"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

03 August 2006

Who is Right? - Doctrine of Justification

Call me slow (which some have already insinuated) but I think I finally understand the great divide between Catholicism and Protestantism. It is the doctrine of justification by grace.

This quote from CRI explains the difference well:

Justification, to evangelicals, means that God declares us righteous the instant you or I repent and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior — and this, despite our sinfulness. Actually, it’s a singular event, something that is completed instantaneously. Catholics, on the other hand, understand justification to mean that God makes us righteous. It’s seen as a process whereby God gradually perfects us; and this is, incidentally, why Catholics believe that only in the end will believers be sure as to whether they’re truly justified or saved.

In addition, evangelicals believe in justification by faith alone. And by faith we mean not only knowledge and agreement, but also personal trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. In sharp distinction, Catholics see faith as nothing more than passive agreement, which again is why they don’t believe in justification by faith alone. Catholics actually consider human works as vital elements in the process of justification. This is because they are held to be the result of God’s grace working through and perfecting believers.

Well, in sharp contrast to the evangelical belief that works are the fruits of justification, Catholics say that justification results from a combination of faith and works made possible by God’s grace.


For Evangelicals, salvation and justification occurs simultaneously upon accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and we can be assured of our heavenly destination. For Catholics, there is no assurance of their eternal destination. Big difference.

So. Who is right?

We can’t both be right, correct?

Because if the Catholics are right, then we Evangelicals may be in trouble. But if the Evangelicals are right, where does that leave the Catholics?

These are questions to think about. I will continue with this topic later.

171 comments:

Tony said...

I have a question for you, Carrie. Would the God you worship condemn someone to eternal torment because they never had the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ?

Carrie said...

Tony, I’m surprised. This is the kind of question a non-believer would ask. Do I smell cheese?

Paul states in Romans that all men can realize the existence of God through his creation (I’m paraphrasing). In Acts, Cornelius, a Gentile who worshipped the God of the Jews was recognized by God for his alms and his prayers. God sent Peter to Cornelius to deliver the Gospel message (ie “he learned about Jesus”).

From the above I would say that all men can recognize the Creator through his creation, and those that acknowledge the Creator will likely hear the Gospel message. But even if that were not true the “God I worship” is a just God and will no doubt deal with every man fairly based on what knowledge they did or did not have access to.

michele said...

Not only do they know there is a God, they reject Him and turn to a god of their own creation this is also Romans 1.

Carrie, that is exactly what Martin Luther thought as well. Nothing else matters in this debate except for that. Because for him it was the heart of the gospel.

Tony said...

Tony, I’m surprised. This is the kind of question a non-believer would ask. Do I smell cheese?

Isn't there a requirement to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and be born again before you can be saved?

Carrie said...

Isn't there a requirement to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and be born again before you can be saved?

What does this have to do with because they never had the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ? ?

Ellen said...

John 9:41
Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains.

Ellen said...

"Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Ellen said...

The passage I just posted puts me in tears...my sins are many and there is nothing that I can do to earn heaven. It is by grace, through faith.

centuri0n said...

Tony:

The God Carrie worships condemns men for being sinners -- which is a just judgment.

When does the God you worship save anyone, Tony? If you have to pass through purgatory to meet the God you worship, God didn't save you: you paid your price in purgatory.

centuri0n said...

Also Tony -- it's important to remember that while many Baptists get it backwards, men are reborn before they have faith. John 6, like.

e-Mom said...

Carrie, the quote you've posted here explains a few things to me too, thanks. I was not raised in the Catholic faith, so I'm learning as I lurk.

Have you heard of the (Protestant) "already/not yet" argument? The idea is that we are saved the moment we are converted. Scripture says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall be saved." (Romans 10:9) This is the "already" half of the equation. We are saved by faith.

However, like a conception, salvation is just the beginning of our Christian growth or sanctification which continues while we are on this earth until our death. Ideally, we display more and more Christlike character (fruit of the Spirit) and good deeds as we grow in faith. (Grace/Faith begets works.)

According to Scripture, we won't receive our full inheritance until Christ returns (The Day of the Lord). At that time, we will be completely conformed to the loving character of Christ, and we will receive our immortal body. This then is the "not yet" half of the equation.

The "already/not yet" argument says we are saved, but not completely perfected yet, and both of those things are a sovereign work of God.

Discipleship or Christian Formation is the part we get to participate in right now. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13) The more we "eat" and obey the Scriptures, the more we Christ-like we become in this life.

So I try my best to be more Mary rather than Martha when it comes choosing how I spend my time. (Not always successful!)

God bless you.

Ellen said...

Gal 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Carrie said...

I've closed the comment thread on the last post. The discussion was moving to sole fide and I thought it was better suited to this post.

I have asked the Catholic apologists to give me biblical references that supports Rome's view on justification and/or that deny justification by faith alone.

So far all we have is Elena saying that the words "faith alone" are not in the Bible.

Tony said...

I have asked the Catholic apologists to give me biblical references that supports Rome's view on justification and/or that deny justification by faith alone.

As soon as you show me biblical references that support Sola Scriptura. I have looked in my Bible. Nowhere does it say that Scripture is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth.

Until you convince me of that, I don't believe I'm required to prove Biblical references for any Catholic doctrine. I need only show that they aren't counter biblical.

Elena said...

8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith," Gal 3:6-8

Yea! Great!! Amen. But it doesn't say by faith alone.

24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." Gal 3:23-24

Wonderful! But it doesn't say by faith alone.


You are right Elena, you will not find it spelled out for you neatly.

Yep. I know.

You have to understand the concept and see the theme throughout the Bible.

The theme throughout the bible consistently does not say faith alone.

Elena said...

As soon as you show me biblical references that support Sola Scriptura. I have looked in my Bible. Nowhere does it say that Scripture is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth.

Until you convince me of that, I don't believe I'm required to prove Biblical references for any Catholic doctrine. I need only show that they aren't counter biblical.


Yep!!

Elena said...

This example cracked me up Ellen.



"Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet,"

a work.


but she has wet my feet with her tears

another work


and wiped them with her hair.


and yet another!

You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.

and another.


" Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much."


Faith in love

"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

1. Jesus choses to say this after the woman has shown many acts (or works) of love.

2. and even then he does not say faith in love.

This passage beautifully supports the Catholic position.

Ellen said...

Let me just make sure I have this right.

The Bible doesn't say anything about immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary.

Or about the infallibility of your pope (or even the office of "pope"

Or about papal succession

Or about the infallibility of councils.

But you can't get that "not of works" means without works.

Ellen said...

Elena, so you're saying in Rome's version of the story:

A hooker comes in off the street, maybe didn't even know Jesus was in there, she had just happened to buy a jar of very expensive oil. Seeing Jesus (no faith), she did all those things and after had done all those things, THEN she had a sudden burst of faith...so that Jesus could save her because of her works.

Yeah.

Why do you think she wanted to be at Jesus feet? She came to Him, a sinner, repentant.

And you want to make her tears into coinage.

Jesus didn't say her tears saved her.

Ellen said...

The woman did know that Jesus was there and she had faith enough to risk the ire of the owner of the house.

For someone of her stature, that was a lot of faith.

Question. What does faith alone mean?

Does it mean without works? Not of works? Apart from works?

Does it mean that all we have to bring to the table is faith?

Ellen said...

As soon as you show me biblical references that support Sola Scriptura. I have looked in my Bible. Nowhere does it say that Scripture is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth.

Then we have a difference of definitions.

Nobody here has said that "Sola Scriptura" is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth.

"“The Protestant position, and my position, is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand.

I blogged on this a week ago here.

In fact, scholars make the point that Sola Scriptura is NOT the definition that Rome needs for it to be in order to refute it.

Ellen said...

(Sorry, Carrie, I know that you wanted to do faith alone first - but if they trust Rome more than the Bible...)

jswranch said...

The Catholic position is not works without faith, but faith with works for salvation. Faith is an absolute requirement. Christ demands we believe in him and follow his commandments.

Scriptures:
Jm 2:24 not by faith alone.
(The only place the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to say 'faith alone' in the bible, the words 'not by' proceeded them.)

Jm 2:26 faith without works is dead. (If you do not have works, you do not have faith.)

Gal 5:6 The only thing that counts is faith working in love. (yet another tie between faith and works)

1 Cor 13:2 faith without love is nothing (faith alone is not enough)

Jn 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments (acknowledging Jesus is Lord is essential, but keeping commandments is also required ie some action or work is part of this relationship)

Mt 19:16-17 If you wish to enter into life, keep my commandments (again, acknowledging Jesus is Lord is essential, but keeping commandments is also required ie some action or work is part of this relationship)

Yes we can be saved as in Rom 8:24, Eph 2:5,8 2 Tim 1:9, Tit 3:5, but that is not the end of the story. We are saved through baptism (Jn 3:5), but such salvation requires upkeep as we renew our faith and comittment to Jesus:

Salvation is a process which requires our participation:
Phil 2:12 work out your salvation with fear and trembling (there is that word 'work' again)

1 Pet 1:9 as you attain the goal of your faith, which is salvation (notice, salvation and faith are not a thing in the past to gloat over but an ongoing event)

Ultimately, salvation is something, as CRI points out about the 2000 year old Catholic understanding teaches, that is finished in the future:
Mt 10:22 Whoever endures to the end will be saved (not he who has faith, but he who continues to strive/work in that faith will be saved)

Mt 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved (again, not the one who once believed alone)

Mk 8:35 whoever loses his life for my sake will save it (not 'whoever has faith apart from works has been saved')

Acts 15:11 We shall be saved through the Grace of Jesus (not we were saved by our faith apart from works)

Rom 5:9-10 since we are justified [by Christ]we shall be saved (future tense)

Rom 13:11 Salvation is nearer now than we first believed (not a future event)

1 Cor 3:15 We will be saved, but only as through fire (not just past sinner's prayer)

1 Cor 5:5 You are to deliver this man to the Devil for the destruction of his flesh so he may be saved. (he was not saved by his faith alone)

Heb 9:28 Jesus will bring salvation when he comes again.

So, faith alone to the exclusion of works is incorrect. What of these works?
Mt 7:21-23 not all who cry 'Lord' with their lips will go to heaven, even those who preached the word and had the annointing of the Holy Spirit to perform miracles, but only those who did the will of God the Father.

2Cor 5:10 When we stand in judgement, our works will be weighed (not our faith apart from works)

Jn 14:21 Him who follows the commandments loves Jesus

Rom 2:2-8 eternal life through perseverence in good works (not those who hold faith alone)

Gal 5:4-6 but nothing nothing counts but faith working through love

Eph 2:8-10 we are created in Christ Jesus for good works

Phil 2:12-13 work out salvation with fear and trembling

Jm 2:14-24 A man is justified by works and not faith alone.

Ultimately, we will be judged according to our works, and not whether we have faith alone to the exclusion of works.
Rom 2:5-8 God will repay each according to his works

2 cor 5:10 recompense according to work/actions while still alive

2 Cor 11:15 our end will correspond to our deeds

1 Pet 1:17 God judges impartially according to their deeds

Col 3:24-25 we will receive due payment for our works

So, can we be certain that we are 'saved' after making the 'sinner's prayer?'
Mt 7:21 not everyone who calls Jesus 'Lord' will go to heaven

Mt 24:13 only those who persevere to the end will be saved

Rom 11:22 remain in his kindness or you will be cut off

Phil 2:12 work out your salvation in fear and trembling

1 Cor 9:27 drive body for fear of losing heaven

1 Cor 10:11-12 those thinking they are assured of their faith might not reach heaven

Gal 5:4 Separated from Christ, you've fallen from grace

2 Tim 2:11-13 we must hold on to the end to reign with Christ

Hb 6:4-6 It is impossible for us to save our brother who has fallen who once you have found/tasted/lived the fullness of Christ's truth.

Hb 10:26 If we knowingly sin after receiving the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins.

Conclusion. We may conclude we are saved by 'faith alone' if we mean faith is an absolute must for salvation. But any belief or church that teaches 'faith alone' means faith is an absolute must for salvation to the exclusion to works is in error and unbiblical. Catholics and Protestants can be reconciled as we dialogue through this debated issue.

jswranch said...

Carrie,
When you look up Catholic beliefs, I beg you to use Catholic sources such as

http://www.catholic.com/library/salvation.asp

When I want Protestant beliefs I go to sources such as CRI. Too much can be lost. I became Catholic after learning what the Catholic Church teaches, instead of letting someone else tell me what the Catholic Church actually teaches. Bad sources can even come from Catholics!!!

jswranch said...

Purgatory in 7 sentences.

When we are in heaven and stand before God, we will be free from every blemish, stain, temptation and attachment to sin. Are you perfect even after getting saved? No, we still sin and/or have temptations to do that which is not the will of the almighty father. Yet, you are going to heaven. Something happens between our current imperfection and our perfection before God. We go through a purification process between our current lives and heaven. The Catholic Church calls this process Purgatory (it really is this simple).

God bless

Carrie said...

When you look up Catholic beliefs, I beg you to use Catholic sources such as

I do use the source to confirm the facts I read about Catholicism. But CRI summarized the idea nicely so I used that. What in that quote from CRI is wrong?

jswranch, thank you for finally giving us some verses. I won't have time this morning to go through all the verses but will get to them later. At first glance though it looks as though I would disagree on your paraphrasing and/or interpretation.

jswranch said: Col 3:24-25 we will receive due payment for our works

The Word says: 23Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

This does not support faith + works equals salvation. This is talking about rewards.

I am not denying that works are part of our faith. But they are not required for salvation or justification.

You cannot earn your salvation. It denies Christ's finished work on the cross.

Tony said:
As soon as you show me biblical references that support Sola Scriptura. I have looked in my Bible. Nowhere does it say that Scripture is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth.

Until you convince me of that, I don't believe I'm required to prove Biblical references for any Catholic doctrine. I need only show that they aren't counter biblical.


First the canon, now Sola Scriptura. We can see you have an agenda here Tony and we aren't going that way for now.

You admitted back in the old thread that you accepted the Bible as God's infallible Word. I am also assuming you would agree that Jesus was the Messiah and came to die on the cross for our sins. If we both agree on those points, then we should be able to move forward from there. If you and I wanted to discuss geography, we would not need to re-establish that the earth is round before having a conversation that is based on that fact.

Where we diverge in doctrine is what Christ's death and resurrection meant. Back to what I said before about John 3:16:

Carrie believes: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Tony believes: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (maybe)."

God is not a God of "maybe(s)".

Carrie said...

Purgatory (it really is this simple).

But it is not biblical. It is just one more thing needed because you deny the finished work of Christ.

The Word says (and Carrie believes):
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." John 5:24

jwilson believes:
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (with purgatory in between)" John 5:24

centuri0n said...

jswranch said:

The Catholic position is not works without faith, but faith with works for salvation. Faith is an absolute requirement. Christ demands we believe in him and follow his commandments.

You are confusing a few things here. The first is this -- the Catholic doctrine is not that faith comes with works, but that works have merit for the doer of the works. That is to say, works justify the doer. In that, works done without faith do actually have some merit for the one who does them. For example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness" (p. 1731). That's not even faith plus works -- it's works making man good. This is particularly emphasized in p 1736 when it says, "every act directly willed is imputable to its author."

Action has its own value in Catholic theology apart from faith.

That said, there is no doubt that Catholic theology also has some use for grace and faith. For example, grace is communicated thru baptism as the CCC outlines, and through the other sacraments. But the interesting thing about what the CCC says about "faith" is that it is itself a kind of human work. CCC 150 says that "faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God" -- that is, it is agreement with God, but it is the act of agreeing with God.

This is all the more underscored by the section of the CCC which says that all men have the capacity for God, and seek to know him in some way -- and the sections which both Jews and Muslims have a similar faith to the faith expressed by Rome.

The irony is that, as jswranch has expressed here, many lay Catholics have a better personal definiton of faith than the one Rome promulgates.

centuri0n said...

And let me encourage anyone who wants to get into this discussion: use the Catholic Catechism as the source for your argument either for or against that church. It's the official teachings; it is meant for the purpose of instructing the members of the RCC, and it is provided by the Pope with the consent of the college of bishops. You can't get anything more authentic or authoritative than that.

You can find it here:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

Elena said...

Let me just make sure I have this right.

Let me get this straight - the bible is your sole authority and yet it does not give itself that authority, nor does it mention sola fide?

Elena said...

THEN she had a sudden burst of faith...so that Jesus could save her because of her works.


Not exactly. Catholics aren't a saved by works religion - or did you skip Carrie's link and go right for your own agenda as usual Ellen?

The woman didn't stand in the doorway and shout, "I believe" either.

Faith without works is dead.

Elena said...

"is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand.”

"Nowhere does it say that Scripture is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth."


Looks pretty close.

Carrie said...

I like this link also for the catechism b/c of the search function: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

I am glad you clarified some of this Centurion as the Muslim connection had me confused but I hadn’t brought it up yet. From the catechism:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

If the Catholics are never assured of their salvation because of the works that need to be performed during their justification (baptism, eucharist, mass, etc), then why do the Muslims get off so easy?

phd4jesus said...

I am not going to go through every verse that jsranch presented but will pick 3 out randomly.

First verse:
Mt 24:13 only those who persevere to the end will be saved

This verse concerns the end times and has to do with following Jesus to the end during the time of persecution of the believers (v. 9), false prophets miss leading many (v. 5 and 11), and many believers will fall away (v. 10). It has nothing to do with works.

Second verse:
2 Cor 5:10 recompense according to work/actions while still alive

Only part of verse 10 was used. The complete verse is

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

So believers will be judged by their deeds. But as 1Cor 3 shows, this is for rewards, not for salvation. Look at verses 10-15:

10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Two things to point out: First, jsranch used works/actions in 2Cor 5:10. In all commonly used translations (KJV, NASB, NIV, ESV), the word “works” is not used; “deeds”, “things done”, and “done” are the words used. Second, if the works we perform do not hold up, we will suffer loss in that we will not be rewarded, but we will still be saved. Thus, works are not required for salvation.

Third verse:
Gal 5:6 The only thing that counts is faith working in love. (jsranch said: yet another tie between faith and works)

So the complete verse is For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

This verse only says that what counts to Jesus is faith working through love. It has nothing to do with the requirements of salvation. Paul’s whole thesis in the Book of Galatians is the doctrine of justification by faith plus nothing, and of sanctification by the Holy Spirit, not the Law.

Again, Eph 2:8-9 says it all:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

This verse is not taken out of context (the whole section is found below so you can see it for yourself), but is a concluding thought to this part of Paul’s letter. This is in contrast to jsranch, who took verses out of context to try to make a point. The fact of the matter is that three books of the New Testament focus on salvation by faith alone: Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.

Eph 2:1-9:
1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But[b] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Tony said...

(Sorry, Carrie, I know that you wanted to do faith alone first - but if they trust Rome more than the Bible...)

Ellen, is calumny a sin in your denomination? It is in ours.

Tony said...

Bad sources can even come from Catholics!!!

Sometimes, especially from Catholics :)

Ellen said...

Faith without works is dead.

Absolutely.

in Rome:
faith + works = salvation

in the Bible
faith = salvation + works

Tony:
Ellen, is calumny a sin in your denomination?

intentional misrepresentations about another person's character? Like Elena talking about Carrie and her parents? Yeah. It is.

But discussions about theology are not intentional lies, they're sincerely held religious beliefs.

Is false accusation a sin in your denomination? It is in mine.

Tony said...

If you and I wanted to discuss geography, we would not need to re-establish that the earth is round before having a conversation that is based on that fact.

Only if you were using only one volume from a two volume geography book set. We both agree on volume one (Scripture), but we don't agree on volume two (Sacred Tradition). So you are asking me to prove, based on only the first book in a two book set, that certain land masses described in the second book exist.

Proving that all geography facts are contained in only the first volume is critical before any discussion can go forward.

Sola Scriptura is the foundation of sand upon which everything else is built.

Ellen said...

I think that I'm going to go through an find all the unaswered questions...

Centuri0n asked,
When does the God you worship save anyone, Tony? If you have to pass through purgatory to meet the God you worship, God didn't save you: you paid your price in purgatory.

E-mom asked,
Have you heard of the (Protestant) "already/not yet" argument? The idea is that we are saved the moment we are converted. Scripture says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall be saved." (Romans 10:9) This is the "already" half of the equation. We are saved by faith.
(although we don't use the term, I think that what we're advocating)

Ellen asked Elena, (although it wasn't a question mark)Let me just make sure I have this right. The Bible doesn't say anything about immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary.
Or about the infallibility of your pope (or even the office of "pope" Or about papal succession Or about the infallibility of councils.

But you can't get that "not of works" means without works.


Elena asked Ellen, Not exactly. Catholics aren't a saved by works religion - or did you skip Carrie's link and go right for your own agenda as usual Ellen?

Carrie asked, If the Catholics are never assured of their salvation because of the works that need to be performed during their justification (baptism, eucharist, mass, etc), then why do the Muslims get off so easy?

Another forum that I'm on requests that direct questions be answered the before the one questioned continues in the conversation. That might be a good plan.

Elena said...

The fact of the matter is that three books of the New Testament focus on salvation by faith alone: Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.


The fact of the matter is none of those three books say "faith alone."

Tony said...

Ellen, you continue to claim that Catholics place Tradition before Scripture which is not true. We have explained to you that it is not true. Therefore, every time you claim that, after you have been enlightened, it is an intentional lie.

Would you please stop doing that?

Elena said...

I don't think Ellen or PHD actually clicked on the link Carrie provided. In case they missed it this was a key line:

no one can legitimately claim that Catholics teach a crass system of salvation by works.

Ellen said...

Elena said quoted my definition (Sola Scriptura "is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand.)

and my comment, ("Nowhere does it say that Scripture is the complete and total source of God's revealed truth."

and noted, Looks pretty close.

Not at all. Necessary is not the same as helpful.

Elena, are you making the statement that Rome requires extra-biblical things for salvation and life?

Elena said...

in Rome:
faith + works = salvation



Proof positive Ellen that you aren't reading anything that is provided to you, including the links of the hostess.

You want to fight a strawman - have at it. Keep hydrated - you'll be losing a lot of energy swinging away at nothing.

Ellen said...

Tony asked, Ellen, you continue to claim that Catholics place Tradition before Scripture which is not true. We have explained to you that it is not true. Therefore, every time you claim that, after you have been enlightened, it is an intentional lie.

Would you please stop doing that?


Tony, I just searched the page for "tradition". I never used it.

Elena said...

intentional misrepresentations about another person's character? Like Elena talking about Carrie and her parents? Yeah. It is.

How did I misrepresent Carrie or her parents? I did not say anything bad about them as I have never met them.

What I did do was ask repeatedly (and without answer) how it is that good, intelligent people could be "trapped." Carrie still hasn't responded to that.

I also said tht Carrie knows next to nothing about the Catholic faith she claims to be recovering from - a fact that she continues to illustrate almost daily.

Please show me Ellen, how that's a misrepresentation. I'm dying to know.

Ellen said...

Elena, I'm directly answering what has been said here:

jswranch said, "The Catholic position is not works without faith, but faith with works for salvation. Faith is an absolute requirement. Christ demands we believe in him and follow his commandments.

How is that different than in Rome:
faith + works = salvation?

Elena said...

But discussions about theology are not intentional lies, they're sincerely held religious beliefs.

Partially right. However when you talk about the religious beliefs of others, misrepresenting what that religious belief is on purpose, even after you have been corrected, then that's a sin Ellen.

Mark Windsor said...

This whole thread, and the two that went before it, prove once again that comboxes are the devil's playground.

Ellen said...

Elena, you know. You admitted that you deliberately used inflammatory language to get a reaction.

And you know that in a debate implying is very similar to outright saying.

You know in your heart what you did and to deny it insults all of our intelligence. Or if you continue to deny it, maybe yours.

Ellen said...

Partially right. However when you talk about the religious beliefs of others, misrepresenting what that religious belief is on purpose, even after you have been corrected, then that's a sin Ellen.

Ocean, river, wet.

Can we get back to topic instead of throwing stupid accusations around?

Elena said...

How is that different than in Rome:
faith + works = salvation?



context, context, context : )

Carrie started this thread with a link that clearly showed the important need for God's grace. You continue to mislead and leave that out.

Ellen said...

Ok...the unanswered questions:

I answered the one that was asked of me...

how many of the others that were asked of the Roman Catholics have been answered?

Ellen said...

Carrie started this thread with a link that clearly showed the important need for God's grace. You continue to mislead and leave that out.

Ok...that one threw me.

Duh. we're talking about the requirements of man (faith, works)

Are you saying Rome requires that man save himself with man's grace?

Nobody has denied that God's grace is needed, only that man's works are not needed for salvation.

(asked and answered)

phd4jesus said...

Tony said:
We both agree on volume one (Scripture), but we don't agree on volume two (Sacred Tradition). So you are asking me to prove, based on only the first book in a two book set, that certain land masses described in the second book exist.

Ellen, you continue to claim that Catholics place Tradition before Scripture which is not true. We have explained to you that it is not true.


And it has been stated at least twice in these threads that there are no inconsistencies between tradition and scripture. So scripture should suffice.

Elena said...

Elena, you know. You admitted that you deliberately used inflammatory language to get a reaction.

I wanted an answer. How is it possible that mature, good, intelligment people are "trapped" in a religion. I am still waiting on that.

And you know that in a debate implying is very similar to outright saying.

I know that's the way you play. I don't play those games.

So let's be clear Ellen so that you can just simply put it to rest.

I don't know Carrie's parents. Never met them. She tells me they are good intelligent people, I totally believe it. I also believe that they are probably very comfortable, happy, fulfilled and fed in their Catholic Faith. They probably just don't agree with their daughter.

However,

if that's not the case, there has to be a reason for it. I threw out lots of possibilities. I'm stil waiting for the explanation.

You know in your heart what you did

Gosh Ellen, that sounds like JUDGING MY HEART - I think that's a sin too!

Ellen said...

Mark Windsor said,
This whole thread, and the two that went before it, prove once again that comboxes are the devil's playground.

Are you a new reader of Carrie's blog, Mark? (direct question)

Actually, until personal accusations start flying, it's more like "iron sharpening iron" and that's Biblical.

the Roman church (seat of power) used something called "disputation". the defintion I found on line says, In the scholastic system of education of the middle ages, disputations (in Latin: disputationes, singular: disputatio) offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish "truths" in theology and in other sciences.

Reasoning from the Scriptures is also Biblical.

We cannot be formalized here, but we can debate from Scripture.

Ellen said...

Gosh Ellen, that sounds like JUDGING MY HEART - I think that's a sin too!

More accusations.

I was stating that YOU know your heart.

Unless you are so blind that you don't - and I don't think you are.

Ellen said...

Elena, as soon as we have a commitment from you that you won't use inflammitory language, I think I can lay it to rest.

Carrie said...

Elena & Tony,
You seem to be resorting to casting stones instead of sticking to the facts. Elena has lobbed a few mean-spirited comments my way and I have pretty much ignored them to try and stay on topic. I don’t feel like coying and pasting them over, but if I muct to even out the score, I will. Now please, drop the personal cattiness and let’s talk facts.

Tony said:
Only if you were using only one volume from a two volume geography book set. We both agree on volume one (Scripture), but we don't agree on volume two (Sacred Tradition). So you are asking me to prove, based on only the first book in a two book set, that certain land masses described in the second book exist.

Ellen, you continue to claim that Catholics place Tradition before Scripture which is not true. We have explained to you that it is not true. Therefore, every time you claim that, after you have been enlightened, it is an intentional lie.

Tony, you seem to be contradicting yourself here. If your Tradition does not come before Scripture and Tradition cannot conflict with Scripture, then we can look at all of the doctrines of the RCC against Scripture. The nature of Tradition is irrelevant since it can’t conflict with Scripture. We can both agree that Scripture is the ultimate authority and test all doctrines and practices against it.

Carrie said...

Oops, I see phd4jesus beat me to the punch.

That's two that see your inconsistency, Tony, so can we now move forward with weighing all things against the Scripture?

Ellen said...

Centuri0n asked,
When does the God you worship save anyone, Tony? If you have to pass through purgatory to meet the God you worship, God didn't save you: you paid your price in purgatory.

E-mom asked,
Have you heard of the (Protestant) "already/not yet" argument? The idea is that we are saved the moment we are converted. Scripture says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall be saved." (Romans 10:9) This is the "already" half of the equation. We are saved by faith.
(although we don't use the term, I think that what we're advocating)

Ellen asked Elena, (although it wasn't a question mark)Let me just make sure I have this right. The Bible doesn't say anything about immaculate conception, the assumption of Mary.
Or about the infallibility of your pope (or even the office of "pope" Or about papal succession Or about the infallibility of councils.

But you can't get that "not of works" means without works.

RECAP OF QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED:

Elena asked Ellen, Not exactly. Catholics aren't a saved by works religion - or did you skip Carrie's link and go right for your own agenda as usual Ellen? answered

Carrie asked, If the Catholics are never assured of their salvation because of the works that need to be performed during their justification (baptism, eucharist, mass, etc), then why do the Muslims get off so easy?

Elena said...

Carrie, to be clear, I have dropped the thing about your parents. Ellen however continues to bring it up and I will defend myself every time.

I think it's worth noting though that the "trapped" thing is still bothersome. It implies something about your parents. You never have explained that comment.


Ellen, I think we know what you were implying. Judging is a sin.

Ellen said...

I'm not being catty, there have just been a lot of questions asked and I think we'd all like to see them answered.

I just made a comment including all unanswered questions.

Elena said...

Elena, as soon as we have a commitment from you that you won't use inflammitory language, I think I can lay it to rest.

I don't particularly care if it rests or not. I'm actually still curious as to what "traps" Carrie's parents, and would still love to pursue that thread. or I can drop it. Either way I'm fine with it.

Ellen said...

Judging is a sin.

1 Corinthians 5:12
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

I'm asking you to judge your own heart.

phd4jesus said...

Can we plese get back on topic and forget about who said what. The purpose here is to get to the truth so that we may give God the honor and glory He is due. Ellen brought up some questions that need to be answered. Would someone please answer them.

Carrie said...

Elena, I have purposely not answered your issues about my parents being "trapped" and me being "recovering" because my answers will only continue to upset you.

I have not changed my viewpoints and will not likely change them until you can convince me that Christ's FINISHED work on the cross is not enough to save and justify a believer.

Please, let's move away from personal stuff (everyone!) and stick to the facts. It's not difficult to know how to push each other's buttons, let's stop doing so.

Ellen said...

MORE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS (if I miss a question or an answer, please let me know)

Ellen asked Elena
jswranch said, "The Catholic position is not works without faith, but faith with works for salvation. Faith is an absolute requirement. Christ demands we believe in him and follow his commandments.

How is that different than in Rome:
faith + works = salvation?


Ellen asked Mark, Are you a new reader of Carrie's blog, Mark? (direct question)

Carrie, I repent of bringing that up. I know that you made a commitment to not use the offinsive term that started all of this and I'm sure that Elena appreciates that.

Ellen said...

ONE MORE UNANSWERED QUESTION:

Carrie asked Tony, That's two that see your inconsistency, Tony, so can we now move forward with weighing all things against the Scripture?

Elena said...

I'm asking you to judge your own heart.


My conscience is completely clear.

Ellen said...

Thank you for your answer.

Elena said...

Elena, I have purposely not answered your issues about my parents being "trapped" and me being "recovering" because my answers will only continue to upset you.

I have not changed my viewpoints and will not likely change them until you can convince me that Christ's FINISHED work on the cross is not enough to save and justify a believer.


I'm not really after you to change your viewpoint.

HOWEVER, (and I blogged about this) when you call yourself a "recovering Catholic" there is an implied ad hominen against practicing Cathlics in that statement. It implies, as I have said, that Catholicism is a disease that requires recovering from. Since many practicing Catholics have heard this type of rhetoric before, it doesn't engage us. If you want to "witness to Catholics" calling yourself a "recovered Catholic" probably isn't the best way to go.


I am curious as to what your parents would think about you calling them "trapped!" It seems like a blatant disregard of the commandment to honor your parents, because if they really are intelligent, how did they get trapped? It begs the question. It also probably isn't the best way to "witness to Catholics" by slamming your own parents straight away.

I think you should refrain from using either phrase any more in public.

But I'll let it drop if Ellen will.

Ellen said...

Elena - I said I repented, that means change.

You've seen the list of unanswered questions.

Observer said...

Good and intelligent people can feel trapped for many reasons. People can feel trapped because they've been made to feel guilty or fearful about leaving a situation, they can feel trapped out of a sense of obligation to family members, or they can feel trapped because they're the victims of abuse (physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental).

There are lots of reasons why people who are good and who are educated and intelligent often feel trapped in a variety of situations, and religious organizations, including the Catholic Church, have certainly been guilty of playing the guilt and fear cards in order to keep people within their power structure.

Also, it's very difficult to walk away from a tradition, especially when it comes to organized religion, when almost all of your family members and friends belong to that tradition. That can leave people feeling "trapped", for lack of a better word.

Feeling trapped doesn't mean the people involved are stupid or bad or uneducated. It only means they're human, just like everyone else.

If someone tells me they feel or have felt trapped by a particular organization, tradition or institution, I don't automatically assume they're stupid or bad. I've been there myself, I understand how difficult those situations can be, and I wish them all the guidance and strength in the world to find a way to move out of that situation.

Just to clarify the "trapped" (non)issue so it can be dropped and moved away from.

This is an interesting display of personalities and styles, if nothing else. Thank you, Carrie, for allowing it to continue here.

Ellen said...

Since Elena appears to truly want an answer, and there is a question mark there, so I'm going to offer an explanation - Carrie can verify whether I'm close or not.

There are many definitions of the word "trapped"

Here is the one that I think that Carrie is closest to: something (often something deceptively attractive) that catches you unawares (from answers.com)

Even the most intelligent people like comfort. Even the most intelligent people like familiarity.

This definition of "trapped" offers a couple of different things:

1) the "trap" is often atractive - as humans, in our pride we like the idea of independence and being able to earn our salvation feeds into that. That's why Ephesians says that salvation is NOT of works, lest any man shall boast.

2) The "trap" is not about physical entanglement. It's about being caught off guard - many Roman Catholics (I'm not saying all) are not encouraged by their local church to read Scripture - I'd say that far too many Protestants are not actively encouraged to read Scripture.

3)Carrie has a sincerely held religious believe that Roman Catholicism is wrong doctrine, yet her family stays. That falls into the definition - the Roman church (seat of deciding doctrine) certainly is attractive, and for those in it, it is comfortable and familiar.

Ellen said...

I said, we like the idea of independence and being able to earn our salvation

I should have said, we like the idea of our works having a part of earning our salvation.

Elena said...

I was so close to walking away...


OK well the first thought that I should have mentioned earlier - Ellen of course I don't think Carrie's parents are stupid or illiterate. They have chosen to stay in the Catholic church which is MY POSITION! I just wondered if Carrie thought they were dumb, or illiterate, or without the means to do research and study. So see... totally clear conscience because I never implied such a thing; to do so would be to shoot my own position in the foot.

That's so blatantly obvious I'm surprised I have to explain it.


And now since it won't die here we go:

Here is the one that I think that Carrie is closest to: something (often something deceptively attractive) that catches you unawares (from answers.com)


If this is Carrie's position than she must think that her parents are easily duped.

Even the most intelligent people like comfort. Even the most intelligent people like familiarity.

Which is not the same as being esily deceived. There's nothing wrong with comfort or familiarity.

This definition of "trapped" offers a couple of different things:

1) the "trap" is often atractive - as humans, in our pride we like the idea of independence and being able to earn our salvation feeds into that. That's why Ephesians says that salvation is NOT of works, lest any man shall boast.

Now you're saying Carrie sees her parents as prideful.

2) The "trap" is not about physical entanglement. It's about being caught off guard - many Roman Catholics (I'm not saying all) are not encouraged by their local church to read Scripture -

Supporting documentation please.



I'd say that far too many Protestants are not actively encouraged to read Scripture.


Ican't comment on what Protestants are or are not encouraged to do.

3)Carrie has a sincerely held religious believe that Roman Catholicism is wrong doctrine, yet her family stays. That falls into the definition - the Roman church (seat of deciding doctrine) certainly is attractive, and for those in it, it is comfortable and familiar.

Well there's nothing wrong with comfort or familiarity. For a child to deride her parents for a doctrinal difference flies in the face of the fourth commandment to honor her parents. To attack them in public because they don't see things the same way she does is wrong.

Ellen said...

Elena, you have the answer to your question, would you care to answer some of the unanswered ones?

Ellen said...

By the way, as long as Carrie agrees, you have the answer, it will be dropped, now, right?

Moonshadow said...

we [Evangelicals] can be assured of our heavenly destination. For Catholics, there is no assurance of their eternal destination.

This seems to be the crux of the concern but, in trying to prove your point, you state the case too starkly, almost recklessly. The WLC is more careful:

Question 80: Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?

Answer: Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good conscience before him, may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God's promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made, and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God, be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation.

Question 81: Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?

Answer: Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith, true believers may wait long before they obtain it; and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions; yet are they never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.



The emphases are mine because these are important nuances.


In the Catholic Catechism, I find something else, in # 2005:

Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord's words—"Thus you will know them by their fruits"—reflection on God's blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.

Merton, in the first chapter of the second part of his The Seven Storey Mountain, offers a pleasing if Scholastic appreciation of "grace". He echos the reality that grace may escape our natural senses as he writes, "For as far as the light of God is concerned, we are owls. It blinds us and as soon as it strikes us we are in darkness. People who look like saints to us are very often not so, and those who do not look like saints to us very often are."

Ellen said...

RECAP OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:
(it's been an hour since I first listed them - I know real life intervenes and it's about to intervene in my life. So, I'll list again and maybe by the time I get back there will be somse answers)

CENTURI0N ASKED TONY (but I'm guessing that an answer from any Roman Catholic would be ok): When does the God you worship save anyone, Tony? If you have to pass through purgatory to meet the God you worship, God didn't save you: you paid your price in purgatory.

E-MOM ASKED: Have you heard of the (Protestant) "already/not yet" argument? asked and answered

ELLEN ASKED: Question. What does faith alone mean? Does it mean without works? Not of works? Apart from works?
Does it mean that all we have to bring to the table is faith?


ELENA ASKED: Let me get this straight - the bible is your sole authority and yet it does not give itself that authority, nor does it mention sola fide?

answered in: We can both agree that Scripture is the ultimate authority and test all doctrines and practices against it.

ELENA ASKED: Not exactly. Catholics aren't a saved by works religion - or did you skip Carrie's link and go right for your own agenda as usual Ellen?

answered in: in Rome:
faith + works = salvation

in the Bible
faith = salvation + works

CARRIE ASKED: What in that quote from CRI is wrong?

TONY ASKED ELLEN: Ellen, is calumny a sin in your denomination?

asked and answered

TONY ASKED ELLEN: Would you please stop doing that (stating that Roman Catholics put tradition above Scripture)?

Since I never used the word "tradition" (unless my browswer's search function isn't working), that's an unanswerable questions. I cannot stop what I've never done. (Tony, have you stopped beating your wife?" sort of question)

ELLEN ASKED: Elena, are you making the statement that Rome requires extra-biblical things for salvation and life?

ELLEN ASKED ELENA: jswranch said, "The Catholic position is not works without faith, but faith with works for salvation.

How is that different than in Rome:
faith + works = salvation?


ELLEN ASKED MARK: Are you a new reader of Carrie's blog, Mark? (direct question)

CARRIE ASKED TONY: That's two that see your inconsistency, Tony, so can we now move forward with weighing all things against the Scripture?

CARRIE ASKED: If the Catholics are never assured of their salvation because of the works that need to be performed during their justification (baptism, eucharist, mass, etc), then why do the Muslims get off so easy?

phd4jesus said...

Moonshadow, would you please define WLC?

Ellen said...

(I'm not sure who said) we [Evangelicals] can be assured of our heavenly destination. For Catholics, there is no assurance of their eternal destination.

Moonshadow replied: This seems to be the crux of the concern but, in trying to prove your point, you state the case too starkly, almost recklessly. The WLC is more careful:

Here is a quote from Cardinal John O'Connor of New York (from a while ago, but I think that church teaching hasn't changed): Church teaching is that I don't know, at any given moment, what my eternal future will be. I can hope, pray, do my very best - but I still don't know. Pope John Paul II doesn't know absolutely that he will go to heaven, nor does Mother Teresa of Calcutta."

Does that sum it up?

Ellen said...

I'm joking: WLC: wellco enterprises - they sell footwear. Their stock quotes are here: http://www.google.com/finance?q=WLC

WLC: Westminster Larger Catechism.

(NOTE: I have in the past stated that the sixth sola is "sola catechisma", since there are those who quote it as freely as Scripture. WLC is a work of man, just as the Roman Catechism is. It is not Scripture. It may explain why we teach what we do, but it should never be used as the basis.)

Tony said...

Tony, you seem to be contradicting yourself here. If your Tradition does not come before Scripture and Tradition cannot conflict with Scripture, then we can look at all of the doctrines of the RCC against Scripture.

No, we can't. "not conflicting with Scripture" is not the same thing as "contained in Scripture". Do you understand the difference between those two statements?

The nature of Tradition is irrelevant since it can’t conflict with Scripture. We can both agree that Scripture is the ultimate authority and test all doctrines and practices against it.

The nature of Tradition is that it can support doctrines that are not contained in Scripture. It will never run counter to Scripture, unless you are saying that everything that is not addressed by Scripture is counter Scriptural.

Mark Windsor said...

Are you a new reader of Carrie's blog, Mark? (direct question) I’m not sure why this matters so much, but since you asked a direct question, I’ll give you a direct answer: I am not. I found my way here because of a comment that Tony left on my blog (he did not ask me to come here and help, and it seems too late for that now anyway). But it seems that unless every question is answered then all of Catholicism is suspect.

I am fully aware of the scholastic method of disputation. With respect, this ain’t it. The formality was a requirement of the process; in much the same way that Socratic Method is more formalized that mere gainsaying. This is more like a sporting event, with the winner shouting the loudest or scoring the most points. The formality was intentional and meant to avoid exactly what’s happened here.

The Protestants here seem to think that the fact that Tony or Elena can’t/won’t articulate a specific reply to your questions condemns all of Catholicism. I think it the heart of folly to condemn anyone’s faith based on the words of a few individuals, just as I would not condemn the Protestants gathered here based on statements/misstatements of theirs.

I also think it’s the heart of folly for you lot, seven or eight individuals, to try to reconcile Reformation theology with Catholicism in the comboxes of a blog. It seems a bit arrogant to think that you will be able to succeed where so many others have failed over the past 500 years.

To the Catholics – apologetics is not pugilistic. You don’t question whether someone has a 5th grade reading level. You don’t say that you’ll only answer their question if they answer yours. This isn’t a game, and it’s not a time to joke around on a personal level. The Protestant questions are valid, and though they are offered with condescension, they MUST be answered. You have managed, in 400+ comments, to cement the idea that we are without Christ in at least two people’s minds. You’ve hardened their hearts against us to a degree that it may never be possible to get them to listen – even in places where we have common ground. I worked the apologetics thing with two Pentecostals I know, sharpening iron on iron as one person said, having to defend Church doctrine and Tradition against every attack with people who seemed to have memorized the Bible. IT TOOK FIVE YEARS! They respect me now, they respect my faith though they don’t agree with my Church on all points, but it still took five years to accomplish this much. You expect to be able to do this in five days?! JPII worked at ecumenical dialogue for 25 years, and still wasn’t done when he died – and he had fleets of theologians to help him. If they can’t answer your question, explain it to them, but you are also obligated to answer theirs.

To the Protestants – you seem to think that because a very few people haven’t answered your questions, that the entirety of Catholicism is bankrupt. Humility is still something Protestants strive for, is it not? You’ve presented your position in as demanding and condescending way as possible. You ask a dozen questions at once, and expect a dozen compact answers to things which far greater minds than ours have spent volumes defining. When answers were not given, you sound like a pack of sharks circling their prey, condemning the entire Church. You expect us to define in 100 words or less, doctrines that have taken 2000 years to formulate and that the likes of Thomas Aquinas and Hans urs von Balthasar would require whole volumes to explain. Is it any wonder that we can never convince you of anything?

I refuse to engage in this “debate”. The questions you are asking each other are wholly inappropriate for discussion in a combox. Hence my comment about comboxes being the devil’s playground; in this case they are. It is simply not possible for us to present our side in such brevity.

One person asked if the Church doesn’t bear some responsibility for the fact that their cradle Catholic parents don’t understand the gospels. I don’t think you ever got an answer. The answer is: Absolutely! Some of us believe that the failure of modern catechesis is perhaps the greatest failure of the Church’s long history. Some of us are even trying to do something about that, though not in a combox slugfest. My sympathies to your - was it parents? - but I don't see what we as individuals are able to do about this here, today.

And someone else asked what Catholics need to do to get into heaven. The question itself is misdirected, so there was really no accurate way for anyone to answer. I can tell you how this Catholic hopes to get into heaven: through the unfathomable mercy and sanctifying grace of my Savior, Jesus Christ. That sums it up in one sentence. The question is not what we have to do, but rather how we acquire this sanctifying grace. Until you understand that, you will never understand Catholicism.

Again, I don’t intend to engage in this. If you ask a question and demand an answer, and are going to condemn my church and my faith when I don’t give you that answer, then at least don’t be surprised. I don’t understand why my simple statement above has warranted two demands for an answer. If you intend to condemn me for this, go ahead.

One last thing – PhD4Jesus (if that really is your name!), you might have a look at Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating. It will answer all your questions in one volume. You may still not agree, but you will have a better understanding of where we stand. It is, however, 350 pages, and I don’t feel any obligation whatsoever to paraphrase it here. Keep in mind one thing. You’ll find that most Catholics are not walking concordances. You and some of the others here seem to think that this makes us lesser Christians (a supposition on my part, I admit, based on some of the comments). I myself am woefully inept when it comes to quoting citations (but then, I’m terrible at remember people’s names as well). That doesn’t mean that I can’t look them up, and it certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t a defense against your attack. Your points are far from unassailable. I mean this with respect and not as a personal attack against you, please accept them in that vein. To be honest, I think you and I could have a couple of rip-roaring conversations over a [insert name of iced beverage here] and [insert name of salty snack food here]. But it isn't going to happen on the web.

Pax vobiscum.

Ellen said...

Mark, thanks for your answer, I was really just trying to identify all the players.

The list of questions is not "all at once", but rather a list of the last couple of days.

You said, To the Protestants – you seem to think that because a very few people haven’t answered your questions, that the entirety of Catholicism is bankrupt.

Carrie started out going point by point and most of us arrived at our conclusions outside of this blog. Most of us have come to our conclusions by the same method that you have come to yours - study and by knowing other people of another denomination, often in our own families.

"bankrupt" is not the term that I would use, especially for lay-people. I've state here (although not in this thread) and in other places that I know fine Roman Catholics that I believe I will see in heaven.

you said (I'm not questioning or attacking, merely observing), You’ll find that most Catholics are not walking concordances. You and some of the others here seem to think that this makes us lesser Christians

I know that you addressed that to PhD4Jesus, but I'd like to offer something for consideration. If a Roman Catholic comes to a Protestant blog for the purpose of defending the Roman Catholic doctrine, they should be able to do that (I would think).

again, thanks for answering (there are so many commenters that (for my personal "dance card") I was curious.

Tony said...

Ellen said:
"(Sorry, Carrie, I know that you wanted to do faith alone first - but if they trust Rome more than the Bible...)"

--

I said:
Ellen, you continue to claim that Catholics place Tradition before Scripture which is not true. We have explained to you that it is not true. Therefore, every time you claim that, after you have been enlightened, it is an intentional lie.

Would you please stop doing that?

Ellen said:
Tony, I just searched the page for "tradition". I never used it."


You use the perjorative word "Rome" for "Tradition".

Does that refresh your memory?

I'm curious, are you going to apologize now? Or does being "justified by faith alone" mean never having to say your sorry.

The statement you made here is a lie: "Sorry, Carrie, I know that you wanted to do faith alone first - but if they trust Rome more than the Bible..." Are you going to stop lying this way, or are you just going to substitute the word "Pope", "Vatican", "Catholic Church" or something like it for "Rome" and then claim you searched for that word and never said it.

Tony said...

Thank you Mark. I have succumbed to frustration and I am going to drop out of this now.

Carrie, thank you for treating me with respect during these discussions. Ellen, I'll be praying for you.

Good day all.

Carrie said...

Okay, this has gotten out of hand.

I absolutely do not like to have to control this conversation but I can also not allow this discussion to steer off track in the manner it has.

If you would like to discuss the doctrine of justifiction by faith alone and how the Catholics and Protestants disagree on this topic, then please stay.

If anyone insults my family again on this thread in the slightest, I will delete your comment and explain why I had to do so.

I am also going to ask that everyone "place nice" and despite our differences, show respect for each other. If you see that someone is easily offended or insulted, then don't say things that you know will upset them or don't address them at all.

On the flip side, for those of you who are sensitive and easily offended, this may not be the discussion for you. If you are taking comments personally that are not directed at your personal character, then you should just bow out. Even intellectual well-meaning debates can get a little snippy, it can not be taken personally.

I am all for debating but this is not a productive debate in the least. With all that said, I imagine this comment section will quiet down rather quickly.

Ellen said...

Tony: Are you verifying (or not) that the Roman Catholic church requires things for salvation that are not contained in Scripture?

I know (and it is obvious) that the Roman Catholic church teaches things for "walk" outside of the Bible, but I'm asking specifically about salvation.

(Yes, I realize that extra-biblical is not the same as anti-biblical)

Ellen said...

Tony, I'm seeing what you're saying. When I say "Rome", that is a very specific thing.

I hope I can explain. Many Roman Catholic churches teach different things - just as Prostestant churches within a denomination teaches different things.

When I use the term "ROME", I am meaning the seat of power, the central government, the place that your catechisms and teachings come from.

Tradition/Rome/Pope/Magisterium...I asked - and this is pertinent to your being offended - whether you interpret the Bible through "any of the above things"

(By the way, I don't see "ROME" as the same thing as "TRADITION" - the way that it was explained to me (by a Roman Catholic) is that the Roman Catholic church is like a three-legged stool - the legs are Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition and the Holy Father. If you take away any of the three legs, the stool will tip over.

(the caveat being that both tradition and scripture are interpreted by the Pope/Rome)

So my use of the term "Rome" is not interchangable with "tradition", it is either tradition or Scripture as interpreted authoritatively by Rome (the pope)

Ellen said...

Tony asked,
I'm curious, are you going to apologize now? Or does being "justified by faith alone" mean never having to say your sorry.


No. I don't "apologize" - which can be used as a "get out of whatever free card".

What I will do is say
1) I was wrong to use terminology that was not clear in what I meant.
2) I am sorry that I used terminology that offended you by not being entirely clear.
3) I will make an effort to make my meaning more clear in the future.

The flip side of that is:
in forgiving the offending one who has committed to those three things do you commit to:
1) forgiving (not holding it or using it against me)
2) helping me in the future by asking for clarification instead of being offended
3) reminding me gently when I slip up.

This is a Biblical process and (I believe) more effective that a simple "sorry")

Elena said...

By the way, as long as Carrie agrees, you have the answer, it will be dropped, now, right?

1. I had dropped it Ellen. You keep rehashing it.

2. I have your answer that her parents must be complacent, lazy and prideful.

3. Carrie declined to address it.

Elena said...

You don’t question whether someone has a 5th grade reading level.

and yet, if reasonable, intelligent adults are "trapped" in a situation, there has to be a logical explanation for it. There are plenty of resources out there for Catholics if they want it. Questioning why one might not be able to access it and remain "trapped" was a valid question. It remains unanswered.

Mark Windsor said...

If a Roman Catholic comes to a Protestant blog for the purpose of defending the Roman Catholic doctrine, they should be able to do that (I would think). I agree completely. My point is that we may not always be able to do so at the speed of light (as in, electrons moving through the blogosphere).

Were it in my capacity to apologize to Carrie for walking into her living room and turning all the furniture upside down, I would do so. I sincerely hope that she will accept my attempt at righting what furniture I'm able (though I think someone threw your sofa out the window). Cyber-pizza's on me.

Mark Windsor said...

Questioning why one might not be able to access it and remain "trapped" was a valid question. It remains unanswered.

And that question can be phrased in a thousand different ways that would not have alienated anyone. Again, apologetics is not pugilistic. I agree, saying that someone is trapped in Catholicism is an error in phrasing on their part in that it can be taken as an offense. That does not require a response in kind.

Ellen said...

"Sorry, Carrie, I know that you wanted to do faith alone first - but if they trust Rome more than the Bible..."

Again, let me say that I will commit to being more clear in the future.

Tony, "Rome" is not "tradition", Rome (the way I was using it) is the authority by which the Bible is interpreted.

By your repeated questioning of "Scripture alone", you are indicating that there is something that we should be looking at for salvation (and that is what this discussion is - justification) other than Scripture.

You just saw me write that Reformed folks are not above this same thing - with my jab at "sola catechisma" (meaning Westminster catechism).

Who we allow to interpret our Bible for us affects what we believe. When we cannot believe anything other than that interpretation, then the authoritative interpreter becomes more authoritative than Scripture.

Let me give a reformed example: A couple of years back, within the reformed community there was a huge - HUGE, debate over "The Passion of the Christ" (Mel Gibson's film). The question was not over whether it was Biblical, or whether it was too "Roman Catholic". Oh no. That would have been too simple.

The biggest, more explosive debates were about whether (in concept) the film should have been made at all! You see, the Westminster Confession interprets the 2nd commandment to mean that there can be NO image of God (even his human incarnation), ever, for any reason, in any circumstance.

In the eyes of those who put the W.C. ahead of the actual reading of Scripture were saying that making the film or seeing the film was breaking the 2nd commandment - idolatry.

Sorry, but I don't buy into putting any man, or work of man, ahead of the actual reading of Scripture - and I let people know it (the reformed folk).

That's what I meant about trusting "Rome" (the authoritative interpreter) more than the Bible. These reformed folk trusted the Westminster Confession to interpret the 2nd commandment - quoting the WC far more often than the actual Word of God.

This probably won't make it "ok", but I'm trying to explain what I mean by dfferent terms, while also explaining why I use the term "Rome" as authoritative

(While admitting the way I used it in that sentece was "over the top" and I repent of that)

Ellen said...

With that (repentance/explantion) - real life really does intervene. Tuition is due and another paper need to be signed...and shoes to be bought)

Ellen said...

Mark, can you tell me if the way that your denomination was described to me (the 3-legged stool) is anywhere near correct?

That analogy almost seems to be parallel to the USA and the three branches of government -

THAT might be a very interesting and informative post for a Roman Catholic to write!

Elena said...

I've done this a long time too Mark. My conscience remains clear.

Carrie said...

Thank you Mark for your graciousness. I don't get too offended if people want to insult me but I don't appreciate it when my words are twisted around to look alot worse than they were intended.

Let me tell you my thoughts on being "trapped". Actually, Observer said it well and I thank them also for trying to calm things down with some objectiveness.

Elena has apparently taken great offense to the term "recovering Catholic" a term I used many months ago in a post. It's a play on words, a goof, not intended to be the insult it has been cracked up to be. As someone who grew up in the Catholic Church (CC), was baptized in the CC, confirmed in the CC, attended CCD, and still has family in the CC, I feel I am qualified to talk about my experience growing up in the CC and my feelings about the fact that my family is still part of the CC. You may not agree with my viewpoints, but they are mine and I am entitled to them.

With that said, Elena keeps demanding an answer on my definition on "trapped" and I don't think I really need to give one. Everything I have said that could be considered any type of criticism against the CC has brought on a lot of anger. Me continuing to try and explain why I feel the way I do is likely to bring on more anger. The only thing I think that will dissipate the anger is to apologize and take back what I said and I can't do that.

It was my intention to explain these things better at a later date after I hopefully had a solid understanding of the RC faith. So far, nothing has been said to change my original opinion. I take the Bible and the doctrine of justification by faith very seriously and unless someone can convince me otherwise, my statement stands.

That said, I will not use the term "recovering Catholic" again as it is not my intent to insult the people in the Catholic Church. In my defense, I think I only said it twice, mostly in jest, it is not a regular term in my vocabulary. But my opposition to the doctrines of the Catholic Church still stand and I really am quite concerned for the people of that faith.

With all that said, I do not like to be wrong about facts, so if my understanding of Catholic doctrine is wrong, then please correct me.

Mark Windsor said...

Ellen,

I'm uncomfortable with the three legged stool analogy, but I don't think there's time for me to do it justice. If I absolutely had to use that analogy, at the very least I'd change the "Holy Father" leg to "Magesterium". But there are a lot of reasons that the stool analogy leaves me cold.

Sorry. I know that's not what you're after, but that's all I've got for now.

Ellen said...

Thanks, Mark. The reason my friend told me it "works" is that it leaves all three "legs" dependent on the other two. I'll ask her again.

Ellen said...

Mark, I have a question - since this thread is not regarding this, if I post the open question at my blog, will you take the time to answer it there? I won't "debate", just post the answer and probably close comments.

Elena said...

With that said, Elena keeps demanding an answer on my definition on "trapped" and I don't think I really need to give one.

Carrie, I know the definition of trapped. I was asking why your parents are trapped. Because if it is not a deficiency in your parents (and judging by your reaction, you don't seem to feel that this the problem) then the next conclusion is that you feel there is some sinister, evil, cultish hold by the Catholic church that is mesmerizing them and keeping them in.

Either way I think you can see how such language is offensive.

Carrie said...

you feel there is some sinister, evil, cultish hold by the Catholic church that is mesmerizing them and keeping them in.

And I am starting to find your twisting of my words offensive.

I have not called the CC sinister, evil or cultish and I do not appreciate you continuing to discredit me by misrepresenting what I have said.

If you nothing to add here about doctrine, then we are done.

Mark Windsor said...

...since this thread is not regarding this, if I post the open question at my blog, will you take the time to answer it there?

The stool question? I'll consider it, but I can't promise anything at this point. I owe my blog a post or two at this point.

Where's your blog?

Ellen said...

http://mzellen.com

David B. said...

Ellen,

I just read through this thread, and wanted to comment about this post of yours:

"A hooker comes in off the street, maybe didn't even know Jesus was in there, she had just happened to buy a jar of very expensive oil."

How do you know the woman in this passage from the Gospel of Luke is a hooker/prostitute? In checking several translations of the Bible, I do not see any label of hooker/prostitute placed on the woman.

David B. said...

Carrie,

Having read through this thread, I have seen your comments regarding the whole issue of your believing your parents are "trapped" in the Catholic Church.

Do your parents know that you think this about them? More importantly, do they know that you have openly stated this to others on an internet blog? If not, is it very respectful of them to discuss your judgment of their status within the Catholic Church. Isn't it quite possible that they don't believe themselves to be trapped at all, but graced by God to be Catholic?

Ellen said...

So Pope Gregory The Great unfounded remark created the legend of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute. What Pope Gregory wanted to do was create an example of someone who had been a “sinner” but turned their ways around, and who had found new life in Christ.

A few hundred years later a different pope corrected it, but the story remains.

Carrie said...

david b.

I appreciate your concern for my parents but frankly what I have said here about them is none of your concern. There are hundreds of people on blogs posting stories about their families and pictures of their families. I may find some of those stories too revealing or a privacy issue for the unconsenting family members, but that is none of my business.

My comments about my family being trapped (I don't think I said parents) upset everyone who is here that is Catholic because it is a criticism of their church. Telling me I am not being respectful of them, that I have broken the fourth commandment, or implying that they are unintelligent is just a way to try and make me look bad.

The Catholic Church denies the doctrine of justification by faith alone. I consider that denying a major biblical doctrine to the point of placing people out of God's grace and under the judgement of the law. I may be wrong, but so far I have been given no other reason to believe differently. And I consider that serious enough to take some heat.

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace" Gal 5:2-4

jswranch said...

Sorry to be away for so long. I can only post once a day. Sadly, I still see a great misunderstanding of the Catholic position of faith and works acting together for salvation. I hope to clear some of this up. Deep down I really believe that once you see the Catholic belief for what it is, you will conclude it is scriptural and you can fully agree with it. It is but a simple misunderstanding. The proper understanding will come slowly over time with great study and by the grace of God.

We agree God commands we must fulfill a specific requirement to be saved. What is that requirement? The Prots and Cats are closer than you think. We must walk with God and enter into a relationship with this personal divine being to the exclusion of all others. This is the saving relationship God demands of us. This saving relationship comes to us through grace alone apart from anything we could ever do or be. Saving grace is a gift we do not deserve and was bought by Christ on the cross once for all and is fully sufficient for all those who walk with God as He commands. I hope I have summarized a number of points Protestants can agree with us. Sadly, disagreements remain. How do we enter into such relationship? How is it maintained? Does it need maintaining or is it permanent and unbreakable? Faith is definitely in the answer as to how we become partakers in the new, saving covenant of Christ. Is this Christian life in relationship with God fully complete from its start or does it develop? We agree it is for souls in heaven. Let us work through these questions turning to scripture as we both agree it is infallible.

1. Carrie: Col 3:24-25 true, this verse is not a declaration about salvation specifically, but serves as an example to show Christ makes rulings upon actions/works/deeds and gives rewards/punishments accordingly. Is not salvation a reward? I say yes. (I am not trying to limit the reward described here to salvation alone to the exclusion spiritual blessings, but include it as one of the rewards.) 2Jn 1:8 tells the warns followers of Christ to be carefully not to lose what they have worked for [cf 1:7 by denying the incarnation of Christ], but may win a full reward. Can this 'full reward' mean anything other than Salvation? Again, in Mk 9:41 Jesus gives actions we can take not to lose our reward, where reward is not a just spiritual blessing apart from salvation. I could make another list to show salvation is a reward.

Also, both you and the CC agree we cannot earn our salvation. It is a free gift offered from God to all of us. However, I hope you and I can agree that God has laid down commands on how to enter to such saving relationship where we become partakers in Christ's divine nature (2Pt1:4). Somehow, I need to prove to you that this is what the CC teaches. I will dig up the Council of Trent to prove it to you if you require, or you can take my word for it.

2. Carrie: Purgatory revisited.
In no way does belief in the possibility of a process of final purification of our souls at the end of our earthly lives as we enter heaven deny Christ's finished work. Christ gave himself up on the cross once for all time and brought us the possibility of salvific grace. His holy passion made it possible for the world to be purified. However, while affirming the finished work of Christ once for all people for all time, I do question whether the effects of such work has yet been completed in me.

As we walk with him our souls, hearts, wills, desires and intellects become a complete and perfect vessel to his unending love. Does this happen instantaneously? I say no. You state you were born again 8 years ago in 1998. As you continue your walk, have you not grown in giving your thought, word and deed over to Jesus more and more each day? You will continue to grow in God's Holy Word. His grace challenges you to develop, and as you accept he takes your soul to higher and loftier places. Where is the peak? The peak is in heaven where you will see God the face to face with all His love and power in such a manner that you could not handle that joy at this time. You will be incapable of turning away or being tempted. Yet, you may not see him as such now. The good news is that you will. When will that transformation be complete to where you not only see God fully for who he is, but also you see his creation for through his loving eyes (1Cor13:12, 1Jn3:2)? When will that transformation be complete to where you are perfected in every form of human desire, free from unhealthy attachments to this world and our own selfish and deceitful ways, free from any desire other than God's? We do this as we put away our old life and begin with the new ways (Eph4:22-24). So what happens if we are not completely perfected in our new lives with Christ before we die? God's sanctifying grace overpowers anything not yet complete in our will and makes us pure, inside and out, top to bottom as we enter heaven for our just reward for all eternity. This is an understanding of Purgatory. Let us settle here before discussing what such experience might entail. Remember, I find Purgatory better viewed as a process than a place like heaven and hell (think of being in training for lessons previously taught but not yet learned).

3. Centuri0n: ‘Irony’ of my previous explanations of being more useful than the one Rome promulgates (Catechism of the Catholic Church):

My lay definition is not better than the CCC, but attempts to explain it in a way our audience here might understand easier. Imagine you have a headache and ask a brain surgeon why you should take a certain pill, to which he begins to boggle you with PhD level lectures on neurons, brain swelling, blood flow of chemicals to pain receptors etc till you go cross-eyed. Now imagine a pharmacist in training explains the same pill will help make the headache go away. Both explanations are correct. Neither is better. The CCC is not written for a person of any one faith to understand but for people of all faiths (Anglican, Pagans, Catholics, Evangelicals, Buddhists, Muslims, Baptists etc) as each seems to speak a different theological language.

4. Carrie: The Church's relationship with the Muslims in CCC 841:
Muslims are in no way promised of their salvation, though it is possible. In my last article, I discussed how folks of different theological backgrounds seem to speak different languages. Let me ‘translate’ it:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "God’s loving, salvific relationship with his Son is offered in an imperfect way to those who acknowledge the Creator of all things, whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold faith alone to the same God of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, and agree such being will be mankind's judge on the last day. However, their salvation is not assured."

Really, paragraph 841 echoes the belief that one has a possibility for salvation even though they are Christians, including Muslims who seek the God of Abraham like we do. Your comments on the requirement of the sacraments are for another time as we cannot begin to discuss them until we work through this ‘sola fide’ issue.

5. Phd4jesus- Mt 24:13 “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
I disagree; this verse does discuss works, depending on how you define works. If you define works as doing nice things for you neighbor and saying lots of prayers, you are correct that this verse is not about works. However, if you define works as refusing to turn from the faith despite persecution (v9), not falling away from the faith, not betraying each other or growing in hate though tempted (v10), and not being lead astray by false doctrines which destroy charity (v 11-12) then I say this verse gives us yet another example of some action/work/active participation in our salvific relationship with God being required for salvation along with faith and not just a ‘sinner’s prayer’ to the exclusion of works. Also, the latter definition is more of how the CC views ‘works.’

2Cor 5:10 “10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.”

First, why do insist on trying so hard to separate ‘works/actions’ from the recognition of salvation in referring to ‘has done in the body?’ If the verse was ‘what he has done in the heart in believing’ you would have a stronger argument. Our reaction to God’s demand for us to have faith for salvation is a work! Once again, we disagree on the definition of work. I say (with the CC) the use of the word ‘works’ is theologically synonymous with ‘deeds’, ‘things done’ and ‘done’ in the discernment over requirements for salvation. This is the belief of the Catholic Church. Remember I said the issue over ‘Sola Fide’ is a great misunderstanding which could be easily resolved, believe it or not.
Second, yes the KJV, NASB, NIV and ESV are all commonly use translations… by Protestants. Hopefully we can agree to use the RSV as it is accepted by both of us.
Third, see the above where I attempt to explain that salvation is a reward we are undeservingly given by God through grace alone by the sacrifice by Christ alone. Yes we are given other holy blessings also.

-Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Yes, the point of the verse is to show that it is only faith working though love counts. However, faith working through love is a work. Yes, the verse does not show faith and works are required for the salvation, but it shows again the importance of faith and works in our walk with Jesus. I do strongly disagree that the thesis of Paul’s letter to the Galatians is the doctrine of faith plush nothing and of sanctification by the spirit not the law. It is a dual thesis that (1) we are not saved by the old law of the covenant but our faith in the new and that brings salvation, and (2) the Gentiles do not need circumcision for salvation but are saved apart from such work.

Sadly, I am out of time and will return to support my last statement about Galatians and will begin other articles.

PAX +JMJ+

David B. said...

Carrie,

"I appreciate your concern for my parents but frankly what I have said here about them is none of your concern."

I can fully appreciate that you feel what you have said about your family (sorry if I misstated "parents" earlier) is none of my (or anyone else's, for that matter) concern. I do find it curious that you would have brought them up in the first place, if then nobody was supposed to address your bringing them up, and in a not so flattering way, at that, being "trapped" and all.

"My comments about my family being trapped (I don't think I said parents) upset everyone who is here that is Catholic because it is a criticism of their church."

I can't speak for everyone else, but I'm not upset. Being a Catholic who loves Christ and His Church has never been cause for me being upset. I just think it is a shame that you can't accept the possibility that your family might just think the same way, and not be "trapped." While there, of course, are some in the Catholic Church who don't even know why they are Catholic, no doubt the same would apply to some in Protestant denominations. However, there are a great many who have studied the Bible, the early Church Fathers, and the rest of Church history, and have found the Catholic Church to be the Church that Christ founded. Perhaps you find the numerous former Protestant ministers, who know Scripture inside and out, that have converted to Catholicism, to be trapped, too.

"The Catholic Church denies the doctrine of justification by faith alone. I consider that denying a major biblical doctrine to the point of placing people out of God's grace and under the judgement of the law."

So, is your concern that your Catholic family members are out of God's grace, and thus going to hell? I'm not assuming anything, but since it is by God's grace that we are saved, and you think Catholics are outside of God's grace, I think this is a plausible conclusion to come to. If so, that would seem to fall into judging, not another's actions, but the state of one's soul, which would seem to be a dangerous place for a Christian to go.

Ellen said...

Is not salvation a reward?

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

reward: something that is given in return for good or evil done or received or that is offered or given for some service or attainment

(Strong's: reward = misthos = used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours)

gift: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation

(Strong's: gift = charisma = a favour with which one receives without any merit of his own)
(http://m-w.com)

No. Salvation is a gift, not a reward.

The only way that you can say that salvation is a reward (and the Bible says it's a gift) is if it is by works.

The Prots and Cats are closer than you think.

Would you rather have Carrie lead her friend to Christ, or would you rather have her friend stay in the Roman catholic church?

Saving grace is a gift we do not deserve (something not earned...Is not salvation a reward?(something you've earned)

Do you see apparent inconsistencies?

Really, paragraph 841 echoes the belief that one has a possibility for salvation even though they are Christians, including Muslims who seek the God of Abraham like we do.

They deny that Christ is the incarnated Son of God. They DENY His sacrifice for our sin. They aren't just ignorant (as those who have never heard) - they have heard and DENY.

In no way does belief in the possibility of a process of final purification of our souls at the end of our earthly lives as we enter heaven deny Christ's finished work.

If you are punished for your sins in purgatory, how is Christ's work on the cross finished? You are paying for your own sin.

Hopefully we can agree to use the RSV as it is accepted by both of us.

I prefer the ESV - since they're all available on line, I'll probably continue to cut and paste from that one. My Greek instructor says that his opinion is that's the closest to "thought for thought"

...and you think Catholics are outside of God's grace...

David, given the fact that nobody has said that ALL Roman catholics are outside of grace, that's a false accusation. We have said that there are both lost and saved with both Roman catholicism and Protestantism.

You're taking the broad and applying it to the specific.

I have heard is put a couple of different ways (and applied to folks of many different denominations)

Being in a church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than living in a garage makes you a car.

or

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a cheeseburger.

Going to a Roman Catholic church (or any other church) is not what saves us and we know people who think they're saved but don't show signs of it (signs meaning that they cannot articulate the concept of grace by faith). Carrie knows these folks personally and she knows what they show and don't show.

David, are you saying that we shouldn't witness to people (even if they are in a church) because that would be judging their souls? That seems to be a plausible conclusion - that if a person we know personally is in the Roman catholic church, they are saved (or not, depending on what happens on the day they die), regardless of what we actually know personally about them?

Elena said...

My comments about my family being trapped (I don't think I said parents) upset everyone who is here that is Catholic because it is a criticism of their church. Telling me I am not being respectful of them, that I have broken the fourth commandment, or implying that they are unintelligent is just a way to try and make me look bad.


My point exactly! When you use language like that (and you do Carrie, almost effortlessly - peppered throughout your comments) it makes you look bad. My little exercise here was to illustrate that for you.

Elena said...

David, given the fact that nobody has said that ALL Roman catholics are outside of grace, that's a false accusation.

Carrie sort of did: 7/31/06

Anything I have posted here against the Catholic Church is out of concern for those trapped in its grip.

Carrie said...

Carrie sort of did: 7/31/06

"Sort of" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Okay Elena, you have certainly made the effort to show me how horrible I look. As long as I oppose the RCC you will never like what I have to say. Now, will you please stop "illustrating" for me. I am not interested in a daily personal critique.

David: I am not going to sit here and argue about my own personal conveying of what I believe about my family and others. You do not get it. There is nothing I can say to make you understand. Sorry.

I am not judging people's hearts, I am judging a religious system. Judging is not just a bad thing, it is a necessity of life. If I don't judge the proper time to cross a busy street, I may get run over. If my daughter is with me, she will get run over also. I have a responsibility to use my ability to judge to take care of myself and those around me.

As far as the Council of Trent, I would point you to the comment by Michele on the post following this post.

jswranch: Sorry, but your comment was just too long. Ellen has pointed out the main problem of calling salvation a reward, I couldn't have said it better. She also points out your own inconsistencies in what you say.

What is there to say, you will never convince me biblically of the CCC teachings or the rulings of the Council of Trent being correct. And I strongly disagree with your interpretation of Galatians.

Elena said...

"Sort of" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Okay Elena, you have certainly made the effort to show me how horrible I look. As long as I oppose the RCC you will never like what I have to say.

That's not true Carrie. There are plenty of Protestant Christian women that I have on my blog roll that I know are Godly, spiritual, wise, holy women. I think that you are too. We may not agree on religion but I'm sure there are plenty of other areas where we would get along quite well. Pro-life and motherhood issues come to mind.

You also have the right to disagree with Catholic doctrine.

I'm just asking that you be sensitive to the way you word things about Catholics and Catholicism.

Carrie said...

Fair enough Elena.

I said I wouldn't use the R word anymore and I will try to word my stuff better. I hope you know that my issues are not with Catholics as people (I know and love many) but with the Church and it's teachings. I will try to be more transparent about that.

jswranch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jswranch said...

Ellen,
1. I will get back to you on Rom 6:23. A knee jerk reaction is to question Strong as we both agree it is not infallible, however I question that if salvation is a free gift as plainly as you are interpreting Paul's words, then why are not all peoples saved? If no action, response or work is required then everyone will go to heaven. Something else is lacking for us to actively participate in this gift of salvation. We participate and it is given. I call this participation work. This participation includes faith. You seem to be set in a belief that Catholic teach salvation by works. No. She teaches faith and works perfectly intermingled. More later.


2. Would I rather have Carrie lead her friend to Christ, or would you rather have her stay Catholic? I would rather have both. It is one thing to follow Christ, another to be in his Church (Catholic), however he wants you to know Him and be a part of his church.

3. Muslims. I still maintain they are ignorant, as we have differing definitions of 'ignorant'. They may have heard some details of the claims by Christians that he is God, but does that really mean they have seen such truth for what it is and rejected it? No, they have taught to reject the divity of Jesus from the day of their birth by their society, scriptures, and families. They are taught to distrust anyone attempting to contradict the Mohammed. God might have mercy on him and allow him into heaven as he never knew that which he believed is actually a lie. This could fall under the category of 'invincible ignorance,' to the person is not guilty. Yes, the absolutely need conversion, but do have a chance without it.

3. Purgatory III,
Pay for your own sins in purgatory? No, no, no. That is impossible and against scripture. During purgation, you are purified from any spiritual lacking you did not resolve while alive. Do you believe a sinner, even a justified one, can stand before God in His Fullness with some remaining blemish? Do you boast that you are perfect enough now to stand before God in His fullness? When will your sanctification be fulfilled?


4. Trapped in the grip of the CC?! Why are Protestant ministers coming to the Catholic Church by the boatload these days? Certainly your church will not talk about them. Currently, my three favorite Catholic writers were once a Presbyterian senior pastor, an Evangelical seminarian, and an Assembly of God pastor. Also, I love to hear a few other guys who were once Charismatics/ Pentacostal Pastors who converted with their church get fired up as they praise the Eucharist, Pope and Mary. In short, they found the Catholic Church is true from scripture and/or history and learned they, like the Muslims were deceived.

5. You are correct, there is no biblical teaching for the CCC, however there is solid biblical teaching for an authoritative church Christ estabished then gave the power of infallibility (not impeccability)

6. Please read my entire post. I spent hours on it. It is only 2.5 pages. In the future I will keep them shorter.

Ellen said...

Do you believe a sinner, even a justified one, can stand before God in His Fullness with some remaining blemish?

No, I don't.

I also believe that salvation means that we are made righteous, so that a believer who stands before God HAS NO BLEMISH.

The once and for all sacrifice on the cross achieved what no Old Testament sacrifrice could accomplish, the removal of sin.

That is the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Carrie said...

I will read your post eventually jswranch, it's just too long to read from the screen.

Wow, so much to say but I don't see the point in elaborating, I don't see any middle ground.

1. Of course faith is required for salvation, but faith is not a work the way you (as a Catholic) need works to earn your justification. I don't know how else to explain it.

2. To be perfectly honest, you are really watering down the Gospel message here. You do not want to do that. I suggest you read the first few chapters of Romans.

3. Not in the bible.

4. I don't want to go into this arena anymore. For every Protestant you name, I can name a Catholic. Numbers don't matter and these personal stories just seem to upset people.

5. Where is infallibilty talked about in the Bible?

6. Sorry, I will print it out and read.

Again, why don't we save ourselves some time. Defend the Council of Trent.

I really do appreciate your time with this, but I think we are speaking different languages. I will be trying to clarify my position in some newer posts and Ellen already has some great posts on her site.

Ellen said...

however I question that if salvation is a free gift as plainly as you are interpreting Paul's words, then why are not all peoples saved?

I'm not a universalist.

If I give you a gift, is it not free? Do I give that same gift to everyone? No.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Ellen said...

It is one thing to follow Christ, another to be in his Church (Catholic), however he wants you to know Him and be a part of his church.

This is why I make a difference between Roman catholic and the church universal (catholic)

There is one church, the bride of Christ. You don't have to be under the Magisterium to be in it.

Carrie said...

Ellen said it, Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

This is straightfoward. It is a free gift to those who believe. If you don't believe, you don't get the gift. If you do believe, you get the gift for free.

Think about it logically. Why did the father send his beloved Son to die a horrible, agonizing death just so you could work for your own salvation. What would be the point? He knew we could never earn salvation ourselves (that is what the law proved) so he paid the penalty for us.

Ellen said...

replying again to: however I question that if salvation is a free gift as plainly as you are interpreting Paul's words, then why are not all peoples saved?

All people are not saved because all people are not predestined. (Yes, I'm waxing reformed)

Romans 8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

John 6:65
And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."

Ephesians 1:4
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

David B. said...

Ellen,

"David, given the fact that nobody has said that ALL Roman catholics are outside of grace, that's a false accusation."

What is this "false accusation" that I supposedly made?

"Would you rather have Carrie lead her friend to Christ, or would you rather have her friend stay in the Roman catholic church?"

This seems to be a false either/or choice. Are you saying that one cannot find Christ in the Roman Catholic Church? If one has, then there is no need of leading him/her out of the RCC in order to find Christ. In fact, since one has such a personal relationship with Christ in the RCC that they receive Him, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist, that He commanded us to eat and drink, why would you want to lead anyone away from such a gift?

David B. said...

Ellen,

"David, are you saying that we shouldn't witness to people (even if they are in a church) because that would be judging their souls?"

No. What I'm saying is that it seems incredibly arrogant to claim the Catholic Church is placing people outside of God's grace.

"That seems to be a plausible conclusion - that if a person we know personally is in the Roman catholic church, they are saved (or not, depending on what happens on the day they die), regardless of what we actually know personally about them?"

Do you personally know about the person Carrie is referring to? If not, I would prefer that Carrie answer my post, since after all, my questions were directed towards her, so I assume you might not know enough about the situation and/or persons to speak for her.

Ellen said...

David, I see no need to get into more mudslinging.

I think that if you go back and read the entire quote, you'll see what I mean. If you don't see, then you don't see.

Ellen said...

David, are you saying that every single soul that is under the magisterium is saved?

David B. said...

Carrie,

"I am not going to sit here and argue about my own personal conveying of what I believe about my family and others."

I'm not arguing, nor do I wish to argue. You made comments, and I asked questions about your comments to clarify. That's all.

"Judging is not just a bad thing, it is a necessity of life. If I don't judge the proper time to cross a busy street, I may get run over. If my daughter is with me, she will get run over also."

And, I suppose if you don't judge the Catholic Church to be, what, the whore of Babylon, and get your loved ones to leave the Catholic Church, then they may be at great risk of losing their salvation? I'm just trying to understand if that's what you believe of the RCC. After all, it was you who claimed the RCC was "denying a major biblical doctrine to the point of placing people out of God's grace." As a Catholic, how do I not take this to mean you believe the RCC has placed ME out of God's grace? And, if I were to leave the Church, as you might like all Catholics to do, so as to not be "trapped," then that would also mean turning my back on Christ, who offers me his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, which he has commanded us (us meaning all Christians) to eat and drink. Does your denomination offer his true Body and Blood to be received by the congregation, or do you just have a symbolic meal?

David B. said...

Ellen,

Let me combine your last two comments in this reply.

First, what mudslinging did I engage in?

Second, please define what you mean by "under the magisterium?"

Ellen said...

David, let me very clear; read that again if you need to.

I didn't say that you did - yesterday was a mudfest; and I helped. I'm not going to be a part of it again.

Another word, you ask that Carrie answer your post, moving from the general to the specific. Carrie has a husband and children and a job. There are posts on Roman Catholic blogs linking here and you can see that she is flooded with newcomers who have never posted on her blog before.

I suggest that we talk in generalities (doctrine) and let Carrie reply at her leisure and let her enjoy her family until she does.

Ellen said...

David, Elena et.al. has objected to the termology that I use, so I agreed to use "magisterium" instead of "Rome (the seat of power and where Roman Catholic teaching comes from).

David B. said...

Carrie,

If I may, I would like to go back to something you wrote early in this combox.

"I am not denying that works are part of our faith. But they are not required for salvation or justification."

So, even though they are a part of your faith, since works are not required, could you, for example, just say, "Jesus, I believe in you and accept you as my Lord and Savior," and then your salvation is assured. Then, if you choose not to do any works, like feed the hungry, care of the sick, speak out for those who have no voice, etc., etc., no problem, your salvation is still assured?

David B. said...

Ellen,

Using "magisterium" instead of "Rome" doesn't answer my question. What do you mean by those souls "under the magisterium?" Is this anyone who self identifies as a Roman Catholic? Is this only those who believe, accept, and practice all that the Roman Catholic Church teaches? Before I can try to answer your question, I need you to define what you mean by "under the magisterium.

Ellen said...

David, I think you know what I mean.

"under" - submitting to the rule of.

Ellen said...

David - what question are your trying to answer?

I said: There is one church, the bride of Christ. You don't have to be under the Magisterium to be in it

There's no question mark there. That is a bold statement and I'll say it again.

There is one church, the bride of Christ. You don't have to be under the Magisterium to be in it.

David B. said...

Ellen,

"David - what question are your trying to answer?"

Um, the one you asked?

"David, are you saying that every single soul that is under the magisterium is saved?"

This is why I have asked you to clarify what you meant by "under the magisterium." I offered a couple of examples of what I think you might have meant, those who call themselves Catholic even if they ignore the Church's teachings, and those who accept, believe, and practice all the Church teaches. You made the comment of "under" = submitting to the rule of. I'm guessing, but not sure, that you would then mean that those who are Catholic in name only, but not in belief and practice, would not be "under the magisterium." Am I correct?

Whilce I wait for your further clarification, let me ask you a similar question. Would you say every single soul that at one point in time during their lives has stated a belief in Christ and asked Him to be their Lord and Savior is saved?

Carrie said...

I can't resist. This one has always confused me.

who offers me his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, which he has commanded us (us meaning all Christians) to eat and drink. Does your denomination offer his true Body and Blood to be received by the congregation, or do you just have a symbolic meal?

What do you mean by true, David?

Ellen said...

Ok - yup, I forgot that one.

Uh, since the folks in question are ones who Carrie knows personally and we don't, let's say "Roman Catholics" - and since you're the one who is addressing the issue of those folks, I'll let you decide.

Would you say every single soul that at one point in time during their lives has stated a belief in Christ and asked Him to be their Lord and Savior is saved?

Nope. That's called fire insurance.

Real faith is not "easy believism".

I can say "I believe that David is a Christian" - but the words really don't mean a thing unless that's the belief that I have in my heart. (by the way, that's not a judgement call, that's merely an illustration)

Stating it doesn't mean a thing.

Turned to the people that "make the statement", a person can say "I believe that I am a Christian", but unless that's what is in their heart, the words don't mean a thing.

Carrie said...

Would you say every single soul that at one point in time during their lives has stated a belief in Christ and asked Him to be their Lord and Savior is saved?

Is this from some sort of anti-Protestant handbook? Does Luther come next?

Seriously, I don't understand how someone who knows their Bible can not understand this. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just fascinated by the some of the questions here.

David B. said...

Carrie,

"What do you mean by true, David?"

Jesus' real presence in the Eucharist. He is really present in the Host, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is not a symbolic presence or symbolic meal. It is Jesus. Do you eat His body and drink His blood?

Carrie said...

He is really present in the Host, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is not a symbolic presence or symbolic meal. It is Jesus. Do you eat His body and drink His blood?

Does it taste like flesh and blood?

Ellen said...

Carrie, it's called "transubstantiation) -although I'm not sure I'm spelling it right.

It means that Roman Catholics believe they are partaking of the literal body and blood of Christ.

David B. said...

Carrie,

"Is this from some sort of anti-Protestant handbook?"

Of course, not. I am just re-phrasing Ellen's question to me, except for looking for the Protestant perspective. Did I ask Ellen if her question to me was from some sort of anti-Catholic handbook? Maybe ask if Galileo comes next? I think making such an assumption of me is unfair and uncharitable.

Ellen said...

Carrie, the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is based on John 6:53-56: Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

Read the whole chapter and you'll find that Christ had already declared the earthly metaphor: Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

Further, And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. (Luke 22:19-20)

However, Christ was not yet crucified when He used this metaphor.

Carrie said...

I think making such an assumption of me is unfair and uncharitable.

No assumption, just asking. I keep hearing either the same questions or seeing similar methods so I was wondering if there was a playbook.

Ellen - I am familiar with the idea. Just wanted to hear David's point of view.

Carrie said...

David, Does it taste like flesh and blood?

Ellen said...

Sorry - I thought you probably did...but...

I answered David's question, now, David,
"David, are you saying that every single soul that is under the magisterium is saved?"

David B. said...

Carrie,

Did it taste like flesh and blood to you while you were still in the Roman Catholic Church? Or did you never receive the Eucharist during that time?

However, you never answered my question. Do you eat His body and drink His blood? If not, why not?

Carrie said...

I'm asking you David if it tasted like flesh and blood?

I know what it tasted like to me but it has been claimed that my "Catholicism" is not valid b/c I was not properly catechized. So I would like to ask you as a fully catechized Catholic.

David B. said...

Carrie,

No playbook that I'm aware of. Of course, many of the questions here that have been directed towards Catholics, I have heard over and over again. Is there an anti-Catholic playbook that we should be aware of?

David B. said...

Carrie,

No. Doesn't taste like flesh and blood, nor has any Catholic I've ever known or heard of made such a claim.

Carrie said...

Is there an anti-Catholic playbook that we should be aware of?

Not that I know of.

I just use the logic and the Bible God gave me. I guess if you want to consider the Bible as the playbook, you could. Maybe the Holy Spirit is involved (and common) also.

Carrie said...

David, you know where I am going next, right?

Elena said...

I know what it tasted like to me but it has been claimed that my "Catholicism" is not valid b/c I was not properly catechized.

I said it was nominal not invalid. Noting could invalidate your baptism.

David B. said...

Ellen,

"I answered David's question, now, David,
"David, are you saying that every single soul that is under the magisterium is saved?"

Why would I dare usurp the authority of God to make such a claim, one way or the other. To do so would be to judge the state of every single soul under the magisterium of the Catholic Church. I cannot know in each person's heart, who states he/she is Roman Catholic, whether they truly believe all Christ has revealed to His Church, which He said would be guided in all Truth, by the Holy Spirit. I believe one can tell from the Bible that there will be those who go to hell. Christ said many will choose the wide road, instead of the narrow path. Who those are, at the moment of death, I have no way of knowing, thus no way of judging. And to judge the state of one's soul, as I mentioned above, is not within my authority to do.

Now, as to your comments on John 6, I'll try to come back to them later, as I believe you to be incorrect in your own interpretation. But, alas, I need to be heading out for the evening, so it will have to wait. Have a nice evening.

David B. said...

Carrie,

"David, you know where I am going next, right?"

Oh, please enlighten me. I look forward to reading where you are going next, either when I get home later this evening, or tomorrow if time allows.

Ellen said...

Okay, David, if you cannaot know in each person's heart whether they truly believe, and if they are not showing the fruits of repentance or the fruits of the spirit...

why don't you agree that we should be witnessing to them and get them out of the place where they have been all their lives and have never heard the Gospel?

(and I would say)and have said) the very same thing about any protestant church that was not educating its people.)

Ellen said...

Whoa...lots of typos...sorry.

Carrie said...

When you come back David, can you please explain how a wafer and wine become literally Jesus's flesh and blood but do not look or taste as such.

Better yet, if you can give me a biblical verse that supports this kind of "literally is" but "literally isn't" that would help.

Thanks and enjoy your evening.

Carrie said...

Oh, please enlighten me

No game, David. That one has just never made sense to me.

I'll admit, I never paid attention in CCD but instead passed notes to my friends. But even if this topic was covered it probably would have just sounded like some sort of magic to a child.

Yes, we have bread and wine (grapejuice actually) at our church and it doesn't taste like flesh and blood either. As far as being the literal stuff, I'll have to wait for your explanation on that to tell you whether we qualify.

Elena said...

why don't you agree that we should be witnessing to them and get them out of the place where they have been all their lives and have never heard the Gospel

Of course David is not going to agree to that Ellen. There is a huge difference between not LISTENING to the Gospel and the Gospel being preached. I assure you the Gospel is being preached everyday throughout the world in the every Catholic church. But, as we all have free will, not all of us choose to listen. I hate to pick on Carrie again, but she was in religion class, and she chose not to listen. A teacher prepared a lesson and gave their time to teach it, and she essentially ignored it. I taught Sunday school for a year. I know what a job that is. I also know that despite my best efforts some kids day dreamed and missed part of the class. That doesn't mean that the Gospel wasn't being taught. It doesn't mean that I was a poor teacher. It may mean that some individuals weren't ready for the message yet and they will be as they mature. But no, I don't believe you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Ellen said...

I spent a lot of time ignoring teachers also, but I picked up enough to know the Gospel.

We're not talking over the course of a year - we're talking about 20 or more years. I would hope that in 20 or more years one would pick up something.

Even Mark said that the church should bear at least some responsibility

Carrie said...

Gospel is being preached everyday throughout the world in every Catholic church.

Can we keep this on doctrine more and less on personal experience.

The Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ is that a sinner is saved and justified through belief in Jesus. It is a free gift and cannot be earned.

By that qualifier I disagree with you. Denying the finished work of Christ is not the Gospel (see my previous quotes from Galatians)

The Gospel taught by the RCC says that a believer is not assured of their salvation. You have confirmed that. That means that not only do you not know at any given moment whether you will make it to heaven or not, but you do not know if your loved ones that have passed on have made it to heaven. Where is the Good News in that?

Carrie said...

I am shutting this comment section down until Monday.

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