Faith and TRUE Faith... What's the Difference?


#1

This is a question that came up in the Catholics Accused of Worshipping Mary thread and I thought it warrented it’s own because it was detracting from the OP.

I often speak of TRUE Faith in many of my posts because I believe that there is FAITH then there is TRUE FAITH. You can have Faith that God exists, as the pharisees did, but TRUE FAITH means that you have to swallow EVERYTHING that God commands. That Jesus is God and died for our sins, which the pharisees did not believe, this is what I mean by TRUE Faith. There is no such thing as cafateria faith. You can’t just pick and choose what you are going to have faith in and what you aren’t. As evident when Jesus let those disciples walk away when they could not accept what He was teaching.

What do you think?


#2

You may be able to talk about True Faith all you want, there is an aspect of true faith and not true faith. But in a lot of places Faith is equated with belief in scripture too the two words are synanomous.

The issue is that a lot of people even Protestants confuse Faith with believs. James is very clear to us that Faith alone does not save.

We define faith in Catholicism as belief. We say belief hope and love are necessary. You can make a new definition of faith all you want, but it doesn’t change the words meaning.


#3

I think you make an interesting point. I would add an element. I think having what you have described as ‘true faith’, that is that Jesus is the Lord, is the easy part. I hear it in people all the time. “I have accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior” as they are on their way home to their live-in girlfriend, after picking up their kid’s from their baby’s mama’s house while using the company truck (ok, I’m being a smarty pants…forgive me). I hear it from Catholics all the time - “I accept some of the teachings of the Holy Mother Church, but I don’t like that part about artificial birth control, no siree bob” as they are on their way home to their live-in boyfriend’s house, after picking up the kid’s from their…you get the idea.

The element I would add is based on my own experience. It is one of deepening faith. It has come through my deepening appreciation of the richness of Catholic Tradition, teaching and the Sacraments. Adding daily Mass when I can, saying the Rosary five days a week on my break at work, saying the Angelus every day, praying on my knees before bed every night and receiving the Eucharist as often as possible. I will also say that I added an hour of Eucharistic Adoration to my life 8 weeks ago and there is a joy that has become a part of my heart that can only come from knowing that I can sit quietly, alone with the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of My Lord and Savior and just bask in that Presence.

So, yes…there is Faith, there is true Faith and there is a Deepening of the Truth that comes with practicing the True Faith.


#4

True faith is believing everything the Catholic Church infallibly teaches regarding faith and morals. Anything that is less than this is a faith that is defective.


#5

I agree with your statements. While at Mass yesterday I became almost enraged at some people. Filing in after the Homily starts just to get there in time for the Eucharist, talking the whole time(I’m not talking about children, but adults), the look of “My God, when will he stop talking”, etc. I know we all bring our problems with us to mass, but we are SUPPOSED TO BE BROUGHT UP TO HEAVEN WHEN WE ARE AT MASS!!! Do you think you are going to show that much disrespect if we were physically in heaven during mass?

Sorry, lol, I just see that as an example of people showing picking and choosing what is important and just talking or doing whatever during the rest.

Outside of Catholicism, picking and choosing has given us 33,000 + denominations, in 1929, the Episcopalean(sp?) church has a meeting and decides contraception is no longer a sin when from the beginning of the reformation, all protestant denoms denounced it, now most have embraced it. All the picking and choosing is an afront to Christ and what he prayed for us (that we would be one as He and the Father are one), and that we would show unity so the world would know He was sent by the Father. We can’t have 33,000 unities and expect people to come to Christianity, no wonder atheism is so rampant now.

I also hate to hear “well, as long as we agree on the important parts of scripture…”. I need someone to pointout the parts of scripture that aren’t important.


#6

[quote=bekalc]The issue is that a lot of people, even Protestants, confuse Faith with beliefs. James is very clear to us that Faith alone does not save.
[/quote]

Where did I day that I thought Faith alone is what saves you??? :confused:

Here is my statement…

Your LOVE for God fuels TRUE Faith which, in turn, produces Good Works.

From my research this is the formula of Christianity. It’s simple but true.

John 2:14-26 (New Living Translation)
14Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone. 15Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, 16and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well”–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all–it is dead and useless.

18Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." I say, "I can't see your faith if you don't have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds."

19Do you still think it's enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! 20Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?

21Don't you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did--by his actions. 23And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: "Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous."[e] He was even called "the friend of God."[f] 24So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

25Rahab the prostitute is another example of this. She was made right with God by her actions--when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead without good deeds.

John 2:14 proves that there are different kinds of Faith. He says “That KIND of faith can’t save anyone.”


#7

These people want to have Jesus as their Savior but not as their Lord. Having Jesus as your Lord necessarily involves obeying him and what he commands. :rolleyes:

There is good reason why antinomian OSAS Protestant heretics are accused of teaching non-Lordship salvationNon-Lordship Salvation
This is the teaching that one can receive Jesus Christ as Savior without necessarily receiving him as Lord …


#8

[quote=jesusluv]Outside of Catholicism, picking and choosing has given us 33,000 + denominations, in 1929, the Episcopalean(sp?) church has a meeting and decides contraception is no longer a sin when from the beginning of the reformation, all protestant denoms denounced it, now most have embraced it. All the picking and choosing is an afront to Christ and what he prayed for us (that we would be one as He and the Father are one), and that we would show unity so the world would know He was sent by the Father. We can’t have 33,000 unities and expect people to come to Christianity, no wonder atheism is so rampant now.

I also hate to hear “well, as long as we agree on the important parts of scripture…”. I need someone to pointout the parts of scripture that aren’t important.
[/quote]

I guess I should state that I AM protestant. LOL. But I am told more often than naught that I am more catholic than I like to admit… LOL :bigyikes:


#9

[quote=Singinbeauty]I often speak of TRUE Faith in many of my posts because I believe that there is FAITH then there is TRUE FAITH. You can have Faith that God exists, as the pharisees did, but TRUE FAITH means that you have to swallow EVERYTHING that God commands. That Jesus is God and died for our sins, which the pharisees did not believe, this is what I mean by TRUE Faith. There is no such thing as cafateria faith. You can’t just pick and choose what you are going to have faith in and what you aren’t. As evident when Jesus let those disciples walk away when they could not accept what He was teaching.

What do you think?
[/quote]

Singing, I’m once again impressed w/ you. As soon as the thread got off on another track, you created a new thread.

I understand what you are saying but you are creating a definition of a word (faith) that is not correct. Words mean something so that thoughts, ideas, principles and truth can mean something. When we “make up” our own definition, we are unable to communicate with others who have a different definition. Faith means by definition “unquestioning belief”. Pope Benedict (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) took 90 pages in “Introduction to Christianity” to explain what it means to believe and faith means that you approach what you hold as truth without question or reservation.

You are trying to add the component of “love” to faith and this is not semantically correct. Love is our response to our faith but it isn’t a prerequisite or automatic. I can unquestioningly believe that God exists and have no love (which Paul called a faith without life but it still remains faith). Once I have Faith, I need to pray for the gifts of Love, Hope, and Charity. These are all distinct gifts from God for which we must respond to God’s invititation to Faith, His unconditional Love, His unending promise of his Mercy through Christ, and calling to Witness the Good News.

In short, you are trying to combine two distinct "thoughts (faith and love) into your own definition that you call “True Faith”. While in your mind, you know what you are talking about but many other people have definitions of “True Faith” that are different and these differences erect barriors for effective communication. For instance, some use “True Faith” when referencing what the Catholic Church teaches, others use “True Faith” to describe Mormonism, others use “True Faith” to describe Paganism.

In fact, maybe I’m pretty thick-headed, when I read your definition of “True Faith” what I hear is the combination of Faith and Charity as Charity is the outward response to Faith in God and basking in God’s Love and Hope. Anyway, see why it is imperative that to communicate thoughts we ahve to be diligent about using words for which the definitions are clear and universally understood?


#10

[quote=Matt16_18]True faith is believing everything the Catholic Church infallibly teaches regarding faith and morals. Anything that is less than this is a faith that is defective.
[/quote]

Hmmmmmmm…interesting…

So does that mean…let’s say I don’t have a devotion toward our Lady (believe me, this was hard to accept but it’s growing!), then I don’t have TRUE faith then? I’m asking this because I heard somewhere on EWTN that having a devotion towards Mary is a MUST to be Catholic?


#11

[quote=Singinbeauty]I guess I should state that I AM protestant. LOL. But I am told more often than naught that I am more catholic than I like to admit… LOL :bigyikes:
[/quote]

I think you are too - :slight_smile: and I think that is wonderful :wink:


#12

Actually, I just heard Jimmy Akin give this exact definition on last Thursday’s “Q&A Open Forum” program! :slight_smile:

[quote=Matt16_18]True faith is believing everything the Catholic Church infallibly teaches regarding faith and morals. Anything that is less than this is a faith that is defective.
[/quote]


#13

This Sunday after Mass I was talking to my friend about forgiving someone who did something to her and she called the person she was mad at “a pig!”.

I can’t judge her so I wont, but I wish I would have said something like “she is human, just like you are and we all have our faults”

I was so surprised that someone hold anger inside them at others and just let it fester. Love is so important yet many of us lead a life where we love just those easy to be loved.

This is a little off topic, yet since the subject of love just came up, I wanted to express how important it is for Christians to lead lives with love in them for everyone.

One of my favorite verses in the bible.
usccb.org/nab/bible/1corinthians/1corinthians13.htm

God Bless
Scylla

Paris,
I really haven’t had any devotion to our lady until recently, it takes a while, as sometimes we have built in prejudices we have to overcome and fears. Don’t worry focus on Jesus and your imitation of Him, then eventually you will love His mother more.


#14

[quote=Paris Blues]Hmmmmmmm…interesting…

So does that mean…let’s say I don’t have a devotion toward our Lady (believe me, this was hard to accept but it’s growing!), then I don’t have TRUE faith then?
[/quote]

Believing that Mary was immaculately conceived without sin, and that she has been assumed into Heaven is required to have true faith, since these are dogmas of the true faith. One can be a faithful Catholic without having a strong devotion to Mary, but one cannot deny the Church’s Marian dogmas and be a faithful Catholic. Why a Catholic wouldn’t want to know Mary as their loving mother is a different question.

One can’t possess saving faith by mere human effort alone. Supernatural faith is an unmerited gift from God, but we have to accept the gift when it is offered to us.**CCC 162 ** Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: “Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.” To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be “working through charity,” abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church.If you lack the faith that is rooted in charity, ask for it!"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matt. 7-8

And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
Mark 9:23-24

I’m asking this because I heard somewhere on EWTN that having a devotion towards Mary is a MUST to be Catholic?

Not true. Having a devotion to Mary is a gift that is granted by the Holy Spirit. Ask and you shall receive! :slight_smile:


#15

[quote=Singinbeauty]I guess I should state that I AM protestant. LOL. But I am told more often than naught that I am more catholic than I like to admit… LOL :bigyikes:
[/quote]

Well, technically, I am too, but I will enter the church next Easter.


#16

Technically I am Protestant too, but I’m entering the Church as well. I see what you mean about love fueling true faith your totally correct. I think love is more important than faith.

However, this whole “faith alone” justification doctrine is nuts. Because the fact is that love is more important by faith. I think defining faith, hope, and love though is important because in the Catholic way, we make it far more clear.

I even heard a Chinese Protestant who argued that really it should be justification by love.


#17

… if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing

… faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love

1Cor. 13:2 & 13


#18

[quote=Singinbeauty]This is a question that came up in the Catholics Accused of Worshipping Mary thread and I thought it warrented it’s own because it was detracting from the OP.

I often speak of TRUE Faith in many of my posts because I believe that there is FAITH then there is TRUE FAITH. You can have Faith that God exists, as the pharisees did, but TRUE FAITH means that you have to swallow EVERYTHING that God commands. That Jesus is God and died for our sins, which the pharisees did not believe, this is what I mean by TRUE Faith. There is no such thing as cafateria faith. You can’t just pick and choose what you are going to have faith in and what you aren’t. As evident when Jesus let those disciples walk away when they could not accept what He was teaching.

What do you think?
[/quote]

I think it would be better to differentiate the two by saying “Living Faith” and “Dead Faith.”

Just my two cents. :wink:


#19

[quote=jesusluv]Well, technically, I am too, but I will enter the church next Easter.
[/quote]

Oh WELCOME HOME!!!


#20

[quote=bekalc]Technically I am Protestant too, but I’m entering the Church as well. .
[/quote]

I am so excited - WELCOME HOME TO YOU TOO!!!


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