Losing your salvation?

I was doing some salvation surfing :smiley: today and came across an interesting article about James Dobson. Apparently, this influential leader does not believe in OSAS like I assumed! As a non-denominational Christian, I always thought that non-Catholics were usually of the OSAS persuasion. I myself have found plenty of NT scripture that tells me even the faithful can walk away from God–and Dobson agrees! Is this surprising to anyone else here?

Here is the article with the link below it.

I understand that your denomination teaches that it is possible for Christians to lose their salvation. I’m sure you are aware that there has been a debate going on for centuries, often referred to as the Calvinistic/Armenian debate, with Scriptures to back up both sides of the argument. Anyway, in light of your belief, following is a message I have received from Dr. James Dobson/Focus on the Family. Please advise if this viewpoint is the same viewpoint you hold to.

You asked about Dr. Dobson's beliefs regarding eternal security. He holds to the classic Armenian view -- that is, he believes God never violates the free will of the individual. Dr. Dobson feels that God does not force people to accept Him, nor will He lock them into an earlier commitment if they subsequently choose deliberately and willfully to disobey His known will.

But while Dr. Dobson does not affirm the doctrine of eternal security, he is at the same time confident that our loving God will not banish us from fellowship with Him for our mistakes, human frailties, faults, and failings. God's forgiveness for sin is one of the foundation stones of the gospel message. Still, this does not change Dr. Dobson's conviction that the choice is ultimately ours. He believes it is possible for an individual to remove himself from the grace of God, and exit by the door through which he originally entered -- the will.

This means that, in Dr. Dobson's view, it is possible for a born-again Christian to shake his fist in God's face and say in essence, "I will have my own way!" When that occurs, "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin." This scripture, which is quoted below in its larger context, is one of at least fifty references that may be cited in support of the theological perspective to which Dr. Dobson ascribes:

*For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.* Heb. 10:26-31 KJV

Dr. Dobson realizes many good Christians have drawn different conclusions regarding this issue. He feels it is an honest difference in understanding on the part of equally committed people who are seeking the truth through imperfect eyes. "We see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (I Cor. 13:12)

We would emphasize the following points. The Bible teaches very clearly that it is possible to fall from faith (1 Corinthians 10:12). It also assures us that God will protect us from falling (1 Corinthians 10:13). The first passage warns us when we are complacent. The second comforts us when we are troubled. Among the other passages that deal with this are Matthew 13:18-23, Hebrews 10:26, and John 10:27-29.

We would, therefore, agree with the basic points which Dr. Dobson makes about the possibility of falling from faith but not with some of the other aspects of his answer. The Armenian view held by Dobson affirms that our free will cooperates in our conversion to Christ. We believe that our natural will resists God, and our will only cooperates with the Holy Spirit after conversion. We do not by nature have a free will to make a decision for Christ. We do not by nature have the freedom to choose for Christ. We do have the freedom to chose against him. From our perspective then, Dobson's answer is half right.

From wels.net/sab/qa/doc-just-salv-01.html

Yes he is half right. We do have the freewill to choose Christ.

OSAS is a “Too Good to be True” doctrine.

I accept the Lord Jesus as my savior and walk with him for many years. The OSAS concept says that no matter what I do, my salvation is assured.

Well after many years I decide to go on a Killing Spree and the cops eventually kill me in the process of killing someone. According to OSAS I will still go to heaven.

Does that not strike you as odd?

[quote=neweyes]I was doing some salvation surfing :smiley: today and came across an interesting article about James Dobson. Apparently, this influential leader does not believe in OSAS like I assumed! As a non-denominational Christian, I always thought that non-Catholics were usually of the OSAS persuasion. I myself have found plenty of NT scripture that tells me even the faithful can walk away from God–and Dobson agrees! Is this surprising to anyone else here?
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I’m glad you’ve discovered this. I keep trying to point it out on this board, but the Baptist din is so loud it’s hard for the rest of us to get a hearing . . . .

I’m also glad to hear that Dobson adheres to the teachings of his church (Nazarene) rather than caving in to the general evangelical American consensus on this point. Dobson comes under a lot of fire from his fellow Wesleyans (I’m using that as a broad term for Methodists, Nazarenes, many Pentecostals, and various other groups that derive from John Wesley in some way) who see him as more of a generic nondenominational evangelical than a real Wesleyan.

One note–the proper term is “Arminian” not “Armenian” (Armenian is an ethnic group and there is no connnection between the two). I don’t like to call myself an “Arminian” as a matter of fact, but we don’t need to go into the reasons here!

Edwin

Ok, looking at OSAS, my girlfriend (who is a non-Catholic) and I were talking about this the other day. Which groups believe in OSAS, and can someone give me a website that I can point her to that indicates that they believe in OSAS?

Thanks.

[quote=sadie2723]Ok, looking at OSAS, my girlfriend (who is a non-Catholic) and I were talking about this the other day. Which groups believe in OSAS, and can someone give me a website that I can point her to that indicates that they believe in OSAS?

Thanks.
[/quote]

That’s a tough one, because OSAS is the dominant view among American evangelicals. So lots of nondenominational Christians believe in it, and some members of denominations that aren’t supposed to believe in it (even Methodists!) actually do.

The main tradition that believes in OSAS is the Baptist tradition, though some Baptists (Free Will Baptists, for instance) do not.
Presbyterians and other Calvinist churches (any church with “Reformed” in its name, for instance) historically believe in it but in a somewhat different form, more closely linked to the doctrine of predestination.

Edwin

[quote=Contarini]That’s a tough one, because OSAS is the dominant view among American evangelicals. So lots of nondenominational Christians believe in it, and some members of denominations that aren’t supposed to believe in it (even Methodists!) actually do.

The main tradition that believes in OSAS is the Baptist tradition, though some Baptists (Free Will Baptists, for instance) do not.
Presbyterians and other Calvinist churches (any church with “Reformed” in its name, for instance) historically believe in it but in a somewhat different form, more closely linked to the doctrine of predestination.

Edwin
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Thanks! That is just what I needed!

What is ironic is that you can’t lose what you do not yet have. A lot of people mix up redemption with salvation and so believe they are saved. But, redemption is a past event and salvation is a future event. Christ has already redeemed the world, not just believers. But, in order to be saved believers have to live the life of Christ in the world because salvation is what will happen at the end of their lives and what we are journeying towards not something that has already happened. We can have a moral certainty of salvation if we are living according to the Gospel, but we cannot say we have obtained what is yet to come until that time–comes.

What an excellent way to put that, Della. When I first became a Christian some 10 years ago, I was told my salvation is assured. Now that I’ve been reading the scriptures more, I can see many warnings from Paul to those who are already believers. Why warn them? It is becoming so obvious to me that yes, indeed, one can fall away and “shake their fist” in God’s face.

Not that I’m scared that I will lose my salvation, because who would ever willingly want to do such a thing? And my mistakes/sins do not separate me from God as long as I don’t use them to dissengage myself from Him.

In other words, even though I’m not a Catholic, I can see you guys are on the right track on OSAS.

[quote=neweyes]What an excellent way to put that, Della. When I first became a Christian some 10 years ago, I was told my salvation is assured. Now that I’ve been reading the scriptures more, I can see many warnings from Paul to those who are already believers. Why warn them? It is becoming so obvious to me that yes, indeed, one can fall away and “shake their fist” in God’s face.

Not that I’m scared that I will lose my salvation, because who would ever willingly want to do such a thing? And my mistakes/sins do not separate me from God as long as I don’t use them to dissengage myself from Him.

In other words, even though I’m not a Catholic, I can see you guys are on the right track on OSAS.
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My suggestion to you when reading the bible, sit down, blank your mind of any and all preconcieved notions. Read every verse starting with Matthew and scrutinize every verse. I remember my days as a pentecostal and we went to church sunday morning, sunday night and on wednesday night. There were a lot of New Testament verses that were never even preached about during those twelve years. And I found out why during the process of becoming Catholic. I have also noticed in my Protestant Study Bible, some verses that support the Catholic position are devoid of commentary. Getting my drift?

[quote=JoeyWarren]My suggestion to you when reading the bible, sit down, blank your mind of any and all preconcieved notions. Read every verse starting with Matthew and scrutinize every verse. I remember my days as a pentecostal and we went to church sunday morning, sunday night and on wednesday night. There were a lot of New Testament verses that were never even preached about during those twelve years. And I found out why during the process of becoming Catholic. I have also noticed in my Protestant Study Bible, some verses that support the Catholic position are devoid of commentary. Getting my drift?
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Good point. I went to a Protestant service this weekend in which the minister was preaching on James chaper 5. There is a verse in there that says we need to confess our sins to each other. The minster did not talk about that in the surmon. I later emailed him about it…hold your breath…he could not answer for why he did not address it except to say that he was “following the Protestant line”. What the heck does that mean? Well, my impression is that he is telling people what they want to hear as opposed to telling them the truth.

[quote=sadie2723]Good point. I went to a Protestant service this weekend in which the minister was preaching on James chaper 5. There is a verse in there that says we need to confess our sins to each other. The minster did not talk about that in the surmon. I later emailed him about it…hold your breath…he could not answer for why he did not address it except to say that he was “following the Protestant line”. What the heck does that mean? Well, my impression is that he is telling people what they want to hear as opposed to telling them the truth.
[/quote]

So true. And that is the true essence of Protestantism. It’s like when they get to a portion that supports the Catholic position, the mind’s eye glazes over (like a catarac) and they are not able to see it for what it is and end up skipping over it.

Not to sound harsh or uncharitable, but this “Protestant Filtration” of scripture reeks of Satan. The filtration started with ML and has gotten progressively worse as each year progresses.

And when you confront them with a particular issue, they say your are twisting it… :eek:

[quote=JoeyWarren]So true. And that is the true essence of Protestantism. It’s like when they get to a portion that supports the Catholic position, the mind’s eye glazes over (like a catarac) and they are not able to see it for what it is and end up skipping over it.

Not to sound harsh or uncharitable, but this “Protestant Filtration” of scripture reeks of Satan. The filtration started with ML and has gotten progressively worse as each year progresses.

[/quote]

You are harsh and uncharitable, because you are just plain wrong.

For one thing, there is no such thing as an “essence of Protestantism.”

For another, Catholics “filter” Scripture plenty as well. You may have the right filter, but you sure have one.

Edwin

[quote=Contarini]You are harsh and uncharitable, because you are just plain wrong.

For one thing, there is no such thing as an “essence of Protestantism.”

For another, Catholics “filter” Scripture plenty as well. You may have the right filter, but you sure have one.

Edwin
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:frowning: I knew I would strike a nerve. Can you give me an example of a filter and please start a new thread on it. Thanks :slight_smile:

[quote=JoeyWarren]:frowning: I knew I would strike a nerve. Can you give me an example of a filter and please start a new thread on it. Thanks :slight_smile:
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I have no interest in starting a new thread. If you are seriously so blind as to think that Catholics don’t “filter” Scripture, then there’s no way to have a reasonable discussion with you.

The far more common, and more reasonable, Catholic line is that everyone filters Scripture and Catholics do it right.

Edwin

[quote=Contarini]I have no interest in starting a new thread. If you are seriously so blind as to think that Catholics don’t “filter” Scripture, then there’s no way to have a reasonable discussion with you.

The far more common, and more reasonable, Catholic line is that everyone filters Scripture and Catholics do it right.

Edwin
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oh come on, start a new thread on this. I am interested in the turn out on this issue.

I have to agree with Contarini. Everyone filters scripture, even Catholics. We all see what we want to see and gloss over what we don’t want to see. The best way to say it is that Catholics have the correct filter.

[quote=Contarini]I have no interest in starting a new thread. If you are seriously so blind as to think that Catholics don’t “filter” Scripture, then there’s no way to have a reasonable discussion with you.

The far more common, and more reasonable, Catholic line is that everyone filters Scripture and Catholics do it right.

Edwin
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But you don’t believe that Catholics do it right. That’s a given or you would be a Catholic.

The whole concept of filtering Scripture more than implies bias. I would ask you, how can the Church that gave the Bible to the world be biased? Is a lover biased who reads a love letter addressed to him, and understands things in it that another person wouldn’t? No, of course not.

The Bible didn’t dictate Catholic teaching, rather it is the witness to Catholic teaching. No filtering by the Catholic Church, Christ’s Body, is necessary to understand what it means.

[quote=Della]But you don’t believe that Catholics do it right. That’s a given or you would be a Catholic.

The whole concept of filtering Scripture more than implies bias. I would ask you, how can the Church that gave the Bible to the world be biased? Is a lover biased who reads a love letter addressed to him, and understands things in it that another person wouldn’t? No, of course not.

The Bible didn’t dictate Catholic teaching, rather it is the witness to Catholic teaching. No filtering by the Catholic Church, Christ’s Body, is necessary to understand what it means.
[/quote]

Thank you Della.

[quote=Della]But you don’t believe that Catholics do it right. That’s a given or you would be a Catholic.

The whole concept of filtering Scripture more than implies bias. I would ask you, how can the Church that gave the Bible to the world be biased? Is a lover biased who reads a love letter addressed to him, and understands things in it that another person wouldn’t? No, of course not.

The Bible didn’t dictate Catholic teaching, rather it is the witness to Catholic teaching. No filtering by the Catholic Church, Christ’s Body, is necessary to understand what it means.
[/quote]

The Church does not filter scripture but each individual Catholic does. It is hard for a person to be completely free of bias.

[quote=jimmy]The Church does not filter scripture but each individual Catholic does. It is hard for a person to be completely free of bias.
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But, we have 2000 years of meditation and study of Sacred Tradition to help us while many a Protestant, has only himself or his pastor to rely on. Catholics aren’t left floundering in the dark, hoping they can get it right. We have the Magisterium to settle the important issues, while most others do not. Yes?

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