Fr. Rosica and the Modern Day Pharisees

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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…..

11 thoughts on “Fr. Rosica and the Modern Day Pharisees

  1. You seem kind of ‘hung up’ with your personal world view I guess I am as well 🙂 But I find yours is creating an ‘Us and Them’ mentality. But from what I understand, Jesus Christ did not come to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:16) and that is indeed the Good News.

    Therefore, it occurs to me that we are all in this together and should be all things to all people- as Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ” Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

    Paul does not write with an insincerity as if he must be ‘nicey nice’ to others or pretend he is like them- rather he offers himself as a slave, a servant to others- to the Jews, to those under the law, to those who have not the law and to the weak. In this way we share the Gospel and bless others.

    • Re: “us and them”. Jesus himself distinguishes between “us” and “them”, not that we might alienate others but so that we, ourselves, may not be alienated from Him and His Church. The Gospel according to Saint John, Chapter 17 is instructive, especially vs 14-16:

      14-16 [Jesus is speaking to the Father] “I have given them (i.e., “us”) your word, and the world (i.e., “them”) has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them (i.e., us) out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.”

      It might be helpful to recall the Greek word ecclesia [C16: from Medieval Latin, from Late Greek ekklēsia assembly, from ekklētos called, from ekkalein to call out, from kalein to call]. The Church is “called out” from the world. We belong to the Lord. Others, apparently, do not because they belong to the world.

      Faithful Catholics do not belong to the world. Unfaithful Catholics and others—e.g., obstinate, unrepentant sinners—do belong to the world. We are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). If that distinguishes “us” from others, so be it. When we fail (commit sin), we go to confession and are made clean. To become weak, as you have stated, is not to sin in order to resemble the sinful but rather to be humble, like our Master. We are already weak because we are sinners. A repentant sinner striving to be holy according to Jesus’ teaching and example is weak for the right reasons.

      Jesus says we (“us”) should enter through the narrow gate (St. Matthew 7:13), not the wide gate that many (“them”) follow.

      • Thanks for that clarification.

        It still should not hinder us from meeting people or welcoming those ‘of the world’ so that we might share the Gospel generously with them. There is a difference between knowing who we are and being confident in our skin as Christians and being wary of new people and experiences.

        This whole gay pride parade thing can be an opportunity to share the Gospel of peace to a lost world. Who knows how many souls out there are waiting for that invitation. 🙂

        Thanks again!

        • For example Jesus spent a lot of time speaking with the Pharisees of his time and won over some of them. So he didn’t shy away from those conversations granted they tried his patience because of the hardness of their hearts.

          • Canada and The West were already won for Christ in Government,Law and Education where school teachers led their students in The Lord’s Prayer etc.until the early 1960’s,when the secular humanist political and legal elite declared Christianity Unconstitutional in Government,Law and Education.Before this people who wanted to normalize promiscuous sex education and homosexuality to schoolchildren as so-called human rights were regarded as criminals.It is the Worldview-Religion of Secular Humanism that has Paganized Western Civilization starting with the indoctrination of Kindergarteners.In Revelation the damned majority would rather continue sinning than convert. Today innocent schoolchildren traumatized by Secular Humanist Sex and Health education by adults who ought to know better have nowhere to turn thanks to religious secular humanists. Then these seculars recite scripture as an excuse to keep this evil politically and legally continuing.

    • Actually, Kathy, Jesus came to “bring the sword” on family relationships — when it comes to choosing between Him and them. You should read up a little more on His teachings.

      • You make it sound as if that is all Jesus is about….swords and division …but he is beyond that. He was describing more simply that people would be at odds about who he was, the scandal that he was God in the flesh, but does it mean this is how he expects us to behave?

        • No, Jesus was not all about swords…He came that all may be “one”. However, there are times where the Gospel DOES cut through family and friends. You cannot escape the import of those words. It’s part of our heritage as Christians and we have saints and martyrs who died at the hands of family members. Do not diminish the words of Jesus and make Him into a caricature which does not exist. One must hold the Catholic Faith in complete balance and not distort it to the left or to the right.

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