Wow, just when you thought the need for reformation was over (not that any believer well versed in any church would think that), the Roman Catholic Church has brought back indulgences. This is the pay as you go method of dealing with sin. You can’t possibly trust the finished work on the cross for propitiating God’s wrath – you need to take care of it yourself (or for someone else):
You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead. You cannot buy one — the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 — but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.
Earn your sin off. What a novel idea! Seems like I’ve heard this before…
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? (Galatians 3:1-3)
But why only one a day? Why not issue plenary indulgences all day long for all people! If it is his power to offer forgiveness for some, why not all? Why earn it? Why not give it for free?
Now, listen to the reasoning behind the RCC’s once-again-allowance of indulgences:
“Why are we bringing it back?” asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. “Because there is sin in the world.”
Wow. What happened to the Scriptures?! Have these guys never read Hebrews?
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12)
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:26-27)
DiMarzio is right – there is sin in the world, but it is not possible to deal with that sin by “charitable contributions, combined with other acts.” Only one could earn forgiveness from sins, to break down the wall of hostility separating God from us, and that is the man, Jesus Christ.
Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Soli Deo Gloria