Friendly Moslem Opens Fire ...
blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Sat Aug 5 23:12:18 MDT 2006
At 06:38 PM 8/5/2006, Carl Spitzer wrote:
>On Thu, 2006-08-03 at 21:33 -0400, John Quayle wrote:
> > At 01:42 PM 8/3/2006, Carl Spitzer wrote:
> > > It would seem there is some truth to reports that Gibson is a
> > > Vatican One catholic which predated the inquisition and stated that
> > > only
> > > catholics are saved.
> > INCORRECT, Carl.........NO Catholic has EVER believed in the
> > concept of being "saved." We believe that even after you accept Jesus
> > Christ you are still capable of committing serious, heinous sin - like
> > murder, for example.
>Then catholics are not Christian if they have no trust in salvation.
>That makes catholics unsaved and merely a religion like all others.
>But only if your correct.
Catholics believe in Salvation, Carl, just the same as every
other denomination/sect. We also believe one can LOSE salvation for
one's misdeeds, too. IOWs, it's NOT a blanket absolution - NO MATTER
WHAT!! The one being granted salvation has to "hold up their end of
the bargain", if you will. Here's how the Catholic Church sees it:
THE CASE OF THE SINNING MINISTER
The following dialogue is adapted from a real exchange that
took place after a Catholic Answers parish seminar:
(Member of audience) "Thanks for your presentation. I found it interesting."
(Priest) "Glad you thought so."
(Member of audience) "I'm not a Catholic. I'm a Christian."
(Priest) "I suspected you weren't a Catholic from your demeanor."
(Audience member) "I think the only important thing is that you
accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. That's all that's required."
(Priest) "As I explained in my talk, that isn't what the Bible says.
The Bible nowhere makes that claim. That claim is a modern
development of some branches of Protestantism."
(Audience member) "I'm not a Protestant. I'm a Christian."
(Priest) "First of all, Protestants are Christians, as are Catholics
and Eastern Orthodox. Second of all, you are indeed a Protestant. If
you're a Christian, you belong to one of the three traditions, even
if you aren't aware of that. You may not call yourself a Protestant,
which is fine, but you take your principles from Protestantism, so
you're a Protestant."
(Protestant) "Anyway, as I said, all that's necessary is that you
accept Jesus. After that, you'll live as a saved Christian."
(Priest) "What do you mean by that? Do you mean you won't sin seriously?"
(Protestant) "That's right."
(Priest) "But you will commit what we Catholics call venial--that is,
(Protestant) "We remain sinners."
(Priest) "But no major sins?"
(Priest) "Let's take a hypothetical example. Let's talk about a
born-again minister. After being born again, he works as a minister
for fifty years. So far as anyone can see, he leads a holy life.
Then, in his old age, in one day, he engages in adultery, shoots his
wife, intentionally runs over
a pedestrian with his car, and commits suicide. (Let's presume he's
not insane.) He dies unrepentant. Is this man saved or damned? Will
he go to heaven or hell?"
(Priest) "Explain That, Please"
(Prot) "But how does that square with being born again? You said a
born-again person wouldn't sin seriously, and here we have four
serious, unrepented sins in one day."
(Prot) "It just means he was never saved in the first place."
(Priest) "Are you sure about that?"
(Prot) "Of course."
(Priest) "But think of what that implies. It implies you have no way
to tell who's saved and who's not. You and all the other congregants
of this hypothetical church thought for fifty years that this
minister was truly born-again, now you discover he wasn't. If you
couldn't tell in his case--a case where he did, in fact, live a holy
life until his last day--then how can you tell in anyone's case,
including your own?"
(Prot) "You just know when you're saved."
(Priest) "Didn't this minister know too? No doubt he was convinced he
was saved, but on your theory he was wrong. Don't you see the problem
here? If the minister couldn't know his own status, how can you be
sure you know yours? If he could be mistaken, why can't you be? You
seem to make a big deal out of this assurance of salvation, yet it's
no assurance at all because the only way you can be sure is to die
without having sinned seriously. If you are logically rigorous,
you'll find yourself perilously close to the Catholic position."
(Prot) "What do you mean?"
(Priest) "I mean that the most you could have would be a moral
assurance of salvation, not an absolute assurance. At any one time,
you could say to yourself, 'If I died now, I'd go to heaven,' but you
could never be absolutely sure that you'd always be in that
condition. Catholics say the necessary condition is the state of
grace. So long as we're in the state of grace, we have a moral
assurance of reaching heaven. But we know we can sin seriously and
lose grace and forfeit salvation. Do you see what I'm saying?"
(Prot) "But you can know you're saved!"
(Priest) "Not on the principles you've just told me. There's only one
consistent line for you to take."
(Prot) "What's that?"
What Can't Be Alleged
(Priest) "Let me make clear first what it's not. You can't say the
born-again Christian has an absolute assurance of salvation and, at
the same time, say that we can't tell who's saved until death
intrudes. That would mean we'd have to keep the assurance in suspense
until death, which means it's no assurance at all. Do you see that?
That's the line you can't logically take."
(Prot) "So what line can I take?"
(Priest) "There's only one alternative. You'd have to say that the
born-again believer is, indeed, assured of salvation . . ."
(Prot) ". . . that's just my point!"
(Priest) "Wait a minute! Let me finish. You'd have to say he is,
indeed, assured of salvation--and here's the kicker--even if, at some
time far in the future, he falls out of upright living and enters a
course of frequent and serious sinning. In other words, you'd have to
say that this hypothetical minister was saved despite the sins he
committed and despite his lack of repentance. If you make any other
argument, you undercut the absolute assurance of salvation. Do you
see what I'm saying?"
A Revolting Conclusion
(Priest) "I guess you do. And you see what I'm leading to. What I'm
leading to is a revolting prospect: the born-again believer who is a
gross sinner, even from the first day of his conversion. After all,
if he is saved even if he sins seriously only on the last day of his
life, having lived a holy life until then, you have to say he's saved
if he starts sinning half-way to the end, or after only a year as a
Christian, or even after only an hour. You have no good reason to put
the dividing line one place or the other. Once saved, always
saved--that's your principle, and you must take it literally or not
at all. Of course, that means you'll have a tough time reconciling
yourself with Galatians 5:19-21, which is aimed at Christians and
which explains what sins will exclude them from heaven--just the
kinds of sins this minister committed. Beyond that, most Christians,
of any stripe, immediately sense something's wrong with your whole
approach. It seems to go against God's justice. It's a divine
invitation to engage in antinomianism."
(Prot) "In what?"
(Priest) "In lawlessness. If nothing can undo the salvation of the
born-again Christian, if no sin can merit hell for him, then he may
think there's precious little reason to be good. Since he's got it
made, why not enjoy himself here below? Why be good if being good
can't help effect your salvation? Perhaps it's better to put it in
reverse: Why not be evil if evil acts can't forfeit your salvation?"
(Prot) "As I said, the minister couldn't have been saved in the first place."
(Priest) "Haven't you been listening to what I've been saying?"
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