[quote=midgetface]Evangelicals and others:
I am helping someone trying to reroot himself in his Catholicism while contemplating marriage to an Evangelical. I am trying to understand her view on sinfullness if her salvation is already complete. Hence once saved always saved.
First here’s some quick background with not too much detail due to the subject matter:
They are currently struggling with something we Catholics would consider mortal sin, sex outside of marriage. When they fail he (the Catholic) wants to go to Confession, reconcile it and try harder next time to remain in a more prayerful and thereby chaste, state. She seems to be letting it get to her so much that they fail more often. She is a wonderful girl and considers their actions to be very sinful and wants to overcome this but is really struggling.
Here is where my question comes in. I advised him that she might be struggling more in some ways because this terribly sinful behavior is something a person “born again” would not do because she has “been saved.”
Does she think her orginal “saved” was not real because she is now doing actions that are outside of Salvation?
I hear the old story about…“Well what about the guy who gets saved and then goes out and lives a sinful life?” The answer I get is that, “he wasn’t really saved.” Is that what is shaking her so much?
I told him that Evangelicals believe that works are a result of faith while Catholics hold that works are in conjunction with faith, hence faith AND works. Am I understanding her dilemma correctly that since she is sinning (bad works) that she wonders if she doesn’t have faith or salvation to begin with?
He said that might be the case from things she has said. I told him the Church teaches that we will not know our state of salvation until we are dead so he should “work it out with fear and trembling” and help her do the same.
Maybe I should have posted this on an Evangelical site, but I do not know which branch she might be so I thought I would post here to see if I could get a general consensus. Am I on the right track with how she might be thinking or I am or :whacky: ?
The doctrine of ‘once-saved-always saved’, properly called ‘eternal security’ is rooted in Calvinism. From this point of view, it is God who is the actor in salvation, as humans are by nature at enmity with God and would never act to choose Him of their own ‘free will’. Nor would humans, of their own free will, choose to remain in God’s grace–human will is utterly depraved and would seek to enthrone itself in God’s place, were God not to intervene. This does not suggest that Christians may not be plagued with what are known as ‘besetting sins’–Calvinists generally reject any notion of perfectionism and believe that all humans continue to sin throughout their lives. That one Christian repeats a single sin over-and-over, whilst another commits a dozen different sinful acts, it amounts to the same thing.
Calvinists recognize the possiblity of a ‘false profession’ and even that one might be self-deceived into such a false profession. However they tend to be more inclined to encourage those who are laboring under temptation than accusative of such souls. The fact that the young lady feels guilt and remorse about her situation would suggest she MAY be among the Elect, as Calvinists would understand it. Much of this would depend less upon whether she is plagued by one particular besetting sin as by whether or not her life reflects spiritual growth generally. In the spiritual realm as in natural life, birth brings growth, and if the young lady is indeed reflecting true spiritual growth, then she can rest upon God to bring about in her life what is needful. If the young lady finds that she is under inner compulsion to continue to pray, to read her Bible, to attend Church, to become a better person in her dealings with others, etcetera, and if she has indeed sincerely professed Christ as her Savior and Lord–then she likely as not is of the Elect. This would be pretty close to how this issue would be addressed among Calvinists.
By the way–not all Evangelicals accept OSAS. Half or so do NOT accept it. Their theological position is known as Arminianism, which puts more emphasis upon human free will and human participation/cooperation in God’s salvation of humanity. Hopefully this hasn’t caused your eyes to glaze over.