No Middle Ground

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Dr. Bob, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Talking via pm with a frequent poster on this forum, I was struck by a perceived dichotomy

    I believe salvation is 100% God's grace appropriated to me by God through faith alone

    He believed salvation is 100% God's grace appropriated to him by God through baptism, confirmation, eucharist, etc

    There seems to "middle ground".

    Appreciate your thoughts.
     
  2. Eladar

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    Do you believe that those who practice immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these can go to heaven?
     
  3. Brother Adam

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    One thing I've noticed in talking to Catholics and Baptists is that works are "required" but where they are required differs.

    Most Baptists would agree that if someone prays to recieve Christ and shows no works of the spirit but continues in the flesh they are probably not saved.

    Catholics believe that works is part of the process of salvation- and that our redemption is wholy of God. We can't say "Okay God, I demand that you save me" or such. It is wholy of God's loving grace.

    Baptists generally believe that "salvation" is a one time event- praying to recieve Christ, and from this point, if they are saved, you can backslide but you will go to heaven no matter what.

    Catholics believe that while at one point in time we enter into a new relationship with God- that we are born again- salvation is a process that ends with our entrance into heaven. Santification is part of our salvation. And they believe that it is possible for someone to accept Christ and later in life reject Christ and be outside of God's grace.

    They do believe though that God looks favorably on the Christian who is baptized, takes communion, and participates in the sacraments.

    This is what I understand though. One paradox that does bother me as I am currently an OSAS/Sole Fida person (but wavering) is that such godly men as Charles Templeton and my philosophy teacher who was a minister for over 20 years have done everything I have to recieve and serve Christ but they have now become anti-Christians and wholy reject Christ and blasphemy his name. If they are still saved, it goes against what the Bible tells us about those who are saved, and if they were never saved, how do I know that I am saved?

    God Bless,
    Bro. Adam
     
  4. Frank

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    Bob:
    I believe we are saved by grace which, is to use your word, appropriated through faith. However, what type of faith? If one says, mental ascent to the death burial and resurrection of Christ only, I would say the Bible stands opposed to this. God approves of obedient active faith. Hebrews 11:6, Romans 16:26, Romans 5:1,2. God's unmerited favor gives us the gift of salvation. Eph. 2:8,9. It is up to us to accept or reject the gift. John 12: 48.
     
  5. BrianT

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    The only place in scripture where you'll find the comments on faith alone is:

    "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" and "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only". The person you talked via pm with is undoubtedly doing those things *because of* and *with* his faith, not *instead of* faith.
     
  6. Bro. Curtis

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    There is no middle ground. Each has it's belief, one based soley upon the word of God, the other on tradition.

    The difference is no right-minded Baptist would claim his is the only true church. No Baptist would claim infallabilty, or freedom from error.
     
  7. tragic_pizza

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    Oswald Chambers wrote that we can do nothing to earn our salvation, yet we must do something to keep it.

    The hoops that one must jump through to adhere to the once-saved-always-saved camp are astounding. Yet the idea that one particular branch of Christianity holds the only true path is truly breathtaking, especially in light of the innovations of the past few centuries.

    Methinks that the truth lies somewhere in that middle ground.
     
  8. trying2understand

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    And there in lies your problem, Curtis.

    Your belief is actually based on your interpretation of the Word.

    Not being infallible, your interpretation could very easily be in error.

    How is it then that you can be sure that salvation is by faith alone?

    How can you be sure that Baptism is not necessary for salvation?

    How can you be sure that you are saved?
     
  9. Carson Weber

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    Hi Dr. Bob,

    God's grace comes to us in various ways, not just through sacramental signs. God's work on our hearts before we come to faith, as we come to faith, and after we come to faith is what we call "actual grace"; it is God's gift to us, and it preceeds the reception of any sacrament. In the sacraments, we are given the actual life of God (eternal life), which is the indwelling presence of the Trinity in our souls. This is what we term "sanctifying grace".

    The Bible does not speak of faith all by itself. It speaks of baptizing with water; it speaks of laying on hands; it speaks of anointing with oil; it speaks of forgiving others' sins. The sacraments are the covenantal oaths, which accompany faith. It is faith "incarnated", so to say. As humans, we are composed of body and soul - we aren't mere rational minds who are saved by the cognitive acceptance of God's Word (that hinges on Gnosticism: you're saved to the level you know something - or even intellectualism). That acceptance of the word is incarnated in the sacramental symbol of being immersed into the baptismal waters, symbolizing our death to sin and our rising to new life in Christ, cleansed of impurity. In this way, we are assurred that we have been incorporated into the life of Christ because we can see, feel, touch, and hear our baptism. It appeals to our senses because we are sensible creatures. As God used human flesh to wrought our redemption, so he uses material to apply that redemption to those who accept his revelation by way of humble faith.
     
  10. Dan Stiles

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    Perhaps the middle ground is in these words I have added here after your statement: "...through (or 'by') faith alone" - an active and living Christ-centered faith of the heart, which is normally evidenced by the joyful and worshipful partaking in the sacraments and ordinances of Christ, and in all ways living His commandments to love God and love each other.

    Please note that my use of the word "heart" is intended as a Biblical meaning, not some "mushy-gushy" modern American meaning (of course this statement itself could start another thread!)

    Wish I had time to write more, but it seems that the difference is in focus of how people live their faith.
     
  11. Bro. Curtis

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    It's not my problem. I have no problems at all, with the word. I know my salvation is complete, and I don't need the RCC for anything.
     
  12. trying2understand

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    Then why do you not answer any of my simple questions?
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

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    I did. The Bible. Period.
     
  14. trying2understand

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    But don't you agree that your interpretation of the Bible is not infallible?
     
  15. Bro. Curtis

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    Is your's ?
     
  16. BrianT

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    Bro. Curtis, please answer the question. He's making a point, and I am interested for more that just curiosity sake as to how you deal with this.
     
  17. John Gilmore

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    Both statements are true if confirmation is understood as an act of confession and absolution. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. The Sacraments do confer grace, not by the outward act, but by the faith that is given by the Holy Spirit according to the promise of Holy Scripture. Holy Spirit calls us to faith in Christ through Word and Sacrament. Therefore, baptism, eucharist, and absolution are not human works but the gospel itself.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    Well, John, you gave a good polemic for my basic premise of "no middle ground". You USE the term salvation by grace by faith alone . . then explain what you mean by "by grace by faith alone" - baptism, eucharist, and absolution are not human works but the gospel itself - that would be abhorrent to a Baptist.

    We disagree! Does that surprise anyone?? :rolleyes:
     
  19. John Gilmore

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    Dr. Griffin,

    Yes, all Baptists believe that baptism is a human work. However, do all Baptists believe in salvation by grace only through faith alone? Do not many Baptists, perhaps even a majority, teach that unregenerate man is able to make a decision for Christ? Do they not add human reason to the righteousness of faith and thereby trust in their own merit rather than the merits of Christ alone?
     
  20. WPutnam

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    Here is my answer: NO!

    To get the true interpretation, I bounce what I perceve scripture is saying against what the Church teaches.

    After all, it is the only authority around that can do that for me!

    (And no, I do not have the dove of the holy Spirit alight upon my shoulders, whispering into my ears and telling me what scripture is saying as I read it in the privacy of my home.)

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+

    PS. Welcome back Carson! Couldn't stay, could you? [​IMG]

    Pillar and Foundation of Truth, the Church. (1 Tim 3:15)
     

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