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Featured Catholics and Faith Alone

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Cathode, Jul 9, 2024.

  1. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    Just want to clear up some objections people raised in past threads, but I didn’t have time to answer them all.

    Catholics have always believed in Faith Alone, but our understanding of Faith is particular.

    The Faith that we say saves is not just intellectual assent. Even the devils know Jesus is Lord, but that is not going to save them. The faith of mere intellectual assent won’t save you. Merely believing Jesus is your Lord and Savior intellectually, wont save you.

    Trust is the next kind of “ faith “ people can have, so it’s a little more than just intellectual assent, they are trusting in Jesus Name and Power. Yet this is not the Faith that saves, as the Lord in Scripture states.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’“

    This is an important part of our Faith, to trust in Jesus power and the power of His Holy Name, but by itself it will not save you. We have all performed miracles in Jesus Name, but not in isolation.

    You can have faith to move mountains as Paul states, but if you don’t have Love, you are nothing. This Faith by itself will not save you.

    The Faith that we say saves is Faith acting through Love.

    “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.” Galatians 5:6

    This is the highest order of Faith, not just intellectual assent or even just trust in Jesus power.

    But Faith working through Love.

    So a Faith which moves the will to Love others, because Love is an act of will. An obedient faith which Loves others as the Lord commands.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

    So we have to do something by Love which is inspired by our Faith, and that Faith is a saving Faith. Love is doing, not just warm feelings towards people.

    So Grace alone, Faith alone which works through Love, = salvation.

    There will be “many” who merely have the lesser intellectual assent kind of faith that believe intellectually that Jesus is their Lord and Saviour and many who have the even the higher trust in Jesus power kind of faith, but all these will be condemned, if it does not manifest by Love.

    So how are we judged as true Christians?

    “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    By your Love you are judged, or lack of it. Men judge that we are Christians by our love.

    “ what you did for the least of these, you did for me “

    Jesus judges that we are His disciples by our love.
     
  2. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    @Cathode. I know some Catholics who believe similar to what you state above and I personally have no problem with calling them Christian brothers.
    Reformed Baptists, Puritan era theologians, Methodists, Baxterians and others agree and have spent much ink refuting the idea of faith being nothing more than "assent to the propositions".
    Trust, combined with assent, in other words venturing yourself upon Christ as the only means of salvation is enough with the understanding that such a faith is "never alone" to quote John Owen. Many of my friends in the Reformed camp are quick to condemn those who "mix up" or combine faith and works. They go so far in keeping a separation that they question the orthodoxy of Richard Baxter, Wesley, the Puritans, John Piper, and Jonathan Edwards for suggesting things that they feel blur the separation between justification and works.

    Faith, working through love is a common theme of Wesley, some of the Puritans like Matthew Henry and later Protestant guys like J.C. Ryle. There should be no argument there.

    Having said all that, be careful. Like I said, anyone who believes like you state above I would consider a Christian brother but I also have Reformed friends who are former Catholics. We have had the same conversations and they say that a person like you will do well as long as you stay away from the superstitious silliness that the Roman Catholic church seems attached too. They would recommend you get out of the RCC. If you want to see why so many Reformed and Baptist Christians seem not to want to have fellowship with you as a Roman Catholic just go and read the Council of Trent which has never been retracted and curses all of us.
     
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  3. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    You forgot to mention Calvin, who rejected intellectual assent style faith and the trust style faith divorced from love. He reckoned that these can not even be called faith at all.

    Trust in Jesus power and Name can perform miracles on its own, but not of its own justify a man.

    Trent only condemned intellectual assent type of faith, the new heresy that was prevalent in Protestantism.

    Trent did not condemn Faith working through Love as the Church always taught. The Catholic Church is quite happy to say Faith alone, if this definition is used, even if Faith alone is not the language of Scripture.
     
  4. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Among the Reformed, there will always be differences in understanding of faith. For instance, there is a within Reformed thought the idea that faith is indeed just an assent to the propositions of the gospel - with the idea that your salvation is something totally worked in you by the Holy Spirit. So faith can be described precisely, as exactly what it is, with the knowledge always being present that having faith means you have already been regenerated, and have had a principle of new life infused into you, which will infallibly, for sure, lead to good works and love.

    What happens is that in trying to clarify definitions you end up with attempts like some do to make the tendency toward good works, obedience, and holiness an actual part of saving faith. Others say no, faith is simple belief, and even "trust" is actually just a restatement of assent and is what is needed for justification - with the background understanding that the other things will inevitably occur. Inevitably you get accused of being antinomian or legalistic depending upon how you try to explain it.

    If the Catholic church you go to is teaching "faith alone" in some way I am happy for you but the council of Trent cursed that terminology. I am fully aware of the Catholic shell game of theology that you guys play, with the apologists and lay theologians on shows like Coming Home and so on but I do hope what you are saying is true. I have some friends who have started attending the local catholic church and I hope you are correct in what they are being taught.
     
  5. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    Important to have the correct understanding of faith don’t you think, considering it is a salvation issue.

    Paul describes a powerful type of faith that can move mountains, yet divorced from love amounts to nothing. This is a higher order of Faith than mere intellectual assent which is zero calorie, and yet it still amounts to nothing.

    I liken the trust type of faith to a bloke who not only recognises a powerful horse as with intellectual assent but harnesses it to use its power for himself and to even help others. Yet he neither loves the horse or the people he helped by its power.

    The Catholic Church has always taught Faith alone universally, but not the kind of faith some espouse.

    Scripture tells us of a type of faith that is mighty, moves mountains, heals, casts out demons and even performs many miracles, yet it ends in condemnation.

    So there are types of Faith, that are divorced from Love, otherwise scripture would not use ink warning us of them.

    Trent condemned the zero calorie faith of intellectual assent on its own.

    “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

    Jesus words are not just to be believed intellectually but must be put into practice, to Love others requires works of love.
    What are the greatest commandments that fulfil all of the law.
    Love God and Love neighbor, this requires doing, putting Jesus words into practice.
    Believing in Jesus, is doing in loving obedience to His Word, not intellectual assent.
     
  6. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people have not even graduated to the higher level of faith that trusts enough to use Jesus miraculous power. Faith is still merely an intellectual exercise, still stuck on the page.

    This is the earth bound eagle, not fully extending in use of its faculties, it’s wings are firmly tucked in, it is blinded to them, it ignores them completely.
     
  7. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    It's important, but having a correct understanding and having an ability to explain it persuasively in a theological sense is not nearly as important as truly having it. The Reformers, in making a distinction between faith alone and faith plus works and at the same time insisting that the "faith alone" which justifies is never alone - well, they were trying to tell us something. And in doing this, Baxter, in his paper on justification, and some of the things Edwards said and Piper also, get into areas that cause other precise theologians concern.

    Where you should be concerned as a Catholic is that you don't let them mix you up into viewing ascribing to the faith in the sense of agreeing to the doctrine as a first step and then moving on into a life of works and love as directed by the church as a part of your justification. This is not what the Bible teaches, it's not what will give you the peace and security that Christ promises, and it could be damaging or even fatal to your soul although I'm not sure where that line really is. In other words, I don't know how wrong you can be and still be saved. With what you are saying on here I would think you are a true Christian but I do think you are being too charitable to the statements in the Council of Trent where they clearly send all of us Protestants to Hell. If they are right then I am lost and frankly, so are you.

    Like I said earlier, I believe there are saved Roman Catholics. The great Reformed theologians also believed that, as did Spurgeon and G. Campbell Morgan, and of course others. But some of the things you guys teach knock us out of salvation if they are correct. That's just the way it is.
     
  8. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    In basic Protestant and Reformed theology saving faith is not concerned with the amount or power or intensity of the faith. Saving faith is saving because the object of it is Christ and it links you to the merits of Christ. There is a gift of faith which some people have and they make great use of it but it is not the initial saving faith we are talking about. I would read Horatius Bonar in his chapter called "Not Faith but Christ" or read Richard Sibbes "A Bruised Reed or a Smoking Flax". Both discuss these issues.
     
  9. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    Well, having no final arbiter of Scriptural interpretation is the gravest concern, especially when defining terms pivotal to salvation.

    “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.”

    If I was a private interpreter of scripture, my prayerful instinct would be to steer toward Faith working through Love for salvation, however, even then there is no certainty that would give peace. Scripture destroys those that misinterpret it.
    Private interpreters to my mind are the ultimate thrill seekers, gambling their immortal lives rather than mortal lives.
    I honestly can not understand that mindset, and I cannot call it bravery.

    I think you give Trent too much credit. There seems to be a rush on both sides to find more distinctions.

    Trent condemned the intellectual assent alone idea, if you aren’t in that camp, you needn’t worry.

    The Catholic Church signed a joint Faith alone understanding with many Protestant traditions, which many seem not know about yet.
     
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  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Interesting. You have a link that provides more info on that?
     
  11. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    "The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) is a document created and agreed to by the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999 as a result of Catholic–Lutheran dialogue...."

    Any "Protestant traditions" other than the 'Lutheran World Foundation' that agreed and signed this?

    [add]

    Disregard, I should've read further. Sorry.
     
  13. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    “As of 2017, the bodies representing 75% of the world's Christians have formally affirmed the Joint Declaration“

    “On 18 July 2006, the World Methodist Council, meeting in Seoul, South Korea, voted unanimously to adopt the document.[9][10]

    The leadership of the World Communion of Reformed Churches—representing 80 million members of Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed, United, Uniting and Waldensian churches—also signed the document and formally associated with it at an ecumenical prayer service on 5 July 2017.”

    “In 2021, a Baptist theologian suggested that World Baptist Alliance could also assent to the Joint Declaration.”
     
  14. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I agree that you don't want to rely on your own private interpretation in these things. But if you are relying on Augustine, Calvin, all the Puritan theologians both Calvinistic and Arminian, Wesley, the Church of England, Lutheran theologians vs Popery with all it's errors, contradictions, and superstitions then I will take my chances.
    Read Trent. Not only is intellectual assent alone condemned, which we agree on, but faith as trust, assurance of salvation, and other things are also condemned. Imputed justification also. You are doing a good job of pointing out exactly what the problem is. There are saved Catholics, especially if they are ignorant of or don't buy into what is taught as dogma. But the doctrine is problematic, and there can never be any type of reconciliation between Catholic and Protestant faiths until the Catholics repudiate Trent, the office of Pope, the mass, the priesthood, and so on.
     
  15. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    From my perspective the Popery is practiced by private interpreters rather those who hold to sacred tradition and magisterium. Each makes himself the final arbiter of Scriptures interpretation.
    I wasn’t having a dig, I genuinely don’t understand that mindset, I really don’t, especially on something so vitally important.
    As for taking chances, nothing seems settled among the private interpreted traditions, essential and non essential doctrine and doctrines long ago settled in Apostolic Churches are constantly open for debate to this day.

    Well that’s common ground to be celebrated isn’t it, considering the danger that intellectual assent represents to souls.

    You don’t need Trent to tell you that faith as trust alone is dicey, we have The Lord’s own words in Scripture.
    As to assurance we also have scripture, which doesn’t teach OSAS. The assurance we have is that God is Faithful and will always forgive those who genuinely repent.

    Trent was an infallible Council which gives interpretive assurance, private interpretation gives the least assurance.
    The irony of seeking salvation assurance before seeking interpretive assurance isn’t lost on me.
    You have got to establish infallible interpretation of Scripture before you can establish anything that gives assurance.
     
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  16. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Well intellectual assent is not a danger. It is essential, just not the total extent. Without it you have no starting point. And once again, the Reformers explained that well.
    You are using talking points from Catholic apologists. The average Catholic church member is what we would call a nominal Christian, totally unaware of most of the theology. But they have indeed given their salvation over to the "church" to worry about all that stuff. I call that taking chances, especially given the record of the church in question. When it comes to diversity in beliefs, I think the case you are making is weak in two areas. One, there is just as much diversity in theology within the average Catholic church as in a given Protestant church, and two, the recent controversies regarding the current Pope show a high level of disarray, even at the top.
    Saying "Lord, Lord" is not enough. Faith, in the complete definition, which includes trust is not condemned by Jesus. Matthew chapter 7 warnings are to mainly leaders in the church who would propose to do mighty works and even miracles but yet have lives full of iniquity. Who does that sound like?
    If it is infallible then you simply cannot have later conferences where they soften and repudiate parts of it in order to try to develop dialog with those they have cursed.

    You obviously, as a Catholic who keeps coming on a Baptistboard, have questions about your positions. That is good and I wish you well. With the state of modern Protestant denominations, I don't wish to condemn the Roman church out of hand. I hope you find answers there. What we tend to do is separate out from corruption and while it does indeed look chaotic it protects and preserves some purity. The Roman church has largely prevented this but I'm afraid the whole thing eventually became unacceptably tainted. I see no reason to stay in it but I fully understand the longing for tradition and stability so I don't condemn those who look in that direction.
     
  17. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    In context, intellectual assent by itself is the issue.

    I don’t care about Catholic apologists talking points as such, it’s a valid point about Scriptural interpretation.
    You have no final arbiter of Scriptural interpretation, among all the private interpreters. You aren’t facing this problem but are deflecting.

    Regarding “ diversity “ in belief in the Catholic Church, what you might be looking at is dissent, this is nothing new.

    The Catholic Church is so massive that even it’s enemies take shelter in its branches. As Jesus stated in the mustard seed parable.

    Without this massive Catholic tree, Protestantism and Baptist’s would be annihilated by the secular world. Protestants never stood in the arenas of Rome, never faced pagan Europe, it inherited a pacified world, it rebelled unjustly.

    Sounds like Benny Hinn, the end result of Protestantism.

    This is what actually convinced me. I looked for a precedent in the old covenant and I found it in Moses. Moses was very humble and conciliatory to the Protestants of his day.
    They used God’s word against Gods chosen authority as well, yet Moses was humble and took it to the Lord.
    Protestants can never be humble, a certain pride is at the heart of their beliefs, they will concede nothing to heal a rift. This is why I know they wrong. They are dogmatically possessed. They protested Moses “lording” it over them.
    They oppose the Chair of Moses as they oppose the Chair of Peter in the new Covenant, ardent in their hatred of authority and priesthood.
    Korah is the perfect old covenant Protestant, everything they accuse the Chair of Moses of they accuse the Chair of Peter of and are in rebellion against the Church.

    See any denominations in Moses time? There was one chair that God established with Moses. Korah tried the each man bring his own offering, how did God receive that?

    I am in awe witnessing the new covenant repeating the old covenant.
     
  18. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    I'll say it again. Bare intellectual assent without the other essential components of saving faith is a problem, but without intellectual assent as a starting point you can't have the rest. It is a logical necessity and the Protestant theologians were correct in the confessions.
    Your "final arbiter of scriptural interpretation" is often wrong and at some point self declared themselves as infallible. You have to face this. It comes out constantly, as you illustrated with the waffling on Trent, the backtracking, and then the retrenching.
    This is a heretical comparison, with no basis in scripture. I'm glad you came on here and illustrated the problems with the Roman Catholic system. Given the state of today's mainline Protestant denominations, I am hesitant to criticize someone who finds themselves going to a Roman church. But you do a good job of illustrating the dangers and errors of that system.
     
  19. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    The question was whether bare intellectual assent of itself was enough for salvation. Many believed this false understanding and perished.

    Your idea is that there is no final infallible arbiter of Scriptures interpretation, but you grant your interpretations of Scripture infallibility without officially declaring yourself infallible, you just assume it.
    Not intellectually honest.
    The Chair Peter has Christ’s appointment, private interpreters are the ones that self appoint. Self shepherding sheep.

    The scripture Protestants first broke was Heb 13:17 “ Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”

    Luther is the Korah of the New Covenant Church, their complaint is the same.
    They defy the Chair of Peter as they defied the Chair of Moses.

    The both used God’s word to attack God’s chosen authority.

    “we hold that this function, too, like the priesthood, belongs to all“ Luther

    “all Christians, and they alone, even women, are priests“ Luther

    “all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them; why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” Numbers 16:3

    Korah used God’s word against Moses, well God did say.

    “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

    “Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves No, we will not come!” Numbers 16:13-14

    “I know that a Christian should be humble, but against the Pope I am going to be proud and say to him: "You, Pope, I will not have you for my boss, for I am sure that my doctrine is divine.” Luther

    Luther did exactly as Korah did and influenced others to join in rebellion, against the priesthood of Moses and Aaron. Citing God’s word to grant themselves equality in priesthood and authority.

    Luther’s rebellion is Korah’s rebellion in the new covenant Church.
     
  20. Cathode

    Cathode Well-Known Member

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    The greatest stumbling block is none of that, it is the heresy of Sola scriptura, where each man makes himself final arbiter of Scriptures interpretation.

    Sure they rejected the Catholic Church based on their opinions of scripture, but then they all rejected each other on the same basis.
    A theological abyssal opened up and swallowed all of them, there was no longer a solid foundation, only subjective cracks of human opinions of scripture.

    Same Bible, but thousands of conflicting subjective interpretations and doctrines. None seeming to care that they could be interpreting spiritually fatal doctrines from their subjective interpretations of scripture.
    They never stop to consider that they could be the one twisting scripture to their destruction, that’s for other less inspired, less intelligent fools out there worry about.
     
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