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Question: Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?
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Author Topic: Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?  (Read 28020 times)
michael_legna
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« Reply #105 on: January 21, 2004, 08:44:05 AM »

Quote from Michael,

"All of your terms  - “listen to it, believe it, accept it, receive it” are all acts of man – they show we must actively do works before we even have a true faith."

Our believing is God's work.

Joh 6:28  "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."


This is the type of erroneous thinking that comes from building doctrine on one verses in isolation from the rest of scripture.

All you have to do is look at one more verse to see that your interpretation is wrong.

1John 3:23  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

See, this verse cannot be contrary to the verse you quote so the only possible explanation is that the verse you quote (though fully true) is only telling part of the story.  We get more of the story in 1 John 3:23 where is says we must believe AND love.  

But even that is not the whole story.  We can go throughout scripture showing more and more things we MUST do to properly accept the free gift.  Evetually it all comes down to the proper acceptance of the gift, as determined by God, is for us to repsond with a true living faith and that requires works to keep it alive and perfect it.  Without a proper acceptance of the gift we are not saved.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2004, 08:45:15 AM by michael_legna » Logged

Matt 5:11  Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
michael_legna
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« Reply #106 on: January 21, 2004, 08:54:18 AM »

Quote from Michael,

"All of your terms  - “listen to it, believe it, accept it, receive it” are all acts of man – they show we must actively do works before we even have a true faith."

Our believing is God's work.

Joh 6:28  "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."


pilgrim,

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Our believing is God's work.

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Christians believe this, but michael doesn't, this is why he keeps goping around in circles with his arguments.

On Christians who don't read the whole Bible.  1 John 3:23 shows we must do more.

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The Roman Catholic church does not teach this, they teach salvation is not the work God does, it is the result of what man does for God.

This is another in your long string of lies Petro.  You know that is not the Church's position.  You just state it is so you can more easily attack it.  The Church teaches that salvation is the work of God, but that man does have to accept the gift.  You and your doctrine of deterministic predestination and stripping away man's free will remove love from the relationship between man and God and replace it with force and slavery.

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This is why, he fails to see, the error of the RC church in killing Christians for disagreeing with his church.

When did I ever say the Church was not wrong to kill people who committed heresy?  This type of lying smear campaign you seem to have resorted to, when I have proven you arguments to be fallacious, is not becoming of a Christian Petro.
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« Reply #107 on: January 21, 2004, 09:23:13 AM »


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from Michael,


This is another in your long string of lies Petro.  You know that is not the Church's position.  You just state it is so you can more easily attack it.  The Church teaches that salvation is the work of God, but that man does have to accept the gift.  You and your doctrine of deterministic predestination and stripping away man's free will remove love from the relationship between man and God and replace it with force and slavery.

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michael,

You can't even see, the error of what you say, the very fact that the RCC, teaches that no one can be saved unless they are under the authority of the pope, says it all, together with the whole teaching of sacramentalism (for which there is not one scripture supporting such a system in Gods word) shows what they believe and teach, just because you can't see it, doesn't make everyone else wrong, the fact that they were willing to kill whom they consider heretics doing Gods work tells the tale.

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This is why, he fails to see, the error of the RC church in killing Christians for disagreeing with his church.

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michaedl says
When did I ever say the Church was not wrong to kill people who committed heresy?  This type of lying smear campaign you seem to have resorted to, when I have proven you arguments to be fallacious, is not becoming of a Christian Petro.

You call heresy anything that disagrees with your doctrines, in the case of Wm Tyndale, we see him, and all the others as faithful servants of God, of whom Jesus spoke, when he said theose words;


Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
(Mat 5:11-13)

The very fact this instituiton is willing to kill those who disagree with its teachings proves who controls those in power, Lance hit the nail on the head, and no doubt you would gladly be a willing participant today against whom you refer to as heretics, thinking you would be doing a service to God.

Wake up, therre is still time...michael



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michael_legna
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« Reply #108 on: January 21, 2004, 02:37:38 PM »


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You can't even see, the error of what you say, the very fact that the RCC, teaches that no one can be saved unless they are under the authority of the pope, says it all,

Petro, do you know anythign about the RCC?  The RCC does not teach that you have to be under the authority of the Pope to be saved.  You probably got this from a quote you read that said something like there is no salvation outsid eof the Church and you immediately jumped to your legalistic intepretation of everything and came to a conclusion only you believe.  The Church has a far more subtle mind than you do and its meanings are more complex than a simple approach like yours can account for.  I could explain the nuances to you but I am sure you have already made up your mind and do not want to be confused by facts.

Your statement is funny actually because half of Protestantism accuses the Church of saying even the Moslems are saved and the other half say that the Church claims only Roman Catholics are saved.  It is just that type of simplistic interpretation, you exhibit, of the Church's teachings that cause this type of confusion, bigoty and hate.

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You call heresy anything that disagrees with your doctrines,

You too call anything that disagrees with your doctrines heresy so we are not so different in that respect.

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in the case of Wm Tyndale, we see him, and all the others as faithful servants of God, of whom Jesus spoke, when he said theose words;

You can have any opinion of the man you want the issue is he did a corrupt translation of the Bible with heretical teachings in the margins.  Hardly a faithful servant of God in my mind.

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The very fact this instituiton is willing to kill those who disagree with its teachings proves who controls those in power, Lance hit the nail on the head, and no doubt you would gladly be a willing participant today against whom you refer to as heretics, thinking you would be doing a service to God.

Where do you get this opinion of me Petro?  You don't know me and in fact we have never even met yet you feel you know I would kill.  I guess I should not be suprised, your so called knowledge of the Catholic Church is generally built on even less hard evidence.

Just so you know, I will tell you something about myself.  I would never kill, even in self defense, because unlike you I think we have to decide to be save, and to kill someone, any one, takes away there last chance to choose to believe and follow Christ.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2004, 02:38:51 PM by michael_legna » Logged

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« Reply #109 on: January 21, 2004, 03:00:15 PM »

Ok Michael we will go back to James for a bit.  And I did address the verse you had pointed out in James.  But here let me go back and address them some more.  Specifically addressing some of the replies to that you had mentioned.

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James is fully discussing works and faith and not works and salvation, or works and faith.
 

Could you clarify your position?  First you say he is talking about works and faith, then you say at the end of the same sentence that he is not.
Typo more than anything....the second bit of "or works and faith" was a clip and paste from a different paragraph that did not get edited out.  The postion is that James is discussing works and faith and not works and salvation.

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So when James asks “Can that faith save him?” what is he discussing if not salvation?
This being in reference to James 2:14.  And my reply to that was
While not completely incorrect it is not completely correct either.  One that would profess to have faith in Jesus but is not acting accordingly more than likely never had a true faith to begin with.  We are taught not only by James but others that once we are saved we are born anew and given a new life.  And filled with the Spririt.  And this should produce good works within us.  Make certain you read it correctly because 2:14 states "if a man says he has faith..." which indicates that whomever this is is professing to have faith.  But for everyone else who sees them they see no works to prove his faith, thus the conclusion would be that he truly does not have faith.  James stated that back in 1:22.

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When he says the demons tremble he is discussing what?
And I had replied in reference to 2:19
Again while not completely incorrect it is not completely correct either.  If you read the verse again is states "You believe that God is one." or that there is one God.  Yes even the demons believe that there is one God.  They do not shudder because of eternal damnation which they also already know they have, but they shudder in fear of that one God.  Something else to note is that James states that the demons believe that there is one God, but it does not state that the demons believe in that one God.  Subtle but distinct differences.  Also to note is that James uses the word belief/believe and not faith.  Another subtle difference but one that is different...belief is a part of faith and not vice versa.

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Works don’t only come from faith.  Faith can’t even come until we have repented and repentance is a work, since it is a turning around of ones life.  For that matter faith itself is a work (1 Th 1:3 and 2 Th 1:11).  Works perfect and keep faith alive.  If works are just the fruits of faith, and faith comes before works, then how far in advance does faith come?  How long can faith exist alone before it is dead?
Works are not only a fruit of faith, but faith is a fruit of works.  These two are directly proportional and James (as well as others) shows this sort of relationship.  As you said our works help perfect our faith, and as our faith grows so does the relevance of our works.  Agreed that our salvation requires an act on our part.  We have to accept the gift, never argued that point.  The point of discussion is if we can lose our salvation.

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How far does our faith have to grow before it is a faith that saves?  If our faith can grow from works, can it die due to lack of works?
Our faith does not grow to a point of salvation.  Our faith is based in our salvation.  Can it (faith) die due to a lack of works?  No I do not believe that it can completely.  Since faith is belief in God as well as a trusting acceptance of God's will, I do not believe that anyone can no longer believe in the Truth once they have received it.  I do believe that we can stop trusting in God's will, and we do so everytime we sin, but we cannot truly no longer believe in the Truth.  We may profess that we do not, but just as James and others point out that one who professes to know Christ but does not "walk the walk", does not truly know Christ, the sort of inverse is possible as well and that one who has known the truth but professes not too, is a liar.  Can a Christian's faith die?  It can appear to in every aspect of their life, but it is often said that one cannot hide from the truth, and that is doubly so if one has already known the truth.  And to even toy with the idea of a dead faith that does not change what scripture says about salvation being a one time deal.

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What if our faith doesn’t endure?  Without faith we are not saved.  I thought we weren’t talking about salvation in James?
We are not talking about salvation in James, we are talking about faith.  See above for some expansion on faith.  And if faith does not endure the Christian is still not lost. 1 Cor 3:14-15 "if any man's work which he has built upon remains, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."  We may suffer loss if our faith does not endure and we begin to sin.  God will not allow blessings to be born of sin, but will rain His blessings upon the righteous.  One thing religious history has shown us, is that which Paul teaches to the Corinthians, if you build your house of cards it will eventually come crashing down.  Those that build themselves up in sin will eventually fall, there are many examples of that in recent history both Catholic and Protestant to show that.

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Once again we talk about the crown of life, another reference to salvation.  And how does he get this crown of life, through perseverance, which is a work.  Make up your mind is James talking about salvation or not?
So apparently you had missed the grammar lesson we had talked about with the ';'  Two seperate related independant thoughts "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial" and "Blessed is the man that has been approved"

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Obedience is a work.  So from the last two references, we see us begin linking faith to works after the first part of the book discusses salvation and enduring.  So far no problem as long as you don’t skim over the parts that show why there is a concern over wisdom and trials.  The only reason one would be concerned over either is if and how they affect salvation.
Not disagreeing that obedience is a work.  And also not disagreeing that faith and works are linked...matter of fact have explained that one a couple of times.  And no the only reason one would be concerned is not how they affect salvation, but how they affect ones walk with Jesus.  And up and to this point (1:19) James has not stated that there could be a loss of salvation (not that he does anywhere else either Wink  ).  

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So what happens if we ignore James advice?  If we are not exempt from obedience that means that works are required along with faith for salvation.  If the Gospel doesn’t free us from obedience to some laws, then we would lose our salvation by not obeying those laws because it would indirectly be a refusal to obey the Gospel.  And those who do not obey the Gospel are not saved as it says in 2 Th 1:8 and 1 Peter 4:17.
Not being exempt does not mean that works are required along with faith for salvation.  As far as your reference to 2 Th 1:8 read the verses before it and you will see we are talking of the second coming and that retribution will be dealt to those that do not know God (everyone that is not Christian or Jew - they are the ones who 'know' God) and those that do not obey the Gospel of Jesus (the Jews - they know God but did not listen to Christ).  Paul further shows this when talking about "that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed".  And 1 Peter 4:17 take a look at that verse again...During this time who would be considered the house of God?  We are still infancy of Christianity so the house of God being referenced would also include the Jews.  But Peter says that if the judgement begins with us (Christians) first then what would become of those that were in the house of God but not Christians (the Jews)?  Peter shows this more back in verse 14 where he mentions that if "you are reviled for the name of Christ"  Who would be reviling a Christian?  The answer would be a Jew.  

END PART 1
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« Reply #110 on: January 21, 2004, 03:00:51 PM »

BEGINNING PART 2
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James is making a point here contrasting a living faith that is acceptable towards salvation with a dead faith which is not.
Close.  James is contrasting a living faith with works to one without.  But without he is referencing the example between one who proclaims to be a Christian but does nothing.

What James is talking about when stating “can faith save him?” is re-iterating what is said in 1:22 “But prove your selves doer of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  How are they deluding themselves?  They believe that by claiming to believe or professing to have faith that they are done.  What James put forth throughout his book is that a saved person will do works.  We as Christians will desire to do works to the will of God.  See the explanation of faith in previous post.  James is talking about those that believe in God but have not accepted God’s will.

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The demons know just as we do that Jesus Christ is the savior.  They are just not willing to act on it.  That is why they tremble for fear of damnation as they have chosen to serve another, rather than serve the Lord.
No.  James tells us that the demons believe that God is one, there is one God.  James says no more.  This is why James talks about a dead faith in that faith without doing the will of God is only belief in God.  The demons know Jesus is the saviour of men, and they tremble in fear of God, they already know for a fact they are damned.

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Actually you are going backward here.  The example you bring up in the preceding paragraph, concerning being clothed and filled, occurs in verse 14 and 15.
Actually typo there.  Should have been Chapter 4 and not Chapter 2

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Works are the fruits of faith some times.  But sometimes works precede faith.  Works as you yourself pointed out precede a deepened faith as they serve to perfect and strengthen our faith.  Works also must always be present for faith to be alive.  So works cannot be absent even after the very first millisecond of faith or what you have is a dead faith, the kind the demons have.  But works also precede initial faith.  The process of initial salvation is grace, repentance (repenting and being converted - works), faith, and confessing.
I don t disagree with your statements in that one would have works to accompany their faith.  As discussed earlier faith is also the acceptance to do God’s will.  But nothing so far discussed states we shall/can lose our salvation.

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That would be an accurate interpretation if it were not for the fact that James is specifically comparing that individual to the demons who James acknowledge have faith it is just the wrong kind of faith.
There truly appears to be an issue here, and I do not know if it is a simple lack of understanding on your part or your Catholic doctrine.  But once again not only do you state, but you say that James states, that the demons have faith.  James uses the words believe.  Even in English there is a difference and in the Greek there is as well.  The Greek for faith is pistis which means: conviction of the truth of anything; in the NT of conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith.  Pistis contains a conviction and not simple belief.  The word for believe that James uses is pisteuo which means: to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.  This is what the demons have.  They know it to be true there is but one God.  James states that simple belief such as that is not only not enough but he shows that is not even true faith.  Faith must have with it a conviction.  A fervour.  

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Actually is was Abraham.  LOL  Moses was the one that built the ark.  LOL
DOH!!!  

END PART 2
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« Reply #111 on: January 21, 2004, 03:01:30 PM »

BEGINNING PART 3

Now some of the replies from above are clip and pastes from the previous posts and you can come back and re-iterate that which you have already said.  Thus going round and round.  

And as I have stated before we as Christians will have a living faith or one that is not only the convicted belief in Jesus as the Savior but one that lets our convictions show through the works we do.  

You had made some comments in reference to as to a proper evaluation of the gospels.  While correct in the concept that one must look at all of the texts there is a slight issue in your statement when stating that each is pretty much only a smaller part of the bigger picture.  The Bible we study is first and foremost the word of God.  We do not look at the Bible with a predisposition of trying to find something to prove our “theory”.  Say for example the discussion at hand.  Pretend you are new to the Christian family.  You want to find out more about your salvation, what does it mean, is it permanent, am I free from sin, etc, etc.  Where would you start?  There is a reason the original compilers put things in the order of the Gospels first.  Because we should start at the beginning…at the source.  And the life of Jesus and what He had to say was the source.  So we must start with what Jesus had to say.  Then we look into what the other writers had to say.  Since it is all the inspired word of God and thus cannot contradict itself then the other writers must fall in line with what Jesus had to say.  

And I have already provided several verses just from John alone that provided what Jesus had to say about our salvation as it relates to this topic.   And what we find is very clear cut and very understandable that once we have been saved we are saved forever.  Jesus explains that once we drink of the water He provides we shall never thirst, nor will we hunger…you can read it all in John.  And as we read we find others support this as well.  Yes they do talk of works and how our faith should show in our works.  And they show how we even as Christians can fall into sin again.  If we could lose our salvation then Jesus would have said so and He would have done it in as clear of words as He did when stating we cannot.

END PART 3

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« Reply #112 on: January 21, 2004, 03:02:18 PM »

BEGINNING PART 4

Back in reference to the Rich young Ruler
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He is not trusting nor does he have faith in his riches; he merely loves them more than God.
Mark 10:23 in direct reference to the Ruler "Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! "  Jesus says explicitly that the ruler is trusting in his riches.  I agree it is not to save him…but we are not to trust in God just for salvation but for all things.

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Don’t you see that you want works to be just fruits of our faith but to get there you first have to have us perform works.
Incorrect.  James and others tells us that not only are works fruits of faith but they then also that faith is perfected through works.  They are directly proportional as long as the works are in accordance to God’s will.  But yes we must perform an act in order to receive salvation, we must repent and such as you stated.  But you are incorrect in the statement that works are just fruits of our faith, they are much more than the product of our faith.

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You equate following with believing when you say “following/believing” but they are not the same thing.  Following is obedience, believing is faith.  Both are required to be a true disciple of Jesus and that discipleship is required for a true acceptance of the free gift but you have been arguing against this all along.

No I was not stating that following and believing are always used in the same sense (although at times people do use them that way).  But again you have it wrong in your statement that believing is faith, believing is only part of faith…see the discussion above.  By me stating ‘following/believing’ I am referring to having faith in Jesus, because both following (obedience) and believing are part of faith.  But in reference to the verses discussed in 2 Th 1 we see Paul state “…marveled at among all who have believed – for our testimony to you was believed.”  Paul here states that the people in the church of Thessalonia believed the testimony which Paul had already come to preach the Gospel to them.  And it would appear that they have believed what Paul had come before to say about Jesus.  Paul already set things up in preceding verses by stating that the people there had been imitators of himself, thus doing things in accordance to God’s will.  And Paul mentions that they became examples among all the believers.  This shows that Paul is using the term believers to mean Christians or those of faith or professing faith.  

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But don’t get the grammar wrong here!  We are not reviled because God’s spirit rests upon us.  It is the reverse.  God’s spirit rests upon us because we accept the reviling.  That is why it is a blessing.  Later we also see it is not God who is doing what is right.  It is us, doing what is right by cooperating with God’s grace.  So often Calvinist twist the grammar to try to show that the doing right is a sign of our faith.  This verse makes it clear that we are doing right by suffering willingly accepting it as God’s will, submitting our own will to His.  This submission in and of itself is a work.  If it was God doing all these things where would judgment come into play?  On what basis would God be judging us if not on our submission to His will and the faithful acceptance of the trials associated with declaring ourselves to be one of His.
We are reviled because we are proclaiming Christ.  If you are reviled for the name of Christ”  This states that the people Peter was talking to would be hated because of the name of Christ…in other words because they were doing what Christians should do… they were out professing the glory of Jesus and proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.  And yes if we are reviled because of that then we are blessed because God will send His Spirit to rest upon us.  And it is not so much that we accept the reviling as it is that because we have been doing the will of God and thus been reviled.  And I agree it does not state that God is doing right, but us.  But it is not us doing right by cooperating with God’s grace…it is cooperating with God’s will.  As far as the comment on the Calvinists…well there is no twist in grammar or anything in that we should be doing the right things, that which God has directed us to do, and it is a sign of our faith.  Since our faith is accepting of God’s will then we know that it is God’s will that we do things like love our neighbors, control our anger, and such as is directed.  It is not just a sign of our faith but sign of good living.  And the bit about suffering willingly and such make it sound like in order to get a blessing from God we must fist have had a life where we had to walk to school in the freezing cold of Minnesota with 4 feet of snow and blasting winds, uphill both ways.  God does not say any of that.  God says that if we love Him and trust Him and do things that are pleasing to Him then He will bless us.  God does not say that if we do those things then He will send a plague upon us.  We are also told that we will encounter trials and tribulations in our life.  And James tells us to hold fast to our faith.  We are told that we will encounter temptations in our life.  Temptations to sin, to not listen to the judgement of God, and James tells us these temptation are not from God, for God cannot be tempted by evil.

END PART 4
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« Reply #113 on: January 21, 2004, 03:03:17 PM »

BEGINNING PART 5

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You provided verses from John and I showed you alternate interpretations for them.  We have already seen verses that say it can be "revoked", in fact every verse we have discussed can be seen when properly interpreted in the light of other scripture to support the idea, we just disagree on the interpretation.
And this is not true.  You did provide “alternative interpretations” but I would not claim them to be in the light.  As already shown in early part of post the light you would refer to starts with Jesus.  Jesus is the foundation that all others must be built upon.  And what I showed you in John is the start of that foundation.  You are correct in that we disagree on the interpretation and you may believe what you do and I what I do.  And either we are sitting here discussing this simply for the sake of doing it or we are trying to alter the other persons point of view.

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You interpret them one verse at a time, in isolation, ignoring the verses about works role in accepting the gift, so that your literal interpretation of a few verses can stand against the verses that clearly state we can lose our salvation.
No I don’t interpret one at a time or in isolation.  I like you may quote them one at a time but you can see from replies made to your single verse quotes that I will generally reference verses before, after, or in other areas to support my stance.

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I interpret the verses that say we can lose our salvation literally, based on that interpretations agreement with the role of works in accepting the free gift and I do not take your verses literally.
That cannot be true because not once is there a verse that states we can literally lose our salvation.  But yet several that state our salvation is forever.  The reason you do not take other verses as literally is because it goes against your doctrinal thoughts.  BTW they are not “my” verses but they are the words of Jesus.

It is clear to me in several of your comments throughout these discussions that you are not earnestly discussing things in order to expand your knowledge.  Knowledge not only of your own faith but knowledge of scripture as well.  Comments such as these:
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Finally we get to it.  This is the standard Protestant understanding of James.  It is partly true but mostly wrong
Thus implying if any view is not the Catholic view then it must be wrong
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I have learned to rely less on the inflated view of my own mental capabilities and more on all of the writing of the past 2000 years of effort of Christians before me.
2000 years of Catholic doctrine and nothing else as implied by above statement
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Systematic thoughts accumulated from some of the greatest theological minds of all time that I can call on through their writings to get a consistent systematic view of the Word of God
Again all the same Catholic doctrine.  Ne’er a thought that what happens if that doctrine become stagnant, as the accumulated thoughts of men can become.  
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So often Calvinist twist grammar
Oh and a Catholic cannot or does not?  

These sorts of slight jabs along with others that appeared to try and state that I as well as others are ignorant of the scriptures or do not know how to read I find personally offensive.  I personally do not hold claim to any “tag” such as a denomination.  I find them to provide dividing lines and divisions among Gods children.  I consider myself a Christian first and foremost.  And at one time you made comment to Sola Scriptura.  Well honestly there is but one word of God.  All else is the word of man.  And to find my answers I check with what God had written before I find out what anyone else had to say about it.  And being of a logical mind I also do not follow a single author or even doctrinal thought process if I cannot get my clarification from the scripture.  If I have to read outside of the source I read several different authors and then formulate an opinion or stance upon which I was looking.    As far as relying strictly on your 2000 years of Catholic theologians…is this the same 2000 years of theologians that have changed their mind on evolution?  And although I will admit my ignorance on the fineries of the Catholic doctrine and revisions of the Catholic handbook, I do know the word of God has remained unchanged in over 2000 years.  

END
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« Reply #114 on: January 21, 2004, 06:52:19 PM »

Quote from Michael,

“This is the type of erroneous thinking that comes from building doctrine on one verses in isolation from the rest of scripture.

All you have to do is look at one more verse to see that your interpretation is wrong.

1John 3:23  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

See, this verse cannot be contrary to the verse you quote so the only possible explanation is that the verse you quote (though fully true) is only telling part of the story.  We get more of the story in 1 John 3:23 where is says we must believe AND love. “

Actually, this demonstrates your lack of understanding of 1 John 3:23. You are reading into the verse that these things are conditions of salvation, but nowhere in the context does it state such a thing. This verse is simply stating commands of Christ which by the way are more than these two. Now it is true that if you obey the first command then a s a result one would be saved. Also, it is true that if one is truly saved He will obey Jesus and love one. The only condition the Bible places for salvation is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ regardless the words used to describe this action.
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« Reply #115 on: January 22, 2004, 08:03:38 AM »


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Actually, this demonstrates your lack of understanding of 1 John 3:23. You are reading into the verse that these things are conditions of salvation, but nowhere in the context does it state such a thing. This verse is simply stating commands of Christ which by the way are more than these two. Now it is true that if you obey the first command then a s a result one would be saved. Also, it is true that if one is truly saved He will obey Jesus and love one.

So we can disobey the commandments of God and Jesus and still be saved?  If you believe that you are the one who does not understand scripture, or at least are ignorant of it.

Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to obey the commandments to be saved?
(John 14:15-24, John 15:9-10, 1 John 5:2-3)

For that matter what did Christ answer when He was asked what we must do to have eternal life?
(Matthew 19:16, Mark 10:17, Luke 10:25, Luke 18:18)

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The only condition the Bible places for salvation is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ regardless the words used to describe this action.

Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to obey the Gospel to be saved?
(James 1:21-22, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 4:17)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to do works of mercy to be saved?
(Matthew 25:31-46)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to be Baptized by the water and the spirit to be saved?
(John 3:5)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to do the will of the Father to be saved?
(Matthew 7:21)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to love one another to be saved?
(2 John 5-6, 1 John 4:7-21)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we nothing if we have faith alone?
(1 Corinthians 13:2)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to repent to be saved?
(James 5:20, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to discern Christ in the bread and wine to have eternal life?
(John 6:54, 1 Corinthians 11:29)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to do good works to be saved?
(Romans 2:6-7, 1 Timothy 6:18-19)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling?
(Philippians 2:12)
Why does the scriptures tell us that we have to continue in the proper doctrine to be saved?
(1 Tim 4:16)
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« Reply #116 on: January 23, 2004, 01:22:58 PM »


PART 1 OF 4 PARTS

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Ok Michael we will go back to James for a bit.  And I did address the verse you had pointed out in James.  But here let me go back and address them some more.  Specifically addressing some of the replies to that you had mentioned.

I did not think your responses address the issue of whether James was discussing salvation or not, that is why I thought you had ignored the following verses: James 1:3, 1:12, 1:19, 2:14-15, 5:15.  Maybe it was all the “although not completely incorrect it is not completely correct either” that threw me.  You need to decide is James talking about salvation or not?

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So when James asks “Can that faith save him?” what is he discussing if not salvation?

This being in reference to James 2:14.  And my reply to that was
While not completely incorrect it is not completely correct either.  One that would profess to have faith in Jesus but is not acting accordingly more than likely never had a true faith to begin with.  

I will agree they did not have a true faith if by that you mean a faith necessary for salvation.  But faith is just a deep sense of belief, so under that definition I think the demons have a true faith, it is just the wrong kind.  The issue is what makes a faith, turn out to be a faith that is necessary for salvation?  James answer is of course that it cannot exist independent of works.

Once we can establish or agree on that then we can have the chicken and the egg argument, not that it matters because either one, faith or works alone, even for an instant is valueless with regards to salvation.

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We are taught not only by James but others that once we are saved we are born anew and given a new life.  And filled with the Spririt.  And this should produce good works within us.  Make certain you read it correctly because 2:14 states "if a man says he has faith..." which indicates that whomever this is is professing to have faith.  But for everyone else who sees them they see no works to prove his faith, thus the conclusion would be that he truly does not have faith.  James stated that back in 1:22.

But you focus too narrowly, the context is broader than just the verses behind.  James is next going to show that the demons have faith and are not saved.  This shows that faith alone cannot save and James even says that here leading up to his argument.

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When he says the demons tremble he is discussing what?

And I had replied in reference to 2:19
Again while not completely incorrect it is not completely correct either.  If you read the verse again is states "You believe that God is one." or that there is one God.  Yes even the demons believe that there is one God.  They do not shudder because of eternal damnation which they also already know they have, but they shudder in fear of that one God.  Something else to note is that James states that the demons believe that there is one God, but it does not state that the demons believe in that one God.  Subtle but distinct differences.  Also to note is that James uses the word belief/believe and not faith.  Another subtle difference but one that is different...belief is a part of faith and not vice versa.

That subtle difference is exactly what separates a true living, saving faith from a dead faith which cannot save.  I agree it is not enough to believe there is a God or that Christ was the Messiah, we have to believe in them.  When you believe in someone you become their follower, you put there teachings to work in your life.  Until these things happen you only believe they exist you are in the same position you say the demons are in.  It is not until works begin to accompany faith that faith is alive.

We are talking throughout James about two kinds of faith, and how they relate to salvation.  One type of faith that demons have, which is shared by those who have faith without works, a dead faith; verses a perfect faith which the saved have through the accompanying works.  Any faith that is alone falls into the first type and so you cannot be saved by faith alone.

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Works are not only a fruit of faith, but faith is a fruit of works.  These two are directly proportional and James (as well as others) shows this sort of relationship.  As you said our works help perfect our faith, and as our faith grows so does the relevance of our works.  Agreed that our salvation requires an act on our part.  We have to accept the gift, never argued that point.  The point of discussion is if we can lose our salvation.

Now there!  See I missed that point of agreement all along, so this rehashing of James was not wasted.  I thought I was starting at having to prove that salvation by faith alone was wrong.  I am sorry for assuming incorrectly on that point.

But now we do need to discuss whether salvation can be lost.  I contend that where works are required, works can cease.  If works cease faith dies and salvation is lost.  I am going to assume (and correct me right away if I am wrong) that you are going to agree with that but claim that a true living faith is not going to let works cease.  I also think we agree on the fact that we cannot do any good works on our own without the infusion of the free gift of grace.

If we are to assume that works cannot cease I feel that means that works are only the fruit of faith.  That good works have no origination within ourselves or our nature, not even from within our cooperation with grace.  I do not accept that approach for several reasons.

First it strips away man’s free will after we respond to the free gift.

Second it denies the idea that man can sin accepting the free gift, since our works are fruits of a true, living, saving faith and that would not bear bad fruit.

Third if works were only fruit of faith, and works perfect faith, then faith would be self perfecting.  The whole process seems too convoluted to me.

But before I go further let me know we agree this far.

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How far does our faith have to grow before it is a faith that saves?  If our faith can grow from works, can it die due to lack of works?

Our faith does not grow to a point of salvation.  Our faith is based in our salvation.  Can it (faith) die due to a lack of works?  No I do not believe that it can completely.  Since faith is belief in God as well as a trusting acceptance of God's will, I do not believe that anyone can no longer believe in the Truth once they have received it.  I do believe that we can stop trusting in God's will, and we do so everytime we sin, but we cannot truly no longer believe in the Truth.  We may profess that we do not, but just as James and others point out that one who professes to know Christ but does not "walk the walk", does not truly know Christ, the sort of inverse is possible as well and that one who has known the truth but professes not too, is a liar.  Can a Christian's faith die?  It can appear to in every aspect of their life, but it is often said that one cannot hide from the truth, and that is doubly so if one has already known the truth.  And to even toy with the idea of a dead faith that does not change what scripture says about salvation being a one time deal.

I would like to see some scripture referenced to show that faith cannot die.  I will try to provide some that show it does.  The verse below (James 1:3) sure seems to support the idea that our faith can die.

END OF PART 1
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« Reply #117 on: January 23, 2004, 01:25:03 PM »


PART 2

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What if our faith doesn’t endure?  Without faith we are not saved.  I thought we weren’t talking about salvation in James?

We are not talking about salvation in James, we are talking about faith.  See above for some expansion on faith.  

See this is where I get confused.  If salvation is dependent on faith, then any discussion of faith is a discussion of salvation.  Especially if that discussion is about whether that faith continues to exist.

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And if faith does not endure the Christian is still not lost. 1 Cor 3:14-15 "if any man's work which he has built upon remains, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."  We may suffer loss if our faith does not endure and we begin to sin.  God will not allow blessings to be born of sin, but will rain His blessings upon the righteous.  One thing religious history has shown us, is that which Paul teaches to the Corinthians, if you build your house of cards it will eventually come crashing down.  Those that build themselves up in sin will eventually fall, there are many examples of that in recent history both Catholic and Protestant to show that.

1 Cor 3:15 is talking about our works enduring the trial of fire not our faith.  Those mentioned in that verse are saved, we know that because they choose to built upon the foundation of Christ.  But the actual act of building refers to works.  The fact that they chose to build on that particular foundation is because of faith.  The trial by fire does not affect the foundation or their choice of it but it does affect the works.

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Once again we talk about the crown of life, another reference to salvation.  And how does he get this crown of life, through perseverance, which is a work.  Make up your mind is James talking about salvation or not?

So apparently you had missed the grammar lesson we had talked about with the ';'  Two seperate related independant thoughts "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial" and "Blessed is the man that has been approved"

No, I think you are misremembering the lesson.  Just because the ‘;’  means two separate related independent clauses does not mean that the subject of the first clause it separate from the subject of the second as I pointed out in my comments to your grammatical analysis linking grace to works and faith both (though in different ways) though faith and works existed in separate clauses.  You never disagreed so I assumed you accepted that separate independent clauses could share the same subject.

But in this case we are discussing James 1:12 and there is no semicolon, it uses a colon.  Therefore it is even clearer that the subject for both enduring temptation and receiving the crown of life are the same man, as is clear from the reading.  Anyway it is clear that this verse in James is about salvation unless you want to claim “the crown of life that God promises to those who love Him” is something else.  

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Obedience is a work.  So from the last two references, we see us begin linking faith to works after the first part of the book discusses salvation and enduring.  So far no problem as long as you don’t skim over the parts that show why there is a concern over wisdom and trials.  The only reason one would be concerned over either is if and how they affect salvation.

Not disagreeing that obedience is a work.  And also not disagreeing that faith and works are linked...matter of fact have explained that one a couple of times.  And no the only reason one would be concerned is not how they affect salvation, but how they affect ones walk with Jesus.  And up and to this point (1:19) James has not stated that there could be a loss of salvation (not that he does anywhere else either Wink  ).
 
I see that we are in agreement now on the works and faith issue, though it did take me too long probably.  I still wonder though if we agree on all aspects of the faith and works relationship.  I get the feeling that your contention is that the relation between faith and works changes once we accept the gift of salvation.  That prior to that they work together to accept the gift, but then after that they only work together to produce our walk.  Is that a fair assessment of your position?  If so we still disagree on some points.

However, with regards to losing salvation I think James has alluded to it just above in James 1:12 where he says if we endure we get the crown of life.  Enduring requires us to be in a specific state and though pressured to change states we do not.  To endure trials we must first be saved, then when tempted to disobey God’s will we refuse or at least if we fail we repent.  If we both fail and refuse to repent then we do not endure.  But if we fail and refuse to repent we cannot be saved, because repentance is required to accept the gift properly.  If this last option is not possible, i.e. those who are saved cannot lose their salvation, then it makes no sense to discuss endurance at all, since all who are tried will endure, so even the trial is not real.

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So what happens if we ignore James advice?  If we are not exempt from obedience that means that works are required along with faith for salvation.  If the Gospel doesn’t free us from obedience to some laws, then we would lose our salvation by not obeying those laws because it would indirectly be a refusal to obey the Gospel.  And those who do not obey the Gospel are not saved as it says in 2 Th 1:8 and 1 Peter 4:17.

Not being exempt does not mean that works are required along with faith for salvation.  As far as your reference to 2 Th 1:8 read the verses before it and you will see we are talking of the second coming and that retribution will be dealt to those that do not know God (everyone that is not Christian or Jew - they are the ones who 'know' God) and those that do not obey the Gospel of Jesus (the Jews - they know God but did not listen to Christ).  Paul further shows this when talking about "that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed".  And 1 Peter 4:17 take a look at that verse again...During this time who would be considered the house of God?  We are still infancy of Christianity so the house of God being referenced would also include the Jews.  But Peter says that if the judgement begins with us (Christians) first then what would become of those that were in the house of God but not Christians (the Jews)?  Peter shows this more back in verse 14 where he mentions that if "you are reviled for the name of Christ"  Who would be reviling a Christian?  The answer would be a Jew.  

So you claim this lesson is not applicable to us?  Then there is another issue we will have to discuss at some point, that of dispensationalism.  The idea that God’s word can be completely non-applicable to us is foreign to me and I cannot accept it.  Don’t get me wrong I understand that we must understand the context of a book, such as Matthew was written to the Hebrews of the era, specifically to reach them, but I would never neglect the teachings of that book because of that.  To me a truth is a truth is a truth, applicable to all men at all times.  Perhaps it is my experience clouding my judgment because I have seen lots of uses of dispensationalism to deny the application of clear teachings in scripture and they always seem to be avoidance techniques.  Still, I see no evidence for this idea in any of the scriptures that use the word dispensation and so I need to better understand the argument for it before I could accept that explanation for he above verses.  Just because they refer to Jews does not mean that it does not apply to others who do not obey the Gospel.

END OF PART 2
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« Reply #118 on: January 23, 2004, 01:30:52 PM »


PART 3

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James is making a point here contrasting a living faith that is acceptable towards salvation with a dead faith which is not.

Close.  James is contrasting a living faith with works to one without.  But without he is referencing the example between one who proclaims to be a Christian but does nothing.

How does that differ?  A living faith with works is a faith that is acceptable towards salvation, is it not?   A faith without works, or a claimed faith without works is not acceptable towards salvation.  The only difference we seem to have here is whether the person who claims to be a Christian has any faith at all.  This is probably more semantics than anything, as I am defining faith as belief and you are defining faith as a living active belief.  Your definition makes faith and works inseparable and keeps the demons from having faith.  I am referring to faith and works as separate concepts as they are distinguished by Paul so that he can emphasize the difference between works of the law and works of love.  But my separation allows the demons to have faith, since it is merely belief.  If this is an accurate portrayal of our positions I would ask you how do you emphasize the difference between the works Paul says cannot participate in our salvation and the works that accompany belief (though Paul calls it faith) to make it a real faith?

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What James is talking about when stating “can faith save him?” is re-iterating what is said in 1:22 “But prove your selves doer of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  How are they deluding themselves?  They believe that by claiming to believe or professing to have faith that they are done.  What James put forth throughout his book is that a saved person will do works.  We as Christians will desire to do works to the will of God.  See the explanation of faith in previous post.  James is talking about those that believe in God but have not accepted God’s will.

I agree that James is saying that a saved person will do works, but he is also saying that the person is not saved until he does those works.  Some of the works (like repentance) precede faith, others accompany faith and perfect it, others are fruits of the grace we accept.

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The demons know just as we do that Jesus Christ is the savior.  They are just not willing to act on it.  That is why they tremble for fear of damnation as they have chosen to serve another, rather than serve the Lord.

No.  James tells us that the demons believe that God is one, there is one God.  James says no more.  This is why James talks about a dead faith in that faith without doing the will of God is only belief in God.  The demons know Jesus is the saviour of men, and they tremble in fear of God, they already know for a fact they are damned.

If faith without doing the will of God is the dead faith and the demons don’t have faith merely belief, then why is James contrasting or comparing the two in verses 2:14 through 2:20.  There is no change of subject at verse 2:19 as you need to have to separate the “dead faith without works” and mere “belief” of the demons.  We know that these verses should be taken together because of the single idea of a “dead faith without works” that shows up explicitly in verses 14, 17, and 20.

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That would be an accurate interpretation if it were not for the fact that James is specifically comparing that individual to the demons who James acknowledge have faith it is just the wrong kind of faith.

There truly appears to be an issue here, and I do not know if it is a simple lack of understanding on your part or your Catholic doctrine.  But once again not only do you state, but you say that James states, that the demons have faith.  James uses the words believe.  Even in English there is a difference and in the Greek there is as well.  The Greek for faith is pistis which means: conviction of the truth of anything; in the NT of conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith.  Pistis contains a conviction and not simple belief.  The word for believe that James uses is pisteuo which means: to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.  This is what the demons have.  They know it to be true there is but one God.  James states that simple belief such as that is not only not enough but he shows that is not even true faith.  Faith must have with it a conviction.  A fervour.  

I agree this is the issue.  Is there three types of believing?  Is there a living saving faith with works, a dead faith without works and mere belief such as the demons have, and perhaps there is an additional idea that you can truly know with certainty.  Perhaps this is the position of the demons since their knowledge and power exceed ours.  I think though that as I laid out above James is grouping them together in his discussion for comparisons sake.

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Now some of the replies from above are clip and pastes from the previous posts and you can come back and re-iterate that which you have already said.  Thus going round and round.  

I think we covered new ground here, at least I learned something of your positions that had not come through clearly to me before.  I also feel that I was able to show in a slightly new light some of the issues I feel you have not addressed fully, thus giving you a chance to respond to them more satisfactorily.  There is an old adage about a teacher explaining something to a student.  I explained it to him once and he didn’t understand, I explained it to him again and he seemed to understand and when I found a third way to explain it I finally understood it!

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And as I have stated before we as Christians will have a living faith or one that is not only the convicted belief in Jesus as the Savior but one that lets our convictions show through the works we do.

But it is not just a showing through that works do, they also perfect or strengthen our faith.  The more we do the will of God the more graces we receive and the more our faith is strengthened.  I contend the converse is true as well if you neglect your gifts and do not do the works of love we are called to, we will have taken from us even that which we had.  Not to the point of taking away our salvation but to the point where we eventually have neglected it to the point where our faith is weakened to be deceived.

END OF PART 3
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« Reply #119 on: January 23, 2004, 01:39:28 PM »


PART 4

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It is clear to me in several of your comments throughout these discussions that you are not earnestly discussing things in order to expand your knowledge.  Knowledge not only of your own faith but knowledge of scripture as well.  Comments such as these:

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Finally we get to it.  This is the standard Protestant understanding of James.  It is partly true but mostly wrong.

Thus implying if any view is not the Catholic view then it must be wrong

No I did not mean to imply that, I was only saying that I expected you to eventually get around to redefining faith in that way.  As it is I don’t think you hold to that definition actually since you accept the idea of faith and works being necessary for salvation.

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I have learned to rely less on the inflated view of my own mental capabilities and more on all of the writing of the past 2000 years of effort of Christians before me.

2000 years of Catholic doctrine and nothing else as implied by above statement

Gee and I thought I was being humble.  But don’t you see there is value in that 2000 year history.  The review of doctrine by the best minds in the world both inside the Church defending it and outside of the Church attacking it have served to temper the resulting theology and insure it is at the very least self consistent and comprehensive.  I would add that it has been shown to be in agreement with scripture as well or at least not so obviously contrary that the billions of its members have not left the Church in large number.

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Systematic thoughts accumulated from some of the greatest theological minds of all time that I can call on through their writings to get a consistent systematic view of the Word of God

Again all the same Catholic doctrine.  Ne’er a thought that what happens if that doctrine become stagnant, as the accumulated thoughts of men can become.  

God and His will doesn’t change and so the Church doesn’t change in its doctrinal issues.  Issues outside of these the Church has been careful and slow and deliberate to avoid errors but hardly stagnate.

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So often Calvinist twist grammar

Oh and a Catholic cannot or does not?  

An individual Catholic maybe but we get back to the fact that the Church has developed its doctrine over 2000 years with some of the best minds to have ever lived checking and rechecking each others work.  (This is not even considering the claimed protection granted it by the Holy Spirit)  This process surely would have uncovered these types of theological, philosophical, linguistic and even grammatical errors long ago.  So if the individual Catholic sticks to what the Church teaches they can be assured not to fall into these types of errors.  The individual Protestant has to try to duplicate this effort alone and in less than 80 years on average.  Even if they are part of a denomination there resources are only increased slightly by comparison.  It is a daunting task and results I feel in the variety, confusion and divisions you acknowledge later in your post.  As a child I was always upset when my father told me (when ever I came up with some crazy idea) that if it could have been done that way someone a lot smarter than me would have thought of it a long time ago.  It drove me crazy, but as I have gotten older and I see how big the issues are I welcome all the help I can get.  As Newton said, “If I have seen further it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants.”

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These sorts of slight jabs along with others that appeared to try and state that I as well as others are ignorant of the scriptures or do not know how to read I find personally offensive.  

Looking back I understand how you might be offended by what I have posted and am sorry for that, but I was merely stating what I had seen in verse after verse with others who to support the doctrine of no free will interpret phrases to say that what is really a stated requirement is no more than a resultant or sign.  This type of mangling of the scriptures bothers me but I shouldn’t have let it lead me into suspecting you of attempting it.  I am sorry.  

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I personally do not hold claim to any “tag” such as a denomination.  I find them to provide dividing lines and divisions among Gods children.  I consider myself a Christian first and foremost.  

This is a great mistake in my mind.  I would not encourage anyone to belong to a denomination just to belong, but the Church was established on earth as the final authority in appeals (Mt 18:17) for a reason.  The ability to appeal to the Church requires a visible, physical entity, as does the hierarchy of Bishops and elders.  Since I believe Christ’s Church continues to exist on earth I believe it must be possible to see it.  So if you belong to some denomination you can at least point to a physical presence.  If you do not belong to a denomination you have no physical visible entity to appeal to, in order to resolve disputes.  It is the only way I know to be a Christian and be absolutely sure you do not belong to the true Church on earth.   I consider myself a Christian first and foremost as well, but I also believe that the Catholic Church is that one true Church based on doctrine and the unbroken string of laying on of hands that is required for true succession of ministry.

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And at one time you made comment to Sola Scriptura.  Well honestly there is but one word of God.  All else is the word of man.  And to find my answers I check with what God had written before I find out what anyone else had to say about it.  And being of a logical mind I also do not follow a single author or even doctrinal thought process if I cannot get my clarification from the scripture.  If I have to read outside of the source I read several different authors and then formulate an opinion or stance upon which I was looking.

I will have to disagree with you here as well.  Yes there is only one word of God but nowhere, not even in scripture does it say that that word is fully contained in just the writings of the Old and New Testament.  I believe the word of God is available through Tradition and the protected teachings of the Magisterium and there is scripture to support both points, though since scripture comes from the Church not the Church from scripture I rely on it to tell me what is an is not the word of God.

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As far as relying strictly on your 2000 years of Catholic theologians…is this the same 2000 years of theologians that have changed their mind on evolution?  And although I will admit my ignorance on the fineries of the Catholic doctrine and revisions of the Catholic handbook, I do know the word of God has remained unchanged in over 2000 years.  

You need to decide which would be the error for the Church to fluctuate in opinion or stagnate as you accuse them above.

Since evolution is only a scientific theory and not a doctrinal issue I can’t see what bearing it has on the Church’s change of mind concerning it.  I know that in issues of doctrine the Church has not changed, other than to come to a deeper understanding of certain issues, but certainly no change of direction on any doctrinal statement.

Sorry this whole thing is so long and took so long but I think we know where we agree and disagree.  Hopefully we can pare this down now and either discuss whether what the demons have is faith or decide that it has no bearing on loss of salvation and move on.  If we move on I would suggest we cover the idea that if salvation depends on faith and works, then we must show that works either can stop and ask what happens to salvation then, or show that works cannot cease.  Of course I am open to continuing this part some more if you think we have more to clear up.

END OF PART 4
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Matt 5:11  Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
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