Skip to comments.Catholic convert & historian: For evangelicals, beliefs more important than how one lives (vanity)
Posted on 06/24/2014 7:35:21 AM PDT by Faith Presses On
"For evangelical Christians, what one believes is more important than how one lives."
This is a quote taken from quite a long article posted in this forum called "A Protestant Historian Discovers the Catholic Church," by A. David Anders, Ph.D. I find it to be a very serious claim, even an accusation, and so it should be addressed.
What I know from years now of being an evangelical Christian is that we don't choose faith over works, as if it's one or the other. If we've truly become a "new creature in Christ," as the Bible says, then we have come to see the sinfulness of sin, as God sees it, and we trust Him to define sin for us and want it no longer. Instead, we want His will, and what He says is good for us.
Belief fits into this in that one acts out of their beliefs, as the Bible tells us, and also demonstrates. And we believe we can do nothing truly and purely good of ourselves alone. 1 Corintians 1 says that no flesh will glory in his presence and "He that glorieth, let Him glory in the Lord."
If I truly believe something that has a direct effect on how I live, I WILL live differently than if I did not believe, or since before I believed ... and it WILL be as important AS my belief.
I'm not worried.
“For evangelical Christians, what one believes is more important than how one lives.”
Living “right” will definitely make your life more enjoyable, but it won’t get you a centimater closer to salvation. Conversely, admitting you’re lost and trusting (believing) in God’s saving grace is the ONLY path to salvation. Works will follow. More with some than with others.
Works are not what saves, but salvation will result in a modification of your life. If you are concerned that your actions are risking your salvation, you’re doing it wrong.
You have hit upon the root of the problem. There are numerous both/ands in the Scripture, and very few either/ors (one of which is, of course, you either are saved or you are damned). The dialectical approach, which is nothing more than disguised Gnosticism in the West and undisguised Taoism in the East, always leads to fighting based on unnecessary claims of superiority--"it's faith!" "no, it's works!" being one of the most common within Christianity. James gives the answer: you show your faith by your works (2:18), and when you fail, you confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed (5:16).
So, does this explain why Catholic states elect Democrats?
Yes, it is faith that saves, and that even comes “by grace” in that it is a gift, so no one can boast. But in being reconciled to God, we come to see sin for what it actually is, rather than how we too often see it, as Satan wants us to - harmless, unavoidable, our choice, even enjoyable and “good.” Evil becomes good. But in becoming new creatures in Christ, if we have, then sin grieves us as it does God, and our concern then is not wanting to grieve Him and harm others and ourselves by doing it.
Why don’t you discuss this on the original thread?
Once we become new creatures in Christ, then our thoughts, words, and actions should always be examined. Paul says for us to examine ourselves. We are to open ourselves, too, to the Lord’s correction. The Lord is concerned with our hearts, and we can only recognize that there is an area of our lives that the Lord wants to work on and is bringing it to our attention, by looking at our works through the light of His truth. Then we can surrender it to Him and He can change us and grow our faith in that area.
It’s a thread in itself.
Why? Statements from converts are generally disparaging of whatever they left behind and full of blind worship of what they have embraced.
The Lord knows what is in my heart. He also knows that I am a sinner. That is why he came to Earth and died on the Cross - because of my sins. I will continue to be a sinner since only Jesus was perfect. My life is changed because of my faith, but I still need Him for the forgiveness of my sins. No matter how hard I work to be better and to do good, I will remain a sinner.
The ultimate purpose of this on my part wasn’t to be divisive, but to examine the things being considered here, including divisions that actually already exist, in the light of God’s truth.
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