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Tab-A-Letter (monthly newsletter)

September 2018


Justification by Faith – The True and the False

By Pastor Rob Benardo

In our continuing effort to understand the subject of justification, this month we turn to writings of A. T. Jones. The following was written in 1893 and is “spot on” for Christians today. Read and follow carefully as Jones quotes from Catholic sources on the subject and then comments. Note as we have said before, justification is the judicial act of God for all men. Faith (also a gift) is the vehicle that brings it to the individual and makes it effective personally for salvation. 


“The true Protestant doctrine of justification is just this Christian doctrine of justification, neither more nor less; while the Catholic doctrine of justification is directly the opposite of this. THAT it may be seen how certainly this is so, we give here the Catholic statement of the case. In telling what was done in this respect, at the time of the "so-called" Reformation, the statement is as follows:—   “’To make up for this rejection [of the Catholic sacraments], and enable each individual to prescribe for himself, and procure for himself the pardon of sins, and divine grace, independently of the priests and of the sacraments, they invented an exclusive means, never known in the Church of God, and still rejected by all the Eastern churches and by the Roman Catholics throughout the world, by which the followers of Luther ventured to declare that each individual can secure pardon and justification for himself, independently of priests and sacraments.


They have framed a new dogma, not to be found in any of the creeds, or in the canons of any general council; I means the new dogma of justification by faith alone, or by faith only. . . . By adding the word alone, Protestants profess to exclude all exterior, ceremonial, pious, or charitable works, works of obedience or of penance, and good moral acts whatever, as means of apprehending justification, or as conditions to obtain it.—Catholic Belief, p. 366. He [Luther] invented a thing which he called justifying faith, to be a sufficient substitute for all the above painful religious works; an invention which took off every responsibility from our shoulders, and laid all on the shoulders of Jesus Christ. 1—Doctrinal Catechism, p. 37.


To do these acts with a view of being justified, is, they [Protestants] say, like giving a penny to the Queen to obtain from her a royal gift. Come as you are, they add; you cannot be too bad for Jesus. Through faith alone in his promise, they assert, you can and should accept Christ's merits, seize Christ's redemption and his justice [righteousness]; appropriate Christ to yourself, believe that Jesus it [sic.] with you, is yours, that he pardons your sins—and all this without any preparation and without any doing on your part; in fact that however deficient you may be in all other dispositions which Catholics require, and however loaded with sins, if you only trust in Jesus that he will forgive your sins and save you, you are by that trust alone forgiven, personally redeemed, justified, and placed in a state of salvation.”’—Catholic Belief, p. 367.


Bear in mind that this is the Catholic Church's statement of the Protestant doctrine of justification. And bear in mind that the Catholic Church thus plainly declares that this doctrine was "’never known to the Church of God,’" is "not to be found in any of the creeds, or in the canons of any general council,’" and that it "’is still so regarded by Roman Catholics throughout the world.’" VERY good. That is correct. No true Protestant could ask for any better statement of the case. And this Protestant doctrine of justification, which is here so emphatically repudiated and opposed by Catholicism—this doctrine is the Christian doctrine of justification, as everyone knows who has ever read the Bible for himself. Consequently no better evidence is needed to show that the Catholic doctrine of justification is certainly antichristian.”  ARSH Feb. 7, 1893.


And so we see again the soul-liberating truth of justification by faith. If you feel loaded down with sin today, please know that there is a broad shouldered Sin Bearer and his name is Jesus! If you will only exercise true faith in Him, he will forgive your sins, save you and personally redeem and justify you! Why not accept His gift today?


A Child’s Tender Heart…

by Lorrie Rietman

Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3).  I have thought of this verse many times in the past 4 years. The sincerity, the wholehearted trust and the natural expression of affection in my small children have illustrated to me why Jesus says this. 

Nathaniel is going-on two and full of energy and mischievousness. He has recently been in a throwing stage, which has required Mommy and Daddy to redirect his energy in a more suitable fashion. :) The sweet part of it has been that when I have spoken sternly to him, he has just melted in to tears and clung to mommy. I know this will certainly not always be the case, but at this stage he has such a tender heart that Mommy expressing disapproval hurts his feelings. In response to feeling hurt, he throws himself on me for comfort. 

Sometimes God’s Word hurts us, as well. The Word of God is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). If we take the Bible seriously, it will hurt and cut us as we realize that we are not living in harmony with God. So often our response to the Lord is to harden our hearts, retreat and live in denial. How different our Christian experience would be if we responded to the Lord with a child’s tender heart! We would just melt in to the Lord at the slightest sign of disapproval. Throwing ourselves on Him, we would be wrapped in loving arms of warmth and guidance. Let us learn from little children. 




A year from now, our pathfinder club has an amazing opportunity to see just how BIG the Adventist movement is around the world.  But we can't do it without your help!  In August of 2019, we are planning to attend the international camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  We will meet with about 50,000 other Adventist youth from around the world to celebrate the Adventist movement and acknowledge our differences from the world around us as something to be proud of and thankful for. We hope to come home more inspired to live faithfully to God's calling in our lives and accept being different from the world.  We will be taking a group of 20 or so from our youth for this week long adventure.  The cost per person is estimated to be $450 per person.  The pathfinders have been encouraged to earn part of the cost themselves. We are hoping to raise a portion of this expense, so that the trip will be affordable to any pathfinder that wants to attend. 

The Lord has called Brad and me to serve him through pathfinders these past eight years and we have personally witnessed how pathfinders have changed the hearts and lives of many of our youth. He has called many to stand up and be leaders in pathfinders that otherwise might never have had the courage to do so.  So we believe that taking our kids to Oshkosh is an important part of their journey towards service for Him and eventually Heaven.  

In the next few weeks or so, we will be sending out letters asking for donations. Please prayerfully consider how you can help. 

Our pathfinder club will be starting up again in a few weeks.  If you have a 5th through 12th grader that would like to have information about joining, you can email us at bt.hall@hotmail.com or call 269.317.1738.

Brad and Tracey Hall, Director's of the Battle Creek Pioneers Pathfinder Club



July 2018 statement totals:

Revenues:  $17,932.95; Expenses:  $26,419.56

giving a loss of $8,486.61




A few quotes to make us think…

     ^No church ever has a money problem, only a faithfulness problem.  — Brian Kluth, Pastor and Generosity Speaker & Author

     ^When you give to God, you discover that God gives to you.  There's no good reason to be the richest man in the cemetery.   Col. Sanders, Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken

     ^When we give to God, we are just taking our hands off what already belongs to Him. 

     ^God looks at the heart, not the hand--the giver, not the gift.

     ^Some people say, “Give till it hurts.”  But God recommends that we give until it feels good.  God loves a cheerful giver!  — Brian Kluth, Pastor and Generosity Speaker & Author

     ^Thank the Lord that you can give instead of depending on others to give to you. 

     ^“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), missionary to India

     ^“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British wartime prime minister and statesman




BATTLE CREEK ACADEMY began their new school term August 15th.  The grade distribution is charted below.  Visit their website for pictures and details battlecreekacademy.com