Recently on an Evangelical Protestant forum, I encountered a Pentecostal who was rather adamant about “accepting Christ.” He explained that once we are, we are washed in Christ’s blood and instantly “saved.” No sin we do will be held against us. It’s almost as if we become impeccable in the sight of God. This sounds blasphemous, and as if it would totally undermine Jesus’ whole passion and death.
If you are a Non Catholic Christian do you believe this? Who told you to believe this and why would you believe this?
This sort of thing really worries me. The one who “accepts Christ” doesn’t even have to love Him. He just has to profess with his mouth, and that’s it, he’s done. One-way ticket to Heaven…
I’m not Protestant (by the grace of God) but when people say this kind of thing to me, i quote scripture. Its the only thing they listen to (and they don’t evne listen to that…:rolleyes: ) Anyway, Purgatory verses: Matthew 18:23 (“pay the last debt”), Matthew 12:32 (“forgiveness in the age to come”), and 1 Cor. 3:13 (“saved… yet so, as through fire.”).
I’m not sure if you already knew those ones or not? There are others… Once saved always saved: Phil 2:12, James 2:12, Matthew 18:23 (very good one) and let’s see… Oh, in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus speaks of what will get people to Heaven and Hell… and not once does he mention “accept me as your personal Lord and Savior” (though we Catholics don’t have a probelm with that.) In another passage, when asked how to achieve eternal life, he (surprisingly) still does not say that stuff about “personal Saviior…” He says to obey the Commandments…
Anyway, if any Protesters read this, please explain how these scriptures support Once saved always saved…
i grew up half baptist, half penticostal. more penticostal than anything though.
anyhow, i was told that once we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, than no sins would ever seperate us from God. we could sin and sin some more but all we had to do was confess our sins and they would be forgiven. it’s as if a blanket of Jesus’ blood would cover us when we get to Heaven so God couldn’t do anything.
i always had problems with that though. more so when i was a teenager doubting everything. it’s as if we could abuse children sexually, murder people, burn down churches, join racial organizations, and other vile things and God couldn’t do anything. Luckily, i found the CC and today i will be confirmed, baptized, and reciever the Holy Eucharist today!
I find such beliefs as the ones I have come across to be so dangerous to the condition of one’s soul. Even as a Methodist, I knew something was up with this kind of belief. Apparently though, this isn’t a widespread Methodist view. But, I digress.
I, too am being confirmed and receiving the Eucharist today! Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!
“No-one comes to the father unless the Father draws him”, right?
So the person, usually amongst a group of beleivers (wherever two or three are gathered), feels the pull of God, and responds to Him. I fail to see the problem with that.
What accept Christ means is to repent from all you know to be wrong (repentence) and to believe that Jesus died as a substitute for your sin, the new paschal lamb. Don’t you believe belief in this is necessary for salvation?
Here is where the difference is:
That prot, if unbaptised will usually *seek Baptism out *very soon-the first sacrament. They won’t have the beauty of eating the Pascal Lamb in the Eucharist, although if they understood it they would. In the same way that there is baptism of desire, my advice to you as a brother is to extend to them the charity to see them as having a desire for true Communion. I was blessed enough to have such an experience as you described above. There is nothing wrong with it (heart conversion), it just lacks the **fullness **of Sacramental reality.
So how about laying off your Christian brother (if Baptised as most are as babies)?
BTW Jesus said that those who love him keep his commandments and I have seen may such people who sadly lack the Sacraments of the RCC, but who repent in a road to Damascus way! So what gives you the right to say that they don’t love Jesus? What of an unrepentant Catholic?
As for being impeccable in the sight of God, we say in Mass things like: “This is my blood, the blood of the New and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all that sins may be forgiven.” Once forgiven, God doesn’t retain your sin, for God is love and love keeps no account of wrongs. It is pretty basic that we are saved by grace through faith (works will follow naturally). We are not saved because we are good, but because of what Jesus did. That’s what they mean by being washed in the blood and being blameless, that the Father looks not on us, but sees His Son in our place. It is not our perfection, but Jesus’. Once again,“Look not on our sin, but on the faith of your Church.”
Just see such people as Baptised brothers who lack the fullness of truth. Don’t criticise, but feel free to let them know the beauty of Sacramental reality. If they have had a heart conversion and are baby Christians as you describe, they’ll be very interested.
Neither Calvinists or Arminians really believe that. Those protestants who DO believe you must only “profess it” and not live it are (for lack of a proper protestant term) ‘poorly catechized’.
Calvinists believe that God will call the elect and they WILL profess it, as well as live it if they are the elect. Arminians believe it’s possible to lose one’s salvation so they MUST live it. Neither group is antinomian.
Absolutely not. I come from a Wesleyan background and we abhorred this as one of the worst heresies to infect the Church. My rather anti-Catholic grandmother believed that the Baptists (who in our area mostly believed something like this) and the Catholics (who in her view used Confession as an excuse to go out and sin again) were basically on a level in this respect.
True. But unfortunately there are large stretches of American Protestantism (particularly in the South) that have combined the worst aspects of Calvinism and Arminianism.
Those protestants who DO believe you must only “profess it” and not live it are (for lack of a proper protestant term) ‘poorly catechized’.
But the problem is that we would have to talk about whole local churches and theological streams (particularly among the Baptists) being “poorly catechized.” This is a very common teaching (though not universal or official) among Southern Baptists, and is widely believed by other evangelicals (particularly non-denominational evangelicals).
We also have to distinguish between the teaching that a believer’s sins are in some sense “invisible” to God, at least for purposes of acceptance before God as righteous, and the antinomian conclusion harpazo thinks flows from this teaching. The “invisible sin” teaching is the official doctrine of Lutherans, Reformed (with some qualifications and exceptions), and pretty much all Baptists and similar groups. But as you note, most of these historically would say that a believer will in fact try to live a holy life–the Reformers taught almost unanimously (I say almost because I don’t claim to know what every single one taught) that believers would not deliberately and repeatedly commit sin–they would fall into sin through weakness but then repent (though they might conceivably go for a while before doing so, like David!). Luther believed that if you stopped trying to live a holy life you would lose faith in Christ. The Reformed believe that your election by God ensures that you will strive for holiness. In fact, I’m coming to the conclusion that the doctrine of perseverance (which later mutated into the Baptist “eternal security”) originated precisely as an attempt to maintain some form of justification by faith alone while making a closer link with good works than was present in Lutheranism. (In the theology of Martin Bucer–the Protestant Reformer in whose writings I specialize–the point of justification by faith was to give you a firm “persuasion” that God was gracious to you–i.e., that you were among the elect–so that you could genuinely love and obey God and thus get on with the business of becoming holy. Bucer had no problem saying that good works were a cause of our final salvation.)
Which isn’t? The view that you originally described is in no sense and never has been Methodist doctrine. If there is one thing Methodists don’t believe, it’s this. You will find Methodists in the South especially who believe it because it’s a pervasive idea in the culture–but you find Catholics who depart from Catholic teaching in similar ways! Wesley clearly rejected this view–he thought that justification by faith was the forgiveness of our *past *sins, and that whenever we committed a deliberate sin we needed to repent and be forgiven anew.
I would further add that I have been taught before by a Catholic priest that we have only the power of veto, that is to say “no” to Christ. As a corollary, “accepting Christ” would be essential to salvation.
As I said above though, I am sure the evangelical would have included repentence (which would be a given), and certainly would have mentioned Christ’s passion and death as a substitutionary sacrifice in our place for our sins. So to Harpazzo, to accept Christ is *not *to ignore Christ’s death, but to realise that one is a sinner, is in need of a saviour and that Jesus’ passion, death resurrection are the source of that salvation. Visit here:
Furthermore, I admire their faith in being saved. It shows that they trust Jesus’ words in the Scriptures. Think John 3:16-17 even. Once again, I question why you wish to attack you brothers’ faith (see CCC para 818).
Even with mixtures of Calvinism and Arminianism… Protestants are not Antinominists. That accusation is only as accurate as saying Catholics believe in “works salvation” because they believe they lose their salvation when they sin mortally. Both accusations are based on pushing doctrines to an extreme that is not accurate.
I am Congregational Methodist and I don’t believe that at all!
I believe you must confess Christ and be baptised but I believe that by no means are you “covered for life” no matter what you do afterwards.
I cannot speak for all Methodists but these are my beliefs.
Yes, my father in law calls that “cheap grace”, the once saved always saved idea.
I think Scripture is pretty clear to “go and sin no more”, even though I keep seeming to stumble occasionally. I take comfort in Jesus falling while carrying his cross. Someone told me to be like that. When you fall, get up and keep walking!
Yeah, I’m aware that this isn’t part of Wesleyan teaching, yet I’m seeing it become more and more prevalent within the United Methodist church in particular. I still attend the youth group from time to time at my parents church. Last year I went to Lake Junaluska in NC, the center of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, for a youth camp. The teaching seems to be taught as far as Virginia to Mississippi.
Could there be anything done to combat it? I don’t know.
Within many “pockets” I suppose you could say, there are people that believe after you accept Jesus, that’s it. Everything is set in stone. Nothing could be done to affect your salvation. Where this heresy came from, I’d love to know.
Yes, I do believe that once you are Christian, you are without blemish in the eyes of God. When God looks at you, what He sees is NOT the sinner you were, but the new being you are in Christ; essentially, it is Christ Himself that is seen.
True, we will never accomplish perfection in our own right, and thank Heaven that we don’t need to! For if we did, ALL of mankind would be hopelessly condemned.
That being said, there is NO way of tricking God into believing that you ARE a Christian, without this being true. God is omniscient, and knows what is in our hearts. So if one says that he is a Christian, but doesn’t mean it, God knows.
The greatest commandment of them all is, after all:
“Hear, oh Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart, all of thy soul, and all of thy strenght”
Now the question remains: What does this mean? Does it mean to be constantly IN LOVE? Or that without God, life has no meaning, no purpose anymore, and what follows from THAT?
Wesley clearly rejected this view–he thought that justification by faith was the forgiveness of our *past *sins, and that whenever we committed a deliberate sin we needed to repent and be forgiven anew.
This particular Methodist believes that Mr Wesley was quite right!!
On the other hand, I have to tell you all, that, despite the fact that some here have not never encountered Protestant antinomianism, that I have. Frequently…as it exists, quite a bit, in my own [fundamentalist Baptist] family.
I never fail to be:eek: appalled when I hear someone make reference to it.