Saturday, July 26, 2008

A toss up between mother and daughter

It was hard for me to choose between mother
and daughter for the second segment of
The Way of the Master Radio this past Thursday.
Crystal (left) was searching different religions
and Sherry (right, Crystal's mom) was a Catholic
that "sometimes goes to church". I choose to
hand the cell phone to Sherry for the segment.
And while Sherry was on the air with Todd, I
shared the Gospel with Crystal.

After the program, I made sure that Sherry and her daughter
understood the differences between Catholics and Christians namely,
the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, how one is saved, etc.
They listened and seemed to understand
what the Bible taught about how we can be forgiven.
I explained that their works of righteousness
cannot justify them but Christ can and we are to base
our faith solely in the fact that we are “justified as a gift by
His grace through the redemption which is in
Christ Jesus, whom God displayed as a propitiation
in His blood through faith.
” (Romans 3:24-25).

The Catholic doctrine of purgatory is another difference,
plus the fact that Catholics believe that man must
or even can pay or make satisfaction for his own sins
is totally contrary to scripture! Yikes!

God saves us, “not on the basis of deeds
which we have done in righteousness, but according
to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and
renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out
upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by His grace we would be made
heirs according to the hope of eternal life
” (Titus 3:5-7).

I showed them the pink and blue gospel tracts.

She and her daughter seemed very grateful.
I pleaded with the ladies that their was
nothing more important than living for Christ and
trusting in Him alone for their forgiveness.
I can only hope that they cry out to God for their eternal salvation!

The broadcast starts about 20 minutes into the program.
You can listen here: July 24, 2008 - Hour 2

20 comments:

Wretched said...

Hey Trish!

I wish I lived near y'all so I could checkout Sovereign Joy. I tried downloading a sermon but didn't see where they were available.
It's possible that the protection I have installed in my browser is blocking a perceived threat but I don't think so so I wanted to check to make sure the sermons were being uploaded to the site. (considering that me asking you :)

Thank you for all you do! I enjoy the segments with you on WOTMR.
Since I was the first to comment on this can I get an extra entry into the Justin Peters thesis contest? (kidding...mostly)

G-d bless!

Fish with Trish said...

Here's the link to Emilio's sermons in fact we just updated this page:

http://fishwithtrish.com/sj_audio.php

Try that and see if it works.

thanks for reading my blog :-)

Melissa Spence said...

Trish,
It's unfortunate you're sharing views on the differences between Catholics and Christians based on misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the Catholic faith. I can see that happening when especially you come in contact with "cafeteria Catholics" (like this woman who occasionally attends Mass) or "Catholic converts" who never experienced a close relationship with Jesus Christ growing up in the Catholic faith but only felt a true conversion once attending a Bible-only church. That conversion happens daily in the Catholic faith too! Because as Catholics we too believe we are born again. We feel our salvation is only through Christ alone. Our "works" you speak of are not done on our own or to work our way into heaven but are done with God's graces, and to obey Him and please Him like it states in Scripture.

...and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30-31
Some take this to mean intellectual assent, but the Biblical concept of believing means to act in accordance with. These "acts" or "works" if you will are only evidence of our Faith only in Jesus Christ.

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." John 14:15-16
In other words, you can keep the Commandments, because He is sending another Helper (the Holy Spirit) who will give you the grace to do it. This grace was the reason why Paul could say, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Phillipians 4:13). So as Catholics when we "do works" it is all through His grace and evidence of our Faith - NOT for our ticket into heaven.

Here's an insert from a Catholic website: So a failure to do good works is not a failure to earn one's salvation, but a rejection of grace which is ultimately a denial of the power of the Holy Spirit, and that is the "unforgivable sin" (Mark 3:28). It is unforgivable because it is a rejection of Christ. Good works are not something in addition to faith, but the proof that faith exists. The good works in question do not constitute "works salvation" because they were not produced by something within the individual but were in fact accomplished by the grace of God, which is a gift. There is nothing to boast about but much to be thankful for.

I hope you now have a better understanding of the Catholic's teaching on Justification.

As far as the Traditions you speak of, they are infact based on Scripture as well as from the Early Church Fathers. Here's another insert from a Catholic website: It is often alleged that the Catholic Church focuses on tradition rather than Scripture. That is simply not so. The Church focuses on Scripture and Sacred Tradition as they both flow out of the same divine wellspring, making up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation 2:9,10). This is verified by the teaching of Scripture. Scripture speaks of two kinds of tradition. One is condemned, and the other requires belief. Paul tells us In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, to "Stand firm, and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." Notice how Paul ranks oral tradition with written tradition equally. Why does he do that? He gives us the answer in 1 Thessalonians 2:13: "And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God..." So the oral traditions and the written were both the word of God. No wonder Paul was pleased when the Corinthians accepted the traditions that he passed on to them. "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you" (1 Corinthians 11:2). It is sometimes claimed that the oral tradition that Paul is speaking of is what he later put into Scripture. But the Bible nowhere says this. How can we recognize the traditions of men? Well, if they cannot be traced back to the early Church, they would have to be man-made. To believe otherwise would imply that God didn't get it right the first time. What Catholics call Sacred Tradition can be traced back to the early Church. The same cannot be said of those beliefs that are uniquely Protestant. Protestantism was the creation of men. It first appeared in the sixteenth century. We even know the names of the men who started it. Names like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. If men started it, it is a tradition of men and not of God. One could hardly argue that it was an apostolic institution.

...One of the pillars of the Protestant Reformation is the doctrine of "Sola Scriptura," or "Scripture alone." The reformers taught that the Bible was the sole rule of faith, and that there was no need for an authoritative church. Now if this were a true teaching, as some still contend, we would expect to find it in the Bible, but we don't. The verse usually used to justify Sola Scriptura is 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."

Note that this passage nowhere says that Scripture is the sole rule of faith. It says that it is profitable, and that is true. But that doesn’t make it the sole rule of faith. It says that it can make you complete, and that is also true. However, in order for Scripture to make us complete, we must accept all that it teaches. And Scripture teaches that Christ established an authoritative church. That is why Paul tells Titus, who headed the church at Crete, to "Exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you" (Titus 2:15). Indeed an authoritative church is necessary in light of 2 Peter 1:20: "You must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation." So Scripture makes us complete by showing us that we need it and that we need the Church to teach us what it means. Only a church whose teachings are authoritative and unchanging can qualify as "The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15)....

I apologize for my comment post being so long, it's just I am passionate about my Catholic Christian faith and to spread it's Truth.

I enjoy reading blogs from people in your ministry and think it's AWESOME the way y'all spread the Word to non-believers. I have ties to your ministry as my brother in-law is Mark Spence. :-) Don't worry, we've discussed the above topics and I'm grateful he's always been so open and patient to talk of them.

God bless you and yours!
Melissa Spence
P.S. It wouldn't break our heart if the ministry relocated to TX one day - then our family would be in the same state! :-)

amontoya said...

Trish,

Catholics don't believe we are justified by our works! The Church teaches that we are justified by God's grace alone! "Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life," Catechism of the Catholic Church 1996.

God bless you!

Javier said...

We feel our salvation is only through Christ alone. Our "works" you speak of are not done on our own or to work our way into heaven but are done with God's graces, and to obey Him and please Him like it states in Scripture.

Well, no, salvation comes through the infused grace that is received by the sacraments. You are not saved by Christ alone in the sense that Christ has perfected you in the sight of God, because you can lose your justification in sight of God. As a Calvinist/Reformed believer, Christ has perfected 'those who are being sanctified'. We don't equivocate the words justification and sanctification, the positions are distinct in that the former is a legal declaration of God, and the latter the working of God in us predestinating us to good works and causing us to become holy.

In other words, you can keep the Commandments, because He is sending another Helper (the Holy Spirit) who will give you the grace to do it. This grace was the reason why Paul could say, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Phillipians 4:13). So as Catholics when we "do works" it is all through His grace and evidence of our Faith - NOT for our ticket into heaven.

Does faith alone justify?

As far as the Traditions you speak of, they are infact based on Scripture as well as from the Early Church Fathers.

One only need to point out the Papacy, and the Assumption of Mary to determine whether we have a proper understanding of 'tradition' and its role in the church. The said doctrines are not found anywhere in scripture, and if they are disproved or not based in scripture we have to resort to one thing: Sola Ekklesia and that is what we see the Romanists flocking to. The Church alone can determine true doctrine, yet the Church needs to be defined, and who defines the Church? The Scripture. The Scripture ultimately defines what the Church is, and since the Church relies on the scripture for its definition once the Church goes beyond the bounds of the definition of scripture into heresy, it ceases to be a true church. So that the true Church doesn't exist in Rome because of its apostacy, but the true Church is the Spiritual Body of Christ. Trish, and myself belong to the true Church.

Scripture speaks of two kinds of tradition. One is condemned, and the other requires belief.

And, who defines that tradition? If the Church does, then the Church rests on its own authority, but the Church's authority is only legitimate so long as it relies on the scripture, if the church denies the scripture then the Church no longer has authority. Once the Church denies the Gospel it is no longer a Church, so that the Bishop of Rome and his churches are not churches at all. Furthermore, on what basis can we know what a true tradition is from a false tradition who tells us this? If you're answer is the Church, then how do we know the Church is the Church? Because the Church says so? (Note Sola Ekklesia). Now if the Church relies on scripture to define itself, then the Church likewise should recognize the lack of evidence for things such as Papal Infallibility, or a Papal Office, along with the assumption of Mary.
Paul tells us In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, to "Stand firm, and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." Notice how Paul ranks oral tradition with written tradition equally.

Notice that you presuppose Oral Tradition (capital O and T) in order to establish the case. Paul doesn't ever speak of an Oral Traditoin passed down from Apostle to the Church that is binding on all believers, and these traditions would be passed down the successors of Peter and it is still binding today.

Why does he do that? He gives us the answer in 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Why would Paul answer something with something he wrote before? At best you have killed your argument. Because if Paul spoke of the 'traditions' handed to them we now know that those 'traditions' were what was given to them in his first epistle to them:

"And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God..."

And we now that this tradition was the Gospel, note a few verses before the verse you quoted:

8We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

So that a few verses we know that in his FIRST letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about embracing the Gospel, and in the SECOND he writes about the traditions he left them with - The Gospel. This speaks nothing about Papal Infallibility, or the Marian Dogmas.

No wonder Paul was pleased when the Corinthians accepted the traditions that he passed on to them. "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you" (1 Corinthians 11:2).

Are we to assume that in a text where Paul is speaking of The Lords Supper, The Freedom we have in Christ, and how to worship. That he really meant Papal Infallibility, and Marian Dogmas? The traditions mentioned do not establish a case for the Roman Position of infallible tradition given and held by the successors of Peter. But rather explain in the text what exactly Paul is talking about, given the fact that the preceding texts explain what a 'tadition' is, it becomes manifestly clear you are eisegeting the text.

It is sometimes claimed that the oral tradition that Paul is speaking of is what he later put into Scripture. But the Bible nowhere says this. How can we recognize the traditions of men?
Well, the concept of Sola Scriptura doesn't say that the Early Church didn't have a tradition, but that what we now have should be normative for the Church today and binding onthe believer. Since we have no ability to know a true tradition from a false one.

Well, if they cannot be traced back to the early Church, they would have to be man-made. To believe otherwise would imply that God didn't get it right the first time. What Catholics call Sacred Tradition can be traced back to the early Church.
Can you cite anyone who believed in Papal Infallibility from the text of the New Testament?

The same cannot be said of those beliefs that are uniquely Protestant. Protestantism was the creation of men.
So says the Romanist.
It first appeared in the sixteenth century. We even know the names of the men who started it. Names like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. If men started it, it is a tradition of men and not of God. One could hardly argue that it was an apostolic institution.
These are mere assertions. The Reformers never believed they were creating a new church, but in continuation with the Church that was established by Christ.

...One of the pillars of the Protestant Reformation is the doctrine of "Sola Scriptura," or "Scripture alone." The reformers taught that the Bible was the sole rule of faith, and that there was no need for an authoritative church.

Wrong. The Reformers taught that an authoritatve church is one that relied on scripture and that proclaimed the Gospel. There is no authority in Rome because it rejects the scripture, and the Gospel in it. Since Rome rejects the Gospel, Trish needs to evangelize the Pope! :)

Now if this were a true teaching, as some still contend, we would expect to find it in the Bible, but we don't. The verse usually used to justify Sola Scriptura is 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."

Matthew 15:3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother'[a] and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[b] 5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6he is not to 'honor his father[c]' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

Jesus defended scripture alone when he ran into people who had read, or attempted to justify traditions based on an external authority. YOu may argue these are false traditions, but how can you know? The Church? And what Church says so? The Roman Church? How does the Roman Church know its authoritative? The scripture? If the Roman Church asserts its own authority outside of the scripture, then Jesus' response can equally be applied to Rome since it seeks to nullify the Word of God in order to uphold its paganism. You may assume that Jesus is speaking of Rome in Matthew 16, but that is presupposed and read into the text afterall Peter cannot be taken apart from his confession. Let me quote a favorite of mine in regards to Matthew 16

Even if "this rock" refers to Peter, the person cannot be considered apart from his
confession. It is to the Peter who makes the confession of verse 16 that Jesus makes his
statement. So when it comes to apostolic succession, what is there to succeed, and who is
the successor? As we have shown, Peter never had a supreme and unique authority for the
pope to receive and wield. And even if he had such an authority, does it properly belong
to the pope?
To begin with, Scripture does not teach the Catholic doctrine of apostolic succession.
Even if it does, the entire New Testament stresses an inheritance that is transmitted and
identified through common faith, and not through geography, ethnicity, heredity, or anynatural or human connection. But the Catholic doctrine contradicts Peter in his teachings
on the nature and makeup of the priesthood (1 Peter 2), the nature, extent, and effect of
the atonement (1 Peter 2), the tasks and powers of elders (1 Peter 3), and the possibility
and means to the attainment of assurance (2 Peter 1). Moreover, Peter's doctrine includes
an endorsement of Paul's letters as well as the rest of Scripture (2 Peter 3:14-16), and this
permits us to point out that Catholic theology contradicts Paul's doctrines on the
atonement, justification, sanctification, glorification, the sacraments, marriage, and an
almost endless list of other biblical doctrines.
No wonder many biblical commentators conclude that the pope is the anti-Christ, as he is
also anti-Peter and anti-Paul. For this reason, although we deny the Catholic doctrine of
apostolic succession, even if there is such a thing, we deny that the pope is the proper and
rightful successor to the seat of Peter, since he contradicts Peter's teachings, and
contradicts the teachings of those whom Peter endorses. On the other hand, since my
doctrine agrees with Peter and those whom he endorses, if anyone now fills Peter's seat
and office, I do, and not the pope. Let all Catholics, then, bow their knees to me – or any
believer who affirms Peter's faith – and not the pope. But unlike the pope, I would say
with Peter, as would any Christian, "Stand up, I am only a man myself" (Acts 10:26). As
it is, by their own standard, all Catholics are subject to us so-called Protestants, for we are
the true heirs of Peter's confession and authority.


Thats all for now.

Missionary Man said...

Ladies,

Re-read your Catechism. Trish grew up Catholic and so did I and that is exactly what the church teaches. If you have been saved (according to you justified by faith) and you commit a mortal sin, and die with that sin unconfessed to a priest, what does the Catholic church say will happen to you? You didn't go to confession, you go to hell. Confession is a work. The Bible clearly teaches salvation by grace through faith as a gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast.
I can't speak about what you may or may not personally believe, but you need to recheck what the official Catholic teaching is on atonement. Somehow Christ's death was insufficient for your salvation, thus the need to confess to a priest and the concept of purgatory. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ's death on the cross fully completed the act of atonement for the elect of God and there is nothing we can add to that.
I would urge you to go back and re-read your Catholic Catechism then re-read the Bible and see if you find Scripture taken in context that supports some of those doctrines particularly around atonement.
By His Grace,
DJ
Keller, TX

amontoya said...

Javier,

"...we have no ability to know a true tradition from a false one."

If you don't have the ability to know a true Tradition from a false tradition, then isn't it possible that you're wrong about Catholic Tradition? Since you have no idea what a true Tradition actually is, you have no basis for rejecting Catholic Tradition.

Missionary Man,

"...you need to recheck what the official Catholic teaching is on atonement. Somehow Christ's death was insufficient for your salvation."

"Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men," CCC 1992.

"The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of "the righteous one, my Servant" as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin," CCC 601.

"Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world",439 and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins," CCC 613.

"It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died." No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all," CCC 616.

I strongly urge you to read or re-read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, because I think you may have missed some very important teachings.

God bless you!

Melissa Spence said...

Javier,
I just wanted to let you know that you're more than welcome to submit your response/argument to the Catholic website (which I stated a few of my inserts were from and ones you chose to debate) I copied text from. It is StayCatholic dot com, and the author of many of those inserts is Sebastian R. Fama. Unfortunately with the way you responded I did not even shudder or begin to doubt my Faith. Sure you gave many Scripture verses and YOUR interpretaion of them, and you stated many times that I "presuppose"...am I not able to think or have the same opinion of you doing the same? Afterall your knowledge of the Scripture is all based on your own private interpretation correct? I guess one major difference between you and I, Catholics and Bible Chirstians, is the topic of Authority. I believe when Jesus spoke to Peter..."I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:15-19 That He was speaking of a Physical Church/Body of Christ. Surely Jesus wouldn't leave us here on Earth with no Authority??? Your answer I assume will be "the Scriptures"...well then what about all those people in those first few centuries who did not have written Scripture??? They depended on the Early Church Fathers and the physical church to hear of it. I noticed you never commented on the Early Church Fathers, so if you do not believe in the Papacy because you claim to not read of it in Scriptures...why did Peter and the Apostles feel it necessary to teach men (certain appointed men) to succeed them? BTW here are some Scripture versus where the mention of the Papacy is: Luke 22:31-32, Luke 22:26, John 21:15-17, John 1:42.

You have a misconception that Catholics believe the Pope is infallible, not true. All popes are human, sin, they study about their faith like you and I - not claim to have a revelation, what he teaches comes from the Holy Spirit, and it is that Holy Spirit that protects the Church from the human frailties of a pope. Do you believe that God used men infallibly in writing Scripture? Yes, well then are you claiming God has not used men since Scripture was written to possibly protect the Scripture?

You said: There is no authority in Rome because it rejects the scripture, and the Gospel in it. How so? Do you know that Scripture and the Gospels are read Daily in Catholic Mass???

I am sorry you feel that I nor Amontoya are NOT part of that Spiritual Body of Christ (So that the true Church doesn't exist in Rome because of its apostacy, but the true Church is the Spiritual Body of Christ. Trish, and myself belong to the true Church.) It's wrong of you to assume that because we are of Catholic faith, that we have not done what is necessary to be apart of that. Because we are! As Catholic Christians we follow the Scripture, Abide in Him, becoming branches of His vine, bearing fruit (our works) because of Him, without Him we are nothing and not members of the Body of Christ. John 15:1-6

DJ,
Just because you "grew up Catholic" does not validate that you are an Expert on Catholic doctrine. It's unfortunate that you never received the truthful understanding of this Faith. And incase you overlooked, you need to re-read Amontoya's comment where she did post an example from the Catechism on Justification.

As far as confession, again you misunderstand. So when Catholics repent it's considered "works"...what about when you repent? Or do you not repent? Is that not an "action" you are doing? And please show me documents where the Catholic church states that you will go to Hell unless you confessed/repented of your mortal sins to a priest!!!

Consider this insert from the above stated website:
Can only those confessing to a priest be forgiven? Certainly not. Confession is the normal means but not the only means. If someone were to die suddenly without confessing to a priest, all would not necessarily be lost. If the person died truly sorry for his or her sins and desired God's forgiveness, forgiveness would be granted. So why bother with Confession? Well for one because Jesus says so. (In John 20:21-23, we find Jesus saying the following to his apostles: "'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send 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 any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.) But also because of the graces that we receive when we are absolved, - graces that help us avoid sin in the future.

It is easy to understand why someone might not want to go to Confession. While we don't mind admitting that we are not perfect, we often have a problem admitting to specific faults. Admitting them to our pastor is even less desirable. But we need not fear, for he is also a sinner. Let us remember also, that God is there to help us. As the scripture says, He gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

We seem to have a natural need to confess. Quite often we will discuss our misdeeds with a friend. Why not discuss them with a priest, as Jesus commanded, and receive forgiveness as well as consolation?

I need to head to bed. Unsure if you posters previously commented on Trish's previous post where she interviewed a Catholic priest, but poster Amontoya made some wonderful comments on that one that are worth going back to and reading.

I will continue to pray for your ministry Trish. I also pray that one day we will merge together again as One Faith. (Ephesians 4:5)

Melissa

Javier said...

Unfortunately with the way you responded I did not even shudder or begin to doubt my Faith.
Only the Spirit can bring you to Christ alone
Sure you gave many Scripture verses and YOUR interpretaion of them, and you stated many times that I "presuppose"...am I not able to think or have the same opinion of you doing the same? Afterall your knowledge of the Scripture is all based on your own private interpretation correct?
The interpretation is based on the context, not the removal of the passage from its context and somehow, anachornistically interpreting Catholic teaching into the text. We must conform our presuppositions into scripture, not the other way around. So, of course I presuppose the authority of scripture when I use it against you, but you presuppose the authority of Rome and its infallible magisterium. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Sola Ekklesia but that isn't the Roman Catholic position, but its quite easily demonstrated when a Romanist engages in apologetics with a Protestant.

Yes, its my 'private' interpretation, but you merely offered the vereses as 'private' interpretations of a man from some website somewhere. Now if the Pope cited this it would different, wouldn't it? Well no, the Roman Pope cannot even begin to establish his own primacy without appealing to tradition, yet binding tradition relies on the authority of the Church which relies on Scripture, once the Church goes beyond what the scripture teaches, its legitimacy is questioned. Since the Church can only authoritatively speak from scripture, the Roman pontiff fails in this area. Again let me make it easier:

If Rome asserts its authority as the 'true church'

Then Rome has to establish the definition of 'Church'

Since the definition of 'Church' is in scripture, then Rome relieson scripture for its definition. Since scripture is the standard, and Rome has doctrines such as The Assumption of Mary, Papal Infallibility, Purgatory and a denial of Sola Fide, on this basis we can reject Rome as a true Church because of scripture.

I guess one major difference between you and I, Catholics and Bible Chirstians, is the topic of Authority.

It certainly is. Again how do we know "The Church" is "The Church"

I believe when Jesus spoke to Peter..."I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:15-19

I already quoted someone on how we reject your Pope according to your standards, and given Roman Catholic standards, Protestants are the true Popes,and you should bow the knee to all Protestants (not that we would accept it).

That He was speaking of a Physical Church/Body of Christ. Surely Jesus wouldn't leave us here on Earth with no Authority???
Of course not, we have his Spirit, and his Scripture. Protestants are not alone.
Your answer I assume will be "the Scriptures"...well then what about all those people in those first few centuries who did not have written Scripture???

They had scripture, perhaps not a full canon.

They depended on the Early Church Fathers and the physical church to hear of it.
They depeneded on the Church, correct. What does this have to do with a Successoin of Popes who have the authority to bind believers consciences to traditions that are outside of the scripture?
I noticed you never commented on the Early Church Fathers, so if you do not believe in the Papacy because you claim to not read of it in Scriptures...why did Peter and the Apostles feel it necessary to teach men (certain appointed men) to succeed them?

I deny the primacy of the Pope. I believe in Bishops (I have two in my Church! Trish's husband is one of them!) The Apostles ordained Elders to the Early Church, but none was ever called "Bishop of Bishops". In fact the first demonstration of a Christian council is the Council of Jerusalem, and the suppposed "Pope" didn't even have dominance over what happened, it was James. ;)

BTW here are some Scripture versus where the mention of the Papacy is: Luke 22:31-32, Luke 22:26, John 21:15-17, John 1:42.

Its beyond understanding how one can cite those passages and without presupposing the Papacy can deduce an infallible pope, who is the Bishop of Bishops and has Primacy in ROME. Check again, this is insufficient.

You have a misconception that Catholics believe the Pope is infallible, not true. All popes are human, sin, they study about their faith like you and I - not claim to have a revelation, what he teaches comes from the Holy Spirit, and it is that Holy Spirit that protects the Church from the human frailties of a pope.
Umm, Vatican I?

Do you believe that God used men infallibly in writing Scripture?
Yes.
Yes, well then are you claiming God has not used men since Scripture was written to possibly protect the Scripture?

Yes, JW's have Brooklyn, Mormons have Utah, Shia Muslims have their Infallible Imams...and they all purport to do the same thing.
You make quite a mockery of God's sovereignty. When does the ability to preserve the text of the New Testament have anything to do with a Succession of Popes from Peter, or an Infallible Magisterium?

You said: There is no authority in Rome because it rejects the scripture, and the Gospel in it. How so? Do you know that Scripture and the Gospels are read Daily in Catholic Mass???

I was baptized into Rome (although I consider Roman baptism invalid) and I have attended mass, I consider it quite the blasphemy.
That being said, Mormons read scripture, JW's do too...so what?

I am sorry you feel that I nor Amontoya are NOT part of that Spiritual Body of Christ (So that the true Church doesn't exist in Rome because of its apostacy, but the true Church is the Spiritual Body of Christ. Trish, and myself belong to the true Church.) It's wrong of you to assume that because we are of Catholic faith, that we have not done what is necessary to be apart of that. Because we are! As Catholic Christians we follow the Scripture, Abide in Him, becoming branches of His vine, bearing fruit (our works) because of Him, without Him we are nothing and not members of the Body of Christ. John 15:1-6

Let me make it plain for you, as a Christian it is my conviction that:
The wrath of God remains on you so much that the tortures of hell will never, ever end. You will suffer God's eternal wrath for not resting in the eternal satisfaction that Christ made on our behalf, and instead going daily, weekly, or monthly to a sacrifice that perfects no one.

You can cling to Christ today, believe in faith alone that Christ justifies the ungodly,and you will enjoy the true faith that which Paul preached and Christ did.

I'm sorry that you feel sorry, I'd appreciate you be more consistent and hold to the Council of Trent when it anathematized me, Trish and the rest of our church.


I will continue to pray for your ministry Trish. I also pray that one day we will merge together again as One Faith. (Ephesians 4:5)

Melissa,
I'm concerned for your soul, do not assume that I'm rude, mean of being malicious please. That being said, I will never unite with Rome until it repents of its apostacy.

Take Care

-Javy

Javier said...

If you don't have the ability to know a true Tradition from a false tradition, then isn't it possible that you're wrong about Catholic Tradition? Since you have no idea what a true Tradition actually is, you have no basis for rejecting Catholic Tradition.

I have no ability to know what traditions outside of scripture are true apostolic traditions, since scripture doesn't speak of apostolic succession. Is this hard for you to understand? On the basis of scripture, I can decide what is an unbiblical tradition of course.

Melissa Spence said...

Javy...just want to break it to you that you do come across rude, never has my brother in-law who is part of your ministry responded to me in the manner that you have. Your selection of words and phrases come across very boastful and all-knowing. It is apparent that you are very anti-Catholic (ie. when you say things such as: Protestants are the true Popes,and you should bow the knee to all Protestants (not that we would accept it) , by that I mean someone that hates Catholics, assumes that God hates Catholics, teaches/preaches/believes that all Catholics will rot in hell. It would be different if you were speaking from a non-Catholic point of view, keeping in mind the Golden rule and Jesus' commandment "to love thy enemy" (and I do not even consider myself your enemy but a fellow Christian). You must not forget, I am a child of God too, so what you are saying to me, you are saying to Christ as well.

You have no reason to be concerned for my soul...I have assurance I am saved. I've learned through my Faith that we were saved (Rom 8:24), we are being saved (1 Cor 1:18) and we will be saved (Rom 5:9-10).

You continue to focus on the negative, to the exclusion of anything positive...like Amontoya and I have been trying to point out that our belief is one in the SAME on Justification through Christ only. I hear Ray and my brother in-law speak ALL the time about accepting Jesus as your Savior and to REPENT. Why do you keep referring to when Catholics repent that it is considered "works"?

The problem with not having a "Bishop of Bishops" is clearly shown with all the 28,000+ Protestant churches...once one Bishop disagrees with another, they spilt off and start their own church. A good example would be a Royal Kingdom...how many in this world are run by a set of princes? They are not, they are ruled under the authority of a King and/or Queen. God did not want us Christians to split off into several thousand different Faiths, He wants One Faith. Ephesians 4:5

Lastly, something you said sparked a thought in my head of a past conversation I had with my brother in-law on Mormonism (we actually have many relatives of that Faith) he pointed out very clearly that Mormons believe what is to be true because they claim the Holy Spirit tells them/makes them feel so. One of your answers about Authority here on Earth was: Of course not, we have his Spirit, and his Scripture. Hhhmm, sounds quite similar to the same thought process of a Mormon.

I will pray that one day God will allow your heart to see His Mass not as blasphemy but as what it truly is, the Lord's Supper, a celebration of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ, and the ritual anticipation of the sacrifice of the cross.

God Bless!

amontoya said...

Javier,

"I have no ability to know what traditions outside of scripture are true apostolic traditions, since scripture doesn't speak of apostolic succession."

Acts 1:26- Matthias "was numbered with the eleven Apostles" to succeed to Judas' Apostleship
2 Tim. 2:2- Paul tells Timothy to pass on what he received to men who will pass it on to others; that's four generations; It's logical that this would continue on indefinetly.

Since Scripture speaks not only of succession, but also of oral tradition that is outside of Scripture, isn't it possible that you're wrong in your condemnation of Catholic Tradition? Especially considering that you admit you have no basis for judging that oral Tradition? Isn't it just possible that you're wrong?

"I believe in Bishops (I have two in my Church! Trish's husband is one of them!)"

Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5- priests and elders are appointed
Acts 13:3, 1 Tim. 4:14, 2 Tim. 1:6- ministry is received through the laying on of hands

Who laid hands on your bishop to appoint him? Scripture is clear: ministers are appointed and receive their gift through the laying on of hands, by someone who already has been appointed and received the gift. This, in and of itself, is enough to establish Apostolic Succession. There must be an unbroken line, tracing from your bishop to the Apostles, of men laying on hands and appointing ministers for your bishop to truly be able to claim the office of bishop, priest, or deacon. My Church has this line of succession.

I'm concerned for your soul, do not assume that I'm rude, mean of being malicious please.

While that may be true, you must surely know that your attitude (especially when taken with your blog) portrays you as someone much more concerned with superiority than with saving souls. I suggest you tone it down a notch, and focus more on truth than sarcasm.

God bless you!

Javier said...

Javy...just want to break it to you that you do come across rude,

I'm sorry you feel that way, I don't think I've said anything offensive besides pointing out that Rome is not Home. ;)

never has my brother in-law who is part of your ministry responded to me in the manner that you have.

Well, Mark Spence isn't that standard for how one should deal with you. Scripture is though, what exactly have I done to be uncharitable or rude?

Your selection of words and phrases come across very boastful and all-knowing.

That wasn't my intent. So I'm sorry.

It is apparent that you are very anti-Catholic (ie. when you say things such as: Protestants are the true Popes,and you should bow the knee to all Protestants (not that we would accept it)

Well no, I was only pointing out that by your standards Protestants are the pope and since you obey Popes you should obey Protestants. Feel free to see the quote above.

, by that I mean someone that hates Catholics,

I don't hate Catholics.

assumes that God hates Catholics,
God hates all unbelievers not just Catholics.

teaches/preaches/believes that all Catholics will rot in hell.

There is no rotting in hell, there is continual torture. Which is why I've preached repentance and faith in Christ alone for your justification not simply salvation. You see, while perhaps you may be saved by grace alone, you are not justified by faith alone and are therefore salvation, that is ultimate salvation is not by grace alone. You can't have it both ways.

It would be different if you were speaking from a non-Catholic point of view, keeping in mind the Golden rule and Jesus' commandment "to love thy enemy" (and I do not even consider myself your enemy but a fellow Christian).

I am a Non-Roman Catholic, yes. I'm not an anti-Roman Catholic though.

You must not forget, I am a child of God too, so what you are saying to me, you are saying to Christ as well.

Are you? You see Melissa you give me the impression that you don't give much significance to how one is justified, you sorta toss it back there with whether or not one believes that Adam had nipples. Justification by faith alone is the foundation of the Christian faith. Where Rome places cooperation with God for justification the Reformed Church doesn't (I say Reformed because the Evangelical Church today is nonsensical, and headed back to Rome).

You have no reason to be concerned for my soul...I have assurance I am saved. I've learned through my Faith that we were saved (Rom 8:24), we are being saved (1 Cor 1:18) and we will be saved (Rom 5:9-10).

Really? Would you consider yourself a good person?

You continue to focus on the negative, to the exclusion of anything positive...like Amontoya and I have been trying to point out that our belief is one in the SAME on Justification through Christ only.

In the Roman system is justification by faith alone?

I hear Ray and my brother in-law speak ALL the time about accepting Jesus as your Savior and to REPENT.


Can you seriously not see the difference b/w the Protestant faith and the Roman Catholic faith to the point that if we stand together we compromise a LOT?

Why do you keep referring to when Catholics repent that it is considered "works"?
I didn't say anything like that.

The problem with not having a "Bishop of Bishops" is clearly shown with all the 28,000+ Protestant churches...once one Bishop disagrees with another, they spilt off and start their own church.
OH? I didn't know there was Roman unity, perhaps we can ask the Franciscans? Jesuits? The Partim Partim view of scripture? The Material Sufficiency folks? Or lets ask the Vatican II Catholics vs the Traditional Catholics? How about the Eastern Orthodox Catholics?

So much for unity.

And so what if Protestantism has 28,000 denominations? At best it says something about the condition of sinful men not the doctrine of Scripture alone.

God did not want us Christians to split off into several thousand different Faiths, He wants One Faith. Ephesians 4:5

Good, repent and believe the Gospel of Grace through Faith alone in Christ alone and we'll be one. You can even come to my Church, or I can recommend a Church I went to when I lived in Austin. ;)

Lastly, something you said sparked a thought in my head of a past conversation I had with my brother in-law on Mormonism (we actually have many relatives of that Faith) he pointed out very clearly that Mormons believe what is to be true because they claim the Holy Spirit tells them/makes them feel so. One of your answers about Authority here on Earth was: Of course not, we have his Spirit, and his Scripture. Hhhmm, sounds quite similar to the same thought process of a Mormon.

No, because the subjectivty of the Spirit is tested by the objectivity of the scripture.

I will pray that one day God will allow your heart to see His Mass not as blasphemy but as what it truly is, the Lord's Supper, a celebration of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ, and the ritual anticipation of the sacrifice of the cross.

I apologize if my responses are insufficient on this post, I just got a wisdom tooth removed! And I'm in pain! :)

Finally, I pray that you repent and trust in Christ alone for your justification as well as ultimately your salvation. To God alone be the glory not to any Pope or any magisterium.

Melissa Spence said...

Javier, Sigh. I believe this will be my final response to you because it's becoming quite frustrating trying to get my point (what the Catholic church actually teaches) heard by you. Hopefully Amontoya's responses are though...as it appears you do not have as much to respond to her. Maybe I come across easier to debate?

First off how one is justified is very important to me - should be everyone's top priority to figure out in this life shouldn't it, considering it determines our eternal life! As a Catholic I believe Salvation is achieved after death, however we can be justified in this life. If we persevere (you probably won't like this word as that translates to you as "works") in grace we are rewarded with salvation, if we accept grace we are rewarded with justification. The most important is to realize that the Catholic Church does NOT teach that we earn our salvation by our own efforts, although it does teach that we have to work on our salvation. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12)

It teaches that we can do nothing to merit the grace. In fact, the Council of Trent condemned anyone who taught that we can save ourselves. The Church teaches that we can be saved only by God’s grace.

I'm sure you still believe that Catholics place to much emphasis on doing good works (and come back with a verse such as Romans 4:5 "And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.") and for that reason you believe we will be continuely tortured in hell...BUT Following Paul, the Catholic Church teaches that justification comes by faith. Only it says that it doesn’t come through faith alone. If you look carefully at Paul’s writings, you will notice that he never says that our righteousness comes from faith alone—only that it comes from faith apart from works. You, Martin Luther or any other Bible-only Christian may privately interperet "faith apart from works" as meaning "faith alone" but it does not. The phrase "faith alone" does occur in the New Testament: one time, in James 2:24. There the inspired apostle denies that justification is from faith alone. Let me quote it: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

Paul categorically excludes works from our salvation. But what kind of works is Paul talking about? If we believe the entire Bible, (The Catholic Church believes that we should interpret Scripture by using Scripture) we need to see how Paul’s words fit together with James’s words, because James clearly says that "a man is justified by works." If Paul and James mean the same thing by works, then they contradict one another. Since you and I both believe that the Bible cannot contradict itself, we must agree that Paul and James mean two different things by the word works?

Paul expands his phrase "from works" by adding the phrase "of the law", as in Romans 3:20 and 28 and Galatians 2:16. A careful reading of Galatians will show that Paul is using works of the law to refer especially to the law of circumcision. He is so strong about this that he says in Galatians 5:2, "Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you." Paul’s opponents in Galatia wanted to bring the Gentile Christians back into the Old Testament law. These are the works of the law that Paul is fighting against, and they have no place in our justification. Paul is saying in essence that Gentile Christians do not have to be circumcised and live like Jewish Christians in order to be saved.

Paul speaks about Christians fulfilling the law by following the command to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Gal. 5:14). He then explains that we must show the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:16–26) and bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:1ff) as a way of fulfilling the "law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). All Paul’s teaching comes down to this: Our own works can never justify us, but works that grow out of faith in Christ are part of our justification. That’s why Paul says in Philippians 2:12 you must "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." And that squares with James’s teaching that works that grow from faith justify.

"You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected.." James 2:22

The Church teaches that salvation is a process of becoming holier and holier through time. All of this is a work of grace that God performs in our hearts through faith. Works done in faith are the natural completion of believing in Christ. As we trust and do God’s work, he instills within us more grace so that we may become holier and so be ready to meet him at the end of our life. Do you clearly understand my stance of Justification now?

And to answer your question, NO I am not a GOOD person, I SIN. The only GOOD person on this Earth was Jesus Christ. Therefore since I am NOT GOOD, I need Jesus as my Savior.

Lastly you need to quit assuming that Catholics look at the Pope as if he were God (you mention words and phrases such as "bow knee to", "obey", "give glory to") because we do not worship the Pope. We believe he is a successor of Peter (a Shepherd of the True Church - not the Great Shepherd for that is Jesus, John 21:15-17) by receiving this gift through the laying on of hands - because of this Catholics show respect and veneration to him.

Javy, may the peace of the Lord be always with you. Thanks Trish for allowing our comments on your posting in order to have this dialogue. Godspeed y'all.

Melissa
P.S. Thanks for offering a church recommendation in my area but we've already found a wonderful Catholic parish in Buda close by. It's not to say I will never step foot in a Bible-only church, we have many loved ones who attend those types of churches and have tagged along with them in the past, and I'm sure in the future as well. I'm even designing the logo for a Bible-only church that's starting in the area next month, the pastor is a friend of our neighbors.

Javier said...

Javier, Sigh. I believe this will be my final response to you because it's becoming quite frustrating trying to get my point (what the Catholic church actually teaches) heard by you.

I know what Rome teaches, it teaches justification by faith and obedience. Am I correct?

Hopefully Amontoya's responses are though...as it appears you do not have as much to respond to her. Maybe I come across easier to debate?

No, I've discussed issues with Amontoya before, but you seemed to attract me because of your seeming non-chalant undoctrinal, 'lets unite' message.

First off how one is justified is very important to me - should be everyone's top priority to figure out in this life shouldn't it, considering it determines our eternal life!

Amen.

As a Catholic I believe Salvation is achieved after death, however we can be justified in this life.
Sure.

If we persevere (you probably won't like this word as that translates to you as "works") in grace we are rewarded with salvation, if we accept grace we are rewarded with justification.

Its complete disrespect for language to suggest that you are rewarded with justification if its GRACIOUS. Grace by definition is an unmerited favor, there is no need to REWARD someone of it, its given. You are not rewarded with grace, because then it means you EARN it, which is a complete disrespect for language and its definition and Is a further attempt by Rome to keep its people in bondage to its vain rituals, and blasphemies.


The most important is to realize that the Catholic Church does NOT teach that we earn our salvation by our own efforts, although it does teach that we have to work on our salvation. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12)

....v.13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

I never denied we do works, the question is, do these good deeds or 'gracious deeds' (whatever that means) gain us justification before God? And how can we be rewarded with an unmerited favor, if we are rewarded that means we earned it, which is exactly what Paul argues against:

Romans 4
 4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift,but as an obligation. 5However, to the man whodoes not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
 7"Blessed are they
      whose transgressions are forgiven,
      whose sins are covered.
 8Blessed is the man
      whose sin the Lord will never count against him."[b]


Given the standard above Melissa, there Is no blessed man in Rome. Aftearll all men have sinned, and God holds us accountable to our venial sins in purgatory.


It teaches that we can do nothing to merit the grace. In fact, the Council of Trent condemned anyone who taught that we can save ourselves. The Church teaches that we can be saved only by God’s grace.

Sure.

I'm sure you still believe that Catholics place to much emphasis on doing good works (and come back with a verse such as Romans 4:5 "And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.") and for that reason you believe we will be continuely tortured in hell...BUT Following Paul, the Catholic Church teaches that justification comes by faith. Only it says that it doesn’t come through faith alone. If you look carefully at Paul’s writings, you will notice that he never says that our righteousness comes from faith alone—only that it comes from faith apart from works.

Melissa, that is because it is not OUR righteousness. We are not righteous inherently, what we have is Christ’s righteousness. Remember in your vain attempts to justify yourself by doing the good things that EARN you the grace of justification, that as a Protestant, my righteousness is not mine, but Christ’s. And whereas you have to deal with a sinful nature, crippled by original sin stuck in the endless terror of sinfulness, I can rest in the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Who doesn’t need to be Re-Presented daily at mass, and who doesn’t need to make me holier so that I may be REWARDED (How one can be rewarded with grace is beyond me) justification. And I don’t need to go partake of the Eucharist in order to be made perfect for a time, only to fail God, and have to take it again, and again, and again.

The Catholic Church has some nice things in it, but you’re salvation is ultimately at stake.

Remember if you repent and trust in Christ the savior you can be justified, and this justification isn’t temporal but God declares you legally righteous on the the basis of his Son. In that sense we are saved by Works, but not our own. Christs.

You, Martin Luther or any other Bible-only Christian may privately interperet "faith apart from works" as meaning "faith alone" but it does not. The phrase "faith alone" does occur in the New Testament: one time, in James 2:24. There the inspired apostle denies that justification is from faith alone. Let me quote it: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

Firstly, you don’t rely on ‘private’ interpretation but the interpretation of Popes who’s authority rests on the scripture, yet the scripture denies such claims. So that the Popes claims are reduced to mere ‘private’ interpretation itself. Secondly, you rest on the interpretation of the Pope? How are you sure you are interpreting what the Pope has said properly? You don’t solve any problem of interpretation you just move it.

Secondly, go re-read where Paul speaks of Abraham, and re-read where James speaks of Abraham. Look at the different stages of life, and the context. I don’t affirm we are justified by faith only, but faith alone. Justification is by faith alone, but its never alone. Good works are the fruit of my justification not the requisite for my ‘gracious’ salvation.

Paul categorically excludes works from our salvation. But what kind of works is Paul talking about? If we believe the entire Bible, (The Catholic Church believes that we should interpret Scripture by using Scripture) we need to see how Paul’s words fit together with James’s words, because James clearly says that "a man is justified by works." If Paul and James mean the same thing by works, then they contradict one another. Since you and I both believe that the Bible cannot contradict itself, we must agree that Paul and James mean two different things by the word works?

What we must conclude is that they are speaking of two different views of justification. Am I justified before God by faith? Is that what James is talking about? IF not then its equivocal and you are being illogical. What we do see is that Paul is talking about the cosmic significance of justification and how God sees it, the metaphysical importance and necessity of Sola Fide, and James is talking about the practical working out of justification. Its utterly amazing that Rome would stoop to such levels in order to justify its doctrines of demons.

Paul expands his phrase "from works" by adding the phrase "of the law", as in Romans 3:20 and 28 and Galatians 2:16. A careful reading of Galatians will show that Paul is using works of the law to refer especially to the law of circumcision. He is so strong about this that he says in Galatians 5:2, "Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you." Paul’s opponents in Galatia wanted to bring the Gentile Christians back into the Old Testament law. These are the works of the law that Paul is fighting against, and they have no place in our justification. Paul is saying in essence that Gentile Christians do not have to be circumcised and live like Jewish Christians in order to be saved.

That’s right Paul wrote a whole letter to the Galatians saying “Hey guys! You’re not justified by that law! You’re justified by this one.” Do you seriously believe this?

Paul speaks about Christians fulfilling the law by following the command to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Gal. 5:14). He then explains that we must show the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:16–26) and bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:1ff) as a way of fulfilling the "law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). All Paul’s teaching comes down to this: Our own works can never justify us, but works that grow out of faith in Christ are part of our justification. That’s why Paul says in Philippians 2:12 you must "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." And that squares with James’s teaching that works that grow from faith justify.

And none of those verses explicitly speak of justification. Whereas where Paul does speak of justification its blatantly ignore and perverted.

The Church teaches that salvation is a process of becoming holier and holier through time. All of this is a work of grace that God performs in our hearts through faith. Works done in faith are the natural completion of believing in Christ. As we trust and do God’s work, he instills within us more grace so that we may become holier and so be ready to meet him at the end of our life. Do you clearly understand my stance of Justification now?

I under yours, the Bible disagrees.



Lastly you need to quit assuming that Catholics look at the Pope as if he were God (you mention words and phrases such as "bow knee to", "obey", "give glory to") because we do not worship the Pope. We believe he is a successor of Peter (a Shepherd of the True Church - not the Great Shepherd for that is Jesus, John 21:15-17) by receiving this gift through the laying on of hands - because of this Catholics show respect and veneration to him.

All of these things remain to be proven. I’ve already established that if Rome relies on scripture to define the Church, then the Church is not Rome and if the Pope relies on scripture to be the Pope then the Pope is not the Pope.

Javy, may the peace of the Lord be always with you. Thanks Trish for allowing our comments on your posting in order to have this dialogue. Godspeed y'all.

I pray that God terrorize you with his Law, and bring you into the loving arms of his Son. The one who died for our justification. Peace.

-Javy

Melissa Spence said...

Okay so I thought I would no longer comment back to you, but just real quickly wanted to give some responses. I'm going to copy and paste these inserts from biblechristiansociety dot com...because it's late, and I don't feel like rewriting this all in my own words.

Javy said:
"Its complete disrespect for language to suggest that you are rewarded with justification if its GRACIOUS. Grace by definition is an unmerited favor, there is no need to REWARD someone of it, its given. You are not rewarded with grace, because then it means you EARN it, which is a complete disrespect for language and its definition."

We can merit an increase in justification, because after we are justified gratuitously by God, we are then members of the Body of Christ. Before justification, we cannot merit anything. But, after justification, we can merit an increase. Does Christ merit? Of course He does. If the Head merits, does not the body also merit? Of course it does. It would be foolish to say that the Head merits but the hand or the foot does not.

Heb 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good…for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” How can our sacrifices be “pleasing to God,” if we don’t merit anything? Shouldn’t it say that Jesus’ sacrifice is the only sacrifice pleasing to God?

Heb 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good that YOU may do His will, working in YOU that which is pleasing in His sight…” We can merit because it is Christ working through us. Christ is crowning His own merits manifested in us.

Heb 10:35, “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”
Matt 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when men revile you…Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven.”
1 Cor 3:14, “If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.”

There are many other passages that speak of a reward for what we do. How can we receive a reward for our works, if our works do not merit anything? A reward is something given in return for something we do.

Matt 25:14-30…the two good servants increase what their Master has given them, and they merit a reward for it. The bad servant does not, and he is cast into the outer darkness.

As members of the Body of Christ, we can merit and do merit increases in grace, after our justification…just as the Church and the Bible teach. By producing good fruit (John 15:1-6) we, the branches, abide in Christ and merit, by Christ the vine working through us, increases in grace. Very biblical. Very Catholic.

Javy said:
"Good works are the fruit of my justification not the requisite for my ‘gracious’ salvation."

I agree. And what the Catholic church teaches.

Javy said:
"Firstly, you don’t rely on ‘private’ interpretation but the interpretation of Popes who’s authority rests on the scripture, yet the scripture denies such claims. So that the Popes claims are reduced to mere ‘private’ interpretation itself."

Insert below from staycatholic dot com:
Infallibility does not mean that a pope cannot err when he speaks as a private teacher. As a man he is fallible and capable of error.

The First Vatican Council taught that three conditions must be met in order for a pronouncement to be considered infallible:

The pope must speak ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter) in his official capacity.

The decision must be binding on the whole Church.

It must be on a matter of faith or morals.

The first two conditions can be reasonably deduced from Matthew 16:19: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The acts of binding and loosing in the context of the verse would by necessity be something more than casual remarks. The passage begins with Jesus saying, "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church" (16:18). The acts of binding or loosing would have to be official and meant for the whole Church.

The third condition stems from the obvious fact that Christian teaching is primarily a matter of faith and morals. Christianity's main objectives have always been getting people to heaven (faith) and teaching them how to live here on earth (morals).

Infallibility is also extended to the college of bishops when they, as a body, teach something in union with the pope. Collegial authority is usually exercised in an ecumenical council just as it was at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29).

Javy said:
"I pray that God terrorize you with his Law, and bring you into the loving arms of his Son."

There is no need for God to fill or overcome me with terror or coerce me by intimidation. He has already showed me in a loving way that His only Son suffered and died for me because He knew I would fail to obey his Law...for that I have accepted Him as my Savior and already am in His loving arms. :-)

Melissa

Javier said...

Melissa,

In case I didn't make it clear, I believe that Rome preaches another Gospel, a false one and since you believe in a false Gospel you have false faith and will face eternal wrath. That is the seriousness of my message. I plead with you today to repent and trust in Christ by faith alone for your salvation.

As for our conversation it seems your talking at me, and not with me. Afterall I've posed several issues I have with your Papacy, and the Assumption of Mary along with your view of justification. Its fine if you cannot answer, but I do hope that you take my objections seriously.

Again I'll give you my objections:

Where is the Papacy defined in scripture? If not then how do we arrive at the doctrine? If we rely on sacred tradition, how do we know its sacred tradition? If the Church tells us what sacred tradition is, then how do we know the Church is the Church? You're answer then becomes the scripture, but if the Church relies on the scripture for its definition then it should also obey the scripture in things that are not spoken of, or spoken against so that Rome becomes inconsistent when it declares the Infallibility of the Pope (I know what it means, no need to define it over and over) or the Assumption of Mary. Also, if the Church relies on the scripture for its definition, then it also relies on the scripture for the doctrine of Tradition, yet the doctrine of tradition is not spoken of in scripture so that the doctrine of Oral Tradition is without basis. On this basis we can reject all of the oral traditions of scripture and that the Church is the true Church if it embraces heretical doctrines.

Now you can cite Matthew 16, but perhaps I believe that Peter is the Rock. But I'm not Roman Catholic, I'm a Protestant. I disagree with my Protestant brethren...I'm not a Catholic because Matthew 16 says nothing about a succession of Popes, or an infallible tradition, Pope, or magisterium. What does Matthew 16 say? That on Peter AND his Confession the Church is built...so what? How does this then mean that Rome is the true Church? It says nothing about Rome, but its speaking of Peter, and the Church. Its Roman anachronism to assume Roman Catholic dogmas, and Popes into this scripture.

I hope thats a better summary, again Melissa, I'm tired of beating around the bush.

Furthermore, I'm awaiting a list of how you can know the scriptures you cited if they havent been infallibly decreed by the Pope. And if you can't know them, then its your own private interpretation and I could care less if you cite them.

Repent today! I plead along with your brother in law!

Melissa Spence said...

Javier,
I apologize if my previous post came across like I was talking at you...like I stated most of it I copied from Apologetic sites, so it was from that author's dialogue.

I don't believe we can continue our conversation because we seem to have a major difference in opinions of what the Catholic church actually teaches. I have tried answering your questions but if you could care less of my own private interpretation (or other authors I've cited)...why should I then care about yours? How do you know yours is 100% correct? Because in your OWN opinion you've interpreted it correctly?

You said: "Furthermore, I'm awaiting a list of how you can know the scriptures you cited if they havent been infallibly decreed by the Pope."

I guess when Amontoya cited the Catholic Catechism those lists were not sufficient enough? Okay here's a big one, it is from the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification
(JD), the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church have declared together in June of 98:
1. The following elucidations underline the consensus reached in the Joint Declaration on the
Doctrine of Justification (JD) regarding basic truths of justification; thus it becomes clear ***that
the mutual condemnations of former times do not apply to the Catholic and Lutheran doctrines
of justification as they are presented in the Joint Declaration***.
2. „Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any
merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts
while equipping and calling us to good works“ (JD 15).
A „We confess together that God forgives sin by grace and at the same time frees human beings
from sin's enslaving power (...)“ (JD 22). Justification is forgiveness of sins and being made
righteous, through which God „imparts the gift of new life in Christ“ (JD 22). „Since we are
justified by faith we have peace with God“ (Rom 5:1). We are „called children of God; and that
is what we are“ (1 Jn 3:1).We are truly and inwardly renewed by the action of the Holy Spirit,
remaining always dependent on his work in us. „So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:
everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!“ (2 Cor 5:17). The justified
do not remain sinners in this sense.
Yet we would be wrong were we to say that we are without sin (1 Jn l:8-10, cf. JD 28). „(A)ll of
us make many mistakes“ (Jas 3:2). „Who is aware of his unwitting sins? Cleanse me of many
secret faults“ (Ps. 19:12). And when we pray, we can only say, like the tax collector, „God, be
merciful to me, a sinner“ (Lk 18:13). This is expressed in a variety of ways in our liturgies. Together
we hear the exhortation „Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal
bodies, to make you obey their passions“ (Rom 6:12). This recalls to us the persisting danger
which comes from the power of sin and its action in Christians. To this extent, Lutherans and
Catholics can together understand the Christian as simul justus et peccator, despite their different
approaches to this subject as expressed in JD 29-30.
C Justification takes place „by grace alone“ (JD 15 and 16), by faith alone, the person is justified
„apart from works“ (Rom 3:28, cf. JD 25). „Grace creates faith not only when faith begins in a
person but as long as faith lasts“ (Thomas Aquinas, S. Th. II/II 4, 4 ad 3). The working of
God’s grace does not exclude human action: God effects everything, the willing and the
achievement, therefore, we are called to strive (cf. Phil 2:12 ff). „As soon as the Holy Spirit has
initiated his work of regeneration and renewal in us through the Word and the holy sacraments,
it is certain that we can and must cooperate by the power of the Holy Spirit...“ (The Formula of
Concord, FC SD II,64f; BSLK 897,37ff).
D Grace as fellowship of the justified with God in faith, hope and love is always received from
the salvific and creative work of God (cf. JD 27). But it is nevertheless the responsibility of the
justified not to waste this grace but to live in it. The exhortation to do good works is the exhortation
to practice the faith (cf. BSLK 197,45). The good works of the justified „should be done
in order to confirm their call, that is, lest they fall from their call by sinning again“ (Apol.
XX,13, BSLK 316,18-24; with reference to 2 Pet. 1:10. Cf. also FC SD IV,33; BSLK 948,9-
23). In this sense Lutherans and Catholics can understand together what is said about the „preservation
of grace“ in JD 38 and 39. Certainly, „whatever in the justified precedes or follows the
free gift of faith is neither the basis of justification nor merits it“ (JD 25).
E By justification we are unconditionally brought into communion with God. This includes the
promise of eternal life; „(I)f we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly
be united with him in a resurrection like his“ (Rom 6:5, cf. Jn 3:36, Rom 8:17). In the final
judgement, the justified will be judged also on their works (cf. Mt 16:27; 25:31-46; Rom 2:16;
14:12; 1 Cor 3:8; 2 Cor 5:10 etc.). We face a judgement in which God’s gracious sentence will
approve anything in our life and action that corresponds to his will. However, everything in our
life that is wrong will be uncovered and will not enter eternal life. The Formula of Concord also
states: „It is God’s will and express command that believers should do good works which the
Holy Spirit works in them, and God is willing to be pleased with them for Christ’s sake and he
promises to reward them gloriously in this and in the future life.“ (FC SD IV,38). Any reward is
a reward of grace, on which we have no claim.
3. The doctrine of justification is measure or touchstone for the Christian faith. No teaching may
contradict this criterion. In this sense, the doctrine of justification is an „indispensable criterion
which constantly serves to orient all the teaching and practice of our churches to Christ“ (JD
l8). As such, it has its truth and specific meaning within the overall context of the Church’s
fundamental Trinitarian confession of faith. We „share the goal of confessing Christ in all
things, who is to be trusted above all things as the one Mediator (1 Tim 2:5-6) through whom
God in the Holy Spirit gives himself and pours out his renewing gifts“ (JD 18).

I did not include the entire ANNEX TO THE OFFICIAL COMMON STATEMENT but you can look that up if you want.

Unless my brother in-law has shared our personal dialogue of the above topics, you have no clue what he pleads with me. In fact remembering back to my dialogue with my brother in-law he stated that the difference of opinions he has with the Catholic church on the Papacy, Mary, etc. are not "hills to die on" for him. But the one and only "hill to die on" for him is the topic of Justification. And as you can see on the above agreement in the JD made by the Catholic church...we believe one in the same on that topic.

Melissa

Javier said...

I don't believe we can continue our conversation because we seem to have a major difference in opinions of what the Catholic church actually teaches.

Well, no we don't disagree about what the Catholic Church teaches, rather we disagree about what the Bible does. Which is what we're really arguing.
I have tried answering your questions but if you could care less of my own private interpretation (or other authors I've cited)...why should I then care about yours? How do you know yours is 100% correct? Because in your OWN opinion you've interpreted it correctly?

No, Melissa you misunderstood me. In applying your own standard to you, its 'private' interpretation which according to you is simply 'opinion' and not necessarily defendable since its mere 'opinion'. But given this standard, I apply it to your citation of various verses and dismiss them on the same basis. What are we left with? A God who is too weak to communicate clearly, and imcompetent humans who somehow need a Church to interpret scripture. I wonder how the Jews did it before the time of Jesus. ;)

Melissa, it seems you still don't see the severity of your position and fail to recognize the eternal fate of men who adhere to Romanist doctrine.

Unless my brother in-law has shared our personal dialogue of the above topics, you have no clue what he pleads with me. In fact remembering back to my dialogue with my brother in-law he stated that the difference of opinions he has with the Catholic church on the Papacy, Mary, etc. are not "hills to die on" for him. But the one and only "hill to die on" for him is the topic of Justification. And as you can see on the above agreement in the JD made by the Catholic church...we believe one in the same on that topic.

There is a reason Mark is a Protestant, and believe me its not simply beause we have minor disagreements with Rome. They were major, thats why we're not Roman Catholic. I'm sure Mark would plead with you as much as I would.

I don't mean to be rude Melissa, but it seems you muddy the waters and don't really really want to see the difference b/w Roman Catholic doctrine and Protestant doctrine.

I guess we can end the discussion here as no progress has been made. Have a great day.

-Javy

Melissa Spence said...

Javier,
You amuse me. :-)
That's right, you know my BIL would plead with me based on the fact you both have similar Protestant views, you're right. Dismiss the fact that I've known him for 13+ years, have had numerous occasions discussing the topics at hand and the fact that our dialogue seems to remain and really cover the topic of Justification. You know him better.

You said: "I don't mean to be rude Melissa, but it seems you muddy the waters and don't really really want to see the difference b/w Roman Catholic doctrine and Protestant doctrine."

So are Lutherans NOT considered Protestants? You didn't seem to have one comment or response to the Joint Declaration on the
Doctrine of Justification I showed you. I'd say that's probably the "most important" Doctrine in all Christian faiths considering it determines our eternal life. So yes I do recognize the severity of my position.

Never have I denied there's a "difference" between Catholics and Protestants. Yes we believe in Sacred Tradition, you don't. Have I insisted you're going to Hell because you do not recognize Sacred Tradition...No (do I feel you're missing out on the fullness of the Church Jesus established here on Earth...Yes). Have you told me I am going to Hell because I do recognize Sacred Tradition...Yes. Well I disagree.

The Catholic church's stance on an Authority here on Earth does not mean she thinks God is too weak to communicate clearly, or think humans are imcompetent and need a Church to interpret scripture. Our God is all-knowing, he knew we humans would need this Physical church and authority.

The office of Peter, the visible head of the Church on earth, was created by Jesus and given the promise that the gates of Hades would not prevail against it. This means that the office will remain, even after the occupant has gone to his eternal reward. The Lord Jesus is the one who gave His Apostles the responsibility to bind and loose, and is also the one who does the building. In this action He endowed His community with a structure that is to remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved. The Apostles recognized this because they elected the successor for Judas (Acts 1:15-26).

If there were no visible head (successor of Peter) and bishops (successors of the Apostles) to support him, anarchy and chaos would result. Without the visible and physical presence of the successors of Peter and the Apostles to continually interpret and apply what Jesus left us, we would not be of one faith (Ephesians 4:5). If there were no visible leadership, it would be like giving the people of the United States the Constitution and Bill of Rights and after President Washington dies saying "you're on your own now: no president, no congress, and no supreme court; may the spirit of Jefferson be with you." Imagine what America would be today if that's how it happened?!

Melissa