Question: What to Arminians believe about Predestination and Efficacious Grace?
As I'm aware, the Catholic Church has neither taken a fully Calvinist stance in the matters of Predestination/Free Will, nor have they taken any Arminian stance. They simply insist that Man's will is free and that God's Grace is Efficacious (I believe those are the dogmatic stances). Therefore anything you say about Predestination is fine as long as you neither sacrifice the Freeness of the Human Will or the Effectiveness of God's Grace. I think there is no more said about it (except by individual groups within Catholicism) because in a large part it is a mystery how these two things can co-exist.
Wayne - First of all, the capitalizations are for no purpose - I just like to do it. Common grace - "God sends rain on the godly and the ungodly," people can do good works though maybe not for the right reasons (obviously nothing effecting Salvation). Supernatural Grace - This is when God enters into the human experience.
Supernatural Grace is primarily understood as Christ's efficacious work on the cross. As Catholics we believe that we can experience this Grace through the Sacraments, but that is not all. This Grace from God works in the hearts of men to enable them to make an act of faith and to do the good works he has prepared for them to do. We believe that a man is judged based on his faith, but also on his works - see the sermon on the mount. But both are gifts from God. The Catholic understanding is that all of these things are rooted in the one-time Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Everything is tied to that one event, the sacraments receive their power from that one event.
I know it is common to argue that "performing the sacraments is a work!" But we are not performing. We "receive" the sacraments. God is supernaturally the primary mover in the Sacraments.
I will do as you ask, and define what I mean that Catcholics believe we are saved by Grace alone.
In accordance with Catholic Dogma, I believe two things very concretely: the free will of man to choose the Salvation God offers, and God's supernatural Predestination of certain people to the Security of Heaven. Remember that nothing I will say compromises either of these things.
I believe that no man can come to God, make an act of faith, do a good work, or anything of the like without the Supernatural Grace of God enabling him to do so. I also believe that there is nothing I can do to merit Salvation. I rest solely on the Grace of God in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross for my sins.
As the Council of Trent states: If anyone says that divine grace through Christ Jesus is given for this only, that man may be able more easily to live justly and to merit eternal life, as if by free will without grace he is able to do both, though with hardship and difficulty, let him be anathema.
The Bible supports this belief (I.Cor.1:30-31). Grace alone.
Now, I'll ask you? What do you mean by "Faith alone" as this is the primary reason protestants condemn catholics to hell?
Neil wrote: Alan H.: Glad to oblige: www.fahayek.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1119&Itemid=0 Be forewarned: the speech was to an academic (not a popular) audience. Key concept: de-Hellenization (which he blames the Reformers for instigating) Near the bottom, a vital stmt.: "listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge" So truth can be found outside of Scripture (contra Col. 2:2-3), per evidentialism. No wonder few "Protestant" eyebrows were raised.
So am I to understand that you cannot find truth outside of Scripture?
Wayne M. wrote: Papist, You gave some links. It is easy to refer someone somewhere else to find the answer. What we would like to know is what you believe and can you explain grace and grace alone in your own words?
Actually, the question at hand was what do Catholics believe about this. I'm handing on some links to check it out.
Also, someone questioned if I even have time for my Bible if I'm posting all these links. Frankly, yes. When do I do that? When I'm not typing out all the arguments again for you when you can just as easily read it off a link.
Just because I'm Catholic and I read outside sources, doesn't mean I don't read my Bible. Let's be fair here. If we assume that anyone who posts links doesn't read their Bible, we're being rediculous. Personal attacks aren't merited just because I posted a link. If so, there are plenty of protestants just as guilty.
And, hey. At least I read what they posted!
Why refer to someone else? Someone else might be a theologian, and I am not. They might explain better than me. I can explain it too, but then when am I going to study my Bible?
Jim Lincoln: I read the articles you "recommended." Very interesting. I have a few problems with them, however. 1) Most of the criticisms against Catholicism made in the two articles center around the idea of Catholics believing in a Salvation of Works. Unfortunately for you and all who read this stuff, your guy didn't do his research - we believe in Salvation by Grace and Grace alone. We also believe that living faith and good works are intrinsicly linked. 2) Grouping Catholics with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses doesn't really cut it. He stretches the comparison a lot, and most protestants could fall right in there if only he were willing to examen the board in his own eye. For instance, he says that Mormons, Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses condemn, ostracizi, shun, disfellowship any who revoke their membership for another faith. It also says that these groups harbor an "us versus them" mentality. This sounds very familiar, though I have rarely seen it in Catholic groups. I've primarily seen it on this website. So, for the sake of argument, if you're going to be consistent with these comparisons, Protestants are just like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses in that respect.
And for the record - we don't believe in a different Jesus.
Spritual - Your comment was impressive. Question: Where have you heard the Catholic teaching on any of these wild accusations that you have made. You make accusations against the Catholic Church, but by their lack of factuality show your ignorance of the church.
Albert - The Bible does give the Church the authority. Jesus gave the Apostles authority: "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven," etc. These Apostles chose successors, down to this very day. It's in the Bible. Such as when Matthias was chosen to take the bishipric left empty by Judas.
However, the idea of Sola Scriptura? Faith Alone? Now those are traditions of men- particularly started by Luther and propogated by other reformers. Those are not found in Scripture. You have to do a lot of stretching to prove those things. I am in Christ's Church.
You protestants are not the judge of all men, and thank goodness for that. "Man looks on the outward appearance; God looks on the heart."
Besides, none of you have given any good arguments of why your interpretation is any better than anyone elses.
Perhaps you are all right and Catholics will burn in Hell one day. But last I checked, if you believe Sola Scriptura, you have to believe your personal interpretation of the Infallible word of God. Your interpretation, however, is not infallible. So at best you are only partially correct in your understanding of Scripture. The disagreements that occur between you who hold to this doctrine is evidence of that. You call each other Heretics, yet somehow those heretics who "don't get the gospel" are better off even yet that Catholics. And why? Because of the authority of the church? because we ask for the intercession of saints? because we tell our priests not to marry and devote themselves fully to God? Those are silly reasons to condemn someone. God is a God of Mercy, of Compassion, of Love, of Forgiveness. Justice? YES, of course. Is this the God you follow? Aren't you supposed to "be holy" as He is holy? Or do you not have to because you have the truth and all the other protestants, Catholics, and whoever else doesn't? I don't recall the Bible letting anyone off that hook. If you prefer not to have inter-religious dialogue amongst other Christians that's okay. I understand. Some people can't handle dialoge and do better with ranting. I can't say I'm surprised.
The "infallible proof" hmmm? One of the clearest examples happens to be in the Bible - the infallible word of God. However, it is in one of the deutero-canonical books - "apochryphal" if you don't know what that means. Protestants rejected these books during the reformation.
For one, such as me, those books are the Inspired, Infallible word of God because they are part of the Bible. For you they are not.
I'm not in here to "prove" I'm right and you're wrong. I used to be a protestant, and still enjoy listening to sermons, etc. When seeing some of the extremely ignorant, hateful, and I would also add prideful comments on some of the message boards, I was disturbed by the lack of Christian charity.
As a Catholic Christian, I believe that the people posting on this site should not be so quick to judge when it is obvious that they do not know the facts.
I know most of you think you have Salvation in a box under your pillow and that Catholics have their feet already planted in Hell. But even if you were right about that, how in the world do you expect to win converts when all that pours out of your mouths is hate? But this whole attitude I've witnessed here again is the same reason I joined myself to the Catholic Church. They have fruit.
1. "so great a cloud of witnesses." - Hebrews 12:1 2. "pray" when praying to saints is not the same as "praying" - distinction - it is not the same as praying to God for the same reasons I already gave. Get it? Good. 3. They are "a mediator" in the same way as, yes, your living mother who prays for you. 4. They are not THE mediator, as any of their prayers are made to God through Jesus Christ. 5. the Catholic belief is that all those who have eternal life in Jesus Christ do not die, but "fall asleep" as the Bible says. Of course, their mortal body dies, but they are not "dead" as you say, and we can ask for their prayers.
Okay, I see what you are saying. But let's take celibacy for an example. The Catholic Church does not say, "It's a sin to be a priest and not celibate." But they have said that they believe it is best for the position of Priest to devote himself solely to serving God, and not be distracted by Family life. Not to say the family is bad, by any means. But, the Catholic Church would look to Paul's example in this when he says to marry if you will "burn" but it is better to be as he is - celibate.
If the Catholic Church is the True Church - the one Jesus Christ said he would build and protect - "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"...shouldn't we follow her prescriptions? Remember this is IF? I believe it is. But you don't. But say your church. Maybe you believe your church is the one church that Jesus said he would protect and build. If so, you would practice what she recommends. Even if they say you should go to two services on Sunday, when that is not explicit in Scripture. Or maybe that you shouldn't watch TV? Or ever have a glass of wine? But if you trust your church, you will practice her disciplines. There is nothing sinful in celibacy, fasting, or in observing holy days. They are inconveniences, yes. but not sin.
Fellow Saint wrote: Papist, in my reading of Catholic literature I am certain there was mention that if a holy day of obligation is missed without worthy cause it's a sin. Did I read wrong? True faith will have good works, but not those recommended by the papacy.
...But not those recommended by the Papacy? Like, stopping abortion, chastity for the unmarried, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, giving water to the thirsty, shelter to the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, standing against gay marriage, etc. Those are all recommended by the Pope. Not ALL of them are explicit in the Scriptures. There are some who would claim that the Bible is not clear about when life begins, for instance, and say that a Christian could with good conscience have an abortion.
But, even with what the Pope says - If you are a Catholic, he is the head of your Church. He is not asking you to sin by coming to church on a Wednesday night for a church service. And we are told in the Bible to obey the authorities that are over us. The only exception would be if they were asking us to sin. You are not Catholic, so it doesn't apply to you. But if the Catholic church were the true church, you should obey it. Right?
Jessica Dawson wrote: The Mormons and the Catholics praying to the dead on the behalf of the living does not sit well with me. Isaiah 8:19 And when they say to you, ‚ÄúSeek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,‚ÄĚ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?
Hi Jessica, Your feeling on this is understandable. It's how I felt before I learned about the true Catholic teaching. Something to keep in mind - Mediums and Wizards were often called upon to "raise the spirits" of the dead so that the living could consult them. This is not something practiced by Catholics. You know how the Bible says "we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses?" The Catholics often understood this to mean those alive in Christ whether on earth or in heaven. "Praying" to the saints is not really praying TO them. We ask them to "Pray for us to the Lord our God" through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and Man. That does not change when we ask those living saints who have passed from this world to pray on our behalf. It's like asking your mom to pray for you.
Fellow Saint wrote: Well there are good works we don't have to do and those are the works imposed by the RCC. Yes, Jesus did say if we love him to keep his commandments. Did he also command indulgences and observations of holy days with the threat of sin on one's soul if those days aren't observed? I don't think so.
Wow. 1) Catholic church does not require indulgences with the threat of sin. She doesn't require indulgences at all. So that doesn't make any sense. 2) As a matter of practice, the Church does have "Holy days of Obligation." However, Salvation doesn't hang in the balance if you miss one of the special services! If we are talking about justification and the gospel here, let's stay on the subject.
I want to point out that you did just agree that works are necessary. Catholics do not teach a "Works only" gospel though. We acknowledge that the Bible teaches that living faith and good works are inseperable. Not so far-fetched.
If you are condemning the Church because of a "Works Only" Gospel, fine. Just remember whatever church believes THAT gospel, it's NOT the Catholic Church. Got it?
AntiVaticanistAmerican wrote: I agree with "Cliff Leckey from N. Ireland". The TRUE "CATHOLIC/UNIVERSAL" Church [People/General-Assembly] of Jesus Christ is SPIRITUALLY United ALREADY [HERE on PLANET EARTH (BY ALMIGHTY GOD, THE SON, HIMSELF) AND IN HEAVEN TOO !]: So... QUESTION: Who ARE these IMPOSTERS? ! ? ! ? ANSWER: These/Those IMPOSTERS are "MYSTERY (MAGISTERIUM) BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER ('CHURCH') of HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Revelation 17:5
Hey, great job twisting scripture to mean what you want it to. Hope that works out for you.