of this video publicly confesses their sin of speaking evil of others and causing strife among Christians about unprofitable and useless controversies over the Law, they will by no means be forgiven by God. Confessing to a priest in private is unacceptable. The Christian church is to “Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.” (Tit 3:10-11 NAS)