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Papal Infallibility: A Symbolic, Yet Problematic, Term
Homiletic & Pastoral Review ^ | March 30, 2012 | REV. JOHN T. FORD CSC

Posted on 04/29/2012 3:06:06 PM PDT by NYer

Although papal infallibility is commonly found in popular conversation, how well the term is understood is another matter.

“Christ giving Peter the keys of the kingdom” by Pietro Perugino

As Danny Garland, Jr., pointed out in his recent article on “The Development of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility,” the term “papal infallibility” has a centuries-old history that stretches from Peter John Olivi, in the thirteenth century, through John Henry Newman, in the nineteenth century, and down to the present. 1

In addition to being a well-known term with a lengthy history, “papal infallibility” is also highly symbolic: for Roman Catholics, it has often been a badge of self-identity—a way of distinguishing themselves from Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants. Simultaneously, the pope’s infallibility has been a counter-symbol to those Christians who do not recognize the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, for many non-Catholic Christians, the term symbolizes everything that is wrong with Roman Catholicism.

Although papal infallibility is commonly found in popular conversation, how well the term is understood is another matter. One of the most entertaining discussions of the issue is found in a pub-scene in James Joyce’s Dubliners, where a group is stoutly discussing and strenuously defending the infallible teaching of the pope. In Joyce’s story, Mr. Cunningham summarized the doctrine with Hibernian exuberance: ‘But the astonishing thing is this: Not one of them (the popes), not the biggest drunkard, not the most . . . out-and-out ruffian, not one of them ever preached ex cathedra a word of false doctrine. Now isn’t that an astonishing thing?” 2

Cunningham went on to claim that one of the two prelates who voted against Pastor Aeternus at the Council was a German Cardinal, by the name of Dowling—presumably meaning Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger (1799-1890), a German priest-professor at the University of Munich, who was not at Vatican I, but was excommunicated in 1871 for refusing to accept its teachings about infallibility. 3 Although Cunningham and companions can be credited for knowing the essentials of the doctrine, their theological method makes historians and theologians wince—at least if they know anything concerning the history and teaching of the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) about “infallibility.” As John Tracy Ellis once remarked: “It is doubtful that any event in the history of the modern Church ever gave rise to a greater flow of misinformation than the [First] Vatican Council.” 4

Unfortunately, Ellis was all too right. First of all, contrary to popular belief, Vatican I did not really define “infallibility,” at least, not in the sense of stating precisely what infallibility is. Rather, the Council described how infallibility is operative. What the Council actually did was to specify the conditions required for pope to exercise this authority of infallibility. He must: (1) Rely on the divine assistance promised to Peter; (2) Act as pastor and teacher of all Christians; and, (3) Invoke his supreme apostolic authority. In addition, the Council limited the type of teachings that can be taught infallibly to matters of faith and morals, held by the whole Church. Only if all these conditions are fulfilled, does the pope “enjoy” the infallibility given by Christ to the Church. Then, and only then, can such papal definitions be deemed “irreformable.” 5

Although the First Vatican Council did not give a precise definition of the nature of infallibility, its operative description suggests that the Council understood it to be an endowment or charism given by Christ to the Church, which can only be exercised by the pope under specific conditions. A charism ensures that the teaching of the pope, in a particular instance, is immune from error. In describing this divinely given gift of infallibility, the Council’s list of conditions serves a double purpose. First, the list specifies the conditions which must be fulfilled (i.e., if a pope truly wants to mandate a particular doctrine by using the charism of infallibility). Secondly, the list of conditions enables Christians to recognize when a particular teaching is being infallibly taught.

The fact that the vast majority of Church teachings are not taught under this charism does not mean that such teachings are unimportant. They do not have the same importance as teachings deemed infallible, which have a greater binding force, precisely because they are closely connected with the essentials of revelation. 6 Moreover, while teaching the Gospel is a daily responsibility of the Church, only rarely has the Church invoked infallibility in fulfilling its teaching mission. In fact, since Vatican I’s declaration on infallibility in 1870, there is only one clear-cut instance where a pope has taught infallibly: Pope Pius XII’s 1950 proclamation of Our Lady’s assumption. 7

Meaning of Infallibilitas
What is absolutely crucial to any discussion about “infallibility”—but all too often overlooked—is what the term actually means. In English, “infallibility” has simply been taken from the Latin, infallibilitas, without specifying its meaning. 8 As a result, many people use the term in a rather elastic sense—often meaning “immunity from error” or “inability of making fundamental mistakes in religious matters.” While such casual explanations may suffice for popular understandings, they have the potential for creating misunderstandings, among Catholics and other Christians.

In contrast, German-speaking theologians have tried to translate the term. The most common translation has been Unfehlbarkeit—“inability of erring.” However, this term is not completely satisfactory, since it can have a pejorative connotation. Unfehlbar can describe a person who thinks that he is incapable of making mistakes, which is obviously not the case here. Accordingly, unfehlbar can make the not-too-subtle suggestion that it is humanly impossible for anyone, including the pope, to claim to exercise “infallibility.” Such a dismissive connotation underpinned Hans Küng’s attack on “infallibility” on the centennial of Vatican I in 1970. 9

Some German-speaking theologians, such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, have opted for other understandings of infallibilitas, such as Letzverbindlichkeit, implying that a definitive response can be given to a specific doctrinal question. He states:

Heinrich Fries’ suggestion of Verbindlichkeit (binding power), which “at the highest level can become an ultimate binding power” (Letzverbindlichkeit) seems to me certainly worth considering. 10

The merit of interpreting infallibility as “ultimate binding power” or “judicial finality” is that a doctrinal decision pronounced under infallibility is final—at least, here and now, for this specific question, unless, and until, new questions are raised.

The understanding of “infallibility” as “judicial finality” has sometimes been popularized in American catechetics, comparing doctrinal declarations to decisions of the Supreme Court: whose decisions are judicially final as there is no higher court to which an appeal can be made. So, too, decisions under infallibility are ecclesially final, as a pope, or an ecumenical council, teaching with infallibility, has the definitive word about the specific doctrinal matter under discussion, with no further appeal possible. Nonetheless, change is possible in the future, that is, a new legal question may arise, resulting in the Supreme Court modifying a previous decision. Similarly, a new doctrinal question may be posed, resulting in a new doctrinal decision—not one contradicting the previous teaching, but one amplifying and developing it.11

In other words, just as “judicial finality” does not preclude the possibility of the Supreme Court modifying a previous Supreme Court decision, infallibility does not exclude the possibility that a later pope, or later council, might amplify and develop it further, and in that sense, change the doctrinal decisions of their predecessors. In this respect, the answer to one doctrinal question sets the stage for further questions, and for further doctrinal decisions in the future. For example, the responses of the ecumenical councils of the early church to a series of Trinitarian and Christological controversies may be seen as instances of this continual dynamic of definitive decisions, followed by new doctrinal developments and consequent clarifications. 12

Papal Infallibility
While papal infallibility is routinely used, not only in common conversation, but also among theologians, it should be emphasized that the First Vatican Council did not use the term. In fact, Vatican I deliberately changed the heading of the fourth chapter of Pastor Aeternus. The original draft read: “the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff,” which was changed to: “the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.” The importance of this terminological shift is two-fold. First, it avoided the implication that the pope possesses infallibility in such a personal way that all his statements come under infallibility. While Catholics generally take this for granted today, at the time of the First Vatican Council, there were people who felt that any and every doctrinal statement by the pope was a matter of infallibility. The English theologian, W. G. Ward (1812-1882), for example, was famously reported as desiring a daily exercise of infallibility by the pope: “I should like a new Papal Bull every morning with my Times at breakfast.” 13

Secondly, the reason for preferring the term “infallible magisterium” is that infallibility can be exercised not only by the pope, but also by the college of bishops in union with him; as the Second Vatican Council taught:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. 14

Accordingly, just as Vatican I specified a list of conditions that the pope must follow in order to exercise the Church’s “infallible magisterium,” Vatican II indicated the conditions that the bishops must follow if their teaching is to be considered a collegial exercise of the Church’s “infallible magisterium.”

Infallible Statements
Another term, routinely used in discussions about infallibility, is the expression: “infallible statements.” Again, one must emphasize that this term was not used by Vatican I; rather, the Council used the term “irreformable definitions.” Many commentators on infallibility have ignored the difference, or have even claimed that the two expressions are equivalent. However, in addition to the need to respect the Church’s official terminology, a casual mixing of terms entails a number of philosophical and theological difficulties. For example, to speak of “infallible statements” suggests that such statements are absolute. In contrast, most philosophers insist that all statements are historically and culturally conditioned—expressions delimited by a particular time and place, and so not absolute, but relative. Similarly, many theologians today do not want to speak of “infallible statements” in order to avoid the doctrinal equivalent of “biblical literalism”: if God did not dictate the Bible word for word, why should one suggest that God dictates doctrinal decisions word for word?

Using terms, like “infallible statements” or “infallible teaching,” risks making the doctrine of infallibility both philosophically, and theologically, indefensible. It becomes an easy target for rejection. In effect, defenders of infallible statements, with the best of intentions, can inadvertently become the doctrine’s enemies, just as defenders of biblical literalism can unwittingly destroy the credibility of the Bible. In contrast, the expression “irreformable definitions” harmonizes readily with interpreting infallibility as “judicial finality” or “ultimate binding power” (Leztverbindlichkeit), as proposed by Hans Urs von Balthazar. 15 Key to this interpretation, however, is the meaning of “irreformable definitions”—which, at first glance, would seem to have the same meaning as “infallible statements” and, therefore, sharing the same philosophical and theological problems.

Why did the First Vatican Council use the term “irreformable definitions”? Apparently, the Council used this term as a way of rejecting Gallicanism—the seventeenth century doctrinal claim that all papal decisions are subject to the approval of local churches. According to the its proponents, no Vatican ecclesiastical decision could be considered authoritatively final unless, and until, it received the official approval of the Church in France. When Pastor Aeternus is read in the context of Gallicanism—an ecclesiological position well-known to the participants at Vatican I, though not so familiar today—the Council is effectively stating that definitions enunciated by the pope, when exercising infallibility, are not subject to any further approval or appeal. 16 In sum, “irreformable definitions” are not definitions that are philosophically “immutable” or theologically “unchangeable,” but decisions that are “judicially final.”

Lessons from History
The axiom that: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” has been repeatedly exemplified in the numerous discussions about infallibility in the half-century since Vatican II. There is not only a vast amount of material on the teaching of the two Vatican Councils about infallibility, but, unfortunately, many writers on infallibility have discussed what they presume the Church teaches, rather than carefully examining what the Church actually taught. 17 Sadly, there is a great deal that has been written about infallibility showing little or no familiarity with, much less critical analysis of, the texts of the two Vatican councils. Surprising as it may seem, some commentators have proposed interpretations about infallibility without analyzing the conciliar texts, much less studying the history of the Councils.

This failure to do the essential historical-theological homework means that many discussions of infallibility are like the conversation in Dubliners—eloquent and entertaining but exaggerated and often erroneous—leading some people to find “infallible statements” everywhere, while leading others to reject “infallibility” out of hand. Neither an outright denial of infallibility, nor an exaggerated extension of it to all church teachings, really serves anyone well. In effect, the many misconceptions about infallibility effectively distort the Church’s teaching, confuse believers, repel prospective converts, and create unnecessary ecumenical difficulties. 18

Pastoral Suggestions
Admittedly, changing terminology is always a difficult task. Like overcoming an addiction, one keeps falling back into accustomed habits of speech. Yet “papal infallibility” is one of those theological terms that has been misinterpreted so often that it might well be worth the effort to replace it with the terminology that Vatican I actually used: “the infallible magisterium of the pope.” Admittedly, this substitution requires a few more words, and people might be puzzled by the seemingly new terminology, but that reaction might be beneficial. This historical version might succeed in drawing people’s attention to what the two Vatican Councils actually taught, rather than what many people presume the Councils taught.

In addition, terms like “infallible statements” and “infallible teaching” might well be replaced with terms like “irreformable definitions” or “teachings of the Church’s infallible magisterium.” Again, such substitutions involve a few more words, but their use might prompt people to reflect on what the Church’s teaching really is. Last but not least, in explaining the doctrine of infallibility, it would seem not only appropriate, but extremely beneficial to use the short and succinct description of infallibility found in the Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church whereby the pastors of the Church, the pope and bishops in union with him, can definitively proclaim a doctrine of faith or morals for the belief of the faithful.” 19

  • Danny Garland, Jr., “The Development of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 111/9 (June/July, 2011): 48-54, at 50; hereafter cited: Garland, HPR 111/9.
  • James Joyce, Dubliners (New York: Penguin Books, 1967), 168.
  • Dubliners, 169-170. For a comparison of the views of Döllinger and Newman on infallibility, see Wolfgang Klausnitzer, Päpstliche Unfehlbarkeit bei Newman und Döllinger: Ein historisch‑systematischer Vergleich, Innsbrucker theologische Studien 6 (Innsbruck‑Vienna‑Munich: Tyrolia, 1980).
  • John Tracy Ellis, “The Church Faces the Modern World: The First Vatican Council,” in The General Council, edited by William McDonald (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1962), 113‑145, at 135.
  • The First Vatican Council described conditions for papal infallibility in Pastor Aeternus, in Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum §3073-3075 at: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1957,_denziger,_enchiridion_symbolorum lt.pdf For English translation: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm: “Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra , that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals (mores) to be held (tenenda) by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy (pollere) in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”
  • Although the prelates at Vatican I acknowledged that infallibility had been previously exercised by various popes, the Council did not provide a list of such teachings; accordingly, theologians differ about which papal decisions prior to Vatican I should be considered exercises of infallibility; for example, theologians disagree whether Unam Sanctam (1302) of Pope Boniface VIII should be considered an exercise of infallibility or not.
  • Although some theologians in the past considered canonizations an exercise of infallibility (e.g., Francis Kieda, “Infallibility of the Pope in His Decree of Canonization,” The Jurist 6 (1946): 401‑415), few do so today; this view in no way diminishes the importance of canonizations, but it does emphasize that the exercise of infallibility is limited to essential matters of Christian faith.
  • In fact, many theological terms in English have a Latin background: revelation, Trinity, magisterium, etc., however, if the meanings of revelation and Trinity are clear, some Latin terms, such as magisterium, have a spectrum of meanings in English.
  • Hans Küng, Infallible? An Inquiry, translated by Edward Quinn (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971); unfortunately, the English translation did not always capture all the nuances of the German original. Among the numerous critiques of Küng’s Infallible?, see: Walter Brandmüller, “Hans Küng and Church History, Some Criti­cal Observations on ‘Infallible? An Inquiry’,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review 72 (1972): 10‑24.
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church, translated by Andrée Emery (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), 221-222, cited by Garland, HPR 111/9: 52; the theological problem of translating infallibilitas into German is an often over-looked factor in the “infallibility debate” initiated by Hans Küng in 1970.
  • Like every comparison, this one has limitations; for example, Supreme Court decisions may effectively revoke laws (e.g., laws that formerly permitted slavery); in contrast, a new dogmatic decision can not contradict previous decisions, although it may significantly reinterpret previous doctrinal decisions.
  • John Henry Newman discussed the relationship between doctrinal continuity and change in his seminal work, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (18461; 18783); for a comparative study of the differences between the first and third editions of Newman’s Essay, see: Gerard H. McCarren, “Development of Doctrine” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, edited by Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 118-136.
  • Wilfrid Ward, Life of Cardinal Newman 2:213 (available at: http://www.newmanreader.org/biography/ward/volume2/chapter27.html).
  • Lumen Gentium § 25 http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html .
  • Again, see Garland’s citation of von Balthasar, HPR 111/9: 52.
  • For a detailed study of the Gallican background of the First Vatican Council, see Richard F. Costigan, The Consensus of the Church and Papal Infallibility: A Study in the Background of Vatican I (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005).
  • See the now-dated survey of John T. Ford, “Infallibility: A Review of Recent Studies,” Theological Studies 40/2 (June, 1979): 273‑305.
  • See John T. Ford, “Differences about infallibility . . . too significant to be brushed aside as inconsequential,” in Church and Theology: Essays in Memory of Carl J. Peter, edited by Peter C. Phan (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1995), 111‑160.
  • Glossary, Catechism of the Catholic Church, at: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/glossary.shtml#I This description refers to §891 of the Catechism, and adds: “This gift is related to the inability of the whole body of the faithful to err in matters of faith and morals” (§ 92).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; infallibility; infallible; papalinfallibility; pope; vatican1; vaticani; vaticanone
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To: Natural Law

Go to my homepage. Annalex often dreams of returning to the Inquisition.

And he’s not the only one. I remember MarkBsnr and other RCs saying the same thing.

I suppose it’s a good sign that you appear ashamed of those comments. You are ashamed of them, aren’t you?


151 posted on 05/06/2012 4:27:23 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law
It is not our job to disprove their claims,

Especially when you can't.

When a person cannot support their beliefs from Scripture, they demean the Scriptures and instead look to fallible old men and their traditions. "You're going the wrong way" -- "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

152 posted on 05/06/2012 4:34:16 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Without God’s free grace, no man wins the race or even wants to win it."

Grace is a gift freely given and there is sufficient Grace that all might be saved, yet all are not saved. But Grace, like sin requires cooperation to be effective. That is the purpose behind the free will and the knowledge of the difference good and evil given us by God. It is what makes us in His image and what differentiates us from the soul-less animals. Unlike sin, which often requires we do nothing at all to cooperate with it, Grace requires an affirmative act of the will. Foreknowledge is not predestination.

Read the Bible, all of it. Perhaps your Salvation will be found in part, in the missing seven books. Peace be with you.

153 posted on 05/06/2012 4:40:39 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

As concerns her own members, one can sympathize given the overall liberal condition. However, the church is not constituted to discipline theological aberrants by the arm of flesh, or rule over those without by the same (though Caesar does enforce to a degree the moral ideology of one school or another as regards actions, and some other moral offenses), and resorting to such, whether Catholic (who also warred against each other by that means) or Protestants (who did the same), has left a negative testimony which the devil uses to poison minds against the Lord Jesus, as His body, the church, is to be the closest thing to the incarnated Christ on earth. (Acts 9:4,5; Eph. 1:22,23; 5:30; 1Cor. 11:17-33: 12:12-27)

The authority of the Lord and the early preRomanized church was established and maintained upon Scripture and the supernatural power it provides for (being established itself upon such), and that was the means of warfare and disciplining the church, (Jn. 18:36; Acts 13:10,11; 1Cor. 5:5; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 10:3,4; Eph. 6:12; 1Tim. 1:20) while sanctioning the just use of the sword of men by the civil government. (Rn. 14:1-7; 1Pt. 2:13,14)

Yet i find i must postulate that within ones own family the parents are to be as a theocracy, allowing supplementary physical means of disciplining children, if need be.


154 posted on 05/06/2012 4:45:12 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Especially when you can't."

Quid est veritas?

I can't describe the colors in my flower garden or in a sunset to a blind person either. Until you are ready to accept the truth you will not recognize it.

155 posted on 05/06/2012 4:50:57 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
We’ve already had several RCs longing for a return to the Inquisition.

Telling isn't it?

No wonder they won't condemn it.

156 posted on 05/06/2012 4:58:44 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

I always thought the Pope was infallible,....except when he made a known or unknown mistake...;^)


157 posted on 05/06/2012 5:13:43 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Natural Law
Cooperation

Do you cooperate by your own ability or is it the Holy Spirit who enables your cooperation?

158 posted on 05/06/2012 5:14:55 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law

We’re all blind. God graciously gives sight to His family.

Read your Bible. Read Romans. Mark. Perhaps you’ll see the error that blinds RCs now.


159 posted on 05/06/2012 5:23:48 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law
You will not recognize it

I recognize God's truth by how well it lines up with Scripture.

Generally RCs do not read their Bibles in any depth. They read their RCC catechism.

Read the Bible and pray for eyes to see and ears to hear. God will not disappoint if you come to Him with a contrite heart and a longing for His word.

160 posted on 05/06/2012 5:29:30 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
In Matthew 23:34 we see who is doing the killing and persecuting and who is on the receiving end.

And those same ones justifying the Inquisition cry now about their mistreatment over gov. mandates.

161 posted on 05/06/2012 5:32:05 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Natural Law
Protestants agree with the Jews regarding the Old Testament. It is Rome who grievously erred by inserting seven non-canon books into their Bibles -- all the better to justify its pagan left-overs like praying to dead people and elevating a women above Christ and bartering God's free grace.

Scam.

162 posted on 05/06/2012 5:37:34 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Do you cooperate by your own ability or is it the Holy Spirit who enables your cooperation?"

I choose to cooperate. Had I not I would be like those unsaved who by their own choice and free will rejected salvation. God did not reject them.

Because we are human we are wounded by original sin and every hour of every day we are presented with the choice to either cooperate with Grace or with sin. Those who presume grace and deny the ability to sin are at the greatest risk.

CCC 2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man.

Peace be with you.

163 posted on 05/06/2012 5:38:56 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Do you cooperate by your own ability or is it the Holy Spirit who enables your cooperation?"

I choose to cooperate. Had I not I would be like those unsaved who by their own choice and free will rejected salvation. God did not reject them.

Because we are human we are wounded by original sin and every hour of every day we are presented with the choice to either cooperate with Grace or with sin. Those who presume grace and deny the ability to sin are at the greatest risk.

CCC 2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man.

Peace be with you.

164 posted on 05/06/2012 5:38:56 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Do you cooperate by your own ability or is it the Holy Spirit who enables your cooperation?"

I choose to cooperate. Had I not I would be like those unsaved who by their own choice and free will rejected salvation. God did not reject them.

Because we are human we are wounded by original sin and every hour of every day we are presented with the choice to either cooperate with Grace or with sin. Those who presume grace and deny the ability to sin are at the greatest risk.

CCC 2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man.

Peace be with you.

165 posted on 05/06/2012 5:38:56 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Do you cooperate by your own ability or is it the Holy Spirit who enables your cooperation?"

I choose to cooperate. Had I not I would be like those unsaved who by their own choice and free will rejected salvation. God did not reject them.

Because we are human we are wounded by original sin and every hour of every day we are presented with the choice to either cooperate with Grace or with sin. Those who presume grace and deny the ability to sin are at the greatest risk.

CCC 2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man.

Peace be with you.

166 posted on 05/06/2012 5:39:03 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Natural Law
Why do you "choose to cooperate" and your neighbor next door doesn't?

Are you more holy than your neighbor? Are you less fallen than your neighbor?

deny the ability to sin

Who does that? Protestants know all men sin every day, as Paul told us. If you deny that, the truth is not in you.

Our difference is that I have been forgiven, according to Christ, whereas RCs must pay for their sins every day just as soon as they leave the confessional and sin again.

Read your Bible and learn what God's free, unmerited grace actually means.

"Be not afraid; only believe." -- Mark 5:36

167 posted on 05/06/2012 6:34:01 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: daniel1212

THANKS FOR YOUR PINGS OF YOUR LABORS

in the dreary threads.

Congrats yet again on how well put your assertions are . . . and more importantly . . . how Biblically sound.


168 posted on 05/06/2012 6:55:39 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Our difference is that I have been forgiven..."

You do not know that I have not been forgiven anymore than you know that you have for the sins you have yet to commit. We are only forgiven for the sins we have confessed and asked forgiveness for. Belief is not enough. Even Satan and the fallen angels believe that Jesus is the son of God, but they are not saved. It is what we do with that belief that matters. If you do not adhere to the first and second Greatest commandments your belief is for naught.

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. - 1 John 5:1-4

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. - James 2:14-26

169 posted on 05/06/2012 8:41:06 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Quix

Thank God for what’s good, and for the light unto our path, which shines clearer if and as we look to The Light, not the waves as good Peter once did.


170 posted on 05/06/2012 9:51:16 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
And yet the faith that saves is a kind that will effect following its Object, even the Lord Jesus, and which evangelicals show more evidence of doing. And contrary to as some also suppose, it was such faith that so many Reformers preached:

The Westminster Confession of Faith states:

Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love. [Westminster Confession of Faith, CHAPTER XI. Of Justification. http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/wcf.htm]

The classic Methodist commentator Adam Clarke held,

The Gospel proclaims liberty from the ceremonial law: but binds you still faster under the moral law. To be freed from the ceremonial law is the Gospel liberty; to pretend freedom from the moral law is Antinomianism.[Adam Clarke Commentary, Gal. 5:13]

Likewise on on Titus 1:16 ("They profess that they know God; but in works they deny, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." KJV):

Full of a pretended faith, while utterly destitute of those works by which a genuine faith is accredited and proved. [Adam Clarke Commentary, Titus 1]

To which the Presbyterian commentator Mathew Henry concurs: "There are many who in word and tongue profess to know God, and yet in their lives and conversations deny and reject him; their practice is a contradiction to their profession." [Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, Titus 1]

Contemporary evangelical theologian R. C. Sproul writes,

The relationship of faith and good works is one that may be distinguished but never separated...if good works do not follow from our profession of faith, it is a clear indication that we do not possess justifying faith. The Reformed formula is, “We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone.”[[“Essential Truths of the Christian Faith,” Google books]

Present day evangelical Calvinist Oxford theologian Alister McGrath points out, “It can be shown that a distinction came to be drawn between the concepts of merit and congruity; while man cannot be said to merit justification by any of his actions, his preparation for justification could be said to make his subsequent justification' congruous' or 'appropriate.'” “Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification,” vol. L; p. 110 http://www.equip.org/articles/justification

Also, rather than the easy believism Rome associates with sola fide, in Puritan Protestantism there was often a tendency to make the way to the cross too narrow, perhaps in reaction against the Antinomian controversy as described in an account (http://www.the-highway.com/Early_American_Bauckham.html) of Puritans during the early American period that notes,

“They had, like most preachers of the Gospel, a certain difficulty in determining what we might call the ‘conversion level’, the level of difficulty above which the preacher may be said to be erecting barriers to the Gospel and below which he may be said to be encouraging men to enter too easily into a mere delusion of salvation. Contemporary critics, however, agree that the New England pastors set the level high. Nathaniel Ward, who was step-son to Richard Rogers and a distinguished Puritan preacher himself, is recorded as responding to Thomas Hooker’s sermons on preparation for receiving Christ in conversion with, ‘Mr. Hooker, you make as good Christians before men are in Christ as ever they are after’, and wishing, ‘Would I were but as good a Christian now as you make men while they are preparing for Christ.’”

“In his Introduction to Romans, Luther stated that saving faith is,

a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever...Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! [http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/luther-faith.txt]

This is what I have often said, if faith be true, it will break forth and bear fruit. If the tree is green and good, it will not cease to blossom forth in leaves and fruit. It does this by nature. I need not first command it and say: Look here, tree, bear apples. For if the tree is there and is good, the fruit will follow unbidden. If faith is present works must follow.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:340-341]

“We must therefore most certainly maintain that where there is no faith there also can be no good works; and conversely, that there is no faith where there are no good works. Therefore faith and good works should be so closely joined together that the essence of the entire Christian life consists in both.” [Martin Luther, as cited by Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963], 246, footnote 99]

What Augustine says is indeed true: He who has created you without yourself will not save you without yourself. Works are necessary for salvation, but they do not cause salvation; for faith alone gives life. For the sake of hypocrites it should be said that good works are necessary for salvation. Works must be done, but it does not follow from this that works save… Works save externally, that is, they testify that we are just and that in a man there is that faith which saves him internally, as Paul says: ‘With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’.” [What Luther Says 3: 1509]. [Ewald M. Plass, “What Luther says,” page 1509]

“Thus faith casts itself on God, and breaks forth and becomes certain through its works. When this takes place a person becomes known to me and to other people. For when I thus break forth I spare neither man nor devil, I cast myself down, and will have nothing to do with lofty affairs, and will regard myself as the poorest sinner on earth. This assures me of my, faith. For this is what it says: "This man went down to his house justified." Thus we attribute salvation as the principal thing to faith, and works as the witnesses of faith. They make one so certain that he concludes from the outward life that the faith is genuine.”[Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:341]

“Thus, faith must be exercised, worked and polished; be purified by fire, like gold. Faith, the great gift and treasure from God, must express itself and triumph in the certainty that it is right before God and man, and before angels, devils and the whole world. Just as a jewel is not to be concealed, but to be worn in sight, so also, will and must faith be worn and exhibited, as it is written in 1 Peter 1, 7: "That the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire," etc.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2:245-246]

In those therefore in whom we cannot realize good works, we can immediately say and conclude: they heard of faith, but it did not sink into good soil. For if you continue in pride and lewdness, in greed and anger, and yet talk much of faith, St. Paul will come and say, 1 Cor. 4:20, look here my dear Sir, "the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." It requires life and action, and is not brought about by mere talk.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:341-342]

“All believers are like poor Lazarus; and every believer is a true Lazarus, for he is of the same faith, mind and will, as Lazarus. And whoever will not be a Lazarus, will surely have his portion with the rich glutton in the flames of hell. For we all must like Lazarus trust in God, surrender ourselves to him to work in us according to his own good pleasure, and be ready to serve all men. And although we all do not suffer from such sores and poverty, yet the same mind and will must be in us, that were in Lazarus, cheerfully to bear such things, wherever God wills it.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:25]

“This is why St. Luke and St. James have so much to say about works, so that one says: Yes, I will now believe, and then he goes and fabricates for himself a fictitious delusion, which hovers only on the lips as the foam on the water. No, no; faith is a living and an essential thing, which makes a new creature of man, changes his spirit and wholly and completely converts him. It goes to the foundation and there accomplishes a renewal of the entire man; so, if I have previously seen a sinner, I now see in his changed conduct, manner and life, that he believes. So high and great a thing is faith.”[Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:341]

Works are a certain sign, like a seal on a letter, which make me certain that my faith is genuine. [cf. 1Jn. 5:13] As a result if I examine my heart and find that my works are done in love, then I am certain that my faith is genuine. If I forgive, then my forgiving makes me certain that my faith is genuine and assures me and demonstrates my faith to me.” [Martin Luther, as cited by Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963], 247, footnote 106]

“Hence the beginning of goodness or Godliness is not in us, but in the Word of God. God must first let his Word sound in our hearts by which we learn to know and to believe him, and afterwards do good works.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:339]

When works follow it becomes apparent that we have faith…” [Martin Luther, as cited by Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963], 247, footnote 106

“..that alone can be called Christian faith, which believes without wavering that Christ is the Saviour not only to Peter and to the saints but also to you....Such a faith will work in you love for Christ and joy in him, and good works will naturally follow. If they do not, faith is surely not present: for where faith is, there the Holy Ghost is and must work love and good works.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 1:21-22]

More: http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Reformation_faith_works.html

171 posted on 05/06/2012 9:57:49 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

...And in so doing, works of faith justify one as having true faith, a confessional type faith, being a kind of faith that not only believes unto justification but will affirmatively confess, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10) And baptism is a confession in body language, while as God sees the heart it is shown that regeneration can precede that. (Acts 10:43-47; 11:8; 15:5-9)

The Lord Jesus, though being God and the Messiah, was “justified in the Spirit,” (1Tim. 3:16), as “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him,” (Acts 10:38) and was risen by the same Spirit, thus establishing to His claim, and was also rewarded for His obedience. (Acts 10:36; Phi;l. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:9)

And true believers are also established as being so by their works done by the Spirit, and their enduring fruitful faith “hath great recompense of reward,” (Heb. 10:35) though all are worthy of eternal damnation.

This distinction escapes man unless his utter unworthiness is emphasized, as man’s natural predisposition is towards supposing he earns eternal life, at least to some degree, with some mercy thrown in, and he will use texts which speak of rewards for the “obedience of faith” in order to escape the abasement of himself as one damned for his sins and destitute of any merit whereby he may escape his just and eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, and gain glory, and so cast all His faith upon the mercy of God in Christ to save him by God-given faith His sinless shed blood. And the more He grows (or in order to) the more will realize he cannot continue to follow the Lord except by prayerful dependance upon the grace of Christ and the power of God, to the decrease of himself. To the glory of God who justifies the unGodly by a faith that will effect Godliness.


172 posted on 05/06/2012 10:43:10 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: daniel1212
"This distinction escapes man unless his utter unworthiness is emphasized, as man’s natural predisposition is towards supposing he earns eternal life, at least to some degree, with some mercy thrown in, and he will use texts which speak of rewards for the “obedience of faith” in order to escape the abasement of himself as one damned for his sins and destitute of any merit whereby he may escape his just and eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire"

Amen.

I can so easily relate to Mephibosheth when summoned before the King..."And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?" (2 Samuel 9:8)

To contemplate somehow earning our eternal life,to think we could stand before The Creator and have anything good of ourselves to offer is akin to standing on the surface of the sun expecting to cast a shadow.

173 posted on 05/07/2012 2:00:06 AM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: daniel1212
"All believers are like poor Lazarus; and every believer is a true Lazarus..."

So true!

Also...

"And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go" (John 11:43,44)

When whosoever hears His voice,they are a new creation,they are raised from death unto life but we are still bound....then Jesus says to those round about "loose him and let him go"

Unwrap the graveclothes from him,help him to see,unbind him...let him go!

No doubt satan cannot thwart The voice of Jesus Christ but it's no stretch to think he would do ANYTHING to keep that believer bound! To convince that believer that he can stand on the sun and cast a shadow.

/rant

174 posted on 05/07/2012 2:15:39 AM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

INDEED.

GREAT seeing you posting again.

LUB,
BLPH,


175 posted on 05/07/2012 5:24:24 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Natural Law; Dr. Eckleberg; daniel1212
I can't describe the colors in my flower garden or in a sunset to a blind person either. Until you are ready to accept the truth you will not recognize it.

PERHAPS if y'all taped that to y'all's mirrors, and read it several times a day for 12 monts, SOME RC's could begin to see the applicability of that to the carefully cultivated and calculated institutionalized blindness so common in the Vatican Ashteroth-Mary Goddess cult.

Then again, from the evidence from so many hereon, I doubt even that would bring light to a large percentage.

176 posted on 05/07/2012 5:28:21 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: daniel1212

INDEED.

Our eyes, hearts, lives, minds, spirits fixed ON JESUS is so crucial in this era . . . and increasingly so.


177 posted on 05/07/2012 5:28:47 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: metmom

There’s nothing quite as

DEADLY to life . . . and to eternal life in Jesus

as RELIGION

. . . particularly DEAD, HYPOCRITICAL, HOLLOW, MAGISTERICAL, UNBIBLICAL, INSTUTIONALIZED, PHARISAICAL, POWER-MONGERINGLY LED, PONTIFICAL, WORKS-ORIENTED-SALVATION, STARCHY, PRISSY, FLESHLY, LAW-ORIENTED

. . .

RELIGION.


178 posted on 05/07/2012 5:31:36 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: mitch5501
To contemplate somehow earning our eternal life,to think we could stand before The Creator and have anything good of ourselves to offer is akin to standing on the surface of the sun expecting to cast a shadow

Good analogy as regards actual worthiness, and thus the second death is what we morally earn as sinners, whereas eternal life is the gift of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet again (as God is a God of balance, versus extremes on both sides) it must be said that "worthy" faith is that justifies the unGodly is a kind which characteristically manifest "things which accompany salvation," versus thorns and briers, (Heb. 6:8,9) thus some versus speak of believers being counted "worthy" by their fruit, (Rm. 2:13; Rv. 3:4), as fruit evidences faith, though not saved by them, (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8,9) and in His grace this faith hath great recompence of reward,(Heb. 10:35,36) as God rewards the faithful who are the light (small "l") of the world, who shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father," (Mt. 13:43) though apart from justifying faith in Christ they are worthy of "outer darkness". (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30)

For "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. " (Revelation 20:6)

To the glory of God, who draws souls, (Jn. 6:44; 12:32; opens hearts, (Acts 16:14), grants repentance, (Acts 11:18) and gives faith. (Eph. 2:8) enabling and moving man to chose to do what he could not and would not do, being dead in trespasses and sin, and by nature are children of wrath (Eph. 2:1) and which cannot be made subject to the law of God. (Rm. 8:7) And who must thus come to the living Christ as one damned and destitute, and be justified by faith in His blood. (Rm. 3:10-25)

179 posted on 05/07/2012 6:03:28 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: mitch5501

“Ranting” on redemption more... And in a real sense believers come to Christ like the other Lazarus, (Lk. 16:19-33), abased, being are poor in spirit, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, counting their own righteousness as dung, but made accepted in the Beloved by faith-dependence on the Son sent by the Father to be the Savior of the world, who is “the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. “ (1 John 2:2)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. “ (1 John 4:10-11)

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. “ (Revelation 5:9-14)


180 posted on 05/07/2012 6:11:28 AM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Quix

Right back at you, my brother in Christ. 8~)


181 posted on 05/07/2012 8:47:13 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: daniel1212
works of faith justify one as having true faith

Maybe justify isn't the right word.

Christ's work on the cross justifies us. Our good works of faith illustrate our ongoing sanctification by the Holy Spirit.

"Justify" is one of those words we need to protect the real meaning of lest Rome rewrite everything important, like grace and forgiveness and mediator.

182 posted on 05/07/2012 9:00:17 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law

The entire New Testament is Christ telling His family they have been forgiven their sins by the grace of God through faith in Christ.

RCs don’t have this assurance. Instead they return to the Lord’s Supper and ask forgiveness for the week’s sins, over and over and over.
Rome concocted penance (ongoing forgiveness with strings attached) to keep its members thethered to Rome.

RC admit they have no assurance of forgiveness. Very sad. Therefore RCs do not understand the New Testament. Practically every other line Christ spoke is “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Christ knows. I know. You should know, too. Not to believe Jesus shows a distrust of Christ’s promises.


183 posted on 05/07/2012 9:11:01 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law

And as far as future sins being forgiven, I and all believers have been bought with a great price and our sins have been marked “paid in full.”.

Of course my future sins have been forgiven and this gracious fact compels me to want to sin less and less. The RCC has no understanding of sanctification.

Once justified, always justified. The RCC can think it can renege on its promises but Christ never does.

The RCC misses so much.


184 posted on 05/07/2012 1:34:23 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Of course my future sins have been forgiven...."

Sin without consequence is not in the Bible. However, that arrogant and misguided belief certainly explains those who mistreat those with whom they disagree. I will continue to pray for a conversion of your heart.

"For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality." - Colossians 3:25

"Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know [h]what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “ If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. - James 4:11-17

185 posted on 05/07/2012 2:03:53 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Quix
"I can't describe the colors in my flower garden or in a sunset to a blind person either."

Sorry, I should have included one of your posts in that listing for clarity. ;-)

Peace be with you.

186 posted on 05/07/2012 2:30:00 PM PDT by Natural Law (God, be merciful to me, the sinner!)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

The depravity of man and grace in Christ by which the unGodly are justified (Rm. 4:5) must indeed be stressed, However as said (and needs to be in this superficial age), there is more than one kind of faith, and as 1John and multiples texts reveal, and reformers taught, justifying faith is a faith that will and does effect obedience towards its Object, which includes repentance when convicted of not doing so. Belief that does not affect change our life is not faith but fantasy.

Moreover, while the elect are accounted righteous by faith and are the children of God, yet because they are children and faith must be true, thus God chastens them to repentance, if need be, that they be not condemned with the rest of the world, (1Cor. 11:32) as apostates. (Gal. 5:1-14; Heb. 10:39-39)

And in contrast to sins that are past, what we do as believers will be rewarded or suffer loss, not in some purgatory commencing at death, but at the judgment seat of Christ at His return.

The error of Rome here is not simply statements in her plethora of pronouncements which foster hope of eternal life partly based on having morally earned it (which is also true in institutionalized Protestantism), but effectually promoting faith in herself to eventually obtain Heaven for the most nominal of Catholics, including abortion and homosexual promoting pols.


187 posted on 05/07/2012 5:41:54 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
RCs don’t have this assurance. Instead they return to the Lord’s Supper and ask forgiveness for the week’s sins, over and over and over. Rome concocted penance (ongoing forgiveness with strings attached) to keep its members thethered to Rome.

Way to keep people in bondage to a church.

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

There is no freedom when you have to keep jumping through the hoops to earn salvation which God Himself tells us is a gift, freely given, free to take.

Note the operative word here.... "free".....

We HAVE eternal life - now. It is our possession - now.

Praise God who gave us eternal life and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.

188 posted on 05/07/2012 8:06:27 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law; metmom

God’s children are chastized and corrected for their sins as part of their sanctification, but they are never punished because (and how do RCs miss this?) Christ has taken on the burden of paying for every one of the sins of His sheep.

RCs just don’t comprehend what Christ has done for them. They foolishly think they’re paying a debt that’s already been marked “paid in full.”


189 posted on 05/08/2012 9:36:35 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law; metmom; daniel1212; HarleyD; RnMomof7
"For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality." - Colossians 3:25

Did Christ pay for your sins or not?

When Christ carried His cross were your sins nailed to it or not? Does Christ "receive the consequences" of our sins?

190 posted on 05/08/2012 9:56:44 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (i don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law; Dr. Eckleburg; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...
"For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality." - Colossians 3:25

Wow, way to take a verse out of context.

That whole passage is not about salvation or salvation by works.

Colossians 3:1-25 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Cherry picking Bible verses to support Catholic doctrine fail.

191 posted on 05/08/2012 10:16:14 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Colossians 2:16-23 16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 ( referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

192 posted on 05/08/2012 10:25:30 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Natural Law; Dr. Eckleburg
Sin without consequence is not in the Bible.

Then you understand neither forgiveness or mercy.

While there are plenty of examples of consequence of sin in Scripture, it's usually earthly consequence, not a loss of salvation like Catholicism teaches.

Catholicism makes so much of salvation conditional on works that nobody can ever be sure if they're coming or going.

It makes a mockery of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

193 posted on 05/08/2012 10:29:40 AM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: count-your-change

As a logical matter, how can Luther’s doctrine of “the Bible ALONE” be the sole rule of faith, when it isn’t in the Bible?


194 posted on 05/08/2012 10:38:45 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas; count-your-change
As a logical matter, how can Luther’s doctrine of “the Bible ALONE” be the sole rule of faith, when it isn’t in the Bible?

As a logical matter how can much of Catholic doctrine stand when it isn't in the Bible?

Like *Sacred Tradition* being of equal standing with, God breathed, Holy Spirit inspired Scripture?

Like the alleged sinlessness of Mary and her alleged perpetual virginity?

What about purgatory?

What about praying to Mary and the saints?

195 posted on 05/08/2012 1:17:22 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

I’ve never argued for Luther’s doctrine of the Bible alone so are you asking as a rhetorical question?

But if you wish to argue logic.....I would begin with a simple question: If one is to rely on tradition, where did these traditions come from?


196 posted on 05/08/2012 1:28:32 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: metmom

The Church preceded the Bible. Jesus refers to His Church in the gospels —the church which the gates of hell would not prevail against.

After Pentecost, the apostles were preaching the gospel authoritatively, “by word of mouth or by letter.” They were making disciples of all the nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Yet the last book of the Bible wouldn’t be written for another 70 years after Pentecost. The Bible simply couldn’t be the sole rule of faith in the early church, because the New Testament did not yet exist.

A consensus regarding which books constitutde Sacred Scripture took even longer. The first local councils to defined the canon of Scripture occurred around the year 400 A.D. The final Canon of Scripture was determined by the Council of Trent 1100 years later.

Moreover, prior to the invention of the printing press, the doctrine of “The Bible Alone” was completely impractical, since hand-copied Bibles were extremely rare, costing the equivalent of a year’s wages, which is why Bibles were often chained to pulpits.

The invention of the printing press made Luther’s doctrine practically possible.

Historically, there is no record of “the Bible alone” doctrine prior to Luther. Logically, if one rejects the infallible teaching authority of the Church which wrote, preserved and canonize the Bible, then one must consider the Bible to be errant.


197 posted on 05/08/2012 6:48:15 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas; count-your-change; metmom; boatbums; caww; smvoice; presently no screen name; ...

So you believe that according to SS, only the Bible can be used to determine doctrine, versus that Scripture alone is the assuredly infallible rule of faith, and while other sources and things which it provides for may be used, yet Scripture functionally is the supreme judge of all truth claims, and that this supremacy is not seen in Scripture?

And is your argument is that since there was no infallible canon, and since Scripture is open to interpretation, then an assuredly infallible interpreter (Rome) was necessary in order to preserve and provide assurance of truth, and establish writings as Scripture, and act as the supreme authority on truth?

Hope to post back tomorrow, God willing.


198 posted on 05/08/2012 8:05:59 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a damned+morally destitute sinner,+trust Him to forgive+save you,+live....)
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To: daniel1212

Thank you for your very detailed and instructive post concerning the pretend “canon” the Roman Catholic Church says it decided. I am keeping this for further reference though I doubt some will be convinced no matter how much scholarship is presented to them. No matter...only the Lord can open their spiritual eyes. Your hard work is not in vain. God bless you brother in Christ!


199 posted on 05/08/2012 8:52:25 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

“The Church preceded the Bible. Jesus refers to His Church in the gospels —the church which the gates of hell would not prevail against.”

Not so much. When Paul reasoned with and converted some of the Thessalonians he used “the Scriptures” which, at least, would been the Hebrew Scriptures.

So it would be more correct to say the church preceded the Bible as we have it today.


200 posted on 05/08/2012 10:29:38 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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