I would like to know if a Catholic could, in good conscience, sign the following statement of faith:
“I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and believe the Bible to be the only inspired infallible Word of God. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and He died on the cross as the only atonement for our sins; that He rose from the dead; that He ascended to the Father’s right hand in Heaven, and will one day come back for those who trust in Him.”
"I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior
Okay, my own response to that sort of thing is, “Definitely and especially when I receive Him in the Eucharist”. Just be aware that that is not likely the answer they are seeking and what they mean is not what we believe because we disagree with them that salvation is a one time event and that idea of one time accepting Christ as your savior to be saved is not even in the Bible and certainly not in context of the New Testament itself.
and believe the Bible to be the only inspired infallible Word of God.
Here again, they are asking if you agree with Sola Scriptura and as I’ve shown many times It’s NOT in the Bible, okay? . Now we can agree that the Bible is the Word of God, with the caveat that Sacred Tradition tells us how to “rightly divide” it’s meanings.
I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and He died on the cross as the only atonement for our sins; that He rose from the dead; that He ascended to the Father’s right hand in Heaven, and will one day come back for those who trust in Him."
This is pretty much the same thing we profess in both the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed, so no problems there.
If not, what would be the reason?
I’m unsure if I could sign such a statement based on what I’ve stated so far…we have some reservations that they may not appreciate. I wonder if you could print and attach a copy of the Apostle’s Creed with your signature on it and that suffice?
108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living”.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures."74
And on the Holy Spirit , who is a member of the Trinity, which is NOT mentioned in your ‘oath’ speaks to, and inspires the Church.
Now, I do not have a qualification in Theology, but even I can see the glaring errors/ommissions in your oath.
Lets not forget that Our Lord Jesus Christ is
FROM THENCE HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD"
682 When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works, and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.
…really? a Catholic person, in good conscience, would believe he/she has received Jesus?
A Catholic person, in good conscience, must acknowledge that he/she Has Christ in his/her heart:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]17 that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.
23 Jesus replied: ‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
(St. John 14:17, 23)
…our conviction is not on the premise of words and superficiality (construct of faith) but it is on God’s Word: Jesus Christ is Our Lord!
…but is Christ our “personal Lord?”
Christ did not die on the cross to be our “personal” Lord; He died on the Cross so that He could be the Lord of both the Living and the Dead… this, by definition, necessitates groupon (no not the discount thing) but the conglomeration of Faith as in One Baptism, One Body, One Gospel, One Spirit, One Lord!
…so no, He is “our” Lord, not “my” Lord!
Since Jesus did not Teach “sola” Bible (Scriptures), in good conscience, a Catholic cannot profess to “sola” Scriptura:
15 Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter
. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
…those who trust in Him? Really?
When did Jesus make such Revelation?
Every single passage in Scriptures that speak on Salvation revolves around Christ’s understanding of Salvation:
15 If you love me you will keep my commandments.
21 Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me; and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and show myself to him.’
(St. John 14:15, 21)
22 You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.
13 but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. (St. Matthew 10:22; 24:13)
…yes, it is good to Trust in Christ… but no, He’s not Coming (Parousia) for man’s trust.
It’s pretty standard Evangelical stuff. In all likelihood whoever wants it signed got it from someone else, and would be startled to discover anyone would take issue with it.
Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior in the sense that He is Lord of your life and you are accountable to Him, and He is the one saving you (as opposed to, say, the Flying Sphaghetti Monster). That is not the same meaning as your personal butler, shoes or car. He owns you, you personally, as opposed to you being in a group where He does not know you or hold you to account. If you deny this statement to them then they would think you are denying Christ.
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The “and believe…” part excludes Catholics, no way around it.
That may be intentional, that may be unintentional. There is no way I can tell from here. You could venture to point that out and say that you can’t sign it because you see it as a conflict of your faith. Possible reactions:
Yep. We don’t want no cat-lickers. Here is a pile of Chick tracts for you to read. Then Bro Billy Bob and Bro Bobby Bill will take you out back to ‘reason’ that popery out of you.
Huh? I don’t know what to say. Never came up before. I guess I will ask the pastor. Or you can talk to him.
Oh, sorry! Well, would you subscribe to the Nicene Creed instead? This is a nondenominational ministry and we welcome Catholics. Several of our board members are Catholic.
Just cross out the parts you disagree with and sign it.
Funny thing that. Most people just sign it without reading it. I did, anyway. You sure there is a problem? Then don’t sign it. It’s not that big of a deal.
Maybe we need to think this through better if we want people from other churches to join us in Possum Drop Hollow Free Will Power of the Holy Ghost Tongue Talking Holy Roller Snake Handling Church’s Outreach to the Intelligensia.
So you may be able to negotiate, if it is worth it, and sign something else, or not sign anything at all. But that statement plus the Nicene Creed would still be something I would think a Catholic should not sign.
It would not be considered an oath. They want to be sure the people in the organization are Christians and not theological liberals. If someone said they didn’t believe the Bible was God’s Word, or that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, this would exclude them.
It’s not meant to be an exhaustive treatise of doctrine.
Addendum: they may have had theological liberals in mind when they wrote this and didn’t realize it excludes Catholics. Or of course, the reverse. Or they wanted to exclude both.
Uh Houston you have a problem…Check your Catechism of the Catholic Church which does indeed teach that we would all profess the Nicene Creed as well as the Apostles Creed. So there’d be no issue in signing either one or both. Unlike this statement of faith document.
Speculation does not really help us but mentalmagicman should be able to offer clarification on their reasons and if not he may need to ask them before going forward.
As suggested by others, sola scriptura (i.e. “scripture alone”) or similar language is generally a sign that we are referring to Protestant or nondenominational teachings. When Luther authored this doctrine in the 16th century, it was a direct and intentional contradiction of the Catholic Church and its deposit of faith.
Catholics believe scripture is the word of God, but that the deposit of faith also includes the teachings handed down from apostolic fathers through apostolic succession, that is, sacred tradition.
The paragraph you posted doesn’t quite say “scripture alone is the sole authority”, but at first glance it appears to use similar language (i.e. with the combination of the terms “bible” and “only”).
Generally, when Catholics use the word alone, it is when we refer to James 2 - i.e. a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Non-Catholics instead refer to sola fide, that is, “faith alone”.
Consider the following quote from Luther:
“If the papist annoys you with the word alone, tell them Doctor Martin Luther will have it so.”
On “receiving Jesus as our personal lord and savior” - yes, we have. However, this is not typical Catholic terminology when pointing to our belief in Jesus. This language generally points to an altar call, which is a non-Catholic practice and implicitly rejects Catholic doctrine and practice.
The altar call, in essence, is an indication of the following: I don’t need sacraments, I don’t need the magisterium, I only need to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, and then I am saved. Additionally, I cannot lose that salvation even when I sin. The altar call reflects doctrine and practice that evolved through the 19th century.