Are "Faith Only" Protestants simply afraid of being labeled "Catholic like" by their Protestant brothers and sisters


#1

It seems to me that most of the “Faith Only” Protestants still do good “Works”, but refuse to call them that or atleast refuse to say it’s necessary. I often wonder if this is because they have a phobia of being labeled “Catholic like”, or if there is simply a difference in understanding the term “Works” and it’s relationship to “Faith”. In a “Faith Only” understanding what would the purpose of any good works be (spreading the word, going to church, etc.)?:confused: I wonder this about many of our differences, but this seems like a good starter. I believe both are probably true to a point. Any comments


#2

My general experience has been that this is an insistence that has more to do with the idea that NOTHING we can do can do can save us, ie, we cannot earn salvation, rather than an excuse not to engage in works of charity. They simply do not want there to be any notion that anything can be added to what Christ did for us on the Cross (an idea that also happened to have been condemned by the Council of Trent). Most Protestants that I grew up with lived lives of charity and goodness.


#3

There is a small percentage of Protestants who believe they can confess the Lord Jesus as their saviour, then do whatever they want, because their salvation is sealed in heaven. However, such persons are a minority. Most protestants believe that Christians are called to live a Holy and Obedient life, and thereby, to reflect Christ to the world (evangelize).

I think the mix up happens with the theology of soteriology (how does a person get “saved”?)

Most protestants don’t see salvation as a lifelong process, like Catholics do, but as a one point in time event. After that occurs, one enters sanctification (being made in the image and likeness of Christ) and the good deeds are part of that process (after one is justified and made right with God).

Catholics see salvation as a process, where justification, sanctification, and glorification are not separated from one another.

:twocents:


#4

This is about as clear and articulate explanation of protestant “salvation” as I’ve read. This is how I understand the issue between Catholic and protestant as well. Great response. Thanks.


#5

Thank you for this, I too believe this is a good explanation. I have a question to add though - does this mean that the “average” Protestant with this same understanding believe that one can’t lose justification? As in committing mortal sin as we Catholics believe? Thanks.


#6

I have heard they consider all sin equal, so I suppose that means there is no sin that could deprive them of salvation.

I’ve run a mini-poll to see what some would do if Christ appeared to them and told them to be Catholic. Mostly no replies, unsurprisingly, (its a rubbish question), but one protestant said he would argue with Christ, whilst another said he would refuse Christs request.
So I guess you’ll get every type of reply in protestantism.:shrug:


#7

I have heard they consider all sin equal, so I suppose that means there is no sin that could deprive them of salvation.

I’ve run a mini-poll to see what some would do if Christ appeared to them and told them to be Catholic. Mostly no replies, unsurprisingly, (its a rubbish question), but one protestant said he would argue with Christ, whilst another said he would refuse Christs request.
So I guess you’ll get every type of reply in protestantism.

I don’t believe that very many protestants would knowingly reject Christ’s will, rather they would say that it wasn’t Christ telling them to follow but an evil Spirit or something similar. But that was kind of the point of my OP. I think many would reject an idea simply because it was originally a Catholic one. The one I was referring to was dealing with “Works”. Guanophore explained it well as far as how they view it, but the “Faith Only” Protestants will go far from calling works necessary (atleast around a Catholic). Sometimes I think there is a misunderstanding of the word, but much of the time it seems they just don’t want to look like a Catholic.:frowning: Not to get off topic too much, but yes certain denominations of Protestants believe that once you are saved (that one time deal) that you can’t lose that salvation. They believe that when you go to judgement all God will see is the blood of Jesus covering you, and you will go to heaven regardless of the sins you’ve comitted (these type believe all sins are equal). This is easily shown to be untrue through scripture, but the blinders come up when you show them the verses. :frowning:


#8

I just find that amazing. If that were true then why all the efforts on their behalf to save anyone from committing sin at all?


#9

Jennifer123

I just find that amazing. If that were true then why all the efforts on their behalf to save anyone from committing sin at all?

My thoughts exactly… although I know some believe that there is a glorification process (not purgatory) where you lay the crowns you’ve obtained in life at the feet of God.:confused: These are not what you are judged by, but what give your status in heaven. Maybe the more people you convert the more crowns you get.:wink: Don’t know if they think you can lose these crowns through sin or not (probably not).


#10

Randy Carson has an excellent summary of “Bridging the Faith Alone Divide” taken from an article by James Akin (which I cannot find). envoymagazine.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3200&whichpage=1


#11

We are justified (declared righteous/pardoned) on the basis of faith alone when one is born again. This is the Romans definition/use of the term, Justification.

We are justified (proven righteous/shown to be righteous or born of God) on the basis of the outworking of that faith in our lives (works). This is the James chapter 2 definition/use of the term justification.

After being saved - they are further saved through sanctification and, finally, glorification. Once justified - the elect will be saved by the grace of God.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that **he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: **

Ro 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

We take no credit for our salvation for, ultimately…

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

:slight_smile:


#12

But in regards to Ph1:6 it seems to me that one can’t assured of salvation until judgement as per Mt 25:31-46, the dividing of the sheep and goats…?
There are so many more verses that deal with working “faith through love” Gal 5:6, teaching that salvation is through faith and works, not of our own accord but through God’s grace Eph 2:8-10. Certainly Protestants wouldn’t disagree that “faith without works is dead”? Maybe they forget to finish James ch. 2…“it is by his actions that a person is put right with God, and not by his faith alone” (James 2:24). :stuck_out_tongue:

It seems to me that the problem is with the idea of justification?


#13

So you believe justification includes regeneration? That when one is justified, one has been regenerated?

We are justified (proven righteous/shown to be righteous or born of God) on the basis of the outworking of that faith in our lives (works). This is the James chapter 2 definition/use of the term justification.

After being saved - they are further saved through sanctification and, finally, glorification. Once justified - the elect will be saved by the grace of God.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that **he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: **

Ro 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

We take no credit for our salvation for, ultimately…

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Yes, in the case of those predestined to glory, God will complete His work because He has intended to bring them to glorification. However, in accomplishing this, God incorporates their voluntary cooperation with His grace and this voluntary cooperation produces the works which He has promised to reward.

However, there will be those of the justified in which His work will not end in glorification:

Romans 14:15, 20

15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense
.

Compare that with 1 Corinthians 8:9-10

9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Now compare that with another passage that discusses stumbling and stumbling blocks, a passage directed to the disciples of Jesus:

Mark 9:42-50

**42"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
43"If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
44where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 45"If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into (hell,
46]where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.]
47"If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
48where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
49"For everyone will be salted with fire.
50"Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." **

Jesus is giving this warning to the “salt of the earth”, his disciples. How does “salt” loses its flavor? The context clearly inidcates that salt loses its flavor through sin. What happens to salt that loses its flavor?

Matthew 5:13

**13"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. **

The “trampling” is an image of eternal damnation which we vividly see in Mark 9:43-48. Therefore, the “perishing” and “destruction” Paul has in view is eternal damnation. In fact, “perish” and “destruction” are used as synonyms for eternal damnation.

Consequently, there will be those in which the work of God will not end in glorification.

God bless,
Michael


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