The Joint Declaration Issued on the Occasion
Let us now turn our attention to the joint statement which was issued on the occasion of this Papist/Lutheran commemoration of the Reformation. This statement was issued in Lund, Sweden, on October 31 – the date which commemorates the start of the Protestant Reformation.
“With this Joint Statement, we express joyful gratitude to God for this moment of common prayer in the Cathedral of Lund, as we begin the year commemorating the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation.” Even after all these decades of ecumenism, it still almost defies belief that we are actually witnessing the Roman Papacy commemorating the Reformation! And even though we know that from Rome’s part it is not a true commemoration, but a subtle tactic to win over the Lutherans and other Protestants, yet the fact still remains that the Lutheran institution’s leaders have been so blinded by ecumenical deceit for so long that they have actually come to believe that the Roman Papacy wants to celebrate Luther, and the Lutheran Reformation, alongside them! Truly, such spiritual blindness and ignorance is breathtaking, and a sign of the times in which we live: times of gross spiritual darkness engulfing the “Protestant” world.
“Fifty years of sustained and fruitful ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans have helped us to overcome many differences, and have deepened our mutual understanding and trust.” There is no doubt about it. Half a century of devilish ecumenism, and Rome has managed to pull off one of its greatest con tricks yet – the hijacking of commemorations which should have been the sole preserve of those institutions which broke with Rome five centuries ago! Today, all those differences have been swept under the rug, and Rome can actually say to the “Protestant” world, “Look! We thank God for the Reformation too!” Lies. Lies on such a scale that the mind boggles.
“Through dialogue and shared witness we are no longer strangers. Rather, we have learned that what unites us is greater than what divides us.” There it is again, that phrase: what unites us is greater than what divides us. As pointed out above, in many ways this has been true of Lutheranism since its inception. The Lutheran movement was never a complete and total break with Rome. Luther and his associates still considered Papists to be Christians, and the Romish religion to be a church. A church in Babylonish captivity, to be sure – but still a church of Christ. Luther and his associates still believed in such Romish heresies as baptismal regeneration and a modified view of the mass. They did not believe in, nor seek to achieve, a regenerate church membership. They held to the deadly “State Church” concept, just like Rome. So then, it is true to say, and even more so today than before, that what unites Lutherans and Papists is greater than what divides them. The surrendering of Lutheranism to the Papacy is merely the return of the Lutheran chick to dwell under “Mother Rome’s” wings, like a naughty child who runs away from home for a time but eventually returns, ashamed and chastised. This is Lutheranism.
“While we are profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation…” Lies heaped upon lies! As if Rome has ever been thankful for such things! From the moment the Reformation began, Rome did everything in its power to stamp it out. It used fire, sword, and various other diabolical means. Ah, but it is easy for a victor in a battle to find nice things to say about his vanquished enemy. Rome has vanquished Lutheranism. This is the fact of it. So now it can afford to be “nice” to the defeated Lutherans.
“While we are profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation, we also confess and lament before Christ that Lutherans and Catholics have wounded the visible unity of the Church.” Point no.1: the Roman Catholic institution was never the Church of God; never even a church of God. Point no. 2: the Lutheran institution was never a church of God either. Point no. 3: a true Christian is not in unity with a false “christian”, nor a true church with a false “church”. Point no. 4: the true Church of God has a spiritual unity, not a material one.
“Theological differences were accompanied by prejudice and conflicts, and religion was instrumentalized for political ends.” True enough in the case of these two institutions, mother and daughter.
“Our common faith in Jesus Christ and our baptism demand of us a daily conversion…” These two religious institutions do have a common faith, but it is not true saving faith in Jesus Christ. And note: it speaks of “our baptism”, as being a common baptism – which indeed it is and always has been! This is what so many Protestants have either failed to see, or ignored, in Luther’s own teachings. “Luther attached great importance to his baptism. When the Devil assailed him, he would answer, ‘I am baptized.’” Apart from the terrible error of trusting to such an extent in his “baptism”, which would be shocking enough even if it was biblical baptism, he was “baptized” as an infant, by a Roman Catholic priest! This means he accepted his Roman Catholic “baptism”, administered to him as a baby, as entirely valid! He did not seek to be biblically baptized once he professed conversion. This just demonstrates, yet again, that from its very inception Lutheranism was nothing but modified Romanism.
And indeed, this theme of a common “baptism” is one to which this document returns a little further on, when it states: “we commit ourselves to further growth and communion rooted in Baptism, as we seek to remove the remaining obstacles that hinder us from attaining full unity. Christ desires that we be one, so that the world may believe (cf. John 17:21).” Always, the reference to this Scripture in ecumenical relations – but how wrongly it is used (see above)! And both Papists and Lutherans appeal, in this sentence, to their shared “baptism” as the foundation of their further efforts towards “attaining full unity” eventually. This is always the final objective: full unity. But what kind of unity will this be? Nothing other than the absorption of Lutheranism into Roman Catholicism.
And again about baptism, further on: “As we recommit ourselves to move from conflict to communion, we do so as part of the one Body of Christ, into which we are incorporated through Baptism.” Again, this is what so many Protestants have failed to see about Lutheranism: just like Romanism, it teaches that one is incorporated into the Church through baptism; that one is, in fact, born again by baptism! This is why both practice the “baptism” of infants, and both then call those “baptized” infants “Christians”. Baptism is what regenerates, baptism is what saves, according to these religious bodies. Not Christ, but the rite of baptism. It is a devilish lie that has damned multitudes to hell.
“Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity…. We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavours, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue.” In truth, the differences between the Roman Catholic mass and the proper observance of the ordinance of the Lord’s supper are so great that there can never be a reconciliation between the two: it is as the Word of God says, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:21). The Popish mass is a sacrifice to devils. Therefore, if Papists and Lutherans view the differences between the mass of Rome, and the Lutheran sacrament which goes by the name of the Lord’s supper, as nothing but a “wound” that needs to be healed, this is proof positive that the Lutheran sacrament is not the biblical ordinance! According to Luther himself, in the sacrament, although the bread and wine are not magically changed into Christ’s body and blood as the Romanists teach, yet even so Christ gives His true body and true blood “in, with and under” the bread and wine, to the one partaking of these things (and this is called the real presence, just as in Romanism). This is dangerously close to the Popish doctrine, and is a very convenient meeting-ground between Rome and Lutheranism in ecumenical dialogue. Luther was absolutely adamant: the words, “This is my body”, were to be taken literally. Just as the Papists have always taught.