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Old 04-20-2005, 08:53 AM   #16
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Can somebody define 'works'? What exactly is meant when you say 'works'?
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
Can somebody define 'works'? What exactly is meant when you say 'works'?
Just stuff you do. Like, some people might believe that if you're a good person and give lots of money to the church and volunteer someplace once a month, you get to go to Heaven. As a Calvinist Protestant, I believe in total depravity meaning that I cannot earn my own way into Heaven. It kinda defeats the purpose of Christ's existence and teachings if anyone could do a few good deeds and go to Heaven, right? Protestants believe that through accepting God's Grace via Jesus Christ we are saved.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:37 AM   #18
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That's a good question namkcuR. Works simply means things that you do to get to heaven, or to earn your way into heaven. The Bible is very clear that you can't do anything to earn your way to heaven, except accept Christ as God's son who died for our sins, was resurrected three days later, therefore conquering sin and death. By accepting this sacrifice, and by accepting him as Lord of your life and asking for forgiveness of your sins against God through him, you get into heaven. That's it.

The verse that confuses people about this is James 2:14-18, and then 24,26 which, in the New International Version of the Bible, states:

Faith and Deeds
***"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If 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? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But 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.

He goes on to say in verse 24: "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."
And then his point becomes clearer in verse 26: "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

Many people, (including Catholics and Mormons) assume this means that you must have faith AND good works for salvation, which means being saved from your sins because the wages of sin is death. If you read the passage in its context and entirety, it's saying that faith without works, really isn't a strong faith. Works are a form of evidence of a saving faith. However, the truth is faith in Christ alone is what saves us —*not works. That's in fact why Christ came and died for our sins — because there is nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven. In Old Testament times, people would sacrifice a "spotless lamb" to be cleansed of their sins. Christ came as the "spotless lamb" by living the perfect life in God's eyes — a life none of us can live because we're merely human — and died in our place. He paid the penalty of sin for us, and all we have to do is accept the sacrifice he made, who he is and hand our lives over to him, and then we can go before God and be seen as spotless ourselves once we seek forgiveness and repent.

One thing to keep in mind as you study the Bible, is to see what the Bible as a whole says about a particular topic, not just one verse. Also, it's important to know the context of the verse as it relates to the entire passage, time period and original audience of the letter or book.

There are numerous verses that state it is by faith alone that we are saved. Here are a few.

Galatians 3:11 says "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, 'The righteous will live by faith.'

Ephesians 2:8 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God"

John 3:36 says "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

Titus 3:5 says "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy."

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

And 1 John 5:11-13 says "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 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 know this is incredibly long, but hopefully it helps you understand the context of it all.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:39 AM   #19
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(or just read LivLuvAndBootlegMusic's nice, short, to-the-point post )
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:40 AM   #20
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The pastor with whom I worked during my confirmation put it like this: It is by faith that you're saved (and by faith alone), but you should do good works as a sign of thanksgiving to God for that salvation. You should be kind to others, help the poor, etc. because it's a sign of how the salvation you've been given works in your life--that it helps to strengthen you to love others, work for peace and justice, etc. And the point of that is not to "work" your way into heaven, because you can't, but to show that you have faith and to thank God for what God has done in your life.

I think that's a pretty good way to look at it.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:55 AM   #21
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I like that, Pax. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:10 PM   #22
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Well said, Pax. As Grace has been extended to us, so shall we extend grace to others.
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:21 PM   #23
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These days I'd be careful of both.
What is the scripture..."Go into your closet and pray"
I think it's safer in your "closet" than most churches these days.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:28 PM   #24
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Are churches dangerous in Canada???
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:49 PM   #25
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Originally posted by nickypiemcg
I don't know much but I think one of the main ones is that protestants believe that only god can forgive your sins whereas catholics believe that a priest can.
I don't know much either, but I know this isn't true. According to Catholic doctrine it is the Holy Spirit, acting through the priest, which forgives sins. The sacrament (Confession) is essentially based on Catholic interpretation of the 'Pentecost' narrative in the gospel of John. (Obviously, this interpretation in turn presumes acceptance of other Catholic interpretations regarding the apostles as symbolic predecessors of the priesthood.)
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:35 PM   #26
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Re: Question About Christianity...

Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
Forgive my ignorance, but I'm looking for some insight about what the most major/fundemental differences between Protestants and Catholics is...anyone?
Another difference is that Catholics claim a direct link to the apostles to the modern-day Church.

I doubt the pomp, ritual, pontification, ceremonies, robes, costumes, Michelango-frescoes and money of the Vatican (supposedly worth $4B ?) is really what Jesus had in mind when he was helping the poor, forgiving criminals and working for the downtrodden of humanity though.
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:42 PM   #27
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The differences are mostly in rhetoric and hegemony. That is, which old, arrogant clerics you will let control you and guilt you into writing them checks.

In practice, they are mostly the same. "Faith vs. good works" is mostly an anachronism, because Catholics will argue that both are needed to get to Heaven, while Protestants will argue that faith/"grace" gets you into Heaven, but will point fingers at your works and argue that you don't have enough "faith" if you don't do exactly what they tell you to do.

Same scam, different rules.

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Old 04-20-2005, 09:01 PM   #28
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Re: Re: Question About Christianity...

Quote:
Originally posted by cardosino

I doubt the pomp, ritual, pontification, ceremonies, robes, costumes, Michelango-frescoes and money of the Vatican (supposedly worth $4B ?) is really what Jesus had in mind when he was helping the poor, forgiving criminals and working for the downtrodden of humanity though.
I think this can be said about most organized religion these days. If it's the Catholic church, Protestant church, Christian Coalition, Trinity Broadcast Network, etc.

Don't get me wrong there are some churches that haven't kicked God out completely, but the Protestant church is just as bad. Every church competing for numbers with lavish building programs, commericals, some that are so large they have running fast food restaurants in them none of this speaks to me of the teachings of Christ. I can't remember the last church I've stepped in and felt God was still residing there, God may have resided in members but not the church as a whole. It's been a long time.

But to blame just the Catholic church for this I think is turning a blind eye. I've belonged to four different protestant denominations growing up.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:13 PM   #29
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Re: Re: Re: Question About Christianity...

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Originally posted by Do Miss America


I think this can be said about most organized religion these days. If it's the Catholic church, Protestant church, Christian Coalition, Trinity Broadcast Network, etc.

Don't get me wrong there are some churches that haven't kicked God out completely, but the Protestant church is just as bad. Every church competing for numbers with lavish building programs, commericals, some that are so large they have running fast food restaurants in them none of this speaks to me of the teachings of Christ. I can't remember the last church I've stepped in and felt God was still residing there, God may have resided in members but not the church as a whole. It's been a long time.

But to blame just the Catholic church for this I think is turning a blind eye. I've belonged to four different protestant denominations growing up.
But it's only the Catholic church which lays claim to apostolic succession) i.e, the part of my post you snipped in order to take the 2nd part out of context) and last I checked there was no protestant church with it's own COUNTRY !

Ex-Catholic here by the way
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:42 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Are churches dangerous in Canada???
NBC.. always a man of confrontation.
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