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Catholic Reform vs Protestant Reform
CMR ^ | June 29, 2010 | Taylor Marshall

Posted on 07/01/2010 10:50:21 AM PDT by NYer

Taylor Marshall, a Catholic convert, is one of our favorite bloggers. We've asked him to write a few guest posts for us this month and he kindly agreed. He's a lot smarter than us so be prepared for some high falutin poly syllabic words. And check out his blog as well.

A Protestant reader of Canterbury Tales recently asked why Catholics believe that tolerating heresy is "noble," and also wondered why the Catholic Church condemned the Protestant Reformers who sought to bring about reform. The reader writes:

So heretical teaching within the Catholic Church should be kept unchecked because that would more noble? Or does that only apply to Protestants?
At root, this question seeks to draw out the difference between "Protestant Reform" and "Catholic Reform." This is a good question and worthy of a lengthy response. Here's my meager attempt at it:

Dear Clamence,

We cannot fight heresy by creating new heresies. For example, in many regards the Monophysite heresy (i.e. "Christ has one nature") was an over-reaction to the Nestorian heresy (i.e. "Christ is two persons"). The Catholic Church has always sought to aim directly at the truth, and not merely at the destruction of error. Too often the refutation of error crosses over into further error.

Similarly, Luther and Calvin sought to displace misunderstandings about grace and merit (i.e. the faulty nominalism spawned by William of Ockham) by creating an alternate vision of grace and merit (which ironically embraced Ockham's nominalism and repackaged it). Luther's "solution" was in fact heretical. A quick fix is often faulty. Duct tape can "fix" almost anything - but it eventually gives way to other problems.

The annals of Church history are filled with Catholic Reformers: Paul, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Maximus, John Damascene, Pope Gregory VII, Francis, Dominic, Catherine of Sienna, Ignatius, Teresa of Avila, et al. Each of these Catholic Reformers retained the unity of Christ's Church, submitted to church leadership, and patiently brought about renewal. In many cases, each experienced active persecution from other Christians and even fell under the suspicion of heresy. However, their humility and silence eventually vindicated their cause as advocates for the evangelical truth of Christ's doctrine.

Saint Francis of Assisi is perhaps one of the best examples of patience in the cause of reform. When St Francis went to Rome to seek recognition from the Pope, the Pope dismissed him impatiently and told him to go "lie down with the pigs."

After a little while, Francis returned smeared with swine feces and stinking to high heaven. When the Pope objected, Francis answered, "I obeyed your words and merely did as you said. I lay down with the pigs." Suddenly the Pope realized that this was a holy man who was willing to obey even in the face of humiliation. The Pope listened to Francis' vision for renewal and the rest is history.

When rebuffed by the pope, Saint Francis could have appealed to Sacred Scripture, showing this his pattern of life was poor and lowly like that of Christ. He might even have contrasted his own "biblical life" against the extravagance of the Papal court. Francis may even have rightly rebuked the abbots, bishops, and cardinals for lacking evangelical witness. Instead, Francis followed the path of Christ. He allowed himself to be misunderstood and maligned, knowing that God would bring about his vindication...and God always does.

Contrast Saint Francis to Martin Luther. Luther did not visit Rome for confirmation of his cause, nor did he respect the structures of the Church. In fact, Cardinal Cajetan met privately with Luther and explained how Luther might modify his message so that Cajetan could have it approved by the Roman Curia. If Luther had moved more slowly and charitably, he may have become "Saint" Martin Luther.

Unfortunately, Luther was adamant and stiff-necked. He would not attempt compromise. If the Pope would not agree with him, then he would reject the papacy. Period. Luther would not tolerate any authority that failed to support him immediately and without question. Consequently, when the papal bull arrived, Luther burned it publicly and began to curse the pope as Antichrist.


Note the difference between Francis and Luther. The former moved slowly and humbly. The latter acted independently and rashly. Consequently, the history of Protestantism is marked by rash and hasty division - there are now 36,000 Protestant denominations.

As the Apostle James wrote: "the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God" (Jas 1:20). History shows that God does not use "hot-heads" to guide His Church into righteousness. God chooses those who are little, meek, and humble - for such is the kingdom of Heaven.

Herein lies the mystery of Catholic Reform.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: francis; freformed; luther

1 posted on 07/01/2010 10:50:29 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/01/2010 10:51:14 AM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

“Each of these Catholic Reformers retained the unity of Christ’s Church, submitted to church leadership, and patiently brought about renewal”

Hypothetical: Would it be possible for the Roman Catholic Church to reach such a level of corruption that it was cut off or discarded by God?


3 posted on 07/01/2010 10:56:28 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Would it be possible for the Roman Catholic Church to reach such a level of corruption that it was cut off or discarded by God?

No. The Church is Christ's bride (Ephesians 5:29) and has "no spot, wrinkle or blemish" (Ephesians 5:27). Christ also stated that the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church (Matthew 16:18) so how can the Church commit error? Individual clergy may commit sins, even popes commit sins because in the Church there are both "weeds and wheat" (Matthew 13:30).

4 posted on 07/01/2010 11:01:58 AM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Following your wording-No. Is there a level that would bring such action by God? Surely, but the Church cannot reach that level. The historical upwelling of reform from within is the what maintains the Church. God is working with fallible humans whom he has endowed with free will. He does not cut them off for small deviations or reparable corruption which is inevitably repaired.


5 posted on 07/01/2010 11:08:04 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson" to have your econ arguments at hand.)
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To: NYer

“No. The Church is Christ’s bride”

No, that is not correct. The Gentile church can be “cut off” if they doesn’t stand fast - just like Israel was...

“Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”

-Rom 11

“Otherwise you too will be cut off.”


6 posted on 07/01/2010 11:08:37 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: arthurus

ping to #6


7 posted on 07/01/2010 11:09:25 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: NYer

Bookmark.


8 posted on 07/01/2010 11:59:19 AM PDT by Sergio (If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would he make a sound?)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Upon this rock...the gates of hell shall not prevail, etc.


9 posted on 07/01/2010 12:01:09 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You wrote:

“Hypothetical: Would it be possible for the Roman Catholic Church to reach such a level of corruption that it was cut off or discarded by God?”

No. The Church comes from God. The Church is never corrupt - people in it often are, however.


10 posted on 07/01/2010 12:21:47 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You wrote:

“No, that is not correct. The Gentile church can be “cut off” if they doesn’t stand fast - just like Israel was...”

This is not the “Gentile church”. It is simply the Church. There are no gentiles or Jews in the Church - there are only Christians. And the Church cannot be cut off from God because it is from Christ.


11 posted on 07/01/2010 12:25:08 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: NYer
Luther would not tolerate any authority that failed to support him immediately and without question.

Really? That's a bit hyperbolic. At the Diet of Worms, he said, "Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (..), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."

Martin Luther was a flawed man, as are we all. All of the characters in this story are from a time long ago. But to condemn Luther because he didn't wallow in pig sh## while absolving his supposed betters of their arrogance is plain silly.

Stating that Martin Luther burned the Papal bull, while ignoring that Martin Luther's works were burned first. I'm not saying that Martin Luther was justified in burning the bull, just noting the double standard. Arrogance in the Catholic Church is accepted, expected, and justified.

Stating that Martin Luther was arrogant, while ignoring the fact that those at the Diet of Worms treated Martin Luther as a deviant child, ignored any attempt at reason, and gave anyone the legal right to kill Martin Luther without recourse.

My main problem with this whole article is the same as my problem with the Catholic Church. People at the top can be arrogant (even when they're wrong), but people on the bottom are to be subservient. The Catholic Church stinks of man's desire to have power over other men. It stinks of abuse of power. It stinks of the attitude that lower men should know their place.

The point of this article seems to be that reformers in the Catholic Church should tread carefully because those higher up in the church are arrogant and have a right to demand blind devotion without question or thought. I saw no regret or complaint about the structure of the Catholic Church, just an acceptance of elitism. Maybe that's why people kiss the pope's ring while he sits on an earthy throne: it makes sense them in their world view.

12 posted on 07/01/2010 12:39:33 PM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: Tao Yin

You wrote:

“Stating that Martin Luther was arrogant, while ignoring the fact that those at the Diet of Worms treated Martin Luther as a deviant child, ignored any attempt at reason, and gave anyone the legal right to kill Martin Luther without recourse.”

NYer is more than capable of responding to you on all of your points, but I hope you don’t mind if I make a point here. You seem to be equating Luther with the Church. Luther had NO AUTHORITY. The Church had AUTHORITY from Christ. In other words, Luther was acting like a deviant child defiantly insisting he was right and his parents were wrong. Also, the idea that only Luther was reasonable and the whole Church or even the whole Diet of Worms was unreasonable is simply ridiculous. Luther’s whole life was marked by rash decisions and actions. The Diet of Worms was anything but rash or unreasonable.

Also, I think you might be making a mistake about what “outlaw” means. The actual decree read like this:

“For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favor the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.”

The concept of “outlaw” that you are describing is what was believed to be found in medieval English common law. I don’t believe it existed in imperial law in the Holy Roman Empire. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.


13 posted on 07/01/2010 1:43:20 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998

Tell it to Paul.

He spells it out pretty clearly.


14 posted on 07/01/2010 3:45:39 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: vladimir998

Pint to Post 6


15 posted on 07/01/2010 3:46:47 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You wrote:

“Tell it to Paul.”

He already knows.

“He spells it out pretty clearly.”

Yep:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.

I agree with St. Paul.


16 posted on 07/01/2010 4:24:45 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998

“I agree with St. Paul.”

“Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”

-Rom 11


17 posted on 07/01/2010 4:39:53 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: NYer

Protestants didn’t “reform,” they rebelled, or revolted.


18 posted on 07/01/2010 5:58:23 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (I don't speak starbucks.)
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To: NYer

I would add that, perhaps, at best, the term “reform” can loosely apply to Luther in his earlier years. A reformer, however, would not call the Pope anti-Christ or desecrate monasteries. These were acts of someone who lost his faith and not a reformer.

What went on from then on in Protestantism had nothing to do with reform altogether.


19 posted on 07/01/2010 7:54:16 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Right. I should have read down to your post before posting mine.


20 posted on 07/01/2010 7:55:40 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

I see no “Gentile Church” mentioned in there.

Again, I agree with St. Paul. You apparently just make stuff up.


21 posted on 07/01/2010 8:45:24 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998

“I see no “Gentile Church” mentioned in there.”

You’re playing word games. Paul is clearly referring to the “gentile” who have been grafted into the Jewish church (the one stretching back to the Partiarchs) and who can be “Cut off” if they fail to stand firm.


22 posted on 07/01/2010 9:07:13 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: NYer
History shows that God does not use "hot-heads" to guide His Church into righteousness.

Obviously this was written for Catholics who don't read anything non Catholic...

Looking around the world, it's readily apparent that God used Martin Luther to the fullest, all across the earth...

And by reading the last of your sentence, God clearly chose someone who actually believed what He said...God is not leading His church into righteousness...He is not leading your Church into righteousness...Your religion is trying to lead it's members into it's own perception of righteousness...

We as Christians are righteous already...Have been since the day we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior...

God revealed this truth to Martin Luther when Martin succumbed to God's written words and made them available to the masses...

23 posted on 07/02/2010 4:20:17 AM PDT by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You wrote:

“You’re playing word games.”

No, you are. There is no Gentile Church. There is just the Church.

” Paul is clearly referring to the “gentile” who have been grafted into the Jewish church (the one stretching back to the Partiarchs) and who can be “Cut off” if they fail to stand firm.”

And that would prove there is NO Gentile Church. You just contraducted yourself. If Gentiles were grafted in, then there was no Gentile Church. You were wrong from the beginning and now you’ve proven it with your own words.


24 posted on 07/02/2010 4:32:14 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998

“And that would prove there is NO Gentile Church. You just contradicted yourself. If Gentiles were grafted in, then there was no Gentile Church.”

When I say Gentile church, I am referring to the Gentile component of the Church - a distinction which Paul makes in the passage.

Now, word games aside, what do you think Paul was trying to get across to us in the passage in question?


25 posted on 07/02/2010 6:14:47 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Iscool
Obviously this was written for Catholics who don't read anything non Catholic... Looking around the world, it's readily apparent that God used Martin Luther to the fullest, all across the earth... And by reading the last of your sentence, God clearly chose someone who actually believed what He said...God is not leading His church into righteousness...He is not leading your Church into righteousness...Your religion is trying to lead it's members into it's own perception of righteousness... We as Christians are righteous already...Have been since the day we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior... God revealed this truth to Martin Luther when Martin succumbed to God's written words and made them available to the masses...

As an ex-lutheran and now reverted back to Catholic Church, I can tell you I have always had a problem with this. How do you know Satan wasn't using MArtin Luther as a tool to split the church? Where does it say in scripture that when you accept Christ as your saviour that you are automatically going to heaven? Every protestant and Bible Chritian can never give me a straight answer on this. Also - Gods written word was already available to the masses. There already was a Bible in the vernacular. It seemed Martin Luther arrogantly needed to gut those portions of the Bible he a problem with instead of trying to get some insight from church leaders on them.

26 posted on 07/02/2010 7:14:37 AM PDT by JustMytwocents70
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You wrote:

“When I say Gentile church, I am referring to the Gentile component of the Church - a distinction which Paul makes in the passage.”

No. When Paul addresses Christians as Gentiles he is talking to them about what they come from not what they really are after baptism. After baptism there is no Jew or Gentile.

“Now, word games aside, what do you think Paul was trying to get across to us in the passage in question?”

I never played any word games. You did. I merely expressed the truth. If you have a specific question, ask it. And which passage from St. Paul. Two at least have been in question. I think you need to focus and start making some sense here.


27 posted on 07/02/2010 7:35:29 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: JustMytwocents70
How do you know Satan wasn't using MArtin Luther as a tool to split the church? Where does it say in scripture that when you accept Christ as your saviour that you are automatically going to heaven? Every protestant and Bible Chritian can never give me a straight answer on this.

I can think of a few verses.

John 3:14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

John 6:40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

John 7:37 "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 8:23 He said to them, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."

John 12:44 And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47If anyone hears my words and does not keep them I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

28 posted on 07/02/2010 10:03:48 AM PDT by bkaycee
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To: bkaycee
I can think of a few verses.....

so basically you dont have to go to church, pray, act and act charitable to your neighbor, call yourself a Christian and still go to heaven? Christ said many Christians would not make it to heaven because they will fail to live to the standard of God for Heaven - Matthew 7 ; 21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Read verses 22-29; - Matthew 18 ; 3, “And said, verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 22 ; 14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Luke 13 ; 23, 24, “Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Contrary to the Protestant 'Justification by Faith Alone', St James tells us clearly that justification is not by faith only! 'Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only' (James 2:24).

29 posted on 07/02/2010 10:16:22 AM PDT by JustMytwocents70
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To: JustMytwocents70
so basically you dont have to go to church, pray, act and act charitable to your neighbor, call yourself a Christian and still go to heaven?

Believers who have trusted in Christ and believe HE paid the penalty for our sins, WILL produce good works. We are new creations, who have NEW hearts that LOVE and WANT to obey the Savior of our souls. God has prepared good works for us to walk in AFTER we have been saved thru Faith. (eph 2:8-10). We have been transformed from thorn bushes to fig trees. Fig trees produce figs, not thorns.

Christ said many Christians would not make it to heaven because they will fail to live to the standard of God for Heaven - Matthew 7 ; 21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Read verses 22-29;

John 6:40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

John 6:28Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

Only those who have BEEN Saved/converted/regenerated, can produce fruit acceptable to the Father. Again, the fruit is the result of conversion, not the cause of it.

Matthew 18 ; 3, “And said, verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 22 ; 14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Luke 13 ; 23, 24, “Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

John 10:7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

John 146 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Contrary to the Protestant 'Justification by Faith Alone', St James tells us clearly that justification is not by faith only! 'Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only' (James 2:24).

James is addressing those who CLAIM to have faith. When read in context the meaning is made more clear.

Bible teacher R. C. Sproul makes James chapter 2 clear:

James 2:14 Can faith save. This introduces the crucial issue of the relationship between faith and works. The question under scrutiny is, What kind of faith is saving faith? James's question is rhetorical; the obvious answer is that faith without works cannot save. Faith that yields no deeds is not saving faith. The New Testament does not teach justification by the profession of faith or the claim to faith; it teaches justification by the possession of true faith.

2:21 justified. James appeals to Abraham as his chief exhibit of one who is justified by his works. This involves no conflict with Paul who also appeals to Abraham as the chief exhibit of one justified by faith. Note that James appeals to Gen. 22, while Paul appeals to Gen. 15. In the sight of God Abraham is justified in Gen. 15, long before he offers Isaac on the altar. God knew Abraham's faith to be genuine. Abraham is justified to us, to human eyes, in Gen. 22 when he shows his faith through his obedience.

Jesus used the same verb in Luke 7:35 when he declared "wisdom is justified by all her children" (i.e., shown to be genuine wisdom by its results). Here, to "justify" does not mean to be reconciled to God but to demonstrate the truth of a prior claim. Just as true wisdom is demonstrated by its fruit, Abraham's claim to faith is justified by his outward obedience. Yet his works were not the meritorious cause of his salvation; they added no merit to the perfect and sufficient merit of Christ.

http://www.sohmer.net/GoR/05-salvation.php#james2

30 posted on 07/02/2010 1:21:39 PM PDT by bkaycee
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To: bkaycee
What is SAVING Faith.

The Westminster Larger Catechism says:

“Q. 72. What is justifying faith?

A. Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit [2 Cor. 4:13, Eph. 1:17-19] and word of God [Rom. 10:14, 17], whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition [Ac. 2:37; 4:12; 16:30; Jn. 16:8-9; Rom. 5:6; Eph. 2:1], not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel [Eph. 1:13], but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin [Jn. 1:12; Ac. 16:31; 10:43], and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation [Phil. 2:9.; Ac. 15:11].”

How to appropriate saving faith.

To receive forgiveness and eternal life from the Lord Jesus, you need to repent and trust in Him. It would be vain to simply admit your guilt if you do not repent. Again, it would be pointless to know about the love and power of Christ if you do not rely on Him. The message of the Gospel is “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

Genuine repentance is conceived in a broken heart. You have every reason to be sorrowful considering how often you have challenged God by your sinful deeds. You ought to admit before Him that He is right to condemn you, and that you deserve the punishment of Hell. Yet repentance is much more than sorrow. Repentance is forsaking your sinful will and committing yourself to follow Christ as your Lord. The prodigal son arose and abandoned his reckless, sinful life. He wended his way back to his father. Like him, come back home to serve the Lord God all the days of your life. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).

Repent, and believe in Christ. True faith is a wholehearted trust in the Lord Jesus. Take heart and go to Him, now. Don't try to present your own merits. Instead, go to Him just as you are, with all your guilt and shame. Call upon His name and ask for mercy. Ask Him to forgive you on account of the blood that He shed on the cross. If you genuinely trust in Him, you will be able to pray: “Lord Jesus, you, and you alone, are my Savior. I have no faith in myself, no confidence in anyone else. You alone are my only hope.”

Are you burdened by your sins? Do you realize that you can never find deliverance by your own strength? Abandon, then, all hope in yourself; but do not turn away from the God of mercy. Come to Christ. Come with a repentant heart, trusting in Him exclusively. As you do so, you will find rest for your soul. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart any more.

http://www.justforcatholics.org/salvation.htm

31 posted on 07/02/2010 2:40:41 PM PDT by bkaycee
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To: bkaycee

“the obvious answer is that faith without works cannot save. Faith that yields no deeds is not saving faith. The New Testament does not teach justification by the profession of faith or the claim to faith; it teaches justification by the possession of true faith.”

If faith requires works to be real faith or saving faith...then there is no real and saving faith without faith and works. How it is packaged is irrelevant.


32 posted on 07/02/2010 5:40:37 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (A loud band of PaulBots, Isolationists, Protectionists, 911Inside Jobnuts, 3rdParty Loud Irrelevants)
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To: rbmillerjr
If faith requires works to be real faith or saving faith...then there is no real and saving faith without faith and works. How it is packaged is irrelevant.

It appears to matter in biblical terms. There is certainly a clear order of appearance. Salvation is thru Faith alone, but not by a Faith that is alone. Works are the fruit of a true salvation experience, not the cause.

Eph 2:8-10 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

33 posted on 07/03/2010 6:10:22 AM PDT by bkaycee
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To: bkaycee

That is a mere rationalization of faith alone.

In reality your “saving faith” is faith and works. Because faith without works is dead.


34 posted on 07/03/2010 2:35:23 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (A loud band of PaulBots, Isolationists, Protectionists, 911Inside Jobnuts, 3rdParty Loud Irrelevants)
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To: NYer
As I read the comments and the article, I can see the main division, which has to do with the definition of “church.” As long as the Roman Catholic Church sees herself as “the church,” rather than as a part of the church, I do not see how there can be any reconciliation between Rome and Christians of other denominations. The second problem occurs that whenever the Scriptures talk about the church or churches, the Roman Catholics assume that the Scriptures are referring to the Roman Catholic Church, and non-Roman Catholics understand it as referring to those that believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. There is no use talking about authority within the church, if there is no agreement on the essence (esse) of the church.
35 posted on 07/06/2010 3:33:56 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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