Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


#1603

How can you be in accord with the Spirit if you don’t even believe Jesus’s words which are Spirit and Life?


#1604

Protestants believe they have the correct understanding of Jesus’s words just like Catholics believe they have the correct understanding. One of them is wrong, God’s grace is greater than the misunderstanding of the other.


#1605

Would you say that because of this are they different gospels? Not looking to argue this just wondering what your opinion is as I have wrestled with this question myself.


#1606

No, it is because we are human and are reading text that is 2000 years old and is in a language that isn’t spoken (at least like it was 2000 years ago). Even the early church fathers have to be read in context of what concerns they were addressing and people argue over what they meant just as they argue over what the meaning of specific words and context of Bible passages. Plus, we all hold prejudices based on what we have been taught and our experiences. Add to that we now have religious freedom in that the state doesn’t dictate to its citizens what and how to believe.

The divisions in Christianity aren’t because the Gospel is flawed, it is because people are flawed. I sometimes wish the New Testament was more like the Old Testament in giving more direct instruction on worship and liturgy. But I guess if it did then it would just be replacing the Mosaic Law with a Christian Law.
It is also interesting that even though the Jews had specific instructions on feast and sacrifices and worship, they still had division at the time of Christ. One book I read said that in addition to the Pharisees and Sadducees and Hellenist that there were as many as 20 other Jewish groups in the 1st Century. They all considered each other Jewish but they argued over scripture and tradition just like we do today.


#1607

Perhaps, but bad doctrine can be nonetheless dangerous.
For example, I feel much better that infants are baptized than not baptizing them. Are they condemned if the die without baptism, one certainly prays they are not.


#1608

Catholic here, convert from non-denom/baptist/Prot/evangelicalism.

One big stumbling block for me on the journey home was the issue of justification.

And what I discovered is that most people are ignorant about what the Church actually teaches.

“Faith alone” is only wrong if “faith” is isolated (or opposed to) love.

But faith, if it be united with love (if it be in the heart of man), does have the power of justification.

And in this sense, there is a certain “kind” of faith - namely, a faith united with love - that does indeed qualify for “justification by faith alone.”

And James is not saying that “faith united with love” does not justify. Rather, James is saying that faith alone (faith without love, or “head knowledge/mental assent” as our Prot brethren would say) does not justify by itself, but is brought to completion by works of love.

And works of love (including the reception of the Sacraments) help to preserve and increase our justice. But “faith alone” -if understood as a faith in the heart, that is united with love - does indeed produce initial justification.


#1609

I’m following you, what would you consider as “another gospel” ?


#1610

That’s what it all boils down to. A lack of understanding of what God has clearly stated, or sheer mental gymnastics. This was the understanding ever since the birth of Christianity, that Christ is truly present in the bread and wine offered. So I still don’t see how God can favor a group who clearly dodges this understanding.


#1611

Any revelation or teaching that wasn’t taught by Christ and the Apostles such as Mormons, Islam and so forth.
Any change to the Gospel that distorts the message of the Gospel or the words of the Bible. Like the JW adding the letter a into John 1. That little a makes a huge difference and totally distorts the Gospel.
Anyone preaching to follow me, instead of to follow Christ.

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

The teachings we fuss over are different understandings of the Gospel and how things work and fit together but they don’t distort the central message of the Gospel. Catholics and Evangelicals agree on who Christ is, what He has done, and the salvation and forgiveness comes through being a follower of Christ. We disagree on the details of how different things effect that forgiveness and position in Christ, (baptism, faith and so forth) but I personally believe we have a shared faith and heritage that binds us together.


#1612

Millions of people, many of whom have committed their lives studying church history and theology, disagree.


#1613

1 Timothy Chapter 6: 17-19

17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

1 Peter 4:7-9

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

KJV


#1614

Then those millions are in disagreement with Christ Himself and His Apostles.


#1615

And they would disagree with your assessment, as well


#1616

If there are those who believe they can judge themselves saved, they belong to no tradition that I’m aware of. But even if there are, saying that all protestants believe it is like saying all Catholics believe in women’s ordination because of these folks.


#1617

I agree that bad doctrine can be dangerous. You brought up infant baptism. Since baptizing infants is your tradition you naturally should feel better if they are baptized, that to me is logical. I believe God honors those who sincerely baptize their infants even though that was not the tradition I was raised with. I am not willing to say that all who practice it are not accepted by God. However, to someone who believes that baptism was meant to follow an individuals own response to God at an age where they understand what they are doing, it is easy to look at the danger the doctrine of infant baptism may present when one who was baptized as an infant proclaims that he is now a Christian and that is all he ever has to do to be right with God. In a sense it is like a OSAS by infant baptism.


#1618

Very good point…and thanks for making me aware that there are female Catholic priests at all. Fascinating!


#1619

Anyone who reads John 6 will realize that the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist is true. It takes a lot of mental gymnastics to have another assessment.


#1620

I thank you for that reply…i was literally researching the Eucharist to understand its Truth before you posted that and had no expectation to see it on this thread…Blessings…God is Good!


#1621

I think here, you are making an excellent argument for the absolute need of Tradition and a magisterium. And I ask next, because I truly do not know, do Catholics argue with Catholics over what the early church fathers wrote? Or is it the same as with Scripture, Protestants disagreeing with Catholics?


#1622

Thank Him, not me.:grinning::grinning:


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