Do you want to see some theological white-washing (postmodern approaches to the Bible) of important issues facing the Church… that is, salvation through Christ Jesus… here Josh C. posted the following:
If faith without works is dead, and if works are acknowledged as a necessary result of faith, then quite frankly, what does it matter when God “justifies” us? This to me seems a matter of pure theory, in some ways unknowable by human beings. And yet it has divided masses of Christians who could otherwise be joining hand in hand to obey Jesus’ commandments in a world that needs such things. Real Christians have been stymied in the doing of real works for the sake of purely abstract mental constructs of which no man will ever have full knowledge. I find this an insult to the very spirit of Christianity. Jesus’ clear and unavoidable command of obedience, and his clear and unavoidable wish and prayer for unity, has been disavowed in favor of defeating other Christians on the battlefield of metaphysical abstractions! Nonsense.
I responded simply by saying: ‘I hope your OP was not about Catholic doctrine compared to Protestant.”
Stephen C. commented later by noting that,
Fighting 16th century debates that no one cares about any more is an utter waste of time and a slanderous representation of our Lord and his intents for his church and its testimony in the world.
To which Josh C. thumbed up (Facebook ya’ know). Here I responded with the following:
Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross was to merely remove Adam’s sin from us. And now they work towards building up their salvation through good works (differing levels of heaven for LDS or an opportunity to serve on a new earth for J-Dubs). Apologists and theologians rightly show that this is a misrepresentation of salvation in the Scriptures. So while I will invite these theological and dangerous cults into my home and discuss these issues… I cannot point out that infant Baptism in the Catholic Church removes Adam’s original sin and now Catholics get the opportunity to work towards lessening of time in Purgatory? That is an unimportant theological issue?
Josh clarifies a bit…
I think there are people on all sides who get it wrong. The point isn’t “there aren’t issues.” The point is people claiming to know with absolute certainty what I do not believe, even with the Bible, they can know. Even worse, and my main point, is the using of these debate points to divide people and break fellowship.
I understand about not dividing in issues of policy, politics, and relations. I also understand there are “Evangelical Catholics” who reject Mariology and the like. Fine. I treat everyone as individuals.
BUT, as an organisation, if a person were to believe doctrine as taught by the Roman Catholic Faith, or Eastern Orthodoxy… I would be as adamant as the Reformers that this doctrine is in the spirit of anti-Christ, as, it opposes the finished work of Calvary.
Grace is another word for salvation and our status in sight of God being clothed with Jesus righteousness. Mary is not full of grace to be able to share with sinners. That is Christ’s (God’s) position alone to fill.
Am I suppose to not be able to express what the Bible teaches? Or how Jerome in the Latin Vulgate mistranslated a word and a pillar of Catholic doctrine is build on that false edifice (that the Greek corrects).
If that truth[s] divide, then so be it, but I am still close to my wife’s family ~ and her uncle, Father Joe, still asks me to convert at every family gathering (of which my wife is the oldest of about 44 grandkids/great-grandkids).
But on essential doctrine I do not budge. Sorry.
In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love