Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Additional Catholic Teachings on Salvation

A continuation of the RCC doctrine of salvation.

The RCC teaches: Salvation is a lifelong process. (Catechisms 161-162, 1254-1255) The Bible teaches: Salvation is an instantaneous once for all time act of God. "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Romans 5:9

The RCC teaches: Salvation is gained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and by participating in the sacraments. (Catechisms 183, 1129, 1815, 2002). The Bible teaches: Salvation is attained by grace through faith apart from works "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast."

The RCC teaches: Grace is merited by good works. (Catechisms 2010, 2027). The Bible teaches: Grace and works don't mix. "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Romans 11:6.

The RCC teaches: Catholics guilty of mortal sin are justified again through the sacrament of penance. (Catechisms 980, 1446) The Bible teaches: There is no second justification. "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans 8:30

The RCC teaches: Venial sins will not send one to hell. (Cathechisms 1855, 1863). The Bible teaches: Every sin is punishable by eternal death. "For the wages of sin is death; " Romans 6:23.

The RCC teaches: No one can know for sure if he/she is going to heaven. (Catechisms 1036, 2005). The Bible teaches: The believer can know that he has eternal life by the Word of God. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life...I John 5:13.

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At 9:45 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Well. I can't say as I fully disagree based on the exerpts you've presented. Personally, I've never delved into the materials since I've rejected the RCC on other, more easily distinguishable points, such as praying to saints or the Virgin Mary.

Many of the statements regarding works seem to harken to the passage that says, "Faith without works is dead." This is something that confounds many who critique Christianity as a whole, much less one denomination. At the same time, the way things are spelled out in the exerpts gives one pause.

The other point highlighted concerns the necessity of being in the RCC in order to fully realize salvation. This too is troubling. It reminds me of the joke regarding a guy who just died and is sent by St. Peter to tour Heaven. He is told that he is free to enter into any of the countless doors that the new guy sees everywhere. He checks out a ton of them but finds there is one door that he is unable to open. Upon pointing it out to Peter, Peter says, "Oh, I forgot. That's where the Catholics are. They like to think they're the only ones here."

I think that in general, the feeling is the the RCC is the one and only original and as such the only authentic religion of Christ. To some extent, however, I think all denominations hold this attitude to some degree or another. I don't hold it against them, I just think they're mistaken. The question of course, is whether or not God holds it against them. With the many questionable sub-tenets to which they adhere and teach, I lean towards, "yes" if I were to wager upon it. Are they really saying it's the denomination that saves, or that their interpretation is the most accurate and thus believing as they teach belief what saves. That is, "faith comes first, and we'll show you what it means to have faith."

Overall, I'm still not sure if I agree with your basic premise if you mean that there's enough there to actually disqualify one from salvation.

On a side note, I recently head RC Sproul talk about the concept of mortal and venial sin and Protestant equivalent. He doesn't adhere to the concept as strictly stated in the RCC, but posits that God's Justice might take into account that a white lie, for example, would not stand as damning as, say, mass murder. In any case, it made me re-think the concept of mortal/venial sin and my own belief that the wages of sin being death extends to all sin, no matter what it is. Tricky stuff.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

I think you are right - there are people in all denominations that think they are the only ones going to heaven. I've known of Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals, etc. that all thought that. Preposterous. Salvation is not about denomination. It's about relationship - the one relationship that counts - the one we have (or don't have) with Jesus Christ.

As for levels of sin, since James said if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of all, then I think that negates the idea of "mortal" and "venial" sins - at least the Catholic definition (Eating meat on Fridays was once considered a mortal sin).

Are there levels of punishment in hell? The Bible says there is. So mortal or venial, sin will send you there unless you've been washed clean by the blood of Christ.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

I recall the James bit and tend to agree with it. It seems to follow well that which comes before it throughout Scripture. I don't think there is any sin that is unforgivable for God should the sinner truly repent of it. One thing for sure, the RCC, with their penchant for indulgences, really muddies the concept of forgiveness. I remember it being put in terms of how many thousands of years off one's sentence in purgatory for the recitation of one Rosary prayer. Another of their practices that became ludicrous upon personal Biblical study. I wonder if they still preach that stuff.


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