Faith With or Without Works

serotonin_wraith
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Faith With or Without Works

Here's part of a debate I've been having, I honestly think there is a mental block that stops Christians seeing something that's right in front of their faces. This thing is going round in circles. AARGH!

____________

Me: You've said faith without works is dead, so... how does a person who does no good works all his life, but who repents and believes in Jesus at the end, become saved?

Quote:
Well you see if you truly love God then you will do good works and obey His commandments. Like if you love someone but you never want to listen to them then you dont really love them all that much.

Me: But good works aren't neccessary. All that's needed to get into heaven is a belief in God. How does this match up with 'faith without works is dead'?

Also, can't you do good things without needing religion?

Quote:
Well good works are necessary in a sense, but just doing good works isnt going to get you into heaven.

Me: Are good works neccessary at all? If someone murders people and does horrible things, but repents and believes in Jesus, and gets into heaven, where do good works come in?

Quote:
If he becomes a Christian on his deathbed he cant really show his love of God through good works because he is dying. He wont be judged because of that.

Me: So in other words, faith without works is not dead.
How do you explain the Bible saying it is? 

Quote:
The faith of a true Christian who has the ability to do good works, but does it out of rebellion to God is dead.

Me: How does someone about to die have the ability to do good works?
How is doing good works rebelling against God?

Quote:
I meant to say "doesnt do good works out of rebellion" sorry.

Like I said, the person wont be judged because he/she didnt have the ability to do it, you can ask my pastor about this too.

Me: But the person did have the ability to do it, they had their whole life to do it. They chose not to.
Saying faith without works is dead is a lie if someone can have faith without works. I know I could ask your pastor, but you follow the Protestant teachings too so I was wondering if you could answer it. It's a bit strange following something if you can't answer a simple question like this.

Quote:
I answered it very clearly many times. You're being stubborn, read through the old messages Ive answered all your questions.

Me: Sorry to disagree but this is what I understand so far-

Faith without works is dead.

A person can be saved without doing good works, as long as they have faith.

Therefore, faith without works is not dead.

In conclusion, 'faith without works is dead' is a lie.

All you've done is tell me God looks into their hearts, sees what kind of person they are now on their death bed, but the bottom line is that no good works have to be done. I don't think I'm the one being stubborn.
It doesn't count if you THINK that you would like to do some good works, you have to actually do them! It doesn't say 'faith without works is dead (but thinking about doing a few is okay)'.

Quote:
I will explain this one more time. Faith without good works is dead unless you become a Christian during the last few seconds or minutes of your life.

Me: That's exactly what I said.
But the scripture doesn't say 'unless you become a Christian during the last few seconds or minutes of your life', so the scripture is lying. You've added those words yourself, but the Bible doesn't say it there.
Case closed anyway, you agree with me.

Quote:
not really, I dont agree the scripture is lying, but to all his own opinion.

Me: Hmm... So which part of 'Faith without works is dead' is true if you can have faith without works, even in the last minutes of your life?

Quote:
Ephesians 2:8-9
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Good works can also be considered following God's commandments
James 2:14-26
Faith and Deeds
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"[b] and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

If you truly become a Christian on your deathbed you will go to heaven

Romans 10:9
9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

You will probably say "This is a contradiction" well you're wrong. If you CLAIM to be a Christian yet you go around cussing, killing, and all that stuff people arent going to believe you. Kinda like if you say you are conservative but support abortion, pacifism, gun control, and are against the death penelty people are going to think you are a liberal. Make sense?

Me: Ephesians 2:8-9
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...not by works

I took out some words, but nothing that changed the meaning. This scripture is showing that you need faith, NOT works, to be saved.


14What good is it... if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? ...faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 

I've taken away words again to make the message clear. This scripture is showing that you need faith AND works to be saved.


21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did... ? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did... You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 

I've taken away some words, but the scripture is saying you need faith AND works to be saved.


26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Again, you need faith AND works to be saved.


9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Now you need faith, NOT works, to be saved.

So far I see two scriptures that say you need faith and NOT works.
I also see three scriptures that say you need faith AND works.
I'm not making this up to annoy you, just look at the scriptures. Two are saying you DON'T need works to be saved, three are saying you DO need works to be saved. I can't see how you don't see that. It's like you're blind to what you're reading. I'm not being nasty when I say that, I'm just really baffled when you say there is no contradiction.

You wrote:
if you say you are conservative but support abortion, pacifism, gun control, and are against the death penelty people are going to think you are a liberal. Make sense?

Yes, that makes perfect sense, and that's a very good example.
So let me give you another one-
If someone is a liberal (or people think they are liberal) because they do all these things throughout life, but on their death bed they decide to be conservative, they genuinely decide to change the party they support, and they tell their family, what do you think will go on the death certificate? What do you think the family is going to tell people at the funeral? Will they tell them that the person was a conservative? In this example, it would be silly to think that. Change it to believing in God on the death bed though, and you WILL be considered Christian by God. That goes completely against what you said about someone NOT being considered Christian when they die if they didn't do the works.

Is there a contradiction? Absolutely! I hope I've made it completely clear, if you still don't see it, I don't know what's happening in your though process except a form of ignorance. Again, not saying that to be nasty, but that's just how I see it. 
 


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Let me see if I can clarify

Let me see if I can clarify this:

To be saved, minimally requires a "saving faith." This is basically requires a person believing that their sins are atoned for vicariously (through Jesus the Christ).

Good Works are the "fruit" of a "saving faith."  This meaning that if you believe in Christ, then your works will show it.

This is a warning that works alone do not "buy" your salvation. (see the Reformation and Martin Luther)  These quotes show hypocrasy in what people say and do.  For example, Mother Theresa (or pick your "do gooder&quotEye-wink can go around doing all these good deeds, but that means nothing in terms of her salvation.  Salvation is by grace alone.

On the flip side, if you say you believe in Christ, and your deeds reflect otherwise, you probably do not have a "saving faith." You COULD be considered a "christian in name only."

If you are truly saved then it will show in your life by the things that you do.  Many people believe that they do have salvation, yet they do unthinkably 'unchristian-like' activities, are they saved?  At this point, it is truly "only God knows."  The same with "death-bed confessions."

So it is not truly a contradiction, it is two people addressing the same subject, but a different problem.  How to obtain salvation, and How to know if a person is saved.

(This is from my understanding of several authors and writings.)


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I find it interesting how

I find it interesting how the answer was right in front of you and you didn't see it.  God's will I guess...

Ephesians 2 is the beginning.  James 2 is the "after".  Paul explains how you get salvation.  James explains who you are after you have it.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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A person doesn't need to

A person doesn't need to have faith before they do good works. There is no cause and effect here.

If it follows that good works come naturally after faith, I see no reason for there to be the distinction between faith with good works and faith without any. Surely faith without good works doesn't exist then?


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serotonin_wraith wrote: A

serotonin_wraith wrote:
A person doesn't need to have faith before they do good works. There is no cause and effect here.

Never said there was.  The thread after all is about faith and good works, not about someone who does good.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
If it follows that good works come naturally after faith, I see no reason for there to be the distinction between faith with good works and faith without any. Surely faith without good works doesn't exist then?

 Exactly right.  No person who receives the gift of faith from God cannot obstain from good works.  If that person does, they are a hyprocrite.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: No

razorphreak wrote:
No person who receives the gift of faith from God cannot obstain from good works.  If that person does, they are a hyprocrite.

I suspect you have made a mistake in your wording. Do you mean 'A person who receives the gift of faith from God cannot abstain from good works'? 

You are implying that there is no such thing as faith without good works. However the Bible does not call that 'fake faith'. It is still called faith. 

 


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serotonin_wraith wrote:

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You are implying that there is no such thing as faith without good works. However the Bible does not call that 'fake faith'. It is still called faith.

I'm not implying anything; through faith your works show your faith. This is what is written, this is the example of Jesus, and this is what a Christian should be like.

As I said before, someone who has faith but does not express his or her faith is not doing as God asked.  Think of it as the parable of the talons (Matthew 25:14-30) 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: I'm not

razorphreak wrote:
I'm not implying anything

Well, you are:

razorphreak wrote:
serotonin_wraith wrote:
Surely faith without good works doesn't exist then?

 Exactly right.

You are clearly stating that you cannot have faith without good works. But the Bible says one can have faith without works- in some cases this won't save you (but it is still faith), in other cases it will (deathbed confessions- REAL faith, WITHOUT works).

razorphreak wrote:
As I said before, someone who has faith but does not express his or her faith is not doing as God asked.

So then you do not think someone who starts believing on their deathbed will be saved?

You also describe it as faith without works. Is it non-existent or not?


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serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:
Well, you are

OK how? 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You are clearly stating that you cannot have faith without good works. But the Bible says one can have faith without works- in some cases this won't save you (but it is still faith), in other cases it will (deathbed confessions- REAL faith, WITHOUT works).

Noooo you are not reading what I'm writing.  "Works" are a product of faith, not the other way around.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
So then you do not think someone who starts believing on their deathbed will be saved?

People don't just start to believe.  Many are called but true repentance is only determined by that person from their heart.  Because you overhear it doesn't make you the judge or jury of that person's salvation.  Only God can save or condemn someone, yes even in the last 5 minutes of their lives (think the murderer next to him on the cross). 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You also describe it as faith without works. Is it non-existent or not?

 I don't understand.  I'll say it again in a different way; first comes faith then comes works.  Works does not bring about faith and doing works without faith is dead as it is done for personal glory, not God's.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: OK

razorphreak wrote:
OK how? 

You said there is no such thing as faith without works. 

razorphreak wrote:
Noooo you are not reading what I'm writing.  "Works" are a product of faith, not the other way around.

I didn't say faith comes from doing good works. I'm saying someone can have faith, and even if their actions don't speak well of them, they still have faith.

Faith is believing in God. Plenty of people believe in God but don't do good works. It doesn't matter if you want to call them hypocrites. You can call them whatever you want, they still have faith that God exists and that Jesus died for them. 

razorphreak wrote:
People don't just start to believe. 

You don't know this.

An example: A person murders someone and goes to jail. He has never thought alot about whether God is real or not, but in prison he meets a Christian (I mean one who works there, not 99% of the other inmates) and the Christian talks to him and the man has a revelation- he starts to believe in God and wants to devote his life to serving him. Ten minutes later, he is stabbed by another inmate and dies. He has had no opportunity to do good works, but would you deny his experience in starting to believe in God? If he hadn't been killed and left prison to do good works, you would call his experience with the Christian real faith.

You're right in that no human could know if a person on their deathbed really believes in God if they say so, but what difference does that make? If God decides who is being truthful or not, it shows he saves people who have faith but don't do good works. This is what you claim with the man on the cross too.

When asked if someone can have faith without works, you have given two contradicting answers. I ask that you answer with a yes or no, and then answer the follow up question.

Can someone have faith without works and be saved?

If you answer no,  please explain how someone can believe and repent in the last moments of their lives and be saved, when no good works have been done. 

If you answer yes, please explain why the Bible requires good works to accompany faith in order for someone to be saved.


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What is being argued here

What is being argued here is the erroneous protestant doctrine of salvation which emphasizes "faith without works" or "faith alone". This is one of the erroneaous doctrines of the founding fathers of Protestantism namely Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. Another doctrine is "private interpretation of scripture".  This means that one is at liberty to "give it that meaning which one chooses to give it, and thus, instead of believing the Word of God, one believes rather one's own private interpretation of it, which is but the word of man."

One need only expose these doctrines to see the dangers and futility in clinging to the Protestantsm. In his book titled "On Translation and on the Intercession of the Saints", Luther says:  

“For we account a man to be justified by faith alone, without the works of the law.”

Yet in James 2:14-17 we read:

“What shall it profit, my brethren, if a he has faith, but has not works? Shall faith be able to save him? So faith also, if it have not works is dead in itself.”

Other quotations from Luther regarding matters of faith:

“He that says the Gospel requires works for salvation, I say, flat and plain, is a liar.” (Tischreden, P. 137)

“ The very best good works a venial sin according to God’s merciful judgment, and a mortal sin according to His strict Judgment.” (32nd Article-Argument in defense of Articles of Martin Luther.)

“ This is Christian Liberty . . . that we stand in need of no works for the attainment of piety and salvation.” (On Christian Liberty)


Concerning the commandments, in Matt 19:17,  Matt 5:17, 1 John5:2, Christ teaches:

“If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”


But in a lecture at Wittenburg luther said of the decalogue:

“If Moses should attempt to intimidate you with his stupid Ten Commandments, tell him right out – chase yourself to the Jews”

“Thou shalt not covet,’ is a commandment which proves us all to be sinners; since it is not in man’s power not to covet, and the same is the drift of all the commandments, for they are all equally impossible to us.”

"We must remove the Decalogue out of sight and heart” (De Wette 4, 188).

 “It does not matter what people do; it only matters what they believe.” (Erlangen Vol. 29, Pg. 126)

:On SIN Luther teaches that

“A person that is baptized cannot, thou he would, lose his salvation by any sins however grievous, unless he refuses to believe. For no sins can damn him but unbelief alone.” (The Babylonian Captivity - Enders, Vol. 3, Pg. 193)

"Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.  We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides...  No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day."

Is it wise to adopt, and go by, the principles and spirit of such a man? Luther ushered in Protestantism which is nothing more than apostasy from God. Ever wondered why there are countless protestant sects in the world today? Pushed to its logical conclusion, private intepretation of the Bible would spawn as many churches as there are induviduals. If you do not agree with the Bible interpretation of your pastor all you need to do is to start your own church. This is precisely what we see today, numerous protestant sects mushrooming overnight.


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spaxx wrote: What is being

spaxx wrote:

What is being argued here is the erroneous protestant doctrine of salvation which emphasizes "faith without works" or "faith alone".

One religion may have decided only faith is required to be saved, but we're not arguing whether they are right or not. We're arguing over whether there is a contradiction in the Bible every Christian reads.

I take by your lengthy post that you do not agree with the Protestants, so you do not agree faith can save us if there are no works involved. (In my dealings with Protestants not all would agree they believe that).

You make the case for one side of the argument by quoting James, so then how do you explain things like people being forgiven and saved if they believe and repent shortly before death, when no good works have been done?


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serotonin_wraith wrote:

serotonin_wraith wrote:
I didn't say faith comes from doing good works. I'm saying someone can have faith, and even if their actions don't speak well of them, they still have faith.

So goes the saying many are called but few are chosen. I'll explain...

serotonin_wraith wrote:
Faith is believing in God.

No. Faith, in the Christian eye, is not just believing in God but following in the example of Jesus. Paul in his many letters describes it as dying to sin, being crucified, dying with Christ, so on. This is what being given the faith is about.

Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

My point here is those who truly have the faith are not content with doing nothing.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
Plenty of people believe in God but don't do good works. It doesn't matter if you want to call them hypocrites. You can call them whatever you want, they still have faith that God exists and that Jesus died for them.

And what good to God is a person who claims they know him but did not do his will?

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

As it says in James..

James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Being a Christian is more than just saying you believe because if you are simply saying it you aren't living it. And in order to be living it, that is the gift that comes from God that changes a life, not just words.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
razorphreak wrote:
People don't just start to believe.

You don't know this.

An example:...

Your example forgets one important thing - we are not talking about someone who receives God's word for what purpose is not understood, we are talking about someone who received God's word and has had plenty of time. Stick to what we are talking about, not the examples that are out of context to the conversation.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You're right in that no human could know if a person on their deathbed really believes in God if they say so, but what difference does that make? If God decides who is being truthful or not, it shows he saves people who have faith but don't do good works. This is what you claim with the man on the cross too.

But you are judging their works, and how do you know they were not good? See below...

serotonin_wraith wrote:
When asked if someone can have faith without works, you have given two contradicting answers. I ask that you answer with a yes or no, and then answer the follow up question.

Can someone have faith without works and be saved?

If you answer no, please explain how someone can believe and repent in the last moments of their lives and be saved, when no good works have been done.

If you answer yes, please explain why the Bible requires good works to accompany faith in order for someone to be saved.

Assertions of contradictions even though it has been only one answer. No person who receives the gift of faith lives without doing good works. I'm not talking about, once again, the person who simply goes around and says I believe but rather the person who does from their heart. You can tell this person by his or her actions, not by their words.

Your examples of people who received the gift of faith 5 minutes before dying are not relevant because of the simple reason of we do not know their lives before hand. Can Hitler, who many regard as the most evil man who has ever lived, be saved considering his actions? How about Judas? He betrayed Jesus, how could he be saved? If a person is doing as God asked, even if that person doesn't know it, are they doing good deeds to God? Who are we to judge good or evil when it was God's will? Does this make more sense to you now?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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You failed to answer the

You failed to answer the yes or no question because you feel someone repenting close to death and being saved has nothing to do with our conversation. Read back over the posts. We are clearly talking about it. It shows that a person who has not done good works can still be saved.

Can even Hitler go to heaven if he has faith and repents before he dies? According to the Bible, yes.

The Bible doesn't say 'faith without works is dead (just as long as you have enough time to do some)'. You added that criteria yourself.


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serotonin_wraith wrote: You

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You failed to answer the yes or no question because you feel someone repenting close to death and being saved has nothing to do with our conversation. Read back over the posts. We are clearly talking about it. It shows that a person who has not done good works can still be saved.

 If you actually read my post, you might discover I did address it in the sense if that person's life, that person's actions throughout his or her life, was in fact God's will, and it wasn't until the end that person discovered it and believed, would that not qualify?

serotonin_wraith wrote:
The Bible doesn't say 'faith without works is dead (just as long as you have enough time to do some)'. You added that criteria yourself.

I suggest you re-read James 2, verse 17.  Its there. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote:  If

razorphreak wrote:

 If you actually read my post, you might discover I did address it in the sense if that person's life, that person's actions throughout his or her life, was in fact God's will, and it wasn't until the end that person discovered it and believed, would that not qualify?

But God's will is that they do good works. Not that he'll let some people off, or that it's his will some people can do evil things and then he'll save them. He specifically tells people good works are needed in order to be saved. 

razorphreak wrote:

I suggest you re-read James 2, verse 17.  Its there. 

Really? Where? 

James 2:17: In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)


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serotonin_wraith wrote: But

serotonin_wraith wrote:
But God's will is that they do good works. Not that he'll let some people off, or that it's his will some people can do evil things and then he'll save them. He specifically tells people good works are needed in order to be saved.

You are still missing the point.  Who are we to say if that person's actions would save or condemn him/her?  Could good works not be attributed to doing God's will?  If it was God's will to have someone wipe out 6 million people because of their religious beliefs for the later purpose of moving them back to the holy land for the purpose of future generations to prepare for Jesus' return, could that not be considered a good work?  You might respond with "what about those who died" question.  If they fulfilled God's purpose, isn't salvation better anyway?

serotonin_wraith wrote:
Really? Where?

James 2:17: In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)

Yes. There.  Still don't see it? 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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I think the problem is,

I think the problem is, Serotnin, that you're reading these verses in isolation, instead of in the complete comtext of Scripture.  When viewed as a totality, the New Testament clearly teaches that faith plus works is the key to salvation.  Let's take a look at the Gospel of Matthew

Chapters 5, 6, 7 cover the Sermon on the Mount.  I won't paste the passage here due to length, but I'll paraphrase instead.  Feel free to follow along in a Bible, if you have one handy.

Jesus begins His discourse with the Beatitudes, telling us to be poor in spirit, meek, merciful, merciful, pure of heart and makers of peace.  Require any effort?  Yup.  It's work.

He goes on to tell us to persevere in adversity, give alms, pray, and fast.  More work.

He tells us to lay up heavenly treasure as opposed to earthly treasure.  Waht do you suppose haevenly treasure is?  I'd say our deeds.  Work?  Uh-huh.

I could go on for another chapter and a half, but I think you get the point.

Matt 19:16-22:  "16* * And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." 18* He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19* Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 20 The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" 21* Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions."  Couldn't bear the work of abandoning his worldly possessions.

Matt 25:41-46:  "41* Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46* And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." No works, no Kingdom here.

Now let's take a look at your cites from Paul.

Ephesians 2:8-9: "8* For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -- 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast."  A standard and devastating cite for sola fide until you let Paul finish his thought in verse 10: "10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  Oh, there's that work thing again.

Romans 10:9 could be damning too, but only if it's separated from verses 5-8:  "5* Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. 6* But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or "Who will descend into the abyss?" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8* But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); "   It would seem that Paul is talking about very limited works beong of no value here.  Which works are those?  The works of the Mosaic Law, ie dietary restrictions and circumcision. 

Throughout his epistles, Paul compares Christian living to soldiering, athletic training, and running a race, all very strenuous pursuits, further emphasizing the demanding work laying ahead of Christians.

James goes on to hammer the point home, penning the only verse in the Bible containing the words faith and alone in the same sentence Jas 2:24: "24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. "

That's the only passage from James I'll cite, since you did so extensively in your post.  But, all those cites support faith plus.

When taken in the context of a comprehensive teaching spread throughout the New Testament. it's plain to see that the clear position is faith plus works is salvation.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote: When

totus_tuus wrote:
When taken in the context of a comprehensive teaching spread throughout the New Testament. it's plain to see that the clear position is faith plus works is salvation.

One slight correction as to what you said here...only faith can give you salvation.  Not one single action can ever do this.  It is the product of that faith that shows you to be saved.  When you've received the gift of faith you can't help not doing something; you WANT to do good works.  This is why in James 2 he states I will show you my faith by what I do.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote:You are

razorphreak wrote:

You are still missing the point.  Who are we to say if that person's actions would save or condemn him/her?  Could good works not be attributed to doing God's will?  If it was God's will to have someone wipe out 6 million people because of their religious beliefs for the later purpose of moving them back to the holy land for the purpose of future generations to prepare for Jesus' return, could that not be considered a good work?  You might respond with "what about those who died" question.  If they fulfilled God's purpose, isn't salvation better anyway?

What you have done is open up the term 'good works' to encompass everything, everything we consider good, everything we consider bad, even murder. God needs to see good works along with the faith, but when no good works are done and someone has true faith just before death, you have had to make the leap in saying what they did in their life was automatically pleasing to God. You open up the doors to murderers, rapists, child abusers etc. Seeing as you now say anything at all MAY be what God wants, there is no way you can call any religious person a hypocrite. If someone says they have faith in God, then kills someone, you can't say that person was not a TRUE Christian. You are in no position to judge any person or any action. To say that someone can't really be a Christian because of their bad actions is meaningless now. Part of doing good works is keeping the commandments, so if the commandments say not to murder, again, you are making quite a leap in saying that it may be what God wants sometimes from people in order to save them. 

 

razorphreak wrote:
James 2:17: In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)

Yes. There.  Still don't see it? 

Did you not see the whole of my sentence?

The Bible doesn't say 'faith without works is dead (just as long as you have enough time to do some)'.

 

totus_tuus, that's alot to get through so I'll respond to it later.


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serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:

Can someone have faith without works and be saved?

If you answer no, please explain how someone can believe and repent in the last moments of their lives and be saved, when no good works have been done.

If you answer yes, please explain why the Bible requires good works to accompany faith in order for someone to be saved.

I answer yes. The Bible does not require good works to accompany faith in order to be saved.

 


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Egor wrote: I answer yes.

Egor wrote:

I answer yes. The Bible does not require good works to accompany faith in order to be saved.

You may wanna check the last post from totus_tuus. He makes a good case for works with faith, with several scriptural passages.

-totus_tuus, you make a good argument, so is it your belief that God would never save anyone who had faith in him if it was shortly before death? 

 


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This is my grief with

This is my grief with religion.

The bible can be used to provide support for diametrically opposing views. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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serotonin_wraith wrote:
What you have done is open up the term 'good works' to encompass everything, everything we consider good, everything we consider bad, even murder.

That's what I've been trying to point to you - we consider it bad but does God?   Is it wrong to murder?  Yes of course.  Is it forgivable?  Yes.  How?  Repentance...

serotonin_wraith wrote:
God needs to see good works along with the faith, but when no good works are done and someone has true faith just before death, you have had to make the leap in saying what they did in their life was automatically pleasing to God.

OK.  Let me put it another way perhaps...first how do you know what that person's "works" are?  Second, good works come with faith so it's not a requirement - it becomes part of who you are to do so.  I've got to know right here if you understand that before I can even address anything else. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
If someone says they have faith in God, then kills someone, you can't say that person was not a TRUE Christian. You are in no position to judge any person or any action.

To be clear here - I cannot judge a person but their actions I can judge all day long.  Would a "true" Christian commit premeditated murder? Anything is possible but probable...no.  Why?  As written in Romans 6, a person will WANT to put away their life of sin when they receive faith.  How is it possible?  No one is perfect.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
Did you not see the whole of my sentence?

The Bible doesn't say 'faith without works is dead (just as long as you have enough time to do some)'.

Misread it sorry.

Egor wrote:
I answer yes. The Bible does not require good works to accompany faith in order to be saved.

Require no but as I stated above..you desire to do.  Either way only God knows your heart. 

 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: That's

razorphreak wrote:

That's what I've been trying to point to you - we consider it bad but does God?   Is it wrong to murder?  Yes of course.  Is it forgivable?  Yes.  How?  Repentance...

God does think it's bad to murder. He forbids it. You mention it could be forgiven, but if it's what God wanted (as you claimed before) what's to forgive? 

razorphreak wrote:
OK.  Let me put it another way perhaps...first how do you know what that person's "works" are?  Second, good works come with faith so it's not a requirement - it becomes part of who you are to do so.  I've got to know right here if you understand that before I can even address anything else. 

You can see what a person's 'works' are by their actions. The scriptures show that good works ARE a requirement. If they came automatically, there would be no need to make the distinction in the Bible between faith with works and faith without. It would just be faith.

But check the scriptures- faith without works is not called fake faith or hypocritical faith or pretend faith. It's just called faith. Showing that you can have it with or without works.

 

razorphreak wrote:
To be clear here - I cannot judge a person but their actions I can judge all day long.  Would a "true" Christian commit premeditated murder? Anything is possible but probable...no.  Why?  As written in Romans 6, a person will WANT to put away their life of sin when they receive faith.  How is it possible?  No one is perfect.

This flies in the face of your argument that murder could be considered good by God. The whole argument you made with Hitler (or any other murderer who repents in time) possibly doing what God wanted is now meaningless. 

You cannot judge any actions. You cannot even judge Hitler's actions if you believe it may have been what God wanted him to do. You cannot call anyone a hypocrite now, because who knows, God may want them to do all these things humans consider bad.


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serotonin_wraith wrote: God

serotonin_wraith wrote:
God does think it's bad to murder. He forbids it. You mention it could be forgiven, but if it's what God wanted (as you claimed before) what's to forgive?

That's my point. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
The scriptures show that good works ARE a requirement. If they came automatically, there would be no need to make the distinction in the Bible between faith with works and faith without. It would just be faith.

OK you keep saying this but you don't tell me where you find that from.  I've already told you they are not required but, as a believer, you will want to do good works.  I've already proven it from James 2 and Ephesians 2.  Where are you getting this?

serotonin_wraith wrote:
But check the scriptures- faith without works is not called fake faith or hypocritical faith or pretend faith. It's just called faith. Showing that you can have it with or without works.

And? 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
This flies in the face of your argument that murder could be considered good by God. The whole argument you made with Hitler (or any other murderer who repents in time) possibly doing what God wanted is now meaningless.

Explain as it seems right now you aren't reading what I'm writing. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You cannot judge any actions. You cannot even judge Hitler's actions if you believe it may have been what God wanted him to do. You cannot call anyone a hypocrite now, because who knows, God may want them to do all these things humans consider bad.

 I already told you, I can judge actions but not the person.  If a person makes a choice that is against the word of God I can tell that person you made the wrong choice but that does not mean I tell him or her in conjunction "you are going to hell".  See the difference?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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serotonin_wraith wrote:

You may wanna check the last post from totus_tuus. He makes a good case for works with faith, with several scriptural passages.

-totus_tuus, you make a good argument, so is it your belief that God would never save anyone who had faith in him if it was shortly before death? 

Absolutely not, Serotonin.  First, I believe that believing is, of itself an act, an assent of the will to believe. 

Would Don Vito Corleone, converting on his death bed, enjoy the same benfits in an after life as say, a Mother Teresa type, who spent a life in the service of others?  No.  This is precisely why the Catholic concept of purgatory makes so much sense. There is more to salvation than heaven or hell.  

Now, after purgation, will Don Corleone's heavenly experience be the same as Mother Teresa's?  Again, no.  If heaven is indeed being in the presence of God, sharing in His divine life, then those who are able to love more perfectly, who have loved more perfectly will have a fuller share of that existence. 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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razorphreak wrote:

serotonin_wraith wrote:
God does think it's bad to murder. He forbids it. You mention it could be forgiven, but if it's what God wanted (as you claimed before) what's to forgive?

That's my point. 

 That wasn't your point earlier. You said someone doing bad would have to repent and be forgiven. So which is it? God needs to forgive you for doing bad, or God doesn't need to forgive you?

razorphreak wrote:
OK you keep saying this but you don't tell me where you find that from. 

I'm getting it from the scriptures that show good works are required to be saved, not that you will want to do them. (Check totus_tuus' long post)

razorphreak wrote:
serotonin_wraith wrote:
But check the scriptures- faith without works is not called fake faith or hypocritical faith or pretend faith. It's just called faith. Showing that you can have it with or without works.

And? 

And? You said there is no such thing as faith without works earlier. Answer yes or no. Can someone have faith without good works? No political dodging or lengthy off topic discussion, please. Yes. Or. No.

razorphreak wrote:
serotonin_wraith wrote:
This flies in the face of your argument that murder could be considered good by God. The whole argument you made with Hitler (or any other murderer who repents in time) possibly doing what God wanted is now meaningless.

Explain as it seems right now you aren't reading what I'm writing. 

You asked if someone could murder and still be a 'true Christian', and came to the conclusion they couldn't. But with Hitler or any other murderer, if it's what God wanted, then they would be a true christian.

 

razorphreak wrote:
I already told you, I can judge actions but not the person. 

You can judge the actions Biblically, yes. But you've also said God may want people to do actions that go against the Bible, so how can you know by their breaking the laws of the Bible, their actions are going against God? On that note, why has God written something down as being bad in his eyes, when sometimes it's good in his eyes?  

___________

 totus_tuus, the catholic teaching does seem to have a good way to get out of the contradiction. I am still unsure about something though. If Don Corleone goes to heaven, even a lower level of heaven, isn't that still being saved? If so, how can he be saved when he hasn't done any good works?

 


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serotonin_wraith wrote:
totus_tuus, the catholic teaching does seem to have a good way to get out of the contradiction. I am still unsure about something though. If Don Corleone goes to heaven, even a lower level of heaven, isn't that still being saved? If so, how can he be saved when he hasn't done any good works?

Yes, he is saved.  But not without cost.  That's the wole concept of purgatory (ie, purification) after death.

Part of the answer, I'm sure lies wrapped within the mystery of God's great mercy.  But to leave the answer at that would be a cop out.  My understanding of this is sketchy at best, but several expalnations spring to mind.  I'll quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition: 

1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faithto the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent:

When God touches man’s heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God’s grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight. 

1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God's love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justification of the elect . . . will not pass away." He holds also that the justification of sinners surpasses the creation of the angels in justice, in that it bears witness to a greater mercy.

We believe too, that we can offer prayers and works for the salvation of the dead (those in Purgatory).  The works of those Christians still living (the Church Militant), the saints in heaven (the Church Triumphant) form a "treasury", if you will, of works which can be drawn upon for the delivery of souls undergoing trial in Purgatory.  Indeed, it is actually accounted and act of charity, what we would call a "Spiritual Act of Mercy" to pray for the dead.

To return to the Corleone family saga, if Vito's death bed conversion caused Tessio to forget about killing Michael in a bid for power, or if it convinced Michael to give up the family's criminal enterprises, or convinced Connie to get sober, couldn't it be seen as a work?  (Can you tell I'm a Godfather fan?  LOL)

Even with these avenues open for salvation, I'd rather do it myself, while I'm alive.  It's a  lot easier and much more direct. 

I could go on a little bit more right now, but it's nearly time to get ready for work.  I'll try to find more info, think on it and post later on tonight, but I've got a busy coupla days coming up.  Don't give up on me, though, since I'm really enjoying the exchange.  You may be able to tell thet this is a favorite subject of mine, even though my understanding of it is still in development.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote: This is

totus_tuus wrote:
This is precisely why the Catholic concept of purgatory makes so much sense. There is more to salvation than heaven or hell.

totus the problem with what you just put; not biblical.  Salvation is so easy that it seems others try to complicate it - salvation comes from the gift of believing and accepting Jesus.  There is no mid points; there is no burn for a minute then saved.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
That wasn't your point earlier. You said someone doing bad would have to repent and be forgiven. So which is it? God needs to forgive you for doing bad, or God doesn't need to forgive you?

Why does it feel like you aren't listening to me.  This is what i hate about online forums; you never seem to get your point across properly.

God does not need to forgive you - he already has through your belief in Jesus.  The point of repentance is to ask for his forgiveness and for his mercy to lead you away from sin.  Gaining his gift is easy.  Losing it is just as easy.  Without God, it is very easy to stray from his word and not have his mercy any longer. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
I'm getting it from the scriptures that show good works are required to be saved, not that you will want to do them. (Check totus_tuus' long post)

Which ones? 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
And? You said there is no such thing as faith without works earlier. Answer yes or no. Can someone have faith without good works? No political dodging or lengthy off topic discussion, please. Yes. Or. No.

See what I mean by not listening.

Again, faith comes from the gift of God.  Works is what you desire to do through that gift.  It is how you show your faith.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You asked if someone could murder and still be a 'true Christian', and came to the conclusion they couldn't. But with Hitler or any other murderer, if it's what God wanted, then they would be a true christian.

No...I said they can obtain salvation through God.  I didn't say they would be regarded as a Christian.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You can judge the actions Biblically, yes. But you've also said God may want people to do actions that go against the Bible, so how can you know by their breaking the laws of the Bible, their actions are going against God? On that note, why has God written something down as being bad in his eyes, when sometimes it's good in his eyes?

Like Pharaoh in Moses, like Judas with Jesus, and like the example I gave with Hitler, the point is not what WE regard as good or evil but what is God's will. 

Salvation, that is going to heaven, is God's call.  How can we know if someone like Hitler is there.  God can create a person for any purpose he wishes.  I cannot say if their actions go against God as this is one of those unknown deals.  I don't know if God sent Hitler or Cho, all I know is I can regard their actions as evil.  I cannot say however that Cho in killing 32 people is going to hell for what he did.

I never said evil actions is "good in his eyes".  You are twisting my words.  I don't know God regards those actions; all I know is God gave us these laws, these commandments, and because I believe I do my best to follow. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: totus

razorphreak wrote:
totus the problem with what you just put; not biblical.  Salvation is so easy that it seems others try to complicate it - salvation comes from the gift of believing and accepting Jesus.  There is no mid points; there is no burn for a minute then saved.

Let's go to the text on this one, too.

First, let's establish the fact that, at least at one time, a place other than heaven and hell existed.  For this, I'll use Luke 16:19-31.  Due to  it's length, I'll not paste it here, but it's the very familiar parable of Lazarus and the rich man.  Here (and remember that this is before Jesus sacrafice on the Cross) we see the rich man in a place of torment begging for favors from Lazarus, who is in "the bosom of Abraham".  Since this is before Christ's sacrafice, this cannot be heaven, so obviously he's waiting to enter heaven in some other, temporary state.  It's not heaven, neither is it Hell.  So, if such a place existed at one time, there could s till be such a place now.  Am I right?  Yup.

Next, let's examine Old Testament belief.  You may have a hard time finding this cite in your King James Bible, because Martin Luther had to edit the canon of Scripture to remove 2 Maccabees becuase it invalidated his teachings against the existence of Purgatory, but in chapter 12:43-45 we see Old Testament Jews making a sin offering in the temple for the dead:

19 "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20* And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22* The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25* But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29* But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30* And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'" p

Wow!

Jesus addresses Purgatory in the Beatitudes.  Check out Matt 5:23-26:

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25* Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last pennny.

Does one ever get released from hell?  I don't think so.  Now granted, God is all powerful and could make exceptions, but it sounds to me as if this kind of sentencing is something that happens all the time.

And then St Paul in 1 Cor 3:12-15:

12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13* each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15* If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Dude's gonna suffer loss , but he's gonna be saved by going through fire.  Any suffering in heaven?  Must not be heaven.  Any salvation in hell?  Must not be hell.  Could it be...?

By the way, notice Paul talking about building, and work, and testing that work?  Hmmmm....

Just like in secular courts, where every crime does not deserve the same level of punishment, where every crime arises out of different circumstances, God has instituted a system where punishment can be tailored to suit the infraction, where he can temper justice with mercy. 

Stop reading verses and read the whole blessed (I nearly said damned, you got me so worked up) book.  I can verse pick and use Scripture to prove there's no God if I want to.  Oh, look Psalm 14:1 "There is no God" , well guess I'll just throw this book in the trash, no sense in reading the rest.

Speaking truth in love, my friend.

 Serotonin, sorry for the rant, but it does tie in a bit to the works thing.  But it really does peeve me, all this versse picking.  The three great Protestant "solas", sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide (Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone) have caused so much confusion.  It's one of the reasons it's so easy for atheists to point out "errors" and "contadictions" in the Scriptures. 

I feel better now.  Thanks.  LOL  

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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serotonin_wraith wrote:
Egor wrote:

I answer yes. The Bible does not require good works to accompany faith in order to be saved.

You may wanna check the last post from totus_tuus. He makes a good case for works with faith, with several scriptural passages.

totus_tuus does make a good case for the importance of good works, and for a judgement based on good works for this who are saved. However, there is no case shown for good works being required for salvation.

What I think may be missed by all, or most, here is that faith is not just believing, faith is active. If one's faith is not active then the faith is dead, (that is to say it is not faith) which is what the writer of James was saying. A person on their death bed can still have faith, (which is active) they are just not capable of showing in the same way as fully healthy person.


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totus_tuus wrote: Dude's

totus_tuus wrote:
Dude's gonna suffer loss , but he's gonna be saved by going through fire. Any suffering in heaven? Must not be heaven. Any salvation in hell? Must not be hell. Could it be...?

totus_tuus wrote:
Stop reading verses and read the whole blessed (I nearly said damned, you got me so worked up) book. I can verse pick and use Scripture to prove there's no God if I want to. Oh, look Psalm 14:1 "There is no God" , well guess I'll just throw this book in the trash, no sense in reading the rest.

First I'm really surprised that you decided to go this route.

Second, I'm going to ask you, what was the purpose for Jesus?

Third, if you want to debate this, I'd suggest that we take it offline since it has no point in this thread. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
Dude's gonna suffer loss , but he's gonna be saved by going through fire. Any suffering in heaven? Must not be heaven. Any salvation in hell? Must not be hell. Could it be...?

totus_tuus wrote:
Stop reading verses and read the whole blessed (I nearly said damned, you got me so worked up) book. I can verse pick and use Scripture to prove there's no God if I want to. Oh, look Psalm 14:1 "There is no God" , well guess I'll just throw this book in the trash, no sense in reading the rest.

First I'm really surprised that you decided to go this route.

Second, I'm going to ask you, what was the purpose for Jesus?

Third, if you want to debate this, I'd suggest that we take it offline since it has no point in this thread. 

Surprised I decided to go what route? The discussion is "faith alone" or "faith and works". Everything I cited is support for my disagreement with sola fide and why you have to read more than one verse at a time to pick up on the full message of Scripture. No offense, just truth in love.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote: Surprised

totus_tuus wrote:
Surprised I decided to go what route? The discussion is "faith alone" or "faith and works". Everything I cited is support for my disagreement with sola fide and why you have to read more than one verse at a time to pick up on the full message of Scripture. No offense, just truth in love.

I'm surprised you decided to go the route of arguing your point with another Christian on this forum. But so be it...

You tell me that I need to read more than one verse at a time, with a lot of arrogance I might add, when you obviously don't know me or have not checked out anything else I might have posted on this forum.

You decided to argue purgatory (I'm still at a loss for why) and you yourself have participated in a thread to which I made several references from the bible and explained myself as to why that is a false concept.

I asked you a very simple question and you avoided it. Why did Jesus come? He came for two reasons: forgiveness of ALL sins which by itself makes a purgatory irrevelent (even those before Jesus, the Luke 16 reference, were not in any kind of suffering. Why would they have had to? Abraham was there and he was not in any kind of hell or "penance zone". In the thread I reference, Jesus came to bring them home which leads me to the second point) but the second reason was to re-establish the relationship with God that was broken with the fall. If we have a relationship with God now, meaning we have a path to salvation, why would we need purgatory? If it is by faith alone that we receive the gift of salvation and since we cannot do ANYTHING to get it, again why would God tell us we need to suffer AFTER death. You make reference to Matthew 5 and 1 Corinthians 3 as additional references however at what point in either of those speak of after death (1 Cor 3 by the way, fire? Holy Spirit my friend, again given as a gift before one dies)?

I don't mind discussing the concepts as I know I can learn something different.  My only problem here is attitudes.  I didn't think this thread was the right place for that argument since there was already a previous thread.  But I am always willing to offer up what I know... 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: I'm

razorphreak wrote:

I'm surprised you decided to go the route of arguing your point with another Christian on this forum. But so be it...

Perhaps it's the contradiction, pitting Christian against Christian.

I went to respond to your last post to me, razorphreak, but found I'd already said it in previous posts. I see it as going round in circles. You can see it as a victory if it makes you feel good.

totus_tuus, I don't know enough about purgatory to feel qualified talking about that, to be honest. I see how the different levels make for a fairer system, but if a person gets into a lower level of heaven, they're still 'saved' in my eyes. I still see it as going against the need to do good works in order to be saved.

You explained it to an extent showing how your system is fairer, but still, to me it's still being saved. Can you see where I'm coming from, and can you clear it up for me at all?


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serotonin_wraith wrote:
Perhaps it's the contradiction, pitting Christian against Christian.

What contradiction? I started to ask the question "If you didn't follow Catholic doctrine, would you still be a Catholic?" however the answer should be obvious. Purgatory is the name given by Catholic doctrine and I just explained it away using only the bible. I know what my Catholic brother will say however I'd have to repeat the question above. I don't know if he realized or not; I am an ex-Catholic myself.

Remember, modern understanding of purgatory was probably defined not by the Catholic church but by Dante in The Divine Comedy. Gregory the Great was the first to explain it however the explanation has one HUGE flaw to it - Jesus. It at no time does "purgatory" make reference as to the purpose of Jesus bringing salvation via faith and this leads to the flawed point of going to hell for a "mortal sin", which, in accordance to the new testament, is not true. Only one sin can bring damnation and all is redeemable with the faith given by God and the repentance that comes with that faith.

The concept of "mortal sins" brings up a different flaw as well since in the bible it explains all sins are equal in God's eyes:

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

This of course goes back to the idea that we are all sinners hence never capable of being perfect. And we go all the way back to why did Jesus come. If God knows we are screw ups, and he sent Jesus to make it easy to obtain salvation (through faith), two questions arise: 1. If I live my life by faith, I realize that I may commit what is called a "motral sin". If I understand, though, that by faith if I am truly repentant (not just say it with words but by actions showing a change of heart/lifestyle as forgiveness of my sin(s)), my sin is forgiven. Why then do I need to be told I am condemned? 2. If I am forgiven my sin by God, why would it be necessary to tell me I have to exist in some kind mini-hell?

serotonin_wraith wrote:
I went to respond to your last post to me, razorphreak, but found I'd already said it in previous posts. I see it as going round in circles. You can see it as a victory if it makes you feel good.

Actually you've left me confused. My last post to you asked pretty specific questions so I'm lost now...

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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serotonin_wraith wrote:
razorphreak wrote:

I'm surprised you decided to go the route of arguing your point with another Christian on this forum. But so be it...

Perhaps it's the contradiction, pitting Christian against Christian.

I went to respond to your last post to me, razorphreak, but found I'd already said it in previous posts. I see it as going round in circles. You can see it as a victory if it makes you feel good.

totus_tuus, I don't know enough about purgatory to feel qualified talking about that, to be honest. I see how the different levels make for a fairer system, but if a person gets into a lower level of heaven, they're still 'saved' in my eyes. I still see it as going against the need to do good works in order to be saved.

You explained it to an extent showing how your system is fairer, but still, to me it's still being saved. Can you see where I'm coming from, and can you clear it up for me at all?

I understand completely where you're coming from. 

If we see Purgatory as a state of purification, where the soul has fully repented of its sins but has not fully expiated them nas removed from it the last elements of uncleanliness, where love of self is transformed into love of God, then it might make a bit more sense.  Now a person who undergoes a deathbed conversion, granted that he undergoes genuine contrition, has no works credited to him.  He's more full of "self" than others might be, and would require more purification than one who had spent his life serving others out of love for God. 

Does that clear anything up for you?  I'm doing some thinking and reading trying to find better ways of explaining it.  I hope this clears the Catholic position up somewhat. 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote: If we see

totus_tuus wrote:
If we see Purgatory as a state of purification, where the soul has fully repented of its sins but has not fully expiated them nas removed from it the last elements of uncleanliness, where love of self is transformed into love of God, then it might make a bit more sense. Now a person who undergoes a deathbed conversion, granted that he undergoes genuine contrition, has no works credited to him. He's more full of "self" than others might be, and would require more purification than one who had spent his life serving others out of love for God.

First totus forgive me; I know this post of yours was at serotonin but I just had to interceed once more.

The reason I had to is because I had hoped to see you respond to both the post I directed at you and the one I directed at serotonin as well.  Your post though did make me wonder, what exactly do you think Jesus' purpose was?  I've asked you before and I really need to hear an answer now.  It's starting to bother me that somehow, based upon what you just wrote, it's saying Jesus wasn't enough.  Belief in Jesus and repentance of sins wasn't enough.  I really have to know why you think that.  Why does a spirit/soul need more purification than another when Jesus' own words don't say that?

Matthew 10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 

Not receives God only after purification.

I found it also odd you took a judgmental approach as well.  Because someone gains his or her faith at the end does not make US say "oh well he/she didn't do enough to earn salvation..."

Matthew 19:26 With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

 I guess I'm asking these things since Jesus himself said it was with him where we find eternal life, not through something or someone else...

John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life

So anyway please, back to my question...what do you see the purpose of Jesus was.  I'm hoping you'll respond in full to everything I've posted that was directed at you here. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak, Right, let's

razorphreak,

Right, let's see. God does not need to forgive you for all the bad works you do? It happens automatically when you believe in Jesus? I think that's what you're saying. However, you then go on to say "The point of repentance is to ask for his forgiveness and for his mercy to lead you away from sin". Huh? So now you DO have to ask for his forgiveness? If he doesn't have to forgive the things you've done, why ask for forgiveness? It's like pleading with a policeman not to give you a ticket for speeding, when the policeman is saying 'Excuse me sir? I never said you were speeding. I just wanted to check your tires.'

I understand how good works is what you wish to do when you have true faith - my point is that there may not be enough time to do them, and therefore, no good works have been done.

You say that someone who acheives salvation through God doesn't have to be Christian. Isn't the definition of a Christian someone who dedicates themselves to Jesus and Yahweh and believes in them only? Isn't that exactly what someone who is saved has done?

You mention that you can condemn someone's actions based on the Bible. Agreed. However, you say that going against the Bible in some cases may be part of what God wants. In the grand scheme of things, you cannot know if something is going against God or not, and so you cannot condemn any action.

This is why I don't think we're making any headway. I've said all of this before, and we're going in circles.

totus_tuus,

I think what you're saying is that someone who has not done good works can still be purified, thus taking away the need to do good works in order to be saved.

So, if I am understanding this correctly, the Scriptures you show that require good works to accompany faith aren't strictly true. Good works are not NEEDED to be saved, because there is always the fallback position of purification.


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serotonin_wraith wrote: God

serotonin_wraith wrote:
God does not need to forgive you for all the bad works you do? It happens automatically when you believe in Jesus? I think that's what you're saying. However, you then go on to say "The point of repentance is to ask for his forgiveness and for his mercy to lead you away from sin". Huh? So now you DO have to ask for his forgiveness? If he doesn't have to forgive the things you've done, why ask for forgiveness?

No no no no...salvation comes with Jesus.  That brings about a change within you, and that change includes the desire to repent the sins you commit.  The reason you have to ask, even though God already knows, is to show respect to God.  The Lords Prayer, the "Our Father", is not a prayer to be repeated verbatim but rather Jesus showing us HOW to pray.  Recognize God, exalt him, thank him, ask for forgiveness, and pray for his grace upon what you need.  This is how God wishes you to pray to him and how you approach him.  See what I'm saying?

serotonin_wraith wrote:
I understand how good works is what you wish to do when you have true faith - my point is that there may not be enough time to do them, and therefore, no good works have been done.

And my point is unless you were a hermit or lived away from any living person everyday of your life, who are we to say that person didn't do any good works at all? 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You say that someone who acheives salvation through God doesn't have to be Christian. Isn't the definition of a Christian someone who dedicates themselves to Jesus and Yahweh and believes in them only? Isn't that exactly what someone who is saved has done?

You misunderstand.  Salvation is GUARANTEED by the belief in Jesus.  That belief brings lifestyle changes, as I was saying before.  If you don't believe or never have, salvation comes through God's mercy, based upon the "natural law" that every human understands (Romans 2) and how you act toward or against this law. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You mention that you can condemn someone's actions based on the Bible. Agreed. However, you say that going against the Bible in some cases may be part of what God wants. In the grand scheme of things, you cannot know if something is going against God or not, and so you cannot condemn any action.

Where did I say that?  Are you meaning that someone like Hitler, who obviously went against the teachings of the bible might obtain salvation?

Let me see if I can clairfy this.  If you have two dogs, a poodle and a rottweiler, and you train them differently, the poodle for house and the rott for outdoors, wouldn't they be set in a specific purpose for your will (don't go outside the bounds of the thought that they are your personal dogs)?  Would you love either of them any less?  Would you deny say the poodle food/water/shelter if it was aggressive towards your couch (against the rules that you set for everyone else)?  But if your rott is aggressive, a typical guard dog, would you love it less?  You raised each for a specific purpose, even if was illegal in your city to have a rott in your yard, you have it, and you break the rules to have it there because of your will to have a guard dog.  My point here is God set in motion rules/laws/commandments for us to follow but he knows, he sees that many people on this earth do not follow.  For him to show his glory, his wrath even, he will choose the means in which to show it, even if that means someone like a Hitler.  I know many people who will curse God or blame God but it was not his purpose for us to hate him or deny him but see what happens happens and we go forward with our lives showing our love for him.

Keep in mind I don't expect you to believe what I just said, I'm just hoping you'll understand what I just said is in accordance to my faith and my beliefs. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: First

razorphreak wrote:

First totus forgive me; I know this post of yours was at serotonin but I just had to interceed once more.

The reason I had to is because I had hoped to see you respond to both the post I directed at you and the one I directed at serotonin as well.  Your post though did make me wonder, what exactly do you think Jesus' purpose was?  I've asked you before and I really need to hear an answer now.  It's starting to bother me that somehow, based upon what you just wrote, it's saying Jesus wasn't enough.  Belief in Jesus and repentance of sins wasn't enough.  I really have to know why you think that.  Why does a spirit/soul need more purification than another when Jesus' own words don't say that?

Matthew 10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 

Not receives God only after purification.

I found it also odd you took a judgmental approach as well.  Because someone gains his or her faith at the end does not make US say "oh well he/she didn't do enough to earn salvation..."

Matthew 19:26 With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

 I guess I'm asking these things since Jesus himself said it was with him where we find eternal life, not through something or someone else...

John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life

So anyway please, back to my question...what do you see the purpose of Jesus was.  I'm hoping you'll respond in full to everything I've posted that was directed at you here. 

No problem, razor.  Chime in whenever you want.

First, I think I do owe you an apology.  I do see some arrogance in some of my earlier remarks.  It's a character defect of mine sometimes.

You commented earlier, I think, on the doctrine of purgatory being instituted under Gregory the Great , who reigned from 590-604.  That hardly accounts with the request of St Monica in the 4th century, to her son, Augustine, to remember her soul in his Masses.  Still less does it account for the numerous inscriptions of paryers for the dead in Christian catacombs during the first three centuries of Christianity.  Prayers for the dead are also found in the earliest non-inspired Christian writings such as the Acts of Paul and Thecla from the second century.  Such prayers would only have been made had the early Christians believed in Purgatory.  I won't mention the references in 2 Macc, since Martin Luther tossed that book out.

Jesus came to die for our sins.  He redeemed us completely by doing so.  There is, however, no contradiction between the Redemption and our suffering in expiation for our sins.  Paul said he rejoiced "in my sufferings for you, and [I] fill up those things that are wanting in the suffering of Christ" (Col 1:24).    Paul's not saying that Christ's suffering was not sufficient, it was fully satisfactory, but leaves us under a debt of honor to repay them by sufferings of our own.  It's not contrary to the Redemption to say that we must suffer; it's a matter of justice.  As Augustine wrote, we can suffer here or hereafter, or both places.

But see, purgatory will never make sense in sola fide theology because no sin and no good deed after the acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior makes any difference with respect to salvation.  Purgatory only amkes sense if a soul need be actually clean, not just declared clean.   Catholic theology takes literally the notion that "nothing unclean shall enter Heaven" (Rev 21:27). 

 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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serotonin_wraith wrote:

totus_tuus,

I think what you're saying is that someone who has not done good works can still be purified, thus taking away the need to do good works in order to be saved.

So, if I am understanding this correctly, the Scriptures you show that require good works to accompany faith aren't strictly true. Good works are not NEEDED to be saved, because there is always the fallback position of purification.


Yeah, it's quite possible. But personally, I'd rather achieve my salvation by the most direct route.

Let's go back to Don Corleone. Suppose that rather than dying in bed, he'd died being gunned down in the street without the benefit of his conversion. Now he has a serious problem, no chance of Paradise whatsoever. Why take that chance?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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razorphreak wrote: The

razorphreak wrote:
The reason you have to ask, even though God already knows, is to show respect to God.

Okay. So, you know already God has forgiven you, God knows you know this, everyone knows this. And yet you still ask for forgiveness. It doesn't seem to be a good way to respect God, giving an empty prayer. To show respect, why not tell God you respect him, or say that from now on you will do nothing but good? How can asking for forgiveness be genuine when you already know the answer? Not being genuine in prayer is disrespectful too.

razorphreak wrote:
unless you were a hermit or lived away from any living person everyday of your life, who are we to say that person didn't do any good works at all?

We don't know. However, they can do no good works at all and still be saved. Furthermore, any good works they have done before converting will have no meaning anyway if it wasn't done as a result of faith. An atheist won't be saved, even after doing many good things.

razorphreak wrote:
If you don't believe or never have, salvation comes through God's mercy, based upon the "natural law" that every human understands (Romans 2) and how you act toward or against this law.

By the natural law, would that mean being kind to others, not killing, being a helpful and considerate person etc? This is what alot of atheists do. This is what alot of people of other faiths do. But doesn't the Bible teach that these people will not be saved, because they needed to have faith? Faith is the minimum requirement, I think that's what you were arguing earlier.

razorphreak wrote:
Where did I say that?  Are you meaning that someone like Hitler, who obviously went against the teachings of the bible might obtain salvation?

This is what you said on the matter: "Could good works not be attributed to doing God's will?  If it was God's will to have someone wipe out 6 million people because of their religious beliefs for the later purpose of moving them back to the holy land for the purpose of future generations to prepare for Jesus' return, could that not be considered a good work?"

I am saying that someone like Hitler could obtain salvation, and so were you.

With the dog example, you say that someone with an illegal dog would be breaking the law, but their need to have the dog would outweigh that concern. However, with God, he's the only one who has made the laws, so he is breaking his own.
You say that neither dog can be judged, they both have their purposes. I agree, and that's why I said you cannot judge any action, because you have no way of knowing whether God wants them to do what we consider bad.

______________________ 

totus_tuus, you speak of how you would take the safest option regarding your salvation. However, the less safe option is still a valid means of being saved. Therefore, do you acknowledge that the Scriptures showing that good works are required are untrue?


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serotonin_wraith wrote:

totus_tuus, you speak of how you would take the safest option regarding your salvation. However, the less safe option is still a valid means of being saved. Therefore, do you acknowledge that the Scriptures showing that good works are required are untrue?

Oh my, no. 

Our notional Don's salvation is also contingent on whether he repented his sins, confessed them, or made a perfect act of contrition for them.  Then he still has to make atonement for those sins, whether in this life or the next.  There's no free pass.

Remember, too, that salvation is not a once saved, always saved proposition.  A person who leads a perfectly saintly life can commit acts that, in the end,can cost them their salvation.  There is no guarantee of salvation.  Paul admonishes us to "work out your own salvation if fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12)

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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serotonin_wraith wrote: It

serotonin_wraith wrote:
It doesn't seem to be a good way to respect God, giving an empty prayer.

Why must you assume it's an empty prayer?  If I insulted you but I know you'd forgive me for calling you say a "red neck", but I later come up to you in total humility and say "I'm sorry", even though I know you already forgave me, isn't that a sign to you of my respect to you and my love to you as not just a person but a friend?

serotonin_wraith wrote:
However, they can do no good works at all and still be saved. Furthermore, any good works they have done before converting will have no meaning anyway if it wasn't done as a result of faith. An atheist won't be saved, even after doing many good things.

According to whom?  That's not what the bible says. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
By the natural law, would that mean being kind to others, not killing, being a helpful and considerate person etc? This is what alot of atheists do. This is what alot of people of other faiths do. But doesn't the Bible teach that these people will not be saved, because they needed to have faith? Faith is the minimum requirement, I think that's what you were arguing earlier.

Nooooooooo I just JUST told you the verse that says it doesn't. And I wasn't aruging that at all...odd you how you've managed to combine a bunch of stuff into misunderstandings.

serotonin_wraith wrote:
However, with God, he's the only one who has made the laws, so he is breaking his own.
You say that neither dog can be judged, they both have their purposes. I agree, and that's why I said you cannot judge any action, because you have no way of knowing whether God wants them to do what we consider bad.

Wait a minute.  I didn't say I couldn't judge their actions; I'm saying I can't judge them for WHAT THEY ARE.  You and I are human beings.  If a dog just as a person is evil in the eyes of human or God's laws that we know and understand, I can judge their actions accordingly.  But as a person myself, I cannot judge that person to being saved or condemned even according to the laws that person just broke.  All I can say is "Hitler did an evil thing" but not "Hitler deserves hell".  See the difference?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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totus_tuus, You seem to me

totus_tuus,

You seem to me to already be admitting that we don't need to do good works in order to be saved.
There are the acts of confessing, repenting and purification which can take place if someone does not do good works. A penalty, in other words.
The bottom line though, is that you can still be saved (by confession, repentance, purification) if no good works have been done. Isn't this what you are saying?

razorphreak, 

You wrote:

Quote:
If I insulted you but I know you'd forgive me for calling you say a "red neck", but I later come up to you in total humility and say "I'm sorry", even though I know you already forgave me, isn't that a sign to you of my respect to you and my love to you as not just a person but a friend?

You did not mention apologizing to God earlier, you talked about asking for forgiveness. There is a difference.

Quote:
According to whom?  That's not what the bible says.

The Bible says that sins can be forgiven, and you believe faith before death is enough to be saved.
According to your beliefs, atheists will not be saved. Faith is the minimum requirement for salvation.

Quote:
Nooooooooo I just JUST told you the verse that says it doesn't. And I wasn't aruging that at all...

You clearly were. Here is what you wrote to totus_tuus: "One slight correction as to what you said here...only faith can give you salvation."

Quote:
Wait a minute.  I didn't say I couldn't judge their actions; I'm saying I can't judge them for WHAT THEY ARE.

No, I said you couldn't judge them. You can judge them on Biblical grounds. You can say Hitler did evil according to the Bible laws. But as you've already said that sometimes God is cool with people doing things that go against the Bible (as it is his will), those laws are not the ultimate judicial 'measuring stick'.


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serotonin_wraith wrote: You

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You did not mention apologizing to God earlier, you talked about asking for forgiveness. There is a difference.

Hmmm ok explain what is the difference between asking for forgiveness and apologizing? 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
The Bible says that sins can be forgiven, and you believe faith before death is enough to be saved.
According to your beliefs, atheists will not be saved. Faith is the minimum requirement for salvation.

OK again..where does it say that atheists will not be saved? 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You clearly were. Here is what you wrote to totus_tuus: "One slight correction as to what you said here...only faith can give you salvation."

Uh huh...as a means for guaranteed salvation.  If you don't...you are judged by God.  I'm sure I said that too... 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
You can say Hitler did evil according to the Bible laws. But as you've already said that sometimes God is cool with people doing things that go against the Bible (as it is his will), those laws are not the ultimate judicial 'measuring stick'.

Ah I never said God was cool with it.  I said I can't say if God will save or condemn them.  You aren't reading completely. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak, Apologizing is

razorphreak,

Apologizing is when you want to make it known that you are sorry for your actions, and that you wish you had not done them. Asking for forgiveness is when you want the person you have hurt to accept your apology and not hold your bad actions against you.

There are scriptures in the first post, and in totus_tuus' first scriptural post that show faith is needed in order to be saved. Nothing about 'guaranteed saving', just that you need to have faith to be saved - the end. As atheists don't have faith in a god, those scriptures show that they will not be saved.

If it is God's will that some people do things that go against the Bible, and he will save these people if they have faith in him shortly before death, it seems to me he is accepting of these people. I understand you cannot say if God will save them or not, but I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing the point that you cannot call their actions evil because God may not be judging them according to Biblical laws.


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serotonin_wraith}

serotonin_wraith wrote:

totus_tuus,

You seem to me to already be admitting that we don't need to do good works in order to be saved.
There are the acts of confessing, repenting and purification which can take place if someone does not do good works. A penalty, in other words.


The bottom line though, is that you can still be saved (by confession, repentance, purification) if no good works have been done. Isn't this what you are saying

I'm telling you what the Scriptures teach, what the Church, as the interpreter of Scripture has taught, and that is salvation is through faith and works.

Can God in His mercy grant exceptions to this rule? Absolutely, witness the "good thief" on Calvary. The same mercy, I'm sure, is extended to infants who die without the benefit of Baptism or the opportunity to do good for others.

Am I willing to wager my salvation on God's mercy? Hell no (pun kinda intended, but not very funny). I'm probably not worthy of His mercy and have probably overdrawn it anyway.

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes] 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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I understand you believe God

I understand you believe God will grant exceptions to the rule in some cases. So, it means the rule is not 100% accurate. If it were, there would be no exceptions.