Who are the modern-day Pharisees and their followers? The blind modern-day Pharisees and their blind followers are very religious, moral, zealous people. They strive to keep God’s law, and they are zealous in their religious duties. They diligently attend Church every Sunday. They are hardworking, outwardly upright citizens. They keep themselves from and preach against moral evil. In addition to being moral and religious and zealous, modern-day Pharisees and their followers do not believe that salvation is conditioned on the work of Christ alone; instead, they believe that salvation is ultimately up to human efforts and what the sinner adds to Christ’s work! (Source)
In regards to the above text, sinner that I am, that’s what I try to do…in fact, that’s what all Catholics are called to do. And for that we are labelled Pharisees. Such is the Church age that we live in: Unrepentant thugs and reprobates are welcome with open arms. Suckers who try and live the Gospel and its law are cast out.
In contrast to the modern-day Pharisees and their followers, true Christians are those who boast in Christ crucified and no other, meaning that they believe that Christ’s work ensured the salvation of all whom He represented and is the only thing that makes the difference between salvation and condemnation. They know that their own efforts form absolutely no part of their acceptance before God. They rest in Christ alone as their only hope, knowing that it is the work of Christ by the grace of God that guarantees salvation.
Sounds Lutheran to me. Not surprised at this little revelation. Underneath all the problems with the moral teachings of the Church, it always comes back to theology — in this case, justification.
- You can boast in Christ Crucified and yet understand that you are called to be transformed by His Grace. Your co-operation with that Grace is necessary for salvation.
- Christ’s work (outside of our assent and faith-filled works) is not THE ONLY THING that makes the difference between salvation and condemnation…otherwise, we would all be saved. And what is Fr. Rosica’s position on universal salvation? He should tell us. Besides Christ’s own work on the Cross, WE need to accept that saving work into our lives so as to transform us. We make UP for the suffering lacking in Christ. We are not Lutherans. We do not believe in legal fictions. We believe that Christ’s salvation is offered to all, but that only those who respond (or can’t respond) are saved.
- We know that our efforts (read: efforts filled with God’s grace) absolutely DO form part of our acceptance before God. The Gospels are filled with Christ’s warning of those who fail to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.
Cue the retreat and clarifications that are sure to come…..