Can Catholics Believe in Karma?

Hans Memling, The Last Judgment (1473)
Hans Memling, The Last Judgment (1473)

Being that I’m currently working on a college campus, I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that someone would ask whether or not a Catholic can believe in “karma.” After all, it’s a popular (but often misunderstood) concept, seemingly especially among the young. For some people, they mean nothing more by the term than that “good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people.” But the actual doctrine of karma is bit more nuanced than, say, My Name is Earl. So here’s how Yuvraj Krishan describes it in his book The Doctrine of Karma: Its Origin and Development in Brāhmaṇical, Buddhist, and Jaina Traditions:

There are three essential features of the doctrine of karma:

(i) It is an ethical or moral law: good karmas (punya, sukrta) produce happiness (sukha), and evil karmas (pãpa, duṣkṛta) produce sufferings, duḥkha.

(ii) It is a law of moral responsibility in the soul of ãtmã of a person as the doer of an act is responsible for bearing the consequences of that act. Thus, it is a law of retributive justice.

(iii) Retributive justice is dispensed through punarjanma, rebirth of soul or ãtmã of the doer. In fact rebirth in higher or lower forms of existence, men, animals and plants, etc., and suffering and inequality of beings in those forms is also retributive in character.

What does karma get right? Well, each of the three “essential features” gets at a real truth:

(i) We are happiest, in the long term, when we live morally, and we are unhappiest, in the long term, when we live immorally.

(ii) In justice, good deeds deserve reward and wicked deeds deserve punishment.

(iii) These demands of justice cannot end with our earthly lives: there are too many counterexamples of people who “got away with it,” who did wicked deeds and never saw the horrible consequences. On the other hand, what about all of those innocent people who suffered unjustly and who were never vindicated?

All of this is captured succinctly in St. Paul’s description of the Last Judgment,

For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

(Ironically, this is from Romans 2:6-11, a Letter often understood by Protestants to say that God does show partiality between those He arbitrarily declared elect and those He arbitrarily declared reprobate, and that works don’t matter in salvation).

So what does karma get wrong? Yuvraj Krishan describes karma as “the most serious challenge to the concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-pervasive Creator and Governor.” Why? Because karma is understood as a sort of mechanical law of the universe, like gravity, operating apart from God. It’s a wholly impersonal force.

As Christians, we realize that “cosmic justice” is ultimately Divine Justice, that it is Jesus Christ who will come to judge the Living and the Dead. This also gets to the deeper and more incredible difference. Karmic justice is cold and impersonal justice. But because Divine justice is personal, it’s also animated by Divine mercy and charity.

Sometimes this is misunderstood as a pitting of God’s mercy against His justice. That’s a mistake, and makes God a sort of moody, imperfect being, rather than the perfect and unchanging God of the Universe. So how can God be both just and merciful?

St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) explored this in his Proslogium, and came to this basic conclusion. Justice is, in the words of Cicero, giving to each their due, or what is owed to them by nature. So it’s just (in a fairly obvious way, I think) how it would be just to punish the wicked. But how can it be just for God to spare the wicked? Because mercy is acting in accordance with God’s own nature. In other words, God’s mercy is His justice to Himself. Mercy is what is due to His all-good nature, and so it’s God’s justice to Himself to be merciful. Here’s how Anselm puts it:

God, in sparing the wicked, is just, according to his own nature because he does what is consistent with his goodness; but he is not just, according to our nature, because he does not inflict the punishment deserved.

BUT it is also just that you should punish the wicked. For what is more just than that the good should receive goods, and the evil, evils? How, then, is it just that you should punish the wicked, and, at the same time, spare the wicked? Or, in one way, do you justly punish, and, in another, justly spare them? For, when you punish the wicked, it is just, because it is consistent with their deserts; and when, on the other hand, you sparest the wicked, it is just, not because it is compatible with their deserts, but because it is compatible with your goodness.

For, in sparing the wicked, you are as just, according to your nature, but not according to ours, as you are compassionate, according to our nature, and not according to yours; seeing that, as in saving us, whom it would be just for you to destroy, you are compassionate, not because you feel an affection (affectum), but because we feel the effect (effectum); so you are just, not because you requite us as we deserve, but because you do that which becomes you as the supremely good Being. In this way, therefore, without contradiction you do justly punish and justly spare.

So the Christian revelation is better than karma, because it’s personal, and thus, there’s room for Divine mercy and for human repentance. In the Face of Jesus Christ, the merciful Judge of the living and the dead, we see the fulfillment of everything karma longs for… and more.

100 Comments

  1. I still remember stumbling on a webpage where a Hindu cited the story of the man born blind as an example of karma.

    Carefully omitting the line about how no one sinned, that he should be born blind.

  2. In the most recent episode of “Blue Bloods,” a politician tries to convince the police commissioner to side with her on a particular issue. She maintained that karma was going to “get him” if he chose to oppose this issue. His response: “I’m Catholic. We don’t believe in karma.” A wonderful reply.

  3. @Peter

    Since the Greeks had significant commerce with Ancient India, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if notions about Karma played some part in influencing the Greek notion of Fate.

    1. Eoin,

      One interesting proof of the intermingling of cultures between east and west, and particularly between Greece and the orient, is found in Buddhist statuary. If you ever noticed statues of Buddha, almost all of them depict him with curly hair. Yet, very few Asian persons naturally have curly hair, so why depict Buddha with it when making statues of him? Very odd.

      The answer to this mystery involves Alexander the Great. When he began conquering the Eastern kingdoms he brought with him statues of the Greek God Apollo. And the conquered peoples noticed the quality and skill inherent in these sculptures, and began to learn how to carve them for their own religious images and purposes. So, even as Apollo had curly hair, they included this small ornamental detail on their own particular statues when they began to sculpt images of Buddha. Maybe this solved a practical problem of needing choose a particular hair style for every image carved, and also considering that hair is actually quite difficult to sculpt? It was, so-to-say, an ‘easy way out’…ie. just give them all a ‘perm’. But, even as far away as Japan can be found such statues of Buddha with curly hair. All thanks to Alexander the Great.

  4. The beauty of the Christian faith is that God’s justice and mercy are, as St. Paul says in Rom.3:21-26, revealed and actualized simultaneously in the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross. In fact, his mercy is made available to us only by virtue of the fact that the justice of God’s commands is upheld by Jesus’ self-sacrifice. Only this authentic mercy is effective mercy. It is available to me only as I agree with Jesus’ upholding of God’s law. That agreement will, at some point, require that I identify with Jesus on the Cross by suffering with him to uphold God’s just judgments, starting with his judgments of my own actions.

    1. K: The beauty of the Christian faith is that God’s justice and mercy are, as St. Paul says in Rom 3:21-26, revealed and actualized simultaneously in the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross.

      B: Yes, that is the beauty of the ***Christian*** faith. It is NOT the beauty of the Catholic faith.

      K: In fact, his mercy is made available to us only by virtue of the fact that the justice of God’s commands is upheld by Jesus’ self-sacrifice….It is available to me only as I agree with Jesus’ upholding of God’s law.

      B: While you are correct to say that Jesus came to fulfill God’s law perfectly (in our room and stead)…. and took the infinite penalty of our non-compliance WITH that law in a finite period of time on the cross, all of which we must agree to…….you are, nevertheless, talking out of both sides of your mouth. For the RCC teaches that after Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, it is now YOUR responsibility to fulfill the law perfectly as well (!)… (CCC 2068). Since no Catholic, past or present, has ever kept the law perfectly, you may be religious my dear, but you are 100% lost if you do not wake up out of your spiritual coma before the Grim Reaper arrives (James 2:10).
      Jesus will not play second fiddle to your imperfect endeavors at trying to keep the law ***FOR SALVATION!*** The law is good, yes (Romans 7:12; 1 Tim 8) but God, knowing that we are weak, has ELIMINATED the law as the means for our justification (Acts 13:39), and thus, if you trust in your vain attempts at keeping it, you are headed for hell (Gal 3:10), and like the ever so nice 5 foolish virgins of Matt 25, the door will be shut to you also.
      What you fail most miserably to understand is that Jesus is the “END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVES” (Romans 10:4). I suggest memorizing that verse to ponder its implications. Experience has shown that Catholics DO NOT understand what this means, and your words above confirm it by your utter failure to take into consideration the whole of Catholic teaching which NULLIFIES your pious compliments to Jesus upholding the law. Again, kisses to the Lord are NULLIFIED if you try to keep the law ALSO!
      When we cease from trusting in our works (Heb 4:10), and trust in the “good works” of Christ ALONE (and I do mean, ALONE!), then we have peace with God. True Christians… (not Catholics) wish to be found “NOT having a righteousness of our own, which is from [trying to keep] the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ” (Phil 3:9). This righteousness (this “right-doing”) of the Savior, is imputed to us (Romans 4:6, 11) allowing us to be found “IN HIM” (stated over 25 times). True Christians… (not Catholics) have the right to then call him, “The Lord our Righteousness” (Jer 23:6) and Heaven’s gate will be opened.

      1. BB,
        “It is NOT the beauty of the Catholic faith” = unsubstantiated and incorrect.
        “For the RCC teaches that after Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, it is now YOUR responsibility to fulfill the law perfectly as well (!)… (CCC 2068)” = incorrect again. CCC 2068 says: “The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: “The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments”, which is completely Biblical (see Matthew 19:16-17). Since there is no mention here of the need to “fulfill the law perfectly as well”, the rest of your post is a non sequitur.
        Incidentally, the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids, as well as the following Parable of the Talents, rebukes the concept of Sola Fidae. The 5 bridesmaids who took “flasks of oil with their lamps” prepared for the incoming arrival of the groom (i.e, did something), the same way the men who received the 5 and the 2 talents used them to the advancing of the Kingdom. The Judgment of the Nations, which concludes Matthew 25, says it best: “Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

        1. LLC: CCC 2068 says: “The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians… so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments”, which is completely Biblical (see Matthew 19:16-17).

          BB: Oh boy, do YOU need to take a wake-up pill. And a voice from the crowd asks, “Ummm…sir…have you yourself ever kept all the commandments perfectly, which your church obliges you to follow for salvation?”
          The answer of course is no, neither has anyone on earth ever done so since the beginning of time. That being so, your idiotic interpretation that Jesus is telling someone to keep the commandments to ACHIEVE salvation, is FALSE. The Lord puts these kinds of things in Scripture for people like you who are ready to look only on the surface and go no further. It takes the Spirit to open the eyes of the blind (Luke 24:45) and it is clear that he has decided to keep yours CLOSED. I will not go into a sermon on Matt 19. Suffice to say, living in the digital age, you can find 100 commentaries in the blink of an eye, and NONE of them will agree with Trent’s bombastic notion that Matt 19 is teaching us to keep the commandments for salvation. The Bible itself of course refutes you….because you are not comparing Scripture with Scripture, which is why you err (1 Cor 2:13).
          Moreover, it is inexcusable for you to make a retort to me WITHOUT referring to our being told that the law has been ELIMINATED for our justification, and that those who attempt to keep the law, but fail in even ONE POINT, are cursed! (Gal 3:10, James 2:10). No doubt, it hurts your brain too much to even THINK that you might be cursed, but I can assure you, you ARE.
          The fact of the matter is, Catholicism has no choice but to ADMIT that the law of Moses has been pushed aside for the purposes of salvation because THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS whether you like it or not! (Acts 13:39). But then they have the gall to reinstate ANOTHER law to take it’s place! Namely, the “sacraments of the NEW LAW” (CCC 1129). NO WAY.
          The main article advises us that Catholics do not believe in karma.
          Who cares!
          If the Lord is going to eliminate the greatest law system ever given to man as a means to merit heaven, it is unthinkable he would replace it with some LESSER law, like Roman Catholicism, to take its place. Catholics are commanded to keep the old law, while simultaneously trying to keep the new law, which is a deadly mixture of “God’s law and grace” per CCC 16, and the Bible will have none of it. The RC gospel is JUST AS BAD, if not worse, then believing in karma.

          1. BB,
            Again, since you incorrectly quoted the Catechism (no mention of perfection in the CCC 2068 section), any subsequent argument from your posts is inconsequential.

          2. LLC: since you incorrectly quoted the Catechism (no mention of perfection in the CCC 2068), any subsequent argument from your posts is inconsequential.

            B: First of all, I did not QUOTE the catechism. I stated that a perfect obedience was ***implied*** by 2068. This implication results from their command that we are “obligated” and “bound” to keep the 10 commandments. With no qualifiers for an “imperfect” obedience being allowed, one can only conclude that a perfect, lock-step adherence is required. If the editors of the catechism had the mind of Christ… (which they didn’t) an addendum to the idea of “doing less than what the law demands” would have been included in their discussion just as James 2:10 told us what doing less of what the law commands results in. But they did not, and thus, my objection stands. We will judge the RCC by her own words, and her own words speak…louder than words! Besides, what makes your interpretation of the catechism better than mine?

            Apparently, you don’t seem to realize that the RC gospel gets worse and worse every time you look at it. Even if we were to suppose that the RCC is implying that an imperfect obedience is sufficient for salvation, the fact remains that the Scriptures utterly reject such a concept! I stated earlier that Jesus will not save anyone who does not put their entire trust in him alone. The moment you begin to trust in your imperfect obedience as a means to gain God’s favor, you are believing “another gospel” per 2 Cor 11:4. That’s why trusting in ANOTHER’S righteousness; namely the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, is so crucial (Romans 4:6, 11; 5:19, Phil 3:9).
            At the end of the day, Paul told us in Phil 3:8 that the salvific worth of all his accomplishments were “rubbish” (cf. Isa 64:6), so he had no choice but to trust in “another’s righteousness” in Phil 3:9. Hence he concluded in Phil 3:12 an imperfect righteousness would NOT suffice. Catholicism, on the other hand, offers to the world the polar OPPOSITE of Paul’s gospel; namely, erroneously asserting that our accomplishments have salvific worth (CCC 16, 1823), and the preposterous idea of some sort of metaphysical righteousness being infused into our being via the sacraments (albeit imperfect according to you) will be just fine to present before a thrice holy God on Judgment Day.

            Don’t look in myyyyyy direction on that fatal day and say I didn’t warn you.

          3. BB,
            “This implication results from their command that we are “obligated” and “bound” to keep the 10 commandments” = the implication doesn’t follow. Being obliged to observe, or being bound to, a set of rules doesn’t automatic imply that the above-mentioned rules will be always followed perfectly. Similarly, a driver is obligated to follow the traffic law, but infractions do occur.

      2. Barry said, above:

        “Jesus will not play second fiddle to your imperfect endeavors at trying to keep the law ***FOR SALVATION!*** The law is good, yes (Romans 7:12; 1 Tim 8) but God, knowing that we are weak, has ELIMINATED the law as the means for our justification (Acts 13:39), and thus, if you trust in your vain attempts at keeping it, you are headed for hell”.

        Jesus, in His gospel, explicitly taught on the necessity of keeping the 10 commandments :

        “And behold one came and said to him: Good master, WHAT GOOD SHALL I DO that I may have LIFE EVERLASTING? [17] Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But IF THOU WILT ENTER LIFE, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. [18] He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [20] The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me?[21] Jesus saith to him: IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.” (Matt. 19:16)

        Now, who should a person believe to know more about how to attain ‘eternal life’, the words of Barry or the words of Jesus? Barry’s error is confusing the ‘Ten Commandments’ that Jesus refers to above, with the Judaic laws and rituals practiced and enforced by the Pharisees, and which was addressed at the 1st Council of Jerusalem.

        Normally, a Christian who had ‘faith’ in Jesus would actually value what He taught with His own mouth…considering that Jesus Himself said:

        “Amen, amen I say to you: If any man KEEP MY WORD, he shall not see death for ever.” (John 8:51)

        And,

        “Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love me, he will KEEP MY WORD, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. [24] He that loveth me not, KEEPETH NOT my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; BUT THE FATHER’S who sent me.” (John 14:23)

        And, just as a note, Jesus taught many things to His disciples that they were T KEEP and put into practice. And, moreover, this is why it took Him about 2 1/2 years to teach them, both by His voice and by His example. So, to “KEEP HIS WORD” is equivalent to knowing and putting into practice everything He taught His disciples to do, regarding sacraments, charity to others, prayer, self sacrifice, watchfulness, patience with others, trust in our Father, mercy, etc… And it is the Church that teaches all these things to us, in what we call ‘catechism’. This fulfills what Jesus told His Apostles to do at the time of His ascension into Heaven, which was to ‘teach the world to put into practice all that he had taught them’, when He said:

        “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE all things whatsoever I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28:18)

        Again, who are we to listen to: Barry or Jesus?

        Not a hard question to answer.

        1. AWL: Jesus explicitly taught on the necessity of keeping the 10 commandments :

          “IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.” (Matt. 19:16)

          B: Lest you forget, the old covenant also required helping the poor. But…the old covenant has been eliminated for our…”PERFECTION”, per Acts 13:39. That being so, the RCC does not have any right to come along and tell us the above verse indicates that helping the poor is now required for salvation.
          Question: If God has vanquished the law of Moses (which included helping the poor) as a means of salvation, then on what basis can you say that the new covenant REQUIRES it for salvation?
          I won’t be holding my breath for you to answer that, lest I suffocate. We both know it will be disregarded like everything else I say. To your own destruction I’m afraid.

          AWL: Barry’s error is confusing the ‘Ten Commandments’ that Jesus refers to above, with the Judaic laws and rituals practiced and enforced by the Pharisees, and which was addressed at the 1st Council of Jerusalem.

          B: You are 100% mistaken.
          You of course refer to that same old tired argument that Catholics have pulled like a rabbit out of a hat; namely, that whenever we read of “works” or “works of the Law”, we are told that Paul must always be referring to the Law of Moses and all those rituals. THAT WAY, the RCC can make a distinction that good works “done in Christ” DOOOO retain a salvific efficacy. WRONG! This is a pious, but DEADLY error.
          Paul has gone on record using the word “law” to designate the Scriptures as a whole. For instance, he appeals to the law in 1 Cor 14:21, but he quotes Isaiah 28:11-12, which of course is NOT part of the Pentateuch. And in Rms 3:19, he describes his citations from the O.T. in verses 10-18 as “what the law says”. However, these verses are derived from the Psalms (5:9, 10:7, 14:1-3, 36:1, 53:1-3, 140:3…and Proverbs 1:16, and Isa 59:7-8) all of which categorically proves that the law cannot be restricted to the Pentateuch (!!!). Also, in Rms 3:21, he uses the word to refer to the entire O.T. by describing the whole of Scripture as, “the law and the prophets.” These facts wreak havoc with the RC claim that good works done under the new covenant ARE necessary for salvation.
          How?
          Rome is aware of Rms 11:6, that if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works. So the slithery, snake-ish RCC sneakily must search for a way in which good works CAN be meritorious without disrupting the principle of salvation by grace. As stated previously, the RCC has no choice but to admit the law of Moses has been abolished for salvation. But they opine (without a speck of proof) that good works done in faith by God’s grace, ARE salvific (CCC 1821). Hence, the con-game is to trick Catholics into thinking “Jewish law” every time we read Paul excluding “works of law”.
          And that is absolutely not true. Briefly, when Paul excludes works as the means of salvation, he excludes ALL good works, no matter WHAT kind they are, in OR out of God’s grace. I appeal to Romans 4 and the life of Abraham, who I will remind you, CLEARLY lived before “Jewish Law”. Thus, his justification cannot be said to exclude Jewish Law in the face of his good works– for there was no such thing at the time of his acquittal.

          AWL: just as a note, Jesus taught many things to His disciples that they were TO KEEP and put into practice

          B: You don’t say.
          But doing the things Christ asks us to “DO” does not vindicate your theory, for if Abe was not justified by his works, as Scripture unambiguously teaches, then he was not justified by what he “DID”. When Paul tells us that Abe was justified apart from his own good works, that is exactly what he means…end of story. Deal with it.
          And if HE can be justified without the law, which did not even exist at the time, then SO CAN WE!

          AWL: Again, who are we to listen to: Barry or Jesus? Not a hard question to answer.

          B: Obviously, my theology is in perfect harmony with the Lord’s, so it is futile of you to try and make us at odds with one another.

          1. Barry, re: your rebuttal on “IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.” (Matt. 19:16)

            Barry, please stop playing ignorant. You know that this saying was addressing particularly the man that Jesus was talking to personally at the time ( a personal call for this man to join Him), and was not mean’t as a general precept forevery Christian. And I’m sure you know the important part of Christ’s teaching here, which is His explicit teaching on the 10 Commandments:

            “But IF THOU WILT ENTER LIFE, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. [18] He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. [19] Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ”

            Really, you should forget your sophistry and just listen to Jesus when He teaches. This is what the Catholic Church does, and whereby it gets it’s teachings from. You should read the gospel even as an innocent child would read it, and not as a complicated, conniving, word twisting, non-understanding pharisee or Greek sophist might read it.

            This is what true faith is, to have an undivided heart and mind and to understand Jesus in all simplicity when He teaches us by His words and example in the Gospel.

            I pray that the Lord will give you this simplicity of heart and mind, both for your own benefit and those of others, also.

          2. And…I might stress to you the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. We all will be accountable for such sins at the judgement, as also we will be for this teaching of Jesus Christ:

            “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment.” [Matthew 12:36]

            So, you can’t speak idle words and then hide behind a general and novel and sophistical philosophy such as ‘sola fide’ … thinking that indeed you are really NOT going to be held accountable for every idle word on judgement day.

            And, if you think your “sophistical apologetics” are so great that you can bring Martin Luther and John Calvin as your witnesses against the words of Jesus Himself, then listen to what the Lord says about that:

            “He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN, the same shall judge him in the last day.” [John 12:48]

          3. But they opine (without a speck of proof) that good works done in faith by God’s grace, ARE salvific (CCC 1821).

            Without a speck of proof eh?

            Romans 8:1-13 (emph. mine):
            There is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh. For the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and of death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh; God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin, hath condemned sin in the flesh; That the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. For they that are according to the flesh, mind the things that are of the flesh; but they that are according to the spirit, mind the things that are of the spirit. For the wisdom of the flesh is death; but the wisdom of the spirit is life and peace. Because the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. And they who are in the flesh, cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead, because of sin; but the spirit liveth, because of justification. And if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, shall quicken also your mortal bodies, because of his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.

            St. Paul here explicitly says that Justification of the law is fullfilled by walking according to the Spirit. We interpret that to mean that good works done in Faith by God’s grace, ARE salvific. Salvific in the sense of maintaining and increasing Justification, this by the mercy of God (as explained in session 6 of the Council of Trent, Chapter X). I understand that you disagree with our interpretation of Romans 8, but it’s dishonest so say that there is no speck of proof.

          4. AF: “That the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. ” St. Paul here explicitly says that Justification of the law [the righteous requirement of the law] is fullfilled by walking according to the Spirit.

            B: It’s one thing to say that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us as we show an increasing pattern of “right doing” and a decreasing pattern of sin; (the Christian view); it is quite another to interject that the law has been given to us as a divinely given aid for the salvation of fallen human beings…(the Catholic view, per God saving us via a deadly witch’s brew of his “law AND grace”…CCC 16).
            Repeat: Under no circumstances whatsoever will Scripture support the ignominious notion of being saved by God’s law! Face it: This is the foundation you’re building upon, but it’s a woefully cracked foundation with the ulterior motive of sneaking in good works through the back door… “FOR” salvation. That being so, anything and everything else you say cannot and will not withstand the power of Holy Writ against you. The law demands perfection (“Be careful to obey ALL these words which I command you”, per Deut 12:28). It commands obedience, but lacks the power to bring about that obedience. That’s why we must trust exclusively in the “obedience of the One” per Romans 5:19, and not our own (Phil 3:9). Salvation is what Christ has done OUTSIDE of us (justification); not what the Holy Spirit does WITHIN us (sanctification).

            AF: We interpret [Rms 8:4] to mean that good works done in Faith by God’s grace, ARE salvific.

            B: If good works have the power to save, then Jesus certainly wasted **HIS** time coming to this earth, did he not?

            AF: Salvific in the sense of maintaining and increasing Justification, this by the mercy of God (as explained in session 6 of the Council of Trent, Chapter X).

            B: Justification cannot be “increased”. We read that God justifies the ungodly WITHOUT works (Rom 4:5) and thus, it is by faith alone.

            AF: I understand that you disagree with our interpretation of Romans 8, but it’s dishonest so say that there is no speck of proof.

            B: I stand by my insistence that the “salvific karma” you are hoping to receive in return for your good works will only result in a passport to hell….AND that there is no proof from the magisterium to back this up via Romans 8. Why? Because

            1) The Bible does not make any exceptions to the rule that we are not saved by works of righteousness (Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 3:25-28; 4:5-6, 11:6). Being saved “apart” from works of the law means just THAT; i.e., being saved “apart” from works of righteousness, means **ANY** works, of whatever sort they may be. Catholicism has the uncanny knack of anachronistically reading back into the Text a hideous distinction of good works of the law which they say are not salvific, and the good works of the new covenant, which they say, are. However, the Text says no such thing.

            2) Good works simply do NOT have the power to resolve our sin debt; this is the exclusive right of the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ. What you are proposing is putting that check you wrote to the Jerry Lewis Telethon, on the same level as the blood that dripped from Calvary’s cross. Like it or not, that is what logically follows from your thesis and we emphatically deny it. I think you do too [inwardly] but are so beholden to your religious upbringing, you can’t bring yourself to denounce it publicly.

            3) It is NOT dishonest of me to say that there is no proof that the RCC uses Romans 8:4 to prove good works done in God’s grace ARE salvific. Why?
            Because there is no proof they use Romans 8:4 to say what you say they do (!!!). If it were so, it would be in CCC 1821, or Trent’s decree on Justification. But it isn’t. Yes, the RCC teaches good works done in God’s grace are salvific (CCC 1821), but they do NOT use Romans 8:4 to prove it. More often than not, they use that old-standby, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat so now you merit eternal life”. What you have given us is your sacred opinion, for which we thank you, but until you can provide a document which uses Romans 8:4 in particular to prove your thesis, your accusation that I’m dishonest must be given the thumbs down.

            4) Trent says in chapter 11 of their decree on Justification, “Wherefore, no one ought to flatter himself up with faith alone, fancying that by faith alone he is made an heir, and will obtain the inheritance, even though he suffer not with Christ..”

            This business about “suffering with Christ” is of course a bid for the “karma” of good works coming back to you in the form of a passport to heaven. But if Abraham was not justified by HIS works, then neither are we. Simple.
            Trent absolutely and positively misrepresented the doctrine of faith alone, as if Luther was advocating that it existed in an air bubble with nothing to show for it. All he ever meant to say is that a lively and active faith rests on faith alone in the merit of what Christ has done FOR us (salvific) not what the Holy Spirit does IN us (non-salvific). We know our position is correct because it simply is not possible come Judgment Day to be told, “Because you did not attach a salvific efficacy to your good works, but instead, had the nerve to trust in Christ’s merit alone, I now send you to hell”.
            Catholics, on the other hand, doing that very thing, are indeed RIPE for judgment and have every reason to sweat bullets in light of the voluminous array of biblical data which refutes them.
            Since faith is an invisible relationship between God and man, its only VISIBLE evidence are the works produced by faith. The typical yakety-yack that James denies “faith alone” is completely untrue, and he would be the first to tell you! He’s merely declaring that genuine faith will be ***accompanied*** by good works. This is why he says, “SHOW ME”. Again, “SHOW ME”. James is challenging anyone who claims to have faith to demonstrate it because only God can see the heart. Our view of the heart can only be tabulated by the sight of outward fruit and NOT by faith alone.

            “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

          5. Salvation is what Christ has done OUTSIDE of us (justification); not what the Holy Spirit does WITHIN us (sanctification).

            On the contrary — Romans 6:18-22:

            “Being then freed from sin, we have been made servants of justice. I speak an human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh. For as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity, unto iniquity; so now yield your members to serve justice, unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free men to justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting.

            Being made free from sin and servants of God results in Sanctification and Eternal life and is contrasted with the fruits of Evil deeds. Sanctification is absolutely inseperable from Justification, and the whole process occurs WITHIN man, not outside man.

            If good works have the power to save, then Jesus certainly wasted **HIS** time coming to this earth, did he not?

            Our Blessed Lord did not waste His time coming to Earth at all. Good works alone do not have the power to save. Only Christ’s work and Passion have the power to save. This is participated in by Faith and Works. Works, in this case, not of man’s nature (which have no power to save), but works done in God, through Christ our Savior whose incarnation, death, and resurrection make supernatural virtue possible in the first place. But without Christ, we are quite doomed.

            Justification cannot be “increased”. We read that God justifies the ungodly WITHOUT works (Rom 4:5) and thus, it is by faith alone.

            On the contrary, it can and must be increased. God justifies the ungodly without works (that is, without works of virtue, pennance, or even faith) *at first* in Holy Baptism, but once we are in Christ, we must walk in the Holy Spirit if we are to be saved, as Romans 6 and 8 teach. Justification is not by faith alone.

            I stand by my insistence….that there is no proof from the magisterium to back this up via Romans 8. Why? Because

            1) [The Bible does not make any exceptions to the rule that we are not saved by works of righteousness]

            Baloney. I gave you an example. There are a hojillion others that plainly teach that living according to the Law of Grace is necessary for salvation.

            2) [Good works simply do NOT have the power to resolve our sin debt…What you are proposing is putting that check you wrote to the Jerry Lewis Telethon, on the same level as the blood that dripped from Calvary’s cross. Like it or not, that is what logically follows from your thesis…]

            Baloney, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, and artichokes. I trust in Christ’s Holy Sacrifice alone to resolve my Sin debt, I believe in order to participate in it, it is necessary to Believe in Him (faith) as well as live in Him (works). Perhaps you should *ask* us Catholics what we believe instead of *telling us* what we believe.

            3) It is NOT dishonest of me to say that there is no proof that the RCC uses Romans 8:4 to prove good works done in God’s grace ARE salvific. Why?
            Because there is no proof they use Romans 8:4 to say what you say they do. If it were so, it would be in CCC 1821, or Trent’s decree on Justification. But it isn’t. Yes, the RCC teaches good works done in God’s grace are salvific (CCC 1821), but they do NOT use Romans 8:4 to prove it. More often than not, they use that old-standby, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat so now you merit eternal life”. What you have given us is your sacred opinion, for which we thank you, but until you can provide a document which uses Romans 8:4 in particular to prove your thesis, your accusation that I’m dishonest must be given the thumbs down.

            We don’t write Church documents the way you do. We don’t believe that a Scripture citation supporting every proposition we put forward is necessary at all because we don’t believe in Sola Scriptura. The CCC is written by Catholics, for Catholics, not Sola Scripturist Protestants. The quote from St. Theressa of Avila is sufficient for Catholics because she is a doctor of the Church. Because I’m talking to a Sola Scriptura protestant, I have to turn to the only authority you accept, the Holy Bible. I maintain my accusation that you have been dishonest, even if not deliberately.

            4) Trent says in chapter 11 of their decree on Justification, “Wherefore, no one ought to flatter himself up with faith alone, fancying that by faith alone he is made an heir, and will obtain the inheritance, even though he suffer not with Christ..”….We know our position is correct because it simply is not possible come Judgment Day to be told, “Because you did not attach a salvific efficacy to your good works, but instead, had the nerve to trust in Christ’s merit alone, I now send you to hell”.

            That’s how we know that your interpretation is WRONG! In Matthew 25:31-46 our most Blessed Lord describes *exactly* what you say he would never do. He does this multiple times. Judgement day is going to come as a cruel surprise if you don’t listen to our Lord’s own warning about the basis on which you shall be judged!!!

            Since faith is an invisible relationship between God and man, its only VISIBLE evidence are the works produced by faith. The typical yakety-yack that James denies “faith alone” is completely untrue, and he would be the first to tell you! He’s merely declaring that genuine faith will be ***accompanied*** by good works. This is why he says, “SHOW ME”. Again, “SHOW ME”. James is challenging anyone who claims to have faith to demonstrate it because only God can see the heart. Our view of the heart can only be tabulated by the sight of outward fruit and NOT by faith alone.

            What a load. This interpretation completely undoes the fact that St. James refers back to the example of the Holy Patriarch Abraham, who had no other people with him to be Justified before save for God. Therefore, since the example is before God, and St. James speaks in this passage about workless faith not being able to save, the obvious conclusion is that Justification is **NOT** by faith alone. It is absolutely untenable to claim that the Justification St. James talks about in James 2 is only before men.

            “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

            Peace with Almighty God, being justified by faith. But not faith alone.

          6. Another example against the Justification/Sanctification distinction — Hebrews 12:1-17:

            And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds. For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: And you have forgotten the consolation, which speaketh to you, as unto children, saying: My son, neglect not the discipline of the Lord; neither be thou wearied whilst thou art rebuked by him. For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons; for what son is there, whom the father doth not correct? But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons. Moreover we have had fathers of our flesh, for instructors, and we reverenced them: shall we not much more obey the Father of spirits, and live? And they indeed for a few days, according to their own pleasure, instructed us: but he, for our profit, that we might receive his sanctification. Now all chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield, to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God. Looking diligently, lest any man be wanting to the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up do hinder, and by it many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau; who for one mess, sold his first birthright. For know ye that afterwards, when he desired to inherit the benediction, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, although with tears he had sought it.

            Obeying God the Father (sanctification) is explicitly connected with receiving Eternal life (salvation).

            Justification -> Salvation; Justification -> Sanctification; Sanctification -> Salvation

            (ergo)

            Justification + Sanctification -> Salvation

        1. As this is not merely a Catholic ‘faith sharing site’, but rather a ‘Catholic apologetic site’, dispute with Protestants is only to be expected. Barry uses both a lot of exaggeration and a lot of his own exegetical definitions, combined with some passionate rhetoric and even humor. But the disputes he raises are still beneficial for the sake of digging deeper into the Christian/Catholic faith, and for this the disputes he raised are often beneficial for all, as they provoke thought and research to address them.

          At least that’s my meager opinion.

          1. AWL: At least, that’s my meager opinion.

            B: I agree with everything you said, except the bit about me “exaggerating”. With no examples to prove your point, your comment must be rejected.

          2. BB,
            “With no examples to prove your point” = Words with all capital letters count as examples. I would also challenge the “humor” part, unless we consider your (plentiful) food interjections as well as the juvenile spelling alterations as humorous…

        2. Teo, I have shared in your frustration on many occasions as I have experienced numerous unfounded and ridiculous attacks on my Catholic faith as a convert of 5 years. Despite many extensive comment wars, this blog truly has an impact on people seeking the truth.

          Through the intercession of Saints Peter Canisius (my Patron) and Francis de Sales, may we patiently strive toward true unity in Jesus, our Head, and may the testimony of Holy Mother Church be a shining light of the gospel to all mankind.

      3. What you fail most miserably to understand is that Jesus is the “END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVES” (Romans 10:4). I suggest memorizing that verse to ponder its implications. Experience has shown that Catholics DO NOT understand what this means…

        I, and I think most of us, understand what you think this passage means. You believe that man is Justified by Faith Alone in the exterior Justice of Christ alone (and also hold to five-point Calvinism, but that’s another discussion).

        We disagree, and believe that the Scriptures are against this interpretation in multiple locations, as an example James 2:17-26, where St. James specifically singles out that Justification in the big picture is not by Faith Alone.

        We believe that man is Justified by Faith in the interior, imputed and infused Justice of Jesus Christ. It’s not “Extra Nos” as Luther erroneously taught. Because it is from and of our Lord Jesus Christ, this righteousness cannot be said to be “trusting in our own righteousness” because we are relying on Christ’s righteousness within us. Chirst is not “playing second fiddle to our righteousness”. That Christ’s Justifying righteousness is within the believer becomes more apparent if you keep reading to Roman 11:22:

        “See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

        It would not be necessary to “abide in goodness” to remain in God’s mercy unless Justification was interior, and maintained by cooperation with God. If they have goodness to abide in, then they received Grace within their souls — but St. Paul warns them that they may be cut off if they do not abide in goodness, so Salvation has to be maintained with the help of God, not merely trusted in without any fear at all of losing it. Your doctrine does not seem to be the doctrine of St. Paul.

        And doesn’t it give you pause that the Church Fathers don’t teach what you teach? Almost all of your arguments checked against the Church Fathers fall flat (this is not a bare allegation, I actually have looked up some of the passages you have cited in the past and looked into what the Church Fathers had to say). Don’t you trust the men who handed down the Faith? The same men who formulated the Trinity, defended the Church against paganism, arianism, gnosticism, manicheanism, donatism, etc, and many of them even went to their deaths at the hands of the (then pagan) Roman government? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and there is no doubt that these men feared God.

        1. Nice explanation of ‘interior faith’, Alexander.

          Jesus teaches on this subject in multitudes of ways in the Gospel. One is when Jesus says “Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin.” Here, points to the interior state of soul wherein a man by committing sin enters into servitude to that evil. And because sin causes this slavery, Jesus said ‘whose sins you forgive will be forgiven, whose sins you retain will be retained’. If sins are forgiven, because of true contrition and repentance, they will be forgiven. But if there is no contrition, they will not be forgiven, and a person will remain a slave to his sins.

          Protestants, like Barry, like to be extremists in their exegesis. They cannot distinguish venial sin from mortal sin, even though Jesus gives many examples of this. The ‘washing of the feet’ at the Last Supper is a good example. Here is the teaching, wherein Peter says:

          “Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. [9] Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. [10] Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all. For he knew who he was that would betray him; therefore he said: You are not all clean.” ( John 13:8)

          Extreme Protestants can’t seem to understand these Gospel teachings from the very mouth of Jesus Christ. They prefer to create their own ‘Luther inspired’ theology, based on extreme interpretations of only a few precepts from St. Paul, wherein they can disregard almost everything that Jesus taught, such as the above quote, during Christ’s 3, or so, years of public teaching. So, the new Protestant teachings, based on misunderstanding St. Paul, are given such great focus and attention, as compared to all of the other texts of the New Testament (even when those other texts completely contradict them), that they become like a ‘theological black hole’ of sorts, wherein, it seems that all of their theology gravitates towards the doctrine of the “complete depravity of the soul”. Hence, they cannot allow an idea taught in the Gospel to effect their assessment of the human state, even though Jesus teaches things like:

          “For there is no good tree that bringeth forth evil fruit; nor an evil tree that bringeth forth good fruit. [44] For every tree is known by its fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns; nor from a bramble bush do they gather the grape. [45] A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:43)

          And, so, this seems to be why such extreme Protestants almost never use the words of Jesus Himself, or His parables, to explain their theology. They need only general precepts that they can analyze on the nano level, wherein the true meaning is lost due to over scrupulous focus.

          So, when Jesus says to Peter “you are clean” and only your feet need to be washed, they think: “How can you wash a dunghill?” And, “Only the snow ON the dunghill is clean…NOT the dung itself.”

          Thus, they believe the message, metaphors and similes of Luther over the message, metaphors and similes taught by Jesus Christ at the ‘Last Supper’, and on the nature of ‘Good and evil trees’.

          Extreme Protestants should really always put the words of Jesus Christ first, and not pass them through a ‘filter’ or ‘theological black hole’ created in the 16th century. But, I guess, that’s just the way things are. Good trees produce good fruits and bad trees produce evil fruits….even as the Lord taught.

          1. AWL: So, when Jesus says to Peter “you are clean” and only your feet need to be washed, they think: “How can you wash a dunghill?” And, “Only the snow ON the dunghill is clean…NOT the dung itself.”

            B: As usual, your misrepresentation of your opponent’s view, without further explanation, is disgraceful.
            I’m sure you have no idea what Jesus meant when he said, “He [whose whole body] is washed needeth not [to do it all over again] except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit”….so I will be happy to lift the veil over those oh so cloudy eyes of yours.

            On the way back from the public bath, a person’s feet would get dirty. He didn’t need to take another bath (just as we do not need to be justified over and over again as the RCC proposes). We only need to have our feet washed because

            Romans 7:15 …. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

            Romans 7:19…. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

            Romans 7:23–25…. I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

            Philippians 3:12…. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

            Hence, just as there is a difference between the bath and the foot basin, so too is there a difference between being justified by faith alone, and the separate works we do in the process of sanctification (which will be rewarded **IN** heaven, not that works are rewarded **WITH** heaven). The bath speaks of the cleansing received at the time of one’s salvation by faith alone in Christ. This is justification, and happens only once. The basin speaks of the pollution of sin wherein we must “dunk our feet” daily in the word of God, after which he told them, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (Jn 15:3).

            There is only one bath (justification), but many foot-washings we must go through in sanctification.

          2. Barry, St Augustine’s interpretation disagrees with yours, and is much better:

            “Clean all except the feet. The whole of man is washed in baptism, not excepting his feet; but living in the world afterwards, we tread upon the earth. Those human affections then, without which we cannot live in this world, are, as it were, our feet, which connect us with human things, so that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. But if we confess our sins, He who washed the disciples’ feet, forgives us our sins even down to our feet, wherewith we hold our converse with earth.”

          3. (awlms ) Nice explanation of ‘interior faith’, Alexander.

            Thanks for the compliment. I always enjoy your responses as well. 🙂

            They prefer to create their own ‘Luther inspired’ theology, based on extreme interpretations of only a few precepts from St. Paul, wherein they can disregard almost everything that Jesus taught, such as the above quote…

            It’s not so much that they disregard as much as misinterpret our Lord. Their error is, in substance, very simple here. We have the choice of reading St. Paul in the light of the four Gospels, or reading the four Gospels in the light of St. Paul. We go with the former of course, heeding the recommendation of the Holy Church and St. Peter himself in 2 Peter 3:16. Unfortunately, many of the heresies of the past have ignored this warning, and believed that they had “unlocked the key to St. Paul”, when, in fact, they were one of the unstable men.

            One of the things that I have come to Love about the Catholic faith is that St. Thomas Aquinas for example can say something very precise, theological, rigorous, etc. and yet be in complete agreement with a simple illiterate peasant believer in substance, even if not in high detail. Truly one of the best Spiritual lessons is learning not to overthink — the lesson to learn to be simple of heart, and simply listen to Our Lord without feeling the moral need to work every detail out. There is some use to learn the nuances, but it behooves a man to learn to believe simply first. I think many protestants can resonate with that sentiment (and even some may take this too far and try to minimize the necessary core of Christian teaching).

          4. I can agree with you if the bath you speak of is the bath of baptism, wherein the Holy Spirit is given to the believer. But, we know that Christians can sin gravely, and lose the sanctifying grace received at baptism, and therefore need to repent and confess their sins. Such sins we find detailed, for instance, in the first 3 chapters of the Book of Revelations. Jesus also teaches his disciples to forgive sins, and also to retain sins. So, ‘foot washing’ is related to these actions by the other disciples who are not afflicted with such grave sins as their fallen brothers. And, this is why Jesus told them:

            “Know you what I have done to you? [13] You call me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am. [14] If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.[16] Amen, amen I say to you: The servant is not greater than his lord; neither is the apostle greater than he that sent him. [17] If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:12)

            And remember what Jesus said to Peter:

            “Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.”

            So, this again teaches that a stained or sinful Christian must be washed by another of the disciples, as He says to ‘do what He has done to others’. Peter was the symbolic model for the future washings which were to be done. And if that person does not want to be washed, He should be ‘excommunicated’, as Jesus said: “If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.”

            So, you see, there is ample proof against your notion of “Once Saved Always Saved.” A person must in all docility and humility let other disciples wash his feet, even as Jesus washed Peter’s. Otherwise he will lose his salvation by being separated from Christ through His Mystical Body, the Church.

            This washing, Catholics do through the “sacrament of reconciliation”, and every Catholic is required to be washed in this way by the Church at least once per year minimum.

          5. Al, was your last post in response to me, or barry? When there’s more than two, it gets confusing who is responding to who.

          6. Sorry AF, it was for Barry. I guess I misplaced my comment.

            But your recent comment was ‘spot on’ regarding Protestant exegesis.

          7. AWL: I can agree with you if the bath you speak of is the bath of baptism, wherein the Holy Spirit is given to the believer.

            B: It never ceases to amaze me when Catholics piously talk about the consolation of receiving the Holy Spirit. To this, Jesus would condemn them, saying, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord! and do not the things that I say?” IOW, the reception of the Holy Spirit was all the “real presence” Jesus ever promised in light of his “real absence”. Yet even in light of his telling you that his physical presence was “going away” no less than 10 times, you spit in his face and demand the real presence of his physical ANATOMY as well, the promise of which is mentioned NO WHERE, the eating of which accomplishes nothing, the benefits of which are dreamed up out of thin air, and the result of which makes each and every Catholic nothing less than the likes of a disobedient child who demands candy instead of the promised brussel sprouts set before him.

            Now as to your contention that the Spirit is received at baptism, this is untrue. Cornelius received the gift of the Holy Spirit **before** he was water baptized (Acts 10:45)…and Paul calls you a,

            “O foolish Galatian! Who has bewitched you? I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:1-2).

            It is therefore irrefutable that the Holy Spirit becomes our permanent possession the moment we believe. The idea that we must wait and make an appointment with the priest to have a public baptism and THEN receive the Spirit, is sheer lunacy.
            Since this erroneous proclamation was in your first sentence, everything else you said must also be erroneous, and so there is no need to deal with it.

          8. Yet even in light of his telling you that his physical presence was “going away” no less than 10 times, you spit in his face and demand the real presence of his physical ANATOMY as well, the promise of which is mentioned NO WHERE…

            Baloney. John 6 absolutely mentions the real presence of His physical anatomy. That our Lord and Christ went away physically is agreed upon by all, but we disagree that He meant that he would never stay with us physically, yet not visibly. Even Luther disagrees with you there. Your fanatical accusation that we spit in Christ’s face by believing in Transubstantiation is null and void.

            Now as to your contention that the Spirit is received at baptism, this is untrue. Cornelius received the gift of the Holy Spirit **before** he was water baptized (Acts 10:45)…and Paul calls you a,

            “O foolish Galatian! Who has bewitched you? I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:1-2).

            As for the Acts reference, everyone agrees that the Holy Spirit was received by the gentiles in this case before Baptism, we disagree with you making that to be a norm, and instead believe that this is a special case, in order to teach the Jews that the gentiles are also heirs of the promise. That the Holy Ghost is received in Baptism is evident by John 3:5, that a man must be born again by water and the Holy Ghost. And this is not a spurious reading of the Latin Vulgate, but agrees harmoniously with the teaching of all the Church Fathers.

            As for the Galatians reference, it is completely irrelevant. Baptism is a Sacrament, not a work. Again, even Luther disagrees with you here, as well as Calvin.

          9. alexander: Flounder has in many past posts, declared Luther to be roasting in Hell. When pressed on that (especially in this 500th anniversary of the Reformation;wonder how fellow Reformed’s feel about that?) Flounder said he affirmed that by his “sacred” judgement.

            Which is only one reason why I stopped the detail engagements with his street-corner-raving-psycho rants. The other is, there wasn’t an occasion when I researched his tortured and convoluted blather, I wasn’t able to eviscerate him. I see nothing changes, all of you skin him alive on a regular basis. I do enjoy light poking at his 19th century Second Great Stupidity James White cliff notes hellfire rants – which had some appeal in the 70’s to a great mass of the disaffected and vulnerable – and now, remnants of a dwindling audience of knuckle-dragging yokels who rightfully disbelieve in evolution because for them, it never happened.

          10. AF: That our Lord and Christ went away physically is agreed upon by all, but we disagree that He meant that he would never stay with us physically…

            B: A complete and absolute contradiction in logic, and is plain for all to see the madness of your belief system in all its pristine heresy.

          11. As opposed to your mouldy heresy, Flounder?

            He left us in His resurrected Body….He is with us physically in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Eucharist.

            Try reading (a fundamental skill) John 6, again.

          12. Barry, just a typo. Corrected version:

            That our Lord and Christ went away physically is agreed upon by all, but we disagree with you saying that He was staying away physically permanently. Instead we believe that He meant that he would return to us physically from time to time, and remain with us as such, yet not visibly.

            I find it atrocious, ridiculous, evil, and wrong to claim that Transubstantiation is heresy.

            * It is atrocious because the Holy Scripture eminently teaches Transubstantiation in John 6.

            * It is ridiculous because the founder of this mistake, Zwingli (piggy backing off of earlier heretics), uses a very stupid argument to defend his monstrosity. It is also ridiculous because there is no teleological reason to prefer it. Would you not prefer that our Lord be with us?

            * It is evil because it denies the words of our Lord, and also denies the teaching of countless Church Fathers spanning from the 100s-1500s. 99.9% of them teach a doctrine of the Holy Eucharist that is only compatible with Transubstantiation, or at best Consubstantiation. Most substantially teach Transubstantiation emphatically, even though they don’t use the term.

            * It is wrong because of the witness of Scripture, the Church Fathers, and the Holy Church herself, who cannot fail to pass the Gospel down intact, and visibly to every generation, per our Lord’s promise in Matthew 16.

          13. …and is plain for all to see the madness of your belief system…

            All….one of you. There may be other anti-Catholic lurkers on this blog, but you’re one of the only one who posts here.

            Also, it is by no means madness to take John 6 literally. Face it. You may disagree that Transubstantiation is true, Biblical, Traditional, and Beautiful, but it’s definitely not crazy at all. You also multiple times call our doctrine on Justification “filthy”, but there is by no means anything in that doctrine that encourages men to sin at all. Saying that some sins are venial by no means enables men to do them, when it is plain that they offend God. Some of your arguments are worth engaging with, but whenever you get polemical, your content takes a significant turn for the worse. Stick to making intellectual challenges to Catholicism. Your polemical side is terrible, and would only work on the most savagely anti-Catholic protestant.

            Also, the Church Fathers disagree with you. Again. What the Church historically believed is extremely significant. They all believed in the real presence. The first disagreements happened during the Carolingian era, where it was disputed the mode of His presence (which turned out to be a linguistic misunderstanding), and then there was one medieval Scholar (Berengar of Tours) who first proposed memorialism in the 12th century. Everyone disagreed with him, and compelled him to recant multiple times. There were multiple people who proposed a pneumatic presence in the middle ages (along with other bizarre ideas that we both agree are heretical), but the idea of the Holy Eucharist being strictly symbolic didn’t come back into vogue until Zwingli. Again, let me reiterate that there is no historical precedent for this teaching. And yet you call the teaching of so many holy Christian men madness? Men who went to their death for Christ? Men who gave their lives refusing to sacrifice to idols? Men who evangelized the whole continent of Europe? Men who lived heroic lives of virtue serving the poor, preaching to the ignorant, opposing corruption, giving away all their possessions, praying constantly, Loving charitably, defending Christendom heroically, reforming tirelessly, etc.

            By their fruits you shall know them.

            Zwingli, on the other hand, had cohabited with his bride to be and committed fornication, and this in defiance of his vow of celibacy, a sacred promise to God. From wikipedia: “The issue [of abolishing the requirement of celibacy for priests] was not just an abstract problem for Zwingli, as he had secretly married a widow, Anna Reinhard, earlier in the year. Their cohabitation was well-known and their public wedding took place on 2 April 1524, three months before the birth of their first child.”

          14. AF, you said:

            “That our Lord and Christ went away physically is agreed upon by all, but we disagree with you saying that He was staying away physically permanently. Instead we believe that He meant that he would return to us physically from time to time, and remain with us as such, yet not visibly.”

            Here is one scriptural example:

            “For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

            And, St. Cyprian in Treatise I of “On the Unity of the Church” notes that Christ is truly present with the “two or three”, but only as long as they are united with His Holy Church:

            “Wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Corrupters and false interpreters of the Gospel quote the last words, and lay aside the former ones, remembering part, and craftily suppressing part: as they themselves are separated from the Church, so they cut off the substance of one section. For the Lord, when He would urge unanimity and peace upon His disciples, said, “I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth touching anything that ye shall ask, it shall be given you by my Father which is in heaven. For wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am with them;” showing that most is given, not to the multitude, but to the unanimity of those that pray. “If,” He says, “two of you shall agree on earth:” He placed agreement first; He has made the concord of peace a prerequisite; He taught that we should agree firmly and faithfully. But how can he agree with any one who does not agree with the body of the Church itself, and with the universal brotherhood? How can two or three be assembled together in Christ’s name, who, it is evident, are separated from Christ and from His Gospel? For we have not withdrawn from them, but they from us; and since heresies and schisms have risen subsequently, from their establishment for themselves of diverse places of worship, they have forsaken the Head and Source of the truth. But the Lord speaks concerning His Church, and to those also who are in the Church He speaks, that if they are in agreement, if according to what He commanded and admonished, although only two or three gathered together with unanimity should pray—though they be only two or three—they may obtain from the majesty of God what they ask. “Wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, I,” says He, “am with them;” that is, with the simple and peaceable—with those who fear God and keep God’s commandments. With these, although only two or three, He said that He was, in the same manner as He was with the three youths in the fiery furnace; and because they abode towards God in simplicity, and in unanimity among themselves, He animated them, in the midst of the surrounding flames, with the breath of dew: in the way in which, with the two apostles shut up in prison, because they were simple-minded and of one mind, He Himself was present; He Himself, having loosed the bolts of the dungeon, placed them again in the market-place, that they might declare to the multitude the word which they faithfully preached. When, therefore, in His commandments He lays it down, and says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am with them,” He does not divide men from the Church, seeing that He Himself ordained and made the Church; but rebuking the faithless for their discord, and commending peace by His word to the faithful, He shows that He is rather with two or three who pray with one mind, than with a great many who differ, and that more can be obtained by the discordant prayer of a few, than by the discordant supplication of many.
            13. Thus, also, when He gave the law of prayer, He added, saying, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” And He calls back from the altar one who comes to the sacrifice in strife, and bids him first agree with his brother, and then return with peace and offer his gift to God: for God had not respect unto Cain’s offerings; for he could not have God at peace with him, who through envious discord had not peace with his brother. What peace, then, do the enemies of the brethren promise to themselves? What sacrifices do those who are rivals of the priests think that they celebrate? Do they deem that they have Christ with them when they are collected together, who are gathered together outside the Church of Christ?

            Citation:

            http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.v.i.html

          15. AF: Transubstantiation is true, Biblical… definitely not crazy at all.

            B: The metaphysical mumbo-jumbo of T is categorically UNBIBLICAL. It serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever to consume the physical body parts of Jesus Christ. To think eating his toenails benefits you in some way is indeed, “crazy”.

            AF: You also multiple times call our doctrine on Justification “filthy”, but there is by no means anything in that doctrine that encourages men to sin at all.

            B: I do not recall saying that the RC doctrine of justification causes men to SIN, per se. Rather, it causes them to ERR. And by the way, for all the blabber I have heard in the past about the RCC never condemns anyone to hell, you might recall that Trent’s decree said that NO ONE CAN BE JUSTIFIED if they do not adhere to their decree on justification! Which of course means, they are sending three-fourths of the world to hell.

            AF: Again, let me reiterate that there is no historical precedent for [the Protestant view of the Eucharist]

            B: Again, let me reiterate that Augustine showed the metaphorical view in all its refulgent glory by saying

            To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already.

            —–NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 25, §12.

            For to believe on Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats…
            —–NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 26, §1.

            certainly then, at least, you will see that not in the manner you suppose does He dispense His body; certainly then, at least, you will understand that His grace is not consumed by tooth-biting.

            —–NPNF1-7, Tractates on John, Tractate 27, Section 3

            Do not talk to me about Auggie saying Christ held himself in his hands at the Last Supper. I don’t know WHAT the helicopter he meant by that and I don’t care. All scholars agree in any case, that he was inconsistent on this matter. Nevertheless, his words above are crystal clear, which means he did not deny Christ was speaking metaphorically, and if HE didn’t it, then neither did all those who followed him, which makes your “let me reiterate” claim, FALSE.

            AF: Zwingli [sinned].

            B: Frankly, I think you have a lot of nerve to even mention it in light of the explosion of Catholic sins both past and present, which have erupted from the Roman volcano like a never-ending flow of hot lava….so much so, that Barrett’s World Christian Encyclopedia gives the RCC second place honors (after Islam) for wreaking the most religious havoc since time began.

          16. AF: Barry, just a typo. Corrected version:

            That our Lord and Christ went away physically is agreed upon by all, but we disagree with you saying that He was staying away physically permanently. Instead we believe that He meant that he would return to us physically from time to time, and remain with us as such, yet not visibly.

            B: I commend you for further clarification. However, when **I** wished to amend an error made previously, it was met with disgust and accusations of purposeful deceit…none of which of course, you will receive.

            AF: I find it atrocious, ridiculous, evil, and wrong to claim that Transubstantiation is heresy.

            B: I understand that you are beholden to the “metabolism” of this doctrine, but the anatomical and metabolic elements of Christ in the Eucharist is irrational on practically every level and is therefore anatomically and metabolically bankrupt! It is also exegetically, soteriologically, physiologically and philosophically bankrupt. It is also logically, scientifically , forensically and metaphysically bankrupt. It is also linguistically, empirically, ontologically and most of all biblically bankrupt! So much so, that up to 70% of Catholics do not even understand it. One Catholic apologist who has written a book on the subject admits, “Poll after poll in recent years has confirmed that more and more Catholics are mistaken… they have misguided views about the Eucharist. [These] polls suggest that sometimes up to fifty percent depending on how the question is phrased, [and] sometimes as many as seventy percent of Catholics can’t identify that core Catholic belief…”

            http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/11/seventy-percent-of-roman-catholics-do.html

            Catholic apologists repeatedly assert that a Christian relying on the Bible as his sole infallible authority will produce confusion. They claim one must have another infallible authority, the Papacy. Yet, here is their key doctrine, described in the above audio as “the crown jewel” of the Catholic faith, and seven out of ten Catholics are confused on it! Surely, God would never obligate us to the philosophical and monstrous sleight of hand called Transubstantiation, for it does nothing but minister endless questions, and therefore, he must be opposed to it (1 Tim 1:3-4).

            AF: Scripture eminently teaches Transubstantiation in John 6.

            B: Says you. If Christ wished for them to eat his physical anatomy, how, pray tell, were they to do this? After all, he was requiring them to do somewhere right there on the spot…was he not?
            OK, so Christ said, “Eat me”. Well? Does he give commands that are impossible to follow? Howwwww would those who accepted his words have done so?

            “Well, ah…he was talking about the FUTURE when a day would come at the Last Supper….well, ok they couldn’t have known the future, but, what I mean was…..he didn’t really mean that they cut off his leg…he was talking…uhh…sacramentally….they should have…HAD to have known that, but they were a little slow, and ahh, even though the Last Supper was still a year away, they SHOULD have known, we think…well we hope they should have, would have, could have….

            Oh the thousand excuses for the audience in John 6 NOT being able to comply with the command to eat his flesh, even if they wanted to! Will they never end? I have never once in my entire adult life heard a coherent reply to the question, and have only had the receiver slammed down in my ear when asking it to one priest after another.
            Only the Protestant view will stand. By BELIEVING in him, they could obey his command on the spot, for, as Augustine said, “He who believes, EATS!”

          17. Hi Barry, hope we’re not causing you to have a horrible Sunday,

            AF: Again, let me reiterate that there is no historical precedent for [the Protestant view of the Eucharist]

            I meant the Zwinglian view of the Eucharist. Some protestants hold to Consubstantiation or a pneumatic presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

            B: Again, let me reiterate that Augustine showed the metaphorical view in all its refulgent glory by saying [some actually decent quotes from St. Augustine that appear to show he doesn’t believe in Transubstantiation, as well as an admission that St. Augustine wasn’t consistent]

            Sure, he took a metaphorical explanation of the Eucharist in his homilies on St. John, but make no mistake that St. Augustine nevertheless believed in transubstantiation (or at least Consubstantiation):

            Sermons 234, 2:

            The Lord Jesus wanted those whose eyes were held lest they should recognize Him, to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s body.

            Sermons 227:

            You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, consecrated by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what the chalice holds, consecrated by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ. Through those accidents the Lord wished to entrust to us His Body and the Blood which He poured out for the remission of sins.

            Sermons 272:

            What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice [wine] the blood of Christ.

            Seeing as most of the other Church Fathers are pretty clear on teaching Transubstantiation, shouldn’t we assume that he is holding to the Eucharist as being both metaphorical and real, seeing as he seems to teach both?

            AF: Zwingli [sinned].

            B: Frankly, I think you have a lot of nerve to even mention it in light of the explosion of Catholic sins both past and present, which have erupted from the Roman volcano like a never-ending flow of hot lava

            I do have the nerve to bring this up, as the man is the founder of the memorialist teaching as it is taught in low-church protestantism. If you are bringing forward even only a seemingly new theology, you need to have holiness to back up your claim, or otherwise authority from God, or at least some miracle to back up the claim. Zwingli had none of the above, whereas the many Holy Saints of the past who taught Transubstantiation do.

            B: I commend you for further clarification. However, when **I** wished to amend an error made previously, it was met with disgust and accusations of purposeful deceit…none of which of course, you will receive.

            Thanks for the courtesy. 🙂 If it’s worth anything, sorry for all the name-calling from AK. I also know that I have not maintained perfect conduct on this blog, so for any offense (other than attempting to teach the Catholic faith), I make no attempt to defend.

            B: [Transubstantiation is against reason]

            I profoundly disagree. I don’t have too much more to say on that, as our biblical and patristic argument has gone on too long for me to want to bring in science and philosophy too, and make it even longer.

            …up to 70% of Catholics do not even understand it.

            The truth and quality of a doctrine isn’t judged by it’s reception.

            AF: Scripture eminently teaches Transubstantiation in John 6.

            B: Says you. If Christ wished for them to eat his physical anatomy, how, pray tell, were they to do this? After all, he was requiring them to do somewhere right there on the spot…was he not?

            Uhh…nope. He wasn’t requiring them to do something right there on the spot. John 6:52: “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.” Note, the bread that he *will* give. Our Lord has admitted that He hasn’t given His flesh for them to eat yet. Not too hard of a challenge to answer. I’m surprised that so many Catholic Priests hung up on you right away.

            And, of course, I don’t think that giving an answer that will satisfy you is really a fair challenge. You seem pretty convinced that memorialism is part of the Gospel. I don’t think that I can persuade you to have a different attitude on this issue. I think a fair answer suffices, even if it leaves you dissatisfied.

            Only the Protestant view will stand. By BELIEVING in him, they could obey his command on the spot, for, as Augustine said, “He who believes, EATS!”

            Again, not all protestants are memorialists. And the memorialist view is hardly the only view that will stand. See my above answer for St. Augustine. The memorialist view is coherent logically, but I still firmly believe that it fails Patristically and Scripturally.

        2. B: What you fail most miserably to understand is that Jesus is the “END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
          TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVES” (Romans 10:4). I suggest memorizing that verse to ponder its implications. Experience has shown that Catholics DO NOT understand what this means…

          AF: I, and I think most of us, understand what you think this passage means. You believe that man is Justified by Faith Alone in the exterior Justice of Christ alone . We disagree…and believe that man is Justified by Faith in the interior, imputed and infused Justice of Jesus Christ.

          B: I was quite taken aback by your statement. Why then does Robert Sungenis, in the hottest RC apologetic book (of all time?) “Not By Faith Alone”, violently disagree with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness??? Nooooowhere in his 800 pages does he ever bow the knee to what you have just told me. This book has page after page of endorsements from practically every living RC luminary on the planet!
          Looks like it’s time for you to create another one of those pesky Catholic denominations we’re always hearing about. So much disagreement amongst you people, can’t you ever unite as one? It’s sad, really.

          AF: Because [this imputed and infused righteousness] is from our Lord Jesus Christ, this righteousness cannot be said to be “trusting in our own righteousness” because we are relying on Christ’s righteousness within us. He is not “playing second fiddle to our righteousness”.

          B: If the operating power of the righteousness of Christ (R.O.C.) was actually working within you, you would be a perfect man. But as Paul admitted, he was NOT perfect (Phil 3:12) and said, “I know that inside me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing”. If you wish to say that the good deeds you do with the R.O.C. adhering **IN** you is meritorious for salvation, you’ve got a problem. Just prior to saying that he wished to be found “not having a righteousness of my own” in Phil 3:12; Paul classified all things he had done, (supposedly with the benefit of the R.O.C.) as “LOSS” to him, which militates against the merit of an infused R.O.C., and in FAVOR of an imputed R.O.C., by which he wanted to be in possession of on that final day.

          The flesh is always at war with the Spirit and our obedience fluctuates. It comes and goes likes the waves of the sea and we oftentimes “quench the Spirit” and do what we want. That being so, the idea that the R.O.C. dwells in you via imputation or infusion, is FALSE. He may give us the grace (or spiritual kick-in-the-pants to accomplish his will), but technically, the R.O.C. is his OWN and we, personally have nothing to do with it. Thus, Trent was wrong then when they said

          “If anyone says that men are justified without the justice of Christ (Gal 2:16) whereby he merited for us…” (Canon 10).

          Later, they opine that the perfect R.O.C. itself is infused into us, and worse, here they use Gal 2:16 as support. That verse speaks about our faith and neither there, or anywhere else in the Bible, is “infusion” taught. Honestly, you need to have your head examined if you think the Holy Spirit inspired these men with verses that do not apply to their theory.

          That the R.O.C. is something outside of ourselves, is confirmed by Romans 3:21: But now the righteousness of God without the law is made KNOWN (“revealed”; “manifested”). The R.O.C. is then NOT infused. It is “revealed”.
          Furthermore, 2 Cor 5:21 bears this out. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us…that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
          The Catechism says that, “Justification conforms us to the righteousness of God who makes us inwardly just” (CCC #1992). So they understand the R.O.C. as an inward righteousness in man. But to refer to the R.O.C. as something within man is mistaken because it finalizes the conclusion without taking into consideration the comparison of 5:21. Paul means us to understand that the believer is “made” the righteousness of God in the same way Christ was “made” sin…..and that is by imputation. It is simply out of the question to say Jesus was “made sin” by the infusion of sin into his being, thus “making” (or constituting) him a sinner. Ergo, it is equally out of the question to speak of the believer being made the righteousness of God by the “infusion of the R.O.C. thus “making him just” as a result OF it.
          Sin was ***imputed*** to the Divine Victim; it was not IN Him. Likewise, though the R.O.C. is imputed to the believer, it is not **IN** us—it is a gift (“the free gift of righteousness came upon all unto justification” per Rms 5:17-18…and it is imputed per Rms 4:6, & 11. READ IT… “God imputes righteousness apart from works”.
          So just as surely as the sin which condemned the elect was OUTSIDE of Christ, so is the justifying righteousness of God OUTSIDE the believer. Thus he is called, “The Lord our Righteousness” (Jer 23:6) and, “Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness” (Isa 45:24).
          The instant you trust in the R.O.C. WITHIN yourself to justify, you are LOST…because what you really mean to say goes back to CCC 1821; namely, the good deeds you do with the help of the R.O.C. opens the gate to heaven.
          Or as Mr. Sungenis says in his bombastic bestseller: “Works are the determining factor in our salvation” (p. 215).
          Sounds so pious, doesn’t it? But that is NOT the gospel.

          1. I was quite taken aback by your statement. Why then does Robert Sungenis, in the hottest RC apologetic book (of all time?) “Not By Faith Alone”, violently disagree with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness???

            I get this from the Summa Theologiae, Question 110. It can also be derived from a negation of canon XI of the decree on Justification of the Council of Trent. If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema. If it is not by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, then it must be by imputation and infusion, rather than imputation only.

            As for Sungenis, I do not particularly hold him in that high esteem, particularly because he has become an open defender of Geocentrism.

            If the operating power of the righteousness of Christ (R.O.C.) was actually working within you, you would be a perfect man.

            Only if you believe that Grace is irresistible and monergistic. We disagree. Cooperation of the will is necessary.

            That the R.O.C. is something outside of ourselves, is confirmed by Romans 3:21: But now the righteousness of God without the law is made KNOWN

            Wrong again. That the righteousness of Christ starts out outside of us (which is the context of this passage, before being saved in the first place), is agreed upon by all. The contention is whether the Righteousness by which we are Justified is the righteousness by which Christ is righteous Himself completely outside of us, or whether it is the Righteousness by which Christ makes us righteous. I take the second interpretation. The passage you cite actually proves my point here. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us…that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Made, as in, an ontological change happens. Further, this passage says that this is the reason for the Atonement, that an ontological change within us might occur!

            Paul means us to understand that the believer is “made” the righteousness of God in the same way Christ was “made” sin…..and that is by imputation. It is simply out of the question to say Jesus was “made sin” by the infusion of sin into his being, thus “making” (or constituting) him a sinner

            Christ was not imputed a sinner. “Made sin”, that is, a sin offering (which multiple Church Fathers point out), that the ontological sins are truly put upon Christ’s shoulders, who can bear them without guilt and make perfect amends for them. I don’t consider the idea that Christ is imputed with sin much less blasphemous than saying that He becomes sin ontologically. Both interpretations should be rejected in favor of the sin-offering reading. There is much more to say about the atonement, but I don’t want to get bogged down into this part of the discussion.

            Rms 4:6, & 11. READ IT… “God imputes righteousness apart from works”

            I already know what Romans 4 says. I interpret it in the Thomistic, Catholic sense, not the protestant sense. It is an imputation that results in an infusion. Further, this imputation which results in infusion is given as a free gift, without merit of faith or works, as the Council of Trent session 6 explains in chapter VIII. Or, to put it much more simply, by the Merit of the Cross of Christ, God forgives us our sins in Holy Baptism, resulting in our sins (original and personal) being truly removed from our souls, the dominion of Satan is thwarted, and God the Holy Ghost indwells the soul of the new believer. But just as when God “imputed” that there would be fish in the sea, it is no contradiction that some fish in the sea should die and no longer exist as fish, neither is it a contradiction to say that the basis of Justification is yet still truly ontological and contingent, just as the creation of fish is truly ontological and contingent.

          2. BB,
            ‘Why then does Robert Sungenis, in the hottest RC apologetic book (of all time?) “Not By Faith Alone”, violently disagree with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness?” = please present a quote from the book; only then, if the quote is true and not taken out of context, your assessment will be accepted.
            You may also would like to know that many Protestant apologists refused to debate with Mr. Sungenis, including R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur and James G. McCarthy, on the topic of “Sola Fide”. Citing various excuses, one by one they all declined (the entire debate story is easily available at the Catholic Answer web site, by searching for Robert Sungenis).
            Finally, “Not By Faith Alone” is not the hottest RC apologetic book (of all time). You may want to take a look at the real one. It’s called Bible. You may even like it.

      4. Yes, that is the beauty of the ***Christian*** faith. It is NOT the beauty of the Catholic faith.

        I don’t think that anyone here, including your fellow protestants that sometimes comment on this blog, agree with you on this categorization. Everyone outside of our disagreement categorize Christianity as including Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, etc. Oftentimes non-Trininitarian sects like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are excluded, but Catholicism is pretty consistently included.

        I could state the way I think by stating my argument in terms of Traditional Christianity vs Calvinism, but is there truly any point to me talking this way? I understand that you don’t want to call Catholicism part of Christianty. Fine, but let’s state things in clear, unambiguous, and non-polemical terms. We call our side Catholicism, you should call your side Protestantism (or more accurately Reformed Baptist Protestantism).

  5. Some of us know authors O’Brien and Chesterton. (Not a particular fan of the STYLE of either, I wholeheartedly accept their perception of truth). Here is O’Brien on C.K. on karma, Christianity, etc., from http://www.studiobrien.com/chesterton-and-paganism/:

    “Chesterton prophesied that the last and greatest battles of civilisation would be fought against the religious doctrines of the East. (“The Escape from Paganism,” in The Everlasting Man). This was an odd prophecy, for at the time, India, for example, birthplace of both Hinduism and Buddhism, was an impoverished, subjugated colony with little prospect of influence on any level of world affairs. Yet, within a century, we find a great many educated people following the ideas of Jungian psychology. Carl Jung, more than any other figure, has been responsible for injecting Hindu mythological concepts into the mind of Western man. His cosmos is represented by the Hindu mandala, a four-sided diagram of the universe. The “Christ-myth” is true, Jung believed, but it is understandable only in the context of a divine “Quaternity”—a fourth dimension of God, the “dark side” of His face. According to Jung, this other face of God has mistakenly been called Satan or Antichrist. Jung’s fascination with the occult is consistent with such ideas. The occult movements themselves have spread similar concepts, to the point that large numbers of Britons and North Americans, for example, now believe in reincarnation and karma, and desire to communicate with the spirits of “Ascended Masters.” What was once called “necromancy” has now become “spiritual evolution.” Millions of people are being fed on the spiritual teachings of seers whose esoteric doctrines advocate the total destruction of Judaism and Christianity. The cry of the rationalist revolt, epitomised by Voltaire’s epithet against the Church— “Crush the infamous thing!” — is now the rallying cry of irrationalists. They are a large army of devotees awaiting the emergence of a “New Age Christ” who will attempt to replace Jesus Christ. These are now mainstream cultural ideas. Orthodoxy at any time would recognise them as the doctrines of an anti-Christ.

    The Church is a timeless society. Membership makes it possible to step outside of the contemporary milieu, at least mentally, and to measure it against something infinitely better and ultimately more real. But this is not possible for those locked into a de-spiritualised cosmos. Rejection of the idea of evil, coupled to belief in progress and the self-perfectibility of man, blocks awareness that the worst may be happening, a blindness reinforced by the fact that every person tends naturally to experience his own times as normal. Even believers can be blinded by the psychology of denial—consider the attitude of most Christians and Jews in Germany during the 1930s. As events become more and more extreme, the temptation grows to bury oneself in escapist dreams or in the distractions of comfort. The critical faculty is lulled to sleep. “To stay awake and watch,” demands energy and the willingness to persist in a state of chronic tension. It is so much easier to be “optimistic.” Chesterton was neither an optimist nor a pessimist. He had been rudely awakened by his encounter with evil. It is uncertain whether, in the early years of his conversion, he attached apocalyptic significance to the occult revival from which he had barely been saved. But he saw a great danger looming.

    He was employed for a brief period with a publisher of occult books, and there he encountered the false doctrines on the lips of disoriented matrons and eccentric gentlemen. It is to his credit that he was able to foresee the shape of the future in what was then only one of many seemingly harmless fringe groups. He saw that mysticism was on the rise, and he recognised it as an unfocused craving for spiritual experiences, one more appetite which the materialist wanted filled.”

    1. Margo,
      “The Church is a timeless society” is a very important detail often overlooked by modern scholars. While cultures, seculars morals and trends change over time, the Church remains the same. It’s a blessing and a challenge at the same time; while we, as Catholic, can rely on the ever-important witnesses of the time when our limited understanding fails or induces doubt, our brothers in the faith, only relying on it (their limited and anachronistic understanding), question Scriptures that do not trouble us. Case in point, the various modern interpretations of Matthew 1:25, John 2:4 and Luke 11:28, for example.

      1. LLC: Scriptures that do not trouble us [would include] the modern interpretations of Matthew 1:25

        B: It SHOULD trouble you. The “interpretation” of Matt 1:25 is clear as the light of day when we compare Scripture with Scripture, proving Mary did not remain celibate at all. However, while Mary is not the theme of this thread, I will address it once and respond no further.

        It seems the only thing Catholics DO believe at face value is “eat my flesh, drink my blood”. To them, everything else simply cannot mean what it says!

        The statement that he did not know her UNTIL she brought forth a son is unambiguous. Afterwards, J & M had other children, as evidenced by Matt 13:55. Mary had 4 sons and at least 2 daughters, period, end of story.
        “Oh no!” you will scream, “it doesn’t mean that, God was speaking with marbles in his mouth. He meant they were only cousins”

        Meh.

        Might I remind you that if “cousins” was meant to be conveyed, the Holy Spirit would have used it. But it was not. Furthermore, if Luke had known of any decision by Mary to remain a virgin, (and by the time Luke wrote his gospel, Mary was WELL past child-bearing age, so this PHYSICIAN would know just exactly what the familial situation was) it seems indisputable that he would have used the word “ONLY BORN” son, as he did elsewhere, if an only child was indeed the case. I direct your attention to the statement that “she brought forth her FIRSTBORN son.” (Luke 2:7). This is ***deliberatly*** different… (again, it is DELIBERATE) from where later in Luke’s gospel we read three times of someone’s ONLY child….”the only son of His mother” (7:12)…..”his only daughter” (8:41)….and “he is my only child” (9:38). I say it to you again, if the Holy Spirit wanted it to be known that Jesus was an “ONLY” in chapter 2, it would have been made abundantly clear as it was in chapters 7, 8 and 9! And to HELL with what the Pope told us circa 1850! The word “only” was intentionally not used PRECISELY because Jesus had other siblings! Face it. The RCC has duped you. And because you refuse to use logic, refuse to reason things out (Isa 1:18), refuse to compare Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor 2:13), God has sent you and all the rest, “strong delusion, that you should believe a lie” (2 Thess 2:11-12).

        We should keep in mind that a variety of terms are relevant to this discussion; namely, why “firstborn” was used, why “cousin” wasn’t used, why “relative” wasn’t used, etc. It’s not as if Catholics only have to explain why they’re defending the use of one or two less natural interpretations. Rather, they have to explain why they’re supporting a view that involves multiple Biblical authors intending multiple LESS natural readings of multiple phrases when they had multiple OTHER and better phrases available to them that they could have used instead– and DO use in other passages, but didn’t, in the cases in question. The concept that multiple Biblical authors believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary, yet never explicitly expressed that belief and instead repeatedly chose terminology pointing in the opposite direction while rejecting other terminology they COULD have used and DO use elsewhere, terminology that would have been more supportive of the P.V. concept, proves the RC position is built on sinking sand.

        The biblical evidence, coupled with sound, sober reasoning, has placed the Pope of 1850 into a canon, where one has no choice but to light the match and shoot him off into outer space where his filthy theology belongs.

        1. BB,
          “proving Mary did not remain celibate at all” = case in point. Regardless of the modern usage of the term, “celibacy”, from the Latin caelibatus, properly means “state of being unmarried,” from caelebs “unmarried,” possibly from *kaiwelo- “alone” + lib(h)s- “living”.

        2. “The word “only” was intentionally not used PRECISELY…”

          Kinda like your and Luther’s addition of “alone” to Scripture. Flounder and Martin will be sharing space in the same Pit Barrel Cooker on about level 6.

          The level reserved for purposefully ignorant levels of heretical pride and arrogance.

          By the way, don’t quit your day job as bunker janitor for a career in comedy….

          1. B: “The word “only” was intentionally not used PRECISELY…”

            AF: Kinda like your and Luther’s addition of “alone” to Scripture.

            B: First of all, you can’t refute Luke’s use of the word “ONLY” (3 times!) which utterly refutes the entire Roman Catholic system. God has given you a brain and you refuse to use it, thus, you will die in your sins.
            Now when someone trusts in the work of Christ wrought out in both his life and death (Romans 5:10), that person is saved….period, end of story. Scripture says we are saved APART from works of the law. That being so, there are no other options than to be saved by faith alone, period, end of story. Luther’s addition of the word “alone” in Romans 3:28 did NOT change the meaning of the verse and is definitely implied. If it was not implied, Mr. Know-it-all, then why, pray tell, did RC Bible BEFORE Luther was even born, add it??? Oh my, now what will you do? I suggest getting a cold wash-cloth and lying down for a while.
            ➢The RC 1476 Geneva Bible translates Romans 3:28 as “per sola fede” .
            ➢ Their 1483 Nuremberg Bible translates Romans 3:38
            exactly like Luther: “allein durch den glauben”

            ➢ Their 1538 Venice Bible translates Romans 3:28 as “per
            sola fede”

            Many witnesses to this may be found, but I’ll name only two to shut you up.

            Clement of Rome: And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or ***works which we have wrought in holiness of heart;*** but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (ANF: Vol. I, The Apostolic Fathers, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 32.)

            “Works done in holiness of heart” is the BEDROCK of Catholicism (CCC 1821, 2016), and Clement gives all these works a thumbs down, just as Scripture does (Titus 3:5).

            Chrysostom (349-407): The patriarch Abraham himself before receiving circumcision had been declared righteous on the score of ***faith alone***: before circumcision, the text says, “Abraham believed God, and credit for it brought him to righteousness.
            (”Fathers of the Church, Vol. 82, Homilies on Genesis 18-45, 27.7…Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1990), p. 167.

            Again, Chrysostom (349-407): “… being saved by grace. Here he shows God’s power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only. (NPNF1: Vol. XI, Homilies on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, Homily 7, vs. 27.)

            Again, Chrysostom (349-407): “… he who adhered to Faith alone, is blessed.” (NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Commentary on Galatians, 3:8.)

            Finally, Chrysostom (349-407): “For he makes a wide distinction between commandments and ordinances. He either then means faith, calling that an ordinance, (for by faith alone He saved us,) or he means precept, such as Christ gave, when He said, “But I say unto you, that ye are not to be angry at all.” (Matthew 5:22.) NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on Ephesians, Homly 5, Ephesians 2:11,12.

            You are refuted.

          2. Good mornin,’ Flounder…..hope the mac n’cheese was particularly succulent this wonderful daybreak.

            BB: “God has given you a brain…”

            Well, God in His wisdom gives special gifts to some, but not all, of us…

            BB: Bla bla Clement…bla bla Chrysostom…

            You know, I used to call this worn out Jimmy White apologetic of yours, cherry picking. Considering the source where you are pulling these nuggets, I am renaming it ‘polyp-picking.’ Eww-wwww…

            Flounder, I and others here have “re-fruited” your circular, repetitive, shopworn out-of-contexts more times than I can count, but for the sake of any noobs here who can’t see you have your head deeply up-and-locked (no doubt in search of theological polyps), we’ll have another go, shall we?

            St.John Chrysostom:

            “When the word says, ‘This is My Body,’ be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gift is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the birth and the renewal. If you were incorporeal He would have given you those incorporeal gifts naked; but since the soul is intertwined with the body, He hands over to you in tangible things that which is perceived intellectually. How many now say, ‘I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.’ Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him!”

            -“Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew” [82,4] 370 A.D.

            “I wish to add something that is plainly awe-inspiring, but do not be astonished or upset. This Sacrifice, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul, is always the same as that which Christ gave His disciples and which priests now offer: The offering of today is in no way inferior to that which Christ offered, because it is not men who sanctify the offering of today; it is the same Christ who sanctified His own. For just as the words which God spoke are the very same as those which the priest now speaks, so too the oblation is the very same.”

            Source: St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Second Epistle to Timothy,” 2,4, c. 397 A.D.

            “It is not the power of man which makes what is put before us the Body and Blood of Christ, but the power of Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words but their power and grace are from God. ‘This is My Body,’ he says, and these words transform what lies before him.”

            Source: St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Treachery of Judas” 1,6; d. 407 A.D.:

            St. Clement of Rome: The third successor of Peter as Bishop of Rome; otherwise known as the third Pope.

            “Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity.”

            Source: St. Clement, bishop of Rome, 80 A.D., to the Corinthians

            In case you missed it (considering what God gave me and not you) ‘services, sacrifices, and oblations’ are…the Mass!

            St Ignatius of Antioch

            “Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead.”

            (Oh, please, Flounder, go ahead and post your shopworn link to the White Horse Blog on St. Ignatius…we are waiting for you…)

            “Letter to the Smyrnaeans”, paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.

            YOUR quote on Chrysostom and Clement was, like every other Reformed exigete half-a$$ed attempt to “use” the great Fathers against the One True Church, completely out of context. Chrysostom was arguing for faith in Christ rather then adherence to the Levitical laws (e.g., circumcision) of the old Covenant, or in the case of Clement, the pagan beliefs of the Corinthians.**Nothing more than that…** …certainly not against the necessity of good works or the Eucharist.

            There’s so much more, Flounder, but it would be criminally boring to re-eviscerate you, in the same manner as I and others have done again and again, for the same polyp stew you serve here every time Joe posts.

            Ye ere re-fruited…go back to the Pastor White, he’s waiting for you behind the usual stump.

          3. Oh, and if your cut-pastes are correct in both context and actuality – doubtful considering nowhere else is there pre-reformation Catholic Church consensus on faith-alone, and considering your past history conveniently of “adding” and fabricating everything from Scripture to the Catechism – then why would Luther not have referenced such, but instead said this:

            “If your papist annoys you with that word (i.e. alone), tell him straightaway: Doctor Martin Luther will have it so: Papists and asses are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil’s thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. LUTHER WILL HAVE IT SO, AND HE IS A DOCTOR ABOVE ALL THE DOCTORS IN POPEDOM.”

            Kinda like Flounder claiming Luther is burning in Hell, by (and I quote) “my sacred word.”

          4. AK: Good mornin,’ Flounder

            B: You persistent name-calling is bombastic and asinine. There is nuuuuthing of Christ in you. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

            AK: Bla bla Clement…bla bla Chrysostom… in the case of Clement…[think] the pagan beliefs of the Corinthians.**Nothing more than that…**

            B: You are a liar in the first degree, inexcusably whitewashing Clement in the service of Mother Church. Clement’s letter utterly refutes the RC way of salvation and Clement would be the first to admit it. Need it be said again? He RENOUNCED “works done in holiness of heart” as the way in which God saves a soul, and in this, he is 100% correct. Catholicism teaches the EXACT OPPOSITE (CCC 1821) and there is simply no way out of it for you unless you were to commit suicide and have the Lord tell you sooner than later….that YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ A SENTENCE.

            AK: I… have “re-fruited” your circular, repetitive, shopworn out-of-contexts more times than I can count

            B: Only in your dreams.

            AK: but for the sake of any noobs here… we’ll have another go, shall we? [I now refer to]

            St.John Chrysostom [on the Eucharist]

            B: You were responding to my post wherein I quoted C on FAITH ALONE, not the Eucharist. Unable to find any escape hatch to find shelter against the force of his words, you throw us his quotes on the Eucharist instead.
            Cute.
            They are dismissed.

            AK: St. Clement of Rome: The third successor of Peter as Bishop of Rome; otherwise known as the third Pope.

            “Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity.”

            B: I have left his quote in tact for all to see. There is no eucharistic teaching in this verse, and so I leave you to your shame.

            AF: In case you missed it…‘services, sacrifices, and oblations’ are…the Mass!

            B: Yes, you would like to read those concepts into the verse because if C is saying what you think he is, he is sadly talking with marbles in his mouth…. just like you believe God always speaks with marbles in his mouth EVERYWHERE except when he says “Eat me”…and so needs the magisterium to tell us what he REALLY means. The same applies here. You know full well Clement’s words DO NOT come right out and say what you want it to mean, so YOU tell us. And phooey to what you say about “sacrifices” relating to the Mass. “Sacrifices” pertains to the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving and there is no way in the world that you can prove he meant such nonsense like Jesus gave himself in sacrifice at the Last Supper BEFORE he went to the cross as that satan-inspired council of Trent taught, and which we are supposedly to offer to God a billion times until kingdom come.

            AK: St Ignatius of Antioch…

            (Oh, please, Flounder, go ahead and post your shopworn link to the White Horse Blog on St. Ignatius…we are waiting for you…)

            B: I will be delighted to do so, since neither you or anyone else has even TOUCHED upon it.
            The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

            http://www.whitehorseblog.com/2014/07/27/eating-ignatius/

          5. You, Flounder, calling me bombastic? Anyone see a psoriatic rash of irony here?

            The scales fit, Flounder. And if I am an earthen vessel, so be it. Proud of the constituent.

            We agree to disagree about Clement and the interpretation of sacrifice as Eucharist. Only a deluded Fundie such as yourself cannot see that. If your contention about Clement **is** true, and he’s an early Luther (burning in hell, by Flounder’s sacred word), where is the supporting dissension against transubstantiation in other Early Fathers? Crickets? If Clement ‘s writing here made him a Eucharistic heretic, would that not have been the subject of indignation, writings and councils, as in Arius/Christ’s divinity at Nicaea, and Nestor/Mary as Theotokos at Ephesus? More crickets.

            You’re hopeless.

            As for Chrysostom and faith vs works, I **drive home* my point that anything St. John said about justification by faith is in reference to the Judaizers and the Old Covenant, and NOT the necessity of good works. From his Discourses against Judaizing Christians:

            “A letter from the King came down from heaven. Rather, the King himself came. Without examination, without exacting an account, he set all men free from the chains of their sins. All, then, who run to Christ are saved by his grace and profit from his gift. But those who wish to find justification from the Law will also fall from grace. They will not be able to enjoy the King’s loving-kindness because they are striving to gain salvation by their own efforts; they will draw down on themselves the curse of the Law because by the works of the Law no flesh will find justification.”

            Clear to anyone not theologically challenged – talking to you under your mountain of rancid and inedible deli.

            White horse blog…oh please, still riding the crippled, pretzeled metaphor mule, rank with tortured polyp-picking? Re-fruited long ago, not that anything so ridiculous ever needed such effort. Who is the one here who can’t read, in this case, the clear words of Ignatius? Fundie theological and ontological desperation has a peculiar odor, and here, it’s overwhelming. You’re going to have to dig deeper to find polyps of any more useful apologetic value. Oww-wwww….

            Dismiss this (points). You are, as ever, boring. Have a nice day.

          6. Barry: The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

            What a load. You haven’t even begun to dig into the historical depths of either the issue of Justification or the most Holy Eucharist. You are also terrible at trying to reading our minds.

            Since this post is about Justification, I’ll point out the part of 1 Clement that you missed, namely Chapter 35, where he explains that putting off sin and following God’s will is absolutely necessary for salvation. I’ll quote it here in full:

            “How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, self-control in holiness! And all these fall under the cognizance of our understandings [now]; what then shall those things be which are prepared for such as wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith towards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vain glory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:32 For the Scripture says, But to the sinner God said, Wherefore do you declare my statutes, and take my covenant into your mouth, seeing you hate instruction, and castest my words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and made your portion with adulterers. Your mouth has abounded with wickedness, and your tongue contrived deceit. You sit, and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought, wicked one, that I should be like to yourself. But I will reprove you, and set yourself before you. Consider now these things, you that forget God, lest He tear you in pieces, like a lion, and there be none to deliver. The sacrifice of praise will glorify me, and a way is there by which I will show him the salvation of God.” (emph. mine)

            Pope St. Clement 1 uses the same line of argument as St. Paul. After explaining how Justification is by Faith and not by works, even in holiness of heart, he explains that the Grace that we have received by the life, death, and resurrection of our Blessed Lord needs to be maintained by following God’s will and putting off sin — by doing works in the supernatural Grace of God, which is greater than human holiness.

            If you want to be saved, Barry, you need to put off sin, and live according to the Will of God, not just rely on faith alone. “For many are called, but few are Chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

          7. Flounder and his fellow fundies are purposefully missing the Salvation Final Exam – Matt 25: 31-46.

            The polyp-picking to get around that will be most amusing to see.

            Tim Kauffman (white horse blog) obviously found that picking the pockets of pious and gullible prognathous southron ‘vengerlilercals is easier and more profitable than engineering. Yup, it’s all a metaphor….

          8. AF: You haven’t even begun to dig into the historical depths of either the issue of Justification or the most Holy Eucharist.

            B: LOL! As if I’m under obligation to cover every nook and cranny of both those doctrines on this forum! uhhh….you don’t make the same demand on anyone else to write long dissertations, so your hypocrisy is pope- able. I mean, palpable.

            AF: Since this post is about Justification, I’ll point out the part of 1 Clement that you missed, namely Chapter 35, where he explains that putting off sin and following God’s will is absolutely necessary for salvation.

            B: Save your breath, I’ve read it. You continue to misrepresent your opponent’s position. NO NON-CATHOLIC on this planet has ever taught that you must only needs believe in Christ, and then you may go out and rob as many banks as you please. NOTHING…and I mean, NOTHING, has changed since Trent, who also (miserably!) misrepresented the doctrine also, and you follow in your heretical father’s footsteps indeed. Trent was never inspired AT ALL, since the Holy Spirit does not inspire gross misrepresentations of ANYONE’S position. The moment they classified F.A. as meaning, “as if nothing else was required”, they exposed their satanic origins because NO ONE ever taught any such thing, least of all Luther. They will get double-condemned on Judgment Day because they made an inquiry into all of Luther’s writings so they had every opportunity to know exactly what he was saying, and what HE was saying, was not what THEY reported in their filthy decree!

            As for Clement, there is nothing I would disagree with in anything he said in chapter 35. The only reason you posted it is because you want to anachronistically read back into his words that he thinks the good deeds we do after we’re saved, have just as much salvific value as the blood which dripped from Calvary’s cross. But it is crystal clear he eschewed “works done in holiness of heart” for the purposes of salvation, just as much as Titus 3:5 and everywhere else where good works are eschewed as the key which opens heaven’s gate. The only person who would DO good works in “HOLINESS OF HEART” would have to be a Christian, and so the admonition is to the Christian not to rely on them or to attribute to them any salvific value. Modern RCism teaches just the opposite; namely, works done in holiness of heart, have the power to save. Consequently, you are, as the book of Revelation describes, “poor, blind and naked”.

            AF: Pope St. Clement 1 uses the same line of argument as St. Paul. After explaining how Justification is by Faith and not by works, even in holiness of heart…

            B: THAT, is true

            AF: he [then] explains that the Grace that we have received by the life, death, and resurrection of our Blessed Lord needs to be maintained by following God’s will and putting off sin — by doing works in the supernatural Grace of God

            B: The true Christian would not argue with “maintenance”, but WILL violently disagree with CCC 1821, that these “graced-produced-good-works” are salvific! It will absolutely NEVER be so. Not now. Not ever. There is not a spec of difference between Catholics and those who were given the boot in Matt 7; “we’ve done many good works in thy name, Lord!”
            But he told them to take a hike, because they had divided their trust between him and the alleged “salvific value” of the quarter they dropped into the homeless man’s hat.

            Repeat: Good works are the “determining factor” in salvation, so says Robert Sungenis with the Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur of the RCC, as well as receiving the applause of practically every living luminary of the church today in the preamble.

            Thus, Catholicism is a false gospel. We despise the applause this wretched book received, and are only interested in the applause that Christ gives those who, “test those who SAY they are apostles, but are not, and hast found them liars” (Rev 2:2).

          9. “NO NON-CATHOLIC on this planet has ever taught that you must only needs believe in Christ, and then you may go out and rob as many banks as you please.”

            Flounder, that’s PRECISELY what I have been told by numerous Baptists and other fundies! That once you accept him, Jesus “doesn’t change His mind….” about the acceptors salvation. But then again…that’s their ‘terpretation….as valid as yours, because by God, it comes from ….wait for it…Scripture….they’re right and you’re wrong, all tens-of-thousands of you….

            And not surprisingly , you miss AFs main point in the Clement quote. The point was, you have to live all the Clementine enumerations of a good life to affirm your salvation…in other words, you actively have to DO something, not sit on your oversized big-gulp-nourished hindquarters because “you’re sayyyyyved….”

            Matt 25: 31-46 applies. No getting around that.

            Keep Floundering.

          10. Hi AK,

            Here we go again, all around the whirligig. Note the upside down teakettle! This will serve to nicely accompany Joe’s pineapple up-down cake. Both go well with the heartbreak and scales of psoriasis.

            https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=1TssblMz&id=29F37B9BBD0A971CEEB3A7319061FEA60831FB2B&thid=OIP.1TssblMzVnRMQm7YXv98_wDQEs&q=Make+Your+Own+Whirligig&simid=607986827724260749&selectedIndex=15&ajaxhist=0

            Here’s Martinez “The Sanctifier” (p. 24). “…[F]aith stops at the threshold of heaven, so that vision may replace it.” Think about that! Faith may get one to heaven’s door. But then it fails. What gets us in the door? Charity, or love expressed through works.

            Martinez again: “…it is better to love God…through charity than to know him through faith…” and “He who loves resembles the thing loved.” and “…when we know superior things, we belittle them by adapting them to our intelligence; but when we love them, we lift ourselves up to them.”

            Jesus showed inordinate patience toward and healed sincere searchers after truth. Jesus gave sight to the blind man because he bared his vulnerability and need with humble sincerity. Jesus sent others packing. “What is that to you?” (John 21:20-22). “It is not for you to know…(Acts 1:6-7). Look at the Herodians and Pharisees of today’s Gospel. Jesus took care of that motley crew, didn’t he? Wish He’d give us words to stick to our sick fish.

            Yes! Please Flounder, share again about Martin Luther!

          11. Ah Margo….welcome, your effulgently joyous presence is an uplift to the tortured soul….I don’t know what that thing is, but I vant one fur meine livink room…

            Alexander…don’t know how long you have been posting here, but in the past year, with Barry…I have cajoled…I admonished…I have held out olive branches…I have stayed silent…even the other Protestant posters here have weighed in….and all any of those yielded was a double-down of more ‘yew Cat’liks ere jes’ too EVIL for civilized discourse…’ After awhile you run out of cheeks and start reviewing Just War theory.

            My estimation of Barry is, he’s a cut/paste sock puppet for some malevolent Catholic-hating troll like Jimmy White, a kleine schwanze here for one reason, to hijack the debate and sew chaos on one of the best examples of Catholic online apologetics. But I would love to be proved wrong, and am willing to hold out the olive branch **once again…**

            Barry – you stick to discourse as does Irked, point-counterpoint without the name-calling, declarations of hellfire and insults aimed at our beliefs, and I will do likewise….anything else proves my point.

          12. B: LOL! As if I’m under obligation to cover every nook and cranny of both those doctrines on this forum! uhhh….you don’t make the same demand on anyone else to write long dissertations, so your hypocrisy is pope- able. I mean, palpable.

            I’m not expecting you to write long dissertations! I’m attempting to encourage you to read the Scriptures and Church Fathers more deeply. Also, nice pun.

            You continue to misrepresent your opponent’s position. NO NON-CATHOLIC on this planet has ever taught that you must only needs believe in Christ, and then you may go out and rob as many banks as you please.

            I didn’t intend to misrepresent you at all. I know full well that you believe:

            a) faith is completely sufficient for Justification
            b) faith naturally and inevitably results in good works demonstrating that Justification, without which a person cannot be saved because he did not have true, saving faith to begin with

            I believe Pope St. Clement 1’s letter produces a problem for b), when he adds leaving Sin to the necessary things to be done in order to be saved as a member of the Elect. In a Calvinistic system, an exhortation to faith would be enough, as the leaving of Sinful things would inevitably result from a genuine faith.

            The only reason you posted it is because you want to anachronistically read back into his words that he thinks the good deeds we do after we’re saved, have just as much salvific value as the blood which dripped from Calvary’s cross.

            You’re misrepresenting what we believe here. Enormously. I would in no way, at any time, compare my beliefs to the bolded statement. I put Works alongside Faith. I don’t put Works alongside the bloody sacrifice of Christ.

            B: The true Christian would not argue with “maintenance”, but WILL violently disagree with CCC 1821, that these “graced-produced-good-works” are salvific!

            I thought you were a monergist…or are you not (honestly confused here)? Maintaining one’s salvation definitely implies synergistic cooperation with Grace.

            Good works are the “determining factor” in salvation, so says Robert Sungenis with the Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur of the RCC, as well as receiving the applause of practically every living luminary of the church today in the preamble.

            Thus, Catholicism is a false gospel. We despise the applause this wretched book received

            I’ve already explained that I don’t really defend Robert Sungenis, given some of his bizzare teachings. There’s not really any need to attack a book that I’m not using as a source.

            However…I definitely would say that Faith and Good Works are the determining factor in Salvation. Justification is by Faith and Works. Justification by Faith Alone (in the sense of not needing Baptism, the consent of the will, or obedience to Christ’s commandments once in a state of Grace) is a false gospel, and Justification by Works Alone (in any sense) is a false gospel.

          13. The necessity of faith AND works is proved by the saying of the Lord:

            “he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:38)

            ,,,or is carrying a cross not a work?

          14. AK: My estimation of Barry is, he’s a cut/paste sock puppet for some malevolent Catholic-hating troll like Jimmy White,

            B: First of all, I would stake my eternal soul on the fact that you would lose in a debate with Mr. White, so badly in fact, that the shame would drive you to suicide, the case for Catholicism is that weak.
            Second, once again, you have proved to be a first class liar, and I will remind you that all liars will have their place in hell. That’s in Revelation, lest you have forgotten.
            If I was cutting and pasting, you would be able to provide the link to where I have C & P’d. But because you’ve never done this, the charge of being a liar remains, not to mention defamation of character.
            If I was the moderator of this post, I would ban you in the blink of an eye.

          15. HAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!!! You so funny, Flounder. John 6 and Matt 25:31-46 and the clear writings of the Church Fathers remain like beacons subsuming the Reformation fog, no matter how much you bluster and your mentor Parster Jimmy and his fellow theo-psychos detumesce their theological spew in your fevered brain. As for forums, you are a guest here and repay the kindness with abuse. How do **you** think that’ll go over on Judgement Day?

            Keep on polyp hunting. Parster Jimmy says go a little deeper….

          16. By the way, Parster Jimmy debates exactly as you do, having watched a few and read transcripts. When his arguments – little more than preaching – fail, as they inevitably must, he resorts to personal insults. His drooling knuckle-dragging sister-marrying base, all six of them including you, will love it.

            Just…like…you. A waste of time, beyond the entertainment value.

          17. AWL: The necessity of faith AND works is proved by the saying of the Lord…

            B: We do not NEEEEEEED to see your bible verses about the “NECESSITY” of faith and works, because, oh thou fool, we already agree and are happy to comply with doing good works, knowing that none of them will ever be forgotten, right down to the last cup of water given in Christ’s name as he specifically stated. We’ve said it a million times since Trent, and STILL you ignorant Catholics do nothing but misrepresent Protestants as “good works hating idiots”.
            Now for the millionth and one time, GOOD WORKS DO NOT HAVE ANY SAVING POWER. True Christians (which Catholics are not) do them everyday. Counterfeit Christians, such as Catholics, TRUST in those good works to open heaven’s gate (CCC 1821) thinking their miserable good deeds have the power to wipe away their sins in conjunction WITH the the blood of Christ; thus they believe “faith and works” SAVE them.
            No wonder Jesus said the way was narrow. With all Catholics lost, in addition to the cults, muslims, and of course atheists, the number of people saved will be considerably less than the number of people who have ever been born.

            Hence, Scripture is 100& clear that justification is by faith APART from works. You think to get out of the accusation by saying that every time we read that justification is by faith APART from works, the Holy Spirit means “works of the Mosaic law”.
            NO HE DOES NOT MEAN ANY SUCH THING… and you could not prove that if your life depended on it. Satan’s game-plan is to dupe the Pope’s fan club into thinking that if works of the Mosaic law are excluded, that means the good works we do with God’s grace in the new covenant… ARE salvific.
            Baloney!
            It is a brilliant maneuver designed to hoodwink Rome into a spiritually comatose condition… and God has allowed the enemy to succeed triumphantly because you have NOT, “received a love of the truth, and for that cause, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thess 2:11-12).

          18. AF: Justification by Faith Alone (in the sense of not needing Baptism, the consent of the will, or obedience to Christ’s commandments once in a state of Grace) is a false gospel

            B: JBFA izzzzz the gospel. The truth of the Protestant position can be proved by the person being judged in 1 Cor 3—where his works were examined. This section of Scripture shows the great mercy of God in that we are given the example of the very poorest type—yet legitimate Christian, who is nevertheless, saved. This person really did believe in what Christ had done for him, but he had to be on the most elementary level of spirituality because while he was doing good works—they were for all the wrong reasons (possibly to be seen of men, in which case Jesus says you get your reward then and there but no further) All of his deeds were “burnt up”, receiving nothing, ….yet the man himself was saved. THAT IS THE KEY. His faith alone in the OBJECT of his faith was the fishing rod that reeled him into heaven, and NOT his works, of which he had none. This is the heartbeat of the gospel (Acts 5:42). Catholics are point blank LOST because they have it all BACKWARDS, by issuing foolish statements that works “merit” heaven.

          19. BB,
            “We’ve said it a million times since Trent, and STILL you ignorant Catholics do nothing but misrepresent Protestants as “good works hating idiots” = similarly, you keep misrepresenting the RCC teachings. Quoting CCC 1821: “We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for “all men to be saved.” This chapter of the CCC is about the Theological Virtues, and this specific paragraph is about hope, as its title clearly indicates, and has nothing to do with the “necessity of work and faith”. Furthermore, if you would just read what it was actually said at the Council of Trent, you would see that the RCC teaches that “none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification. ‘For, if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise,’ as the Apostle says, ‘grace is no more grace’” (DJ 8, quoting Rom. 11:6)”. Catholic Answers has a very comprehensive and clear (i.e., in plain English) explanation of the RCC in matter of Faith and Work.

          20. AF cited from the CCC: “…each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ.”

            If Barry doesn’t believe that God rewards His servants according the “works” they did on Earth, then he must have passed over this teaching of Christ….and it involves the teaching of the ‘Ten Commandments’ to others, also:

            “…For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. [19] He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:18)

            So, surely, ALL Christians should be busy about teaching the 10 Commandments to others, and keeping / practicing the same in their own lives. And this is also why the ancient catechism, the Didache, focuses so highly on teaching the principles of ‘The Commandments’ in it’s first few pages. Yet, nothing in it teaches anything resembling Protestant core doctrine. I wonder why? Maybe because it isn’t “he Gospel” that Barry thinks it is, and claims it to be. (See excerpts from the Didache text in my comment from 10/23 11:20AM, below…)

          21. “…then he must have passed over this teaching of Christ….and it involves the teaching of the ‘Ten Commandments’ to others, also:…”

            I would add, as I have many times and been ignored by Himself, the Christian “Final Exam” Matt 25: 31-46.

          22. BB,
            “RC 1476 Geneva Bible” = An English translation of the Bible, under Protestant auspices, published in Geneva in 1560. It was the first English edition to use verse divisions, had a strong Calvinist tone, and is popularly known as the “Breeches Bible” because of its translation of Genesis 3:7, “they . . . made themselves breeches.” (from the Catholic Dictionary) = not a Catholic Bible, nor published in 1476.
            As for the other Bibles, as usual, it would be beneficial if you actually added the source of your information. A quick online search shows how the idea that the “sola fide” translation was already present in some Catholic Bibles has circulated and is circulating among Protestant and Evangelical blogs, but none reports an actual source; most copy verbatim from each other, often (so much for verbatim!) with name or date errors.
            Regarding Luther’s translating capabilities, Protestant Scholar Dr. Henry Clay Vedder says that “It would be difficult in any case to believe that a complete translation of the entire New Testament could have been made by a man of Luther’s limited attainments in Greek, and with the imperfect apparatus that he possessed, in the short space of 10 weeks”. According to Dr. Vedder, Luther relied heavily on the Codex Teplensis (c. 1400): “As this (Codex Teplensis) contains seven articles of faith that are evidently Waldensian, many have been led to attribute to this version a Waldensian origin. Others have pointed out that no more is proved by the MS than a Waldensian ownership of it at some time, and have asserted a Catholic origin for the version. This (German) version was certainly in the possession of Luther, and was as certainly used by him in the preparation of his version. The fact, once entirely unsuspected, and then hotly denied, has been proven to be a demonstration of the ‘deadly parallel.’ It appears from a verse by verse comparison that this old German Bible was in fact so industriously used by Luther, and the only accurate description of Luther’s version is to call it a careful revision of the older text”. Catholic Scholar Hartman Grisar noted: “Emser [Jerome Emser, the well-respected German theologian and Luther’s contemporary] speaks of more than 1,400 passages which Luther has rendered in a false and heretical sense.”

          23. Hi LLC,

            Sorry for mistaking, and citing, the quote from your above comment with Alexander Folkert’s, in my comment above on 10/23 at 3:05 PM. But, as both you and AF are excellent Catholic apologists, it’s pretty easy to make the mistake! 🙂

            Keep up the good apologetic work. I learn a lot from the both of you.

          24. Awlms,
            no problem. As much as I like JH’s blog, the commenting section is not the easiest to navigate. Often the responses and comments get lost or placed away from the intended target.
            As for continuous learning, I do my fair share here every day, thanks to you all, and to BB as well; regardless of how illogical and anti-Scriptural his posts are, I am always pushed to study and learn more. I just wish he would stop copy and paste third-party comments without including the source. They would be so much easier to check. Ah, another wish would be for less juvenile attitude and more factual content, in case he’s reading…

          25. “….not to mention defamation of character….”

            As if there was anything of substance to defame.

            “If I was the moderator of this post, I would ban you in the blink of an eye.”

            Your delusion is, you think anyone cares what you think. Blink at this (points).

        3. AK,

          It’s amazing how Barry always stresses what Jesus did for us on the cross, which of course merits focus,attention and eternal gratitude. But he never mentions what Christ wants of us in return. And that is, to follow and imitate Him even as St. Paul noted: “Be imitators of me as I AM OF CHRIST.”

          Barry seems to insinuate that Christ has done everything important, and the rest is for the most part inconsequential regarding our salvation. But, as you note with the “final exam” of Matt: 25: 31-46, we find Christ Himself teaching that our salvation actually hinges on, and is determined by WHAT WE DO FOR HIM. This, Jesus teaches, is what distinguishes the goats from the sheep…whether we loved and served Him in our fellow brothers here below; even as the Lord said: “Whatsoever you did to the least of my brothers that you did unto me”.

          Best to you.

      2. LLC,

        I “Know!” In earlier posts, our brothers in the faith argued that the “knowing” of Matthew 1:25 was knowing ONLY in a sexual sense. Totally reasonable grammatical explanations of “until” were also discarded.

        The argument that Joseph did not fully “know” (in the sense of “understand” Mary until she gave birth) went in one ear and out the same. Indeed, the suggestion laughable and illogical.

        Imagine how God offers us consolation, then! One of the Holy Spirit’s gifts? The Gift of Knowledge. How does the Church define it? Luis Martinez (“The Sanctifier”) offers a chapter of explanation. One sentence: The gift of knowledge allows one to see in all creatures “…reflections of divine goodness, …at the same time, they are adequate means of helping us to God, luminous ladders by which we ascend to heaven.”

        Of course we Catholics should argue, with the full grace of the gift, that Joseph did not “know” Mary until he was granted the gift of knowledge which he did not fully have until that first Christmas. Indeed, Martinez quotes the Book of Wisdom 10:10: “She guided him [the just man] in direct ways,…and gave him knowledge of holy things.”

        Only God could give such a gift. To Mary, to Joseph, to me, to you, and to all our blind and stuck-in-time brethren.

        God bless.

  6. I guess the saying is true, all roads do indeed lead to Rome. I’m waiting for Joe’s recipe post for upside down pineapple cake and BB’s corresponding screed, complete with at least one misquote from the Catechism or Trent, correlating Joe’s taste in desserts and the direction of his theology and eternal state.

    It seems like it would be exhausting, but I do remember how much grief I gave Gina Simpson in junior high. What a feeling it was to be close enough to tell her how much I hated her.

      1. Margo – I wish Brother Flounder would tell us again about how Martin Luther is a-burnin’ in hell.

        It were inspir-ational….it were…

  7. Barry said: “Counterfeit Christians, such as Catholics, TRUST in those good works to open heaven’s gate (CCC 1821) thinking their miserable good deeds have the power to wipe away their sins in conjunction WITH the the blood of Christ; thus they believe “faith and works” SAVE them.

    Barry, you cannot do any good works without Christ to begin with, and the Catholic Church does not teach that you can. So, stop trying to imply that it does. This one scripture, below (picked from many others), teaches the Catholic position. And, it includes ‘free choice’/’free will’ to either keep Christ’s words or to ignore them; and, also to either keep Christ’s commandments or NOT to keep them….that is, NOT to put His commandmants into practice practical use. Read very carefully what the Lord teaches, and what the Catholic Church teaches as well, as you say you rely on scripture alone:

    “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.[6] If any one abide NOT in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. [7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. [8] In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. [9] As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. [10] IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father’s commandments, and do abide in his love.” (John 15:4-10)

    Barry, if you just study what the Lord teaches here, you will start to become a knowledgeable Christian. It is packed with true theology. It is worthy of much meditation.

    Moreover, have you never read the Didache? Here is how this ancient catechetical work begins it’s teachings; and with a focus on keeping Christ’s teachings and commandments:

    I. “The Lord’s Teaching to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles:

    1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death; and between the two ways there is a great difference.

    2 Now, this is the way of life: “First, you must love God who made you, and second, your neighbor as yourself.” And whatever you want people to refrain from doing to you, you must not do to them.

    3 What these maxims teach is this: “Bless those who curse you,” and “pray for your enemies.” Moreover, fast “for those who persecute you.” For “what credit is it to you if you love those who love you? Is that not the way the heathen act?” But “you must love those who hate you,” and then you will make no enemies.

    4 “Abstain from carnal passions.” If someone strikes you “on the right cheek, turn to him the other too, and you will be perfect.” If someone “forces you to go one mile with him, go along with him for two”; if someone robs you “of your overcoat, give him your suit as well.” If someone deprives you of “your property, do not ask for it back.” (You could not get it back anyway!)

    5 “Give to everybody who begs from you, and ask for no return.” For the Father wants his own gifts to be universally shared. Happy is the man who gives as the commandment bids him, for he is guiltless! But alas for the man who receives! If he receives because he is in need, he will be guiltless. But if he is not in need he will have to stand trial why he received and for what purpose. He will be thrown into prison and have his action investigated; and “he will not get out until he has paid back the last cent.”

    6 Indeed, there is a further saying that relates to this: “Let your donation sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give it.”

    II. The second commandment of the Teaching:

    2  ”Do not murder; do not commit adultery”; do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate; “do not steal”; do not practice magic; do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant. “Do not covet your neighbor’s property;

    3 do not commit perjury; do not bear false witness”; do not slander; do not bear grudges.

    4  Do not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double tongue is “a deadly snare.”

    5 Your words shall not be dishonest or hollow, but substantiated by action.

    6 Do not be greedy or extortionate or hypocritical or malicious or arrogant. Do not plot against your neighbor.

    7 Do not hate anybody; but reprove some, pray for others, and still others love more than your own life.

    III. My child, flee from all wickedness and from everything of that sort.

    2 Do not be irritable, for anger leads to murder. Do not be jealous or contentious or impetuous, for all this breeds murder.

    3 My child, do not be lustful, for lust leads to fornication. Do not use foul language or leer, for all this breeds adultery.

    4 My child, do not be a diviner, for that leads to idolatry. Do not be an enchanter or an astrologer or a magician. Moreover, have no wish to observe or heed such practices, for all this breeds idolatry.

    5 My child, do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft. Do not be avaricious or vain, for all this breeds thievery.

    6 My child, do not be a grumbler, for grumbling leads to blasphemy. Do not be stubborn or evil-minded, for all this breeds blasphemy.

    7 But be humble since “the humble will inherit the earth.”

    8 Be patient, merciful, harmless, quiet, and good; and always “have respect for the teaching” you have been given. Do not put on airs or give yourself up to presumptuousness. Do not associate with the high and mighty; but be with the upright and humble. Accept whatever happens to you as good, in the realization that nothing occurs apart from God.

    IV. My child, day and night “you should remember him who preaches God’s word to you,”and honor him as you would the Lord. For where the Lord’s nature is discussed, there the Lord is.

    2 Every day you should seek the company of saints to enjoy their refreshing conversation.

    3 You must not start a schism, but reconcile those at strife. “Your judgments must be fair.” You must not play favorites when reproving transgressions.  

    4 You must not be of two minds about your decision.
    5 Do not be one who holds his hand out to take, but shuts it when it comes to giving.  
    6 If your labor has brought you earnings, pay a ransom for your sins.  
    7 Do not hesitate to give and do not give with a bad grace; for you will discover who He is that pays you back a reward with a good grace.  
    8 Do not turn your back on the needy, but share everything with your brother and call nothing your own. For if you have what is eternal in common, how much more should you have what is transient!
    9 Do not neglect your responsibility to your son or your daughter, but from their youth you shall teach them to revere God. …..

    …. See “that no one leads you astray”from this way of the teaching, since such a one’s teaching is godless.”

    *****************************************************************************

    Barry, this is one of the first written catechisms in Christian history. Maybe you should study and learn from it (…as Catholics do), as it teaches many things that contradict to your own Protestant theology, only one such thing being the necessity of following God’s ten commandments.

    Best to you.

  8. I’ve read many articles about effective apologetics, and one of the most common recommendations is to “speak with clarity and charity.” This includes respect for the other party, listening for understanding, and refraining from exaggeration or false claims about the other party’s positions.

    I know in years past it was more common for Catholics apologists to refer to Protestants as heretics and schismatics, whereas today we usually refer to them as our separated brethren. This acknowledges our shared Christology and common baptism while recognizing the significant doctrinal disagreements that prevent our unity.

    I’ve read the stories of many converts from Protestantism to Catholicism, such as Tim Staples, Scott Hahn, Mark Shea and others, and none of them ever said anything to the effect that “a Catholic called me a heretic and schismatic, and it convinced me to convert.” I recognize that people cross the Tiber in both directions, but I doubt that name calling and insults are primary influence on those decisions.

    It seems to me there are two probable motivations for BB’s contributions to this thread. One is that he is trolling a Catholic website to engage in debate and to vigorously and successfully defend his positions from any counter-attacks. The other possibility is that his heart is enflamed with the love of Christ, and he is filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and desires to use those gifts to win souls for Christ, for His glory, and not his own.

    Based on the apologetical style used here, I suspect the motivation is the former and not the latter.

    1. Kent – in my experience who calls what names often depends on the majority culture. I remember reading a screed by Noam Chomsky where he said he was harassed on his way home from yeshiva when he had to cross through largely Catholic neighborhoods. My brother told stories of being singled out in an unfair manner in his majority Jewish NYC public school by Jewish teachers. My kids were tortured unmercifully here in northern Colorado Springs by cultists of New Life Church, a pentecostal big tent that pretty much had their own way even at the Air Force Academy, until their founding parster, Ted Haggard’s, closeted habit of hiring male escorts for meth-fueled love fests hit the news – they’ve been forced to tone it down a bit since then. The New Life AFA proselytizers threatening a couple of Jewish cadets with eternal damnation is what got lawyer-dad (and AFA graduate) Mikey Weinstein to set up the lefty “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” where he now goes after just about any public display of Christian faith in the US armed forces.

      On this blog, except for Barry (who I have aka’d as Flounder) and the occasional off-wall drop-in, you’ll find there is a lot of mutual respect between Catholic and reformed posters. Discourses don’t get deep and lengthy, but are pretty much devoid of name-calling and consignments to hellfire; we learn a lot form each other. There’s no percentage in insulting in that when you actually want to learn, maybe convince the other guy you are right, and more important, try to live life somewhat in imitation of Christ.

      Except for an old hippie named Phil who occasionally posts outworn 70’s-era Werner Erhard-isms, Flounder is the lone disruptor. Because of his blind persistence (since he can’t win an argument *but* keeps saying the-same-things) I ascribe a more malevolent motive than your two observations. That is, the desire to disrupt and sow chaos in an otherwise excellent Catholic-hosted discussion site, in hopes of hijacking the discourse and eventually, causing enough disgust on the part of the more reasonable that he ends up shutting down discussion and maybe, the blog.

  9. One quick question for any Protestant still lingering on this thread.

    Do you both obey the ten commandments given by Moses, and also, teach others to observe and obey them? And if not, why? If all Christians are called to “keep the word” of Christ, which means to put into practice what He admonishes us in His gospel message, then why not put into practice these teachings:

    “…amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. ” (Matt. 5:19)

    Or, is there actually some way to not have to obey this teaching of Christ, so that indeed we do NOT need to to be concerned with obeying “the ten commandments” ourselves, and much less, to labor to teach the commandments to as many others as possible?

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