Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PBR Christianity: The Error of James White’s “Sovereign Grace.” or (The Parable of Jethro, the auto plant worker)

PBR Christianity: The Error of James White’s “Sovereign Grace.”
(The Parable of Jethro, the auto plant worker)
By: Matthew J. Bellisario 2010

Every once in awhile I like to post a spirited criticism of James White and his band of “Reformed” protesters. They are rabidly anti-Catholic and they often lie and distort the truths of the Catholic faith. I don’t pay as much attention to them anymore, but every once in awhile I drop by to see what nonsense they are peddling. Recently there was an interview done with James White on Sola Gratia, which concerns the “Reformed” view on God’s sovereign grace, or grace alone. The errors of heretics have been pitted against Christ and His Church since its foundation, and today is no different. In this particular case we have the heresy of what some “Reformed” Protestants consider to be God’s sovereign grace. It is rooted in the mentality of evil and disturbed men like the arch-heretic John Calvin, and it is quite simply manmade doctrine that is not rooted in Divine Revelation or the Living Voice of the Holy Spirit.

White opens the interview by saying that the Catholic view of God’s grace only claims to put Catholics in a position to receive grace, and only by their own participation. He claims the Calvinist says that God accomplishes His work in man by His own power without any co-operation from man. He calls this the "sovereignty of God." This however is a gross distortion of Catholic teaching, and White lies and tells the listeners that Catholics "work the system of the sacraments" to gain salvation. He says that the Catholic system is based on man’s efforts to draw and allow God’s grace to save man. This however is not Catholic teaching, but a distortion of it. After all of the debates that he has had with Catholics, I now have to say that White is simply a malicious liar, and like usual he undermines Catholic teaching by distorting it. Later on in the show, he and the host mock the sacrament of baptism by acting as if the sacrament has no effect on the soul of the person baptized, not realizing that the sacrament itself is part of God’s predilection, and yes even His sovereignty. Over the course of the interview you can really see how man centered White’s Calvinist view of God really is. White wants to put God in his own little box, never giving God the free reign to give grace in the way He has chosen to do so. It is not hard to understand why White and those like him have such a revulsion to the Mother of God, the Saints, the Mass, the Church, etc. It is because James White wants to play God. Quite simply, he doesn’t think God should have acted the way He did in the course of delivering His Gospel. He doesn’t like the way God has operated to save souls over the course of the history in His own Church. God forbid that He choose to come into the world through His own created Immaculate Mary, the Mother of God! God forbid that He chooses to give His chosen people grace through His sacrifice on the cross, and His Body and Blood in the Eucharist! How dare God choose to act through His Church and those whom He sent by His own authority! For White this is all rubbish because his own prideful intellect will not allow him to see the truth.

The first point that White fails to grasp or ultimately rejects, is the fact that Catholic teaching tells us that God does indeed save men by His own choice and His own predilection. It is by God’s sovereign grace alone that He saves men. That is Catholic teaching. But White also fails to understand that God created freewill, which never opposes God’s predilection. They are one in the same, yet two ultimate realities. When man receives the sacraments, it is by God’s grace that he does so, and it is God's grace that man receives in the sacrament. When man chooses to go to Mass it is by the grace of God that he goes. Man chooses freely yes, but mans’ choice is not opposed to God’s will or God's grace. This is a revealed Christian mystery that White will not permit God to retain. White tells God, no! I will not allow you to give man freewill and yet retain your Divine sovereignty! As if they are opposed to one another! White does not want God to have this true sovereignty, which ultimately gives man his freewill, yet without thwarting God's Divine Providence. The Church has always taught these two truths, that of predestination and that of freewill, and it is supported by Holy Writ itself, which is the infallible written testimony of the infallible voice of the Church. The same can be found in the Church Father's writings. Calvinism however denies entirely one of these realities, and only assents partially to the other part these divinely revealed truths, that of the predestination of the elect. This private judgment amounts to nothing more than rationalism rooted in man’s own ability to interpret Scripture, sometimes aided by man’s own intellectual perspective on Church history. Hence you see a nod and a wink to the Church Fathers when they think it benefits their man made cause. What they are doing however is taking them out of context just like they do the Sacred Scriptures. White’s view of God’s sovereign grace is nothing more than a cheap distorted view of God rooted in rationalism. There is no faith involved. Let me explain further.

The Catholic listens to the living voice of Christ which Jesus Himself continues to give through His Holy Spirit, explained and preached by those whom He sent and continues to send. Scripture is an infallible written witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Church. It is the same infallible Body which gave us the Scriptures which speaks to us today explaining this written testimony infallibly. Again, God does so through the Church that He gave us, that of the Catholic Church. When one hears this Voice and assents to it, then they have true faith properly speaking. When one however takes the written Word given by the living Voice, and steals it from its Author and interprets it in light of his own reason, then he becomes a heretic. It leads him to his own destruction. Such has been the predicament of Protestantism since its inception. Cardinal Manning wrote of this abomination, '...men had rejected the divine voice by the struggling indocility of their will, the word departed from their lips. They clutched at it with jealousy, and they found in their hands the written word alone: Litera occidit, spiritus autem vificat. The letter that killeth was left behind, the spirit that giveth life departed. The word was interpreted no more by the light of the Holy Ghost, no more by an infallible Guide, but by the interpretations of man and the light of the human intellect.' Let me give an example in order to clarify what I mean. Let me tell you a brief story or parable of the arrogant car plant worker Jethro.

The story goes: A brilliant engineer named Jesus drew up perfect blueprints to build a BMW Z4 Roadster. He combined his engineering knowledge with a perfect expert in manufacturing. He had a perfect plant constructed, he had the parts manufactured. The two then drew up a perfect assembly process to assemble the car as it was properly designed. For years the car was manufactured in the factory under the designer and the manufacturing engineer successfully. Sure there were a few kinks to work out with the factory workers, etc, but they worked them out and they rolled perfect Z4s off the line which soon became desired by the public. Over the course of many many years, a guy named Jethro working on the plant floor was busy popping screws in one of the door panels when he decided that he did not like the way the car was being built. He also did not like some of his co-workers so he became bitter. He began to concoct crazy stories telling people that the two engineers did not want the cars to be manufactured in the plant anymore. So he lied, schemed and plotted and got a few of his other co-workers to agree to his diabolical plan. One night he and a couple of his buddies stole the blueprints for the car and took them home and hid them in his barn. He later stole some parts, sheet metal, and so forth so he could begin his bold project to build the Z4 himself. Over the course of a few weeks he and his Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking buddies from the plant showed up to start their new project. They sipped their beers in their overalls, spit on the floor and they decided that they were going to build the Roadster better than the plant built them. They determined that the plant was corrupt! Jethro convinced his buddies that secretly the engineers wanted them to build the car there in the barn. 
This all sounded good at first, yet none of them had the proper training or education to even read the blueprints properly, let alone assemble the parts in the proper order, etc. They didn't even have the proper tools to assemble the car. After years of using hacksaws and pitchforks to cut the metal and assemble the car frame, and using Elmer's glue to hold the dashboard on etc, they rolled out their monstrosity to the world. They continued to work on it and made changes to it over the years. In the end when the men were 80 years old Jethro and his buddies had nothing but a crippled shell of a Z4 in their barn which was constantly propped up on an old tire jack for repair. Every once in while they put the tires on and they rolled it down the hill, yet it never operated properly. Jethro's buddies often asked him why the car did not look like and run like the original one had from the plant. Jethro lied and convinced them that the original car that was produced may years before them looked and operated like their Pabst Blue Ribbon barn car, not the Z4 the plant produced. Jethro passed on his barn car business and his shoddy monstrosity is still produced to this day. Yet no one buys it except those ignorant of the real Z4. These ignorant people all think that the PBR barn car is the real product of the blueprints that Jethro had stolen! Now they all throw rocks at the BMW Z4 when it drives by. They yell at the drivers calling their car an inferior product to their PBR barn car. The perfect engineer however continues to produce his original car as he originally designed it.

 The character Jethro in the story are the original "Reformers." James White is one of the ones who now sells the PBR barn car, and those buying his rubbish are his hick “Reformed” buddies who think that they all have the real car depicted in the blueprints. They are all sadly spiritually dead. They are the inbred, deadbeat, mentally crippled Pabst Blue Ribbon dolts who stole the blueprints, (the Scriptures) from the infallible engineers (Christ and His Church), all trying to build their own churches in their own backyard barns with blueprints they can’t read or interpret correctly. They have not the living voice who composed the blueprints, nor the system implemented by the manufacturing engineer to carry out the production of what the blueprints intend to represent. In the end they have nothing but the blueprints and their own human reasoning and a pile of junk that hardly runs, which they call a car. Yes this is their car, Pabst Blue Ribbon style! The great Cardinal Manning once said of Protestantism, ‘ . . . You have no foundation but human judg-ment, and therefore you are ” tossed to and fro and carried about ” by words of men. To me this is simply impossible, because I believe on the basis of a Divine Teacher. . . . " Do you want the real deal or the Pabst Blue Ribbon special? The choice is yours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, we now know who was behind the Yugo! Humorous remark aside, your remarks about James White having a pridefull intellect is dead on. His sister, Patty Bonds, said that James overheard his parents talking to some school offical who commented that James had a near-genius IQ. According to her, from that moment on, James became permenantly puffed-up on himself. She fears that his pride will be his undoing unless he's humbled bigtime.

You're wise not to pay much attention to White and his buddies. They have nothing to say to us that's worthwhile. Like White, these characters are malicious liars. There's no way these guys can be ignorant of the truth; they, like Satan, have to know it well enough to distort it.