Saved by faith and more

Well, that’s good, because the reasoning is flawed. This reasoning means we “earn” our way into heaven through ongoing acts of charity - that there is some divine quota that we must fulfill. The Church is commonly accused of teaching this, and many Catholics actually believe it, but it is heresy.

We are saved by the Grace of Christian Baptism and by nothing else. As long as we die with this Grace intact, we are assured salvation. A person might do many good works, but mortally sin the hour before his death and be condemned. But a wretched sinner who never did a good thing in his life could repent on his deathbed and receive salvation.

In that case, the Church and its doctrine are actually more merciful than some Catholics and the general public opinion give them credit.

It would probably be helpful if people could define their terms in the context of a particular discussion. “Works” can have many meanings and connotations, and I think the confusion over this issue relates to misunderstanding of what it means.

Most Catholics understand that in such discussions, we are not referring to the “works” of the Mosaic Law, but some use the term to mean “actions,” others to mean “good deeds” or “pious actions,” and the breakdown in communications occurs when people think that Catholics believe they can “buy their way into heaven,” through “works” (understood as “good deeds”) as if Salvation was a quid pro quo transaction - if I do these things, then God has to allow me in Heaven. Other sects claim that a conscious act of accepting Christ’s Salvation is sufficient - as if such a volitional acceptance is not itself an “act” or “work.”

If acceding to Baptism, whether as an adult or if a minor, through the decision of another adult who has the moral authority to make that choice for you, is required, that is an action, or “work,” on the your part or that part of one with the moral standing to take an action on your behalf. So is the decision to “accept Christ as one’s personal Lord and Saviour” as many Evangelicals require. Making such a credal statement is an act, or work, so it doesn’t make sense to say that “works” are not required.

Clearly, in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus requires more than simply Baptism for an adult who is capable of making moral choices, as Scripture tells us. Jesus ordered us to care for the poor, the suffering, and the sick, or we would be cast into a Lake of Fire. Pretty plain speaking, there.

I cannot remember which apologist first used this simile, but it is, I think, an apt one: It is as if someone offered to give you a brand new Masserati, but requires you to first come to his house to pick it up, to obey the established traffic laws when using it, and to use it to give rides to poor people on occasion.

You cannot say you are in any way worthy of such a gift, or that you “earned” it by coming to his house to pick it up, obeying the laws (there are roughly ten of them, depending on who’s counting) or using it to help poor people. The bestower of a great gift can set preconditions for a gift, and to say that one must fulfill those expectations is not the same as saying one has “earned” that gift as one’s right. It is still a gift, not merchandise for which one has paid a fee.

It’s a pedestrian simile for such a enormous gift, but it’s a useful explanation for those who confuse the concepts of sola fide and sola gratia, or misunderstand Catholic teaching and the Catechism. Our denominational differences are probably less than we think, if viewed from this perspective, and it’s often a more useful apologetic technique to seek to show similarities in beliefs. We don’t believe you can achieve Salvation by works alone, and in their hearts, most sola fideists believe that charity is required - they just probably haven’t worked out the concept fully.

It is not enough to say one must simply avoid mortal sin, unless we understand that avoidance of mortal sin requires positive actions - such as caring for the poor, forgiving those who transgress against us, worship, prayer, observing the Sacraments, and so forth. You have to do those acts, or works, to remain in a state of Grace, not simply remain locked in one’s room to avoid sin. (I realize none of the previous posters were claiming the latter, but it is a distinction that probably needs to be clarified - to remain in a state of Grace requires positive action, or works, not simply avoiding sin.)

One can say that one must undertake positive acts, or works, to remain free of mortal sin and in a state of Grace, per the commands of our Lord, and that such actions *must *include the works of charity and forgiveness that Jesus demanded, so it is fair and technically correct to say that it is sufficient to be baptized and remain in a state of Grace, but I think formulating it in such a way allows one to be misunderstood by many who don’t share a Catholic worldview.

If one dies immediately after baptism that’s true.
If one is a child before the age of reason, and is baptized and dies, that’s true.

What about the one who is baptised and dies in mortal sin, will baptism save them? No
What about the adult who is baptised and does NOT believe? Mark 16:16
What about the adult who is baptised and doesn’t do good works? Matthew 25:44-46

Said another way, when we don’t do what we are created to do this is what happens Matthew 3:10 , Luke 3:9 , Luke 13:7-9 ,

Why are good works so necessary? When Jesus crowns our good works He is really crowning the work He has done and is doing in us. Hebrews 13:21 [size=2]& Philippians 2:13. [/size]

Then the conclusion is, under no circumstance do them. Afterall, why do anything that has no value? I would just say, God has already warned us in advance to do good works. One who doesn’t do them, I would just say, see how far that one gets with Him.

nor baptism.

**1035 **The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

To clarify this: It appears that a person who was baptized as an infant (and received the other sacraments in their youth) lives in different circumstances and under different requirements than someone who is baptized as an adult.
Is that correct?
Could you clarify what those differences are?

I cannot remember which apologist first used this simile, but it is, I think, an apt one: It is as if someone offered to give you a brand new Masserati, but requires you to first come to his house to pick it up, to obey the established traffic laws when using it, and to use it to give rides to poor people on occasion.

And if one isn’t partial to Maseratis? I mean, the analogy takes for granted that one wants a Maserati.

For some people, heaven or Salvation may be such foreign or unrealistic goals that they just don’t see them as something to strive for.

And for some people, the threat of hell is not motivating either; not necessarily because they would believe there is no hell, or that they are somehow sure to avoid it, but because they are so apathetic to life in general, so miserable, that the prospect of adding just more misery makes no real difference to them.

What about these people? Do you have an analogy for them?

What about the baptized person who doesn’t do good works, but is sorry for their sins?

Then the conclusion is, under no circumstance do them. Afterall, why do anything that has no value?

That doesn’t follow, though.

I would just say, God has already warned us in advance to do good works. One who doesn’t do them, I would just say, see how far that one gets with Him.

As already addressed more than once before in this thread, David Filmer’s position isn’t some kind of free ticket to heaven despite being mean and lazy.
He has only clarified the importance of baptism.

If one doesn’t die in mortal sin they avoid hell.

He made a statement which on its own, was not true.

DavidFilmer

Works cannot save us (only the Grace of Christian Baptism can do that). Failure to perform a reasonably expected work, given sufficient knowledge and consent, could condemn us, but no good work can save us.

is that true in EVERY case? No

I gave examples where** good works** are necessary. works of law are not necessary.

[/FONT]Romans 3:28 , [/FONT]Galatians 3:10

when he says the following then that should be it. No further explanation needed

Originally Posted by DavidFilmer forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_khaki/viewpost.gif

We are saved by the Grace of Christian Baptism and by nothing else**:**

"Nothing remains" once we are Baptized. This is why I say we are saved by the Grace of Christian Baptism and by nothing else. Nothing else remains.

Is that true in EVERY case? No

I may not have expressed myself clearly. There is no difference between the two. What I meant was that the act of accepting baptism is a volitional act, or work, regardless of whether you make that choice as an adult convert or whether someone who has the moral authority to make that choice on behalf of a child (i.e., the parent) makes that choice.

And if one isn’t partial to Maseratis? I mean, the analogy takes for granted that one wants a Maserati.

I use the unexpected gift of a Maserati as metaphor for anything of great value that is offered unexpectedly to one who does not deserve it. It could as easily be a gift of a gazillion dollars. Both pale in comparison to Salvation, obviously, but that is why it is only a metaphor.

For some people, heaven or Salvation may be such foreign or unrealistic goals that they just don’t see them as something to strive for.

I respectfully disagree. I think inherently we all have a desire for union with transcendence, or at least a sense that there is an ultimate source of happiness and satisfaction.

As a child, you experienced that desire for that one toy or that one pet you wanted more than anything else. You felt that if you just found it under the Christmas tree, you would be happy. As adolescents, we began to experienced the desire as a need for a particular person, and if we could only be unified with him or her, all of our needs and desires would be fulfilled. We go through life feeling if we could only get that perfect job or that perfect house or that perfect vacation or that perfect spouse, we could finally - finally - be happy. And we never are, despite what we achieve. We all of us continue to feel that aching need for some final source of happiness, for union with what we need most of all, despite all else that we may achieve in this world.

The desire for Salvation is ultimately not about getting to live forever on a fluffy cloud, or the chance to see loved ones again. It is desire for union with Him who can satisfy and fulfill us, completely and totally. That’s something we all feel. I want to see the face of God and be embraced by Him.

And for some people, the threat of hell is not motivating either; not necessarily because they would believe there is no hell, or that they are somehow sure to avoid it, but because they are so apathetic to life in general, so miserable, that the prospect of adding just more misery makes no real difference to them.

What about these people? Do you have an analogy for them?

See the above, I think, but the analogy is not really about that. (Analogies, metaphors, and similes are inherently limited). It’s about whether we are saved by faith alone, or whether something more is required.

I feel that ultimately, the motivation for our actions in this world should not be the prospect of Heaven or Hell (although those are both important, obviously) but the desire to do the work and follow the commands of our Creator - the ultimate source of all that we hold good in this world. To take another (somewhat ridiculous) example, if I could somehow know that my actions in this world had condemned me to damnation, that my numerous sins could not be forgiven, and that no actions on my part could save me (again, this is a ridiculous example, as I would have no way of knowing how much God would be willing to forgive me) - I would not turn towards a wicked life, but would still feel obligated to try to follow God’s commands to me as best I could, as He is still my Creator and my Lord and I am morally obligated to follow Him, regardless of the outcome.

Possibly, but not necessarily. And, by the way, whatever mercy exists is not from the Church, but from God.

The Church has never defined how likely it is for a person of good will to fall into mortal sin. It is common sense that a person who perseveres in a life filled with faith and acts of charity will develop an aversion to sin, making it less likely that he will forfeit his salvation.

God is just. That means that a person who is guilty of mortal sin at the time of his death, regardless of his prior life, is condemned.

God is merciful. That means that a person who has lived a wretched life of sin can repent on his deathbed and be saved.

God’s mercy does not overrule his justice. He will not “look the other way” for the righteous person who falls into last-minute mortal sin, based on the person’s past righteous life.

Nor does his justice overrule his mercy. He will accept into heaven anybody, regardless of his past sins, if he receives Sacramental remission of his sins.

… even if they don’t have good works.

He made a statement which on its own, was not true.

is that true in EVERY case? No

I think in this discussion, it comes down to whether one is convinced that it is impossible for an able-bodied adult not to commit mortal sin.

Do you believe it is impossible that an able-bodied adult would not commit mortal sin?
Do you believe it is inevitable that an able-bodied adult will commit mortal sin?

Given the requirements that must be met in order for something to be a mortal sin, it seems to me that only highly educated clerics with full control of their mental capacities are able to commit mortal sin.
An ordinary person generally does not have the knowledge and mental clarity to meet the criteria for mortal sin.

Is that true in EVERY case? No

It’s about necessary and sufficient conditions for salvation.

Baptism is a necessary condition for salvation. And in some cases, it is sufficient.*

David Filmer’s point is that baptism is a necessary condition for salvation.
And he made it clear that it is not always also sufficient.

(*A special provision is made for people who through no fault of their own have no access to a formal baptism.)

No, Catholic Teaching is not that we are saved by Faith, Even the demons believe and tremble(James 2:19) For it is by grace you have been saved. (Eph 2:5)

As to works, let’s look at what The Bible says about it:
James 2:17-10 . . .Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

You keep asking the same thing:forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=12720654&postcount=3

It is Catholic teaching that we are saved by God’s free gift of Grace alone. We are then required to obey God, have Faith (which is in itself a work), do other good works, etc.

As an adult who is contemplating formal baptism, the two situations don’t seem the same to me at all.
An infant is making no meta-religious decisions, but an adult has to. An adult typically needs to figure out why he wants to believe in God, or why he wants to convert and such. Many people never make it past that.

Sometimes when I listen to evangelizers, I notice they are arguing meta-religions points that are in conflict with the doctrine that they teach.
For example, one is told reasons to believe in the existence of God, or that belief in God is a decision one has to make on one’s own. But such propositions are in contrast with the doctrine, if the doctrine states that nothing happens without God’s will (including this very discussion we’re having, or one’s decision for or against God).

“Proofs of God” or “reasons to believe in God” are in my opinion the most misguided and misleading lines of reasoning one could ever take.

I respectfully disagree. I think inherently we all have a desire for union with transcendence, or at least a sense that there is an ultimate source of happiness and satisfaction.

I doubt that.
Talk to people who have been preached to by fire-and-brimstone preachers. Such preachers can effectively extinguish the last spark of hope for any kind of happiness in a person.

As a child, you experienced that desire for that one toy or that one pet you wanted more than anything else.

Not at all. What you’re saying applies for relatively well-situated middle-class and upwards people without much trauma in their childhood.

From what I’ve seen, people from broken homes, orphanages and other difficult backgrounds tend not to have such desires (except in Holywood films and when they are trying to impress someone). It’s common for people from difficult backgrounds to lack any and all ambition in life.

You felt that if you just found it under the Christmas tree, you would be happy. As adolescents, we began to experienced the desire as a need for a particular person, and if we could only be unified with him or her, all of our needs and desires would be fulfilled. We go through life feeling if we could only get that perfect job or that perfect house or that perfect vacation or that perfect spouse, we could finally - finally - be happy. And we never are, despite what we achieve. We all of us continue to feel that aching need for some final source of happiness, for union with what we need most of all, despite all else that we may achieve in this world.

The desire for Salvation is ultimately not about getting to live forever on a fluffy cloud, or the chance to see loved ones again. It is desire for union with Him who can satisfy and fulfill us, completely and totally. That’s something we all feel.

I am skeptical about that.

I remember reading somewhere that John Paul II said that children born and raised in dysfunctional families are broken to a point that barely anything can fix them.

And in modern society, the majority of people seem to be like that.

See the above, I think, but the analogy is not really about that. (Analogies, metaphors, and similes are inherently limited). It’s about whether we are saved by faith alone, or whether something more is required.

My focus here is on adults from dysfunctional backgrounds (which seems to be the majority of the population nowadays) and what their situation is like in regards to Christianity.

After all, isn’t Catholicm supposed to be one of the few religions accessible to everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status and background?

It seems to me that it is precisely these people, who are in most need of help and direction, that Christianity lets down the most.

I feel that ultimately, the motivation for our actions in this world should not be the prospect of Heaven or Hell

And yet much of the evangelizing that Christians do is in reference to the motivation for Heaven and Hell.

but the desire to do the work and follow the commands of our Creator

Agreed. This seems to make more sense to me.

To take another (somewhat ridiculous) example, if I could somehow know that my actions in this world had condemned me to damnation, that my numerous sins could not be forgiven, and that no actions on my part could save me (again, this is a ridiculous example, as I would have no way of knowing how much God would be willing to forgive me) - I would not turn towards a wicked life, but would still feel obligated to try to follow God’s commands to me as best I could, as He is still my Creator and my Lord and I am morally obligated to follow Him, regardless of the outcome.

It’s not a ridiculous example, it’s pretty much the story of my life. I was not baptized as an infant, while everyone in the society where I lived was. Back then, the belief was popular among the Catholics there that people who are not baptized as infants are sure to burn in hell for all eternity. (I suppose back then, in the “old-fashioned” Catholic countryside in Europe, it was impossible for the Catholics to imagine that someone could get baptized as an adult (other than for socio-economic reasons, which they didn’t view as a proper reasons; it was sometimes adult Jews who converted to Catholicism so that they could work in public offices).
I actually came to terms with the prospect of burning in hell for all eternity. This being my default, it is difficult to the extreme for me to consider that Jesus died for my sins.

I responded to your following comment,

but is sorry for their sins?

If they are sincere in their sorrow, they avoid hell

Obviously mortal sin is NOT impossible to commit for the able bodied .

Lucy, Given the consequences of the following sins, these are mortal. Do these take a genius to commit? No. They are a cinch to commit for the average person. (all links are operational)

[LIST]
*]Titus 3:10-11 Reject a factious (αἱρετικὸν heretical ) man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is )perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
*]Ephesians 5:3-5 fornication, covetousness……5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
*]Hebrews 10:23-27 missing Eucharist deliberately on Sunday, no sacrifice for sin for THEM but a fiery judgement that consumes the adversaries of God.
*]Hebrews 12:16-17 immoraliy,(πόρνος ) is selling your inheritance
*]Galatians 5: 19 - 21 sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions (διχοστασίαι ), factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, will not inherit heaven
*]Romans 16:17… dividers ( διχοστασίαι )don’t serve our Lord but themselves. Stay away from them. Satan will soon be crushed under your feet
*]Colossians 3: 5-6 immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry, …rath of God is coming
*]1 Corinthians 6:9-10 no sexually immoral (πόρνοι ), nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders ( ται ), 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
*]Revelation 21:8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
*][/FONT]2 Peter 2:4-22
*]2 Thes 1: 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
[/LIST]

Look at the list. Those sins are easy to commit. The mentally challenged are a small section of society

Of course those are easy to commit. But to commit them with full knowledge and with deliberate consent - that is, in my opinion, very difficult.

[quote=CCC]1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice./…/

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders.

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm
[/quote]

The mentally challenged are a small section of society

It’s not just the mentally challenged that are in the category of diminished consent.

The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders.

It seems that most people most of the time live in a state of “promptings of feelings and passions” and are under “external pressures.”

I am not pointing this out to excuse anyone, I am just seeking to be precise.

Then please explain how mortal sins are SOOOOOO difficult to have full knowledge of AND consent to.

Then please explain so we can be specific

True.

That’s Why Jesus establish the sacrament of reconcilliation. Because people fail

Quit picking on the newcomers. They are trying to explain and defend the Catholic Faith, but probably did not expect to go up against a seasoned Catholic apologist who is teaching heretical (or, at least, completely unsubstantiated) ideas about the very Faith they are trying to uphold and defend.

We both know that this disagreement is between you and I. Our disagreement on this point has spilled over into many threads.

I, for one, will be happy to answer that question if you can explain how mortal sin is SOOOOOO easy to have full knowledge and consent.

That’s Why Jesus establish the sacrament of reconciliation. Because people fail

Because ALL people fail? Because MOST people fail? Because SOME people fail? Because just ONE person in the past 2000 years has failed?

Could Jesus have established the Sacrament on behalf of just ONE person who would otherwise been lost? (reference the parable of the lost sheep, Luke 15:4-6, in which the shepherd abandons the entire flock in order to save just ONE lost sheep).

Deal with me. Quit picking on newcomers.

I already did, in the last sentence that you already quoted:

It seems that most people most of the time live in a state of “promptings of feelings and passions” and are under “external pressures.”

Being in such a state prevents the person from having the mental clarity necessary for full consent.

That’s Why Jesus establish the sacrament of reconcilliation. Because people fail

Well, life on earth usually sucks, to put it bluntly. I’m not sure whether it’s because people fail, or whether it’s because the combined effect of venial sins of many people is just plain overwhelming.

Heh, thanks. :slight_smile:

I have dealt with you. So have others. .

My posts are usually full of qualified Catholic references to back up what I post.

If they (those sins listed #33 ) are easy to commit , then unless there is figuratively speaking, a gun to one’s head, they are committed, by definition, with someone’s deliberate consent. To be clear, on any of those sins, we’re NOT talking about anyone being forced against their will, (covered later)

Therefore, Issue 1 (consent) is solved. Full explanation on consent follows

What about knowledge, The 2nd condition?

By their hearing or their reading, ( the sins and their consequences #33 that have been there for 1000’s of years) the issue of “knowledge” is then solved. One’s objection or disagreement to those activities being grave sins and their grave consequences is not the issue. God established those sins to have those consequences, therefore end of story. That’s why I list the sins and their consequences just in case one is innocently ignorant of both. To be clear, Mentally challenged people are in a different situation. It’s also important to note, those folks are a very small section of the population.

I say innocent, because people play games with what they “really know”, when it comes to suffering the consequences for committing said actions. All of a sudden people become totally oblivious of everything that makes them responsible for what they’ve done freely. iow people have been known to lie.:rolleyes: or those who purposefully avoided knowing the truth because it’s inconvenient, [FONT=Arial]1791 [/FONT]they **all **are guilty of their actions

Ergo, one won’t be pulling a fast one on Jesus when He judges them.

So the question is, are mortal sins impossible to commit?

according to liberals it’s virtually impossible. (more on the left later)

However WWJS= What would Jesus say? :slight_smile:

Mt 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy,a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

[LIST]
*]That doesn’t sound to me like mortal sins are impossible to commit.
*]Jesus is the one who judges everyone. He sees ALL reality (past present future) perfectly. He can’t lie or deceive.
*]So If one takes that passage from the one who judges ALL seriously, then in perspective, given all humanity from beginning till the end of the world, those who go to hell FAR outnumber those who go to heaven. To me, It makes it sound like (comparitively speaking) that hell is stuffed to the gills.
[/LIST]I’ve said this in previous posts. I’m not saying this is the origin of “right v left” references to thinking or leanings, or political preferences. All I’m saying, this reference of right v left being correct v wrong thinking, goes back a Loooooong way.

[/FONT]Ecclesiastes 10:2A wise man’s heart inclines him toward the right,
but a fool’s heart toward the left.

Let’s look at that

Re: consent.

consent from a Catholic perspective
ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=consent&xsubmit=Search&s=SS

Go back and look at the list of sins #33

Let’s take an example from that list. One or all the sexual sins.

Does rape count as consent? absolutely NO.

However, in a rape case, the perpetrator IS giving their consent to the act, and the victim is NOT giving their consent. Therefore the perpetrator is guilty of all the grave sins they commit in that crime, the victim is **not **guilty

For some and maybe many, or even most, I don’t disagree… with qualifications of course :wink:

As I said before, Jesus established the sacrament of reconciliation for a reason. People fail

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