Pastor Weedon on Trusting the Promises of Christ

I reckon Pastor William Weedon has been reading Peter Holmes’ story of how he sought and entered the Catholic Church.

Here is a snippet of a post he recently wrote:

A Lot of the Angst that seems to afflict folks nowadays is about where final confidence is reposed. I think that those who take their faith seriously are faced with two options: you can rest your final confidence in the outward communion of some Church (and hope that you happened to pick the right one!) or
you can rest your final confidence in the promises of God’s Word.

God’s Word says: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” God’s Word says: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” God’s Word says: “This is my body given for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” God’s Word says: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain them, they are retained.” Are these promises of God’s Word reliable? Do they mean exactly what they say?, Or is there a hidden clause that runs behind them: PROVIDED you are in the communion of the one and only true Church of Christ, for only there do the promises of God’s Word hold true for you.

And here is my comment (which came in at number 31 on his blog–so I figured that unless I put it up here, no-one–maybe not even Pastor Weedon himself–would ever read it):

In your original post, Pastor, you gave two sorts of examples of God’s promises:

The first pair said: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” and “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” The second pair said: “This is my body given for you, for the forgiveness of sins” and “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain them, they are retained.”

I know you didn’t make the distinction between the two sets of promises–that is my distinction and (I think) the Church’s also. The first set pertain to personal salvation. In this, there is no argument. ANYONE (no matter what heretical sect they normally belong to) who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved, and ANYONE (no matter what heretical sect they belong to) who believes in Christ and has been baptised (presumably in the manner instituted by Christ) WILL be saved.

But concerning the other two promises, it is important to
ask: What do these promises actually say? For they concern specifics: “This” and “You”. What is the “This”? and who are the “You”? In the former case the promise does not pertain to the bread and wine on my dinner table, nor, in the latter case, does the promise pertain to Joe Bloggs down in the pub. Obviously the “This” and the “You” about which these promises are made pertain to particular bread and wine and to particular persons.

It is therefore not unreasonable for individuals with full faith in these promises to seek that particular bread and wine and those particular persons to whom these promises pertain.

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