Understanding Justification: Am I Still Catholic? (Edited Title)


#1

I still have issues with some Catholic Dogmas. The main one and “dealmaker” or “dealbreaker” for me is Justification. I have read extensively on what the Church teaches. From the CCC:

Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.

The Catholic view as I understand it means that the initial Grace of Justification is through unmerited Grace. Once we receive Justification by Grace through Faith we are then not only declared Righteous but in Justification we are actually made Righteous through “Sanctifying Grace” IE the Holy Spirit working in us and because of this we can “Merit” by “good works” and resisting sin “Final” or true Justification and thereby be able to be finally “saved”.

This all sounds well and good, except for one thing, it is not what the NT teaches, especially St. Paul in his Epistles. I have studied and studied both sides of this issue from both the Catholic position and the Reformed position and at this time I agree with the Reformed Protestant position.

If salvation is by Grace through Faith then adding “Merit” or “works” to Salvation slaps Christ in the face and denies Grace. I know the Catholic view; our “merits” are only because of Grace. Restated from above with some “edit”: “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity we can then merit for ourselves the graces needed for our attainment of eternal life”. This is NOT what St Paul teaches.

Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.
And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works

I find it difficult and hard to believe and if I simply cannot hold to the Catholic positions stated at Trent and now in the Catechism. What should I do? Am I a Heretic in the eyes of the Catholic Church? Do I remain in the Catholic Church? I am not sure what to do. As of now I cannot in good conscience believe what the Catholic Church teaches about Justification.

Something else to ponder. The horror of divine judgment is almost palpable in Catholic theology. Such fear, according to Catholic theology, may move the sinner to the beginnings of faith. For that reason fear ought to be, and is, cultivated. But then the Catholic apologists for justification by faith and works enters to declare to this terrified sinner facing the reality of the eternal wrath of the holy God that the pardon and forgiveness which they seek which Reformation theology teaches is “only an external application of Christ’s justice,” it is "just simply a legal exchange according to the Reformation view. The quaking sinner looking for a sure resting-place for his faith is told to look away from the pardon of God, and the sacrifice of Christ which satisfied divine justice. They are only legal; they are insufficient. The sinner is told to look elsewhere – he is told to look to himself!! Is this “gospel?” Is this “good news” to the sinner’s ear. By thus trivializing God’s forgiveness (a legal category), the Catholic dogma has the effect of minimizing with it the divine justice that demands such pardon, and, most importantly, the Savior who satisfied the holy demands of that divine justice to secure for sinners that full and free pardon.

If the Biblical terminology of justification is examined – in both the Old and New Testaments – one sees forensic, juridical language. With very few exceptions the legal concept of “a declaration or vindication of righteousness” is the meaning of the Biblical terms for justification. It is only by wresting the Scriptures that these terms can be forced into consistency with the metaphysical description of justification demanded by Catholic dogma.

And again I ask If I have to “merit” by Grace my Justification where is the Good News of the Gospel “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. The lip service that my “merit” is caused by my will co-operating with God’s grace is not “good news” to a wretched sinner like me. I still have to depend on “I” to save “I” (me).


#2

I know the Catholic view; our “merits” are only because of Grace. Restated from above with some “edit”: “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity we can then merit for ourselves the graces needed for our attainment of eternal life”. This is NOT what St Paul teaches.Okay… I think I understand what you are saying, but I would suggest that the context of the New Testament does not teach the Reformed doctrine and that (as I have stated before) their’s is a different and deficient gospel.

If no works are involved in our salvation, then how do you explain the Gospel message preached on the day of Pentecost (under the influence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit no less!) in Acts 2:37-38.
[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”][37] Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
[38] And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

How do you explain the message delivered to St. Paul himself (especially since you assert that it is his teachings that convince you of the reformed position) in Acts 22:16
[16] And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

Obviously, from the message there, baptism is key to salvation and does indeed wash away and forgive sins. The reformed teachings contradict this in spite of the plain sense of the scriptures.

If our works have no merit with regard to our salvation, why then does Our Lord plainly tell us that we will be judged and either welcomed into the Kingdom of God or cast into hell based upon them in Matthew 25: 31-46
[31] “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
[32] Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
[33] and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
[34] Then the King will say to those at his right hand, Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; [35] for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, [36] I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' [37] Then the righteous will answer him,Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
[38] And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
[39] And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’
[40] And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' [41] Then he will say to those at his left hand,Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
[42] for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
[43] I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
[44] Then they also will answer, Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' [45] Then he will answer them,Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’
[46] And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Romans 4:4-8?

Compare this with the passages that I have offered above.

I find it difficult and hard to believe and if I simply cannot hold to the Catholic positions stated at Trent and now in the Catechism. What should I do? Am I a Heretic in the eyes of the Catholic Church? Do I remain in the Catholic Church? I am not sure what to do. As of now I cannot in good conscience believe what the Catholic Church teaches about Justification.

I don’t know if you are a heretic, but I am sure that you are confused. Let’s discuss this and see if, as I believe, the reformation gospel is indeed different (from what the New Testament teaches and what the apostles and Our Lord preached) and deficient with regard to salvation.

(Cont’d)[/FONT]


#3

Another point I would like to make is is seen in Romans Ch. 7. St Paul talks about this inner struggle that all Christians have, the wrestling that one goes through as a Christian between “the new man” of Grace and the still existing “old man of sin” still within us IE “concupiscence”. In the Catholic view if we commit even one “Mortal Sin” by giving in to the “old man” thats it, God wants to throw us into hell, sure we can confess to God directly but unless we go to a Priest then we remain unforgiven.I feel that in my position God is just looking for an excuse to grab my salvation away at any moment if I even so much as even think of something bad. While it would seem that the Protestant view that “one sin” will not make us lose salvation as long as we repent and confess to God and that God wants us with him and is more than willing to accept me as imperfect as I am and He knows and sees that by His Grace I am doing the best I can, that at the end He will accept that in spite of me not being perfectly holy and that the ONLY Righteousness I have and can plead is Christ’s Righteousness, not my own “infused Righteousness.”


#4

I submit that that is the beginning of most conversions but that is not nearly the ideal and driving force for the believer once he comes to conversion and begins his journey of faith with the Lord.

But then the Catholic apologists for justification by faith and works enters to declare to this terrified sinner facing the reality of the eternal wrath of the holy God that the pardon and forgiveness which they seek which Reformation theology teaches is “only an external application of Christ’s justice,” it is "just simply a legal exchange according to the Reformation view.

I don’t know where you find this…I have never see such. Authentic and authoritative documentation please?

The quaking sinner looking for a sure resting-place for his faith is told to look away from the pardon of God, and the sacrifice of Christ which satisfied divine justice. They are only legal; they are insufficient. The sinner is told to look elsewhere – he is told to look to himself!!

Again, I don’t know where you got that allegation as it is not what the Catholic Church teaches, but appears (from the tone and terminology) to be some interpretation of it by someone with a reformed bent.

“Quaking sinners”, in my Catholic experience are directed to come to Christ in obedience to the Gospel and being baptized for the remission of their sins, then to follow Our Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to love their neighbor as themselves.

Is this “gospel?” Is this “good news” to the sinner’s ear. By thus trivializing God’s forgiveness (a legal category), the Catholic dogma has the effect of minimizing with it the divine justice that demands such pardon, and, most importantly, the Savior who satisfied the holy demands of that divine justice to secure for sinners that full and free pardon.

Again, this appears to be nothing more than reformed rhetoric without substance since it is factually inaccurate as to what the Church teaches. :shrug:

If the Biblical terminology of justification is examined – in both the Old and New Testaments – one sees forensic, juridical language. With very few exceptions the legal concept of “a declaration or vindication of righteousness” is the meaning of the Biblical terms for justification. It is only by wresting the Scriptures that these terms can be forced into consistency with the metaphysical description of justification demanded by Catholic dogma.

More of the same. I have already shown you directly from scripture two key points where the reformed “gospel” is errant and deficient.

IMO, to follow the reformed doctrines is to depart from the Gospel of Christ into “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6-10) which can indeed imperil one’s soul. :frowning:

And again I ask If I have to “merit” by Grace my Justification where is the Good News of the Gospel “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. The lip service that my “merit” is caused by my will co-operating with God’s grace is not “good news” to a wretched sinner like me. I still have to depend on “I” to save “I” (me).

Again, I point out that what you are considering as reformed theology, is not what the New Testament teaches and that your expressed understanding of Catholic teaching is inaccurate.

Even as St. Paul did with Timothy I urge you to more prayer and to [FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]“Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:15)[/FONT]


#5

You are ignoring very informative passages of the New Testament. Among them, The fact that Revelations plainly tells us that unless we are faithful in certain things, (and there Our Lord is talking to believers) He will blot our names from the book of life.

If there is no such thing as mortal sin, then what does the following passage mean? [FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]1st John 5:16 He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask. 17 All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.

[size=][FONT=“Verdana”]Moreover, you are forgetting some very important and informative passages of the New Testament that deal with confession and forgiveness of sins. Look here at John 20:21[/size] He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. and again…at James 5: [14] Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
[15] and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
[16] Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.[/FONT]

How do you reconcile these passages with reformation doctrines? I don’t believe you can and maintain any sort of faithful scriptural beliefs.

I feel that in my position God is just looking for an excuse to grab my salvation away at any moment if I even so much as even think of something bad.

Then you seriously need to go in and sit down for counseling with your priest because you are suffering some kind of scrupulosity that he can counsel you away from to a balanced and scriptural thinking.

While it would seem that the Protestant view that “one sin” will not make us lose salvation as long as we repent and confess to God and that God wants us with him and is more than willing to accept me as imperfect as I am and He knows and sees that by His Grace I am doing the best I can, that at the end He will accept that in spite of me not being perfectly holy and that the ONLY Righteousness I have and can plead is Christ’s Righteousness, not my own “infused Righteousness.”

Again, you are departing from the actual teachings of the scriptures into the “reformed” teachings of men. You need to get into the facts as to what the Church teaches as talk to your priest. I know all this because I was outside the church for over 34 years and I know what someone is telling you. Don’t you believe it my friend. Read my testimony here, get counseling from your parish priest, and stay in the Catholic Church. the one that Jesus founded and that follows the New Testamemnt Gospel. :slight_smile:

Feel free to PM or e-mail me if you want to discuss this more privately.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.[/FONT]


#6

You’re assuming that the term “faith” refers merely to a state of mind, a subjective disposition, or sentiment. St. James, of course, infallibly taught that this is simply not the case, thus clarifying and balancing the particular empheses of St. Paul (Js. 2:24, 26). The Christian concept of “faith” includes orthopraxis, that is, right action, or obedience. “Faith” cannot be separated from “faithfulness.”

So, yes, salvation comes by faith, as the Church has always taught----and this “faith,” by definition, includes the reality of obedience.

Blessings,

Don
+T+


#7

I think your characterization of RC theology is right on target: In the end, salvation requires some sufficient degree of cooperation (righteousness in thought and deed) in order to keep themselves in grace.

How does this glorify God? It doesn’t. It takes the focus away from grace and mercy and places it all on ourselves. If I attain eternal life (according to the RC view) it is because I was sufficiently obedient and sufficiently cooperative with God’s grace, while many others are not. This ought to give saved people every reason to boast. But boasting goes against the whole meaning of grace!

It sounds to me like God is working in your life right now, in a major way. Praise God! I would recommend reading the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18: 9-14 for another great way of showing the attitude we ought to have towards God, and our own helplessly sinful nature. And this parable does talk about salvation.


#8

Church Militant I read your testimony on your “blog”. I too attended an AOG Church for about a year after I graduated from college. I tend to still be “Reformed” in many ways because with the exception of the AOG I have been a member of two different Churches that were Reformed. After the AOG I belonged to a Reformed Baptist Church and when I moved I became a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church. I too left the Catholic Church at the age of 19. I recently “reverted” to the Catholic Church because of, and to be honest It was the Sacraments, ESPECIALLY the Eucharist. Don’t get me wrong, the ONLY issue I still have is “Justification”. I can’t help but think that the Catholic position on it smacks of the error of Semi-Pelagianism.
Mary, the Saints etc. are non-issues for me. Let me ask you or anyone else who reads this thread; What must I do to be Saved?


#9

I highly recommend this helpful text:

James Akin, The Salvation Controversy (Catholic Answers, 2001) [ISBN 188899218-2]

God bless,

Don
+T+


#10

socrates58.blogspot.com/2005/12/what-is-gospel.html
ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/CMFAITH.TXT
catholic.com/library/Are_Catholics_Born_Again.asp
cin.org/users/james/files/justcath.htm
bringyou.to/apologetics/a126.htm
newman-csuf.com/justification.asp
cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=86

Blessings,

Don
+T+


#11

Using my favorite blog’s **emphases **and comments:

Insinuatur descriptio justifactionis impii, et modus ejus in statu gratiæ." Here the Council’s use of the phrase indicates that it reads Romans 4:4-6 as referring to the justification that is the “translation, from that state wherein** man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God**, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.” In other words, “initial” justification, which cannot be merited by faith or works (Cf. Chapter VIII). The Catholic Church is solidly Pauline on this one.] his faith is counted as righteousness,
just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works

. . .]

Something else to ponder. The horror of divine judgment is almost palpable in Catholic theology. Such fear, according to Catholic theology, may move the sinner to the beginnings of faith. For that reason fear ought to be, and is, cultivated. But then the Catholic apologists for justification by faith and works enters to declare to this terrified sinner facing the reality of the eternal wrath of the holy God that the pardon and forgiveness which they seek which Reformation theology teaches is “only an external application of Christ’s justice,” it is "just simply a legal exchange according to the Reformation view. The quaking sinner looking for a sure resting-place for his faith is told to look away from the pardon of God, and the sacrifice of Christ which satisfied divine justice. They are only legal; they are insufficient. The sinner is told to look elsewhere – he is told to look to himself!! Is this “gospel?” Is this “good news” to the sinner’s ear. By thus trivializing God’s forgiveness (a legal category), the Catholic dogma has the effect of minimizing with it the divine justice that demands such pardon, and, most importantly, the Savior who satisfied the holy demands of that divine justice to secure for sinners that full and free pardon.

If the Biblical terminology of justification is examined – in both the Old and New Testaments – one sees forensic, juridical language. With very few exceptions the legal concept of “a declaration or vindication of righteousness” is the meaning of the Biblical terms for justification. It is only by wresting the Scriptures that these terms can be forced into consistency with the metaphysical description of justification demanded by Catholic dogma.http://www.reformed.org/webfiles/antithesis/index.html?mainframe=/webfiles/antithesis/v1n5/ant_v1n5_confusions.html ]

As for the subject of merit, I recommend:

Reversing Babel: A Calvinist Reading of the Tridentine Doctrine of Merit.
[PDF]


#12

My **emphases **and **comments **. . .

.I **feel **that in my position God is just looking for an excuse to grab my salvation away at any moment if I even so much as even think of something bad. [That feeling does not represent Catholic moral theology. The Catholic understanding of justification is rooted in the Father’s re-creation of the sons of Adam as his adopted sons in His only-begotten Son-- an act that is reflective of the God who is Love. That’s totally incompatible with the view that God is “just looking for an excuse” to cast people in to Hell.] While it would seem that the Protestant view that “one sin” will not make us lose salvation as long as we repent and confess to God will make us lose salvation if we don’t repent and confess to God?] and that God wants us with him and is more than willing to accept me as imperfect as I am [Sounds Catholic so far.] and He knows and sees that by His Grace I am doing the best I can **, that at the end He will accept that in spite of me not being perfectly holy and that the ONLY Righteousness I have and can plead is Christ’s Righteousness, not my own “infused Righteousness.”[Infused Righteousness is “my own” only in the sense that it is a free gift inhering in me that I have received from God, who was the one who gave it gratuitously in the first place. My very reception of righteousness is itself a gift of grace. Thus, I cannot claim infused righteousness as my own as though it were from myself; the only thing that qualifies as such is my refusal.]


#13

In the context of ALL scripture and not just cherry picked verses

believing in Christ AND abiding in him


#14

How Is A Catholic Saved? from my blog…

As I pointed out above…the Gospel today is (and should be!) the same as that preached by the apostles in the New Testament. (See Acts 2:37-38 and 22:16 as well as John 3:5) If what is preached is not the same then that (IMO) would qualify as “a different gospel”.

I, like many many Catholics, have heard and seen allegations that ours is a different gospel, but having read the Word of God carefully and prayerfully many times over many years, and comparing the messages of those who make those allegations to the salvation message of the Catholic Church alongside the New Testament, I have found that just the opposite is true.

If, as I suspect, you have read the New Testament all the way through, (more than likely many times over) you can understand what I mean when I say that the Gospel of salvation is actually the topic throughout and I submit that it is the Gospel that is preached by the Catholic Church that accurately aligns with that and not the one of the reformers or their modern step children.

I hope that helps, and again, if you need to discuss any of this privately, I have no problem with that.
Pax tecum,


#15

I see that you neglect to provide any scripture or even any authentic Catholic authoritative document to support your opinion.

Provide documentation that this is what the Catholic Church preaches and teaches and we can get into that…otherwise this is nothing ore than rhetorical propaganda.

How does this glorify God? It doesn’t. It takes the focus away from grace and mercy and places it all on ourselves. If I attain eternal life (according to the RC view) it is because I was sufficiently obedient and sufficiently cooperative with God’s grace, while many others are not. This ought to give saved people every reason to boast. But boasting goes against the whole meaning of grace!

Again… more rhetoric without any supporting documentation for your remarks.

I submit that you are believing and presenting a different gospel than that which we find in the pages of the New Testament.
Read the following: How Is A Catholic Saved? then please proceed to show us where what I have presented is contradictory to the Word of God. I don’t believe that you can, and I believe that any attempt that you make will only contradict the Word of God all the more, but please… by all means…give it you best effort. :shrug:

It sounds to me like God is working in your life right now, in a major way. Praise God! I would recommend reading the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18: 9-14 for another great way of showing the attitude we ought to have towards God, and our own helplessly sinful nature. And this parable does talk about salvation.

Okay… let’s just talk about this passage that you have brought up. Here’s the text: 9 And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. 12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.

[size=3][FONT=Verdana]Now. are there any Catholics out there reading this that have ever even felt this way when we are at Mass or at any time when we are before the Lord either in personal prayer or Eucharistic adoration?

I can unequivocally say a resounding NO! …and in fact, let me share what better sums up my own thinking and attitude before God.

(Cont’d)
[/size][/FONT]


#16

From the Mass: [size=][FONT=“Palatino Linotype”](Scriptural basis) James 5:16 Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.[/size]

All: I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord, our God.

Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.

All: Amen.

Again, from the Mass: (Scriptural basis) John 1:29 & 36. 29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.

36 And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God.

Breaking of the Bread:

All: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.

Again, from the Mass: (Scriptural basis) Matthew 8:8 And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

Luke 7:6 And Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent his friends to him, saying: Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof.

Communion:

Priest:  This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.
All:  Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Basic Texts for the Roman Catholic Eucharist
THE ORDER OF MASS

Bragging? I don’t think so…[/FONT]


#17

To the OP, I think the crux of your confusion rests in the fact that you have accepted the Protestant definition of the term, “grace.” You probably would define grace as, “unmerited favor.” That, however, is not the definition. The definition is, “a sharing in God’s life.” Grace is what enables our sanctification that leads to justification. It is given to us from God, and is not generated from within us apart from The Holy Spirit. Faith is the belief in AND obedience to God, which also comes from God and is not generated from within us apart from The Holy Spirit. Thus, the expression, “We are saved by grace through faith, not by works so no man may boast” can be reworded, “We are saved by a sharing in God’s life(works that God has prepared for us in advance) which comes through the belief in and obedience to God, and not by any personal actions apart from God.” That is the consistent message of Scripture.

Protestantism, by redefining the terms would have it read, “We are saved by unmerited favor through saying that we believe and meaning it with our hearts, and not by our willingness to embrace God’s sanctifying grace nor our efforts to trust, obey, and cooperate with God’s plan for our lives.”

Well, that’s my take on it, anyway. If I misstated anything, Catholics, AND ONLY Catholics, please correct me.


#18

Ohhhh.

I didn’t see this when you posted this before, kotek.

This is both true and wise. “Wretched sinner” is right. The more I grow in the faith, the more this reality shows the utter bankruptcy of my “merits.”


#19

Actually, you forgot the issue of the supposed perfect teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church. That is the most important and most pivotal dogma of the RCC (as by it all other dogmas are supposedly known).

That is the primary dogma you have issue with right before Justification. If it wasn’t, you would have already abandoned your doubts on the truth of the RCCs position on Justification and just embraced whatever they say to believe.

I think that is a fair observation…don’t you?


#20

I’m not completely clear why you think there is no good news in the gospel as you think it is taught by the Catholic Church. It sounds like perhaps the reason you think there is no good news is that either you think if something contains any reference to your free will, then you are sure you will not be saved, or you think that there is no good news if you are not at this moment certain that you are one of the elect to heaven. Is it one of these?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.