Skip to comments.The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants
Posted on 05/17/2012 5:40:57 PM PDT by Gamecock
Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why.....
The number of people who have left the Catholic church is huge.
We all have heard stories about why people leave. Parents share stories about their children. Academics talk about their students. Everyone has a friend who has left.
While personal experience can be helpful, social science research forces us to look beyond our circle of acquaintances to see what is going on in the whole church.
The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion & Public Life has put hard numbers on the anecdotal evidence: One out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a separate denomination, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic.
Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.
Thankfully, although the U.S. bishops have not supported research on people who have left the church, the Pew Center has.
Pews data shows that those leaving the church are not homogenous. They can be divided into two major groups: those who become unaffiliated and those who become Protestant. Almost half of those leaving the church become unaffiliated and almost half become Protestant. Only about 10 percent of ex-Catholics join non-Christian religions. This article will focus on Catholics who have become Protestant. I am not saying that those who become unaffiliated are not important; I am leaving that discussion to another time.
Why do people leave the Catholic church to become Protestant? Liberal Catholics will tell you that Catholics are leaving because they disagree with the churchs teaching on birth control, women priests, divorce, the bishops interference in American politics, etc. Conservatives blame Vatican II, liberal priests and nuns, a permissive culture and the churchs social justice agenda.
One of the reasons there is such disagreement is that we tend to think that everyone leaves for the same reason our friends, relatives and acquaintances have left. We fail to recognize that different people leave for different reasons. People who leave to join Protestant churches do so for different reasons than those who become unaffiliated. People who become evangelicals are different from Catholics who become members of mainline churches.
The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their spiritual needs were not being met in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they found a religion they like more (70 percent). Eighty-one percent of respondents say they joined their new church because they enjoy the religious service and style of worship of their new faith.
In other words, the Catholic church has failed to deliver what people consider fundamental products of religion: spiritual sustenance and a good worship service. And before conservatives blame the new liturgy, only 11 percent of those leaving complained that Catholicism had drifted too far from traditional practices such as the Latin Mass.
Dissatisfaction with how the church deals with spiritual needs and worship services dwarfs any disagreements over specific doctrines. While half of those who became Protestants say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teaching, specific questions get much lower responses. Only 23 percent said they left because of the churchs teaching on abortion and homosexuality; only 23 percent because of the churchs teaching on divorce; only 21 percent because of the rule that priests cannot marry; only 16 percent because of the churchs teaching on birth control; only 16 percent because of the way the church treats women; only 11 percent because they were unhappy with the teachings on poverty, war and the death penalty.
The data shows that disagreement over specific doctrines is not the main reason Catholics become Protestants. We also have lots of survey data showing that many Catholics who stay disagree with specific church teachings. Despite what theologians and bishops think, doctrine is not that important either to those who become Protestant or to those who stay Catholic.
People are not becoming Protestants because they disagree with specific Catholic teachings; people are leaving because the church does not meet their spiritual needs and they find Protestant worship service better.
Nor are the people becoming Protestants lazy or lax Christians. In fact, they attend worship services at a higher rate than those who remain Catholic. While 42 percent of Catholics who stay attend services weekly, 63 percent of Catholics who become Protestants go to church every week. That is a 21 percentage-point difference.
Catholics who became Protestant also claim to have a stronger faith now than when they were children or teenagers. Seventy-one percent say their faith is very strong, while only 35 percent and 22 percent reported that their faith was very strong when they were children and teenagers, respectively. On the other hand, only 46 percent of those who are still Catholic report their faith as very strong today as an adult.
Thus, both as believers and as worshipers, Catholics who become Protestants are statistically better Christians than those who stay Catholic. We are losing the best, not the worst.
Some of the common explanations of why people leave do not pan out in the data. For example, only 21 percent of those becoming Protestant mention the sex abuse scandal as a reason for leaving. Only 3 percent say they left because they became separated or divorced.
If you believed liberals, most Catholics who leave the church would be joining mainline churches, like the Episcopal church. In fact, almost two-thirds of former Catholics who join a Protestant church join an evangelical church. Catholics who become evangelicals and Catholics who join mainline churches are two very distinct groups. We need to take a closer look at why each leaves the church.
Fifty-four percent of both groups say that they just gradually drifted away from Catholicism. Both groups also had almost equal numbers (82 percent evangelicals, 80 percent mainline) saying they joined their new church because they enjoyed the worship service. But compared to those who became mainline Protestants, a higher percentage of those becoming evangelicals said they left because their spiritual needs were not being met (78 percent versus 57 percent) and that they had stopped believing in Catholic teaching (62 percent versus 20 percent). They also cited the churchs teaching on the Bible (55 percent versus 16 percent) more frequently as a reason for leaving. Forty-six percent of these new evangelicals felt the Catholic church did not view the Bible literally enough. Thus, for those leaving to become evangelicals, spiritual sustenance, worship services and the Bible were key. Only 11 percent were unhappy with the churchs teachings on poverty, war, and the death penalty Ñ the same percentage as said they were unhappy with the churchs treatment of women. Contrary to what conservatives say, ex-Catholics are not flocking to the evangelicals because they think the Catholic church is politically too liberal. They are leaving to get spiritual nourishment from worship services and the Bible.
Looking at the responses of those who join mainline churches also provides some surprising results. For example, few (20 percent) say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teachings. However, when specific issues were mentioned in the questionnaire, more of those joining mainline churches agreed that these issues influenced their decision to leave the Catholic church. Thirty-one percent cited unhappiness with the churchs teaching on abortion and homosexuality, women, and divorce and remarriage, and 26 percent mentioned birth control as a reason for leaving. Although these numbers are higher than for Catholics who become evangelicals, they are still dwarfed by the number (57 percent) who said their spiritual needs were not met in the Catholic church.
Thus, those becoming evangelicals were more generically unhappy than specifically unhappy with church teaching, while those who became mainline Protestant tended to be more specifically unhappy than generically unhappy with church teaching. The unhappiness with the churchs teaching on poverty, war and the death penalty was equally low for both groups (11 percent for evangelicals; 10 percent for mainline).
What stands out in the data on Catholics who join mainline churches is that they tend to cite personal or familiar reasons for leaving more frequently than do those who become evangelicals. Forty-four percent of the Catholics who join mainline churches say that they married someone of the faith they joined, a number that trumps all doctrinal issues. Only 22 percent of those who join the evangelicals cite this reason.
Perhaps after marrying a mainline Christian and attending his or her churchs services, the Catholic found the mainline services more fulfilling than the Catholic service. And even if they were equally attractive, perhaps the exclusion of the Protestant spouse from Catholic Communion makes the more welcoming mainline church attractive to an ecumenical couple.
Those joining mainline communities also were more likely to cite dissatisfaction of the Catholic clergy (39 percent) than were those who became evangelical (23 percent). Those who join mainline churches are looking for a less clerically dominated church.
Lessons from the data
There are many lessons that we can learn from the Pew data, but I will focus on only three.
First, those who are leaving the church for Protestant churches are more interested in spiritual nourishment than doctrinal issues. Tinkering with the wording of the creed at Mass is not going to help. No one except the Vatican and the bishops cares whether Jesus is one in being with the Father or consubstantial with the Father. That the hierarchy thinks this is important shows how out of it they are.
While the hierarchy worries about literal translations of the Latin text, people are longing for liturgies that touch the heart and emotions. More creativity with the liturgy is needed, and that means more flexibility must be allowed. If you build it, they will come; if you do not, they will find it elsewhere. The changes that will go into effect this Advent will make matters worse, not better.
Second, thanks to Pope Pius XII, Catholic scripture scholars have had decades to produce the best thinking on scripture in the world. That Catholics are leaving to join evangelical churches because of the church teaching on the Bible is a disgrace. Too few homilists explain the scriptures to their people. Few Catholics read the Bible.
The church needs a massive Bible education program. The church needs to acknowledge that understanding the Bible is more important than memorizing the catechism. If we could get Catholics to read the Sunday scripture readings each week before they come to Mass, it would be revolutionary. If you do not read and pray the scriptures, you are not an adult Christian. Catholics who become evangelicals understand this.
Finally, the Pew data shows that two-thirds of Catholics who become Protestants do so before they reach the age of 24. The church must make a preferential option for teenagers and young adults or it will continue to bleed. Programs and liturgies that cater to their needs must take precedence over the complaints of fuddy-duddies and rubrical purists.
Current religious education programs and teen groups appear to have little effect on keeping these folks Catholic, according to the Pew data, although those who attend a Catholic high school do appear to stay at a higher rate. More research is needed to find out what works and what does not.
The Catholic church is hemorrhaging members. It needs to acknowledge this and do more to understand why. Only if we acknowledge the exodus and understand it will we be in a position to do something about it.
Water baptism is an outward action whereby we identify with Christ and make a public confession of faith, but we are NOT saved because we get water baptized else that would be a "work of righteousness" on our part. We are saved by receiving what Jesus Christ did on our behalf - he washed all our sins away by His precious shed blood - by the shedding of blood is the remission of sins:
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 7:11)
That is what GRACE is - undeserved mercy. We get what we don't deserve and we don't get what we DO deserve. It SHOULD be noticeable by now that we are not trying to convert anyone away from one religion into "ours". We are speaking the truth of the Gospel and praying that the eyes of others hearts are opened and their ears hear the truth of what God has done for all mankind. He gives us a gift - one that no amount of money on earth can buy - and it is the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. To make a gift your own, you receive it, you don't work for it nor earn it, you don't do anything in order to keep it either. A gift IS a gift, freely given, freely received. But once that gift is received, the Spirit of God dwells within to change us from the inside out and as the guarantee of our redemption. He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us, but will be with us until we come to our eternal home in Heaven.
This thread was started by a "Protestant" and spoke about the number of people who left the Roman Catholic religion and talked about why they did so. After almost 1000 posts, we have a few Roman Catholics who are hanging on desperately trying to convince others that such people who left are either not being truthful about why they left or who are "bitter" and "hateful" lashing out at the innocent Catholic Church. We end up rehashing the same arguments over the same doctrines that nearly always come up when a thread turns into a Catholic vs. Protestant battle. I participate because I am one of those who DID leave and I am not ashamed to say why. Like I said, this is not about "stealing" members away from one church to another. It is about speaking the truth of the Gospel, defending the Word of God and allowing ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit to speak to those that come here - people we may NEVER know were effected by our words.
I hope and pray that the seeds that are planted and the water that is sprinkled, will cause the gospel to grow in the hearts of those God has prepared. That's all we CAN do.
“Christ paid in full for our salvation and it was perfect and complete. Nothing we do will gain our salvation. Claiming we need to do something to gain salvation is to claim that Christs sacrifice on the cross was incomplete.”
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Christ redeemed mankind, His death doesn’t cover all our
sins, a mistaken false Protestant teaching.
Protestantism, a tiny little bit of truth mixed with all the heresies. One heresy, you have to keep saying “works” (our lives lived) are NOT what determines if we go to Heaven. To support Martin Luther’s lie of Faith alone.
No, it’s faith and works, with the help of God’s grace.
False. If you are at all interested in learning about why the Reformation happened, this is a good link: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/04/historical-roots-of-reformation-and.html. After you get done with that, we can continue to discuss, but your desperate comments are mere efforts to strike out at someone who doesn't see things as you do. I'm interested in dialog, not fighting.
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of REGENERATION and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Water baptism is an outward action whereby we identify with Christ and make a public confession of faith, but we are NOT saved because we get water baptized else that would be a “work of righteousness” on our part. ~~We are saved by receiving what Jesus Christ did on our behalf - he washed all our sins away by His precious shed blood - by the shedding of blood is the remission of sins:~~
!!!! ~ ~ ~ !!!!
Bx, pardon my French.
Water Baptism is required to go to Heaven but it is not the
only thing required. “Born Again” is water baptism.
“REGENERATION is a Biblico-dogmatic term closely connected with the ideas of justification, Divine sonship, and the deification of the soul through grace. Confining ourselves first to the Biblical use of this term, we find regeneration from God used in indissoluble connection with baptism, which St. Paul expressly calls “the laver of regeneration” (Titus 3:5). In His discourse with Nicodemus (John 3:5), the Saviour declares: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
The final words above, are an absolute lie. Our sins are not washed away by Christ’s death on the Cross.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Gods wrath through him!
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
I Corinthians 6:11
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Knowing that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his bloodto be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
“Water baptism is required to go to Heaven”
Trying to share “Born Again” is water baptism so I am stuck
on speaking of Water Baptism. To be perfectly correct, take out the word “water” above because....
There are two other forms of Baptism, the Baptism of desire
and Baptism of blood which is martyrdom.
The usual form is water baptism.
Any assertion that the Reformation was not a political event arising from primarily political motivation denies history. Luther was hired by the opponents of Emperor Charles V (who also happened to be King Charles I of Spain) to break the power of the Church in the selection of the Emperor and the influence of Spain within the confederation of 300 feudal entities that comprised the Holy Roman Empire.
The Church in Germany was no different than the Church an any other part of Europe that did not experience the theological upheaval. What was different was the envy of the what Henry VII was able to acquire by rejecting the Church. Were the motives entirely theological the Peasants Revolt that followed would have had a completely different outcome.
Peace and Blessings
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Copying the verses in Scripture with the word justified in them doesn’t prove the false teaching Jesus’ death on the Cross covers all our sins. That’s why...
Private Judgment is heresy.
God gave the authority to interpret Scripture to the Church. What does Paul say, you have to work out your Salvation (justification).
 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.
 With fear: This is against the false faith, and presumptuous security of modern sectaries.
Now, now, no need to curse!
I agree your paragraph about water baptism being required in order to be saved certainly IS a lie and I know exactly where it came from - the pit of hell.
I am astounded that you continue to assert, "Our sins are not washed away by Christs death on the Cross." Are not the words of Holy Scripture adequate for you? Is Paul a liar? What do you think he meant went he said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
I Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
Or how about "your" first Pope, St. Peter?
I Peter 2:24
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Or how about St. John?
I John 2:2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
I John 3:5
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
I John 4:10
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Are you really ready to call the Holy Spirit a liar? Better warn those around you to stand back!
“You still do not understand.”
Reading the mind of another Freeper is a form of “making it personal.”
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
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I am trying RM. I use the term, to me, it’s a kind way to say “you are wrong.” I won’t say it anymore.
Poisoning the well? Why not let people who are really interested read for themselves about the Reformation? The view you espouse is so blatantly biased it is laughable. Martin Luther was hardly the first or only person interested in restoring the church back to orthodoxy. If the Reformation was a "political" event only, then why were there changes made that corresponded to Luther's 95 Thesis?
From the referenced link:
Every major tenet of the Reformation had considerable support in the catholic tradition. That was eminently true of the central Reformation teaching of justification by faith alone .That the ground of our salvation is the unearned favor of God in Christ, and that all we need do to obtain it is to trust that favor this was the confession of great catholic saints and teachers .Romes reactions [to the Protestant reformers] were the doctrinal decrees of the Council of Trent and the Roman Catechism based upon those decrees. In these decrees, the Council of Trent selected and elevated to official status the notion of justification by faith plus works, which was only one of the doctrines of justification in the medieval theologians and ancient fathers. When the reformers attacked this notion in the name of the doctrine of justification by faith alone a doctrine also attested to by some medieval theologians and ancient fathers Rome reacted by canonizing one trend in preference to all the others. What had previously been permitted also (justification by faith alone), now became forbidden. In condemning the Protestant Reformation, the Council of Trent condemned part of its own catholic tradition .
Interpreters of the New Testament have suggested a host of meanings for the passage [Matthew 16]. As Roman Catholic scholars now concede, the ancient Christian father Cyprian used it to prove the authority of the bishop not merely of the Roman bishop, but of every bishop .So traumatic was the effect of the dogma of papal infallibility that the pope did not avail himself of this privilege for eighty years. But when he finally did, by proclaiming the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 1, 1950, he confirmed the suspicions and misgivings of the dogmas critics. Not only is Scriptural proof obviously lacking for this notion, but the tradition of the early Christian centuries is also silent about it .
In asserting their catholicity, the reformers drew upon the church fathers as proof that it was possible to be catholic without being Roman. Study of the fathers thus became an important part of the Protestant panoply as well. In fact, the very word 'patrology' as a title for a manual on the church fathers and their works is a Protestant invention, first used by Johann Gerhard (d. 1637).
When Protestant liberalism developed during the nineteenth century, one of its principal contributions to theological literature was its work on the fathers. The Patrology of the Roman Catholic scholar Johannes Quasten and an essay by the Jesuit scholar J. de Ghellinck both reveal the dependence even of Roman theologians upon the scholarly achievements of Protestant historians, the outstanding of whom was Adolf Harnack (d. 1930). Although the generation of theologians after Harnack has not been as interested in the field of patristic study, Protestants have not completely forgotten the heritage of the fathers.
Meanwhile, Roman Catholics have begun to put an assessment upon the fathers that differs significantly from the traditional one. Instead of measuring the fathers against the standards of a later orthodoxy, Roman Catholic historians now interpret them in the context of their own time. This means, for example, that a church father like Origen is no longer interpreted on the basis of his later (and politically motivated) condemnation for heresy, but on the basis of his own writings and career .The study of the church fathers is now a predominantly Roman Catholic building, even though many of the foundations for it were laid by Protestant hands .the heritage of the fathers does not belong exclusively to either side.
Roman Catholics must acknowledge the presence of evangelical or 'Protestant' ideas in Irenaeus, and Protestants must come to terms with the catholic elements in the same father." (Jaroslav Pelikan, The Riddle Of Roman Catholicism [Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1959], pp. 46-49, 51-52, 78, 83, 195-196)
A Protestant gets to decide everything personally. The meaning of Scripture, the requirements for Salvation, you all are your own pope.
“False. If you are at all interested in learning about why the Reformation happened, this is a good link: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/04/historical-roots-of-reformation-and.html. After you get done with that, we can continue to discuss, but your DESPERATE comments are mere efforts to strike out at someone who doesn’t see things as you do. I’m interested in dialog, not FIGHTING.”
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The personal attack...all under cover. Your negative words
to me aren’t positive and loving. I am not “fighting”, I stated the Truth.
My comment wasn’t “desperate.” I stated a fact, the reason for 38,000 Protestant sects, so many Protestantism came up with an new word for some of their splits.
Anyone, you don’t have to be Catholic, go and pray before the Eucharist. Kneel before the Tabernacle on the altar or kneel before the monstrance in any Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. Go to the Parish office, tell them, they can help if you find the Church door is locked.
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Pray In Front Of The Eucharist In Silence
May 24, 2012
I wish for you to write about hope in the presence of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a great gift to mankind; a wonder. Not too many other gifts will ever be this great. There is much hope to obtain when praying in front of the Eucharist. Poverty, abortion, loneliness can all be ceased by hoping in the Eucharist. Your hope in goodness will help to stop these sins. Pray many hours in front of the Eucharist and many of your problems will be solved. It is a time of renewal for you. To take and eat this bread in remembrance of me. I am there in the Eucharist my child. You must hope in me. The Eucharist is how I get closest to you. What a gift. Pray in front of the Eucharist in silence and you will obtain many gifts. Hope in me my child. I will not forsake you. All is well in the kingdom when you hope in me. Thank you.
Disagreeing with someone's beliefs and stating what it is that is disagreed with is not "the personal attack". No "cover" is needed since I am not attempting to read your mind, attribute motives, make the comment "about" you or harass you. Those are the rules and, on an OPEN religion forum thread, disagreement and a "town square" atmosphere is to be expected. If you are unable to tolerate people disagreeing with you, then you should avoid such threads. It takes a tough hide sometimes to hear people disagree with you, so "thin-skinned" people are discouraged from participating on these types of threads because taking personal offense when a cherished belief is criticized is disruptive to the thread when such feelings are verbalized.
If you want "positive" and "loving", stick to the Caucus threads where antagonism is not allowed. And just to get this straight, I don't come here to be hateful or insulting, but to speak as I sense the Lord leading me to speak. I have a B.A. degree from a Bible College and over forty years in the study of the Bible as well as the Christian faith that I hold dear. I don't bluff or bluster and I do a lot of research to reinforce my comments. My intent is to always glorify the Lord and help all those who desire to know the truth to find it in Holy Scripture just as I was shown those many long years ago. I praise the Lord that he did what he said he would - be a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. I pray you have a peaceful night.
CB:So Catholicism isnt for everybody ey? Dont Catholics claim to be the only true body of Christ? I wonder what Jesus would say about locking those dull witted out of His grace and promise of salvation? How revealing that you would make a comment like that.
Here's what James says. You know, the Catholic's favorite book of the Bible to quote from.
James 1:26-27 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 2:1-13 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, You sit here in a good place, while you say to the poor man, You stand over there, or, Sit down at my feet, 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For he who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not murder. If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believeand shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousnessand he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
And of course, Jesus own words....
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Would the whole thing be invisible?
Yes. Where does Scripture state that receiving grace imparted to our lives visible. And no, it would not be invisible in a sense because the work of grace in our lives results in changes in the outward actions caused by the change in the inward attitude.
Would God simply give to each person of good will a silent inner conviction of being saved?
No. Good will has nothing to do with it because salvation is not by works or *sincere* or having a good heart. There are lots of nice people who aren't really saved because they don't confess Jesus as Lord. I've seen plenty of people who are all nicey-nice..... until you mention Jesus, and then watch the meltdown begin.
It's only His children to whom He gives the silent , inner conviction of being saved.
Each time that we felt the need of divine help, would we simply ask for it and immediately feel welling up within us a great surge of spiritual strength?
Luke 11:5-13 5 And he said to them, Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him; 7 and he will answer from within, Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything?
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
John 1:14-17 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 ( John bore witness about him, and cried out, This was he of whom I said, He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Romans 3:21-30 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is onewho will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Romans 5:12-21 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Ephesians 1:7-8 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Hebrews 4:15-16 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
How do you know that?
Where did God tell us that?
Chapter and verse?
That's putting the cart before the horse.
Catholic mentality is that the physical actions cause the spiritual reality to happen, but the problem is, it's the spiritual reality that is worked out in the physical. It's the spiritual, being the greater and true reality, that causes the physical, the temporal and lesser reality, to happen.
The most obvious of this is the outward change in behavior of those who have experienced the inward work of grace in their lives as a result of redemption and regeneration. The change happens in the heart before it happens in the body.
The mind controls the body, not the body the mind.
That is a completely corrupted mistranslation of that verse. Something that doesn't surprise me coming from the Douay-Rheims Bible, which many Catholics even reject as an acceptable translation.
Here, read it in the Greek.