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Reformation Monk #46622 Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:24 AM
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I understand your concerns RM. I think, Pilgrim would agree that we have to find a church that is loyal to the confessions. I'm very high on Joel Beeke and his Heritage Reformed Congregations. Check him out on-line. I think when the essentials are sound, everything else can fall into its proper place....when a personal relationship with our Lord must be established a church that can rightly cultivate that bond is most critical....



The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

Pilgrim #46624 Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by via_dolorosa
The whole question is set upon a false premise. For us, the Bible is a part of the revealed word of God, not the final arbiter of all Christian truth. The Church's authority is greater than that of the Bible evidenced clearly by the Church forming the canon by counsil to begin with. A servant does not become greater than its master. For this reason, St. Augustine said that he should not believe in the gospels themselves if it were not for the authority of the Catholic Church.
And of course, we historic Reformed Protestants would vehemently disagree... and have for centuries. wink

Tomes have been written on both sides defending their respective views and nothing I could possibly say here would therefore be of any import whatsoever. However, I have often put my observation of the error espoused by Rome in very simple terms: Rome claims the Bible is the very Word of God and therefore authoritative. And, that Bible gives Rome the ultimate authority over the Bible, thus making itself not only the supreme authority but de facto and of necessity, infallible, neither of which is logical or possible.

Given that my time is severely limited today, I'll simply provide some articles written by men far more qualified to explain the differences between Rome and Protestantism and who do an excellent job of refuting Rome's position.

- The Authority of Scripture
- What Do We Mean by Sola Scriptura?
- The Argument for an Infallible Body
- Unshakable Authority

Greetings, Pilgrim.

Thank you for these sources and I have endeavored to read some of it. Of course many points are made that can hardly be contested in one post. Moreover, I'm not disposed to launching into an full blown agenda that undermines this site. I'm aware of the rules and respect them.

One consistant theme I can seize upon in regards to arguments for sola scriptura is the wide chasm between specific authority spelled out in various books, especially the epistles and the assumed general authority that would imply upon a canon that would be officiated 350 years in the future. While I cannot argue against Paul sending an epistle with specific mandates he expected to be observed, he also expected the tradition he gave orally to be observed as well, one not being inferior to the other. It's a stretch to suggest that Paul thought his words to apply to a canon of scriptures the content of which would be decided by a college of men several generations removed from him who would be deciding based on a much broader picture which books belonged and which didn't.

The Bereans were lauded because they searched the scriptures to verify the claims they were hearing. This is often used as a defense of Sola Sciptura, but again it's difficult to make this claim. The Bereans were searching prophesies that foretold of Jesus and, as we see by the form in which the gospels were written, the gospel was certainly preached citing multiple references from the scriptures. What stretches credulity is that Bereans verifying prophestic writings translates into a future canon, decided by Church council by the authority by which Christ commissioned the Church, having lordship over that same church; being a final arbiter of all matters of doctrine and practice.

One area that also bears mention in which I believe Sola Scriptura comes up short is demonstrating that Jesus, before He ascended, invested his authority in a book rather than the Apostles who he taught and commanded to teach as they heard from Him. By what other boldness could the Apostles go against Scripture by changing the Sabbath and doing away with circumcision? This isn't to say that the scriptures weren't cited to support the gospel message, but again deciphering the use of scripture as alluding to a bibliarchy is unreasonable.

These are only a few observations I want to make. In contending with Sola Scriptura, I don't want the wrong message to be sent that I am downplaying the Bible. Scripture is for us a written testamony of the story of salvation, a guide to living rightly and spiritually, a reference for the formation of doctrine and liturgy, and a daily source of inspiration, correction, and sustanance. It's value cannot be overstated and it is certainly precious to me. I have more thoughts to share as much as they are welcome here. Thank you.


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via_dolorosa #46625 Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:59 PM
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I believe, as a Roman Catholic representative on this board, your points have merit......

Where I have a greater problem is when scriptures run contrary to tradition. For me, tradition gets the boot every time.

And that's why Augustine referenced scriptures (not any type of church authority) in much of his arguments against Pelagius.

I can't rely on men or popes as upholders of truth, I could never believe Peter was a pope or that Mary holds such a prominent position in terms of worship, intercession or supernatural attributes. You, as a Roman Catholic, have to stifle any doubts you could have regarding the veracity of any of these so-called truths.

The problem with the RCC is that it took its own path along time ago, with subtle and not so subtle erroneous practices & traditions/doctrines. Just look at the indulgence controversies that was running rapid in the time of Luther. If a practice so wrong and ungodly could take root under the authority of the Catholic church why should I not believe all types of abuses of power, authority and truth could transpire over a few months let alone many centuries, even very early on.

I don't think having to rely on Sola Scriptura is a perfect way to go, but it became the necessary, reliable Christian standard.

If the transition from the simplicity & commands of scriptures that derived under the apostolic age from the pomp and circumstance and the related practices of Rome could be verified I would go back to Rome.

But even when considering the writings of the ECFs, to try to present the RCC in its present form as the immutable, unchanging authority isn't believable even if the changes that transpired over time are argued to be merely cosmetic.

Bible Christians rely on the Bible because they can't believe and accept what comes out of Rome as the ordained truth & authority of God.

I don't believe God is working out of a physical institution, there is an invisible church where God's spirit dwells. His people will spot truth from error for the most part(not perfectly) and will not be deceived with the Bible as their guide, the only reliable source of truth.

Last edited by AC.; Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:04 PM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #46644 Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AC.
I believe, as a Roman Catholic representative on this board, your points have merit......

Where I have a greater problem is when scriptures run contrary to tradition. For me, tradition gets the boot every time.

Greetings, AC.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Catholics and Protestants keep missing each other. We are starting from different premises. The Catholic Church does not pit the Bible against tradition as Protestants do, but rather consider the Bible a part, and a significant part, of Sacred Tradition. The either/or of Protestants are on a different paradigm than the both/and of Catholic belief and these differing paradigms explain a lot of issues on which we see differently.

Originally Posted by AC.
And that's why Augustine referenced scriptures (not any type of church authority) in much of his arguments against Pelagius.
There are strong and weak defenses of Sola Scriptura, and this is a weak one. It helps to step outside of the argument to see why certain arguments, while seeming to buttress Sola Scriptura, are actually ineffective. The use of scripture to demonstrate a doctrinal point does not translate to scripture being the supreme authority over all doctrine, usurping the authority Christ gave to the Church.


Originally Posted by AC.
I can't rely on men or popes as upholders of truth, I could never believe Peter was a pope

Let's hold right there. Aside from the fact that Peter was the leader among equals, there's an important scripture that lays the groundwork for the Seat of Peter:

Quote
Matthew 23:
1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,
2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a]that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.


In spite of their hypocrisy, the Pharisees held a trans-generational office. If this was true for the Old Covenant, how much more is it true for the New Covenant as demonstrated in the opening of Acts where the apostles nominated a replacement for Judas, the first example of apostolic succession. This is an example of where the charge that Catholics make up unbiblical traditions proves untrue. Though you may not agree with the interpretation, you can see why we believe the Seat of Moses was replaced by the Seat of Peter in scripture.

Originally Posted by AC.
or that Mary holds such a prominent position in terms of worship, intercession or supernatural attributes. You, as a Roman Catholic, have to stifle any doubts you could have regarding the veracity of any of these so-called truths.

Strawman arguments deal ineffective blows in any rhetorical exchange. Mary is neither worshipped nor endowed with supernatural powers. To say Catholics ought to be criticized for holding these beliefs when we don't is to posit a strawman.

Originally Posted by AC.
The problem with the RCC is that it took its own path along time ago, with subtle and not so subtle erroneous practices & traditions/doctrines. Just look at the indulgence controversies that was running rapid in the time of Luther. If a practice so wrong and ungodly could take root under the authority of the Catholic church why should I not believe all types of abuses of power, authority and truth could transpire over a few months let alone many centuries, even very early on.
And few Catholics will argue that Luther didn't have a valid point on the abuse of indulgences and the general corruption that infested the Vatican leadership at that time. The 95 Thesis was entirely correct and, I believe, served as a warning that dire consequences would follow continued recalcitrance in these matters. The Protestant Reformation resulted from a massive failure of the Church to heed God's correction.

Originally Posted by AC.
I don't think having to rely on Sola Scriptura is a perfect way to go, but it became the necessary, reliable Christian standard.
On that we are agreed. As I've argued from the beginning, it's a departure from Sola Scriptura that causes Christians to fall prey to cults like that of Harold Camping.

Originally Posted by AC.
If the transition from the simplicity & commands of scriptures that derived under the apostolic age from the pomp and circumstance and the related practices of Rome could be verified I would go back to Rome.
The problem I see with Sola Scriptura is that it imposes on a growing Church the strictures of a much smaller, simpler church. It would be tantamount to having the U.S. Army operate on the ordinances that governed the Continental Army 230 years ago. The Doctrine of the Trinity, the Creeds, the Canon of Scripture, and many other matters were solved by a church tackling issues that didn't present themselves during the apostolic age.


Originally Posted by AC.
I don't believe God is working out of a physical institution, there is an invisible church where God's spirit dwells. His people will spot truth from error for the most part(not perfectly) and will not be deceived with the Bible as their guide, the only reliable source of truth.
You're quite incorrect about the "invisible church". Jesus compared his future church to a shining city on a hill, a visible representation to which the world can look to for answers and guidance. An authority structure immediately followed Christ's ascension, and the Counsil of Jerusalem was the first example of official leadership deciding doctrinal and administrative issues.

Buildings? It might do well to remember that the early Church was mercilessly persecuted and in hiding until Constantine ended the persecutions. Archeology points to buildings and cathedrals that went all the way back to the first centuries. But more importantly, there is a certain continuity to be expected from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant considering our God is changeless. The first tabernacle that the itinerant Israelites built would eventually be replaced by a glorious temple that God physically resided in. The constant theme through the Old Testament is that God took pleasure in the magnificent structures Israel built for His honor, but when the hearts of Israel departed from God, then the temple and rituals became an empty show. Nothing is different today. The ancient cathedrals throughout the world are absolutely breath taking, and all built for the glory of God, but it's far more important that our hearts are turned toward God that our religious labors may not be in vain.


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via_dolorosa #46650 Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:53 PM
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Well, I give you credit for standing your ground in enemy territory takethat I must really like that 'smile' since I use it a lot....

I'm not looking to get into a debate about RCC's claim to Apostolic succession , the primacy of Peter & whether he reigned in Rome and many other points of contention between Catholics & Protestants...

Just to clarify about Mary, I would consider the belief that she was sinless and bodily ascended to heaven supernatural claims that fell outside the miraculous virgin birth. Obviously prayers of intercession to Mary & saints would fall short of worship. Although I think that becomes a natural yet unintended consequence....

And again, I'm not looking to argue these matters. Where there is good will between members, and I feel there to be so, these discussions usually end in each side praying for the other....that's where I'll let it lie on my end.

AC





The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

via_dolorosa #46666 Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:52 PM
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Originally Posted by via_dolorosa
Strawman arguments deal ineffective blows in any rhetorical exchange. Mary is neither worshipped nor endowed with supernatural powers. To say Catholics ought to be criticized for holding these beliefs when we don't is to posit a strawman.

I'm sorry via_dolorosa but if I went to the zoo; it wouldn't matter how long I stood and pointed at an elephant and called it a tiger, even after hours, no one would still believe me.

Point here is, It's ridiculous for Catholics to make this claim. Mary is worshiped in my Catholic circles by many Catholics. To deny that is to deny plain and obvious truth.

Now I do affirm that many Catholics do not have any focus on Mary.... just like they don't have any focus on anything else either.

Mary is also looked upon to be a mediator of grace and therefore to have as you put it "supernatural powers."

While the Rosary is largely about Christ, one is still doing it for Mary and to receive saving grace through her.

The whole Catholic theology on Mary is that she is a mediator of grace. From the false interpretation of the Vulgate of Genesis 3:15 to the wrong focus on the Marian types in the Old Testament to the focus on the Wedding Feast at Cana; in where Jesus obey's His mother's request - thereby proving her to be a mediator. To the wrong interpretation of John 19:26 - trying to establish the command made by the Lord establishing Mary as the Mother of the Church and then of course onto Revelation 12....

Here is my point.

On one hand, I do like putting focus on Mary. Mary is a wonderful example to Christian women. I encourage my daughters to think and meditate on Mary's life and her faithfulness.

I also have to admit that I liked doing the Rosary when I was thinking about becoming Catholic. I also liked Mariology.

But.....

Scripture is very clear, there is only one Mediator. Period; and that hasn't changed. There is no knew revelation, God doesn't change His mind. It doesn't make any sense that none of the Apostles ever said anything about the importance of Mary, but rather put all of the importance on Christ alone.

Also.... in the Marian Catholic view, Jesus hates us because we're sinners and Mary loves us as a loving forgiving mother. So that is why she has to mediate between us and Christ. She has to "smooth things over with him" and she does this by our worship to her through our own works righteousness. i.e.; Rosary, novenas, feast days etc.... etc...

The Bible is very clear; the gospel of Jesus Christ is Justification by faith alone, anything else is empty religion.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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Quote
Well, I give you credit for standing your ground in enemy territory takethat I must really like that 'smile' since I use it a lot....

I'm not looking to get into a debate about RCC's claim to Apostolic succession , the primacy of Peter & whether he reigned in Rome and many other points of contention between Catholics & Protestants...

Just to clarify about Mary, I would consider the belief that she was sinless and bodily ascended to heaven supernatural claims that fell outside the miraculous virgin birth. Obviously prayers of intercession to Mary & saints would fall short of worship. Although I think that becomes a natural yet unintended consequence....

And again, I'm not looking to argue these matters. Where there is good will between members, and I feel there to be so, these discussions usually end in each side praying for the other....that's where I'll let it lie on my end.

AC

It is a misunderstanding to say that all (many do) RC’s worship Mary, yet like you indicated it is an unintended consequence. The thing however, that I would pursue on this matter is that Christ is the only one that makes intersession between the saints and God. We should never pray to or through anyone other than Jesus Christ to make intersession for us. Of course we also know that the Spirit makes intersession for us. (Rom. 8:26-27)
I have talked to some very knowledgeable RCs that make it quite clear that they do indeed pray through both Mary and other saints to make intersession for them and their loved ones. I can’t remember their justification for doing this, but they appeal to tradition, not Scripture itself.

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Tom #46669 Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom
It is a misunderstanding to say that all (many do) RC’s worship Mary, yet like you indicated it is an unintended consequence. The thing however, that I would pursue on this matter is that Christ is the only one that makes intersession between the saints and God. We should never pray to or through anyone other than Jesus Christ to make intersession for us. Of course we also know that the Spirit makes intersession for us. (Rom. 8:26-27)
I have talked to some very knowledgeable RCs that make it quite clear that they do indeed pray through both Mary and other saints to make intersession for them and their loved ones. I can’t remember their justification for doing this, but they appeal to tradition, not Scripture itself.

oh yes I agree with you Tom!

http://www.prayerfoundation.org/why_protestants_dont_pray_to_mary.htm

Last edited by AC.; Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:15 AM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

Tom #46672 Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom
Quote
Well, I give you credit for standing your ground in enemy territory takethat I must really like that 'smile' since I use it a lot....

I'm not looking to get into a debate about RCC's claim to Apostolic succession , the primacy of Peter & whether he reigned in Rome and many other points of contention between Catholics & Protestants...

Just to clarify about Mary, I would consider the belief that she was sinless and bodily ascended to heaven supernatural claims that fell outside the miraculous virgin birth. Obviously prayers of intercession to Mary & saints would fall short of worship. Although I think that becomes a natural yet unintended consequence....

And again, I'm not looking to argue these matters. Where there is good will between members, and I feel there to be so, these discussions usually end in each side praying for the other....that's where I'll let it lie on my end.

AC

It is a misunderstanding to say that all (many do) RC’s worship Mary, yet like you indicated it is an unintended consequence. The thing however, that I would pursue on this matter is that Christ is the only one that makes intersession between the saints and God. We should never pray to or through anyone other than Jesus Christ to make intersession for us. Of course we also know that the Spirit makes intersession for us. (Rom. 8:26-27)
I have talked to some very knowledgeable RCs that make it quite clear that they do indeed pray through both Mary and other saints to make intersession for them and their loved ones. I can’t remember their justification for doing this, but they appeal to tradition, not Scripture itself.

Tom,

Sorry, but actually Catholics do appeal to Scripture in their stance on the mediation of Mary and the Saints.

In Mary's case, they look at the Vulgate and they misinterpret Genesis; in saying that: "I will put enmity between you and the woman and that SHE will crush thy head." ------ alluding to Mary rather then Christ.

We then see Old Testament typology focusing on Mary

We then see the misinterpretation of the Wedding Feast at Cana where Jesus "obeys" the will of his mother.... alluding to Mary's being the mediator of grace.

We then see in Jesus telling John to "behold thy mother" while He was on the cross; ---- alluding to the establishment of Mary being a mediator between the saints and Christ.

We then see the misinterpretation of Revelation 12 being about Mary instead of the Church....

So it is very clear to Catholics..... especially Catholic Religious, especially monastics that it is proven from Scripture that Mary is and should be the mediator of all graces.

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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Thank you. I digress as well, especially seeing as it's a little off topic. One may wonder why I'm a member of a DB such as this and even give financial support from time to time. It's because all of my family is Protestant and my father is the pastor of a church. Having broken with tradition to become a lifelong Catholic, I have an intimate familiarity with the way Protestants think and the faultlines that exist between Protestants and Catholics. You're right that I'm in hostile territory and it appears some even believe that Catholics aren't Christian which is sad indeed. I hope to present compelling evidence otherwise.

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via_dolorosa,

As you have stated above, you are on a "Reformed Protestant" forum.

I personally, as many others on this board I believe, do not bare any ill will towards Catholics. It is unfortunate that in the area of apologetics; for most, personal feelings are involved. Which is understandable. But when one person is defending their convictions, it doesn't mean that they are being insensitive.

Anyway with that being said; I afraid that it will be impossible for you to sway the moderators here. They are fully convicted and have been defending the Reformed Faith for a long time. They know the arguments.

I don't say this to try to "shoo" you away, I'm just saying it so that you might not get offended and discouraged. Even though I don't agree with your faith and or doctrinal belief's I don't want to see you upset.

In fact, I enjoy having Catholics here and not so I can try to "prove" anything, but because it's simply good to dialog.

Anyway, I hope that I haven't said anything offensive, I'm just simply trying to defend the Reformed Faith and or my personal faith belief's against what I consider to be errors based on Scripture.

One other note.

I can't count how many times I've heard people state "how sad it is for Reformed Protestants to not consider Catholics as Christians."

Again, this isn't a personal attack.

But the same can be said about Catholics.

Now, I do understand the new language of Post Vat2.

For me personally, If I ever became a Catholic, I would have to be a pre Vat2 Catholic..... and I'm not saying that I would ever become a Catholic.

But the pre Vat2 Catholic would have said, "only Catholics are Christians."

But now the Post Vat2 Catholics say that there is still the possibility of true saving faith outside of the Catholic Church.

This new language of course is more "inclusive" and less offensive language.

But it's still based on works righteousness.

The question I ultimately had to ask myself when I was a Catholic Catechumen was this; "what separates me from a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Jehovah's Witness, a Mormon, a morally good person....etc... etc...

As a modern post Vat2 Catholic, I simply couldn't answer that question.

Because at the end of the day.... the modern Catholic's answer is "well there's always the possibility of salvation as long as a person is demonstrating good works."

For me and the other Reformed Protestants, we firmly stand on Faith Alone. Anything outside of Faith Alone is considered by our interpretation of Scripture is "unbelief."

Therefore that is why a Reformed Protestant has to stand firm on this point of contention and so it isn't with ill will that they have to say that they do not believe Catholics are saved, it is because they are defending the most important doctrine for them.

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Reformation Monk #46681 Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Reformation Monk
via_dolorosa,
But the pre Vat2 Catholic would have said, "only Catholics are Christians."
Perhaps so, yet at the same time, Protestants were and are usually not required to be re-baptised. It seems to me that this was/is an explicit (or at the very least implicit) acknowledgment that Protestants are indeed Christians.

Originally Posted by Reformation Monk
But now the Post Vat2 Catholics say that there is still the possibility of true saving faith outside of the Catholic Church.

This new language of course is more "inclusive" and less offensive language.
That is partially true. It's true that this is certainly a conciliar teaching, and very much a part of the post-conciliar Church. Its false though, to imagine that this all began with V2. The V2 documents on salvation for non-Catholics was very much a continuation of pre-Conciliar teaching in the previous 100 years...really continuing the work of Vatican I that was interrupted 100 years earlier. The 1910 Catechism of Pius X for example stated:

Quote
“If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best he can, such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation.”

Last edited by Newman; Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:08 PM.
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Originally Posted by Newman
That is partially true. It's true that this is certainly a conciliar teaching, and very much a part of the post-conciliar Church. Its false though

False?

Hmm.... seems to me that Pius X and the Current Magisterium says exactly what I stated in my above comments.

I've discussed salvation with many Catholics and this is precisely the language they use.

"Implicit Desire" means that anyone can be saved.

Plus this just affirms my point of works righteousness.

"sincerely seeking God's truth and doing Gods will as best as a person can."

Nowhere in there does it mention having faith in Christ.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
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Originally Posted by Reformation Monk
Originally Posted by Newman
That is partially true. It's true that this is certainly a conciliar teaching, and very much a part of the post-conciliar Church. Its false though

False?
"Its false though, to imagine that this all began with V2." If you didn't mean to imply that this all began with V2, then I gladly stand corrected. Is that not what you meant to imply?

Originally Posted by RM
Hmm.... seems to me that Pius X and the Current Magisterium says exactly what I stated in my above comments.
If by that you mean that they speak the same way, more or less, I agree.


Originally Posted by RM
Plus this just affirms my point of works righteousness.

"sincerely seeking God's truth and doing Gods will as best as a person can."

Nowhere in there does it mention having faith in Christ.
A sincere question. We know that babies and young children cannot, before a certain age or ability, have faith in Christ. If they happen to die before receiving this capability of knowledge, can they be saved?

Last edited by Newman; Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:35 PM.
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OP Offline
Enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
I wrestle with the whole salvation issue especially when Catholics and even other free-will protestants are concerned....

so I'd like to speak as candidly as possible, and I'm trying to speak out of love for my fellow man and specifically to ALL the board members.....

I tend to have a pretty narrow view of salvation....and let me be clear, this does not mean a true Christian is some Holy, Pious, Super Christian or anything like that....if that were true myself and the family of whom I am the head would be in major trouble!

I'm thinking more along the lines of a true Christianity, not the type of Christianity that simply runs on the surface or simply fits God in here or there...and this is the type of Christianity I often fall prey to myself.

I'm thinking more of those moments in which His people feel separated and long for communion with Him and His people. The Christians whose life started when they were made to feel the vileness of their sins and have been in heavy pursuit of God and His grace ever since, daily putting their trust in Jesus and as a result there is a natural (spiritual) engaging in repentance and sanctified works of obedience.

So there is the concern for the Catholic Church....a concern that even the preaching and teaching is faulty and many of the laity and the leaders of the institution will go eternally lost.

No church saves, but I think many churches gloss over the starting point in which we enter into a right relationship with God where Jesus is made precious to the lost sinner.....I think of Peter who told Jesus to flee from Him for he is a sinful man, or Paul and how he was completely transformed by the spirit of God. There is David who daily walked with God and was chastised when he went astray. John who loved Jesus and rested on His breast. Mary who laid at His feet and washed His feet with her tears. And crooked Zacharias who repented of his wicked life, actively gave restitution and followed Jesus from the moment He was born of God. These are people who felt their sins and lived for God. I think it's a narrow road that leads to the promised land. I think a multitude are walking it. And I think the call is going out all over the world and Jesus will welcome those with open arms. But I think we're all looking for short-cuts and are seduced by many worldly distractions that are even taking root in the churches. This is my concern for myself and my fellow man, whether it be Calvinist, Roman Catholic or Jew, etc.....

I'll step off the soapbox now!
AC

rantoff


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

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