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Salvation in Catholicism

This post is meant to give brief (and simple) explanation of Catholic Church’s teaching on salvation.  Other than from Scripture (RSV) I may quote from or refer to Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC for short), which is the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

Salvation is, perhaps, the always raised topic when Catholics meet Protestants and/or “Bible only” Christians, especially those with strong zeal of evangelism – after all Catholics are usually their favourite and easy targets.   Many Catholics do not understand the teaching of the Church on salvation and therefore are easily to be led away to believe what the Catholic Church does not teach (and never taught).

To begin with, we cannot understand Catholic Church’s teaching on salvation without understanding first the other closely related and inseparable issues.  They are Original Sin, God’s Grace, Human Freedom, Predestination and Justification.

We start first with Original Sin.  Catholics believe that the first sin committed by the first man, Adam, affects all of us (Romans 5:12, 19). This first sin makes us deprived from original holiness and justice (CCC # 405). The Church refers this deprivation as Original Sin (CCC # 417).  In relation with salvation, Original Sin weakens our nature (we will see later what it means), makes us inclined to sin and subject to ignorance.  From Scripture we know the serious consequence of sin. Nothing unclean can enter heaven (Revelation 21:27); he who commits sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8) and the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). Our sins therefore do not entitle us to enter heaven and to enjoy eternal fellowship with God. By ignorance Catholics mean we cannot even will our salvation.  In other words the initiative of our salvation belongs to God.  It is God, not us, who takes the first step to save us.  He does so by providing us with His Grace.  Thus Catholics believe in Salvation by Grace and never believe in Salvation by Works.  This leads us to the next issue: God’ Grace and what it does in our salvation.

First, what is Grace?  Catholics understand Grace (CCC # 1996) as favour, free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons (John 1:12), partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life (2 Peter 1:4).  The word “free” means we do not need to do anything worthy enough to receive God’s Grace and it is underserved because God is not under any obligation to save us.  When He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us is His Grace. As an analogy for grace, think Grace as initial push from God, without which we cannot move towards our salvation.   Catholics believe that the Three Persons in the Holy Trinity together participate in giving us Grace. The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it (CCC # 1999). How do we respond to God’s Grace is related to the next issue, Human Freedom.

Catholics believe that God’s free initiative demands man’s free response (CCC # 2002).  It means we have freedom to choose whether to cooperate with God’s Grace or to reject it.  God did not create us to behave like robots, i.e. that we will automatically move in prescribed manner after being switched on by God’s Grace.  Thus when Catholics say our nature is weakened, but not totally corrupted by Original Sin, its implication means we still have the ability or freedom to choose between good and evil.  Keep in mind that our freedom comes after being first moved by God’ grace – without God’ Grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight (CCC # 1993).  In contrast heresies like Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism teach that we can use our freedom to take the first step in our salvation and then God’s Grace will assist us.  What does Scripture say regarding our freedom? In the parable of wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14) the invited guests were able to reject invitation.  The first martyr, Stephen, told those who falsely accused him as those who resisted Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).  In Revelation 3:20 while Christ takes the initiative to knock at our door, it is up to us whether we open the door to welcome Christ or not (note the conditional statement starting with “if”).

Related to God’s Grace and Human Freedom is the next issue, Predestination.  Many would say that in Catholicism there is no predestination because we believe in human freedom.  This is not true – there is predestination in Catholicism because the initiative of our salvation belongs to God, not to us.  God takes the first step by giving us His Grace and we, in using our freedom, response back.  Catholics believe in the existence of the Elect, i.e. those whom God predestines to heaven (Matthew 25:34, Acts 13:48, Romans 8:28-30).  But Catholics also believe that God predestines no one to hell (CCC # 1037) – this means those who end up in hell do so because they use their freedom to reject God’s grace.  Scripture is pretty clear in stating that God gives His Grace through Christ to every one and calls every one through Christ to salvation. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22) and For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men (Titus 2:11).  Christ came to save the lost (Luke 19:10) and sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), which means all mankind, not only the Elect (CCC # 605, 1019).  Obviously not all will go to heaven.  God gives His Grace lavishly or in abundance to the Elect (Ephesians 1:7-8). He has mercy but also hardens the hearts of whom He will (cf. Romans 9:18). Thus Catholics believe those who end up in hell also receive God’s grace, which they pervert (Jude 4). The Elect are the ones who have what we call as assurance of salvation.  However Catholics believe that unless God reveals it to us we cannot know who the Elect are.  In Romans 16:3-16 Paul greeted a number of persons and only Rufus (Romans 16:13) he singled out as God’s Elect.  This does not mean the rest will not go to heaven but Paul was given the revelation of only Rufus’ Election.  This is the reason why in Catholicism salvation is conditional.  Among Scriptural verses that support conditional salvation are: Luke 12:42-46, John 15:1-10, Romans 11:20-33, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, Hebrews 3:12 and 2 Peter 2:20-21.  While Christ said no one can snatch his sheep from his hands (John 10:28) it does not rule out the possibility that His sheep are the ones who decide to leave Him – here we talk about human freedom again.  Our salvation does indeed come from God’s grace and we have freedom to receive or to reject it.

The last but the most important issue related to salvation is Justification.  How does God justify us to enter heaven? On this issue of Justification the 16th century Protestant Reformers broke away from Catholicism.   First what is Justification?  Following definition given in council of Trent Catholics understand Justification as a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.  The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (page 118) defines Justification as the merciful and freely-given act of God which takes away our sins and makes us just [righteous] and holy in our whole being. It is brought about by means of the grace of the Holy Spirit which has been merited for us by the passion of Christ and is given to us in Baptism.  Justification is the beginning of the free response of man, that is, faith in Christ and of cooperation with the grace of the Holy Spirit.  From Protestant’s side I borrow definition given by Reformed scholar R.C. Sproul: The Reformers viewed justification as being forensic, resting on God’s judicial declaration that the sinner is counted as just or righteous by virtue of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.” (R.C. Sproul: Faith Alone, page 44).  Comparing the two definitions their striking difference comes from the words “translation” (Catholic) and “declaration” (Protestant).  Translation implies a change in our state, from being unrighteous (or sons of Adam) to righteous (or sons of God, 1 John 3:7, 10) through Christ, our Saviour.  Declaration does not imply any change within us – we are simply counted as righteous because Christ’ righteousness is imputed on us.  Thus Reformer John Calvin defined justification as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favour as if we were righteous (John Calvin: Institutes of Christian Religion 3.11.2, underlined emphasis is mine). This does not mean that to Protestants change of state does not happen in our salvation.  It does! But to them it happens through our Sanctification, a process we undergo after our conversion to Christ.  Protestants believe that we are justified by faith alone and therefore separate Sanctification from Justification. Catholics, on the other hand, consider Sanctification as integral part of Justification. In other words to Catholics Justification comprises both faith and Sanctification (CCC #1989). This makes Justification a process to Catholics while to Protestants it is one-time event.  Keep in mind that while Protestants separate Sanctification from Justification, these two must come together in a saved person’s life.  Reformer John Calvin wrote: as Christ cannot be divided into parts, so the two things, justification and sanctification, which we perceive to be united together in him, are inseparable (Calvin: Institutes of Christian Religion 3.11.6). The implication of separating Justification from sanctification and at the same time making these two inseparable is expressed in the words of Reformed scholar R.C. Sproul: Justification is by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone. Saving faith is not a “lonely” faith, having no works following as a companion (R.C. Sproul: Faith Alone, page 156). Here works refers to works as the outcome of regeneration, that is, a saved (and regenerated) person should turn away from his/her old sinful ways to become new person who obeys God’s commandments.  Protestants are divided on the issue when this regeneration takes place – does it precede faith (in Christ) as according to Reformed (Calvinism) teaching or does faith precede Regeneration as according to Arminianism? Both believe this regeneration produces works in Sanctification.  Scripture says that we are saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8) and through Sanctification (2 Thessalonians 2:13).  Since Sanctification is separated from Justification Protestants correctly say, using their terminology, that Justification is by faith alone – works they do in Sanctification do not belong to (their) Justification.  Catholics who consider Sanctification as integral part of Justification believe works are part of Justification.  However instead of saying we are justified by faith plus works, the correct expression is we are justified by grace – it is God’s Grace that first moves us to believe in Christ and to obey God’s commandments in our Sanctification.  Without God’s Grace we cannot do both, not even have the initiative, but we, in using our freedom, have to cooperate with it.  It is worth to note that not all Protestants and “Bible only” Christians believe that Sanctification is inseparable from Justification, i.e. they believe that works during our Sanctification are optional, not obligatory, for salvation.

Both Catholic and Protestant’ definition use the word “righteous” or “just”.  In Greek the word Justification (dikaios) and Righteousness (dikaiosune) have the same root, righteous or just (Greek dike).  Justification does have something to do with righteousness – the righteous will go to eternal life (Matthew 25:46) while the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9).  Because Catholics consider Justification as a process, comprising both faith and Sanctification, “to justify” means “to make righteous”.  To Protestants who consider Justification as one time event, “to justify” means “to declare one to be righteous”.

Catholics and Protestants believe that our righteousness comes from God – they disagree on how it is applied to us.  Is it infused in us (Catholic position) or imputed on us (Protestant position)?  Infused righteousness implies that with our cooperation it becomes integral part of us or we are made righteous. Imputed righteousness, on the other hand, means we use Christ’ righteousness to cover our unrighteousness – His righteousness remains external and we are only declared righteous. The Catholic Church declares that through Justification the righteousness of God, through Christ, is infused in us (by the Holy Spirit).  It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy (CCC # 1992).  Scripture defines righteousness as “he who does right is righteous, as he [Christ] is righteous (1 John 3:7) and through Christ we are made righteous (Romans 5:19).  Keep in mind that being righteous is not equal to being sinless. To do what is right certainly include “to repent” but one does need to repent unless he/she sins in the first place. Scripture says (Proverbs 24:16): “for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again.” Catholics and Protestants agree that our justification comes from God’s grace (Titus 3:7, CCC # 1996) and has been merited by Christ (Romans 3:23-25, 5:9, CCC # 1992).  By ourselves, using our own efforts and freedom, we can never reach the justified state to enter heaven.  It is God, through His Grace, who takes the first initiative to move us towards our salvation.

Catholics believe that our Justification starts when we, first moved by grace and then in using our freedom, accept the gift of faith from God.  Note that both Catholics and Protestants consider faith as gift from God, that is, it is given not because we do something to deserve it (Ephesians 2:8).  It is worth to mention that Catholics believe unless we are first moved by grace we cannot have faith in Christ (CCC # 2010). No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44).  Catholics do believe in Justification by faith but not in Justification by faith alone, because Catholics understand Justification to be a process, not one-time event.

Once we receive the gift of faith Catholics believe that our Justification is conferred in Baptism (CCC # 1992).  Most Protestants consider Baptism only as symbol or public declaration of one’s faith in Christ – neither of them has scriptural support.  Baptism has something to do with salvation as Scripture testifies:  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16) and when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (1 Peter 3:20-21).  The reason why Baptism has something to do with salvation is because it regenerates us – through Baptism we have new life (Romans 6:3-4) because we are cleansed from sin (Acts 2:38, 22:16).  To Catholics sins that are washed away through Baptism are Original sin and personal sin (CCC # 1263). Through Baptism we receive Sanctifying grace that entitles us to enter heaven (CCC # 1999).  Thus to Catholics Baptism is necessary for salvation of those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for it (cf. CCC # 1257).  This explains why the thief crucified with Christ and repented was with Him in paradise without Baptism. God has bound salvation to the Sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments (CCC # 1257).  We just mention Sanctifying Grace that comes through Baptism. In Catholicism there are Actual Grace and Sanctifying Grace.  The former is the Grace that first moves us to believe in Christ in our conversion and to obey Him through our Sanctification (CCC # 1999).

While sanctifying grace makes us entitle to enter heaven, Catholics believe we can lose it through mortal sins. Scripture does differentiate between mortal and non-mortal (or venial) sins (1 John 5:16-17, CCC # 1854).  Scripture also testifies that committing sin after our conversion does affect our salvation (Hebrews 10:26-27).  He who commits sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8). Note that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear – He even provides his grace in the form of way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thus if we sin it means we use our freedom not to cooperate with His grace. God again takes the initiative to save us – His (actual) grace will move us to repent and to ask forgiveness. If we cooperate then Catholics regain back sanctifying grace through Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is worth to mention that in the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification (cf. CCC # 987).  Christ did give the authority to forgive sins to His Church (John 20:23). Those who die with un-repented mortal sin will end-up in hell – all their good works, no matter how numerous and impressive they are, will be forgotten and will not save them (Ezekiel 18:24) – there is no such thing as salvation by works in Catholicism.  Those who die with venial sins must go through purgatory through which they are purified as nothing unclean can enter heaven (Revelation 21:27). Scripture refers God as refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2), who refine us as one refines silver, and test us as gold is tested (Zechariah 13:9).  To Protestants purgatory is not required because in their Justification they use Christ’ righteousness to cover up their unrighteousness.

The other issue related to salvation is the role of our good works.  Catholics and Protestants agree that good (or evil) works we did before our conversion to Christ do not merit (or demerit) the gift of faith from God. How about good works in our Sanctification? Protestants generally consider them as fruits or signs of true faith – they are done because we were saved, not for being saved.  Catholics agree that good works in our Sanctification are fruits or signs of our Justification because in Catholicism Sanctification is integral part of Justification.  Yet Catholics also relates works with God’s Grace – unless we are first moved by His (actual) Grace we cannot do them.  Scripture says: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13) and “But by the grace of God I am what I am. and his grace toward me was not in vain.  On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Related to good works is the issue of merit or reward.  Do we merit something from God for our good-works performed in our Sanctification?  Catholics believe that we cannot merit anything from God, because we receive everything from Him (CCC # 2007), including our ability to do good works (CCC # 2008).  If God rewards us for doing good works, which He does (Psalms 18:20, Proverbs 25:21-22, Matthew 6:6, 18, Luke 6:35, 2 John 8, Revelation 22:12 etc.) then our reward is also His gift because we do not deserve it.  Because the reward is a gift then it may come in the form of grace and even eternal life (CCC # 2010).  Scripture does testify that God rewards us with eternal life for our good works, which Catholics view as His gift (Matthew 25:34-36, John 5:28-29, Romans 2:6-10).  The concept of “grace merits grace” in Catholicism (CCC # 2010) may confuse or even scandalize Protestants. How can we merit grace if it is a free gift from God? The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace (CCC # 2008).  In scripture the title Saviour is applied only to Christ (Luke 2:11, Acts 13:23, Philippians 3:20) and God (Luke 1:47, 1 Timothy 1:1, Titus 1:3, Jude 25).  Our salvation comes from God’s Grace – but God let us participate in salvation of others when we pray for others or share the good news with them or work as missionary.  Note that God can do everything Himself – He does not need any help from us.  Catholics understand that it is God’s Grace that first moves us to work as missionary or to share the good news or to pray.  Using our freedom we cooperate and the outcome of our cooperation is salvation of others.  Thus grace moves us to work and our graced work merits grace for others or for ourselves.  Does Scripture say through Christ we receive grace upon grace (John 1:16)?

146 Comments

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  1. andrealudwig / Jul 8 2008 9:55 pm

    Wow, that’s long.
    I wanted to let you know that I was praying and re-thinking my position concerning women teaching men. (Good thing this issue is not an essential doctrine for salvation! It is very tricky to me.) I feel bad arguing with men because I want to allow them to maintain their dignity, and not feel like a woman outsmarted them. I also am aware that I could be wrong on some issues and do not want to lead anyone astray – even though I have studied the Bible intensly for nearly 18 years. In any case, argue away. I will try not to delete your comments! The orignal reason for deleting the comments was that I wanted my site to remain pristine and undefiled — please laugh here, but it is true. I wanted to present only the truth as I see it so as not to lead nayone astray. I do believe I have a firm grasp on much truth since I have been taught and guided by the Holy Spirit. Catholicism seems like a lot of gibberish to me, and full of a lot of unbiblical practices. Sorry, but I truly believe that.

    • robin Lorms / Sep 15 2012 10:39 am

      I was raised Catholic and found truth in the Word. When I look around the Internet, I see so many of “man’s” opinions from Catholics that a complete state of confusion results from their discourse. Catholics have so many different opinions and beliefs that it blows one’s mind. I am in agreement with you that we can all have TRUTH as found in God’s Word. It will never vary and those who read it and believe can offer solid and convincing arguments for His plan of salvation. Stay strong in HIs Word.

    • Camryn Daniel / Jan 26 2014 4:22 pm

      I am Not Catholic. To me, Protestants have edited the Bible to suit themselves

  2. andrealudwig / Jul 8 2008 9:56 pm

    That shoould read, “so as not to lead anyone astray….”

  3. vivator / Jul 8 2008 10:11 pm

    Catholicism seems like a lot of giberish to you? I think it is because you rely more on your perception than facts – sorry to repeat the same words again. You are entitled to disagree with what the Catholic Church teaches – but not with what the Church never teaches.

    • Camryn Daniel / Jan 26 2014 4:17 pm

      I am not a Catholic. It amazes me how many Protestants don’t “get it”.

  4. buddingtheologian / Sep 3 2008 9:20 pm

    A most insightful explanation for someone like me who was reared Protestant. I’ve heard enough from Protestants about the differences between P and RC, but it is always good to hear it from the other side. I’ve seen most of the complaints against RC as inaccurate interpretation of RC practices without knowing the doctrine that drives the practice (e.g.- RC have to do penance after sinning so they believe that they can merit forgiveness).

    The major problems I have with RC is 1) the veneration of Mary and Saints (and their roles as mediators) and 2)Baptismal regeneration. In all honestly, I could handle submitting to the authority of the Pope at Rome (though Ignatius of Antioch’s description of church polity doesn’t imply apostolic succession as far as I know–even if 1 Clement does), I can accept the infusion of righteousness, but I really have a hard time with 1) and 2)(but more so 1). How does 1) fit into the RC system? I’m not looking for debate (you can delete my post if you want), but I am seeking understanding. E-mail me or leave a comment on my blog. Thanks!

  5. Curious Jo / Sep 4 2008 10:20 pm

    As a protestant trying to understand Catholicism, your blog has become my daily go-to place since I found it a few days ago.

    My question is: what drives you to continue being the steadfast believer you are? As a protestant, I am assured of my salvation and am confident that I will have have eternal life with Christ, and that gives me incredibile joy and peace. Do you think you will ever see the day that God will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” or could everything you have done in this lifetime go to a complete waste if you are “elected?” I would think that it’d be pretty painful to live day-to-day believing that even though you believe Christ died for you, that you would not have eternal life….

    I look forward to your response. Thanks!

  6. vivator / Sep 5 2008 7:14 pm

    Dear Jo,
    Not all Protestants or “Bible only” Christians believe in assurance of salvation. Some, like Catholics, believe that salvation is conditional. As noted in my post, the Elect, who are predestined to heaven do have assurance of salvation – but unless God reveals it to us we do not know who they are. Christ died on the cross for everybody, including those who will end up in hell. This does not mean everyday I live in fear – if you have Christ with you, you would not worry about anything provided you remain in Him and He in you (John 15:1-5). If in using our freedom, we don’t abide in Him then we will be cut-off and burnt (John 15:6). If you click salvation category on the right panel of my blog you can find my other posts related to salvation.

    • Chris / Apr 9 2011 8:35 pm

      The entire Roman Catholic system rests precariously on its understanding of man’s ‘free will’. Many of the arguments used by Vivator are arguments that were used by Erasmus in his disputes with Martin Luther. In Luther’s magnum opus, The Bondage of the Will, you see how Luther demolishes Rome’s pretensions about man’s alleged free will.

      Vivator, like Erasmus, stands in the semi-Pelagian school, though to be fair he denies this; the view that, though sin has weakened man, it has not made him utterly incapable of meritorious action. In fact, the Roman Catholic concept of condign merit is the idea that works are meritorious in the strict sense, and put the Creator under a real obligation. Though Rome has officially repudiated both forms of Pelagianism, it is in name only that it does so.

      Excerpts from the introduction to The Bondage of the Will, translated by J.I. Packer & O.R. Johnston:

      “Seeking some middle-place between grace and works and fondly congratulating itself that it retains both, [semi-Pelagianism] merely falls between the stools and retains neither. It depends as truly as Pelagianism on works, but reduces those works on which it nevertheless depends to a vanishing point. Pure Pelagianism is bad enough, for it tells us that we are able to earn our salvation, and this is to flatter man; but semi-Pelagianism is worse, for it tells us that we need hardly do anything to earn our salvation, and that is to belittle salvation and to insult God.”

      Erasmus attempts to soften the offence of his Pelagian principles by claiming that man can claim nothing for these merits, since these too are a gift from God…

      The purpose of the whole theory was to hold together [for Erasmus] on the one hand the reality of God’s freedom in giving salvation and, on the other, the reality of man’s merit in earning it: to show that God really becomes man’s debtor (because He is under obligation to reward man’s merit) while yet at the same time remaining sovereign in salvation (because He gives the grace which creates the merit freely and without obligation).

      This distinction, of course, is PURELY VERBAL, and Luther sweeps it away. All ideas of merit, he insists, whatever names you give them, come to the same thing – man performs some action independently of God which does in fact elicit a reward from God. On this basis salvation comes to man through God’s response to WHAT MAN HAS DONE. Man earns his passage; man, in the last analysis, saves himself. And this is in principle Pelagianism. Erasmus had supposed that by stressing the smallness of the power which man can exercise, and of the merit which he can gain in his own strength, he was softening the offence of his Pelagian principles and moving closer to the Augustinian position, which denies all merit and ascribes salvation wholly to God. Not at all, says Luther; all that Erasmus and those whom he follows are doing here is cheapening and debasing their own Pelagianism, by reducing the price of salvation. ‘This hypocrisy of theirs results in their valuing and seeking to purchase the grace of God at a much cheaper rate than the Pelagians.’

      …says Luther, no form of Pelagianism can be true, for two reasons…
      The deepest truth about [man] is that his power and exercise of choice, is enslaved – to sin and Satan; and his natural condition is one of total inability to merit anything other than wrath and damnation.

      But there is a deeper reason why the doctrine of merit, in all its shapes and forms, must be rejected. The idea of a meritorious act is an idea of an independent act which is in no way necessitated by God for man or performed by God in man, but is carried out by man acting in some sense apart from God. And there is no such action as this in God’s universe…

      …the fact that it is God who works all man’s works in him means that human action can never be independent of God in the sense required for it to acquire merit in the manner which the Pelagians envisage. Man cannot put God in his debt, because man does not stand apart from God as a free and independent agent. Luther thus undercuts the whole conception of merit by affirming the direct sovereignty of God over His world. What he is saying is that the Pelagian idea of merit is a Deistic idea, and has no place in a Theistic order of things such as the Bible depicts, in which God works all in all according to the counsel of His own will.

      …and therefore we must reject out of hand all forms of the Deistic notion of God as an onlooker, passively watching the acts of man, in whose performance He plays no direct part. But that means that ‘free-will’ in Erasmus’ sense of an inherent power in man to act apart from God, simply does not exist. Only God has ‘free-will’, for He is the only independent agent that there is. Man does not act independently of God’s necessitating purpose (though he likes to think he does), and therefore ‘free-will’ is an ’empty name,’ an inapplicable title, when predicated of him.”

      • vivator / Apr 9 2011 8:54 pm

        Dear Chris,
        Both synergism and semi-pelagianism believe in freewill but they are not the same.
        In semi-pelagianism our freewill precedes God’s grace while in synergism God’s grace precedes our freewill. The order does make significant difference. There is no predestination in semi-pelagiansim because human takes the initiative for his/her salvation – God only foreknew from eternity who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. In synergism, on the other hand, since the initiative belong to God there is predestination, though it is not double predestination as in Calvinism.
        You may champion monergism without realizing its sinister impact, i.e. it inevitably leads to double predestination. Unfortunately this double predestination concept flatly goes against Scripture. You may read what I wrote on this issue in
        https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/dr-r-c-sproul-on-double-predestination/

        Your understanding of merits in Catholicism is defective – you may read what I wrote about merits in Catholicism in
        https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/merits-in-catholicism/

      • cal / Apr 24 2011 6:31 pm

        Good post.
        My bet is that God’s sovereign will is greater than man’s “free will.” When synergists pray for their unsaved loved ones, they are in fact asking that God override their “free will.” Thus the synergist is inconsistent.

        This from Alan Kurschner:
        http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?blogid=1&archive=2010-10

        The “Calvinist vs. Arminian” debate is substantially a debate between what is called “synergism” and “monergism.” There is no third option (unless one is willing to affirm Pelagianism). For those who are new to the Calvinist-Arminian debate, the following is a primer on the two perennial branches of theological systems in Christianity. Or to put it another way, there are two very different ways for believers to view their salvation.

        In general, the first type (the Arminian-Synergist) affirms what is called “synergism.” Synergists believe that two forces in the universe are necessary to bring about regeneration in the life of the sinner. In specifics, the two forces at work (cooperation) that are necessary to bring about regeneration, or spiritual life, is the will of man and the Holy Spirit (grace).

        To put it another way, the work of the Holy Spirit is dependent on the creature’s will, hence, “synergism” (working together). These individuals will sincerely say, “I believe in grace alone.” But in reality, they believe that grace is not alone (sufficient), but that man’s will is necessary for regeneration to be effective.

        It could be said that these individuals are “functional” Arminians because even though some will deny the label, their theology functions synergistically (thus, how they identify themselves is inconsistent with what they teach and believe).

        The second group of believers (the Calvinist-Monergist) affirm what is called “monergism.” Monergists believe that there is only one force in the universe (grace alone) that brings about regeneration in the life of the sinner. In specifics, because of the deadness of man’s spiritual state, his moral inability, the Holy Spirit performs the miracle of spiritual resurrection (regeneration) in that person, hence, “monergism” (one work). Grace is sufficient to be effective, and does not depend on some action of man.

        In other words, the Holy Spirit does not merely whisper in the hardened sinner’s ear, hoping that the rebel sinner will “cooperate”; rather, while the sinner is in a state of hardness and rebellion, the Holy Spirit penetrates in the will of man and performs the miracle of spiritual life (regeneration). That is grace alone. Faith does not precede regeneration, regeneration precedes faith.
        But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions– it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
        Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13
        He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:47
        Arminians cannot affirm monergism (grace alone); they must always have the creature’s will as the final determiner of their destiny, not God. Inconsistently, Arminians pray (without knowingly) Calvinisticly, “God, change my unbelieving relative’s heart.” I have never heard them pray, “God, only whisper in my relative’s ear, but don’t change their heart unless you’ve been given permission.” But the Calvinist prays and affirms biblical truth consistently.

      • vivator / Apr 24 2011 8:51 pm

        Thank you for dropping by and leaving your comment. You wrote “When synergists pray for their unsaved loved ones, they are in fact asking that God override their “free will.” Thus the synergist is inconsistent.” I don’t agree with you. Consider this analogy: You were first offered free ticket for a show from a very generous person. You already decided to take the free ticket and asked him to offer the same free ticket to your friend. Your friend (and you) can decide whether to take the free ticket to see the show or not – the ticket giver override neither your friend’s free-will nor yours. Like most Calvinist you confused synergism with semi-pelagianism. In semi-pelagianism, using the same analogy, your friend must take the initiative and send his request to the ticket giver. Asking the ticket giver to offer your friend the same free ticket will override his free-will for sure but again synergism is equal to semi-pelagianism.
        The problem with monergism is it inevitably leads to double-predestination, i.e. God simply chose from eternity whom He wants to save and abandon the rest to damnation. Unfortunately this does not go in-line with Scripture that says (RSV): Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men (Romans 5:18); For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22) and For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men (Titus 2:11). I know that Calvinists/monergist tend to down-play these verses to mean something in-line with monergism.
        You quoted three verses to justify your belief. Ephesians 2:4-5 does say “by grace you have been saved” but it does not say “by grace alone you have been saved”. In John 1:12-13 the phrase “to all who received Him” – it neither says they received Him using their free-will nor they received Him because they were first regenerated by God (in other words it supports neither synergism nor monergism). Finally John 8:47 does not say that they do not belong of God because of the decision made by God.
        Now does the Bible say we have free-will? In the parable of wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14) the invited guests can either accept or reject the king’s invitation. In Revelation 3:20 while Christ takes the initiative to knock He does not enter unless the person hears and open the door.

      • will / Apr 29 2011 8:59 pm

        Excellent. Encourage everyone to read The Bondage of the Will – destroys Rome’s cooperative (i.e.: synergist) system of salvation. Good summary on synergism vs monergism here:

        http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/whatismonergism2.html

      • vivator / May 1 2011 8:41 am

        Will,
        I wrote a post on Luther’s view on human freedom taken from his works “The Bondage of the Will”. You can read it here:
        https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2008/08/03/luther-on-human-freedom/
        I did check the link you mentioned – in fact I wrote a post after studying that web site:
        https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/monergism-vs-synergism/

      • whoathere / Feb 18 2014 7:50 pm

        Dear Vivator,
        For whom did Christ die?
        Which of these statements is true?

        1. Christ died for some of the sins of all men.

        2. Christ died for all the sins of some men.

        3. Christ died for all the sins of all men.

      • vivator / Feb 18 2014 9:02 pm

        Read John 1:29 and 1 John 2:2.

      • WhoathereP / Feb 19 2014 8:15 am

        Therefore your answer is…? #1, #2, or #3?

        For the reader, your two citations:
        1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
        John 1:29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!””

        Surely you are not suggesting that “world” in those verses means ‘every person on earth’?
        Because if that is your interpretation, the following verse makes no sense at all:
        “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
        The word “world” there cannot mean every person on earth. This points to a problem in your interpretation.

      • vivator / Feb 19 2014 10:00 pm

        I must say your argument is poor. According to you the same word (Greek kosmos) should mean the same regardless the context and you cleverly choose James 4:4 as the basis (because it suits your belief) and assume the same word in other verses should mean the same. You are entitled to do so but to be consistent then you should do the same to other verses containing the same Greek word kosmos like Mat 13:35, John 3:17, 1 Tim 1:15, 1 Peter 3:3 (translated as adorning or ornament) – you should realize how silly your interpretation is. 1 Tim 1:15 says Christ came to this world (Greek kosmos) to save sinners. My question for you is who are those sinners? Every person on earth is sinner or only some of all mankind, i.e. the Elect are sinners?

      • whoathere / Feb 20 2014 2:41 pm

        There is no doubt that context has a bearing on the range of meaning that a word may have.

        In Romans 3:19 the word translated from the Greek “kosmos” does relate to every person on earth, i.e.. “every mouth..the whole world.”
        Romans 3:19 “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.”

        So unlike Romans 3:19 which speaks rather to the GUILT of EVERY PERSON on earth, there is no compelling reason why “world” in your two citations must be interpreted “every person on earth.”

        The far more interesting thing here, and the death blow to your interpretation is that it contradicts your Roman Catholic understanding of Christ’s atoning death. I assume here that your answer was #3 from above “Christ died for all the sins of all men.”
        Rome of course does NOT believe that Christ died for ALL the sins (of all men)!! There is one sin that Rome says Christ would not, or could not die for: the sin of unbelief!

        From John Piper:
        “The third statement is what the Arminians would say. Christ died for all the sins of all men. But then why are not all saved? They answer, because some do not believe. But is this unbelief not one of the sins for which Christ died? If they say yes, then why is it not covered by the blood of Jesus and all unbelievers saved? If they say no (unbelief is not a sin that Christ has died for) then they must say that men can be saved without having all their sins atoned for by Jesus, or they must join us in affirming statement number two: Christ died for all the sins of some men. That is, he died for the unbelief of the elect so that God’s punitive wrath is appeased toward them and his grace is free to draw them irresistibly out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

      • vivator / Feb 23 2014 4:32 pm

        So now you agree that the same word may mean differently but you still try to justify your belief. You quoted from Piper to support your argument – obviously his statement is in line with what you believe because you and he belong to the same group. You take it for granted that what he wrote is true without bothering to listen to the other side. I recommend you the following link to answer Piper argument:
        http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/04/catholic-and-reformed-conceptions-of-the-atonement/
        My question for you which I hope you will answer is if Christ died only to atone the sins of the Elect then the Reprobate were foreordained from eternity and unconditionally to hell – the so–called double predestination. Following Sproul this double predestination is not symmetric, i.e. God simply bypassed them from being regenerated and left them in their deprived state. But if you read Matthew 25:31-46 you will notice that the phrase “prepared from the foundation of the world” was applied to the Elect but NOT to the Reprobate. Verse 41 even says that the hell was prepared for the devils and his angels, NOT for the Reprobate. How do you (and Piper) answer that?

  7. Jeff Pinyan / Nov 1 2008 7:52 am

    Curious Jo: My question is: what drives you to continue being the steadfast believer you are? As a protestant, I am assured of my salvation and am confident that I will have have eternal life with Christ, and that gives me incredibile joy and peace.

    Your second sentence sounds like there is a one-to-one relation between being “a protestant” and being “assured of … salvation”. Is that all one needs to do? Be “a protestant”? I haven’t seen it written that way in Sacred Scripture.

    Anyway, I would reply with this question: if you are assured of your salvation and confident you will have eternal life with Christ, why do you continue to be a steadfast believer? See, if you are assured of your salvation, what more do you need Christ for? Why do you continue to believe — that is, worship, pray, live a Christian life, etc. (assuming you do) — if your salvation is ALREADY assured?

    When I married my wife, my obligations to her did not end the moment we took our vows. Just because marriage is until death-do-us-part does not mean that I cannot damage our marital relationship.

    St. Paul writes to the churches about endurance, perseverance, avoiding particularly wicked sins, being steadfast, etc. Why waste so much ink over something that can’t be lost?

  8. David / Jan 5 2009 10:34 am

    Lorraine Boettner wrote “Roman Catholicism” in the mid 1900’s. It is worth reading. It makes clear that the “greatest fraud ever perpetrated in mankind…” is the RC system. I am so glad that Trent anathematized me!

  9. vivator / Jan 6 2009 6:48 pm

    Dear David,
    I do have a copy of Boettner “Roman Catholicism”, did read it and discovered how he deliberately misinterpretted Catholic teaching to suit his agenda. For example on page 268 he wrote:
    In Protestantism salvation is a matter of grace. In Romanism one must work hard for it and must pay dearly for it, and after he has done all that the priest has prescribed he still cannot know whether he has it or not.
    If Boettner did his homework well he should be able to find the following decree from Council of Trent who anathematized such teaching:
    If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema (Canon I on Justification)

    • Mike / Jul 29 2010 6:00 pm

      If only the Council of Trent had stopped with Canon 1…

      Canon 9: “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.”

      I see something different in Romans 4:5-8:
      “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
      “Blessed are they
      whose transgressions are forgiven,
      whose sins are covered.
      Blessed is the man
      whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

      Canon 11: “If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema.”

      Romans 4:11: “And he received the sign of circumcision… that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also…”
      Romans 4:22-25: “And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”
      This, you must admit, is far better news than the imputation of merit to sinners from the “treasury of merit”

      Canon 20: “If anyone says that a man who is justified and however perfect is not bound to observe the commandments of God and the Church, but only to believe, as if the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life without the condition of observing the commandments, let him be anathema.”

      Good luck observing those commandments:
      Romans 3:19,20 – “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
      Romans 3:28 – “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

      Canon 30: “If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.”

      John 5:13: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
      Please note that John’s words are in the present tense: “…that you HAVE eternal life”

      Canon 32: “If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace, the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema.”

      An “increase…[of]eternal life”?? Aside from the meaninglessness of adding anything to an infinity…
      Galatians 2:16: “…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

      • vivator / Jul 31 2010 4:38 pm

        Your problem is you simply isolated few verses from the Bible to build your doctrine. Catholics do believe in justification by faith, without the word “alone”, which the Reformers added. The council of Trent made it clear when it declares:

        And whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.
        Chapter VIII on decree on Justification

        Thus Catholics have no problem with Romans 4:5-8. You insist that imputer righteousness, i.e. the one that comes through faith, is the only one you need to enter heaven. However, Matthew 25:31-46 says that the sheep are welcomed into heaven because they are righteous (verse 46) – are their righteousness imputed? From verse 31 to 36 we know that they enter heaven because they do righteous things – as Scripture says “he who does right is righteous” (1 John 3:7). This is not imputed righteousness, but infused one. We can do right and become righteous because we connect ourselves to Christ, the true vine who said apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

        You wrote “Good luck observing those commandments” as if observing them is not mandatory, which is antinomian view. Yet in the Gospel when Christ was asked what a person must do to inherit eternal life, His answer was “obey commandment”. He made it clear in: do this and you will live” (Luke 10:28). Scripture says God’s commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). You confuse commandments of God and the Church with works of Law. Catholics do not follow Jewish ceremonial, dietary and civic laws but the ethical and moral laws, embedded inside Ten Commandments, are still obligatory. How about commandment of the Church? Let’s pick one example, contraception. The Bible is silent on the use of contraception because such thing did not exist in biblical time. Here we must rely on the commandment of Church, whom Scripture refers to as foundation and pillar of truth (1 Tim 3:15).

        I understand you have problem with purgatory. Let me assure you that purgatory does not take away eternal life from saved person, stated in John 5:13. It is cleansing fire because nothing unclean can enter heaven (Rev 21:27). Refining fire is indeed mentioned in Scripture (Zechariah 13:8-9).

        Finally Canon 32 does not say “increase of eternal life” but “increase of grace”. Your rhetoric words are baseless. Increase of grace is stated in John 1:16 :“ we receive grace upon grace”. Scripture says that God does reward our good works with eternal life (John 5:29, Romans 2:6-7)

  10. Kay / Sep 16 2009 9:31 am

    The stumbling block for me, a born again believer, who was raised Roman Catholic, is your combining of justification and sanctification. How does one know if their works are ENOUGH to complete the justification process? When a gift is offered, have you ever heard of someone to do work to receive it? Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”…no mention of work needed to receive this gift.
    We don’t have to go through life wondering if we will have eternal life (if we worked enough) because 1John 5:13 says “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may Know that you have eternal life.”
    As believers in Christ, we follow Him after we have been justified because of the joy we have in knowing Him. We work for Him 1)because of that joy and 2)so that others may see Him through us and come to a saving faith in Him also.

  11. vivator / Sep 25 2009 8:55 pm

    Dear Kay,
    It seems you don’t read my post thoroughly as you still question how much works we must do to complete justification. There is no such thing as minimum quota of works for our salvation and Catholic Church never teaches justification by faith plus works but justification by grace. We enter heaven upon dying if we die without mortal sin and this is possible only with God’s Grace. God’s Grace is free, I ststed so in my post – our works come from and is only possible with His Grace. You wrote that you work because you have been justified – my question is what happen to those who do not work after your concept of justification or do only partial work?

  12. Kay / Oct 1 2009 6:37 am

    The thief on the cross didn’t have time to work…he died that day. Jesus said, “today you will be with me in paradise.” We don’t know the extent of his crime, mortal or menial. That opens another can of worms. Grace is Grace…not with strings attached. There are no “buts” with God. Sin is also sin. The liar is just as guilty of sin as the murderer. God extends grace to all, through His Son’s death, burial and resurrection. Not based on what we do or didn’t do. I can’t buy the mortal sin/menial sin thing….it is nowhere in scripture.

  13. vivator / Oct 3 2009 11:10 am

    Dear Kay,
    It seems you still stick to your idea that Catholics believe in salvation by works. Let me quote official statement of the Catholic CHurch from Council of Trent:
    If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be accusred.
    Council of Trent, Canon I on Justification
    What happened to the thief crucified with Christ who repented is in agreement with what the Church teaches. By Grace he repented before he died (short time later) then all his past sins no matter how numeours and horrible they are will be forgotten and will not be accounted for (Ezekiel 18:21-22). In contrast a person who kept on doing good works but died with unrepented mortal sin will go to hell, his/her good works, no matter how numerous and impressive they are, will be forgotten and will not save him/her (Ezekiel 18:24). Note that Catholics believe a person can only repent when he/she is first moved by Grace – whether he/she repented it is up to him/her since Catholics believe in human freedom. There is no can of worms to be opened – it exists oly in your imagination.
    Finally Scripture talks about deadly (mortal) and non deadly sins in 1 John 5:16-17.

  14. Kay / Oct 14 2009 6:54 am

    1John5:16 says “There is A sin that leads to death.” Throughout scripture we see that death comes to those who deny Christ for salvation. Even in the Old Testament. Salvation came to those who believed in the promised seed, which is Christ. THE sin that leads to death is rejecting Christ. All other sin can be forgiven through the grace of God…and yes, a repentent heart is necessary. The way I explain it to unbelievers is that sin has to be paid for by the shedding of blood. We have a choice to accept Christ’s payment of our sin with his blood = eternal life, or pay for it ourselves with our own blood = eternal (or spiritual) death.

    • vivator / Oct 14 2009 7:01 pm

      Dear Kay,
      Scripture says that sins do affect our salvation even after we become followers of Christ – read Hebrews 10:26-27. According to James 1:15 sin that leads to death is not rejecting Christ. 1 John 3:10 says who does not do right is not of God, i.e. becomes child of the devil. No doubt that blood of Christs cleanses us from all sins (1 John 1:7) but there is condition attached “if we walk in the light”.

  15. Jim S. / Nov 5 2009 9:31 pm

    David, May the Lord of the Bible help you with your confusion about the Catholic Church. And for the record I am a non-denominal born again christian, who is seriously considering worshiping in the Catholic ministries. The reasons are many…
    Kay, Your lot was determined by our Lord. The order of things is clearly shown in the scriptures. Let no man or women leave out scriptures. WE all tend to be guilty of that. Gods Word says clearly that women are not to teach men. Plus nothing…
    I would love to be a women. To be a helpmate of the man God joined me to. The two become one flesh. Its not to be I am women and I am proud, hear me roar. Not saying that you are any of that. Just stating that this issue of men laying down on their part, and the womens equality movement has put a damper on the order god mandated. You cannot have to heads. The man is to be the head of the house. A women is not to teach or pastor over men. I cant tell you how many unfruitful christian couple or families I know have that canser.
    The next statement below in my comment is directed to the many blogs, websites etc of so called evangelicals BLA BLA BLAH.
    Not neccesarily this blog…
    When I read the comments it is apparent that the enemy has had his way with Gods own, his church.
    God wants unity, the devil wants devision.
    When we truly Love the Lord and thy neighbor as thyself we are in His unity. You show me your faith by what you say, or (by your doctrine or opinions and I will show you mine by what I do.
    Less time opinionating and more time caring for the lost.
    Jesus, the Holy Spirit loves the lost through His children.
    Us that is.
    The devil wants to have us busy doing anything other than caring for the poor, or loving the children, or holding the hand of an elderly person while we share christs love.
    Is Jesus to drop a happy meal from the freeway overpass to a homeless person or put it on the hearts of his own to bring it to them.
    After reading the comments I feel encouraged and strengthened by some and dissention by others.
    Thank you vivitar for your heart.
    I would leave with this comment. I read your short comments on election. The doctrine of Gods Word crys out aloud to me that Gods foreknowledge is not to be understood by man.
    The Lord will save whom He will save. Not only by predestination. Does God predestine whom He will predestine? Ofcoarse. The free will unto humanity is not to be taken out of the equation. Our Father came in the flesh, He died as his own son, and uses his own Holy Spirit to work through His ambassadors. When God works through us through His word, and Loves the Lost through us, that many times will help the lost person to be open for the Good Lord to fill their openess with his Faith.
    Does God choose or predestine some unto salvation? Yes. Does God give eternal life saving grace to those sought out by His great commisioners? YES
    My favorite scripture pertaining to this is:
    1st Corinthians 1: 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe…
    Amen!
    That says it all. To think that the Lord would save those who believe the gospel. It is much more fruitful to hel those along to believe if we are not full of judgement, legalism & hypocracy. You see when we feed them when they are hungry. When we vist them when they are inprison. When we let a homeless person shower, cloth them feed them and help them financially. That is to Love thy neighbor.
    No its not a works based salvation as Vivitor and I would state boldly. Its simply put, Jesus loving through us.
    Chrisyians UNITED, NOT DIVIDED.
    Jim

    • Stan / Aug 28 2013 12:40 pm

      Galatians 5:8.

  16. Bunni Kilcoin / Jun 24 2010 7:09 pm

    David, May the Lord of the Bible help you with your confusion about the Catholic Church. And for the record I am a non-denominal born again christian, who is seriously considering worshiping in the Catholic ministries. The reasons are many…Kay, Your lot was determined by our Lord. The order of things is clearly shown in the scriptures. Let no man or women leave out scriptures. WE all tend to be guilty of that. Gods Word says clearly that women are not to teach men. Plus nothing…I would love to be a women. To be a helpmate of the man God joined me to. The two become one flesh. Its not to be I am women and I am proud, hear me roar. Not saying that you are any of that. Just stating that this issue of men laying down on their part, and the womens equality movement has put a damper on the order god mandated. You cannot have to heads. The man is to be the head of the house. A women is not to teach or pastor over men. I cant tell you how many unfruitful christian couple or families I know have that canser.The next statement below in my comment is directed to the many blogs, websites etc of so called evangelicals BLA BLA BLAH.Not neccesarily this blog…When I read the comments it is apparent that the enemy has had his way with Gods own, his church.God wants unity, the devil wants devision.When we truly Love the Lord and thy neighbor as thyself we are in His unity. You show me your faith by what you say, or (by your doctrine or opinions and I will show you mine by what I do.Less time opinionating and more time caring for the lost.Jesus, the Holy Spirit loves the lost through His children.Us that is.The devil wants to have us busy doing anything other than caring for the poor, or loving the children, or holding the hand of an elderly person while we share christs love.Is Jesus to drop a happy meal from the freeway overpass to a homeless person or put it on the hearts of his own to bring it to them.After reading the comments I feel encouraged and strengthened by some and dissention by others.Thank you vivitar for your heart.I would leave with this comment. I read your short comments on election. The doctrine of Gods Word crys out aloud to me that Gods foreknowledge is not to be understood by man.The Lord will save whom He will save. Not only by predestination. Does God predestine whom He will predestine? Ofcoarse. The free will unto humanity is not to be taken out of the equation. Our Father came in the flesh, He died as his own son, and uses his own Holy Spirit to work through His ambassadors. When God works through us through His word, and Loves the Lost through us, that many times will help the lost person to be open for the Good Lord to fill their openess with his Faith.Does God choose or predestine some unto salvation? Yes. Does God give eternal life saving grace to those sought out by His great commisioners? YESMy favorite scripture pertaining to this is:1st Corinthians 1: 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe…Amen!That says it all. To think that the Lord would save those who believe the gospel. It is much more fruitful to hel those along to believe if we are not full of judgement, legalism & hypocracy. You see when we feed them when they are hungry. When we vist them when they are inprison. When we let a homeless person shower, cloth them feed them and help them financially. That is to Love thy neighbor.No its not a works based salvation as Vivitor and I would state boldly. Its simply put, Jesus loving through us.Chrisyians UNITED, NOT DIVIDED.Jim
    +1

  17. Mike / Jun 25 2010 9:33 pm

    With special thanks again to William Webster in his excellent paper titled “Scripture and the Facts of History Compel Me, a Former Roman Catholic, to Remain a Committed Evangelical Protestant”:

    Romanists have always tried to hang antinomianism on Protestantism. They seem incapable even of understanding ‘justification is by faith alone, but not by the faith that is alone,’ though that formula has been present since the Reformation.

    If this were a true charge it would be a fatal one. If Protestantism thought that a sinner could be saved without becoming godly, it would be an absolute, damning lie. His name is ‘Jesus’ for He saves His people from their sins, not in them. And He saves His people not only from the guilt of sin but from its dominating power as well. If a believer is not changed, he is not a believer. No one can have Christ as Savior for one moment when He is not Lord as well. We can never say too often: ‘Justification is by faith alone, but NOT by a faith that is alone.’ Justification is by a WORKING faith. Why does Rome continue to make that centuries–long misrepresentation of justification by faith alone?
    Because:
    First, she knows that faith without works is dead.
    Second, she hears Protestantism teach justification by faith alone ‘apart’ from works.
    Third, she doesn’t listen when Protestantism explains that ‘apart from works’ means ‘apart from the merit of works,’ not ‘apart from the presence of works.’
    Fourth, she hears some Protestants, who also misunderstand Protestantism, teaching ‘easy–believism.’
    Fifth, she knows ‘easy–believism’ is an utterly overwhelming argument against Protestantism (which it would be if it were true).

    Let me explain, therefore, once again what the Protestant biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works means. Justification with God is apart from the merit of works. That does not mean that justification is apart from the existence of works. Christianity teaches justification apart from the merit of works. Easy–believism teaches justification apart from the existence of works. Faith without the existence of works is dead…Faith with the merit of works is legalism.

    • vivator / Aug 1 2010 4:13 am

      Mike, you wrote “ ‘justification is by faith alone, but not by the faith that is alone,’ though that formula has been present since the Reformation.” You freely admit that the formula is invented, not discovered, by Reformers during Reformation. You are absolutely right – Luther and Calvin did teach it.
      You wrote “Third, she [Catholic Church] doesn’t listen when Protestantism explains that ‘apart from works’ means ‘apart from the merit of works,’ not ‘apart from the presence of works.’ Let me ask you does the Bible say God rewards us for our good works? You also misunderstand Catholic understanding of merit, i.e. you think Catholics believe we merit reward in the sense that we deserve it like a worker merits his wages. For Catholics our merits also come from God’s grace – it is NOT something we deserve but a gift from Him. Thus your charge that “Faith with the merit of works is legalism” does not work here.

      • Mike / Aug 6 2010 8:09 pm

        From James McCarthy, author of The Gospel According to Rome:
        “According to the Roman Catholic Church, whenever a person who is in a state of grace does a good work, he earns a reward. The right to a reward is called merit.

        Merit accumulates during a person’s life. If the Catholic commits a mortal sin, however, all merit is forfeited. But should the Catholic repent and receive the sacrament of penance, lost merit is once again restored. Merited reward takes three forms in Roman Catholicism: an increase of grace, eternal life, and an increase of glory in heaven.

        When a Catholic does a good work, the Church teaches that he immediately receives the reward of an increase of grace. This grace further justifies the Catholic. He becomes holier and more pleasing to God. This is the first kind of merited reward in Catholicism.

        The Church also teaches that upon death each person must face God in the particular judgment. If God determines that the individual has died in the state of grace, the person obtains “the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ.” The Council of Trent stated:

        “To those who work well right to the end and keep their trust in God, eternal life should be held out, both as a grace promised in his mercy through Jesus Christ to the children of God, and as a reward to be faithfully bestowed, on the promise of God himself, for their good works and merits.” (Council of Trent)

        Vatican II stated:

        “Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed. . . . “(Second Vatican Council)

        Thirdly, the Church teaches that merited reward also results in an increase of the degree of glory that an individual enjoys in heaven. God does not decide this reward until the end of the world. Christ will return to earth. The dead will rise with immortal bodies, and God will release all who are still suffering in purgatory. Then there will be a second evaluation of each person’s life. This is the universal or general judgment. According to Roman Catholic theology, Jesus described the general judgment in the Gospel of Matthew:

        “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31-32)

        The general judgment is the public proclamation of the results of the particular judgment and the determination of a person’s total reward. It occurs at the end of the world so that the complete effect of each person’s life upon all of society and history can be calculated and duly rewarded.

        If the person died in a state of grace, Christ will reward the individual in proportion to his good works. This will decide the degree of his glory in heaven.

        Similarly, if the person died without grace in his soul, Christ will decide the degree of his punishment in hell.

        Eternal Life Is a Free Gift, not a Merited Reward

        Here we will focus on the second form of merited reward, eternal life, a Roman Catholic teaching that stands in direct contradiction to the Bible. For though the Bible teaches that God will reward faithful stewards IN heaven, it never says that He will reward them WITH heaven.

        Eternal life is not a reward, but the unmerited gift of God. Jesus, speaking of His sheep, said, “I give eternal life to them” (John 10:28). He promised, “I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost” (Revelation 21:6, see also: John 4:14; 6:40; 6:47; 17:2; Romans 5:17; 6:23).

        Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church insists that eternal life is a merited reward earned by doing good. Just as a Catholic can earn an increase of grace and an increase of glory, he can earn eternal life. The Church denounces anyone who teaches otherwise:

        “If anyone says that the good deeds of a justified person are the gifts of God, in the sense that they are not also the good merits of the one justified; or that the justified person, by the good deeds done by him through the grace of God and the merits of Jesus Christ (of whom he is a living member), does not truly merit an increase in grace, eternal life, and (so long as he dies in grace) the obtaining of his own eternal life, and even an increase of glory: let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent)

        When the Council states here that Catholics can truly merit eternal life, it means that there is an equality between the work performed and the reward received. Aquinas explains this relationship saying that, by the mercy of God, good works which proceed from the grace of the Holy Spirit merit everlasting life condignly. According to Aquinas, eternal life is “granted in accordance with a fair judgment.”

        Roman Catholic theologians contrast condign, or well-deserved merit, with congruous merit. This latter kind of merit applies to cases in which the reward “results from a certain graciousness in the light of God’s liberality.”

        Eternal life, according to the Church, is a truly merited reward. It is merited condignly, not congruously. It is not a free gift which God graciously gives apart from anything man has done to earn it. It is the result of a fair judgment.

        Romans 2:6-8

        To substantiate its claim that eternal life is a merited reward, the Roman Catholic Church cites Paul’s letter to the Romans:

        “[God]…will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.” (Romans 2:6-8)

        The Roman Catholic Church interprets this passage to say that if a person dies with sanctifying grace in his soul, he deserves to go to heaven because of his good deeds:

        “…it must be believed that nothing more is needed for the justified to be considered to have fully satisfied God’s law, according to this state of life, by the deeds they have wrought in him and to have truly deserved to gain eternal life in their time (provided they die in a state of grace).” (Council of Trent)

        The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that what every man and woman truly deserves is eternal punishment. The good news of Jesus Christ, however, is that God is willing to graciously give those who trust Christ eternal life, a gift that no one deserves! In order that these two truths would not be confused, the Holy Spirit included both of them in one verse:

        “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

        With such a clear statement here that eternal life is a free gift, Romans 2:6-8 cannot possibly be interpreted as teaching the direct opposite—that eternal life is a merited reward. A closer look at Romans 2:6-8 reveals the source of the Church’s misinterpretation.

        In Romans 2:6-8, Paul is addressing the kind of person who considers himself morally superior to others in character and conduct. This moralist, however, is himself practicing the very sins he condemns in others. Paul warns this hypocrite that he will not escape the judgment of God. A day is coming when God “will render to every man according to His deeds” (Romans 2:6). Those who do good—the biblical evidence of new life (John 15:8)—will receive honor and eternal life. Those who do evil—the biblical evidence of an unregenerated heart (1 John 3:7-10)—will receive wrath and indignation.

        Note that Paul does not say that God will render to every man honor or wrath BECAUSE of his deeds. That would make good works the cause of eternal life, as taught in Roman Catholicism. Rather, Paul says that God will render judgment according to how a man has lived. This means that there will be a relationship of correspondence between how a person lives and the outcome of his judgment. Those who practice good (evidence of true spiritual life) will receive good from the Lord. Those who practice evil (such as the hypocritical moralist Paul is addressing) will receive wrath and indignation.

        Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, teaches that God gives eternal life to people because of their good works, to those who deserve it:

        “It is a universally accepted dogma of the Catholic Church that man, in union with the grace of the Holy Spirit must merit heaven by his good works. . . . we can actually merit heaven as our reward. . . . Heaven must be fought for; we have to earn heaven.” (Dogmatic Theology for the Laity) “

      • vivator / Aug 8 2010 3:02 pm

        Mike, if your knowledge of catholicism is based on books written by former Catholics – it is no wonder you have many mis-conceptions of Catholic belief. I just posted (on Aug 8) my article dealing with merits in Catholicism – it answers all your (or his) objections and clarify your mis-conceptions.

      • Mike / Sep 10 2010 7:12 pm

        Christ taught the impossibility of having two masters. You wonder what He’d say about having the three authorities of Church magisterium, tradition, and scripture. You see here demonstrated in this blog the danger of keeping two or three masters: it leads to such embarrassing contradictions.

        Vivator uses Matthew 25:31-46, 1 John 3:7 to support the
        doctrine of infused righteousness by doing good works.
        But that interpretation contradicts verses advocating the doctrine of
        righteousness by GRACE ALONE: Romans 4:5, Ephesians 2:8-
        9, Titus 3:5, Galatians 2:16. Now either the Bible is a collection of
        doctrinal contradictions or Rome has the wrong interpretation.
        We see here that when it comes to Rome, scripture takes a back seat to
        tradition. It is a case of Sola Roma, or Sola Ecclesia. History
        proves that wherever scripture competes with another authority it
        invariably takes a back seat to it. This remains true for groups like
        the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons.

        On another front Vivator wants you to believe that Rome doesn’t teach a salvation by works. He wants you to believe that Rome’s system is all about grace:
        “…instead of saying we are justified by faith plus works the correct expression is we are justified by grace – it is God’s Grace that first moves us to believe in Christ and to obey God’s commandments in our Sanctification.”

        You see here how he hedges his bet to obscure the gulf between Rome’s system of salvation and the simple biblical plan of salvation. He makes no mention of the role of sacraments, no mention of condign merit versus congruous merit, only that God gets things started and man has to finish the job:
        “As an analogy for grace, think [of] Grace as initial
        push from God, without which we cannot move towards our salvation.”
        Elsewhere he writes: “It is God, not us, who takes the first step to save us.”

        But this too creates a clear contradiction with scripture. There is no two-step plan for salvation: “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6.
        Here too the Bible is either a collection of doctrinal contradictions or
        Rome has the wrong interpretation.

        Not only does Vivator contradict scripture, he contradicts Rome.
        He says salvation is all about grace and even comes close to saying that salvation is by grace alone: “Thus Catholics believe in Salvation by Grace and never believe in Salvation by Works.”
        What’s wrong with that you ask? Well for one it contradicts The Council of Trent:
        “If anyone says that the good deeds of a justified person are the gifts of God, in the sense that they are not also the good merits of the one justified; or that the justified person, by the good deeds done by him through the grace of God and the merits of Jesus Christ (of whom he is a living member), does not truly merit an increase in grace, eternal life, and (so long as he dies in grace) the obtaining of his own eternal life, and even an increase of glory: let him be anathema.”
        That’s pretty clear to me.
        Vivator tries to reconcile The Council of Trent’s contradiction with scripture by citing John 1:16 “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” in support of a saving grace that can be increased.
        It is almost as if the mere finding of the word grace twice in the same verse is enough. But a quick look at this verse says that we have
        received (past tense) from God a sufficient grace: “grace upon grace.”

        Verse 17 clarifies: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The context here says nothing of the grace-inspired merit that Rome espouses. The phrase “grace upon grace” emphasizes three things:
        1) God’s grace is sufficient,
        2) the non-mention, or absence of works
        3) saving grace is a one-way gift from God “from His fullness.”

        Secondly, Vivator’s claim “Thus Catholics believe in Salvation by Grace and never believe in Salvation by Works” contradicts Rome’s idea of condign merit, the kind of merit that truly deserves a reward: “It is a universally accepted dogma of the Catholic Church that man, in union with the grace of the Holy Spirit must merit heaven by his good works. . . . we can actually merit heaven as our reward. . . . Heaven must be fought for; we have to earn heaven.” (Dogmatic Theology for the Laity)

        Vivator implies that the commandments can be obeyed. Yes of course they should be obeyed. But he’ll quote scriptures that appear to advocate the keeping the commandments as a means toward salvation. But this too contradicts scripture: “…whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
        The rich young ruler walked away because Christ proved him
        unwilling to obey the first commandment to “Love the Lord your
        God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
        mind.”

        The purpose of the commandments makes clear the impossibility
        of obeying them perfectly: “…whatever the law says, it says to
        those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced
        and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one
        will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather,
        through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:19, 20.

        “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse;
        for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all
        things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But
        that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for
        “the just shall live by faith.”” Galatians 3:10-11.

        “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Romans 5:48

        Let me ask you dear reader: Do you still lie? Do you lust? Do you
        hold to the commandments perfectly? No? Then you need a savior that
        will save you completely, apart from your works, just as Romans 4:5 says
        so clearly.

        Vivator will tell us that we just don’t understand.
        He writes: “You confuse ‘commandments of God and the Church’ with ‘works of Law.’” Aside from this breathtaking audacity in equating “the commandments of God” with those of “the Church”, let us be clear here:
        any splitting of “God’s commandments” from “works of the law” is bogus.
        To God, works are works as to their efficacy for salvation.
        There is a big difference between rewards IN heaven and rewards FOR heaven.

        Vivator would have you believe there are no contradictions between Catholicism and Scripture. Dear reader, you too will be judged as to how you resolve your “contradictions”.

        The Word, or “the Logos” is logical and consistent, and the true Christian does not have to live with contradiction. God wants you to love Him with your entire mind. Contradition is a sign of a failed argument.

      • vivator / Sep 27 2010 8:15 pm

        Mike,
        I can understand why you adore “sola scriptura” – that is one of the battle cries of Reformers against the Catholic Church. Yet I find it ironic that to know how many books in the Bible you must rely on sources from outside the Bible, like statement made by Josephus. Your hero, Webster, went even further by manipulating historical facts to show that Old Testament has only 39 books. You and he did not use any single verse from the Bible – too bad, because there aren’t any.
        Have you heard of two views within Calvinism: supralapsarian and infralapsarian? If no, do your home-work. Those two are conflicting views within Calvinism. Since there is no Magisterium you will never know who is right and who is wrong. Obviously many Catholics also disagree with Catholic Church’s teachings. They are entitled to have their opinion but the Church through Magisterium has the final say.
        Justification by grace alone in Calvinism is indeed very appealing – it is the selling point of Calvinism, so to speak. I can understand why Calvinists love talking about and why they abhor Catholic (and Arminianist Protestant) view that grace is synergist in nature. Yet few Calvinists talk about the implication of grace alone, i.e. grace without human cooperation (or known as monergism). Because in monergism justification is by grace alone, then those without grace will go to hell. This is known as double predestination, i.e. God from eternity chose whom He wants to save and whom He does not want to save. To the former He gives His Grace, which alone saves them and to the latter He does not. Unfortunately this is flatly against Scripture – just read 1 Cor 15:22 and Titus 2:11.
        Since your knowledge of Catholicism is based on distorted writings made by former Catholics like Webster and McCarthy, I am not surprised that you also distort what I wrote on salvation in Catholicism.

      • Will / Apr 30 2011 9:54 pm

        If you are going to call yourself Catholic you must submit to the Council of Trent. You say that your works are not meritorious but Trent says different:

        CANON XXXII.-If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,-if so be, however, that he depart in grace,-and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.

        not to mention the Catholic Catechism:
        2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

        “Grace alone” is not the same as “grace plus man’s co-operation.” To suggest that your merits come from God’s grace (thus your merits aren’t really merits), is bogus. What good thing doesn’t come from God’s grace?? This claim could be made for any number of things!

        With thanks to TurretinFan: “The ‘co-operation’ is an act of man. If it were just an act of grace in itself, there would be only operation, not co-operation.”
        Without the co-operation, many men are not saved according to Romanism.”

        ‘Grace alone’ does not save in Romanism, so why persist in playing down the role of works and merit in Catholicism?
        Not everyone is fooled by this rhetoric, or rapprochement with liberal Protestantism. Consider what Robert Sungenis, arguably the leading Roman Catholic apologist today, says recently:

        “My signature  work  was ‘Not  By  Faith  Alone: The  Biblical  Evidence  for  the  Catholic  Doctrine  of Justification’. It  taught,  in  775  detailed  pages,  the  traditional  Catholic  doctrine  that  “man  is  not justified  by  faith  alone.”  It  was  published  in  1997.  But  just  a  year  later,  John  Paul  II  published  his Lutheran‐Catholic  Joint  Declaration.  It  states  in  Section  2c  of  the  Annex  that  “man  is  justified  by faith  alone.” 
        So  tell  me,  who  is  promoting  error:  the  one  who  adheres  to  the  Council  of  Trent  or  the one  who  denies  it? 
        John  Paul  II  initiated  and  approved  the  Joint  Declaration.  I  rejected  it  as  a  piece of  fiction,  and  I  based  my  judgment  on  infallible  Catholic  teaching.  Two  years  later  John  Paul II made  up  a  story  that  had  himself  as  the  “bishop  in  white”  of  the  Fatima  vision, and he then stated that the Fatima vision was complete. And this was said after hisfailing in 1984 to consecrate Russia as  the  Fatima  vision  had  demanded!  Two  years  later,  John  Paul  II  called  all  the  pagan  religions  of the world together in Assisi to pray to their pagan gods. So this is the Catholic Church I must accept?”

        So much for so-called “Catholic unity.”

      • vivator / May 1 2011 8:34 am

        For better explanation of Catholic understanding of merits pls read my post:
        https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/merits-in-catholicism/
        You are entitled to follow Calvinist view of monergism that leads to “grace alone through faith alone” – without realizing its sinister un-scriptural impact, i.e. it leads to double predestination. You may read the following post:
        https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/dr-r-c-sproul-on-double-predestination/

      • FourFingersBackAtYou / Dec 19 2011 3:27 pm

        Bringing a bit of balance to this thread for the sake of truth and fair play:

        Re.: Vivator’s comment above from Sept 27, 2010:
        “Have you heard of two views within Calvinism: supralapsarian and infralapsarian? If no, do your home-work. Those two are conflicting views within Calvinism. Since there is no Magisterium [in Protestantism?] you will never know who is right and who is wrong.”

        Turns out the “Magisterium” is more tolerant of double-predestination than some might have imagined: Thomism, an acceptable subset of Catholicism, has its own form of double-predestination. More on this issue at this blog: https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/salvation-in-catholicism/#comment-2254

        Vivator’s obstinacy regarding the “sinister” and “unbiblical” doctrine of double-predestination shows how a Roman Catholic cannot avoid expressing his private interpretations, even those considerably different than the Magisterium’s. Indeed, a Roman Catholic must engage in private interpretation, if for no other reason than to avow or disavow Roman Catholic teaching. Same goes for bible interpretation since the Magisterium does not always have “official” interpretations of scripture passages.

      • vivator / Dec 19 2011 6:33 pm

        It seems you don’t understand what double predestination is. In double predestination it is God who decides who will go to heaven and who will go to hell, even though for the latter He does it passively (or non-symmetric), i.e He simply bypass them from being regenerated. On the other hand both Catholic Thomism and Molinism’ predestination always involve freedom, i.e the Reprobate are responsible for their own damnation – God gives them sufficient grace. In short, once you ignore/reject human freedom in predestination you end-up with double predestination. Perhaps I cannot explain it in clear way – I would like to recommend the following link:
        http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/12/lawrence-feingold-on-sufficient-and-efficacious-grace/

      • FourFingersBackAtYou / Jan 13 2012 8:24 pm

        Why defer to Mr. Feingold, a non-magisterial source with no authority? Shouldn’t we stick with official Catholic teaching? Stay away from private interpretations?

        Here is the Catholic Encyclopedia on Thomism – note the terms “absolute predestination,” “infallible and efficacious,” “necessarily damned.” :

        “[Thomism’s] theory of the ‘prœmotio physica’ agrees admirably with the idea of an ABSOLUTE predestination to glory IRRESPECTIVE OF FORESEEN MERITS.
        This is the reason why this theory appears, except in the case of a few theologians, as a characteristic feature of the Thomistic doctrine on grace. Now, absolute predestination to glory NECESSARILY involves the rather HARSH DOCTRINE of REPROBATION, which, though only negative, is nevertheless equally absolute.
        For, if God determines to bestow EFFICACIOUS GRACES ONLY UPON THOSE whom He has from all eternity predestined to glory, then those not contained in his decree of predestination are A PRIORI [before the fact] and NECESSARILY DAMNED.”
        Catholic Encyclopedia, section on Molinism: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm

        Hard to see the power of your Thomistic ‘free will’ in the following passage where it is virtually indistinguishable from that of Calvinism’s ‘free will’:
        “So it remains true that grace is not efficacious because free will consents, but conversely the free will consents because grace efficaciously premoves it to the willing and performance of a good act.”
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm
        “…the free determination of the will is accomplished only by virtue of the divine predetermination.”
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        Your appeal to the ‘free will’ defense to save Thomism from its kinship with Calvinism fails because grace is the INFALLIBLE and EFFICACIOUS STARTING POINT (I.e.: before, or “a priori,” any co-operation of the will):
        “Whereas Thomism derives the INFALLIBLE SUCCESS OF EFFICACIOUS GRACE from the very nature of this grace, and assumes consequently the grace to be efficacious INTRISICALLY [in and of itself].”
        Catholic Encyclopedia, section on Molinism:
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm
        Thomism at least recognizes the terrible consequence of man’s ‘free will’ – man at the helm of his own salvation:
        “…IF the decision ultimately depends on the free will, whether a given grace shall be EFFICACIOUS OR NOT, the result of the salutary act must be ATTRIBUTED TO MAN and not to God.”
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm

        So contrary to your claim, Catholic Thomism God does NOT give sufficient ‘efficacious’ grace to the reprobate – that too is clear from the Catholic Enclyclopedia. Like it or not, your own authoritative source proves Thomism’s own double-predestination.

        And regarding your comment that Thomism teaches “the Reprobate are responsible for their own damnation.” So what? The majority view in Calvinism teaches the same.

        You really need to come up with another reason to hate Calvinism other than your imaginings about a “sinister” double-predestination. If you hate Calvinism’s double-predestination you also hate Catholicism’s Thomistic double-predestination. But to hate Thomism you would have to oppose your Magisterium wouldn’t you?

      • vivator / Jan 13 2012 11:30 pm

        Well, are you (and me) not doing the same thing as Mr. Feingold did? You want to stick to Catechism – that’s fine with me. The Catechism is silent about Election (whether is conditional or unconditional), though it does mention in many clauses the word “the Elect”. As for Reprobation the Catechism makes clear that Catholics do not believe God predestines any to hell. They end-up there because their own free-will. In Ludwig Ott book (Fundamental of Catholic Dogma) he wrote that Catholic position is positive conditional reprobation, not unconditional positive reprobation as taught in Calvinim and Thomism. Sproul tried to tune it down by making it passive or non-symmeteric but Westminster Confession of Faith uses strong word “foreordained”, not “bypassed”.

      • FourFingersBackAtYou / Jan 19 2012 6:51 pm

        To hate Calvinism’s double-predestination means hating Catholic Thomistic double-predestination. But Pope Pius X says you must embrace Thomism (regardless of what Ludwig Ott says):
        “The chief doctrines of St. Thomas’ philosophy cannot be regarded as mere opinions—which anyone might discuss pro and con, but rather as a foundation on which all science of both natural and divine things rests. If they are taken away, or perverted in any way, then this necessarily follows: that the students of sacred studies will not perceive even the meaning of those words whereby the divinely revealed dogmas are uttered by the teaching of the Church.”

        Your ‘free will’ defense fails to disentangle Thomistic double-predestination from Calvin’s. The Catholic Encyclopedia:
        “So it remains true that grace is not efficacious because free will consents, but conversely the free will consents because grace efficaciously premoves it to the willing and performance of a good act.”

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        “…the free determination of the will is accomplished only by virtue of the divine predetermination.”

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        Regarding your charge that Calvinism makes God guilty of sending people to hell: It doesn’t – no more than Thomism does. The majority Calvinist view (infralapsarian, positive/negative) teaches that people go to hell because of the fall; that people, if left to themselves and their own ‘free will’ – go to hell.

        According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Catholic Thomism teaches that God does NOT give sufficient ‘efficacious’ grace to the reprobate, thus they go to hell.
        “Now if we carry these philosophical principles from the domain of the natural to the supernatural, then efficacious grace (gratia efficax) must be regarded as a physical premotion of the supernaturally equipped will to the performance of a good act, for revelation undeniably refers back to grace not only the possibility, but also the willing and the actual performance of a good act.”
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        Both Sproul and the Westminster confession of faith espouse the majority Calvinist view, same infralapsarian view as Thomism’s.

      • vivator / Jan 19 2012 7:18 pm

        First, not all Pope statement is considered binding. Second both Thomism and Molinism teach that God gives the Reprobate sufficient but in-efficacious grace. Note the word “sufficient”, which means their damnation is not on God’s will. Why God gives them inefficacious grace is mystery and beyond our comprehension- it is His right and we cannot question it. A good analogy is the parable of talent in the first Gospel. The servants who received only one talent was condemned. Yet his Master who had incontestable right to decide how many talents each servant received, did not intend to set him up. Had he deposited his single talent he got in the bank he would be fine. In short the servant himself was to blame regardless whether his Master gave him only single talent unconditionally or conditionally. It is futile attempt to equate Thomism with Calvinism!

      • In Your Eye / Nov 23 2012 10:08 am

        Re.: Your comment Jan. 19, 2012, stating: “It is futile [to] attempt to equate Thomism with Calvinism!” This is a curious comment given the fact that you did a pretty fair job here of equating the two.

        You write: “Second, both Thomism and Molinism teach that God gives the Reprobate sufficient but in-efficacious grace.”
        But that contradicts your Catechism:
        “Thomism, like Calvinism, takes grace as the INFALLIBLE and EFFICACIOUS STARTING POINT…”
        “Whereas Thomism derives the infallible success of EFFICACIOUS grace from the very nature of this grace, and assumes consequently the grace to be efficacious intrinsically”
        Catholic Encyclopedia, section on Molinism:
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm

        “First, not all Pope statement is considered binding.”
        Who and what decides what IS binding then?

      • vivator / Nov 25 2012 9:36 pm

        To answer first your question “Who and what decides what IS binding then?” The Pope and/or college of bishops (in communion with him) are the ones who proclaim infallible and binding teaching on to faith and moral. Good example is the Dogma of Immaculate Conception. Keep in mind that what is called Thomism mentioned in Pope Pius X statement has broader meaning – read the entry on Thomism in the encyclopedia.
        I checked the on-line Catholic Encyclopedia using the link you provided. I copied and pasted into MS-Word and start searching the phrases and found the second phrase but not the first one. Both Calvinism and Thomism advocate unconditional election but their similarity ends here. Both Thomism and Molinism try to reconcile grace and free-will – free-will is denied in Calvinism in both election and Reprobation. The language in the encyclopedia is not easy to understand but I don’t think my statement copied from that of Ludwig Ott: Fundamental of Catholic Dogma contradicts Encyclopedia.
        The following is copied from encyclopedia: “whilst Thomism lays chief stress on the infallible efficacy of grace, without denying the existence and necessity of the free cooperation of the will, Molinism emphasizes the unrestrained freedom of the will, without detracting in any way from the efficacy, priority, and dignity of grace.”
        The following is also taken from Catholic Encyclopedia under “Predestination” (emphasis in capital is mine)
        Though God preordained both eternal happiness and the good works of the elect (Denz., n. 322), yet, on the other hand, He predestined no one positively to hell, much less to sin (Denz., nn. 200, 816). Consequently, just as no one is saved against his will (Denz., n. 1363), so the reprobate perish solely on account of their wickedness (Denz., nn. 318, 321). God foresaw the everlasting pains of the impious from all eternity, and preordained this punishment on account of their sins (Denz., n. 322), though HE DOES NOT FAIL THEREFORE TO HOLD OUT THE GRACE OF CONVERSION TO SINNERS (DENZ., N. 807), OR PASS OVER THOSE WHO ARE NOT PREDESTINED (Denz., n. 827). As long as the reprobate live on earth, they may be accounted true Christians and members of the Church, just as on the other hand the predestined may be outside the pale of Christianity and of the Church (Denz., nn. 628, 631). Without special revelation no one can know with certainty that he belongs to the number of the elect (Denz., nn. 805 sq., 825 sq.).

  18. Car Value Totaled / Jul 19 2010 9:28 am

    David, May the Lord of the Bible help you with your confusion about the Catholic Church. And for the record I am a non-denominal born again christian, who is seriously considering worshiping in the Catholic ministries. The reasons are many…Kay, Your lot was determined by our Lord. The order of things is clearly shown in the scriptures. Let no man or women leave out scriptures. WE all tend to be guilty of that. Gods Word says clearly that women are not to teach men. Plus nothing…I would love to be a women. To be a helpmate of the man God joined me to. The two become one flesh. Its not to be I am women and I am proud, hear me roar. Not saying that you are any of that. Just stating that this issue of men laying down on their part, and the womens equality movement has put a damper on the order god mandated. You cannot have to heads. The man is to be the head of the house. A women is not to teach or pastor over men. I cant tell you how many unfruitful christian couple or families I know have that canser.The next statement below in my comment is directed to the many blogs, websites etc of so called evangelicals BLA BLA BLAH.Not neccesarily this blog…When I read the comments it is apparent that the enemy has had his way with Gods own, his church.God wants unity, the devil wants devision.When we truly Love the Lord and thy neighbor as thyself we are in His unity. You show me your faith by what you say, or (by your doctrine or opinions and I will show you mine by what I do.Less time opinionating and more time caring for the lost.Jesus, the Holy Spirit loves the lost through His children.Us that is.The devil wants to have us busy doing anything other than caring for the poor, or loving the children, or holding the hand of an elderly person while we share christs love.Is Jesus to drop a happy meal from the freeway overpass to a homeless person or put it on the hearts of his own to bring it to them.After reading the comments I feel encouraged and strengthened by some and dissention by others.Thank you vivitar for your heart.I would leave with this comment. I read your short comments on election. The doctrine of Gods Word crys out aloud to me that Gods foreknowledge is not to be understood by man.The Lord will save whom He will save. Not only by predestination. Does God predestine whom He will predestine? Ofcoarse. The free will unto humanity is not to be taken out of the equation. Our Father came in the flesh, He died as his own son, and uses his own Holy Spirit to work through His ambassadors. When God works through us through His word, and Loves the Lost through us, that many times will help the lost person to be open for the Good Lord to fill their openess with his Faith.Does God choose or predestine some unto salvation? Yes. Does God give eternal life saving grace to those sought out by His great commisioners? YESMy favorite scripture pertaining to this is:1st Corinthians 1: 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe…Amen!That says it all. To think that the Lord would save those who believe the gospel. It is much more fruitful to hel those along to believe if we are not full of judgement, legalism & hypocracy. You see when we feed them when they are hungry. When we vist them when they are inprison. When we let a homeless person shower, cloth them feed them and help them financially. That is to Love thy neighbor.No its not a works based salvation as Vivitor and I would state boldly. Its simply put, Jesus loving through us.Chrisyians UNITED, NOT DIVIDED.Jim+1
    +1

  19. Mike / Oct 8 2010 9:29 pm

    In reading this blog I am reminded of my many encounters with Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). Particularly in the way truth is determined by them. Please allow me to explain…

    I ask the JW: “In the New Testament, who is the creator?” “Christ” he’ll say is the creator because that is the undeniable New Testament conclusion at John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17, and Hebrews 1:2,10 – and others.

    Then the same question is posed from the Old Testament: who is the creator in Isaiah 45:11-12? The context is unequivocal: “This is what Jehovah has said…I myself have made the earth and have created even man upon it. I – my own hands have stretched out the heavens, and all the army of them I have commanded.”

    Here the JW has a problem – a contradiction to be exact. Is Christ the creator? Or is it Jehovah? Can there be two creators? It is possible that neither is creator if in fact there is no God. But it is not possible that both are the creator, at least in the same sense of the word – that would be a violation of the law of non-contradiction. The JWs to their credit recognize the problem and try to reconcile the contradiction. But they do it this way: first, Jehovah created Christ – then Christ creates everything else. See? No contradiction!

    But wait, what about Isaiah 44:24: “I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?” This verse leaves no room for a sub-agent in the act of creation. Jehovah acts alone, the key words being “doing everything,” “by myself,” and the rhetorical question “Who was with me?” that can only be answered with: “No one.”
    Now can they see the contradiction?
    Does this convince the JW there is a problem?

    No, because his default authority is the Watchtower society, not the Bible.
    “God’s [only] channel of truth,” the Watchtower society, denies the Christian trinity (and thus a solution to the contradiction), and forbids the private interpretation of scripture. And so the JW has little prospect for uncovering the truth.

    Similarly, the Roman Catholic church at the Council of Trent knew it had a problem. Its system of works-righteousness clearly contradicted
    the Biblical way of salvation by God’s grace (free gift) alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Romans 4:5, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, and Galatians 2:16.

    Rome, to its credit could not deny the clear Word of God. Nor could it admit that its system contradicted the Word of God. What to do?

    Like the JWs they simply refined their doctrine a bit in order to cover both bases: God by His grace kick starts you for salvation, and then you complete the job by doing good works. Writes Vivator: “Our merits are God’s gifts, thus in Catholicism the merits of our good works are not something we deserve (like our wages) but they are gifts from God.” So merits are gifts and gifts are merits. Poof – no contradiction!

    Clearly there is something wrong with the way both groups attempt to reconcile their contradictions. See if you can spot the problem here in a quote from Vivator himself: “(Catholics) are entitled to have their opinion but the Church through [its] Magisterium has the final say.” See how he tries to have his cake and eat it too? In other words, yes Catholics are entitled to have their own opinion – they just don’t matter. They really are not entitled to their own opinion in any meaningful kind of way.

    Here’s how former Governing Body Member Raymond Franz explains the mind of JWs in his book, Crisis of Conscience: “I try in my own mind and heart to understand the feelings of all [Jehovah’s Witnesses], including those of the Governing Body. Based on my own [60 years] experience among them I believe that they are, in effect, the captives of a concept. The concept or mental image they have of “the organization” seems almost to take on a personality of its own, so that the concept itself controls them, moves them, or restrains them, by molding their thinking, their attitudes, their judgments…The concept of “the organization” becomes, in fact, the dominant, controlling force.

    Don Cameron clarifies further in his book Captives of a Concept: “It isn’t what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about the Bible that has made them captives of a concept. It is what they believe about the Watchtower Society that has done it.”

    The “concept” that holds JWs captive is the belief that the Watchtower Society is God’s organization. This concept blocks most JWs from noticing anything wrong no matter how wrong it is. To question, doubt or disagree with ‘God’s organization’ is to question, doubt or disagree with God.

    There’s more that Rome has in common with the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

    Both groups claim to be God’s channel of truth.
    Both groups prohibit private interpretations of the Bible, deferring instead to the organization’s interpretation of scripture.
    Both groups ridicule or shun ‘ex-Catholic’ or ‘ex-JW’ literature.
    Both groups engage in ad hominem attacks on those who disagree, attacking the person or their motives instead of their arguments.
    Neither group cares about your opinion, even your studied opinion. There is nothing YOU can teach THEM. When the debate doesn’t go their way, like certain Catholic bloggers they simply close the thread after their postings, not allowing for rebuttal.

    Dear reader, don’t make the same mistake as the Jehovah’s Witness when you encounter a contradiction between your organization’s teachings and that of the Bible. The contradiction we are concerned with here is this: Roman Catholicism says that your salvation is started by God and completed by your works; and the Bible says that salvation is started by God and completed by God. It cannot be that both Rome and the Bible are true, because they don’t affirm the same things. Either the Word of God can be trusted completely, or it cannot be trusted on any point of doctrine.

    “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 

    “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 

    Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Romans 4:5-8

    Christ Jesus has hard words for those who prefer family or tradition over Him. “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! Mark 7:9

    “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

    • vivator / Oct 8 2010 9:45 pm

      Mike,
      The answer to your false charge is simple. Read 1 Tim 3:15 where Paul wrote the foundation and pillar of truth is the church – certainly Pual wrote neither your church that was established fifteen centuries later nor JW tha was established even later. Salvation by grace alone, without human cooperation leads to unscriptural double predestination – which strangely you pretend not to see all the time. Just like JW, you also cleverly select verses that support your belief and ignore the rest of Scripture – that is exactly what the devil did when he tempted Christ, he cited a verse and build his teaching from it.

      • It is What it is / May 7 2011 9:08 pm

        Over, and over, and over, again in this blog… Vivator claims that monergism leads to an “unscriptural” and even “sinister” double-predestination as though this is the magic bullet to kill all the Biblical doctrines of grace (that some call Calvinism).
        But if God monergistically saves a Catholic child at baptism (the first plank of justification in Catholicism) without the free will co-operation of the child, why can’t he do the same with an adult?

      • vivator / May 8 2011 12:03 pm

        Good question and easy answer! Consider the following: God, through His grace, moves some of us to work as missionaries to the people who never ask for missionaries. In the same way God moves the (Catholic) parents to have their children baptized (who cannot decide for themselves) – contrary to what you wrote there is synergism here. Under monergism we should not bother to send or work as missionaries because the Elect will be saved solely on God’s monergistic work, i.e. without any of our cooperation.

      • It is What it is / May 18 2011 5:05 pm

        Oh… what tangled webs we weave!

        Vivator’s answer from May 8, 2011 is proof that while an answer might be “easy” it may not be coherent. One sure way to detect bad doctrine is when it leads to more untenable/unsustainable positions. That is what arises here from Vivator’s “easy answer.”

        You see here that while Vivator denies the very biblical doctrine of imputation, (the idea that God ‘imputes’, ‘counts’, or ‘reckons’ his righteousness to the sinner by faith alone. I.e.: 2 Cor. 5:21; Romans 4:6 ); you nevertheless see him here imposing his own form of Roman Catholic imputation.

        In Vivator’s illustration from May 8, 2011, he shows how a parent’s free-will to co-operate with God’s grace can apparently be imputed to an infant. According to Vivator, HUMAN parents can impute their free-will assent to their infants at baptism – but God Almighty cannot impute his righteousness to sinful man!

        Further, the allegation that monergists have no reason to evangelize is false for at least three very good reasons:
        1) The monergist evangelizes because he is commanded to do so by holy scripture.
        2) The evangelist has no knowledge of the elect and so has every reason to continue evangelizing all those to whom he is led.
        3) Practical experience assures me that the monergist is as evangelistic as any other Christian and quite possibly more so.

      • vivator / May 18 2011 5:34 pm

        There is no such thing as imputed righteousness through Baptism in Catholicism – your charge is simply baseless. In Catholic teaching Baptism does wash away all sins (in case of infants they still have original sin while they are free from personal sins), thus the recipients become sin-free.
        If you, as monergist, believe that your participation in evangelization is required then it means God does not work monergistically on any person salvation – He needs your cooperation to act as missionary. Have you never heard of hyper-Calvinism? Do your homework and search online for information on hyper-Calvinism!

      • It is What it is / May 18 2011 9:47 pm

        Agreed – “There is no such thing as imputed righteousness through Baptism in Catholicism.”
        Rather, my comment, as you can see above, was about “how a parent’s FREE-WILL to co-operate with God’s grace” is applied to the infant by imputation since, as you say, infants “cannot decide for themselves.” Something is clearly decided by the parent and transferred or attributed to the infant. Call it what you will – what else is it but an imputation, or reckoning, or accounting. A rose by any other name…

        I might add this is not the only incidence of Roman Catholic imputation. Every time grace is dispensed from the ‘treasury of merit’ by the purchase of indulgences or by other means, grace is ‘imputed’ to the recipient.

        The allegation that evangelism somehow invalidates monergism is unfounded. The terms ‘monergism’ and ‘synergism’ are used to describe what happens exclusively between God and man. Your introduction of a third person to what ought to be an exclusive transaction between God and man, is simply an equivocation, an evasion by creating a new definition of ‘synergism’; I.e.: a three-way synergism.

        And yes, I know a thing or two about Calvinism, having studied it for years. What puzzles me is why you continually resort to a fringe element within Protestantism as though this were the only natural outcome of monergism. I happen to know hundreds of the type of Christian you malign as “Calvinist” – and not one of them is “hyper-Calvinist.” What would you think of me if I were to pick on Sedevacantism, and proceed to beat on that straw man like it was the real Catholicism?

      • vivator / May 19 2011 10:57 am

        Imputed righteousness implies the use of external righteousness (of Christ) to cover up our unrighteousness. Through Baptism of infants Catholics believe their original sins are washed out, not covered – there is no imputation here. Apparently you still lived in fifteenth century – indulgences, while still belong to Catholics belief, are no longer for sale. Even worse you misunderstand indulgences as something we do to get grace – again you should do your homework, instead of making your own definition. I recommend you to read Clauses 1471 to 1473 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, available online. You should also read also Clauses 1996 to 2011 to understand Catholic teaching on Grace and merits.
        I neither wrote you are hyper-Calvinist (if you never met one it does not mean they do not exist) nor did I write all Calvinists are hyper-Calvinist. Hyper implies extremism thus hyper-calvinists will not evangelize because it means they help God to save the Elect. I agreed that most Calvinists are against them. There is no such thing as three-way synergism, God can give His grace through anyone cooperation.

      • It is What it is / Jun 1 2011 8:20 pm

        Catholicism denies monergism (the sovereignty of God in salvation). But while it denies the very biblical doctrine of monergism, it nevertheless embraces a monergism of its own by teaching that God saves Catholic infants at baptism. This can only be by a ‘monergism’ since infants cannot cooperate of their own free will, nor can the parents save the child. So again, if God by His sovereign grace (alone) saves an infant, why can’t He save an adult by His own sovereign grace?

        Catholicism also denies the biblical doctrine of imputation. But it does affirm nevertheless an imputation of its own: Merit and grace (see below) are dispensed from the ‘treasury of merit’ and imputed to the recipient.
        So Rome is not opposed to the idea of imputation – it is merely opposed to the biblical version of imputation, the ‘great exchange’ where Christ’s righteousness is imputed to man and man’s sin is imputed to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:6).

        When Christ by His sovereign grace imputes His righteousness to sinners, it is a perfect righteousness. And His perfect righteousness is sufficient. And if Christ’s sovereign (monergistic) work of salvation is sufficient then the Catholic cooperative (synergistic) system of salvation is false.

        For the believer who trusts the finished work of Christ (“It is finished”), eternal life is a present certainty (1John 5:13) and the believer can say with the apostle Paul, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It means you don’t have to wait until you’re dead to find out where you will spend eternity. That is indeed ‘good news.’

        Now the issue about whether grace is dispensed through indulgences from sources other than the “fifteenth century”:

        Pope John Paul II says that grace is dispensed through indulgences:
        http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2INDLG.HTM
        “The Church has a treasury, then, which is “dispensed” as it were through indulgences. This “distribution” should not be understood as a sort of automatic transfer, as if we were speaking of “things”. It is instead the expression of the Church’s full confidence of being heard by the Father when—in view of Christ’s merits and, by his gift, those of Our Lady and the saints—she asks him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of grace.”

        Of course, the Pope is not alone in this belief:
        http://www.catholic-pages.com/penance/indulgences.asp
        “But the Church has an incredible treasure of graces at her disposal, built up through the superabundant merits of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. Our membership of the Communion of the Saints entitles us to call on this treasury of graces. This is what the Church calls “Indulgences”.”

        http://www.catholicyouth.freeservers.com/jubilee/defin_indulg.htm “The Church’s Treasury of Grace –
        The Catholic Church is able to grant indulgences because she draws on the infinite merits of Christ, Mary, and all the saints. Blessed Mary of Quito, a Spanish nun, saw in a vision a vast treasure, which, God explained to her, symbolized the graces and merits of Jesus (the treasure of the Church!) from which indulgences are taken. These graces and merits can be obtained by anyone who fulfills the conditions, usually quite easy, for receiving an indulgence.”

        These findings are consistent with Catholic Catechism #1473 where grace enables Catholics to accept temporal punishment, “While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace.”
        #1473 is a key to understanding ‘grace through indulgences’ because the Catechism states in #1471: “The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.”

        In 2009, the NY Times ran a story on Indulgences: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyregion/10indulgence.html
        It is true that indulgences are no longer ‘sold’ — but as the NY Times story says, “charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one.” And those “other acts” can be expensive (how much is a trip to Rome?). Here is a papal indulgence granted in the year 2000 for visiting certain sites in Rome and elsewhere: http://www.ewtn.com/jubilee/indulgence/index.htm

      • vivator / Jun 1 2011 8:43 pm

        You keep on repeating the same thing. If you deny parent cooperation in infant baptism then you should deny missionary cooperation in spreading the gospel. If God works monergistically to save some of us why does He need missionaries?
        As for your argument for imputed righteousness of Christ on us (of the Reformers) vs infused righteousness of God (of Catholicism) let me ask you this question. When Christ says in Matthew 25:46 that the righteous will go to eternal life, what kind of righteousness He is talking about? Is it imputed or infused? If you say it is imputed show that to me from the context of Matthew 25:31-46. There is neither imputed merits or grace nor infused grace/merits – only righteousness is either imputed on us (Reformer position) or infused in us (Catholic position). The problem with monergism is it leads to double predestination, which flatly are against Scripture.

      • FourFingersBackAtYou / Nov 15 2011 9:29 am

        Once again (and again, and again), you may have been hasty with your condemnation of Calvinism. From blogger TurretinFan…

        “Of course, Thomism (which is supposedly acceptable within Rome’s communion) and even Molinism also teach that certain people are going to hell and PREDESTINATED TO DO SO. That’s not a unique aspect of Calvinism.” http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2011/11/failure-to-understand-both-calvinism.html#disqus_thread

        From the Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14698b.htm
        “The facts in the case are admitted by all Catholic theologians. The Thomists, appealing to the authority of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, defend a system which follows the admitted facts to their logical conclusions. The elect are saved by the grace of God, which operates on their wills efficaciously and infallibly without detriment to their liberty; and since God sincerely desires the salvation of all men, He is prepared to grant that same grace to others, if they do not, by a free act, render themselves unworthy of it. The faculty of placing obstacles to Divine grace is the unhappy faculty of sinning; and the existence of moral evil in the world is a problem to be solved by all, not by the Thomists alone. The fundamental difficulties in this mysterious question are the existence of evil and the non-salvation of some, be they few or be they many, under the rule of an omnipotent, all-wise, and all-merciful God, and they miss the point of the controversy who suppose that these difficulties exist only for the Thomists. The truth is known to lie somewhere between Calvinism and Jansenism on the one hand, and Semipelagianism on the other. The efforts made by theologians and the various explanations offered by Augustinians, Thomists, Molinists, and Congruists show HOW DIFFICULT OF SOLUTION are the questions involved. PERHAPS WE SHALL NEVER KNOW, in this world, how a just and merciful God provides in some special manner for the elect and yet sincerely loves all men. The celebrated Congregatio de Auxiliis did not forever put an end to the controversies, and THE QUESTION IS NOT YET SETTLED.”

      • vivator / Nov 15 2011 8:31 pm

        Thank you for your comment. I checked the blog: http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2011/11/failure-to-understand-both-calvinism.html#disqus_thread. Unfortunately the author did not provide the source of his statement. What you quote from Catholic encyclopedia in fact negates his statement – consider the following: “The elect are saved by the grace of God, which operates on their wills efficaciously and infallibly without detriment to their liberty; and since God sincerely desires the salvation of all men, He is prepared to grant that same grace to others, if they do not, by a free act, render themselves unworthy of it”. Thus the Reprobate end-up in hell not because God’s will, but because of their free act. God predestines no one to hell – it is the position of the Catholic Church as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1037. To the best of my knowledge Thomism and Molinism disagree on whether Election (of the Elect) is Conditional (Molinism) or Unconditional (Thomism). Even until today the Catholic Church does not make any dogmatic declaration on that issue. Perhaps in the future the Church will declare or most likely will leave it as mystery best known to God Himself (as also stated in Catholic Encyclopedia you quoted) – Scripture says God may not reveal everything to us (Deut 29:29).
        You are welcome to read my post on predestination at: https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/predestination-in-catholicism/

      • FourFingersBackAtYou / Nov 18 2011 4:48 pm

        Why cite sources when it is common knowledge that Thomism teaches “unconditional” predestination? Thomism teaches that God is sovereign and that He does not bestow grace on everyone. Thus Thomism in this respect is NO DIFFERENT THAN THE MAJORITY VIEW FROM CALVINISM, and is a view shared by Catholic theologians:

        “Now, [the] absolute predestination [of the Thomists] to glory necessarily involves the rather harsh doctrine of reprobation, which, though only negative, is nevertheless equally absolute. For, if God determines to bestow efficacious graces only upon those whom He has from all eternity predestined to glory, then those not contained in his decree of predestination are a priori and necessarily damned.”
        Catholic Encyclopedia, section on Molinism: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm

        Please note that an appeal to the ‘free will’ defense does not bolster your case against Calvinism because Thomism, like Calvinism, takes grace as the infallible and efficacious STARTING POINT, (I.e.: no free co-operation of the will):
        “Whereas Thomism derives the infallible success of efficacious grace from the very nature of this grace, and assumes consequently the grace to be efficacious intrinsically”
        Catholic Encyclopedia, section on Molinism:
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm

        and:
        “…the theological examination of grace and free will in its efforts to demonstrate the mutual relations between the two took as its starting-point respectively EITHER grace OR free will, two pairs of closely related systems were evolved: Thomism and Augustinianism, which take GRACE AS THE STARTING-POINT, and Molinism and Congruism, which set out from free will. These are the extremes.” Catholic Encyclopedia, section on Thomism: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        If Rome is willing to concede that “Perhaps we shall never know,” and “the question is not yet settled” about how God “provides in some special manner for the elect” – shouldn’t you also be a bit more gracious toward Calvinism, especially since Rome accommodates Thomism and Augustianism as it does?

        You say “God predestines no one to hell” – good! – this is what Calvinism teaches, in the same sense of Thomism’s ‘negative reprobation.’ Please note I am not referring to your straw man of ‘hyper-Calvinism,’ a fringe subset of Calvinism.

        I hope readers will note that a condemnation of (you say: “unscriptural” and “sinister”) Calvinist predestination is a condemnation of Thomism, and that you are promoting a strident personal interpretation at odds with an official Roman Catholic teaching that is considerably more lenient toward these matters than you have been repeatedly in this blog.

      • vivator / Nov 19 2011 12:43 pm

        Let me comment first on your statement that Calvinists also believe God predestines no one to hell by quoting from Westminster Confession of Faith:

        By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
        Westminster Confession III.3

        It clearly states that God foreordained the Reprobate to hell. Note that double predestination is the inevitable outcome of monergism. In short if you are monergist you must believe in double predestination.

        The relation between God’s grace and human free-will in our salvation is theologically complex as admitted in Catholic Encyclopedia.

        These are concerned chiefly with the relation between grace and free will. How can the all-persuasiveness of grace, which imposes such a potent influence on the human will and elicits therefrom such good works, reside harmoniously in the same subject with the simultaneous consent of the free will?
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        Two radical solutions of the above question are (1) to eliminate grace as in Pelagianism and (2) to eliminate free will as what Luther and Calvin (and Jansenism) taught. Catholics, on the other hand, keep both the role of grace and free will in our salvation though the Church does not define dogmatically who has the correct view among Thomism, Augustianism, Molinism, Congruism and Syncretism. The first two emphasize more on grace, the next two on free will and the last one, as the name indicates, is hybrid of both. In a nutshell Catholic predestination always involves human free will while that of Calvinism our free will does not come into the equation. Note that Calvinists may claim they believe in free will but to them it means freedom to do evil.

        “after the fall, though the will itself remains free, its capacity for choice is limited by the sinfulness of human nature. Human beings retain the capacity of choice, but all choosing occurs in the context of sin.”
        Encyclopaedia of the Reformed Faith (Editor: Donald K. Mc Kim,) page 145

        Scripture says that God gives His Grace lavishly to the Elect (Ephesians 1:7-8) and He has mercy but also hardens the hearts of whom He will (cf. Romans 9:18). This is something we cannot question – God is the potter and we are the clay (Romans 9:20-21). In Catholic Church’s terminology God gives the Elect sufficient and efficacious Grace while the Reprobates receive sufficient but inefficacious Grace. Both Thomism and Molinism agree that the Elect receive sufficient and efficacious grace. The difference between these two is stated in Catholic encyclopedia. In Thomism sufficient and efficacious graces are two different entities.

        So it remains true that grace is not efficacious because free will consents, but conversely the free will consents because grace efficaciously premoves it to the willing and performance of a good act. Here gratia efficax is intrinsically and by its nature (ab intrinseco s. per se) efficacious, and consequently intrinsically and extrinsically different from sufficient grace (gratia sufficiens), which imparts only the posse, not the agere. To make merely sufficient grace efficacious a new supplementary grace must needs be supplied. How then is such a grace really sufficient (gratia vere sufficiens)? To this most of the Thomists reply: If the free will did not resist the grace offered, God would not hesitate to supply the efficacious grace so that the failure of the grace is to be referred to the sinful resistance of the free will.
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        Molinism, on the other hand does not separate sufficient and efficacious grace.

        The fundamental principles of the Molinistic system of grace are the following: efficacious grace and sufficient grace, considered in actu primo, are not in natura and intrinsically different one from the other (as the Thomists hold), but only accidentally so and according to their external success, inasmuch as sufficient grace becomes efficacious just as soon as the free will corresponds to it. If the will withholds its consent then sufficient grace remains inefficacious and is termed “merely sufficient grace” (gratia mere sufficiens).
        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

        The main source of difference between Thomism and Molinism is their disagreement on whether Election is unconditional (Thomism) or Conditional (Molinism). Note that while both Calvinism and Thomism believe in unconditional election they are not the same – as mentioned earlier in Calvinism human free will is eliminated while Thomism still keeps it. Molinism emphasizes on free will because they believe God predestines the Elect because His foreknowledge of their response to His grace. Therefore they do not separate sufficient and efficacious grace as in Thomism.

        The same term efficacious grace has different meanings to Catholics and Calvinists – to Calvinist efficacious grace is just another name for irresistible grace (cf. Lorraine Boettner: Reformed Doctrine of Predestination) and there is no such thing as inefficacious grace in Calvinism. Inefficacious (but sufficient) grace in Catholicism is not the same with the so-called common grace in Calvinism either, which Calvinists believe is given to all but has nothing to do with salvation (cf. Berkhof: Systematic Theology). Thus in Calvinism God gives efficacious grace to the Elect and withholds His grace from the Reprobate as declared in the following:

        As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, does blind and harden, from them He not only withholds His grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their heart; but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had, and exposes them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God uses for the softening of others.
        Westminster Confession V.6

        Catholics and Calvinists agree that God takes the FIRST initiative to save us. Catholics do not believe that we can use our free will to make the first move (that’s what semi-pelagians believe, which most Calvinists confuse with).

        If God predestines the Elect to heaven (as believed by both Catholics and Calvinists) does it consequently means He predestines the rest to hell, i.e. there is always double predestination as you try to prove? To answer this question: Catholics believe God gives everyone sufficient Grace to make him/her in using his/her free will turn to God and be saved. Catholics believe that condemnation of the Reprobate always involves their freedom to reject God’s Grace – in other words they are responsible for their damnation. Catholic’s view on Reprobation is called as Positive Conditional Reprobation – when God created the world He, being omniscience, foresaw the Reprobate’s rejection to His Grace and let them use their freedom to do so. Yet God still wants them to be saved and still gives them sufficient Grace. This is totally different with Calvinist double predestination view. One way to explain Catholic view on Reprobation is using Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In the parable the Master gave different number of talents to his three servants according to their abilities. The Master obviously had the right to decide how many talents each servant received. The servant with only one talent was later condemned. Yet his Master did not intend to condemn him by giving him only one talent. Had he deposited it in the bank he would be fine like the other two. The servant was condemned for his own wrong action, i.e. hiding the single talent entrusted to him.

      • FourFingersBackAtYou / Dec 1 2011 3:23 pm

        Question: when you repeatedly condemn Calvinism as “unbiblical” and “sinister,” are you referring to the Calvinist majority view of double-predestination or the fringe view of equal ultimacy (hyper-Calvinism)?

        It is easy to conflate the ideas of ‘double-predestination’ and ‘equal ultimacy’, (or ‘hyper-Calvinism’):

        No problem with your portrayal of Calvinism’s double-predestination so long as you mean the same passive, or negative, reprobation as Thomism within the Roman Catholic communion. Calvinism’s ‘infralapsarian’ view says God merely passes over the reprobate – whereby God actively predestines (a positive act) the reprobate to be LEFT TO THEMSELVES (a negative act). It is not to be confused with ‘equal ultimacy,’ or ‘hyper-Calvinism,’ where God causes the reprobate to not believe.

        Lord willing, this Wikipedia entry helps clear the cobwebs about Calvinist-type (I.e.: biblical) predestination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination_(Calvinism)

        An excerpt:

        DOUBLE PREDESTINATION:
        Calvinistic predestination is sometimes referred to as “double predestination.” This is the view that God chose who would go to heaven, and who to hell, and that his decision will infallibly come to pass. The difference between elect and reprobate is not in themselves, all being equally unworthy, but in God’s sovereign decision to show mercy to some, to save some and not to save others. It is called double predestination because it holds that God chose both whom to save and whom to damn, as opposed to single predestination which contends that though he chose whom to save, he did not choose whom to damn.

        REPROBATION – ACTIVE DECREE, PASSIVE FOREORDINATION :

        Reformed Calvinists emphasise the active nature of God’s decree to choose those foreordained to eternal wrath, yet at the same time the passive nature of that foreordination.
        This is possible because MOST REFORMED CALVINISTS HOLD TO AN INFRALAPSARIAN VIEW of God’s decree. In that view, God, before Creation, in His mind, first decreed that the Fall would take place, before decreeing election and reprobation. So God actively chooses whom to condemn, but because He knows they will have a sinful nature, the way He foreordains them is to simply let them be (He doesn’t need to do anything) – this is sometimes called “preterition.” Therefore this foreordination to wrath is passive in nature (unlike God’s active predestination of His elect where He needs to overcome their sinful nature).

        EQUAL ULTIMACY:

        The WCF (Westminster Confession of Faith) uses different words for the act of God’s election and reprobation: “predestinated” and “foreordained” respectively. This suggests that the two do not operate in the same way. The term “equal ultimacy” is sometimes used of the view that the two decrees are symmetrical: God works equally to keep the elect in heaven and the reprobate out of heaven. R. C. Sproul argues against this position on the basis that it implies God “actively intervenes to work sin” in the lives of the reprobate. THIS VIEW IS SOMETIMES ERRONEOUSLY REFERRED TO AS “DOUBLE PREDESTINATION”, on which see above.”
        (end of excerpt)

        Finally, the Roman Catholic contrivance of ‘free-will’ to mollify Thomistic predestination is essentially a distinction without a difference. It merely turns salvation into a man-centered proposition rather than a God-centered one, and is problematic for at least three other reasons:
        1) Free-will is not a biblical term. Scripture does not say that man has free-will with respect to his salvation, but in fact teaches the opposite:

        John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
        John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
        John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”

        These verses are pretty straightforward, but I do realize that for Catholics, when something becomes a contest between the Word of God and Roman Catholic doctrine, the latter wins.

        2) If ‘free-will’ is a gift of God, how can you claim it as your own? If you can make no salvific claim for ‘works’ because they are “gifts from God,” how can you claim ‘free-will’ as yours, since they too are “gifts from God”? Hence, if ALL is given to you, what are you claiming?

        3) When praying for the salvation of an atheist, what are you asking the Lord to do with that person’s antagonistic will? What would his prayer sound like? “Oh Lord, please make that atheist change his mind… of his own free will?”

  20. friendly / Dec 26 2010 10:21 pm

    Why don’t we just believe that Christ did it all for us through the Cross,
    and in gratitude we give our life to him. Love of God, and Love of Neighbor fulfills both the old law and the new.

    • Raj / Apr 9 2011 2:17 pm

      Dear ‘friendly’:
      No problem with your opening: “Why don’t we just believe that Christ did it all for us through the Cross, and in gratitude we give our life to him.”
      The problem with saying “Love of God, and Love of Neighbor fulfills both the old law and the new” is that if it were possible for you to do this, you would have no need of a Savior. The command to love your neighbor as yourself is what indicts you, not what saves you.

  21. Andrew Joseph / Feb 10 2011 10:37 pm

    Thanks for the informative post. My wife’s calling me for dinner So I need to run off without reading as much as I’d like. But I set your blog on my RSS feed to ensure that I can study a lot more.

  22. Andrew Joseph / Feb 24 2011 12:23 pm

    Took me time to read all of the comments, but I truly loved the article. It proved to be very useful to me and I’m sure to all the commenters here! It is usually good whenever you cannot only be informed, but additionally engaged! I am sure you had pleasure writing this article.

  23. Jim Richter / Jun 23 2011 9:57 am

    I appreciate your careful attempt to distinguish Protestant and Catholic views of salvation. However, I want to raise an issue of understanding of the Protestant view of regeneration in which I believe you have not correctly stated the Protestant understanding of regeneration.

    You state above,'”Reformer John Calvin wrote: as Christ cannot be divided into parts, so the two things, justification and sanctification, which we perceive to be united together in him, are inseparable (Calvin: Institutes of Christian Religion 3.11.6). The implication of separating Justification from sanctification and at the same time making these two inseparable is expressed in the words of Reformed scholar R.C. Sproul: Justification is by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone. Saving faith is not a “lonely” faith, having no works following as a companion (R.C. Sproul: Faith Alone, page 156). Here works refers to works of regeneration, that is, a saved person should turn away from his/her old sinful ways to become new person who obeys God’s commandments. This works of regeneration takes place in Sanctification.”

    You correctly quote Calvin and Sproul, but I believe that you have are not correct in referring to “works” as having reference to to “works of regeneration” or in saying that Protestant theology holds that ” This works of regeneration takes place in Sanctification.” While there are differences among Protestant theologians about when the act of regeneration takes place, it is universally believed by Protestants that regeneration is a one-time, immediate, act of the Holy Spirit in the soul of a person that occurs in his or her conversion and changes the state of that person from one of being spiritually dead to spiritually alive. Just as you correctly describe justification as preceding sanctification in Protestant theology, a correct understanding of Protestant theology is that regeneration precedes sanctification, in much the same way that the germination of a seed precedes growth of a plant. In the same way that justification and sanctification are distinct but inseparable in Protestant theology, as you correctly state, it would be correct to say that regeneration and sanctification are distinct but inseparable. Where there is regeneration and justification, sanctification will inevitably take place.

    • vivator / Jun 23 2011 6:59 pm

      Hi Jim
      Thank you for your comment and input. The way I wrote it may not be clear but what I want to say with “works of regeneration” is works as the outcome of regeneration. In any case I will revise (at my earliest convenience) my sentence to make it clearer. As you pointed out “there are differences among Protestant theologians about when the act of regeneration takes place”, those who follow Calvinism will say “regeneration precedes faith” while the Arminianists will say “faith precedes regeneration”. For source of Arminianist position refer to:
      http://evangelicalarminians.org/Outline.FACTS-of-Arminianism-vs-the-TULIP-of-Calvinism
      while that of Calvinist (written by R.C. Sproul) can be found at:
      http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/sproul01.html

  24. thirdt / Jul 1 2012 12:08 pm

    Mary was the perfect choice. She had been born without the stain of original sin, as defined by the Church’s dogma of the Immaculate Conception. (Note that the Immaculate Conception relates to Mary’s conception, not our Lord’s.)

  25. Canonn Law TT / Oct 12 2012 4:28 pm

    Galatians 5:19-21 in the bible defend our belief in mortal sin:
    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. -Galatians 5:19-21 in the Douay-Rheims public domain bible

    John 20:23 shows the sacrament of confession. The first priests (the apostles) were given the power to forgive sins and said “I forgive anyone he forgives to the future bishops etc.”:
    Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. -John 20:23 in the Douay-Rheims public domain bible

  26. Kimi / Feb 14 2013 11:05 pm

    This has been Unbelievable to read!! I don’t know about YOUR Bible….But, MY Bible…does NOT say, what Yours does! It is written in Red…so you know, Jesus said it… John:20;21- 22; And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost. ; 23 says… “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and who soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But, if you go Back to verse 21; Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so I send you. Your Bible says Almost…the same as ours, in Galatians 5;19-20 , But when you Keep reading… Gal; 5:21 Of which I tell you in time past, that they which do such things shall Not inherit the Kingdom of God Gal. 5;22 But the fruits of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23; Meekness, temperance ; against such there is no law. 24; And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with affections and lusts. 25; If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26; Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
    Also… if you read on, to Chapter 6….Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man , prove his own works, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for what so ever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
    and lastly…God…died on the cross for You and Me, and he did that, for the sins…of All man so we Don’t have too. God loves us SO much, he did that so we could have Salvation, and IF…we chose to be Saved, and ask forgiveness for ALL our sins, and be Born again…that we would KNOW, we will spend eternity..in Heaven. Although, we ALL still sin, But IF…we go to GOD, and ask for forgiveness… he will erase Every sin we ever did, and we then need to Live for him, spread the word so that Everyone…could know, we worship a RISEN SAVIOR!! I think the Catholics…need to Stop making their OWN bibles, and books, and start reading…the BIBLE, that was left for us, to know…what we need to, to make sure we can go to Heaven!! As far as Mary goes….she was ONLY chose, to be the one, who God chose, to bring Jesus, into this world. someone back up, said she was without sin?? NO she wasn’t. I don’t understand WHY…you Worship Mary, More than Jesus! She did NOTHING…to give us a chance, for salvation..or to enter into Heaven. Either your name, is in the BOOK OF LIFE, that Only God, has… then you will NEVER make it to Heaven. It says, he will say.. “depart from me, I Never knew you” if you chose, Not to ask him into your heart! I just PRAY…that ALL the Catholics, have Someone…who cares enough, to teach them the TRUTH, before its TOO LATE!! Trust me, HELL…is Nothing to take, lightly!!

    • vivator / Feb 18 2013 12:49 pm

      Thank you for leaving your comment. I guess what you meant with your Bible is KJV since you mentioned red letter Bible. Personally I am not against red lettering though it is not in the original manuscript of all four Gospels. While we share the same New Testament, Catholic Bible has more books in Old Testament, which many non-Catholic Christians think they were added later to justify some Catholic beliefs. You may read Catholic response on those charges in my post:
      https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/who-has-the-correct-number-of-books-in-the-bible/
      KJV is famous for its archaic language and its translation is tailored for Protestant readers. For example the verse you quote, John 20:23, says “remit”, not “forgive”. New Testament was not written in English but in Greek and the same Greek verb translated into “remit” in KJV is translated into “forgive” (sin) in Matthew 9:5-6, Luke 5:23-24. Catholics do not make the Bible – by guidance of the Holy Spirit promised by Christ Himself the Church finally canonized which books belong to the Bible. On the other hand you will never know how you end-up with sixty-six book Bible because there is no single verse in the Bible saying how many and which books belong to the Bible! Catholics do not worship Mary – we do give our highest respect to her. We do believe she was immaculately conceived and was without sin – for more explanation you may read my post on this issue at:
      https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2007/10/06/on-the-immaculate-conception-of-virgin-mary/

  27. Kimi / Feb 18 2013 1:45 pm

    Well, I believe Mary should be considered, Soecial… For being chosen by God, to give birth to Jesus…but I Dont think it says, she was Without sin, as it says NO one was! But other than being the Mother of Jesus… That’s IT!!!!! Jesus Hung on a cross, was beaten and died for our sins, and HE…. Is the ONLY WAY TO GET TO HEAVEN, Not Mary!!! All my friends who have been SO Brainwashed to thinking the need to Pray to Mary, it says She can NOT, hear our prayers, only God and Jesus can!! It’s kinda like Obama is President, SO… Does His Mom deserve to be Worshiped… Cuz she gave birth to him?? NO!!!!!!! It is Idolatry ( not sure of spelling) to worship Mary… I don’t understand How you people also think you can go in a booth, and confess your sins to a Man on other side?? Really?????? Where in Your or My Bible, does it say, that a Man… Has that kind of Power?? We have to go to God, ourselfs to be Forgiven!!! It just Bteaks my heart, that my friend… Believes that ALL he has to do, is be a GOOD man, and will make it to Heaven! Well you all mislead all these people, when you HAVE, to be SAVED, to get your name in the book of life!!! I just pray… I can get them to Believe me, before its too late!!!

    • vivator / Feb 18 2013 2:41 pm

      It seems you want others to listen to you and don’t want to listen to others. First let’s look at Mary – according to Genesis 3:15 there is enmity between the devil and the woman and between the devil seed and her seed. If you believe the woman refers to Mary and her seed refer to Christ then read 1 John 3:8 that says whoever commits sin is of the devil. Thus if she committed sin, even only once, then she cannot be in enmity with the devil. Catholics do believe Christ is the ONLY way to heaven – you need to update your knowledge. The fact that she can intercede for us is attested in the Bible where Christ performed His first miracle at her request even though He said His hour is not yet come (John 2:4). According to Scripture we can communicate with saints in heaven – John was able to converse with one of the elders in heaven (Rev 5:5, 7:13-14). Again we DO NOT worship Mary but we do respect her. Do you respect your mother in-law after marrying her son/daughter? Or you ignore her totally because you already got what you want, i.e. her son/daughter? Do you respect the mother of your friend? According to Scripture Christ gave the authority to forgive sins to the apostles (John 20:22-23) and that’s the scriptural reason why we confess our sins – it is God who forgive our sins, not the priests who only act as His ministers. You don’t have this privilege in your church because your church is man-made and non-apostolic church. Finally Catholics do believe in Christ as the only Saviour and Lord.

      • ToGodBeTheGlory / Jun 22 2013 12:38 am

        I It is interesting to note that Jesus never refers to Mary as “mother”, but always as “woman. In John 2:4, rather than obeying Mary’s request, Jesus is, at that moment, letting her know that she has no authority over Him, and that rather, His authority is over her. “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?” Jesus is asserting that while she served God’s purpose to bring Jesus into the world, she was only His earthly mother and has no influence over His decisions.
        You said Catholic’s believe Christ is the only way into Heaven. But Bishop Alphonse de Liguori wrote, “Sinners receive pardon by… Mary alone.” This looks to me like Mary taking the place of Christ.
        You say you only respect, not worship Mary. But she has been given titles by Catholics such as “Cause of our Joy” “Refuge of Sinners” and “Gate of Heaven.”

        CAUSE OF OUR JOY
        Habakkuk 3:18 says, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Psalm 21:1 says, “The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; And in your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice.” Psalm 43:4 says, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.” Romans 15:13 says,”Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Next to these verses, it is blasphemous to call Mary the “cause of our joy”. It is clear who is the real cause of our joy, as I am sure you agree.

        REFUGE OF SINNERS
        Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength…” There is nowhere in the Bible that says, “Mary is your refuge. Flee to her to escape God’s wrath.” We are sinners; God is our refuge; therefore, God is the real “Refuge of Sinners

        GATE OF HEAVEN
        John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” This verse makes it pretty clear who the “Gate of Heaven” is.

        Such titles should be given to Christ, not Mary. Catholics have a habit of taking the glory away from Christ and giving it to Mary. Along with images, paintings, and statues of Mary this appears very much as worship. This is not the kind of respect you would give your mother in law. We don’t pray to our mother in laws. (Or at least, no one I know does!) And may I point out that in most of the pictures of Mary and Jesus, Jesus is represented as a baby and Mary as His mother. This gives the impression that she is stronger than He, while He is the one who should be magnified.

        I know this discussion took place several months ago, but I hope you will reply to me and let me know what you think.

      • vivator / Jun 22 2013 8:15 pm

        Thank you for your comments. You did raise interesting issues.
        1. Why did Christ refer His mother as “woman”, the same way He did to other women (Mat 15:28, John 4:21, John 20:15). First Scripture affirms Mary’s motherhood of Christ – filled with the Holy Spirit Elizabeth referred her as the mother of her Lord (Luke 1:43). By referring her as “woman” Christ pin-pointed that Mary was the woman prophesied in Genesis 3:15, which most, if not all, Christians consider to be proto-evangelicum (first good news). Genesis 3:15 says that there will be full enmity between the devil and the woman and her seed. Interestingly 1 John 3:8 says that who commits sin belongs to the devil – if the woman and her seed referred in Gen 3:15 committed sin, even only once, then they cannot fulfill the prophecy.
        2. While Christ spoke those words you quoted to His mother, He nevertheless obeyed her and helped the wedding organizer to solve their wine shortage. This is the first miracle (or sign) according to the Gospel of John, which He performed at the request of His mother. It does show Mary’s intercession and her role is to bring, in this case, the servants to Christ not to her. You are wrong to say that she has no influence over His decision.
        3. What Catholics officially are required to believe about Mary is stated in a number of clauses in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is available online and you can check them yourself. What St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote is not official teaching of the Church. You may say that He was Doctor of the Church, which he was – but this does not mean whatever he wrote becomes official teaching of the Catholic Church. Augustine of Hippo was also Doctor of the Church and was respected by both Catholics and Protestants. Yet he taught that infants who died unbaptized will go to hell – rejected by both Catholics and Protestants. Being Doctors of the Church does not make them infallible.
        4. Why Catholics give her titles like “Cause of our Joy” “Refuge of Sinners” and “Gate of Heaven” etc.? Husband and wife may refer to each other as “honey”, even though neither of them looks and tastes like that stuff from bee-hive. Some mothers may refer their children as their angels (or even rascals) – while in reality they are not. They use those hyperbolic words to indicate their affection. Scripture employs the same hyperbolic words like the apple of the eye (Psalms 17:8, Proverbs 7:2)
        5. Do the above titles contradict verses you quote? According to Scripture the title Saviour is applied only to God and Christ (2 Sam 22:3, Psalms 106:21, Isaiah 43:11, Hosea 13:4, Luke 2:11, Acts 13:23, Phil 3:20 etc.). Yet in Romans 11:4 and 1 Cor 9:22 Paul wrote that he (Paul) might save some. In 1 Tim 4:16 Paul wrote to Timothy that he (Timothy) will save himself and his hearers. Certainly Paul did not strip God and Christ of their titles even though he wrote such things. The title “the light of the world” is given to Christ in John 9:5 – yet in Matthew 5:14 He gave the same title to His hearers, without ceasing being the light of the world. The same applies to the titles given to Mary (given because of her role as intercessor) – she does not compete with her divine Son and God. Of course you may argue that Scripture never applies those titles to her and we go to the root of the all issues: is the Bible our only authority? You will say Yes and Catholics will say the Word of God, both written and unwritten, as interpreted by Magisterium of the Church, the foundation and pillar of truth (1 Tim 3:15), is authority. Note that gate and way are not the same – you know the way after you see the gate and that’s is exactly her role, i.e. to bring us to Christ. If you still have problem with this consider this case: when you witness to your friend about Christ then you too become some sort of gate pointing out to the way (Christ) but you yourself are not the way
        6. You have problem with picture of Mary and Jesus as infant and claim it makes her stronger than Christ. I suggest you read Revelation 12:1-5 where the woman (again!) gives birth to male child (not depicted as adult male) who will rule all nations – who is stronger then? I must say you rely more on your fallible perception than on Scripture!
        7. You have problem with images, paintings and statues of Mary – a classic problem for non-Catholics. But you have no problem keeping images, pictures (but no statues) of your loved ones (spouses, children, parents) in your wallet and at your home. It seems you don’t want to keep those belonging to your in-laws, mother in-law in particular – another classic problem. For sure you don’t worship and pray to those things but you are still angry if somebody spits on or vandalized them, aren’t you? In Numbers 21:8-9 God told Moses to make bronze (or brass, depending on translation) serpent. Yet serpent represents the devil in Gen 3 – do you have problem with that? If no, why you have problem with images, pictures, statues of the mother of your Lord and Saviour? Can you recall, when was the last time you referred her as blessed? Scripture prophesies that all generations will do so in Luke 1:48.

      • ToGodBeTheGlory / Jun 24 2013 1:00 pm

        Sorry, it didn’t work to reply to your reply to my comment (hopefully that’s clear!), so I’m putting it here.

        Referring numerically to the points you made:
        1. I am not denying that Mary was the mother of our Lord. What I don’t agree with is the veneration Catholics give her because of that position. Also: where does the Bible itself affirm Mary as the woman in Genesis 3:15? I don’t see a connection between that and Jesus calling her “Woman”. Based on your logic, the woman in Mat 15:28 could be the woman talked about in Genesis 3:15, because Jesus calls her “Woman” as well.
        Romans 3:23 says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is no “Except for the Virgin Mary”. Christians sin, but they are not of the Devil. The verse before the one you quoted (1 John 3:7) says that all who practice righteousness are righteous, and we are to resist the devil.
        2. Where does it say that Christ is obeying Mary? Is God obeying us when he answers our prayers? Where does the Bible say that she makes intercession for us? Romans 8:34 says that this is Christ’s job.
        3. I am glad to hear that you don;t agree with Bishop Alphonse de Liguori. But this contradicts the Catholic claim that the Catholic church is completely united. This is how Protestants get their different denominations.
        I do not believe that baptism takes infants to heaven (where does the Bible say it does?). But this discussion is more about Mary, so we don’t need to go into that.
        4. The hyperbolic language implies greater affection than for any other human being. We call this worship. Also, Psalm 17:8 and Proverbs 7:2 are not referring to Mary. Yes, she deserves respect, but I haven’t yet found any example in the Bible where Jesus indicates that we should be giving Mary worshipful titles.
        5. Although Paul wanted to save men by preaching, nowhere does he actually take that official title for himself. Jesus, on the other hand, did take an official title when he said, “Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58). On the other hand, here are some of the titles given to Mary: (don’t read all of them – unless you want to :P, I’m just showing that most of these titles (except for the parts showing that Mary is female) refer to God. NO one should receive attention that close to what God receives. so yes, she does compete with Christ. Exodus 20:5 – God is jealous God.)
        Adam’s Deliverance
        Advocate of Eve
        Advocate of Sinners
        All Chaste
        All Fair and Immaculate
        All Good
        Annunciation by Saint Gabriel
        Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin
        Aqueduct of Grace
        Archetype fo Purity and Innocence
        Ark Gilded by the Holy Spirit
        Ark of the Covenant
        Assumption into Heaven
        Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
        Basillica of Saint Mary Major
        Blessed Among Women
        Blessed Virgin Mary
        Bridal Chamber of the Lord
        Bride of Christ
        Bride of Heaven
        Bride of the Canticle
        Bride of the Father
        Bride Unbrided
        Cause of Our Joy
        Chosen Before the Ages
        Comfort of Christians
        Comforter of the Afflicted
        Conceived Without Original Sin
        Consoler of the Afflicated
        Court of the Eternal King
        Created Temple of the Creator
        Crown of Virginity
        Daughter of Men
        David’s Daughter
        Deliverer From All Wrath
        Deliverer of Christian Nations
        Destroyer of Heresies
        Dispenser of Grace
        Dwelling Place for God
        Dwelling Place Meet for God
        Dwelling Place of the Illimitable
        Dwelling Place of the Spirit
        Earth Unsown
        Earth Untouched and Virginal
        Eastern Gate
        Espousal of the Virgin Mary
        Eve’s Tears Redeeming
        Ever Green and Fruitful
        Ever Virgin
        Exalted Above the Angels
        Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
        Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
        Feast of the Immaculate Conception
        Fleece of Heavenly Rain
        Flower of Carmel
        Flower of Jesse’s Root
        Formed Without Sin
        Forthbringer of God
        Forthbringer of the Ancient of Days
        Forthbringer of the Tree of Life
        Fountain of Living Water
        Fountain Sealed
        Free From Every Stain
        Full of Grace
        Garden Enclosed
        Gate of Heaven
        God’s Eden
        God’s Olive Tree
        God’s Vessel
        Handmaid of the Lord
        Healing Balm of Integrity
        Health of the Sick
        Helper of All in Danger
        Holy in Soul and Body
        Holy Mountain of Our Lady
        Holy Protection of the Mother of God
        Hope of Christians
        House Built by Wisdom
        House of Gold
        Humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary
        Immaculate
        Immaculate Conception
        Immaculate Heart
        Immaculate Heart of Mary
        Immaculate Mary
        Immaculate Mother
        Immaculate Virgin
        Incorruptible Wood of the Ark
        Inventrix of Grace
        Inviolate
        Joseph’s Spouse
        King’s Mother
        Kingly Throne
        Lady Most Chaste
        Lady Most Venerable
        Lady of Good Help
        Lady of Grace
        Lady of Mercy
        Lady of Peace
        Lady of Perpetual Help
        Lady of Sorrows
        Lady of the Rosary
        Lady of Victory
        Lamp Unquenchable
        Life-Giver to Posterity
        Light Cloud of Heavenly Rain
        Lily Among Thorns
        Living Temple of the Diety
        Loom of the Incarnation
        Madonna del Pilerio
        Madonna of Giubino
        Madonna of Miracles
        Madonna of Saint Luke
        Madonna of the Miracles
        Marketplace for Salutary Exchange
        Mary of the Assumptions
        Mary of the Hurons
        Mary the Blessed Virgin
        Mary, Blessed Virgin
        Mary, Help of Christians
        Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
        Mary, Mother of God
        Mary, Queen of Africa
        Mary, Queen of Angels
        Mary, Queen of Peace
        Mary, Star of the Sea
        Mary, Virgin Mother of Grace
        Mary’s Immaculate Conception
        Mater Dei
        Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
        Mediatrix
        Mediatrix and Conciliatrix
        Mediatrix of All Graces
        Mediatrix of Salvation
        Mediatrix of the Mediator
        Minister of Life
        Mirror of Justice
        More Beautiful Than Beauty
        More Glorious Than Paradise
        More Gracious Than Grace
        More Holy Than the Cherubim, the Seraphim, and the Entire Angelic Hosts
        Morning Star
        Most Holy Name of Mary
        Most Venerable
        Mother and Virgin
        Mother Inviolate
        Mother Most Admirable
        Mother Most Amiable
        Mother Most Chaste
        Mother Most Pure
        Mother of Christ’s Members
        Mother of Christians
        Mother of Divine Grace
        Mother of God
        Mother of Good Counsel
        Mother of Jesus Christ
        Mother of Men
        Mother of Our Creator
        Mother of Our Head
        Mother of Our Savior
        Mother of the Church
        Mother of the Mystical Body
        Mother of Wisdom
        Mother Undefiled
        My Body’s Healing
        My Soul’s Saving
        Mystical Rose
        Nature’s Re-Creation
        Nature’s Restoration
        Neck of the Mystical Body
        Never Fading Wood
        New Eve
        Notre Dame of Paris
        Notre Dame of Chartres
        Notre Dame of Easton
        Nourisher of God and Man
        Olive Tree of the Father’s Compassion
        Only Bridge of God to Men
        Our Immaculate Queen
        Our Lady in America
        Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace
        Our Lady of Africa
        Our Lady of Altagracia
        Our Lady of Altotting
        Our Lady of Arabia
        Our Lady of Baeuraing
        Our Lady of Bandel
        Our Lady of Bandra
        Our Lady of Banneux
        Our Lady of Begoña
        Our Lady of Bethlehem
        Our Lady of Calvary
        Our Lady of Charity
        Our Lady of Consolation
        Our Lady of Copacabana
        Our Lady of Coromoto
        Our Lady of Covadonga
        Our Lady of Czestochowa
        Our Lady of Europe
        Our Lady of Fatima
        Our Lady of Giubino
        Our Lady of Good Counsel
        Our Lady of Good Help
        Our Lady of Grace
        Our Lady of Guadalupe
        Our Lady of Guadalupe of Estramadura
        Our Lady of High Grace
        Our Lady of Hungary
        Our Lady of Japan
        Our Lady of Kevelaer
        Our Lady of Knock
        Our Lady of La Leche
        Our Lady of La Vang
        Our Lady of Las Vegas
        Our Lady of LaSallette
        Our Lady of Lebanon
        Our Lady of Liesse
        Our Lady of Limerick
        Our Lady of Loreto
        Our Lady of Lourdes
        Our Lady of Lujan
        Our Lady of Madhu
        Our Lady of Mariazell
        Our Lady of Mercy
        Our Lady of Meritxell
        Our Lady of Miracles
        Our Lady of Montserrat
        Our Lady of Mount Carmel
        Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Aylesford
        Our Lady of Nazareth
        Our Lady of Peace
        Our Lady of Perpetual Help
        Our Lady of Pilar
        Our Lady of Pompeii
        Our Lady of Pontmain
        Our Lady of Prompt Succor
        Our Lady of Providence
        Our Lady of Ransom
        Our Lady of Safe Travel
        Our Lady of Saint Luke
        Our Lady of Salambao
        Our Lady of Shongweni
        Our Lady of Sorrows
        Our Lady of Tears
        Our Lady of the Americas
        Our Lady of the Angels
        Our Lady of the Assumption
        Our Lady of the Cape
        Our Lady of the Conquest
        Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt
        Our Lady of the Golden Heart
        Our Lady of the Gulf
        Our Lady of the Hermits
        Our Lady of the Highways
        Our Lady of the Holy Letter
        Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
        Our Lady of the Holy Souls
        Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
        Our Lady of the Incarnation
        Our Lady of the Kodiak and the Islands
        Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery
        Our Lady of the Miracles
        Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
        Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament
        Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
        Our Lady of the Pillar of Saragossa
        Our Lady of the Pines
        Our Lady of the Prairie
        Our Lady of the Presentation
        Our Lady of the Rosary
        Our Lady of the Snow
        Our Lady of the Snows
        Our Lady of the Thorns
        Our Lady of the Turumba
        Our Lady of the Valley
        Our Lady of the Wayside
        Our Lady of the Woods
        Our Lady of Victories
        Our Lady of Victory
        Our Lady of Walsingham
        Our Lady of Washington
        Our Lady Who Appeared
        Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy
        Our Lady, Gate of Heaven
        Our Lady, Help of Christians
        Our Lady, Mother of the Church
        Our Lady, Queen of All Saints
        Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles
        Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners
        Our Own Sweet Mother
        Paradise Fenced Against the Serpent
        Paradise of Innocence and Immortality
        Paradise of the Second Adam
        Paradise Planted by God
        Patronage of Our Lady
        Patroness and Protectoress
        Perfume of Faith
        Presentation of Mary at the Temple
        Preserved From All Sin
        Protectress From All Hurt
        Purification of Mary
        Purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
        Queen of All Saints
        Queen of Angels
        Queen of Creation
        Queen of Heaven
        Queen of Heaven and Earth
        Queen of Martyrs
        Queen of Nigeria
        Queen of Peace
        Queen Unconquered
        Queenship of Mary
        Refuge in Time of Danger
        Refuge of Sinners
        Reparatrix
        Reparatrix of Her Parents
        Reparatrix of the Lord World
        Rich in Mercy
        Rose Ever Blooming
        Salve Regina
        Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit
        Scepter of Orthodoxy
        Seat of Wisdom
        Second Eve
        Singular Vessel of Devotion
        Sister and Mother
        Source of Virginity
        Spiritual Vessel
        Spotless Dove of Beauty
        Star of the Sea
        Star That Bore the Sea
        Suppliant for Sinners
        Surpassing Eden’s Gardens
        Surpassing the Heavens
        Surpassing the Seraphim
        Sweet Flowering and Gracious Mercy
        Tabernacle of God
        Tabernacle of the Word
        Temple Divine
        Temple Indestructible
        Temple of the Lord’s Body
        Theotokos
        Throne of the King
        Tower of David
        Tower of Ivory
        Tower Unassailable
        Treasure House of Life
        Treasure of Immortality
        Treasure of the World Undefiled
        Undefiled Treasure of Virginity
        Undug Well of Remission’s Waters
        Unlearned in the Ways of Eve
        Unplowed Field of Heaven’s Bread
        Unwatered Vineyard of Immortality’s Wine
        Vessel of Honor
        Victor Over the Serpent
        Virgin by the Sea
        Virgin Inviolate
        Virgin Most Faithful
        Virgin Most Merciful
        Virgin Most Powerful
        Virgin Most Prudent
        Virgin Most Pure
        Virgin Mother
        Virgin of Charity
        Virgin of Copacabana
        Virgin of Sheshan
        Virgin of Virgins
        Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
        Wedded to God
        Woman Clothed With the Sun
        Workshop of the Incarnation
        The church spoken of in 1 Tim 3:15 is not necessarily the Catholic church, it is the church of God, which could include both Protestants and Catholics (No, I do not believe all Catholics are going to hell, but if they do not accept salvation through faith ALONE, I seriously have to question their salvation.) I wouldn’t accept everything the Catholic church says just because they say that’s the way it is.
        When and where and how does Mary witness to us and lead us to Christ?
        6. Revelation 12 is imagery. It doesn’t say that the woman is Mary. Sometimes the nation of Israel is referred to as a woman. Also, if it is Mary, verse 2 would show that she did experience pain in Jesus’ birth, contrary to Catholic beliefs. In verse 5, notice it is the Child drawn up to God and His throne, while the woman flees into the wilderness.
        7. Nobody has any idea what Mary actually looked like. If God wanted an inspired picture Bible, he would have given us one. As it is, we have only inspired words, and not inspired pictures. Their pictures are imaginary at best, and idolatrous at worst. And yes, it would be terribly rude to spit on a picture of Mary! Because as you point out, she is supposed to be blessed by generations.
        I’m sorry, but I fail to see the connection you are making between the serpent and Mary. (who says the serpent is the devil?) You rely in the fallible perception of your church more than Scripture. If anything, the serpent represents Jesus. John 3:14 says, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
        And I thought of Mary as blessed while writing my comment on June 22. I love her story, I respect her, and I do think of her as blessed.

        As to relying on my fallible perception, what makes you say that? Of course my perception isn’t perfect, but I actually trust the Bible a lot more than I trust myself.

        In His name,

      • vivator / Jun 24 2013 8:06 pm

        In replying to your response
        1. The woman in Matthew 15:28 cannot be the woman of Genesis 3:15 because her seed was not Christ – this is quite obvious. The word “all” may mean absolute all (no exception) or most or many, depending on context. For example when Christ in John 12:32 said ALL men will be drawn to Him once He was lifted up from the earth, the word ALL does not mean absolute all because we have to admit not all men are drawn to Him. If you belong to Reformed based church or adopt Calvinism (correct me if I am wrong) you may interpret the second ALL in 1 Cor 15:2 (For as in Adam ALL die, so also in Christ shall ALL be made alive) to mean “all Elect”, therefore exempting not just one person, but billions of people from the word “all”. I bet you will also exempt babies and children below age of reason from “all” in Romans 3:23. I must say you try to tune 1 John 3:8 to meet your demand. The verse clearly says “He who commits sin is of the devil” – everybody with able mind commits sin save Christ and His Mother. When you read 1 John 1:7 does the verse refer to a person being made righteous or being declared righteous? The former is Catholic understanding while the latter is how the Reformers understand righteousness.
        2. The problem with most “Bible only” Christians is unknowingly they first decide what they want to believe and then look in the Bible for confirmation. Things that you don’t want to believe you insist that it must be stated word by word in order to be “scriptural”. I hope you believe in Trinity, even though there is no single verse in the entire Bible that says God is one God in three Persons – that formula appeared in 4th century AD. Coming back to John 2, Mary, oblivious of what Christ just said to her, told the servants to do whatever Christ told them. He told them to fill the jars with water, which He turned into wine and solved wine shortage of the wedding party. Don’t forget when you pray for your friend and suppose God answers it, then you too intercede for him/her.
        3. The difference between Catholic Church and churches established after Reformation is the former has Magisterium with authority to decide what is right. Without Magisterium (or to be precise, everybody is his/her own Magisterium) the latter split and split and nullify Scripture that says the Church is the Body (Singular) and Bride (Singular) of Christ. I did not write Baptism takes infants to heaven.
        4. Here again you rely more on perception than facts and I can return the question to you where does the Bible say giving titles to Mary is equal to worshiping her? If using your perception you keep on insisting she competes with God, so be it. It is you right and you are entitled to believe so and I am entitled not to agree with you. Surprisingly you have no problem with the title “the light of the World” applied to both Christ and His listeners. You don’t consider the latter to compete with Christ. The title shepherd is applied to Christ (Psalms 23, John 10:14, 1 Peter 5:4) yet Scripture applies the same title to Cyrus in Isaiah 44:28 – and you have no problem with that.
        5. The Church in 1 Tim 3:15 does not refer to any church established after Reformation for simple reason: they did not exist when Paul wrote that verse. Faith alone salvation is not scriptural, even Luther admitted that works are necessary for salvation – do you question his salvation? You ask “When and where and how does Mary witness to us and lead us to Christ?” Again you insist in order to believe everything must be stated word by word in the Bible. This poor argument can backfire you – I believe you have your Sunday worship in a building called church – tell me where does the Bible say that?
        6. Your argument in Rev 15 is poor and can also easily backfire you. Suppose you are right and the woman refers to Israel, then where does the Bible say Israel must flee to wilderness. If you refer to Exodus then Christ must be born before Exodus, which is totally absurd. If you refer to Jewish diaspora then what happened to Israel after 1260 days (verse 6). Catholics never declared, dogmatically, that she gave birth without pains. Some may believe so but I am sure it is not in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
        7. Nobody has idea how Mary and Christ look like but for sure you don’t mind to see an image or picture of Christ, do you? If you think that is idolatrous why did God ask Moses to make image of serpent and cherubim? You believe and think that she is blessed because it is written in the Bible but you refuse to say it while Luke 1:48 says all generations will CALL her blessed. When I was evangelical and attended number churches of different denominations I cannot recall they say her name, let alone call her blessed. In Genesis 3 living serpent represents the devil – you may need to spend more time reading it. The serpent in John 3:14 does not represent Jesus – if you think that way it is really absurd and derogatory. You are fiercely against giving the titles to Mary but it seems to me you may not have problem if one gives Christ title the Serpent. Following your logic Moses must represent the Romans who lift Christ up to crucify Him. You miss the point that the parallel between two actions is “lifting up”.
        The fact that you claim Mary is stronger than Christ because He is shown as baby clearly shows that you rely on your perception – size does matter. If you truly trust the Bible more why don’t you start calling her blessed, not just thinking of her as blessed as you yourself claim?

      • ToGodBeTheGlory / Jun 25 2013 10:36 pm

        Obviously we have different perceptions. Pointing out that I perceive one thing and you perceive another does not solve the issue. Saying that that is my perception is only saying that we disagree with each other. Nice cop-out. Of course we disagree with each other.

        1. Also, it would be helpful if you would stop jumping to conclusions. No, I don’t exempt babies and children below age of reason from “all” in Romans 3:23. Okay, all who commit sin are of the devil. You sin. So you are of the devil. Why should I listen to you? Mary is included in the “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

        2. I look at the Bible and decide what I believe from that. Not the other way around. I do believe in the Trinity, because that is actually crystal clear in the Bible. Who says that Mary is oblivious to what Christ said to her? You? Well, you have already as good as claimed to be of the devil, so why should I believe you? And Christ commands us to pray for one another.

        3. Sorry, don’t understand what you are getting at here.

        4. I have no problems with the titles you mentioned because they are given to us and Cyrus in the Bible, not by man.

        5. I wonder if the Catholic church existed then. My Sunday worship, actually is not in a building called a church. I am quite happy to worship in a home, like they did in the Bible.

        6. This point makes no sense.

        7. Yes actually, I do mind seeing images of Christ.
        God commanded Moses to do so. He does not command us to make images of Mary. I don’t know why God asked Moses to make those images. He can do whatever he wants. I don’t question that.
        You are using your perception of John 3:14. The verse says (did you read it?) that it represents Jesus! If you look at the context this verse is in, you will see it is talking about Jesus ascending into heaven, not to the cross. My logic is: Read the Bible. What does it say? Believe it.
        Blessed is an adjective for Mary, not a title. Mary is blessed, and I never denied that.

        I’m sorry. This discussion is not profitable for me. It is not leading any where. We are on completely different pages, and I don’t think it is worth it to continue. I will pray for you, as you are a lost soul. May Christ lead you to Him one day.

        In His name,

      • Kimi Miller / Jul 1 2013 8:01 am

        Where did you get, that I am Of the Devil??? I am a True Christian!!! I just was saying, same as You Did, that Mary should Not be Who… We Worship, as God should be!!! All Catholics I know.,, Only Worship MARY!!! They tell Me, Mary is More important than God!! All their Prayers… Go to Mary!!! I can Not… Get them to Believe , they need to Except God… To get to Heaven!! You say your Works are Also… What are needed for Salvation, well I Agree with you, but my Friends… Say that they can get to Heaven… Only by going to Mass… And telling the man in the little Box, All their sins, and I say… You have to ask God… To Forgive your Sins!!!! I Hope we can Agree on That?? Well thanks for your comments, and I’m Glad.,,, to hear you say, that God… Is the Way to Heaven!!! Thanks, Kimi

        Sent from my iPhone

      • vivator / Jul 1 2013 10:57 am

        Scripture in 1 John 3:8 says he who sins belongs to the devil. Even you are born-again Christians you still sin from time to time and so do I. But for me I can give thanks to God who through Christ gave the authority to forgive sin to the Church (John 20:22-23). Catholics do not worship Mary, neither do we believe we are saved by works.

    • F / Jun 27 2013 11:45 am

      In your June 24. 2013 post, you write: “Faith alone salvation is not scriptural, even Luther admitted that works are necessary for salvation..”
      Any reason why you would persist in such a falsehood after having been corrected so many times?

      • vivator / Jun 30 2013 10:51 am

        Here what Luther wrote (emphasis in capital is mine):
        WORKS ARE NECESSARY TO SALVATION, but they do not cause salvation, because faith alone gives life. On account of the hypocrites we must say that good works are necessary to salvation. IT IS NECESSARY TO WORK. Nevertheless, it does not follow that works save on that account, unless we understand necessity very clearly as the necessity that there must be an inward and outward salvation or righteousness. WORKS SAVE OUTWARDLY, that is, they show evidence that we are righteous and that there is faith in a man which saves inwardly, as Paul says, “Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved” [Romans 10:10]. Outward salvation shows faith to be present, just as fruit shows a tree to be good.
        Luther: The Disputation Concerning Justification, from Luther’s Works Vol. 34, page 135
        The problem with Luther statement is he wrote faith alone gives life but works are necessary for salvation – they are not something optional, in other words it is something that one must do in order to be saved. His view is now known as Lordship Salvation.
        Who need to be corrected?

      • F / Jul 4 2013 2:01 pm

        The Luther passage you cite here does NOT support the Catholic view that “works [are] necessary for salvation.”
        Nor does the passage support the view that Luther believed works could in any way contribute toward one’s salvation.

        The key to rightly interpreting the citation are Luther’s words:
        “On account of the hypocrites we must say that good works are necessary to salvation.”
        It is merely a warning to the hypocrite who claims to be saved but whose behavior does not support the claim.
        Biblically, works serve to show evidence of one’s salvation – nothing more. Luther from the same passage: “they show evidence that we are righteous and that there is faith in a man which saves inwardly…” And again: “Outward salvation shows faith to be present, just as fruit shows a tree to be good.”

        Indeed, a closer examination of your citation from Luther’s “Disputation Concerning Justification” supports salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Works are necessary only in the sense of an outward showing of the inward reality: “they do not cause salvation, because faith alone gives life.”

        Luther’s meaning of the word “necessary” is not the same as your meaning of the work “necessary” as used in point #5 of your June 24, 2013 response: “Faith alone salvation is not scriptural, even Luther admitted that works are necessary for salvation..”
        What you mean there in using “necessary” is that it is instrumentally necessary for salvation – that is made clear by your placing it in opposition to “faith alone salvation.”
        Faith, according to Luther, was the ONLY instrumental cause of salvation. Not a single Luther scholar in the universe that would dispute that statement. And none would agree with your interpretation of this passage.

        Therefore, your use of the word “necessary” here is an equivocation; a logical fallacy that renders your argument null and void.
        http://www.fallacyfiles.org/equivoqu.html
        http://www.logicalfallacies.info/ambiguity/equivocation/

      • vivator / Jul 9 2013 8:34 pm

        First I need to correct your mis-conception. Catholics DO NOT believe that we are saved by works. Canon I of Council of Trent on the decree of Justification says:
        If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.
        If you follow Lordship Salvation then you believe true and saving faith must produce fruits or evidence, i.e. good works. If no then it is a false faith and non-saving one. In other words faith and works always come together – it is never faith alone. The word necessary means it must be there – it is not optional, thus your answer to defense Luther is logical fallacy. The best solution to your situation is you believe in justification by faith alone (because justification to you is one time event, not on-going process as in Catholic teaching) but you are saved by faith (inwardly) and works (outwardly). Not every Protestants or “Bible only” Christians follow Lordship Salvation – those who oppose it believe Christians may not turn away from their sinful life (the so-called carnal Christians) yet they will not lose their salvation – they are the ones who can claim salvation by faith alone in their belief.

      • iougooph / Jul 9 2013 9:19 am

        Luther means of course that works are necessary as proof OF salvation, not FOR salvation “because faith alone gives life.” He makes clear in this passage that “saving outwardly” is merely about evidence: “they show evidence that we are righteous and that there is faith in a man which saves inwardly.”

      • vivator / Jul 9 2013 8:37 pm

        You may read my response to F

      • F / Jul 10 2013 12:11 pm

        I sympathize with your defection from the evangelical community – I too would leave if I had your misunderstanding of the Reformed faith, which is the same faith as that described in the book of Galatians and in the book of Romans, and indeed of the entire New Testament. I sympathize too with those like you who grew up “Catholic” in name only, who didn’t experience the church ‘up close and personal’ to see it for what it really is.

        Rome has a different take on the role of works, thus your comment “Catholics DO NOT believe that we are saved by works” is misleading, and quoting Canon I of the Council of Trent tells only half the story. Here is the other half, from the same Council:

        CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent)

        Thus Canon XXIV does not allow you to dismiss the elaborate system of merit developed by Rome over the centuries. It is a system of true merit, not the pretend merit you claim in defence of Rome’s doctrines: “our merits are merely God’s gifts to us”; “our rewards are not considered like the wages earned by a workman”. Such claims make a mockery of the Reformation players who gave their lives in defence of the true gospel, and makes a mockery of your own presumed “free will” – is it God’s merits, or yours? Why would God reward You for something He does?
        From the Catholic Encyclopedia on merit:
        “By merit in general is understood that property of a a good work which entitles the doer to receive a reward from him in whose service the work is done.”
        “In the theological sense, a supernatural merit can only be a salutary act, to which God in consequence of his infallible promise owes a supernatural reward, consisting ultimately in eternal life..”

        Rome says God merely gives you the initial push of grace… you must then accept and complete that initial grace by cooperating with works of merit. Therefore according to Rome, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is insufficient – I know this may hurt even your own sensibilities, but that is the truth. You don’t believe that grace alone can so change a man that he will act in accordance with his new nature, and in accordance with his new position in God’s family as an adopted son.

        The Reformers knew that when it came to the issue of works, “effect” is not the same as “cause.” To the Reformers, works are an ‘effect’.
        You write: “…faith and works always come together – it is never faith alone.” Here you are merely talking about the ‘effect.’ Commingling cause and effect only muddies the water.

        You write: “The word ‘necessary’ means [works] must be there – it is not optional..”
        Yes, but Luther makes it clear that these works are ‘necessary’ only as evidence, I.e. the ‘effect.’ The Roman system has no hope of salvation without the adding of your own cooperation to Christ’s sacrifice. Rome says: no cooperative works of merit (no ’cause’), therefore no salvation (no ‘effect’).

        Augustine, the Reformers, and the Lordship salvation fringe that you repeatedly cite, never considered works of merit the ’cause’ of salvation. Therefore the Lordship salvation debate is a non-issue in this discussion; a ‘straw man’ diversion from the real issue.

        To persist in your mistreatment of Reformed theology is not helping Rome or the cause of truth. Christ plus anything = nothing.

      • vivator / Jul 21 2013 8:09 pm

        Apparently you still want to skip the fact. You wrote “Yes, but Luther makes it clear that these works are ‘necessary’ only as evidence, I.e. the ‘effect.’ Let me ask you if there is no evidence or fruit or effect (or whatsoever you call it) of faith will that person be saved? If the answer is no then you have to admit both faith and work save a person. Since you agree that works are necessary as evidence [of faith] then my next question is what is the minimum amount or frequency of good works one must do in order to produce enough evidence? This question may never cross your mind but there should be cut-off point otherwise one may say he just produces good works once a week and according to him he has enough evidence or fruit or effect of his faith. It is futile attempt to eliminate works from your concept of salvation unless you abandon Lordship salvation. The irony is you keep on falsely charge Catholics of believing in salvation by works, while in reality you are the one who incorporate works in your salvation, which you desperately cover it with “faith alone mask”. Catholics believe we enter heaven if we die without any mortal sin. Those who died with mortal sin, even only one, will go to hell – their zillion good works will not save them and you still thing Catholics believe in salvation by works! For scriptural support read Ezekiel 18:24. For sure every Catholic commits sin, mortal or non-mortal and God through His Grace always moves us to repent and to ask forgive.
        Canon XXIV talks about merit of good works. Your knowledge of Catholicism is defective – no wonder you end up in misconception. Open the Bible to discover that Scripture does say God rewards us for our good works (Proverbs 13:13, Psalms 18:20, 2 John 8, Revelation 22:12 etc.) and He even rewards our good works with eternal life (John 5:28-29, Romans 2:6-7). There is no mockery here – it is God’s divine promise and that is what Catholic encyclopedia correctly states “God in consequence of his infallible promise owes a supernatural reward, consisting ultimately in eternal life”. It is the Reformers who mocked Scripture by their teaching that our good works are imperfect, defiled and sinful acts. If you don’t know this it shows how little you know the teachings of the founding fathers of your church. Canon XXIV and XXV is meant to condemn their false and unscriptural teachings. Catholics believe our merits comes from God – they are gifts from Him and that’s why there nothing unfair if God does not take into account if one dies with mortal sin as stated in Ezekiel 18:24. Catholics DO NOT collect points of reward from merits to be exchanged for salvation
        I can understand why fiercely defend monergism but your knowledge of Catholic synergism is also defective. The Elect can cooperate freely with God’s grace because God gives them efficacious grace – hence it is Grace that governs, not their free-will. Being the Elect their salvation is guaranteed. You wrote “according to Rome, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is insufficient”. This charge is more appropriately applied to you who believe in Limited atonement, i.e. He died only for the Elect. You make mockery of Him who comes to the world to save sinners (which means all men, not only the Elect).
        The problem with your monergism is God from eternity unconditionally foreordained whom He wants to save and whom He wants to damn. The former He will regenerate monergistically and the latter He bypasses. Do I misunderstand your belief, as you accuse me? Yet Scripture says God loves the world (John 3:16) and His Grace appears for salvation of ALL men (Titus 2:11) and in Christ shall ALL men be made alive (1 Cor 15:22). Scripture also says in Numbers 23:9: God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: HATH HE SAID, AND SHALL HE NOT DO IT? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Your belief that God foreordained some to hell unconditionally contradicts the above Scripture – in fact your belief in monergism makes mockery of God because it makes Him not doing what He has said.

  28. HamsterQ / Mar 2 2013 2:40 pm

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 1446 that, “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.””

    According to Pope John Paul II the Catechism of the Catholic Church “is given as a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine.”

    By the way a confession bible verse John 20:23 if anyone wants biblical proof. And Galatians 5:19-21 for mortal sin.

  29. nathaniel fernandes / Sep 15 2014 1:00 am

    Let’s see what the Bible says about Salvation and not what Catholics or Protestants believe. Salvation/justification today is found in Romans Chapters 1-4. God didn’t give us His word in the Holy Scriptures to make salvation so complicated. I call Romans chapters 1-4 as God’s gospel tract.

    The fact is, Romans 3:24-26 encompasses every necessary biblical truth to lead a lost sinner to genuine saving faith: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    The clear message of this passage is that we are saved by grace, with the shed blood of Jesus Christ set forth as the means of grace. It says that Jesus is a propitiation (he makes God ready and able to forgive) when we believe in Jesus after having faith in his blood.

    Then Romans Chapters 5-8 deal how we are to walk in our sanctification in the doctrines of Grace. Romans 9-11 Paul address is Israel. Etc.

    Paul wrote the doctrine found in the Book of Romans for all Jews and Gentiles today, having been converted on the road to Damascus and taught by the Lord Jesus Christ for 3 years in Arabia.

    Get yourselves a King James Bible – the sword of the Lord. People don’t see the light because they read corrupted satanic bibles like the ESV, NIV etc.

    People are confused because they don’t read the Bible the way God commands us to read his book. We bounce like a ping-pong ball picking bible verses out of context randomly from any book of the bible just to suit our theological viewpoint.

    What does scripture says if we are ignorant on how God commands us to read his book? we then become unstable, unlearned and then wrest the scriptures to our own destruction. Here it is below:

    2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    Where in scripture does God commands us to read his book, the way we must read it and not follow any weak human viewpoint system? The command is found in Romans 16:25-27. Reject this command at your peril. Note what Paul wrote in Romans 2:16.

    May God give you the light to see at the end of the dark tunnel.

    Nathaniel

    • vivator / Sep 15 2014 5:50 pm

      Thank you for commenting. I wonder why you just concentrated on Romans 3:24-26 to know biblical teaching on salvation. Your statement: “We bounce like a ping-pong ball picking bible verses out of context randomly from any book of the bible just to suit our theological viewpoint” is applicable to you as well. To clarify your misunderstanding on Catholic teaching: Catholics do believe in justification by grace. It is Grace that enables us to believe in Christ and to obey God’s commandments. By ourselves we cannot do anything, not even have the intention to do them.
      I do have a copy of KJV – I like its archaic English but to me it is just a translation, it is not superior to others. You wrote “not follow any weak human viewpoint system”. But you are also a human with weak viewpoint, aren’t you? Read what Paul wrote in 1 Tim 3:15 where he declares the church, not the Bible, is the pillar and ground of truth!

  30. Nathaniel Fernandes / Sep 15 2014 10:03 pm

    Thanks for your response, vivator. First. let it be known that my post was not to undermine what Catholics or Protestants believe in regards to salvation, but what the bible teaches about salvation. Now to some of the points you have raised.

    (i) “Why you just concentrated on Romans 3:24-26?”

    Well that’s for today, the doctrine of Justification a lost destitute sinner must come to terms with, Its applicable and relevant for all today (Jews and Gentile nations) by the dispensation of the grace of God (Ephesians 3:2). We are to follow St.Paul, our wise master builder, and a pattern (1 Cor 3:10, 1 Tim 1:16). In fact, no one can dispute that Romans chapters 1-4 deal with doctrine of Justification for a lost destitute sinner.

    (ii) “To clarify your misunderstanding on Catholic teaching: Catholics do believe in justification by grace. It is Grace that enables us to believe in Christ and to obey God’s commandments”

    This is not what the Bible teaches, though. This certainly appears what those Calvinist fools believe. The Biblical truth is … In this Dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph 3:2), God is mercifully pouring out his Grace thru the redemption that is in Christ Jesus to all. God by his grace as a free gift calls us by the Gospel – the biblical definition of gospel is “glad tidings of good things” (Romans 10:15), then man must use his free will to “believe” the message of salvation/justification God dispenses by his Grace in accordance to Romans 3:24-226. God today is dealing with sin. A destitute sinner must come to God’s terms for the forgiveness of sins. See what the Lord Jesus who “specially” raised the apostle Paul, say to Him in Acts 26:17-18, shown below, notice “forgiveness of sins” by faith in Christ Jesus.

    Acts 26:17-18 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

    In this dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph 3:2), as God dispenses Grace, you are called by the Gospel of Christ in order to be fully justified (Rom 3:24-26) before the eyes of God and to obtain the glory that we lost because of the fall. Let me explain how God call us by the Gospel, below:

    In Romans 3:23, the verse tells us that we “come short of the glory of God” because of sin that separates a lost sinner from a Holy Righteous God. So God calls us by his grace to obtain that lost glory by our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice verse 14, what Paul tells the Thessalonian believers about obtaining the lost glory in 2 Thes 2:13-14 by believing the truth, below:

    2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 – [13] But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: [14] Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    A sinner must realize that salvation is found in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in a church. Look at what “in whom ye also trusted” Paul tells the Ephesians believers. The Ephesian believers believed in the Lord Jesus and not in a church. You will die in your sins if you believe salvation is not in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    (iii) If the church is the ground and pillar of the truth (according to your interpretation), then how come the church is not able to tell me how to read the bible the method God commands you to read his Book. You are silent when I pointed out to you about Rom 16:25-26 which is God’s command to establish the believer. If a church cannot interpret it correctly, how can it be the pillar and ground of the truth? It surely becomes destitute of the truth. God of the bible is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). God is the God of Order. That is why the Apostle Paul was raised to bring glad tidings to good things – the gospel message – to every nation who will trust the Lord Jesus Christ and his shed blood for the forgiveness of sins to be reconciled to God (Rom 3:25-26)

    Also if the Church is the ground and pillar of the truth, then it should tell me where is justification taught in the bible?. When you say that Catholic teaching is that God enables us by his grace to believe (which is not biblical), then the church should be able to point me where in the bible it says so, or does it come from the traditions of the church?

    • vivator / Sep 17 2014 5:59 pm

      Let me ask you, according to you does our salvation depend on (1) God’s grace or (2) our Free-will or (3) both God’s grace and our free-will – just choose one (you can only choose one). Catholics and Calvinists, albeit both opt for (1) are not the same. If you cannot tell the difference you may read my post at:
      https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/synergism-amd-monergism-which-one-is-scriptural/
      I do NOT interpret 1 Tim 3:15 to mean the Church is the ground and pillar of truth – the verse says it by itself – why don’t you read it?. Catholics do believe in salvation by God through Christ. If you want to know Catholic teaching on Justification you may read my post at:
      https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/223-2/
      Your question: When you say that Catholic teaching is that God enables us by his grace to believe (which is not biblical), then the church should be able to point me where in the bible it says so, or does it come from the traditions of the church? Answer: Read John 6:44.

  31. nathaniel fernandes / Sep 23 2014 11:05 pm

    Hello,

    Answer to your question is (3). both God’s grace and our free-will

    What the Bible says? By faith, Justification/Salvation is by God’s Grace thru the shed blood and redemption in Christ Jesus in the dispensation of the Grace of God (Eph 3:2) whereby the Apostle Paul was raised to go to all nations with the proclamation of the Gospel – the Glad tidings of Good Things (Rom 10:15). So apart from the dispensation of God’s Grace, man is also equally responsible to exercise his free will to believe or reject the gospel of your salvation (Eph 1:12-13 ). Man’s free will is best described in Leviticus 22:18. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11), and ALL says it all.

    So the man-made teaching that God has to enable a man by his Grace to believe in Christ Jesus is alien to the scriptures. It makes man to look like zombies or robots that God has to flip on a switch to enable man to believe. The Titus 2:11 verse is absolutely clear. Calvinists believe God saves only some and the rest He sends to hell. This is not true for such teaching comes from brains of deceived dolts and is of the devil. It’s against God’s character and his Word. Man will go to hell if he chooses to reject the Gospel of His Salvation (Eph 1:12-13 ) by his own free will. Jesus died for sins of everyone. So you and I are just souls out in the world whom Christ died for. Not for anything that makes us to look pretty but by his Grace and mercy, he makes us acceptable in Christ Jesus. Salvation is in a person.

    Yes, God does draw men to Him, but he draws men thru the power of the Gospel to everyone that believeth (Rom 1:16). The Gospel has to be proclaimed. When men hear the gospel, they have the means to respond to the call, or reject it as mentioned in Acts 13:45-48. The gospel call has gone out into all the world, that God made salvation available as a “free gift” for every one and not some few. The church has to proclaim the truth of gospel and not create new truths. The Apostles where commissioned to proclaim that truth and not new ones, see also Jude 1:3.

    In respect to John 6:44, we must look at context. The following verse John 6:45 sums it all up. Look in John 6:45 at the words “written”, “taught”, “heard” and “learned”. So what Jesus is saying in relation to verse 6:44 that men come to him thru hearing of the Gospel (Rom 1:1-4). Its through the Gospel we come to know of the ultimate all sufficient sacrifice of Jesus who is God manifest in the flesh to reconcile destitute sinners to God.

    As I have said before, God calls everyone through the Gospel of Christ to obtain that glory of our lord Jesus Christ (2 Thes 2:14), that we lost because of the fall (Rom 3:23). The issue is “sin” that God is dealing with now presently. It is sin that separates us from God. To be just in the eyes of God, we as sinners have to have our sins forgiven (Rom 3:24-25) before we die and pass into eternity. We simply have to agree with God on his terms. God has faith in the blood of his begotten Son as the means for the forgiveness of our sins (Rom 3:25). The proclamation of the gospel is the power of God to draw men and to save them (1 Cor 1:18-21)

    Thanks for the link on Justification ..I am not to clear about Roman Catholic teaching on justification. I will diligently read you article and compare it in the light of scripture.

    I like to point out that in your article post above, you have mentioned the Catholic teaching on Grace – “First, what is Grace? Catholics understand Grace (CCC # 1996) as favour, free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God”

    Again this is a man-made doctrine alien to the scripture. Also most of Evangelical Bible Christianity hold onto the same school of thought. I must say we have all become messed up in our thinking which is not scriptural. Its man’s attempt to water down God’s word. Below is the true biblical meaning of Grace:

    2 Corinthians 8:9 – For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

    If we are spiritual believers we will agree and echo God’s word verbatim from our mouth. For it bears witness that we are the Children of God (Rom 8:14-17)

  32. nathaniel fernandes / Sep 24 2014 3:43 am

    According to what you have stated about the Catholic teaching that – ” it starts when God, without any merit from us, takes the initiative to draw us to believe in Christ (John 6:44).” is simply using a single isolated verse without looking at context – the understanding of the verse (John 6:44) that actually is found in the next verse (John 6:45). It method by which a person appeals to a biblical text to prove or justify a theological position without regard for the context of the passage they are citing.

    • vivator / Sep 28 2014 3:04 pm

      According to you, God dispenses His Grace to all men and it is up to us, i.e. it is our responsibility, whether to believe in the Gospel or not. In other words it is left us to decide whether we want to be saved or not. This means that there is no such thing as Election. Yet Election is plainly taught in the Bible – just search for the word “election”, “elect” or “chosen” in your KJV. It is God who chose us to be saved, not we choose Him (if that is the case then there is no such thing as Election). I would like recommend you to read Romans 9:14-26 where the verse plainly says that our salvation depends on God’s mercy, not on our free-will (verse 16). You desperately try to interpret John 6:44 to follow your belief by referring to John 6:45. John 6:45 does not support your belief – it is God who taught them that makes them come to Christ. By saying that our free-will makes us come to Christ you simply nullifies John 6:44.
      What you believe could be classified as a form of semi-pelagianism because you believe our salvation depends on both God and our free-will. The irony is you accuse Catholics of adopting Calvinism and many Calvinists accuse Catholics of adopting semi-pelagianism. In my earlier response I recommend you to read my post on the difference between Catholic synergism and Calvinist monergism at https://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/synergism-amd-monergism-which-one-is-scriptural/
      If you do, you will find that (1) Catholics do believe God offers salvation through Christ to all men – no problem with Titus 2:11, 1 Cor 15:22 etc.; (2) Catholics do believe in free-will – we are not zombies or robots when God moves us with His Grace; and (3) God predestines no-one to hell. Catholics also believe Christ died for all men.
      If you disagree with Catholic definition of grace then let me know how you define grace. 2 Cor 8:9 does not give definition of grace – even though it has the word “grace” in it (and so do many other verses). The scriptural fact that God send His Son from heaven to become man and to die on the cross is His Grace – God is not under any obligation to do it; He does not charge us for that service and we do not deserve to receive it; yet without it we cannot attain salvation.

      May God give you the light to see at the end of the dark tunnel – I return your words back to you because you deserve it.

  33. Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 20 2014 12:27 pm

    I hope you are aware that biblical hermeneutics is based on 2 Timothy 2:15. In the book of Romans chapters 9, 10 and 11, St.Paul in context is addressing the nation Israel in respect to their dealings with God in “time past” , “their present standing in light of mystery truth” and “future program during Jacob’s trouble”. Hence we must be cautious in taking doctrine from those chapters and doctrinally make it apply to the body of Christ – the Church, though they are bible truths. Calvinists are in error because they love to take bible truth’s from those chapters to make it fit what they believe. The current dispensation of the Grace of God in light of Mystery truth (Ephesians 3:1-5) first revealed to the St.Paul and others later got it by the spirit is that the gospel of Christ – the gospel being glad tidings of good things (Rom 10:15) by definition, and that a lost sinner being dead to sin is justified in the eyes of God freely by his His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, when that lost sinner realizes is his lost condition and truly believes in the all sufficient atonement of Jesus after having faith in his blood for the forgiveness of sins (Romans 3:24-26), fully persuaded like Abraham Romans 4:21. God then imputes his righteousness in Christ to the lost sinner who is justified before God and does not impute sin to the lost sinner because the lost sinner understands he is under Grace and not under law, has no licence to sin, because of having bought with a price. That Christ was delivered for our offences and raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). This is the gospel of the grace of God inviting all mankind to salvation because salvation is in a person.the Lord Jesus Christ. So in this dispensation of the grace of God in light of mystery truth where “all” (Jews and Gentiles) have an equal opportunity to reconciled to God through Jesus Christ called by the gospel and hence, be saved from the bondage of sin and hell. That’s why St.Paul says that he is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 Paul gives us a clue how we are called by the gospel i.e. to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (the second Adam) which we lost because of effects of original sin (Romans 6:23) that ruined our rightful standing with God.

    In seeing the word “elect” you are simply reading into the verse or passage. In context “elect” in Romans 8:29 God calls all truly saved believers to be conformed to the image of his Son, that being his eternal purpose – Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. So for today in the dispensation of the grace of God, yes God gives salvation in Christ freely by his grace and man has a responsibility to respond to that Grace putting his faith in God’s faith believing what he promised us eternal life which he cannot lie Titus 1:2. How do we know that it is our faith we need to exercise with the faith of God? Romans 1:17 gives us the answer – God righteouness revealed from faith to faith.

    >If you disagree with Catholic definition of grace then let me know how you define grace. 2 Cor 8:9 does not give definition of grace – even though it has the word “grace” in it (and so do many other verses).

    So it appears you are just isolating your thought process looking for a specific word like grace in a verse. Well.. but you have just ignored the word Jesus in 2 Cor 8:9, because you do not recognize him as God incarnate in the flesh.

    • vivator / Dec 22 2014 4:57 pm

      According to you what Paul wrote in Romans 9 to 11 are not applicable to us but to Israelites. Fine, you are entitled to believe that. How about other parts of Scripture? How do you know whether they are applicable to us or not? What scriptural criteria you use? As you admitted in your earlier comment you believe salvation depends on both Grace and our free-will – this for sure contradicts what Paul wrote in Romans 9:21-23 where he used a metaphor God is the potter and we are clay. Whether a piece of clay becomes a vessel of beauty or a vessel for menial use is at the sole discretion of the potter – as clay we can neither choose nor decide. Predestination, which means God is in control in everything, is a doctrine rooted in Scripture (Isaiah 46:9-10). By making salvation depends on both grace and free will you simply nullify predestination. You made a false charge that I do not recognize Christ as God incarnate in the flesh – I never made that statement. Keep in mind I would cease becoming Catholic if I do not recognize Christ as God incarnate in the flesh.

      Perhaps the following analogy will explain your belief. A rich man came to know that a volcano on an island will explode and when it does it will kill all the inhabitants of that island. Because he is generous and rich he decided to save them. With a ship big enough to accommodate all he went to the island. Once he reached the island he informed everybody about the incoming danger and invite everybody to board the ship to be evacuated free of charge. Now it is up to the inhabitants of the island whether to believe in him and take his free offer. Those who do so will be saved and those who ignore the warning and decide to stay will perish when the volcano erupts.
      Does this analogy represent your belief? If it does then there is no predestination and no election, which are biblical teachings. In your belief God simply dispenses His grace and it is up to us whether to take this free gift or not.

  34. Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 12:55 pm

    God’s revelation in the Bible is “progressive”. It is well known that God in times past (Old Testament) “chose” the Jews/the nation of Israel to be his covenant or “elect” people. They were committed the oracles of God (Rom 3:2) – the law, the services in the tabernacle, circumcision, sacrifices, dietary laws, Sabbath keeping … etc. But now we are in the dispensation of the Grade of God in light of mystery truth in the New Testament .. we as gentiles don’t keep the said services. why?? because that belonged to an earlier period or dispensation. Paul rebuked the Judaizers in Galatians for forcing the gentiles to be circumcised to be saved/salvation, thereby perverting the gospel of the grace of God – the gospel of Christ making it salvation by works instead of salvation by grace. The cardinal rule in bible hermeneutics is we remember in light of 2 Tim 2:15, that all of the bible is for us, but all of it is for us. Rightly dividing the word of truth 2 Tim 2:15 we see an example of two men who were overthrowing the faith of the people by saying the resurrection was a past event when instead it was future. The said resurrection was not in reference to the ascension of Christ, but was the resurrection of the believers body – and that will happem in future at Christ’s second coming. Therefore rightly dividing the word of Truth is not simply saying that this is for Israel, this is for Gentiles or this for the church .. but one must take bible truths and place them in their respective time periods.

    Yes “predestination” is a bible truth. God is in control of everything, he is the potter we are the clay, that is why he dispenses his grace liberally in the current time period we are living in which is also called the Church Age where jews and gentiles are called by his grace to take the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ – which he has predestined to anyone who truly believes the gospel. This means God predestinated before time how the church – the body of Christ will function. Jesus said I will build my Church .. and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it – this statement Jesus made is because God predestined it. So when a believer truly believes the gospel, the Holy Spirit will indwell in him and place him in the body of Christ his church according to how God predestined Christ’s church to function enabling the believer to participate in those predestined functions of the Church. It’s not what those foolish Calvinists twist the scripture because they are unstable and unlearned, so they wrest the scriptures unto their own destruction 2 Peter 3:15-16. Off course God knows who will truly believe the gospel fully persuaded, but he does not interfere with man’s will. Look at how he did not interfere with Eve’s will who made a bad a choice to disobey Him. We have too a choice to sin or not. Yes God did predestine by choosing the Jews as his covenant people who were entrusted with the oracles of God (Romans 3:1-2). The nation Israel was however disobedient to God, so they as a special status nation diminished Paul tells us in Romans 11:12. Romans 8:29 is clear on God’s purpose of predestination. The term “elect” can take its meaning from context. In the Old Testament the Jews were God chosen or elect and all gentile nations would go through the nation Israel for salvation and other blessings. But Israel stumbled Romans 9:32-33 says, because of their disobedience, there were cast off as a special status nation. God then revealed a another dispensation of his grace to all that will believe the gospel of Christ for salvation. This is evident from the development described in Acts 13:46-47.

    Acts 13:46-47 – Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (the Jews): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, <strong<we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

    When we believe the Gospel, we are adopted as children in the family of God – Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will – Ephesians 1:5. This is a great bible truth.

    Now let’s take some excerpts of how you say how Catholics believe in Grace using an analogy – “Think of Grace as an initial push from God to salvation”. This is not biblical. The question is … what happens if there is no that initial push from God .. so does it mean God predestines some to hell and some to salvation/heaven? I don’t think so .. because that would not reflect the very nature of God of the Bible who is merciful and long-suffering. (Romans 2:4).

    So how does God’s grace operate in the dispensation we currently live in i.e Church Age? St.Paul provides the answer by explaining the mechanics of how salvation is obtained in Ephesians 2:8-10 which is in operation for today. So a lost sinner must believe in the gospel of Christ (Rom 3:24-26) for the salvation of his soul.

    • vivator / Dec 23 2014 1:49 pm

      It seems to me you don’t believe in predestination. Predestination is biblical whether you like it or not. Keep in mind that while Catholics do believe God predestines the Elect, Catholics believe He does NOT predestine anybody to hell. Those who end up in hell do so because of their will, which God FOREKNEW. Catholic view on reprobation is postive conditional reprobation That of Calvinists is positive UNconditional reprobation – i.e. they end up in hell simply because God decided so when He created the world.

    • vivator / Dec 23 2014 2:06 pm

      If God grace depends on our free will then there is such thing as predestination and election. Read Romans 9:16 to know that Election does not depend on our will but on God’s mercy. You may believe in whatever you like but as far I can understand you, your belief is a heresy.

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 9:27 pm

        I did not say or imply that God’s grace depends on our free will. I have never said depending on free will. You are putting words into my mouth. The first four chapters of Romans is very clear how one is justified before God relevant for today. Its man’s faith plus God’s faith – a clear teaching of Romans 1:17. I believe in God’s mercy that’s why he penned 1 Tim 2:4. I believe in predestination in the sense that God predetermines everything. He predetermined the Church to be a body of all truly saved believers. That is why he wrote the first four chapters telling the whole world how to be justified before him through his son. Man must respond to his generosity to be saved as laid out in the first four chapters of Romans or perish. And that is why you reject the biblical definition of Grace in 2 Cor 8:9. And why you reject it because the Catholic understanding of Grace using the analogy you have provided – “think of God’s grace as an initial push toward salvation” is seriously flawed, is not biblical and will damn your soul to hell since its a perversion of God’s grace.

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 1:15 am

        The analogy I provided represent YOUR BELIEF because you believe salvation is from both grace and free will. The rich man,in the analogy though he provided ship, neither choose who will be saved nor who will perish. This means there is no Election.

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 10:16 pm

        Am I a zombie, that God needs to flip on a switch in me, to give me that initial push toward salvation. Can you justify your analogy from scripture?

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 1:06 am

        Have you heard the theological term “The Fall”? To answer your question read John 6:44. We are NOT zombies

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 24 2014 1:44 am

        The analogy I provided represent YOUR BELIEF because you believe salvation is from both grace and free will

        No … that’s the original analogy you provided in the core of your article teaching what Catholics understand what is Grace – which is off course not supported in scripture but comes from the skewed brains of carnal catholic theologians in their faulty thinking. Paul wrote the first four chapters of Romans on how God justifies sinners. Any one can understand – its not rocket science. So one does not necessarily need to know the Greek, when the teaching of Justification is clear.

        How can a catholic discern if he/she has acquired the initial push of Grace from God towards salvation? What yardstick can be used to determine it?

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 11:40 am

        If salvation depends on on our free will, even only partially, then there there is no such thing as Election and predestination. Did you read John 6:44? What you believe is heresy. Period.

    • vivator / Dec 23 2014 2:54 pm

      You wbelieve inh dispensationalism. You are entitled to believe that and I am entitled NOT to believe in such teaching. Now I understand why you quote 2 Tim 2:15, which in KJV reads (emphasis in capital is mine): Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly DIVIDING the word of truth. KJV translated Greek verb orthotomeo as to divide. The Greek verb orthotomeo appears only once in NT, i.e. in 2 Tim 2:15. According to Strong concordance it means “to teach correctly” or “to handle something correctly” or “to cut straighly”. It does NOT mean to divide and perhaps only KJV says so. The verb orthotomeo came from two words adjective orthos, meaning straight or not crooked and adjective tomos, meaning sharper.

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 8:47 pm

        Dispensation or dispensationalism is a bibilical term. In rightly dividing the word of truth I don’t go to men’s wisdom such as strongs’s or any commentaries. The Bible provide the answer, just read the context of the surrounding passage 2 Tim 2:15-18.

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 1:26 am

        I suggest you yourself read the context of 2 Tim 2:15-18. Again NT was written in Greek, NOT IN ENGLISH!!!

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 8:51 pm

        If you do not believe in dispensation, then do you still keep the Sabbath, Dietary Laws etc ?,

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 1:23 am

        We do not follow the Sabbath because Scripture says the early Christian had fellowship in the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). It has nothing to do with man made teaching dispoensationalism. Neither does dietary law as Christ declared all food to be clean (Mat 15:11).
        You may believe in whatever you like – I am NOT under any obligation to agree with you and vice versa

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 10:13 pm

        Why do you flee to the commentaries of men such as the strong concordance to interpret scripture? Why not take Paul’s word for it since he is the appointed apostle who wrote the scripture. We are commanded to follow Paul in scripture and not strong’s or any concordance. Does not Paul provide a sufficient answer to rightly dividing the word of truth?

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 1:12 am

        NT was written in Greek, NOT IN ENGLISH! If Paul meant what you think then he can use Greek verb merizo (Mat 12:25, Mark 3:24, Luke 12:13 etc.) or diamerizo (Mat 27:35, Luke 12:52 etc.) both means to divide or to distribute

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 24 2014 1:53 am

        We do not follow the Sabbath because Scripture says the early Christian had fellowship in the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).

        Absolutely .. you are right. But guess what?? You are a dispensationalist without even knowing it. Because certain truths were part of the oracles of God entrusted to the jews in the old testament and that was in times past pertaining to a different period or dispensation. Noah was told to build an ark to be saved, but today for salvation, we do not build an ark to be saved now, because that was a times past requirement God instructed Noah to carry out. For now God does it through his Son Jesus Christ Hebrews 1:1-2. Its God’s righteousness in Christ imputed to those who truly believe the gospel of Christ fully persuaded.

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 11:43 am

        You assume that Scripture supports dispensationalism. You are fee to believe such thing, which is based on faulty translation in your KJV. We are not going anywhere, we just have to stop here – you stand your ground in defending dispensationalism as scriptural and I stand my ground in rejecting it as man-made teaching.

  35. Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 12:58 pm

    Errata..

    Error in statement

    The cardinal rule in bible hermeneutics is we remember in light of 2 Tim 2:15, that all of the bible is for us, but all of it is for us.

    should read as

    The cardinal rule in bible hermeneutics is we remember in light of 2 Tim 2:15, that all of the bible is for us, but not all of it is for us.

    • vivator / Dec 23 2014 1:44 pm

      What is your point?

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 23 2014 10:27 pm

        I made the error in my post above .. so I am correcting my mistake highlighted in bold.

        If one reads the Bible carefully from cover to cover we see that all of the bible is for us, but not all of it is for us.

        However I see the Catholic church does not believe in rightly dividing the word of truth nor in dispensations. Cult religions always zero in a particular passage to make the doctrine fit their heretical teachings and assume its the only relevant truth they teach.

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 1:10 am

        Scripture says God does not have to reveal everything to us (Deut 29:29). Is that what you mean? Dispensationalism started in 18 century and is certainly a man made doctrine based on faulty translation used in KJV

  36. Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 24 2014 2:13 am

    I agree with Deu 29:29. That’s why I mentioned earlier that God’s revelation is progressive. The 12 apostles did not even have a clue what Christ meant when he said – “the Son of man will be lifted up”. They did not even know the purpose of crucifixion on Calvary.

    • vivator / Dec 24 2014 11:44 am

      The fact they did not know has nothing to do with dispensationalism. Period.

      • Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 24 2014 12:25 pm

        It shows how GOD progressively deals in interacting with mankind. And hey! as you rightly point out – period or different time periods. 🙂

        I’ll be delighted if you can enlighten me on you statement on faulty translation in your KJV. Why are u against the KJV? Did I attack the bible translation you use?

        I see you as an unstable, unlearned fool who delights in wresting the scriptures unto you own destruction, exactly what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:15-16.

        Salvation in Catholicism is an outright fake. The deceived continue to deceive and be deceived.

      • vivator / Dec 24 2014 4:17 pm

        Period means there is NO MORE discussion. You are fee to believe in whatever you want to believe. KJV is only translation from Greek to English. It is faulty because it translated orthotomeos into to divide. No translation is perfect because it is human work – I am attacking KJV. You are free to think that Catholic salvation is fake – in my opinion it is your concept of salvation is fake and unscriptural. Scripture nowhere says you must believe in dispensationalism in order to be saved. You don’t need to response to this. Our discussion is done.

  37. Nathaniel Fernandes / Dec 24 2014 1:19 pm

    There are so many theories today concerning foreknowledge, predestination and election. The mind of the normal and average Christian is so mixed up that he really doesn’t know what to believe. If we do not get these three doctrines straight, our whole Christian life will be warped, and soul winning will become a lost grace. Let us turn first to the foreknowledge of God.

    THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD

    “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

    Foreknowledge means to have knowledge of things to be. Foreknowledge is an attribute of God, while Predestination and Election are acts of God. Only God knows the future. And He does know the future. He wouldn’t be God if He didn’t, but the fact that He knows who is going to be saved, and who isn’t going to be saved, does NOT determine who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost. Someone may ask, ”If God does know who is and who isn’t going to be saved, how, then, can the sinner get out of it?” Foreknowledge, in Scripture, never determines what is to be – foreknowledge is only the knowledge of things to be beforehand. It is the same with our scientists, they can tell when there is to be an eclipse of the sun or of the moon: on a certain day at a certain hour, minute and second; but the scientists do not bring about the eclipse. God has foreknowledge, and by this foreknowledge knows the future, but that is where it ends.

    Of course God knows everything! He knows the very number of the hairs of our heads. He knows the number of the stars and calleth them by name. God knows everything, including the future. And, not only that, but God knows what would have happened if things had happened that didn’t happen. He knows the results of all possibilities. The same is illustrated when David inquired of the Lord concerning his enemy. If he should go to one place, would the enemy be there? God said they would. So David went in another direction. Foreknowledge simply means to possess knowledge of things to be.

    THE PREDESTINATION OF GOD

    Here is where many of the saints falter in their Christian witnessing. They read something or other in the Word about predestination and then reason that God predestinates some people to be saved, and thus predestinates some people to be lost. That is not the case. To begin with, predestination is never for the lost man, to be saved or to be lost; but rather, predestination is for the saved man. We have only to read our Bibles, and read the context where it is speaking of predestination, to clearly understand that Salvation is, indeed, a personal matter based upon the “whosoever wills.”

    As stated before, Predestination is for the saved man. God knows who is going to be saved, and thus He has predestinated certain blessings for those who are going to get saved by faith. In other words, God draws a circle, figuratively speaking, and says that whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ will get in that circle. So the believer, upon his faith in Jesus Christ, steps into the circle. Then God says, figuratively speaking, “Whosoever is in that circle by faith, I have predestinated that they shall receive these blessings,” and here they are:

    “TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.”

    “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29a). This one of the blessings God has predestinated for the believer – that the believer is going to be fashioned, made, transformed, transfigured into the likeness of the image of Jesus Christ. The things you might be suffering at this moment are happening to you (Rom. 8:28) to make you more like Jesus. And at the rapture, whether we be dead or alive at His coming, we are all going to be changed and be wholly like unto Christ.

    “UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST.”

    “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:5). Again we want to state that predestination is the predetermined blessings for the saved man and has nothing to do with salvation. Now, in the above text, we are told that the Christian is predestined unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ. It doesn’t say that the sinner was predestinated to become a child of God; no, but rather the saint has been predestinated unto the adoption of children.

    To get a better idea of this great truth, it is well to explain the meaning of adoption. In America and England, when we adopt a child, we go by legal means and take a child of another family and get the court to make it our own. But not so with Jewish family, nor with the ancient Roman and Greek family. These adopted their own children. Adoption simply means “to declare as a son,” or “son placed.” The fourth chapter of Galatians clearly defines the meaning of adoption. It is the time appointed by the father when his boy ceases to be considered a child and becomes a recognized son. According to even present day Jewish custom it is called BAR MITZVAH – declared to be a Son of the Law, Son of Blessing. The boy becomes of age after his thirteenth birthday, on the day selected by the father. So it is with us: we are children of God, but we are waiting our BAR MITZVAH, our adoption, the time when our Heavenly Father will declare us of age and place us as Sons before the whole universe: “even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY” (Rom. 8:23). This is one blessing that God has predestinated for the saved man, for all who are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ – that we all shall be declared to be of age and as His SONS – at the resurrection!

    “PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM.”

    Here is the third blessing for the child of God – “that which God has predestinated for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith: “Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Eph. 1:11, 12). You will notice that it is not salvation the Holy Spirit is speaking about, but that which is for those who are saved. So many fail to read the 12th verse; herein is what God has predestinated – that we should be to the praise of His glory; Nowhere do we find predestination for, or not for, salvation.

    ELECTION IN THE BIBLE

    “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” (Eph. 1:4) The New Testament words “chosen, choose, and election” are the same. The Old Testament word is simply “chosen.” From the above Scripture many have felt that God chooses some to be saved and some to be lost. Again I want to point out that predestination and election (choosing) have nothing to do with the lost, but are for the saved.

    From the following Scriptures we learn what the choosing, or election, of God is about:” For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, not of works, but of him that calleth); It was said unto her, THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (Rom. 9:9-13).

    At once we point out that election, or choosing, has to do with service; THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER. It does not say, “The younger shall be saved, and the elder shall be lost.” No, but simply, “the elder shall SERVE the younger.” Thus choosing, or election, has to do with service. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” wasn’t said of these two men before they were born, but hundreds of years after they died.

    God hated the descendants of Esau because of their unbelief, and loved the descendants of Jacob because of their faith.

    In the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus said that He had chosen (elected) them disciples. For salvation? No, for service. Even Judas was chosen! For damnation? No, but like Pharaoh, who was a fit vessel unto wrath – after being given many chances to believe, refused, and thus was used for God’s purpose.

    The prophet Isaiah says that Israel is God’s chosen people (Isaiah 41:8). Does this mean that all Jews are saved? No. It simply means that God has chosen Israel for a service. And we know what that service was: to give us the Word of God and to give us the Lord Jesus Christ!

    The same prophet, Isaiah, says that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Chosen Servant of God (Isaiah 42:1). Does this mean that God chose the Lord Jesus to be saved? Of course not! For He is the SAVIOUR! But God did choose His Son for a service – and that service was to be the Lamb of God who would die for the sins of the world. And He was the obedient Servant, being obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross!

    Now back to the original text, as found in Ephesians 1:4. What has God elected or chosen us for? Not salvation; but He has chosen us even before the foundation of the world (He knew that we would believe on His Son) for service – “that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

    Thus, we conclude that God does not predestinate or elect men to be saved or lost, but that salvation is on the basis of “WHOSOEVER WILL!”- “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17).

    • vivator / Dec 24 2014 4:20 pm

      You may stick to your belief. Discussion is done. Don’t bother to reply – I would not publish any more comments from you because it is not going anywhere. It is wasting your time and my time.

  38. Godwin Desa / Dec 25 2014 1:47 pm

    I could not prevent myself in butting into this conversation between you and Nathaniel. So I ask question to what you posted.

    It is faulty because it translated orthotomeos into to divide. No translation is perfect because it is human work

    Do you mean to say that the Ten commandments are faulty because Moses, a human, made copies of the original stone tablets that was earlier broken? Do you realise you are saying God’s word in the holy scriptures is not reliable when he God actually instructed Moses to make copies of stone tablets? If God does not have a problem with Moses making copies of the original why do you have concerns that no human work is perfect?

    How can you know that the CCC is perfect?

    • vivator / Dec 25 2014 3:35 pm

      You confuse between copy and translation – they are NOT the same. Moses made copy – he did not translate to other language. Scripture is divinely inspired (2 Tim 3:16) but there is no such thing as divinely translated Scripture. KJV is NOT divinely translated Scripture and neither is other translation. CCC is NOT Scripture and the Catholic CHurch never declares it to be inspired or in the same level as Scripture – unless it is in your brain ( I returned Nathaniel words to you).

  39. Godwin Desa / Dec 26 2014 2:24 am

    Hello, I am not confusing between copy and translation. I’m talking of the human aspect involved, since you said it is human work involved. Obviously Moses carried God instructions using his human work but God did not have a problem. Do you think that God intended the NT to only be written in Greek? Greek was the popular language at the time in the roman word, so it was used. Your line of thinking is the same as your heretical sinister roman catholic church that prevented the translation from Latin to vernacular during the inquisition and even executed those involved in making a translation citing a lame excuse that spurious copies would be circulated. But sinister plans of the RC church became exposed and was thwarted. Why did the RCC used Latin? So that the “elite” clergy can only have the sole access? And fool the lay people with their perverted brains?

    CCC is NOT Scripture and the Catholic CHurch never declares it to be inspired or in the same level as Scripture

    Oh yes .. the whole world knows how the RCC operates – the cult mindset is there. The RC Church always downplay Holy Scripture by exalting the traditional teachings of the CCC.

    • vivator / Dec 26 2014 12:29 pm

      If you are talking about human aspect then it also includes becoming good parents or good husband/wife etc., not only copying stone Tablet and translating Scripture to other language. The difference, which you still fail to see (quite surprising to me) is you don’t need to be and you are NOT inspired to do such things. As parent/husband/wife you may and will make mistakes, even unintentional ones and so do copying and translating Scripture.
      Your knowledge of history is defective because it is based on myths you heard. Most people in those days were illiterate. Unlike today education was not norm – you can live well by being illiterate and without being educated. Those few who were educated learnt Latin. Most, if not all, medieval churches displayed paintings depicting events in Scripture in order to make Scripture known to those who were illiterate. Why not English? English like any European language was spoken language – it has no script. Thus English had to borrow Latin script and added 3 letters (j, v and w) to become written language. If the Church was against translation of Scripture to other language then she will not commission establishment of Armenian scripts in early fifth century AD in order to give Scripture to Armenian people. In the same way the Church was behind the establishment of Glagolitic script (through St. Cyril and St. Methodius), the forerunner of Cyrillic script used in Russia and eastern Europe until today (the name Cyrillic came from St. Cyril). The Church did forbid unauthorized translation of the Bible. In the same way, as KJV lover, you would NOT approve any other translation and may even condemn them. No Christians accept translation made by Jehovah Witnesses, known as New World translation. If you have power, would you use it to destroy those translations which you believe inferior than your KJV? Too bad you don’t have that power!
      Finally you wrote “Oh yes .. the whole world knows how the RCC operates – the cult mindset is there. The RC Church always downplay Holy Scripture by exalting the traditional teachings of the CCC.” Fine with me – you are entitled to believe such silly thing based on your distrust to Catholic Church. I can borrow Nathaniel words and apply to you “IT IS IN YOUR BRAIN”!

  40. Craig Truglia / Mar 11 2015 7:07 am

    Why is grace upon grace scandalous? The Scripture says we a justified by faith, but judged by works. Isn’t it misleading to conflate the two?

    • vivator / Mar 11 2015 7:05 pm

      You wrote “we are judged by works”. May I know, according to you, the criteria of judgment, i.e. minimum frequency or amount of works required to pass this judgment? And who judges us for our works?

  41. UnionIEEE / Mar 12 2015 4:52 am

    Christ judges according to the Law, which is revealed through Moses and in the conscience of all men. Breaking a single Law once makes a man fall short of God’s standard, which is perfect obedience to the Law (Deut 5:32, Deut 11:22, Deut 18:13, Matt 5:48). Therefore, forgiveness in Christ is the only way to be judged righteous.

    • vivator / Mar 24 2015 5:39 pm

      First my question for you what is the definition of Law of which when we break a single of it will make us fall short of God standard? Does it include everything passed to Moses, i.e. including dietary law and civil law?
      Second, God does not expect us to be perfect. Scripture says in Proverbs 24:16 that the righteous falls seven times and rises again. God’s commandments are NOT burdensome (1 John 5:3). Being righteous does NOT mean being sinless – scriptural definition of being righteous is given in 1 John 3:7. God loves righteous deeds (Psalms 11:7), wants us to be righteous (Matthew 5:20, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22) and rewards us for being righteous (Psalms 18:20, Proverbs 11:18). Being righteous entitles us to enter heaven (Psalms 15:1-2, Matthew 25:46). According to Scripture there are righteous persons like Noah (Genesis 6:9, Ezekiel 14:14), Daniel and Job (Ezekiel 14:14), Joseph (Matthew 1:19), Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:6) and without naming them (Psalms 1:6, 5:12, 34:15, Matthew 5:45, 13:17, 10:41, 23:29, 1 Peter 3:12 etc.). The Bible nowhere says that being clothed in Christ righteousness (or imputed righteousness) entitles us to enter heaven. Keep in mind that imputed righteousness concept of the Reformers implies we remain unrighteous inside and only righteous outside.

  42. SeekingtheTruth / Oct 1 2015 7:10 pm

    Thank you for writing this article. I grew up in a Baptist Church, and now attending a church that teaches reformed theology (even though I do not fully agree). I have just recently began looking into the church history and consequently research what the catholic church teaches. Because of this I have began considering joining the catholic church. All of this being said, this explanation of catholic teaching has gone farther to explain all of the teachings in the new testament in a compatible manner unlike anything I have been before. My biggest concern has always been James 2 when looking at protestant teaching and this seems to be an adequate answer.

  43. Alan Braswell / Nov 3 2015 6:44 pm

    The position stated about Salvation is what I been looking for.
    Thanks for posting.

  44. Lionel Andrades / Jun 12 2016 3:14 am

    CARDINAL GERHARD MULLER, ARCHBISHOP AUGUSTINE DI NOIA, BISHOP BERNARD FELLAY MISTAKE HYPOTHETICAL REFERENCES AS BEING EXPLICIT IN THE PRESENT TIMES.
    The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun by William Blake, c. 1810 [National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC]
    Comment on the blog The Catholic Thing
    Which is that truly Catholic site? There is an irrational interpretation of Vatican Council II and no one is reporting it. See how the following three important persons in the Church, confuse what is hypothetical as being explicit.

    CARDINAL GERHARD MULLER : MISTAKES HYPOTHETICAL REFERENCES AS BEING EXPLICIT IN THE PRESENT TIMES.

    That has been discussed, but here, too, there has been a development of all that was said in the Church, beginning with St. Cyprian, one of the Fathers of the Church, in the third century. Again, the perspective is different between then and now. In the third century, some Christian groups wanted to be outside the Church, and what St. Cyprian said is that without the Church a Christian cannot be saved. The Second Vatican Council also said this: Lumen Gentium 14 says: “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.” He who is aware of the presence of Revelation is obliged by his conscience to belong publicly — and not only in his conscience, in his heart — to this Catholic Church by remaining in communion with the Pope and those bishops in communion with him.

    But we cannot say that those who are inculpably ignorant of this truth are necessarily condemned for that reason. We must hope that those who do not belong to the Church through no fault of their own, but who follow the dictates of their God-given conscience, will be saved by Jesus Christ whom they do not yet know. Every person has the right to act according to his or her own conscience. – Cardinal Gerhard Muller (10/02/2012 ). Archbishop Gerhard Müller: ‘The Church Is Not a Fortress’, National Catholic Register

    ‘The Second Vatican Council also said this: Lumen Gentium 14 says: “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”’, this refers to a hypothetical case.Why is it mentioned as an exception to all needing to be formal members of the Church for salvation? Why ? Since Cardinal Muller considers it an explicit exception!

    ‘But we cannot say that those who are inculpably ignorant of this truth are necessarily condemned for that reason. We must hope that those who do not belong to the Church through no fault of their own, but who follow the dictates of their God-given conscience, will be saved by Jesus Christ whom they do not yet know.’ Again. This is a hypothetical case. Hypothetical cases cannot be defacto exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus in the present times.

    ____________________

    ARCHBISHOP AUGUSTINE DO NOIA : ASSUMES WHAT IS KNOWN ONLY TO GOD CAN BE KNOWN AND JUDGED BY US HUMAN BEINGS.

    I don’t know if you can blame this on the Council so much as the emergence of a theological trend that emphasized the possibility of salvation of non-Christians. But the Church has always affirmed this, and it has never denied it. …The Council did say there are elements of grace in other religions, and I don’t think that should be retracted. I’ve seen them, I know them — I’ve met Lutherans and Anglicans who are saints.’ – Archbishop Augustine di Noia ( 07/01/2012 ), Archbishop Di Noia, Ecclesia Dei and the Society of St. Pius X, National Catholic Register.

    ‘a theological trend that emphasized the possibility of salvation of non-Christians. But the Church has always affirmed this, and it has never denied it.’ The possibility of the salvation of non Christians? This is a speculative, theoretical, hypothethical reference. How can it be relevant or an exception to all needing to formally enter the Church with faith and baptism ? He considers this case as not being hypothetical.Otherwise why would he mention it?

    I’ve seen them, I know them — I’ve met Lutherans and Anglicans who are saints.’

    He is saying he knows cases of persons who will be saved with ‘elements of grace’ (LG 8) in other religions? How can he know these cases?

    How can he know a Lutheran or Anglican who will be saved outside the Church, without Catholic Faith? If this was possible and if it happened it would only be known to God.

    ___________________________

    BISHOP BERNARD FELLAY ASSUMES THEORETICAL POSSIBILITIES KNOWN ONLY TO GOD ARE EXPLICIT IN THE PRESENT TIMES AND RELEVANT TO EENS

    The same declaration (LG, 8) also recognizes the presence of “salvific elements” in non-Catholic Christian communities. The decree on ecumenism goes even further, adding that “the Spirit of Christ does not refrain from using these churches and communities as means of salvation, which derive their efficacy from the fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.” (UR, 3)

    Such statements are irreconcilable with the dogma “No salvation outside of the Church, which was reaffirmed by a Letter of the Holy Office on August 8, 1949″. -Bishop Bernard Fellay (April 13, 2014 ) Letter to Friends and Benefactors no. 82

    ‘Such statements are irreconcilable with the dogma “No salvation outside of the Church’.Why, because they are known cases in the present times? They are explicit for us? So they are exceptions to the dogma?

    ‘The same declaration (LG, 8) also recognizes the presence of “salvific elements” in non-Catholic Christian communities.’ So what? Why mention it with reference to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus ? What is the connection with this invisible for us reference and the dogma? Is LG 8 referring to an expicit case for Bishop Fellay?

    ‘The decree on ecumenism goes even further, adding that “the Spirit of Christ does not refrain from using these churches and communities as means of salvation, which derive their efficacy from the fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.” (UR, 3)’ O.K. But this is speculation with goodwill. This is not a personally known case.So it is not a practical exception to EENs.To assume it is an exception would be subjectivism, something like Protestant situation ethics in morals.UR 3 refers to something which is implicit and not explicit.It is known only to God and is not objective for us.

    So there is an objective mistake made here by the three Catholic religious leaders.With an irrationality they support a heretical innovation in the Church.

    -Lionel Andrades
    https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2016/06/11/how-it-all-ends-muslim-and-christian-versions/

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/06/cardinal-gerhard-muller-archbishop.html

  45. Lionel Andrades / Jun 12 2016 3:36 am

    JUNE 12, 2016

    Cardinal Muller, Archbishop Di Noia and Bishop Fellay’s theology is based on hypothetical cases being explicit exceptins to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/06/cardinal-muller-archbishop-di-noia-and.html

  46. Oliver Alexandre / Nov 16 2016 4:42 am

    Some of what you profess to be the teaching of the Catholic Church is simply your personal interpretation and in parts, downright dangerous! “Obviously not everyone will go to heaven” “The Elect will reach Heaven… and others” So for you, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the Sin (original sin only?) of the World” is a correct translation of “Ecce Agnes Dei qui tollis Peccata (NOT peccatum) Mundi” Do you really imagine that Christ suffered for six hours on the Cross to save us from the left-over of Adam biting into an apple?
    He died to save us All from OUR sins and as a Catholic, this is what I believe. I think you should too.

    • vivator / Nov 16 2016 6:42 pm

      Catholics do believe in Predestination – this means those who end up in heaven is because they were chosen by God. It neither depends on their works nor on their free-will. God give the Elect both sufficient and efficacious grace, which makes them using their free will voluntarily cooperate, while they remain free. As for those who end up in hell Catholic position is referred as Conditional Reprobation – God with His divine Foreknowledge knows who will NOT cooperate with His grace and hence He gives them only sufficient grace, i.e. there are doomed through their own fault, not because God wants them in hell. As Catholics I do believe that Christ is the savior of the world, both the Elect and the Reprobate. I recommend you to read Ludwig Ott: Fundamental of Catholic Dogma.

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