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Why I Hate "Faith Alone"
Ignitum Today ^ | 13 October 2013 | Matthew Olson

Posted on 10/13/2013 12:01:40 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson

Expounding on the importance of our actions for salvation is, I suppose, my primary “thing.” I have been in so many informal debates over the issue that I have started to lose count of them. I have written about the topic many times. And often, I become angry (like God in 1 Kings 11:9-10) at the mere thought of sola fide (“faith alone”), because I know that it is completely contrary to “what the Lord [has] commanded.” But why?

“Faith alone” was, without a doubt, the primary reason that I left Protestantism. Even though I was ill-educated in theology at the time, I knew that it was illogical.

I like to think of sola fide in terms of criminal law. Imagine that someone went before a judge and was proven guilty of heinous crimes, but then pleaded to the judge that he believed in the judge's authority to convict him and so the judge should not do so – and had that as his only defense. Should the judge convict him – to any degree – or should the judge completely let him off, and then give him a reward?

Do you find the “faith alone” argument compelling in such an instance? I do not. Of course, a “faith alone”-r would say that there is some sort of significant difference between such a scenario in terms of temporal law and such a scenario in terms of eternal law, but there really is not. Protestant arguments for the belief simply do not stand in the face of such scenarios or substantial scrutiny.

I strongly believe that sola fide is at the heart of many Western problems. Self-professed Christians have used it as an excuse to not care for the disadvantaged, to engage in profane sexual activity, etc. – the list goes on and on.

Martin Luther told his followers to “sin and sin boldly” (among other things, as I have documented) because he taught that we are saved solely by our faith in the power of Jesus Christ, apart from our actions. This method of thinking has been adopted by millions of Protestants since his time. But is it supported by the Bible? No. See Hebrews 10:26-27:

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.”

“Faith alone” has had a terrible impact on society. People often now shy away from discussing religion or morality with others, fearing conflict. Take, for example, something that transpired between a Lutheran family member and me. After I privately and politely informed her that she had committed a grievous sin (like we are called to do – see Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1, and Ephesians 4:15), she immediately jumped to the “Who are you to judge?” defense and paired it with the “Jesus paid the price” line. I am sure that, for many Catholics, such occurrences are unfortunately familiar.

God has written in our hearts (Romans 2:15) that we should serve Him and others, not our selfish desires -- and we will be punished if we defy Him. The necessity of both good works and abstinence from grave sin gives our lives concrete meaning. If someone takes away the eternal significance of our actions, they rob us of any real purpose: we all just become random, faceless, unimportant beings.

Sola fide does not work either logically or practically; it fails on all counts. Now, you know why I hate it.

james_2-26

(All verses are from the NASB translation.)

“Follow” me on Twitter, “Like” Answering Protestants on Facebook, Add Answering Protestants to your Circles on Google+, and “Subscribe” to my YouTube apologetic videos.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; General Discusssion; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; faith; gospel; jesus
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1 posted on 10/13/2013 12:01:40 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
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To: matthewrobertolson

A good read is by the great English essayist Hillaire’s Belloc’s “Heresies.” He explains convincingly and lucidly why outside of Catholicism, all the other faiths are sheer heresies.


2 posted on 10/13/2013 12:14:53 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: matthewrobertolson; All

This silly article has many assertions, straw-men about Christians being “bold” sinners, and poorly researched accusations against Luther, but the one thing it doesn’t have is an actual argument against Sola Fide, nor an explanation of how one actually IS justified based on the scripture.

Without that, all this article is begging us to do is to educate someone who is self-confessed as “uneducated.” I’d rather begin when the other individual explains what it is he actually believes in detail, if he believes in anything.


3 posted on 10/13/2013 12:15:02 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (If anyone tells you it's a cookbook, don't believe them.)
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To: matthewrobertolson

>> Even though I was ill-educated in theology at the time, I knew that it was illogical.

Here is a man who is “leaning on his own understanding”, and not GOD’s.

Because he can’t wrap *his* head around GOD’S plan and fit GOD’s design for salvation into *his* logic, why then, there must be something wrong with GOD’s simple proclamation that faith alone is required!

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Paul, in EPH 2:8-9

“”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (As recorded by His prophet Isaiah, 55:8


4 posted on 10/13/2013 12:20:03 PM PDT by Nervous Tick (Without GOD, men get what they deserve.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
nor an explanation of how one actually IS justified based on the scripture.

It is impossible to nail a Catholic down on that point. They haughtily tell you you don't understand but won't explain it to you.

5 posted on 10/13/2013 12:20:27 PM PDT by DManA
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To: matthewrobertolson
How do you read :

The key text is Habakkuk 2:4,
“But the just shall live by faith”. It is
quoted in Romans 1: 17, Galatians 3: 11
and Hebrews 10: 38.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

6 posted on 10/13/2013 12:20:56 PM PDT by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: matthewrobertolson

In Hebrew there are two words that are commonly translated as, “faith.”

The first is “emunah” and the second, “bitachon.”

Emunah is faith in your mind (think ‘concept’ or ‘theory’) and bitachon is faith based on one’s everyday life and actions.

A better translation of bitachon is the word, “trust.”

More here about bitachon.
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1405289/jewish/Bitachon.htm

More about both emunah and bitachon.
http://ohrshimshon.com/2010/12/09/faith-trust-emunah-bitachon/

This should help in the discussion.


7 posted on 10/13/2013 12:21:55 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: matthewrobertolson

Squabbling over the interpretation of “divine scripture” has a rich irony which is often lost to most.


8 posted on 10/13/2013 12:23:12 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: matthewrobertolson
Expounding on the importance of our actions for salvation is, I suppose, my primary “thing.” I have been in so many informal debates over the issue that I have started to lose count of them. I have written about the topic many times. And often, I become angry (like God in 1 Kings 11:9-10) at the mere thought of sola fide (“faith alone”), because I know that it is completely contrary to “what the Lord [has] commanded.” But why? “Faith alone” was, without a doubt, the primary reason that I left Protestantism. Even though I was ill-educated in theology at the time, I knew that it was illogical.

So, when that's upcoming name change for the blog gonna happen?

9 posted on 10/13/2013 12:23:18 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny.)
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To: matthewrobertolson

Faith with works is much more than just helping the poor, it is studying God and His logic. It is living the crucifiction. Helping the poor is nice, but it does not tell the story, although it will teach one about stories of persecution similar to those happening to Christ.

Too many times we help the poor in ways that shuts them up. Don’t give me a sandwich, give me a platform to talk about the unjustices done to me by myself and others, in repent, that lead me to be so persecuted and lost. The sandwich is only to keep me going and talking and elucidating about it, it is not the goal, it is meant both as a tool that is burned in my flesh to raise the voice of God loud, as well as a sweet byproduct of the exercise in righteousness and its blessings, mostly symbolic.


10 posted on 10/13/2013 12:23:27 PM PDT by lavaroise
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To: matthewrobertolson

Thanks for the posting.

It seems the best way to approach this topic is to lay out the proper dichotomy.

It’s not a choice between faith and works, or a choice between this proportion of faith and works vs that proportion of faith and works.

The choice is between spirit and flesh. Faith is spiritual, not material. Have faith in the Spirit of Truth.

When you are full of the spirit, the rest will follow. Think of works as the fruit you will bear. Spreading God’s word and loving others.


11 posted on 10/13/2013 12:25:17 PM PDT by reasonisfaith ("...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians))
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To: Steelfish

That is a joke.


12 posted on 10/13/2013 12:27:44 PM PDT by shankbear (The tree of Liberty appears to be perishing because there are few patriots willing to refresh it.)
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To: Steelfish

A good read is by the great English essayist Hillaire’s Belloc’s “Heresies.” He explains convincingly and lucidly why outside of Catholicism, all the other faiths are sheer heresies.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I’m sorry but not only is that deeply offensive but it is butt nekkid wrong.


13 posted on 10/13/2013 12:30:03 PM PDT by Eccl 10:2 (Prov 3:5 --- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding")
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To: matthewrobertolson
I strongly believe that sola fide is at the heart of many Western problems. Self-professed Christians have used it as an excuse to not care for the disadvantaged, to engage in profane sexual activity, etc

Really. I have heard lots of rationalization about why sin is not sin, but I don;t seem to have ewer heard anyone claim Faith - alone as a basis for sinning.

Plus you are taking Luther comments about sin and sin boldly out of context.

If you are a preacher of Grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life in not the dwelling place of righteousness but, as Peter says, we look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. . . . Pray boldly-you too are a mighty sinner." (Weimar ed. vol. 2, p. 371; Letters I, "Luther's Works," American Ed., Vol 48. p. 281- 282)

14 posted on 10/13/2013 12:30:47 PM PDT by Fzob (In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Jefferson)
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To: matthewrobertolson

You have left out any discussion of 1) admitting that we are all terrible sinners who must acknowledge our sins; 2) REPENT from those sins; 3) Ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins that is totally undeserved.

Now if I truly did all three of those things, then that should be a game changer for me. If I honestly and truthfully admitted sinfulness, repented from that sinfulness & asked for forgiveness from Jesus Christ, then why would I ever want to go out and SIN LIKE CRAZY consciously??? That would be a terrible disconnect, and I would likely not be saved at all if that were my behavior after my alleged salvation. I would want to do good deeds as a change in my heart as God wants me to do. And what I do will be different than what you do, so we can’t judge each other on our gifts.

Faith Alone means that I cannot attain God’s Grace through my “good deeds” - it is a gift from God, not something I can earn...because I never could. Roman Catholics and Mormons on the other hand have a moving target of salvation, which produces many troubled souls as well.


15 posted on 10/13/2013 12:31:41 PM PDT by Sioux-san
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
The following links lead to posts that should pretty much cover 1) why I disagree with "faith alone," and 2) the Catholic teachings on grace & faith & works
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/09/02/yesterdays-gospel-good-works/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/08/29/video-galatians-216-and-221/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/08/13/video-philippians-39/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/06/13/video-was-abraham-saved-by-faith-alone/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/06/08/video-ephesians-28-9/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/04/05/no-faith-alone-is-not-sufficient-for-salvation/
16 posted on 10/13/2013 12:34:02 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
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To: Nervous Tick; DManA
The following links lead to posts that should pretty much cover 1) why I disagree with "faith alone," and 2) the Catholic teachings on grace & faith & works
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/09/02/yesterdays-gospel-good-works/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/08/29/video-galatians-216-and-221/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/08/13/video-philippians-39/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/06/13/video-was-abraham-saved-by-faith-alone/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/06/08/video-ephesians-28-9/
http://answeringprotestants.com/2013/04/05/no-faith-alone-is-not-sufficient-for-salvation/
17 posted on 10/13/2013 12:35:11 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
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To: matthewrobertolson; NYer

For me, “faith alone” is how I take my belief in Jesus’s gift of sacrifice for our salvation. By faith and works is how I need to live to practice my faith.

By “faith alone” is NOT a license for a sinful life after acceptance of Christ’s gift.


18 posted on 10/13/2013 12:41:35 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: matthewrobertolson; NYer

For me, “faith alone” is how I take my belief in Jesus’s gift of sacrifice for our salvation. By faith and works is how I need to live to practice my faith.

By “faith alone” is NOT a license for a sinful life after acceptance of Christ’s gift.


19 posted on 10/13/2013 12:41:51 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: matthewrobertolson

“The following links lead to posts that should pretty much cover 1) why I disagree with “faith alone,” and 2) the Catholic teachings on grace & faith & works “


To be honest, I have no interest in watching a bunch of your videos and giving your blog traffic. If you’re going to make a claim on this forum, I shouldn’t be forced to benefit your blog-pimping just to find out what is behind your lame assertions.

Please make your argument here in this thread, and not elsewhere. It’s not difficult. I almost do it every day myself.


20 posted on 10/13/2013 12:42:48 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (If anyone tells you it's a cookbook, don't believe them.)
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