World Lutheran Federation Takes
Leaders representing 61 million Lutherans signed a joint declaration with Roman Catholic Cardinal Edward Cassidy agreeing that the Reformation was all a mistake, that the two organizations really do agree on how to get to heaven. Called the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, it was the result of some 30 years of dialogue between representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
This a major coup for Rome in her ecumenical drive to bring all religions back under her control including the "separated brethren," the protestants.
The "declaration" contains some 8,000 words delicately framing ideas so that they appear acceptable to both sides. Neither side is required to retract the anathemas hurled at each other over the centuries but the new agreement is the result of "new insights" obtained by restudying the histories and discovering that the "doctrinal condemnations of the sixteenth century do not apply to today..."
It is not surprising the Lutherans could this easily return to agreement with Rome since they never really removed that far away from her teaching. Both are essentially sacramental systems. And sacramental systems assume incremental salvation.
Sacramental salvation starts with baptismal regeneration where a ritual removes original sin. Infants are baptized to remove this original sin. Later, in the ritual of confirmation, the Holy Spirit is "conferred". After that, salvation is advanced by the rituals of the Mass, (where they believe they can eat Jesus), by confession and extreme unction, where priests are empowered to forgive sin, and finally by purgatory where one must suffer for one's sins.
All this puts the church in charge of the process of redemption. No one can receive full salvation without following the rituals of Rome all of his life.
This is why Roman Catholicism teaches that there is no salvation outside the Church of Rome.
When the Joint Declaration between Rome and the Lutherans is analyzed carefully, the justification which they are talking about is not the same as taught in the Bible, that nothing we can do can merit God's favor, that we are fully justified by faith in Christ alone Who was sacrificed once for our redemption and no further works of ours can make us more justified.
Rome demands slavery to a priestcraft system where the pope has captured the free gift of salvation through Christ. Catholicism claims that they own the "treasury of merit" purchased by Christ and enhanced by the good deeds of saints through the ages and that it is their job to dispense this merit only to whom they choose. They have placed the sacramental rituals as the "means of grace," the only way man can be justified. Not only do they own all the "merit," they own the distribution system, giving them complete control over the destiny of a billion precious souls deceived by this prostitute church.
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