“America’s dark and not-very-distant history of hating Catholics”

Contrary to some of the comments I’ve received since beginning this blog, I certainlyrg don’t hate Catholics. Many of my close family members and friends are Roman Catholics. However, as one who came out of Catholicism and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I object to all religious systems, whether they call themselves “Christian” or not, which teach that salvation must be merited. Catholicism is especially wily because it refers to Jesus as Lord and Savior and gives lip service to “salvation by grace through faith” but every Catholic is required to “cooperate with grace” and ultimately merit their salvation.

I found the article below from a British newspaper in anticipation of pope Francis’s visit to the USA to be quite interesting, more for what it doesn’t say than for what it says. There’s absolutely no doubt that a degree of hatred and prejudice toward Catholics existed in America. But let’s dig a little deeper. Did this anti-Catholic prejudice appear out of thin air as this article implies or was the hatred a reaction to other historical forces?

The history of Catholicism in the Middle Ages and beyond was marked by intolerance, often extremely brutal, toward “schismatics” and “heretics.” Early Americans were well aware of the church’s harassment and persecution of non-Catholic minorities in alliance with civil governments in those countries where Catholics held the majority. Crusades? Inquisition? Catholic hegemony often meant oppression for Protestants in Europe and South America well into the mid-twentieth-century (see Italy, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, interwar Poland, and the Latin American nations controlled by the clerical falangists).

The Catholic hierarchy wasn’t shy about its alleged right to forcefully subdue non-Catholics. Pope Leo XIII went on record defending the Catholic church’s right to suppress Protestants in alliance with civil governments: “Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the state to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness—–namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of religion is necessary in the state, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic states, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it” (Encyclical Libertas, 1888).

Yes, Catholics also have a “dark and not-very-distant history” of hatred and to a much greater degree. By the way, the Tridentine anathematizations of the Reformers and everyone else who believes in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone have never been officially rescinded.

There obviously is no danger of a “papist coup” in Washington D.C any time soon. Pope Francis can’t even get the majority of his members to go to mass on Sunday morning. The real danger to Evangelicalism began with the culture battles of the 80s and 90s when Evangelicals began embracing Catholics as co-belligerents in the fight for “morality” in America, which transitioned into compromising the Gospel of Jesus Christ and embracing works-righteousness Catholics as fellow Christians (see Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, James Dobson, etc.).

Up until recently, Evangelical Protestants were keenly aware that the Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit was at odds with the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. But the ecumenical push by some Evangelicals to dispense with doctrine and embrace Catholics as “brothers and sisters in Christ” because “they love Jesus, too!” (see Rick Warren) casts those who would defend the Gospel of grace as “haters” and the “fringe.”

Catholics impossibly strive to live a sinless life so that at the time of their death they are in a “state of grace” with no “mortal” sin staining their souls. In contrast, Evangelicals believe no one can possibly live a sinless life and that all must accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and His imputed righteousness to be saved. Why are so many Evangelicals now overlooking the difference? Is it charitable to not say a word to Catholics as they continue to strive to merit their salvation?

“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20.

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“America’s dark and not-very-distant history of hating Catholics”

by Rory Carroll

the guardian.com

September 12, 2015

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/12/america-history-of-hating-catholics

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26 thoughts on ““America’s dark and not-very-distant history of hating Catholics”

  1. You have a few misconceptions about the Catholic Church. First, we are in fact saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, and only his grace can save us. There is nothing we can do ourselves to merit salvation. That said, we are expected to follow and to obey. No where does Jesus say all you have to do is believe in me. He says “take up your cross and follow me”, “whatever you didn’t do for the least of these you didn’t do for me.” I could go on and on.

    Also, us Catholics, if we are true Catholics, know we can never be free of sin. Sure we try to avoid sin, as all should. But we know we will never be free from sin, and as such are dependent on the grace of Jesus Christ and his ultimate sacrifice to save us.

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    1. RE: “You have a few misconceptions about the Catholic Church.”

      Hi Tim, Both Catholics and Evangelicals talk about Jesus as Savior and salvation by grace. But allow me to break it down a bit with the help of my old Baltimore Catechism and see if I my concept of Catholicism is still mistaken.

      Catholics believe God’s grace flows through their church’s seven sacraments. Baptism initially washes away all sin and the soul is in a state of grace. But every time a person commits “mortal” sin the soul is stained and is no longer in a state of grace. When a Catholic confesses their “mortal” sins in confession the soul is washed clean and is once again in a state of grace. By receiving the eucharist the Catholic receives grace to avoid mortal sin. Catholics who die in a state of grace with no “mortal” sin go to Heaven after spending some time in purgatory to cleanse away their “venial” sins. Catholics who do not “cooperate with grace” and die with “mortal” sin staining their soul go to hell.

      So the bottom line for Catholics is did they “cooperate with grace”? Did they do their part to MERIT their salvation? Were they able to obey God’s commandments and present themselves without any “mortal” sin on their soul at the moment of their death? Many Catholics receive the sacraments but still don’t “cooperate with grace” and they die with “mortal” sin on their soul. So it all comes down to MERIT despite the many references to grace.

      Of course I would argue from Scripture that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE can present themselves to God in a merited state of grace. There is not one who is “good.”

      http://www.saintaquinas.com/Justification_by_Grace.html

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      1. Actually you confuse cooperation and merit. Let’s look at it from a Protestant point of view. Does not God love everyone? Was Jesus’ sacrifice not a sacrifice to save all? But even as a Protestant you have to profess your faith and ACCEPT Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Note that ACCEPT is s verb. And if you look at the origins of BELIEVE and ACCEPT, you will find that they also infer obedience. Again an action. By your own argument Protestants also have to merit their salvation. But they do not, they are only accepting the Grace that is already there, and freely given to them by God. So too, when we go to confession, we do nothing to merit God’s Grace. We are merely accepting the Grace that is already there.

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      2. Tim, Ach. How often have I heard this Catholic canard of Evangelicals’ “acceptance” of Christ being a work? When you present your niece a gift for her birthday, and when she reaches out and takes it from you, does the gift then become her “wages” for taking it from you. Obviously not. Both of you still understand it to be a gift. She did not earn it. To argue otherwise is pharisaical sophistry. But she must accept it to acquire it. The Catholic approach is, “Here is your birthday gift, dear. But by taking this you are required to mow my yard for the next ten years and if you miss one mowing or do an imperfect job of it I’m taking this present back.”

        Catholics MUST present themselves to God at the moment of their death in a SINLESS state of grace, an ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBILITY. No, you don’t accept God’s gift of eternal life through His Son and through His righteousness alone. As a Catholic you must work at earning your salvation through the course of your entire life. Catholics sophistically call it “cooperating” with grace, which is only a thinly-veiled way of saying merit without actually saying “merit.” Catholics must obey the Ten Commandments perfectly to earn a place in Heaven while God’s Word says that’s absolutely impossible. The law only teaches us that we are sinners without one plea. Only those who acknowledge their sinfulness and reach out to Christ will be saved.(Luke 18:9-14).

        Even your own catechism says you must ultimately merit your salvation.

        “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.” – paragraph 2010.

        Notice the hierarchy says no one can merit justification “at the beginning of conversion” – baptism – but then it’s all about merit. Of course they add that merit comes from grace, etc., etc., round and round.

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      3. Again this is not true. You are creating a straw man argument. You are also making a distinction saying that your pronouncing your belief in God is not workd, but accepting God’s forgiveness is. I both instances it is there for the asking, but you do have to ask. And yes, you do have to cooperate in God’s Grace, you cannot jus say I believe in Jesus Christ, and then go on about your business. And no, you do not have to be free from sin to enter into heaven. You do have to be free from mortal sin, but even here the Catechism states that God has ways of forgiving that we may not understand. Thus, even someone who dies with mortal sin, who has not received formal forgiveness, can still receive forgiveness from God and enter into his Kingdom.

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      4. Every time a Catholic can’t answer the bell they cry “straw man.”

        Okay, here’s the bottom line. My only plea is Jesus Christ. Your plea is how well YOU obeyed the Ten Commandments (absolutely impossible!) and church rules. Like every Catholic you hope that you have a chance to confess your sins immediately prior to your death so that your “slate is clean.” But since you will be pleading YOUR OWN “righteousness” instead of Christ it won’t matter. Catholics are the guy in Matthew 22 who showed up at the wedding feast dressed in the wrong clothes (his own “righteousness”).

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      5. Now you’re running out of arguments and again mis-representing the truth. Catholics do not believe salvation relies upon following the Ten Commandments, and we realize, probably more than most Protestants, that we can never be perfect. We rely on Christ’s sacrifice and his saving grace. You are putting up a straw man when you say otherwise because it simply is not true. You say you’re only plea is Jesus Christ. So are you saying all you have to do is is say hi there Jesus, I believe in you. If so show me where it says that in the Bible. I can think of a half dozen off hand where it says otherwise. As to Mathew 22, it refers not prepared. More specifically, prepared to FOLLOW AND OBEY, him.
        And all I am doing is trying to straighten out your mis-conceptions of the Catholic faith. If you choose not to believe what the Catholic Church really believes, then that is your decision. If anyone is being self righteous here, it is you.

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      6. Catholicism is a dichotomy. On the one hand Catholics profess salvation is a free gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ. But in the next breath they say one must “cooperate with grace” and obey all the Ten Commandments perfectly (impossible!) so that the stain of “mortal” sin is not on their soul at the time of death. So is it grace or works? It cannot be both despite Catholic sophistry! Catholicism’s argument is a logical fallacy. Instead of striving so hard to defend you works-righteous religion just accept Christ!

        Yes, my ONLY plea is Jesus and that strikes you as easy-believism. But was it easy-believism for the thief on the cross to caste all his hope on Christ (Luke 23)? He certainly wasn’t in any position to merit his salvation. Was it easy-believism for the 3000 to accept Christ in Acts 2? The 3000 didn’t need to go through a year’s worth of RCIA indoctrination in religious legalism. They genuinely repented of their sin and genuinely accepted Jesus as their Savior. It seems such simple faith offends you. Jesus Himself spelled it out plainly for you in Luke 18. The repentant publican who had no plea other than the mercy of God went home justified while the pharisee who relied on his religious self-righteousness remained in his sin. AFTER you have accepted Christ as Savior, THEN AND ONLY THEN can you try to serve Him and obey Him. But trying to obey your way into Heaven before you accept Christ and His righteousness is putting the cart before the horse.

        Catholics such as yourself are an example of why just accepting Christ is NOT easy-believism. You would much rather argue incessantly in defense of your right to earn your way to Heaven than to accept the gift of Jesus and His righteousness. There’s something about our sin nature – pride – that fights against admitting we need a Savior. Yes, I fought against the “easy-believism” of accepting Christ for many years myself. I pray for you that the Lord will open your eyes to the truth of God’s Word that all of your “following,” “obedience,” and “righteousness” are like dung.

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      7. Again you are making claims about the Church that simply are not true. You can keep on repeating yourself about having to follow the ten commandments perfectly and being in a complete state of grace at precisely the right moment, but that is not what the Catholic Church teaches. The only point I agree with you on is that yes, obviously you must accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior first. You cannot earn your way into heaven. Again, this is in accordance with the Catholic Doctrine, so I don’t know what this church is that you say you don’t believe in, but it is not the Catholic Church.

        Now for your saying that faith alone will get you there, and that somehow you can’t require participation, let’s see what Jesus had to say about it.
        Mathew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
        You can continue reading verses 22-27.
        John 14:12 “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”
        And Luke 9:23 “Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
        Those are his direct words.
        James 2:14-26 gives a more detailed explanation, and there are many others. As verse 18 states
        “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.”

        And, it is definitely not enough just to say you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is like accepting a gift from a stranger and then turning your back on him without even saying thank you. Jesus said the greatest commandment is that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” If you truly love the Lord, you will obey him and serve him. You will also seek him out daily and profess your love to him. To do any less is to have a faith that is dead.

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      8. It’s insanity to keep agreeing that salvation is a free gift by God’s grace through faith in Christ and then keep insisting salvation is dependent on works!!!!!!! But this is the Catholic dichotomy that you must try to defend. Yes, I am certainly aware of ALL the verses in which Jesus commanded His DISCIPLES to follow and obey Him. They are not salvation verses. Catholics ALWAYS pull out James 2 as their “ace in the back pocket” as proof that works are required for salvation without realizing that the message of James 2 is communicated in Evangelical churches most every Sunday. A genuine profession in Christ WILL result in spiritual fruit. It may be only a little for some while it may be a lot for others, but fruit will always result if a person genuinely accepted Jesus.

        Yes, a Christian knows they must deny themselves and pick up their cross and follow Him. But some days are better than others, right? Some believers are more obedient than others. At what point does Christ draw the line and say, “Sorry but everyone below this certain standard of obedience is out”? Praise the Lord my salvation isn’t dependent on me!!!!!!!!!!!!

        RE: “Jesus said the greatest commandment is that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

        Hmmmm. I wonder what kind of job YOU do with this commandment? Me? I’m REALLY lousy at it. I praise the Lord for saving a depraved sinner like myself!!!! Actually, Christ used this verse to show the Pharisees and the Sadducees that, despite their religious self-righteousness, they didn’t have a chance. The standard is perfection!! But Catholics, like the Pharisees, read the verse and think, “Yeah, I’m all about that.” Oy vey.

        Ach. No need to encourage me to love my Lord, and obey Him, and serve Him. He took on ALL my sins and covers me with His righteousness which I surely don’t deserve. Christ will wash all YOUR sins away as well if you accept Him. On the day of your death you’ll be able to join Christ covered in His perfect righteousness rather trying to earn your way by constantly sinning-confessing, sinning-confessing, sinning-confessing and still showing up at Christ’s wedding feast clothed in your own filthy rags.

        101 Verses that teach salvation is NOT by works:

        1. Eph. 2:8-9 – “For BY GRACE are ye SAVED THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF
        YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”
        2. Rom. 4:6-7 – God imputes “Righteousness without works.” (See #9, #4, #45, #7, #12, #53)
        3. Rom. 10:3 – It’s a grave mistake for anyone to try to, “Establish their own righteousness.”
        4. Rom. 5:17 – Heaven deserving righteousness is a “GIFT,” not something you earn.
        5. Rom. 5:18 – Justification to God is a “FREE GIFT,” not something you work toward.
        6. Phil. 3:9 – Paul, as ‘good’ as he was, still wouldn’t trust his “Own righteousness” to save him.
        7. Rom. 3:22 – God’s righteousness is credited to “ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE,” not all that work.
        8. Rom. 8:3-4 – The flesh is too “Weak” to save itself. We need a Saviour. We need Christ. (See #86)
        9. Rom. 4:3 – Abraham’s faith, not works, “Was counted unto him for righteousness.”
        10. Rom. 4:4-5 – Works are “Not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” Faith is counted as righteousness.
        11. Gal. 3:10 – To earn Heaven you’d have to “Continueth,” perfectly, in the whole law. (See #81, #86)
        12. Titus 3:5 – “NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS which we have done, but according to
        his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
        13. John 5:24 – In Christ we’ve “PASSED from death unto life.” We don’t have to “wait” to find out.
        14. Rom. 9:31-32 – Israel, “Sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” (#33, #54)
        15. Acts 4:12 – No other name but Christ can save us– not the name of works, nor our own name.
        16. John 1:12-13 – Only God’s power, through His Son, makes us a child of God. We are not born into
        God’s family by “Blood” (heritage, family ‘pedigree’), “Nor will of the flesh” (good works), “Nor will
        of man.” (minister, or man made religion), “But of God.” (See #12, #53, #21, #17, #22, #46, #15)
        17. Isa. 45:22 – No one else can save a soul from Hell but God; “There is none else.”
        18. Acts 13:39 – “And by him [Christ] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye
        COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED by the law of Moses.” (See #33, #54, #53, #5, #42, #64, #82, #87, #80)
        19. Rom. 8:7 – We can’t follow God’s law even if we wanted to. So how can we save ourselves? (#86, #8)
        20. Matthew 7:21-23 – Christ describes a future scene in which some who are trusting in their “Many
        wonderful works,” will, sadly, be told by Christ: “I never knew you: depart from me, Ye that work
        iniquity.” Their good works will not save them. We all have to trust Christ, and Him ALONE. (#46, #12)
        21. John 10:1 – We must enter through Christ, “THE DOOR,” not by “Some other way..” (See #46)
        22. John 8:24 – A person can work all they want, but it won’t save them. Jesus said the bottom line is
        that, “If ye believe not that I am he [the only way], ye shall die in your sins.” (See #53 and #69)
        23. Rom. 4:2 – If Abraham could have saved himself, he’d have something to brag about. (See #25, #1)
        24. Acts 10:1-43 – Cornelius’ good works would put anyone today to shame, yet he still had to get saved
        by trusting solely in Christ to save him. (See #6, #12, #1, #88)
        25. Rom. 3:27-28 – “Where is boasting then?…Of WORKS? nay.” (See #1 and #23)
        26. 1 John 5:13 – If your salvation depends on a lifetime of good works, then why does the Bible teach
        that you could “KNOW” for sure, before you die, that you are going to Heaven? The answer is because
        salvation doesn’t depend on you, but on Christ, who ALREADY paid the price for your sins. (See #87)
        27. Heb. 1:3 – “He had BY HIMSELF purged our sins.” He doesn’t need help from us! (See #15)
        28. Heb. 2:3 – If we have to work at earning it, why does the Bible call it “So great salvation”?
        29. Heb. 2:9-10 – Christ is “The CAPTAIN of their salvation.” He tasted “Death for every man.”
        30. Heb. 2:14-15 – Christ is the one who will “DELIVER” us from death, not ourselves! (See #53)
        31. Heb. 2:17 – Christ makes “RECONCILIATION for the sins.” We can’t reconcile ourselves.
        32. Heb. 5:9 – Christ is “The AUTHOR of eternal salvation,” not us! It’s not in our hands.

        33. Gal. 2:16 – “Knowing that a man IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS of the law, but by the
        faith of Jesus Christ, ….that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT by the WORKS
        of the law: FOR BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.”
        34. Heb. 9:28 – “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” God won’t accept good works.
        35. Heb. 10:10-12 – Christ’s body was offered “Once for all.” So stop insulting God with your works.
        36. Heb. 10:14 – “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them.” STOP WORKING at it!
        37. Heb. 10:17-18 – “There is no more offering for sin.” So stop offering your good works.
        38. 2 Cor. 1:9 – “We should not trust in ourselves, but in God,” who has ALREADY paid the price.
        39. 2 Cor. 1:10 – Christ “Delivered us from so great a death.” He had to; we can’t deliver ourselves.
        40. Eph. 1:12-13 – You are saved by trusting in Christ, and, “After that believed, ye were SEALED.”
        41. Jer. 17:5 – “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.”
        42. Job 25:4 – “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a
        woman?” (For God’s answer, see #86, #63, #54, #33, #82, #80, #73, #5 and Isaiah 1:18)
        43. Isa. 12:2 – “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust.” Don’t trust good works, trust the Saviour.
        44. Luke 18:9-14 – Jesus gives a parable teaching that self righteousness WILL NOT save a person.
        45. Ezek. 33:13 – “If he trust to his own righteousness…” He better be perfectly sinless or else!
        46. John 14:6 – Jesus said, “I am THE WAY…no man cometh unto the Father, BUT BY ME.”
        47. 1 Tim. 2:5-6 – There’s ONLY “One mediator between God and men,” Jesus Christ, not ourselves.
        48. Col. 2:14 – Christ took our sin debt, “Nailing it to his cross.” It’s ALREADY paid for! (See #34-37)
        49. John 19:30 – While on the cross, Christ said, “It is finished.” It’s paid. We don’t have to work for it.
        50. Matt. 11:28-30 – Christ offers “REST” to all those working at trying to earn their way to Heaven.
        51. Isa. 53:4-6 – Christ was, “WOUNDED FOR OUR transgressions.” Why? So WE don’t have to be.
        52. Heb. 4:9-10 – The person who accepts Christ as Saviour, “Hath CEASED from his own works.”
        53. Gal. 2:21 – If you could earn Heaven, why did Christ die? “Then Christ is dead in vain.” (See #86, #8)
        54. Rom. 3:20 – “Therefore by the deeds of the law there SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED in his
        sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (See #33, #14, #82, #80, #87, #42, #73)
        55. Gal. 5:1-4 – “Christ hath made us free.” He had to; we can’t free ourselves, no matter how “good.”
        56. 2 Tim. 1:10 – “Our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death,” with no help from us.
        57. 1 John 4:14 – Christ was sent, “To be the Saviour of the world”; we couldn’t save ourselves.
        58. 1 Tim. 4:10 – “The Saviour of ALL men.” Why try to save yourself? You already have a Saviour.
        59. Acts 16:30-31 – When the Philippian jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul didn’t say,
        keep the Ten Commandments, but rather, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
        60. Luke 7:49-50 – Christ told the woman: “Thy faith hath saved thee,” not thy works! (See #1)
        61. Eph. 1:7 – “Redemption through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins,” not through our works.
        62. 1 Pet. 1:3-5 – “According to his abundant MERCY,” not according to our good deeds. (See #12)
        63. Rev. 1:5 – Christ, “Washed us from our sins in his own blood”; can’t wash ourselves with works.
        64. Titus 3:7 – We are “Justified by his grace,” not by our good deeds, baptism, or church membership.
        65. Titus 2:11 – “The grace of God that BRINGETH SALVATION hath appeared to ALL MEN.”
        66. Eph. 4:32 – We are forgiven, “For Christ’s sake,” not because of our good behavior. (See #88)
        67. Eph. 2:4-5 – “(By grace ye are saved),” not by works. The two don’t mix according to Rom. 11:6.
        68. Acts 26:18 – “Through this man [Christ]…forgiveness of sins,” not through our efforts!
        69. Heb. 7:25 – Only Christ is “Able to save.” Only He can “Make INTERCESSION for them.”

        70. Rom. 3:10 – “There is none righteous, no, not one.” So how can anyone save themselves?
        71. Rom. 3:12 – “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” So how can anyone save themselves?
        72. Eccl. 7:20 – “There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good.” Can anyone save themselves?
        73. Rom. 4:25 – Christ has already died for our sins. He, “Was delivered for our offences and raised
        again FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION.” So what role does a person play in their own salvation?
        74. Rom. 5:10 – “We are reconciled to God by the death of his Son,” not by the fruits of our works.
        75. John 6:28-29 – “Then said they unto him, WHAT SHALL WE DO, that we might work the works
        of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, THAT YE BELIEVE
        ON HIM whom he hath sent.” (See #59, #22, #10, #53)
        76. 1 Pet. 3:18 – “Suffered for us…that HE might bring us to God.” Do we have to help Him save us?
        Didn’t He suffer enough to pay the price? Heb. 7:25 says He did. He saves to “The uttermost.”
        77. Matt. 5:20 – Your self-righteousness would have to surpass that of the Pharisees– Impossible! (#70)
        78. 1 John 2:2 – Christ, “Is the propitiation [payment]…for the sins of the whole world.” If He can
        pay for the sins of the whole world, why would He need our help in saving us– mere individuals?
        79. Rom. 8:8 – “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” So what chance does anyone have?
        80. Rom. 3:23-25 – Through Christ’s death we are “Justified freely” (made right with God). His death
        provides: “Redemption” (we are bought back to God), “Propitiation” (a settlement of our sin debt),
        “Remission [forgiveness] of sins.” It’s all by God’s “Grace” not our works. (See #1, #35, #36, #78)
        81. James 2:10-11 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in ONE POINT, he is
        guilty of all.” We can’t possibly save ourselves; God demands sinless perfection. We need a Saviour.
        82. Romans 5:8-9 – We are “Justified by his blood,” not our good works. That’s why “When we were
        sinners, Christ died for us.” Therefore, “We shall be saved from wrath through him.”
        83. Matt. 18:11 – Jesus came “To save that which was lost [us].” Why? Because we can’t save ourselves.
        Otherwise, why send Christ to die for our sins if we could pay for them ourselves? (See #53, #8, #86, #76)
        84. Acts 15:10-11 – “Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved,” not through
        works. Grace is not works; works is not grace, as explained in Rom. 11:6 (see #90, #1, #53)
        85. 2 Cor. 5:21 – “Christ was made sin for us…that we might be made the righteousness of God in
        him.” Why trust our own “righteousness” if God offers to impute us His righteousness? (Rom. 4:22-24)
        86. Matt. 19:25-26 – “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, WHO THEN
        CAN BE SAVED? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE;
        but with God all things are possible.” (See #8, #41, #42, #81, #11, #45, #70, #19)
        87. Rom. 5:1 – “Therefore being JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our
        Lord Jesus Christ.” There can be no real peace when a person spends their life wondering if they have done
        enough good works. Peace is knowing it’s been paid for ALREADY. (See #52, #50, #26, #53)
        88. 2 Tim. 1:9 – “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR
        WORKS, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the
        world began.” God had a “payment plan” ready before any of us were even alive to work!
        89. Rom. 10:9-13 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [i.e. Repent], and shalt
        believe in thine heart [i.e. Trust] that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED
        …For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED.” (See #15)
        90. Rom. 11:6 – “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.”
        91. Gal. 1:4, 92. Rom. 1:16, 93. Gal. 3:21, 94. Heb. 9:22, 95. 1 Tim. 2:6, 96. Acts 10:43,
        97. Isa. 43:11, 98. Gal. 3:24, 99. Heb. 9:12-14, 100. 1 Tim. 1:15, 101. Heb. 6:1
        http://gochristianhelps.com/tracts/stl/notworks.htm

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      9. Yes but none of these say by faith alone. And I could list just as many where it says Not by faith alone. You are picking and chosing as well as making distinctions that don’t exist. As to what exactly is good enough. What is good enough is that you show the Lord that you love him. Yes our love is imperfect, and yes thankfully, Jesus paid the price for our admission into heaven. God knows we can never be perfect and that is why he sent his Son down from Heaven to save us. But, again, he said repeatedly that we must do his works. How much. if you pray honestly to the Lord every day he will ultimately let you know his wishes. And if you truly love the Lord, you will do everything you can to honor those wishes and to serve the Lord. And when you fail at this, that or the other, and we all will, Jesus is there to forgive us and to save us, for he has already paid the price. That is Grace.

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      10. RE: ” As to what exactly is good enough. What is good enough is that you show the Lord that you love him.”

        Believers love the Lord in varying degrees. How MUCH must we love Him to get credit? Since we can only love Him imperfectly AT WHAT POINT does Christ say, “Not good enough”? You need to be clear on this.

        RE: “How much.(?) if you pray honestly to the Lord every day he will ultimately let you know his wishes.”

        And do YOU obey ALL His wishes ALL the time EVERY day? So how much obedience is good enough and AT WHAT POINT does Jesus say “not good enough” and send a person to hell? Where does Jesus draw the line? Jesus said MOST people are on the wide way to hell so it’s important to know EXACTLY how much obedience is good enough to merit the narrow way to salvation according to your way of works-righteousness.

        RE “And if you truly love the Lord, you will do everything you can to honor those wishes and to serve the Lord.”

        I’m certainly not omniscient but I’m ABSOLUTELY confident that you failed miserably at this assignment today JUST LIKE I DID. I certainly didn’t do EVERYTHING I could to obey and serve God today. And I won’t tomorrow. And I won’t Wednesday, etc. So WHAT IS THE STANDARD where Christ says X obeyed well enough but Y is going to have to go to hell?

        Praise God, Jesus Christ and His PERFECT righteousness are my ONLY plea. Your plea is your own filthy rags.

        RE “Yes but none of these say by faith alone.”

        Ach! You’ve been reading too much Hahn. Talk about a STRAW MAN! If you won’t concede the verses below teach “faith alone” then you’re being intellectually dishonest:

        Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
        Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.”
        Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
        Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”
        Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
        Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
        Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
        Gal. 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
        Gal. 3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
        Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”
        Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast.”
        Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”

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      11. I don’t know, how much faith do I have to have. Can I have just a little bit. Who measures faith.

        At this point it’s pointless because you’re going in circular arguments. Arguments that ultimately let you say I can never do good enough so therefore I don’t have to try. That is not faith.

        As to your verses not teaching “Faith alone” this not a straw man. Again, I’m
        not going to take the time, but there are numerous bible passages that say it is Not by faith alone. I’ve pointed out just a few. None of your versed back up your claim of faith alone. Of course I know I can never convince you of this because you chose to pick just what you want from the bible and ignore the full context.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Ach. You say obedience and love are mandatory. However, you concede we can only obey and love imperfectly and yet you are unwilling to say AT WHAT POINT obedience and love are sufficient!

        RE: “I don’t know, how much faith do I have to have. Can I have just a little bit. Who measures faith.”

        I actually haven’t argued with you about the degree of faith that is necessary to be saved because YOUR faith is ultimately in your own ability to obey. Whether you have a LOT of faith in your own “goodness” and ability to obey or just a tiny bit, it’s ALL misplaced faith.

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      13. No really you have me convinced. I’m already saved. Just tell me how much faith I need so I can quit going to church, quit praying, and just kick back and do what I want.

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      14. I pray that someday you’ll accept Jesus as your Savior and put on His perfect righteousness instead of showing up at His wedding feast in the filthy rags of your own “obedience.”

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      15. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It’s just thst I have felt the need to follow him and do his will. This is not really the dichotomy that you say it is, but we could debate that for eternity. And there is really no need to sling insults, I come here in love.

        You say I don’t need works. I don’t want to assume that you believe things that you don’t. My understanding is you believe that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins. I agree with that. We are imperfect people prone to sin and therefore rely on Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation. That is what I believe, and from my understanding, is also what you believe.

        So here’s where I need clarification. You say works do not do me any good (correct me if I misinterpret what you believe). Really I’m OK with that if this is true. I would much rather spend Sunday morning working on my fantasy football team than going to church. (this is addictive, non-spiritual behavior, but I am an imperfect human being and a sinner)

        But I do need faith. Is that all I need to be saved or is there something else? And how much faith do I need? I know I can’t move mountains, and I doubt I can move a mole hill. Even many of the Deciples who saw the miracles Jesus performed first hand had lapses in faith. So exactly how much faith do I need?

        Liked by 1 person

      16. It’s NOT a question of “how much” faith one must have. Concerns over “how much” faith and “how much” obedience are required are notions of your works-righteousness religious system. The vital question is WHO do you put your faith in? From all you’ve written it’s clear you actually place your faith in your own ability to obey. Christ is NOT your Savior because you think YOU are satisfactorily obeying God’s commandments to a degree that will merit your salvation all by yourself.

        So again, since we agree that we can only obey God imperfectly, what is the tipping point in which “obedience” earns Heaven? Jesus said the vast majority of people are going to hell so it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL that you let all of us know what the levels of “obedience” and “goodness” are which place people on the narrow way to Heaven?????

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      17. It’s hard to argue with you when you continually rely on mis-representing what I believe in and mis-quoting Mathew 22. I don’t want to do the same with you, so what exactly is it that you believe you have to do to earn salvation. You say put your faith in Jesus. I’m fine with that. You say it’s not a matter of how much, so just a little faith is OK. (Again, correct me if I’m mis-representing what you believe). If I put my faith in Jesus and only I’m Jesus, then I’m saved, correct? And beyond that I can do whatever I want and act however I want.

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      18. We keep covering the same ground but I’m not at all surprised because the natural man cannot grasp salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone outside of the work of the Holy Spirit.

        OK. Let me try an admittedly imperfect analogy. You adopt a teenager. You love the boy unconditionally and care for him as best as you can. The boy is very grateful you adopted him and loves you, too. He often helps out around the house and yard without even being asked. But the boy also has a bit of a rebellious streak and doesn’t always follow your rules. There are even times when he’s downright defiant. How disobedient would the boy have to be before you abrogated the adoption contract? Asked another way, how obedient would the boy have to be to maintain his standing as your son?

        All who accept Christ and His righteousness are adopted into God’s family. Despite your efforts (filthy rags) you’ll never be able to work your way into God’s family. After having become a child of God do I now sit back and “do whatever I want”? Being saved definitely motivates me to serve and obey my Lord but any “good” I do is through Him. I don’t boast about it or point to it with pride and entitlement.

        You repeatedly claim that you have accepted Christ as your Savior but then scoff at the notion of unmerited salvation based on faith in Christ and not based on your own (filthy rags) obedience. Don’t harden your heart to this. The Holy Spirit may cease contending with you.

        http://salvationprayer.info/home/salvation/

        “In love (God) predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” – Ephesians 1:4-8.

        But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7.

        “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:25-30.

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      19. You still have not answered my question. So in your analogy, how obedient do you have to be? I’m glad that his salvation motivates you, but let’s say it doesn’t motivate me. I’m that rebellious kid, I’m selfish, rude, and prone to fighting and stealing. I do realize that I am there only through my adoptive parents good graces. I know I’ve done nothing to deserve it. And I openly acknowledge this. Yet, I kick my sister, steal from my brother and refuse to do any type of work to help around the house. I cuss, drink heavily, take drugs and generally exhibit all manners of bad behavior. Do I ever get kicked out? Again I’m asking you what YOU believe.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melissa, I tag my posts with the word “Catholics” so that Catholics might understand that they can’t merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments or by being good. Salvation is only by accepting Jesus as Savior and His righteousness. You call it “bait” but I would call it “invite.”

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  2. So it looks like you don’t want to answer my simple question. The answer is easy. You believe that the boy never gets kicked out, No matter what he does. As long as you say your “Sinners Prayer”, you can act however you want and do whatever you want, and you still get your ticket punched to Heaven.

    This is the religion of mush! This is why we now have gay marraige as the law of the land, why 2,000 babies are killed every day, and why places like Planned Parenthood are selling baby organs.

    I know you have a hard time comprehending how one can cooperate with Grace, and that cooperation does not equal merit. Personally, I have am extremely hard time understanding the Trinity. But I do accept it as truth.

    So let’s take a look at it. We both believe that the boy is there solely due to the grace of the adoptive parents. He did nothing to merit or deserve to be adopted. But he is expected to exhibit certain behavior, first and foremost to show love and respect to his adoptive parents, and to show love and respect to his brothers and sisters. If he has love and respect for his parents and siblings, then he will refrain from stealing from them, slandering them, hurting them etc. This is the point of Mathew 22:34-40, not to give them something impossible to follow, but to simplify the law. To show that love above all else is what is important. The Pharasees were convicted because they did not have love.

    Moreover, by being obedient to his adoptive parents, and showing love and respect to his parents, and to his brothers and sisters, he is by no means meriting his having been adopted. Even if he does chores around the house, and does things to help his brothers and sisters, he can by no means merit or deserve his adoption.

    And yes, he can get kicked out. What does he have to do to get kicked out you ask. You’re asking the wrong person. God judges, not me. But here’s the catch. The parents don’t expect the boy to get perfect, or even to always be respectful. They know there are times when he will slip. But they will forgive him. If he merely asks, they will forgive him of any wrong doing. Even though he actually deserves to be kicked out, he can be forgiven. And nothing he could ever do merits this forgiveness. True he has to be repentant, and ask for this forgiveness. But that in no way makes him deserve it.

    Ultimately, this is what Grace, and Faith are all about. The number one thing Jesus came down to do was to pay for our sins. If God the Father merely wanted to teach us, he could have had anyone do it. In fact, that’s exactly what the Apostles did. But only Jesus could pay the cost for our sins, and we have Faith in him, that he will give us eternal life. Faith, that his sacrifice has paid the cost for our sins. Do we have to obedient to him, absolutely. And, we have to forgive others. Mathew 6:14-15 tells us that if we are not willing to forgive others, we will not be forgiven. Darn, one more thing we have to do. But our obedience, our forgiveness of others, is merely cooperating with what God wants us to do. It can never earn us anything in the way of our obtaining salvation.

    The story of the wedding feast. Let’s start from the beginning. The first group of invitees didn’t come. They were invited, through no merit of their own, but they refused to cooperate. The second group, they were worse than the first, they killed the messenger. Of the third group, those who came, there was the man who was a man who was not dressed in a wedding garment (it does not say rags). He was thrown out because he had not properly prepared for the wedding feast. It goes on to say many are called, but few are chosen. If it were as easy as saying your sinners prayer, Heaven would be full. If it weren’t for the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Heaven would be empty.

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    1. After your previous comments it became obvious we were hashing out the same topic over and over and over. I pray the Lord opens your eyes someday to His salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone.

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