Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Response to Steve Finnell

Steve Finnell left us an invitation to follow his blog, and he did this in a post under San Gennaro.  I have deleted Steve's comment there (as well as the responses to it) and instead will post one of his blog entries here and respond to it (and it is linked back to his original article).  A repeating theme on Steve's blog is "forgiveness" and "the Word of God," so I've picked one of those for my initial response to him.

THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN

There are more than few who present the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican as an example to support the "Sinner's Prayer" as a means to forgiveness from sins. (Luke 18:9-14)

THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THE PUBLICAN IN THIS PARABLE EVEN BELIEVED IN  JESUS.

Jesus used this parable to illustrate the futility of a  self-righteous attitude. Jesus was not saying non-Christians can say a form of the "Sinner's Prayer" as the means to being justified before God.

The Scriptures teach that sins are forgiven because of God's grace (Ephesians 2:8), faith in Jesus as Savior (John 3:16), confessing Jesus as Lord, believing in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 10:9-10), repentance (the intellectual commitment to turn from sin and turn to God.--Luke 24:46-47) and water baptism, (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Galatians 3:27, 1Peter3:20-21).

Jesus nor any apostle ever stated that non-Christians should say a  Sinner's Prayer, in order to receive forgiveness from sins.

ONLY CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE BEEN WASHED BY THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST CAN RECEIVE FORGIVENESS FROM THEIR SINS, BY PRAYER!
John 20:23 tells us:  "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."  Now, this is Jesus speaking directly and only to His Apostles, our first bishops.  The forgiveness of sins is an authority given by Jesus to His bishops!   To this day it is the bishop who holds jurisdiction over the Sacrament of Reconciliation and only those priests whom the bishop with jurisdiction has given faculties to forgive sins can do so.  So, if Mr. Finnell wishes to rely on Scripture - he must submit himself to one who has been granted this authority!  This authority, as pointed out, is traced all the way back to Jesus Christ Himself in His Word at John 20:23, and there's really no getting around this.  

Yes, it is those Christians who have been washed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ who can receive forgiveness - but it is also only those who have been thusly empowered to forgive sins who can do so!

We can also agree with Mr. Finnell that the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee relates to the futility of a self-righteous attitude.  However, he calls into question whether or not the Publican is even a Christian.  Well, the Publican is NOT a Christian!  Christianity had not been born yet!  Christ had not yet built His Church, as He promised He would do (Matthew 16:18-19). 

Back to the point... Mr. Finnell does a good job of laying out what it takes for forgiveness EXCEPT the KEY POINT of WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS!  Yes, He will claim that forgiveness is by the Blood of Christ, but it is Christ Himself who tells us WHO can forgive sins - and sins THEY do not forgive are NOT FORGIVEN.  

May God guide Mr. Finnell, and all who are reading along, the Spirit of Wisdom and Grace to seek out what God's Word REALLY tells us about forgiveness. 

A blessed Ash Wednesday to you too and may you have a good Lent.
 
In JMJ,
Scott<<<

20 comments:

  1. It would appear that Mr. Finnell was nothing more than a "drive-by troll." There has been no response from him either here or on his own blog. I have left another comment on his blog today, but that will be my last if there is no response from him. If he chooses NOT to defend his position and beliefs then we must just write him off as one without charity, who doesn't care and thus is just a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

    The other possibility (though still lacks charity) is that he has no answer to what is posted here and thus his silence can be taken as acquiescence.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  2. hahaha i think that your blog is written sincerely as your fellow catholic friend whom i commented on and deserves commendment. i also think that is hilarious; not an insulting hilarious to the content, but i find it funny enough to laugh aloud with your judgment on Mr. Finnell. charity? hahaha that's classic? you mean charity as in
    charin?? lolz

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rosaren,
    First off, I'm not sure what you mean by "charin." Secondly, my "judgment" was basically a statement of fact. Mr. Finnell came to this blog, posted an off-topic comment in another thread (his comment was not related to the article he was "responding" to) and then, like a troll, posted an invitation to come over to his blog. Well, I responded to him on this blog - AND - I accepted his invitation to go over to his blog. It is not *I* who posted and ran away.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  4. I'm just wondering when Jesus appointed you for the forgiving.. If all Christians feel called by His power to forgive, who's to say one is above the other? There are many accounts of popes excommunicating other popes. Who would YOU say has the real power? And who are you (a fellow sinner, a man of Adam, someone who has to have Christ's forgiveness) to refuse forgiving others? If Christ would forgive, why will you not? 'For if YOU forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do NOT forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father (not 'your apostle' or 'your pope' or 'your church leader') forgive your trespasses.' Mat 6: 14-15. I'm not trying to start an argument..it can not be resolved over blog posts, but I want to put it out there, because it's what I believe is taught in the Bible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea, what, exactly, are you giving your "amen" to? I've answered Gracie already. I've supported my argument with Scripture. I don't only believe that is what is taught by Scripture, I know it.

      Delete
  5. Gracie,
    Where did I say that I do the forgiving? I cited the Scripture stating who has that authority! That authority was given to the Apostles, our first bishops, and that authority has been passed down by them and continues to this day where there is valid succession from one of the first bishops.

    Now I also grant you, if we do not forgive others who have offended us, then God will not forgive us either! But that's not the point! God Himself granted the authority of forgiving sins to a special group of men - our first bishops - and declared sins THEY do not forgive are NOT FORGIVEN. That was the point of my response to Mr. Finnell.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    PS- Just a reminder, posts over two weeks old go into the moderation queue automatically, so that is why there was some delay in your post being published. There is no moderation on posts within two weeks of them being published. My initial post in response to Mr. Finnell is from March 9th of this year, a good six months ago now, and for the record, he has yet to respond (or make any such response known to me).

    ReplyDelete
  6. He left a random comment on my blog, too. I don't write on religion, at all. I've never heard of him. I deleted his comment and posted a query on his blog asking who he was and why he had commented on mine. There is no link to an email address on his blog. I think he should be reported.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, 11 months have gone by (well, 10 and 3/4 months) and not a peep from Mr. Finnell. It appears he goes out of his way to invite people to his blog - but when it comes to an actual dialog with someone who challenges his paradigm, he has nothing to say.

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  8. I'm glad you posted this. He left the same comment on my blog, Roses and Whimsy, this morning. I'm deleting it now. God bless!

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  9. After a year and a half, still no response from Mr. Finnell.  His blog, to which I was responding to, "has been removed."  He has another one he started earlier this year: http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/ - but the article I responded to (above) does not seem to be there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. He's commented on my blog before, once, just the usual "you are invited to follow my blog", and he's done the same in recent days again at two blogs I follow. Really, really bad manners as blog comments go. The man is an idiot. 

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  11. ...And it is the Father (in Heaven) who forgives our sins. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John, I refer you to my initial response to Mr. Finnell and also what I said to Gracie above. God Himself (Jesus) empowered men to forgive sins - and those sins THEY do not forgive are NOT forgiven.

      It would also be really nice if Mr. Finnell was not just a drive-by troll. After posting to someone's blog, he should engage the conversation he jumped into (or started). Several other bloggers, as you can see above, report the same behavior from Mr. Finnell.

      Delete
  12. He just did this to my blog also. Thanks for post this blog so I'm informed now about this person.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was curious about this subject as I received an article length comment from him that had nothing to do with the article he was commenting on. I simply thanked him for his comment and went on my way. My article was about the hope of the nativity and his was not related to that. Thanks for your message.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, I was googling for Steve Finnel because on Oct 27th, 2014, he put verses quoted from the bible on one of my blog post; no introducing, no explanation & surely without asking if it would be okay with me.

    I emailed & barked at him about how annoyed his post was but he never replied. so I wondered who is this guy.

    Anyway, I happened to see your blog, mentioning his name & from reading it & reading other comments, I knew I was not the only and obviously not the first blogger whom received his visit.

    Have you ever seen his photo somewhere or knew something about him?

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  15. He's spammed my blogs before with his sanctimonious crap- it's guys like him that do an incredible amount of damage to organized religion- and I've barked at him, not that the hypocrite will ever post the comments. Today he spammed a photoblog I follow.

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  16. Greetings.
    I have no words about Mr. Finnell but your comments about him needing to find someone to submit to in order for his sins to be forgiven was to me quite shocking and disturbing. Who are these people that you speak of and how does someone find them? How many are there and not that forgiving sins is enough but do they have any other authority? Do you have any other verses besides John 20:23 that can back up this incredible statement. I am not using the word "incredible" lightly, its just so hard to believe that our salvation hinges on us finding these people and asking them for forgiveness. Never the less, let God's will be done. I look forward to your reply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings Mr. Smith,
      Since the posting you have responded to is a few years old, I am taking the liberty of taking your response and creating a new post which will not be under automatic moderation. You can find my response at the following link, feel free to continue the discussion under that thread.

      http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2015/03/who-can-forgive-sins.html

      AMDG,
      Scott<<<

      Delete

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