Forum Post on the Nature of the Church (2)

Nature of the Church


Continued from Page One...

Roni!!
I asked my mother the same thing and she said and I quote. "It's where Catholics and Protestants worship and Praise the Lord together, and get along."

But I'm sure there is a more official meaning out there somewhere,*wink* and I'm sure someone will share it.

Love in Christ
Duy mara


salvation depends entirely on God. all we do is recieve it. after we recieve it, if we truly recieved it, God will work in us to make us more like him(sanctification). Matt, you need to find an accurate history of the Church and it s teachings. the Roman catholic church gives no assurance of salvation, whereas the bible teaches that if our faith is truly in God we are saved.(1 jn 5:11) "God has given us eternal life and this life is in his son." (Jn. 5:24)"He who believes in the Son has ever lasting life" The catholic church does not teach this. at least the official church teachings dont.


i dont think you are being very oblective, the bible teaches that we are a fallen race and that God came down as a man to die for the sins of his people. anyone who puts the faith in God according to his promises as revealed in the bible is a child of God. do you know the history if the catholic church? its awfull. Pope sixtus IV(1471-84ad) declared the burning of heretics a divine appointment,pope clement XI (1700-21ad) issued a papel bull(pronouncement) against bible reading, these are only two examples of what the church has done through out history. it really doesnt seem like you are seeking truth, but arguments in favor of the catholic church.


i appreciate your testomony very much, and i believe you are very sincere. i hate arguing with people, disscussing is fine with me if both parties are genuinly seeking the truth. i could tell you my testimony also, it is very similar to yours. idid not grow up in any religious background though, although my dad was raised and was a practising catholic. i lived a very selfish life, doing whatever i wanted and hurting whoever i had to. i didnt matter to me. then the Lord spoke to my heart. he showed me that he was love and we werent following him or living in love. as far as churches go, i went to a few differnt ones, pentacostal, assemblies of God and non denominational. i now go to nondenominational church called Calvary Chapel. i could say the same thing about it compared to the other churches i went to. i know God is there. but, that feeling i have in nio way substantiates that my church is the right or holy church. there are people who feel good about their sin, and bad about any church. and they are not right. what im saying is, im glad you have a desire to know God very much. but, if you seriously look into an accurate history of the catholic church you will find it has done some horrible things in the name of truth. as far as biblical doctrine is concerned, the churches cannot save man. Duy, i am not trying to slander the church. waht i am doing is speaking the truth in love. maybe it doesnt sound like it to you, i dont know. but i assure you that you are being misled. im not saying that you are not saved either. i dont know if yu are or not. but i do know, that official catholic teaching cannot save. it is true that many protestant churches are in error also, that is the fault of man. that is why i trust no man as "infallible" only the word of God. please think about what i have read and find out if what i am saying is true. im not your enemy.


based on history, and the current teachings of the church, the teachings that Mary could have possibly been born sinnless is completly unbiblical


Schneiddog, how can you say the following:

" but i assure you that you are being misled."

How can you assure anyone that they are being misled?

I think most people would agree that there has been those in the Church history that were not acting in a Christian manner.Today there are many who claim to be Christian (Catholics, Protestant, non-denominational) that don't strive to live as Christians. (Everyone falls short, but we must all strive to live as Jesus taught if we are to call ourselves Christians.) I know your above statement was to Duy mara, but I am assuming (correct me if I am wrong) that you mean those of us who are Catholic are being misled. Could you explain this a bit more for me?

Peace,
Rose Mary


I hope I didn't come across in a dissrespectfull manner. I wasn't trying to. I do believe the Catholic church is missleading many. I also believe the church does have a lot of wisdom. But, just because one knows some of the truth does not mean that that knowledge can save them. What i mean by being missled is this. What I have gathered from many sources, including this forum, is this Jesus died on the cross for us to save us, after we recieve him as savior we must be baptised, take communion, and ask for forgiveness continually to have the hope of being saved. This totally contradicts the Biblical requirement for salvation. Trusting in God for the free gift of salvation. Read Galatians. I have been parially agreed with on this matter by some Catholics, but what they are saying is that we have some ability to save ourselves. We have none, all we can do is recieve it. My point is that if we do, we will want to walk with God.
Plus, many of the churches doctrines are completly unbacked by scripture, The immaculate conception of Mary, the assumption af Mary, the infallability of the pope. Etc.
It seems to me that I am thought of as the bad guy, or the enemy. The truth is, I'm not perfect and I don't know everything, nior do I claim to. But it seems as if you(maybe not you personnaly) but many on this messageboard are taking my claims against the Catholic church very personnally. I understand that you believe what you believe, but, if what I'm saying is true or not you should seriously consider what i am saying, if you are seriously looking for the truth. I saw a video about Catholocism, and in it there was a lady whao although being a nun for many years never questioned her beliefs. In fact one time she was taking communion and when the priest told her"this is the body of Jesus" she asked for the first time,"is it really?" My point is to challenge you to seriously question what you believe and search for the truth. Not just answers, but real answers.
Sincerely, Adam


Adam,

I posted a response to your message, but made a mistake and posted it under the thread "A Question for Schneiddog". Excuse me.

Peace,
Rose Mary I am saved, I am born again. Without condemming protestants, I do believe the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Peter. I also believe Jesus, who told Peter that he was the rock upon which he will build His church.

I could get into a debate of history with you, but I'm not that as knowledgable as Matt and Martin and a ton of others here. I only know my heart, and my Spirit. I only know what the Lord has shown me. What the Holy Spirit has guided me to see.

The reason I adressed your post is the fact you state the Catholic Church is not Biblical. We are quite Biblical. And to show you a piece of my background so you would see that I have more than just my Catholic upbringing.

Love in Christ
Duy mara


Adam,

1. God saves us. Absolutely! No arguments here, from me or the Catholic Church. I believe if you read the Catechism and all the other statements from Church Fathers, the Councils, etc...it will say precisely that. Even the Creed, formulated at the First Council of Nicea (c. 325 A.D.), which we profess at every Mass, states, "For us men and our salvation....he came down from heaven....was born of the Virgin Mary...suffered died and was buried....on the third day he rose again, in fulfillment of the Scriptures...." etc. This is a profession of our Catholic faith.

2. You seem to be under the assumption that, for salvation to be a gift, one has to do nothing. That is an erroneous assumption. One has to accept the gift. How is this gift accepted? By faith! What is faith? Belief, obedience, and love.
As I understand your objections to the Catholic Church's doctrine on salvation, you seem to say that I can sit in an empty room, ask God's forgiveness, "accept Him", and just believing will do all for me. I never have to "love my fellow man". I never have to "keep the commandments". I never have to do anything in an active way.
If that's the case, I might as well sit in my house waiting to die...never turning on a t.v. or radio, or reading anything, or doing anything that might cause sin in my life - in thought, word or deed.
The fact of the matter is that the Bible is clear. One must believe in Christ Jesus. Then, one must obey Christ Jesus. And, when one sins, one must be repentant and ask forgiveness.

3. The Catholic Church does believe in assurance of salvation; however it is a relative assurrance, not an absolute assurance. I am 100% sure that I am redeemed by Christ Jesus. And, I am 100% sure that I will be saved if I "keep the commands" of God. See...there's a clause there. If I "keep the commands" of God. That's part of faith. If I don't "keep the commands" of God, I don't have faith, because I lack true obedience and love. And that doesn't mean that I have to obey at every second, that I can't stumble, and I won't stumble. I will.
It means that I must ask forgiveness for those sins I continue to commit. I don't have to continue to ask forgiveness for those sins that have already been forgiven....they are forgiven, "as far as the east is from the west." But, what about the sin I will commit tomorrow? I must ask for forgivness...and God is faithful and will forgive the one who asks with a sincere heart... The eternal punishment is already taken on by Christ Jesus. I get the easy part...asking and receiving forgivness. If we stand back and say we don't sin...."we are a liar, and the truth is not in us." If we stand back and say we don't need to ask forgivness, it is automatic, we profane God and the Bible.

These things all can be found in the Bible...and, when I have more time..I will expound them further, if you cannot recognize these things as being Biblical.

Finally, I don't, at the moment, have time to address the Mary issue....however, the fact of Mary's sinlessness is readily available in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2 - the Annunciation. Read it, and you will find Mary is called "full of grace" (Greek: ketcharitomene) (hope I spelled that right, going off memory.) So, there's the biblical basis. However, there is something more at issue here.....if I were to take all your professed beliefs...those of your church...and test them against the Bible...if I could find a single doctrine that was not absolutely provable, 100%, by the Bible...then, by your standards, I must conclude that your church is not Biblical either....and thus leading many astray. Care to provide a complete statement of your beliefs, with explanation - like the Church provides all in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

God bless, Matt


Adam,

In your responses you keep saying read Galatians. Do you totally disregard all other books in the bible? I'm asking because you insist that Mary must have sinned because of the word "all", yet you seem disregard other major passages in scripture which do not support your position.

I present you with this challenge: please address the following scripture passages and explanations without just saying read Galatians, because these passages DO exist and are therefore Divine Revelation. I look forward to your response. They are from a booklet about the Catholic Church called Pillar of fire Pillare of truth.
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Some Christians claim, "The Bible is all I need," but this notion is not taught in the Bible itself. In fact, the Bible teaches the contrary idea (2 Pet. 1:20–21, 3:15–16). The "Bible alone" theory was not believed by anyone in the early Church.

We know this for sure: The Holy Spirit cannot be the author of this confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). God cannot lead people to contradictory beliefs because his truth is one. The conclusion? The "Bible alone" theory must be false.
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Penance (CCC 1422–1498)

Sometimes on our journey toward the heavenly promised land we stumble and fall into sin. God is always ready to lift us up and to restore us to grace-filled fellowship with him. He does this through the sacrament of penance (which is also known as confession or reconciliation).

Jesus gave his apostles power and authority to reconcile us to the Father. They received Jesus’ own power to forgive sins when he breathed on them and said,

"Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:22–23).

Paul notes that

"all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation. . . . So, we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us" (2 Cor. 5:18–20).

Through confession to a priest, God’s minister, we have our sins forgiven, and we receive grace to help us resist future temptations.
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What You Must Do to Be Saved
Best of all, the promise of eternal life is a gift, freely offered to us by God (CCC 1727). Our initial forgiveness and justification are not things we "earn" (CCC 2010). Jesus is the mediator who bridged the gap of sin that separates us from God (1 Tim. 2:5); he bridged it by dying for us. He has chosen to make us partners in the plan of salvation (1 Cor. 3:9).

The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what "Bible Christians" teach; see Jas. 2:24).

When we come to God and are justified (that is, enter a right relationship with God), nothing preceding justification, whether faith or good works, earns grace. But then God plants his love in our hearts, and we should live out our faith by doing acts of love (Gal. 6:2).

Even though only God’s grace enables us to love others, these acts of love please him, and he promises to reward them with eternal life (Rom. 2:6–7, Gal. 6:6–10). Thus good works are meritorious. When we first come to God in faith, we have nothing in our hands to offer him. Then he gives us grace to obey his commandments in love, and he rewards us with salvation when we offer these acts of love back to him (Rom. 2:6–11, Gal. 6:6–10, Matt. 25:34–40).

Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?" (Luke 6:46, Matt. 7:21–23, 19:16–21).

We do not "earn" our salvation through good works (Eph. 2:8–9, Rom. 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Rom. 2:7, Gal. 6:8–9).

Paul said, "God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work" (Phil. 2:13). John explained that "the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4).

Since no gift can be forced on the recipient—gifts always can be rejected—even after we become justified, we can throw away the gift of salvation. We throw it away through grave (mortal) sin (John 15:5–6, Rom. 11:22–23, 1 Cor. 15:1–2; CCC 1854–1863). Paul tells us, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).

Read his letters and see how often Paul warned Christians against sin! He would not have felt compelled to do so if their sins could not exclude them from heaven (see, for example, 1 Cor. 6:9–10, Gal. 5:19–21).

Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God "will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life for those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness" (Rom. 2:6–8).

Sins are nothing but evil works (CCC 1849–1850). We can avoid sins by habitually performing good works. Every saint has known that the best way to keep free from sins is to embrace regular prayer, the sacraments (the Eucharist first of all), and charitable acts.
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Are You Guaranteed Heaven?

Some people promote an especially attractive idea: All true Christians, regardless of how they live, have an absolute assurance of salvation, once they accept Jesus into their hearts as "their personal Lord and Savior." The problem is that this belief is contrary to the Bible and constant Christian teaching.

Keep in mind what Paul told the Christians of his day: "If we have died with him [in baptism; see Rom. 6:3–4] we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim. 2:11–12).

If we do not persevere, we shall not reign with him. In other words, Christians can forfeit heaven (CCC 1861).

The Bible makes it clear that Christians have a moral assurance of salvation (God will be true to his word and will grant salvation to those who have faith in Christ and are obedient to him [1 John 3:19–24]), but the Bible does not teach that Christians have a guarantee of heaven. There can be no absolute assurance of salvation. Writing to Christians, Paul said, "See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness, otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22–23; Matt. 18:21–35, 1 Cor. 15:1–2, 2 Pet. 2:20–21).

Note that Paul includes an important condition: "provided you remain in his kindness." He is saying that Christians can lose their salvation by throwing it away. He warns, "Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall" (1 Cor. 10:11–12).

If you are Catholic and someone asks you if you have been "saved," you should say, "I am redeemed by the blood of Christ, I trust in him alone for my salvation, and, as the Bible teaches, I am ‘working out my salvation in fear and trembling’ (Phil. 2:12), knowing that it is God’s gift of grace that is working in me."


I could tell you everything the church I attend believes,but, whether it is fallible or not it doesn't matter. I do not depend on my church to interpert the bible for me as I have heard many catholics say about the catholic church. You daid that faith was belief, obedience and love. I think the true definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is being sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see". In other words it's putting our trust in God. I would never tell anyone faith in the living God means you should recieve him and then not do anything. But, according to your definition faith is also our works. Faith is not our works, but is our trusting in God to save us. The bible teaches that when his spirit lives in us we will have his love. Therefore, when we have a true faith works will be made manifest through his spirit because of our faith. We don't do good works to prove anything, God proves himself through our works. You are right though, if a church is wrong about some things that is human and that is to be expected, but if it is wrong about major doctrines, that can have a devistating effect.
Adam


Adam,

We have to start from a premis that the Church is not of human origin. It is divine; it is of God. It will always remain of God. Therefore, it cannot error. However, people can error, and they can profess beliefs that are not true.

The Truth of the Gospel, in it's entirety, is always available to be proclaimed and discovered by all mankind, because it resides with God, and is protected by God. This Truth, the Gospel, has been entrusted to the whole of the Church, founded on Peter and the Apostles. These are difficult concepts, but something that the whole of the Bible attests to, and foreshadows. The expression and belief in the Gospel is through faith.

Yes, faith is defined, in a certain sense, in the way you say; and the Catholic Church professes that. However, there is much more that the New Testament professes that faith is.

In Romans 1:5, Paul speaks of "the obedience of faith." When one reads this in context, one sees that Paul and the other Apostles were called for a specific task....to bring about "the obedience of faith." This is that faith includes obedience.

Further, we must revert to the words of our Lord..."if you love me, keep my commands." If faith means just belief or trust in the Lord, without action on our part, then why the need to "keep [his] commands?"

Now, you say, if we have faith, we will keep his commands. I say, "YES! YES! YES!" But, (and there's always that "but" isn't there?) Is this that we are now forced, by God, to keep his commands, and do works of mercy and charity? Or, is it that we choose, out of love and obedience to the Lord, to "keep his commands?"

I believe that it is the latter, because God did not give us free will (as he did even to Adam and Eve, originally), only to take it away. And, he allows us to show him our love for him, by our loving and obedient acts. Further, he doesn't leave us to try to do these things on our own; but gives us the grace - the help - to do these things. And, these things aren't easy to do, because they don't provide immediate pleasure, but sometimes some suffering.

As mere human beings, we LOVE short term pleasures...as much as we can get. We will avoid long term pleasure, if there's short term suffering involved. Think about it: would you wait in line for 2 hours for the best tasting hamburger, fries and soda-pop in the world - ones that you'd never forget the great taste of? Most people wouldn't. They'd settle for the "regular burger" if they can get it in 2 minutes; that will be eaten and gone in 2 more minutes.

With obedient acts for God, we show our love for Him. And, we might have to choose not to do something that would be more fun. I mean, geez, it might be really fun to go home with that beautiful woman (or man) that we just met, and "spend the night" with her (or him); but, what would we get for a night of pleasure? We could get an eternity in hell - if we stayed with that lifestyle, unrepentant. But, let's say we choose not to go home with her (or him). It's gonna make our life a bit less fun, a bit less pleasurable, but it's gonna pay off in the long run because we are being obedient to the Lord, who will reward us with eternal life, should we stay on *this* road.

We can't even sit back and say..."hmmm, I'll sleep with her (or him) and then repent of it later." That's a sin in itself..the sin of presumption; assuming that you will be forgiven later, after sinning willfully, and assuming there will be time. (What if you have a heart attack in the middle of that "fun"?)

These are the consequences....and this is the reason that we have to always make the choice to be obedient to God. He gives us the help, we just have to choose to accept and use that help. That's the choice WE have to make. It's not merely saying that we believe in God, but it's making the choices that prove that belief really lies in our hearts. (Geez, Jim Bakker almost certainly believed and trusted God, and there probably isn't a person in his congregation of supporters, etc. who wouldn't have believed he was "saved", but he certainly got side-tracked by having an extra-marital, adulterous "romp" with Jessica Hahn. Can we say that, would he not have repented of that, that he would have still been "saved"? I don't think so.)

This is what faith is. It's more than just believing...it's believing with your whole heart, and proving that belief by the choices you make in your life - to sin, or not to sin. And the ability not to sin is possibly only with the graces of God.

God bless, Matt


I agree with all you say in regards to our walks with God regarding how we should live. If we love him, we will keep his comandments, Jesus says. Although I don't agree with your point in regards to Jim Baker. How can someone be saved from the wages of sin and then be condemned by one sin. What if I sin today (as we all sin daily) and forget to repent of that particular sin, will that sin send me to hell?


Duy, I know exactly what you mean about that interior sense of being home and in the presence of God in a RC church. I feel very much at home in my own parish church (especially since I practically live there at times!)Yet when I go to other Catholic churches, I have that feeling of belonging there,too. I have done work for Protestants, and although they've been very nice to me, I just don't have that same sense in their worship areas. To me there is an emptiness there, an absence of the Real Presence. I have felt more of a spiritual presence in dealing with the local Rabbi, sort of like our roots are there.

As an aside, one day I rushed to the Baptist church to get my kids from Bible camp. As I walked in I got more than a few looks...forgot I had on my t-shirt that reads "Proud to be Catholic--2,ooo years of Christian tradition". So much for my evangelization!

Peace,
Margaret


Sorry for my delayed response; I didn't go online during the weekend. salvation depends entirely on God. all we do is recieve it. after we recieve it, if we truly recieved it, God will work in us to make us more like him(sanctification). Matt, you need to find an accurate history of the Church and it s teachings. the Roman catholic church gives no assurance of salvation, whereas the bible teaches that if our faith is truly in God we are saved.(1 jn 5:11) "God has given us eternal life and this life is in his son." (Jn. 5:24)"He who believes in the Son has ever lasting life" The catholic church does not teach this. at least the official church teachings dont.

Remember: "not everybody who calls me 'Lord, Lord' can enter my father's kingdom."

i dont think you are being very oblective, the bible teaches that we are a fallen race and that God came down as a man to die for the sins of his people. anyone who puts the faith in God according to his promises as revealed in the bible is a child of God. do you know the history if the catholic church? its awfull. Pope sixtus IV(1471-84ad) declared the burning of heretics a divine appointment,pope clement XI (1700-21ad) issued a papel bull(pronouncement) against bible reading, these are only two examples of what the church has done through out history. it really doesnt seem like you are seeking truth, but arguments in favor of the catholic church.

I have read *some* history of the Christian Church in the past; just take a look at my references list at the bottom of this page. You know, I sometimes wonder about the range of sources that the evangelicals I have talked to read in terms of church history. Do they just read selections that are used to discredit the Catholic Church and/or that don't go into a lot of detail about what actually goes on with the Protestant churches? Are the history books that they read written by evangelicals? It seems that every time church history is mentioned, it's always about the stuff that popes have done. That's certainly not all, I can tell you that much. And the way that people present the history - it's as if the errors made were entirely on religious doctrinal grounds and therefore means that the church must be wrong since they "teach" those kinds of actions.
Further, people seem to think that if certain members of a religion or denomination did this or that which is wrong, then the religion/denomination of which the guilty is a member must not be a religion/denomination of truth (one that God would approve of). That's of course a narrow-minded way of thinking. I'm sure others here can give examples of immoral stuff that certain evangelical pastors (or leaders of any or all the big religions of the world) have done. Yet, I think most of us here don't hold a grudge on their actions and judge Protestantism to be erroneous on the sole basis of the immoral actions of its leaders.

Do you know what Luther did? Do you know about the politics that were involved with the backing up of the Reformers that contributed much to their "success"? While I'm not, by absolutely no means at all, pretending to be a scholar (because I'm totally far from it - I don't even consider myself a novice), but the thing is if you read widely enough of church history, you should also realize that the Catholic Church is nowhere nearly as bad as you seem to display it. You should also have a reasonably good appreciation of how the Christian Church develops over time keeping in mind that the ever-faithful Holy Spirit is always guiding it.

but, if you seriously look into an accurate history of the catholic church you will find it has done some horrible things in the name of truth. as far as biblical doctrine is concerned, the churches cannot save man.

Something that always makes me scratch my head over is why evangelicals often say something like, "no church can save you; only Christ can". All the evangelicals I've ever talk to say that. Why is that? Do they think that the church(s) and Christ are entirely independent of each other? If you want to have a good understanding of the Catholic Church, you should read The Spirit of Catholicism. I've only had time to read the introduction of it, but I picked up a strong sense of how great the power and wisdom of God is as He runs His Church throughout the centuries. As well, you can choose whichever tract you want in this page about the Church.

but i do know, that official catholic teaching cannot save. it is true that many protestant churches are in error also, that is the fault of man. that is why i trust no man as "infallible" only the word of God. please think about what i have read and find out if what i am saying is true. im not your enemy.

The Word of God was, is, and always will be infallible. After the Word *is* God. The question is that when it comes to interpreting the written Word of God, who interprets it correctly?

What I have gathered from many sources, including this forum, is this Jesus died on the cross for us to save us, after we recieve him as savior we must be baptised, take communion, and ask for forgiveness continually to have the hope of being saved. This totally contradicts the Biblical requirement for salvation. Trusting in God for the free gift of salvation. Read Galatians. I have been parially agreed with on this matter by some Catholics, but what they are saying is that we have some ability to save ourselves. We have none, all we can do is recieve it.

It's not that we have any ability to save ourselves. All is made possible through God's Grace. But God works out His plan of salvation with our co-operation. We cannot save ourselves without God's intervention. But neither would God save us without our free will to co-operate. This free will was not generated by our own power. All our abilities are provided by God Himself. But with this free will that God has given us, we can use it to *choose*. This reflects that tremendous Love and Wisdom that God has and is. He desires that we (His creation) should be fully united with Him and Him with us. It's like locking our fingers together with His. We become part of Him and He becomes part of us. (anyway, Matt already provided a treatment on free will, so I'm not going to repeat.)

I understand that you believe what you believe, but, if what I'm saying is true or not you should seriously consider what i am saying, if you are seriously looking for the truth.

I would also, as others here have as well, ask you to seriously think about what *we* said.

I saw a video about Catholocism, and in it there was a lady whao although being a nun for many years never questioned her beliefs. In fact one time she was taking communion and when the priest told her"this is the body of Jesus" she asked for the first time,"is it really?" My point is to challenge you to seriously question what you believe and search for the truth. Not just answers, but real answers.

Is that video you're talking about called "Roman Catholicism: Crisis of Faith" by Lumen Publications directed by an ex-priest James McCarthy? If it is, you should realize that there are plenty of anti-Catholic productions out there that can really screw things up. That, by the way, is just a friendly warning...



....because it may not be *us* who is being misled.....


AND WHY IS message 17-18 not available; something wrong??


Margaret
I'm so glad you know what I'm talking about. I also find it to be a great comfort to me. It is like seeking refuge from the world of sin. Entering sanctuary. *vbg* Funny how those words have such meaning.


I am very glad to hear that you believe virtually all of what I've said in my last post.

To answer you: How can one be "free of the wages of sin" and still be under the threat of eternal punishment by sin?

Well, the fact is that, in this flesh, we are not completely free of sin. There is always temptation while we remain in the flesh. St. Paul speaks of this in several of his letters.

St. John, speak in one of his letters (I believe the 2nd) about sin that is "unto death" and sin "not unto death". From this we get the distinction of sin that may lead to eternal punishment, if not repented of, and "smaller" sins...like little "white lies"...that may not lead to eternal punishment, but may if not repented of, because they can lead to larger sins. (I will deal with this issue more later, if I may.)

In the example of Jim Bakker, are we to think that God would allow an unrepentant adulterer into heaven simply because some time earlier he told God that he was giving his life to Him - only to turn around and disobey the commandments?

Further, the Gospel preached contains the message of repentance. Look at John the Baptist, calling people to repent. Christ Jesus not only says repent, but REFORM your lives. It's taken that further step. Reform is calling people to live a holy life, to change their wicked ways. It is from a realization that they are sinners that they must repent.

So, we must REPENT of our wicked ways. REFORM our lives, so that we actually practice the ways of the Lord God.

We wholly believe that God took away the eternal punishment of the repentant sinner; the righteous man, the man who walks by faith. And, God wholly desires all to know Him, to follow Him, and to be saved. However, some do not desire to know Him, or be saved by Him. Therefore, God will not force it upon them. Even those who at one time chose Him, but decided to later choose to do their own thing, instead of what God asked, God will not force salvation upon them; for they will have given their choice for or against Him by what they have done. Remember that Christ Jesus has said that he will judge each man according to what he has done. And, "whatever you have done to the least of my brother, you have done to me."

Do you see where it is necessary for us to strive to not fall into "sin unto death", and by practice of righteous acts, through faith, by grace, we may become less prone to do so? Do you also see that the "sin unto death" is a willful act of the person against God, and thus, if they remain unrepentant, the sin will remain unforgiven?

God bless, Matt


I have been responding quite a bit to many responses to my comments, so it is very difficult to find the time to do so. I believe I should be more careful in my statements. I believe it is possible to be saved if you are a catholic, don,t get me wrong. Please understand that I am being given imformation from catholics and non-catholics. Yes you got the video right. Some catholics have been telling me one thing that contradicts what others are telling me. It is confusing. I believe you when you say I can't judge a whole church based on the failings of men, so I won't. Still I am only learning about catholocism, and much of what I hear(from catholics) is very disturbing. Although, I will reafirm that I don't believe you can't be a born again believer as a catholic.


I agree, we need to avoid sin, as much as the grace of God allows. I have mainly been trying to find out if you believe that we are saved only by the grace of God. It sounds like that is what you believe. I hope that is where you put your faith. We do need to live a life of holiness, like you said, and I agree.
Adam


Adam,

I've seen this video, Catholicism: Crisis of Faith, and it is very disturbing to me; mostly because it is very inaccurate, and doesn't allow for a full explication of the faith. James McCarthy, the promoter, etc of the video, is blatantly anti-Catholic and does not seek to present the whole of Catholic teaching, but only that which suits his needs. I have been, for some time, trying to get the time to write a chapter-by-chapter response to his book "The Gospel According to Rome", which I have a copy of, and have read much of. (I've been saying that "I'm planning this" for about a year now...if that gives you some indication of my time constraints.)

From what I have read thus far in this book, McCarthy does a fairly good job in presenting, at least the surface level, teachings of the Catholic Church in his opening sections of each chapter that present the Catholic teachings by themselves; though some of his comments sometimes leave a distaste in my mouth.

However, it is in his "A Biblical Response" where he really begins to distort the Catholic teaching, so as to make his position seem stronger, I suppose.

I'd like you to read the following link to a Catholic Answers tract on Exposing "Catholicism: Crisis of Faith".

God bless, Matt


I just wanted to say, additionally, that this understanding is not my own..but did, indeed, come through my reading of Church documents, including the Bible. I didn't always understand things as I do now, and even now, I continue to strive to understand better - even through 12 years of Catholic schooling.

It's important, I believe, to read the things that the Church professes, and not only rely on those things said by people who profess to be Catholic. There are more and more "informed Catholics" out there, and there are many on this board alone.

Really, I think the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Bible, together, are a good place to start - though feel free to proceed just as you have here. I know that this little "community" that we have here has certainly allowed me to grow in faith and love.

God bless, Matt


Please understand that I am being given imformation from catholics and non-catholics. Yes you got the video right. Some catholics have been telling me one thing that contradicts what others are telling me. It is confusing.

Adam, I know exactly what you mean by confusing. In case you didn't know, the family I live with are extremely devout evangelicals who bombarded me with all sorts of questions about the "errors of the Catholic Church" and at the same time the stuff they tell me doesn't really seem to match what I've been taught but I wasn't able to offer an explanation to prove otherwise. And so I searched around the net and talking to people and eventually met people like Matt and Roni.

I, like you, also find it confusing because I'm told different things. So it's like being pulled from both sides. So what I just did was to read from different perspectives of things and tried to remain unbiased. If the stuff that I find out goes against the Catholic Church, then let it be. If the Catholic Church is not the Church that Christ established, then I must accept it. However, I have not been able to prove that the Catholic Church is not the Church that Christ established. At the same time, I am not 100% certain that the Catholic Church *is* the true Church (hence I cannot say that I am completely faithful to the Magisterium or that I'm an orthodox Catholic). Until I can prove otherwise or whatever, I'll just stick to the Roman Catholic Church by faith.

God bless!


Same here.


I appreciate that.


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