Under Reformed Protestantism, God has predestined the elect to salvation and the reprobate to damnation. Being a faithful Catholic therefore means, practically by definition, that you are a reprobate. And here’s the kicker: if you are one of the reprobate, many of the passages from the Gospel on forgiving your brother and helping him do not apply (at least as they interpret them). Once you cross the Tiber, you are anathema and damned.If you leave a gospel-preaching church for Rome, of course we do (or ought) to treat you as lacking a credible profession of faith. Normally, for such a departure from the faith, a Reformed church will provide the Biblical discipline of excommunication.
That discipline, however, is discipline not condemnation. Through excommunication, it is hoped that a person will be brought back to the faith. It is hoped that he will see the error of his ways, repent of his sin, and return to the flock of Christ.
There is certainly no judgment as to the election or reprobation of the person. Only God knows who the elect and reprobate are - moreover, "to him that is joined to all the living there is hope," (Ecclesiastes 9:4) and we hold out that hope even for the most anti-Reformed, anti-Evangelical member of the "Called to Communion" blog.
It is our desire to see those who have apostatized from the church of Christ brought back to her. I realize that pointing out that the church of Rome is a synagogue of Satan is going to make those in the church of Rome unhappy - surely it made the people unhappy to whom the phrase was originally applied. Nevertheless, the point of such comments is to warn those of the danger.
When I tell you that your house isn't comfortable warm, it's on fire, I'm not attacking your house or pouring out vitriol against your air conditioning unit. It's an expression of love to warn those who we care about to avoid danger - not an expression of hatred.
One might think that Mr. Rose would appreciate this, since he wrote:
To their credit, they have this hatred for the Catholic Church (or “Romanism,” as you will hear) because they believe it is leading people away from Jesus and the Gospel. And good for them! If I believed that some church or denomination was doing that, I would oppose it too–perhaps not using their same vitriol and methods–but I would not want people to follow those beliefs.And Rome does lead people away from the Gospel, encouraging them to trust in Mary, angels, martyrs, and saints and not in God alone - requiring their submission to a man who sits on an earthly throne in an earthly palace, claiming to be the earthly head of the church.
But unto us, there is one Lord (1 Corinthians 8:6).