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Pope Francis and his Protestant views
National Catholic Reporter ^ | May 1, 2013 | Bill Tammeus

Posted on 06/13/2013 12:40:22 PM PDT by Alex Murphy

I often tell people that if you lose your way in Reformed Tradition (read Presbyterian) theology, you can always go back to square one, which says, in essence, this: God is sovereign.

Or -- in wording I prefer now because most of us have no experience living under a sovereign -- God is gloriously free.

I thought about that the other day when I read something Pope Francis said in a book he co-authored in 2010 as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Speaking about how he would converse with an atheist, Bergoglio wrote: "I would not tell him that his life is condemned because I am convinced that I have no right to pass judgment."

That, friends, is Reformed Tradition theology. It is up to God to determine who will have eternal life. It is not up to us. Even if you go to Reformed Tradition founder John Calvin's hard-to-follow concepts about predestination (to say nothing of double predestination), you discover that no human being can know for certain who is saved and who is condemned.

This very point once led my friend Kathleen Norris to write this in her book Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith: "It strikes me that only a French lawyer could have come up with so complex, if not bizarre, a justification for treating all people as if they could be among the elect, the chosen of God."

There’s more to NCR than what you read online. Explore our Ministries special section.

She's right. Even if you buy Calvinism's some-get-saved, some-get-damned-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it scheme, you don't know who is who, so you have to be nice to everyone on the theory that you may spend eternity with that person.

Which is pretty much what Bergoglio was saying in On Heaven and Earth, co-written with Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

When I read what Bergoglio said on this subject, I had a provocative thought that I was tempted to throw into the lede of this column. Something like this: "Hey, Catholics: Do you know what you've done? You've chosen a Protestant pope."

But the day after I read the pope's words, I discovered that someone had beat me to that conclusion. Writer Jonathan Merritt asked this question about Pope Francis in this Religion News Service piece: "... could the growing popularity (of Francis) among non-Catholics make him 'the first Protestant Pope?' "

Merritt added this: "The combination of the new Pope's concern for justice issues and his conservative theology seems to be appealing to many of these socially conscious Protestants." (I like what Merritt said, though I'm not happy he got the idea that Francis may be the first Protestant pope into print before I did. But let it go.)

Those of us in mainline Protestant churches (Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc.) have been long on social justice concerns and short on respect for hierarchical governance structures and fancy ritual.

We pay a price for this emphasis, but it's one we've been willing to pay. And it now appears to many of us that the new pope is intent on moving the Catholic church a bit closer to this Protestant approach.

Perhaps we could meet in the middle. We Protestants will add more ritual and you Catholics can decentralize your governance structure as together we wash the feet of the poor.

I know that sounds a bit facetious, but I'm serious. There is much we can learn from each other, and the learning of it might move us closer to some kind of reunification (at least of spirit) nearly 500 years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the cathedral door, thus (inadvertently) starting the Protestant Reformation.

We Protestants don't have our own pope to negotiate a grand bargain with Francis, but if he's really the first Protestant pope, problem solved. All we Protestants and you Catholics need to do to start is pay attention to the times he's standing on our common ground and join him there.


TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; fishwrap; pcusa
I often tell people that if you lose your way in Reformed Tradition (read Presbyterian) theology, you can always go back to square one, which says, in essence, this: God is sovereign. Or -- in wording I prefer now because most of us have no experience living under a sovereign -- God is gloriously free....It is up to God to determine who will have eternal life. It is not up to us. Even if you go to Reformed Tradition founder John Calvin's hard-to-follow concepts about predestination (to say nothing of double predestination), you discover that no human being can know for certain who is saved and who is condemned....Even if you buy Calvinism's some-get-saved, some-get-damned-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it scheme, you don't know who is who, so you have to be nice to everyone on the theory that you may spend eternity with that person. Which is pretty much what [Pope Francis] was saying in On Heaven and Earth, co-written with Rabbi Abraham Skorka. When I read what Bergoglio said on this subject, I had a provocative thought that I was tempted to throw into the lede of this column. Something like this: "Hey, Catholics: Do you know what you've done? You've chosen a Protestant pope"....

....Those of us in mainline Protestant churches (Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc.) have been long on social justice concerns and short on respect for hierarchical governance structures and fancy ritual. We pay a price for this emphasis, but it's one we've been willing to pay. And it now appears to many of us that the new pope is intent on moving the Catholic church a bit closer to this Protestant approach.

In the interest of full disclosure, the article is written by a current PC(USA) church elder, whose writings are regularly published in the National Catholic Fishwrap.

1 posted on 06/13/2013 12:40:22 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
So this idiot accurately states that theories on predestination can be quite complicated requiring extensive explication, but then goes on to label the Pope's beliefs based on one sentence from one book.

Sheesh.

2 posted on 06/13/2013 12:50:12 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Alex Murphy

Interesting ~ BTW, having met many Catholics in charitable works and institutions, and in my own family, I’m pretty sure they are not in league with the devil. But, anyway, the first non-Eastern European Protestants were all Roman Catholics ~ of course they have the same qualities of thought. Bet we all pray for the safety and well being of the underground church in China too.


3 posted on 06/13/2013 12:50:57 PM PDT by muawiyah (Git yer Red STATE Arm Bands here - $29.95 - NOT SOLD IN STORES - TAX FREE)
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To: Alex Murphy

4 posted on 06/13/2013 12:51:25 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: Alex Murphy
Pope Francis And His Protestant .. NON CATHOLIC Views


Fixed

5 posted on 06/13/2013 12:51:35 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: Alex Murphy

A Protestant who is interested in becoming Catholic would do well to find better sources of information than the “Orthodox” “Presbyterian” “Church” or the notoriously non-Catholic National “Catholic” Reporter.


6 posted on 06/13/2013 12:53:51 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
The National Catholic Reporter Is Not "Completely" Worthless

I figured that, since John Allen's NCR columns are still being posted on FR, there must be a number of Catholic FReepers who are subscribers. I'm guessing that they'll recognize this article.

7 posted on 06/13/2013 12:56:38 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: knarf; Alex Murphy
"I would not tell him that his life is condemned because I am convinced that I have no right to pass judgment."... That, friends, is Reformed Tradition theology. It is up to God to determine who will have eternal life. It is not up to us."

That is also Catholic theology. We canonize, but we do not demonize. And we canonize only if God gives us a sign. He is the Judge; He alone.

8 posted on 06/13/2013 1:19:07 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Alex Murphy; ArrogantBustard
I don't read (Bad)NCR regularly. Only when I'm mousing around and run into John Allen. He's respectable. What he's doing there I wonder. It puzzles me. Maybe he considers it a mission field.
9 posted on 06/13/2013 1:21:42 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Alex Murphy

I haven’t seen an article by him posted since 2005.


10 posted on 06/13/2013 1:31:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Catholicism has to reform to align with the scriptures ?

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

11 posted on 06/13/2013 2:14:05 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: knarf

Somebody’s confused here. I didn’t say Catholicism has to reform to align with the Scriptures. Are you thinking of somebody else?


12 posted on 06/13/2013 2:29:48 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
You posted;

"I would not tell him that his life is condemned because I am convinced that I have no right to pass judgment."... That, friends, is Reformed Tradition theology. It is up to God to determine who will have eternal life. It is not up to us".

(your bold)


I commented

13 posted on 06/13/2013 2:33:31 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
We canonize, but we do not demonize.

How about 95% extra-strength but not ultimate-cleaning-power demonize (in the case of abortionists and other conspicuous grave sinners). There is always the chance they repent or something. The 5% benefit-of-the-doubt is generous, in the spirit of Christian charity.

14 posted on 06/13/2013 2:41:11 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
That is also Catholic theology.

Yep. The author is ignorant of this and even more ignorant in trying to spin it into Calvinist double predestination - which is *not* Catholic theology.

15 posted on 06/13/2013 3:12:51 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Alex Murphy

I belong to an Evangelcial Free church and really think highly of Pope Francis. I grew up in Catholic grade and high school and taught CCD. Pope Francis’s life; actions and outreach to other Christian faiths, is something I had never seen before. I’ve always said we are not in Ireland, Catholics and Christians need to stand up for one another. I look at the Catholic Church as I do other denomination; Luthern, Baptist.....We all have the same God; God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit. We do have some differences, but more thing in common than not. In this world, we are stronger when we call one another brother and sister.


16 posted on 06/13/2013 3:59:48 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness)
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To: knarf
I have to agree to some extent with knarf here.

Although ultimately it is up to God in every circumstance, Pope Francis (then Cardinal Bergoglio) said something that made it seem as if there is no need for this atheist to convert. I mean, God "could" after all save him anyway.

The Pope did not make it clear that the best way to achieve salvation is by becoming Catholic. But this sort of rhetoric is nothing new.

17 posted on 06/13/2013 4:41:14 PM PDT by piusv
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To: knarf
Right, everything inside the quotes, bolded and unbolded, is what Bill Tammeus said, the author of this article whom I was quoting.

Next paragraph, right after the quote, I remarked that this is also Catholic Theology: it is up to God to determine who will have eternal life.

In other words, in this instance, Reformed Theology agrees with what Catholic Theology has always taught.

I did not say that "Catholicism has to reform to align with the scriptures." I don't know where you got that.

18 posted on 06/13/2013 5:54:15 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

LOL!


19 posted on 06/13/2013 5:55:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: steve86
Huh?

Everybody can (and should) say that abortion and any other killing of an innocent person is a damnable sin. Anyone who commits this grave, mortal sin knowingly and willingly, and does not repent, is fit for hell.

This is a terrifying truth.

But nobody should say that Kermit Gosnell or Tamerlan Tsarnaev or Josef Stalin or anybody else by name is in hell or definitely going to hell. Because we cannot know the inner state of their souls.

That's why we pray for Gosnell and Tsarnaev and all murderers living and dead.

As recommended by the Angel of Fatima:

"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,
Save us from the fires of hell.
Lead all souls to heaven,
Especially those most in need of Thy mercy."

20 posted on 06/13/2013 6:01:41 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: D-fendr

Exactly, D-fendr.


21 posted on 06/13/2013 6:02:43 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Linda Frances

Thank you for your manifest good will. Refreshing.


22 posted on 06/13/2013 6:03:42 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: All; Alex Murphy

Did you know that The Catholic Reporter is NOT Catholic?

I wouldn’t give them the time of day.


23 posted on 06/13/2013 6:06:59 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I have never interpreted the Fatima Prayer as referring to those most grievous (and serial) sinners who wantonly and irrevocably chose to implement the devil’s most grievous intentions while on earth...true agents of Satan...no more capable of genuine repentance than is Lucifer himself. To say that they are — other than solely out of a fear of eternal punishment — sounds like bleeding-heart wishful thinking to me. Gosnell and others on your list essentially passed through the one-way gateway to hell while still living and breathing on this earth.


24 posted on 06/13/2013 6:27:35 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Make up your mind ... is it God who saves or the church?

It has NEVER been Catholic theology that God determines whom's saved and whom's not.

Catholics have always (argued, anyway) that it is The Church that saves and without The Church one couldn't be saved.

Thus; what you say now is a reformed thought process.

25 posted on 06/13/2013 7:46:43 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Blessings to you too!


26 posted on 06/13/2013 7:48:20 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness)
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To: Linda Frances

Just a note: I guess you meant Catholics and non-catholics


27 posted on 06/13/2013 10:22:15 PM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: knarf

It is God who saves through the Church, which is the body of Christ.


28 posted on 06/13/2013 11:39:41 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS
It is God who saves through the Church, which is the body of Christ.

This is the most accurate description. However, you don't hear much about how one is saved because everyone is too busy being worried about offending others who practice another religion or don't practice a religion at all.

If it weren't for the misunderstanding with the Pope's recent, infamous "Atheists are Redeemed" homily, we would have never heard exactly what the Church teaches regarding the necessity of salvation through the Church. And even with that we had the priest who was supposedly clearing up that misunderstanding referring to original sin as *so-called* "original sin".

Is it any wonder that no one knows what the Church really teaches? Many may not like what the author of this article said, but there is a reason why he could write that view of the Pope/the Church.

29 posted on 06/14/2013 2:24:45 AM PDT by piusv
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To: RobbyS
So, if there's no church no one gets saved?

For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

30 posted on 06/14/2013 4:15:10 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: Cronos

Just a note: I guess you meant Catholics and non-catholics


Children of the same Triune God. The Father, Son & Holy Spirit.


31 posted on 06/14/2013 4:36:41 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness)
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To: Alex Murphy
there must be a number of Catholic FReepers who are subscribers.

Unlikely.

32 posted on 06/14/2013 6:48:11 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; marshmallow; ebb tide
Unlikely.

marshmallow and ebb tide posted the two most recent ones (April 21 and April 29). Hey guys, how did you discover the John Allen articles that you each posted?

33 posted on 06/14/2013 7:04:03 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: steve86

The problem with your line of thinking is that it places the burden of salvation on the sinner, not on God. Gosnell or whoever doesn’t have to be capable of repentance on their own, because, if it happens, it will happen through the power of God, not through their own efforts. Remember, sometimes God chooses to step in and change the hearts of even the most despicable men, not because they deserve it, but because it demonstrates the glory, mercy, and sovereignty of God.


34 posted on 06/14/2013 7:21:18 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: knarf; RobbyS
Thanks, easy one: it is God who saves, through the Church.

Keep in mind that this is not restricted to card-carrying pew-sitting parishioners. The Catechism (Link) puts it well:

"Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.

"Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."

You can easily see that that deals with the salvation of other Christians outside the membership rolls of a parish, yet not outside the Church (whether they know it or not.)

Saying "Who saves, God or the Church?" is analogous to saying, "Who saves, God or Christ?"

Christ IS God. The Church IS the Body of Christ.

35 posted on 06/14/2013 8:50:51 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: steve86
You believe that some cannot repent in the end, and thus cannot receive God's mercy even in the final moments of their earthly lives. This is an error. This error will produce, in anyone who believes it, a defect in mercy, since such a one would refuse to pray for Hitler or Tamerlan Tsarnaev or Kermit Gosnell, and thus fail in the universal duty to "pray for the living and the dead."

"In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved." (Catechism link)

and

The Church prays that no one should be lost:...If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26) (Catechism link)

This is not Universalism; it does not require, or even hint, that Hell might be empty or have no inhabitants except Satan and his bodiless hordes of demons.

Hell is a hot possibility for anyone, and a terrifying one.

That is why we pray without ceasing. You for me, me for you, all of us for the most despicable sinners --- save them, Lord, we pray.

"Especially those in most need of Thy mercy."

36 posted on 06/14/2013 9:13:54 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

The Apostle’s Creed tells us, “He descended into Hades (to the realm of the Dead) and opened the portals to the Kingdom of God.


37 posted on 06/14/2013 9:14:36 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: knarf
"So, if there's no church no one gets saved?"

Fortunately, no one is in that situation. Christ founded a Church which will continue on this earth until the earth be no more.

Jesus identifies intimately and inseparably with the Church. In one passage it is called His bride; in other, His body. When Saul was persecuting the Church, Jesus asked him, "Saul, why are you persecuting Me? I am Jesus, Whom you persecute."

38 posted on 06/14/2013 9:23:36 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: RobbyS

Amen!


39 posted on 06/14/2013 9:25:26 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
"Thanks, easy one: it is God who saves, through the Church."

Chapter and verse, please.

40 posted on 06/14/2013 12:18:47 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: knarf
It has NEVER been Catholic theology that God determines whom's saved and whom's not.

What are your qualifications for telling people what Catholic theology is, and isn't?

This is Catholic theology, in fact, it's infallibly taught Catholic theology.

Protestants sometimes have the temerity to say that the Catholic Church doesn't actually believe this.

They're wrong. She actually does. Today. Right now.

41 posted on 06/14/2013 2:26:18 PM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: knarf
1 Peter 3:20-21

According to the interpretation of the Church fathers, like Ambrose and Augustine --- and according to Peter's first Epistle (see above) --the Church is the new ark, like Noah's, which we enter by Baptism, and which alone saves from the Flood.

Matt. 16:18-19

It is impossible to see why Christ would build a Church (which He did), placing the keys to the kingdom of heaven in the hands of Peter (which He did), if the Church were not intended to be His saving help for our salvation.

Pretty obvious. "The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15

He even says those who do not listen to the Church are to be treated as pagans (see tagline.)

42 posted on 06/14/2013 2:41:05 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("If they refuse to listen even to the Church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.")
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To: Alex Murphy

That’s funny, I’ve heard LOTS of protestants tell me that they KNOW that they’re saved.


43 posted on 06/30/2013 6:01:37 AM PDT by TradicalRC (Conservatism is primarily a Christian movement.)
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To: TradicalRC; daniel1212; BlueDragon; darrellmaurina; Gamecock; HarleyD
I don't see a problem with that.

There is IMO a significant difference between saying that "I know that I am saved", and saying "I know that someone else is saved." On a practical level, I would agree with the Catholic view that it's impossible for someone to know, with any certainty, whether someone else (during their lifetime) is truly saved or not. We may believe that we ourselves are saved, but how can we really tell whether that other guy is (or not)? We cannot read minds or search the inner workings of someone else's heart, so we must rely on signs and indications given off by the other person (church membership and participation, creedal fealty, good works, etc.).

Signs and indications of salvation in others are temporal and subjective in observance, and thus not entirely reliable, however. The Apostle John tells us that it is evident who are God's children (1 John 3:10), but he also says that some who we think are fellow Christians are actually not (1 John 2:19), and will break fellowship with us at some point. Jesus tells his followers to do their good works "in secret" so that they cannot receive credit (i.e. be observed) by other men (Matthew 6), and the Psalmist tells us that even good trees do not bear fruit in every season (Psalm 1:3). Appearances in any given season can be deceiving. A good tree out of season might be judged as dead and worthless, if the observer is an impatient man.

Thus, at any particular moment in time, that fellow (godly believer) believer in the pew next to you may appear to be lifeless and fruitless today, while the (secretly degenerate) fellow on the other side can be seen singing in the choir, serving soup to the homeless, and dropping fat checks in the collection plate. Which of them is really saved? At best we can make (temporary) judgments and predictions about them, based on our observances of their long-term behaviors, remembering that we do not see and cannot know everything. IMO this is why Our Lord instituted ridiculous-looking behaviors like public baptism. If someone isn't willing to call themselves out in public, it doesn't look promising that there's been an inward change and repentence.

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

-- Matthew 10:32-33

But that's the debate regarding the person next to us. IMO where Catholics err on this is that they apply these same rules to themselves, and go on to conclude that they cannot know whether they themselves are saved. Regarding ourselves, we know if we have experienced that inward change, we know what (and Who) we have believed, we know if we have repented, because we have a better understanding of our own hearts. And thus, the Apostle John can tell us this:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
-- 1 John 5:13

44 posted on 06/30/2013 7:29:36 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

But Pope Francis says nothing about judging the self vs. judging another; he simply states that he has NO right to pass judgement. Indeed, the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians:
“I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself”


45 posted on 06/30/2013 1:49:17 PM PDT by TradicalRC (Conservatism is primarily a Christian movement.)
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To: Alex Murphy; TradicalRC; daniel1212; BlueDragon; darrellmaurina; Gamecock
I believe we know that we are saved simply because it is a promise of Christ and we understand our position in relationship to that promise. Christ promised "Believe in me and you shall be saved". Encompassed in that promise isn't works but resting in Christ's work, understanding our failing, and His overcoming the world. It is like the exchange of Christ and Peter:

This is the certainty of knowing Christ and only we ourselves know if we can answer like Peter.

Works are a natural outcome of resting in Christ ("Abide in me and you will bear fruit."). It is a promise of God that we will bear fruit. I suspect that what we think is fruit isn't really the type of fruit God desires for our lives. Likewise, we are generating fruit that we really don't know about. This is reflected in the verses, "Lord, when did we see you...."

At the end of the day, it is all about trusting God and His promises. God is not man that He should lie. Has He not said it and will He not do it? All the promises find their yes in Him.

If someone doubts their salvation, they are doubting God's promise.

46 posted on 07/01/2013 7:38:06 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Boogieman; Mrs. Don-o
"Gosnell or whoever doesn’t have to be capable of repentance on their own, because, if it happens, it will happen through the power of God, not through their own efforts."

Thanks for your replies; I didn't see them earlier.

I agree with the above BTW; didn't ever suggest I didn't. It is true, however, that I was not especially mindful of that possibility at the time.

On thinking about it, I also agree that one should pray that God has mercy on their souls -- even if they don't repent.

47 posted on 07/01/2013 7:55:27 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: steve86

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48 posted on 07/01/2013 8:18:51 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." - Jesus Christ - Matthew 19:17)
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