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To: annalex

When you claim that a “requirement” is given to compel a man obey on his own, you are making a Pelagian argument. Therein lies the connection.

“Requirements for holiness” are one thing. “Encouragements” for believers are another. Here hermeneutics comes into play. You say that a lot of weight is placed upon what Jesus said. We disagree.

Hermeneutically, you imply Jesus was here to teach “Christian living.” We fully, vigorously disagree. Here, again, our perspectives are miles apart. We understand that most of what Jesus was teaching during that “three year ministry” was to inform the Jews about the Law of Moses. The so-called Sermon on the Mount was a direct example of this claim.

In that Sermon, Jesus is saying, “You have heard (that the Law) said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’, but I say to you any man who calls his brother a ‘fool’ is worthy of Hell.” He was not teaching them “a better way”. He was driving them to say, “This crap cannot be done. It is impossible!” Much like the rich young ruler, when He told him to sell everything, give it all to the poor and follow Him. The man went away and Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter heaven. Impossible. The disciples said, “Well then, who can be saved?” “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” What they could not do for themselves, He could (and would) do.

This represents a great difference in viewpoint. What we notice is that most of you Catholic folks don’t do what it is you claim He is teaching. For example, you don’t tear out your eye or cut off your hands when they offend. You go to confession. Hmmmm. Even though these are direct orders. And, you don’t always forgive folks, even though you claim that you cannot be forgiven unless you forgive (Matt. 6:15).

We don’t even attempt to obey these “requirements” because we know that He was teaching them the tough strictures of the Law and demonstrating their depravity. And, on top of that, the audience is the Jews (read Matt. 15 and the Canaanite woman). We Gentiles are not grafted in until the blood is shed and the enmity (the Law) is abolished, Eph. 2.

In the NT epistles, you begin to see the “encouragements” for us Gentile Christians to follow. These are quite different from the “requirements for holiness” needed under the Law. Notice the grappling in Act 15. The encouragements stop some of the death we spread (due to our brokenness) and guide our thinking about what God may be accomplishing in us. We are to strive together with Him. BUT, even that effort, interest and willingness is a gift placed in our lives along with the ability to accomplish any of these good things. It is not self-induced.

Is this any “fuller”?

366 posted on 07/10/2009 5:05:21 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88
We are to strive together with Him

Without free will?

Well, never mind. You do not have an answer to either 357 or 365, and you've gotten repetitive evading the questions. However, this statement

you imply Jesus was here to teach “Christian living.” We fully, vigorously disagree.

... allows me to summarize our difference. That's the crux of it, isn't it?

In 203 I said

the Catholics have simple and plausible explanation for every scriptural prooftext the anti-Catholics throw at them, but the Protestants do not have an explanation for large swaths of the New Testament that Catholic theology follows without strain.

This exchange is a case in point. For some reason the Holy Scripture contains numerous repetitive exhortations to virtuous living. Jesus uttered them, St Paul repeated, them, St. Peter, St. James and St. John repeated them in their epistles. The very letter to Romans where St. Paul explains predestination and an absolute dependence of our virtue on the grace of God concludes with three chapters devoted to teaching Christian virtues. The Catholic read that as written and have no difficulty combining all that into a simple harmonious doctrinal whole: The Scripture teaches virtues because God wants us to be virtuous. No, it doesn't mean we don't need grace, it doesn't mean we are without blemish all the time, it means that we -- equipped with our free will -- can and must cooperate with grace. Those who do will be justified and God knows who they are. Those who don't, won't be justified. See Romans 2, Matthew 25, or any other scripture, in any order, from any context, any book. It is not complicated and is written for us to read, very plainly.

Contrast that with your hermeneutics -- the clever tool that allows you to dismiss anything you find inconvenient in the Scripture.

As Catholic, I'd rather stick with the Bible as written.

367 posted on 07/13/2009 3:58:00 PM PDT by annalex (
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