Catholic view of salvation vs. "Bad News Religion" view

I’d like to start a new thread to respond to something Stingray posted on another thread. H seemed surprised that he received responses that chastised him for his post here.

Originally Posted by Stingray

Congratulations on leaving the LDS! Unfortunately, you’ve decided to join the CC which is very similar to the LDS with regards to its many false teachings. I’m just curious, how long had you been out of the LDS before you decided to join the CC? …else. Here is a very good website that ministers to people who have had experiences similar to yours: Check it out if you get a chance.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

God bless,


You seemed surprised that your simple post got such a response. I’ve underlined and bolded the things which I found offensive.

I also went to the link you provided and watched numerous times (to ensure I understood fully what it was saying) the video clip for “Bad News Religion” to promote the book by Greg Albrecht.

A couple of things I found worth commenting on there:

  1. "…all we do falls short of God’s perfection [TRUE]

  2. "and nothing we do, be it good or bad, changes His love for us [TRUE]

  3. "or His willingness to accept us. [also TRUE]

  4. ", no matter how many bad or evil things you’ve done, no matter how much pain or s uffering you’ve caused in your own life or that of others. [TRUE, although one must confess one’s sins, do penance and seek to amend one’s ways to receive God’s forgiveness. Alternatively, one can be perfectly contrite, but I’d rather go for the known grace of confession.]

  5. "God’s Grace completely covers you and forgives you. [FALSE]

God’s grace doesn’t COVER us, it converts us. We are made worthy of salvation by the very nature of Christ’s incarnation. It was because God humbled himself in the nature of humanity that we are worthy of joining Him in heaven. It is Christ’s sacrifice that paid the debt of our sins. It is our joining in that sacrifice that sanctifies us and the whole world.


God’s grace doesn’t COVER us, it converts us.

Amen. I have nothing to add, your honor.

Actually, the one thing I’d like to add is that the Calvin idea of Christ’s sacrifice covering us, like a snow covered pile of dung is something I personally find repulsive, as though He can lie to dad to cover for us when we do wrong.

My Christ wouldn’t lie to anyone for anything. God is Truth and knows all, so this would be an impossibility!

That being said, it needs to be something else that’s going on, and it’s that we are converted into something that can be adequate for receipt into heaven. Hence the need for Purgatory, where our remaining attachment to sin can be purged. We must be perfected prior to entering heaven and few have managed to attain this while on earth.

Ah that I may die shortly after a good confession, having received Communion and Last Rites, and immediately after saying the Rosary with my family. A plenary indulgence and no outstanding sin to seperate me from God. Sounds like the wind I want under my sails before I fly!

God Bless,


[quote=CARose]Actually, the one thing I’d like to add is that the Calvin idea of Christ’s sacrifice covering us, like a snow covered pile of dung is something I personally find repulsive, as though He can lie to dad to cover for us when we do wrong.


Where do you find this idea in Calvin?
Have you read any of the early sections of Book 3 of the Institutes (1559 edition)? I grew up in the Wesleyan tradition with many of the same preconceptions about Calvinism that Catholics have. I was blown away by the beauty and power of what Calvin has to say about regeneration (i.e., real internal transformation) in the Institutes. I have all sorts of issues with Calvin and Calvinism (including the concept of imputed righteousness, which he shared with Luther), but he certainly did not downplay the importance of sanctification.

In Christ,


P.S. Stingray’s comment equating Catholicism to Mormonism is nonsense. I just wanted to go on record in that regard, since my recent posts have tended to focus on my disagreements with Catholicism. Apart from the fact that the big problem with Mormons is their doctrine of God, not their soteriology–I’ve talked to Mormon missionaries, and I’ve talked to devout, well-informed Catholics. Their doctrine of works is not the same. Mormons come out of the Restorationist tradition (although they are of course far more heretical than other Restorationists), which really does tend to see good works as a matter of obeying God’s law and hence meeting the conditions for salvation. This is quite different from the Catholic/Orthodox (or Wesleyan) view of God’s grace transforming us into His likeness. My “Campbellite” friends generally admit that this is a problem in their tradition. For Mormons it’s a far bigger problem, both because they’re more extreme in it and because their other heresies give them no counterbalance to it. (Campbellites are, whatever else you say about them, remorselessly Biblical, and this keeps them from going too far astray.)

In Christ,


[quote=Contarini]Where do you find this idea in Calvin?

In Christ,


Did I inappropriately attribute the quote of “a dunghill covered in snow” to Calvin? Was it Luther who said this? If so, I stand corrected and apologize for the error.

I heard it from a Catholic Apologist, but I have some source material of Luthers in my personal library, I’ll see if I can find the quote. If anyone else out there can help with a specific reference, I’d greatly appreciate it!

God Bless you Edwin, Thanks for keeping me honest!


I would appreciate it if someone could give an exact reference for the quote. I hear it thrown about all the time but have yet to hear it given a reference. It’s usually ascribed to Luther. Either Luther or Calvin (more likely Luther) might possibly have used it–it is a rhetorical exaggeration (more typical of Luther) that certainly could be interpreted in a way consonant with classical Protestant theology. But it doesn’t really do justice to the teaching of any of the Reformers?

According to my advisor, Luther once claimed that he wanted to be known as the “doctor of good works” ("doctor"as in “teacher”). I can’t give you a reference for that one either, admittedly.

In Christ,



I too would like to know the exact source of the quote. I was quoting what I’d heard quoted, but as noted above, I got even the source person confused. Sorry about that, guess I’ve been busted for being human.

But seriously, if anyone lurking here on the threads has something to add regarding the source of the quote, I’d love to get it. It certainly bugs me that anyone would suggest that we’re completely unworthy garbage and that only through a game of covering our wickedness can God be fooled and we gain acceptance into heaven in an unpure state, covered by Christ and all he did, but still less than worthy.

My Catholic understanding is that in uniting Himself with our humanity at the incarnation, it became possible for us to attain heaven through Divine adoption. Then at the crucifixion, through Christ’s passion, He paid the debt of our sins that was so great it was / is impossible for mere mortals to pay, for our sins go against the infinite goodness of God Himself. But Christ also came to provide for us an example by which we can unite ourselves with Him, in following all He has asked us to do. If we all live according to the love he has decreed, the rest of the world will know Christ through our example. We can begin to make His kingdom come through our own actions as we strive to return to the lives of the new Adam and the new Eve, Jesus and Mary.


I know that I read the dunghill covered with snow quote in a book about Luther–but I’m not at home right now and don’t have the book with me. Maybe someone can find the citation.



I’ve heard it enough to be fairly certain it’s a real quote and would truly love it if someone could help us with the correct citation.


Hi all,

This is completely off topic but, speaking of Mormons, did you know that there is a small enclave of Mormon actors/playwrights/creatives living and performing in New York City? I don’t think they all came here as missionaries or as a group. I think they just want to do what every creative person who comes to NYC wants to do…make a living and a name for themselves.

One of the playwrights wrote a musical about the Berlin Airlift called, appropriately, Berlin. It’s been performed Off-Off Broadway at a theatre owned and operated by…The Salvation Army!

That’s enough trivia for today.


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