[quote=Mijoy2]What troubles me is just how diffferent is this from the catholic belief? It would seem a matter of semantics, hardly worthy of discussion. We believe that our faith need be accompanied by works or it indicates a turning away from God. What we call mortal sin indicates a willful turning our back on the love of God.
There are huge differences when the doctrines are placed side by side and compared. The Council of Trent decree on Justification lists the main issues.
Here are some examples of things protestants believe which the Catholic Church condemns:Canon 4.
If anyone says that man’s free will moved and aroused by God, by assenting to God’s call and action, in no way cooperates toward disposing and preparing itself to obtain the grace of justification, that it cannot refuse its assent if it wishes, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive, let him be anathema.
**If anyone says that it is not in man’s power to make his ways evil, but that the works that are evil as well as those that are good God produces, not permissively only but also propria et per se *, so that the treason of Judas is no less His own proper work than the vocation of St. Paul, let him be anathema.
There are some protestant groups who claim that Free Will doesnt exist and that we merely do what God wills us to do, in otherwords they see man as a puppet but use fancy words to avoid this accusation. From this view they see Faith Alone as God willing them to believe in Him and thus they are saved. This is not what the Church teaches.**Canon 18.
**If anyone says that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to observe, let him be anathema.
**If anyone says that a man who is justified and however perfect is not bound to observe the commandments of God and the Church, but only to believe, as if the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life without the condition of observing the commandments, let him be anathema.
**If anyone says that Christ Jesus was given by God to men as a redeemer in whom to trust, and not also as a legislator whom to obey, let him be anathema.
Many protestant goups see man as helplessly lost to sin and unable to do good works, in that sense all they can have is faith. The Church condemns this lazy and hollow gospel and maintains the words of Jesus that if we want to see Heaven we must “keep his Commandments”.
Many also claim:Canon 24.
If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, let him be anathema.
They claim works as a sign of justification and not part of the process itself.
Why can’t I draw a parallel here and say the protestant is saying much the same thing just timply coming at it from a slightly differing dimension. The protestant would say that a man who murders (for example) “probably” (and I put that in quotes because it is the term I hear all the time when this issue is discussed amongst protestants) has a said faith and never had an actual true heart felt repentant driven faith in the lord.
Some protestants believe in something called “Once Saved Always Saved” in which after a simple act of Faith in their lifetime, NO sin later on will cause them to lose their salvation. Others disguise this false teaching by saying “a truly saved person wouldnt do that” but on the side they maintain if a “saved person” did those acts their salvation would not be in jeopardy.
To sum up my perspective: Catholics say commiting a mortal sin is turning our back against God, thus seperating ourselves from Him. Protestants say the apparently sinful person likely never held a true faith to begin with.
Those are two huge differences. There is a big difference from turning your back on God and never following Him in the first place. Christians can and do sin (even major sins), but its our duty to repent and return to God, that is not the same as someone who never believed or followed God.*