Statement of Faith?

I have the opportunity to agree to a statement of faith that contains the following three items:

(11.)That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only grounds for justification and salvation for all people. This justification and salvation is obtained by grace through faith alone for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ, by faith, are born of the Holy Spirit and, thus become children of God.

(12.)That water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation or necessary for salvation.

(13.)That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the Head.

I don’t know… Do you think this fits with the church’s teaching? I’m not sure about number 12.

God bless you,
Grace

No it does not!

All kinds of problems. First, this denies the Sacrments. Baptism as an “ordinance” is a man-made idea. It is also works salvation, which the Catholic Church does not teach. Huge error there. Secondly, its idea of justification completely ignores the Sacrament of confession, which Paul wrote of in his ministry of reconciliation, as a ambassodor for Christ, and in forgiving sins in the person of Christ. Thirdly, any such statement that must mention the “true church” is covering for the fact that many of its beliefs are made-up.

The Apostle’s Creed is the place to start. If they cannot agree with that, they have swerved into a ditch.

If you want the straight story, you need a copy of Catholicism for Dummies and a Catechism. I have a spare catechism which I can send you, if you do not have one.

I don’t think any of the items 11, 12, or 13 agree with Catholic teachings. It makes me wonder about all the other items (1-10 and 14+). Could you post more of it, or tell us more about the situation you find yourself in?

By the way, what do you mean by “opportunity to agree to a statement of faith”? Is this some kind of contract you are supposed to agree to?

I am concerned about the psychology of a contract. Call me paranoid, but no, I think I am just wary. I imagine if you were to agree to this statement, it wouldn’t be long before they start telling you how to interpret it, and pressuring you into doing things their way.

May the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus called the Spirit of truth, assist and guide you always in your search for truth, and always toward faith, love, and hope,

and have a Blessed Christmas.

Your “statement of Faith” is not exactly clear. The following statement is the Doctrine of the Catholic Church:

The ordinary means of salvation is Christian Baptism. There may be extraordinary (ie, not ordinary) means, but the Church has no idea how this works. Valid Christian Baptism (which may be conferred by a non-Catholic minister) is the only 100% guaranteed assurance of salvation. Christian Baptism places us in a State of Grace.

The ONLY thing that can remove us from a State of Grace is mortal sin. The Church has never taught whether it is “easy” or “difficult” for a person of good will to fall into mortal sin. This is a topic of debate, particularity among “modern” theologians.

Regardless, the ONLY 100% guaranteed means of restoring a person who is guilty of mortal sin to a State of Grace is Sacramental Confession. If it is “easy” for a person of good will to fall into mortal sin, then this does not bode well for non-Catholic Christians (who would not normally have recourse to Sacramental Confession). But, if it is “difficult,” then people of good will who are not Catholic but have received valid Christian Baptism should be very optimistic.

“Statements of Faith” are always problematic as they are modernist replacements for the original Catholic Creeds. A Christian should always reject the modernist interlopers in favor of the original Apostolic teaching.

The Apostles Creed:

We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

Denying Christ’s sacraments “during the present age”? No man has any authority to do so. What else of Christ do they deny?

That is pretty much exactly what the Catholic Church does not believe. That is completely foreign to Catholic teaching.

  1. In catholic teaching we are not saved by “faith alone”.

  2. Both sacraments are means of salvation, even though God can override the ordinary, formal means He’s provided us through the Church. Jesus specifically instructed that we be Baptized in order to be “born again”, or “born from above”, and likewise that we must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, as He showed us with the bread and wine, that we must worthily partake of Him in this act of communion with God, as this relationship is vitally necessary in order for us to have “life and life abundantly”.

  3. The true Church was established by God, and is a visible Church so that there’s no mistaking where to obtain the true faith. Believers who are outside of this Church are still united to her, although imperfectly, deprived of the “fullness of truth” which we find in her, alone.

  1. In Catholic teaching we are not saved by “faith alone”. Faith is the beginning, the root, of justification, not the end of it.

  2. Both sacraments are means of salvation, even though God can override the ordinary, formal means He’s provided us through the Church. Jesus specifically instructed that we be Baptized in order to be “born again”, or “born from above”, and likewise that we must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, as He showed us with the bread and wine, that we must worthily partake of Him in this act of communion with God, as this relationship is vitally necessary in order for us to have “life and life abundantly”.

  3. The true Church was established by God, and is a visible Church so that there’s no mistaking where to obtain the true faith. Believers who are outside of this Church are still united to her, although imperfectly, deprived of the “fullness of truth” which we find in her, alone.

No you may not agree to this. These are distinctively Protestant theses, likely some form of Calvinism, and have been condemned by the Council of Trent.

Is this a condition of employment? If so, I would not want to work there even if they paid me a million dollars to do so. If the price of employment is assenting to heresy, forget it.

Even a Lutheran shouldn’t sign this.

Jon

This is common in protestant circles. They have “statements of faith” for all number of Christian groups (homeschool groups and the like,) internet forums, often you have to agree to something like this to be regarded as a “Christian.”

Yes, JonNC, I don’t think this fits my family’s Lutheran beliefs. However, I know a number of Lutherans who would sign something like this anyway, because they agree with most of the statements and what’s left isn’t a big deal.

Beryllos, the first articles of these usually have to do with the Trinity, the Virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, original sin, and the fact that Holy Scriptures are inerrant (Some add “all 66 books of the Bible are inerrant,” but most don’t think to specify.) This one includes that Jesus “will return bodily to this world to fulfill His ministry and calling as God and Lord,” and article 14 is that, “I believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment which will not end.”

Usually, on these statements, I am fine with the first 1/2 of the articles. They focus on the Trinity, the Bible, and the fact that unbelievers won’t get to Heaven. The problem is the clauses at the end, which contain more specific theology. After the half-way point, the focus switches to how a person gets to Heaven. (That’s what I posted.) The last articles of the “Statement of Faith” often contain ideas like Predestination, contain political ideas, and anything which is important to that Protestant denomination. (This last clause of this “SOF” is about being pro-life and against homosexuality. I would sign that if it was the only thing on the list, but yes, that is their way of keeping out anyone who doesn’t agree with them.)

One more thing: To Cojuanco, I have not seen anything like this as a condition for employment, but I’m guessing that if I applied to be, say, a teacher at a “Christian school,” I would have to sign some statement like this.

And thanks, everyone, for your replies.

That would be a horrible shame. To deny the sacraments in this way in contrary to the very confessional teaching of Lutheranism, and it is a HUGE deal. Some of the rest of that statement is suspect as well. A failure of catechesis. :frowning:

Jon

I think they look at it without seeing that “ordinance” is a way of denying that it’s a sacrament, and, well, we are saved by grace through faith like the Statement of Faith said earlier. So this is just them saying that Jesus saves us instead of works and agree to that…

My Mom (who is LCMS) refused to sign one of these at one point, because she didn’t like the fact that the local homeschool group was “being exclusive, like they were trying to make sure only Baptists were in the group.” I think that’s another good way to look at it.

I am no Lutheran expert. But it seems to me that number 12 is the exact opposite of what Lutheran’s believe. All the confessions of the Lutheran church explicitly state that Baptism is a means of salvation that is necessary for salvation.

Which is why I suspected Calvinism or is offshoots.

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