Faith With or Without Works

serotonin_wraith
serotonin_wraith's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: 2007-03-10
User is offlineOffline
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. 
 


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I would say that any path to

I would say that any path to salvation which does not include faith and works together is not the "school solution" according to the Scriptures.  Any matters in "extenuation and mitigation" which God would take into account in His mercy are up to him.  He has revealed to us the preferred method, if you will.

"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


serotonin_wraith
serotonin_wraith's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: 2007-03-10
User is offlineOffline
The scriptures seem to me to

The scriptures seem to me to be showing the only way to be saved is by faith and works. Is there a passage that explains that method is just God's preferred method, but that the rule doesn't apply in every case?


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
serotonin_wraith wrote: The

serotonin_wraith wrote:
The scriptures seem to me to be showing the only way to be saved is by faith and works. Is there a passage that explains that method is just God's preferred method, but that the rule doesn't apply in every case?

Yeah.  Luke 23:39-43 spring right to mind: "39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41* And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." p42 And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." * 43* And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

"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


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:
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.

So for me to go to God and say "forgive me for the sin of..." vs. "God I'm sorry I commited the sin of..."??  I'm missing something here... 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
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.

And I've already told you the clairification on this.  It's not my fault you are choosing and intermixing which you will use to keep this thread going. 

serotonin_wraith wrote:
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.

Yes I can.  I can only say what they did was evil in accordance to the bible.  Since you keep bringing up some kind of argument of God gave them a get out of jail free card or something, how bout this: what if God did condemn them, their actions was NOT God's will, so on?  See my point here is the issue of judging the person directly, not their actions.  If you committed a murder, your actions were evil in both the eyes of the law and the word of the bible.  In accordance to the law you will have a punishment.  In accordance to the bible, it is up to God if your actions will have with them condemnation or not.  See the difference yet? 

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


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: First, I

totus_tuus wrote:
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.

No one is perfect.  Eye-wink  No thing but a chicken wing... 

totus_tuus wrote:
Such prayers would only have been made had the early Christians believed in Purgatory.

One thing that I looked at when I started looking up some of the stuff you were talking about and it dawned on me...New Testament apocrypha, i.e. most likely gnostic texts.  I'm VERY surprised as a Catholic that you would make reference to those.  Their validitity as proper sources is in question especially when John in his first letter is a direct rebuke to them.

totus_tuus wrote:
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 Paul is describing his imprisonment by the Romans (which would make sense since history puts Paul there when he wrote that letter)...that is the suffering he describes, not to mention the mocking he receives as a Christian.  Even Jesus described while you are alive you will be put to suffer by following his name.  It seems out of context to which you describe the "suffering" that, as a Chrsitian, you are made to go through for following the teachings of Jesus.

totus_tuus wrote:
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.

I think that's where James 2 comes in.  You seem to describe the empty sacrifices that were described by Jesus.  Yes if you do them because you are looking for attention then they won't please God.  But as someone that would gain the gift of faith from God, you do good works not to boast but because it is now part of your nature to do so and that is pleasing to God.  

As to the point of sin...Romans 6 - you no longer want to sin.  Of course you will but it is almost painful to do so (I know I felt that this weekend going out with a friend of mine to a bar).  Acceptance of Jesus as savior brings about an attitude readjustment to your life (which I'm sure you understand) so it's not a sola fide theology I'm talking about here but rather understanding that when you start down that road you know things are different.

totus_tuus wrote:
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).

So let me ask you then, if you remove Catholic doctrine, are you still "Catholic"? 

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


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
  razorphreak wrote: One

 

razorphreak wrote:
One thing that I looked at when I started looking up some of the stuff you were talking about and it dawned on me...New Testament apocrypha, i.e. most likely gnostic texts.  I'm VERY surprised as a Catholic that you would make reference to those.  Their validitity as proper sources is in question especially when John in his first letter is a direct rebuke to them.

I'm not citing Paul and Thecla as inspired, only as history to illustrate the practices of the early Christians.   From what I've read of it, and only bits and pieces, not the whole book, I've really seen nothing heretical in it.

razorphreak wrote:
But Paul is describing his imprisonment by the Romans (which would make sense since history puts Paul there when he wrote that letter)...that is the suffering he describes, not to mention the mocking he receives as a Christian.  Even Jesus described while you are alive you will be put to suffer by following his name.  It seems out of context to which you describe the "suffering" that, as a Chrsitian, you are made to go through for following the teachings of Jesus.

Suffering is suffering though.  It doen't matter whether it's the emotional pain of the loss of a loved one, the physical pain of an illness or injury, the pain of mockery and injustice, or the spiritual pain of that which St John of the Cross describes as "the dark night of the soul" , it's all pain and we can be united to Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. 

If not, then to what end does Paul "buffet my body"?  What does he mean by "for as we share in Christ's sufferings..." in 2 Cor:5?  Are these "empty sacrifices"?

razorphreak wrote:
So let me ask you then, if you remove Catholic doctrine, are you still "Catholic"? 

I'm not sure I understand the question correctly, but if I am understanding it right, the answer is no.  At the risk of opening a whole nother can of worms, as a Catholic I'm obligated to accept the entire teaching of the Magisterium of the Church.  Hence the whole controversy going on in the Church now over pro-choice politicians (ie, Nancy Pelosi) who claim to be Catholic, recieving the Sacraments.

 

 

 

"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


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: I'm not

totus_tuus wrote:
I'm not citing Paul and Thecla as inspired, only as history to illustrate the practices of the early Christians. From what I've read of it, and only bits and pieces, not the whole book, I've really seen nothing heretical in it.

Heretical isn't the word I was thinking - inaccurate or invalid would be better.  The reason gnostic texts are not valid sources of faith is due to the direct contradiction that they claimed to have received some special understanding that no one else was meant to have when that's obviously not what Jesus said.  Because of that, contradictions arrise from self made doctrines (uh oh...)

totus_tuus wrote:
Suffering is suffering though. It doen't matter whether it's the emotional pain of the loss of a loved one, the physical pain of an illness or injury, the pain of mockery and injustice, or the spiritual pain of that which St John of the Cross describes as "the dark night of the soul" , it's all pain and we can be united to Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.

If not, then to what end does Paul "buffet my body"? What does he mean by "for as we share in Christ's sufferings..." in 2 Cor:5? Are these "empty sacrifices"?

Spiritual suffering cannot be thought of after life is over with.  I don't think it can even be conceived.  We share in the sufferings of Jesus as a man, not as God. 

Empty sacrifices are a totally different point.  Now we are talking about what we say to God "look what I did for you" not for not to show is glory but our own.

totus_tuus wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the question correctly, but if I am understanding it right, the answer is no. At the risk of opening a whole nother can of worms, as a Catholic I'm obligated to accept the entire teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. Hence the whole controversy going on in the Church now over pro-choice politicians (ie, Nancy Pelosi) who claim to be Catholic, recieving the Sacraments.

Actually I was going to get into the thought of if there was no Catholic doctrine to follow, what would be left?  The answer should (hopefully) be obvious: the bible.  I mean isn't it pretty obvious that most Catholics today don't follow their own dogma?  But again, if you took that out, all that's left is the bible and what would that make you?  Would it change how you worship God? How you live your life? 

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


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:
Heretical isn't the word I was thinking - inaccurate or invalid would be better.  The reason gnostic texts are not valid sources of faith is due to the direct contradiction that they claimed to have received some special understanding that no one else was meant to have when that's obviously not what Jesus said.  Because of that, contradictions arrise from self made doctrines (uh oh...)

We're risking getting into a whole different discussion here, but I'll address some of your statements and try to stay on works or not.

The Gospel of Thomas, of of Judas, or of Mary Magdalene would be invalid as sources of truth because they are (1)heretical, (2) inaccurate and (3) non-inspired.  Other early Christain works, like Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians, or the Didache, or the Shepherd of Hermas, while not inspired can be excellent references for ascertaining what these folks believed and practiced.  Much like the works of Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, St John of the Cross, or Martin Luther.  

I'm not even going to begin to touch "self-made" doctrines unless you really want to cite me one (just one), because we'll end up taking this thread way off track for sure. 

razorphreak wrote:
Spiritual suffering cannot be thought of after life is over with.  I don't think it can even be conceived.  We share in the sufferings of Jesus as a man, not as God. 

Empty sacrifices are a totally different point.  Now we are talking about what we say to God "look what I did for you" not for not to show is glory but our own.

Why not?  We can suffer after life in Hell, as in damnation.  We can rejoice in the presence of the beatific vision.  It only follows that, as the Scriptures tell us in the numerous cites above, that we can undergo some "finishing" before we enter the Church Triumphant.

I agree with you on the displaying of suffering.  But it is only in unity with the suffering of Christ that human suffering makes any sembalnce of sense whatsoever. 

razorphreak wrote:
Actually I was going to get into the thought of if there was no Catholic doctrine to follow, what would be left?  The answer should (hopefully) be obvious: the bible.  I mean isn't it pretty obvious that most Catholics today don't follow their own dogma?  But again, if you took that out, all that's left is the bible and what would that make you?  Would it change how you worship God? How you live your life? 

Quite the contrary.  Without the Church established by Jesus Christ, there would be no Scriptures.  There would then only be thosse teachings passed on orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the istitutuions they established, waht they themselves had recieved - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of lie and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit." (Dei Verbum, section 7).

Like St. Augustrine, "But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me."

Unfortunately, you are quite right.  There are those "cafeteria" Catholics who think they pick and choose which doctrines are binding upon them.

But again, no doctrine, no Church.  No Church, no Bible.

If they was no Catholic Church, there would have been no Jesus Christ and perhaps I'd still be a Jew, or more likely, a marauding North German barbarian of some sort.

"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


serotonin_wraith
serotonin_wraith's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: 2007-03-10
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus,The scripture

totus_tuus,
The scripture shows that Jesus saved a murderer who asked to be remembered, but not that Jesus would have preferred he had done good works in order to be saved.

razorphreak,
You wrote:

Quote:
So for me to go to God and say "forgive me for the sin of..." vs. "God I'm sorry I commited the sin of..."??  I'm missing something here...

I can't help you with that, I'm sorry.

Quote:
It's not my fault you are choosing and intermixing which you will use to keep this thread going.

I came to the conclusion we were going round in circles a few posts back and tried to end our debate in this thread then. Out of politeness, I came back to answer your points. Perhaps it should end.

Quote:
I can only say what they did was evil in accordance to the bible.

Yes.

Quote:
Since you keep bringing up some kind of argument of God gave them a get out of jail free card or something, how bout this: what if God did condemn them, their actions was NOT God's will, so on?

I didn't bring up that argument. You are the one who said their actions may have been going against the Bible, but not God.

Quote:
If you committed a murder, your actions were evil in both the eyes of the law and the word of the bible.  In accordance to the law you will have a punishment.

Agreed.

Quote:
In accordance to the bible, it is up to God if your actions will have with them condemnation or not.

In the Bible it says murder is going against God, and yet he allows a murderer to go to heaven in another part. ...I'm repeating myself, we're not getting anywhere, so yes, perhaps this should end. I haven't kept it going though, I attempted to walk away once. It has been nice exchanging ideas with you.


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
sserotonin_wraith

sserotonin_wraith wrote:
totus_tuus,
The scripture shows that Jesus saved a murderer who asked to be remembered, but not that Jesus would have preferred he had done good works in order to be saved

All the other citations about faith and works are demonstrations of the preffered method.  The 'good thief" story shows that God, in his mercy, can and does, provide salvation otherwise.

"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


serotonin_wraith
serotonin_wraith's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: 2007-03-10
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: All the

totus_tuus wrote:

All the other citations about faith and works are demonstrations of the preffered method.  The 'good thief" story shows that God, in his mercy, can and does, provide salvation otherwise.

It is just your word that faith and works are the preffered method. Unless there is a scripture that says so, it looks to me like a contradiction.


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Of course you do.  You

Of course you do.  You began with the notion that there was a contradiction, and after playing both ends against the middle, and being shown evidence of what the truth of the matter is, reject it.  Happens all the time.

"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


Eloise
Theist
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1804
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
Wraith, I can barely

Wraith, I can barely believe you honestly want to subject yourself to hearing the many wierd wild and wacky justifiations for one, or the other, (or the "yet another&quotEye-wink tenet of 'faith v works' in Christianity. It's a minefield, I'm not envying you, that's for sure.

 So is it faith or is it works that gets you the gold?

Actually the question is unanswerable because it presupposes literal understanding of christian-specific Faith and Good Works the likes of which are only metaphorically defined in the book.  

If you read the book it becomes pretty clear that both Faith and Good Works are part of a whole humanism advocated by Jesus so in separation they probably don't mean anything much at all. In fact one paragraph quite literally states that neither exist without the other.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


razorphreak
Theist
razorphreak's picture
Posts: 901
Joined: 2007-02-05
User is offlineOffline
eloise you might want to

eloise you might want to read the fullness of this thread to understand what's going on.  The point in your post was addressed previously - so you can see wraith's circular justifications.

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


serotonin_wraith
serotonin_wraith's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: 2007-03-10
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus, I believe you

totus_tuus, I believe you are the one who has suggested faith with good works is the preferred method. There is nothing stopping someone from saying faith alone is the preferred method. They are simply two ways to be saved. Is there a passage showing faith with works is the preferred method?

Eloise, I understand good works come automatically with faith. But at times no good works have been done (due to faith just before death) people here are trying to argue that there are exceptions then. And if there are, then the scriptures showing good works are REQUIRED are not true. If there are exceptions, the good works are not REQUIRED at all!


Eloise
Theist
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1804
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:

Eloise, I understand good works come automatically with faith. But at times no good works have been done (due to faith just before death) people here are trying to argue that there are exceptions then. And if there are, then the scriptures showing good works are REQUIRED are not true. If there are exceptions, the good works are not REQUIRED at all!

Hi Wraith, well that whole idea rests firmly on the common interpretation of 'the dead will rise first' which is: after you die you'll wait for God to raise you back out of the ground and if you've been righteous you go straight to heaven or some crazy sheet like that. This is because to many people such rational possibilities as a future better understanding of time and space which could lead to things like travelling or communicating in new directions through time or discovery of multiple universes are far less believable than that.

Generally people microcosm what is supposed to be a story about supernatural unknown futures in the evolution of all humanity into the context of their one temporal existence. Not surprisingly it makes no sense. This is not an abnormal thing, nor is it common only to religious believers. When Verne wrote 20000 Leagues under the Sea, no one really imagined that a submarinal vessel might someday exist in reality, it was too fantastic, beyond belief. Before Einstein proved relativity noone could actually know that Earth's time was peculiar to Earth itself and literally slower than time in open outer space how does that make any rational sense? Slowed down time? Bending light? These things don't compute so easily, but they are true. The dead/not dead cat just throws a giant spanner in the works after that. How can so many things defy our empirical perceptions? The thing is they don't. We translate those perceptions, we understand them in the context of our own knowledge and experience. And strange premonitions, in literature, about dead people among us are only cogitated with as much reasoning as that, giving life to even stranger notions such as ultimate forgiveness for god awful deeds in life on your death bed.  Matthew 22:29 is probably the first remedy.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


simple theist
Theist
Posts: 259
Joined: 2007-05-28
User is offlineOffline
Even the devil believes God

Even the devil believes God is real. So I think Christians need to rethink how they say Believe and God and you will be forgiven. If you follow Christ your sins will be forgiven. Following him, means obeying him.


DeLgAdO
Theist
Posts: 46
Joined: 2008-09-05
User is offlineOffline
It has to be faith alone,

It has to be faith alone, isaiah says in 64:6 how can we be saved if all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before god?

not everyone who says to me lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he does the will of my father who is in heaven (works salvation is blasphemy, he's saying that those who do believe WILL do the will of the father, not believe and say ok now i have to this or that to be saved). Many on that day will say to me lord lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demon and perform many miracles? then i will declare to them, i never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness.

- Matthew 21-23

he said depart from me because they trusted in their works in gods name, a genuine christian has no arguement before god like in verse 22, he cant do anything to be saved except believe. And even then the only reason he has faith is because god granted him the power to believe. If a man has faith then he will repent. But that faith alone was followed by repentence. And repentance is a result of faith.

 

jews and muslims, mormons, JW, catholics, go by faith and works, true biblical christianity is by faith alone. I dont trust in my works, i look onto christ and him alone. Only his throught righteousness can i be saved, not my own, i have no merit whatsoever.

 

i am theist and i dont know how to put it under my name Laughing out loud


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
DeLgAdO wrote:It has to be

DeLgAdO wrote:

It has to be faith alone, isaiah says in 64:6 how can we be saved if all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before god?

not everyone who says to me lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he does the will of my father who is in heaven (works salvation is blasphemy, he's saying that those who do believe WILL do the will of the father, not believe and say ok now i have to this or that to be saved). Many on that day will say to me lord lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demon and perform many miracles? then i will declare to them, i never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness.

- Matthew 21-23

he said depart from me because they trusted in their works in gods name, a genuine christian has no arguement before god like in verse 22, he cant do anything to be saved except believe. And even then the only reason he has faith is because god granted him the power to believe. If a man has faith then he will repent. But that faith alone was followed by repentence. And repentance is a result of faith.

 

jews and muslims, mormons, JW, catholics, go by faith and works, true biblical christianity is by faith alone. I dont trust in my works, i look onto christ and him alone. Only his throught righteousness can i be saved, not my own, i have no merit whatsoever.

 

Yep, doing good like the Jesus as recorded in the Bible did is just so difficult. so much easier to pay lip service instead.

"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


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
DeLgAdO, It's not faith

DeLgAdO, It's not faith alon, nor is it, as you seem to think I'm contending, works alone.  It is faith and works.  Read post #17.  Could Christ be any more explicit than He is in the Beatitudes.  Faith without works is dead.

Even Paul, whom sola fide adherents cling to most closely, tells us in the second chapter of Phillipians to "work out your own salvation and fear and trembling."  Not only are required to work for our salvation, but there is no assurance of salvation.  Pretty much everything else I've had to say on this subject has been said here, on both sides.

The Gospel writers make it plain we need to act on our faith for salvation, it's apparent in Acts that the saem is expected of us.  Paul makes it clear, James is even more emphatic, peter stresses it.  Early Christian non-canonical writings make it clear that faith plus works was the belief  of the early Church.  If you can't accept the history of that position, then we must agree to disagree.

"To be deep in history is to cease being Protestant."  John Henry Cardinal Newman

"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


DeLgAdO
Theist
Posts: 46
Joined: 2008-09-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote:DeLgAdO,

totus_tuus wrote:

DeLgAdO, It's not faith alon, nor is it, as you seem to think I'm contending, works alone.  It is faith and works.  Read post #17.  Could Christ be any more explicit than He is in the Beatitudes.  Faith without works is dead.

Even Paul, whom sola fide adherents cling to most closely, tells us in the second chapter of Phillipians to "work out your own salvation and fear and trembling."  Not only are required to work for our salvation, but there is no assurance of salvation.  Pretty much everything else I've had to say on this subject has been said here, on both sides.

The Gospel writers make it plain we need to act on our faith for salvation, it's apparent in Acts that the saem is expected of us.  Paul makes it clear, James is even more emphatic, peter stresses it.  Early Christian non-canonical writings make it clear that faith plus works was the belief  of the early Church.  If you can't accept the history of that position, then we must agree to disagree.

"To be deep in history is to cease being Protestant."  John Henry Cardinal Newman

 

sounds like you mean "work on" as if doing doing something to complete it or earn it, hence "Not only are required to work for our salvation".  "work-out" means you already have it but use it to know you have it.

and we can have assurance of our salvation, 1John 5:13 tells us so " I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of god so that you may know that you have eternal life.

i am theist and i dont know how to put it under my name Laughing out loud


DeLgAdO
Theist
Posts: 46
Joined: 2008-09-05
User is offlineOffline
Looking back at philipians

Looking back at philipians 2:12

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is god who works in you, and to act according to his good purpose.

 

It appears that they already have there salvation and that paul is just encouraging them to continue doing what they are doing because gods working through them to know that they have their salvation. So again its not faith plus works but just faith alone to know that god is working in them and acting according to his good purpose.

i am theist and i dont know how to put it under my name Laughing out loud


Cali_Athiest2
Cali_Athiest2's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: 2008-02-07
User is offlineOffline
My question has always been

My question has always been how do people who have never heard of jesus attain salvation. It doesn't matter, works or faith, if you were born Apache in North America in 428 CE there's no way you knew jesus ever existed until we white men brought our superstitious nonsense with us. So there has to be a third way right? If there isn't then based on common human concept of fairness the point is moot. Of course no one ever said bible/quran/torah god was fair by human standards.

The common rejection to the question is that all who lived without hearing the good news (if you can call it that) are judged accordingly to their actions or heart (take your pick). Soooooooooo if you reject the idea of a god or choose the wrong one then ticket straight to hell, but if you don't know there's still a chance. Does this make sense to anyone else?

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
DeLgAdO wrote: Looking back

DeLgAdO wrote:

 

Looking back at philipians 2:12

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is god who works in you, and to act according to his good purpose.

 

It appears that they already have there salvation and that paul is just encouraging them to continue doing what they are doing because gods working through them to know that they have their salvation. So again its not faith plus works but just faith alone to know that god is working in them and acting according to his good purpose.

Now, I have to admit that Paul was a man of much greater faith than I, and I'm pretty certain you'll admit the same.  Why then, all the "fear and trembling"?  If all Paul needed was to believe, how could he fail to be saved?  Why should those whom he addresses fear and temble as well.

 

 

"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


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Faith of the chirstian is to

Faith of the chirstian is to be an idol worshiper, and to dwell in hell, a place of wrong thinking, to tremble in fear as you and ancient blind bible fools say. Jesus said this is the kingdom of god and heaven now, and to know my simple message is to be equal to me, and simply one with the eternal father Cosmos. In this sense we are saved to know we too are eternal. Yeah atheist Jesus saves, while the Xain jesus blinds.

Repent you heathen, walking dead, lost Christian hypocrites! No idols, no Master.

         LOL, to ya, and good luck .... asap do your 40 days alone ....


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
 Cali_Atheist wrote:My

 

Cali_Atheist wrote:
My question has always been how do people who have never heard of jesus attain salvation. It doesn't matter, works or faith, if you were born Apache in North America in 428 CE there's no way you knew jesus ever existed until we white men brought our superstitious nonsense with us. So there has to be a third way right? If there isn't then based on common human concept of fairness the point is moot. Of course no one ever said bible/quran/torah god was fair by human standards.

The common rejection to the question is that all who lived without hearing the good news (if you can call it that) are judged accordingly to their actions or heart (take your pick). Soooooooooo if you reject the idea of a god or choose the wrong one then ticket straight to hell, but if you don't know there's still a chance. Does this make sense to anyone else?

Sure.  I addressed this issue somewhat in posts 49, 51, 53 and 60.

 

 

"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


DeLgAdO
Theist
Posts: 46
Joined: 2008-09-05
User is offlineOffline
well remember if god had not

 

totus_tuus wrote:

 

Now, I have to admit that Paul was a man of much greater faith than I, and I'm pretty certain you'll admit the same.  Why then, all the "fear and trembling"?  If all Paul needed was to believe, how could he fail to be saved?  Why should those whom he addresses fear and temble as well.

 

 

well remember if god had not acted on paul at that crossroad nothing would have changed him and he would still be an unbeliever. And pauls letter were written to believers, not unbelievers, unbelievers would have tossed his letters aside.

A Biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin, and fearing His judgment on sin – even in the life of a believer. Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents prevented, hopefully, some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore, seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.
 

Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” Until we understand who God is, and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is – that He is holy, just, and righteous. Deuteronomy 10:12,20-21 records, "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen." The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and yes, loving Him.
 

 

i am theist and i dont know how to put it under my name Laughing out loud


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Cali_Athiest2 wrote:My

Cali_Athiest2 wrote:

My question has always been how do people who have never heard of jesus attain salvation. It doesn't matter, works or faith, if you were born Apache in North America in 428 CE there's no way you knew jesus ever existed until we white men brought our superstitious nonsense with us. So there has to be a third way right? If there isn't then based on common human concept of fairness the point is moot. Of course no one ever said bible/quran/torah god was fair by human standards.

The common rejection to the question is that all who lived without hearing the good news (if you can call it that) are judged accordingly to their actions or heart (take your pick). Soooooooooo if you reject the idea of a god or choose the wrong one then ticket straight to hell, but if you don't know there's still a chance. Does this make sense to anyone else?

 

Were that true, Evangelists and Missionaries would be supremely evil people.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


Cali_Athiest2
Cali_Athiest2's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: 2008-02-07
User is offlineOffline
Eloise wrote:Wraith, I can

Eloise wrote:

Wraith, I can barely believe you honestly want to subject yourself to hearing the many wierd wild and wacky justifiations for one, or the other, (or the "yet another&quotEye-wink tenet of 'faith v works' in Christianity. It's a minefield, I'm not envying you, that's for sure.

 So is it faith or is it works that gets you the gold?

Actually the question is unanswerable because it presupposes literal understanding of christian-specific Faith and Good Works the likes of which are only metaphorically defined in the book.  

If you read the book it becomes pretty clear that both Faith and Good Works are part of a whole humanism advocated by Jesus so in separation they probably don't mean anything much at all. In fact one paragraph quite literally states that neither exist without the other.

Well from what I understand the NT said for a man to sell all he owns and give to the poor to attain eternal life so I guess this might count as both?

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


Eloise
Theist
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1804
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
Cali_Athiest2 wrote:Eloise

Cali_Athiest2 wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Wraith, I can barely believe you honestly want to subject yourself to hearing the many wierd wild and wacky justifiations for one, or the other, (or the "yet another&quotEye-wink tenet of 'faith v works' in Christianity. It's a minefield, I'm not envying you, that's for sure.

 So is it faith or is it works that gets you the gold?

Actually the question is unanswerable because it presupposes literal understanding of christian-specific Faith and Good Works the likes of which are only metaphorically defined in the book.  

If you read the book it becomes pretty clear that both Faith and Good Works are part of a whole humanism advocated by Jesus so in separation they probably don't mean anything much at all. In fact one paragraph quite literally states that neither exist without the other.

Well from what I understand the NT said for a man to sell all he owns and give to the poor to attain eternal life so I guess this might count as both?

I think it does. This is one of the most profound statements of all IMO, attributed to Jesus, in the bible stories and sadly also the same one most neglected by modern christianity.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
I think it is more about the

I think it is about the early intuitive creative realization of that human word ETERNAL, as now we have science .... some pretty cool ancestors , thanks to the thinking ....

   That reply was to cali , and yeah Eloise , if we are individually caught up in possessions as in daily life, we are but hungry wild animals ....  

  Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB3NsCQoBgY&feature=related

  


Eloise
Theist
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1804
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
DeLgAdO wrote:It has to be

DeLgAdO wrote:

It has to be faith alone, isaiah says in 64:6 how can we be saved if all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before god?

not everyone who says to me lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he does the will of my father who is in heaven (works salvation is blasphemy, he's saying that those who do believe WILL do the will of the father, not believe and say ok now i have to this or that to be saved). Many on that day will say to me lord lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demon and perform many miracles? then i will declare to them, i never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness.

- Matthew 21-23

he said depart from me because they trusted in their works in gods name, a genuine christian has no arguement before god like in verse 22, he cant do anything to be saved except believe. And even then the only reason he has faith is because god granted him the power to believe. If a man has faith then he will repent. But that faith alone was followed by repentence. And repentance is a result of faith.

 

jews and muslims, mormons, JW, catholics, go by faith and works, true biblical christianity is by faith alone. I dont trust in my works, i look onto christ and him alone. Only his throught righteousness can i be saved, not my own, i have no merit whatsoever.

 

Ok, firstly Delgado, that is Matthew 7, not 22 or 23, and secondly it clearly says "but the one who does the will" etc... enters heaven

Third, I don't see a reference to any passage in your holy book supporting your assertion that belief defaults one's actions into concordance with God's will, are you going to back it with some form of evidence or scripture at all or do you just expect us to take your word for it?

Matthew 7 is basically the same story as Luke 6, and without engaging the theo-political fiddle faddle of whether they are intended to be an account of the same event, (who cares, they follow the same pattern and say the same things and they're both canonical according to your religion), if you refer to Luke 6 there is even more of Jesus urging his followers to 'do' and not just believe. According to Luke these two gospel sermons are in some sense a list of things Jesus would have you do (there's that word again) for salvation - it that list goes something like this:

1. Observe the Laws of Moses to extremes (it appears to me that the suggestion here is to discipline the mind as well as the body in accordance with the commandments).

2. Turn the other Cheek, be forgiving, patient and loving.

3. Be charitable and humble (where humility includes to avoid being flashy or attention seeking with your piety)

4. Shun stress by:

4a. Not passing judgement on others

4b. Not giving your best to anyone unable to appreciate it

4c. Trusting that your needs will be filled

5. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

6. Know what is good by what it produces

 

This list is fairly clearly a mixed bag of faith and works and in Luke 6 Jesus concludes this list with the words: 46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?

So, come again, how does the bible say that what you do does not matter?

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
There is no way way out ....

There is no way out .... welcome to life .... this is not a gift ....


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Eloise wrote:DeLgAdO

Eloise wrote:

DeLgAdO wrote:

It has to be faith alone, isaiah says in 64:6 how can we be saved if all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before god?

not everyone who says to me lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he does the will of my father who is in heaven (works salvation is blasphemy, he's saying that those who do believe WILL do the will of the father, not believe and say ok now i have to this or that to be saved). Many on that day will say to me lord lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demon and perform many miracles? then i will declare to them, i never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness.

- Matthew 21-23

he said depart from me because they trusted in their works in gods name, a genuine christian has no arguement before god like in verse 22, he cant do anything to be saved except believe. And even then the only reason he has faith is because god granted him the power to believe. If a man has faith then he will repent. But that faith alone was followed by repentence. And repentance is a result of faith.

 

jews and muslims, mormons, JW, catholics, go by faith and works, true biblical christianity is by faith alone. I dont trust in my works, i look onto christ and him alone. Only his throught righteousness can i be saved, not my own, i have no merit whatsoever.

 

Ok, firstly Delgado, that is Matthew 7, not 22 or 23, and secondly it clearly says "but the one who does the will" etc... enters heaven

Third, I don't see a reference to any passage in your holy book supporting your assertion that belief defaults one's actions into concordance with God's will, are you going to back it with some form of evidence or scripture at all or do you just expect us to take your word for it?

Matthew 7 is basically the same story as Luke 6, and without engaging the theo-political fiddle faddle of whether they are intended to be an account of the same event, (who cares, they follow the same pattern and say the same things and they're both canonical according to your religion), if you refer to Luke 6 there is even more of Jesus urging his followers to 'do' and not just believe. According to Luke these two gospel sermons are in some sense a list of things Jesus would have you do (there's that word again) for salvation - it that list goes something like this:

1. Observe the Laws of Moses to extremes (it appears to me that the suggestion here is to discipline the mind as well as the body in accordance with the commandments).

2. Turn the other Cheek, be forgiving, patient and loving.

3. Be charitable and humble (where humility includes to avoid being flashy or attention seeking with your piety)

4. Shun stress by:

4a. Not passing judgement on others

4b. Not giving your best to anyone unable to appreciate it

4c. Trusting that your needs will be filled

5. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

6. Know what is good by what it produces

 

This list is fairly clearly a mixed bag of faith and works and in Luke 6 Jesus concludes this list with the words: 46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?

So, come again, how does the bible say that what you do does not matter?

That's where Christianity stops and Paulism takes over.

"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


spumoni
Theist
spumoni's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Faith and works

This is an interesting question for an atheist website.  The problem with conversations like this is that it fails to take into account the context of words used in the Bible as if it was all constructed in one place and time by one individual or something.  Faith and works is used in different ways by different authors depending on the context of their letter, audience etc.  Paul uses faith and works in a very pre-christian view ie. Paul emphasizes the necessity of faith without works in its ability to bring one to salvation.  No one can earn their way to deserving God's grace ie. unmerited favor.  Therefore, works cannot ever earn or contribute to someones salvation.  Now in letters like James where we see "faith without works is dead"  he is addressing post-christian faith.  This is the type of faith that is exhibited by those who have truly confessed Christ.  The concern is that those who make a confession in fact back that confession up with their actions.  Otherwise, the validity of such a confession is thereby suspect.  The proof is in the pudding in a sense.  Faith and its cognates is tied to ideas of "turning away", trust, God's grace etc. so the word itself encapsulates many nuances that are essential in the salvific process.  The point should be noted that Catholics view this differently.  They would argue works are necessary and contribute to our faith whereas the Reformation and protestants in general see salvation by faith through grace as the essence of the Gospel.  The debate rests in Protestants viewing Scripture as only authoritative whereas Catholics would view church tradition on an equal par with Scripture.