[quote=vrummage]I took this question from a quiz on a Calvinist Web Site in which 19 true or false statements are presented in what they call the “basic doctrine quiz.” I took the liberty of cutting and pasting the twelfth one from their web site along with their answer. I would like to get all who are interested to counter the answer as best they can. Here it is:
- If I die with unconfessed sin, I will not go to heaven.
A. FALSE. This is a Roman Catholic belief from which the doctrine of last rites, and purgatory stem. Protestants, however, have objected to this idea because of the nature of the work of Christ as revealed in the Scriptures. For those in Christ, all sins have been forgiven, past, present, and future (Heb 10:10-14; Rom 8:1, 29-39). Not only that, but those who trust in Christ are also seen as perfectly righteous in the sight of God because of Christ’s own righteousness and conformity to the law (Rom 5:19). And Christ also intercedes for us when we do sin (1 Jn 2:1-2).
I’m like the other poster who said what’s in his brain doesn’t always make it through his fingers to the keyboard! I’ve got this whole scenario in my head about confession but I’m not sure it’ll come across the way I want - so here goes:
When reading the quote from the Calvanist website about their view of Christ’s sacrifice forgiving all our sins, past, present and future - I thought what an encapsulated view they have of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I would really like to believe that all my present sins are automatically forgiven without my acknowledging anything and that no matter what I do, my future sins are all taken care of too! WOW! But I just can’t believe this because it leaves out our cooperation or lack of it. Jesus’ sacrifice was not a magic wand that was waved over all mankind and “poof” every sin ever committed was forgiven with no regard for consequence. Ever heard the saying, “God helps those who help themselves?” This is sort of how I see confession. He has set up many “help” for us - His creation.
God has set up a way that I can knowingly improve myself to be more like He intended me to be. Non-Catholics think that Catholics think we have a free pass with confession: Do something wrong and run to the priest, get absolution and then go back out and live like you did before. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is just one in a series of ways that we can be close / or get closer to God. This sacrament is not a sacrament unto itself.
A Catholic’s faith journey begins at Baptism and continues through his entire life with multiple times (even daily) to receive God’s sanctifying grace. This grace, throughout our lives, gives us what we need to hopefully steer clear of temptation. That’s what grace is meant for. The more we are able to fight temptation and sin, the more we conform our lives to that of Christ. The more “Christ-like” we are the better the chance we have of living eternally with God.
It is OUR CHOICE - whether we want to cooperate with the grace God gives us or not! It’s more than just believing in Christ’s sacrifice. If we chose not to accept or cooperate with this grace, well… you know what happens! The point of confession is to, of course, confess the offenses against God but you are also supposed to change your life everytime you leave that confessional! You don’t go back out and just willy nilly commit the same sins all over again just intending to go run to the priest over and over again. No, you CHANGE your mindset and your life to conform to that of Christ - you must intend NOT to keep committing the same sins over and over again. IF you do fall, after trying really had not to, you go to confession and receive more grace to make you stronger, reconcile yourself to God, mend the split. It’s a journey, it’s a progression to sanctity of ourselves for an entire lifetime.
I suppose its a “big picture” thing I’m going for here whereas, non-Catholics see just the “event” itself and don’t realize what the event means to the “big picture” where our lives are concerned; they tend to compartmentalize theses events as having no real effect where Christ is concerned. They think it’s all so unnecessary. When they say that, I think, “Wow, then what was all that that Jesus did while He was here? Was it all for show - His Baptism, the Eucharist, giving the Apostles power, etc. - it all meant nothing?”
They just can’t believe that God would use us humans to bring His grace to fellow humans; that He would use everyday things to impart that grace; that He is not a God who is set high above us without interactig with us as He did in the beginning. Their relationship must be purely vertical. What a shame they are missing out on everything He intended for us to have and use to get back to Him! Everything in the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Old.
Long winded, I know, and I’m still not sure my point was brought over, anyway…