Last Week in the Trenches – 02/09/15


Last Week in the Trenches


I usually don’t do this, but I thought it would be helpful for you to see the entire conversation I had with a Catholic man over this last week. Since the conversation is still going, it will seem like it ends suddenly in this thread. The conversation was over private message, and I was struck by how bold he was in how he started the conversation out. I think you’ll know what I mean when you see it. Of course, I took out the references to his name.


F: I bet you think that I am not Christian. If you want to debate whether Catholics are not Christians, can we do it here on chat, because it easier than comments.

Me:  while I do believe that official Roman Catholic Church doctrine falls outside of the biblical view that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone taught in the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, I don’t typecast any person because of the church they affiliate with or attend. The question is whether you believe the things I just mentioned or not.


F: look at it this way.

To the most of Catholics I know, Jesus is everything

I know plenty Catholics who have the Bible and read it carefully

Only one who has Cathecism is my Sunday School teacher

And if you want to bring up problem with Sola Fides, might I ask you for interpretation of following verse

“Not everyone who says to me “Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out the demons and healed the sick in your name” and I will say to them “I did not ask you. Away from me, ye evildoers!”


Me: I generally find that if I’m going to quote a verse, I shouldn’t do so unless it’s in front of me so I make sure I am quoting it accurately. You left off a very key part of what Jesus said to these individuals, “I never knew you.” So the question becomes what is the difference between one who is known by Jesus and one who is not. I believe Paul answers the question in the verse below. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. (1 Corinthians 8:3) Based on what Paul said, Jesus was telling these people they put a lot of effort into doing things for God in Jesus’ name, but they never had a love relationship with him. John clarifies this further: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18) So here’s the deal. You can’t love God if you fear His punishment. So, in order to love God, you have to know you are forgiven. By the way, this also means that it’s impossible to obey what Jesus referred to as the greatest commandment unless you already know you are forgiven. So here’s the order: Grace, Faith, Forgiveness, Obedience, and even then obedience is done through the desire, motive and power that is “given” to us by the reality that the living Lord Jesus dwells “within” us and lives His life out through us. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)


F: Verse I gave you proves that faith. Without good works is not enough for salvation


Me: No it doesn’t. Why did you completely ignore everything I wrote in response to what you said, and then just repeat yourself? Are you interested in having a conversation about this, because that requires listening, understanding each other, and then communicating.


F: I did not ignore your message, I just saw that you got off the topic and gave you my answer. So do tell me …

How can someone believe in Jesus so hard, that he heals people and exercizes devils, which canonly be done in the name of Jesus, and if the miracle worker believes in Jesus, and still not be saved

I think that this verse shows you you can do works of faith, which is healing or exorcism, but you have be moral and loving to do good works too.

I know that most Protestants believe that Catholicism teaches that you don’t have to believe, you just have to be good, but look at it this way

If you hate, go to church in spend hour in boredom, insult and even kill people, but you believe in Jesus, does it mean that you are saved

I think that faith in Jesus actually comes as package deal with good works.

Apostle Peter said “Faith is dead without works”

I think it can relate to saying “Actions speak louder than words”

And besides, greatest message Jesus had was love, only valid foundation to both faith and good deeds


Me: False assumption 1: you cannot do miraculous signs unless it is Jesus’ name. What about pharaoh’s magicians? What about the antichrist?

Misquote #1: James said faith without works is dead. Let me ask you this. Do you believe you can do good works without being forgiven?

Again, Jesus did command us to love. 1 John 4:18 says you cannot love God and fear God at the same time. You must have peace with God, then you can love God. You must be forgiven first.


F: And Church teaches that accepting faith in Jesus should be a starting point into becoming a good Christian

peace with God comes through Jesus, and love to God mandates that you do good works


Me: So what do you believe you have to do to prove that you love God sufficiently to call yourself a Christian, to know you are forgiven, or to make sure you keep your salvation?


F: No, I believe that its your obligation to do good works because you love God, and you love his creation. And when you become Christian, you face a lot of despair and temptation, so it’s very easy to go with easy way and loose your faith. But harder way, keeping your faith, is way Jesus wanted us to take.


Me: Is keeping our faith our responsibility or Jesus’, once we become a believer?


F: yes. because of the free will


Me: So I guess you would say there’s no problem with boasting in our ability if we are saved because we did such an amazing job of keeping our salvation? After all, we’re the one who did it, right, by our free will?


F: basically, but salvation itself is something we did not deserve, right to be saved came from grace by Christ

if we are only saved by grace of christ, why even life a Christian life, why would we not kill ourselves and trust that our faith is enough

you see, our salvation is enabled by Christ precious blood, but the right to be saved comes from our faith (faith is basically work) and good deeds. One does not exclude another, and one is not valid without other

but even so, I believe that you are good Christian man, so you are moral and do good deeds


Me: I have a question for you. Do you consider members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints saved? Why or why not?

F: Only by extreme grace, but they do not hold belief which satisfies criteria set in the Bible

You know, when they talk about Jesus

And also, they believe that God is polygamist, Mary is one of God’s wives, and God is alien living on a planet somewhere in space, and Jesus is Savior only because he invented good strategy for salvation

I don’t want to be rude, but comparising Mormons and Catholics …

If Mormons are Christians, then I am Jesus



Me: So, in other words, you don’t believe, typically, that LDS people are Christian because of deviant doctrine. Fair enough.

Let’s get back to something you said not too long ago. you said that faith is basically a work. Show me in the Bible where you get that understanding.


F: Is faith an effort?

Me: Interested to hear how you would understand this verse:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8)


F: Does it say that grace or faith is gift of God.

It took me two years of research to establish my faith in Jesus. Was that effort, or work?

And do tell me, if faith is gift of God, would it not imply that God gives faith to few people He wants, but others are doomed because God does not want to give them faith?

So if we believe that God gave men free will, doesn’t he want us to make an effort to come to him by our own free will, not by his random choice

and if you say to me that God gives random peo

Ple faith and others are left behind, then that is not all loving and all mighty God Jesus I believe in


Me: What is free will? Jesus made it clear that only those who the Father draws will come to Him. Paul and Peter make it clear that God desires all men to repent and come to the knowledge of the truth. So it is obvious that grace, the gift of God, is made available to all, but His grace is not irresistible as Calvin said. I believe it can be persistent and as Jesus said to Paul, it’s hard to kick against the goads. But we do have the ability to harden our hearts, sear our conscience, and reject God’s gift. Does that mean that those who accept are better or smarter? No! Paul makes that clear that God gets the glory and we have no ability to boast. …. Faith is a gift. Our being saved is a gift. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He saves us to the uttermost. All we did us accept the gift. … In your case, God was quite patient and gracious as you tried very hard to reject Him. … The fact that after all that you claim that as work that you did to earn your salvation is insulting to God, giving you the glory. You might as well just say “I saved myself!” Do me a favor. Read Romans 4:4-5 and 11:6 and then come back and tell me if you think that grace can be mixed with works for salvation.