What is wrong with this according to the RCC?


#1

I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. "I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me"
I believe that we are all sinners. We were born into sin. The punishment for our sin is death. Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death (Hell). God loved us so much that He sent His son, Jesus Christ to pay this punishment for us. He suffered and died, overcame death and hell, so we wouldnt have to.
To accept his payment, we must simply make Him the Lord of our lives. We love Him for what He has done for us and offer our lives to serve Him and tell everyone we can about Him. Because of His love for us and our love for Him, we have formed a loving relationship with an Eternal God.
When God looks at my life now and when I enter His presence, He no longer sees my filthy heart, but rather sees the perfection of Christ inside of me. This is what allows me to live with God for eternity, not a Church membership, religion, denomination, priest confession, works, or anything else. It is simply a relationship with my Creator.

My question is this-- I don’t understand everything about the RCC but would like to. I am not saying it will change my thinking but I think we all must understand the beliefs of others. So I would like to know, according to the RCC, what is wrong with my faith that I have described above? You are more than welcome to ask me to elaborate on anything I have mentioned.


#2

I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. "I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me"
I believe that we are all sinners. We were born into sin. The punishment for our sin is death. Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death (Hell). God loved us so much that He sent His son, Jesus Christ to pay this punishment for us. He suffered and died, overcame death and hell, so we wouldnt have to.
To accept his payment, we must simply make Him the Lord of our lives. We love Him for what He has done for us and offer our lives to serve Him and tell everyone we can about Him. Because of His love for us and our love for Him, we have formed a loving relationship with an Eternal God.
When God looks at my life now and when I enter His presence, He no longer sees my filthy heart, but rather sees the perfection of Christ inside of me. This is what allows me to live with God for eternity, not a Church membership, religion, denomination, priest confession, works, or anything else. It is simply a relationship with my Creator.

My question is this-- I don’t understand everything about the RCC but would like to. I am not saying it will change my thinking but I think we all must understand the beliefs of others. So I would like to know, according to the RCC, what is wrong with my faith that I have described above? You are more than welcome to ask me to elaborate on anything I have mentioned.


#3

What you believe is informally called “Once Saved, Always Saved” and it is very different different from Catholic teaching. Catholics believe that simply declaring faith is not enough, and that salvation is never assured. You must always keep on your toes to not let sin creep back into your life. You confess your sins regularly and you do penance for them.

Catholics believe that God always knows your filthy heart. Most people not bound for Hell after death will spend a period of time in Purgatory where they will purified from sin before going on to Heaven to be in the presence of the Lord.

Also, Catholics believe that it is impossible to know the mind of God, therefore believing that you are without a doubt “saved” is a sin of presumption.


#4

If you want to know what the Catholic Church teaches, I highly recommend you get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or read it online here).

You are on the right path, but you are missing what the New Testament tells us regarding the Church that Jesus founded and how the Gospels and Letters of St. Paul and others answer the question, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life…?”


#5

Hello,

I’ll just quickly go through and notate a few things. I am sure others will come along with more constructive replies.

This needs elaborated upon. Without the elaboration, I don’t know where you stand for certain, but it seems a little suspicious in possibly an erroneous thought of solely contractual vicarious atonement and a faulty view of Original Sin and its effects and the effects of Christ’s Passion. Again, I need this elaborated to know.

I guess if one interprets this in a certain way - but I assume you mean it in the way of accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior in a normal Protestant way. Nothing wrong with that, but it lacks so much of the truth. Faith is not merely personal, but very communal as well. Also, it is not just simply (as in that is all we must do) necessary to say a sinners prayer and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. That is not all we must do by a long shot (even Satan believes that Jesus is Lord and God).

That’s all good. We should love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul - that is the first and greatest commandment. But, we must all love our neighbor as ourself, which is just as important, as Jesus tells us. This is the virtue of love.

If you are in a state of sanctifying grace, God does see Christ within you. But, this is not a one time and your done deal. We must repent and turn to God every day.

This is probably the most problematic section. We must be baptized into the Catholic Church, which is the only way Jesus set for us to come to Heaven through Him.

After baptism, if we are stupid enough to commit more grave sins (a common thing among us sinners), sacramental Confession is the only ordinary means to get back into sanctifying grace. And we must have sanctifying grace to get to Heaven.

We must also do good works. Not because they merit us Heaven, but because without them, our faith is obviously dead. A tree is known by its fruit and if the fruit is lacking then the tree is put to the axe.


#6

Hi, Kinnon!

Welcome to the forums. I hope your time here is fun, enlightening, and Spirit-filled. :slight_smile:

Hopefully, everyone will be very helpful to you. Just realize that Catholics, like all of humanity, are sinners, and so some might treat you unlovingly. If any do, don’t worry about it. There are plenty more that will show you respect and charity - even if they do challenge your beliefs. We do this because, as St. Paul said, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

So, God bless and welcome. :thumbsup:

This is all fine. There might be some *ever *so slightly different understandings we may have of some of what you’ve said here, but by and large, it’s perfectly in line with Catholic teaching.

not a Church membership, religion, denomination, priest confession, works, or anything else.

This is where the problem would come in. I would like to suggest that for this thread, we focus only on these points, unless someone really has an issue with something in the first part, because by and large, these are the real disagreement.

I’ll very briefly explain the differences we have, and then people can elaborate on it more later.

[list]*]not a Church membership or denomination - As Catholics, we believe that there is one baptism into one Church (see Eph. 4:5), and that Church is the body of Christ. Those who knowingly reject this Church do not have a relationship with Jesus, because they have knowingly rejected the Church that He established for them to be in; they have knowingly rejected membership in His body. St. Paul expresses this same concept in the quote I cited above: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

In other words, Church membership is a part of our relationship with Him, just like living in the same house is a part of ones relationship with his wife.

*]religion - well, it depends on what you mean here. The word religion is just from the Latin word for “relationship.” :thumbsup:

So, if by religion you mean arbitrary spiritual acts, then we agree. If you mean by religion all of the various things that Christ asks of us, then we disagree and say that this is necessary.

*]priest confession - As Catholics, we believe that Jesus Christ instituted the confession of sins for absolution. There are different Bible verses that this is found in, most notably John 20:21-23: “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.’”

It’s important to note that in confession, the sinner is confessing to Jesus Christ, for whom the priest is a visible ambassador: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2Co 5:20). The Greek word for “ambassador,” is presbeuo, which comes from the root word presbuteros, which is where we get the English word “priest” from. We say that the priest, as ambassador, hears sins in “the person of Christ,” as St. Paul said of himself: “To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;” (2Co 2:10). Christ forgives the sins through His ambassador, the priest, but it is Christ who is forgiving.

*]works - As Catholics, we believe that works cannot justify. We do not earn our justification. We do, however, believe that a person once justified freely by Christ may gain further justification through good works. This is only possible because the believer now has the Holy Spirit indwelling in him, and any good works of his are good works of the Holy Spirit. This is what we understand James to mean when he says that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone: faith is not the only thing that justifies, works also can justify. However, works can only increase the justice of those who have already been justified by no works, or anything else, of their own. Even our faith is a free gift of God, as Ephesians 2:8-10 teaches.

We also believe that works are necessary insofar as we must avoid grave sin. So in other words, the work of “not commiting adultery” is necessary for us.
[/list]

I hope that starts us off well.

Peace and God bless!


#7

I would agree with much of what you say. But consider this–

To make Jesus the Lord of our lives we must seek to do His will, which means we should be baptized into the Church He set up and become an active member in it. I don’t mean like a member of an organization. Paul talks about us being members of one body in Christ. Paul is talking about the Church. God gives us spiritual gifts to use for the other members of the body, not just ourselves, and they have gifts God has given them for us. Following Jesus is not simply a relationship with God. The relationship with God is central but He desires us to come into relationship with His Church as well.

As an introvert, I had a problem with this for many years. But God has changed me through His grace.

Also, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead the Church into all truth. I want all the truth I can get, all that He wants to give me. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what is true or how God wants us to act in a certain situation. God hasn’t left us without practical guidance. He left us the teaching authority of the Church guided by the Spirit, the Tradition handed down from the apostles, and the written Scriptures of the apostles and those who knew them. In the Catholic church we have it all.

By the way, when we are baptized, our hearts (our souls) are no longer filthy because the Holy Spirit actually comes into us and changes us. As Paul wrote, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. This is so amazing! So God not only sees the perfection of Christ in us; but He actually changes us to be like Christ. And, as long as we abide in Him, we become more and more like Him.

So, when you describe your faith, it’s not so much that I see something wrong with it, as I think there is so much more that God wants for you.

May God bless you in your faith journey. Claire


#8

I think the simplest answer from a Catholic perspective is, if one loves Christ why would they reject many of his most beautiful and important gifts (the Church, the sacraments, the liturgy, etc)? Why would anybody proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior and turn their backs on what he desires so intensely to give them?


#9

We love Him for what He has done for us and offer our lives to serve Him and tell everyone we can about Him.

Part of offering our lives to serve Him is doing all the works he commanded.

"Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. (Luke 6:46-47)

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


#10

Duplicate post. There is another posting of this same thread in Non-Catholic Religions.


#11

well to me, the whole I don’t have to go to church or participate in a worship ceremony to be spiritually well philiosophy is actually…kinda anti-social. I mean, when you go to mass or service or whatever, you’re sharing time with people. You’re interacting and worshipping together. Do those people just dislike socializing in general? or is it just during worship time? What’s up with that? I doubt heaven will be like that. When your singing God’s praise, you’re gonna be with millions of others too right?
Your relationship with God sounds really exclusive.

It’s like those kids who are fans of an underground rock band, and then When that rock band gets more popular, The original fans put down the new fans because the liked it better when only a few dozen people were into that band so they stop attending their concerts and call anyone who still likes the band “posers” and they call the band sellouts simply because millions of people are attending their concerts instead of just twenty at a bar someplace

That’s my metaphor anyway


#12

Not anymore…The Mods merged 'em.


#13

One thing I would like to touch on is

God disciplines us even though he has washed us from our sins. Once a person becomes a Christian does not mean that there are no further punishments for sins. “Because Jesus blood is good enough for you.” (Heb 12:5-11) verse 6 “for whom the Lord loves he disciplines.”

So he still sees your filthy heart and there is still disciplines for the sins you commit if there wasnt then there would be no need for us to repent of our sins.

any questions just ask I may not be able to answer but someone will

thanks for joining us

God Bless


#14

When God looks at my life now and when I enter His presence, He no longer sees my filthy heart, but rather sees the perfection of Christ inside of me.

**This is incorrect. It’s the old “imputed” vs. “infused” righteousness argument, which is discussed elsewhere.

God doesn’t see your sins because he FORGIVES them. He doesn’t see your filthy heart because He CLEANSES it.

After all, John the Baptist didn’t say, “Behold the Lamb of God who covers the sins of the world,” did he?**


#15

I know someone here recommended the cathechism, but i know it’s kinda difficult to read at times. I would love to recommend this book. Easy to read and understand. An what’s interesting is the author used to haold much to the dutch calvanist beliefs that you do.

If you do not wish to buy it i will be more that happy to send it to you for free.

amazon.com/Catholic-Christianity-Complete-Catechism-Beliefs/dp/0898707986/ref=pd_bbs_sr_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205677017&sr=8-6

Oh and a slight interjection : Some people believe religious organizations are a crutch, well that’s true because we are all cripples, so we need help to walk the road of sanctifying grace.


#16

Hello,

I know some find the Catechism hard to read, but the Church in her wisdom has also published the Compendium of the Catechism (online here) and the Adult Catechism in the United States to be able to communicate to everyone. They also have the Adult Catechism aids, such as a readers journal and audio companion. Also, there are other lecture series that cover the Catechism, like the one by Father Corapi or Father Mullady (avaliable from the Rosary Center). :thumbsup:

I haven’t read the book you listed, but Peter Kreeft is a good Catholic writer. :thumbsup:


#17

You covered almost all the main points, but one thing is left out. Yes, God forgives all our sins because Jesus died for us, but in addition to this, our new relationship with God through Jesus allows us to receive the Holy Spirit and to grow in holiness. This isn’t about doing works to earn salvation: we can’t possibly ever improve ourselves like that without God’s help. For Catholics, baptism is just the start of a long journey where God leads us to real holiness - not just that God can’t see our sins anymore, but eventually we will be sanctified and really made holy. When the process is done, we won’t sin anymore. This is where the sacraments and the church come in, to help us along this journey. This sanctification is completely the gift of God, all we need to do is co-operate. But we really do have to co-operate, it has to be our choice. So we have to ‘run the race’ and ‘work out our salvation’, although we can’t take credit for any of it:

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.

Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.


#18

Thanks so much for your replies!

  1. One of the major problems I see is my idea of “Once saved always saved.” and that "God sees the perfection of Christ in me."
    I believe Justification IS a one time and your done deal. However, sanctification is not.

I wrote a theological paper last semester on Justification and would love to share it with all of you. Unfortunately I dont know how to add it as an attatchment or if I even can (Im new at this whole, “forum” stuff) So I am sorry, but I will add some excerpts from it to help you better understand my belief on what justification is.

Justification-- Justification comes from dikaiosis in the Greek which means “the act of pronouncing righteous.” Also the verb form of dikainosis, being dikaioo, means “to justify, vindicate, declare righteous, to put someone in a proper relationship with another, usually referring to God’s relationship to humankind, implying a proper legal or moral relationship.” Both of these definitions explain that justification has to do with righteousness. Righteousness is possessed by one who is holy in the sight of the Lord. However, we cannot be holy in the sight of the Lord on our own accord. Even Isaiah says that our righteousness is of God. As Christians we become righteous in two ways. First, we become instantaneously righteous in the eyes of God when Justification takes place. Next we become progressively righteous as we strive to grow closer to God in sanctification.

Justification is not something that is earned, found, or obtained; justification is something that is received. One receives justification when he/she commits their life to Christ. This means that they have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their savior. The faith mentioned here is composed of four elements.

First and foremost, we must have knowledge and be informed of the things we are to receive. One cannot have faith in Christ without the knowledge of Him or the knowledge of His Word. Rom 10:14 “…And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?..”

Secondly, belief must make up a large part of our faith in Christ. “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” One must believe that Christ is who He said he is. One must also believe that Christ came to bring justification as the Lamb of God. In Romans 10:9 we read, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Thirdly, we must have trust in Christ. Trust is so very vital to our faith in Jesus Christ. It is a strong foundation of our relationship with him. It is simple to know that a bridge exists and to furthermore believe that the bridge will hold a person. However, it is trust that allows one to actually walk out on to the bridge. One must have complete trust in Christ in order to have true faith.

The last piece of faith in Christ is recumbency. This means to lie down or rest in the Lord. It is the act of laying everything on Christ; placing your all in His hands. When we have completely placed our all on him and find rest in the Lord we are recumbent in Him.

All these pieces together—knowledge, belief, trust, and recumbency—make up a true faith in the Lord. Many people believe they have a true faith in Christ, but are missing one of these components. If any of these components are missing in your life with Christ it is not a solid faith. We must ground our faith on these components in order for complete surrender to God.

Justification, throughout scripture never means “to make righteous”, it always means to “declare righteous.” If God declares one righteous, they are always declared righteous. We are declared free from our sins; past, present, and future! We cannot lose our salvation or be declared unrighteous because it was God who did it. If one can lose their salvation, then salvation is not perfect, and if salvation is not perfect, then Christ did not pay the full price. Christ says in John 10:28-29, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” We belong to Christ! We have been declared righteous and nothing can take that away.

Because we have been declared righteous, we are now free from the penalty of sin, but a fortiori we are free from the bondage of sin. Romans 8:21 discusses God’s hope “that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay…” We are in bondage to the sin nature we are born with, but the Justification of God sets us free from this bondage. This does not mean that we will never sin again, but it does mean that Satan’s power over us is released and we now have the Spirit of God to help us walk in light and no longer in darkness.

Romans 8:21, after discussing our release from the bondage of sin, furthermore explains God’s hope that we are “…brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” This is the last piece of Justification. First our sins are removed, next Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, next we are released from the bondage of sin, and finally we are restored to a right relationship with God. We become part of the family of God, we become His children; part of His Church. (As a fellowship of believers, not the RCC)

Once a person is justified they now begin sanctification. Sanctification could be simply referred to as “the Christian life”. It is our process of becoming more like Christ. To be sanctified we must be willing to let go of any control we have on our lives and give it all to God. We must allow Him to mold us and make us the servants that He has planned for us to be.

Message me if you would like to read the entire paper. Lets stay on this topic for now and then move onto others.


Protestant saying hello
#19

could you tell me what you think of this verse being Christ no longer can see your sin

God disciplines us even though he has washed us from our sins. Once a person becomes a Christian does not mean that there are no further punishments for sins. “Because Jesus blood is good enough for you.” (Heb 12:5-11) verse 6 “for whom the Lord loves he disciplines.”

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

  “ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
  Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
   6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
  And scourges every son whom He receives.”[a]

7 If** you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.**


#20

The blood of Jesus is enough to DECLARE me righteous, however it does not make me righteous. I will still sin, I will still fall, however because I have been set free from the bondage of sin and have the spirit living in me as I mentioned earlier, and it is the Holy Spirit that helps me to walk to Christian life of becoming more like Christ. One of the ways it does this is by chastisement when I fall. I don’t think that I disagree with you on this one, unless I am misinterpreting you.

However I do believe my sins are still covered past present and future by God’s grace. Paul says this in the latter part of Romans 5:20-21 “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Some may say… “Okay, so you believe you can sin as much as you want because God’s grace will cover it up”

On the contrary, all one must do is keep reading on into chapter 6 of Romans.

Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

So even though God’s grace does cover up my sins, this does not mean I should use that as an excuse to sin. As a Christian I have died to sin and become alive as a new creature in Christ, so why would I want to live in sin?


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